Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dish Network buys bankrupt Blockbuster for $320 million to bolster online content (UPDATE: Judge okays takeover bid)

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Fresh on the heels of its purchase of communications company DBSD North America for about $1.4 billion, Dish Network snapped up video rental service operator Blockbuster in a bankruptcy auction for a cool $320 million. About $228 million will be paid in cash and the transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2011. The company outbid at least three contenders and now stands to bolster its offering by taking advantage of Blockbuster’s online movie rentals, Reuters explains:

Dish might find Blockbuster’s online content appealing as the company could use it as a base for an online product to deliver movies.
Dish has already made some strides into this space prior to the acquisition…




Last month they put out an iPad app called Dish Remote Access that gives its subscribers access to live television streaming. It works only in conjunction with a Sling-enabled device, has remote control capabilities and lets you tune in to any channel or access DVR recordings.

With Blockbuster under its wings, Dish could mount a formidable challenge to the established incumbents, namely Netflix which pretty much owns the digital movie rental space in the US. It could also alter the landscape for Apple’s iTunes which battles Netflix, Amazon and other companies in the movies rental space.

UPDATE [April 8, 2011 6:15am Pacific Time]

Reuters reports that bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland approved the proposed takeover bid by Dish Network. The company can now proceed with the acquisition of Blockbusters’s 1,700 stores and online rental business, the news gathering organization reports.



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- Posted using my iPhone 4

iAds Gallery is an idea borrowed

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Here’s a video from June 2010:



Her app was of course rejected by Apple. You’ll recall that Apple just a few days ago took this idea and ran with it with their iAds Gallery. Fair?

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Creepy FaceTime glitch shows random pictures, raising privacy concerns

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An unusual glitch with FaceTime calling has popped up in the Apple Discussions forum. It appears that for some people FaceTime would bring up a random image, a user wrote:

My boyfriend and I have both recently experienced this problem several times – when one of us is calling the other via FaceTime, an old picture freezes on our screen, while the person receiving the call only sees a black screen. It’s kind of creepy, because it brought up photos of both of us at work, where I have used FaceTime a few times but he never has.
Another poster suggested that the camera seems to be keeping random images that have not been taken before and don’t seem to originate from past FaceTime calls:

Just minutes ago when i called my girlfriend and i saw a “picture” of myself from today when i was at the office. I know it was from today because i had the exact same shirt. The weirdest thing is that picture is not stored on my iPhone.
Judging by the comments, restoring the phone and manually re-installing all the apps doesn’t help. This glitch is bound to raise privacy concerns. I, for one, would not be happy about my iPhone taking pictures of me when I haven’t told it so.



Actually, this reminds me of a similar problem when the original iPhone was released… Back then, eagle-eyed users had found out that the device grabbed a screenshot of the running app when the home button was pressed. This was by design so that the phone could zoom in to the saved screenshot when a user runs the same app again in order to give the appearance of loading more quickly.

The “feature” got substantial air time due to privacy implications. For example, someone could obtain your personal information by grabbing a screenshot of your banking app from the phone’s memory.





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QuarkXPress 9 coming April 26, you can test drive it for free

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QuarkXPress 9, the next major version of this once popular desktop publishing software, is coming April 26 and there is a 30-day free evaluation version available for download from Quark’s website. The evaluation version comes with all the bells and whistles of the commercial product, including saving and printing.

Additionally, you will be able to convert the evaluation version into a full retail copy by entering a validation code to continue working on your projects created in trial version. New features include the following treats…



Automation tools let you create Automator-like scripts for repetitive tasks, including the ability to create advanced styling rules for bullets, numbering and other design elements. Enhanced editing tools support image grids and take the pain out of object duplication. App Studio, a brand new application focused on optimizing and delivering content for the iPad, will launch as a free QuarkXpress 9 update three months following its April debut. Another thing QuarkXPress 9 supports is publishing to ePub format and devices supported by the cross-platform Blio e-reader which is coming on Macs and iOS devices later this year.

QuarkXPress 9 will cost $799 for new customers or $299 for those upgrading from QuarkXPress 8 or 7. It will be available beginning April 26 from the Quark online store and authorized resellers. Customers who bought QuarkXPress 8 between January 1 and February 23 should fill out a redemption form. The software requires an Intel-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later.










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FBI gets involved in Apple Store robberies

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USA Today is reporting that the FBI has taken an interest in the recent spate of high profile Apple Store robberies:

The FBI is assisting several law enforcement agencies in an ongoing investigation of more than a dozen Apple Store robberies in states from Connecticut to Virginia, said Special Agent J.J. Klaver in Philadelphia.
This follows news this week of a fatality during an armed smash and grab in San Diego and a Pittsburgh Apple Store that has been broken into three times.

It appears that USA Today got some industry experts to comment as well…


Such escalated incidents “are few and far between,” says Seth Weintraub, editor of the website 9to5 Mac. But, “The publicity surely has Apple on guard.”

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Apple’s Jaw-dropping Final Cut Pro to be unveiled at NAB next week in Vegas?

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We’ve been hearing all kinds of Chatter that the next version of Final Cut Pro will debut in Vegas at NAB next week. Thing is, we hear this every year and Apple hasn’t really done a NAB properly in awhile. That’s OK, we’ll take that we can get.

