Best Buy knocks 15% off of iTunes gift cards (Update: 20% off for Rewards members)

From 9to5Toys.com:

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Today only, Best Buy is knocking 15% off of iTunes gift cards in all denominations both in physical and online with free shipping. Update: Best Buy Reward Zone members can get 20% off (free to sign up). The discount applies to all of Apple’s media including music, videos, movies, books, iOS and Mac Apps and more.

Perhaps you can knock out your holiday shopping a little earlier this year?
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Parallels warns Mac users to not upgrade to Windows 8

Parallels for Mac virtualization software has been getting major updates this year with the recent release of version 8, making it even easier to run Mac and Windows apps side by side. In version 7, it made it a lot easier to upgrade and buy copies of Windows directly from within the app, and we even had a Windows 8 developer preview up and running. Unfortunately, with today’s launch of Microsoft’s Windows 8, Parallel’s is warning Mac users that the app is not ready to update to the new OS.

In a support document on the company’s website, it issued a “critical and urgent Windows 8 service advisory” telling customers it should wait before upgrading from an existing installation of Windows to Windows 8: Read more

iPhone sat in 6 feet of water for 6 months, amazingly still operates

There is nothing worse than dropping your iPhone…except maybe dropping it into a lake. That is just an awful feeling. Not shamed by the occasion, 9to5mac reader Ken Hovanes shared his story of when he dropped an iPhone into Smith Lake roughly six months ago. He dropped it from a dock and was not able to see through six feet of water to pick it up. Hovanes considered it damaged/lost, so he bought a new iPhone.

Thinking all hope was gone, Hovanes was surprised this weekend to find his lost iPhone in the lake once the water levels lowered and the lake became clearer. Even more surprising: he discovered the iPhone still operates. As you can see in the gallery below, the screen turns on when plugged into a power source. There is a little water damage (including Wi-Fi, screen issues, and the bulges you can see below), but he is trying to clean out the 30-pin adapter area.

Lesson to learn? Do not give up hope on a water-damaged iOS device.

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Six iPhone 5 gripes from Apple Support: Date/Time issues, Lightning charging, Wi-Fi, reception, voice quality, and battery life

The iPhone 5 is barely a month old, and almost everyone, present company included, thinks it is the most amazing smartphone on the market. But, it’s not perfect (that’s what updates are for), and Apple’s Support Community has been lighting up with not-isolated issues affecting all matter of functionality on the iPhone 5.

The top 6 iPhone 5 gripes from Apple’s support forums:

1. Date and time

The above issue, regarding iPhone 5 dates and times randomly changing, largely seems to primarily affect Verizon users. One support forum member (Rockyrikoko) even reported the same problem having occurred for Verizon’s Droid devices. The same member later claimed Apple engineers told him/her: “Issues with time provided over the air from Verizon will ultimately be for the carrier to address.” A quick skim through over a dozen pages revealed that —to this date— there has been no quick fix from Apple or Verizon and many users are still manually setting their clocks.

Check out the full thread: iPhone 5 time and date issues

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Mac Mega Fall App bundle featuring 11 great productivity apps $50 (Valued at $1,209)

From 9to5Toys.com:

Stacksocial is offering a bundle of Mac productivity apps valued at $1,209 for only $50. Each of the 11 apps were handpicked by the Stacksocial staff and include apps to help your eBay business, edit PDF files, be more efficient within Mac Mail, and so much more. The Mac is already one of the most productive personal computers on the market and with these apps you will get even more done. The deal is valid for only another four days, so act now. The full list of apps is as follows:

Apple extends complimentary iCloud storage for MobileMe users until September 30th 2013

9to5Mac readers who migrated from MobileMe are reporting that their complimentary extra storage has been extended an extra year. Apple’s support doc is here.

From: iCloud <noreply@icloud.com>
Date: October 5, 2012, 3:38:18 PM PDT
To: 9to5mac
Subject:Your complimentary iCloud storage upgrade has been extended at no charge
Reply-To:no-reply@apple.com

When you moved your MobileMe account to iCloud, we provided you with a complimentary storage upgrade beyond the standard 5GB that comes with an iCloud account to help you with the transition. Originally, this storage upgrade was set to expire on September 30, 2012.

As a thank you to our former MobileMe members, we will continue to provide you with this complimentary storage upgrade at no charge, for an additional year, until September 30, 2013. No action is required on your part. For complete details, please read this article.

iCloud Team

All of the details from Apple’s Support Doc:

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Turn your iPhone 4/4S into the next-gen iPhone with this $30 back plate mod kit

While we certainly cannot vouch for the quality of this “iPhone 5 conversion mod kit” for iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, it appears to be a back-plate mod kit based on leaked next-generation iPhone designs. Available in both black and white, the kit is based on the next-gen metal iPhone backs that we first posted high-resolution photos of in May. The mod kit is currently shipping worldwide within seven days for $30. The sellers claim the kit uses “camera glass lens of same quality as original iPhone back panel,” while the back plate includes “glass-like acrylic” and aluminum.

The kit also comes with Phillips and Pentalobe screwdrivers. The iPhone 5 mod kit is available here, and a short promo video of the result is below. For comparison, images of the “real” thing are here.

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3rd Generation iPad hits the Apple Store refurbished section offering $50 off, same 1 year warranty

From 9to5Toys.com:

It appears that Apple is offering $50 off across the board yielding savings of 6-10% depending on the original price.  This is the first time Apple has offered the 3rd generation iPad refurbished at the Apple Store.

Apple’s refurbished iPads get a new battery and encasement and come with the same 1 year warranty as new iPads. Read more

How to watch official BBC Olympics coverage from the US

For Americans, coverage of the Olympics in London is mainly limited to NBC’s video stream offerings. Unfortunately, the network’s coverage, especially online, is receiving a ton of complaints as witnessed by the #nbcfail hashtag on Twitter. Fortunately, there is a way to bypass NBC altogether and take advantage of the BBC’s official live stream coverage from inside the U.S. of almost every major event. There is not much to it; all you have to do is use a DNS routing service to get around the BBC’s region blocked streams. Below is a quick guide courtesy of Lifehacker that uses the Unblock Us service. It is free for a week, and then it is $5 for the month.

First, you will have to sign up for the service on its website. Once that is finished, you can configure the service for BBC using the steps below:

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Use Mountain Lion’s new Wi-Fi Scan utility to optimize your home wireless network

A new Wi-Fi scanner tool is in Mountain Lion’s refreshed Wi-Fi Diagnostics Utility, allowing users to easily discover Wi-Fi networks within range and view related data not available from Apple’s Wi-Fi menu bar item. Comparable to third-party Wi-Fi stumbler tool iStumbler, the scan tool provides data for BSSID, band, protocol, channel, signal strength, security, and more. It also has Active and Passive scan modes.

From the window, you can see what networks are in your area and their strength. Some maneuvering of base stations can increase coverage to the outermost areas of your house, and it is much, much easier to see slight differences in numerical signal vs. noise strength over those four waves Apple uses in its Wi-Fi menu.

Additionally, by looking at what Channel (1-13) your base station is on, compared to your neighbors (or other base stations in your house), you can often find the least used channel in your area to improve reception.

If you are interested in using the new Wi-Fi scanner tool, OSX Daily provided the necessary steps for quick access:
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Review: $80 Logitech Mini Boombox—the diminutive wireless speaker with huge sound and battery

Last month, I put the full-sized Logitech Boombox up against the Jawbone Jambox in a $150 Bluetooth speaker battle. I liked both devices, but they had separate strengths and weaknesses and were best suited to different tasks. For instance, I liked the portability of the Jambox, its speakerphone capability, and charging via USB. I liked the sound and simplicity of the Logitech Boombox, but I did not like the proprietary AC adapter.

After the review, Logitech got ahold of me and said if I liked the Jambox and the Boombox, they made another product that I would love called the “Mini Boombox.” Unlike Logitech’s full-size Bluetooth speakers, the Mini charges via Mini-USB, can fit in the palm of your hand (or cargo pant pockets), and it acts as a speakerphone for an iPhone. This one retails for $100, but it can be found for $79.99 at both Amazon (with $30 of MP3s) and Best Buy.

How did it stack up against the two $150 Bluetooth speakers mentioned earlier?

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