Monday, March 31, 2008
"What brand would you most like to sit next to at a dinner party? Why?"
"If you were to describe yourself as being a brand, what brand would you be? Why?"
"What brand can you not live without? Why?"
"What brand is most likely to revolutionize the branding industry in the next five years? Why?"
The answers to these questions were remarkable: Apple was voted as the number one brand in all of them, making Apple the brand with the biggest impact on world consumers! According to Jim Thompson, BrandChannel's editor, "Apple has clearly captured the hearts and minds by leading across most categories. Others, such as the USA nation brand, which ranks highly as most in need of a rebrand, requires help according to our readers."
Regarding Apple, the survey reported that one anonymous reader summed it up nicely by saying that there was "never a dull moment" with the company "reinventing itself all along and providing, over and over again, a new perspective on what we thought was carved in stone". How true, as I can remember Steve Jobs referring to working at Apple was much like that of being on a roller coaster. Other comments from the survey had people saying:
"It's all about putting humans first when approaching technology. I can only imagine what Apple might have achieved if it existed 100 years ago.
"With Steve Jobs' acumen, he could convince skeptics why and how personal computing would revolutionize all that we did or thought about the time we were starting to build automobiles and mobilize the country."
" If the whole of Apple were transported back to the early 1900s, we might have eliminated our dependency on foreign oil already, and alternative energy sources would be mainstream, not alternative."
As far as Apple emerging as the brand that inspired consumers the most, the survey also reported people as saying:
"I believe that, overall, they make beautiful products that are both inspiring and highly usable."
"It's one of the few brands that are managed so well—its approach to design, its ease of use, its selective communications strategy and innovation—that every touch point and product accurately represents what it should represent. It creates desire and mystery."
The most inspiring brands, the survey showed, after Apple, were Nike, Coca-Cola, Google and Starbucks. It was also reported that Microsoft, at the other end of the spectrum, had "gone from innovative and bold to stodgy and follower," as another unnamed reader said.
The results of the survey don't surprise me at all, since they showed what I believed and said all along: that Apple's success was because it designs and builds their products and services from the viewpoint of it's customers, placing them first. The survey clearly shows that people from all over the world basically believed the same thing and that Apple products were not only intuitive, and easy to use, but, as well, dependable too. I have written before that this is the number one reason, I believe, why Apple has been rated number one in so many areas, including, for years, being rated number one in innovation, and it is why Apple has been growing in both market and mind share at a dizzying rate. Putting the customer first, is the reason why Apple's products, like that of Leopard OS X, are so much more satisfying than products such as Vista.
As Apple grows, it is always possible that it's growing world wide clout and influence might go to it's head and it could become therefore much more like Microsoft and that of the music industry, but let's hope not. Apple's success has been nothing short of remarkable and I would like to see it continue, as Apple has not only inspired the world's consumers, for the better, but also the world's industry as well! Look at the other companies out there and you will see Apple's imprint in their own products. Putting customers first is something that Apple understands very well and probably much better than any other company out there, as the recent Brand Channel survey backs up.
Now if only more companies could understand that and do likewise.
And that's my 2 cents 4 this Monday, March 30, 2008.
Please Vote for this Post by clicking on the Fire button; thanks:
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
See you all (all 2.5 of my readers) in a week or two, God willing.
And that's my 2 cents until April 2, 2008.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Now we can add another entertainer to the list, an entertainer who's career recently got a very big boost by an Apple ad. The Israeli singer, Yael Naim, it seems, has gotten a big shot-in-the-arm from Apple's recent MacBook Air ads! After one of her songs appeared in the ad, her success really began to take off and her song, "New Soul", reached all the way to the no 7 spot on Bill Board's Hot 100 list in the U.S.
The 29 year old singer stated that:
"It opened a great window for us, for a lot of people to have a chance to hear about our music," she told Reuters in New York. "We had a lot of propositions ... but we thought Apple and Macintosh have some connection because today we work with computers to do our music."
Yael was actually born in Paris, but spent most of her time growing up in Israel, and reportedly recorded her album with only the aid of a computer in her apartment building. "We did not have a label," she said. "We did not have a lot of money so we did it just with a computer."
Yael doesn't state whether she actually used a Mac or not in the production of her "New Soul" album, but it seems mostly like the case here. What I think is truly amazing, however, is just how anybody (anybody with some talent, of course) can just sit down with a computer and create beautiful music, writing, art, or what have you. It's amazing too how a company, be it Apple, or whomever, can take a not so well known artist and make them into a major star with just one or two ads. Can we ever forget the, "Where's the beef?" lady, or the, "Your getting a Dell dude!", or, going way back to my youth, the famous, "He likes it - he likes!" ad for Quaker cereals. It's hard for me to fathom that little "Mikey" is now in his late 30's or mid 40's. I won't actually search out his actual age, of course, for fear of depressing me with that of my own.
The story of Yael Naim really started me to think of all that one can do with that one incredible invention - the personal computer. It's amazing, when you come to think about it, but the personal computer is now used to help people in just about every conceivable way that you could possibly think of! It touches virtually every part of our modern lives! Modern business, from the smallest to the largest, simply wouldn't be business without them; police use them to help track and catch criminals or terrorists; physicians use them for medical purposes and, in the process, help save lives; kids use them for entertainment and social networking; writers use them, for well, of course - writing. I can't imagine ever using an electric typewriter or pen and paper - that would be barbaric these days! Why, I can't think of anything or any area in which personal computers have not played a part in this modern, topsy world of ours.
Sadly, criminals, of course, can and do use them to steal personal identities in order to scam, or commit other crimes, plus let's not forget everybody's favorite - junk mail! Like any thing, computers can be used for both good or evil. To push religion and higher ideals, or to push pornography down people's throats, no tool has been more effective as the personal computer! Now that I think of it, tribesmen in the wilds of the Amazon probably don't use them to help them hunt or anything, but I wouldn't be surprised if, in the future, they do, complete with the GPS tracking of animals! From video, audio, speech, games, business, social networking, and on and on, etc., the personal computer has been one of the biggest and most important and life changing inventions of all times. From once being just a luxury, to now being just a mere commodity, computers are seemingly everywhere, from helping people like Yael become stars to me, just trying to get this little post out on my little practice blog, computers are a part of all of our lives - whether we like them or not!
I remember, so very well, like yesterday, playing games on some the first personal computers, they were so exciting and so amazing back then, but now, in comparison - they are nothing - like a bycyle is too a Ferrari! When I look back and I compare them to what we have now, well... it makes me really feel old and outdated, like a relic of ancient history! I guess I wasn't as sophisticated, or as in the know, you know as I thought I was back then? When I look over the shoulders of some young people, that I know, and see them playing War of Warcraft and other graphically intense games, I cannot believe just how far personal pc's have become and how fast they achieved what they have done since I was young. It's nothing short of phenomenal!
Of course, what is really exciting is not just knowing how far personal computers have advanced from then, up until now - it's contemplating just how far they will advance in the near and long term future? Already, with the iPhone, (a miniature, pocket sized Mac OS X computer) we are beginning to see a glimpse of what might lie in store. In other words: smaller, faster, more powerful versions of what we have now on our desktops and laps; but much more than that, a way lot more - like whole new interfaces, applications and uses are sure to follow, ones that we couldn't dream of now - things straight out of Star Trek. Apple, for one, just patented a new holographic display system that could allow you possibly, in the near future, to not only see things in 3 D, but who knows, possibly even to be able to manipulate them with your bare hands just the way one does with multi-touch gestures in today's iPhone?
In conclusion, as I have said many times in the past: We ain't seen nothing yet baby!
And that's my 2 cents 4 this Monday, March 23, 2008
Photo Credit: REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Please Vote for this Post by clicking on the Fire button; thanks:
Friday, March 21, 2008
The queen of good taste, Martha Stewart, recently reported on her blog that she was really excited about receiving her new MacBook Air. For one thing, she can't believe how thin it really is and says about the MacBook Air:
"The MacBook Air is truly a technological thing of beauty. When it’s not traveling on the road with me, it looks great on my desk as you can see here." (Ok, admit it, it really does looks great, doesn't it?)
