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Apple Set to Build Huge Solar Farm Next to North Carolina Data Center

In recent news, Apple is supposedly planning on constructing a solar farm directly next to its massive data center located in Maiden, North Carolina. The report was first released by the Charlotte Observer and later picked up by both Apple Insider as well as Mac Rumors. Apple has already won approval...

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Investigation Finds 22 Additional Fake Apple Stores in China

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, Computer Accessories, Device, iPad, iPad | Posted on 12-08-2011

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fake Apple storeIn an ongoing investigation, even more local Chinese retailers have been found to be selling Apple computers and products under the Apple name, without the permission of Apple itself.

Reuters has reported that 22 more unauthorized Apple retailers have been identified by Chinese authorities in Kunming, located in the southwest region of China. As a result of the bust, the retailers have been forced to discontinue the use of any Apple branding in their stores, mimicking a similar effort that started earlier this week in Beijing.

These crackdowns come a little less than a month after a high-profile blog post on the phony shops, which featured a lookalike shop in Kunming, which led to the closing of two stores in the area. A Reuters story a few days later noted that the same investigation that led to those closures also found out that all of the five Apple stores in the area were selling Apple-made products purchased from third-party authorized resellers.

A report from China Day earlier in the week stated that officials in Beijing have taken steps to keep fake Apple retail stores in the area from duping customers, forcing them to cover up any Apple branding from the front of their stores.

While Apple has yet to comment on the fake stores, Reuters noted that the investigation that led to the identification of the 22 stores originated from Apple China targeting the stores for unfair competition and trademark violations.

Apple filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in the U.S. a couple of weeks ago which suggests that the company has been busy on a similar effort here in the states. The suit, which was filed in New York, takes aim at three companies and 52 individuals.

Source: CNET – Report: 22 more fake Apple stores found in China

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Apple’s WWDC Sells Out

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, Computer Accessories, Device, iPad, iPad | Posted on 30-03-2011

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Apple WWDC 2011So Apple’s annual developers conference is coming up, but don’t bother looking up tickets because Apple sold out of them on Monday. Yeah, they sold out already, and in record time nonetheless. With fast ticket sellouts come quick scalpers and that is definitely the story here. Many people are scalping tickets to the event on sites such as eBay and Craigslist with prices reaching as high as $4,599, which is nearly triple the sticker price of $1,599.

The Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) runs from June 6th to June 10th, 2011  and was sold out as of Monday, March 28th, 2011 in less than 12 hours which was dramatically faster than last year when it took a lousy eight days to sell out. 2009 wasn’t even close when it took almost a month to sell out. Tickets for this year’s WWDC were priced at $1,599, the same as they were for the 2010 edition.

Apple allows developers to buy multiple tickets with extra activation codes in order to hand them out to colleagues. However, some of these developers are taking advantage of the sellout and are selling their extra tickets at extremely high prices. The ticket with the highest bid that I have seen so far stood at $3,000.

A pair of tickets seen on the New York and San Francisco editions of Craigslist have been priced at $2,400 and $2,500. A seller in California had priced his extra ticket at $2,000 and increased the price by $500 a few hours later.

According to Rohit Sethi, the man in California selling the ticket, “I can deal for $2,500 only and by bank transfer. If you have any friends in the bay area, I can give them the code in person and they can activate on the spot too for authenticity by giving money in person.”

The only people allowed to attend the event are Apple-registered developers but the entry bar is low. Programmers only have to pay $99 for a one-year membership to Apple’s developer program and that’s it, there are no other eligibility requirements.

One good thing, for developers that is, is that Apple does not explicitly restrict the resale of WWDC tickets. Apple has not immediately replied to questions about their resale policy or whether or not they will take any action against people who resell WWDC tickets.

Scott Schwarzhoff, Vice President of Marketing for Appcelerator, the company known best for their multi-platform Titanium development tool, was not surprised about how fast the tickets for the event sold out. According to him, “The message from Jobs at the launch of the iPad 2, that this is the ‘post-PC world’ is hitting home. If you want to be part of that post-PC world, as a developer you need a ticket, and that ticket is WWDC.”

Schwarzhoff also argued that even though the iPod and iPhone have been successes for Apple, the iPad is the first device that has really grabbed the attention of business software developers. “You’re seeing demand from the more traditional IT and computing industry because of the iPad,” said Schwarzhoff. “The iPad is affecting areas that previously weren’t affected by a pure consumer device.”

It has already been noted that this year’s conference is expected to focus primarily on software as opposed to hardware and that the iPhone 5 will most likely not be in attendance. This intrigues me. With one of the most anticipated devices since the iPad 2 not coming out at the conference it surprises me that the conference sold out so fast.

But if you want a ticket to the show, you had better hit up eBay or Craigslist, and you must also be ready to part with about $2,000 to $3,000 at least.

Source: ComputerWorld – Apple’s WWDC sells out; scalpers price tickets up to $4,600

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Steve Jobs Has Some Harsh Words for the Tablet PC Market

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, Device, iPad, iPad | Posted on 03-03-2011

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Steve JobsHey, does anybody remember the tablet PC? Yeah, you remember, the device that had the ability to seamlessly transform from a fully portable tablet into a highly functioning desktop PC. Well, as cool an idea as it sounded like, the device became a relatively obscure PC product category that was pretty much passed over by consumers. Well, the hits don’t stop there because CEO of Apple Steve Jobs had a few “interesting” words to say about the product.

What is surprising is that while there is a long history of the device and this category, there is not a concrete definition on what exactly this device is. I guess the best definition you can muster up would come from looking at hybrids of the device like the EliteBook 2570p from HP or the Lifebook T900 Tablet PC from Fujitsu, which cost $1,599 and $1,899 respectively.

