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be.ez LA robe Allure for iPad case review

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be.ez LA robe Allure for iPad case review

So you’ve got your shiney new iPad and you want to take it everywhere with you, but what about protecting your not inconsiderable investment? The back maybe made from tough aluminium, but with that large pane of glass on the front, it’s just asking for trouble. That’s where the LA robe Allure for iPad from be.ez steps in. Don’t let the crappy name fool you, this zippered slip case offers good protection from the bumps and knocks your iPad might encounter in day to day life. Made from 5mm thick, low resilience polyurethane (LRPu) foam, the case absorbs impacts by deforming freely and then slowly returning to its original shape.

There’s not much else to the LA robe, however the top has an inner lip to protect your iPad from the closing zip, while inside the case is lined with soft felt to prevent scratches to that gorgeous 9.7″ IPS screen. If you’re one to roll with a hard case on your iPad, be.ez has made the case just about big enough to accommodate your iPad in a slim hard shell — we were rocking a Macally Metrolpad at the time.

Overall we were quite impressed with the LA robe for iPad. It’s a snug fit that makes you feel the iPad is well protected, while the LRPu absorbs knocks easily, great for just slinging your iPad in a backpack. Available in four stripy colours, including the fetching Neapolitan to the right, and at just over $30 the Allure is worth considering if you’re after a simple padded slip case for your Apple slate.

With permission from Felix, London.

Game Center goes live

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Game Center goes live

Game Center has just gone live for anyone with iOS4.1 on their device, as promised by Apple at it’s Fall music event. Up until this point users, primarily developers, have been using a sandboxed version of Game Center that allowed you to find friends only via username. Users can now create a full blown Game Center account, pick their gamer tag and verify as many email addresses as they want, so that people can find them via email and allowing you to send invites to friends via email, something that up until just now was not possible.

Here’s some screens from an iPhone 4 to tide you over till iOS4.1 officially launches (probably tomorrow).

Read On

Apple’s September 2010 music event digest – what did it all mean?

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Apple’s September 2010 music event digest – what did it all mean?

So, as you probably know by now, Apple had it’s now routine Fall music event for 2010 yesterday, September 1st. These events for those new to the Apple announcement bandwagon, revolve around Apple’s iPod line and iTunes. This year, as expected, we got refreshed iPod shuffle, nano and touch lines as well as iTunes 10. Apple normally has a ‘one more thing’ announcement that it keeps until the end of the keynote and this year was no exception. Mr. Jobs ended the keynote with a revamped ‘2nd generation’ Apple TV, which yes, maintains the Apple TV name and doesn’t encroach on ITV’s branding as was rumoured.

So on the face of it we’ve got some new gear to check out that’s relatively evolutionary, not revolutionary. We’ll quickly run through the ins and outs of each product so you don’t have to wade through pages and pages of prose: Read On

Apple to livestream September music event

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Apple to livestream September music event

Update: Direct link to the stream

Yep, you read that right. For the first time in a long while, Apple will livestream it’s music event, today – 1st of September – at 10AM PDT. That’s 5PM GMT for those that want to work it out for their own time zone.

Great I hear you say – where can I get it. Simple, just point your browser at Apple.com and you’ll be acoustic-rocking. One small snag however, there’s a strict door policy to this here club. You have to be running a Mac with OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and be running Safari or holding an iOS3+ device in your palms. Yes that’s right, PC users, sorry you’re out; PPC Mac users, yep, sorry you’re out too and anyone not updated to at least iOS 3.0 on their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad (where have you been?!) you’re out of luck too.

Read On

Windows on your iPad – Splashtop for iPad review

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Windows on your iPad – Splashtop for iPad review

Splashtop Remote is a new iPad app plus PC server program combo package that provides remote control of your Windows PC using your iPad. It’s from the guys at DeviceVM who brought us the instant-on OS, Splashtop, but similarities end with the name. There are several applications that allow you to VNC into your computer across a network from an iOS device, my favourite thus far being TeamViewer, which has iOS apps for both iPhone and iPad, plus a plethora of desktop utilities. What DeviceVM say makes Slashtop Remote different is that you can ‘watch video, listen to music, and even play games remotely’. The major difference we can see is that Splashtop Remote automatically pipes the sound from your computer to your iPad, as long as you’re using Windows 7 or Vista. Read On

Fallout New Vegas announces a star studded vocal cast

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Fallout New Vegas announces a star studded vocal cast

For those unfamiliar with the Fallout universe and the previous re-invigoration of the series for the modern gaming era, Fallout 3, the general idea is there’s been a nuclear war where pretty much most of Earth has been wiped out. Survivors locked themselves in underground self-sufficient ‘vaults’, only emerging once the dust had settled. It’s a third person, sandbox shooter-come-RPG, where you explore the wasteland expanse, taking missions, killing vermin, mutants and raiders and generally having a rawkus good time trying to survive.

