No Excuses: Tracking Your Fitness On OS X

It should be obvious that the blogging elves at The Apple Blog care about the fitness of our readers, especially at this dessert-laden time of year. If you managed to stuff yourself as much as I did at Thanksgiving you may be in need of some extra assistance ensuring that the only thing that gets blown away in December is your budget. With that in mind, TAB takes a look at four OS X applications that can help you kick start a fitness program and track almost every detail of your workouts.

Meet the Contenders

Since the iPhone apps have some built-in advantages, I chose four programs that work with GPS devices, heart rate monitors or other accessories – such as the Nike + iPod kit – to even the playing field.

Garmin Training Center
Maker: Garmin
Price: Free
Compatibily: OS X 10.4+/Universal
Hardware Support: Garmin GPS
rubiTrack
Maker: toolsfactory
Price: $39.00
Compatibily: OS X 10.5+/Universal
Hardware Support: Garmin GPS, Nike+iPod, Amod GPS
Ascent
Maker: Montebello
Price: $40.00
Compatibily: OS X 10.4+/Universal
Hardware Support: Garmin GPS
TrailRunner
Maker: Berbie
Price: Free
Compatibily: OS X 10.5+/Universal
Hardware Support: Garmin GPS, Nike+iPod/Sportband, iPhone/iPod

NOTE: Real world workout data from Garmin and Nike+ devices were used in testing all four applications.
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10 Things We Learned About the Future of Online Video from NTV Live


1. The living room is on the horizon. And Netflix (s nflx) stands ready to capitalize on it. CEO Reed Hastings won us over by being engaged, enthusiastic and realistic about Netflix’s role in our home entertainment near-future. He described the current living room streaming environment, in which sites and devices come up with case-by-case solutions for publishing video, as a “brute force approach,” and instead proposed that a browser run directly on a TV. He also said, as only a guy comfortable in his subscription service skin could, “Everything that can be ad-supported, will be ad-supported.” Netflix has a lot of competition, but its mix of subscription pricing and multiple hardware deals so far makes it our best bet to get it right. (Keynote video embedded above.)
2. The audience has evolved. Canoe Ventures CEO David Verklin showed up with a punchy call-to-arms, urging us not to count out the cable industry. But cable’s grand plan for our future (interactive voting with your remote) seems awfully traditional for a forward-thinking industry. Regardless, our audience clearly knew where their bread was buttered — Verklin rivaled Jason Kilar and Lucas Cruikshank (aka “Fred”) for biggest backstage hallway crowd. (Video still to come on this one; it didn’t get archived due to a glitch so we’ve got to digitize it again.)
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Cisco Virtualizes the Network, the Data Center

At the VMWorld Show, Cisco took the first concrete steps to establishing a monopoly in the enterprise data centers with the announcement of a new software switch (Nexus 1000) that would allow networking of individual virtual machines (along with their security and management.)

Bluecoat Systems Buys Packeteer

Just a day after we first reported that Cupertino, Calif.-based Packeteer (Nasdaq: PKTR) was in talks with two equipment makers, the company announced it is being acquired by Blue Coat Systems (Nasdaq: BCSI) of Sunnyvale, Calif. The deal is pegged at $7.10 a share — about $268 million in cash. The deal is clearly better than the $5.50 a share offered by Elliott Associates, which wanted to execute a hostile takeover of Packeteer.

BCS CEO Brian NeSmith gives a laundry list of reasons why he is buying Packeteer in this press release. In short, this is about WAN market consolidation, as I had outlined in my previous post. The two companies together have about 35 percent of the WAN optimization market, putting them ahead of Riverbed and Cisco Systems. According to some industry insiders, Riverbed is a likely buyout candidate.

Packeteer Has Two New Suitors: WAN Optimizers Consolidation Looms

Packeteer (PKTR), a Cupertino, Calif.-based maker of wide area network optimization products, is getting amorous glances from two of its competitors, Blue Coat Systems and Nortel Networks, according to my sources. Indeed, in a recent 14D9 filing, the company suggested that it had three different suitors. But both Blue Coat (BCSI) and Nortel (NT) declined to comment, citing company policies regarding rumors.

The interest in Packeteer comes on the heels of a hostile takeover bid from investment firm Elliott Associates, which already has a 9.8 percent stake in the company. Elliott offered $5.50 a share for Packeteer, valuing it at $200.8 million, but the WAN company thinks it’s worth more, apparently more like $7-$8 a share. As it noted in a press release in which it rejected Elliott’s offer: Read More about Packeteer Has Two New Suitors: WAN Optimizers Consolidation Looms