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December 15th, 2011

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December 14th, 2011

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[From Wikipedia] A 3-D (three-dimensional) film or S3D (stereoscopic 3D) film is a motion picture that enhances the illusion of depth perception. Derived from stereoscopic photography, a regular motion picture camera system is used to record the images as seen from two perspectives (or computer-generated imagery generates the two perspectives in post-production), and special projection hardware and/or eyewear are used to provide the illusion of depth when viewing the film. 3-D films are not limited to feature film theatrical releases; television broadcasts and direct-to-video films have also incorporated similar methods, primarily for marketing purposes.
3-D films have existed in some form since the 1950s, but had been largely relegated to a niche in the motion picture industry because of the costly hardware and processes required to produce and display a 3-D film, and the lack of a standardized format for all segments of the entertainment business. Nonetheless, 3-D films were prominently featured in the 1950s in American cinema, and later experienced a worldwide resurgence in the 1980s and ’90s driven by IMAX high-end theaters and Disney themed-venues. 3-D films became more and more successful throughout the 2000s, culminating in the unprecedented success of 3-D presentations of Avatar in December 2009 and January 2010.

The film “Avatar” makes 3D movies more popular than before. Now users can make their own 3D films using our mediAvatar Video Converter Pro, not only convert videos from common 2D to 3D in any supported video formats, but also from one 3D formats to another one. As long as you have television with 3D support, and 3D glasses, you can enjoy your own 3D films at home, but not just in theater now!

iPad production cut in readiness for iPad 3

September 27th, 2011

iPad 3

Apple’s reported to have slashed iPad production by a quarter, according to a research report from JP Morgan Chase.

It’s believed to be the first time the company’s made such a drastic cut. It implies that the company believes there are enough of the devices in the supply chain to meet demand before the iPad 3 launches.

The move could be a response to slower-than-expected sales of the iPad 2 across Europe, or could even indicate that the company now plans to launch the iPad 3 earlier than previously intended.

According to Bloomberg, several vendors have said that fourth-quarter orders have been cut 25 percent, with Hon Hai, for example, now expecting to ship 13 million units rather than 17 million.

However, JP Morgan says it doesn’t expect to lower its projections for the third and fourth quarters, which foresee between 10.9 million and 12 million units shipping.

Apple says it shipped 9.25 million iPads during the June quarter this year, about twice the number for the previous quarter.

There’s still no date for the launch of the iPad 3, although many observers expect it to appear before the end of the year. However, JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz recently suggested that the company need be in no hurry, given the poor state of the competition.

Article source: www.tgdaily.com

Will Facebook’s iPad app launch with Apple’s iPhone 5?

September 27th, 2011

Is Facebook’s long-awaited iPad app going to make its debut at Apple’s iPhone 5 unveiling event, which is expected to take place Oct. 4?

That’s the rumor, according to Ben Parr of Mashable, who says his unnamed sources have told him a Facebook iPad app will be announced at Apple’s iPhone 5 event along with a new Facebook iPhone app and maybe even an HTML5-based mobile app store.

Apple and Facebook officials weren’t available for comment on the report Monday, although Apple always declines to comment on speculation. And, so far, Apple has yet to confirm that the next-generation iPhone will be announced Oct. 4 or even be called the iPhone 5.

But the information, while exciting to those who have been waiting months for a Facebook app on the iPad, does have some odd aspects given that the event will no doubt be focused on the iPhone 5 (or iPhone 4S, or whatever name Apple gives its new iPhone).

The announcement of a Facebook iPad app and a new iPhone app would make sense at an Apple event if the apps were shown taking advantage of some new features in iOS 5, the latest version of Apple’s iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad operating system, which will ship on the iPhone 5.

But it’s also worth keeping in mind that iOS 5 places Twitter front and center.

