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Yoko and AT&T’s Major Announcement! (finally!)

Posted by
September 9th, 2009


This is my update to my prediction post for today, and an opportunity to tell everyone that AT&T has finally made a step towards more reasonable plans and pricing.

First and foremost, I’ll stand by my blog that The Beatles are today. Yoko Ono announced that The Beatles will be available on iTunes today, while everyone else is claiming it’s not happening. Well, I might believe everyone else if the most obvious confirmation hadn’t occurred… The Yoko story was pulled from the net as quickly as possible. Simply put, they never remove a story that leaks inaccurate information. If Yoko were simply wrong, no one would care about what she said. Yoko is right, and once again Steve/Apple won’t appreciate his/their thunder stolen…

…frankly, I still see it as amazingly obvious to begin with (and I’ll have to find a nice hat to eat if I’m wrong).

Now, for big news, AT&T just announced their ‘A-List’. FINALLY, AT&T customers can have their ‘friends and family’ unlimited calling circles with any plan $59.95 or above. That means that you can unlimitedly call ANY five numbers, even those that aren’t with AT&T. That pretty much makes the biggest difference to many people when it comes to what has been holding them back from getting an iPhone. AT&T wasn’t offering enough minutes for the price. NOW with ‘The A-List” there will finally be enough for most people.

Here’s a link to the press release.

I’ll be back after the announcement to post reflections on the news, and my top changes that Apple could/should make to the iPhone/iPod Touch.

Enjoy the show!




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The Beatles will finally be on iTunes!
An educated prediction of Apple’s big announcements on Sept. 9th.

Posted by
September 4th, 2009


Apple’s announcements almost ALWAYS occur on a Tuesday; There NEEDS to be a reason that they pushed this announcement to Wednesday, Sept. 9th. The reason is that 9-9-09 is being sold as a major milestone in the history of The Beatles and you can bet Apple will be right there in the middle of the celebration!

The Beatles will be made available on iTunes on Sept. 9th or I?ll eat my hat! (if I had one). (I?ll also go so far as to say that it will premiere Apple?s new digital jewel case concept, and will also include mini-documentaries on each album.)

As loyal readers know, this blog is all about seeing through the hype? well, the way the entertainment industry works, is that the marketers look for one major ‘event’, and then pile on as many ‘sub-events’ as possible so that the ?buzz? for one promotes the others. Well my friends, Apple ?conveniently? chose September 9th for their major press event about “Rock and Roll”, and the writing is clear… let me spell out what that date means in the world of The Beatles.

1) The Beatles: Rock Band? The remarkably addictive game that is inspiring future musicians everywhere, is coming out with a ?Beatles? specific version. To be available on the Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii. Click for more info on The Beatles: Rock Band

2) The Beatles Remastered- The albums have been re-mastered by a dedicated team of engineers at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios in London. The result of this painstaking process is the highest fidelity the catalogue has seen since its original release.

3) The Beatles Stereo Box- Set Includes: -Hard black glossy lift top with magnet clasp -All 13 Studio remasters plus Past Masters -CD’s are packaged in three panel digi-pak with digital mini documentaries. A special box set of all of the newly remastered albums and includes a DVD of all of the mini documentaries.

4) The Beatles Mono Box- Set Includes:-Hard white glossy slip box-CD’s packaged as mini LP replicas (replica artwork, sleeves and gatefolds)-Original Mono versions of 11 albums (12 discs)

Another major sign of this fact, is that Apple and The Beatles would hold back a digital announcement until there truly was something special to announce. It wouldn?t surprise me if Apple was a major player in this Remaster happening to begin with, and now Apple can present The Beatles co-PREMIEREING on iTunes in their new masters. This is no coincidence, it?s calculated genius.

The Beatles have ALWAYS been at the heart of Apple. The company was even named Apple by Steve Jobs after The Beatles own label, Apple Records. For those who remember, Apple has been in court over Apple Computers competing in the music industry, and only recently did Apple finally win (buy?) the trademark ?Apple?. (A short while ago Apple announced that they had settled with Apple Records, and was finally changing the name of the company from Apple Computer Inc. to Apple Inc.; that was a mighty victory for Apple.)

