Linked List: July 2012

Samsung Angers Judge by Sending Rejected Evidence From Apple Trial to the Media 

Nilay Patel:

The Apple vs. Samsung trial was always destined to be a circus, but Samsung’s already causing trouble on the first day of testimony: Judge Lucy Koh is furious that the company sent the press rejected evidence after the court overruled repeated attempts to introduce it at trial.

Anyone else get the feeling Samsung thinks they’re going to lose this? From Samsung’s accompanying statement:

The excluded evidence would have established beyond doubt that Samsung did not copy the iPhone design. Fundamental fairness requires that the jury decide the case based on all the evidence.

Are they insinuating they want the jury to see this? That last sentence sounds like something that could come back to haunt them.

The WebKit Inspector 

Terrific guide to the WebKit Inspector by Majd Taby. (But note that it’s three months old, and thus doesn’t cover the even-better brand-new but much-maligned Inspector in Safari 6.)

New Command-Line Utilities in Mountain Lion 

“caffeinate” is a fun name.

Google Delays Nexus Q Launch 


When we announced Nexus Q at Google I/O, we gave away devices to attendees for an early preview. The industrial design and hardware were met with great enthusiasm. We also heard initial feedback from users that they want Nexus Q to do even more than it does today. In response, we have decided to postpone the consumer launch of Nexus Q while we work on making it even better.


The Stupid, Lame, and Lazy Mountain Lion Headlines 

At this point, you stand out more by not writing obvious pun headlines.

Sam Biddle on Sony’s SmartWatch 

Sam Biddle:

No. Absolutely not. No one should own this, no matter their lifestyle preferences or moral views. I promise you — you won’t like it. The Sony SmartWatch is pathetic, frustrating, and empty. There’s no way to justify spending $150 on this — this ripoff of a thing. It’s easily gulped down at first under the guise of luxe gadgetry, but spending any more than a few minutes swiping with despair reveals just how much of a bad practical joke this thing is.

Always fun to read a review that doesn’t mince words.

Andrew Sorkin’s Suggestions for an Apple Shopping List 

Dealbook’s Andrew Ross Sorkin made a list of potential big acquisitions on which Apple could spend its $117 billion (and growing ever more rapidly) cash hoard:

  • Nuance
  • Twitter
  • Path
  • RIM
  • Square
  • Sprint

The only ones on that list that make sense to me are Nuance (under Apple’s oft-cited rule that the company seeks to “own and control the primary technology” in everything they do — speech recognition is now one of Apple’s primary technologies) and maybe Square.

Acquiring Sprint makes no sense, unless you think of the iPhone and iPad as U.S.-only products, which also makes no sense. I could see Apple buying RIM for its patent portfolio after RIM goes bankrupt, but that’s more likely to happen through a consortium, like the Nortel deal.

It’s hard to spend $117 billion wisely.

Inge Druckrey: Teaching to See 

Captivating, beautiful 37-minute documentary on the teaching of Inge Druckrey.

Hulu Plus Arrives on Apple TV 


Jonah Lehrer’s Deception 

Michael C. Moynihan unravels New Yorker staff writer Jonah Lehrer’s fabulism.

Pogue Laments MagSafe 2 

David Pogue:

The MagSafe 2 connector fails that balance test. Badly. The magnet is too weak. It’s so weak, it keeps falling out. It falls out if you brush it. It falls out if you tip the laptop slightly. It falls out if you look at it funny. It’s a huge, huge pain.

Can’t say I’ve noticed this with the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display, but I don’t move that around while charging. Maybe it’s more of a problem with Airs?

Update: Widely varying replies from DF readers on Twitter.

HP Teases Unannounced Tablet in Latest Commercial 

Looks familiar; can’t quite put my finger on it.

Adam Lisagor on the ‘Genius’ Ads 

Adam Lisagor:

The new Apple ads are good. But Apple ads are supposed to be great, and that is why the new Apple ads suck.

Astute Criticism of the New ‘Genius’ Ads by Ken Segall 

Ken Segall:

Therein lies another problem with this campaign. In the effort to show that the Genius is the most helpful guy in the world, Apple has created customers who, shall we say, are on the dim side. In past ads, Apple has shown “ordinary people doing extraordinary things,” simply because Apple products are so easy to use. Now we have thick people who want to be better, but need a Genius to help. Not exactly flattering.

I’m not defending this aspect of the ads. “These Mac users are pretty dumb” is dangerous territory, no matter how deftly it’s treated. But the idea here is that they’re not supposed to be flattering. The idea is these on-screen Mac users in need of help are supposed to make the viewer at home feel like, “Hey, I’m smarter than that guy.” The idea that these spots insult Mac users’ intelligence reminds me of the misguided criticism that the old “I’m a Mac/I’m a PC” ads were insulting to would-be switchers because Hodgman, the PC, was a doofus.

There’s really no way to evaluate the effectiveness of these spots without talking to people who’ve never bought a Mac but are thinking about buying their first.

The Heretic 

Best thing I’ve read all weekend: Tim Doody’s detailed profile of long-time LSD researcher Dr. James Fadiman for The Morning News.

Moltz on the Genius Ads 

John Moltz:

It’s still a switcher-based game for Apple. In order to increase Mac sales, they have to get people to switch from Windows. Ads like these (if not necessarily these exact ads) are integral to the game plan.

WSJ: Apple/Twitter Investment Talk Is Year-Old News 

Shira Ovide and Jessica E. Vascellaro, reporting for the WSJ:

Apple Inc. held discussions with Twitter Inc. more than a year ago about taking a strategic investment in the short-messaging service, according to a person familiar with the talks. People familiar with the matter said there are no current formal investment or acquisition discussions between the companies.

News of the investment talks was first reported by the New York Times.

Translation: “The New York Times blew it.”


Stephen Coles on the silly default font in Mountain Lion’s new Notes app.

New ‘Genius’ TV Ads From Apple 

Reaction on Twitter seems overwhelmingly negative, but I’m not so sure. These spots don’t appeal to me, personally. They’re not cool. But they’re not supposed to be cool, and they’re not targeted at existing Mac users. This is about assuaging the doubts of would-be switchers. If you switch to Mac, we’ll help you. That’s the message.

Update: Not explicitly but implicitly, these are the first TV spots Apple has run for their retail stores, not for products. Daniel Jalkut:

Apple’s store experience is a great competitive advantage, but without ads like these, only existing customers know it.

NYT: Apple Considering Investment in Twitter 

Evelyn M. Rusli and Nick Bilton, reporting for the NYT:

Apple, which has stumbled in its efforts to get into social media, has talked with Twitter in recent months about making a strategic investment in it, according to people briefed on the matter. [...]

Apple has considered an investment in the hundreds of millions of dollars, one that could value Twitter at more than $10 billion, up from an $8.4 billion valuation last year, these people said. They declined to be named because the discussions were private.

So who leaked this — Twitter or Apple? I have my guess.

JIRA Mobile Connect 

My thanks to Atlassian for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed to promote JIRA Mobile Connect, their free open source library for mobile app developers for collecting feedback and communicating with users. JIRA Mobile Connect makes getting feedback from users in iOS apps as easy as texting.

You, the developer, get in-app messaging and automated crash reporting. Users can send feedback, attach audio notes or annotated screenshots, and view your responses within your app. It’s direct engagement with your users.

Check out the short video on their website to learn more and see how it works. Download the free JIRA Mobile Connect SDK today.

Correction on Amazon’s Quarterly Profit 

Speaking of quarterly profits, my earlier piece on Amazon’s Q3 profit was wrong; I was bamboozled by Tim Carmody’s reporting of their operating profit ($107 million), as opposed to net profit, which was just $7 million.

Not to worry, though. That still compares well to Apple’s $4 million in (per hour) profit for the same quarter.

Samsung Reports Record Quarterly Profit: $4.6 Billion 

Shameless but smart.

Update: The $5.9 billion figure I originally mentioned is also operating profit, not net profit. Samsung’s net profit was a still-juicy $4.6 billion.

Google Admits It Did Not Delete Street View Data 


Google Inc said on Friday it had not kept its promise to delete all the personal data, such as emails, its Street View cars collected in Britain and other countries in 2010.


Apple to Buy Fingerprint Sensor Maker AuthenTec for $356 Million 

There goes three-and-half days of Apple’s profit.

Amazon Q3 Results 

Tim Carmody, The Verge:

On Thursday, Amazon reported an operating profit of $107 million on $12.83 billion in net sales. Last quarter, the company bagged $192 million on sales of $13.18 billion; a year ago (also a useful comparison, since retail sales are seasonal), it earned $201 million on sales of $9.91 billion. So even though it sold slightly less in the quarter, year-over-year, Amazon continues to grow like gangbusters: 29%, according to the official release.

$107 million in profit for the quarter. That compares well to Apple’s $97 million in profit (per day) for the same quarter.

Update: $107 million was Amazon’s operating profit, not their net profit. See this correction for an accurate comparison to Apple.

New Apple Campaign Urges Consumers to Buy iPhone for Other Hand 

How wrong is it that this doesn’t seem like a complete joke to me?

‘The Proverbial “Really Good” Science-Fiction Movie’ 

Stanley Kubrick writes to Arthur C. Clarke.

Happy Birthday, Stanley Kubrick 

Celebrate with some great Kubrick links at

Apple Claims Google Warned Samsung Against Copying iPhone and iPad 

John Paczkowski, on Apple’s brief for next week’s trial against Samsung:

In February 2010, Google told Samsung that Samsung’s “P1” and “P3” tablets (Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Tab 10.1) were “too similar” to the iPad and demanded “distinguishable design vis-à-vis the iPad for the P3.”

In 2011, Samsung’s own Product Design Group noted that it is “regrettable” that the Galaxy S “looks similar” to older iPhone models.

As part of a formal, Samsung-sponsored evaluation, famous designers warned Samsung that the Galaxy S “looked like it copied the iPhone too much,” and that “innovation is needed.” The designers explained that the appearance of the Galaxy S “[c]losely resembles the iPhone shape so as to have no distinguishable elements,” and “[a]ll you have to do is cover up the Samsung logo and it’s difficult to find anything different from the iPhone.”

Watch What Apple’s OS Update Did to One Network’s Traffic 

That’s a lot of ones and zeroes.

Vanity Fair: ‘How Microsoft Lost Its Mojo: Steve Ballmer and Corporate America’s Most Spectacular Decline’ 

Kurt Eichenwald’s feature-length takedown of post-’90s Microsoft:

Years passed. Finally, on November 14, 2006, Microsoft introduced its own music player, called Zune. Fifty-four days later, Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone, which combined a mobile phone, a music player, Internet capability, a camera, and other features not available on Zune. But the iPod was still around for customers who didn’t want a phone. In fact, Apple had already introduced its fifth-generation iPod, its less expensive iPod Mini, and was about a year away from marketing the least costly of its music players, the iPod Nano.

Zune was blown away. By 2009, iPod maintained an astonishing 71 percent of the market, the kind of numbers rarely seen anywhere outside of a North Korean election. Meanwhile, Zune limped along with less than 4 percent. Last October, Microsoft discontinued it, in hopes that customers would instead purchase a Windows Phone that, like the iPhone, has a music player.

Never thought about it that way: by the time Microsoft caught up to the iPod, Apple was on to the iPhone.

Charlie Miller Discovers NFC Exploit for Android and Nokia Phones 

Andy Greenberg, reporting for Forbes:

At the Black Hat security conference Wednesday, serial Apple and Android hacker Charlie Miller plans to present a grab bag of new tricks that allow him to take complete control of Android and Nokia phones simply by bringing another device or just a chip within a few inches of the target gadget.

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, the Little Details 

Jeff Carlson has a great rundown of little details from Mountain Lion.

Safari 6 Supports Web Audio API 

But as Jory K. Prum writes, there’s still a major codec support problem to get this working across browsers.

About John Siracusa’s Mountain Lion Review 

E-book and website reading options for Siracusa’s 13th comprehensive review of a major release of Mac OS X. I know I’m not alone in that I look forward to his OS X reviews as much as I do the actual new versions of OS X. An incredible amount of work, and a joy to read.

‘The Next Big Thing’ 

This week’s episode of The Talk Show. Special guest MG Siegler joins me to discuss Marissa Mayer being hired as Yahoo CEO, the Nexus 7 and the tablet market, and today’s release of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

Brought to you by two excellent sponsors:

  • Studio Neat. Simple stuff for iOS, made in the U.S.
  • Tonx. The best fresh roasted coffee right to your door.
If Misses Were Horses 

John Moltz:

When, in reality, they had a very good quarter that Wall Street over-estimated. Frankly, the only concerning thing from today’s results was that Apple’s growth was the lowest since 2009. If you want to accentuate the negative, that should be your lede, not that they missed analysts’ estimates.

Apple’s Reality-Check Quarter in Charts 

Dan Frommer:

But the big-picture story is that this is a slower period ahead of the expected new iPhone and potential new iPad this fall (and maybe someday, a television). Apple’s 23% year-over-year revenue growth was its slowest since 12% growth in the June 2009 quarter, and was almost down at Google’s 21% level!

It’s a testimony to just how remarkable Apple’s last few years have been that 23 percent year-over-year growth looks so bad on a chart.

Apple TV Outsells Xbox 360 in Latest Quarter, Still a ‘Hobby’ 

Todd Bishop:

Apple sold 1.3 million Apple TV devices during the June quarter, an increase of 170 percent over the same quarter a year ago.

That still qualifies as a “hobby,” according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, who disclosed the number in response to an analyst’s question on the company’s earnings conference call. But here’s an interesting data point: Microsoft sold 1.1 million Xbox 360s worldwide during the same time period.

To the Xbox 360’s credit, it’s nearing the end of its life. But the bottom line is that the battle for the living room is just beginning.

Turning Off Ads in Parallels 

You can’t. Can we get Bertrand to do something about this?

Update: Apparently you can turn them off with this defaults command.

Apple’s Actual Q3 Numbers 

MG Siegler:

iOS 6 is a lock. A new iPhone is almost for sure coming as well. New iPod touches and maybe a new iPod nano are likely as well. There may be a new iMac and/or maybe another Retina MacBook. And then there’s that iPad mini…

For whatever reason, it appears that Apple is putting all its chips into the holiday season. You might think that’s because it’s when sales are the strongest anyway. But it may simply be because that’s when the products will be done.

Apple Q3 Results 

Philip Michaels, reporting for Macworld:

Apple’s sales hit $35 billion for the third quarter of 2012, up 22 percent from $28.6 billion last year while profits rose 20.5 to $8.8 billion from $7.3 billion. Earnings for the quarter were $9.32 a share, up 20 percent from last year. Reported earnings topped Apple’s forecast, but fell short of Wall Street expectations of $10.35 per share on projected revenue of $37 billion.

Apple sold 17 million iPads during the quarter, the most the company has ever sold during a quarter. The company tallied June quarter records for both Mac and iPhone sales — the latter figure coming even as customers have held off on purchasing a new iPhone in anticipation of a new model coming out later this year.

Not bad.

Making the Case for a Smaller iPad 

Dan Frakes:

Though I’ve long thought a mid-size tablet could be an appealing product, most people haven’t seemed to find the idea very convincing. I suspect some might start to question their opinions, however, as the best argument in favor of a smaller iPad has just been made. By Google.

It’s called the Nexus 7.

Semicolons; So Tricky 

Mary Norris:

So the semicolon is exactly what it looks like: a subtle hybrid of colon and comma.

How David Foster Wallace Prompted a Scalia Book 

Jess Bravin:

Among the legacies of David Foster Wallace, the pioneering postmodernist who produced influential essays, short stories and the novel “Infinite Jest” before his 2008 suicide, count this: Antonin Scalia, author. Or, at least, co-author of “Reading Law,” which the justice discusses today with The Wall Street Journal.

“He was a very personable fellow,” Justice Scalia says of Mr. Wallace in an interview. “As co-Snoots, we got along very well,” he adds, using a term Mr. Wallace popularized for those whose taste in diction runs to the persnickety. According to a 2001 Wallace essay, it could stand for “Syntax Nudniks of Our Time.”

Earliest Known Photos of an Apple iPad Prototype 

Interesting find by Yoni Heisler at iOnApple: photos of a decade-old Apple tablet prototype, revealed during the course of Jony Ive’s deposition in the Apple-Samsung case. Matt Buchanan found better color photos at Buzzfeed.

Apple Plans Presentation at Black Hat 

Jordan Robertson, writing for Bloomberg’s Tech Blog:

While many major technology vendors have overcome their reluctance to making a public showing at the conference, Apple, now the world’s most valuable company, has had no problem snubbing a community whose aim is to unearth its vulnerabilities.

That will change Thursday when Dallas De Atley, manager of Apple’s platform security team, is scheduled to give a presentation on key security technologies within iOS, the operating system for iPhones and iPads. Trey Ford, Black Hat’s general manager, said it will be the first time an Apple representative has taken the stage at Black Hat or its sibling conference, DefCon.

Good move on Apple’s part.

Martin Scorsese and Siri 

Apple’s sticking with the celebrity thing.

Update: Great detail caught by Joel Housman.

Goodbye to Ichiro, the Man They Called Something 

Nice piece by Mariners fan Jeff Sullivan:

Personally, I’m pleased that, if Ichiro had to go, he wound up on the Yankees. The Yankees have as good a shot at the World Series as anybody, and Ichiro’s never played in anything even close to that environment, on and off the field. I hope he gets his ring. He deserves a ring, if more for his career than for his season, and while the Yankees are by no means the most rootable bandwagon in the league, there’s no other playoff contender that boasts an Ichiro. I think it’s neat that the Orioles, the Pirates, and the A’s are in playoff contention. It’s fun to root for underdogs. I don’t feel as strongly about rooting for underdogs as I feel about rooting for Ichiro. I always need a reason to root for somebody, and there’s no reason better than this one.

Canon EOS M 

Canon’s first mirror-less interchangeable lens camera. Stu Maschwitz is ordering one.

How Many People Use Twitter’s Own Apps? 

Benjamin Mayo analyzed a million random tweets to figure out how many were sent by third-party clients.

Online Ammunition Sales 

Jack Healy, reporting for the NYT:

With a few keystrokes, the suspect, James E. Holmes, ordered 3,000 rounds of handgun ammunition, 3,000 rounds for an assault rifle and 350 shells for a 12-gauge shotgun — an amount of firepower that costs roughly $3,000 at the online sites — in the four months before the shooting, according to the police. It was pretty much as easy as ordering a book from Amazon.

Totally legal.

‘Dead Trigger’ Game Now Free on Android Due to ‘Unbelievably High’ Piracy Rate 

Aaron Souppouris, writing for The Verge:

Dead Trigger, a zombie FPS for smartphones from the makers of Shadowgun, is now free to download on Android thanks to rampant piracy on the platform. In a statement on Facebook, developer Madfinger Games says that even at $0.99, the piracy rate on Android devices was “unbelievably high.”