So, there you have it, Martha just loves her new MacBook Air, but the important thing to note is that she is not alone. So far, I have been reading mostly positive reviews from new MacBook Air owners and they are all saying pretty much the same thing - that they like it, and they like it a lot! This is indeed amazing in light of the fact that so many people have been dicing the MBA with criticism's over what it doesn't have, like enough connections, DVD, battery issues, etc.
Ken Mingis, writing for ComputerWorld, is another proud and happy MacBook Air owner, who wrote today:
"I wander around the house with it. I took it to friends' for dinner the other night -- good thing, too, as I had to post a late-breaking news story between courses. I bring it to work daily, even though I don't really need it here; I just want it by my side."
Wow, now that sounds like a man really smitten in love, just like I was, when I was a teen boy, when I would around with pictures of Linda Carter (Wonder Woman and she was too)! Boy, I remember I was smitten hard as almost every square inch of my bedroom was adorned with her posters, but that's another story.
Also, from Dannychoo's blog, he states that when his wife brought one home he that "laughed" because it was so small, but, like the others, they seem to be very pleased with it. For one thing he says:
"The touch pad is absolutely amazing - response is incredible. You can pinch to zoom in/out, three finger swipe to flick back and forth and two finger spin to rotate images etc too.
You can also use one finger to pick your bottom and then your left nostril after but you already knew that." (Actually, I didn't, but thanks anyway Danny; you just helped me with my diet!)
I could go on an on about the praise that owners are lavishing on the MBA, but that would take all day. Again, the most interesting thing about the MBA is that actual MBA owners are praising the device despite all of the criticism that I have read from the press! This is quite amazing, as I thought I would never be interested in the device myself, because I too felt like the press did -- that was until, however, I actually got to play with one at a local retail establishment! I found the unit was really amazing and it's true - the multi-touch track pad rocks! I was not only amazed at the machine itself, but I was even more amazed at how many people would stop, touch and swoon over the thing! Wow, how many PC computer laptops have you seen that stopped people in their tracks and made them swoon over it? I thought so - I have yet to see any either, though I do admit that there are some pretty sweet PC laptops out there.
So, would I be willing to buy one soon? Nope, not yet anyway. For one thing, as the critics point out, the drive is too small, but that is about to change. IBM is soon to release a new 160 solid state drive that is bound to end up in the MacBook Air. Another reason, I will wait (besides being poor, of course!) is that the MacBook Air is in it's first version; by the time the second version rolls around, in six months time, Apple should have not only added bigger drives, but, most likely, have also added newer features and, most importantly, worked out any bugs in the first version.
As a traveling computer the MBA has no real competition as far as I'm concerned. The unit, as many owners have pointed out, is extremely well built and functions better than most laptops that they have perviously owned, and that despite the so called "powered down" CPU, and what not? As a main computing unit, the MBA doesn't cut it for me, but as a second computer, one that you'll want to carry around with you all day, well, then the MBA is not only the sexiest laptop of all time, but for many, the only real choice, because of it's fantastic multi-touch track pad, it's backlit full sized keyboard, bright 13 inch LED, light weight and it's small size.
No wonder recent stats show the MacBook Air selling like hot cakes!
And thats my 2 cents this Friday, March 21, 2008
Please Vote for this Post by clicking on the Fire button; thanks:
Thursday, March 20, 2008
If your one of the millions of fans of the Macintosh, then you will probably be thrilled to know about a new documentary coming soon: "Welcome to Macintosh", that will depute at the Wisconsin Fim Festival in Madison this coming April 3 to the 6th. Sadly, I won't be going myself, but I sure wish I could be. As you can see in the YouTube trailer above (click to play), it looks to a great film, and one that every Mac fan is going to want to see and own. The "Welcome to Macintosh" official web page and links may be viewed here.
In the words of the producers, Josh Rizzo and Rob Baca, “Welcome to Macintosh” is a documentary that explores the many ways Apple Computer (now Apple, Inc.) has changed the world. Whether a long time Mac fanatic or new to computers, Welcome to Macintosh takes you from the early days of the Apple-I to the latest and greatest Apple has to offer."
If you want more information, or just want to be kept up on the current status of the film, you can easily register at their web site. The official site, "Welcome to Macintosh," also sates that, " The movie is just the beginning!" I'm not too sure what that means, but I must admit, as an Mac fan boy, I'm really intrigued by that statement. However, your guess is as good as mine, on exactly what they mean by, "The movie is just the beginning!"The film is obviously a labor of love on the part of Josh Rizzo and Rob Baca. In a recent interview with Dane101, the producers highlight the reasons why they did the film, a film that came to Josh's mind while shoveling snow in Ohio, of all things!
In the interview, I find the following quote to be very accurate and one that I personally have always felt was true, which is as follows is:
"There’s something there that the creators put into the Macintosh where it has personality. It’s fun, and it’s real," says Josh Rizzo. "It’s not like it’s just an inanimate computer." From the interview Josh Rizzo adds, "I wished there was a movie that would encapsulate what it’s like to be a Mac user, why we are Mac users, what the challenges have been." Well, I couldn't have stated that any better; so, for all you Mac fans, out there, this film is for you and me alike. I just hate to have to wait a little bit longer in order to view it, however, as the trailer has really peaked my curiosity and my interest in this exciting project.
A lot of great people, besides the producers, of course, have labored to make this a great project. Two of these great people were, Andy Hertzfeld and Guy Kawasaki, both former Apple staff, who where involved in the Macintosh project from the very beginning. Among the other great people who have also contribute to this documentary are:
So, last words: If your a Mac fan (or even if your not, but just curious about the Mac Culture) then, by all means, please do yourself a favor by clicking on the YouTube video and the projects site links. I am quite sure that you will enjoy them, because I know that I personally did. I would also just like to add, that I want to thank the producers for producing this documentary, because from what I can see, it is a must see film for any Mac or Apple fan, or any one just interested in the history of computers in general.
And that's my 2 cents 4 this Thursday, March 20, 2008, on this upcoming and exciting documentary.
Please Vote for this Post by clicking on the Fire button; thanks:
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
It's about time, but, according to recent press reports, Apple appears to be finally dead serious about releasing it's own version of an "All-You-Can-Eat" music subscription service, something that, in the past, Apple had said that nobody wanted. The Apple subscription service would be limited, according to some in the industry, strictly to the iPhone and quite possibly the iPod family.
Personally, not only do I think that it is important for Apple to add an iTune's subscription service, but imperative that they add one because, if it doesn't, their competitor's certainly will, and have, in fact, already done so as in the case of Nokia's "come with the music deal" that it announced just last December with Universal. Mind you, I still don't think that Nokia's deal with Universal will break iTune's dominant position anytime soon, nor will it make any of Nokia's mobile offerings better than that of owning an iPhone, but it certainly will tempt some to either stay with their current provider or switch to Nokia, or yet some other company. This is something that Apple can't afford to let happen; Apple and iTune's may be a tough act to follow, but as hard as it might be to topple iTune's, it's certainly not an impossible task.
Obviously, it is also very clear to me that Apple simply can't add such an unlimited subscription service for the iPhone alone, it will have to add it to the iPod family as well, or what incentive would anyone have to buy an iPod? Already, Apple describes the iPhone as the best iPod that they ever made! For that reason alone, I am predicting that Apple will include the iPod, if not at first, then a little later on in the game to any such service. Not only that, but I also predict that the chances are good that Apple will also extend any such subscription service eventually to and for the strictly home user of iTunes, of which, as we all know, number into the tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions.
It is worth noting that Apple is considering not one, but two different methods of a subscription service. One model would allow a person to pay an additional one time fee of perhaps $80-100 per device, and one that would allow them a lifetime of downloads from the iTune's huge 5,000,000 plus selection of tracks; the other, on the other hand, would see a more traditional subscription method in place, one where you would pay approximately$8 dollars or more per month. Of course, in that regard, I'm referring to the lifetime of the device - not the person.
