Category Archives: Technology

Tech Journalists Suck

Great points about the lack of journalistic rigor in tech coverage.

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Posted by on September 3, 2012 in Technology


The Smoking Gun in Apple v Samsung


Well, it looks like Samsung really did deliberately copy the iPhone feature by feature. Of course anyone paying attention at the time leading up to and immediately following the iPhone’s release should know how all the other cell phone makers went back to the drawing board to change their devices after it was clear the iPhone wasn’t a flop.

I’m guessing that a lot of the people who mistakenly think this lawsuit is about patents on rounded corners didn’t own pocket PCs and smartphones prior to 2007. For those of us who did (me: Handspring Visor Edge, Toshiba e330 Pocket PC, Sidekicks), it was clear as day how much the iPhone changed everyone else’s devices.

It was no mere coincidence, as Samsung claims, that iPhone-like devices were going to become the norm without Apple anyways. That is absolutely ridiculous.

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Posted by on August 8, 2012 in Technology


@Forbes Why the Nexus 7 is NOT Google’s ‘Waterloo’

napoleon-dunce-capGene Marks’ trots out the dead corpse of an idea that catering to business customers, with gadgets and corporate services, is the long-term future for tech companies. So he thinks Google will fail because they’re expending too much effort targeting consumers. And while they’re distracted Microsoft will destroy them because the upcoming Surface will be nice for consumers but be a god-send for businesses.

The big problems with this argument are:

  • An entire movement called “The Consumerization of IT” – the most successful devices right now are those that resonate for consumers firstly, and these people are either bringing their personal gadgets into work or demanding them from their corporate IT staff. This is a widely accepted fact.
  • Specialized software and services that cater to businesses are no longer essential. Although Google Docs hasn’t given Office any major competition, there are myriad cloud services that sync my documents to my laptop, iPad and phone – all of which work for business or personal stuff. Why would we need a separate “corporate-centric” version of these services?

But the biggest reason this theory is DOA? The prime example of a company that focuses more heavily on the corporate market in the tech product and services space is RIM. It was recently estimated by comScore that The BlackBerry, once an essential tool for “serious” business people, has now slipped below 10% market share. And they repeated this same platitude all of the way to the bottom.

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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in Technology


How Apple Can Release Only an iPhone 4S Tomorrow and Not Totally Disappoint Everyone

It seems like everyone is expecting Apple to release a brand new iPhone – the iPhone 5 tomorrow. Alas all we know for certain is that a slightly upgraded version of the iPhone 4 – an iPhone 4S – is being shown off. Hopefully Apple has some other things hidden up their sleeves. Here are a few possibilities that could sweeten the bitterness of an MIA iPhone 5 tomorrow:

1. Surprise new features in iOS 5 (the next release of the iPhone software due this month):

a. Voice control and recognition system-wide. This would ape another Android feature but if the rumors are true, Nuance is involved. Nuance is best known for Dragon Dictation software but if they’re involved, it could be a game-changer.

b. Apple=branded maps and navigation. Aping yet another feature of Android, although given the typical Apple polish this could also surpass its predecessor.

2. NFC – Near Field Communication for purchases with just your cellphone. We know Apple’s been working on this (due to patent fliings) and Google has already begun their (very limited) test of NFC with Android.

3. iCloud music streaming. As announced (and as currently running in beta), Apple’s “iTunes-in-the-cloud” service only allows users to re-download previously purchased songs :( But if they allowed streaming, this would realize its full potential. Otherwise they’re not even competing with Google Music and Amazon’s music locker.

Unfortunately at this point it seems likely that only one new iPhone will be announced tomorrow. I hope I’m wrong. But if I’m not, there’s going to be quite a chorus on “mehs” afterwards.

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Posted by on October 3, 2011 in Technology


Future of Apple Revealed in 1997 During Q & A Session with Steve Jobs

This is incredible: a recording from Apple’s 1997 World Wide Developers Conference.  Specifically, the post-keynote Q & A session with Steve Jobs where he takes questions from anyone in attendance for over an hour and revealing the present future of the company and its products today – over 10 years later.

In this exchange he reveals his vision for the things that eventually materialize as iCloud, mobile apps and simplified application development and more.  He also sports some awesome 90s jeans with patches.

The juiciest spots:

6:30 – Media over-blowing effect of so-called Brain Drain as Apple managers leave and the company (particularly prescient for the last couple of weeks)

14:10 to 17:10 – iCloud (network-based storage and backup)

19:00 – Having integrated software and hardware is not a liability, it’s a key benefit as it allows fast transitioning to new technology (WinTel = 93-headed monster)

24:50 – Apple’s need to promote apps through marketing (became foundation of iPhone marketing)

52:23 – Philosophy: start with user interface then work backwards to the technology (customer’s needs first, then engineering, instead of beginning by asking engineers ‘what can/should we do?’)

1:01:10 – iPhone foreshadowing: Newton sucks and will fail because it’s a 3rd set of system software BUT it missed the boat by not being connected to the internet.  Otherwise it’s just “a little scribble thing”.

1:10:05 – Embrace change at Apple and support it with app development because Apple laying groundwork to be able to zoom ahead of the rest of the industry (which has been true to Apple’s sales alone for the past few years).

