Los Angeles Stories August 24, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 5.55.10 PMApple has once again distanced itself from its past efforts in order to market its new Apple Music streaming service. The company has begun promoting the service using a unique geofilter in the popular Snapchat messaging application. The geofilter has showed up in select areas of Los Angeles, including at The Grove mall where an Apple Store is located.

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Los Angeles Stories August 4, 2015

Apple has already taken over its homepage, produced video advertisements, and injected promotions into iOS to digitally promote its new Apple Music service. Now, the company is expanding its billboard promotion strategy, which has been mostly reserved in recent years for new iPhones and iPads, to include Apple Music. Several 9to5Mac readers and social media users have spotted posters and billboards for Apple Music across San Francisco, subway stations in Japan, London, Canada, and Los Angeles

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Los Angeles Stories April 27, 2015

cedars-sinai-healthkit

LA’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is now integrating HealthKit data into patient records to provide doctors with a more comprehensive picture of the health of the patients they are treating, reports Bloomberg.

The hospital updated its online medical records system this weekend, turning on access to HealthKit for more than 80,000 patients, Darren Dworkin, chief information officer at Cedars-Sinai, said in an interview.

“This is just another set of data that we’re confident our physicians will take into account as they make clinical and medical judgments,” Dworkin said.

Tim Cook said back in February that he thought this type of use of HealthKit would be “profound” …  expand full story

Los Angeles Stories April 16, 2015

la-unified-ipads

The Los Angeles Unified School District is exploring the possibility of litigation against Apple over the failed project intended to provide every student with an iPad, reports the LA Times.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is seeking to recoup millions of dollars from technology giant Apple over a problem-plagued curriculum that was provided with iPads intended to be given to every student, teacher and administrator.

The project ran into early problems when students figured out how to bypass the restrictions designed to ensure the devices could be used only for school work, shortly before the district was accused of having miscalculated the cost of the program. The program was suspended last year, and later abandoned after deciding iPads were the wrong device. This was far from the end of the story, however …  expand full story

Los Angeles Stories February 22, 2015

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On the day of the annual Academy Awards ceremony, Apple has begun airing a new iPad Air advertisement highlighting how the tablet is used in the filmmaking industry. The new video advertisement is narrated with excerpts from notable movie director Martin Scorsese’s 2014 commencement speech at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. The video, embedded below, is accompanied by a website highlighting specific stories of the iPad being used to make movies. These video stories were actually filmed and edited on iPads. The new website also discusses key video planning, filming, and editing applications for the iPad such as Final Draft, Garageband (but not the consumer-focused iMovie), and VideoGrade. This film-focused advertisement follows a music-oriented one that aired on the day of the Grammy Awards.

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Los Angeles Stories January 29, 2015

Tangerine, a gritty movie that proved a hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, was filmed entirely using three iPhone 5s phones and the $8 app FiLMiC Pro – albeit with the help of Steadicams and clip-on external lensesexpand full story

Los Angeles Stories January 13, 2015

LA Unified School District ‘iPad for every student’ plan doomed from the start, says federal review

A federal review of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s plan to give an iPad to every one of its 640,000 students concluded that it was plagued by problems right from the start, reports the LA Times.

The report criticizes the scheme for unclear goals, use of school construction bonds to fund the scheme, failure to consider cheaper options, lack of teacher training, failure to upgrade Internet connections, poor security and poor support for lesson-planning around the iPads. So, er, pretty much everything, really.

“Among the most significant gaps we identified was the absence of district-wide instructional technology leadership,” the report stated.

The first public glitch in the program was when students figured out how to bypass the security restrictions designed to limit the devices to educational use. Next it was suggested that the school district had gotten its sums wrong on the true cost of the scheme.

A subsequent review backtracked on the plan to standardize on iPads, before the program was suspended and then permanently closed as the FBI opened an investigation into whether any laws had been broken.

Apple remains strongly committed to the education sector, last October creating a microsite to highlight its support for the ConnectED program focused on bringing Internet access and technology to schools in need. Tim Cook said in July of last year that Apple has an 85% share of the tablet market within US education.

Los Angeles Stories November 11, 2014

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Apple may be preparing to move into the historic Broadway Trade Center in downtown Los Angeles according to the latest rumor from ifo Apple Store. The company has reportedly leased the building for use as office space as well as a retail outlet.

Additionally, the report claims that some of that office space will be dedicated to the recently acquired Beats by Dre, which took up residence in a brand new Culver City facility earlier this summer.

The five-story structure was built in 1908 and boasts 1.1 million square feet of floor space. Apple would be a prime candidate for the space as the city continues a ten-year initiative to “Bring Back Broadway” by reviving the dormant theaters and other businesses in the area, including “more than a million square feet of vacant commercial space,” according to the commission’s website.

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Los Angeles Stories November 7, 2014

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Apple and its Beats by Dre group seem to be close to announcing a new pair of headphones: a Bluetooth version of their popular Solo2 headphones. Earlier this year, Beats launched the Solo2 wired earphones as a cheaper alternative to the Studio cans. Today, a wireless version has been revealed thanks to the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) testing department.

As can be seen in the image above from today’s FCC filing, the design of the wireless model is akin to the wired model. The only difference appears to be the Bluetooth connectivity. The documents specify that Bluetooth 4.0 Low-Energy technology is utilized.

Interestingly, these documents indicate that these headphones are Apple-branded:

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Los Angeles Stories August 26, 2014

la

A plan by the LA Unified School District to provide an iPad for each of its 640,000 students by the end of this year has now been suspended, and appears likely to be abandoned altogether.

Apple proudly announced the plan in June of last year, but it wasn’t too long before the arrangement came into question. Rollout was temporarily halted last September, when it was found that students were able to bypass restrictions designed to ensure they were only used for school work when taken home. A month later, it was suggested  that the school district might have gotten its sums wrong, with the true cost significantly higher than budgeted. It was then suggested in June of this year that iPads might not be the right devices …  expand full story

Los Angeles Stories August 17, 2014

Here’s some good news for Apple amid several months of controversy surrounding the Cupertino-company’s marketing efforts: Apples’ 2013 Holiday season television commercial “Misunderstood” has won a Creative Arts Emmy Award for most “outstanding commercial” in 2014. The award was announced on the Emmy’s winners list last night, and the Creative Arts Emmy Awards are presented for “guest performers on television dramas and comedy series, as well as the many talented artists and craftspeople behind the scenes to create television excellence.” The main, televised Emmy Awards ceremony takes place on August 25th…

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Los Angeles Stories March 2, 2014

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Apple appears to have taken to Tumblr to start up a new advertising campaign for the iPhone 5c. The campaign is called “Every color has a story,” and the webpage called “ISee5c” appeared within the past couple of days.

The advertisements are videos portraying different iPhone 5c phone colors and case colors. Each roughly 15 second video plays a different song and showcases the dots featured on the rear of the iPhone 5c official cases and on the iOS 7 dynamic wallpapers…

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Los Angeles Stories January 15, 2014

In an ongoing effort to equip more classrooms with tablets and computers, the Los Angeles Board of Education has green lighted a plan to distribute and integrate iPads in nearly 40 campuses throughout the school district, the Los Angeles Times reports. The deal which was approved allots $115 million for deploying between 40,000 and 70,000 tablets to classrooms for use by students and teachers used especially for spring-scheduled standardized testing.

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Los Angeles Stories October 25, 2013

Photo: businessadministrationinformation.com

Photo: businessadministrationinformation.com

The LA Times is reporting that the LA Unified School District program to equip every student with an iPad will cost $100 more per iPad than initially budgeted.

The district reported in its latest budget for the iPad program that although it is eligible for the lower price it previously cited, the discount kicks in only after it spends $400 million on iPads. That would buy 520,000 tablets. Thus far, the district has committed to paying $30 million for iPads at 47 schools …  expand full story

Los Angeles Stories July 26, 2013

Previously, we covered Apple’s announcement that it had won a large contract to supply iPads to LA Unified School District. The program will equip students across the nation’s second biggest school district with iPads that include the Pearson Common Core System of Courses delivered via a new app as part of the integrated solution. Additionally, each iPad will come preloaded with Apple’s iWork (Pages, Keynote, Numbers) and iLife (iMovie, iPhoto, GarageBand) suites in addition to a range of educational third-party apps. Apple noted that the $30 million commitment is only the first phase of a larger roll out for Los Angeles schools.

In a new report today, we see how big that buy really is.

The first 31,000 iPads are only the initial phase of the program, which plans to buy and distribute iPads to all 640,000 students in the nation’s second-largest school district by late 2014, Mark Hovatter, the chief facilities executive for the LAUSD, told CITEworld.

“The most important thing is to try to prepare the kids for the technology they are going to face when they are going to graduate,” said Hovatter. “This is phase one, a mix of high school, middle school, and elementary students. We’re targeting kids who most likely don’t have their own computers or laptops or iPads. Their only exposure to computers now is going to be in their schools.”

That’s a huge number to add to Apple’s iPad numbers over the next year. As it stands, if Apple reaped $400 of revenue from each iPad, it would receive $256M for the deal. More importantly, it lays the groundwork for other school districts that may want to emulate this adoption.

Best of all, it exposes a massive amount of children to Apple’s technology that might not already have access to it.

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Los Angeles Stories May 19, 2013

LA_Music_Festival_Photo_with_Captions (1).

