What is pretexting? I’ve only kinda sorta followed the whole HP fiasco, but here is Valleywag’s explanation of what the hell pretexting is.
New Influencers Draft chapters of the new book Paul Gillin about blogging and the influence it has in the world. Paul wrote the book to “help marketers understand the changes that social media are creating in influence patterns in their customer base.” [via MicroPersuasion]
Apple Rumor Roundup Roundup
It’s “Showtime” for something from Apple tomorrow. Here’s a list of the prognosticators:
Oh boy. I do love the interweb some days. Being a long time Apple nerd, I’ve been through a number of rumors of x acquiring Apple, Apple acquiring x, what does x mean? Frankly folks, we’ve been here before.
Here’s the round up of “news” surrounding Eric Schmidt joining Apple’s board.
Is Schmidt the set-up pitcher for an Apple-Sun merger? So I know this is Dvorak just being Dvorak, but man, this horse is gluealready, please stop beating it. A Sun Apple merger would be horrible as other than being Microsoft haters, they’ve got nothing in common and culturally, it would be a really bad fit. Their histories in Silicon Valley are too long and both companies are heavily rooted in their own identities.
Common enemies seemed to be a theme with almost all the news stories and this one does make sense. Google and Apple together pretty much cover the gamut of competing against Microsoft.
Current Board Members
Looking back in history, I remember when Mickey Drexler (then CEO of Gap), Al Gore and Bill Campbell joined Apple’s Board. Other than the iPod being fashionable, I don’t really know what “synergy” that Mr. Drexler brought to the board, other than being CEO of a huge consumer brand. Al Gore being on the Board, well, it can’t hurt to have the former VP of the USA a phone call away. And last, Bill Campbell. The only thing to say here is that Quicken for the Mac is one of the reasons I installed Parallels to run XP.
Apple settles with Creative for $100mm I’ve got no real opinion on this other than, it sucks for Apple to lose a UI/Look and Feel case twice, once for each side. Oy. Of course, I’d take Apple’s market share minus $100 million in cash any day.
AOL to offer pay video downloads No big shocks here, but this space is getting crowded. Movie downloads will be priced between the now standard $10 and $20 marks. I think I need to do a roundup of these services real soon now.
Don’t Download This Song Weird Al encourages file sharing with sarcasm. Ok, I know he’s done, but sometimes, you gotta love Weird Al.
Why Apple should buy YouTube This will never happen, but it’s fun to talk about. Apple has a long history of not doing big acquisitions (NeXT excepted). Fact is, Apple (a) could build a crappy version of YouTube that integrates nicely into iLife or (b) just sit back and wait for one of the numerous companies falling all over themselves to get onto the iPod to make a service that works with the iPod?
Oh ya, WWDC was about Leopard, too. Time Machine (which I continually remember as Time Warp), iChat (which will be great for fixing my parent’s machine), and that irrepressible Core Animation (ok, whatever) are all really cool and maybe even useful new features. Honestly, though, I don’t think we’ve seen the cool parts yet.
While the blogging world is fallingalloveritself in praise of Yahoo!’s release of the so-called “DRM-free” Jessica Simpson track (I won’t even comment on the fact that the track is from Jessica Simpson, oy), I think that the music industry is indicating how desperate they are to break from the iTunes hegemony that they have created and how they aren’t really willing to get rid of DRM any time soon.
First, let me address the DRM issue. The downloadable Jessica Simpson track is available as a personalized track. If your name is Jason, Jennifer, or Jared, you are in luck and pay $1.99 for a personalized track from Jessica Simpson, which if you think about it, is a pretty cool idea. But if you continue to think about it, unless your entire social circle has your name, most of your friends won’t really want to copy your song. File trading networks probably won’t have a comprehensive version of this song, so while the Jason’s of the world could probably find their version of the song on BitTorrent, I’m betting the Jordi’s of the world are probably out of luck.
You see, the Jessica Simpson track is only available as a personalized track and therefore, the DRM is social.
Second, even if I’ve overplayed the impact of personalization (I haven’t heard the song), this still signals what the music industry really wants to do, and that is to raise prices on music downloads. The music industry has created a monster and that monster is more concerned about the user experience than about making a quick buck.
Despite all of this, I wonder if the music industry is starting to realize the truth, DRM-free music is the easiest way to break iTunes’ dominance on music downloads. The music industry loves price fixing, but not so much if someone else is doing it. DRM-free music removes most of the advantages that iTunes currently enjoys and allows any number of resellers to distribute music for any price that they (or the labels) want.
So, come on, music labels… let’s hop to it. I’m a huge fan of Apple, but DRM sucks and we all know it.
Yahoo! to the 9’s Daily video feature of the top 9 videos from the web. No podcast, so you gotta watch it on Yahoo! And just as an aside, apparently Yahoo! finally figured out how to do video that works with a Mac. Maybe one day Launch will actually work outside of IE6 on Windows. [via CNET]
I’ve been a mostly happy user of EyeTV for about a year now (I’ve got the EyeTV 500 for recording digital TV signals), but I’d always hoped that they would go the 10 foot interface route.
I use EyeTV in our kitchen and record programs mainly for my daughter and to stream signals to a network DVD player in my bedroom. My biggest complaint with EyeTV is that unlike it’s PC brethren (Windows Media Center, SageTV, and Beyond TV), it lacked a good way to control it from far away.
The new version of EyeTV will work in full screen mode (that is a little more than an homage to Apple’s FrontRow)and it appears most of the features will be accessible from a remote control. The upgrade will work with the Apple remote or the remote that was bundled with the EyeTV hardware. Unfortunately, there are no screen shots of program scheduling or upcoming schedules, but the two screen shots they have provided, it seems that they are keen to keep the simplicity of the FrontRow interface, for better or worse.
It’s a bit strange that this is a dot release for EyeTV given their recent upgrade from 1.x to 2.0 was a small upgrade feature-wise and they charge $79. This upgrade completely changes EyeTV into a TV friendly application, rather than merely a way to watch television on your desktop.
As a first release, I’m sure that their will be some kinks to work out, but I look forward to the EyeTV upgrade later this month. Kudos to Elgato for continuing to build and improve this great Mac program.
Gizmodo Sidekick 3 hands-on Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world’s smallest Sidekick. Sidekick 3 will be that Sidekick. Better than it was before. Better, smaller, faster.
The rumor du jour is that Apple will announce movie downloads from the iTunes Music Store by year’s end. The rumor that won’t die was substantiated by Variety today with quotes from unnamed sources within the movie industry.
The article also talks about movie studios balking at the single $9.99 price point that Jobs has proposed, getting Apple to relent to a two-tiered pricing system of $19.99 for new releases and $9.99 for catalog titles.
While I have no doubt that this rumor is true, two other products must be released to make this happen. First, a new widescreen iPod must be released and more importantly, a device for the living room needs to be released as well. Why? Movie downloads are great, but the screen on the current iPod is too small for movie viewing and more importantly, the market for video at home (vs. on the go) is much, much larger.
What is the living room device? I’m not sure what form it will take, but I’m pretty sure it’s not a Mac Mini, as it is too expensive and might scare Windows users (the larger market) away.
Looks like everyone’s favorite pregnant super-spy and the Donald meet in the strangest of Apple’s launch parties (Man, what I would pay to see Jennifer Garner kick Trump’s ass after being fired…). Continuing the cavalcade of ABC and NBC programs on iTMS, The Apprentice and Alias launched this evening for your viewing pleasure.
The question on my mind is… when will new providers be added? CBS, Fox… maybe HBO?