Apple Home Entertainment iPod iTunes Links Macintosh

Links for Monday, September 11, 2006

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:

Wired Blogs – Wired has collected a brilliant set of mockups
The Apple Core

Apple Google

Eric Schmidt joins Apple’s Board roundup


(image from Valleywag)

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 glue already, 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
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.

And finally, Valleywag chimes in:

Six effects of Eric Schmidt joining Apple’s board
Cloud of smug says it all.

So what will Eric Schmidt bring to Apple? Hopefully, a better .Mac, more support for OS X with Google Apps and services, and maybe iTunes will get distribution in Google Video.

My guess is that we’ll see a whole lot of nothing.

Apple Downloads iPod Links

Thursday Links

Apple’s having a bad week…

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.

Apple recalls 1.8 million laptop batteries
2nd largest battery recall in history. Sometimes lesser market share isn’t such a bad thing. God, I hope Sony is paying for all this. Apple Recall Page

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.

Apple Links Social Media Video

Monday Links

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?

Farecast goes Coast to Coast
Damn, now the rest of the country can enjoy the data porn Seattle and Boston-ites have been enjoying the last few months.

Seth Godin’s Web 2.0 Traffic Watch
Keep track of your favorite Web 2.0 company.

Apple Rumors

Friday MacPro links

macpro.jpgWWDC has come and gone and many were left disappointed. Folks, WWDC is about the Mac. It’s not about the “iTunes Music/TV Shows/Movies/Games/ Books/whatever other rumor there is out there” store. Nor is about an iPod that slices, dices and julians. Nor was it about iPhones that Steve may or may not be showing off to all of his friends. It’s about the Mac. And boy did we get a good one. Who knew that Apple could produce a machine cheaper than Dell?

MacPro Benchmark Roundup – TUAW rounds up all the benchmarks fit to find on the web…. with one exception –

Ars Technica Mac Pro Review
The skinny on the Mac Pro, in 10,000 words or less.

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.

Apple Rumors

WWDC rumor roundup

Personally, my money is on just speed bumps, OS X.5 and natch, the Mac Pro. It’s WWDC, baby. It’s all about the Mac. We might see one more thing, but ultimately, it’s about the Mac.

TUAW roundup
WWDC banner – Engadget
“a dizzying amount of new products.” – Scoble
Leopard Feature Set Leaked – PowerPage

Apple Downloads Home Entertainment Portable Entertainment

Monday links

Mergers, wikis and movies, oh my!

AMD buys ATI
Are any TLA companies starting with “A” safe from this insanity?

SocialText goes open source and JotSpot goes 2.0
Two wikis enter, one wiki leaves. Will the open source wonder take down its more usable, more expensive foe?

Amazon to offer movie downloads
Jobs better get their service out soon before everyone else does.

Apple Downloads iTunes Yahoo

Jessica Simpson track is NOT DRM free


While the blogging world is falling all over itself 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.

Apple Downloads Geek Fun Media Servers and Streamers Yahoo

Monday Links

Movielink to allow movies transferred to DVD
Didn’t they already do that? Maybe it was the other guys.

Build your own iPod HiFi
Two in wall speakers, $200. Two dead Mac Classics, $25. Retro iPod HiFi, priceless.

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]

Apple Home Entertainment HTPCs Media Servers and Streamers

EyeTV meet FrontRow, FrontRow meet EyeTV

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.

Apple Links

Wednesday’s Links

OS X 10.4.7 released
and hasn’t destroyed my machine yet.

Apple swapping out dirty MacBooks?
Warning: Don’t let PigPen use your MacBook [Via Engadget]

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.

Chris Pirillo coins “freedbacking”
and Google listens.

NBC sells 6 million videos on iTunes
Turns out, Hasselhoff is popular in the US as well.

Apple Home Entertainment Links

Monday links

Digg goes to 3.0
Third time’s the charm. Digg has updated their UI and added other categories including Science, Business, Entertainment, and Gaming. What, no Home and Garden?

10 Reasons High Definition DVD Formats Have Already Failed
AKA why consumers hate format wars.

Sofa Control and Remote Buddy
Two apps for the Apple remote control. [via Daring Fireball]

MacOSXhints unveils rating system
making a useful site even more useful. [via TUAW]


MacBook video review

Still debating about getting a MacBook (I know I am)? Check out this video review from YouTube. Sometimes a video speaks louder than specs and test reports.

[via Digg]

Apple Links Satellite Radio Satellite Television

Monday links

Apple iTunes Rumors

iTunes movie downloads by year end?

itunes.jpgThe 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.

Read [via AppleInsider]

Apple iTunes

Alias, The Apprentice launch on iTunes


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?