Oct 222010

Man, I love me some Archer. I re-watched the entire first season this past week on Hulu, pausing only to change out pee-stained shorts periodically. Purchasers of GoogleTV devices like Sony’s Internet TV and the any-day-now Logitech Revue could have done the same, except that just about every network but Fox promptly stamped their 404s on the foreheads of Google’s early adopters, just like they did with Boxee and any other company that offered set-top devices with “internet content” as part of their feature set. It would have made sense to maybe talk to the networks prior to releasing the device, but at my country club they call this level of preparation before launching products “par for the course” for Google. Maybe that’s why they adore that beta tag.


On a related topic, I really love the new iMovie ’11 instant replay effect.

Update (11/11): Looks like Fox has slammed the door on Google too. I can almost picture the looks of astonishment in Mountain View. Anyone familiar with Google’s MO of serving up possibility and letting other parties botch the execution (Android OTA updates, app store, pre-installed carrier crapware, handset manufacturer UI overlays, etc., etc.) aren’t surprised in the least.

Update 2 (11/22): Add Viacom to the list, including obscure channels such as MTV and Comedy Central. But hey: for $300, you can IMDB the show you’re watching right on the screen.

 Posted by at 4:35 pm  Tagged with:
Oct 222010

The way products are packaged simultaneously fascinates and frustrates me. Like a lot of you, my Amazon.com order box is filled with memories of wrestling, gnawing, hacking and basically destroying the container just to get at the thing inside. They even make a special tool for some of the more infuriating packaging, very helpful for those products that are entombed in some kind of plastic carbonite. There are plenty of good companies that make great products with lousy packaging; it’s truly a neglected art form in consumer electronics.

One of Apple’s defining characteristics as a company is their attention to detail, a vein that runs all the way through their production ecosystem: from the design of their products to how they’re retailed and marketed to their customer service. It’s not surprising that they have some of the best packaging in the industry. The Apple Remote is a good example:

1. Yes, this is a packaged product.

2. Hmmm…where should I pull?

3. A continuous thread of adhesive plastic holds the clamshell together.

4. Two pieces of hard plastic, backed by a product manual with a single thread holding it together.

This is the kind of thinking that extends through all of Apple’s products and it’s the reason I’m unapologetic about using them.

 Posted by at 11:10 am
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