October 29, 2007
New rule: No more leaving easily -knocked over coffee cups on the laptop wrist rest where clumsy people like me can knock them over.
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October 27, 2007
Gmail IMAP and Microsoft Entourage (and the iPhone too)
I want an I.Q. test for Leopard
a wee bit of paraphrasing...but not much
I need <software> for my business, it's critical, but the vendor said it's incompatible with Leopard/it hasn't been tested on Leopard. However, I upgraded anyway, because the magical MacUpgradeFairies will protect me, and they DIDN'T. Now, <software> crashes, and I can't get work done. What do I do, and why did Steve Jobs kill the MacUpgradeFairies??? Why does Steve hate magical creatures? DAMN YOU STEVE JOBS! DAMN YOU TO HELL!It's simple really: you're too stupid to own a computer. Email me, and I'll pay to have all your computer gear UPS'd to me, where I can give it to someone who is smart enough to use a computer, but cannot afford one.
In return, you'll get a pretty rubber ball with sparkles. Go on boy, catch the ball. Here we go, catch...aww, well, keep practicing, I'm sure you'll get better.
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October 25, 2007
This weekend, I'm moving the site to MovableType 4, so if things are a bit spotty, that's why.| Comments ()
This is why Google succeeds
From an article on eWeek, about the Interop keynote delivered by Matt Glotzbach, Product Management Director for Google Enterprise:
"At Google, we really focus on failing wisely," Glotzbach said, noting that it's common at Google for programmers to create a feature and get it out online for testing in a few weeks. "There is no penalty for failure. In fact we encourage it because if you're not failing it means you're probably not trying."If Google doesn't fear failing, they have removed the most serious barrier to success.
In another example, Glotzbach told the audience Google encourages its employees to use 20 percent of their time, or one day a week, to work on projects outside of their normal everyday workflow. Gmail and Google News both came from this approach, he noteSomehow, I don't see that happening at Microsoft.
As long as Google operates like this, they're going to continue to kick ass.
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October 22, 2007
September NPD Game Console Sales
Well, to put it bluntly, Halo 3 did something I was doubtful it could do: It had a huge effect on Xbox 360 Sales. AKA: Wow! For the first time since I started keeping track of these numbers, the Xbox 360 was the number one - selling console according to NPD. Numbers below:
Xbox 360: 527,800 Units
Wii: 501,000 Units
PS2: 215,000 Units
PS3: 119,400 Units
So even for being in second place, the Wii had a hell of a month, increasing their numbers from Sept. by almost 100K units. However, that's nothing like the month the Xbox 360 had. Personally, I think the entire Xbox team, and everyone associated with it at Microsoft should be kissing the asses of the Halo 3 team until they're soda-cracker white. That's pretty astounding that one game could do that.
Percentage of change from August:
Xbox 360: Up almost 91% Daaaaaaaaamn
Wii: Up close to 24%
PS2: Up by 6%
PS3: Down by around 9%
So really, the only loser here was the PS3. However, even taking the PS3's drop into account, there doesn't appear to be any cannibalization to account for the increased sales of the other three consoles. The 360's increase is far out of line compared to the PS3's decrease for there to be a direct correlation there, and there's no way you can say the 360 sales hurt the Wii at all. (Who in their right minds cries about a 24% increase even though Wii availability is still constrained?) It was just a hell of a month for everyone but Sony.
Now the real trick will be the next few months leading into the holiday buying season. Was the Xbox 360's increase strictly due to a...er....Halo effect, (dude, how could I AVOID that pun), or is this a sign of renewed sales strength over the long term for the 360?
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October 21, 2007
Well? Where's my HDTV Epiphany?
Due to my old TV's AV inputs getting so bad as to be essentially useless, and Mel's not having a decent set of AV inputs, I got an LG HDTV last night. A nice one, LG 26". Would have gotten the Sony, but it was too big to fit in the entertainment center.
It's very nice, lots of inputs and outputs, easy to hook up.
So I have an HDTV. I have even watched things on it.
WHERE IS MY EPIPHANY??
According to Scoble, and his friend Buzz, I was supposed to have some fucking religious experience the moment I watched HD.
WHERE IS MY HD RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE?
See, goddamned technology. Big promises, never delivers.
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October 18, 2007
The things I like best about Leopard's new features
- All the AppleScript fixes. Unicode support, better Property List handling, Updated Language Guide, better Folder Actions, better way to target applications, all of it
- Automator: UI Recording and Playback and the CL Utility. The former, because even though it tends to create tortured syntax at the script level, it is useful to a lot of people, and the latter because it's nice for sysadmins....and that's what I am!
- Desktop: Spring-Loaded folders in the Dock...there at last, there at last, great god almighty, there at last!
- Finder: Screen sharing built in and the Path bar. The former, because it was stupid to NOT have this, and the latter, because knowing where you are is really quite important.
- iCal: All of it. How silly was it for Apple to not have a solid, multiuser calendaring client up to now?
- iChat: Crap, there's so many of them. Screen Sharing, Recording, Multiple Logins, Animated Buddy icons, Watch for my Name, Tabbed Chat, better file xfers...mmmm....sweet, sweet feature set improvements.
- Networking: The new Airport menu items should rock. It's about time they stole something useful from WIndows, like ease of identifying secured networks.
- Preview: PDF repagination, better annotation...Adobe may be getting competition for once.
- Printing: Kerberized Printing! SQUEE! Location-Aware printing? SQUEE2!
- Quick Look: Oh.Hell.Yeah.
- Security: Tagging Downloaded Applications - if the implementation is good, this will rock. Improved Smart Card features - Always good. Library Randomization - Vista had it first, but it's still a good idea. Windows SMB Packet Signing - Many, many sysadmins are happy as hell about this.
- TextEdit: ODF and Word 2007 support - sure, why not
- UNIX: Officially "UNIX", improved automounts, Dtrace, Wide Area Bonjour, Kerberized NFS? SWEET!
October 17, 2007
Some days, the proof just writes itself
So of course, with Apple announcing the iPhone SDK for February, I had to go see what my favorite echo chamber propagator had to say.
I was not disappointed:
How news spreads…
Dave Winer just called me and said Apple is coming out with an iPhone SDK next year.
How did he know? It’s on Twitter. Not on TechMeme.
MacNN has the story. I just got up, so more to come after I clear my head.
The fact that the original story came out on Apple's Hot News RSS feed, and then everyone picked it up from there? Nah, it really happened on Twitter. (okay, how funny is it that Mr. RSS himself, Dave Winer, and his sidekick, "I read 8702348750238 feeds a day Boy", Der Scoble don't read that news feed?)
To his credit, Der Scoble does link to the original story, but then overlooks it as the real source so that he can pump up the "Twitter is where all the news comes from" echo chamber.
But the reality won't matter, because the Twitter echo chamber will say "We didn't say it started on Twitter, that's just how it spread". Along with every other way. For me, it's more MacSurfer than anything else. Oh, and the MacNN artcile? It implies this is a reaction to the hacking on the iPhone. For some reason, I seriously doubt that.| Comments ()
It was as though the voices of a billion pundits cried out, and were silenced
In another "letter to the world", Steve Jobs announced that there will be an iPhone SDK in February.
Gee, what a shock. Let's see, Leopard comes out on the 26th of October, and about 4 months later, there will be an SDK for the iPhone and the iPod touch. Why, one would think that you'd need Leopard to properly develop applications for the iPhone, and that it was silly to think that you'd get an SDK prior to Leopard. I wonder why, in all the screaming and crying and whining about the lack of an SDK on the iPhone, no one every pointed that out. Oh wait, a few of us did, but when you're the voice of reason in a room full of cranky infants, well, you don't get heard. But there were some voices saying that you probably wouldn't get an iPhone SDK until after Leopard.
The point is, unlimited third-party development on an embedded device with stringent operational requirements is not the magic spell of good and light that people think it is. That's not to say that I don't think Apple should release a "proper" SDK for the iPhone, just that I'd rather they take their time and create one that, above all else, does no harm. It's an iPhone -- I expect that part to never be troubled by anything other than carrier signal.Mmmm...sweet, sweet reasoned analysis, even sweet 'cause it's mine.
