May 272010
 

Mary Jo Foley, commenting on a Wall Street analyst’s speculation that none other than Steve Ballmer will be presenting at WWDC:

If Ballmer is going to make a cameo appearance at WWDC, I’m thinking if such an announcement happens, it’ll be Silverlight for the iPhone.

What do these 2 things have to do with the title of the post? Advertising. The standard unit of internet success is the page view. More page views, more revenue. Things like “facts” and “research” work against the internet “journalist” 2 ways: they take time, which limits output and they don’t tend to be as interesting as “despite the fact that Steve Jobs wrote an open letter about why Flash would never make it on Apple’s mobile devices, I think a philosophically identical runtime from Microsoft is going to be announced by Steve Ballmer at Apple’s largest developer event”

Fucking.

Retarded.

Want to know why respectable print media is floundering? Want to know why a 600 word article on a tech site has to be spread over 19 pages? Want to know why the content you read for free on the internet is reduced to moronic spew like MJ’s?

Page views. So go ahead, buy a Nexus One and make sure to click through plenty of Google’s ads, so they can continue to rake in billions from your personal data and incentivize the collective lobotomization of our society. Along this trajectory, in 5 years we’ll have reduced all language to clicks and grunts.

May 262010
 

It took some time, but the inevitable has happened: as of 2:15 pm today, Apple is worth more than Microsoft.

The pwnage of Microsoft represents another milestone in the enhancement of users’ relationships with the stuff of their lives and work ever since Jobs took back the helm in 1997. We expect more insane greatness in the years to come.

The Apple enthusiast community would also like to take a moment to thank Microsoft for consistently dismissing, deriding and failing to emulate Cupertino’s success. Your fat heads and bloated carcass helped make this moment possible.

Sláinte!

May 262010
 

M$ doesn’t have much of a presence in markets that aren’t inherited. As opposed to the Windows, Office and Server dinosaurs, Microsoft’s attempts at making things people actually want to use have been somewhat less successful. The entity known as the “Entertainment and Devices” division of Microsoft has been a balance sheet singularity responsible for, among other things, the RROD and the Zune each contributing to the copious effluence of red ink gushing from the division since it first appearance in the books. A series of mostly underwhelming and universally capital-hemorrhaging products and vapor paved the way for the latest slap against Ballmer’s flabby jowls. When SB appeared onstage at CES, he was groping an HP tablet called the Slate, a device meant to compete with the soon-to-be-shipped iPad. When HP bought Palm, they pulled the plug on the device a mere 5 months after SB fondled a demo in front of hundreds of frothing keynoters. The term I’m looking for here is “suck it”.

Making shitastic products is one thing; losing a major hardware host partner is quite another. Ballmer has put his foot down. After 22 years, Robbie Bach is hitting the bricks.

I want to spend a second on the HP-Palm thing. In the salad years, when Microsoft said “jump”, its hardware partners grabbed their ankles. Without question. Back then, pulling off an acquisition that could be perceived as competing with a M$ offering would have gotten you kicked off the Windows tit in a heartbeat. Now, in 2010, one of the largest PC builders thinks nothing of acquiring a company that competes directly with Redmond in the mobile space, potentially risking their status as a Windows OEM to do it. They pulled a product made for their Masters out of the pipeline – practically out of Ballmer’s hands – in the process. No wonder you can still see the skidmarks in Redmond where Robbie’s ass bounded to the curb.

A week prior, M$’s Chief Experience Officer and CTO for E&D J Allard decided not to return from a sabbatical, possibly due to the dirt nap taken by the Courier project, something J (just J, got it?) was personally championing. Apparently Allard was disappointed that the Courier never graduated from “design student animation thesis” to, you know, something with specs and stuff that could actually be built. Maybe he missed the Microsoft orientation video on vaporware.

Looks like some senior vermin are taking the plunge from the SS Borg. Maybe they see the future for Microsoft that everyone else in tech sees.

So who will take on responsibility for the latest sucking void within the sucking void that is E&D?

Effective July 1, Don Mattrick, who leads our interactive entertainment business, and Andy Lees, who leads our mobile communications business, will report directly to me.

The “me”? Steve Ballmer. If you’re a Microsoft competitor, this is liquid awesome.

