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

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

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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, Feb. 25th, 2015 · · 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, Feb. 24th, 2015 · · 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, Feb. 24th, 2015 · · News

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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, Feb. 24th, 2015 · · 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).

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Large ilumi LED Smartbulb for $89

4:42 PM, Feb. 24th, 2015 · · 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, Feb. 24th, 2015 · · Daily Observations Podcast

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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, Feb. 24th, 2015 · · 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.