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Apple Unveils New Items at WWDC, Time Inc. Magazines Now Available Through Apple’s Newsstand & A Few More Cool Items!

Apple Unveils New Items at WWDC: Earlier this week Apple unveiled some new devices and upcoming software updates at its annual World Wide Developer’s Conference. And these cool new items include a new series of MacBook Pros that will feature Apple’s super, super, crystal clear Retina Displays, a new and improved Map App – this one being made and updated by Apple itself (instead of Google) and a preview of iOs6 *1 which will be released this fall and which include a bunch of new features including Facebook integration an update of Siri, Apple’s digital personal assistant, and the introduction of Siri to iPad (3rd generation only) users.

Here’s a link to a CNET article titled WWDC 2012 rumor scorecard: The hits and the misses which discusses in more depth the items that were rumored to be introduced at this years’ WWDC versus the items that were really unveiled:

Time Inc. Magazines Now Available Through Apple’s Newsstand: Time Inc., which publishes a number of very popular magazines, has changed its previous stance which had it adamantly refusing to offer its magazines for sale through Apple’s ecosystem; thus making it impossible for readers to purchase subscriptions to any Time Inc. published magazines through Apple’s Newsstand App. But now Time Inc. has reached an agreement with Apple and will shortly allow readers to subscribe to all of Time Inc.’s digital magazines, including the very popular Sports Illustrated, Time and People, through Apple’s Newsstand App. So shortly you’ll be able to buy subscriptions to all of Times Inc.’s magazines and read them on your iPad or iPhone.

Here’s a link to a New York Time’s article titled Time Inc. to Sell Its Magazines on Apple’s Newsstand that you can check out for more information on the subject:

And while I was working on this blog posting today I came across two other neat articles I thought you might find interesting! Both articles are from the New York Times; the first is titled Going Online to Check In, Not Check Out and it discusses the two predominant types of Internet users – those who go online to fill their time with games, social networking and surfing the web etc. and those who go online simply to check things – like their email, or to find out when a movie is being shown or what dishes a local restaurant serves etc. The article offers a fascinating glimpse of how technology is both changing how we live and is a reflection of our values. And the second article is titled Microsoft Expected to Introduce Tablet and relays the news that Microsoft is expected to announce on Monday that it will be jumping into the tablet game by manufacturing its own tablet. This new Microsoft tablet will be the first piece of hardware ever created by the software giant Microsoft itself so this is a big deal. It will be interesting to see how well this new tablet competes with Apple’s iPad which currently makes up more than 90% of the tablets currently being sold*2.

Here’s the link to the article titled Going Online to Check In, Not Check Out:

And the link to the Microsoft Expected to Introduce Tablet article:

Have a great weekend!

Linda R.

*1) iOs simply refers to the mobile operating system – software that makes Apple’s mobile devices run.

*2 Here’s a link to a CNET article which discusses the very hot tablet market and relays the stats about the iPad currently making up more than 90% of tablet sales.

New Amazon Cloud Player App for Apple & Android Devices

Amazon has just released an app that will allow users to stream any music they’ve purchased from Amazon’s online MP3 Store, or uploaded to Amazon’s Cloud player, to any Apple or Android device.

So finally those of us who have purchased a multitude of songs (or a solid number of free ones from Amazon) will be able to easily listen to them on our iPhones, iPads and all Android tablets and smart phones.

And if you’re not familiar with Amazon’s MP3 Store, and the do offer a solid number of free songs and albums and put albums on sale, here’s the web link to the store so you can check it out!

Here’s a link to the Apple iTunes page that discusses the new app:

And here’s a link to the Amazon page that discusses the app:


Linda R. 

New York Times Practical Technology Usage Advice Column & How Parents Can Help Tweens Use Facebook Safely

New York Times Practical Technology Usage Advice Column: New York Times Columnist Sam Grobart has started a new column called Tool Kit. And his first column is titled The Technology in Our Lives, and How to Make It Work Better. Mr. Grobart’s column is intended to offer helpful practical tech tips to readers. And his first column discusses basic things like how you can get basic HD cable channels over the air (via antenna), how to select a laptop for your child and how you can set stream music at home cheaply.

Here’s a link to Mr. Groban’s first column:

How Parents Can Help Tweens Use Facebook Safely: And NPR has a new article regarding safety tips you can use so that your Tween can safely use and enjoy Facebook.  Basically the article relays that you can set your child’s Facebook profile so that the content he or she accesses and/or uploads to be accessed by others is limited – i.e. not shared with the entire universe just primary approved Facebook friends.

Here’s a link to the NPR article and associated Talk of the Nation podcast:

And on another tech note – Apple did unveil some neat upcoming hardware and software items at their WWDC yesterday. A number of exciting things were unveiled and I’ll be doing a more in-depth posting about them shortly. However, I do have to say I think I am the most excited about some of the new features of the upcoming iOS 6. And just in case you wonder what that means – iOS is simply what Apple calls the software used on their mobile devices – and when the iOS 6 upgrade arrives this fall all of us with the 3rd generation iPad will be able to access the upgraded and improved Sirsi –Apple’s voice activated assistant that will, with iOS 6, even be capable of opening apps for your via voice command. Cool stuff!

 Linda R. 

Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference

I’m back from vacation so I’ll be posting more regularly now. And I should have noted on this blog, before I left for vacation that I’d be off for a week. Apologies for forgetting to do that!

And to know back to the topic of tech!  Apple’s annual World Wide Developers Conference, frequently referred to simply as WWDC, kicks off today at 10 AM Pacific Time (1 PM EST). And at this annual conference Apple usually releases information about upcoming Apple products and software. It is expected that Apple will announce features of its upcoming iPhone & iPad software upgrade, iOS 6, of its new OS X Mountain Lion and information Mac upgrades (also known as new Apple computers!).

So you may want to check the Tech news this week for more detailed information on the products Apple announces this week. Or you can just check back with our blog for an update!

Here’s a link to a CNET article titled What to Expect from WWDC 2012 that offers an overview of what CNET expects Apple to unveil at this years WWDC:

Linda R.

Tall Tales for Your Kids or Grandkids in the Near Future – The Format Wars And What Were DVDs, VHS & 8-Track Tapes!

Sam Grobart has written a very humorous piece for the New York Times titled Daddy, What Were Compact Discs which illustrates how technology has changed how we listen to music and watch TV over the last fifty odd years. I had to chuckle over the formats Grobart mentions because I too used to have not just LPs, VHS tapes and DVDs but laser discs, cassette tapes, standard CDs and gold CDs. And today, I have a handful of CDs and DVDs; however, most of the television shows and movies I watch, and music I listen too is digital –streaming to my HDTV or playing on my one of my iPods so of course there is no physical format for those movies, TV shows or albums.

And the article does indeed make the point that today music and video formats are in the process of transitioning from physical CDs and DVDs to the digital format, which unlike former formats cannot be held in your hand. Thus in the future young kids won’t understand what physical formats for audio, video and reading are unless you explain it to them because all the videos they watch, the music they listen and the books they read will be digital!

And of course I’m sure public libraries will still have physical books on their shelves so most  kids will see paper books when the visit their local public library and will understand what they are – but compact discs and VHS tapes – those will indeed be a mystery!

Here’s a link to the New York Times article:

Linda R.

Tim Cook, The Great Doc Watson & Thirteen Inspirational People Receive Medal of Freedom

I’m going to go off topic a bit today and discuss one tech related item, namely what Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the Wall Street Journal All Things Digital Conference yesterday, and two non-tech related items: noting the passing of a great American musician – Doc Watson and those persons that awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom yesterday.

What Tim Cook Relayed at the All Things Digital Conference: Apple CEO Tim Cook was the guest speaker yesterday at the Wall Street Journal’s All Things Digital tech conference. And while he didn’t relay any specific details regarding new, upcoming Apple products; he did hint that there is some type of actual Apple television (an actual television and not a media streaming box) in development and tantalizingly said of upcoming Apple products that he has “never been as amazed by all ‘the things I cannot talk about today!” And he noted that on his watch Apple’s philosophy will be to continue to strive to be a creative technology company. He also hinted that he would offer a few specific details about upcoming Apple products and/or updates at Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference in June.

Here’s a link to an All Things Digital transcript of Tim Cook’s conversation with All Things Digital staff Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher:

And a link to a Washington Post article, tilted Apple’s Tim Cook promises ‘incredible’ products, offers no details, which offers an overview of what Tim Cook said:

The Great Doc Watson: Doc Watson, the influential flat picking guitarist and singer, died yesterday at age 89. Mr. Watson, who was born in rural North Carolina in 1923, lost his sight as an infant and began playing the guitar as a child. He seemed to have soaked up traditional American folk, bluegrass and country music and made it his own by creating a vigorous flat picking style of guitar playing. And in addition to his richly creative guitar and banjo playing Mr. Watson had an equally rich baritone voice that he used in singing heart felt ballads. Mr. Watson’s talents enriched American music for decades. If you’re not familiar with Doc Watson’s music I urge you to check it out! The library has several of his compacts discs in its music collection.

