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iPad mini: Price, Release Date, Features and New Apple iMac

Apple introduced the world to its new iPad mini, the miniature-sized version of the best-selling iPad tablet computer. Apple unveiled the 7.9-inch tablet at a San Jose press event, telling the crowd that the new device is featherweight—tipping the scales at only 0.68 pounds.


According to Apple’s marketing chief, Phil Schiller, the iPad mini weighs about as much as a pad of paper.

The iPad mini will compete with other small tablets like Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD, Barnes & Nobles’ Nook and Google’s Nexus 7.

Less is More
The iPad mini’s sleek aluminum-and-glass design (which is 23 percent thinner than the previous iPad) makes it only as thick as a pencil. In addition to being 53 percent lighter than the iPad 3, the iPad mini features 10-hour battery life power.

The iPad mini has an A5 chip “under the hood,” and features a FaceTime HD camera and a 5-MegaPixel iSight camera. Wi-Fi models go on sale on November 2, with the cellular versions appearing two weeks afterward.

iPad mini Pricing
$329 – 16GB wi-fi
$429 – 32GB wi-fi
$529 – 64GB wi-fi
$459 – 16GB wi-fi, cellular
$559 – 32GB wi-fi, cellular
$659 – 64GB wi-fi, cellular


An iPad mini in comparison to the original, larger iPad.

Industry analysts have figured that Apple would try to find a way to court the smaller tablet market, which supports smaller, less functional tablets offered at a lower price. Apple already securely owns the larger tablet marketplace, with its powerhouse iPad dominating the niche with sales topping 84 million units.

Those iPad sales have taken place within less than three years, too – the first iPad introduced until April 2010. With the iPad mini’s heritage, it’s extremely well positioned to take on the Kindle’s of the world this holiday shopping season.

More than the Mini
But Apple was only getting warmed up with the iPad mini. The company also announced the rollouts of several other Apple products, including a beautiful new update to the iMac.


Also announced…A new iMac, which is drastically thinner and faster than previous iMac’s.

  • A new 4G iPad that boasts a 9.7-inch Retina™ display, a newly designed A6 chip and a FaceTime HD camera. This iPad will be equipped with iOS 6. On sale Nov. 2, the 4G iPad will also be available in a Wi-Fi and Cellular version. The Wi-Fi version is available in 16 GB ($499), 32 GB ($599) and 64 GB ($699) formats. The Cellular version is available in 16 GB ($629), 32 GB ($729) and 64 GB ($829) formats.
  • A sleek new 13-inch MacBook Pro that’s 20 percent thinner and a full pound lighter than previous MacBook Pros. Tricked out with a 2.5 GHz Intel processor, this new model features a Hi-Res Retina™ display with 4 million pixels. The new 13-inch MacBook starts at $1,700.
  • A new iMac, which will also start shipping in November. The new razor-thin model will start at $1,299.

 

Online ordering for several of the announced products will begin Friday, October 26th at the Apple Store.

Apple CEO Tim Cook also announced that Apple had recently reached an amazing milestone related to why you should become an app developer, with Apple stating that it had delivered more than 35 billion app downloads.

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posted by Phill Powell in News Blog and have No Comments

How to Celebrate “Star Wars Day” & Father’s Day…with Darth Vader

“Star Wars Day” is May 4th. In honor of that occasion and Father’s Day (which is also right around the corner), we’ve found a piece a piece of pop culture that “Star Wars” fans are gonna love…and if you’re looking for the perfect gift for dad, look no further.


Darth Vader takes little Luke Skywalker shopping. Ah, the joys of parenting. A panel from “Darth Vader and Son.”

Ever wonder what Darth Vader would have been like if he raised Luke Skywalker as a child? Thanks to cartoonist Jeffrey Brown, we’re about to find out. In Brown’s new book, “Darth Vader and Son” (from Chronicle Books) which releases on May 4th, the artist explores the legendary relationship in a fresh and funny new way.

“Luke…I am Your Father!”
Officially licensed by LucasArts, the book imagines what might have happened if Darth Vader—despite his ominous role as the Dark Lord of the Sith—had actually been present and actively involved in raising his son, Luke Skywalker.

