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All posts tagged "apple"


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Rumor: iTunes Store Going DRM-Free Today

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPods" @ 08:00 AM

http://www.appleinsider.com/article...ng_tuesday.html

"Apple is believed to be on the verge of an end-of-year push that would start by finally offering unprotected iTunes Store music from all major labels and would switch a special post-holiday campaign giving away music and videos to Europeans. A report from last week brought to AppleInsider's attention by French technology site ElectronLibre asserts that it's now "clear" Apple will spark new interest in its music store by removing DRM from tracks published by Sony, Universal and Warner on December 9th. The site doesn't point to specific sources but is careful to note that Apple is moving cautiously on the matter following difficult negotiations that allegedly had the labels hoping to negotiate what EMI had done for the launch of iTunes Plus in 2007, when it successfully negotiated prices higher before ultimately agreeing to reduce the price to Apple's standard 99 cents. Labels had also been hoping to switch from a monthly reporting of iTunes sales stats to live data, the earlier story suggests."

I'm not believing this one at all, but it won't take long for us to find out if it's true or not; after all, it's supposed to happen today! It would be huge if it did, but I'm not holding my breath. Anyone else want to weigh in?

Tags: apple, itunes, drm

Friday, December 5, 2008

iPhone Outsells Windows Mobile in Q3 2008

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple News" @ 02:00 PM

http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds...11_FORTUNE5.htm

"The success of iPhone 3G sales in the third quarter of 2008 propelled the Mac OS X to the No. 3 position in the global OS provider rankings. For the first time, iPhone sales exceeded sales of Microsoft Windows Mobile devices worldwide and in North America. In the shorter term, open-source initiatives like Android and Symbian Foundation will challenge Windows Mobile's licensing model. In addition, the lack of a competitive user interface will continue to limit Microsoft's mobile device usability when facing competitive consumer smartphones."

The interesting part here isn't that Apple has started to take prominence in the market. I don't even find that one bit interesting or surprising. What I do find surprising, however, is that given the sheer volume of manufacturers and models of Windows Mobile handsets, Apple is still outselling them with, essentially, two phones (the original and the 3G).

A few months back, Don Reisinger had one of the Windows Mobile folks on his podcast, and in the podcast he laughed off the iPhone. He said it was a meaningless phone and a flash in the pan and then proceeded to say that it was unfair to compare Windows Mobile to the iPhone because Windows Mobile is an OS and is installed on many more phones than Apple's offering. In essence, the OS mattered, not the hardware. Now here we are a few months later, and Apple is now moving toward the top, and their phone is outselling Windows Mobile handsets (for now).

What a difference a few months makes, right?

Understand, I have no animice toward the Windows Mobile handset market. My first gig with Thoughts Media was writing for PocketPC Thoughts. I do think, however, that Microsoft really needs to get off their collective tushes and get Windows Mobile going again because as of right now, the competition they're dismissive of is starting to gain ground and quickly.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Apple Announces "Best of 2008"

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Talk" @ 12:00 PM

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/...ouping?id=26300

Apple has announced the "Best of 2008" from iTunes and, as could probably be expected, there isn't a whole lot of greatly big revelation going on. The music, television shows, and songs are all pretty much what you expected because it's all from a raw numbers angle. The interesting (or not so interesting, actually) part is the podcast section which is loaded with the same podcasts (for the most part) as it is year after year from the same providers. Everyone you would suspect is rightfully represented there, but the most disappointing part is how much of the podcast section is mainstream media outlets. I'm totally bummed at how podcasting has been taken over by the mainstream media outlets and big LA and NY producers like MSNBC, NPR, and so on. Essentially the best of 2008 on iTunes is the best of the mainstream with very little surprises or interesting additions.

I don't fault iTunes for noting raw numbers, but numbers aren't the whole story and in most cases they aren't even that interesting. Frankly I'd like to see a whole lot more GDGT.com and a whole lot less NPR, for example.

What do you think? Is this a representative sample or a bit too self-congratulatory for your tastes?


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Apple's Green Initiative Falling Flat?

