Linked List: October 11, 2010

Scott Simpson’s Standard of Cool 

Re: the last, this is my mantra for keeping my phone in my pocket.

First Windows Phone 7 Ad From Microsoft 

Not bad. Entertaining, and, for me at least, it hits home.

But it’s more of an indictment of our “eyes on the phone, all the time” culture than an endorsement of Windows Phone 7. How exactly does Windows Phone 7 solve this? And do iPhone/Android/BlackBerry addicts really see this as a problem that needs to be solved? I feel like I spend so much time on my iPhone not because it’s inefficient, but because it’s so good. I’m never more than a few seconds away from something at least somewhat engaging.

I.e., Microsoft’s premise here is that WP7 has a dashboard and system-wide interface that’s optimized for getting you through a finite amount of “checking in” or “catching up” in significantly less time than other mobile systems. But I don’t think people are on their iPhones/Androids/BlackBerrrys all the time because of inefficient UI design. I think it’s because we want to be on them. These devices are where our minds are drawn — like moths to a flame, perhaps — whenever we’re otherwise unoccupied.

But: perhaps this message from Microsoft isn’t targeted at existing smartphone owners. It’s for those shopping for the first smartphone, who, because they don’t have one yet, see existing smartphones as something unpleasant — gadgets that turn friends and family into anti-social heads-down faces-underlit jerks. I can see how that message might work.

Update, 19 April 2013: The original story linked above is now a 404. has a cache, but the embedded YouTube videos are now marked private. Here’s a YouTube link that works for the “Season of the Witch” spot.

CNet’s Guide to Today’s Announced Windows Phones 

Some aren’t slated to ship until 2011, though.

Microsoft Announces Ten Windows Phone 7 Handsets for 30 Countries 

October 21 in Europe and Asia, November 8 in the U.S. Give them credit: it looks like they’re going to hit their ship dates.

Microsoft’s Language Problem 

Microsoft announces Windows Phone 7, in a press release headlined “Windows Phone 7: A Fresh Start for the Smartphone: The Phone Delivers a New User Experience by Integrating the Things Users Really Want to Do, Creating a Balance Between Getting Work Done and Having Fun”:

The goal for Microsoft’s latest smartphone is an ambitious one: to deliver a phone that truly integrates the things people really want to do, puts those things right in front of them, and either lets them get finished quickly or immerses them in the experience they were seeking.

Who talks like this? This bureaucrat-ese is intended, I suppose, to sound serious. But it just sounds like bullshit.

Here’s how Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in 2007:

Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone. And here it is.

And here’s Apple’s PR announcing it, headlined simply “Apple Reinvents the Phone with iPhone”. You can accuse Apple of hyperbole, but not opaqueness.

The Macalope on Ryan Block’s Purported ‘Glassgate’ Scandal 

The Macalope, on this report from Ryan Block at Gdgt, alleging that the iPhone 4 s prone to glass-cracking when put in a slip-on case.

Color me skeptical too. Where’s the evidence that this is a widespread or even vaguely common problem?

What I like best is Block’s next-day follow-up, wherein he feigns surprise that a slew of hacks picked up the story and reported it as fact that it’s a significant problem — even though it was Block himself who, in his original report, gave it the name “Glassgate”. What other meaning does the -gate suffix have than “scandal with coverup”?

See also: The Angry Drunk.

Everything You Need to Know to Understand the Mindset of the Carriers, in One Short Quote 

From a ZDNet story on Apple’s relationship with Australian carrier Telstra, quoting CEO David Thodey:

“We are Apple’s largest customer in Australia, yet with Apple we are still working through some areas in how to work.”

There you go. He thinks his carrier is Apple’s customer. Thus the conflict, because Apple treats iPhone owners as its customers.

Microsoft Promotes Angry Birds for Windows Phone 7 

The problem? Rovio Mobile, the company behind Angry Birds, hasn’t committed to a port yet.

(I’ll bet five bucks that it’s the same story with that Tap Tap Revenge icon, too.)