All posts by IndyMac.Support

Apple Certified Help Desk Specialist. Hardware and Software support. Desktop, System, advanced including InDesign, Photoshop, iPhoto, iMovie, Dreamweaver, Microsoft Office, FileMaker Pro, Acrobat Pro

“Cracking the “Steve Jobs Cracked” Mystery TV Code Revelation.. (so was I close?)

I wrote this article over a year ago. How close was I in projecting what the new Apple TV  would need to do?  I think Apple read this article and implemented everything I wrote about in it! From subscription TV to Siri Voice remote control and a better remote in AppleTV4.

Recently this discussion popped up on the GCMAC listserv. On May 21, 2014, at 8:01 PM, Bob Lasky wrote:

“I keep seeing commercials for the Amazon Fire TV. The talking instead of typing feature looks cool. Anyone know anything about it?”

On Wednesday, May 21, 2014 9:13 PM, John Stephen wrote:

“The decision point here is where you desire to obtain/purchase your video content. If you dig Amazon and maybe are a Prime user than its likely the product for you.  If you are in the Apple ecosystem, aka iTunes then Apple TV is the platform for you. Of course, the additional benefit of streaming/AirPlay from your other Apple devices.

Time to choose sides for the coming battle…. :)”

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I wouldn’t bet against AppleTV on this one. Although coming late to the party this time could be disastrous for them. Building a killer set top box, better than Smart TV manufacturers can include, should be the key.  But it’s Apple TV all that with minimalist remote and clunky interface? (still there still is no Apple television set on the horizon, even if Gene Munster of Piper Jaffrey has said we will see one for last four years)

Samsung is already entrenched with great SMART television products. They have just released a huge ULTRA HD (4K) curved TV. Their handheld devices integrate relatively well with their big screen TV’s.

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Samsung 40″ 4K HDTV


So what could Steve Jobs have meant by
“I finally cracked the code to TV”?

I think I can imagine a better TV/Internet experience without Comcast controlling it. And I wouldn’t be surprised if my following ideas align with what Jobs was thinking.

Comcast has a stranglehold on high speed internet and their new Xfinity product also let’s you use your iPhone to talk to the system, perform searches, etc.

So here are a few things Apple must do. The biggest problem today is getting the content that people want. I hate paying exhorbidant prices for Comcast bundles. I watch at best 10-15 channels. I don’t need or want to pay for 1000.

So that would be the #1 & #2 issues facing an AppleTV product. I don’t envision Apple producing an actual TV at this point. They don’t have the manufacturing capability and would have to rely on another company to build them. Although, all of their manufacturing is done by Foxconn in China, the manufacturers manufacturer.
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On the other hand Apple does have a cash horde they could buy a Sharp maybe even Sony to do it. Minimally Apple TV needs a brisk update adding voice integration and a full remote control software for iPhone and Siri to control it all. And it would definitely be cool if they could get Siri to control existing ATV boxes. And it also could use a new box altogether, that is more efficient.

The final piece of the puzzle is content delivery. Comcast does have a stranglehold on their internet service. I read yesterday Apple is buying/building new infrastructure to deliver content more efficiently mirroring content on multiple servers all over the world.

This in order to deliver its software in a more efficient seamless manner. Combining Apple’s storage and delivery systems with AT&T’s fat pipes will enable delivering selective on demand content. I believe that is what I want, and I bet millions of the rest of you do , too. I only want to pay for the content I want instead of thousands of programs in a bundle I don’t. And also to control when I want to watch it, instead of relying on network programming schedules.

So Apple does have a plan working in that direction. But the big issue is the PIPE that final 1000 feet of cable or phone lines bringing your internet connection into your home. Fibre optics is the key here enabling delivery of the GIGABIT bandwidth the consumer wants and needs for the quality of service required. Comcast has not built out a fibre optic network to the home.

AT&T on the other hand has been deploying fibre optics to their switches for years now. Although they have not been able to get it that last 1000 feet to consumer homes in a ubiquitous manner. They have been building it out in new housing developments being built within the last five years or so putting it all underground. If/when that happens, AT&T could leapfrog Comcast by a mile in the bandwidth battle.

Comcast currently has the infrastructure to deliver 300mbits per sec. But they are being stingy with it. And it still only comes in over 1 wire per household. Then they still have the same latency issues (cable delivery has always had) when many users in a given area demand content at the same time. The bandwidth speeds become erratic and slow down.

