Ummm…

Paswall claims that she didn’t realize that she was walking into a wall of glass as she approached the store, and says that she broke her nose as a result of the collision.

Her suit claims that “the defendant was negligent … in allowing a clear, see-through glass wall and/or door to exist without proper warning.

Go check out the photo of the glass. Apple installed “crash graphics” last year. You know, as a safety precaution.

Some suits are silly. This is one of them.

Via The Loop.

David Chartier posted a screenshot that shows Reeder for iPhone (and hopefully for Mac and iPad) will soon add support for Fever, an RSS aggregator that you host on your own server.

I’ve used Fever in the past, and I really enjoy it. I’m like David, though, in that the reason I don’t use it more than I did in the past is because of the lack of apps that support it.

But with Reeder bringing integration for Fever, I may finally be done with Google.

H/T: David Sparks

From Jonathan Geller over at Boy Genius Report:

The Galaxy Note essentially has everything you’d want in a smartphone: a great dual-core processor, a solid camera, a beautiful display and good build quality, and it runs on AT&T’s new 4G LTE network that delivers incredibly fast downloads speeds. Plus the battery seems actually decent so far, which is a triumph for modern smartphones.

Throw all of that right out the window.

The phone is too big. You will look stupid talking on it, people will laugh at you, and you’ll be unhappy if you buy it. I really can’t get around this, unfortunately, because Samsung pushed things way too far this time.

You can’t use it one-handed, and I can’t even type on it easily with two hands. I’m almost offended by this product, and I love a lot of what Samsung is doing — in fact, the company’s current flagship is my favorite Android smartphone in the world. But the Galaxy Note just feels like a joke. And the worst part? Look at the display and how it’s manufactured and designed. See any resemblances to anything else?

It’s important to note that Geller is an unabashed fan of Samsung and Android. He, however, is one in a growing line of people who are growing tired of the inconsistent OS releases of Android and the myriad of phones that run them.

This is the failing of Android and open source. Without consistency, maintaining market share and user satisfaction is extremely difficult.

Rundown of Mountain Lion Features

Want to read about the new goodies coming to OS X in Mountain Lion this summer? Sure you do! Here’s where you can find the best ones:

If you are looking for a Cliff Notes version, here are some of the highlights:

  • Messages will allow you to send unlimited messages to iPhone and iPad users, in addition to the customary IMs to other computers.
  • Safari is getting some new sharing features, including Twitter and Messages, which is the new iChat.
  • iCloud integration now includes documents. There seems to be two ways to store documents: the old-fashioned folder way and the new iCloud way.
  • iCloud integration means shared Notes and Tasks in their own stand-alone apps.
  • You can now use AirPlay Mirroring with your Mac and an Apple TV. This will make a huge impact on presentations and even media consumption at home, I predict.
  • Notification Center is coming to the Mac. It appears to be essentially what Growl is, only more customized.

There also three key takeaways from what Apple is highlighting, and I think they are important to understanding the company’s vision for the future:

  1. Parity in apps and naming between OS X and iOS is coming with Mountain Lion. For instance, iCal becomes Calendar, Address Book becomes Contacts and iChat becomes Messages.
  2. This is not about moving OS X toward and iOS interface or operating system. It’s about making the two distinctive operating systems work together in key ways that users find moving from one system to another a seamless transition.
  3. To accomplish the above point, iCloud is central. As Gruber pointed out, Jobs said in announcing iCloud that it would be the cornerstone of Apple’s various operating systems for the next decade. This release Mountain Lion will likely show us in greater detail the direction Apple will take.

Mountain Lion seems to be shaping up as a pretty solid release. The iCloud integration is something users have been clamoring for for a while, and I’m one of those clamoring. It should make moving between OS X and iOS devices a lot simpler than it is today.

John Gruber gives a rundown of his Keynote For One event with Phil Schiller and the introduction of the next evolution of OS X — Mountain Lion:

Handshakes, a few pleasantries, good hot coffee, and then, well, then I got an Apple press event for one. Keynote slides that would have looked perfect had they been projected on stage at Moscone West or the Yerba Buena Center, but instead were shown on a big iMac on a coffee table in front of us. A presentation that started with the day’s focus (“We wanted you here today to talk about OS X”) and a review of the Mac’s success over the past few years (5.2 million Macs sold last quarter; 23 (soon to be 24) consecutive quarters of sales growth exceeding the overall PC industry; tremendous uptake among Mac users of the Mac App Store and the rapid adoption of Lion).