[via John Gruber]

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Posted by on June 26, 2011 in Technology


The Big Questions I

If Twitter is integrated system wide in iOS 5 , how do you just create a plain text tweet? All screen shots so people attaching photos or links.

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Posted by on June 26, 2011 in Technology


>id Software’s Rage Running on an iPhone 4


this, is, amazing.

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Posted by on August 13, 2010 in Technology, Videogames


>Viv Magazine iPad Interactive Magazine Demo (Noir)


This new magazine “format” for the iPad (and other tablets) might look cool, but man does it seem useless for actually trying to read articles.

Imagine a magazine’s pages stretched out across a DVD menu, with small angled copy appearing in only a few paragraphs at a time. What a nightmare.

You know why banner ads are still so maligned? Because when I’m trying to read there’s a bunch of crap moving on the page distracting me. They can have their flashy “interactive magazine” format, I just want to actually read.

Bonnier’s concept seems way more useful, too bad it isn’t real yet.

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Posted by on March 16, 2010 in Gadgets, Technology


>iPad: The Morning After


Alright, I’ve cooled off a bit. I’ve listened to hours and hours of podcasts and read through virtual reams of opinions, taking in everyone’s opinion on the iPad. Yes it’s got some obvious flaws . But I only ever wanted to get hold of a device that allows me to read regular books and comics – and this does it. Probably does it really well in fact. Plus, it’s backlit, unlike most other e-readers.

I got word from Bitolithic, developer of the best iPhone comic viewer Comiczeal, that he was already starting development for an iPad-optimized version. Huzzah.

So how do I feel now? I am looking forward to its release. But there is one really big question left: will Apple allow the Kindle iPhone app on the iPad? Or will they disallow it since it competes with their iBooks Store?

After all the hub-bub with Macmillan’s price fight with Amazon , their removal and subsequent re-instatement, I’m not sure if Amazon would even want the Kindle app to work on the iPad. I sure hope they put it on there so no matter what I get the best price on any given book. How much would it suck if all the books on iBooks were $12.99 – $14.99, but could be had by Kindle users for much less (there are many on Kindle for only $6.99).

This begs a bigger question: when, oh when , will content producers (publishers, movie studios, etc…) realize that people are never going to pay the same prices for digital versions of things as the physical versions? They are only making it worse for themselves by not releasing books, movies, and DVDs the same day as the physical versions, but for less money. Piracy is still too complicated for most people. If there’s a simple, legal option, and a price benefit, then much less people will be forced to seek out illicit versions.
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Posted by on February 4, 2010 in Gadgets, Technology


>Apple’s iPad Won’t Kill Netbooks and Other Complaints


So the iPad has been revealed. I wrote earlier that I am underwhelmed by the iPad because it lacks multi-tasking, Flash, has an almost identical interface to the iPod touch, can cost $30/mo., has a supposedly mediocre on-screen keyboard, and makes me think of menstrual cycles. But it is very interesting in the ebook department.

That last part is the key for me personally. I already read books and comics on my iPhone and would probably be happy to pay $500 for a giant iPod Touch – which is all this really is. And that’s the disappointment: they didn’t create a new and specialized user interface like I was really expecting. I mean the home screen icons are still tiny and now just spread apart awkwardly, much like the honeycomb arrangement on phones using Windows Mobile 6.5. I think that’s ugly and not really adjusted correctly for a larger screen tablet.

BUT if they want to kill Netbooks, at least for nerds, they NEED Flash. How stupid is it to visit sites like Hulu and see big empty spaces where video should be? This is the worst part probably, and stings so much because they want this device to be a media powerhouse, especially in the video department. But my dreams of not having to boot up my Macbook to look at websites in my free time are killed. The iPad internet browser is crippled like the iPhone and iTouch, which makes since for those devices (I hate to imagine how awful browsing on the iPhond would be if Adobe had their way), but makes zero sense on an iPad. It’s an internet tablet for Crom’s sake.

And don’t get me started on the $30/month fee for wireless data. I actually wouldn’t mind paying that if my iPhone data went down in price by $20/month – but it doesn’t. So with an iPad I could be paying $60/month JUST for wireless internet. I already pay that much for internet in my home. If Chelsea wanted one of these too, with 3G (in addition to her iPhone), we’d be paying as almost as much as a car loan for all of our internet access – about $170 EVERY MONTH. I’m a nerd but that’s absurd!

I’m not alone in my mixed feelings, either. Most of the Engadget crew have conflicted opinions, and one person at Gizmodo concludes that the different negatives all add up to a deal-breaker. Another makes the point that despite its failings, we’ll all want these anyways. Even Walt Mossberg thinks that it’s going to be up to the application developers to make or break this device, not Apple. Lastly, David Pogue, my favorite mainstream tech columnist, thinks we’re all being too negative and that we’ll love the device once it’s released.

[Note: For the record, yes there is no such thing as an iTouch, but if they’re willing to use the name iPad, iTouch would’ve been a better option, and one that doesn’t remind you of lady things.]


Posted by on January 28, 2010 in Gadgets, Technology

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