Tuesday, May 4th, 2010
Well well well. It has been quite the busy few weeks in Cupertino. Apple has been picking up properties like a game of Monopoly, no legal inferences implied. They’re all over the telecommunications and software programming world, acquiring companies big and small like the corporate giant that they are. Quattro Wireless and Siri are two of the more significant properties that are now under the Apple umbrella, and it seems that Apple’s position in the business world right now will grow these companies exponentially; there are rumors that Apple may be exploring other wide-scope media acquisitions soon. It seems only a matter of time before they have a radio and television presence as well. Maybe eventually you can have your very own robot Steve Jobs in your home. Creepy and awesome.
In December Apple also acquired Lala Media, owners of lala.com. This is a move we here at iResQ have mixed feelings about. First, it seems that Apple will release a web-based version of iTunes that functions like Lala at some point in the relatively near future, which is awesome. Unfortunately in the meantime, however, Lala is shutting down at the end of this month, which is sad. If you’re not familiar with how Lala works, sorry. You can’t check it out now because they’re not taking any new users. In essence it stores your iTunes library online so you don’t have to. And the tracks are cheaper. And you can listen to anything once for free before you buy it. So you see why this is disappointing. That is, until iTunes goes live online. Keep your fingers crossed.
Bigger news yet: Apple already sold 1 million iPads. They announced it Monday. Pow. And the biggest news of all: Apple is now officially the largest manufacturer of mobile phones in the U.S., surpassing Motorola for the first time this last quarter. And if those photos of the lost gen4 iPhone are legit, they won’t be losing their place this year.
Well, friends, stay tuned for more news as we get closer and closer to next month’s WWDC. Until then.
Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010
Greetings friends. And happy March to you. This week in Kansas City the sun came out and the temperature jumped above forty degrees for the first time in what seems like years. So everything’s just a little happier here. Perhaps not as happy as it is in Mexico where your favorite sales manager Mick is assuredly toasting his pasty Scottish skin off, but things are looking brighter.
For one thing, the state of Kansas, where iResQ resides, is currently home to two top five basketball teams. Take that, North Carolina. That’s right- the No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks and the No. 5 Kansas State Wildcats are facing off tonight at the historic Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence. And the implications are huge for the Big 12 conference- if Kansas happens to lose tonight and later this week to Missouri, then the Jayhawks have to share the conference title with their in-state rivals. So, huzzah. To be honest, I’m a little torn having spent time at both institutions. So I’ll do the non-confrontational thing and root for a good game. Go Basketball!
About a week ago the technicians here received a gracious gift from a delightful and thankful customer. Along with an iPod for repair, we received a copy of Krampusnacht, the latest album from The Bourbon Knights and its sounds have been filling the tech room ever since. And now I’m letting you all in on a little secret. This record is awesome. I could give you a list of some of the most creative album covers I’ve ever seen, but it’s rare that I find a record that sucks me in so convincingly before I even open the packaging. I’m rather prone to hyperbolic statements about the best this or the greatest that, but this time I mean it. This is my favorite packaging I’ve seen on any album ever. The coarse brown paper and the folky illustrations perfectly set the tone for the music you’re about to hear. And the songs certainly don’t disappoint; fans of gypsy-folk sounds like Gogol Bordello or the Red Elvises will likely find something familiar, and even more accessible. But there’s something much warmer, more sincere about The Bourbon Knights creation. They made a hip, current record without ignoring the influence of classics like Django Reinhardt. More than that, it’s easy imagine how much fun they had making this record, and the cultural references to the Krampus help make this one of the more enjoyable albums I’ve listened to in a while.
Krampusnacht isn’t available on iTunes, but you can find it at thebourbonknights.com. So it’s my quasi-iTunes pick of the week. Get the album, put it on your iPod or iPhone, and enjoy. Talk to you later, friends.
Tuesday, February 16th, 2010
Did you folks know that $1.5 trillion in gift cards go unspent every year? Ok, I completely made that statistic up. But I heard someone say once that the total revenue for wasted gift cards is pretty high. Actually, I heard John Tesh say that, but don’t judge me- the radio in my car was broken over the holidays and the tuner was stuck on one station. Moving on.
I bring this up because I just discovered a plethora of unredeemed iTunes cards that I forgot I even had. And what’s better than loading up an iPod or iPhone with a bunch of free music? I can only think of one thing, but this isn’t the right forum to discuss the superiority of Kansas City barbecue. Again, moving on.
I’ve been perusing the multitude of records available on iTunes this week, and I’ve decided to share a couple of things with you nice people. If you’re into hipster indie rock, the new OK Go album is pretty impressive by itself, but even more impressive is the video for their new single This Too Shall Pass. Check it out:
One of the best records I’ve heard all week is actually a series of EPs by Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman. I used to go see Switchfoot play at a basement coffee house when I was a little punk kid almost fifteen years ago, so it’s a bit of fresh to hear some acoustic multi-instrument folk rock from the guy. He released four six-track EPs aptly titled Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer. Fall starts out a little Chris Martin-y, but those of you who, like me, don’t love Coldplay should keep listening, because there’s great stuff coming. In particular, “March (A Prelude to Spring)” and “A Mirror is Harder to Hold.” So there you go, my iTunes pick of the week. Go check out the store and lose yourself in headphones for a while. Peaces.
Thursday, October 1st, 2009
Hey all you out there on the cyberweb. It’s cooling off here in Kansas City and the fall rains are rolling in, but things are still hot in the tech room. Universities are in full swing again, Big XII football is our oasis in the the middle of our precious Chiefs’ desert, and students desperately need their MacBooks and MacBook Pros for, um, work. Not at all for iTunes and FaceBook and downloading Zombieland torrents. Just teasing, students. I kid because I love.
But seriously, we’ve been inundated with repairs shipping to university addresses and that gave me an idea. If you’re a college student with a campus address, email firstname.lastname@example.org your six-digit web confirmation or invoice number and I’ll give you a deal. $10 off a MacBook or MacBook Pro LCD, $20 off an entire display assembly. You’re welcome. Now hurry up and order so you can get back to that “essay.” This offer is only good until October 31. Peace, friends.
Monday, July 21st, 2008
Salutations, friends. How is everyone’s 3G iPhones? There’s a few floating around here, but sadly none of them are mine. If the new network is really as dramatic an improvement as we all anticipated, I’ll probably buckle before too long. In the meantime, those of you who happen to have one and an AppleTV to boot should go to the App Store in your iTunes and check out the Remote App. Yes, that’s right. You can use your iPhone keyboard wirelessly with your AppleTV. Your guess as to why Apple hasn’t publicized that is as good as mine. I’ll have to ask when I check out the newest Apple Store in the suburbs of Kansas City. That’s right. Kansas has an Apple Store now. Take that, North Dakota.
Moving on- if any of you haven’t seen The Dark Knight, do it right now. I’m personally giving you permission to leave work and head directly to your nearest theater. I don’t want to harp on the significance of every little detail, mostly because very few of you care, so I’ll exercise brevity with my comments. Ready, go. 1) Christopher Nolan is exactly what this franchise needed. 2) He’s turned Gotham (Chicago) into its own hero, villain, and victim. Brilliant. 3) AFI had better throw out their list of all-time greatest villains. Because Heath Ledger just marked his territory all over it.
Ok, I have to go see it again now. On the IMAX. Until next week, kids.
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