Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mickey A Jedi Or Sith Lord? Will Buzz, Woody, Or MacQueen Make Star Wars 7 Cameos?

You should know by now that Disney owes LucasFilm.  If not, well, now you do.  Well, along with this bit is news is the bigger news that we're going to see a 7th Star Wars movie.


My hope is that George Lucas isn't given any kind of creative control over it.  If anything, Disney should bring in the Pixar folks and get them to work on it.  

Anyway, we'll know soon enough in the next few months.  Still, I wonder if the person who suggested this deal secretly wanted someone else to try making a Star Wars movie and show good-old George that his prequels could have been done better.

And don't be surprised by this deal.  Disney and Lucas has cooperated in the past with attractions at Disney theme parks.

On a historic note, this deal has come a full circle.  Like I mentioned before, Disney and Lucas has had some great history working together.  And Disney and Pixar made great animated movie history together and eventually Disney bought Steve Jobs out.

And where did Pixar come from?  Why George Lucas of course!  When Steve Jobs bought a computer art division and turned it into Pixar.  Who did he buy it from?

George Lucas.

Source: Disney.

Mobile: Google Just May Have A Siri-Killer Here

This Google Siri-like service in the latest Android update simply looks like it will put Siri to shame.  Take a look at the video below.

In case you didn't know, Apple's CEO Tim Cook sacked Scott Forstall, the former head of iOS that was responsible for Apple's Maps and Siri teams.  We always like competition but it does look like Google has caught up in a bit way.

As you can see from the video, the voice-search function allows the user's request to be transcribed, something that Siri is unable or doesn't want to do (Apple does try to give Siri a personality), and bring the results back up faster.

Obviously, this demo Google put forth was under a controlled environment and I'm sure real world use mileage will vary.  Still, it's fantastic to see Google get into this.  However, that is not to say that Apple, Microsoft, or even Nuance are not trying to innovate further here.

Competition is great and mobile search isn't like desktop search so Google has to still find its footing in all this.  A large portion of its revenue comes from traditional browser search and Google has yet to find a way to monetize mobile in a big way.

Maybe this is the first step.  I know this much.  Apple and Google definitely are going about this in different directions.

Mobile: Why Are These Folks Standing Outside Of A Starbucks After Sandy?

Source:  Twitter.

Embedded image permalink

Pretty telling photo here from NY.  These folks are all standing outside Starbucks.  A closed Starbucks.

Why?  Not because there’s a new drink that everyone has to have the way Apple fans has to have their fix of the latest and greatest from Cupertino.  Not because Starbucks has a new coffee flavor.

Free WiFi.  Rather, working WiFi.  After Sandy plowed into the Northeast, about 8 million customers were left without power.  By the looks of videos and photos online, NY took a big chunk of the pounding and many were left without power.

How Starbucks still has power and working Internet connection is something that I like to know.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Nexus 4 Is Here; LG Back In The Game, Also Nexus 10

It's here finally.  Despite Hurricane Sandy wrecking Google's plan, they went ahead and released Nexus 4, the next smartphone, and also iPad competitor Nexus tablet with a 10" screen.
The Nexus 4, made by LG, could be had for $300 without a contract.  You're thinking "only $300??? Must not have the beefiest specs."  Well, you'd be wrong. Here are some specs:

  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon™ S4 Pro processor with 1.5GHz Quad-Core Krait CPUs
  • Operating System: Android 4.2, Jelly Bean
  • Network: 3G (WCDMA), HSPA+
  • Display: 4.7-inch WXGA True HD IPS Plus (1280 x 768 pixels)
  • Memory: 8GB / 16GB
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Camera: 8.0MP rear / 1.3MP HD front
  • Battery: 2,100mAh Li-Polymer (embedded) / Talk time: 15.3 hours / Standby: 390 hours
  • Size: 133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1mm
  • Weight: 139g
  • Other: Wireless charging, NFC
Is that impressive enough for you?  Okay, I think the Galaxy III might have this beat or at least sort of keep things close.  Still, based on price alone, you have to go with the Nexus 4 and, on top of that, you have Google's Android purity without Samsung's fingerprints all over it.

Oh, and the $300 price point is for the 8 GB version - still cheaper than the Galaxy S III and Apple's iPhones.

On to the Nexus 10.  which isn't a looker.  However, at comparable storage to the iPad, Google has priced it $100 cheaper than Apple's tablets.  It's no $300 like I thought but I kinda expect Google to potentially drop $50 or more if for some reason, folks are not picking these pure Android tablets up.

And yes, since these are Google's own tablets, you can expect better Android support than what Samung gives its Galaxy Tab users or anyone else.

On top of that, Google boasts the Nexus 10 will have a better screen than the iPad in terms of DPI.  But at some point, that doesn't really matter.  To nerds, yes.  To normal mobile warriors?  We'll see.  

No matter which mobile camp you are in or are just a mobile nut like I am, iOS, Android, Windows 8, or anyone else, you have got to love the competition.  It's like Steve Jobs said, we are in the post-PC era.  Apparently, Apple isn't the only one to recognize that.  Google apparently does as well.  This is why it has its own line of Nexus devices, specifically the tablets.  

Source: Phandroid, CNN Money.

Friday, October 26, 2012

RPG: Zombie Game With A "Choose Your Own Adventure" And Old Style Paper Feel

Source:  Touch Arcade.

We don't write enough about games here.  And we totally should, you know?  Zombies rock and we're less than a week from Halloween.  And this "choose your own adventure" type of game here is exactly what mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are made for.

This RPG game, if you can call it that, has all the elements of those old 80s and 90s book RPG games that a game master would use to create adventures for other plays.  Those were great times.  And if you have never tried it, well, you simply have missed out.

But this game, available for iOS and Android, should help bridge that gap.  It's a zombie game, Blood of the Zombies, the title kinda gave the plot away a bit.

And there isn't a lot of gore so it makes the game focused on the adventure than say something like The Walking Dead game offers.  It's all for good old fashion fun.  It's a big pricy compared to other games in app stores but definitely offers something new other than puzzlers or the ever popular freemium games.

Meet Nexus 10 - It's Like A Giant Galaxy Nexus

Source:  CNet.

Meet Google and Samsung's answer to the iPad.  From this picture supplied by CNet, it looks like a giant Nexus phone.

I refuse to believe that Samsung cannot design something that isn't the iPad and still look good.

Maybe pricing will make all the diff for potential buyers.  $300 or even $250 would be a good point from Google.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Meaningless Survey Created To Sow Discontent Among Early-2012 iPad Owners

Source:  Cult of Mac (I don’t recommend clicking through – just an idiotic post).

I hate pollings like this one.  Folks with new iPads from April were asked what they thought about Apple releasing a new iPad with a speed increase just a couple of days were.  Well, if they didn’t know about it as most iPad owners would not have, they would not care.  Their early-2012 iPad was the best tablet they’ve owned.

So what if about 50% of the folks are upset.  We live in a world where people feel entitled and they are constantly looking out for things to be upset about.  Case in point.  At a local meeting, parents were upset with the current school board because another school board eons ago agreed to a cell tower on school property.

Not one of the old school board members who signed on to that are now serving on the current school board and a recall effort against the current board is beginning to take form.

So seriously, iPad owners love their iPads and these surveys and polls, much like those political ones, serve to say nothing about true public opinion.  A lot of time, the public doesn’t know when Apple, Google, Microsoft, or anyone else is going to release a new phone, tablet, OS, or computer.

They might do a bit of research online and go out to buy whatever it is that they need to buy when they needed it.

I like to see a poll where Kindle, Nook, and Nexus 7 owners are polled about whether they are upset that they bought into those media tablets if they are upset with Apple for releasing the iPad mini after they’ve bought their tablets.

Some might be upset but then again, until they were asked about it, they probably thought what they have now was probably the best tablet they’ve owned.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Evil Dead’s New Trailer

I broke my promise of trying to post a scary trailer a day until Halloween but I think this one kinda makes up for it.

Evil Dead’s new trailer.  I used DAily Motion because Youtube makes you sign in because it's too scary for the general public or some nonsense like that.


Blogger Goes Off Deep End Because iPad mini Not Priced at $199 Like He Wanted

Source: Digital Reader.

First, let's get this out of the way. The iPad mini was a response to the sub-10" tablet market, not necessarily the 7" tablets alone. And second, the iPad mini has a 7.9" screen that has a full 35% more screen real estate than the 7" flavors.

So in his post, the DR writer uses Steve Jobs, as if he really gets Steve, said he would have priced the mini at $199 or close to it. He doesn't really say but given the rumors that were flying about, I guess he was one of those who believed it to be true.

However, once you get pass his profanity, and there was lots of it, you are reminded that Apple never competed on price. Sure, the iPad at $499 was incredible but it is a whole new category of mobile computing no one has seen or experienced before. It was a new market for Apple to do as it will including pricing it at $499.

So for Apple to price the level entry mini at $329 isn't that far fetched. Remember, Apple was unwilling to produce a $499 Mac that Steve Jobs didn't think was a piece of junk.

The mini is a full $130 more than competing $199 Nexus 7, Kindle Fire, or the Nook. However, they are not comparable devices. One is truly a premium device when taken in as a whole - bigger screen albeit lower resolution, more storage, better built and design, and, more than 250,000 tablet ready apps to run on it.

Not the same thing, DR bro...sure, go buy the $199 devices. There will always be folks who will go for the less expensive devices. Apple selling and pricing the mini at $329 isn't mean for you, DR dude.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Interesting Theory: Apple's Event Today Aimed to Bury Microsoft

Interesting theory here from CNet. Apple's event today was not just about the iPad mini. It was not about putting some distance between the iPhone 5 introduction and the iPad mini. It was meant to bury an old foe once and for all.

Now, obviously today's focus was on the iPad mini. However, Apple did introduce a refresh of virtually all Mac line. Only the MacBook Pro and a MacBook air or not refreshed because they were just updated months ago. Perhaps, it was a coincidence. A coincidence that Windows 8 is just around the corner as well. Call incidents that Microsoft tablet, the surface, is about to be released.

Obviously, Apple's event today could've been aimed at Google, Amazon, or anyone else who wants to compete against Apple's ecosystem during this Holiday season. Personally, I surprised Apple did not bring forth any new media development.

So, maybe it's just a matter of timing. It's not Apple's fault that everyone wants bunch all their new gadget introductions during October.

I do believe, that Apple did put today's event As close as possible to Microsoft's own announcements. And don't forget, that Google is set to make its own announcement sometimes next week.

This will be a very crowded Christmas. Tim Cook and the rest of the Apple executives are going to try to outdo themselves. New iPhone, new iPads, and new Macs. An Apple conspiracy? Who knows. We do know this. Apple will have a very big quarter. Perhaps it's biggest. The question is With anyone else will have a great Christmas.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

iPad Mini - Hands On. A Compelling Competitor To the 7" Android Tablets?

Source:  Cult of Mac.

Here are a couple of detailed hands-on with the new iPad mini introduced by Apple today.  I’m sure you’re reading this because you’re in the market for a sub-10 device.  I don’t’ know what to tell you.  You can always expect Apple’s products to be designed well.

At $329, how does this compare with the $199 Android devices like the Kindle, Nexus, and the Nook tablets?  You’ll have to ask yourself some familiar questions about this.  It is worth the premium just to have a bigger screen (35% more real estate than standard 7” tablets), longer battery life, and being locked into Apple’s iOS ecosystem.

You’ll have to decide if this is the route you want to go.  I’m sure Google and Amazon will match Apple with different features and form factors so, again, there is a lot of competition now in the tablet market.

And it’s critical for all of these companies to be able to carve a piece of the tablet pie out for themselves.  The PC market has already begun to shrink and the tablet market will become even more lucrative for the likes of Apple who makes money off selling hardware.

Meanwhile, folks like Google has to make sure they have their presence on the tablets as Apple methodically lock it out over time.  For Google to do that, it has to sell its own tablet in sufficient volume so that its core revenue is protected – selling ads and media.

A lot is at stake this Christmas.  It’ll set the tone for the tablet market for years to come.  No one wants to see Apple dominate it.  Ask the MP3 player guys how that went with the iPod.

Now, here are the hands-on from a couple of pro-Apple sites.  Techcrunch offers a compelling argument for current iOS users and Apple fans but doesn’t say if it’ll be enough to make others jump ship or pony up the extra $130 for the iPad mini.

The Verge has a video, posted here.  I suggest clicking over to see what their readers are saying.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Arrogant Company With Name Start With The Letter “A” (Not Apple) Steals Back Stuff Woman Buys And Cancels Her Account

This morning, we learn that Amazon UK wiped a woman’s Kindle, killed her account, and promises to do the same in the future if she ever tries to open up another Amazon account.  Oh, thank goodness for DRM, says Jeff Bezos.

