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June 8, 2010

Apple unveils iPhone 4, iOS 4 at Worldwide Developers Conference 2010

Apple unveils iPhone 4, iOS 4 at Worldwide Developers Conference 2010

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

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In his WWDC keynote, Steve Jobs introduced iPhone 4 yesterday.

Yesterday, at this year’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), company CEO Steve Jobs unveiled iPhone 4, along with the new iOS 4 operating system for Apple mobile devices.

The announcement was long-awaited but not a very big surprise. In April, the technology blog Gizmodo obtained a prototype of the new phone and published details of it online. While introducing iPhone 4, at the annual conference, Jobs started by hinting at the incident, saying, “Stop me if you’ve already seen this.”

The new iPhone was praised by Jobs as “the biggest leap we’ve taken since the original iPhone.” It is only 9.3 millimetres (0.37 inches) thick, making it “the thinnest smartphone on the planet”, a 24 percent reduction from Apple’s previous model, the iPhone 3GS. Structure-wise, iPhone 4 has a new stainless steel frame, which acts as an antenna, supposedly boosting its signal reception abilities and possibly reducing the amount of dropped calls. It also has a new screen, dubbed a “retina display,” which displays images at 326 pixels per inch. During the keynote, Jobs demoed the device’s new internal gyroscope as well. Even though it now uses Apple’s faster A4 processor (first used in its iPad tablet), iPhone 4 has a claimed seven hours of 3G talk time, up two hours from the 3GS.

In addition to its design features, Jobs showed off iPhone 4’s new video calling abilities. This feature is called FaceTime, and connects with other iPhone 4s via Wi-Fi. The phone has two cameras: one on the front for video chats, and one on the back for taking pictures and other videos. The rear camera has a resolution of five megapixels, is capable of recording high-definition video, and has an LED flash.

The iPhone 4 will use Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 4. Formerly “iPhone OS,” iOS 4 was first introduced by Apple in April, and includes multitasking capabilities. Jobs called the new software “the most advanced mobile operating system in the world.” iOS will support Apple’s new mobile advertising service, iAd, which goes live on July 1.

iPhone 4 will be available on June 24 in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Japan. It comes in two colors—black and white—and two storage capacities. The 16GB version is priced at US$199 and the 32GB version at US$299. The iPhone 3GS’s price will be reduced to US$99, and the iPhone 3G will be discontinued. iOS will be available as a free software update to users of compatible older Apple devices (including the 3GS) on June 21. In the U.S., iPhone 4 will only be available on AT&T’s cellular network, despite calls for Apple to let the iPhone be used on other carriers, such as Verizon.

Competition-wise, the BlackBerry mobile device is still the most popular smartphone right now. Apple is also facing some serious competition from web giant Google’s Android operating system, as well as Palm’s webOS. Earlier this year, Android phones managed to outsell iPhones. iPhone users, however, account for over half of those surfing the Internet on a mobile browser in the U.S. Jobs also noted that over five billion iOS applications, commonly called “apps,” have been purchased from Apple’s App Store. The App Store currently has around 225,000 different apps for sale.



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January 28, 2009

Encyclopædia Britannica fights back against Wikipedia, soon to let users edit contents

Encyclopædia Britannica fights back against Wikipedia, soon to let users edit contents

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Title page of the New American edition of the Encylopædia Britannica (1899)

Encyclopædia Britannica (EB), the authoritative reference book first published in 1768, is planning to let readers edit its entries, Jorge Cauz, its president said Friday, as it battles to keep pace with online Internet encyclopedia projects like Wikipedia.

Starting next week, readers, visitors and contributing experts to EB’s free, online version, Britannica.com, will be allowed to submit proposed changes and contributions to Britannica editors, who will then review the edits and make the necessary alterations. This move is meant to let readers help keep the reference work up-to-date by collaboration.

In expanding and maintaining entries online, users whose editorial suggestions are accepted and published entirely or in part will be credited by name in the section of the article that lists contributors.

The new website features will be available on the site within the next twenty-four hours. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, “Cauz is promising a 20-minute turnover on these edits, but that number could go up dramatically if the company cannot anticipate a large influx of edits at once.”