New Vegas, as the name suggests is based around a slightly less annihilated Las Vegas in the Mojave wasteland, where any man with enough weaponry and guile can carve out an existence for himself. But enough guff, you get the picture, a post nuclear wasteland RPG-shooter. Fallout games have always had great stories and well realised characters, but Bethesda have outdone themselves this time with a truly fantastic vocal cast.

Highlights include: Matthew Perry of Friends fame; Ron Perlman from Hellboy returning from his outing in Fallout 3 as the narrator; Wayne Newton – ‘Mr. Las Vegas'; William Sadler (Shawshank Redemption); Zack Levi aka ChuckFelicia DayMichael Dorn aka Worf from Star Trek; Kris Kristofferson, best known as Whistler from Blade Trinity; Danny TrejoJohn Doman; and last but by no means least Rene Auberjonois better known as Odo from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine or Paul Lewiston from Boston Legal.

Looking at the list you’ve got some pretty experienced voice artists as well as some decent actors. I for one, am looking forward to some quality character vocalizations, a repeat of the amazing music and DJ over the ‘wireless’, and expansive story New Vegas is likely to offer. I just hope it builds on the success of Fallout 3 and offers a little more variation, not falling back into sequel oblivion.

[Source]

Apple sneaks cloud music streaming into iDisk App update

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Apple sneaks cloud music streaming into iDisk App update

We’ve heard rumours for months about the posibility of Apple taking iTunes into the cloud. They bought and subsequently shut down LaLa, a cloud based music streaming service, but as yet we haven’t seen any hard evidence Apple is going to launch a LaLa iTunes replacement.

Everyone’s favourite fruit flavoured company did, however, sneak in a bit of iDisk based cloud storage music streaming, by updating its iPhone and iPad iDisk app to enable music streaming from the MobileMe iDisk service. For those of you who have shunned Apple’s ill-fated sync and cloud solution, MobileMe comes with 20GB of online storage called iDisk. The iDisk can be mounted as a network drive in OSX and or Windows and there’s no restriction on what you can or can’t store on your iDisk; however files that the iDisk app on iOS doesn’t recognise can’t be accessed on your iDevice.

Apple updated its iOS iDisk app on the 6th of July with the following change list:

What’s New In Version 1.2

– Designed for both iPhone and iPad
– Multitasking support for iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS (iOS 4 required).
* Quickly switch to another app and back to iDisk
* Play audio from your iDisk while using another app
– When app is opened, the last file or directory viewed is displayed
– Option to open iDisk documents in compatible apps such as iBooks
– When sharing a file, an email can be sent from any configured email account
– The URL for a shared file can be copied and pasted
– Various stability improvements

Fine, small improvements across the board, with a bit of audio playing to boot. However, it wasn’t until Michael Robertson, CEO of MP3tunes, revealed in a blog post that the iDisk app could play songs from your iDisk in the background on iOS4 that what Apple had actually done with the update was shown. By streaming tunes from the iDisk in this way, Apple has circumnavigated the recording industry, essentially allowing you to stream any songs you might have in your library. It’s nothing novel, you can do the same using your computer as a media server, even across the web. But as it’s actually a company doing so, without any compensation to the recording industry, you might find Apple takes a bit of heat for this.

Is Apple testing the waters in preparation for iTunes.com? It wouldn’t take much for Apple to integrate music streaming into the iPod app in the same way it has with the iDisk app. Perhaps Apple will roll iTunes and MobileMe in together, iTunes Plus for instance or MobileMe Tunes. Whatever happens in the near future, if you happen to have a MobileMe account now, you can dump all or a large proportion of your music library onto your iDisk and stream said library to your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad over 3G or Wifi, all for the grand old price of gratis.

