Archive | News RSS feed for this section

Apple charges Customer 122 times for Lion

14 Aug

Lion since having been announced has been another Apple success at least from a marketing perspective. Many users of the Mac platform have jumped to Lion because of gesture implimintation, software enhancements and the more than a 100 new features that make OS X a more friendly operating system to use. Unfortunately on every Apple release occassion something has to go terribly wrong and this time it costs not your security,  privacy or personal information infact this time it costs you a pretty penny, $3,878.40 to be exact. On July 23rd John Christman purchased OS X Lion and paid $31.79 after sales tax. Condescendingly his Paypal account was charged 122 times to a total cost of $3,878.40, and for what was an innocent purchase of a single copy of OS X Lion ended up to be an unwilling purchase of a  122  copies of OS X Lion. In a quote he stated that Apple and Paypal seem to be just arguing between each other and uptil now he has not recieved a refund.

I personally think that Paypal had nothing to do with this. Paypal acts as a payment system for millions if not billions of online stores and I find it extremely hard to believe Paypal is at fault and although Apple also has many orders coming in everyday they have been known to have a couple payment problems in their system. In anycase I urge Apple as the provider of the software and the owner of the actual store to refund Mr.Christman back as by not refunding him Apple is really showing poor customor support in this situation.

Although it’s nothing to exciting it a peice of news I though was worth sharing with the Scewre community.

Advertisements

Apple wealthier than U.S Government

2 Aug

You might have guessed that Apple is a wealthy company, and you’re right, they are! But did you know they were this wealthy? According to a recent statement released by the U.S Treasury Department the U.S government has $73.8 billion dollars in operating cash and although this quite a sum it does not nearly stand up to the thunder rendering $76.2 billion dollars in tax-free usable cash that Apple has and although at a glance it may shame the U.S Government you have to consider that Apple is a worldwide company they branch of to Europe, Asia, Australia, South and North America in contrary to the U.S Government which well operates in only the United States of America and above that the U.S Government has to be constantly investing that money in order to keep America afloat and even though Apple may also have to re-invest their money the money they re-invest does not even match that of the U.S Government has to re-invest and there are also many factors regarding why the statistics show this result but all content aside and no matter the variables when you look at it Apple is wealthier than the U.S Government.

Toys R Us to Carry Amazon Kindle in Stores

1 Aug

The Amazon Kindle has made a good reputation for itself. Many prefer the Kindle as their e-reader of choice because of it’s inexpensive price and portable form factor. The Kindle has also created an advance content ecosystem that has proven to benefit it as for many getting a book in the e-format on the first day in Kindle store is all the reason to go with the Kindle as other e-reader manufacturars can not yet guarantee what Amazon has accomplished.

The Kindle had for the longest time been stuck as an online-only item but recently the Kindle has pushed itself into the retail market  and the Kindle now sells in stores such as Target, Best Buy, RadioShack and the AT&T store.

The Kindle strives to be both successful in the online and retail space and it  is growing in popularity over time and on July 31st 2011 Amazon plans on selling the Kindle in the Toys R US retail store which may prove to be benefitial in the youth market.

What benefit would it get at a Toys R US? Well recently Amazon has been trying  to market the Kindle as an e-reader that you can read your textbooks of of and save money yearly on your textbooks and in order to further imply this marketing strategy putting Kindle’s in a Toys R US can attract attention from adults and youth.

Amazon is also reported to sell some accessories along with the Kindle at Toys R US.

I personally believe in general that entering the retail space is a smart move as it will create more exposure around the product and for those who don’t shop online having Kindle’s in the retail store may create the oppurunity to be able to finally purchase a Kindle in contrary to when it was much harder to get because you had to buy it online. The Kindle is only now entering the retail space and we were wondering how do you think the Kindle will do?

Google Labs Will Shut Down

31 Jul

Part of the culture for a long time at Google has been about trying new things and simply releasing new innovations for the masses. Many of the innovations that Google has produced like Google Reader and Google Goggles have sprouted from a small idea that had been showcased in Google Labs,  Google describes Labs as

An open playground to showcase new ideas and give feedback directly to the engineer

and as sad as it may sound  Google has plans of winding down Google Labs for a good reason they have many products on their plate already and Google thinks it would be benefitial if their efforts could be centered towards the products they have aldready launched, and although this is reasonable somewhere in the back of my mind as a developer I can’t help but know that I am going to miss Google Labs and how you could go there and find out of this world programs and plugins to use. I honestly think that after this move Google will never be the same but never the less Google will wind down operations at Google Labs and they quote

We’ll continue to push speed and innovation—the driving forces behind Google Labs—across all our products

They continue to  state that they dont have any plans to change in-product experimentation channels like Gmails Labs or Maps Labs and they feel as they should continue experimenting with products they have aldready launched and I think this would benefit Google products as well due to past evenets where user experimentation has helped improve products such as Gmail.

