Linked List: August 2011

The New Windows Explorer 

Apple and Microsoft are heading in very different directions, UI-wise.

U.S. Files Complaint to Block AT&T, T-Mobile Merger 

Bloomberg:

The U.S. Justice Department sued to block AT&T Inc.’s proposed $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile USA Inc., saying the deal would “substantially lessen competition” in the wireless market.

My Head Hurts Just From Reading the Headline of This One 

Brian Caulfield, “Why The Undead $99 TouchPad Might Portend The iPad’s Doom”:

So is there a future for Apple in the tablet business?

Hmm. Maybe?

iTunes’s Skip Feature 

Great tip from Chris Breen: using iTunes’s skip data to set up smart playlists that omit tracks you’ve skipped.

Samsung Launches Series 7 Aluminum Laptops 

Looks familiar, can’t quite put my finger on what these remind me of.

Why HP Is Making More TouchPads 

Philip Elmer-DeWitt:

But the only reason I can think of for HP to start manufacturing new TouchPads for sale at that price is the one suggested Tuesday by Taipai-based Digitimes.

It seems no one was more surprised by HP’s announcement that it was pulling the plug on the TouchPad than its upstream suppliers, who according to DigiTimes’ sources are suddenly suffering from component overload.

James Gosling Leaves Google 

That didn’t last long.

Apple Should Kill Off the iPod Touch 

VintageZen:

First, if the low end iPhone sold, without a contract, for around $200-300, it would be in the same price range as the iPod Touch, and would draw the same buyers. However, it could potentially draw in many more buyers with the fact it could also be used as a phone by simply putting in a sim card. It would be a dream device for many that want to simply use ‘pay as you go’ plans and don’t want to be locked into a 2 year contract. Apple probably also has the clout to make a data plan option, a la the 3G iPad, so that you could simply buy a months worth of data on your iPhone, without even having a voice plan. It could basically be the 3G iPod, with the added benefit of you being able to make it a full fledged iPhone if you desire.

I concur with this logic. It makes sense in a lot of ways for Apple. Simpler product lineup. It would even help with “smartphone market share” numbers — iPod Touches are dark matter in such comparisons that only count “phones”. Plus, I don’t recall seeing (or hearing privately, myself) any rumors about a new iPod Touch for this fall. The only downside I can think of is that iPod Touches are a lot thinner than any iPhone released to date.

I don’t know that any U.S. carriers would be willing to offer a data-only plan, though. I know it would be popular, but the mobile carriers aren’t stupid. Down that path lies the end of their business model of selling phone time.

HP to Make More TouchPads 

Computerworld:

He did not say if the tablets would continue to be sold at a drastically reduced price or if they would also be sold through retailers.

What’s the point? I don’t get it.

European Patriots 

Helen Pidd, reporting for The Guardian:

Now, as both France and Spain consider introducing a wealth tax, a group of 50 rich Germans have joined the “tax me harder” movement by renewing their open call to Angela Merkel to “stop the gap between rich and poor getting even bigger”.

The Ad Contrarian on the Future of Apple 

I don’t share the pessimism, but I do agree with the list of warning signs to watch for going forward. I don’t think Apple will have any problem maintaining its image and brand with Jobs in a reduced role.

Hope He Didn’t Short It 

Matt Marshall at VentureBeat, last week:

With Jobs’ withdrawal, the rap that has always dogged Apple — that its fortunes are too intimately tied to the genius of Jobs  – will come to the fore in a major way.

Even before the company gets a chance to prove otherwise, the stock market is almost certainly going to vote by sending the company’s shares down significantly.

At the moment, the stock price is up over where it was a week ago. Validates the theory that the market doesn’t like uncertainty.

Republicans Against Science 

Paul Krugman:

Of course, we know what’s motivating Mr. Romney’s sudden lack of conviction. According to Public Policy Polling, only 21 percent of Republican voters in Iowa believe in global warming (and only 35 percent believe in evolution). Within the G.O.P., willful ignorance has become a litmus test for candidates, one that Mr. Romney is determined to pass at all costs.

‘Until the Last Sinew, the Last Synapse Gives Up’ 

Jean-Louis Gassée on Steve Jobs:

For a long time, I’ve seen him as having an animal inside him, the one with the desires, the instinct, the drive. In 1985, that animal threw Steve to the ground. He picked himself up at Pixar — you’d be a captain of industry for doing no more — and NeXT. Then, in 1997, armed with Pixar’s success and Next’s technical prowess, he came back to run Apple and make it really his.

He had learned to ride the animal.

Ideas, Not Hierarchy 

Tom Reestman on the notion that Steve Jobs makes — or made — all decisions at Apple:

No one denies that the Apple executive team is brilliant, yet it seems many are willing to believe they’re just puppets. I’d argue the two are mutually exclusive.

Great piece, including a perfect excerpt from Jobs’s interview with Walt Mossberg at D8.

HP’s One-Year Plan 

Al Lewis:

Let’s say you were given a year to kill Hewlett-Packard. Here’s how you do it.

Brutal.

The Macalope vs. Jackasses 

An awful lot of stupid punditry in the wake of Jobs’s resignation.

Letters of Note: ‘I Have No Personal Knowledge of Computers’ 

Letters of Note:

June, 1956: Co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, Bill Hewlett, writes to then-Provost at Stanford and the man widely considered to be one of the “Fathers of Silicon Valley,” Fred Terman, “I have no personal knowledge of computers nor does anyone in our organization have any appreciable knowledge.”

If Léo Apotheker has his way, then, he’ll take HP right back to where it started.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 

Big meeting at Samsung headquarters:

“We tried 7 inches and it didn’t sell. We tried 10 inches and it didn’t sell. What can we do to make the Galaxy Tab popular?”

“Let’s try 8.9 inches.”

“Genius!”

(Also, regarding the new Galaxy S II phone, I like how they changed the Home button to an actual hardware button, rectangular with rounded corners, centered in the front face under the display. Haven’t seen that before.)

Some Match 

Brooke Crothers, in a piece headlined “iPad Met Its Match in the TouchPad”:

On Friday, August 19, Apple’s iPad finally met its marketing match. That’s when Hewlett-Packard’s TouchPad went on sale for as little as $99 and triggered the kind of buying frenzy that had been reserved exclusively for products from Apple.

Over the last year and a half, no other tablet had been able to come as close as the TouchPad to eclipsing the fixation that consumers have had on the iPad.

Let me get this clear. The iPad “met its match” in a device that sold so poorly that after just 49 days on the market, HP decided to discontinue the product, abandon the WebOS hardware business entirely, and dump the existing stock at a significant loss. OK.

‘If You See a Stylus, They Blew It.’ 

New Sony Reader T1 leaked.

The Talk Show, Episode 56: ‘That Day Has Come’ 

Yours truly and Dan Benjamin, discussing Steve Jobs’s resignation, his succession, and Apple’s future.

Brought to you by Sourcebits and FreshBooks.

‘Computers Are Like a Bicycle for Our Minds’ 

One of my favorite analogies ever.

VMware’s Back to School Special 

My thanks to VMware for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed to promote their VMware in Education back-to-school special. Any university or college student, prospective student, parent, or member of the faculty can receive a discount of up to 50 percent on VMware products. Visit the VMware website to learn more about the promotion.

VMware Fusion is a terrific solution for running Windows on the Mac. Unlike Boot Camp, with VMware Fusion, Windows apps can run alongside Mac apps. It works with over 150 different Intel-compatible operating systems.

In It for the Long Haul 

Apple, in its SEC filing detailing this week’s changes in corporate leadership:

In connection with Mr. Cook’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer, the Board awarded Mr. Cook 1,000,000 restricted stock units. Fifty percent of the restricted stock units are scheduled to vest on each of August 24, 2016 and August 24, 2021, subject to Mr. Cook’s continued employment with Apple through each such date.

The message: Apple’s board is confident in Tim Cook, and Tim Cook is confident in Apple.

Apple Removes TV Rentals From iTunes 

“iTunes customers have shown they overwhelmingly prefer buying TV shows.”

Dave Winer on Steve Jobs 

Dave Winer:

One of the really amazing things about New York City is the extent to which the city anticipated its own growth. It built elevated rail systems to neighborhoods that didn’t exist. A grid that went into the Bronx when the city barely made it to 14th St. A huge city park in the middle of nowhere. Tech guys have to think like that. So few do.

Rob ‘CmdrTaco’ Malda Resigns From Slashdot 

Founder of one of the seminal indie web publications.

New Apple CEO Tim Cook: ‘I’m Thinking Printers’ 

The Onion:

“Laser, ink-jet, double-sided, color, black-and-white — the future of technology is in printers. I am absolutely convinced of that,” Cook explained to a packed auditorium as a montage of printers and people using printers played on a screen behind him.

As a 12-Year-Old Kid, Allen Paltrow Met Steve Jobs 

Great story, great pictures.

‘I Truly Cared’ 

Jonathan Berger, then an intern at Apple, asked Steve Jobs in 2000 why he came back to Apple. His paraphrasing of Jobs’s answer:

“When I was trying to decide whether to come back to Apple or not I struggled. I talked to a lot of people and got a lot of opinions. And then there I was, late one night, struggling with this and I called up a friend of mine at 2am. I said, ‘Should I come back, should I not?’ and the friend replied, ‘Steve, look. I don’t give a fuck about Apple. Just make up your mind,’ and hung up. And it was in that moment that I realized I truly cared about Apple.”

Has to be Ellison. (Via John Siracusa.)

‘You’re the Ones’ 

Marc Hedlund on a 1999 internal meeting at Apple, led by Steve Jobs.

Apple’s Leadership 

Going to take some getting used to.

‘However Vast the Darkness, We Must Supply Our Own Light.’ 

Stanley Kubrick in his 1968 interview with Playboy:

The most terrifying fact of the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death — however mutable man may be able to make them — our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment.

However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.

Company-Wide Email From Apple CEO Tim Cook 

Tim Cook:

I want you to be confident that Apple is not going to change. I cherish and celebrate Apple’s unique principles and values. Steve built a company and culture that is unlike any other in the world and we are going to stay true to that — it is in our DNA. We are going to continue to make the best products in the world that delight our customers and make our employees incredibly proud of what they do.

The Last Day 

Peter Burrows and Josh Tyrangiel, reporting for Businessweek:

On the day of the announcement, a person close to Jobs who was not authorized to speak about his health said the outgoing CEO was in Apple’s Cupertino (Calif.) office for the entire workday and attended a regularly scheduled board meeting. This person described Jobs’s condition as weak but added that his resignation was not indicative of a sudden downturn and that Jobs, while housebound in recent weeks, was up and about. Jobs gathered his senior executive team in an emotional meeting after the news broke. He also made clear he plans to be an active chairman, according to another source familiar with the transition.

What a meeting that must have been.

The market reaction was instantaneous: Apple shares fell as much as 7 percent in extended trading after the announcement.

But as of this moment, the stock is down just 1 percent, only slightly worse than the S&P 500 overall for the day.

Holding the Door 

Great little Steve Jobs story from former Apple engineer David Cairns.

Icon Ambulance 

Vic Gundotra on a Sunday morning phone call from Steve Jobs.

‘That Day Has Come’ – Steve Jobs Resigns as Apple CEO 

Steve Jobs, elegant and to the point, as always:

To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

After releasing his letter, Apple announced that Jobs has indeed been elected chairman, and that Tim Cook has already been named CEO.

Damn.

McAfee: Android Malware Problem Getting Worse 

Rue Liu, Slashgear:

According to a new quarterly report from McAfee, Android has now soared to the top as the most targeted platform for malware. In only three months time, Android has gone from third most attacked platform to the first. Another recent report from Lookout claimed a similar upward climb in Android malware infected apps. […]

Malware incidences on Apple’s iOS have been so negligible that it has not made the list.

Remember the old argument about Apple platforms not getting malware only because they weren’t popular enough to attract attention?

WebKit Turns Ten 

Matt Drance:

Today is the tenth anniversary of Apple’s open-source WebKit codebase, which powers nearly every relevant web browser and engine used today, including Safari, Chrome, and even WebOS itself.

While the Cat’s Away, the Mice Shall Play 

Merlin Mann’s guest co-host on this week’s Back to Work: Jonathan Coulton. Last week’s Rob Corddry. Not bad.

U.S. Department of Justice: Google Forfeits $500 Million Generated by Online Ads and Prescription Drug Sales by Canadian Online Pharmacies 

Don’t be evil.

9/11 Memorial App to Be iPad-Exclusive 

Interesting perspective:

“The iPad is the single fastest selling consumer device in the history of consumer electronics,” he said. “There are 30 million now on the market. What’s more limited? A beautiful glossy photo book that sits in Barnes & Noble, or something that’s free and on a device that lots of people have?”

Android Crapware 

Mike Jennings, writing at PC Pro:

Not so with smartphones. On Friday, I eased the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro from its box, turned it on, and was greeted with a message urging me to set up McAfee WaveSecure before I’d even set up the phone with my Google account.

Delving into the app drawer revealed more unwanted software, with a host of apps neatly summarising Android’s perennial fragmentation issues: alongside the official Market, the Xperia Mini Pro comes loaded with four different app stores. There’s also other McAfee apps installed as well as a Popcap Games trial and a selection of media management tools.

Jennings says “smartphones”, and he compares their crapware situation to that of “laptops”, but he’s really only talking about one type of smartphone (Android), and one type of laptop (Windows).

The funny thing is, Microsoft learned from Windows being open to this sort of nickel-and-diming from hardware makers — to my knowledge at least, Windows Phone 7 devices don’t have crapware. Just Android.

Update: Several readers emailed to say that some Windows Phone phones (ugh) do come with pre-installed crapware. We just don’t hear much about it because they aren’t selling many of them — and, notably, on Windows Phone these third-party apps are user delete-able.

Aaron Swartz on What Google Means by ‘Evil’ 

Aaron Swartz:

If you look at their examples of evil deeds, they seem rather mundane compared to cackling supervillains and mass murderers. They specifically name three: only showing relevant ads, not using pop-ups or other annoying gimmicks, and not selling actual search results.

Hardly the stuff of comic books. But what do these three have in common? They’re all instances of refusing to make things worse for your users in order to make more money. […]

When you stop to think about it, it’s wild how many companies have done just that: Printer manufacturers who put chips on their ink cartridges, so you can’t refill or recycle them but instead have to buy a new full-price cartridge. Apple preventing the Kindle app from having any sort of ebook buying functionality. Web publishers who break articles up into 20 pages so that you have to load 20 different ads just to read one article. These are pretty banal evils, but it’s striking that I can’t think of any example where Google has done anything like that.

Sounds more profound when put this way, but I’d argue that Google’s entire business model should be deemed “evil” by this lofty standard. It is certainly true that the ads Google shows in search results and Gmail are far less annoying than typical web ads, but they’re still ads. Search results are worse with ads than without. How can anyone argue that Gmail is better because it puts ads next to your email? Almost everything is worse with ads than without. The trick is to do it with taste and respect for the reader/viewer/user — to have the ads make the overall experience only ever-so-slightly worse, rather than a lot worse. Google does that, and, really, that’s what I try to do here at DF, too.

So instead of “Don’t make things worse for the user in order to make money”, I’d say a better rule, and one which applies to Google, would be something like “Maintain a high amount of respect for your users’ time, attention, and happiness.” That’s the line you don’t want to cross.

More ‘Finally’ 

“Storefront limited to 10.7 for several days.”

‘Finally’ 

“A full week”.

Mozilla Introduces WebAPI 

Ambitious mobile web API, spearheaded by Mozilla:

WebAPI is an effort by Mozilla to bridge together the gap, and have consistent APIs that will work in all web browsers, no matter the operating system. Specification drafts and implementation prototypes will be available, and it will be submitted to W3C for standardization.

WSJ: Sprint to Get Apple iPhone 5 

Another option for those fed up with AT&T.

Samsung Cites Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ as Prior Art Against iPad Design Patent 

Odds that I would link to this: 100 percent.

iTunes Store Revenue 

From Seeking Alpha’s transcript of Apple’s last quarterly finance call:

The iTunes store generated strong results with revenue of almost $1.4 billion. iTunes revenue was up 36% year-over-year, thanks primarily to continued strong sales of music, video and apps. With more than 225 million accounts, iTunes is the #1 music retailer in the world and customers have downloaded more than 15 billion songs today.

Note: that’s $1.4 billion in revenues, not profits. And that includes the music side, which is almost 10 years old. And further note that Apple doesn’t mention profits from the iTunes Store at all. If they were making big bank, Apple would brag about it. I’m pretty sure the iTunes Store is profitable, but it’s insignificant in the grand scheme of Apple’s income. And yet that’s the business Mike Arrington thinks HP should focus on while selling piece of crap $200 tablets.

How to Get $12 Billion of Gold to Venezuela 

Felix Salmon ponders an interesting problem: how to move $12 billion in gold from England to Venezuela.

Profit Profit Profit 

I knew Mike Arrington was a dummy, but I didn’t think he was this big a dummy:

If HP were to knock the screen quality down just a bit and figure out a cheaper storage solution, the BOM (bill of materials) on their device could be significantly lower than $200. Normally they’d retail that at $400 or more. But if instead they sold it for cost, and sold millions of them, a very robust developer network would pop up around WebOS. See Apple and Google for great ideas on monetizing apps on devices by grabbing up to 30% of revenues and also trying to control app advertising.

It’s easy to sell a bunch of $500 tablets for $100. That doesn’t mean you’d sell a lot of $200 tablets for $200. And even if they did sell, it’d be for little-to-no profit. Apple’s 30 percent cut of app sales is a nice side business, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared to their hardware sales. App advertising is an even lower margin business.

Glassboard 

“Private group sharing done right.” The slogan says it all. This is what Brent Simmons has been working on after NetNewsWire. But they’ve shipped on day one with apps for iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone.

Will Apple Go After Gawker in a Civil Suit? 

Greg Sandoval and Declan McCullagh for CNet:

No doubt that Apple values its trade secrets, but by pursuing this case, the company risks alienating the public. Remember, Apple was once supposed to be the counter-culture choice and now, the company is a colossus.

“Counter-culture choice”. That ship sailed long ago, hippies.

What the Huge Sales of the $99 TouchPad Tells Us About iPad and the Future of Tablets 

Ian Betteridge nails it.

Jean-Louis Gassée on HP’s Exit From the PC Market 

Yep:

HP’s announcement was vague and unactionable.

Vodka Nation 

Nice piece by Victorino Matus in The Weekly Standard on the history of vodka, particularly with regard to branding:

Atop one bottle, he drew a halo much like an angel’s. Then he jotted down a headline: “Absolut. It’s the perfect vodka.” Hayes liked it, especially the little joke. He knew the halo would reduce some of the pompousness of the headline.

