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Steve Jobs Still Parking In Handicapped Spaces — The Pictures

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Photo by ranajune.

Steve Jobs is still parking in handicapped spaces at Apple, according to a new snap posted to Flickr.

Snapper Rana Sobhany spotted Jobs’ Mercedes SL55 AMG parked in a handicapped spot at the Apple campus over the weekend.

“Mercedes? Check. No license plate? Check. Handicap spot? Yep, this is Steve Jobs’ car!!!” she writes.

Jobs, of course, has a long history of parking in handicapped parking spaces at Apple. The reports go back years, and have recently been documented on Flickr.

Since 2006, Jobs’ car has been snapped in handicapped parking spaces at Apple at least five times. See the pictures after the jump.

Via ValleyWag.

Swedish Engineers Pronounce iPhone 3G Normal

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Image by Vissago via Flickr

Using testing equipment similar to that used by the FCC and mobile phone manufacturers to make sure phones are able to properly send and receive signals without interfering with other devices, engineers in Sweden pronounced the iPhone 3G’s capabilities “completely normal,” according to a report at Engadget.

Much speculation and not a little complaint registered in the wake of Apple’s 2.0.2 firmware upgrade last week, calling the iPhone’s 3G capabilities into question. One woman in Alabama filed suit in federal court seeking a class action to hold Apple liable for selling a “defective” product. But engineers at Bluetest in Gothenburg, Sweden, tested the iPhone 3G against a Nokia N73 and a Sony Ericsson P1 and found the difference between these two popular 3G phones and the iPhone 3G was negligible.

Your mileage may vary.

Greatest Mac Moment #23: Quick Look

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Quick Look

25 Years of Mac
Quick Look. Two words that brilliantly sum up one of the most important and yet least celebrated additions to the Mac experience. When stripped down to basics, Quick Look is merely a document preview. But what a preview! Using it, you can preview the majority of documents on your Mac by selecting them and hitting space, without opening the documents’ parent applications. Quick Look showcases the best of Apple and the Mac, highlighting how it’s sometimes the most obvious things that can be used as the basis for innovation and making the computing experience better.

Craig Grannell:
People use a whole lot of files, and Quick Look has the potential to save Mac users a lot of time every single day, by providing a full and simple preview to a selected file that doesn’t take ages to render, doesn’t require parent apps to open, and is often actually preferable to using apps at all. (I certainly rarely use Office now, preferring to read Word and Excel documents in Quick Look.) It shows how much Quick Look has become ingrained in me that I spent a good ten seconds dumbly hammering space on my iBook yesterday before realizing that, no, it doesn’t actually have Leopard installed.

For me, Quick Look shows what the best thing is about the Mac experience: it’s not about bells and whistles, and it’s not about flashy, showy gimmicks–it’s about doing something in the simplest, most efficient and intuitive fashion, in order to improve the experience for the user. And even though each use of Quick Look may save only a few seconds, it’s often the little things in the Mac user experience that leave the biggest impressions.

Leigh McMullen:
It’s hard to image that a simple OS feature could be considered one of the top Mac moments of the past 25 years. Nevertheless, Quicklook is truely a game changing feature, all the more so for its incredible subtlety. The implementation is so Apple. Take a feature (document preview) and make its implementation so seemless that it disappears. It’s like two-finger scrolling on Macbook Pro trackpads, you don’t even notice you’re doing it.

If you work with a lot of documents and doubt this feature’s importance, take the Tiger challenge: try using 10.4 for a day. You’ll be banging on that space-bar with so much  frustration your colleagues will think you’re playing Quake.

3G Owner Sues Apple for Making a “Defective Product”

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An Alabama iPhone 3G owner filed suit in Federal court yesterday, seeking class action status in a complaint against Apple’s ‘twice as fast at half the price’ marketing blitz.

The petition claims “[Apple] expressly warranted that the Defective iPhone 3G would be ‘twice as fast’ and would otherwise perform adequately on the 3G standard or protocol.” The plaintiff claims she and a class of “thousands, perhaps tens of thousands” of consumers were duped by the company’s marketing into buying a product that does not perform as it was advertised  and asked the court to force Apple to repair or replace the iPhone 3G, and award  an unspecified amount of money in damages.

