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It seems like the lazy part of December is upon us: The frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is behind us and the last-minute mad rush for holiday gifts is still a week or two away. So what’s a MacLife.com reader to do? Why not take a bite out of some tasty tech news from around the internet while you wait -- here’s the latest and greatest for Tuesday, December 6, 2011.
Not much of a surprise, but Walter Isaacson’s authorized biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has landed in the top spot on Amazon.com’s best seller list for 2011 after debuting at number 13. The official bio has only been available since late October, jumping into the number two position less than a month ago. Needless to say, the bio will soon take the leap to the big screen after the rights were acquired by Sony Pictures, with The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin “strongly considering” the role of screenwriter on what’s sure to be an epic feature film adaptation.
If you’re a fan of British television, you’ve no doubt been on pins and needles waiting for BBC Worldwide’s global iPlayer app to wash ashore here in the colonies. Just last week the app launched in Canada after a pilot launch in Australia and Scandinavia, and now The Next Web is reporting the subscription-based app will be arriving in the U.S. this week: Thursday, December 8 to be exact, not to mention expanding into other countries like Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Ireland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland as well. Oddly, BBC iPlayer will only initially be available for the iPhone and iPod touch -- there’s no word on when a super-sized version for the iPad will follow, but at this point we’ll take what we can get.
In other global news, Bloomberg is reporting that Apple and five e-book publishers are now under scrutiny in the European Union “over deals that may restrict sales across the region.” EU antitrust regulators are up in arms over Cupertino’s deals with Hatchette, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin and Macmillan, and the scrutiny also extends to traditional brick and mortar retailers as well. The EU wants to fight “artificial restrictions imposed by some companies to cross-border trade,” and the probe announced today “will in particular investigate whether these publishing groups and Apple have engaged in illegal agreements or practices that would have the object or the effect of restricting competition.” The parties in question are cooperating with the investigation, so we’ll see where this one goes...
MacRumors is reporting that new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models look likely for May, 2012 thanks to a roadmap leaked from Intel outlining the company’s next-generation mobile processors, dubbed “Ivy Bridge.” According to VR-Zone, Ivy Bridge will allow Apple to introduce quad-core processors to the 13-inch MacBook Pro, while bringing “significantly faster graphics and new OpenCL capabilities to the MacBook Air.” Of course, as MacRumors notes, a lot of what Apple will do is dependent upon the direction the company decides to take its MacBook Pro line, which is rumored to get a complete revamp early next year. In any event, if you can survive with your current rig for a few more months, it might just be worth waiting until May to see what shakes out.
Amazon is ready to open up an old-fashioned can of whoop-ass on brick and mortar retailers this holiday season -- at least for those of us using the company’s Price Check app on iOS or Android. This Saturday, December 10, Amazon is giving Price Check users a five percent discount (up to $5 per item) on “select items in electronics, toys, sports, music and DVD just by checking a price.” Better yet, you can redeem the offer three times for a maximum savings of $15. The promotion kicks off at 9pm PST on Saturday and ends at 11:59pm PST on December 10. What’s the catch? There isn’t one, but Amazon is hoping you’ll share with them the in-store advertised price of a qualifying product, which in turns helps them maintain the lowest prices. The only real downside is that you’ll have to get off your couch and actually go into a retail store to get the savings, but we’re betting more than a few of you will be all too happy to take Amazon up on some free cash for the holidays.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter