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Holiday Gift Guide: Good, Better, Best

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Every year, around this time, people ask me what they should get as a gift for some tech lover in their life. So I put together a presentation entitled Todd's Holiday Gift Guide: Good/Better/Best. This way, purchasers can decide what their budget is and pick out an appropriate gift! The categories I addressed include Headphones, Wireless Speakers, Stylus, Chargers, Docks, Smart Home Devices, and Smart Watches.



Apple Again Airs Touching Holiday Ad

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Apple's holiday ad last year, titled "Misunderstood," won an Emmy for "Most Outstanding Commercial." It featured a boy playing with his iPhone over the course of a holiday family gathering, seemingly on the periphery, and keeping to himself. But all the while he was shooting and editing a video of the family's activities, which he then played for everyone — and touched their hearts. This year's ad, titled "The Song," is equally moving. 



An Interview with Catalyst on Designing the Perfect Waterproof iPhone Case

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Do you ever stop and wonder how your favorite rugged waterproof iPhone case is designed and produced? I recently had the opportunity to chat with the owners and creative forces behind Catalyst, the manufacturer of my own favorite waterproof case; and from the sound of it, it's no simple matterThe conversation we had really shines a light on just how much energy, attention, and commitment to the highest standards are poured into their exceptional line of extreme duty cases.



Walmart Drops Price on iPhone 6/6 Plus; Best Buy Offering iPad Discounts

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If you missed out on Black Friday deals, there are still some good prices to be had. And that will likely continue through the holiday season. Most recently Walmart has lopped $50 off their already discounted regular price for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. An iPhone 6 (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint) with 16 GB memory is $129, and the 6 Plus is $229, according to a report on Bloomberg. This is with a two-year contract. The discount is also available for the 64 GB iPhone 6 model. This may be in-store only, since I can only find their prepaid phones on their website.



An iPhone with Prescription Glass?

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Ever since I started using computer back in 1982, with my first Apple ][ Bell & Howell Edition, I have needed to wear glasses. Staring for hours at tiny screens didn't help matters and I've worn prescription lenses ever since. It's just a necessary evil, with my job requiring so much computer interaction. However, Scientific American tells us about future phones that could do the vision correction on their own, allowing users to view the screen without glasses.



Apple Soars to New Heights as United Purchases 23,000 iPhones

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United Airlines is purchasing 23,000 iPhone 6 Plus phones for their flight attendants. I thought my family had a lot of iPhones but that's ridiculous! Seriously, each flight attendant will get the large iPhone for official use.



Apple Watch on Its Way

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The Apple Watch is supposed to arrive "in early 2015" and some have even tried to nail down the date as February 14. While that would make for an excellent Valentine's Day gift for my wife to get me (hint hint) it would require a massive production operation in January. And that appears to be exactly what is happening, according to reports from observers of manufacturers in China.



Who Better to Play John Sculley Than Jeff Daniels?

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The "official" Steve Jobs movie, based on his approved biography by Walt Isaacson, has had its share of turmoil. The Ashton Kutcher movie was rushed out, whereas this version has stumbled a bit. It has changed movie studios and lead actors. Now it looks like one of the supporting roles has been cast, with Jeff Daniels, star of critically-acclaimed projects like The Newsroom, may take on the role of John Sculley. They share similarities in appearance, so that's a good casting choice. But what I can't get over is Daniels is still in theaters in Dumb and Dumber To. I don't know if they are sending a message, but pushing Steve Jobs out of Apple was a dumb move.



Apple Hires Fashion Experts for Retail Stores in Preparation for Apple Watch

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The Apple Watch is more than just a new product category for Apple: it's a new direction into fashion. There was a fascinating discussion on Quora speculating that Apple didn't name it iWatch because it's not just another gadget being added to a family of gadgets. Instead, the Apple Watch is being positioned as a fashion accessory. And if there were any doubt about its positioning, a report on 9T05Mac says that Apple is currently hiring fashion/luxury experts for their retail stores in preparation for the Apple Watch going on sale next year. According to a document obtained by the website, Apple is recruiting people with a "fashion or luxury background." Add to this the fact that Apple's new head of retail is Angela Ahrendts, who left her job as CEO Burberry, a British luxury fashion company whose line includes fashion accessories. In 2013 Apple also hired Paul Deneve, the former CEO of the Yves Saint Laurent luxury brand. Plus, there's the 18-karat gold Apple Watch that is clearly meant to be a fashion statement. Finally, there was the photoshoot in the November issue of Vogue China that featured model Liu Wen sporting various Apple Watches.



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