Britannica, however, explained that it would not allow a Wikipedia form of editing which allows a wide range of users to make contributions. EB’s novel user choice will include enrollment of experts in a reward scheme and invitation of selected readers to contribute. Several readers will also be allowed to use Britannica materials to contribute their own articles that will be featured on the site.

“We are not abdicating our responsibility as publishers or burying it under the now-fashionable ‘wisdom of the crowds’,” wrote Jorge Cauz in his blog. “We believe that the creation and documentation of knowledge is a collaborative process but not a democratic one,” Cauz noted, explaining further that “these experts would sit alongside the encyclopaedia entries and the official material would carry a ‘Britannica Checked’ stamp, to distinguish it from the user-generated content.”

Cauz also announced the unveiling by Britannica of a beta (trial) version of what will become the finished Britannica Online website, which will include a re-design and the addition of web-based tools for readers and users to upload their own reference materials. The new features that Britannica will roll out over the next six months also include an article rating system and a comprehensive list of contributors by subject area.

Articles developed by Britannica’s own editors also appear in the printed volumes, which are published every two years, though material created by what Cauz called their “community of scholars” will only appear online.

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition, with Britannica book of the year 2002, with white library labels.

“Wikipedia contributes to the spread of information and many people are happy with it as their only source of reference, as are many people happy to eat McDonald’s every day,” said Cauz, who discussed differences between Britannica and Wikipedia features of online editing. “That’s the last thing we want to be. We are a different type of animal, catering to a different type of crowd,” he added.

Cauz said the company will retain its staff of about 100 full-time editors and over 4,000 expert contributors. “I think the future is likely going to be that in every media segment there has to be a symbiotic relationship between editor and reader,” said Cauz, adding that each article will have a detailed history showing changes and who made them, as in Wikipedia. In 1933, Britannica became the first encyclopaedia to introduce a “continuous revision” policy, with continuous reprinting such that every article is updated on a regular schedule.

Unlike Wikipedia, which allows anonymous edits through a user’s IP address being logged, Britannica’s new features strictly require contributors or users to register, revealing their real names and addresses, prior to modifying or creating their own articles. Contributions from non-academic users will sit in a separate section.

A new or changed feature called “Suggest Edit” button will allow readers of a particular article to suggest information clarification, post questions to contributors or add to the existing text, subject to Britannica editors’ approval. “What we are trying to do is shifting … to a much more proactive role for the user and reader where the reader is not only going to learn from reading the article but by modifying the article and – importantly – by maybe creating his own content or her own content,” wrote Cauz.

Cauz faulted Google for setting Wikipedia higher in pagerank than Britannica. He explained that, in EB, new efforts to participate in online collaboration of encyclopedic content are deemed by recognizing experts as a requirement in order to achieve objectivity and high quality. During his tenure, officials from Britannica have become outspoken in their criticism of Wikipedia articles’ contents.

Cquote1.svg Britannica already has an established reputation for accurate content. Wikipedia is merely a starting point, with research to be taken with a pinch of salt. Cquote2.svg

—–David Reece, startupearth.com (Startup Earth)

In July 2006, Cauz personally entered the fray in an interview in New Yorker Magazine, in which he stated that Wikipedia had “decline(d) into a hulking, mediocre mass of uneven, unreliable, and, many times, unreadable articles” and that “Wikipedia is to Britannica as American Idol is to the Juilliard School.”

The 241-year-old publication, Encyclopædia Britannica, is a general English-language encyclopaedia published by a privately held company, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., and is the oldest English-language encyclopaedia still in print. The Britannica articles are directed at educated adult readers. First published between 1768 and 1771 in Edinburgh, Scotland, it quickly grew in popularity and size, with its third edition in 1801 reaching over 21 volumes.

Britannica’s latest 15th edition has a unique three-part structure: a 12-volume Micropædia of short articles (generally having fewer than 750 words), a 17-volume Macropædia of long articles (having from two to 310 pages) and a single Propædia volume created to give a hierarchical outline of human knowledge. The Micropædia is devised for quick fact-checking and as a door to the Macropædia.

At present, Britannica offers optical disc, online and mobile versions. The Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2006 DVD has over 55 million words and just over 100,000 articles, including 73,645 regular Britannica articles. The Encyclopædia Britannica Online website has more than 120,000 articles and is updated regularly. EB’s virtual space was founded in 1994 and contains articles comprised of over 46 million words.

In February 2007, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. said that it was working with AskMeNow to launch a mobile encyclopedia, to enable users to send questions via text messages. Replies would then be forwarded by AskMenow based on Britannicas’ articles.

Screen shot of Encyclopædia Britannica article on the front page of Wikipedia on August 8, 2007 at 3:20 a.m. (eastern time).

As Britannica is a business, the company needed to charge, and Web access to the archives cost $70 a year. In April 2008, “Britannica Webshare,” a version of the online Encyclopaedia Britannica has been available for free, but only for Web publishers. The simple process requires signing up, giving a site URL, a description, and approval by the company. “This program is intended for people who publish with some regularity on the Internet, be they bloggers, webmasters, or writers. We reserve the right to deny participation to anyone who in our judgment doesn’t qualify,” said TechCrunch.

In June 2008, Britannica announced an initiative to facilitate collaboration between online expert and amateur scholarly contributors for Britannica’s on-line content (in the spirit of a wiki), with editorial oversight from Britannica staff. According to its statement titled “Britannica’s New Site: More Participation, Collaboration from Experts and Readers,” approved contributions would be credited, though contributing automatically grants Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. perpetual, irrevocable license to those contributions.

PC World has, however, reported that it became clear how steep of a climb Britannica faces. “Wikipedia received a massive 97 percent share of the online encyclopedia market or visits U.S. Web surfers made to online encyclopedias last week,” Web monitoring company Hitwise said Friday. “MSN Encarta was second with 1.27 percent of visits, followed by Encyclopedia.com (0.76 percent), Fact Monster (0.72 percent) and, in fifth place, Britannica.com (0.57 percent). Britannica.com’s share of U.S. visits dropped 53 percent last month compared with December 2007,” Hitwise added.

While Britannica.com has 1.5 million visitors per day, Wikipedia attracts about six million, The Times reported. Hitwise also said that as of last week, Wikipedia ranked the 13th-most-visited site on the Web overall, while Britannica.com was 2,349th. The essential difference is Wikipedia does not charge any fee, while Britannica.com requires a paid subscription for access of some contents. Britannica, however, is issuing a “Encyclopaedia Britannica 2009 Ultimate Edition” – the £40 2009 DVD edition of its famous print encyclopaedia.

“One of the big questions still on the table is whether Britannica will open its content or maintain its premium membership paid wall. In order to compete with Wikipedia in the Google [search results], Britannica needs to build up inbound links. If content is locked up behind the paid content walls, people will be much more likely to link to other websites with free content — such as that available on Wikipedia,” Hitwise analyst Heather Hopkins noted.

A Picture of Jimmy Donal “Jimbo” Wales (current chairman emeritus of the Wikimedia Foundation) used in the 2008 Fundraiser Campaign

Wikipedia, a not-for-profit collaborative online encyclopedia, in its Wikipedia Foundation’s recent drive for public donations, had aimed to raise $US6 million over the course of six months. On January 1, “it had met the target, from more than 125,000 donors,” said Wikipedia head honcho and co-founder Jimmy Wales. He has invoked Wikipedia’s “free-culture movement”, and its mission “to bring free knowledge to the planet, free of charge and free of advertising”.

“Wikipedia is the new frontier of human knowledge,” wrote Anonymous, donating $US100. American Patrick Culligan left another comment, saying, “Accurate information is what enables society to act in the appropriate way in which we can change the world. History cannot be left for the winners to write.” Another said: “Wikipedia is one of those ‘big ideas’ which will change our world for the better.”

After Encyclopedia Britannica’s announcement that it is introducing a more open editing system, web 2.0 giant Wikipedia has considered attempts to move away from its free and open editing system. Academics, scholars and others have long criticized the writing principles fostered by Wikipedia amid vandals having often changed Wikipedia entries resulting to erroneous reports.

Now, for the first time, the online encyclopedia has considered restricting the edits that users can make. The system known internally as “Flagged Revisions,” has been sparked off by inaccurate changes after a Wikipedia user “Gfdjklsdgiojksdkf” and an anonymous editor respectively edited articles to say that both U.S. Senators Ted Kennedy and Robert Carlyle Byrd had died. The errors were caught and duly corrected after about five minutes, but they were up long enough for the Washington Post, among other media outlets, to notice.