The 9th of September is going to be huge for The Beatles, and Apple?s announcement will also have a huge ?positive? effect as well.

Now, as for the other predictions:

1. I?ve already explained the remarkable influence The Beatles has had on Apple, and Steve Jobs. There is NO WAY that there can be just a U2 iPod without a special edition The Beatles iPod. You can count on it with the complete remastered discs included. Expect custom wallpapers, etc. This will be the ULTIMATE way to get the new Beatles sets, and Apple will sell them hand over fist. Don?t underestimate the power of this announcement.

2. Steve Jobs WILL do the event. Steve loves The Beatles, Apple, and a great show. He wouldn?t miss it for the world!

3. Ringo Starr and Sir Paul McCartney will appear, and will perform together on stage. Hey, if Microsoft can get them to appear for the Rock Band announcement, Apple/Steve will get them to appear and perform at Apple?s Event! Click this link for coverage of the Microsoft event.

4. Apple?s new ?Project Cocktail? digital album format will be premiere with The Beatles and will include everything you would get with a physical release. Click for more about “Project Cocktail”.

5. iTunes 9 will be introduced with support for ?Project Cocktail? and Legal DVD/BluRay ripping. It?s only illegal to rip a DVD or BluRay if you don?t have the permission from the rights owner. I believe that Apple has obtained the rights from every studio, and will RIP and compress for the iPhone, iPod, AppleTV, etc. versions of movies and television, BUT WITH DRM in place on all. (For the record, Sony has already discussed this possibility to get video content on their PSP.) Also to be announced is that the iPhones and iPod touches will be able to output HD to HD Televisions. (Like the ZuneHD can.)

6. iPhone/iPod Touch 3.1 will be released to support new models.

7. All iPods Nanos and Touches will be refreshed to include cameras, and the iPod Touch will also gain a microphone, and micro-shuffle will have buttons added to the surface of its body. Expect the Touch to have the same video abilities as the iPhone 3GS. The iPod Classic will continue but will gain the largest hard drive available (I do not expect a camera or microphone to be built into that form factor.) The iPod Touch will also drop in price to $199 for a 16GB model, $299 for a 32GB model, and $399 for a 64GB model. (The lower price of a 16GB ZuneHD ($219.99 vs. the current iPod Touch 16GB for $299) guarantees this change to remain competitive.)

8. The last iPhone 3G will disappear for a $99 iPhone 3GS to take it?s place.

9. Wireless sync to your computer, and computer independence through MobileMe computerless Syncing of the iPhone and iPod Touch. Let?s face it, the one thing that keeps ALL adopters from going iPhone is that so many people use phones but don?t have computers. With pressure from the new ZuneHD, Apple will finally offer computerless wireless sync.

10. Wireless Bluetooth stereo headphones. iPhone/iPod Touch 3.0 offered the ability to use Bluetooth headsets, and left it to 3rd parties to create them. Apple wants to have the best of everything, and I?m sure that Bluetooth stereo headphones are just around the corner.

Everything on the list it likely and I?d expect to happen.

One last point… consider Apple’s (Rolling Stones Lyric) statement in the announcement… “It’s only rock and roll, but we like it.” It wouldn’t surprise me if JUST The Beatles availability was announced. I?m positive about The Beatles, but the rest we’ll just have to wait and see… soon.

Cheers!

David



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Celebrate 45 Years of Designing the Future,
and see “Star Trek: The Motion Picture-The Director’s Edition”
on the Big Screen Sept. 27th In L.A.

