Nov 292010

Sure you could go to Gizmodo and find out what cool toys are available this Holiday season. They usually have a pretty unbiased presentation of…

Oh. Well, it does explain a lot. And a brother’s gotta eat, right?

Anyway, I give stuff and I get stuff. I have WordPress and a keyboard, so that qualifies me to make a tech gift guide. Let’s start with things you shouldn’t think of giving someone, or should give if you want the message to be “I loathe you intensely”. 10 sounds like a nice round number. Because I don’t hate you like CNet or Silicon Alley Insider does, I’m not going to try and artificially inflate my pageviews by extending the list to 10 pages. That’s not entirely true. Since I don’t know how to extend the list to 10 pages and haven’t figured out how to put ads into my content in a way that doesn’t look retarded, you’re getting the list all on one page.

10. Digital Photo Frames Nothing says “Home” quite like a picture frame surrounding a shitty LCD display with an AC adapter tail, cycling poorly-lit cellphone pics of your kids. Place one on a doyley for added kitschy charm.

9. Wireless Charging Bed Jamming an adapter into my iPhone so I can place it in a specific location wirelessly is the same as jamming an adapter in to my iPhone and tethering it to the wall. And about $90 cheaper.

8. Netbook Stab at some undersized keys on an underspecced laptop with shitty but relatively operable Windows XP, less shitty but stripped to the asshairs Windows 7 or some Linux distro (for those you truly hate or the neckbeard that hates himself) and watch your productivity soar! /cue sarcasmmetershatter.mp3

7. Windows 7 Phone Contrary to what the Gizmodo Tit in Redmond wants you to believe, this app-less exercise in UItardery is a 3-year-too-late and several-dollars-short death rattle from Ballmer’s asphyxiating Borg.

6. Bluetooth earpiece Attention soccer moms and pinstripe gelheads: this ear apparatus (earparatus: judges?) dismisses any doubt that you are a douchebag. Buy a rig for your car and put the phone to your head when you want to yap on about your thoroughly uninteresting lives outside of where it’s appropriate – namely your house and out of earshot of TMA.

5. Tilt to Live for the iPhone or iPad A former friend recommended this game to me. 24 hours later I woke up having topped 5,000,000 points, but divorced, bankrupt and packed in a bathtub filled with ice. Inflict this game upon those whose productivity you aim to destroy.

4. iPad Case I’m sure you mean well, but do you really know how someone works well enough to choose from the 3 billion iPad cases on the market? Spare the person for whom you are buying from having to make the lose-lose choice of not using your gift and having you resent them and using it despite the fact that they don’t want to and having them resent you.

3. Anything involving physical media CD, DVD, BluRay: it doesn’t matter. People shouldn’t have to put a disc into a reader to consume content. Yea, yea 1080p yadda yadda. If the difference between 1080 and 720p means that much to the person you’re buying for, they’ve probably already got something 10 times more expensive than you can afford to give them. And they’re probably uppity and shallow to boot. Find a new friend.

2. Nook Color or Kindle DX What’s not an entry level e-reader, definitely not an iPad and is likely to be the last nail in the coffin of at least one major media retailer? Something you’re hopefully not buying for someone that you care about. If you’re cheap and they’re nerds, get them a Kindle. If you care: iPad.

1. GoogleTV device One of the most influential players in technology decided to release a family of devices running a version of Android that sits atop your TV and lets you take in all of the networks’ online content for free…uhhh…let’s you watch YouTube for free. For $300. From the UI geniuses behind Wave. C’mon, people: there’s enough hate in the world.

Nov 162010

Despite not being able to cogitate anything but disingenuous corporate doublespeak, Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen continues to fill the air with Flash rhetoric that’s becoming increasingly embarrassing to behold. His latest trip off the reservation was today at the Web 2.0 Summit, where he declared that the reason Flash runs so miserably on the new MacBook Air is because Adobe didn’t get an advance copy of the machine so they could optimize it for the hardware. With that hilarious statement, one has to wonder what he was thinking.

When Steve Jobs said that he didn’t want to have Apple and its customers held hostage to the release schedules of third party development platforms, statements like “we didn’t have an advance copy of your hardware so we could optimize our technology for it” was more or less exactly what he was talking about. And since when has Adobe optimized Flash for versions of Apple hardware anyway?

Despite any precedent, Narayen claims that Adobe has the new Air in their labs and is currently beta testing an optimized version of Flash for it. So I guess we can look forward to Adobe-optimized versions of Flash for all Apple hardware running different GPUs? In perpetuity? I’m sure that’ll be announced with the version of Flash that can run on a modern mobile processor without grinding it to a halt. You know: the one that he’s been flapping his gums about for the last 2 years.

This guy is so full of shit it makes my eyes bleed. Adobe is so clearly trying to defend the technology  they overpaid Macromedia to get, they will say anything to extend the duration of its overdrawn tenure. Apple released a hugely hyped and critically acclaimed piece of hardware, someone quantified Flash’s dismal effect on the device’s performance, and the the anti-Flash kiln flared to several thousand degrees. Narayen’s lip service response is nothing more than piss-poor damage control; it will not produce “Adobe Flash for Macbook Air” any more than his words have ever delivered on any promise the company has made regarding Flash and mobile devices.

Nov 162010


Does not equal this:

Yes, I know I have zero respect for how they changed music. I don’t care. After 5 years of reading about them imminently coming to iTunes, then not coming to iTunes, the only thing Apple could have announced regarding the Beatles that would have improved my day is that they were abandoning all efforts to get them forever.

Nov 152010

I use WordPress, which can be a downright Byzantine way to get content through these intertubes. Its version updates randomly crap out and the quality of the plug-ins are uneven, to be kind. But it is free, so I guess it’s as close to using Android as I’ll get. After several miscellaneous annoyances and “Internal Error 500s” when attempting to update anything, my troubleshooting has revealed that my beloved but ultimately deficient theme to be to root cause, so I decided to do some theme shopping. What you are beholding is the state of a work in progress.

I apologize for those of you who had to endure a series of ugly themes and mangled content over the past few days, but I think the worst is behind us.

Nov 102010

Despite many self-inflicted blows to the head, I cannot get that sound byte out of my head, which I guess is the point of most Microsoft advertising. It’s one of the things I imagine they teach in “Introduction to Advertising”. Except for the part about the impression associating positively with the brand. Redmond’s ads are memorable like Creepy King.

Anyway, Windows Phone 7 debuted their offerings with AT&T (yes, the same network that is holding the iPhone hostage) and it doesn’t look like it made a huge splash, despite whoring out Maroon 5 and Katy Perry in an attempt to sell them. I guess launching on the same network as the iPhone wasn’t that great an idea after all. Despite some critics’ hypothesis, which is that Microsoft burned its bridge with Verizon when they yoinked the Kin after 2 months, I actually think there’s a larger strategy at play. Microsoft wants to be the best by beating the best. Really. This is the same company that threatened to open its wildly popular retail stores next door to Apple Stores. I apologize in advance for any sarcasm detectors I may have just broken.

On a related note, I despise Katy Perry. You know by listening to her music that she sold out approximately 14 seconds postpartum.

“Let’s make a pop song about lipstick lesbianism!” /giggles

“I’m married to wild child Russell Brand and I have him trained!” /giggles

Is it any coincidence that Katy Perry and Gwen Stefani have both shilled for Redmond? They’re the same schtick, people. Come to think of it, I’ve never seen them together. File that rant under “Haters gon’ hate”.

Nov 092010
Boy Genius Reports got their hands on the Galaxy Tab from Samsung, the 7″ tablet device that Steve Jobs pronounced “DOA”. The verdict: it’s not big enough to be a tablet and not small enough to be a phone, even if you try.
Son of Surface
I found the most interesting bit to be about the Tab’s browser, and BGR’s advice on how to make it usable:
Browsing the web with Flash on (enabled by default) proved to be a pretty frustrating experience. Scrolling was jittery, slow, and sometimes pages just wouldn’t even finish loading. However, once we changed the browser’s plug-ins setting to on demand (think Click2Flash), the browser popped to life. Pages loaded very quick, scrolling was almost fluid, and using multi-touch gestures to pinch zoom in and out worked like a charm. The browsing experience on the device is exactly where you want it to be.
This should surprise exactly no one. The Tab is a device with a 1 GHz processor and a gig of RAM and Flash still makes it choke. It’s amazing to me that when I see CEOs sit up on stage with Shantanu Narayen, they’re smiling and laughing, introducing their products with “the full web” or “the web the way it was meant to be experienced”. They wear these smug grins of one-upmanship, like they figured out a way to do something that Steve Jobs couldn’t. Yet review after review skewers the performance of these devices with Flash enabled. It’s 2011 and Adobe still can’t deliver on the promise that Narayen has been filling the air with for years.
Nov 082010

So the Windows 7 Phone is here, which means there’s a new 9-figure advertising blitz designed to differentiate Microsoft’s offering in a product category that was revolutionized by Apple 3 years ago. Welcome to the party, Redmond.

Hmmm. I guess the spin is: “Smartphones have become too distracting, which has decreased our quality of life. Windows Phone 7…phones…allow people to use their smartphones as tools, freeing them to enjoy life more.”

Or maybe: “Because Microsoft waited 3 years to release a smartphone, all the intellectual property has already been trademarked, so they can’t copy something that looks nice like they did with the Mac. No developers have an interest in their platform, so they don’t have any apps. Windows Phone 7 offers a smartphone experience that let’s you get in, get out and “be here now” because you’re not going to have anything to keep you interested in the phone.”

They’ve even managed to co-op some annoying catchphrases from pop culture (how many times do you have to hear “Really?” before you want to start jamming sharp things into squishy places?) and self-help (“Be Here Now”) phenomena. Good to see that photocopier still works for advertising.

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