Sunday, December 25, 2011
Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple News" @ 06:45 AM
To you and yours, a very Merry Christmas!
Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple News" @ 06:45 AM
To you and yours, a very Merry Christmas!
Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 01:00 AM
"The first of December is here, and while your neighbors may have already overdone it with the Christmas decorations, you might want to join in on the holiday fun."
If you really want to get into the Christmas spirit, then you might like to try some of these ideas to spruce up your desktop. Personally, I don't get too much into altering my screen since I have it how I like it now, but if you like to change it up for the holidays, here ya go!
Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 05:30 PM
"If you got an iPad as a gift during the holidays, you certainly weren't alone. In a recent poll of holiday gift recipients, iPads accounted for a full 22.7% of all gadget or hardware gifts, making iPads the single largest category in our gift poll, outstripping the nearest runner-up by nearly 14% of votes. That runner-up was Amazon's Kindle - not surprising considering that the Kindle is the best-selling product in Amazon's history."
It's a relatively small sampling size - less than 2400 votes, and only from people who read Mashable - but among the geek-set, there are a couple of stand-out points: the iPad was the #1 gift, more people got Macs (60%) than Windows machines (40%), Android phones let the way in the smartphone category with a hefty 50.3% figure (iPhones were 30%), but Windows Phone 7 devices at 10.3% just eeked out Blackberry devices (9.4%). Not bad for a brand new platform that most people still haven't heard about! Lastly, the Xbox/Kinect one-two punch clobbered the PS3 with a 54.3% figure versus only 11.9% for the PS3. The Kinect really is driving the Xbox 360 to new heights of popularity!
Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Talk" @ 11:00 AM
"Chances were, if you received some electronics this Christmas, it bore the Apple logo. Products made by the Cupertino, Calif. company were the most-gifted items, according to the online elves at Amazon."
I know I gave a couple of Apple products this year for Christmas gifts, so I guess I'm not the only one. The best selling electronic device overall though was the Kindle, which isn't surprising with the price drops and updates to the device. It is a fantastic e-reader.
Posted by Jason Dunn in "Thoughts Media Status Updates" @ 10:00 AM
...and we're back! It's a tradition here at Thoughts Media that we kick off the post-Christmas break by asking our community what they got for Christmas - specifically, any gizmos or gadgets. Or did you gift a loved one with some new piece of technology? Got any great tech support stories to share? I don't know about you, but whenever I'm over at a family member's house for Christmas, I inevitably end up sitting in front of their computer fixing/tweaking something. I don't mind though - I find it fun, and I like to help.
Speaking for myself, my tech stuff was pretty light this holiday - as it is every year - because if there's something tech that I need, I tend to buy it for myself when I need it, not when a holiday/birthday rolls around. I got a Kindle this Christmas from my wife, but, you guessed it, I bought it (with the help of a friend in the US) and gave it to her to give to me. Such is the life of a professional geek! ;-)
What about you? What did you do over Christmas, and did it involve technology in some way?
Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Talk" @ 11:00 AM
"It's Christmas Eve, the shops are shut, and you really don't want to have to go down to the petrol station like last year, and anyway, your Dad has enough Magic Tree air fresheners to last him till 2050 after last Christmas. But never fear: here are 10 last minute techie gifts you can buy without even having to leave the house. No Sellotape required."
I really like the idea of that iPhone/iPod Touch stand with a nice crisp high denomination bill. The eBook and app gifts aren't bad ideas either. Whatever you get for the last few on your list, remember, it truly is the thought that counts.
Posted by Jeff Campbell in "The Competition" @ 09:00 AM
"Google and NORAD (North American Aerospace Defence Command) have teamed up once again to help you follow Santa as he travels around the world, jumping chimneys, delivering presents, and generally being very jolly."
Just in case you (or the kids) are curious and want to get an eta to your house, you can head over to the special NORAD site they have set up to track Santa tonight. In case you are doing some last minute shopping, they haven't forgotten about you as they also set up a mobile site. Having a problem? Try their handy help page here.
Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 12:00 PM
"A few days ago, Charles pointed out the great FusionAds Holiday Bundle deal on software for your Mac. If web design isn't your bag, there are still a few other software bundles available right now you may be interested in checking out."
You can't exactly stuff them in a stocking but software bundles do make good last minute gifts for that Mac user on your list, and there are several to choose from in this article. One we have already posted about is the Indie iPhone bundle, but these are geared for OS X specifically instead of iOS. But act fast as these expire on various dates between December 23rd and December 31st.
Posted by Jason Dunn in "Thoughts Media Off Topic" @ 03:00 PM
Hi everyone! I need your help to win an unboxing contest that Best Buy is running on Facebook, and it’s for a good cause. Since I do a lot of those, I thought hey, why not enter? There are two grand prizes of $2500 CAD each, awarded as Best Buy gift cards. Since we’re coming up on Christmas, sharing the grand prize if I win makes sense – so I’ve publicly committed to donating half of the prize ($1250) to kids involved with Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Canada. My mother works for that organization, and I’ve seen first hand the needs that some of these families have. She works with the in-school mentoring program, which pairs younger kids with senior citizen mentors. Apparently the kids are Nintendo Wii-crazy, and it’s an activity the seniors and kids can do together, so I think what I’ll do is buy as many Nintendo Wii bundles as I can with $1250 (it should be at least five of them).
I'd really appreciate the support of the Thoughts Media community, because - and I'll be blunt here - Twitter is such a noisy medium that every though yesterday the message about this contest went out to over 5000 people from three different people, nearly zero votes came as a result of it. I'm currently #3 in votes, but I could easily take a dominating lead if even 20% of you reading this decided to act. Please help!
Here’s how you can help me, and the kids, win – oh, and enter to win a $150 gift card yourself!
The winners will be announced January 3rd, 2011, and if I win, I’ll announce it here and provide details and photos of the Wii’s I purchase.
(And for the Windows Phone Thoughts readers, I'll be doing a "real" unboxing of the Focus - that was just a simplified, quick version. I've got some serious concerns about the screen...).
Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Articles & Resources" @ 10:00 AM
"The first bottle of champagne has popped at the office party when you realize you forgot to buy your reports gifts. Last year you gave out Flingshot Flying Monkeys and inspired an epic cubical war. How can you top that with ten minutes to spare? Here are some ideas for the truly behind who still want to spread holiday cheer."
Image Credit: The Digeratilife
The usual gift certificates from iTunes and Amazon.com (which can be emailed last minute which is a bonus if you forgot to mail that package), but you can also pick up any number of gift cards from Safeway Stores. They have a wide selection if you have a Safeway Store in your area. I'm sure other grocery stores do the same, and you can also gift some e-books via CD which is nice for that reader in the bunch. Having spent too many Christmas Eves in stores trying to get that last minute gift, I have so embraced technology this year and done pretty much everything online, and I especially like the gift wrap option. I hope all of you have a Merry Christmas and good luck if you have to find those few last minute gifts!
Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 11:00 AM
"Now that the fridge is packed with Thanksgiving leftovers and the radio is broadcasting hourly traffic reports for mall parking lots, it's time to start thinking about the pending holiday season and the big H.C. That's right: Holiday Cards."
iPhoto is a great way to create cards, books or calendars, and this article has some great tips on how to turn out a crowd pleasing product. I've made a few books using iPhoto and they really have made the process simple, this is some fine tuning that could come in handy.
Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple News" @ 07:00 AM
"This morning, the online Apple store went offline for a short time. When it came back, there were no signs of an Apple tablet, but it seems the Christmas elves had been speaking to Mr. Jobs about gift options. If you've thought about buying gifts from Apple this festive season, you'll be happy to hear of the elegant gift wrapping options, Christmas-styled gift cards and, of course, the personalization options available for several Apple products."
