The Daring Fireball Linked List

The Best Argument Yet for Net Neutrality Comes From Major League Baseball 

Quartz:

Earlier this month, BAM quietly submitted its own letter to the FCC, where it was equally scathing about internet fast lanes[…]. It’s a shame that BAM’s comments have been overlooked, because they amount to one of the most coherent arguments in favor of net neutrality we have come across.

‘To Hell With the Actual Numbers’ 

Philip Elmer-Dewitt talks to a former IDC researcher regarding how they draw their market share figures.

Microsoft’s Long, Slow Decline 

Yours truly, getting lucky five years ago:

Apple’s strong growth in this segment is a sign that the market is turning against Windows. If for no other reason than that Apple has never entered the low-cost computer market, it’s always been the case that the most budget-conscious computer buyers were Windows users. But the converse wasn’t true — not all Windows users were cheapies.

Today, though, Microsoft is increasingly left only with customers whose priority is price.

‘The Apple iTime Is Destined to Fail’ 

If John C. Dvorak were still alive, we’d see more articles like this one.

Wait. What?

Apple’s Double Digit U.S. Mac Growth Contradicts IDC and Gartner Reports of a Mac Sales Slump 

Shouldn’t IDC and Gartner report these things after PC makers report their results? They look like fools after this quarter.

App Store Top Lists and App Rot 

Marco Arment:

Quality, sustainability, and updates are almost irrelevant to App Store success and usually aren’t rewarded as much as we think they should be, and that’s mostly the fault of Apple’s lazy reliance on top lists instead of more editorial selections and better search.

The best thing Apple could do to increase the quality of apps is remove every top list from the App Store.

Where Are the iOS Indie Developers? 

Brent Simmons:

I think my point still stands — pure iOS indies are fairly rare. I can easily come up with a bigger list of pure Mac indies, even though iOS developers in general outnumber Mac developers.

A Candid Look at Unread’s First Year 

Jared Sinclair:

Despite all of these circumstances, Unread still only earned $42K in sales ($21K after taxes and expenses) and is on a course that doesn’t promise much growth. I conclude from all this that anyone who wants to make a satisfying living as an independent app developer should seriously consider only building apps based on sustainable revenue models. I suspect this means through consumable in-app purchases, like those in Candy Crush Saga or Clash of Clans, or through recurring subscription charges, like those in WhatsApp. Furthermore, I have grave doubts that any solo developer would have the capacity to ship and maintain either kind of business working alone.

Apple TV Updated With CNBC and Fox Now Channels 

One hole in these Apple TV “channels”: they each require you to authenticate through your cable provider separately. Seems like something a future Apple TV update should allow you to do once, at the system level, and then allow all these channels to just work.

MacBook Pro Speed Bumps and Minor Price Cuts 

Minor updates, including a nice bump in the default RAM for the entry-level machines.

‘App: The Human Story’ — Kickstarter Final Stretch 

Speaking of Jed Hurt and Jake Schumacher and their documentary, their Kickstarter campaign is coming down the wire. They’re close to their funding goal, with just under three days to go as I type this.

I can’t say enough about how good this movie looks so far, what a pleasure it was to participate in it, and how glad I am that they’re making it. As Craig Hockenberry wrote:

By funding this project, you’re also giving your future self a rare gift. […] You’re going to look back at this time in your career fondly and wish you remembered more about it.”

It just feels like something that was meant to be. If you haven’t backed it yet, I really hope you do. If you’ve already backed it, consider increasing your pledge by a few bucks. They’ve added a few new reward tiers, so it’s worth taking another look. (Among the additional rewards are “cast commentary tracks”, of which I’ll be contributing one.) Or, just tell a few friends about the project and spread the word on Twitter.

Video: The Talk Show Live From WWDC 2014 

This is a fun story.

I thought last year’s live episode of The Talk Show From WWDC went really well and was a lot of fun. My only regret was that we hadn’t recorded video of the show, only audio. So this year we planned to record video. The venue, Mezzanine, has a built-in video system so that whatever is on stage is visible via closed circuit TV to attendees enjoying the show from upstairs on the, uh, mezzanine. I figured worst case, we could just tap into that feed and record it.

