Djokovic ends Murray’s 28-win streak in Qatar triumph

first_imgSenators think TWG’s move to axe motorcycle taxi pilot run an act of ‘revenge’ Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Senators think TWG’s move to axe motorcycle taxi pilot run an act of ‘revenge’ Novak Djokovic brought world number one Andy Murray’s 28-match winning streak to an end in Doha on Saturday to retain the Qatar Open title in a three-set thriller.Serb star Djokovic won 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in a high-quality, action-packed match between the two best players in the world lasting almost three hours.ADVERTISEMENT 15-year-old Gauff stuns Venus anew in first round Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘Old school work ethic’ pays off for immaculate Federer Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Palace: Crisis over ABS-CBN franchise unlikely LATEST STORIES Super Bowl a tossup at legal sports books It is Djokovic’s 25th career victory over Murray and puts down an early-season marker against his great British rival, before the Australian Open later this month.“Definitely one of the best ways to start a year,” Djokovic said immediately after his victory.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return“I had three or four match points in the second set, he turned it around and I thought: Wow! I hope this isn’t payback time!“He was close… all the way to the last shot you never know with Andy,” added Djokovic who was penalised a point in the second set after destroying his racquet as the tension mounted. View comments Rodgers again falls short of another Super Bowl stint MOST READ Golden chance: Filipino athletes aim for 11 gold medals at SEA Games Despite going into the third set showing signs of frustration and weariness, Djokovic was able to claw away any momentum Murray had to secure his second successive title in Qatar and the $209,665 first prize.A break of Murray’s serve in the seventh game of the final set, when the Scot looked most likely to win, proved decisive.Serving for the match, Djokovic secured the title on his fourth match point, having squandered three in the second set when Murray astonishingly recovered from 5-4 down and 40-15 to win three games in a row and force, at that point, an unlikely deciding set.Despite the victory, Murray retains his world number one ranking. TVJADVERTISEMENT Motorcycle taxis ‘illegal’ starting next week — LTFRB board memberlast_img read more

Small business helps customers get through red tape of liquor licenses

first_imgWHY DID YOU START THIS BUSINESS? I felt the people weren’t getting the proper help they needed through the state, and most people were afraid to ask the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control questions. WHERE DID YOU GET THE IDEA? As a former investigator for the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, I recognized this unserved market and thought that I could make a real difference in helping small-business owners. HOW LONG WAS IT FROM CONCEPT TO OPENING? One year. WHAT DID YOU DO DURING THAT TIME? I read and reread the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act (a book), and I learned all the related business and practice statutes. I also met with other consultants, ABC investigators and licensees to see what their real needs were in the liquor field. WHAT WERE YOUR STARTUP COSTS, AND HOW DID YOU FINANCE THE BUSINESS? $25,000, from savings and a loan. WHOM DID YOU RELY ON FOR ADVICE? My family as well as a network I developed at the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. WHAT HADN’T YOU CONSIDERED BEFORE OPENING? I underestimated the number of small businesses that could benefit from my services. WHAT IS YOUR EXPECTED REVENUE THIS YEAR? More than $100,000. WHAT GOALS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE COMPANY? To be the No.1 liquor-license consultant in California and to help as many licensees and new applicants that I can.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.OWNER: Russell Bloom ESTABLISHED: 2001 NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: One DESCRIBE YOUR BUSINESS: I help people secure liquor licenses for restaurants, nightclubs, convenience stores and wholesalers throughout California and complete all liquor-license applications for them. I also help licensees get conditional-use permits from the city zoning department for the sales of liquor on and off the premises along with securing dancing and live-entertainment permits, and I represent them at administrative hearings when the state accuses them of selling to minors and/or decoys. IS THIS YOUR FIRST BUSINESS? Yes BUSINESS NAME: Alcoholic Beverage Control Specialists BUSINESS ADDRESS: 20929 Ventura Blvd. No.47-112, Woodland Hills, CA 91364 PHONE: (818) 345-2226 E-MAIL: abcspecialists@gmail.com last_img read more

