If you're a photography junkie who absolutely loves wiling away time on the popular photo-sharing social network, Instagram, chances are high that you've seen a picture or two of today's United States president election ballot. However patriotic these pictures may be, whether they're sporting a red, white and blue color scheme or not, it's likely that the simple act of posting a ballot picture could result in a misdemeanor in your state of residence.
At Macworld last week, FastMac announced one of the coolest home improvement products we've seen in a while. It's an AC power outlet that includes two USB charging ports in addition to two standard AC outlets. It's called the TruePower U-Socket, and it'll begin shipping in the first quarter of 2010. When it ships, it'll cost $29.95, but you can pre-order one right now for just $19.95. It requires a bit of expertise with the fuse box and a screwdriver, but for most geeks, this should be one hot product!
While we were visiting the Square booth at Macworld, we noticed that they also had one of Apple's point of sale devices with them. When we asked how they got one, they told us that the device is actually made by a company called Infinite Peripherals. After some digging, we found that the company offers the unit for sale along with an SDK for creating apps to work with the device. It's not really a consumer-based device, but if you're a retailer looking to do POS using an iPod touch, you should definitely check out the Linea-Pro.
At Macworld last week, Square Inc gave a public demo of their iPhone payment system to expo-goers and announced that it would be available to the public by the summer. For those who aren't familiar with the system, Square is an iPhone application which allows anyone to accept payment by credit or debit card using the signature Square Swiper.
The big announcement is that, when Square goes live, the iPhone app will only cost $1 and the card swiper will be included for free. There will be a transaction fee of 2.9%, but users of the system will not need a special bank account to accept payments. The system is still being tested, but Square believes that we could see it launch as soon as April, although it may come as late as June or July.
Also coinciding with the announcement, Square released their official "Welcome to Square" video, which they showed to members of the Square Pilot Program. Some of the information in the video is only relevant to users in the program, but it shows off how well the system works. Check it out below!
With all the buzz about iPhone-based credit card payment systems, we made sure to stop by Mophie's booth to get a look at the Mophie Marketplace. It's essentially an iPhone case with a built in credit card reader that works with a third-party app to provide the functionality. The coolest thing about the Marketplace demo was that they were actually using it to sell Juice Pack Airs at the booth. We thought the system was so cool that we got a personal demo of how it all works:
We just stopped by the FastMac booth here at Macworld and they're showing off several new products, the coolest of which is the iV Plus. The iV Plus is an iPhone case with an integrated battery — similar to the popular Mophie Juice Pack Air — with a few tricks up its sleeves. Most notably, the iV doubles as a universal remote, thanks to a built-in infrared transmitter. It also includes a super-bright LED light which can be used as a flashlight or as an actual camera flash as long as you have an app that supports it.
FastMac also claims that the new iV packs more battery life than the Mophie Juice Pack air, all in a slightly smaller package which is really exciting. Think about it; if you're already using it for extra juice, you'll always have a flashlight and a universal remote with you! Check out the video below:
Just a reminder that we're giving away tickets for the two best Macworld parties. If you'd like to get a ticket for Macworld Blast or Cirque Du Mac, keep an eye on our Twitter stream. We'll be tweeting a time and location to find us and get your tickets.
You can check out our original contest post for more instructions. See you there!
Macworld Expo starts this week and iPhone Alley will be there to cover everything there is to see! We'll be posting most of the good stuff to the site (under the MW2010 tag), but for those who want even more coverage, we'll be tweeting throughout the week and streaming live video via Qik. If you're coming out to the expo, give us a shout in the comments or on Twitter!
That's right, kiddies, we have 20 tickets for the two best Macworld parties and we're giving them away! The first ten tickets we have are for the spectacular Cirque Du Mac party which features free drinks, The Macworld All Star Band, awesome light shows, roaming clowns, and tattoo artists! It takes place on Thursday night, so we'll give the tickets away that morning. This is the party to be at on Thursday. Did I mention free drinks?
We also have ten tickets for the official Macworld Blast party, which takes place on Friday night. This party features Paul Kent's band, lots of booze (not sure about open bar), and tons of fun. Again, this is the party to be at on Friday.
To win tickets for either of these parties, all you have to do is find us! For Cirque tickets, we'll send out a tweet on Wednesday night letting you know where and when to find us on Thursday morning. Show up, and you get 'em! For Macworld Blast Tickets, we'll tweet on Thursday letting you know where and when to find us on Friday morning. See you there, and be sure to follow us on Twitter if you want tickets!
IDG has just released an update to their Macworld Expo companion app, iMacworld [App Store, Free]. In addition to being completely rewritten, the update brings all of the maps, events, and vendors up to date with this year's Macworld. The app isn't pretty, but it gives you access to lots of helpful features for navigating the expo. It includes a list of exhibitors, their info, and the ability to star them so you can remember which companies you want to see.
If you're headed out to Macworld next week, grab iMacworld before you leave! It's free and incredibly useful.