Personally, I really like the idea of a one time fee per device, but only if your pretty confident that you will be using that same device for a long, long time. Otherwise, to pay up to $100 extra for a machine that you planned to keep or use for a short period would be utterly too expensive. Maybe, if you could transfer the iTune's subscription feature to any one that you passed the machine on to, well, then that wouldn't be too bad. However, we'll just have to wait and see what Job's and company are up to in that regard.
In conclusion, if Apple can work out a price with the music suppliers, one that is fair to everyone, the music companies, the artists, Apple and it's millions of iTune, iPhone and iPod customers, then it will be a good thing indeed, but only as long as Apple also retains the present feature of being able to buy your music too. I'm convinced, for the most part, that most people prefer to own their music, just as Steve Jobs has repeatedly said. However, regardless of how many people are really interested in a subscription service, having the choice to either buy or rent is extremely important if Apple wish's iTunes to remain where it is today - the best and largest legal download service in the world!
And thats my 2 cents this Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Please Vote for this Post by clicking on the Fire button; thanks:
Monday, March 17, 2008
The Mac's share of the personal computer business in the U.S. continues to grow and I mean really grow, as in up a whopping 64% in unit growth. Apple did even better in the revenue area, posting an even larger growth rate, during the same period, of some 67%! The bottom line is that the Mac took a full 14 percentage points of the entire U.S. market and an incredible 25% of the total dollar share of all US-based retail sales, according to the market research firm of NPD. (Click above graph for larger view)
Of particular note were the sales of Mac laptops. Laptops grew some 67%, as compared to 55% for desktops, which, by the way is much, much better than the national PC average of just 9% growth rate in unit sales and some 5 % in revenue increase. In the laptop area it appears that the doom sayers, those who diced the recently released MacBook Air, spoke just a little bit too soon, as Andy Hargreaves, of Pacific Crest Securities, added, "Macbook Air sales appear to be additive to total sales, rather than replacing Macbook Pro sales." Mr. Hargeaves also added, "We believe a new set of corporate customers make up a meaningful portion of MacBook Air buyers."
Well, now what I want to know is where are all those people, you know, the Windows fan boys, or for that matter, those Linux fan boys that have been so smug, over the years, and kept assuring me that the Mac and Apple where simply not relevant any more and, just as equally sure of themselves that Apple was going out of business any day now? No, the Mac is not only back, but it is back big time baby! Of course, the world economy and that especially of the U.S. is of concern, but not just for Apple, but equally, if not more so, for the rest of the industry! Still, analyst's are saying that Apple is the most likely firm in high-tech to be able to ride out any troubling financial storm.
It is interesting that even though the entire industry is growing, Apple among a few others such as HP, Lenovo and Acer are clearly out gunning the rest of the pack. Unlike HP, Lenovo and Acer, Apple is growing mostly due to innovation; the rest of the industry is growing more by sacrificing profit margins in order to compete among each other simply based on price alone! Already Apple has changed the whole landscape of several industries by introducing OS X, the iPod and the iPhone. Not to mention, the iTune store and now, with Apple TV, the way in which movies are view and distributed as well.
The question on a lot of inquiring minds, of course, is what is Apple cooking up in the kitchen as we speak to keep on growing? Only God and Steve know that one, but I remember that Apple filed several patents for some really cool concepts. A few of these, of particular note to myself, are a two-way monitor and a computer case that changes colors! The two-way monitor is really interesting as it not only displays information - it collects it as well! In other words the whole monitor doubles as a high-definition web cam and copier! The Apple patent shows a monitor with millions of sensors, of various sizes, that is better capable of collecting light then your typical web cam. The monitor also can be used as a type of photo copier by simply holding something up to it's surface. The color changing case, on the other hand, would be able to change colors by comparing it's surroundings and adapting to it. I'm not sure what practical use it really has, but it certainly is a very cool concept. For example, when you receive an email, the monitor could change to a color of your choosing, let's say red. Or you could even specify one particular color, or combination there of, for certain individuals such as your wife or boss! Of course, there is a lot more that Apple is cooking up as you can see reported here.
In conclusion, the new monthly figures bode well for Apple. After years of being the underdog, Apple has emerged, under Jobs, as one of the most respected companies of all time; Apple is a true electronic giant and one that is constantly changing the very course of entire industries, be they in music, movies, computers or now, in the mobile space. If all goes well, Apple should continue to grow and the day is coming where it is possible not only that Apple could catch up to Microsoft and Windows, but it is now beginning to look like may even surpass it!
And that's my 2 cents this Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Please Vote for this Post by clicking on the Fire button; thanks:
Chart: Apple Insider
Joe Wilcox, writing for eWeek's Microsoft Watch, recently did a post in which he lists: "10 Things I Warned Microsoft About Windows Vista". Well, he should have made that 12 things, as I can think of several more reasons that are even more compelling then what he listed, which are as follows:
1. Windows Vista has to be a whole lot better than Windows XP. I agree with Joe on this one. Sadly, even though Vista looks a lot better than XP, thanks, in part, to Microsoft's shameless copying of OS X features, Vista still does not work better. The hardware requirements are very steep, and yet, even with the best of hardware, Vista is still so much slower than XP. Hopefully, the much delayed SP1 will help in this regard?
Yes, mind you, security is better in Vista, in one sense, but in other it's not. Security may be better, but Vista users have to pay for that in a loss of functionality and convenience, or, in other words - it's a pain in the ass as Joe points out!
2. Vista will miss the big PC upgrade cycle. I won't go to much into this, but it's clear that Microsoft missed a big sales opportunity here. Of course, some people, considering the horrors that people are reporting with Vista, might just be thankful that Microsoft delayed Vista, simply because they got XP instead.
4. Call it Windows Basic. I agree! Windows Basic was by far a better name. Vista Basic is almost an insult as far as I'm concerned. Not only is Vista Basic lacking features, etc., but frankly, as far as I'm concerned, Vista Basic should never have been released in the first place. Come on Microsoft, what on earth were you thinking at the time?
5. Vista reminds too much of Windows Me. A lot of people have said that and for good reason. In fact, as Joe points out, a lot of critics of Vista refer to it as Windows ME II. I never used this version of Windows that much, but I do know a lot of people who did, and they weren't exactly jumping up and down in joy over it.
6. One Vista version is enough. Wow, how many times have I heard that one - too many, that's for sure. Even Steve Jobs and other Apple executives couldn't resist joking, at Microsoft's expense, on that one when they introduced Leopard. It's confusing and totally unnecessary, so why did Microsoft do it? Hell if I know? Your guess is as good as mine! A better question might have been: Why did they charge so much for it - as all four million different versions are over priced? And to think that it only took Microsoft about a year to realize that it was asking too much; but, now, at least, they finally bit-the-bullet and lowered the price, which is still too much, if you ask me, but still better than before.
7. It has to be multiple SKUs or Windows Experience Index, but not both. I won't comment here, as Joe does an excellent job on this one.
8. Vista demands too much. As stated before, Vista hardware requirements are just too steep. Especially with the prices of PC's being so low, it's hard for any OEM to really build a powerful enough system and still make money at the same time.
9. Windows Vista Capable is a bad idea. This one says it all; no need to elaborate on this one.
10. Vista security features increase complexity, decrease usability. Basically, good security is really no good at all, if it interferes with your workflow. Constant pop-ups are, at the very least, annoying, but they are more than that, a lot more, because they not only interfere with your productivity, but also in your pleasure in using the OS. Yes, to some, Vista may be pretty looking, but those pretty looks, at times, can be really pretty painful when using Vista at times.
As I stated in the beginning, there are at least 12 reasons that Joe Wilcox should have warned Microsoft about. One big reason is the open sourced community, or in other words - Linux. Linux is still quite not ready for the desktop, but it is advancing, thanks in part to the people behind Ubuntu. One has to admit: Linux is better priced than Vista!
However, there is an even bigger reason, or warning, that Joe left out - Mac OS X! That's right folks, Linux may not be quite ready for the big time, but Apple is! After all, when even PC magazines publications concede that OS X Leopard is the best operating system ever written, it should be something that made Microsoft stand up and take notice better than they have. Of course, Leopard came out after Vista, but Tiger was, at the time, the Leopard of it's day, after being named the best OS several times in a row by PC magazines!
