Wednesday, December 30, 2009

App-4-The-Week: Gameloft's Amazing Shooter - N.O.V.A

Among the literally thousands of iPhone games out there, some are bad, some not so bad, some are so, so, some are ok, while some others are good, really good and some that are down right freaking awesome!

Included among those freaking awesome games, and one of the best of the best, would be Gameloft's amazing new shooter - N.O.V.A! Gameloft is one company that took an early lead in iPhone gaming development, and out of their growing list, now 35 titles strong, N.O.V.A just happens to be one of their very best to date.

Gameloft describes N.O.V.A's story line in the following manner:

"With Earth no longer able to sustain life, huge artificial satellites called "near-orbitals" were constructed for people to live on. Humanity now begins an aggressive campaign of colonization across the galaxy in a struggle to survive. To protect themselves, the near-orbitals banded together to form N.O.V.A., the Near-Orbital Vanguard Alliance.

Now, a strange threat has emerged from the darkness of space. A Marine ship, reported missing just a week ago, has suddenly reappeared and is headed directly for the near-orbitals, ignoring all communications.

Against his will, retired Marine hero Kal Wardin is forcefully returned to active duty with N.O.V.A. to infiltrate the ship. But neither Kal nor N.O.V.A. could have anticipated the full scale of the threat that would be hiding aboard, and how far Kal would have to go to prevent the extermination of mankind."

TouchArcade did an excellent review of N.O.V.A which you can read here, but today I want to just sit back and take a quick video look at this amazing game in action - YouTube style! So, kick up your heals and sit back and enjoy the ride as you get to view N.O.V.A among the following video's below, with the first being a sneak peak from the developers themselves:

Also, below, from iPod Touch 24 Productions, we find this video:

Here, below, we find yet again another great trailer from Gameloft:

The last two videos, from this incredible graphically rich game, are as follows:

Well there now, what did you honestly think?

Is this a great game or what?

Personally, even though I'm not much of a gamer myself, I have to admit that this multi-player powerhouse is one game that has what it takes to get even an old timer like myself pretty dang tooting excited! The high quality of its graphics, its smooth and its fast game play gives this game all of the 'right stuff'!

Gameloft is a company from France that proves that the French produce a lot more than just a great fashions, great wines, cheese and other gastronomical delights, but that they also have a a great sense and flair for producing some really great software, and software that can easily compete with the best that the world has to offer.

So, in conclusion, just let me say that if your a gamer and, as well, also an iPhone or iPod Touch user, then for crying out turkey lip sandwich's, what in Pete's sake are you waiting for - go check out his great game for yourself via the APP STORE, or by going to Gameloft's official N.O.V.A site today and start experiencing and enjoying the very best that the world of iPhone gaming has to offer .

And that's my 2 cents 4 this Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Is The G-Phone, or Nexus-One, Really A Threat To The iPhone?

This coming January the 5th., Google has an Android event scheduled in which it is believed the search giant will finally reveal more on how it plans to out iPhone the iPhone with its own gPhone, or now better known as the Nexus-One.

Some fear that if anyone has the ability to give the iPhone a good run for its money it is Google, but others are now not so sure. AppleInsider, for example, has an excellent post that highlights some pretty big obstacles that will make it very hard for the gPhone, or Nexus-One, to go head-to-head with the reigning iPhone.

For one thing, AppleInsider points out that the gPhone, or the Nexus-One, is not really Google's, but rather its an just another HTC phone that is designed to directly to take on another Android phone, the Droid! In other words it is more of a Droid killer, than that of an iPhone killer! It will have Google branding for sure, but its not quite the gPhone that has been rumored since late 2007 either.

What we could end up seeing, as AppleInsider also clearly pointed out, is rather much more cannibalization within the Android platform as various and competing Android partners create an ever more confusing plethora of different phones, all of which are basically the same, but yet, at the same time, all basically different from one another. This is because even though they may all have Android at their heart, the various and fiercely competing manufacturers will be forced to differentiate their Android models from one another, much like those in the Windows Mobile category have done, with various different software and hardware specs, all of which will make them less compatible not only with one another, but also making them much harder, if not impossible, for software developers to write consistently good apps that will run well on all devices. Not too many developers are going to have the time, resources or interest in modifying each of their various individual apps to run well on each and and every single, but slightly different Android phone, due to their different hardware and software specs.

Proof of this can already be seen in Flurry Analytics' graph seen below, via AppleInsider, which clearly shows that in spite all of the talk and boasting coming from within the Android camp, the iPhone developer ecosystem is still by far a stronger and better system to develop for, as its APP STORE download growth rate shows - which by the way, is some 2.5 times greater than that of Android!

As AppleInsider states:

"With a much smaller unit installed base and a library size of around 15,000 apps compared to Apple's 100,000, Google should find it easier to increase its percentage of growth faster than Apple, but that simply isn't happening. Google was left behind in the busiest holiday season of the year.

Google will now have to struggle through 2010 as Apple launches its slate product and the expected 4G iPhone and iPhone 4.0 software this summer."