Apple has yet to issue a statement or response to the suit.

Via ComputerWorld

Microsoft Taps Seinfeld to Get Serious with Apple

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Image via Wall Street Journal

UPDATE: The original reference to Chiat\Day as creators of the campaign referred to in this post was incorrect. We regret the error and any confusion it may have caused.

Microsoft is launching a $300 million advertising campaign featuring Jerry Seinfeld to try and slow the juggernaut that has seen Apple take increasingly big bites out of the Windows maker’s dominant share of the personal computer market.

Seinfeld, a known Apple/Mac fan, will reportedly take $10 million to look the other way and come up with one-liners to help transform Microsoft’s stodgy and serious image in the public mind.

The campaign, created by Chiat/Day, the agency responsible for Apple’s legendary 1984 commercial,  MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami, will also feature comedians Chris Rock and Will Ferrell (who starred in a Mac “switch” ad years ago). Apparently up in Redmond they don’t think Apple’s recent success is funny at all.

Via WSJ

Test Shows iPhone Download Speeds Fall Significantly After 2.0.2 Upgrade

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The iPhone 2.0.2 upgrade seems to have caused a significant drop in download speeds, according to statistics gathered by the Test My iPhone website.

The site, which allows iPhone users to test their iPhone’s download and upload speeds, shows that speeds for iPhones tested in the past 24 hours are significantly slower than the average speed in tests done prior to Monday’s release of the 2.0.2 firmware upgrade.

Prior to the upgrade, the average iPhone download speed is 2227.93 kbps (averaged from nearly 600,000 total speed tests made at the site).

But in tests made over the past 24 hours, the average is just 1429.31 kbps.

That’s a decrease of nearly 36 percent.

With widespread reports of 3G connection issues, the drop in download speeds seems to indicate that instead of fixing connectivity problems, the 2.0.2 update has actually made things worse. However, there could be several reasons for the speed decrease — from meteorological conditions to a spike in traffic on AT&T’s network.

The speed decrease may simply be  a bug in the site’s reporting tool. The average global download speed and the average upload speeds are the same: Both are 2227.93, which looks fishy.

We have contacted the site for further information, but have yet to hear back from them.

Apple released the 2.0.2 firmware for the iPhone a couple of days ago with cryptic release notes indicating “bug fixes.”

By yesterday afternoon, however, it seemed the company may be playing whack-a-mole with some issues, including widely reported 3G reception problems, and that disaffected users may be waiting until September for another shot at stable functionality across the iPhone product line.

Steve Jobs has written at least one iPhone customer, admitting that up to 2% of the iPhones out there could be suffering from “a known iPhone bug” that crashes 3rd party apps and will be fixed in the promised September 2.1 firmware release.

One thing is certain, with millions of iPhones now in the stream of commerce and credible expectations of Apple selling another several million in the next four months, if things are really broken the problem will soon move beyond a couple hundred complaints on Apple’s support forum.

iPhone Doubles Mobile Browser Market Share Since 3G Launch

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Apple has doubled its share of the mobile web browser market since launching iPhone 3G six weeks ago, according to Pacific Crest technology analyst Andy Hargreaves. Still quite a small pebble in a large pond, at 0.31% of the total mobile browser market, iPhone’s “accelerating web usage highlights…key long-term advantages” for Apple and the company’s investors, Hargreaves says. Coupled with the recent announcement that iPhones will be carried at Best Buy outlets beginning in September, he predicts Apple will easily sell more than the 3.5 million iPhones Wall Street expects in its third quarter.

Despite some continuing worry about the health of the general economy, Hargreaves and other analysts see the iPhone as very bullish for the price of Apple, Inc. shares. Consensus targets are in the $200 – $225 per share range; the stock closed today at $173.53.

