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Well, well, well… what have we here? An invitation to a special Apple media event in San Francisco next Wednesday, March 7 at 10am PST. Sounds to us like a new iPad is incoming, although there are also plenty of rumors about a third-generation Apple TV (not the kind with a display, mind you). But hey, maybe we’ll get some improvements to iTunes Match as well, judging from this “adaptive streaming” report below. Here’s a look at the rest of the day’s tech news for Tuesday, February 28, 2012.
Just prior to today’s official announcement from Apple about the March 7 media event, CNBC stepped in a big pile by tweeting an alert claiming that a “quad-core iPad 3 with 4G LTE” would be “unveiled in New York next week.” According to MacRumors, the Twitter moment set off a firestorm of debate over its dubious source (later revealed to be an iMore.com report from two weeks ago), even backtracking at one point by claiming that an “unspecified” Apple event would take place in New York City next week. Within an hour, Apple issued invitations for the real event, which takes place next Wednesday, March 7 at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco -- all the way across the country. Better luck next time, CNBC...
It’s nice to see that Apple isn’t sitting still as the king of the digital music heap with iTunes. According to a new report from The Guardian, the company is hard at work on “a new audio file format that will offer ‘adaptive streaming’ to provide high or low-quality files to users of its iCloud service.” The idea is that users who wish to download music to their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad will get the full, high-quality source material, but Apple could also offer a second, lower resolution version for those who prefer to stream -- a key feature of subscription services like Spotify that’s currently missing from the $24.99 per year iTunes Match, with the exception of the Mac and Apple TV. “A source with inside knowledge of the process says Apple has asked a London studio to prepare audio files for a new streaming format that will adapt to bandwidth or hardware capabilities,” the report reveals. “It is unclear whether the files will convert to the smaller types such as AAC in real time, or if Apple will convert the master file to several different types upon submission to iTunes.” As usual, Apple remains mum on the possibility, but with iTunes currently encouraging labels to submit higher quality 24-bit, 96KHz master files, it would seem to be just a matter of time before it becomes reality.
Are you an iPhone user grandfathered into an unlimited data plan who’s suffering through AT&T’s attempts to throttle your data speeds? According to MacTech, you may have a small claims case against the carrier that could net you upwards of $850, the sum recently awarded to an iPhone user in Southern California after taking AT&T to court. Of course, with our society already so litigious, it would seem ill-advised to take this approach -- but after all, AT&T started it by not living up to their promise. MacTech outlines the five steps you’ll need to follow, which includes finding out where to file in the first place, thoroughly reading your contract, being able to prove you have an unlimited data plan, having an amount in mind for damages and of course, being prepared and polite. The bottom line is, AT&T users have rights, and sometimes big companies need to remember that. Be sure to hit the link to read the entire story before blindly heading down to the courthouse to file your small claims action!
Patently Apple is reporting that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has published 24 patents today which have been granted to Apple Inc. The first of these “highlights three out of five important Multi-Touch patent wins,” which cover multitouch auto scanning (for “disabling components of a touch-panel device during periods of inactivity to conserve power”), multipoint touchscreens (encapsulating 21 patents dating back to 2004) and Apple’s 3D curved substrate lamination process used for the Magic Mouse. “No matter how you slice it, it's a huge day for Apple on the Multi-touch patent front,” the website proclaims. Today’s patent victories also include 8,125,455 and 8,125,464 which cover "Full scale calibration measurement for multi-touch surfaces” -- less sexy than the others, to be sure, but definitely additional ammunition in Apple’s arsenal nonetheless.
The Loop is reporting that Marvel Digital Media Group has announced the availability of 80 graphic novels through Apple’s iBookstore. Titles are sorted by popular characters such as The Avengers, Captain America, Spider-Man, X-Men and The Hulk, and all of the titles can be read on an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. “Marvel is taking the world of comics by storm and releasing a massive selection of our best and brightest graphic novels on the iBookstore,” announced Peter Phillips, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Marvel Digital Media Group. “For the first time ever, fans will be able to easily find and enjoy all of their favorite heroes including The Avengers, Spider-Man and The X-Men on iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch -- one of the best digital platforms for reading comics and graphic novels.” The publisher also continues to offer many of these titles through its own Marvel app as well.
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