The following morning, Hayes showed the sketch to his partner. [Writer Graham Turner] liked it, but he looked at the long headline and asked, “Why not just say ‘Absolut Perfection’?”

Xydo Brief 

My thanks for Xydo for again sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed to promote Xydo Brief. Xydo Brief is a simple, elegant and very clever service for getting news, customized for your own interests, via email. Xydo scours the web and your social networks to find the best stories — it’s a cross between automated indexing and human curation.

Xydo identifies news of interest to you by processing a ton of sources (over 100,000) and prioritizing each piece of content based on the recommendations of their 2 million users, and the people you follow on Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader, and Linkedin.

Give Xydo Brief a try. It’s convenient, easy, and clever.

(1) Collect Underpants, (2) ?, (3) Profit 

Josh Topolsky, in two tweets:

Long and short is this: if HP had sold the TouchPad for even $199, it would have flown off the shelves.

Yes they would have burned a ton of cash at first, but they would have ended up with users. HP could afford it.

It makes total sense to me that the TouchPad is suddenly selling briskly, now that its price has been cut to $99 as HP sells off existing stock. And I agree that it would have proven popular if it had debuted at $199 retail. But I’ll bet they’d have lost $200 or so on each one at that price. And the more popular it had proven, the more they would have lost. Five million TouchPads at a $200 loss each is a billion-dollar bath. As of WWDC, back in June, Apple claimed to have sold 25 million iPads to date.

Sure, HP “could afford it”. (Or at least, they could have afforded it before they decided to spend over $10 billion acquiring Autonomy.) But how is that good business? What’s the eventual upside? Double the price of the TouchPad a year from now? That wouldn’t fly. Selling TouchPads at a steep loss wouldn’t just burn a ton of cash “at first”. It would burn a ton of cash continuously, every time one was sold.

Tweets lack depth, of course, so maybe what Topolsky is suggesting is that HP should have sold TouchPads at a steep loss when they debuted — but only as a limited time promotion. I.e., they could have made it clear that these were $499 devices but that you get one, right off the bat — say, for the first week or two — for $199. That might have actually made sense. Still, though, even if they’d sold 500,000 of them it might have cost $100 million. That’s a lot of money to spend on a promotion.

Sustainable businesses are built on profit.

Google Requests Reexamination of Lodsys Patents 

Groklaw:

We have had a chance to review the reexamination requests, and after that review we believe Lodsys is in for a rough time. We have seen reexam requests before, but when we saw these, the above quote came to mind. Lodsys, you shouldn’t have brought a knife to a gunfight.

It’d be sweet if Google could get Lodsys’s patents wiped from the board. Nice to see Google joining this fight, too.

The Talk Show, Episode 55 

Dan’s off on paternity leave, so Ryan Irelan did the show with me this week. Big topics: Google’s acquisition of Motorola, HP getting out of the PC and WebOS hardware businesses, and the general idea of getting traction in the market. Brought to you by Shopify and Rackspace.

Walmart and the Lucky Duckies 

Scott Neuman, reporting for NPR:

In a sign of just how much the economy is hurting its traditional customer base, Walmart finds itself going head-to-head with Target for middle-income customers just as its lower-income clientele is being lured away by an even cheaper option — the dollar store.

“If you go to the dollar stores, they’ve done a much better job of offering food to the consumers,” Sozzi said, adding that a lot of people who used to shop at Walmart “don’t have the money” to shop there anymore.

But those lucky duckies who can’t afford to shop at Walmart don’t pay any federal income tax. Unfair.

Apple Deprecates Developer Access to Unique Device Identifiers 

Erick Schonfeld, AOL/TechCrunch:

In a recent update to the documentation for iOS 5 (which is only available to registered Apple developers, but a copy was forwarded to me), Apple notes that it will be phasing out access to the unique device identifier, or UDID, on iOS devices such as iPhones and iPads.

This is a big deal, especially for any mobile ad networks, game networks or any app which relies on the UDID to identify users. Many apps and mobile ad networks, for instance, uses the UDID or a hashed version to keep track of who their users are and what actions they have taken.

My guess: Apple is doing this so they can further promote iOS as a secure and privacy-protecting platform. What are the odds that Google would ever block Android developers from accessing unique device IDs? This is going to result in some work for developers far afield from ad and game networks, too, though.

More Balm for Steve Jobs’s Temper 

The Financial Times:

Apple’s sales in greater China have for the first time overtaken those of Lenovo, the world’s third-biggest personal computer maker by shipment volume, results from the two companies confirm.

(Thanks to DF reader Rahul Krishnakumar.)

Rose-Colored Glasses 

Marco Arment on WebOS:

This is a high-stakes game. Apple is kicking everyone’s asses so much in the “tablet market” that it’s really not accurate to call it that. Competitors need to be great on day one to stand a chance.

Maybe This Will Help Improve Steve Jobs’s Bad Temper 

Lenovo CEO Liu Chuanzhi, one year ago:

“We are lucky that Steve Jobs has such a bad temper and doesn’t care about China. If Apple were to spend the same effort on the Chinese consumer as we do, we would be in trouble.”

Joanna Stern, today, reviewing the iPad-alike Lenovo IdeaPad K1:

The IdeaPad K1 has been in development in one form or another for a year and a half, yet it still isn’t ready. And even if it had hit the market a year ago, it wouldn’t have been good enough (at least in its current form) to go head-to-head with the original iPad. The K1′s hardware is chunky and cheap-feeling, its screen is washed out, and the software is unstable to the point of being unusable at times.

How to Use UTF-8 Throughout Your Web Stack 

This would have saved me a lot of MySQL text-encoding aggravation the last time I moved DF to a new server.

Footnotify Extension for Chrome and Safari 

Great work by Hans Petter Eikemo. Recommended.

Best Buy Giving Away Galaxy Tab 10.1s With Samsung 3D TV Purchases Next Week 

Maybe they should include free haircuts too.

HP Had WebOS Running on iPad Hardware? 

Matt Brian, The Next Web, reporting that HP’s WebOS software team was stymied by slow hardware:

The hardware reportedly stopped the team from innovating beyond certain points because it was slow and imposed constraints, which was highlighted when webOS was loaded on to Apple’s iPad device and found to run the platform significantly faster than the device for which it was originally developed.

With a focus on web technologies, webOS could be deployed in the iPad’s Mobile Safari browser as a web-app; this produced similar results, with it running many times faster in the browser than it did on the TouchPad.

I’m deeply skeptical of this without seeing it in action. I don’t doubt that the iPad is better hardware, but if it’s that easy to get WebOS bootstrapped on iPad hardware, why haven’t indie hacker jailbreak types gotten, say, Android running on an iPad, too? And I simply can’t believe that WebOS or any subset thereof running within MobileSafari would be faster than running natively on the TouchPad. I don’t believe it. Show me.

The Differences Between Android and iPhone Users at Hunch 

Confirms most of the stereotypes you already believed. Android users tend to be less educated, earn lower incomes, are more likely to be politically conservative, and be followers instead of leaders.

Update: Shamefully, iPhone users are 50 percent more likely to text while driving. Stop that.

Breaking Down the Lucky Duckies 

One more on taxes and politics. Every time I post about tax rates, every time, I get dozens of spittle-covered angry emails about the supposed fact that half of Americans — the lower half, income-wise — “pay no taxes”. It’s a total crock. It’s true that 46 percent of Americans pay no federal income taxes, but these are people with low incomes, and they pay all sorts of other taxes: sales tax, state tax, local tax, payroll tax, etc.

What They’re ‘Protecting’ Us From 

Anil Dash points out that the world’s most successful CEO is a staunch liberal:

So, who is this man? He’s the anchor baby of an activist Arab muslim who came to the U.S. on a student visa and had a child out of wedlock. He’s a non-Christian, arugula-eating, drug-using follower of unabashedly old-fashioned liberal teachings from the hippies and folk music stars of the 60s. And he believes in science, in things that science can demonstrate like climate change and Pi having a value more specific than “3”, and in extending responsible benefits to his employees while encouraging his company to lead by being environmentally responsible.

Every single person who’d attack Steve Jobs on any of these grounds is, demonstrably, worse at business than Jobs. They’re unqualified to assert that liberal values are bad for business, when the demonstrable, factual, obvious evidence contradicts those assertions.

Historical Top Marginal Income Tax Rates in the U.S. 

Eisenhower must have been a commie.

Mike Arrington’s Taxes Are Too High 

Speaking of Warren Buffett’s call for higher taxes on the mega-rich (to wit: those earning over one million dollars per year) and the knee-jerk response that it constitutes “class warfare”, here’s Mike Arrington’s response:

What I really didn’t understand until recently though is why so many rich Americans seem to loathe their richness as much as everyone else does. Many in Silicon Valley want to tax the rich into the middle class and let government spend and spend and spend. The super rich tech elite flock to Obama, joining in the call to screw the rich as loudly as all the rest.

What a crock of shit. The calls for raising taxes on the wealthy — or for simply allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire — are about restoring tax rates to those of the Clinton administration. Bill Clinton oversaw the best economy in recent U.S. history. Every income group did well, including the wealthy, and the U.S. budget was balanced. One can dispute the causes and effects of the 1990s U.S. economy. Republicans like to argue today that the economy did well under Clinton despite the higher tax rates on the wealthy. But here are three facts: (1) tax rates on the wealthy were higher then than now; (2) the economy thrived then and has suffered ever since; (3) Clinton left office with a balanced federal budget.

