Regarding Yesterday

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Date: Friday, February 20th, 2009, 07:51
Category: Opinion

As you may have noticed, there was no news yesterday.
Not that there wasn’t news, per se. Things happened, software was updated and announcements were made and covered.
From my end, I spent a fair amount of the day at a local glass repair location since someone had decided to put a rock through my front passenger window, then bounce the same rock off my front windshield, starring about 40% of it.
I mean, how best to celebrate the six month anniversary of my car not being broken into than by breaking into my car?
The good news is this brought me over my $500 deductible, so you can’t argue with that. Plus, they left the rock…so I have a bonus rock if I need it.
The bad news is they snagged my Garmin Nuvi GPS unit and my Griffin FM radio transmitter for my iPod (which were actually stowed away in the middle console and out of sight).
The stuff’s mostly been replaced, no one was hurt and the police have yet to assign someone from Loose Cannon Division to the case. Still, there was zero coverage yesterday and I apologize. You guys come to the page every day and this is appreciated.
On that note, I’ve invested in a trustworthy new anti-theft device to follow my Honda Civic around town. There have been rumors that its performance and track record is a bit spotty, but it’s running Windows Vista and nothing could possibly go wrong…


Rumor: Apple Executives Rethinking iPhone Pricing for 2009

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Date: Wednesday, February 18th, 2009, 13:54
Category: iPhone

With a new generation of iPhones all but certain this year, a discussion between analysts and Apple’s top brass has also dropped clues that the iPhone’s pricing may not be static this year.
According to AppleInsider, Toni Sacconaghi of Bernstein Research mentions in a research note that a discussion with Apple COO Tim Cook, CFO Petter Oppenheimer and worldwide marketing senior VP Phil Schiller point both to an upgrade to the touchscreen device as well as to the possibility of “different pricing/price points” this year, with Cook “examining iPhone’s business model” for possible changes.
Apple execs Cook and Schiller have dropped teasers regarding 2009 as being “very exciting” year for the company’s handset.
With no concrete details emerging, Sacconaghi was quick to dampen rumors of an iPhone nano or a similar low-budget cellphone. Without naming a source, he gathers from his investigations that the company isn’t presently chasing such a concept.
Any future iPhone, Mr. Sacconaghi said, will probably have at least a web browser and access to the App Store, the latter of which has Cook, Oppenheimer and Schiller particularly “bullish” about the iPhone’s success as it gives Apple an advantage over rival smartphone makers.
One detail which remained static was Cook and Schiller’s continued insistence that the iPhone wouldn’t come with a hardware keyboard. The duo seemed to inflect that a fixed set of keys made it harder to implement different keyboards, especially where different languages were concerned and would also make it harder for third-party developers hoping to use their own custom control schemes. Using the touchscreen as the primary input improves Apple’s bottom line by letting it ship what’s essentially the same phone across many different regions, the executives say.
Were a price shakeup to occur, it wouldn’t be out of character for Apple. Each year of the iPhone’s existence has had at least one major price shakeup: the iPhone’s maximum price fell from US$599 to US$399 in 2007, while the iPhone 3G in 2008 not only reduced this top price to US$299 but switched the behind-the-scenes profit model from revenue sharing with carriers to a heavy device subsidy.
While Sacconaghi doesn’t make many predictions in his report, he repeats frequent expectations of an iPhone in summer and also believes Apple may update the iMac in March.
If you have any thoughts on this, please let us know in the comments or forums.


Canadian iPod Tax Approved, Computers And Phones Likely

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Date: Tuesday, July 24th, 2007, 10:05
Category: iPhone

canitax.jpgiPod users may be paying a little more for their tunes in the near future, but this could be a good thing. In a ruling released by the Copyright Board of Canada, they have decided that iPods and digital media devices could easily be held under the private copying levy that currently stands on the sale of CDs and DVDs, as well as other recording mediums.
This levy was set in place in 1996 to bring funding back to the artists who may lose money through private copying, which millions of Canadians do every day. The decision was in line with the Copyright board’s previous rulings, which set a precedent for Canadians being legally allowed to not just copy files to their digital media devices, but essentially be in the clear when it came to downloading content online through peer to peer software, says Michael Geist, Canadian copyright law expert.
“Moreover, given the Board’s view that the levy potentially applies to any device, including personal computers, it also provides further confirmation that peer-to-peer downloading is covered by the private copying levy,” says Geist on his website. (Thanks Michel M.)

