With the unveiling of the BlackBerry Playbook, a 7" iPad competitor solidly aimed at business, are the tablet wars heating up?
In honour of Chinese jade hitting $3,000 an ounce, a quick context of what one ounce buys... $1300 $883 $350 $51.93 $20.08 $4.74
A blind man uses a mobile phone to "see":
I have never experienced this before in my life. I can see some light and color, but just in blurs, and objects don’t really have a color, just light sources...I went outside. I looked at the sky. I heard colors such as “Horizon,” “Outer Space,” and many shades of blue and gray. I used color queues to find my pumpkin plants, by looking for the green among the brown and stone. I spent ten minutes looking at my pumpkin plants, with their leaves of green and lemon-ginger. I then roamed my yard, and saw a blue flower. I then found the brown shed, and returned to the gray house.
The Man Who Makes Your iPhone - Bloomberg Businessweek profiles Terry Gou, the founder and chairman of Foxconn, the controversial manufacturer of consumer electronic devices for Apple, Sony, HP and Dell, among others.
Apple has suddenly reversed their stance on 3rd-party tools for iOS development. (From the horses's mouth.) This means that programmers will be able to use Adobe Flash (and other tools) to make iPhone (iPad, etc.) apps. It does NOT mean that Flash apps (swfs) will be able to run in iPhone or iPad browsers. That is still verboten. It means that developers won't be stuck using just XCode (Apple's code editor/compiler) and the Objective-C language. Alternatively, programmers will be able to use Actionscript (Flash's language) or some other language. Apple will allow cross-compiled apps to be sold in their app store. Meanwhile, porn is still not allowed. Responses: 1, 2, 3.
Simplicity is highly overrated. Why people prefer feature-bloat.
"The Japanese Tradition" was a series of nine short, parody "How To" videos that gently mocked the formality of Japanese culture, from comedy duo Rahmens (ラーメンズ) and Japan Culture Lab. They're available on DVD, but nearly all of them can be seen on YouTube, including Sushi and Ocha (tea). [more inside]
... Apple will know who you are, where you are, and what you are doing and saying and even how fast your heart is beating. ... This patent is downright creepy and invasive— certainly far more than would be needed to respond to the possible loss of a phone.
MacPaint and QuickDraw Source Code - The Computer History Museum and Apple, Inc. release the source code to one of the first major drawing tools and graphical libraries for personal computers, one that managed to fit inside a paltry 128 KB of memory. [more inside]
Editors of the pop-culture magazine Wired provided the title "iPhone 4’s ‘Retina’ Display Claims Are False Marketing" to a highly critical article about the new iPhone's high-resolution "Retina" display, so-called as the human eye cannot resolve individual pixels when viewing it. A technician who worked on the Hubble telescope disagreed with the Wired editors' choice of rhetoric in very strong technical terms and issued less stringent disagreement with Raymond Soneira, the writer of the piece. Neuroscientist and photographer Bryan Jones published his own highly readable technical analysis of the display's pixel arrangement, that helped him decide whether Apple's claims were truthful or not.
"That stainless steel band that runs around is the primary structural element of the phone. And there are these three slits in it. It turns out, this is part of some brilliant engineering which actually uses the stainless steel band as part of the antenna system... it's never been done before. And it's really cool engineering!"Less than three weeks after Steve Jobs announced the iPhone 4's (previously) revolutionary signal-boosting design, the internet discovers a fatal flaw that causes calls to drop when the bottom-left corner is touched. Jobs personally offered one customer a solution via email: "Just avoid holding it in that way." Apple's marketing department apparently didn't get the memo. [more inside]
Joyce’s Ulysses Banned Again—by Apple, Not the Government. According to Sarah Weinman at the Daily Finance; she says that a Webcomic adaptation of the book, Rob Berry and Josh Levitas' Ulysses Seen, (previously seen here on Mefi), has been banned from iPads and iPhones because of cartoon nudity. Here is the image that is causing all the controversy. Warning: Contains crudely illustrated male genitalia. via Slate.com. And this isn't the first time. Read about the original censorship and legal battles regarding Joyce's Ulysses..
Afraid that Jobs' wild spending and Woz's recurrent "flights of fancy" would cause Apple to flop, Wayne decided to abdicate his role as adult-in-chief and bailed out after 12 days. Terrified to be the only one of the three founders with assets that creditors could seize, he sold back his shares for $800. An interview with Apple Computer co-founder Ron Wayne (he also designed Apple's first logo). Had he held out, his shares today would be worth $22 billion.
"They actually envied those who could take a leave due to work injury, while casually joking about how their station's been toxicated."
A (translated) Chinese report on life as a factory worker at Foxconn, the company that manufactures iPhones and other gadgets. Each employee would sign a "voluntary overtime affidavit," in order to waive the 36-hour legal limit on your monthly overtime hours. This isn't a bad thing, though, as many workers think that only factories that offer more overtime are "good factories," because "without overtime, you can hardly make a living."
A candid late-night email exchange between an online journalist and Steve Jobs (who may or may not have realized he was in fact talking to a journalist). (SLGawker, though the perplexed are welcome to Google the obscure Mr. Jobs for more information.) Learn whether Jobs thinks a 20-year-old Bob Dylan would've thought Apple was groovy, how Apple is protecting you from porn, and more!
Adobe's Latest PR Campaign should bring comfort to those who fear Adobe pulling products from the Mac, given that Adobe loves Apple, and have said so today publicly. [more inside]
Cupidtino is a "new social dating website exclusively for Apple fans" which launches in June. If your Cupidtino Appleationship works out, you could have a magical Apple Store Wedding! Via "Oh God No." [more inside]
Here's Why We Don't Allow Flash On The iPhone And iPad. An open letter by Steve Jobs. Some previous discussion here, here.
California police have raided the home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen, and seized his computers. Chen posted Gizmodo's review of Apple's next-generation iPhone, which had been left in a bar by a staff member (previously). Media reports say that police are considering criminal charges against the person who sold the phone to Gizmodo. Assuming that the police were not investigating Chen himself for breaking the law, the case raises the question of whether bloggers such as Chen are journalists under the law.
The National Labor Committee, a watchdog group that investigates working conditions at foreign factories producing goods for US corporations, has released a report on the KYE Factory in Guangdong, China. KYE manufactures outsourced products for Microsoft (their biggest customer), HP, Best Buy, Samsung, Foxconn, Acer, Logitech, and ASUS. The report focuses heavily on the workers producing Microsoft products. In response, Microsoft says they will investigate the allegations, as their vendor code of conduct (pdf) bans much of the abuses uncovered by the report. Photo Slideshow / NLC report summary [more inside]
iPad, one week later. Ars Technica gave it a very through review. ifixit tore it apart and Will It Blend? threw it in a Blendtec. Adam C. Engst said in a column at TidBITS: "The hardware is so understated [...] the fact that you’re using an iPad falls away. You’re using the app, whatever it may be, and while you’re doing so, the iPad is that app." An Apple event today announced an iPhone OS update that brings a lot of what was missing so far (multitasking!) while also screwing over a Adobe by changing the developer license agreement. 300,000 sold. [more inside]
Almost Everything by Kirby Ferguson: A web series featuring a good-natured Canadian geek who uses slick, fast-paced video presentations to comment on the world's ills. Episodes: Apple's Stealth Jabs at Microsoft - Protecting and Maintaining Your Heterosexual House of Cards - Americans Love Lists - Trajan is the Movie Font - Thank You For All the Butt Cracks - Passive Resistance, Like Gandhi - Punchline Piracy - The Fag Bomb - I Love Progress Bars - Slumdog Controversy - The Distraction Machine - Talent is Hard Work - 2012 and the Conspiracy Conspiracy - I Don't Care About Tiger Woods' Penis (An Open Letter to the American Media). Like the background music? The full soundtrack by Windom Earle is available for preview or download on Amazon. A product of Goodiebag.tv (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, blog, more videos).
First iPad in dash. [SLYT]
"We were like children with toy train sets. And that was part of the problem. It was such fun. Computing was not supposed to be fun." Stephen Fry visits Apple headquarters to preview the iPad; the resulting article is a sprawl that touches on hero worship, product history, and Douglas Adams, "the first person in Britain to own a Macintosh computer." [more inside]
The <video tag>, as defined by the HTML5 spec, is an element "used for playing videos or movies". Which codec those videos or movies are in is currently undefined, with the two contenders being the free open source Ogg Theora and the proprietary H.264. With the unveiling of Internet Explorer 9 both Microsoft and Apple are supporting H.264 in their browsers, and comparisons of the standards seem to bear out H.264 as the better of the two. However Mozilla have taken a stance against incorporating H264 into Firefox on the grounds that it is patented and has to be licensed. Arguments are now being made for and against Mozilla sticking to its ideals. John Gruber of Daring Fireball points out that Firefox already supports proprietary formats such as GIF. Um, perhaps not the best example.
This is the biggest ego battle in history. It looked like the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Today, such warmth is in short supply. One well-connected Silicon Valley investor, who did not want to be identified talking about the Google-Apple feud, says he is stunned by the level of rancor he’s witnessed. “It’s World War III. Amazing animosity is motivating two of the most powerful people in the industry,” he says. “This is emotional. This is the biggest ego battle in history. It’s incendiary.”
