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Macworld Expo 2011 Jan 27-29 in SF – Conference Not To Miss!

Fresh back from the Consumer Electronics Show (and still loading my pictures from that..), I am back in conference mode and heading to Macworld Expo in San Francisco.

For anyone that has any Apple products in their life, Macworld Expo is the place to be to see exhibits and attend sessions. To find out more about Macword, I talked with Paul Kent, Vice President and General Manager of Macworld about the conference. Here are some of the details we discussed:

  1. Macworld is for veterans & first-timers alike. It is a very inclusive environment focusing on discovery & education, ie. new products, new apps & new tricks on how to use them. I went last year and the only Apple product we had in our house was a MACbook for my son, but because I cover Apple products I wanted to learn about the product marketplace. I left with lots of important information.
  2. While Apple does not have a direct presence, Macworld Expo remains a vital showcase for the fast growing third party Apple products marketplace. Wikipedia has details on the history of the Macworld Expo. There is also a website called Macworld which is different from the Macworld Expo.
  3. FAQ’s: Best way to learn more about the show is to stop by – it starts today in San Francisco! Here are some links to learn more about Macworld Expo:

Timing for the Jan 27- Jan 29 show: http://www.macworldexpo.com/hours

List of the more then 230 exhibitors for the show (over half of them are first time exhibitors): http://www.macworldexpo.com/expo

Here are some more details: Press releases that show events and announcements, Featured Artists, Mobile Apps Showcase, and the most important – Women in Technology session!

For PC folks that are curious about the Apple side, stop by!  I am packing my Windows 7 PC and iPad to head to the show, they do allow PC’s in the conference!

RMXWWMDSTWD6

 

Apple and Sony Tech Updates Sept. 1

I know many families use multiple Apple and/or Sony products. Today it seemed to be the "day of tech updates" with press meetings for both Apple and Sony. While I did not get to be there live, I felt like I was there because of all the posts I have been reading all day. I decided to curate the links I found using Pearltrees:

 

Apple:

Sony:

 

Night Before iPad Release: Long Lines and More info Out

After spending today reading emails with press releases for new iPad apps and watching the news coverage at the Apple Stores, I realized Apple mania is still going strong. First I covered finding Robert Scoble waiting in line for the Apple iPhone. I was not surprised to see Robert Scoble interviewed on the news tonight as the first person waiting in line (overnight) to purchase an iPad this morning at 9am. I asked Robert Scoble how he was doing in line via Twitter tonight, and he said “We are hunkered down for a cold night. The
generator is humming and everyone has laptops out
“. I will look forward to his first look posts to read about his view of the Apple iPad.

Then one of my tweeps @lisabook asked I’m lkng at kindle, nook and now the ipad. Any
recommendations? Txs
!

The Kindle and other e-readers are more mobile, have longer battery life and can be read out in the sun (so better for mobile reading). The iPad is more of an entertainment device, with a multi-touch interface that is tops when it comes to being user friendly. iPad’s do not have a physical keyboard – but do have keyboard attachments. I posted with the features when the iPad was first announced and am trying to keep up on all the current news that is streaming by.

So – to answer the question many are asking me “Should I buy an iPad”, I ask them what technology need they have first. There are so many options with netbooks, tablets and e-readers, consumers just need to take the time to match their need to their gadgets. And take the time to read up on the product they are considering buying. Here are just some of the posts out about the iPad.

Here is a Pearltree that has links to all the relevant posts about the iPad:

iPad

Here are some of the posts included in my Pearltree

Walt Mossberg: Laptop Killer? Pretty Close

David Pogue: Apple iPad FAQ’s

MACWorld: First batch of iPad reviews to hit the web

Engadget:”Apple iPad: The definitive guide (so far)” and Netflix streaming, ABC, and 1,348 more iPad approved apps revealed and WSJ iPad subscription officially $17.29 per month — is Murdoch insane?

Gizmodo: “iPad Mega Meta Review: Works Great, No Surprises” and “Gizmodo’s Essential iPad Apps

Gear Diary: Lots of posts under the iPad category

Ubergizmo: “First iPad Review, I played with it 1/27“.

More posts linked to on TechMeme

CNET: Apple iPad Resource Guide

Post by Leah Eichler on Reuters: “Will Women buy the iPad?

 

Grammys Tech: Stephen Colbert and the Apple iPad, Imogen Heap and the “Twitdress”

First I saw many other tech journalists that had access to hands on demo’s of the Apple iPad during the press event. I was happy and content to crawl the web and do my own post about the features of the Apple iPad from that information. Even though I am a tech blogger, I was happy to wait until the Apple iPad came out to test drive it for myself at the Apple Store.

