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White House issues official response to Death Star petition


White House issues official reply to Death Star petition

The United States isn't shy of splashing taxpayer's funds on national security, but sadly for that 34,000 Star Wars fans who signed an internet petition, this does not stretch to your fully-operational Death Star.

This weekend The White House has issued a lighthearted official reply to pleas to make the fictitious battle station, entitled "This Isn't The Petition Response You're Looking For."

The Obama Administration was compelled to reply as the petition, on the We The People website, had surpassed the requisite 25,000 signatures inside the first four weeks.

Explaining the choice, spoilsport Paul Shawcross at the Office of Management and Budget cited just $850 quadzillion cost along with the lack of a desire to blow up other planets.

Job creation

Shawcross wrote for the We The People website: "The administration shares your desire for job creation along with a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn't around the horizon."

"The construction in the Death Star continues to be estimated at $850,000,000,000,000,000. We're spending so much time to reduce the deficit, not expand it.

"The Administration does not support blowing up planets."

They may find a weakness...

Shawcross also saved a couple of choice words to the original Death Star's weak spots.

He added: "Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on the Death Star using a fundamental flaw that may be exploited by way of a one-man starship?"

In Depth: Make music on iOS: create amazing tracks with your iPhone or iPad


In Depth: Make music on iOS: create amazing tracks together with your iPhone or iPad

It's right before dawn, and you are squeezed in to a warehouse club, the bunch jumping because headliner plays what definitely seems to be their last an eye on the night. As the beats die out, the lights come down and the main man can burn from the stage.

Just the echoing chants of the group remain, when suddenly a small square of light appears over the gloom - sufficient reason for it, a clattering boom through the sound system. 'Is that… an iPad?' you hear someone exclaim, as the speakers start to roll out a skin-tingling blast of sound.

Looking closer, you can see the DJ arms aloft, his fingers dancing over an iPad's screen along with the sound system obeying his every command. 'How is he doing that?' you wonder breathlessly because the beat starts to kick back in. 'And… can I make it happen, too?'

The answer is yes - plus much more besides. Apple has cooked up an incredible opportunity with iOS, and music developers aren't letting the medial side down. There's an ocean of apps out there, and yes it doesn't matter a high level virtuoso violinist or Bez from Happy Mondays - you will discover something that makes your jaw drop.

It's not only possible to complete on stage - you can also play melodies through emulations of world-famous hardware synths; jam on your guitar for the sound of classic stacks; record and manipulate vocals; sample and edit the globe around you; tap out banging beats; come up with tracks in the same way you would in a very professional audio-editing package; export your time and energy for all the planet to see; and much more.

There's forget about innovative platform on the market right now - so take a deep breath, because it's time to get wet.


Yamaha TNR-i

In first it was just you, your fingers, your iOS tool and your imagination. Apple's touch interface assists you to interact with music in an entirely new way, thankfully without any bewildering score notation - so in case you can't tell a crotchet from the crab apple, you will still be able to produce surprisingly impressive melodies and tunes, and possess more than a few moments of genuine delight on the way.

The number 1 place to start has been Apple's GarageBand for iOS (£2.99): its Smart Instruments will turn your butterfingers in to the confident digits associated with an experienced musician. You can command swelling strings, find cool riffs on acoustic and instruments, get grooving on bass or jam for the keyboard.

The standard drum instrument is fun, too - you can bash out beats with your fingers over a virtual kit, or research a large range of custom percussion. (For more information on how to get started with GarageBand, download our free guide on Newsstand.)

Budding drummers should also check out Drum Meister Grand (£1.49), where you'll be able to expand each with the four kits with funky extras such as cowbells. Pianist Pro (£2.49 for iPhone; £2.99 for iPad) reckons it sounds so realistic, even those that can tickle the ivories in person will want to participate in it - making this the place to whack out that tired (sorry, obviously we mean jaunty) rendition of Chopsticks.

If you have never even sat down near a piano, SoundPrism (Free) might be more down your alley: it's both basic and fun to operate your fingers across its colourful interface to envision gorgeous melodies and chords. Sound Wand (£1.49) is an enchanting virtual harp that responds to movement - it's surprisingly absorbing and perfect for clearing mental performance.

You can turn your iOS device in a flute with Ocarina 2 (Free) - just blow to the mic and pop your fingers for the lights on-screen to experience along with songs from Lady Gaga to Debussy. Yamaha's mind-widening TNR-i (£13.99) can be your chance to write music using light: just tap to illuminate spots inside matrix that will create bleep-tastic melodies.

And should you be blown away through the track-mashing skills of top DJs, try Rocudo DJ Studio (Free with IAPs) - it's really a loop launcher filled with pro-quality samples that may have you sounding like Deadmau5 quickly.



It's an easy task to get overwhelmed with the sheer number of choices for stepping up your game, why don't we sort the sheep from your goats. Apple's iPad Camera Connection Kit (£25) doesn't only play nicely with photography gear - additionally, it provides a sneaky way to hook up MIDI keyboards having a light power draw.

There are a great deal of quality compact 'boards available - we like Korg's microKEY 25 (£49) due to the velocity-sensitive keys and wicked pitch/mod stick. You will use controllers like this to try out synth apps including Korg's iMS-20 for iPad (£10.99), a virtual recreation of legendary hardware.

You may also use them to try out the piano instruments in GarageBand as well as other digital audio workstations (DAWs) like Blip Interactive NanoStudio (£5.49) and Intua BeatMaker 2 (£13.99).

iPhone and iPod touch users can't make use of the CCK to connect, so they should investigate Akai's SynthStation 25 (£49), where Apple's hardware slots straight in the keyboard. Its app compatibility limited, but you can come up with some cool ditties with all the accompanying SynthStation app (£1.49), which boasts three synth layers plus a drum machine.

Propellerhead's Figure (69p) is surely an iPhone/iPod touch app that offers lead synth, bass and drums powered with the company's celebrated Thor synth and Kong drum machine. With an innovative yet easy-to-grasp interface, it provides a unique, ephemeral technique of putting together loops.

Music software behemoth Native Instruments has brought its industry-standard technology on the iPhone with iMaschine (£2.99), a fairly easy yet powerful beat sketchpad.

The world is surely an amp-shaped oyster for guitarists - connect your axe with Apogee Jam (£70) and you are able to rock out dozens of amps, cabs and pedals with AmpKit (Free, with IAPs) plus all kinds of other apps, including GarageBand.

Record audio in your iOS device by attaching IK Multimedia iRig Mic (£32) - this condenser mic teams up while using VocaLive app (Free, with IAPs) to produce swash-buckling vocal effects. If you already own a mic, attach it for a iOS device through IK's iRig Pre (£25).

Singer/songwriters might prefer Tascam's iXZ box (£39) allowing you to connect both an acoustic guitar and mic simultaneously. You need to hear what you are doing, and M-Audio's Studiophile AV30 speakers (£70) include the men to do the job - plug them in the headphone jack. If you've got additional cash, splash from their big brothers - the AV40s (£96).


Alesis IO Dock

An iPad can be the perfect complement for your studio setup, but what is the best strategy to get everything connected?

The Alesis iO Dock for iPad (£140) is getting ready to become your new best ally - it's hosting a veritable port party. Through it you'll be able to hook up MIDI and USB MIDI gear, mics, instruments, headphones and sound systems in your iPad. You'll need some serious studio monitors, using the KRK Rokit 8s (£399) delivering an almighty bang for your buck. If you may have deep pockets, investigate the Genelec 8000 series (£575+).

If you have to make some recordings out in the field plus your iO Dock is napping in your studio, the pocket-sized Apogee Mic (£163) may be just the ticket - this little fella plugs straight into the dock connector.

Turn recordings into samples through SampleWiz (£6.99), a robust app that offers both conventional and unusual editing interfaces. Voice Synth (£1.99) is definitely an intuitive effect for turning vocal snippets into anything from T-Pain to your T-Rex.

Animoog (£6.99 for iPhone; £20.99 for iPad) brings the famously rich and dynamic sounds of the iconic synth manufacturer for your iOS device. If virtual analogue synths are the thing, also check out NLog MIDI Synth for iPhone (£2.99) and iceGear's Cassini (£2.99 for iPhone/ iPod touch; £1.99 for iPad). Alchemy Synth Mobile (Free with IAPs) can be a port of Camel Audio's top-notch subtractive synth.

