Got A Smart Phone? Want to Gamble?

If you’ve got an I-phone or any of the other popular smart phones with full Internet capability and lots of fun applications tailor made to be downloaded by you, there may be one you haven’t thought of yet. If you love to place bets, be they wagers on the outcome of soccer matches or bets on the midweek races at a nearby track, there is an app (application) for that!

Some of the first smart phone applications for use by gamblers involved the more traditional casino games such as black jack and poker. As more people have begun downloading more apps on their smart phones, more applications that center around wagering have been developed. The best casino phone apps are usually the ones marketed by the same people who offer the best gambling web sites online, like Caesars online. Teaming their existing technology with mobile devices is just one more way the on-line gambling industry is quickly becoming the biggest business on the world-wide-web.

Of course, today’s tech-development companies are coming out with new applications to use on smart phones at a rate that might be mind boggling if there weren’t an application designed to keep track of it all. (Is there?) The smart phone has gone from a handy way to take a call and find a good restaurant to an indispensable tool for living, at least for the I-phone generation. So, it is only natural that the gambling industry would up the ante and design apps specifically for these mobile devices that enable a person to gamble from, virtually, anywhere.

Of course, when shopping for any smart phone app, you need to be sure the application will work on your phone. You also want to read the fine print in the agreement and remember that gambling is not legal everywhere. In some places, your gambling app may be illegal. If you get caught, don’t worry. There is a great app for finding a good lawyer available, too!

Apple patent points to camera control for the iPhone

iPhone camera patent.We should be seeing a new iPhone this summer, which makes Apple’s patent filings a whole lot more interesting. There’s one in particular that could make walking and using your phone a whole lot easier. Of course, it could also encourage the one hand on the wheel while the other tries to operate a touchscreen that gets so many drivers into trouble. At any rate, Apple has filed for a patent that would allow a user to navigate the iPhone interface by using gestures over the camera at the back of the phone.

The idea is that swiping one way or the other would allow you to move through voicemails, jump around web pages, skip tracks, and so on. The camera could also be tap sensitive, allowing for easy, one-handed selection in a variety of applications. Since this is all going to be built into the iPhone OS you can bet it would also show up on the iPad, though I can’t say I would find that particularly useful.

The patent is one of those rare useful filings. Since the original date on the filing was Q3 2008, we could assume that the tech would be street ready by the time Apple’s ready to make a new iPhone announcement.

Source: Patently Apple

Amazon tries to stay competitive with Apple, will need a new device

Steve Jobs in a chair with the iPad.The day Apple announced the iPad, Amazon was calling newspapers and publishers before Steve Jobs had even left the stage. As the New York Times’ Bits blog has it, Amazon wanted to hear what Apple had offered. Amazon had been trying for more than a month to sign deals with publishers that would give Amazon customers the best prices anywhere, either by matching or beating the prices given to other dealers.

Amazon tried to sweeten the deal by offering publishers bigger revenues than in the past. Unfortunately, Apple was willing to budge on a much larger issue: price. With Apple, publishers had a bit more flexibility than Amazon would give, which in turn gave publishers bargaining power over Amazon. See, Amazon will do just about anything to stay competitive with Apple.

In fairness to Amazon, it’s not like publishers want to upset that distribution channel. Amazon pretty much pioneered the ebook scene – it certainly made ebooks as popular as they were likely to become before some sort of wonder device came along – which leaves publishers keen to cater to the existing subscribers in Amazon’s marketplace until either the iPad gains enough ground or Amazon releases a new reader.

That last point is very important. If Amazon doesn’t release a new reader within the next year or so, it will pigeonhole itself into becoming solely a content provider, a position I wouldn’t think Bezos wants to be in considering he started the Kindle. Rarely would a company of Amazon’s scale introduce a middling product only to do away with it in a couple years.

Source: Bits

JooJoo delayed until March 25th

The JooJoo tablet.It’s been a while since we heard anything meaningful about the tablet formerly known as the CrunchPad. The device, now named JooJoo, has been overshadowed in a serious way by the Apple iPad. As much as I would like to dissuade everyone from buying one of these things, I know someone will. If you’re willing to dive into one of the more ridiculous tech situations of our time, though, you’ll be waiting to get your hands on your newest gadget. The JooJoo has been officially delayed until March 25th.

Earlier this month, Fusion Garage’s JooJoo Internet tablet went into full production with an anticipated on-time delivery to consumers at the end of February. Last week, the company became aware of a manufacturing issue involving JooJoo’s industry-first 12.1 inch capacitive touch screen which Fusion Garage was quickly able to diagnose and rectify. The company now forecasts the JooJoo will be sent to consumers on March 25.

The manufacturing issue centers on fine tuning the touch sensitivity of the capacitive screen. Fusion Garage will be providing all pre-order customers with a free JooJoo accessory to compensate for the delay in the delivery of their JooJoo.

That’s the official word from Fusion Garage. As nice as the JooJoo seems, the delays and impending litigation are enough to keep me away from the device. To be honest I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the first of many delays.

Blockbuster to close 500 locations

Blockbuster storefront.I used to think Blockbuster Online was the greatest thing on the planet. At the time, I was living close enough to a physical store that I was getting as many movies as I wanted plus the bonus of being able to turn them in for free movies for something like $10. It was great. It wasn’t long, though, before the store closed and I started mailing my movies back.

That same thing is about to happen in 500 locations across the country. Blockbuster announced this week that it would close 500 stores over the course of the year. The news comes as the company continues to bleed money, to the tune of $435 million for its most recent quarter.