Twitter, not Facbeook, is the social network built into iOS 5 and integrating into the iPhone’s photos, contacts and Safari Web browser apps. It has been reported that Apple at one point wanted to integrate Facebook into iOS 5 before going with Twitter, but that obviously didn’t happen.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive and co-founder, showed off what his social network’s new Timeline-style profile pages would look like on an iPhone at the company’s F8 developer conference keynote last week and that would either have to be presented in a updated app or maybe an HTML5 version of Facebook.

The one bit of Parr’s information that seems to me to be unrealistic is that Facebook would launch an HTML5-built mobile app store of its own at the Apple iPhone 5 unveiling. Apple has built a major business on selling apps for its devices through its iTunes App Store and now its Mac App Store.

Why in the world would Apple want to let Facebook unveil an app store of its own that operated outside of the Apple ecosystem? Why would Apple give stage time to Facebook apps, and not iPhone or iPad apps, at an event announcing a new iPhone equipped with a new version of its own operating system?

However, if Parr’s sources are correct and Apple, the world’s most valuable tech company, and Facebook, the world’s most valuable and most popular social network, were to team up for an app store, it could be huge and a threat to both Google’s Android operating system and the Google+ social network.

We’ll all find out what’s what when Apple unveils its next iPhone.

Article source: latimesblogs.latimes.com

iPhone 5 release date brings 4S for Sprint, antenna, 4G LTE, Assistant

September 27th, 2011

The iPhone 5 release date will include an iPhone 4S sidekick, as pointed to by comments as high profile as Apple board member Al Gore bragging about the “new iPhones” and as analytical as Sprint’s CFO musing on low iPhone margins. The burning question in the minds of would-be buyers is why Apple is set embark on this two-pronged strategy. The answer is that it’s nothing new. Going back a few generations, Apple has opted to keep its flagship iPhone model at two hundred dollars and up, and has split the pricing difference with bargain hunters by offering last year’s iPhone model for a variable amount under a hundred dollars. This allows Apple to build the new iPhone the way it wants, without having to skimp on components or sell it at a a loss, while keeping its overall iPhone pricing structure competitive with that of other smartphone platforms. In another year, Apple would be gearing up to release the iPhone 5 with the existing iPhone 4 sticking around for another year and filling that bargain role. But this isn’t another year. From reasons ranging from the bifurcation of the iPhone 4 across the Verizon-AT&T landscape, to the arrival of Sprint on that landscape, to inventory and competitive issues, Apple is updating its iPhone 4 for its new bargain role and tagging it as the iPhone 4S in the process…

In actuality, there’s no guarantee that “iPhone 4S” will be the brand name. In fact that moniker was invented by the press earlier this year. One analyst thinks it’ll be called “iPhone 4-plus” as some kind of play on the popularity of the +1 button or some such. But regardless of what Apple calls the new-ish old-ish forthcoming iPhone, it’ll take its place alongside the entirely new iPhone 5 on its release date for multiple reasons. The most glaring is that there are currently two entire iPhone 4 families, one which is hardware compatible with AT&T and the other with Verizon. Throw in the presumed arrival of Sprint into the mix, and that carrier would need a third iPhone 4 which could talk to its network (alternatively, Sprint would get the iPhone 5 but be stuck without a low-end iPhone model to offer its customers for the first year). For reasons of inventory and simplicity, Apple prefers to have a single bargain-bin model. Moving to a revised “4S” model which can talk to all three networks (expect T-Mobile compatibility to be included for good measure, so that deal can go forward once the merger situation is resolved), Apple simplifies everything. But there’s more to it than that…

In this increasingly competitive smartphone landscape, Apple will be trying to sell the iPhone 4 for the same discount price as bargain-bin Android phones. But because Apple has fewer individual iPhone models and the iPhone 4 is well known to be a product that’s a year-plus old, it faces a perceptual disadvantage in that buyers may not be aware that the competing bargain-basement Android phone model in the fifty dollar price range are just as outdated. By replacing it with an iPhone 4S, Apple arms itself with a somewhat new iPhone model on the low end. Marketing equals perception, and this change in nomenclature alone will go a long way. Of course savvier customers would see through the 4S if it were merely the iPhone 4 with an extra letter on its name, so the 4S also allows Apple to update the feature set just enough to keep it current without treading on high-end features which make the iPhone 5 more desirable. The hardware revamp also allows Apple to add key new features such as 4G LTE networking (which appears to be a go after all) and an A5 processor which is necessary to power the unannounced “Assistant” feature of iOS 5 to the budget-iPhone via hardware revamp; the iPhone 4 is hardware-capable of neither of these features in its current incarnation.

