Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sony Unveils New Network Walkman

Well, it finally happened: Sony finally took the wraps off its Network Walkman.

Dubbed the NWD-B100 (which the company told the world about months ago), the new Walkman will be coming to Europe first and sports a 3-line color LCD, offers either a 1GB (NWD-B103 / B103F) or 2GB size (NWD-B105 / 105F), and sports an FM tuner, voice recorder, 12 hours of battery life, and support for MP3 and WMA as UMS... Bye Bye SonicStage ! After several years Sony finally understood that proprietary soft like SonicStage or iTunes sucks...

So far there is no word on pricing or US availability, but hopefully it'll hit shelves soon.

What about a little KanaSD for your ears?

GreenHouse now puts on sale a new KanaSD in black or silver color, this updated Digital Audio Player can welcome SD and SDHC cards but also MMCs, giving you access to stored data from 32MB to 8GB.

Of course this baby plays the MP3 and WMA files, all in a ridiculously small (56x12x59) and light (26g) piece of technology.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Apple expands refurb MacBook offerings

Apple's stock of reconditioned consumer-oriented MacBooks has grown to include four separate configurations priced between $849 and $1,299. The Cupertino-based company's online store is currently selling refurbished white 1.83GHz Intel Core 2 Duo MacBooks for $849 that feature 512MB of memory, a 60GB hard drive, and a Combo drive DVD-ROM/CD-ROM. Apple is also offering refurbished white 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo MacBooks with 1GB of memory and an 80GB hard drive with either a Combo drive or SuperDrive for $999. Refurbished 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo MacBooks feature 1GB of memory and are available in white or black with a 120GB (white only) or 160GB (black) hard drive for $1,099 and $1,299, respectively. As always every refurbished Apple item includes free shipping alongside a one-year warranty.

Mac market share up 26% in Q2

Reporting that worldwide PC shipments grew by 12.5 percent in the second quarter 2007, IDC has issued its latest PC Tracker market share analysis. According to its statistics, Apple's share of the US personal computer market grew 26.2 percent year-over-year, pegging the company as the 4th largest vendor in terms of unit shipments with 5.6 percent of the market. IDC's channel checks show that Apple moved 960,000 Macs in the quarter, compared with 600,000 Macs (representing 3.8 percent market share) in the year-ago quarter. Dell topped IDC's list of US vendors, shipping 4.8 million PCs in the quarter and achieving 28.4 percent market share. Dell's unit shipments shrank nearly 11 market share year-over-year, however. HP, meanwhile, nearly matched Apple's growth with a 26 percent year-over-year growth in market share, taking the number 2 spot with 23.6 percent of the market. Overall, the United States market accelerated to 7.2% growth following a slow second half of 2006. IDC said "The Portables market remained strong, driven by consumer retail and channel activity. Although desktop shipments continued to contract, shipment volume was higher than anticipated. Dell remained the top vendor, though still losing ground as it restructures and faces rising competition."

A previous market share report from NPD Data showed that Apple's online and retail sales grow to 13 percent of the overall consumer market during May, up more than 12 percent from its 11.6 percent share in April. The company's notebook sales saw an even more impressive gain, rising to 14.3 percent from 12.5 percent in April.

Apple is due to hold its third-quarter earnings call on July 25th, when the company will announce actual Mac unit shipments for the quarter.

Piper: AT&T sharing revenue with Apple

Although Apple is already said to be earning a substantial margin on each iPhone, it may be earning extra through its agreement with AT&T, note analysts with the research firm Piper Jaffray. Gene Munster and Michael Olson argue that AT&T is sharing subscription revenue with Apple, based on the circumstances under which a person bought their iPhone. At a minimum, Munster and Olson estimate $3 a month per existing AT&T customer, for the duration of their two-year contract; this figure is said to go up by $8, however, if the person switched to AT&T for the iPhone. Other less likely arrangements range from a mere $5 bonus for new subscriptions, to $7 for current subscribers and $14 for new ones.

Under the $3/$8 plan, it is suggested that this could add $0.02 to Apple's earnings per share (EPS) in 2007. The real income is not set to arrive until 2008 though, when extra EPS may reach $0.15. By 2009 the growth could hit $0.58, adding tremendously to the company's bottom line.

Apple patenting iPod wireless remote, sync

Apple has been researching technology that would let the iPhone or the iPod double as a remote control for steering playback of music and videos on the Apple TV or other media hubs, according to a new patent filing. The application, originally submitted in December 2005, would let a wireless portable media player synchronized with a server and tell that server to play files based on metadata such as the song name, album, or genre; the server in turn relays its sound to a stereo or a TV using either a wireless method such as the company's AirPort Express audio output feature or a direct, wired connection.

The system would eliminate many of the common complaints about network media streaming devices, according to Apple. Where typical solutions often require specialized extenders that quickly add to the cost by requiring controllers and individual converters, the described method would allow an existing handheld to navigate tracks using an existing wireless network. This would also save the trouble for AirPort Express users of having to access their Mac or PC to change songs or videos, the company adds.

While the patent is not certain to translate into a finished product, its existence may let Apple update the iPhone and any future Wi-Fi iPods to have them check for computers on the local network and play locally-stored entertainment as long as the computers have direct access to the proper output. The Apple TV currently supports controlled streaming of music and imagery from other computers but so far can't be controlled intelligently by a network device. Slingplayer Mac achieves remote control by generating the infrared signals used by Apple TV's remote.

Other patents published today include a method wirelessly synchronizing media and other files between a wireless media player and a host computer by submitting a request and transferring only necessary updates across the network, and a second patent for a karaoke-like lyrics mode that displays song verses in time with the music itself.

Apple expected to earn $.72/share on $5.3B

In its third-quarter financial results, due on July 25th, Apple is expected to earn 72 cents a share on revenue of $5.29 billion, up from 54 cents a share on $4.37 billion in sales posted in the same quarter a year ago according analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial. In its second quarter, Apple announced revenue of $5.26 billion and net quarterly profit of $770 million, or $.87 per diluted share. Though Apple likely moved between 500,000 and 1 million iPhones in the quarter, Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray thinks Apple will only recognize about $12 million in sales from the iPhone, meaning the device "will not be material" to Apple's results this time. As previously reported, Apple will recognize revenue for the iPhone (and Apple TV) on a subscription basis. The reason is that both the phone and media hub will receive a relatively steady amount of software features for free over their respective lifespans, meaning that the income from each sale in effect amortizes the software development costs after the product is released.

Analysts are also expecting Apple to have shipped 1.6 million Macs in the quarter.

Analyst sets $205 price target for AAPL

Having released some initial predictions on Thursday, analysts with Piper Jaffray have increased their expectations for Apple stock performance and price target of $205, based on both revenue sharing with AT&T and now booked iPhone revenue. The group is predicting additional earnings per share (EPS) of $1.91 in 2009, and potentially as much as $2.49, which would bring the total growth for that year to $7.31. The determining factor will be how many iPhones Apple will be able to sell -- numbers could fall anywhere between 25 and 45 million, but will need to come closer to the latter to meet Piper's estimates.

This view is supported mainly by a belief in the "game-changing" nature of the iPhone, which is hoped will trigger a turning point similar to that of the iPod. Piper is also siding with suggestions that much cheaper iPhones are inbound, since they believe the average cost will be approximately $330.

The company raised its price target on Apple stock from $160 to $205.

iChat patent links photos to voices

A new patent application filed by Apple surfaced today that separates the audio data of each participant in an iChat conference into its own track, allowing other software to handle iChat conference data in the same fashion as other audio applications that play multiple tracks. The invention specifically describes linking photos of audio conference participants to their corresponding voices, ensuring that iChat users on Macs, iPhones, and other devices would see a photo of the person speaking at any given time. The patent broadly covers both audio and video aspects of conferences, and is worded to include all manner of conferencing equipment -- including PDA devices and cellular phones. Other Apple patents that surfaced today include a Graphical user interface with improved media presentation, Computer Component Protection, Remote content updates for portable media devices, and a Deferred Shading Graphics Pipeline Processor with "Advanced Features."

Apple patenting Zune-like sharing, wireless buying

Apple may be ready to not only bring wireless file sharing to the iPhone and iPod but could affect Microsoft's Zune as well, according to the details of a newly publicized patent. The filing would allow fully mobile devices such as cellphones and MP3 players to automatically discover each other on a local network, similar to the way the Zune can recognize nearby devices on its Wi-Fi connection; also as with the Microsoft jukebox, owners would be able to "push" media and other files to other devices. But the patent's implementation would also let a device make such requests, Apple says, allowing one handheld to pick files for download in a way the Zune currently forbids. A wireless sync method could automate these requests simply by coming near the right device.

