Monday, September 10, 2007

Comcast kicks off high-bandwidth users

Residential users of Comcast cable internet who hog the service's bandwidth may find themselves being dropped for excessive use. Reports from users disconnected have been trickling in for the past few months, and some have taken their frustration to an online blog.

Comcast has declined to comment on whether or not any Portland-area customers have hit the undisclosed ceiling. For perspective, today's Oregonian quotes Comcast as classifying these extremely high users as cosuming, "As much bandwidth as if they were sending 256,000 photos, or 13 million e-mails, every month."

More on this story from:

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Apple announces new iPods, iTunes ringtones

At a media event today in San Francisco, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced an entire lineup of new iPods, including a new touch-screen that has many features of the iPhone. Apple is set to launch a Wi-Fi version of the music store that will also allow you to buy songs playing at a Starbucks location.

The announcements began with the launch of ringtones available through the iTunes music store. Initially available to just under 10% of the over 6 million songs in the iTunes store, ringtones can be purchases for an additional 99 cents. iPhone owners will be able to choose up to 30 seconds of the song and create simple transitions before buying.

The tiny iPod Shuffle (1GB) adds a Product(RED) color and is available in five colors for $79.

The Nano line of iPods gains a video screen in black, silver, blue, green and Product(RED) for the 8GB version ($199). The 4GB ($149) is available in silver. The screen is 320x240 and the new Nano sports the popular Cover Flow feature from the iPhone, but this time controlled by touchwheel.

Newly named iPod "Classic" gets a thinner size, all-metal case, and will be available in two versions: 80GB for $249 and 160GB (!) for $349. Both are expected to be available in the Apple online store and retail locations by this weekend.

For those longing for the interactive features of the iPhone, but would prefer to shy away from the contract and AT&T obligations: The iPod Touch. Slightly thinner than it's iPhone predecessor, the iPod Touch is 8mm. Available in two sizes: 8GB for $299 and 16GB for $399.

Owners of the iPhone (after a software upgrade) and the iPod Touch will be able to access the iTunes music store via. Wi-Fi. Those near an equipped Starbucks location will soon be able to access the iTunes wireless music store without a hotspot login. Rollout begins this October in New York and Seattle.

The iPhone saw a two hundred dollar price drop for the 8GB version and a discontinuation of the 4GB model.

For more on Apple's product announcements, join me on Portland's Morning News on Monday 10 September at 6:40am and 8:40am -- I'll break down all the news and give you the information you need to know...