Jon Stewart on Technology


Jon Stewart riffs on technology in general and Macs specifically. WARNING: Language not suitable for kids or work.

Macrovision CEO Asks Apple to Hand Over FairPlay

From PlayList

Fred Amoroso, CEO and President of Macrovision, has responded to Steve Jobs’ recent comments about Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology. Like Jobs, Amoroso has published his comments on his company’s Web site, as an open letter. In it, Amoroso suggests, among other things, that Macrovision take over stewardship of Apple’s own DRM technology.

Amoroso’s company develops DRM technology widely used in commercial DVDs. It also develops DRM for commercial software publishers and other content creators.

Last week Jobs posted a letter to Apple’s Web site suggesting that Apple would drop DRM from its iTunes Store offerings if record labels were to agree. Warner Music CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. immediately responded, calling Jobs’ anti-DRM stance a fight “without logic” and suggested to investors that any “manifestos in advance” of discussions between the companies “is counter-productive.”

Amoroso’s letter addresses what he considers to be four key points: That DRM has a broad impact across many types of content, not just music; that DRM “increases not decreases consumer value;” that it will increase electronic distribution; and that DRM needs to be interoperable and open.

Amoroso calls DRM “an important enabler across all content, including movies, games and software, as well as music.”

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Music Execs Criticise DRM

From BBC News

Almost two-thirds of music industry executives think removing digital locks from downloadable music would make more people buy the tracks, finds a survey.

Many of those responding said current DRM systems were "not fit for purpose" and got in the way of what consumers wanted to do.

Despite this few respondents said DRM would disappear in the near future.

Analyst Mark Mulligan, one of the authors of the report, said the survey was carried out between December and January, before Apple boss Steve Jobs published his thoughts on music DRM and galvanised the debate about these protection systems. Mr Mulligan said he was "surprised" at the strength of the responses which came from large and small record labels, rights bodies, digital stores and technology providers.

The study revealed that about 54% of those executives questioned thought that current DRM systems were too restrictive.

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Gates vs. Jobs

Apple Update Addresses Security, DST

From Macworld

Apple released nine software updates that make adjustments for new Daylight Saving Time, address issues during two security researchers’ self-proclaimed “Month of Apple Bugs,” and fix bugs in Final Cut Pro. The fixes are available now via Mac OS X’s built-in Software Update utility.

Five of the updates released Thursday cover new Daylight Saving Time rules put into place for 2007. Beginning in 2007, North American Daylight Saving Time will begin on the second Sunday in March and conclude on the first Sunday in November. Previously, Daylight Saving Time began on the first Sunday in April and concluded on the last Sunday in October.

The current version of Mac OS X was updated to follow those time-change rules as a part of the OS X 10.4.5 update. However, that update did not cover changes in Daylight Saving Time in other regions, including Alberta (Canada), Australia, and Brazil. The new Daylight Saving Time Update (Tiger) adds compatibility with those regions.

Apple also released two Java updates to add compatibility with new Daylight Saving Time rules, one for Mac OS X 10.3 and one for Mac OS X 10.4. Finally, a WebObjects 5.3.3 Update updates Apple’s WebObjects web-application software to be compatible with the new time guidelines.

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Jobs Attacks Teacher Unions

From Houston Chronicle

Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs lambasted teacher unions, claiming no amount of technology in the classroom would improve public schools until principals could fire bad teachers. Jobs compared schools to businesses with principals serving as CEOs.

"What kind of person could you get to run a small business if you told them that when they came in they couldn't get rid of people that they thought weren't any good?" he asked to loud applause during an education reform conference. "Not really great ones because if you're really smart you go, 'I can't win.'"

In a rare joint appearance, Jobs shared the stage with competitor Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell Inc. Both spoke to the gathering about the potential for bringing technological advances to classrooms.

"I believe that what is wrong with our schools in this nation is that they have become unionized in the worst possible way," Jobs said.

"This unionization and lifetime employment of K-12 teachers is off-the-charts crazy."

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Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

From Ars Technica

Lightroom is a really great program that is just short of a nine or ten. I don't doubt that this is going to be a very popular program and for Windows users, it's a no-brainer for professional photographers. Mac users on older hardware will also appreciate its low system requirements. Lightroom is off to a very promising start and it's definitely one of the better ways to spend 43 megabytes.

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iPhone Price Barrier for Some, Strategic for Apple

From iPodObserver

Nearly a third of the potential customers of the iPhone cited concern over the high price. That result was found by ChangeWAVE Research of Rockville MD and reported by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

If Apple won't give on the pricing, then the some analysts wonder about flexible service schemes AT&T might come up with. Previously, Apple has simply noted that the purchase of the phone requires a two year contract with AT&T, but few details of that contract have been made available. AT&T/Cingular spokesman Mark Siegel said that they are not ready to dicslose the full pricing, and that suggests that a lot of research is still going on to determine how customers feel about the prices. In addition, there could be plans for a variety of specials services which would generate a strata of price models for consumers.

"I see them staying at the high end for at least quite some time," said John Jacobs, director of notebook research at DisplaySearch in Austin TX. Basically, as each new iPod roled out with more capability, the price remained about the same. Then after a few years, they introduced less expensive models.
If history is any indicator, there will be plenty of people who will pay what Apple is asking for the first iPhones. A little bit of pent up demand, techno-envy, and healthy gross margins for an Apple iPhone would be hard for Apple to resist even if they lose some initial customers based on price.

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IFC Offers on iTunes Store

From iLounge

IFC Entertainment today announced the availability of its independent theatrical catalog on Apple’s iTunes Store. Available immediately for purchase and download on iTunes are 13 films, 6 of which are nominated for IFC’s upcoming 2007 Independent Spirit Awards, which will be held on Saturday, February 24th. All IFC films on iTunes will be priced at $9.99. “By making IFC films available on the world’s most popular online movie store we’re giving independent filmmakers the exciting opportunity to reach a wider audience of movie enthusiasts,” said Lisa Schwartz, IFC’s senior vice president of sales and business development.

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Listener of the Week!

Scott Simmons runs "The Editblog" - a web site about non-linear editing, filmmaking and more …

He also happens to be a really nice guy who lived near Lesa and I in Nashville. Scott is also recently married (and, like Lesa, was smart enough to marry someone from Canada :) ) and used both J and Lesa in his very funny short film, "Indie Fever":

Roxio Toast Titanium 8 for Mac

From CNET

The good: Roxio Toast Titanium 8 stays current with support for TiVoToGo, Blu-ray discs, and LightScribe drives, while delivering much-appreciated new features such as the ability to recover bad CDs or DVDs, and the ability to catalog the contents of burned discs. Audio-mixing features formerly found in Roxio Jam have now been folded in.

The bad: The revised interface in Roxio Toast Titanium 8 feels sterile, and it can be hard to find help information since support documents are spread between the printed manual, the support site, and the various applications' electronic files. The audio-mixing tools could be more robust and offer easier previews.

The bottom line: Roxio continues to improve a strong suite and keep Toast current with the release of version 8. If the Mac OS and Apple's bundled apps don't meet your disc-creation needs, pick up Toast at once.

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Mac Users "Still Lax on Security"

From Infinite Loop

The BBC reports that Mac users are "still lax on security." The Beeb interviews Kevin Finisterre, instigator of the Month of Apple bugs. Apparently, Kevin had expected us Mac users to clean up our act and start taking security seriously. Despite the chip on his shoulder, the results of the month of bugs support his point:

I would really hope that people got the point that there are most definitely some things under the OS X hood that need a closer look.
However, the BBC article doesn't mention what, specifically, Mac users should be doing differently, apart from stop taunting up-and-coming security professionals with their cavalier attitude about security issues.

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Gates Loses Out to Jobs in Cool

From Birmingham Post

Have you ever wondered why Steve Jobs is always cast as the digital messiah and Bill Gates as the digital anti-Christ?

(Shawn's Comment: Perhaps because people in general and reporters for the Birmingham Post are lazy and look to use facile characterizations of people?)

