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It wasn't long ago when Apple Computer transitioned to Apple, Inc. and the iPhone set the smartphone world fire. Nor was it long ago that Apple ran their award winning “Hello, I'm a Mac” ad campaign, positioned as the little computer that could. But today Apple lives in a world where they are no longer the little tech company that finds its niche, rather, Apple is now the largest company in the world, achieving such success that only Steve Jobs could have envisioned. With this success — and mammoth size — Apple has new marketing and advertising hurtles to tackle, as the atmosphere at the top is much different.

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iBooks vs Kindle; iOS Interface

by: Karl Johnson | Aug 09, 2013

Ibook-kindleThe top two ebook stores are Apple’s iBooks and Amazon’s Kindle. Right now, these two stores only compete head to head on the iOS platform. That will change when Apple releases OS X Mavericks this fall. The last iBooks vs Kindle comparison article looked at Syncing bookmarks, highlights, and notes. Now the interface will be compared on the iOS, the only platform they are both on.

The Retina display on the iPhone and iPad made a huge difference for reading books on the iOS platform. Now that the major hardware issue have been solved, the attention can be turned to the software interface. Both ebooks readers have similar interfaces and features. iBooks does have a more Skeuomorphic theme right now, but it can be turned off. This theme should go away now the Jony Ive is in charge of interface design. iBooks also has two more themes and more fonts than the Kindle app, but the Kindle app has more spacing options.

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The Problem with The Cloud and Apple

by: E. Werner Reschke | Aug 08, 2013

IcloudCloud computing and Cloud services have been around since the first computer was networked with a server. Cloud services are things that happen on a server somewhere in cyberspace, such as Google docs, which are server applications used through a web browser. It may feel like a locally running desktop application, but make no mistake, everything is driven from the server level. While the client computer does all the inputting through the magic of javascript and very fast network servers, the computations are done on the server side.

Cloud services are problematic for Apple. In order to build iCloud into a very usable tool, Apple can't limit it to just Mac users or iOS users, but needs to deliver it to all types of users on different platforms, using a variety of web browsers. The idea for the Cloud is to be able to share, access and collaborate platform independently. Think of Facebook. What if Facebook only ran on Windows? This is Apple's dilemma. Apple has no incentive to create a raft of software that runs on ALL platforms with any browser. Apple only wants to create something for its platform which in turn sells their hardware, which is where Apple's value - and money - is made. 

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Why Did Jeff Bezos Buy The Washington Post?

by: Karl Johnson | Aug 07, 2013

BezosOn Monday it became public news that Jeff Bezos purchased The Washington Post for $250 million in cash. While Jeff is the founder, CEO, and chairman of Amazon, this deal was done privately, between Bezos and the Graham family (which owned the news organization). The $250 million purchase was not a significant spend for Bezos, who has a current net worth of $25 billion. Bezos not only purchased The Washington Post, but he is also taking it private so he has no shareholders looking over his shoulders.

The Washington Post maybe an iconic newspaper, but it is not a money maker. Newspapers all across the country are losing money as more people switch to the internet to get their news and The Post is no exception. Why does the founder of an Internet powerhouse buy a newspaper?

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Itc_buildingApple's stock price continues edging higher, up 1.1% to $467.67 USD in early trading, on news the White House ordered a "disapproval" of the U.S. International Trade Commission's ban of sales of iPhone 4 and iPad 2 (and original iPads) in the United States. In simple terms, the Apple products can remain on sale in the U.S., leaving Samsung's victory snatched by the mouth of defeat. 

Samsung had sued Apple, claiming the tech giant had infringed on some of their patents, specifically, patents held under the Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) standards. Unfortunately for Samsung, no court was putting the stamp of approval on their claims, as Samsung was unfairly pricing these patents for Apple, while licensing them under reasonable terms to competitors. But something took an unexpected (and wrong) turn with the U.S. ITC, as the commission ruled against Apple and banned several legacy iOS products from entering the U.S. due to patent infringements.

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Aapl_stock_chartA little over a month ago, I posed the question as to whether it was a good time to invest in Apple's stock. In the first installment, Is Now The Time To Invest In Apple? Apple's stock price was $429, from a bottom of $393 only weeks earlier. Perhaps the question has already shifted. Perhaps the question should be whether it is too late to invest in AAPL?

Since June 27, AAPL has risen 14%, and has added tens of billions to its market cap, and has skyrocketed past ExxonMobil (XOM) to reclaim the the throne as the world's largest company. 

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iBooks vs Kindle: Syncing

by: Karl Johnson | Aug 01, 2013

Ibook-kindleApple’s iBooks and Amazon’s Kindle are the two top ebook stores today and many comparisons are made between the two. The last iBooks vs Kindle comparison article looked at Device Availability. This time, Syncing will be put under the microscope. Both stores offer software for syncing bookmarks and notes between devices, but which one is better?

The Kindle app allows users to highlight, bookmark, and add notes in ebooks. Apple’s iBooks have the same features. At first glance they both seem pretty competitive with each other. In real world use, the difference is very clear. iBooks syncing is easy to use and as Apple’s tag line says, “It just works”. Bookmarks, notes, and highlighted sections are quickly synced between devices. Kindle is a different story. While notes, highlights, and bookmarks to do sync occasionally, it is not very reliable. Many of my annotations never are synced at all. This is not only true for a Kindle device with WIFI on for weeks, but it is also true for the Kindle app on the Mac and iOS.

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iBooks vs Kindle: Device Availability

by: Karl Johnson | Jul 31, 2013

Ibook-kindleThe top two ebooks reader stores on the market today are iBooks by Apple and Kindle by Amazon. Many comparisons can be made between the two. One of those comparisons is device availability. Which store has the most devices on which ebooks can be read from?

Apple’s ibooks was launched in March 2010. In the past three years, Apple has grown the selection of ibooks available in the iBooks store, but it is still not available on all of Apple’s products. Apple will be releasing iBooks for the Mac this fall when OS X Mavericks comes. Yet, as of now, iBooks is only available on the iOS. This has been a huge shortcoming and why many people don’t buy ebooks from iBooks.

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Google's New Chromecast Isn't Apple TV

by: Mark Reschke | Jul 26, 2013

ChromecastA lot of buzz is being bantered around regarding Google's latest homegrown device called Chromecast. In the wake of Google's failed Google TV effort, Chromecast does not offer a keyboard nor is it being heavily marketed by Kevin Bacon. Chromecast is also not the over priced Nexus Q part II. So what is this $35 USD Chromecast device?

Chromecast is a wifi dongle for HDTV's, allowing users to stream from Chrome equipped devices. In other words, Chromecast is Google's version of Apple's AirPlay technology – and that's it.

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Itunes_logoApple released their 2013 fiscal third quarter earnings this past Tuesday, and within Apple's report a surprisingly strong number emerged – iTunes revenue grew to $4 billion USD.

The iTunes figure was stronger than analysts had expected, and year over year sales growth climbed a solid 25%. At the same time Apple's China sales drew in a disappointing $4.9 billion. 

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