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Steve Wozniak On How The iPhone 4S Will Change His Life (TCTV)

Posted: 14 Oct 2011 02:11 AM PDT

woz iphone 4s

Steve Wozniak likes to be the first person in line to buy the latest Apple products. This evening, the Apple co-founder and designer of the Apple I and II, was #1 on line outside the Apple store in Los Gatos, California to get the iPhone 4S. He tweeted about it and he’ll be staying up all night. TechCrunch TV caught up with Woz and asked him why he does it. He explains what feature the new phone has that will change his life. Woz also tells us why “search engines should be replaced by answer engines.”

We’ll post another video soon on his thoughts about Steve Jobs and some concerns he has about the future of Apple. This exclusive interview was shot, fittingly, on an iPhone 4, so excuse the shaky camera.

Person: Steve Wozniak

A Silicon Valley icon and philanthropist for the past three decades, Steve Wozniak helped shape the computing industry with his design of Apple's first line of products the Apple I and II and influenced the popular Macintosh. In 1976, Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer Inc. with Wozniak’s Apple I personal computer. The following year, he introduced his Apple II personal computer, featuring a central processing unit, a keyboard, color graphics, and a floppy disk drive. The Apple...

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Company: Apple
Launch Date: January 4, 1976
IPO: October 14, 1980, NASDAQ:AAPL

Started by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, Apple has expanded from computers to consumer electronics over the last 30 years, officially changing their name from Apple Computer, Inc. to Apple, Inc. in January 2007. Among the key offerings from Apple’s product line are: Pro line laptops (MacBook Pro) and desktops (Mac Pro), consumer line laptops (MacBook) and desktops (iMac), servers (Xserve), Apple TV, the Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server operating systems, the iPod (offered with...

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Product: iPhone 4S
Company Apple

The iPhone 4 will be offered in the US by AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. Product specs: Dual-core A5 CPU, said to be "2x as fast at CPU tasks" Dual-core graphics, up to "7x faster than the previous iPhone" Battery life estimates: 8 hours talk time on 3G, 14 hours on 2G. 6 hours of browsing on 3G, 9 on Wi-Fi. 10 hours of video playback, 40 hours of music. Theoretical download speeds of 14.4Mbps (as opposed to 7.2 on the iPhone 4.) World Phone...

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Shopping 2.0: Interactive Hangers Used In Japanese Clothes Store (Videos)

Posted: 14 Oct 2011 01:50 AM PDT


Shopping 2.0: It’s no surprise that “interactive hangers” [scroll down for an explanation in English] are first introduced in Japan, a country obsessed with service, shopping, fashion and technology. Vanquish, the shop in question, is located in a department store in central Tokyo called 109MEN’S.

The way it works is pretty simple: every time a shopper picks up a hanger, a computer screen above the item displays relevant pictures and videos, for example showing how a T-shirt looks when worn or other clothes that would fit the item chosen.

The trick is an sensor placed inside the hanger that automatically triggers the action but can also be used to instantly change the background music or light in a store, for example:

The maker of the interactive hangers, Tokyo-based Team Lab, started experimenting with the concept last year.

Trend consulting firm Cscout Japan has tried the hangers out:

Here are two more videos from Team Lab themselves:

Via Japan Trends / CScout Japan

Daily Crunch: Hang On

Posted: 14 Oct 2011 01:00 AM PDT

No Need To Fear This Face-Tracking Automated Suspicion Generator, Citizen

Posted: 13 Oct 2011 06:51 PM PDT


We’ve written about computer vision and facial recognition many times before, and recently one of the issues that has come up has been that all the cameras in the world are generating more visual data than people can watch. I wrote about Kitware’s intention to create “behavior recognition” in camera systems, and this “Questionable Observer Detector” seems like it would be a nice complement to it.

You’ve heard, no doubt, of security cameras that snap pictures of your face as you pass and compare them to a central database of smugglers, terrorists, and other baddies. The trouble is that unless these people are already known, the system can’t really detect them. So a team of computer scientists at Notre Dame decided to put together a way for a database to be built on the fly.

The camera would analyze footage, recording the time and place of every face in it. Later, while looking at different footage, it would compare the new tracking data to the old, and see if anybody has shown up twice. Someone passing by the same corner five times in a week would be normal, but someone coming and loitering in an airport ticketing area twice a week for a month might be something to look into, regardless of whether that person’s face is in any databases or connected with any crimes.

It’s a bit scary, but so is the problem it’s meant to combat: the kind of criminal who only needs one chance to commit a terrible crime — like a suicide bomber. They’ll never be in any databases for obvious reasons, but have a habit of checking out targets a few times before they attack.

