Wallpaper Universe is hoping sex sells on the iPhone

Some days I like to check out what new applications are being released in the App Store. But seeing as there are usually well over a hundred (and sometimes several hundred) each day, it’s hard to pick out individual ones. But Wallpaper Universe got my attention today with something very obvious: Pictures of scantily clad women staring at me.

The revenge of the $9.99 iPhone apps

When Apple’s App Store first launched back in July there was a wide range of prices for individual applications. While many were free, quite a few of the early games were $5 or $10. But as time has passed, there’s definitely been a trend of the paid apps to move towards $0.99, which seems to be a magic price point for high sales. But $0.99-an-app isn’t much of a way for developers to make a living, and quite a few of them are now trending back towards $10.

Aurora Feint II: The Arena brings asynchronous online multi-player gaming to the iPhone

Since the launch of the Apple App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch in July, there have apparently only been two games that have racked up over 2,000 reviews while maintaining a 4-star or above average (out of 5 stars): Tap Tap Revenge and Aurora Feint: The Beginning, says Aurora Feint investor and chairman Peter Relan. What that means is that a lot of people have really enjoyed these games, and in Aurora Feint’s case, there is an established fan base. With that in mind, its creators are launching a new iteration: Aurora Feint II: The Arena.

Apple releases the iPhone 2.2 update. It's a big one

The signs were all pointing to a tomorrow launch of the 2.2 software update for the iPhone — Apple jumped the gun. (Though I guess technically it is Nov. 21 on the east coast of the U.S.) The update is available now through iTunes, and it’s actually larger than the big 2.1 software update that Apple pushed out back in September (246.4 megabytes versus 237.8 megabytes).

MySpace application helps Blackberry phones get more social

The MySpace application for Research In Motion’s Blackberry smartphones has been downloaded more than 400,000 times since it was introduced a week ago. The two companies claim this is an app download record for them. Its users have sent a total of more than 15 million messages and updated their statuses more than two million times so far, they say.

Online ad growth slows in Q3

Internet advertising revenue reached $5.9 billion during the third quarter of 2008. That’s the second-highest number ever, but quarter-to-quarter growth is slowing, according a new report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

New World of Warcraft expansion sold 2.8 million in 24 hours

I guess they should rename the company Blizzard Activision. In any case, Activision Blizzard scored big time with the launch of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King. Published by Activision Blizzard’s Blizzard Entertainment division, the online game expansion for WoW players sold 2.8 million copies in its first 24 hours.

Rolando, one of the best looking iPhone games, plays even better

I’ve been excited about an iPhone game named Rolando ever since a video of it spread throughout the internet back in July right before the launch of the iPhone 3G (and App Store). The developers had hoped to release it in August, but that came and went, and the buzz largely subsided. But today I got a chance to play the basically completed version of the game — it’s even better than the original demo video — the buzz will be back soon.

Yahoo's stock rockets…downward

Those who were hoping that Yahoo chief executive Jerry Yang stepping down would solve Yahoo’s recent stock woes got a very rude awakening today — to the tune of a 20.87 percent drop in share price. Yes, Yahoo’s stock is now below $10 a share, closing the day at $9.14.

SimCity for the iPhone may ruin my life (in a good way)

No game captured my imagination when I was growing up like SimCity. Certainly, a part of it was my God complex, but more it was the open-ended nature of a game with few rules that let you build a city. I spent countless hours on my computer playing it, I even spent countless hours on the Super Nintendo playing it when it was ported to that console. Now it’s coming to the iPhone — countless hours will be lost again.

Admob's iPhone ad business continues to grow

Mobile web advertising provider Admob is finding significant traction with its iPhone ad network. The device has gone from generating 28 million ad requests in July, when the company launched interactive iPhone-specific ad features, to 236 million in October. Now the iPhone is the top device on Admob’s network, making up 4.1 percent of all ad requests.

