Apple TV: Really Isn’t A Hobby: Apple has said over the last few years that the Apple TV box, which really isn’t a TV but instead a small Media Streaming player about the size of three slices of bread, is a hobby for them. However, if you’ve ever used one of these cool media streaming devices* you’ll know that it is a really cool gadget and that Apple has put enough time and effort into the device to make it that cool – so it really isn’t a hobby for them no matter what they say!
And if you’re not familiar with it, the Apple TV does two major things: 1. It allows you to access television shows, movies and music from iTunes and play them on your TV (or hopefully through the sound system in your living room) and 2. If you also own an iPhone or iPad it allows you to mirror what is on your screen– and that means that you can send what is on your iPhone or iPad screen through the Apple TV to your television. So you can show off the photos you took on your iPhone on vacation by easily streaming them to your television, you can stream a presentation you’ve created on your iPad or you can stream media content via apps.
And as far as streaming media content via apps goes let me give you two examples! 1) There is an iPad app for the Brian Williams news show Rock Center and 2) there is a PBS app. So I can bring up the entire Rock Center show from this week on my iPad — any time I want — and send it to my 42” HDTV and watch it on that much larger than an iPad screen! Likewise, if I missed the last Inspector Lewis episode or the last Story of England episode on PBS this past week – I can open the PBS app on my iPad, access those two videos and send them through my Apple TV to my television to watch them! I caught up with Michael Wood’s The Story of England last night and will catch up with the Inspector Lewis series tonight by watching the episode that aired on TV last weekend. So in essence, the Apple TV allows you to access an increasing amount of video content on-demand and then stream it (aka send it) from your iPhone or iPad to your TV.
And here’s a related link to a Tech Radar article titled Why Apple TV Is More Than A Hobby that gives you even more information (and some nice photos) regarding the Apple TV and what it can do for you:
E-Books Are Gaining In Popularity: This point is probably fairly obvious to anyone who reads or watches the news on a regular basis — but e-books are indeed gaining in popularity. This is, as you would expect, a big topic of discussion in the library world and also in the publishing and business world. And the New York Times offers a brief blog article on this subject titled Survey Shows Growing Strength of E-Books which offers some stats on this trend – foremost of which is the stat that, to quote the article “Publishers’ net revenue from sales of e-books more than doubled last year, reaching $2.07 billion, up from $869 million in 2010” and that they now account for “15.5 percent of publishers’ revenue” – and that is big gain considering that the first Kindle only came out five years ago. Here’s the link:
And in relation, here’s another link to a cool article from The Guardian titled Flying off the eBook shelf: Readers want the cheapest read – and eBooks are winning:
The High Tech Future of Buying Things: The Wall Street Journal features a cool essay today titled The Customer as a God; which they describe as being about the fact that “Businesses today tend to herd customers as if they were cattle, but a revolution in personal empowerment is under way – and buying will never be the same again.”
The article starts out by giving us a scenario. It is 2022 and all the items we purchase, including clothes and coffee makers, have smart tags in them that allow us to find out via our hand held device (think a more advanced iPhone than we have today) when we last wore the clothes we are considering wearing, what shirt we wore our favorite pair of cargo khakis and what type of coffee maker or ice cream maker we own – just in case we need a replacement.
So say I am going to have family and friends over for a barbeque on a summer Saturday evening in 2022 and I haven’t been able to get that pizza sauce induced stain out of my favorite pair of summer cargo kakis; and worse luck my fancy ice cream maker bit the dust with that cone I made last night…
Well, nuts! What am I going to do? I have many little details to take care of just to get ready for the barbeque and I don’t have time to order an ice cream machine and go shopping for a new set of khakis! And fortunately, I don’t have to! My ice cream machine and my khaki pants both have smart tags contained within them and all I have to do is talk to my hand held device and tell it I need a new pair khakis and a new ice cream maker; and my hand held will connect to the Internet and order those two items, the same style and size pair of khakis and the same model of ice cream machine, and arraign for them to be delivered this afternoon! Which will leave me time to take care of the final details for the party. Sounds cool, right? Well it is coming! The scenario the WSJ uses deals with a coffee maker that bit the dust – but as it is summer time I figured I’d go with an ice cream maker for my upcoming party – in 10 years!
Here’s the link to the Wall Street Journal article with their coffee maker scenario and their insight on both the online purchasing privacy options relating to the new technology (they can be made very private) and how this new technology will be both empowering for consumers and very, very convenient for them too!
A Cool Star Wars Mug: And on a final note, for Star Wars fans here’s a link to a new product that I think is just plain fun! It is an R2D2 coffee mug with removable lid!
Enjoy your weekend everyone!
*Media streaming means the device connects to the Internet to stream content to your television.