Wednesday, September 19, 2007

New (sqatty) Nano

I love the Idea of video in the new Nanos, as does everyone else. However, not to question the brilliant Mr. Ives, but it seems as though this would have been the next logical step.


Granted, the 3rd generatinon Nanos are not as "square" in person as they seem to be in pictures. It just seems a little wrong.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Balmer was right

And by right, I mean embarasingly wrong.
One in Three Americans Wants an iPhone

Thirty-two percent of those surveyed who do not currently own an iPhone stated that they do intend to purchase one, with 8 percent planning to purchase in the next three months and 22 percent planning to purchase "some time in the future" the researchers said.
And just a reminder as to what Mr. Balmer so confidently said.



Not only did they spend $600 on a phone, but they're happy they did. USA Today wrote:
In one of the first such studies, 90% of 200 owners said they were “extremely” or “very” satisfied with their phone. […] The findings are “pretty much off the charts,” says Jason Kramer, Interpret’s chief strategy officer.
Also worty of note. It seems from early numbers that nearly half of new iPhone purchasers are switching from other carriers. That's huge! In one week Apple helped AT-T convert 250,000 users, a third of which paid nearly $150 to break a contract. Imagine how many are waiting for their contracts to end or for a V2 iPhone.

Thanks Stacey.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Broadcast Yourself...on Apple TV

You can save yourself some reading by looking at the image to the right, but this is going to be big. And I called it.

Things aren't looking so good for other media extenders. They need to hurry.

DRM Free iTunes

iTunes 7.2 (iTunes Plus) is now available. Apple will finally sell DRM-free music from the only record company willing to offer it, EMI.

DRM-free tracks will cost $1.29 each, instead of $0.99 per track you normally pay. The extra thirty cents buys you better audio quality than the standard DRM'ed tracks (256 kbps AAC versus 128 kbs AAC). You can expect larger data downloads as your audio files expand to nearly twice the size to accommodate those extra bits. The 256 encodings do sound better and you now have the freedome to do whatever you want, as many times as you want with your purchaced EMI tracks.

And so it begins.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Nooo, I can't go back

No commercial skipping...I don't like the way this is looking.


Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Microsoft Making Money

For the first time, the XBox is expected to be profitable in 2008. How refreshing that Microsoft will finally start making money. Everyone knows that Bill Gates is the richest man in the world, and that Microsoft makes a lot of money. But I read some statistics from a Yahoo Business article recently that helped put their profitability in perspective.

Microsoft announced their quarterly revenue of $14.4 billion and net income of $4.93 billion. That means Microsoft made $55 million a day of pure profit. The article goes on to help us understand what kind of money that is.

Do some quick math and you'll learn it takes Microsoft only about...

  • four days to exceed Starbucks' quarterly net income of $205 million.
  • one week to exceed Nike's quarterly net income of $350.8 million.
  • two weeks to exceed McDonalds' quarterly net income of $762 million.
  • two weeks to exceed Apple's quarterly net income of $770 million.
  • 18 days to exceed Google's quarterly net income of $1 billion.
  • 23 days to exceed Coca-Cola's quarterly net income of $1.26 billion.
  • five weeks to exceed IBM's quarterly net income of $1.85 billion.
  • 10 weeks to exceed Wal-Mart's quarterly net income of $3.9 billion.
The Wow certainly does start now. With this kind of revenue and these sized pockets, they can afford to sit on unprofitable products (like the XBox and Zune) until Sony or Apple screws up and they are profitable. Good for them.

Three weeks to make more money than Coka-Cola?

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Not so Creative

I appreciate the Zune, the Zen, and the Sansa in the MP3 player marketplace. Although I would never buy one, it forces Apple (and everyone else) to make better products, to innovate ahead of the curve. However, the reason I would never buy one, is the other products offer no real incentive, they are lacking the refinement and development. When you are behind the ball, that's all you have. They don't make a better product, and they don't have anything new.

This point is made loud and clear with Creative Lab's new Zen Stone.
If it’s not completely obvious, it is a weak, tardy attempt to get a piece of the micro MP3 player market that Apple is nearly alone in. Make no mistakes about it, this is an iPod Shuffle replica, it's a knockoff, a hack. They try to throw you off the trail by disguising it in a crazy new material and moving the nearly identical navigation circle to the complete opposite side of the device. In my opinion they’re not much different than cheap Korean knock off’s.

The frustrating thing is, having seven months to replicate the Shuffle, Creative Labs still hasn’t been able to improve on it. They weren’t even able to strip it of it’s “smallest MP3 player” title, and it has 2 hrs less battery life. Aesthetics are relative, but we all know it’s not as pretty. It’s better looking than the previous Shuffle, but alas it’s a year and a half late for that. Not to mention you won’t have the array of Shuffle accessories, to keep you from losing your postage stamp player.

If there where any doubts that it is a cheap copy. Creative’s site states:

Choose how you want to listen to your music! Push the dedicated random button for shuffle playback, play your music in the order you like or repeat your favorite song over and over again?
You mean there is a mode that allows me to randomly SHUFFLE the songs on my micro MP3 player? Creative indeed!

Creative chairman and CEO Sim Wong Hoo says (ha-ha "Hoo says"):
The Creative ZEN Stone, at just $39.99, opens up a huge new market for MP3 players. This is an incredible price for everyone to get a superior quality MP3 player capable of holding up to 250 songs.
First of all, please let me know what makes this a superior quality MP3 player. Second, I appreciate the price of MP3 players, and electronics in general dropping. They might as well movie tickets are nearly $10. However Creative hopes to move these not by offering something cooler or different, but by simply underselling the Shuffle. This doesn’t work.

Update:
I forgot to mention that Mr Hoo made this statement In January of 2005 when the Shuffle Debuted.
So I think the whole industry will just laugh at it, because the flash people – it’s worse than the cheapest Chinese player. Even the cheap, cheap Chinese brand today has display and has FM.

iGrill

Can anyone tell me why this is a good idea? Wouldn't it be a better idea to get a standard portable ipod speaker dock, with undoubtedly better speakers, and take it with me not only when I grill, but everywhere else I choose? With 10 watt speakers and no touch sensative controls, I'm not sold. Aren't there any activities that we engage where we don't need to have some sort of connectivity to an iPod? Do everyday products need to be catered to, or made for MP3 players all of a sudden for some reason? For a premium nonetheless. Just some thoughts.

IPod accessories are getting ridiculous, and I'm not quite sure how most of these companies can afford to make products of which have to contend with hundreds of competitors. Oh well, have a healthy BBQ.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Dude, your getting Linux

Speaking of offering alternative Operating Systems to Vista, Dell confirmed that it will offer Linux on select Dell models.

I’m no Linux cheerleader, but I’m glad to see things moving in this direction and Linux (open source alternatives in general) getting more public exposure. For most people, that is non geeks (and even often geeks), Linux is painful. Weather it be lack of software support, mainstream titles, or the 1992 style UI’s. This could help change that.

So what’s the big deal? Linux is already free, what is this this going to change? I’m glad you asked. First of all you can buy a new Dell without Windows which you are otherwise forced to buy with a new machine, lower price. This will give Linux more recognition, press, and interest. Most importantly, it will increase developer (software and driver) support, for an eventually more widely accepted, more usable, Linux. These two factors (depending on it’s popularity through Dell and otherwise) could force Microsoft to both acknowledge and respect the open source community and reflect this in their quality and pricing. Oh yeah, it would also be nice of Apple to release a Linux iTunes, but they don't want Linux to succeed any more than Microsoft.

A wider adoption of Linux could also forces the open standards issue a little more which is something Microsoft tends to ignore when it’s convenient or when it helps their sales model.

It’s nice to see Dell bucking Microsoft and Intel, it keeps everyone honest.

As a side note according to Dells profile page, Michael Dell's home laptop runs Ubuntu. It's okay Mike, you don't need any street cred.

More Photoshop PS3 Benchmarks

Arstechnica
Interesting.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

CS3 Mac vs. Windows

hansv.com
This is the comparison I've been waiting for.
It's prelimenary, but insightful.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dell resurects XP

Dell brings back XP on home systems.

This is surprising. By surprising I mean overwhelmingly expected.

I don't know what made them think home users would tolerate the same incompatibility and stability issues that businesses wouldn't.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sony VAIO G

Now that I've ripped Sony, allow me to praise them for a bit. Second only to Apple, Sony makes the best computer hardware right now. To continue this reputation, their new VAIO G has a host of features that make it the new ultra portable to beat.

The 12.1" display VAIO G actually beat Apple to the Solid State Disk (SSD) storage with a 32 GB SSD that has been rumored lately to be in a new ultra mobile MacBook. This is probably the most significant feature not only because of it's weight reduction (the G weighs in at just under 2 lbs) but because of the speed of SSD storage over hard drive based storage and much lower power consumption. The G notebook gets an amazing 6 hrs of battery life, if the Sony battery doesn't blow up that is.

Other features include: a carbon fiber shell (not the fake Acer kind), Wireless, Bluetooth, multicard reader, and your choice of a Celeron or Core Solo processor. There is also the option of a DVD burner and 6 cell battery which provides an unbelievable 12 hrs of battery life.

In the ultra portable realm the Lenovo X Series has always been my favorite, but the new Sony G is the new hotness. It's far to early to say that the G is better at this time, but it's surely worth watching. They're both overpriced but with the addition of SSD on the new models the G is in the nearly unobtainable stratosphere at nearly $2300 for the base model. But hey, I'm wiling to buy pretty much anything with carbon fiber.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Future of Television

Although DLP and LCOS technology for rear projection televisions looks very good, the future of televisions is obviously moving quickly to flat panel technologies. Currently Plasma and LCD technologies are the only options, that’s about to change.

With LCD offering higher resolutions and coming up quickly to bridge the quality gap between itself and Plasma, it seems as though the tides are changing for high definition. However, there are new players emerging and they are looking very promising.

First is “Laser” TV. Yes it’s hard to say without air quotes. Novalux Inc. is one of the pioneers of this technology. They claim that laser televisions will offer many benefits over Plasma LCD and CRT televisions, including half the productions cost, double the color range, and three quarters less power consumption. WOW. Sign me up, not only does it have these benefits, but it uses a laser. Is there anything that uses a laser that’s not cool? Although they have not formally announced a product Sony said this of the product they showed at this years CES:
At CES we had a laser TV beside a plasma TV, an LCD TV and a traditional UHP lamp TV,” said Niven, speaking about Novalux’s showroom in at this year’s CES. “So that’s four TVs lined up running our own produced high definition content, and I mean, it was a no brainer. The laser TV had a way, way better picture than any of the other conventional technologies.
The downside to laser technology is that it requires (for now) a deeper cabinet. Not as deep as standard rear projection televisions, it’s 8-10 inch profile is able to be hung on a wall, but not nearly as sexy as the current 3-6 inch flat panels. Which brings me to the next contender.

OLED televisions seem to be around the corner as well. The new OLED TV’s announced by Sony and Samsung are super thin. They also boast of richer colors, wider viewing angle and lower power requirements. The OLED televisions are plagued by short lifespans however. The technology has matured quite a bit since the cell phones and car audio displays of 2002, but will still undergo some growing pains to reach the home theater.

Both of these technologies are slated to be available in 2008. Visually everyone seems to agree that Laser and OLED televisions are superior to the current offerings, and Plasma and LCD have almost hit their peak of evolution. It will be interesting to see how the market is influence by these new televisions. But I’ll sit on my Plasma savings for another year.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Sony's Woes

Sony's CEO Howard Stringer offered some explanation of why the company he works for has done such a good job of sucking over the last five years or so. This prompted me to rant a bit about something I've been meaning to write about for some time.

Sony has missteped so many times in the last few years it's hard to know where to begin. Their proprietary, go through us, Sony is the hub of all electronic entertainment approach to everything has led to the rise and fall of a handful of trademarks that starts with a product that sets a thesis statement for my point…the Betamax. Since that well documented failure Sony has stubbornly used the same mentality and marketing approach, and subsequently failed with: ATRAC, the MiniDisk, UMD and the currently failing PSP, the Connect Digital Music project, the SACD format which died along side it's rival DVD Audio and the Sony Network Walkman, which when finally introduced didn’t even support MP3 files. These failures are complimented by further stupidity such as their stubbornness to even enter the digital audio market (which Stringer mentions in a more flattering way), shipping a rootkit on one of their audio CD’s and recently, exploding batteries.