One version of Apple's technique would also use a central pool of information rather than a direct transfer. Devices could grab content from a remote server as part of the mobile-to-mobile link, and could accomplish the same through a local server or a nearby computer that hosts the content itself. Users could even create a random or semi-random effect through this method by telling the device or server on the opposite end to randomly load the device with content, similar to the way the iPod shuffle's AutoFill creates a new mix of songs through USB.

Importantly, this wireless request would also include purchases -- addressing the common request that Apple's handhelds, particularly the iPhone, be able to purchase media themselves. In cases where data is bought, a future Apple device could either earmark tracks for later download, similar to the way the Zune can flag shared songs, or else download the track directly and sync the resulting content later with a computer or another portable.

While it's currently unclear as to whether or not the patent would directly hurt Microsoft's ability to implement enhanced Wi-Fi, having been originally filed less than three months before the Zune's mid-November launch, the technology described inside explicitly greenlights not just device-to-device media library transfers and iTunes Store interaction but also general file transfers that may be useful for phones, such as contacts and user profiles.

Heart Imaging Technologies with Iphone

Heart Imaging Technologies (HeartIT) today announced a new service that enables physicians to simply click on a Web link sent via email and enter a password to instantly view movies of a patient's beating heart from across the globe on Apple's iPhone. "Viewing medical images traditionally requires dedicated workstations costing tens of thousands of dollars, which in turn are connected to proprietary picture archiving communications and storage (PACS) systems costing millions of dollars more. In order to view medical images, physicians must literally drive or walk to one of these workstations. Recent advances in World Wide Web browser technologies and the Web sites that utilize their rich features, collectively referred to as Web 2.0, are challenging these expensive and cumbersome proprietary approaches." Medical images displayed in a Web browser have historically remained low quality which limits their diagnostic usefulness. The new technology enables physicians to "drill-down" and view medical images, including movies, on Apple's iPhone.
"Patient privacy is obviously a critically-important issue on the internet," said Brent Reed, HeartIT's Director of Software Development. "Fortunately, medical privacy concerns can be addressed using the same encryption technologies employed by online banking and credit card transactions."

Firm sets whopping $205 price target on Apple shares

Piper Jaffray on Friday hiked its price target on shares of consumer electronics maker Apple Inc. to $205, explaining that a newly developed model for booked iPhone revenues reveals substantial upside to his 2009 calendar year earnings estimates.
"In 12 months, shares of Apple will be trading on calendar year 2009 (CY09) numbers and therefore we are using CY09 numbers to set our 12 month price target," analyst Gene Munster told clients. "While it is early to be using '09 numbers, we believe that as '09 comes into focus, investors will start to put numbers around Apple's booked revenue metric."

Munster's published CY09 per-share earnings estimate currently sits at $4.82, but the inclusion of both the booked revenue methodology and ATT revenue share would bump that guesstimate to $7.31 per share, he said.

"Applying a 28x multiple on $7.31 leads to a $205 price target," the analyst wrote. "Our target multiple of 28x is in line with the three-year average price/earnings multiple based on two-year forward earnings-per-share."

Munster emphasized that his revised target is based on Apple's ability to sell 45 million iPhone units in 2009 but has little to do with iPhone sales in 2007 and 2008.

"One thing we learned with the iPod is that when a device is game-changing, the demand will come," he advised clients. "However, it is difficult to predict the inflection point. For example, in December 2004, Street expectations for iPod ran wild with investors anticipating 8 million iPods, but Apple only sold 4.6 million. It was feared at the time that the iPod would never go mainstream."

The analyst added that the value of Apple shares 12 months from now will largely dependent on whether the Street believes the company can sell 45 million iPhones in 2009 for an average price of $330.

"Conversations with investors over the past month suggest awareness of potential for iPhone units is high, but awareness of potential resulting impact to earnings is low," he wrote. "If Apple can sell 45 million units in CY09, the earnings power and historical multiple ranges suggest our price target is reasonable."

Briefly: Sony boss calls Jobs "greedy," Vodafone on iPhone, more...

Sony's chief has accused Apple, Inc. head Steve Jobs of wanting absolute control over the market. Also, Vodafone said it would warm up to the iPhone under the right conditions, and Apple hoped to inspire its phone's young development community.

Sony exec: Apple's Jobs "greedy"

Although he is the head of a multinational company with influence in virtually every aspect of home electronics and media, Sony head Sir Howard Stringer was reportedly undeterred from accusing Apple's leader Steve Jobs of only caring about his and Apple's wealth at a recent Allen & Co. media conference.

Speaking as part of a panel which counted Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Google co-founder Sergey Brin among its ranks, Stringer is said to have characterized Jobs as a "greedy" hypocrite who would accuse music labels of only being interested in money while wanting to funnel money only to himself. The introduction of the iPhone was part of this approach, Stringer argued.

InterActiveCorp head Barry Diller allegedly brought the discussion to a halt to draw attention to the bold statement but only received a 'diplomatic' response from the Sony executive, who retreated from the statement.

Vodafone eager for 3G iPhone

Ending his company's largely silent approach to speculation over the choice of an iPhone carrier for Europe, Vodafone chief Arun Sarin on Thursday said that the iPhone's wireless Internet speed was an important factor in deciding whether or not to pick up the phone for its networks.

Including some form of cellular Internet faster than EDGE, such as Europe's UMTS or the international HSDPA standard, was important to pleasing a European audience, according to Sarun. 3G wireless is typically much more popular in the region and is known to be in the works for an eventual refresh of the iPhone.

"It's clearly a good, software-driven device, but we're concerned about wideband area coverage so that 3G or HSDPA connectivity with the iPhone is something that we look forward to," Sarun said.

The cellular provider head would not be drawn into confirming or denying that Vodafone would be selected for iPhone service in some European countries, but noted that nearly every major player in the continent was 'having a conversation' with Apple about possible deals.

Apple to host Tech Talks for iPhone devlopers

Roughly a week after the unofficial iPhoneDevCamp took place in San Francisco, Apple itself has announced a series of iPhone Tech Talks to take place in major US cities.

The month of August will see Apple host one-day events in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco that mix official seminars and demos with a loosely structured 3-hour programming session. Basic site compatibility, Web 2.0 apps, and handling content will form the heart of company-run discussions, the company said.

Anyone with a free ADC online membership or better is welcome to attend simply by signing up through the Tech Talk page and needs only to bring the bare essentials to the events, which begin with a Los Angeles gathering on August 2nd.

"Bring your notebook, your code, and your iPhone," Apple said.

iPhone 'Hello World' Application

iPhone hacking efforts have been ongoing, but early efforts have provided only a few practical uses (custom ringtones), but one big news item from the community is the first proof-of-concept "Hello World" application has been compiled and launched on the iPhone.

After many, many hours of intense work from "Nightwatch", the first independent "Hello World"* application has been compiled and launched on the iPhone. This was made possible using the "ARM/Mach-O Toolchain", Nightwatch's "special project", that he has been working on so carefully over the past few weeks. Certain parts of the toolchain (such as the assembler) are being refined and tested and these will be released as soon as possible.

No sample code or development tools are yet available, but this may pave the way to future 3rd party iPhone applications. There has been some hope/rumors that Apple may eventually launch their own official SDK.

How To Add a Custom Ringtone on the iPhone

So, the first practical (sorta) application from the iPhone hacking efforts appears on HacktheiPhone -- but its not for the faint of heart.

The 23 step tutorial requires an involved process which is not without risk:

Following these instructions may brick (kill) your iPhone making it completely unusable. If your iPhone becomes unresponsive to restoration via iTunes, then you may have to seek repair or replacement through Apple Inc., or AT&T. However, everyone we know of has been able to restore their iPhone fully by using iTunes. Pay careful attention to the instructions here. We are NOT responsible for your results. You are assuming all risks. These instructions were completed successfully by many people before being posted here, but we cannot account for everyone's individual computer system configurations or ability to follow directions.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Color Picker Software! How it can help you?

How many times when you was going to make you own, profitble website about different interesting facts you was thinking about colors?? Many times! It's true. Colors at your website is very important, because all your visitors will receive devastating chromatic effect.
Many people think that Photoshop will help them to solve that problem, yes it is. But it's very expensive... don't you think so? To solve this problem, you can use the AdesDesign’s color picker tool, AdesClrPicker, that permits you, with just one click, to select the right color to use: go with the color picker directly over the color on the screen you are interested in, Make your mouse click and color picker will show you the exact color value in HTML, RGB, C++, VB and Delphi formats (last 10 colors are saved into program cache). And use it on other parts of your site to reach the perfect chromatic effect (colorpicker doen't occupy your windows bar, just a little icon in your tray)!

Color picker is sold for just $9.90 and pay via PAYPAL

On Ades Site, there is also a very nice blog, full of interesting information and facts. Take a look: www.adesblog.com.