In just the latest incidents in a long and rich history of vandalism since its 2001 launch, Vernon Kay and Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs, among others, have also been falsely reported as dead on Wikipedia. Wiki means “fast” in Hawaiian and it certainly is, even amid subtle vandalism, since anyone can amend its 2.7m entries. Wikipedia has long struggled with such prankery, and has ever since worked closely with its community to overcome it without adopting harsh protections.

Cquote1.svg We want people to be able to participate, but we have a tool available now that is consistent with higher quality. Cquote2.svg

—–Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Donal “Jimbo” Wales

As Wikipedia itself acknowledges, “Allowing anyone to edit Wikipedia means that it is more easily vandalized or susceptible to unchecked information, which requires removal.” In the proposed process, only registered or reliable users could have their material or edits immediately appear to the general public visiting Wikipedia. Other contributors’ edits or changes will first be reviewed, signed off, or “flagged” by reliable users.

“This nonsense would have been 100 percent prevented by Flagged Revisions,” said Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales under the header “Why I Am Asking Flagged Revisions Be Turned On Now,” on his user page. “[Instances of misinformation] could […] have been prevented by protection or semi-protection, but [..] [many are] breaking news [stories] and we want people to be able to participate (so protection is out) and even to participate in good faith for the first time ever (so semi-protection is out),” explained Wales who calls for monitoring to prevent false entries.

Wales said that a poll revealed 60 percent of Wikipedians favored the new proposal and that it would be a “time limited test.” He noted that the delay should be less than the German Wikipedia allowed: “less than 1 week, hopefully a lot less, because we will only be using it on a subset of articles, the boundaries of which can be adjusted over time to manage the backlog.”

Wales issued a statement requesting implementation of the extension: “To the Wikimedia Foundation: per the poll of the English Wikipedia community and upon my personal recommendation, please turn on the flagged revisions feature as approved in the poll.” But the community response was further debate.

An organization chart for the Wikimedia Foundation as of 11 January 2008.

As of February 2, his request hasn’t been implemented.

Apparently the Wikipedia German edition has been using a form of the Flagged Revisions system since May as a test case. It has, however, led to a delay of up to three weeks in getting some new articles and edits published, for critics have said that the system is very labor intensive and comments can take weeks to appear. Wales, however, pointed out that the system he was proposing was only for biographies of living people. Wikipedia has provided comprehensive and up-to-minute entries on the Virginia Tech massacre in April 2007 and the Mumbai terrorist attacks this past November as the events were still taking place.

While some participants in the debate have argued that the rule change is unnecessary, some have described it in terms of an ethical imperative. As one administrator wrote: “In the vast majority of cases, a Wikipedia article on an individual will be the very highest-ranking search engine result when a search is conducted on the name of that person. This affects the lives of the people we write about on a daily basis. To suggest that Wikipedia does not have profound obligations to do its best to keep these articles free of defamatory, gossipy and privacy-invading material is to suggest that we are without obligation to consider the real-world impacts of our actions and the work we are doing.”

Cquote1.svg Anything that makes Wikipedia more accurate can only be advantageous Cquote2.svg

—–Amanda Dolan, Glasgow

Others have argued that practical considerations should prevent a change that could result in a large backlog of unreviewed edits. “Flagged revisions will suffocate under its own weight,” claimed administrator DragonflySixtyseven. Still other Wikipedian editors further argue that the current system works just fine.

Wikimedia Board members (from left) Devouard, Ting Chen, Domas Mituzas, executive secretary, and current Chair Michael Snow on Opening Ceremony in WM 2008, Alexandria

Some consider the split could ultimately threaten the future of the dominant online encyclopedia. “The big issue is that while we have majority support, we don’t have consensus, and that’s the way we have always made our decisions,” Jake Wartenberg user and member of RC patrol chimed in. “A lot of editors are becoming disenchanted with the project; we are losing them all the time,” he added. By way of reply, amidst the embarrassing debacle, Mr. Wales has reached out to help and offered a compromise, inviting the opposition to submit alternative suggestions until the 29th of January.