If you're after a strong MIDI controller, kings with the scene M-Audio have just updated their Axiom 61 keyboard (£229): alongside 61 semi-weighted keys, it boasts faders, knobs and pads for controlling desktop software, making it a worthy addition to the studio that speaks both iOS and OS X.

Alternatives include Novation's SL 61 MKii (£380), or if you don't need any control bling and would prefer to more keys instead, try the imposing M-Audio Keystation 88 (£132).

Those who produce mostly on desktop may use their iOS device being a controller. For iPad, touchAble (£17.49) is the foremost app on the market for Ableton Live; touchOSC (£2.99) is suitable for stacks of programs including Logic Pro.

There are several serious groovebox apps available. Korg's iElectribe for iPad (£6.99) can be an enjoyable emulation with the company's Electribe ER-1 hardware, while Propellerhead's ReBirth (£1.99 for iPhone/ iPod touch; £10.49 for iPad) is an exact copy of the formidable desktop software.

GarageBand and BeatMaker 2 are great for bringing these elements together, but Aurora Sound Studio (£6.99 for iPhone/iPod touch; £27.99 for iPad) can be a great alternative - it includes synths, samplers, mixer and effects, all tied up in a Tenori-On-style Multi-Touch grid interface.


Numark DJ Pro

Big-name electronic artists such as whizzkid James Zabiela and techno icon Richie Hawtin are famous for using their iPads to have the dancefloor moving, as well as good reason.

Slot an iPad to your existing setup and utilize this flexible paradigm with performance-focused controller apps such as Liine's Griid Pro (£17.49), which is targeted on launching Ableton Live clips, along with the intuitive, uniquely powerful Lemur (£34.99), thats liable to bring a part of £1,700 hardware in your iOS device.

Digital DJing suites NI Traktor and Serato Scratch Live can be controlled by TrakPro DJ (£6.99) and MIDI-to for iPad (£5.49) respectively. If you'd like to require a step further and employ your iPhone or iPad since the main mixing interface, algoriddim's djay (69p for iPhone/ iPod touch; £13.99 for iPad) could be the one each of the rest are attempting to beat.

Connect two iOS devices running djay together with IK Multimedia's iRig Mix (which incorporates EQ knobs), and cue output and channel faders; or else, buy a full hardware system including CDJ-style platters while using brand-new Numark iDJ Pro for iPad (£309) or iDJ3 for iPhone/iPod touch (£180). The cheaper iDJ Live (£79) offers an affordable gateway on the concept for beginners.

But DJing is not the only method of performing along with your iOS device - it's also possible to play it as a possible instrument or effect on stage. Morph sounds from timbre to a different, note by note with MorphWiz (£6.99), create sonic mayhem with filter app Moog Filtatron (£5.49) or rub the screen to spit out diverse effects and lead lines with KORG iKaossilator (£6.99).

Reactable Mobile (£6.99) is something a little special: place generator and effect blocks in your screen to develop pulsating arrangements, then edit them in real-time and energy to spectacular effect.

Guitarists will see a neat performance solution in DigiTech iPB-10 (£379), a 10-slot pedalboard programmed through iPad app iPB-Nexus (Free). With almost 90 effects, 54 amps and 26 cabs, you'll not struggle to find a suitable sound.

IK Multimedia's iRig Stomp (£39) is single stompbox that could slot into the existing pedalboard setup; run it through AmpliTube 2 (Free with IAPs) to get a top-quality collection of guitar kit emulations. And there's a handy approach to keep your device becuase without adding a vibe-killing table taking centre-stage - IK's iKlip (£25) and iKlip Mini (£25) holders clip onto a normal mic stand.

How to set it altogether

BeatMaker 2

Now you are sure that which apps and kit are worthy of your hard-earned moolah, it's time for you to investigate how that will put it all together and wind up having a track or performance worth shouting about.

First, if you're a beginner so you know nothing about music just yet: chill. Have a go with the apps we recommended inside Dabbler section that need no prior experience whatsoever. Enjoy the experience of creating music and allow it to bring a smile for a face - that's what it's all about, in fact.

Those who are able to read music much like the back of the hand should give these entry-level apps a go, too: there is so often inspiration to become gained from going back on the start and searching at something in a different way.

The Yamaha TRN-i app is a perfect example - it throws the regular methods of representing pitch out with the window, instead employing a matrix of buttons that you just tap to illuminate. Aside from looking devilishly pretty, it pulls the rug from under your established compositional practices, forcing that you go about things differently - and that means you end on top of things you'd probably never have thought to try otherwise.

The Tenori-On hardware the app is based on is prohibitively expensive, and this proves one of the key points of iOS as being a platform: it brings innovative formats and also the sound of high-quality gear through the sweaty clutches from the privileged few in to the grasp with the everyday humble musician.

Apps such as this require only a deft finger plus some spare time, but a majority of others take advantage of hooking up a piece of extra kit. MIDI gear (most popularly keyboards) allows you to definitely control software instruments. It's much easier to play tunes over a real piano compared to jabbing with one finger in an on-screen virtual 'board!

How can you connect your MIDI gear for a iOS device with no hitches? Well, iOS 4.2 was the large update for musicians: it brought CoreMIDI support in to the fold, allowing your device to convey with other MIDI devices over either USB or Wi-Fi connections.

Apple's Camera Connection Kit enables some MIDI hardware to be hooked up almost directly, but only in the event the unit doesn't require an excessive amount of power. If your kit causes a warning message to flash up on the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, introduce a powered USB hub in the chain - this will likely do the trick nicely.

If you've got an item of gear that operates on traditional 5-pin MIDI in lieu of over USB, you'll be able to connect over dedicated interfaces for example IK Multimedia's iRig MIDI and Line 6's MIDI Mobilizer. These little black boxes plug into the dock connector one end along with your unit's MIDI port one other, and that's it - setup complete!

If you've already got a sweet studio setup that you simply're inspired to slot your iOS device into, otherwise you know that you simply want to work with not just MIDI instruments and also guitars, microphones and much more, you should buy an all-in-one interface solution.

We mentioned the Alesis iO Dock being a piece of key kit, as well as for our money it really is the foremost iOS interface out there. It's got every one of the ports a serious musician needs, plus preamps and phantom power for getting condenser microphones involved inside the party. Just slot your iPad in the dock and attach any little bit of gear when you please, and you're simply ready to go.

On record

MIDI connection

You will not want people to grit their teeth every time they hear your vocals, plus a key part to get this right is capturing the audio employing a decent microphone.

Hold up a sec, though: it helps to know somewhat about mics before you decide to hit that big red Record button. Broadly speaking, there are two varieties: condenser and dynamic. Condenser microphones will be more sensitive to sound, driving them to perfect for capturing the expressively wide range of volumes heard in a vocal or instrument performance. These mics require phantom power to work, as well like a preamp, which raises the gain level.

Dynamic microphones tend to be robust and not quite so sensitive, in order that they're great in the noisy environment - including on stage or when recording drums - where you will not want the mic to go into shock whenever it hears a loud noise.

If you already own a microphone, you can find interfaces available that allow you to hook it up for an iOS device and use it with audio-processing apps. The Alesis iO Dock is one, as the Tascam iXZ is often a cheaper alternative offering just guitar and mic inputs (great for a singer-songwriter).

If you prefer to record audio and aren't enthusiastic about MIDI or instrument connections, IK Multimedia's iRig Pre will hook you up in a budget price. (All of these three provide preamps and phantom power.)

If you do not own a mic, check out an iOS-specific solution including IK iRig Mic or Apogee Mic. The iRig Mic is surely an affordable condenser unit that plugs straight in the headphone jack. Reports on its quality of sound are varied, if you decide to want top-dollar recordings, listen to it safe and opt for the rather more expensive Apogee Mic. This bad boy plugs straight in the actual dock connector rather than the audio jack, and can be a great portable solution for making samples for the move.

Now you've got your mic and connection sorted, onto some quick tips for the great recording. First, make certain you're in as quiet an area as possible: so shut any windows, turn off any extraneous hum-emitting equipment, get out in the wind, and educate other half what you're up to so they really don't burst in.

If you're recording vocals, place a pop shield in front of the mic to prevent bursts of exhaled breath making annoying 'pops' on the recording. You can buy one approximately £15, or if you're strapped for cash, indulge in a very bit of cheeky amount of DIY by stretching some tights on the coat hanger (seriously).

