Thursday, 31 March 2011

Why Photoshop for iPad Marks the End of the Desktop Computing Era [Video]

The real Photoshop for iPad exists. Adobe showed it yesterday and it looks like a solid digital darkroom. But, more importantly, it marks another step in the ongoing evolution that is changing the way humans interact with machines. One that, in fact, is putting back our human nature into computing. More »


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Mitoza is a fun, freaky Web toy with an artistic look

mitoza
While not a game per se, I found Mitoza intriguing enough to spend quite some time with it. You start off with a seed, and are then presented with two choices: you can either click a flower pot, or click a cute little birdie.

If you click the flower pot, a flower pot appears and the seed is planted inside. You're then presented with two further choices -- a water can or a bottle of fertilizer. Each choice you make causes your creation to morph, and presents you with two other choices.

There's no winning or losing, really. Each "game" usually lasts around four or five choices, at which point the plant/animal dies in some creative (but not too gruesome) way. At this point you instantly start over with a new seed.

The graphics are captivating; the whole thing has a cinematic feel to it, with a bit of artificial camera shake added for style.

All in all, it's a fun, peaceful way to spend a few minutes, and it might even make you think a little bit while you're at it.

Mitoza is a fun, freaky Web toy with an artistic look originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 28 Mar 2011 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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GameStop Acquires Game Streaming Startup Spawn Labs And Distribution Platform Impulse

Video game and software retailer Gamestop has acquired TechCrunch50 company Spawn Labs, a startup that develops game streaming technology. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. In addition, GameStop also announced the acquisition of game distribution platform Impulse, which is a division of software company Stardock. Spawn Labs launched in 2009 as a Slingbox for video games. Via, Spawn Labs appliance and computers apps transmit HD-quality (720p) content over the Internet so that players can use the peer-to-peer game streaming service to play games simultaneously.

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Ask DLS: Cross-platform multiplayer games that work on Android and iOS

askdls
Here's one for our knowledgeable commenters: I recently bought my girlfriend an iPad. I, on the other hand, own an Android device. And now we're looking for games we can play using both devices.

There's no dearth of multiplayer games either for Android or for iOS. But finding multiplayer games that can cross the platform boundary is an entirely different matter.

Jay recently posted Words with Friends which is one such game. It's actually an ideal example, because it's turn-based so you don't necessarily both have to be next to your device at the same time (great for long-distance gaming).

But what other examples are there? What multiplayer games are there that let iOS users play with Android users?

[Why am I now humming 'Ebony and Ivory'? -Ed]

Ask DLS: Cross-platform multiplayer games that work on Android and iOS originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 02 Mar 2011 14:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Water Leak Alarms Will Make Your Neighbors Hate You Even More

You have a smoke alarm, right? And maybe even a burglar alarm. But do you have a water alarm? Probably not.
The Water Leak Alarm is ready to join the bevvy of paranoia-salving gadgets in your home. Place one next to a washing machine, in the basement or anywhere else that water is likely to leak, [...]

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iPad Smart Bezel by Apple Revealed

Once again Apple wows us with new and highly sophisticated innovations, this time with Smart Bezel. This new patented technology could really change and improve the way we use the iPad. So you’re probably asking “What is Smart Bezel and why is it so special?”. Well for starters, if this new technology is integrated, with [...]

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Zen Coding high-speed HTML shorthand plug-in updated

zencoding
Zen Coding made quite a splash when we first covered it almost a year ago. For those who aren't familiar, Zen is a fantastic form of shorthand for quickly hand-coding HTML. And today, a new version is out!

Here are some of the goodies version 0.7 brings to the party:
  • Text nodes: Writing something like a[href=/]{Click here} now works, and puts "Click here" within the link.
  • New actions added: Increment/decrement number under cursor, evaluate math expressions, and more.
  • Wrap with Abbreviation was upgraded.
There are several other improvements but they're all rather technical. If you use Zen Coding (or are intrigued by the concept) go ahead and read the release notes for this new version.

Zen Coding has official implementations for a ton of editors, including TextMate, Apatana, Coda, E2, Komodo, Notepad++, PSPad, and more. It also has unofficial builds for Vim, UltraEdit, Visual Studio and more.

If you want to play with Zen Coding without installing it, you can use the online demo to see some of its magic in action.

