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Fox the Latest Network to Block Content From Google TV

It’s been said that if something seems to good to be true, it most likely is. Such, it seems, is the case for Google TV. The slick-looking solution that promised to meld the best of the internet with all the entertainment glory your HDTV could muster had a strong start, boasting the ability to push all manner of web content including full episodes of your favorite TV shows from providers like Hulu, YouTube and a number of major television networks. For a while there, it appeared as though other content delivery systems like Apple TV, Roku and the Boxee Box might have some serious competition. However, in recent days things have been looking a little darker for Google’s latest creation. This morning we received word that Fox is the latest in a growing list of networks that have opted to block Google TV owners from accessing their wealth of free online content.

As of November 10th, Fox, ABC, CBS and NBC have all blocked Google TV users from accessing their online content. The reasoning behind this? Money. As it stands, online broadcasting pulls in significantly less money than traditional television does. With this being the case, the broadcasting powers that be are understandably hesitant about making too much of their most popular content available through any other means than where their primary revenue streams have traditionally been found. While it seems almost a certainty that in the future the line between the internet devices and television will be blurred, for the time being, innovators like Google have an uphill battle to gain acceptance with content producers on their hands.

iTunes Connect Taking Extended Holiday from December 23-28

iTunes Connect closed for the holidays
(Image courtesy of 9to5Mac)

If you’re an iOS developer or just a user who’s hopelessly addicted to app updates, you might want to find something else to do come late December — Apple’s iTunes Connect is closing its doors for nearly a week over Christmas.

9to5Mac is reporting that Apple has notified iOS developers that iTunes Connect will be closed for the holidays from December 23 through 28, with App Store management service getting back to normal on Wednesday, December 29 in time to close out 2010 and usher in the New Year.

iTunes Connect is how iOS developers interact with Apple and make their apps and subsequent updates available to the end users. Having the service go dark for nearly a week doesn’t affect users — you’ll still be able to make purchases during the outage — but there will be no one manning the cubicles at Apple HQ to tackle new app submissions or approve updates to existing apps during that time.

“iTunes Connect will be temporarily unavailable from Thursday, December 23 through Tuesday, December 28 for the winter holidays,” the developer site reads. “iTunes Connect access will be back online for use on December 29. If you choose to set an available date for your app to go live during the scheduled holiday shutdown, your app will not go live on the App Store until iTunes Connect resumes for business on December 29. Please plan your releases accordingly.”

If you’re one of those users who compulsively look for fresh updates to your apps every day — you know who you are! — we’d recommend taking a vacation from December 23-28, because you’re likely to be wearing the sad face otherwise. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


Magazine and Newspaper Publishers Get 70/30 Split from Amazon

Amazon Kindle magazine subscriptions

For all of its e-book goodness, the iPad is still lacking in one major area: subscriptions to magazines and newspapers. Amazon’s Kindle has them, and now the company is taking a cue from Apple by giving publishers a better split.

AppleInsider is reporting that will begin offering magazine and newspaper publishers the same 70/30 revenue split that Apple gives to App Store developers. The deal was announced on Monday and goes into effect on December 1.

“Building on the recent introduction of Wi-Fi-enabled Kindles and the upcoming availability of newspapers and magazines on Kindle Apps, we’re pleased to add an increased revenue share and a great new tool for making Kindle better and easier than ever for publishers,” said Peter Larsen, Amazon Director of Kindle Periodicals.

Amazon is offering the new 70/30 split “for publishers who meet certain requirements, such as making titles available on all Kindle devices and applications and offering titles in all geographies for which the publisher has rights.” The publishers will take home 70 percent, while Amazon keeps the other 30 percent.

The news is particularly intriguing for iPad users, who have lamented for months that there was no easy way to get magazine and newspaper subscriptions on their tablet devices. Amazon has already announced that a forthcoming Kindle for iOS update will include magazine and newspaper subscriptions, so this week’s announcement is presumably another piece of the puzzle in place for that update.