Add in the fact that plenty of buyers are still under the false impression that the “iPhone 4 antenna issue” was something more than a mean spirited hoax, and Apple gets to put to bed one of the greatest faux-controversies of the past decade simply by retiring the “iPhone 4″ name. Sure, the same spurned tech journalists will claim that the iPhone 4S (and for that matter the iPhone 5) have the “antenna defect” or some other supposed issue they’ve concocted. But as their failed attempt at creating an “iPhone 4 scratching controversy” revealed, such claims are running out of gas. Apple can bury the original faux-controversy, which is still hurting it in the sales department, simply by staging a two-pronged release date for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S and officially ending the iPhone 4 era.

Article source: www.beatweek.com

Phone home: iPhone 5 release date a first for Apple’s Cupertino campus

September 26th, 2011

The biggest Apple product launch of the year is taking place in the smallest of locations. The iPhone 5 unveiling, which will come complete with the release date for the device which consumers have been asking about for months, is set to be a small-capacity affair on Apple’s own Cupertino campus, says Apple Insider. As Mashable points outs, while various Apple products (including the original iPod in 2001) have been launched at Apple headquarters over the years, this will mark the first instance in which Apple has done so with an iPhone. Pessimists will point to this as a sign that there is no iPhone 5 in 2011 and Apple is hosting a low-key event because it’s set to deliver the bad news that only an iPhone 4S will be available this year, with the 5 not surfacing until 2012. But the more basic explanation is that, upon having shifted the iPhone 5 launch back significantly in the calendar, Apple now finally has the 5 ready to go and isn’t willing to wait until one of its larger venues such as Moscone West or Yerba Buena is available. As has been pointed out, the expected timeframe for the iPhone 5 launch, on October 4th or 5th, places an Oracle conference taking up all three Moscone halls at that same time. Despite the naysayers, a growing mountain of evidence points to it being an iPhone 5, and not merely an iPhone 4S being unveiled in Cupertino next month…

Apple has known since at least April that the iPhone 5 would not see a summer release date, and tacitly admitted as much when it launched the white iPhone 4 at the end of April; if the iPhone 5 had been set for summer unveiling, Apple wouldn’t have bothered tinkering with the iPhone 4 lineup so late in the game. And yet Verizon has confirmed that at the time the Verizon iPhone 4 launched in March, it was under the impression that the iPhone 5 would in fact be a summer product. That narrows down the timeframe for when Apple realized the iPhone 5 would be pushed to the fall, and paints it clearly as having been a move made out of some kind of technical necessity and not part of a grand plan. Early component and manufacturing issues, or delays in the development of the iOS 5 operating system, are the most likely components. Either way, it’s clear that A) the iPhone 5 wasn’t originally supposed to be pushed back, and B) Apple has known for awhile that it would have to do so. In other words, if Apple were going to use the iPhone 4S as a mere substitute while pushing the iPhone 5 back to 2012, the 4S would already have come to market by now. Manufacturing the 4S, which is based on the existing iPhone 4, is trivial. The reason Apple waited this late in the calendar year to deliver the new iPhone is that it’s been buying the extra time it needed to finish the iPhone 5 (and iOS 5). In other words, if the iPhone 5 weren’t coming til next year, the iPhone 4S would already have been in your hands a month or two ago. But there’s other evidence pointing to an iPhone 5 release date in 2011, going beyond mere deductive logic…

Longtime Apple board member Al Gore, speaking this week at a conference on an unrelated manner, opted to plug “the new iPhones” coming next month. Plural, mind you. Gore was laying the groundwork for multiple new iPhone models coming to market in 2011. This was likely a planted comment aimed at assuring those growing restless that, yes, the new iPhone is indeed coming this year. And by saying “iPhones” instead of merely “iPhone” in the singular, Gore offered a de facto confirmation that an iPhone 5 and an iPhone 4S are on their way in October. Why Gore, and why now? Because he was the Apple representative who just happened to giving a speech this week, and the one who was in the easiest position to plant the remark.

