特備節目 – iSteve is dead, God save iSteve

Undo death/cancer.

特備節目係乜?咪就係一眾iPhone podcast前主持談Steve Jobs仙遊囉。

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Podsafe音樂特區#203 – Summer’s over, welcome to the neighbourhood

夏去Apple來,今集慶祝!

歌曲列表:
Geoff Smith – Hello Hello
Holley Maher – Always Be
Kate Martin – Apples
Marie Hines – Alone Again
Merry Ellen Kirk – Clair de Lune (Tour website: http://www.merryellenkirk.com/tourmap.cfm)
Jonathan Coulton – Summer’s Over

在此下載本集節目
在此訂閱
歌曲由Music Alley提供
Jingle由Apple GarageBand提供
共享創意署名-非商業性-相同方式共享 3.0 香港 授權條款釋出。超出此條款範圍外的授權可於Mevio MusicAlleyAriel Publicity查閱。

《測試》HP PhotoSmart B110試用

早前從HP在的blogger event後接過Photosmart B110 all-in-one打印機,當然要試用一番。

這部打印機標榜完全無線打印,除了內置無線網絡支援外,更加上HP自行架設的遠端打印技術ePrint wireless,可以經由電郵發送文件、圖片至打印侍服器,再傳送到待機中的打印機進行打印。每部打印機都有專屬的電郵地址,用作ePrint收件(必要時可重設)。這功能對於Mac用家會有更大的效用,因為Apple開發的AirPrint功能將會對應使用ePrint的打印機,只等Apple把功能開放(當然已使用Mac OSX 10.6.5的用家可以用以下 辦法去啟用AirPrint)。

外形方整,入紙和出紙口都在前方,所佔的空間不多,比起之前家中的Epson all-in-one打印機更少。因為機頂平坦,現在成了另外一個枱面。在空間和實用性而言討好。記憶咭方面支援SD、MMC和Memory Stick DUO、算是全面了。

實際使用又如何呢?因為時間關係,我並未安裝OSX 10.6.5,故此未及試用AirPrint的功能,但因為早前曾離港,所以亦試用ePrint的遠端打印,結果回家便看見打印出來的相片。對於偶爾亦有文件需要打印的我而言,可以直接打印回家,不再需要在公家打印機打印,可是十分實用。其他基本用途如打印、影印、掃描,都表現得中規中矩,作為入門的噴墨打印機而言完全合格。另外,HP同時推出了對應的iOS universal app(名叫HP iPrint)可直接無線操作掃描,並選擇使用PDF或jpg存檔。

面板除了電源和Wifi開關之外,還有螢幕和四個輕觸選項。可惜的是,在這型號並未設有輕觸式螢幕,試用時我便常笨笨地直接在螢幕按…介面簡約,並設有Apps可供用家下載,但現在只是美國有最多apps,香港只有原廠預載的五個:Dreamworks(打印Dreamworks動畫主題的填色畫、面具、摺紙等)、Yahoo Daily Digest(美國Yahoo的新聞)、HP Quick Forms(預載的各類表格,如五線譜、單行紙、月曆,甚至迷宮遊戲)、數獨和Tabbloid(打印RSS擇要),以及之後推出的Disney Family(和Dreamworks一般,但以狄士尼為主題)。個人認為Quick Forms對一般用家用途最大,而Disney Family和Dreamworks亦會受家庭用户歡迎。

實際操作可有點小缺點。起動時間要足一分鐘,以噴墨打印機而言有點慢。打印速度一般,但操作的力度頗大,機身令我的flat pack枱面搖晃…有點誇張。

總體而言,B110是一部全面的入門級無線打印機。想來,就是HP沒有送出這部打印機給我試用,相信亦會自掏腰包把它買下來呢。

CMP.ly利益申報:CMP.ly Level 2

蘋果九月一日發報會 (九月二日早上修訂)

又是蘋果一年一度的音樂產品發報會。

今次一如市場所料,新版iPod Touch果然有前、後置鏡頭,Retina Display 及FaceTime,沒有硬體閃燈,只可以拍720P影片,相片是960X720,共有8GB,32GB及64GB三款,售價分别為229、299及399美元。

另外,Nano大變身,成為有multitouch螢幕、收音機的大Shuffle,共有8GB及16GB兩款。Shuffle重新回歸二代的外形,五種顏色選擇,在蘋果網站購則有(PRODUCT)RED的紅色追加選擇,售價為49美元。Classic則維持現狀。

AppleTV並不如市場所料般改名,仍是AppleTV。外形方面,因為不設內置儲存,大幅縮小至上代的四分一。輸出有HDMI,網絡有Wifi及Ethernet。內置軟件可以直接租電影(4.99美元)及電視劇(0.99美元),亦可使用Netflix、YouTube、Flickr、MobileMe,更可利用同時發表的AirPlay(前身為AirTunes,iOS 4.2專用)由iPad串流影片至AppleTV,影片質素為720P。售價為99美元。

