Playing Catchup

The media is already churning out the same old spin about Apple. Over at CNET we see that apparently Apple is playing catch up. When it comes to the iPhone “the company hasn’t dramatically changed the device’s basic design and functionality over the years.” It really makes me wonder if these writers really are masochistic and enjoy being wrong all the time. And how do they keep their jobs? Or maybe they have done their job by creating “click bait” that attracted me and others.

The Internet of Things or 30 years behind the bitmask.

I’ve got at smartphone. But I think of it as a pocket computer. Before people began using the term smartphone I already had a POTS line (not to be confused with a POTUS line) plugged into my computer, a modem, various networking protocols, and was experimenting with voice over IP. To me a phone was an integral part of a computer.

Walmart Family Mobile

Was messing around with some old iPhone 4s and Walmart Family Mobile since my parents wanted the phones and wanted the cheapest phone bill they could get. First of all you need to be prepared to cut a SIM down to micro size since so far Walmart Family Mobile is supplying SIMs in only the large size. Cutting them can be done with scissors or an exacto knife and there are plenty of instructional sites and videos out there that will show you what to do. But there are some cheap devices (imagine a ticket puncher) which will punch a micro SIM out for you so if you can borrow one or don’t mind splurging ten dollars I’d recommend that. After getting the SIM activated you want to make sure you can actually use the “unlimited texts and unlimited data” that they advertise. Walmart Family Mobile runs on T-Mobile’s network so don’t expect 3G speeds until and if T-Mobile changes their 3G spectrum. But you can still use Edge. A good many internet postings deal with getting data and MMS messaging set up correctly on “other” phones not officially supported by Walmart Family Mobile. This is a summary of what I found.

iPhone 5 Predictions (And Reality)

Just thought I’d record my predictions for the iPhone 5 before it is announced and see how close I can get. Essentially a lot of this is already known from leaked parts. I’m under NDA regarding iOS 6 but I might guess at features that I have not seen. I’ve updated this with comments about what actually was announced.

CrossWorld by Melondrop LLC

Today a new App that I co-wrote was released to the App Store. It is CrossWorld, also available to try in a free version. This is just the beginning of the educational games I hope to be creating for Melondrop LLC.

Apple UUIDs

Yesterdays news was that Antisec hacking group had somehow gotten 12 million Apple UUIDs from the laptop of an FBI agent. Today the FBI denied such a hack occurred and Apple denied ever supplying the FBI with any user’s UUIDs. What strikes me as most interesting is another post on The Next Web allowing you to check if your UUID is in the list of hacked UUIDs. The whole thing begins to seem like a social engineering hack. If I wanted to get a few hundred or million UUIDs very quickly along with a lot of information about the device’s owner what better way than to have them enter it on an insecure web page under the guise of checking to see if it has been hacked?

Reed Hastings versus Steve Jobs

Many of the truths that we cling to depend on our point of view. -Obi-Wan Kenobi

Recently I received a letter from Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, telling my why he raised prices on my service and why he was making changes that would make Netflix less convenient for me to use.

UPDATE: Of course Netflix back pedaled on this whole thing. They had to do this considering the huge backlash from thousands of people and bloggers. But as of this update I still think that Reed doesn’t understand his business that well, and I’d be happy to try out the first competitor that comes along that does what Netflix can do. Certainly the streaming has been full of buffer under-runs of late and all the DVDs on my queue are marked as “Long Wait”. This is not a good user experience. It is just the only thing reasonably close to what people want.

FURTHER UPDATE: While I complain that Reed doesn’t understand his customer or business model I have to admit the guy is thinking straight when it comes to networking and net neutrality. He understands who the bad guys are. See All Things D.

Metro and Windows 8

I took some time to look at the videos of Metro/Windows 8 and also download the Developer Preview. Plenty of information is already available at the MSDN website. Probably the best of the presentations is the one given by Jensen Harris - 8 traits of great Metro style apps. Taking these 8 great traits point by point I’d like to give you my impressions as a long time iOS and Mac developer.

Upgrading to Lion

I’ve seen a few articles about upgrading to Lion but most leave out the most important steps. Two steps that you should really do before any software update. In fact even when or if you need to update to the latest Snow Leopard (10.6.8) you should do these first.

When will the iPad replace the Macbook?

Recently I read one of these predictive articles that industry pundits love to make. Usually they are the kind of article you can reread in five years and have a good laugh. The headline read iPad casts shadow on MacBook and of course I got sucked into reading it. The article took the point of view of walking into an Apple Store, talking to some of the employees, and getting the impression that the MacBook Air, and in fact maybe the whole MacBook line was doomed.