Archive for December, 2012


“U.S. stock futures fell, indicating the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will drop for a fifth day, amid concern talks between President Barack Obama and Republican lawmakers may not yield a budget deal by the year-end deadline,” Tom Stoukas reports for Bloomberg.

“Obama summoned Republican and Democratic leaders to a White House meeting three days before a year-end deadline to avoid $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases, amid increasing concern that the time is too short to reach a deal,” Stoukas reports. “The president, who had been negotiating one-on-one with House Speaker John Boehner, will meet today with Republicans Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, both Democrats. The meeting will be held at 3 p.m. Washington time.”

Stoukas reports, “The S&P 500 pared losses to 0.1 percent yesterday as the House of Representatives planned a session on Dec. 30. The gauge has rallied 13 percent this year, its largest annual gain since 2009.”

Read more in the full article here.

CNBC reports, “Investors will also keep an eye on economic data for clues on the health of the economy. November pending home sales numbers are due at 10 a.m. and crude inventory data is out at 11 a.m.”

“Apple is among stocks in focus after a Chinese court fined the iPhone maker $160,000 for hosting third-party applications on its App Store that were selling pirated electronic books, Xinhua news agency said,” CNBC reports.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Any investor who’s focusing on AAPL for that reason needs to get their eyes checked.

“If you wondered where the New York Times‘ massive, 9-part iEconomy series was headed, here’s a clue: Part 1 was published on Jan. 21, and Part 9 on Thursday, Dec. 27 — just under the wire, we presume, for the Dec. 25 electronic submission deadline for the 2012 Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

“For reporters who know about these things, the series had Pulitzer written all over it from the start. The plan was simple: Single out Apple (AAPL) as what biologists might call a “conspicuous megafauna” — the high-profile stand-in for thousands U.S. firms that have been shipping American jobs overseas,” P.E.D. reports. “Never mind that Apple’s competitors all outsource work, sidestep taxes, use patents as weapons and turn an even blinder eye to labor abuses in the Asian supply chain. The fact is, Apple — always a draw for readers — made a big, fat, easy target.”

P.E.D. reports, “But the Times, which has won a record 108 Pulitzers, knows better than any other American newspaper that what the prize committee wants to see is evidence that all this reporting has led to real, substantive reform. And that’s what Part 9 — ‘Signs of Changes’ — sets out to show.”

Read more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: The New York Times. “All the Concocted, Manufactured ‘News’ We Can Fit.”

We can almost hear the old dying media dinosaurs sputtering in their lavish yet methodically emptying offices, “But, but, but… this is not something we talk about in print; this talk is only for our New York cocktail parties!”

Look around carefully, NY Slimes, in the end, when you’re shutting out the lights because the public can finally see right through you, those 100+ Pulitzers won’t be worth a bucket of warm piss.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “JayinDC” for the heads up.]

New Years Eve can get a little crazy, and if you try to wish everyone you know luck for 2013 just as as the ball drops, you will fail. Hammering out dozens of messages on your phone with your clumsy midnight fingers over clogged data airwaves will not work. Sorry.

But! If sending heartfelt messages to legions of “friends” is your thing, Facebook has you covered with a new Midnight Message Delivery feature offered through Facebook Stories. First, you’ll need to pin the Facebook Stories app to your account. Then, the service allows you to add lists of people to whom you’d like to send a particular message. Check your spelling and hit send. Do this for all of the different groupings of people worthy of your blessings.

At midnight, right when December 31st, 2012 becomes January 1st, 2013 Facebook will fire off your messages into the Internet ether. All of your friend-quaintances will be flattered that you thought of them right away, and there is absolutely no possibility that they’ll see the gesture as empty, contrived Facebook spam. Happy new year to all! [Facebook Stories via AllFacebook]

Brooklyn Butcher Blocks are custom pieces for your kitchen that are absolutely gorgeous. This walnut model is no exception. I want to possess it utterly.

The best cutting boards are made out of thick wood, because they’re better for your knives. And cutting on something that solid is more stable and just feels better. This one is 12 by 18 by 2 inches, costs $175, and is inspired by the beautiful brownstones of Brooklyn. Today is boxing day, but I’m greedy and would be glad to have this in my kitchen. [Brooklyn Butcher Blocks]

The creator of the arcade classic Prince of Persia, Jordan Mechner, is back with Karateka! If you remember the original side-scrolling karate classic (created in Mchener’s Yale dorm room over 28-years ago and making video game history with rotoscoped animation and cinematic cutscenes), this updated version will be just enough to trigger your memory with the added benefit of touch-screen controls.

