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Archives: December 2012

Where’s My Holiday? Joins Top Free iOS Apps List

Where’s My Holiday? is the No. 8 free iOS app this week, according to research from AppData. The holiday-themed video game from Disney lets players explore swamps.

Below, we’ve listed the top free iOS apps of the week. The list links to Inside Network’s research about the individual apps, including historical charts, developer information and download information.

To support Mediabistro’s Media App Summit which took place earlier this month, we have been spotlighting the top free apps every week–helping our readers discover, enjoy and analyze successful content. Read more

Instagram Alternatives & ElfYourSelf App: Top Stories of the Week

For your weekend reading pleasure, here are the most popular AppNewser headlines of the week.

They include: how to turn your resume into an infographic, how to turn yourself into an elf and posting frequency on Facebook.

Click here to sign up for AppNewser’s daily email newsletter, getting all our publishing stories, book deal news, videos, podcasts, interviews, and writing advice in one place.

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California Reconsiders Ride Sharing Apps

After citing Lyft and Uber with $20,000 fines, regulators are re-evaluating California’s laws regarding charter-party carriers. This decision comes after New York City and Washington D.C. moved to legalize e-hailing services.

“The Commission has a responsibility for determining whether and how public safety might be affected by these new businesses. The purpose of this Rulemaking is not to stifle innovation and the provision of new services that consumers want, but rather to assess public safety risks, and to ensure that the safety of the public is not compromised in the operation of these new business models.”

While regulators are mostly concerned with public safety, Lyft and Uber creates are public forum on poor services and subsequent backlash is much more visible in today’s mobile commerce. current taxi and charter systems do not allow for public feedback, thus making Lyft and Uber’s technology a lot more confidant in the public’s eye.

Companies such as Lyft are based in San Francisco, a city whose economy is largely tech-driven. San Franciscans suffer especially on rainy days and Saturday evenings when every cab is full of riders. Removing such restriction would allow businesses like Lyft, Uber, and SideCar to develop alternative transit in a city that is sparse in parking spaces and low in taxis.

Via Techcrunch

Don’t Buy Fake Halo 4 in the App Store

Do not buy $4.99 Halo 4 Apps  - they are fake. Evidently Apple has allowed two of these scams to slip through just right before the App Store freeze for the Holidays.

Here is what one user had to say about the fraud:

Bought this app because I thought it had to do with halo 4. Instead, it is nothing more than a chess game. This is a serious false advertising issue and I am contacting the proper federal administrative agency to handle this situation. DO NOT BUY! SCAM! Fraud!

The fake apps appear to be using graphics and imagery from the real Halo, but are actually just mediocre racing and chess games. It surprising that Apple would overlook such a blatant sham in their review process – the store has done a great job at keeping out nefarious spyware. Users should exercise common sense when deciding on purchasing such high profile games for such small fees.

Via Techcrunch

Macmillan Introduces Crowd-Sourced Romance Imprint

Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group has introduced a new romance imprint dedicated to crowd-sourced storytelling called Swoon Reads.

The new imprint will begin looking for submissions through this website beginning in the spring 2013. Writers are invited to submit manuscripts to the site where readers can read, rate and comment on submissions. The highest rated manuscripts will be picked up for publication in both print and eBook formats. The imprint will publish 6-12 novels a year, beginning in 2014, under the Feiwel and Friends umbrella.  Read more

Entertain Family with Hum a Song App

With the holiday weekend upon us, you’d better start thinking of ways to entertain yourself while hanging out with family. Hum a Song, a name that tune app, is a fun game app that can help.

The free app lets players choose from one of 2,000 songs. One player has to hum the song while the other players guess which song they are humming. It is powered by iTunes, so if you need a little reminder about the tune, you can listen to a clip before you have to record your part. The app works virtually so if you are not all sitting around the room together and you can record and send your tune for friends to guess at their convenience.

Here is more from iTunes: “Hum a Song is an addictive social app that allows you to choose from thousands of popular songs and show how much (or how little!) you know about music. You don’t need to be a virtuoso; you just need to hum along.”

Trapster App Helps You Find Christmas Lights Using Location Tools

Are you looking for cool Christmas light displays in your area? There is an app that will help you find these called Trapster. Using your location, Trapster will recommend areas that are especially decked out with Christmas lights for your holiday enjoyment.

The app plots these recommended Christmas light zones on a map and tells you how to get there. The app comes preloaded with Christmas decoration hot spots in several cities, and encourages users to share their favorite spots to help create a crowd sourced resource for finding these lights.

The app also tracks Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. So does this app from Google and this app from NORAD.

Planwise App Helps You Get Your Finances In Order

If your New Year’s resolution is to get your finances in order, check out Planwise, a new iPad app that helps you organize your spending.

The iOS app, which has existed as a web app only until now, lets you keep track of your current financial commitments and daily spending habits, and then imagine how this would be influenced by a life change. You can apply future scenarios to your situation like buying a house, losing your job, getting a raise, selling your car, or planning a vacation, and map out your finances to help you create a plan. The app creates an interactive graph of these scenarios to help you visualize the plan.

Here is more from the press release: “Planwise for iPad is completely anonymous. No personal data is required; an optional login allows users to save their data with bank-level security. An iPhone version will be released in 2013.”

‘Solstice’ is Free eBook Today

Solstice by Matt Rubinstein is today’s Free eBook of the Day.

The novel takes place during the summer solstice, the opposite of today. Here is the book’s descrption: “Solstice is a novel in verse set over the twenty-four hours of the longest day of the year, in Adelaide, South Australia. It is a story of love and exploration told in sonnet form, one verse for each few minutes of the day. It shows how much can change in a day — the whole world, and at the same time nothing at all.”

Amazon has the download available for free today and tomorrow.

For more free eBooks, check out our Free eBook of the Day archive.

Boeing Uses 20,000 Pounds of Potatoes to Test In-Flight Wi-fi

Boeing’s new Wi-Fi technology got a little help from some starchy friends. The Synthetic Personnel Using Dielectric Substitution, dubbed SPUDS, allows researchers to test in-flight signal strength of wireless systems. Evidently SPUDS share similar reactions to radio waves as human bodies, making them the “ideal stand-ins for passengers.”

Using SPUDS allowed testing to be reduced from two weeks to just 10 hours. Food enthusiasts should know that the tubers did not go to waste, all 20,000 pounds were donated to the food bank. Click below to watch their video. Read more

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