Southland ranks worst in air quality

first_imgFor the third straight year, Southern California earned the distinction as the region with the worst overall air quality in the nation, researchers from the South Coast Air Quality Management District said Thursday. Releasing preliminary findings, AQMD officials said this year’s smog season in Southern California appears to be ending with 86 days of unhealthy air at at least one measuring station. That compares to 83 days last year, and 88 days in 2004. Smog season begins on May 1 and ends on Oct. 1. The San Joaquin Valley came in a close second with 82, while Houston finished a distant third with 34 unhealthy smog days. “This trend makes it imperative that we redouble our efforts to reduce emissions, particularly from mobile security sources, in order to meet upcoming federal ozone and particulate matter standards.” It will be years before scientists can say how the nearly month-old Day Fire, which has scorched more than 150,000 acres since it started on Labor Day, has affected the air quality, officials said. Researchers say the 2006 smog season peaked early because of this summer’s unusually high temperatures. The San Fernando Valley saw triple-digit temperatures for three weeks straight in July. Smog days are measured based on standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. An unhealthy smog day is determined when ozone levels top 0.08 parts per million during an eight-hour average. The one-hour standard is 0.12 ppm. Southern California has enacted the strictest quality requirements in the nation. The area includes Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Health officials say ground-level ozone can cause shortness of breath, lung damage and increased symptoms for those with asthma and bronchitis. susan.abram@dailynews.com (818) 713-3664160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsWithin Southern California, Santa Clarita had the fourth-most unhealthy days for a measuring station, 39, behind Banning Airport, 44, Perris, 54, and Crestline, 60. A complete report will be released in October. “Personal exposure to air pollution is diminishing but not at the dramatic pace that we experienced during the past two decades,” Barry Wallerstein, executive officer for the South Coast AQMD, said in a statement. While automobiles run cleaner, officials with the AQMD say trucks using diesel fuel, ships at port and trains all still contribute to unhealthy days. The AQMD is continuing to encourage the federal government to order cuts in smog-forming pollutants and fine soot in diesel exhaust from trains and ships. last_img read more

Former England Under-16s coach Dan Micciche appointed new MK Dons manager

first_img1 MK Dons have appointed former England Under-16s boss Dan Micciche as their new manager.The 38-year-old, a former head of academy coaching with the Dons, replaces Robbie Neilson who left the club by mutual consent on Saturday.The club are fourth from bottom of Sky Bet League One after a 2-1 defeat to Northampton.Former Bristol City boss Keith Millen has been named assistant manager while Dean Lewington is player-coach.Micciche told the club’s official site: “I’m so proud to be named manager of MK Dons. This club has done so much for me and we had such good success together during my first spell.“It’s been a whirlwind 24 hours but we’ve got a lot of work to do now. I understand the position we are in – it is not the position we want to be in – so first and foremost our priority is to make sure we bring some confidence and belief back to this squad so we can begin climbing that league table.”Micciche returns after a spell with the Football Association, which came to an end in December.He has worked with Ryan Sessegnon, Jadon Sancho and Phil Foden in the national set-up and oversaw the development of Dele Alli at MK Dons.last_img read more

City begins to wean Chamber from funding

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPhotos: At LA County Jail, Archbishop José H. Gomez celebrates Christmas Mass with inmatesThe city already has added a new position to help with business development and retention, she said.In addition, the chamber was notified of the plan in September 2004, giving it ample time to adjust its budget, Travis said.For the complete story, pick up a copy of tomorrow’s Whittier Daily News LA MIRADA – The City Council approved the starting of cutting its ties to the La Mirada Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, voting to reduce funding by 25 percent to $23,925 from $31,900.City officials said it’s the first move of a four-year plan to eventually to eliminate funding.By reducing funding to the chamber, the city could spend money on its own effort to retain businesses, City Manager Andrea Travis said.“\[The chamber\] provides services to our small businesses,” Travis said. “We have a variety of businesses that we need to provide service to. This will enable us to redirect our effort.” 165Let’s talk business.Catch up on the business news closest to you with our daily newsletter. Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Catch the Stars of The Lion King at Walt Disney World This Weekend

first_imgShare This!We are getting closer to the official film debut of the “live action” version of The Lion King and Guests who visit the Walt Disney World Resort this weekend may have the opportunity to see some of the stars of the film in person.On Saturday, the voices of young Simba (JD McCrary) and young Nala (Shahadi Wright Joseph) will lead the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade as honorary Grand Marshals. The Magic Kingdom parade kicks off at 3:00 p.m.Following the parade, JD and Shahadi will continue celebrating the film over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. For those who are unaware, the park is currently celebrating the 25th anniversary of the animated version of the film with entertainment, eats and treats and more.The Lion King hits theaters on July 19.last_img read more

Kwaito’s looking sharp!

first_img9 April 2003A new documentary film about kwaito culture is spreading awareness about this uniquely South African music form around the world and creating an international market for kwaito artists.“Sharp Sharp!”, written and directed by Aryan Kaganof, was broadcast in the Netherlands on 8 April. The first film to tell the story of kwaito, “Sharp Sharp!” contains detailed interviews with all the major musicians, producers, figureheads, media commentators, industry executives and others involved in kwaito.“Sharp Sharp!” tells the story of a music form that burst from South Africa’s computers and synthesizers after the release from prison of Nelson Mandela in 1990.By the time of the first democratic elections in 1994, kwaito had its first stars, Boom Shaka. Today, there is a veritable pantheon of kwaito celebrities who are idolised by millions, and kwaito is now breaking into the international market.M’du, Zola, Arthur, Kabelo, Oskido, Don Laka and Mzambiya are just some of the artists featured in the film, which was broadcast on Holland’s prestigious RAM world culture programme.Johannesburg-based Kaganof, who won the prize for Best Video Made In Africa in 2002 with Western4.33, is currently working on bringing “Sharp Sharp!” to South Africans as a five-part television series.Voice of the ghettoThe music and culture of the township youth of South Africa, kwaito is the voice and language of the ghetto, speaking of the daily experiences and dreams of the first generation to come of age in the post-apartheid period.Despite suffering a lack of recognition, and often downright disparagement from mainstream cultural institutions and figures, kwaito has forged ahead, providing employment for tens of thousands of people in the music, radio, entertainment and fashion industries.To date, no substantial analysis of the kwaito phenomenon has been written or filmed, and the music and the scene surrounding it have often been relegated to gossip columns.But kwaito is a force to be reckoned with. It is the site of a major sonic revolution: the dawn of the digital age in South African music.Dominated by a radically different approach to sound, kwaito is a music of textures and repetitive modal vamping, as opposed to classical song structures. Rather than a weakness, this is kwaito’s great strength, for this is the direction that popular music culture across the world has taken since the mid-1980s and the onset of house music.Purely SA dance musicKwaito, then, is an addition to the library of world dance music; a uniquely South African contribution to global dance culture that is respected precisely because of its distinctive South African qualities: the languid, rolling bass lines and vocal chants that imbue this music with characteristics that are purely South African.These chants and phrases link the music form to American hip-hop, but kwaito’s lyrics come straight from South Africa’s townships and convey the street language of these townships: the tsotsitaal, the kasitaal, the street “lingo” that is a glorious pot-pourri of all 11 official languages that puts paid to the apartheid mythology of separate development.Kwaito is a wild, eclectic mix-up, a boiling, cooking brew of language and sound that could have happened nowhere but in South Africa.Source: Franki Hills Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

My Day at SHRM – Addi and Jayden | SHRM Children Join Their Parents at Work

first_imgRobert Gonsalves, a member of SHRM’s Technology Team, brought his three boys to work on Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.  Here’s Jayden’s take on what he experienced.My Day at SHRMBy Jayden GonsalvesI loved my experience at SHRM for countless reasons. For one, the Chick-Fil-A that was served was spectacular. I had a huge plate of chicken, so huge that I couldn’t see the plate…just the chicken. I loved the food, but it didn’t compare to the warm feeling inside given to me when I found out that my father worked in such a great organization. The way that all the wonderful men and women took time out of their GOD given day to work on helping others with their jobs and responsibilities. My dad has only been with the company for 3 weeks before bringing his children to work. Everybody already knew him as a courteous and generous man who made their working facility more of a home to them. It was also very inspiring to me that there were multiple people who were from various countries. Like for example: India, Peru, Vietnam, Nigeria, China, Kenya and countless areas in Europe. I listened to their stories about their experiences when they first arrived to the United States and how they came to be an employee for SHRM. We had a huge scavenger hunt that was very exciting. I was very determined to find everything, and I did. I finished up my day watching my dad work. I was astonished to see how many things one could accomplish with a mere computer.  I had a wonderful and vivacious day and I am looking forward to working for SHRM in the near future! Today, as part of Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, many members of SHRM staff did exactly that!  More than 20 children participated in today’s event, including Addisen “Addi” Horn, daughter of SHRM Director of Government Affairs Lisa Horn.  Here’s Addisen’s brief take on what was a very busy day at SHRM. My Day at SHRMBy: Addisen HornToday, I participated in National Bring Your Son/Daughter to Work Day. It was awesome to work beside my mom for a day. We took a tour of the building and a walk outside. I got to design the cover of HR Magazine. I met all of my mom’s co-workers including SHRM President and CEO Mr. Hank Jackson. My mom has a speech tomorrow and I helped put it together. I think days like this are important because it gives kids a glimpse into their parent’s profession. I learned a lot today and I can’t wait to come back next year!last_img read more

New iPhone, iPad and Android Apps for February 2012

first_imgiPhone & iPadTweetBot 2.0 ($2.99 — iPhone/iPad)The staff was so excited by this app at the beginning of the month that I actually had to preempt them from using it as their Staff Picks for the Apps Of The Month and take it for myself. Multiple timelines, smart gestures, native push notifications, support for Read It Later and Instapaper, custom navigation, save drafts and locations. TweetBot has it all and it has a shiny new user interface that people have come to love. Quite personally, my favorite Twitter client for iOS is the official Twitter app for the iPad but I can get behind the TweetBot excitement and the fact that the company was ballsy enough to release it for $2.99. A paid Twitter client?! Say it ain’t so. Yet, this one may be worth the money. OnLive Desktop (Free — iOS, Android)OnLive brings your PC desktop to your mobile device via instant response from the cloud. View and edit Microsoft Office documents such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint and sync your entire PC to your Android tablet or iPad. The iOS version came out in January but the Android version was in February so we will give it an App Of The Month nod. My sister owns a restaurant in Charlottesville, Virginia and she got a new iPad for Christmas and came to me looking for cool apps to download (having the mobile writer for ReadWriteWeb as your brother is handy). About a month later she texted me out of the blue trying to find ways to sync her home desktop to her iPad so she could manage documents like schedules and invoices from her tablet while at work. At the time I pointed her to the Citrix Receiver and something from VMWare but OnLive might actually be the way to go. Staff PicksWe started Staff Picks last month and I promised that I would shame anyone on the staff that could not find an app for me in the month. I am going to hold back on the shaming this month because I did not actually give most of the staff a good amount of lead time before telling them when this month’s update was coming. So, instead of likening the staff to angry baboons (all in good fun, of course), we will just get straight to the picks. This month we got selections from John Paul Titlow, Jon Mitchell and Robyn Tippins. John Paul Titlow — WriterCamera Awesome (Free — iOS)The cameras that come built into iPhones, Android devices and Windows Phones are now capable enough to replace point-and-shoot digital cameras in most people’s lives. On top of that, we’ve seen the rise of photo-editing and sharing apps like Instagram, Hipstamatic and Camera+, all of which give new visual life to the images people snap on their phones. If you thought there wasn’t room for one more photo app, you obviously haven’t played around with Camera Awesome yet.The iOS app is really a few apps in one. Its basic picture-taking functionality blows the native iPhone camera app out of the water. Meanwhile, it has all the photo-editing features of many paid, stand-alone editing apps. On top of that, it has Instagram-style filters, textures and social sharing options.Check out here for the full review. 90º ($.099 — iPhone/iPad)I will admit it … I really suck at puzzle games. My mother used to kick my butt in Dr. Mario and Tetris on Nintendo when I was a kid and things are not much better more than 20 years later. Yet, 90º is a really neat game that is both challenging and fun so I gave it a whirl. I found out that I still suck at puzzle games. From the App Store description, “Your goal is to collect as much energy as you can whilst turning your wrench as few times as possible to get to the end. You have a limited number of rotations, so use them wisely!” Related Posts Tags:#mobile#web Game Your Video ($1.99 — iPhone/iPad 2)If you follow the tech press, you have probably seen Game Your Video on basically every tech site on the Web earlier this month. It won Best of Show at MacWorld and App of the Week in the App Store. It is a video editing app that lets you add motion effects, audio transformations, filters, themes without track-based scripts. Game Your Video will allow you to do all of this straight from the app while it is playing live with a gaming interface unique to any video editing software that we have ever seen. Definitely one of a kind and the biggest surprise is that it comes from a small studio in India that, until this month, nobody had ever heard of. Chrome for Android (Free — Ice Cream Sandwich Only)There are a lot of things to like about the Chrome Beta for Android browser. It will sync all of your Chrome browsers across devices, be a boon for HTML5 apps on Android and bring the Chrome OS closer to integration with its mobile counterpart. It is fast, can sync all of your bookmarks and has an incognito mode. There are a variety of Android browsers competing for user attention including the native browser, Opera HD and Dolphin but Chrome has the potential to come in and put them all to shame. The only problem now is that it only works on Android 4.0 which precludes about 99% of all Android users from actually getting their hands on it. Osmos HD ($2.99)Did I mention that I am terrible at puzzle games? Well, this may be an exception. Osmos HD is one of the simplest and most visually appealing puzzle games that I have come across in some time and it finally has made its way to Android. It is is like the classic Asteroids game met a stoner developer on a sandy beach looking up at the stars and was inspired by a jellyfish. You are a floating galatic mote that much is absorbs smaller lifeforms while trying to keep from getting eaten by larger entities. Float through space in this relaxing game from the developers at Hemisphere Games. Cartoon Camera (Free)There are no shortage of camera apps for iOS or Android but some of them stand above the crowd. Whether that is Instagram for iOS or Retro Camera for Android, there are some great things happening in the world of mobile photography. Cartoon Camera is a free Android app that does exactly what it sounds like: turns your photos from dreary looking real life stills into cartoon sketches worthy of any Anime or Waking Life followup. Cartoon Camera is similar to some of the effects that can be created in Camera Fun for Android but it is more polished and gives a better cartoon representation. Talking Pierre the Parrot (Free and $0.99)I have been trying to figure out why “games” like Talking Tom Cat and Pierre the Parrot are popular and have been drawing blanks. Then, I downloaded Pierre and it hit me. This is good old-fashioned fun with a parrot that lives in your Android. Talk to Pierre and he will imitate you but also remember what you said before and cobble together sentences from what he remembers. The possibilities are endless and the potential for having a dirty talking bird in your pocket has potential for pub time fun for everyone. I really just wrote that sentence. You can even record Pierre videos and upload to Facebook or YouTube or email or MMS them to people. Pierre is childish in so many ways that it actually becomes fun. Notable UpdatesIt is always important to remember to go into your device and update apps on a regular basis. Updates provide new functionality, performance and security upgrades and make sure that the bugs from the last version have been taken care of.iOS UpdatesNook by Barnes & Noble, Foursquare, Kinetik, Quora, Skype for iPad, Can I Stream It?, Atari’s Greatest Hits, The New Yorker Magazine, Newsy for iPad, StumbleUpon, WebMD for iPad, Google+, OpenTable, Spotify, IMDb Movies & TV, Hotspot Shield, Qik Video, Instagram, Discover, NFL ’11 for iPad, Wired Magazine, Opera Mini Browser, Path, Slice, Pulse, Flixster, Flipboard, Square, Words With Friends Free, HBO Go, Rdio, The Weather Channel, Skype, Twitter, Hipmunk Flight Search, NYTimes for iPad.Android UpdatesAdobe Flash Player 11, E-Trade Pro, Easy Task Killer Advanced, Facebook, Foursquare, Google Books, Google Maps, Google+, Hulu Plus, Kindle, LinkedIn, Lookout Security, Norton Mobile Utilities, Flixster, News360, NYTimes, Path, PayPal, Rdio, Skype, Swiftkey X, The Weather Channel, Twitter, WordPress, YouTube, Dolphin HD Browser, Evernote, Medscape, Opera Mobile, Pandora, Paper Camera, Skitch. Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Clik (Free — iOS, Android)Brought to you by the fine folks at Kik, Clik is a remote control for any screen with a browser. That may sound ambiguous and a little esoteric but it is actually pretty cool. Point your desktop browser at ClikThis.com and then scan the QR code that comes up with your smartphone to sync the two. You can then use the smartphone as a remote to surf YouTube videos. There is no extra hardware, dongles, NFC chips or any other such nonsense. Just a browser and a smartphone with a camera and you now have remote access to videos on your computer from your phone. While it is just a proof-of-concept at this point, Kik’s CEO Ted Livingstone told Anthony Ha at TechCrunch that potential partners for the app are in the works, from music services to gaming companies. What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Here is Robert Scoble’s interview developer Rahul Arun Shetty:Clear ($1.99 — iPhone)Clear is a task management app that brings one of the most innovative uses of gesture based input that we have ever seen. There are no static buttons in Clear but everythingis done via a swipe, pull, pinch or tap and hold. Create and item by pulling the list apart or pulling down, swipe right to complete it, left to delete, pinch vertically to shut it or pull up to clear it. Simple and clean, one of the better task managers that we have seen. As smartphones and tablets end up in the hands of more people, the volume of apps continues to rise exponentially. We noted that January had the highest download rate of the top 200 iOS apps from the Apple App Store than any month previous. February will likely break that record and it will be broken again in March. We are truly at the inflection point of explosive growth for smartphones and apps where it is no longer the early adopters looking downloading apps but everyone and their mothers. That makes it much harder to find useful or entertaining apps. There is a sea of apps in the App Store and Android Market and growing by thousands of submissions everyday. We are here to help with our Apps Of The Month column that examines what is new in iOS and Android and where you should be looking for great new functionality on your smart device. We brought back the Staff Picks section this month and the