Remains of the Day: A tablet for all seasons

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Amazon teases its tablet intentions, the House of Representatives puts the iPad to a vote, and the real reason publishers are all over subscriptions like marmalade on toast. (I have it on good authority that that’s very funny if you’re British.) The remainders for Thursday, May 12, 2011 await you just through that door.

Will Amazon make a tablet? ‘Stay tuned,’ says Jeff Bezos (Consumer Reports)

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sat down with Consumer Reports, and the Beez’s knees—as he’s known in the industry—hinted that the Internet retailer may enter the tablet field. “Stay tuned,” Bezos said, when asked about the possibility of a multipurpose tablet. Isn’t the Kindle a multipurpose device, though? It already reads e-books, disrupts the publishing industry, and props up your uneven kitchen table. What more could you want from a tablet, really?

Whip it! House Dems using iPad technology to count votes (appolicious)

Counting is hard. I can only get about as high as 10—20 if I’ve got my shoes off. Fortunately, for those cases where you need to go higher than that, the iPad’s here to save the day. Take politicians voting, for example: Representative Steny Hoyer, the House Democratic Whip, can now receive results on his iPad as they come in, all the while playing his favorite Devo song in the background.

Apple investigating advanced keyboards with proximity sensors, tactile feedback (AppleInsider)

Keyboards are so 2006. According to a patent application uncovered this week, Apple’s looking to reinvent the classic input device by creating an advanced keyboard that uses proximity sensors and air flow to provide tactile feedback to the user before they even make contact with the keys. That means it could know what you’re typing before you even type it. As cool as this technology is, it’s expected to be quickly superseded by a keyboard that can figure out what you want to say just by staring at it.

Long past time to open FaceTime ([Time code])

When Steve Jobs announced FaceTime in June 2010, he said that Apple would push the technology as “an open industry standard.” Almost a year later, and it seems that no public progress has been made on that front. Of course, that could just be because Apple engineers can now use FaceTime to work from the beach home.

The Surprising Reason Publishers Are Finally Saying Yes to Apple (Forbes)

What’s changed to make publishers suddenly flock Apple’s iOS subscriptions? According to one Forbes writer, it’s because it turns out that customers are far more willing to give up their personal information than the publishers had worried they might be. I don’t know why that’s such a surprise; I mean, I know a guy who once chugged an entire can of Citra just to get a free T-shirt.

Product News:

Camera Plus Pro 3.4 for iPhone - Version 3.4 of Global Delight's iPhone camera utility adds 21 new photo filters, 9 distortion filters, a before-and-after preview, the option for gird lines in Burst Mode and Video Recording Mode, white-balance lock, and some minor UI refinements and bug fixes. $2.

Netflix 1.3 adds subtitle support - The latest update to the video-streaming service's iOS client adds support for subtitles and for iOS 4.3.3 and 4.2.8. Free.

Twitter 2.1 - The social-networking client revs to version 2.1, bringing multi-window support; autocomplete for usernames and hashtags; new designs for windows, user profiles, and conversations; AppleScript support; font size preferences; and a host of performance improvements, enhancements, and bug fixes. Free.

AmpliTube 2.2 - IK Multimedia has updated its iOS mobile recording studio app to version 2.2, adding five vocal effects from VocaLive, available via in-app purchase; an enhanced system to manage and favorite presets; and a vocal and solo eliminator in the Speed Trainer system. $20 for iPhone or iPad; free version for iPhone or iPad; $3 light version for iPhone.

Kobo 4.4 - Version 4.4 of the iOS e-book reader adds the ability to organize your library into shelves, easily accessible via a sidebar on the iPad or a personalized navigation bar on the iPhone and iPod touch. The Reading Life feature lets you share details about your reading via Twitter, and allows you to see what your friends are reading and recommending. Free.

Cinematize 3 - Version 3 of Miraizon's DVD extraction and conversion utility brings background DVD reading for faster loading speeds, a larger resizable application window, new audio preview functionality, and other features to speed up the selection of DVD clips. In addition, there are more format options for extracted videos, context-sensitive online help, and more. Download version, $60; box version, $70. Upgrade pricing available.

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