Ends up whatever system they have doesn’t support that. The technical details don’t matter, the gist of it is that with just two hours or so before the show was set to start, we had no way to record video of it. Damn.

Except: there were two guys waiting outside the door to Mezzanine all afternoon, Jed Hurt and Jake Schumacher. They had started work on their documentary App: The Human Story, and were hoping to meet me to see if I’d be interested in participating. They’d flown to San Francisco for the week to conduct a bunch of interviews with subjects who’d be in town for WWDC.

I invited them in, and we started talking. I noticed they had a lot of video gear with them. Lightbulb.

I told them I had a crazy proposition, something to the effect of, “I know this equipment you’re lugging around is intended for recording well-lit one-on-one interviews — not a live stage show in a dark theater — but would you guys give it a go anyway?” They jumped at the chance, and this is the result.

Is it the best recording of a live stage show I’ve ever seen? No. Is it the best recording of a live stage show that was filmed by two people who were only asked if they could do it about two hours before the show started? Quite possibly. I think it turned out great, and it gets better and better as the show goes on.

The Talk Show: ‘Jamming More RAM in for Free’ 

Special guest John Moltz joins me on this week’s episode of The Talk Show.

New Daring Fireball T-Shirts 

Available only for the next week or so: Daring Fireball t-shirts, including two designs by the amazing Jon Contino. Last year was the first time these two prints were available, but this time we’re putting the baseball-themed one on the same athletic gray tri-blend shirt that we used for the “Est. 2002” design last time. As a long-time proponent of all-cotton t-shirts, I was skeptical of tri-blend, but damn if they aren’t comfortable. I got a slew of emails after the last run that these are the most comfortable shirts readers have ever worn.

(The classic design remains on an all-cotton shirt, of course. Tradition dictates.)

TopBrewer 

My thanks to TopBrewer for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed. Designed in Denmark, TopBrewer is a revolutionary coffee system that dispenses espresso, coffee, cappuccino, latte, sparkling water, cold and hot filtered water, and other drinks on demand with just a tap on your iPhone or iPad. (Good coffee and fizzy water is just about all I need to work each day, and TopBrewer covers both.)

After their sponsored entry ran in the feed earlier this week, I heard from a few little birdies who work at places with a TopBrewer installed, and they called it “amazing”.

With a fully integrated under-counter design, all you’ll see is the graceful sweep of the beautiful, above-counter swan neck, stainless steel tap. And the TopBrewer’s commercial-grade components are perfect for home installations as well as small offices and commercial settings. It’s the perfect marriage of beautiful design, exquisite coffee, and the iOS user experience.

Continuity and Gratification 

Mark Sigal on Apple’s Q3 results:

While others may see a company that can’t possibly keep selling more devices, quarter after quarter after quarter, I see a company that has continually avoided the gratification of going for market share and sales at all costs (i.e., at the price of margins, profits and cash flow).

This is no small task when one considers that investors, the media and virtually every pundit in the blogosphere is not so adept at delaying gratification.

Number Games 

Jon Bell:

Which brings me to Chromecast. All Google will say is they’ve sold “millions” of the $35, (presumably) break-even device. But recently they announced 400 million “sessions”. Sounds impressive! A recent headline states “Chromecast turns one: why this small streaming stick became such a big deal” and the subheads are “So cheap, and so different”, “400 million cast sessions”, “Competitors are getting the streaming stick fever”, and “Why Chromecast continues to be disruptive”.

So kudos to Google for an enormous number, and for getting great press from it. But, wait. We’re actually going to record “uses” of products now? Well, sure. Because it makes the number look bigger.

Bezos Alarms Amazon Investors With Spending Pace as Loss Widens 

Bloomberg:

Jeff Bezos is testing the patience of investors after Amazon.com Inc. missed analysts’ estimates for a second straight quarter, sending the shares tumbling 11 percent.

The world’s largest online retailer yesterday reported a second-quarter loss of $126 million, more than double what was predicted, even as sales climbed 23 percent to $19.3 billion. Expenses jumped 24 percent to $19.4 billion. […]

The loss in the latest period was the biggest since the third quarter of 2012, when Amazon posted a $274 million loss. Looking ahead, Amazon projected sales of $19.7 billion to $21.5 billion for the current quarter. Operating losses are projected to be $810 million to $410 million, Amazon said.

