Apple and Samsung overtake Nokia in smartphone sales in Q2

Apple and Samsung both sold more smartphones than Nokia in the second quarter, although Nokia still sold most phones overall, market researcher Strategy Analytics said Friday.

Nokia's smartphone sales have plunged since its February announcement that its future smartphones will run Microsoft's Windows Phone instead of its own Symbian OS: In the second quarter, it shipped 16.7 million smartphones, down 30 percent from shipments of 23.8 million a year earlier.

In comparison, the smartphone market as a whole grew 76.3 percent year on year, according to Strategy Analytics.

Apple, meanwhile, more than doubled its shipments to 20.3 million for the quarter, up from just 8.4 million a year earlier. For Samsung, the increase was even more dramatic, moving from just 3.1 million smartphones shipped in the second quarter of 2010 to 19.2 million in the second quarter this year.

Apple and Samsung overtake Nokia in smartphone sales in Q2

That puts Apple top of the smartphone market, with an 18.5 percent share, up from second place with 13.5 percent a year earlier. Samsung is now second, with 17.5 percent, up from a third-placed 5 percent a year earlier, while Nokia's share has plummeted to 15.2 percent, from 38.1 percent a year earlier. Other manufacturers have seen their share of the smartphone market rise from 43.4 percent to 48.9 percent, Strategy Analytics said.

Nokia also fared badly in the market for feature phones, with shipments slipping to 71.8 million in the second quarter, down from 87.3 million a year earlier, according to Strategy Analytics.

Other manufacturers saw similar declines, so much so that overall shipments of feature phones declined for the first time in about two years, research firm IDC said Friday.

Overall, phone shipments totalled 361.1 million in the second quarter, up from 320 million a year earlier, according to Strategy Analytics. IDC put the figure at 365.4 million, up from 328.4 million, a growth rate of 11.3 percent -- lower than the 13.3 percent IDC had forecast.

Overall, Nokia's phone shipments fell from 111.1 million in the second quarter last year to 88.5 million phones this year, still enough to leave it in first place, Strategy Analytics said. IDC published identical figures for Nokia's shipments on Friday, adding that Nokia had shipped 2.6 million dual-SIM feature phones in the second quarter. In previous quarters, the company's sales had suffered in markets such as India, where phones are often shared by several users and dual-SIM models are a popular way to let each user store their own address book and pay for their own calls.

Because of the slight disagreement on the overall size of the market, Strategy Analytics put Nokia's share at 24.5 percent for the quarter, down from 34.7 percent a year ago, while IDC said Nokia's share had slipped to 24.2 percent from 33.8 percent a year ago.

The two analysts also disagreed slightly on their estimates of Samsung's total phone shipments for the second quarter, with Strategy Analytics putting it at 74 million and IDC at a more conservative 70.2 million, but the conclusion was the same: Samsung is still in second place, with a market share of 20.5 percent (IDC: 19.2 percent), almost unchanged from 19.9 percent a year earlier (IDC: 19.4 percent).

Third place -- for now -- is LG Electronics. While its smartphone sales are holding up, sales of its feature phones are dipping. Its share is now 6.9 percent according to Strategy Analytics, 6.8 percent according to IDC. LG has recently lowered its sales forecast for this year. If LG's forecast holds true then other vendors may overtake it, IDC said.

Fourth place overall is Apple: both analysts put its share at 5.6 percent, up from 2.6 percent last year.

It is followed by ZTE at 5 percent (IDC: 4.5 percent), up from 3.3 percent (IDC: 3.7 percent) a year earlier. Strategy Analytics put ZTE's growth down to keen pricing of low-end 2G phones and mid-range 3G Android phones -- a very different market from the high-end 3G phones that Apple sells.

Even if Nokia's smartphone platform switch is a success, its feature-phone worries may not be over as low-cost suppliers such as Micromax, TCL-Alcatel and Huawei are taking its market share, IDC said.

Windows Mango matches Apple and Android in features

Microsoft's Windows Phone Mango brings the mobile OS up to snuff with Apple's iOS and Google's Android OS. But Microsoft will soon find itself behind the eight ball again compared to what Apple has in store with iOS 5 and Google with Android Ice Cream Sandwich, both of which are set launch later this year.

The most trumpeted feature of Mango is multitasking, something that rival operating systems have already mastered (admittedly, some later than others). Other Mango improvements include new conversation threads, which combine text, IM and Facebook chat; a revamped Web browser that Microsoft says will be much faster than other mobile browsers; and better support for HTML5 (no Flash support announced).

Apple Seeks Android Inspiration

Meanwhile, Apple has played catch-up with Google's Android in iOS 5, set to become available to consumers this September. With iOS 5, Apple finally adds a notifications center (similar to Android's), as well as contextual Twitter (but not Facebook) integration and Mail and Safari improvements.

Windows Mango matches Apple and Android in features

Apple has already stolen the spotlight with iOS 5, announcing a PC-free iPhone, and iPad (meaning you won't need a computer cable to activate, sync, or update apps and media), iMessage (like BBIM for iOS devices), and cloud integration via iCloud.

Android Has Its Own Problems

Google has its own catching up to do too with Android, especially when it comes to fragmentation, which is one of the biggest annoyances of the platform. Unlike Apple customers, who get a software update as soon as the company pushes it out, Android updates are trickled through to manufacturers and wireless carriers (who are also the distributors), and take significantly longer to reach customers.

This has created what is called fragmentation: only a minority of users is running the latest software, while others are stuck waiting for software updates that may not even show. Given the variety of the Android ecosystem, developers also have to work on many screen sizes, resolutions and hardware capabilities, making the Android development process more difficult than on Apple's relatively unified platform.

Google hopes to solve the problem of fragmenting its OS with Ice Cream Sandwich, which is set to arrive in Q4. The update plans to make it easier for developers to create apps for the various Android hardware and software versions, but Google has not detailed on how it plans to achieve that. Ice Cream Sandwich also promises to level the differences between the phone-based (Gingerbread) and tablet-based (Honeycomb) versions of the OS.

Is Apple Winning?

Overall though, there are indications that the iPhone 5 and iOS 5 have already won the hearts of consumers shopping for a smartphone this fall. A survey from comparison site PriceGrabber found that Apple's "anticipation and brand loyalty are certainly high", with 48 percent of respondents saying they prefer iOS, compared to 19 percent choosing Android and only 7 percent going for Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform.

While Microsoft and partner manufacturers and carriers are taking their sweet time to push Mango (announced in April, heading to phones some time in September), Microsoft has its work cut out for it if it wants to compete against Apple.

Yet the upcoming features of Mango, which was released to manufacturers on Wednesday, bring little novelty to the smartphone arena dominated by Google and Apple. Microsoft needs to do more than just play catch-up with Apple and Google, who always seem to be one step ahead of the game.

