Thursday, August 25, 2011

Jobs steps down as CEO; Tim Cook is new head

Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO of Apple and company COO Tim Cook has been appointed the new head of the company.

Jobs has been elected to the post of Chairman of Apple.

In his letter to the Board, Jobs wrote:
I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.
I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.
See the letter from Jobs here and the press release from Apple announcing the resignation and appointment of Tim Cook here.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Put your Instagram pictures at an exhibition

If you like using Instagram, here is your opportunity to have your photos featured in an exhibition.

Between Sep 17 and Oct 30, the National Library Board will host an exhibition of Instagram photos at Level 8 of the NLB building.

The exhibition, SIN: A Singapore Instagram Exhibition, is a collaboration between Singapore Instagram and the NLB.

You have until 31 August to submit your Instagram photos. To be considered for the exhibition, all you have to do is tag your photos using one of these tags: #SIN2011Events, #SIN2011Food, #SIN2011Places, #SIN2011People, or #SIN2011Memories.

The curators of the exhibition are Goh Eck Kheng, Dr Tan Ngiap Heng and Chia Aik Beng. The latter two, together with Ivan Kuek, will also be running an Instagram Masterclass on Saturday, Sep 17 between 4.00 and 6.00 pm at the Visitors’ Briefing Room, Level 1, National Library Building.

The workshop is free but you need to register beforehand, and you need to have your own iPhone.

To register, please send an email to sharon_chen@nlb.gov.sg by 8 September 2011 with the subject header ‘SIN masterclass’ and include the following details:

i) Name, NRIC, Contact number
ii) Why do you want to join this programme? (in 250 words)
iii) Do you have any experience using Instagram?



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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Local food blogger takes GarageBand for iPad, stirs in some effort and voila! An album on iTunes.


Apple's says GarageBand for iPad is easy to use. Here's proof: a local food blogger learned to use GarageBand and three weeks later, produced an album that he is now selling on iTunes, Amazon and Rhapsody.

The blogger is Ian Low, 42, and his album is Silverfish. The album merges his love for food with music and has tracks with titles such as "Ribeye", "Chendol", "Lemongrass", "Sauvignon", "Sashimi" and "Abalone".

What is remarkable is how quickly he was able to put the tracks together. Said Ian: "I only learnt GarageBand about three weeks before I wrote and recorded Silverfish. In fact, as a warm up, I actually recorded an album's worth of Chinese pop song covers with vocals, but this was not released due to copyright reasons."

According to Ian, the best thing about using the iPad is the ability to compose and record on the go. The track "Chendol" took just two hours to complete from start to finish, he said, and he did it at local cafe Toast Box "while waiting for my wife to finish her work".

Ian said each track reflects the food named in the track. For example, "Sauvignon" is "supposed to evoke a smooth, jazzy atmosphere", he said, while "Sashimi" fuses "traditional Japanese-like melody with a modern funky twist and bass line."

The album has been on sale online since July and since then, he has already re-mixed four tracks.

Producing an album of any sort requires a musical background, which Ian has of course. Said Ian: "I studied the Electone when I was six-years old for about four years before taking a Yamaha course in music arrangement when I was 16 for another year."

Naturally, he has plans to record more music. "I am already planning a follow-up album but am working to collaborate to include some traditional Chinese musical instruments through a live recording using only the iPad."

For more on how he recorded his album, check out his post on Technorati here. You can also read the post on his blog The Silver Chef.

For a taste of his music (pun intended), check out the music videos of his songs "Jasmine" and "Chendol" on YouTube.

If you are in Singapore and you don't have a US iTunes account, you can buy Silverfish on Amazon and CDBaby.


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Could the iPhone 5 look like this?

MacRumors has commissioned CiccareseDesign to create high quality renders based on what is believed to be the case specifications for the iPhone 5, featuring a larger screen, a curved back and a larger home button.

If the case specifications are accurate, these renderings could very well be what the iPhone 5 will look like. Check out MacRumors for the very nice renders.

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iPhone 5 not being launched in September after all

The rumour mill has been going crazy recently speculating about when new iPhone 5 will be launched. On Thursday, MacRumors reported that Apple might hold the iPhone launch on September 7 but The Loop the next day dismissed that possibility, citing sources. Kara Swisher of All Things D has just reiterated that the iPhone 5 is going to be launched in October.

Earlier, All Things D, citing "a source familiar with Apple’s plans" gave October as the timeframe.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Skype for iPad is now available

Skype's iPad app is now available. If you have an iPad 2, this will allow you to do video calls using the big display of your iPad, which is nice.

Video calls should work over both WiFi and 3G (I don't have an iPad 2 so I can't verify that video calls work over 3G.)

You can download Skype for iPad here.


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iPhone 5 hardware with carriers for testing

Citing sources, the Guardian reports that the carriers now have the iPhone 5 hardware.

This is not the same as saying that the carriers have the new iPhone though. Specifically, the report says "boxes in which the new iPhone hardware is encased have been transported to carriers for testing."

According to the report: "... my understanding is that barely anyone inside the carriers gets to open those boxes, and even when they do the hardware is encased in a dummy body which means there's no clue to what the actual phone will do."

The reporter, Charles Arthur, also argues that the new iPhone is more likely to come out in September rather than October, as reported by All Things D.

Read the full story here.


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A peek at iCloud and syncing with iWork apps

Nate'sTechUpdate has a nice YouTube video walkthrough of iWork apps syncing with iCloud.

He shows how quickly a new document you create in Pages gets synced to the cloud and how quickly changes to the document are reflected.

Engadget has a pretty good walkthrough of iCloud too. They show you how Mail, Contacts and Calendar works.


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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New SG apps

Here's a quick round-up of new SG apps:

Dr Tan Cheng Bock (free): The Presidential election is certainly heating up. While Tan Kin Lian has long had a presence online and Dr Tony Tan practically controls Straits Times coverage, Dr Tan Cheng Bock, the third Tan, has an iPhone app that links to his videos, his Facebook posts and his blog. My vote goes to Dr Tan mainly because he plays the ukelele.

Straits Times (free): You may have heard that the Straits Times has released an update for their app that now links to the full story. The app is a universal app, meaning that it is now also optimised for the iPad. The stories are free for a month, and after that you will have to pay for access. Pricing is not yet available.

The newspaper is a pleasure to read on the iPad but there are downsides. Downloading the entire newspaper takes a while and I can't say it was a great idea to make the home page a boring link to the last seven issues of the Straits Times. Unfortunately for advertisers, ads seem to take a long time to load. Advertisers should really also consider a separate ad for the iPad and iPhone. What might look great on the iPad's big screen looks unreadable on the iPhone.

All things considered, a pretty good app and something I would definitely considering buying a subscription too. (Note that if you want to read the full paper online, the iPhone or iPad app is the only way to do it for free at the moment. ST's website still requires an account to get full stories.)

Deal.com.sg (free): There is nothing that Singaporeans like more than getting a good deal. So it is not surprising that Groupon clones like Deal.com.sg are doing well. Deal.com.sg now has its own iPhone app so you can keep track of the latest offers. Of course, Groupon also has an app.

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iCloud's web interface in beta

Apple has just made the iCloud web interface available to developers on the web.

If you go to www.icloud.com, you will see a log-in page for your Apple ID. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to log in but there are reports of people who have.

Apple has also revealed pricing for storage on iCloud.

• First 5GB – Free
• Another 10GB – US$20 per year. (15GB total iCloud storage)
• Another 20GB – US$40 per year. (25GB total iCloud storage)
• Another 50GB – US$100 per year. (55GB total iCloud storage)

9to5Mac has screenshots of the iCloud interface.

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iPhone 5 to come out in October?

Waiting to upgrade to the iPhone 5? Looks like you're going to have to wait till October. According to All Things D, Apple is planning to launch the new iPhone in October, and not September as generally rumoured.

And not just October, but later in the month, rather than earlier.

Check out the full story here.


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