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News Posts In Category <em>   Apple</em>

News Posts In Category Apple

September 1st, 2012

Apple v. Samsung: The True Story

Apple v. Samsung. Everyone who thinks Samsung got shafted and/or that the decision was wrong should read this excellent article. It's not an opinion piece, by the way: It's full of actual facts about various patent cases and about the Samsung decisionmaking that the jury was presented with. Clearly, Samsung made a conscious choice to copy the iPhone, and they succeeded. Wildly. Apple was right to take them to court to protect their intellectual property rights, and the jury was right to decide in their favor. If you're on the fence about the decision, this one will definitely tip you over to Apple's side.
    
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June 4th, 2010

Google Ditching Windows?

FT.com / Technology - Google ditches Windows on security concerns. I do hope this turns out to be true. If so, it's about time some IT folks wised up about Windows. The myth that Windows security problems are all due to the OS' large market share continues to dominate mindshare, but it's just that… a myth. Microsoft is singlehandedly responsible for the Antivirus/Anti-malware growth industry, and all of the security patches needed to keep Windows secure is keeping a lot of IT guys employed. This doesn't mean that Windows insecurity is a good thing, folks.
    
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April 15th, 2010

The Future for Home Computing

The iPad is the future for home computing - Computerworld. My iPad hasn't arrived yet (I opted for the 3G version, since I don't believe in cellphones and their parasitic subscription fees), but from what I know this Computerworld writer is spot-on. Not only am I a cellphone luddite, but a laptop one as well. I bought a MacBook Pro a couple of years back, but just couldn't make myself need or want it. (Ended up giving it to my wife.) But the iPad sounds like the laptop I've been waiting for! And it also means that, as much as I rely on my iPod Touch for eBook reading now, I'm very much looking forward to getting my mitts on the new iBook store. This is a great summary review of the iPad and captures all the salient reasons why Apple has another (and perhaps its biggest yet) hit on its hands.
    
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February 4th, 2010

Government Going Apple?

Government going Apple? - Security Systems News. I guess I missed this little tidbit from last fall, courtesy of Security Systems News. If true, it sounds like there at least a few Federal IT execs who are beginning to listen to reason, rather than being always feeling like they're on the defensive about Macs.
    
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November 13th, 2009

Microsoft Exec Admits Windows 7 Emulates OS X

Microsoft rebukes exec for Mac inspiration comment. They can run, but they just can't hide. :-)
    
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November 3rd, 2009

ComputerWorld Pits Snow Leopard Against Windows 7 (Again)

Smackdown: Windows 7 takes on Apples Snow Leopard. Now, this is more like it! Whereas the earlier ComputerWorld reviewer basically called the OS's an even match (while exposing a lot of his own ignorance about Mac OS X), this fellow understands completely. In his closing remarks, he concludes:
As an IT professional, I support both operating systems at work. But I have Macs at home; after all, who wants to troubleshoot computer problems on their own time? My final verdict in this smackdown? It's not even close: Snow Leopard is the better OS.
I couldn't have put it better myself. :-)
    
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October 23rd, 2009

Analysis Shows Snow Leopard Faster Than Windows 7

Performance showdown: Windows 7 vs. Snow Leopard | Windows 7 Insider - CNET Reviews. I think Windows 7 is supposed to be faster than Vista, but even so, Snow Leopard is so much faster than any previous Mac OS X system that I suspected it would come out on top in a test with Windows 7. And the test doesn't even measure such mundane tasks as application launch, let alone the time it takes to perform simple tasks like finding a file or application in the morass that is Window's file system and its pathetic Explorer app.
    
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April 19th, 2009

Another Windows Guru Falls For A Mac

Living on Air: A Windows guru spends two weeks with a Mac. In this case, said Guru had avoided trying out a Mac for 25 years and finally took the plunge, only after being assigned to do so. Lucky him, he got to play with the latest model MacBook Air, but his article spends more time explaining why he now understands the appeal of Mac OS X. Though he does get a number of things wrong (heck, he only spent 2 weeks with the OS, but sadly writes as though he's now an expert on it), I think we can count him in the Switcher camp.
    
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April 19th, 2009

Microsoft’s ‘Apple tax’ claims are ’stupid,’ counters analyst

Microsoft's 'Apple tax' claims are 'stupid,' counters analyst. Microsoft is still trying to convince the world that Macs are too expensive and not worth the price. This article makes a good argument why, even when Macs actually are more expensive, they are a significantly better value. Remember, price alone does not determine the value of a product. If it did, we'd all be buying no-name-brand TVs, home entertainment equipment, and other household appliances. There's a huge difference in using Mac OS X versus Windows, and that--along with the entire suite of Apple software that comes with it--is the key differentiator that Microsoft would like you to forget (or remain ignorant about).
    
