April 23, 2014

Link: The FCC Wants to Ruin the Internet…Or Does It? ☍

Edward Wyatt for The New York Times (via John Gruber):

The new rules, according to the people briefed on them, will allow a company like Comcast or Verizon to negotiate separately with each content company—like Netflix, Amazon, Disney or Google—and charge different companies different amounts for priority service.

That, of course, could increase costs for content companies, which would then have an incentive to pass on those costs to consumers as part of their subscription prices.

Proponents of net neutrality have feared that such a framework would empower large, wealthy companies and prevent small start-ups, which might otherwise be the next Twitter or Facebook, for example, from gaining any traction in the market.

Update: Now The Verge is reporting that the FCC chairman Tom Wheeler is denying it:

“There are reports that the FCC is gutting the Open Internet rule. They are flat out wrong. Tomorrow we will circulate to the Commission a new Open Internet proposal that will restore the concepts of net neutrality consistent with the court’s ruling in January. There is no ‘turnaround in policy.’ The same rules will apply to all Internet content. As with the original Open Internet rules, and consistent with the court’s decision, behavior that harms consumers or competition will not be permitted.”

News: Apple Reports Q2 Results, Stock Split

Apple announced financial results for its fiscal 2014 second quarter ending March 29, 2014. In the conference call, Apple posted quarterly revenue of $45.6 billion and quarterly net profit of $10.2 billion, or $11.62 per diluted share…

Link: GameStop to Open More ‘Simply Mac’ Stores ☍

Steve Kaskovich for The Star-Telegram (via MacRumors):

[GameStop CEO Paul] Raines said GameStop’s confidence in rapid growth at the small chains, acquired for about $110 million last year, is buoyed by their strong ties to industry leaders AT&T and Apple.

Steve Bain and Jason Ellis, the executives who built Simply Mac and Spring Mobile, continue to run the operations for GameStop and see strong growth opportunities. After opening 23 stores this year, Bain said, the company plans to open 50 more Simply Mac stores in 2015.

I’m excited about this—if they’re run correctly, they’ll offer another option for markets not served by Apple’s stores, and may make Mac sales and service a bit more accessible. I know Apple offers service where you can ship your devices in, but a face-to-face option may be more appealing to those who fall on the more novice end of the spectrum.

April 22, 2014

Link: Apple Opens OS X Betas to Non-Developers ☍

Apple now allows anyone with an Apple ID to try out the latest betas of OS X and offer feedback. I think this could allow Apple to find and fix problems sooner than later, but also it seems that the rumors are more focused around iOS betas, so why not? For those keeping track at home, the last time there was a public beta offered by Apple, it was the OS X Public Beta.

The OS X Beta Seed Program gives users the opportunity to run pre-release software. Test-drive beta software and provide quality and usability feedback that will help make OS X even better.

Join the OS X Beta Seed Program and accept the Beta Seed and Confidentiality Agreement. Apple will provide a Beta Access Utility for your Mac, which gives you access to pre-release versions of OS X in the Mac App Store Updates panel.

Review: Overmacs PhotoSweeper

PhotoSweeperIf you’re like me, your digital photo library may span years—even decades. Although programs like iPhoto, Aperture, and Lightroom try to help with keeping photos organized, multiple cameras types, accidental extra imports, and even simple file duplications are bound to happen. While some tools are included in these programs for sorting and finding duplicates, PhotoSweeper by Overmacs is a $10 utility that hopes to make the process even easier…

“There are some ideas we want every company to copy.”

April 21, 2014

Link: Better ☍

Apple updated their Environmental Responsibility page and not only does it demonstrate many of the important points well, there’s an excellent video explaining some of these philosophies narrated by Apple CEO Tim Cook himself.

April 18, 2014

Link: Nike Fires FuelBand Team, Might Stop Making Hardware? ☍

Nick Statt for CNET:

Nike is gearing up to shutter its wearable-hardware efforts, and the sportswear company this week fired the majority of the team responsible for the development of its FuelBand fitness tracker, a person familiar with the matter told CNET. [...]

The shoemaker isn’t throwing in the towel on technology. Rather, it’s turning away from hardware and realigning its focus exclusively on fitness and athletic software, a strategic shift that would still benefit the company in the long run, analysts said.

If it’s me reading the signs (and others have already suggested it), Nike’s decision to focus on software really opens to door for someone else to get involved in these kind of devices, especially when you consider who is on the board. Then again, maybe people really aren’t getting excited about wearables when smartphones can handle these things and Nike is making a smart exit.

Update: Re/code is reporting that Nike is denying the report about the shutdown, but that there were a few layoffs.