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Apple Rallies on Strong March Outlook

From International Business Times

Apple Inc. shares rallied on Wednesday after Prudential Equity Group raised its earnings estimate for the firm's current quarter, expecting strong computer sales as well as lower parts costs. After meeting with Apple senior management and industry contacts within the Mac and iPod supply chains, research analyst Jesse Tortora of Prudential raised his FY2007 estimates to $3.40 per share, up 6 cents from previous projections.

Prudential expects seasonal iPod weakness but expects that to be offset by stronger Mac computer sales, as well as a favorable component cost environment.

"The company believes that Adobe’s launch of Creative Suite 3 in Q2 will lead to higher sales for both MacPro and MacBook Pro," Tortora told clients in a note this morning.

Tortora also said that Apple will sell its upcoming iPhone only on its web sites, Apple Stores, and Cingular shops. He expects a majority of iPhone sales to occur in Apple’s stores because he says consumers will want Apple to demonstrate the device's features.

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The iPhone: Mac or iPod?

From Fox News

The Apple iPhone will change the way people use their cell phones. The question is, will it be the new Mac or the new iPod?

Apple has innovated like this twice before, to very different results.

The Mac introduced mainstream users to mice, icons, windows, and menus. It inspired Microsoft's Windows operating system and pushed the entire PC industry into the GUI world. Yet it has relatively little market share. The iPod, on the other hand, has owned the MP3-player market from the moment it became Windows-compatible.

But I think the iPhone will be more of a Mac: a cult item that will influence, rather than dominate, its industry.

Why? The biggest reason is that devil's bargain with Cingular.

(Shawn's Comment: Interesting thought. I disagree that it will be "Cingular's fault" but the point still stands. Will the iPhone affect the consumers like the iPod or like the Mac? Hugely popular or clut-like? Only time will tell))

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Mac Virtualization: VMware vs. Parallels

From Macworld

The biggest difference between them right now is that Parallels’ product is finished while VMware’s Fusion is still in beta testing. In fact, Parallels recently announced the availability of the third beta version of the next release of its software, which includes support for upgrading a virtual Windows XP system to Windows Vista, among other features.

The fact that Fusion is still in beta is rather evident. Several configuration dialogs include the sentence, “This device will be editable in a future release,” and there are some minor stability problems.

Performance is another major difference, and it is linked to the fact that Fusion is still in beta. Although the time it takes to install or boot Windows or to run most applications is similar between both Parallels and Fusion, some actions that involve redrawing the screen are slower in Fusion, sometimes resulting in a sluggish feel by comparison.

Running benchmark tests within similarly configured virtual machines under each application reveals dramatic differences in some processor and graphics functions.

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New Site, Breen, Curtis, Deatherage and Adams!

This week on Your Mac Life, sponsored by Griffin Technology, The MacBU, RadTech, SmileOnMyMac and Circus Ponies - "New Site, Breen, Curtis, Deatherage and Adams!"

No video this evening but you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at:
http://www.yourmaclifeshow.com/QT/stream.mov

You can also join one of the two Chat Rooms that run during the live show - on the World Without Borders site or on the dedicated IRC Server at irc.netmug.org in the #yourmaclife Channel.

Make sure you listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 8pm PT or from 8:30pm to 11pm ET, for the most fun you'll have listening to your Mac.

Tonight...on a Very Special Your Mac Life....We change domains! We are now located at http://www.yourmaclifeshow.com. Please update your bookmarks accordingly.

Any time you need to move your web site means extra stress for all involved but Your Mac Life has managed it quite well, thanks to our very own Server Oompa-Loompah, Aaron Adams!

Aaron is a multi-talented guy. Not only is he a bang up server admin, he's also a bit of an astronomy buff and, with this Saturdays total eclipse of the moon, he'll be on to talk about how you can use your Mac to capture stunning photos of the eclipse.

Have you ever wanted to merge iTunes libraries, convert audiobooks to Audiobooks or redeeming foreign iTunes gift certificates? Well, Chris Breen of PlayListMag knows how and he'll be on the show to pass that knowledge on to you.