So why an iPhone 4S at all? In the past Apple has kept the previous iPhone model around in the bargain bin once the new one arrives. That would be the existing iPhone 4 in this case. But the two current iPhone 4 models for AT&T and Verizon can only talk to one carrier each, and rather than add a third for Sprint’s network or force Sprint customers to go without a bargain option, a unified iPhone 4S allows a single low-price model to replace them all and work on all carriers. It also allows Apple to offer a new-ish iPhone on the low end rather than trying to sell the iPhone 4 (now fifteen months old) to customers who can’t afford the iPhone 5. And it puts the iPhone 4 antenna controversy to bed once and for all. But the preponderance of the evidence says that when Apple gathers the press next month for the iPhone unveiling, the small Cupertino room housing the event won’t be because Apple’s announcements are small. Rather it’ll be because, in Apple’s sudden haste to get the iPhone 5 unveiled and set up its release date now that the product is finally ready to go, it’s the largest room it could get its hands on. After all, the small number of journalists in the room won’t prevent the iPhone 5 from becoming the biggest consumer tech story of late 2011.

Article source: www.beatweek.com

Is Oct. 4 the iPhone 5 Launch Date?

September 23rd, 2011

The iPhone 5 is expected to be released next month, with the latest reports suggesting that Apple will hold an official introduction event for the much-touted handset on Oct. 4.

The event will have the added consequence of new CEO Tim Cook taking the lead for the first time. Many have wondered whether Apple can continue to compete without Steve Jobs as its creative driving force, particularly as rivals such as Samsung continue to gain ground. This will be the first major launch from the company after Jobs’ resignation.

Apple launched the iPhone 4 in June 2010, and 20.34 million of them have been sold so far.

The rumors of the launch date intensified Wednesday when former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, an Apple board member, dropped a clue about new iPhones coming in October.

Gore has been on the board for more than eight years, and this is the first time that he has let slip even the slightest detail on an upcoming product.

The comments also add to speculation that the company would release two iPhones next month. One would reportedly be a completely redesigned iPhone 5, while the other would be a budget iPhone 4S that looks like the current iPhone 4.

Conflicting rumors of whether or not the iPhone 5 will have a thinner frame remain unconfirmed.

Article source: www.ibtimes.com

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Apple iPhone 5 Plans Could Intensify Android Battle

September 23rd, 2011

Apple’s iPhone 5 and possible midrange smartphone, paired with a new carrier and upgraded iOS, could mark a new phase in the war between Apple and Android.

Apple could release a midrange iPhone in addition to the iPhone 5, itself rumored to debut in coming weeks. If that comes to pass, it’ll mark a new phase in Apple’s mobile strategy: the moment when it stopped battling Android in a more general way, and decided to ram Google’s operating system head-on.

According to a recent report in AllThingsD, Apple CEO Tim Cook will take to the stage Oct. 4 to introduce the new iPhone. That report stemmed from unnamed “sources close to the information.” For months, rumors have circulated that Apple plans to unveil the high-end device, which will supposedly include the upgraded A5 processor and other next-generation hardware, in October.

Even as rumors circulated about Oct. 4, a number of other publications reported that former Vice President Al Gore, a member of Apple’s board of directors, told a conference audience of “new iPhones coming out next month.”

Gore’s comments refueled rumors that Apple plans on releasing a line of lower-cost iPhones to complement the iPhone 5, with an eye toward combating midmarket Android devices.

