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First Look: Adobe’s Lightroom 3 Beta Rocks, With One Big Exception



Even though I own both Adobe’s Lightroom and Apple’s Aperture, I use Lightroom because of the advanced development module, the ability to paint on different exposures, and non-destructive editing. I had very high hopes for Lightroom 3, which Adobe just released in beta, and am pleased to say that with one pretty significant exception, I’m very pleased.

Tutorial Videos and more comments after the jump

If These Ten Apps Don’t Convince You To Jailbreak Your iPhone, Nothing Will [Jailbreak Superguide]



Last week, we published The Complete Guide to Unlocking and Jailbreaking your iPhone and iPod Touch. Here’s a list of must have apps and tweaks that you’ve enabled by following our guide. Through Cydia, you can download and install each item below and add new functionality and usefulness to your iPhone. I give you the Top Ten Must Have iPhone Jailbreak Apps:

Daily Deals: iMacs for $999, 50% Off iPhone Acces., Plus App Store Freebies




It’s midweek and featured Mac products include iMacs starting at $999 from the Apple Store, a 50%-off offer for iPhone accessories and a new round of App Store freebies, including RatMazing, a game of skill where you guide your rat through a maze using only your gentle influence (and a roomful of electric shocks.)

For details on these and other bargains (such as A-Data’s 500 GB external USB 2.0 HD), check out CoM’s “Daily Deals” page after the jump.

Flip Video Doubles Memory in Face of Nano Threat



Remember when Apple CEO Steve Jobs showed a photo of the low-cost Flip Video camcorder prior to announcing the iPod Nano would get a 640×480-pixel camera? No? Well, Flip Video does. Wednesday, the company released an updated version of its Mino HD camcorder with double the memory and a spiffier look.

The Mino HD will ship with 8GB of memory, up from the previous 4GB. The camcorder also includes a HDMI-out so it can be hooked-up to high-definition TVs. The device also gets a better screen (along with a size boost from 1.5-inches to 2-inches) for outdoor viewing, plus a brushed aluminum case.

In Popularity Smack-Down Steve Beats Oprah



When it comes to gadget-hungry teens, Steve Jobs makes Oprah look like some cable-access talking head. At least that’s the findings of a telephone survey of 1,000 12 to 17-year olds. Jobs was deemed the ‘most admired celebrity entrepreneur’ by 35 percent polled versus 25 percent for TV magnate Winfrey.

By comparison, skateboarding legend Tony Hawk received 16 percent of the votes and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had 10 percent of the survey results.

Mossberg: Windows 7 As Good As Mac OS


Walt Mossberg and Steve Jobs at the D5 conference.
Walt Mossberg and Steve Jobs at the D5 conference.

There are no big announcements from Apple today. No new products, nothing special happening. But it’s a special day nonetheless.

Because today, the Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg has finally declared Windows a match for OS X.

Many of you will know that Walt’s opinions are widely read, and are likely to sway a lot of people in their computer-purchasing decisions.

In recent years, he has consistently said that Mac OS X is a better choice than Windows, either XP or Vista. But with the imminent release of Windows 7 (on October 22nd), that comes to an end.

Daily Deals: Mac Pro Xeon Workstation, 8GB nano and iPhone Case Bargains




Mid-week Mac deals come from the Apple Store, that is offering refurbished Mac Pro Xeon 2.93 GHz and 3.2 GHz workstations. Also on tap: more 8GB iPod nanos (the previous version), plus continued sales on iPod and iPhone case, including the ChiTek Metallic Slim Fit Case.

For details on these and more items (such as new App Store freebies), check out CoM’s “Daily Deals” page after the jump.

Craig Smith Interview: How Frotz Brings Interactive Fiction to iPhone and iPod touch


Frotz: text adventure goodness on your iPod touch or iPhone
Frotz: text adventure goodness on your iPod touch or iPhone

When people talk about classic gaming, they usually rattle on about really simple, playable games that are challenging but that a five-year-old could conceivably master. Such people were clearly traumatised by text adventures (now referred to using the rather loftier term ‘interactive fiction’) and have therefore removed them from memory.

These games were primarily text-based, with you solving puzzles via verb-noun parsers. As time went on, adventures gradually became increasingly complex and elaborate, with Infocom arguably leading the genre to its height.

Sadly and perhaps predictably, text adventures eventually got a thorough kicking. In the words of Richard Harris: “Graphics came along and the computer-using portion of the human race forgot all about 500,000 years of language evolution and went straight back to the electronic equivalent of banging rocks together—the point ’n’ click game,” which, he argues, signalled the arrival of the post-literate society.

But via the magic of the internet, interactive fiction clings on, and apps for playing the Z-machine format are commonplace. Frotz is one of the best, and it now exists as a free iPod app. I interviewed its developer, Craig Smith, to find out what he thinks of interactive fiction and why he brought Frotz to Apple handhelds.

Cult of Mac Favorite: 12 Mail, a Great Video Sharing iPhone App


12mail is the first video messenger for the iPhone.

What it is: Developed by the creators of the excellent photo/slideshow sharing app 12 Seconds, which was among the first iPhone apps to support shared audiovisual messaging, 12mail is the first app to fully support streaming video messaging.

Why it’s cool: 12mail features full integration with Facebook and Twitter, allowing users to instantly populate the app with contact information for their friends on the the two most popular social media platforms in use today. The app breaks contacts into Everyone and Favorites groups, making it easy to find those in heaviest rotation, and has an option allowing public posts to a user’s Twitter page or Facebook wall.

Compiling videos stored on a user’s phone or recording new video is dead easy, and most brilliant of all, the app only uses the first 12 seconds of any video users choose, keeping messages small enough to send and receive painlessly even over a slow Edge connection. The app uses push notification and features the ability to annotate with text titles and geotags.

All video streams from servers at, which avoids use of limited storage on a user’s device and allows people without the app to receive and even initiate 12mail video messages of their own.

Where to get it: 12mail is free and went live in the iTunes App Store today.