Zen Coding high-speed HTML shorthand plug-in updated originally appeared on Download Squad on Tue, 15 Mar 2011 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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GeeknRolla ? Gowalla To Hire UK Team, Duedil Wins Startup Competition

This year's European startup conference GeeknRolla has become a platform for news, as startups launched and speakers broke news direct from the stage. Duedil, the business reputation startup, secured first prize in the startup competition, and an on-the-day announcement from DFJ Esprit that it would award the winner a �50,000 no strings investment in the form of a convertible note. This would convert into its next funding round at the price of the next round. That kind of announcement is more common in Silicon Valley, so to have the deal announced literally within a couple of hours of Duedil's pitch on stage was real news for a European event. Let's hope we see more of that kind of fast action in the rest of the year. They also won a crack at a year's worth of Windows Azure hosting, �5,000 in free legal advice form Orrick and free premium job advertisements for a year on CoderStack (normally �120 per ad per month). Not a bad result for a 3 minute pitch.

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Google launches beautiful online magazine Think Quarterly

Think Quarterly, by Google
Who would've thought it: First Netflix dives into the original content foray, and now the ultimate aggregator is also getting in on the action. In a rather weird twist of fate, Google has published the first edition of its new online magazine: Think Quarterly.

Think Quarterly is, in the words of Matt Brittin, Google's UK & Ireland Operations Managing Director, "a breathing space in a busy world. It's a place to take time out and consider what's happening and why it matters." This edition is ostensibly focused on the flow, control and tabulation of data, but it touches on near field communication (NFC) and the magic of viral videos.

The site itself is beautiful. It looks and feels a lot like Google's '20 things...' HTML5 guide, but you have the option of reading individual articles, or flipping through a page-turning Flash magazine applet. The stories themselves are interesting and well-written, too.

In short, Think Quarterly looks and feels like it was intentionally designed and produced to be distinctly un-Google. As Brittin says, it's meant to represent a breathing space in a busy world -- and Google has never exactly been the cautious, analytical type. Perhaps Think Quarterly represents a shift towards a more mature and institutionalized Google -- or perhaps it's just a flight of fancy. We'll have to wait and see.

Google launches beautiful online magazine Think Quarterly originally appeared on Download Squad on Thu, 24 Mar 2011 06:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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TCTV Pilot Season: This Week In STFU

Ever have one of those days where every news story bugs the living shit out of you? Where your faith in humanity ebbs further away with every click? We're having one of those days. *Click* "Have you seen this Tesla thing? What is wrong with them?" *Click* "I can't believe people are protesting outside Twitter over this tax cut..." *Click* "Seriously, PETA wants to rename the Tenderloin?" *Click* "Wait -- we have a video studio..." And so a show was born. Welcome to the very first episode of a new regular TCTV feature: "This week in STFU". Video below.

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WinZip releases new System Utilities Suite, we go hands-on

winzipsystemutilitiessuite
Most people know WinZip for its compression products, but with more and more people using Windows's built-in file compression utilities, WinZip is expanding into previously unexplored territory with the new System Utilities Suite. The system optimization tool, debuting today, packs 20 separate utilities, each with its own UI, own Start Menu entry, etc, though the Suite fortunately pulls everything together into an easily accessible 'master utility' that I explore in the video below.

The master utility serves as a desktop or start screen for the package's complete tool set, and offers quick access to a three-click process that optimizes the registry, removes temporary ("junk") files, scans and updates drivers, and more. This would be the first thing new users would run, and once that's done, they could use each of the other tools as needed (or according to their comfort level) to optimize specific aspects of their Windows PC. System Utilities is aimed both at novice users and more advanced nerds; it leans more towards the "advanced" end of the spectrum, as the sheer wealth of tools it offers may appear daunting. There's a tool for just about every purpose, starting with a Duplicate File Remover, through a Registry Cleaner and Optimizer (packaged as two tools), all the way to a Secure Encryptor for sensitive files. There's even a 'Game Optimizer,' which is a full-fledged virtual machine (a "computer in a computer") running your game as its single application, with support for custom keymaps and other goodies. Some of this may sound similar to what CCleaner offers, but as you can see, System Utilities is far more comprehensive.

As you may have noticed, System Utilities uses short, descriptive names, so that even non-expert users would be able to find the right tool at the right time. This is a step in the right direction, but I think for many users, just seeing so many Start Menu entries could be quite confusing.

For $39.95, System Utilities is good value for money, but only for users who are not afraid to dive into the wealth of different tools and find out what each does. For novice users who want to take things to the next level, it's a good gateway from a trusted company. Advanced users who like to keep their PC in tip-top shape could certainly cobble up a collection of loose freeware utilities, but they might also enjoy the cohesive feel of one well-built suite. I know I do.

You can watch me taking my first steps with System Utilities after the jump.

Note: We're going to be running a 10-license giveaway of WinZip System Utilities later on today, so keep your eyes peeled and your RSS reader open!