The concept started out when Brown was approached by Google to create a Father’s Day-themed Google Doodle. While the idea was ultimately abandoned, Brown liked the concept so much that he asked Google if he could pursue it on his own. Google agreed and Brown took the concept to Chronicle Books, which helped broker a deal with Lucasfilm and George Lucas, the rights holder.


Brown’s whimsical illustrations show warmhearted father/son activities such as Trick or Treating.

For Brown, it was a dream project. “‘Star Wars’ was the first film I saw in the theater,” he said an interview, “And half my toys growing up were ‘Star Wars’ toys.” He also got complete creative control over the project from Lucasfilm – something that Lucas is not known for. Aside from suggesting a few minor corrections here and there, Brown said he received no interference whatsoever.

Another bonus for Brown was being able to reflect the very real relationship he has with his young son, who was four during the creation of the book. “I think part of what was so fun about this idea is like, as a parent, there’s things you just kind of have to put up with,” he explains.

“They can be really frustrating. So the idea of this dark master, lord of the Sith, having all that power, and in the end, here’s this 4-year-old who can be, ‘No Dad. I don’t want to do it.’ And he’s powerless against it. He’s gotta maintain that presence of power in the universe, but when it’s his own son, he has to rein it in a little bit. That tension is what was fun to play with.”

If the book is successful, Brown hopes to do a follow-up featuring Princess Leia. (That seems very likely since pre-orders for “Darth Vader and Son” have far exceeded the publishers expectations.) “Darth Vader and Son” can be pre-ordered through Amazon and Chronicle Books – just in time for Father’s Day (June 17th).


Even the Empire supports “Take Your Kid to Work Day.”

Creating Character
“Star Wars” has provided a treasure trove of entertainment for generations of moviegoers. Not only did the franchise create characters that have stood the test of time, but George Lucas created an entire universe with special effects that sparked the imaginations of writers, directors and others for years to come.

Creating comic book characters or learning the art of Hollywood visual effects can get you into the film or publishing industry. And before you know it, you could be the creating the next “Star Wars”-inspired blockbuster or fan comic that becomes a bestseller…like “Darth Vader and Son.”

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posted by Phill Powell in News Blog and have No Comments

Who Owns the Files I Put on Google Drive?

Google recently announced Google Drive, a cloud service that competes with Amazon, Dropbox and SkyDrive. Google Drive, like those other services, offer users an easy way to store digital content.


All types of files–music, documents and more–can be saved on Google Drive. 

What is a cloud? A cloud service is a remote storage location that lets you place digital content and retrieve it from anywhere using a computer and an Internet connection. As cloud services become more popular, it’s definitely a space that Google wants to be in. But Google is facing questions from users about Google Drive and content ownership. Put simply, the question on many users’ minds is, “Does Google own my stuff if I upload it to Google Drive?”

The Fine Print
Google’s Terms of Use (TOU), which were last modified on March 1st, specifically the section entitled “Your Content in Our Services,” read as follows:

When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes that we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.

According to Google’s TOU, they can basically do whatever they want with your content: keep it (“store”), copy it (“reproduce”), change it (“modify”) or give it away (“distribute”). Google has stated they are using user content to improve their services and offer an even more personalized experience. The TOU also point out that the terms of Google’s ownership are long-term:

The rights that you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting and improving our Services, and to develop new ones. This license continues even if you stop using our Services (for example, for a business listing that you have added to Google Maps).

So if you decide to no longer use Google Drive, Google will still retain rights to use your content. In other words, to paraphrase the famous Las Vegas marketing line, what gets stored with Google Drive stays with Google.

Privacy Policies & Property Rights 
Google’s Privacy Policy deals more with user privacy than stored digital content. However, under “Modifying and Terminating Our Services,” Google states, “We believe that you own your data, and preserving your access to such data is important.This is confusing to say the least. Google’s Terms of Use also state that “You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours.”   So Google, which is it?

Don’t get us wrong: we love and use Google’s search and Chrome is our default browser. But for a cloud service, we’ll stick to Dropbox for now. How do you store your content?

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posted by Phill Powell in News Blog and have No Comments

What Are Google Glasses?

Introducing the Next Big Thing: Google Glasses, high-tech eyewear for the Digital Age. The glasses, which are still in development, will overlay graphics onto reality – basically putting a heads-up display right in front of your eyes.


Google has not announced a price point or release date for the gadget, but insiders have hinted the glasses may be available to consumers by the end of the year. 

How They Work
Google Glasses could potentially be an iPhone killer. How? Well, like your iPhone, they would provide access to encyclopedias of information, but using something called augmented reality, the glasses would basically overlay information and graphics as you’re walking through the real world. Want to get directions to the coffee shop? The glasses would put “virtual signposts” (that only you can see) in your field of view, in order to navigate the way.


This view – from behind the glasses – provides an idea of what type of augmented-reality features might look like. Information about specific locations is available at a glance.

Got a dinner appointment with a friend? The glasses will display a notification right in front of your eyes. The possibilities (and ease of use) have the potential to make the smartphone – dare we say it – obsolete. Just imagine a digital landscape laid out in front of you that serves up restaurant reviews (while you’re standing in front of the restaurant), reservation times and a menu – all virtually.

A Day in the Life of “Project Glass”
Once put into use, Google Glasses will be wirelessly connected to the Internet and feature the functionality of a smartphone. The wearer would be able to control that functionality via voice commands, as well as camera functions for capturing still images and video clips.


The technology may still be a year or so off, but just to be discussing the potential instantly causes our minds think of sci-fi classics that predicted a heads-up displays, like “The Terminator.”

Google created a video based on “Project Glass” (Google’s name for the Google Glasses project) to show how the glasses would work during a typical day of errands in and around New York. In the video, we see the world in first-person view and what users would see. For example, while pouring a cup of coffee, the guy in the video happens to glance upward and the display shows a tiny clock, a notation about the temperature outside and a personal memo about visiting a friend, as scheduled for that night.

Take a look:

However, Google Glasses is an idea that may take some getting used to. Internet pranksters are already posting videos that mock the futuristic headgear, including a Google Glasses World of Warcraft parody.

Then again, there was another gizmo a few years back that once might have seemed like nothing more than the product of a slightly nerdy fantasy, and it caught on pretty well. It was called the smartphone.

As far as production of the actual glasses, it’s unknown if Google will license the technology to a hardware producer, but it’s possible they could also partner with a glasses manufacturer like Ray-Ban, Maui Jim or Oakley. The glasses are expected to be fashionable as well as practical.

Powered by Android
When Google Glasses eventually appear on the market, they will harness the processing power of Google’s Android. The Android OS is one of the most successful platforms today and the fastest growing mobile operating system in the world.


Google founder Sergey Brin was recently spotted in public wearing a stylish pair of Google Glasses. 

If you’re looking to get firsthand experience developing apps for Google Android, why not go to an Android App Development summer camp? You could learn to make games and apps that someday might even be playable on those cool Google Glasses.

What do you think of Google’s Glasses? Would you wear them?

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posted by Phill Powell in Featured,News Blog and have No Comments

When Does The iPad 3 Come Out?

Even though the cheapest iPad is $499, the iPad is still one of the most popular device on the market today and sets the standard for tablet computers. And while new devices like the Kindle Fire have sparked consumer interest, folks are still flocking to the iPad.


The iPad tops the list of the hottest gifts this season. 

The iPad easily tops the list as the must-have holiday gift of 2011 and based on industry analyst research, Apple will sell 13.5 million iPads in December alone. That’s more than an 84% increase over the same time last year and bring $8.26 billion in revenue to Apple.

iPad 3 Release Date
The iPad runs toe-to-toe with the iPhone as the most sought after Apple product. According to Gene Munster senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, “the iPad is appealing to more price-sensitive buyers, while the Mac has retained a premium appeal.”

Recent reports indicate a new iPad (what’s being called iPad 3) may hit the market as soon as February, but don’t hold your breath. The original iPad was released April 2010, and the iPad 2 was just released this past March 2011. Analyst say Apple would want to give the iPad 2 at least a year on the market.

iPad 3 Features
These are rumored features, keep in mind, Apple hasn’t announced anything officially:

  • A high-resolution retina display like the the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. Basically, the iPad 3 will double the screen resolution at 2048 x 1536
  • Thinner, sleeker, losing 20 percent of the device’s current mass
  • A better 5MP camera (maybe even a flash)
  • Improved battery life
  • Wireless charging technology
  • A new A6 processor

 
Must-Have iPad
You shouldn’t let this put you off from buying an iPad 2 though. The iPad 2 is an incredible device, it features a front and rear facing camera and app development for the iPad is a booming business. More apps are available in the App Store than on Google’s Android, and they’re optimized for the iPad’s HD display.

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posted by Vince Matthews in Apple,News Blog and have No Comments

How Can You Tell if a Picture Has Been Photoshopped?

Photos are everywhere. And there’s a very good chance the photo you’re looking at has had a touch-up or two. Do you know how to tell the difference between a real or phony photo?


This famous photo – which was faked – sparked a huge debate as to its authenticity when it was first passed around the Internet a few years back.

Working in the Shop
You know you have a good product when the brand name turns into a verb. Google and Photoshop probably know this better than any brand (just Google “Photoshopping” to get an idea of what I mean). Photoshop is an amazingly powerful tool that finds itself in the hands of more and more people everyday. Some for better and some for worse. Example A: photo manipulation.

We’re here to help you spot the fakes, but doing so requires a little detective work. And like a good detective, there are subtle clues that are a dead giveaway to help you spot what’s real and what’s not.

The Human Face
When you’re dealing with a photo that is a portrait of a person, or a photo where the main subject is a person, the human face can reveal so much about a photo’s authenticity. Why? You’re most familiar with the human face. You spend every morning (let’s hope) staring at your own while you scrub those pearly whites, so the oddities will stand out. This is especially true when it comes to the eyes, nose and mouth. What better tool to use to sniff these irregularities out than your very own two eyeballs. Using your own eyes and starting with the face, here are some things to look for in spotting a fraud:


Before (on the left) and after (on the right), Photoshop. 

The Eyes
Eyes provide two great clues for use when we are on the hunt for a fraud. Contrary to what you see on the front page of magazines and spread across billboards, eyeballs DO have veins and the sclera, which is the white part of your eye, is often a little discolored and cloudy. Also, depending on the light and the subject’s face structure, the shadows around the subject’s eyes may vary, but in almost all cases there should be some shadows. If the eyes in the photo look too good to be true, chances are, THEY ARE!

Facial Features
For photoshoppers that enjoy providing the digital nose job, they know it’s no simple procedure. Replacing noses is tricky because you have to perfectly match color, texture, and lighting three facets of the face that literally stick out at you on the nose. Detecting a bad blend job on any one of these items can help you easily sniff out the fraud.

Enhancing the size, color, and shape of lips is a common request in the land of Photoshop. Just like the eyes and nose though, if the light and texture look suspicious, chances are you’re on to something. Luscious lips are usually liars. Also, notice skin tone, in the photos above of George Clooney and Beyonce. Both of their complexions are unnaturally even and clean.


You may have been too distracted by the squirrels with lightsabers to notice the repeating pattern and bad image stitching in the background?

The Environment
Spotting a fish out of water has become increasingly difficult these days all thanks to Photoshop. Sure, it’s all fun and games when you photoshop your friend on the moon, but what about photoshopping a suspect into or out of a crime scene? Photoshop has used the blur tool quite a bit when it comes the world around us and whether we know if what we’re seeing is really in it or not. Here are some tips to knowing the world around you:

1. If an image seems suspiciously out of place, the best place to continue your hunt is on the edges. Poor blending and sloppy edge work will be your indication that someone tried to pull the ol’ drag and drop on you.

2. Just as in detecting a fraud on a portrait of the face, light plays a big role in the environment as well. I mean, after all, photography is about capturing light. When searching, look for strange shadows or missing shadows from objects that you think may be photoshopped in. Replicating shadows accurately can be a time-consuming and challenging process and thus can often be overlooked or just skipped on a hack job.


This five-headed snake is the stuff of nightmares, don’t worry – it’s fake. Notice how all the heads have the exact same angle and how the heads connect to the body of the snake.