But there's another possible reason as to why Apple didn't release an SDK at the iPhone release: The version of OS X the iPhone is running. I'm going to make an educated guess, based on the way the iPhone does certain things, and how the iPhone's launch delayed Leopard, and say that the version of OS X that the iPhone is running is not, in fact, an embedded version of Mac OS X 10.4, but an embedded version of Leopard.
This is speculation, but I'm pretty happy with the reasoning behind it. If this is the case, then it would be quite difficult to release an SDK that allowed you to build features that don't run on the current OS release. Apple could build a "simulator," but unless that simulator included the full iPhone OS, it wouldn't be something you'd want to trust. True, Apple could have released an SDK at the recent WWDC, but then you'd have a (probably) beta SDK that used beta developer tools running on a beta OS release that targets a device with a tiny margin for error. This is not a recipe for reliability.
So I do think we'll see a "real" SDK, but it won't be until after the release of Leopard, at the earliest.
Hmm...let's see...without screaming or whining, but a bit of critical thought, I was right. No screaming, no demands, none of that shit. Just a bit of thinking about what the iPhone is running, what Apple is doing, and the timing of various things. Maybe some other people getting all dramatic about stuff should think that over a bit.
Nah, it's the "blogosphere". Who wants "thinking" in that?
Oh, and Nick Winfield? Contrary to what you think, Apple never said "No non-web applications ever", so no, they did not in fact reverse their position.
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Stupidity in large numbers doesn't equal smart
It just equals mass stupidity.
One of the things I rant about regularly is the tendency towards "echo chamber" behavior in the "blogosphere". That is, one site publishes something and dozens more all automatically agree with it, even if it's stupid. Sometimes, especially if it's stupid. Now, this is nothing new. Echo chamber behavior has been going on as long as there have been people. It's just that the intarweb makes it happen so much faster. A great example of this was the somewhat recent dustup about Harry McCracken at PC World. He quit to preserve his "journalistic integrity". Everyone came down on Colin Crawford, because, supposedly, Colin didn't like an article that was critical of advertisers. This idea was ridiculous if you have followed the publications Colin's run, but once the "blogosphere" echo chamber got ahold of it, bang, done. The funny thing was, out of all the posts about it on Techmeme, there was pretty much one original article. The rest all linked to/quoted that. It was a "big" story, but only one person did any actual work. Everyone else? LinkLinkLinkLink.
The result? Echo Chamber at warp speed.
Some other folks are noticing this, such as Tim O'Reilly. In a recent post on O'Reilly radar, he says:
There's always a risk of self-fulfilling prophecies in social media. Sites or applications become popular, and then stay popular because they are popular. This may be a key to the unusually high concentration of Facebook applications in the "short head" rather than the "long tail." When a system provides powerful feedback mechanisms for herd behavior, it can actually undermine the "wisdom of crowds" rather than enhancing it. (One of James Surowiecki's key observations in his book of that name was that a diverse collection of independently-acting individuals produce the wisdom of crowds effect. To the extent that those individuals reinforce each other's opinions rather than preserving independent decision making, they tend to undermine that group intelligence.)Now, in this paragraph, Tim is specifically talking about things like Facebook, but it applies to the way the "blogosphere" works in general. Don't believe me? Take a look at what happens when Scoble or Winer say something stupid. (It doesn't take long.) Because they're "A-list" bloggers, they get up on Techmeme. Of course, this prompts a dozen or more posts that are little more than comments on what the original stupid was, but these new posts are not commentary or analysis. For the most part, they're an electronic version of Limbaugh "dittoheads". But they keep that original stupidity going, and suddenly, the stupid has become the truth, because there's so many people talking about it like it's true. It's "The Big Lie", only at speeds that make worldwide propagation nigh-simultaneous.
But there's an even more insidious corollary: when a group of seemingly independent actors are making decisions based on the same limited pool of information, they become more highly correlated, and thus "stupider."