Why Apple will Overtake Microsoft in Marketshare

(Shawn's Comment: Exactly what *flavor* of crack is this guy on?)

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Apple Rolls Out 9 OS X Patches

From TechNewsWorld

Apple released nine patches for Mac OS X on Thursday. The patches address security concerns that were found in the "Month of Apple Bugs" campaign and include fixes to adjust for new changes in Daylight Savings Time, changes in time zones throughout the world, some Java reliability and compatibility problems, and updates to Final Cut Pro version 5.1.3.

Apple released nine patches for Mac OS X on Thursday, including fixes to adjust for new changes in Daylight Savings Time and to address security issues uncovered in the recent "Month of Apple Bugs" report.

Five of the updates are to reflect new rules beginning this year that Daylight Savings Time will begin on the second Sunday in March and conclude on the first Sunday in November -- in other words, beginning earlier and ending later in the year than it did previously. The patches also reflect changes in time zones throughout the world, as well as some Java reliability and compatibility problems.

Another of the updates is to Final Cut Pro version 5.1.3 and includes important bug fixes, according to the company.

Click here to read more "Apple Rolls Out 9 OS X Patches"

Birth of an Apple Store

From ifoAppleStore

ifoAppleStore and Architosh, with webcam coverage from Tech Superpowers, join forces to cover the construction of the New Apple Store in Boston. Does having a flagship make Boston a cooler city? How does such an Apple Store affect the hometown resellers? Read on for coverage of this year-long event.

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Stream Live HDTV from Your Mac

From MacDevCenter

EyeTV-compatible tuners, like those offered by Elgato and Miglia, are the television tuners of choice for the Macintosh. These tuners provide analog and digital, standard and high definition solutions for Mac TV-watching. You can sit in front of your Mac and watch your shows as they record. But say you want to watch a show in your living room or bedroom? Sure you can wait for the show to finish recording, copy it over your local network, and then watch it. Or you can put on your hacker's cap and stream it in real time.

This article shows you how to combine a little OS X trickery with Video Lan Client's (VLC) built-in streaming. Not only can you watch your streamed standard- and high-def TV on a remote computer, but you'll be able to control the playback from that remote computer as well. Here's how.

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Two Brothers Die in Head On Collision with each Other

(Shawn's Comment: Under the category of "What did they do to piss off God?" comes this story)

Two brothers who shared a home were killed in a head-on traffic collision with each other, police said.

Jessie West, 24, and James West, 33, were killed Sunday in a head-on collision near Paw Paw, not far from their home in Decatur in southwestern Michigan.

James West was driving his 1985 Chevrolet Monte Carlo north when he lost control and crossed into the path of his brother’s oncoming 1988 Dodge Daytona, according to police.

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Watch Frontline

Peter Cohen says:
PBS' Frontline is currently broadcasting the first part of a four part series entitled News War. Absolutely fascinating stuff, and I highly recommend it.

The people they lined up for Part I are truly a stellar cast -- executive editors for the New York Times and Washington Post, a writer for The New Yorker, Bob Woodward, a professor of journalism at George Washington University, Judith Miller and others, talking about how the Bush Administation has manipulated the press.

Click here to read more "Watch Frontline"

How Steve Jobs Played Hardball in iPhone Birth

From The Wall Street Journal

During a visit to Las Vegas last December for a rodeo event, Cingular Wireless chief executive Stan Sigman received a welcome guest: Steve Jobs.

The Apple Inc. chief stopped by Mr. Sigman's Four Seasons hotel suite to show off the iPhone, a sleek cellphone designed to surf the Web and double as an iPod music player.

The phone had been in development by Apple and Cingular for two years and was weeks away from being revealed to the world. And yet this was the first time Mr. Sigman got to see it. For three hours, Mr. Jobs played with the device, with its touch-screen that allows users to view contacts, dial numbers and flip through photos with the swipe of a finger. Mr. Sigman looked on in awe, according to a person familiar with the meeting.

Behind the scenes in the making of the iPhone, Apple bucked the rules of the cellphone industry by wresting control away from the normally powerful wireless carriers.

