January 27, 2012

Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang resigns

By Daniel Eran Dilger

Published: 06:03 PM EST (03:03 PM PST)
Yahoo announced the resignation of its cofounder Jerry Yang today, stating that he is leaving to pursue other interests.

Yang started Yahoo in 1995 with David Filo, developing the site as an Internet guide based on work the two created as students at Stanford in 1994. Yang had served on Yahoo’s board of directors since its founding, and acted as the company’s chief executive from 2007 through 2009, when he was replaced by Carol Bartz.

In an official statement, Yang said his time at Yahoo “encompassed some of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life.”

He added, “As I leave the company I co-founded nearly 17 years ago, I am enthusiastic about the appointment of Scott Thompson as Chief Executive Officer and his ability, along with the entire Yahoo! leadership team, to guide Yahoo! into an exciting and successful future.”

Thompson formerly helped PayPal to dramatically expand its operations; he was named Yahoo’s chief executive earlier this month after the company dramatically fired Bartz as CEO over the phone last September.

Yahoo’s Internet directory service rapidly lost ground to Google search, and the company has been unable to win back share even after buying Overture, which owned the business model Google used to achieve its success in selling paid search placement.

More recently, Yahoo has been beaten in advertising by Facebook. In 2008, Microsoft attempted to buy the company for $ 44.24 billion, an unsolicited bid the board rejected, claiming that it substantially undervalued the company and was not in the interest of its shareholders. Today, Yahoo’s entire market capitalization is $ 19.14 billion.


Today At Cult Of Android: Verizon Believes A 16GB SD Card Is Worth $100, HTC Confirms Sprint Phasing Out Carrier IQ, And More…

Today At Cult Of Android: Verizon Believes A 16GB SD Card Is Worth $  100, HTC Confirms Sprint Phasing Out Carrier IQ, And More…
Android may not be every Mac user’s cup of tea, but it’s the biggest mobile operating system in the world, and it’s important to know what’s going on with Android — what it’s doing right, and what it’s doing wrong. Here’s the best stories that hit today over at our sister site, Cult of Android.

Sprint Offering The LG Marquee And Samsung Transform Ultra For Free

If you’ve been looking for a mid-range Android device and are on a budget, you may want to take a look at what Sprint has to offer. The LG Marquee and Samsung Transform Ultra are now being offered for free when signing up for a new two-year contract. While these devices aren’t the cream of the crop, they are more than capable of performing the necessary tasks for an average user on a budget. If the Lg Marquee sounds familiar, it’s because Boost Mobile just recently added it to their pre-paid lineup, and now it has become a “no-cost” option on Sprint. More…

Apple’s Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Really Wishes His iPhone Did All The Things His Android Does

Steve Wozniak is a man who loves technology. He’s also a man who’s not afraid to tell it how it is. You’d expect a guy who co-founded Apple to be incessantly praising it while dismissing any advantages the competition may wield. Instead, he’s an open-minded guy who enjoys a variety of tech products, including Android. In fact, in an interview with the Daily Beast, Woz had much praise for the mobile OS that Steve Jobs was hellbent on destroying. More…

Apple Reloads: More Lawsuits Against Samsung, Ten Models Involved In A Design Spat [Cat Fight]

It’s a new year, and much to our dismay, that means a whole new onslaught of litigation by Apple. It appears they have reloaded their litigating guns with high-priced lawyers and fired upon ten Samsung models (along with a separate suit against tablets) who they say violate their hardware design patents. In a suit filed in Germany, Apple is looking to ban the sales of ten Samsung smartphone models, including the Galaxy S Plus and the S II. More…

HTC Confirms Reports That Sprint Has Asked OEMs To Begin Updates To Remove Carrier IQ

We reported on the good news of Sprint and HTC removing Carrier IQ from the HTC EVO 3D yesterday, but what would you say if I told you HTC has confirmed that Sprint will be phasing out Carrier IQ completely. I’m guessing the first thing you’ll do is remove that silly tinfoil hat from your head, then perhaps go outside again. Kidding aside, we knew this was coming, and it’s nice to see some confirmation on the subject. More…

Verizon Apparently Believes A 16GB SD Card Is Worth $ 100 – DROID RAZR 16GB Available Now For $ 199

