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Why 2010 Was The Year Mac Gaming Got Real

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Retrospectively casting an eye over an incredible year for both Apple and its customers, one of the most surprising developments of 2010 was the Mac’s long-overdue maturity into a serious gaming platform after years of false hopes and promises.

More surprising than even that, though, is the fact Apple almost had nothing to do with it: even while Cupertino oiled and massaged iOS into a platform capable of rattling the nerves of gaming’s most unassailable colossus, they continued to ignore Mac gamers and its developers.

So who was responsible for the Mac Gaming Renaissance of 2010? There’s no one company in particular, but let’s start with Valve.

15 Of Our Favorite Mac OS X App Icons In 2010 [Year in Review]

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When Apple updated the iTunes 10 icon earlier this year, it sparked huge controversy among Mac users everywhere — many branded the new icon ugly, lifeless, and unconventional. The debate showed that lots of Mac users like to see beautiful apps with beautiful icons.

Here are 15 of our favorite Mac OS X icons from 2010 that stand out for being beautifully designed, brilliantly colorful, and wonderfully unique. We’ve selected icons that make you want to find out more about an application, and that you’d proudly place in your dock for all to see.

We hope you like them. Check them out after the break. If you know better icons, please tell us about them in the comments. Free apps for the best ideas.

8MM Vintage Camera App Brings You Awesome Retro Video Effects [Review]

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There is an interesting new video photography app called, 8mm Vintage Camera by Nexvio, Inc., that brings your iPhone and iPod Touch back in time to capture the beauty and magic of old school vintage movies.

It accomplishes this by mixing and matching different films and lenses and it does a good job of it. The total number of combinations allow you to get a glimpse into retro filming with 25 old school looks from bygone eras. It even comes complete with retro colors, flickering video, light leaks, dust and scratches (my favorite), and frame jitters. You can add any of these to your video with a flick of your finger.

Daily Deals: iPad App Price Cuts, iPhone App Price Drops, $205 8GB iPod touc

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Twas the day before Christmas, and all through the iHouse, not a creature was stirring – not even a MagicMouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care – in hope that an iPhone 4 would soon be there. The children were snug, their tummies full from a big meal – with visions of iMacs and iPad deals…

Okay, enough cheap rip-offs of Clement Moore. We spend the last day before Christmas showcasing a number of stocking-stuffer bargains, including applications for the iPhones and iPads likely to be unwrapped Saturday. First up is a new crop of price cuts on iPad apps, such as “Catan HD,” a guitar simulator. Next we check out some new iPhone app price drops, including “Inspector Gadget.” We wrap up our spotlight deals with an 8GB iPod touch (with a $50 gift card) for just $205.

Along the way, we also take a look at some iMacs on sale, such as a 22-inch desktop running a 3.06 Core 2 Duo processor for $929. As always, details on these and more items can be found at CoM’s “Daily Deals” page right after the jump.

Rumor: iPad 2 To Have Thinner Bezel, Flat Back And Visible Speakers

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When we talk about the iPad 2, we already know at least some of what to expect when Apple officially unveils their newest tablet in April: FaceTime support, an iPhone 4 like gyroscope and maybe a higher-resolution (but not Retina) display. Those are all pretty much lock-ins.

When it comes to iOS devices, though, Apple has a tendency to rejigger the device’s physical design in the second gen — consider the aesthetic difference between the iPhone and the iPhone 3G, for example — so what does Ive and Co. plan to tweak in the iPad 2’s casing? A Japanese blog citing anonymous Chinese sources claims to have the answer, if we’re willing to believe them.

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The Octopus Charges And Sticks To Your iPhone When It Counts

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Need an external battery pack that doesn’t just dangle from the foot of your phone like a bulbous, electrically-charged bunion? The Octopus might be just what you’re looking for.

Taking its name from the suction cups of a cephalopod’s tentacles, the Octopus sits in your gadget bag until your iPhone runs out of juice, at which point it can be slapped onto the back of your device and connected to the Dock Connector thanks to a flexible cable.

If you allow the Octopus to fully charge your iOS device, you can expect your iPhone to comfortably juice to about half power, which should give you either ten hours of extra video or four hours of extra talk time.

Not a bad idea compared to some of the bulkier combo battery cases, and cheap to boot: the Octopus will only cost you $30

2010’s Best Hardware Peripherals for Your Mac [Year in Review]

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Here’s our 2010 Year in Review of the best 10 hardware peripherals for your Mac that we’ve come across in the last twelve months.

If you missed any of these or didn’t get a chance to check them out for some reason or another, don’t fret — all of them are still available and worth a look.

10. Mac Edition eGo Desktop Hard Drive 2TB

Leander Kahney: Iomega’s new Mac Edition eGo Desktop Hard Drive packs a whopping 2-Terabytes in a compact, stylish package.

The Mac Edition eGo drive is a good-looking complement to Apple’s new glass-and-aluminum Macs. It’s styled to match Apple’s Mac Pro with a sleek, silver case and a grill front.

It’s available in 1TB and 2TB configurations ($159.99 and $249, respectively), and offers several connectivity options: there are two FireWire 800 ports and one USB 2.0 port. It ships with a FireWire 400-to-800 conversion cable, which makes it compatible with Macs without a FireWire 800 port.