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Buy iTunes Gift Cards through Facebook

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If, like me, your Christmas shopping list has question marks next to two petulant twin nieces whose only interests seem to be quoting popular song lyrics and passages from Twilight on their Facebook pages with infinite, poorly spelled gravity (and who then quickly delete the helpful replies you leave criticizing them for being such idiots without even making a passive effort to absorb the stately, elder wisdom of your words)… well, why not consider buying them an iTunes gift card through Facebook?

Yes, the popular social networking site has just introduced an application that lets you buy iTunes gift cards for other users. The cards come in $5, $10, $15, $25 and $50 denominations, and the interface even allows you to select a date when the gift card should be delivered. The cards come in six designs: two holiday cards, two birthday cards, and two generic cards featuring those psychotropic iPod silhouettes at a rave.

For me, this is actually ideal. My nieces are fifteen years old, and I’ve long since given up on trying to suffer through a sulky, eye-rolling conversation with either of them long enough to try to ascertain their interests. Buying them an iTunes card through Facebook is exactly the sort of impersonal yet convenient gift that I’ve been looking for: it certainly beats this Edward Cullen laptop decal I was planning on getting for them.

Daily Deals: $3,577 Mac Pro Workstation, $860 MacBook and 50% Off iPod Cases

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As we approach the two weeks to Christmas mark, yet more deals are on tap. For the budget-conscious, there is a bevy of new MacBooks, starting at $860 for a 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo with 13-inch screen. For those preparing to put an iPod under the tree (or in your pocket), there is a 50 percent off sale on iPod nano accessories. To put a bow on all these bargains is a Mac Pro workstation powered by an 8 core 2.26 GHz Xeon processor and 10GB of RAM for $3,577.

For details on these and many more Apple-related items, check out CoM’s “Daily Deals” page after the jump.

Brilliant infographic shows just who is making money off the iPhone (and how much)

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A quality infographic is worth a thousand words; by that logic, since GigaOm’s latest infographic breaking down exactly who is getting rich off the iPhone (and by how much) contains roughly exactly that amount of words, it’s actually worth about a million.

Although there’s a lot of fantastic data in the GigaOm infographic, the thing that it makes most explicit is exactly how much money AT&T is making off the iPhone… and exactly how much it has to lose if their exclusivity deal lapses in 2010. According to GigaOm, AT&T actually makes $369 dollars off of the sale of every iPhone. That might not seem like a lot, but it will earn AT&T almost $2 billion dollars over the next two years in monthly data charges on the iPhones sold in the third quarter of 2009 alone.

That’s food for thought. AT&T hasn’t exactly been acting lately like a company about to lose the vaster part of its ill-begotten lucre over the next few years, which is exactly what will happen if its iPhone exclusivity lapses. With the iPhone worth, let’s say, $4 billion a year to AT&T, one wonders exactly how much they’d be willing to pay Apple just to keep control of their bread winner.

Check out out the full infographic at the link below. A lot of sites are just snapping up the entire image and regurgitating it back up locally; that’s not quite fair to the GigaOm guys, so we’re just including a snip of it: you should definitely click through to see the entire thing.

Who Is Getting Rich Off The iPhone [GigaOm]

China Sell 100,000 iPhones, But Skeptics Remain

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Perhaps with the jeers from selling just 5,000 iPhones during the first days following its launch still echoing in their ears, China Unicom Thursday announced it has sold over 100,000 of Apple’s iconic handsets since Oct. 30. Despite the seeming uptake in interest, experts remain skeptical.

“iPhone sales have been disappointing,” Samsung Securities analyst Paul Wuh told The Wall Street Journal. Selling just 100,000 iPhones with 144 million subscribers won’t help China Unicom’s bottom line, according to the analyst. China Unicom also faces the prospect of competing with its larger rival China Mobile for Apple’s attentions.

