Aerial shots of Apple’s NC Data Center show off 100-acre solar array, Bloom energy cells and new tactical data center[Gallery]

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Wired just published aerial shots of Apple’s data center in Maiden, N.C. from Monday, when construction crews were in the midst of laying foundation for a large structure in a northwest sylvan area, and it appears the company has just begun assembling its Bloom Energy fuel cells for biogas conversion.

According to Wired:

Our flyover captured some pretty clear images of the tactical data center, the massive solar array, and, of course, this new mystery building.

Check out some closeups of the parts below, and Wired for full gallery and details.

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Prototype iPad with landscape dock connector surfaces in eBay listing

As noted by MacRumorsan eBay listing popped up today showing what appears to be a prototype 16GB iPad with two dock connectors. The iPad has always included the same, single dock connector that allows docking in portrait orientation, but the prototype in the listing shows a second dock connector that would allow for docking in landscape view.

We heard rumors several times as far back as the original iPad launch that Apple was working to add a second dock connector. The rumors were supported by several patents that surfaced. They detailed possible advancements Apple could make to its dock connectors on iOS devices. As pointed out by the report, the prototype in the eBay listing does not actually have any iPad trademarks, but just a prototype ID number instead. Otherwise, it appears to be genuine with components carrying “part numbers and copyright dates from prior to original iPad’s components.”

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Apps & updates: eBay for iPad, The Daily for iPhone, Google Currents Retina support, more

A number of notable apps were released or updated today on the App Store like the release of previously iPad-only news app The Daily, which was originally launched by News Corp last year. We also get a new iPad app from NBC offering video coverage, interactive tools, and live election results for breaking political news, as well as a completely redesigned iPad app for eBay, and more.

The Daily: Like the iPad version, The Daily iPhone client is free with a selection of content accessible to everyone. However, you will need to grab a $20 per year or $2 per month subscription to access the entire app, which is considerably less than the $40 per year and $1 per week offered with the iPad version.

eBay for iPad: This app received a huge update today bringing support for Retina displays, a redesigned home screen, “ultra-high resolution item images,” and many enhancements made to search results and notifications. The online auction and shopping website also noted it added some of the top requested features from users, such as: revise listings, back button, and improved search.

Google Currents: It is not a huge update, but Google updated its free magazine-style news app today with support for iPad Retina displays and the usual bug fixes.

NBC Politics: NBC’s new universal iOS app provides coverage of all-things politics with video coverage including interviews and shows like “Andrea Mitchell Reports” and “Morning Joe.” It also offers an interactive “Battleground Map,” real-time live election results, candidate profiles, and sharing features.

Lowe’s Virtual Experience: Lowe’s released a universal iOS app today allowing you to view 3D models of its major appliances available in its physical retail locations. It employs augmented reality to allow you to view and walk around the products in your home—as if your kitchen was the showroom.

Assassin’s Creed Rearmed: Ubisoft’s latest iOS spin-off of the Assassin’s Creed franchise was updated today with bug fixes for crashing during the character selection screen. But, more importantly, a new “Synergy” feature now allows you to “hack the Animus and use normal abilities in spectacular ways.” There are a eight abilities, such as: Smoke Bomb Immunity, Instant Trap, and Killing Knives. Read more

iPad 2 trade-ins as high as $450 ahead of new iPad launch

If you plan to trade-in your iPad 2 and pick up a third-generation iPad when it launches on Friday morning, Apple is now giving you another option by offering up to $320 in trade-in value (Apple Store gift cards) for an iPad 2 depending on the condition and model. To get the full $320 from Apple’s Reuse and Recycle program, you will need a 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G model in near perfect condition. On the entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi model, Apple is offering $205. Before the new iPad unveiling, we told you our Top 10 places to trade an iPad for cash or credit, and a few of those options are still providing slightly more than Apple in many cases.

A quick look at a couple of the other popular options—Gazelle and Amazon—will get you just over $400 for an AT&T 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G iPad in “flawless” condition, which is quite a bit more than Apple is offering. Of course, for your iPad to qualify for that much, it will have to “look like it has never been used,” according to Gazelle. Some listings on Amazon are as high as $450. Those options also give you alternative payout methods. In the case of Gazelle, you will be able to get your trade-in value by check, PayPal, or an Amazon gift card. Trade-in values will likely start to fall after the new iPad’s rollout, but Gazelle told us it has seen a 700-percent increase in trade-ins since the new iPad announcement with over 150,000 iPad offers in total so far. Apple’s announcement that the iPad 2′s new $399 price tag was great for education and it certainly did not hurt demand for the iPad 2.

Before you sell your iPad, you will want to get it prepared, cleaned, and packed to get the maximum trade-in value. After the break, you will find step-by-step tips for doing exactly that, courtesy of Gazelle:
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Top 10 places to trade an iPad for cash or credit

The Internet is abuzz with stats about iPad trade-ins going through the roof as the March 7 iPad 3 unveiling in San Francisco looms closer, and while percentages and graphs are vaguely interesting, the real meat to the story concerns where and how people can get the most bang for their buck.

Look no further as 9to5Mac compiled a list of places to trade in an ole’ dusty iPad for cash or credit to buy Apple’s upcoming toy. Before perusing the options, identify the condition, features, and model of the swappable iPad. This knowledge will help decide its maximum value, because most of these online programs use a survey to determine the slate’s estimate. Moreover, it is prudent to act now as some reports indicate retailers are steadily dropping prices with Apple’s event drawing nearer.

Trade-in websites and their prices are available below. 

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