Accurately described by the developer as “easy to grasp yet challenging to master,” Karateka is based on rhythm-based karate combat which lends itself very well to the touch-screen interface found on the iPad.

While the graphics are among those seen in higher-end iOS games (featuring art by Jeff Matsuda, interpreting the original 8-bit images), the strength is in the defend and attack maneuvers. While there are perceived delays at times between your screen taps and the on-screen movements, overall the actions and responses are very enjoyable. The graphics are well served by the soundtrack, put together by Grammy-winning composer Christopher Tin.

The story is lovely and honorable, giving you the opportunity to play a hero and “save the lovely Mariko from the evil warlord Akuma and reunite her with her True Love.” Game-play is simple in nature: fight all enemies whose paths you cross.

What I liked: I love games that remind me of my gaming youth, and Karateka is updated nostalgia does not disappoint.

What I didn’t like: A common complaint that I agree with completely is that this game is really very short. This is unfortunate because it seems like the game is ending just as you get the hang of it.

To buy or not to buy: If you ever played the original, you will not want to hesitate before downloading this game.

  • App Name: Karateka
  • Version Reviewed: 1.0
  • Category: Games
  • Developer: Karateka LLC
  • Price: $2.99
  • Score:

PadGadget Daily App Deal - 44 iPad Apps on Sale

As they have done previously, Apple has shutdown developer access to iTunes Connect from December 21 – 28. This means developers will be unable to release any new apps or updates to the App Store and they will not be able to change the pricing of their apps. For the next week, all prices in the App Store will remain unchanged.

Since many developers dropped their prices before the shutdown, we’ll be featuring some of the best deals currently available. Be sure to check back each day to discover great savings on top apps.

Merry Christmas! For today’s Daily Deal we’ve found 44 great apps to add to your iPad collection. We have 25 productivity / entertainment apps and 19 game apps in today’s bundle.

We used our PadGadget Apps Tracker to find these great deals and we’ll continue to look for the best app deals as they pop-up. Some of these apps are up to 86% off so be sure to check them out because they are on sale for a limited time.

Game Apps

  1. 2K Sports NHL 2K11 for iPad – This hockey game is now available for $0.99. That’s a savings of 80% off the apps’ normal price of $4.99.
  2. Alpha Zero () – This top rated space blaster has a 5 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $0.99 instead of $1.99. This app weighs in at 272 MB so please be sure that you have enough space on your iPad before downloading.
  3. Back to the Future Ep 1 HD – This fun game based on the classic 80′s movie has a 4 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $0.99 instead of $2.99. This app weighs in at 366 MB so please be sure that you have enough space on your iPad before downloading.
  4. Bridge Constructor () – This fun building game has a 4.5 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $0.99 instead of $1.99.
  5. Civilization Revolution for iPad – This great strategy game has a 4 star App Store rating and is now available for $0.99. That’s a savings of 86% off the apps’ normal price of $6.99.
  6. Empress of the Deep 2: Song of the Blue Whale HD (Full) – This very popular adventure game has a 5 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $2.99 instead of $6.99. This app weighs in at 392 MB so please be sure that you have enough space on your iPad before downloading.
  7. F-Sim Space Shuttle () – This very popular space shuttle flight simulator has a 4.5 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $0.99 instead of $3.99.
  8. Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots HD – This cool fruit-slasher game has a 4.5 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $0.99 instead of $2.99.
  9. Hanging With Friends HD – This puzzle game is now on sale for $0.99 instead of $2.99.
  10. Iron Man 2 for iPad – This great Iron Man iPad game is now available for $0.99. That’s a savings of 80% off the apps’ normal price of $4.99.
  11. Jet Set Radio () – This fun action game has a 4 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $1.99 instead of $4.99. This app weighs in at 523 MB so please be sure that you have enough space on your iPad before downloading.
  12. Ms. PAC-MAN for iPad – This classic arcade game is now on sale for $1.99 instead of $4.99.
  13. Puzzle Agent HD – This iPad game has a 4 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $0.99 instead of $2.99.
  14. San Juan () – This strategy game has a 4.5 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $2.99 instead of $7.99.
  15. Sid Meier’s Pirates! for iPad – This very popular adventure game from Sid Meier has a 4.5 star App Store rating and is now available for $0.99. That’s a savings of 80% off the apps’ normal price of $4.99. This app weighs in at 436 MB so please be sure that you have enough space on your iPad before downloading.
  16. Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode II () – This fun Sega game has a 4 star App Store rating and is now available for $0.99. That’s a savings of 86% off the apps’ normal price of $6.99. This app weighs in at 415 MB so please be sure that you have enough space on your iPad before downloading.
  17. Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP () – This very popular role playing game has a 4.5 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $1.99 instead of $4.99.
  18. The Dark Knight Rises () – This action-packed Batman game has a 4 star App Store rating and is now available for $0.99. That’s a savings of 86% off the apps’ normal price of $6.99. This app weighs in at 820 MB so please be sure that you have enough space on your iPad before downloading.
  19. The World Ends with You: Solo Remix for iPad – This popular anime-styled action game from Square Enix has a 5 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $13.99 instead of $19.99. This app weighs in at 625 MB so please be sure that you have enough space on your iPad before downloading.