有iOS 4.2,自然有iOS 4.1。iOS 4.1將會在下星期開始提供免費下載,仍是以iPhone、iPod Touch為主,主要是bug fix,新功能有HDR相片拍攝、以Wifi上載HD影片、加入電視節目租賃,並重新加入4.0中被移除的Game Center。

至於iOS 4.2將會在十一月推出,是免費下載,把iOS 4.X的功能轉移至iPad為主,並會包括可作影片、音樂串流的AirPlay。據知AirPlay將會在其他廠商的喇叭、dock,相信會有很大的商業潛力。

另一方面,iTunes 10加入Ping social network,以音樂為本位,可以follow歌手及其他用家,品評音樂。在美國用户還可以搜尋演唱會資料,功能算是豐富,但相信並非衝著Facebook而來。

呼…實在很充實呢。

九月二日早上修訂:
1/ 今日最少兩份報紙(蘋果日報、頭條日報)均指新iPod Touch有3G功能,實屬錯誤理解。根據蘋果公司官方網站有關iPod Touch的規格,並無3G功能。各準買家請留心。
2/ 發報會的視頻已在原本用作live streaming的網址發報,想重温的朋友可以到以下網址:

http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.net/1009qpeijrfn/event

所有使用Snow Leopard的Mac電腦,以及搭載iOS 3.2.X/4.0.X的機種都可直接在Safari觀看,而Windows用家則需到以下網址觀看:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/apple-special-event-1-9-2010

iPhone 4

在今晨的WWDC keynote上,Steve Jobs公佈了有關四代iPhone – iPhone 4的詳情。

如之前所料,失竊的iPhobe原形機果然就是iPhone 4。硬件方面,前置鏡頭、LED閃光燈、全新設計,這些都已經知道。但機體金屬部份以不銹鋼製、內建GPS(不是3Gs的AGPS)、砣螺儀、使用micro SIM、更大的電池等,倒是第一次聽說。

內建的iOS4(iPhone OS的新名字)之前已有相當報導,但仍有新功能:新增的iBooks能支援pdf,亦可做書籤、寫筆記,亦支援iBoostore WiFi下載電子書。新增的FaceTime視像功能,可使用前或後置鏡頭作視像對話,將成為民間記者之恩物。iMovie for iPhone更將影片編輯帶入iPhone界面,並可支援內建的五百萬像素鏡頭作720p拍攝。

面對iPhone 4將於七月與iPad同期在港發售,相信一眾蘋果人將會相當頭痛。但我則應該只會購入iPad(除非今晚六合彩頭獎由我一注獨得吧…),因為我實在不能再忍受出外工作要帶備重得要死的MacBook了。再者,既然iOS4本月底便會推出,iPhone 3Gs除了硬件不同之外,大部份功能都可與iPhobe 4共通,我想我的3Gs已經足夠使用。

I am not a Mac, and I am not a PC.

I am not a Mac, and I am not a PC. I am just me. I do not become the computer I use, I use the computer.

I use a Mac, a PC or two, and an iPhone. They are my tools for productivity and information, my toys, and my connection to the world. They do not shape how I am, do not define who I am.

Stop bickering about what computer you should use to be cool. Computers are just tools, like our hands and feet, eyes and ears, nose and mouth, an extension of our existence. We will be cool, if we want to, no matter what tools we use. Make the tools we want to use, and we will use them. And, make them simple to use, stupid.

I am not a Mac, and I am not a PC. I am just me. Get a grip, people.

p.s. Apparently, this is a response to the new Microsoft “I am a PC” ad on people loving the PC, and the Apple “Get a Mac” ads making fun on PC users. While I like both set of ads initially, I loath them both now. Who is to say whether anyone is a dork, or anyone is a hypocrite, just because she use a different OS? I hate this kind of thinking.

Google Chrome用後感

Google最近動作多多,這兩日最大的宣佈相信是新瀏覽器Chrome的面世。昨日一覺醒來,收到網友的通風報訊後,就第一時間下載試用。

技術面的太專門,不詳述了,請自行到Google揾啦。我會從用家的角度與大家分享一下:

– 速度相當好,大概是因為Chrome使用比較快的瀏覽器引擎Webkit的緣故。另外,因為暫時還未有任何插件,loading自然比較快。當然,亦因為沒有插件,所以與Firefox 3或IE 7比較,功能上自然仍有啲距離。
– 經測試後,一些我常到的IE friendly網站,Chrome都能成功進入。
– 各大microblog均成功過關,但Facebook就有少少唔穩定,有時睇notification會跳出home screen或404(即係load唔到)。
– WordPress同Drupal完全冇問題,運作正常。
– Google自家服務就當然冇問題啦,冇走位冇load錯野。

