Apple

iPhone is going to be huge hit!

Posted on June 26, 2007. Filed under: Apple, News, Software, Technology |

I sat on the sidelines while the hype rose about the iPhone. I had my doubts about the design. I still have some. One is about the software keyboard: I don’t know how many users will prefer this feature to the tactile feedback of the little buttons on the Blackberry. I suspect that the iPhone will appeal to the lighter users of keyboards: the heavier users will have a hard time getting used to hitting the glass. My other complaint is with the price: this is really a marketing issue. $499 to $599 for a phone is high. But buyers will be able to rationalize because they are getting an iPod and a high-end cell phone. What throws the iPhone over into hit territory for me are the price plans that were just announced by AT&T: The starting price is about $60.00 for 450 minutes and unlimited data. If I’m reading that right, that means downloading media on iTunes will not count against the 450. I’m guessing that most people pay a lot more than $60/month for cell phone charges.

That said, I’m not buying one. 8GB is too small. And in my view, Verizon is the best carrier in my neck of the woods. I was an ATT customer once, and I had a lot of dropped calls and dead zones. Too many. And guess what? The next version of the phone will probably be announced in a few months–at a lower price point–with more storage space.

Here’s what I’d like to see in version 2.0:

1. Large hard drives: 15, 30GB, 80GB.
2. Allow connections to Airport for broadband (without ATT)
3. Bluetooth connections to external monitors, printers, and keyboards
4. Expandable RAM, smart cards
5. Better camera

Let us replace our desktops!

Check out this FAQ on the iPhone!

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Funny

Posted on June 22, 2007. Filed under: Apple, Humor, Jokes, News, Software, Technology |

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Bringing Up Baby

Posted on June 12, 2007. Filed under: Apple, Software |

Leopard is the new version of the Mac OS. Steve Jobs demonstrated ten of the three hundred new features yesterday at WWDC. I watched his presentation here. Leopard looks great. But it also costs $130.00. I recently purchased a MacBook and I don’t want to upgrade because it’s too expensive. I have a little shit-fit rant to go through about the high prices software companies charge for upgrades.

Basically, I don’t think software companies like Apple should be charging their customers for upgrades to core products like OSX. After all, OSX is built to run exclusively on Apple machines. Basically everyone who uses OSX has already paid Apple for the hardware it runs on. When you charge them for upgrades you’re gouging them unfairly. Of course Apple should be paid for its work. But they already have been. Why do users need to shell out another $130 for what looks to me like a cosmetic upgrade? Here are the ten features:

1. Finder

Looks like iTunes. If it’s truly superior to the old Finder, it should be given to current users of Tiger.

2. Spaces

Allows you to group applications in virtual desktops. Interesting. But not earth shattering.

3, 4. Dock and Desktop

Cosmetic. Now there is a “downloads” folder on the Dock. When you download files form the Internet, they all go to this folder on the Dock. You can do this already by setting preferences in Safari, the only difference is that now the files pop out of the folder. BTW, IBM’s OS2 Warp had a similar feature. Warp came out in

Also, the Title Bar for the active application is more visible. This is a bug fix, not a feature.

Quick look is a way to preview documents before openning them.

5. Time Machine

An attractive skin on top of a backup program. It’s not that difficult to back up a machine these days. Disk space is cheap. Lost of backup programs allow you to look through a backup set as if it were a drive.

6. Movie Widget for Dashboard

Cute. Not exactly rocket science. Cosmetic. And how different is Dashboard frm Microsoft’s “Active Desktop”?

7. 64 Bit Computing

Of interest only to developers. No one else cares.

8. Core Animation

Nice.

9. Boot Camp

Now it’s built-in. Don’t we have enough problems already without running Vista and OSX on the same box?

10. iChat features

Leopard adds a couple of new features to iChat: document sharing, camera effects. I think this is really fun. I’ve never actually used iChat before.

