Jay Yarow on Microsoft’s Tablet Problem ★
Microsoft is still months away from getting back into the phone game, and they seemingly have nothing in the pipeline for tablets.
‘What the Old Timers Used to Call Cabin Fever’ ★
The evolution of Jack Torrance, by Max Brown.
Guess How Many Different Mobile Phone Models Motorola Currently Sells ★
Motorola, Then and Now ★
Peter Svensson, reporting for Forbes:
Motorola Inc. posted an unexpected profit in the first quarter, as
sales of its new phones outdid its own forecasts. It also gave an
outlook that was brighter than Wall Street was predicting, and its
shares jumped in premarket trading.
However, it has lost its position as the largest U.S. maker of
phones to Apple Inc. Motorola sold a total of 8.5 million phones
in the quarter, while Apple sold 8.8 million iPhones. Four years
ago, when the Razr was still popular, Motorola sold 46.1 million
phones in the first quarter.
David Chartier Reviews Five iPad Bags and Packs ★
This is the sort of thing Macworld does better than anyone — cross-comparison of a pile of competing products. Chartier’s favorite: the Tom Bihn Ristretto for iPads and Netbooks.
IE 9 Will Support Only H.264 for HTML5 Video ★
The future of the web is HTML5. Microsoft is deeply engaged in the HTML5 process with the W3C. HTML5 will be very important in advancing rich, interactive web applications and site design. The HTML5 specification describes video support without specifying a particular video format. We think H.264 is an excellent format. In its HTML5 support, IE9 will support playback of H.264 video only.
Charlie Stross on Apple’s Long-Term Strategy ★
I don’t agree with all of it, but Charlie Stross’s analysis of Apple’s long-term strategy is just great overall. This is spot-on:
I’ve got a theory, and it’s this: Steve Jobs believes he’s
gambling Apple’s future — the future of a corporation with a
market cap well over US $200Bn — on an all-or-nothing push into
a new market. HP have woken up and smelled the forest fire, two or
three years late; Microsoft are mired in a tar pit, unable to
grasp that the inferno heading towards them is going to burn down
the entire ecosystem in which they exist.
Apple’s decision to ban apps made using Adobe’s Flash cross-compiler isn’t about the present. It’s about making decisions now — exerting control while they have it — to shape the landscape of the entire industry a decade from now. And count me in with Stross — HP’s decision to buy Palm is a sign that HP understands Apple’s strategy and they want in.
Here’s where I disagree with Stross:
And [Steve Jobs] really does not want cross-platform apps that
might divert attention and energy away from his application
ecosystem. The long term goal is to support the long-term
migration of Apple from being a hardware company with a software
arm into being a cloud computing company with a hardware
subsidiary — almost like Google, if you squint at the Google
Nexus One in the right light. The alternative is to join the PC
industry in a long death spiral into irrelevance.
Apple needs to add a strong cloud computing infrastructure to its core competencies, yes. But hardware is more important to Apple’s business now than ever. I think it’s Apple’s goal to produce both software and hardware that its competitors cannot compete with. From a design perspective, Apple creates an experience. From a financial perspective, though, Apple sells hardware.
Thoughts on Horses ★
Another open letter from a CEO.
Me, using my iPad to watch a video from the WSJ of Adobe’s CEO talking about how essential Flash is to publications like the WSJ.
What Would Nick Denton Pay for These Things I Found in a Bar? ★
Don’t forget to hit Refresh a few times.
Paint It Black ★
Drill, baby, drill.
Mike Arrington: HP to Kill Windows 7 ‘Slate’ Project ★
Hewlett-Packard has killed off its much ballyhooed Windows 7
tablet computer, says a source who’s been briefed on the matter.
If true, that means Steve Ballmer got up on stage for his CES keynote to promote a “slate” that will never actually ship.
Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch: ‘Moving Forward’ ★
However, as we posted last week, given the legal terms Apple has
imposed on developers, we have already decided to shift our focus away
from Apple devices for both Flash Player and AIR. We are working to
bring Flash Player and AIR to all the other major participants in the
mobile ecosystem, including Google, RIM, Palm (soon to be HP),
Microsoft, Nokia and others.
Not much substance, other than declaring a “general release” of Flash Player 10.1 for Android in June, but nothing to disagree with either. This is about as good a response as Adobe could have given.
Microsoft Confirms That ‘Courier’ Concept Will Not Be an Actual Product ★
I win another bet.
HTC Agrees to Pay Microsoft for Patent Licenses Regarding Android Phones ★
The Redmond company says mobile-phone maker HTC will pay Microsoft
an undisclosed sum to license a series of patents that, according
to Microsoft, cover technology in HTC mobile phones that use
Google’s Android operating system. Of course, that would be the
same HTC that Apple has sued for patent infringement over the same
Google Android devices.
This, on top of the patent suit from Apple. Android doesn’t sound so “free” for HTC anymore. I wonder how the patent fees HTC has agreed to pay Microsoft for each Android phone it sells compare to the cost of a Windows Phone 7 license.
Sage Wallower, the Middleman ★
Hogan, however, had help in finding a buyer for the phone. CNET
has learned that Sage Robert Wallower, a 27-year-old University of
California at Berkeley student, contacted technology sites about
what is believed to be Apple’s next-generation iPhone. […]
CNET’s sources said Wallower, a former Navy cryptologic technician
who transferred to UC Berkeley two years ago, acted as a
In an in-person interview with CNET at his home in Oakland on
Thursday, Wallower said, “I’m not the person who found it. I
didn’t see it or touch it in any manner. But I know who found it.”
He declined to identify anyone else, however, in part because he
said conversations with law professors had convinced him that
Apple was a “legal juggernaut.”
“I need to talk to a lawyer,” Wallower said. “I think I have
already said too much.”
When do they buy the wood chipper?
Wired Identifies Seller of Lost iPhone Prototype ★
Brian X. Chen and Kim Zetter:
Brian J. Hogan, a 21-year-old resident of Redwood City,
California, says although he was paid by tech site Gizmodo, he
believed the payment was for allowing the site exclusive access to
review the phone. Gizmodo emphasized to him “that there was
nothing wrong in sharing the phone with the tech press,”
according to his attorney Jeffrey Bornstein.
So begins Hogan’s efforts to put it all on Gizmodo.
A friend of Hogan’s then offered to call AppleCare on Hogan’s
behalf, according to Hogan’s lawyer. That apparently was the
extent of Hogan’s efforts to return the phone.
Read that closely. First, Hogan never called anyone, including Apple, to attempt to return the phone. Second, his friend, according to this paragraph, “offered to call AppleCare”. Did this friend actually even call AppleCare? It’s not clear from Wired’s article that Hogan did anything at all to return the phone.
His attorney says he recently transferred schools and will resume
his college education in the fall. He has been working part time
at a church-run community center giving swimming lessons to
children and volunteered at a Chinese orphanage last year while he
was enrolled in a study-abroad program.
“He also volunteers to assist his aunt and sister with
fundraising for their work to provide medical care to orphans in
Kenya,” his attorney says. “Brian is the kind of young man
that any parent would be proud to have as their son.”
You know it’s bad when your attorney is asking for leniency before you’ve even been charged.
‘I Know You Are But What Am I?’ ★
From the WSJ’s live coverage of their interview with Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen regarding Steve Jobs’s piece on Flash:
Speaking about Mr. Jobs’s assertion that Adobe is the No. 1 cause
of Mac crashes, Mr. Narayan says if Adobe crashes Apple, that
actually has something “to do with the Apple operating system.”
Mr. Narayan calls accusations about Flash draining battery power
Who are we going to believe, Shantanu Narayen or our lying Activity Monitors?
Weak sauce, Adobe.
I Really Do Try to Avoid Linking to Self-Aggrandizing Stuff, but This One’s Too Good to Resist ★
Archived here, for when Tputh’s headlines rejigger.
Kottke on Jobs on Flash ★
More “web-like” is exactly right.
New iPhone (and iPod Touch) app from the creators of Borange and Tweetie, lets you send free messages to “any email address and most U.S. mobile phones”, with free replies, and iPhone push notifications for new messages. It’s a route around phone carrier text messaging. Read the FAQ for more info.
Free with ads, $2 without.
More From Michael Gartenberg on Flash and Apple ★
Like Steve, I have not seen Flash work well on a mobile device.
That doesn’t mean that it can’t or won’t. Adobe needs to not
respond to Apple with words but rather actions and showcase
shipping devices and how well they can run Flash.
Tim Bray on Flash History ★
Flash filled an real need; for a lightweight portable graphics
programming environment, and for an ubiquitous reliable video
codec. That, plus a lot of determined marketing by Adobe, got us
to the status quo, where it’s assumed that every computer has a
Flash player installed.
One more thing: Flash Studio offered developer tools that let designer/developers who were (and are) more designer than developer create software. That’s where Flash still beats HTML5; you need to be more developer than designer to create Flash-like things using HTML5. For now. There’s a real opportunity today for an HTML5 IDE for designer/developers.
Michael Gartenberg’s Advice for Adobe ★
Good advice, but it’ll be more fun if Adobe doesn’t take it.
Read It and Weep ★
Jobs’s “Thoughts on Flash” in Flash.
Apple Homepage Placement for Jobs’s ‘Thoughts on Flash’ ★
I wonder how many page views this piece will get.
Steve Jobs: ‘Thoughts on Flash’ ★
Steve Jobs makes the case against Flash on iPhone OS. Cogent, detailed, straightforward, brutally honest. No prevarication. Read the whole thing, but there are a few choice bits. First, Apple couldn’t include Flash on iPhone OS now even if they wanted to:
We have routinely asked Adobe to show us Flash performing well on
a mobile device, any mobile device, for a few years now. We have
never seen it. Adobe publicly said that Flash would ship on a
smartphone in early 2009, then the second half of 2009, then the
first half of 2010, and now they say the second half of 2010. We
think it will eventually ship, but we’re glad we didn’t hold
our breath. Who knows how it will perform?
And they wouldn’t if they could:
We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer
of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately
results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and
progress of the platform. If developers grow dependent on third
party development libraries and tools, they can only take
advantage of platform enhancements if and when the third party
chooses to adopt the new features. We cannot be at the mercy of a
third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements
available to our developers.
While you’re reading it, think about how little wiggle room the whole thing leaves for Adobe to respond.
WSJ: Apple to Charge Premium Prices for iAd Mobile Ads ★
Apple is hitting the road to showcase its new mobile-device
advertising capability, dubbed iAd, and has indicated it could
charge as much as $10 million to be part of a handful of marketers
at the launch, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Ad executives say they are used to paying between $100,000 and
$200,000 for similar mobile deals.
Apple is planning to charge advertisers a penny each time a
consumer sees a banner ad, ad executives say. When a user taps on
the banner and the ad pops up, Apple will charge $2. Under large
ad buys, such as the $1 million package, costs would rack up to
reach $1 million with the various views and taps.
Flash Player H.264 Hardware Decoding in Mac OS X ★
Adobe already has a pre-release version of Flash Player available that takes advantage of the new H.264 hardware decoding APIs Apple added in Mac OS X 10.6.3. Clearly Apple and Adobe are in a cold war regarding Flash and iPhone OS — but just as clearly, they’re working together to make Flash perform better on Mac OS X.
Update on Flash Installer Asking Chris Messina to Force Quit the Finder ★
Kudos to the Adobe Flash installer team — they looked into it, found how it happened, and wrote it up in a comment on Messina’s Flickr entry.
Who Wrote Shakespeare? ★
Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear ★
Absolutely pitch-perfect viral campaign from Pixar for Toy Story 3. Are there more of these?
It’s the Theft and Purchase of the Unit, Not the Publication of Photos and Information ★
Really dumb piece by Tim Wu at Slate on the Gizmodo/iPhone saga. Wu writes:
Apple has indicated it believes a serious felony was committed.
The company appears to regard Gizmodo’s acts as larceny, or
misappropriation of trade secrets, or both. Here is where the case
gets serious: If we accept that journalists can be punished
severely for publishing information gained by others in unsavory
ways, that’s a bad thing for journalism. Nearly every truly big
story, from the al-Qaida photos on down, involves a leaker of some
kind, often one who has broken some law. If the publishers of such
materials—as opposed to the leakers—are treated as criminals,
journalism will suffer.
If you agree with that, read the following sentence slowly, so it sinks in. Gizmodo isn’t being “punished severely for publishing information gained by others in unsavory ways”; they are being investigated by law enforcement for committing a felony themselves.
Note that Engadget “published information gained by others in unsavory ways” — they ran a photograph and a description of the phone (including revealing the front-facing camera) two days before Gizmodo. The photo and description came from the sources who took the phone from the bar and eventually sold it to Gizmodo. Yet Engadget is not in any trouble at all.
Gizmodo isn’t in trouble for spoiling Apple’s secret; they’re in trouble for breaking the law.
But Gizmodo, for one thing, says it wants to give the telephone
back, and so it may lack any intent to possess the phone
permanently. That matters, legally speaking.
No, it doesn’t matter, legally speaking. When you borrow someone else’s property without permission, that’s called theft. (Also, Gizmodo gave the phone back to Apple on April 20, the day after this. Hello, Slate?)
AT&T Continues Not to Offer iPhone Tethering; Generalissimo Francisco Franco Still Dead ★
Engadget’s Chris Ziegler got an answer out of AT&T:
“iPhone tethering has the potential to exponentially increase
traffic, and we need to ensure that we’re able to deliver
excellent performance for the feature — over and above the
increases in data traffic we’re already seeing — before we will
offer the feature.”
Keep in mind that iPhone users on other carriers around the world, including our friends in Canada, have been using tethering for close to a year now.
Apple Acquires Siri ★
Apple Inc. has acquired Siri Inc. just a few months after the
start-up’s voice-activated personal-assistant program launched
in the App Store, an investor in San Jose-based Siri told
Doubling Down ★
MG Siegler, interviewing HP senior VP Brian Humphries:
“This is a great opportunity to take two Silicon Valley idols
and put them together,” Humphries noted. That’s an obvious
statement, but he quickly moved on to the meat. “WebOS is the
best-in-class mobile operating system. Our intent is to double
down on WebOS.”
I really do think this is a great move for HP. I don’t know that it’s going to work, but it certainly gives them better opportunities in the mobile space than they would have had otherwise. They should announce that the Windows 7 “slate” they pre-announced a few months ago has been canned, to be replaced by a version running WebOS. Just saying they’re “doubling down” doesn’t mean squat if they don’t act on it. The easiest way HP could screw this up is by not committing fully to WebOS for all mobile devices — phones, handhelds, tablets.
The App Cubby Jr. Sale ★
Mrs. App Cubby (Elizabeth) and I are expecting baby #2!
These kids don’t feed, clothe, and shelter themselves you know, so
we’ve decided to hold an “App Cubby Jr” sale. This week only, you
can buy any App Cubby app for twice the normal price! 100% of
proceeds go toward diapers, food, our insurance deductible, and
other baby related expenses.
I love it.
2015 Claim Chowder ★
The death of the iPhone is being foretold and the outlook for the
PC and laptop aren’t much better. Influential security company
CEO Eugene Kaspersky told PC Advisor at InfoSec Tuesday that both
are set to be consigned to history.
The iconic Apple iPhone will either not exist or occupy a very
small niche satisfying the needs of committed Mac fans around five
years from now, predicts Kaspersky.
HP to Acquire Palm for $1.2 Billion ★
HP and Palm, Inc. today announced that they have entered into a
definitive agreement under which HP will purchase Palm, a provider
of smartphones powered by the Palm webOS mobile operating system,
at a price of $5.70 per share of Palm common stock in cash or an
enterprise value of approximately $1.2 billion. The transaction
has been approved by the HP and Palm boards of directors.
Palm’s current chairman and CEO, Jon Rubinstein, is expected to remain with the company.
Strikes me as a great move for both companies. Palm gets some muscle, and HP gets out from under the thumb of licensing OSes from Microsoft. HP is not going to make the same mistake in the mobile market that they made in the PC market, by not owning and controlling their own OS.
TouchScroll, a Scrolling Layer for WebKit Mobile ★
Here it is: TouchScroll, our scrolling layer for WebKit Mobile. It
headers and toolbars on web pages when viewed on the iPhone or on
Android. It works on the iPad, too. Check out the demo (short URL:
http://u.nu/8uvg8) to see it in action — it works in Desktop
Safari (at least kind of) or WebKit Nightly (very good), but I
recommend you have a look at it on your iPhone, iPad, or Android
Very impressive. Feels like native Cocoa Touch scrolling. (Performance is acceptable, but not great, on Android.)
Code Names ★
Google’s Andy Rubin, the lead engineer behind the Android OS,
said that “full support” for Flash is coming in Froyo, the
code-name for version 2.2 of Android.
The code name for the release of iPhone OS with support for Flash is “Get Bent”.
Google I/O 2010 Session Schedule ★
Speaking of developer conferences, Google has posted the schedule for I/O, coming in mid-May. I feel like there’s a great story on the differences between Google and Apple — cultural, strategic, technical — just based on the differences between I/O and WWDC. I mean, just look at the design of the I/O session schedule.
Ze Frank’s Chillout Song ★
Jason Chen Retains Criminal Defense Lawyer ★
First smart move he’s made in this saga. (If Brian Lam is smart, he’ll lawyer up too.)
Regarding the iPhone- and iPad-only Apple Design Awards this year, I quipped on Twitter that the Mac was with the Apple II as a platform that wasn’t eligible this year. That doesn’t mean I think the Mac is going away. Apple is selling more Macs than ever; it’s an extremely profitable business. You can’t create iPhone apps without a Mac.
But despite the fact that Apple’s Mac business has never been bigger, it’s already been eclipsed by the iPhone OS business — iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads. If you pause and close your eyes, you can feel it — the tectonic plates are shifting underfoot. The long-term trend is inevitable.
That said, though, what’s funny is that we could have had an Apple II ADA winner — this guy turned an Apple IIe into a Twitter terminal.
WWDC 2010: June 7-11 ★
Apple finally announces WWDC dates. Note that last year’s WWDC was held the same week (June 8-12), but was announced on March 26. The ticket price has gone up from $1295 to $1599, and airfare prices are significantly higher with so few weeks notice.
The focus is heavily iPhone OS centric. There are some Mac OS X developer sessions and labs, but not many. (Translation: Mac OS X 10.7 is not going to be announced this year.) The IT track appears to be gone. Looking at the session list, one could argue that this year’s WWDC is an iPhone OS developers conference, not an Apple developers conference. Look no further than this year’s Apple Design Awards, which will only honor iPhone and iPad apps — no category for Mac apps.
Good Luck Feigning Ignorance ★
Nick Bilton surveys legal opinion on the Gizmodo case:
In contrast to Mr. Zimmerman’s views, David Sugden, a California
lawyer who specializes in intellectual property litigation, said
the state shield law might not apply, if stolen property were
Mr. Sugden cited an example with celebrity images that are often
bought by gossip sites like TMZ.com or Us Weekly. He said, “When
TMZ takes photos of a celebrity, it’s in plain view, which is
legal,” but cautioned, “TMZ would be in trouble if the
reporters were breaking into houses to take those photos of
Mr. Sugden said Gizmodo’s best defense would be to argue that it
didn’t know the phone was Apple’s property when it was shown
Good luck to the editors of a web site that specializes in mobile gadgetry — owned by the same publisher that received this warning from Apple just two months prior — arguing that they didn’t know that a heretofore unseen iPhone prototype, for which they were willing to pay $5000, belonged to Apple. And that’s their best defense.
The EFF Disputes the Validity of the Gizmodo Warrant ★
Matt Zimmerman, EFF:
Under California and federal law, this warrant should never have issued.
By his interpretation of these laws, journalists in California cannot be subject to search warrants no matter what they do — no matter what laws they may break — to obtain the material and information for their reporting. That would certainly be quite a precedent.
Steve Jobs to Appear Onstage at D8 Conference ★
Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs will appear at the eighth D:
All Things Digital, in an interview on the opening night, kicking
off our tech and media conference that will also include famed
Hollywood director James Cameron, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, among others.
June 1 in Los Angeles.
Mozilla Fennec ‘Pre-Alpha’ for Android ★
It’ll be interesting to see if Gecko can be turned into a worthy mobile competitor to WebKit. (They realize alpha is the first letter of the alphabet?)
The Bygone Bureau’s New Design ★
Remember jQuery Masonry, a web page layout toolkit I linked to yesterday? The Bygone Bureau are using it to achieve a lovely and previously impossible layout.
App Store Rejection of the Week: Michael Wolff ★
The stated reason for the rejection of my free app is that Apple
requires “sufficient amounts of content to appeal to a broad
audience.” Putting aside the fact that this pretty much makes
specialty content ineligible for iPhone or iPad apps, it’s also
a pretty fudgy standard. For instance, I get a bigger readership
for my online columns than I do for my Vanity Fair columns — so
Vanity Fair shouldn’t make the cut?
Where we are is that Apple is now creating a distribution system
for books and periodicals — in a sense, no different from a
newsstand or bookstore — which it proposes to regulate as it sees
fit, without explanation, recourse, or standards.
I don’t get it. I looked at the Android version of his app, and it’s effectively a dedicated RSS reader for Wolff’s columns, with ads from AdMob. There are dozens of apps like this in Apple’s App Store.
Five Reasons iPhone vs. Android Isn’t Like Mac vs. Windows ★
Astute analysis from Mark Sigal. Android may well grow to overwhelm the iPhone OS in terms of market share, but if so, it won’t be for the same reasons Windows did on the desktop.
Investigators Have Found the Finder ★
Mary Duan, San Jose Business Journal:
Investigators said they have identified and interviewed the person
who took the phone from the Gourmet Haus Staudt on March 18 after
it was left there by Apple engineer Gray Powell following a
birthday celebration. Officials were unable to tell the Business
Journal whether that person, whose name has not been released, was
the same person who eventually sold the phone to tech Web site
Wagstaffe said that an outside counsel for Apple, along with Apple
engineer Powell, called the District Attorney’s office on
Wednesday or Thursday of last week to report a theft had occurred
and they wanted it investigated.
Chip Maker Intrinsity Moving to North Korea ★
Ashlee Vance and Brad Stone:
Apple has bought the company that many analysts say helped make
the brain in the iPad tablet, people familiar with the deal said
Apple has finalized a deal to acquire a small chip company called
Intrinsity, Apple confirmed. Intrinsity, of Austin, Tex., made a
name for itself by creating a fast chip for mobile devices in
cooperation with Samsung, both a partner and competitor to Apple.
Google’s Andy Rubin Compares iPhone to North Korea ★
Brad Stone of the NYT interviewed Andy Rubin last week:
Mr. Rubin also addressed many other topics—like whether
consumers actually care if their mobile phone software is
“open” or not. He insisted that they will, comparing closed
computing platforms to totalitarian governments that deprive their
citizens of choice. “When they can’t have something, people do
care. Look at the way politics work. I just don’t want to live
in North Korea,” he said.
Paul Ohm: ‘Searching Journalists in the Terabyte Age’ ★
Great piece by Paul Ohm on the breadth of material taken by authorities when they confiscate modern computers:
In other words, all of the rules that govern police searches of
news offices were created in the age of typewriters, desks, filing
cabinets, and stacks of paper.
Now, flash forward thirty years. The police who searched Jason
Chen’s home seized the following: A MacBook, HP server, two Dell
desktop computers, iPad, ThinkPad, two MacBook Pros, Iomega NAS,
three external hard drives, and three flash drives. They also
seized other storage-containing devices, including two digital
cameras and two smart phones. If Jason Chen’s computing habits are
anything like mine, the police likely seized many terabytes of
disk space, storing hundreds of thousands (millions?) of files,
containing information stretching back years. […]
At the very least, the courts should forbid the police from
looking at any file timestamped before March 18, 2010, and in
addition, they should force the police to comply with the
Comprehensive Drug Testing rules.
The Comprehensive Drug Testing rules (which Ohm describes in his piece) are very fair, and ought to be applied here. But the timestamp idea, however well-intentioned, isn’t practical — timestamps are trivial to change.
CNet: Journalist Shield Law May Not Halt iPhone Probe ★
Declan McCullagh and Greg Sandoval:
Eugene Volokh, a professor at the University of California at Los
Angeles who teaches First Amendment law, says that court decision
— the case is called Rosato v. Superior Court (PDF) — means that
California’s state shield law “wouldn’t apply to subpoenas or
searches for evidence of such criminal activity.”
Translated: If Gizmodo editors are, in fact, a target of a
criminal probe into the possession or purchase of stolen
property, the search warrant served on editor Jason Chen on
Friday appears valid.
Adobe Flash Player Installer Requires You to Force Quit the Finder? ★
Another great Adobe installer.
RIM Releases BlackBerry OS 6 Video ★
It’s obvious what RIM wants you to think when you watch this
video: “Wow, this is kind of like an iPhone.” That’s because the
whole video is showing people dancing around, pretending to zoom
around a big BlackBerry with a touch user interface.
The big problem with that line of logic is that RIM does NOT have
a good, popular touchscreen phone, and is hardly a touch-focused
company. The only touchscreen BlackBerry, the Storm, is garbage
compared to an iPhone.
And I thought RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis just told us that people are abandoning touchscreen phones and going back to hardware keyboard QWERTY phones?
Playing Coy ★
BBC News, talking to Jennifer Granick, the EFF’s civil liberties director:
The second issue the EFF is concerned about is if police officers
are doing the investigative work of a private company. “If there
was some offence here it is not apparent what it is”, she said.
Actually, it’s very apparent, and quite simple. They’re looking at Jason Chen and Gizmodo on felony charges for buying stolen property. This police raid was not about what Gizmodo published.
BBEdit 9.5 ★
Another major update to an eminent Mac app. Major new features include an in-window live search bar, and an impressive new system for attaching scripts to application and document events. Amazingly, it’s a free update for existing BBEdit 9.0 users.
(No one does release notes like Bare Bones does release notes.)
Amy Hoy: ‘The iPad, and the Staggering Work of Obviousness’ ★
Nevertheless, the shortsightedness of punditry is evergreen. Instead of praising the iPad, critics express their disappointment, because they expected more. They expected a genre buster. They expected something they’d never seen before, something beyond their imagination. Something revolutionary.
They’re disappointed that the iPad is so… well… unsurprising.
Therein, of course, lies the genius.
Spotify 0.4.3 ★
I occasionally link to things — e.g. Hulu videos — that, due to the byzantine ways major media corporations manage copyright, are only available to people in the U.S. Here’s something cool that’s only available outside the U.S.: a major new version of Spotify. (Of course, it’s not available everywhere outside the U.S.)
Transmit 4.0 ★
Been beta testing this for a while. It’s very nice. My favorite feature:
With the new Transmit Disk feature, you can now mount any of your
favorites in the Finder itself, even if Transmit’s not running.
These volumes are real: drag files to your SFTP server, save a
small graphic to your Amazon S3 bucket directly from Photoshop, or
roll your own iDisk-like backup volume.
And, finally, hierarchical list views. The interactive product web page is itself a thing of beauty.
NYT Story on Computers Seized From Jason Chen ★
Brian Stelter and Nick Bilton:
Legal experts said there was little doubt that bloggers qualified.
“Of all places, California is probably the most clear that what
Gizmodo does and what Jason Chen does is journalism,” said Sam
Bayard, a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet &
He said the case could hinge on whether there is an exception in
the law involving a journalist committing a crime, “in this case
receipt of stolen property. He said “this seems unlikely based
on the plain language of the statute.”
In other words, if the only target of the criminal investigation is the kid who found the unit and sold it to Gizmodo, then yes, Jason Chen should be considered protected by California’s shield law. They should have issued a subpoena (which means asking Chen to talk to them), and not used a warrant to break into, search, and confiscate items from his home.
But if Chen (and, presumably, his employer, Gawker Media) is himself the target of a felony investigation, the shield laws aren’t relevant. The shield laws are about allowing journalists to protect sources.
Joe, Joe, Joe ★
Joe Wilcox, not being sarcastic:
Surely Gawker’s legal department vetted everything before allowing
one word, photo or video to be posted about the iPhone prototype.
You must be new to this story, Joe.
President Obama Praises the World Champion New York Yankees ★
Bryan Hoch, MLB.com:
Monday brought the ultimate acknowledgment of their six-game Fall
Classic victory over the Phillies, as President Barack Obama
welcomed the Yankees into a jam-packed East Room of the White
House to celebrate their triumph one final time.
“It’s been nine years since your last title, which must have felt
like an eternity for Yankees fans,” Obama said. “I think other
teams would be just fine with a spell like that — the Cubs, for
I love that Obama, a White Sox fan, worked in a dig at the Cubs.
Boy Genius Report Acquired by MMC; Boy Genius Reveals Himself ★
Rebranding as BGR. Congratulations to Jonathan Geller, a.k.a. “Boy Genius”, both on the acquisition and on successfully maintaining his anonymity until he chose to reveal it.
Nick Denton on Whether Gawker Writers Are Journalists ★
My personal take is that Gawker writers and editors, including those at Gizmodo, are clearly journalists. Journalists are those who commit journalism, regardless of medium. Gawker chief Nick Denton, however, in an interview with Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz last year, doesn’t seem to see it that way:
“We don’t seek to do good,” says Denton, wearing a purplish shirt,
jeans and a beard that resembles a three-day growth. “We may
inadvertently do good. We may inadvertently commit journalism.
That is not the institutional intention.”
(Bonus: Note the caption under the picture of Gawker staff writers.)
Simplenote for iPad ★
My favorite iPhone notes app is now a universal binary, with a native iPad UI. I’ve been beta testing it for a few weeks, and it’s just great. Not sure I’ll ever use Pages for iPad again.
Their web site isn’t updated with iPad specific screenshots yet, but it’s a free download, so get it.
John Cook’s First Day on the Job at Yahoo News ★
Today was the first day on the job at Yahoo News for John Cook, the “reporter/blogger” who filed the aforelinked piece “What is Apple Inc.’s role in task force investigating iPhone case?”.
His former employer, until earlier this month? Gawker Media.
Due to what I can only assume to be an editing error, this relationship was not mentioned in his piece.
Update: 24 hours later, a disclaimer was appended to the article.
The Police and San Mateo County District Attorney Take Orders From Apple? ★
The Macalope on this Yahoo News piece by John Cook questioning Apple’s role in the investigation, on the grounds that Apple is one of 25 companies that sit on the REACT task force steering committee.
What’s the counter-argument? That REACT should never investigate any crime against one of the companies on its steering committee? What company would sign up for that? My inbox is chockablock with messages from those who think Apple initiated this. That can’t happen. This is a criminal investigation, not a civil lawsuit. Apple gets to decide whether to file civil litigation. The San Mateo district attorney gets to decide whether to launch a criminal investigation. We don’t know yet whether Apple has been in contact with the DA, but, why wouldn’t they? They can tell the DA what happened. They can’t order the DA what to do.
Cook botches this, implying in his article that the police who raided Chen’s home take orders from Apple:
Which raises the question as to whether Apple, which was outraged
enough about Gizmodo’s $5,000 purchase of the lost iPhone for CEO
Steve Jobs to reportedly call Gawker Media owner Nick Denton to
demand its return, sicked its high-tech cops on Chen.
EFF Lawyer: Seizure of Gizmodo Editor’s Computers Violates State and Federal Law ★
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Internet’s leading
digital rights advocacy group, has also taken a public position on
the search, telling us that California’s search warrant is
illegal and should never have been issued. In a phone interview
this afternoon, EFF Civil Liberties Director Jennifer Granick told
us: “There are both federal and state laws here in California
that protect reporters and journalists from search and seizure for
their news gathering activities. The federal law is the Privacy
Protection Act and the state law is a provision of the penal code
and evidence code. It appears that both of those laws may be being
violated by this search and seizure.”
Granick said that, even if Jason Chen is under investigation for
receipt of stolen property, the government has no right to issue a
search warrant, because California law includes exceptions for
journalists who are in receipt of information from sources.
Or, as summarized by The Macalope:
Shorter EFF: buying stolen merchandise is fine as long as you
write a story about it.
God bless the EFF, they do good work, and I can see why they want to err on the side of the media. But this is uncharted territory. If you think paying $5,000 (or more — the $5,000 figure comes from Nick Denton) to purchase stolen property qualifies as “news gathering activities”, show me the case law.
‘These Are Jason Chen’s Computers’ ★
“They’re the real thing.”
Good Luck With the Shield Law Argument ★
The search warrant is ambiguous about the specific reason the
police gave for the search and seizure. Specifically, it’s
possible — likely, even — that the police believe Gawker Media
committed the felony by acquiring the iPhone (“buying stolen
If that’s the “probable cause” the police used to obtain the
warrant, the journalist shield law may not apply.
Journalist shield laws are about journalists being able to protect sources who may have committed crimes. They’re not a license for journalists to commit crimes themselves. Gawker is making an argument that is beside the point. They’re arguing, “Hey, bloggers are journalists.” The state of California is arguing “Hey, you committed a felony.”
Steve Jobs’s Advice to Nike: ‘Get Rid of the Crappy Stuff’ ★
Nike CEO Mark Parker on the advice he got from Steve Jobs.
Police Seize Gizmodo Editor Jason Chen’s Computers ★
Uh-oh, looks like someone may have committed a felony.
Update: From Gizmodo’s report:
Here is all the documentation (Jason Chen’s personal details are pixelated).
So, Gray Powell’s personal details get plastered all over Gizmodo. Jason Chen’s get pixelated.
jQuery Masonry ★
Fascinating web page layout toolkit by David DeSandro. (Via Cameron Moll.)
Gawker Media Posts the Legal Advice They Received Before Purchasing the Stolen iPhone Prototype ★
What If You Had Bought Apple Stock Instead of That Apple Product? ★
If you’d bought Apple stock instead of a $5,700 PowerBook G3 in November 1997, you’d be sitting on a cool $330,000 today. (Via Kottke.)
No Nexus One on Verizon ★
In the US, if you’ve been waiting for the Nexus One for Verizon
Wireless’ network, head over to
http://phones.verizonwireless.com/htc/incredible to pre-order
the Droid Incredible by HTC, a powerful new Android phone and a
cousin of the Nexus One that is similarly feature-packed.
Makes sense — the Incredible is mostly the same hardware, but with a better camera. The Incredible uses HTC’s custom Sense UI, though, so it’s not the pure Google UI like the Nexus One.
NYT: ‘Criminal Charges Possible in the Case of the Lost iPhone’ ★
The San Mateo district attorney could act by early next week,
according to people involved in the investigation. The office has
the option of filing felony charges. […]
[…] According to people familiar with the investigation, who
would not speak on the record because of the potential legal case,
charges would most likely be filed against the person or people
who sold the prototype iPhone and possibly the buyer.
Israel Lifts Ban on Imports of Apple iPad ★
Israel will begin allowing people to bring Apple iPads into the
country starting on Sunday, two weeks after customs began
confiscating the tablet computers for fear they would interfere
with other wireless devices.
‘Mick’s Rock. I’m Roll.’ ★
Sean O’Hagan on Exile on Main Street:
In places, Exile on Main Street does indeed sound, in the best
possible way, like an album made by a bunch of drunks and junkies
who were somehow firing on all engines.
Dilbert on the Lost Prototype iPhone ★
“It worked great until my fourth stein, then it started misspelling everything.”
Tom Wolfe on Mark Twain ★
The novelist’s novelist.
The Understated Elegance of Mariano Rivera ★
Rivera, 40, has been so good for so long that Reggie Jackson ranks him not in the category of the bullpen specialist but in the transcendent grouping of sports icons.
“For what he does, he’s maybe the most dominant athlete other than Bill Russell that I know,” Jackson said. “But it’s also in the way he does it. Quiet. Humble. Mariano is regal, baseball royalty.”
Google and Adobe, Sitting in a Tree ★
Google VP of Android engineering Andy Rubin, in a weblog post for Adobe:
Google believes that developers should have their choice of tools
and technologies to create applications. By supporting Adobe AIR
on Android we hope that millions of creative designers and
developers will be able to express themselves more freely when
they create applications for Android devices. More broadly, AIR
will foster rapid and continuous innovation across the mobile
Google is happy to be partnering with Adobe to bring the full web,
great applications, and developer choice to the Android platform.
Translation: “We’re allied against iPhone OS.”
Technical Difficulties at the Supreme Court ★
Not exactly tech savvy:
At one point, Justice Anthony Kennedy asked what would happen if a
text message was sent to an officer at the same time he was
sending one to someone else.
“Does it say: ‘Your call is important to us, and we will get
back to you?’” Kennedy asked.
Update: Lots of feedback from readers pointing out that most of these remarks were taken out of context. Having now read the actual transcript, I agree, and regret having linked to this.
Nokia Earnings Rise, But Disappoint Analysts ★
“In Q1, Nokia delivered both year-on-year net sales and operating
profit growth,” Chief Executive Officer Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said
in a statement. “We continue to face tough competition with
respect to the high end of our mobile device portfolio, as well as
challenging market conditions on the infrastructure side.”
Wall Street’s reaction to the news: a 13 percent drop in Nokia’s stock.
Super Slow Motion Footage of the Apollo 11 Saturn V Launch ★
Great footage and wonderful narration by Mark Gray.
Peter Kafka on Hulu’s Purported $10/Month Subscription Plan ★
Also, access to Hulu on the iPad seems a bit less valuable given
that Disney’s ABC, one of Hulu’s owners, is already giving
away free access to its shows via a very popular app. Industry
sources says Hulu CEO Jason Kilar tried desperately to get ABC not
to introduce its free app for this very reason.
But while Disney is a minority owner in Hulu, Apple CEO Steve Jobs
is the largest individual shareholder in Disney. If you want to
connect the dots on that one, you’ll be doing the same thing
everyone else in TV Land is doing.
Letterman’s Top Ten Excuses of the Guy Who Lost the iPhone Prototype ★
“It must have fallen out of my iPants.”
The iPad DJ: Rana Sobhany ★
Apparently she didn’t get the memo that the iPad is not a creative tool, and is just for consumption. Very cool.
Technical Note TN2267: Video Decode Acceleration Framework Reference ★
New from Apple in Mac OS X 10.6.3:
The Video Decode Acceleration framework is a C programming
interface providing low-level access to the H.264 decoding
capabilities of compatible GPUs such as the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M,
GeForce 320M or GeForce GT 330M. It is intended for use by
advanced developers who specifically need hardware accelerated
decode of video frames.
This sounds exactly like what Adobe has been asking for — it should provide a big improvement to Flash Player H.264 playback. (Via Michael Tsai.)
Ryan Block on the Legality of Tech Leaks in General ★
Interesting perspective, but I’ll emphasize here that most leaks involve breaking contracts. There are ethical and legal issues with that, no argument. But what makes this Gizmodo/iPhone story unprecedented is that it involved their purchasing the actual unit. Not obtaining information but obtaining property.
Android Running on the iPhone ★
New U.S. $100 Even Uglier ★
Why are we making our money ugly? We’re ruining one of the greatest visual brands in history.
Scott Robbin’s iPad Split Keyboard ★
I’d like something like this, although I think it’d be more useful in portrait mode than landscape. At least in landscape you can comfortably type with all of your fingers. The portrait keyboard is in a no-man’s land — too small for using all your fingers, too big for just your thumbs. Dan Provost suggested something similar on January 30.
Update: Just noticed that Robbin’s post was from January as well. All I can say is that in practice, iPad in hand, these ideas seem even better now than they did in January.
Jason Snell on Apple’s Great Quarterly Results ★
Includes a different, and perhaps more informative, chart showing revenue breakdown by division (iPhone, Mac, iPod) over time.
The Conversation 12: The Gizmodo/iPhone Thing ★
Earlier today, Andy Ihnatko and your humble narrator were on Dan Benjamin’s The Conversation, to talk about the Gizmodo/iPhone saga. Another good show from Dan.
Google Buys Agnilux, Semiconductor Firm Founded by Former PA Semi Employees ★
Agnilux was founded by members of the PA Semi (originally “Palo
Alto Semiconductor”) company that was purchased by Apple for $278
million in April 2008. After the purchase, many of the top
employees were reportedly upset at the pricing of the stock
options Apple granted to them. They left to form Agnilux, the
super secret early stage start-up that Google just grabbed.
Apple’s Revenue by Product Division ★
Silicon Alley Insider’s chart of the day:
Apple’s iPhone business, which didn’t exist three years ago,
now represents a whopping 40% of the company’s revenue, and has
been the company’s biggest revenue generator for three quarters
in a row.
Keep in mind, too, that iPod Touches don’t count toward the “iPhone” revenue numbers, even though they’re iPhone OS devices. Compare and contrast with Microsoft.
‘Someone Has It Backwards’ ★
Interesting. Apple has responded publicly to Adobe’s Mike Chambers’s claim that Flash is an open platform:
(all supported by the iPhone and iPad) that are open and standard,
while Adobe’s Flash is closed and proprietary,” said spokeswoman
Trudy Miller in a statement.
HTML5 Is My Arcade ★
Knocking at Flash’s door.
‘The Guy Was Pretty Hectic About It’ ★
Jeff Bercovici called the owner of Gourmet Haus Staudt:
What [the “finders” of the phone] never did, however, was notify
anyone who worked at the bar, according to its owner, Volcker
Staudt. That would have been the simplest way to get the phone
back to the Apple employee who lost it, who “called constantly
trying to retrieve it” in the days afterward, recalls Volcker.
“The guy was pretty hectic about it.”
Blowing Up HTML5 Video and Mapping It Into 3D Space ★
Adobe’s Mike Chambers on Section 3.3.1 and Adobe’s Response ★
While it appears that Apple may selectively enforce the terms, it
is our belief that Apple will enforce those terms as they apply to
content created with Flash CS5. Developers should be prepared for
Apple to remove existing content and applications (100+ on the
store today) created with Flash CS5 from the iTunes store.
We will still be shipping the ability to target the iPhone and
iPad in Flash CS5. However, we are not currently planning any
additional investments in that feature.
They’re resting their hopes for Flash as a mobile platform on Android.
Update to the best iPad Twitter client adds Instapaper support (sweet) and fixes bugs.
Claim Chowder: Tomi Ahonen on iPhone Sales ★
Tomi Ahonen, former Nokia executive and self-professed expert on mobile phones, 11 days ago:
You read it right. I am writing the first history of the
once-iconic iPhone, written now in early April 2010, before Apple
has released its first quarter earnings for 2010. This is
literally the peak of the short reign that Apple’s iPhone had as
the most emulated smartphone. […] And mark my words, the numbers
are now very clear, Apple’s market share peak among smartphones,
and among all handsets, on an annual basis, is being witnessed
now. Yes its true, Apple cannot grow market share into 2011. But
its not for reasons you might think.
[ten thousand words of gibberish snipped]
The Apple iPhone sales pattern differs from all other major
smartphone makers because Apple only releases one new model per
year. So the sales take off strongly and then decline as the
rivals keep releasing newer phones. Apple’s best quarter is its
Christmas quarter. This year they were not able to grow market
share. And we already know, that Apple’s January-March quarter was
a heavy fall from the Christmas level of sales (as it always is,
this is the normal pattern).
The Company sold 8.75 million iPhones in the quarter, representing
131 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter.
So the “heavy fall from the Christmas level of sales” we “already know” about was, uh, an increase of 50,000 iPhones. This was the most iPhones Apple has ever sold in a quarter. (And does not count the 63 percent year-over-year growth in sales of the iPod Touch.)
Unaffiliated Apple Analysts Out-Perform Wall Street Analysts Again ★
Turley Muller was the most accurate, once again. (And even he vastly underestimated the total number of iPhones sold.) If you’ve got money invested in Apple stock, take note of these track records.
High DPI Web Sites ★
Dave Hyatt on CSS pixels and high-resolution displays, from back in 2006. Also highly informative.
A Pixel Is Not a Pixel Is Not a Pixel ★
Peter-Paul Koch on CSS pixels and display resolutions. Informative, as always.
Regarding Flash Player for Smartphones ★
Kevin C. Tofel:
Whether you agree with Apple’s steadfast refusal to allow Flash
on its mobile devices, the lack of Flash doesn’t appear to be
hurting Apple device sales. Even without Flash support, Apple
recently reported it has sold a total of 50 million iPhones and in
only a few days, 500,000 iPads, not to mention a vast number of
iPod touch devices. Some consumers do refuse to buy a Flash-less
Apple device, but I’d wager that they’re in the minority.
Number of iPhones with Flash Player: 0.
Number of competing phones with Flash Player: 0.
We keep hearing that the second number is going to change. If and when it does, we’ll see whether it’s a competitive problem for the iPhone and iPad.
And for what it’s worth, I still haven’t seen a definitive answer as to whether Google plans to make Flash Player a standard component for Android, even when Adobe releases it.
SproutCore Touch ★
Impressive framework for creating touchscreen HTML5 interfaces. Their demo — a documentation viewer — works great on the iPad.
Apple Q2 Earnings: Another Great Quarter ★
Revenue and profits are way up. iPhone, iPod, and Mac sales all beat consensus estimates. iPhone sales were up 131 percent year-over-year — an astounding number, given that they sold more iPhones this quarter than during the holiday quarter. Best non-holiday quarter in company history.
Here’s Apple’s data (PDF).
Macworld’s Live Coverage of Apple’s Q2 2010 Financial Call ★
Starts at 5pm EDT. My money says Steve Jobs is not on the call, and Apple will have nothing more than “no comment” to say regarding the much-publicized stolen iPhone 4G. But, we can hope.
iPad Thieves Rip Off Part of Man’s Finger ★
Gruesome story in Denver:
Jordan left the store with his iPad bag tied around his hand.
Unreleased surveillance film shows two young men following him.
A few feet from the doors to the parking garage Jordan felt a
violent tugging at his arm. He looked down and saw a young man
trying to grab his bag. “He was almost sitting on the ground he
was pulling so hard and it was still tied around my fingers; and
it wouldn’t come off and then finally he gave it one big jerk; and
that’s when he stripped the skin off my pinky and it went right
down to the bone.”
Nick Denton has obtained the finger for $10,000.
Mark Fiore’s NewsToons App Now in App Store ★
Remember when this was the hot Apple news?
Has Gizmodo Broken the Law With Its iPhone Story? ★
Ian Betteridge has an excellent post examining the legal implications of the stolen next-gen iPhone affair, including citations from the relevant sections of the California code.
Betteridge concludes that Apple will not file a criminal complaint. That’s certainly the question right now.
Selecting Hair With Refine Edge in Photoshop CS5 ★
I remember when this sort of masking took hours of painstaking work.
Legal, Eh? ★
Jeff Bercovici, for DailyFinance:
Asked whether he’s concerned his company may have committed a
crime in buying the phone, Denton says that Gaby Darbyshire,
Gawker Media’s chief operating officer, researched the relevant
case law and came away satisfied that Gizmodo was in the clear.
Gaby Darbyshire, however keen a legal mind she may possess, is not a U.S. attorney. She’s a former English trial lawyer. I suspect Denton might have gotten different advice if he’d asked a California attorney familiar with California’s lost property statute:
One who finds lost property under circumstances which give him
knowledge of or means of inquiry as to the true owner, and who
appropriates such property to his own use, or to the use of
another person not entitled thereto, without first making
reasonable and just efforts to find the owner and to restore the
property to him, is guilty of theft.
Marco Arment’s iPhone OS Font Test Page ★
Back in 2007 I put together a test page to see which fonts were included in the original iPhone OS. It’s fallen out of date. Marco Arment has made a new version, and it’s a bit more cleverly coded, in that unsupported fonts all show up rendered in Marker Felt, making them easy to discern.
The bad news: the swell new fonts Apple has included in the iPad’s OS (like Baskerville, Futura, Gill Sans, and Hoefler Text) are not included in the iPhone OS 4.0 beta 1. And in both OSes, they’re still including the anemic Courier New but not good sturdy Courier. And don’t get me started on including Arial when Helvetica is right there.
Looks Right ★
I agree with Todd Heasley — it’s delightfully Dieter Rams-ish.
Charles Arthur on the Legal Implications of Gizmodo Buying a Stolen iPhone Prototype ★
I don’t see how Gizmodo can plausibly argue that they didn’t know, all along, that this unit belonged to Apple. Are they counting on Apple forgiving and forgetting once the unit has been returned?
Apple Senior VP and General Counsel Bruce Sewell Sends Letter to Gizmodo Asking for Device to Be Returned ★
The jokey tone of Brian Lam’s post reporting this letter and the focus on the “see, we’re giving it back!” angle, distracts from the most interesting aspect. Lam quotes his own response to Sewell, wherein he writes:
Happy to have you pick this thing up. Was burning a hole in our
pockets. Just so you know, we didn’t know this was stolen when we
Stolen, not lost.
Palm Loses Head of WebOS Development to Twitter ★
Last Friday, news hit that Michael Abbott, Palm’s head of
software and services, the man in charge of its webOS platform,
was leaving the company. […] Abbott will be joining Twitter as
the company’s new vice president of engineering, we’ve learned
and confirmed with the company.
New York Times Story on Gizmodo’s iPhone Prototype ★
Miguel Helft and Nick Bilton, reporting for the NYT:
The person who found the phone peddled it to Gizmodo, which bought
it for $5,000, Nick Denton, chief executive of Gawker Media, which
owns Gizmodo, said by instant message. […]
No sourcing from the Times to verify the phone was “found”, rather than obtained by some other means, other than Gizmodo’s own reporting.
By late in the day, reports began to surface on the Internet that
Apple’s chief executive, Steven P. Jobs, had called Gizmodo to
get the device back. Mr. Denton declined to comment, saying any
conversation between Mr. Jobs and Gizmodo would most likely have
been off the record.
What reports, where? Update: Presumably they were referring to this post at The Awl from Choire Sicha. Would have been good for the NYT to note that Sicha was a long-time employee of Denton’s, having served as Gawker editorial director.
“We haven’t had any formal communication with Apple,” he
said. Brian Lam, the editor in chief of Gizmodo, said his
publication would “probably” return the device to Apple.
“Probably” as opposed to what? There are a mountain of legal issues I believe Gizmodo has already run afoul of, but under what grounds can they possibly not return this unit to Apple? It is Apple’s property and Gizmodo is in possession of it.
Apple’s Mac OS X Resolution Independence Guidelines ★
Developers should be thinking in terms of points — physical units of measurement — not pixels.
Android’s ‘Density-Independent Pixel’ ★
Android devices have wildly-varying pixel-per-inch resolutions. To aid developers, the OS offers a “density-independent pixel” unit of measurement:
A virtual pixel unit that applications can use in defining their
UI, to express layout dimensions or position in a
The density-independent pixel is equivalent to one physical pixel
on a 160 dpi screen, the baseline density assumed by the platform
(as described later in this document). At run time, the platform
transparently handles any scaling of the dip units needed, based
on the actual density of the screen in use. The conversion of dip
units to screen pixels is simple:
pixels = dips * (density / 160).
For example, on 240 dpi screen, 1 dip would equal 1.5 physical
pixels. Using dip units to define your application’s UI is highly
recommended, as a way of ensuring proper display of your UI on
I suspect Apple will do something similar, except that by going straight from 480 × 320 to 960 × 640, everything just doubles in terms of pixels and nothing works out to a non-integer scaling factor.
Hulu iPad App in the Works, May Be Used to Test Subscriptions ★
Brian Stelter and Brad Stone, reporting for the NYT:
People briefed on Hulu’s plan believe it may test the
subscription approach with its iPad app. They could not say when
such an application might be available.
[Hulu CEO Jason] Kilar declined to talk about any future Hulu
products, but he waxed enthusiastic about the coming wave of
ultra-portable tablet computers like the iPad. “Typically media
consumption in the house was confined to the living room or home
office,” he said. Tablets, he added, “allow consumers to
serendipitously discover and consume media in every room of the
When Hulu ships its iPad app, what becomes the next “This is why Apple has to add Flash Player to iPhone OS” poster child? FarmVille? Uh, maybe not.
Photograph of Steve Jobs’s Office ★
Taken earlier today.
HTML5 Presentation ★
Slideshow-style presentation on HTML5 made using HTML5.
Andy Ihnatko on the ‘(Increasingly Plausible) Miraculous Engadget (and Gizmodo) iPhone 4G’ ★
Andy Ihnatko’s spot-on take:
Gizmodo has a lot of explaining to do.
For what it’s worth, Nick Denton says the backstory on how they got it is coming.
Gizmodo Paid for iPhone 4G Prototype ★
Gawker chief Nick Denton on Twitter, in response to this question about how Gizmodo came into possession of a prototype next-generation iPhone:
Yes, we’re proud practitioners of checkbook journalism. Anything for the story!
Consider that if the device was truly lost by mistake, they have cost at least one person their career. And if the device was not lost but stolen… well, the story behind this unit is almost certainly more interesting than the device itself. And the device is fascinating.
Anyway, I heard yesterday from multiple sources that Gizmodo paid for the unit.
Hearts and Minds ★
David Pogue on Google’s efforts to woo iPhone developers to Android.
Engadget Reviews the HTC/Verizon Droid Incredible ★
Clearly the new king of the Android hill.
Filed for Future Claim Chowder: DigiTimes Reports Apple to Use OLED Display in Second-Gen iPads ★
Max Wang and Joseph Tsai, reporting for DigiTimes:
Apple reportedly has started development of the second generation
iPad using the same design concept as for the iPhone 4G, and will
use an OLED panel, according to sources in the component industry.
But then they go on to point out that OLED displays of that size are prohibitively expensive:
Kuo noted that the current price of the 9.7-inch LCD panel for
iPad is about US$60-70, but the price of a 9.7-inch OLED panel is
about US$500. He said the price gap is unlikely to narrow
significantly in 2010 or 2011.
In short, their report boils down to “Apple is going to use OLED displays in the next-generation iPad, even though such displays are impossibly expensive.”
(Given what I’ve seen with the Nexus One, I don’t think Apple will ever use today’s OLED, regardless of cost, because of the wild hyper-vibrant color reproduction. Perhaps future OLED displays will solve that problem, though.)
Gizmodo Has the Purported Next-Gen iPhone in Hand ★
It’s been an open secret to those of us in the racket that Gizmodo purchased this unit about a week ago, from those who claimed to find it. That this belongs to and was made by Apple is almost beyond question at this point. Just how much it looks like what Apple plans to ship this summer, I don’t know. Note that it’s thinner than a 3GS.
I’m mentioned in the article, and must respond. Jason Chen writes:
Apple-connected John Gruber — from Daring Fireball — says that
Apple has indeed lost a prototype iPhone and they want it back:
So I called around, and I now believe this is an actual unit
from Apple — a unit Apple is very interested in getting back.
Obviously someone found it, and here it is.
Note that I did not use the word “lost”. It is my understanding that Apple considers this unit stolen, not lost. And as for the “someone(s)” who “found” it, I believe it is disingenuous for Gizmodo to play coy, as though they don’t know who the someones are.
2006 Apple Patent Filing for Ceramic Enclosures ★
In my research regarding Engadget’s purported photos of a next-gen iPhone, the factor that pushed me over the edge to believe that it’s authentic is the glass back. I know the trend for Apple of late has been toward unibody aluminum enclosures (exhibits A and B: MacBook Pros, iPad), but I think that works poorly for a phone, because the radios can’t get a strong signal. Multiple sources familiar with the next iPhone have confirmed to me that the back is made out of some sort of fancy glass — and looks pretty much exactly like what’s pictured at Engadget. That’s not the only reason I believe Engadget’s unit is legit, but it’s one.
Now, the thing I’ve been curious about ever since hearing about this “glass” back is durability. Everyone knows that dropping your iPhone is like dropping a piece of buttered toast — there’s a good side and a bad side it can land on. Put a glass back on these things and, in terms of drop survivability, it’d be like a piece of toast with butter on both sides, as it were.
But, reader Antoine Hebert emailed with this 2006 Apple patent application, for high-durability ceramic enclosures. Glass-like appearance and feel but far stronger and more scratch resistant. And: radio transparent.
Engadget Posts Pictures of Purported Next-Gen iPhone ★
The story sounds like something out of a novel — someone “finds” a next-gen iPhone housed in a 3G case on the floor of a bar in San Jose, and, while the phone was at first operational, alas, the unit now no longer boots. Those in possession of the unit send pictures to the editors at Engadget, who posted them last night. I was highly skeptical, to say the least. But: intrigued.
Today, Engadget has doubled down and called it legit, offering as proof this blurry photo they obtained back in January, which if you squint right appears to show this very device next to a test unit iPad. This photo isn’t conclusive, clearly, but I believe Engadget’s confidence in the legitimacy of this unit is based partly on factors they can’t publish.
So I called around, and I now believe this is an actual unit from Apple — a unit Apple is very interested in getting back. I am not certain that this looks like the actual production unit Apple intends to ship to consumers. I think it’s a testbed frame — thicker, with visible (un-Apple-like) seams, meant to fit in 3GS cases so as to disguise units out in the wild. It’s hard to tell from the photos. But I think it is the real deal in terms of the internals and display being next-gen iPhone hardware, and the new glass back. Put another way: the front looks legit, the back looks legit, but the sides I’m not sure about. A front-facing camera and 960 × 640 display are two things I believe are slated for the next iPhone. (The “80 GB” of storage sounds like a mistake to me, but who knows? SSD storage typically comes only in even power-of-two increments.)
The most-cited counter-evidence is this photo, originally posted by Applesfera, which is purportedly of a counterfeit iPhone purchased in Japan, with the same style volume buttons and mute switch. Update: But now Applesfera claims that their reader who submitted the image admits it was a fake.
The whole story is a bit fishy, to say the least. But, to reiterate, I believe Engadget’s photos do show a pre-production or testbed Apple iPhone unit. The fishy parts are where it came from, who leaked the photos and sold the unit, and who did they sell it to?
Close It Up ★
The AP Stylebook changes “Web site” to “website”. (I switched here at DF back in October.)
My thanks to Sourcebits for again sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed. Sourcebits is a contract developer specializing in iPhone, iPad, mobile, Mac, and web software. Their iPhone apps have been downloaded over 4.5 million times from the App Store, and they have a growing list of Android and BlackBerry apps, too. If you’re looking for software development services, check out Sourcebits’s website for examples of their work, such as Climate, a brand-new iPhone weather app they just launched this week.
Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen on iPhone OS and Flash ★
Skip to about the 3:30 mark to get to the good part.
Short translation: “We’re counting on Google to save Flash.”
Non-Apple’s Mistake ★
Brilliant, must-read piece by Stanislav Datskovskiy:
I argue that Apple now has not one but two monopolies:
I) A nearly-total monopoly on computer (and pocket computer)
systems designed with good taste.
II) A total monopoly on the Microsoft-free, hassle-free personal
Mr. Jobs is indeed starting to behave like that other convicted
monopolist we know and love. Yet unlike the latter, Jobs did not
engage in underhanded business practices to create his
monopolies. They were handed to him on a silver platter by the
rest of the market, which insists on peddling either outright crap
or cheap imitations of Apple’s aesthetic.
(Via Alex Payne.)
Photoshop CS5 64-Bit Benchmarks ★
The Only Tea Party Stat You Need to Know ★
Electronista on RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis’s keynote at a conference today:
The company leader also dismissed the importance of touchscreen
phones. While it’s important to give customers what they want,
touch-only phones like the iPhone aren’t that popular, Lazaridis
argued. He claimed that most of the people buying touchscreen
phones are going back to phones with hardware QWERTY keyboards,
like those that made RIM “famous.”
Apple Asks Cartoonist Mark Fiore to Resubmit iPhone App ★
Jennifer Valentino-DeVries, for the WSJ Digits weblog:
The cartoonist who won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning
this week says Apple has asked him to resubmit an iPhone app that
it earlier rejected because it “ridicules public figures.” […]
A representative from Apple called the cartoonist Thursday and
suggested that he resubmit the app, Mr. Fiore said in an
interview. “I feel kind of guilty,” he said. “I’m getting
preferential treatment because I got the Pulitzer.”
It’s not the Pulitzer that got him the phone call, it’s the publicity over his app’s rejection. (Of course, the publicity is largely fueled by his winning the Pulitzer.)
This sort of app should not have been rejected in the first place — shouldn’t even have been considered borderline. Resubmission and hoping for a different reviewer sometimes works in cases like this, but at this point, there’s no way for us to know whether Fiore is getting reconsidered only because of the publicity stink. It’s possible that it really is Apple’s policy to reject any app related to political satire. It’s also possible that it is not. That’s the core problem — that we don’t know.
Motorola’s Droid Problem ★
So the new king of the Android hill is the HTC Droid Incredible — Nexus One-caliber hardware with HTC’s proprietary “Sense” UI, coming to Verizon April 29.
It occurred to me today that this shows just how bad a deal this whole Android/Droid thing is for Motorola. Motorola’s only relevant phone is the Droid. But Verizon owns the “Droid” brand, and now just a few months later, Verizon’s new flagship phone in the Droid line is made by HTC, not Motorola.
I don’t know if Motorola can afford it, but they ought to be doing whatever they can to scoop up Palm.
S.E.C. Sues Goldman Sachs ★
The New York Times:
Goldman Sachs, which emerged relatively unscathed from the
financial crisis, was accused of securities fraud in a civil suit
filed Friday by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which
claims the bank created and sold a mortgage investment that was
secretly devised to fail.
Goldman’s stock is down 14 percent on the news. Couldn’t happen to a worse bunch of scumbags. (I’ll echo Tim Bray: “Pity it’s civil not criminal.”)
Unity vs. Section 3.3.1 ★
David Helgason on the Unity weblog:
Unity learned of these changes with the rest of you just
last Thursday and today, there remains a great deal of
uncertainty about these changes being final and what we may
need to do to comply.
We’re meeting with Apple next week to discuss the matter, and
our engineers have been discussing possible technical solutions
New games made using Unity are still being accepted, so a finger in the wind suggests Unity is going to be deemed kosher.
App Store Rejection of the Week: Mark Fiore’s NewsToons ★
This week cartoonist Mark Fiore made Internet and journalism
history as the first online-only journalist to win a Pulitzer
Prize. Fiore took home the editorial cartooning prize for
animations he created for SFGate, the website for the San
Francisco Chronicle. […]
But there’s just one problem. In December, Apple rejected his
iPhone app, NewsToons, because, as Apple put it, his satire
“ridicules public figures,” a violation of the iPhone
Developer Program License Agreement, which bars any apps whose
content in “Apple’s reasonable judgement may be found
objectionable, for example, materials that may be considered
obscene, pornographic, or defamatory.”
This is preposterous, pure and simple, along the lines of last year’s fiasco with the Ninjawords dictionary app being forced to excise cuss words.
Fiore has not resubmitted his app, saying he’d heard about the
experiences of others cartoonists and wasn’t in a position to
get into a fight with Apple. Still, he has a hunch Apple will
eventually change its mind on him, as it has with other cartoon
apps. “They seem so much more innovative and smarter than
that,” he told me.
I think he should have resubmitted immediately, and hoped for a different reviewer. But he should definitely resubmit now, given the amount of attention this rejection is drawing. I realize this was an app, not an e-book, but Apple can’t credibly run a book store while holding any sort of policy that bans political satire.
Update: Ruben Bolling (author of the wonderful Tom the Dancing Bug) reports on Twitter that Apple has asked Fiore to re-submit his app.
App Store Rejection of the Week, Runner-Up: Scratch ★
Scratch is a well-regarded runtime geared toward allowing kids to create their own simple games and animations. They had a player app in the App Store, but it’s been removed. This is unfortunate, because it seems pretty cool, but, this is not the least bit surprising. It’s only surprising that it ever made it into the App Store in the first place.
Apple’s intention with the “no interpreters” rule is to block meta platforms. Imagine a hypothetical arbitrary “Flash Player” app from Adobe, that allowed you to download SWF files — such an app would stand as an alternative to the App Store. What’s frustrating about Apple blocking Scratch is that Scratch doesn’t seem like the sort of thing that one could use to build software that’s even vaguely of the caliber of native iPhone apps. It’s really rudimentary stuff, focused on ease-of-programming. But what’s Apple to do? Change the rule to “no high-quality interpreters”?
The only way something like Scratch could get into the App Store would be if it used WebKit as its interpreter.
The Latest Improvements to the WebKit Web Inspector ★
At this point, when someone comes to us with something that users like but that we could envision forum trolls dismissing as a toy, it makes us especially likely to invest.
Google Backs Yahoo in Privacy Fight With DOJ ★
Google and an alliance of privacy groups have come to Yahoo’s aid by helping the Web portal fend off a broad request from the U.S. Department of Justice for e-mail messages, CNET has learned.
Sony Announces ‘Division Two’ Vaio Laptops ★
This does not sound like a good idea:
Sony is to launch a “division two” of VAIO laptops that are made and designed by other manufacturers.
NSA Chief Loves His iPad ★
Google Announces First Quarter 2010 Financial Results ★
Revenue up 23 percent year-over-year, net income up even more.
Eyeballs Still Don’t Pay the Bills ★
David Heinemeier Hansson on Ning’s layoffs:
Are you kidding me? The company has blown through $120M of VC
funding over six years, built up massive traffic, yet just had to
slash and burn, and you’re saying that “traffic growth is no
longer good enough”. How the hell was it ever good enough?
Reminds me of First Citiwide Change Bank’s business model.
Dave Johnson Predicts Ubiquitous iAds ★
I gave $200 to Apple, and another $100/month to AT&T. Why does
Apple now deserve additional revenue on an on-going basis just
because I run apps on my phone? You might say, “but wait, Dave
— this is designed to help developers continue to release free
apps.” If that’s true, why are paid apps also allowed to use
iAd? Mark my words — in a year or so, pretty much all apps will
use banner ads. Not just free ones.
Consider them marked.
Don’t Play The Tray ★
Neven Mrgan on the iPhone OS 4 fast-switching tray:
Trying to “clean out” your tray is not a habit you want to get
into. It’s pointless, and besides, you can never win - as soon
as you run another app, in the tray it’ll go. It’s like the
world’s worst game of Whac-A-Mole. Instead, learn to see the
tray as a “recent apps” area. If you’re in the middle of one
task - say, writing an email - and you need to switch to something
for a second — say, looking up a spelling — then the tray is
your friend. But once you’re done with that, you’re done.
Scoble Asks Why iPad Production Is Behind Demand ★
Scoble’s third guess:
The focus groups that Apple talked with didn’t hype it up
enough with the people studying the groups. This is because
they, themselves, didn’t have the apps (the iPad without apps
is pretty lame, actually).
Apple never does focus tests. Even the engineers at Apple working on iPhone OS 4 didn’t get to see the iPad while it was being developed.
As for why production is falling behind demand, I think it’s simply a factor of Apple’s conservatism. Better to have demand outstrip supply than the other way around. Worked out well for the original iPhone. Note too that Apple can afford to let demand outstrip supply for a few months, because it’s not like those who can’t get their hands on an iPad right now have any alternatives to choose from.
Tim Conneally Reviews the WebStation Android Tablet ★
Someone will make a decent Android-based tablet eventually, but this piece of junk goes to show just how much work will be involved to create such a thing. I mean, crikey, a stylus?
‘I Live for Myself and I Answer to Nobody.’ ★
Jon Patrick on Steve McQueen. (Via Dunstan Orchard.)
Errol Morris on Stupidity ★
My definition of a stupid person. A stupid person is a person who
treats a smart person as though they’re stupid.
See also: the Dunning-Kruger Effect.
New 3D Buildings for New York City in Google Earth ★
Screw Liberty City — let’s get a version of Grand Theft Auto set in the real deal.
Photographs of Vintage Computers ★
Great photo essay in Time. (Via Michele Seiler at Coudal.)
Don’t Forget About Clang ★
In other words, it’s no coincidence that Apple is now instructing
developers to switch to Clang-supported languages and their
Clang-wrapping IDE (Xcode).
Lukas Mathis on iPhone OS 4.0 ★
Good overview of the new UI features. Mathis is skeptical on the utility of the task switcher.
Regarding “folders”, I’ll add that they’re not really folders at all, not in the sense of the Mac. There is no “folder” icon, nor any folder object that you create as a first step. There is no nesting. You just pile icons on top of each other. What iPhone OS 4 folders resemble most is the “stacks” concept that has been rumored for the Mac desktop ever since Copland was a bright shining beacon ahead of us. I think it’s great. (Note also that on a hypothetical 960 × 640 iPhone display, the tiny 9 × 9 thumbnail icons on the container icons will be more legible.)
DFW’s Circles ★
Below you’ll find the complete list of words that David Foster Wallace circled in his American Heritage Dictionary.
(Via Chris Pepper.)
Keeping the Platform Nimble ★
Steve Cheney raises a good point regarding Apple’s renewed push for App Store developers to use Apple’s own iPhone SDK:
By telling developers to move to Xcode tools, Apple is setting
the stage to potentially switch architectures.
History often repeats itself: In 2003, Apple advised developers to
switch to Xcode tools. This was not a coincidental move — 2 years
later Apple moved to Intel across its entire Mac line. Developers
who complied could simply press a button and applications would
run natively (full performance) on new Intel Macs.
Adobe did not ship (non-beta) Intel-native versions of the Creative Suite apps until April 2007, 16 months after Apple began shipping Intel-based Macs (and about two years after Apple announced the Intel transition). Adobe was also late shipping Mac OS X versions of Photoshop.
Cheney’s idle speculation that the A4 CPU in the iPad is something other than ARM is not the case, but, still, it’s not silly in the least bit to think that Apple will someday add a new architecture for iPhone OS devices (or, will someday push for iPhone OS apps to go 64-bit). Not wanting to wait two years for Adobe to update Flash’s iPhone compiler is perfectly reasonable on Apple’s part. Adobe has a track record regarding their preparedness for Apple platform shifts, and it’s not good.
The Progress of the Platform ★
I largely agree with this thoughtful take on the Apple-vs.-Adobe Flash-for-iPhone situation by Ian Samuel:
Stop trying to get out of writing real iPhone apps, Apple seems to be saying.
Android-Based Alex E-Reader Now Shipping, for $399 ★
Good luck with that.
Intel Posts a Strong First Quarter, Fueled by High-End Laptop Sales ★
High-end laptop sales are up, netbook sales are down. Seems like a good time to re-link my piece from October on Apple netbook claim chowder.
PhoneGap Still OK for iPhone App Development ★
Update: Looks like maybe Appcelerator is OK too.
The Official Panic Basketball Team ★
“We can totally help,” I said. “With one condition: they let us design the jerseys!”
Around the World in Ten Layers ★
Speaking of Coudal, there’s an “around the world” exhibition Layer Tennis match on Friday, with Z in the commentary booth. Love the poster on the Coudal front page.
‘Lunatic at Large’ ★
Ben Child, reporting for The Guardian:
Among the discarded projects of the famously fastidious Stanley
Kubrick are “lost” movies about Napoleon Bonaparte, the Holocaust
and the American civil war. Now, 11 years after his death, a
treatment by the legendary film-maker titled Lunatic at Large
looks set to make it to the big screen, with Scarlett Johansson
and Sam Rockwell attached to star.
No word yet on who will direct. (Via Kevin Guilfoile at Coudal.)
Crashed on Quit Again ★
Why would quitting the app cause a crash so frequently? This would
be like if you worked in an office from 9-5 and every day at
4:59pm you became filled with rage and ran around throwing chairs
and breaking windows. Then you went home and came back the next
day acting like nothing happened.
Hacker News Comments on My ‘Mobile Multitasking’ Piece ★
Several insightful comments. “Jsz0” writes:
You certainly do need a task manager on Android for the simple
reason that certain types of applications can be battery hogs.
They may not tax the performance of the device enough to be killed
automatically. I know Android 2.x is supposed to monitor battery
usage but it simply doesn’t work very well — or at all in some
cases. Subsonic (streaming audio client) kills my phone’s battery
if I don’t kill it manually with a task manager. The app does not
include a quit option. It can kill my battery in about 3 hours
even if I pause playback because it keeps its connection to the
server open. Another app I use, Jabiru (jabber client), does the
same thing but it does have a disconnect and quit option so I
wouldn’t need a third party task manager to deal with it. So it
seems to me Android’s multi-tasking is largely dependent on the
applications you use.
I’ve gotten a few emails from Android users claiming the same. I didn’t see this using a Nexus One, but, I didn’t use the apps mentioned above. The gist is that there do exist some third-party Android apps which have a detrimental effect on responsiveness and/or battery life in the background.
“Jiri” has an astute observation:
These Android/iPhone apps’ architecture is very close to web page
approach. In web environment, you can load the page, interact with
page, you can close it anytime and do something else.
David Quintana on Mobile Multitasking ★
More on the differences between Android and iPhone OS 4.
Google Chief Java Architect Worries Over ‘Rudderless’ Java ★
Joab Jackson, reporting for IDG:
The Java platform has “appeared rudderless for the last few
years,” said Google’s chief Java architect, Josh Bloch,
speaking Wednesday at the Red Hat Middleware 2020 virtual
conference. “A malaise [has fallen] over the community and the
end is not in sight.”
Five bucks says Gosling goes to Google. (Android’s Dalvik virtual machine is the most interesting thing that’s happened to Java, the language, in a long time.)
Matt Raymond from The Library of Congress:
Every public tweet, ever, since Twitter’s inception in March
2006, will be archived digitally at the Library of Congress.
That’s a LOT of tweets, by the way: Twitter processes more than
50 million tweets every day, with the total numbering in the
Update: Server is down (surprise, surprise, it’s a WordPress site), but Google has it cached.
Uninformed Gizmodo Rant of the Day ★
First draft: Apple screwed Kindle iPad app.
Second draft: Never mind, Kindle iPad app has a confusing UI for settings.
Donovan McNabb: ‘I’d Like to Thank the Ungrateful, Over-Expecting, Oftentimes-Racist Fans of Philadelphia’ ★
And people wonder why I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan.
Apple Announces One-Month Delay for International iPad Sales ★
Faced with this surprisingly strong US demand, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the international launch of iPad by one month, until the end of May. We will announce international pricing and begin taking online pre-orders on Monday, May 10.
No quote from Jobs in this one.
Don’t Take Your iPad to Israel ★
Bar Ben Ari and Zohar Blumenkrantz, reporting for Haaretz:
If you had thought to buy Apple’s new iPad tablet computer any time soon and bring it to Israel, you may have to change your plans: Starting yesterday, the Communications Ministry has blocked the import of iPads to Israel, and the customs authority has been directed to confiscate them.
Please Make the iPhone Weather Application Location Aware ★
Sometimes all you need is the right domain name.
Inside Apple’s Automatic Graphics Switching in the New MacBook Pros ★
Nice report by Chris Foresman:
Apple’s approach in the new 15” and 17” MacBook Pros differs from Optimus in two key ways. The first is that the switching is all handled automatically by Mac OS X without any user intervention (though there is actually a System Preference to deactivate it, if you choose). Apps that use advanced graphics frameworks such as OpenGL, Core Graphics, Quartz Composer or others will cause the OS to trigger the discrete GPU. So, when you are reading or writing Mail, or editing an Excel spreadsheet, Mac OS X will simply use the integrated Intel HD graphics. If you fire up Aperture or Photoshop, Mac OS X kicks on the NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M.
Details, Details, Details ★
Michael Gartenberg on today’s new MacBook Pros.
Cisco as Palm Buyer? ★
Makes as much sense as any of the other companies rumored to be interested.
HTC Studying Whether to Have Own Smartphone Software ★
HTC Corp., Taiwan’s largest mobile-phone maker, is studying whether to equip phones with its own operating system, a move that may intensify competition with Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp.
They’re considering acquiring Palm.
2009 World Series Championship Rings ★
Home opener at Yankee Stadium is being played right now, as I type, against the Angels — which means Hideki Matsui, World Series MVP, was there for the ceremony.
Tim Bray on Life at Google ★
Great writing. (Love the comment on jumpsuits, too.)
Microsoft Outsourcing IT Services ★
Infosys Technologies Ltd. will manage Microsoft’s internal IT
services worldwide under a three-year deal announced by the global
outsourcing company this morning. According to an Infosys news
release, those services will include technical assistance for
employees at their desks and from centralized help desks, in
addition to management of “applications, devices and databases in
450 locations across 104 countries.”
Infosys is headquartered in Bangalore. Neither Apple nor Google would ever consider outsourcing IT. It’s a point of pride at both Apple and Google just how little they spend on IT compared to typical Fortune 100 companies (which typical companies, of course, use Microsoft infrastructure).
Update: Bishop posted an update with a response from Microsoft, in which they claim this is not a change so much as a consolidation of third-party support services. And, a little birdie informs me that Apple “heavily leverages” Infosys as well.
Update 2: After reading the above update, another little birdie emailed to clarify that Apple uses “Infosys and other outsourcing companies for code development of internal systems, not for support,” and that Apple low head-count low-cost support costs are indeed a source of pride and a selling point to their customers in the enterprise. And then yet another little birdie suggested that Radar, of all things, is one such system that is maintained by outsourced developers.
Flip Slide HD ★
Interesting, but it does not seem worth $279 to me.
I Have a Simple Question ★
Nick Bilton, adding to his report on what Eric Schmidt told guests at a party regarding a purported iPad competitor Google is working on:
According to a guest at the party, Mr. Schmidt offered one other
piece of information: the Google device will run Adobe Flash
content and games.
This is good news for Adobe, but not for Apple.
Why is this not good news for Apple?
Brent Simmons on NetNewsWire for iPad and iPhone OS 4.0 ★
Brent Simmons, in an interview with Mike Schramm at TUAW:
We’re not giving out the actual numbers, but I will tell you this,
and I think this is very cool. The iPad app, within five days,
made us more money than the iPhone app has in its existence over
the last six months or something. And it’s only priced double,
$9.99 versus $4.99. So, that says a few things. One, I think it’s
a better app, our app on the iPad. And being there on day one is
huge, since everyone’s looking for apps. But, yeah, even with a
much smaller user base so far, it’s just done so well.
Strategery 3.1 ★
Strategery is a great Risk-like strategy game for the iPhone, and now, iPad. I’ve linked to it before, but the recent 3.0 update was a step backward in several regards. The just-released version 3.1 puts it back on my list of favorite iPhone OS games. $2 gets you a universal binary that’s native for both iPhone and iPad.
(The only downside: it requires iPhone OS 3.1, so you can’t use it on an iPhone that’s running OS 3.0.1 for use with samizdat AT&T tethering.)
Dan and Martha ★
‘House’ Season Finale Filmed Entirely With Canon 5D Mark II ★
Greg Yaitanes, director of the episode, thinks the footage looks better than that from their regular cameras.
Update: Another WordPress site craps out. Google has it cached, though.
This, More Than Any Other Reason, Is Why I Can’t Wait to Abandon AT&T ★
It’s now been over a year since Apple unveiled tethering as a
part of iPhone 3.0 OS. At the time, while 22 carriers around the
world were announced to be supporting it, in the U.S., all Apple
could say was that AT&T would be supporting it “later.”
Claire Cain Miller, reporting for the NYT:
The advertising program, which Twitter calls Promoted Tweets, will
show up when Twitter users search for keywords that the
advertisers have bought to link to their ads. Later, Twitter plans
to show promoted posts in the stream of Twitter posts, based on
how relevant they might be to a particular user.
Update: Twitter’s own announcement.
Long-Awaited Update to Apple II Laptops ★
Now with Intel Core i5 and i7 processors.
Correction: Apparently these are Macintoshes, not Apple II’s. I conflate these legacy Apple platforms, sorry.
Wawa to Celebrate Billionth Free ATM Withdrawal ★
Local note: if you’re ever in the Philly area and need an ATM, look for a Wawa convenience store.
iPad as E-Reader for the Blind ★
Ask any PC-loving computer nerd why Apple products have become the
de facto choice of the masses, and you’ll likely hear something
like, “People buy Apple products because they’re pretty.”
That may be true for many, but one group of consumers who care
little for Apple’s prodigious aesthetics are the blind.
They care more about how Apple products actually work. And while
the iPad may be Apple’s most controversial launch in recent
memory, the blind community is unanimous in its support.
Here’s why it should not be surprising. Apple doesn’t think design is how something looks, but rather how it works.
NewTeeVee: ‘Google to Open-Source VP8 for HTML5 Video’ ★
Google will soon make its VP8 video codec open source, we’ve
learned from multiple sources. The company is scheduled to
officially announce the release at its Google I/O developers
conference next month, a source with knowledge of the announcement
said. And with that release, Mozilla — maker of the Firefox
browser — and Google Chrome are expected to also announce
support for HTML5 video playback using the new open codec.
And after that, I’ll bet we never hear another word about how Ogg Theora is really just as good as H.264.
Questions: Will Apple or Microsoft support VP8? And will Google support it at YouTube?
Opera Mini Approved for App Store ★
Told you so — if you’re surprised that Apple accepted Opera Mini, you don’t understand what Apple is doing with the App Store.
Apple Against the World ★
Jason Snell, on Apple’s moves to maintain control over the App Store and native iPhone app development by prohibiting the use of third-party meta-platforms:
Sounds good, but the develop-once-run-anywhere philosophy is
something that makes more sense to bean counters and
development-environment vendors than it does to platform owners
and discriminating users. In the ’90s we were told that Java
apps would be the future of software, because you could write them
once and deploy them anywhere. As someone who used to use a
Java-based Mac app on an almost daily basis, let me tell you: it
was a disaster. Java apps didn’t behave like Mac apps. They were
ugly and awful and weird, but hey, at least they ran on the Mac.
It’s the same way I feel about Adobe’s AIR environment today.
Microsoft Announces Kin, Its Next Two Failed Phones ★
Entire web site is Flash. These two phones are neither Windows Mobile 6 nor Windows Phone 7. It’s as though the company is self-destructively attempting to sabotage its own mobile efforts.
Redmond Hot Tub Time Machine ★
Paul Thurrott on iPhone OS 4:
Based on the announcement, they’re making some obvious but
important updates to the product and, perhaps for the first time
ever, they are clearly responding to their increasingly
aggressive competitors, especially Google (Android) and Microsoft
Yes, iPhone OS 4, set to ship this summer, is a response to Windows Phone 7, set to ship after this summer.
Apple’s Wager ★
Apple’s decisions regarding its mobile platform in particular have
been extremely protective from the very start. Cumulatively, these
actions represent a huge bet placed by Apple. The proposition is
this: Apple is betting it can grow its platform fast enough, using
any means necessary, that developers will stick around despite all
the hardships and shoddy treatment. Each time it chooses to do
what it thinks is best for the future of the iPhone OS platform
instead of what will please developers, Apple is pushing more
chips into the pot.
Alice for the iPad ★
How does the Kindle compete with this?
Conan O’Brien to Host Late Night Show on TBS ★
I wish him well, but going from The Tonight Show to TBS is like going from the New York Yankees to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Jean-Louis Gassée Gets It ★
Who, in his right mind, expects Steve Jobs to let Adobe (and
other) cross-platform application development tools control his (I
mean the iPhone OS) future? Cross-platform tools dangle the old
“write once, run everywhere” promise. But, by being
cross-platform, they don’t use, they erase “uncommon”
features. To Apple, this is anathema as it wants apps developers
to use, to promote its differentiation. It’s that simple. Losing
differentiation is death by low margins. It’s that simple.
It’s business. Apple is right to keep control of its
It really is that simple. That’s a perfect one-paragraph summary of the situation. His detailed analysis (and historical perspective — much of it first-person) is spot-on.
A New Google Docs ★
No better comparison of the cultural differences between Google and Apple than to compare Google Docs and iWork. iWork has no form of cloud based syncing or collaboration; the appeal of the apps (both on the Mac and iPad) is that it helps you create beautiful documents. Google Docs is all about cloud-based syncing and collaboration; its example documents are downright homely.
The Conversation, Episode 10 ★
Yours truly, Craig Hockenberry, and special guest Jim Coudal were on Dan Benjamin’s The Conversation this afternoon, talking about Twitter’s purchasing of Tweetie, the iPad, iAds, and more.
I Can See the ‘Mountain View, Start Your Photocopiers’ Banner Hanging at WWDC Now ★
Ashlee Vance and Nick Bilton, reporting for the NYT:
But Google is going one step further, exploring the idea of
building its own slate, an e-reader that would function like a
Eric E. Schmidt, chief executive of Google, told friends at a
recent party in Los Angeles about the new device, which would
exclusively run the Android operating system. People with direct
knowledge of the project — who did not want to be named because
they said they were unauthorized to speak publicly about the
device — said the company had been experimenting in “stealth
mode” with a few publishers to explore delivery of books,
magazines and other content on a tablet.
Robert Love on iPhone OS 4 and Multitasking ★
Google Android engineer Robert Love:
As I stated in my previous post, the real concern with
multitasking on an embedded, swapless device is memory
consumption. Battery life is a straw man. So how do services solve
the memory consumption problem? Alone, as described in the event,
they don’t. But iPhone OS will continue to kill applications that
leave the foreground. Thus, applications will need to be
refactored into a client and server pair: a user-facing
application that only runs when in the foreground and a background
service. The point being, services have a small memory footprint
and they are limited in number. Without the risk of unbounded
multitasking, this greatly relieves memory pressure.
I think his overview of how multitasking works on iPhone OS is the best I’ve seen, and a decent layman’s explanation. And he’s absolutely right that the biggest constraint is RAM — that’s why older iPhones and iPod Touches are cut off from these features.
Update: Some of his specific technical guesses are wrong, though. This statement, for example, is flat-out incorrect:
Thus, applications will need to be refactored into a client and server pair.
Adobe Unveils Creative Suite 5 ★
Adobe has a chart to help you decide which version has the apps you want.
Louis Gerbarg on Apple, Adobe, Game Interpreters, and Section 3.3.1 ★
Best piece I’ve read on the whole thing, by a long shot. Must-read.
Bloomberg Reports Palm to Put Itself Up for Sale ★
Serena Saitto and Ari Levy, reporting for Bloomberg:
Palm Inc. , creator of the Pre smartphone, put itself up for sale and is seeking bids for the company as early as this week, according to three people familiar with the situation. […]
Taiwan’s HTC Corp. and China’s Lenovo Group Ltd. have looked at the company and may be potential bidders, said the people. Dell Inc. also looked at Palm, though it decided against an offer, according to two of the people.
My thanks to Doxie for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed to promote their brand-new document scanner for the Mac. It’s portable, USB-powered, and comes with elegant software that scans paper documents directly to Mac and web apps like iPhoto, Google Docs, Evernote, Acrobat, and Flickr. Looks great, costs just $129, and scans everything from photos to receipts to business cards.
I had a feeling this was in the works when Tweetie wasn’t iPad-native on day one. Here’s Loren Brichter on the deal.
Here’s to hoping that Twitter doesn’t fuck Tweetie up like Brizzly did to Birdfeed. And there’s going to be some heavy drinking tonight from developers of other iPhone OS Twitter API clients.
Adobe Platform Evangelist Lee Brimelow on Apple’s Decision to Forbid iPhone Apps Compiled With Flash CS5 ★
“Go screw yourself Apple.”
RIM Buys QNX ★
This article posits that the deal is about tying BlackBerries to car navigation systems. I think that might be selling it far short — QNX is a serious kernel. This might be about the future of the BlackBerry OS. I.e. that QNX might be to RIM what NeXT was to Apple.
‘Infographic’, by Phil Gyford ★
Adam Lisagor’s ‘Fingerspoo’ iPad Wallpaper ★
Gross, but accurate.
Robert Love on iPhone OS and Android Multitasking ★
Good overview of how multitasking works on Android, and, considering it was written a week ago, a spot-on prediction about how Apple would add support for it to iPhone OS.
Ted Landau on iPad File Sharing ★
I linked to this in my iPad review earlier in the week, but it’s worth a standalone item. The workflow for editing iWork documents on both your Mac and iPad is just atrocious, and Landau has done the hard work of copiously describing just how bad it is.
John Paul Stevens to Retire From Supreme Court After 34 Years ★
His letter of resignation to President Obama (PDF).
Adobe Ideas for iPad ★
No fair slagging on Adobe all day without pointing to Adobe Ideas, their first iPad app:
This free app helps you sketch out ideas, annotate photographs,
extract color themes from photographs, and more. Sketches created
in Adobe Ideas can be emailed as a PDF for editing in Adobe
Illustrator or Photoshop or viewing with any PDF viewer.
It’s very good, and very fun. My six-year-old son likes it, too. This is the Adobe I love.
Cutting Edge Stuff ★
Adobe, on the careers page John Dowdell suggested Apple employees take a look at:
Adobe has a new talent acquisition system. This system is
optimized for performance on IE 6 or IE 7, running on Windows XP.
Unfortunately it is not supported on Firefox, nor is it supported
on a Mac at this time.
A new system optimized for a 10-year-old version of Windows.
‘He Can’t Win’ ★
Cringely, quoting Bill Gates from 1998:
“What I can’t figure out is why he (Steve Jobs) is even trying
(to be the CEO of Apple)? He knows he can’t win.”
Adobe Distances Itself From JooJoo ★
Vladislav Savov at Engadget:
Adobe is drawing a thick line between itself and the JooJoo, and
urges us to instead look at the alternatives from its partners
like HP, Dell and Lenovo. Mind you, not one of those companies is
(as yet) selling a competing tablet, and it’s not like there’s
some magical formula that will make 720p Flash video run smoothly
on a bare Atom CPU (remember, Ion GPU acceleration is not yet
available for the Linux-based JooJoo), but who are we to stand in
the way of a carefully worded damage limitation statement?
So the only Flash-capable tablets Adobe recommends aren’t available yet.
I’m Sure There Will Be a Line Wrapping Around the Block ★
Adobe’s John Dowdell:
I know that a number of good people work at Apple. If you’re
seeking a more ethical company, Adobe is hiring.
Unboxing the iPad Data ★
Interesting infographic by John Kumahara and Johnathan Bonnel.
Adobe’s Initial Response to Section 3.3.1 ★
When asked how this would affect the software introduction, Adobe
released the following statement: “We are aware of Apple’s
new SDK language and are looking into it. We continue to develop
our Packager for iPhone OS technology, which we plan to debut in
Mark Wilson Has Apparently Never Used an Ad-Based iPhone App ★
I mean, there are thousands of apps already in the App Store that present ads just as big or bigger than iAds. If you don’t like an app using iAds, don’t use it. Easy.
Announcing WebKit2 ★
Anders Carlsson and Sam Weinig, from Apple’s WebKit team:
This is a heads-up that we will shortly start landing patches for
a new WebKit framework that we at Apple have been working on for a
while. We currently call this new framework “WebKit2”.
WebKit2 is designed from the ground up to support a split process
in a separate process. This model is similar to what Google Chrome
offers, with the major difference being that we have built the
process split model directly into the framework, allowing other
clients to use it.
Why Does AppleInsider Make It So Easy for Me? ★
“Kasper Jade” and “Prince McLean”, one week ago:
The upcoming 4.0 reference release of Apple’s iPhone OS will
deliver new support for running multiple concurrent third party
apps, and allow users to switch between them using a windows
management mechanism similar to one made popular on the company’s
Mac OS X operating system. […]
Those familiar with the design of iPhone 4.0 said that the user
interface will resemble Apple’s desktop Expose feature, in that a
key combination — reportedly hitting the Home button twice —
will trigger an expose-like interface that brings up a series of
icons representing the currently running apps, allowing users to
quickly select the one they want to switch to directly. When a
selection is made, the iPhone OS zooms out of the Expose task
manager and transitions to that app.
Where by “familiar with the design”, they meant “making shit up”, unless by “Exposé-like”, they meant “not at all like Exposé”.
Tim O’Reilly on the iPad and the End of the PC Era ★
Great observations from Tim O’Reilly on Apple’s weakness:
Media and application syncing across iPhone and iPad is poorly
thought out. MobileMe, which should be Apple’s gateway drug for
lock-in to Apple services, is instead sold as an add-on to a small
fraction of Apple’s customer base. If Apple wants to win, they
need to understand the power of network effects in Internet
services. They need to sacrifice revenue for reach, taking the
opportunity of their early lead to tie users ever more closely to
It wouldn’t even be that much of a sacrifice to revenue if Apple included, say, a year or two of free MobileMe service when you buy an iPhone OS device. Or just make MobileMe service free for the lifetime of the device — that way, developers, including Apple, could count on a cloud-based syncing service.
This is Google’s primary advantage, but Apple — judging from how the iPad iWork apps don’t even attempt to sync documents, and how non-MobileMe users are stuck with USB syncing through iTunes — doesn’t seem to see that.
Justin Long Says ‘Get a Mac’ Might Be Done ★
Leaving on top, if so.
Apple’s iPhone OS 4 Preview ★
Brief overview of what’s new.
How a Book Publisher Blew the Deal to Publish J.D. Salinger’s ‘Hapworth 16, 1924’ ★
After thinking I could do right by a man I admired, I let him down.
‘Pyramid Lake (at Night)’ ★
The story of the iPad’s default wallpaper, photographed by Richard Misrach.
Apple’s iPhone OS 4.0 Event Starts in 30 Minutes ★
Here’s a link to Gizmodo’s live coverage, which seems the best so far. (Jacqui Cheng at Ars Technica is doing a great job, too.) I generally follow Macworld’s live coverage of these events, but they’ve switched to some new dingus called ScribbleLive, which I presume is using Flash since it requires a dedicated iPhone app, which app is, alas, not iPad-native. And on my Mac it just renders as a big empty white box.
Anyway, if you want predictions, here are my predictions, based purely on my own speculation and few coin tosses. iPhone OS 4 will introduce background processing for third-party apps (expect demos from developers like, say, Pandora and Skype), and, perhaps, some sort of suspend-resume model for going right back to where you were when you re-open an app. iPhone OS 4.0 will only be for the iPhone and iPod Touch, not the iPad. The iPad, like any such project at Apple was developed by a team that was locked away in secrecy, so the team working on iPhone OS 4.0 only found out about the iPad when the rest of us did, on January 27; Dalrymple has it exactly right: OS 4.1 will be the unified OS for all these devices. (My spidey-sense tells me that iPhone OS 4 is going to drop support for first-generation iPhones and iPod Touches, and some of the features may only be available on the 3GS and this year’s new models.)
Apple will not announce new iPhone hardware at this event. Just like the last two years, this is only about the OS and the new stuff for developers in the SDK. But there might be hints about next-gen iPhone hardware features. If I’m right that the next-gen iPhone will have a 960 × 640 display, they might start talking about higher-res iPhone apps today, and spin it as a way to make iPhone apps look sharper when run on iPads.
The Digg iFrame Toolbar Is Dead ★
Kevin Rose, who just took over as CEO of Digg from Jay Whatshisname:
Framing content with an iFrame is bad for the Internet. It causes confusion when bookmarking, breaks w/iFrame busters, and has no ability to communicate with the lower frame (if you browse away from a story, the old digg count still persists). It’s an inconsistent/wonky user experience, and I’m happy to say we are killing it when we launch the new Digg.
Matt Richtel in the NYT on AT&T’s Mini-Tower Rip-Off ★
Faced with withering criticism for its spotty iPhone service, AT&T
blames in part a shortage of cellphone towers near homes and
businesses. But it has a solution: put a miniature cell tower in
your living room.
There’s a catch, though. You have to pay for it. And that is
making some customers angry.
And rightly so — it’s using your broadband connection to improve AT&T’s network. AT&T should be paying us to install these things, not the other way around.
I can’t wait to get rid of these clowns.
SublimeVideo Flash Mode ★
Optional Flash-fallback for non-HTML5 browsers in Jilion’s upcoming HTML5 video embedding library.
‘If You Need to Explain It, We Should All Agree, Then the Design Isn’t Doing Its Job’ ★
Khoi Vinh on the Popular Science iPad design:
And they’re repetitive, too; over and again, it’s the same
basic format in which a layer of type slides pointlessly against
the backdrop of a fixed image. That repetitiveness does little to
counter the general feeling of placelessness throughout the app;
the navigation is well-meaning but fussy at best, but honestly
much closer to incompetent. (As we get out of the gate with iPad
publishing, can we just very quickly impose a moratorium on
displaying instructions on how to use reading interfaces? If you
need to explain it, we should all agree, then the design isn’t
doing its job.) I got lost and frustrated repeatedly, and then I
Placelessness is a huge problem. With a paper magazine, newspaper, or book, you know where you are and how much remains based on the pages in your hands. The Popular Science iPad app is visually interesting and impressive, but you get no sense of place, and, worse, I’ve found you don’t even get a sense of where there is scrollable content. It’s more like an interface for a touchscreen magazine from a science fiction movie than something that’s actually done right.
(If I were hiring someone to design an iPad magazine, I’d sell a kidney to hire Khoi Vinh. I’m not sure how much of a hand he’s had in the design of the NYT Editors’ Choice iPad app, but I’m absolutely in love with that app. That app has changed my morning reading routine. It has little sci-fi wow factor, but it is graceful, placeful, and feels like The Times — the Times I know and love, as someone old enough to vividly remember what it was like when being a news junkie meant getting your fingertips stained black every morning — in a way that the nytimes.com web site never has.)
Surprise, Surprise, the JooJoo Is a Turd ★
Paul Miller reviews the JooJoo tablet for Engadget. It stinks. It’s fast, though, but — shockingly — Flash video performance is horrendous:
Software issues aside, the JooJoo actually happens to be quite
speedy thanks to its 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 processor, 1GB of RAM
and 4GB solid state drive. It only takes about 7 seconds to boot
and toggling between the menus is snappy. WiFi speeds were also
quite fast with it taking 11 seconds to load Engadget and 8
seconds to bring up NYTimes.com.
