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Briefly: BA allows smartphone use in flights, Google search caroling

12/19, 5:21am

British Airways allows passengers to use electronics throughout flight

British Airways has become the first European airline to allow the use of smartphones and tablets throughout a flight. The change in policy at the airline after the European Aviation Safety Agency's (EASA) rule alterations mirrors that of American counterparts after the FAA made a similar decision. While passengers will be able to use mobile devices from terminal to terminal, Reuters reports that devices are still required to go into "Flight Mode" for the journey itself.

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Apple giving away Christmas music through Apple Store iPhone app

12/04, 11:13am

iPad app so far going without free downloads

Apple is now giving away Christmas music via the Apple Store iPhone app, users observe. Some of the songs made available this week include "The First Noël" by Mary J. Blige, "Silent Night" by Kelly Clarkson, and "Ave Maria" by Il Volo. The music is only available in the US, and is missing from the recently-launched iPad app. The offer will expire on December 31st.

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Apple's '12 Days' gifts continue with Ke$ha single

01/03, 1:00am

Music videos, songs, TV shows, e-books and apps on tap

Now on Day 8, Apple's "12 Days of Christmas" promotion for Canada, Mexico, the UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand has already given out free gifts from nearly every department of the iTunes Store. After starting things off ahead of schedule with a free "starter" gift of a Rod Stewart music video ("Let It Snow"), the assortment has included songs, HD (or SD) videos, a free movie rental, an e-book and some iOS apps.

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12 Days of Xmas app brings users HD 'Sherlock' episode

12/28, 7:12pm

Fourth of 13 total gifts for UK, Canada, Europe users

Apple's 12 Days of Christmas app, available only in Canada, Mexico, the UK, Australia and New Zealand and parts of Europe, added to its list of gifts with a free HD episode of the critically-acclaimed BBC Drama Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. The episode in question, "A Study in Pink," is loosely based on the classic novel "A Study in Scarlet" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It originally aired as one of three episodes in the show's first series.

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Apple launches '12 Days of Christmas' in Europe, Canada

12/07, 8:00pm

US excluded from special offer

Starting slightly earlier this year than normal, Apple has released its 12 Days of Christmas companion app for its upcoming promotion in the UK and other parts of Europe, along with Canada. The promotional period, which runs from December 26th to the 6th of January, offers a free "gift" from the iTunes Store every 24 hours -- usually a song, app, movie rental or e-book.

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Briefly: The Bento Christmas Kit, MacPractice Lion support

12/01, 12:55pm

MacPractice software adds Lion support

FileMaker has release The Bento Christmas Kit, a free tool for organizing Christmas plans. Included in the kit is a 30-day trial of Bento 4, as well as Cards and Labels, Party Planning and Gift List templates. Together the templates allow users to organize a number of items, including mailing addresses, gift budgeting, party lists, and more. In addition, the three templates provide full support for both iPhone and iPad versions of the Bento databasing software.

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Little girl opens iPod, gets book instead

12/27, 2:20pm

iPod replaced with book

A little girl in Maryland this Christmas opened a box that was supposed to contain an iPod classic, only to discover a book and a strange note in place of the portable player she thought she had received, according to myfoxdc. The box, which her father purchased at a local Wal-Mart store, contained "Awakening Loving-Kindness" by Pema Chodron accompanied by a strange letter, which reads: "Reclaim your mind from the media's shackles. Read a book and resurrect yourself. To claim your capitalistic garbage go to your nearest Apple Store."

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Holiday Mac game update, new release

12/19, 6:00pm

Holiday Mac games

Macgamestore.com today announced the release of Venice Mystery -- a unique puzzle game designed for all ages, and Frogames released an update to Penguins Arena with a Christmas theme. Created by Gamgo Games and published by Big Fish Games, Venice Mystery challenges players to travel through Venice to solve an ancient mystery before the city sinks into the water. Venice Mystery is priced at $20, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.

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Apple posts Christmas ship times, specials

12/17, 4:30pm

Apple shipping times

With Christmas fast approaching, Apple has provided many specials for its wide variety of products, with details posted in the Apple online store. In order to make sure that customers receive product by Christmas, a minimum purchase date last is available through the online store portal. Dates range from December 13th to the 19th for standard orders, and December 20th to the 21st for overnight shipped goods. Some computer configurations could add some delay, and may not result in a Christmas delivery.

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AKVIS Frame Suite Christmas decorations

12/17, 10:35am

AKVIS Frame Suite 2.6

AKVIS has released AKVIS Frame Suite 2.6 for Mac and Windows systems. AKVIS Frame Suite enables users to apply frames and edge effects to pictures, simplifying the process of creating greeting cards from personal photos. The latest revision adds new Christmas decorations to the pattern library, joining the 12 edge effects to provide a vast number of photo frame possibilities. AKVIS Frame Suite 2.6 is available for $50, and requires a G3 or better Mac. The software is also compatible with Mac OS X Leopard.

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Santa's Super Friends for Mac released

12/14, 1:50pm

Santa's Super Friends

Macgamestore.com today announced the release of Santa's Super Friends for Mac, a new title created by Toybox Games challenging players to find out who Mr. Stink is and why he would steal all the toys before Christmas. "As you make your way from Candy Cane Cove to Santa's Workshop, you'll meet some Super Friends along the way like Gingerbread Jr. and Edmund the Elf. They'll give you information about Mr. Stink to help you get the toys back!" The game is priced at $20, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.

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Apple posts holiday Get a Mac ad

12/13, 6:15pm

Holiday Get a Mac ad

Apple today posted a new 'Get a Mac' TV spot on its website depicting animated characters singing 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town.' Animated versions of 'Mac' Justing Long and 'PC' John Hodgman accompany Santa Claus as they proceed to sing the classic Christmas tune. Partway through the song, however, 'PC' decides to interject his own lyrics about purchasing a PC rather than a Mac this holiday season. 'Mac' and Santa both express dissatisfaction with the lyrical changes, and Apple finishes the spot with a few snowflakes falling in front of an iMac.

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MacSanta 2007: 10% to 20% off Mac software

12/01, 2:05pm

MacSanta 2007

MacSanta is back for 2007, after running a successful program for Christmas 2006, offering discounts on featured titles from many different software developers. The promotion is running from December 1st, through to the 24th, and will feature five developers' products at 20-percent off, updated daily at midnight (PST). Once the featured products are updated, MacSanta offers 10-percent off of formerly highlighted products through to December 31st. Rogue Amoeba, who both organizes and participates in MacSanta, says that some big name software companies will be included, as well as many lesser-known developers. MacSanta also has an RSS feed available.

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