Then I saw a headline on Mashable titled “Pee Wee’s Big Apple iPad Adventure“.

What?? I was upset wondering when Pee Wee Herman became a tech journalist and why he got to use the Apple iPad before I did.

But then I watched the video, and realized it was the Pee Wee Adventure version; just a sketch.

Tonight as I was watching the Grammy’s I saw one real comedian (and one of my favorites) that had access to a real Apple iPad: Stephen Colbert from the Colbert Report used the Apple iPad while presenting. I agree with the post on the AppleiPhoneApps.com - nice product placement! I guess paper ballots will be passe in the future.

If I can’t have a hands on demo of the Apple iPad, maybe I could get my hands on that Twitter Dress (#Twitdress) that Imogen Heap wore to the Grammys. In a brillant use of engaging her community, she tweeted an email address that fans could email pictures – that then appeared on her Twitter stream.

Here is the picture Imogen Heap put on her YFrog account with the techie part of the dress.

 

More on the Apple iPad Debate, Why Moms Should Demand Open Web Standards

It is finally a beautiful sunny day so why I am online right now? It is that geeky side of me that has been glued to the online tech sites since the release of the Apple iPad. But not because of the iPad. I posted about the Apple iPad features which I think are a great fit for those using Apple gadgets and software already. My son has a Apple MACBook and iPod so the iPad would make a great addition, allowing him to enjoy the media he has on his iTunes, start finally reading eBooks, web browsing on the go and subscribing to online newspapers to read the news.

But what I have not seen discussed much by family bloggers is the Apple iPad’s lack of flash support. I posted with my thoughts on the Apple iPad features including the lack of Adobe Flash support. To get some feedback I also tweeted ( TechMama ) about it – hearing that others were also confused. JessWeiss replied back to me with “I find the omission odd, anti-web-ish myself“. From a mom’s perspective, the lack of Adobe Flash support on the Apple iPad means that there will be online content my son would not be able to access – including some of his favorite YouTube videos, CNN videos that he is now watching for news, online gaming sites and more.

I am Not so upset about him not being able to access some of the sites that the Wired Gadget Lab post pointed out. But kids can access inappropriate sites in many ways, Flash or no Flash. Internet Safety education and controls will still be an important step before any child uses any device with Internet access.

This all leads to the answer of why I am sneaking some time online while my kids are busy playing on this sunny weekend afternoon. The lack of Adobe Flash support on the Apple iPad has brought on a very interesting discussion about open web standards by the top tech minds, summarized nicely on TechMeme. For me, this is better then celebrity gossip and may even top my obsession with celebrity red carpet dresses..

Ok, I am a real geek..

Talk about geeks – Robert Scoble wrote a post today titled “Can Flash Be Saved?” on his blog Scobleizer that summed up the debate: “Adobe’s best hope is to get Android to support Flash and Adobe’s best hope is that developers ignore the iPad and ignore the iPhone, or, at least, build better experiences on the Android and Google Chrome
platforms that include Flash
“. Click HERE to ready the whole post on Scobleizer, it provides a developer perspective to the current debate. He is a dad that seems to be spending his sunny weekend day the same way I am.

As a mom who is a PC user that also supports a household with numerous Apple products, I just wish everyone would stop going off in their corners and using applications with different web standards. I am tired of broken links.

I am giving tech companies a time out; You are leaving your customers confused and backing them into cyber walls. Please just adopt some open web standards already! Let gadgets communicate with  applications across the web. I will be happy and thrilled to pay for content over the web – as long as I can just get some open standards already.

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Apple iPad: Discussion of Features and The Name

My first step in coverage of the Apple iPad was to understand the features not only as a techie but as a mom that appreciates mobile gadgets. Yesterday I posted a write-up with all the information I could find about the Apple iPad features. Looking at the Apple iPad features I listed yesterday, there were many that make the iPad a valuable tool, including it’s user friendly design and interface, attractive build and access to a large number of applications from the iPhone (140,000 as of today), entertainment media and eBook libraries. These are all features that moms and families look for on a mobile gadget.  Today I wanted to look more into the Apple iPad features and reflect on the much discussed name “iPad”.

The features:

While writing the post about the features I did wonder if the Apple iPad had a webcam as some had speculated before the official announcement. Mashable wrote a post that summarized what features are missing, including a camera and no USB port. The Mashable article also summarized that the Apple iPad seemed to be centered on “media consumption, not creation”. Another missing feature in my opinion is the video webcam, which would of allowed use of Skype via the WiFi functionality, live video and video recording. Video recording is a popular feature many use on mobile gadgets, especially after seeing the video’s being made on the iPhone 3GS.

