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Explosion at Foxconn – Apple partner

It was around 6-7pm when there was an explosion at the the A5 Foxconn factory, a manufacturing plant opened in 1988 which includes 15 factories. This 3 square kilometer area is said to be “Foxconn City” or “iPod City” due to the fact that they are a partner of Apple and manufacture a lot of Apple parts and products. Foxconn makes consumer electronics for a number of different well-known companies. Acer, Apple, Amazon, Intel, Nintendo, and Sony, are just a few.

Two people confirmed dead while another 16 were injured in this battle against large explosions and black smoke. A Chinese company relayed that there were more then 10 fire engines, ambulances, and 10 police cars on seen.

In past news, this company has been known for having over 10 apparent suicides committed from it. One of which, a man jumped from a building to his death last year.

Foxconn has already struggled to meet demand for the hot-selling iPad 2 just a few weeks ago, what might have been the affect of the tsunami which was going on in the same continent at the time. The shortage experienced was of both labour and materials at it’s plant in Chengdu – the same location where today’s explosion occurred.

What problems will this create for us? Will there be a second shortage of Apple products?

Below is a link to short video caught by a local of the building at Foxconn. Credit to



iPad 2 – What you need to know

Today, March 2nd 2011, Steve Jobs revealed the lighter, thinner, and faster iPad 2 in person at the Apple Conference in San Francisco. Apple is a growing company and with the news about Jobs, Everyone, including many stock holders were all scared and curious about who might be presenting Apple’s newest product.

Below are some major differences & similarities between the first and second generation iPad

In addition to these changes, the iPad 2 is only 8.5mm thick (that’s thinner then the iPhone 4) compared to the 1st generation which was 13mm thick

The iPad 2 is the same price as the older models originally were. With these new features and upgrades, you couldn’t expect much of a price drop. The iPad 1st generation is still available on the Apple website for about $80 cheaper then it was yesterday.

Are you going to purchase the iPad 2, what are your thoughts? Did Apple impress you with the new features or, did they miss something important. Leave you replies in the comment section below.

RIP Apple Xserve

It was 2006 when Apple brought an Intel Xeon Xserve into the running of business and home servers. The beginning of November 2011, Apple decided it was time that the Xserve would be discontinued before February 2011. The replacement would be the Mac Pro Server and the Mac Mini Server which have both been available for a while and are both very strong machines. They differ in price depending what you want to do with them. The Xserve, which was used for a variety of applications, including file server, web server, high-performance computing applications using clustering, and more can now easily be replaced by one or multiple of the current Mac servers.

You can even buy a Mac Mini and pay a short monthly fee for this service,, to run “your Mac Mini” as a server for website hosting, files etc.

If you have an old Mac at home running OS X that you want to turn into a Home file / printer server, follow these instructions,  It’s easy!

To all who have an Xserve currently, I hope they are ‘serving’ you well (heehee) and you enjoy your professional ‘server’ while the rest of us turn our Mac into a web or FTP server from home.

RIP Apple Xserve.

Apple Mac App Store Launch

Today Apple released their long awaited Mac App Store, which is available for download via Software Update. The Mac App Store is basically like the iOS App Store for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, but tailored specifically for Mac Apps (apps that run on Mac OS X). There are over a thousand paid and free apps already available on launch day, featuring one-click download and install, and purchased apps will run on all your personal Macs. Here is Apple’s official press release:

It was originally thought that the store would ship with Mac OS X Lion (which is slated for release in late 2011), but Apple announced last October at their “Back to the Mac” event that the store will in fact run on the current version of Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6). However, you do need to run Software Update to download a minor OS update (v10.6.6) which installs the “App Store” app onto your machine and places it in your dock.

The Mac App Store is definitely all about app discovery.  Find new and exciting apps by browsing the top charts, featured apps, category lists, or searching by keywords. When you find an interesting app, you can check out screenshots, user reviews and a full description before choosing to buy. The developer is allowed to customize their app “page” in the store, with their own color scheme and background image.

Once you click the buy button, the app is downloaded and installed to your Mac in the “Applications” folder, and appears in your Dock. It is also “linked” to your iTunes account, so you can download the same app on all your other Macs without having to re-buy it. There are of course many free apps in the store as well.

