Macworld 2008 – Update II!

7 01 2008

Macworld AJAX v2

Ok, so the official countdown reads now reads 7 days- time to update on Macworld! Sidney and I have been working on the AJAX app and are proud to announce that the framework has been completed this weekend. It is now time to add the Javascript to make everything pretty as well as add some parts of the back end, to make it easier to post while at Macworld. This means that the Application itself should be done before weeks end (or at least, in beta)! This screenshot above is not the photoshop mockup anymore, that is an actual HTML file. We are very proud to announce this, and will certainly let you know when you can start testing it, as well as registering your phones for SMS updates.

Macworld Rumors: iTunes Rentals

4 01 2008

For the coming days leading up to Macworld, I will be releasing a series of articles focused on specific rumors slated for Macworld 2008.

Todays article is about the rumored iTunes movie rental service.

It’s Showtime for Rentals

Arguably the second biggest rumor lined up for Macworld this year, the iTunes Movie Rental service has been rumored to appear since full featured movies on iTunes became official. Presently, you can purchase approximately 1000 full length movies at prices ranging from $9.99~$14.99, including DRM. While this is great, the quality is nothing to write home about- nor is the price especially, versus a DVD. The DRM certainly doesn’t make the deal either.

Movies and TV Shows aren’t really comparable to music, in terms of their use. While Jobs advocates for the users owning their digital music, videos are different from music. You may watch a TV show once maybe, twice. You might watch a movie a few times more- or you might not. On the other hand, music you listen to time and time again. Currently, iTunes only allows for the outright purchase of media. I think for the future Apple is considering rentals as an option, certainly for video content.

It makes far more sense to be able to rent videos. Not only is it cheaper but, it is already a successful industry! However, the digital rental market is far from crowded. With its large content selection and huge user base, the iTunes Movie Rental Store already has potential. Rentals could allow Apple to solve the problems to a number of existing iTunes issues. First being the high prices of iTunes Movies and TV Shows! Secondly, it could allow users to get better quality movies, depending upon the technologies they use such as streaming. Finally, Apple could put a real use to the HD-ready AppleTV- watch and rent movies from your couch or even from your iPhone or iPod Touch!!

But, who knows specifically how Apple will handle it. They could have you download a the video, and have it expire (through DRM) within 24 hours (or set period of time) after its first play. Or they could stream it to you, but how would they judge the 24 hours? There is also speculation that the rentals could be for a 30 day time period. Whatever length, transferring large, potentially HD movies is tricky because everyone is on a different speed internet connection and, naturally some are faster than others. The major questions remains- which studios would first join? Many are speculating FOX, and of course, Disney. Lots of questions with little backing or answers. Macworld will tell.
Read more…

Macworld Rumors: MacBooks

3 01 2008

For the coming days leading up to Macworld, I will be releasing a series of articles focused on specific rumors slated for Macworld 2008.

Todays article is about the rumored ‘ultra-portable’ laptop.

The MacBook Future

Probably the biggest rumor going for Macworld this year has to be the ‘ultra-portable’ MacBook. The rumor has been floating around for years, resurfacing many times over the years! In 2003, ‘The Year of the Notebook’, Apple introduced a 12″ and 17″ PowerBook to diversify the lineup. Going way back, the PowerBook 2400 was considered a true ‘ultra-portable’ and included an external Floppy drive. Now more than ever, the rumor seems realistic except- Steve Jobs doesn’t like having of external optical drives.

I came this realization recently, which added to the skepticism I have surrounding the ‘ultra-portable’ without an optical drive. Jobs can be heard while introducing the iBook G3 comparing the new laptop to other competitors at the time. At minute 9:41, Steve says:

“Some people leave optical drives out of notebooks. We think people need optical drives in their notebooks, so we build them in.”

But, this doesn’t mean that the rumor is out- just because Jobs doesn’t like something does not mean that it won’t happen! Also, this was a couple of years ago now!

I think that in Macworld we will definitely see new laptops of some kind. Whether they are ‘ultra-portable’, I can’t say for sure. It is true, that if you look at (or open up) a MacBook Pro, you can see that almost a quarter of the surface area is taken up with the optical drive- and lets face it: physical media is on its way out! Just like Jobs cut ADB for USB or Floppy disks, we can be certain that in the future (maybe the near one) we will no longer have optical drives. However, at this point in time, I think an optional external optical drive isn’t ideal- and I think Apple agrees at this point in time, unless this new laptop is dirt cheap. ($599? $699? $799)?

Read more…

2008 Macworld Countdown Widget!

22 12 2007

Macworld 2008 Countdown Widget

For all of those counting down the days until Christmas or New Years, we are counting down until Macworld. So for all those waiting on those new MacBooks or iTunes Rentals, or whatever Sir Steve throws at us- may the counting begin!
Get yours at our new Downloads page.

Macworld 2008 – Update I!

19 12 2007

Just as I promised, Sidney and I have been working on the AJAX application. We have come to terms (for now) with the design, and have began to *start* coding. This part of the process will probably be the most time consuming, so hang on tight- there should be more to come in about a week or so.

Screenshot of the design below:

Macworld AJAX v1

Our Macworld 2008 Plans #1

14 12 2007

With less than one month to go (and counting), we are beginning to sketch out our plans for event coverage (particularly the Keynote) online. As of today, I can say we are definitely offering two services for staying informed — an AJAX web application that will update with text and pictures as they’re uploaded, and an SMS updater.

The SMS updater (yet to be named) will allow you to sign up to be text messaged with the most urgent announcements from the Keynote. To sign up, you’ll simply enter your phone number, select your carrier, and verify that it’s your number by entering the verification code sent to you. There are no fees or catches — just standard text messaging rates.

The AJAX application (also yet to be named) primarily allows you to get live text updates via a web browser, no refreshes needed. But next to the text updates, photos will appear as they are uploaded. All, of course, with a slick and shiny implementation. Look for some screenshots coming your way soon.

Of course, this is the first preview of our Macworld plans, so expect more coming your way soon. We hope to have everything up and running at least a week before the Keynote. Of course, we always appreciate comments and emails from our readers, so feel free to pass on any ideas!

Macworld 2008!

6 12 2007

Macworld 2008

So, as we are now approaching less than one month until Macworld 2008, the rumor mills are starting to churn out those crazy pre-Macworld rumors (do I hear ultra portable MacBook?) and I am preparing to attend! Being my first year as an attendee at Macworld I have started to prepare the LiveBlogging/rapid uploading of pictures throughout the keynote, for the site. Also, seeing that I live in New Jersey, I have a couple hundred thousand miles to travel and things to work out. I will certainly keep you all posted, and don’t forget that will be your one stop Macworld 2008 source!