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Get your boots on the ground with the resilient Terrans in over 4 minutes of StarCraft II gameplay. Nothing like a Battlecruiser strafing run to start the morning off right, "outstanding". 

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Apple LogoA survey sent to "friends" of Borders Books and Music (and spotted by an eagle-eyed editor at MacLife) asks if consumers plan on buying an "Apple IPAD (Large Screen Reading Device) this year."

Hmm... interesting. Could this iPAD be another name for the much-rumored Apple Tablet supposedly to be announced imminently? Is a book reader part of the tablet's bag of tricks? Could Borders have slipped up and mentioned the name of the un-announced product? Or maybe the company made a mistake, and they meant iPod. The company has previously mis-named the iPod Touch the "Apple iTouch," after all.

I'm old-school when it comes to books. I like paper. But I realize that many, many people with literary leanings are hopping on the Kindle or Amazon Reader bandwagons. Do you think Apple will deliver a better book-reading experience, if that is what they're planning to do? Do you read at all?

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Welcome to "Morning Hangover" -- an excellent way to start your day with the crew at TheFeed...no matter what you're recovering from. Every morning you'll hear musings from two of TheFeed's editors and have the chance to share your thoughts on what's going on in the gaming world. So buckle up, get ready for all of G4tv.com's excellent GamesCom 2009 coverage, and keep reading!

 
G4 paint job on BlackBerry Curve 8900 by Coveroo
 
Raymond Padilla: Back in Morning Hangover #14, I started the process of geeking out my phone with some Final Fantasy VII sounds. The adventure continues with some help from Coveroo. The back cover to my BlackBerry 8900 has a lovely (custom made) G4 finish. I'm extremely happy with the paint job on my Berry; it looks cool, feels cool, and reflects my gamer-geek lifestyle. An unexpected benefit is that the paint added a bit of heft to the phone, making it feel much better in my hand. Just so my iPhone doesn't feel left out, it got an alternative G4 treatment. Hit the break to check it out!
 
G4 paint job on iPhone slider case by Coveroo
 
Let me know what you think of Coveroo's G4 paint jobs. The company also has some pre-made Resident Evil and Street Fighter art. I'll be posting pictures of those soon. Also, bonus points if you can tell me which WWE wrestler inspired the name "R.Pad 9000".
 
Patrick Klepek: I spent the weekend with a game I can't talk about yet, Wolfenstein. You'll be able to hear my thoughts about Raven Software's potentially final collaboration with id Software soon, but I will say this: even though World War II shooters are tired, blowing up Nazis is still good fun. Especially when they melt into a pile of green goo after being possessed by a spirit from another dimension.
 
TheFeed gang wants your thoughts on gaming, tech, what will go down at Sony's press conference this week, and more. Let everyone know what you're thinking and chat it up with your fellow readers. Leave comments on anything and everything that's on your (gaming/tech/nerd) mind! The reader with the best comment will get to some award winning sauerkraut from Germany.

USAA Bank Allows Customers To Deposit Checks Via iPhone Photos

I don't know about you, but when it comes to traditional services like banks, restaurants, the post office, phone companies, etc., I prefer dealing with as few people as possible. In the case of banking, I greatly prefer using an ATM over going through a teller (though I made an exception due to a hot Filipino woman in a Citibank in San Francisco). That's why I'm jazzed by USAA Bank's updated iPhone app that lets you take photos of checks and upload them (instead of going to an ATM or a teller) to make a deposit. This is ingenious! According to The NY Times, USAA executive vice president Wayne Peacock said:

"We’re essentially taking an image of the check, and once you hit the send button, that image is going into our deposit-taking system as any other check would. Mobile is going to be a bigger part of how people do commerce and how they interact with their financial institutions. The great value that we see is the time savings."

This is a brilliant example of using technology to make things easier for customers. I wish more banks would implement this feature across multiple smartphones. I love it!

Are you down with depositing checks via phone photos? Or are you worried about any security issues?

