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.

May 212009
Timothy Leary's dead. No, no, no, no, He's outside looking in.

Timothy Leary's dead. No, no, no, no, He's outside looking in.

Scott Moritz is one of Jim Cramer’s merry band of stock manipulators over at   Either that or he’s really‚ really bad at his job – especially when it comes to Apple. I actually think sound investment advice would be “Do the opposite of what this toolbox says”.

Scott’s latest gem, available in both words and talkie form, is here.

Warning: if you click on the video, in addition to the content and tone of the interview‚ the JJ Abrams camera work may snap you into a three state killing spree.

May 212009

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Apple does not respond to market trends by introducing “me too” entries. If there is something of value to be extracted from a market, Apple takes it and packages it into products that have a more intuitive UI, a better industrial design and consequently higher margins.

When MP3 music players were first introduced, Apple didn’t shove some ham-fisted music player out the door.  It thought a lot about how to navigate content, came up with the idea for the clickwheel, and made it the joystick of a UI.  The iPod Classics and Nanos still use this combination and the UI is also at the core of Front Row and the Apple TV.  With the hardware‚ we also got iTunes – the eventual portal to the iTunes Music Store.

Cell phones had been on the market for over two decades before Apple decided to enter it. It did so after carefully considering what was good (almost nothing) and what sucked (nearly everything) about cell phones.  From those musings, we not only got a revolutionary UI and a new model in carrier relationships, we also got advancements in SDK and app propagation.  The point is Apple didn’t compete in markets by conforming to them.  It redefined them through a marriage of form and UI,  backed by other Apple services.

This is why, when red-faced analysts jump up and down screaming about Apple losing out on millions of potential customers by not introducing a netbook, Apple is content to quietly utter “fuck you” through their smiles.

People have been proposing what Apple’s response will be to the netbook craze for at least the past 8 months. Every time Apple acquires, hires or delivers a keynote, speculation runs rampant. I think Apple will introduce a product that will be perceived as a “response” to the netbook‚ but I believe it will be a very different animal.

Continue reading »

Apr 232009

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In what was little surprise to anyone in the know (and certainly no surprise in the Mac community), Apple announced its street-stomping earnings last night. The 2nd quarter of 2009 represented the high water mark for revenue for a non-holiday quarter at $8.16 billion with a net profit of $1.21 billion, or $1.33 per diluted share.  This compares to $7.51 billion in revenue and net quarterly profit of $1.05 billion, or $1.16 per diluted share for Q2 of 2008.  Gross margin was up 3 1/2% (from 32.9% to 36.4%) YOY.

COO Tim Cook also made some “2nd base statements” about Apple’s interest in the netbook segment‚ going from zero interest‚ zippo‚ none to kind of bashing the segment and going after specific features that make netbooks an unattractive prospect for Apple. Tim’s basically positioning a future Apple offering in this space. Apple’s improvements over the limitations he’s bashing will be the talking points for said offering. Continue reading »

Mar 102009

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skeptic001-300x233Poor Brian Caufield over at Forbes really wants a Mac Netbook.  Trouble is‚ instead of crapping in a bag and putting out a POS that will compete with the offerings from Dell‚ Asus et. al‚ Apple insists on making it’s money by margin and not by volume.  “The computer- and gizmo-maker fiddles with its Mac lineup as the world economy burns” he wrote of Apple’s March 3 revamping of the iMac and Mac Pro lines.  Translation: while PC manufacturers‚ who have no margins to begin with‚ are releasing $250 crapbooks‚ Apple is content with a paltry fluff of its existing offerings‚ all the while laughing at the poor suckers who can’t afford their insanely high-priced products. Continue reading »

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