Monday, December 17, 2012
If you're looking for the cheapest iPhone or iPad that isn't used, Wal-Mart is the first place you should turn this holiday season.The retail giant announced plans Friday to offer the 16 GB iPhone 5 for $127 (normally $189.97) and the 16GB iPhone 4S for $47 (normally $87.97), along with a two-year contract. They'll also sell the third-generation iPad for $399.
Apple (Fortune 500) discounts aren't unheard of this time of year, but , Wal-Mart's (Fortune 500) will be tough to beat. , Best Buy (Fortune 500) and , Radio Shack ( both have discounts on the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S, offering as much as $50 off advertised prices, along with gift certificates to sweeten the deal. Apple's own Black Friday sale offered up iPods and previous-geneneration iPads for $30-$40 off the regular price. )
As for the iPad discount, Wal-Mart appears to be following in the footsteps of past sales. In July, Fry's knocked $100 off the iPad 2. But by then, the iPad 3 had already been available for almost six months.
While the iPad sales just seem like an offloading of stale products, Wal-Mart's motivations for discounting the iPhone aren't exactly clear. Some, such as the LA Times, speculate that dragging sales are to blame.
Whatever the case, it's best not to sleep on this deal if you're in the market for one of these devices. Wal-Mart told MacRumors that the sale is first come, first serve depending on inventory, and rain checks will not be issued.
May the shopping gods be with you.
The tool that promises to launch the next era of websites, smartphone apps and online video is finally finished.HTML5, the long-in-the-works update to the language that powers the Web, is "feature complete," according to an announcement made Monday by the standards-setting Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C). There's still some testing to be done, and it hasn't yet become an official Web standard -- that will come in 2014. But there won't be any new features added to HTML5, which means Web designers and app makers now have a "stable target" for implementing it, W3C said.
The W3C has been developing the spec for the better part of a decade.
"As of today, businesses know what they can rely on for HTML5 in the coming years," W3C CEO Jeff Jaffe said in a prepared statement. "Likewise, developers will know what skills to cultivate to reach smart phones, cars, televisions, e-books, digital signs, and devices not yet known."
Most of the top browser makers didn't wait for the language to be 100% finished before building support for some elements into their software. The latest versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari are already compatible with most HTML5 elements.
App developers followed suit.
Netflix ( and Google's YouTube are two of the most prominent HTML5 adopters, but many others have also taken the leap. The )Financial Times abandoned its smartphone app last year in favor of an HTML5 mobile website. The site looked and functioned like a native app -- with the advantage that FT didn't have to make changes to multiple versions of its code on multiple smartphone platforms. (Using a mobile website instead of a native app also let FT avoid paying Apple for in-app purchases.)
Google (Fortune 500), a strong supporter of HTML5, produced a , viral interactive video in 2010 with the help of rock band Arcade Fire that showed off the potential of the new Web features. Firefox browser maker Mozilla made a splash in February when it created a smartphone operating system called "Boot to Gecko," which is almost entirely based in HTML 5.
HTML5 grew prevalent enough by 2010 that then-Apple CEO Steve Jobs was able to unleash an epic rant against Flash and get away with it. A year later, Adobe more or less conceded that Jobs was right, abandoning its mobile Flash software in favor of HTML5 support. In November 2011 blog post, Adobe called HTML5 "the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms."
There's still more work to be done. W3C said that about 63% of Web and app developers are actively using HTML5 to make their sites and software, but "browser fragmentation" remains a big reason why many still aren't using it. Though most up-to-date browsers support at least some aspects of HTML5, older versions of some Web browsers like Microsoft's (Fortune 500) Internet Explorer don't. ,
That's why W3C is working on cementing HTML5 as a new Web standard, making it interoperable and fully supported by any modern browser. It will take two years to complete the testing and standardization of HTML5, the consortium said.
What's next? W3C is already working on HTML 5.1, the first parts of which were just submitted in draft form.
Malaysia-based low-cost carrier AirAsia has placed an order for 100 more Airbus aircraft.
Even before this new deal, AirAsia was Airbus’ best customer in the world for A320 jets.
The 100 new planes brings AirAsia's total Airbus A320 orders to 475.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron presided over the official signing ceremony at the UK Airbus wing manufacturing facility in Broughton for the reported US$9.3 billion deal.
“AirAsia is one of the great success stories of recent years in the airline business,” Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Brégier said in a press statement.
The new order comprises 36 A320 with the current engine option and 64 A320 jets featuring the new engine option with 15 percent lower fuel consumption.