Wednesday, October 29, 2014

iPod Classic’s pesky parts problem killed the click-wheeled player

Apple’s click-wheel enabled iPod was once the epitome of portable music playability, but when a parts shortage loomed, Tim Cook sent the iPod to God.
Vale, iPod Classic, ye of the click-wheel interface, ye of the pocket-size jukebox that smashed the sales of all thine competitors.
RIP - Rest iPod, for you revolutionised the portable music business, you killed the Walkman, you kicked off the iTunes digital music buying revolution and you paved the way for your spiritual successors - the iPhone and iPod Touch.
Sure, the iPod brand name lives on, with the iPod shuffle, iPod nano and iPod touch, but none sport the click-wheel the iPod made so famous.
The clatter of clicks as thumbs spun in circles has ceased, and while once that wheel was like lightning greased - so fast were we able to search through huge libraries - it is a truism than in the end, all things are deceased.
Naturally, there was the question as to why Apple stopped the music. Video may have killed the radio star, but a parts shortage and an unwillingness to spend the engineering time to use other parts was the culprit, according to Tim Cook, speaking at the WSJ.D conference.
Presumably this is because Apple is spending so much time on more important issues like next year’s iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, Apple TVs and other magically integrated hardware/software solutions that are the future - not hard-disk based players with outdated circular interfaces in the face of the iPod Touch’s multi-touch glass facade.
Let’s face it - while some iPod Classic sales could easily have continued, it was simply time to call time on the device that helped Apple have the musical and profitable time of its life in the early 2000s.
Mashable quoted Tim Cook at that conference explaining to an audience member who lamented they could no longer buy a 160GB iPod Classic - or at least, not directly from Apple as brand new stock anymore - with Tim Cook replying: "We couldn’t get the parts any more, not anywhere on Earth. “It wasn’t a matter of me swinging the ax, saying 'what can I kill today'.
"The engineering work was massive, and the number of people who wanted it very small. I felt there were reasonable alternatives."
Mr Cook is, of course, correct. Sure, he could have ensured hard disk makers continued pumping out iPod Classic-sized hard drives, but in a world of flash, why keep hard drives alive?
He could have put flash storage into the Classic, but at what cost compared to a hard disk?
He could have redesigned the iPod Classic, but if he was going to do that, why not just put more flash storage into the iPod nano and call it a day?
Even putting 128GB of 256GB of storage into an updated iPod Touch would be a lot more exciting that an iPod Classic.
There must also still be a stack of iPod Classics in stores around the world, or on eBay or Gumtree or Craigslist or old Radio Shack stores.
Those who really want an iPod Classic can surely get one from somewhere out there, but it’s clear the Classic’s days were numbered, and now the jig is up.
RIP, iPod Classic. May the force be with you, and say hi to Steve up there for us!

