↯ Amadi Talks: Siri Failures, Illustrated →
amaditalks: The recent illustrations of Siri, the iPhone 4S voice-recognition based assistant, failing to provide information to users about abortion, birth control, help after rape and help with domestic violence has gotten a lot of notice. Wonderful public service debunking many pro-Apple alternative explanations that have been floated. Thank you.
Speaking of MG “CrunchFund” Siegler, his blog now looks like the tech equivalent of a penny stock newsletter. Another day, another buy alert on the latest start-up he poured money in. Where are the tech news and commentary? Yet he writes: I promise not to keep incessantly hawking CrunchFund investments — I hate it when VCs do that shit too. I just thought these achievements were...
Megan Carpentier: Ask the Siri, the new iPhone 4 assistant, where to get an abortion, and, if you happen to be in Washington, D.C., she won’t direct you to the Planned Parenthood on 16th St, NW. Instead, she’ll suggest you pay a visit to the 1st Choice Women’s Health Center, an anti-abortion Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC) in Landsdowne, Virginia, or Human Life Services, a CPC in York,...
Apple enthusiast John Gruber: That’s why Wallace’s work serves as a beacon, a yardstick, for my own. See my post “David Foster Wallace, asshole prescriptivist” and my other post on Gruber’s thesaurus. (The rest of Gruber’s post was a mixture of typical Slate nonsense and Gruber’s own trite exhortations. Highly recommended.)
Hi Ben Brooks!
The Brooks Review: Many people think that commenting this way is a surefire way for it to not be seen. To address that let me tell you how you can make me aware of it: 1. Click a link that takes you from your comment to my site. Then you show up in my referrers and I try to look and read what and who is linking to me. Obviously the more traffic you have the quicker I notice this. Hey dudes...
VCs and Engineers
Something to keep in mind when you read MG “CrunchFund” Siegler jocking his startups next. Jamie Zawinski: [Michael Arrington of CrunchFund] is trying to make the point that the only path to success in the software industry is to work insane hours, sleep under your desk, and give up your one and only youth, and if you don’t do that, you’re a pussy. He’s using my...
↯ Marco Arment: Whatever Works For You →
I choose to fit myself into most of Apple’s intended-use constraints because their products tend to work better that way, which makes my life easier. But that requires trade-offs that many people can’t or won’t make. Previous-me tried to persuade everyone to switch to my setup, but I now know that it’s not worth the effort. I’ll never know someone else’s requirements, environment, or priorities...
Shawn Blanc quotes approvingly: A fantastic article by Matt Legend Gemmell: When you see a mature product that’s somehow managed to innovate (to be “new” whilst balancing all the constraints and annoyances of the existing problem), it becomes almost impossible to see how you could do it any other way. Design blindness sets in: the most successful product is the only possible design. Which, of...
Shoddy Reporting, Echoed
Apple enthusiast John Gruber: Christian Zibreg, writing for 9to5 Mac, on the relationship between HTC and VIA Technologies, the current owner of S3 Graphics: Both VIA and HTC share the same owner, Formosa Plastics Group, a Taiwanese conglomerate whose diverse interests include biotechnology, petrochemical processing and production of electronics components. The entity is owned by the Wang...
MG Siegler: Sadly, the majority of the time a company comes out with something that excites people, a competitor will come out and yell “FIRST!”. When Apple makes the product, it tends to happen every single time. And Microsoft is the worst at this type of “us first” nonsense. They don’t seem to realize that it just makes them look pathetic — or worse, highlights their own irrelevance in the...
↯ The Occasional Blargh: Measure Twice, Cut Once →
↯ Nieman Lab: Google Maps API Clarifications →
I know I’m linking Nieman Lab a ton, but they do great work. Anyway, the clarifications here also cement the kind of company Google is: mostly well-intentioned, but unbelievably inept at public relations. Unfortunately for Google, while the Appleverse is happy to mention the initial news (that Google is limiting access to their maps API), it will undoubtedly ignore the later clarification...
↯ TNW: The Atlantic's Online Ad Revenue Exceeds... →
But whatever, the journalism business is broken blah blah and everyone has to erect a paywall blah blah design professional blah blah I feel so exploited blah blah.
512 Pixels: Screw This — I’m Done I can’t take it anymore. I’m already tired of this device. Look, here’s the thing: the Kindle Fire sucks unless you are earlobe-deep in Amazon’s ecosystem. No. Fucking. Shit. This is like saying the iPhone sucks unless you buy into the Apple ecosystem. The analogous statement is literally true of all smartphones. If you aren’t going to buy apps...
Expectations and Comparisons
Andy Ihnatko reviews iPhone 4S (via DF): So … time to upgrade, then? Trick question. If you bought an iPhone 4, you’re still under a two-year contract. Only you, with the help of your loved ones and clergyman, can decide if the new features are worth the expense of breaking your contract. If you bought an iPhone 3GS two years ago, the improvements are almost disorientingly good and...
↯ Nieman Lab: Pepper Spraying Cop →
Smart commentary on the pepper spraying cop becoming an amazing internet meme.
↯ Monday Note: Apple's Antitrust Problem (pt. 2) →
In fact, access to the customer could be another antitrust issue. Specialized attorneys I spoke with say Apple has no right to retain customer data the way it does and it should make the transfer customer information much easier. Incisive commentary. Reading the Appleistas would make you think Apple is refusing to give customer data to magazines etc. for the benefit of the consumers....
The Brooks Review: Wladimir Palant [of Adblock Plus] commenting on some things he found while digging around the Chrome browser: Don’t get me wrong: Google Chrome is a great browser and it is easy to get excited about it, argue about benchmarks, brand-new standards and such. But sometimes you get a reminder: this is a Google product and it has to benefit Google. It isn’t merely about making...
↯ MG Siegler: Pushing The Envelope, Not The Share...
parislemon: Worse, the fear mongering comes out. Ahhhhh, sharing what music we’re listening to and what we’re reading without having to click a share button?!!!! AHHHHHH!!! Everyone will know! We’ll be found out! Big Brother isn’t just looking over our shoulder, he’s sitting on our lap!!! A sensible quote to remember the next time the Appleverse starts freaking out about Google and privacy.
Apple enthusiast John Gruber: Speaking of Malcolm Gladwell Losing His Touch You can’t lose something you never had.
8:00pm: Marco Arment posts his review of Kindle Fire. 8:09pm: 512 Pixels links to it with a note: “Ouch”. 8:33pm: Daring Fireball links to it with a note: “Scathing”. 9:21pm: The Brooks Review links to it with a longer note, in agreement. Come on, Shawn Blanc, you better have a good excuse for being late to the party. (You too, MG Siegler.) ———- ...
Wait, did John Gruber took a rationality pill? Let me take the devil’s advocate position here. Of course Android has more malware than iOS. For the same reason that Mac OS X has more malware than iOS: they’re open to unsigned, un-reviewed apps from anywhere. The question should not be whether malware for Android exists, but whether it’s a real problem for typical Android users. If you shop for...
Apple enthusiast John Gruber: The other thing that struck me, looking at so many devices at once, is that Apple has only shipped three iPhone hardware designs, total. Three. Is three the right number? The cheap criticism is that we should count the white iPhones in addition to the black ones. The real criticism is that we should also count the different antenna designs—surely an...
↯ CNet: Apple Granted Patent for Location Services →
Great news for consumers, obviously.
The Appleverse is keen on saying that mainstream technology pundits just don’t get it when it comes to new and disruptive technology, such as the original iPhone or the original iPad. Before Amazon’s Kindle Fire was officially released, the Appleverse also kept stressing that it is not an iPad competitor. As Apple enthusiast John Gruber puts it, “Amazon built an alternative to...
Ben Brooks: If I described to you a service that was very well designed and allowed you to save articles you read on the web for later reading on devices such as your iPhone, iPad, and Kindle. What company would you, an educated technophile, assume I was talking about? Apple. Specifically, the new reading list feature in Safari + iCloud syncing. Amirite? Oh. You’re talking about some...
↯ Wired: Google Analytics Reverse Lookup →
Andy Baio details the methods with which he uncovered the identity of the Daring No Balls author (I think). Good info for anyone who wants to stay genuinely anonymous. I don’t really care. So, go ahead, look up my Google Analytics. :-)
↯ Applidium: Cracking Siri →
Two tidbits of note: We did really learn a few interesting things about how the iPhone 4S talks to Apple’s servers … The iPhone 4S really sends raw audio data. They literally are listening to you! And The protocol is actually very, very chatty. Your iPhone sends a tons of things to Apple’s servers. And those servers reply an incredible amount of informations. They’re getting...
↯ Monday Note: Apple's Antitrust Problem →
Antitrust lawyers don’t see things that way. Their argument: for someone controlling 75 % of the tablet market, invoking such a marginal alternative isn’t relevant. A publisher willing to join the tablet business has no choice but being available on the iPad. In practical terms, this means investing serious money to join a platform operated in a discretionary and opaque way, with unclear...
Whiteness & Dudeness
Speaking of breaking the patriarchy, anyone ever noticed how white and how dude the tech world, especially the Appleverse, really is? Look at the roster of Read & Trust: nearly everyone is white and all are male. (Well, there’s an Asian woman on the page, but I don’t think she is the one who is named “Kyle Baxter”.) Unsurprisingly, casual misogyny is commonplace....
↯ Jailbreak the Patriarchy →
Jailbreak the Patriarchy genderswaps the world for you. When it’s installed, everything you read in Chrome (except for gmail, so far) loads with pronouns and a reasonably thorough set of other gendered words swapped. (via waxy.org)
↯ The Orange View: Lion Adoption Stagnates →
Now comes word that adoption has topped out for now at only 16% of the Mac audience.
