Posts tagged Apple

BREAKING NEWS: Microsoft Unveils an alternative to the iPad and by alternative they mean it’s another gynormous piece of crap…

BREAKING NEWS: Microsoft Unveils an alternative to the iPad and by alternative they mean it’s another gynormous piece of crap…

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The Day The LOLcats Died


SOPA and PIPA are two examples of recent legislation that is lethal to the internet as we know it. The internet rose up and is on its way to successfully fighting them off, but we need to stay vigilant. 

 

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WASHINGTON — Google will join thousands of tech activists, entrepreneurs and corporations on Wednesday in protesting the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act, a controversial bill that has generated national outrage among Internet experts.

On Wednesday, more than 7,000 websites are expected to voluntarily “go dark,” by blocking access to their content to protest the bill, according to organizers of SOPAStrike.com. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to bring the measure to a vote next week. Some of the biggest names on the Internet plan to participate in the blackout, including Wikipedia, Mozilla, Reddit and WordPress. On Tuesday, Google stopped short of vowing to take down its popular search engine, but said it would change its home page to show solidarity with protesters.

"Like many businesses, entrepreneurs and web users, we oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking American companies to censor the Internet," said a Google spokeswoman in a written statement provided to HuffPost. "So tomorrow we will be joining many other tech companies to highlight this issue on our U.S. home page."

While Hollywood movie studios and major record labels have lauded the bill as a robust effort to crack down on online copyright violations, Internet experts maintain that the tools proposed for the legislation would hamper efforts to improve online security and threaten the basic functioning of the Internet.

Tech companies have been raising objections to the bill since the Senate version, Protect IP, was introduced last spring. Free speech experts also argue that the measure’s basic anti-piracy tool would risk seriously violating the First Amendment in allowing the government and private companies to shut down entire websites accused of piracy without a trial or even a traditional court hearing.

In addition to the Web protests, thousands of New York City tech activists and entrepreneurs are preparing for a Wednesday protest outside the Manhattan offices of Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Kristin Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). Both Schumer and Gillibrand formally support Protect IP. Increasingly in recent years the Big Apple has become an active hub for tech firms, with many new companies and their venture capital supporters locating there rather than Silicon Valley.

The anti-SOPA event is being organized NY Tech Meetup, a trade group representing all aspects of the New York technology community. The group is expecting more than 1,500 members and speakers from leading tech companies to show up at the Wednesday protest, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m, at the senators’ Manhattan offices, at 780 Third Ave.

"We’re gonna have people get on a soapbox with a bullhorn," NY Tech Meetup Chairman Andrew Rasiej told HuffPost. "We’re not in a theater; we’re in the street protesting."

The White House announced on Saturday its formal opposition to SOPA and Protect IP, setting off a legislative scramble on Capitol Hill as lawmakers on both sides of the issue sought to shore up support ahead of the Senate vote.

Courtesy Of Zach Carter Of HuffPost

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Apple is slated to announce the fruits of its labor on improving the use of technology in education at its special media event on Thursday, January 19. While speculation has so far centered on digital textbooks, sources close to the matter have confirmed that Apple will announce tools to help create interactive e-books—the “GarageBand for e-books,” so to speak—and expand its current platform to distribute them to iPhone and iPad users.

Along with the details we were able to gather from our sources, we also spoke to two experts in the field of digital publishing to get a clearer picture of the significance of what Apple is planning to announce.

So far, Apple has largely embraced the ePub 2 standard for its iBooks platform, though it has added a number of HTML5-based extensions to enable the inclusion of video and audio for some limited interaction. The recently-updated ePub 3 standard obviates the need for these proprietary extensions, which in some cases make iBook-formatted e-books incompatible with other e-reader platforms. Apple is expected to announce support for the ePub 3 standard for iBooks going forward.

GarageBand for e-books

At the same time, however, authoring standards-compliant e-books (despite some promises to the contrary) is not as simple as running a Word document of a manuscript through a filter. The current state of software tools continues to frustrate authors and publishers alike, with several authors saying that they wish Apple or some other vendor would make a simple app that makes the process as easy as creating a song in GarageBand.

Our sources say Apple will announce such a tool on Thursday.