All of this came from Martin Bekkelund (via The Guardian).  Right now, it’s one sided because Amazon’s public records (e-mails to the distressed woman) suggests that is is being a hard-ass about all this and is looking to stir up some really bad PR just before the Holidays shopping season in the Western world (and China).

Not only will folks, and they should, start to reconsider buying Kindle and other DRM’d media from Amazon, they will have choices from Apple who will release their Kindle killer, the iPad mini, Google will quite possibly release their $99 Kindle-killer Nexus tablet, and Barnes and Noble’s Nooks with their growing legion of loyal fans.  Oh, though probably not a big concern at this time, Microsoft is releasing their Surface tablets in less than a week.

So, Amazon, we wait word from you on this matter before we completely trash you and ruin your Christmas.  Oh, and folks, if you don’t recall, let me refresh your memory.  It was also Amazon that snuck through an open window of Kindle owners who bought copies of 1894 from Amazon and stole it back without telling people about it.  In fact, one of them was a stupid who used his Kindle to do his reading and note-taking.  All wiped out.

Way to go, Jeff Bozo…

Note:  A side editorial note here.  In a world where news travel faster than at any other time in history, in a world where Twitter and Facebook can topple despotic governments, and where anyone with a laptop or tablet can blog about anything they want, companies like Amazon continue to think they can get away with things like this where in an instant, hundreds of thousands of not millions of users all over the world can rally to support the woman that was wronged by a greedy corporation.  That goes for Apple or any other companies as well.

Another Note:  This is to these arrogant companies that think they can push folks around.  Don't mess with us.  We know people who know people who can get word out when you try to pull the rug out from under us.  We are now vocal and we'll make you infamous.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

iPod Nano: Apple Beta-Testing Features On Users, Speculating About the Nano's Future

Source:  Apple.

I've read a dozen or so reviews on the new iPod nano from Apple.  While the general outlook for Apple's tried-and-true music player is sure to be great stocking stuffer, I've come to one indisputable conclusion about it.

Apple is testing new features on the tens of millions of users that are going to buy this little music player.  Apple did it last year with the watch-like form factor.  It was a hit among those who wanted to wear the nano on their wrist.  I reckon only true music and Apple fans would have done that.

This year, Apple is testing what amounts to be an iPod touch nano.  That's the only explanation I can think off.  So far, there is a lot of potential in this little thing.  I admit that I only have had a small hands-on time with it while I was at the Apple store a week ago while I wanted for my Lightning cables to be delivered to me.

Once you have had time with the device, you can kinda tell yourself, "had Apple release an iPhone nano, this is what this device would look like".  The 2.5" screen is a perfect size for those who wants something less than the 3.5" screen of the iPhone 2G all the way up to the iPhone 4S.

Instead of going smaller, Apple went bigger with the 4" screen in the iPhone 5.  However, a few years ago, rumors were abound that Apple would release an smaller screened iPhone.  As silly was it was back then, the 2012 nano shows that, perhaps, Apple has not completely dismissed this in their labs.

The ideas that were being thrown around could be seen in the various nano form factors.  The watch-body of 2011 was obviously an idea to test how a company device to a full fledged iOS device like the iPhone or an iPad.  It probably could have been BT tied to the Macs as well.

This year's touch-like form factor is to test how a smaller touch or iPhone would work.  And having millions of users test it in public would have given Apple valuable information on what how users are using the nano: to gather data on improvements they need to make and shortcomings that needs addressing.

Like the fat nano from 2007, this touch nano could end up getting apps and connectivities in future upgrades - it's just too obvious that this will happen when Apple added the touch screen to the nano.

Right now, there isn't much that you can do with the touch nano.  And yes, the screen is multi-touch.  Outside of pinching photos, I'm not sure what Apple is expecting users to use the touchscreen for.  But if Apple devices to add Angry Birds or any number of popular but not too system-taxing games/apps to the device, the screen would be very useful.

The only thing that I don't understand the new design is the home button.  It's 2012.  We don't need that home button anymore.  Apple could have probably added a 3" screen to the nano, making it even closer to the 3.5" screen of the iPhone and the touch.  As Apple move to better chip designs that would increase power and efficiency, and decrease size of the chip, the nano could really thrive as a touch replacement.

