Apple unveils video iPod

Apple has released a released a TV ad that showcases the newly released iPod video. You can read more about it here, and here.

From the press release:

The new iPod combines all of the ground breaking features that have made the iPod the best music player in the world with revolutionary new features such as the ability to view video content on a larger stunning color display. The new iPod features Apple’s innovative Click Wheel for precise, one-handed navigation and the portable design is ideal for putting music, Podcasts, photos, audiobooks, home movies, music videos and popular television shows in a pocket for on-the-go viewing. iPod users can also watch their video content and slideshows of their photos on a television via optional Apple accessories.

Apple has also announced the release of iTunes 6, which is now available for download.

The Tiger Strikes Again

Ten years after Bill Watterson called it quits on Calvin and Hobbs, the Washington Post examines why. And what made the comic strip so brilliant, anyway?

“Calvin and Hobbes,” the best kid strip since [Peanuts], worked on the conceit that Hobbes was a stuffed animal to everyone in the world but Calvin, an only child. Only when he and Calvin are alone in the panel does Hobbes spring to life — a tiger who walks on two feet, makes cheesecake grins at girls and appears to be more mature than Calvin by oh, about an hour and a half.

They wrestle, pull the covers back and forth at bedtime and make goofy faces at one another while sitting in the back seat of the family car — best friends of the type boys no longer have after age 12. The only other kids in the strip were Susie, who lived around the block, and Moe, the school bully. Calvin’s parents did not have names. They lived in a house that had a sort of American foursquare sensibility to it, in a nameless town that seemed lost on the Midwestern prairie. It all bespoke a certain Sunday-afternoon loneliness. (more)

New iPods Next Week?

iLounge is reporting the following:

Apple has announced a “One More Thing” event on October 12, 2005, at the same California Theatre venue in San Jose where the iPod photo and U2 Special Edition iPod were announced last year. The event, promoted to select media, will begin at 10:00am, and is named after the famed oratory trick of Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who uses the phrase as a prelude to a bombshell announcement at the close of a keynote speech. As contrasted with the blue jeans image used to tease the announcement of the iPod nano, the One More Thing event is promoted with a red theater-like curtain.

I’m betting on video iPods, although I’m not particularly interested in using an iPod for video. I’d bet they’ll look something like this.

Top Ten Web Design Mistakes of 2005

Usability guru Jakob Nielsen outlines the top 10 web design mistakes of 2005, and offers some helpful tips:

… users don’t care about technology and don’t especially want new features. They just want quality improvements in the basics:

  • text they can read;
  • content that answers their questions;
  • navigation and search that help them find what they want;
  • short and simple forms (streamlined registration, checkout, and other workflow); and
  • no bugs, typos, or corrupted data; no linkrot; no outdated content.

Read on.

Harvey Danger offers fans plesant surprise

Harvey Danger has released their latest album, Little by Little, as a free Bit Torrent download from their website:

We’re not streaming, or offering 30-second song samples, or annoying you with digital rights management software; we’re putting up the whole record, for free, forever. Full stop. Please help yourself; if you like it, please share with friends

We embark on this experiment with both enthusiasm and curiosity—and, ok, maybe a twinge of anxiety. Why are we doing this? The short answer is simply that we want a lot of people to hear the record.

The album is also available through a full direct download.

Nano Scratches – Bad Apple.

While all iPods are susceptible to scratches, I can attest that the iPod Nano is unusually sensitive to cosmetic damage, especially the black model. Within 24 hours, my 4 gigabyte black model had an unusual number of scratches, especially across the screen, which compromised the picture and album art viewing quality that Apple boasts. This did not happen through unusually rough handling. I’m pretty careful with my iPods, and my Nano acquired most of its scratches while being toted in the breast pocket of a dress shirt after only one day.

I used Novus scratch remover with mild success, but Todd Daily reports quite a bit of success in restoring his Nano with a $4 can of Brasso.

This became so frustrating I returned my Nano, and invested an additional $50 for the fourth generation 20 gigabyte color model. It immediately went into a white iSkin case, and now I can sync my entire 7 gigabyte iTunes library without having to worry about trimming the fat, like I did with the Nano. It’s nice not to have to worry about space limitations.

Apple’s response to the scratch-prone Nano has been a little disappointing. While I’m pleased that they have offered to allow users with cracked screens (another flaw, purportedly limited to only a relatively few Nanos as the result of a vendor problem), Apple’s response to scratches is “buy one of our fine cases.” The problem with this, however, is that the Apple Store has a 5-6 week-long delay in shipping its Nano Tubes.

Next time, Apple, re-consider using a stronger polycarbonate material on the iPods surface, and make cases and skins available alongside the release date of new products.