Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Very funny parody ofApple's Quarterly Results Analyst call from Crazy Apple Rumors, including this:
Toward the end of the call, Cook informed everyone that Clarus the dogcow had been hit by a car late last week and had to be put down.

Scroll down to comment #29 where Susan Kare herself chips in!

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Gartenberg gets it right on HD-DVD vs BluRay

Stuart and I were having this very same discussion earlier today. He's thinking of moving from HD-DVD to upscaling and BluRay, but we agreed that there's not necessarily going to be a winner here, and that no-one was really buying either. I think discussing which one is in the lead is a bit like discussing which Linux distro has the biggest consumer desktop share. Michael Gartenberg - The Best is Still the Enemy of the Good:
Bottom line? The real competition here for both formats are not each other, it's DVD in the past and online distribution in the future. If consumers don't see a clear winner this holiday with some real compelling reason to buy, it's likely neither format wins.

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Facebook Apps Damage Your Health

Not t mention your page load times.Just say no:
What did we learn from this experiment? Well, adding Facebook apps takes a really long time, my poop is currently healthy and Abe Vigoda lives on

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Not all plastics are created equal.

This has been something I've had an issues with for some time, and Rui sums it up nicely in his analysis of Nokia's UI problems:
No, my first thought was “800 Euro for this cheap greenish plastic?”

The thing looked like it was made in China (in the dodgy sense, since some of them actually are these days), and, worse of all, felt like it too. And I’m not talking about pre-production samples (I handle plenty of those, and am used to unfinished plastics) – I was handling a commercial device.

Time was when I could go into Carphone Whorehouse and play with the dummy phones secure in the knowledge that the real things felt better - higher quality plastics, better fit and finish, more positive key action - generally all round more like something you'd want to pay money for and actually use on a daily basis. This, however, is no longer a given. In the case of the N95 I've even had salespeople tell me "yes, the real thing feels like crap too".

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Kings of New York

Pundits may be citing Vista as driving PC retail growth, but that hardly accounts for the amazing sales at Apple's NY flagship stores:
Topping the list of highest-grossing locations during the quarter was Apple's subterranean outlet on Fifth Avenue in New York City, which sold over 5 Macs every hour and 1 iPod ever two minutes on its way to generating a whopping $45 million in revenues. Following in a distant second was Fifth Ave's neighboring store in downtown SoHo with approximately $23 million.

Jessops, take note. The Internet doesn't have to eat your lunch, unless you hand it over on a plate.

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Save is Broken

I'm planning on writing more about this very soon. This is only half of the story:
Once a user understands what a file is, there are still some hurdles to overcome. One of the biggest is the concept of "saving." In general, saving means "write the current document state to disk." Somewhat counter-intuitively, saving is typically a destructive operation; when you save, you are usually overwriting the previous version.

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Andrew Orlowski is on a mission

And as usual it seems to involve rubbishing the iPhone:
Now let's compare this to the useful role performed by Apple's original Mac. The Mac UI appeared at a time of character mode interfaces where even getting the simplest job done required considerable investment and study. Computers at the time had several problems with accessibility, interoperability, and general ease-of-use - not to mention getting any kind of print-quality graphics work done - and the Mac provided an elegant interface to them all. By contrast the iPhone, along with so many smartphones, is classic technology "push" - an answer to a problem that doesn't really exist.

Now forgive me if I'm sucked in by the RDF, but from where I'm sitting the mobile phone and mobile data UI is one hell of a mess. Perhaps Andrew's just a lot cleverer than me.

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Power, Influence, Sex

Charlotte Carey at Creative Enterprise digs apart the Birmingham power 50 and unsurprisingly/sadly finds a gender imbalance:
Does this mean there are only 4 influential women in Birmingham? this is not my experience? where are the creative women in Birmingham, why aren't they listed here? and finally what can one do to redress the balance, to highlight and similarly celebrate their contribution?