And Inkling CEO Matt MacInnis agrees that such a move would be very likely. MacInnis previously worked on education projects at Apple before leaving the company in 2009 to pursue his own ideas about creating interactive digital books. Inkling currently offers a variety of digital textbooks with interactive features, including the ability to share notes with classmates and instructors, via an iPad app.

"When you think about what Apple is doing… they are selling tens of thousands of iPads into K-12 institutions," MacInnis said. "What are they doing with those iPads? They don’t really replace textbooks, because there’s not very much content on offer," he said.

Don’t expect that content to come directly from Apple, however. “Practically speaking, Apple does not want to get into the content publishing business,” MacInnis said. Like the music and movie industries, Apple has instead built a distribution platform as well as hardware to consume it—but Apple isn’t a record label or production studio.

But what Apple does provide is industry-leading tools for content production, such as Logic or Final Cut Pro, to help create content. The company also produces tools like GarageBand or iMovie that make such production accessible to a much wider audience.

Will Apple launch a sort of GarageBand for e-books? “That’s what we believe you’re about to see,” MacInnis said (and our other sources agree). “Publishing something to ePub is very similar to publishing web content. Remember iWeb? That iWeb code didn’t just get flushed down the toilet—I think you’ll see some of [that code] repurposed.”

Mobile, social learning

Technology-in-education expert Dr. William Rankin also believes digital books will expand with tools that will enable social interactions among textbook users. Rankin, who serves as Director of Educational Innovation of Abilene Christian University and has extensively researched the use of mobile devices in the classroom, was one of three authors of a white paper on the effects of digital convergence on learning titled “Code/X,” published in 2009.

In that document, Rankin and his colleagues laid out their vision for the future of learning, which included an always-on, always-networked digital device called a “Talos.” That device turned out to be very similar to the iPad that Apple announced just six months later.

"What we saw coming was a change in the kinds of places that learning would happen," Rankin said. Since the device would always be with the student, it would give her access to information anytime and anywhere. "For that, you need a different kind of book."

Such digital texts would let students interact with information in visual ways, such as 3D models, graphs, and videos. They would also allow students to create links to additional texts, audio, and other supporting materials. Furthermore, students could share those connections with classmates and colleagues.

"What we really believe is important is the role of social networking in a converged learning environment," said Rankin. "We’re already seeing that in Inkling’s platform, and Kno's journaling feature. Future digital texts should allow students to layer all kind of other data, such as pictures, and notes, and then share that with the class or, ideally, anyone.”

Exactly how what Apple announces on Thursday will impact digital publishing isn’t certain, however.

"Think about how meaningful simply authoring and publishing to an iPad will be for K-12," MacInnis said. "However, it might not be great for molecular biology."

MacInnis sees Apple as possibly up-ending the traditional print publishing model for the low-end, where basic information has for many years remained locked behind high textbook prices. Apple can “kick up dust with the education market,” which could then create visibility for platforms like Inkling. This could then serve as a sort of professional Logic-type tool for interactive textbook creation complement to Apple’s “GarageBand for e-books.”

"There will be a spectrum of tools and consumers, and we will continue to fit on that spectrum," MacInnis opined. "I don’t know if the publishing industry will react to it with fear or enthusiasm."

Steve Jobs’ pet project

We know that former Apple CEO Steve Jobs was working on addressing learning and digital textbooks for some time, according to Walter Issacson’s biography. Jobs believed that textbook publishing was an “$8 billion a year industry ripe for digital destruction.”

According to our sources close to his efforts, however, Jobs’ personal involvement was perhaps more significant that even his biography purports. Jobs worked on this project for several years, and our understanding is that the final outcome was slated to be announced in October 2011 in conjunction with the iPhone 4S. Those plans were postponed at the last minute, perhaps due to Jobs’ imminent death.

Despite the delay, however, ACU’s Rankin believes the time is right for a change to happen in the field. “We’re headed toward a completely digital future at ACU,” he said. “A recent study showed that 82 percent of all higher education students nationwide will come to campus with a smartphone. We need to have resources and tools ready for these mobile, connected students.”

