Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Apple Event Update

So Apple had their big event on September 5th and it held a fair number of surprises. I was close in my prediction that the iPhone wouldn’t be left out of the party, while I was hoping for some new features to be opened up I guess a price cut and the Wi-Fi Music Store will suffice. Everyone else has chimed in with their opinion on the price cut so I guess I will to. I’m actually happy that the price cut occurred. Sure I wish I’d purchased my iPhone AFTER the cut, but I’m trying to keep the long run in mind. In the long run it benefits all iPhone owners for there to be more iPhones sold. More iPhone’s sold means greater product support and enhancements down the road. Look at the iPod, they sell the crap out of those and they keep making them better. If the sales weren’t there Apple would abandon the product and it would go the way of the Newton.

Regarding the new nano. I think its pretty cool, now if I could only justify having one. Here’s the problem, I now use my nano in exactly two situations: Walking the dogs or going to the gym. In those two situations I basically start up my podcast playlist and leave it until I stop, meaning I don’t mess around with the interface at all and if I’m going to watch video it will be on my iPhone. This means that my current nano works just fine and I have no “need” (beyond gadget lust) for the new nano. Sad, I know.

My last comment on the Apple event is about the Starbucks partnership. I think this is a bit of genius. Starbucks sells a lot of music through their Hear Music label. One of the biggest reasons iTunes is so dominant is the convenience of the purchasing transaction. Being able to walk into a Starbucks a within a few taps be able to buy whatever you hear is going to be a tremendous phenomenon.  

Until next time, thank you for your time.


September 5th event to be iPod focused, but don’t forget the iPhone

So it looks like the consensus of the web is that the September 5th Apple event will be dominated by the iPod. The reasoning is sound given that the iPod is overdue for an update, video iPods have been on clearance and Apple Stores haven’t been getting new shipments of video iPods in a while.

I think we need to consider something else though as well, which is that the iPhone is also in need of an update. Thusfar we’ve received some bug fixes (which aren’t even detailed in release notes) and no new features (with the exception of Web Gallery, but thats not even an option unless you have a .Mac account). The iPhone hacking community is having a field day adding applications left and right. If Apple wants to maintain any control over the device they need to start adding some value and quick. I haven’t hacked my iPhone, yet, but if Apple delays in updating the device for much longer I’m going to have to look elsewhere for my feature expansion.

What might these features be? You got me, see my other post about the built-in hardware features that are just waiting to be unleashed. I would be really happy if 3G were enabled and something like the Mail app was updated to include a “Mark All as Read” feature. Flash support would be pretty great as well.

Now I’m going to disclaim here that this is purely conjecture and not based on any “insider info”. I figured confirmation bias being what it is if I’m right I look amazing, if I’m wrong most people will tend to forget it altogether. Thats all for now, thanks for your time.

More potential for the iPhone

Medallia Blog: Fun with the iPhone accelerometer

Follow the link for a very cool hack for the iPhone, tapping into the built in accelerometer. Apparently the built in sensors are being pretty under-utilized for simply distinguishing between two different orientations. As the video shows the possibilities are really interesting.

I think “untapped potential” is a great label for the iPhone. This isn’t to say that I think the iPhone is anything less than amazing though. I’ve had pdas, smartphones, and internet tablets (n800 ftw!) and the iPhone is really the evolution of all those devices. Is the iPhone the most full-featured mobile communications device in the market? Probably not, however I do believe the iPhone has the most potential for making usable, always connected internet access in your hand more mainstream. My parents want an iPhone, my in-laws want iPhones, people who don’t own computers want iPhones. Yes, its a 1st gen product and there are strong competitors, however I don’t think any of them have the ability to bring about the kind of massive shift in mobile computing that the iPhone can bring about.

One item that I don’t think is getting enough press is the rumor that the iPhone is based on a platform that has GPS, 3G, Flash and Java built-in. Given the software-heavy nature of the iPhone it seems reasonable to believe that some if not all of these features could be “turned-on” via software updates. There again we have a BIG difference between the iPhone and its competitors. Most phones will never be connected to a computer in their lifetime. Of those that are occasionally connected for modem use or contact syncing will almost certainly not have their firmware updated. The iPhone is different, the iPhone will be almost universally connected to a computer fairly often in order to sync up with iTunes. This means that the iPhone can be updated much more frequently than any traditional phone, giving the folks in Cupertino the ability to slowly release/enable features as they are tested or as capacity becomes available.

I think that will do for my first iPhone post, thanks for your time.

Now this is a toy…

Farting Fun: Loopwing Wind Power Generator Set Generates Fun, Looks Like A Weapon – Gizmodo

This is awesome, its a DIY kit to build a toy wind-power generator. The wind generator charges a small toy car that you can drive around. I realize this is a diminutive version of Al Gore’s wet dream but it is cool nonetheless.

Ambient Orb power-usage hack reduces energy consumption by 40% – Engadget

Ambient Orb power-usage hack reduces energy consumption by 40% – Engadget

I used to have one of these. Actually I probably have it out in the shed somewhere. The Ambient Orb is an orb of frosted glass that is lit from within by an led that is capable of a large range of colors. The orb used a cellular pager system to receive data like stock quotes and weather. When the orb received this data it would pulse in different color shades corresponding to the data; stock goes down it pulses red, stock goes up green, etc.

Ambient also offered a developer system whereby you could create your own data “feeds” that you could subscribe your orb to. At the time a friend and I were working on an enterprise patch management system. We had the neat idea that we could distill all this patch status data down to a continuum representing the overall threat to a computer network. We could then generate one of these orb data feeds using this continuum. The end effect would be that a network admin could have one of these slick little orbs sitting on his desk and would know at a glance how safe his network was by the color the orb was displaying. Cool eh?

After some work with varying success (I don’t think Ambients’ network was quite up to snuff yet) we got distracted and moved on. Even though it didn’t work it was still a good idea.

Thanks for your time, MJ