Ever since the iPhone could run applications people have been really excited about the possibility of streaming XM-Sirius on the go.

After a lot of buzz, it appears the uSirius StarPlayr will finally be submitted to the app store this weekend. Then Apple will decide when to release the player to eager consumers.

The player, developed by nicemac LLC has been getting positive reviews from beta testers.

The bad news is that streaming services will no longer be free. Despite a promise from Sirius-XM that prices would be capped for 3 years, as of March 11, 2009, streaming will be an additional US $2.99 a month. Additional radio charges will be US $2.00 extra monthly. Costs of the base service will stay the same. and subscribers can lock in their current rates by agreeing to a 3 year contract extension. People rushing to do that may help the beleaguered merged companies in the short run. On the other hand, a lot of customers may not be anxious to throw a lot of money at a service that may not survive 3 years.

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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has awarded Apple patent number 7,479,949 covering key aspects of the iPhone’s multi-touch user interface.

The filing, with 358 pages of drawings and Steve Jobs as its first author, comprehensively describes the iPhone operating system’s interface, and how hardware on the phone interprets finger movements and taps as instructions for the software. The filing makes liberal use of the word “heuristics” — a trial-and-error-based engineering technique that reduces the calculations necessary to arrive at a solution to a problem. Heuristics may not always be correct, but good heuristics result in something at least close to the right answer.

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As we know from the iPhone television commercials, if there’s something you need to do, there’s an app for that. And so apparently, if the thing you want to do is solve a Rubik’s Cube, then yes, there is an app for that. CubeCheater will help you quickly solve a Rubik’s Cube — all you do is punch in the colors on your cube right now, and then you get directions, complete with rotating graphics, on what steps to take to solve the cube.

Apple has apparently bowed to pressure because the iTunes Store is now allowing upgrades to iTunes Plus on a per track basis. Back when Apple first dropped DRM on some of their music they started allowing customers to upgrade their previously purchased tracks to the higher bit-rate and DRM-free iTunes Plus versions. Unfortunately, until recently Apple required you to purchase the upgrades for all of your qualifying music all at once, whether your wanted them all or not.

In 1983, Apple was trying to get software developers excited about the new Mac platform and a new way of working with computers. The YouTube video below shows highlights of an Apple event in which Steve Jobs plays the part of The Dating Game host Jim Lange, asking questions about software development to three bachelors software magnates — Fred Gibbons of Software Publishing Company, Mitch Kapor of Lotus Development, and some guy named Bill Gates from Microsoft.

Of those three software giants, only Microsoft has really survived into the 21st Century. Software Publishing Company left the PC scene in 1994 and Lotus was assimilated into the corporate body of IBM.

The video has edited out most of the bits with Gibbons and Kapor, so you get to hear Bill Gates gush about how wonderful the Mac platform is and how Microsoft in 1983 honestly expected Macintosh software to account for one-half of their revenue.

It’s a weird little video, and very indicative of the type of PR stunts that were popular in the early days of the digital revolution. Enjoy!

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(Source: hollywoodnorthreport.com)   At the weekend SPARK FX ‘09 event in downtown Vancouver, award-winning visual effects wizards Dennis Muren and Harrison Ellenshaw were on hand to talk about their craft.

Lectures were sold out in anticipation of 9-time Oscar winner Muren’s appearance, who is noted as the first Visual Effects Artist to be honoured with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

As Senior Visual Effects Supervisor for George Lucas’s Industrial Light & Magic, Muren personally arranged the original “Star Wars” feature film “Trilogy’ to be showcased on the big screen @ the Vancity Theatre for a rare showing Saturday night.

(Source: huffingtonpost.com)  From Variety comes this report that Mickey Rourke is being offered a measly $250,000 to play a major villain in the upcoming Iron Man 2, a low-ball figure that may cause him to make The Expendables instead. I’ve previously written about Marvel’s apparent attempts at penny-pinching the May 2010 sequel before, but this new information is startling. Marvel is allegedly as badly hurt by the economy as any company (unlike DC Comics’ relationship with Time Warner, Marvel Comics has no giant conglomerate to fall back on) and they are trying to find ways to save.

Academy of Art University animation, visual effects and illustration students are snagging jobs at top studios, including Pixar, Industrial Light & Magic and DreamWorks after graduation. Students have many opportunities to develop relationships with companies in their area of interest, including courses taught by industry leaders, special seminars and the art school’s annual spring show. These relationships often lead to jobs. Recent Academy of Art University graduates were hired at the following companies:

Erwin Madrid & Noriko Ito – PDI
Tim Lamb – DreamWorks
Kris Norelius, Grant Alexander, Tim Evatt & Jennifer Chang – Pixar
Jason Chan – Massive Black
Ivan Moy – Terra Glyph Studios
PO Ming Chu – Image Movers
Sang Jun Lee – Blue Sky
Nicholas Stohlman – Secret Level

If the upcoming movie ads scheduled to air during the Super Bowl are any indication, its going to be another action filled, if brain-dead, summer at the multiplex. According to Variety, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” “Star Trek,” “G.I. Joe,” “Angels and Demons,” “The Land of the Lost” and a new film in the “Fast and the Furious” franchise” are expected to advertise during Sunday’s game to a potential captive audience of 100 million.

Is Optimus Prime related to the Fox sports robot?

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