Papermaster can lead Apple's iPhone team — but Big Brother is watching

Apple finally got its guy. Nearly three months after a judge ordered Mark Papermaster not to report for work at Apple as senior vice president of devices hardware engineering due to a contract dispute with IBM (his previous employer), the two parties have settled. Starting on April 24, yes another three months from now, Papermaster will lead Apple’s iPod and iPhone hardware teams, the company announced in a release today.

Apple and Palm continue the high stakes game of patent hold 'em

When Palm unveiled the Pre at CES a few weeks ago, it may not have been so obvious to casual onlookers, but it was taking a seat at a high stakes game where there is only one other player so far: Apple. You see, since the launch of the iPhone in 2007, no other company has released a mobile device that uses multi-touch — not even HTC with its G1, the first Google Android phone, which is only somewhat capable of doing it. Why? It’s hard to say for certain, but a logical reason is that everyone’s afraid of Apple’s patents. And given the new multi-touch patents Apple was just awarded, maybe they should be.

Notebooks now make up over 70 percent of Mac sales

Four years ago, sales of desktop machines made up 60 percent of Apple’s computer sales, while notebooks made up 40 percent. Not only have those numbers now reversed, they’ve skyrocketed in the direction of the notebook for Apple. In its most recently quarter, Apple reported that its notebooks constituted some 71 percent of all Mac sales, while desktops made up just 29 percent, The Industry Standard notes today.

The "secret" behind Hulu in a Super Bowl ad?

Video site Hulu sent an email out today telling people to watch Super Bowl XLIII (that’s 43 for you non-Romans) for the launch of Hulu’s ad campaign. That, in and of itself, is somewhat interesting because the video site backed by two television studios (NBC and Fox) is spending millions of dollars (or rather losing millions of dollars since NBC is airing the Super Bowl) to promote a medium that may ultimately kill television as we know it.

Netflix Q4: Cheap DVDs are recession-proof

Online movie rental service Netflix just announced that profits rose 45 percent during the fourth quarter of 2008. Looks like consumers feeling the economic pinch aren’t having any trouble digging up $5 to $17 for their monthly Netflix subscriptions. The downturn makes Netflix seem particularly affordable compared to buying DVDs or heading to movie theaters.

Independent Games Festival to pick the best of indie mobile games

For those interested in funding game startups, the list of nominees at the Independent Games Festival is always a good place to look for prospects. One of last year’s winners was The World of Goo, developed by 2DBoy, which went on to become a major hit for 2008. This year, there’s a mobile competition, dubbed 2009 IGF Mobile, for which the nominees were named today.

Spotted in the wild — the Google Web Drive?

Hints continue to surface that Google may be gearing up for the launch of an online storage system, which could be known as “Web Drive.” Another reference was found today in a cascading style sheet (CSS) file for Google Apps. In it, is an icon (right) for a mini “webdrive,” notes Google Operating System.

Awareness launches "best practice" templates for social marketing

“Social media marketing” is one of those catchphrases that sets off every right-thinking person’s jargon alarm, but the concept of engaging customers directly and interactively is becoming increasingly important to brand survival. Dave Carter, founder and chief technology officer of a marketing company called Awareness, says the strategy may even benefit from the economic downturn, since it’s faster, cheaper and more engaging than a traditional ad campaign. Now, Awareness wants to make social media campaigns more flexible and faster to deploy with templates called “Best Practice Communities.”

25 years ago: Apple's Macintosh says hello

25 years ago today, on Jan. 24, 1984, the first Macintosh computer went on sale. Now better known as the “Mac,” the name came from the Apple employee who created the project, Jef Raskin, who wanted to name it after his favorite kind of apple, McIntosh, but had to tweak the name for legal rights.

Emoji emoticons on any iPhone :)

The iPhone has support for popular Japanese emoticons known as emoji — but only if you’re in Japan. Us Americans (and other iPhone customers across the world) have been stuck with the bland old “:)” — text-based emoticons — until now. A small hack will allow any iPhone owner to use emoji icons without jailbreaking the phone.

It's official, print is dead

Update: As one of the commenters points out, a PDF of today’s Chronicle implies that the ad is just a sticker or overlay on the front page, not the front page itself. That’s not unprecedented, but I’m still boggling at how the ad is virtually the only thing you see through the newsstand window.

Palm will defend its IP too, confirms former Apple spokesperson

When mentioning that it would go after anyone ripping off its IP during its earnings call this week, Apple wouldn’t specifically name a company that warning was directed at. But if you want to know, look no further than the company commenting on that statement. “Apple was not the first to do multi-touch,” Palm spokeswoman Lynn Fox told Reuters yesterday.

Let them eat cupcakes! No Android "Cupcake" update for G1 owners?

Google’s Android development team has been working on a new version of its software that it calls “Cupcake.” The update is packed with features that many owners of Android phones like the G1 have been asking for, such as stereo Bluetooth support, an updated web browser, a search feature for web pages, a video recording system that may actually work and of course, an on-screen keyboard.

Guys, he's still alive: Twitterers fall for Steve Jobs hoax

A hoax made the web rounds today, claiming that Steve Jobs suffered a heart attack. Though last week’s announcement that the Apple chief executive would take medical leave from the company is indeed true, what isn’t true is this article, seemingly hacked into Wired.com’s vulnerable image view–serving up the fake headline in a pseudo Wired domain.

Boxee now lets you get "Lost" in ABC content

The new season of ABC’s hit show Lost premiered last night. Some people (me, for example) were busy and missed it. I was all set to buy the season pass on iTunes — but it’s $50 (in HD). I’d rather watch it for free, streaming at ABC.com, but that leaves me chained to my desk. Or it did until today, because media-center startup Boxee just added ABC support.

Just in time for the new administration, the Washington Post launches Who Runs Gov

We all witnessed a transition of power on Tuesday as Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, taking over for George W. Bush. Yet, while everyone knows at least general facts about those two men, how much do you know about Obama’s advisors, and the others who will be running our country alongside him? Probably not a lot. That’s where Who Runs Gov, a new site built by the Washington Post Company, comes in.

Visualizing Twitter reactions to Obama's inauguration

The guys over at data-visualizing blog Flowing Data have put together an interesting way of watching how Twitter users felt about President Barack Obama’s inauguration this week. In the video they’ve created (found here), any time the word “inauguration” appeared in a single tweet on Twitter in a positive context — starting on the morning the day before the inauguration and continuing on up until now — a blacked-out world map represented it with a tiny blue dot. As the number of these tweets has increased over the course of this week, the dots have merged in heavily twittering cities to create larger dots. See screenshot above.

Apple on its cash, netbooks, Apple TV, iPhone nano and the Palm Pre

Apple’s quarterly earnings call was full of new information about the company. Below are five areas in particular that caught my ear, based on comments from executives. Chief operating officer Tim Cook (Apple’s acting leader with chief executive Steve Jobs out on medical leave) answered many analyst questions himself, while chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer also fielded some of the questions.