Saturday, June 30, 2007

Rui's teasing us?

He's not saying anything, but we know he works for vodaphone, and he's got a new 3G phone:
Incidentally, I’m taking a short break from work and decided to leave my Blackberry at the office.

Instead, I went and got myself a nice phone with a dark, polished display framed in a rounded metal bezel.

It runs a WebKit-based browser, opens PDFs, syncs perfectly with my MacBook, and… has HSDPA.

Could the announcement be imminent? Or is he toying with us?

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The beginning of the real mobile era

I think Lev Grossman has it about right:
But to look at the iPhone as a laundry list of features and bugs is to miss the point (though if you did, the former would commandingly outweigh the latter). The iPhone isn't just the gadget du jour, it's a fresh new platform, an exceptionally powerful mobile computer that's still in its infancy. There's a full version of Apple's desktop operating system in there. The Palm and the Treo, et al., were merely harbingers of the era of true walk-around mobile computing that Jobs has just inaugurated. Hail to the chief.

For the doubters, this is particularly instructive:

Apple and its partners are just beginning to figure out how to develop for this thing. Look at the iPods of five years ago. That monochrome interface! That klunky moving touchwheel! They look like something a caveman whittled out of a piece of flint using another piece of flint. Now imagine something that's going to make the iPhone look like that. You'll have one in a few years, and it'll be cheaper, too. If you're not ready to think different, then think ahead.

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Side Tone

Am I the only one who can't detect any side tone on almost every mobile phone I've ever used? I'd say that this relatively high side tone will be a real boon in noisy environments where you can't hear yourself speak, but your caller is getting deafened by your voice.
Side tone is how you hear your own voice when you are on the phone. So you can hear yourself speak, handsets inject a small amount of your captured voice back into the speaker. If they inject too much, your voice sounds too loud and you start whispering. Too much, and you start yelling. The ideal is about -18 decibels, but the iPhone seemed to have a problem here: we measured the side tone at -8.8 decibels. That's pretty high, so you might find yourself whispering a bit when you use the iPhone.

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Daring iPhone

Gruber's review is in, andit's as insightful as we've come to expect:
Overall day one impression: the iPhone is 95 percent amazing, 5 percent maddening. I’m just blown away by how nice it is – very thoughtful UI design and outstanding engineering. It is very fun.

That's the short version of course. Read the full thing for a lot of detail, particularly on the UI. Make sure to check out Gruber's Flickr stream for pics too.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

David Pogue loves the iPhone

Well the reviews are coming in thick and fast now. Though DP finds faults with both the phone itself and AT&T's network he has this to say:
But even in version 1.0, the iPhone is still the most sophisticated, outlook-changing piece of electronics to come along in years. It does so many things so well, and so pleasurably, that you tend to forgive its foibles.

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Back to the future

Ahh.. now I have a way to run that copy of Hypercard player that's still available online from Apple:
vMac is a Macintosh emulator that currently emulates a Motorola 68000 based Apple Macintosh Plus. A ROM image from a Plus is required, we plan to implement other 68000 machines, such as SEs and II series. Currently System 7.5.5 is the latest vMac can boot, which is the latest System a real MacPlus can boot. vMac runs in black an white, a larger screen and color is the next thing we are working on.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Sylvian World Tour

And speaking of musicians of whom we just can't get enough, the full list of tour dates for the David Sylvian world tour is now online, reminding me that I didn't pay Mike for the ticket for the Birmingham date:
7th Sept: Stockholm, China Theatre
8th Sept: Oslo, Sentrum Centre
9th Sept: Copenhagen, Royal Theatre
12th Sept: Dublin, Vicar Street
14th Sept: Manchester, Bridgewater Hall
15th Sept: Glasgow, Royal Concert Hall
17th Sept London, Royal Festival Hall
18th Sept: Birmingham, Symphony Hall
20th Sept: Brussels, AB
21st Sept: Paris, La Cigale

That's just a selection, but if anyone wants to buy me a ticket for the Paris date as a birthday present, feel free. Of course, Scott Walker doesn't seem to have much time for Sylvian, as evidenced by his complete omission from the role-call of fans in the Scott Walker documentary, yet so many people who admire Walker admire Sylvian too. Strange, but apparently true.