No marginal income tax increase, no matter how extreme, would “tax the rich into the middle class”. Marginal tax rates apply only to the last dollar. So even if the U.S. instituted an Eisenhower-era 91-percent income tax on income over $1 million, those earning over that amount would only pay that rate on income after the first million earned. If you want to argue that tax rates on the super-wealthy are already high enough, fine. But don’t argue that Buffett’s proposal, or a restoration of Clinton-era tax rates, amounts to “soaking the rich” or “screwing the rich” or “taxing the rich into the middle class”. It’s sophistry.

It’s easy to understand why the rich tech elite support Democrats on economic issues. They’re smart enough to wish we could return to an economy like we had under Bill Clinton.

World of Class Warfare: Warren Buffett vs. Wealthy Conservatives 

Jon Stewart and The Daily Show nail it again. Love the Fox News guy who accuses Warren Buffett of being a “socialist”.

The Tablet Effect 

From the WSJ’s liveblog transcript of HP’s conference call today:

“The tablet effect is real, and sales of the TouchPad are not meeting our expectations,” Apotheker says, explaining the movement of consumers from PCs to tablets as one of the problems with the PC division. So H-P is exploring options for its unit that “may include separation through spinoff or other transactions.”

Translation: “We’re getting out of the PC business because of the iPad.”

MLB.com at Bat 11 

I’ve said it before and will say it again: I love the MLB At Bat apps for iOS. If you’re a baseball fan, especially if you like watching out of market games, you are out of your mind if you don’t have these apps. This is the future of sports broadcasting.

Number One Plus 

HP’s Eric Cador, three months ago:

“In the tablet world, we’re going to become better than number one. We call it number one plus.”

HP press release today:

In addition, HP reported that it plans to announce that it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.

Rebecca Lynn Believes in Free 

Venture capitalist Rebecca Lynn thinks Google will use its acquisition of Motorola to give away free Android phones:

I acknowledge the arguments that Google’s bill of materials on smartphones, perhaps in the hundreds-of-dollars range, would be too big a subsidy to absorb — at this present time. That cost is increasingly decreasing. If Google is betting on a future that is mobile-centric, this is a bet that’s worth taking.

If we’re talking free as in “no-contract free”, keep in mind that most estimates of Google’s search revenue per Android user are in the range of $6-10 per year. So if you figure people keep their phones for two or three years, these giveaway phones would have to cost — what? — maybe $10 or $20 in order for Google to turn a profit?

HP to Cease Making WebOS Devices 

Derek Kessler, PreCentral:

We knew HP was having trouble selling webOS devices, and as part of their quarterly fiscal announcement, they announced that they plan to discontinue operations for webOS devices, to include the TouchPad and webOS phones.

What Happens When You Count the iPad as a ‘PC’ 

Apple becomes the leading PC-maker, by unit sales, in the world. Update: Leading mobile PC maker, that is. Still.

Ridley Scott to Direct New ‘Blade Runner’ Film 

The final twist: Jar-Jar is a replicant.

Indecision 2012: Ron Paul and the Top Tier 

Speaking of “nah nah, can’t hear you”, here’s Jon Stewart on the cable news channel’s treatment of Ron Paul in the nascent Republican primary race.

Bloomberg: HP to Spin Off PC Business 

Jeffrey McCracken, Serena Saitto, and Aaron Ricadela, reporting for Bloomberg:

Hewlett-Packard Co., the world’s largest computer maker, is in talks to buy Autonomy Corp. for about $10 billion and plans to spin off its personal-computer business, people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Hewlett-Packard may announce the plans as early as today, said the people, who asked not to be identified before a statement. The Palo Alto, California-based company is scheduled to report quarterly earnings today after markets close.

Largest computer-maker by unit sales, not by profit. And that’s the problem.

(No word on whether Palm/WebOS would be included in the spun-off PC business.)

Fingers in Ear, Nah Nah, I Can’t Hear You 

Chitika Insights yesterday released a study showing Android market share among U.S. phone carriers, with Verizon showing a big drop between March and August. Chitika’s conclusion:

Verizon’s share of iPhone traffic continues to increase, but it seems that Verizon is gaining market share in Apple’s prominent smartphone at the expense of its other, Android-running devices.

Let’s cut to David Ruddock’s post on this study at Android Police:

Verizon, who previously controlled over 50% of the market for Android smartphones, has dropped to almost 40% over the last five months. Who’s to blame? AT&T and small budget carriers, apparently (US Cellular, MetroPCS, Virgin Mobile).

Apparently the Verizon iPhone is the phone that cannot be named. (Thanks to Derek Giromini.)

Streamlining 

MG Siegler:

I’m sure it’s purely coincidental that just as iMessage is about to hit in iOS 5, AT&T is removing all of their lower-priced text messaging plans.

Innovation 

Re: the previous entry, on tablets before and after the iPad, and Android phones before and after the iPhone, here’s a delightful quote from Google chairman Eric Schmidt last month:

“We have seen an explosion of Android devices entering the market and, because of our successes, competitors are responding with lawsuits as they cannot respond through innovations,” he said. “I’m not too worried about this.”

Tablets, Before and After the iPad 

A classic, along the lines of what Android phones looked like before and after the iPhone. For dessert, here’s another look at the pre-iPhone Android.

Last-Place Aversion 

The Economist, on a new study on why the relatively poor often oppose raising taxes on the wealthy:

Instead of opposing redistribution because people expect to make it to the top of the economic ladder, the authors of the new paper argue that people don’t like to be at the bottom. One paradoxical consequence of this “last-place aversion” is that some poor people may be vociferously opposed to the kinds of policies that would actually raise their own income a bit but that might also push those who are poorer than them into comparable or higher positions. The authors ran a series of experiments where students were randomly allotted sums of money, separated by $1, and informed about the “income distribution” that resulted. They were then given another $2, which they could give either to the person directly above or below them in the distribution.

In keeping with the notion of “last-place aversion”, the people who were a spot away from the bottom were the most likely to give the money to the person above them: rewarding the “rich” but ensuring that someone remained poorer than themselves.

In short: spite. (Via Aaron Cohen, guest-hosting at Kottke.)

RIM Still Totally Fucked 

Zach Epstein, BGR:

T-Mobile subscribers who thought $250 was a tough pill to swallow for the BlackBerry Bold 9900 will be none too happy with this morning’s news. T-Mobile on Wednesday finally announced the imminent launch of its Bold 9900 variant, which will become available on August 31 for a whopping $299.99 with a new two-year contract. What’s more, that price is after a $50 mail-in rebate, so subscribers looking to nab the latest flagship out of Waterloo, Ontario will have to part with $350 to do so.

Good luck with that.

Plans Change 

PCWorld, back in January:

Sprint Nextel will sell a WiMax version of the Research In Motion PlayBook tablet beginning this summer, the companies announced on Thursday at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Fierce Wireless, this week:

Research in Motion’s PlayBook tablet suffered another blow as Sprint Nextel announced it cancelled plans to sell a WiMAX-enabled version of the device. […]

“It’s an interesting concept, it just hasn’t caught on with business customers,” Paget Alves, president of Sprint’s business markets group, told the Wall Street Journal in explaining Sprint’s decision not to carry the PlayBook.

Where by “business customers”, Alves means “anyone”.

Jim Dalrymple on the Tablet Market 

Jim Dalrymple:

Some tablet makers and OS developers are trying to convince people that their products are better than the iPad. The fact is, all they are doing is adding features to Apple’s concept. Anyone can copy a concept and then add small things to it, but Apple still owns the original and consumers identify with that. Nobody is being fooled.

Cf. today’s aforelinked report on TouchPad sales at Best Buy — and the TouchPad, I say, is clearly the best of the bunch.

WSJ Profile on Google and Motorola’s Clashing Cultures 

Shayndi Raice, writing for the WSJ:

A key difference between the companies stems from Motorola’s focus on hardware and Google’s on software. That helps explain why Google is more able to take risks, Mr. Jha said. If he worked at Google and “wrote a little bit of code, and if there are bugs, I can fix it later,” he said. “When I deliver a phone, I don’t have that flexibility.”

Like when Motorola promised a tablet with support for 4G networking, shipped it without it, and told users not to worry, someday they’d be required to send the tablet back to Motorola to get it? That sort of flexibility?

The employees — About 20,000 at Motorola Mobility and nearly 29,000 at Google — will have to get used to each other. One former Android executive boasted that Google employees has [sic], on average, 20 IQ points more than their Motorola counterparts.

Who knows who this unnamed “former Android executive” is, but if that’s even vaguely indicative of the average Google employee’s estimation of their Motorola counterparts, get me some popcorn. This is going to be fun.

Update: The article has since been edited to remove the line about IQ points. The above quote was in the original version.

‘Very, Very Responsive’ 

Dieter Bohn from The Verge, at around the 1:20 mark in his video review of Fusion Garage’s new Grid 10 forked-version-of-Android tablet: “Taking a look at the pinch-to-zoom action, it’s very, very responsive. I’m really impressed with what they’ve managed to do here.”

If my iPad’s pinch-to-zoom were that choppy, I’d take it back to the Apple Store, because I’d know there was something seriously wrong with it.

(Via Marco Arment.)