You can’t dig forever.

Another Xiaomi Shocker 

Here’s a beautiful photograph of a young girl by Javi Inchusta Gonzalez, posted to Flickr. Note that it was taken with a Nikon D700 SLR, and that its licensing is set to “Copyright, All Rights Reserved”.

Now go back to our old friend, the Xiaomi Mi 3 “Features” page. Scroll down to where they show the Android photo gallery app, and look at the first image, labeled as a shot from the device’s camera roll. (Screenshot.)

So Xiaomi:

  • Ripped off a copyright photo. (I’ll eat my hat if they obtained permission to use this photo from Gonzalez.)

  • Is passing off photos taken with professional SLRs as shots from their phone’s camera.

I wouldn’t be surprised if most or even all the example photos in their gallery are similar ripoffs. (Hat tip.)

Update: Another. And three more. They even stole one from National Geographic. Like I said, they’re probably all rip-offs, and all misrepresentations of the Mi 3’s actual camera.

Putting IBM MobileFirst in (Apple’s Enterprise) Context 

Andrew Laurence, writing for TidBITS:

Since the iPhone, Apple has developed a subtle enterprise strategy, so subtle that many pundits miss it. Instead of pursuing business sales directly, Apple has quietly worked to remove barriers that might impede usage of its products, including in enterprises. This approach enables Apple to pursue design and user experience while also making its devices more useful to business and fitting enterprise concerns better.

The Secret of Minecraft 

Robin Sloan:

There are dangerous creatures lurking in this world, including but not limited to giant spiders and skeleton archers. But they only venture out at night, and they can be deterred by walls. The sun (a bright cube) sets fast, so your first task is always the same: Build a shelter.

The genius of Minecraft is that the game does not specify how this is done.

It’s almost impossible to overstate just how big a deal Minecraft is for my son and his friends.

Executions Should Be by Firing Squad, Federal Appeals Court Judge Says 

The LA Times:

“Using drugs meant for individuals with medical needs to carry out executions is a misguided effort to mask the brutality of executions by making them look serene and beautiful — like something any one of us might experience in our final moments,” U.S. 9th Circuit Court Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote in a dissent in the Arizona death penalty case of Joseph Rudolph Wood III.

“But executions are, in fact, brutal, savage events, and nothing the state tries to do can mask that reality. Nor should we. If we as a society want to carry out executions, we should be willing to face the fact that the state is committing a horrendous brutality on our behalf.”

Agreed.

Josh Topolsky Leaving The Verge for Bloomberg 

A lot of musical chairs being played in tech journalism lately.

‘But Even the Home Screen Is Confusing’ 

David Pierce, reviewing the Amazon Fire Phone for The Verge:

You can’t even see the time without tilting your phone just so. An errant buzz is your only indication that you have a notification, prompting you to cock your wrist or swipe down from the top bezel to open the notification windowshade. None of this is explained, none of it is intuitive. Dynamic Perspective makes everything look cleaner, but makes actually using your phone a lot harder. I don’t need my phone to be clever, or spartan. I need it to be obvious. The Fire Phone is anything but.

Rough.

Related: Josh Topolsky:

My quick personal take on the Fire Phone: it is functionally and aesthetically awful.

Farhad Manjoo on Amazon’s Fire Phone 

Farhad Manjoo:

Other instances of Dynamic Perspective are downright annoying. Take Auto Scroll, which moves the text on your screen as you tilt the phone back and forth. Because Auto Scroll calibrates its scrolling speed according to how you’re holding the device when you first load up an article, your brain will struggle to find a set rule about how much to tilt to get the right speed. Often I’d scroll too fast or too slow.

Worse, if you put your phone down on a table while you’re in the middle of an article, the scrolling goes haywire and you lose your place. The best thing about Auto Scroll is that you can turn it off.

If Mayday is the phone’s best feature, they have a problem.