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Talk" @ 12:00 PM

http://www.jkontherun.com/2008/12/t...-apple-rea.html

"If you live in the U.S., you've probably seen the latest Apple ad spot on television by now. The company is touting the new unibody MacBook as "green" for the environmentally conscious. I'm in that group myself with a hybrid car, a solar-powered attic fan and as a fanatic about recycling. No scrap of paper in our home is safe from the recycling bin, not even the puny little ATM and purchase reciepts I get at WaWa. We're getting ready to start composting in the near future as well. From my perspective then, it's nice to see Apple's green take on the new MacBook. That's why I was flabbergasted to see my Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter today packaged in a box that's at least as big as the one my MacBook came in."

Photo credit: Kevin C. Tofel, JK On The Run

The box on the left is for one MiniDP adapter. One! It's bigger than the box for the MacBook! I'm sorry, Apple, but this counts as bonehead packaging to the tenth level. It's even more ridiculous when you visit JK On The Run and see the size of the adapter compared to the size of the MacBook. There's just no reason for this whatsoever. Amazon has taken on the annoyingly difficult packaging problem. Maybe it's time Apple took on it's overpackaging issues.

Tags: apple, packaging

Monday, December 1, 2008

Picasa Coming to the Mac in 2009?

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 02:00 PM

http://arstechnica.com/journals/app...-arrive-by-2009

"Although most of Google's software is available for the Mac, the company's Picasa photo application has been conspicuously absent. There hasn't been much in the way of Mac news related to Picasa, either, but some news appeared this week that is putting Picasa back in the minds of Mac users. According to an AppleInsider source, a Mac version of the software is not only coming, but is already undergoing internal beta testing at Google."

Dear iPhoto,

You've been annoying me since the very first version of you I tried on my very first Mac 5 years ago. While I think you're a swell program, you're also a pain in the butt to deal with and frankly I can't wait until you have some competition. I can wait as long as it takes for a great version of Picasa to come out, and once it does, I will happily show you the door. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Your Pal,

Vinny

PS: As much as I love iMovie '08, let him know the same fate awaits him if he doesn't shape up.

Tags: apple, mac, picasa, iphoto

Save a Bunch on VMWare Fusion

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 01:00 PM

http://vmware.com/vmwarestore/

"As a Mac owner, I've been relatively happy with Parallels Desktop which lets me run Windows or Linux builds within Mac OS X. It's seamless and transparent, thanks to the Coherence function that allows Windows apps to appear as if they're Mac apps on my desktop. Now that I have a shiny and peppy new MacBook thanks to a pre-Black Friday deal, I might use some of the savings for VMware Fusion."

If you've ever wanted to dabble in VMWare Fusion, now is definitely the time. Kevin at JK On The Run even found a way to bring the price down even more by using their crossgrade discount so if you're a Parallels Desktop owner, now is really the time to give VMWare a try if you were thinking about it before. I don't personally have a preference. On the rare occasions where I have a need for Windows, I use Parallels but I could just as easily see myself using VMWare Fusion, particularly at this price. The deal expires today though, so act now if you want it.


Apple Chastises Music Industry, Jumps in Bed With Hollywood

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Laptops" @ 12:00 PM

Image credit: HDTV Info Europe

One of the most popular and controversial things ever written by Steve Jobs was his "Thoughts on Music" letter shown to everyone and directed at the music industry. In it he laid out his vision for a DRM-free music marketplace and its implications for the industry and for consumers. Many took this as a signal that Jobs was about to move iTunes into a DRM free monster, but the record industry hasn't cooperated as planned, and despite the bravado of Jobs, he has continued to allow their music to stay in the store whether it's DRM free or and now we're finding out that Apple has gotten even further into bed with the entertainment industry, but instead of the music industry, it's Hollywood. Read more...

Tags: apple, drm, hollywood

The Simpsons v. Mapple

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Talk" @ 08:58 AM

http://www.hulu.com/watch/46689/the...oomsticks?c=133

So did anyone catch this this weekend? I saw the relevant clips and it was pretty funny. I've come to terms with the fact that the portrayal of Apple fans here is pretty much what most non-Apple people think we all are so I can laugh at this sort of thing. Anyone else amused, or are you tired of the stereotypes?

(Youtube version for those of you outside the US after the break)

Read more...