Continue reading WinZip releases new System Utilities Suite, we go hands-on

WinZip releases new System Utilities Suite, we go hands-on originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 14 Feb 2011 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Samsung mass producing 22-inch transparent LCD, your desktop monitor seethes with jealousy

They said they would do it, and by golly it's nearly here -- Samsung just revealed that its assembly lines are starting to churn out see-thru computer screens that don't require power-sucking backlights to function. Unfortunately, it looks like the amazing AMOLED variety is still on the drawing board, but ambient light-powered LCDs are on the way, with Samsung offering a 22-inch, 1680 x 1050 resolution panel with a 500:1 contrast ratio to begin with. Sammy suggests we'll see it in HDMI and USB-compatible monitors and suspects it'll be used in advertising and teleconferencing first -- which suggests this display won't come cheap -- but we all know the true killer app will be a nice big frameless laptop screen. We'll take two, please. PR after the break.

Continue reading Samsung mass producing 22-inch transparent LCD, your desktop monitor seethes with jealousy

Samsung mass producing 22-inch transparent LCD, your desktop monitor seethes with jealousy originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 31 Mar 2011 00:29:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Burrito Bison is a simple game for gummy bear lovers

burritobison
Burrito Bison is a pretty simple game, but if you're into gummy bears you might find it addictive.

As you may have guessed from the name, you're a bison (not a burrito, though). In the course of your day-to-day grocery shopping, you're abducted into a bag of gummy bears, and must now fend for yourself.

At the beginning of each round you launch yourself onto the marching gummy (gummi?) bears, while you're being watched by a huge crowd of even more gummy bears. Your goal is to keep bouncing on the bears and earn more and more money while you do it. Every time you hit a gummy bear, you lose some momentum. If you hit the floor, you basically lose all of it.

But don't give up just yet! You have an emergency thrust which you can use to gain some momentum and keep bouncing on those bears. This extra thrust gets refilled as you hit more bears.

There are also special gummy bears that give you extra thrust or extra money. The money comes in handy at the end of each round, when you can shop for cool stuff to make your bison even more effective against those gummy bears.

It's a fun and colorful game that kept my interest for quite some time, and almost sent me running to the closest store to get some gummy bears!

Burrito Bison is a simple game for gummy bear lovers originally appeared on Download Squad on Sat, 26 Mar 2011 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Samsung reportedly installing keylogger software on laptops (update: official response)

We'll start by saying that we've reached out to Samsung for a response here, but as of now, no reply has been given -- neither a confirmation nor a refusal of truth. Why bother mentioning that? If this here story proves true, Sammy could have a serious problem on its hands -- a problem that'll definitely start with a rash of negative PR, and a quandary that could very well end the outfit up in the courtroom. According to a report by Mohamed Hassan over at Network World, Samsung allegedly took the initiative to install a keylogger into his recently purchased R525 and R540 laptops. The app was noticed right away after a security scan on both systems, with StarLogger popping up with the c:\windows\SL directory. Where things really get strange is on the support line; reportedly, a supervisor informed Mr. Hassan (after an earlier denial) that the company did indeed install the software at the factory in order to "monitor the performance of the machine and to find out how it is being used." Unfortunately, it's difficult to say if this is a widespread issue, or if the tale is entirely correct, but we get the feeling that Samsung will have little choice but to respond in some form or fashion here shortly. Naturally, we'll keep you abreast of the situation -- meanwhile, you may want to reconsider that hate-filled comment you're about to bang out on your Samsung laptop, and instead, feast your eyes on the video just past the break.

Update: Kudos to Samsung for hitting this head-on. An hour after we inquired for comment, a company spokesperson tossed over this official quote: "Samsung takes Mr. Hassan's claims very seriously. After learning of the original post this morning on NetworkWorld.com, we launched an internal investigation into this issue. We will provide further information as soon as it is available."

Continue reading Samsung reportedly installing keylogger software on laptops (update: official response)

Samsung reportedly installing keylogger software on laptops (update: official response) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 30 Mar 2011 18:28:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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iPad Smart Bezel by Apple Revealed

Once again Apple wows us with new and highly sophisticated innovations, this time with Smart Bezel. This new patented technology could really change and improve the way we use the iPad. So you’re probably asking “What is Smart Bezel and why is it so special?”. Well for starters, if this new technology is integrated, with [...]

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Opera Mobile 11 and Mini 6 released: faster, tablet interfaces, and lots more

opera mobile 11Better mobile browsing seems to be the special of the day, with the Firefox for Mobile RC landing alongside the Opera Mobile 11 and Opera Mini 6 releases. Both Mobile and Mini have had their user interfaces touched up, modernized, and enhanced for use on tablet devices. Both have also added social networking integration for fast sharing of URLs as you browse.