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MAC vs. PC

Posted on February 26, 2007. Filed under: Apple, Technology |

There is hardly anything more monstrous than today’s Windows PC. It is bloated, overly complicated, and perpetually half-broken. I was reminded of this truth recently when I configured a laptop running Windows 2000 to work with a wireless router. That sucked. The fun continued when I attempted to download some updated Adobe applications that are more or less required for using the Internet. Instead of just downloading the software, I had to install a “helper” application, to “walk” me through the installation process, a process which was so boring that words cannot describe it. I had to look at a progress bar with a little list of files that were being installed. Then I had to reboot. On the Mac, you never have to deal with this tedious kind of behavior. Installing software is painless and quick. Deleting software is trivial. Maybe the reason the PC experience is so lame is because about 90% of the world uses it, and there is exactly zero incentive to make it any better. What’s the alternative?

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Thoughts on Music…

Posted on February 7, 2007. Filed under: Apple, Music, Technology |

Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple Computer, posted a open letter to the music industry today on Apple’s website challenging them to stop insisting that music purchased on the internet be copy protected. The great majority of music stored on iPods, Jobs argued, is unprotected, so removing protection on the three percent that is protected does not represent a big risk for record labels. In fact, argues Jobs, eliminating digital rights management (DRM) from digital music will increase sales and stimulate investment in the development of new devices. And DRM is a losing battle anyway, because there are always people who can crack the copy protection codes.

This is the most self-serving and laughable argument I have ever heard. Perhaps Jobs is correct that iPods contain mostly unprotected music. So what? The sales of digital music over the internet are relatively small now, but they will grow. It’s obvious that people like to buy music this way. I don’t. But a lot of people do. They find it convenient and fun. And eventually, everyone will buy most of their music this way. His next point, that DRM is a losing battle, is unconvincing. It’s like telling a homeowner to remove his burglar alarm because there’s always going to be a thief that can get in. Maybe. But it’s better than nothing.

So it ain’t gonna happen. Now, if it did happen, I’d be the first guy to jump right in. But in the words of Harvey Keitel in Pulp Fiction: “Let’s not start sucking each other’s dicks just yet.” I’m sorry to tell you that all the pirated music you have on your hard disks and iPods is illegal and probably always will be. Just get over it. Apple has no real risk in the short term if music becomes free. In the medium to long term, it’s hard to see how iTunes could survive the competition from the zillions of sites that would spring up over night if music were free. Who needs iTunes when you can get music from anyplace for nothing?

Jobs’s argument could be applied to his own businesses (or any business really) as well as it could to music. Let’s see…I’ll take twenty copies of OSX, a couple of copies of Aperture (the full version, not that upgrade bullshit), and just because I’m an asshole, I don’t know, um……OK a dozen copies of Final Cut Pro. And, if you don’t mind, I’d like to share them with all my friends on the internet, and, perhaps, for my troubles, make a few zlotys on the side, if you know what I mean. See how that works?

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  • Quotes of the Day

    "Writing editorials is like wetting your pants in a blue serge suit. It feels good, but nobody really notices."

    --Jack Germond

    "Famous men and women, by the act of putting themselves on display, whether as politicians, actors, writers, painters, musicians, restaurateurs, or whatever, invite public appraisal. They are all, impressively or pathetically, acting on the presumption that their ideas, their fantasies, their music, their bodies are more original than those of, say, a plumber or a certified public accountant. They are all exercising the impulse, as Mencken put it, ‘to flap their wings in public.’ This is so obvious to the critic–and, I believe, to the ordinary reader or spectator–that it seems hardly worth saying. But resentment of the practice of criticism itself is strong among professional artists (and all Presidents of the United States). There is a psychological type among them that hates critics on principle as parasites or failed performers. This is very natural but surely very childish and, in any country claiming to be civilized, actually anti-social. The existence of critics, good, bad, or indifferent, is a firm clause in the social contract between the governors and the governed in any nation that is not a dictatorship. Public figures should accept with good grace the public response to their invitations to be admired and resist the temptation to retort, except in the face of flagrant malice."

    --Alistair Cooke

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