More Amazing Xiaomi/Apple Design Coincidences 

Posit: Xiaomi (a.k.a. “Mi”) poses a serious threat to Samsung because:

  1. Xiaomi is more shameless, more willing to blatantly copy Apple down to as many details as they’re able.

  2. They’re better at it. Xiaomi copies with some degree of taste; Samsung has no taste.

  3. Xiaomi operates only in countries with weak IP culture and laws, further enabling and protecting them re: points 1 and 2. (This third point was first brought to my attention by Ben Thompson, when he was my guest on The Talk Show a few weeks ago.)

Apple Q3 2014 Results 

The most interesting numbers to me: iPad sales were down about 9 percent year-over-year, but Mac sales were up about 18 percent.

OS X Yosemite Public Beta Arrives Thursday 

Jason Snell:

On Thursday, fall will come early for hundreds of thousands of Mac users when Apple releases its first public beta of OS X Yosemite. The public-beta program, announced during Apple’s annual developer conference in June, lets regular users download and test pre-release versions of OS X. Apple says the first million users to sign up at the OS X Beta Program website will be able to test Yosemite before the OS is released to the general public in the fall. […]

When Yosemite is finished, users will be upgraded to the final version automatically, also via the Software Update feature within the App Store app.

Just as a reminder, OS X Yosemite is still software that is under development, so apps and services may not work as expected some (or all) of the time. It’s always wise to back up your Mac before installing, and you should seriously consider installing Yosemite on a Mac that you don’t use for day-to-day operations just in case something goes wrong.

Good advice. Judging by the developer betas, Yosemite is in good shape for a beta, but that is not the same thing as being in good shape for production use.

Making It Easy 

Remember that phone call last week, where Veronica Belmont and Ryan Block simply could not get a Comcast “Retention professional” to cancel their account? Consumerist obtained an internal memo from Comcast COO Dave Watson, which reads in part (emphasis mine):

That said, it was painful to listen to this call, and I am not surprised that we have been criticized for it. Respecting our customers is fundamental, and we fell short in this instance. I know these Retention calls are tough, and I have tremendous admiration for our Retention professionals, who make it easy for customers to choose to stay with Comcast.

That is literally just another way of saying that their job is to make it difficult to leave Comcast. It’s somehow more obnoxious though, that he phrases it so euphemistically.

The History of Autocorrect 

Gideon Lewis-Kraus, writing for Wired Gadget Lab:

On idiom, some of its calls seemed fairly clear-cut: gorilla warfare became guerrilla warfare, for example, even though a wildlife biologist might find that an inconvenient assumption. But some of the calls were quite tricky, and one of the trickiest involved the issue of obscenity. On one hand, Word didn’t want to seem priggish; on the other, it couldn’t very well go around recommending the correct spelling of mothrefukcer. Microsoft was sensitive to these issues. The solution lay in expanding one of spell-check’s most special lists, bearing the understated title: “Words which should neither be flagged nor suggested.”

Mi 3 Product Page Rips Off Aperture Icon 

Scroll down on the Mi 3 “features” page and you’ll see this image, named “detail-camera.jpg”. (Cached version, for when Mi pulls the original.) Take a good look at the camera in that image, then look at the app icon for the current version of Aperture. (Cached.) It’s a simple copy-paste-skew job of the lens, and not a very good one. Two panels down on the page, they use it again, horizontally flipped. (Shockingly, they cropped out the “Designed by Apple in California”.)

Now re-read this.

Digital Tattoo for Moto X 

Is this a joke? This is a joke, right?

Hello? What.

Microsoft Misses on Earnings Due to Nokia 

I don’t think anyone should be surprised by this — if the Nokia acquisition is going to work out well, it’s going to take a while. Still looking like a very big “if”, though.

Mi Too 

Vlad Savov, The Verge:

Barra is only a year into his job as leader of Mi’s internationalization efforts, but he’s already “sick and tired” of hearing his company derided as an Apple copycat. He sees Mi as “an incredibly innovative company” that never stops trying to improve and refine its designs, and the allegations of it copying Apple are “sweeping sensationalist statements because they have nothing better to talk about.”

This was apparently said with a straight face by an executive from the company that put up this slide at the end of a product introduction event today.

Speaking of Beautiful Dented and Scratched Machines 

Everyone is calling this “the new X-Wing”, but I’m not sure the wings open into an X. Looks cool though, and it’s great to see them going back to practical special effects.

