First Look: Sony Style Store and Comcast Labs

19 03 2009

I had the opportunity to attend the grand opening of the new Sony Style store and Comcast Labs, located in the Comcast Center (Comcast’s main corporate headquarters) at 17th and Market in Philadelphia.


The Comcast Center is also home to “The Market at Comcast Center”, a area with a bunch of food stalls and shops, and “The Comcast Experience,” a 2,000 square-foot LED screen, with a resolution 500% greater than that of an HDTV. The Sony Style store / Comcast Labs is accessed through a large staircase in the main Comcast Center building, near the giant LED screen. You can see part of the entrance stairway and the LED screen the photo below:


You can also access it from the Market entrance, either way, you have to go underground, but it is wheel chair accessible.

We will take a look inside the store and lab, after the jump.

Read more…

RSS, why no full text???

29 11 2008

RSS, or Really Simple Syndication is a great tool for staying on top of the latest news. But a growing trend is hindering this protocol.

I love the fact that my RSS reader allows me to quickly browse through all the blogs I read,—plus it wirelessly syncs up with my iPod Touch (Thank you NewsGator/FeedDemon/NetNewsWire)—however, lately I’ve noticed a disturbing trend. A few feed publishers have begun offering only a short summary of their articles, requiring you to click a “Read More..” link(I’m calling you out Ars Technica), forcing you to open the page in a new window. The reason this bothers me so much is that the whole reason I use RSS is that I want all the content from multiple blogs in one place. Having to open up the article in a new window is frustrating, but it’s even worse on my Touch, where I can’t quickly switch back and forth between windows. Of course, to add insult to injury the article isn’t pre-fetched, slowing me down even further.

More importantly, I don’t understand why Ars would choose this format. They were never in print media; they started as a technology blog that caters to technologists who are on the go and want information quickly. Why would they want to slow down their readers, much less force them to work to access their content? Furthermore, even the newspaper industry, which has traditionally provided only snippets of text, is starting to relax its death grip on its content. For example, The Guardian has started releasing full text in its RSS feeds.

So, to all content publishers out there remember, readers want information on their terms, not yours. This includes letting your readers selectively subscribe to your articles, which has been a request by many readers on other blogs during this election season, who think that tech blogs and politics do not mix, (cough lifehacker cough). Really, just give the readers what they want.

Keep a look out for my next post coming up in the next few weeks.

A new writer for The iLife!

4 08 2008

Hi all,

Today is actually my first day as a writer for The iLife, so I thought I should start things off right by just giving you a little info on myself. Before I made it here, I worked for two other blogs (Techbugtv & Engage Games Network). I must say that it has been a bit challenging moving around from blog to blog, however I have learned valuable information every step on the way. I look forward to sharing my opinions on Apple, and trying to get good content out to everyone!!

2008 Buy a Mac, Get a Free iPod Student Discount = Free 8GB iPod Touch

3 06 2008

Today Apple has launched this years “Buy a Mac, Get a Free iPod” back to school promotion.

Apple Get a Mac Free iPod Promotion Student 2008

As rumored by both MacRumors and AppleInsider yesterday; Apple launched the promotion early this morning.

To qualify for the deal, students must purchase a MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, or Mac Pro and either an iPod Touch or a 8GB iPod nano before September 15th 2008 to receive a rebate for the iPod. All products much be purchased from Apple either online, in an Apple Retail Store or at an Apple Authorized Campus Store. Any student accepted into or currently attending college and any employee of a public or private K-12 institution or higher education facility are eligible for the promotion.

Last year, the deal only offered a 200 dollar credit towards any new iPod (at the time, a free 4GB iPod nano), however this years deal offers a $300 discount which equates to an 8GB iPod Touch. Students can also opt for a 8GB iPod nano if they desire.

As reported by Morgan Stanley earlier this year, almost 40 percent of all college students are planning to purchase a Mac as their next computer. Apple currently holds a 15 percent market share in the student demographic.