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February 2nd, 2009

Mac web share just shy of 10% in January

AppleInsider | Mac web share hits record 9.9 percent in January

This impressive news is all over the web since it was released yesterday. It's accompanied by the news that Safari's share has been rising more than any other browser in recent months, climbing over 8% in January.

    
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Posted in:Macs vs. PCs, |
January 8th, 2009

Microsoft Still Spreading Apple FUD on Prices

Microsoft bangs 'Apple tax' drum once again

Anyone who thinks there is a "new" Microsoft, one that isn't primarily interested in cornering even more of its monopoly markets, should heed the bullcrap this Microsoft spokesperson dished out the day before MacWorld. A couple of quick points here...

  • Microsoft Office is outrageously priced considering the paltry amount Microsoft spends in its production. If it didn't hold a monopoly of the office productivity market, the price would be down near where Apple's iWork suite now is... $49!
  • Microsoft charges way more for its operating system than is warranted by costs. Again, it gets away with this because it holds a monopoly on business desktops. For the business edition of Vista, Amazon.com has a discounted price of $250 (regularly $300), whereas Mac OS X Leopard (which isn't crippled like the "home" versions of Vista) runs $110 for a single license or $145 for a 5-pack.
  • Microsoft also gets away with charging outrageous amounts for developers to play in their party. To get the bare minimum necessary for developing with Microsoft's tools, you have to shell out $2,500. For Apple? Zero, zilch. And that's for the entire enchilada, including the iPhone dev tools.

Now, who's actually charging a tax here? Seems very obvious to me.

    
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January 1st, 2009

New Zunes Killing Themselves In Droves

30GB Zunes Killing Themselves In Droves | Gadget Lab from Wired.com

Even for those of us who have long maintained that Microsoft products are second-rate (or, in some cases, third), this is surprising news. Still, as a rational Martian I can't imagine why anyone except, perhaps, Microsoft's desperate shareholders, would think Microsoft--a maker of buggy software--could build a reliable music player. Maybe it's their success with the XBox... ?

    
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December 16th, 2008

Computerworld: 68% of Businesses Say They’ll Add Macs in ‘09

Businesses double down on Apple; 68% say they'll add Macs in '09

Very interesting news! I hope it comes to pass. This is, as I've predicted, the only way businesses would start supporting the Mac: Their employees are starting to demand it.

    
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Posted in:Macs vs. PCs, |
November 14th, 2008

iPhone Races Past Blackberry to No. 2 in SmartPhones

Apple edges out RIM to take No. 2 spot in smart phones Well, this must be a surprise to even the most ardent believes in Apple's new computing platform. Now, if you count folks like me, who use the iPod Touch, the OS X mobile operating system probably beats out Nokia's #1 slot. The fact that it has already surpassed Windows Mobile is also astonishing. Of course, Steve Ballmer says this is a temporary setback... one that will disappear by next year. As I recall, he said the same thing about the iPod a few years back, as well as iTunes, as well as ... anything Apple produces that competes with MS. Does that guy really believe his own FUD?
    
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September 23rd, 2008

Microsoft IT Shops Upset At Apple’s “Patch Process”

Apple's patch process a mess, say researchers - Computerworld

This is clearly a case of limited-brain humans thinking that something different is something bad. Also a bit of Microsoft-minded FUD here, with statements about Mac OS X's "aging code base" (huh?) and Microsoft being "way ahead" of Apple in its security-patching (huh?).

Why should a company like Apple, which has never had even a minor security incident affecting its users, follow the lead of a company like Microsoft, which defined the way to Not build a secure operating system?

    
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August 31st, 2008

Monopoly Charge Against Apple Signals Rising Respect For Mac OS X

Psystar calls Apple a 'monopoly' in antitrust charges

It's amazing to me how strongly the readers of Computerworld agree with the monopoly charge and disagree with the views of those, like me, who believe Psystar is just frustrated at not being able to use Mac OS X on its hardware. Apple a monopoly? Hardly. But, as I said in my comment on Computerworld, it may seem so to those who think the Microsoft model of computing is both inevitable and superior to the Apple one:

Let's face it, the whole paradigm of computing is unprecedented in the history of manufacturing. And it's only... what... 30 years old at best? During that time, the two competing models that have emerged are:

  • Make operating system software and convince hardware makers to use your product (the Microsoft model), or
  • Make the computer hardware as well as the operating system needed to run it (the Apple model)

Obviously, the former has had much more success in the marketplace. But that doesn't mean it's the better model. Why? Well, for one thing, in this case the market didn't really make the decision... IBM did.