Ensure your singer or other sound source stays inside the same place throughout the recording - when they move about, a dark tone will change.

Finally, make certain the input gain with your DAW or app is set to the right level. You should never start to see the input levels illuminate red, simply because this means how the audio is 'clipping' and definately will sound distorted on playback. Test the levels by running with the loudest part of the material you're recording, minimizing the input gain if required. Once recorded, adjust the start and end points in the audio clip on your iOS device when needed.

But you don't have to prevent there - you will want to transform the fabric into something else entirely? Powerful sample-editing app SampleWiz can be a creative approach to take audio clips and free them using their natural form. You could pitch your clip down an octave, drag its final notes out on an eternity and wreak havoc on its grain size - then resample your sonic Frankenstein and mess about from it a little more.

The benefit of using SampleWiz over a regular sampler is its unique touch-based editing interfaces, so professionals should really give it a whirl to determine what atypical noises they can cook up.

Attaching an acoustic guitar


Want to rock out using your, er, iPad out? Your guitar won't plug straight into your iOS device, which means you need either an interface using a ¼-inch input or even a dedicated guitar box, examples being Apogee Jam (which hooks up with the dock connector to get a digital signal) or IK Multimedia's iRig (which plugs in from the audio jack). This is made specifically to power IK's AmpliTube 2 app (which exists like a paid and free-with-IAP version), which offers an astonishing quantity of amps, cabs and effect pedal emulations, all of your extremely excellent.

Apogee Jam

Apogee's Jam, about the other hand, will work with pretty much all guitar amp sims, including those present in GarageBand. These apps are great because guitar hardware normally costs a lot of money, in like manner have hundreds of options to use without breaking your bank - or perhaps your back lugging them around - is quite the luxury.

The same is true from the many amazingly capable drum machines apps. Deceptively simple yet powerful is Native Instruments' iMaschine, which is really a tiny version of the company's Maschine hardware/software combination. The focus is on the beats - which you are able to tap out about the app's 16 drum pads - but there is also a keyboard and audio recording functionality, so you are able to make a full mini track if inspiration strikes on the go. Trust us - you'd never get your desktop Maschine setup on the bus!

Other more comprehensive solutions include Propellerhead's ReBirth and KORG iElectribe, which showcase the platform's abilities - these are generally complete beat-making solutions that who considers themselves a 'pro' should be using. After all, it is more natural to glance at the beat right there in your fingers compared to to manually draw it in utilizing a mouse.

Laying down a track

Digital audio workstations such as GarageBand, NanoStudio and BeatMaker 2 act because the centrepiece of your respective iOS musicmaking experience, be it Ed Sheeran or Sasha in your sights. They're like a big melting pot where you are able to gather together all of your audio recordings, MIDI performances and samples, mix and balance all with the ingredients then add some effects being a garnish.

But how do you get your elements together in one app? There are a few methods, yet it's simpler than you may think!

Back next year, Apple began allowing audio to become copied and pasted into and from apps while using the iOS clipboard, and this will be the most convenient strategy to get your stuff into GarageBand or any other DAW. Most apps allow you to definitely record or keep your work, so simply hold your finger down about the file you want to move, select Copy, open up your DAW, tap and hold about the track you need to add it to, thus hitting Paste.

And that's it - the mighty tones with the Animoog, say, ready to become layered with other elements in GarageBand!

However, before Apple made this functionality available, Sonoma Wire Works made a similar standard called AudioCopy. Over 100 apps are still compatible with using this method, and that means you might spot it as an option once you tap and hold on the file. Feel free to apply it instead, although be aware that GarageBand doesn't support it.

If an app doesn't support either copy standard, don't panic; it's no problem - you can use your Mac as being a middleman. Export the file to your desktop, then re-import it to your app of choice through its File Sharing Area in iTunes. Back in the app, obtain the Import Files option and select it in the list. This can be a bit more of your faff than copying and pasting, however it still gets the job done.

Once you have got the whole crowd gathered together - synth parts, drum beats, guitar performance, messed-up samples, blinding vocal part - then it's time and energy to mix them down.

At the most basic level, make sure that the volume per track is appropriate - you do not want the drum beat to drown your vocal - and add any effects you think that sound good.

If you are a professional put off with the lack of mastering and effect options in GarageBand, take a look at NanoStudio prior to deciding to decide to write off iOS regarding gathering and manipulating sounds only. This comprehensive app offers four insert effects per channel (select from compression, EQ, reverb, waveshaper, chorus, bitcrusher and delay) in addition to two global effect sends, therefore it is not short on power.

BeatMaker 2 is additionally a very capable alternative, with ten effect units, three insert slots per track and unlimited global effects racks.

The bigger picture

Tascam iZX

When you may have your track finished, it's time to get it out from the confines of your respective iOS device and into the top wide world. No matter what DAW you're using, this couldn't be simpler. All offer the option to export directly to trendy music-sharing site SoundCloud, which hosts everyone from a next-door neighbour to worldbeater Paul van Dyk.

If you would like to not share your creation while using unwashed masses, you are able to export it as being a WAV, AIFF or AAC file straight to iTunes. GarageBand also supports sharing direct to Facebook, YouTube or through email.

Professional musicians might feel that they are able to get the track to some certain time iOS before it will take exporting to their desktop computer for further work. That's no problem in case you are using GarageBand - it exports multitrack projects that you are able to open up in GarageBand or Logic Pro on the Mac, willing to dive straight last.

Professional users also can look at their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad from another angle: taking advantage of its touch interface to control their existing desktop applications in the new way. Whether you want to widen your musical boundaries or just control your DAW from your bed, this route is unquestionably worth exploring.

If you're doing work in Ableton Live, touchAble is the one you want, whilst the flexible touchOSC is able to control a host of desktop programs.



When you're making music, it is necessary that you can accurately hear what you're doing. Many speakers manipulate the incoming signal, pumping inside the bass making it more exciting or boosting the treble so that vocals apparently shine from the mix. While this will make tracks sound 'good', it won't reflect their actual frequency content - and when you're working on the track, this adds up with a big disappointment when you hear it being played elsewhere for your first time also it doesn't sound quite as epic when you thought.

The best approach to avoid this is studio monitors with a flat frequency response. Such speakers could be really expensive, as they're a specialist bit of kit: for example, the Genelec 8000 series won't spare your blushes, but they won't spare your wallet either, with all the cheapest pair costing £600.

The KRK Rokit line are the ideal (fairly) affordable option, while those that aren't sure whether want to invest so heavily for making music as of this time should take a look at the M-Audio Studiophile AV30s or AV40s we recommended earlier - they cost under £80 and £100 respectively.


iRig Mix

Making beautiful sounds along with your iOS device might be really impressive, rather than more so than whenever you're performing in front of the crowd!

A host of professional DJs use iPads to wow fans using their technical wizardry, by incorporating apps being a direct response to this innovation: Liine's Griid clip launcher for Ableton Live was created with top techno banana Richie Hawtin, for example. The same company have gone even deeper making use of their Lemur app, which emulates an item of very expensive, much lusted-after hardware: it is possible to use it to delve deep in your configuration and control anything from your stunning light show to the flanger effect in your DAW.

Taking the concept further are apps for example algoriddim's djay, which enable mixing purely along with your iOS device. IK Multimedia's iRig Mix allows that you plug in, say, two iPads and treat them as you'd probably normal decks, loading up tunes from the personal library.

But most DJs will explain that a touch interface isn't as precise as other methods of mixing just yet - so the iOS bandwagon is making inroads there, too. Numark create a comprehensive distinctive line of iDJ controllers, from the iPad-friendly iDJ Pro (soon to become available) towards the iPhone-only iDJ3 and also the mobile-focused iDJ Live, which can be affordable and basic enough to encourage even complete beginners to have a go.

The iOS instruments we mentioned earlier either can slot into a traditional setup for 'special effect' - or they is most likely the special effect themselves.

Reactable Mobile is an absorbing app that appears at creating electronic tracks from an entirely new viewpoint. It's suitable for performance, so don't be afraid to try out it on stage - though it's just like much fun to have a try by yourself in your bedroom.

We've already seen how easy it is in order to connect a guitar to a iOS device, and we've mentioned other key kit that take this idea a little more forward for whenever you're beneath the lights. The DigiTech iPB-10 can help you program 10 stompboxes using virtual amps, using a slot to the iPad to slip into.