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Be in no doubt that Solid State storage is about to happen

For general purposes devices that is. Of course your iPhone/nano/DSLR already packs between 4 and 8GB, but at these sizes you can expect your next-but-one generation top-line iPod to whirr-no-more, and your low-end MacBook might not be far off either:
Sure, it's priced at ¥94,980 (around $783), which isn't exactly cheap, but if this trend continues these prices are bound to drop -- and just think of the possibilities of never having to hear a drive mechanism failing again.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

That Revenge of the Sith feeling

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Fans finally receive Potter book:
Cahina Lewis, who joined the queue in a witch's costume, said: "For the last nine or 10 years it's been such a big part of my life.

"I've been talking to my friends about Harry Potter theories for so long, and I'm not going to be able to do that anymore. What will I do with my life?"

Kid, it's a tough life. Them's the breaks.

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More idiocy from The Register

Now phishing is Apple's fault too:
The iPhone's email client only displays the first few characters of a weblink, a factor researchers at Fortify Software warn makes it easier to hide a fraudulent URL at the end of a link without arousing suspicion. The mechanism the iPhone uses to link between web browser and telephone functions also makes it easier to embed scam telephone numbers within sites, which a user may be prompted to dial.

So how is that worse than reading a fraudulent phone number from a website and typing it in?

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How Sony might have been Apple

At The Register, but courtesy of the much more insightful Faultline, prepare to be amazed at just how much Sony have futzed up their redesign and rebranding of Grouper Read too about how it might have worked:
How about a website that gives away all 8,000 Sony films, but which has a DRM that we shall call Sony Only, that works with only Sony Bravia TVs, Vaio PCs, PS3s and PSPs? How can there be anything wrong with that strategy, using content to sell hardware, a trick that has driven Apple's valuation to $120bn while Sony, a far larger company by revenues, sits with a lowly $52bn. Oh yes, Sony is in fact six or so interconnected businesses, and they will never agree to that.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

37signals, OpenID and .mac

37signals announced that they've extended their OpenID login to Highrise:
Now the Open Bar includes your Highrise accounts too. So now you have single sign-on for both Basecamp and Highrise accounts. Log into any one of your accounts and you’re logged into all your accounts.

It's a good implementation, with a single click between your accounts in both systems, and it's coming soon to Backpack too. I let my .name id lapse when they asked for cash, and I've been holding out on Apple adding OpenID to .mac accounts. Well it turns out that they already sort-of did, by virtue of sharing screen names with AOL and the AIM service. If you've an AIM account you can use it as an OpenID of the form:


I'm delighted to see this extends to .mac screen names too, thus:


I'm still hoping Apple will do it properly, but for now, this works great.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

This is how the iPhone changes the game

The Daily Grind: N95 rubbishness:
Now, I happen to know that there’s a software update for the thing. I can go to Nokia’s website, fumble with their web form, hoik out the phone’s battery (getting good at that now – when the phone warm-boots after a crash the microphone is disabled, requiring another power cycle to get it working again. Yanking the battery saves about a minute of waiting for it to draw cutesy animations that are, I must admit, wearing a little thin), and bash in the multi-digit ID number. At which point Nokia’s website proudly informs me that my phone’s an N95, which I can read in neat stenciled letters on the front of the thing, thanks.

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Thursday, July 5, 2007

Why the new Dock is wrong

Gruber takes the Leopard Dock changes to task:
You might say, Well, so what if the angle is a little different? The difference is that many existing icons now look “not quite right”. Top-notch icon designers sweat over each and every pixel. (Well, maybe not every pixel in the new 512 × 512 icons, but close.) The icon sections in the current HIG take this perfectionism into account; there’s an assumption that yes, Macintosh icons really should look perfect.

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Sunday, July 1, 2007

Joining the dots

Now if they can just scale this up to the size of a plane, traveling to Singapore will be a lot easier:
Researchers at the University of Singapore have demonstrated that it is possible to "teleport" information from one so-called quantum dot to another.
The team used a computer model to show that decoherence, the tendency of quantum information to leak into the environment, is not a problem when working on such a small scale, and that quantum information about one dot can be transferred to another without loss.

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