Via CNBC

Apple Posts Highest Score Ever on Customer Satisfaction Index

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Apple, Inc. ranks first in customer satisfaction among its PC industry peers for the fifth year in a row, posting the highest score ever recorded in the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Apple’s 85 score is a full ten points higher than runner-up Dell, which joined Apple as the only computer companies in the University of Michigan survey to record increases over their 2007 scores.

Claes Fornell, a professor at the university and head of the ACSI, said, “we have never seen a gap between the leader and the rest of the pack this big,” but acknowledged Apple’s lead was likely affected by widespread disappointment with Windows Vista among HP-Compaq, Dell and Gateway consumers.

Apple’s score also does not reflect the customer service turmoil the company has tried to weather since launching iPhone 3G and MobileMe in July, problems Fornell expects will cause Apple’s score to level off in next year’s survey.

Via CNet

iPhone 2.0.2 Update: No 3G Reception Fix — But Keyboard, Backup, App Loading Much Better

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UPDATE: I just downloaded the 2.0.2 update myself, and overall, it does seem an improvement. Backup is now much quicker — less than a minute with my 16-Gbyte iPhone 3G (which has about a dozen third-party apps installed). Apps seem snappier. The Contacts app, which was annoyingly slow, now loads instantly and scrolls smoothly with no lags. Keyboard also seems much better. It used to hangup occassionally, especially in Mail, but so far no lags at all (however, many people report that the lag gets progressively worse until a hard reset). It’s too early to tell if 3G reception problems are fixed — but then I’ve not had consistent problems. It’s always been unpredictably spotty.

With widespread complaints of iPhone 3G reception issues, you’d think Apple would say whether the latest iPhone software update — version 2.0.2, released Monday afternoon — addresses connectivity problems.

But no. In inimitable Apple style, the release note for the 2.0.2 update says simply that it includes ‘bug fixes.” Nothing more. Thanks Apple. So helpful.

To top it off, 2.0.2 apparently doesn’t fix 3G reception. According to commenters at Apple’s discussion forums, 3G reception is just as bad, and in some cases, worse than before.

“I was getting none-to-2 bars on 3G here in my home, stationary position,” reports commenter Jettergear. “After the 2.0.2 I am getting nothing but a solid NO SERVICE.”

However, it’s not all bad. Others say that the painful lags with the onscreen keyboard and scrolling are much improved.

“The phone is A LOT snappier now,” reports commenter alangsam. “Contacts works much snappier. Email is much snappier – almost instant. SMS is almost instant. Overall BIG improvement.”

Analyst Calls for New iPhone Roadmap

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Gerry Purdy, a veteran mobile analyst with Frost & Sullivan says the next generation or two of Apple iPhones will have to adapt to different user requirements as Apple builds the franchise to address its growing audience. In a recent report to clients, he cites the many shifts Apple made in the iPod family to cater to different users, saying we can expect it will do the same with the iPhone.

Specifically, Purdy sees the phone being spun into separate consumer and enterprise models, with the consumer device focused on multimedia and ease-of-use features, while enterprise customers will get a phone that offers more ways to work with data and interact with enterprise services.

In all models, Purdy recommends that Apple add a small infrared (IR) transmitter so that future iPhones can be used as a universal remote in the home, a micro scanner so that all 1-D and 2-D bar codes can be easily read (useful for both consumers and enterprise customers), and a Near Field Communications (NFC) chip so that all iPhones can be used at retail to ‘swipe’ by credit card payment terminals. He agrees software would be necessary to make these three additions work properly, but sees the App Store and Apple’s iPhone development partners provide multiple solutions to those problems.

Another recommendation he has for all models is that Apple ‘open up’ the iPhone by adding a microSD slot that would allow users to add peripherals or more storage.

Purdy would like to see an iPhone “nano” that retails for $99 and an “extreme” version of the phone with an 8 megapixel camera and 32GB of storage for $499.

“What’s fun about doing a product roadmap for another company is being able to pretend that you’re working for them and that you’re in charge of Product Marketing,” Purdy says, adding, “of course, Apple’s Product Marketing team might feel differently about what they believe customers want and what they plan and will offer over the next year or two.”