Why did Apple kill the iTunes $5 movie deals?

A month ago I wrote about a potentially problematic new section of iTunes — potentially problematic because it was going to bankrupt me with its great deals. The section was an “Under $5″ area which offered up a handful of movies for $4.99 or less. But now, it’s gone.

The Dark Knight: Buy the movie, not the iPhone game

In some circles, today is “Dark Knight Day.” That is, the ultra successful Batman film, The Dark Knight, was released on DVD and to digital stores like iTunes today. And people were apparently excited enough about the release to make it the top-selling film on iTunes for all of 2008 — before it was even released (thanks to pre-sales). For those who were thinking about celebrating Dark Knight Day with The Dark Knight: Batmobile iPhone game based on the movie, I have one word of advice: Don’t.

Google Book Search: now with magazines!

Google announced today that its Book Search engine is now home to magazine archives. Partnerships with publishers such as Hearst mean you can read magazine articles in full-color, from page-to-page, in their original context. And you don’t have to be afraid of papercuts.

Twitter fixes TwitterFon because Apple takes too long

The Twitter iPhone application TwitterFon started having some major issues last week. Essentially bad data being passed to it from Twitter caused it to fail on load. It was unusable. TwitterFon developer Kazuho Okui was quickly on top of the issue and coded a new version to fix it. The problem is that while he sent it to Apple six days ago, they still haven’t approved it. Luckily, today Twitter stepped up and fixed the issue on their end.

They. Are. Watching. Google Street View doubles U.S. coverage

Google Street View, a service that provides real street-level pictures in Google Maps, started out as equal parts creepy and cool. While some users were up in arms over the personal privacy ramifications, others were anxious for it to roll out to their hometowns so they, too, could see their homes up close in a web browser. Today, with coverage being doubled, love it or hate it, Google Street View seems here to stay.

Clerk Dogs is the know-it-all video store nerd in your browser

To work at a video store, it’s pretty much a requirement that you not only love movies but also know a lot about them — or at least think you do. We’ve all been to a local video store where the clerk dishes out recommendations. Sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re awful, but they’re always opinionated. A new service, Clerk Dogs, hopes to take the best of those recommendations to the web.

Monopoly passes Go, comes to the iPhone

I’m going to assume that everyone reading this post was once a child. And with that assumption, I will make another one: That you’ve played the board game Monopoly at some point in your life. If that’s the case, you probably have fond memories of it. So I’m pleased to report that those memories translate well to the new iPhone version of the game.

Will Microsoft's CES keynote yield a ZunePhone?

Yes, the rumor is back again. And it will keep coming back until Microsoft eventually releases its own phone (which I think it will and should). The rumor today is that Microsoft could use chief executive Steve Ballmer’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) keynote to unveil a device based on both its Zune portable music device and the Danger-made Sidekick device, Tech Trader Daily reports.

Google Talk is failing says Twitter

In the past, when a service I use regularly failed, I’d send out some instant messages to friends to see if they were noticing the same thing. Of course, that’s a problem when the instant messaging service you use goes down, as Google Talk (or “Gchat”) has today. Luckily, with the miracle service that is Twitter Search, I know that I’m not alone.

Strands launches first lifestreaming iPhone app

Strands has become the first “lifestreaming” company to get an app in Apple’s iPhone App Store. Like other aggregator services, including FriendFeed and socialmedian, Strands’ web service (in beta) lets you share your activity on Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and many other sites, and see what your friends on Strands are sharing.

FreundFeed? FriendFeed launches in six new languages

FriendFeed as a concept makes sense. You take your social data from all around the web and gather it in one place so as to facilitate conversations around your content. And so if a concept makes sense in English, it makes sense in other languages too — and that’s why FriendFeed is rolling out interface support for six new languages today.

Apple killed GPS to get the iPhone in Egypt. What will it kill for China?

One of the centerpieces of the iPhone 3G is its global positioning systems (GPS) capabilities. While the first iteration of the device didn’t have it, the new version uses it fairly extensively for a wide range of third-party apps as well as the Google Maps built-in app. So it’s interesting that Apple was forced to kill the GPS functionality of the iPhone in order to sell the device in Egypt, The New York Times reports.

Preview: Satellite, another Reddit iPhone app — but with voting

Last week, I took a look at the application for the iPhone made for the social voting site Reddit. Appropriately called ‘reddit,” though not an official app, it does a nice job of showcasing and giving you access to the most popular stories on Reddit at any given time. One feature it did not have however, was the ability to vote on stories. A new app, Satellite, another application built for Reddit, set to be released shortly, brings this feature.

Android developers, start your engines: Google unlocks the G1

All I keep hearing about is how great Google’s Android platform is. Wait, let me rephrase. All I keep hearing about is how great Google’s Android platform will be. I say that because it’s not great yet. Developers simply haven’t embraced it enough. But Google has just taken an important step towards making sure they will: It has unlocked the first Android phone, the G1.

Video: Play those iPhone apps on your TV

I still believe that Apple is eventually going to roll out versions of its App Store across its different products, including the Apple TV. Applications are selling like crazy in the App Store (300 million downloads so far) and a lot of them, like the games, would make just as much sense on a television. Don’t believe me? Check out the video embedded below.

Android's expansion into China: a big deal

For the moment, the G1 phone, made by HTC and carried by T-Mobile, is the device American consumers think of when they happen to think of Google’s Android operating system. It’s important, though, to remember that Google has much bigger ambitions for Android — It aims to make it the operating system used on phones and other devices around the world. It took another big step towards that with the introduction of the i6-Goal device in China, announced earlier this week.

Hand over all your Facebook photos to Obama, please

Applying to a position in Obama’s cabinet and administration is tougher than climbing Mt. Everest while performing open-heart surgery. But even after a candidate’s passed the intense vetting process, it doesn’t mean they automatically stay out of trouble, as we’ve just seen with head speechwriter Jon Favreau.

Circle of Moms gets circle of traffic

Save the drama for your mama, or at least take it online. Circle of Moms, a new parenting website launched in October 2008, can now celebrate its 850,000 registered users. Only two months after crashing the parenthood site party, it’s now the second largest community of mothers after CafeMom with its public launch today.

Wal-Mart iPhone to hit the magic price point: $99?

$99 is a magic price point. It’s basically $100 but it doesn’t look like $100 thanks to that one less digit. That comforts a lot of consumers, and they’re more likely to buy when they’re comfortable with the price. So it’s potentially huge news that perhaps the hottest consumer item out there right now, the iPhone, could hit this magic $99 when it goes on sale at Wal-Mart soon, a tipster tells the blog Boy Genius Report.