The Sony Corp. CEO revealed that a lot of the negativity surrounding both recent challenges for the company is the result of internal strife in the company and a cultural disconnect between Sony CEO Howard Stringer and his Japanese executive team.
Sony is just one big dysfunctional foreign exchange family right now, they need some counseling quick. The Nintendo Wii is saturating entry level gaming devices. The Xbox is stronger than ever and was in the marketplace sooner, once again due to a Sony debacle. One they may never be able to recover from. The HD disk wars are far from over. Stringer seems to be overly optimistic about Blu-Ray, but I’m not, even though they have gained some ground lately and technically offer a superior product (like Betamax). Not to mention the success or failure of one of these two products could, and probably will impact that of the other. The PS3 uses Blu-Ray disks and if the PS3 where booming, that many more people would automatically be Blu-Ray movie users.

I don’t hate Sony. Everyone (over the age of 20) has fond memories of their Walkman. Sony's Trinitron technology is legendary. Up until recently they have had the best gaming console bar none. They make great digital cameras (despite the proprietary Memory Sticks) and video cameras. Strangely enough their VAIO computers, although overpriced, are great as well as stylish and finally their line of Bravia XBR LCD televisions are arguably the best on the market. However something needs to change at a very high level for Sony to get back on track, recover from their recent blunders and regain the love of this geek and I’m sure many others.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Optimus Keyboard Debut

The much talked about and little seen of, fabled, OLED keyed, Optimus Keyboard is finaly going to make a public appearance at CeBIT in Germany in the coming weeks. This in theory, is one of the coolest peripherals ever. Supposedly they will have a working model.

We'll see if it lives up to the hype. It will be priced slightly above far to much and a bit less than the Mosquito Coast of Nicaragua.

Cover Flow

Itunes 7.1 is out. The updates are minor, including Apple TV functionality, minor sorting options, and full screen cover flow, which is really nice. Cover flow is the primary method of music navigation on the new iPhone, and rumored to be a firmware update to the 5th gen iPods as well (I don't know if this is real, but if not, it's a great job).



I sure hope Mr. Jonathan del Strother was well compensated by Apple for his Cover Flow application, they can't seem to use it enough, and rightfully so.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Vista Backgrounds

Vista (unlike it's predecessors) comes with an array of great Desktop Backgrounds. Hamad Darwish, the photographer responsible for many of them. He has posted photos from the Microsoft Photoshoot up on Flickr. Pretty cool.

All of the pictures on the site were taken in Oregon during a 10 to 12-day period. Darwish chose 15 images from over 6,000 RAW files from his Canon D20, and from those Microsoft would choose 5.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Photoshop Lightroom

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is now Available. Lightroom is a full featured application that allows photographers the ability to manage, adjust, and presenting large volumes of digital photographs. Lightroom and Apples Aperture are the premier software titles for this right now, they blow any other RAW capture handler out of the water. O'Reilly has some good reviews including some comparisons between the two apps. For now it seems a matter of oppinion, however, strangely enough Lightroom seems to be the more intuative app.

Both of these applications will retail for $300 (Lightroom is $200 until the end of April). If that's a bit rich for your blood, there are other photo management and editing programs for the casual shutterbug. Adobe Photoshop Elements for Windows and Mac, ACDSee Pro and the free Picasa from Google (which is good and couldn't be cheaper) just to name a few. Speaking of free it's getting more and more difficult for these companies to make worthwhile commercial products that can compete with the built in tools like Windows Photo Gallery and iPhoto.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Airport Extreme Reviewed

Macworld reviewed the new Airport Extreme Base Station. This product is long overdue, but understandably delayed due to the whole 802.11n standard fiasco.

