Archive for day April 13th, 2012

Death To The Gatekeepers: Bezos Talks Innovation In The Publishing Space

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The heart of Jeff Bezos’ mission has always to circumvent the traditional “gatekeepers” of commerce. He started with books, an industry ripe for disruption, and moved onto, well, everything else. At this point, his vision has come true. The old gatekeepers in the book sales cycle are on the ropes and electronics companies are already planning to collude in order to maintain a “minimum” accepted price, thereby ensuring Amazon doesn’t eat all of their lunch.

But Amazon is hungry and, like Plainview, they have a long straw. They won’t just eat the world’s lunch, they’ll drink its milkshake, too.

The recent lawsuits against Apple and various publishers are a testament to Amazon’s power. Publishers won’t accept that their product can be sold at Amazon’s prices and Amazon won’t accept that the product can’t be sold at a price that reflects the market. We are, after all, just talking bits shipped to devices and $1,000 made in 1,000 ninety-nine cent increments is the same as $1,000 made in one-hundred $10 increments. Amazon, for the longest time, served as a final lifeline for the paper publishing industry and it seems that this legal move is a way to strip the last vestige of respect from those gatekeepers who, for far too long, made the sale of ideas a process of getting widgets onto shelves. Like the CD makers before them, they just don’t want to give up what has served the industry for so long and so lucratively.

But this is just the beginning. In his letter to investors, Bezos writes:

I am emphasizing the self-service nature of these platforms because it’s important for a reason I think is somewhat non-obvious: even well-meaning gatekeepers slow innovation. When a platform is self-service, even the improbable ideas can get tried, because there’s no expert gatekeeper ready to say “that will never work!” And guess what – many of those improbable ideas do work, and society is the beneficiary of that diversity.

Arguably, Bezos isn’t a very sympathetic character. His company makes a lot of money and, if we really thought about it enough, we’d realize that he’s a bigger threat to the Mom and Pop stores than even Wal-Mart. At least Wal-Mart helps rural areas retain a sense of community. Amazon is a black box – money in, products delivered. You could live off of Amazon and never leave your house, given enough patience and a good bit of cash.

But it’s this mentality – that you don’t need to roll down to Borders for a book or a movie, that you don’t need to hit the student book exchange to get fleeced on a statistics textbook – that really makes sense in a world where most discourse and commerce is happening online anyway. To hold onto the old ways for sake of the old ways is conservative, to be sure, but it’s also a suicide pact with the writers and creators you’re championing.

Even more than Jobs, Bezos is intent on blowing up the publishing industry. Tim Carmody at Wired writes “He doesn’t care whether Apple, publishers or anyone else stands in the way,” and this is absolutely true. Call him a zealot, but when’s the last time you drove down to the local bookstore and didn’t think that soon this empire of the mind would be gone, replaced by something Gutenberg wouldn’t couldn’t fathom in his wildest imagination? Heck, when’s the last time you drove down to the local bookstore at all?



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John Biggs

April 13th

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Nokia Fixes Lumia 900 Data Woes Ahead Of Schedule With New Software Update

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Nokia certainly didn’t waste any time when it came to fixing that pesky data connection bug that popped up in a few first-run Lumia 900s. Just two days after Nokia acknowledged the issue and pledged to make things right, they’ve already made that critical update available to those in need. In case you were keeping track, that’s a full three days before Nokia promised to have the fix in the field.

Not too shabby, Nokia.

The cynic in me wants to say that the Finnish phone giant could have talked up the original date in order to give understandably upset customers a pleasant surprise, but all that really matters is that the update is out and the Lumia 900′s first crisis is over. If you haven’t already swapped out for handset for a less screwy one, all it takes to perform the update is plug it into your computer — if you’ve already got the Zune software (for PCs) or the Windows Phone 7 Connector (for Mac) installed, you’ll be prompted to update and that’s that.

Those of you on the fence about buying a Lumia 900 may as well bite the bullet now. Nokia’s rather awesome $100 bill credit will continue to run until the 21st and a little scouting around will ensure that you fiscally come out ahead. Perhaps more importantly, customers didn’t have to rely on AT&T for a fix, a trend that hopefully continues for any major updates that should come down the line. AT&T has proven themselves to be a little lax when it comes to pushing updates to Windows Phones, but with Nokia once again gunning for some American limelight, they may try and fill in any of those gaps themselves.



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Chris Velazco

April 13th

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Apple seeds OS X 10.7.4 build 11E46 to developers (release note included)


Almost two weeks after the last release to developers, Apple seeded OS X 10.7.4 build 11E46 to developers this evening. The update features no known issues and asks developers to focus on the App Store, graphics, Mail, QuickTime, screen sharing, and Time Machine. If you are a registered Mac developer, you can grab the update from the Developer Center. Apple did not provide a public release date for 10.7.4. You can check out the full release note after the break. Cheers, Ralf!

OS X Lion 10.7.4 build 11E46 Seed Note

OS X Lion Update 10.7.4 is an update to OS X Lion 10.7.

Installation Instructions

The OS X Lion 10.7.4 Update (Combo) updates

- OS X Lion 10.7, 10.7.1 or 10.7.2, 10.7.3 GM or any other previous 10.7.4 seed builds.