Update: It’s definitely an X-Wing. Here’s a tweet illustrating how the S-foils open. Even better, this new X-Wing hews closely to Ralph McQuarrie’s original design. Awesome.

Matthew Panzarino on the ‘Stickers’ Ad 

Matthew Panzarino:

Bangs and dents mean these things get used. It emphasizes the reliability of the MacBook Air by showing that some of them have scuffs and scrapes. It’s rare in that it shows Apple products in a non-retail-box condition. The only recent personalization example I can find is iPhones in cases, which are shown in its ‘Powerful’ ads — but those don’t show any actual ‘damage’. The way Apple products look after customization and ‘real world’ use isn’t often represented in Apple ads. As Jeff Carlson points out, these are likely someone’s real machines.

Scrollbar History 

Speaking of the old six-color Apple logo, some interesting UI design history from Jack Wellborn at Worms and Viruses:

While watching the video, I couldn’t help but notice two snippets at the 7:36 mark from 1982 about scroll bars. First, an Apple engineer shows how scrolling works in the Lisa, followed immediately by a similar demo from Xerox. This juxtaposition immediately struck me as interesting because Apple detractors are quick to reference Xerox Parc when dismissing the graphical interface innovations of the Lisa and Macintosh. While there is no denying Xerox’s influence, these two snippets perfectly illustrate massive amounts of design and refinement championed by Apple during that era. Read for yourself.

People who think UI design is easy might think the differences here are trivial; those who know that UI design is difficult know otherwise.

New MacBook Air Commercial: ‘Stickers’ 

Fun commercial, but the thing that really grabbed my attention is that this is the first time in recent memory — a decade? maybe longer? — that Apple has used their classic six-color logo, even if only briefly. Nice to see it.

People have been decorating their laptops with stickers and decals ever since they became consumer products. (You didn’t see many stickers on them when they cost $5,000.) And I don’t think we need to commission a demographic survey to state that younger people are more likely to do this than older people. It’s no coincidence this spot is debuting in back-to-school season.

In the old days Apple didn’t have to worry about conformance. Just owning a Mac made you stand out from the crowd. But what happens now, when everyone you know has a MacBook, and every MacBook looks the same? Something like this commercial is what happens. It’s all of a piece, along with Apple’s Beats acquisition and the market for iPhone cases: self-expression.

‘Count to Ten When a Plane Goes Down’ 

John C. Beck:

Just a little under 31 years ago, I played a key role in a conspiracy theory that grew up around a passenger plane downed by a Russian missile. Trust me, I did not mean to be involved. 

Great story.

Podcast Players: The New UI Design Playground 

Nice post from Supertop, the duo behind the excellent Castro:

By making Overcast free with in app purchase, Marco has lowered the barrier to trying a third party app. From our perspective, a user trying any third party app is good for all third party apps. If a user is persuaded to download one alternative they should be more likely to consider others in the future, especially given the variety of apps that are available. Marco referred to this diversity in his Macstories interview:

With a podcast app […] there are tons of big and small design and priority decisions that each developer makes along the way. These decisions add up to radically different apps — I can’t point to any two podcast apps in the store today that are very similar to each other in actual use.

I encourage you to try Overcast. In fact, if you really love podcasts, I encourage you to try all the others too. If you spend hours listening to podcasts every week, it’s going to be worth your while to find the app that suits you best.

Back in 2009 I wrote a piece titled “Twitter Clients Are a UI Design Playground”:

There are several factors that make Twitter a nearly ideal playground for UI design. The obvious ones are the growing popularity of the service itself and the relatively small scope of a Twitter client. Twitter is such a simple service overall, but look at a few screenshots of these apps, especially the recent ones, and you will see some very different UI designs, not only in terms of visual style but in terms of layout, structure, and flow. I’m not saying it’s easy to write a good Twitter client. In fact, that’s the point — that it is not easy to write a good client for something as small in scope as Twitter hints at just how hard it is to write a good app for anything, let alone something truly complex.

Less obvious is the fact that different people seek very different things from a Twitter client. TweetDeck, for example, is clearly about showing more at once. Tweetie is about showing less. That I prefer apps like Tweetie and Twitterrific doesn’t mean I think they’re better. There is so much variety because various clients are trying to do very different things. Asking for the “best Twitter client” is like asking for the “best shirt”.