This is a welcome product for Mac and Windows users alike. The printer and external hard drive sharing feature is awesome. I however do expect Apple to quietly upgrade this product before the end of the year due to the glaring lack of Gigabit Ethernet (what the heck) and the possibility of the ratified n standard.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Power of Multitouch

One of the most promising features of the new iPhone, at least long term, is probably the multitouch navigation. Jeff Han is one of the pioneers of this technology. He blew everyone away with his demo at TED, and his new company Perceptive Pixel will market this innovative technology to a large spectrum of companies.

This is an impressive new video of him giving a demo of some new interfaces.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

10 Windows Vista Myths

This article from Tech Republic addresses 10 myths about Windows Vista. There's been a lot of speculation and hate'n (FUD) going on. Some of the points are scetchy, but it's a good read if your not to familiar with Vista except through the media.

These areas are addressed:
  • Myth #1: You'll have to buy a new, high-end PC to run Vista
  • Myth #2: Vista will solve all your security problems
  • Myth #3: Vista is no more secure than XP SP2
  • Myth #4: The only thing new about Vista is the eye candy
  • Myth #5: You can't dual boot Vista with another operating system
  • Myth #6: Vista requires (or includes) Office 2007
  • Myth #7: Most old applications and peripherals won't work with Vista
  • Myth #8: You have to buy a Premium version of Vista if you have a dual core machine
  • Myth #9: You won't be able to play ripped music in Vista
  • Myth #10: Vista costs a lot more than XP

My additional points:

#1 - No you don't, but you should.

#7 - Not most, but many common titles have issues, such as: Adobe Creative Suite, iTunes, File Maker Pro, MS Money, Visual Studio, Real VNC, Thunderbird and many more. Although much of the compatibility of these products depends on the Third Parties themselves the simple fact is they have problems. And who's to blame for the Microsoft titles? If your printer doesn't work, get a new one, they're $80.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Disappointed in Mr. Gates

I don't dislike Bill Gates by any means, other than the sound of his voice. But here recently he's made some statements of an anti-apple nature, that if where true would be appreciated. I would like to see him retaliate to the likes of the Mac PC ads. However, a few things William has stated recently are just quite ridiculous.

First incident:
On CNN, O'Brien threw Bill Gates a curveball (That should have been expected and therefore not a curveball) when interviewing him about the debut of Windows Vista.





No, no, no. Actually, uh, the, we're ahead [slight pause] on a lot, uh, there's whole areas where we've innovated like Media Center and tablet, uh, that, uh, no one else is doing

Verrrry innovative, watching movies and listening to music on a computer. So if the computer is plugged into a television it's innovative? I like Media Center and it is without a doubt more advanced than Front Row (mainly because it has a DVR) and it was first. However if there where a reason "no one else is doing", "innovations" like Media Center and Tablet PC it may be because of their lack of revenue and popularity. But this was a valid response, he should have stopped there.

and the parental control, that's the first time that's been done.

I don't know what their growing up in Redmond, but Parental Controls debuted in Mac OS X Tiger in 2005. Lies.

Even in this photo area, you know, we'd love to have you compare how we've done, make it easy to make a DVD, edit high definition movies.

iPhoto, 2002. iDVD 2001, iMovie 1999 with HD editing added at the beginning of 2005.

You finally release something similar 2-5 years later and not only call it an innovation, but use it as a defense (read: admission of guilt) that you are mimicking your nemesis. You might as well have thrown the Zune in there, that's innovative right, something that no one else is doing. Bill your a smart dude, maybe you should prepare yourself for just such a question, which is more than valid by the way. Get your head out of your butt, and figure out what's going on.

I'm as tired of the whole Windows copies Mac thing as anyone, but you are the former CEO of a the biggest software manufacturer in the world, in a public forum. Have a good answer prepared for a common and reasonable alegation of the product your promoting. Here's an idea. Hire a guy (if you have enough money) who's sole job is to watch apple and tell you what their doing, just so you know. Just like the entire teams you have working on your software now, except instead of tying to emulate it he will tell you about it, because your obviously out of the loop. This may save you from any awkward situations in the future.


Second Incident:
In his interview with Bill Gates in Newsweek, Steven Levy pointed out that many of the new features in Windows Vista are similar to features already in Mac OS X.

