TMO Daily Observations 2015-02-25: Philips Hue and Lux Lighting Tips and Tricks

1:48 PM EST, Feb. 25th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Daily Observations Podcast

Philips Hue and Lux smart lighting systems are popular with the TMO team, and our own Kelly Guimont has plenty of expertise to share. Kelly and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to talk about what makes Hue lighting so cool, and what you can do to make your setup even more useful. John also has some thoughts on our changing perception on how we track important data.

Apple Hit with $532.9M Fine for Infringing on Smartflash Patents

10:03 AM EST, Feb. 25th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

A Texas court has ordered Apple to pay Smartflash US$532.9 million for infringing on the company's DRM and payment system-related patents. Smartflash argued that Apple used its patented technology in iTunes for managing purchases, along with accessing and storing downloaded content such as songs and apps.

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Assuming the Smartflash claims are valid, the company won't be seeing the money it was awarded for some time considering Apple will appeal the ruling. If the ruling is overturned, however, this will turn into a very expensive goose chase for the patent holding company.

Daimler Chairman Continues Auto Industry’s Dismissal of Apple Car

9:53 PM EST, Feb. 24th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · Analysis

Daimler Chairman Continues Auto Industry's Dismissal of Apple Car

Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG and chief executive of Mercedes-Benz Cars, has stepped up to be the next major auto executive to dismiss Apple's much rumored "Titan" car. Dr. Zetsche, a 37 year veteran of Daimler, said that Apple has no experience in cars and asked why the iPhone maker would be interested in such a low margin business.

AOL Screen Name Users Must Convert To Apple IDs

5:38 PM EST, Feb. 24th, 2015 · Kelly Guimont · News

iTunes 12

Apple has posted a knowledge base article outlining how to convert to an Apple ID from an AOL Screen Name. Currently screen names are able to sign in to the iBooks/iTunes/App Stores, but not for much longer.  And not converting can have some pretty dire consequences.

Bluetooth wireless speaker with glow lights only $9.99 Until Friday

5:10 PM EST, Feb. 24th, 2015 · Bob LeVitus · Cool Stuff Found

In my humble opinion, everyone needs a portable Bluetooth speaker. If you've been postponing your purchase due to price, here's a bargain for you: The GOgroove BlueSYNC EDG Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker w/ Rechargeable Battery , Stereo Streaming & Blue LED Glow Lights has Bluetooth v2.1+EDR with A2DP for audio transmission up to 32 feet; a unique design with blue LED light accents; both a 3.5mm audio connection and Bluetooth; and a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery that provides 6-8 hours of audio playback per charge. Here's the cool part: Its MSRP is $49.99; though it typically sells for $20-30 on Amazon.com. But Tuesday through Friday (February 27th), it's only $9.99 with free shipping from Amazon.com (good in the U.S. only).

Large ilumi LED Smartbulb for $89

4:42 PM EST, Feb. 24th, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Large ilumi LED Smartbulb for $89

The ilumi-brand LED lightbulbs are now available in a larger size, and we have a deal on them. These bulbs are fully controllable from your iPhone or iPad, including hue and intensity. The app also allows you to program the lights for automated sequences like waking up in the morning to a slowly brightening light. The larger size is designed for overhead lighting, and you get these devices for $89 through our deal.

TMO Daily Observations 2015-02-24: Everyone Wants Pebble’s Time Smartwatch

1:33 PM EST, Feb. 24th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Daily Observations Podcast

Pebble announced its new Time smartwatch as a Kickstarter project, and the Internet pretty much started throwing money at the company. John Martellaro and Kelly Guimont join Jeff Gamet to talk about the stunning response to Pebble's latest smartwatch, the wrist top device market, and competition for Apple Watch. They also take a look at John's review of the ExoLens camera lens kit for the the iPhone.

Apple Buys Audio Plug-in Maker Camel Audio

11:09 AM EST, Feb. 24th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

When Camel Audio shut down in January, customers that used its audio app plug-ins and digital instruments were left wondering why they so abruptly stopped selling their products, but now that mystery has been solved: they were bought by Apple. Since Apple shut down Camel Audio's operations instead of continuing to sell its products, it's likely we'll see the company's technology showing up in future updates for Logic Pro X and Garageband.

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Camel Audio's Alchemy was a popular package for audio designers, so seeing it shut down without any warning was a sad thing. Knowing that shutdown was from an Apple buyout, however, takes away some of the sting because it's a safe bet we'll see their products rolled into Apple's own apps.

Pebble Unveils Time Smartwatch with New Kickstarter Campaign [Update]

10:15 AM EST, Feb. 24th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Product News

Pebble announced its third smartwatch model on Tuesday, dubbed Time, with a Kickstarter campaign just as it did with the original Pebble watch. The Time will ship in May with a sleeker body, color E Ink display, and an accessory port so other companies can make their own add-ons for the device.

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Time looks like a cool third generation design for Pebble, but using Kickstarter to launch it feels more like a marketing move than a fund raiser.

Samsung Buys ‘Battery Pack Business’ for Electric Cars

10:40 PM EST, Feb. 23rd, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · Analysis

Samsung Buys 'Battery Pack Business' for Electric Cars

Samsung announced Monday that it will acquire the "battery pack business" of Magna International, a major automotive supplier. The company said the purchase, "is expected to enhance Samsung SDI’s capabilities in batteries for electric vehicles by combining the company’s established leadership in battery cells and modules with Magna's expertise in battery packs."

Power Vault 18000mAh Portable Battery Pack for $29.99

6:27 PM EST, Feb. 23rd, 2015 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Power Vault 18000mAh Portable Battery Pack for $29.99

We have a great deal on the Power Vault 18,000mAh Portable Battery Pack for just $29.99. In addition to a high capacity, it has two USB ports so you can charge two devices at one time. It's slender, can stand on its edge, and has a minimalist style. Check it out.

TMO Daily Observations 2015-02-23: How Lenovo Screwed Customer Trust and Security

1:57 PM EST, Feb. 23rd, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Daily Observations Podcast

Lenovo's decision to bring in a little extra money by installing what amounts to a man in the middle attack on computers has left its customers open to serious security risks. Kelly Guimont and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to talk about the damage Lenovo's actions have done to customer trust, the potential risks they face, and who may be creating even bigger technology risks.