(As an aside. I am not saying that you should never comment on someone else's post, or write your own article about another post. Since this article, and quite a few of my other posts are literally, about other posts, that would be silly. But don't *parrot* the posts. It is the *parroting* that creates the echo chamber.)
Later on in the article, Tim directly addresses this:
So what does this have to do with techmeme? When reviewing the Techmeme leaderboard, and then bouncing from there over to Techmeme itself, I was struck by the fact that the surest way to stay up on the leaderboard is to make sure to comment on stories that are currently appearing on the front page of techmeme! This is a self-reinforcing system, where all of the major tech blogs end up covering the same stories. Yes, someone always breaks the news, but you see this amazing pile-on effect. I'm not sure it's healthy.
Pile-on = echo chamber.
It's not just Tim O'Reilly talking about it. One of my favorite Chuqs, in fact, the only Chuq I know talks about this too, and uses the iPhone as an example. He has a great quote on this effect:
The first thing an echo chamber does is convince itself it's not an echo chamberChuq further uses the Apple TV and the iPhone to illustrate not just how silly the echo chamber can be, but how self-delusional.
Classic cases of this are the iPhone and the Apple TV. Both are products that are built for consumers, and while they have strong geek attraction, they aren't built and designed for geeks. Geeks complain about things these products don't do. Apple ignores them. Geeks try to spin them into failures because they don't cater to geeks. the product sells zillions of units anyway. The geeks brains hurt.Dear lord yes. If you tool around the "blogosphere", you'd think both were utter failures, or the tools of ultimate evil because they don't cater to geeks. But that's not really the case:
for instance, best as I can find, the new generation Tivo sold 30,000 units in the first few months. Apple TV? 250,000 units. Yet you look around the geek echo chamber, and they declare the Apple TV a failed product, while drooling over Tivos. Of course, if you read Sean Avery's NY Times article this week, you'll see he calls out his Apple TV as a toy he loves. It's a great product. Just not a geek product. But since all products ought to be geek products -- that makes it a failure inside the geek echo chamber.One thing to keep in mind about the "blogosphere": the number of Scobles in it far outnumber the number of normals. That is, regardless of how many people chant the mantra of the blogosphere, "it is the ultimate in democracy, and therefore the perfect medium", the truth is, it's still mostly made up of technophiles. Crap like Techmeme and Digg exacerbate this to where most of the volume is from a crowd of geeks and technophiles, all convinced that they are the true force in making great products. This is hilarious when you consider how few of them have ever created anything beyond geek toys. Winer's one of the few who ever did anything for normal people.
Another example is the hue and cry over iPhone unlocking. If you believe the blogosphere, everyone wants this. That's crap. Geeks want this, and the only numbers I've seen, (courtesy of Chuq), look like, at most, ten percent. Now, ten percent is a decent number, but it's not a majority, it's not even a large minority. But it is a loud minority. Or as Chuq says, (he thinks the unlocking numbers are closer to 5% rather than 10%):
Still not a small number: 5% of a million iPhones is 50,000 iPhones; a great little cottage industry, but it's still ONLY 5%. And for all of the geeks who want the iPhone to fail because it doesn't do all the things THEY want, and obviously, everyone wants those things.That, by the way, makes geeks crazy. Just frothing at the mouth nuts. They won't admit it in "public", not ever, but deep down, they know that they are this minority, and the iPhone, and the Apple TV, and the Wii are all wildly successful without their approval. Even worse? The manufacturers of those products don't give a rat's ass about geek approval. Telling geeks that "As it turns out, selling to everyone but you is a much better idea than not" makes their insecurities rise to the fore in a big way. Once that happens, well, even reality doesn't mater.
Except, of course, Apple's selling hundreds of thousands of iPhones. Why? because if you get outside the geek echo chamber, most people don't CARE about what the geeks care about. They want the iPhone.
Just because a lot of people agree on something, they're still wrong. They're just louder about it.
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October 16, 2007
It's the end of the world as we know it...
...a pundit just a-pol-o-gized...
No, really. Robert Strohmeyer wrote an error-laden post, and instead of trying to justify it or dance around it, ala Dvorak and too many others, he apologized and corrected it.