Apps? But I already have apps!

Some are asking why a Mac App Store is needed. The Mac already has “apps”, and has for 26 years. Why do we need a locked down, walled garden app store to “infect” our otherwise open OS? Well, there are several reasons. For one thing, these apps go through an approval process similar to iOS apps, so you know you’re getting a good quality product, tested by Apple. Secondly, these apps install and uninstall themselves cleanly using a centralized process. Meaning, the apps won’t leave hidden files all over your machine when you delete them, and installation is easy and takes only one-click. Also, they’ll auto-update themselves using a centralized process controlled by Apple. And finally, since app purchases are linked to your Apple ID (iTunes Account), if you buy apps on one Mac, you can easily re-download and re-install them on another.

Downsides & Bugs

As cool as the Mac App Store is, there are a couple of downsides. First of all, Apple doesn’t allow developers to post demos or free trials of apps. You must actually purchase an app to try it. This is rather unfortunate, as I have personally discovered countless apps by trying the free demo or trial version first, realizing it was cool, then buying the full app. I might not have bothered if I was forced to buy before trying. Secondly, apps you have already purchased beforehand (such as iLife apps) will not be updated by the App Store. You have to uninstall and re-purchase the apps to get the full App Store benefits such as updates.

We also found a few bugs with the store, which are probably just launch day traffic issues. Several app pages load blank, the first screenshot doesn’t load until you click on others (and if there is only one screenshot, it never loads), and we received errors purchasing several apps. Trying again usually solved the problem. These issues will likely be fixed as traffic subsides, and/or Apple releases an update to the store.

Our App Picks

Here are a few app picks we liked on launch day:

  • Twitter (free, basically “Tweetie 2” for Mac)
  • The Incident ($2.99, fun retro-style action game which works very well with a keyboard)
  • TextWrangler (free, excellent text editor by the makers of BBEdit, great for editing HTML)
  • MenuPop (free, makes the menu bar available inside any window on any screen via a hot key)
  • And Yet It Moves ($9.99, adventure game with unique art style and lots of fun)

Create Your Own Mac Apps

Apple offers a new Mac App Store Developer Program, similar to iOS, which costs $99 / year and allows you to publish your own free or paid commercial apps. You create apps using Apple’s Xcode development system, and their Cocoa programming language. However, if you prefer web development, I predict that services such as Appcelerator Titanium will soon support creating HTML5 / JavaScript apps for the Mac App Store. As with iOS development, you get 70% of the revenue from your app’s sales, and Apple keeps 30%.


App stores really are the next big thing, for both mobile and desktop platforms, and Apple knows how to do them right. The Mac App Store is nearly perfect and a welcome addition to OS X.

Rating: 9.5 / 10

Written by

Joseph Huckaby

Coding HTML

For the past few days, I have been playing around in a few HTML editors and text programs, writing some HTML code.

I have been testing out different HTML programs and I am planning on making some videos about one of them soon. I have also gotten some interest in me putting out some video tutorials of basic HTML coding / codes.

Using HTML to create websites is fun for me because at the end of the day it is just nice to say, I created that website! I didn’t use WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Dreamweaver, etc. to create it.

Using HTML to create websites is not very popular anymore but I have decided to turn the TechZany Live page into a separate website created in HMTL. 1. For fun & 2. for a change of style: unique.

Let me know what you think about HTML, my future video ideas, and my TechZany Live plans. Leave a comment below 🙂

Mac Jailbreak

Jay Freeman (a.k.a. “saurik”), the mastermind behind Cydia, recently stated that Cydia for Mac will be available “within weeks.” The unofficial app store for the Mac is expected to go head-to-head against Apple’s Mac App Store, which should be released in January 2011.

The news came a couple of days ago, at the 360|MacDev conference. After the huge success of Cydia for iOS (10 percent of all iDevice run Cydia, nowadays), Freeman thought the Mac could benefit from Cydia, too.

At the conference, Freeman criticized Apple’s infamous app restrictions, and noted that they’ll likely appear in the Mac App Store, too. This seems to be one of the key motivations behind Freeman’s desire to make Cydia available on the Mac.

We’ll be reporting on Cydia for Mac when more news becomes available. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts regarding this in the comments below. And, thanks to TUAW for spotting this.

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