The iOS version costs just one buck — let’s make this a good day for Madfinger and buy it.

Update, 2 August 2012: It’s now free on iOS, too.

Reuters: Apple to Shrink Dock Connector for Next iPhone 

Clare Jim and Lee Chyen Yee, reporting for Reuters, “What’s Up Dock? Apple to Shrink Connector for iPhone 5”:

Apple Inc’s new iPhone will drop the wide dock connector used in the company’s gadgets for the best part of a decade in favor of a smaller one, a change likely to annoy the Apple faithful but which could be a boon for accessory makers.

Regarding the headline: awful pun, and it’s a mistake to call the next iPhone the “iPhone 5”. We learned that last year.

Regarding the article: Apple is already abandoning its own only-a-decade-old proprietary adaptor for something better and smaller; PC notebooks still ship with huge 25-year-old VGA ports. Every time I bring this up, the VGA defenders argue that of course notebooks need to ship with VGA ports, added thickness be damned, because the world is full of VGA-only projectors. But the world is also full of Apple 30-pin dock connector cables and accessories. This is how progress is made.

Update: And “Apple faithful”? Really? What other company has its customers described as “faithful”? Seriously.

Justice Department Slams Apple, Refuses to Modify E-Book Settlement 

Jeff John Roberts, writing for PaidContent:

The Justice Department released a document today that characterized criticism by Apple and publishers of a controversial price-fixing settlement as “self-serving” and ill-founded. The Department also pointed to recent ventures by Google and Microsoft as evidence that the e-book market is thriving and that Amazon’s dominant position has been overstated.

I’ll bet Amazon sells more e-books in a day than Microsoft and Google combined do in a month. Not that sales numbers alone disprove the DOJ’s argument, but let’s not kid ourselves that Microsoft or Google have yet made a dent in the e-book market.

Google Debuts Its First Nexus 7 Commercial 

Nicely done, and cleverly works around the fact that the Nexus 7 only networks with Wi-Fi. I wonder, though, how many people will be left with the wrong impression — that the Nexus 7 does support cellular networking?

iOS 6 Fonts 

Michael Critz has updated his list of fonts to include those added in the (still in beta) iOS 6. Notable additions: Avenir and Symbol. (Avenir is the typeface used throughout the new Maps app. And it’s worth noting that Palm used (uses?) a custom version of Avenir as the system font in WebOS.)

Why Does the IT Industry Continue to Listen to Gartner? 

Ed Bott:

Gartner is getting more than its fair share of attention today for a controversial series of blog posts on Windows 8 from research director Gunnar Berger, who argues that the Windows 8 experience will be “bad” on a non-touch-enabled device.

I have one question. Why does anyone pay attention to Gartner, which has been trolling IT professionals for as long as I’ve been in the industry?

Just for grins, I went back and looked up some of Gartner’s more spectacularly confident and wrong-headed predictions. Here are some of their greatest hits. Er, I mean misses.

Best claim chowder you’re going to taste all day. One of the gems Bott cites is this one from 2006: “Apple Should License the Mac to Dell”, which called for Apple to abandon the hardware business (and which earned them Jackass of the Week honors). Clearly, they smoke the good stuff at Gartner.

Jason Alexander 

Best piece I’ve read in the aftermath of the Aurora massacre. I agree with every word.

Matt Asay: ‘iPad Is Rubbish for Enterprise’ 

Matt Asay:

Apple has given us much with its pleasing-on-the-eye iPad. But what it hasn’t given us is a serious replacement for the lowly laptop or desktop.

As much as magazines like MacWorld may hype it as “The New Business Machine”, the reality is that the iPad is only enterprise-ready in iFantasyLand.

If Apple were smart they’d make laptop and desktop computers, too.

About That One-Time Write-Down 

MG Siegler:

Points like this one get quickly shot down by folks because people have been wanting to be the first to call Microsoft’s downfall for years. But this time, I think we’re actually seeing it. You can disagree, of course. But I’m not writing this out of some misguided hatred for Microsoft. I’m writing it to have it on record because I believe I’m right. Time will tell, obviously.

Six billion here, eight billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.

Horace Dediu: ‘The Poetry of Steve Ballmer’ 

“Let’s see how the competition goes.”

‘Sparrow for Windows’ 

Bottom line: who gives a shit about Windows apps?

Jack Daniel’s Has a Very Nice Trademark Lawyer 

That’s how you send a cease-and-desist request.

Apple Issues Temporary Fix for In-App Purchase Exploit; Fixed in iOS 6 

As Matthew Panzarino notes, this is a rare — perhaps singular — case where Apple is explicitly allowing developers to use private APIs.

Update: There’s at least one previous case where Apple allowed the use of a private API, back in 2009, for capturing screenshots.

‘Insert iPad Mini Here’ 

Nice visualization of Apple’s iPad price umbrella from Ryan Jones.

How to Prepare for Google’s Acquisition of Sparrow 

Get ahead of the curve.


My thanks to Procreate for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed. Procreate is an excellent illustration app designed specifically for the iPad. It blends traditional and digital media with over 45 finely crafted brushes, an incredible smudge tool, and a gallery with artwork stacks.

Procreate is a serious tool, and seriously awesome. It’s top-tier in the “yes, the iPad is for creation” example category. Get it today on the App Store for just $4.99.

We’ve Seen This Movie Before 

Roger Ebert:

That James Holmes is insane, few may doubt. Our gun laws are also insane, but many refuse to make the connection. The United States is one of few developed nations that accepts the notion of firearms in public hands. In theory, the citizenry needs to defend itself. Not a single person at the Aurora, Colo., theater shot back, but the theory will still be defended.

Speaking of a Lower-Priced Prepaid iPhone 3GS 

Matthew Panzarino:

The iPhone 3GS is now being offered for $180 on India’s Aircel carrier, with a postpaid commitment of just $55 for a year of unlimited data. That makes the total cost for the phone $236, which is one of the lowest we’ve seen for an iPhone anywhere.

Google Acquires Sparrow 

Congratulations to the Sparrow guys, I guess, but this gives me The Fear for Sparrow’s future. Hope you like Apple Mail.

Update: The Verge confirms that there will be no new features developed for Sparrow.

Benedict Evans on the Disparity in iPhone Market Share Between the U.S. and Europe  

Been meaning to link to this keen analysis from last month:

Hence, an American can only save 10% over two years by getting a ‘free’ smartphone over an iPhone. In the UK, the iPhone is 160% more expensive than the cheapest smartphone offer.

The Other Thing Is, Mark Penn Isn’t Even a Well-Regarded Pollster in Politics  

Jonathan Chait, back in 2010:

In any case, Penn’s whole career is basically a long string of massaging, manipulating, or ignoring the data in order to produce the conclusion that his own preferences are popular. It’s a very, very good thing that he isn’t in the West Wing right now.

Profit vs. Revenue, Google Department 

Jolie O’Dell, writing for VentureBeat:

Google has just released the details of its second-quarter earnings: $12.21 billion in total consolidated revenue, around $1.25 billion of which came from Motorola Mobility, now officially owned by Google.

Sounds great, until you realize that despite the $1.25 billion in revenue, Motorola lost $233 million overall for the quarter — almost as much as they lost in all of fiscal 2011 combined. O’Dell doesn’t mention that in her article.

Microsoft Reports First Ever Quarterly Loss 

Their board should have fired Ballmer two years ago, if not earlier.

iPhone in the USA 

Benedict Evans:

Pretty hard to look at this chart and argue that the iPhone is doing second-best to Android in the USA…

I’m sure someone will try.

Microsoft Hires Pollster Mark Penn to Lead Consumer Initiatives 

Lisa Rapaport, reporting for Bloomberg:

Microsoft Corp. has hired Mark Penn as corporate vice president for strategic and special projects, reporting to Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer as the company readies new offerings for the tablet-computer market.

Penn, 58, was the worldwide CEO of the public relations firm Burson-Marsteller and CEO of the polling firm Penn Schoen Berland LLC, Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft said in a statement today. Penn will focus on key consumer initiatives, Microsoft said.

A pollster. I think this bodes terribly for Microsoft. Polling works for electoral politics because everything is short-term. Elections really only heat up a few months in advance. (Penn was highly influential in the Clinton administration.)

Steve Jobs:

“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new. It took us three years to build the NeXT computer. If we’d given customers what they said they wanted, we’d have built a computer they’d have been happy with a year after we spoke to them — not something they’d want now.”

The message I take away from this hiring is that Steve Ballmer doesn’t know what to do, and he’s hoping polling will give him the answers. That’s how you wind up skating to where the puck was, not where it’s going to be.

Dear Marissa Mayer 

And Flickr responds.

Verizon Quarterly Results 

Nathan Ingraham, writing for the Verge:

Verizon just finished its conference call, and had a few details to share about iPhone and Android sales, Galaxy S III performance, and the immediate impact of the “Share Anything” plans. Verizon sold 2.7 million iPhones, down from the 3.2 million it sold last quarter — it also sold 2.9 million Android devices, 2.5 million of which run on Verizon’s LTE network. It’s not terribly surprising to see the iPhone sales start to slow as we get closer to the next iPhone launch, and the Galaxy S III should help Android maintain that advantage next quarter.

Interesting numbers. Verizon is pretty much done selling non-LTE smartphones, except for the iPhone. Those numbers make me think this year’s new iPhone almost has to support LTE.

What Is the Future of the iPhone 3GS? 

Matthew Panzarino:

I think it’s safe to say that, even three years later, the iPhone 3GS still has a draw, especially for ‘free’. And Apple is still very much looking to tap into the pre-paid phone market. Here’s a thought: what if Apple were to cut the iPhone 4 from the lineup, instead of the iPhone 3GS?