Don't believe me? Read it yourself:
Dear readers,If only more folks would do that, what a bright world this would be.
Last Friday, I posted a commentary about the shortcomings of the iPhone with respect to business computing environments. Unfortunately, in my hasty exploration of the iPhone's software, I overlooked an important feature of the device and erroneously stated that the iPhone does not include support for virtual private networking. In fact, it does include VPN support. I also misstated that the iPhone does not open Word and Excel documents. What I had intended to say was that it cannot edit them. I deeply regret these errors, and I offer my sincere apologies to all of the readers of Networking Know-How and PCWorld.com.
The original text of the post follows.
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October 15, 2007
America: Land of the stupid
I welcome our future alien overlords. If all I have to do is kowtow to some BEMs to get a government that isn't by, for, and of the fucking stupid, I'll take it, and shine their pretty lasers too.
Technorati Tags: TEH STOOPUD| Comments ()
October 12, 2007
A minor correction
The only time I was on my computer during my honeymoon was when I had to be to fax some things to the movers.
All the other times? iPhone. I quite deliberately picked a place with no internet access on premises.| Comments ()
October 11, 2007
Frozen Jesus on a Stick
What's next, he's going threaten to sue Chris Burke for personal image infringement?1 It could happen, Ballmer's just that stupid, hell, it already sounds like Enderle is writing his speeches.
1) calm down people. obviously chris burke is far smarter, humorous, talented, and more sane that ballmer will ever be. it's just a shame that ballmer keeps doing a "single white female" on chris...it's gettin' kinda stalkerrific, ya know? chris, if you read this, i'll understand if you're offended that i compared you to ballmer, but it was either you or young frankenstein, and these days, you're the more interesting, not done-to-death reference.
Ballmer Envisions A New Course For Microsoft
Does anyone outside of his paid assistants really give a rat's ass what Ballmer has to say on anything besides what brand of moisturizer he uses on that great shiny skull of his? I bet Skeletor would love to know, as the S-man has some wicked dry scalp. Come on people, Ballmer's about as relevant as someone bitching about who won the county "Hustle" dance contest on disco revival night, only with worse taste in clothes. Ozzie's not much better, (he designed NOTES and GROOVE. Exactly WHAT does Ray Ozzie know about designing software for HUMANS? That's right, NOTHING).
Here's everything Ballmer will say for the next ten years:
"Blah, blah, cloud, blah, blah, services, blah, blah windows is still the center of it all, blah, blah, Zune/Xbox/Live/<insert me-too product>, blah, blah, thin clients suck unless they talk to windows, blah, blah, Open Source is a marginal group of fanatics, blah, blah, Oh yeah, we make stuff for Macs, blah, blah, I promise, the stock price will stop sucking any day now."
It's all he's said for the last few years, why should the next decade be any different?
October 1, 2007
Sherman, fire Up the Contrarian machine
"Shut her down Clancy, she's blowin' mud!"
That's something I heard as a way of saying that an oil well was all tapped out. Alas, there are few things in life that are all tapped out, but one of them should be the screaming about the Apple 1.1.1 update. I get people are pissed. I get people want total control over ever damned doo-dad they own. However, the screaming on this issue is getting stupid, to where I'm of the opinion: "Just take the fucking thing back, eat the restock fee and get the fucking Blackberry you obviously wanted in the first place, and some fucking iPhone skin. Get a Windows Mobile device, get a fucking Treo, but for the love of god, stop whining."
Were you to listen to it, you'd swear that Apple had personally gone into their houses, and violated their dogs.
One of the longer, better written screeds on this is by Rob Griffiths in Macworld. I think Rob's wrong all over the place, and I'll guess he's never had to do either developer or large-scale user support, but at least he can put together a proper English sentence on a consistent basis. That doesn't make him right, but it's easier to read such things when they are well-written.