AT&T shared a little bit of what goes into a portable network cells they put up at special events where bandwidth needs will be extraordinary. Remember, AT&T’s network is about 80% iPhones so this is important stuff. The setup above was what they used to cover a recent Los Angeles festival (read: Coachella).

This isn’t a test network; AT&T’s been honing their skills since they got caught with their pants down at SXSW in 2010 (back when AT&T was the only US iPhone carrier). Since then, with their mobile response team, they’ve been able to keep their network up and running at huge events with the addition of these ‘kits’ above.

The  network performance stats for this setup – some of which are staggering:

  • Carried approximately 83 GB of data traffic during the peak hour on our in-event network
  • Carried a combined 6,054 GB (or more than 6 terabytes) of data on our in-event network during the two weekends of the music festival (24-hour traffic totals, Friday-Sunday for two weekends).
  • About 50 engineers were involved in planning, construction or onsite 24/7 monitoring.

Both the super multi-beam antenna and five-beam antenna are AT&T innovations that were conceptualized by L.A.-based AT&T engineers Bob Mathews and Gary Chow who discuss their work in the videos below: expand full story

Los Angeles Stories May 2, 2013

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Adobe MAX, the company’s ‘Creativity Conference’ kicks off this weekend and runs May 4-8, 2013 in Los Angeles, CA. Our Angelino in residence Mark Gurman will be on the scene to cover the notable new product announcements including an exciting new Photoshop product we’ve heard lots about and perhaps iPad versions of Lightroom.  Can’t make it to LA? Adobe is going to be streaming some of the sessions (probably Flash, sorry) as well as the Keynotes live on May 6th and 7th:

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Los Angeles Stories December 13, 2012

T-Mobile-iPhoneOn Monday, we told you that T-Mobile was enhancing its 4G network in Atlanta, Seattle, and Minneapolis to provide access to its iPhone-compatible 1900 MHz spectrum for more users. Chief Technology Officer for T-Mobile USA Neville Ray announced more enhancements to the network today, including the roll out of more iPhone-compatible 4G HSPA+ to five major metro areas, such as: Chicago; Reno, Nev.; and Fresno, Sacramento and Southern Calif.

A spokesperson confirmed to us that the launch of the enhanced network in these new areas brings T-Mobile’s total covered for iPhone compatible 1900 MHz PCS spectrum to 100 million people.

Internal tests of unlocked iPhone 4S devices running over 4G (HSPA+) on our 1900 MHz network recorded on average 70% faster download speeds than iPhone 4S devices on AT&T’s network. Savings based on comparison of T-Mobile $69.99/month Unlimited Talk, Text and Data plan against AT&T Unlimited Talk, Text, and 3GB Smartphone Data plan.

T-Mobile also said more enhancements to the network are on the way to “Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, the New York metro area, Philadelphia, and San Diego,” with many customers already experiencing unlocked iPhone “speed sightings.”

A full list of areas included in the  rollout is below:

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Los Angeles Stories October 15, 2012

T-Mobile rolls out improved speeds and coverage for iPhone compatible 4G network in Kansas City

Despite rumors that T-Mobile is no longer using Apple or the iPhone in its “Unlimited & Unlocked” campaign, T-Mobile later confirmed its plans for unlocked iPhone customers would continue as planned. Today, the carrier announced improved coverage and speeds for customers using its iPhone-compatible 4G network in and around Kansas City. It also promised future announcements for Las Vegas and other markets later this year:

T-Mobile’s $4 billion plan to strengthen our already competitive 4G network is well underway. Today, I’m thrilled to announce that Kansas City is the latest market where T-Mobile customers will be able to benefit from enhanced voice and data coverage, as well as faster speeds on unlocked devices, including the iPhone… As T-Mobile network advancements continue in other cities, customers in some parts of Seattle, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and the New York metro area are already experiencing improved coverage and iPhone “speed sightings” on T-Mobile’s 4G network. Stay tuned – in addition to Kansas City and Las Vegas, T-Mobile will be announcing many other markets this year where we have strengthened our network.

Los Angeles Stories October 1, 2012

Register for MacTech conference in Los Angeles Oct.17-19, we’ll be there!

Before I started doing this blogging thing, I was an Apple IT guy/web developer for some mid-sized creative firms in New York and abroad (three cheers if you ever had to deploy OD/Active Directory integrated environments!).  This month, I will attend my first MacTech Conference where like-minded Apple technology professionals gather to hone their skills and learn best practices for doing what we do (well, did in my case; MacTech didn’t exist when I was doing IT).

MacTech Conference is a three-day, immersive, technical conference specifically designed for Apple developers, IT Pros, and Enterprise. “The whole idea of MacTech Conference is to allow members of the Apple community to meet and exchange ideas,” said Conference Chair and Executive Editor of MacTech Magazine Edward Marczak. “This will be spurred on by presentations from some of the best and well-known experts in the community.”

MacTech Conference will have two separate tracks: one focused on programming / development, and the other on IT/Enterprise and consulting. Sessions will focus on desktop and mobile, as well as OS X and iOS.

Since 9to5Mac is a media sponsor this year, we have some exciting discounts to offer folks who are thinking about making the trip out to L.A. in two weeks: We can get you $100 off PLUS a MacTech subscription worth another $50 by using this link. That’s $899 for the L.A. conference and $295 for the bootcamps. There are also some fun activities planned throughout the three-day event, aside from all of the free meals…

Los Angeles Stories July 24, 2012

Apple reports ‘best quarter ever’ in Q3 for US education institution Mac sales

Chief Executive Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer are live on Apple’s Q3 2012 call to give opening remarks, and the execs just revealed Apple saw its best quarter ever for U.S. education institution Mac sales. Rutherford County, N.C., for instance, purchased 6,000 MacBook Airs.

Other education-related statistics:

  • — 14 million iTunes U downloads, 700,000 new schools, and 750 new courses
  • — iPad 2 in K-12 market particularly strong—nearly doubling y-o-y (Apple sold 17 million iPads in Q3 2012, compared to 9.2 million in Q3 2011).

Oppenheimer said the iPad 2 price drop to $399 helped in education—sold twice as many iPads to U.S. schools as Macs during the quarter. About 11,000 iPads, for instance, were bought in Mansfield, Texas for students and teachers.

Regarding the iPad in education, Cook later added: “We have been very aggressive in this space, and I don’t see changing that.” The chief also noted the sales of the iPad in education are something he has “never seen.” He then addressed the education system’s typically “conservative spending,” but he explained Apple is “not seeing that at all with the iPad.”

Cook further mentioned he saw “hundreds of tablets come to market in the last year and have yet to see any of them gain traction.”

Apple’s financial results conference call to discuss Q3 2012 earnings is now underway, and 9to5Mac is live-blogging as company execs readily detail figures for the quarter. The call’s audio webcast and earnings release are available on Apple’s Investor Relations website.

Los Angeles Stories July 19, 2012

Ashton Kutcher laying down reality distortion in Steve Jobs bowtie [Photos]

Images are surfacing on Twitter that depict actor Ashton Kutcher as the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs during his bowtie-wearing days. The biopic is apparently filming now at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Calif., where students are live on scene to capture the action.

The last gallery image (via X17 Online) of Kutcher noticeably dressed as an older Jobs is also reportedly from the Los Angeles set.

Los Angeles Stories June 18, 2012

Microsoft unveiled its Surface Tablet at an event in Los Angeles today. As Microsoft attempted to demonstrate, it follows a long line of Microsoft hardware achievements including the Microsoft Mouse, Microsoft Keyboard, and more recently the XBox (we must have missed the Zune, Courier, and Kin slides). The Surface has some notable features including a full-sized USB port, kickstand, and a 9.3-mm thickness. It runs on an ARM processor, and it is housed in a magnesium alloy case.

Probably the biggest feature is its 3 mm thick Touch Cover. Added to the iPad 2-ish 9.3-mm thickness, you get a “full package” of just 12.3-mm total. The ability to touch type on a 3 mm thick piece of plastic compared to, say, an 8 mm thick UltraThin Logitech iPad keyboard case, for instance, will be a big determining factor for this thing to take off.

While it would not be a Microsoft demo without a few crashes, Microsoft Vice President Steven Sinofsky was eventually able to launch apps like MS Office, Adobe Lightroom, and Netflix on a backup demo model. The Surface will come in 32GB and 64GB ARM RT varieties and separately with Intel processors.

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Los Angeles Stories June 15, 2012

Microsoft is allegedly prepping to directly compete with Apple in the tablet market

The Redmond, Wash.-based Company scheduled an event in Los Angeles on Monday to make a “major announcement.” AllThingsD reported earlier this week that the event would unveil Microsoft’s tablet plans:

  • After signaling for months that it would attack the market only through its traditional hardware partners, Microsoft has decided to enter the tablet business more directly. […]
  • Sources say that Microsoft concluded that it needs its own tablet, with the company designing both the hardware and software in an effort to better compete against Apple’s strengths. Microsoft’s tablets may include machines running ARM-based processors as well as models running on traditional PC processors, sources said.

Perhaps more interesting: The Wrap claimed Microsoft will self-manufacture the device, which is an assertion that AllThingsD supports. The move is certainly plausible, because Microsoft snatched a 17.6-percent stake in Barnes and Noble’s Nook eReader business last month for $300 million. One could speculate that Apple and Amazon’s dominating presence in the market causes companies like Microsoft and Barnes and Noble to join forces.

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