48 posts • joined Friday 20th June 2008 22:23 GMT
smart phones entering long tail phase?
My personal experience is that once I got a tablet/slate/pad computer I wasn't as interested in using smart phone apps anymore. I still have a smart phone, but I use it to *gasp* make and receive phone calls now.
On the outside chance that other people react the same way, well...this is good for apple, since they have the most popular tablet. And in a way, it's good for nokia because it commoditizes smart phones by making people think of them primarily as phones again, something they are still viewed as excelling at.
lest we forget
they killed courier for this.
>> Jobs found out who his biological father was too, but expressed no interest in meeting him and, according to Isaacson, never did so. <<
the part about steve jobs never meeting his biological father is not exactly true.
they actually did meet, however they were not aware of their relationship at the time.
Among many factors in the gradual decline of music sales, I think often underestimated is that other media are more available and competitive and these drain our "entertainment attention" away from albums.
Since 2001 (when iTunes was introduced) we've gotten three new game consoles, flat screen HDTV's 300+ channel digital cable and/or satellite, mobile internet and games and apps, blu-ray, and phenomena like twitter, facebook, and WoW that eat several hours per day from their participants.
If it weren't for iTunes and portable music players enabling people to listen on the subway/tube, people wouldn't bother listening to Bon Jovi at all anymore.
fanbois mode active (sorry)
The app store idea adds a lot of value for "normal" consumers:
1. apple checks things for malware, viruses, backdoors, etc. Whereas anything you download from the internet at large has always been a crapshoot. Apple has been lucky that malware usually targets windows, but that won't last forever and I think they want to change people's habits before it's too late. The walled garden keeps you in, but it can also keep bad guys out.
2. Apple checks that the app at least does what it says on the tin and has a rating system to keep sellers from being dishonest or misleading.
3. It's a single place where you can compare apps and make selections. You have all the choices in front of you at once and you can make a decision (on features, price, screenshots, ratings) without wondering if you're missing something. (Admittedly, that's only a feeling. In fact you are missing out on choosing from non-mac-store apps.)
4. iOS apps are dirt cheap, often free, so you can try out a lot of stuff with no financial risk. if you decide an app is important enough to pay for a nifty feature or to get screen real estate back from the ads, you can make that choice after you've had a chance to try out the cheaper/free stuff first.
One hopes that apple will go father:
A. It would be awesome of mac apps adhered well to apple's HIG. The minimalism of iOS apps is refreshing and one hopes that mac store apps will find a nice middle ground of maximum utility with the minimum of buttons, tabs, menus, pop-ups, etc.
B. Non-lame games. iOS app store is game-console-like in that, with only a few exceptions, any app can run on any iPhone or iPad. They have made one division of the space for iPad-only devices and that's it. But I think the mac store should be more fine-grained and have an idea of your mac's performance and steer you toward apps & games which guaranteed not to stutter or have miserable frame-rates. (The devs have an interest here also: they don't want user hardware problems dragging down their ratings.)
C. Repeating the middle ground thing vis a vis file systems, there is a huge disconnect between the number of files exposed to users on the mac (thousands upon thousands) and the iOS approach of having almost no files at all visible. I'm not sure what the answer is, but there should be some concept of accessing the same data from different apps, but without making the user navigate a hierarchy or see all the irrelevant files along the way.
instead of thermal camera
my wife's IR cooking thermometer works well for getting the temps of building parts. it has a laser pointer so you know exactly what part you're getting the temperature of, and a scan mode so i can see gradients as i move the pointer slowly. also an average mode so i can just scribble the laser pointer over a wall and get the average.
last project i used it for was estimating heat loss from a recirc pump. i read the flow rate off the label, pointed the IR thermometer at the inflow and outflow, then converted to BTU with a formula i found on one of the internets.
in a pinch you can check your kid for a fever without waking him/her (but turn off the laser so you don't blind the little badger)
hands off my filthy lucre, larry
i did "yum install mysql" and there was no fee at all. so far i've resolved two problems by using google to find forum posts about the issues i was having, and they provided exact instructions for workarounds or fixes in a fraction of the time that phone or email support would take. i've already got sqlite, and postgres is just one command line away, both for free of course.
if someone's trying to sell /bin/grep "classic", that doesn't mean you have to pay for it.
now we're talkin
if only ballmer could get rid of that idiot that kept screaming about developers...
if it's not too late
pls tell them to angle the ipod dock so that it faces the user instead of the ceiling. the ceiling won't be doing much of the viewing of the ipodding, that's all i'm saying.
incompete coverage, as usual
The register is remiss in not investigating how exactly cell phone brain cancer affects the Zombie-American community.
Does eating a cancerfied brain lead to ill health effects, e.g. an uneven gait, or inability to run? Can zombies who use cell phones get brain cancer directly? What are the effects of repeated text messages containing only the word "BRAINS"? Is Apple's promise of a Zombie section for the App Store going to ever be implemented? And for the gourmet zombies out there, what tastes better, brain cancer induced by GSM or brain cancer induced by CDMA?
missed opportunity really
All of Accenture's recent ads are on the theme of the true measure of your character being how you act in the face of adversity, using golf as a metaphor for business or personal challenges.
Now we know how Accenture acts in the face of adversity. They throw their teammate to the wolves and outsource a new ad campaign.
They had a once in a lifetime chance to step up to their own mantra and show us a truly inspiring way to respond to a setback, but of course they don't believe their own B.S.
what is a rational man to do?
>> "hackers used my PC as a proxy" patsy defence
What would really suck is your computer is infected, does bad things without your permission for a while, then your antivirus product does a scheduled update and removes the infection, leaving the bad stuff there as if it's your fault. The only legal defense may be to let your computer stay infected with several viruses so that the auditor has a chance of seeing at least one he recognizes as capable of hosting or retrieving illegal stuff.
microsoft isn't alone
google has had outages too. gmail has a history of being offline for hours at a time, multiple times per year, and it's not beta anymore.
this "cloud computing" thing has a severe single-point-of-failure problem. that the biggest players in the business are having problems does not portend well for smaller companies that want to hop on the bandwagon.
stop wasting our time on this issue
Dear Mr Murdoch would you just go ahead and have one of your minions properly fill out robots.txt and STFU already.
can't have it both ways
if the anti-spam product makers start working together, in the long run won't the resulting products converge to the point where they are no longer different enough that a multi-product solution would improve things? At which point the resulting monoculture makes things easier for the spammers.
I despise COM. It's slow, baroque, proprietary, and just barely thread safe. It is an advantage to macs that they cannot run it.
The last time I read a story about this, the upshot was that Tokyo citizens were simply putting garbage/rubbish in plastic bags and leaving it on the curb/kerb. Switching to metal or hard plastic cans/bins (a) keeps some excess plastic out of landfills and (b) a crow-resistant trash can is not a big engineering task.
Take the crows' food source away and their murder will shrink.
don't tell me
COLBERT was already taken?
>> the American Big Three preferred to churn out high-margin, low-mileage behemoths such as the Cadillac Escalade, Hummer H2, and the once immensely popular Ford Egregious.<<
What's funny is that all three examples you give there are the SMALL versions.
There's an Escalade ESV which is a foot and half longer than a regular Escalade.
The Hummer H2 is a radically smaller vehicle than the Hummer HMMV, aka H1.
The "Egregious" was a link to the Ford Expedition, which replaced in Ford's lineup the much larger Ford Excursion.
On top of that, only H1's and a small percentage of Excursions were diesel. The remainder as far as I know burn petrol at an astonishing rate, i.e. 8 or 9 mpg in US units.
>> The water recycling equipment can process a full day's wastewater in less than 24 hours.<<
is there a name for this kind of sarcasm?
CC saved me $$
Circuit city was good to me: I bought an LCD TV at Fry's, then saw a circuit city ad for the same item at a much lower price. Fry's called up CC while I stood there and CC gave an even lower price over the phone, which Fry's met. When all was said and done, CC saved me about $500 and I didn't even buy anything from them.
Schadenfreude/irony aside, the real lesson is that competition, even from crappy companies, is a still good thing for the consumer.
tivos should defeat visible flicker detection
as for detecting visible flicker synchronized to a BBC broadcast, it seems like any regular use of recording device (e.g. Tivo) and the self-discipline to not watch any BBC shows live would be enough to throw off their attempts at pattern matching.
sorting trash into piles
I tend to think of management as a heapsort on a bunch of random numbers. If you have a large pool of managers, over time some will randomly make good decisions and some will make bad decisions. Promotions will ensue, but except for a few very bright managers that do their homework and pay attention, most will just revert to being right just half the time, but now they are higher up in the organization and feel empowered to tell you what to do even though they have no particular insight.
>> gadget maker's
This should have been a plural possessive.
tool use takes labor not just money
The collaboration tools are interesting--they truly enable better communication, but the downside is that now you're forcing the (expensive) onshore staff to spend more time keeping wikis or whatnot up to date, negating some (occasionally all) of the cost savings you got from offshoring.
Fine, naked short selling is evil, but remember, but all he's actually saying is that it hastened what was already going to happen.
The problems with credit default swaps and CDO's were already in play. Short sellers identified the problem and acted. If they had not, the risk portfolios would have KEPT ON GROWING and the final result would have been even worse.
For all concerned, things would have actually turned out better and with lower impact if more people had sold more naked shorts much much sooner, back when it was only a $100 billion problem instead of a $1 trillion problem.
In Soviet Russia
Hopefully someone will be able to make a good pun out of "Nyetbook"
Re: DC power is not the future
One thing that would help AC is to increase the frequency. At 1khz the transformers can be much smaller and lighter, and somewhat more efficient also.