Verizon’s latest move attempts to convince you that 16GB of memory is worth $ 100. In classic Big Red fashion, Verizon removed the 16GB SD card from the 32GB DROID RAZR and thus dropped the price to $ 199. This is of course in preparation for the DROID RAZR MAXX coming out with a $ 299 price. At $ 299, that puts the RAZR MAXX at the same price as the original RAZR, and in all honesty, who’s going to purchase the original RAZR with its smaller battery when they can get the MAXX for the same price? More…

Is Samsung In Talks To Buy Out RIM? [Rumor]

This rumor has been making the rounds today so I figured why not talk about it. According to a trusted source of BGR, RIM is looking for someone to buy their ailing company — specifically, leading mobile OEM Samsung. I, for one, don’t believe this will ever happen, and can’t even think of one good reason for Samsung to purchase RIM. Many will argue Samsung would gain things such as BBM, BIS/BES and most of all, RIM’s pile of patents. But does Samsung really need any of that? I don’t think so. More…

Help Willow The Whale Escape The Clutches Of Evil Baron Von Barry In Whale Trail, Now Available In the Android Market

A cute new game hit the Android Market yesterday. It’s called Whale Trail, and if my hippie mom had a mobile phone back in the 60 and 70′s, she would have been all over this. Take a trip through rainbow land with Willow the whale, and fly through the 7 kingdoms of colour as he tries to escape the clutches of the evil Baron Von Barry and the Thunder Bros. Meet groovy friends as you fly through the clouds and collect Blubbles in this psychedelic side-scroller featuring: More…

Samsung Promises All Day Battery Life For Future Devices

As mobile devices gain advances in almost every aspect of hardware and software, the one thing that doesn’t get any better is battery life. It’s expected that all these larger screens, graphic intensive games, etc. would demand more of our batteries, but why we have yet to see battery advances or larger batteries included in these devices is beyond me. Perhaps it’s due to manufacturers trying to maintain a slim appearance, but it’s time to start spending a bit more worrying about battery life versus a couple millimeters in thickness. More…

Cult of Mac

iPhone 4S ship times drop to 3-5 days

Electronista noticed this morning that shipping estimates for the iPhone 4S have dropped to three to five business days for all capacities.

This shows that the despite the ongoing rollout of the iPhone 4S in other countries, production has caught up to meet demand.

If you’ve been waiting to upgrade because of thin supplies since its release and the holiday season, now is a good time to consider ordering one.

TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Apple axes last remaining Mac purchase rebate

By Mikey Campbell

Published: 05:57 PM EST (02:57 PM PST)
Apple’s promotion that offered a $ 100 rebate to customers who purchased a Mac and qualifying printer has been discontinued with no alternative incentives announced.

In a change to its promotion information webpage on Tuesday, Apple announced that the long-standing printer rebate program has been cancelled, leaving the company without any rebates or incentives for new computer buyers.

The Cupertino, Calif., company has traditionally offered some sort of incentive when customers buy a new Mac, such as the $ 100 instant rebate when purchasing a computer and printer. While the programs were usually “limited time only” affairs, Apple’s latest printer rebate was a perpetual offer that stipulated the company could end it at any time.

Apple has advertised a $ 100 printer rebate sporadically from 2001 alongside numerous other discounts and promotions for both hardware and software.

The company is also known for its educational rebates and discounts, including the annual back-to-school promotion which has offered free iPods to gift cards.

Currently, Apple offers discounts for students and teachers through its Education Store or at Apple Store locations and campuses though the program is more of an institution rather than form of incentive.

It is unclear whether Apple is slowly phasing out incentives as the company’s online store usually has some type of discount.

Currently, the promotion page displays a lone advertisement of the just-cancelled printer rebate.


Scam Artists Trick Canadian Customers Into Buying iPads Made Of Clay

Scam Artists Trick Canadian Customers Into Buying iPads Made Of Clay

We’ve heard plenty of scams involving Apple’s coveted iOS devices before, but this one may take the cake. Could you imagine walking into your local Best Buy, buying a $ 500 iPad, then taking it home to find that you actually purchased a slab of model clay instead?

As many as 10 clay iPads have been sold in their original packaging at Future Shop and Best Buy stores in Vancouver, Canada.