Gates’ response:

I mean, it’s fascinating, maybe we shouldn’t have showed so publicly the stuff we were doing, because we knew how long the new security base was going to take us to get done. Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine. So, yes, it took us longer, and they had what we were doing, user interface-wise.

Fascinating indeed, I don't really know where to begin, but I'll keep this short. First, I think Gates actually believes Microsoft came up with these features first, Apple copied them, and Apple got them into their final product first because Microsoft was spending so much time improving Vista’s security. This is impossible and untrue. Second "Security guys don't break the Mac every single day", (and thanks for the refferences Bill) and if they do, why don't Hackers? I'm not saying Vista isn't more secure than OS X, I'm very willing to believe this and hopeful of it. But seriously, every day, but no real world exploits? ..."Your machine can be taken over totally"?...a month to take over Vista? It just sounds like the knee-jerk rantings of a kid who was just told his dad got beaten up by a girl.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Every NES game ever made...ever

This is ridiculous, but it's what the internet is all about. With 3 days left on this auction for 670 original Nintendo Entertainment System games it is currently at $20,800.

NES (or any other antiquated technology) fanatics are funny. Maybe it's just me, but After seeing XBox 360, PS3, or pretty much any game made in the last 5 years, NES games just seems like watching 70's special effects. It was cool at the time, It's not cool anymore. Novelty aside, I just don't understand, especially for how much money this is going to end up fetching.

Having said that, props to sonyabscott who got his hands on all of these (some of which are very hard to find) and of course for his wonderful positive eBay feedback.

He should however have a warning on his auction that those with asthma should not bid. It's going to be hard enough for someone with healthy lungs to muster up enough wind to blow out all of those cartridges.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

n-abler

The 802.11n enabler is ready for download. It's $1.99 due to some legal reason that I don't fully understand. It IS apparant that apple is not doing this for the money. First of all it's $1.99 and second, the site states:
Note: The software license for the 802.11n Enabler software allows you to install and use it on all computers under your ownership or control.
I don't think they could care less about who gets this and how. At any rate, it's worth $2.
The updater will enable the n standard on your Airport card if you have one of the following:
  • MacBook Pro with Core 2 Duo
  • MacBook with Core 2 Duo
  • Mac Pro
  • iMac with Core 2 Duo (not the 17-inch 1.83GHz model though)
Do not pay for this update if you have the n ability already enabled (this would be on very new Mac's, the download page tells you how to check), or if you plan on buying the new Airport Extreme which has the enabler included.

PDF vs. XPS

A day before Vista is released, Adobe announced its intent to submit PDF (Portable Document Format) for publication by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This move would forfeit Adobe's control over the PDF specification.

It seems fairly obvious that Adobe feels threatened by the proliferation of Microsoft Office, the impending domination of Office 2007, and finding itself head to head with XPS, Offices native portable document format (also an open standard). At this point Microsoft is the only company that could breed a competitor to the PDF format and Adobe knows this.

XPS will share many features of PDF format. It can support editable metadata, annotations, digital signatures, hyperlinks, bookmarks, text selection, all the typical features most people will need. Microsoft or its partners will also make available free XPS viewers for Windows (duh), Macintosh, Unix, and Linux to help it get the largest grasp possible.

First, I am glad PDF will finally be an international standard. Hopefully some of the flakiness will get ironed out quicker. However I'm not happy it took them smelling a competitor on their heels to open the standard.

Second, competition is good, but not in this arena. There should be ONE standard, fonts and graphic formats are already enough of a pain. It's possible that these two formats can peacefully coexist without frustrating users, but not likely.

Third, Adobe has become complaisant and therefore the quality of their Acrobat Reader has suffered and the PDF format has not grown as quickly or elegantly as it should. This impending move should change that.

I hope XPS is around long enough to make Adobe (and others) work on making the PDF standard better, and then fall of the face of the earth. Adobe is the company that needs to be providing an open portable document format. They just need to be doing it better.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Google for navigation

Ignorance or convenience? I don't know, but I've seen people do this and it drives me nuts.
FranticIndustries.com talkes about people using Google to get to web sites...not search for them.