IBM was already a monopoly when it started making personal computers, and Microsoft just happened to be the lucky company chosen to make (or rather, buy) the operating system to run on it. That IBM chose Microsoft had much more to do with the sales savvy of Bill Gates than about the quality of their software.

Once Microsoft was in the door with IBM's PC, which was destined to dominate the business market because of IBM's existing standing in the corporate world, that market was simply theirs to lose. Since Microsoft never made hardware to begin with, they only stood to benefit when the IBM "clone" market developed. IBM protested, if you'll remember, but ultimately, since they'd published the specs already, there wasn't anything they could do about it.

Given this actual history, it's clear that Microsoft no more created the model that ultimately gave them a monopoly on corporate desktops than the market made a decision to adopt that model. It was just a fortuitous circumstance for Microsoft, and a reflection of the fact that their business model was in making software alone (until the Xbox and Zune).

On the other hand, Apple was a hardware maker that also made the operating system to run it. With only one brief period, the company has persisted with that model, and I believe they honestly think it's the only way to make truly great computers.

The issue today is that Mac OS X is becoming more popular, and other companies would like a piece of the action. That's well and good, but since Mac OS X is an Apple creation, they are in no way obliged to license it to others. It's like copying machines... Xerox created the market and the hardware, but ultimately other companies reverse-engineered it and made their own versions. Xerox was then forced to compete with other copying machines.

If anyone wants to compete with Apple's OS X, they'll have to build not just a hardware clone, but more importantly a software clone as well.

Because of the complexity and astounding sophistication of Mac OS X and its universe of frameworks, it would be very hard to clone. But ultimately, that's where the competition has to take place. Unless Apple agrees, they are in no way obliged to sell, lease, or share their intellectual capital with any other company.

That doesn't constitute a monopoly, folks. It just constitutes excellent product development and excellent engineering. It has nothing to do with monopoly at all, since there are plenty of competing computers on the market, and in fact Apple has a small minority share of that market.

Sadly, so many people simply forget history, or make up their own to suit their beliefs. Sad, and scary, too.

    
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Posted in:Apple, PC Prejudice, |
August 12th, 2008

Phishing and Safari (Part 2): A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing

Consumer Reports urges Mac users to dump Safari, cites lack of phishing protection

And to think I used to like Consumer Reports!

They keep writing me to "come back" and resubscribe, but I've told them that won't happen until they become objective and truly knowledgeable about the Mac... at least as knowledgeable as they are about Windows PCs.

And now, it turns out they're recommending that Mac users "dump Safari," which just happens to be the best web browser on the Mac platform. Oh, and since this article also appears on ZDNet, while other industry journals gave it little play, I begin to conclude that ZDNet is a rats nest of Microsoft zealots.

So, here's the little note I left them today about their latest phishing/Safari scare tactic:

There is nothing in common between phishing and viruses, adware, spyware, or other malware. Phishing is just an old-fashioned scam dressed up in new HTML clothing. Consumers need to be educated about it, and no anti-phishing technology is going to save them. For one thing, most phishing schemes come to consumers through their email client, not their browsers.

Oh, and 6 or 7 years ago, why didn't Consumer Reports advise Windows users to ditch IE? That would have been the single best way for them to avoid Internet malware, but I never heard them do such a thing. The phishing problem pales in comparison to the security nightmares we experienced after IE6 was released (and before SP2), and which millions of Windows users continue to experience today. Active/X is the most dangerous technology out there as far as security is concerned, but is MS being pressured to remove it from IE?

Unfortunately, I don't think we've heard the last of this... At least, until Apple goes ahead and joins the other browsers in adding "anti-phishing technology" to Safari. Like I noted above, it really makes a lot more sense to add this capability to users' mail clients, since phishing is just a form of junk mail in the end.

    
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August 12th, 2008

Phishing and Safari (Part 1): A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing

ZDNet: iPhone vulnerable to phishing, spamming flaws

There has lately been a rash of articles about how "insecure" Safari is because it has no anti-phishing mechanism. Frankly, I think this is a bunch of hogwash. It's an attempt to show how lax Apple is about security, and, by implication, how great Microsoft is.

It's not that I don't think phishing is a serious problem... I do! It's just that phishing is not a security issue, which is how the anti-Apple, pro-Microsoft (and pro-Firefox) zealots are trying to portray it.

