With all the iPhone buzz today, here’s a comic to end your week.
May 30th, 2007 marks the first time that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have shared the stage together in over 20 years. The occasion was the D5 Conference held at the Four Seasons Resort Aviara in Carlsbad by D: All Things Digital. Here is the highlight reel of the interview hosted by Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher.
See more video clips at D: All Things Digital.
IdgetsWay has an interesting post on widgets making its way to the Apple TV. Unfortunately, it all looks to be hacks and not official Apple releases. The new hack is brought to us by AwkwardTV and is currently in private beta. We do not have much information regarding the AwkwardTV Loader hack or the various widgets/plugins. There does appear to be some RSS, weather and sports widgets during the beta test. For more information, check out the IdgetsWay post or AwkwardTV.
There are multiple hacks and plugins posted on the AwkwardTV site so we are not sure which one the following statement on the site refers too, but these hacks in general are definitely not for the faint of heart. In regards to the AwkwardTV widget loader, it does appear that once the loader is installed, the installation of widgets over the net is quite simple and easy.
By the way, opening the box voids warranty. That should be clear. – AwkwardTV
Here is a video showing the ease of installing new widgets via the AwkwardTV Loader. However, it doesn’t show what’s involved in getting the Loader itself installed.
We came across an announcement for a cell phone interface, ZenZui’s Zooming User Interface. This interface was initially developed by the Microsoft Redmond Research Lab and the independent company ZenZui is backed by Microsoft IP Ventures. Unlike the iPhone, ZenZui is not a phone but an interface that can be deployed on various mobile devices.
The zooming interface utilizes up to 36 tiles with simple one finger/thumb navigation. You get to pick what tiles or widgets that are available in your Zoomspace. According to ZenZui, there are no additional costs beyond your mobile data plan. The system will be ad supported. While we are not sure about this, we will give them the benefit of the doubt and hope the ads are relevant and non-intrusive.
What really sparked our interest is the announcement of a developer SDK that will be made available in summer of 2007 and the ability of third party developers to push their tiles/widgets into the ZenZui Ecosystem. This open system will undoubtedly make ZenZui more appealing than the iPhone if Apple and Cingular continue to keep the platform closed. Developers will have the option to either pair their tile to a non profit for charity or to participate in the ad system with revenue sharing.
Overall this looks pretty cool but it’s a ways off and we’ll have to wait and see how this plays out. Here’s a video demonstrating ZenZui’s Zooming User Interface.
In a London press conference this morning, Apple and EMI announced that the entire EMI music library will be made available through Apple’s iTunes store without DRM. The DRM free files will also be encoded at a higher quality than the usual iTunes music from other labels. The EMI tracks will be $1.29 (30 cents more), DRM free and encoded as 256kbps AAC files (up from 128kbps). Music downloaded from iTunes without DRM will be playable on any device that can play the AAC format. Consumers who do not want to purchase the higher quality unprotected tracks can opt for the standard 99¢ 128kbps tracks, both versions are offered. People who purchased the lower quality tracks can upgrade to the new format for 30¢.
EMI will also be making unprotected music videos and full albums available through the iTunes store at their current pricing. This is great news and will put the other labels on notice. Let’s hope EMI and Apple show that this is the way to go and are successful so that the other labels will follow.
One thing to note, this deal does not include the Beatles catalog…