[Computer World]

First world issue: Hourglass syndrome

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First world issue: Hourglass syndrome

As the pace of technology has rocketed over the past 10 to 15 years, so have our expectations as end users. It’s amazing when you stop and think, just how far we’ve come. Your phone has more processing power now, than the computers that sent men into space. Your smartphone is a truly portable computer that fits into your pocket; not some enormous room filling machine that relied on holes punched into cards and printed out ticker tape. Your desktop, or even laptop, has more power than most ‘super’ computers only 7 to 10 years ago.

The raw power of the modern CPU has meant that everything can be done quicker, with more done at the same time meaning we’re potentially more productive. Of course, no one could have predicted that you needed those extra clock cycles for all those YouTube videos you watch whilst you’re ‘number crunching’ in Excel; but combined with plentiful and relatively cheap RAM, you can really put the multi into tasking.

All that power has created a typically first world problem: Hourglass Syndrome. With incredibly high expectations, comes frustration when things don’t appear to happen instantly. Hourglass Syndrome could be defined as the interminable rage created by having to wait for events to occur on a computer, seeing the hourglass icon, or pin-wheel. You click your mouse and if it doesn’t fire up your program of choice, or execute that command you need instantly, you’re annoyed. That instantaneous expectation is only enhanced by companies Intel, promising to pump more and more power into your computers, often with higher and higher prices. Read On

iPhone 4 jailbreak now available

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iPhone 4 jailbreak now available

Thanks to some hard work from a team lead by Comex, the iPhone Dev Team have released, what could possibly be, the easiest and most ingenious jailbreak for any iPhone or iPod touch running iOS4 (apart from the iOS4.1 beta). JailbreakMe.com is as simple as it sounds. Go to the site in Mobile Safari and ‘slide to jailbreak’, sit back and watch the magic, no PC or Mac needed. Cloud utility at it’s finest here folks. It’ll work for your brand new iPhone 4 along with the 3GS, 3G and iPod touch 3rd/2nd gen, but not an iPad running iOS 3.2.1 currently.

Of course jailbreaking your iDevice comes with a few caveats. It is apparently legal in the US, but will still void your warranty. Especially on the iPhone 4, there are features that are in the process of being made stable under jailbreak like FaceTime and MMS (does anyone still actually use those?), which Comex assures us is now stable according to Engadget. We recommend making a good backup before you attempt this, because you never know you might need to restore your device. And yes there is a lot of talk about ‘bricking’ your device. I want to re-iterate here what I’ve said before, it is very difficult to actually brick your iDevice. A DFU restore will sort almost anything that revolves around jailbreaking, so don’t worry, if you have a full backup the only thing you’re likely to lose is time. As of writing JailBreakMe.com is up and holding steady, but large volumes of traffic meant that it was up and down through the night, so if you don’t see it at first try again later.

Now, whether you actually want to jailbreak your iPhone 4 is another matter, since the major onus for jailbreaking – multitasking, has been implemented in some manner with iOS4. Whilst carrier unlock is not possible with this jailbreak method, you’ll have to wait for redsn0w for iPhone 4 for that, if you’re after apps that only Cydia can provide, SBSettings for instance or PDAnet, then go fourth and jailbreak dear readers!

JailBreakMe.com

[Comex, MuscleNerd]

Porsche 918 Spyder is go – Prius seen crying in corner

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Porsche 918 Spyder is go – Prius seen crying in corner

Yes friends, you heard that right. Porsche, the world renowned sports car manufacturer, is actually going to put it’s 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid hyper car into production. We’ve featured the concept before, and to be honest we weren’t overly optimistic of seeing the gorgeous machine roll off a production line, but Porsche have gone and committed to at least a limited production run. Just in case you’re under the impression that hybrids have to perform and look like the bane of motoring, the Toyota Prius, let me spell out a few specs for you; we’re looking at 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds and a colossal 198mph top speed, all while emitting just 70g/km of CO2 with a combined cycle fuel economy of 94.1 mpg (UK gallon). The 918 uses three electric motors, two at the front powering the front wheels and one at the back driving the rear wheels, all powered by liquid cooled lithium-ion batteries and a bit of KERS. should you want to burn some rubber, the electrics are backed up with a 3.8L V8 petrol engine which develops 500bhp and will undoubtedly make a panty-wetting noise to-die-for in a similar vein to the current king of the Porsche world, the Carrera GT. Looking like something out of a teenage boy’s wet dream and packing some impressive specs, surely this must be every green-leaning petrol-head’s new pin-up of choice. All I can say is, suck that Prius.

[Via Crave]