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Like there's enough time in the day.

Courtesy of Mashable, and seen at the awesome Swissmiss comes this handy collection of 90+ Online Photography Tools and Resources. Photographers, knock yourselves out:
Photos are everywhere on the web. From sharing with friends, to editing, printing, buying, selling, searching, remixing and free hosting, we’ve lined up a plethora of resources for photo fiends.

Of course all this does is remind me that I need a 23" Cinema Display, and a faster Mac to run Aperture on. Curse you Swissmiss, curse you!

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Scott Walker machine churns on

Candoco's new season includes And Who Shall Go To The Ball:
With composer Scott Walker setting the scene for a sinister and primal ball, Rafael Bonachela’s choreography cuts through the space, pushing the dancers into extreme connections, entangled in each others bodies, throwing their partners into flight, only to catch and grab and throw again and again and again.

What with an album, a movie and a dance score in 18 months, Scott's in danger of overexposure, by his standards at least.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Apple and Google sitting in a tree

Whatever. Microsoft ain't getting any loving:
The future has enourmous possibilities. There might be a video camera in a future iPhone that would allow the user to instantly upload to YouTube. Eventually, major content agreements that bring TV to Google/YouTube could spell trouble for Joost.

It might already be there. What's the betting that the image handling chip in the iPhone can already do video? Direct to YouTube could be a firmware update away.

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How do you squeeze extra column inches out of a single product release?

How did Apple make the iPhone's battery last longer? - By David Sessions - Slate Magazine:
Apple announced on Monday that its much-anticipated iPhone will offer eight hours of talk time rather than the previously announced five. On Wednesday, Jack Shafer mocked journalists for lavishing attention on this tiny morsel of news. Even so, that clever bit of Apple PR got Explainer wondering: How do you make a battery last longer?

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

From the Phantom Zone, hope for America,

Well, I'd vote for him. So much good stuff here, it's hard to know where to begin. Perhaps the UK can elect its own fictional super villain:
When I first came to your planet and demanded your homes, property and very lives, I didn't know you were already doing so, willingly, with your own government. I can win no tribute from a bankrupted nation populated by feeble flag-waving plebians. In 2008 I shall restore your dignity and make you servants worthy of my rule. This new government shall become a tool of my oppression. Instead of hidden agendas and waffling policies, I offer you direct candor and brutal certainty. I only ask for your tribute, your lives, and your vote.
Thanks to Katrocket.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

YouTube Everywhere

Hot on the heels of Apple's announcing better battery life for the iPhone comes something to use it up even faster:
iPhone has a special YouTube player that you can launch right from the home screen. So now you can access and browse YouTube videos wherever you go. And when you find a video you want to send your friends, iPhone can even create an email with the link in it for you.

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$10K Coffee Table

Thanks to FakeSteveJobs for this very funny re-voiced Microsoft Surface promo video. Of course MS aren't really suggesting you'll buy one for $10K, but I have to wonder how cheap the technology they're using (regular pc, back projection and cameras for sensing - oh and dumbed-down barcode stickers on the back of your devices/tumblers) really can get anytime soon. That touch thing'll be like the iPhone right, and that costs all of $500. Maybe the coffee table comes with a lifetime subscription to Starbucks.

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Principles for Web Development

Courtesy of Jonathan Sanderson at The Daily Grind comes The BBC’s Fifteen Web Principles. As Jonathan says they're all pretty sound and forward-thinking, but if I had to pick a favourite it'd be this:
3. Do not attempt to do everything yourselves: link to other high-quality sites instead. Your users will thank you. Use other people’s content and tools to enhance your site, and vice versa.

I lost count of the number of clients I told that to, both in the early days and more recently too. "Not Invented Here" syndrome is alive and well.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Web starts to get colour.