Some Website: Anemic Sales of HP TouchPad at Best Buy 

Arik Hesseldahl:

According to one source who has seen internal HP reports, Best Buy has taken delivery of 270,000 TouchPads and has so far managed to sell only 25,000, or less than 10 percent of the units in its inventory.

A second person who has seen Best Buy’s TouchPad sales figures confirmed the results as “consistent with what I’ve seen,” and went so far as to say that 25,000 sold might be “charitable.” This source suggested that the 25,000-unit sales number may not account for units that consumers return to stores for a refund.

Sad.

Also, a clear example of the potentially stark differences between “shipped” and “sold”.

Samsung Galaxy Tablet EU Ban Overturned 

Kenny Hemphill, MacUser UK:

A court in Düsseldorf has lifted the injunction it granted Apple last week, which prevented Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in all European Union countries except the Netherlands.

Ballmer Was Right About Android 

Writing at Slate, Farhad Manjoo argues that despite their current protestations that acquiring Motorola isn’t going to change their approach to the Android platform as a whole, the math compels Google to try to be more like Apple:

Now Google has to find a way to recoup at least $12.5 billion from Android (on top of whatever else it was investing to build the OS). That looks very difficult. Earlier this year, Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, estimated that Google makes just $6 in ad revenue per Android user per year. By 2012, that number could be $10 per Android user per year. Across all users, that would mean about $1 billion in annual revenue. Even if that figure grows over time, it will take a long time for Google to make back the money it spent on Motorola, let alone to turn a profit.

As Steve Ballmer said last year, Android isn’t free.

Apple Releases OS X 10.7.1 via Software Update 

Finally.

Cupertino Releases Plans and Renderings of New Apple Campus 

Gorgeous renderings. So utterly Apple-y.

50 for 50 

Colleen Wainwright:

For my 50th birthday, what I want is to raise $50,000 for my favorite nonprofit, WriteGirl.

Great idea for a really great cause. To promote the effort, Colleen is doing a series of interviews about writing, including this one with my wife.

I would love to see a nice spike in her fundraising graph from DF readers.

Kagi Sparks Controversy With $5 VisualHub Lion Update 

Strange story, and I think a very poor decision by Kagi.

Update: To be clear, I don’t think Kagi stole anything, or ripped anything or anyone off. (Arguably, perhaps, they shouldn’t have treated the customer list for VisualHub as theirs, though.) Their mistake, to my eyes, is betraying the trust of the developers who use their payment services. Tyler Loch is the developer of VisualHub, and he chose to use Kagi as his payment processor. He was Kagi’s client. Now, Kagi is selling something based on Loch’s work against Loch’s wishes. Other developers see this and think they can’t trust Kagi. Trust with developers is a primary asset for a service like Kagi.

And now to make things worse, Kagi CEO Kee Nethery is criticizing Loch’s business decisions. Maybe you personally agree with Nethery that Loch handled the discontinuation of support for VisualHub poorly. That doesn’t matter. It simply isn’t the place for a payment processor to turn against a developer client like this.

Jackass of the Week: Adrian Shaughnessy 

Adrian Shaughnessy, writing on the London riots:

One group has so far escaped blame: designers. […]

But for the past three or four decades the major role of graphic design has been to create the branding and collateral of desire. For those who can afford entry into this world — no harm is done. For those who can resist the blandishments of this world — no harm is done. But for those who have neither the education nor emotional maturity to deal with this, immense harm is done.

Poor people are too stupid to deal with well-designed stuff. OK.

How Big Is Apple’s New Proposed Headquarters? 

Pretty big.

Google’s Android Press Release Generator 

Convenient.

Rope-a-Dope, Indeed 

I so badly want to quote MG Siegler’s penultimate paragraph, but I don’t want to spoil it for you.

Allegations That Apple’s Evidence in European Samsung Case Includes Doctored Image 

One of Apple’s images of the Galaxy Tab make its aspect ratio seem much closer to the iPad’s than it really is. Not sure how big a deal this is, but it sure seems like sloppy lawyering.

Update: If you look at Apple’s full complaint, it includes several actual photographs of the iPad and Galaxy Tab side-by-side. The dispute here is over one image.

Om Malik on the Pursuit of Motorola 

He says Microsoft was interested as well. And adds this:

The high-level talks between Google and Motorola started about five weeks ago. Google CEO Larry Page and Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha were talking directly, and only a handful of executives were brought into discussions. Our sources suggest that Android co-founder Andy Rubin was brought into the talks only very recently.

Ouch.

Quotes From Android Partners on Google’s Acquisition of Motorola 

The Stepford Handset Makers. Warm and glowing these remarks are not, and the sameness is a little creepy.

Wonder What This Means for 280 North 

Motorola acquired these guys last year for their Cocoa-inspired web app framework and tools. It was pretty clearly a hedge against Android. Motorola could use 280 North’s framework to build a WebOS-style web-centric OS — one where Cocoa developers would feel at home. Doubt that’s in the cards now.

Google to Acquire Motorola 

Larry Page:

This acquisition will not change our commitment to run Android as an open platform. Motorola will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. We will run Motorola as a separate business. Many hardware partners have contributed to Android’s success and we look forward to continuing to work with all of them to deliver outstanding user experiences.

I’m sure HTC and Samsung are thrilled by this decision.

So why would Google do this? (Other than Page’s stated goal of “supercharging” the entire Android platform, of course.) Supercharging Google’s patent portfolio:

Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.

I’d say where by “anti-competitive” he means “competitive”. But I must say, I didn’t see this coming, and it’s a very clever solution to the mobile patent corner Google had painted itself into.

Stop Coddling the Super-Rich 

Warren Buffett calls for higher taxes on income — all income — over $1 million per year:

I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone — not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 — shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain. People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off. And to those who argue that higher rates hurt job creation, I would note that a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and 2000. You know what’s happened since then: lower tax rates and far lower job creation.

Elements 2.0 

Nice update to my favorite iOS text editor.

Macworld’s Total Lion Superguide 

My thanks to Macworld for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed to promote their Total Lion Superguide, a 132-page e-book by Macworld’s team of writers and editors jam-packed with information on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. You want to be a Lion expert? Want to know everything new, from one end of the system to the other? Get this book. E.g., did you know that when you enlarge the size of the mouse cursor in Lion (via the Universal Access panel in System Prefs) it now scales smoothly rather than becoming pixelated? I didn’t, until I read this book.

The downloadable edition includes DRM-free PDF and EPub versions. Daring Fireball readers can use the coupon code “FIREBALL” to get $3 off any Macworld Superguide e-book, including this one, via Macworld’s store. (The Total Lion Superguide is also available on the iBookstore for $9.99.)

On Hacked iTunes Accounts 

MG Siegler, responding to this screed by Scott Hanselman:

Maybe I’m missing something here. Reading this over, Scott Hanselman’s password was clearly hacked. He doesn’t seem to think that’s the case because he’s cautious, but I’m going to go with Occam’s Razor here.

Apple prompts you for your password when buying apps and when doing in-app purchases. Someone would have had to both know your Apple ID and enter that password, unless there’s some in-app exploit, but he doesn’t seem to be suggesting that.

The problem may well be widespread, as Hanselman alleges, but I’m with Siegler: by all appearances, the problem is that Hanselman’s password was compromised. There is no evidence that criminals have found a way to compromise iTunes accounts without knowing/guessing the victim’s password.

In a comment, Matt Galligan adds:

Not only would the have had to know his email and password, but also his credit card security code. Each new device that’s authenticated that tries to purchase something is sent through a credit card security code verification process.

In Hanselman’s case, though, he admits he was using PayPal, not a credit card. Perhaps it’s therefore safer to use a credit card instead of PayPal for iTunes Store payments?

Sales of Obscure Game Consoles vs. Non-iPad Tablets 

Marco Arment:

HP hasn’t released any sales figures for the TouchPad yet. I wonder if it will outsell the Virtual Boy this year.

TLA Video Closing Its Last Center City Store 

Sad local note for fellow movie fans in Philadelphia. Glad to hear the company is doing well online, though.

Matching the MacBook Air’s $999 Price 

DigiTimes:

The sub-US$999 target price could be sustained if Intel is willing to lower its CPU prices and hand out a subsidy of US$100 per unit for marketing efforts, the sources argued.

PC makers are struggling to match Apple’s prices — and Apple had industry-leading profit margins.

Fast Company Profiles Adam Lisagor 

Bill Barol:

Advertising takes place in half-worlds of its own devising, and this one is carefully crafted by Sandwich Video, which Lisagor runs out of his Los Angeles apartment. It has quietly, dryly become the premier producer of online product videos for web services and tech gadgets, cultivating a tone that perfectly reflects a generation of creators who are more interested in (or at least, more comfortable with) invention than hype.

Nice piece.

Android Fail English? That’s Unpossible. 

Gregg Keizer, reporting for Computerworld:

In a motion filed with the ITC Wednesday, Google asked that Robert Stevenson, an expert hired by Microsoft, be barred from testifying about the Android source code at an upcoming hearing because Microsoft violated a confidentiality agreement struck between Microsoft, Motorola and Google.

According to Google, Microsoft did not ask permission before showing Stevenson the Android source code. […]

“The confidential source code improperly provided to Dr. Stevenson is highly proprietary source code that Google does not even share with its partners, such as Motorola,” Google said.

But it’s open!

