August 19, 2012

New York Hong Kong iPad Cases: Forget The Posing — These Are Some Seriously Slim Cases

New York Hong Kong iPad Cases: Forget The Posing — These Are Some Seriously Slim Cases

The Folio Shell may be my next iPad case

The search for the perfect iPad case is never ending, but that won’t stop me trying. And as you get further along in your quest, the differences between cases becomes smaller and smaller. At first glance, these two slimline cases from Lioncase look like any other slimline folios and Smart Covers, but close up they look much more compelling.

The first of them is the NYHK Shield, named for the pattern on the cases which takes design cues from the street maps of New York and Hong Kong (lord knows why). It’s a Smart Cover with a rear protective cover, it weighs just 170 grams, and it is thin. Very thin: 3.5mm on the screen side and 0.9mm for the rear shell.

But the case that caught my eye is the NYHK Folio Shield, one of those clever cases which splits away from the rear of the iPad half way along allowing it to hinge out and form a stand without adding in any extra material. This one is equally thin, and comes in at just 200 grams, or around seven ounces.

It also comes in hot pink, should you so choose.

And unlike many ultraslim cases, these come with the full complement of holes and magnets to work with the iPads 2 and 3. And even the price is good. At just $ 43, they’re barely more than Apple’s own Smart Cover. Available now.

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Charlie SorrelCharlie Sorrel sits in his gadget nerve-center in Barcelona, Spain, and spits out words about  various weird plastic widgets while the sun shines outside his iCave. Previously found at Wired.com’s Gadget Lab covering cameras, power cables and sneaking in as much Apple-centric coverage as he could, Charlie spends his rare moments outside perched atop a bicycle and snapping photos. You can follow him on Twitter via @mistercharlie

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Cult of Mac

Citizens Chase Down An iPhone Thief In The Streets Of New York City [Video]

Citizens Chase Down An iPhone Thief In The Streets Of New York City [Video]

We’ve seen some pretty crazy stories of iPhone theft and sweet retribution. Remember when a cruse line employee stole a passenger’s iPhone and revealed his own identity by taking pictures that were uploaded to Photo Stream for the world to see? Or how about when an 8-year-old used Find My iPhone to locate over 300K worth of stolen goods?

There’s nothing quite like a good ol’ citizens arrest. In Manhattan, a would-be thief was run down and tackled by two New Yorkers before he could make off with a woman’s iPhone. 

Brian Hester and Chase Bunn were two normal dudes on a smoke break when they saw a scumbag blindside a woman outside her office on 100 Church Street. The perpetrator, Noah Udell, grabbed the iPhone out of 23-year-old Erika Silva’s hand while she was surfing the web, and the two were seen briefly wrestling for the phone before Udell overpowered Silva and started running.

That’s when Hester and Bunn became more than normal dudes; they became heroes.

The New York Post reports:

Bunn was the first to grab Udell, 26, but hurt his knee in the attempted citizen’s arrest. Hester then knocked the suspect to the ground but got slightly dazed himself in the fall.

That’s when a crowd of other outraged bystanders started to gather, and one man stomped his foot onto Udell’s throat.

Hester said he actually had to hold off angry onlookers. In the process, Udell jumped up and once again bolted.

Hester chased him a second time, catching him on Barclay Street near West Broadway.

“I was like, ‘I don’t have all day to be chasing you,’ ” Hester said he told Udell.

The two men caught and detained Udell until the cops arrived, and the scene was captured by bystander on the street (video is flash):

The Wall Street Journal recently profiled smartphone theft in New York City, noting that 40% of all devices stolen are made by Apple (dubbed “iCrime”). Soon all U.S. carriers will have blacklists that will block a smartphone or 3G tablet from getting service when it is reported as stolen.

Cult of Mac

New York audit finds Apple had unfair advantage in Grand Central bid

By Katie Marsal

Published: 11:51 AM EST (08:51 AM PST)
A New York state audit has concluded that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority gave Apple an unfair advantage when the iPhone maker bid for its retail location at Grand Central Terminal.

New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli concluded in his report that the MTA’s process “was at a minimum severely slanted toward Apple,” according to the New York Post. He found that rival bidders were at a disadvantage, as they had only a 30-day window to submit competing offers.

