Thursday, October 27, 2011

Final Fantasy

The Great High Priest of Cupertino has ascended. iPhone 4S supposedly meant iPhone for Steve. It has SIRI. Perhaps Steve is not so absent as we think. Steve Is Really Inside iPhone 4 Steve.

The power of Ascension. It makes people complain about having to taking time off work to purchase the "best iPhone ever" on the first day.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

WWDC 2011


It's a military term, and also a reference to a very important date in history without which, life as we know would not exists.

Jump forward to the year 2011, to a gathering of 5200 in San Francisco, the "D" takes on a totally different meaning. 

Watching the Keynote, I cannot help thinking "Duh" to so many things.  Lion's full screen app functionality springs foremost to mind. Full screen apps have been around the days of the Commodore. I still remember Apple worshippers use to say "why the need for full screen web browsing?" My answer has always been why not? Finally the gods of Cupertino agree. Duh!

There were a lot of "new" things introduced in this gathering of the highest ranking members. Many many more things that were not highlighted.

A lot of it consist of things that should have been in the first place, and a lot of it mainly to catch up with the up coming competitor. (Or plural if Microsoft can catch up). Admittedly Apple does make the improvements look cool and easy to use. 

Here are just a few of the Duh moments.

1. Mail in OS X

Finally, finally a decent mail program or app for the "desktop".  It is so much easier scanning mail on iOS devices and also they work for Yahoo Mail, something not possible currently unless you pay. (Poor Yahoo! will be just so sad and poorer if it works on the desktop)
The new interface looks just like the mobile version, but hopefully even more powerful. Currently it simply sucks.

2.  iMessage

Still think the "i" thing is getting way overused, but hey thats consistency for you. Apple took away Whatsapp from iPod Touch users who paid for it without an explanation, and gave iMessage as a consolation. It also keeps everyone in the ecosystem, swim out of the pond and you are dead.

3. Reader in Mobile Safari

First thing first, Android uses open source Safari. Safari is open sourced?

Never mind that, let me just say Reader is a good idea and pretty amazing to see in demo action. That's the one cool innovation I have seen.

4. PC free iOS

This deserves the biggest DUH award of the year. What else can I say... Duh.


Clearly they have spent all their creative energies in the actual product, saving little for names. It just reminds me of the old Tarzan shows: "iCloud, uDumb..uh uh uh awwww yeee awww yeee aww"

The Temple of Cupertino is finally ascending to the realm of cloud computing, or rather directed active  virtual storage. Computing implies mathematical labour to produce something. 

They have been doing that on MobileMe with contacts and calendar, then failed miserably with file storage and photos. Now they have expanded the functions and polished it up to the speed and simplicity of Dropbox. (Supposedly for a seamless experience, they still call each function Apps)

Top it off, the service is now free.

At least I know what the MobileMe subscriptions were for, simply R&D funds for iCloud free service. A bit of a Duh moment, but I must say when they get it, they do it pretty well.

To play the Devil's Advocate, I do see a negative side to this new found convenience.

First is to consider the number of iOS users. Then consider how much these users are using the camera function alone. Then imagine the trigger happy users filling up the bandwidth a myriad of photos flying  back and forth to all linked devices. Then finally multiply by the 9 functionality "apps" and possible third party apps. Simply mind boggling to imagine. Worse when you consider the "eco friendly" data centers (The actual quote is "Eco friendly as data centers can be", thats like saying non-radioactive as nuclear plants can be)  needed to support all these whizzing bits and bytes

Recently electronic giant Sony was hit at least three times by concerted hacker attacks. Vital private data and trust were lost. Sony is still wheeling from the debacle. 

Now imagine these same hackers targeting Apple, which is possible since they like to boast how safe they are from viruses and spyware. That is a scary thought.

All in all, Apple delivered their beliefs with typical unwavering conviction, they are the best and likely only one to grant seamless digitization of your life. You no longer need to look outside beautifully constructed iOS village. 

I have to admit they make a compelling reason to stay with their ecosystem. Doh!

Happy Duh and Doh Day people.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dinosaur still roaring

Nokia the old familiar giant maybe falling out of favour with the "in" crowd, but they are still hanging around. Working on their not too recently purchased Symbian OS, they now nickname the user interface  Anna. Why Anna I have no idea, probably of Russian origin to mean something sexy?

Being a long time Nokia user, I am pretty okay with their interface, but I noticed with newer phones it gets annoyingly lagged. Frankly I don't fancy a smartphone, my phone is basically a phone to receive calls and sms, maybe an emergency camera. The smart part I just defer to the iPod Touch.

