What’s Really Coming on the 19th of January 2012 from Apple

On January 19th, 2012, Apple Inc. is scheduled to have an education related announcement in the heart of New York City. While many in the world are speculating that apple is trying to “destroy the textbook industry”, We suspect that they are just following up on several lines of thought.

First, Texas was the first in the nation to embrace to totally digital textbook idea. It currently saves the state 2 billion USD per year in text book costs. If Apple is really going to “destroy the textbook industry”, then it will have to have the help of three places. The Apple suppliers and factories.  Apple needs to deliver the iPad3 immediately and it must have markedly superior capabilities to the current models with upgrades in nearly everything.  The cameras, the memory, the UI, and of course the power of the machines.  Second is the states.  Apple also needs the states to buy the iPads  and buy into the idea that digital text books are better than the paper ones. Thirdly, the textbook manufacturers.  Apple is  also going to have to get the current textbook publishing companies to go completely to digital copies of books and abandon the idea of printing books on paper (please tell me where we have heard this idea before). Of course, while we are at it,  why not destroy the entire physical book industry.  Could this not the end of the entire hold it in your hand type book industry? (Again, tell me where I have heard this before)

What little do we know that as of 19 January 2012, everything in our libraries will become controlled by computer and by the amount of memory in the computing device. If a glitch or hardware failure hits them, they are gone! Great idea!  That way the book companies can charge consumers for another copy of a book they have already paid for.  Thankfully, Apple has resolved this blight in the system for us by already incorporating that into the cost of the initial copy.  But this will get people buying books from Apple and now it will be very easy for  every book we ever order can be checked out by someone in the Ministry of Truth.

Second, the ebook publishing format currently used by Apple with their iBook store is epub2. epub2 is outdated and definitely not up to snuff with the current level of ideas in the digital publishing arena. They must implement epub3 and do it not only quickly but also they must support it with their announcement. If they fail to implement the new standards, they will not only not get the support from the publishing industry that they need, but they also will not get the teachers or the schools or states. Apple’s 1980’s education initiative put apples in many schools across the country but there were definitely haves and have-nots in that game.I suspect that the Trash-80 vs Apple wars came out of this idea of haves and have-nots.  Unless Apple is going to subsidize an iPad for every student in the US, we will likely have this same flame ware between the Android Tablet vs Apple iPad users  of this generation. This subsidization might deplete 10 percent of their 85 Billion Dollar war chest of cash.  Perhaps the Ministry of Plenty will forgive them for being so generous and the Ministry of Peace will thank them for ending the perpetual wars between the haves and have-nots.

Thirdly, Apple must make it easier to publish to the Apple book store. Our suggestion that iPublish is the new publishing product that they will introduce on the 19th is not far fetched.  It would definitely get the ball rolling to the point where everyone and their brother in the publishing industry would suddenly publish for Apple and no one else.  Should such an app not appear on the goodie bag list, Apple could suffer for a long time in the publishing arena and it would likely make any push for the education initiative mute point. Up until now, they have always supported the larger publishers when introducing the latest products and failed miserably at getting the smaller mom-and-pop shop types on board.  Apple must get them and the end consumer to the same playing field as those big guys. This failure to provide a clear path to the promised land is the reason that many of the smaller publishing companies wind up paying through the nose to some big publishing company just to reach that playing field. This is definitely the one area they need to improve upon if they really want to get ahead of the game.

Will Apple announce the iPad3? Not likely, but they may have a pre-anouncement type announcement which they will announce the initiative and then say when the iPad3 comes out, it will be available, similar to Steve Jobs famous “You don’t need an SDK” statement at WWDC 2007. We all know that changed in a hurry. With all of the parts rumors going around, it is possible that we may see the iPad3 mid year 2012.

Thus the announcement will be “We are starting an Education Initiative, we are digitizing books (already been done), and the book companies are on board (already been done).” No hardware and quite possibly, no software which would make this the biggest non-event type event Apple ever had. Oh Wait, there is one more thing….I was dreaming.

The real announcement will be “iPad3 with 256gb memory in 2 months, iPublish in 2 months, and all current major text books on iPad3, including those used by major universities in time for school year 2012-2013 to start”.  One more thing…Break out the check books!

C2T Binary Conversion Tool with Source and Documentation Now Online

The C2T Binary Conversion program created by Egan Ford has now been officially released.  The program was created out of the need for a tool to convert Apple II files and disk images to audio files.   These audio files are used by the Apple ][ Game server Online as well as the Apple ][ Disk Server.