So, in light of that, is the Android and its upcoming Nexus-One platform really that big of a threat to the iPhone?

Well, currently, no! Not yet anyway.

However, that could all change in the future, but, for the here and now, and in the foreseeable future, I sincerely doubt it ever will. Apple, after all, didn't get where it is now by sheer luck, but rather by a combination of good planning, vision, imagination, skill and resourcefulness. Also, you can bet your last can of spaghetti-and-meatballs that Apple is watching Android very, very closely, and as well, that of the rest of the competition, and is planning to counter them all accordingly, and rather aggressively at that.

This is why I firmly believe that the next version of the iPhone's hardware and its software is going to be a really big deal, and will be a lot more than just an incremental advancement as was the case in past updates. Whether, or not, that means that the iPhone is finally getting a physical keyboard (I doubt it, but I'm dreaming of one anyway), or whether or not it gets an OLED screen, that I really don't know. However, the one thing that I firmly believe is that the next iPhone - we'll just call it the G4 for now - will be a lot faster, a lot more powerful and will include a lot more cool and spiffy features that its competition is going to find it a hard to match.

Not only do we have the now mystical Apple tablet to look forward to in 2010, but we can also look forward to, I believe will be, most likely, the second coming of the iPhone, and one on steroids. This new iPhone on steroids, in the end, I believe, is going to easily neutralize any threat from Android or the Nexus-One and, as well, the rest of the competition.

However, in conclusion, with that said, the main reason why I believe that the iPhone will continue to reign as the king-of-the-hill of smart phones, won't be just because of any new planned iPhone features or strengths, but also simply because of the old fundamental weakness's that is already baked into the Android platform, the very same weakness that hindered the adoption of Windows Mobile, namely - too many people doing their own individual thing, and thus making the whole platform less compatible with one another, leading to more phone models, but with less choice in high quality apps and features, both of which should continue to grow and improve in the iPhone!

And that's my 2 cents 4 this Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Opening pic of Nexus-One via: Engadget

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Apple's Amazing 2009: Can 2010 Top It?

Even though I may have been off during the past few days of the Christmas holidays, it's quite apparent that Apple has been any thing but. In fact, it is now believed that 2009 was one its best, if not the very best Christmas that the Cupertino giant has ever recorded.

This, in part, is due to the sale of an estimated 11 million plus iPhones during past three-month period alone!

Wow, now if that's not enough to make the competition sit up and take notice, well, then they must all be asleep or even worse - dead! Sales have been so hot, in fact, that BroadpoinAmTech analyst Brian Marshall recently advised his clients that Apple's stock was now a "must-own technology bellwether," and his well-above-consensus was that as many as 11.3 million 'Jesus' phones may have shipped over the past three-month December period.

Impressive, I tell you, impressive indeed!

Its not only the iPhone that has been hot this season either, because even the Magic Mouse did its part by doubling its share of the market over the past eight weeks as well. NPD Group sales data shows, that for the first time ever, Apple captured over 10 percent of the market for the month of November.

So far, not even the highly anticipated roll-out of Windows 7 did much to slow down Apple's banner year and, in actual fact, in the corporate world at least it's believed that the sales of Mac laptops is set to increase! This is based on IT spending surveys conducted by ChangeWave who stated:

"To date, Windows 7 does not appear to be hurting Apple’s corporate Mac sales," ........ "Rather, planned Mac buying has hit a new high in the latest survey."

To get a better idea of just how well Apple did this Christmas season, all you need to do is look at the iPod Touch which reported an astounding increase in downloads of over 1,000 percent this Christmas! Truly, that is a hell-of-a-lot more than I would have ever dreamed or expected, but it's true none-the-less - a whopping 1,000 bloody percent increase! Now that's what I call an increase by any stretch of the imagination!

No matter how you look at it, slice or dice it, the numbers all add up to Apple having a one dandy of a good year - a very, very good year indeed! Sales for Macs, both desktops and laptops, as well iPod Touch's, iPhone's, and sales in the APP STORE and iTunes are all up dramatically, and all of this in spite of all of the gloom and doom in the economy!

So, can Apple match or even succeed its 2009 banner year?

Well, I'm not a prophet or anything, but there is this little thing of an upcoming tablet that if it is as good as some say it is, well then Apple could easily find itself utterly blowing 2009 completely out of the water!

And that's my 2 cents 4 this Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

No Post Today, But I'll Be ....... Back!

Since this is Weilhnachten, or Christmas, I, like millions of others around the world will be taking the time off, so this post is simply to inform you, my dear two or three readers, that I won't be posting anything today, even though technically I just did - since I just posted that I won't be posting!

God willing, however, I'll be......... back! So, if all goes according to schedule my next post will be this coming Tuesday, the 29th., or if I'm back in the city, possibly a day earlier, this Monday the 28th., so in the meantime, may I extend my wish's that all will have a safe and merry time during this holiday period.

And that's my no post posting 4 this Christmas Day, the 25th. of December, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

2010 And What to Expect: Speculations On Apple's Up Coming Tablet

Ok, by now you have probably all heard that the Financial Times had reported yesterday that Apple is planning a new product announcement for this upcoming January 26, in the city by the bay, good old San Francisco.

The question is, of course, what what-on-earth is the big Steve going to announce?

Will it be a new, super, duper iPhone on steroids? Will it be the often spoken and heard about, but never actually seen by a living soul, mythical Apple tablet (my fingers are crossed on this one), or just some hum drum, every day type of thing-a-bob?

Naturally, that's the 64 thousand dollar question that has tech tongues all a wagging, and the answer is, of course, that nobody other than el-Stevo and the other big cheeses at Apple, really know, or can possibly know until after Jobso comes out on stage and finally spills the beans.

Well, wippy-doo, for one thing, there are now reports that instead of the anticipated 10-inch Apple tablet rumor that has been circulating ever since the middle ages, we will, in fact, surely, and honest-to-goodness, actually get to see a real live, breathing seven inch tablet revealed! Of course, there are others that are predicting and hoping (like lil old me) that Apple will introduce both versions, the seven and ten inch babies together.

Well, until January we'll just have to wait and see, but, in the mean time I, yes, lil old me, will go out on a limb by predicting that we are most likely, if anything, going to finally see some new MacPro desktops, and ones featuring the newest bad-boys from Intel, you know, the ones with the spanky, danky new 32 nanometer quad cpu's inside. Yeah baby, I say - bring em on!

The old MacPro's are just that - as old as the proverbial hills! It's time for a change folks and I'm hoping that will also include a new exterior enclosure. The present interior is fine-and-dandy, and, in fact, they look far spiffier than the exterior, which is why I'm hoping for a change here. The old cheese grater look is beginning to grate on my nerves, so to speak, so this would be a welcome change indeed.

As for the iPhone itself, well, Apple could announce details on the next version, the G4 or what ever it will be called, but it's extremely doubtful that we will be able to get our grubby little old hands on them anytime before June at the latest. If, and when, a newer model of the iPhone is announced, it will be an iPhone on steroids. The simple reason for that is, because - it has to be! I mean the competition is getting very good at aping the iPhone these days, and with clever marketing they are beginning to differentiate themselves with higher resolution cameras, bigger screens, etc. In other words, Apple has no real choice but to really come out and dazzle us with the next iPhone, thereby leaving us with no doubt as to its superiority over the rest of the competition!

Personally, I wouldn't be surprised one itty-little bit if we see bigger and brighter screens, and possibly including one with at least an OLED option! Secondly, in addition, yes I think it's finally time for Apple to reveal just why and what it has been doing with its purchase of PA Semiconductor. I'm predicting, ok, actually mostly just hoping (but it could be happen, nonetheless) that Apple will introduce newer customized ARM chips that will virtually rip the legs from off of those found in the competition! With its many PA Semi advantages, well we could end up seeing an iPhone that offers not only extreme speed, but, as well, power savings resulting in so many new fangled features that all of the Droids, the Pre's, the Berries and every other mobiles out there will find themselves choking on the iPhone's dust!

The most important thing, however, with PA Semi, is that its not only well known for its speedy chip smarts, but very, very importantly, also for its ability to squeeze out every bit of juice from out of those speedy chips, resulting in drastically reduced power consumption. This, in turn, could not only finally extend the iPhone's battery, but also make it possible for Apple to also finally allow for full multi-tasking, on the iPhone, that will further blow the competition out of the water! The competition loves to brag, after all, about their phones multi-tasking capabilities, but what they don't want you to tell you is how that same multi-tasking limits drastically reduces their products battery capacity!

Getting back to that mythical Apple tablet, the very one that Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, the Templars and seemingly everyone else throughout the ages have been seeking and searching for, well, just let me add that I'm hoping that the seven inch baby will also include the same OLED screen option as the iPhone. OLED screens for the ten incher, of course, would be totally too expensive, but, oh baby, would that ever be some sweet, let me tell you!

Also, of course, I'm also expecting that Apple will also aid developers in easily porting over most, if not all, of their 100,000 plus iPhone apps to the said tablet. There have already been reports along this line, and if indeed true, well that should easily give the Apple tablet another leg up over all comers. With some 100,000 plus apps out of the gate already, well, you can easily see why Apple should probably have little or no trouble in selling a ton of these high-tech babies, and especially if the $600 price point turns out to be true.

This morning, I read some interesting news regarding the tablet's multi-touch tactile keyboard, and that its interface was going to really surprise a lot of people, but even more importantly, that Jobs himself is said to be "extremely happy" with its overall development, and that the tablet was going to be a lot more than just an overgrown iPod Touch!

Wow, I mean, after all, when someone like Jobs, who just happens to be one of the pickiest perfectionists on the planet, is pleased with something, than that can only mean that it will bode well for the Apple tablet! In fact, this particular tid-bit, more than anything else, has really gotten me all hyped up over the tablet more than anything else!

So, in conclusion, just let me say that as good as 2009 was for Apple, well it appears that with what is now beginning to emerge, that 2010 may put 2009 to utter shame, so I say: "hurry on up January, because we all want that Apple tablet!"

And that's my 2 cents 4 this Thursday, December 24, 2009

PS. I will be off tomorrow, Christmas Day, so, God willing, I will back either this upcoming Monday, the 28th., or the following Tuesday, the 29th.

Tablet mockup via: Popular Mechanic (don't forget to check out the other mockups here as well!)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

PCWorld's Top-Ten Cell Phones: Does The Droid Really Top The iPhone?

PCWorld has posted what they claim are the top ten smart phones around, but after listing the Motorola's Droid in the first place, well, I must heartedly disagree!

The iPhone, by the way, ranks second in this same list, even though both phones each received the same 4.5 star rating.

My main disagreement with PCWorld's rankings is that they didn't bother to report any facts, or figures, to back their list up - none-what-so-ever! At least they are not stated, if this is the case. So, just what where the deciding factors that made the Droid the number one cell phone, and the iPhone the second, anyway? That, my dear readers, they didn't even hint at, unless, of course, my pee-sized-brain is missing something here?

Could the reason be because the iPhone doesn't have a crappy and not so easy to use physical keyboard like the Droid, which PCWorld itself described it as being 'shallow'! Could it be because, maybe, just maybe the Droid has a higher resolution camera, even though it takes crappier photos then the iPhone (based on my personal observations of actual side-by-side comparisons), or could it simply be because the Droid has a slightly bigger, but less crisp and less detailed screen than that of the iPhone?

For crying out pizza with anchovies and stuffed turkey-lips, from what I can determine, PCWorld's post is nothing more and nothing less than just their own personal opinion! I can't really accept it as having much valitity without any supportive evidence to back it up, so their list, as interesting as it was, is no more valid than if you or I wrote it ourselves.

PCWorld's list, on one level, of course, is absolutely fine with me, since this particular post of mine is essentially of the very same nature - being nothing more, and nothing less than my own personal opinion of what I think is merely their own flawed opinion.

Personal opinion pieces are great and all, but this is PCWord that we are talking about here, and it just happens to be one of the largest and most trusted sources in the high-tech world, and I think that it would have been rather nice if they at least backed up this piece in a more in depth manor than what seems to be nothing more than a totally arbitrary one! If this is indeed the case, then I think they should report it as an opinion piece and one to be taken with a grain of salt.

Nor, again, is PCWorld's top-ten cell phone list the only one out there. There are many such lists, such as this recently released top-ten cell phone list from a highly creditable source that happens to disagrees with those of PCWorld's, and one that places the iPhone squarely in the number one spot!

I also must agree with, whom point out, that with its more than 100,000 apps, many of which are extremely useful and rather sophisticated, especially as compared with most of the 16,000 apps available for the Droid, then the iPhone has rightfully earned its place as the number one smart phone of them all.

In fact, the only reason, that I can personally see why the Droid earned its number one spot on PCWorld's top-ten list is because maybe its a little newer, and therefore a little different! Now, if you ask me, and again this is just my own personal opinion here, this can hardly be what I would call very valid reasons to list the Droid over the iPhone.

Personal opinions from various individuals, like mine own, are just that - personal opinions. However, when it comes to the top journalistic sources, including PCWorld, I that think that the standards and expectations must be held to a much higher level, because it's the big-brand sources, like PCWorld, that have the money, manpower and the other resources to give us more than just mere opinions, but also the plain and unbiased facts on what they reporting.

So, is PCWorld's top-ten list an accurate one? Can it be trusted? Does the Droid really top the iPhone?

Well, personally, that really depends on who you are, and are your own personal opinions, likes or dislikes? This is because I find that whether it's just an opinion piece, or a factual one, or whether it's true or false, people have the natural tendency to color every thing that they read, hear, see or think with that of their own!

In conclusion, and in other words: top-ten lists such as PCWorld's, be they true or false, really don't matter squat, because in the end, the human mind will basically believe what it wants to believe, and even if that means that the truth be damned in the process!

And that's my 2 cents 4 this Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Best Performing CEO EVER: Steve Jobs!

Recently, the Harvard Business Review named Steve Jobs among the top 100 CEO's, coming in at the good old number one spot!

The Harvard Business Review noted that under Steve's tutelage Apple's market cap recorded an astounding increase of some 150 billion smack-a-roos! Wow, now that's what I can pretty dang tooting impressive, and especially when you consider that the guy only draws an annual salary of one measly buck per year, so it's quite obvious that Apple is getting a bargain here, because he's easily worth at least 2 bucks annually, and if you ask me, maybe even a whole five bucks!

Seriously, ever since Jobs returned to rescue Apple, a company long considered to be next to dead, Apple has gone on to launch one successful product after another. The iMac, the iPod, the iPhone, OS X, iTunes and the incredibly game changing APP STORE. Each of these products have completely turned the entire industry upside down in their own respected areas, and it's all because of Jobs vision and amazing attention to details.

OS X, for example, has inspired both Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Linux's Complz to try to copy features, such as translucent windows, spinning cubes, and a host of other eye candy and other effects. On the other hand, the iPod has helped to inspire competitors to come up with innovative new mpg players, such as Microsoft's Zune HD, etc., and yet, in spite of all their best efforts, the iPod still continues to lead the pack, leaving all of them choking on its dust!

However, it's the iPhone and the iTunes APP STORE which have become the biggest game changers of all. The entire mobile world has been completely turned upside down as it now finds itself frantically trying to catch up to Apple. In fact, the iPhone has now even garnered up to 46% of the hard-to-crack Japanese smart phone market, and something that, up until now, has been considered next to impossible to penetrate!

Without question, Steve Jobs certainly deserves to be named the big numero, and the world's best performing CEO. He has, after all, single handily defied the odds, coming out on top, time and time again! He beat the odds of cancer twice, recently emerging from a six month hiatus, which ended in him having a liver transplant! Of course, it wasn't much of a hiatus, because we now know that Jobs was still calling most of the important shots and making all of the really big decisions for Apple from his sick bed!

Well, so far, Steve's position as Apple's CEO has been one hell of an incredible ride to say the least, and one that has kept the world of big business spelled bound and guessing his next and every move, but what will the upcoming year and next decade bring?

Will Steve remain, or will he retire, or even semi-retire?

Of course, that is up to Steve to decide, but naturally all us Apple fans want him to remain at the helm, hoping in the process, that Apple's will continue its incredible ride, as Steve, and the company he co-founded, will go on to amaze us with ever more amazing, clever, sophisticated and game changing products and services that all come from Apple's time proven philosophy of 'thinking different.'

So, in conclusion, in regards to Steve being named the number one performing CEO, well, all I will say is congratulations Steve on a job well done, and an honor well deserved, and may I wish you the very best in the coming year, and those that follow.

And that's my 2 cents 4 this Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Official Steve Jobs photo via: Apple

Monday, December 21, 2009

How To Make A Million Dollars Per Month!

Before the iPhone came out, many people, from Microsoft's Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, to the presidents of long established mobile operators had warned Apple that its chances of creating a popular device was next to, if not utterly imposible!

How wrong they turned out to be! And, just to prove the point, all you have to do is ask some of the developers of iPhone apps, like Tapulous, the creators of Tap Tap Revenge Revenge. Tapulous, with only 20 employees, might be small, but trust me, what they are earning through the APP STORE each and every month is big - very, very big.

So, just how much money are they pulling in per month?

Well, boys and girls, would you believe it's the mind blowing sum of one million smack-a-roos! Yes, you read correctly - one million dollars per month! Oh baby, if I had that kind of income I'd be skiing in the Bavarian Alps right now, or relaxing in in a sauna in Baden Baden, or walking the streets of charming Freiburg, or driving through the beautiful and rolling country side of Niedersachsen in my new SL 550 roadster!

If anything points to just how popular and just how amazing the iPhone, iPod ecosystem have become, well, a monthly cash flow of some million clams per month has got to be it!

According to a Reuters report, Tapulous creators have now seen their Tap Tap Revenge installed by a third of all app users - some 20 million of them, which have now played the game well over a whopping 600,000,000 times, and thus making this game a success by any standard that you wish to define it by.

The success of Tap Tap Revenge is not only great news for its creators, of course, but also for the iPhone itself, and, more importantly, for its users, because Tap Tap Revenge's success acts like a very strong magnet for other developers who want to do the same - make money and lots of it!

These developers are the key to the success of the iPhone/iPod ecosystem, and just as developers were the key to making Windows the unassailable and the dominant OS on the desktop, so likewise they are doing the very same thing for Apple's mobile offerings - making them the unassailable and dominant offerings in the world of handheld phones and music players!

Other companies, be they from Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, Microsoft, Android, or whom ever, may, in fact, even come close to offering the same hardware and OS functionality, but unless, or until they can equal or supersede the functionality and offerings that developers, like Tapulous, brings to the iPhone, then I personally can't see how they will ever be able kill off the iPhone anytime soon, no matter what do, or how hard they try to do it!

Well, in conclusion, the dream of making a million dollars, let alone each and every month, may be for most people anyway, just that... nothing more than a dream. However, if you happen to be young, talented, ambitious and your an iPhone developer, than that dream of making a million dollars per month could, in actuality, very easily well turn out to become a reality!

And that's my 2 cents 4 this Monday, December 21, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Apple and Money for Nothing - Big Money!

Out the 34,000 or so employees of Apple Inc., some of the best paid are not even technically employees!

Thats because they are, in fact, board members from outside of Apple, such as former vice-president Al Gore.

So, just how much does Apple pay these 'outsiders' for each of the five board meetings per year?

Get this, would you believe it's an astounding ..... $127,000 per meeting!

Yeah, I know what your thinking and your totally correct...... this is insane! Totally insane!

As Dan would say, "I mean think about it", we are living through one of the greatest financial crisis's of all time, a time when millions of people the globe over are losing their jobs, their homes, and the hopes of millions are vanishing into thin air, and yet these guys, and one gal, are being paid over a half-million bucks for a measly eight or ten hours of work - and that's the hours for the entire year folks!

And remember, these board members already have their own high paying jobs back at their respected companies! I mean, how many hours does it take per board meeting anyway? I'm not one of the lucky board members, so I don't really know, but I'm guessing it can't be any more than one or two hours at the most, can you? According to the Wall Street Journal, these fat cats are basically being paid to do nothing more than - absolutely nothing!

Sweet job, if you can get it, but it all seems like a big joke to me and particularly during these hard times, Apple's board compensation package seems like a big slap across the faces of all of the dedicated and hard working men and women of the world!

It's legal, of course, but I'm not too sure about the morality of it?

For one thing, not only are these fat cats getting ridiculously huge pay checks for simply for checking in, but unlike the rest of us who may be interested in getting our hands on a shiny new iPod Touch, iPhone, 27 inch iMac, or what ever, these over paid Apple board members don't have to even buy them, even though they can obviously afford it, because they have the option of receiving complementary products el-gratis!

Yes, I know that even though Apple is booming, and sales are off the charts and growing like weeds, and yes, despite the fact that Apple is flushed with the biggest cash reserves in all of the tech world, some $32-34 billion, and Apple can easily afford to pay its members what ever it wish's, that doesn't necessarily mean that they should, or that it's morally right! Especially in this pre-depression era!

As much as I love Apple , and as cool as I think that their products really are, at this particular point in history, I think that Apple is sending out the wrong message with its board compensation package. Yes, Apple, I'm sure, will naturally point out that other companies pretty much do the same, but that still doesn't make it right, and as the Wall Street Journal pointed out, only three companies, Intuitive Surgical, Nabor Industries and Apple actually pay out an astronomical $100,000 plus per board meeting!

So, in conclusion, as far as my 2 cents is concerned, Apple's board compensation package is totally wrong, ludicrous, unjustifiable and morally objectionable, and I seriously can't help but speak out against it.

However, on the other hand, when I think about it, if Apple wish's to consider adding me to their board, and they wish to also pay me the same $127,000 per meeting, then I'm pretty dang-tooting sure that I will be able to give you a hundred plus reasons on why it's not only justified, but morally aceptable, even if I have to totally fabricate as to the reasons why!

And that's my 2 cents 4 this Friday, December 18, 2009

Bag of money image via: PrincipalsPage

Thursday, December 17, 2009

iWikiphone: The Great iPhone Social Networking Site

With a plethora of well over 100,000 apps already in the APP STORE, it's getting a little difficult these days for the average iPhone user to spot the next great iPhone app from the not so great.

Thankfully, however, for all of those frustrated app downloaders out there, there is now a new social networking site to help aid them in finding the apps that best suite them - iWikiphone! describes itself as being the world's largest social network for iPhone users, and one that can finally help them cut out some of the frustration associated with finding out which apps to either buy, or which not to buy. Above, the opening YouTube video helps to explain just what is and just how iWikiphone works. It is just one of several videos that you can find on their own dedicated YouTube channel, so be sure to check out the rest if you, like millions of others, want help in finding just what are the best apps are, because there sure is a heck-of-them to navigate and choose from, and so many, in fact, that they can easily leave your head spinning in a haze!, of course, is site that is entirely FREE to join, and features a clean, simple, and friendly appearance that makes it easy to review and find your next great app, and all I will say is that it's about time. One warning, however, is that the site has apparently become so popular that you might experience slow loading times, so check back often if that's the case.

With the rip-roaring success of the APP STORE and its 100,000 plus apps it can seem so daunting trying to wade through the already overwhelmingly large selection, but trust me, people in the know are now prediciting that those number could, over the next year, or so, suddenly mushroom to something more like 300,000 plus! Wow, if ever there was a time for a site like iWikiphone - it's now!

In a side not, I found it rather interesting that the iPhone has now, more-or-less, officially over taken Windows Mobile in the number of users, and this can't but help make me think back of the YouTube video of Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO, laughing at and dicing the iPhone shortly after its introduction, which you can catch here. I don't know, but something tells me that good old Steve boy isn't quite laughing now, because the iPhone's success is litterly flying off the charts and has been so huge, so immense, and so successful that sites like iWikiphone have naturally sprung up to help us all deal with it!

In conclusion, if your an iPhone and app user, then, dog-gone-it, iWikiphone just might be the ticket that you've been looking for, because with the huge and ever growing number of iPhone apps, well, sites like iWikiphone have never been more sorely needed or appreciated.

And that's my 2 cents 4 this bitterly cold day of December 17, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Finally: The New 27 Inch iMac & Blue-Ray Together At Last!