Opera Mobile 11 now has a faster Presto rendering engine and improved JavaScript performance, expanded HTML5 support (including the audio and video tags), and the ability to display Adobe Flash content on Android. Haptic response, smoother panning and zooming, session restore, and Web Open Font Format support have also been added.

For users who have less powerful phones or want to conserve data, Opera Mini 6 offers a full mobile browsing experience with tremendous bandwidth savings thanks to Opera's compression kung fu. Pinch-to-zoom support has been added, and Opera Mini can now pass YouTube video links to your device's built-in player. There are also better navigation controls.

Download Opera Mobile 11 or Opera Mini 6 for your phone or tablet.

Android users can also find Opera Mobile in the Market. iOS users, fear not: Opera promises an update for your Apple device is coming soon, too!

Opera Mobile 11 and Mini 6 released: faster, tablet interfaces, and lots more originally appeared on Download Squad on Tue, 22 Mar 2011 07:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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MetroPCS lays the TapouT smackdown on Huawei's Ascend... gently

Is it really, truly possible to market a Froyo-based smartphone -- let alone one from 2010 -- to a demographic obsessed with Cauliflower ear? MetroPCS seems to think so, and its version of the Huawei Ascend just so happens to be "sanctioned" by TapouT. Hailed as the first brand to represent MMA, TapouT's roots are plastered all about the innards of the phone, with this Special Edition handset shipping with ten virtual training center videos, a dozen static wallpapers, six live wallpapers and a host of presumably violent Android applications. You'll also get a pair of interchangeable backs, a 2GB microSD card and support for the company's contract-free $50 / $60 smartphone plans. As for the cost of the phone itself? Free after a suplex + sleeper hold combo on the dude working the desk.

Continue reading MetroPCS lays the TapouT smackdown on Huawei's Ascend... gently

MetroPCS lays the TapouT smackdown on Huawei's Ascend... gently originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 30 Mar 2011 13:19:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Useful keyboard shortcuts for Twitter.com

Twitter.com keyboard shortcuts
When Twitter.com unveiled its recent overhaul at the end of 2010, one of the least-discussed features was the addition of some excellent keyboard shortcuts.

Some keyboard shortcuts only work from some pages, but we'll mark those where appropriate.
  • n -- post a new status update (works from any page)
  • r -- reply to your selected tweet
  • t -- retweet (only works on Twitter profiles other than your own)
  • m -- direct message (but it doesn't auto-fill the recipient)
  • / -- move the cursor to the search box
  • . -- move back to the top of the page, and check feed for updates
  • g then h -- go to your home page (twitter.com)
  • g then r -- see your @ mentions
  • g then m -- see your direct messages
  • g then p -- go to your profile page (twitter.com/username)
  • g then u -- go to a specific user's profile page (it pops up a dialog box)
For a complete list of keyboard shortcuts, type ?.

Now, if you don't use Twitter.com (which is about 65% of Twitter's users), these keyboard shortcuts probably won't work. Every installed Twitter client has different keyboard shortcuts (and some don't have any at all). If you want to lessen your mouse hand dependency, your best bet is to simply head to Google and type the name of your client + "keyboard shortcuts".

For more tech tips, check our tips index.

Useful keyboard shortcuts for Twitter.com originally appeared on Download Squad on Fri, 18 Mar 2011 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Firefox 4 for Mobile RC released, hints of new badge-collecting social game Firefox Spark

Firefox 4 SparkThe near-final Release Candidate of Firefox 4 for Android and Maemo is now available to download. The final release is expected in the next week or so.

Moving away from the beta builds, this RC is more of a stability and spit-polish release than anything else. Usability-wise, the release notes point out that there are now 150 add-ons that work with Firefox 4 for Mobile, up from 100 last month -- and there's now a Form Assistant, which should make logging into websites a lot easier, especially if you have Firefox Sync enabled.

The most significant change is that the now-infamous checkerboarding from page rendering and scrolling is now a lot less prevalent, thanks to smarter rendering and page loading algorithms. Likewise, JavaScript performance has apparently been improved, but we haven't had a chance to confirm it yet. There's a promotional video from Mozilla that demonstrates Firefox 4 for Mobile after the break.

Finally, the RC contains a link to Firefox Spark, a new badge-collecting website, which seems to be one of Firefox 4 for Android's 'launch goodies.' As far as we know, Firefox Spark will be a social game, where you share the Firefox for Android download link, collect badges, and level up. We're not sure of the exact details yet, though.