DiNapoli found that Apple was in private talks with the MTA for more than two years until the bidding process opened up. The company eventually inked a 10-year deal with the MTA last July for a 23,000-square-foot retail space inside New York’s bustling Grand Central Terminal. The store opened last December.

The state of New York announced late last year that it would investigate Apple’s deal with the MTA, as DiNapoli expressed concern that the authority may have “given away the store.” His final conclusion that Apple was given unfair preferential treatment was delivered to members of the MTA last Friday.

In response, the authority said DiNapoli’s office has an “overt bias against the MTA and Apple.” MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph Lhota issued a statement dismissing DiNapoli’s audit as “not fact-based,” and calling the conclusion “worthless.”

“The MTA’s lease process with Apple was open, transparent, and followed both the spirit and letter of the law,” Lhota said.

Apple’s unique deal with the MTA means the company does not share any of its sales revenue with the authority. That makes Apple the only store among about 100 in Grand Central Terminal that doesn’t share a percentage of its sales with the MTA.

The MTA has noted that it is collecting more than four times what it was paid by the previous occupant, Charlie Palmer’s Metrazur restaurant. Apple is said to pay $ 1.1 million in rent for the space this year.

AppleInsider

New York State Audit: MTA Unfairly Gave Apple The Advantage In Grand Central Bidding

New York State Audit: MTA Unfairly Gave Apple The Advantage In Grand Central Bidding

In 2012, there’s nothing that lends prestige, luxury and credibility to a shopping space like an Apple Store. From that perspective, it’s the Tiffany’s or Sak’s of the 21st Century.

In fact, it looks as if the Apple Store was considered to be such a prestigious draw that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority bent over backwards to make sure it could get Apple to lease a space in the famous Grand Central Terminal… at the expense of other applicants.

A new audit by New York State comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the MTA basically gamed the system to make sure that Apple was able to set up shop in Grand Central.

“The competitive process followed by MTA . . . was at a minimum severely slanted toward Apple,” reads the report.

According to the report, the MTA not only allowed Apple to set terms for applications for rental of the space — including the provision that any applicant pony up $ 5 million in cash within a “tight” 30 day window — but Apple even tried to get New York taxpayers to reimburse them for the $ 2 million it ponied up to previous tenant Metrazur to vacate the balcony hub the Grand Central Apple Store now resides upon.

The MTA is blasting the state comptroller’s office over the audit.

“This audit is not fact-based, and, accordingly, their opinion is worthless,” MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph Lhota said in a statement. “The MTA’s lease process with Apple was open, transparent and followed both the spirit and letter of the law.”

To be fair, Apple is paying $ 1.1 million a month in rent for the space, which is four times what Metrazur was paying. However, it’s possible that’s a worse deal for the MTA, as it doesn’t collect a share of the sales made by Apple in Grand Central… a deal unique to the one it has in place with all other Grand Central shops and stores. According to real-estate insiders, that’s costing the MTA tens of millions of dollars annually… all because of the Apple Store.

What do you think? Is the Grand Central Apple Store worth all of these compromises and fuss? Is it ultimately more of a boon to the city than it is a burden? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Cult of Mac

Flipboard Update Brings New York Times Content To Paid Subscribers

Flipboard Update Brings New York Times Content To Paid Subscribers

If you’re a New York Times subscriber, you’ll be pleased to know that you can now enjoy full access your favorite content via Flipboard, one of the best news readers available on iOS. Even those who don’t subscribe still get a little treat: free access to the publication’s “Top News” section.

All you need to do to gain access to this content is install the Flipboard 1.9.4 update, which is waiting for you in the App Store now, and login with your New York Times account details.

The update comes just weeks after Flipboard version 1.9.3 brought Google+ integration, allowing you to access the content posted to your Circles; YouTube integration; and localization for Germany, Italy, Korea, the Netherlands, and Spain.

If you haven’t used Flipboard in a while, then, now’s a great time to get back into it.

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Killian BellKillian Bell is a freelance writer based in the UK. He has an interest in all things tech and also writes for TechnoBuffalo. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell, or through his website.

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Cult of Mac

Flipboard enters content deal with the New York TImes

The New York Times announced today that it is bringing its subscription content to the popular social reader app Flipboard. Starting Thursday, June 28, subscribers to The New York Times will be able to read full articles, browse image galleries and watch videos using the Flipboard app. This is the first time all the NYT’s content is available through a third-party service. Previously, the publication only made a part of its content available outside its own digital subscriptions.

Denise F. Warren, general manager of The New York Times‘s Web site, told Brian X. Chen of NYT’s Bits blog that “We realized that we have an opportunity to enable this kind of access for paying subscribers, and we thought it was something we ought to try and see how users react to it.”

This is a worthy addition to Flipboard, which already pulls down content from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google Reader and other social news sources. This also is the second big news story for Flipboard in the recent weeks. After a two-year exclusive stint on iOS, the app debuted on Android last week.



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Workin’ For The Man: Apple Retail Employees Scrutinized In New York Times Profile [Report]

Workin’ For The Man: Apple Retail Employees Scrutinized In New York Times Profile [Report]

Workin’ For The Man: Apple Retail Employees Scrutinized In New York Times Profile [Report]

Let’s look at a few facts.

Apple Retail stores were the number one retailer last year, taking in more money per square foot than any other US retailer, including number two Tiffany, which made a bit more than half of that. Sounds good, right? Then take a look at what a retail employee, Jordan Golson, has to say.

“I was earning $ 11.25 an hour,” he said. “Part of me was thinking, ‘This is great. I’m an Apple fan, the store is doing really well.’ But when you look at the amount of money the company is making and then you look at your paycheck, it’s kind of tough.”

The disconnect between the incredible success of the corporation and the relatively low-end pay scale of its retail employees, as well as the reasons those retail employees continue to work for Apple, is the subject of a report in the New York Times today.

According to the Times, Apple employs 43,000 people, around 30,000 of whom work in the retail stores. Many of those earn only $ 25,000 per year, as compared to, say, CEO Tim Cook, who is worth more than $ 570 million at the current Apple stock share price.

The Times makes it clear that Apple is still offering their retail employees a better deal than most retailers like the Gap. Apple also offers better benefits than other retailers, according to the report, including health care, retirement account contributions, the ability to buy Apple stock, and a discount on Apple products. Can this be such a bad thing?

Says the Times, “Divide revenue by total number of employees and you find that last year, each Apple store employee — that includes non-sales staff like technicians and people stocking shelves — brought in $ 473,000.” These are seriously high rates of return per employee, none of whom receive a commission on sales, as compared to wireless retailers like Verizon and AT&T, both of whom carry Apple products.

Can this continue? Will the current economic climate allow Apple to increase salaries beyond the reported amounts shared anecdotally with the Times? Why is the New York Times focused on Apple, and not, say, The Gap, who pays less than Apple does?

My thought on this is twofold. One, Apple is winning so hard right now that they’re the biggest target in sight. The Times is simply hinting at it’s own weight. Second, the disparity between the corporate and retail employee pay is striking. It’s hard not to root for the underdog, here. It’s ironic that the underdog company of the 1990s is now “the man” keeping it’s employees down. It was inevitable, however, with the incredible amount of success Apple has had in the past ten years.

Be sure to read through the Times article in full; it’s full of great quotes and ideas about our favorite company.

Rob LeFebvre

Rob LeFebvre is a freelance writer and editor living in Anchorage, Alaska. He contributes to online tech, gaming and iOS websites around the net, including Cult of Mac, 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. He owns and operates GamesAreEvil as well, so it’s surprising he finds time to have two amazing kids, a disco band, and (yes) a day-job.

Feel free to find Rob on twitter: @roblef

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Cult of Mac

New York Post Quietly Scraps Its Paywall For iPad Users Using Mobile Safari

New York Post Quietly Scraps Its Paywall For iPad Users Using Mobile Safari

The New York Post introduced a paywall last year that meant iPad users accessing its website with mobile Safari would be redirected to its official iPad app, and would then have to pay a monthly subscription fee to access its content. However, it has now performed a complete u-turn and scrapped that paywall completely.

The Post’s website is now available in all its glory on the iPad, allowing readers to access all of its content completely free. Although the site does present a popup inviting users to download the official iPad app — which still requires a subscription — this can easily be dismissed by hitting “Cancel,” and users then gain full access to the site.

