Whether the next iPhone has near field communication (NFC) capabilities is anyone’s guess, but reports indicate that NFC payment capabilities might be coming to Apple retail stores.

Citing “multiple Apple sources,” BGR says that various changes taking place at Apple retail locations could indicate that Apple is preparing to roll out some new NFC-capable point-of-sale systems.

This information comes as BGR, MacRumors and MacStories all report on secret meetings taking place to coincide with the 10th anniversary, this Thursday, of the first Apple retail store. However, all reports indicate that something big will be happening early next week.

From BGR:

  • Apple stores have apparently already received hardware to install and expect more hardware Friday or Saturday. All materials that Apple stores have received have been instructed to be under lock and key until after close on Saturday night.
  • Apple employees will be putting up black curtains at all stores so that passersby can’t see inside.
  • Employees have had to download gigabytes of data from Apple corporate labeled, “training” in a password-protected zipped folder that won’t be accessible to managers or anyone else until Saturday afternoon.
  • Lastly, all Apple retail stores have mandatory meetings on Sunday, May 22. Most meetings are scheduled for the morning, but there are evening meetings as well.

Whatever it is, it sure seems like something is happening next week. Let us know in the comments what you think it is.

More About: apple, apple retail store, Apple Store, nfc

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Article courtesy of Mashable!


The trailer for Paramount Pictures’s The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn has hit YouTube seven months before the movie is set to premiere.

The movie, a collaboration between director Steven Spielberg and producer Peter Jackson, uses motion-capture 3D technology (a la Avatar) to create very realistic computer animation. The first few seconds of the trailer tease the effect by showing characters in shadows and in a glass reflection.

The movie, based on the Belgian comic strip character, is set for U.S. release on December 23. Anticipation is so strong, though, that a fake YouTube trailer has gotten 80,000 views by telling viewers “Wait, don’t leave!” and then showing a few screenshots.

What do you think? Are you excited about this release? Is the animation as good as you expected? Let us know in the comments.

More About: avatar, movie trailers, paramount pictures, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, youtube

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Article courtesy of Mashable!


On Blekko, searchers double as editors, helping the upstart search engine refine and curate the best websites for any given query. The people-centric formula is antithetical to the typical machine-driven approach of search engines, but Blekko is slowly turning skeptics into believers.

Case in point: Flipboard, the trendy social magazine for the iPad, is a Blekko convert. The companies announced Tuesday that Blekko will power Flipboard’s application search.

Flipboard already partners with media organizations to feature their content, but it also allows users to add sections of their own choosing. This is where Blekko comes in. When a user performs an RSS feed or keyword search, Blekko will deliver its human-curated results.

The idea is to deliver the best possible content sources to application users and eliminate spam results entirely. Flipboard, by way of Blekko, can potentially help new users avoid frustrating search experiences.

Blekko will also benefit. The deal will help bolster the startup’s reputation and ensure that it continues to see exponential growth in search queries.

In April, the five-month-old Blekko powered more than 50 million search queries. It also saw traffic jump 30% over March with 750,000 unique visitors.

Can Blekko beat Google by employing searchers as soldiers? Probably not just yet, but this is a battle to be watched.

More About: blekko, Flipboard, Search

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Article courtesy of Mashable!


The Mobile Content Series is supported by Mygazines, the better way to enhance and distribute brochures, catalogues, newsletters and other documents on every device. To complement this post, view an exclusive videocast, “Mobile Content Delivery: Native App Vs. Web App”.

It’s no secret that mobile is the future. While ownership of TV sets in the U.S. fell for the first time ever, smartphone ownership continued to explode — it’s up 60% versus a year ago. Marketers who had traditionally focused on getting their message across through broadcasts on television and radio or in print magazines and newspapers are quickly working to adapt their messages for mobile.

Mobile is a new paradigm. It has its own rules, standards, technologies, and challenges. Here’s how marketers are working with designers and developers to optimize branded materials for these new platforms.

Pare Down

The golden rules of mobile: simplicity, brevity, accessibility. The screens are small, the Internet connections slow and people don’t have a lot of time. The best mobile experiences are those that condense the bigger picture into a bite-sized chunk, friendly for on-the-go consumption.

“Successful mobile websites and applications will do fewer things, but do them better,” says Daniel R. Odio, CEO of PointAbout. On mobile especially, it’s important that things ‘just work.’ ”


Think about the use cases for different consumer devices. Nicole Amodeo, director of creative products at the mobile ad platform company Medialets, stresses three key points for anyone creating content for mobile: “Why, when and where does your consumer use a device?” When exploring answers to these questions, it’s important to allow “your target audience and their particular use cases to dictate the experience, the content, the features and utilities,” Amodeo adds.

Before deciding on a platform for mobile marketing material, think more about what makes the most sense for the user and use cases. For example, does it make sense to create create an app, or phone- and tablet-optimized website?

Mobile Sites

There are two key points for designing for mobile: speed and usability. Content on a mobile is commonly created for an “on need” basis. A user browsing for online content on a mobile device is generally searching for something specific, not just casually surfing the web.