Stephen M. Hackett of 512 Pixels comments on Android and iOS security. On iOS, the passcode can be circumvented via Siri once someone has physical access to the phone. Hackett (October 19, 2011): Passcodes are good, but — as always — once physical access is acquired, all security measures are less effective. On Android, face unlock can be circumvented via a photo once someone has physical...
↯ Andy Baio: Arcade Improv →
“Welcome to ACTION CASTLE! You are in a small cottage. There is a fishing pole here. Exits are out.” An awkward pause, followed by some giggling from the audience. “Is it our turn to say something?” said Mike. “I don’t understand ‘is it our turn to say something,’” said the young man. Instantly, Mike and Jerry understood, along with...
More Words With Friends
Apple enthusiast John Gruber: Stephen Shankland, writing for CNet on the demise of Flash for mobile devices: But in context, the cancellation wasn’t a complete surprise. Flash has plenty of opponents, and the biggest one, Apple, also happens to the single most powerful player in mobile computing. By banning Flash on the browser responsible for 62 percent of mobile Web usage, Apple effectively...
Apple enthusiast John Gruber (and his echo chamber Shawn Blanc): Apple didn’t win. Everybody won. Flash hasn’t been superseded in mobile by any sort of Apple technology. It’s been superseded by truly open web technologies. Let’s be clear: the death of mobile flash is an overall good thing. But it’s just false that flash is superseded in mobile by “truly open web...
Via 512 Pixels, new in Apple’s knowledge base: Apple may provide customers a replacement adapter if the power adapter shows signs of strain relief. Measure twice, cut once — after a class action lawsuit and settlement.
Apple Inc.--Not Nearly Pedantic Enough
Via Brooks Review: “Apple denies that its correct name is Apple, Inc. The correct name of Respondent is Apple Inc.” — Apple Inc. in a legal response. Actually, if you’re going to be pedantic, you better heed the use/mention distinction. So, what Apple should have said is: “Apple denies that its correct name is ‘Apple, Inc.’. The correct name of Respondent is...
↯ The Occasional Blargh: Consistency →
MG Siegler, paraconsistent logician.
parislemon: Tomorrow Never Comes United and Continental are promising to give 300 of their aircrafts in-flight WiFi by the middle of next year. Awesome. But. The entire fleet won’t be covered until 2015. Take your time, guys. MG Siegler needs to go back to logic school and learn how universal quantifiers work. (Really, this blog post is just for my one loyal reader, who I’ll...
Apple enthusiast John Gruber, responding to Sascha Segan: When you promise perfection, any imperfection is news. When you call your products “revolutionary and magical,” that’s a high bar to set. Nobody else promises perfection quite to the extent Apple does. My thesaurus does not list perfect as a synonym for either revolutionary or magical. First, I want to know whether this thesaurus is...
MG Siegler, venture capitalist: Groupon just went public with a market cap now 3x what Google was offering them. We’ll see if the good times last — now that they’re public, they’re going to have to show real growth in the numbers — but it’s pretty clear that either way, Groupon did the right thing in not taking that deal. Wait. What? Even if the good times don’t last—specifically,...
↯ Action at a Distance: Your daily dose of... →
actionaad: A few anti-Apple-fanboy blogs have either sprung up or crossed my radar recently. Daring No Balls is a witless and charmless troll attempt, and not deserving of your time. But Raging Thunderbolt and the older The Occasional Blargh very much are. Yay. I have some wit, or some charm!
Shawn “But vs. Though: A Distinction that Matters” Blanc: With a kid on the way who’s grandparents live in another state, I have a feeling the Cards app will get some regular use from this household. Whose vs. Who’s: A Distinction that Apparently Doesn’t Matter.
↯ The Brooks Review: Google and Privacy →
Philip Greenspun: “Where Does Google Actually Say That They Won’t Read Gmail Messages or Google Docs?” Good question. See my post “Privacy and Deficit”. Where does Apple actually say that they won’t listen to what you say to Siri?
Reactions of the Day
Both Apple and Google messed up, and apologized today. Here are the Appleistas’ reactions to each news. First up, after weeks of complaints, Apple finally acknowledges that iOS 5, one of the company’s biggest products, causes battery issues. The Brooks Review: nice of [Apple] to acknowledge this. Next, Google immediately acknowledges problems with their GMail app, a marginal*...
Sports Analogy Fail
Yankee fan John Gruber: Can you imagine a sports team in the midst of a present-day losing season that makes a video imagining a future championship 10 years out? Umm. That is what baseball teams other than the Yankees do. They plan—maybe not 10 years, but 5 years out—to build strong major league teams. That’s what the Brewers and the Rays did in the past few years. I...
↯ TUAW: 10 Cool Things You Can Do With Wolfram... →
Visualize colors. Okay, I’ve saved the best for last. If you work with colors, this can save you a lot of time. Say, “Wolfram pound sign E 9 7 4 5 1” (for Burnt Sienna / Tangerine) or “Wolfram pound sign 2 9 A B 8 7” (for Jungle Green). This will also convert the colors to RGB values and look up closely-matching brand colors from Benjamin...