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Tags: Apple, iPhone, Tech

Apple Kicks Off Streaming Concerts On iPhone With Underworld Tonight

Attention Underworld fans that also happen to rock an iPhone, Apple has a special treat for you tonight -- a streaming concert! According to Liz Gannes at NewTeevee:

"Tonight Apple will produce its first-ever live event streamed to the iPhone: a concert by the electronica band Underworld. Apple has apparently kept the event quiet as it doesn’t want to overwhelm the AT&T network, but if you have an iPhone you can queue it up yourself at iphone.akamai.com or underworldlive.com. The show starts at 9 p.m. PT and the stream is free."

If you're into Underworld or interested in streaming mobile video, I encourage you to give the show a look. Hell, even if you're not I hope you check it out. I want as many people as possible streaming this concert. I'm curious to see if it will result in a major network borkage, similar to how AT&T collapsed during SXSW, GDC, E3, and Comic-Con.

So who's going to watch the show tonight?!?

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Smarty-pants Kids Build iPhone AppYesterday, you might have heard about the rather ridiculous experience that iPhone app developer Matchstick Software had to endure in order to receive Apple’s approval for its Ninjawords dictionary app. Essentially, Apple rejected the app several times, insisting that because the app featured “objectionable” material (i.e. words found in dictionaries), it would have to carry a 17+ rating.

Well, today, Apple issued a statement to explain what exactly transpired over the course of Ninjawords' rough journey through Apple’s approval gauntlet. In a letter to Daring Fireball, where the story originated, Apple vice president Phil Schiller explained:

“Ninjawords application was not rejected in the App Store review process for including common “swear” words. In fact anyone can easily see that Apple has previously approved other dictionary applications in the App Store that include all of the ‘swear’ words” mentioned in Daring Fireball’s original story.

Apple’s real issue was with the inclusion of “offensive ‘urban slang’ terms that you won’t find in popular dictionaries.” I’m not entirely sure if I buy this explanation, since the Dictionary.com app on my iPhone includes some pretty colorful expressions and phrases, and it only carries a 4+ rating. As for the whole censoring business, Apple insists that it played no part in the removal of a number of “offensive” words from the app. Apparently, the developers took it upon themselves to edit the app in order to “get to market faster.”

Read More »

Tags: Apple, iPhone, Tech

Apple LogoApple’s iPhone app approval process is notorious for being inconsistent and labyrinthine, but this is just too much. Daring Fireball recounts the approval process that the developers of the iPhone dictionary app, Ninjawords, underwent, and it’s totally insane.

You see, the dictionary app lets users look up words, words that are in the dictionary. Did I mention we’re talking about a dictionary here? Ok. So long story short, Apple rejected the app because it contained “objectionable content,” aka WORDS THAT ARE IN THE DICTIONARY! Better still, the app was specifically designed to only display “vulgar” words if users searched for them. In other words, simply typing “fuc” would not bring up “f***.” So clearly Apple reviewers sought out the offending words (again, words that are in the dictionary) to prove just how vulgar and disgusting the dictionary truly is.

The saddest part is that in order to finally be approved, not only did the developers have to remove all of the “illicit content,” the app had to receive a 17+ rating. And you thought video games were a ticking time bomb just waiting to destroy the world’s youths. There’s a dictionary in every classroom in the world, and given that kids usually don’t turn 17 until 11th or 12th grade, that’s a whole mess of kids who are at risk of being exposed to the debauchery and filth housed within one of the most common books on the planet.

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Tags: Apple, iPhone, Tech

Blizzard launches the Call of the Crusade, a monster of a patch (3.2.0) for World of Warcraft and the MMO universe slightly skipped a beat. Here's why:

  • Crusaders' Coliseum: An all-new level 80 raid dungeon available in both normal and heroic challenge difficulties for both 10 or 25 players.
  • Isle of Conquest: Siege vehicle-heavy battleground near Icecrown.
  • The ability to gain experience while in battlegrounds.
  • New daily quests.
  • A barrage of class changes to talents and abilities. (Listed after the cut)

World of Warcraft Call of the Crusade Trailer »


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Netflix LogoThere's a strong rumor circulating that Netflix will be bringing its on-demand service to the iPhone, iPod Touch, and Wii platforms. According to Multichannel News:

"The company will soon offer the Watch Instantly video-streaming feature on Apple iPhones and iPod Touch devices and the Nintendo Wii gaming console, according to an industry executive familiar withNetflix’s plans. (Netflix wouldn’t confirm the info, with a rep saying it declines to comment on 'rumors or speculation.')"

This is great news for iPhone owners and Wii gamers. Netflix is one of the most popular entertainment features on the Xbox 360 and I'm sure it will be welcomed with open arms by Apple and Nintendo fans. That said, gamers that are fortunate to own all these platforms are likely to stick with the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 for movie-watching purposes, simply because the Wii is limited to 480p output (let's face it, that's like caveman stuff these days). As for Netflix streaming on the iPhone...I'm curious to see how well AT&T's network holds up with thousands of people streaming video off of the same tower.

If this rumor turns out to be true, do you see yourself using Netflix on the iPhone or Wii?

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Google CEO Eric Schmidt Resigns From Apple's Board Of Directors: Apple Vs. Google War Begins? Marvel Civil War like?!?

Apple has announced that Eric Schmidt, CEO of a little company called Google, has resigned from its board of directors. Today's press release on the matter contained a prepared statement from Apple CEO Steve Jobs:

"Eric has been an excellent Board member for Apple, investing his valuable time, talent, passion and wisdom to help make Apple successful. Unfortunately, as Google enters more of Apple’s core businesses, with Android and now Chrome OS, Eric’s effectiveness as an Apple Board member will be significantly diminished, since he will have torecuse himself from even larger portions of our meetings due to potential conflicts of interest. Therefore, we have mutually decided that now is the right time for Eric to resign his position on Apple’s Board."

While some are pointing to the Google Voice on iPhone fiasco, this move is long overdue. Apple and Google are competing in too many areas these days -- mobile phones (iPhone OS vs. Android), portable computers (iPhone/Mac OS vs. Chrome OS), web browsers (Safari vs. Chrome), personal music players (iPod vs. Android), and more. With the FCC snooping around to learn why Google Voice was blocked from Apple's App Store, the resignation looks even more suspicious, but really, it seemed like a matter of time.

That said, many pundits are wondering how authentic this "resignation" is. Steve Jobs' temper and combative nature are well known. It's entirely possible that he told Schmidt, "Get the f*&^ off my board and take your crappy web browser, apps, phone OS, netbook OS, and whatever other crap you're working on with you!!!" Tech pundit Om Malik (from the outstanding GigaOm) has suggested that the FCC's investigation might have something to do with Google's lobbying power in Washington D.C. He even went as far as to say that Apple ought to "take these hostilities one step further" by going with Yahoo! Maps and Bing over Google products. That might sound a bit extreme, but can't you picture Steve Jobs doing that (despite the number of Apple customers he'd piss off)?

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Welcome to "Morning Hangover" -- an excellent way to start your day with the crew at TheFeed...no matter what you're recovering from. Every morning you'll hear musings from two of TheFeed's editors and have the chance to share your thoughts on what's going on in the gaming world. So buckle up, break on through to the other side, and keep reading!

Splosion Man 
 
Patrick Klepek: My free time in the past few days has been spent playing through 'Splosion Man. Easily one of the most impressive downloadable games I've ever played, 'Splosion Man is a hardcore platformer. Twisted Pixel throws no punches in the level design for 'Splosion Man, often to a fault. I struggle over whether that's a fault holding against them, though; games these days are easy and often times I have no real problem with that. 'Splosion Man harkens back to an old school, throw-your-controller mentality tied to new-age physics and technology. Sometimes, it works. Sometimes, it doesn't. But that's why it's a fantastic downoadable game -- in a few hours, I'll be onto the next thing. For now, it works.
 

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Michael Arrington's CrunchPad Coming In November For $400?

The CrunchPad, a tablet PC being designed by TechCrunch's Michael Arrington, is rumored to be hitting this November for $400. The device is meant to offer an inexpensive way for consumers to web browse, enjoy media, and perform basic computing tasks. According to Straits Times:

"The fully working model, called a Crunchpad, has a 12-inch screen and weighs 1.2kg.

It allows users to watch YouTube videos, listen to music and edit documents, among other things.

Its operating system, or OS, was also developed in-house. The device will not have storage space -- which some analysts have pegged as a big drawback - and will instead run programs hosted on servers: so-called cloud computing."

Though Arrington has an excellent reputation with tech enthusiasts, his CrunchPad will clearly run into trouble with Apple's upcoming (rumored) tablet. Though it looks like the CrunchPad will be cheaper and more open than Apple's product, it will not enjoy the brand recognition and marketing dollars that an Apple tablet would enjoy.

Arrington left a colorful reply to the news on his Twitter page: "obviously i'm completely rips**t mad about all this unauthorized bs press"

Are any of you considering the CrunchPad? Do you think the device will be screwed by the Apple tablet?

Source via Engadget

Tags: Apple, Tech

Warhammer Online Mac Beta Begins

Mac users have few gaming options, but MMORPGs have been readily available on Apple's hardware for quite some time with titles like World of WarCraft and EVE Online. Another massive game is joining the fray as EA Mythic has launched the beta test for the Mac version of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.

Current subscribers can download the beta client at will and first-timers will be able to participate with a new 10-day free trial. More information and the download can be found at the official site. The port uses TransGaming's Cider Portability Engine, which "acts as a "wrapper" around the game software, enabling it to run seamlessly on Intel-based Macs."

Do you play Warhammer Online? Will you be trying out the Mac client?

Tags: Apple, Videogames

Apple iPhone

Apparently jailbroken iPhones aren't just for consumers that loathe AT&T or tech nerds that enjoy using apps that are banned from the iPhone App Store. According to a document filed on behalf of Apple, drug dealers and cell-tower terrorists are beneficiaries of jailbreak software too! In a document found and hosted by Wired, Apple told the U.S. Copyright Office:

"Each iPhone contains a unique Exclusive Chip Identification (ECID) number that identifies the phone to the cell tower. With access to the BBP via jailbreaking, hackers may be able to change the ECID, which in turn can enable phone calls to be made anonymously (this would be desirable to drug dealers, for example) or charges for the calls to be avoided."

Unfortunately, Apple did not poll the local Cupertino and Palo Alto drug dealers to see if their iPhones are jailbroken. This is probably because the company was more concerned about digital terrorists that plan to take down cell phone towers:

"By hacking the BBP software through a jailbroken phone and taking control of the BBP software, a hacker can initiate commands to the cell tower software that may skirt the carrier’s rules limiting the packet size or the amount of data that can be transmitted, or avoid charges for sending data. More pernicious forms of activity may also be enabled. For example, a local or international hacker could potentially initiate commands (such as a denial of service attack) that could crash the tower software, rendering the tower entirely inoperable to process calls or transmit data. In short, taking control of the BBP software would be much the equivalent of getting inside the firewall of a corporate computer -- to potentially catastrophic result."

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Tags: Apple, iPhone, Tech

In Morning Hangover #13, I wrote about Google releasing mobile applications for its Google Voice product. The apps were initially available for the Android and BlackBerry platforms. At the time, an iPhone app was promised. It's here...but unfortunately, you can't have it, because Apple said so. According to TechCrunch:
 
"We’ve learned that Apple has blocked Google’s official Google Voice application itself from the App Store. In other words, Google Voice -- one of the best things to happen to telephony services in a very long time -- will have no presence at all on the App Store. If there’s ever been a time to be furious with Apple, now is it."
 
I'm a VoIP nerd, so I've been playing around with the BlackBerry version of Google Voice for the last few weeks. The international rates are very competitive and the overseas call quality has been excellent. For some people, the voicemail-transcribing feature is extremely convenient; I'm not yet sold on it, but it's certainly novel. Unfortunately for iPhone users, they won't be able to experience the mobile version of Google Voice...for reasons that seem a bit fishy. TechCrunch has surmised that AT&T pushed Apple into blocking the program:
 

Read More »

Tags: Apple, iPhone, Tech

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