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The Competition: Microsoft Releases the Zune HD

So, today's the day. Everyone who works for Microsoft is up bright and early, on their way to lineup at their local Microsoft Store for a chance to scoop up a brand new, shiny Zune HD before they sell out. If you're in line, shoot our sibling site WMExperts a pic and let them know if you manage to snag one of Ballmer's new beauties.

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iPod touch Speed Test: How Much Faster is 50%?

In typical Apple fashion, they announced the new third generation iPod touch 32GB and 64GB as being 50% faster than the previous generation (the 8GB is the same old bag as last year), with nary a word on what chipsets made it so.

Well, some digging has been done, and some benches have been marked, and the early word is... zoom zoom.

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Apple Hires Intel's Top Lawyer - Chips, Patents, and Antitrust

Apple announced today that Bruce Sewell is joining their executive team as General Counsel & Senior Vice-President, reporting directly to CEO, Steve Jobs.

“We are thrilled to have Bruce join our executive team, and wish Dan a very happy retirement,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “With Bruce’s extensive experience in litigation, securities and intellectual property, we expect this to be a seamless transition.”

So looks like Apple's chipset, patents and IP, and antitrust knowledge-base just got some formidable new muscle...

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Rumors Return: iTablet to Launch in February 2010

iTablet rumors, paused for a week to allow some Apple Music Event rumors, are returning full force with a fresh batch straight from Taiwanese suppliers, who say the device will launch in February 2010. According to Taiwan Economic News:

The tablet PC features a 9.6-inch screen, finger-touch function and built-in HSPDA (high speed download packet access) module, and adopts a P.A. SEMI processor chip and long lasting battery pack, selling for between US$799 and US$999.

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Apple Retail Stores to Get Full Time iPhone Experts & Activation Areas

According to Macrumors we may just start seeing iPhone dedicated activation areas as well as designated iPhone staff in our local Apple retail stores starting today.

These new staff members, rumored to be called "iPhone Experts", will obviously be there to help streamline the sales of iPhones along with providing a dedicated "expert" that can accommodate all of your iPhone needs. The whole concept behind this new layout sounds ideal for those of you who are first time Apple shoppers.

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HP iStream App Streams Media from MediaSmart Home Servers to iPhone and iPod touch

The HP MediaSmart Server iStream app [Free - iTunes link] allows iPhone and iPod touch users to stream media from an EX485 or EX487 HP MediaSmart Home Server.

Supported media includes photos, music, and video (though HP says DRM'd video might not stream properly). Part of a much more impressive server package, Engadget has the details:

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Monday Fun Concept: Lexus iPhone Headrest Docks

What's funner than and iPhone in the car? And iPhone -- literally -- in. the. car. Or at least the new Lexus LF-Ch concept car thinks so. Gizmodo sibling site, Jalopnik has the details from the Frankfurt Auto Show:

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Apple TV: 160GB Price Cut, 40GB Completely Cut

Speaking of Apple TV and the future, MacRumors reports that Apple's "hobby" lost its smaller SKU this morning as the 40GB Apple TV was cut from the Apple Store -- and Apple product lineup -- and the 160GB Apple TV was given a healthy price cut down from $329 to $229 [Apple Store link].

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WebGL and TuneKit, Not Flash, the Future for iPhone?

More than 2 years post-iPhone launch, no news on Flash ever coming to the iPhone, yet Apple is pressing ahead with technologies like H.264 video (YouTube App's been using it since day one), HTML 5 and CSS animation (iPhone Safari supported them first), HTTP Live Streaming, and now WebGL for hardware accelerated 3D-graphics, and TuneKit, the framework behind the new iTunes LP rich media content.

Read on to find out what they are, how they work, and why they might make plugins like Flash increasingly unnecessary...

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Poll: Has AT&T Switched on Your MMS Early?

Some readers are hitting us up saying they can already access MMS on AT&T. This has been happening for a while, of course. Justin was able to use MMS during the 3.1 beta, after all. We figured AT&T was testing the system. Now, AT&T officially has until the promised September 25 drop date to get all iPhone users up and running, however, it appears more and more people are gaining access to MMS and it's not going away (at least yet).

So, in an effort to find out just how widespread this early MMS access is, we're running the poll above, and if you are getting MMS already, asking you to let us know where, and for how long in the comments below.

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