Here's the comment I left on ZDNet's site about this article, dated 7/23/08:

Phishing scams are very bad, but they are not the same as viruses or malware that gets installed on your operating system. Not even in the same category. They are simply a sophisticated con, and unfortunately there are a lot of naive, clueless web users who will click on any link they're offered. Then again, I know people who are so paranoid they won't click on any link in an email at all... even if it comes from a trusted source (like a friend). I'm not at all convinced that anti-phishing software will work any better than junk-mail filters have, though I understand the need to try.

All you guys who are so hot to jump on Apple need to at least know what you're talking about. Though the companies who make money on security vulnerabilities like to lump phishing in with "security" flaws, in my opinion they aren't. Why? Because they pose no threat to the integrity of your computer or to your network.

Later, in reply to a reader who thought I was kidding with this opinion, I wrote:

Of course it's bothersome... on the same plane as the scum who trick old ladies out of their social security checks by conning them into some phony investment.

Phishing is more insidious, but if you have an ounce of common sense, it's easily avoided.

Not so with viruses and spyware, which can invade your system without any action on your part... not even clicking on a link. If following a link loads a virus, that's not phishing, defined as [blockquote] the activity of defrauding an online account holder of financial information by posing as a legitimate company[/blockquote].

My point is, phishing is not so much a security liability as it is a privacy issue... Phishing amounts to identity theft.

I'm not arguing that phishing isn't a serious concern that needs to be addressed. But I'm saying it's not a security issues in that it doesn't install software on your system, invade your network, or propagate itself to others.

I am arguing that it's more like spam, which is likewise a serious problem that can lead individuals to dangerous websites or tempt them into bad decisions. Like spam, I'm doubtful that any software solution to eradicate phishing is possible.

In this light, the urgency to correct a phishing vulnerability is much lower than that to correct a security vulnerability, and the fact that such a vulnerability exists should not alarm users to the same degree.

Turns out this "phishing" scam isn't over with the iPhone or Safari. See more of my ranting in Part 2 of this topic.

    
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July 25th, 2008

Computerworld: Microsoft looks to mimic Apple success, says Ballmer

Microsoft looks to mimic Apple success, says Ballmer Dont'cha just love it? Microsoft mimicking Apple... now, where have I heard that one before? Ballmer is such a weenie, isn't he?
    
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July 21st, 2008

A Desperate Microsoft Tries To Talk the iPhone To Death

Microsoft: Forget iPhone; we're still No. 2 in business

After having failed in its attempt to stop Apple's success with the iPod, Microsoft is trying the same failed strategy again with the iPhone> Talk the thing out of existence. After having failed in its attempt to stop Apple's success with the iPod, Microsoft is trying the same failed strategy again with the iPhone

Seriously, how long has Microsoft been making mobile devices (phones or Palm-killers)? And how long has Apple been making them? Is it any wonder that Microsoft has a lead in this market? Likewise, it's no surprise that there are fewer iPhone apps at this point... it's been less than a month since Apple opened the iPhone app store! I also wonder how easy it is to install apps on your Windows Mobile device compared with the iPhone.

Speaking of apps, I don't know where the Microsoft spokesman is getting his figures. If you visit Microsoft's "Certified Software" at Windows Mobile Catalog website, you'll be surprised how few there really are. I did a quick tally of the Windows Mobile software (the site also lists software Pocket PC), and there are only 41 applications available... all but 6 of which are non-business-related. (There are perhaps 50% more apps for the Pocket PC platform... which means maybe 60-70.)

Microsoft's spokesman Rockfeld is engaging in the typical Microsoft strategy (It's called "lying"), since in less than a month, Apple has more than 10 times as many "certified" apps available for its mobile phone than Microsoft does. This despite the fact that Windows Mobile has been on the market for about 3 years now. I'm sure some reader will say, "But there are tons of Windows Mobile apps that aren't in Microsoft's catalog." To which I'll reply, "Yes, but that means they aren't certified to run on the platform." If Microsoft thought those apps were worth adding to its mobile platforms, don't you think they'd do so?

I've been using a Samsung Q1Ultra with Windows XP on it today, and I never want to touch the thing again. Compared with the iPhone, its touch interface is unbelievably clumsy, and I never did figure out how to adjust its screen brightness so I could use it on battery power. The pen is also horrible... I don't know about Windows Mobile, but on this thing, clicking inside a control is not sufficient. You have to make sure the cursor is there as well. Given these tiny controls, I can't imagine how anyone who's used an iPhone would ever be happy using this.

Microsoft is just desperate, since both RIM and Apple have better mobile devices than it does. This kind of Microsoft PR rubbish is simply not worth publishing, and Computerworld should exercise some judgment before merely passing baloney along to its readers.

