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“an iPhone can make music, but is it art?”

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an iPhone music recording app
  • with all of the iPhone’s music making options, people are starting to ask the question, “is music still music when the instrument is an iPhone?” it seems that the answer is yes.
  • the stanford mobile phone orchestra is pushing the limits of what people consider music to be. they play with iPhones, using fingerless gloves, with small speakers attached to the phones.
  • part of the appeal of these music apps is that they’re relatively easy to use, says daniel trueman, who leads princeton’s laptop orchestra, a similar music venture.
  • both electronic orchestras have bigger goals than merely displaying the potential of the technology. they also want to make music, using good musicians.
  • a duke professor is impressed by the quality of music that can come from iPhones. but with any music, it’s still easy to write “bad” pieces, arrangement that don’t sound good, regardless of whether it’s coming from a traditional or electronic orchestra.
  • the stanford mobile phone orchestra plays pieces ranging from well-known songs to original compositions written specifically for iPhones.
  • while no one expects the iPhone to replace the violin anytime soon, many musicians are excited to see its full potential
  • the stanford mobile phone orchestra has even talked about having a joint concert w/ the san francisco symphony.
  • these new electronic orchestras don’t seem to be too concerned w/ whether or not people think of them as legitimate or not, with one experimental musician saying, “let’s let history sort out whether it’s of value or not.”

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/04/an-iphone-can-make-music-but-is-it-art/?scp=3&sq=iphone&st=Search

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Written by goodwirp

December 9, 2009 at 1:11 am

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“google adds live results from twitter to searches”

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google's vice president introduces new google features at a CA summit on monday

  • on 12/7, google announced a few new features that experts are predicting may change the way people search on the web — the biggest addition to web searches being live results from twitter.
  1. search by voice-google’s vp for engineering, vic gundotra, led the summit, first by introducing searching by voice for mobile phones (adding japanese to the list of languages it already uses — english and chinese — he said eventually all major languages would be added). another cool capability google is exploring is being able to instantly translate a search, for example, searching by voice in english and having google’s results read back to the user in spanish (target timeline for this technology is 2010).
  2. search by location-the experimental tool “google goggles” allows users to take a picture on their mobile phone and submit it to google (to come up as an image result on a query). to upload pics, users must first go to google labs. to illustrate the full potential of this ambitious tool, gundotra said that in the future, the new tool might even be able to analyze a person’s face as an image and come up with his / her name. obviously, some privacy issues need to be figured out first before this becomes a reality.
  3. real-time search-finally, google fellow amit singhal took the state, explaining the need to update search results by the second (not just by the minute, which it currently does). this means items like tweets and blog posts will pop up as soon as they’re posted. this is in the wake of google’s contract with twitter, which it signed in october. real-time search will be available to android and iPhone users ASAP. google is also making deals w/ facebook and myspace, making updates on public pages and recent comments available on google searches.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/07/google-charts-the-future-of-search/?scp=8&sq=iphone&st=Search

Written by goodwirp

December 8, 2009 at 11:59 pm

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“bringing big smiles to iPhone shutterbugs”

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an iPhone camera
  • this article makes the argument that the best camera is the one that’s always there when you need it (i.e. your iPhone’s) and also praises its one-click simplicity.
  • this is professional photographer chase jarvis’s claim to fame, whose web site, www.thebestcamera.com, encourages people to upload photos to his site directly from their cell phones.
  • the article introduces 15 of the best iPhone camera apps of the roughly 2,000 out there (all similarly simple), most of which range from free to $2.99.
  • some of the better apps described:
  • “snap the shot”
  • these apps are quick and simple ways to take pictures and share them. they include jarvis’s app, “best camera,” which costs $2.99 and allows you to snap the shot using an antishake feature and shutter timer, then edit the photo using filters and effects and finally uploading the pic to facebook, twitter, your email or his web site.
  • “edit and add filters”
  • these apps allow you to tweak your photo after taking it but before sharing it. apps like “crop for free” let you crop your photos for free. other apps like “shakeitphoto” let you make your pictures look like polaroids for just 99 cents.
  • “get creative”
  • these apps let you manipulate your photos even more, like “colorsplash,” which turns a photo to black and white and then allows you to go back and add color to certain areas of the photo. there’s also “tiltshift generator” app, which allows you to pick a focal point of the photo and blur out the background.
  • “sharing the results”
  • finally, these apps let you share your finished product. “your photo-sharing app” is free and lets you share your photos on whatever online photo sharing site you use (ex. flickr). there’s also “pixelpipe,” which lets you upload photos to all of your photo-sharing sites at the same time (up to 95 destinations).

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/26/technology/personaltech/26basics.html?pagewanted=2&ref=technology

Written by goodwirp

November 26, 2009 at 6:59 pm

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“is palm’s comeback losing steam?”