Panic Software envisions their Mac applications as Atari 2600 cartridges

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Panic Software are the makers of some of the finest Mac software out there, including the superb FTP application Transmit, the superlative Usenet program Unison, and the hyperbolically adjectived icon tool, Candybar.

When Panic isn’t applying their peculiar brand of genius to creating the best programs OS X has to offer, they are drafting up hilarious mock histories of their company’s misadventures in the burgeoning Atari 2600 market… replete with gorgeously hallucinogenic cover art for what their apps would have looked like at Atari cartridges back in 1983.

AT&T promises to improve service… by penalizing high-bandwidth iPhone users

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Once again, AT&T shook their corporate fist menacingly at the bandwidth hogging iPhone kiddies scampering about their 3G lawn, threatening to charge users more if they keep on taking watching streaming video and availing themselves of other high-bandwidth services on their iPhones.

Speaking to attendees at a USB investor conference in New York, AT&T Wirelss CEO Ralph de la Vega said that AT&T was working on improving service in New York and San Francisco, possibly by introducing pricing tiers that would penalize high-bandwidth users.

Needless to say, if you’re under an existing contract, AT&T can’t just move you over to a tiered data contract… but once your existing contract is up, it’s open season.

How Google Could Make Chrome for Mac OS X More Mac-Like

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Chrome could be more Mac-like when it comes to the browser's tabs and toolbar.
Chrome could be more Mac-like when it comes to the browser's tabs and toolbar.

Google Chrome for Mac arrived yesterday in beta form. The browser is lacking important features, including bookmarks and cookie management, and the useful app mode available in the Windows version. Also, benchmarks show it’s marginally slower than Safari. But in use I’ve found it good enough to set as my default, and Chrome’s superior to Apple’s browser in important ways: it launches more quickly, and is far less taxing on my Mac regarding RAM and processor usage, even with many tabs open.

However, one thing I’m finding irritating is Chrome’s tabs. Google’s efforts elsewhere in making Chrome a Mac-like experience should be applauded—the browser supports Keychain and the Mac OS X dictionary, and there are subtle animations peppered about—but the main toolbar and tabs area is problematic. I spent a short while making a mock-up (see the full-size version on my Flickr page), which offers ideas for a more Mac-like Chrome interface.

Pricing Confirmed For Tesco iPhone In UK

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UK supermarket giant Tesco has just announced tariffs for iPhone, which will go on sale from the company next Monday (December 14th).

The headline they’ll be using in adverts is that this iPhone is available for as little as £20 per month. Whether you go for a contract or decide to pay-as-you-go, this gets you £60 worth of calls and SMS messages (assuming PAYG customers top up at least £20 per month, which qualifies them for extras – and obviously encourages them to switch to a contract). Also consider that the free credit is applied once a month and only lasts for one month, then automatically expires.

Daily Deals: $1,049 MacBook Pros, Free iPhone Dragon Dictation, External Batteries

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We start the day off with a deal on MacBook Pro laptops. PC Connection has a number of MacBook Pros, including a 2.26 GHz Core 2 Duo and 13-inch screen, starting at $1,046. Dragon Dictation is offering free iPhone and iPod touch versions of its voice-recognition software from Apple’s App Store. If you need an external battery and case, you might check out HHI’s Apocket 1350 mAh external backup battery for the iPhone or iPod. The $20 deal also gets you a slim case, dock connector and LED flashlight.

For details on these and many other bargains (such as an iPhone 3G/3GS case for $9), take a look at CoM’s “Daily Deals” page after the jump.

Reports: Mac OS X 10.6.3 Beta Release Imminent

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Apple is preparing to release a limited beta version of Mac OS X 10.6.3, following just a month after publicly introducing 10.6.2, according to a report.

The update — expected within 48 hours — will include an unknown list of issues and carry a “10Dxx” prefix, the report claims. (When 10.6.2 was detected, it carried a “10B” and “10C” prefix.) The previous update addressed a series of issues, including the notorious “guest account” bug that deleted data when logging into or out of a Mac running the Snow Leopard operating system.