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iTunes Music Store - 'Coolest Invention of 2003'

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  • Invention ? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mirko (198274) on Monday November 10, 2003 @07:24AM (#7433035) Journal
    Making some digital media available online is not new [gnuart.net].
    I remember having the possibility to purchase media online long before this.
    Now, if, of course, having these integrated in iTunes is cool, I somehow doubt it is that "cutting edge" (even though I am a Mac enthusiast and I love OSX).
    • Re:Invention ? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TheDredd (529506) on Monday November 10, 2003 @07:57AM (#7433111)
      The way the store is presented, easy and powerfull is the invention they are talking about; Making it easy to use for everybody
    • Re:Invention ? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LordLucless (582312)
      It may not be new, but iTunes was the first one that worked. Say what you will about originality, in the end, it's not worth a hoot if nobody uses your product.
      • Re:Invention ? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by danila (69889)
        It may not be new, but iTunes was the first one that worked. Say what you will about originality, in the end, it's not worth a hoot if nobody uses your product.

        Is the list called "Coolest Consumer Products of 2003"? I though it was called "Coolest Inventions" and if so, iTunes hardly qualifies, because it is not one. It might be a cool innovative product, but it is not an invention.

        Who do you think invented the radio? It was Popov [alltheweb.com], not Clear Channel, even though radio was not really used that much in 19t
  • ..

    Much as I think Apple have created an amazing proof of concept in the Apple Music Store I am not convinced it qualifies as an invention.. Downloading music off the internet is not new and paying for it is not new either... Now if they radically opened up the distribution to bypass the majors... now that would be rather revolutionary... but we'll have to see how far they take it..

    • by Talez (468021) on Monday November 10, 2003 @08:11AM (#7433140)
      Much as I think Apple have created an amazing proof of concept in the Apple Music Store I am not convinced it qualifies as an invention.. Downloading music off the internet is not new and paying for it is not new either...

      It's not that they did it. It's that they did it RIGHT. It's an elegant solution which people actually enjoy throwing money at.

      Now if they radically opened up the distribution to bypass the majors... now that would be rather revolutionary... but we'll have to see how far they take it..

      Hello, we're Apple and we want to sell your music [gnutellanews.com]
      • I challenge the argument that they 'did it right'.

        1. Its hardware dependent.
        2. Until recently it was Mac OS dependent too.
        3. Terms of licensing are high with the music labels...recent articles suggest iMusic is a loss-run enterprise intended to drive iPod sales (see #1).

        I've seen nothing compelling about their 'invention'...I've no reason to go and purchase an iPod or iMusic. (www.magnatune.com is closer to what i'm looking for!)

        At $1/song locked into a propietary platform, I may as well stick
        • by jtdubs (61885) on Monday November 10, 2003 @11:07AM (#7433949)
          So...

          > 1. It's hardware dependant.

          If by that you mean that it runs on hardware, then yes. It is dependent on you having a computer. It supports Windows on any supported platform. AMD or Intel. It supports any Mac capable of running OS X. Meaning, G3, G4 or G5.

          If you mean iPod dependent then you are full of crap. Perhaps you haven't actually tried it?

          > 2. Until recently it was Mac OS dependent too.

          This is my favorite complaint. "They did it wrong cause it USED TO have a problem." Jesus, son.

          > 3. Terms of licensing are high with the music
          > labels...recent articles suggest iMusic is a
          > loss-run enterprise intended to drive iPod sales
          > (see #1).

          And your final complaint is based on an unfounded rumor...

          Congratulations! You win!

          Justin Dubs
          • THank you. You saved me the time and typing.

            and to further clarify:
            point 3: uhm, what exactly is point three? Terms of licensing are high? AS in cost to the customer? Or cost to the record label? Indie's and Majors all get the same treatment (link found elsewhere in this article)- its 99 cents a song, albums for 9.99, songs over 7 minutes are only available as albums. If an album has less than 10 tracks, its number of tracks times 99 cents (5 track ep costs 4.95)

            As for driving iPod sales, this is actuall
          • by E-Rock (84950)
            Honest question since I haven't been to iTunes:
            What portable MP3/Music player will the ACC format play on other than the iPod?
    • Much as I think Apple have created an amazing proof of concept in the Apple Music Store I am not convinced it qualifies as an invention..

      Then - in your opinion - does the work made on steam engine by James Watt qualifies as an invention? He had many predecessors, too - to begin with, there was Heron of Alexandria in the ancient times, there was Thomas Newcomen and various other constructors in the XVIIth and XVIII century. However, it was Watt who designed an universal engine that eventually everyone wa
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10, 2003 @07:26AM (#7433044)
    I mean, the amount of technology that went into that thing rivals the scientific output of the smaller industrialized nations. Gyros that keep you from tipping over, flywheels that recharge the battery when slowing down, even the polymers they make the thing out of are fascinating.

    iTunes integrates a music store with a music player. Ooh. Maybe I'm missing something because I'm only using it on Windows, but it doesn't exactly wow me the way I expected the 'Coolest Invention of 2003' to.

    Frankly, I'm even disappointed with the Segway. They shouldn't be handing out this invention to anything that doesn't have wings at this point.

    • I think all the Segway proves is that throwing lots of cutting-edge technology at something does not guarantee its success. Nobody wants to pay the price of a good used car for an electric scooter, no matter how hard it is to tip over. You can buy a bike for a whole lot less.
    • by localghost (659616) <dleblanc@gmail.com> on Monday November 10, 2003 @09:24AM (#7433408)
      Notice how it says "Coolest Invention of 2003." The Segway was released in 2001.
    • by dema (103780)
      Well, I can say I pretty much agree that the coolest invention of 2003 should be something to "wow" a person. But I'd just like to point out that iTunes itself did not recieve the award, but iTMS did. So I don't think Time saw it as an "integration" as much as they did an alternative to a rising music piracy problem, and the first of it's kind (I think, were there others?).
    • This guy built one himself. [tlb.org]

      I don't think it's as groundbreaking as the hype would lead you to believe. That, and I think it predates 2003 by a bit.
    • The segway is not that innovative.

      the gyroscope in that use has been around for decades in robotics (yes the segway is to be considered a robot if the remote control cars on steriods that you see on tv are robots.) regenerative breaking has been around for decades. and the polymers are certianly not that innovative... you want innovative polymers look at what the automotive industry are creating.

      the segway is the coolest overpriced toy of 2002-2003. and you can build your own for much less as a past slas
  • iTunes? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by heironymouscoward (683461) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <drawocsuomynorieh>> on Monday November 10, 2003 @07:28AM (#7433051) Journal
    This counts as an "invention"?

    Look, the absolutely coolest invention of 2003 is the USB wristwatch. My watch holds all the essential stuff I used to keep on a diskette. Nothing helps bonding like showing people that your watch can store porn. Or a PowerPoint presentation. Or your latest baby photos. Whatever they need: my watch has it.

    But iTunes? I can't carry it on my wrist.
    • Well being as the itunes installer is only about 19 megs or so I'd bet you could fit it in there.

      Of course using it is another thing, but you can carry it.
    • Re:iTunes? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Lumpy (12016)
      and wash your hands once with it on and it's toast.

      USB watch = cool if it can stand the tortures of living on a human... most regular watches cant.

      call me when they make a bluetooth one that is waterproof and shock proof.
      • Hey, I do this at least once a month and the watch survives, believe me! I even think my MP3s sound better when the USB port has been washed a little.

        Actually, and seriously the watch is 'water resistant', and because the USB port is basically dead if it's not connected, I suspect that it can get wet and not care so long as it's dried before use.

        It's just somewhat easier than carrying a USB flash drive around with you, and sitting on one's wrist it's probably safer than hanging off a keychain or rattling
  • Spot the connection (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10, 2003 @07:31AM (#7433058)
    Much as I like iTunes... spot the AOL Time Warner and iTunes connection [google.com].
    • Thanks for pointing this out. As pop culture continues to morph into shop culture, the entertainment field becomes nothing more than a huge stage for product placement. Television shows sponsored by Palmolive are one thing, but when once-respected magazines sell their entire reputation to make a few bucks selling songs, you know we're just riding one huge spiraling merry-go-round into the crapper. Read Time and understand where reality stops and the bullshit begins.
    • Spot the AOL and Winamp connection [google.com]. It's interesting that AOL Time Warner couldn't come up with an invention using their own property.
  • by switched4OSX (668686) on Monday November 10, 2003 @07:32AM (#7433061)
    my favorite would have to be the snorkel fm radio. Of course, the wet babe in the bikini may be influencing my opinion.
  • Still! (Score:5, Funny)

    by McDutchie (151611) on Monday November 10, 2003 @07:33AM (#7433067) Homepage
    From the article:
    When Steve Jobs holds forth in public, it's usually to a mob of fawning Apple-ites--the true believers who still develop software and accessories for Apple products. (emphasis mine)
    I got to admit, there is something cool about being an endangered species facing imminent extinction*. You get so much admiring and attention, you get to be on lots of TV documentaries and in lots of newspaper articles, and everyone wants to be like you because you're beautiful. :-p

    * Especially if you've been facing imminent extinction for some 20-odd years.

    • got to admit, there is something cool about being an endangered species facing imminent extinction

      You should be doubly happy, now that you use a BSD-based operating system. The first thread in reponse to Linus announcing that he had just written a little OS and people could play with it was probably a debate about how it was a good thing, because BSD was dying.

      Just kidding, of course, but you get my point.

      You get so much admiring and attention, you get to be on lots of TV documentaries and in lots o

  • I just had to check out the Fish Skin Bikini's at Skini.com [skinilondon.com]

    Newt-dog

    • by cscx (541332) on Monday November 10, 2003 @08:01AM (#7433127) Homepage
      Its only fault seems to be that it doesn't come in sizes for women that actually eat solid food.
    • Stop supporting the murder of thousands of helpless fish! Don't you understand that millions of fish are being senselessly killed and raped of their skin just to support a fashion trend? How would you like it if somebody wore your skin?

      I wish that you could feel the suffering that our friends in the ocean are feeling every time their skin is being harvested for pure capitalist profit. It tears my soul apart when I hear someone advocating such violent acts against creatures that have brains twice as complex
  • Invention? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Realistic_Dragon (655151) on Monday November 10, 2003 @07:36AM (#7433071) Homepage
    A pocket nuclear fusion reactor is an invention, a biplane made out of recycled cheese is an invention, a new kind of breaking system for cars is an invention.

    iTunes is a store. It happens to be on the internet. That's not an invention, no matter how well executed it is.
    • Re:Invention? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nacturation (646836)
      iTunes is a store. It happens to be on the internet. That's not an invention, no matter how well executed it is.

      Apple is a company which advertises. It happens to advertise in Time magazine. I'll bet if I spent as much advertising in Time as Apple does, I too could win product of the year for my Ronco Turnip Twaddler 2003 Special Edition!
    • Re:Invention? (Score:2, Informative)

      by olafo (155551)
      No such thing as software inventions, right? No reason to contact the patent office right? Logarithms were not invented, right? YOU'RE WRONG (as well as Slashdot) Take a look at the definition of invention: \In*ven"tion\, n. [L. inventio: cf. F. invention. See Invent.] 1. The act of finding out or inventing; contrivance or construction of that which has not before existed; as, the invention of logarithms; the invention of the art of printing.
    • Actually A biplane made out of kite material and used bycycle parts by two bycycle repairmen is an invention [umd.edu].
  • Whew... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cdrudge (68377) on Monday November 10, 2003 @07:49AM (#7433094) Homepage
    Must have slept in longer this morning then I thought. Good thing 2003 is over. Those last 2 months went buy really quickly. Nothing significant must have been invented...
  • Fuck Yeah (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cscx (541332) on Monday November 10, 2003 @07:52AM (#7433099) Homepage
    iTunes for Windows is my official new favorite MP3 player.

    I am proceeding to rip all my 500+ CDs into iTunes. With one click.

    Winamp has served me well for many, years, but it lacks the snazzy playlist/library editor, and the ability to transfer music from CD, to the hard drive, tag it, and add it to my playlist at the click of a button. Literally.

    Sure, it's a little slow, but who cares. Its functionality is unmatched. The music store is snazzy, too.

    Good move, Apple, with iTunes for Windows. You may see a future Mac / iPod customer soon...
    • Smart Playlists.. (Score:3, Informative)

      by ciroknight (601098)
      Smart Playlists is what did it for me. Being able to categorize my music by how much I listen to it and my favorite artists instead of having to add each and every song by hand is a great time saver. Maybe the dudes over at nullsoft can borrow this idea...
  • A New Love Drug? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whig (6869) * on Monday November 10, 2003 @07:58AM (#7433114) Homepage Journal
    Sorry, but something that gives you a longer erection is hardly the successor to MDMA.
    • Yeah, I guess the world would be a much more lovely place if we could figure out how to make the effects of MDMA permament. A research toward that would be the real pursuit of happines.
      • DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol) may be helpful. It's a precursor of choline, and it extends the duration of empathogenesis a bit. Unlike MDMA, it's legal, too.
  • hmm, i just installed iTunes and wanted to take a look to the music store. I'm living in Austria and when i wanted to connect to the store a message informed me that this service is not available here. so, does is help when i change the value in the "country" state at the registration or does apple a lookup where the ip adress is registered? furthermore, since i pay by credit card where is the problem with buying music from iTunes Store. if the RIAA is making problems concerning the copyright in different c
    • by cscx (541332)
      They are protecting themselves against credit card fraud.... see here [slashdot.org] to see what I'm talking about..
    • There's licensing issues. Music is often sold through a different company in each country, meaning that Apple has to ink a deal with each one of them. I don't think Apple checks the IP - I was traveling through Canada (no iTMS there, either) and I was able to purchase quite a bit of music. If you happen to have a credit card with a US billing address, or a friend who could send you a gift certificate (it should be noted I don't know if that works), then you could buy music online. Otherwise, you'll have to
  • by Debian Troll's Best (678194) on Monday November 10, 2003 @08:04AM (#7433132) Journal
    Normally I'm a pretty hardcore Debian user, but at my current contract job at a fairly major publishing house, I've been dealing with quite a lot of Mac systems. While OS X still has a ways to go before I would consider replacing my trusty Debian desktop, things like iTunes Music Store (iTMS) really make the switch worth considering. But if only iTMS could come to Debian!!!

    While writing a little multithreaded print workflow app in AppleScript for the client, I struck upon an idea: what if I could expose the functions of iTunes using AppleScript in a client/server type arrangement, and then make those functions accessible across the network to a Debian system running a modified dselect iTunes browser? AppleScript is pretty powerful, as any seasoned Mac user will attest, so it was quick work to create a handy little mutithreaded fully re-entrant AppleScript based server for the core iTunes functions (load song, play song, browse playlist, buy song etc).

    The next part was to patch dselect on the Linux side so it could connect to my AppleScript server/wrapper on the Mac. I'd previously extended dselect with a Scheme-scriptable plugin, so it only took me a day or two to modify dselect with some Scheme macros so that it emulated to look and feel of iTunes (using ASCII art of course!!), but accessing the actual iTMS functions though the network exposed AppleScript..errr..script.

    It worked a treat!! It is now a simple matter of running dselect on my Debian box to browse the iTMS, as long as the Mac over in the corner running the AppleScript wrapper is turned on of course. I have actually implemented a direct USB->USB cross over connection to get around bottlenecking problems with our Ethernet so I don't have to put up with skipping in iTMS MP3 playback. Now it works great!!!

    The final step will be to patch apt-get with iTMS interface functionality...then buying my favorite music legally will only be an apt-get install Justin-Timberlake away!

    Which is nice.

    • I have actually implemented a direct USB->USB cross over connection to get around bottlenecking problems with our Ethernet so I don't have to put up with skipping in iTMS MP3 playback.[Emphasis mine]

      You plugged in your iPod?

      Seriously, nice writing. =)
      -Cyc

  • by MosesJones (55544) on Monday November 10, 2003 @08:15AM (#7433149) Homepage

    Surely that is the coolest thing in the world, I've seen the adverts, its lets me do more with less, I can consolidate all my domains down to just 4. AND I can then slide.

    Microsoft Server 2003 is the coolest invention of the year, and MacDonalds are a healthy food option.

    Wha' da' ya mean dominated by advertising ? Me and Mary Beth were only on Jerry Springer twice.
  • "Mac users, who represent only 3% of the computer world...in the 97% of the world that uses Windows PCs"

    Sorry guys, it's now official. *BSD is dead. Time says so. In fact, so is Linux.
    • Mac OS systems may comprise about 3% of the yearly sold amount of personal computers. That's market share.

      However, Mac OS systems do NOT comprise 3% of the total installed base of all computers. A more likely number of Mac OS systems in use is around 20-25%, if not a little larger.

      An installed base of 3% could not possibly support the software sales for Mac developers, particularly games and business applications. It's just not possible. Try not repeating what you hear unless you understand it.
      • However, Mac OS systems do NOT comprise 3% of the total installed base of all computers. A more likely number of Mac OS systems in use is around 20-25%, if not a little larger.

        Are you standing next to Steve Jobs, that's the funniest thing I've read since the last SCO press release.

  • Salmon skin bikini? I'd rather go naked to the beach. On a second thought, I already do. And have salmon-skin sushi on the beach. Isn't that a better combination? :)
  • It's nice to use, but ultimately, it's a piece of software for downloading music. Nothing particularly breathtaking about it.

    I'd rather put Open Office 1.1 in there.

  • quite possibly, but those of us outside the USA don't get squat with all the new services, or have to put up with a windows only facility.

    hmm sees a business oportunity, if only the various RIAA type organisations around the world could be convinced about non-DRM implementations of this stuff. I mean it's a pain having to go via a couple of phono leads to put the material on a CD I play in my car (via cassette in my case so the quality drops).
  • Greed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Talisman (39902) on Monday November 10, 2003 @08:39AM (#7433232) Homepage
    From the article:

    "At most, Jobs is left with a dime per track, so even $500 million in annual sales would add up to a paltry $50 million profit. Why even bother?"

    Excuse me? A paltry $50 MILLION dollar profit?!?

    'Paltry' and '$50 million dollar profit' don't belong in the same sentence.

    This mentality is what's screwing the entire downloadable music process. It's not about whether it's profitable, it's about whether it's profitable enough.

    Just for them saying that, I'm going to download some MP3s tonight. WTF...

    Tal
    • Re:Greed (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MosesJones (55544)

      Good point, we are talking here about a 10% profit margin. Something most businesses would consider to be ample. This also says how dumb analysts are for considering 10% profit margins to be nothing and hyping up people who claim bigger, and less reliable, numbers.

      Put it this way, iTunes hasn't bumped up the Apple Share price in any way like the SCO price hike, one has real profits... the other a near suicidal legal case.
      • Good point, we are talking here about a 10% profit margin. Something most businesses would consider to be ample.

        Especially for something that is absolutely Internet-dependent. A good, reliable 10% return would be a very sound investment. Especially since the costs as a factor of production will be even better as they expand the business to include more artists.

        Speaking of which, if I were a recording artist, I'd love to cut a deal with Apple where they'd get 25% or more profit in turn for great promot

    • Re:Greed (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jwachter (319790)

      'Paltry' and '$50 million dollar profit' don't belong in the same sentence. This mentality is what's screwing the entire downloadable music process. It's not about whether it's profitable, it's about whether it's profitable enough. Just for them saying that, I'm going to download some MP3s tonight. WTF...

      If you're being sarcastic (I suppose you are), you clearly have no understanding of corporate finance.

      Apple, like any corporation, is legally responsible to its shareholders (mostly private US citizens) to

      • Re:Greed (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Talisman (39902)
        Wasn't being sarcastic, but the comment wasn't directed solely at Apple. I understand the principle of maximizing profit on investment, but what I'm saying is that a business model with a 10% profit margin and the volume to generate $50MN in profit should not be considered a failure, especially when the resources needed to accomodate 100,000 users to 1,000,000 to 10,000,000 are a (small) fractional increase. Increasing bandwidth/servers is a relatively easy and low-cost expansion. Such a business can gro
    • by mactari (220786)
      I believe we might be overlooking what the phrase "at most" means. Apple's probably outlaid millions in R&D, hosting, advertising, etc to make -- at most -- $50 million annually. At the least, Apple might not even be making the dimes mentioned above. The return on investment is perhaps not the best as far as Apple's stockholders are concerned, as another post mentions -- if taken at face value.

      That's why iPod sales are so important. When increased iPod sales, or even sustained iPod sales to Windows
    • Re:Greed (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bill_mcgonigle (4333)
      This mentality is what's screwing the entire downloadable music process. It's not about whether it's profitable, it's about whether it's profitable enough.

      But in the case of Apple, the issue is whether the return on investment is a good business decision. If they spent $50M building the store and they're going to make $50M from it, it's not a profitable venture. Sure there are yearly residuals, but what if they put that $50M into the newest iApp, or into getting the G5 into a laptop.