The iPhone ‘next’ would be the flagship, the iPhone 4S would offer Siri and take the place of the 4 in the pricing lineup, and the 3GS would remain ‘free’ on contract. But, if the prices were right, Apple could expand the 3GS from a contract device to an off-contract pre-paid model that might finally give the company a horse in the developing nations race.

My guess is that if the 3GS stays around, the lineup would work like this: new iPhone at the top of the market, the 4S slides down to $99 on contract, the 4 slides down to free with a contract, and the 3GS is sold around the world as a low cost (by iPhone standards at least) pre-paid device. So AT&T wouldn’t even carry the 3GS anymore, they’d just have the 4 as their “free” iPhone, where the word free gets wrapped in dick quotes because it’s only free with an expensive two-year contract.

The big thing to remember about the iPhone 4 is that it’s the first CDMA iPhone. No way it’s going to disappear from the lineup, because now Apple could offer a “free” iPhone on Verizon and Sprint, too.

Microsoft: Using the New Office With Touch 

Speaking of Microsoft, Gray Knowlton from the Office team has a long piece on the touch-focused aspects of the new Office 2013:

In this post I’ll walk you through the thinking, engineering process and design framework we used to reimagine these experiences for touch.

They’ve obviously put a ton of thought into this. The question is, do you need to read a 4,000-word explainer to understand how it works? From a user’s perspective, the design process is meaningless, especially for touch interfaces. You see it, you touch it — that’s it. And if that doesn’t work, it’s a failed design.

Charles Schumer: Memo to DOJ — Drop the Apple E-Books Suit 

Speaking of ill-considered government regulators, New York Senator Chuck Schumer wants the DOJ to drop its price-fixing suit against Apple:

The suit will restore Amazon to the dominant position atop the e-books market it occupied for years before competition arrived in the form of Apple. If that happens, consumers will be forced to accept whatever prices Amazon sets. […]

The Justice Department lawsuit is also unsettling from a broader perspective. As our economy transitions to digital platforms, we should be celebrating and supporting industries that find ways to adapt and grow. By developing a pricing model that made e-book sales work for them, publishers did just that.

EU Regulators Investigating Microsoft’s Windows 8 


EU antitrust regulators are investigating whether Microsoft blocks computer makers from installing rival web browsers on its upcoming Windows 8 operating system following complaints from several companies. […]

He said the investigation will also focus on charges that Microsoft allows only its own Internet Explorer browser to be installed on devices running Windows 8 on Windows RT tablets with British chipmaker ARM’s chips.

So Apple can do it with iOS but Microsoft can’t with Windows RT, despite the fact that the iPad and iPhone are selling tens of millions of units per quarter and there is yet to ship a single Windows RT device?

The market does not need Microsoft hindered in this way.

Bertrand Serlet Joins Parallels Board of Directors 

I wonder if/how this is related to Upthere, his secretive startup.

Speaking of the Apple-Samsung Patent Pissing Match 


Apple Inc. was ordered by a judge to publish a notice on its U.K. website and in British newspapers alerting people to a ruling that Samsung Electronics Co. didn’t copy designs for the iPad.

The notice should outline the July 9 London court decision that Samsung’s Galaxy tablets don’t infringe Apple’s registered designs, Judge Colin Birss said today. It should be posted on Apple’s U.K. home page for six months and published in several newspapers and magazines to correct any impression the South Korea-based company was copying Apple’s product, Birss said.

I can’t figure out how Apple will play this one. They have to comply with the law, but, I just can’t see Apple paying for ads that even mention Samsung, let alone doing so in a way that absolves them of copying the iPad.

Import Ban on Motorola’s Android Products Takes Effect 

Jon Brodkin, reporting for Ars Technica:

An import ban on Motorola Android devices ordered by the US International Trade Commission is scheduled to take effect tomorrow. Motorola Mobility says it has a plan to make sure its Android phones and tablets remain available to US consumers—but the company isn’t revealing just what that plan is.

The ITC ordered the import ban two months ago, after ruling that 18 Motorola Mobility products infringe a Microsoft patent.

You don’t hear nearly as much about this Microsoft-Motorola patent pissing match as you do Apple-Samsung, probably for the obvious reason that Microsoft and Motorola are both mobile also-rans.

11 Things You Might Not Have Noticed in ‘The Shining’ 

Speaking of the masterpiece, some good stuff about it here.

Extended Cut of ‘The Shining’ to Get Theatrical Release This Halloween? 

If this is true, I’ll be first in line. But I find it hard to believe Kubrick’s estate would allow even a frame of film to be altered, let alone restore 24 minutes of footage.

Update: Ah, I get it now. It’s “extended” from the perspective of Europeans, who for some reason saw a version of the film that was 24 minutes shorter than in the U.S.

We Met on the Internet 

Thoughtful piece by Andre Torrez.

WSJ: ‘Apple’s Next iPhone Has Thinner Screen, Better Display Quality’ 

Juro Osawa and Lorraine Luk, reporting from Hong Kong for the WSJ:

Japanese liquid-crystal-display makers Sharp Corp. and Japan Display Inc. — a new company that combined three Japanese electronics makers’ display units — as well as South Korea’s LG Display Co. are currently mass producing panels for the next iPhone using so-called in-cell technology, the people said.

The technology integrates touch sensors into the LCD, making it unnecessary to have a separate touch-screen layer. The absence of the layer, usually about half-a-millimeter thick, not only makes the whole screen thinner, but improves the quality of displayed images, said DisplaySearch analyst Hiroshi Hayase.

Hard to believe the 4/4S display is going to be antiquated so soon.

Apple Granted Patent for Disappearing Vertical Scroll Indicator 

Remember Steve Jobs at the iPhone introduction event, emphasizing that they’d patented everything? Here we go.

Microsoft Office 2013 

Good overview on the just-announced new version of Microsoft Office by Sean Gallagher at Ars Technica. They’ve also got detailed “first looks” at Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. And this piece by Peter Bright on “the sad state of Office 2013 touch support”.

Can Marissa Mayer Turn Yahoo Around? 

Good opinion roundup from The Week.

We’ll see how this turns out, but my guess is that she’s going to turn Yahoo into more of a Google rival, not a Google partner. (I don’t think this is anything like Stephen Elop leaving Microsoft for the CEO gig at Nokia, and then turning Nokia into a major Microsoft partner — but we’ll see.)

Yahoo is hopelessly behind in mobile. No way they’re going to have their own mobile phone platform. But why not make them into more of a partner with Apple as a mobile content provider? Apple already uses Yahoo for weather, stocks, and, in Siri on iOS 6 betas, sports. Emphasize that even more.

I’ve long suspected that Mayer preferred the iPhone to Android as a user. She was into Instagram while it was iPhone-only. She’s sent multiple tweets — September 2011, June of this year — using Twitter for iPhone. And her husband just tweeted that he’s switching to the iPhone from BlackBerry.

AT&T to Restrict or Charge for FaceTime Over Cellular in iOS 6? 

If you’re surprised by this, I have a bridge to sell you.

Google’s Marissa Mayer Becomes Yahoo’s CEO 

Andrew Ross Sorkin and Evelyn M. Russi, reporting for the NYT’s DealBook blog:

The appointment of Ms. Mayer, who was employee No. 20 at Google and was one of the few public faces of the company, is considered a surprising coup for Yahoo, which has struggled in recent years to attract top flight talent in its battle with competitors like Google and Facebook.

Ms. Mayer, 37, had for years been responsible for the look and feel of Google’s most popular products: the famously unadorned white search homepage, Gmail, Google News and Google Images.

Huge challenge for Mayer, but a nice scoop for Yahoo. I liked Google a lot better back when it seemed like Mayer was more influential there. It would be great to see her turn things around at Yahoo.

Evening Edition 

New news site from my pals at Mule Design:

The perfect commute-sized way to catch up on the day’s news after a long day at work.

Smart, concise, and sharp-looking.

MG Siegler Reviews the Nexus 7 

MG Siegler:

I like the Nexus 7. I really like it.

Apple and the EPEAT, Sitting in a Tree 

Nice follow-up on Apple’s EPEAT mini-saga from Matthew Panzarino.

Nokia Cuts U.S. Price of Flagship Phone in Half 

John D. Stoll, reporting for the WSJ:

The price of Nokia Corp.’s flagship Lumia 900 Windows phone has been cut in half in the critical U.S. market, a little more than three months after the launch of the smartphone at AT&T Inc. stores.

“This move is a normal strategy that is put in place during the life cycle of most phones,” Nokia spokesman Doug Dawson said in an email. It “allows a broader consumer base to buy this flagship device at a more accessible price.”

Totally normal. Nothing to see here. Everything is great.

Ouya Skepticism From Ben Kuchera 

Ben Kuchera, now reporting for The Penny Arcade Report, throwing some cold water on Ouya, a Kickstarter project to build a cheap “open” game console based on Android:

I asked specifically about the ambition of this product, and my misgivings about the goal of a March launch. “We continue to march toward that date,” I was told via email. No further details were given. […]

It’s likewise important to note that the company refuses to confirm the existence of a single game that will run on the OUYA hardware. I asked if they could confirm a single game for the platform. “Not at this time,” I was told. “We are obviously talking to developers behind the scenes but feel that its too early to announce.”

(Via Hypercritical.)

We’ve Always Been at War With Eastasia 

John Moltz:

When you think about it, Apple’s the one that’s late to the hardware game, really.


My thanks to Harvest for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed. Harvest is a painless, elegantly-designed time-tracker built for teams and creative professionals. Use it to log billable hours and see where your business spends its time. Harvest has a great website, and they have terrific native apps for the Mac and iOS too — apps that not only look great but make it easier than ever to track your time. Reporting, invoicing — it’s all there.

You can’t lose: try Harvest absolutely free for 30 days.

Apple’s Brilliant Boondoggle: MacBook Pro Retina Display 

Antone Gonzalves, writing for ReadWriteWeb:

Only Apple could get away with charging a $400 premium for a feature that no one needs, few people will notice, doesn’t work with most apps, and was not on anyone’s wish list until the company announced it last month.

Apple’s ultra high-resolution Retina display may be a valuable innovation on the iPhone and iPad - but it’s a solution in search of a problem on the MacBook Pro. Until Apple unveiled the new machine at its World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, no one thought the resolution on current MacBook Pros was insufficient.

Is this a prank? I’m being pranked here, aren’t I?

Hövding Invisible Bicycle Helmet 

Ingenious. Seems too good to be true.

‘Command Versus Splat’ 

This week’s episode of The Talk Show, featuring special guest star Dan “Rhymes with Homer” Frommer. Topics include the future of Twitter (and third-party Twitter client apps), the purportedly imminent iPad Mini and the tablet market in general, and the state of technology media. (R.I.P. “America’s Favorite Two-Star Podcast” slogan — the show is now rated three-stars.)

Brought to you by two excellent sponsors: The Adventures of Alex: Electricity, a smart, beautiful iPad app; and Boom, a simple system-wide volume booster and equalizer for the Mac.

Hacker Exploits iOS Flaw for Free In-App Purchases 

Lex Friedman:

A hack that lets iOS users trick the App Store into giving them in-app purchases for free has gone public, potentially costing app makers revenue and causing Apple a major headache. […]

Alexey V. Borodin of Russia built the in-app purchase hack, which requires several steps — including installing bogus certificates on your device, and using a specially-crafted DNS server. Those ingredients combine to fool apps into believing that they’re communicating with the App Store, when they’re actually going to a Web server that pretends to the App Store instead. Borodin told Macworld that his exploit works in part by faking — or “spoofing” — the code receipts that Apple issues for in-app purchases which developers use for validation, with the iOS device configured to mistakenly believe that those receipts are coming directly from Apple.

Dalrymple has a short “we’re on the case” statement from Apple PR. Friedman has a good interview with Borodin, worth reading through to the end. Be sure not to have anything in your mouth when you get to the closing paragraph.

Abuse Scandal Inquiry Damns Paterno and Penn State 

Ken Belson, reporting for the NYT:

Louis J. Freeh, the former federal judge and director of the F.B.I. who spent the last seven months examining the Sandusky scandal at Penn State, issued a damning conclusion Thursday:

“The most senior officials at Penn State had shown a “total and consistent disregard” for the welfare of children, had worked together to actively conceal Mr. Sandusky’s assaults, and had done so for one central reason: fear of bad publicity. That publicity, Mr. Freeh said Thursday, would have hurt the nationally ranked football program, Mr. Paterno’s reputation as a coach of high principles, the Penn State “brand” and the university’s ability to raise money as one of the most respected public institutions in the country.

It breaks my heart knowing so much of what happened not only could have been prevented, but should have. The NCAA should shut down Penn State’s football program, and the surviving leaders of the university should be charged with crimes.

Why MacBook Airs and the New MacBook Pro With Retina Display Don’t Have Built-In Ethernet Ports 

The photo atop Engadget’s review of the Lenovo IdeaPad U310 says it all.

How Many Lumia Phones Were Sold in the US? 

Still speaking of those Nielsen smartphone numbers, Horace Dediu notes that they paint a gloomy picture for Nokia:

If we then use comScore’s figure for total smartphone users (110 million) then the data would suggest that there are 330K Lumias in use in the US. This would have been accumulated over a sales period of about four months.

If you look at the data (charted accurately, as it is on Asymco) it paints a damning picture of Windows Phone as a whole, not just for Nokia. Windows Phone 7 has less than half the share of the long-since-abandoned Windows Mobile — 1.3 to 2.9 percent, respectively.

Nielsen’s numbers are for “subscribers”, which I take to mean “smartphones in active use this quarter”, not “new smartphones sold this quarter”. So there are more people still holding on to years-old Windows Mobile phones than there are using new Windows Phone 7 phones.

Apple’s U.S. Smartphone Handset Share 

Speaking of those Nielsen numbers, Jim Dalrymple notes that Apple’s share (34 percent) is double that of its nearest competitor (Samsung, 17 percent).

Crime Against Accurate Charts and Graphics of the Day 

Élyse Betters at 9to5Mac flags a horrendously inaccurate chart from Nielsen, purporting to show U.S. smartphone market share broken down both by OS and handset maker. Nielsen shamelessly under-emphasized the areas for Android and iOS and over-emphasized the areas for every other platform.

A Letter From Bob Mansfield 

Bob Mansfield, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering:

We’ve recently heard from many loyal Apple customers who were disappointed to learn that we had removed our products from the EPEAT rating system. I recognize that this was a mistake. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT.

That’s how you correct a mistake.

Update: Interesting, though, now that I think about it, that Mansfield — who is set to retire from the company — took responsibility for this in the first-person singular.

The Real History of the @reply on Twitter 

Nice bit of Twitter history from Garrett Murray. It’s quite interesting how many Twitter conventions sprang from users, not Twitter itself.

Digg Still Exists? 

Joseph Walker and Spencer E. Ante, reporting for the WSJ:

Digg Inc., a social-media pioneer once valued at more than $160 million, is selling for the deeply discounted price of about $500,000, three people familiar with the matter said. […]

Digg confirmed Thursday it sold its brand, website and technology to Betaworks. The price is a pittance for a company that raised $45 million from prominent investors including Facebook investor Greylock Partners, LinkedIn Inc. founder Reid Hoffman, and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen.

The good news is, that’s like $1000 per active user.

Microsoft: ‘In Our View, Apple Has It Wrong!’ 

Tom Warren, writing for The Verge:

Microsoft’s chief operating officer, Kevin Turner, took to the stage at the company’s Worldwide Partner Conference earlier today to stir up the crowd and discuss Apple’s idea of a post-PC era. “Apple makes great hardware,” admitted Turner, “the reality is in the OS we see things differently.” Turner went on to discuss the company’s upcoming Mountain Lion operating system and some mixed press reaction to the future of OS X. “We believe that Apple has it wrong,” says turner. “They’ve talked about it being the post-PC era, they talk about the tablet and PC being different, the reality in our world is that we think that’s completely incorrect.”

Turner then went on to describe this new era as a “PC+” period, one that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates predicted back in 1999. “We actually believe Windows 8 is the new era for the PC plus,” says Turner. “We believe with a single push of a button you can move seamlessly in and out of both worlds. We believe you can have touch, a pen, a mouse, and a keyboard.”

Apple’s post-PC vision isn’t about input devices — mice, keyboards, pens, whatever. It’s about exposed complexity. Tim Carmody argues in a follow-up at The Verge that Apple’s “post-PC” and Microsoft’s “PC-plus” aren’t that far apart. I think that remains to be seen. With the iPad, Apple has eliminated large amounts of complexity. With Windows 8, it remains to be seen whether Microsoft has eliminated complexity, or merely hidden it behind a Metro veneer.

I think the Steve Jobs quote Microsoft should be focused upon far predates this post-PC stuff. Go back to 1997:

“We have to let go of this notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose,” Jobs said. “We have to embrace the notion that for Apple to win, Apple has to do a really good job. If others are going to help us, that’s great. Because we need all the help we can get. […] The era of setting this up as a competition between Apple and Microsoft is over.”

Swap “Apple” and “Microsoft” and that’s the advice Microsoft needs today.

Amazon Same-Day Delivery 

Great piece by Farhad Manjoo for Slate:

It’s hard to overstate how thoroughly this move will shake up the retail industry. Same-day delivery has long been the holy grail of Internet retailers, something that dozens of startups have tried and failed to accomplish. (Remember But Amazon is investing billions to make next-day delivery standard, and same-day delivery an option for lots of customers. If it can pull that off, the company will permanently alter how we shop. To put it more bluntly: Physical retailers will be hosed.

Yahoo Confirms, Apologizes for Massive Email Account and Password Leak 

Ingrid Lunden, writing for AOL/TechCrunch:

There are still a lot of questions about this alleged Yahoo Voices data breach — including whether there was a reason behind the breach in the first place — but Yahoo has now officially confirmed that the data did in fact come from its servers, and that “approximately” 400,000 email addresses and passwords have been leaked in plain text online.

Here is some interesting analysis of the leaked passwords. 117 people had passwords that were only one character long. How is that even possible?

All PC Makers Sales Drop Dramatically in the U.S., Except Apple 

Jim Dalrymple on the latest PC market share numbers from Gartner:

Note that the numbers include “desk-based PCs and mobile PCs, including mini-notebooks but not media tablets such as the iPad.” So they included everything that would make the PC companies look as good as possible. Imagine if they included the iPad in Apple’s numbers.

Classic disruption: the old guard doesn’t even acknowledge the upstart.

I’ve Got the Answer to When the iPad Will Be Considered a Content-Creation Device 

Harry McCracken:

And I have one final question of my own: Just how much content creation has to be happening on iPads before it’s clear to every rational person that the debate over content creation on iPads is silly?

Every time I write about this, I get vociferous responses from the iPad-is-not-suitable-for-creation crowd. No surprise, looks like McCracken did too:

I see: We’re not allowed to call an iPad a content-creation device until 100% of humans say it’s THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE CONTENT-CREATION DEVICE

Reminds me of my self-centeredness definition of “Apple fanboy”. (See also: this.) For these people, the iPad is unsuitable for content creation for anyone unless it’s suitable for them.

Netflix’s Lost Year: The Inside Story of the Price-Hike Train Wreck 

Detailed and well-sourced story by Greg Sandoval on Netflix’s tumultuous year. Must-read piece.

User Interface of the Week: Adobe Acrobat 

ASCII checkboxes. A button labelled “UnCheck”.

Opening Links in Chrome for iOS 

Example code from Google for app developers who want to support Chrome as an alternative “open URL with” browser on iOS.

Petition the U.S. Government to Force the TSA to Follow the Law 

I’ve signed this petition; you should too.

Apple Issues Statement Regarding Their Withdrawal From EPEAT 

Jim Dalrymple got a statement:

“Apple takes a comprehensive approach to measuring our environmental impact and all of our products meet the strictest energy efficiency standards backed by the US government, Energy Star 5.2,” Apple representative Kristin Huguet, told The Loop. “We also lead the industry by reporting each product’s greenhouse gas emissions on our website, and Apple products are superior in other important environmental areas not measured by EPEAT, such as removal of toxic materials.”

Apple would have been better served by issuing a statement like this before it turned into a controversy. And even here, Apple is not addressing the specific concern regarding the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display, which is recyclability.

Tweetbot for Mac Public Alpha 

Not even in beta yet but already my favorite Mac Twitter client. (Is Twitter ever going to update their official Mac client?)

Magazines for Sale in ‘Blade Runner’ 


Fictional magazine covers from Blade Runner as shown in the Blade Runner bonus feature Signs of the Times: Graphic Design. The covers were created by production illustrator Tom Southwell in 1980-1981 and appeared in the background on a magazine stand in the city streets.

How to Retina-fy Your Website 

Helpful flowchart from Thomas Fuchs.

The iPhone Era Is Already Longer Than the iPod Era Before It 

Dan Frommer:

In reality, the iPhone has already been around longer — 2,009 days since Steve Jobs unveiled it on Jan. 9, 2007 — than the 1,904-day period between the iPod announcement on Oct. 23, 2001 and the iPhone Macworld keynote.

Mind blowing.

How Many Devices? 

Tim Bray:

Does it make sense to carry two, three, or more portable com­put­ing de­vices around? Se­lect from:

  1. Reg­u­lar-size lap­top; say 15"-screen or higher.

  2. Skinny lap­top i.e. Air at 13" or even 11".

  3. Big tablet at ~10" as in cur­rent iPads.

  4. One-han­der tablet, typ­i­cally at 7".

  5. Hand­set, 3½"-5".

This iPad Mini stuff has me thinking the same thoughts. Me, I’m an 11-inch MacBook Air man. But I’ll admit it feels a bit silly to pack a bag with both an 11-inch Air and an iPad. Two devices of nearly the same size. But, when traveling, I really do wind up using both of them. (Insert the argument for the Microsoft Surface here.) And I never go anywhere without my iPhone.

So if I’m going to pack an 11-inch Air and an iPhone, and one more device, I can definitely see the case that a smaller tablet makes more sense as the device in the middle. But, an 11-inch Air and a 9.7-inch iPad (3) combined still weigh only 3.82 pounds. The new MacBook Pro with Retina Display — by far the lightest 15-inch notebook Apple has ever made — weighs 4.46 pounds. So maybe it’s the people who carry a big notebook who’ll be most tempted to get a smaller iPad, since they’re already carrying more weight. Decisions, decisions.

Marco Arment on Apple’s Withdrawal From EPEAT 

Marco Arment:

I think Apple no longer wants to follow the EPEAT recycling guidelines because they think not following them allows product designs that will be more compelling for consumers and bring more value to Apple than their continued participation in EPEAT.


Apple Ceases Registering Products in EPEAT 

Erica Ogg, writing at GigaOM:

Last month Apple asked that the standards group EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool), which is responsible for rating the recyclability of electronics products drop it from its rankings. The group, which is funded by the EPA, complied. It means that 39 Macs, MacBooks and monitors that were previously EPEAT certified as causing minimal environmental damage and promoting maximum recyclability, no longer have the group’s stamp of approval. In making this move, Apple is signaling that it won’t let future design decisions be governed by those seeking to uphold environmental standards.

It’s not just a label; many government agencies and business will only purchase EPEAT-approved computers.

Apple Cracking Down on Sites Selling Access to iOS Betas 

Remember that piece Andy Baio wrote about the gray market for iOS beta activations? Looks like Apple’s legal team took notice.

How an iPad Mini Could Define the Small Tablet Market 

Speaking of The Next Web, Matthew Panzarino makes the case that Apple’s worldwide content-distribution could seal the deal for an iPad Mini to dominate the small tablet market:

Amazon’s Appstore is available in 1 country in the world, the U.S. Its movie streaming service? Also US only. You can get Kindle Edition books in many more countries, so at least there is that.

Google fares slightly better. Its Google Play Store books are available in Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, the UK and the US. Movies are available in those countries as well as Japan, France and Spain. But you can still only purchase movies in the U.S. […]

Notably, Apple’s music, movie, app and book offerings are available in all 63 countries listed here, aside from Romania, which gets no movies, bummer.

Panzarino adds:

The thing is, these deals are very, very hard to make.

I think that explains Eddy Cue’s rise in stature within Apple’s executive ranks.

BlackBerry’s Latest Delay Could Lead to Shareholder Lawsuits 

Ian Austen, reporting for the NYT:

“They’re going to get sued and they should get sued because I think a closer look at the record is likely to unearth knowing and willful misrepresentation,” said Jean-Louis Gassée, the former president of Apple’s products division and the founder of the software maker Be, who is now a venture capitalist and blogger in Palo Alto, Calif. “When the C.E.O. says there’s nothing wrong with the company as it is, it’s not cautious, it doesn’t make sense.”

This is just going to keep getting uglier and uglier.

FTC Set to Fine Google Record $22.5 Million Over Safari Privacy Breach 

Jon Russell, reporting for The Next Web:

Google is reportedly set to pay a $22.5 million fine in relation to the scandal that broke out when the company was found to have overridden Safari’s privacy settings, with the potential to track Internet browsing sessions.

The Wall Street Journal cites company officials “briefed on the settlement terms” who have revealed that the firm is in line to pay the highest fine that the FTC has ever imposed on a single company.

Very surprising that Google, of all companies, what with their “Don’t be evil” motto, would receive the largest ever fine imposed by the FTC.

What Would Happen if You Tried to Hit a Baseball Pitched at 90 Percent the Speed of Light? 

I worry that this might happen with Stephen Strasburg.

Screen Size Comparison of Various Tablets, Including the Purported 7.85-inch iPad 

Nice work by “Trojan Kitten”.

Donors Arrive at Hamptons Fundraisers With Advice for Mitt Romney 

Maeve Reston, reporting from the line for a Mitt Romney fundraiser in the Hamptons:

A New York City donor a few cars back, who also would not give her name, said Romney needed to do a better job connecting. “I don’t think the common person is getting it,” she said from the passenger seat of a Range Rover stamped with East Hampton beach permits. “Nobody understands why Obama is hurting them.

“We’ve got the message,” she added. “But my college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies — everybody who’s got the right to vote — they don’t understand what’s going on. I just think if you’re lower income — one, you’re not as educated, two, they don’t understand how it works, they don’t understand how the systems work, they don’t understand the impact.”

Mountain Lion Goes GM 

Six months ago, we didn’t even yet know it existed.


Josh Marshall:

In other words, the estimable businessmen and women at have been paying SEO companies to spam the comment sections of sites around the globe. But now Google’s new search algorithms are making that legacy spam really damaging. So now they’re sending out cease and desist notices to the victims of their earlier spamming demanding that they search their archives and remove their spam.

‘More Akin to Facebook’ 

Ben Popper, writing for The Verge:

Twitter set off alarm bells across the web in recent weeks when it ended its partnership with LinkedIn and reiterated its warning that it would be cracking down on the terms of its API. The company didn’t offer any explanation for why it removed tweets from LinkedIn, but speaking with sources familiar with the company’s plans, The Verge has learned that major changes are coming in the next few months which will move Twitter from an open platform popular among independent developers towards a walled garden more akin to Facebook.

I can’t think of a more ominous four-word description of Twitter’s future than “More akin to Facebook”. For me, Twitter isn’t just a little bit better because of third-party clients — it’s vastly better because of third-party clients. Whatever it is Twitter is planning, I sure hope it isn’t going to cut third-party clients loose.

Let’s Not Get Nuts 

Reviews of the Nexus 7 are overwhelmingly positive. David Pogue likes it, Farhad Manjoo likes it, Casey Johnston at Ars likes it.

Ends up Dan Lyons likes it, too. And one thing all these reviews mention is that the smaller form factor is, in numerous ways, more convenient and comfortable than 10-inch-ish tablets like the you-know-what. Fits in more places, easier to hold in your hand for longer stretches of time. The conclusion everyone is drawing: Apple should make something in this size. (Tim Bray was on the record with this advice in December 2010.) So far so good.

But I think Lyons gets a little nutty with his conclusion:

But what is the point of a portable computer with a 3.5-inch (or 4.3-inch, or 4.7-inch) screen? That device is the one that starts looking like a “tweener” — caught between embedded/wearable devices, and tablets.

I can envision a time, maybe not so far from now, when I won’t carry a “phone” at all. If my Nexus 7 could make phone calls, I’d be there today.

The maximum size of an “I’ll just carry one device” device is limited by the size of a pants pocket, no? I know Lyons is proposing using a Bluetooth headset to talk, not holding a 7-inch tablet up against his face, but in his proposal he’d still have to carry the 7-inch tablet around with him everywhere, right?

Microsoft Acquires Multitouch Company Perceptive Pixel 

Aaron Souppouris, reporting for The Verge:

Steve Ballmer has just announced Microsoft’s acquisition of Perceptive Pixel, a company focused on research, development, and production of multitouch interfaces. The company is perhaps best known for the 82-inch multitouch display that Microsoft demoed at MWC. Jeff Han, Perceptive Pixel founder and new Microsoft employee, says the display is the “world’s largest true multitouch and stylus display,” capable of supporting “hundreds of touch inputs simultaneously.”

That’s the same Jeff Han who had a sensational multitouch demo at TED back in 2006. (There’s got to be a “Han shot first” joke in here, somewhere.)

My Favorite Samsung-Apple Court Ruling Yet 

Kit Chellel, reporting for Bloomberg:

The design for three Galaxy tablets doesn’t infringe Apple’s registered design, Judge Colin Birss said today in London in a court fight between the world’s two biggest makers of smartphones. Consumers aren’t likely to get the tablet computers mixed up, he said.

The Galaxy tablets “do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design,” Birss said. “They are not as cool.”

Apple and Samsung should just shake hands now and agree that the law has spoken.

‘It Never Gets Better’ 

Matt Buchanan, writing at Buzzfeed

You might buy a new phone that’s missing something, thinking, “It will get better.” No, it won’t. If I were to tell you one thing about buying technology, it is this: Buy something because you like what it is right now, not because you think it’s going to get better, or that one day it’ll be what you really wanted it to be. It’s kind of like marrying somebody and thinking you’ll change them and they’ll get better. They might. But they probably won’t. Over time, you’ll just hate them even more. And yourself, at least a little.

Great piece, but I think the headline throws it off. Sometimes products do get better — hugely better — thanks to a software update. Think about the original iPhone, which, when iOS 2 hit a year later, gained the ability to run third-party apps. Huge update. But the 1.0 iPhone was already an incredible product.

So I’d say it’s not that “it never gets better”, but rather that you should never buy something that isn’t already — right now, today — good enough.

Update: Good Marco Arment piece on this same topic from two years ago.

The Eero Programming Language 

Interesting new programming language from Andy Arvanitis:

Eero is a fully binary- and header-compatible dialect of Objective-C, implemented with a modified version of the Apple-sponsored LLVM/clang open-source compiler. It features a streamlined syntax, Python-like indentation, and other features that improve readability and code safety. It is inspired by languages such as Smalltalk, Python, and Ruby.

Looks nice, to my eyes.

Doxie Go 

My thanks to Doxie Go for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed. Doxie Go is an award-winning scanner that works anywhere — no computer required — and then syncs to your Mac, iPhone, iPad, and the cloud. Doxie comes with terrific Mac software that makes it easy to go paperless, create searchable PDFs, and send scans to other Mac apps like Dropbox, Evernote, Yojimbo, and more. And the hardware is great: small, simple, and unobtrusive. I have one and adore it.

This week only, use coupon code “FIREBALL” and save $40. Buy yours here.


Peter-Paul Koch:

It pleases me to inform you that most browsers implement window.devicePixelRatio correctly. The property contains the ratio between physical pixels and dips, and even though some values appear strange at first, they actually make sense.

Super-useful for delivering retina-caliber web designs conditionally. Don’t miss his follow-up, either.

Judge Richard Posner: ‘It’s Not Clear That We Really Need Patents in Most Industries’ 


The U.S. judge who tossed out one of the biggest court cases in Apple Inc.’s smartphone technology battle is questioning whether patents should cover software or most other industries at all.

Richard Posner, a prolific jurist who sits on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, told Reuters this week that the technology industry’s high profits and volatility made patent litigation attractive for companies looking to wound competitors.

Exactly right. Posner has some good observations on the U.S. political climate, too.

‘Like Giving Natalie Portman a Trucker Cap’ 

Merlin Mann joins me for a quick two-hour holiday-week chat on America’s favorite two-star podcast.

Brought to you by two excellent sponsors: Launch Center Pro, a super-clever action launcher for the iPhone; and Tapstream, an x-ray for iOS sales data.

Apple’s Fix for Corrupt Binaries 

Speaking of Marco Arment, he’s got a follow-up to his scoop yesterday on the App Store hiccup that was sending out corrupt app binaries.

Web Designers: You Need a Retina MacBook Pro 

Marco Arment:

Even though it’s a small market today (although don’t forget about the iPad 3), it’s inevitably going to increase substantially in the near future. Don’t you want to get ahead of that? Do you want your site to be ready the first time someone views it on a Retina screen, or are you OK with it looking like garbage for a few years until you happen to buy high-DPI hardware?

One more thing: it’s just plain fun to design for the retina display.

Understanding Twitter 

Dan Frommer:

The biggest factor driving Twitter today is that it wants to remain an independent company. There were previous opportunities to become part of Google or Facebook or whatever, but now Twitter wants to remain its own property. To become a strong, independent company, Twitter must build a large, profitable business, sooner than later — or the dream is over. It’s possible, but it will require change, which makes people uncomfortable.

Pogue on the Nexus Q 

David Pogue:

It won’t take you long to join the chorus of critics who’ve tried out the Q and had the same reaction: “What the — ?”

Pogue on the Nexus 7 

David Pogue:

But the Nexus tablet is sweet. Its hardware and software smoothness rival Apple’s, and its luxury humiliates the Kindle Fire. In short, it’s possible that this tablet may finally help solve Google’s chicken-and-egg problem. Maybe once it becomes popular, people will finally start writing decent apps for it, and more movie and music companies will come to the Google Play store.

Patent Troll Stalks Travel Site Hipmunk 

Jeff John Roberts, writing for GigaOm:

Despite its high-tech sounding name, i2z is simply a Texas shell company run by a California lawyer that is targeting internet and travel companies including Kayak, Google, Yelp and Microsoft. Under i2z’s business model, known as patent trolling, firms that don’t make anything collect patents in order to extract licensing settlements from companies that do.

In a new twist, trolls have begun laying in wait for start-ups to receive funding before pouncing. That is what happened to hand-crafted goods marketplace Etsy earlier this year.


Why iPad Apps Should Be OK Usability-Wise on a 7.8-Inch iPad 

I was going to write pretty much this exact thing, but lucky for me, Joel Bernstein saved me the typing.

Corrupt App Store Binaries Crashing on Launch 

Marco Arment, investigating a crash-on-launch bug in Instapaper:

Lots of anxiety and research led me to the problem: a seemingly corrupt update being distributed by the App Store in many or possibly all regions.

And this is happening to other apps, not just Instapaper, updated in the last few days.

Marco is also doing some fun follow-up on Twitter, looking at the attribution of various tech news sites linking to and/or rewriting his reporting on the issue.

Sponsor The Talk Show 

Long story short, there’s still one open sponsorship spot for this week’s The Talk Show, recording tomorrow (which may well be today by the time you read this) and airing Friday. If you’ve got a product or service you’d like to promote to the best podcast audience in the world, get in touch.

Update: OK, this week’s open spot is sold, but there are still a few openings for the remaining shows in July.

iPad Mini and Supply Chain Leaks 

Marco Arment:

If Apple were to launch a $200–300 7.8-inch iPad, they’d probably sell a ton of them for the holiday season — which means they’d need to start ramping up production pretty soon, if not already. If they were doing that, we’d probably see legitimate-looking parts leaked from the supply chain by now, but as far as I know, we haven’t.

Actually, I’ve seen at least one purported leak: a month ago at a site called ZooGue. No idea if it’s legitimate, but I like it. It hearkens back to the original iPhone with its flat back and round sides.

Update: ZooGue link is fireballed, but Google has it cached.

Update 2: I’m hearing it’s a fake, so take it with at least a few extra grains of salt.

The Dismantling of the Windows Hegemony 

This piece by Horace Dediu explains — perfectly — what I was talking about this week with my iPhone disruption piece. Except what Dediu shows is that the disruption started in 2004, three years before the iPhone shipped. But the introduction of iOS accelerated this disruption dramatically.

Bottom line: In 1984, DOS PCs outsold the Mac 6-to-1. By 2004, the ratio of Windows PCs to Macs sold peaked at 56-to-1. Today it’s under 20-to-1 and still dropping — but if you include iOS devices, it’s down to 2-to-1. Staggering.

Dediu’s graphs are the best illustration I’ve ever seen of the waxing and waning of Microsoft’s Windows hegemony.

No Flash, No Problem 

Ed Baig, listing the pros and cons in his Nexus 7 review:

Pro. Thin and light at sweet price. Jelly Bean. Excellent screen. Fast, fluid. Includes $25 spending credit.

Con. No cellular connectivity. No rear camera. Fewer tablet-specific apps. Limited storage.

Three months ago, here’s Baig listing the pros and cons for the iPad 3 (emphasis added):

Pro. Stunning screen, 4G speeds (on certain models), decent dictation and improved camera optics. Strong battery. Apps galore.

Con. Shooting with camera can be awkward. No Adobe Flash. No camera flash. No expanded storage.

Baig called out the iPad 3’s lack of Flash Player support in the article itself, too. No mention of Flash whatsoever in the Nexus 7 review. Funny how the lack of Flash Player support was only a problem with Apple devices.