It is also important to note that Android applications in the Google Labs testing phase will continue to be available in the Android Market.

Winding down Google Labs  I feel is a logical step for Google but I really in my heart hope that one day when Google has straightened out all of it’s products I really hope that they will bring back Google Labs because I strongly believe that the culture of Google will never be the same without Labs.

Twit Cottage Out – Twit Brick House In!

28 Jul

For those who are not aware Twit has resided in the TWIT Cottage for almost 7 year and finally after huge growth Twit has moved into the new Twit Brick House and I have to say I am going to miss the old cottage but that said I am ready for a new era of epic from Twit.  In the video above you can experience the excitement as Twit makes the switch from old to new!

3DS Price Drop’s to $169.99 and Starfox 64 3D, Super Mario 3D, Mario Kart 7 and Kid Icarus Release Dates

28 Jul

The 3Ds was AWESOME, until everyone heard the price tag and the plethora of problems that were supposedly being shipped with the system. The 3Ds shipped March 27th an since then users have given Nintendo a good idea about where the 3DS stands and users can now honestly say the Nintendo has payed some attention to their rants.

The first bit of news is that Nintendo has slashed the price by a whopping $80 making the new price of the 3DS $169.99 in the US, and ¥25,000 to ¥15,000 in Japan. No exact price was listed for the EU or AU and Nintendo reported that new details were to surface soon. This is great and I completely agree with the statement Nintendo gave the press on this matter.

 “For anyone who was on the fence about buying a Nintendo 3DS, this is a huge motivation to buy now,” said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. “We are giving shoppers every incentive to pick up a Nintendo 3DS, from an amazing new price to a rapid-fire succession of great games.”

This is great and as soon as the opportunity arises most staff at Scewre are planning on buying the 3DS in contrary to the past when due to the hefty price tag only some members of staff showed any interest in the 3DS at all.

Nintendo has come so much farther from the problems that the 3DS brought at launch and the 3DS is now creating more features and functionality for it’s self and with everyday that passes more and more people are finding a place in their heart for the 3DS, the new price change is also bound to help their hearts accept the 3DS.

The price decrease will be effective as of August 12th.

Excited! There’s more, Nintendo at launch excited us with many classic titles such as Super Mario, Starfox, Mario Kart and Kid Icarus and now finally after almost a year of trailers we are getting a better idea about launch dates.

  • Star Fox 64 3D is due for release on Sept. 9th
  • Super Mario 3D Land (official title) will be out November
  • Mario Kart 7 and Kid Icarus: Uprising will launch December
In some more final news Nintendo has offered some benefits for early adopters and when I say benefits I really mean FREE GAMES.

These free games are available to anyone who owns a Nintendo 3DS system and uses a wireless broadband Internet signal to connect to the Nintendo eShop at least once before 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Aug. 11. These users will automatically be registered in the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program. The program contains two elements:

  1. Starting Sept. 1, Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors will be able to download 10 NES™ Virtual Console™ games at no charge and before they are available in the Nintendo eShop to the general public. These games, including Super Mario Bros.™, Donkey Kong Jr.™, Balloon Fight™, Ice Climber™ and The Legend of Zelda™, are slated to become paid downloadable games, but Ambassadors get them early for free. Once the paid versions of the games are posted to the Nintendo eShop later in the year, the updated versions will be available to Ambassadors for download at no cost.
  2. By the end of 2011, Nintendo will provide Ambassadors with 10 Game Boy Advance Virtual Console games. These include games like Yoshi’s Island™: Super Mario™ Advance 3, Mario Kart™: Super Circuit, Metroid™ Fusion, WarioWare™, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ and Mario vs. Donkey Kong™. These games will be available exclusively to Ambassadors, and Nintendo currently has no plans to make these 10 games available to the general public on the Nintendo 3DS in the future.
As usual waiting has always been the game with Nintendo and for those who did wait they got some really cool benefits and frankly because of these announcements a majority in the Scewre crew are considering purchasing a 3DS in contrary to before when the high price tag just didn’t warrant the purchase.

Fast Forward: Android meets the LED Lightbulb

28 Jul

Ever since the first Filament lightbulb lighting technology has come far from its roots, we now have energy effecient lightbulbs and lightbulbs consisting of the light emiting diode technology. Truly what we take for granted has change the way we live everyday. At the Google I/O confrence Google made a push to home technologies and one of the technologies that caught my intrest was their lightbulb. Google has simply created a demo of a product that allowed your android phone to control the LED lightbulb. This I think is a huge push towards home innovations. The demo instead of also only using the usual wi-fi or home automation protocols used the brand new mesh protocol, another  innovation from Google. Google hopes that with this product developers will create home automation apps to support Google’s line of home technologies. The person carrying out the demo was playing a shooting game with the lights turning off as shots were fired which made for a realistic gameplay experience and frankly with  the ways that the technology was being used it makes me excited what other developers can make from the API.

