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Feb 18
Apple patent hints at forward-facing camera in future...

An Apple patent (number 2010039530) has appeared at the US Patent & Trademark Office that shows that Apple plans on beefing up its picture and video recording performance on portable devices. Also, a look at the patent shows that future iPhones and/or iPod touches and/or iPads could sport a forward facing camera.

The invention relates generally to digital cameras and, more particularly, to calibrating digital camera components to minimize manufacturing variations in such components. Per the patent A method of manufacturing a digital video camera is provided. The method comprises acquiring video images of colored light, and measuring a light intensity response of the video camera to the colored light. The method further comprises comparing the intensity of the measured response to a desired colored light intensity for determining a color intensity bias and storing the intensity bias for the colored light in the camera so that the bias can be applied when the camera is...

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Feb 18
Research group: Apple's revenue will exceed $100...

The Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com) research group has published a report on "The Future of Apple." And the research group says that future looks very, very rosy.

Since the turn of the century Apple evolved from a secondary computer company into the most potent force transforming media. Research and Markets says it's the premier digital media innovator as evidenced by the iPod, iPhone and, most recently, the iPad. Basically each introduction defined a new product category or enable an incipient one to cross the chasm into mass market acceptance. More of the same is expected in the future, not only from products but also from transactional services, according to the research group.

Research and Markets adds that most any business affected by the future of media will be directly impacted by Apple's future innovations. Moreover, its existing product lines...

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Feb 18
Apple patents show revolutionary input devices

New Apple patents at the US Patent & Trademark Office show that Apple is planning on tweaking its input devices -- and apparently has new devices at least in the planning stages.

Patent number 2010039381 is for a rotatable input device. Think of the Magic Mouse on steroids. In an example embodiment, a computer mouse is provided. This computer mouse includes a surface tracking sensor that detects movement of the computer mouse along the support surface. Additionally included are one or more orientation sensors that detect a movement of the computer mouse relative to a pivot point. The computer mouse also includes a controller that is configured to translate the movement along the support surface into a two-dimensional coordinate and to translate the movement relative to the pivot point into a magnitude of rotation. The inventors are Michael Andrew Cretella Junior and David Thomas Amm.

Here's Apple's background and summary of the invention: "As is well-known, a...

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Feb 18
North by Northeast: An open letter to Steve Jobs and...

“North of Northeast” is a column that offers commentaries from a Canadian perspective.: I have written several articles in the past that were highly critical of the cellular network owners, including one specifically related to the release of the original iPhone. Nothing has changed in the intervening years.

Let's face it. These guys are NOT your partners… or your friends. They have absolutely no interest in how your products work or what they do for the customers you share. They also have no interest in providing the speed, reliability or quality of service that your products demand, regardless of price. And let's be totally honest here, "price" is what it's all about with them.

They don't like your products. Why? Because they can't control them. They can't decide what the devices can and can't do. They can't charge for each and every "feature." They can't force customers, for example, to send all their photos through them, so they can bill air time. Then of course,...

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Feb 18
J.D. Power: overall call quality decreases, especially...

As the number of smartphone customers has continued to grow during the past six months, call quality performance has declined during that same period of time, according to the J.D. Power and Associates' (http://www.JDPower.com) "2010 Wireless Call Quality Performance Study(SM)—Volume 1."

The semiannual study measures wireless call quality, based on seven problem areas that impact overall carrier performance: dropped calls; static/interference; failed call connection on the first try; voice distortion; echoes; no immediate voicemail notification; and no immediate text message notification. Call quality issues are measured as problems per 100 (PP100) calls, where a lower score reflects fewer problems and higher quality. Call quality performance is examined in six regions: Northeast; Mid-Atlantic; Southeast; North Central; Southwest; and West.

The study finds that, after several consecutive six-month...

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Feb 18
Is Apple green enough?

The headline is a question the company’s shareholders have to answer soon. Apple will hold its annual meeting next week, and on Apple’s proxy ballot is a measure that if approved would compel the company to publish a Sustainability report.