Use Technology
If you can’t find evidence a photograph has been altered, using technology can help you. Perhaps it’s time to dawn some robot eyes. There are a couple of ways to get this done.


Notice the scales of the snake don’t have a consistent pattern; any naturally born two-headed snake does.

Using Photoshop, you can choose to switch between different color layers on your suspicious image. Switching between these layers will allow you to see differences in light that weren’t recognizable before. You can do this by going into Channels and manually selecting Red, Green, or Blue. Areas that have strange highlights or shadows may be indications that you have a fraud on your hands.

Using Image Error Level Analysis can be a great way to determine if a photo has been altered. The tool will provide you a heat map-like image of a JPEG you upload. It will analyze your uploaded image and detect for you areas that it thinks have been photoshopped.

A Career in Photoshop 
Did you know that there are whole careers around not only photoshopping pictures, but being able to detect when a picture has been photoshopped? That’s right; digital forensics is the study and breakdown of digital media and how it can be used to detect fraud. Learning Photoshop color correction, touch-ups & quick image optimization can help get you started. As technology and high-end production tools become more and more available, our ability to recognize the real deal and fake phonies is becoming increasingly difficult.

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posted by Seamus Harte in Digital Photography,News Blog and have No Comments

Cool Things You Can Do with Siri, iPhone’s 4S Voice Recognition

So you’ve got a new iPhone 4S and you’ve already started putting Siri, apple’s voice recognition technology, through her paces with commands like: ”Can you find me a good Chinese restaurant?” or “Who’s on first?”


You ask, she tells. Need to find the nearest local dry cleaner? Siri knows. Hungry for the best Indian food in Dayton, Ohio? Ask Siri. Ready to tweet out your status? Siri can do that, too. She’s a do-it-all digital personal assistant.

Siri’s Serious Muscle
Siri’s a master communicator; she currently recognizes and “speaks” three languages (English, French and German), but within a year, Siri will also support Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Korean and Italian. Another cool trick: through the iPhone 4S, Siri will take any words you speak and convert them into text.

Siri depends on the processing power of the dual-core A5 chip in the iPhone 4S. Siri also uses 3G, Wi-Fi and Apple’s data centers to find the answers to your questions. With all that processing power, it’s not surprising that users, developers and hackers are all experimenting with Siri’s capabilities. Siri already does plenty of things, like making telephone calls, finding business locations, searching the Internet and scheduling appointment reminders. But Siri can do so much more.

Cool Things You Do With Siri

Update Your Twitter Feed
Want to update your Twitter status but your thumbs are too lazy? In your Contacts list, under the name “Twitter” add 40404. Now text “START” to that number. When you’re prompted, respond with your username and password. Any time you want to tweet, simply tell Siri to “Text Twitter.”

Update Your Facebook
Use Siri to update Facebook in a similiar way. Just add “Facebook” to your contacts and assign the number 32665. Now tell Siri to “Text Facebook” with your update.

Check Your Bank Balance
If updating your Facebook or Twitter status isn’t enough, you can also use Siri to do your banking. It’s true; you can easily learn how to set up Siri to check your bank balance or send money to your friends.

Play Music 
SiriTunes lets you search for music using Siri and it even works if you don’t have Siri. Listen to whatever you like, whenever you like.

 

Learning How to Hack Apps
There are plenty of other great Siri hacks and tricks you can perform with Siri, although some require jailbreaking your iPhone 4S. No matter how you approach it, this great new technology is just begging to be explored. Learning how to program apps for iPhone 4S and the iPad or for other handheld platforms (like Google’s Android) can change your life.

Want to prepare yourself for a career in app development? Why not start by spending next summer at a computer summer camp like Digital Media Academy? DMA provides expert, hands-on instruction in subjects like app development for the iPhone and uses the iOS for development in its iPhone App courses. Who knows? You could make the next Siri.

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posted by Phill Powell in Apple,News Blog and have No Comments

Steve Jobs Biography: Book of Revelations

Steve Jobs’ official biography has been released. Written by Walter Isaacson, a former managing editor for Time magazine, the 656-page book sells for $35. You can get Steve Jobs’ official biography from Amazon and as an ebook from Google for $16.99.


