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ExtraBITS for 28 July 2014

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Apple has acquired the BookLamp book recommendation service, Adam Engst appeared on The Tech Night Owl to talk about Apple’s Q3 financial results and the IBM deal, LiveCode is seeking funding to enable the cross-platform development environment to create HTML5 Web apps, and the Marvel Unlimited comic subscription service has been discounted to 99 cents through 29 July 2014.

Apple Acquires BookLamp Recommendation Service -- TechCrunch has uncovered the fact that Apple bought the book recommendation company BookLamp earlier this year for somewhere between $10 and $15 million. Although Apple’s only comment was “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” it seems likely that Apple was interested in BookLamp’s employees and Book Genome Project technology for improving recommendations within the iBooks Store and the App Store.

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Adam Engst Discusses Apple Financials and IBM Deal on Tech Night Owl -- In an appearance on The Tech Night Owl Live podcast, Adam Engst chatted about Apple’s Q3 2014 financial results and the Apple-IBM deal with host Gene Steinberg.

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LiveCode Crowdfunding HTML5 Web App Deployment -- The cross-platform development environment LiveCode, perhaps the most successful of HyperCard’s successors, can deploy apps to Mac OS X, iOS, Windows, Android, and several flavors of Unix. LiveCode’s developer, RunRev, raised nearly $840,000 via Kickstarter in February 2013 to make an open-source edition of LiveCode (see “LiveCode Crowdfunds Free, Open-Source Update,” 22 February 2013), and now the company is turning to the crowdfunding approach again. This time the goal is to enable LiveCode developers to write apps that can be deployed as HTML5 Web apps and run in a browser. It’s a compelling promise, but they’re just over halfway with three days to go, so check out the fundraising page (which isn’t run through Kickstarter) by the end of July if you’re interested in helping.

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Marvel Unlimited Discounted to 99 Cents through July 29th -- To celebrate the San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel is offering the Marvel Unlimited subscription service for $0.99 for the first month, after which it will auto-renew at the usual $9.99 per month unless you cancel. Use promo code SDCC14 when signing up through 29 July 2014. Although our in-house comic expert Josh Centers has called out issues with Marvel Unlimited’s iOS app and selection (see “FunBITS: Marvel Unlimited App a 97-pound Weakling,” 24 May 2013), he still believes that a subscription service makes the most sense for comic reading (see “Explaining the ComiXology In-app Purchase Debacle,” 3 May 2014), and this is a great opportunity to give it a try.

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