iTunes U collections are moving to Podcasts – Apple Support

iTunes U provides free educational content from leading schools, universities, museums, and cultural institutions to users throughout the world. iTunes U collections contain free lectures, language lessons, audiobooks, and more. iTunes U public courses contain free content designed around a single course subject.

After the move, iTunes U will no longer appear in iTunes on your Mac or PC and you won’t be able to download new content to your computer. (Learn more about downloading content before the move.) You will still be able to access iTunes U content, however:

To access iTunes U collections, use the Podcasts app on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV, or go to the Podcasts section of iTunes on your Mac or PC. Content might be categorized differently than it was previously, but you’ll be able to find content by searching for the artist or collection name.To access iTunes U public courses, use the iTunes U app on an iOS device.

Any links to content from iTunes U collections will redirect to the same content in Podcasts. Links to content in public courses will work on iOS devices only.

iTunes U collections are moving to Podcasts – Apple Support

Looks like another wall around another silo. Generally it seems any non-podcast material in an iTunes U Course will only be available on iOS devices. Not exactly open.

How to give a presentation with an iPad and Apple TV

If you work in an office setting, sooner or later you’re going to have to give a presentation. We’ve all been there, watching someone stare into a blinding projector light while fumbling with cables and trying to get the signal to come through.
The good news for Apple users is that with a couple Apple products and a little know-how, they can do away with the cables and clutter and quickly get on with the presentation. Using the AirPlay service, you can stream content to a second or third generation Apple TV.
Here’s how you can give a presentation with just an iPad and an Apple TV.

via How to give a presentation with an iPad and Apple TV – TechRepublic.

I believe a number of law schools have tried this sort of thing with varying degrees of success. See the Teknoids archives at and There was even a CALIcon12 session that covered some of this, All of this seems a bit old, so it may be time to grab an Apple TV and do a refresh to see if it works any better now.

Did You Know A Swollen Battery Could KO Your MacBook Pro’s Trackpad?

Who would have thought that a swollen battery would knockout my MacBook Pro’s trackpad. Not I, but it is true.

Over the past few months I’ve been having odd issues with the trackpad on my 15 inch, late 2008 MBP. It would often start out a session fine but get less responsive until it just refused to click. Swipe gestures were fine, but clicking was like tapping on a counter top, nothing happened. The reassuring click was gone. This progressed until the trackpad no longer clicked at all. To make matters worse plugging in a mouse didn’t help. The USB mouse’s behavior was erratic and useless.

I figured I was looking at either some sort of costly repair or a challenging DIY project to replace the trackpad. So my Internet research began. A search for “macbook pro trackpad broken” yields all sorts of interesting results, most resulting in the replacement of the wonky trackpad. A few reports seemed to indicate that recent software updates to OSX were at issue and suggested software fixes. Those didn’t work. I figured I was looking at a pricey repair, but I kept digging mostly with an eye toward a DIY repair.

Then it appeared, a couple of mentions that battery issues could be the cause. Reports that removing the battery got the trackpad working again. Finally a post or two indicating that aging MBP batteries had a tendency to swell. Since the battery sits directly below the trackpad, the swell pushes on the trackpad and prevents clicking. The pressure is also registered as a continual hold on the pad causing unpredictable behavior or the computer and cursor and messing with input from external devices like a USB mouse.

I flipped my Mac over and took out the battery, plugged the MBP into the wall and booted it up. And the trackpad worked like it was brand new. Now I just need a new battery, not a couple hundred dollars of repairs.


I’ll note here that the MBP is not my primary computer these days. Most of my work gets down on a Linux workstation with the MBP use for testing and travel.Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.5
The swollen battery will also pop the battery cover out of place. I had noticed this on my MBP over a year ago but assumed the cover was broken, not being pushed out of place by the battery.Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.5

Analysts Sound Death Knell For Dedicated E-Readers, So Multi-Purpose Tablets Win

Selburn said that 2011 appears to have been the peak of the e-reader market, when IHS said that 23.2 million e-readers shipped, compared to 14.9 million shipped for all of 2012. By 2016, Selburn said that just 7.1million e-readers will ship, equal to a loss of more than 66% since 2011.

via Last chapter for e-readers? – Computerworld.

This shouldn’t really surprise anyone. Single use tech devices have a more limited audience especially when they must compete against more feature rich multi-purpose devices. Why have just a reader when for just a few dollars more you can get all the features of the reader plus all the features of a tablet. You can read the latest best seller AND check your email, update Facebook, chat with friends and so on. Of course e-readers aren’t going away, but they won’t be dominating the market for hand held devices either.