Is Flash CS5.5 a minor update or a must-have?

Over time, we've gotten used to Adobe's Creative Suite release cycle of roughly 18 months or so for every major version of its software packages: Design, Web, and Production Premium, and Master Collection. And now comes Creative Suite 5.5.

Are Adobe's new Flash releases just minor updates that we can ignore, or is the new version of the Flash family a must-have tool? Here's the scoop on why this Flash update is particularly compelling for rich Internet application developers.

Flash started out as a simple vector-based animation tool for the Web. After Adobe acquired Flash via its buyout of Macromedia, it gradually developed the app into a full-fledged tool for creating rich Internet applications (RIAs).

There was only one problem: Flash was not a great development tool for programmers or interface designers. Adobe addressed this problem by developing Flash Builder and Flash Catalyst. Flash Builder is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) based on the popular Eclipse IDE, while Catalyst is specifically designed as an easy-to-use tool for non-programmers to create interfaces.

Is Flash CS5.5 a minor update or a must-have?

What's new in Flash Catalyst CS5.5?

The idea behind Catalyst—which debuted with Adobe CS5—is that designers can create an interface for an interactive application in Photoshop or Illustrator. This interface then would be imported directly into Catalyst as a starting point. Without having to know Flash, the designer can quickly create the required interactivity for buttons and page transitions. The process is so intuitive and easy to learn that a designer can have a working demo of the interface in a fraction of the time it would take to build the same prototype in Flash. The beauty of Catalyst though is the way it integrates with Flash and Flash Builder. You can, of course, bring in Flash files (swfs) and other elements before you export your Catalyst interface to Flash Builder. Now you can bring back projects from Flash Builder, which is the most important change in this new version.

One of the most important new features in Catalyst CS5.5 is that you can actually have a different workflow. You rarely start out with a complete interface, where every detail has been worked out; most projects evolve gradually, and the new workflow in CS5.5 allows for that. As an interface designer, you can now create the interface and the interactivity by using wireframe elements. These are then imported into Flash Builder 4.5, where a programmer replaces them with custom components and adds in the business logic and data services. The result is a fully working application that you bring back into Catalyst to finish the design.

What's new in Flash Builder 4.5?

Apple CEO Steve Jobs publicly decided to exclude Flash from the iOS operating system and has promoted HTML 5 as an alternative. Adobe, in response, developed Wallaby, a tool to convert Flash projects to HTML 5. But it also included new tooling and framework support for developing, testing, and deploying mobile applications on Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS, and iOS.

Imagine being able to reuse code from your Web application and release it on all major mobile devices. From a developer and publisher standpoint, this is awesome. If you work with PHP, you can even get a special edition of Flash Builder 4.5 for PHP,  which integrates Zend Studio 8. Zend Studio 8 is a special plug-in for Eclipse, and this particular special edition offers a much tighter integration between Zend Studio and Flash Builder. Key features focus on the way data services are integrated and Flex/PHP debugging. If you don't need these, you can still import the Flash Builder plug-in into the Eclipse IDE to have one environment for all your coding. Only the method has changed.

The other key improvement in Flash Builder is the aforementioned new workflow with Catalyst. You can code some features in Flash Builder 4.5 and return the file to Catalyst CS5.5 to enhance the design. For many users, this new two-way street will be a must-have feature.

What's new in Flash Professional CS5.5?

If you are a Flash developer, the main new feature in CS5.5 is the ability to develop for mobile devices (Android and iOS). You can even deliver content to internet-enabled televisions through Adobe AIR for the Digital Home.

The concept of developing once and deploying to several devices works smoothly in this new version. One important factor is, for example, the various device screen resolutions. Adobe addresses this by simplifying the creation and management of multiple FLA files created for a single project, but targeted to multiple devices. It does this by updating modified symbols across other documents.

Another issue is content scaling when resizing the stage. Without this feature, designers would spend a lot of time adjusting a single design for multiple sizes. Now you just check the "Scale content with stage" option in the document settings and you get a good starting point, especially since the scaling also applies to symbols and motion paths across all scenes.

Flash Professional CS5.5 also offers additional code snippets for mobile development like the Pinch to Zoom Event or the Two Finger Tap Event. You don't need the code snippet panel to use these features; it just provides a shortcut when developing. Another feature related to mobile development is that symbols can be rasterized on export, which improves the performance on some mobile devices. The symbols however remain editable, which is critical.

There is one more thing, and it is not related to mobile development: Adobe has added the ability to lock or pin bones to the stage. The bone tool allows you to quickly animate a cartoon character, and with the enhanced features in the new version, it is now easier to place restrictions on the movements of selected bones. This, in turn, makes it easier to create more complex movements such as walk cycles. If you've never worked with the bone tool before, give it a try.

Bottom line

If programming multimedia for the Web and Web applications is your main job, updating to Flash CS5.5 is a compelling prospect. There are many improvements that make this a significant update. For users who are happy with an older Flash version and don't create Web applications, CS5.5 probably doesn't offer significant new features.

Michael Baumgardt has worked in desktop publishing, multimedia and Web design for more than 25 years. The author of more than 20 computer books, he now works as consultant and project manager on several enterprise Web projects.

Note: With the release of Lion, Adobe posted a tech note outlining some of the issues users may encounter with some of its Creative Suite applications. The Flash family of products is discussed in some detail in this document. Be sure to check the tech note on Adobe's website for updated information on how Adobe Creative Suite products interact with Lion.

Apple's next-gen MacBook Pros 'to be slimmed down'

The success Apple has had with its MacBook Air refresh will likely lead the company to completely redesign its MacBook Pro line in favor of a thinner and lighter form factor. A 15-inch Air-like MacBook Pro and a 17-inch model are in the works, sources say, and may be here in time for holiday gift giving.

The success Apple has had with its MacBook Air refresh will likely lead the company to completely redesign its MacBook Pro line in favor of a thinner and lighter form factor. A 15-inch Air-like MacBook Pro and a 17-inch model are in the works, sources say, and may be here in time for holiday gift giving.

To get to that leaner form factor, Apple will likely ditch the optical drive (perhaps ultimately signaling the death knell for discs). These are still rumors from MacRumors and TUAW , but integrated SSD storage is also expected. The MacBook Pros have been Apple's laptop workhorses, so we can also expect the premium laptops to offer more ports, better graphics, and more storage than the MacBook Air--at a more premium price but with the slimmer design.

It will be interesting to see how thin--and, perhaps more importantly, light--Apple will make the MacBook Pro. We're a bit stumped trying to imagine super-thin and light 15-inch and 17-inch laptops that look like the MacBook Air.