You don't want to go much higher than 1khz since the inductive losses will sap the power, but while 60Hz is great for overhead power lines, it's a little on the low side for just running power around a data center.
when all else fails
would a high altitude nuclear missile help? we've got a ton of those.
seems like if we can't divert it while it's in space, blasting it to pieces in the upper atmosphere would be very, very messy, but better than letting it impact land.
(a) many of the pieces would vaporize and less mass would hit the ground.
(b) even if all we do it break it up into smaller but still large pieces, 100 small asteroids spread out over thousands of miles seems more survivable than 1 big one.
various other reasons it hasn't caught on
(a) blade vendors want to charge a premium but customers are very price sensitive, so no sale
(b) power density goes up so the customer needs more a/c. if the vendor says that's not a problem, his lips are moving
(c) good old 1U and up are well proven and very customizable. if something breaks or you want a new feature or better performance you can swap in an industry standard part (cheaply) and off you go.
(d) blade configs are limited not just by marketing but by what the backplane can power up and interface with.
(e) blades sometimes (maybe always?) have vendor-specific KVM that won't integrate into your existing solution(s)
(f) really large datacenters have to cater to the needs of their customers in turn. forcing this next level of customers to a blade standard and not being able just de-rack and deliver a working machine independent of the backplane is scary to some people.
outside the box
don't care about the multiprocess thing. a web app should run in a separate window not just a tab anyway so google has merely enabled me to limit my web app to the same screen real estate as everything else i'm already doing on the web. which i can already do by dragging windows around.
also it seems like they should be playing up the sync facilities between local and remote storage, and that they aren't is telling me it's not ready yet. imagine working on something late into the night at home on your own machine, which eventually goes into sleep mode. you get to work the next day and your work, while not lost, isn't accessible like you'd expect with a web app. it's 2008 and people are still dragging their laptops everywhere because that's where their data is.
finally i just have an aching feeling that the grain-size of web apps is wrong. there shouldn't be a grain size. if you want to run open office from an XDM server or tetris remotely from your xbox there should be a seamless way to shift and split the processing, the storage, and the GUI around various devices with various capacities. obviously lag and bandwidth place practical limits on what you can do, but i'm disgusted that that OS and browser architecture is still the limiting factor.
not really flaming google, they've made a huge step in the direction of seamlessly distributed applications, but there is just so much further to go.
that uneasy feeling
Usually I can rely on several of my friends/relatives/coworkers have the latest gadgets. I can't count how many people I know who have iPods, TomToms, Xbox 360's, DSLR's and whatnot. Yet not one person I know has an ebook reader of any kind. It just doesn't sit well with Amazon's claims that the kindle is their #1 seller in the electronics category. I would call it channel stuffing, but Amazon doesn't use channels. I'm at a loss. Either the kindle appeals to some nerdy book-reading segment alien to me and my nerdy book-reading fellow travelers, or Amazon is making shit up.
my 'murrikan perspective
The article wasn't sympathetic to US "common sense"...
* phones have zero or negative value--to use one in the long term you have to pay fees to a phone company that far exceed the value of the phone.
* about 10% of the people you might steal a phone from have a concealed weapon permit and will run after you and shoot at you until you stop and wriggle. i have seen this one TV and it doesn't look like it's worth it.
* since there's no shortage of phones, anyone who steals the phone will probably dump it or sell it for $5. call your phone every 12 hours for the next couple of days and you'll eventually get someone to accept a $50 reward for it. ask for their address, call the cops, go get your phone.
* we tend to keep our contact lists in outlook and update the phones from there. losing the phone is no big loss, we'll just get another and download everything and forget about it in a few days
* if your phone is the slightest bit outdated you start looking for an excuse to upgrade anyway. anyone with a 1st gen iPhone is now becoming quite careless with it.
Asperger's is not a crime
Me too, I'm a little disturbed by the attempts to blame criminal behavior on asperger's syndrome. In my observation, aspies are inclined to be meek and avoid violence. I would actually think that a world full of aspies would actually be a safe, fun place to be.
Of course he's bumping into more people who left google for microsoft--because he's back at microsoft. He can't be bumping into anyone who left microsoft for google, they'd be hundreds of miles away.
It's not a hardware problem
Depends on what services they plan to provide, but I can say that hand picking motherboard components and power supplies is going to be only a tiny part of microsoft's or msn's cost issue. The main problem is if they use IIS/dot net to perform the services, the inefficiency of the application/OS stack will destroy the 10% savings from hardware choices.
My own employer uses IIS for all web services. The have small datacenter at one location with about 50 windows server machines and by my estimate of the actual work they do, they could all be replaced by about 3 boxes if they were running on any unix-like OS from AIX to Linux. Hysterically, the main app is actually cross-platform so they could easily make this transition if they wanted to save $10k a month on a/c and power.
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