Speaking of Tools 

Mathew Ingram, GigaOm:

In the wake of the riots in London, the British government says it’s considering shutting down access to social networks — as well as Research In Motion’s BlackBerry messenger service — and is asking the companies involved to help. Prime Minister David Cameron said not only is his government considering banning individuals from social media if they are suspected of causing disorder, but it has asked Twitter and other providers to take down posts that are contributing to “unrest.”

Chinese Authorities Find 22 More Fake Apple Stores 

Reuters:

Authorities in China’s southwestern city of Kunming have identified another 22 unauthorized Apple retailers weeks after a fake of the company’s store in the city sparked an international storm.

That’s twice the number of legitimate Microsoft stores.

A Taste From the Claim Chowder Hall of Fame 

John C. Dvorak, in March 2007, “Apple Should Pull the Plug on the iPhone:

The problem here is that while Apple can play the fashion game as well as any company, there is no evidence that it can play it fast enough. These phones go in and out of style so fast that unless Apple has half a dozen variants in the pipeline, its phone, even if immediately successful, will be passé within 3 months.

There is no likelihood that Apple can be successful in a business this competitive.

Meanwhile, today, the best-selling and most-profitable phone in the world is the 14-month-old iPhone 4.

Wake Up, Indeed 

Don Clark, reporting for the WSJ on Intel’s $300 million initiative to get PC makers to create MacBook Air-esque laptops:

Welch said Apple informed Intel that it better drastically slash its power consumption or would likely lose Apple’s business. “It was a real wake-up call to us,” he said.

Intel needed Apple to tell them that power consumption is a critical factor — maybe the critical factor — in mobile computing? Where have they been the last five years?

The App Store vs. Mobile Web Apps 

Here’s Joe Wilcox, arguing that Amazon’s new Kindle Cloud Reader and Walmart’s Vudu video streaming site augur poorly for the future of Apple’s App Store. Wilcox’s argument is the most strident I could find, but he’s not alone.

But think about it this way: it’s Apple that has created the best, by far, platform for mobile web apps. It’s Apple that created the “Add to Home Screen” feature in Mobile Safari, which allows mobile apps to appear on the home screen as peers to App Store apps. Android doesn’t have that feature. Apple wants iOS devices to have a great mobile web app experience, in addition to the App Store.

With the case of media apps like commercial e-book readers and video streaming sites, it seems to me that you can argue that Apple has forced them to go web-based. E-book readers in particular — the “agency model” prevents e-booksellers from giving Apple a 30 percent cut.

Apple didn’t expect everyone to go along with the new “give us 30 percent of subscription and content revenue” rules. They expected some of these apps to switch to the mobile web. To Apple, being in the App Store is a privilege — not the whole ballgame.

Shenanigans 

Episode 54 of America’s favorite podcast, The Talk Show, with yours truly and Dan Benjamin. Brought to you by BillMinder, Campaign Monitor, and EasyDNS.

The Last Rocket 

New from Shaun Inman: an 8-bit puzzle platformer for iOS. $3 on the App Store.

Remember That Stolen iPhone 4 Prototype Gizmodo Bought? 

Joshua Melvin, reporting for the San Jose Mercury News:

Two Bay Area men’s alleged scheme to sell a wayward iPhone 4 prototype to a scoop-hungry tech website was serious enough to draw misdemeanor charges, prosecutors announced Wednesday, but apparently too amateurish to warrant felonies.

But Gizmodo avoids charges:

However, no one associated with Gizmodo, which scored a huge scoop with its post detailing the new phone, will face charges. Pitt said it was clear Gizmodo planned to use constitutional protections of free speech to defend its involvement with the missing phone, and the DA’s office isn’t interested in a protracted fight.

“That, as you can easily see, is a huge can of worms,” he said.

So it’s not that there wasn’t a case to be made against Gizmodo for knowingly buying stolen property, but the DA doesn’t have the stomach for a high-profile fight about whether such actions are protected by the First Amendment.

FTC Focuses Google Probe on Android, Web Search 

The WSJ:

Six weeks after serving Google with broad subpoenas, Federal Trade Commission lawyers, in conjunction with several state attorneys general, have been asking whether Google prevents smartphone manufacturers that use its Android operating system from using competitors’ services, these people said.

They also have inquired whether Google grants preferential placement on its website to its own products, such as Google’s “Places” business listings, its “Shopping results” and Google Finance services above most other results.

And they’re looking into allegations that Google unfairly takes information collected by rivals, such as reviews of local businesses, to use on its own specialized site and then demotes the rivals’ services in its search results, the people said.

But it’s open!

Nokia Exec: Android and iPhone Focus on Apps Is ‘Outdated’ 

VentureBeat talks to Chris Weber, Nokia’s U.S. president:

Weber called Android and the iOS phone platforms “outdated.” While Apple’s iPhone, and its underlying iOS operating system, set the standard for a modern user interface with “pinch and zoom,” Weber conceded, it also forces people to download multiple applications which they then have to navigate between. There’s a lot of touching involved as you press icons or buttons to activate application features. Android essentially “commoditized” this approach, Weber said.

Translation: We have no third-party developer support.

‘How to Count’ 

Steven Frank of Panic fame:

Programming for Mere Mortals is a series of books designed to introduce the concepts of programming from the ground up to a reader who has never written a line of code.

Unlike most programming books which aim to teach you a particular language or operating system, this series focuses on the core fundamentals that are common to programming any computer.

Great conversational tone. $2.99 for the Kindle edition or for a PDF.

Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader 

Amazon:

Today, Amazon.com announced Kindle Cloud Reader, its latest Kindle reading application that leverages HTML5 and enables customers to read Kindle books instantly using only their web browser - online or offline - with no downloading or installation required. As with all Kindle apps, Kindle Cloud Reader automatically synchronizes your Kindle library, as well as your last page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights for all of your Kindle books, no matter how you choose to read them. Kindle Cloud Reader with its integrated touch optimized Kindle Store is available starting today for Safari on iPad, Safari on desktop and Chrome at www.amazon.com/cloudreader.

Conspicuously absent: Firefox and the iPhone. (What is Mozilla’s excuse for Firefox being so far behind Webkit in HTML5 offline web app support?)

Immediate consensus seems to be that this is Amazon’s response to Apple’s new rules, preventing them from linking to the Kindle store within the native iOS app.

I think Amazon had this in the works for a long time — a web-based Kindle reader has been around for a while, and it makes sense to improve it in these ways. But surely Apple’s new App Store rules for paid content have motivated Amazon to push harder in this direction.

MG Siegler writes:

The iPad version is especially good because the store is fully optimized for the device. And you can easily switch back and forth between the store and your own library. It feels like a native app, but it’s not. You can even swipe back and forth to move between pages (though it is a bit slow).

I wouldn’t go so far as to say it feels like a native app. Cloud Reader works great on the iPad by the standards of web apps, but the native Kindle iPad app is far more responsive, and has a far less cluttered interface simply because it isn’t surrounded by an extra layer of Safari UI chrome. The native app is more immersive. (You can eliminate the Safari UI chrome if you save Kindle Cloud Reader as a home screen web app, but even then it doesn’t feel as smooth as the native app.)

AOL Stock Slumps 25 Percent as Earnings Disappoint 

Rex Crum, MarketWatch:

AOL said it lost $11.8 million, or 11 cents a share, on revenue of $542.2 million, compared with a loss of $1.06 billion, or $9.89 a share, on $592 million in sales a year ago. Last year’s second quarter was affected by $1.41 billion worth of write-downs and the sale of its Bebo social-networking site.

Really thought the TechCrunch deal would turn AOL around.

Quark Sold to Merger and Acquisition Company 

Remember Quark? There was a time when I made my living using QuarkXPress.

Speaking of Tools 

Nick Peers, “Finally, Apple Provides OS X Lion Recovery Tool”:

Apple has released Lion Recovery Disk Assistant for beleaguered OS X Lion users, allowing them to start the Lion recovery process directly from a USB drive.

Finally. Beleaguered.

Lion Recovery Disk Assistant 

Apple:

The Lion Recovery Disk Assistant lets you create Lion Recovery on an external drive that has all of the same capabilities as the built-in Lion Recovery: reinstall Lion, repair the disk using Disk Utility, restore from a Time Machine backup, or browse the web with Safari.

This Is the New Apple 

Reuters, regarding a Forrester report on the European tablet market:

Apple’s relatively small retail presence in Europe — with 52 stores compared with 238 in the United States — offers a chance to the likes of Samsung, Acer and Research in Motion, Forrester said.

But their prices cannot yet compete with Apple, which has far larger scale in the tablet market and an efficient supply chain.

Think about that last sentence. “But their prices cannot yet compete with Apple”. That’s the new Apple. Superior products and mainstream prices.

Apple Briefly Passes Exxon Mobil in Market Cap 

Mark Gongloff, reporting for the WSJ:

Signaling either Peak Oil or Peak Apple, Apple earlier today topped Exxon Mobil as the largest US company by market cap.

Crazy.

More Bad News for Samsung 

Florian Mueller:

The leading German news agency, dpa, just reported that Apple has been granted a preliminary injunction against Samsung’s Android-based Galaxy Tab 10.1, barring distribution of the product in the entire European Union except for the Netherlands. I can confirm that Apple has a separate lawsuit underway in the Netherlands as well.

Update: More coverage from The Telegraph:

An Apple spokesman said: “It’s no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.”

Samsung was unable to provide comment at the time of publication.