    
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June 17th, 2008

Apple Weighs In To Web 2.0 With Sproutcore Framework

SproutCore is Apple's Flash, Silverlight-killer - Mac software - Macworld UK Sproutcore is a new Ajax/JavaScript framework being developed as an outgrowth of Apple's new MobileMe product. It's also part of the ongoing rapid development of the iPhone development platform and the WebKit browser engine that forms the basis for Safari. To call it a "Flash killer" is perhaps a bit overstating the case, but judging from the demos on the Sproutcore website, it appears to be on its way to being a robust rival to more mature frameworks such as Ext.js. I've installed Sproutcore and look forward to playing around with it soon.
    
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June 1st, 2008

Popular Mechanics Finds Macs “Trounce” PCs in Speed Tests

Mac vs PC - Benchmark and Speed Tests - PC versus Mac - Apple, Windows Reviews - Popular Mechanics This recent article is particularly remarkable for several reasons. First, it was authored by Popular Mechanics, not an outfit I consider a hotbed of Macophiles. Second, its findings gave the win to Macs not on the strength of the Mac OS, but on the strength of Apple's hardware. One thing people forget is that Apple was first and foremost a hardware company, but one that sees the hardware and software as inseparable components. I happen to strongly agree with that approach as providing the best overall user experience, both in usage and in support. Anyway, the truly amazing finding here is that an Apple computer of roughly the same specs in hardware as a PC actually runs Vista in a Boot Camp partition much faster than the PC does! Clearly, Apple knows how to fit the components together in a way that optimizes their separate abilities. Outside of that, Popular Mechanics found that Leopard, the new Mac OS, "trounces" Vista in speed across the board.
    
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Posted in:Apple, Macs vs. PCs, |
April 28th, 2008

Popular Mechanics Speed Tests Show Macs Are Faster… Much Faster!

Mac vs PC - Benchmark and Speed Tests - PC versus Mac - Apple, Windows Reviews - Popular Mechanics

Although the results show only a slight nod to Mac OS X compared with Vista (which is surprising), the performance results are no less than astonishing. As Popular Mechanics says,

In our speed trials... Leopard OS trounced Vista in all-important tasks such as boot-up, shutdown and program-launch times. We even tested Vista on the Macs using Apple’s platform-switching Boot Camp software—and found that both Apple computers ran Vista faster than our PCs did.

One really interesting fact here is that the test iMac had only 1GB of RAM, whereas the PC had 3GB. The iMac did have a 2.4Ghz processor, compared with 2.0Ghz for the PC, but the difference in performance is still impressive considering the huge difference in RAM. Just proves what a RAM hog Vista is. Yet, Vista still ran faster on the iMac with 1/3 the RAM... like I said, impressive!

Oh, and it's also worth noting that despite very similar specs, the iMac is $300 less than the Gateway.

    
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Posted in:Apple, Macs vs. PCs, |
April 21st, 2008

InfoWorld Article Dispels Many Enterprise Mac Myths

Why 'no Macs' is no longer a defensible IT strategy | InfoWorld | Analysis | 2008-04-21 | By Galen Gruman This article is a must-read for anyone who cares about the longstanding problem of getting enterprise IT staff to support Macs. If you can get them to read the article, published by a major and highly respected IT trade journal, you may change a few minds. The author runs down all of the issues that kept Macs out of the enterprise in the past, and effectively addresses the concerns, some of which have been outdated since the release of Mac OS X.

My only quibble is the author's assertion that enteprise reliance on Microsoft Office means unequal time for Macs. He points out that OpenOffice is a viable alternative but makes no mention of Apple's own terrific iWork suite, which is quite compatible with the basic aspects of Microsoft Office. Likewise, he fails to acknowledge Apple's effective collaboration suite in the form of iCal, Mail, iChat, and Address Book. Perhaps it's because those aren't cross-platform. However, even if that's the case, since they are able to interoperate with Office, they should be considered by businesses seeking to support their growing numbers of Mac users.

    
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March 28th, 2008

Mac Hack Makes for Good Headlines, But…

Gone in 2 minutes: Mac gets hacked first in contest The fact remains that neither I nor any other Mac user has ever had our machine infected with a virus, a worm, or any of the numerous forms of malware that Windows users have suffered from since 2001, when Mac OS X was released. The single biggest risks users have faced online during this period are (a) running Windows XP, (b) running Internet Explorer, and (c) running Microsoft email software. Why? Microsoft has called it various things over the years, but I know it best as Active/X. Microsoft argued in the aborted antitrust trial that tying IE tightly to the OS was in the best interests of consumers. Right. It certainly has been good for IT security firms. Heck, this gave rise to an entire industry that would never have existed without Microsoft's highly vulnerable system, and it made consumers and businesses spend billions of dollars on antivirus/antimalware software to combat the problem. Plus it created a generation of people who are afraid to use the web to the fullest, and who are neurotically suspicious of hyperlinks in emails... even when they come from people they know and trust.