New York Post Quietly Scraps Its Paywall For iPad Users Using Mobile Safari

New York Post Quietly Scraps Its Paywall For iPad Users Using Mobile Safari

Jeff Bercovici of Forbes reports that there’s no article limit like that applied to The New York Times, either. He was able to access more than 25 articles without running into any kind of barrier.

There’s no official announcement from the Post on this change, so the reasons for the paywall’s removal are unclear. It may be that it wasn’t as successful as initially hoped, but the Post’s iPad app has been relatively successful, and now sits as the fourth-highest grossing news app in the iTunes Store.

Bercovici believes the Post could simply be looking to capitalize on the iPad’s massive market share to boost traffic to its website.

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Killian BellKillian Bell is a freelance writer based in the UK. He has an interest in all things tech and also writes for TechnoBuffalo. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell, or through his website.

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Cult of Mac

AT&T Starts 2G Network Shut Down In New York

AT&T Starts 2G Network Shut Down In New York

AT&T has begun shutting down its 2G service in New York to free up spectrum for 3G and 4G customers. The shut down will effect a number of mobile phones that rely on 2G service for voice and data.

If you’re still using an original iPhone that doesn’t support 3G, it isn’t time to worry just yet. At least initially, the AT&T will only be shutting down one of the frequency bands that it uses to provide 2G service. Frequency that is  supported by the original iPhone will be maintained for the foreseeable future.

The plan, announced on Wednesday, will end 2G EDGE network support in the New York metro area. AT&T is reallocating the radio spectrum that it uses to provide data service using the older and much slower protocol. That spectrum will be used to shore up AT&T’s HSPA service in the area, which is AT&T’s most densely populated market.

The process will make more frequencies available for AT&T’s 3G and some of its 4G customers. AT&T brands its HSPA+ service as 4G even though the technology is really a faster version of its HSPA 3G service. The iPhone 4S makes use of HSPA+ on AT&T’s network. The added spectrum will reduce congestion and improve performance for all HSPA and HSPA+ customers in and around New York.

The changes don’t involve and won’t affect AT&T’s 4G LTE service in New York as the carrier uses a different frequency band for LTE transmission.

AT&T has been proactively reaching out to customers with 2G-only devices in the New York market and providing free upgrades to 3G handsets.

The move follows similar reallocation efforts by T-Mobile, which plans to shut down its portions of its older network service to make room for LTE. Sprint also announced plans to shut down its former Nextel service as part of its LTE rollout.

Cult of Mac

Protect New York From The Scum Of The Universe In Men In Black 3, Out Now For Android & iOS

Let’s be honest, at some point we’ve all dreamt about dusting off our funeral suit and fighting aliens with Will Smith as a Men in Black agent. Thanks to Gameloft, that dream is now a reality… on your Android or iOS device.

Men in Black 3, the official game of one of this year’s biggest action blockbusters, is now available from the App Store and Google Play, giving you the opportunity to create and manage your own MiB agency and protect New York from the scum of the universe — for free.

We are the best-kept secret in the universe. We are Earth’s best, last, and only line of defense. We are above the system. Over it. Beyond it. We are “them.” We are “they.” We are the Men in Black.

Agent, humanity is in danger! The vile Radiant has arrived on Earth and he must be stopped now.
For the first time ever, you will be in charge of the MIB agency, but don’t worry, Agent O, Agent K and Frank will help you to run the agency and fight against this new threat to mankind.
Good luck.

With your own MiB agency, it’s your job to train new agents and assign them to missions. equipped with a wide range of weapons and gadgets like the the Neuralyzer, the Deatomizer, and the infamous Noisy Cricket. It’s important to keep upgrading your agency and your infantry to keep those aliens in check.

You’ll travel through time to fight enemies in both 1969 and 2012 New York, with battles in Brooklyn, Central Park, and Times Square. When the going gets too tough, ask your friends from Gameloft LIVE or Facebook to come and help you out. And when you help them, you’ll be rewarded for your efforts.

Men in Black 3 is free to download on both Android and iOS, and it’s a universal app compatible with smartphones and tablets.

Video: YouTube

(Via Cult of Android.)

Cult of Mac