Matt Neuburg on Lion’s Automatic Termination 

Matt Neuburg:

In my view, therefore, the attempt to copy the iOS experience to the Mac is inappropriate. Apple’s entire agenda here is misguided. On iOS, you can use only one application at a time, so it makes sense that the system can quit an application you’re not using; to help you, a recently used application is listed in the Fast App Switcher even if it is no longer running. But on the Mac, you can effectively use multiple applications at once — that’s what I was doing in this instance — and neither the Command-Tab switcher nor the Dock shows an application that has been automatically terminated.

Astute criticism. This is one of those places where Lion’s adoption of an iOS design just doesn’t fit with an existing and much-used Mac feature like Command-Tab switching.

Once a Met, Always a Met 

Mike Monteiro:

They still sell beer during the 6th.

How Bad Is News Corp.? 

Michael Wolff on the state of the Murdoch empire and its Mob-like structure.

Please Stop Calling Gadgets Sexy 

Mat Honan:

Dear technology journalists of the world: You know how you called that gadget you just reviewed sexy? Tell me, do you intend to fuck it, or do you simply plan to shove it up your ass?

Mark Cuban on Patent Reform 

Mark Cuban:

  1.  End all software patents. Don’t make them shorter, eliminate them.

  2. End all process patents. They serve absolutely no purpose.

That’d be a good start.

DigiTimes: Non-Apple Tablet PC Shipments Expected to Grow 134 Percent in 2012 

So that’s what it has come to: “non-Apple tablets” as a separate category.

Danny Sullivan on Google and Copying 

Good piece by Danny Sullivan defending Google. But:

Gruber tells us that the Android UI was copied from Apple. Hall says that the idea of a touchscreen smartphone was copied by the iPhone.

Newsflash. As a Windows Mobile user from 2004, I had a touchscreen smartphone that ran apps long before that idea ever punched itself out of Apple. My phone did things that Apple later copied, too, such as the innovative copy-and-paste feature. It was magical.

As a reminder, here’s what Android phones looked like before and after the introduction of the iPhone. Yes, it really did evolve to resemble Windows Mobile circa 2004.

There’s an argument to be made that copying good ideas is not wrong, that copying is how progress is made. That everything is a remix. But you can’t seriously argue that Google doesn’t copy. And I’d say they copy more ideas from others than others copy original ideas from Google. You don’t see many clones of Google Wave.

My recent complaints about Google haven’t really been about copying, in and of itself, though. It’s about Google’s whining and hypocrisy when competitors fight back.

What Happened to Obama’s Passion? 

Everyone is talking about this op-ed by Drew Westen in yesterday’s NYT. So good:

The stories our leaders tell us matter, probably almost as much as the stories our parents tell us as children, because they orient us to what is, what could be, and what should be; to the worldviews they hold and to the values they hold sacred. Our brains evolved to “expect” stories with a particular structure, with protagonists and villains, a hill to be climbed or a battle to be fought. Our species existed for more than 100,000 years before the earliest signs of literacy, and another 5,000 years would pass before the majority of humans would know how to read and write.

Obama’s problem is that citizens on the right have never agreed with his policies, and but now, citizens on the left have grown disillusioned with his leadership.

Seth Clifford Buys a Galaxy Tab 10.1 

Seth Clifford:

Case in point: when I went to Staples, I asked the sales guy for the 10.1 and the first thing he said was “What are you buying it for?” When I replied, “development”, he said “Ok, because this thing isn’t going to replace a laptop for you”. No problem, I assured him, we’re app devs, and we know what we’re doing. Then, the manager came over to verify the coupon I had and asked the same question again. Again I replied “development” and he asked “Of what?” rather indignantly.

“Uh, Android apps?” I replied incredulously.

“Oh, OK, because we’re selling a lot of these things, and we get a LOT of them back. People buy them thinking they’re getting rid of a laptop, and they all come back returning them.”

Why Rob Delaney Bought Some Stocks Yesterday  

Rob Delaney:

What I am saying is that I believe in me, and I believe in you and I believe in elbow grease, objectivity and history. Did you see the recession coming? Did it announce itself and tell you the date it would arrive? No, it did not. Nor will recovery. So quit whining. Pessimism is for losers.

Regarding That Oracle v. Google Lawsuit 

Florian Mueller:

Judge Alsup — the federal judge presiding over this litigation — attaches a great deal of importance to that particular document. At a recent hearing, he essentially said that a good trial lawyer would just need that document “and the Magna Carta” (arguably the origin of common law) to win this case on Oracle’s behalf and have Google found to infringe Oracle’s rights willfully. The judge told Google that “you are going to be on the losing end of this document” with “profound implications for a permanent injunction”. Let me add that a finding of willful infringement would not only make an injunction much more likely than otherwise. It can also result in a tripling of whatever damages will be awarded. […]

It’s certainly remarkable that those two emails show a consistent attitude: the Android team basically says “let’s just infringe” whenever an intellectual property issue comes up. If they did this to Oracle, what about the intellectual property of other companies like Apple, Microsoft, eBay and Skyhook?

Shocking.

Rick Perry’s Campaign Slogan: ‘What Harm Could a Governor of Texas Do?’ 

Andy Borowitz:

In throwing his hat into the ring, Gov. Perry explained his earlier reluctance to run: “I promised the people of Texas I would destroy the state by 2012, and now it looks like we’re on track to do that.”

Why Apple Doesn’t Talk, Vol. 2 

Another good piece from Matt Drance, this one on Google CLO David Drummond’s post on mobile patents:

Nobody was waiting for Google to say something; Google stood up and demanded we all listen. If you walk up to the microphone like that, you need to have your story straight. It would not have been hard to spend a little more time preparing an impassioned and credible statement that appealed to the reader.

AskDifferent 

My thanks to AskDifferent for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed. AskDifferent is a question and answer site for any and all Apple tech support questions, built using the amazing Stack Overflow engine. What these guys have done with Stack Overflow — and its sibling sites — is nothing short of amazing. Smart discussions, high signal-to-noise, and a community that really works. And to top it off they use Markdown.

With community voting, tags, and Wikipedia-style editing, AskDifferent always has great answers, and the best answers get voted to the top. They’re pursuing excellence, accuracy, and relevance, not “hits”. There’s no better site on the web for Apple-related tech problems and questions.

The Self-Canceling Rumor 

Alex Heath at Cult of Mac sure cooks his claim chowder fast.

HP TouchPad Discounted to $400 

Makes me think sales aren’t so hot.

Update: It’s on Woot today for $380.

Uniform Type Identifier for Markdown 

I’ve been asked a few times recently what the recommended UTI is for Markdown-formatted text and text files. Here’s the answer:

net.daringfireball.markdown, which conforms to public.plain-text. The encoding should always be UTF-8.

Now that a lot of Mac and iOS software have built-in support for Markdown, it’d be less confusing if everyone used the same UTI.

Update March 2014: Originally, I recommended that the net.daringfireball.markdown UTI should conform to public.text, but public.plain-text is a better choice.

Another Google Innovation 

Jordan Kahn for 9 to 5 Google: “Google Adds Tablet-Like Preview Panes to Gmail Inbox”.

Not iPad-like. Tablet-like. Uh-huh.

Update: Many dozens of readers point to “Outlook”, an email program from Microsoft, which added a similar three-column layout with short message previews in the middle column, back in 2003.

The Problem With All-Star Teams 

Matt Drance:

Facebook’s moves suggest it wants to succeed here. It’s gobbling up a remarkable amount of talent — an All-Star Team, if you will. The problem with all-star rosters, of course, is that as a team they often suck. It’s an odd phenomenon, but if you put too much greatness in the same room, things don’t always turn out so… great.

The One Rule 

Michael Lopp:

It might not seem like a lot of change, but after religiously trying Exposé and Spaces for years, Mission Control finally feels like my desktop and not a set of sexy but poorly integrated tools that were fun to demo but hard to use.

Microsoft Further Exposes Google’s Patent Hypocrisy 

This is not in dispute: Google could have joined the consortium for the Novell patents and taken them off the table, but declined, because they wanted those patents all to themselves to use them to negotiate deals for all the other patents Android already violates.

Totally Not Bogus 

PC World, back in March:

Google has acquired a U.S. patent for its popular cycling logo system, also known as “Google Doodles.” Patent 7,912,915 was granted on Tuesday, nearly 10 years after its initial submission in 2001 by Sergey Brin.

The patent is entitled “Systems and Methods for Enticing Users to a Web Site.”

It Does Remind Me of a Previous Antitrust Case 

Paul Thurrott:

And I’d also point out that Google licenses Android for free. So by raising the price of Android by imposing licensing fees on technologies Android is in fact using, Apple, Microsoft, and others are arguably simply leveling the playing field and taking away an artificial Android advantage, forcing the OS to compete more fairly. Arguably, by “dumping” Android in the market at no cost, Google—which has unlimited cash and can afford to do such a thing — is behaving in an anticompetitive fashion. In fact, one could argue that Google is using its dominance in search advertising to unfairly gain entry into another market by giving that new product, Android, away for free. Does this remind you of any famous antitrust case?

Google in a Nut 

Brian S. Hall, “Google Are Pussies”:

If you have a monopoly business and generate monopoly profits and take those monopoly profits to another industry and gave away what your competitors (must) charge for, which led you to quickly capture the dominant market share, would you…

…whine like a bitch?

Fireballed: Cached here.

Interestinger 

Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith, on Twitter:

Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no.