Posted by
September 1st, 2009




THE ART DIRECTORS GUILD FILM SOCIETY AND AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE
WILL HOST ?STAR TREK: 45 YEARS OF DESIGNING THE FUTURE? SEPTEMBER 27 AT THE EGYPTIAN THEATRE

LOS ANGELES, September 1 — The Art Directors Guild (ADG) Film Society and American Cinematheque (AC) will honor the talented designers who helped to create the futuristic world of Star Trek with Star Trek: 45 Years of Designing the Future, featuring four Production Designers whose work helped bring the science fiction classic to life. John Jefferies, Joseph R. Jennings, Herman Zimmerman and Scott Chambliss will participate in a panel discussion to be moderated by Production Illustrator Daren R. Dochterman, featuring video clips from their work on Star Trek, as well as a screening of the Director’s Edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Documentary video clips of the late Harold Michelson, Production Designer of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, will also be shown. The event will take place on Sunday, September 27, at 5:00 pm at the Egyptian Theatre (6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood).

Writer Gene Roddenberry first conceived Star Trek in 1964. One of the first members of his team was Production Designer Walter M. “Matt” Jefferies, to whom Roddenberry entrusted the crucial job of designing the iconic Starship Enterprise and the ship’s main control room, known as the “bridge.” Since then, Jefferies and his colleagues (including panelist John Jefferies) have played an integral role in the success of Star Trek’s futuristic adventures. Not only have they brought the show’s amazing starships to life, but the Production Designers have also been responsible for creating all of the imaginative alien worlds seen on screen. This event celebrates the vital role of the Production Designer with these four distinguished panelists, each representing a different version of the Star Trek saga.

The event will begin with a series of video clips from the first two seasons of Star Trek: The Original Series, which Production Designer Walter M. Jefferies worked on from 1966-1969. Scenes from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, designed by panelist Joseph R. Jennings, will be shown next. Jennings also worked as an Art Director on Star Trek: The Motion Picture, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award® in 1980. He has also been nominated for two Emmys®, for his work on the mini-series Roots (1977) and the television movie Shogun (1989).

Following will be clips from the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Enterprise, all designed by panelist Herman Zimmerman. Zimmerman was nominated for an Emmy® three years in a row (1997-1999) for his work on Deep Space Nine and also won an Art Directors Guild award for his work on this series. Zimmerman’s work includes six Star Trek feature films, spanning from Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) through Star Trek: Nemesis (2002).
A trailer from the current 2009 release of Star Trek will also be shown. Panelist Scott Chambliss was the Production Designer on this film. Chambliss is known for his work as Production Designer on the television series Alias (2001-2006), for which he won an Emmy® in 2002 and an Art Directors Guild award in 2003.

Just prior to the screening of the Director?s Edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, documentary video clips of the late Harold Michelson, discussing his work as Production Designer on this film, will be shown. This is one of the last projects that legendary Director Robert Wise worked on before his passing in 2005. Moderator Daren R. Dochterman was the Visual Effects Supervisor on the Director?s Edition of this film.

Representing the ADG are President Thomas A. Walsh, and Production Designer John Muto. Working with them are the American Cinematheque?s Gwen Deglise and Chris D. The series is in part sponsored by trade publication Below The Line. General admission: $10. American Cinematheque members: $7. Students/Seniors with valid ID: $8. 24-hour ticket information is available at 323-466-FILM (3456).



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Pixar/Disney Announces BluRays of Monsters Inc. and A Bug’s Life… Low Res?

Posted by
February 21st, 2009



(Thank you TheHDRoom.com for the usage of your image.)

Monsters Inc. and A Bug’s Life were rendered for film at 1536×922. HD’s 1080p resolution is 1920×1080. So how can these films be released on BluRay in true, native 1080p resolution? The answer? ONLY if they re-render the films over again at the higher resolution.

A short time ago Pixar and Disney announced that both Toy Story I & II are being re-rendered in actual 3D for re-release in October 2009, as a prelude to March 2010′s release of Toy Story III also in 3D. These would have to be re-rendered in higher quality to insure a native 1080p BluRay release as well.

More…



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Apple CEO Steve Jobs Takes Medical Leave Til End of June…we hope.