Even if you believe these things would have happened if Apple's OS held the monopoly (which is a demonstrably false opinion), the burden of computer security has fallen exclusively on Windows users over the last 7 years. Exclusively... not just 90-95% of the burden. I have never spent a dime on security software or subscriptions, nor have I spent a moment worrying about going online. I've never had my machine hijacked by malware, or had my browser go haywire because I visited the "wrong" website. I take sensible precautions about suspicious emails, and I don't download files from suspicious websites.

If someone has developed a true exploit for hacking Mac OS X, I'm sure it'll be quickly squashed by Apple. And one or two such exploits in 7 years is a far more intelligent risk than dealing with thousands of such exploits a year over that period, don't you think?

    
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March 18th, 2008

Apple Posts Major Update to Safari

Apple - Support - Downloads - Safari 3.1

This update brings in all the latest standards implementations and innovations in the open-source WebKit project, plus a few interface enhancements as well. The Windows version gets some important updates too. From Apple’s tech document on Safari 3.1:

Performance

  • Improves JavaScript performance

Standards

  • Adds support for CSS 3 web fonts
  • Adds support for CSS transforms and transitions
  • Adds support for HTML 5 <video> and <audio> elements
  • Adds support for offline storage for Web applications in SQL databases
  • Adds support for SVG images in <img> elements and CSS images
  • Adds support for SVG advanced text 

Developer

  • Adds option in Safari preferences to turn on the new Develop menu which contains various web development features
  • Allows access to Web Inspector
  • Allows access to Network Timeline
  • Allows editing CSS in the Web Inspector 
  • Allows custom user agent string
  • Improves snippet editor

Other

  • Double clicking on the Tab Bar opens new tab
  • Includes URL metadata when images are dragged or saved from browser
  • Opens Download and Activity window in current Space
  • Supports trackpad gestures for back, forward, and magnify on MacBook Air and compatible MacBook Pro computers
  • Shows Caps Lock icon in password fields
    
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January 7th, 2008

Mac market share breaks 8% in 2007

Mac market share breaks 8% mark in 2007’s final days

Despite the fact that Computerworld still seems to think it has to give voice to the irrational, fearful Microsoft junkies who write anti-Apple stories, this article has news worth noting… and I happened to see it first in Computerworld. But make no mistake… as the Mac’s market share rises, Microsoft’s monopoly protection league will be out in force to try to talk down anything Apple does. Too bad, because there are some things that are legitimately worth criticizing Apple for, but they have nothing to do with how Mac OS X compares with Windows or about how Apple’s computers compare with Dell’s. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish constructive criticism from purely destructive criticism, and Mac fans may feel obliged to keep quiet rather than add to the purely anti-Apple din out there.

    
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Posted in:Apple, |
October 29th, 2007

Computerworld Publishes “I Hate Macs” By Staffer/Blogger

I hate Macs - Computerworld Blogs

It’s been awhile since I read anything so asinine it got me riled up enough to write about it. I couldn’t believe the guy ranted on for a whole column without offering one shred of evidence or fact for his apparently deep-seated hatred of Apple, Steve Jobs, and all things Mac. This, my friends, is prejudice, pure and simple. How is “prejudice” defined?

PREJUDICE:
preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.

Precisely. How such a rant ends up in a technology journal that wants to be taken seriously is beyond me. As a Martian, it’s just one more piece of evidence that you humans are not evolving as we’d hoped you would.

I wrote to Computerworld and to the author’s editor suggesting the writer be canned, and they defended him by saying they wanted to offer an “opposing view” about Apple. Huh? What opposing view? Aren’t “views” published by journalists in national magazines supposed to have some–I don’t know–factual weight behind them? Aren’t “journalists” like this supposed to be “experts” at the things they write about?

Yet how can someone be an expert yet have opinions “not based on reason or actual experience”? If you can stomach it, read the piece for yourself. Here’s a typical sample:

And I hate the products themselves. Overpriced, overhyped and underwhelming. Oh, I forgot, they have such “elegant” design. They just “feel right.” All the stubble-cheeked, pony-tailed, black-clad hipsters in the design department get it, but us dweeby drones doing the real work are just out of touch.

Gag me. I’ve always been a function-over-form guy. I don’t give a rat’s, uh, tail, if my computer is smooth and white and shiny. I just want to crank out the next project.