Rumors are flying that Apple will be using the Vegas Supermeet to announce the next version of Final Cut Pro. Supposedly, Apple will be taking over the entire event for their announcement, cancelling all other sponsors, including AJA, Avid, Canon, BlackMagic, Autodesk and others, who were set to give presentations.Philip Bloom just confirmed with me that Canon has canceled his appearance at the Supermeet. Canon was told last night that Apple has demanded ALL “lecturn” or stage time exclusively. Some sponsors who were not using presenters may continue to sponsor the Vegas event, but none of them will be presenting on the stage. I can’t imagine any news that would warrant this kind of “take-over” other than to announce and demonstrate the next full version of Final Cut Pro and possibly an entirely newly designed FCS4.(UPDATE: Avid confirmed that Supermeet (Michael Horton) told them last night that their sponsorship had been cancelled. According to Avid, “Apple doesn’t want anyone to have stage time but them.”)
Who’s up for Vegas?

We heard the first concrete details about Apple’s all new Final Cut Pro coming during Spring this year, and recently some new information has come to light. Final Cut Studio expert Larry Jordan was one of the people at Apple’s meeting, demonstrating the upcoming upgrade to the professional film-making software.Jordan can’t say much about the upgrade, due to an NDA with Apple, but he did say it is a “jaw-dropper.” Besides the “jaw-dropper” part, the thing we are taking most from his blog post is the fact that Apple allowed him to write it up. It appears that Apple already considers the software public knowledge. Afterall, Apple CEO Steve Jobs did tell a 9to5mac reader to buckle up for it.
Thanks to Charlie Sanchez

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Future iOS 30-pin adapters to connect to Thunderbolt, USB3?

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Future iOS adapters may work with USB 3 and DisplayPort/Thunderbolt if we read Patently Apple‘s latest finding right. It isn’t immediately clear if this will be backward compatible with today’s 30-pin connectors but it would make sense.


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Likely Fake iPod 5th gen photos floating around, capacitive home button

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We were happy to skip over these images that landed in our mailbox last night but they are starting to pop up all over the web so we’re posting for discussion. Notice the capacitative button and the remarkable 128GB of space available in these images.





More below:







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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Forget the content and get right to ads with iAd Gallery app

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This is no April Fool’s Day Joke or Onion article…. Today, Apple released the iAd gallery app which is just a bunch of ads in a gallery. Yep, that’s it.



Great ads. On-demand. In your pocket.The iAd Gallery is a celebration of advertising, featuring iAd campaigns from some of the world’s best brands and their advertising agencies. The iAd Gallery gives you easy access to a selection of the fun and informative ads that have run in some of your favorite apps. Use the Browse feature to discover ads you haven’t seen, or to find those you want to see again. Even lets you tag your favorites to a Loved section that’s all your own.
Features:

• Updated regularly to include a selection of the latest ads running on the iAd Network
• Explore by spinning the wheel of iAd banners, or search by advertiser, category or ad feature
• Learn about the featured ads, including the advertising agencies behind them
• Easily access your favorite ads anytime by placing them in your Loved section
• Tap into the More section to find additional details about the iAd Network

We’re not sure if Advertisers are paying per impression in this app (which is, again, just ads) but it would be interesting if they are. More screenies below.









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FaceTime Bug Shows Random Pictures, Raises Privacy Concerns

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A topic over at Apple’s Discussion Forums has a few users reporting an unusual glitch with the FaceTime app on their iPhone 4 handsets. iPhone 4 users are reporting that when using FaceTime, the screen shows a random picture frozen on the screen.

It seems several iPhone 4 owners are experiencing this FaceTime glitch, which is increasing privacy concerns among the community. According to several users, the camera seems to be keeping random images that have not been taken before and don’t seem to originate from past FaceTime calls.

“My boyfriend and I have both recently experienced this problem several times – when one of us is calling the other via FaceTime, an old picture freezes on our screen, while the person receiving the call only sees a black screen. It’s kind of creepy, because it brought up photos of both of us at work, where I have used FaceTime a few times but he never has.

Just minutes ago when i called my girlfriend and i saw a “picture” of myself from today when i was at the office. I know it was from today because i had the exact same shirt. The weirdest thing is that picture is not stored on my iPhone.”

According to the users, restoring the iPhone 4 using iTunes does not seem to solve issue. Additionally, one user actually had his iPhone 4 replaced by Apple but still incurred the glitch on his replacement iPhone.

I rarely use FaceTime, if ever, but in the test calls I conducted, I was not able to replicate this glitch. We’re still waiting on official word from Apple, so stay tuned!

Have you encountered this glitch yet?


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What is Apple going to put on twelve million Gigabytes of storage it just ordered?

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Apple has placed an order for about twelve petabytes (12PB equals to 12,000TB) of storage from Isilon Systems, the Seattle, Washington-based maker of clustered storage solutions company with more than 1,500 clients, StorageNewsletter.com reported. According to an inside source, the company will use this storage to “manage the video download of its customers using iTunes.”

How about a digital media locker Apple has been purportedly developing for some time, but couldn’t launch yet due to licensing restrictions. It could be also to support millions of people taking advantage of cloud storage, courtesy of a MobileMe redesign that some say would go free.

If all that storage is for video downloads, I doubt Apple’s seeing a substantial increase in movie and TV show rentals on the iTunes Store. When the iPad 2s A5 chip that does 1080p output makes its way into the iPhone 5 and third-gen Apple TV – maybe iTunes plans on cranking up the video resolution from 720p to 1080p?


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Our new Forum is now open here or on the top tabs marks Forums, please register and post.. For the latest limera1n, rubyra1n, and all tech stories, follow us on Twitter at @iphonepixelpost or @limerain_com www.iPodSets.com - Posted using my iPhone 4