Windows Vista borrows heavily from OS X Tiger, but yet, with all of it's money and talent, after trying to copy OS X Tiger, Microsoft still failed to implement it successfully. Yes, Microsoft is full of talent, money and other resources, but sadly, it is also full of arrogance and pride. It is this pride and corporate mentality that is the ultimate reason why, I believe, Microsoft has failed Vista. Microsoft thinks more about it's corporate needs than that of it's customers needs - the biggest mistake in business. Apple, on the other hand, approaches things from the customer's point of view. If you want customers to flock, as they are increasingly doing to Mac OS X, then you have to think like the customer. Simply stated: Give the customer his money's worth - and they will give you their business!
So, in conclusion, like you, I could probably come up with a lot more reasons to add to Joe's list, but in the end, until Microsoft changes it's corporate mentality and starts to address Windows from the customers point of view and the customers needs, instead of that of it's own, then I predict that Windows 7 will be more, or less, the same story as Vista. By the time Microsoft ever releases Windows 7, it may, sadly, for Microsoft, be too late - as OS X and Linux are not going to be standing still and should have further reduced Windows dominant market share, by then, considerably more than it is today.
And that's my 2 cents this Monday, March 17, 2008
Please Vote for this Post by clicking on the Fire button; thanks :
PS. Check this out, a new way of searching the net, it's called, SearchMe, and it is about to come to a browser near you soon:
Friday, March 14, 2008
Reacting to a recent Apple patent filing, Shaw Wu, of American Technology, has said, "We estimate Apple TV to be a very minor contributor today at ~0.3-0.4 percent of revenue or $100-125 million annually," he wrote in a note to clients. "We believe adding the ability to watch and record live TV could turn this into a billion dollar, if not multi-billion dollar business."
It is very interesting to note, as Mr. Shaw Wu did, that adding DVR capability to the Apple TV would be cost negligible - only some $12 or $15 per unit. At that price point the question would be more like, "Why wouldn't Apple add it?" Most people, myself included, would gladly pay double that if it allowed Apple TV to record television shows for later play back. Seems, to me, that not adding the DVR feature would be not only foolish from a business perspective, but down right insulting to the buyers of the device.
Not all of Apple's patent filings, of course, result in a product coming to market, but if Apple really wants the Apple TV to really take off, then its a given that DVR capabilities should and must be added. Many other company's are now trying to get into this business and Apple desperately needs the Apple TV to stand out in the crowd, the same way that the Mac, iPod and iPhone do now. This is especially so in an economy that is expected to go into recession, if it isn't already in one, because people, as a rule, in hard times, always tighten their wallets a lot more than they would otherwise.
Personally, I believe that Apple will indeed add DVR capability to the Apple TV, but the question now is how soon? Hopefully, very, very soon, as I believe, as I have stated before, that Apple's Apple TV, if handled right, could be just as big, if not bigger than the iPod is! That is saying a lot, of course, but when you consider how many hours of the day that the typical American spends in front of the tv set, well, then its not such a far fetched idea at all.
So, in conclusion, I have no doubts that not only will the Apple TV get it's DVR, but who knows, knowing Apple, it will probably add a lot more than that. Apple TV is a compelling idea, but even more so with the DVR built in; now, if only Apple can quickly increase it's selection of of movies to rent, then Apple TV should take it's place among the iPod, Mac and the iPhone, as one of Apple's greatest achievements and one that will help change the entertainment landscape even more, and just as much as any of Apple's other previous hit wonders.
And that's my 2 cents this Friday, March 14, 2008
Please Vote for this Post:
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Finally, more or less, as predicted, Apple has quietly updated it's line of sleek iMac computers. They now come in a basic mode that consists of a 2.4GHz Intel Core Duo with 1GB or RAM, 8x double-layer SuperDrive, 250GB hard drive, plus an ATI HD 2400XT graphic card with 128MB of video for $1,199 dollars, all the way up to an extreme model that features a configuration that includes a 3.06GHz Intel Core Duo, 8c double-layer SuperDrive, a NVIDIA GeForce 88 GS with 512MB of video for $2,199, and a generous 500GB hard drive.
One thing that I noticed, besides Apple revealing the new models on Monday rather then on the traditional Tuesdays as in the past, was the fact that Apple's high-sky pricing for additional RAM was a lot more reasonable this time around! The 2GB of RAM, on the top end, model now comes with the option of doubling the 2GB to 4GB for only $200 more, which compared to Apple's previous pricing seems almost like a steal! No doubt, you can still upgrade the RAM for cheaper yourself, but hey, it's a start!
Wow, the top end iMac is impressive, but, of course, it still is no match for Apple's MacPro line of desktops, but then again, it's certainly is no slouch either. This is the one model that would interest me, but I still can't stomach the idea that the SuperDrive is still only 8x. I've seen budget priced PC's that were a lot more tempting than that. Still, if your in the market for a new all-in-one, then this baby should do you proud, even though yours truly will still wait and try and save up for that MacPro dream tower of his.
All-in-all, the newly and quietly bumped up Macs make for a nice upgrade, with the only bummer being the poor souls that bought a new iMac in the past little while. They got to be feeling a little cheated at the moment, but the truth is, regardless of when you purchased your iMac, your machine will last you for a long time yet, and any increase, as nice as they are, isn't all that too much to get over too upset over.
So, to all you lucky people who will be purchasing one of these beauties, well then, my congratulations and happy computing.
Meanwhile Dell's XP One and Gateways' One, all-in-one, iMac copycats now have company. Several PC OEM's are planning their own version of Apple's iMac. Gizzmodo
In addition to the sexy little Fujitsu, another iMac copy cat PC is the TG Sambo's LLuon,
seen above. This black beauty comes in all black and boasts a 22 inch screen monitor. Though now only available in Korea, this sexy little piece will eventually be sold in the U.S. in a Best Buy near you very soon. Thus far, unfortunately, there is very little info on this machine, so pricing and full specs are unavailable, but hopefully, not for long.
The Dell XP One, Gateway One, and now the Fujitsu's and Sambo, go a long way to demonstrate Apple's influence in the world of tech worldwide. So many people, in the past, have taunted me that Apple was not only going out of business any day now, but had absolutely no influence what so ever. Well, anybody with eyes can see that is not the case. These iMac copy cats are great additions to the world of Window base computers, but sadly, they still have one major problem: they can only run Windows and Linux! Legally, of course, they can't run OS X which is by far my biggest complaint. Contrary to some, I don't hate either Windows or Linux OS's, but as much as I like them both for their respective strengths, over all I have yet to see any other OS equal let alone best the Mac's OS. This does not for instance that Linux or Windows are not superior in certain ways, for example: gaming on the PC side, and cost on the Linux side. It's rather hard to get a better price than free after all.
In conclusion, I just want to add that I really like the newer bumped up iMacs and the designs of all of the copy cat iMac PC's. All-in-all, there has never been a better time to buy a PC, be it one running any of the three major OS's, and never has the public had such a rich choice of models from which to choose.
And that's my 2 cents 4 this Monday, April the 28th, 2008.
Please vote for this post:
Business Week is touting the iPod Touch as Apple's sleeper device. They may be right on money too. The current Touch, as great as it is, is only the beginning, as I see it becoming, along with the iPhone, the ultimate pocket computer. Since it runs OS X, Business Week asks the question:
" Why not adapt Apple's "Back to My Mac" feature, which lets you gain access to files on your home Mac remotely from a Mac notebook, to let you do the same via Wi-Fi from your Apple reader? You'd be able to grab that presentation you forgot on your home computer, or play that song you were just telling someone about. Give that handheld sufficient storage, say 64GB of flash memory, and you just might go to the trouble of carrying all sorts of important documents around, not just your music and video library."
Good question and one that I think Apple will answer in short order.
For one thing, a device like the Touch wouldn't necessarily have to have all that much internal memory either if you could just "grab" what you needed from your home system; not to mention, it would be a lot more secure too. After editing a document, you simply could return it back to your home desktop for safe keeping - this would be super great if you ever lost or had your Touch stolen as the original documents could not be accessed by any potential thief.
Business Week also mentions the fact that Apple is planning to bring both the iPhone and Touch over to Intel's new and very powerful Atom chips. This would make the Touch/iPhone devices just as powerful as any MacBook and would really give the devices that extra UMPH that the current Samsung chips lack. Add in 64 GBytes of memory and you and your Touch would just be raring to go! As Business Week points out, who is more innovative and capable of bringing out the power in such a system? Apple thats who.
Business Week also raises the idea of the Touch becoming a smaller version of Amazon's Kindle. As an electronic reader it has a lot less screen to go around, of course, but as they suggest, it would still be great for small books or pamphlets. On the other hand, it has one feature or ability that the Kindle doesn't have - it's a lot more portable! Imagine having to carry a Kindle around with you all day long as opposed to simply being able to shove it in your pocket as you can with the Touch or iPhone.
As fun as it is to speculate on what Apple intends to do with the iPhone and Touch, the fact remains clear to me that Apple has a long term plan for the devices that includes a lot more than what we see in the present models. Clearly, running a real non-stripped down version of Mac OS X is pivotal to Apple's goals for the devices. As I said before, both the iPhone and Touch are, in fact, really not just a media player or simply a phone, they are in reality miniature, pocket sized Mac computers that just happens to make phone calls and play media well. With their built-in keyboards, Mac OS X, touch screens and soon, what I believe will be bigger memory capacities, these devices are every thing that Microsoft and others were hoping to deliver with their ultra mobile devices, most of which required those pesky little and oh so easy to lose stylists inputs. Blah, compared to what Apple is bringing to the iPhone and Touch, they now seem so old fashion and out of date.
So, once again, in conclusion, let me say that both the iPhone andTouch devices are a lot more than what they might seem on the surface - a lot more! These and newer devices, that are sure to be coming from Apple, are Trojan horses that will literally help put a Mac OS X computer into the hands of a lot more people, and making the Mac a much more common sight than Window fan boys would ever dare or care to admit.
As great as the Touch and iPhone are today, tomorrow they are about to become not only more common, but also a lot more powerful, faster, capable and will pack a lot more "Wow" than Microsoft ever achieved with their, "The Wow Starts Now," campaign for Vista.
And thats my 2 cents this Thursday, March 13, 2008
Please Vote for this Post:
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
MacWorld stated basically what I have been saying all along when they reported:
"When the CEO of Electronic Arts gets onstage with Steve Jobs and trumpets the fact that his company is working on an iPhone version of "Spore," it's hard not to wonder if the handheld game industry is about to get a lot more interesting."
Yes, interesting indeed, very interesting. Since both devices are, in fact - miniature Mac OS X based computers, ones that just happen to fit into your pocket, it is quite obvious, that with all of the power and flexibility that OS X brings to bare, that games and really good ones, not those simple kiddy type ones, are a natural addition for the iPhone. Gaming is huge these days and getting bigger every single year and to have what is basically a free top-notch gaming unit thrown into the mixture of goodies that the iPhone and iPod Touch already brings to market can't be underestimated.
Again MacNewsWorld hits it on the head, when they add:
"What's really cool is that the games won't be sold on traditional cartridges or discs, but will be available solely as downloadable files.
Even better, you'll be able to purchase and download the titles wirelessly at any WiFi hot spot without connecting your iPhone or touch to a computer.
At this point, though, I think Apple's foray into games is more of a threat to Sony than to Nintendo."
Sony's slick, powerful and expensive PSP (PlayStation Portable) is designed to appeal to the same high-end gadget shopper who's also likely to crave the iPhone. If my iPhone can play top-notch games and make phone calls, what reason is there to own a PSP?"
Like I said, they really hit that one on the head and I couldn't agree more, but I will go even farther in stating, what is, at least, to me, something that is also potentially huge.... iPhone and iPod Touch based games will naturally, being OS X based, be easily "fine tuned" to run on Apple's increasingly ever so popular MacBooks, and desktops! In other words, if the iPhone develops into a major gaming platform, so too will gaming on the Mac itself take off - and take off big time! This is going to be huge folks and you can quote me on that. I have little fear that this will not happen, as many believe it will. The iPhone SDK will, and, as a direct result, also be bringing many other Window developers over to the Mac that, will in short order, further help drive even more users to switch from Windows and it's dominant, but ever shrinking market share.
Already, despite the short time since the iPhone's SDK was released, well over 100,000 developers have downloaded it! Now, it just makes sense that some of these developers, even if its only a few percentage of them, are going to come out with some outstanding pieces of software. You can bet on it. You name it, what ever the category, be it games, business apps, personal apps, or what ever... the iPhone is potentially a whole new platform, one in which Rediff reported:
"You've got the ultimate in flexibility in user interface," says Van Baker, an analyst at Gartner.
"That, combined with a big, high resolution screen, makes it an intriguing platform in the mobile space." John Doerr, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, underscored the excitement around the iPhone's potential to emerge as a powerful new software platform on Thursday.
Taking the stage at Apple's headquarters immediately after Mr Jobs's presentation, Mr Doerr announced a new $100m venture capital fund dedicated to backing companies that are building software for use on the iPhone.
Mr Doerr said Apple's software plans could lead the iPhone to emerge as the "third great platform" for software makers after the personal computer and the worldwide web.
"In your pocket, you have something that's broadband and connected all the time.
"It knows who you are and where you are. That's a big deal. It's bigger than the personal computer," he told the cheering crowd."
The iPhone is about to put the squeeze on Black Berry according to some such The Courier who sated:
"The move is a shot across the bow for BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, as it makes the iPhone much more viable for corporate use. The iPhone is already the second most popular smartphone after the BlackBerry, despite having been out less than a year."
I must agree, even though I, a Canadian, love and want to see RIM succeed, it will be increasingly hard for them and everyone else to do so, with such a huge number of developers flocking to the iPhone as they increasingly are. Apple, for one, has already said early on that it will hotly defend it's more than 200 patents that make up the iPhone. Already, scores of other phone companies are trying their hardest to deliver iPhone like devices, but after Apple receives it's final patents they may be stopped dead in their tracks. Apple can't stop them from making touch screen based phones, of course, but it may be able to stop them from using similar interfaces and features such as the "pinch" command and what have you. Clearly, the iPhone is more of a big deal than many have felt it was and may prove to be very hard for it's competitors to match fully.
Apple is clearly one of the most innovative companies out there reports Electronic Weekly and one that other companies seek to copy, but what ever they do, Apple always seems to be one step of the curve and ahead of them. I'm not sure if it was Apple's intention, all along, to make the iPhone into a serious gaming machine or not, or if its just by accident that it now shows this incredible potential? However, one way or the other, you can mark my words: I think that the iPhone will indeed develop into a gaming machine and a rather serious one at that, regardless of what Apple may want or not want to do. The cat, as they say, is out of the bag. As long as enough developers create games, and I mean good games and not the cheesy ones, then the iPhone is destined to become one of the world's great gaming devices and a whole new platform, as quoted earlier - one that embraces the world of business, telephone, entertainment and one that definitely includes gaming.
Already, and this is really cool, there is talk that SlingBox wants to develop software for the iPhone. Software that would allow you to watch TV right on your iPhone anywhere in the world through the net!
So, in conclusion, let me say that its not only iPhone users that are really enthused about gaming on the iPhone, but also the developers themselves are even more enthused and eager to show just what they can do, and this, I believe, is something that is going to result in some pretty amazing games coming to the world's newest and most capable hand held gaming devices ever created - the iPhone and iPod Touch (and other possible future devices that are surely on Apple's drawing boards.)
And thats my 2 cents on the gaming potential of the iPhone 4 this Wednesday, March 12, 2008
And thats my 2 cents 4 this Tuesday, March 11, 2008.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Wow, the MacBook Air is not only thin, it might just be too thin according to Steven Levy. You see, Stephen works for NewsWeek and often gets the privilege of reviewing such things as the MacBook Air which he recently trashed while reviewing it! When I say trashed it, I mean that literally!