And don’t give me those phony cost comparisons that try to make the case that, all things considered, Macs are cheaper than PCs in the long run. Just look at the damn price tags. Spin it any way you want, Macs and the other iCrap cost more.

And innovation? My god, take the blinders off. I remember sitting right here several years ago when Apple came out with the great new feature on their iPods called “shuffle.” I couldn’t believe it. Before then, you couldn’t play your songs in random order? I had been doing that for years, literally. But then, I was into MP3s early on — my first music player was a Rio PMP300, one of the very first on the market. I didn’t have to wait for Apple to tell me they were cool. It took them a few years to catch on. Gee, where was the bleeding-edge innovation there?

iTunes 1.1 Had Shuffle Mode, Of Course!

This guy is so pathetic. Even on my non-professional website here, I fact-check like you wouldn’t believe. It’s one reason why it takes me so long to write an article. I happen to have a working copy of every version of iTunes back to 1.1 for Mac OS X, which came out in 2001. Guess what? It’s got shuffle mode. Of course it’s got shuffle! Only someone trying to find something to criticize would claim that Apple ever considered “shuffle mode” to be its innovative idea. Good grief. He’s probably confusing Apple’s marketing for the iPod Shuffle with the “shuffle” concept. In fact, nearly all of his opinions seem to be in reaction to advertising rather than to careful study of the actual products in question.

But enough of this… It was just so wrong I had to point it out. And I do hope Computerworld puts him back in the mailroom where he clearly belongs.

    
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July 22nd, 2007

Microsoft Junkies Spreading “Apple Messed Up The iPhone” FUD

Windows Mobile needs fixing, fast | InfoWorld | Column | 2007-07-18 | By Oliver Rist

I was so incensed by this posting at InfoWorld, which builds on an earlier one by respected InfoWorld Test Center lead Tom Yager, that I dashed off the following email to InfoWorld, canceling my print subscription and putting a stop to all of their RSS feeds. From what I can see through my 18-year-old son's eyes (we got him an iPhone as a high school graduation present), Apple has hit a bulls-eye with this gadget. Playing with it myself for a few minutes, this cellphone, Palm Pilot, and Blackberry resister suddenly understood the appeal of such devices. You really have to try the iPhone interface to appreciate how amazing and revolutionary it is. Clearly, this Oliver Rist creep is more interested in pushing Microsoft technology than in assessing the relative merits of whatever technologies exist. It's reminiscent of the way guys like this tried to talk the iPod into a hole 6 years ago, and given their dramatic failure at that attempt, this anti-iPhone talk would be sad if it weren't so creepy.

I've sadly watched InfoWorld go slowly downhill in the last year, as its IT coverage moved more and more mainstream and less honest. By "mainstream," I mean coverage that pays homage to where its advertising dollars come from rather than to integrity ("honest journalism") and the needs of its readership.

After having been mostly a fan of Tom Yager in recent years, I was appalled at the sensational slant of his article on the iPhone, "iPhone: The $1,975 iPod." That article was of course widely quoted and utilized by others at InfoWorld who it seems are determined to talk the device down. Apple has made clear that it isn't a business device (heck, it doesn't even offer business accounts!)... it's a consumer device. And a good many of Yager's "cons" are based on unreasonable assumptions of performance that neither Apple nor any other "smartphone" provider aim for.

All that has done is made idiots who think everything IT should be for business first and people later mad. Today I got this garbage in my inbox:

WHAT GIVES WINDOWS MOBILE EDGE OVER IPHONE

Columnist's corner: Even though Apple messed up the iPhone, Oliver Rist writes, "much of the device's problems aren't technical, but just bad business." Not so for Windows Mobile, which is plagued by troubled technology, including ActiveSync issues, Wi-Fi woes, application incompatibility, and worse, its very own Blue Screen of Death. "Microsoft has all the advantages that count in this space right now," Rist adds in Windows Mobile needs fixing fast. "The company really has the chance to win one based on functionality and capability rather than just marketing." The news beat: Sources say that a beta of Vista SP1 is... ...

More of this blog:

The InfoWorld writer who wrote this also calls consumer who buy Apple products "iSheep," saying they're the type who "need an Apple logo tattooed on as many of their belongings as possible." This is a guy who probably never understood the appeal of the iPod, either. Heaven forbid that he'd see the virtue of a Mac. And he's determined to do Microsoft's bidding by spreading FUD about the iPhone while it's still in its infancy. This is honest journalism? He bases his lead premise that "Apple messed up the iPhone" on Tom Yager's own piece of crap.

