How Steve Jobs Played Hardball in iPhone Birth

From The Wall Street Journal

During a visit to Las Vegas last December for a rodeo event, Cingular Wireless chief executive Stan Sigman received a welcome guest: Steve Jobs.

The Apple Inc. chief stopped by Mr. Sigman's Four Seasons hotel suite to show off the iPhone, a sleek cellphone designed to surf the Web and double as an iPod music player.

The phone had been in development by Apple and Cingular for two years and was weeks away from being revealed to the world. And yet this was the first time Mr. Sigman got to see it. For three hours, Mr. Jobs played with the device, with its touch-screen that allows users to view contacts, dial numbers and flip through photos with the swipe of a finger. Mr. Sigman looked on in awe, according to a person familiar with the meeting.

Behind the scenes in the making of the iPhone, Apple bucked the rules of the cellphone industry by wresting control away from the normally powerful wireless carriers.

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iTunes Fingers Musical Fraud

From NewScientist

The recordings of a British concert pianist who found fame in the last years of her life have been exposed as hoaxes - by Apple's iTunes music player.

Joyce Hatto died in June 2006, having become a cause célèbre with fans of classical piano in the last years of her life. A series of recordings showed her masterful command of a wide range of composers including Liszt, Schubert, Rachmaninov, Dukas and more.

Last week, a critic at the Gramophone magazine got surprise when he put a Hatto recording of Lizt's 12 Transcendental Studies into his computer. The iTunes player identified the disc as being recorded by another pianist, Lászlo Simon. He dug out the Simon album and found it sounded exactly the same as the Hatto one.

iTunes had stumbled on a hoax.

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Apple.com Visitors Spend 1 hour, 19 mins on site - Why?

From InternetRetailer

Apple Inc. continued to lead all computer hardware manufacturers in unique visitors, at 43.51 million in January, and also scored the fourth-largest increase, up 24% from 34.98 million.

Hewlett-Packard Co. ranked second in number of unique visitors (which counts only once each shopper who came to a site, no matter how many times that shopper visited), at 16 million, up 15%, followed by Dell Inc., 15.57 million, down 16%; Sun Microsystems Inc., up 25%; Gateway Inc., 2.39, no change; IBM Corp., 2.17 million, down 27%; Nintendo; Toshiba America Inc., 1.69 million, up 35%; Epson, 1.58 million, up 19%; and Sony Computer Entertainment, 1.55 million (year-ago change not available.)

In average time per visit (hours:minutes:seconds), the leaders were:
Apple 1:19:25
Dell, 0:19:32
Nintendo, 0:19:29
Xbox, 0:16.06
Palm, 0:13:51

(Shawn's Comment: Why does everyone seem confused by the amount of time people spend at Apple? There are a *lot* of QT videos and training tutorials to keep you busy for that much time and longer)

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Lexar Intros FireWire 800 Card Reader

From Macworld

Lexar introduced new models of its pro flash card readers for Macs and PCs, including a new FireWire 800 model. The Professional UDMA FireWire 800 Reader is coming in April for $79.99; a USB 2.0 dual-slot reader s coming in June for $49.99.

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Emerging Media: The Big Apple

From StreamingMedia

When I was coming up in the industry, Microsoft was the 800 lb gorilla that was going to eat your lunch. The oft-repeated refrain I’ve heard from too many VC’s is “what makes you think those guys at Redmond won’t just clone what you’ve made?”

Well, it seems like Apple’s the new monster (perhaps Godzilla in this case?) that will eat your lunch. Thought of making a digital convergence phone? Apple’s got that one covered, thanks. Thought of bringing digital assets into the living room? Why bother, that’s Apple’s territory (never mind the millions of digitally connected Xboxes in market).

Next time you’re writing your business plan for how you’re going to take out old media with your revolutionary digital technology, perhaps take a play from Apple’s book. Don’t gird your loins for a fight with the other bit players (pun intended); look at what it’s going to take to displace the brick-and-mortars, the ancient, grooved-in distribution channels that have been pushing product forever.

Oh, and pick a category Apple hasn’t already taken.

