TMO Daily Observations: 2014-12-16

1:34 PM EST, Dec. 16th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Daily Observations Podcast

Apple presented its appeal in the DOJ's ebook antitrust case, and it looks like the the judge panel is at least somewhat sympathetic to the iPad maker's arguments. Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to look at the case, the panel's reactions to Apple and the DOJ's arguments, and Judge Denise Cote's original ruling.

Apple Pay Supporters Grow with More Retailers and Banks On Board

10:55 AM EST, Dec. 16th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · News

Apple Pay, the mobile payment system Apple introduced with iOS 8 and the iPhone 6, is quickly growing and is now compatible with cards that make up about 90 percent of credit card purchases in the United States. The list of companies and banks supporting Apple pay has continued to rise and includes Barclaycard, TD Bank North America, Albertsons, Staples, and more.

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Looks like Apple isn't having any trouble at all getting banks and retailers excited about Apple Pay.

Apple Agrees to Less from GTAT to Keep Bankruptcy Proceedings on Track

9:30 AM EST, Dec. 16th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · News

Creditors involved in the GT Advanced Technologies bankruptcy proceedings are a little happier now that Apple has agreed to take less money from each sapphire furnace sold, and to give the company more rent-free time in the factory it used to make the glass. The company had been contracted to make synthetic sapphire glass for the Apple Watch and iPhone 6, but instead drove itself into a financial crisis.

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GTAT's financial implosion is a no-win scenario for Apple and the other creditors hoping to recoup some of their losses. Revising the settlement deal means Apple gets less money back than it originally planned, but it also means it'll get some of its investment back. Apple's losses are essentially exit costs to get out of its relationship with GTAT.

Appellate Judge Questions Government’s Case against Apple for iBooks

8:58 PM EST, Dec. 15th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · Analysis

Monopoly

A Judge hearing Apple's appeal in its iBooks price fixing conviction in the ebook market questioned that conviction and the very premise of the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) case against the company. During a hearing on Monday, Judge Dennis Jacobs took an openly critical stance in his questioning of DOJ attorneys—one of the other two judges also appeared doubtful of the case, while the third apparently seemed to take a stance more in line with the District Court judge who convicted Apple.

The Name Your Own Price Learn To Code for Web Bundle

6:36 PM EST, Dec. 15th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

The Name Your Own Price Learn To Code for Web Bundle

There's still time to take advantage of the Name Your Own Price Learn to Code Bundle, a package of video tutorials designed to teach you how to code for the Web. The way it works is this: pay what you want. If you pay less than the average price, you get Programming Java for Beginnings and PSD to HTML5/CSS3. If you pay the average price or more, you also get six other developer course. The average price is $15.05 as of this writing. But, you have an incentive to pay more, because 10 percent of your purchase price goes to one of three charities, you choose: Child's Play, World Wildlife Fund, Creative Commons.

How to Use a Lego Kit to Measure Planck’s Constant

6:29 PM EST, Dec. 15th, 2014 · John Martellaro · Cool Stuff Found

Planck's constant is one of the fundamental constants in the universe. For example, it defines the relationship between the energy of, say, a photon and its frequency. It's widely used in the mathematics of Quantum Mechanics. Recently, using just a Lego kit and some other equipment, including a laser, Leon Chao at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland, showed how to make this measurement. This is for real, and it works because the experimental technique simply requires a well crafted balance. It's all written up in the M.I.T. Technology Review. You could actually do the experiment yourself because the costs of parts is only about US$500. Very cool.

Martin Freeman takes The Hobbit to The Office on SNL

4:32 PM EST, Dec. 15th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

What do you get when you cross The Hobbit with The Office (the original UK version, not the US one)? A brilliantly wonderful SNL sketch starring Martin Freeman as a morph between Bilbo Baggins and Tim Canterbury. Tim, by the way, was the role Martin played in The Office. SNL did a great job of recreating the Ricky Gervais version of the series, and Martin had no problem at all slipping back into the role of Tim with a perfect splash of Bilbo thrown in. Bonus: Gollum as Gareth, and Orcs and elves as office mates.

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TMO Daily Observations: 2014-12-15

2:06 PM EST, Dec. 15th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Daily Observations Podcast

Apple's master plan for the television market may seem a bit murky, but John Martellaro thinks he figured it out. Along with John, Bryan Chaffin joins Jeff Gamet to dive into Apple's television strategy, plus they take a look at the company's new holiday commercial, "The Song."

Apple Ebook Antitrust Appeal is About Amazon’s Market Control

11:44 AM EST, Dec. 15th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · Analysis

Apple's appeal in Judge Denise Cote's ruling that it engaged in a conspiracy to artificially raise ebook prices goes to court today. For Apple, it's a chance to clear its name, but for the book industry the outcome represents a chance to end what amounts to Amazon's government sanctioned monopoly on the book market.