LA Schools Ditch iPad Contract Amid Controversy

10:30 AM EDT, Aug. 26th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · News

Los Angeles schools Superintendent John Deasy has cancelled a year-old contract with Apple to put iPads in student's hands following news that he, along with former Deputy Superintendent Jamie Aquino, had inappropriately close ties to the company. Documents showed the two may have been talking with Apple executives a couple years in advance, and that the bidding process may have been skewed in Apple's favor.

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It doesn't matter if the school district superintendent acted inappropriately or not because his integrity has been called into question, and by extension Apple's has been, too. This isn't going to make it any easier for Apple to score future contracts in Los Angeles schools.

Blue Releases Mo-Fi Headphones with Onboard Amp, Innovative Headband

8:00 AM EDT, Aug. 26th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · Product News

Mo-Fi

Blue Microphones announced on Tuesday Mo-Fi, the company's first foray into over-the-ear headphones. The device features an onboard amplifier paired with "ultra-premium 50mm hi-fi drivers." Mo-Fi also has an incredibly comfortable* four bar linkage system in place of the standard headband, along with a clever pivoting arm for adjusting the ear cups.

California Gov. Signs Smartphone Kill-Switch Requirement into Law

8:09 PM EDT, Aug. 25th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · News

Thief

California governor Jerry Brown signed SB-962 into law on Monday. The law requires all smartphones made on or after July 1st, 2015, to come with a kill-switch that will make the device unusable in the event it is lost or stolen. Apple and Google had both already pledged to do so—and Apple has had kill switches in place for years—but the law makes it mandatory.

TiVo Brings DVR to Over-the-Air Cord Cutters

4:50 PM EDT, Aug. 25th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

TiVo has taken a big step into the world of cord-cutting with the introduction of TiVo Roamio OTA, a DVR for over-the-air (OTA) TV signals. With this device, cord-cutters can go back to the future and digitally record SD and HD broadcasts from local TV stations and watch them like they would with any other DVR. Cool, eh? TiVo Roamio OTA can record up to four programs at once, and it has a 500GB hard drive for up to 75 hours of recorded HD content. If you have a broadband connection, the device also has apps for Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, "and more," plus it supports TiVo's own TiVo Stream for watching your recorded shows on other devices. It's a brilliant move that could allow TiVo to expand its business outside of the cable and satellite industries where it started. Better yet, the box is only US$49.99 (available exclusively at Best Buy starting in September). It also requires a $14.99 monthly subscription to function, which is where TiVo actually makes its money.

ioShutter SLR: Control Your Camera With Your iPhone for $29.99

3:53 PM EDT, Aug. 25th, 2014 · Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

ioShutter SLR: Control Your Camera With Your iPhone for $29.99

Check out the ioShutter SLR, a cable that connects your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad and your Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Pentax, Samsung or Hasselblad SLR camera. The cable connects to your camera and your iOS device, where a dedicated app allows you to remotely control your camera without touching the camera. In addition to landscapes, cityscapes, and the like, where a still camera can be just what you need, ioShutter SLR also allows you to do time lapses. Depending on your camera, you can also control autofocus and do voice-activated shots (think selfies and group selfies). ioShutter SLR retails for $75, but you can get it for $29.99 through our deal.

Apple Fitness Sensors Everywhere: It’s More than the iWatch

3:45 PM EDT, Aug. 25th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · Analysis

HealthKit in iOS 8 offers the promise of a centralized system so iPhone owners can collect and track their own health and fitness data in a single place, and it gives other companies a common platform to feed information into. Apple will no doubt capitalize on that with the rumored iWatch as its first move into the fitness tracking market. But it doesn't seem likely the company will be content to stick to just our wrists, which opens the door for a whole line of wearable tech -- including versatile sensors that know what data to collect based on where they are on your body.

TMO Daily Observations: 2014-08-25

1:13 PM EDT, Aug. 25th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

Daily Observations Podcast

Judge Lucy Koh shot down Samsung's request to invalidate two of Apple's patents, but that may not be as big a win for the iPhone maker as it looks. Kelly Guimont and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to discuss Judge Koh's ruling, and they also dive into Jeff's idea that Apple may be designing fitness tracking sensors that go beyond the rumored iWatch.

Apple Store Dealing with Outages Monday Morning

10:44 AM EDT, Aug. 25th, 2014 · Jeff Gamet · News

Apple's Web-based store was replaced with the "we'll be back" graphic that often comes just before a product update is released, and shortly thereafter came back online only to show the offline warning again moments later. The on-again-off-again site status could mean something new is coming, or -- considering the odd nature of the outages -- might be a sign Apple is suffering from some sort of server-related issue, especially since at times parts of the online store will load without any formatting. Considering Apple has to take its Web-based store offline every time a product change happens, we're hoping this is actually a transition to a modern content management system like WordPress (but we aren't counting on it).