The report would likely force Apple to detail target reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases and toxins much like competitors Dell, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard already practice. Two advocate groups in particular have been pushing for the change. As You Sow, the group that submitted the original proposal, and Calvert Investments, a leading investment firm, have taken their positions to moxyvote.com. 

Shareholders have been using Moxy Vote (http://www.moxyvote.com) to cast their votes on this issue and join a public forum where they can vote alongside advocates and others with whom they see eye-to-eye ideologically.
 
Moxy Vote is a web-based social...

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Feb 18
Freshly Squeezed Reviews: For You ToGo

Food, food, glorious food. From the finest dining experience to the most satisfying of burgers, we all crave one type or another. And when that craving hits - where to go? What type -- Chinese, Italian, Mediterranean? I don't want to spend time debating the issue -- I WANT TO EAT!! How about just the local pub? I don't care - I JUST WANT TO EAT!

Enter Zagat ToGo (mobile.zagat.com/iphone.htm), which costs US$9.99.

"The most trusted guide to restaurants comes to the iPhone and WiFi iPod touch with over 45 Guides of Restaurant Reviews and Ratings for less than the price of 1 guide! Whether a cheap bite or a posh dinner, Zagat has shown the way for 30 years! Our Nightlife, Hotel and Shopping coverage also included where available."

A getaway weekend all planned in seconds with only your fingertips? Let's see.

The Juice

Zagat is a restaurant, travel and night life review guide started in 1979  by Tim and Nina Zagat as a way to collect and correlate the...

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Feb 17
Video is top form of laptop/iPhone generated wireless...

Bytemobile (http://www.bytemobile.com), which specializes in mobile Internet solutions, has released its first-quarter "2010 Mobile Minute Metrics report," which anonymously sources the aggregate data traffic in a global cross-section of Bytemobile customers’ wireless networks and provides insight into the current state of the mobile ecosystem. And the iPhone plays a big role in that ecosystem.

Analysis of various 3G networks indicates that the data traffic mix is consistent across geographies –-- with video as the dominant form of traffic. Other key data from the report:

° Video is the dominant form of laptop-generated wireless traffic. However, automatic software updates consume 10% of the total laptop-generated volume in networks.

° A minority of mobile data users consume the majority of network bandwidth – with 10% generating approximately 85% of total traffic.

° Consistent...

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Feb 17
Analyst: iPad, other newcomers to eat into Amazon...

The iPad and the expected entry of others such as Google into the e-book space will cut Amazon’s share of e-book sales from 90% to 35% over the next five years, Credit Suisse analyst Spencer Wang told clients in a note on Wednesday.

"Near term, we suspect that the iPad and the new eBook agency pricing model, which requires that Amazon increase retail prices to be more consistent with Apple’s pricing, will provide Kindle with the most market share headwind," he writes. "Going forward, we can envision a scenario where Apple, Amazon, and Google eventually split the market. Therefore, we expect Amazon’s share of eBooks business to fall from 90% currently to about 35% over the next five years."

The "Wall Street Journal" (http://blogs.wsj.com/marketbeat/2010/02/16/analyst...

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Feb 17
In-Stat: device manufacturers, media companies...

Three sectors of the digital entertainment ecosystem—device manufacturers and retailers, content producers and service providers—have much different visions of the home entertainment future, reports In-Stat (http://www.in-stat.com). Each industry sector will continue to try to mold the future to its advantage.

“In the TV and video ecosystem, operators and media companies want to avoid what happened in digital music, where Apple dominates the digital music ecosystem,” says Keith Nissen, In-Stat analyst. “As Web-to-TV initiatives accelerate, pay TV operators' ‘TV Everywhere’ concepts must deliver more than just TV content on a PC screen. It must deliver a complimentary web-based video experience to any screen. Meanwhile, media companies must balance existing distribution channels with new ‘over-the-top’ opportunities.”

Recent research by In-Stat found the following:

° Exclusive live sports and TV...

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Feb 17
Macsimum review: Audiobook Builder makes dealing with...

If you like to listen to audiobooks on your Mac, Splasm Software's Audiobook Builder (http://www.splasm.com/audiobookbuilder/index.htm), a US$9.95 Mac only tool (take that, Windows!) can make your life easier. It's a breeze to use. It's a timesaver, too, since it deals with the complexities of audiobooks behind the scenes.

Audiobook Builder lets you import your Audiobook CDs (or tracks that are already on your Mac), organize them and output one or two files that your iPod recognizes as actual audiobooks.

The results are automatically sent to a special playlist in iTunes. When you sync with your iPod or iPhone they appear in the Audiobooks section. The software offers audio file joining, adjustable quality settings and enhanced chapter stops.

By default, every CD you import becomes its own "chapter" in your Audiobook project. This means you...

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Feb 17
Two Macworld Expos and new beginnings on 'Your...

Last week was the biggest week of the Mac calendar. This week's "Your Mac Life" looks at Macworld Expo, both the "successful" and "unsuccessful" one.

You can listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30 to 8 pm (Pacific). Live video is on Your Mac Life! You can watch the show live at http://yml.macosg.com/ -- or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at http://www.yourmaclifeshow.com/QT/stream.mov .

You can join one of the two Chat Rooms that run during the live show -- on the live video site or on the dedicated IRC Server at irc.chat-solutions.org in the #yourmaclife Channel .

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Feb 17
Most consumers don't see netbooks as a...

Although there's some debate as to whether there's a real market for the iPad or not, Appel certainly made the right decision not to enter then netbook arena. And a new survey by PriceGrabber.com backs this up.

The survey looks at netbook and laptops and shows that most consumers (55%) don't see the former as a suitable replacement for the latter. This report includes survey responses from 1,680 online consumers from Jan. 7-25, 2010, and compares results from a similar survey of 1,545 online consumers conducted from Jan. 6-14, 2009. Survey data reveals that while netbooks are not a replacement for laptops, their popularity has influenced the pricing in the portable computing industry.

PriceGrabber.com's 2010 and 2009 netbook surveys define a netbook as having a screen smaller than 11 inches, costing less than US$500 and employing a low-power processing chip. This year, the percentage of online consumers who personally own a netbook has increased to 15%, compared with...

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Feb 16
Apple patents involve the iPad touch panel, Apple TV...

New Apple patents at the US Patent & Trademark Office involve multipoint screen that's obviously that of the upcoming iPad, the Apple TV interface, iChat and more.

Patent number 7,663,607 is for the multipoint touchscreen. A touch panel having a transparent capacitive sensing medium configured to detect multiple touches or near touches that occur at the same time and at distinct locations in the plane of the touch panel and to produce distinct signals representative of the location of the touches on the plane of the touch panel for each of the multiple touches is disclosed. The inventors are Steve Hotelling, Joshua A. Strickton and Brian Q. Huppi.

Here's Apple's summary of the invention: "The invention relates, in one embodiment, to a touch panel having a transparent capacitive sensing medium configured to detect multiple touches or near touches that occur at the same time and at distinct locations in the plane of the touch panel and to produce distinct signals...

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Feb 16
IMS Research: almost one billion consumer devices to...

Shipments of consumer devices that can be powered or charged wirelessly are forecast to grow from just 1.5 million in 2009 to almost one billion in 2019, according to the latest analysis from IMS Research (http://ww.imsresearch.com).

According to IMS Research’s recent report, “The Growth Potential for Wireless Power and Charging”, activity in the wireless power industry has increased significantly over the last two years and the market is now poised for explosive growth. There are numerous start-ups offering solutions using conductive, inductive, magnetic resonance, RF and infrared wireless power technologies and although their shipments were very low last year; this is forecast to grow rapidly driven by the adoption in high volume applications such as cell phones.

"Initial adoption of wireless power will be for aftermarket add-on solutions, though we predict mass adoption will occur as major...