notable updates section is in its six month.We likely missed some great apps that you found this month. If you found something that should be on this list or you want to make the world aware of, let us know in the comments. Cross-PlatformGlancee (Free — iOS, Android)Glancee helps you find people that are nearby. It recognizes other Glancee users based on proximity and gives you an alert when somebody you know or somebody interesting is in your general vicinity. I cannot figure out if this is a really cool way to make serendipitous connections or just kind of creepy and stalker-ish. Think of Glancee as kind of a location-based social network for people you may know or do not know but think you might like to know sometime. MLB At Bat ( Free with $14.99 subscription — iOS, $14.99 Android)When I was a broke and in college and living away from Boston, the MLB.com mobile site that had pitch-by-pitch tracking was my favorite (and only) way to track the Red Sox on a daily basis in real-time. I was using it through Windows Mobile on a Samsung BlackJack and, at the time, I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. Over the years, the coolest thing in the world has gotten cooler … if you like baseball. The MLB At Bat app gives you live pitch-by-pitch tracking of MLB games through its GameDay feature and a subscription to MLB Premium ($125 a year) will let you stream any game from anywhere, live. This is not really new from the MLB At Bat 2011 app except for the pricing and subscription models have changed for iOS. Instead of having to buy the app twice for iPhone and iPad, it is just one purchase with a subscription. The Android version is much more functional than it was last year and improvements have been made to the iOS app. I have spoken with some of the designers that created the app for MLB and it is a fairly difficult process to take video feeds, audio feeds, real-time stats and news and pull it all from their direct sources (the MLB broadcast networks) and stream it in real time to your device. So, appreciate the hard work and, if you love baseball as much as I do, this is the must-have app for 2012. NPR Music (Free — iPhone/iPad)Everybody at ReadWriteWeb loves NPR. I very rarely listen to the radio but every so often in the car I will tune into NPR in search of intellectual stimulation or good classical music. Especially on long drives. The NPR Music app brings all goodness of NPR music straight to your iPhone or iPad with streams of over 100 NPR stations, a searchable list of music across different genres and reviews and information about the artists. It is like Pandora all of a sudden got really smart. Jon Mitchell — WriterBuzz Contacts ($0.99 – iPhone) As a replacement for the built-in iPhone phone app, I’m using a new app called Buzz. It replaces the endless, alphabetical scrolling lists built into iOS with big, tappable panes for custom contacts of your choice. You can put your contacts into groups, like work, family and friends. Each group gets organized into pages of four big contacts at a time. When you add someone to a group, you choose whether you’d like phone, text, email or FaceTime to be the default mode for them. Tapping once goes straight to that mode, tapping twice lets you choose from the others. The first update added the ability to swipe up and down between groups, so now it’s even easier to find the contact you’re looking for.The app does even more, and if you’re not yet convinced to replace the phone app with it on your home screen, check out my full ReadWriteWeb review.Robyn Tippins — Community ManagerFancy Pants ($0.99 — iPad)Fancypants is a new app for iOS from Electronic Arts. It’s not a new game, however, being available on consoles and as a flash game online for almost a year. Unfortunately, the move over to iPad doesn’t really take advantage of key iOS features at all. The moves that once were done with arrow keys are now done with arrow icons. You might expect a platformer to use arrow keys, but FancyPants could be so much more. When I handed the iPad to my daughter, who often plays FancyPants online, she immediately tried to use touch to slide the character around. When that didn’t work, she tilted the machine to move him. I think it’s fairly clear that arrow keys aren’t the expected movement mechanism for an iPad game.Despite the quirks, FancyPants is a solid game and certainly worth the $.99. I’m often disappointed by an iOS game, but this one will keep us playing for months. dan rowinski AndroidAirBind (Free)Sync your iTunes to your Android over Wi-Fi. Install the PC or Mac client on your computer then launch AirBind on your Android and your device will seek out your music on your computer. There are other services like such as DoubleTwist but AirBind is a new app that does one thing and attempts to do it well. Whether it does it well or not is a matter of debate as the ratings in the Android Market are pretty split between one star and five stars. Personally, with between Google Music and my Spotify subscription on my Motorola Atrix, I do not need to sync my iTunes and the idea seems to be two years old but some people might find value in it. If you have tried it, let us know in the comments what you think of it. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more