Tim Cook talks Apple Pay pushback, Alibaba deal, death of iPod Classic

LAGUNA BEACH — Apple CEO Tim Cook gave an unusually candid interview Monday night — in which he struck back at companies leaving the Apple Pay system, teased a possible partnership with Alibaba, and revealed why Apple killed the iPod Classic.
Speaking at the WSJ.D conference in Laguna Beach, California, Cook called Apple Pay a tremendous success even in its first week, and revealed that there had been 1 million credit cards activated on the system in its first 72 hours. "That's more than all the other guys combined," Cook enthused, touting his early lead over similar payment systems such as Google Wallet. "And we're only just getting started. I'm already getting flooded with emails from customers."
As for the fact that CVS and Rite Aid just blocked Apple Pay? Cook dismissed that as business maneuvering. "It's a skirmish," he said. "Over the long arc of time, retailers will step back and say, no other system is more secure." He added pointedly: "you're only relevant as a retailer if your customers love you." (CVS and Rite Aid are working on their own system, to be launched in 2015 and called Current C.)
"We’re not collecting your data," Cook added. "We’re not Big Brother. There's no other mobile payment system where you can say it’s easier than the credit card." Indeed, Cook had to change his own credit cards twice last year because of various security issues, he revealed. "It's a pain in the butt. You forget to change [the card] on one or two on websites, people don’t think you pay your bills any more."
That "long arc of time" was something Cook frequently invoked — such as when discussing iPhone sales, which he suggested would constitute roughly 50% of the business for the foreseeable future. Also happening in the long arc of time is a possible relationship between Apple Pay and Alibaba's AliPay, a popular payment system in China.
"We're going to talk about getting married later this week," Cook said of Alibaba CEO Jack Ma, who'd said much the same thing during his preceding talk. "We love to partner with people who are wicked smart."
On the Apple Watch, Cook clarified a question that had been bothering some — when he said at its launch that you'd have to charge it every day, did he mean during the day or once at night? "People going to charge it overnight, we think," Cook said, although he pointed out there wasn't a lot of data to go on yet. "There’s a scenario where you use it less and charge less frequently, certainly."
When an audience member complained that he was about to buy a 160 GB iPod Classic whenApple discontinued the device a few months ago, Cook shrugged: "We couldn’t get the parts any more, not anywhere on Earth," he insisted. "It wasn’t a matter of me swinging the ax, saying 'what can I kill today'.
"The engineering work was massive, and the number of people who wanted it very small. I felt there were reasonable alternatives."
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Tim Cook says Apple killed the iPod classic because it couldn't get the parts

Tim Cook says Apple killed the iPod classic because it couldn't get the parts

Apple quietly discontinued the iPod classic last month, just short of the iconic MP3 player's 13th birthday. Tonight, Apple CEO Tim Cook explained why the company decided to shelve its revolutionary device — it couldn't get the parts any more. Cook, speaking at this evening's WSJD Live event, said on stage that Apple no longer had access to the components necessary to build the 160GB iPod classic. You'd imagine manufacturers would still produce parts for Apple if the company really pushed for them, but Cook said when faced with a dearth of necessary materials, the company felt that it wasn't worth redesigning the venerable device.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Swallowing a pill to detect cancer is Googles latest project

iPad Air 2: Change is in the Air

Change is in the Air.

So capable, you won’t want to put it down. So thin and light, you won’t have to.

18% Thinner
6.1 MM Thin
0.96 Pound
With iPad, we’ve always had a somewhat paradoxical goal: to create a device that’s immensely powerful, yet so thin and light you almost forget it’s there. A device that helps you do amazing things, without ever getting in your way. iPad Air 2 is all that. And then some.
Learn more about Design

Not just a thinner display. A better display.

To create the astonishingly thin silhouette of iPad Air 2, we started by redesigning the Retina display, fusing what had been three layers into one. Not only did this make the display thinner, it made it better, with more vivid colors and greater contrast. Then we added an antireflective coating, giving iPad Air 2 the least reflective display of any tablet in the world.
Learn more about the display
9.7 Inch display
2048×1536 Resolution
3.1 Million pixels
264 Pixels per inch

Massive power. In its most minimal form.

64-bit Architecture
2.5x Faster graphics
40% Faster CPU
Up to 10 Hour battery
Not only is iPad Air 2 thinner, it’s also a lot more powerful. We designed a new chip, the A8X, that delivers substantially better CPU and graphics performance than its predecessor. In fact, with its 64-bit desktop-class architecture, iPad Air 2 is as powerful as many personal computers. It’s power efficient, too, with a 10-hour battery life that lets you work, play, surf, and shop all day long.1
Learn more about Performance

Security based on a one‑of‑a‑kind design: your fingerprint.

iPad Air 2 comes with our breakthrough Touch ID technology. It gives you an unprecedented level of security because it uses nature’s most perfect password: your fingerprint. So with just one touch, you can instantly unlock your iPad Air 2. But Touch ID goes beyond that. You can also make secure purchases in iTunes, iBooks, and the App Store. And with Apple Pay, you can unlock an entire world of online shopping that’s fast, convenient, and secure.
Learn more about Touch ID

Two amazing cameras. Cleverly disguised as an iPad.

