Associated Press Announces Plans for iPad Application

Posted by: flirtations  /  Category: Apple Inc, Applications, Developer, iPad

The Associated Press today announced plans to create a new business unit known as “AP Gateway” that will focus on mobile platforms, with an application for Apple’s iPad tablet device set to serve as the launch product from the division. AP Gateway will also seek to leverage the technology behind its iPad application to assist its local news affiliates with creating packages of their own content.
It appears likely that the application will require a paid subscription as the new organization continues its attempts to monetize mobile distribution of its content, although an AP executive suggested that it may appear as a free application at first.
The group already has drawn up plans to charge for an application designed for the iPad, a 1.5-pound tablet computer that Apple Inc. is scheduled to release at the end of March. The price of the application has yet to be determined, although it might start free, according to Jane Seagrave, a senior vice president who becomes the AP’s chief revenue officer Monday.
Much like the AP Mobile news product, the iPad app will show custom packages of headlines, stories, photos and video from the AP and from newspapers and broadcasters that choose to contribute their content and share the revenue. AP members also could use the same system to offer their own iPad apps that show their own content.
Attempts to bring newspaper content to the iPad have hit a few hurdles as the device’s launch approaches with internal units of The New York Times reportedly vying for control over the distribution and disagreeing over pricing for the newspaper’s content. Newspaper and magazine publishers have also been expressing concern over revenue sharing with Apple and the company’s unwillingness to share subscriber information that publishers depend on for marketing and tailoring their content.

Apple Claims Display Issues on 27-Inch iMac Have Been Addressed

Posted by: flirtations  /  Category: Apple Inc, iMac, Technology

Gizmodo reports that it has received official word from Apple that the company has addressed issues with flickering and yellow tinting on its 27-inch iMac models.
We’ve addressed the issues that caused display flickering and yellow tint. Customers concerned that their iMac is affected should contact AppleCare.
For its part, however, Gizmodo notes that it is still receiving reports of yellow-tinted displays from iMac purchasers, although it is encouraged by reports of at least some customers receiving machines free of the issue.
Early reports of flickering have been addressed through a pair of firmware updates that appear to have solved the problem for existing users. More recent complaints of yellow-tinting on the iMac’s displays also surfaced, with a report claiming that Apple had at least internally acknowledged the issue and had halted production of the machines pending a fix.
Apple quickly refuted claims that production had been halted, and pointed to high demand as the cause of ongoing shipping delays for the machines. Apple had also reportedly been offering 15% rebates to purchasers of the troubled machines, but today’s comments from Apple are the first official claim that both issues have been addressed.
Meanwhile, availability of the 27-inch iMac models has continued to improve, drifting down to 3-5 business days for shipping windows earlier this week from 5-7 business days

iTunes Store Reaches 10 Billion Songs Downloaded

Posted by: flirtations  /  Category: App Store, Apple Inc, Applications, Developer, Technology

Apple’s iTunes Store today reached 10 billion music downloads since its inception in 2003, and along with the milestone comes the end of the company’s “Countdown to 10 Billion Songs” promotion. The winner of the promotion, who is yet to be announced, will be awarded a $10,000 iTunes Store gift card.

iTunes Store Music Download Growth Since Launch
The milestone is being featured prominently on Apple’s main page, iTunes page, and the iTunes Store, among other locations.

4G: Don’t get your hopes up

Posted by: flirtations  /  Category: iPhone, Technology

Anyone who suffered through the decade or so while U.S. cellular networks figured out how to upgrade their infrastructure from 2G to 3G — which they’re all finally running now — is probably pretty darn excited that people are already talking about rolling out 4G, the next generation of networks that, in theory at least, sounds really really fast.
Sorry folks, put away the candles and the birthday hats: The reality is that when 4G actually arrives, it really won’t be much faster than 3G is today.
What is 4G, anyway? The name refers to the fourth major generation of cellular technology to be developed, but as with 3G it comprises a variety of standards with acronym-heavy names that you probably have zero interest in. The bottom line is that 4G, like 3G before it, should represent a massive leap in performance over the prior generation of mobile radio technology. If historical trends continued, 4G would be 10 to 20 times faster than what we’re working with today, a huge jump that would have a massive impact on how mobile data and entertainment services are consumed.
Well, don’t get your hopes up, folks. Analysts are warning consumers that the first 4G networks won’t be much faster than 3G — and question marks remain on upgrades down the line. While no one knows what the true actual average speeds will be when these networks launch, it’s clear they won’t begin to approach their theoretical maximum speeds, generally quoted in the range of 70 to 100Mbps.
Rather, expect to see speeds well under 10Mbps, and probably closer to 5Mbps… not much better than the 2 to 3.5Mbps you can achieve on a 3G network with good coverage today.
And even though some networks, led by Sprint’s WiMax efforts, are already rolling out 4G pilot projects in a variety of cities, we’ve still got years to go before 4G becomes a reality for most of the country. One network hardware vendor posits that even five years from now, 3G will still be the dominant mobile standard. The bottom line: Don’t get suckered by a hot acronym until the technology is actually proven.
4G? More like 3.25G from the sound of it.