So how are the new batch of Nokia's going to fare? Well the one thing I like is the very long battery life that they offer. The E6 has a standby time of 1 month. Wow. My current phone the E52 can go without charging for about 5 days to 1 week, with light phone calls and sms. Not as much fun as iPhone users but I don't have to worry about the phone dying in the middle of a call.

The other aspect is the physical keyboard. I prefer something I can touch press. Wish I could touch type, but too bad, have to settle for touch press. Much easier while driving and not needing to look down. Also I am a sucker for QWERTY keyboard, despite my speeling handicap.

So, maybe I might just stay with the Dinosaur on the brink of extinction for a while more. Who knows, 2012 is just around the corner.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fire away

Mozilla released Firefox 4 just recently and hit over 6 million downloads so far. It promised speed and security, so far the speed part is pretty evident.  It took just one bounce on the dock and the window appeared. Website loading appears to be fast, it matches Chrome's rendering power.

The UI is more streamlined now almost like Chrome's minimalist design, very useful on Macbook Air's smaller screen estate. It is also capable of running full screen, with a smoother transition than Chrome.

In my short experience with Firefox, I think it is a good alternative to Chrome, especially on the Mac OS platform. There are a couple of sites that don't render well on Chrome, so hopefully they run on Firefox.

Hope I can truly snowball Safari which frankly doesn't appeal to me, never has. Apple gives you a nice big widescreen but insists it is silly to view the internet in full panorama.

Monday, March 21, 2011


A new nickname for the Thunderbolt enabled Macbook was seen circulating on Macrumours forum pages, sounds cool, maybe apropos for the new machines sounding all fury with no actual lightning?

Reports that the Pro version of the notebooks are failing have started trickling in. So how does this new star fall? Apparently it crashes under specific load on the system, the OS just freezes when the system is stressed to a certain point. Well every system has its limits, so the question is just how commonly is the supposed critical load level reached by power users. Funnily one of the application involved is Photo Booth which is suppose to "fly" on the new iPad. The other programs seem to involve development programs which would definitely overload a lot of machines, especially mobile units. Would be interesting if someone was running photoshop and processing several large photos and it crashes, then it would be something for Apple to be concern about.

Unless they run more regular applications as opposed to development heavy programs, most regular people would still buy the Thunderbook.

Saturday, March 12, 2011



Cr-App, they should call it that.

When you use the Mac App store, it remembers your purchases, even the iOS app store remembers. But iTunes is amnesic with your purchases, so you could probably end up paying for the same app twice if you forget. I did a quick experiment with a free app which was already on my Touch. In the App store, I clicked the buy button and iTunes merrily started to download the program after getting the right password.

I would think it should work like Mac App store, once logged in to the same account it should hold the info. It even worked perfectly when I shifted from my Macbook to the Air without having to migrate using any wizard. Just log on in the App program with the correct account and ta-da! Previous purchases intact.

No...not iTunes.

It started when I updated and synced my Touch, suddenly it reported that the Air is not authorised to accept  the Whatsapp app on the Touch. So I obediently clicked to authorise, since it threaten to delete the app if I didn't. Strange since it has been working for the past year. Then iTunes declared "Hey Silly, your computer is already authorised".

What the f***?

The Genius in iTunes has dementia?

Then I tried to reinstall the App by deleting it and re-syncing it. It refused to stay after syncing.

Finally it dawned on me, the App has somehow been disabled for Touch. I could not see it in the iOS App store when searching. Also I remembered that after the last direct update on the Touch, syncing has been glitchy, there was even a graphical glitch on the Touch passcode page.

So much for iOS 4.3 "bug" fix.

Ironically, had I not deleted the app directly, it would still be running on my Touch, but it made syncing annoyingly difficult. The worse thing is Whatsapp is a paid app and now it is disabled without any warning. Why? Then the crap app of iTunes goes into a convulsion instead of solving the problem.

Great way to crap on paying customer. Got an App for that?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lightening in a port

The Thunderbolted MacBook Pros are available for fondling and scrutiny in the stores.

It seems the flash based disk in the Air makes a lot of difference. Tried starting iTunes on both machines and the Air flies ahead with just 2 bounce compared to  5-7 for the Pro. The supposed raw power would probably be apparent when crunching videos and fitting a dog's head on your enemy's. Imagine outfitting the Pro with a flash disk, woo hoo, it would rocket overhead while wallets would lie below withering of malnutrition.

The FaceTime camera is a very visible improvement over the Air's iSight but doesn't detail your loved one's facial flaws too much.

Otherwise, the refreshed Pros looks decidedly the same and unremarkable.