The announcement could also have positive implications for Apple — if it’s widely accepted by magazine and newspaper publishers, they could then embrace the same deal with Cupertino and make an iTunes subscription store a reality at long last.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


Apple is Now Accepting Mac App Store Submissions from Developers

Apple just sent an email out to developers noting that they can begin submitting applications for review. Apple noted at the last press conference that they planned to open the Mac App Store within 90-days and that developers would be able to start submitting applications in November.

According to the email, “The Mac App Store will be opening soon. You can get ready by submitting your Mac apps for review now. Log in to the Mac Dev Center for details on setting up an iTunes Connect account, creating Apple-issued Mac Distribution Certificates, and preparing your apps for the review process.”

There is still no definitive date for the Mac App Store opening date, but it is nice to know that developers will be able to start submitting apps today.


You can follow this article’s author, Cory Bohon on Twitter.


VLC Media Player in Danger of Being Pulled from App Store

Maybe you heard about it over the weekend, but VLC, the open source multimedia player application, is in serious danger of being pulled from the App Store because of a formal copyright complaint.

The official statement is as follows:

“Today, a formal notification of copyright infringement was sent to Apple Inc. regarding distribution of the VLC media player for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. VLC media player is free software licensed solely under the terms of the open source GNU General Public License (a.k.a. GPL). Those terms are contradicted by the products usage rules of the AppStore through which Apple delivers applications to users of its mobile devices.”

The app is still in the store at the moment, but it might not be there for long. Go and get it! [iTunes link]


iPad Now Available from Verizon and AT&T

Verizon iPad bundle

We told you about it earlier this month, and the day has finally arrived: The iPad is now available for sale at both Verizon Wireless (coupled with a MiFi 2200) and AT&T (where it uses the native 3G data plan).

Engadget is reporting that Thursday, October 28 has finally arrived, and with it, Apple’s iPad is wrapping up a pretty big month for the device retail-wise. After landing in both Target and Wal-mart (not to mention all of the Best Buy stores that didn’t already have it), the tablet is now available for sale at wireless carriers Verizon and AT&T.

Verizon Wireless announced earlier this month that they were taking on the iPad, but in an interesting twist, they’re selling the Wi-Fi only model bundled with one of their MiFi 2200 mobile hotspots. Verizon pricing is 9 for the 16GB model, 9 for the 32GB model and 9 for the 64GB model, and their no-contract data plans are pretty fair at for 1GB, for 3GB or for 5GB. Unfortunately, you can’t get that data plan pricing by buying the MiFi alone — it’s a special deal for iPad buyers only.

Of course, if you don’t want an extra device to carry around (even though the MiFi is impossibly small to begin with) and are looking for the “real deal” 3G-equipped model, head over to one of the AT&T retail stores and be prepared to drop the same dough for the all-in-one model.

AT&T’s U.S. data plans are the same — per month for 250MB or for 2GB. The telco is also offering international data plans for the iPad, but truthfully we don’t see them getting used by anyone with at least a modicum of common sense, especially when the four plans start at for a mere 20MB and don’t get much better when they top out at a whopping 0 for 200MB. Not to mention the fact that there are so many free hotspots all around the world now. You have been warned!

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


Apple Trying to Ditch Java from Mac OS X, But Why?

Apple is ruffling the feathers of many developers with the Mac App Store. According to the leaked rules on submitting applications to the store for approval, Apple mentions that any apps using deprecated technologies will be rejected. Unfortunately, as Apple released the Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 3 last night, they made the statement that Java is now deprecated on Mac OS X. This means Java developers will be unable to distribute their applications via the Mac App Store.

According to the Java update release notes for Developers, “As of the release of Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 3, the version of Java that is ported by Apple, and that ships with Mac OS X, is deprecated. This means that the Apple-produced runtime will not be maintained at the same level, and may be removed from future versions of Mac OS X. The Java runtime shipping in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, and Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, will continue to be supported and maintained through the standard support cycles of those products.”

Java developers on the Mac have had a difficult time when developing apps that require newly released features in Java as Apple built and maintained the runtime environment port of Java. This meant that Java developers on the Mac wouldn’t get the newly released features of the language until Apple decided to update the port, which in many cases took a while.

No one really knows what this means for the future of Java on the Mac. Developers can only hope that Oracle will step up and release an official port of Java along side the Windows and Linux versions.