Posted by
January 14th, 2009


By JESSICA MINTZ, AP Technology Writer

SEATTLE ? Apple Inc. co-founder and Chief Executive Steve Jobs said Wednesday he is taking a medical leave of absence until the end of June ? just a week after the cancer survivor tried to assure investors and employees his recent weight loss was simply caused by a treatable hormone deficiency.

Jobs, 53, said in a letter last week that he would remain at Apple’s helm despite the hormone deficiency, and said he had already begun the “relatively simple and straightforward” treatment for the problem. But in an e-mail to employees Wednesday, Jobs backtracked.

“During the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought,” he wrote.

Apple’s chief operating officer, Tim Cook, will take over Jobs’ responsibilities while he is on leave.
After-hours trading on Apple shares was halted. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company’s stock had sank $2.38, or 2.7 percent, to close at $85.33.

Jobs announced in 2004 that he had undergone successful surgery to treat a very rare form of pancreatic cancer ? an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor. The cancer is easily cured if diagnosed early. Jobs did not have a deadlier and more common form of pancreatic cancer called adenocarcinoma.

EDITORIAL: One thing money can’t buy is health, and just like our sad losses recently, I hope that Steve truly does recover quickly. We live in a new world where creativity and passion for the future is not as embraced as it used to be. Steve is a great leader who has changed the world time and time again. I want to live in his future with him, and not stagnant like Windows. -David C. Fein



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Podcast: Android Lives! How does it compare to the iPhone? The new iPod Touch? Nanos?

Posted by
September 24th, 2008




The Google Android phone was released today. Will it be able to compete with the iPhone? Absolutely! We examine the Android Phone, the new iPhone 3G, the new iPod Touch, and the new nanos.

You’ll love getting the new fools updates on the newest digital revolution releases! You won’t be disappointed!



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Lowry and Demos: Two Masters Join Forces To Make Classic Movies Look AMAZING!

Posted by
August 18th, 2008


This may seem like a simple story, but believe me when I say that this is a collaboration made in heaven.



One Frame of Lowry Digital Images breathtaking restoration of “North by Northwest”.

As per Variety today:

Demos joins Lowry Digital Images
Exec named senior algorithm scientist
By DAVID S. COHEN

Gary Demos has joined Lowry Digital Images. Demos will be a senior algorithm scientist at Lowry, which is an industry leader in digital film restoration and image enhancement.

Demos received the Gordon E. Sawyer Oscar in 2006 and has received scientific & technical awards from the Academy in 1985, 1995 and 1996. Lowry was acquired in April by Indian-owned Reliance Big Entertainment.

(Click here for the original Variety Story Link.)

More…



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Remarkable YouTube Find: Making the Death Star Plans Computer Animation

Posted by
April 1st, 2008







The footage used in the making of Star Wars was a breakthrough of computer technology.

This clip about the making of the sequence is fantastic, and is a great piece with historical significance.

Enjoy!



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Amazing Robotic Elmo To Take Over the World! (For only $59.95!)

Posted by
March 18th, 2008


Simply put, this is the most amazing ‘toy’ ever created. Disneyland’s animatronics are not as extensive as this one! I can’t wait for my Kermit the Frog!




Here’s the whole promo:


Elmo Live will be available on October 14th for $59.95. Amazing! This is going to revolutionize the toy business!



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Hulu Lands! iTunes Better Step Up

Posted by
March 12th, 2008


Hulu Lands! iTunesâ?? Better Step Up

Bottom line–free is free. Okay, I know some of us guard our precious minutes each day like we’re Warren Buffett and we huff and puff while watching ads that run before our favorite web videos, TV shows or online whatever. I’m certainly one of those people and, yes, it gives me great power to rant and sigh as I sit through the commercials. But in the end, I’ll drive and park seven blocks away to avoid paying a $3 valet tab, AND I’ll sit through commercials if I don’t gotta pay one penny. So after five months of private beta testing Hulu has officially launched and I’ll say it here first, it’s going to kick some major bootie.

More…



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