What a week for news and notes from around the Apple and poker worlds. First, we have a huge announcement from PokerStars about buy-in structures for cash games. Then, we’ll have our first ever iPad 3 rumor.
Prediction Comes True: PokerStars Killing 20 to 50 Big Blind Tables
We predicted that PokerStars would kill its short-stack tables, which allow you to buy in for 20 to 50 big blinds, and sure enough, today at 4:30am ET, the site did just that. For the 10nl, 25nl, and 50nl games, there will be normal tables (40 to 100 big blinds) and deep tables (100 to 250 big blinds). There will also be a 20 big blind “Cap” game that allows for a 20 to 50 big blind buy-in, but these tables place a limit on how much each player can wager over the course of a single hand. Changes will be occurring at all levels of play between now and February 10th. Play now at PokerStars.
Are You Kidding Me? An iPad 3 Rumor!
Yes, we have our very first iPad 3 rumor. Never mind that the iPad 2 has yet to be announced or even released. We already heard something juicy about the third generation iPad, which will reportedly be released in 2012. Apparently, Apple will seek to double the screen resolution to 2048×1536, with the iPad 2 keeping the current resolution level. Double-sized images found in Apple iPad applications have led to speculation that Apple might be doubling the resolution in the iPad 2, but sources say that is extremely unlikely. After all, Apple is notorious for only updating a product with a select few features rather than making a huge leap in a subsequent generation.
Microsoft Offers 30-Day Trial of Office 2011 for Mac
The folks at Microsoft announced that you can get a free 30-day license of Office for Mac 2011. The trial is fully functional and can be downloaded from the Microsoft website. Right now, the Home Student edition costs $99, while the Home Student Family Pack is $124. The business edition is $174.99 and the Business Multi-Pack is $228.43.
Apple Store Goes Down, White iPhone Coming?
Whenever the Apple Store goes down, the rumor mill goes off the charts with speculation as to why. This time around, we saw the Apple Online Store go down on Wednesday night and immediately speculation that the White iPhone 4 is set to make its debut began. The rumors stems from a forum poster who has been accurate in the past leaking information about the Apple Store website. However, when the site came back up, it simply showed a few design changes including a new dark navigation bar and spring-loaded slide-in animations for products. There was no sign of new products … yet.
Apple Third in Global PC Sales
Canalys, a research firm, announced computer sales estimates for 2010, with Apple jumping all the way to third in worldwide market share at 10.8% when tablets like the iPad are included as computer sales. HP and Acer rank #1 and #2, respectively, while Dell and Lenovo (IBM) are fourth and fifth. The research firm stated that Apple’s unit shipment growth at 241% year-over-year catapulted the company from the 3.8% share it had in 2009.
Verizon / AT&T Battle Rages On
The data and voice plans for the iPhone 4 are up on Verizon’s website and it’s looking extremely familiar. It’s the same price as the AT&T plan except for a few quirks. The big difference was that, for a limited time, Verizon is offering an unlimited data plan for $29.99 a month, while AT&T has removed that option. However, the Associated Press is reporting that AT&T is quietly offering some iPhone customers the ability to switch over to an unlisted unlimited data plan to keep them from leaving for Verizon.
Another MacBook Pro Refresh Coming Soon
MacRumors is reporting that it is hearing all sorts of news about Apple’s existing supply of MacBook Pro 15” and 17” models running extremely low. might suggest that Apple is drawing down stock in advance of an update to the product line. The 17” MacBook Pro appears to be in the shortest supply, with Amazon quoting a shipment window of one to two months for the base i5 core model. This line has expected a refresh in the near future with Intel’s new Sandy Bridge micro-architecture being adopted.
Skype 5 Released for Mac
Skype has announced that Skype 5 has been released and is no longer in Beta. The new edition has a minimum window size and a tightened up contact list. In addition, it has changed the way IMs are displayed to reduce the amount of white space. Another change is the return of full screen mode for video calls. The most significant change is the shift of group video calling to Skype’s “Premium” package, which is $4.99 per day or $8.99 per month.