Flirtation Creation launches new logo design and website

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: App Development, App Store, Apple Inc, Applications, Developer, Facebook, Flirtation Creations, Google Buzz, Graphic Design, Internet, iPad, iPhone, iPhone OS, iPod Touch, Social Networking, Technology, Twitter, Web Design

Flirtation Creations Inc, an app development and design consultancy offering exceptional graphic and website design launched a new website to better serve its clients.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb 24, 2010 – Boston, MA. USA – Premier online design company, Flirtation Creations, announced it has recently launched a new website to better serve its clients. The new website, http://www.flirtationcreations.com, features the full spectrum of the companies exceptional services, including app development for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, graphic and website design, and corporate and personal branding. The website was launched to give clients even greater access to and understanding of the company’s services, as well as to showcase its portfolio of past work.
As leading app and web developers in Massachusetts, Flirtation Creations has been offering clients high quality, cost-effective graphic design and website solutions since 2000. The companies commitment to providing exceptional customer service combined with Internet expertise has attracted clients throughout the United States, Europe and Africa.
Flirtation Creations offers clients an expansive selection of app development services, graphic design services including logo design, custom website development and more. By establishing long-term relationships with its clients and offering high-end quality online marketing solutions at medium-level prices, Flirtation Creations excels at meeting the needs and budget of every client.
Along with highlighting the companies breadth of services, Flirtation Creations new website also emphasizes what sets it apart from competitors. This includes the companies commitment to providing no hidden contracts or costs, issuing copyright ownership to clients for all work completed, as well as its ethical, honest business approach.
Additionally, Flirtation Creations new website allows clients to review the companies online portfolio, giving them a taste of the firm’s exceptional quality of design. Through the new website, clients can choose to review examples of the companies app development, as well as past logo and website designs.
“Establishing long-term customer relationships is extremely important to Flirtation Creations, which is why we strive to make sure our clients are comfortable and informed throughout the entire design and development process. With our new website, now even more clients can benefit from the extraordinary customer service and online marketing solutions we offer”, says the company’s CEO.

Herbs n Spices app approved and on the App Store

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: App Store, Apple Inc, Applications, Developer, iPad, iPhone, iPhone OS, iPod Touch

The latest app for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad from Flirtation Creations “Herbs n Spices’ has been approved by apple and is on the App store for purchase and download.

App Store App Store

Herbs n Spices has been designed as a quick reference showing what herbs or spices blend with what food category. There are no recipes or long drawn out details about herbs or spices, just a simple list of common everyday kitchen products and how they can be used.
Remember you still have ultimate control over what your taste is and there is no stopping you from experimenting.
Bon Appetit!

The Top 10 Toxic Products You Don’t Need – Try Natural

Posted by: flirtations  /  Category: Alternative Medicine, App Store, Applications, Essential Oils, Natural Healing

After releasing our latest iPhone App Essential Oil iGuide it was interesting to note how many non-natural chemicals harm us.
It’s become so common in our culture to assume we need things – a lot of things. Over-consumption is not only a strain on our bank accounts and environment, it can also be harmful to our health. Whether there’s a warning label or not (usually not), many of the things we buy have associated health risks.
Here are ten toxic products, in no particular order, that you don’t need. And, once you read about them, you probably won’t want them either. Be aware that different homes may have different products that are more toxic than these. This is just a basic list of some of the most commonly purchased products that are almost entirely unnecessary, but pose significant risks.
1. Air fresheners: Most air fresheners mask odors with a synthetic fragrance or numb your sense of smell with chemical anesthetics. But, they do nothing to eliminate the source of the odor. Also, aerosol air fresheners spew out tiny droplets of chemicals that are easily inhaled into the lungs. Instead, ventilate well and choose natural deodorizers, such as zeolite or baking soda, which contain minerals that absorb odors. How to Freshen Indoor Air Naturally includes recipes for other homemade remedies. Plants are also helpful for purifying your indoor air.
2. Drain, oven and toilet bowl cleaners: Yes, three products instead of one, but they all fit under the category of cleaners – and these are the three nastiest. Corrosive or caustic cleaners, such as the lye and acids found in drain cleaners, oven cleaners and acid-based toilet bowl cleaners, are the most dangerous cleaning products because they burn skin, eyes and internal tissue easily.
* To clean extra-greasy ovens, mix together 1 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup of washing soda, then add enough water to make a paste; apply the paste to oven surfaces and let soak overnight. The next morning, lift off soda mixture and grime; and rinse surfaces well.
* Prevent clogged drains by using hair and food traps.
* To de-grease and sweeten sink and tub drains, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down drain followed by 1 cup vinegar; let bubble for 15 minutes; rinse with hot water. You might have to repeat the whole procedure more than once. This same mixture can be used prior to scrubbing your toilet bowl to deodorize and scour away grime.

3. Canned food: It’s probably shocking to find a food item on a toxic product list, but it’s no mistake. Food cans are lined with an epoxy resin that contains bisphenol-A (BPA). Most experts believe this is our main source of exposure to BPA, which has been linked to hormone disruption, obesity, heart disease, and much more. Eden Foods is currently the only company with BPA-free canned foods (other than the canned tomatoes, which they haven’t found an adequate substitute for given the acidity of the tomatoes). Opt for fresh, frozen, dried or jarred foods.
4. Pesticides: This is a huge category of products, but they deserve inclusion in their entirety because of how extremely toxic they are. They’re made to be. That’s how they kill things. But, solving your pest problem may leave you with another problem – residual poisons that linger on surfaces, contaminate air, and get tracked onto carpet from the bottom of shoes. There are so many non-toxic ways to eliminate pests and weeds – next time you need to get on the offense, check out the recommendations at Beyond Pesticides.
5. Dry-cleaning: Okay, it’s a service and not a product per se, but the chemical used to do it, perchloroethylene, has been linked to cancer as well as nervous system, kidney, liver and reproductive disorders. Even bringing dry-cleaned clothes home is risky. EPA studies have found that people who reported visiting a dry-cleaning shop showed twice as much perc in their breath, on average, as other people. EPA also found that levels of perc remained elevated in a home for as long as one week after placing newly dry-cleaned clothes in a closet. A Consumers Union study found that people who wear freshly dry-cleaned clothes, like a jacket and shirt, every week over a 40-year period, could inhale enough perc “to measurably increase their risk of cancer” – by as much as 150 times what is considered “negligible risk.” Try wet-cleaning, CO2 technology, or even hand-washing.
6. Bottled water: Most people buy bottled water thinking they’re avoiding any contaminants that may be present in their tap water. For the most part, they’re wrong. Bottled water can be just as, or even more, contaminated than tap water. In fact, some bottled water IS tap water – just packaged (in plastic that can leach chemicals into the water) and over-priced. Also, from manufacture to disposal, bottled water creates an enormous amount of pollution – making our water even less drinkable. Do yourself and the world a favor and invest in a reusable stainless steel water bottle and a water filter.
7. Rubber duckies: How does such a cute toy end up on a toxic product list? When it’s made from PVC – the poison plastic. Banned in over 14 countries and the European Union, PVC, also known as vinyl, is still legally sold by U.S. retailers although it threatens environmental and consumer health at every stage of its product life cycle, according to the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice (CHEJ). When it’s in your home, PVC can leach phthalates (linked to hormone disruption) and lead (a potent neurotoxicant) – contaminating air, dust, and eventually you. Go PVC-free by reading packages and avoiding the #3 in the chasing arrows symbol (usually found on the bottom of a product). If a plastic is not labeled, call the manufacturer. Learn more.
8. Couch cushions: No, you needn’t get rid of all your cushions and consign yourself to a future of discomfort. Just avoid cushions, pillows, and anything with foam labeled as meeting California TB 117, as it is likely to contain toxic fire retardants. These chemicals migrate from the foam to dust to people. In animal research, these chemicals are associated with cancer, birth defects, thyroid disruption, reproductive and neurological disorders such as hyperactivity and mental retardation. Don’t worry about increasing your fire risk, data does not show that this standard has resulted in increased fire safety. Look for foam and cushions made with polyester, down, wool, or cotton as they are unlikely to contain toxic fire retardants.
9. Perfume and cologne: Colognes and perfumes may make us more attractive. But mixed in with the colors and scents are a wide variety of unattractive chemicals. Perfumes and fragrances can consist of hundreds of chemicals. Testing of Calvin Klein’s Eternity by an independent lab, commissioned by Environmental Health Network (EHN), revealed that the perfume contained over 800 compounds. Among the chemicals of concern is diethyl phthalate (DEP) that is absorbed through the skin and can accumulate in human fat tissue. Phthalates are suspected carcinogens and hormone disruptors that are increasingly being linked to reproductive disorders.
It’s not so simple to avoid phthalates by switching products because they are rarely listed on product ingredient labels. Phthalates are claimed as a part of trade secret formulas, and are exempt from federal labeling requirements. Find out if products you currently use contain phthalates and find safer ones on Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Searchable Product Guide website.
10. Oil-based paints and finishes: There are 300 toxic chemicals and 150 carcinogens potentially present in oil-based paint, according to a John Hopkins University study. Still interested in coating your walls and furniture with this gunk? I hope not. Look for water-based options – ideally those that are low- or no-VOC. You could also explore natural finishes like milk paint and vegetable or wax based wood finishes.
Healthy Child Healthy World is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit inspiring parents to protect young children from harmful chemicals. Learn more at HealthyChild.org