The question is when will we see a fully functional nano with WiFi connectivity and app support.  There are probably a few conditions that Apple would like to meet before we could ever see the nano anywhere near what I am speculating.  We're likely to see this happen after Apple has a way to power management under control.  Right now, the nano can support up to 30 hours of music playback and only 3.5 hours of video.  The touch supports up to 40 hours of music and 7 hours of video.  3.5 hours just won't cut it.  Even the iPod classic supports up to 6 hours of video playback.  For me, that's barely tolerable.  And there is no telling how many hours of app uses the current nano can support but we can guess it's probably no where near the battery life of the touch.

Also, with respect to the touch screen, 2.5" is pretty small.  If you want to text or write an e-mail, the 2.5" screen just won't cut it.  I have no idea how Apple hopes to overcome that.  Maybe Apple figured out that a 2.5" screen would just barely support wide-screen typing.  It's also possible that dictation would come into play when the nano has WiFi support.

And finally, there is also trying to get developer support for the nano.  Obviously, it's unlikely the nano will ever support a full sized touch or iPhone app.  Therefore, like the nanos with game support of yesteryear, Apple may have a to create a subsection of the App Store dedicated solely to support the nano.  And most of these apps, if not all, will be games.  If Apple manages to sell tens of millions of these a year, we can see Apple increase its push into mobile gaming.  Of course, the ideal situation would be if this nano can support iOS games natively.

So, yes, nano users are beta testers.  Willing and paying beta testers at that.  Is that a good thing?  Well, as the old saying goes, you get what you paid for.  And with the nano, you are buying the best mp3 player on the market within a great ecosystem.  And if I'm right, Apple could add features to it just like it has done so in the past.  Maybe new apps.  The gorgeous 2.5" screen is just screaming out for it to be used more than Apple is currently letting on.

Social Event: Facebook And Twitter - How Not To Sell Out Users

I am not a Facebook fan but I can't dismiss the impact that it has had on our social interaction and how it has affected how many of us get our information now.  Sure, kids, like myself, still go to Jon Stewart for news and "the truth" but we rely on more than just Comedy Central and Hulu.

For the last three events that I've been informed about, it's not through evite or the e-mail but through Facebook.  A zombie run northwest of Los Angeles, birthday dinner for a friend, and a night market even at the Santa Anita racetrack.

All through Facebook.  Twitter let me know about the 626 Night Market by way of multiple tweets but, so far, there is no way for Twitter to set up events like Facebook or evite can.

And to make all this even more accessible, all social networks that I've come across can be assessed by today's most popular mobile platforms (oh yeah, I forgot.  There are only two: iPhone and Android).

It's anyone's guess where we go from here.  But as much as I love bashing Facebook, this is one particular use that I am in favor of.  It's how social networks can thrive and flourish without having to sell its users out to the highest advertisers.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mobile: Nokia Trips Up, Blbackberry Users Ashamed

Not great news for Nokia or RIM fans.

First, Nokia's Lumia sales has dropped off the cliff.  Now, we can attribute that to pinned up Windows Phone 8 demand.  I'll buy that but I cannot think that there is much room in the market that Nokia can pick up from the iPhone and Android.

Then there's Blackberry users who are reportedly being shamed by iPhone and Android users.  I don't get why.  Sure, RIM sales are dismal and may never recover even with the release of Blackberry OS 10.  However, who else on the market still market and sell devices with physical keyboards en mass?  I think it's an unique experience in a mobile market dominated by full-touch screened devices like the iPhone.

Back to Nokia.  It's continuing fall isn't a bad thing unless you're a Nokia fan.  If you're a Windows Phone fan, it could be that good days are coming.  Yes, above, I said Nokia may not have much room to move above but it doesn't mean that Windows Phone cannot.  Other device makers like HTC ans Samsung will be coming out with WP devices that has specs to rival Android devices.

And this is a multi-year and multi-front fight for Microsoft so Windows Phone will have an impact on the market.

So, maybe the thing here for all concerned is that RIM should consider embracing Windows Phone instead of its next gen Blackberry OS?

Election: Get Used To It, Tagg. If Your Dad Wins, Expect Worse Things Said About Mitt

So here's how it went down.  Tagg did not like that the President of the United States, leader of the world stood up to his challenger who has been willing to say anything to get himself into the White House.