One of the things that graphic designers have always struggled with on the Web is the limited range of colours, and the consistency of display from one screen to another. With Safari on Mac OS X and Windows not, things are getting a whole lot better:
Apple machines are in widespread use among graphics professionals, and the operating system supports color encoding schemes that are called profiles and are standardized by a group called the International Color Consortium (ICC). Safari checks to see whether an image is tagged with a particular ICC color profile and displays it accordingly, tuned to work with the user's monitor.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Easy front-end for Flex? Don't hold your breath.

Andrew Wooldridge speculates on a potential Hypercard-like environment for building Flex applications inFlex 2 : The HyperCard for the Web?:
I'm just waiting for some enterprising person or persons to create on top of Flex (or Laszlo, or some other flash derivative) a clone of Hypercard. Perhaps a Flex-lite which only does a few things like a button, an image, and a few form elements.

What wouldn't I give for a true Hypercard replacement? I very much doubt that Adobe are the company to deliver it though, as they seem increasingly invested in complex development solutions that tie people into their expensive tools. Remember, Hypercard was free and bundled with all new Macs at the insistence of its creator Bill Atkinson (Daniel Eran's latest article provides some great background). I toyed with the notion of Keynote getting some useful interactivity framework to complement its slide-based metaphor, but gave that one up after 20 minutes thought. Right now I think the best chance we have is something built from a combination of WebKit and Dashboard Widgets. The 'stack' concept isn't that far from Widgets, and they might slot right into the Dashboard layer, the iPhone (via Safari) and the Apple TV (surely I'm not the only one to think that Dashboard is a shoe-in for the living room's 10-foot interface?).

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Configurable T-shirt

From haque :: design + research and thanks to LifeClever:
This is a t-shirt for which the wearer designs what goes on the front, a further experiment in how to design low-tech systems that are open enough to allow for other people's designs yet specific enough to provide an intriguing starting point. It's often difficult to design on a completely blank canvas, so this t-shirt provides a matrix of pixels that can be coloured in with a black felt-tip pen in order to turn them "off".

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It's not even out, but the iPhone gets a 60% boost in talk time, and a 20% boost in Internet usage:
“With 8 hours of talk time, and 24 hours of audio playback, iPhone’s battery life is longer than any other ‘Smartphone’ and even longer than most MP3 players,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We’ve also upgraded iPhone’s entire top surface from plastic to optical-quality glass for superior scratch resistance and clarity. There has never been a phone like iPhone, and we can't wait to get this truly magical product into the hands of customers starting just 11 days from today.”

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Ha Ha Ha

Joystiq get all sarcastic over the WWDC announcements by Electronic Arts:
Apple will be offering a new type of software for Macs this summer called "games" (pronounced "gaimz"). The new genre, being supported in a big way by publisher EA, will allow "players" to enter virtual worlds and take part in contests of skill.

Actually it's pretty funny. Hardly any of the Mac users I know care about the lack of Mac games, but I guess there's a bunch of folks who simply walk away when they see how few games come to OS X, and how long they take to arrive. Perhaps Apple should just give a Wii away with the iMac and be done with it.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007


Scott Steven puts some perspective on the Apple WWDC 2007. If there was any doubt as to the strength of the Mac platform right now, let this end it:
The size of the conference has been growing steadily over the last few years, but this one was a big step — a very big step. For the first time since the conference has been in San Francisco, it was clear that there was a large influx of new energy and fresh ideas. From what I can see, WWDC — and really the platform in general — has truly cut ties with the past and started out on a new course. Maybe it's a little dramatic, but that's the only way I can describe the feeling.

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Here's your next-gen UI, Webomatica

More on Jason's Webomatica Apple Rant wishlist. If it's still not evident how Leopard delivers the foundations for the kind of thing Jason's waiting for, this excellent InfoWorld article by Tom Yager should make things a lot clearer:
Platform newcomers, as well as developers in a hurry to get solutions to market, will find that Leopard not only provides unique and highly innovative facilities, it exposes them in ways that welcome developers of all stripes. As a result, Leopard's new features will be taken up extremely rapidly by developers, extending the transformation of the Mac platform from the OS all the way up end-user applications.