結果,個人認為如果對上網冇特別要求,要睇webmail、睇YouTube、玩flash game都係完全稱職,重要唔係大食(電腦資源而言),令我好滿意。但我唔會由Firefox跳船過檔…因為Chrome冇插件。雖然Chrome完全支援Google嘅服務,但並無in browser嘅介面,而係幫你做shortcut落desktop…再者,我個人對Firefox嘅插件依賴甚深,短期內都係難以脫身。

不過,如果我要好快咁查一啲野,而我又唔想用iPhone咁細個screen嚟睇,Google Chrome會係必然選擇。

p.s. IE8都可以收工喇,咁玩法Microsoft好難追…
p.p.s BTW, here is how Chrome represent a site with no or not updated security certs. Cute!

Chrome security
Chrome security

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Ha, I see a lot of glasses on the ground~

So, Steve Jobs proved yet again that any ideas that he reject in public repeatively will become a reality.

The video iPod will be offered in 30 and 60GB models, with battery power at 14 and 20 hours respectively. A 2.5 inch screen and a smaller click wheel will be on the ever-thinner iPod, which is now around half an inch thick only. And it is the same price as the 4th generation iPod: USD299 for 30GB, and USD399 for 60GB. Just in time for the Christmas Season rush. I W.A.N.T one!!!!

On a separate note, iTunes got the second update in one month’s time. The new iTunes will of course support video playback, and will allow customers to buy music video and TV shows from iTMS, Apple’s own legal media download shop. Among the new features, the one I like is the service which allow users to buy a media item (music/video), and then send it to a friend as a gift. It works even if the recipient is not a iTMS user.

Finally, the iMac, not the PowerMac, that got a facelift. It now has build-in Dual-Layer Super Drive on all models, and build in iChat on the monitor. A new software called Front Row will allow users to play music/video away from the computer, using a remote control. This little app is the apparent answer to Windows XP Media edition.

Now, since almost all of the products announced today are aiming at Microsoft, I wonder if the next product before Mactel will be a revival of… Newton? We will see.

延伸閱讀:

MacWorld: New iMac serves as digital entertainment hub
Playlist Magazine: Apple Releases iTunes 6
Playlist Magazine: Apple unveils video iPods

iPod Nano (updated)

Enough said. Apple, you had to see them to believe them, these guys are really amazing. Nevermind Rokr, you were never meant to be the real secret weapon of Apple this time.Spec:

Storage: 2GB or 4GB
Screen: 1.5 inch color LCD with backlight
Battery life: 14 hours (just music); 4 hours (music with slideshow)
Connect to USB through dock connector
Click Wheel
Format support: AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Music Store), MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3 and 4), Apple Lossless, WAV, AIFF
Photo support: Syncs iPod-viewable photos in JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, PSD (Mac only) and PNG formats
Weight: 1.5 ounces (42.5 grams) [about 2 iPod Shuffles]

BTW, I just worked out a cost by GB comparison of the whole iPod family here. As you can see, the price/GB for Nano is actually not too bad when comparing with the mini, which has no photo support and no color screen. However, this comparison is only true for the 4GB model; the 2GB model is not going to be a great buy, faring almost as bad as a 1GB shuffle on cost/GB.

So, who is the Nano targeting for? I guess it can become the 2nd iPod of choice, replacing the shuffle. Also, Nano is the lightweight iPod of choice for anyone who does not want a full size iPod, now that the mini is gone. Beyond that, I can imagine a big maybe for phasing out the shuffle in the no-so-near future. This will go well with the slim product line that Jobs & Co. like, and will be beneficial to the overall brand, if the so-called V-Pod were introduced in the near future.

(Update: the iPod mini is not completely phase-out yet, you can still find it on Apple’s online store for Hong Kong.)

Updated :
1016hrs Sept 7th. with additional commentary

Apple launch iTunes Music Store in Japan

http://www.apple.com/jp/itunes/

This is most welcoming news for J-pop enthusiasts. At 150-200 yen per song, it is a great bargain to buy songs there. Of course, whether anyone outside Japan can purchase songs without a local mailing address is anyone’s guess, but it is a great start anyway.

This also signifies the beginning of aggressive marketing efforts for Apple in Asia to sell more ‘pods and songs: if history is good enough as guidance, iTMS sells iPods, albeit indirectly through song sales. This is at least valid for US, which iTunes usage and iPod sales exploded ever since iTMS is available. Japan is probably the opening shot of Apple’s war on music against everybody else.

Now, where can I find a Japan address that works……. 😛

Addendum: Just tested, no luck….. even my credit card does not work….. shoot!

Extended reading:
Playlist.com: Apple launches iTunes Music Store in Japan