May 212010
 

The thing any serious performance artist fears most is being typecast. Newsweek columnist and Fake Steve Jobs pen Daniel Lyons knows this all too well. It’s one thing to be pigeonholed as a writer; it’s much worse when your hole comes off the backside of someone else’s accomplishments. Initially a clever bit of satire, the FSJ schtick is Lyons’ only popular writing, so I imagine he feels a good deal of resentment. This explains the blog’s transformation into a series of petulant screeds against Apple. How would you feel if your only professional accomplishments were entirely dependent on someone else’s success?

Daniel’s latest Newsweek foot-stomping tantrum explains why he’s moving to an Android phone. Using sound bytes from Google’s I/O keynote and a healthy dose of misinformation, Dan serves up his argument thusly:

The new version of Android—version 2.2, a.k.a. Froyo—blows the doors off the iPhone OS. It’s faster, for one thing.

Faster…how? Is it more responsive touch-to-feedback? Does it boot faster? Surely a description of a product “blowing the doors off” its competition will have some very specific performance descriptions.

/crickets

What Dan is probably referring to was Google’s Froyo demo to developers, which was limited to a Javascript performance. So: a home-field demo of a browsing feature subset. Let’s be specific, shall we Dan? You write for Newsweek, after all.

It also will support Flash,

*yawn* This movie again? /changes channel

something Apple refuses to do, mostly out of spite.

Yes, that’s the reason, Dan. Thoughts on Flash is actually pretty concise, even for someone of your attention span.

Froyo also will let you buy songs over the air and download them directly to your phone. It will also stream songs from your music library to your phone. I don’t really use my phone as a music player that much, but still, it’s impressive that Google has this feature and Apple still doesn’t.

I’m assuming that Apple could have done this already, but chose not to. Who knows why? Maybe they want to keep people locked into their old way of doing things. Or maybe because they were a market leader with no real competition and just got lazy.

Ummm. This is Dan Lyons, the person who made a ton of scratch off of Apple’s success and someone who writes articles for Newsweek’s “Techtonic Shifts”, so you’d think he’d have a decent grasp of product features and shortcomings, right?

The iPhone has supported over-the-air music purchases since Day 1, version 1. There are at least half a dozen apps that allow you to stream audio – and video – over the air. The reason Apple “didn’t do this already” is because Apple’s very healthy developer ecosystem has numerous products serving that niche. Seriously, at this point in the reading, if you didn’t see this asshole smirking next to the byline, you’d swear this article lifted from the comment section of a third-rate tech blog. This is Newsweek’s top tech writer. Embarrassing is an understatement.

The Android OS is already outselling iPhone OS in the United States.

The quarter before a major iPhone release (that everyone knows about thanks to Gizmodo) and during a quarter where every other carrier is basically fire-hosing the market with buy-one, get-ones. APPLE = PWNED.

Now it’s blowing past Apple in terms of the technology it’s delivering.

You mean the technology it’s announcing. Fixed that for you.

We’ve seen this movie before. In the 1980s, Apple jumped out to an early lead in personal computers, but then got selfish. Steve Jobs, a notorious control freak, just could not play well with others.

You mean the movie where Apple ousted its CEO and then ran itself into the ground under the leadership of a Pepsi salesman? I think maybe your grasp of tech history is about as astute as your grasp of basic features of popular tech products, Dan.

Dan goes on to claim that Apple’s refusal to use flash, its revenue sharing model for apps and ads, its ban of porn (apps I assume, but it’s tough to tell with Dan’s shaky knowledge base) is all “about Apple wringing every last dime out of its ecosystem and leaving nothing on the table for anyone else”. I honestly don’t even know what that means. If I weren’t busy stuffing my ears with cotton balls to prevent my brains from running out, I’d give it a shot.

I think this hissy-fit thinly disguised as lousy journalism may signal a new phase in Dan’s hatred of Apple. Once he was content to jab at Apple as FSJ, and occasionally be funny in the process, but his contempt has outstripped his satiric capabilities. The fact that his only morsel of success has come from the work of a company he hates, only makes it worse. As a typecast writer, Dan Lyons has reached the Paul Rubens breaking point. Pee Wee wants out of the Playhouse. This article is the journalistic equivalent of masturbating in the back row of a porn theater.