However, as you’ve also read by now, the update did a few other things. First, as Apple had warned, it turned unlocked iPhones into expensive paperweights, rendering them useless. (A Macworld staffer who unlocked his phone so that we could document this procedure, had this happen to his iPhones.) Second, if you had a modified iPhone that ran third-party applications, like I had, the update removed those apps. So much for my plea to Apple. Finally, if you used Ambrosia’s iToner, or any other such ringtone utility, you discovered that all your custom ringtones were also gone."So much for my plea to Apple". I think that right there is a central point in this. Rob wanted something very badly and didn't get it. He's so very mad about this that he ignores a few things. First, in what universe did he think that Apple would, considering the deal with AT&T, not ruthlessly undo unlocking procedures, or at the very least, invalidate that device? (Spare me any ranting about AT&T being so evil you have to do it. Bullshit, because for that argument to have any validity, there would have to be some cellular provider that wasn't a festering pool of greed and corruption. Since there is not, stop acting like AT&T is that special. They aren't. All cell providers suck. Arguing which one sucks worse is like arguing about which hurts more, getting stabbed in the eye with a dull ice pick or a rusty nail. Furthermore, all my dealings with AT&T have been at worst, professional, but I've had several potentially sticky problems handled in a very nice manner for all concerned, with nary a bad attitude to be found. Just like Sprint. Hmm...) Apple and AT&T have a contract, one, I'll guess, which has very specific requirements for both parties. For Apple to know about ways to unlock the phone from AT&T and not do anything about it could be seen as tacit approval. That would be bad for Apple, but very good for AT&T, or at least AT&T's lawyers. Or Apple could just be acting like a bunch of dicks. However, I've learned that if you have two choices for stupid maliciousness, and one option is a cell provider, go with the cell provider first. Do I think it's a great strategy? No. But then, I know Apple doesn't give a fuck what I think, and I'm fine with that. I bought the iPhone with full understanding of its limitations, and don't see how whining that those limitations are really real is any better than people moving next to an existing airport and discovering that, OMGWTFKHAAAAAN!...airplanes are loud.
Rob also leaves out that a lot of the changes that broke iToner and the like have to do with application signing. I won't go into that whole deal, because it's equal parts good idea and stupid, but will suffice it to say that unlike a general purpose computer, which the iPhone is not, an embedded device, which the iPhone is, is a good place for application signing. Do I miss my iToner ringtones? Sure, but come on, it's a picayune thing to whine about on this scale.
Unlike most Apple software updates, I held off on running this one until there were some field reports about exactly what happened. Once those reports started trickling in, I came to a painful but obvious conclusion: I will never install the 1.1.1 update on my iPhone."BUT THEY CAN NEVER TAKE AWAY...OUR...FREEDOM!!!!!" Spare me the histrionics and drama. "Unlike most Apple updates". Please. Rob, if you blindly run every update Apple releases as soon as it comes out, you have far more problems than the iPhone 1.1.1 update. But I don't actually believe you do that.
I’ve chosen not to upgrade because I value the productivity, entertainment, and customization abilities offered by the third-party applications I’ve added to my iPhone. I don’t want those abilities to go away just to earn the “right” to send Apple more money via the new Wi-Fi Music Store. No thanks; my iPhone will stay at version 1.0.2 for quite a while, it seems."I bought the iPhone knowing that it really didn't meet my needs, and so relied on unsupported hacks to make it usable. With that in mind, I shall never update my phone again, because potential security flaws are far outweighed by Tetris." <eyeroll>
Now, if some brilliant individual or team of individuals figures out how to work around the locks that Apple has put in place on the iPhone and again enables third-party apps, I will then upgrade my phone—I want the new features, but not badly enough to give up what I’ve already got."I've spent far too much time and effort on this to get something that would better meet my needs out of the box. Given enough time, I'll come up with a nearly coherent reason to explain this."
Now, before I go any further, I believe Apple was well within its rights to do exactly what it did. I understand that I (well, my employer) purchased a phone that wasn’t designed to run third-party applications; that it’s Apple’s right to upgrade the iPhone however it sees fit; and that if bad things happen to my modified iPhone as a result of any Apple upgrade, it’s not Apple’s fault."However, I'm going to spend pages and pages explaining why Apple is a big bunch of assholes for doing this thing that they had every right to do and even warned us about, because otherwise, this post would be really short."