Productivity and Entertainment Apps

  1. 100 Cameras in 1 HD – This popular photo app has a 4.5 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $1.99 instead of $2.99.
  2. Audubon Mammals – A Field Guide to North American Mammals () – This handy reference app has a 4.5 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $2.99 instead of $4.99.
  3. Bobbleshop – Bobble Head Avatar Maker () – This convenient entertainment app has a 4 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $0.99 instead of $2.99. This app weighs in at 319 MB so please be sure that you have enough space on your iPad before downloading.
  4. Coach’s Eye () – This coaching app has a 4.5 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $1.99 instead of $4.99.
  5. Dora ABCs Vol 1: Letters & Letter Sounds () – This kids education app is now on sale for $1.99 instead of $3.99.
  6. Dora ABCs Vol 2: Rhyming Words HD – This Dora app is now on sale for $1.99 instead of $3.99.
  7. Dora’s Ballet Adventure HD – This fun storybook app is now on sale for $1.99 instead of $3.99.
  8. EasyBeats 2 Pro Drum Machine – Beat or Program Drums! () – This music app has a 4.5 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $1.99 instead of $4.99.
  9. Even Monsters Get Sick – This storybook app has a 4.5 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $0.99 instead of $1.99.
  10. Filtatron () – This audio effects app has a 4.5 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $4.99 instead of $7.99.
  11. Horton Hears a Who! – Dr. Seuss () – This Dr. Seuss book app has a 4.5 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $2.99 instead of $4.99.
  12. Jack and the Beanstalk Children’s Interactive Storybook () – This kids book app has a 4 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $0.99 instead of $3.99.
  13. Maps + Street View () – This mapping and navigation app has a 4 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $0.99 instead of $1.99.
  14. Midnight HD – This iPad app has a 4.5 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $0.99 instead of $2.99.
  15. Money Smart HD – This personal finance app has a 4 star App Store rating and is now available for $0.99. That’s a savings of 80% off the apps’ normal price of $4.99.
  16. My Measures & Dimensions () – This useful measuring app has a 4 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $2.99 instead of $5.99.
  17. SkySafari 3 () – This very popular star-watching app has a 5 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $1.99 instead of $2.99.
  18. SoundPrism Pro () – This music app has a 4.5 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $9.99 instead of $15.99.
  19. The Cat in the Hat – Dr. Seuss () – This Dr. Seuss storybook app has a 4 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $0.99 instead of $3.99.
  20. The Sneetches – Dr. Seuss () – This fun storybook app has a 4.5 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $1.99 instead of $2.99.
  21. The Tale of the Missing Acorns HD – Mystery Theme Studybook – This app has a 4.5 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $2.99 instead of $4.99. This app weighs in at 353 MB so please be sure that you have enough space on your iPad before downloading.
  22. Track 8 () – This music app has a 4.5 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $0.99 instead of $1.99.
  23. xPlan – This timeline app is now available for $4.99. That’s a savings of 83% off the apps’ normal price of $29.99.
  24. Yertle the Turtle – Dr. Seuss () – This playful story has a 4 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $1.99 instead of $2.99.
  25. Zoo Train – by Busy Bee Studios () – This popular education app has a 4 star App Store rating and is now on sale for $0.99 instead of $1.99.