Don't feel nervous about slopping beer all over your beloved iPad or perhaps cracking the screen which has a clumsily aimed foot - it may operate without them, if you have to program it first.

If you want to spend less but still get a iOS device involved, IK Multimedia's iRig Stomp can daisy chain along with other effect pedals, slotting into in lieu of replacing a conventional setup.



So, making music on iOS - also can we say? Well, don't judge us, but we could bang on for months about all the opportunities it presents - from your new relationship using the very portion of sound to its incredible capability to bring heaps of expensive hardware literally into your hands.

Over a quarter of a billion people played Angry Birds in December


Over 25 % of a billion people played Angry Birds in December

Just when you started to feel that the Angry Birds craze may be winding down, Rovio has announced that more people literally game in December than in the past.

The Finnish developer said that 263 million people had played its titles, across all platforms (including on PC and Mac) in the festive month, revealing the company's previous record.

And, although Rovio didn't mention Angry Birds specifically, it isn't like millions upon huge numbers of people were tucking into Amazing Alex on Christmas Day.

The surge in downloads is probably going due to the quantity of folks who received their first iPad, Kindle Fire or Google Nexus 7 tablet for Christmas and energized Angry Birds as his or her first the avenue for call.

Over a billion served

The company had already announced that 30m new downloads of their games occurred over Christmas, increasing its phenomenal billion-plus downloads.

It seems, using a 3D animated movie set for 2016, Angry Birds theme parks and a potential IPO along the way, those Angry Birds aren't able to migrate to pastures new for the good while yet.

New iPad 5 and second-generation iPad mini coming in March?


New iPad 5 and second-generation iPad mini being released March?

Apple will refresh its iPad line in March, with a brand new iPad 5 and iPad mini 2, based on one analyst.

Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets is convinced that Apple is now working on a bi-annual update schedule, meaning a launch next couple of months.

In a note to investors, White said his checks with industry insiders at the CES expo in Las Vegas have tallied with suspicions that new 9.7-inch and 7.9-inch tablets happen to be on the way.

However, any March update would not be without controversy since the first iPad mini and also the latest full-size iPad 4 only come to October 2012.

What's new?

According to White's sources, the modern full-size iPad will be thinner and lighter than its predecessor as well as boast an improved A6X processor.

The iPad mini 2, alternatively, help keep its form-factor and improved innards.

White made no mention of heavily-rumoured Retina Display for any second-gen iPad Mini, but we're not able to imagine Apple updating this device without improving the disappointing screen resolution.

In Depth: Loved Command and Conquer? You'll love these iOS games


In Depth: Loved Command and Conquer? You'll love these iOS games

The start 16-bit computers was the tipping point to the popularity of real-time strategy (RTS) games, combined with ability to fully realise their potential.

Although the genre's roots go back further (notable early these include Stonkers about the ZX Spectrum and The Ancient Art of War for the Apple IIe), the Amiga, Atari ST and - later - PC provided the graphical capabilities and under-the-hood grunt to make certain RTS games had a suitable combination of depth, scope and visual clout.

The 1990s subsequently saw classic RTS series emerge, but when the dust eventually settled, Warcraft, Starcraft and Command & Conquer reigned supreme, providing a mixture of resource gathering and micro-management, building and unit construction, and real-time warfare.

Command & Conquer found its way to iOS through Command & Conquer Red Alert (£2.99, iPhone; £2.99, iPad), and it's a reasonable effort in fashioning a mobile take on the PC original.

The controls work surprisingly well, making it possible to create structures after which recruit units to deploy and command, however, there are wayfinding issues (units lurking facing trees like idiots, rather than moving on to their destinations), and fans of the PC series generally is a little irked by the relative insufficient depth and quantity of missions. Consider this a financial budget mobile version of Command & Conquer - snap it up in one of EA's regular sales and you also won't be disappointed.

Starfront Collision

While Blizzard's sci-fi RTS Starcraft hasn't yet made it to iOS, Gameloft's Starfront Collision (£2.99, iPhone; £4.99, iPad) apes its look and storyline, pitching alien races against the other person on a faraway world, scrapping for rare Xenodium crystals.

Like C&C, long-time RTS fans might find themselves hankering for that AI and depth of its PC-based inspiration, but for a mobile title, Starfront Collision is impressive, having a lengthy solo campaign and a decent quantity of control regarding unit patrols, automation and retreats.

The Settlers

For those of you more interested in recreating slices of history, The Settlers (£2.99, iPhone; £2.99, iPad) and Autumn Dynasty (£4.99, iPad) appeals.

Each of those hurls you back to mankind's past, while using former goal-based title enabling you to control Romans, Vikings and Mayans, build a little civilisation and after that give the neighbours an excellent old-fashioned kicking. Rather like its cousin about the PC, Settlers IV, this iOS game is complex, demanding mastery of resource management and economic relationships within settlements, but initial missions ease you in gently.

Autumn Dynasty

By contrast, Autumn Dynasty dumps you in medieval Japan with all the task of quelling a rebellion uprising. It's more streamlined compared to those mentioned thus far, and limitations regarding plots to construct on and the amount of units you'll be able to control initially frustrate; however, perseverance reveals a satisfying, challenging game that also rewards anyone who loves battlefield tactics.

Several RTS efforts take Autumn Dynasty's streamlining much further, most typically in a very direction that may be labelled 'a bit arcadey'. Tiny Troopers (69p, Universal) is an iOS accept Cannon Fodder, eschewing resource micro-management and unit building, instead placing emphasis on the little squad of soldiers on various simple missions. At times, this quirky, fun game is practically as bloodthirsty and darkly comic since its inspiration, although it lacks the ability to split squads, thereby limiting its potential coming from a strategic standpoint during gunfights.

Eufloria HD

Eufloria HD (£2.99, iPad) is additionally high on quirk and enjoyment, although its abstract visuals really are a mile outside the cartoonish Tiny Troopers. Your 'troops' in Eufloria are instead space seedlings planning to colonise asteroids. Long-term, it's samey (tactically, we generally found bombardment was obviously a better idea than subtlety), but it's also pure, absorbing and quite often beautiful, too.


Also detaching the human element from warfare is Amoebattle (£2.99, Universal), which finds amoeba brawling in a very microscopic world. Simple combat more or less amounts to a free-for-all, however the colourful environment provides scope for tactics, such as forcing teams of foes in to a corridor to choose them off with less effort. We were also amused from the way you will get new units (eat lots, after which engage in the little mitosis).

Ant Raid (69p, iPhone; £1.99, iPad) and Anthill (£1.49, Universal) zoom things out just a little, but we're still talking domination of a small patch of dirt as opposed to an entire planet. Neither game is a pure RTS - both of them are castle defence-oriented, demanding you protect your home coming from a relentless horde of beasties; but are also hugely enjoyable.

The final couple of games we're recommending flip RTS on its side; instead of an top-down perspective, action is viewed side-on. Total War Battles (£2.99, Universal) borrows somewhat from The Settlers, in terms of the strict 'tech tree' for creating buildings that output units, but combat is a bit more reminiscent of Plants vs. Zombies.

Command and Conquer

Units cannot move back, and restrictions are even placed around the frequency with which they can change 'lanes'. It's a far cry from Total War's roots (another PC wargame, plus a hugely ambitious one as well), but like a stripped-down chess-like take on RTS, it's enthralling - at the very least if you're a patient, thoughtful gamer.

And then there's Swords and Soldiers (£1.99, iPhone; £2.99, iPad), which can be anything but considered and meticulous. You're in command of crazed Vikings, magical Aztecs and crafty Chinese guys, fighting their way from left to right while gathering gold and casting spells, in order to pulverise whoever actually is lurking on the other end with the level.

In on the list of chaos, there's technique to rival another games we've mentioned. Steaming in most guns, axes or spells blazing will still only ever get you so far if you want to control the world. As all history's top strategists would undoubtedly agree, even angry cartoon Vikings need to be a bit bit sneaky.

Lenovo Ideatab A2107 comes to AT&T tablet lineup


Lenovo Ideatab A2107 comes to AT&T tablet lineup

AT&T got a bright idea, or should we say a bright Ideatab A2107 tablet.

Yes, the wireless provider announced today via press release it will start selling the Lenovo tablet for $199.99. It's available right now around the AT&T website.

The 7-inch tablet runs Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, and possesses a webcam on either side. The A2107 is an element of three Ideatabs that Tech Radar saw at IFA 2012.

Though it is not the most powerful or flashest tablet around, its a power-conscious device good for reading, browsing the world wide web and catching up with emails around the go.

Ice cream using a contract

AT&T is selling the Ideatab without a plan, however, if users have to get mobile broadband access, they've got to sign a binding agreement.

Customers may add the tablet to an existing AT&T Mobile Share arrange for an extra $10 a month, or have the pad go it alone with one of AT&T's DataConnect plans.

Remember, often there is the option to travel sans plan and simply connect to the web through Wi-Fi.

But there's a reward getting a two-year contract, at the very least for little while anyway. AT&T will take $100 off the price for anybody who gets a plan.

That web-only offer brings the cost down to $99.99. Not too shabby.

Windows Phone finally outsells Symbian thanks to Lumia handsets


Windows Phone finally outsells Symbian as a result of Lumia handsets

Nokia finally caught an escape this week with better than expected sales of their Lumia and Asha smartphones, nevertheless the real story could possibly be how Symbian has finally been surpassed from the Windows Phone platform.

Unwired View reported Thursday that Nokia was doing well-deserved chest thumping in a very press release touting 4.4 million Windows Phone-powered Lumia handsets purchased from Q4 2012, a 51 percent increase in the 2.9 million purchased from Q3.

While that could sound impressive, the reality is that Nokia's Windows Phone sales comprised a mere 1.7 percent of the total smartphone market from July to September recently, several that jumps to three.7 percent when Symbian devices are added to this mixture.

Those numbers were nearly reversed in Q4, but Symbian isn't quite dead and buried as of this time.

Symbian lives on

It was not quite 2 yrs since Nokia announced the retirement of Symbian, however the aging platform still been able to squeak out an extraordinary 2.2 million units during the last three months of 2012.

The fourth quarter was more notable for Windows Phone sales finally eclipsing Symbian for the first time, mostly led by strong sales for Nokia's newest Lumia smartphones.

Nokia won't release its full earnings report for Q4 2012 until January 24, but analysts are likely already waiting for the first quarter on this year to ascertain if the onetime mobile giant can maintain its momentum.

Yahoo adds Creative Commons Flickr pics to image search


Yahoo adds Creative Commons Flickr pics to image search

In another bid to lure you away from the bright lights of Google, Yahoo has added Flickr photos to its image search.

You'll now be able to see photos from Flickr that were okayed for reuse or reposting under Creative Commons showing up in your search results.

Yahoo, which bought the wonderful photo-sharing site in 2005 and gradually ground it on to mediocrity, says you'll find "tens of millions" of CC photos on the website.

Common people

Photographers who register with Creative Commons give varying degrees of permission to people to republish and reuse their photos in return for credit as opposed to cash.

The image search update can be found in Yahoo Image Search on the net and across cellular devices.

Would you pay $100 to Facebook message a stranger?


Would you pay $100 to Facebook message a stranger?

Facebook is testing a fresh money-spinner whereby you spend to send messages to individuals you aren't friends with.

Chancing its arm, Facebook has offered many folks the option to pay for $100 for the privilege.

That can be quite a price you'd consider paying if you've been a crazed One Directioner getting the opportunity to message Harry Styles, and can probably seem a lttle bit steep if you are just hoping to get in touch with an average Joe you imagine you might know from soccer practice but you are not 100 % sure.


The social media explains that it's trying out "some extreme price points" to view "what functions filter spam" - many folks have been given the choice of paying $1.

It looks as though this monetary messaging means your note is going to be delivered to your inbox as opposed to the wily 'Other' folder which houses communiques from people you aren't directly connected to on the site and group updates.

The $100 asking price first popped up at the tail end of 2012, once the keen Mark Zuckerberg fans over at Mashable discovered they might buy the privilege of messaging the Facebook founder's inbox by dropping a Franklin into it, nonetheless it seems lesser Facebook users are generating exactly the same value.

It's possible that users will get a bespoke value for the way popular these are on Facebook, as they are the case with promoted profile posts.

Facebook in fact is dead set on wringing money from you, one way or another.

The Ultimate Blackjack [DVDrip]

Imagine beating Vegas!
Now you can with the Ultimate Blackjack DVD. This system reveals everything you need to know.
No other DVD offers you:
-43 chapters breaking down the game of blackjack
-approximately 2 hours of detailed analysis of the game
-know when to hit, stay, split and double down
-basic blackjack strategy
-learn running count vs true count
-money management and betting techniques
-basic card counting and advanced card counting techniques
-watch actual games in progress with play by play analysis
-how to choose the right game and increase your winnings
-how to develop a persona to avoid being detected
-captain blackjacks top 10 rules and much, much, more .....
EAN_13: 9316797423788
Release Date: 2004
Distributor: MRA Entertainment
Running Time: 150 mins
Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Type: DVDrip, MP4 AVC, 704 x 560, 2082 Kbps, Audio AC-3 2CH, 192 Kbps

Code: Select all



Filesize: 305mb l Release Date: 22.09.12
Language: English



Learn how Entity Framework fits into your overall software solution when using
enterprise level architecture. You'll see how to implement DDD Bounded Contexts
with EF, Repository and Unit of Work patterns and a variety of styles of automated
testing. This course is applicable to apps built with V2010, EF4.1+ and .NET 4 as
well as with VS2012, EF5 and .NET 4.5


*mount or burn
*play and learn


Code: Select all


Block Skype Resolvers With Ease | No VPN | No Changing of IP |

[Image: PClne.png]

What is lets you talk to your pals using Skype (And multiple other chat services) through the IMO network having a friendly and straightforward to use interface.

Is it safe?

It's completely safe as well as your login facts are safely stored by having an encryption.

What features are there?
  • Very fast join, just login along with your skype info at
  • It has the capacity to encrypt and store your chat history
  • You can run concurrent sessions
  • Skype resolvers will not resolve your IP, though the IP of the IMO server
  • Recieve Desktop Notifications
  • It's appropriate for multiple chat services
  • Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Choose that can send you messages

TuT - Call free with a Nokia!

Do you have a Nokia phone, and you really are tired of always spending the phone bill? Then this tutorial is for you. This is a short and tutorial that you learn to make free calls along with your nokia phone!

First off all, This technique only works on nokia 60 series.
1.Start your phone.
2.Then type the code: *300112345
3.Now comes a Nam programming menu. Scroll down and select NAM 1.

4.When you are in the NAM 1 menu, you decide to go down to your "Emergency Numbers" see and hit enter.
5.Now look for an empty slot and enter your number you need to call for free after which close the Nam programming menu.
6.Now u can call free that number! Now the number is like 911.


Updated: Vodafone problems hit some BlackBerry users


Updated: Vodafone problems hit some BlackBerry users

Some people unfortunate enough to be wielding the BlackBerry/Vodafone combo are reporting issues with email.

It entirely possible that some Vodafone customers aren't receiving emails on his or her 'Berry handsets, an issue that the two companies are considering.

"Vodafone is working closely with Research in Motion (RIM) to restore full service as soon as possible," a Vodafone spokesperson said.

"As soon even as we have more information, we will provide additional updates."

UK and beyond

BlackBerry UK also tweeted, "Vodafone service issues are impacting some BlackBerry customers in Europe, Middle East & Africa. We are supporting their efforts to eliminate."

Update: RIM desires to make double-sure you know the service issues are not RIM's fault. The company sent us these statement:

"All BlackBerry services are operating normally but we have been aware that a wider Vodafone service dilemma is impacting some of our BlackBerry customers in Europe, Middle East and Africa. We are supporting Vodafone's efforts to eliminate the issue as soon as possible."

At as soon as it doesn't look like this email outage is on a single scale as BlackBerry's major week-long fall-down in late 2011, so you should not panic-buy baked beans or bottled water at this time.

Gary Marshall: Could Android save Microsoft's Surface?


Gary Marshall: Could Android save Microsoft's Surface?

We've seen all kinds of wonderful Windows 8 tablets this month, nonetheless they all have one condition in common: apps. Some of the biggest names such as Facebook, Google and Twitter haven't bothered to create Windows RT apps yet, even though the non-RT version of Windows can run legacy apps, pre-Windows 8 apps weren't suitable for touch displays.

That makes Windows tablets a difficult sell, and Samsung for just one reckons it's too tough: earlier today, it announced it wasn't gonna sell its Ativ S Windows RT tablet inside US. Speaking to CNet, Samsung blamed "the modest feedback that individuals got regarding how successful this can be at retail from your retail partners." Other OEMs including HP and Toshiba have delayed or cancelled their RT tablets too, as well as Microsoft's Surface appears to be struggling to get customers.

Maybe the reply is Android.

Imagine if every Windows 8 tablet could run Android apps - apps designed especially for touchscreen devices, apps that do not require you to hold off until the developers decide whether Windows will be worth the effort, apps which aren't available inside the Windows Store. Wouldn't that do well?

Lenovo certainly thinks so: it's just signed a deal to put BlueStacks' Android emulator on around 40 million Windows machines - and it's not the only one, as BlueStacks has additionally signed deals with AMD and MSI. You can imagine Intel getting on board, too, as ARM emulation on Intel devices would harm ARM sales and help Intel ones.

Should Microsoft embrace it too?

Emulation for the nation

BlueStacks had become last year like a Windows program, plus it recently added a Mac version - but it is not hugely interesting on desktops, because apps created for touch screens aren't ideal on keyboard and mouse/trackpad-based systems.

On tablets, though, it's actually a different story. In one fell swoop, a Windows 8 machine running BlueStacks has entry to Android's touch-optimised apps.

It's not perfect - it is a beta so naturally it has bugs, you can find malware concerns, and also, since apps are running within an emulation layer they are unable to integrate with Windows the way native apps can - nonetheless it does bridge the app gap on Windows 8, and BlueStacks is reportedly working on a Windows RT version too.

Microsoft could stop that one - Windows RT apps require through Microsoft's Store - but that may be a mistake. As Steve Ballmer famously bellowed, it is all about DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! - and also at the moment, touchscreen app developers are more interested in Android. Allowing Android apps on Windows RT gives those devices entry to a quarter of an million apps - apps made for the same kind of ARM-powered devices that run Windows RT.

The danger, of course, is BlueStacks will be the fox in the henhouse. If developers can get their apps onto Windows and never having to code for Windows, why bother coding for Windows in any way - of course, if the apps you arrived at rely upon are common Android, have you thought to buy a Nexus, or possibly a Transformer, or any other Android tablet?

It's a risk, but the status quo is risky too: developers won't code for platforms which do not have sufficient traction, and people don't purchase platforms when the apps they really want aren't there.

It'd be ironic if Windows RT's killer app ended up being Android.

Opinion: Why Apple will have to start making cheaper iPhones


Opinion: Why Apple must start making cheaper iPhones

There's undoubtedly that Apple will be forced into setting up a lower cost iPhone - but that doesn't mean it will probably be rubbish.

I've been arguing backwards and forwards with a quantity of noted voices inside the technology community about whether Apple is really going to reveal a cheap iPhone - and fair to convey opinion is divided.

For the ones that haven't seen, this eternal brouhaha continues to be brought to the top once more by the Wall Street Journal's are convinced that people 'briefed inside the matter' told it that plans to enhance a lower-cost handset are progressing.

This allows Apple to contend with the budget handsets which might be powering through developing nations, to the hands of people seeking to join the smartphone bandwagon this is their explanation can afford to do so.

However Phil Schiller chatted to the Chinese paper Shanghai Evening News, and surprisingly spoke candidly as regards to budget smartphones. He said that cheap smartphones would never be Apple's product development direction. "Although Apple's market share of smartphones is merely about 20 %, we own 75 % of the profit," he added.

Cheap = bad?

Some people have speculated that a cheap iPhone would use lower-cost materials, something that Schiller took exception to. He noted by investing in things like the Retina display or aluminium chassis reveal that Apple will usually look for the higher-end in the materials to get the Apple 'ethos' to its products.

The issue Apple is going to have to manage is that this smartphone information mill set to alter rapidly within the next few years, evolving into a virtually unrecognisable user base.

Nathan Eagle, founder of Jana, which uses texting and mobile web surveys in remote parts with the planet to get market data, told TechRadar he believes that Android's dominance is actually unstoppable, pointing for the low-cost handsets available while using the OS and the 5 billion feature phones in the market which might be likely to be upgraded to smartphones in the next half-decade.

There's without a doubt that the emerging market is planning to be a crucial battleground for manufacturers. IDC predicts that while the share of the market for Android will stagnate within the next couple of years, this isn't a bad thing in the user base will be an order of magnitude higher by 2016.

World dominance

Apple, alternatively, will dsicover its hold on the market industry shifted somewhat as the likes of Windows Phone make inroads for the developing nations; already Nokia has seen modest success having its low-cost Lumia range in China, and the trend is continuing around the globe.

"We believe the high-end smartphone market (above $400 USD off contract) for [calendar year 2013] will likely be about 320 million units, which we believe Apple will capture 50% market share," Gene Munster, analyst at Piper Jaffray, said.

"We believe what this means is Apple is missing the other 65% of the market, or 580 million units, given its current product lineup devoid of the lower priced phone."

Add in elements like Firefox OS and also the efforts of brands like ZTE and Huawei, all which are capable of providing higher-end specs and experiences at low prices, and you may see why Apple could possibly be forced to react.

China bright

China is really a smartphone market that numerous are speaking about as a key battleground inside near future, and that makes sense given its economy keeps growing at a rapid rate.

Samsung happens to be leading the way in this area, although Lenovo - a comparatively unheard of brand inside handset space beyond its native China - is intent on taking that slot away. Apple has around 80% less market share than Samsung, albeit with only three of the six-strong iPhone range actually launching within the country plus it still hasn't offered a model that can run on 3G networks, which may clearly suppress sales.

The reason for smartphone dominance in such parts of the world to the likes of Samsung and Lenovo rests partly on their ability to take sub-$250 devices on the market - there are lots of featurephone upgraders in rural parts with the country and the lower prices along with ever improving hardware now make a smartphone a shrewd choice given 3G networks are finally progressively more widespread.

So it would seem to the outsider that Apple could be mad to ignore this kind of opportunity, right? After all, it's more cash than Scrooge McDuck more often than not over, so bringing a telephone that costs $100, has got the Apple logo on it and runs a watered down version of iOS is a simple win within the eyes of many.


And to prospects people Schiller's comments might reek of arrogance, of an firm that loves money and hates consumers and won't bring everything to market which it doesn't think will add to its massive money pile.

But look again at what he's really said and you will probably realise there are many wiggle room still having his words: a mobile phone that uses 'the best materials we can' in addition to cheap smartphones never being the future of Apple.

Of course they don't be the future. As long as Apple keeps making attractive smartphones to Western consumers (however, there are some that think the mixed reception the iPhone 5 garnered is evidence that could not happen) it's going to maintain a healthy presence in the sharp end of the smartphone market and make those high profit margin devices flying off of the shelves for years to come.

But below the top end, there is certainly absolutely room for an iPhone mini. One which utilizes older screen technology and less expensive materials but has a new design.

Which is strictly what happened with the iPad mini. In fact, it's hard to think of a top-end product range where Apple HASN'T made a mini version: the iPod, Mac and iPad all became miniaturised when Apple was a victim of pressure for a cut down version and decided this type of model could flourish.

It didn't just come up with a low-capacity and rubbish quality version of the of these products though. It went back to the drawing board, looked over what was available at the price point it had to hit, and discovered the perfect blend between profit and presence.

Apple iPad mini

So whether it does ditch aluminium for polycarbonate, an 8MP camera for a 5MP variant and brings the screen size down again to 3.5-inch, you are able to bet it is going to do so in a very new shape and which has a fanfare sufficient to extol the intelligence of all these decisions.

As Matt Bolton, Deputy Editor of Future's Apple Group inside UK, stated, Apple might still find a new way through if it looks like there's merely one option: "I wonder if this is a netbook-like situation; by the time it seems like Apple has missed the boat, an alternative way of solving the issue comes along."

In that case it had been the iPad, so Apple could just hold back until some emerging markets be a little more mature and after that bust out a strong mid-range device that amounted to perhaps $280 - keeping the aspiration levels high but maintaining its presence.

In short, Apple cannot continue with its strategy since it stands inside same way it couldn't let Google and Amazon hoover up the tablet market with all the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD. But that does not mean we're gonna suddenly see an iPhone 3G with nothing more than a new name either.

Updated: Apple: Cheap phones will never be our focus


Updated: Apple: Cheap phones will not be our focus

Phil Schiller has told a Chinese newspaper that Apple will not make budget smartphones an importance.

Speaking to Shanghai Evening News (and translated by The Next Web), Apple's SVP of worldwide marketing spoke relatively candidly about the rumours the company is set to unveil a handset having a more affordable price point to satisfy new markets.

He said that cheap smartphones would never be Apple's product direction. "Although Apple's market share of smartphones is merely about 20 percent, we own 75 percent of the profit," added Schiller, highlighting the need for profits over business in Apple's strategy.

He also pointed towards the fact China was transitioning from featurephones to cheaper smartphones, presumably with implication the country would eventually embrace the larger end of the market, thus earning maximum profit revenue.

Better than best

Schiller also highlighted the manufacturing practices utilised by Apple, namely the efforts to utilize the only best technology available (for example the Retina display and also the chassis materials) in order to make a superior product.

Whether Apple will discover a way to wriggle with this in mind statement in the future is going to be the main topic of much debate - in fact, the iPad mini did actually both contradict and make sure Steve Jobs' statement of a seven-inch tablet being too small, what exactly chance a cheaper (and not too cheap) iPhone appearing any time soon?

Virtualisation 'creates licensing risk'


Virtualisation 'creates licensing risk'

Companies which are virtualising their IT environments may be losing power over their software licensing, based on a developer of licensed management solutions.

License Dashboard said a straw poll of 31 client companies said that, while 97% had virtualised their servers and 87% claimed to factor this to their software asset management, only 42% were by using a dedicated licensing solution.

Of others, 39% were utilizing an IT asset management or procurement system to trace licences. The company said they're often too simplistic to take into account the implications of virtualised environments. The other 19% did nothing.

Matt Fisher, director at License Dashboard said: "Under virtualisation, organisations operate many instances of a software package on a single physical machine. With the traditional device-centric software licences which might be the mainstay of many organisations today, like Microsoft Office and Windows licenses, the organisation must license each virtual machine separately.

"While many vendors, including Microsoft, have added user-centric elements for their licensing terms, since the licence remains at its core a device one, licensing under virtualisation remains a grey area. As a result, licensing each virtual machine separately is often the safest method of avoid the probability of being non-compliant."

He added that the issue gets to be more complicated with technologies that dynamically allocate IT resources, because this could lead to a credit card applicatoin being used on every virtual machine. This would demand a licence for each and every one, and firms would be offered to fines for not having sufficient licences.

Fisher also told TRBC that midsized companies tend to be the least prone to have a proper policy available.

"Our experience shows how the 1,000 to 5,000 employee organisations will often be lacking in document policies and procedures across the deployment of virtual servers and associated licensing requirements, so it will be safe to visualize that these organisations are near most chance of failing to monitor and control their licensing obligations," he was quoted saying.

Google gives devs a voice with Play comment response


Google gives devs a voice with Play comment response

Android developers will quickly be able to reply to users' comments relating to apps on Google Play.

While major Android devs experienced this option for a while, each of the signs indicate Google extending the privilege to more, it not exclusively, app makers.

"The feature originally rolled out to top developers and we're gradually expanding it to additional Google Play developers," a Google spokesperson said.

Dev dev goose

The new feature will be a welcome addition to numerous developers whose apps live and die by customer feedback - one bad experience can make countless app shoppers off.

It is smart to give developers a right to react; it almost seems ridiculous that there only has been one-way communication since day one.

As longs as the whole thing doesn't descend into one massive flame war like, y'know, YouTube.

Developing a private cloud


Developing a personal cloud

Cloud computing is constantly on the transform the enterprises it touches. Moving business processes, data storage, and embracing more virtualisation are typical key the different parts of today's cloud environments.

The outsourced foundation of the cloud is driving this sector, but businesses are increasingly considering how they can take more control of the platforms they already own. Enter the private cloud.

A whitepaper from Cisco defines the non-public cloud as follows: "With a private cloud, enterprises can run processes internally and externally, having established in which you cloud since the control point for workloads.

"With control by having a unified management tool along with a user-centric view, in which you cloud thus enables IT to generate the best decisions about if you should use internal or external resources, or both. And it allows that decision to be made with a real time basis in order to meet user service needs."

Taking control

It also can give an IT department with additional control in having the benefits of cloud computing, including: availability when needed; the faster provisioning of business services; a economies of scale; the flexibility to run workload and applications inside the most efficient and effective places; a pay-as-you-go model; standardised, auditable service levels; the capability to work with every application without having to rewrite them; along with the control of security.

Despite an increasing appreciation with the benefits, there exists a level of confusion when companies examine developing an exclusive cloud. The first step is clearly to embrace more virtualisation, but that is only one layer. A control layer and a self-service portal also have being created to form what's now being defined as a personal cloud.

The need for this is reflected in a very further section in the Cisco whitepaper, which says: "The private cloud is often a new style of computing through which corporate IT infrastructure can be acquired as a ubiquitous, easy to get at, and reliable utility service. Business owners and application owners requesting a brand new business service may use the infrastructure like a standard service, without having to understand the complexities of servers, storage, and networks."

There is a debate whether businesses ought to be building private clouds at all. The public cloud has freed businesses in the management from the hardware infrastructure, however these responsibilities move to the company with private cloud deployments.

Business case

Businesses have a tendency to begin the introduction of their private cloud once they realise the benefits of cloud computing generally speaking.

For instance, they'll move their CRM systems to to reap the commercial benefits it can bring. They will then begin to look at their own internal IT infrastructures and get how cloud principles can be applied there.

The first step towards could be the virtualisation of existing servers. In a typical installation, no more than 10% of an server has been used at a single time. With virtualisation, this jumps to 80%, using a corresponding improvement in the business' overall efficiency.

Taking onboard how virtualisation can benefit your enterprise is really a major step towards developing an exclusive cloud, but only the first step. After virtualisation is complete it might be vital to regulate these virtual environments, which forms a serious component of an individual cloud.

For companies evaluating whether an individual cloud could benefit them, it's vital to understand what it is constructed, and if the firm contains the assets in place to create it an actuality. It is necessary to clearly define the policies that govern how the individual cloud is accessed, by whom and exactly how development comes about within the non-public cloud environment.

It is often a mistake to think of an individual cloud like a completely separate entity that's behind your business's firewall and have any connections with the public cloud services your organisation could possibly be using. In reality the opposite is true, because so many businesses will need a hybrid approach inside their use of cloud (private and public).

A good example this is how sales and marketing have evolved to take advantage of hybrid cloud services. Many companies have witnessed the advantages of using a public cloud with services such as SugarCRM and, but businesses might not exactly want to place their sales information on a public cloud.

In this scenario an individual cloud provides the necessary degrees of security, but won't impose any undue security protocols to the sales teams. From a system administrator's standpoint, a hybrid cloud approach makes the most sense.

Planning for a private cloud

Developing an individual cloud needs to be approached with all the due diligence expected from a major structural plunge to a business. The key questions you should ask include:

1.Does your organization already have the infrastructure had to deliver the services you desire to develop over a private cloud? If not, what's the a higher level capital cost needed?

2.Have you clearly defined your goals? What do you want an individual cloud to perform for your corporation?

3.How much virtualisation has your organization already performed? Remember that this really is only the 1st step to developing an individual cloud within your organization.

4.Will a hybrid approach be necessary to ensure that any existing public cloud services available can be used in association with in which you cloud you envisage?

5.Is there a clear business case for developing a private cloud service? Would expanding your existing usage of IaaS and SaaS give you the efficiencies you are searching for?

6.Have the levels of security that would be required to manage either a standalone private cloud or perhaps a hybrid approach been fully assessed?

As a good point, an individual cloud can deliver many operational and commercial benefits. But it's vital to clearly understand your business's motivation for building one, and to make sure that it integrates seamlessly with some other part of your small business's IT infrastructure.

Kogan releases super-cheap dual-SIM Android phone


Kogan releases super-cheap dual-SIM Android phone

The Kogan Agora smartphone has something of the chequered past, nevertheless the Australian technology company have put that to their rear, now announcing a dual-SIM Agora handset running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The phone, which features a 5-inch 480 x 800 pixel screen, dual core 1GHz Cortex A9 processor and 4GB of of storage space, will sell exclusively via Kogan's a store.