Steve Jobs was memorialized on Apple’s website for several weeks after his death.

Life and Legacy
While the initial global outpouring of grief over the death of Apple’s co-founder has begun to subside, the public’s fascination with Jobs’ life is still going strong. Part of that interest stems from Jobs’ personality – which was often described as reserved, private and even reclusive.

He rarely granted interviews and when he did, they were almost exclusively focused on whatever project he was engaged in creating and promoting at the time. In a media-driven age empowered by mighty communication tools (many Jobs himself had pioneered), there was much about his own life that the man chose not to publicly communicate.

In his final years though, Jobs did however open up for his biography. Based on more than 40 interviews Isaacson conducted with Jobs during a two-year period, and additional interviews with more than 100 family members, friends, adversaries, competitors and colleagues. And although Jobs cooperated for the book, he asked for no control over what was written, nor did he even ask for the right to read it before it was published.

For those keenly interested in Steve Jobs’ legacy, Isaacson’s biography may end up being the last, best word on the subject. Other Steve Jobs quotes have appeared in the press, but the newly released interview text is sure to shake up some readers.

Revelations and Secrets
The new book reveals some interesting, expected and not-so-expected insights. The most controversial discovery involves Jobs’ 2011 meeting with President Barack Obama, at which time Jobs reportedly said that Obama was “headed for a one-term presidency” and at one point even offered to design portions of the President’s re-election campaign.

Here are a few more excerpts that have surfaced in Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs…


Bill Gates and Steve Jobs had a love-hate relationship. Their appearance together onstage at D5 in 2007 became the origin of the Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates meme. 

On Microsoft’s Bill Gates: “Basically unimaginative and has never invented anything…he just shamelessly ripped off other people’s ideas.”

On Google’s Android Phone: “I will go thermonuclear on this issue. I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product.” Though Jobs received criticism for his tight control over the iPhone ecosystem, which contrasts sharply with Android’s “open” approach, he told Isaacson that Apple’s approach stemmed from the company’s desire to “make great products, not crap like Android.” Isaacson writes in the book that Jobs had attempted to persuade Google not to develop a mobile operating system to rival Apple’s own by promising the company it would have access to the iPhone and prime real estate on the device.

On the Dangers of Becoming Wealthy: “I saw a lot of other people at Apple, especially after we went public, how it changed them. And a lot of people thought that they had to start being rich. I mean, a few people went out and bought Rolls Royces, and they bought homes, and their wives got plastic surgery. I saw these people who were really nice simple people turn into these bizarro people. And I made a promise to myself. I said ‘I’m not gonna let this money ruin my life.’”

On Facebook: ”You know we talk about social networks in the plural but I don’t see anybody other than Facebook out there…Facebook – they’re dominating this. I admire Mark Zuckerberg. I only know him a little bit, but I admire him for not selling out. For wanting to make a company. I admire that a lot.”

On Why He “Opened Up” for Isaacson’s Biography: “I wanted my kids to know me. I wasn’t always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did.”


Steve Jobs with wife Laurene Powell Jobs, just before his death. 

Notes From the Author
Isaacson’s previous books include biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Henry Kissinger, both of whom were powerful and often misunderstood men of their respective times. “(Steve) talked a lot to me about what happened when he got sick and how it focused him,” said Isaacson, in a transcript from an upcoming segment of “60 Minutes.”

Isaacson also spoke about Jobs’ state of mind during his final days. “He said he no longer wanted to go out, no longer wanted to travel the world,” said Isaacson. “He would focus on the products. He knew the couple of things he wanted to do, which was the iPhone and then the iPad. He had a few other visions. I think he would’ve loved to have conquered television.” (It’s true, Apple insiders have noted Jobs’ was always disappointed Apple TV wasn’t more widely accepted.)

Constantly out of step and sporting a rebel sensibility, Isaacson reported that Jobs often thought the usual rules didn’t apply to him, and worked counter to them. For example, he went through a period as a young man during which he didn’t bathe regularly (his managers at Atari made him work the night shift because his co-workers complained about his personal hygiene). Another quirk: driving a Mercedes with no license plate. Why? According to Isaacson, it was because he didn’t want people tracking him.

