TechGear: All iPod predictions were true -- almost

The blogosphere pretty much predicted everything Apple announced yesterday. Is the company losing its touch?

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If you're an avid Computerworld reader, you had plenty of advanced warning about the most important iPod announcement made yesterday by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Details about the iPod Touch were previewed in this space.

I told you nearly two months ago in the July 12 issue of TechGear, for example, that "Apple may launch next month a new iPod that looks, feels and works like an iPhone, but without the phone part."

And I predicted a year ago that Apple "is probably working feverishly on a bigger-screen, wirelessly enabled iPod."

Several major tech blogs (including my own) published Photoshopped mock-ups, then supposed actual photographs, of the "Fatty" iPod Nano announced yesterday. These turned out to be very accurate. When Apple's lawyers asked blogs to remove the photos, the request was received as a confirmation that the photos were real.

Other rumors accurately predicted wireless access to iTunes, ring tones for sale on iTunes and even a new red Shuffle.

A few minor rumors turned out to be false. But for the most part, the blogosphere rumor mill accurately predicted all the major details from yesterday's announcement well in advance.

Is Apple's legendary secrecy starting to erode? Does it matter? Let me know: mike.elgan@elgan.com

Sony unveils do-it-all home entertainment server

Sony Electronics unveiled this week a $3,500 home media server that does it all. The Sony HES-V1000 Home Entertainment Server features a 1080p 200-disc Blu-ray Disc changer that also supports DVDs and CDs. It has a whopping half-terabyte hard drive for storing video, music and pictures. The disc player also lets you burn anything to DVD. You can even connect the server to your home network, and it will go grab Internet-based metadata -- album covers, lyrics, information about the content -- related to discs in the changer. The server supports pretty much every major type of output, input and removable storage, including S-video, HDV/DV inputs, HDMI, optical, coaxial and analog outputs, Memory Stick, Secure Digital cards, CompactFlash media and xD-Picture Card flash memory readers. The server will be available next month.

New technology lets you send directions to your Mercedes

Mercedes-Benz USA recently unveiled new technology, called Search & Send. Mercedes cars equipped with the optional telematics and emergency response system Tele Aid will be able to receive PC-based Google and Yahoo maps directions. You get the directions on your PC, then send it to your car's in-dash GPS system with the click of a single button.

My Picks: HP unleashes a huge lineup of consumer gear; Facebook user listings go public

HP today announced five new handhelds, three new laptops and dozens of handheld accessories, software packages and services -- 59 new products in all. And Facebook is going to make user listings public.

Mike Elgan writes about technology and global tech culture. Contact Mike at mike.elgan@elgan.com or his blog, The Raw Feed.

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