Apptera gets more funding and a former Yahoo VP on its board

Voice and visual mobile ad network Apptera clearly doesn’t think that mobile advertising is going to take as big a hit as other forms of online advertising. In fact, from its perspective, mobile advertising may be the perfect way for publishers to cut costs while reaching a very targeted audience. The company has just closed a new round of funding to expand operations and help its clients do just that.

OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard showing its teeth sooner than expected?

The next version of Apple’s OS X operating system, dubbed “Snow Leopard” is slated to come out next year. When an early build was shown at this year’s WWDC event in June, Apple indicated that it would be available to the public in about a year. However, a new slide from a presentation given by an Apple director indicates it could be sooner, MacRumors reports.

LIFE, hosted by Google

Kids discovering the glee of hula hoops. Movie star Audrey Hepburn. Man first landing on the moon. These iconic images and more can be easily found on Google, which is now hosting LIFE Magazine’s photo archives. Over 10 million images dating as far back as the 1750s are being lifted off of dusty pages, etchings, slides, negatives and sketches, and brought to you in digital Technicolor (at least that’s what it feels like — we’re definitely not in Kansas anymore), thanks to Google’s efforts.

Taboola clinches $4.5 million, and CNN to boot

Taboola, a Tel Aviv-based video discovery startup, has just launched its “ViDiscovery” product, which analyzes the context and content of videos, and the viewing and behavior patterns of users in order to recommend videos. It has also secured $4.5 million in a second round of funding. The company aims to make money by running targeted ads with relevant videos.

Depends on what the meaning of "market" is: Judge dismisses Psystar's Apple countersuit

The brand loyalty that Apple enjoys is not the same as lack of competition, a California judge decided in throwing out Mac-clone maker Psystar’s countersuit against Apple. Apple originally sued Psystar in July for making computers that ran its OS X operating system without permission. Psystar came back a month later with a countersuit saying that Apple was engaging in antitrust practices by limiting its operating system to its computers.

iTunes adds (a bad selection of) TV shows for under $10

Last week, Apple started a new promotion within iTunes offering certain music and movies for under $5 for a limitied time. For movies, this is brilliant, for music, it brings iTunes closer to AmazonMP3 in terms of deals. Today, iTunes has added a third discount section: Television shows. It’s not nearly as compelling.

Caterpillar Cone: The new Fail Whale for Twitter?

Twitter has been having issues all day today (you know, just like the good old days). But right now, instead of the typical Fail Whale picture (shown when Twitter is down), there is a database maintenance message and a picture that I’ll describe as a caterpillar being yelled at by an ice cream cone.

SGN's iFun puts a bit more Wiimote in the iPhone

Gaming company SGN has a strategy that has worked so far with iPhone and iPod touch games: Use the device’s accelerometer to create simple sports games similar to one that have been made popular on the Nintendo Wii console thanks to the accelerometer in its Wiimote controller. It’s taking that approach to the next level with iFun, a new accelerometer-based gaming experience for the iPhone platform.

Google: Times are tough, deploy the ads!

It’s hard to knock Google for expanding their ad placement on their properties. After all, we are talking about their properties, properties that are free for us to use. But the problem, as we’re seeing today with its new ad box on Google Finance, is that users don’t like change — especially for the worse.

Hulu could catch YouTube in 2009 — in revenue, not traffic

Maybe you’ve read some of the headlines this morning about the NBC and Fox-backed online video site Hulu “catching” or getting “bigger” than YouTube. Hopefully you read deeper into those articles, because while the headlines suggest that Hulu is catching YouTube in traffic, that’s not the case. What they mean to say is that Hulu could match YouTube’s U.S. revenue by next year, according to The Financial Times.

Obama's first address to the nation on YouTube

This is just brilliant. As we wrote about yesterday, President-elect Obama will be giving weekly video addresses alongside the radio addresses that have become routine for previous administrations. The big key for these video addresses is that all of them will be placed on the largest Internet video portal in the world: YouTube. Today the first of those was released (watch it embedded below).