U.K. Nexus 7 Won’t Feature Music, Magazines, or TV Shows 

Carly Page, The Inquirer:

Speaking with The Inquirer, a Google spokesperson confirmed that the Nexus 7 won’t feature these three categories, which will remain an exclusive in US for the time being. They said, “The UK version will feature all of the options currently available in the UK Play store”, which means users of the Nexus 7 will be limited in their choices movies, apps, games and books.

I wonder if the iPad Mini will have music, magazines, and TV shows in the U.K.?

Why Apple Would Release a 7-Inch iPad 

Rene Ritchie:

If Apple can make a 9.7 inch iPad for the same price Apple’s competitors can make a 7 inch tablet, how much would it cost Apple to make a 7 inch tablet?

It’s hard to imagine a $200 7 inch iPad having huge margins, but it was hard to imagine a $500 9.7 inch iPad having huge margins in 2010. Now the entry-level 9.7 inch iPad 2 sells for $400.

I bet Apple could make a $199 iPad Mini and turn a profit on it — especially with a $249 version sitting next to it with double the storage. It’s that simple. If Apple thinks people would buy a smaller cheaper iPad and that they can turn a profit making them, they’ll do it. No reason to overthink it.

Keep in mind too that Amazon still only sells the Kindle Fire in the U.S., and Google is only selling the Nexus 7 in three countries — and outside the U.S. it won’t have music, magazines, or TV shows. Even if this iPad Mini doesn’t ship until October, Apple will likely beat Amazon and Google to market in much of the world.

Bloomberg, Too, Says iPad Mini Is Coming 

Peter Burrows and Adam Satariano, reporting for Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. plans to debut a smaller, cheaper iPad by year-end, two people with knowledge of the plans said, to help maintain dominance of the tablet market as Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. prepare competing handheld devices.

The new model will have a screen that’s 7 inches to 8 inches diagonally, less than the current 9.7-inch version, said the people, who asked not to be identified because Apple hasn’t made its plans public. The product, which Apple may announce by October, won’t have the high-definition screen featured on the iPad that was released in March, one of the people said.

Here’s the logic behind such a display. Displays aren’t manufactured at their finished size; rather, they’re made on big sheets, and then cut to size. I believe the iPad Mini (or whatever it’s going to be called) uses the same display as the iPhone 3GS. So instead of cutting these sheets into 3.5-inch 480 x 320 displays for the iPhone 3GS, they’ll cut them into 7.85-inch 1024 x 768 displays for the smaller iPad. Same exact display technology, though — display technology that Apple has been producing at scale ever since the original iPhone five years ago. These are displays Apple knows they can produce efficiently and in enormous quantities. All they have to do is cut them into bigger pieces.

And then for developers, the iPad Mini acts just like an iPad 1 or 2: same number of pixels, just a little smaller physically. It’s not a new target.

WSJ: Apple Starting Production of Smaller iPad 

Lorraine Luk, reporting for the WSJ (Google link to circumvent paywall):

Apple Inc.’s component suppliers in Asia are preparing for mass production in September of a tablet computer with a smaller screen than the iPad, people familiar with the situation said, suggesting a launch for the device is near. Two of the people said that the tablet’s screen will likely be smaller than eight inches. The iPad’s screen measures 9.7 inches, unchanged since the first model was released in 2010.

Officials at the component suppliers, who declined to be named, said this week that Apple has told them to prepare for mass production of the smaller tablet.

If true, it should be a 7.85-inch, 1024 x 768 display.

CERN Physicists May Have Discovered Higgs Boson Particle 

A great day for science; not so much for typography.

10 Percent of 9to5Mac’s iOS Readers Are on iOS 6 

Visitors to sites like 9to5Mac certainly are not representative of the iOS user base as a whole, but it’s an interesting statistic nonetheless. Here at DF, 7.75 percent of iOS visitors yesterday were on iOS 6. (83 percent were on 5.1.1, 5 percent on 5.1, 1.6 percent on 5.0.1, and all other versions of iOS were well under half a percent.)

More interesting to me is that iOS now accounts for just under one-third of DF web traffic. These are numbers the past month:

Macintosh 51%
iOS 32%
Windows 14%
Linux 1.4%
Android 0.8%

The iOS split is 19/13 for the iPhone and iPad, respectively.

Amazon Buys 3D Mapping Startup UpNext 

Ki Mae Heussner:

It looks like Amazon is building up its presence in the mapping business. The tech giant today closed a deal to acquire 3D mapping startup UpNext, GigaOM has learned.

The maps war is in full swing. Got to give credit to Google for committing itself to maps so long ago.

Designing Bond’s World 

Nice video:

To mark the 50th anniversary of the 007 film franchise, The Barbican sits down with set designer Sir Ken Adam, Aston Martin’s Head of Design, and the designers and the makers of the legendary Golden Gun to talk about the creation of the iconic world inhabited by Bond.

See also: Designing Bond’s Look. (Via Joe Caiati.)

Preview of Vanity Fair Feature on Microsoft’s Downfall 

Vanity Fair:

Eichenwald’s conversations reveal that a management system known as “stack ranking” — a program that forces every unit to declare a certain percentage of employees as top performers, good performers, average, and poor — effectively crippled Microsoft’s ability to innovate. “Every current and former Microsoft employee I interviewed — every one — cited stack ranking as the most destructive process inside of Microsoft, something that drove out untold numbers of employees,” Eichenwald writes. “If you were on a team of 10 people, you walked in the first day knowing that, no matter how good everyone was, 2 people were going to get a great review, 7 were going to get mediocre reviews, and 1 was going to get a terrible review,” says a former software developer. “It leads to employees focusing on competing with each other rather than competing with other companies.”

The Scene at BlackBerry’s Only U.S. Retail Store 

You can hear the crickets chirping from here.


Ryan Kim, reporting for GigaOm:

Monetate, which analyzes more than 100 million online shopping experiences, said that in the first quarter of 2012, tablet traffic to commerce sites hit 6.52 percent, overtaking smartphones (5.35 percent) for the first time. In the last year, tablets’ traffic increased 348 percent while smartphones visits grew by 117 percent over the same period.

Which tablets, though?

Almost all of the traffic (95 percent) was from the iPad, said Monetate.

So why is the headline about “tablets”?

Does Google Have Any Social Skills at All? 

Good piece by Sam Biddle at Gizmodo. Same goes for Andy Rubin’s public admission that the Nexus 7 has “no margin” — why admit that publicly? Not just because it surely annoys their OEM partners who are trying to build Android devices for a profit, but why be proud of this at all?

Uncle Drew 

NBA rookie of the year Kyrie Irving plays pick-up basketball disguised as an old man. So great. (Thanks to my dad, Bob Gruber, for the link.)

Windows 8 Pro Upgrade Price: $40 

Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft:

We set out to make it as easy as possible for everyone to upgrade to Windows 8. Starting at general availability, if your PC is running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 you will qualify to download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for just $39.99 in 131 markets. And if you want, you can add Windows Media Center for free through the “add features” option within Windows 8 Pro after your upgrade.

Harry McCracken:

By comparison, the Windows 7 Pro upgrade is $199.99; even the less full-featured Windows 7 Home Premium one lists for $119.99.


Mac and iOS App Icons Compared 

Extensive comparison from Chris Sauve.

Where the Growth Is 

Fred Wilson, “Mobile Is Where The Growth Is”:

There is a significant shift going on this year, much more significant than we saw last year, from web to mobile. It is most noticeable in games, social networking, music, and news, but it is happening across the board and it presents both great opportunity and great challenges.

Mobile native services like Foursquare and Instagram have the most to gain from this transition. Big feature rich web apps like Facebook and Google have the most to lose from this transition.

A sea change is indeed underway, but Wilson either misses it or is being obtuse. Companies Wilson mentions: Microsoft, Google, RIM, Facebook, Yahoo. Not mentioned: Apple.

There’s no mystery here. We’re talking about two platforms: iOS and Android. (Microsoft is doing its best to join that party with Windows 8.) It’s not “mobile vs. the web”. The web is a huge part of what people do on iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. It’s post-PC vs. PC, in Apple’s parlance. Modern vs. traditional computing devices. Pretty much every instance of “mobile” could be replaced by “modern” in Wilson’s piece, and it would read better.

RIM’s Tailspin 

Horace Dediu illustrates RIM’s decline.

By the numbers, Nokia looks like it’s on a similar trajectory, but there’s one key difference: Nokia has their next-generation phones on the market. It doesn’t seem like the Lumia handsets are setting the world on fire, but at least they have a chance. With RIM’s next-generation phones not coming until 2013, they’ve got no chance.

Tampa Bay’s Fauxback Uniform 

Paul Kafasis on the Tampa Bay Rays’ fake throwback uniforms. I don’t mind that they made up a fictional uniform, but it’s a shame they didn’t do something more than just change the colors of those classic ’70s Padre uniforms.

A Weekend With Chrome for iOS 

Virtual Pants:

Edge swiping to switch between tabs works great and hopefully will make its way into other iOS apps in the future. Switching between tabs on the iPad is even better, as you can switch between multiple tabs with a single swipe. Opening a new tab instantly refreshes the tab, showing you the old version of the page in black and white until the new one is available. Sounds pretty great. So, why switch back to Safari? Here’s why.

I agree with pretty much everything in this review. Chrome’s experience is all about the omnibox. Me, I actually make pretty heavy use of bookmarks (and bookmarklets), so it makes a big difference to me that Safari puts those one tap away. Especially on the phone, I prefer tapping to typing.