This is a must-read. I know a few people who'll be especially excited by the integration of Quartz Composer and Core Animation:

The relative ease with which this can be done paves the way for unimaginably beautiful, knowledge-dense, and productive user interfaces and information displays, not to mention the value in entertainment and consumer electronics software.
I can't wait.

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Fake Steve predicts The Coming Storm

In A great post (dare I say a return to form?) Fake Steve Jobs announces how he plans to deal wit the coming media backlash towards Apple:
I call it the Obi-Wan Kenobi defense. I put on my brown robe, turn off my light saber, and just let the bad guys attack me. It's a necessary part of the story. The story needs me to fail now, to suffer, so that then I can come back in even greater glory. It's like Jesus -- no crucifixion, no resurrection. Media whores, listen to me: If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.

Actually, there's a spot-on comment from someone called Jim:

next stop on the train, of course, will be the iPhone launch. We will get the "lines out the door... how can you possibly get one of these things" coverage on the 29th and 30th, then within a couple of days the media will be full of stories knocking the thing down. The screen scratches when I forcefully dig my car keys into it, the battery life sucks and it doesn't feed my cat like the nice man in the AT&T store told me it would. The thing will go from being the greatest advance in the history of communications one day to a shameful flop within 48 hours.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Someone finally gets the Apple TV.

Shockingly, going by their record of late, it's in an article on The Register, though it's sourced from Rethink Research:
By the end of the summer it will be pretty clear what was in the mind of Steve Jobs all those months ago when the collision with the studios made him rethink his vision for an Apple digital video future, but already it is starting to take shape, and the image is both ominous for operators and rival TV technologies and threatens to be more far reaching than outsiders ever imagined.

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The new theme at JPG Magazine is open, and this is my submission:

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You wait 10 years for a paradigm shift and 3 come along at once.

Jason at Webomatica says We Need Another Paradigm Shift On The Desktop:
Here’s a short list of stuff that would make me run out and buy a new Mac:

Graphically rich ways of visualizing my data (all that Tufte stuff).
Really tiny, portable hardware.
Motion detection.
Eliminate the application / file model.
Written language comprehension.
Pattern recognition. Realize I’m doing a task repeatedly and create a scheduled task. Basically, a computer that learns.
Image recognition. Can’t the computer realize half of my photos are of the same cat and label the rest based on a couple of initial tags?
Voice recognition.
Programming for anybody.

I say: Careful what you wish for Jason. There are at least 5 of those that Apple are delivering or developing with Leopard/iPhone/Safari-Web Kit/Mac hardware. It's all coming together quite nicely.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Apple announce the Coming of Age Party for Web Apps

In The Trojan Aqua Horse, Rui Carmo muses about the effects of Safari on Windows:

I hereby predict (with a pretty good chance of being right, I think) that Safari 3.0 will become the Trojan Horse that will bring a bazillion Windows developers on board the iPhone platform, now that all the fuss about the iPhone SDK has been well and truly settled.

Well said, especially in the pay-off:

I can’t wait to see the third-party apps scene a year from now, Google or no Google.

And right on time, here's the first.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Metal Technology, ahem.

Ok, so I normally post about technology, software, design and stuff. This then must be about the design of stuff in metal. Honestly. It's also a heads-up to anyone who wants to buy me a really special birthday present:
The new 8" Darth Vader figure features a die cast body that was crafted in collaboration with Ootsuka Kikaku, popular for its 1/10 scale moveable body figure. Ootsuka Kikaku has extensive knowledge of alloy toys, coalescence and articulated toys. With a height of approximately 8-inches, over 20-points of articulation, and numerous detailed parts that combine to make the final figure, this new collectible is unlike anything else that has been offered in the world of Star Wars collecting!

Like I said, it's a design thing.

