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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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Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Black Friday pricing on Macs and iPads now av...
B&H Photo has lowered prices on many Macs, iPads, and iPad Pros as part of their Black Friday week sale. Save up to $200 on MacBooks and iMacs and up to $150 on iPads. B&H charges sales tax... Read more
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Apple restocks refurbished Mac minis starting...
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