Sure, it’s also the kind of thing that a police state would love to have in their arsenal. But someone had to invent it sooner or later.

[via Gizmag]

Nintendo DS Hits 50 Million Units Sold In US, But At What Price?

Posted: 13 Oct 2011 05:40 PM PDT


Sales stats for the month of September have been propagated by the NPD Group, and the usual suspects are on there with no major upsets. The 360 is leading sales with 483,000 units sold, followed by the PS3 (estimated at ~370,000 units), with the Wii bringing up the rear with 240,000. Nintendo was happy to point out, however, that the DS has just crossed over the line of 50 million sold in the US, making it the best-selling game console ever in this country by their calculations (the PS2 is a very close second, if so). But with a quarter of a million DS units flying off the shelves every month, what does that mean for the 3DS?

You may remember that Nintendo made quite a big deal about essentially introducing the new handheld with a price that was just plain too high. After slashing the price and offering free games to early adopters as a consolation prize, they’ve seen sales improve… but the month saw only 150,000 260,000 being sold, not the kind of numbers Nintendo would like to see for their only new console in years (though not as low as the number I had here originally). There was a surge right after the new pricing was announced, but that seems to have petered out.

Did they miss the boat?

Don’t forget that the DS is in its 7th year of sales. The 3DS is its true replacement (not the XL, or DSi), and the 3DS will be on sale for a long, long time. The gaming race isn’t a sprint, and a stumble at the start doesn’t mean Nintendo is out of the running. After all, the PS3 was a joke when it started out, and while it hasn’t dominated the 360 by any means, it has seen solid, increasing sales over the years. Nintendo is okay with putting a band-aid on this problem because they’re looking five years down the line.

Not to mention the DS is finishing off strong, with a big year of serious releases, while the 3DS doesn’t have two killer games to rub together. Give the 3DS some time: the price will drop, new versions will arrive, and must-have games will be announced. And hopefully no children will go blind.

Buying A MacBook Pro? Wait Just a Minute, Updates Are On The Horizon

Posted: 13 Oct 2011 03:02 PM PDT


The current MacBook Pro design is probably going to be around until next year, but a minor update might be on its way in the coming weeks, according to a few factors that have telegraphed this kind of thing historically. Stock is low on many models, and more importantly, a few new items have appeared in Apple inventory listings.

The K90IA, K91A, and K92A SKUs almost certainly represent a minor update to the existing K9*s that are the current MBPs. A total redesign would have a lot more fanfare, so this is probably a spec bump. All the same, hold off on purchasing if you can, since you’ll be getting more for your money shortly.

While there’s no information on what the new models will have, it’ll probably be a set of slightly better processors, a new GPU, Bluetooth 4.0, and possibly a new board to tie it all together. Nothing on the outside, and certainly no USB 3.0.

Price? No idea, but if they’re adding features it’s unlikely it’ll drop. Price drops often happen as a consolation prize when there are no real updates to a line.

iPhone 4S Teardown: Nothing To See Here, Folks

Posted: 13 Oct 2011 02:00 PM PDT


While the first teardowns of the iPhone 4 (excluding Gizmodo’s crude vivisection) were extremely exciting due to the novelty of the design, the 4S doesn’t have much to offer. The stem of the iPhone 5 hopefuls’ slight disappointment, i.e. that the 4S is essentially a spec bump, meant that this teardown would necessarily be less than thrilling.

All the same, there are changes and iFixit astutely points them out.

The biggest change is, of course, the addition of the larger and more powerful A5 chip. Not much more is known about it now than when it first appeared in the iPad 2, but it’s there, that much is certain. The wireless chips have been upgraded to allow for the quadband and HSPA+ functionality, but there’s not much to say about that.

The camera has of course been improved, and I took a close look at Apple’s claims earlier. The actual camera model doesn’t look impressive from the outside; BSI sensors and better glass don’t photograph well.

The vibration motor (right, below) has been switched out for a nicer one that’s less buzzy, apparently. Not having felt either device buzz, I can’t say whether it’s an improvement, but I don’t think Apple would have switched this out if they were happy with its performance.

That’s pretty much all. A few minor changes in layout and soldering to accommodate the larger A5 die and such are also to be found, but they’re not substantial.

Foxconn’s Brazil Plant Back On Track

Posted: 13 Oct 2011 01:28 PM PDT


Just two weeks ago it was reported that the relationship between Foxconn and Brazil regarding the proposed $12 billion production center there was on the rocks. Foxconn was making demands the government felt were overreaching, and negotiations were stalled.

Government officials and Foxconn representatives announced today that the plan was still underway, and the plant is ready to pump out iPhones. iPads will have to wait until December, which was the original deadline.

