iSpy? Apple’s two-page Wall Street Journal ad timed to coincide with the PRISM statement.
You really had to hope that Apple would be more above board than other companies about who has access to our iData. We love them so much: half of all U.S. households own at least one Apple device. They’ve sold us on documenting our growing kids, cooking for our families and debuting new haircuts with iPhones, iPads and Macs.
Instead, Apple initially denied any involvement in PRISM, the National Security Agency’s massive e-spying program. Then, like Facebook and Microsoft, the Cupertino company issued a statement meant to clear things up but the numbers released by all three companies just confuse and minimize the issue.
So if they all did it, why am I seeing red about Apple? We deserve more from a publicly-traded company that has built its reputation on products that aspire to “enhance the life it touches” as in the above two-page ad timed to appear in the Wall Street Journal the day of the PRISM statement.That statement, headlined “Apple’s Commitment to Customer Privacy,” seems about as phony as this Android iPhone clone.
It’s not that a 128GB iPad is an unwelcome thing, of course. More storage for apps, movies and music is always a good thing… except, if it’s just a matter of soldering in a couple of 64GB NAND modules instead of a couple of 32GB NAND modules, why the heck didn’t Apple release a 128GB iPad when they refreshed the iPad in October?
In other words, why now? Why announce it today, on a sleepy Tuesday morning at the tail-end of January? And who is this thing for, anyway?
What did the fine folk on Google+ have to say about Apple’s iPhone 5 announcement? Well, you can see for yourselves by clicking HERE. Unfortunately our thumbnails don’t go beyond 640X400 on the site so I had to host it over on Google+ of course. As can be expected, initial impressions were not flattering, but then again, neither was Apple’s keynote *rimshot*. What about the rest of you, what are your impressions of Apple’s latest “innovation”?
After nearly a decade, my iTunes library weighs in at almost ninety-four gigabytes. A lot of serious music nerds would sneeze derisively at that, but it still represents over 13,000 songs that would take me, from start to finish, a full 48 days to listen to back to back.
I’d be lying if I said most of these had been acquired legally. Most of these albums were acquired on Bittorrent in my twenties. Many more were ripped from CDs lent to me by friends and family, or slurped up from Usenet to satisfy my obscure yet surface-thin musical fixations. Some were purchased through iTunes or other sources online, but truthfully, if you stripped everything out of my iTunes library that I’d acquired legally, I’d probably have a digital music library that could fit on a first generation iPod.
Over the course of the last two years, though, something interesting has happened. I’ve grown a conscience. These days, all of the music I listen to is listened to legally. But iTunes not only has no part in it. In fact, for the past two years, my iTunes library has just been collecting dust: a graveyard to the music piracy of my youth.
I’m ashamed of it. I want to try to explain things. Both why I started pirating music, why I stopped, and how, in fits and starts, being a music pirate helped transform me into someone who cared enough about music to buy it.
Perhaps you’ve heard the “great” news about how Verizon has to dish out $1.25 million to the FCC for violating the FCC’s “C Block rules,” requiring licensees of C Block spectrum to allow customers to freely use the devices and applications of their choosing. If you’re just hearing about it, let me give you the gist of things and then you’ll get to hear me rant.
There’s only one important fact to know about Phoenix, Arizona: it’s hot as hell.
I don’t mean that figuratively, either. I mean, if there really is a mystical place with fire, brimstone, and goblin monsters with big horns, then in all likelihood it was modeled after Phoenix. Days that only hit 100°F are cause for celebration, because 115°F is probably coming right around the corner like a stampede of raging, wild bulls hopped up on Adderall.
What makes things even worse about Phoenix is that we don’t have beaches or the ocean. We don’t even have a really good waterpark. But we do have a filthy river just outside the city. So when things get hot, people start doing silly things like grabbing a bunch of inner tubes, beer, a stereo, and snacks and float down the river for hours.
While everyone else on the river is getting drunk or stoned as they throw monster-sized marshmallows at each other, my friends and I take a different tack. We grab our goggles and dive down to the bottom of the river to find all the stuff everyone loses. We find some pretty funny items, like 80s-styled boom boxes, marijuana pipes, bras, Miley Cyrus beach towels, you name it. People suck at holding on to their crap when they’re drunk. It’s a scientific fact.
Whatever you want to call it, there’s a lot of talk out there about how Apple is going to revolutionize the living room experience by releasing their own proper television set.
There’s reason enough to be skeptical of these reports. From the industry’s notoriously low margins — Sony’s losing billions on their television business — to the fact that consumers simply don’t upgrade their TVs like they do their smartphones, does it even make sense that Apple would want to release their own television set?
Sure, Steve Jobs said he had “cracked” the TV problem before he died, but who’s to say that he wasn’t talking about Cupertino’s existing set-top box, the Apple TV, a $99 puck that anyone can afford and that slurps up streaming content from the web or the iPhones, iPads and (with Mountain Lion) Macs already in the home?
I’ll say it. The Apple TV is not enough, and Apple absolutely must release a revolutionary television set in the next two years.
Why? Because no matter how popular the Apple TV becomes, it will never be essential.
For the last few years, each Worldwide Developer’s Conference has sold out in successively less and less time. Three years ago, WWDC sold out in a month. Two years ago, it sold out in a week. Last year, it took twelve hours.
Everyone knew WWDC 2012 would sell out even faster than last year’s when it was eventually announced, but it’s obvious even Apple didn’t anticipate how fast that would be: less than two hours to sell out 5,000 tickets.
The problem? Cupertino-based Apple announced WWDC ticket sales before its own time zone even rolled out of bed and brushed its teeth. The result is that West Coast based app devs — the kind who can just climb in their cars and drive to the Moscone Center — have been totally boned, and tickets to WWDC were gone before they even knew they were available for sale.
Before Apple unveiled the new iPad on Wednesday, no one was quite positive what Apple would announce. It seemed pretty sure that the iPad 3 (as it was being called then) would have a Retina Display, but would it have an A5X processor or an A6 processor? 3G or LTE? 512MB of RAM or 1GB of RAM. Would it be thinner or thicker? And what would it be called: the iPad 3 or iPad HD? (Everyone got the name wrong: it’s just called the “new iPad” now.)
One thing few people had any doubt about was that Siri would be making her way to iPad this year… which is why Siri’s absence on the new iPad counted as probably the biggest disappointment of the entire event.
I don’t know how many times I’ve seen a famous photographer say something like “it’s not your equipment, it’s how you use it”; but they love to trot out that phrase like a dog breeder trotting out a prize poodle. And of course, they’re right. In fact, one of the most important — if not the most important — feature is that the camera is actually around for you to take the shot with — or you’ll miss the moment. The second? That the damn thing doesn’t require much fumbling around with to operate.
The iPhone has never had any problem with the first one. And today, bam — Apple has just taken care of the second. In fact, the camera tweaks in iOS 5 should make the iPhone the most-used camera ever. Here’re the much-needed improvements, in order of grooviness.