I also understand that the new encrypted communications between the iPhone and iTunes may very well have been necessary to prevent SIM unlock programs, which directly impact Apple and AT&T revenue, from being created. I fully believe that Apple has the right to do what it needs to do to protect its revenue, and that of its partners."See? I'm showing that I'm really quite reasonable. It will make the rest of my screed look better, even in the face of factual error."
Still, with that understanding, I have to ask…what was Apple thinking?"How dare you not spend time and effort to work around random unsupported hackery to give the 95% of iPhone users stuff they seem to really like in spite of the fact that it pisses me off?"
What I don’t understand is that Apple apparently doesn’t see any upside to allowing third party applications on the iPhone. This confuses me, because an active third-party development community can only help, not hurt, Apple’s bottom line. If there’s a large and diverse pool of iPhone applications available, then there’s a large group of potential customers (think geeks and techies, at the least) that would put the iPhone on their shopping list. If they then chose to buy the device, Apple would welcome both the initial $399 in hardware sales as well as the portion of the monthly service charge it’ll receive from AT&T.Ah, this old saw..."Sell features for techies, we drive sales, we're the people who get non-techies to buy your stuff!" You know, this is crapola when Scoble uses it, and it's crapola here too. Here's my answer for that one. If geeks and techies were that important, the iMac and the Wii would have been great whopping failures, because neither of them are aimed at that market, and indeed, that market tends to not like either. Perhaps propellerheads are not the great indicators of success they so desparately want us to think they are. I've had over a hundred non-techies ask me about my iPhone and none of them have cared about hackery and third party applications. Only one asked me about Exchange, and I knew he would anyway. Linux sells to geeks, Apple sells to normal people. Who's doing better, Ubuntu or Apple?
These poll results seem to show that there is such a market of potential consumers out there: fully 15 percent of the respondents indicate they are no longer planning on purchasing an iPhone, thanks to the inability to run third-party applications with the 1.1.1 update. (And an amazing 42 percent of the voters are taking the same approach as I, and simply not upgrading their iPhones.) Granted, this isn’t a scientific poll, but the number of respondents in the “will not buy now” category indicates that there are quite a few users who value the ability to run third-party applications on their phones.Rob's using an Internet Poll to back his opinion up. I don't have to say anything else here, except to note that his "quite a few users" adds up to, according to when I looked at that poll, right around 10,000 people. That's not exactly a huge groundswell anywhere but the intarweb echo chamber, and I'm assuming no one voted more than once.
So how does Apple lose at all by enabling (and hopefully helping to promote) third-party applications on the iPhone? The company gains more hardware sales, and more revenue from monthly service fees from AT&T. It seems like a no-brainer decision to me, but apparently I’m mistaken.Well Rob, no, they don't actually gain more revenue in fees from AT&T off the phones that are unlocked now do they? No, no they don't. You may want to reword that part. Of course, now Rob's splitting hairs by attempting to disassociate "third party application developers" from the "hacktivators". I don't really buy it either.
But here's the biggest mistake of the piece:
I think this is completely the wrong approach: The iPhone is a Mac, and it should be treated as such.No, it's not. It's nothing like a Mac. By Rob's logic, there's no real difference between my Verizon 6700 Windows Mobile device and my Toshiba Wintel box at work. Just because it runs OS X, it's not automatically a Mac, and no amount of wishing nor Tinkerbellian hand-clapping, nor clicking of heels even in sparkly red shoes shall change that. The iPhone is not a Macintosh. Even if Apple comes out with a proper SDK for it, it's still not a Macintosh. Nor shall it ever be. I understand that Rob wants it to be a Mac, and very badly, but it is not one. It is a computer, but not all computers are the same. Rob, and the others under his banner really need to learn that, and badly.
When you combine the iPhone’s OS X core with the large, gorgeous and innovative multi-touch screen, there’s an amazingly vast amount of software that could be developed for the iPhone.There's a lot that could be developed for almost any computer. That still doesn't make the iPhone a Mac, anymore than it makes the iPod a B&O system. Similarities of function do not create identical states of being.