Even though Apple has been making a push for Objective-C development in recent years, there are still very many Java developers creating applications on the Mac. And because a single Java application can be run on Mac, Windows, and Linux systems, virtually all schools and universities teach Java as one of first programming language students learn.

Apple has had it’s ups and downs with technologies over the past year. Most notably was the spat with Adobe over Flash on the iPhone and on the Mac. Plus the news today that Apple is not shipping Flash plugins with the new MacBook Airs.

But why would Apple stop releasing updates for a decent and reliable development language on their platform? Android applications are written in Java. Because Apple is deprecating the port of Java, the language wouldn’t get updated as often on the Mac. This would in turn leave Android developers turning to fully-Java supported Windows or Linux OSes to do their development work.

This may just happen if Apple refuses to continue releasing Java updates and if Oracle doesn’t release an official port of Java for the Mac. If no one steps up to fill the Java void, then developers may be forced to move to other operating systems to continue developing Java applications, like Android apps. 

It could be the case that Apple just doesn’t have the time for feel the need to continue porting Java to its own platform. No matter which way you look at it, we will just have to wait and see how this issue pans out.

via MacRumors and PC Pro


Follow this article’s author, Cory Bohon on Twitter.




While You Were Away From Your TV…


(Image courtesy of SF Weekly)

Earlier this week, we had brought it to you that Bloomberg TV was going to feature Steve Jobs as part of their GAME CHANGERS special.  The special was able to reveal a little bit more about all things Jobs through interviews with friends, former colleagues and business associates. 

The special revealed shades of his style of leadership, management and creative process.  Some of those interviewed included: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, former Apple CEO John Scully, journalist turned Venture Capitalist Michael Moritz, and Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, among others.

So if you forgot to set your DVR or don’t get Bloomberg TV, the special is up for your viewing now!

Follow this article’s author, Matthew Tilmann on Twitter



Rescued Miners in Chile Receive Free iPods from Steve Jobs

Chile miners rescued
(Image courtesy of Reuters)

The world watched in awe this week as 33 courageous miners in Chile were finally rescued after 68 days of being trapped underground. Now praised as heroes, they’re being lavished with gifts — including iPods.

Reuters is reporting that the 33 rescued miners who spent 68 days trapped underground in Chile are getting a taste of newfound celebrity. In addition to each man receiving ,000 from a local singer turned businessman, Apple boss Steve Jobs has sent them all free iPods, which appear to be personal gifts from the CEO himself.

“Jobs joins a list of benefactors impressed at the stoicism and courage of the 33 miners who survived 68 days of being literally buried alive,” notes 9to5Mac. That list also includes a Greek mining firm’s offer to send each Chilean miner to Greece for a free one-week vacation, as well as a trip to South Korea offered by Chile’s football league.

“No word on what make or model, but we’d anticipate a top-of-the-range iPod touch,” 9to5Mac surmises. No doubt the men will make good use of them, as the latest word is they plan to jointly publish a book on their ordeal — and to avoid a return to mining. We can’t say we blame them.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


Verizon: Any iPhone News Would Come From Apple


(Image courtesy of

A Verizon exec addressed The Wall Street Journal story today about a Verizon iPhone by the end of the year, saying that essentially any news about any sort of a thing would have to come from Apple, not Verizon, according to AppleInsider.  Perhaps Verizon is getting tired of Verizon rumors? 

Verizon President and COO Lowell McAdam had made the comments during a press conference at the CTIA conference in San Francisco.  He was asked to comment about the above story, and was quick to dismiss it as “one of those things that rolls out ever few weeks whether there’s a basis for it or not.”

“I can’t give you any insights,” he went on.  “But I think Apple is the one that has to make that announcement.”

But on the flip side, McAdam is still holding out hopes that a deal could be reached with Apple at some point, especially with its upcoming LTE data network.

“What I’ve always said is a I expect at some point in time our business interests are going to align,” he said.  “I think things like LTE are another great reason why they’d want a device or tablet on that network.  But I don’t have anything to say today about timing.”

Follow this article’s author, Matthew Tilmann on Twitter