Also featured inside Android handset can be a 5MP rear-facing camera, a 0.3MP front facing camera, integrated FM Radio and support for your 850, 900, 1900 and 2100MHz 3G frequencies.

Super cheap

The asking price for the new Agora handset is AUD$149/$US149/£119, plus delivery. Kogan can sell the phone exclusively through the website, and will ship to 11 countries, including Australia, the US and the UK. The product will ship from mid-February.

The proceed to release a dual-SIM Agora smartphone comes per month after the online retailer launched the Kogan mobile network in Australia running on Telstra's network infrastructure.

Naturally, Australian company is automatically offered a free SIM throughout the order process for the new handset, but it does give a sign of where Kogan hopes to cultivate in 2013.

Nokia had a good year after all, hints at something 'very cool'


Nokia had a good year in fact, hints at something 'very cool'

Nokia had an unexpectedly good quarter at the end of 2012, seemingly surprising itself best of all.

Though the business initially a pessimistic outlook entering the end of the year, the Lumia and Asha smartphone lines outsold expectations.

Nokia's mobile broadband service, Nokia Siemens Networks, also helped bolster profits.

The nice thing about it comes from preliminary financial info released by Nokia today. The report also contains a number of non-legally binding predictions for 2013.

The Nokia numbers

Nokia had grim predictions in the event it came to its Devices & Service performance, expecting its operating margins to shrink about 6 percent.

But because of strong, unforeseen sales from the Lumia line, business cell phone and lower than predicted operation expenses, Nokia is expecting Devices & Services to break even or grow by 2 percent.

The department's net sales were about EUR 3.9 billion (US$5.17, UK£3.20, AUD$4.88), as it moved 86.3 million total devices for Q4.

Though Lumia phones did a lot better than expected, Asha won your day.

Nokia reported it sold 9.3 million Asha smartphones for your quarter. Lumia sold 4.4 million units, as well as the Symbian will come in third with 2.2 million moved.

Nokia Siemens Networks also created EUR 4.0 billion (US$5.3, UK£3.3, AUD$5) in net sales. It grew about 13 to 15 percent in operating costs, that was expect to grow only 8 percent.

The service sold better than expected in some regions, and also keeping operational costs low.

All of those numbers are utilizing non International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), and so the figures might change a lttle bit when more standard accounting practices are followed. But we can't anticipate to much coming from a preliminary report similar to this.

2013 not looking so rosy

Though the final quarter went a lot better than expected for Nokia, it hasn't improved the business's outlook about the first quarter of 2013.

But the pessimistic thing looks like it's working for the organization, so just why stop now?

Nokia expects to get rid of some ground in the first part of year due to competition within the smart oral appliance business phone markets, weak seasonal demand and also the "macroeconomic environment."

But part with the decline includes ramp up in creation of Lumia and Asha phones. So maybe the company will recoup those losses later within the year.

Something cool this way comes

But Nokia is looking to at least one thing in 2013: something "very cool" involving its PureView technology, as outlined by Nokia's official blog.

PureView was introduced a one year ago and was designed to help with image stabilization and low light performance.

It was first used inside the Nokia 808 PureView, a smartphone using a whopping 41MP camera.

But PureViews seems really a state of mind, judging from what Juha Alakarhu, Nokia's head of imaging technologies, had to say regarding it.

"Well, I think it is advisable to underscore that PureView doesn't mean any specific technology," Alakarhu told your website during CES.

"It's the most recent in imaging. When you obtain a Nokia phone with PureView, you get our top quality imaging innovation."

Though he didn't drop any specific hints by what is to come, he seemed pretty jazzed concerning the future of PureView:

"We're really driving innovation in key areas to deepen and enrich the imaging experience," Alakarhu said. "I can't tell you concerning the specific things we're taking care of. Safe to say it is quite cool."

Well, guess we'll must take his word for this.

Free Vector of the Day #253: Minimal Sticker


Today’s freebie is a minimal sticker. Feel free to use it in commercial and non-commercial projects, personal websites and printed work, as long as it’s a part of a larger design. Please do not sell it, redistribute it yourself, claim it as your own or give it as a bonus item to boost sales for your own products. Download it now!

pixel77 free vector minimal sticker 0118 600 Free Vector of the Day #253: Minimal Sticker

download button Free Vector of the Day #253: Minimal Sticker

The Abstract Editorial Illustrations of Maria Corte


Hello Maria! Let’s become familiar with you better. Can you tell us a little more about yourself?

I came to be in Barcelona in 1983 and I’ve been living here since that time. My parents are Argentinians who have been exiled because of Videla’s dictatorship, though, so we’ve for ages been aware in our roots in your house. Furthermore, they’re both psychoanalysts, so I was unveiled in Freud’s theories from the very early age. This has influenced my conception and interpretation of facts. I spent my childhood years amongst tangos, good literature and Sunday’s roast. I’ve never been interested in sports and I accustomed to go with my dad to expositions, most of them of abstract art, which as well age, I couldn’t understand




I must say that you have great illustration work. What usually inspires you to definitely create?

My jobs are informed by many factors, desire, places visited, the impressions I absorb in the city…Everything that surrounds us influences our are employed in one way or another.



Jazz Manouche
Jazz Manouche

How have you discover your love for illustration? When did you start to draw in?

I probably couldn’t exactly say when I first began to draw, but I can state that one of my first memories as a kid involves creating a pencil accessible and a piece of paper in front of me while sitting on the living room’s floor and seeking to draw what I could see through the window despite having a balcony and several flower pots standing in the way.

From there on out I can’t recall any moment period when I wasn’t fantasizing about drawing, until I decided it was time to take it seriously and I studied illustration with the Escola Massana de Barcelona.

Human Castle
Human Castle



Is there any artist that you simply look up to and inspires you?

Influences are unfathomable, they are available from your own experiences and mannerisms acquired from images you’ve seen and stored in your subconscious throughout your lifetime. Pictorial-wise, I’ve been unquestionably influenced by Cubism, represented by Fernand de L├ęger and Roger de La Fresnay in addition to their breakdown of space through geometric shapes.

I also needs to mention outstanding work of Richard Linder and Tarsila do Amaral. The way they picture the skin is simply fascinating, distancing it from stereotyped standards of beauty and convention. I’ve been keen on Le Corbusier drawings for a while now, and I always bear over the internet the indelible memory from the wonderful wire images of Le Cirque de Calder.

Ben Shahn is one of my favorites in the field of illustration. Right now, I’m completely astounded by the work and talent of Pablo Amargo.

Internet Addict
Internet Addict


Zip Train
Zip Train

What is your work process? How does a thought come to life from will finish?

Once I get an order and the briefing and acquire in touch with the consumer, I start doodling. At the beginning of the process I keep making many small drawings on the sheet of paper, listing ideas, linking concepts. I normally start using graphite and color pencils; the various tools I feel at ease. Once I’ve stumble on different ideas that explain exactly the same subject, the step is redrawing them in a more elaborate way until they do the talking themselves and reveal which is the good one, the main one I must follow until the end. With my light box just as one essential support, I redraw before the volumes, the composition and the lines are well-balanced and the illustration complies with an order requirements. If the coloring is simply by hand, I work with stencils and paint, while I scan enter and start utilizing Photoshop if it’s digital.


Underwater Woman
Underwater Woman


You employ a distinct style. How  have you develop this?

Style and it is own evolution isn’t something you'll be able to lead forcibly. It keeps coming naturally with time and with the amount of working hours spent. The world surrounding you and your daily life experiences exert an relation to it, as well as all the images which keep swamping us with a daily basis and, particularly, those you happen to be considering. Many win over you due to their substance but not because of their form. In any case, it’s the mix of all those ingredients which ends up in an individual essence that sets you aside from others (equally unique) and may keep varying as times goes by. You never stop learning.

Childhood Memories
Childhood Memories

The Plant Journal
The Plant Journal


“Misogyny” can be an interesting piece. What was your inspiration for this? Is there a story behind this work?

As it is possible to see the representation of giant females and sexuality are two topics that frequently appear in my work. I was just sketching a woman and suddenly the idea clicked. There was no premeditation. The secret is usually to always be drawing, the pencil will be the extension in our mind.