In just a few months, we’ve seen more than 60 applications developed for the iPhone—and all of them were created without any sort of documentation or an official development kit from Apple!This describes almost every programmable device ever made. The iPhone is nothing new here. The fact that it has been hacked doesn't make it special. It just makes it a programmable device. Just because it says "Apple" doesn't make it all different and unique.
There are developers eager to help turn the iPhone into a most amazing device, if only Apple would recognize the potential of the platform and the contributions that third parties could make to its success.Who says they haven't? Maybe Rob, Apple's not as stupid as you think they are. Maybe they're waiting for an OS release that would be the same basic version as the one on the iPhone? One that wouldn't be in beta? With dev tools that weren't in beta. Maybe they're a little busy on that, and decided that an iPhone SDK can wait for said OS release. Nah, it's stupidity. That's the only possible answer.
And why would we need third-party applications on this “revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone,” as Steve Jobs described it? Well, this revolutionary device lacks a full Internet messaging (chat) program, something you can find on the giveaway phones found in any cellular store. This revolutionary device lacks the ability to locate itself on a map, something found in quite a few phones via a GPS chip. This revolutionary device lacks any way to customize its look, beyond the opening screen wallpaper—again, you’ll find this ability exists on nearly every other cell phone out there. This revolutionary device can’t customize sounds for various events, such as the new mail sound, the sent message sound, and the unlock sound. This revolutionary device can’t play any games, unless they’re hosted on a web page. This revolutionary device can’t use any MP3 as a ringtone, unlike many giveaway cellphones.Astoundingly, a rather huge number of people know this, and don't give a fuck. Jesus, it can't make me a margarita, nor can it give me a pedicure, do I slam Apple for everything the iPhone doesn't do? $DEITY$ on a stick, what's next, the iPhone sucks because it doesn't squirt like a Zune?
But amazingly enough, my iPhone can do all of those things, and much more. All thanks to the third parties, who have done all of this without Apple’s help, and without any sort of official documentation. Just imagine what would be possible if they had both support and documentation: The iPhone really could be a revolutionary device.Right, because a safe supported SDK and dev environment on an embedded device is something you just whip up overnight, and that infrastructure takes no time at all. They take no time, just ask Microsoft and Palm, why they've never had a third-party application written with their SDKs do anything bad to the device they run on.
I think Apple blew it here, and blew it in a big way. Instead of embracing and extending the development of third-party applications, it seems they’ve gone in the opposite direction: to make it as hard as possible for third-party applications to exist. From a consumer’s perspective, this is awful, as it’s removing choice from the consumer—not everyone is going to want the same apps and the same look on their iPhone, yet that’s what Apple’s telling us we must have (“Enjoy your new iPhone. Everything you could ever want is right there, and we’re sure you’ll love the theme we’ve installed for you.”)Yeah, who'd want a device like that..why, it would be as hard to sell as the iPod! Again, Rob is confusing his loud, yet really astoundingly small geek squad with the larger set of all consumers, and while I bet his ego purrs like a well-fed tribble when he does that, it's still not true. Rob, the vast majority of consumers don't hack their shit. Ever. Again, I give you the success of the iPod as evidence.
Of course, consumers still do have a choice, but that choice is to purchase a competing brand’s smart phone. Is that what Apple really wants us to do?At this point, I almost wish that a certain segment of the iPhone population would do that, and soon. Really. You never really wanted an iPhone in the first place, so please, go buy something that you do want.
Until that happens, though, I’ll keep using my non-updated iPhone with its assortment of third-party applications, and hope that Apple eventually sees the upside of opening iPhone development to those who are eager to extend and enhance this amazing device."I'll make sure that I make all of you who don't give a fuck about hacking the iPhone suffer until I get what I want."
Look, I get wanting more out of the iPhone, but come on already, enough. If third party developers are that important to you, then why the hell did you buy the thing knowing it was missing a critical feature? However, since you did, if you must whine and gripe about this, and obviously you must, then stop assuming you speak for the majority of iPhone users, or anything more than a vocal whiny majority minority. The rest of us are quite happy with the device we bought when we bought it, and are getting tired of being misrepresented.
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