It’s likely that the potential for a complete do-over spooked investors, and both parties felt the need to kiss and make up, or at least publicize the parts of the deal that were definitely going through. “We haven’t finished the process, it’s moving ahead but there’s no date,” said Brazil’s Technology Minister, Aloizio Mercadante.

Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou assured reporters that the full amount discussed was still forthcoming (brackets Reuters’): “We will be still investing US$12 billion in a (few) years, maybe four years, maybe six years.” So the terms aren’t set for the money Foxconn will be bringing to the country, but the amount at least is more or less guaranteed.

How it will be split among the local contractors, sub-agencies, banks, and so on is probably the topic of heated discussion and bargaining right now, but for the purposes of the global community, the deal seems to be more or less done.

Microsoft Inks Another Android Patent Deal, This Time With Quanta

Posted: 13 Oct 2011 10:52 AM PDT


The list of Microsoft’s patent buddies has just gotten a little longer today: the company has announced that they have entered into yet another patent protection deal, this time with Taiwan-based Quanta Computers.

Readers may recall that Microsoft’s past partnerships range from big names like Samsung and HTC, to less prominent firms like General Dynamics Itronix.

Unfortunately, the release is vague enough to ensure that we aren’t privy to any specifics. It does mention though that in exchange for the company’s patent coverage, Quanta will pay out royalties on smartphones and tablets that run on Android or Chrome OS.

That could be absolutely huge. The Quanta name may not ring many bells, but they’re the one of the largest contract PC manufacturers in the world. On top of that, they handle tablet production and manufacturing for more prevalent companies. Remember the Amazon Fire? It’s probably one of theirs.

That’s where things start to get cloudy. If Microsoft’s deal allowed them to collect royalties on any Android or Chrome-powered product sold under the Quanta name, that’s one thing. What would really count as a Redmond win is if the deal gave Microsoft a cut from any Android or Chrome-powered product they make for another company.

The licensing deals Microsoft has inked in the past don’t shine any light on the royalty structure. They signed a similar agreement with Wistron, an Acer spin-off company that also manufactures products for sale under different brand names, but the terms were never disclosed.

In any case, Microsoft is playing hardball with these licensing agreements, and they’ll likely make bank off of them. Google historically hasn’t been a fan of Microsoft’s practices, so we’ll see if the folks over in Mountain View have anything to say about this.

Gartner: Lenovo Replaces Dell As No. 2 PC Maker, HP Still On Top And Growing

Posted: 13 Oct 2011 08:07 AM PDT


What’s that noise about living in a post-PC era? The personal computer market is actually growing per a new preliminary Gartner report. The research company found third quarter PC shipments as a whole are up 3.2% over the same period in 2010, totaling 91.8 million units. This number is slightly less than Gartner’s earlier projections and the Western European market is partly to blame. But save Acer and Dell, computer manufacturers increased shipments from a year ago and Lenovo, thanks to several acquisitions and partnerships, overtook Dell and now trails just HP in the worldwide PC marketshare pie.

Per this report, HP still holds the most worldwide and US marketshare. While Dell was catching up a year ago, the company saw a decrease in shipments while HP managed to ship even more. This comes even as HP previously announced that it was considering spinning-off its PC division.

Lenovo’s marketshare growth is partly attributed to recent deals. The Beijing-based computer manufacturer recently merged with Japan’s NEC and acquired Medion, a growing German consumer electronic company. Plus, Lenovo is aggressively stepping up marketing and releasing products that tend to ride above the industry standard.

Acer had a rough third quarter worldwide where shipments dropped a staggering 23.2% and 25.4% in the US market due to an inventory buildup issue.

Apple is still lagging behind the top five computer manufacturer on the worldwide stage, but it’s growing rapidly in the US where it holds the third largest marketshare. Apple’s third quarter shipments are up 21.5% over Q3 2010, which helped increase its marketshare to 12.9%. HP saw similar growth with a 15.1% shipping increase and now holds 28.9% of the US marketshare while Dell dropped to 21.9% thanks to a shipping decrease of 7.2%.

The US market saw the third straight quarter of year-over-year growth. Gartner notes that inventory buildup wasn’t an issue as industry expectations foresaw weak back-to-school sales. Apple grew the most in the US in part because of the success of MacBook Air.

These numbers are still preliminary. Gartner will soon release the final stats to its PC Quarterly Statistics Worldwide by Region program.

Company: Lenovo
Launch Date: October 14, 1984

Lenovo Group Limited, an investment holding company, engages manufacture and distribution of IT products and services. It offers laptops, desktops, workstations, servers, batteries and power, docks and port replicators, carrying cases, software, monitors, touch-screen devices, and printers. The company also provides accessories and upgrades, such as audio and video, cables and adapters, carrying cases, keyboards and mice, memory, projectors, security, storage, and wireless and networking products. In addition, it involves in the property holding and property management, procurement agency,...

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Company: Dell
Launch Date: October 14, 1984
IPO: Nasdaq:DELL

Dell develops, manufactures, and sells personal computers and other computer-related products including servers, data storage devices, network switches, software, computer peripherals and televisions.

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Company: Apple
Launch Date: January 4, 1976
IPO: October 14, 1980, NASDAQ:AAPL

Started by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, Apple has expanded from computers to consumer electronics over the last 30 years, officially changing their name from Apple Computer, Inc. to Apple, Inc. in January 2007. Among the key offerings from Apple’s product line are: Pro line laptops (MacBook Pro) and desktops (Mac Pro), consumer line laptops (MacBook) and desktops (iMac), servers (Xserve), Apple TV, the Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server operating systems, the iPod (offered with...

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Company: Acer
Launch Date: October 14, 1976

The Acer Group is a family of four brands – Acer, Gateway, Packard Bell and eMachines. It ranks as the world’s third-largest company for total PC shipments, is No. 2 for notebooks, and has a global workforce of more than 6,000 employees. Revenues in 2008 reached US$16.65 billion. The successful mergers of Gateway, Inc. (October 2007) and Packard Bell, Inc. (March 2008) by parent company, Acer, Inc., completes the group’s global footprint by further strengthening its presence in the U.S....

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Company: Hewlett-Packard

Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ), commonly referred to as HP, is an American multinational information technology corporation headquartered in Palo Alto, California, USA. HP is one of the world’s largest information technology companies and operates in nearly every country. HP specializes in developing and manufacturing computing, data storage, and networking hardware, designing software and delivering services. Major product lines include personal computing devices, enterprise servers, related storage devices, as well as a diverse range of printers and other imaging products....

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New Beats By Dre Monster Headphones Are Wireless, Colorful: We Go Ears-On

Posted: 13 Oct 2011 07:09 AM PDT


I was lucky enough to get a look at Monster’s new Beats by Dre headphones at their Holiday Launch party recently, and it’s safe to say they’re pretty sweet cans. The company has developed two new sets of headphones: the Beats Wireless on-ear Headphones and the Beats Studio HD Powered Isolation Headphones, which come in a number of color flavors.

I got the chance to go ears-on with both of the new products, and I can honestly say I enjoyed my time with each of them. Both sets are super comfortable, too.

The Beats Wireless headphones come with controls on the ear cups, allowing you to adjust the volume, skip tracks, and power the headphones on and off. Since the cans use Bluetooth technology, you can even sync them up with your phone so that the music stops each time you receive a call. The headphones are battery-powered, and can be recharged.

The Beats Studio headphones are the flagship cans over at Beats, but for the holidays the company has thrown in some extra colors. What once was only available in black, white, and red is now offered in blue, orange, magenta and purple. They come with an extra Monster iSoniTalk headphone cable with a built-in mic and call answer button to let you chat on the phone if you get a call while rocking out.

The colorful new Beats Studio cans will be available on October 16 with an MSRP of $299, while the Beats Wireless headphones will be available exclusively at Apple Stores later this year, with an MSRP of $279.

CyanogenMod 7 Released For The TouchPad, Still In Alpha And Not For The Timid

Posted: 13 Oct 2011 05:41 AM PDT

touchpad android

The TouchPad just got a little more functional. The mad scientists behind CyanogenMod 7 just posted an alpha build of their popular tablet Android 2.3 firmware. But this isn’t for the general public. No, this build is for the diehard modder. The majority of the release note is a warning with talk of potential data loss, bricking and the general nastiness that’s always associated with alpha builds. In fact, the creators chose to note the working items citing that the list of non-working items is much longer. But the major things are present: WiFi, camera, Bluetooth, dual-core support, Netflix, even charging via the Touchstone.

Thankfully you don’t have to risk your precious Touchpad with this early CM7 build. The 8:20 minute video after the jump should give you a taste. I still think you’re all crazy, but see the appeal of owning a tablet without a dead operating system.

Product: HP TouchPad

TouchPad works like no other tablet. It allows users to move back and forth between apps, see related activities grouped together automatically to stay organized, answer calls and texts from HP Pre3 smartphones, share websites with other HP webOS devices, experience more of the web with Adobe Flash Player 6 and 7. TouchPad tablet includes essential productivity apps right out of the box. Users can collaborate with colleagues using Google Docs or, print wirelessly to compatible networked HP printers,...

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