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iOS 5 Software Update

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This update contains over 200 new features, including the following:

• Notifications
◦ Swipe from the top of any screen to view notifications in one place with Notification Center
◦ New notifications appear briefly at the top of the screen
◦ View notifications from lock screen
◦ Slide the notification app icon to the right on the lock screen to go directly to the app
• iMessage
◦ Send and receive unlimited text, photo, and video messages with other iOS 5 users
◦ Track messages with delivery and read receipts
◦ Group messaging and secure encryption
◦ Works over cellular network and Wi-Fi*
• Newsstand
◦ Automatically organizes magazine and newspaper subscriptions on Home Screen
◦ Displays the cover of the latest issue
◦ Background downloads of new issues
• Reminders for managing to do lists
◦ Syncs with iCloud, iCal and Outlook
◦ Location-based reminders when you leave or arrive at a location for iPhone 4S and iPhone 4
• Built-in support for Twitter
◦ Sign-in once in Settings and tweet directly from Camera, Photos, Maps, Safari and YouTube
◦ Add location to any tweet
◦ View twitter profile pictures and usernames in Contacts
• Camera improvements for devices with cameras
◦ Double click the home button when device is asleep to bring up a camera shortcut on iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch (4th generation)
◦ Volume Up button to take a picture
◦ Optional grid lines to line up shots
◦ Pinch to zoom in the preview screen
◦ Swipe to camera roll from preview screen
◦ Tap and hold to lock focus and exposure, iPad 2 and iPod touch (4th generation) only support exposure lock
• Photo improvements for devices with cameras
◦ Crop and rotate
◦ Red eye removal
◦ One tap enhance
◦ Organize photos into albums
• Mail improvements
◦ Format text using bold, italic, or underlined fonts
◦ Indentation control
◦ Drag to rearrange names in address fields
◦ Flag messages
◦ Mass mark messages as flagged, read or unread
◦ Customize mail alert sounds
• Calendar improvements
◦ Year view on iPad and new Week view for iPhone and iPod touch
◦ Tap to create an event
◦ View and add event attachments
• Game Center improvements
◦ Use personal photos for your Game Center account
◦ Compare your overall achievement scores with your friends
◦ Find new Game Center friends with friend recommendations and friends of friends
◦ Discover new games with custom game recommendations
• AirPlay Mirroring for iPad 2 and iPhone 4S
• Multitasking Gestures for iPad
◦ Use four or five fingers to pinch to the Home Screen
◦ Swipe up to reveal the multitasking bar
◦ Swipe left or right to switch between apps
• On-device setup, activation and configuration with Setup Assistant
• Software updates available over the air without tethering
• iCloud support
◦ iTunes in the Cloud
◦ Photo Stream
◦ Documents in the Cloud
◦ Apps and Books automatic download and purchase history
◦ Backup
◦ Contacts, Calendar, and Mail
◦ Find My iPhone
• Redesigned Music app for iPad
• Hourly weather forecast
• Real-time stock quotes
• Wireless sync to iTunes
• Keyboard improvements
◦ Split keyboard for iPad
◦ Improved autocorrection accuracy
◦ Improved Chinese and Japanese input
◦ New Emoji keyboard
◦ Personal dictionary for autocorrection
◦ Optionally create keyboard short cuts for frequently used words
• Accessibility improvements
◦ Option to light LED flash on incoming calls and alerts for iPhone 4S and iPhone 4
◦ Custom vibration patterns for incoming calls on iPhone
◦ New interface for using iOS with mobility-impairment input devices
◦ Option to speak a selection of text
◦ Custom element labeling for VoiceOver
• Exchange ActiveSync improvements
◦ Wirelessly sync tasks
◦ Mark messages as flagged, read or unread
◦ Improved offline support
◦ Save a new contact from a GAL service
• More than 1,500 new developer APIs
• Bug fixes

Products compatible with this software update:
• iPhone 4S
• iPhone 4
• iPhone 3GS
• iPad 2
• iPad
• iPod touch (4th generation)
• iPod touch (3rd generation)

* Normal carrier data rates may apply. Messages will be sent as SMS when iMessage is unavailable, carrier messaging fees apply.

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:

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Google Chrome: Changelogs

Chrome: A browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier!

Micky Mouse to undergo makeover in 2010!

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009 19:30
– ( ) Disney Will Make Over Mickey. Why? To Make Us Like Him.

LOS ANGELES — For decades, the Walt Disney Company has largely kept Mickey Mouse frozen under glass, fearful that even the tiniest tinkering might tarnish the brand and upend his $5 billion or so in annual merchandise sales. One false move and Disney could have New Coke on its hands.

Disney Interactive Studios

Mickey as he will appear in the video game Epic Mickey. The game, to be released next fall, will show the character’s darker side.


Walt Disney with his creation Mickey Mouse, in 1933.

Now, however, concerned that Mickey has become more of a corporate symbol than a beloved character for recent generations of young people, Disney is taking the risky step of re-imagining him for the future.

The first glimmer of this will be the introduction next year of a new video game, Epic Mickey, in which the formerly squeaky clean character can be cantankerous and cunning, as well as heroic, as he traverses a forbidding wasteland.

And at the same time, in a parallel but separate effort, Disney has quietly embarked on an even larger project to rethink the character’s personality, from the way Mickey walks and talks to the way he appears on the Disney Channel and how children interact with him on the Web — even what his house looks like at Disney World.

“Holy cow, the opportunity to mess with one of the most recognizable icons on Planet Earth,” said Warren Spector, the creative director of Junction Point, a Disney-owned game developer that spearheaded Epic Mickey.

The effort to re-engineer Mickey is still in its early stages, but it involves the top creative and marketing minds in the company, all the way up to Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chief executive.

The project was given new impetus this week with the announcement that, after 20 years of negotiations, the company has finally received the blessing of the Chinese government to open a theme park in Shanghai, potentially unlocking a new giant market for all things Mickey.

Disney executives are treading carefully, and trying to keep a low profile, as they discuss how much they dare tweak one of the most durable characters in pop culture history to induce new generations of texting, tech-savvy children to embrace him. Disney executives will keenly watch how Epic Mickey is received, to inform the broader overhaul.

Keeping cartoon characters trapped in amber is one of the surest routes to irrelevancy. While Mickey remains a superstar in many homes, particularly overseas, his static nature has resulted in a generation of Americans — the one that grew up with Nickelodeon and Pixar — that knows him, but may not love him. Domestic sales in particular have declined: of his $5 billion in merchandise sales in 2009, less than 20 percent will come from the United States.

“There’s a distinct risk of alienating your core consumer when you tweak a sacred character, but at this point it’s a risk they have to take,” said Matt Britton, the managing partner of Mr. Youth, a New York brand consultant firm.

In Epic Mickey, the foundation of which a group of interns dreamed up in 2004, the title character still exhibits the hallmarks that younger generations know: he is adventurous, enthusiastic and curious. “Mickey is never going to be evil or go around killing people,” Mr. Spector said.

But Mickey won’t be bland anymore, either. “I wanted him to be able to be naughty — when you’re playing as Mickey you can misbehave and even be a little selfish,” Mr. Spector said.

In many ways, it is a return to Mickey at his creation. When the character made its debut in “Steamboat Willie” in 1928, he was the Bart Simpson of his time: an uninhibited rabble-rouser who got into fistfights, played tricks on his friends (pity Clarabelle Cow) and, later, was amorously aggressive with Minnie.

Epic Mickey, designed for Nintendo’s Wii console, is set in a “cartoon wasteland” where Disney’s forgotten and retired creations live. The chief inhabitant is Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, a cartoon character Walt Disney created in 1927 as a precursor to Mickey but ultimately abandoned in a dispute with Universal Studios. In the game, Oswald has become bitter and envious of Mickey’s popularity. The game also features a disemboweled, robotic Donald Duck and a “twisted, broken, dangerous” version of Disneyland’s “It’s a Small World.” Using paint and thinner thrown from a magic paintbrush, Mickey must stop the Phantom Blot overlord, gain the trust of Oswald and save the day.

Consumers will not be able to buy the game before fall of next year. Anticipation is intense. “Wow! This is amazing,” said Eli Gee on “I’m really… REALLY excited.”

Other observers are less impressed. “The approach warrants a lot of caution given the difficulty that publishers have had gaining traction on the Wii,” said Doug Creutz, a media analyst at Cowen and Company.

Industry veterans with experience in the family niche think that the Disney brand can overcome such hurdles.

“This is a huge opportunity to create more relevancy for Mickey and pull him into the fastest-growing entertainment medium,” said Jim Wilson, the chief executive of Atari’s North American business. “If it’s a good game — and given the strength of the developer and I.P., the likelihood of that is high — people are going to buy it.”

Not that the idea is not radical. “I was told to withhold judgment until I had seen the whole pitch,” said Graham Hopper, executive vice president for Disney Interactive Studios.

Disney has big video game ambitions, spending at least $180 million on their development this year alone. It has had successful spinoff titles, but no true self-published blockbusters. Disney generated about $86 million in retail sales from January to September in the United States, according to NPD data. Nintendo of America, the leading seller of games, had about $1 billion in sales.

Mr. Iger solved a right problems with the game by making a deal with NBC Universal in 2006. In the negotiations, Mr. Iger persuaded NBC Universal to trade the Oswald rights for rights to Al Michaels, the sportscaster. NBC wanted Mr. Michaels for its new football franchise and Mr. Michaels wanted to go, but Disney held him in a longtime contract through itsESPN unit.

In the interim, Mr. Spector has struggled with the correct 3-D model of the mouse, consulting with animators and John Lasseter, the Pixar co-founder.

Considerable effort has gone into instilling a backdrop of choice and consequence. Players can either behave in an entirely happy way and help other characters — and have an easier go of it in the wasteland — or choose more selfish, destructive behavior with a harsher outcome, including a Mickey that starts to physically resemble a rat.

“Ultimately,” Mr. Spector said, “players must ask themselves, ‘What kind of hero am I?’ ”

When it comes to Mickey, Disney is asking it, too.

Posted via email from Daniel’s Reflection Postingiously