Even though I'm very disappointed that I have to wait yet another three or four more weeks to get my hands on a new quad based 27 inch i7 iMac, at least I'm very happy about a news release yesterday that Apogee Inc. has developed and will soon release and market a new patent-pending solution for the 27 inch iMac that will finally enable it to connect to either a Blue-Ray player, a Xbox 360, or one of Sony's PS3 video gaming consoles, as seen in the opening video!

This is great news indeed as the mammoth new 27 LED screen just cries out for the ability to play real honest-to-goodness Blue-Ray movies on its gorgeous ISP high definition screen! The ability to also play Xbox and PS3 games on this particular model of iMac is also a big plus as well, and should prove to be just one more reason for people to lust over this machine, a machine that is apparently already enjoying extremely strong sales! Despite not really being a gamer myself, Apogee's new device now tempts me to buy one of these fine gaming consoles just in order to see them running on my upcoming new toy.

Before Apogee announced their yet unnamed product, the iMac's gorgeous IPS display was limited to acting as a standalone monitor since it only worked with other DisplayPort devices such as the new uni-bodied MacBooks. Thanks, however, to Apogee's upcoming HDMI-to-DisplayPort adapter your new 27 inch iMac will now be able to enjoy unlimited connectivity with other devices.

Apogee's upcoming new dongle certainly helps makes waiting, for the 27 iMac, seem a little more bearable, since they are also promising to reveal more on its availability and pricing soon, most likely at this January's upcoming CES show in Vegas. The sooner the better, of course, because this new HDMI-to-DisplayPort connector and a new 27 inch, quad i7 iMac, with at least 8 GB of RAM, well, they just bloody dang well belong together and the sooner that we can get our anxious little hands on them, well, as I've said, all the better.

So in conclusion, just let me say........ please Apogee and Apple, please don't screw up and get these two fine products out the door and in our hands as soon as possible ..... pretty, pretty please!

And that's my 2 cents 4 this Wednesday, December 16 , 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Brand of the Decade: Apple!

Over the past 30 or so years of Apple's existence, it has won many awards and just recently it can boast of winning four more of them from AdWeek's, "Best of the 2000's" awards, including:

Wow, way to go Apple, yippee!

Unfortunately, for Apple, there was no 'phone of the decade' award, or otherwise, dare say I, that Apple would have probably taken that category with the iPhone as well!

All-in-all, I must say that it was a very good showing for what has also probably been the best decade ever for Apple as a company. True, Apple is no longer the world's largest PC manufacturer, but its success has seemingly gotten everyone and their dog, be they a tiny poodle, or a big, fat Rockweiler or St. Bernard, all trying to copy its success. You could say that Apple has turned all of these doggy competitors into cats - copy cats! And, frankly, who can blame them, because nothing quite succeeds like success so it's not surprising to find them, at all, bending over backwards to copy Apple's OS, its APP STORE, or the all-in-one iMac, the iPod, and, of course, the iPhone!

As a long time Mac user, I used to get teased for years from my PC friends who loved taunting me that 'Apple was going out of business any minute now', so it was especilly gratifying for me to see Apple recieved the top brand award for the past decade.

Ah, revenge..... how sweet it is - how sweet indeed!

Regarding the Best Brand of the Decade award, AdWeek's Noreen O'Leary stated:

"In terms of politics and world events, this has been a wild decade, but on the marketing front, one thing has remained constant: Apple's emotional connection to consumers, who reward it with an almost cult-like loyalty. Though the brand almost petered out in the '90s, last year consumers told Interbrand that Apple was the thing they couldn't live without and the one they found most inspiring. Why? Perhaps it's Apple's vaguely antiauthoritarian stance (epitomized in its iconic "1984" ad). A true-in-practice focus on relentlessly improving its products also helps. But maybe it comes down to this: Most brands are run by committee, but this one is the embodiment of a living, breathing person. Steve Jobs is Apple in the way that Richard Branson is Virgin. Of course it helps when you're a brilliant marketer who happens to be the CEO."

Well, in conclusion, just let me say once again, "Way-to-go - Apple, and thanks Steve for the past decade of truly great and innovational products, and may I extend my personal wish that you and Apple have many, many more of them to come.

And that's my 2 cents 4 this Tuesday, December 15 , 2009

CORRECTION: Actually, as ArsTechnica points out, Apple picked up six, not four, accolades! Way to go Apple, and a big Tip-of-the-hat to: The Loop for first bringing this story to my attention.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Magic Mouse And Better Touch Tool: A Magic Mouse On Steroids!

According to some people, Apple has never exactly been one of the better mouse designers, but its latest creation, the Magic Mouse, at least is certainly one fine dang tooting and sexy looking mouse if ever there was one. It's so sexy, in fact, that its ultra thin, smooth, curvy and sensuous body just begs for you to reach out and stroke it lovingly with your fingers.

Even though admitting its sexy appearance, some people will still complain, of course, about its limitations, such as it not being able to offer all of the functionality found in today's MacBook Pro's very enabling track pad.

