Although Guy Day is, as pictured, about as far away from the har- boozing, womanizing, red-meat-eating Don Draper type as a 70s-style pompadour will get you, he was one of the country’s quintessential ad men for decades.
Everyone reading this blog knows his work: as the president of the acclaimed Chiat / Day advertising agency, Day was responsible for bringing together the team that created the hyper-Orwellian 1984 Super Bowl Macintosh ad.
Sadly, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that Day on Saturday, died in his sleep of natural causes. The timing is particularly depressing: a self-described “life-long agency ad man” who revolutionized Apple’s advertising strategies, Day, of all people, would be delighted by the marketing possibilities of the forthcoming Tablet.
Rest in peace, Mr. Day. You’ll always be remembered by this Mac fan for your art and for your work.
If astronaut Leroy Chiao has anything to say about it, Apple’s iPhone may be the first smartphone in space.
The former NASA astronaut, who has four missions in space under his belt, including a six and a half month stint on the international space station, has been a Mac nut since 1985. Today he is the Executive Vice President of Excalibur Almaz, a commercial venture that hopes to be putting space tourists into true space journeys by sometime in the next few years.
Chiao was disappointed to have to abandon his preference for Macs during his time as a NASA employee (because NASA was a PC-only shop) but says his first purchase after leaving the US government space program was a new Mac.
He’s an iPhone user, too — although he relies mostly on his 3 year-old twins for app selection so far — but he’s confident Mac and iPhone both have roles in his company’s plans — as long as they “play well with the systems on board.”
What it is: BumpTop for Mac is OS X software that gives you a whole new way of looking at and using your desktop, one that brings your computer screen into the realm of 3D imaging and instantly grows your monitor’s real estate – no matter how large or small – into a more productive palette than anything you’ve seen before.
Why it’s cool: BumpTop represents a total re-thinking of the 20 year-old design artifact that is the standard desktop UI.
Now you can view your computer screen as a real desk, or more accurately perhaps, as the floor of a four walled room – and use all the space to put your stuff in piles, tack important things on the walls and slap sticky notes on everything – just like in real life.
Desktop minimalists are hereby free to skip the rest of this post.
We take pictures to remember our own lives better and tell stories about the people who matter most to us. In older days, we had photo albums. These days, we have gigantic digital libraries on our computers, and a lot of the time it’s pretty disorganized. Sure, the most important photos are grouped into albums and what-not, but little else is. The meaning behind the pictures isn’t obvious.
Apple has taken steps to address this in iPhoto 09, adding in face detection and the ability to take people in pictures for searching by participant and searching by geography via GPS data, but these elements aren’t well-intertwined — and it does a bad job of considering the long view. That’s where MemoryMiner, a very nice piece of shareware from GroupSmarts, steps in.
“These preliminary results indicate the recovery of the PC market on a global level,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner in a statement.
Worldwide computer shipments grew 22.1% in Q4 (numbering 90 million units).
Hewlett-Packard displaced Dell as the biggest PC maker in the U.S., and Acer established itself as the low-price leader.
In the U.S., Apple saw gains of 23.2% compared to Q4 2008 (which was dismal). However, competitors like Toshiba led the PC pack with 70.7% growth, trailed by Acer (48.4%) and HP (45.9%). Dell lagged with only 5.5% growth, largely because it didn’t discount for the holidays. “Dell was not as aggressive on pricing as its competitors in order to protect profits,” Gartner said.
Growth was driven by the consumer market — not the business market — and the Windows 7 was did not create additional PC demand, although Gartner said “the launch was a good market tool during holiday sales.”
“It was the strongest quarter over quarter growth rate the worldwide PC market has experienced in the last seven years,” Gartner said in a statement.
When Shawn Ahmed travels to places such as Bangladesh to fight poverty he counts on iPhones and Macs to help him do battle.
Ahmed is the founder of a one-man global relief effort he calls the Uncultured Project and is using technology and social media in inventive ways to engage people across the globe in their common humanity.
In partnership with the Save the Children Foundation and USAID, Ahmed went last summer to a cyclone devastated village in Galachipa, Bangladesh to distribute non-food relief items to victims of the disaster. He provided individual donors to Uncultured Project real-time receipts for their generosity using his iPhone and TwitPic.
As seen in the clip above, Ahmed used his iPhone to show villagers in another Bangladeshi community videos made by the people in the west who helped bring safe, clean drinking water to their lives. “This is not a charity,” Ahmed said, “it’s an experiment in community.”
The 28 year-old native of Toronto, Canada quit his scholarship graduate studies at Notre Dame University after being inspired by Dr. Jeffery Sachs (author of The End of Poverty) to try and make the world a better place — one meaningful difference at a time.
“I’ve also been using the iPhone to report real-time in the field,” Ahmed said in an email. He makes extensive use of Twitter and YouTube to break down the distance between his supporters and the communities they support. Connecting to them with his iPhone, Ahmed said, “I hold votes on how I should help people in Bangladesh. Voting has led [to] school supply distributions to orphans and much more. And, of course, all my videos are edited on a MacBook.”
The Uncultured Project’s YouTube channel just went over 10,000 subscribers and Ahmed is hopeful for the prospects of his unpaid, unemployed, uncultured journey to help the poorest of the poor: “It’s about inspiring others to believe that we can be the generation that ends extreme poverty.”
Psytar's Robert Pedraza -- the technical brains behind Psystar. Photo: Ted Soqui/Miami New Times
Psystar, the unofficial Mac cloner, may actually have a shot at beating Apple, the Miami New Times reports in an interesting backgrounder on the two brothers behind the company, Robert and Rudy Pedraza.
The six-page profile includes several interesting factoids, including the revelation that their father is a convicted coke dealer.
The brothers started their knockoff business after one of them survived a near fatal car crash. The company is shipping boatloads of computers and is likely making money (quickly eaten by legal costs). Several copycats have cropped up, including the Moscow-based RussianMac.
To recap, Psystar sells cheap Hackintoshes that run Apple’s OS X. A Psystar machine costs about a third of a comparable offering from Apple, but runs OS X in violation of Apple’s shrinkwrap EULA license.
Apple is hell-bent on shutting the company down, but some IP experts think Psystar has a shot. The case hinges on the legality of EULAs — shrinkwrap licenses — that say you don’t own the software you buy, you license it. The legality of EULAs has never been tested in the courts, which makes the Psystar case so important. If Psystar wins, it may not only throw a wrench into Apple’s business model, it may alter the entire software industry.
The paper quotes a couple of intellectual property lawyers who say the tiny Florida company may actually win.
“They’ve already put some really good arguments forward,” says Randy Friedberg, an intellectual property lawyer following the case in New York. “There’s essentially one really interesting question here, and it’s whether that licensing agreement holds up.”