I think the same is true of podcast players today.

Mocast 1.0 

New $2.99 iPhone podcast player by Frank Krueger. By bizarre coincidence, it launched the same day as Overcast, so it might have gotten lost in the Overcast shuffle. It’s a different take. Krueger writes:

I wrote Mocast because I was unhappy with the iOS podcast app selection. While there are almost as many iPhone podcast players as there are weather apps, I find that they all have two fatal flaws.

First, they take downloads way too seriously. Most UIs differentiate downloaded vs. not downloaded episodes and bifurcate their interface along those lines. This is silly to us podcastistas who aren’t the greatest at planning ahead.

Second, they take new episodes too seriously. Whole apps seem built with only new episodes in mind as they hide away the back catalog. I don’t know why this is. My favorite podcast, The Incomparable has an amazingly rich back catalog of episodes that I love to listen to. It’s nice when a new episode arrives but there’s no need over-emphasize them at the cost of the full catalog.

Interesting technical note, too:

As with all my apps, I wrote Mocast in C# using Xamarin.iOS. She came out to be about 8,000 LOC with about 60% of that code lying in the UI layer.

George Orwell: ‘Politics and the English Language’ 

One more follow-up regarding the connection between clear thinking and clear writing: Orwell’s famous essay, Politics and the English Language:

A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: What am I trying to say? What words will express it? What image or idiom will make it clearer? Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? And he will probably ask himself two more: Could I put it more shortly? Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly? But you are not obliged to go to all this trouble. You can shirk it by simply throwing your mind open and letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in. They will construct your sentences for you — even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent — and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself. It is at this point that the special connection between politics and the debasement of language becomes clear.

I’ve read this essay numerous times, and it never gets old.

‘Mission Statement’ 

As if right on cue given my aside last week on Satya Nadella’s business-jargon-laden company-wide memo, here’s a new song (and cool video) from Weird Al Yankovic.

(Another new song from Yankovic, “Word Crimes”, is also apt.)

The Talk Show: ‘Cat Pictures’ 

New double-sided LP episode of The Talk Show, with special guest Marco Arment. (You can get through the whole thing in a hour if you’re using Smart Speed in Overcast.)

DF RSS Feed Sponsorship Openings 

Speaking of DF RSS feed sponsors, the next few weeks are open on the schedule. Get in touch if you have a cool product or service you want to promote to DF’s discerning audience.

Update, Sunday evening: This coming week is still open. If you can pull the trigger quickly, let’s make a deal.

Faded — Simply Beautiful Mobile Photography 

My thanks to Vintage Noir for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed to promote Faded, their excellent all-in-one photo app for the iPhone. Faded includes gorgeous film-inspired effects and some of the most powerful iPhone editing tools currently available. Easy enough for amateurs, with simple but truly beautiful one-tap filters; powerful enough for serious photographers with detailed editing controls.

I know there’s a ton of photo apps for the iPhone, but Faded really does stand out. It’s been featured by Apple on the App Store as a “Best New App”, and Dan Rubin listed it in his list of ten best iPhone photo apps for The Guardian a few weeks ago.

Check out their website to see it in action, and download the app for just $0.99 — one buck! — on the App Store.

‘Looks by Dr. Dre’ 

Khoi Vinh:

If you take a look at Beats’ headphones product catalog, it looks a lot closer to, say, the Nixon watches catalog than any catalog of technology products. Beats’ headphones, like Nixon’s watches, are oriented such that the primary selection criteria are looks and style; you’ve got to wade through those before you decide which model you want. By contrast, on Apple’s site, you’ve got to choose your model before you can choose your style — or, put another way, you choose what you want it do, first, and then you get to choose what you want it to look like.

These differences reflect fundamentally distinct ways of thinking about products, or more importantly, fundamentally distinct ways of thinking about what customers want.

