Bring a new, unwrapped toy to our store for Marine Corps’ ‘Toys for Tots’ donation

POSTER - USMC Reserve Toys for TotsThe Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program collects new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distributes those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community.

Connecting Point has a Toys for Tots collection box right at our front entrance. We invite you to contribute to this fine cause and help disadvantaged kids in the Rogue Valley.

The collection box will be in place until December 14th.

WATCH: Apple’s “Special Media Event” streams live at 10am PT today

Banner image fro Apple keynote event, September 7, 2016Catch the keynote live (provided you meet some pretty Apple-centric requirements—see below). No one but Tim Cook and his inner circle ever know for sure what’s going to be announced at such things, but today’s event is strongly rumored to herald the introduction of a new Apple iPhone.

If you aren’t able to watch the livestream, plenty of tech sites are liveblogging the event. Here are a few links:


Requirements: Live streaming uses Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) technology. HLS requires an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with Safari on iOS 7.0 or later, a Mac with Safari 6.0.5 or later on OS X v10.8.5 or later, or a PC with Microsoft Edge on Windows 10. Streaming via Apple TV requires an Apple TV (2nd or 3rd generation) with software 6.2 or later or an Apple TV (4th generation).

Connecting Point will be CLOSED Monday, July 4, 2016

Fireworks display - original photo ©2003 Daisuke Tomiyasu

We only close five days a year – and Independence Day is one of them. Enjoy the holiday, be careful with fireworks (it’s pretty hot and dry out there), and we’ll see you Tuesday!

Connecting Point proudly supports 15th Ashland Independent Film Festival (AIFF) | Apr. 7-11, 2016

2016 Ashland Independent Film Festival 640x826

“The Ashland Independent Film Festival is one of those regional gems that gives me faith and hope for the future of independent cinema. Great town, great people, great atmosphere, great movies, great everything!”
Michael Tully, Director, PING PONG SUMMER

The Ashland Independent Film Festival is five days of the highest-quality independent film, held in historic Ashland, Oregon. The Washington Post called it “a dream you’ll never want to leave.” Every Spring, Southern Oregon buzzes with the excitement of the AIFF. Over 7000 film lovers gather at the historic art-deco Varsity Theatre, the Historic Ashland Armory, and other venues to watch over 90 documentary, feature, and short films over five days.

Filmmakers from around the world engage with the audience after each screening and at festival events such as Opening Night Bash, the AfterLounge, and Awards Celebration, which include local wine, beer, and gourmet food. Special guests have included Ty Burrell, Albert Maysles, Barbara Kopple, Helen Hunt, and Bruce Campbell. The Ashland Independent Film Festival: Celebrating the diversity of human experience through the art of independent film—enriching, educating and inspiring audiences of all ages.

The Oregonian newspaper’s Shawn Levy claims AIFF “offers movie lovers that same sense of being in a magical place…. Southern Oregon doesn’t have anything else like it – nor, in fact, do most places on Earth.”

Connecting Point returns for its fourth year as a Community Sponsor, providing an iMac computer and a wireless printer for the festival’s Hospitality Suite, where visiting filmmakers and other creatives can both work and relax. We urge you to support the thriving arts community in our area. Visit the AIFF website to see the rich variety of films being presented at this year’s festival. Better still, pick up some tickets and celebrate independent cinema with like-minded folks in Ashland! It all kicks off today and runs through Monday.

Apple introduces 9.7-inch iPad Pro, iPhone SE, and four OS updates

iPad Pro 9.7-inch, available in four colorsAt a special event in Cupertino this week, Apple unveiled the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and the 4-inch iPhone SE, while also rolling out free updates to all four of its operating systems. The new iPad and iPhone offer most of the functionality of the current iPad and iPhone models without being so large. On the software side, the updates to iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 add significant features, whereas OS X 10.11.4 and watchOS 2.2 mostly fix bugs.

Apple iPad Pro familyMany people have found last year’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro with its optional Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard useful as a productivity machine, but for others, it’s too ungainly to hold or too expensive. That was the impetus behind the just-announced 9.7-inch iPad Pro, which meets or exceeds many of the larger model’s specs.

For instance, the smaller model’s screen can display more colors and adjusts its white balance to match the ambient light in the room. Its cameras are notably better — the rear camera is 12 megapixels instead of 8 and has a True Tone flash, while the front camera is 5 megapixels instead of 1.2 and can use the screen as a flash. Plus, the new iPad Pro can record 4K video instead of just 1080p.

On the downside, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro’s A9X chip is somewhat slower, it has half the RAM, and its Lightning port transfers data at only USB 2 speeds. But if the size is right for you, prices start at $599 for 32 GB of storage and go up to $899 for 256 GB. It will be available in April in four colors: silver, gold, space gray, and rose gold. Cases and accessories designed to fit the iPad Air should work with the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

Apple Smart Keyboard for iPad ProSpeaking of accessories, Apple has a new Smart Keyboard sized for the new iPad Pro, and the Apple Pencil works perfectly with it. There’s also a new Lightning to USB Camera Adapter that’s useful not just for syncing cameras but also for using USB peripherals like Ethernet adapters, audio interfaces, card readers, and microphones.

With the iPhone SE, Apple is trying to meet the needs of customers for whom the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are too large. The iPhone SE returns to the iPhone 5 form factor, with a 4-inch screen and aluminum case. Otherwise, its specs are nearly identical to those of the iPhone 6s, with comparable performance. It fails to match up to the current iPhone lineup only in the lack of the 3D Touch technology, the Taptic Engine that provides feedback you can feel, and slower wireless networking. It’s either $399 or $499, with 16 GB or 64 GB of storage, and comes in the usual four colors. Cases and stands for the iPhone 5 should work with the iPhone SE.

Apple took the opportunity to release free updates to all its software platforms too. iOS 9.3 was the most significant, providing Wi-Fi calling for Verizon Wireless customers, improving sharing of Live Photos, adding two-factor authentication for all iCloud accounts, and more. The marquee addition is Night Shift, which adjusts the color temperature of your screen at night, reducing the amount of blue light emitted to make it easier to fall asleep.

iOS apps that received welcome updates include Notes, which can now password-protect notes and import from Evernote, and iBooks, which can now sync PDFs to other devices via iCloud. The Podcasts app can show full-screen video again, Wallet works better with reward cards, Maps has enhanced public transit info, and News boasts a better For You section along with a Top Stories category.

Apple TV 4th GenFor those with a fourth-generation Apple TV, tvOS 9.2 is a big deal, with better scrubbing through video with the Siri Remote, new Home screen folders, a redesigned app switcher to match iOS, Bluetooth keyboard support, text input via dictation, and initial support for both iCloud Photo Library and Live Photos.

OS X 10.11.4 El Capitan and watchOS 2.2 offer mostly bug and security fixes, although OS X’s Notes and iBooks apps received the same improvements as the iOS versions, and sharing of Live Photos works better as well.

All these operating system updates are free, but it’s worth waiting a few days to make sure early adopters don’t suffer any ill effects. As always, if you’re concerned about updating your hardware, come in and talk to us!


AVAILABILITY: iPad Pro 9.7-inch is available to ORDER NOW. (Shipments will begin next month.)