Lighting is very visible and prevalent so it made sense for it to be first foray for the platform,” Holland said. “Every one of the lights has a radio integrated inside the lamp so there’s no additional equipment.”

Google is not the only to push home automation products slowly many companies are pushing out their own revisions to making this market more and more intriguing and exciting. The reason why Google used the mesh protocol is because the other protocols would have had the problem of radio interference. These bulbs should be avaible by the end of the year and cost the same as general purpose LED bulbs. I think as Google enters the market of home automation products they need to find creative ways to push and drive this market because literally this market has proved to be a hard sell for many consumers, and many consumers are not paying much attention mainly because the companies in home automation need to take the market more seriously and realize that to break this trend in consumer markets the technology will have to come far in what it’s purpose is and how affordable it can be for the mainstream crowd.

I am personally very excited to hear what’s in store for this market, I believe that with Google’s market penetration there is a good chance Google can really peak people’s interest. Anyway I will keep an eye out for these technologies because I feel they are slowly grabbing my interest and as they make home automation simpler and simpler I can image it, my Galaxy Tab 10.1 in my hand as I play with the switches in my house, sounds boring but you would not believe how useful it is until you have sat hours together on your couch watching marathons of your favorite shows.

Lion Downloads Top One Million in 24hrs

27 Jul

OS X Lion is Apple’s latest operating system release and Apple nailed a couple things. The first is indefinitely pricing at only $29.99 the price is appealing to regular level consumers who otherwise if the operating system was normally priced at $120 would not upgrade. With small but much anticipated upgrades Lion has sparked like wild fire in the App Store and this is clear with the earnings that Apple has reported for the first day of sales. This has simultaneously also brought Apple’s stock price touching 400 a share. With a plethora of new features, affordable price and easy download from the Mac App Store, Lion has definitely paved it’s own way to success and quite honestly although these numbers are quite exciting I was ironically expecting most of these results. Of course with the release of Lion came new Mac Minis, Thunderbolt Displays and a new line of Macbook Airs that for the most part look towards appealing the Mac crowd that is growing at an exponential rate.

NVIDIA Releases Technology Enabling Websites to Stream Stereoscopic 3D Video

27 Jul

Its hard to think that just a two years ago we caught a glimpse of 3D technology on a household TV! Now its no suprise that NVIDIA on April the 14th only a year after 3D tv’s day viewed on the consumer market do we have the ability to stream stereoscopic 3D via the web. Its true! NVIDIA has become the first to deploy a 3D video plugin for the Microsoft Media Platform Framework v2.5 otherwise known as the MMP v2.5 framework with support for the active shutter 3D glasses. The software is similar to that of what powers the NVIDIA 3D Web community (www.3DVisionLive.com). The MMP Player Framwork is essetially an opensource code that allows developers to effeciently deploy customizable media-players for the web, this technology is based on Microsoft’s Silverlight and comes with extensive support for IIS Smooth Streaming and Microsoft PlayReady DRM.

With NVIDIA’s new 3D video plug-in, developers can now take full advantage of the stereoscopic 3D video streaming support available in the latest version of Microsoft Media Platform Player Framework,” said David Sayed, senior product manager at Microsoft Corp. ”Microsoft is delighted to work with NVIDIA to deliver exciting functionality and capabilities to help developers build the next wave of websites powered by the Microsoft Media Platform.

NVIDIA has also made an accesible how-to guide with instructions on what components are needed for this technology to be implemented in websites. The 3D video plugin and guide can be accessed today at (www.3DVisionLive.com/apps). Look out for coming events as NVIDIA will be showcasing this technology around the globe.

“The Web is enabling an entirely new market for creating and delivering compelling, innovative 3D content,” said Jon Barad, senior business development manager at NVIDIA. “Our 3D Vision technology now makes it easy for web developers to integrate world-class stereo 3D video capabilities into all types of sites.”

I believe that this technology can and will go far. The content streaming market is huge and the potential NVIDIA has unlocked is imansive. As an instance lets look at Netflix! Once 3D TV’s become more common in households we may see Netflix unlocking 3D streaming opening up a whole world of possibilities. Possibily five years down the road we may be able to pull out a bowl of popcorn and watch Avatar in 3D streaming to our living room within minutes. Possibly look at Youtube as an example, if Youtube makes 3D video uploads possible we may see content producers taking use of this technology and creating even more enjoyabe content. In my opinion there is a huge potential for technology in the streaming market we just have to wait for 3D market to become more mature and enter the mainstream market. Having said this we have to obviously see how things go five years down the road but I believe that if 3D streaming is implemented properly it can very well be closer to consumers than you think.