Whoa! Apple, I Didn’t Mean Death Star As in Suicidal!

September 28, 2007

Apple iPhone warning proves true

Some owners are reporting on technology blogs and Apple’s own forums that the update is deleting contacts information, as well as photos and music, on iPhones that have not been modified in any way.

When I coined the term “Death Star Upgrade,” I envisioned the iPhone becoming this huge, formidable vessel in the cellphone universe, toppling all opposition. In a good way (who wants those other crappy cellphones around anyway? Buh-bye Palm and Nokia and Samsung!).

Things seem to have gone awry.

Apple better start channeling The Force.

Photo Album: DigitalLife Expo 2007

September 28, 2007

Of last year’s small attendees, only Supacam and GelaSkins came back. No Pepper. And, shockingly, no Sony! I wanted to fondle the new Sony Reader, dammit.

Even though Palm had four Meeting Rooms, no Foleo. Palm was all Centro.

No Asus Eee in sight or even hinted at. Damn!

The show was shockingly small. My quick overview was done in just an hour!

On with the show…

Gateway was showing off a new machine that ripped off the Mac design was all-in-one…

…in fact, it’s called One

Gateway also showed off this humongous monitor; that’s three websites and an XboX picture-in-picture running

The cheap-ass Palm display; you had to pay for drinks!

Sorry-assed freebies (also a pen and jellybeans; not shown)

Crowded, huh?

No Treos. No PDAs. No Foleo. Just Centro.

Centro being demonstrated. Palm had the blonde I ordered, but no Foleo!

The crowding will kill you…

PC Magazine made it worthwhile again with a batch of wee devices

The big deal HTC Advantage running WinMob 6. Their HotSpot wasn’t working so I couldn’t try Opera browsing. But still, now having given this thing a feel (that’s far less than a fondle), I was very unimpressed. About a grand for that? No!

Size next to Centro actual-size brochure

Next to the ShitDrive my LifeDrive (left edges aligned)

With iPhone (left edges aligned)

My flash kills the HTC screen while the iPhone smiles

Better picture where I off-centered the flash… iPhone screen is still better

HTC vs OQO (left edges aligned)

Dell brings color to notebooks. Big whoop.

Erector is pimping a WiFi spy robot now…

… I didn’t get details. Go Google.

Aie! My mortal enemies!

Yeah, she looks like a satisfied customer. Must have used the 770!

Just as my brain began to melt out of my ears, I hear over the rush of earwax, “Mike! Mike! Mike! Mike!” I think, “Me? It’s a trap!” “Mike! Mike!” I turn around and my god —

— it’s Liz Kelly and Hannah Fairlight of Girls Don’t Cry at the Save Net Radio booth! Real human beings at the trade show! How did they get in?

Then it was back to the torment for me…

Why? Why? Why?

See above caption

A Pac-Man hat!

What the world was waiting for: Snoopy on cellphones! Kill me now.

I don’t know what it is …

… but I want it. NOW!!

Did anyone buy these?

Spider-Mutt. And Linux should sue for abuse of the penguin.

Look at them, ready to pounce and kill me!

Some parrot robot that does things

No Philip K. Dick electric sheep in sight. Thank God!

Cute enough to make you want to kill yourself. Not cute enough for Japan.

The new slavery: People as videogame consoles

All right! Something freaky!!

An electronic camera that magnifies up to 200x. What’s this guy have?

As I thought: FLEAS!

Non-parasite-infested samples to magnify

OK. This is just wrong.

Toshiba’s new Gigabeat player. More fodder thrown underneath the iPod juggernaut.

This is a very interesting notebook. Very lightweight with a CD/DVD drive!

The specs. Turns out that sub-2-pound one uses Flash, not a hard drive. Always a catch!

Only I would turn a notebook over like a turtle to show you its bottom isn’t flat!

Closed view. Wee LEDs on the edge you can see when closed.

Scale next to LifeDrive

Next to dollar bill (suggested by Toshiba rep!)

Screen in outdoor transflective mode. No, it’s not turned off —

— close up. I was told it’s very bright in direct sunlight. Hmmmm. I was also told you can get this with XP installed instead of Vista. The Toshiba rep wanted that made very, very clear. Wow, Vista must be the biggest disaster in Microsoft history!

Eight flatscreens showing eight players killing each other in Gears of War

This was fun. Toshiba did a Deal Or No Deal game

They picked a number by random draw corresponding to a seat. This woman was the first to play…

She picked a case. The two models were very lovely and lively. Drool. Real women!