And then the reveal: Mac OS X — sorry, OS X — is going on an iOS-esque one-major-update-per-year development schedule. This year’s update is scheduled for release in the summer, and is ready now for a developer preview release. Its name is Mountain Lion.

The big news as it relates to the OS is how Apple is bring iCloud to the Mac in a big way. However, the piece by Gruber is an excellent read that delves into why this “keynote” is different and why Apple is doing things a little different “now”.

In all honesty, I thought Google was already combing across users’ different services to combine the data for search and ads. Apparently, they have not been, but they soon will.

Google said it added the new capability so it can provide better and more targeted services. For example, by combining information from Google Calendar and Google Maps, the company could deliver reminders of a scheduled meeting that take into account how far the user is from the meeting location and how the traffic is on the way, said Alma Whitten, Google’s director of privacy product and engineering, in a blog post on Tuesday.

This will provide better ads served up, though I’m still skeptical of the business model that has users as the commodity and advertisers as the clients.

But kudos to Google for announcing the policy ahead of the change and starting to explain things clearer. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Matt Gemmell offers up 18 ideas of books publishers could make with iBooks Author.

Once you move away from thinking only in terms of textbooks proper, it quickly becomes clear that rich reading material has fascinating and exciting applications throughout the entire world of (heretofore) printed matter.

Excellent list with some great ideas. I’m excited about what starts popping up in the iBooks Store. It’s enough to make me move away from my Kindle app and try buying from Apple again.

MG Siegler puts Apple’s 4Q earnings announcement into proper perspective.

A company this big is not supposed to be able to nearly double revenue year-to-year. Nor are they supposed to more than double profit. But Apple did both.

Apple developers are doing pretty well themselves:

The iTunes Store alone generated 50 percent more revenue than all of Yahoo did last quarter, as Jordan Golson notes.

Likewise, the amount Apple paid to third-party developers via the App Store last quarter ($700 million) is more than double Yahoo’s overall profits. (Overall, Apple has paid over $4 billion to third-party developers now via the App Store.)

And we all know that Apple changed the mobile computing game with the iPad, but to what extent? Try this on for size:

Towards the end of the earnings call, Tim Cook dropped a huge nugget of information: led by 15 million iPads sold last quarter, the tablet market is now larger than the entire desktop PC market. Someday in the not-too-distant future, the tablet market will be bigger than all of the PC market, he predicts. (Apple has sold 55 million iPads since the original launch in April 2010, Cook revealed.)

Staggering. And to think, all of this started by a couple of college dropouts in a suburban garage.

From Macworld:

Research In Motion’s co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie have quit after a tumultuous period at the company, which saw intense competition, and a long services outage at the maker of the BlackBerry.

Thorsten Heins, who was formerly the chief operating officer of the company, has taken charge as president and CEO, to implement the succession plan previously submitted to the board by the former co-CEOs, RIM said in a statement late Sunday.

Lazaridis and Balsillie have also quit their positions as co-chairmen, and director Barbara Stymiest takes over as the new chairman. Lazaridis, a founder of the company, will become vice chairman, and Balsillie will remain a board member.

Lazaridis will also chair a newly created “Innovation Committee.” He will work closely with the new CEO to offer strategic counsel, provide a smooth transition and continue to promote the BlackBerry brand worldwide, RIM said.

Lazaridis and Balsillie need to leave. They should step away completely and allow a new group of executives to lead the once-dominant company. Clearly what these two executives have been doing is not working.

By the way… Why would anyone want either of them leading the “Innovation Committee”? That’s what has been lacking for years. If Lazaridis couldn’t provide innovation as CEO, how is he going to do it chairing a committee?

Apple in Education

Most of the world probably didn’t get too excited about today’s Apple keynote event focused on education. Heck, most of the world probably didn’t even know Apple was hosting one.

But I was excited. Going into it, we knew they were focusing on education, that textbooks were probably coming to the iPad and that some love was finally going to be given to iTunes U. Then there was the pretty safe speculation that Apple was going to introduce a new app that would make it easier to create ebooks and upload them to the iBookstore.

All of those things happened. (For an overview of the announcements, watch the Apple In Education video.)

Textbooks and iBook

The first announcement was bringing textbooks to iBook.

Apple has partnered with publishers like McGraw-Hill, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Pearson Education to develop textbooks for the iPad. Several textbooks are ready to go today, and others are in development and should be available soon.

Having buy-in from textbook publishers like this doesn’t guarantee success, but it’s a safe bet that it will change the way schools approach textbooks.

Watching the keynote, it’s clear that these textbooks clearly change what a “textbook” is. With textbooks via iBooks, you get:

  • 3D images
  • Interactive images
  • Interactive galleries
  • Highlighting and Note-Taking
  • Study cards

Plus, you keep them, making it easy to refer back to them in future classes. (That is outstanding!) Not to mention, you know longer need a rolling backpack to carry around your textbooks. You just need an iPad.

Apple is focusing on K-12 textbooks for now. Too, they have worked with other publishers to create interactive educational books focused on different topics, like DK and E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation.

iBooks Author

Of course, to get publisher buy-in, Apple has to make it easy to create these textbooks. Apple is known for offering extremely powerful yet easy-to-use developer apps to build software. And these tools are generally free. You just have to sign up for a developer account to use them, and then, of course, you have to know how to code.

But with iBooks Author, it’s like creating a Keynote or Pages document. It gives virtually anyone the ability to create their own interactive iBooks.

These are not only meant for textbooks, either, which is exciting. Let’s say you write a book and use a print-on-demand service to sell it via Amazon and other online retailers. Now, to make sure you are reaching as wide of an audience as possible, you want to convert that into an ebook.

First, of course, for the Kindle. Amazon uses a proprietary format, so you pay $75 for the conversion and you are up and running.

For Apple — and just about every other ebook reader — you use the ePub format. Now this can be done with Adobe products, but it’s far from easy and they rarely look nice. So, you pay another $75 for another conversion type.

Enter iBooks Author. Now you can create ebooks that are well designed and easier to read — not to mention interactive, if you like. Pluse, iBooks Author will help you publish into the iBookstore, though I bet it’s not as easy as clicking a button and uploading the book.

Best of all, iBooks Author is free. Get iBooks Author for your Mac via the App Store.

iTunes U

Now I’m going to show my geekiness a bit. When I heard that iTunes U might get an overhaul, I got all excited. Until today, iTunes U was a section in the iTunes Store that offered a variety of college lecture series. They included some top-notch colleges, including several Ivy League institutions.

My favorite has been listening to lectures on Christian history and theology, mostly from the Reformed Theological Institute. It’s like auditing a class in college.

Today, however, Apple has put more of a spotlight on iTunes U. First, they have created an iTunes U app that brings all the content together in one place. Secondly, they are making it easier for educators to offer complete course materials — books, notes, videos, syllabus, assignments, etc. — via iTunes U.

This has the potential to really change distance learning, adult education and current online educational offerings. As someone who loves to learn and would gladly be a professional student if I had an endless source of income, I’m excited about what this could hold for the future.

Technology and Liberal Arts

I remember when Steve Jobs stood on stage in 2011 to introduce the iPad 2 and went into great detail about what it means to stand at the intersection of technology and liberal arts. It was a striking moment, and it has stuck with me ever since.

Being a graduate of a liberal arts school, I’m enamored with this type of “holistic” approach to education. We wrote essays in Calculus 3, for goodness sake! We didn’t have English classes; we had core courses that I always called “required electives”. You had to take a certain amount of them to satisfy your English requirements, but you got to choose from a diverse offering of topics.

For me, that idea of standing at the intersection of liberal arts and technology succinctly sums up my love of Apple products. They are a pleasure to use. They have a distinct personality. They are designed with such attention to detail that every line on each piece of hardware and every pixel of every UI design has a clear and thoughtful rationale for the way it is.

But I use this technology as a communications consultant, a political consultant, in picking and selling vintage items, for writing and for learning.

And that’s the key with today’s keynote. Technology should not be reserved for writing papers in college and then as utilitarian tools for the “real world”. We can learn much, much more with tools that allow you a closer, more realistic, more intimate look at the topics at hand.

Furthermore, you can reach more people with tools like what Apple announced today. There is the price, first off. Think about textbooks for $15, and you own them for life — complete with updates.

Not to mention, we all know that different people learn in different ways. One of the hardest things for many people is to sit and learn from a textbook. It’s a rote approach to knowledge. But not anymore. With this technology, textbooks come alive.

It has been reported that Steve Jobs was heavily involved in this project, that it was one of his last passions at the company. That should be no surprise. Apple has always worked closely with schools to provide computers and other technology.

With the iPad and Apple’s latest education project, Jobs wanted knowledge to be easily accessible to everyone. He wanted everyone to have the chance to stand at the intersection of technology and liberal arts.

In 20 years, we may well judge Steve Jobs not only as a brilliant technologist but also as a great contributor to education. That was clearly his desire — to offer a new way of learning. And that is something that we should all value.

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