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Feb 16
Survey finds video conferencing on the rise

Some folks are disappointed that there's no videoconferencing capability on the upcoming iPad. Some think that a future version will include it. And they be right if Apple wants it to appeal to a wider swatch of users.

A recent survey of more than 1,200 business professionals in the United States, Japan, South Korea and China revealed that video chat/conferencing is rapidly being adopted worldwide, for business and personal use. The survey (http://www.gipscorp.com/survey), conducted by Research Now and sponsored by Global IP Solutions, indicates that business professionals across multiple industries are adopting video in an effort to communicate and collaborate more clearly and effectively. The survey is available at http://www.gipscorp.com/survey

"The results of this survey underscore the increasing...

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Feb 16
Apple patents involve the iPad touch panel, Apple TV...

New Apple patents at the US Patent & Trademark Office involve multipoint screen that's obviously that of the upcoming iPad, the Apple TV interface, iChat and more.

Patent number 7,663,607 is for the multipoint touchscreen. A touch panel having a transparent capacitive sensing medium configured to detect multiple touches or near touches that occur at the same time and at distinct locations in the plane of the touch panel and to produce distinct signals representative of the location of the touches on the plane of the touch panel for each of the multiple touches is disclosed. The inventors are Steve Hotelling, Joshua A. Strickton and Brian Q. Huppi.

Here's Apple's summary of the invention: "The invention relates, in one embodiment, to a touch panel having a transparent capacitive sensing medium configured to detect multiple touches or near touches that occur at the same time and at distinct locations in the plane of the touch panel and to produce distinct signals...

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Feb 16
Survey finds video conferencing on the rise

Some folks are disappointed that there's no videoconferencing capability on the upcoming iPad. Some think that a future version will include it. And they be right if Apple wants it to appeal to a wider swatch of users.

A recent survey of more than 1,200 business professionals in the United States, Japan, South Korea and China revealed that video chat/conferencing is rapidly being adopted worldwide, for business and personal use. The survey (http://www.gipscorp.com/survey), conducted by Research Now and sponsored by Global IP Solutions, indicates that business professionals across multiple industries are adopting video in an effort to communicate and collaborate more clearly and effectively. The survey is available at http://www.gipscorp.com/survey

"The results of this survey underscore the increasing...

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Feb 16
IMS Research: almost one billion consumer devices to...

Shipments of consumer devices that can be powered or charged wirelessly are forecast to grow from just 1.5 million in 2009 to almost one billion in 2019, according to the latest analysis from IMS Research (http://ww.imsresearch.com).

According to IMS Research’s recent report, “The Growth Potential for Wireless Power and Charging”, activity in the wireless power industry has increased significantly over the last two years and the market is now poised for explosive growth. There are numerous start-ups offering solutions using conductive, inductive, magnetic resonance, RF and infrared wireless power technologies and although their shipments were very low last year; this is forecast to grow rapidly driven by the adoption in high volume applications such as cell phones.

"Initial adoption of wireless power will be for aftermarket add-on solutions, though we predict mass adoption will occur as major...

| Read more »
Feb 13
Reporter's Notebook: Notes from Macworld, day...

As I write this I'm getting ready to head to the airport to fly back to Nashville from San Francisco, where I've been covering Macworld. The weather in SF is sunny, which represents the overall feel of the show.

Today (Saturday) traffic is much lighter than in the past two days on the exhibitor show floor. However, there were still several visitors. And many more will likely drop by this afternoon, after I've departed.

A couple of final, random thoughts:

° There are iPhones everywhere in this city. Everywhere.

° I got excited when I approached the Targus booth. I thought they actually had a iPad sitting there among their new iPad cases. But it was only a mock-up.
Let's do it again next week. Jan. 25-29, 2011, to be exact.

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Feb 12
Reporter's Notebook: Notes from Macworld, Day Two

As Macworld 2010 approached, many folks were wondering if the show could survive without Apple present. Right now the signs look good as the exhibit hall in Moscone North was packed for the second day in a row.