Again, I'm a conservative but I simply cannot vote against someone, in this case the President, without have a reason to vote for the other guy, Mitt whose job the last decade is running for the position of POTUS.  I just want to get out that of the way.  And yes, the Obama campaign has been vicious themselves.

It's the nature of American politics.  But to have a member of a family of one of the candidate public state that he would like to attack the other guy for attacking his father is just something that has never happen before.  And what's also stupid is that Tagg should know this would go viral in the age of Facebook, Youtube, and other social media platforms.

Hey, it's great that a son would like to stand up to his father but looking at Tagg, we know the dude is all words.

So, Tagg.  You ain't see nuthin' yet.  Over the next couple of weeks as the two campaigns race to the finish line, it'll get worse.  On top of that, should your dad (God help us all if it happens), gets into the White House, it will be much, much worse than anything you've seen before.

Just so you know, you made your whole family look foolish, Tagg, because you ain't man enough do what you said you'd do.  You said you couldn't because of the Secret Service guys around.  Seriously, that's what's stopping you, dude?

No.  That's not what's stopping you.  What's stopping you is the fact that you're full of it and nothing like your dad.  Just another rich spoiled kid who cannot back up his words.  If you want to show you've got game, talk about the details that are still missing in your dad's economic plan.  Tell us how it all hinges on the hope that there will be an economic recovery to make up for the tax cuts and increase spending.

Of course, leave out the fact that if the economy doesn't recover as fast as your dad insists, our deficit will increase much more than anything Obama has put us through.  Make sure that doesn't get caught on camera.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Halloween Trailer: Evil Dead (Yup, Gonna Have Nightmares Now)

Source:  We Got This Covered.

Here's the trailer for Evil Dead.  Don't watch if you plan on sleeping, regardless if whether you'll have the lights on or off.  And in that spirit, I'm gonna post a scary trailer up through Halloween just to get everyone into a ghoulish spirit.

Again, this is a very mucho freaky trailer.

Original Video- More videos at TinyPic

According this to this MTV article, this is worse than just any plain old rated-r movie. And a quick search shows that other sites agree that there is a lot of blood.

Sleep well...

Mobile: How Apple Can Price the Low-End iPad Mini At $200

I like to see Apple price the iPad mini at $200.  Of course, it doesn’t mean that Apple will do it.  If it has cause and it can do so without sacrificing the margin (which seems rather unlikely), then I am sure Tim Cook will do it.  But that’s not why I’m writing this post.

I want to get into see how Apple “can” find a way to price the iPad mini with 8 GB storage at $200 and really make Christmas for Amazon, Google, or anyone else in the tablet realm a really, really bad one to remember.

First, there is the massive supply chain that Apple has built up over the years.  And it’s not just parts that Apple has sourced and hogged so that others have to wait until it has had its fill before they get their own turn.  It’s also about how Apple has depressed the cost of components that allow it to price the iPad at $500 when it was introduced in 2010 and not at $1,000.  And it’s been a couple years since the original iPad debut.  So costs has come down quite a bit.

On top of that, Apple has generously financed some manufacturing equipments and factories for partners that would enable it to get what it needs and at much better prices than its competitors.  Do you see or hear this happen for Microsoft, Google, or HTC?  Maybe only Samsung can match Apple to some extent.

Now, let’s move onto the media revenue that Apple is likely to generate from this.  Last year, when Apple put on the iBooks event with textbooks as an emphasis, the main issue was which would come first – digital textbooks sales or iPads.  You know, the chicken or the eggs?  You can’t have digital textbook sales if there are not enough iPads in the hands of students.  And you cannot have enough iPads if each costs $500 at the time.  You can get an iPad 2 at $400 now but there’s nothing like trying to get them in the hands of students at $200.

And if the low-end iPad mini does sell for $200, look for an explosion in iTunes media sales where Apple has an ecosystem that is unmatched.  eBooks, music, video, and apps will give Apple an even bigger stream of revenue than ever before.  Of course, this is all before Apple’s own television plan comes to fruition.  There could be another stream of revenue that could allow Apple to make up for selling the iPad mini at a lower price.

Are we done?  Absolutely not.  Other iOS hardware sales continue to break records.  iPhone 5 demand is supposedly double that of the iPhone 4S but don’t think the iPhone 4 and the 4S aren’t going to pad some of Apple’s margins.

