Saturday, May 27, 2017

Apple flubs first major post Jobs release as backlash against Apple’s iAuthor program growing

Usually Apple is the company that can do no wrong, but in the first rollout post Steve Jobs Apple seems to have hit a major dip in its perception with iBook Author. Steve Jobs got a lot of leeway for things like this, but without Jobs at the helm, the internet world seems to have lost some of its Apple reverence and is looking at the facts and not the personality of the company.

First it was Dan Wineman pointing out how bad the EULA was in a post where he pointed out the audacity of the new license agreement.

“Apple, in this EULA, is claiming a right not just to its software, but to its software’s output. It’s akin to Microsoft trying to restrict what people can do with Word documents, or Adobe declaring that if you use Photoshop to export a JPEG, you can’t freely sell it to Getty.”

It gets even more confusing as the EULA becomes a complete nightmare for content creators when it conflicts with the OS licenses for things like 2D Collada models. If you use Collada to make a 3D model and put it into an iBook you are done. Actually you just cannot do it and if you do you are now in violation of the GPL.

Generally the way Apple is doing this just doesn’t seem very well thought out.

Now Ed Bott of ZDNet is going even further with a story headline that calls Apple out

“Apple’s mind-bogglingly greedy and evil license agreement”

That is the headline on a major review site today.  Not a good start for the post Jobs era.

Here is a sample of the tech world’s response to Apple. It should be interesting to see how they respond.

Apple Embroiled in eBook Publishing Controversy 
And a boon to the author, the e-books can be published directly from the app into Apple’s iBookstore. According to iBook Author’s end user license agreement, if an author wishes to charge a fee for a work created in the app, he is restricted to Apple’s …

iBooks2: Not a silver bullet for publishers

When Bott says, “I have never seen a EULA as mind-bogglingly greedy and evil as Apple’s EULA for its new ebook authoring program,” he means it. You may not sell your iBooks Author-created ebook in any other store. For their part, Apple do not guarantee …

Apple unmasks the Death Star: iBooks Author

Well, Apple’s finally done it. It must only have been a matter of time before the evil would show through. It was like trying to hold your breath indefinitely — you have to breathe at some point. …


CES Top 5

Now that we have had some time to digest the news out of CES we are ready to award our top 5 for this years show. Some you have heard about, and some may be a little different look into the future. One thing is for sure, these are the things we want.

5. Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga Ultrabook

This is coming late this year with Windows 8 and the Yoga is a look into the future of computing. The Yoga designation refers to its infinitely adjustable screen with its myriad of settings allowing the Yoga to be a laptop, a pad on a stand, or a tablet with the screen all the way back. The touchscreen features ten point touch and the Windows 8 loaded on it was fantastic. When it’s flipped and used as a tablet, the keyboard deactivates, so it can be placed on a flat surface or used on the go without worrying about hitting a key. The problem lies in its $1200 price tag as it is going to have to compete with two devices at that price and its unclear whether having one device is going to make it worth it.

lenovo ideapad yoga

4. Swiss Army Knife 1TB USB Drive

It’s pretty useless, but still very cool to fit a terabyte into a flash drive along with hardware and software encryption. Not only that its got a blade, scissors and a nail file. For traveling it also comes with a case without the implements. The catch… It comes with a price tag of 3 grand.


3. Parrot AR.Drone 2.0

Maybe the coolest thing we saw the entire show this 300.00 helicopter with its 720p video camcorder is the thing we want now. Thankfully it will be available in the second quarter. With its Android and iOS apps to control it we can envision some fantastic shots and video from 15 feet up.


2. Everything Vizio

Vizio got our pick for the best company at the show as they showed off beautiful new laptops, desktops, and a 10 inch tablet. Vizio worked directly with Microsoft on development and these things look like something out of Cupertino, not a budget television maker. The screens look fantastic with all but the smallest notebook boasting 1080p screens and the desktops have a HDMI pass-through so they can be used as a HDTV when the computer is off. Talk about the perfect dorm room setup. Prices are not released yet, but said to be unbelievably low

The 14 inch laptop won PCWorlds best laptop award even and for a new maker that is an amazing achievement.

Vizios all-in-one PCVizio laptops

1. OLED TV’s from Samsung and LG

It’s hard to explain just how good this technology looks in person. These things are razor thin, like iPhone thin in a 55 inch screen and the color saturation and unlimited contrast make an unbelievable difference from today’s technology. It is literally like looking out a window. The rumored price point is around 8-10,000.00 for the 55 inch versions which although out of price range today, expect these prices to drop precipitously over the next 2 years.

LG-55-INCH-OLED-TV-CES-2012 samsung-55-inch-oled-tv


Apple Stores in China under siege

You thought we were a bunch of idiot hipsters waiting in line for the latest crack from Apple, well over in China they are basically rioting over the iPhone 4s. Apple has halted sales of the iPhone 4S in China due to these gangs apparently made up mostly of scalpers who are trying to buy up the supply.

The most curious thing about this… who exactly carries around raw eggs with them to wait in line to buy stuff? It has that rotten egg smell of PR.

Check out the video from ITN


Circle K puts robbers on Facebook, offers rewards

Here is a great new use for Facebook that we are not sure they intended. Circle K stores in Arizona and Nevada are posting surveillance video stills from robberies and thefts to Facebook and offering rewards to their friends for turning them in.

So far at least four arrests have been attributed to the program.

More on this story over at Tucson Weekly


CES Opening Thoughts

Wow Ballmer can talk a lot and say absolutely nothing. That was the biggest take from the keynote to open CES. Not everything at CES was boring today though as there were some great new products from Samsung, Intel, and Nokia today.

Samsung probably was the most talked about manufacturer across the board as they brought out the Galaxy note, app controlled appliances and some amazing TV’s. The one thing noticed most. Chrome was nowhere to be found and its awfully quiet out at Google so far.

Here are some of todays highlights and video from the floor from TWIT


Ballmer delivers Microsoft’s last CES keynote

“We really have a chance to raise our game this year,” Ballmer said at the start of the keynote, the last Microsoft will deliver at CES.

Samsung bringing super-size smartphone to US

Economic Times
In an announcement on the eve of the giant Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Samsung said it will partner with AT&T to sell the Galaxy Note in the United States and it will run on the US telecom carrier’s 4G network.

IdeaTab ‘transformer’ turns tablet into a laptop

Christian Science Monitor
The IdeaTab S2 and IdeaTab K2, a pair of tablets showcased at CES 2012, are both set for 2012 release

Nokia Determined To Battle In America With Lumia 900
Nokia (NYSE: NOK) CEO Stephen Elop was long on the military metaphors during his company’s press conference at CES 2012, speaking of the need to “establish a beachhead” in the US with his company’s new Windows Phone strategy

So Where Are All The New Google Chrome Devices At CES? (GOOG)

?San Francisco Chronicle
There’s no mention of Chrome or Chromebooks on the official Google blog about CES. And the Chrome blog doesn’t mention CES at all.


iPad 3 Coming Soon… Here is what it should have and what we hope for

With talk rampant that the iPad 3 is coming in the first half of the year there is a lot of speculation about what it needs to have to stay ahead of the curve. A small update like the iPhone 4s is going to put Apple behind the proverbial eight ball as the iPad 2 is good enough for most uses and incremental upgrades will make it tough to keep the high price points that Apple has grown used to with competition heating up in the tablet space.

Here are the upgrades that we think we will see and some we are just hoping for.

What we should see.

1. A “retina” display – Until you have seen the retina display, its just a bunch of tech specs. Having seen it now on the iPhone it is a must have upgrade

2. Siri functionality – There is really no reason Siri is not on the iPad 2, but Apple is famous for holding its big software upgrades to force us into hardware upgrades.

3. More Storage – Since we expect the iPad 2 to stay around at a price drop to compete on the lower end (Do not believe the 200.00 hype, more like 399.00 for the 16GB) The iPad 3 should get double the storage start points (32, 64, and 128 GB

4. A better camera -  Since they are already sourcing the 8GB camera for the iPhone that would be the perfect upgrade to the iPad and make all those great photo apps much easier to use on the iPad.

5. More memory and a faster processor – These are the standard upgrades with every model we don’t expect a quad core yet, but faster video processing and likely 1GB ram for multitasking are in store.

What we wish for but probably wont get.

1. 4G at a reasonable price point – This would be great to make the iPad truly a computing everywhere device, but with the price of service this is probably still a generation or two away. The iPad may support 4G, but no one can afford it to download movies etc with our current setups

2. USB and/or SD Card support – This is not going to happen and it is always our biggest problem with our iPad, I want to carry a few movies around and can’t. USB or SD support would solve that problem. I would actually prefer this to a bigger hard drive even.

3. iTunes and App Store separated – This is only a matter of time. iTunes is becoming too bloated with hundreds of apps, books, etc. There needs to be a separation of the marketplaces.

Time will tell which of these upgrades make it to the iPad 3 and as you play with the current generation iPad you realize just how hard it is to make big upgrades. It’s pretty darn good now.


Amazon declares war on local retailers

Today Amazon takes its war on local retail to the next level actually enticing buyers to price shop and try things in local stores with their application and then giving them an additional 5% discount to buy with the app at the time.

This is bordering on anti-competitive and really is starting to get ugly. I love Amazon and am a prime member, but will not participate in this outright attack on America;s main street.

I implore you to please not reward this kind of behavior and though I have a ton of Christmas shopping left to do I will refrain from Amazon through Sunday in my own little protest against this.

If you use Amazon’s Price Check app in a brick-and-mortar store to comparison shop, Amazon will give you a 5 percent discount (up to $5) in its online store. You can redeem the offer on select items in the categories of electronics, toys, sports, music and DVDs three times, for savings of up to $15.

The app uses barcode scanning, camera, speech or text search to find Amazon’s lowest prices. The promotion runs from 9 p.m. December 9 to 11:59 p.m. December 10 (Pacific Standard Time).

That is how long my protest will last.


Google Music Leaves Beta, introduces music purchasing to Android shop and gives independent artists a boost


Google announced Wednesday the launch of a new music service in partnership with three major record companies, a service that will compete directly with Apple and Amazon to sell music directly to consumers and allow them to access songs from any PC or Android-based mobile device, but goes a step farther by allowing users to share tracks with friends through the Google+ social network. Sharing is limited to one listen of each track with their friends.

Pricing is in line with Apple at .99 cents a track.

Possibly the most interesting thing they announced was to become basically a label of their own called Google Music Artist Hub for independent artists. The DIY-like software allows virtually anyone to sell and price their music on Google’s storefront. Musicians selling tunes through the service will keep 70 percent of their set list price, forfeiting the other 30 to the Android giant.

This service will give independent artists the exact same look and feel as the big guys have including the preview and sharing services.


Live Google Event Video Stream

Live video from the Google Event believed to be a music service announcement


Adobe Stops Mobile Flash Development

Facing stiff competition from HTML5, Adobe has discontinued the Flash plug-in for mobile browsers.


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