Wednesday, September 5, 2007



What news awaits the Apple faithful?
Speculation centers on redesigned iPods, expanded content offerings on iTunes

Just two months after the release of the iPhone, which Steve Jobs proclaimed was the best iPod ever, Apple is expected to reveal Wednesday how it plans to move the iPod line forward. The company has summoned reporters and analysts to San Francisco's Moscone Center for an event, the invitations for which feature an image from Apple's iPod advertising. The event has generated a great deal of interest among Apple devotees, especially after the successful introduction of the iPhone. The timing is also good for Apple, which hasn't overhauled the standard iPod or the iPod Nano in almost two years.


Apple to upgrade iPod line, nano gets video
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc Chief Executive Steve Jobs unveiled new iPod models on Wednesday including an iPod nano, which stores songs and photos on flash memory chips instead of a hard drive, that now will play video and games.

Apple unveils new iPods, ringtones, Wi-Fi iTunes store

(09-05) 12:21 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs delivered a bounty of music news Wednesday, introducing a new multi-touch iPod similar to the iPhone, slashing the price of the iPhone by $200 and announcing a new Wi-Fi iTunes music store that allows users to download music at various locations, including Starbucks stores.

The iPod Nano also got a major face lift, with a 2-inch screen for the first time on a wider body. The Nano will now be able to play video on a super bright screen with 320 x 240 resolution. The Nano features a new user interface that includes a pane on the right that shows cover art and preview pictures that slowly float around. A 4GB Nano will sell for $149, while an 8GB version will sell for $199.

New Apple iPod Nano Has 2.5-Inch Screen

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs unveiled new versions of the company's market-leading iPod media player Wednesday, including an iPod Nano with a 2.5-inch screen for watching movies and playing games.

"It's incredibly tiny. It's incredibly thin," Jobs said of the new Nano, which features a 320-by-240-pixel screen.

The new Nano, which will be in stores starting this weekend, will come in two models: a 4-gigabyte version for $149, and an 8-gigabyte version for $199.

Apple also announced it will be selling ring tones for its iPhone for 99 cents, plus the 99-cent cost of the song. Ring tones from more than 500,000 songs available on iTunes will go on sale next week.


Apple Cancels NBC Fall TV Lineup On iTunes
The rift was based on a doubling of the wholesale price Apple pays for each NBC TV episode.

The rift, which encompasses all NBCU news, sports and entertainment

programming, means Apple may no longer offer the network's videos on the online store after the current contract expires in December. Apple said it decided not to offer the network's new shows in September, in order to avoid disappointing iTunes customers by having to pull the shows mid-season.

"We are disappointed to see NBC leave iTunes because we would not agree to their dramatic price increase," Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of iTunes, said in a statement. "We hope they will change their minds and offer their TV shows to the tens of millions of iTunes customers."

The dramatic increase was a doubling of the wholesale price Apple pays for each NBC TV episode. That would have resulted in iTunes customers paying $4.99 per episode instead of the current $1.99. Agreeing to such an increase would have placed Apple in an awkward position with ABC, CBS, Fox, The CW, and more than 50 cable networks that have agreed to sell their TV shows from the upcoming season at the lower price.

Apple is sure to feel the loss of NBC Universal, which provided three of iTunes' 10 best selling TV shows last season, according to Apple. Those shows accounted for 30% of iTunes' TV show sales. The New York Times, which was the first to report the NBCU-Apple troubles, said NBC Universal, which is part of General Electric, accounts for 40% of digital video downloads on the Apple online store. Among NBCU's popular shows on iTunes is "Battlestar Galactica," "Heroes," and "The Office."

NBC is not the first major iTunes supplier to bang heads with Apple over pricing. Universal Music Group, owned by Vivendi, refused to renew its contract with Apple in July, saying it would sell music on iTunes at will. This gives Universal the option of removing songs from the store on short notice.

Eric Zeeman Reports: iPhone Impresses Europeans. Almost.

Not all of them, obviously, but during my tip to London this week anyone within sight of my iPhone sidled up next to me quickly for a demonstration of how it worked. There were lots of oohs and aahs, quickly followed by bahs.

Quite honestly, I was trying to be as secretive with it as possible. I didn't want to create a mob scene or anything. But people are eagle-eyed, and anytime I retrieved it from my pocket, someone was quick to notice and ask what it was. Many thought it was the LG Prada at first. When I told them it was an iPhone, they nearly all asked to take a look. I obliged.

me. The E61i has a 2100 MHz WCDMA radio in it, and I was able to browse at blazing fast 3G speeds over the Vodafone network. The difference was striking.

So to return to a point I brought up several months ago, will Apple really sell that many iPhones in Europe when there are so many faster handsets available?

I guess we'll find out soon enough, as it appears Apple and several European carriers are set to announce its availability.

Mitch Wagner Reports: Letting Crazy People Set Intellectual-Property Policy

  • The New York Times reported that NBC will not renew its distribution agreement with iTunes when it comes due in December. Among the terms NBC wants: Tougher digital rights management -- this despite the fact that it's been demonstrated, over and over again, that DRM doesn't work, can't be made to work, and any beliefs to the contrary are simply delusional.

  • InformationWeek contributor Cory Doctorow describes how the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) sent a broad takedown notice to scribd, a text-filesharing site, demanding that scribd remove a huge number of files. The problem, says Cory, is that the takedown notice is simply wrong. It includes works that are in the public domain, works that are licensed under Creative Commons, recommended reading lists, the back issues of a magazine, Ray Gun Revival, posted to scribd by the magazine's publishers -- and Doctorow's own novel, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, which Doctorow released under Creative Commons. SFWA appears to be behaving like a vigilante who, in the name of stopping violent crime, shoots up a whole subway car. Doctorow notes that, by misrepresenting itself as an authorized agent of copyright holders, SFWA has exposed itself to enormous legal liability.

  • Viacom sent a takedown notice to North Carolina school board candidate Christopher Knight for posting a copy of a Viacom-owned VH1 clip to YouTube. The VH1 clip was a commentary on a TV commercial Knight created to support his political candidacy. Viacom is claiming that Knight pirated the VH1 clip -- when in fact, says Knight, Viacom are the pirates here; they used Knight's original political commercial without his permission.

When are we going to put greedy children like NBC, SFWA, and Viacom down for nap-time, and let grownups start writing intellectual property policy?

Unfortunately, Congress does not care about good legislation. They want nice sounding titles on the bills they pass. They want everyone to think them noble and responsible for the titles. They also want the money from donations that follow the legislation, that they didn't read, which screws the competition and rewards those who pay the lobbyists (yes, NGO's, Public Interest Groups, as well as the Evil Businessmen )

The reason so much money is in politics is because Congress rewards or punishes those who don't pay up. Corruption always raises prices...

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