Ina Fried

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Connected iPads Offer a Bit of iCandy at WWDC

Onstage on Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook talked about all of the momentum behind the App Store, including the fact that 30 billion apps have now been downloaded.

Cook also noted that Apple has paid out more than $5 billion to developers and that there are more than 400 million iTunes store accounts.

One floor down at San Francisco’s Moscone West convention center, Apple offered a more visual representation of that booming business. The company connected 120 iPads into a giant “hyper table” showing the icons of the top 20,000 apps in the app marketplace and a near-real-time look at how they are doing.

Each time one of the apps is downloaded somewhere in the world, its icon pulses briefly. For each 100 downloads the icon starts a ripple effect.

To create the table, Apple connected the 10 dozen iPads and their 377 million pixels through a Mac Pro that was processing all that app sales data and coordinating its display (on about a five minute delay).

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald