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TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Philips Hue digital lighting system will be exclusive to Apple Stores

Did you ever think that you'd be able to purchase light bulbs at an Apple Store? Well, starting tomorrow, the Philips Hue web-enabled smart bulb will be available only in Apple Stores.

Like the Greenwave Reality smart LED bulbs covered by TUAW's Mike Rose last week, the Philips Hue system can be controlled from your favorite iOS device. Not only can you turn the bulbs on and off, but as the name suggests, you can adjust the color and intensity of the light. All of that is done through a free iOS app, available now. That app even allows you to match lighting to a color from any one of the photos found in your Photo Library.

The bulbs aren't cheap -- a starter pack goes for US$199, including three LED bulbs and a special Wi-Fi controller. Additional bulbs cost $59 each. But the benefits are pretty incredible, using about 80 percent less power and having a bulb lifetime estimated at 15 years or 15,000 burning hours.

Check out the new use for your iOS device as a light-bulb controller in the video below, or visit the Philips Hue website for more information.

Ballmer: Apple has not produced a product that customers use

Someone in Redmond, WA needs to call the folks with the straitjackets, as it appears that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has gone certifiably bonkers. AllThingsD's John Paczkowski notes that in a recent interview with CNBC, Ballmer went on record as saying that "I don't think anybody has done a product that is the product that I see customers wanting. You can go through the products from all those guys ... and none of them has a product that you can really use. Not Apple. Not Google. Not Amazon."

Okaayyyyy, Steve. Just put down the Microsoft Surface and sit down, and let's talk about this. What about the 100 million iPads that Apple has sold in a little over two years? How about the Amazon Kindle Fire, which (despite the company refusing to release actual sales figures) is supposedly the best-selling Amazon product ever?

Ballmer is maintaining that everyone wants the Surface, which he touts as the product that can be both PC and tablet, at play and at work. Perhaps it's the stress of last week's product launch of Windows 8 and Surface, or maybe the fact that the company is spending an estimated $1.5 billion to launch those products that's causing him to lose sight of reality.

Paczkowski ends his post by saying that "Maybe Microsoft will change users' expectations for tablets. But after two and half years and 100 million iPads sold, it's not going to be easy."

Daily Deals for October 29, 2012

It's time to save some of that hard-earned cash with our Daily Deals, featuring a handy list from Dealnews and our own hand-picked selections. Today, we've got a refurbished MacBook in the mix and, as always, some sweet deals on iOS and OS X software.

Hardware and Accessories

  • ThinkGeek: [Camera Accessories] Cloak Camera Bag for $15 + $6 s&h.

  • Adorama: [Digital Cameras] Canon G1X 14MP Camera Bundle for $399 after rebate + free shipping.

  • HandHeldItems: [iPhone Accessories] Nano SIM Card Cutter (for iPhone 5) w/ 3 Nano SIM Card Adapters for $5 + $3 s&h.

  • MegaMacs: [MacBook] Refurb Apple MacBook Core 2 Duo 2.1GHz 13" Laptop for $480 + $17 s&h.

  • ThinkGeek: [iPhone Accessories] Arcadie Desktop Arcade for iPhone / iPod for $25 + $6 s&h.

  • all4cellular.com: [iPhone Batteries] Refurbished Mophie Juice Pack Cases for iPhone: Deals from $20 + $2 s&h.

  • TigerDirect: [Computer Accessories] iGO Laptop Cleaning Kit for $0 after rebate + $3 s&h.

  • Adorama: [Camera Accessories] Bosh 50" Tripod for $14 + free shipping.

  • eBay: [Input Devices] Apple Magic Trackpad for $53 + free shipping.

iOS Software

OS X Software

  • StackSocial: [Mac Games] Making History II for Mac downloads for $12.

  • MacUpdate Promo: [Mac Software] ABBYY FineReader Express 8 for Mac downloads for $50.

  • Ondesoft: [Mac Software] Onde Audio Recorder for Mac downloads for $15.

  • Machinarium: [Mac Software] On sale for $4.99, down from $9.99.


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