I think the answer lies within FIBRE OPTICS deployment. There are a thousand or more strands of high speed fibers of the cable pipe in a half inch cable, each strand capable of delivering 10,000 independent pipes for content over a gigabit of data. AT&T is negotiating to buy DirecTV NOT as much for the user base I think, but for the broad content contracts they hold with providers, LIKE THE NFL.
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DirectTV has the problem of deploying ugly satellite dishes on everyone’s roof. Delivering DirectTV content through AT&T fibre optic pipes would solve a lot if this issue. While still providing great TV service to rural areas Comcast doesn’t reach through its satellites and all over the world the rest of the world.

An infusion of Apple’s money partnering once again with AT&T might just be the quiet partnership Apple is developing in order to deliver APPLE TV service. Comcast doesn’t want to deliver AppleTV content. It competes well with Comcast TV bundles.

Recent arguments over “net neutrality” trying to keep the FCC from fracturing internet provider speeds. Allowing companies like Apple, Netflix and Hulu to pay a premium to deliver their content on a faster track.

Senator Al Franken rallied a campaign against this idea. Originally, I supported his idea of keeping all internet delivery speed the same for everyone. Comcast on the other hand already charges a premium for their high speed cable delivery TO THE CONSUMER and it’s outrageous. So what is new about the new FCC regulations? It allows an Apple or Netflix to buy faster delivery from their side. In a way this could bust Comcast’s grip on the throat of consumers. It doesn’t mean consumers have to study. On the flip side having more competition in the delivery pipes available from AT&T could drive pricing DOWN.

Couple an AT&T GIGABIT Internet pipe with Apple’s worldwide servers capable of storing and delivering the content is the REAL KEY code I think Steve a Jobs was thinking about. Being able to control playback without the local DVR will be a great money saver in terms of the mechanism of AppleTV.

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IPhone 6 Guessing (???) Designs Proliferate And A New Scam Is Born

Has anyone else seen this new scam?

The iPhone 6 is not even announced yet, and I’m already getting spam to pre-order my new phone, before Apple has even hinted at the product release! Not from eBay or Amazon, but from some third party resellers offering ridiculous discounts by “pre-ordering” an iPhone 6. I blame this on all of the pre-release hype!

During a recent earnings call for investors…Apple CEO Tim Cook stated,
“We care about every detail and it takes us a bit longer to do that. That’s always been the case,” he said. “It means more to us to get it right than to be first…”

“There’s to dog-gone darn much speculatin’ going on here!” – Elmer Fudd

I blame this “rush to promote” on all of the pre-release hype. I know it’s a scam, but it’s annoying and suggests un-savvy buyers could fall prey.

It’s more than a little distracting, anticipating the release of a new Apple product. The distraction is the lure and promise by Apple iPhone 6 prognosticator artists, rendering ad quality video and guessing (with action video) as to what the new models will look like. They base their renderings on photos supposed to be authentic pre release parts or production molds leaked from Chinese manufacturers.

I think all of this gives spammers and crooks a new bit to try and steal from the unsuspecting. After all, these “fake” ads look as if Apple made them. Edited out of context, and you have something truly believable.

I sold my iPad 4 in order to purchase the iPhone 5S was a good move, I think. Many of my followers know that I try to cycle my Apple products routinely. I try to gauge the market for resale so I can get current Mac and iPhone models. I don’t buy when products are released as a rule.

Regurgitating the hype of new releases has become a yearly obsession by the media, Apple Watchers and investors. No shortage of people writing and trying to guess what Apple will offer. (Now I’m writing about it, too!)

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I’ve taken to writing this blog text on my iPhone 5S. This is the fastest and best iteration of this form factor. Having had a 4, 4S, skipped the 5 then bought a deeply discounted 5S from Virgin Mobile ($349).

“The iCloud” is now working pretty well as an adjunct repository for Apple devices sharing data, video, music and photos. So I have not found that the higher memory model iPhones have been necessary, for me. I don’t need to use my local storage if I choose not to, or my own severs for music or photos at all. I send backups regularly up to “the (i)Cloud”, sync my 1Password, Safari Bookmarks, contacts across the cloud, and minimize music and photos on my iPhone so it works well within the 16gigabyte storage on the least expensive 5S.

We resisted cloud storage and network dependency for a long time, because I feared privacy invasion or security risks. Then I acquiesced, rationalizing that Apple, the NSA or the “Blacklist” can find me, get any information they want about me, very easily.

I’ve put myself out there JUST buying an iPhone (and into the Apple ecosystem), going on Facebook, buying in eBay and Amazon. And it’s amazing how both Amazon and eBay know my buying habits so well, they both tempt me with exactly the products I long for or drool over.

I do also keep backups at home locally on my own hard drives, to be safe. You never know when the cloud is going to explode, Implode or vaporize!

