iPod Classics are hot gift item as surprise holiday demand pushes prices through the roof

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Apple kept making the iPod Classic for much longer than many expected, but when it finally called time over lack of components there were still plenty of people who wanted one. The Guardian reports that some iPod Classics are now selling for up to four times the original price.

Versions of the 160GB Classic – which can hold around 40,000 songs – are being sold as new via Amazon for up to £670. More than 3,000 of the models – the seventh, final version came out in 2010 – have been sold on eBay since the Classic was retired in October, most for between £350 and £500. Even refurbished older models now cost far more than the £229 for which the later generations retailed.

While The Guardian was looking at UK prices, the same phenomenon can be seen in the US on Amazon and eBay …  Read more

Tony Fadell and his largely ex-Apple team to become Google’s core hardware designers

Google CEO Larry Page (centre) with Nest co-founders Matt Rogers amd Tony Fadell (photo: technologyreview.com)

Google CEO Larry Page (centre) with Nest co-founders Matt Rogers amd Tony Fadell (photo: technologyreview.com)

‘Father of the iPod’ Tony Fadell (right) and the rest of the Nest team will become Google’s “core hardware group,” working on a variety of hardware projects and given access to “as many resources as it needs,” according to an unnamed source cited by TechCrunch.

The new division will still work on hardware devices, but not necessarily thermostats or smoke detectors. In fact, Google would like Fadell to work on gadgets that make more sense for the company. Will it be a phone or a tablet? It’s unclear for now […]

When it comes to budget, Google is willing to let the Nest team use as many resources as it needs. In other words, the company is getting serious about consumer hardware, and Motorola was just a false start …  Read more

Apple marketing chief Schiller unfollows Nest & Tony Fadell on Twitter following Google deal

Schiller and Fadell on the left (image via web)

Schiller and Fadell on the left

Only a few days after “father of the iPod” Tony Fadell agreed to sell thermostat and smoke detector maker Nest to Google for north of three billion dollars, Apple senior vice president (and former Fadell colleague) Phil Schiller has unfollowed the Nest CEO and the Nest company on Twitter.

Here’s Schiller’s following list from a recent cache:

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Google acquires smart thermostat maker Nest for $3.2 billion in cash, Father of iPod now Google employee

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Google has confirmed in a press release that it is acquiring Nest Labs, the company behind Nest smart thermostats and fire alarms started by Father of the iPod Tony Fadell. Earlier reports were quickly confirmed along with the transaction price of $3.2 billion in cash in an official announcement posted on the company’s Investor website. In the statement, Google said that Fadell will be staying on board as a Google employee and continuing to run Nest:
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Nest officially confirms smart smoke + carbon monoxide detector called ‘Protect’

The Nest Protect has a nice glow :-)

The Nest Protect has a nice glow :-)

We originally reported last month that Nest Labs, the company founded by famed iPod creator Tony Fadell, was readying its next product for launch soon: the smart fire detector. Nest Labs officially announced today that the ‘Nest Protect’ will be joining the lineup with the smart thermostat.

The Nest Protect detects smoke and carbon monoxide and addressses some of the flaws of modern smoke detectors and of course connects it to your iPhone in the process:

Nest believes that safety shouldn’t be annoying, so they started from scratch and built a new smoke + CO detector, the way it should be done, with advanced features under a sleek interface:

· Heads-Up: Instead of just beeping at you, Nest Protect gives you helpful vocal warnings before conditions get dangerous. And if you have more than one Nest Protect in the home, you can connect them so you’ll know where the danger is, no matter which room you’re in.

· Nest Wave: No more climbing on chairs to reach your detector. You can silence Nest Protect by simply waving at it.

· Mobile app: Get low-battery alerts and Emergency Alarm notifications on your smartphone or tablet.

· Pathlight: Nest Protect glows white as you pass under it at night, lighting your way in the dark.

The smoke + carbon monoxide detector itself has a design similar to our Apple products as it resembles Apple’s previous generation Airport Extreme base station. I really like the idea of silencing an alarm with just a wave. Wrestling with a tiny disengage button in a commotion is the last thing anyone wants. Check out availability information and the official promotional video below:  Read more

The iPodFather strikes again: Nest’s rumored next move on the “ugly white plastic crap” in our homes

Nest thermostat versus "ugly white crap" smoke detector

Nest thermostat versus “ugly white crap” smoke detector

Nest Labs, the high-profile startup created by “father of the iPod” Tony Fadell, is reportedly planning to set its sights on a hi-tech smoke detector, following the successful launch of its Learning Thermostat.

Former WSJ journalist Jessica Lessin cites “people close to the startup” as saying that the new device could go on sale later this year. It’s speculated that the smoke detector would also detect carbon monoxide, and would be offered with a subscription-based monitoring service. More mundanely, it could be silenced simply by waving at it (I’m probably not the only person whose cooking requires the occasional ability to silence a smoke detector …).

And the company doesn’t plan to stop there …  Read more

Apple built Google Glass-like prototypes, says former Senior VP of iPod division

Apple-Glass

Tony Fadell, the Nest CEO who was Senior VP of Apple’s division from 2006 to 2008, says that Apple built prototypes of a similar device to Google Glass but “didn’t have time” to turn them into actual products.

Interviewed as part of Fast Company‘s Oral History of Apple Design series, Fadell said:

At Apple, we were always asking, What else can we revolutionize? We looked at video cameras and remote controls. The craziest thing we talked about was something like Google Glass. We said, “What if we make visors, so it’s like you’re sitting in a theater?” I built a bunch of those prototypes. But we had such success with the things we were already doing that we didn’t have time …  Read more

Developer creates proxy server to control any device via Siri

We’ve seen examples of the Siri interface running on prior iPhones and a proof-of-concept video allegedly showing the full Siri port running on iPhone 4. And now, a St. Louis developer @plamoni has figured out how to run a proxy server on his computer to fool Siri into thinking it is talking to Apple’s servers.

The proxy server acts as a middleman that intercepts Siri commands and returns answers. According to the project page, “the idea is to allow for the creation of custom handlers for different actions”. It works by setting up a DNS server on your network to forward requests for guzzoni.apple.com (the Siri servers) to the computer running the proxy.

He used the proxy server to run a custom plug-in that can manage his radio-controlled thermostat via Siri (Tony Fadell should love this). It doesn’t require a jelabroken iPhone since everything is going on off the device. As you can see in the video, Siri responds to commands such as, “What’s the status of the thermostat?”, or “Set the thermostat to 68 degrees”, or even “What’s the inside temperature?”. What’s best, his hack lets any device with a plug-in to be controlled via Siri. A sign of things to come from Apple? Two more videos follow right after the break.

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ARM and iOS dominate tablets thanks to Jobs listening to Tony Fadell

According to the newly-released DisplaySearch Tablet Quarterly report, shipments of tablets powered by chips based on ARM’s CPU designs will grow by a projected 211 percent in 2011 to nearly 60 million units. At the same time, mobile devices using Intel’s x86 architecture are not expected to pick up steam until 2013. Meanwhile, Apple sold 11.12 million iPads in the September quarter, a 166 percent annual unit growth, grabbing a Strategy Analytics-estimated 67 percent market share of all quarterly tablet shipments, down from 96 percent in the year-ago quarter when the company took the market by surprise and left competitors flabbergasted.

ARM’s domination in mobile stems from the tremendous growth of smartphones and tablets, the vast majority of which come with chips based on ARM’s blueprints. With iPad accounting for more than two-thirds of tablets and their A-series of chips being based on ARM’s designs, it’s really not surprising that tablet PC architectures are now feeling the heat by ARM and iOS.

In retrospect, the mobile landscape might have looked a lot different had Apple’s deceased co-founder Steve Jobs not listened to the iPod Godfather Tony Fadell. I found this incredibly interesting anecdote yesterday in the authorized Steve Jobs bio by Walter Isaacson…

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