The iLife staff notes that writers Matt Dodd, Matthew Rosenhein and Dan Spiers plan to purchase MacBook Pros under this new deal for college next year. Sidney San Martin and Matt Hamilton, both college students, already own Apple laptops and took advantage of last years deal.

Apple’s “Mighty Mouse” in Violation of Trademark? Man & Machine, Inc. v. Apple and CBS Corp

28 05 2008

This is a guest post from

Whether you know the name from the adorably small yet “Mighty Mouse” who took over kid’s television screens every weekend morning in the forties or you recognize the name from the powerful mouse that graces so many Apple user’s desks, the name “Mighty Mouse” has been fighting a battle all it’s own this past week. Man & Machine Inc., which is a Maryland based company who manufactures water-resistant and hygienic keyboards and mice for medical and industrial environments, sued both Apple and CBS CORP. for trademark infringement. M&M claims that while both their company and CBS hold trademark applications for the name, CBS’s use of the name does not cover such goods as computer products and therefore, if they licensed the name to Apple, it would be in violation of the trademark.

It seems to me that even if Man & Machine Inc. used the name for computer products before Apple (which they claim is true), the use of the name is for completely different niches in the computing world. M&M’s water-resistant, hygienic, and may I also say “wired” mouse design of “Mighty Mouse” is advertised and promoted specifically for medical and industrial use, differing with Apple’s design for a sleek and powerful mouse used mostly for home and office use. Most consumers who would be in the market for Apple’s Mighty Mouse would not, upon seeing M&M’s “Mighty Mouse,” change their mind about their purchase considering the different applications and niches for the product.

Man & Machine, Inc. is seeking money damages and a Court issued order, which will block Apple’s use of the name. A hearing date has not yet been set.

New Apple Store! – Willowbrook Mall – Wayne, NJ

2 05 2008

Apple is constantly expanding its retail presence. With over 200 locations worldwide, in 37 of the 50 states, New Jersey will be getting its 11th store this holiday season.

Apple Store Willowbrook Mall Wayne NJ Job Offering
Apple Retail Job Offering

According to ifoAppleStore and job postings by Apple, New Jersey will be receiving yet another retail store in the Willowbrook Mall.

Willowbrook Mall is a two story mall located in Wayne, New Jersey. The mall has over 1.5 million square feet of retail space and is located about 25 miles from New York City. The location in Willowbrook has not been revealed yet, however the store will be opening for the 2008 holiday season.

How I Met Woz!

17 04 2008

Because I am very busy over the next few days, and won’t have time to write a formal article this is the replacement.

Meeting Steve Woz
Me and Steve Wozniak in the Airport.

Yesterday, I finally got to meet Woz (Steve Wozniak)! Having just arrived in Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport with my robotics Team 555, while waiting for our luggage to come up, I noticed Woz walk up and look at the TV that displayed the Baggage Claim listings. I quickly introduced myself and I asked if I could get a business card and a picture. He gladly gave me a business card and took a picture with me.

This wasn’t the first time I ran into Woz, however! Last year in Atlanta, at the FIRST Championship, where Woz regularly judges, I saw him riding a Segway and asked him for his business card- but he was all out. It is great to finally get the famed, laser engraved, business card and a picture! Thanks Woz!!

A Thought: Computers for All

11 04 2008

Recently I wrote a paper for school about a problem that I would like to solve. I thought I would share it with you guys today.

Living in the 21st century, it is almost impossible to avoid a computer. Not restricted to only homes or offices, computers control systems behind everything from banking to traffic lights. However a substantial percentage of people in the world do not own computers- in fact, some have never seen one! To someone living in the United States, on the East Coast, this concept is almost unimaginable. Everyone should have access to computers- from the deserts of Africa to the arctic planes in northern Russia.

Among the many issues in this world, education is often overshadowed by poverty and disease. While poverty and disease are more important, with good education, the percentage of disease and poverty can be reduced. While some view education in a traditional manner, with a teacher, blackboard and a textbook, the computer can be a very powerful educational tool and is often under utilized. Computers can not only serve as a teacher, but save paper and stay up to date- unlike textbooks.

While computers have the potential to replace teachers, eerily alike robots replacing humans, the execution is what has held the concept back. In the past, it was that computers were too expensive, not reliable, and not durable enough. With technology becoming cheaper, more reliable and more efficient everyday, it is now come time to start building computers meant for worldwide distribution at a small cost. For example, the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project goal is to produce a laptop for $100 that could be distributed to children across the world, in a variety of geographical locations. This is a step in the right direction. Not only is the OLPC computer durable but it contains a wide variety of educational software and tools.

Another step would be to standardize the software distributed on these computers- be it an OLPC or other machine. Assuring the quality and compliance to curriculum will not only help sell more computers, but allow for the use of this software across the world. The OLPC excels in its software and price point, but it’s superior hardware design makes it durable and usable even in the worst conditions. This is another area of importance as not everyone in the world has power or internet connection at home. The OLPC can be recharged by hand through its hand crank, and receive internet through a large peer to peer chain of other OLPC’s, starting with only one internet connection far away.

Everyone is in the position to help. Be it the OLPC project, or something similar; spreading computers helps educate. With the help from larger companies like Microsoft, Apple, Dell, Google, Intel and IBM we can all help to buy computers like the OLPC for children across the world in need. With creative ingenuity, like a small tax on all computers sold would help these companies subsidize the purchase of OLPC’s. You can buy an OLPC for yourself, but you are required to buy two- one for you and one for a child. Computers can help us with just about everything, and with some small steps in the right direction, make the world a better place for all.

Trip to the Apple Store

25 03 2008

Over this past weekend, a friend and I decided to take a trip to the 5th Avenue Apple Store. The experience below.

Apple Store 5th Avenue Cube Outside
Outside the 5th Avenue Apple Store, Jobs’ 32 foot cube in sight.

My friends and family know that I often like to take trips to the Apple Store for no apparent reason. About every month or so, I’ll make at least one trip to my local Apple Store- there are quite a few, actually! Because I live in New Jersey, 10 miles from New York City, I have access to 3 flagship stores and 3 regular Apple Stores within a 15 mile radius!!

After the opening of the West 14th Street store (which you can see here), I was instantly in love with the 3 stories of Cupertino goodness found on 14th Street- which still holds the crown as my favorite Apple Store ever. However because it was Easter Sunday and all other stores in the area were closed, my friend and I went to the 5th Avenue store, which is open 24/365. Upon our arrival we found the store to be quite crowded, probably due to the Easter Parade which takes place on 5th Avenue, not to mention it was one of the few businesses operating that day.

Inside the store, it was nicely crowded, you had to wait to do anything, not to mention the line coming in and out of the store. As usual, most people were just surfing the internet and playing on iPhones and iPods- I saw relatively little retail activity- even though there was a large line to the registers!

We started by playing on iPhones (which I’ll get into at a later date), and then wondered over to the MacBook Air table, which we spent a lot of time at. We were on one for maybe 20 minutes, when all the sudden someone took control of our mouse and promptly shut down the computer- via Remote Desktop, of course. Puzzled we turned the computer back on and quickly slid down one MacBook Air and resumed our browsing.

MacBook Air Table Apple Store
Yay! Photobooth lawls.
Exploring the contents of an Apple Store MacBook Air.

Later, we moved over to an iMac, where I was showing my friend something by Control+Scrolling (via Mighty Mouse) and found myself stuck zoomed in to a portion of the screen. Maybe you guessed it, but the down scrolling wasn’t working! I ended up navigating into System Preferences and turning off and on the Control Zoom feature to bring the display back to normal. Dammed Mighty Mice!! While an easy fix for my mice at home, I was disappointed that at the Apple Store it wasn’t taken care of.

