Earlier today, Boxee pushed out an update to their popular online media streaming application for Mac, Apple TV, and Windows. Most notable ‘was’ updated support for RSS feeds from HULU which brought most of HULU’s content back to the popular media software.
Many users of Boxee are painfully aware that almost 2 weeks ago, HULU stated that it would be pulling it’s feeds from Boxee due to a request from it’s content providers (don’t get me started about this). Jake Marsh, programmer and blogger, rushed out a work-around to allow the majority of HULU’s content to be streamed through Boxee via RSS feed. HULU promptly blocked this after about a week in the wild.
Now, less than 24 hours after the Boxee update returned HULU streams (without their permission), HULU has yet again blocked their feeds from reaching Boxee users. The battle still wages while the ball is back in Boxee’s court to weave and dodge their way around the diligent HULU programming staff. Kind of reminds you of the iPhone jailbreak community doesn’t it?
Come on HULU, can’t we all just be friends?! Or at least let us pick the way we soften our brains for your consumption.
Posted by: Tom Hesser
Date: Friday, March 6th, 2009, 03:22
According to a research report compiled by UBS, one of the world’s leading financial firms, Apple Inc. not only has better growth than most companies, but manages to keep it’s inventory low while doing it.
The report indicates that over the last 6 years, Apple’s product inventory ranged from 3 to 10 days (amount of time product was stored), finally settling at around 5 days in the fourth quarter of 2008. Other companies lagged behind including Dell at 7 days, Lenovo at 15 days, and HP at 32. A vendor such as Ingram Micro typically holds inventory in the store for 26 days. For other companies in the mobile phone market, UBS puts Nokia at 27 days, Motorola at 48 days, and 56 days for Qualcomm.
What does this mean? According to UBS, “fewer products [in inventory] mean [companies] can better respond to changing market needs. Having warehouses crammed full of unsold goods is not a good thing, more than ever in times of economic crisis”.
The original article can be read (translated from Italian) here.
Along with the bevy of hardware updates Apple released this Tuesday, they also released some new software. Apple AirPort Utility 5.4.1 and Airport Client Update 2009-001 were released to complement the new Airport Extreme and Time Capsule.
According to Apple’s site regarding the Client Update, “It addresses issues with roaming and network selection in dual-band environments“. Dual band wireless was one of the new features added to the announced hardware.
Little was explained on the site regarding what was new about the updated Airport Utility, but sources say an internal Apple site mentions the following,
“Existing AirPort Extreme (MA073 and MB053) and Time Capsule (MB276 and MB277) customers can access their AirPort Disk / Time Capsule disk through Mobile Me over the Internet by upgrading to AirPort Utility 5.4.1 and AirPort firmware 7.4.1“.
So it seems owners of the older Airport Extreme and Time Capsule units can also benefit from the new internet disk-sharing feature as well. However, a MobileMe subscription is required to utilize this feature.
I guess that argument regarding whether the iPhone or the Kindle is a better reading platform is pretty much moot now. Today, Amazon released Kindle for iPhone. The app will give you access to all the same e-books that the Kindle reader will, without spending the extra $360 for Amazon’s device, assuming you already have an iPhone (…which is cheaper by the way AND it’s a phone!). You can read more about it here on Amazon’s web site.
One has to wonder if Amazon has thought this through. Sure you still have to buy the content from them, but I think many people have considered buying a Kindle because the e-book buying experience on the iPhone hasn’t really been worked out. Perhaps the reading experience is better on the Kindle, and that is what Amazon is betting the farm on, but I have had no trouble reading books on my iPhone, although it does chew through the battery more quickly. Still, at $360 per device, that’s a hefty amount of revenue to put at risk.
You tell us…now that you can get the same content on both Kindle and iPhone, which would you buy?
Posted by: Tom Hesser
Date: Thursday, February 26th, 2009, 14:41
or optional shortened version… http://bit.ly/BhBBR
Last week saw the release of Xumii for iPhone, a free social networking application for Apple’s heralded smart-phone. Xumii is not new to the mobile community. It can run on many of the mobile phones capable of running Java-based applications. It was only a matter of time before a version came out for Cupertino’s pride and joy.
Xumii professes to be “your mobile, social addressbook” and intends to be the default location for keeping track of your social contacts. By adding your account login for networks (also known as “communities”) such as Facebook, Google, or MySpace, Xumii can list all of your friends and display their current status messages or chat status. Tapping on a contact allows you to see their full status message, online status, an option to invite them to use Xumii, and lastly, a method of sharing media stored on any of your added “communities”. If you select a contact who also has a supported chat account, and is online, the option to initiate a IM chat will also be listed.
Xumii has some other nice features, such as a separate page for recently updated status messages, and a rudimentary listing of top news stories, but it’s greatest strength is probably the media sharing feature. By clicking on the Share tab at the bottom of the screen, Xumii presents you with a list of photo albums from Flickr, Yahoo, or Facebook, to mention a few, which you can browse and then Share with your contacts, even across social networks. So, if you have that friend who is still a MySpace hold-out, you can still share your Facebook pictures with them. Xumii also mentions being able to view YouTube video on their web site, but apparently that feature is not yet available on the iPhone. Perhaps Apple feels this would be duplicate the function of the iPhone’s YouTube app.
I have a few criticisms of the app presently, which are likely due to the fact that it is a 1.0 product. On other mobile devices, you have the option to change the status message on any of your “communities” individually, or choose to post the same message to all your networks simultaneously. Currently with the iPhone app, it is all or nothing. If it had to be one or the other, I would rather have the ability to change individual messages. While I expect this feature to be added, it does keep me from truly considering this a one-stop solution. Since I rarely post across all my networks, I will still have to use the Facebook app or AIM app to do this individually. Also, another minor quibble is that contacts that appear on more than one “community” are listed separately, and in the case of AIM accounts, listed alphabetically by their AIM handle rather than their real name, making searching less convenient then I’d like.
With the addition of some missing features, I think Xumii for iPhone can do a lot to reduce the clutter of individual networking apps and offer a convenient interface. There is a lot of competition out there, but Xumii has a lot of experience in the mobile space to leverage and will hopefully develop a strong, feature-rich solution.
I’m 10 minutes into my use of Mobitv and can’t believe how cool this is. It’s live television streamed to my Treo 650, great quality, 35 different channels. Right now I’m watching CNBC and switching to C-SPAN. Everyone’s jaw drops when they see it.
I have a Mac mini set up as a small media center connected to a plasma screen and also serving iTunes out to two areas of the house via a M-Audio Sonica Theater USB sound out device (also used for Dolby 5.1 for DVD playback) and via Airtunes/Airport Express (trivia: you can watch DVD’s in one room, and listen to iTunes in another off the same computer). I also have a PowerBook I use on the road – sometimes connected to a projector for either presentations or DVDs. What was lacking in both cases was a good remote control that I could use close to, as well as away from, the computers to control different aspects of what I was doing. I had long been interested in Salling Clicker – a US$20 application that can turn a mobile phone into a remote control, but didn’t have a suitable phone model to use. I recently upgraded to a Nokia 6680 3G phone and one of the first things I did was to download this application and start to play around with it.