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posted by Phill Powell in Apple,News Blog and have No Comments

Google’s Plan For Android Domination


Why is this little guy smiling? Because he’s the dominating OS for more than 150 million devices.

According to Google’s CEO Larry Page, there are now more than 150 million Android-powered electronic devices in use around the world. To better understand that number, consider that each day, more than 550,000 consumers become new Android users. (That’s a conservative estimate; some industry analysts have estimated the number closer to 650,000 Android activations per day.)

And although Apple still leads the market (with an estimated 222 million devices that use the iOS), the Android numbers represent something we’ve known for a long time: If you own a mobile device, say a tablet or smartphone, and it doesn’t have Apple’s logo on it, there’s an almost a 100-percent possibility that the device is powered by an Android OS.

According to Google, the rate of Android’s adoption is increasing steadily, with some 20 million users added during just the last month or so.

Patent Wars
Android powers every Motorola smartphone on the planet. So the recent announcement that Google would purchase Motorola makes sense, right? The truth is there’s a little more to the deal than meets the eye. Not only do Google need to have a powerful OS, but they need to own technology patents, too. By acquiring Motorola, Google not only will establish a manufacturing base for its hardware, but will also scoop up somewhere between 17,000 and 25,000 patents now owned by Motorola. Patents legally shape the electronics markets (i.e., who can sell what products), so these patents represent powerful sums of money. Plus, those patents, once owned by Google, could make Android even more powerful.

Want to get started developing for the Android OS? Becoming an Android developer could start you on an exciting career in game or app development.

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posted by Phill Powell in App Development,News Blog and have No Comments

Why is Google Buying Motorola for $12.5 Billion?

It won’t become official until later this year or early 2012, but tech giant Google is now in the process of buying phone-manufacturer Motorola for $12.5 billion.


The deal represents a powerful combination of world-class software and hardware.

The two companies have been working together for some time; Motorola has shown solid support for Google’s Android mobile operating system and has produced smartphones and a tablet computer (the Xoom) based on the Android platform. The deal gives Google its own mobile hardware company, complete with pre-set supply chains and manufacturers.

The deal is more than a welcome piece of news for Motorola, which has been struggling to maintain its position in the handset marketplace. Even though Motorola dominates Android Devices, recently it’s lost roughly half of its share of the market. (Put in terms of dollars, Motorola’s revenues tumbled from $10.6 billion to $4.89 billion during 2010.)

What are Google’s plans for Motorola? Analysts say Google continues to build its business. It has entrenched itself in social media, launching its Facebook-killer (i.e., Google+) and now it’s setting its sites on the mobile space and crosstown rival: Apple.


Google has already declared its intentions to move into Facebook’s social-media territory with Google+. Now it looks as if Google may be preparing for economic battle against the most powerful opponent out there: Apple.

A Big Deal
The deal will transform Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc., into Google’s in-house manufacturer – and will help turn Google into a giant company that has its own software system and will be able to produce its own hardware…just like Apple.

Google’s massive growth has enabled it to afford the $12.5 billion purchase. However, success has also given Google added exposure. Lately, the search-engine giant has been under the microscope of both the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Justice Department, which are investigating Google for anti-trust violations. (It’s generally seen as unlikely, but anti-trust concerns could hinder the Motorola acquisition.)  Although it’s difficult to assess just how the Google-Motorola deal will affect consumers, most industry observers have noted that added competition typically benefits the end-user.

The move also means that like App Development for iPhone, learning App Development for Android devices will be a career that could be very profitable. Internet developers also stand to benefit from the Motorola acquisition, as Google continues to push integrated web and mobile apps.

(UPDATE: 8/16/11)

Google’s growth is currently being studied by the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice, which is also investigating Google for anti-trust violations. The DoJ will be evaluating the Motorola purchase to see if it breaks any anti-trust laws. If the DoJ determines that, the entire Motorola acquisition might not happen. If the deal should collapse for that reason, it’s reported that Google will have to pay Motorola a $2.5 billion cancellation fee. Most industry experts expect the purchase to occur as planned. 

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posted by Phill Powell in iPhone News & Tips,News Blog and have No Comments