“Implementing this functionality is really a volunteer community decision. We know the discussion about flagged revs is still taking place on English Wikipedia, but at this stage, it appears the majority of the community are behind this decision. As that discussion unfolds, we’ll have a better sense of the timing,” Jay Walsh, a spokesman for the Wikimedia Foundation, in a rejoinder, wrote in his e-mail message, explaining the status of the proposed restriction.

“Now seems an excellent time for Wikipedia to pause and take stock. It has proved the surprising wisdom of crowds as well as their utter idiocy. Its challenge now is to harness the enthusiasm of those volunteers while becoming a more reliable, better written source. And at some point, surely, its founders might want to turn it into a commercial venture. As Samuel Johnson almost said: “No one but a blockhead ever edited, excepted for money,” said Iain Hollingshead, a British freelance journalist and novelist.

Map showing existing and planned Wikimedia local chapters through December 2007. Dark blue is existing chapters, Green is Planned chapters, Light blue is Chapters in discussion.

“The suggestion of increased moderation on Wikipedia would divide the community. The site has built its reputation on being ‘the encyclopedia that anyone can edit’. It’s less radical to be ‘the encyclopedia that anyone can edit as long as their edits are approved by a trusted Wikipedian’ but that’s what co-founder Jimmy Wales has suggested. Wikipedia’s openness is its strength,” said Shane Richmond of The Daily Telegraph, asking, “is it most valuable feature its openness or its accuracy?”

Wales’ position is that “I consider our BLP issue to be so important that I think it is actually unethical to not use a tool which holds great promise for helping with the problem, now that it has been successfully tested elsewhere. Anyone who would like to see this tool not go into practice needs to start by convincing people that either (a) it is OK for the BLP vandalism problem to continue or (b) there is a better way to solve it.”



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November 11, 2008

iPhone sales exceed BlackBerry

iPhone sales exceed BlackBerry – Wikinews, the free news source

iPhone sales exceed BlackBerry

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

iPhone by Apple
Image: Blake Burris.

Apple Inc. beat rival Research In Motion (RIM) in sales of smartphones for the first time in the third quarter of 2008. Though Nokia is well ahead of Apple in the worldwide market, figures out yesterday ranked Apple’s iPhone 3G as the best selling cellular handset in the United States.

When it introduced its iPhone last year, Apple was a newcomer to the cellular phone market, but in figures published on Thursday, it rose to second place in a ranking of smartphone manufacturers, ahead of established players like Canadian RIM—makers of the BlackBerry—American Motorola, and Taiwanese HTC.

Apple’s chief executive, Steve Jobs, anticipated the detailed figures in a news conference on October 21st. ”I’d like to point out [a] remarkable milestone resulting from iPhone’s outstanding performance last quarter,” he said. ”Apple beat RIM”.

According to tech analysts Canalys, the number of iPhones shipped in the third quarter of 2008 was 6.8 million, while RIM shipped 6.1 million BlackBerry phones. Nokia sold more worldwide than the other two put together. Referring to the introduction of the 3G iPhone family, Pete Cunningham of Canalys said “It was expected that Apple would figure among the smartphone leaders this quarter, with that huge initial new product shipment; it was just a question of how high up it would be – and this is impressive.” The figures for Q3 handset sales in the United States came from NPD Group.



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October 17, 2008

Apple users criticize lack of FireWire port on MacBook

Apple users criticize lack of FireWire port on MacBook

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Friday, October 17, 2008

A black MacBook
Image: Jared C. Benedict.

Users of Apple Computer’s MacBook computers have criticized Apple for failing to include a FireWire port in its newest release of its basic laptop. The users expressed the anger at the popular company with hundreds of messages posted on Apple’s official forum, in the minutes after the announcement to remove the FireWire port was made by Steve Jobs.

FireWire connectors
Image: Mikkel Paulson.

Russ Tolman was one of the first people to complain about the issue. “I work in a large school district that doesn’t like Macs. One thing that has allowed us to keep them has been the ability to image them with firewire ports,” he stated. “In my unknowledgeable opinion Apple really screwed up with no Firewire port. Schools without much money will be moving to cheap PC’s.”