Apple's next-gen MacBook Pros 'to be slimmed down'

Mozilla mobile OS may face future patent battles, says expert

Mozilla's plan to create a mobile operating system will probably face patent challenges, one expert said, while another called it "too little, too late."

Yesterday, Mozilla announced a new project dubbed "Boot to Gecko" (B2G) that it hopes will lead to a "complete, standalone operating system for the open Web."

Although B2G will feature new Web-based APIs (application programming interfaces) that let developers access device hardware to make calls, send texts, take photos and more, Mozilla plans to use bits of Android, including the kernel and device drivers, at the outset.

That could leave Mozilla open to the kind of intense patent litigation Android now faces, said Florian Mueller, an independent patent analyst whose blog FOSS Patents is closely followed by both patent professionals and and technophiles.

Mozilla mobile OS may face future patent battles, says expert

"Smartphone operating [system] software faces an incredibly dense patent thicket," said Mueller in an email reply to questions today about B2G. "Mozilla may be able to avoid large parts of the IP issues facing Android by using only certain components and building new software on top of it. But the patent thicket is still there."

Al Hilwa, an analyst with IDC, welcomed B2G to the mobile OS game, but wondered whether Mozilla would be thwarted by lawyers. "Relying on Android IP may be problematic, as it exposes them to some potential legal issues and patent claims," Hilwa said in an email Tuesday.

And even if Mozilla created a complete OS from scratch -- including the boot code that it plans to initially borrow from Android -- it could still face court time, said Mueller. "It's hard to write a competitive smartphone operating system or application without infringing on many patents," he said.

"It's possible that the Mozilla Foundation thinks a non-profit is less likely to be the target of patent infringement lawsuits than a company," Mueller continued. "But Mozilla is a deep-pocketed foundation and the smartphone space is so litigious that I don't believe Mozilla's software will be spared."

At the very least, Mueller said, patent infringement accusations could be made against device manufacturers that adopted the OS that comes out of B2G, much like the patent war Apple and Google have fought partly by proxy , with the former bypassing the latter and suing Android phone and tablet makers such as HTC and Samsung.

Aside from Mozilla's potential patent problems, analysts raised other concerns about the B2G project.

"I can't see that at this point, what with Mozilla's timeline, why a year from now we will need another mobile operating system," said Jack Gold, an analyst with J. Gold Associates. "It's too little, too late. It would have been different if they'd started this a year ago. But I can't see [Mozilla] seriously impacting the sales of Android. It has the same chance as MeeGo to succeed."

That open-source, Linux-based mobile operating system, co-developed by Intel and Nokia, was essentially discarded by Nokia earlier this year when it struck a deal with Microsoft to power future smartphones with the Windows Phone platform.

To Gold, Mozilla's move smacked as much as a challenge to Google and its Chrome OS as an attempt to push the foundation's open-Web agenda.

"This is an extension of Mozilla's war against Google," Gold said. "The battle has taken place in the browser, and now it's moving into the browser OS world. This is like a nipping at the heels of Google."

Mozilla has been losing the browser war, Gold said. In the last 12 months, Mozilla's Firefox lost 9% of its usage share, according to metrics company Net Applications. During the same period, Google's Chrome almost doubled its share.

Hilwa was more bullish on Mozilla's long-term chances.

"There is a transformation to move more and more of our data, content and device engagement to the cloud," Hilwa noted. "This means light-weight interfaces on light-weight operating systems have a chance to break through in the next few years."

"But how does Mozilla compete here?" countered Gold. "If you assume that the future OSes will be browser- and Web-centric, then [a Mozilla OS] has some possibilities.... But I don't think you can make that assumption."

Samsung sells more smartphones than Apple and Nokia

Samsung has sold more smartphones in the past three months than Apple and Nokia, according to an analyst.

Neil Mawston from Strategy Analytics told Bloomberg Samsung sold between 18 million and 21 million handsets between April and June this year, compared to the 16.7 million mobile phones sold by Nokia and 20.3 million iPhones. The figures only cover smartphones and not tablet PCs.

"Samsung stands a reasonable chance of capturing the top spot on a quarterly basis if it can continue expanding its Android portfolio across high-growth markets like China and Brazil. Samsung and Apple will be at similar levels in smartphones by the end of the year," said Mawston.

Mawston also revealed that across the global mobile phone market, which includes feature and basic handsets, Samsung is expected to account for 20 percent of all sales, while Nokia will remain top with 26 percent.

Samsung sells more smartphones than Apple and Nokia

Samsung and Nokia have yet to confirm the accuracy of Mawston's figures.

However, Mawston revealed that with Apple expected to launch a new iteration of the iPhone later this year, "Samsung will need to work hard to hold off that competitive threat."

China 'shutting down fake Apple Stores'

Counterfeit Apple Stores that have been popping up in Kunming are being closed down by the Chinese authorites, according to reports.

The stores posed as official Apple Stores, using the Apple logo and in some cases the name 'Apple Stoer [sic]'. Staff were dressed similarly to Apple Store employees and the outlets were decorated in a similar manner to official Apple Stores. Products on sale appeared to be made by Apple but it is thought they had been imported on the grey market.

The BBC said that trade officials had found five stores in Kunming posing as official Apple retail outlets. Two have been closed down as their owners did not have a business licence.

The first store visited by the author of the Bird Abroad blog , where the fake Apple stores in Kunming were first exposed, is among those that is still trading, according to the BBC.

China 'shutting down fake Apple Stores'

"They looked like Apple products. It looked like an Apple store. It had the classic Apple store winding staircase and weird upstairs sitting area. The employees were even wearing those blue t-shirts with the chunky Apple name tags around their necks," the author wrote in her original blog entry.

"This was a total Apple store ripoff. A beautiful ripoff – a brilliant one – the best ripoff store we had ever seen (and we see them every day). But some things were just not right: the stairs were poorly made. The walls hadn't been painted properly. The name tags around the necks of the friendly salespeople didn't actually have names on them – just an Apple logo and the anonymous designation 'Staff'," she continued.

Apple has made no official comment about the discovery of the fake stores but the only official Apple stores in China are in Beijing and Shanghai. None of the stores visited by the author of the Bird Abroad blog are mentioned on Apple's list of official resellers in the city.

Oracle may depose Google's Larry Page, orders magistrate

Oracle may depose Google CEO Larry Page and two others in connection with its lawsuit accusing Google of patent infringement in its Android operating system, a magistrate in California ordered on Thursday.

Oracle may depose Page for a maximum of two hours, excluding breaks, solely on topics relevant to the willfulness of the defendant's alleged patent infringement, and the value of Android to the defendant, Judge Donna M. Ryu of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California said in her order.

Oracle seeks to depose Page regarding his knowledge of the negotiations between Sun Microsystems and Google between 2005 and 2010 to obtain a Java license for Android, as well as his decision to purchase the start-up Android, she added.

