Newsflash! Palm Did Something RIGHT?!!? Almost.

September 6, 2007

Previously, I screamed:

For God’s sake, why is it ten years later and there’s no Progress Bar in HotSync?

Guess what Palm Addicts has just revealed is in the new Vista version of Palm Desktop?

hotsyncprogress.jpg

Then comes the hugely bad news about the latest change in file formats for synced data!

Now, here’s the real problem for those that make use of third-party software like Dimex, Dawn, or any other package that accesses Palm Desktop data directly; Palm Desktop for Vista no longer uses .DAT files to store your PIM data in. They’ve made the switch to using Microsoft Access databases (.mdb) to store the data. That’s a mixed blessing; your old software won’t work unless it’s updated to work with the Access databases, but because they’re now Access databases, it means that it’s likely that there will be more third-party plugins available to use the data sometime in the future. Doesn’t help you now, though.

If you’re thinking “hey, I’ve got MS Access, I’ll just open and modify the databases directly”, you might want to hold off on that, or just open it read-only for viewing. Palm is using a BLOB (Binary Large OBject) to store large amounts of data in each of the PIM applications, and to my knowledge, have not released any information about their formats. If you try to modify a record, Access doesn’t know how to handle what’s in the blob, so it may trash your data.

Who? Makes? These? Decisions?

What that tells me is that I can’t just swap via Flash drive my data between a PC and any other computer that can’t run MS Access! They’ve locked that data down to the PC! That’s what it sounds like to me. Why couldn’t there have been an option to select which file format to save the data in? Why do companies think they can just jerk their customers around like this?

Now I wonder what Palm will do for the OS X Leopard update…


Should Apple Turn iTunes Into A Platform?

August 31, 2007

Provocation:
NY Times: NBC Will Not Renew ITunes Contract

Nuclear strike:
Apple: iTunes Store To Stop Selling NBC Television Shows

CUPERTINO, California—August 31, 2007—Apple® today announced that it will not be selling NBC television shows for the upcoming television season on its online iTunes® Store (www.itunes.com). The move follows NBC’s decision to not renew its agreement with iTunes after Apple declined to pay more than double the wholesale price for each NBC TV episode, which would have resulted in the retail price to consumers increasing to $4.99 per episode from the current $1.99. ABC, CBS, FOX and The CW, along with more than 50 cable networks, are signed up to sell TV shows from their upcoming season on iTunes at $1.99 per episode.

“We are disappointed to see NBC leave iTunes because we would not agree to their dramatic price increase,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes. “We hope they will change their minds and offer their TV shows to the tens of millions of iTunes customers.”

Apple’s agreement with NBC ends in December. Since NBC would withdraw their shows in the middle of the television season, Apple has decided to not offer NBC TV shows for the upcoming television season beginning in September. NBC supplied iTunes with three of its 10 best selling TV shows last season, accounting for 30 percent of iTunes TV show sales.

Apple’s counter-strike could be cutting off its nose to spite its face. NBC and Fox just announced their Hulu (excuse me while I ROTF to LMAO) service — but it turns out its beta won’t even begin until October. That leaves NBC’s series suddenly without any sales outlet on the Net.

Even worse: It looks like NBC’s plans to spread around their upcoming pilots has just had a big hole drilled through it. I don’t think we’ll be seeing these in the iTunes Store!

journeymanstamp.jpg
Changing its future for the worst!

For all of these companies that are suddenly withdrawing from the iTunes Store, I recommend reading these two pieces:

Friction and the Consumer Experience [link fixed on 02/11/09]

“Friction” is why e-books adoption is slow

Making people hop from site to site, service to service, having to remember multiple usernames and passwords is adding friction to the customer experience. Friction is not good. Friction is like a speedbump suddenly appearing on a highway.

Friction is your doom.

Like it or not, the iTunes Store offers a fast, easy, and centralized customer experience. It is to media what Windows is to computing: the hard-fought standard. Where are all the competitors to MS-DOS that were still available in its infancy? Where’s CP/M? Where’s DR-DOS? Where’s AppleDOS? Where are all those other windowing shells that were supposed to compete and drain people away from Windows? Where’s GEOS? Where’s GEM?

Imagine if I had to do something more than hit a button on my remote control to access ABC, NBC, CBS, or any other channel.

This fight is stupid.

For both Apple and for every media company.

And if there is any fight here, it should be for a standard for a marketplace any company can tap into. Just as broadcasting settled on the FCC-mandated NTSC standard for American television, maybe it’s time to develop a standard for online media purchasing.

I can see people from Microsoft reading this and salivating, so let me make this clear right now. Microsoft should have no part in this. They’ve had numerous opportunities to create such a standard and every single one of them has failed — including the Zune. If any company should be at the center of such an effort, it should be Apple.

Apple should turn iTunes into a platform instead of a doorway to a single store.

This would preserve the iTunes Store ease of use and offload media storage, sales, and customer service onto the partner stores. If Universal Music Group thinks it can gouge customers with its variable pricing, hey, let it still have access via iTunes and find out for itself. If NBC thinks it can stiff people with bundled videos no one wants, have at it via the iTunes software portal. Apple should seriously consider changing the iTunes Store into an iTunes Mall.

I don’t have to go into teeny details here about how that would work. Apple is filled with brains who could make this work. It’s a matter of Steve Jobs having the will to do so.

I think this is a chance for Apple to create a true global standard in an area that is only going to increase in importance. It can be the dominant force in ease-of-use media sales. It can bring harmony and unity where now there is none — and where entropy threatens to undermine a crucial element in the Net’s future. And Apple can be at the center of it all.

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Did you just read this post? Now click here.


Safari For Windows: Still Sick!

August 9, 2007

Oy, Apple, please fix this!I just got the latest Safari from Apple. I’m using it for this post.But although this is the third line in this text, when I hit Publish I expect everything to get mooshed together into one nasty-lookin’ paragraph.Fourth line. Safari still doesn’t play well with WordPress and blank lines. I can get them fine in either view, but when it comes time to pass this stuff to the WP server, poof! go the blank lines. I will not reformat this if it turns out ugly. Bad Apple. Bad, bad Apple!

Pre-post update: OK, here’s the thing. The blank lines actually do stay in. But if I switch views after hitting Save and Continue Editing, poof! go the blank lines!

So close, Apple… and, no, I won’t clean up the fugliness.

Previously in this blog:
Apple Safari Browser For Win XP: Super Fast But Still Super Sick
Apple Safari Browser For Win XP: Super Fast And Super Sick


A Sad Day For Auntie Beeb

July 29, 2007

BBC Corrupted

Today the BBC made it official — they have been corrupted by Microsoft. With today’s launch of the iPlayer, the BBC Trust has failed in its most basic of duties and handed over to Microsoft sole control of the on-line distribution of BBC programming. From today, you will need to own a Microsoft operating system to view BBC programming on the web. This is akin to saying you must own a Sony TV set to watch BBC TV. And you must accept the Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) that the iPlayer imposes. You simply cannot be allowed to be in control of your computer according to the BBC.

–linkswipe via Techmeme


Five Things Nokia Needs To Do To Improve Our Lives

July 22, 2007

1) Go bankrupt

OK, I lied. Just the one thing.

What prompted this? Some traitor with a Mac blog who wrote this piece of bastardry: Five Things Nokia Needs To Address To Beat The iPhone

Surrender your iPhone.

Surrender your Mac.

Go buy a Dell with Vista.

Or better yet, a blank Dell and put maemo on it!

Previously in this blog:
Nokia: Hankkiutua Sinun Hautajaiset
Nokia’s Creative Bankruptcy Continues Full Speed Ahead!
Microsoft, Palm, And Nokia: You Better Be Freaking Out!!
Oh, Look At The Pathetic Stalkers!
LifeDrive Notes: Final WiFi Unfun
Cheap Is As Cheap Does, So Don’t Buy Cheap!
The Nokia 770 Is Not Dead Yet: Except To Me
Nokia Hätäkeino Sen Oma Peräruiske*
It’s A Phone, You Life-Deprived Eejits! A P-h-o-n-e!
Nokia 770: Now 99.9% Shit!
It’s Time To Stop Looking At Cheap Devices!
OQO: Tough Shit
Oh Look! Just Like My Nokia 770 Nightmare!
Why Does The Truth Always Come Out Too Damned Late?!!?
Don’t Beg Those Bastards! Boycott Their Shit!
A Horror Of Lovecraftian Proportions
Hey, Nokia! This Is How Quality Works!
Welcome, Apple. Seriously. (Not!)
WTF?!!? Will The Nokia N800 Be Worth Buying After All? (Updated: No.)
Like This Shit Is News?
770 Shitcanned By Nokia
Nokia 770: The Endgame
Coming Real Soon Now: My FINAL Nokia Post
Nokia N800: Still Shit!
CrunchGear Has Balls!
Blame the Nokia 770, Dammit!
Nokia 770: Now Twice As Shitty
Nokia 770 Plumbs New Depths Of Shit!
Nokia 770 Gets Shittier
Is Nokia Delusional?
Nokia 770 Regains Shit Title
There Is A Right Way, And There Is The Nokia Way
Is Nokia Totally Incompetent?
Are You Nokia 770 Owners Nuts?!!?
Nokia: Please Unshackle Me!
(Anti-) Progress Report


iPhone Killer?

July 18, 2007

So I find Japanese iPhone Killer? and I go to its source, which is Japan unveils iPhone killer.

Still not satisfied, I go to the Original Source: 自由な発想で使える高性能モバイル端末『nani』を新開発

And I laugh and laugh and laugh.

Because what the other two English-language articles didn’t point out (or bother to even notice) is that this turkey will run Windows Mobile!

Next!


Microsoft, Palm, And Nokia: You Better Be Freaking Out!!

July 4, 2007

I’m still basking in the afterglow of today’s earlier extended iPhone Web Fondle.

Look at Microsoft with all of its alleged brains and, especially, money. Steve Jobs was quoted in the first PBS Nerds series as saying, “Microsoft just doesn’t have any taste.” The iPhone only emphasizes that.

And then there’s Palm, which has been living on the corpse of old ideas. That Treo has not simply gotten long in the tooth, it has died and has been rotting! Palm has been a maggot on its corpse. Palm, which started out wanting to revolutionize pocket computing, lost its direction, lost its will, lost its imagination, and now will ultimately lose its life as an independent company.

As for Nokia… Nokia! This has to be the greatest embarrassment of the three. They started out with a completely blank slate, tabula rasa, to design the next generation of web device. The result was that absolute garbage called the Nokia 770. It’s sequel, the N800, is no better. Both reveal the deranged thinking that is the bedrock of Nokia. What do they produce when given all possible choices? The same damned desktop-like UI that’s been around for ages and ages and ages! Including the horror of pull-down menus! This on a pocketable device! It’s become evident to me that Nokia has gained its global dominance not because its products were so good — but because its competitors’ products were just so damned bad! In the face of the iPhone, the creative bankruptcy of Nokia has been displayed for everyone to witness.

I’ve been reading a lot about the iPhone online. Many posts are it’s blah-blah-blah missing this blah-blah-blah missing that. Oh stop it already! Start concentrating on what its competitors are missing and the lists would go on forever.

The iPhone has started out fantastic and it will only get better from there. Its competitors are now revealed as worthless crap — and there is no way they will ever be able to match the seamless, smooth experience of the iPhone. (The HTC Touch and its TouchFlo interface? It’ll be sued out of existence for patent infringement. Beside that, it’s nothing but a shoddy makeup job on the underlying hideous face of Windows Mobile.)

I have to wonder about everyone who’s been compiling these lists of features missing from the iPhone. Do they really think Apple doesn’t already know these things? It’s clear what Apple has done: they’ve gotten the iPhone in basic framework form, without apparent major bugs. Adding everything that’s missing in its first iteration would have increased the probability of bugs and delayed its release. They now have the time to work on everything that’s missing — and I’m sure they have been for months. They can wring out the bugs, test the improvements, and then release an update that will leave all competitors even further behind.

Those of you who say you don’t want an iPhone right now — trust me, you will!


You See? It’s Not Just My Samsung Q1U Fondle!

June 27, 2007

UMPC News : Another UMPC killed by Vista.

Tech central have reviewed the Fujitsu UMPC and seem to be impressed with the little whipersnapper. There’s the usual shock at how tiny the device is and a genuine belief that the Fujitsu UMPC is a workable design. Apart from the fact that it runs Vista!

I wonder if vendors are starting to learn now that this is becoming a recurring theme. People get a UMPC, are impressed and then have to battle through the bloated, unoptimised disappointment of Vista. In almost every case, people are turning off Aero and having to start thinking about optimizations and its killing the customers first few minutes experience with the device. Can you imagine what the response to the iPhone would be if the software didn’t actually work out of the box. If you had to wait for an extended time for windows to open and if you had to start searching forums and asking questions to find out if your device was broken and why some other people are happy with the performance? People should be turning on UMPCs in an optimised state with an Origami Experience-style welcome.

I said just about the same damned thing but in non-journalistic, everyday (some would say gutter) language (which I will be using again in the next paragraph, so tune out now) in my follow-up fondle of the Samsung Q1U.

I got several emails from UMPC experts pointing out that I could “optimize” Vista. Fuck that. I want to do work, not dick around with the shortcomings of Microsoft’s OS. You think Jobs would ignore shit in the iPhone before its release and would cavalierly decree, “Oh, people can optimize it after they buy it” — and would then release something that when people fondled it would actively turn away potential purchasers?

And yet, for his perfectionism, Jobs is seen as a tyrant. Well, if Jobs is a tyrant, then Microsoft is a self-absorbed fat pig.

I’ll take a tyrant over a pig any day.


Two Days Before iDay, Has My Heart Been Stolen Away From The iPhone?

June 27, 2007

Oh. My. Gawd.

Steve aka Chippy over at UMPC Portal has gotten his mitts on a production sample version of the Raon Digital successor to the Vega, the Everun.

Rather than me drooling all over the place about it, go see his two videos about it. (Embedded YouTube.)

The iPhone has auto-rotate. So does the Everun.

The Everun can play Flash video and just about anything else you can put in Windows XP.

The iPhone … uh, can do a subset of YouTube videos…

Anyway, go look at the videos!

One thing I know for sure: Who’d want a Palm Foleo after seeing this baby?

–linkswipe via JK on the Run


VIA Touts Nanobook By Citing The Beat Gen Writers

June 17, 2007

VIA NanoBeat — YouTube video

I take a dim view of companies other than Apple trying to piggyback on writers.

Seriously, this could be a good gadget to have. Not pocketable, but probably preferable to the Flopeo Palm Foleo.

–linkswipe via UMPC Portal


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