But what about Flash? This is supposed to be the big
differentiator, right? The iPad killer! In an interesting move,
Fusion Garage coupled the Atom processor with NVIDIA’s Ion
graphics to aid in playing full screen Flash video (or for
doing… something). Unfortunately, the software just isn’t there
yet. Currently the device is running Flash 10.1 beta 1, and won’t
have hardware-accelerated Flash video for a good while now (the
timing is partly reliant on Adobe support, and is labelled as a
“work in progress” by JooJoo). That means some regular-sized
YouTube and Hulu works, as decoded by the CPU, but full screen
Hulu is jittery, and a 720p YouTube clip is like watching a
slideshow. In one of the biggest moves of irony, JooJoo has
actually implemented a hack for YouTube where you can view a video
in Flash or in “JooJoo” mode which is a straight playback of the
MPEG video file every YouTube video harbors. What does this remind
us of? HTML 5, albeit with a less elegant implementation. This of
course only works on YouTube right now, though JooJoo says it
plans on supporting other sites in the future. Watch the video
below for yourselves to see all this Flash tragedy play out.
(Ironically, Engadget’s video demos are only available in Flash. Why would a website devoted to leading-edge gadgetry continue to embed video in a format that can’t be played on the best web-reading gadget? If your video doesn’t play on the iPad, you’re like Steve Allen mocking the lyrics to rock-and-roll songs — an anachronism.)
Bill Simmons on Sabermetrics ★
Baseball, the sport for math geeks. (Via Kottke.)
‘The Mechanical’, Down to the Wire ★
The Vanderbilt Republic’s Kickstarter project to raise $5000 to process the film from their documentary trip to Cambodia last year ends tomorrow at noon eastern. They’re close, but not there yet. If this project is unsuccessful, there’s a real danger that this film will stay unprocessed and begin to disappear.
See photographer George Del Barrio’s piece at The Huffington Post for more, including new video footage.
Adam Engst on the iPad as a Blank Slate ★
Adam Engst nails it:
The hardware is so understated — it’s just a screen, really —
and because you manipulate objects and interface elements so
smoothly and directly on the screen, the fact that you’re using
an iPad falls away. You’re using the app, whatever it may be,
and while you’re doing so, the iPad is that app. Switch to
another app and the iPad becomes that app. If that’s not magic,
I don’t know what is.
That’s the best description of the iPad experience I’ve seen yet.
iBooks App Makes Use of Private Frameworks ★
So much for me saying (just today) that Apple’s App Store apps don’t make use of private APIs.
That said, I’ll bet this is more about the short development cycle of the app and the fact that this is the first release of the iPad. The first release of the iPhone, of course, didn’t have any public APIs at all.
Nintendo Executive Talks Trash on iPhone OS Gaming ★
Nintendo’s U.S. president Reggie Fils-Aime:
“Clearly it doesn’t look like their platform is a viable profit platform for game development because so many of the games are free versus paid downloads.”
Dave Winer on the iPad ★
The best review from an iPad skeptic I’ve seen. Maybe skeptic isn’t the right word, but clearly he’s unconvinced that it’s the next big thing.
This is a minor point in his piece:
And pragmatically, experience has shown that the winning computer
platforms are the ones you can develop for on the computer itself,
and the ones that require other, more expensive hardware and
software, don’t become platforms. There are exceptions but it’s
remarkable how often it works this way.
I think that’s only true historically. I don’t think it’s true any more, especially in the mobile space. And it was never true for consoles, and the iPad in some ways is like a cross between a mobile device and a console. But, all that said, I’d love to be able to develop for the iPad on the iPad. Especially if it were a HyperCard-like thing, where the output looked native to the iPad but was based on WebKit behind the scenes, thus allowing the apps made by the thing to be openly distributed and shared with other iPad users.
Bertrand Serlet on Apple’s API Lifecycle ★
Re: the last on Apple and private APIs, here’s video of Bertrand Serlet from WWDC 2009. Apple doesn’t disallow the use of private APIs out of spite; they disallow it because their private APIs are not fully baked.
Alex Payne: The Moderate’s Position on iPad Openness ★
Thoughtful and reasonable.
Update: Although, I don’t understand his position on private APIs at all. I suppose he means not that Apple should document and allow the use of every single SPI on the system, but rather that Apple’s own apps shouldn’t be able to use private APIs if third-party developers can’t. My understanding though, is that Apple’s App Store apps do only use the public APIs. The built-in system apps — which run in the background, among other things — are obviously in a different class. Third-party developers will never get to write system-level apps for iPhone OS.
The Mobile Web vs. the Objective-C Web ★
Cameron Moll, author of Mobile Web Design:
Frankly, as the adoption rate of iPhone increases and if iPad
follows suit, it will become increasingly difficult to argue in
favor of a starting point other than iPhone OS. The NPR iPad
app, for one, provides a much more pleasant user experience
The reason, I think, is that even if the people building iPhone apps would prefer, on general principle, to be building cross-platform open mobile web apps instead of banking on Apple’s closed proprietary platform, there’s no way to build cross-platform web apps that provide the same quality of user experience. The NPR iPad app is indeed terrific, and I don’t think it could be replicated as a mobile web app — at least not with the same amount of work, and not in a way that’s cross-platform.
Playing Chess With Kubrick ★
Jeremy Bernstein recollects his time playing chess with Stanley Kubrick, while writing a profile of him for The New Yorker. (Audio excerpts from his interview with Kubrick are still available on YouTube.)
iPad-Optimized Version of iPhone OS Reference Library ★
Update: Peter Hosey explains how to enable this display mode in a WebKit-based browser on your Mac.
Magazine Art Direction on the iPad ★
Video by Brad Colbow analyzing the art direction of three magazines’ iPad apps: Time, GQ, and Popular Science. Time and GQ both only work well in landscape — they lose much of their design when held vertically. (GQ looks particularly bad in portrait orientation.) Popular Science works equally well in both orientations.
I’ll add that Popular Science also has a better meta design than Time. Time
and GQ is selling each issue as a separate iPad application. I’m not sure who Time thinks is going to spend $5 a week for a new Time app, but my guess is that his name is Joe Nobody. But regardless of per-issue pricing, who wants a separate app for each issue? Shouldn’t part of the advantage of digital distribution be that you can carry around many back issues? Who wants a page full of Time icons on their home screen?
With Popular Science (as well as GQ), there’s one app, and all issues appear inside that one app. That’s clearly the right way to do this.
Update: I originally wrote that GQ was like Time — one app per issue — but it’s not. It’s one app with in-app purchasing for subsequent issues.
iBooks and ePub ★
Good overview from Liza Daly regarding how iBooks handles ePub files.
Update: More from Liz Castro.
First Day iPad Sales: 300,000 ★
Apple today announced that it sold over 300,000 iPads in the US as
of midnight Saturday, April 3. These sales included deliveries of
pre-ordered iPads to customers, deliveries to channel partners and
sales at Apple Retail Stores. Apple also announced that iPad users
downloaded over one million apps from Apple’s App Store and over
250,000 ebooks from its iBookstore during the first day.
That means it outsold the original iPhone on day one. And the numbers don’t include pre-sold 3G iPads.
Will It Blend? ★
Apple Announces iPhone 4.0 Event on Thursday ★
Invitation-only press event Thursday at Apple’s Town Hall.
John Patrick on the iPad ★
John Patrick, former vice president at IBM:
When we introduced the ThinkPad in 1992 it seemed like a huge deal
just to get everyone at IBM to agree with the name. No one,
certainly not me as VP of marketing at the time, had any idea that
more than 30 million ThinkPads would be sold. The iPad will surely
sell multiple times that number but more important the iPad will
change the model of personal computing — not immediately and not
for everyone, but for many millions of people the PC will begin to
look like a dinosaur.
Denial of Expertise ★
Joe Clark on iPad critics:
This was the weekend those of us with high standards lost their remaining residue of patience for ideologues who hyperbolize about open systems without actually creating something people want to use.
Update: Fireballed. Change link to temporary cache for now.
iPad: Charging the Battery ★
I’ve seen numerous complaints today about the iPad not charging via USB, only via the power adapter. According to Apple:
Some USB 2.0 ports and accessories do not provide enough power to
charge iPad. When this occurs the message “Not Charging” appears
in the status bar next to the battery icon.
It works for me via the built-in USB ports on my MacBook Pro, but not via my USB hub. Apparently some Macs have built-in USB ports that aren’t “high power USB 2.0”, though.
Update: This is not a bug or error on Apple’s part. It’s a factor of just how strong the iPad battery is. It’s closer in watt-hour capacity to a MacBook Air battery than to an iPhone battery. More from Dan Frakes here.
iFixit’s iPad Teardown ★
Those of you still without iPads might want to grab some tissues.
Netflix on iPhone? ★
Steve Swasey, Netflix:
We wouldn’t invite you to dinner without planning to serve dessert.
Benchmarking in Your Lap ★
The iPad’s twice as fast as an iPhone 3GS, and appears to have the same amount of RAM: 256 MB.
Why Andre Torrez Will Be Buying an iPad This Weekend ★
Good prediction at the end.
Andy Ihnatko on the iPad and Multitasking ★
Archive of My Appearance Yesterday on ‘Gadgets and Games’ ★
Hourlong iPad discussion on Clayton Morris’s Gadgets and Games show with Andy Ihnatko, Jason Snell, Mike Rose, Ross Rubin, Natali Del Conte, and your humble narrator. Pretty good, I thought.
Update: Direct link to the .mp4 version.
Letterman’s iPad Top Ten List ★
“You’re not buying an unnecessary electronic device — you’re buying a family.”
My thanks to The Little App Factory for once again sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed to promote Rivet. Rivet lets you stream your movies, photos, and music from your Mac to your Xbox 360 or PS3. It integrates with iTunes and iPhoto (and Aperture); changes and additions on your Mac are instantly visible on your console.
This week only, DF readers can save 25 percent with coupon code “DARINGFIRE2010”.
Microsoft Changes Name of Next-Gen Mobile OS From ‘Windows Phone 7 Series’ to ‘Windows Phone 7’ ★
Good to see Microsoft having just as amazing a weekend as Apple.
Lorem iPad ★
For journalists on deadline.
Joel Johnson Responds to Cory Doctorow ★
I’m glad the Apple ][+ came with schematics for the circuit boards. I’m glad it encouraged a generation of kids to tinker and explore. I’m also glad that I don’t live in the fucking ’70s and have to type in programs from a magazine anymore.
Heather Champ Leaving Flickr to Start Online Community Consultancy ★
Flickr’s brain drain continues. What a great community Heather helped shape.
Gizmodo’s List of Essential iPad Apps ★
Tons of great apps already.
Netflix Available on iPad ★
Streaming movies and TV shows. Works great.
Google Services on the iPad ★
The Gmail interface looks good.
Andy Ihnatko, Jason Snell, and Yours Truly, Live on Clayton Morris’s Strategy Room ★
3pm Eastern today — about half an hour from now. Take a guess what we’ll be talking about.
Quake 2 Ported to HTML5 ★
In the port, we use WebGL, the Canvas API, HTML 5 audio elements, the local storage API, and WebSockets to demonstrate the possibilities of pure web applications in modern browsers such as Safari and Chrome.
Update: Is it an April Fool’s joke? Why can’t they just link to a page where you can try it? Has anyone gotten this to work?
Update 2: Several readers report that it’s no joke. The FAQ states that they can’t post an online demo due to licensing issues for the resources.
Gina Trapani: ‘Why You Shouldn’t Buy an iPad (Yet)’ ★
Unlike Cory Doctorow, Gina (unsurprisingly) makes a reasonable argument:
Don’t be the guy who bought the first-gen iPad when Apple slashes
the 2011 iPad price in half.
That’s possible, of course. Everyone remembers the big original iPhone price drop three months after it shipped. But: I think the original iPhone was priced high to start as a hedge — just in case it didn’t sell in huge quantities. And remember: the original iPhone, even at $600, was sold out for most of its first three months.
I think the iPad is already priced to move. I don’t think we’re going to see any price cuts.
Next year’s iPad will be faster, cheaper, less buggy, and have
better apps and worthy competitors. Let all the deep-pocketed Jobs
apostles be your canaries into the iPad coalmine. Give developers
time to fix their apps to work well on the iPad. Give Apple a year
to lower prices on faster hardware and fill in all the gaping
feature holes. (Remember how long early iPhone owners lived
without copy and paste?)
Now this is true. Next year there will be a second-gen iPad and it’ll be superior in many ways to the ones that ship tomorrow. I don’t think they’ll be cheaper, but they’ll be better. (Remember, though, that those who bought the original iPhone got copy-and-paste for free when it was added to the iPhone OS.)
I think the comparison to the original iPhone is perfect. Me? Getting the original iPhone on day one was the best money I’ve ever spent. If you bought an original iPhone and regretted it a year later, though, you probably ought to skip the original iPad.
iPad Claim Chowder: John Breeden ★
John Breeden is an iPad doubter:
I’ve been covering and reviewing notebooks and battery
technology for the past decade, and I know what the current
technology is capable of. There is no way that a 1.5-pound
computer is going to be able to drive an IPS display for ten hours
as Steve Jobs claims. It just can’t happen. Perhaps if you let
the iPad lapse into standby mode, you could squeeze it. But if you
are actually using the device, my estimate would be less than
three hours of power, and that’s being generous. The display
would look amazing, but be quite a power hog.
Unless Apple has also developed some new type of power source,
such as nuclear cells or magical hamsters on tiny spinning wheels
for the iPad, don’t expect the claims about battery life to
hold true. The candle that blazes the brightest is always the
first to go out.
OK, let’s see what people who’ve tested it say. David Pogue:
Speaking of video: Apple asserts that the iPad runs 10 hours on a
charge of its nonremovable battery — but we all know you can’t
trust the manufacturer. And sure enough, in my own test, the iPad
played movies continuously from 7:30 a.m. to 7:53 p.m. — more
than 12 hours. That’s four times as long as a typical laptop or
portable DVD player.
The iPad lasted 11 hours and 28 minutes, about 15% more than Apple
claimed. I was able to watch four feature-length movies, four TV
episodes and a video of a 90-minute corporate presentation, before
the battery died midway through an episode of “The Closer.”
Why Cory Doctorow Won’t Buy an iPad (And Thinks You Shouldn’t, Either) ★
iFixit’s ‘Apple Tablet Teardown’ ★
Posited as an April Fool’s joke, this is actually a fascinating technical analysis of the Newton hardware.