A user will need to gather the data they are after, quickly and easily without having to wait a long time for a page to load on a 3G connection. Therefore, when converting a traditional website into a mobile version, it’s important to make sure a number of things happen:

  • Auto-Detect Mobile Phones. Mobile-friendly websites automatically detect that users are on a mobile device and then display the appropriate version of the site.
  • Clear Calls to Action. The most important features of the site should be the at the top of the page and should include clear calls to actions.
  • Avoid Mobile-Unfriendly Elements. The design should avoid mobile-unfriendly elements such as Flash, large images, video, and complex layouts.
  • Fluidity. Design with a fluid layout that will gracefully adapt to a range of typical mobile screen resolutions.
  • Touch Interface. Touch screens don’t have hover states — it’s all about fingers tapping, so don’t build a site that requires users to move their mouse over menus or other elements. Also, make sure links and other clickable elements are big enough to tap with a fingertip.
  • Scrolling. Limit scrolling to one direction — the site should only scroll vertically. Having to manage a page that scrolls horizontally and vertically is difficult to navigate.
  • One Window. Avoid pop-ups and new windows. A user’s entire experience should take place in a single window.
  • Simple Navigation. Simplify your navigation. Typically, a site’s traditional navigation is too complex for a mobile site.
  • Clean Code. Most desktop web browsers allow a lot of leeway when rendering HTML and will usually display a site correctly, even if the code has flaws. Mobile browsers usually have less room for error, so there is an added value to having clean, simple code.
  • Use Alt Tags. Sometimes images won’t load, either because of issues with the mobile browser or because a user’s connection is too slow. Always include descriptive alt tags for images, in case they don’t appear.
  • Label Forms. Some modern websites embed form labels inside the form field. On mobile, it’s much more difficult to keep track of the fields, and users often make use of “next/previous” buttons built into they keyboard. Without clear labels alongside the form fields, it might be impossible to know what information is supposed to be in which field.
  • Escape Hatch. Sometimes users just need to use your normal site. If possible, always have a link back to the original, unoptimized site.

Responsive Web Design

One of the largest challenges in designing for mobile is the vast amount of devices to cater to. Rather than designing a mobile-specific website, responsive design allows websites to automatically adjust to a devices resolution, orientation and feature set.

The technology behind responsive websites is a relatively simple mix of CSS and a flexible grid-based layout. The best responsive websites even take into account device rotation, displaying different content depending on if the phone is in landscape or portrait mode. Taken to the extreme, a responsively designed site might even use GPS to display content relative to a user’s location.

Mobile-Friendly Calls To Action

The world hasn’t completely transitioned to mobile (yet). Until that day, one important way to leverage traditional media is to tie it into mobile. What are an ad’s viewers being asked to do, and can they do it on mobile? If an ad is going to be seen by consumers on the go, making mobile-friendly calls to action is important. If an ad asks users to check out a website, make sure the website loads well on a smartphone.

Embrace mobile technology. Instead of asking users to call a phone number or visit a website, use a QR code to let consumers quickly learn more about a product or even receive some sort of exclusive content, such as a free MP3 or other product tie-in.


Sometimes the best way to optimize marketing materials for mobile is to create an app. Users expect apps to complete simple, narrowly defined tasks quickly and easily. Think about how simple many popular mobile apps really are — they do one thing and they do it well.

The most successful way to market through an app is to create some sort of branded experience, tool, utility or game that both transmits a marketing message but still provides a level of utility and enjoyment for users.

A fantastic example would be the toilet paper brand Charmin’s app, which helps users locate the nearest public restroom.


There are many design and development tips to keep in mind when optimizing marketing — or, for that matter, any — content for mobile. But it all comes down to leveraging design and technology to keep things simple, clean, fast to load and easy to digest on the go.

Keep it simple.

Series Supported by Mygazines

This series is supported by Mygazines, an interactive marketing solution that lets you enhance, distribute and track your content on any web enabled device, including desktop, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry and Android phones. To complement this post, view an exclusive videocast, “Mobile Content Delivery: Native App Vs. Web App.” Keep informed by following Mygazines on Twitter.

More About: MARKETING, Mobile 2.0, Mobile Content Series, mobile marketing

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Article courtesy of Mashable!


LinkedIn Valuation To Top $4 Billion in IPO

May 17, 2011

The valuation of LinkedIn continues to soar ahead of its IPO, with the company upping the price of its offering by 30 percent to $42 to $45 per share. The increased price range will net the company $352 million and value the business-oriented social network at more than $4 billion following the IPO. LinkedIn, which is slated to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, initially planned to raise about half that — $175 million — when it filed to go public in January.

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Stunning 360-Degree Wembley Stadium Panorama Gets Thousands of Facebook Tags

May 17, 2011

Photographer Jeffrey Martin has created an impressive 360-degree, 10-gigapixel panorama of the Wembley stadium. The photo, taken at the the FA Cup Final between Manchester City and Stoke City on May 14, was created from almost 1,000 individual high resolution photos, which makes it the largest 360-degree sports panorama ever created. The Wembley 360 project is now attempting to stitch and fine tune the entire panorama in just 24 hours, inviting football fans that were at the game (or know someone that was at the game) to tag the individuals in the audience through Facebook

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San Francisco Bay Bridge Becomes iPad Game

May 17, 2011

For years, the mighty bridge that spans San Francisco Bay — one of the busiest bridges in the world — has been undergoing an increasingly expensive earthquake retrofit.

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Lady Gaga Hits 10 Million Twitter Followers

May 17, 2011

Lady Gaga is the first Twitter user with over 10 million followers, which is a first for both the singer and Twitter itself. Lady Gaga celebrated this milestone with a tweet saying: “10MillionMonsters! I’m speechless, we did it! Its an illness how I love you. Leaving London smiling.” The mega-popular music celebrity is a huge social media star, having been the most popular user on Twitter for quite some time now

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Winklevoss Twins Take Facebook Case to the Supreme Court

May 17, 2011

Despite recent legal defeats, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss have decided to take their feud with Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg all the way to the Supreme Court. The twins, made into household names thanks to The Social Network , have been trying hard to rescind the settlement from their lawsuit against Mark Zuckerberg in 2004.

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