TV Networks Continuing to Resist Apple’s Effort to Slash iTunes Pricing

Posted by: flirtations  /  Category: App Store, Apple Inc, Applications, Technology

The New York Times reports that television networks are continuing to resist Apple’s push to lower episode pricing for their shows to $0.99, down from the current $1.99 price point for standard definition content. The networks reportedly continue to be skeptical of the value of such price cuts, despite claims that some of them have agreed to participate in a trial of the lower pricing to coincide with the launch of Apple’s iPad.
Television production is expensive, and the networks are wary of selling shows for less. They are equally wary of harming their far more lucrative deals with affiliates and cable distributors, who may feel threatened by online storefronts like Apple’s and those operated by Amazon, Microsoft and Sony.
But the networks do not want to ignore the 125 million customers with credit cards who have iTunes accounts, either. “We’re willing to try anything, but the key word is ‘try,’ ” said a TV network executive who requested anonymity because his company had declined to comment publicly on talks with Apple.
Comments from CBS CEO Leslie Moonves suggested that his company is talking with Apple about participating in the trial, and today’s report notes that PBS is currently running a three-week experiment with reduced pricing on several of its children’s shows.
Apple has also been said to be pushing for a television subscription service that would allow users to replace their cable television service with a package of popular TV shows distributed through iTunes for $30 per month. While networks have also been reluctant to consider such an offering, sources indicate that the possibility remains under discussion.

Apple’s iPad Chip Development Cost Estimated in $1 Billion Range

Posted by: flirtations  /  Category: Apple Inc, Applications, Developer, iPad, iPhone, iPhone OS

In an article from The New York Times, the cost for a company like Apple to develop an ARM-based mobile chip such as the A4 used in its forthcoming iPad tablet is estimated at approximately $1 billion, even without the need to invest in manufacturing facilities for the chips due to agreements with existing chip foundries for production.
At the same time, Apple, Nvidia and Qualcomm are designing their own takes on ARM-based mobile chips that will be made by the contract foundries. Even without the direct investment of a factory, it can cost these companies about $1 billion to create a smartphone chip from scratch.
Chip industry expert Fred Weber notes in the report that Apple’s iPhone was the first “really aspirational device” not based on Intel chips, demonstrating the power and versatility of ARM-based chip designs. The iPhone’s success has consequently driven a surge of interest in the platform from other mobile vendors and even more traditional notebook vendors like HP and Lenovo looking to incorporate the power-saving yet capable chips into their products.
“Apple was the first company to make a really aspirational device that wasn’t based on Intel chips and Microsoft’s Windows,” said Fred Weber, a chip industry veteran. “The iPhone broke some psychological barriers people had about trying new products and helped drive this consumer electronics push.”
Apple acquired chip design firm P.A. Semi in early 2008, reportedly enabling Apple to pursue in-house ARM-based designs for system-on-chip platforms for the iPad and iPhone.

Apple Job Posting Suggests Future iPhone OS Devices

Posted by: flirtations  /  Category: App Store, Apple Inc, Applications, Developer, iPad, iPhone, iPhone OS, iPod Touch

Computerworld points to an Apple job listing posted last week which suggests that Apple is looking to expand the iPhone OS beyond the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad to additional platforms. The position, entitled “Engineering Manager (Platform Bring-Up)”, requires that the employee lead a team of software engineers working with hardware and “custom silicon” teams on new platforms and protoypes.
The Core Platform team within Apple’s Core OS organization is looking for a talented and inspired manager to lead a team focused on bring-up of iPhone OS on new platforms. The team is responsible for low level platform architecture, firmware, core drivers and bring-up of new hardware platforms. The team consists of talented engineers with experience in hardware, firmware, IOKit drivers, security and platform architecture.
The report suggests a number of products, both existing and merely envisioned, that could benefit from an ARM-based architecture and iPhone OS, including Apple TV, MacBook Air, enterprise-class Time Capsule micro-server offerings and others.
Two years down the road, other low ends of the Apple Mac line might get eaten up by the Apple processor/iPhone OS. Mac Mini and Mac Book, I am looking directly at you. Once there is an iPhone OS running the TV and the MacBook Air segments, it isn’t a great leap to expect to see it in low end Macs.
Obviously any such suggested offerings are based purely on speculation, but it seems clear that Apple is interested in leveraging iPhone OS and its hefty investment in ARM architecture for future products.

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