That hardware will run iOS 5, a significant update to Apple’s mobile operating system. It includes boosted interoperability with Twitter, a new feature called Newsstand that consolidates e-periodical subscriptions, and a Reminders app, among other features. Apple is also launching its iCloud service, which will sync user content and push it to various devices via the cloud.

If it comes to pass, cheaper iPhones with more powerful hardware will counter the Android devices currently flooding the low- to mid-price smartphone market, even as the iPhone 5 goes toe-to-toe against premium Android devices such as Samsung’s Galaxy S II.

Although Apple continues to dominate much of the general conversation about smartphones, Android has managed to rapidly eat up a healthy portion of the market over the past two years. One reason for the latter’s success stems from its presence on multiple networks, something Apple might counter by rolling out the iPhone on additional carriers in the United States.

Rumors have flown fast and furious in recent weeks about a possible iOS appearance on Sprint. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has estimated that giving Sprint the iPhone would boost the device’s overall sales by 6 million units. A Sprint iPhone would also leave T-Mobile as the only U.S. carrier without an Apple phone in its device portfolio, although the latter’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom AG, has offered the iPhone for years in Germany (and is allowing customers to preorder the iPhone 5, although without any mention of a release date or device specs).

T-Mobile might not prove so lucky, though, particularly if its announced acquisition by AT&T ends up blocked by federal regulators. “We are not going to get the iPhone 5 this year,” T-Mobile CMO Cole Brodman is quoted as saying in a transcript of a company town hall, itself reported on the blog TmoNews (which bills itself as “The Unofficial T-Mobile Blog”). The posting was quickly picked up by other blogs, including the Apple-centric 9to5Mac.

Between improved (and cheaper) hardware, an upgraded operating system, and a possible midrange device and new carrier, it seems that Apple is moving to intensify that competition with Android.

Article source: www.eweek.com

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Al Gore says iPhone 5+4S release date in October in oddly timed speech

September 23rd, 2011

Parsing a politician’s words has never been so tricky. The release date for the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4S is next month according to current Apple board member and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, who spoke at a conference this week and revealed that the “new iPhones” (plural) will debut in October, quipping that it was an intentional plug. The good news: those who have been waiting since this summer and wondering where the iPhone 5 went are now on a countdown which won’t require much further waiting. The odd part: it’s not a hundred percent clear what gore was referring to when he said “the new iPhones.” The plural nature of the phrase can be parsed as either meaning “multiple new iPhone models are coming to market in October” or simply as “iPhone 5 units are coming to market in October.” The uncertainty leaves room for examination as to the role an iPhone 4S would play alongside the iPhone 5 if indeed Gore is referring to two new iPhone iterations…

The iPhone 5 will be the flagship model and the focus of Apple’s marketing attention the moment its release date arrives, regardless of whether it has a new sidekick. Apple’s initial TV, billboard, and print ads will make nary a mention of an iPhone 4S even if there is one. But the model would solve several potential issues which Apple faces if it follows its traditional path of keeping the current iPhone 4 around as the lower end model heading into 2012. Apple has done this in the past with models like the 3GS (still available for $49), but this changeover is more complex…

The iPhone 4 was Apple’s first phone to be available on multiple, incompatible U.S. carriers. Keeping both the Verizon and AT&T iPhone 4 iterations around would make for inventory hassles with the iPhone 5 arriving in (traditionally) three flavors on top of it. There’s also the issue of Sprint expansion, unofficially a lock for the iPhone 5 era; Sprint would then need its own iPhone 4 to talk to its network. But wipe out the entire iPhone 4 lineup in favor of an “iPhone 4S” (or less commonly claimed, an “iPhone 4-plus”) which can talk to all of the above networks, and suddenly the lineup is simplified. Apple then also gets around the notion of trying to sell “last year’s iPhone” on the bargain end, as the iPhone 4 is fifteen months old and could be twenty-seven months old by the end of the iPhone 5 era if it were kept around that long. There’s also the never-ending iPhone 4 antenna controversy, publicly proven long ago by Steve Jobs himself to be merely the way all smartphones operate and nothing specific to the iPhone 4, yet it just won’t go away. By shifting to an iPhone 4S on the low end, Apple buries the iPhone 4 and its imagined antenna problems, creating a clean slate in the minds of those consumers who were irrevocably confused by the faux-controversy. It also means that if Apple opts to include next-gen technologies like the 4G LTE network and its own faster A5 processor in the iPhone 5, it can also quietly slip those into the iPhone 4S for compatibility reasons even as it promotes them as the headlining iPhone 5 features.