Never too early to start thinking about Christmas I guess. You can even use the online store to send gifts to family and friends that are in another country, as long as they have a country specific online Apple store. To make it easy, Apple set up a help page on this very topic.
Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPods" @ 02:00 PM
"The Seattle, Washington-based online store did not provide a breakdown of sales figures but said online orders reached record levels during the holiday shopping season for the 14th year in a row. It said in a statement that more than 6.3 million items were ordered worldwide and 5.6 million units shipped on its peak day, December 15. Amazon said it shipped items to more than 210 countries between November 14 and December 24 and more than 99 percent of its orders arrived in time for the holidays. Amazon said best-selling holiday items this year included the Samsung 52-inch HDTV, the Apple iPod, the Acer netbook computer and Nintendo Wii."
I'm not surprised by this list at all; the only thing I found surprising about it was that the Kindle wasn't on it. While they don't say what specific iPod was the top seller, it stands to reason that it was, as it has been for the last few years, the Nano, with the Touch probably right behind. I don't know about you, but any of those gifts would've been just fine with me!
On a slightly different note, does anyone else find it interesting that Amazon did so well this holiday season while other retailers are acting like they got killed? It can't be a coincidence; I think people are realizing that holiday shopping stinks and getting your stuff from Amazon is a great way to avoid having to do it. I learned it two years ago (took me long enough, huh?) and ever since then I've been much happier around Christmas time.
Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Thoughts Site Updates" @ 05:40 AM
Since today is "the big one," Christmas Eve, and tomorrow is Christmas Day, the Apple Thoughts staff will be taking a breather to recuperate and spend time with family. We want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy anything-else you may celebrate at this time of the year. We will be back on Friday with more stuff to give away (I told you we had a box full of goodies, didn't I?) and more news and reviews on your favorite company with a half-eaten fruit in its logo.
Don't forget our Sena giveaway! We're going to be picking winners for that one next week, so get in while you still can!
Oh yeah, and if the Sena giveaway is a little too iPhone-related for you, have no fear because we have lots of iPod Nano and Classic stuff coming as well. Stay tuned, and Merry Christmas once again and thanks for reading!
Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Thoughts Site Updates" @ 06:52 AM
'Twas the day before the giveaways and all through the site...
Santas were dancing on a background of white.
The Mac fans were reading in hopes of some news
While the iPhone and iPod fans sought out reviews.
And then came the sound that we wanted to hear
From the man in the red suit with lots of reindeer.
So some friendly advice to all I'll relay,
There's one thing that you can do before our giveaway.
Whether a joiner or whether a quitter,
You'll want to follow @applethoughts on good old Twitter.
Tomorrow we give you a tweet to reshare,
And our editors' eyes will be watching you there.
For some of you tweeting, a gift will be coming.
For those that ignore, you won't be in the running.
Now go forth and join and read our opining,
and remember the rules, most important, no whining.
Multiple giveaways starting tomorrow...
And given at random to those who follow.
Instructions are coming, so please watch this space,
Randomness, surprises, and giveaways are all on their way.
But for now I must go and I must prepare
and make sure our prizes are all wrapped with care.
It's Christmas at Apple Thoughts, your favorite Mac site,
and the gifts are for you, Merry Christmas, good night.
Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 12:00 PM
"Yesterday's episode of Santa Live featured the song "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer." Apparently, children young enough to care about Santa are also young enough to have trouble understanding the jokey song about grand-matricide. Parents complained, and Majewski, already $12,000 in debt (that's a lot of bribed commenters!) was forced to pull the app. He remains the only one baffled by his lack of success with Santa Live."
Kind of funny how the fake bought-and-paid-for app reviews in iTunes weren't enough to get the app canned, but Grandma Got Runover By a Reindeer, one of the most popular Christmas songs ever, was too much for them to take. Sometimes I feel like I live in Bizarro World.