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iTunes Fingers Musical Fraud

From NewScientist

The recordings of a British concert pianist who found fame in the last years of her life have been exposed as hoaxes - by Apple's iTunes music player.

Joyce Hatto died in June 2006, having become a cause célèbre with fans of classical piano in the last years of her life. A series of recordings showed her masterful command of a wide range of composers including Liszt, Schubert, Rachmaninov, Dukas and more.

Last week, a critic at the Gramophone magazine got surprise when he put a Hatto recording of Lizt's 12 Transcendental Studies into his computer. The iTunes player identified the disc as being recorded by another pianist, Lászlo Simon. He dug out the Simon album and found it sounded exactly the same as the Hatto one.

iTunes had stumbled on a hoax.

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Apple.com Visitors Spend 1 hour, 19 mins on site - Why?

From InternetRetailer

Apple Inc. continued to lead all computer hardware manufacturers in unique visitors, at 43.51 million in January, and also scored the fourth-largest increase, up 24% from 34.98 million.

Hewlett-Packard Co. ranked second in number of unique visitors (which counts only once each shopper who came to a site, no matter how many times that shopper visited), at 16 million, up 15%, followed by Dell Inc., 15.57 million, down 16%; Sun Microsystems Inc., up 25%; Gateway Inc., 2.39, no change; IBM Corp., 2.17 million, down 27%; Nintendo; Toshiba America Inc., 1.69 million, up 35%; Epson, 1.58 million, up 19%; and Sony Computer Entertainment, 1.55 million (year-ago change not available.)

In average time per visit (hours:minutes:seconds), the leaders were:
Apple 1:19:25
Dell, 0:19:32
Nintendo, 0:19:29
Xbox, 0:16.06
Palm, 0:13:51

(Shawn's Comment: Why does everyone seem confused by the amount of time people spend at Apple? There are a *lot* of QT videos and training tutorials to keep you busy for that much time and longer)

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Lexar Intros FireWire 800 Card Reader

From Macworld

Lexar introduced new models of its pro flash card readers for Macs and PCs, including a new FireWire 800 model. The Professional UDMA FireWire 800 Reader is coming in April for $79.99; a USB 2.0 dual-slot reader s coming in June for $49.99.

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Emerging Media: The Big Apple

From StreamingMedia

When I was coming up in the industry, Microsoft was the 800 lb gorilla that was going to eat your lunch. The oft-repeated refrain I’ve heard from too many VC’s is “what makes you think those guys at Redmond won’t just clone what you’ve made?”

Well, it seems like Apple’s the new monster (perhaps Godzilla in this case?) that will eat your lunch. Thought of making a digital convergence phone? Apple’s got that one covered, thanks. Thought of bringing digital assets into the living room? Why bother, that’s Apple’s territory (never mind the millions of digitally connected Xboxes in market).

Next time you’re writing your business plan for how you’re going to take out old media with your revolutionary digital technology, perhaps take a play from Apple’s book. Don’t gird your loins for a fight with the other bit players (pun intended); look at what it’s going to take to displace the brick-and-mortars, the ancient, grooved-in distribution channels that have been pushing product forever.

Oh, and pick a category Apple hasn’t already taken.

Click here to read more "Emerging Media: The Big Apple"

Gates, Jobs make Joint Appearance at 5th "D: All Things Digital" Conference

From Yahoo! Finance

Apple, Inc. CEO Steve Jobs and Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates, the seminal figures in the development of the personal computer, will make a rare joint appearance at The Wall Street Journal's ``D: All Things Digital'' conference this year. The two men will jointly discuss the history and future of the digital revolution in an unrehearsed, unscripted, onstage conversation on May 30 with D co-producers Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher.

Both executives have made multiple individual appearances at the conference, which will celebrate its fifth anniversary this year, and is known as D5. But this will be their first joint session at D, and a highly unusual event.

In addition to participating in the joint session with Mr. Gates, Mr. Jobs will appear on his own in a separate segment at D5 to discuss the latest developments at Apple, including new ventures such as the iPhone and Apple TV.

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