The banker tries to get her to swap the case for a backpack!

“Open the case…”

Oh. My. God!


She won top prize: A free Toshiba laptop computer!!!

One of those ceiling-projected interactive displays seen on mall floors

At hp’s booth, I come across their Tablet PC …

— and leave my mark!

The new hp PDA next to the LifeDrive; hp stylus shorter & thinner than LifeDrive’s. Yes, my LifeDrive screen is also showing year view on full brightness! Those of you thinking of swapping a RAM-based Palm PDA for this, forget it. It took five seconds to open a Mobile Word document. I can get that shitty non-performance with my LifeDrive!

I go back to the Palm exhibit…

LifeDrive next to Centro

Real-life size comparison: my shit-ass Thiefone Tracfone next to the Centro

I need a break from this unrelenting technology. I go see Hannah and Liz and find to my horror…

Hannah has become professorial, tutoring people on Saving Net Radio. Poor Liz is getting high from sniffing soy chips again. She has such a tough addiction!

I see the pair of assassins Palm and Nokia have co-funded to kill my ass. I flee.

But there’s no escape. In the hallway leaving, I see …

American technology vandalized by Finns …

… inside it has an Anti-Internet Tablet installed …

Thoughtfix probably drooled. (I see the lad is lapping up the Kool-Aid these days… sad.)

The show ran til 7PM. I fled a little after 5PM (sorry, Hannah and Liz!). It was very disappointing. I didn’t return today due to lack of sleep. If I’m bored tomorrow, I might return to see what’s going on. But I doubt anything will be…

Did you just read this post? Now click here.

Apple To Rewrite Computing Again

September 26, 2007

Up next for Apple: the return of the Newton

Externally, the mutil-touch PDA has been described by sources as an ultra-thin “slate” akin to the iPhone, about 1.5 times the size and sporting an approximate 720×480 high-resolution display that comprises almost the entire surface of the unit. The device is further believed to leverage multi-touch concepts which have yet to gain widespread adoption in Apple’s existing multi-touch products — the iPhone and iPod touch — like drag-and-drop and copy-and-paste.

More broadly characterized as Apple’s answer to the ultra-mobile PC, the next-gen device is believed to be tracking for a release sometime in the first half of 2008. Assuming the project remains clear of roadblocks, sources believe it could make an inaugural appearance during Jobs’ Macworld keynote in January alongside some new Mac offerings. Still, manufacturing ramp and availability would seem unlikely until closer to mid-year, those same sources say.

Now everything is beginning to make sense to me.

1) Why Apple does not want people to hack the iPod Touch for third-party software — it would undercut sales of this future device with one that does not offer the same profit margin*

2) Why Apple doesn’t care if the iPhone has third-party software on it — there is sufficient profit in the monster volume sales of this device to let it slide (for now)

3) Why Palm believed the Foleo had to be introduced now — it was its only chance to gain a foothold in a market Apple will soon dominate

4) Why Asus chose as its low-ball computing introduction a subnotebook-size device (which has higher manufacturing costs) — they believed Apple was going to do that

5) Why there has not been a scramble to add ebooks to The iTunes Store — this device will offer a true “paperback-quality” reading experience

6) Why a portable Bluetooth keyboard has not been offered by Apple for the iPhone — it will be offered for this machine

7) Why Nokia persists in its efforts with its Anti-Internet Tablets — they fear Apple is going to grab the market (and the entire world!) from them

8) The rumor of internal H.264 decoder chips in future Macs — will this device have that, to further position the Apple brand as one for consumer electronics?

What I think still has to fall into place:

1) Apple announcing joint ventures with social sites such as MySpace (Murdoch just recognized the importance of The iTunes Stores for TV, is this a hint of secret talks?)

2) Hackers revealing secret features in the upcoming Leopard OS release that aren’t yet being used

3) The discontinuation of the Mac mini (could this new device be called the mini II or the Mac nano?)

4) Leaks of Apple making deals with print publishers (not limited to just books)

5) iSync being enhanced

6) This device being announced at MacWorld Expo in January along with the revelation of a customized version of the iWork suite for it

Apple’s Thermonuclear Bomb Of Mobile Applications

One company I wouldn’t want to be is Palm. And one business I wouldn’t want to be in is offering non-phone devices running Windows Mobile.

(*Personally, I think this is a mistake. It would help to create the market for this larger device. It would whet people’s appetite. It would also create an ecology of developers ready to port everything over to the new device.)

Did you just read this post? Now click here.

Previously in this blog:
Can Apple Create A Real Handheld Market?
eBooks On iPhone: Reading Software
New MacBooks = Optical Drive Bye-Bye
The Asus Eee Effect?
Wow. I’m Really Out Of The iPhone Loop!
Is The Foleo Completely Dead Now?
Foleo: Dude, I’m Not Getting A Fat-Ass Dell!
The iPod Touch: Don’t Touch It?
Size-Off: Foleo Versus Powerbooks
Asus Eee: OS X?!
Will Palm Die Or Show Others How To Be Reborn?
Hey, SanDisk! Buy The Foleo IP From Palm!
Ed Colligan’s Worst Nightmare
New Disease: Post-Foleo Nightmare Syndrome
The Foleo Dispossessed
Quote Of The Day: Popular Mechanics
The Palm Foleo Disaster: Part Two
Quote Of The Day: Michael Mace
Quote Of The Day: Flashback To iPod Introduction
You Still Make Me Want To Bleed To Death
Foleo: The Beat Goes On…
The Palm Foleo Disaster: Part One
Dumbass Of The Year: Ed Colligan
The DUH! File: BoingBoing Catches Up
S.O.S. Steve Jobs! eBooks Will Save You!
If We Can’t Have Momentum On This, Can I At Least Get An Amen, Brother?
Newsflash! Pictures Of Corpses Left In Wake Of iPhone Price Cut!
Today’s Episode Of The Steve Jobs Show, Plus More
Tomorrow’s iPod: The Beginning Of Bliss?
Palm Kills Foleo
OK, Now The Foleo Scares Me
A Post-iTunes Fable For NBC
Nokia’s Upcoming Fake iPhone
Should Apple Turn iTunes Into A Platform?
iPod Price History: Will Apple Fight Or Lose?
Quote Of The Day: Nokia’s Innate Ineptness
iPod Touch Coming Next Week?
Poor Ed Colligan. Ascared Of Me.
Apple Wins The Internet Video Wars
Oh Look! I Get To Bash Palm And Nokia At The Same Time! It’s Two Two Two Hits In One!
Do New Apple Keyboards Hint At An iPhone Keyboard?
iPhone Death Star Upgrade Coming
Splaying The Code Guts Of The iPhone: TV-Out & Filesystem
Microsoft, Palm, And Nokia: You Better Be Freaking Out!!
I Don’t Think You Understand Just How Incredible The iPhone Really Is!
Some People Catch On Later Than… Everyone Else.
iQuote Of The Post-iDay
I’ve Fondled The iPhone!!
Record Blog Traffic: Apple iPhone Vs. Palm Foleo
Jobs Gets YouTube On iPhone — But Without Flash!
Oh My God! What Did We Buy?!!?
Oh Look At This! My Apple-YouTube Prediction Will Come True!
A Picture Of Two Tech Devices That Should Have Never Been Released
My Reaction To Palm’s New Foleo Device
On A Day When Palm Gets Everything Wrong, Apple Gets It Right
Does Apple Hold The Key To Breaking Open Computing Everywhere?
Prediction: YouTube/Google Drop Flash Video
The iPhone Is A First-Generation Pocket Mac
A Pocket Keyboard Fit For The iPhone?
OS X Widgetry And iPhone Possibilities
Applenomics, Or Why Steve Jobs Will Now Hate Me For Ever And Ever
Bravo Nicholas Carr!

eBooks On iPhone: Reading Software

September 24, 2007


A native eBook reader for the iPhone. Capable of reading HTML and plain text stored on your iPhone.

I drool!

Previously in this blog:
S.O.S. Steve Jobs! eBooks Will Save You!
Another Argument For eBooks On The iPhone
Reference: Installing Native Apps On An iPhone
eBooks On iPhone: HarperCollins Kicks In
eBooks On iPhone: Well, There Are Magazines At Least!
The eBooks On iPhone Campaign: Steve Jobs Loves Books! Hey, Steve, So Do We!!
eBooks On iPhone: The Clamor Continues!
eBookery For iPhone?
eBooks on iPhone: Another Person Who Won’t Wait For Apple
eBooks On iPhone: Not Waiting For Apple!
iPhone: First eBook On It?
iPhone Death Star Upgrade Coming
Mucho Namaste To FSJ!
Will Apple Steal The eBook Limelight From Sony And Create Another Mass Market?