Also be sure to check out yesterday’s Daily Deal to find more great savings.

= Indicates app is Universal and will run on an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.

We use our PadGadget Apps Tracker to constantly monitor the App Store to find the biggest price changes on iPad apps. Our editorial team goes through the data, picks the best deals on the most interesting apps and then brings them to you on a regular basis. All app prices are checked at the time of posting but prices are subject to change without notice. When developers put their apps on sale it’s usually for a very limited time, often 24 hours or less, so be sure to check pricing on iTunes before making a purchase.

Trivia games are a favorite in family game night situations. Sometimes, the best types of trivia are narrowed to specific genres. Those are the games that really prove your knowledge of a topic. Badly Drawn Movies is a trivia game for those who think they know about movies. You can download it through the end of the year for only $0.99.

Players try to guess the name of a movie as fast as possible with a “badly drawn” sketch that includes some iconic imagery from that movie. Truthfully, the sketches aren’t badly drawn at all. Most of them are so well rendered that you can guess the title because you recognize the actor that is sketched.

The sketch starts to appear on the screen and there is a big button at the bottom labeled “Guess.” As soon as you know the name of the movie, tap the guess button and a keypad will appear. If you get stuck, you can tap the “Hints” button at the top of the screen. For the cost of three fishes, players can get a hint about the movie that will help jog their memory. For example, the hint may include the name of one of the actors or the overall plot.

Badly Drawn Movies 1

Badly Drawn Movies 4

Players earn fish every time they correctly guess a movie. The sketches are being drawn by a cute little Narwal and if you need his help, just feed him some yummy fish and he’ll give you hints or draw a different image.

When you’ve entered your guess, tap the check tab to see if you are correct. The nice thing about this game is that you don’t need to know the exact title, word for word. For example, I typed in “How to Train a Dragon” but the correct title of the movie is “How to Train Your Dragon.” You can also enter misspelled words to get a correct answer, so you don’t have to know how to spell.

Badly Drawn Movies 2

Badly Drawn Movies 3

When you are trying to figure out what a movie title is, you can buy up to three hints. But, if that isn’t enough, you can also spend three fish to reveal a second sketch of the movie.If you really get stuck, you can spend 12 fish to reveal the name of the movie or simply pass and move on to the next guess for free.

The sketches are so well drawn that it really isn’t that difficult to guess the titles of the movies. At least 98 percent of them are extremely popular films with iconic imagery that makes it easy to make the connection. This game is definitely not intended for movie enthusiasts and film majors. It is a little too easy for them. I should know. My ol’ man is a film studies graduate. Because I’ve been forced to sit through so many movies with him, I am pretty well versed in the history. This game was way too easy for me. It is probably better for a younger audience, maybe between the ages of 10 and 15.

Badly Drawn Movies 5

Badly Drawn Movies 6

What I liked: There are 200 movie titles to guess across 10 levels with names like, “Fin Diesel” and “Tuna Thurman.”

What I didn’t like: The game is actually too easy. It would be better if the images were more abstract, less iconic. I’d also like to see sketches from more obscure movies, like independent films and silent-era movies.

To buy or not to buy: At only $0.99, it is not a bad game for fans of movies. Even though it is too easy, it is still an entertaining way to spend a few hours.

  • Name: Badly Drawn Movies
  • Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
  • Category: Games
  • Developer: Sporcle
  • Price: $0.99
  • Score:

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BetVictor’s team of iOS developers have introduced fully native app for the iPhone users. This app has taken almost 15 months of testing and developing period before making its place in the Apple App store. The new app developed by BetVictor is promising improved experiences for the users of iPhone. Users of iPad can also take advantage from this app, but they have to wait for customisation of the app, till next year.

BetVictor is the multidimensional app designed to expand the experience and journey for the iPhone’s users. Built in features of iPhone along with the technological abilities will be fully integrated to bestow an unforgettable pleasure to the users. See how BetVictor will facilitate the users:

  1. App has fully integrated casino which will present live betting opportunity.
  2. Scoreboards and data feeds can be visualised within the app.
  3. For multiple betting different layouts and coupons are available.
  4. Users will be able to do real time price betting.
  5. Market navigation ability is quite easier and faster so to customise the desirable sports and markets.
  6. Full withdrawal and deposit functionality is provided within the account section via Betslip Quick option.
  7. Live streaming is available for UK and other international racing. Data will be presented on the Racecards.
  8. Pausing option before exiting the game.

For Android and Blackberry devices, BetVictor has upgraded their product to provide superior experience. In the first quarter of 2013, BetVictor is also planning to launch native app for the tablet users, especially iPad.

Users who want to get a believable gaming experience with such remarkable technological improvement, can visit iTunes and search for BetVictor’s new native iPhone app.

Related posts:

  1. Google launched native maps of iOS- Navigation, info sheets and more are here
  2. Google endorsed SDK in native iOS Maps app- What will be reaction of developers towards Apple?
  3. What happen when two best companies work for same goal?

“2012 was a year when many of the big names in tech took big gambles… and lost,” Donald Bell writes for CNET.

“CNET recently ran a collection highlighting 2012′s biggest Tech Turkeys, and it seemed ripe for a remix over here on Top 5,” Bell writes.

Bell writes, “I swiped four from their list, added one of my own, and ranked the whole thing by how long I imagine it took the respective CEOs to remove their palms from their face.”

Top 5 Tech Flops of 2012:
5: Sean Parker’s AirTime
4: Beleaguered RIM’s (DCW) BlackBerry 10
3: Google Nexus Q
2: Facebook IPO
1: Apple Maps

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Heckuva job, Scottie!

No matter what Apple does, no matter how much better they make Apple Maps, it will now always “suck” in the minds of a large segment of the population… The fool(s) responsible for preparing Maps for release and then releasing it with obvious issues (overblown as they are) and therefore tainting Maps forever should face severe consequences. As in: Pink slip(s)… Apple seems to have learned nothing from the Newton: First impressions mean everything. Apple’s Maps have been Newtonized. All that’s missing is the Doonesbury strip.

Here’s a little hint for the future: Everything that requires widespread customer use to develop a rich database before the product becomes fully usable should be clearly labelled “beta” upon release. Apple did it with Siri, but they forgot to do it with Maps. Had Apple been smart enough to simply place a “beta” tag on Maps, all of this rigamarole would never have occurred. – MacDailyNews Take, September 28, 2012

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “David B. Haun” for the heads up.]

“Apple Maps was so bad that people refused to upgrade to iOS 6 until they could get Google Maps, says data from massive mobile ad exchange MoPub,” Josh Constine reports for TechCrunch. “The 12,000 apps it supports saw a 29 percent increase in unique iOS 6 users in the five days after Google Maps for iOS was released. Chitika reported just 0.2 percent growth immediately after the launch but it seems people waited for the weekend to do the long install.”

“MoPub monitors over 1 billion ad impressions a day across more than 12,000 apps and a dozen ad networks, making its data set more reliable than individual ad network Chitika,” Constine reports. “MoPub provided TechCrunch with data showing a 13 percent increase in iOS 6 users just from Monday to Wednesday, indicating many people switched to the newest Apple mobile firmware as soon as Google Maps’ standalone app arrived in the App Store.”

Constine reports, “MoPub’s CEO laid it out for me, explaining ‘we observed since the launch of Google Maps for iOS 6 a 30 percent increase in unique iOS 6 users, and we think it’s related to Google Maps. It verifies the hypothesis that people were actually holding back to upgrade until Google Maps was available.’”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Bzzt! This fails our logic sensors. It’s a bit too much for us to believe that so many users would hold off on all of the iOS 6 goodies simply due to a whole bunch of Maps FUD (some issues, yes, but 95% of the debacle was concocted FUD amplified beyond recognition in the Internet echo chamber).

Logically, you’d think that if these maps addicts were savvy enough to hold off on a major iOS upgrade over some perceived issue, they’d easily have had the fortitude to simply visit Google Maps via Safari, tap “Add to Home Screen,” and then proceed to update iOS as usual. For that reason alone, we’re not buying it.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

Related article:
iOS 6 adoption after Google Maps release stays flat, any negative impact of Apple Maps highly exaggerated – December 15, 2012

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