      But, the whole ques
  • It just works! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by camperslo (704715) on Monday November 10, 2003 @08:54AM (#7433276)
    I can see people having trouble with Time's use of the word "invention". It's their language, not Apple's. So many have used patents in an abusive way, it's easy to get into a defensive posture on even hearing the word invention. In the context of the Time article, "creative consumer offering" would better fit what they are talking about.
    A product is more than a list of features. It's also about philosophy. Fairness, paying attention to the overall experience, and caring about behind the scenes detail is all part of this. Most consumers aren't likely to know that Apple is paying for the high-quality Fraunhofer IIS MP3 codec to let them use it for free in iTunes. Don't expeect to see things like that from MS/Napster. As any Linux user can tell you, beauty is more than skin deep.
  • SlipHead.com [sliphead.com] is a cool new site following in this trend if any of you are interested. It's basically a free forum for the exchange of ideas with a methodology similar to open-source software. Take a minute to check it out!
  • by Ed Avis (5917)
    It's November. How can they possibly know what the coolest inventions of 2003 are?
  • It's so cool that anybody who doesn't live in the United States can't use it! THAT'S SO FREAKING COOL, ISN'T IT!? ARRGH!!

    [Breathes]

    Seriously though. One would have thought that, when releasing a product to a world-wide audience, the software would be usuable by said audience. As it stands, when things like this happen, it just demonstrates that the United States still thinks that it's the center of the Universe. Grrr.
    • by borkus (179118) on Monday November 10, 2003 @09:29AM (#7433434) Homepage
      Actually, record contracts are geographically specific. Contractually, a record label gets the rights to sell recordings on behalf an artist in one specific country or group of countries. For example, the rapper Dizzee Rascal [dizzeerascal.co.uk] is on XL Records in the UK, but will be on Matador in the US. Since labels are responsible for promoting and manufacturing records, they usually limit themselves to a certain region. It makes sense in terms of physical recordings being sold through shops. I have to agree that such a system doesn't make sense online. However, you run into the same issues with books and electronics as well.

      This doesn't make the U.S. the hub for all music. In fact, there is a considerable amount of international music that never makes it to the States. There are even bands from Canada that don't make it to the U.S.
    • Apple does not equal the United States.

      Microsoft does not equal the United States.

      Despite what some on Slashdot would want you to believe, the corporate interests do not, in fact, completely run things here (yet...)

    • C'mon, you've read the other umpty-lumpty stories about iTMS; It's time to remember all those posts about how the licensing arrangements are what's keeping Apple from selling outside the US.

      You think Apple doesn't want to sell you stuff because of some center-of-the-universe conceit or other? They would gladly sell you anything you wanted, anything they could convince you you wanted, if their deals with the labels allowed it. They don't -- and this isn't different from any traditional music licensing in t

    • As it stands, when things like this happen, it just demonstrates that the United States still thinks that it's the center of the Universe.

      Err, wow. Talk about pent-up aggression. It's not that Apple doesn't give a sh#$ about the rest of the world (they do sell hardware and software outside of the US, you know), nor is it the USA's fault per se (although I agree, much of what we do has a center-of-the-world attitude to it). I think the real issue here is that the RIAA simply does not want to deal with the

  • by gbulmash (688770) <semi_famous@yahooBLUE.com minus berry> on Monday November 10, 2003 @09:25AM (#7433412) Homepage Journal
    The salmon leather thing is neat. And if you visit the manufacturer's designs page [skinilondon.com], you get to see the bikini model topless twice.

    Ah, those shameless Europeans. :-)

    And now, with fish-leather thongs, I can see millions of women saying "no, honestly honey, the smell's from my bikini."

  • Anyone else notice how many functional robots there are in this section?

    Robots have been "the future" for so long, I kinda wrote them off with flying cars and moonbases. But slowly, they are becoming real ...

    Which is cool. Except for that robo-cat, which looks to me like a creepy undead reanimated cat-pelt.
  • Among the contenders, we had stuff straight out of sci-fi : a invisible camouflage suit, a wearable robot suit which augments your strength (just like in those cartoons), glasses with a built in screen and camera, and the winner for coolest invention was... iTUNES? WTF??

  • Companies have been doing this for years. This isn't new or even an Invention.