Friday, November 28, 2008

Apple's Black Friday Sale Begins

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple News" @ 06:00 AM

http://store.apple.com/us/browse/ca...ns/black_friday

So Apple has lifted the curtain and unveiled their Black Friday sale prices. Some of the deals are pretty good ($101 off a MacBook, for example) and may warrant a look if you're in that market. Of course, the best part of the sale is that not everything for sale is made by Apple. They have a Canon Digital Rebel XSI (I wonder if that changed from the XSi to the XS?) for $498 with the EF-S 18-55 F.3.5-5.6 IS lens and the V-Moda Vibe Duos for $78 (they're regularly $109 in the store, which is what I just paid for my new pair). Don't wait, though, because this is a one-day only sale.

Overall it won't shake the earth to its core, but it will save you a few coins. Share your sale successes with us in the forums so we can all revel in a few sheckles saved!


Thursday, November 27, 2008

What We're Thankful For: Apple Edition

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Talk" @ 09:28 AM

At this time of year, we here in the US like to sit back and reflect on what's important to us and what we're grateful for. For the most part, everyone is generally happy about the same things; family health, family in general, and so on. This year, I've asked the other contributing editors to put together what they're thankful for, but in the context of Apple. In the following pages, I've reprinted their responses plus added my own.

We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with the joy and love of family and we also hope that it's a wonderful kickoff to another happy holiday season for all of you. Read more...


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Apple Planning a Big Black Friday Something

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple News" @ 08:00 AM

http://store.apple.com/us/browse/ca...?mco=MjgxODY5OA

How many of you saw this in your e-mail yesterday?

I don't know what exactly they're planning (I mean, they'll never call it a "sale." Apple doesn't do "sales."), but it might be worth checking out your local (or online) Apple Store on Friday just to see what they're offering. I think I've hit my Apple quota as far as purchases this year (new iPhone, new MacBook Pro, 2 TB Drobo) but I'll still check it out. You never know what elese might catch the old eyeball. Anyone else planning on doing some big time shopping Friday?


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New Ad: World's Greenest Notebooks

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Talk" @ 08:00 AM

I don't know about you, but I like this ad. It's pretty cool how they've managed to keep their distinct feel and completely change the message from "Get a Mac" to "We're green." I don't know if this is going to sway anyone who wasn't already predisposed toward getting a Mac in the first place, but it can't hurt, particularly with all the negative attention Apple got from the folks over at GreenPeace.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Storm Brews, Turns to Drizzle

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Talk" @ 10:26 AM

The LG Voyager. The Dare. The Samsung Glyde. The Samsung Instinct. The T-Mobile G1.

They've all come and gone quite quietly, haven't they? For all the marketing hype about the Instinct and Sprint's absolutely gigantic ad campaign, it's gone nowhere. The LG Voyager? Touch may do more on the nation's largest 3G network, but if no one has the phone, they'll never know. The Dare? Never actually seen one in the wild. The Glyde? Almost every gadget site that reviewed it said it had the worst browser they had ever seen on a phone. The G1? Niche for now, and way close to "slapped together with duct tape" to be taken seriously (although honestly, I do expect that to change in the coming months).

And now we can add the BlackBerry Storm to the list. Congratulations tech press; you've invented yet another "iPhone Killer." Read more...


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Apple Customer Service Tops PC Makers

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Talk" @ 08:00 AM

http://vocalabs.com/sqtrack/

"Are you a PC or a Mac? If you're enjoying great customer service, chances are you're a Mac, based on some new data released by VocaLabs. They're one of those companies whose job it is to ask you at the end of your call with customer service how things went, and their survey results show that when asked how satisfied they were with their agent, 60% answered "very satisfied." Dell customers? Only 44%. Gateway followed with 37%. Not enough info is yet available on Toshiba and HP to be statistically significant."

In the end, this is nothing most of us here don't already know. My experiences with Apple Support have been very good over the years. Lita's story comes as a big surprise to PC users but not so much to us Mac users. I won't go too far into the results, but I can totally understand Toshiba being at the bottom of the food chain. I've never had a good experience with them in any way. And Gateway is a close second as far as my worst ever, so I tend to think this chart is pretty accurate. Anyone find these out of whack in any way?


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

In a Cooling Economy, Apple Still Sells

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Talk" @ 08:00 AM

http://www.macdailynews.com/index.p...pple_mac_sales/

""A slowing global economy had little impact on Apple's computer business last month, as consumers willingly plunked down their cash for the company's new MacBook offerings, helping to drive Mac sales up more than 25 percent year-over-year," Katie Marsal reports for AppleInsider. "According to data from market research firm NPD, which was relayed in a research note from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, sales of Macs during the month of October were up 28 percent compared to the same month one year ago. They benefitted largely from the October 14th launch of the Unibody MacBook and MacBook Pro, which began shipping immediately thereafter," Marsal reports."

The truth is, it's Gene Munster who is an eternal optimist where Apple is concerned, but that being said, numbers are numbers and the fact that Apple's new MacBooks are attracting buyers when everyone said they were nuts for introducing new products a few weeks ago proves that the economy isn't always a barrier to buying or an indicator of an intent to buy. It also proves that if you have a product people want to buy, they'll be at least somewhat willing to throw caution to the wind and buy it.

I know I did!


Monday, November 17, 2008

Safari Updated to 3.2

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 12:00 PM

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3298

"This update is recommended for all Safari users and features protection from fraudulent phishing websites and better identification of online businesses. This update also includes the latest security updates."

The folks on the Safari team must've been working their collective butts off the last few weeks. This update contains eleven fixes for Appel's home-made browser. It's available now on Software Update, and the full explanation of everything that's fixed is available here.


What is it About the Apple Store?

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Talk" @ 10:00 AM

Photo credit: Vincent Ferrari

In 2006, Apple opened the most dramatically designed store ever conceived. On the front steps of FAO Schwartz, CBS, and GM, they built a glass cube with a suspended glowing Apple logo. When you follow the staircase down into the store, you see a retail experience that has been, at times, been called a model for consumer electronics retailers. At the time the "cube" as it's referred to opened, Apple was averaging $4,000 of sales per square foot of retail floor space, a staggering number that put them in the company of such high-end retailers as Neiman Marcus ($611 per square foot), Best Buy ($966 per square foot), and even New York City icon Tiffany and Company ($2,666 per square foot). When you think about it, the numbers are staggering. This brings up the obvious question: why are the Apple retail stores so successful? In my opinion, you don't need a degree in business or economics to answer this question. Read more...


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Parallels Desktop 4.0 Available

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 04:00 PM

http://www.parallels.com/products/desktop/

"Already the world’s No. 1 selling Mac system utility, Parallels Desktop for Mac now has more than 1.5 million users worldwide and counting. Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac provides the complete suite of essentials to run Windows on the Mac the easy, fast and powerful way."

The one thing that has always annoyed me about Parallels is how greedy it is when you run it and the lack of performance you get when accessing the file system. According to Ars, they've made big strides in the performance area (50% is a nice number) but as with all benchmarks, I'll have to see that one to believe it. I'm probably going to spring for this upgrade, though. As little as I actually use Parallels, it's very handy to have around. Any of you folks out there have it yet? If so what do you think?


Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Curious Case of the iPhone

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 11:30 AM

When the iPhone launched on June 29, 2007, the lines to get one were tremendous. I waited on line for about 8-10 hours to get mine. A lot of people waited a lot longer, and in New York City if you didn't get yours before the weekend was over, you had at least a one-week wait to get your hands on your own. No sooner did people get them in their hands than a disgruntled group of non-buyers began explaining to anyone who would listen that the only thing selling the iPhone was hype. Accompanying that argument was the repetitive pointing out that there was "nothing new" about the iPhone and that everything we were seeing in it had been done before. Read more...

Tags: apple, iphone, history

Thursday, November 6, 2008

FotoMagico: Why You DO Need a Slideshow Application

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 02:00 PM

Let's face it, guys. Ken Burns ruined it for the rest of us. The days of doing a quick slideshow of photos and then dazzling your audience with some hokey transitions and some cute sound effects are long gone. In a time where we're pushing digital cameras to new heights, shouldn't our photo slideshows grow with them? That's where Fotomagico comes in. Read more...


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