You see, even though he's not sure, he believes that he had left it on his apartment's living room coffee table where he usually reads the New York Times. Yuppers, you got it - he threw the New York Times in the trash and, most likely, the new MacBook Air along with it - by accident of course.! I guess there are a few downsides to owning such a small and light weight laptop after all! NewsWeek, by the way, had to dish out the $1,800 dollars to replace the loaner unit.
I love reading the New York Times because it can be very informative, very educational and very entertaining, but now. you should realize that if your not careful, it can also be very, very expensive while reading it around your MacBook Air! So, if your lusting after a new MacBook Air, but are too cheap to buy one, well, I guess you can always scrounge around your local dump in hopes that someone likes to read their paper along side their MacBook Air, because you never know, you know - you might just get lucky when some unlucky MacBook Air user throws out his trash.
Talk about trashing the MacBook Air. This has got to take the cake.
And thats my 2 cents 4 this Tuesday, March 11, 2008.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Now that Apple has officially announced a licensing deal with Microsoft for Exchange and it's release of the iPhone's SDK, what is next for Apple; what exactly can we expect?
Well, one thing, we know is that Apple is in negotiations to add Sony's Blu-Ray to it's Mac line later this year, and, quite possibly, also in future incarnations of the Apple TV, now that it finally beat Toshiba's HD device. This one development should offer the user the potential for really, really huge storage and crystal clear High Definition playback, something that I am personally eagerly looking forward to.
However, according to MacsimumNews, Apple's recent announcements may just be the tip of new Ultra Mobile devices coming from the Cupertino giant. Time will tell exactly what they might include, but according to Electric Pig Apple may have already tipped us off on a coming new design for the iPhone. Mind you, it's just conjecture at this point. All we know for sure is that new designs for the iPhone are indeed on the way - Mr. Jobs promised that on the very day the iPhone was first announced.
We also know that both the iPhone and iPod Touch are about to become major hand held gaming units, and units that might just put to shame both the Sony's PSP and the Nintendo DS. A lot of cool games will be coming, and that you can count on, as MacWorld , Slash Gear and many others are beginning to report.
Truly, the iPhone's SDK is going to be a very big deal indeed, as even Paul Thurrot, praised elegantly how important this was going to be. And this coming from a man that many perceive as anti-Apple and pro-Microsoft. Some are even going farther by pointing out Why Apple Will Dominate Next Gen Computing! But, will it really? Only God know the answer to that, but if I were going to bet on it, I would certainly add my 2 cents to the many that are saying just that, and for many good reasons.
For the next, here to there, in electronics, I'm a pretty certain that Apple will continue to not only play a role, but a very large roll, and one that could possibly make Apple the new undefeated king of the hill in high-tech. Like a snowball growing ever larger and faster on it's descent down a steep hill, and one that becomes so big that it is almost impossible to stop, Apple itself has been on a roll, and a roll that will be even harder to stop anytime soon. Not that its impossible of course, but I think that we have yet to see a lot more, a really lot more of amazing things that will coming out of Apple. Apple is a company who's very genetic makeup is composed of innovation, and it still has a lot more to offer.
Again, you can bet that the processors and hardware in future iPhones and hand held devices are going to get a lot more powerful and a lot faster. This, I believe, will be simply because of the demands of the legends of developers who are about to unease a torrent of apps for the iPhone. We are about to see a lot of amazing software coming for the iPhone and ones, as they always seem to do, that will require a lot more juice to perform satisfactorily. Just as desktops have had to add more powerful chips in order to process the ever increasing demands needed by ever more powerful and sophisticated software programs, the iPhone and similar devices will also need to do the same. Can you imagine, for instance, trying to run Vista on a five-year-old Windows machine? Hell, trying to imagine that on a new machine is bad enough already!
What ever the future brings, what ever path Apple chooses to follow, I'm betting that Apple is about to play an ever bigger roll in the world of hi tech, and a role that will astonish a lot of people while, at the same time, instilling a lot of the fear of God in it's competitors. I personally believe that Apple now has the chance to turn the iPhone, iPod Touch and newer like devices, into a new platform that will be just as big and as what Microsoft ever did with Windows. Some are saying that it may be even bigger than the pc market is today! Its the plethora of applications, after all, that had made Windows into the world's biggest OS, not Windows itself, and that despite the fact that Windows has been such a pain for it's users.
Like Windows, its the sheer number of applications that are coming, and coming soon, for the iPhone and iPod Touch, etc. that will transform them into the number one devices of the future. The miniature, pocket Mac OS X computer that the iPhone is, is about to do what Microsoft, Intel and others have failed to do with their pen-based Ultra-portable devices - and that under their noses!
The future looks bright and it looks small, ultra-small and a lot smaller than what even Microsoft and others were hoping to deliver. Yes, the future looks increasingly OS X, iPhone and Apple based. In other words, the future looks like it will include a much, much bigger Apple, with a bigger stock price, bigger market cap, market share and, as well, a much bigger mind share.
So, finally, in answer to the above belief of some, "Why Apple Will Dominate Next Gen Computing", the answer will be a resounding yes, if Apple plays it's cards right. So, hang on to your hats, as the past and present world of electronics is about to be dwarfed by what is coming - a newer world of electronics - a world dominated by Apple and it's Mac OS X based computers, iPhone's and iPod's!
And thats my 2 cents 4 this Monday, March 10, 2008.
Image Courtesy: Slash Gear
Friday, March 7, 2008
Well, well, well... it looks like the barely one-year old iPhone is about to grow up fast, as was demonstrated yesterday at Apple's iPhone SDK special meeting, which can be view here.
After reading about Apple's SDK plans and watching the Quicktime rebroadcast, I must say, I was rather impressed with the iPhone's SDK indeed. As predicted, Apple has indeed licensed software from Microsoft that now gives the iPhone what business people not only wanted, but what they needed the most - 100% true compatibility with Exchange. This one development, as many predict, will be a major factor in the iPhone becoming more accepted by business's in the U.S, and indeed, worldwide!
Not only is the iPhone getting Exchange, it will also be getting a lot more software from other business software developers to boot. Salesforce is one company that said that it can now add most of it's software library to iPhone, cheaply and easily..... all 63,000 of them! Their software, as demonstrated, was quite impressive indeed and should prove to be a major factor in not only business's having more reason to adopt the iPhone, but also, it will give more reasons for other business developers to develop software for the iPhone too.
Several companies, EA, Salesforce, AOL, Epocrates, Sega, where all invited to use an early release of the iPhone SDK and all of them where extremely impressed and pleased with what they were able to do with it in a short two week period, and that is with only one or two software engineers apiece. The tools were not only extremely advanced, but much more so than developers were expecting to see. What they were able to do and demonstrate was, as Apple put it - "mind blowing!" I personally was extremely impressed with all of the demos I saw running.
Epocrates, a medical software developer, not only used the SDK to gets it's software up and running on the iPhone, in short order, but also, because the iPhone is, in reality, a miniature OS X Mac computer, they were able to enhance their software in truly fascinating ways. For example, with their "Multi-Check" program, a doctor can now figure out what kind of drug a patient has taken simply by the patient picking out it's color and shape! Imagine how many lives could have been saved in the past if the doctor only could have known what medications their patients took, even though the patients themselves had no idea! Amazing to say the least.
The SDK didn't just impress with it's business and medical software demos, but also in the gaming area as well, as the iPhone seems to be an incredible advancement over what other "ordinary phones" could ever hope to deliver. For example, Sega not only demonstrated one of their console games running on the iPhone, but, incredibly, the software engineer pointed out that the iPhone version was, in fact, a much superior product as it - no longer require a joystick or mouse for imput, as the iPhone's accelerometer's motion sensor itself made game play much more natural, intuitive and fun to use. Simply by moving the iPhone, one could easily move around in a game... a game that just happened to have superior graphics to games on other cell phones and one that they described played as well, if not better, than the original game running on a gaming console.