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Robot Race in the Press | tola

Props to Ben Francis for coming second in the Robot Race, but especially for this bare-faced open-sourcery:
It's not very clear in this bad copy, but that's a nice clean head on picture of the HD DVD crack code published in a Birmingham newspaper. Mission accomplished :)

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Safari for Windows

Ok, so we know it's about development for the iPhone, broader compatibility of web apps, and tighter integration between mobile and desktop, but this is just crazy:
According to Neil Ticktin, CEO of Xplain, the Westlake Village, Calif., publisher of MacTech, a Mac developer journal, "In order for iPhone customers to have the quality of experience that Apple wants, [Safari] has to have enough market share. It's not about bringing the Apple experience to Windows customers. Jobs said [Apple] wants a bigger browser share—it's not like they're going to get revenue from it." (emphasis added)

Now the last time I looked, my copy of Safari had a search field that leads to Google.. KERCHING!

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Praise Seitan

That has to be the best slogan I've ever seen on a hoodie, complete with pentagram of forks. Well I'm afraid I fell off the vegan wagon, but I lust after so many of these clothes it's untrue.

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Begun, the Browser Wars have.

Macworld: News: Analysis: Safari move driven by iPhone, market share:
Those are the type of plans that tend to get noticed within Microsoft headquarters, notes JupiterResearch vice president and research director Michael Gartenberg. “I fully expect some sort of a response from Redmond,” he said. “We are definitely looking at another generation of browser wars. It was a brilliant tactical move on Apple’s part.”

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Introducing rPhone

Lovely, pirate-themed iPhone parody goodness::
rPhone combines three delightfully diverse products into one awkward and cumbersome handheld contraption -- a revolutionary steam-powered satellite phone, a stylish French musicbox, and a vibrasonic multi-purpose tool that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike a Sonic Screwdriver.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Awesome stuff coming

The SteveNote is upon us, and even as I write, fantastic new stuff is being shown. The Finder and Desktop is finally getting the makeover it's been waiting for. Oh, and the store is down too..

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Blue Screen of Desk

Is Microsoft's Surface computer the next big thing? - By Harry McCracken - Slate Magazine:
At the D conference, I ran into one surface-computing believer whose opinion counts for quite a lot. "It'll be built into every desk eventually, but it's going to take a long time," said a confident-sounding Bill Gates as he hobnobbed with attendees after his joint onstage interview with Steve Jobs. You could dismiss his prediction of pervasive surface computing as self-interested hype. Then again, this is the man who founded Microsoft based on the far-fetched notion that every desk would one day have a personal computer. If Gates is right about the computer migrating into the desk, the mundane tasks that today's Surface will perform are nothing more than a warm-up act.
"Your desk has encountered a fatal error and cannot continue." What can we crash next? Your carpet?

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Fake Steve for President

The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs: What a weekend:
I keep thinking about that story in the Journal about how Bill prepared his Harvard speech. It just strikes me as so symbolically perfect for how Bill operates and for what ails all of Microsoft. I mean, it's a commencement address. You're asked to speak to a group of graduates about your life, your hopes, your dreams. You try to speak from the heart, to be honest and candid and frank. You try to inspire them. How else can you write this speech but alone? Bill turns it over to a team that slices and dices and iterates. Then he wonders why nobody finds it inspiring. It's the same with Microsoft products. There's no artistry, no individuality, no passion.
Amen. FSJ doesn't just say what RSJ can't, he says what we all feel, deep down in our hearts.

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Shameless Self-Promotion

If anyone's interested in voting for my photograph of Cheung Chau island on JPG Magazine, there are just two days left before nominations for the 'Dreamscapes' theme closes. Of course I wouldn't expect anyone who doesn't actually like the picture to vote for it, but I'm always grateful for comments, especially as I'm trying to improve the usually appalling standard of my photography. I almost bought a new camera, but then I realised that the problem is behind the viewfinder, not below or in front of it. If you haven't already checked out JPG I highly recommend it, and would love to know if there's anywhere I can pick up the print edition in the UK. Print: You know, that old stuff on paper?