    From the way it sounds they are leading in the technology, and have found the best ways to distribute music, but that doesn't mean this style of business is original.

    Good for Apple, but Time really needs to pull their head out of their asses if this was the best invention they could find.
  • by repetty (260322) on Monday November 10, 2003 @10:28AM (#7433732) Homepage
    "It's a disarmingly simple concept: sell songs in digital format for less than a buck and let buyers play them whenever and wherever they like--as long as it's on an Apple iPod."

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. Again, wrong.

    You can tell the author of this article never actally used iTunes or the iTunes music store. The iPod is completely optional.

    I don't have an iPod and I've been using iTunes for years. I will probably never get an iPod. Still, I'm a daily user of iTunes.

    It was my fault for reading this silly article. I mean, this is Time magazine. What do they know about technology? Just enough to write some copy. The harm here is that it really short-sells iTunes AND the iTunes Music Store by harping on an optional component.

    --Richard
  • Water Purifiers (Score:3, Interesting)

    by heironymouscoward (683461) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <drawocsuomynorieh>> on Monday November 10, 2003 @10:58AM (#7433898) Journal
    Purifying water (one of the lauded inventions) is a cool thing, very relevant to billions around the world, but doing it by distillation is just a joke.

    There is a much simpler and just as effective way to purify water in tropical or desert countries: place it in a transparent plastic bottle in the sun for a day. The water heats to 80 degrees and after a few hours is totally sterilised. The mud and gunk settle to the bottom, and what's left is clean and drinkable.

    I spent a few days on this once, trying to improve the process of separating the gunk from the water: the principle was to extract the gunk from the bottle which could then be closed and carried some distance. My design requires a straw and a bit of clay. But even that's not worth doing: to solve the problem of drinkable water in most of Africa, all one would need is to ship a billion or so used PET bottles.

    Sigh. People like complex solutions to simple problems.
    • There is a much simpler and just as effective way to purify water in tropical or desert countries: place it in a transparent plastic bottle in the sun for a day. The water heats to 80 degrees and after a few hours is totally sterilised.

      ... except for the bacteria. Need to get up to at least 130 deg F to denature the proteins. Anyways, as for your 'more effective' solution - did you RTFA? He's doing 10 gallons in an hour. You're doing 20 oz in 'a few hours' with much less degree of certainty of the results

  • I love how in the article they say iTMS is giving Apple a mere $0.10 per song. 10% profit doesn't sound too bad to me, especially in the highly-comoditized PC market. Granted, it's not what Apple is used to. They're used to 30% profit margins from their computer sales. But 10% of millions (and some day billions) is nothing to cough at. I wouldn't mind a nice steady stream of 10% of $500 million. But like Steve said...they're selling iPods which gives them a cool 35% or so for each one sold. Niiiiiice.
  • Invention? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DisKurzion (662299)
    So what this is saying is...

    If I build a mouse (click click, not squeak squeak) that just happens to be the most responsive, comfortable mouse on the market... Does that mean I invented the mouse?

    BMW makes very nice cars... Does that mean they invented "very nice cars"? No, of course not.

    Maybe if I had something truely original and revolutionary in the new design, I could claim to have invented that part of it. But just because you came up w/ a better version of what's already out.

    Nitpicking I know, b
  • by sakeneko (447402) on Monday November 10, 2003 @02:25PM (#7435568) Homepage Journal
    It's a disarmingly simple concept: sell songs in digital format for less than a buck and let buyers play them whenever and wherever they like?as long as it's on an Apple iPod.

    This isn't accurate. I installed Itunes a week ago on my Win2k laptop. I've downloaded about fifty songs (mostly old tunes I loved as a kid), and played them a lot. I don't own an iPod. I don't even own a Macintosh, although that will probably change when I buy my next laptop.

    Further, people who have CD burners can burn purchased songs from iTunes onto an Audio CD that will play in any CD player. I *think* the software limits you to making only ten CDs for each tune, but as far as I know that's the only limit.

    Apple apparently is using iTunes to sell iPods, but you definitely don't need an iPod to use and benefit from the iTunes service.

  • Bikinis? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Bitmanhome (254112) <bitman&pobox,com> on Monday November 10, 2003 @03:54PM (#7436351)
    Who cares about the gadgets, just show me the leather bikinis [skinilondon.com].

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