Gartner: Apple should quit hardware business

(Via Paul Thurrott)

“Increasing component costs and pressure to cut its prices mean Apple’s best bet for long-term success is to quit the hardware business and license the Mac to Dell, analyst firm Gartner claimed on Tuesday.”

A clear sign that it takes more than Excel to understand a company’s success.

Bug in new iPod Nano Firmware

I have a brand new black iPod Nano 8GB, and I like it a lot so far. Actually, I had a ‘the return of the iPod Mini’ post on my sleeves, but I figured by now that’s a bit dated already.

Unfortunately, there’s the usual catching up phase going on now: waiting for a decent leather case, waiting for the new goPod version to get rid of that silly EU regulation based volume restriction, waiting for to come up with a new version of the menu icon patch for the Nano’s firmware etc.

In the meantime, there’s a serious firmware issue that I came across in firmware 1.0.1. You see, my morning routine goes like this: I update my podcasts in iTunes, then sync to the iPod, get into the car and start the first podcast I want to listen to. With my new Nano, the ‘play’ icon appears, and then it’s stuck – it doesn’t start to play; I need to reset the iPod and start over again. The first time I thought it was coincidence, but by now I have established that it’s a consistent bug.

Can anyone else confirm this?

Is your iPod possessed?

Last week, my iPod Video suddenly started behaving funny: I was in my car listening to a podcast, and suddenly the click wheel started moving (apparently) all by itself and the iPod’s volume was changing. This happened again a few days after that.

My first thought: damn, the click wheel is broken ;(

Today I found out about the real reason the click wheel’s electronics seem to interfere with cell phone signals. I had my Nokia 6670 on the seat next to the iPod, so that seems to have been the reason.

Seems like we’re already running out of frequencies ;)

Converting YouTube videos for your iPod

I recently got a 30 gig iPod Video (again), and I was looking for a way to convert YouTube’s .flv files into something the iPod would recognise.

Let’s start with downloading the .flv files: VideoDownloader is a Firefox extension that will help you download videos from LOTS of sites:

“Sites supported:
Youtube, Google Video, iFilm, Metacafe, Dailymotion, Myspace, Angry Alien, AnimeEpisodes.Net, Badjojo, Blastro, Blennus,, Bofunk, Bolt,, Castpost, CollegeHumor, Current TV, Dachix, Danerd,, DevilDucky, Double Agent, eVideoShare, EVTV1, FindVideos, Free Video Blog, Grinvi, Grouper, Hiphopdeal, Kontraband, Lulu TV,,,, MySpace Video Code, Newgrounds, NothingToxic, PcPlanets, Pixparty, PlsThx, Putfile, Revver, Sharkle, SmitHappens, StreetFire, That Video Site, TotallyCrap, VideoCodes4U, VideoCodesWorld, VideoCodeZone, vidiLife, Vimeo, vSocial, Yikers, ZippyVideos… and any other webpage with embedded objects.”

I was astonished how hard it was to find software that makes the conversion process simple – there are lots of ffmpeg scripts and all that, but that was not what I was looking for.

I finally discovered MoviePod (available for Mac and Windows), a $10 shareware that does the job in the best way imaginable. It will even put the resulting files into an iTunes playlist of your liking.


Update 2006-09-11:

iTube is a similar beast, but totally free:

iTube is an easy to use Windows program that will enable you to transfer any YouTube video onto your iPod video.

Simply enter in the YouTube page URL and iTube will download the file, convert it, and then import it directly into iTunes. The next time you plug in your iPod video it will automatically transfer. If you don’t have an iPod video, you can still watch the movie in iTunes.”

Woz to make a trip to the South Pole in a Hummer

That guy sure has a lot of fun:

“The Woz said he plans to drive to the South Pole in a Hummer in 2007. He said that in passing, and it seemed so absurd that I had to find out more. So after his talk, I went up and asked. Woz explained that he was participating in an expedition planned for December 2007 in which a group will drive Hummers running on hydrogen powered fuel cells from McMurdo Station to the
South Pole
. Woz said his particular vehicle would be co-piloted by Buzz Aldrin, who walked on the moon in 1969. The expedition is to be filmed in 3D for the director James Cameorn. Woz said that the group has received important advice on the project from the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authroity, which has been running some hydrogen fuel-cell powered buses.”

iPod: The Return of the Mini?

“The next generation of Apple Computer’s iPod nano digital music player may dip into iPod mini’s wardrobe, AppleInsider has learned. In an effort to reduce the player’s susceptibility to scratches, Apple has been experimenting with aluminum anodized enclosures similar to those used in the company’s iPod mini digital music players.”

That would ROCK! The Mini IMHO is still the best of all iPods. Combine that with color, the beauty of the Nano, and (possibly) 8 or 10 Gig of Flash memory – PERFECT….

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