Apple sues smartphone manufacture HTC for patent infringement. Digital Daily has the court filings, and includes a list of popular HTC Android and Windows Mobile phones targeted in the concurrent ITC Complaint to block importation of those devices into the US. Engadget has a little more information, including HTC's initial response. Listed patents are all seemingly software patents, a controversial area of patent law. (via Daring Fireball)
Apple announces something: The iPad, which all signs say is a tablet computer. Various people, from the Ceo of textbook and magazine publisher McGraw-Hill and Weblogs. Inc founder Jason Calacanis have talked about their experiences using and testing the device. But the most interesting aspect of the computer may not be the technology, but rather its potential for use in creating and participating in content creation which could revolutionize digital magazines and newspapers
AT&T's recent complaints about its mobile phone customers using too much of its underpowered data service have now expanded this week to open opposition to net neutrality legislation. In response, the satirical blog The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs jokingly "reported" on a fake Apple memo calling for "Operation Chokehold", where customers agree to get together on Friday to overwhelm the company's networks. The joke has gained traction with disgruntled users, enough so that AT&T, in turn, chided the blog for "an irresponsible and pointless scheme", creating a Facebook page to promote "Operation Cuckoo".
...the Apple store called and informed me that due to the computer having been used in a house where there was smoking, that has voided the warranty and they refuse to work on the machine, due to "health risks of second hand smoke".
Silicon Sweatshops is a five-part investigation of the supply chains that produce many of the world’s most popular technology products, from Apple iPhones, to Nokia cell phones, Dell keyboards and more. The series examines the scope of the problem, including its effects on workers from the Philippines, Taiwan and China. It also looks at a novel factory program that may be a blueprint for solving this perennial industry problem.
Apple has rejected an iPhone app for making contact with your Congressperson. Why? Because it identifies each US Representative/Senator with a 'bobblehead' caricature by MAD magazine artist Tom Richmond (who, having done 540 not-terribly-disrespectful caricatures, is justifiably pissed). “Obscene, pornographic, or defamatory”?!? Well, maybe the Nancy Pelosi is gratuitously goofy...
Lee Clow, the Chief Creative Officer at Apple’s ad agency TBWA, BFF of Steve Jobs, and “advertising’s art-director guru,” has decided to step down from his post. (Clow is also responsible for the Energizer Bunny and the Taco Bell Chihuahua.)
Here are ten of Flavorwire's favorite Apple campaigns.
Here are ten of Flavorwire's favorite Apple campaigns.
Verizon takes iPhone head-on. Will Android finally become something to people outside the nerd set? Will all those people still waiting for the iPhone to come to Verizon actually buy in? Personally, I'm not giving up my iPhone, but I was amused by the commercial.
John Siracusa's review of Snow Leopard is an instant classic, as James Fallows sez: "an impressive piece of technical writing." Altho, "apparently OS X doesn't support huge pages." Apple's example, btw, may have wider industry implications/applications.
When it was released, the Apple iPhone 3GS advertised Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), but also noted "MMS support from AT&T coming in late summer." This has resulted in some legal issues such as a number of lawsuits. But now, AT&T has announced that MMS is coming to the iPhone on September 25, just a little past all defined ends of summer. [more inside]
A Day Without Cats on the Internet Because why should all the fun on 09/09/09 be for Beatles fans, Apple geeks, 99-cent-store customers and post-apocalyptic steampunk ragdolls. Oh, and also President Obama. Is there anybody NOT doing something special on 09/09/09? Maybe... Satan? (long boring talk by nutcase about Large Hadron Collider and Nostrdamus) [more inside]
Shoot It! Create and mail a real [paper!] postcard from anywhere and to anyone around the world.
The internet is atwitter over Apple's decision to block the Google Voice app from their App Store, and remove all existing apps that facilitate its use. Fingers are pointing at AT&T, but the app is blocked globally.
There's no way we get all this stuff and everything is done fair and square and everyone gets treated right. A Chinese employee of Foxconn, entrusted with fourteen (maybe sixteen) prototype iPhones misplaced one before they could be shipped; what followed was his detainment and torture at the hands of company police, and his eventual suicide. Shanghaiist has confirmed the story. Fake Steve weighs in.
Tom Williams: Hired by Apple at 14. His full story? — not quite… What he doesn't mention in his monologue is that his current project is reminiscent of GiveWell, with similar origins in high finance. He responds. (via)
As expected new iPhones were announced yesterday, taking a bit of wind out of the Palm Pre's excellent sales, pissing off some current iPhone users over upgrade fees, and leaving several gadget makers wondering if they have a future.