(You're reading all posts by Mike Elgan) Mike Elgan is a Silicon Valley-based columnist who writes about technology and culture. His work appears in a variety of publications, including Computerworld, Datamation, PC World, InfoWorld, MacWorld, ITWorld, CIO, the San Francisco Chronicle. Subscribe to Mike's e-mail newsletter, Mike's List, and follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Digg and elsewhere by visiting http://elgan.com.
About Mike Elgan
ElementCase is now selling (for pre-order) the limited edition Sector 5 Black Ops iPhone 5 case for military and espionage types.
It features a non-glare anodized finish with super gripping edges, back and corner.
It comes with a “tactical holster” and a “non-glare privacy screen” and “Black Ops CNC machined amber RF inserts,” whatever the heck those are.
It’s not cheap, though. The SRP is $199.95, and it ships December 6.
Siri, Apple’s voice-based virtual assistant is a mixed bag of good things and bad. And Siri faces an increasing competition in the market, especially from Google.
I believe Siri is probably the single most important feature Apple offers for three future Apple devices. In fact, I think Apple is betting the entire company on Siri.
And that’s why they’ve got to fix it.
Everybody loves the Woz.
And what’s not to love? Steve Wozniak is a one-of-a-kind genius who invented the personal computer. He’s a millionaire who spends his money having fun, rather than trying to control the world. He’s a practical joker. He’s an iconoclast. And he’s a nerd’s nerd and a geek’s geek who believes in technology and the power of change.
But even the biggest Woz fan has to admit: The man loves the spotlight.
And the main way he grabs it is by saying what nobody expects him to say.
Apple’s current “hobby” — also known as Apple TV — doesn’t tell us much about Apple’s future plans for the living room.
It’s a good product under the right circumstances. But five years from now, living rooms are going to be transformed by all-encompassing systems that turn TVs into video phones, gaming systems, home automation control centers and artificial intelligence assistants.
Does Apple have what it takes to compete in the living room?
Steve Jobs was a Buddhist, a religion founded on the concept of the impermanence of all things.
And everything is impermanent. Especially Apple products.
A lot of users complain about Apple’s everything-is-temporary philosophy. But I think Apple will increasingly embrace it — and even launch a social network whose main feature is the deletion of your posts.
And just like that, the old Apple is dead, and a new Apple is born. I believe you’ll see massive changes to Apple products by next summer.
Apple had to re-create its products to correct a recent string of failures, including the catastrophic Maps debacle and the ongoing train wrecks that are Siri and skeuomorphic design.
(Picture courtesy of Eyevine)
Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, Google and all the big-screen TV makers want to own the the all-purpose living room entertainment system of tomorrow.
Smart TV systems, which will incorporate movies-on-demand, gaming, web surfing, videoconferencing, home automation and more (even TV shows!) are likely to become the next big opportunity for content-driven platform companies.
But is time running out for Apple to make its move?
The surprising answer is: No, not really. Apple’s got plenty of time. And there’s no need for Apple to make a TV set, either.
The Apple iPhone has become the poster child for the problems of Chinese and American labor.
One strain of conventional wisdom goes that while rich, entitled Western elites whine and complain over trivial issues like maps and purple haze on screens, abused, exploited Chinese factory workers slave away to make those iPhones in unsafe factories and under exploitative conditions.
The iPhone represents the shafting of the Chinese worker.
Another strain of conventional wisdom goes that greedy Apple (and other companies) ships factory jobs overseas to China, where Chinese factory workers get all the jobs, and American workers are left in the unemployment line.
The iPhone represents the shafting of the American worker.
Here’s an idea. Let’s stop accepting these brain-dead caricatures, and insist on the truth about iPhones, factories and workers.
The cubicle wars continue unabated, sparking an arms race of unprecedented idiocy.
Now the conflict is escalating with a new weapons system coming online that could tilt the balance of power: A $130 iOS-controlled ping pong ball-dropping drone aircraft.
Called the iStrike Shuttle, the 3-channel office drone is remotely piloted via an iStrike Controller app on your iOS device by way of Bluetooth.
The app features G-Sensor and Joystick modes for flight control.
Here comes the video.
Another year, another iPhone. Since 2007, Apple has been churning these gadgets out like it’s a bodily function. Each iPhone is undeniably better than the last, although sometimes not in every respect.
iPhone fans always say it’s the best phone because it has the best overall user experience, best out-of-box experience, best industrial design, best selection of apps and a few other things perceived as being “best.”
But the iPhone itself is not the best thing about the iPhone platform. It’s the universe of crazy customization and expansion products that support the iPhone.