The tablet PC has been a lackluster attempt, especially if you compare it to Apple’s tablet juggernaut known as the iPad. Apple’s attempt to fuse a laptop with a tablet is clearly one of the most popular pieces of technology to hit the market in the last five years, and the introduction of the iPad 2 yesterday is only going to make the device more popular.

Jobs made it a point to tell the crowd at the iPad 2 press event yesterday just how crappy tablet PCs are and how awesome his iPad 2 is. According to Jobs’ statement, “We sold almost 15 million iPads in 2010. And remember that’s just nine months. That’s April through September. That’s more than every tablet PC ever sold. The tablet PC crashed and burned. The modern tablet PC is the iPad.”

Obviously Jobs is going to think that his product is the best, but he does have a point. The Windows interface that you maneuvered via a stylus never quite caught fire, not to mention the fact that the Windows 7 tablet interface is not as user-friendly as Apple’s iPad UI.

Apple isn’t the only company that is hitting the tablet PC with a few shots. The demise of the tablet PC market will come swiftly as PC makers like ASUS, Dell, HP and others do their part in expanding the tablet market with such devices as the HP TouchPad and the Dell Streak.

Source: cnet – Apple’s Jobs: The Tablet PC ‘crashed and burned’

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Macworld 2011 Shines Despite Apple’s Absence

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, Computer Accessories, Device, iPad, iPad | Posted on 02-02-2011

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Macworld 2011At this year’s Mac Expo there was a lot to enjoy including iPhone cases encrusted with crystals and iPad apps for star-gazing. However, everything seemed to be muted considering the fact that the patriarch of all of these products was absent at the annual gathering of Apple enthusiasts.

The crowd was down to 25,000 from the 40,000 to 50,000 people that are usually there when Apple itself is heavily involved and the company’s CEO Steve Jobs stars in presentations that include unveiling new devices like the iPhone. Unfortunately, Apple pulled out of the show in 2010 but engineers from the company still make pilgrimages to Macworld in order to see what entrepreneurs and fans are making of their products.

According to Anna-Marie Pardini, who is in charge of maintaining the relationship between HP and Apple, “The energy is still really high. The nature of the show has definitely changed. Eleven years ago there were no iTunes, no iPhone and, until recently, there was no iPad.”  Pardini went on to say, “You’ve seen Apple expanding and changing markets and changing the way we do things. It is like never stepping into the same river twice.”

The expo floor had anything and everything from data storage devices and computer security services to applications for playing or working on Apple devices. SouthernStars.com showed off something known as Sky Safari software which essentially turns your iPad into a “window into the night sky.” A newly launched Sky Wire cable allows people to use their iPhone to command telescopes to automatically find celestial objects.

There were a whole slew of iPhone cases which included one coated in Swarvoski crystals glued on by hand in tiger, parrot, skull, frog and other patterns with prices ranging from $300 to $350. A rhinestone covered Luxmo iPhone case was also on display, priced at $75. According to David Fung of Luxmo, “Apple people enjoy making a statement.”

US+U claimed to have the most functional iPad case that included a cuff on the back as a handle allowing you to hold your iPad single-handedly in a fashion similar to a paint palette. A Waterproof Dry Case was created to vacuum seal smartphones in plastic while at the same time allowing users to plug in headsets and listen to music.

“You could be in a sandstorm or out in the water and not have to worry about it,” Jordan Messick of Dry Corp told AFP. “If nothing else survives, at least your iPhone is going to.”

A Boom application which pumped up sound coming from Macintosh or iPad speakers was among ten products awarded “Best of Macworld” honors. Another winner was Ten One Design, a startup that invented Fling joysticks which stick onto iPad faces in order to provide video game console controls.

A lot of great products were on display at Macworld but the overall feel of the show was seriously dampened with the absence of Apple and Steve Jobs. With Jobs’  health issues and no new products from Apple it’s unclear when Apple may return.

Source: Canada.com

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First Retail Store from Apple Considered Pilgrimage for Fans

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Computer, Computer Accessories, Device, iPad, iPad | Posted on 10-12-2010

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Apple's First Retail StoreWhen Apple opened their very first retail store in Glendale, California, nobody believed that it would attain the cult status that it has. Passionate fans of Apple have consider it a pilgrimage to travel to the store solely for the reason that it is Apple Store #1.

The Apple Store located in the Glendale Galleria was actually opened at the exact same time as another Apple Store in Virginia though the California store is listed in the Apple books as the first store. What is considered an unassuming and uncool location still attracts large attention from Mac fans.

According to author Sarah McBride, “Some visitors return home and brag online about purchasing gear at the Glendale branch, part of a vigorous game of one-upsmanship about the number and quality of the Apple Stores they have visited.”

McBride went on to say that “To find the Glendale store, customers navigate past a crowded food court, ascend your average, everyday escalator and look for the familiar silver Apple hidden among stores like a discount men’s suit shop and a teen-fashion retailer.”

The contrast between Apple’s first Glendale store and their new megastore in Shanghai is intense with the Shanghai store containing a massive cylindrical glass entrance which houses stairs that take customers  below ground into the store. Another contrast is the Apple store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan which is Apple’s most profitable store.

Employees of Apple’s retail stores often ask for transfers to the store in Glendale due to the incredible popularity and distinction of the store. Customers of the Glendale store also remark about how the employees there seem more knowledgeable about Apple and its products.

The first Apple Retail Stores opened on May 19, 2001 in McLean, Virginia at the Tyson’s Corner Mall and in Glendale, California at the Glendale Galleria. The retail stores for Apple have become an important part of the growth of the Mac as Apple reports about every quarter that nearly half of the Macs sold in retail stores are to customers who have never owned one before.

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