Walt Mossberg in his first impressions also mentioned the applications and build as a plus, but had questions about the comfort of using the virtual keyboard. Because I have not had any hands on exposure to the Apple iPad yet, I can’t add any personal experience about the keyboard.  David Pogue posted in the New York Times with his first impressions of the iPad and I agree that the iPad is like a giant iPod Touch. I also agree that reading eBooks or newspapers and watching TV shows or Movies (from iTunes) are a “natural” for the iPad. The iPad as an eReader for books and newspaper is a strong feature.

The next question I had was if the Apple iPad supports Flash. From what I have found, it currently does not support Adobe Flash. One of the posts on TechMeme that discussed this was from Anthony Ha of VentureBeat titled “No Flash on Apple’s iPad“.

The Adobe Flash Platform blog posted with the following details: “without Flash support, iPad users will not be able to access the full
range of web content, including over 70% of games and 75% of video on
the web
“.  The Adobe Flash platform blog also posted that Flash Developers are working on iPad applications, which will be an advantage for the iPad moving forward. Here is that post: Adobe Flash Platform Blog –   Building iPad Applications with Flash:

“We announced the Packager for iPhone at MAX 2009 which will allow Flash developers to create native iPhone
applications and will be available in the upcoming version of Flash Pro CS5. This technology enables developers to create applications for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad (though applications will not initially take direct advantage of iPad’s new screen resolution). It is our intent to make it possible for Flash developers to build applications that can take advantage of the increased screen size and resolution of
the iPad.”

**UPDATE Apple iPad – Adobe Flash info 1/29: The 9To5MAC Blog posted “The iPad has Adobe’s Flash on Apple’s video” and Mashable posted “Adobe Calls Out Apple for Lack of Flash on iPad“.

I have also been actively asking for input on Twitter to see what other’s think about Adobe Flash not being supported on the Apple iPad. Others also view that as “anti-webish“.  I do think that it is important to pay for content. I will be HAPPY to pay for magazines and eBooks – that is important to support authors and journalists. But I also feel that new gadgets should also allow users to view free content as well through sites such as YouTube (that requires Adobe Flash to view).  That balance is something that will be of much debate moving forward**

I also found a few other posts on TechMeme that added information about the iPad features:

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Apple iPad – Only $499 and Runs iPhone Apps!

Just as my son ran into my room this afternoon complaining that he tried to download a music video onto his iPod but it was hard to watch on such a small screen AND that he has ran out of Hardy boys books to read so he needs to go to the bookstore to find some new mysteries, I had my eyes on one gadget that I could not even tell him about. Or maybe I should, it would be incentive for him to do homework and chores without complaing for years to come..The big announcement was made today – the Apple Tablet is called the “Apple iPad“, which will be available in March. The Apple press release describes the uses as “web, reading and sending email,
enjoying photos, watching videos, listening to music, playing games,
reading e-books and much more”.

Important features of the iPad from the Apple iPad Press Release are listed below:

PRICE: $499

DESIGN: “High-resolution
Multi-Touch™ display, 0.5 inches thick and weighs just 1.5 pounds”.

WIFI:”iPad comes in two versions—one with Wi-Fi and the other with both Wi-Fi
and 3G. iPad includes the latest 802.11n Wi-Fi, and the 3G versions
support speeds up to 7.2 Mbps on HSDPA networks.”

The Gizmodo post added: “3G data plans through AT&T, one of which is just $30 per month
with no contract. You can cancel at any time with no penalty, and use
AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots for free.
The other plan offered is $15 for 250MB of data, also through AT&T.

The Wall Street Journal posted with additional information about the iPad WIFI: “The iPads with a chip allowing cellular connections will cost $130 more
than standard versions, which start at $499 and up. Units with the
wireless chip will go on sale 30 days after the other version ships in
March. The iPad won’t be exclusive to AT&T, so it could potentially
work abroad on networks that share the carrier’s GSM wireless
technology. Verizon Wireless uses a competing technology called CDMA.
Apple said it is pulling together international carriers in time for
when the device ships
.”

APPLICATIONS: “12 new
innovative apps designed especially for the iPad iPad runs almost all of the over 140,000 apps on the App Store,
including apps already purchased for your iPhone® or iPod touch®. Apple also introduced a new version of iWork® for iPad, the first
desktop-class productivity suite designed specifically for Multi-Touch.
With Pages®, Keynote® and Numbers® you can create beautifully formatted
documents, stunning presentations with animations and transitions, and
spreadsheets with charts, functions and formulas. The three apps will
be available separately through the App Store for $9.99 each.”
MUSIC, MOVIES AND TV: “The
iTunes® Store will provides access to the iPad to online
music, TV and movie store  that has a catalog of over 11 million songs, over
50,000 TV episodes and over 8,000 films including over 2,000 in
stunning high definition video.”