Apple itself demonstrated a nifty 3D space shooter up game that it developed in only two days, by one or two people. Imagine what they could do in four days, a week, a month or a year? Imagine too what a company like Electronic Arts could do with hundreds, if not thousands, of gaming software engineers and millions of dollars to invest could do in a six month or a years time? EA already demoed their new "Spore" game running as well, if not even better, than the gaming console's version!
Of course, as Fortune's AppleBlog 2.0 pointed out, its not going to be easy pickings for Apple to compete with the industries main smart phone company, Research In Motion and the maker of the popular BlackBerry, but it is certainly doable and I think that Apple, and in short order, will not only do well, but will come out on top. As a consumer phone the iPhone is without equal and as a business phone, it too, will become without equal! Business's that were predicted to stay away from the iPhone in droves are not exactly doing that. In fact, thousands of iPhones are being used increasingly each and every day and now that the SDK and the ability to access Exchange servers natively, the iPhone, after less than a measly year in business, is about to make an even larger impact than it already has, and that is saying a lot.
So, let me say, in conclusion, as I did yesterday, that Apple's new iPhone SDK and it's newer G3 models to be introduced later this year, is going to result in the iPhone becoming a far, far more successful device than it has already is. Just as Windows 95 unleased a torrent of apps, so will the SDK. The iPhone has changed the whole mobile landscape and that by a company that is nothing more than a babe in the business. As Apple matures, in this market, it's influence, it's prestige and it's power will grow exponentially.... not to mention it's profits and market cap. People say that Apple can't possibly compete with Nokia, Samsung, etc. because they have so much more experience and what have you - but I say that Apple is not only competing with them, but is beating them in many, many ways already - in customer satisfaction, ease of use and just plain old innovation, and I predict that Apple will not only be a successful cell provider, but that it will become the biggest and most successful cell company out there. Yes, and by that I mean that the iPhone is about to become the number one mobile device, not only in the consumer space, but more importantly in the business space, and maybe, just maybe, the hand held gaming space, in the years to come as well.
Thanks to the iPhone SDK, you aint' seen nothing yet!
And thats my 2 cents 4 this Friday, March 7, 2008.
Photo Credits: Apple Computer and FreeVerse
If you liked this post, please vote for it by clicking:
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Everybody, who is anybody, in tech is speculating on what Apple will reveal at it's special event later today. An iPhone SDK, we know, is a given, but just how far will it go; will it only be available for OS X developers, or will it come with Apple's famous tight control that some expect it will ? Well, later today we will finally know, but in the meantime a lot of folks haven't stop speculating and asking questions.
As pointed out in Fortune's Apple 2.0 Blog there are certain things that we know:
• The “roadmap” will cover the iPhone software developers kit (SDK) that Steve Jobs had hoped to have in developers’ hands last month. If what is revealed is a beta SDK, as rumored, there will widespread disappointment.
• Apple also promises “exciting new enterprise features,” which has got the attention of IT managers and the employees who have to work with IT to get corporate support for the iPhone.
• The SDK will almost certainly not include support for Adobe Flash — one of the current limitations of Safari on the iPhone — given that Steve Jobs declared, at Tuesday’s shareholders meeting, that it”performs too slow to be useful” on the iPhone.
• That Jobs has promised “a lot of apps out there this summer,” including games.
• That native iPhone apps will be written in Cocoa, Apple’s proprietary development environment. When asked about a blogging application for the iPhone at the shareholders meeting, Jobs told the shareholder that if Apple doesn’t address his needs, he should learn Cocoa and write his own app.
These certainly sound exciting to me, except maybe the idea of receiving just an SDK beta. Even though I personally couldn't care less about games per say, I do think that it is an important thing for the iPhone to have. If developers can create compelling games and lots of them, then many people, you know... the Nintendo and Sony hand held game player types, will have one huge reason to consider purchasing the iPhone. If, what I really hope happens, that the iPhone can and will match a lot of the sophistication of the Sony and Nintendo hand held gaming units, then that one feature alone will be positively huge! After all, Sony and Nintendo sells millions of these hand held units each and every year. Think how cool it would be if you could do all what you can do on these hand held gaming units on the iPhone? That's right.... big sales for the iPhone and a lot of big bucks for Apple Inc. Why buy a Sony or Nintendo hand held gaming unit when, for a few bucks more, you can get your gaming system with the best and coolest iPod and cell phone - all in one convenient package!
More importantly, if the SDK can bring over a lot of business applications, and especially Microsoft's Exchange functionality, then the iPhone will suddenly, over night, become a huge business hit and a huge problem for the folks at RIM. Already the iPhone is making an impact as a business phone and suddenly adding Exchange compatibility will, and I'm sure of it, send iPhone sales into the stratosphere! Remember: IBM has promised Lotus Notes for the iPhone and other big developers are promising iPhone conversions of their business apps too!
Of course, as stated above, Jobs is promising that there will be a lot of other applications too. What will they be? Simple, just about anything and everything that you could possibly imagine or even hope for! Already, and long before Apple even hinted at an iPhone SDK, many clever developers have created some pretty amazing web apps for the device. Just imagine what we will see once these clever developers get their hands on the SDK? Yes, that's right..... electronic nirvana!
The Fortune Apple blog has also highlighted several rumors such as:
• That the SDK runs only on Macs running OS X Leopard and is facilitated through an enhanced version of XCode made available to members of Apple Developer Connection. (see here)
• That iPhone applications will be allowed to use both EDGE and WiFi for data. (see here)
• That Apple will have the final say on which commercial iPhone applications are sold, will distribute them through iTunes, and will take a small cut of the proceeds. (see here)
• That iPhone freeware is unlikely to be subject to much if any scrutiny by Apple. (see here)
• That this SDK will not support applications that access peripherals through the iPhone dock connector. (see here)
• That the final version will be released at the World Wide Developers Conference in June. (see here)
• That there’ll be lots of demonstrations of business applications from the likes of IBM (IBM), Salesforce (CRM) and Microsoft (MSFT). (We’ve already been contacted for pre-SDK coverage from several firms that make apps for business, including SAP.)
Like Fortune, I have to repeat that we won't really know anything until after Apple spills the beans. My hopes are that, as a business device, the iPhone is about to make a statement - a very big statement. Of all those out there that I predict will be glued to every word that comes out todays Apple special event, it will be RIM, Nokia and the other cell providers - they are going to be holding their breath, and I might add, if all goes as planned, they will be quaking in their boots too. The iPhone, after all, completely changed the whole mobile landscape and that just as a consumer device - imagine what will happen once the iPhone becomes a legitimate business device. The present iPhone is the most talked about, most satisfying and innovative device on the market, and I predict will become so much more so after the special event being held on the Apple campus.
In conclusion, what makes the iPhone so compelling as a device is not just that gorgeous multi-touch screen, but the underlying software technology, and one, that after today, is about to explode the way software did after Windows 95 hit the market. So hold on to your hats, because the SDK is going to unleash an avalanche of iPhone apps that will astound us, not only in what they can do - but in the sheer number of them! Now it's Apple's turn to shine, and shine it will!
And thats my 2 cents 4 this Wednesday, March 6, 2008.
If you liked this post, please vote for it by clicking:
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Today, as I did yesterday, I'm featuring another, "Pic-4-the-Day," feature. This time I'm featuring some truly wonderful photo's from master photographer, Paul G's, Flickr collection. I've featured Paul before, including his wonderful Butterfly Collection which can be found here.
Paul's first photo, as seen above, is one of my absolute favorites and for very good reasons - reasons that are very obvious as you can see by merely glancing at this wonderful photo, a photo that Paul titled, "On the Rocks". This pic is stunningly composed and bathed in a myriad of equally stunning colors! I'm both sad, to see the poor boat on the rocks, but, on the other hand, I'm also glad because it made for such an extraordinary beautiful picture. Thanks Paul.
Above we find two photos, "Points West" and "Six Mile Creek" and yet two more examples of Paul's amazing photographic talent and sharp eyes. Most people, myself included, would have simple walked away, but a great photographer, well, thats a different story as you can see from Paul's pics. Points West is especially provoking to me. It is a stunning blend of colors and that wheel on the right just frames the whole thing perfectly, while Six Mile Creek catches my imagination.... it leads to infinity. I can't help but want to walk this pier, its just so relaxing and dreamy.
