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Apple's Get a Mac ads were voted among the best ads for 2006, according to The Wall Street Journal. The publication compiled a list of the Best (and Worst) Ads of '06 that featured CareerBuilder.com, KFC, Philips Norelco, Apple and Sprint Nextel Corp among the top ads. "A series of [Apple] ads that played out on TV and the Web show the Apple Mac, represented by a hip-looking young man, debating its features with the PC, represented by a paunchy, nerdy-looking fellow. The Mac-man -- played by actor Justin Long, star of the film 'Accepted,' is clever, fun and handy -- he can communicate with all sorts of different people, and knows how to come up with pictures and music. The PC, played by another actor known to the youth crowd, 'Daily Show' commentator John Hodgman, is decidedly less hip, and is always amazed, humbled or befuddled by Mac's never-ending range of abilities." Marketing gimmicks by Walmart, Head On, Gillette, Outback Steakhouse, and DaimlerChrysler AG were among "The Worst," as picked by the publication.
Video device builder Mustek, normally known for its portable video players, late yesterday revealed that it will announce its first line of LCD televisions in time for January's CES show. Leading the introductions will be the LTV-4210, a 42-inch LCD capable of a full 1080p resolution. The set should be feature-laden and will have both HDMI and VGA inputs for digital sources, ATSC (HDTV) and NTSC tuners, and a 10-watt speaker system. The panel should provide a quicker than average 6.5ms pixel response time and a 1,200:1 contrast ratio. Accompanying the large LCD will be 32-inch and 27-inch models capable of 720p. Mustek has not revealed its pricing strategy, but is expected to compete aggressively with Vizio, Westinghouse, and other budget TV manufacturers.
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Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes Power Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