In a letter of July 14, Oracle said it was seeking to depose Page, former Google employees Dipchand Nishar and Bob Lee, and Tim Lindholm, a former Sun employee who has worked for Google since around 2004. The court conducted a telephonic hearing on July 21.

Oracle may depose Google's Larry Page, orders magistrate

The court denied Oracle's request to depose Nishar. Google had countered that while Nishar was a senior director for products in the Asia Pacific region, he was "not a major player" with regard to Android or Google's mobile business.

Oracle sued Google last August, saying its Android OS violates Java copyrights and seven Java-related patents that Oracle acquired when it bought Sun Microsystems. The extent to which Android is important to Google, and its advertising revenue from the operating system, are likely to be key to determining the large damages that Oracle is expecting from the suit.

These depositions supplement the ten that Oracle has already taken.

Oracle asserted that Lindholm was involved in negotiations between Sun and Google for a Java license in the 2005 to 2006 time period as a technical advisor in a position to evaluate the necessity of licensing. Lee's name is tied to a significant number of documents, including some that indicate awareness of the need for licenses, which may be relevant to Oracle's claims for willful infringement, the judge noted.

In a separate hearing before Judge William Alsup , in a bid to poke holes in Oracle's claim for billions in damages a Google attorney said Sun Microsystems offered to license its Java technology to Google for US$100 million.

Apple unveils Lion, Lenovo intros new tablets and Atlantis touches down (Video)

Lenovo unveiled a family of 3 10.1 inch tablet computers this week, including two that run android 3.1 and one that runs windows 7. The Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1 is expected to be available in the U.S. in August.

Apple unveils Lion, Lenovo intros new tablets and Atlantis touches down

The two Android machines are dubbed the IdeaPad Tablet K1 for consumers and the ThinkPad Tablet for business users. The 32GB version of the K1 with Wi-Fi can be ordered online this week for $500, but won't be generally available in the U.S. until sometime in August. Availability will follow later for the rest of the world. The 16GB ThinkPad Tablet with Wi-Fi sells for $479 or for $509 with an optional digitizer touch pen. A 3G wireless version will be available "at a later date," Lenovo said.  The Windows-based tablet, dubbed the IdeaPad Tablet P1, also uses Wi-Fi and will be available in the fourth quarter. Pricing has not been announced.

Space Shuttle Atlantis rolled to a stop at 5:57 Thursday morning marking the end of NASA's shuttle program. On its last trip Atlantis spent 13 days in space and carried equipment, supplies and spare parts to the International Space Station. Since it was first flown in 1981, Atlantis has flown more than 125 million miles. More than 300 people from 16 counties flew on the shuttle.

Apple launched its Lion operating system Wednesday.  The desktop OS is the next major release of OS X and boasts over 250 new features including, multi-touch gestures, full screen apps, and fast file sharing called AirDrop.  Lion needs several requirements in order to be downloaded, including Leopard.  Lion will only be available for  download from the Mac App Store and is priced at $30 (£20.99 in the UK).  

Apple unveils Lion, Lenovo intros new tablets and Atlantis touches down (Video)

Microsoft is apparently staffing a secret Windows Phone project. A job description on the company's website is looking for a software development engineer in test with the description reading "we are a team working on a top secret project inside the Windows Phone division. Our mission, go big, disrupt the market." The advertisement says the project involves the first version of a new feature set and the group will complete planning for the features in a month.

Our colleagues at Network World got a chance to take a close look at the new Sonos Play 3, a $300 wireless music player that can play songs from your own library, but also from multiple music services. Most recently it's added support in the US for Spotify. Let's take a look.

So here I have the iPad controller where you can browse through the music services or drag into queue some of the content. What I have loaded up is the Kaiserchiefs and we're going to be listening to this from Spotify on the Play3.

On the back of the device is a power cable, an Ethernet jack though you can also use wireless and a threaded wall mount. If you have multiple Play 3s the units automatically make a mesh network to communicate among themselves, making it more reliable than  your home's wifi network. You can also position the speaker horizontally or vertically and the unit will reset the equalizer based on its position. The Play 3 is on sale now.

Nissan is expanding the US availability of its Leaf, what it touts as the first 100 percent mass market electric car. The 2012 Leaf will include quick charging and cold weather features and will be available in the Southeastern US and Illinois. The car is already on sale in a number of US states and more will follow this fall. The 2012 Leaf starts at 35,000 dollars with montly leases starting at 370.

Cisco plans to slash 6500 jobs as part of cost cutting measures. Cisco plans to focus its business and reduce operating expenses by about a billion dollars per year. The layoffs include both executive and their regular full time workforce. The company also announced it will transfer a set-top-box manufacturing facility in Mexico to Taiwan.  Affected employees get the word the first week of August.  

Google+ this week has come to the iPhone. Just like it's counterpart website, the app includes circles, streams and the huddle message group feature. The service, which launched earlier this month has already reached 10 million users according to Google CEO Larry Page.  It's unclear whether an iPad app will be avaialble.

Speaking of iPads imagine seeing an iPad2 retail for 70 or 180 bucks. featured two iPad 2 models at these astounding prices on its website. The third-party seller GSM On Sale is part of Sears’ Marketplace program which allows companies to sell their product on Sears’ website.  The error was caught quickly and a brief apology was posted.  Customers who purchased either of the products order’s were cancelled and accounts credited.  

F1 2010 Comes to iOS

F1 2010 from Codemasters was very well-received thanks to its well-balanced driving model, realistic weather system and in-depth career mode. A new iteration of the series will be with us in September of this year on PC and consoles. In the meantime, though, you can now show your skills on the go with the official iOS version.

The iOS version, developed by Jump Games rather than Codemasters itself, is a cut-down version more friendly to quick play sessions. Rather than featuring full races, the game offers three modes to play: Time Trial, Endurance and Party Play.

Time Trial is a straight race around a circuit against a ghost car, with players' new times being recorded as new ghosts. Endurance is a time trial across several laps where their average, rather than total, time is recorded. And Party Play offers hotseat play for up to 4 players trying to beat each other's times.

The game features full Game Center and OpenFeint support for leaderboards and Achievements, and is available now from the App Store for £1.99.

F1 2010 Comes to iOS

F1 2010 for iOS is compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad and requires iOS 4.0 or later.

Google fixes flaw that scrubbed websites from search index

Google has disabled a feature that could allow people to remove websites from its search index following a problematic discovery by an astute observer.

James Breckenridge, operations director at UK Web Media, wrote on his personal blog that he was using Google's webmaster tools, used for maintaining websites, and found he could delete any website from Google's search index by manipulating the URL (Uniform Resource Locator).

A site address must be included in Google's index for the search giant's engine to include that site in any relevant search results.