Don't worry, however, because if your itching to buy a Magic Mouse with all of the multi-touch goodness of the MacBook Pro's track pad, and then some, then you need to look no further than Better Touch Tool. This amazing new enhancement software brings all of the track pad's features to the Magic Mouse, and, as well - it even enhances the track pad!

Mind you, however, that Better Touch Tools is still only in its beta stage, so the developer warns you, that if you use it, then you use it at your own risk, but so far most users seem to praised it a lot more than not, and state that it already seems rock stable and highly usable.

Presently, I don't personally have a Magic Mouse. That's because I'm still waiting to get one with my next Mac purchase, namely the new 27 inch quad i7 iMac. Unfortunately, as you may have already read, these beauties have been having some technical problems which have prompted Apple to delay their shipment until it can properly investigate and correct them. Damn, bummer, I say!

I've only briefly played with the Magic Mouse, so I won't say much about it except to confirm that it is one hell of a sexy mouse indeed. However, in the meantime, if you either have or are planning on getting one yourself, then by all means, check out not only the beginning video of Better Touch Tool above, but also the ones below, because if your itching for a Magic Mouse, but with more than the basic functionality that Apple provides out-of-the-box, then these helpful videos may be of interest, so here they are:

3 & 4 Finger Gestures Expose Spaces with Apple Magic Mouse

(BTT) BetterTouchTool Extended Magic Mouse Gestures

Below: Magic Mouse zooming with Better Touch Control

Apple Magic Mouse Unboxing and Review (Better Look at BetterTouchTool)

Hopefully, if your considering purchasing a new Magic Mouse, these Better Touch Tool videos will help aid you in your decision. I have no doubts, that in the future Magic Mouse software updates, that Apple will eventually be adding many, if not all of these same features. In the meantime, however, thanks to Better Touch Tools, if you don't have time to wait for the future, you don't have to - you can enjoy them all in-the-here-and-now!

And that's my 2 cents 4 this Monday, December 14 , 2009

UPDATE: December 22, Apple has now officially released its own Magic Mouse software enhancement called MagicPrefs, but it doesn't seem to go quite as far as Better Touch Tools, nor is it designed to work in conjunction with the MacBook Pro's built-in track pad, but it is at least from Apple, so check it out in the above link, and get yourself a gander at its preference pic below:

Friday, December 11, 2009

Did Apple Buy Lala To Spite Google?

Gizmodo posted yesterday about how Apple apparently bought Lala out from under Google, because basically Google first did the same with Admo, a company that Apple very much wanted too buy.

In other words: Apple bought Lala just to spite Google, but is that really the case?

Apparently Google wanted very much to also buy Lala, but despite some serious negotiations on their part to do so, along comes Apple and el zippo...... 85 million bucks later and Lala is now a part of Apple!

The idea that Google and Apple, two of the most innovative tech giants that the entire tech world has ever seen, are now both childishly competing and spiting each other would, in my thinking, be a bad thing, a very bad thing indeed. There is, after all, this saying, "united we stand; divided we fall," and this applies equally to Google and Apple. Together they are unstoppable, and together they are the most likely duo that could successfully challenge and take on big, bad old Microsoft on its own turf and actually win. However, as I see it, if the two huge companies become nothing more then distant competitors, something that they never were before until recently, then in the end, as I've stated before, the only real winner will be Microsoft!

I want to see Microsoft remain as a strong and viable company, but I don't want to see it remain, as it was in the past, a virtual monopoly where it's influence and power was so absolute that it could dictate and enforce their mediocre and buggy software down the throats of the majority, as well as it being able to get away with bullying other company's, or even killing them off as they did with Netscape.

If it wasn't for Apple, trust me, there would be no Windows 7 today, no Microsoft store, no Zune, or Zune market place. Like wise, without the powerhouse known as Google there wouldn't be any Bing search engine either! No, tuff competition from the likes of Apple and Google, among others, is the only compelling reason why Microsoft would have to worry about really cleaning up its act, because without the Google's and the Apple's of this world Microsoft would only have to maintain its status quo, namely that of providing mediocre, buggy, insecure software and support! In other words: there be no incentive for Microsoft to really get its act right, because, without strong competition, Microsoft would be the only act in town!

As Gizmodo brought out, Apple and Google are so huge, so immense, that it's only natural that they're going bump into each other, but the question is how hard are those bumps going to get? Hopefully, rather than seeing these companies spending millions, if not billions of dollars, in a childish manor to spite one another, these two tech giants will work together, as they have in the past, in a much more mature, grown up manor in order to much better compete with their arch nemesis Microsoft. This would not only pay better dividend's for these two respective powerhouses, but also will do likewise for their millions and millions of users, you and me!

So, in conclusion, did Apple really buy Lala to spite Google?

Maybe, maybe not, I'm just not sure? No doubt there are many reasons for Apple and Google to want Lala, Admo and other start ups, but, on the other hand, I'm sure hoping that childish spite, or a spirit of revelry, had anything to do with it.

And that's my 2 cents 4 this Friday, December 11 , 2009

Apple/Lala logo via: Gizmodo