Remains of the Day: What's in store?

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Apple’s incoming retail chief raises some eyebrows, while his predecessor is put under the microscope. Elsewhere, a petition about the iPhone is sponsored by disapproving frowns and a piece of RIM marketing elicits sighs. The remainders for Tuesday, January 31, 2012 are all smiles.

Browett seen as bad for Apple thanks to Dixons’ poor reputation (Ars Technica)

Apple’s new senior vice president for retail, John Browett, is causing some consternation among Apple watchers. A number of UK readers have told Ars Technica that Dixons—the chain Browett previously headed up—features stores that are poorly designed, inappropriately staffed, and unnecessarily expensive. So, basically, they hired the same guy who ran Apple’s retail efforts in the 1990s?

AP Interview: JC Penney CEO talks about the chain (AP)

While Apple may be rebounding from its breakup with Ron Johnson by indulging its self-destructive tendencies, the former Apple retail chief seems to be moving on. My favorite part of the interview, however, is when Johnson breaks down exactly what he’s wearing: “These are Levi 514s. I bought them at a Levi’s store. I have a T-shirt. That’s from Lacoste. I have a cashmere sweater. It came from Zegna. My socks are from Target. My shoes are from Tod’s.” And then he kept going: “This watch? Omega. My chair? Herman Miller. This table? Ikea! And have I mentioned my moisturizer?”

Petition tells Apple: We want an ‘ethical’ iPhone 5 (CNet)

One online group, unhappy with the recent reports of the working situation at electronics suppliers in China, is petitioning Apple to make the iPhone 5 “the first ethical iPhone.” I fully support this idea, especially after my last iPhone’s questionable ethics led to me being embroiled in a murder case.

RIM creates 4 cartoon characters to spread the “Be Bold” message (MobileSyrup)

If it seems like it would take a superhero to save BlackBerry-maker RIM, don’t worry: The company now has four of them, based on comments from users, collected via Twitter. I think this explains how the company once ended up with two CEOs and three chief operating officers.

Apple’s quarter results visualized (Apple’s quarter results visualized)

A nifty new tool displays Apple’s financial information in a variety of ways, including comparing its profits and revenues with rivals like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon. I’d just like to point out that Apple has not had a single unprofitable quarter since I started covering the field. COINCIDENCE? Almost certainly.

Product News:

Skedi Lite - Rodax has released a cheaper version of its app for scheduling family calendars. The app has many of the features of its premium sibling, such as the ability to create events for multiple family members, access those calendars from wherever you are, and email notifications. $2. (For syncing with outside sources such as Outlook or Google Calendar, however, you'll need the $8 premium version.)

Motion 5.0.2 - Apple has updated its visual effects and compositing app to version 5.0.2, bringing improved speed and responsiveness for text editing, the ability to automatically add animation keyframes when recording is disabled, a keyboard shortcut that lets you re-position animation curves or paths, the ability to adjust the pan and scale of images in a drop zone, and an enhanced Keyframe editor look for easier viewing and editing. $50; free update.

Compressor 4.0.2 - Apple has updated its video encoder, adding the ability for markers to be set as chapter markers by default, export settings for Uncompressed 8-bit and 10-bit 4:2:2, and improved speed of transcoding from Uncompressed 10-bit 4:2:2 to ProRes. $50; free update.

Witness 2 - The latest update to Orbicule's home surveillance software adds the ability to watch live images from a Mac’s camera via your iPhone or iPad; a feature where the app uses your iOS device's location to automatically arm the Mac app when leave your house and disarm it when you return; face-detection capabilities; the ability to tweak motion detection sensitivity; support for multiple cameras; and AppleScript compatibility. $39 for a new license ($29 for students); free upgrade for all registered users.

JotStudio for iPad 1.1 - Adonit has released a collaging and sketching app for the iPad, designed for use with its Jot styluses. It features multiple drawing tools, including pencil, art pen, eraser, and chisel, as well as tools for scaling, cropping, rotating, and copying and pasting images. There's also the ability to organize your creations via bookmarks and export them to a JPG or print them. Free for first week of release; normally, $2.

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