Breckenridge said he was deleting "thousands" of sites from the index when he accidentally deleted one that he had no relation to.

Google fixes flaw that scrubbed websites from search index

"I can't believe I am the only person to figure this out, and there are a number of things that could be happening right now if this information is already in the wrong hands," Breckenridge wrote.

Google, however, fixed the flaw within seven hours, and sites that should not have been removed should be back in the search index, Breckenridge wrote. Google officials in London confirmed the fix on Thursday morning.

"The URL removal feature kept detailed records, so we're currently reprocessing earlier removal requests to ensure their validity," the company said in a statement. "Our initial examination has shown only a limited impact."

Analysis: Apple wows with record iPhone and iPad sales, largest revenues

Apple has reported a record number of iPhones and iPad sales in the second quarter of 2011, powering revenues of $28.6 billion, also a record.

Brian White, an analyst with Ticonderoga Securities, simply used the word "wow" in the title of a note to his clients.

"Apple deliver[ed] nothing short of a blowout performance," White said in that note on Tuesday.

Apple 's revenues were the fourth consecutive quarter over the $20 billion mark, and represented an 82% increase over the same period last year.

Analysis: Apple wows with record iPhone and iPad sales, largest revenues

The $28.6 billion in revenue was significantly higher than Wall Street's average projection of $25 billion, and beat the company's conservative estimate three months ago of just $23 billion by 24%.

Profits were $7.31 billion, yet another record for a quarter, up 125% from the same quarter of 2010.

"They knocked it out of the park," Brian Marshall, an analyst with Gleacher & Co., told Computerworld after Apple's earnings call on Tuesday. "They just crushed it."

Marshall, other analysts and Apple executives all pointed to iPhone and iPad sales as the driving forces for the record quarter .

"The quarter was driven by dramatic growth in iPhone and iPad sales," Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's chief financial officer, said during the conference call.

Apple sold 20.3 million iPhones , up 142% over the same period last year and a 9% increase over the first quarter of 2011, which was the previous record. On a revenue basis, the iPhone's contribution was 46.6% of total revenues, more than two-and-a-half times that of the Mac or over twice that of the iPad .

What impressed Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research, wasn't simply the strong iPhone sales, but that Apple was able to maintain its high margin on the smartphone and sell more than 20 million during the quarter even though it didn't release a new model last month, as it has done in three out of the last four years.

"The ASP [average sales price] of the iPhone hasn't moved noticeably at all, which surprised me," Gottheil said. "They keep building and building them, but the ASP doesn't move."

Apple's decision to push back the launch of the next iPhone to this fall -- most experts have pegged September as the most likely month -- didn't hurt sales of the current model, Gottheil also noted.

Meanwhile, Apple sold 9.2 million iPads, nearly triple the number it sold in the same quarter last year and almost double the 4.7 million it sold in the first three months of 2011.

Apple launched the iPad 2 in mid-March, just weeks before the start of the second quarter, and only recently has been able to meet demand, and then only in some markets.

"We were still selling every unit we could make [during the quarter]," said Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer. Cook runs the company in the absence of CEO Steve Jobs, who remains on medical leave. "But in the early weeks of July, we were able to increase the supply further, and some SKUs in some countries are now in balance."

At one point in the call, Cook called iPad sales a "frenzy."

Apple's U.S. online store currently shows a one-to-three business day delay between ordering an iPad 2 and the tablet being shipped. In April, when Apple last held an earnings call, the delay was between two and three weeks.

The iPhone-iPad combination clearly was the reason Apple seems to be able to make money as fast as it can churn out hardware, Gottheil said.

"They absolutely have a tiger by the tail," Gottheil said. "People love the products, they love the infrastructure that supports them. Everything is working for them, and they're in two of the fastest-growing markets around."

iPhone and iPad sales accounted for more than two-thirds of Apple's revenues for the quarter.

Most of the remainder was generated by the Mac.

Apple sold 3.95 million Mac computers, a record for the quarter that ends in June, said Oppenheimer. Mac sales worldwide were up 14% year-over-year, and up 5% from the previous quarter, with the strongest unit sales growth in Asia/Pacific, where Apple's numbers were up 57% from the same period in 2010.

Last week, Gartner estimated that global computer sales grew by just 2.3% last quarter, while rival research firm IDC pegged the gain slightly higher at 2.6%.

Apple executives cited the difference between Mac and industry sales increases several times during Tuesday's conference call. "To grow at 14% when the market is growing at 2.6% is certainly something to be proud of," Cook argued.

Oppenheimer credited strong sales of the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air for the boost to the Mac numbers. The former was last refreshed in February, while the latter will reportedly sport new models soon, perhaps as early as Wednesday.

Apple sold 2.8 million notebooks, an increase of 13% over than the same quarter of 2010, and sold 1.2 million desktops, up 15% from the year before and 14% from the previous quarter.

The iMac desktop line was refreshed in early May.

Analysts on Tuesday, however, questioned Apple's executives about what appeared to be a slowdown in Mac sales growth.

Cook answered by ticking off a trio of causes, including iPad cannibalization, delayed purchases because of the impending release of Lion and a strong comparative quarter in 2010. "It's clear that some customers are choosing to purchase an iPad [rather] than a Mac," Cook said, Apple's strongest acknowledgment yet that its iconic tablet has shifted some buyers away from the more expensive Mac notebooks.

Analysts were split on how they weighed Cook's three reasons for Mac sales growing just 14% when a year ago the numbers were up 33%.

"It's all cannibalization," Marshall said.

Gottheil disagreed. "I think that waiting for Lion is the most valid," he said. "Lion has generated more interest than other OSes from Apple, especially for those more-sophisticated buyers."

Oppenheimer confirmed that Apple will launch Lion on Wednesday. The £20.99 upgrade will be available only via download from the Mac App Store.

Apple envious of Android success claims Google's Schmidt

If Google Chairman Eric Schmidt is sweating the multiple patent suits being filed against Android vendors, he sure isn't showing it.

During a question-and-answer session at Google's Mobile Revolution conference in Tokyo Tuesday, Schmidt dismissed patent lawsuits filed by tech heavyweights Apple, Microsoft and Oracle as "legal fun," according to a report from ZDNet Asia. Schmidt suggested that the suits, which have been filed against high-profile Android vendors such as Motorola and HTC, were the result of envy at Android's success during its rapid rise as a mobile operating system power.

"We have seen an explosion of Android devices entering the market and, because of our successes, competitors are responding with lawsuits as they cannot respond through innovations," he said. "I'm not too worried about this."