According to Future Shop, unsuspecting scam artists bought multiple iPads with cash, replaced said tablets with slabs of clay, and resealed them inside their original boxes. The clay iPads were then returned to the stores and placed back on the shelves for other customers. Multiple people have already been duped by the hoax.

CTV News reports:

Mark Sandhu thought he had bought a $ 620 iPad 2 for his wife, Sundeep, for Christmas. Instead they both got an unpleasant surprise when she unwrapped the present.

“I look at him and I’m kind of in shock, ‘Like what — is this a joke?” Sundeep Randhawa recalled.

Future Shop and Best Buy have launched a fraud investigation in the Metro Vancouver area in an attempt to find the devious pottery enthusiasts.

Cult of Mac

Apple’s upcoming textbook event to focus on ebook distribution, not tools

By Daniel Eran Dilger

Published: 03:30 PM EST (12:30 PM PST)
Rumors that Apple would be launching a “GarageBand for ebooks” to enable textbook makers to generate content and “digitally destroy” the textbook publishing market do not appear to be the actual focus of this week’s education-oriented Apple media event.

Instead, according to report by Fortune writer Philip Elmer-Dewitt, Apple will be promoting new partnerships with publishers to use iBooks as a distribution platform in order to help push sales of iPads among schools.

“Apple is not trying to kill the incumbents,” the report cited Inkling digital textbooks publisher Matt MacInnis as explaining. “They’ve learned their lesson from upending the music industry.”

MacInnis had previously explained to Ars Technica that “practically speaking, Apple does not want to get into the content publishing business,” but that site’s report on Apple’s plans kicked off speculation that the event would orbit around a new content production tool it dubbed “GarageBand for ebooks.”

Apple’s existing tools for ebooks

Digital ebook content is currently distributed in a few major formats. Apple’s iBooks app supports both standard PDF documents and EPUB, an open format based on standard HTML and CSS.

EPUB ebooks are essentially self contained web pages, and can be created with virtually any web development tools. This includes Apple’s Pages 09, which can output any word processing document into the EPUB format for use on iOS devices using the free iBooks app.

Apple’s EPUB support in Pages and iBooks works with embedded video, automatically creates a Table of Contents for navigation, and allows iBook users to add notes to ebooks they are reading.

However, the EPUB format is fairly limited; Pages does not support creating more sophisticated ebooks using its page layout features such as including columns of text, headers and footers, and floating graphics, for example.

More complex documents can be exported for use in iBooks as a PDF, which can depict virtually anything. However, PDF files lack features specific to ebooks, such as support for read-aloud content that highlights text as a narrator voices the text. This support requires sound recordings to be included in the document, a feature exclusive to the website-like EPUB.

Users can manually create EPUB packages or use Apple’s Automator or AppleScript to automate the publication of text, videos and graphics as self-contained ebook files. Third party software is also available to produce standard EPUB documents compatible with iBooks.

Kindle’s proprietary ebooks

Last fall, Amazon introduced a new format for its Kindle ebooks, which only work on Kindle hardware and its multi platform Kindle apps, such as those it offers for iOS devices.

Amazon’s new KF8 format uses HTML5 and CSS3 internally, and supports additional typography features basic EPUB doesn’t, including the support for nestled tables created in CSS3 and text on background images

Publishers who create KF8 content must do so using Amazon’s Kindle Publisher Tools and can then only sell it through the company’s Kindle market, as it only works on devices using the Kindle app. This also subjects publishers to Amazon’s terms of service.

Apple’s iTunes Store vs App Store in content creation

Rather than focusing its announcement on a new production tool for creating new ebook content usable on iPad, Apple is likely to promote partnerships with textbook publishers, similar to how it partnered with music labels on iTunes without delivering all the music production software they might need to create the songs they sell.

Apple subsequently promoted iTunes’ expansion into episodic TV shows, music videos and then theatrical movies with studio partnerships. And while Apple sells both Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro tools, there is no real link between the sale of content in iTunes and the creation of that content with Apple software.

Since the development of iOS, Apple has also partnered with software developers. In that market however, Apple not only delivered all the tools to create iOS apps, but also required that developers only use its tools rather than supporting existing software written using Java, Flash, or other middleware tools that bypassed Apple’s Xcode.

