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Apple's iPod was designed to listen to music and watch videos, but users have been finding otherways to make the popular device even more useful in our daily lives. One user has posted a tutorial on transferring Google maps to an iPod photo, while a new web service aims to ease the transition of directions to the iPod. Called iPod-iWay, the free Web-based service streamlines the aforementioned process, automating the transfer of driving directions from Yahoo! popular maps service to Apple's iPod. "iPod-iWay is a powerful step-by-step directions saving tool that will export online driving directions from results by Yahoo Maps and import them into your iPod Photo. Itís an easy solution for getting Yahoo Map directions saved and displayed onto any iPod photo or Nano, and without the need of additional software." Users can simply enter their starting and ending addresses and the service will generate a file that can easily be loaded into iTunes and then automatically synchronized with an iPod.
All signs point to the end of the iPod shuffle as we know it, according to a TheStreet.com columnist: "Apple Computer may be about to phase out -- or replace -- one of its low-end iPods, if the availability of the device on the company's Web site - and through its retail partners -- is any indication. Customers can no longer buy the one-gigabyte iPod shuffle through Apple's Web store or through those of such leading online retailers as Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Circuit City. Apple's Web store has been out of stock on the 1GB shuffle since mid-December, according to enthusiast site AppleInsider.com... In addition, a survey of 12 Apple retail stores chosen at random found that seven of them -- including a store in Los Angeles and one in New York's SoHo district -- did not have the 1GB shuffle in stock and didn't know when they would receive it." The column notes that the Nano, which was expected to be available in limited quantities through the holiday season, were more available. Dwindling inventory is often a sign that company will replace the product.
The iTunes Music Store has posted its Best of 2005 listings, which includes "a look back at the music that made this year so memorable with a variety of carefully chosen favorites from our staff and a concide list of some of the top sellers. Whether you are looking for the songs tha really made an impact or the albums that stuck with us." iTunes offers best seller lists for songs and albums as well as staff favorites for both songs and albums. PayPal is offering up to 25 free songs with purchase of iTunes gift certificates (via iTunes) when users use PayPal to purchase $20 or $50 gift certificates using PayPal through the end of the year.
London-born Apple design guru Jonathan Ive has been recognized as part of Queen Elizabeth's New Year Honors list, according to the BBC. Ive has been awarded the title of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) by the Queen. "Mr Ive started working for Apple in 1992 but exerted a big influence on its products only in 1997 when Steve Jobs returned to the company he co-founded. Mr Ive's first design for Apple, the iMac, was hugely influential and has been followed by a series of other widely admired gadgets," including the iPod. Apple responded to the honor bestowed on the nearly 13-year Apple veteran by saying, "We are as proud as could be that Jony is receiving such a prestigous commendation," according to the report. "Although many drool over the sleek look of Apple products, Mr Ive has always emphasised the need for a close union of form and function. Famously private and rarely giving interviews, Mr Ive always seeks to stress the teamwork that goes into creating Apple's products."
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Weber buys iDevices' iGrill, Kitchen Thermometer
Cooking gear manufacturer Weber is purchasing iOS accessory manufacturer iDevices iGrill and Kitchen Thermometer lines. As part of the purchase, Weber is working in parallel with iDevices to roll out a new version of the products, and associated apps, this spring. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. CEO of iDevices Chris Allen said that the transition will allow the company to "focus even more heavily on becoming a leader in the home automation market." http://bit.ly/1PFk3uZ
Vevo music video app launched for Apple TV
Vevo today announced its new native tvOS app for the fourth generation Apple TV. The new app allows users Siri Remote navigation for discovery of top videos by genre, or to search for individual artists and videos. Playlists generated on another device sync between all the iterations of the app. http://apple.co/1PFhxEU
HydraDock team unveils USB 3.1 Type C Roadie
KickShark, the team that brought the HydraDock desktop USB-C dock to market, has launched a Kickstarter project for The Roadie -- a USB 3.1 Type C standard-compliant pocket hub for the 12 inch Apple MacBook and other compatible devices. The Roadie occupies the same footprint on a desk as a credit card, with a short USB-C male cable on one end for connecting to a 12 inch MacBook, and a female USB-C port on the other end for plugging in a MacBook power adapter. One side has an RJ45 jack for gigabit Ethernet, and an HDCP-compliant HDMI jack that handles up to 4K displays. KickShark promises shipment of all products within four weeks of campaign completion. The "early bird" offer for the hub is a $69 commitment, with a $79 commitment for a Roadie after 500 backers have pledged. http://kck.st/1o6knw5
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe
Unsafe IoT called threat to humanity
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told two different Senate committees yesterday that the Internet of Things posed a clear and present danger, and could be weaponized by governments. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper declared that insecure IoT "will bring new security vulnerabilities" and "will connect tens of billions of new physical devices that could be exploited" by those wishing to perpetrate violence or eavesdrop on the populace of the world. http://bit.ly/23Xvcky
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR