iTunes 8 was announced this morning as part of the whole Let’s Rock Apple announcement festivities, and there were a few nice pieces of news. First, NBC is back on iTunes with shows like The Office, 30 Rock, and Ballestar Galactics. What’s more, though, is that iTunes will now be selling TV shows in high definition. Aside from the feeling that I know my wallet is about to be drained, this is a very welcome addition. My only hope is that they allow those of us who have purchased shows in SD to “upgrade” to the HD versions at a discount. It’s only fair, right?
In other news, Apple has added “Genius” to iTunes - that being a recommendation engine that looks at the track you are listening to, and recommends other tracks in the iTunes store that it believes you would like. In addition, Genius can also create truly customized playlists on the fly, again, just by sampling what you are listening to. It will pull other songs from your iTunes library that it believes would complement your selection, without any work to be done on your part. We must admit, it looks slick. Speaking of which, they’ve also included a new visualizer, which is just off the hook. You’ve gotta see it to believe it.
iTunes 8 is available now.
Read More | iTunes
For those with iPhone battery paranoia, the iPower Portable Power Station with speaker can be used with both iPhones 2G and 3G. It has a capacity of 2400mAh, a charging and discharging time of 3 hours, and an input voltage of 4.8 ~ 5.5V with a 500 to 1000mA current. Its current output is 100 to 1000mA with 5.0 to 5.5V. At a weight of 93g and available in black or white, it carries a price of $44.00.
Read More | Brando
For those of you out there who can’t live without a jailbroken iPhone, we venture to guess that you’ll be happy to hear that PwnageTool 2.0.3 is now available, thanks to the continuing hard work of the iPhone Dev Team. This new version features a few new features:
- Updated Installer.app to beta 6
- Support for iPhone and iPod touch firmware 2.0.2 5C1
- Adds .de localization for those who read German
If you are already running an older version, you can update right from within PwnageTool, otherwise hit the link below to download the latest version.
Read More | PwnageTool 2.0.3
While many camped out in the U.S. for a chance to be one of the first grab the sacred iPhone, there might have been a slight hesitancy on the part of Poland to do likewise. So, according to their largest mobile carrier Orange, actors were paid to stand in line.
“We have these fake queues at front of 20 stores around the country to drum up interest in the iPhone,” a spokesperson said. Their thinking is that buyers there may not have sufficient funding to splurge on the expensive device. There were none paid to hang at the T-Mobile Era stores, however.
Read More | ABC News
Danny Sullivan is the Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Land, here to talk about search. He talks about how we used to get info. That would be the library, friends, family, and encyclopedia (which weren’t written by everyone.) The search revolution started the information retrieval revolution, and the change from that is still underestimated. In 2000, a “Consumer Daily Question Study” was conducted, 74 people recorded all questions they sought answers to, and the majority of respondents used search engines to find the answer to their questions. Search engines were at 32%, while libraries were just 3%.
Today, 58% of people use the internet if they need an answer, while 53% turn to a professional.
Danny brought up a question - if you need the phone number of the Edgewater hotel next door, how would you find it? Most in audience would search Google, one or two would call 411, and less would use the Yellow Pages. 49% of internet users search every day. That is up 30% from 2006. Jumping off the web, location apps on the iPhone is also search, GPS is search, TV is search. These are all different ways that we are able to use search.
As more becomes searchable, and as serch becomes more used, we get collisions between real life and online life.
US Navy building in San Diego that no one really saw from the air until now, thanks to Google Maps. $600,000 will be spent to reshape the building due to concerns.
Google StreetView has some conflicts as well. There are positives and negatives, and Danny gives examples of both.
So what is the balance? Do we let anyone remove anything from Google and other search engines?
Danny is now calling people in the audience, whose phone numbers he pulled off of search. He then asked them about different things in their life that he was able to find using the Internet. Things like Amazon, Flickr, Google, microblogs, etc. It’s a valid point to show that you can get a lot of information about someone by just using Google. Aside from “personal” info on web, searches we make are personal. What about the issue where Viacom demanded all the searches done on YouTube in history from Google? Location apps are cool, though now more people know your location. Does Apple know all the places you go by way of your iPhone? Is there even a way to “clear” this data?
The conundrum now is that more is being made searchable, more people are searching and we’ve hardly figured out the issues.
Aiaiai’s new Y-Com is not only less metallic and ugly than most earbuds, it is compatible with iPhones. With a choice of 3 different color combinations, it one ups its non-iPhone design with thicker cords for less tangling, and has an inline mic button to control incoming and outgoing calls. Three sets of buds come with the headphones, and the Danish company claims great sound-isolation and full spectrum sound from C4 Studios. Available from Aiaiai for a price of €55 (~$110.00.)
Read More | Cool Hunting
We are always looking for anything that will tidy up our desktop or to use when traveling. For an inexpensive docking station, consider the Techno Box. Charge your MP3 player, PDA, pager, cell phone, or other electronic device. Plug into a socket with one cord and you get neat. Available in grey/white plastic, it’s 9.5 x 6.3 x 4.3cm and comes with a 30 day warranty. You can get the Techno Box for a slim $38.00.
Read More | Chiasso
While we are on the subject of gadgets for iPhone 3Gs, there is now a 6x Zoom Telescope available for the near-sighted or simply nosy. Brando claims that it has a super wide angle, a larger luminous flux, better color, and a higher visual acuteness. Simple to assemble, the package includes a crystal case, neck strap, and adapter. There is also a telescope available for 2G iPhones. Each one will set you back $19.00.
Read More | Mobile Brando
Speck has announced that they now shipping their SeeThru iPhone 3G hard shells. The cases have rubber, no-slip grippers in its two piece, snap together design. Remove the bottom only for docking or use it as a stand for viewing photos or video. Like their other cases, there is access to controls, sensors, and ports. Available in Amethyst Purple, Rose Quartz Pink, Garnet Red, Diamond Clear, or Obsidian Black for $29.95 on their site or in Apple stores.
Read More | Speck
We know that Apple‘s MobileMe service has been off to a rocky start, but we are just glad that the company realizes it as well. Since the launch, people have had trouble with syncing, have lost email, and have discovered that this whole “push” thing wasn’t really as “pushy” as Apple made it out to be when they gave us a look at the product back at MacWorld.
Originally, Apple gave all subscribers a 30-day extension to compensate for all the issues, as well as a written apology. Since then, things have gotten a little better, but are still in no way seamless. Because of this, Apple has just decided to grant another extension, and this one is twice as long as the original. If you were a MobileMe subscriber as of 12:00 AM PDT on August 19, you get an additional 60 days tacked on to the end of your subscription. Even better, if you were taking a free trial of the service as of that time, you get 60 days added on to your trial. Apparently, Apple doesn’t want you to not sign up due to the kinks they are trying to work out. Good for them.
Hit the Read link below for the full details on the extension, and the eligibility requirements around it.
Read More | MobileMe extension details