The OS X Lion 10.7.4 Update (Delta) updates

- OS X Lion 10.7.3 GM or any other previous 10.7.4 seed builds.

Please be aware that you will not be able to revert back to your previous system after updating. Please install this update on a system you are prepared to erase if necessary.

Known Issues

- None

Focus Areas

- App Store

- Graphics

- Mail

- QuickTime

- Screen Sharing

-Time Machine

Bug Reporting

This build is being provided to you for testing and development purposes. Should you encounter any problems, please submit a bug report using the online Bug Reporter at <http://bugreporter.apple.com/>. Please make sure to include “10.7.4 (11E46)” in the bug title and description. This information will ensure that your bug is processed quickly.

When submitting a bug report, please make sure to include a Summary, Steps to Reproduce, Actual Results, Expected Results, the System Profile Report, and any other relevant information that is necessary to process the report.

IMPORTANT: Engineering requires additional information for crashing bugs, kernel panics, and hanging issues.

Crashing Bugs: Crash logs are required for crashing bugs. Crash logs can be located in ~/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports

Kernel Panics: Backtraces, which contain vital information for investigating kernel panics, are required for kernel panic issues. Backtraces can be saved to nvram on restart shutdown, then copied to the panic.log file on restart. The panic.log file can be found in /Library/Logs/PanicReporter.

Hanging Issues: When an application is hung, a Sample should be provided. This can be done using the Activity Monitor (/Applications/Utilities/). To generate a Sample using this utility, click on the hung application name, then from the View Menu select “Sample Process”.

For complete instructions on submitting bug reports, please visit the Bug Reporting page at <http://developer.apple.com/bugreporter/>.

Thank you for your support.

Apple World Wide Developer Relations



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Jake Smith

April 13th

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Samsung to showcase flagship OLED HDTV at IFA in August

Samsung confirmed on Friday that its 55-inch OLED HDTV will be shown at Berlin’s IFA trade show in late August, according to a report from SlashGear. At the event, the manufacturer will announce the TV’s official launch details alongside a new, premium range of HDTVs. Samsung describes the new televisions as even “more premium” than its OLED models, although that may be in terms of functionality rather than design or display technology. Samsung unveiled its OLED TV at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, however details remain scarce. Both television sets will reportedly support the newest iteration of Samsung AllShare, which will add a 5GB cloud account to its local DLNA-based service, along with a remote login system, in the latter part of 2012. Using a single account login, the feature will allow users to remotely access any of their Samsung devices located anywhere in the world.

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Dan Graziano

April 13th

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Branded Artist Apps Could Be a Gold Mine for Musicians and Fans Alike [Music]

Say you're a big fan of Sleigh Bells (the band, not the wintertime equine accessory). Wouldn't you want to listen to whatever Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss rocked on their iPods last week? More »


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Eliot Van Buskirk - Evolver.fm

April 13th

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Is This the Mistress Who Took Down the CEO of Best Buy? (Updated) [Best Buy Mistress]

Brian Dunn was the CEO of America's largest seller of electronics, making over $10 million a year, until he was forced out for spending company money to cheat on his wife with a coworker. Is this the digital dame? More »


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Sam Biddle

April 13th

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Make Your Own Chewing Gum, Even Though You’re Not a Kid Anymore [Daily Desired]

Dirty mouth? You can clean it up with your own brand of homemade chewing gum. More »


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Leslie Horn

April 13th

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Verify Now Lets Designers Test More Of Their Ideas In More Places

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Interaction design and strategy firm ZURB has turned more and more of its internal apps into products for other designers over the last few years. Among these products is Verify, a handy little tool that allows design firms to quickly collect and analyze user feedback on screenshots and mockups. With Verify, for example, a startup could test multiple versions of its homepage or logo and see which one people like best, where they click and even what they remember about the site. Today, ZURB launched the latest version of this tool, which includes two major new features: multivirate testing and multi-device support, allowing developers and designers to test their designs on the actual devices they are intended for.

Verify already allowed its users to test new designs with the help of a battery of different tests, including basic preference tests, a mood test (what feelings does this screenshot evoke?) and a memory test (what do your users remember about your site after looking at it for 5 seconds?). Once a test is completed, the designers get access to a detailed report with all the necessary statistics.

Until now, these tests only allowed ZURB’s users to pitch two different designs against each other. With this new version, users can now try out multiple variations of their designs and see how their testers react to them. These mulitvariate tests are now available for all the currently available tests on Verify.

ZURB offers a free 30-day trial for Verify and its paid plans start at $19/month. It’s worth noting that multivariate testing is only available with a $99/month premium plan.



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Frederic Lardinois

April 13th

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National Geographic, The Daily Show, and More [Ipad Apps Of The Week]

This week brings apps that will add a little more knowledge into your life. From satire and current events, to math and nature facts, you'll be using your tablet to flex the old brain muscle.
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Leslie Horn

April 13th

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Jittergram, 1-Bit Camera, Wavii, and More [Iphone Apps Of The Week]

Your camera will be set up for pictures of any style with this week's iPhone apps of the week. Between 80s style photos, homemade GIFs, and customized filters, you'll be a snapshot machine.
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Leslie Horn

April 13th

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