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Mar 18
Cable and satellite TV providers may have reason to...

If Apple does indeed plan an iTunes subscription service -- and gets around to taking the Apple TV seriously -- these steps could pose a serious threat to the cable and satellite TV industries.

The hype of the digital conversion has long passed; however nine months after the long-awaited, frequently talked about digital transition, sales of over-the-air antennas continue to climb, reflecting not only the continued growth of over-the-air television, but a trend developing among the American people, according to Antennas Direct. As an US antenna manufacturer, it's not exactly an unbiased company, but makes some interesting points in a new report.

“From current economic conditions, increases in cable and satellite TV rates to the expansion of over-the air channels and new technologies, there is a bright future for digital television,” says Richard Schneider, president of Antennas Direct. He believes the facts are hard to ignore and says that over-the-air television is a...

| Read more »
Mar 17
Ad may hint at upcoming MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac...

Apple's ads on the Australian publication, "PC Authority" (http://www.pcauthority.com/au/), may have leaked info on upcoming MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs and Mac Pros.

Apple's online Australian store lists the lowest priced versions of the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac Pro at A$1,599, A$1,999 and A$3,599, respectively. However, an ad at "PC Authority" shows price jumps of A$300, A$400 and A$900, respectively.

"Then again, considering the expectation that the mobile computers will get Core i7 CPUs while the Mac Pro will get all dressed up with Core i7-980X regalia, this development is perhaps not all that surprising," says "engadget" (http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/17/...

| Read more »
Mar 17
Apple removes protective screens from Apple stores?

Apple has banned protective screen film from its retail and online stores, according to the "iLounge" web site (http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/news/comments/apple-bans-protective-scr...), which says this will affect both cases and individual film packages beginning in May.

In communications with vendors that have been ongoing for “some time now,” according to one company, Apple has said that it will remove both film-only solutions from its stores, as well as any case or other accessory that includes film protection as part of its package, such as cases that include film screen protectors. According to sources, the ban will impact all forms of screen film, including completely clear film, anti-glare film, and mirrored film, regardless of whether the purpose...

| Read more »
Mar 17
Analyst: iMac to account for 25% of worldwide desktop...

Caris & Company analyst Robert Cihra says growth in the overall personal computer market for 2010 is trending upwards of 15 to 20%, fueled by greater than 90% growth in combined sales of netbooks and notebooks. However, it's the iMac that will account for 25% of worldwide desktop growth, he says.

In a note to clients -- as reported by "AppleInsider" (http://www.appleinsider.com) -- Cihra said desktop sales are showing signs of life for the first time in 24 months, given strong performance of the iMac line that could boost year-over-year shipments by approximately 3%, compared to last year's 12% slippage.

"We continue to model note/netbook accounting for greater than 90% of PC unit growth in 2010, but with desktops at least now looking like they’ve stopped eroding and can resume at least some low single-digit recovery after 2 years of decline, driven by emerging markets, corporate...

| Read more »
Mar 17
Study: mobile apps will outsell CDs by 2012

The global mobile apps economy is set to be worth $17.5billion by 2012, according to an independent report commissioned by GetJar (http://www.getjar.com/), the world’s second largest app store.

Mobile app downloads across all types of handset are also expected to increase from over seven billion downloads in 2009 to almost 50 billion in 2012 -- a year-on-year growth rate of 92%.
This would mean that the value of apps sold would be greater than the value of CDs sold in 2012 ($13.83 billion).

To understand the potential of the “global mobile apps economy,” GetJar commissioned independent consulting firm Chetan Sharma Consulting to lift the lid on the rapidly expanding global apps market. The aim of the project was to analyze the potential and real value of the mobile apps market worldwide, using first hand data.

It is clear that by 2012, off-deck paid-for apps will be the biggest revenue...

| Read more »
Mar 17
Some feel Apple may become the new 'evil empire...

Some pundits have said that Apple is in danger of becoming the next Microsoft -- as in "evil empire" Microsoft. I personally don’t think that’s going to happen, but find the possibility fascinating. I never would have believed anyone would have asked it when I begin my Mac journalism career almost 20 years ago doing reviews for the late, lamented "MacSense" site.

At the time, Apple was always -- ALWAYS -- described in the press as “beleaguered” or “troubled.” Many pundits didn’t think the company would last -- and it was, indeed, usually bleeding money. Then the stars aligned, Steve Jobs returned and you know the rest of the story. The iMac, the iPod, the iPhone, now the iPad.

The Mac still has a much smaller percentage of the computer market than Windows (though that number is growing), Apple is now THE tech company, known for its inventive products, great marketing and ultra cool factor. So I guess it's inevitable that some feel Apple's on the verge of becoming the...

| Read more »
Mar 17
I'm not a fan of big government, but our '...

On Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission delivered the National Broadband Plan (http://www.broadband.gov/) to Congress. I wasn't a big fan of the bazillion dollar US stimulus package, nor am I a fan of big government, but our nation's "digital divide" must be addressed.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) was signed into law on February 17, 2009. The Broadband Initiatives funded in the Act are intended to accelerate broadband deployment across the United States. The Recovery Act authorizes the FCC to create a National Broadband Plan, that “shall seek to ensure that all people of the United States have access to broadband capability and shall establish benchmarks for meeting that goal.”

We're the only industrialized nation without a national policy to promote universal, high-speed Internet access. Part of the National Broadband Plan looks to free an...

| Read more »
Mar 16
Yankee Group: mobile app demand is soaring

Smartphone users are downloading increasing numbers of apps, and more of the apps they download come at a price. The result is a supercharged mobile app gold rush that’s shattering Yankee Group’s (http://www.yankeegroup.com) previous revenue estimates and reaching a whopping US$11 billion by 2014.

In the new report, “The Mobile App Gold Rush Speeds Up,” the research group sees several factors -- increased smartphone shipments, more app stores and more expensive apps -- combining to nearly double forecasted mobile app revenue, from $537 million to $1.6 billion in 2010 alone. While most app developers and store owners will garner a share of the riches, users of Apple’s iPhone and AT&T’s network download the most apps and generate the most revenue.

“Apple’s innovative one-click technology and AT&T’s exclusive deal for the iPhone put them ahead for now,” says Carl Howe, director at Yankee...

| Read more »
Mar 16
Apple granted patents for Aperture tool, computer...

Apple has won patents from the US Patent & Trademark Office for the Aperture tool for straightening digital images and for a computer housing design that displays the illuminated Apple logo. Aperture is the company's software for pro and semi-pro photographers.

Patent number 7679625 is for a digital image straightening tool. Per the patent, as the user operates the straighten control, the rotational orientation of a selected image is changed. According to one embodiment, a grid is superimposed over the image while the straighten control is being operated, to assist the user in selecting the proper rotational orientation. In addition, after a rotational adjustment, the image is automatically cropped to ensure that the orientation of the peripheral shape of the image remains unchanged. The inventors are Joshua D. Fagans, Jeffrey L. Robbin, Timothy B. Martin and Timothy E. Wasko.

Patent number 7,679,894 is for a display housing for a computing device. An improved...

| Read more »
Mar 16
Some feel Apple may become the new 'evil empire...

Some pundits have said that Apple is in danger of becoming the next Microsoft -- as in "evil empire" Microsoft. I personally don’t think that’s going to happen, but find the possibility fascinating.

In fact, I never would have believed anyone would have even posited the scenario when I begin my Mac journalism career almost 20 years ago doing reviews for the late, lamented "MacSense" site. At the time, Apple was always -- ALWAYS -- described in the press as “beleaguered” or “troubled.” Many pundits didn’t think the company would last -- and it was, indeed, often bleeding money. Then the stars aligned, Steve Jobs returned and you know the rest of the story. The iMac, the iPod, the iPhone, now the iPad.

The Mac still has a much smaller percentage of the computer market than Windows (though that number is growing), Apple is now THE tech company, known for its inventive products, great marketing and ultra cool factor. So I guess it's inevitable that some feel Apple's on...

| Read more »
Mar 16
Donovan's Views: more Jonathan Schwartz...

By Gaurang Donovan

The former Sun Microsystems former Vice-President (five various positions), Chief Operating Officer, President, and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Schwartz, wrote on his "What I Couldn't Say" blog (http://jonathanischwartz.wordpress.com/2010/03/09/good-artists-copy-grea...) last week about a 2003 threat of future legal action that he claims Steve Jobs made to his office in a telephone call while raising the idea  that the graphical effects of a Sun prototype Linux desktop may be violating Apple's intellectual property (if Sun commercialised that prototype). 

Schwartz wrote his reply was simple and left Steve Jobs silent without a response. The reply mentioned how he had been watching a recent presentation of Jobs and how Apple's newly released Keynote ...

| Read more »
Mar 15
Analyst: Mac, iPod sales looking to beat the Street...

In a note to clients today, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster expects Mac sales for the current fiscal quarter to beat the Street's estimates and anticipates iPod sales will meet those estimates. He bases his prognosis on data from the NPA research group.

Munster says that NPD retail data points to sales of 2.8 to 2.9 million Mac units sold for the March quarter. The Street estimate is 2.7. Munster is forecasting Mac unit growth of 26 to 315 year-over-year.

The analyst adds that NPD data points to sales of nine to 10 million iPods for the March quarter., compared to a Street consensus of under nine million. He's predicting a 7% percent increase in year-over-year sales.

| Read more »
Mar 15
New Apple prototype scientist to work on wearable...

In January, Apple hired Richard DeVaul as a senior prototype scientist, apparently to work on wearable computers.

Previously, DeVaul was the founder and president of AWare Technologies, a company that now makes Activity AWareness products and core technology. However, it was formed in 2004 as a contract research company focused on ambulatory monitoring for soldiers and athletes. The company successfully executed SBIR Phase II and STTR contracts with the US Army, and participated in the DARPA ASSIST BAA as part of the IBM/MIT/Georgia Tech team. In addition, AWare has provided athletic motion analysis services to Olympic sport organizations.

A graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), DeVaul has also served as a research assistant at MIT. orked with Professor Alex "Sandy" Pentland as part of the Human Dyanmics group at the MIT Media Lab. Ph.D. dissertation on "The Memory Glasses," a heads-up display  that focused on the problems associated with wearable...

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Mar 15
Donovan's Views: Fleishman vs Enderle -- mano a...

By Gaurang Donovan

As alluded to in the late January 2009's article, "Donovan’s Views: distorted grudges" (http://www.macsimumnews.com/index.php/archive/donvans_views_distorted_gr...), I have a strict reading policy. I hope tech journalists, editors and reporters should note it when doing their job. 

What is the policy? I stop reading or watching immediately any report that includes appearances of Rob Enderle or John Dvorak's voice or words and the reporter that chose to include them will enter my discredited list. I don't care what network or publication, its size, or precious reputation, it is simply my strict policy. 

Yet I found myself actually reading all of the individual tweets between technology writer and author Glenn Fleishman and self-professed former...

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Mar 15
High tariffs nix Apple retail store in Brazil?

Steve Jobs has allegedly told a Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) government official exactly why no retail store is planned for the country -- ”super crazy” import taxes, he wrote in an e-mail, according to to the "ifoAppleStore" site (http://www.ifoapplestore.com/db/2010/03/15/no-to-retail-store-in-brazil-...).

Jobs’ remark highlights an on-going trade dispute between the U.S. and Brazil over cotton trade, and how international affairs can affect the selection of store sites, the article adds. As reported by "MacMagazine Brazil" (http://...

| Read more »
Mar 15
ABI Research: smartphone market 'reborn' in...

Fourth quarter mobile handset sales almost always outpace the performance seen in the rest of a year. But according to the latest market data from ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com), the final quarter of 2009 was remarkable for the strength of smartphone shipment growth compared to the rather lackluster preceding nine months.
 
“4Q 2009 saw 25% more smartphones shipped than 3Q,” says analyst Michael Morgan. "Granted, the fourth quarter is usually better than the third, but 3Q saw only a 3.6% growth over the second quarter. The robust strength of this market’s recovery is very encouraging indeed.”
 
Individual vendors had plenty to be pleased about. Apple had its best smartphone quarter on record. Nokia did extremely well, shipping 21 million smartphones compared to its usual 15-16 million. BlackBerry had a strong showing as well.
 
The good performance was driven...

| Read more »
Mar 15
IDC: computer market rebound will drive double-digit...

After a severely constrained first half, steeply discounted computers along with improving economic conditions steered the global computer market back into the black in the latter half of 2009. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) "Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker,"the yearly growth rate for the worldwide computer market in 2009 was 2.9%.

Portable computers remained the key market driver, with shipments increasing 18.4% in 2009 compared to 2008. Consumer purchases of portables were the sole driver of the market, growing at 38.5%, according to IDC (http://www.idc.com). Commercial shipments were severely strained but showed signs of life near the end of the year as fourth quarter growth came in just under 1%, providing a glimpse of an anticipated commercial refresh in 2010. As a harbinger that the pace of ASP declines will moderate, mininotebook growth slowed in the fourth quarter as the volume of other...

| Read more »
Mar 15
Turn off Wi-Fi to help prevent laptop theft

Credant Technologies (http://www.credant.com), an endpoint data security specialist, says laptop users should turn off their Wi-Fi signals before stowing their laptop in the boot of their car or stashing their laptop in the office cupboard or desk drawer, apparently out of sight of thieves.
 
Why? Due to the widespread availability of low-cost keyfob WiFi detectors and sophisticated directional detectors that can be used by thieves to detect the presence of an out-of-sight laptop," he added. Plus, auction sites are selling WiFi detection kit for "pocket money prices," says Credant.
 
Apparently, the real focus of identity thieves is the company laptop, which, as well as being a saleable item in its own right, can also contain valuable company data that can potentially be sold to the highest bidder online. Just because the latest laptops have a set time -- sometimes up to 30 minutes -- before...

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Mar 11
Is the iPad the beginning of the end for the Mac? No

In a report for "PC Mag" (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2361204,00.asp), Sascha Segan says that the rise of the iPhone OS-based iPad could be the beginning of the end for the Mac platform. I understand his reasoning, but that's just not going to happen.

Segan says that if Apple could have a do-over, it would use the iPhone OS for its computer line. He thinks that the iPad should be thought of as "the new Mac -- a "new mode of home-based computing that Apple hopes will bubble up through its product line."

"This means no independent software stores, fewer open-source projects, and perhaps a blanket ban on BitTorrent, Flash, and Firefox," Segan writes. "It means a much more restricted peripheral market. The Mac will no longer be a PC as we know it -- it will be an 'end-to-end experience' like the iPhone."

According to his prognosis,...

| Read more »
Mar 11
Strategy Analytics: iPhone owners most likely to...

iPhone owners are not only most satisfied with their phones, they are most likely to buy their next phone from Apple, as well, according to a recent study from Strategy Analytics (http://www.strategyanalytics.com), which found a strong correlation between satisfaction and repeat purchase intentions.

The research group's report, “iPhone Owners Most Satisfied and Likely to Repeat Purchase,” analyzes satisfaction across 12 features, as well as repeat purchase intentions for leading mobile phone manufacturers. Key findings include:

° Over half of the device users surveyed are less than satisfied with their current web browsing experience;

° Owners of 12-key keypad products in the US are least satisfied with the text input experience; and

° In Western Europe, although LG owners indicate higher satisfaction levels, that information does not necessarily translate to higher...

| Read more »
Mar 11
Apple patents range from quickstart workout generation...

A plethora of Apple patents have appeared at the US Patent & Trademark Office. Here's a summary of each.

Patent number 2010062905 involves a method for a quickstart workout generation and calibration. Systems and methods for generating a quick start workout template and calibrating an electronic device using the workout template are provided. The electronic device may create and store a workout template to be used in conjunction with a workout. The workout template may be selected in a quick start fashion to restart the same workout. The workout template may be defined at least in part by a selection of any suitable workout goal and/or any suitable associated media. If the media associated with the workout goal is changed or is removed, a new workout template may be created. The electronic device may be calibrated or recalibrated using the workout template. If the electronic device is calibrated or re-calibrated with respect to a particular sensor, the...

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Mar 11
Apple patent offers a 'virtual competitor'...

Apple wants you to work out harder by competing against a virtual competitor per a new patent (number 2010062818) at the US Patent & Trademark Office. The patent is for a portable electronic device for providing real-time interaction between a user performing an exercise routine and a virtual competitor.

Some embodiments of the portable electronic device may include a sensor for receiving a plurality of user performance metrics associated with the user, a processor for generating a comparison between the plurality of user performance metrics and a competitor workout file associated with the virtual competitor, and a display for displaying a summary of the comparison in real-time. The inventors are Allen P. Haughay, Jeffrey T. Lee and Irwin W. Graves Jr.

Here's Apple's background and summary of the invention: "Fitness enthusiasts sometimes need new sources of motivation, such as when training indoors during inclement weather. Modern health clubs partly serve this...

| Read more »
Mar 11
Of albums, iTunes LPs and the iPad

I'm enough of a dinosaur that I want my albums in CD form, for the most part. However, I have bought some iTunes LPs and, if I decided to go all digital in the future, this is the format I'd prefer.

Unfortunately, it seems the iTunes LP isn't doing well. But let's back up. When the format was unveiled in September 2009 as part of iTunes 9, it was described by Apple as "the evolution of the music album" that delivers "a rich, immersive experience for select albums on the iTunes Store by combining beautiful design with expanded visual features like live performance videos, lyrics, artwork, liner notes, interviews, photos, album credits and more." In other words, it was intended to evoke the feeling of spinning an LP record and holding the jacket in your hands.

However, according to some sources, the format doesn't seem to be taking off. Paul Bonanos, writing for "Salon" (...

| Read more »
Mar 10
iPhone could overtake Blackberry in market share next...

New data from Trefis (http://www.trefis.com), a new financial platform that allows you to see how a company's products impact its stock, says the iPhone could overtake the Blackberry in market share in 2011.

As reported by "Forbes" (http://blogs.forbes.com/greatspeculations/2010/03/05/iphone-could-overta...), Trefis says RIM’s market share lead over Apple has been shrinking and Apple will be able to overtake RIM market share by early 2011. Trefis believes sales of the iPhone will eventually outpace BlackBerry sales for the following reasons:

° Apple’s ecosystem of consumer products (Macs, iPad, Apple TV) and services (iTunes, iPhone apps) make the iPhone a more...

| Read more »
Mar 10
Gaming on the Mac picking up Stream

Now that Vale is bringing its Steam, Valve’s gaming service, and Source, Valve’s gaming engine, to the Mac, the Mac gaming situation should improve.

Not that it's been terrible. However, gamers have long complained about the lack of Mac games -- at least compared to the bazillion gaming titles for the PeeCee.

Steamworks for the Mac supports all of the Steamworks application programming interfaces, and Valve has added a new feature, called Steam Play, which allows customers who purchase the product for the Mac or Windows to play on the other platform free of charge. For example, Steam Play, in combination with the Steam Cloud, allows a gamer playing on their work PC to go home and pick up playing the same game at the same point on their home Mac.

"The inclusion of WebKit into Steam, and of OpenGL into Source gives us a lot of flexibility in how we move these technologies forward," Steam development director John Cook told "IT Wire" (...

| Read more »
 
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