Can Apple Create A Real Handheld Market?

September 24, 2007

JK on the Run offers this interesting article:

We need a real handheld computer, who will build one? Apple of course

So who will make the first “real” handheld computer?

Apple. There are very few companies who can design and produce the handheld PC like I’ve indicated in this article, in fact there are only two. Microsoft is one and I believe that if the Redmond giant ever took on this task they would produce a killer handheld PC. Let’s face it, they are operating system experts and they control the office document space with Office so they could integrate this into a handheld in a dynamite way. I’m talking embedded Office to go with the embedded OS on our super handheld. That opens so many exciting possibilities that it makes my pulse race when I think of all of that potential. Unfortunately Microsoft doesn’t make hardware more complicated than a mouse or keyboard and they’re not going to make any type of “WinHand” device. They have too many anti-trust worries whenever they take on something like this and I don’t think they’d do it.

That’s why it has to be Apple. Cupertino now has the hardware design, communications experience, OS kernel expertise to produce an awesome handheld computer.

As I stated in the Comments there, I don’t think Apple is the only company. Palm tried something new with the Foleo, but their imagination just didn’t stretch far enough. There’s the Asus Eee, which is an unknown quantity when it comes to quality of software and just how bulletproof their variant of Linux is. But really, the Asus Eee is just the Same Stuff made smaller and vastly less expensive. It’s not a re-imagining of anything.

What made the Foleo different is that it really did focus on mobility. It was the first device that was built on the question, “What do people do away from their desks?” In other words, the old architectural rule of Form follows function. The first rule was to offer a full-size keyboard. Once that hardware issue was settled, it moved on to the software end of things. It was the limited thinking of software function that then probably dictated the choice of CPU and amount of storage. One limited vision created another limited vision.

Apple has shown the world it has the ability to do mobile devices right. The iPod and the iPhone are true re-imaginings of devices that existed before Apple entered their territory. While every other company accepted the ground rules that had already been established, Apple rejected them and started with a clean sheet of paper.

I don’t think Apple would be so bold to enter the market with a Tablet computer. I don’t think anyone has yet shown there’s a big enough market there. There are lots of improvements that Apple could bring to such a device, but the limiting factor will always be people’s desire for a keyboard (hello, Foleo!). (Even with absolutely error-free handwriting recognition, there are times I’d rather have a keyboard. I’ve written entire articles with past Palm PDAs using nothing but Graffiti. I wouldn’t want to handwrite full articles using my “pen-on-paper” script. My words-per-minute output would be atrocious. When I did that kind of thing back in the pre-computer days, I’d wind up quickly abandoning paper and running for the typewriter keyboard. Some people like handwriting things. I don’t. I save that for editing.)

If Apple wanted to test the marketplace to determine if people would buy a handheld computer, there’s some steps they could take right now:

1) Update the iPhone to work with a Bluetooth keyboard

2) Offer mobile blogging software for the iPhone

3) Offer text editing software for the iPhone

4) Offer photo editing (basic size rescaling & cropping) software for the iPhone

And then see what happens.

It’s a niche within a niche — people who do blogs — but it’d be a cheap test bed too and also display to non-bloggers a few of the possibilities of ultra-portable computing.

The cluetrain would run on this track:

Station 1: I didn’t know you could do that with an iPhone

Station 2: I have to get that for myself

Station 3: I love this!

Station 4: Damn, I wish this iPhone was bigger!

Even those who were scarred in the past by trying to use Palm PDAs and Pocket PCs as mobile productivity tools would take notice.

But I don’t think Apple would do that. Apple — OK, Steve Jobs — doesn’t like to do things halfway. (Even if a half way measure would be absolutely great for some people.)

That’s why I still think Apple will introduce a Flash memory-based Apple subnotebook at MacWorld Expo in January. No, it wouldn’t be a handheld, but it’d be easily totable. And once people get in the habit of carrying a very light, very thin computer with them just about all the time, it opens up other possibilities.

Like a real handheld.

Did you just read this post? Now click here.