One of the top search results in Google (number 6 at the time of this writing), is “Google“. Hundreds of millions of users are trying to get to Google through Google. Does this make any sense? No. But it shows that users don’t think about Google as a specific web page, they think of it as the service, an essential part of the internet experience. They’re using this service to get to the page they want: in this case, Google.
If your using Google to get to your intended domain often, and your intended domain is Google. MAKE IT YOUR HOME PAGE!

This does say something about google as a household name and their traffic.

Monday, January 22, 2007

What on Earth?

Earth Desk just released version 4.0. It's a nice app that displays an active map of the earth on your desktop. But not JUST a map. It has some cool featurs like Real-time clouds (updated at 3-hour intervals) with transparency and moonlight reflection, accurate sun, moon and city lighting and high quality twilight shading to name a few. You can also use it to track hurricanes and typhoons if your into that sort of thing. It's a pretty creative little application, and it's pretty. It's $19.95 (they do have to license the sattelite maps). There is a Windows and Mac Version availible.

I guess I should mention that there are free products that are similar. OSXplanet for Mac users and Desktop Earth if you run Windows. Notice I said free. In this case that means not as good.

Toyota FT-HS

Toyota revealed it's FT-HS Hybrid Concept at the Detroit Auto Show this year. If the real car is actually made and looks anything like this, I'm prepared to take extreme measures to have one. That is if they change the name.


Toyota envisions that punch to be a rear-wheel-drive Hybrid Sports Concept (HSC) that develops 400 horsepower. ..."Eco and emotion in a sports car concept with a performance target of 0-60 mph in about 4 seconds and a price tag in the mid-$30,000 range."
Game over Ford and GM.

On a side note; although I'm slightly irritated by the gratuitous form over function Star Wars interiors on concept vehichles, this steering wheel is the coolest thing I’ve seen since…well the iPhone.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

NES iPod

There is general geekery and then there is this sort of thing.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Wii Controller

An interesting look at how this innovative little gadget actually works, other than Nintendo magic.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Office 2008

Hurry up.
TUAW Office 2008 gallery.

Ultimate iPhone FAQ List

David Pogue has had probably more hands on time with the new iPhone than anyone outside of Apple, and more eartime with Jobs about it than anyone. He has compiled two FAQ lists for all of your iPhone questions.

Ultimate iPhone FAQ List 1
Ultimate iPhone FAQ List 2

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Sling that video



Eclipsed by the announcement of the iPhone, apple also revealed the release version of the Apple TV. Thanks for leaving the i off of this one guys.

The Apple TV is a device that allows you to stream video from your Mac or PC to your television. Brilliant! Many people are content to watch full length video on their computer, I’m not one of them. (Nothing like wrangling up the gang for an episode Lost sharing an office chair and a 19 inch monitor.) This was an obvious next step, it’s just strange that it’s taken this long. Many television and movie companies have finally put their content online, but that’s not ideally where people want to view it.

Of course the Apple TV has great future potential such as video on demand and possible partnerships with Google (YouTube) or Netflix (all speculation of course). Until then however it seems as though it may be a bit limited. Playing only content purchased from iTunes or stored on your hard drive in a specific format. That is why they may have a bit of competition.

Enter SlingCatcher. A couple of years ago Sling Media burst on the scene with their SlingBox, an ugly (their much more attractive now) yet wonderful device that was capable of “slinging” video from ones television to nearly any device with an internet connection. Their new, not yet released device the SlingCatcher, does the opposite. Finally, that wonderful web content brought to the biggest screen in the house comfortably in front of the couch.

The price of the SlingCatcher is more attractive at $200 vs. the Apple TV’s $300. Both will feature HDMI 1.3, and component for video and Ethernet and WiFi options for network connectivity.

The main benefit of the SlingCatcher is that is will probably be media agnostic. You can play multiple video formats on it and they will not need to be purchased “legally” from any content provider, or go though the hassel of converting them to a suitable format. Torrents anyone?

Much of the success of either of these will also depend on the interface, and we all know who has the edge on that.

This could be a HUGE venue in consumer electronics in the coming years. We’ll see how this plays out, but these will not be the only two devices in the game, I expect Linksys, Belkin, Netgear and the likes to jump in at any time. Until then, start looking for a bigger hard drive.