Schmidt also voiced confidence that Google could help HTC overturn an International Trade Commission judge's initial ruling that HTC's Android-based smartphones had key features that infringed upon two Apple patents, ZDNet Asia reported. While Schmidt didn't go into details of how Google planned to assist HTC, he said that the company stood by the handset manufacturer and pledged that "we will make sure they don't lose." HTC is currently appealing the judge's initial verdict and expects a final verdict to be reached later this year.

Even though Schmidt has vowed to help HTC in its fight against Apple, the Taiwanese device manufacturer has already cried "uncle" in a previous Android-related patent dispute with Microsoft. HTC last year entered into a licensing agreement with Microsoft that, according to a report by Citi analyst Walter Pritchard, essentially sends Microsoft $5 every time HTC ships an Android-based device. Asymco analyst Horace Dediu has estimated that Microsoft is now generating $150 million in revenue just from shipments of Android phones, or more than five times the estimated revenue Microsoft has made from selling Windows Phone licenses.

Google's involvement in helping HTC defend itself against Apple is a reflection of the threat the lawsuits pose to Google's model of offering device makers a free-to-use mobile platform. This is especially true because, as software patent expert Florian Mueller wrote last week, the technologies covered by the Microsoft and Apple patents are central to Android itself. For instance, take U.S. Patent No. 5,946,647, which covers the technology used in Android's Web browser to automatically redirect users to applications based on on-screen data. This technology is used on Android devices whenever you click on phone numbers that automatically direct you to the device's dialer or on addresses that automatically redirect you to Google Maps. As Mueller notes, it's hard to imagine Android devices running without this key feature.

"[F]undamental elements of Android's technology and architecture are at stake," Mueller said. "It's hard to see how any Android device could not infringe them, or how companies could work around them."

Lion to finally emerge this week

Mac industry watcher AppleInsider is predicting that Apple will launch Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and new Thunderbolt-equipped MacBook Airs, as early as Wednesday this week.

The normally reliable site quotes 'people with proven track records who would be in a position to know' as saying that the new product launches are set to occur later this week: "Specifically, one person said the products would be released on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. EST" (4.30pm in the UK)

Lion to finally emerge this week

These latest revelations tie in with our news from last week. AppleInsider suggested Apple had been holding off on the introduction of new Mac hardware until it finally releases Lion.

The Golden Master of Lion was seeded to developers on July 1, identical to the software that will be released to the general public, so speculation (often wrong) has been rife as to the actual launch date.  Apple has not offered a specific launch date for the operating system, only promising that it will become available on the Mac App Store at some point in July

Lion to finally emerge this week

Ex-Pixar designer's book blends media boundaries

Author Williams Joyce's many accomplishments include crafting covers for The New Yorker; designing characters for Pixar, Disney, and Dreamworks; and now, working with Moonbot Studios, he's created a children's story that's far more than just a book.

Based on an animated short film of the same name, you can find this particular version of The Fantastic Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore in the AppStore under the "Books" category. But as you can see from the trailer above, this is a work that defies being so easily pigeon-holed.

This "app" (for lack of a better word) lets you progress through its story and lively animations like a story book/animated film hybrid. But each page also lets you interact with the story in a unique way; tapping on a piano transitions the screen over to playing a song, and at one point you can fill a grey sky with color by using your finger as a paintbrush.

You might argue that it's not a game at all, since you can't "lose." But for every game that's about keeping track of your high score, aren't there just as many that are about experiencing a narrative in a unique, interactive way? That's exactly what The Fantastic Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is: an original, linear tale, that you can take part in.

But what do you call something like this? Is it an adventure game? An interactive book/film thing? Regardless of how you try to define it, the way we describe games is slowly evolving; and works like this are at the forefront.

(via Co.Design)

iOS accessories for almost every conceivable purpose

Another week, another round of iOS accessories that prove the versatility of your iPhone, iPod, and iPad. If you believe the hype, music, golf, driving, and even your health can all be improved with the right add-on. Read on for all the details and decide for yourself.

Adonit: This accessory maker has come up with an environmentally friendly Bluetooth keyboard case for the iPad 2, the Writer 2 . The device is made from polycarbonate, aluminum, and biodegradable fabrics--among other materials--making it easy to recycle when it reaches the end of its life. The case incorporates magnets to work with the iPad 2's sleep/wake feature, putting the tablet to sleep when shut.

Audyssey: Seeking a bit of Bohemian design in your sound system? Audyssey has announced the Lower East Side Media Speakers, "inspired" by that Manhattan neighborhood, according to the company. While not iOS-device-specific, the speakers' compact size make them easily transportable, and the system includes an optical-digital audio input, making them a great match for the Apple TV and AirPort Express. The speakers will be available in the third quarter of this year.

Bweasel: If you're looking for a lightweight stand for your new tablet, the Bweasel Stand for iPad 2 - an updated version of the original Bweasel we previously reviewed -is now available. This three-ounce, wire-frame accessory can display your tablet in portrait or landscape orientation, at a variety of angles--from nearly horizontal to nearly vertical. (Bweasel says the stand also provides a better grip when holding the iPad in your hand.) The Bweasel stand is pitched at travelers and other iPad owners who use their tablets out "in the field."

Bracketron: The Golf Bag GPS Mount lets you clip your iPhone -or just about any other mobile device - securely to the top of your golf bag, letting you take calls, check e-mail, or even run your favorite golf apps while you're out on the course. It can even rotate 360 degrees to allow for optimum viewing.

Fanny Wang: If the white earbuds aren't providing the powerful thumping bass you want, Fanny Wang's new DJ Over Ear Wang Headphones might do the trick. The new model, which will be available at the end of August, includes an inline cable splitter and an Apple-style inline remote; is aimed at DJs and audio engineers; and is powered by two AA batteries to provide 6 db of "bass boost."

Gotality: Many people use their iPhone to listen to music while exercising, but here's another way to use your iPhone to stay healthy: Gotality's $60 Cardio Fitness Pack helps you monitor your heart rate during exercise. The Pack includes an ear clip that plugs into your phone and monitors your heart rate, as well as an exercise armband to carry the phone or an iPod touch. The system works in conjunction with Gotality's free app to help you set fitness goals and measure your exercise progress. If you use the iPhone and its GPS, the app can also monitor the distance you traveled during your workout, and show your route on a map.

Griffin Technology: Your driving experience could soon become cleaner with Griffin's CarTrip device. The system includes a device that plugs into your vehicle's on-board computer and sends data to an iPhone using Griffin's forthcoming CleanDrive app, helping users monitor their fuel use and track their car's maintenance needs. It's not yet available for order.

iHome: Clock radios that let you charge your iPad are the latest thing in iOS accessories (see the entry for Philips, below, for another example). iHome's latest contribution to this field is the iD85, an "app-enhanced" clock radio that lets you charge any iOS device overnight and play audio files on that device when you wake up. The system works in conjunction with the free iHome+Sleep app, and it features a remote control plus a number of programmable settings to ensure you wake up, gently, at the right time on the right days.

Incase: This accessory maker is expanding into audio with its new line of iOS-compatible Incase Soundesign headphones and earbuds. The line will include four models, each with an inline remote/microphone module for use with Apple's mobile devices. Incase hasn't yet released price information; the headphones will hit the market in the fall.

Incase has also announced the Flex Wristband for iPod Nano 6G, a creative way to turn your tiny iOS device into a nerd-chic wristwatch.

JVC: If you like to rock it old-school- and 1998 qualifies as old-school these days-JVC has reintroduced its Kaboom boombox, adding a bit of technology that didn't exist when the product was first released 13 years ago: a dock for the iPhone and iPod. The boombox still sports an FM tuner and CD player; comes with a shoulder strap; and provides 40 watts of bass-heavy sound.

New PC Gadgets: If you've ever envied your local Apple Store's acrylic docking displays for the iPad 2, the iPad 2 Display Dock might be what you desire. Offering an elegant way to both charge and display your tablet, the crystal-clear stand also provides a docking port at the top for an iPhone or iPod. The stand is pitched for both business and home use - dress yourself in a black mock turtleneck, blue jeans, and New Balance sneakers, and you can pretend you're Steve Jobs.

Philips: This electronics manufacturer has two new products for owners of iOS devices. The company's new DC291/37 Docking System for iPod/iPhone/iPad--Aluminum lets you power up, and play audio from, any iOS device--including, yes, your iPad. The DC390/37 Docking System for iPod/iPhone/iPad--Aluminum Dual Dock is quite similar, but lets you dock two devices -your iPad and your iPhone -at the same time. (Philips doesn't provide pricing information for the DC390.) As their names imply, both devices come in an aluminum finish; each also includes a remote control so you can adjust your settings from the comfort of your bed.

Ping: If you want to improve your short game, Ping's new Ping Cradle lets you attach your iPhone 4 or iPod touch to your putter, then use the company's iPing app to measure and analyze your stroke and impact angle, helping you fine-tune your mechanics and increase the consistency of your stroke. You can also use the app to compare your stroke to friends and to pros on the PGA Tour.

Pioneer: This veteran audio company integrates your iPhone 4 with your car stereo with the new AppRadio system. Download Pioneer's AppRadio app, then plug in your phone, and you can control your music - both from your iTunes collection and from services such as Pandora - and make calls using the system's 6.1-inch in-dash touchscreen. You can also access your contacts, calendars, and photos. Pioneer says AppRadio "encourages safe driving" by providing access mainly to iPhone 4 applications suited for in-car use.

Polk Audio: This audio veteran is instead reaching out to athletes and other iPhone and iPod users who like to take their music to the streets. Polk has announced a new line of UltraFit headphones that include both in-ear and on-ear models; each model includes an inline remote/microphone compatible with iOS devices. The new models also offer noise-canceling features, as well as tangle-free, color-coded cables to let you easily distinguish the left earbud from the right. Polk says the new line will appear in stores this fall; the company offered no information on pricing.

Withings: Your iPad and iPhone aren't just for fun and productivity - they can also help you stay healthy. Withings' new Blood Pressure Monitor plugs into your iOS device and helps you track your vital statistics with the aid of the company's free app. You can't get your blood pressure by putting your thumb on the screen - the device makes use of old-fashioned pressure-cuff technology that measures your systole, diastole, and heart rate. The app saves and tracks those health stats over time; you can share that data to your own page at the Withings site, or to health-records sites such as Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault.

Xmultiple Technologies: This California company has unveiled its line of iXP1 PowerShark Slimline chargers- actually rechargeable batteries that can be used to juice up your dock-connector devices. Each battery is about the size of a AAA battery, and can power your iPhone, iPod, or, more slowly, iPad. The product is available in blue, red, yellow, purple, or black.

Thunderbolt fulfills speed potential

How does Thunderbolt performance stack up against eSATA? Macworld Lab's test results show that Thunderbolt's provides a sizeable boost over eSATA--it's not as dramatic as the improvement over FireWire 800, but still very impressive.

Macworld Lab recently compared Thunderbolt and FireWire 800 performance. In response to that report, Macworld readers want to see how Thunderbolt speed stacks up against other interface technologies--specifically, eSATA.

As with the Thunderbolt/FireWire 800 tests, we still have an issue of coming up with similar external devices. The Promise Pegasus R6 has six drives and only one type of connection: Thunderbolt. We don't have access to a six-bay array with eSATA, so for comparison, we used the Promise SmartStore DS4600, but it has four drive bays and FireWire 800, USB 2.0 and eSATA ports. With both external arrays formatted as RAID 0, we found the Thunderbolt performance to be nearly four-and-a-half times faster than eSATA in our AJA System Test read results, and about eight times faster than eSATA in our AJA System Test write results.

With our 2GB file tests, we copy a 2GB file from the Mac's internal drive to the external array, which tests the write speed of the external array. Then we copy the 2GB file back to the internal, which tests the external's read speed. We repeat the tests with a folder containing 2GB worth of files.

At first, these tests showed different results compared to the AJA System Tests--the eSATA results were very similar to the Thunderbolt results, and FireWire 800 even put up decent numbers. The problem was the slow internal drive in the MacBook Pro, so we pulled the SSD out of the 15-inch MacBook Pro and installed it into the 17-inch MacBook Pro. The bottleneck was removed, and we again saw large performance differences between the three interfaces.

When reading a 2GB file, Thunderbolt was 39 percent faster than eSATA and twice as fast as FireWire 800. Writing that 2GB file, Thunderbolt was over two times faster than eSATA and 2.8 times faster than FireWire 800. Reading a 2GB folder, Thunderbolt was 30 percent faster than eSATA and 73 percent faster than FireWire 800. Writing the folder, Thunderbolt was two times faster than eSATA and 2.4 times faster than FireWire 800.

Macworld Lab is working on more Thunderbolt tests, including more RAID 0 results with the Pegasus R6, and speed results when using Target Disk Mode.

Google social network gets privacy and contacts updates

After promising earlier this week that changes to Google+ were coming, Google is making good on that vow with a privacy update and a new contacts tool.

"Responding to more feedback!" posted Vic Gundotra, a senior vice president of Social for Google, on Google+ late yesterday.

The comment follows a post that Gundotra wrote on Google+. "Lots of criticism for Google+," Gundotra wrote. "We are listening and working to address. Stay tuned for changes this week."

Today, he pointed to two changes. One change is a tool that helps Google+ users find their friends and put them in their favourite circles.

"We've been listening to feedback from our users who want more flexible ways to find their friends on Google+," wrote Rohit Khare, a Google product manager. "One of the most flexible tools is an address book uploader, and I wanted to share the good news that it will be rolling out to everyone over the next few days."

