The Tech News Debris for the Week of April 14
In parallel to the discussion in the preamble on page 1, Jason Snell at Macworld hammers home the philosophy of Apple and how, despite constant, pervasive and good coverage, some analysts just never get a clue. "iWatch watch: Apple is not here to entertain you."
One would hope the process goes like this. A given observer reads a lot of good articles on what Apple is all about. Those expert Apple journalists explain patiently and logically how Apple works. That should result in some internalization and new perspectives. But, no! The madness continues.
Sony has released pricing and availability on its 4K UHDTVs announced at CES. The 49-inch and 55-inch models will sell for US$2099 and $2999 respectively. These are pretty good prices compared to a year ago when 4K TVs were written off as obscenely priced. My theory is that the relative lack of content, "retina" and HDMI connector issues will sort themselves out and that as consumers start to think about replacing an old HDTV, they'll jump on the new 4K/2160p UHDTVs simply to future-proof themselves at these prices.
Image credit: Sony
Sony's product page notes: "Broadband speed of at least 2.5 Mbps recommended for SD services, 10 Mbps for HD streaming or 4K downloads, 20 Mbps for 4K Ultra HD streaming." 10 Mbps is not uncommon in U.S. homes with good access to broadband. The kicker, still, is that you have to download 4K content to a Sony hard disk system, then play it back later. What were waiting for is 4K DVRs and HDMI 2.0.
All this means that if Apple wanted to build its own UHDTV rather than just another small black box — for the end user directly or for Comcast — it would be feasible and affordable in the coming months.
If you've been in the process of managing or deleting various browser plug-ins located in Macintosh HD > Library > Internet Plug-ins, you may have noticed something new. This article explains (almost) everything about mysterious the "Default Browser Helper" plug-in.
Let's say you live in an area that doesn't get good digital reception from your local HDTV transmission antennas for the local TV stations. So you watch local stations on cable. Suppose a company set up a reception antenna at a great location and charged you a small monthly fee to access that antenna? And then that content would be delivered to you on the Internet. That's exactly what Aereo has been and wants to continue to do, but the TV networks want to make the Aereo method illegal. Here's a very good summary article. "TV’s future is about to be decided by the Supreme Court."
It's just my conjecture, but this could be very good for Apple down the road because it could, with a suitable agreement, marry live sports broadcast on local TV stations with what we normally get on, say, Apple TV.
This next item isn't news so much as it is a brilliant idea worth contemplating. "Defending vertical videos: they're stupid, but it's not your fault." I like it.
Martin Hajek has done it again. This time, he wrote me, "I've made a model of the rumoured iPhone 6 based on the drawings which MacFan 'leaked' last month. On top of that (literally) I've modelled a protective case based on the images which were leaked by Steve Hemmerstoffer." Behold, a good concept of the iPhone 6 and a possible case.
Finally, in my review of MS Word for the iPad, I alluded to the glimmerings of new thinking by Microsoft. John Kirk has taken the concept further and sized up what appears to be some fresh thinking in Redmond. "Say Hello To Microsoft 2.0."
Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro's observations and opinions about a standout event or article of the week (preamble on page 1) followed by a discussion of articles that didn't make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holidays.