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Gates, Jobs make Joint Appearance at 5th "D: All Things Digital" Conference

From Yahoo! Finance

Apple, Inc. CEO Steve Jobs and Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates, the seminal figures in the development of the personal computer, will make a rare joint appearance at The Wall Street Journal's ``D: All Things Digital'' conference this year. The two men will jointly discuss the history and future of the digital revolution in an unrehearsed, unscripted, onstage conversation on May 30 with D co-producers Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher.

Both executives have made multiple individual appearances at the conference, which will celebrate its fifth anniversary this year, and is known as D5. But this will be their first joint session at D, and a highly unusual event.

In addition to participating in the joint session with Mr. Gates, Mr. Jobs will appear on his own in a separate segment at D5 to discuss the latest developments at Apple, including new ventures such as the iPhone and Apple TV.

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Apple - Sshh!! The Giant is Sleeping

From BloggingStocks

For investors who do not own Apple, your opportunity is here. Since the earnings announcement and the froth of iPhone are now behind us, the stock has given back about $13 in share price. The shares will base here for awhile before resuming its upward trek. This is the time to accumulate shares of Apple, Inc.

For now, the giant is just taking a well-deserved nap.

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Apple to Open Store in Estero, FL Feb. 24

From MacMinute

Apple will open a new retail store at the Coconut Point Mall in Estero, Florida on February 24, 2007. The Apple Store Coconut Point, which is located at 23151 Fashion Drive, will open to the public on Saturday, February 24, 2007 at 10:00 a.m. ET. As part of its usual Grand Opening celebrations, Apple will give away a free Apple t-shirt to the first 1,000 visitors. In addition, visitors can enter a Grand Opening Sweepstakes to win a Digital Lifestyle Collection valued at US$2,573.95. One Grand Prize winner will receive a black 13-inch 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo MacBook, one-year membership to ProCare, an iPod nano, an iPod Hi-Fi, iWork, one-year membership to .Mac, and an AppleCare Protection Plan for MacBook.

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Griffin Intros Spring Case Collection for iPod

From MacMinute

Griffin Technology today announced its latest line of cases for iPod, which will hit retail shelves over the next month. New cases include: Reflect for iPod with video & nano (US$24.99), which offers a tinted reflective polycarbonate shell that protects the iPod and hides the screen from prying eyes

Centerstage for iPod with video with mirror finish ($24.99), which comes with an integrated flip stand and adds a tinted, reflective finish. A tinted, reflective, polycarbonate shell protects the iPod and hides the screen from prying eyes.

iClear Photo for iPod with video & nano ($24.99, 19.99) is a customizable clear polycarbonate case that allows you to insert your own artwork.

Trio Plus for iPod nano ($29.99) bundles interchangeable covers in assorted colors along with Griffin's popular 3-way leather case.

California Roll ($19.99) is Griffin's soft-sided roll-up case that stores your iPod, earphones and other accessories in a single wrap-and-go design.

Firm Warns Apple over iPhone

From Electronics Weekly

“We will be looking very carefull y at the iPhone,” is the warning to Apple from Southampton-based touch sensor specialist Quantum Research, which already has one lawsuit proceeding against Apple for patent infringement, and is prepared to bring another.

“The description of the iPhone suggests it uses a rear-surface touch screen, and has proximity sensing which can tell if it is held to the ear. That’s a QR capability,” Duncan Bryan, licensing director at Quantum Research, said.

If Apple has used charge transfer technology, QR’s patented technology, to give the iPhone that capability, then Apple could be infringing the firm’s patent.

Charge transfer capacitive sensing was invented by QR’s founder and CEO Hal Philipp. It has licensed Motorola, which uses it in its mobile phone keypads, and also STMicroelectronics. Apple is using charge transfer technology in the wheel control of some of its iPods, and it is this usage which has caused QR to take action.

There are other techniques, beside charge transfer, for capacitive touch sensing, such as relaxation oscillator technology or current injection but these are inherently unstable across humidity and temperature and are susceptible to EMC.

Apple has tried, and failed, to patent wheel-based sensors and manufacturers are adopting capacitive sensing rapidly.