“While we believe the future is bright, the next 12 to 18 months will remain challenging as we balance the secular decline of a single channel with the ascension of emerging channels, such as vending and digital,” CEO Jim Keyes said on Wednesday. The company is also trying to restructure its nearly billion dollar debt to stay afloat.

Source: MSN

Android is a sausage fest

A little Android.AdMob has compiled some interesting data concerning smartphone usage. One of those fun facts is that the Android population is dominantly male by a vast majority. In fact, 73 percent of Android users are male, while other smartphone platforms remain much closer to 55 percent.

It’s pretty easy to see why. The Droid, Android’s most successful phone to date, was clearly marketed at males. Remember the stealth bombers? The upper-atmosphere spaceship drops? Not exactly your feminine hype.

Among the other stats AdMob compiled was the fact that free app downloads outnumber paid almost 10 to 1. Also, a meager 21 percent of Android users purchase apps on a monthly basis, compared to 50 percent for the iPhone.

You can find the rest of the stats over at ReadWriteWeb.

Palm lowers sales expectations

Palm Pre and Pixi.In a release today, Palm announced it was lowering sales expectations for the year due to slower than expected customer adoption of the new WebOS platform. As CEO Jon Rubinstein put things, “driving broad consumer adoption of Palm products is taking longer than we anticipated.”

His wording seems to suggest that the company still thinks consumers will pick Palm, but that it’s going to take more time. I’ve got news, fellas. It ain’t happening. It’s now nearly eight months since the Pre launched, eight months in which the company has failed to build a strong developer base, to say nothing of mediocre sales. We’re just weeks past Palm’s launch with Verizon, about which we’ve heard nothing. That rarely means good things.

Now everyone has just one question in mind – who’s going to buy Palm? The only other possibility would be for the company to develop yet another device, which I highly doubt it has the money to do. We know RIM and Nokia could both use a better platform, and Dell has been making passing attempts the cell phone market for years. None of them have actually expressed interest, though, and I would think only Nokia or RIM would be in a position to really capitalize on that kind of acquisition.

In any case, Palm is in trouble. We’ll see if it can dig itself out by year’s end.

Source: Business Insider

Explicit App Store category is gone before you knew it was there

Porn on the iPhone?Shortly after Apple pulled most of the sexual content from the App Store, developers noticed a new category under the app submission software. It seemed like the perfect solution to the offensive content problem. Just give those apps the explicit label and all will be fine, right? Right, but not yet.

One developer, upon noticing the category’s sudden and mysterious disappearance, called Apple to get the scoop. He says he was told, “it’s not going to happen anytime soon.” It’s a shame, really, because it would solve so many issues with the App Store. Giving explicit apps their own home means the people that don’t want to see them don’t have to, and the rest of the world can enjoy mobile smut. It also relieves Apple of the burden of censorship, no longer requiring a definition of what is appropriate or how much money you’re required to have to publish the inappropriate stuff anyway.

Even if this thing goes live, do you really think Apple is going to let anything more than a side-boob show up in any application other than Safari? No way. If we know anything about Jobs it’s that he likes Apple to have the corner on the porn market.

Source: Cult of Mac

Is Apple waiting on a better camera for the iPad?

The iPad.More clues have surfaced that suggest Apple is indeed planning a camera for the iPad. We’ve already seen that there is space in the chassis to host a small camera, now MacRumors says there is software to support video conferencing as well. The latest SDK has accept and decline commands for video chat services.

The specific API threads reveal support for at least testing front-facing cameras, zoom, and an LED flash (as in a camera, not the software). 9to5 Mac also uncovered the following buttons for video chat.

Video chat buttons.

The size of the actual image suggests a screen the width of the iPad’s, so it may not be for the iPhone as well. It could also simply be for internal testing, but my guess is that, as with the iPhone, the later generations of the iPad will be where the magic is at. If anything, I’d bet Apple is waiting on a better video camera to put into the iPad.

MixMeister Express 7: A potential death knell to the art of mixing, but a hell of a time saver

I learned how to beat mix in 1987. Back then, everyone was using Technics 1200s (the first CD players with pitch bend came the following year), and any effects you wanted to add – which basically came down to two things, phasing and back-beating – had to be done manually with the records themselves. No Pro Tools, no effects processing, no digital anything. Mix tapes were done in one take; I’d plot out each side in advance, press record, and hope for the best. I averaged roughly 3.5 train wrecks per mix tape.

In 2000, I finally upgraded from vinyl to CD. Denon made, and still makes, fantastic DJ equipment for use with CDs, so I bought that, a Numark mixing board, and a cabinet. But making mix tapes was still a pain, the old one-take scenario, and transferring them to digital form was worse. Roxio – which back then was called Adaptec – had a program that could transfer analog sources to digital format if you had the right equipment, but the signal loss was incredible. Once you amplified it to a reasonable level, the tape hiss was unbearable. Eventually, I stopped making mixes, though that had as much to do with a more demanding job and family life as it did with the archaic process of making the tape itself.

All that gear, of course, is woefully outdated now. I haven’t made a beat mix since 2002. Sigh.

Needless to say, when the email promoting MixMeister Express landed in my inbox, they had my attention. The program’s layout is similar to the loop-based remix software Acid, another toy I played with a lot back when I had more time on my hands. And the way MixMeister analyzes songs and plots transitions from one song to the next is, well, ridiculously smart. In a matter of hours, I had assembled an 80-minute mix, and not a single train wreck in sight.

Express Screenshot

Read the rest after the jump...