WEARABLE APPLES

from iPhoneHacks……
“Apple Drops Biggest iWatch Hint: Extending Apple’s trademark to cover Jewelry and Watches”

 


Tim Cook said, “…that Apple sees the wearable devices market as an area of “profound” interest, and the iWatch is reported to be Apple’s first product in this new category of devices”.

Apple has also filed many patents for jewelry, watches and all sorts of Apple “wearable” tech stuff. According to rumors and speculations, the iWatch will be a smartwatch with a focus on health and fitness, thanks to an array of on-board sensors.” Apple has been hiring many high tech people that have biometric specialties. That should tell us all something big is on the horizon.

In My Not So Humble Opinion, iWatches need to come in wide range of multiple price points, right from the beginning. That is if Apple wants to truly break into this wearable market and pin it down.

Many punidiots have made the conclusion there will only be one model in two sizes priced at $1000 which may not tank.. Or will it? Releasing other models a few months after the initial release, that are less expensive is an Apple tradition.

However, I think Apple should release a full line. Men’s Women’s and kids. Yes Kids. A watch with GPS tracking so parents know where their children are and can instantly connect to them.

A $99 security watch with a couple health monitors. A $99 watch that can automatically monitor a kids diabetes or kids subject to anaphylactic syndrome, or just where the heck Jack & Jill are?.

An entry level $129 smart Health Monitoring watch that doesn’t necessarily need to sync with anything but can via Bluetooth, Wifi and GPS. Maybe fewer radios, Bluetooth, Wifi, but no CDMA, GSM cellular phone radio.

LETS face it, our privacy is willingly compromised if you carry a smartphone. So why not make wearable devices that maximize the technology? We all are trackable anyway. I can see parents using the devices to help keep their kids safe in a very strange often violent world. Privacy abuse aside the Matrix knows all anyway. Take the RED PILL.

Then if you must put all of the bells and whistles into the darn things Apple, a $349 smaller 38mm model $50 more for the 42mm model. Then if you must an ULTRA model that can tell you before you need a bathroom or about to have a heart attack, is solid 18 carat gold model for $10,000 up to $17,000 for “rose gold”.

Older men like myself often need that alert as our bodies don’t always cooperate. Didn’t your mother always say just before a car trip, “Don’t you have to go the bathroom?”

Quick take an aspirin so you don’t have a heart Attack! 

AUXO TWEAK – Best $1.99 Reason To Jailbreak

You would think that Apple would want to look at every tweak that third party JAILBREAK enthusiasts are using. They haven’t updated the keyboard on the iPhone or IOS at all since IOS was built. The Control Center in IOS 7 is an improvement, but to really make it functional, you need to JAILBREAK your phone.

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AUXO 2 ($1.99 on Cydia Repository) is a third party tweak that is a MUST.  Like the image above shows, it opens up to control center, but with a few differences. You see the Application Switcher in the middle? You can scroll through open Apps without going back to a HOME screen and switch between them in a flash.

FLIP CONTROL Center  allows you to add additional switches to both the top and bottom rows, for fast easy control of things like toggling the flashlight, go straight to settings or toggle WIFI or Airplane modes.  These are obviously working tweaks and in demand, so why doesn’t Apple just allow folks to use their phones the way we want to?

Apple has kept the iPhone OS very tightly controlled.  I can understand security reasons, but are they that lame that exploits continue to become available with every IOS release?  It’s a Cat & Mouse game they play, sealing up one exploit, only to create others.

And by exploit, I mean to holes in IOS that JAILBREAKS need in order to gain root access to the phone. This enables third party software that Apple cannot produce, the ability to run (all at the risk of the end user violating the EULA).

I TWEAT regularly to @Tim_Cook, “What has happened to ‘Think Different’, the Steve Jobs mantra he introduced upon his return to Apple from exile?”.  When Jobs came back in 1997 and walked onto the WWDC stage to a deafening roar of approval from the crowd for the first time after his return. He promised an open source MAC OS (to become OSX) based on the contributions from thousands of independent UNIX developers.  He promised a commitment to developers that Apple would communicate and cooperate in a new way. It seems the open systems and cooperation Jobs promised, have vanished.

Everything Apple is making has become less field serviceable that ever. Screens are glued on the iMac, no (regular) screws are being used in exterior cases. We get the idea Apple doesn’t want end users inside their devices. Therein is the rub. We aren’t borrowing what we buy. WE PAY FOR HARDWARE!

So why is it so unfathomable that we would want to use the devices, with whatever software we want? The FCC has said that if a device is not under contract, wholly owned by the end user, they are entitled to unlock the phone to use on any carrier of choice. The directive goes further to say that the process of “opening systems” which is also known as ROOTING or JAILBREAKING is also up to and only the responsibly of the end user.

(to be continued)