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iPhone 4 prototype going for 70K on eBay... until Apple has it taken down

Stop us if you've heard this story before, but a sketchily sourced bit of rare Apple kits hits eBay -- say an iPhone 4 prototype similar to the one Gizmodo got their hands on last year -- and people start to bid crazy amounts of money for it... before Apple legal ultimate has it removed from auction. (And no doubt sends post-cog commandos crashing through some skylights, somewhere.)

It's right now at $70K and climbing. So enjoy the spectator sport while it lasts.

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iPhone reunites mother and daughter after five years apart

A mother, who lost touch with her daughter, was able to find her again 5 years later thanks to a kind hearted iPhone user. The mother, a shoe cleaner in China, came across someone in the street with an iPad and asked if she could use it to get online to help find her daughter. Unfortunately the iPad was WiFi only and there was no network to be found. Luckily, the iPad user also had an iPhone. A photo was taken of the woman and it was posted to Weibo, a hugely popular micro-blogging site in China with over 140 million users.

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Microsoft is square, Apple is roundrect, Google is...?

Clayton Miller's Interuserface takes a look at the iconic shapes behind today's biggest mobile companies, and while Apple, iPhone, and iPad are obviously roundrects (rounded rectangles), their competition is just as geometrically aligned:

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Google brings Pi, Apple beats them to Nortel LTE patent punch?

Some more information has come to light about the Nortel patent auction, which saw a consortium that included Apple win big, and Google get frozen out. According to Reuters, however, Google had some fun along the way:

"It became clear that they were bidding with the distance between the earth and the sun. One was the sum of a famous mathematical constant, and then when it got to $3 billion, they bid pi," the source said, adding the bid was $3.14159 billion.

"Either they were supremely confident or they were bored."

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iPad 2 Jailbreak beta leaked, best to stay away

Last night the iPad 2 Jailbreak that Comex has been working on for JailbreakMe.com was leaked online by a beta tester, and this morning it's all over the web in post and video form. And we're not going anywhere near it.

We've waited this long for an iPad 2 Jailbreak, we might as well wait the last few days for a well tested, verified, proper release version. Hacking iPad 2 was most likely non-trivial for Comex, and messing around with leaked betas seems needlessly risky, unless you have more time, spare iPad 2s, and urges to tinker than you know what to do with.

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Google in talks to buy Hulu?

The LA Times is reporting that Google is in preliminary talks to acquire none other than Hulu. The information comes from anonymous sources close to the situation. Google is supposedly interested in buying Hulu due to the huge potential for advertising revenue. The report also claims that Google will face stiff competition from Yahoo and Microsoft.

Hulu has content from a number of current TV shows and has apps available for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad that are based on a monthly subscription model, though it is currently US only.

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Hands on: Google's new Pool Party photo sharing app for iPhone

<img src="/sites/imore.com/files/styles/400w400h/public/images/stories/2011/07/google-pool-party-1-13.png" alt="Hands on: Google's new Pool Party photo sharing app for iPhone" title=Hands on: Google's new Pool Party photo sharing app for iPhone" width="266" height="400" class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-68142" />

Pool Party is a photo sharing from the brains behind the recently-aquired Slide. Like Google+, it's an invite-only beta right now, and like Google+, and Picasa, it allows you to quickly and easily share pictures with people you know who are also members. Why Google feels they need to be positively Microsoft-ian about the sheer number of overlapping image sharing services they offer right now, I don't know, but here's how they bill this one:

Instant photo fun

Pool Party is a simple, free photo sharing app. Create group albums and see your friends' photos as they happen in real-time.

Pool Party is invite-only at the moment, so you'll be asked to enter your email address after installing the app. If you haven't already been invited to Pool Party by a friend, you can visit our website at poolpartyapp.com to request an invitation.

I've been testing Pool Party for iPhone with Phil Nickinson from Android Central, who's putting the Android version through its paces and... it's got a lot of promise. The UI is dark, with big, bold white text. (Though they insist on color-coding your friends' names, which is ends up feeling very Christmas tree.) They also stick to tried and true UI metaphors (even, smartly, borrowing the now almost standard "pull to refresh" pioneered by Loren Brichter in Tweetie/Twitter for iPhone).

Organization is done in Pools, and one you add a a Pool you can add people to it. For those who thrive on such things, push notifications are included to keep you up to date on every little interaction imaginable (I turned them off, like I turned off Google+'s email notifications). There are also a couple prominent places to provide feedback, so it's clear the developers and designers want to make this a good experience.

This being Google, there's also a web interface for when you're away from your iPhone (or Android device).

Whether or not this ultimately takes any users away from established image sharing services like Flickr, Facebook, Instagram, or Google own services, new and old, like Picasa and Google+ remains to be seen. It's great to see Google trying things and fantastic to see them working on improving their user experience. Ultimately, however, it will be nice to see them coalesce into a single, coherent, consistent service.

Screenshots after the break. If want more on the background story, MG Siegler from TechCrunch broke it yesterday (link below).

[TechCrunch]

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DC Comics to release on iPad same time as print

As part of DC Comics new 52 initiative, Dan DiDio Jim Lee, Grant Morrison and company announced that they would be releasing future issues on iPad day and date with the traditional print releases. That's great news for comic book readers, and great first step. Now how about offering collected digital editions simultaneous to trade paperback releases. I'd love Absolute digital editions of Watchman, Dark Knight Returns, Planetary, All Star Superman, and the list goes on.

And hopefully Marvel is paying super attention to this as well.

Video after the break.

[BleedingCool.com via SuperManofSteel, 9to5Mac]

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