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CalendarOctober 16, 2014

Apple Introduces the 5K iMac with a Retina Display

Apple Introduces the 5K iMac with a Retina DisplayToday, Apple announced the "iMac with Retina 5K Display." The desktop version of my December 2011 prediction has finally become a reality.

It's been more than two years since Apple introduced the Retina MacBook Pro, but the company finally released its first desktop display with a high-resolution "retina display." Perhaps 4K wasn't enough to reach "retina" status, so Apple decided to create a 27" display with over 5,000 (5K) horizontal lines of resolution.

The resolution of the new iMac is 5120 x 2880 pixels, to be exact. That is 14,745,600 total pixels. In other words, the screen can display a 14 megapixel full screen image with no scaling. Wow. I suppose many photographers and video editors are already lining up to buy this impressive new machine, which is started shipping today.

The display of the new iMac is awesome. I suppose it will be even more awesome when I see it in real life. However, it puts me in a difficult position since I was waiting for a standalone display that I could use with a new Mac Pro. For some reason (probably based on sales volume), Apple decided to put their new display technology into the 27" iMac rather than a new Thunderbolt monitor.

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CalendarSeptember 26, 2014

Why I Got the iPhone 6 Instead of the iPhone 6 Plus

I got my new iPhone 6 this week. And it wasn't the Plus.

I really wanted the Plus. After all, I stayed up past 3:30 AM CDT last week just to order one. But a few days ago, I decided to visit my local Apple Store and compare the two models.

iPhone 6 Plus next to iPhone 6

After about twenty minutes, I cancelled my iPhone 6 Plus order and bought the standard iPhone 6 instead. Here's why.

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CalendarSeptember 19, 2014

iPhone 6 Plus Update

I had hoped to publish my review of the iPhone 6 Plus early next week, but it looks like that will be a little difficult. The main reason is because I don't have the phone.

I was one of the thousands of people that stayed up past 2:00 AM CDT on September 12, attempting to order the iPhone 6 Plus through the Apple Store website. While this strategy has worked great in the past, but this time the online store was down for more than an hour and a half. After clicking refresh a few hundred times, I finally went to bed around 3:30 without ordering my phone.

Plan B was to go to my local Apple Store early in the morning on the official release date. So I went to my local mall today and got in line about 15 minutes before the store opened. While I was waiting in line, one of the Apple employees was going through it asking people what phone they wanted so we could reserve our model. When he got to me, I said I wanted the 6 Plus for AT&T, Space Grey, with 128GB of storage. He said, "We have a 6 Plus, AT&T, Space Grey, with... 64GB of storage." So close.

Considering I am constantly using around 63.5 GB on my current phone, 64 gigabytes just isn't going to cut it. I thanked the guy for trying and walked out without a new iPhone. I'll try to get one soon.

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CalendarAugust 28, 2014

Amazon Buys Twitch

Amazon Buys TwitchIt was inevitable. I just didn't think it would happen this way.

On August 26th, 2014, I received an email from my friends at Twitch saying the company had been acquired by another business. The fact that Twitch was bought out did not surprise me. But two things did – the company that acquired Twitch and the price they paid.

I thought for sure Google would buy Twitch. After all, Twitch's streaming service seemed like a perfect addition to YouTube. Many gamers already post their replays on YouTube, so being able to use the same account for Twitch streaming made a lot of sense. Plus, Google already has most of the infrastructure in place to support high-volume streaming, so it seems like the integration would have been relatively easy.

But Amazon now owns Twitch, not Google. Some have speculated that Amazon just wanted to "beat" Google with this acquisition, but I think it's is a great long-term business decision. It will give Amazon an excellent way to market to gamers and will undoubtably boost digital downloads in the future. Video game streaming is blowing up right now and more and more PC gamers are using Twitch on a regular basis. Now that the Twitch app is available for both the PS4 and Xbox One, just about anyone can stream their games online.

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CalendarAugust 23, 2014

Smart Shopping

Smart ShoppingSo you're walking down the aisle of your favorite clothing store when the band on your wrist beeps.

You glance down at your wrist and a small screen tells you to check out the blue shirt in the back of the store. You get out your phone and it displays a picture of the shirt. When you get to the back of the store, sure enough, there is the shirt in your size. You try on the shirt and it looks great. You bring it to the checkout counter and scan your wristband to pay for it.

How did your wristband know what shirt you would like? It received the information from the smartphone in your pocket, which in turn retrieved the data from the Internet. It turns out Google has been tracking your browsing and online shopping habits. The data stored on Google's servers was transferred to an app on your phone. When you walked into the store, an "iBeacon" detected your phone and sent you a recommendation from Google. It matched your personal profile with the available inventory in the store and guided you to the perfect shirt.

Next, you walk into a department store and a message on your wristband informs you of a sale on jeans. It guides you to the exact location of the jeans section and a few more recommendations pop up. But this time, it's not Google providing the suggestions, it's Facebook. You view the jeans on your phone and next to each one, it shows which of your friends have purchased the same or similar jeans. It also includes reviews of each one and orders them by the highest review. You try the highest reviewed option, and sure enough, the jeans fit perfectly. You bring the jeans to the checkout counter and scan your wristband to pay for them. The receipt pops up on your phone and you continue on your way.

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- PC (Per Christensson)

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