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AppleScript Pro Sessions Moves Denver Date

From Macworld

AppleScript Pro Sessions was originally scheduled for June 11-15, 2007, but has been rescheduled to avoid conflicting with Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), which is scheduled for that same week. It will now take place from June 18-22, 2007.

AppleScript Pro Sessions is a five-day training event designed to give beginners and experienced AppleScript users alike lots of in-depth help on using AppleScript. The event is hosted by Ray Robertson of Scripting Matters, Shane Stanley of Myriad Communications and author Matt Neuberg.

Pricing starts at $1,400 for any three days or $1,700 for the full five days. The early bird pricing is in effect through April.

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Nikon D40 DSLR

From Macworld

Pros: Affordable, impressive image quality; small; light; bright, easy-to-see 2.5-inch LCD; full-featured; comfortable; solid build with rubberized grip; handy information display; built-in help system.

Cons: No top-mounted status display; lower pixel count than most pro-level DSLRs; no depth of field preview.

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Finesse Your Files

from Macworld

The first step in reducing clutter is to devise a system for managing the files you create and download. How extensive this system needs to be will depend on your organizational strategy. Some people prefer to set aside specific places for everything in an elaborate system of nested folders, while others create broader filing systems and rely instead on search tools to locate what they want. Whichever approach you take, consider the following tips.

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Nikon Unveils 8 New Coolpix Cameras

From Macworld

Nikon has taken the wraps off of its 2007 Coolpix digital camera line — eight new models added to its Life (L), Style (S) and Performance (P) series, at prices ranging from $119.95 to $399.95 depending on features.

The new L10, L11 and L12 models are aimed at causal users. They feature 3x optical zoom lenses, LCD viewfinders and 5.0, 6.0 and 7.1 megapixel (MP) resolutions, respectively. The L12 also adds “Optical VR Image Stabilization,” which reduces the effect of camera shake. Look for them starting in March for $119.95, $149.95, $199.95 respectively.

The S50 and S50c models feature 7.2MP sensors, 3x optical zoom lenses and 3.0-inch LCD screens. They both feature “Optical VR Image Stabilization.” The S50c adds wireless capability, as well. The two cameras share a sleek “wave surface” design, as well. Both cameras are coming in April for $299.95 and $349.95 respectively.

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Sirius/XM Merger Announced!

From Howard Seriously

The iPhone *will* be Sirius enabled. It will be able to receive Sirius broadcasts. Apple has nothing to do with it. Sirius doesn't need Apple's permission.

The iPhone has a full featured web browser which allows it access to the entire internet including Sirius' web broadcast. (And XM's by the way.) Apple would have to actively prevent the iPhone from getting Sirius. If Steve Jobs tried to do that, prevent web users from accessing specific content, all hell would break loose. Especially given the fact that iPod and satellite radio are viewed as competitors. Sirius could easily sue them and win.

Moreover, it simply doesn't hurt Apple if their iPhones can receive Sirius web broadcasts. If anything, it will simply help iPhone sales.

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How to Upgrade a Core Duo MacBook to WiFi 802.11n

(Shawn's Comment: Needless to say, this *will* void your warranty!)

With the introduction of AirPort Extreme 802.11n base stations, Apple announced that the majority of its current machines are compatible with the draft of that standard via a drive update. On the other hand, the MacBook and MacBook Pro Core Duo aren't likely to get compatible Airport modules. For Apple, these machines are condemned to always remain at 802.11g.

This is even more annoying if you buy one of the new base stations and decide to run in a mixed g and n wireless mode, because in this instance the performance in g will be degraded. Being in this exact situation, we decided to look at the possibility of placing a 802.11n card in a MacBook Core Duo.

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Justin Timberlake's 3rd Single Smashes iTunes Record

Justin Timberlake, a two-time Grammy winner, has scored a new record - this time on the Web.

The pop artist's video for his third single "What Goes Around, Comes Around" has become the fastest-selling video on iTunes, with more than 50,000 downloads. It follows the success of Timberlake's first two singles "SexyBack," which sold more than 250,000 copies during its first week of release, and "My Love," which recently won a BRIT award.

The video for "What Goes Around" is directed by Sam Bayer and includes Playboy's "Sexiest Celebrity" Scarlett Johannsson starring opposite Timberlake in a couple of sexy, love scenes. The most downloaded clip is a Director's Cut edition and over 9 minutes long.

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Cameraphones Banned from the Oscars

From Gizmdo
Motorola's been giving away cellphones to stars at the Oscars for at least the past 8 years. But this year, Motorola's relationship with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has soured. Some blogs that wrote about Motorola's free Z3 phones, and the accompanying limited edition gift box that will be given to all the nominees, received swift emails from the Academy's lawyers reminding them that Motorola is not "debuting" the Z3 at the Oscars, because it is not affiliated with the official event in any way. The letter goes on to say that attendees won't even be allowed be able to arrive with the phones, since camera's and camphones aren't allowed at the award ceremony either.

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AirPort Extreme Base Station

By Glenn Fleishman

Pros: Significantly faster than previous model; better wireless range; simpler configuration; easy printer and hard drive sharing across network.

Cons: No gigabit Ethernet; lacks protection for individual folders on shared hard drives.

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iTunes versus Pirating

(Shawn's Comment: I feel the article writer's pain. While I can't be bothered pirating DVD's, I also can't be bothered with buying TV shows, let alone movies, off of the iTMS. We've bought some episodes of Battlestar Galactica, Lost and Heroes and the quality was pretty bad.)

I’ve purchased a number of things from the iTunes Store. Music and TV shows primarily, and I’ve been pretty happy with the ease of use and quality of my purchases… The problem i have, though is that television shows such as Lost, which are broadcast in a 16×9 aspect ration HD, when purchased from the iTunes Store, are only 4×3.

As you can see in the above image, by purchasing the episode from iTunes rather than just pirating it, i actually get less of the show. …and to be honest, pirating this episode took maybe 2 to 3 minutes more work.

The downfall of pirating, though, is that iTunes (and therefore most likely AppleTV) doesn’t not play friendly with DIVX, but then on the plus side, there’s no DRM. I can convert my pirated copy to any format i want, burn it to DVD, extract clips, scrub through frame-by-frame, etc.

Sounds to me like legality, and even the convenience of auto-downloads, are having a hard time competing with pirating.

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8 Women Who Look Better Bald than Britney


By now, I’m sure we’ve all seen the photos of Britney Spears with her newly shaven head. Amidst all the speculation about whether Britney is in the middle of a full-scale mental breakdown and if her career can recover from this latest tabloid bonanza, one thing is certain: Britney just doesn’t look that good bald. Her head isn’t all that pleasingly shaped, and her facial features lack the definition necessary to make the bald look really work for her. At best, Britney is a 2 out of 10 on the female Bald-o-meter.

That being said, here’s a quick guide to eight women who look better bald than Britney. Let me know in the comments if I left anybody out.

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A Comparison: Adobe Lightroom vs. Apple Aperture

by Michael Clark

With all of the recent buzz about Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and its release today, the big question is how it compares to Apple Aperture. In tandem with Micah Walter on the Inside Aperture website I will be conducting a comparison of the two programs and how they stack up for my workflow. I’ll just say upfront that my purpose is not to bash either of these pieces of software. They are both incredibly powerful and a cut above the rest of the RAW processing and image editing software programs on the market today.

For the next ten days, I will work with both Lightroom and Aperture to work up images from a recent stock shoot and draw conclusions as I compare how each program deals with a variety of workflow topics. I don’t intend this to be a definitive comparison - just my thoughts on what works for me.

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5 Benefits of not having a TV

By Mr. Cheap Stuff

(Shawn's Comment: What do you think? Could you live without TV?)

Well it has been about 6 months now since I did the unthinkable and tossed my TV out of the living room. I have been living without a TV for a while now and I can honestly say I don’t plan on getting one anytime soon. While it was a pretty extreme measure the benefits are huge and I wish more people would do the same.

I have decided to share some of my observation over the past 6 month by putting together a list of the top 5 benefits of not having a television.

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