CityNews: iPod Taxes Approved, Computers And Phones Likely

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REVIEW: Future Sonics Atrio Earphones

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Date: Tuesday, June 19th, 2007, 11:02
Category: Review

Like you, I’m an iPod lover.
I find that there are two main applications where I use my iPod with earphones: doing yard work or while working out at the gym. When I’m in my vehicle, I connect my iPod to an Alpine iDA-X001 head unit via a docking cable in the center console. When I’m at home my iPod is usually attached to one of a few speaker systems that I use.
That being said, I’ve been testing Atrio series (US$199) headphones from the gang at Future Sonics. You’ll recall that I’ve been a huge fan of their FS1s and especially their SoftWear custom fit sleeves, so expectations for the new ‘phones are high.
More than three years of R&D went into developing the Atrio and it shows in the sound quality. The tag line for the Atrios is “bigger sound at lower volume” and it’s true. The benefit with higher quality earphones is that they sound better at a lower volume than a cheaper earphone at a higher volume, which saves your hearing. You shouldn’t have to crank the volume all the way up to enjoy your music. It’s better to invest in a quality pair of earphones and listen to your music at a lower volume.
More after the jump…


Speck’s new iPod nano cases

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Date: Saturday, March 3rd, 2007, 11:27
Category: Cases

Speck Products has released a three new cases for the iPod nano second generation (aluminum).
ToughSkin 2Tough (US$25) features a DropGuard shock absorbing system. It has a one-piece design with a snap-fit enclosure and comes with built-in screen protection and a belt clip.


ActiveSport Lite (US$30) is an armband case with a sewn-in screen protector. In the gym it fits pythons from 8-23 inches and can be removed from the armband.
SeeThru Lucid (US$25) is for the person that likes to preserve their iPod’s look and feel and protect it at the same time. It’s a hard lucite-like shell case that includes a snap-in swiveling belt clip.
Two more pix after the jump…


XtremeMac Tango: iPod Speaker System

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Date: Wednesday, December 27th, 2006, 08:26
Category: Accessory


I’ve been using the XtremeMac Tango speaker system for the iPod (US$199) for about a week and it’s fantastic. Over the holiday it was really nice to be able to plug in my iPod and crank the Christmas tunes (Trans-Siberian Orchestra rocks, btw.) Then when it’s time to get down with some, you know boogie music, you can switch playlists and rock out.
Tango is technically 2.1 speaker system featuring two forward facing 1-inch tweeters, two 2.5-inch mid-range speakers and a 4-inch downward-firing subwoofer. All of the five speakers have high quality neodymium-magnet drivers. Tango’s sound quality is excellent, vocals are clear and crisp and the subwoofer provides enough bass to rock most house parties. Stabilizer feet grip on most surfaces so that bass vibrations do not cause the unit to shift.
My favorite feature, not found in other iPod speakers I have tested, is the wireless remote control. The remote allows you to adjust track, volume, bass and treble controls. The other nice feature in the Tango are the 3.5mm audio/video line in and out jacks. Many iPod speaker systems have an audio input, but not many have an output.
Tango works with all dock connector iPod models and charges iPod while docked. It comes with three universal dock well inserts to accommodate the various iPod footprints and five international plug adapters (US, UK, EU, AUS, KOR/PPK).
Speakers are a subjective thing and vary a lot depending on the type of music that you listen to. I recommend bringing your iPod into an Apple retail store and trying the Tango out for yourself. I think that you’ll be impressed.


The Apple Core: My dream: an Apple tablet

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Date: Tuesday, December 19th, 2006, 08:00
Category: The Apple Core

apple-tablet-concept-pixel-mojo.jpgI had a dream last night about the iPod (I know, I know) and how it morphed into a tablet Mac.
As I’ve previously mentioned here, the iPhone could be a clever decoy planted by Apple to misdirect attention from the real Macworld show stoppers – whatever they may be.
Steve Jobs has told us that iTV is coming, so that’s a given, but what about the iPod? Cupertino has been famously silent about their little media player and the timing’s right for an upgrade. There’s no shortage of patent applications indicating that Apple is developing a full-screen iPod with a touch screen interface. Which got me to thinking…
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.


The Apple Core: Has the iTunes Store jumped the shark?

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Date: Tuesday, December 12th, 2006, 10:18
Category: The Apple Core

US-digital-song-sales.gifIndustry analyst Forrester Research has released a report saying that Apple’s iTunes has experienced a collapse in sales revenues this year. Forrester conducted an analysis of credit card transactions over a 27-month period and concludes that since January the monthly revenue has fallen by 65 percent, with the average transaction size falling 17 percent.
There are two things that Apple should consider if they expect to get more sales from the iTunes Store…
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.


Apple’s lucky bag returns

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Date: Thursday, December 7th, 2006, 08:00
Category: The Apple Core

luckybag.gifLast year the Apple store Shinsaibashi in Japan sold a limited amount of “lucky bags” – essentially a grab bag of Apple goodies, including an iPod nano and a limited edition t-shirt. The catch is that you don’t know what’s inside. The lucky bags are back again this year in limited quantities, but the difference is that you can also get them online. Sorry kids, like many cool things, they’re only available in Japan…
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.


The Apple Core: Patent application revelations II

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Date: Wednesday, December 6th, 2006, 11:52
Category: The Apple Core

iphone-patent-4.pngIn yesterday’s installment I covered some of the revelations found in Apple’s United States Patent Application #20060268528 for a “handheld computing device includes an enclosure having structural walls formed from a ceramic material that is radio-transparent.”
Some of the more interesting parts of Apple’s patent application discuss a seamless one-piece iPod enclosure constructed from radio transparent ceramics and internal rails that serve as a guide for positioning and supporting the internal components.
Today I’ll discuss some of the other interesting aspects of United States Patent Application #20060268528 as they are likely to be a prelude of things to come from Apple.
Dive into the world of multiple input devices, dedicated power and new battery technology on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.