The iPad mini, a smaller version of Apple’s iPad, is in production, according to new reports.
Macotakara, a Japanese Apple blog, posted Oct. 1 that production of the device is in progress in a “Brazilian factory.”
An anonymous source also told the blogger the device is missing a microphone on its backside, a rumored design change that is currently found in Apple’s iPhone 5.
Although a smaller iPad has yet to be announced by the company, an announcement is expected later this month.
Iran lifts ban on Gmail
Iranian authorities have reinstated access to Gmail just one week after preventing its citizens from using Google’s e-mail service.
Iran blocked Gmail last week in favor of its own domestic Internet network. Iranian Internet users, including political officials, however, had nothing but complaints for the domestic network, which also controlled information.
Iran has an estimated 32 million Internet users out of a total population of around 75 million.
The country opted to shun Google after an anti-Islam video was posted on YouTube mocking the Prophet Mohammad. The clip incited deadly protests across the Muslim world.
Google, which owns YouTube, ignored a request by the White House to remove the video from the Internet, although the company did opt to block it in a number of Muslim countries including Egypt and Libya where American embassies were besieged by protesters.
Although Gmail is now available, Iran has not lifted the ban on YouTube.
Facebook CEO meets Russian Prime Minister
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg met with Russia’s prime minister and former president, Dmitri A. Medvedev Oct. 1.
Zuckerberg and Medvedev discussed Facebook’s role in politics, according to Medvedev’s press office. They also talked about copyright rules and high-tech business.
“Good conversation with Prime Minister Medvedev,” Zuckerman wrote on his Facebook wall following the meeting.
The meeting, which lasted about 20 minutes, ended with a handshake and the Facebook CEO giving Medveded a T-shirt.
Microsoft Unveils New MSN
Microsoft launched its new design for MSN Oct. 1.
Designed exclusively for Windows 8, it will be available for Internet Explorer 10 users Oct. 26.
“MSN for Windows 8 gives you a place where you can be informed, decompress and let your curiosity reign,” a blog post by the MSN team reads. “From the updated user interface to blazing fast speed and comprehensive content, MSN showcases what it does best – instant access to the information you want.”
The new MSN is “built for speed,” easily rendering complex page layouts and high resolution images twice as fast as the classic MSN web experience, the blog said.
Microsoft describes it as more “app-like,” allowing users to access the Flip Ahead feature to cruise from article to article with a simple gesture. The Snap feature allows users to put a page to the side of screen while you use another program or page.