Apple Updates, Clarifies iBooks Author EULA

B. Distribution of Works Generated Using the iBooks Author Software. As a condition of this
License and provided you are in compliance with its terms, works generated using iBooks
Author may be distributed as follows:
(i) if the work is provided for free (at no charge), you may distribute it by any means;
(ii) if the work is provided for a fee (including as part of any subscription-based product or
service) and includes files in the .ibooks format generated using iBooks Author, the work
may only be distributed through Apple, and such distribution will be subject to a separate
written agreement with Apple (or an Apple affiliate or subsidiary); provided, however, that
this restriction will not apply to the content of the work when distributed in a form that
does not include files in the .ibooks format generated using iBooks Author.
You retain
all your rights in the content of your works, and you may distribute such content by any
means when it does not include files in the .ibooks format generated by iBooks Author.

Apple will not be responsible for any costs, expenses, damages, losses (including
without limitation lost business opportunities or lost profits) or other liabilities you may
incur as a result of your use of this Apple Software, including without limitation the fact
that your work may not be selected for distribution by Apple.

This is the clause in question. The update lets the end user know that Apple only limits fee-based distribution  in the .ibooks format and not the content if the user wants to distribute it in another format. So, Apple claims no rights over the content of iBooks created with iBook Author.

But a close reading may expose a problem. The phrase “does not include files in the .ibooks format generated by iBooks Author” appears twice in that paragraph. The “.ibooks format” is really just an archive container that contains the user’s content as HTML files, so it seems that re-using that HTML may violate the EULA. Even if  that isn’t the case, the modified terms of the EULA still make the iBooks environment a closed silo that is easy enough to get into, but difficult to get back out again.


iBooks Author Gives You the Power to Design Your Own Book, Here

This article provides a balanced review of iBooks Author.

Kindle Gets Audio/Video… On the iPad and iPhone

Amazon just introduced a audio and video to the Kindle, but the only way to experience the new Kindle multimedia books is on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch. A baker’s dozen of titles already come in multimedia editions, including Rick Steves’ travel guides, Best of the Beatles For Acoustic Guitar, and Bird Songs: 250 North American Birds In Song.

via TechCrunch – Amazon Introduces A Video/Audio Kindle . . . But Only On The iPad And iPhone.

Interesting development., but a couple of things are worth noting here. First the entire collection of multimedia editions numbers just 13 indicating this may be a test as much as anything else. Second, while it seems odd that they would sell ebooks that have features that aren’t usable on the Kindle, think of it as simply expanding their market by offering more ebooks to a wider market by including other features.

Think of it this way, a Kindle now costs $189. For your money you get what is considered the industry standard in readers. A great device for reading fiction and non-fiction works that are primarily text. It is a device that is aimed at casual reading and it works very well for that.

Of course text is hardly the only content type that can be used effectively in ebooks. By their very nature ebooks can be multimedia works incorporating color graphics, images, audio, and video. Amazon knows this and they also now that selling those works requires a platform that is different than the Kindle. No problem, the Kindle software turns your iPad or iPhone into a Kindle and it will handle multimedia quite well. So, Amazon offers audio and video enhanced ebooks for the Kindle on the iPad/iPhone. If you want ebooks with those features get your self the more expensive iPad[1], starting at $499, and buy those books Amazon.

I think this move is really designed to enhance the Kindle app and make it more appealing than Apple’s own iBooks. No need to have 2 separate accounts for your ebooks, just use the Kindle for all your ebook needs. Of course I would expect that we will see the multimedia features of the Kindle app turn up on the Windows and Mac versions of the software. And at some point Amazon will introduce a color Kindle of some kind.

[1] Yes, you can get the features on the Kindle iPhone, I suspect that you will find it more satisfying on the iPad.

Another good use for the iPad: one-to-one presentations

Anyway, that’s a unique thing the iPad can do, one-on-one presentations. And it’s a business application too. If you’re in a tech role at a corporation that has a sales function, get busy. You’re going to be using a lot of tablet computers, whether they’re from Apple, HP, Google or whoever. One person telling a story to another person, that’s going to be a big use of tablets.

iPad as a one-to-one presenter. Scripting News.

The iPad is great for “Let me show you something…” interactions. Of course it would be even better if the browser wasn’t crippled. The next tablet that comes along with a full OS, an easy to use interface, and an app store is probably going to be more appealing to business and education. Until then, this will do.