The new iSight camera is our best iPad camera yet, with advanced optics, an improved sensor, and a powerful Apple-designed image signal processor. There are new features like panorama, time-lapse videos, slo-mo, and burst and timer modes. The front-facing FaceTime HD camera has been redesigned, too, with an improved sensor and larger pixels for even better low-light performance. The upshot? All your photos and videos — and video calls and selfies — look incredible.
Learn more about Cameras

Faster wireless. Good things come to those who don’t wait.

Wi-Fi on iPad Air 2 is fast — more than twice as fast as the previous generation — so downloading movies and streaming videos take less time. And the Wi-Fi + Cellular model is equipped with faster, more advanced LTE technology.2 In addition, the cellular model lets you choose from a variety of carriers and flexible short-term plans. So you can make fast connections, even when you’re on the go.
Learn more about Wireless

Apps designed for iPad.
And everything you want to do with it.

iPad Air 2 comes with powerful apps for the things you do every day, like surfing the web, checking email, editing movies and photos, writing reports, and reading books. And there are hundreds of thousands of apps on the App Store, designed specifically for the large Retina display (instead of stretched-out phone apps). So whether it’s photography, gaming, traveling, or managing your finances, you’ll find an app that will help you do it better.
Learn more about Apps

iOS 8 and iPad Air 2. A powerful combination.

iOS 8 is the most advanced mobile OS ever, with features that make iPad Air 2 even more indispensable. Continuity lets you start a project on one device and finish it on another. Family Sharing lets up to six people in your family share movies, books, music, and apps. With iCloud Drive, you can safely store any kind of document and access it from any device. In fact, every feature in iOS 8 is designed to work seamlessly with iPad Air 2, taking full advantage of its powerful A8X chip, ultrafast wireless, and brilliant Retina display.
Learn more about iOS 8

Even the covers are more brilliant.

Protect every pixel of iPad Air 2 with a Smart Cover or Smart Case. Available in seven bright new colors, the Smart Cover is made from durable polyurethane. The Smart Case, in rich aniline-dyed leather, protects both the front and back of your iPad.
Learn more about Accessories

iMac with Retina 5K display now available


14.7 million pixels.
And the power to do beautiful things with them.

iMac has always been about having a huge, immersive place to see and create amazing things. So making the best possible iMac meant making the best possible display. The new 27‑inch iMac with Retina 5K display has four times as many pixels as the standard 27‑inch iMac display. So you experience unbelievable detail. On an unbelievable scale.
5120 x 2880 px
1080p HD
At such a scale, even the best existing technologies wouldn’t have made this iMac possible. So we did the impossible — developing a display with the performance to light up 14.7 million pixels, reducing energy consumption while maintaining our high standard for brightness, and advancing image quality for the most striking contrast ever.
And we did it all without compromising the incredibly thin design, just 5 mm at its edge.
4x more pixels

The most stunningly powerful iMac yet.

The new iMac with Retina 5K display doesn’t stop with an amazing screen. With a quad-core Intel Core processor available at up to 4.0GHz, the latest AMD graphics, an advanced Fusion Drive, and Thunderbolt 2, there’s a very powerful Mac behind all those pixels.
Up to 4GHz Core i7 processor
Up to 3.5 teraflops of graphics compute power
Up to 20 Gbps Thunderbolt 2 bandwidth

OS X Yosemite. The world’s most advanced desktop operating system.

OS X is what makes a Mac a Mac. Not only is it designed to be intuitive and easy to use, but it’s also engineered to take full advantage of the Retina 5K display, so you’ll see everything on your desktop with stunning clarity. It features an incredible collection of apps you’ll use — and love — every day. And it’s designed to enable your Mac and iOS devices to work together in amazing ways.

Our best built-in apps. The best they’ve ever looked.

Every new Mac comes with iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. So you can be creative with your photos, videos, music, documents, spreadsheets, and presentations right from the start. These apps have been updated to match the beautiful design of OS X Yosemite. You also get great apps for email, surfing the web, sending texts, and making FaceTime calls — there’s even an app for finding new apps.

Meet the rest of the iMac family.

With 21.5- and 27-inch models starting at $1099, there’s an all‑in‑one for everyone.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


An Hour of Code For Every Student