In choosing open standards for iBooks content, Apple appears to be interested in allowing textbook developers to produce their own EPUB works they can then sell in the iBooks Store or through other venues, rather than following Amazon’s strategy and forcing them to use a specific, non-standard format they can only sell through iBooks.

Remember iWeb?

MacInnis noted that “publishing something to EPUB is very similar to publishing web content. Remember iWeb? That iWeb code didn’t just get flushed down the toilet—I think you’ll see some of [that code] repurposed.”

However, Apple’s now discontinued iWeb was not a serious web development tool; it was essentially a variant of Pages that enabled users to lay out content in an easy to use Keynote-style and then generate HTML that could render the compilation in a browser. The HTML code it generated was bloated and messy however, far from being an elegant solution to delivering textbooks.

Apple does, however, already deliver a modern HTML5 web development tool for creating interactive content: iAd Producer. That tool is designed to create self contained, dynamic interactive experiences that are rendered as iAd content and distributed by Apple through third party iOS apps as a way to help monetize their mobile software.

iAd Producer 2 is a visual designer for building iAd presentations that incorporate video playback, CoverFlow views, and other animated, interactive elements without knowing how to write code.

Adapting iAd Producer for the purpose of creating interactive ebook content would be relatively simple, as it includes both easy to use automated publisher tools suited to designers and more powerful JavaScript-based interactivity that web programmers can tap into to build more complex and original work using standard web development technologies.

Apple is also overdue for introducing new Mac OS X editions of its iWorks suite, making it likely that it could soon unveil a new version of Pages with enhanced EPUB support (keeping it up to date with the latest advancements of the EPUB open specification), or alternatively, augment its next version of iWork with a new title based upon iAd Producer but optimized for creating interactive EPUB documents and web apps.

Apple also has yet to deliver a version of iBooks that can display iBooks Store and other EPUB content on its desktop Macs.


Steve Jobs To Be Inducted Into Creative Hall Of Fame Today In New York City

Steve Jobs To Be Inducted Into Creative Hall Of Fame Today In New York City

A mysterious education event isn’t the only thing that Apple will be a part of this week in New York City; Steve Jobs will be inducted into the Creative Hall of Fame tonight at a gala in Gotham Hall.

The One Club nonprofit organization will be honoring Jobs tonight for his contributions to the technology and liberal arts community.

Steve Jobs will be honored for a lifetime of contributions to design, branding and communications. As a visionary leader, his passion for design not only created products that changed the way we interact with technology and media, but changed the way we create content in media.

This historic occasion will be celebrated at Gotham Hall with cocktails, dinner and a presentation ceremony chaired by David Lubars, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer at BBDO.

The presentation will show off many of the products Jobs introduced throughout the years, including the influence he had on Pixar. Besides his design work, the iconic ‘Think Diffferent’ advert from 1997 will also be played.

Other prominent creatives, including Paula Green and director Joe Pytka, will be inducted alongside Jobs at the gala tonight. Steve Jobs was recently awarded an honorary Grammy as well for his profound effect on the music industry.

(via Mactrast)

Cult of Mac

Secondary iPhone market is thriving

We often hear about iPhone sales during Apple’s quarterly earnings report, but we don’t talk about secondary sales very much. This is the market where used iPhones in various conditions are bought and sold. I’ve been an active participant in this exchange, often selling my old iPhone or iPad to get the current year’s model.

AllThingsD details a recent Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) report which reveals that 53 percent of iPhone 4S owners got rid their old handset to buy the new one. These re-purposed handsets were predominantly iPhones (49 percent), followed by BlackBerry (21 percent) and Android (15 percent) phones. Interestingly enough, a lot of the iPhones (31 percent) were gifted, and a smaller percentage (18 percent) were sold.

It’s not only advantageous for customers who can get an iPhone for less than retail (I sold my 16 GB iPhone 4 for $ 275), but carriers benefit, too. Over 89 percent of these gifted iPhones will likely be activated on a wireless carrier. Since the launch of the iPhone 4S, CIRP believes almost 11 percent of iPhone activations are second-hand phones.

CIRP co-founder Mike Levin says secondary sales of the iPhone is a mixed blessing for Apple. The company loses sales because people buy used instead of new phones. Apple, however, gets fresh new customers who will purchase content from the iTunes and the App Store. They may also stay iPhone customers and buy the next model when it’s released.

TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Hand-me-down iPhones good for both carriers and Apple, study finds

By Mikey Campbell

Published: 04:30 PM EST (01:30 PM PST)
iPhones entering a growing “secondary market” from upgrading owners are allowing carriers to increase subscribership without paying subsidies as Apple gains new initiates to its iOS ecosystem.

A study released on Tuesday by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) found that the secondary mobile phone market, or used handsets that find new life with a second owner, has blossomed since the launch of the iPhone 4S in October 2011 and could be a source of found income for both telecoms and Apple, reports All Things D.

The study reveals that old iPhones often see new life as an economical way of entrance into the Apple ecosystem and helps to explain some of the incongruities seen between the number of carrier activations and handset sales data.

CIRP notes that 53 percent of new iPhone owners introduced their old handset to the secondary market, with a majority 49 percent being older iterations of Apple’s popular mobile smartphone, followed by Blackberry with 21 percent and Android with 15 percent. Remaining handsets entering the secondary market were specified as “other” and constituted another 15 percent.

“IPhones also had the advantage of having a useful second life as iPod touch substitutes, which made their used value a little clearer from the start,” said CIRP co-founder Mike Levin. “As a GSM phone, AT&T iPhones also could be [unlocked] for use on other GSM networks, so there was an early secondary market for iPhones on other carriers — though this was, of course, limited to more savvy and aggressive technology consumers.”

Of the surveyed new phone buyers who gave their old iPhone to another person, 87 percent said they expected the recipient to actiate the smartphone on a wireless network.

CIRP estimates that 11 percent of iPhone activations in the test period were previously-used handsets, meaning that carriers gained new iPhone subscribers without having to pay subsidies to Apple. The firm guesses that AT&T and Verizon saved between $ 400 million and $ 800 million in subsidy costs, or about $ 400 every secondary market iPhone activated. Analysts estimate that iPhone sales for the first fiscal quarter range from 25 million to 36 million units.

While the economic boosts from the burgeoning secondary market are somewhat quantifiable for mobile carriers, Apple’s gains are more subjective.

“We think the secondary market is both detrimental and beneficial to Apple,” Levin said. “It hurts Apple because it creates competition for new iPhones, which we see in the relatively modest sales of reduced-price iPhone 4 and free iPhone 3G units. But it also benefits the company because used iPhone customers aspire to own the newest and best iPhone, so they are likely future new phone customers. In fact, they are likely new entrants to the Apple ecosystem, who otherwise would not have found a way in.”

New secondary market iPhone users are also potentially new iTunes users who will make music, video and app purchases, and may be candidates to buy existing or future Apple devices once integrated into the company’s ecosystem.


DAS Keyboard Is To Your iMac What The Apple Extended Keyboard II Was To Your Macintosh SE

DAS Keyboard Is To Your iMac What The Apple Extended Keyboard II Was To Your Macintosh SE

Although I’ve always been delighted with my Apple USB Keyboard, but some people live and die by the clickety-clack. For some QWERTY warriors, in fact, things never got better than the vintage old IBM Model M, a platonic ideal of a mechanical keyboard.

DAS has been trying to appeal to the vintage old IBM Model M crowd for a couple years now with their fantastic series of DAS Keyboards, but those beautiful accessories — while admittedly both beautiful and satisfying to type on — weren’t strictly Mac compatible.

Now that’s all changed. Meet the DAS Keyboard Model S Professional for Mac, and it not only will help old Model M-ers make the switch… it should even please vintage Mac users who have been missing their old Apple Extended Keyboard II.

Needless to say, the big difference in the DAS Keyboard Model S Mac edition is the addition of media keys in the top row, allowing you to use your F-keys to control music, volume and screen brightness.

Otherwise, the DAS Keyboard Model S isn’t necessarily everyone’s key, and is only available in monolithic black, but if you appreciate the tactile sensation of “gold-plated clicky mechanical switches,” this $ 133 keyboard (available for order now, shipping in April) will be right up your alley.

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is news editor here at Cult of Mac, and has also written about a lot of things for a lot of different places, including Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, Gizmodo, Kotaku, Lifehacker, AMC, Geek and the Consumerist. He lives in Cambridge with his charming inamorata and a tiny budgerigar punningly christened after Nabokov’s most famous pervert. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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