The only reason not to do an iPhone 4S would be that the “newness” of the model could motivate would-be iPhone 5 buyers to opt for the cheaper 4S in larger numbers than Apple would like. The iPhone 5 will be the higher margin, higher-spec flagship model which Apple wants consumers to buy; the lower priced model, whether it’s a new 4S or the existing 4, is only there to draw people in who either can’t afford the iPhone 5 or who can’t be upsold. Now we get to find out just how tricky Al Gore’s words were when he referred to the “new iPhones.”

It’s worth noting that despite his high level of recognizability in the U.S. and worldwide in general, Gore very rarely speaks on Apple’s behalf despite having been on the company’s board for roughly a decade; even his environmental initiative within the company have been announced through other means than Gore’s mouth. The timing of his words this week is unusual to the point of suspicion. One might be tempted to conclude that his decision to work the “new iPhones” into an unrelated speech at this time may have come on instruction from the rest of Apple’s board for the sake of unofficially reminding the public that the iPhone 5 isn’t far off, even while maintaining its official policy of silence.

Article source: www.beatweek.com

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Windows Phone 7 ‘Mango’ Update Coming in 1-2 Weeks

September 22nd, 2011
Windows Phone 7

Windows Phone 7

Microsoft has announced that it will begin upgrading users to Windows Phone 7.5, aka Mango, in a week or two.
“Boom…no more rumors. Mango to start rolling out on #windowsphone in just a week or two,” tweeted Windows Phone director Brandon Watson.

Mango is the Windows Phone platform’s first major overhaul since the mobile operating system launched in December 2010. It comes with hundreds of new features, including the ability to create groups in the People hub, deep Facebook integration, and enhanced email and Office apps. Additionally, Mango will feature support for multitasking, which can ultimately lead to home-screen tiles being updated with data from apps running in the background. See PCMag’s first look at Mango and the slideshow below for more.

“During the official Windows Phone 7.5 update process, every Windows Phone will also receive software from the handset manufacturer. This matched and paired firmware has been painstakingly tuned so your phone—and apps—work with all the new features of Windows Phone 7.5.,” wrote Eric Hautala, general manager of customer experience engineering at Windows Phone, in a blog post.

There’s still plenty of room for Mango rumors, however. Microsoft hasn’t mentioned which countries will see Mango first (ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley points out that Windows Phone rollouts typically debut in Australia and Europe rather than in the U.S.) Nor do we know if there will be a handset launch to go along with the update. Last week, AT&T announced, sans date, three upcoming devices that will ship with Mango.

Earlier this year, Microsoft Windows Phone 7 users experienced a delay when Microsoft tried rolling out a minor “cut and paste” update called NoDo. The developer behind the short-lived ChevronWP7 jailbreak for Windows Phone 7 posted a homebrew tool that let users bypass Microsoft and carriers to update their mobile operating system on their own, which Microsoft warned against installing.

Hautala had the same message for Mango. “Since your phone requires the proper firmware to function as designed, my advice is simple: steer clear of bootleg updates and homebrew tools.”

Frustrations over the earlier delay also prompted Microsoft to launch the site “Where’s My Phone Update?” where users can keep track of their software updates. No word on Mango updates yet, however.

On Tuesday, meanwhile, news broke that Windows Phone veteran Joe Marini may have been forced to resign after tweeting some unflattering observations about Nokia’s first Windows Phone device, codenamed Sea Ray.

Article source: www.pcmag.com