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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Apple announces Mac App Store will open on January 6 | Computers | MacUser | Macworld

App StoreImage via WikipediaApple announces Mac App Store will open on January 6 | Computers | MacUser | Macworld

If you’ve been eagerly anticipating plonking down your hard-earned cash for Mac apps, then you’ll want to mark your calendar. Apple announced on Thursday that it would open the doors to its new Mac App Store in 90 countries on January 6, 2011.

First unveiled in October at Apple’s Back to the Mac event, the Mac App Store aims to offer a parallel experience to the one Apple pioneered in 2008 with its App Store for iOS devices. Users will be able to purchase paid and download free apps in categories like Education, Games, Productivity, Utilities, and more. Any downloaded can be installed on all a user’s personal Macs, and updates are handled by the store. The revenue-sharing deal is the same as with the App Store: developers take 70 percent of income, with Apple taking the other 30 percent to cover hosting costs and credit card fees.

In a press release on Apple’s site, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said, “The App Store revolutionized mobile apps. We hope to do the same for PC apps with the Mac App Store by making finding and buying PC apps easy and fun. We can’t wait to get started on January 6.”

But even prior to its launch, the Mac App Store has already raised some controversy, with many developers pointing to restrictive rules that would block several popular existing apps from sale and others worrying that it may signal the beginning of a slippery slope towards a locked-down ecosystem similar to iOS devices. On the flipside, some have argued that the Mac App Store may be a good thing for consumers and developers alike, with the former gaining an easy central location to find software for their computer, and the latter getting massive exposure among Mac users.

The Mac App Store will be available to users of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard as a free download via Software Update.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Google, Twitter Tools Helped Protests - PCWorld

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseGoogle, Twitter Tools Helped Protests - PCWorld

British students coordinated their recent mass demonstrations using social media sites, including Twitter and Facebook.
By Leo King

Dec 12, 2010 10:17 am

Student protesters last week turned to social media sites, including Twitter and Facebook, to co-ordinate their mass demonstration in Westminster, U.K. and other areas.
Google Maps was also used extensively as protesters pinpointed what was happening and where.

The sites were used equally by the police, who watched for information on the protesters' plans. Police officers were present in large numbers around the planned route and at changed locations.
The demonstration, which in places turned violent and led to police cordoning off parts of central London, was held in protest at the near trebling of university fees to £9,000 a year. The change was narrowly passed in a controversial vote in the House of Commons the same day.
The extensive use of social networking sites to co-ordinate and track demonstrations comes in a week when Twitter and the blogosphere were alive with comments on US ambassadors' cables leaked by Wikileaks. Blogs and forums are also being extensively used to co-ordinate hacking attacks on businesses unwilling to work with the whistleblower website.
Students have claimed they were making easy use of social media and Google to co-ordinate their actions.
"A few days ago I suggested the protesting students could do with some kind of "anti-kettling app," to outwit the efforts of the police to stop them protesting," said Ben Goldacre on his blog.
"It turns out I was over engineering things in my head. The students on the anti-fees protests in London are now using this simple Google map:"
Meanwhile, as the protests started, blogger Laurie Penny wrote on Twitter: "And they're off. The noise is incredible. Taking over the whole road." Others updated on Twitter under the hashtag #fees.