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jon rubinstein, former head of apple’s iPod unit, now palm chief
  • palm, the godfather of “web surfing pocket computer phones” is now in the shadow of a slew of smartphone companies — apple, research in motion, samsung, microsoft, google and nokia.
  • palm “invented” this category of phone in 2002 w/ its trio line of phones
  • to combat this drop off in sales and downward trend toward irrelevancy, palm created a new management team (full of ex-apple employees); they released the palm pre in june for sprint and just came out w/ the pixi on sunday.
  • although both of palm’s new phones have received favorable reviews, no one’s paying that much attention, thanks to verizon’s aggressive ad campaign of its new motorola droid phone (plus sprint’s similar “hero” phone, which also uses droid technology).
  • b/c of this lack of sales, developers haven’t approached palm to write new applications like they have for iPhone and android phones
  • as the SMALLEST company in the market, palm is dangerously close to being considered “also-ran” (old news).
  • jon rubinstein, former top apple engineer and the original head of the iPod division, doesn’t think palm needs to be as big as its competitors to succeed, citing apple’s succes as a niche company in the computer business
  • palm should however sell verizon and at&t the pre phone in the next year or so.
  • when the pre first came out, tech bloggers thought it was the best thing since the iPhone. then android buzz started and they flip flopped their predictions.
  • apple has 100,000 apps, android has 10,00o apps, palm has just 300 — “you develop for the iPhone first and for android second, then for palm or not,” says one analyst.
  • rubinstein thinks quality over quantity will prevail, whose palm app catalog will run on the same webOS system used to make web sites.
  • rubinstein also admits the pre is “general product,” compared to android, designed for the “techie audience.”
  • the release of the pixi will cost less than most android phones and will also compete w/ the blackberry curve (palm is trying to have similar success to what it had w/ its centro phone).
  • still, assuming palm adds carriers in the US, it would then still only own 5% of the smartphone market.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/16/technology/companies/16palm.html?ref=technology

Written by goodwirp

November 17, 2009 at 4:32 am

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“apple will soon overtake RIM in consumer smartphone market”

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an RIM blackberry next to an apple iPhone

  • as of last week, reported statistics showed that smartphones are now more popular than feature phones for consumers (vs. business use).
  • within that market, the iPhone is closing the gap between it and the blackberry.
  • analysts are now predicting apple will overtake RIM (blackberry’s manufacturer) in this new smartphone market — this is especially significant given the shift of the web from PC to phones.
  • RIM owns 40% of this market share, while apple owns 30% (apple has gained 5% since the iPhone 3GS release in june).
  • while RIM remains the market leader in terms of # of devices, the iPhone alone accounts for 48% of all smartphone (web) traffic.
  • according to the same report, 74% of iPhone users are “very satisfied” with their smartphone; less than half of RIM device owners felt the same.
  • 2010 marks the first year smart phones are poised to hit the mainstream market.
  • of the top 10 mobile phones in the US, 1/2 are touch screen, 6 can do wi-fi and 6 have app stores (w/ apple leading the way on all of those).
  • essentially, the RIM devices still maintain popularity in the workplace, w/ apple has total control over the consumer market.

http://www.nytimes.com/external/readwriteweb/2009/11/02/02readwriteweb-apple-will-soon-overtake-rim-in-consumer-sm-98992.html

Written by goodwirp

November 3, 2009 at 5:41 am

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“google voice ‘lite’ — no new number required”

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google voice 'lite'

  • the standard “google voice” connects multiple phone lines, transcribes voice mails into text messages, blocks telemarketers, etc. has been talked about for months.
  • the cost of such a sweet service is rather high — people have to get a new phone, and perhaps even more inconvenient, a new phone #.
  • in an attempt to attract more google voice users, the company is now offering a smaller ‘lite’ version of google voice features, which DOES NOT require users to get a new phone #.
  • these new lite users would be able to get rid of their old voice mail service and replace it w/ google voice lite as an alternative.
  • lite users will be able to play their new voice mails online or read them online. they’ll also be able to forward their voice mails to their email account (gmail would  be most google voice-friendly email account to have for this) or read them as a text message (like spinvox).
  • once online, voice mails will be able to be saved and shared w/ others.
  • apparently, a lot of users, bloggers and hackers were able to do this already — all google really did was embrace their user innovations.
  • this is how they did it: using call forwarding features provided by  carrier networks, they had people forward voice mails to their google voice # (admittedly, users already had to have a google voice #).
  • a google representative said google’s approach to the pre-existing technique and doesn’t require users to sign up for google voice.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/27/google-voice-lite-no-new-number-required/?ref=technology

Written by goodwirp

October 27, 2009 at 10:33 pm

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“google links up with verizon to fight apple”

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new android handset

new android handset

  • in the next few weeks, verizon and google will release new “android handsets” w/ preloaded apps on verizon’s unbeatable carrier network
  • finally, the best service provider will be offering the type of “next-generation mobile phone” that rival carrier networks at&t and t-mobile have had available for over a year
  • one question users are asking is whether or not the android app store will be nixed in favor of a new verizon app store and also, how google and verizon will split profits (the two companies are “frenemies,” essentially only teaming up to combat the iPhone)
  • all of this is in the wake of apple not accepting the “google voice” app from google — google is out for revenge and google voice WILL in fact be on the first android phone through verizon, based on an agreement the two companies made over a year ago
  • the author of the article is also curious to see if verizon will apply android technology to some of its wired networks

http://www.nytimes.com/external/gigaom/2009/10/06/06gigaom-google-links-up-with-verizon-to-fight-apple-57242.html

Written by goodwirp

October 6, 2009 at 5:30 pm

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