Here’s a link to Doc Watson’s New York Times obituary which offers an overview of this very creative artist’s life and work:

Thirteen Inspirational People Receive Medal of Freedom: Thirteen persons received the Presidential Medal of Freedom yesterday. The Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian award that can be given in the U.S. and the 2012 recipients include: Bob Dylan, Toni Morrison, Madeline Albright, John Paul Stevens, John Glenn, Doctor William Foege, John Doar, Dolores Huerta, Gordon Hirabayashi, Jan Karski, Juliette Gordon Low, Shimon Peres and Pat Summitt.

Bob Dylan and Toni Morrison are of course well known for their fantastic songwriting and literary writing skills respectively; Madeline Albright is well known for being the first female Secretary of State as well as for her exemplary diplomatic skills, John Paul Stevens for his decades of work as a Supreme Court Justice and John Glenn as the first American to orbit the Earth.

The less well known recipients have offered equally laudable contributions to society; Doctor William Foege was Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the 1970s and was responsible for leading the crusade to eliminate small pox in the United States; John Doar was an attorney who worked for the Justice Department during the Civil Rights era and was instrumental in bringing civil rights cases before the DOJ, for being a leader in the Voting Rights Movement and for sidetracking a riot in the making before it could get started after the funeral of Medgar Evars;  Dolores Huerta founded the advocacy group the National Farmworkers Association in 1962 and has been a leading figure in the fight for the rights of farm workers in the United States ever since; the late Gordon Hirabayashi  was an American of Japanese descent who adamantly refused to be sent to an American interment camp for Japanese Americans during World War II. He insisted that the U.S. government was violating his civil rights by discriminating against him due to his racial background and wound up being convicted in a Supreme Court Case of violating the so called exclusion order which would have sent him to an interment camp and jailed (his conviction was repealed decades later). Hirabayashi famously noted of his civil rights case:  ““Surprisingly, even though I lost, I did not abandon my beliefs and my values,” he said. “And I never looked at my case as just my own, or just as a Japanese-American case. It is an American case, with principles that affect the fundamental human rights of all Americans.”* Jan Karski  was a survivor of the Holocaust who worked in the underground in Poland during World War II, witnessed and made public stories of atrocities committed by the Nazis during the war; Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts of American more than hundred years ago, Shimon Peres is the President of Israel who is being honored for his diplomatic peace efforts in the Middle East and Pat Summitt, who was for years a role model via her role as the Tennessee women’s basketball coach, rounded out the list of honorees. The honors are well deserved by each of the recipients!

Here’s a link to a USA Today article, titled Obama: Medal of Freedom winners have ‘incredible impact’, that offers a more in-depth look at each of this years’ honorees:

Linda R.


* The New York Times obituary of Gordon Hirabayashi



Public Libraries Face Challenges in Offering Patrons E-Books & HDTV Basics

Public Libraries Face Challenges in Offering e-Books: NPR has a new and short podcast on its website today titled Libraries Grapple With The Downside E-Books which sums up the challenges public libraries have in offering patrons access to e-books. In a nutshell, the biggest challenges come from the largest publishers in the U.S. who either won’t allow public libraries to purchase access to their e-books for patrons or will allow public to purchase access to their e-books but either at exorbitant prices or only for a limited time. To be more precise only two of the largest publishers in the U.S., who are known collectively as The Big Six allow public libraries to purchases access to their e-books which then can then offer patrons. And the two publishers that do sell access to their e-books to public libraries, Random House & HarperCollins, sell their e-books at exorbitant prices ($80 for a new bestseller – Random House) or will only sell access to their e-books for a limited time (26 circulations – HarperCollins). And not surprisingly these restrictions are causing a bit of upheaval in the public library world.

Here’s the link to the NPR podcast:

HDTV Basics: If you’ve ever wondered what the “HD” in HDTV means than there is a new CNET article just for you! The article, titled When HD Isn’t discusses what HD* means and clues you in on simple things you can do to improve the picture on your HDTV – like using HDMI cables and making sure that you’re really receiving a high definition signal from your cable provider.

Here’s the link to the CNET article:;txt

 *HD is short for high definition – and the higher the definition number the clearer the picture on your TV is going to be! i.e. 720 is better than 480 and 1080 is better than 720…

Linda R.