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#RateFriday: Go to the App Store and rate 5 great apps right now!

A while ago we asked everyone to take a moment and rate their 5 favorite apps. We really wanted to do something more regular to encourage everyone to give great developers and great apps the great feedback they deserve, but weren't sure how to go about it. Well, Luc Vandal came up with a brilliant idea: #RateFriday.

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iMore at CES: Bookmark our super page and follow us now! [#CESlive]

CES is the biggest consumer electronics show of the year, and iMore and Mobile Nations are going all out for 2014 by teaming up with our friends from Geak Beat to bring you... #CESlive. We're talking live video every day from the show floor, including great guests, amazing product demos, and killer podcasts. You'll want to bookmark our CES Super Page to make sure you don't miss any of the action, and you'll want to follow yours truly, Rene Ritchie, Georgia Dow, and Richard Devine for all the behind-the-scenes shenanigans, and maybe some spur-of-the-moment giveaways. Want more? Oh, there's more!

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Hands-on with the Smartlet - wear your iPhone as a watch!

For a while now there have been accessories, primarily aimed at joggers, that let you wear your iPhone on your upper-arm. Now there's one that lets you wear it on your wrist like a really big watch. Adam Zeis of our sibling site SmartwatchFans has the hands-on, and the interview:

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iMore show 381 LIVE! Join us at 1pm PST, 4pm EST, 9pm GMT

What were the biggest Apple stories of 2013? What were the best iOS and Mac apps of the year? What do we want to see in 2014? Peter and I are going to talk about all that and more! Join us!

  • 1pm PST, 4pm EST, 9pm GMT. Be here!

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Nihilism, and why the tech press can't admit to having nice things...

After taking down a rather daft article about 2013 being a disappointing year for tech, John Gruber put to words something I've been wrestling with for the latter part of this year. From Daring Fireball:

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Think the Mac Pro is pricey? Make one yourself, but get ready to pay a stiff PC tax

Can you build the PC equivalent of a Mac Pro and save yourself some money doing it? If Stephen Fung at Futurelooks's effort is any indication, then the answer is a resounding no.

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On cheaper TVs and buying less, but better

As a consumer electronics market matures, early entrants are typically challenged by cheaper competitors who are then challenged by increasingly cheaper competitors until products become commoditized and most value goes out of them. (Similar to premium software or services getting beaten by cheap getting beaten by free.) Inevitably the quality of the product suffers, trending towards the disposable, which is offset by the low replacement costs. When you add up all the costs and tradeoffs between quality products and cheap products, over the course of many years, there difference isn't great - you always pay somehow - but the up-front expenditure is so much less, it makes it tough to argue premium consumer electronic products have much if any place left in the market. Which is John Herrman's case for buying a shitty TV on BuzzFeed:

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Getting Steve Jobs to dance

Jonathan Mann lost a big video contest, made an antennagate song to console himself, and woke up to a request from Apple to use it to kick off their press conference. Medium:

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Your last chance to vote for the Best of 2013!

Time's almost up! If you haven't already, take a few minutes to cast your vote for the best of the best: devices, apps and accessories that made your life much better in 2013.

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So, what new tech did you get for the holidays?

Did Santa leave you some great new Apple gifts under the tree? Were there 8 days of tech for you earlier this year? Did you simply get caught up in - or reap the benefits of - the holiday sales? Yes, there are far more important things in the world, and there are all sorts of arguments against our increasingly materialistic culture, but we're a technology blog and an Apple-centric one at that, so we have but one focus, and one question for you today...

What gear to you give, and what gear to you receive these holidays?

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