Apple’s MacBook Pro computers will continue to have a FireWire port, although cost significantly more than the MacBook.

Apple responded to these criticisms in a statement by saying that “Actually, all of the new HD camcorders of the past few years use USB 2.” While camcorders are a popular FireWire peripheral, FireWire is used for a variety of other devices.

Apple’s press release did not mention the fact the FireWire was removed from the MacBook, although it did mention that the MacBook Pro has one FireWire port.

The MacBook Pro costs US$ 1,999, while the standard MacBook costs $1,299.



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September 5, 2007

Apple announces new iPod range

Apple announces new iPod range – Wikinews, the free news source

Apple announces new iPod range

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Apple CEO Steve Jobs Credit:mylerdude

Apple have released several re-designs of their popular iPod range. In addition to the iPod Classic, Nano and Shuffle, they have announced the brand new iPod touch, a media player which mimics the iPhone’s touch-screen capabilities.

The new iPod Classic design features a larger memory space of up to 160GB or 40,000 songs, and has a new all-metal design. The iPod nano is now smaller and squarer, adding video playback to its features for the first time. The 4GB model is cheaper than its predecessor at $149/£99, but the 8GB is available in five colours at $199/£129. The iPod Shuffle is identical in design to the previous model, but is now available in a new range of five colours, with the same price of $79/£49.

The iPod touch also features in-built wi-fi technology, enabling users to access the internet and download music from Apple’s market-leading on line iTunes music store to their handset. It was announced that Starbucks would offer free wi-fi access to all users of the iPod touch in its cafes. The screen layout, similar to that of the iPhone, offers access to music, video, photos and the iTunes store. There are currently two models, at 8GB and 16GB of memory capacity.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs also announced that the price of Apple’s iPhone, currently only on sale in the US, will be cut by $200 to $399. He described the new iPod range as ‘one of the seven wonders of the world’.



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January 10, 2007

Apple introduces iPhone and Apple TV

Apple introduces iPhone and Apple TV – Wikinews, the free news source

Apple introduces iPhone and Apple TV

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The iPhone features touch-screen operation

The rear view of the new iPhone

Apple Inc. today has introduced the much-anticipated iPhone at the Macworld Conference in San Francisco.

The iPhone is claimed to be “a revolutionary mobile phone” as stated on the Apple website. The device appears to be running a mobile version of the Apple operating system Mac OSX. It is approximately the same size as a 5th generation iPod, it has a 3.5-inch LCD touchscreen display that is used to access all features of the phone including number dial, as well as making phone calls. The iPhone plays music, movies, displays pictures and is able to connect to a wireless network.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the device by walking onto the stage and taking the iPhone out of his jeans pocket. During his 2 hour speech he stated that “Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone, We are going to make history today”.

Today Apple also released their Media Center device – Apple TV. It will directly compete with Microsoft’s Media Center operating system. Apple has taken a different approach to the media center market; rather than storing content (such as movies, music and photos) on the device, Apple TV connects to a computer (Mac and Windows) over a wirless network connection and plays all content stored on that computer. This makes it substantially easier for users to organize their media content.

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June 20, 2006

Apple plans to sell movies on iTunes

Filed under: AutoArchived,Computing,Science and technology,Steve Jobs — admin @ 5:00 am

Apple plans to sell movies on iTunes – Wikinews, the free news source

Apple plans to sell movies on iTunes

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Picture of the iTunes Music Store.

Apple Computer is planning to sell full-length feature films for download via the online iTunes Music Store. The store currently sells digital music tracks, and more recently has begun to sell TV episodes.

Apple executives are in negotiations with film studios to arrange the deal and settle on pricing structures. It is expected that films will retail for around $9.99 US dollars, although some studios are reported to want to set a higher price.

iTunes is currently by the biggest online retailer of digital music, with its software tightly integrated with the popular iPod line of products. Newer versions of the iPod include a colour screen capable of displaying videos, and so consumers could watch the films on the devices, but it is not yet clear how many people will want to do this.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is also the largest single shareholder of Disney, which now owns animation studio Pixar, however he could end up playing a wider role within the film industry if iTunes becomes the dominant online distributor.

A full-length TV movie, ‘High School Musical’ from Disney, is already available on iTunes, suggesting that the technical infrastructure is already in place.