Double Wag

Stephen Colbert gives Apple and the iPhone the Double Wag.
Good stuff.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Apple Design

The iPhone and the new Airport Extreme got me thinking about the depth of Apple's design team. Particularly the new iPhone really is a testimite to the design capabilities of Apple Inc. (not Apple Computers Inc. as of yesterday). I thought I'd take a second to give some recognition to Jonathan Ive. He is one of my design heros and is commony overlooked or unknown behind the shadow of Steve Jobs and Apple itself. He is the Senior Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple and is the design visionary behind All of the iMacs, the iPod, Powerbook, iSub (awesome product), Cinema Displays, Mac Mini, G4 Cube and others. I read this quote from Philippe Spruch founder of LaCie yesterday and I thought of him specifically.


It's not that Apple design is better or worse than the design of the Sony Vaio. But you feel that it's part of the DNA. They are crazy about every detail, and you feel that. Today, many more companies invest in design, but they do it because they are forced to, not because they like it, and I think you can feel that in their products.


That's what many people can't put their finger on that makes Apple so cool.

iPhone

Well what can I say, it’s awesome! Apple announced the iPhone at yesterdays 2007 Macworld Expo keynote that exceeded nearly everyone’s hopes and predictions. Going to Apples website and watching the quicktime clips is enough to send any geek, well okay, anyone under 40 who’s ever used a phone, into wide-eyed tech shock. So a quick premature synopsis:

A few features.

  • 160dpi screen. This is one of the features that truly sets the unit apart visually, and something that will have to be seen in person to truly appreciate.
  • OSX. Finally a phone OS that is functional and thought out. This has been the achilles heel of ALL cell phones. They are not intuitive.
  • Multitouch technology for even more intuitive navigation.
  • Wireless communication (other than cellular network). The iPhone supports both Bluetooth 2.0 and WiFi (802.11 b/g).
  • SMS, Photos, Mail, Maps, Widgets.
  • Oh yeah, it’s also the most advanced Video iPod yet.

The size is amazing as well, its 4.5 x 2.4 inches which is perfect to accommodate the 3.5 inch screen, but the thing is only 11.6mm deep. That’s .01mm slimmer than a Motorola SLVR if your even interested in such a minute difference. The point – it’s very slim body for so much technology.

There are a few things however that I’m not so hyped about. The big one…2 year Cingular contract. I don’t like Cingular and I’m not alone. It makes sense on Apples part to do this. Cingular is the biggest cellular provider in the US and it puts them in a great passion to move into Europe quickly. However for me and anyone else who lives West of Texas, or anyone who has ever received an incorrect bill from them, Cingular, well, isn’t good. This map (which is more flattering than their printed version) shows the situation, and trust me it’s worse than it looks. Can someone tell me why Kansas and Iowa have better coverage than Washington and California. Also Cingular’s data network is significantly slower than the CDMA (Verizon, Sprint) counterparts. Boo.

The other issues are not as big of a deal. 2MP Camera is lackluster, but who cares, it’s a phone. The non removable battery could be terribly inconvenient. Actual life on the battery will obviously only be subject to criticism over time, however I believe it’s inevitable. Stock up on chargers so you can have one everywhere.

On a side point, It’s funny that dates of Macworld haven’t completely overlapped CES for 5 years. The year that it does Apple announces something that will almost surly eclipse anything to come out of CES which is infinitely bigger. Does anyone care how big they can make LCD’s that no one can afford anyway?

This phone is cool enough to make me seriously consider moving to Cingular. It is simply amazing, It also provides a “Mac PDA”, if I may deem it so, that seamlessly syncs and integrates with Macs (this has never been perfect) and I’m sure just as seamlessly with Windows. I also tend to believe that Apple will release a new “Video” iPod before December that will be the iPhone, sans phone. This seems like an inevitable next step, but it won’t happen soon or they would cannibalize iPhone sales. I just can’t see the current iPod (that is a year old) staying around with the only upgrade option being a phone.

Final thoughts: It’s not looking good for the Zune, but then it never was.