Monday, April 16, 2012

Short takes: Condé Nast issues 'retina' update for The New Yorker; Apple promises more changes to its editing program while Avid capitalizes on Apple's rare misstep

Slowly but surely, Condé Nast is issuing updates for its tablet magazine apps, adding in support for the higher resolution iPad from Apple. The latest to get updated is The New Yorker Magazine.

The app is one of the most popular tablet editions having been introduced back in September of 2010. It easily has over 100K readers and the digital version has widely praised for its look, though criticized for its pricing policy.

But prior to the update, The New Yorker Magazine app was one of those being sited for its low resolution look on the new iPad. The text heavy design of the book should now benefit from the update and those few new reviews inside the App Store are all positive so far.

Apple rumor sites relayed the word that Apple would be upgrading its much criticized Final Cut Pro video editing package to add features that many editing professionals consider vital. Apple apparently pulled one of its customers aside at the National Association of Broadcasters Show this weekend to demo, or at least promise, the program changes.

Meanwhile, Apple's competitor in this field, Avid made sure it let its customers know at the NAB show that it was still there, introducing a series of new asset-based workflow solutions including Interplay Sphere, a mobile, cloud-based editing solution for news broadcasters.

The introduction of the new version of Final Cut Pro was a rare misstep for Apple as many users felt the new version changed the program from being a professional tool to a pro-sumer product, and accused the company of abandoning the professional market – something Apple has denied.

This weekend provided an interesting comparison of the use, or lack of use, of technology in sports.

On Sunday in London, an FA Cup semi-final match between Tottenham and Chelsea was played. With the score 1-0 in favor of Chelsea, a scramble in front of the Tottenham goal led to the referee awarding a goal to Chelsea as he claimed the ball had crossed the line from a shot from Juan Mata.

Unfortunately, replays show that no goal should have been awarded, and now 2-0, the game opened up and eventually Chelsea won 5-1.

We need goal line technology. It has to happen," Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham manager said after the game. "You can't keep having situations like that where important decisions are not correct. I could tell by the players' reaction that it wasn't right and then I saw the TV and it's clearly not in."

Meanwhile, in Detroit, the Red Wings were playing the Nashville Predators in a first round playoff game. Late in the second period, trailing 2 to 1, the Wings were applying tremendous pressure to tie the game. With the clock winding down, Johan Franzan, as part of another scramble near the net, shot what appeared to be a goal. But the red goal light did not go on, instead the blue light, indicating that time had expired, was lit.

Hockey, however, has a video replay scheme whereby a league official in Toronto views the replay to determine whether a goal as occurred. A video camera situated above the goal, combined with an inset of the official game clock then showed that as the shot was literally inches from crossing the goal line that time had indeed run out. As a result the goal was erased from the boards and the Predators were able to head to the locker room for the second intermission still ahead 2-1. They would eventually wing he game 3-2.

"We knew before we left the bench," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "Our video guy said it wasn't in." And so there was no argument.