EBOOKS: “Apple also announced the new iBooks app
for iPad, which includes Apple’s new iBookstore, the best way to
browse, buy and read books on a mobile device. The iBookstore will
feature books from major and independent publishers.”

GREEN TECH: “Continuing Apple’s dedication to designing and creating
environmentally responsible products, each iPad enclosure is made of
highly recyclable aluminum and comes standard with energy-efficient
LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free
glass. iPad contains no brominated flame retardants and is completely
PVC-free.”

STORAGE, BATTERY LIFE, CHIP and CONNECTORS:

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Apple Tablet Mania: Where To Find Live Coverage of Apple Media Event Jan. 27

While I am in the middle of posting about the Tablets (small hand held computing devices) I saw at CES, it seems a little meeting tomorrow (Jan. 27) is producing a huge amount of buzz: Apple is having a meeting for media Jan. 27 10am pst. The rumors are rampad – but it seems that many believe Apple will be announcing specifics on the Apple Tablet. Rumors are also being spread on the Internet about the specific name of the Apple Tablet; two of them are iPad, iSlate or just Apple Tablet. PC World posted that the Apple Gadget will have a 10 inch touch screen. MacRumors discussed that the Apple Tablet will have a front facing webcam and optional 3G connectivity.

I am also keeping my eye on the Apple PR web page. Currently their most recent announcement is the First Quarter results; The Apple press release states “revenue of $15.68 billion and a net quarterly profit of $3.38 billion, or $3.67 per diluted share….Apple sold 3.36 million Macintosh® computers during the quarter,
representing a 33 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. The
Company sold 8.7 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 100
percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 21 million
iPods during the quarter, representing an eight percent unit decline
from the year-ago quarter
.”

While the Apple Media meeting is in Cupertino, I will be doing some work with my Silicon Valley Moms Group buddies in Silicon Valley. So I will be amoungst the ranks glued to their computers tomorrow to find out details. Luckily I am in touch with some of my amazing tech bloggers buddies and saw details on other tech sites of  who will not only be there, but will be covering the Apple Jan. 27 press conference live. I also saw many posts and interesting discussions about the Apple Tablet on Techmeme.

1.  PaidContent.org has a post titled “Three Things Apple Needs To Do To Make Its Tablet A Breakthrough Device” (TechMeme post). I agree that a new media device with a user friendly graphical user interface would be very successful.

2. New York Times post “With Apple Tablet, Print Media Hope for a Payday” (Techmeme post) that the Apple Tablet may be a good way for publishers to charge for content. I have said on numerous posts that I am happy to pay for electronic book content, I want to support book authors and publishers getting paid so we keep the flow of books coming.

3. In the “it’s all about the apps baby” category I saw an interesting post by Robert Scoble titled “Developers: the Apple tablet press announcements start“  that discusses application development for the Apple Tablet, including the news that developer tool/platform Appcelerator will be announcing support for the Apple Tablet.

Here are good sites to follow Jan. 27 for live updates on the Apple media event and a mock-up PICTURE of the Apple Tablet that I have seen multiple sites post via Gizmodo.

SITES TO WATCH WITH COVERAGE OF APPLE TABLET MEDIA EVENT:

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Free Online Safety Service From Norton Makes It Easier To Keep Kids Safe Online

**Guest post by Marian MerrittSymantec's Internet Safety Advocate

I have three kids who love the Internet in all its forms. The oldest is just 15 and the youngest is 7. Like a bunch of bumper cars, their online activities occasionally dent the family rules for being safe online. Sometimes they forget what we’ve discussed or they are into things I never dreamed would capture their interest. It feels like I’m always a step behind knowing what they are going to download or visit and then protecting them from the mistakes they might make.

The youngest one doesn’t understand why I’m concerned about her using search engines when she was taught how to use Google and Yahoo at school. (How do I know the “safe search” settings haven’t been tweaked?) The middle child, 13 years old, wants to game online and has no problem downloading cheat codes or visiting sites with gaming tips. He rolls his eyes when I lecture about visiting these “who knows who runs them” sites and downloading files. And of course, my oldest is into all the normal teen stuff: social networks, chatting, Skyping with her friends,and YouTube. So I admit it, I need some help here.

Norton has just launched a great and easy to use service that should make my life a lot easier. It’s called OnlineFamily.Norton and is a simple way to give me the insight I need into my children’s online activities but without the usual associated headaches of traditional web filtering or parental control software. And, during the introductory period (through next January 1st) the service (a $60 value) is entirely free!!

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