Khare noted that the new uploader tool is designed to avoid mixing up users' imported contacts with their other Google Contacts. "We only store the ones that you put into your Circles," he added.

In a video post, Khare said when the tool is available, users will be able to download their contacts and then, under Circles Editor, select Find and Invite. When they see the new Upload Address Book button, they can click on the Select Contacts File. After that, their contacts will appear as tiles that can be dragged and dropped into their Circles.

And on the privacy side, Frances Haugen, a Google+ profiles product manager, announced a privacy update on Google+ based on user feedback.

"Starting later this week, you will be able to set the privacy setting of your gender on your Google+ Profile just as you control other information about yourself," she wrote.

And in a video post, Haugen said she understands that gender can be a sensitive topic, especially on the Internet. "Having gender information makes Google+ more conversational," she noted. "If you decide to make your gender private, we'll use gender-neutral language to describe you whenever someone else... doesn't have permission to see your gender."

For instance, she explained that if Pat decides to keep her gender private, Google+ would alert someone that she has added him to her Circles by saying, "Pat has added you to their Circles."

"Controlling privacy is more important than being grammatically correct," Haugen said.

Designers get key to executive washroom

A new research guide is proposing that creative professionals will have a lot more influence on their companies' business decisions in the future- but they’ll be working a lot more as a result.

The Creative Team of the Future explores key trends shaping the marketing and design fields, and how industry professionals can prepare for and capitalise on upcoming changes.

The guide is part of a new research project, which also includes video interviews with leading creative thinkers, that was co-developed by The Creative Group and the American Advertising Federation (AAF). For the project, The Creative Group and the AAF surveyed more than 500 AAF Ad Club and corporate members in the US, interviewed industry thought leaders and conducted exclusive research to assess how marketing and design teams may operate in the next three to five years.

The guide is available at

Designers get key to executive washroom

Among the key findings are that one-third of survey respondents cited problem-solving skills as the most useful trait for creative professionals to develop. More than six in 10 respondents (62 percent) said they expect creative professionals to work more hours over the next several years. In addition, an overwhelming 85 percent said they anticipate being more connected to the office outside of business hours by 2016.

As collaboration tools become more accessible and affordable for creative teams, employers may offer their staff the ability to telecommute more frequently during the working week. In fact, 84 percent of respondents said a greater number of creative professionals would work remotely in the next three to five years.

In today's global marketplace, collaboration often means working with people in different countries and marketing to a multicultural audience. But the colleagues sitting next to you will likely become more varied, too: Eighty-two percent of respondents said they expect creative teams to become more culturally diverse.

Two-thirds of survey respondents said spending on mobile-related projects would increase significantly in the next three to five years; another 28 percent said it would increase somewhat. Further, 34 percent of AAF Ad Club and corporate members said mobile will be the most influential advertising medium over the same period.

The guide claims that designers and marketing professionals are holding more sway in their organisations as companies recognise they can do more than develop eye-pleasing designs and catchy ad campaigns. The ability to think outside the box and pitch ideas effectively will become essential for creative professionals in the near future.

"Organisations are increasingly turning to their marketing and creative teams for help generating ideas and solutions that solve business problems, improve customer service and, ultimately, grow the bottom line," said Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group. "Being flexible is key to surviving and thriving in the creative industry of the future. Professionals with an open mindset - who are willing to embrace new tools, consumer trends and work processes - will be in the best position to move their careers and businesses forward."

Visit to download a complimentary copy of The Creative Team of the Future, watch video interviews or find more information about the research project, 

Intego releases malware scanner for iOS devices

Intego has released VirusBarrier iOS, a malware scanner for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. VirusBarrier iOS allows users of iOS devices to scan files attached to e-mail messages in the cloud for malware that could affect Macs or Windows PCs.

The company claims that the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch represent a new vector for bringing files into a home or business network. It proposes that while there is no known malware for iOS, files could possibly flow through these devices into computers at home and at work by e-mail, or via remote locations such as MobileMe or Dropbox.

VirusBarrier iOS lets users easily scan e-mail attachments, other files they have access to on an iOS device, or files on remote locations such as MobileMe, Dropbox, web servers or WebDav disks. VirusBarrier iOS uses Intego's VirusBarrier X6 scanning technology to detect and eradicate all known malware affecting Windows or Mac OS X: viruses, worms, Trojan horses, fake antiviruses, and other types of malware that might otherwise pass through undetected.

The VirusBarrier iOS uses malware definitions that are updated regularly. When users initially purchase VirusBarrier, the program includes a 12-month subscription to Intego's malware definition updates. Subscription renewals will be available at £1.19 per year via an in-app purchase.

Due to the secure design of iOS, it is not possible to scan files automatically or to run scheduled scans. VirusBarrier iOS is thus an 'on-demand' detection system that lets users scan files when they want to, or before passing them on to friends and associates.

As well as the possible virus routes detailed above, VirusBarrier iOS scans ZIP archives, repairs infected files, scans websites for known phishing URLs, web threats and malware hosting. All scans are logged and completed in the background.

VirusBarrier iOS is available from Apple's App Store for £1.79.

Intego releases malware scanner for iOS devices

Backlit keys return to MacBook Air?

The AppleInsider site is reporting that Apple is to release MacBook Airs later this month that will again feature backlit keyboards.

All three iterations of the first-generation of MacBook Airs (Early 2008 to Mid-2009) included backlit keyboards as standard features. The redesigned MacBook Air line which was released last October omitted the technology.

The site claims the reinstated feature will join the string of hardware enhancements planned for the new 11.6- and 13.3-inch notebooks, which are also expected to adopt high-speed Thunderbolt ports, an upgrade to Intel's Sandy Bridge architecture, and possibly high-speed 400MBps flash memory.

AppleInsider further reports that the new Airs will make their debut during the week of July 21st, making the white 13.3-inch MacBook the only notebook from Apple to lack keyboard backlights.

Google users spammed due to lack of disk space

Google has apologised for causing its Google+ users to be spammed over the weekend, saying the fault was caused by a lack of disk space.

Google's senior vice-president of social, Vic Gundotra, said in a post on his Google+ wall that the + system resent notifications multiple times to users.

"Please accept our apologies for the spam we caused this afternoon," Gundotra said in the post.

"For about 80 minutes we ran out of disk space on the service that keeps track of notifications. Hence our system continued to try sending notifications. Over, and over again. Yikes."

Gundotra said Google didn't expect to hit capacity for Google+ as quickly as it did, but that the company should have been prepared despite this.

The rollout of Google+ last week was praised by privacy experts for its deliberate and measured nature, with some saying Google has learnt its lesson since the US Federal Trade Commission punished the company for privacy violations.