May 182010
 

There’s a few different profiles for Windoz apologists, but one common trait in their writing that’s hilariously easy to spot is what I like to call the “yes, but”. “Apple product x is great, but there’s a few things that make this similar product running Windows CE better for you”

Mike Elgan is a veteran FUDster. We know this because he writes for Computerworld. Roughly Drafted Magazine’s Daniel Eran Dilger awarded Elgan the prestigeous Zoon Award for “…his disingenuous, desperately sensationalist, and outrageously disgusting (Apple) misinformation campaign.”

Elgan’s take on the “yes, but” appeared in Macworld, of all places (note TMA’s prescient observation about lousy guest pieces). Entitled Why iPad Owners Need a Kindle Too, Elgan shares a number of compelling reasons why owners of a device that does 10 times what a Kindle does – still needs a Kindle. And by compelling, I mean puzzling. I don’t link to retards, but Mike’s “reasons” group nicely into themes, which make rebutting them easy.

Why I Don’t Take My iPad to the Beach (1. Reading in the Sun, 2. Overheating, 3. Security)

If you’re at the beach reading an eBook and you’re not under an umbrella, you’re a moron. If you’re at the beach reading an eBook, you’re probably still a moron.

Availability (6. Book Availability, 7. Magazine Availability)

6. There’s a Kindle app, so all of Amazon’s shitty dead-media replicants are all available on the iPad.

7. Reading black-and-white copy of old-fart cracker magazines like The New England Journal of Medicine and Foreign Affairs on your Kindle < reading magazines for people under 80 in color. The legitimate beef he could have mentioned – the retarded magazine app price points – is not mentioned. This is also classic apologist: leaving a legitimate Apple knock on the table when there’s a far less credible, but sensational point to be made.

Issues that Exist Only in Mike Elgan’s Bizarro Universe (4. Reading before Sleep, 5. Battery Life, 8. Weight, 11. Multitasking)

4. “…reading on a Kindle will probably help you sleep better.” I really can’t do it much better. Ladies and gentlemen: Mike Elgan.

5. My single-purpose device’s 2 weeks of charge beat your color, multi-purpose device’s 12 hours! As an aside, you don’t get 2 weeks of continuous use from a Kindle, but you do get 12 hours continuous use from an iPad.

8. You know people are reaching in their advocacy when they’re citing their devices 10 oz. weight advantage. It also assumes you’re using it exclusively as a reader, which I hope to god you’re not.

11. Macworld is one of those the 3 websites on the planet that doesn’t allow the cut-and-paste of their content. I’d give them props if this were to discourage people from easily dismantling their contributors’ embarrassing articles, but I actually think it has something to do with “Intellectual Property”. So to give readers the full flavor of Elgan’s logic, I’m going to have to quote #11 manually:

There are a surprising number of situations where two devices are better than one. If you’re a writer of any kind, it’s nice to have source material on the Kindle as you write on the iPad. If you’re watching TV on the iPad, you can also skim a newspaper on the Kindle. If you’re a fan (sports, movies – whatever), it’s great to watch something on TV (World Series, Oscars, Lifetime dramas, etc.) and look up trivia and facts on Wikipedia or the Internet in general or in your own book collection with the Kindle – without interrupting the show.

So…buy a Kindle if you don’t know how to use cut and paste on the iPad or must always have 2 simultaneous channels of data plugged into your head. “OMG – THIS REMAKE OF BURNING BED WAS MADE FOR CONNIE SELLECA! WHAT WAS THAT SUPERHERO SHOW THAT SHE WAS IN?!!”

Mike Elgan is a Sociopath (9. Multiple Users, 10. Peace)

You need a Kindle because you’ll be relentlessly hounded to share or speak about your cool device with others. I guess Apple should forget re-upping sold-out supplies of the iPad in the tri-State area; Mike just brought the wood, yo!

Non-Features FTW (12. Auto-reader, 13. Mobile broadband)

12. “I’ll just plug my Kindle into the speaker system and let the computer voice read to me and my 14 cats”. OK, I made up the part about the cats. I think.

13. You mean I don’t have to pay to check my email, watch YouTube clips, stream music from my house…wait…you mean I can only use Whispersync to buy shit?

By the end of the article, I had an epiphany. I think don’t think Mike is advocating buying 2 devices, although you’d think that by reading the title of the article. These aren’t reasons to buy a Kindle when you already have an iPad; they’re justification for keeping a Kindle once you have an iPad.

So I guess this article is actually taken from Mike’s prep for the conversation he had with his wife about buying an iPad. Glad to see it worked out for him.

May 172010
 

There’s a million reasons, really: enhancements to your computing experience and bullshit you don’t have to put up with. One of the biggest checks in the latter column is Conflicker.

From theatlantic.com, an awesome article on the most prolific and tenacious Windows worm ever created. Despite the efforts of some of the world’s smartest coders, botnet experts and cryptographers:

As of this writing, 17 months after it appeared and about a year after the April 1 (2009) update, Conficker has created a stable botnet. It consists of anywhere from hundreds of thousands of computers to 12 million. No one knows for sure anymore, because with peer-to-peer communications, the worm no longer needs to check in with an outside command center, which is how the good guys kept count. Joffe estimates that with the four distinct strains (yet another one appeared on April 8, 2009), 6.5 million computers are probably infected.

The investigators see no immediate chance or even any effective way to kill it.

Basically, no one knows how many computers are infected, they have no idea how to kill or even quarantine it and have no clue what the worm’s creator(s) ultimate intent is.

Obviously, Macs are unaffected. Sleep tight, Wintards.

 Posted by at 10:44 am  Tagged with:
May 102010
 

I’m enjoying v.2 of the iPhone gold rush as much as the next guy, but some of you developers are a bit too enthusiastic. The following are not good candidates for iPad apps:

  • Specialty calculators: “Hey, how much should we tip this waiter?” “Lemme whip out my 9.7 inches and find out”
  • Magazines at $5 a pop: Seriously – you people in print media are starting to look less like a group with your heads in your asses and more like an industry that has an assisted-suicide deathwish. I can get paper copies of your rags for half the price. I’m not saying it needs to be free, but the content and the price need to bear some relationship. Snap out of it.
  • Too much network-dependence: If I need to pull my content down with every opening of your app, you failed. The majority of iPad owners have Wi-Fi devices; even if 3G users become a majority, most of them won’t be of the unlimited bandwidth variety. Trust me: iPad owners will gladly trade disk space for the ability to use your app offline.
 Posted by at 3:32 pm  Tagged with:
May 052010
 

Adobe must not respect the anti-trust regulators in this country. According to the New York Post, the same company that bragged of their proprietary multimedia platform: “over 85% of the top web sites contain(ing) Flash content and Flash is running on over 98% of computers on the Web” is crying to federal regulators about Apple’s recent decision to ban cross-compilers from creating iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad apps. Nevermind that Apple doesn’t have anywhere near that kind of stranglehold on the smartphone market – or the app store market. I guess it does have a monopoly on the non-shitty smartphone market, but that’s kind of subjective.

So why would a company that brags about having a virtual monopoly on multimedia content creation on the web call attention to a company that doesn’t fit any rational definition of monopolistic conduct?

Oh. That would explain a lot.

May 032010
 

It took the original iPhone and the Droid 74 days. It took the iPhone 3G 3 days and the 3G(s) a weekend. The Nexus One hasn’t even seen it yet. It’s the magic number of one million. According to Apple, the iPad has gotten there in just shy of a month.

There’s a couple reasons why this is a big deal. First, this is a device with a very limited release. Although it’s not explicit in the announcement, the timing of it suggests that the majority of the devices sold were WiFi-only (3G iPads shipped starting at the end of April).  The iPad is also currently only available in the U.S., further limiting the number of potential sales. Secondly, the iPad is not a subsidized device like the iPhone 3G and 3G(s) was/is. People are shelling out a minimum of $500 for one. To sell a million of these devices is pretty amazing.

Of course, if you ask stolen property purchaser tech blog Gizmodo to assess the milestone, they’re a little more conservative with their praise:

“Not bad for a giant iPhone. The question, really, is how well it’s still selling next month, now that all of the early adopters and Apple nerds have theirs.”

Yes – that’s the real question. How many more millions of units will you sell next month, or the month after that, or whenever your “disappointing sales” can provide us with the link-bait we require to make money?  WHEN WILL YOUR SUCCESS FLAG?!

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