Previously in this blog:
New MacBooks = Optical Drive Bye-Bye
The Asus Eee Effect?
Wow. I’m Really Out Of The iPhone Loop!
Is The Foleo Completely Dead Now?
Size-Off: Foleo Versus Powerbooks
Ed Colligan’s Worst Nightmare
The Palm Foleo Disaster: Part Two
Apple Wins The Internet Video Wars
Quote Of The Day: iPhone
Apple And H.264 Internal Chips: I’m With Cringely
Do New Apple Keyboards Hint At An iPhone Keyboard?
iPhone Death Star Upgrade Coming
Splaying The Code Guts Of The iPhone: TV-Out & Filesystem
Microsoft, Palm, And Nokia: You Better Be Freaking Out!!
I Don’t Think You Understand Just How Incredible The iPhone Really Is!
Some People Catch On Later Than… Everyone Else.
iQuote Of The Post-iDay
I’ve Fondled The iPhone!!
Does Apple Hold The Key To Breaking Open Computing Everywhere?
The iPhone Is A First-Generation Pocket Mac
A Pocket Keyboard Fit For The iPhone?
OS X Widgetry And iPhone Possibilities
Applenomics, Or Why Steve Jobs Will Now Hate Me For Ever And Ever
Bravo Nicholas Carr!

New MacBooks = Optical Drive Bye-Bye

September 23, 2007

How Come No One Noticed There Was No Mention of DVD in the New MacBook?

So when we got the news from Cleve and his source about the new laptops, the first thing we asked ourselves was how is Apple going to squeeze all of the laptop internals into such a thin Package? Battery optimization? Couldn’t hurt. Making the boot drive into NAND RAM? Possible but still very expensive. Motherboard optimization? Yeah sure but you can only save so much space doing that. Then it hit us: was the MacBook DVD going the way of the dodo?

Well, yeah, duh…!

Show me the outcry over lack of optical drives for UMPCs. There hasn’t been any.

No one laughed at the Foleo for not having an optical drive.

No one’s bitching that the Asus Eee lacks an optical drive.

Our perception of mobility has subtly changed. We no longer want everything a desktop computer offers. Does your notebook computer have a floppy drive? Why not?

I have a ton of CD-Rs. If I want to put something onto a machine that lacks an optical drive, I’d use my desktop PC to move it onto an SD card or onto a USB Flash drive. I can’t see wasting battery power on sorting through CD-Rs while out and about. And not having the extra weight of an optical drive is good too.

Plus, someday I intend to make my life easier by moving all the CD-Red stuff to a massive portable hard drive. That’d make everything faster to find and, if I’m really pressed for time, I can drag along the portable hard drive too. The point is, that extra weight is now optional.

Plus, I really think Apple is going to do something like this:


Yeah, you’ll iSync files back and forth from these smaller MacBooks to a Mac (and maybe even PC) desktop. Think of it as iTunes For Your Other Files.

Did you just read this post? Now click here.

Previously in this blog:
The Asus Eee Effect?
Is The Foleo Completely Dead Now?
Size-Off: Foleo Versus Powerbooks
Ed Colligan’s Worst Nightmare
The Palm Foleo Disaster: Part Two

The Asus Eee Effect?

September 21, 2007

Slim Aluminum MacBooks Coming Soon from Apple

Of course, Apple is always up to something. If there isn’t an Apple rumor within each six-week cycle, you know something is wrong.

What’s interesting about this is this bit:

They are set to be priced extremely aggressively

Does this mean an Apple notebook will break the $1,000 price barrier in a real and meaningful way?

And if Apple does that, won’t it pressure all the Wintel notebook makers to start dropping prices on their upper-end machines (I’m looking at you, Sony — can you guys seriously do anything other than imitate Apple? Did you see their latest crop of notebooks? They stole the Apple keyboard design!)?

Is this rumored aggressive pricing a result of seeing the aggressive interest in the Asus Eee?

And is this a rehearsal of sorts for an all-Flash memory OS X-based notebook ala the Asus Eee?

Previously in this blog:
Asus Eee: My Head Is Now Spinning!
Asus Eee: Even On Mars?!!?
Asus Eee: WTF?
Is The Foleo Completely Dead Now?
Asus Eee: Real Hands-On Report With New Pics
YouTube: New Asus Eee Vids
Asus Eee: Alleged Hands-On Report
Asus Eee To Do Color Covers
Asus Eee Versus Raon Digital Everun
Asus Eee: More About Its Keyboard
Asus Eee: The New Timex-Sinclair?!!?
Asus Eee: OS X?!
Asus Eee: XP Runs!
New Asus Eee Article
Asus Eee: Increasing RAM Possible
Asus Eee: OK. Wait. What’d He Just Say?!!?
Asus Eee And Palm PDAs
Asus Eee = Flybook = RSI
Blog Notes: Yes, I’m Working On It!