Traffic seemed steady throughout the day (Friday). Most of the vendors and Expo goers with whom I spoke were pleasantly surprised by the hustle and bustle and generally upbeat atmosphere of the show.

Of course, there's no denying that there simply isn't the intensity of past events with Apple absent. Heck I wish they had a booth here, so I could get my hands on an iPad, at last for a few moments. That said, this Macworld is a different beast than what we're used to. On that level, it certainly seems to be a success.

In fact, I think there will actually be more exhibitors at Macworld 2011 once the word gets out about this year's event. And come back Saturday for our last day of MWSF coverage.

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Feb 12
Expo: Guy Kawasaki looks at 'Revolution From the...

Guy Kawasaki -- a former Apple evangelist, author, entrepreneur, and founder of the Alltop.com web site (and the guy I once recommended as the successor to Steve Jobs -- but Guy wasn't interested) -- gave his "Revolution from the Rest of Us" today at the Macworld Expo.

His presentation looked at the current state of innovation and revolution in the tech market. He started out with tales of his early days at Apple, then went on to show five products and/or companies he really likes. There were also questions from the audience.

Square (http://www.squareup.com) showed its credit card payment for the iPhone. It's due in late spring or early summer.

Hearplanet (http://www.hearplanet.com/) talked about its self-titled app, a "talking tour guide for your iPhone." It sports: global coverage with "hundreds of thousands" of...

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Feb 12
Expo: Doomsayers were very wrong

When Apple pulled out of Macworld Expo a year ago, the doomsayers started marching out in droves. I was scratching my head at this -- and on the first day of last year's show, committed to our booth at the show, and as a sponsor. Sure, I knew the show would be smaller (after all Apple had previously taken something like 30% of the square footage of the show). And sure, I figured people would scale back on their booth sizes due to concern and the economy overall.

But what was also clear to me was that the community needed a place to network, to mingle, to see products. And with Macworld Expo SF being the last Apple community show, there was no doubt in my mind that it would continue. And, I fully expect that 2011 will be significantly bigger than 2010's event.

The first day of the show was packed. It was literally hard to walk in the aisles at times. Some of this is having a lot of people in a smaller space, but the traffic was solid for most of the day. Booths...

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Feb 12
Expo: Doomsayers were very wrong

When Apple pulled out of Macworld Expo a year ago, the doomsayers started marching out in droves. I was scratching my head at this -- and on the first day of last year's show, committed to our booth at the show, and as a sponsor. Sure, I knew the show would be smaller (after all Apple had previously taken something like 30% of the square footage of the show). And sure, I figured people would scale back on their booth sizes due to concern and the economy overall.

But what was also clear to me was that the community needed a place to network, to mingle, to see products. And with Macworld Expo SF being the last Apple community show, there was no doubt in my mind that it would continue. And, I fully expect that 2011 will be significantly bigger than 2010's event.

The first day of the show was packed. It was literally hard to walk in the aisles at times. Some of this is having a lot of people in a smaller space, but the traffic was solid for most of the day. Booths...

| Read more »
Feb 12
Analyst predicts Mac, iPhone, iPad sales growth for...

Needham analyst Charlie Wolf has increased his price target on Buy-rated Apple from US$235 to $280, saying that that Mac and iPhone sales are significantly higher than when he made his last attempt to value the company back in September. He's also expecting good things about the upcoming iPad.

As reported by Barron's (http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderdaily/2010/02/12/apple-needham-ups-ta...), Wolf thinks Mac shipments will grow from 9.5 million units this year to 24.9 million in 2019. He predicts iPhone shipments will grow from 37.2 million this year to 142.5 million in 2019.

When it comes to the iPad, Wolf sees sales of two...

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Feb 11
Reporter's Notebook: Notes from Macworld 2010

Sure, Apple isn't here and the exhibitors (around 230 or so) are squeezed into one hall (Moscone North), but the exhibit hall traffic was VERY busy today. That's a good sign.

The weather in San Francisco was very nice Thursday -- sunny and with highs in the 50s. That's a big chance from back home in Nashville, where we've been having the most snow fall in the past seven years. Of course, folks up north would laugh at our miniscule (compared to them) accumulation of the white stuff.

Kudos to David Pogue on his hilarious keynote today. He was joined on stage by LeVar Burton (star of "Roots," "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "Reading Rainbow") and the very talented young folks behind the Auto-Tune the News phenomenon. You HAVE to check out their work on YouTube. One highlight of Pogue's 90-minute keynote: "It's a Wonderful Mac," a twist on the classic film in which Steve Jobs (played by Burton) finds out what the world would have been like had Apple never been...

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Feb 11
Study: the publishing industry can survive, even...

NYU Stern Professor Vasant Dhar, an expert in the strategic implications of information technology, warns that the publishing industry will be the next “carcass” if it doesn’t embrace a new business model, and he proposes what this new model should look like. And it involves devices such as the upcoming iPad and the Kindle.

“Publishing executives have an unprecedented opportunity to grow the industry. Yet, what they are doing is defending their old business model – which, frankly, is now antiquated,”says Dhar. “The two are mutually exclusive.”

Dhar, who conducted the first study to quantify the economic impact of user-generated content for the music business, cites the music trade as a perfect example of an industry that failed because it was unprepared and resistant to adopting new technologies. Instead of focusing on providing their customers value and reasonable rights of usage, they became obsessed with preventing piracy, and it cost them dearly. He argues that...

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Feb 11
Apple patents range from media player armband to...

Apple patents ranging from a new media player armband to a magnetic connector have appeared at the US Patent & Trademark Office. Here's a summary of each.

Patent number 20100032462 is for an armband that holds an electronic device. The armband includes a pouch which includes a window and an opening configured to allow an electronic device to be inserted into the pouch. The armband also includes an arm strap wherein the proximate end of the arm strap is coupled to the pouch, and wherein the arm strap includes: holes arranged in a specified pattern; loop cells at specified locations along the length of the arm strap; and a hook cell located at a distal end of the arm strap. The armband further includes a ring coupled to the pouch configured to allow the distal end of the arm strap to be passed through the ring and pulled toward the proximate end of the arm strap so that the hook cell can be coupled to one or more loop cells. The inventors are Gordon Cameron and Cameron...

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Feb 11
Online viewing not the future of TV just yet

If Apple is expecting its Macs, iPhones, iPads, etc., to be the future of TV viewing, Jobs & Company have their work cut for them. Despite the growing amount of video available online, less than 8% of U.S. broadband households are considering canceling their pay-TV services in favor of online video, according to Parks Associates (http://www.parksassociates.com).

A 2008 study reported 11% of U.S. broadband households were considering canceling pay-TV services, and in an earlier 2009 survey, the number was 10%. A new study found approximately 5.5 million homes would be open to canceling pay TV due in part to the availability of online video. At the same time, one-half of these households are also considering a switch to a new pay-TV provider, indicating the primary threats to companies such as Verizon, Comcast, DirecTV, and Cablevision are still their traditional competitors.

The...

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Feb 10
Is Apple considering a long term plan to develop its...

The fact that the iPad, introduced last week, uses an Apple designed A4 chip offers a hint at future iPhones, iPod touches and—who knows?—perhaps even Macs.

The A4 was custom designed by Apple engineers to to be extremely powerful, and yet extremely power efficient. It apparently uses technology from PA Semi, a boutique microprocessor design company that Apple acquired in 2008. With Apple now in control of its own processors, you can bet good money that the A4 will appear in an upcoming iPhone. Then the iPod touch.

Beyond that? On one hand, it’s hard to see Apple deciding to use its own chips inside its Mac line-up rather than Intel processors. That would entail a major transition. On the other hand, who believed the rumors that Apple would move from PowerPC chips to Intel processors a few years ago? Few people (including me) did. But it happened. And, as CEO Steve Jobs has said on numerous occasions, Apple likes to design the whole widget.

Personally, I think...

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Feb 09
‘Avatar,’ other 3D movies set the stage for 3D TV and...

The popularity of "Avatar" and other 3D movies will put 3D TV on the map for consumers, according to the In-Stat research group, which says that 2010 will be a big year for 3D entertainment.

“Exposure to 3D films is important to the debut of 3D TV, because consumers who have seen 3D films are more interested than the general population in being able to view 3D content at home,” says Michelle Abraham, In-Stat analyst. “In-Stat’s 3D consumer survey shows that 64% of consumers are at least somewhat interested in 3D in the home. For those who have seen a 3D movie in the last 12 months, the percentage increases to 76%.”

Recent research by In-Stat found the following:

° In-Stat projects worldwide 3D TV shipments will reach 41 million in 2014.

° 3D Blu-ray player shipments will track closely with 3D TVs.

° Pricing is a major barrier, as survey respondents are not willing to pay much of a premium for 3D TV sets and Blu-ray players.

° Many Pay-TV...

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Feb 09
Will 3G come to the iPod touch?

One thing no one has talked about is the advent of 3G on the iPad without a voice plan and what that might mean for the iPod touch. Will it get that, too?

I don’t know. Since it’s the iPad’s “little brother” that would make sense. It was something that many folks wanted (and the pundits commented on) when the iPod touch came out. In other words, we all really wanted an iPhone sans the cell phone.

Along the same lines, there are rumors that the next iPhone (the 4G) will have a faster connection. So perhaps we’ll see an iPad 4G and an iPod touch 4G in the not-too-distant future.

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Feb 09
Head-to-Head: Parallels vs. VMware

So which virtualization product do you go with? Which solution is faster? Should you run Windows XP or 7? 32-bit or 64-bit? One virtual processor or more? In short, there are different answers for different people: it all depends on your needs.


Volume Number: 26
Issue Number: 01
Column Tag: Virtualization

 Head-to-Head:

How do VMware Fusion 3 and Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac compare?

By Neil Ticktin, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher

Start | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |...

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Feb 09
Apple patent hints at portable redesigns

Apple patents at the US Patent & Trademark Office may hint at new portable devices -- or redesigns of future laptops. Patent number 7660749 is for a portable computer that comprises a chassis and a connection system.

The connection system has a plurality of different connector receptacles. The connection system is configured to swing relative to the chassis between an open position where the connector receptacles are exposed for use and, closed position where the connector receptacles are hidden and stored within the chassis. The inventors are Gavin Reid, Chris Lightenberg and Bartley K. Andre.

Here's Apple's background and summary of the invention: "Connection systems are well known and include electrical contacts that enable devices to communicate with other devices. For example, connection systems may include Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports, FireWire ports, RJ-11 ports, and RJ-45 ports.

Mobile devices such as notebook computers are becoming...

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Feb 08
An iPad by any other name...

An iPad by any other name would still be an iPad. And another name would probably have been a better choice for several reasons.

One: as many folks have pointed out, it sounds like a feminine hygiene product.

Two: it’s too close to iPod. You can bet that there’ll be articles in which an understandable typo will say “iPod” when it means “iPad.” And vice versa.

Three: there are other claims to the name: STMicroelectronics, ST, a French-Italian company, uses the IPAD name in chips sold to mobile phone makers. IPAD stands for “Integrated Passive and Active Devices.

What’s more, apparently Fujitsu owns the iPad trademark for handheld computing in the US. Apple has reportedly taken advantage of the fact that Fujitsu stopped responding to requests by the US Patent and Trademark Office, who declared the “iPad” name “abandoned,” then began pursing it again last year. Apple has filed three petitions to extend the deadline to Feb. 28 to take the name away from...

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Feb 03
Another reason to consider making Blu-ray an option...

I’ve long argued that Apple should at least offer a Blu-ray option for the Mac. Or at least build Blu-ray playback support into Mac OS X so that third parties could. And recent stats back me up.

According to the In-Stat, igh-volume shipments of Blu-ray players, most of which feature network connectivity, are finally making inroads into the broader disc player and recorder market. By 2013, Blu-ray player shipments will still lag slightly behind the 90 million DVD player unit shipments. However, higher average selling prices will put Blu-ray player revenue at more than four times as large as DVD player revenue.

“In North America, significant price drops of Blu-ray players drove unit shipments to triple in 2009,” says Michelle Abraham, In-Stat analyst. “The cost differential between standard definition DVD and Blu-ray is becoming much smaller and new features such as IP/network connectivity are becoming increasingly important. Blu-ray is finally starting to make...

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Feb 02
About those iPad II rumors...

The iPad hasn’t shipped, but rumors are already abounding about what the iPad II will entail. First of all, let me just go on record as saying there won’t be a 15.4-inch version running Mac OS X, as some are predicting.

I WISH that there was an iPad II running Mac OS X proper rather than iPhone OS (which is actually a variant of Mac OS X) to facilitate, among other things, multi-tasking. But I don’t see this happening. Also, I can’t foresee Apple ever making an iPad bigger than 11 or 12 inches as it would defeat the purpose of the compact device.

That said, the first gen iPad does seems to be a typical Apple version 1.0 release. You start out simple and build on it once things are working with the baseline configuration. (The iPhone/iPod touch crowd knows what I’m talking about). Once Apple has that down, then they’ll start building in features. I do think that we’ll get a model with a built-in iSight for videoconferencing. And I’m also keeping my fingers crossed for...

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Jan 28
An iPad makes the time for an Apple home server even...

I’ve long hoped for an Apple home server product (the iServe? the iMedia?). Now that the iPad is here, I think the time is more opportune than ever for such a device.

The iPad is a great device, but even the upper end only has 64GB of internal storage. A home server would provide a way for keeping family media assets managed and available.

There are home server choices for the Mac, but all of them could be bettered by an Apple product. The Apple server could also be the next step to venture into another market, home control. For example, if Apple would offer a home climate control to your home server, you or the server could change the temperature in your home from a distance or in accordance with your iCal schedule.

An Apple home server could be a great companion for Macs, iPhones, iPods, iPads and other Apple devices. In fact, put it under the Apple TV division and let’s move beyond the “hobby” category.

Heck, I really wish that the Apple TV would...

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Jan 27
My first thoughts on the iPad...

Okay, so the iPad is here—and I want one. It has most of the features I said I wanted in such a device. But I still have a few questions.

First off, it has a 9.7-inch screen, close enough to the 10-incher I was hoping for. It will certainly have all the functionality of my iPod touch with enough notebook features to make me wonder if it can replace my 13-inch MacBook Pro. As I’ve mentioned before, I mainly use my laptop when I’m on the road (visiting Mom, going to Macworld, etc.)

I’m not sure whether I could live with a 10-inch screen for several days, but I’ll be glad to get my hands on an iPad to see how it feels and works as a productivity device. It can obviously handle email, surfing the net, etc. And I’m really excited about the special versions of the iWorks apps that are optimized for the iPad. I do wonder where, for instance, my Pages documents would be saved and how I’d sync everything with my desktop Mac. But I’m sure Apple has the answers. Right, Apple?...

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Jan 26
On the eve of the "Tablet"

There's much ado this week over Apple's "Tablet" announcement tomorrow.  It's particularly interesting that more people know about this announcement than they do that President Obama is doing the annual "State of the Union" address the same day.  There's no doubt that we'll see some surprises.

I'll put my stake in the ground and say that I believe the tablet will be:

  • Name: iPad
  • 10", just one size
  • 2 versions: one with 3G wireless, one with WiFi only (or one version with optional 3G plan)
  • iPhone OS derivative, but with the ability to switch apps (a la Expose)
  • No home button
  • Price to start at $599
  • Content master: eBooks, movies, tv shows, web browsing, etc...
  • New model for newspaper and magazine publishers (via iTunes -- do we get to rename it yet?)
  • Sharable by multiple people in the household

I'm hoping to see a virtual keyboard with tactile...

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