Ok, well Apple is really not selling $200 iTunes gift cards for only $2.60 so keep dreaming. But according to Music Ally Chinese "pirates" have hacked the algorithm that generates the iTunes gift cards and so now fake cards are flooding the market for as low as $2.60 in China. When we say flooding we literally mean flooding the Chinese market:
Apparently six months ago, a $200 card went for around 320 RMB (roughly $47), but the price has since plummeted to around 18 RMB ($2.60) as more sellers pile in.
Wow, alliteration much? Not sure if it was just a delay (as Apple seems mostly impervious to pressure from the web or customers, open letters included), or some bizarre equal and opposite reaction to Tweetie 1.3 being rejected, but AppleiPhoneApps.com is now reporting that Jonathan Zdziarski’s AMBER Alert app has (finally?) been approved and published to the iTunes App Store:
So, who could it be running the approval process for the iTunes App Store at Apple? Hmm. Tough one. Let us put on our little thinking caps here for a moment.... SATAN?!
No, of course, not, nor the Church Lady from SNL, but it must be someone equally cartoonish, how else do we reconcile the App Store rejecting Tweetie 1.3 for containing "offensive language" in search results returned from the public Twitter "Trends" rankings? (via Twitter)
We can search for all manner of unholy pr0n in Mobile Safari, should Apple Reject their own core application because of what it may return as well? Are they expecting developers to become censors and str the fck out of words the way Apple.com does? (see below).
Of course, this could just be one rogue App Store review processor gone horribly wrong, but Apple still bears responsibility for a totally opaque, seemingly capricious review process that creates incidents just like this -- over and over again.
They're likely selling enough fart apps and games to make this a small problem from their end, but they're losing badly when it comes to the good will of truly innovative developers and bleeding edge techies who form the core of any true next-generation platform.
Wake up, Apple. You're better than this.
(And good luck to Tweetie developer Loren Brichter on getting Tweetie 1.3 approved -- as it should be -- and into all of our waiting iPhones quickly!)
Screen shots showing the rejected "language" in Tweetie and others for the sake of comparison after the break (NSFW-L)...
Okay, technically one was on Monday, but following up the story on Apple ordering netbook-class panels, Dow Jones (via MacRumors) is following up with the always popular anonymous sources, said to be two people close to the situation:
The mini laptop computers will likely have monitor screens that are between 9.7-inches and 10-inches, one person, who declined to be named, said.
Coffee Buzz works like this: you have a list of people everywhere and nearby that are drinking coffee. You can tap on their name and the app will tell you where they are and what they drank. One of a couple of the nice enhancements in the new version is that you can create your own coffee drink and edit a location name. You can also use the app to search for local coffee places. So, if you are stuck somewhere and need a coffee fix, this is a handy app! It links the phone number, address and Google Maps; very convenient.
Do you use twitter? You can enter your twitter username and password to post what your drinking and where you are at. In today's world of tweets and status updates, this is a very welcome addition.
If you are looking for simple app to share your coffee lust, you can't go wrong with Coffee Buzz.
Lookee what Mobile Crunch has found, two early prototype iPhones are up for grabs on Ebay! Both a working model and dud (non-working) models can be yours... if the price is right!
The seller seems to have done his research, too. Based on the serial numbers, the working protoype was built in week 49 of 2006 while the dud was pushed off the factory line the following week. The OS that’s running is 03.06.01_G. Official iPhone OS that launched was 03.11.02_G. Bidding ends on March 11th and the highest bid is currently $315.
I wasn't at CES with CrackBerry Kevin and Smartphone Expert Dieter. I was at Macworld getting, you know, iPhone news. But even TiPb couldn't ignore the Pre and it's former-iPod/iPhone team designed goodness. So tempting is the Pre, in face, that we suspect iPhone and BlackBerry loyalists alike might stray from the fold to at least try it out come launch day (whenever that is). So, the question becomes, what to call them roving polygadetists? What matches up with CrackBerry or the Jesus Phone?
We can just feelCrackBerry.com's Kevin preening over news: Biggest. Jump. Since. Mayer.
Yep, U2 has left the warm embrace of Apple (though Product Red iPods no doubt remain) for the harsh corporate sponsorship of RIM. Of course, they flirted briefly with Dell first, and Bono's Elevation Partners are huge backers of Palm -- though according to PreCentral.net they likely needed to spend their cash on far more serious things, like bringing the Pre to market... Still:
With the new hardware dropped last week, and an Apple Special Event still in the rumor-mill or March 24, we've naturally been hoping for a sneak peek at iPhone 3.0, just like we got for iPhone 1.0 and 2.0 for the past 2 years. But now Sevenmac.de (via MacRumors) is raining on our parade with a report of what the even might actually focus on:
software. More precisely, Apple's video Pro Apps should receive updates or see new versions.
The Consumerist posted a interesting little story that caught our attention. It goes something like this: A customer replaced his 8 GB iPhone 3G with a 16 GB model within the first month of his service. After receiving his new iPhone 3G, it was later stolen. Now he is not being allowed to purchase a new iPhone 3G from AT&T and Apple. Keep in mind he intends to pay the full, unsubsidized price of the phone but it seems AT&T may think he's unlocking these phones. Here is the consumers letter:
Longtime reader and tipster The Reptile wrote in to tell us about Fortune's coverage of the iPhone Amber Alert app and its problem getting into the App Store:
Now Jonathan Zdziarski, one of the original iPhone hackers and the author of several O’Reilly books, has hit on something that might work. It’s an open letter to Steve Jobs pleading with Apple’s CEO to speed up approval of the Amber Alert iPhone app that’s been sitting in the queue since February 14. The application uses GPS location information to funnel sightings of missing children to the nearest law enforcement agency as quickly as possible.
Has Apple dropped the ball? There doesn't seem to be a duplicates functionality, or official Amber Alert app that could explain the problems this time (see PodCaster and StarPlayr), does there? Is Apple that understaffed and ill-prepared in the face of 25,000 apps, or are the $99 novelty apps and iPod touch-highlighted games making so much money, no one really cares about the rest?