Taligent and the Ignominious History of Apple/IBM Alliances 

It somehow slipped my mind yesterday, but Bill Campbell’s departure made me recall Taligent, the ill-fated “universal operating system” boldly promised and jointly developed by Apple and IBM back in the early 1990s. (Campbell had nothing to do with it; he re-joined Apple as a board member in 1997 after the NeXT reunification. Taligent was one of several pie-in-the-sky fiascos that left Apple in such desperate straits that they had to buy NeXT.) Wikipedia:

Pink was then spun off from Apple as a joint project known as Taligent. The original Apple team was expanded with the addition of a very small number of IBM engineers, as well as a new CEO from IBM, Joe Guglielmi (apparently to the distaste of many of the Apple people).

“In 1992, the earth shook: IBM and Apple clasped hands and pronounced themselves allies. From this union sprang Taligent, a small Cupertino, California, company that’s now developing nothing less than a universal operating system.” —Macworld, 1994

During its first year, IBM persuaded Taligent to replace its internally developed object-oriented microkernel, called Opus, with the microkernel that IBM was using as the base for IBM’s Workplace OS. The change in underlying technology had both positive and negative aspects. On the positive side, Pink would become a personality on top of the IBM Workplace OS. This would create easy migration paths between OS/2, AIX, Mac OS, and Pink by allowing any combination of operating system personalities to run simultaneously on a single computer. On the negative side, this created issues over how to integrate Taligent’s object-oriented device-driver model with Workplace OS’s procedural device-driver model.

The “positive side” was a total pipe dream.

The other previous Apple/IBM collaboration that springs to mind is the PowerPC platform. That was no fiasco, and even saw some good years, but ultimately ended badly. Just two years after Apple’s grand announcement of the G5 CPU, Apple announced it was switching to Intel processors.

Tim Cook Tells WSJ He Does 80 Percent of His Work on iPad 

Daisuke Wakabayashi, reporting yesterday on the Apple/IBM team-up:

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook says he does 80% of the work of running the world’s most valuable company on an iPad.

“There’s no reason why everyone shouldn’t be like that,” Mr. Cook said in an interview, explaining why Apple struck a partnership with International Business Machines Corp. to develop applications catered to big businesses, or enterprises. “Imagine enterprise apps being as simple as the consumer apps that we’ve all gotten used to. That’s the way it should be.”

I’m sure “80 percent” is a rough guess, perhaps even somewhat exaggerated in the iPad’s favor, but there’s a dogfooding aspect to Tim Cook being a heavy iPad user who uses it for actual work.

Here’s my question (prompted by this thread on Twitter): Does IBM CEO Ginni Rometty use an iPhone? I don’t think it’s a deal-breaker if she doesn’t, but I do think it matters if she does — it’s an “actions speak louder than words” thing. Commitment and vision start at the top.

Update: Perfect counterexample: Google chairman (and long-time CEO) Eric Schmidt admitting to still using a BlackBerry — a BlackBerry! — last year.

Update 2: Horace Dediu: “I received confirmation that she uses iPhone, iPad and Mac and has for several years.” So there we go: the CEO of IBM apparently uses iOS devices and a Mac.

Sue Wagner Joins Apple’s Board; Bill Campbell Retires 

Apple PR:

“Sue is a pioneer in the financial industry and we are excited to welcome her to Apple’s board of directors,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We believe her strong experience, especially in M&A and building a global business across both developed and emerging markets, will be extremely valuable as Apple continues to grow around the world.”

“We conducted an exhaustive search for someone who would further strengthen our board’s breadth of talent and background, and we are delighted to have identified such an outstanding individual,” said Art Levinson, Apple’s chairman. “I’m confident that Sue is going to make an important and positive impact on our company.”

Makes me wonder if the Beats deal is the start of a trend toward larger acquisitions by Apple.

Bill Campbell’s relationship with Apple dates back to 1983, when he joined the company as vice president of Marketing. Next to Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Mike Markkula, Campbell is the longest-serving board member in the company’s history.

“Bill’s contributions to Apple are immeasurable and we owe him a huge debt of gratitude. On behalf of the board and the entire company, I want to thank him for being a leader, a mentor and a friend,” said Cook. “When Bill joined Apple’s board, the company was on the brink of collapse. He not only helped Apple survive, but he’s led us to a level of success that was simply unimaginable back in 1997.”

Apple share prices hovered around $0.80 (split-adjusted) in August 1997, when Campbell joined the board. They closed today at $93. Not a bad run for a board member.

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