Grab Firefox 4 for Android from the Market or download the Maemo version.

Continue reading Firefox 4 for Mobile RC released, hints of new badge-collecting social game Firefox Spark

Firefox 4 for Mobile RC released, hints of new badge-collecting social game Firefox Spark originally appeared on Download Squad on Tue, 22 Mar 2011 06:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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UPDATED: BlackBerry Messenger to hit iPhone on 26th April?

Could Blackberry Messenger hit the iPhone on the 26th April? Following a story earlier this month about RIM possibly bringing its Blackberry Messenger to iOS and Android, a MacRumours forum member has said that Co-CE Jim Balsillie reportedly announced at a recent social media conference, that RIM is planning to bring BBM and “other services” [...]

UPDATED: BlackBerry Messenger to hit iPhone on 26th April? is a story by TiPb. This feed is sponsored by The iPhone Blog Store.

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MeeGo and Symbian: How Long Will the Bodies Stay Warm?

When Nokia and Microsoft announced a partnership last month, many systems and app developers interpreted the deal to mean Nokia was beginning to turn away QT Symbian and MeeGo platforms. In essence, Nokia would be dialing into Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 technology in the near future -- and, it was presumed, dialing out of its own mobile OSes.

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Top Stories: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 [Total Recap]

It's Coming | A prank so diabolically evil it's already been banned in 17 states and most of Canada.

More »


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Fly Or Die: How Will Color Solve The Loneliness Problem? (Plus, Amazon Cloud)

In this week's episode of Fly or Die, we cover two big launches?Amazon Cloud Drive and Color?and a Quirky DIY pocketKnife called the Switch. Just yesterday, Amazon launched its Cloud Drive, which is a general storage service in the cloud which is being pushed as a media locker, starting with music Color is the $41 million photo app nobody can figure out. Is it the future or is it a dud on arrival? CEO Bill Nguyen joins us as our special guest and explains how his team is going to "solve the loneliness problem." (Video after the jump).

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Ask DLS: What's your primary Web browser?

Competition is a good thing, and the browser arena has been a fierce arena for years now. There are at least four "major" browsers each vying for your attention, along with lots of smaller spin-offs (SRWare Iron or Flock, anyone?).

While the browser usage charts we share from time to time show overall browser usage amongst the Web at large, Download Squad readers are not exactly the average bunch in terms of browser use. So today we have one simple question for you:

What's your primary Web browser?

View Poll

Ask DLS: What's your primary Web browser? originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 16 Feb 2011 12:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday, 29 March 2011

WordPress enables new iPad-optimized layout for its 18 million blogs

WordPress iPad themeWordPress has just announced the introduction of a 'pure HTML5' iPad-optimized theme. It has been automatically activated for all 18 million WordPress.com blogs, and self-hosted WordPress.org users can download and install the plug-in manually.

The iPad-optimized layout, which was developed with tablet publishing specialist OnSwipe, supports touch interactions, swiping, rotation and 'many other features of the iPad,' all with the power of HTML5. The theme is highly configurable, too. You can change the font typeface, choose from nine different 'skins' to match your existing blog theme, and you can set a 'cover' image. Of course, if you want visitors to simply see your normal blog theme, you can just disable the new iPad plug-in.

WordPress, which claims that it powers over 10% of the Web, says that it currently serves 750,000 pages views a day to iPad users -- a number that will surely explode over the next few years. What we're seeing here, first with Flickr last week, and now with the WordPress juggernaut firmly embracing tablet computing, is a resounding acknowledgment of a post-PC world. It's a very good sign of things to come, too; we expect there'll be a lot of tablet-optimized websites in 2011.

WordPress enables new iPad-optimized layout for its 18 million blogs originally appeared on Download Squad on Thu, 24 Mar 2011 07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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TiPb Asks: How do you IM on your iPhone or iPad?

TiPb Asks: How do you IM on your iPhone or iPad? How do you IM on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad? We recently asked what Twitter app you used most and got tons of feedback, including that many of you prefer IM to Twitter, or don’t use Twitter at all. Fine then! Ally has already posted up her top 5 IM/instant messenger apps for iPhone [...]

TiPb Asks: How do you IM on your iPhone or iPad? is a story by TiPb. This feed is sponsored by The iPhone Blog Store.

TiPb - The #1 iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Blog

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A wavelength of light that could fix heart problems - and deafness [Medical Breakthrough]

We can hear the light and feel it in our hearts. It's not just terrible poetry - it might be fact. Scientists have shown that infrared light can stimulate the muscles in your heart and inner ear. More »


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