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.Mac/Google Integration

Apple's .Mac getting a Google overhaul? - Engadget:
MacScoop has it that Apple's .Mac is about to get a helpful hand from Silicon Valley buds, Google. According to their sources, Apple's neglected .Mac service is set for a Google infrastructure overhaul which includes updated pricing, more services, and an increase in storage. The revamped offering is expected to offer free Google services bundled with traditional .Mac offerings at variable pricing schemes but similar levels of integration with OS X. Of course, it's only a rumor but it certainly seems plausible. After all, Google's cloud offerings have rapidly matured since Apple's .Mac launch in 2002.
A full-on integration with Google's services would certainly please Jonathan Green, who's really buzzed about the mobile Google Calendar and GMail browser. I'd settle for parity on storage capacity (I'm not a fan of GMail's 'never deleted, always ad-sponsored approach), some better integration of the standalone Mail app and the online (when I'm behind a firewall is there any reason Mail app can't just use a .mac API to do my mail stuff over port 80?), Google Calendar and iCal working properly together (and the respective chat programs too, for that matter), and some Apple-like innovation along the iTunes Store lines. Let me pay for .mac services like I pay for iTunes content, as I need it, and give me something like iTunes in iWeb to manage all my content and the links to desktop apps.

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First, we take Blockbuster. / Technology - Apple gets head start in online rental:
The device that stands to benefit most from the launch of an Apple VOD service is Apple TV, however. The box allows content downloaded from iTunes to be viewed on a normal TV set. The company has not disclosed Apple TV sales but reports have suggested the product is struggling.That could change once there is high-quality content available to download and rent. “VOD gives the Apple TV box a lot more utility,” says one senior Hollywood studio executive. “Right now it’s just a way to move stuff from iTunes to your TV but it will end up becoming a way to directly order a movie to your TV.”
Does anyone think this wasn't the Apple TV plan all along? The 'DVD player for the Internet' line is both a smokescreen and an early shot across Walmart's bows at the same time. The first big target has to always have been the rental business.

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Friday, June 8, 2007

Music, Metal, Computers, Darkness

Two music related items. This weekend brings Modulate's Sonic Culture Salon 03 to Birmingham UK:
International sound artist Francisico Lopez will give a
'Total Darkness' performance in Birmingham on 17/06/2007

The audience will be required to be lying down, or seated, in
darkness, to promote 'profound listening and immersion into the sound
matter'. Blindfolds will be provided. Tickets:
Then the following week, as part of the New Generation Arts festival, the ever-inventive JG is up to more of his music and technology tricks. Recommended:
Invented Instruments Concert by Jonathan Green: A concert for electronic invented instruments as part of the New Generation Arts Festival on 27th June at 6.30pm in the Entrance Foyer in the Department of Art, UCE Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, Margaret Street. Free entry. The short concert will include "Piece for Large Metal Sheet and Video Projections" and "Space Bar" for motion sensors.

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ZDNet, wrong about the Apple TV, again.

Apple TV: From whence the profits? | Tech News on ZDNet:
"Is it really profitable for them from a hardware perspective?" asked Andrew Rassweiler, iSuppli senior analyst. "The question we have is, is this a case, like printers, where the business model isn't to make money on the printers, but the inkjet print cartridges?"

Completely off, other than (a) the margins on the Apple TV are currently slim, and (b) market domination is the goal. SJ wasn't kidding when he called it a hobby, but you can bet he takes his hobbies pretty seriously too.

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Video gets harder; Intel sells more, faster, chips.

The Daily Grind: Edting AVCHD:
So we’re left in the faintly ridiculous situation that editing video is today harder than it was a couple of years ago. We’ve a plethora of mutually-incompatible formats, excessive render times even on the beefiest of desktop PCs, and still not many cameras with proper microphone inputs.

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Nurse, the restraints!

Is this a good thing? If we're talking Keynote or Leopard's HUD Quick Look thing that's great, but I fear it means more smoke and mirrors, literally.

Kiss Boring Interfaces Goodbye With Apple's New Animated OS :

Shipley predicts that Core Animation will kick-start a new era of interface experimentation, and may lead to an entirely new visual language for designing desktop interfaces. The traditional desktop may become a multilayered three-dimensional environment where windows flip around or zoom in and out. Double-clicks and keystrokes could give way to mouse gestures and other forms of complex user input.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Iterative Design

Humanized > Weblog: Iterative Design: Towards the Perfect Paper Plane:
Coming up with a solution is often the most straightforward part of the design process. That isn't to say that creating the solution is easy, or doesn't require a deep knowledge and honed skill set. It's just to say that when you have a set of requirements and a well defined problem, you know where you stand and where you have to get to. It's mostly straightforward. Much harder is the implicit problem of figuring out exactly what the problem is in the first place. If the problem is vague or ill-defined, the design solution will be too.
An excellent piece by Aza Raskin on paper plane design as an illustration of how reframing the design brief is crucial to iterative design practice. Recommended reading, and great fun to follow the instructional videos!

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Momus steals a bike, declares it Art.

Click opera - Joy riding, a just act of social practice:
So we headed down to the Watarium and, sure enough, there were two unlocked bikes outside. Strange beasts they were too. One was a slim racer with odd curly handlebars and no brakes whatsoever. The other was a weird massive tandem hybrid, a sort of long low drag racer with a wooden surfboard platform at the front. We decided this was the one to take, and climbed aboard.

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Monday, June 4, 2007

iPhone Coming June 29th

At last, the TV Ads for the iPhone are here. June 29th is the day, if you're in the US. For us in Europe, it's going to feel like a long summer.

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Sunday, June 3, 2007

More on the Apple II

Retro Thing: Apple II - Setting the Benchmark For Home Computing in the Late 1970s:
Steve Wozniak’s design did many things right: it incorporated a user-friendly keyboard in an era when most machines offered a baffling front panel of lights and switches, it included bit-addressable color graphics, supported low-cost floppy drives, and included a good BASIC language interpreter.
It's hard to remember how revolutionary this was, and the fact that it sold (with modifications) for 20 years or so is amazing, in these days of 6-month product refreshes. It's still a wonder to behold, and if anyone has an original Apple II monitor they want to get rid of, please move it in my direction.

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Happy Birthday Apple II

The Apple II turned 30 years old. Here's mine, a little younger.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Wil Shipley calls it on the iTunes Plus customer data non-scandal

Call Me Fishmeal.: NEWS FLASH! Adobe Hides Customer Information!:
It's true... when you buy an Adobe product, be it Illustrator or the entire Creative Suite, Adobe brazenly stores important personal information about you right on your hard disk.
I agree Wil, absolutely shocking. Next they'll be putting names on driving licenses, credit cards, everything. Where will it end?

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This is a big deal

Apple exec details 160GB Apple TV, YouTube H.264 deal:
YouTube will soon be encoding videos in the H.264 streaming-efficient compression format preferred by Apple TV, and that all new videos submitted to YouTube as of the mid-June launch of the AppleTV update will be playable by the device. From then until fall, YouTube will be encoding its entire back-catalog in H.264 format, adding videos in chunks until everything is accessible to Apple TV users.
Yep, this is bigger than the news that Apple TV gets YouTube videos, and is a real boost to H.264 in the mobile space (wait until the iPhone and the iPod get access too). Is there a bigger Flash video site than YouTube? Soon I might not care that I can't buy movies from iTunes in the UK.

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Gruber explains the iPhone software strategy

Daring Fireball: iPhone SDK, iPhone SDK! Wherefore Art Thou iPhone SDK?:
In short, the main reason Jobs might want to delay allowing third-party software to run on the iPhone isn’t technical (bringing down the phone network or crashing the phone), but aesthetic. Let users grow accustomed to what true iPhone-style apps feel like to use, and they – the users – will demand that developers write true iPhone-style apps when development is eventually opened up, in the same way that Mac users demand true Mac-style apps.
Thank heavens for that, say I. Java apps are a nightmare, and most 3rd part stuff for phones is a long way from the kind of apps Apple will ship with the iPhone. Now if we could just get a consistent look for OS X Widgets on the Mac please.

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