Then later, it happened again! Before leaving, I wanted to play with Aperture 2 on a new computer (ie, not a PowerPC based computer), so we found an empty iMac in the opposite corner of the store to play with it on. Not remembering my previous experience with the Control Zoom, I did it again, showing a section of the new Aperture UI. This time a little more frustrated, as it is something that I use often, I realized that this Mighty Mouse didn’t scroll down either! Gah! How are people new to the Mac platform supposed to scroll down? Or see Apple’s hardware not working?! I am currently drafting a formal complaint for the store.

Otherwise, it was a typical Apple Retail experience, good, clean, pleasurable. I hope next time I go to use a Mighty Mouse it can scroll both ways. If not, I’ll have a nice template to send my complaint with.

The iBook Story

14 03 2008

Sometimes, you wonder if some things could tell stories, what they might say. After explaining some of my laptops quarks to Sidney a few months ago, he suggested I write a story.

It was a fairly mild May day, May 23rd to be exact. The model iBook had been out for approximately a month when an Army solider decided to purchase his first Mac. He customized it to have 512MB of RAM and even opted for the Bluetooth wireless option. At the cost of approximately $1,200 it was a very respectable system- including AppleCare! After treating it like his baby, a little more than 2 months of owning it, he found out his was deployed to Iraq. Understanding that the computer wouldn’t get used very much while he was gone, he decided to sell it on eBay.

I was a sophomore in high school at the point, and was in the market for a new computer. After my iMac G3 was damaged by lightning in a recent storm, I wanted to get a laptop. The decision to get a new computer, as WWDC had recently taken place did require some thought into the future. I knew that I couldn’t stand another two years with my aging iMac G3, that I would have to live through the transition- I knew I would be getting a new computer by the end of my senior year. I originally thought to get a brand new computer from the Apple Store online, but had a whim to go on eBay and see if I couldn’t fetch a better deal there.

After much searching, I stumbled upon a few auctions that fit my needs. Being a good eBay buyer, I closely monitored the activity with these (three or so) auctions- looking for the right time to snatch my deal. Behold my connection with the Army solider. I won the auction, paying about $900 with shipping. I was amazed- I got a computer worth more than $1,200 retail at the time at a discount of almost $300. Not only did I save money, but I saved a computer from going to waste.

The seller was extremely nice, and sent me an email wishing me good luck with the computer, and to take care of it- because he would miss it. I tried contacting him upon compiling this story, but haven’t yet received a response. Not only have I taken care of this computer, I have put it to good use. I almost see it as a physical representation of my high school career- it has been with me for these past 4 years reliably and has seen a lot.

I couldn’t even begin to count the miles I have put on it- but I can estimate that it is at least 10,000. Where did I get this number? Well, in the past 4 years, I’ve taken my laptop with me to Amsterdam, San Francisco, Denver, Florida, Canada, North Carolina, St. Louis, Atlanta- to name a few. In fact, I’m writing this story on it currently en-route to Hartford, Connecticut. I also have been in and out of New York City, New York State, Connecticut, Massachusetts on a monthly basis. I bring my laptop with me virtually everywhere- from trips to the Diner with my family, to the mall, friends houses and often to school. Even with the excessive amount of traveling and milage put on it, it has stood up well.

Stood up well… for the most part: It has made a few trips to the repair center, for numerous issues, nothing too serious. I have had the battery replaced, new bottom case installed, gone through more rubber ‘feet’ than I can care to remember, had the hard drive swapped out and the bezel changed. Otherwise, my computer (which is now out of AppleCare) has remained solid. Even through in this time of Intel processors ‘screaming’, the G4 has kept me running fairly well- I’ve been on Leopard since it came out, and besides intensive media work (mainly Final Cut, or rendering of any kind) it can keep me up to speed. Sadly, I have to admit that even with my love for it, I will have to replace it with a new MacBook Pro for college in June. I won’t abandon it- it will stick with me and I will never forget the service it has given me.

I would be interested- what is the story behind your computer? Let us know!