Egan has written a complete documentation and breakdown of the C2T conversion program at:

http://asciiexpress.net/files/c2t.html

You can download the complete binary and source code for the C2T program from:

http://asciiexpress.net/files/c2t-0.991.zip

Donut Games Free Game of The Week — Monkey Flight

The Donut Games free game of the week this week is Monkey Flight, a delightfully entertaining game which will keep you going for hours. The game now has 60 levels in the challenge section of the game, making for even more fun.  This game is one you must get!

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=311768443&mt=8

SOPA Looking Like Sunk Ship

The SOPA Bill which was initially intended as an anti piracy bill, is now looking like it is becoming less of a threat to become Law.   The White House and President Obama spoke out against the bill this past weekend and congress has now officially dropped the bill.

This does not mean that there will not be some type of legislation forthcoming, as the PIPA bill is still being actively pursued in the Senate, in spite of seven senators coming out and dropping their co-sponsorship of the bill.

Companies like GoDaddy have taken a beating over their support of these bills and most people do not want them as it provides companies an easy way to censor the internet without much due process of law or check and balances normally accorded webmasters through the DMCA laws.

source: MacObserver

iPad usage at a high level in Business Communications

According to a survey run by IDG recently, iPad use by professionals in the work place is at a very high level.   This phenomena is not just a U.S. trend, it is a major global trend.  The lowest rate of usage of the iPad for communications is in Europe where only 80% of professionals use it.   However, in the US, this rate is 93% and in Asia and the middle east, that number reaches more than 97%.

According to one section of the study, newspapers definitely have a lot to worry about as more than 72 percent of US iPad using professionals are purchasing fewer newpapers, while in Europe that number is only 63 percent.

The entire IDG study is availabel for download form the IDG site at:

http://www.idgconnect.com/download/8007/ipad-business-survey-2012?source=connect&region=us

Apple opening store in Basel Switzerland

According to MacPrime.ch, there are now plans to open an Apple Store in Basel, Switzerland sometime around the middle of 2013.  As of yet, the plans are unconfirmed by Apple, Inc, however, a blueprint of the store shows that they will be opening a bi-level store with approximately 7500 square feet.

Source: ifoAppleStore.com

Adobe Releases Free Lightroom 4 Beta

Adobe announced this morning that they are releasing their Photoshop Lightroom 4 Beta and that it will be free for users to download.  This latest update to the Lightroom application includes some new features specifically targeting the latest DSLR capabilities as well as the ability to create better quality photo books.

To download your own copy of the latest Lightroom 4 beta, go to:

http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom4/

Virtual ][ Drops PPC Support with Update to Version 6.4

Gerard Puter has updated the Virtual ][ Emulator to version 6.4.  The biggest change to the program is that this version of Virtual ][ will be the first version which is totally dedicated to the Apple Intel platform.  Most of the changes and feature fixes in version 6.4 are oriented around moving totally to the Intel platform and getting the most out of its performance.   The main changes in the program according to Gerard's posting on the Virtual ][ website are:

  • Dropped support for Mac OS X 10.4 and the PowerPC processor. The program now requires an Intel Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or better.
  • Added a feature to change the write protection and volume number of disk images.
  • It is now possible to configure a 65C02 processor in an Apple ][ or ][+ virtual machine.
  • When choosing "Copy as Text" from the Edit menu, international characters on the screen are now correctly copied to the Mac clipboard.
  • Improved the quality of the QuickLook preview and thumbnail of a saved state file.
  • Some custom character sets were not accepted by the virtual machine - this has been fixed.
  • Fixed a number of minor issues, thereby improving the overall stability of the program.

Virtual ][ is one of the few Apple ][ emulators that has a compete set of features including Print to PDF, large floppy capability, complete machine and card control through the control panel as well as variable speed control.

The Virtual ][ Emulator is shareware and can be purchased at the Virtual ][ website for $49 for the full package.  For more information about the features of the Virtual ][ emulator, go to:

http://virtualii.com/

MAME for Mac OS X – 32/64-Bit Intel Updated

The latest rendition of the SDL /MAME for MAC OS X has been updated.  Version 0.144u6 was updated earlier this morning and as of yet, the change log has not been listed. The current version requires at least Mac OS X 10.6 or newer.

You can find the update on the SDL/MAME website at:

http://sdlmame.parodius.com/

Apple ][ Game Server and Disk Server Updated

In what Egan Ford is calling a completed release, the Apple ][ Game Server and the Apple ][ Disk Server have been updated.   The updates included adjusting the speed to a slightly lower speed for transfers as the higher speeds initially listed as hi-fi were causing some issues and a higher rate of failure in the transfers between the Apple ][ and the PC.

Be sure and check out Egans work at:

http://asciiexpress.net/gameserver
http://asciiexpress.net/diskserver