"Souther Gothic" is what Paul titled the pic below, but I like to call it "Dreamy" as that is what kind of mood it puts me in................. dreamy! I love the hazy, ghostly quality of the colors that just gives this photo such a wonderful rustic and homey feel. I just wish I was there to enjoy such beauty in person.
Above we find Paul's photo, "On the Edge" and it's a beauty. Yes, leave it to Paul to bring out such wonder and beauty in such a simple subject as a water droplet. I love the green as it contrasts against it's utterly black background. The shimmer on the droplet gives it that "just"right feel. Again, I can't help but appreciate Paul's keen eye for such things.
Paul says of his next photo below, "Industrial Pastoral:
"The canal at Hagley today reflects none of the explosive volatility of 150 years past, when gun powder was milled here from sulpfer, saltpeter and coal... " - but I will certainly add that it reflects incredible beauty..... it's just so green, so lush and so incredibly peaceful! The composition of this picture and the reflection in the canal makes me wish I could spend hours and hours there.
Above, "Bob Skywalker" is one photo that makes me chuckle. This photo remains me so much of an airplane making a landing approach, why...... I can just hear the air traffic control tower now: "Your all clear to land on runway nine!" This bird is so graceful, it's gaze so purposeful and the outstretched wings so reminiscent of a plane on final approach, that its rather hard for me not to view this picture in any other way. Truly, a beautiful bird and a beautiful photo.
Below we have another great bird shot from Paul called, "Wading Heron." What a proud looking bird it is indeed, why, with his head held up so high and all, its like he's the king of the cock, as they say, whether he realizes that he's just a Heron or not. I love how the colors blend to highlight this little critter. With those slender legs of his, its a wonder, to me, that they can hold up that fat body of his.... it's just so mammoth in comparison.
Above is Paul's "Winter Park Lake III". Don't you just love the darkened foreground with the sunny background trying, as best it can, to peek through? The rays, or shadows, of the trees really helps to make this a wonderful picture. The water, smooth as glass and as still as can be, puts me in a very restful and peaceful mood, and as you can see, it's just another good reason for you to click on Paul's link above, in order that you can discover even more of Paul's photographic talent.
So, again, thanks Paul for allowing me to share your photographic talent with all two or three of my dedicated readers. Much appreciated.
And thats my 2 cents 4 this Wednesday, March 6, 2008.
If you liked this post, please vote for it by clicking:
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
In the world, there are many adorable and cute animals such as bunnies rabbits, kittens, puppies, raccoons, Koala bears, etc., but none, in my opinion, can come close to the "unbearably" cute factor of the Chinese giant Panda, as seen here from Somesai's remarkable Flickr photo collection and presented here today. (click photo's for larger image)
Above, Somesai's first Panda photo is titled, "A Boo Fan" and is, what can I say..... absolutely adorable! Just look at that face and tell me if that isn't cute! Those adorable black, expressive eyes, peeking through the shoots makes you just want to hug this creature. It's a mystery to me why this beautiful animal is even called a Panda Bear, because, if I had my way........ I would have named it: the Hug-a-Bear!
Below is a picture called,"A Bundle of Cutness," that not only is incredibly cute, but, at the same time, one that makes me a wee, wee bit jealous - because I want to be the one holding that adorable "Hug-a-Bear"! Why, that Hug-a-Bear is just a big ball of fur..... and one that just happens to have a very, very, very cute face. If only I had a face soooooo.... cute, I'd be able to attract any woman at my beck and call!
The next two pictures, below, from somesai's wonderful collection, are called, "A Super Panna Sleepy Wave" and, "A Face No One Can Resist". Oh yeah, tell me about it - these are great titles for two great pics! I love the size of the panda's paw and those sleepy eyes that make it look like it is about to drift off into dreamland any minute now. The second one, of course, says it all.... a face, that indeed, no one could possibly resist! Wonderful, absolutely wonderful.
Somesai's large collection of wonderful panda pics makes it very hard for me to choose from, but I think that you will agree that the next two pics, "Cutie Pie" and "Fuzzy Butt," are fine choices and for obvious reasons..... they are amazingly beautiful! Why, just look at that pose.... what a looker! And that little fuzzy butt, why it's as cute as a bug, if not more so. Just looking at these two pics, as does the rest, just makes me want to desperately hold one in my arms to the point I could scream.
"Gone Bambooing," and "It' a Tough Job," below, are just soooooo......... cute! The first photo is just a master piece of composition, while the second looks anything but a tough job. Hell.... I would gladly pay for the privilege of working with such a remarkable animal, and in my thinking, that tough job would be a dream job for me or just about anyone. I would be more than happy to be paid in panda hugs!
Hee, hee.... what can I say about the next photo, "No Peeking Tai"? This beautiful photo makes me laugh because it's like Tai is saying, "On no, no more pictures already!" Ah, but I guess thats the price poor old Tai has to pay for being just so damn cute - it's tough being one of the beautiful bears! Tai just happens to be the same name as several friends of mine, but I must admit, as much as I love my friends, none of them come anywhere near as being as cute or as adorable as this Tai, who, now, that I come to think about it.... is the furriest Tai I have ever seen!
Below, Somesai's "Sweet Panda Dreams is a winner not only because it's a great shot, but alwo because it shows that Pandas can be more than cute.... they can be downright silly! I remember sleeping over at my friends house, as a child, but I can't ever seem to remember sleeping on top of each other....let alone, on a tree branch!
The next two photos entitled, "Tai- *Gigle* that Tickles" and the other titled, "The Twins" are two of my favorite panda pictures that Somesai has blessed in sharing with us. Oh how I wished I had the opportunity to tickle that furry little fuzz ball called Tai, and the second picture..... oh baby.... what a face- what a panda! Beautiful, absolutely beautiful animals and pictures of the same. Again, I'm just so jealous of that lucky, lucky man... I want my pic taken with that bear too! Just look at how that panda wears his hat.... did he copy the man, or did the man copy the bear? Either way, it's a great pick of a very, very cute bear and one hell of a lucky man.
The next photo below is not one of Somesai's, I just found it by accident here, and I don't know who or where it was shot, but it is just wonderful and emotionally provoking none-the-less. Here we have a baby panda clinging to the arm of a man. He or she, looks so fragile and seems to be asking something to the effect: "Don't leave me!", or simply saying, "I love you!" A beautiful and heart-warming picture indeed. Looking at this picture, as with Somesai's, it makes me realize that "Teddy Bears" can be real live creatures - their not only just of the stuffed variety, to be found in toy stores.
"To All the Girls Out There", "Yummy" and "My Cub House" are the final Somesai panda pics presented here, but they are only a small sample of Somsai's wonderful work with these most wonderful and absolutely adorable and unbearably cute bears, so do yourself a favor and visit Somesai's other amazingly beautiful panda pics by clicking on her link at the beginning of this post. In the meantime, as you can see, all three of these last pictures are heartwarming and spell binding. They make me appreciate these wonderful creatures, the Giant Panda's, from the great nation of China, ever so much more and make me want to help preserve them all the more too. To see these magnificent animals become extinct would be a crime of epic proportions. These wonderful creatures, are, of course, more than just cute little teddy bears, as they, as do all of God's creatures, play an important part in the world's ecology.
So, let me say, in conclusion, that I want to thank Somesai, from the bottom of my heart, for permission to share these wonderful photos of this most wonderful and unbearably beautiful creature. These animals are to be appreciated, loved, cherished and protected. We must all do what ever we can to help ensure their survival. We owe it to them, and as well, to our children, as they are, without a doubt - unbearably Cute!
Please Note: All of Somesai's incredibly wonderful and heart-warming photos are the copyright of Somesai Flickr Collection. All rights reserved.
And thats my 2 cents 4 the day on China's amazing and unbearably cute Pandas, 4 this Tuesday, March 4, 2008.
If you liked this post, please vote for it by clicking: