"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

New Apple Products and Other Links

Apple Announcement
Today Steve Job held a press conference to announce a refresh of the iPod line-up, show off a new Apple TV, iTunes update and talk about iOS 4.1 which hits iPhones next week and the iPad in November. The iPod line-up refresh has a few major changes with a new 4th gen Shuffle ($50-2GB, no 4GB) that looks a lot like the 2nd gen, a new Nano ($149-8GB, $179-16GB) that is nearly shuffle sized with touch screen, and updated iPod touch ($229-8GB, $299-32GB & $399-64GB) has all the same design bells and whistles as the iPhone but since can't make calls with it, no concerns with antenna problems. The iPod Classic lives but remains unchanged. The new Apple TV ($99) is now puck sized with no hard drive as now designed for streaming from your home network, iTunes and Netflix. Apple's continued refusal to support non iTunes video formats means that if your library is unplayable through Apple products, that is not going to change any time soon. Probably best to consider other devices or just use Netflix from your gaming console. The iOS 4.2 was previewed with Airplay feature for wireless streaming to iPad or Apple TV but again that codec limitation makes the feature pointless. Over all there isn't really anything innovative was announced today but the new Nano is pretty sweet looking (if overpriced by $50) but the tiny size means video is no longer supported (but that is no real loss).

Hurricane Damaged Six Flags New Orleans
Hit the link to view a gallery of images of a decayed Six Flags, left abandoned after Hurricane Katrina devastated the then five year old location. It is amazing just how decrepit and tore up everything looks even though the site is barely 10 years old.

NASA Photo stream
NASA has released an archive of photos to flickr for the public to enjoy and make use of. The result is an interesting walk down memory lane of the space race and the achievements made during that time.

Frank Cho and Liberty Meadows
An interesting article from the Washington Post about current Marvel artist Frank Cho. Is probably one of the top artists in comics and if a fan of his Liberty Meadows strips then already know what an excellent artist he is. If anything, it is a shame is slow pace and tendency to over magnify the proportions of woman results in people taking his capabilities less seriously then they should.

Ultraviolet Light Reveals Ancient Colors
It turns out that ancient Greek statue where a lot more colorful then we thought. A technique called "raking light" was used to analyze ancient art and the result suggests that the statues were much more elaborate than we thought. Hit the link for examples and a full explanation of how it works.

Top 10 Greatest Accidental Inventions
Hit the link to read how some of the major were accidental discoveries. The list includes the Microwave, Slinky, Play-Doh, the Pacemaker, and X-Ray machine. Over all it just shows that sometimes the best ideas are not corporate driven, "where is my money!" but just the creativity of discovering that leads to something better and profitable.

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