The updated iPod touch and iPod lines should continue to bring in a few billion dollars in cash from both hardware and media sales.

Then there’s the iPad.  I’m sure by now, Apple has managed to lower the per cost of each iPad built and may also reflect that at the iPad mini event with some redesigns.  It’s likely Apple has managed to bring down the costs of the Retina Display.  Obviously, that means better margins on the new iPads as well.

But I’m not done.  Mac sales are continue forward with Asia, particularly the Greater China zone (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan), showing no slowdown in their appetites for Apple’s computers.  And the premium that the high-end Macbook Pro with Retina Displays are bring in, it just pads everything for Apple.

Then there’s the new cables and adapters that Apple is making everyone buy when they switched over from the 30-pin adapters to the newer Lightning adapters.  Don’t think that Apple is making and selling them at reasonable price. No way.

So, when you add all that together, we can see just Apple can price the low-end iPad mini at $200.  There isn’t much history with Tim Cook as Apple’s CEO with respect to pricing so we don’t know if he’ll go for the kill or show off some of that Apple swagger and price the mini at $250.  After all, this is an Apple product and it demands some sort of a premium over competing devices on the market.

I’m thinking it’ll be the latter.  Perhaps, Apple might go with $220 just to make a statement to the market.

Kickstarter: A Robot You Can Fall In Love With Now

Source:  Venturebeat.

Here's an adorable robot that you can fall in love with just as you do with your pets.  As soon as you support the Kickstarter program and it goes into production.

Check it out. It's like a little rover with an iOS device as its brain, your iPhone or iPod touch.  I'm sure you've got plenty just sitting around from your recent iPhone 5 upgrade.  Stick that into Romo, that's the name of the robot, and off you go.

You can control it with your iOS devices including the iPad or the Mac.

This is the second coming of the Romo and its 10x smarter and better.  Well, that's what the company Romotive, folks behind Romo, promises.  Also, it'll have telepresence (which I'm sure means vid chat), navigates on its own, and facial recognition.

Check out the video and then click over to pledge.  I've done it already!  Woohoo!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Social: Facebook, You Suck! (Facebook Allows Loopholes To Expose Personal Details

This a must read post on how a couple of kids had their inequalities exposed by Facebook even though they did everything humanly possible to protect themselves.  Regardless of what you think about homosexuality, this isn't a post about that.

Rather, it's about social networks, specifically Zucker's Facebook, to continue "zuck" its users over time by shifting privacy goal line by giving the illusion of providing users with more controls while leaving loopholes on others.

For instance, if a friend tags you in a photo, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.  And anyone can just decide to sign you up for a group without your explicit consent.  And the news of that will be open for all your friends and family to see.

That is the basis for a couple of college students who were outed by Facebook when someone enrolled them in a gay chorus.

It's a must read post regarding the shady practices that Facebook uses to screw and put a dollar sign on its users.

Source:  Yahoo.

FBI Issues Android Warning - Provides Recommendations for Users

Source:  Fortune, IC3.

The FBI has issue what appears to be a very fire warning regarding Android OS and the description of the malware is scaring the crap out of me. 

Ouch.  Big ouch.

Maybe this is a case to be made for buying only from Google and embracing the Nexus brand rather than Amazon, Barnes & Noble, HTC, or Samsung. 

In the press release, the G-men has a list of recommendations to follow when getting an Android device. 
  • When purchasing a Smartphone, know the features of the device, including the default settings. Turn off features of the device not needed to minimize the attack surface of the device.
  • Depending on the type of phone, the operating system may have encryption available. This can be used to protect the user's personal data in the case of loss or theft.
  • With the growth of the application market for mobile devices, users should look at the reviews of the developer/company who published the application.
  • Review and understand the permissions you are giving when you download applications.
  • Passcode protect your mobile device. This is the first layer of physical security to protect the contents of the device. In conjunction with the passcode, enable the screen lock feature after a few minutes of inactivity.
  • Obtain malware protection for your mobile device. Look for applications that specialize in antivirus or file integrity that helps protect your device from rogue applications and malware.
  • Be aware of applications that enable Geo-location. The application will track the user's location anywhere. This application can be used for marketing, but can be used by malicious actors raising concerns of assisting a possible stalker and/or burglaries.
  • Jailbreak or rooting is used to remove certain restrictions imposed by the device manufacturer or cell phone carrier. This allows the user nearly unregulated control over what programs can be installed and how the device can be used. However, this procedure often involves exploiting significant security vulnerabilities and increases the attack surface of the device. Anytime a user, application or service runs in "unrestricted" or "system" level within an operation system, it allows any compromise to take full control of the device.
  • Do not allow your device to connect to unknown wireless networks. These networks could be rogue access points that capture information passed between your device and a legitimate server.
  • If you decide to sell your device or trade it in, make sure you wipe the device (reset it to factory default) to avoid leaving personal data on the device.
  • Smartphones require updates to run applications and firmware. If users neglect this it increases the risk of having their device hacked or compromised.
  • Avoid clicking on or otherwise downloading software or links from unknown sources.
  • Use the same precautions on your mobile phone as you would on your computer when using the Internet.
We’ll be back later to commend on the significance of this press release.  The feds don’t do these kinds of things unless they know something is up.  Just last week, the SecDef (Secretary of Defense) in his party suit gave a dire warning about cyber attacks and the media is all over the latest volley of bank attacks from Tehran.

It’s not likely this is related but more about privacy and identity thefts but you cannot discount just how bad things are out there now and how much worse it could get.

iPad Mini: iSlate or Mini. And $250 or $300? How about $200

It seems that everyone has taken for granted that Apple will introduce the iPad mini, a name that should not be itched in stone since Apple has their own creative way of naming things (remember, Apple owns iSlate right?), on October 23rd.  So, it’s no longer a rumor.  It’s a fact now.

The next couple of questions on everyone’s mind is how much and what can it do as in what specs will it have. Will it be at $250 or at a more Apple-esque $300?  And how about the screen?  Retina Display or will a smaller screen featuring 1024x728 be enough?

There are a whole host of articles from bloggers to “professional” or “mainstream” media about this.  Each claiming to know what Apple is going to do.  I think it’s more important to focus on what Apple did not do in the past and what it ain’t gonna do.

First, we can forget the $200 price.  $250?  That’s a bit hard to swallow because of where Apple is in terms of trying to protect and maintain its profit margin.  I can see $250 largely because Apple has so many other profitable devices, namely the iPhone, high-end iPads, and Retina Macbooks.  In fact, Apple could reach the golden $250 price point by trying to offset it with higher margin iPad mini.  Remember, Apple will increase each 8 GB of memory storage with a $100 premium and/or a $130 premium for LTE models.

If Apple wants to kill off its 7” tablet competitors, it could reach deep, sacrifice a couple of points of profit market and really hit the $200 sweet spot, still making a few bucks on the low-end iPad Mini, and try to make up for other lost margins with textbooks/apps/media sales.  If Amazon’s Jeff Bezos could do it, why not Tim Cook.

After all, today’s Apple is Tim Cook’s, no longer Steve Jobs.  Tim is going to try to maintain the lead in the tablet market that Apple has and it is not so willing to give that up.  And it has an ecosystem second to none that not even Amazon or Microsoft can hope to duplicate.  Nor do they have the tens of dedicated fans who are willing to buy anything Apple.

We’ll know a week from tomorrow just what Apple release and how it’ll position it for us mobile warriors.  It’ll be an interesting and possibly pivotal day in mobile computing.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sharp Shows Off Displays for Potential Uses In Apple Products, Just Not the iPad Mini

Source:  Computer World via MacDailyNews.

Here’s a post about how Sharp, the maker of Apple’s iPhone 5 screens, showing off displays using the new IZGO technology.  They come in 7”, 10”, and 13”.

What isn’t shown, obviously, is the often associated 7.85” screen that Apple is supposedly going to be using in their iPad mini units that will debut in a matter of weeks.

And obviously, if there was such a size, Sharp would have been prevented by Apple from displaying and demoing them.  After all, despite so many leaks about the iPhone 5 and iPad mini parts, showing off the screen that Apple would use would be a little too obviously.

Having said that, wouldn’t the 10” and 13” display be brilliant for the next iPad and Macbook Air respectively?  Just writing out loud here.

Apple Should Prepare to Leave China (There Is Still Time To Execute Such A Plan)

At first glance, you might think that the title of this article is a clickbait considering that China is the second biggest economy in the w...