Courtesy of Chris Foresman for arstechnica.com

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Nerds, Geeks and Misfits of the World Throw Temper Tantrum: Steve Jobs Action Figure Cancelled After Pressure From Lawyers For His Family, Apple…

SAN JOSE, Calif. - The company that began advertising for an incredibly lifelike Steve Jobs doll won’t sell the figurines after all because of pressure from family and Apple lawyers.

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In Icons had planned to offer the 1-foot (0.3-meter)-tall, lifelike figure dressed in Jobs’ trademark black mock turtleneck, rimless glasses and jeans.

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But the San Jose Mercury News reports (http://bit.ly/AoI1ZQ ) the company posted a statement on its website Sunday saying it had received “immense pressure” to drop the plan and made the decision out of its “heartfelt sensitivity to the feelings of the Jobs family.”


The iconic Apple co-founder died Oct. 5 of complications from pancreatic cancer.

In icons had intended to start shipping the doll in February. The company says any money received for pre-orders will be returned.

Take a look at the (unauthorized) Steve Jobs action figure. It’s so realistic, it’s downright creepy.

 

The 12-inch figure, which was to have been sold by inicons, was set to ship next month and would have retailed for an Apple-like premium of $99.99. But you would have got quite a lot of detail for your Benjamin. The figure features Jobs’s “uniform” of blue jeans, black mock turtleneck, and running shoes. The figure’s face has glasses, realistic facial stubble, and the unmistakable male pattern baldness.
According to the site’s product page, the figure comes with these features:
One realistic, sculpted head and two pairs of glasses.
One highly articulated body and three pairs of hands.
One black turtleneck and one pair of blue jeans.
One black leather belt and one chair (wood + metal).
One pair of black socks and sneaker(s).
Two apples (one with a bite).
One piece of “ONE MORE THING” hard backdrop.


Information from: San Jose Mercury News, http://www.sjmercury.com, and The Canadian Press, http://www.thecanadianpress.com/

The Scary Facts About The Stop Online Piracy Act

The truth behind the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is explained by The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur. Be sure to sign the petition below.

http://www.stopcensorship.org/

 

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Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales announced that domain names belonging to Wikipedia and Wikia would be transferred off of GoDaddy, an Internet domain registrar, to protest GoDaddy’s support for the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act, a controversial anti-piracy bill under consideration by Congress.

"I am proud to announce that the Wikipedia domain names will move away from GoDaddy. Their position on #sopa is unacceptable to us," Wales wrote in a tweet. He later added, “Wikia is also moving several hundred domains from godaddy. Which registrar has quality and price right?”

GoDaddy has been hemorrhaging domains in a backlash against the company’s endorsement of SOPA. Though GoDaddy said in a blog published December 20 that it was withdrawing its support for SOPA, GoDaddy CEO Warren Adelman acknowledged in a subsequent interview with TechCrunch that the company had not yet officially registered with Congress its plans to switch sides.

According to VentureBeat, GoDaddy has lost more than 37,000 domains in total. Other companies that have joined in the exodus include the Cheezburger Network, which runs popular sites such as FAIL Blog, Failbook and I Can Has Cheezburger. Cheezburger Network CEO Ben Huh tweeted, ”Not happy with @godaddy. Emailed CEO, asking for clear, unequivocal dropping of SOPA support. Still planning on moving off.” Commenters on Reddit have also called for a GoDaddy boycott and one Reddit user suggested December 29 should be “move your domain away from GoDaddy day.”

The Next Web writes that GoDaddy has been “calling customers, begging them to stay,” noting that one customer shared an anecdote about a conversation with a GoDaddy representative in which the company’s rep attempted to clarify GoDaddy’s stance on SOPA.

Wales previously contemplated protesting SOPA with a Wikipedia blackout 
that would have seen many or all English-language Wikipedia pages taken offline.

"A few months ago, the Italian Wikipedia community made a decision to blank all of Italian Wikipedia for a short period in order to protest a law which would infringe on their editorial independence. The Italian Parliament backed down immediately. As Wikipedians may or may not be aware, a much worse law going under the misleading title of ‘Stop Online Piracy Act’ is working its way through Congress on a bit of a fast track," Wales wrote on Wikipedia. “My own view is that a community strike was very powerful and successful in Italy and could be even more powerful in this case.”