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May 8, 2006

Apple Corps loses court case against Apple Computer

Apple Corps loses court case against Apple Computer

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Monday, May 8, 2006

The Beatles’ label Apple Corps lost its court case against Apple Computer today in the High Court. Apple Corps argued that the iTunes Music Store was a breach of the 1991 settlement reached between the two parties. The 1991 agreement was that Apple Computer would not sell music branded with an apple. Mr Justice Anthony Mann agreed with Apple Computer’s defence that, while the iTunes Music Store is branded, the music it sells is not – “I conclude that the use of the Apple logo … does not suggest a relevant connection with the creative work.” During the case Apple Corps showed the court just how many times the Apple Computer logo appeared during a typical download. The song purchased during the demonstration was Le Freak by Chic.

After the case closed Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs extended an invitation to the record label, “we have always loved the Beatles, and hopefully we can now work together to get them on the iTunes Music Store”. Apple Corps have decided to take the case to the Court of Appeal. Speaking for Apple Corps, manager Neil Aspinall said, “with great respect to the trial judge, we consider he has reached the wrong conclusion.”

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January 24, 2006

Disney buys Pixar

Disney buys Pixar – Wikinews, the free news source

Disney buys Pixar

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Walt Disney Company has finalized a US$7.4 billion deal to acquire its long-time partner Pixar in an all stock buy-out. The deal will make Steve Jobs, current Pixar and Apple CEO, Disney’s largest shareholder with about 7% (valued at over $3.5 billion) and a member of the board of directors.

The merger was speculated all day Tuesday on the stock market and the announcement came just after trading closed for the day. Terms of the merger include Pixar’s John Lasseter becoming Disney’s new chief creative officer in charge of animation at the combined Disney-Pixar Animation Studios, as well as principal creative advisor at Walt Disney Imagineering, the unit of the company responsible for research and development of Disney theme parks worldwide.

Jobs purchased what became Pixar for $10 million in 1986 from George Lucas’s computer animation division at Lucasfilm. Toy Story, its first feature film came a decade later, and began a long string of animation hits, including Finding Nemo. Such successes proved to be increasingly elusive for Disney to manage on its own. The partnership between the two studios had become shaky in recent years, as former Disney head Michael Eisner clashed with Jobs over the renewal terms of their agreement. In 2003, prior to his dismissal from Disney, Eisner infuriated Pixar’s creative team by predicting Finding Nemo would be a failure. Steve Jobs broke off negotiations in January 2004, having told one executive previously, “I don’t see how the relationship can continue as long as Eisner is there.”

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October 13, 2005

Apple introduces new iPod with video playback capabilities

Apple introduces new iPod with video playback capabilities

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

The new iPod

On Wednesday, Apple introduced an iPod capable of displaying video, as well as a new video section to the iTunes music store. Apple CEO Steve Jobs believes that this may have a large impact on the film industry, in a similar fashion to that of the impact on the music industry when the iPod first was released.

The new iPod comes in a 30GB edition and a 60GB edition for US$299 and US$399, respectively. On the 30GB iPod, 75 hours of video at a resolution of 320×240 can be stored, and on the 60GB iPod, 150 hours can be stored. Despite these features, people claim that the screen may be too small for people to enjoy. However, iPod owners will be able to purchase an optional S-Video cable for playing video from their iPod on a television.

To help complement the new video section, Apple and ABC have agreed to a deal in which episodes of television programs such as Lost and Desperate Housewives will be available the day after airing for $1.99 per episode. Other plans for the video section involve the animation company Pixar, which was founded by current Apple CEO Steve Jobs. There are also plans to distribute content from Disney, Pixar’s distributor and owner of ABC. In addition, music videos will also be available at the on-line music store for $1.99 each.

The new iMac

New iMac G5

The video iPod was announced along with a new model of its iMac G5, which features a remote control that allows the iMac to act as a home media center as well as a normal personal computer. To control media center capabilities, the new iMac is sold with a program called Front Row. Some customers have complained however that this iMac is missing functionality out-of-the-box that allows a user to watch TV on it.

The new iMac also has an Apple iSight digital camera built-in as well as a thinner design than its predecessor.

See also

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