Instagram Hits 150 Million Photos 

7 million users. 150 million uploads. 9 months. iOS only.

Imagine how well they’d be doing if only they’d taken Fred Wilson’s advice.

Obama: Debt Ceiling Deal Required Tough Concessions by Both Democrats and Democrats Alike 

Maybe The Onion should get a Pulitzer.

Uh, I Don’t Think There’s Anything Suspicious About It 

Tom Warren:

Microsoft has been suspiciously quiet around Zune and Zune services over the past few months.

Android Mystery Numbers 

This is pretty much what I think, too.

Fireballed: Cached here.

Internet Explorer/IQ Story Was Bogus 

BBC News:

A story which suggested that users of Internet Explorer have a lower IQ than people who chose other browsers appears to have been an elaborate hoax.

A number of media organisations, including the BBC, reported on the research, put out by Canadian firm ApTiquant.

This story seemed fishy to me all along. But I’d wager that if someone did a proper study on this, that IE users would tend to have lower average IQs than users of other browsers. It’s just the nature of IE being the most-used browser, and the default on lower-priced and older PCs.

Update: To be clear, I’d expect the average IQ of IE users to be right around the average for the population as a whole, and that the average for other browsers to be slightly higher. What made this purported study seem so fishy is that results were so profound. They had IE users pegged as being borderline retarded.

Push Pop Press Acquired by Facebook; Abandons Planned Publishing Platform 

This has nothing to do with Push Pop’s products, and everything to do with Facebook building a roster of design talent to rival Apple’s. Mike Matas is responsible for and/or had a major hand in much of Apple’s best and most exuberant design work in recent memory.

This is big. Shows that Facebook — and Mark Zuckerberg in particular — is committing to design as a top priority. And it’s more than a little disappointing to those of us who were highly anticipating Push Pop Press’s publishing tools and platform.

The big question: who else is on Zuckerberg’s list? I know who I’d want.

Define ‘Winning’ 

Timothy B. Lee at Forbes, “Why Google Is Winning the Smartphone Wars”:

This explains why iOS has been losing ground to Android even though most people agree that the iPhone is the best single smartphone on the market. There are tens of millions of people who care most about the narrow end of the funnel. They want the best user interface, and are willing to make compromises on other fronts to get it. Most of these customers will opt for an iPhone. But there are hundreds of millions of customers who care more about some other factor. They want a phone from their favorite carrier, a phone with a physical keyboard or a removable battery, a phone with their choice of app store, a phone they can get for free with a contract, a phone they can get with a pre-paid plan, etc. No single phone (wireless carrier, hardware manufacturer, etc) can satisfy all of these diverse customers. Only a platform designed to support many different phones from many different manufacturers on many different networks can cope with this kind of diversity.

Horace Dediu, last week: “Apple Captured Two Thirds of Available Mobile Phone Profits in Q2”.

Nosh: 404 

Now that’s a 404 page.

Android Development From the Perspective of an iPhone Developer 

Interesting post on Android development by Nick Farina, one of the developers of Meridian.

Amazon Free App of the Day 

Somebody isn’t happy:

That’s right, Amazon gave away 101,491 copies of our app! At this point, we had a few seconds of excitement as well, had we mis-read the email and really earned $54,800 in one day? We would have done if our public agreement was in place, but we can now confirm that thanks to Amazon’s secret back-door deals, we made $0 on that day. That’s right, over 100,000 apps given away, $0 made.

Apple Outlines iCloud Storage Pricing 

Jim Dalrymple:

According to Apple, three storage plans are available: 10 GB will cost $20 per year; 20 GB will cost $40 per year; and 50GB will cost $100 per year.

That’s if you go over the 5 GB you start with for free.

iCloud Web Beta 

Told you so.

‘Sometimes There’s a Man’ 

Five-song rock opera by Merlin Mann, commissioned by MailChimp. Nice web design, too.

Penny Arcade on the Problem Facing Nintendo’s 3DS 

More fun indeed.

John Paczkowski: New iPhone in October, Not September 

John Paczkowski:

So those rumors claiming the iPhone 5 will debut in late September? They’re wrong.

Instead, it’s going to be an October surprise — the month in which Apple plans to launch its next-gen iPhone.

That’s a scoop. All signs pointed to September, prior to this report from Paczkowski.

Forbes Profiles Nicholas Allegra, a.k.a. Comex, Jailbreak Hacker Extraordinaire 

Andy Greenberg unmasks Comex, the heretofore pseudonymous hacker behind JailBreakMe:

Dino Dai Zovi, co-author of the Mac Hacker’s Handbook, says JailbreakMe’s sophistication is on par with that of Stuxnet, a worm thought to have been designed by the Israeli or U.S. government to infect Iran’s nuclear facilities. He compares Allegra’s skills to the state-sponsored intruders that plague corporations and governments, what the cybersecurity industry calls “advanced-persistent threat” hackers: “He’s probably five years ahead of them,” says Dai Zovi.

Why Ben Duchac’s Mom Bought an Android, Returned It, and Got an iPhone 

Of course I’m going to link to this, a story from an Android fan (and happy user of an HTC Incredible) who helped his mom buy a new Samsung Charge from Verizon, and, well, it didn’t go well at all:

Seeing the basically useless state of the phone on initial boot, I told my mother that I’d take the phone for an hour or so and give it back to her “cleaned up.” I deleted apps. I configured notifications. I set up accounts. None of it was easy, and every step of the way I ran into really bizarre problems. The elegant Google widgets that come with stock Android were stripped out of the phone. The camera app, besides looking like it had been designed in 1995, just wouldn’t rotate when I turned the phone on its side. Apps that worked on my Droid Incredible crashed as soon as I opened them on the Charge. After about an hour of poking and prodding the battery had dropped from 95% to 50%. Completely frustrated, I turned to the internet, where confused users were posting questions with titles like “Should my battery last more than 6 hours?” and “I think my phone is broken…”

(Duchac, by the way, is a talented photographer.)

Facebook Mobile Usage 

Re: today’s aforelinked piece on Gogo inflight Wi-Fi usage, which showed Android being dwarfed by iOS, here are some real-world usage numbers where Android has nearly drawn even with iOS: Facebook mobile usage. One difference between Facebook and Gogo Wi-Fi: Facebook is free.

Apple TV Adds Support for Cloud-Based Storage of Purchased TV Shows 

I just ran software update on my Apple TV 2 and got a new update that adds support for a major new feature: purchased TV shows. You can buy — not just rent but buy — new episodes directly from your Apple TV, and access and stream any TV show episodes you’ve previously purchased using your iTunes account. (I’m not quite sure if it has all episodes — but it’s showing me all the TV shows I can remember buying from iTunes.)

TV shows are also now listed in the “Purchased” section of the iTunes Store on your computer, iPhone, and iPad. In other words, Apple just rolled out a cloud-based storage locker for TV shows. Next up (I hope): movies.

The update also adds support for Vimeo.

Update: Might be U.S.-only, alas.

Update 2: It’s definitely not available for all shows, or, if it is, Apple hasn’t finished rolling it out yet — I’ve purchased all four seasons of Mad Men via iTunes and none of them appear in my account.

Update 3: Looks like it’s just a rollout thing. Three seasons of Mad Men are now in my Purchased list.

Gogo Inflight Wi-Fi Usage Numbers 

Ina Fried, writing for some website:

Android may be gaining market share on the ground, but when it comes to market share at 10,000 feet and above, it’s still an Apple world.

Gogo tells AllThingsD that iPhones make up nearly two-thirds of the mobile devices using its inflight Wi-Fi service. Android devices make up just 12 percent, trailing even the iPod touch, which accounts for 20 percent of handheld connections.

Another data point that highlights the discrepancy between the incredible device activation numbers claimed by Google and actual real-world usage of mobile devices. Example: Flickr’s stats on popular camera phones. Where are these Android phones? How many of them are used for little more than phone calls and texting?

And:

Tablets like the iPad were not included in these mobile numbers as such devices are counted with computers (and also pay the higher PC rates). But the iPad is a popular frequent flier as well, accounting for more than a third of large screens using Gogo in June. All versions of Windows totaled 41 percent with Mac OS machines making up just under 20 percent.

So the iPad alone has almost caught up to Windows, and Apple devices — iPads and MacBooks combined — account for a majority of large-screen Gogo usage.

Steve Jobs on Reporting Sales Numbers 

Still thinking about Samsung’s decision to stop reporting sales numbers for phones and tablets. Here’s Steve Jobs in an interview with David Pogue two years ago:

He said that Apple doesn’t see e-books as a big market at this point, and pointed out that Amazon.com, for example, doesn’t ever say how many Kindles it sells. “Usually, if they sell a lot of something, you want to tell everybody.”

This is true for Apple, as well. I’m pretty sure the only time they’ve mentioned sales numbers for Apple TV is when it crossed the million-units-sold mark last December. They don’t put Apple TV numbers in their quarterly results.

Adobe Edge Preview 

Adobe:

Adobe Edge is a new web motion and interaction design tool that allows designers to bring animated content to websites, using web standards like HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS3.

They have some good examples here.

Jon Whipple’s ‘Scroll Compass’ Idea for Lion 

An interesting idea and design, but, if Apple were concerned about the problems this idea solves, they would simply have left the Lion scrollers visible at all times. An abstract indicator — no matter how small and unobtrusive — is still another layer of abstraction. Apple is trying, aggressively, to remove abstractions from the Mac UI.

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