Mac App Store, global internet users, Amazon’s barcode scanner

Angry Birds iPhone app Mac users will soon have another reason to feel superior to their PC-owning friends when the soon-to-be-launched Mac App Store makes it possible to play Angry Birds on a 27” iMac – surely the very definition of ‘living the dream’.

Bringing the App Store to the Mac may help remind people Apple makes more than just fancy phones and tablet computers, but it has caused concern among some Mac developers, who fear the move will ultimately prove restrictive.

The announcement came just two days after Apple’s fourth quarter results, somewhat overshadowing the news that Mac sales were up 27% on the previous quarter, iPhones up 91% – overtaking the number of phones sold by Blackberry manufacturer RIM for the first time, but iPods were down 11%.

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By the end of this year there will be more than two billion people online and the number of Internet users across the globe will have doubled in the last five years, according to the United Nations’ ITU agency.

The data, which was released on the eve of the first World Statistics Day (you celebrated that, right?), also shows that this year alone some 226 million people will use the Internet for the first time, 162 million of them from developing countries.

Although the ITU considers broadband to be the real catalyst for growth it also acknowledged the ubiquity of mobile telephones, both in low-income countries and on a global level, where more than 90% of the world’s population now has access to mobile networks.

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Bricks-and-mortar retailers have another reason to be wary of Amazon after the company added a bar code scanning function to its iPhone app, though it only works if you’re running the latest version of the phone’s operating system.

The bar code scanner is part of the app’s Amazon Remembers feature, which allows you to make lists of objects by taking photos of them with the iPhone’s built in camera.

Clearly more than a visual reminder list, Amazon Remembers automatically scans the company’s catalogue to try and find either the exact product you snapped or a similar match and then emails you the details.

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Found: The true size of Africa (via @paulgrant)


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