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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

2006 A "Leap Ahead"

Well intel formally unveiled a new brand identity today which they call "a significant milestone in the company’s history" which they say " further signifies the company’s evolution to a market-driving platform solutions company."



It's new slogon is "Leap Ahead",
"the new tag line, “Leap ahead” is meant to express what the company has made possible in the past in terms of technology, and what it intends to continue doing going forward", said Bill Calder.
Some compare it to the "Think Different" Apple uses. But I don't see it that way, to me leap ahead just seems like the process it infers to, jump ahead of the rest, or Oxfords dictionary definition of to spring a long way, to a great hieght. Where Think Different, asked you to put yourself outside the normal thinking and set yourself apart from the "normal".

Maybe that's too much deep thought, but eaither way, for now Intel and Apple seem to be heading in the same direction. My hope is that the user base go up, quality stay the same or go up, and prices go down a little. My biggest hope is the availibilty of more hardware upgrade from different manufactuers at lower prices.

And while Apple shows off it's best of 2005 list, others like motorola want to take on Apple... (in a way) with starting up their on music service that will not include Apple Computer's iTunes software. Motorola's forthcoming ROKR E2 will instead will use the phone to promote its own proprietary subscription-based music service.

The New York Times reports:
"the world's No. 2 cell-phone maker, on Tuesday revealed details of its plans for iRadio, a subscription music service that will go on sale this year. It also unveiled a new home phone that consumers could link with cell-phone and Web phone services[...]The iRadio service, in some respects, puts Motorola in competition with XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. and Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., which sell radio subscriptions for car and home radios. Sirius also sends music to Sprint Nextel phones.."


So is motorola setting to be in compotition with Apple?? Kinda, sorta. But I think motorola is just fighting back, and so does The Apple Insider, here's a quote from their site:
"Many Apple watchers and analyst believe Apple may have deliberately withheld its hand in the design of the original ROKR because it has aspirations of making inroads into the cell phone market with its own handset. Analysts have dubbed the potential Apple cell phone project "iPhone" after the iPhone.org domain name which Apple appears to have registered.

The iPhone rumors received a further shot in the arm in late September when Motorola CEO Ed Zander, exhausted by questions about Apple's nano during a leadership conference, erupted by saying: "Screw the nano. What the hell does the nano do? Who listens to 1,000 songs?"

"We have the ROKR, and they have the nano. They are a competitor as well as a partner," Zander said. He was quick to add: "And we know that they are going to build a smart phone--it's only a matter of time."


The "iRadio" is a cheezy rip off of names (i.e. iTunes,iMovie,iPhoto, etc) just to get iPod users listening. But I'll give Ed a break, you put somebody under too much pressure you never know what they might say. He's not the only one trying to bet on music or even in movies, Starz Entertainment Group who will be woking with Sony is introducing a $9.95-a-month subscription service called Vongo. It will allow people to download movies from the Internet and watch them on their computers.

Now according to the New York Times "
Since 2004, Starz has offered a movie download subscription service, called Starz Ticket, using technology from RealNetworks. But the RealNetworks software does not allow movies to be downloaded to hand-held devices. With Vongo, Starz will shift to technology from Microsoft that will allow movies to be downloaded and watched on portable video players using Microsoft's software.

Until now, portable players have been costly and have found few buyers. But that is starting to change. Lower-priced players are expected to be introduced later this week at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. And of course, interest in portable video has soared with the Apple Computer video iPod, and the popularity of $1.99 episodes of TV shows sold at the iTunes online store.

Microsoft will promote the Vongo service in a coming release of its Media Player software. Separately, Starz will also offer Vongo through Sony's Connect download service. Until now, Connect has mainly sold music, but executives involved with Sony's plans say that this week the company will announce an expansion to video downloads as well.

Starz, which is offering a test version of the service at Vongo.com, has so far not been able to work out an arrangement for Vongo to run on iPods."

and that is where the major problem is. Best selling mp3 player with video is the iPod and Vongo doesn't work with it? not a good move. plus it's a subscription service, as we all know subscription services have not been doing very well. People want to own the movie, not just rent it, just like their music.

Of coarse some people would rather just have their CD not work anywhere just to protect it. ARS has a article on a CD by Coldplay, their most recent album, X & Y, now comes in some regions with an insert that warns users not to expect the CD they just purchased to work with just any old CD player (the following exemplar is from India).
Now here's the insert which you can't read till you buy and open the CD, then find out you that you can't return the merchandise because you just found out it won't work in your CD player.


Funny thing is as ARS noted and I also looked (doing research :D), the album is still available all over P2P networks, without DRM. Proving also it was a waste of time and money for this DRM. These guys trying to one up on Sony?. Also one user who ended up with the CD found out that he could rip it anyway.

O.K. so those guys where corn-holes, but while some try to take a bite out of Apple, some join in and find the positives with owning Apple products, like the makers of South Park, who had to handle its growing storage needs.
"J.J. Franzen, technology supervisor at South Park Studios in Los Angeles, said the show was simply running out of storage space on its digital linear tape (DLT) library and direct-attached disk storage from Plymouth, Minn.-based Ciprico Inc. So in May, a new linear tape open (LTO)-2 tape library from Exabyte Corp. in Boulder, Colo., and three Xserve RAID disk arrays from Apple Computer Inc. were installed."[...]“We were looking for something with a bit more functionality and less cantankerousness. We had to wrestle with Networker to get it to work,” he said.[...]Franzen said he chose Apple hardware based on a “gut” feeling that its technology would be good, and so far, he has not been disappointed. Franzen said he now expects to add two more Xserve arrays for a total of 15TB of storage and place his disk storage behind a couple of switches from Cisco Systems Inc. in order to make managing his storage easier."


Updates
Apple has released the Bluetooth Firmware Update 1.2, which Apple says "improves Bluetooth performance and reliability issues."
The version number is confusing people since 1.2 was released in 2004 for 10.3.6.

The new update which supports D-Link USB Adapters and Apple internal Bluetooth modules on the following CPUs:
iMac G4 (Gooseneck)
12" Titanium PowerBook
15" Titanium PowerBook
iMac G5
Mac Mini

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