The Huffington Post    

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Welcome to Facebook, the place where relationships are perfect, liars believe their own bullshit and the world shows off they are living a great life; where your enemies are the ones that visit your profile the most, your friends and family block you; and even though you write what you are really thinking, there is always someone that takes it the wrong way

Unknown Facebook User….

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THE TWEAKER: Malcolm Gladwell on Steve Jobs

The Tweaker

The real genius of Steve Jobs.

by Malcolm Gladwell

NOVEMBER 14, 2011

Not long after Steve Jobs got married, in 1991, he moved with his wife to a nineteen-thirties, Cotswolds-style house in old Palo Alto. Jobs always found it difficult to furnish the places where he lived. His previous house had only a mattress, a table, and chairs. He needed things to be perfect, and it took time to figure out what perfect was. This time, he had a wife and family in tow, but it made little difference. “We spoke about furniture in theory for eight years,” his wife, Laurene Powell, tells Walter Isaacson, in “Steve Jobs,” Isaacson’s enthralling new biography of the Apple founder. “We spent a lot of time asking ourselves, ‘What is the purpose of a sofa?’ ”

It was the choice of a washing machine, however, that proved most vexing. European washing machines, Jobs discovered, used less detergent and less water than their American counterparts, and were easier on the clothes. But they took twice as long to complete a washing cycle. What should the family do? As Jobs explained, “We spent some time in our family talking about what’s the trade-off we want to make. We ended up talking a lot about design, but also about the values of our family. Did we care most about getting our wash done in an hour versus an hour and a half? Or did we care most about our clothes feeling really soft and lasting longer? Did we care about using a quarter of the water? We spent about two weeks talking about this every night at the dinner table.”

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Steve Jobs, Isaacson’s biography makes clear, was a complicated and exhausting man. “There are parts of his life and personality that are extremely messy, and that’s the truth,” Powell tells Isaacson. “You shouldn’t whitewash it.” Isaacson, to his credit, does not. He talks to everyone in Jobs’s career, meticulously recording conversations and encounters dating back twenty and thirty years. Jobs, we learn, was a bully. “He had the uncanny capacity to know exactly what your weak point is, know what will make you feel small, to make you cringe,” a friend of his tells Isaacson. Jobs gets his girlfriend pregnant, and then denies that the child is his. He parks in handicapped spaces. He screams at subordinates. He cries like a small child when he does not get his way. He gets stopped for driving a hundred miles an hour, honks angrily at the officer for taking too long to write up the ticket, and then resumes his journey at a hundred miles an hour. He sits in a restaurant and sends his food back three times. He arrives at his hotel suite in New York for press interviews and decides, at 10 P.M., that the piano needs to be repositioned, the strawberries are inadequate, and the flowers are all wrong: he wanted calla lilies. (When his public-relations assistant returns, at midnight, with the right flowers, he tells her that her suit is “disgusting.”) “Machines and robots were painted and repainted as he compulsively revised his color scheme,” Isaacson writes, of the factory Jobs built, after founding NeXT, in the late nineteen-eighties. “The walls were museum white, as they had been at the Macintosh factory, and there were $20,000 black leather chairs and a custom-made staircase… . He insisted that the machinery on the 165-foot assembly line be configured to move the circuit boards from right to left as they got built, so that the process would look better to visitors who watched from the viewing gallery.”

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Isaacson begins with Jobs’s humble origins in Silicon Valley, the early triumph at Apple, and the humiliating ouster from the firm he created. He then charts the even greater triumphs at Pixar and at a resurgent Apple, when Jobs returns, in the late nineteen-nineties, and our natural expectation is that Jobs will emerge wiser and gentler from his tumultuous journey. He never does. In the hospital at the end of his life, he runs through sixty-seven nurses before he finds three he likes. “At one point, the pulmonologist tried to put a mask over his face when he was deeply sedated,” Isaacson writes:


Jobs ripped it off and mumbled that he hated the design and refused to wear it. Though barely able to speak, he ordered them to bring five different options for the mask and he would pick a design he liked… . He also hated the oxygen monitor they put on his finger. He told them it was ugly and too complex.



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