I don't know if Yager chose his article's headline or not... oddly, it doesn't seem like his style to me. Because it's the headline that made me not want to read the rest of whatever garbage he was peddling in that article. My teenager has an iPhone (high school graduation gift), and I figure I'll form my own impression of it by hands-on use [Update: I've now done this... see intro]. I really don't know how anyone can form a valid impression of a device like the iPhone in the few days Yager had before spouting off. Yes, I was disappointed with the arrangement with AT&T, too, and the requirement to buy a plan will keep me from buying an iPhone--at least in the short-term. But I seriously doubt that this requirement defeats the obvious genius of the device itself, as the headline asserts. After all, in my opinion the whole cellular industry is built on greed... nothing comes for free in that market, that I can tell. Yet I'm sure the FCC required Apple to establish a relationship with one of the existing carriers if they wanted to offer such services in the iPhone.

Not only does Yager's headline make the deal sound outlandishly expensive, it also gives AT&T equal billing with Apple as the device's creator in the subtitle. I've never owned a cellular phone... I still don't see how it could possibly be worth spending so much a month in order to be constantly available... but my wife and son are heavy users. My wife's plan is paid for by her employer, or she wouldn't have one either. But we pay a monthly fee for my son's plan... which was a Cigna plan at about $30 a month. The plan had no data or SMTP and very limited call options. That would be $720 for 2 years. His phone has no web connectivity, no bluetooth, no video, no email, and no music options.

With the iPhone, he not only gets an incredibly cool device with a revolutionary interface, but he also gets web, bluetooth, video, music, email, and potentially much more over time. With a 2-year plan, this will cost $1,440, and he'll be getting unlimited data services, some limited text messaging, video email, and all the wireless capabilities as well. I mean, to me, this sounds like a great deal to anyone who can afford it, and you can't measure the value of actually being able to use the device for those functions rather than fiddling with unworkable wands or teeny thumbpads.

So at the most, Yager and other idiotic price critics who just don't get it could argue that the iPhone is $500 over 2 years. Given what it offers in terms of functionality and ease of use, I really doubt that your average consumer, who doesn't have Microsoft or its XMinions whispering in their ear, is going to think that's very expensive. After all, given what my son has said, he plans to replace his current 60GB iPod with this 8GB iPhone. I was surprised he could make do with such a small capacity, but he seems to think the device's other virtues make it well worthwhile.

And this is just the first model iPhone... remember what the previous such idiots said about the first iPod's price? Sheesh.

I wanted you to know that I'm canceling my RSS feeds and will not be renewing my print subscription.

Regards,
Leland Scott

    
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June 11th, 2007

Apple Releases Public Beta of Safari 3… For Windows, Too!

Apple - Safari 3 Public Beta - Download I'm still going through all the news from today's blockbuster announcements at the Apple developer's conference, but this one has blown me away the most so far: Apple has made available a beta release of Safari 3.0 (which is awesome, let me tell you, as a Leopard developer), which contains all the amazing advances I've been reporting on since last fall. Not only that, but when I went to the download page, I couldn't believe my eyes... there are Windows downloads as well! Yep, that's right! One of web developers' biggest complaints about Safari is that it's not available for Windows... now, it is! This is incredible.
    
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June 9th, 2007

Mac vs. PC cost analysis: How does it all add up?

Mac vs. PC cost analysis: How does it all add up? Scot Finnie, Computerworld's online editorial director who last year switched to the Mac after being a long-time Windows expert, has published an excellent analysis of the cost factor in today's Mac-vs-PC market. It's a balanced tale that does more than a fair job of explaining the PC user's perspective on the argument. As Finnie notes, Apple simply doesn't compete in the low end of the market, and I would add that it's because Apple knows the low end doesn't really get users enough to be useful. People who buy $500 laptops quickly find they need to add all sorts of items to it to enable it to run the software they have in mind, or they find they can't run it at all. No matter... Finnie argues very persuasively--and correctly--that Apple is the best value available once you get over $1,000. The only exceptions are those niches in between Apple's sparse model line, where PC makers might have a make that meets your need rather than going another $200 for the next Apple product.

The only flaw with his analysis is that he views computers as being primarily hardware. I have long begged to differ on that point. Computers are mostly software, and it's the software that counts. From that perspective, I think it's still very obvious that Macs get you much more bang for your buck out of the box than PC's do. You may never have to buy another software title again once you break out your Mac. Whereas your PC will have you running to the software store again and again in search for decent software... One of these days, I do intend to update the analysis I published in March 2005 on the same subject. I'm very curious to see what those numbers look like now.

    
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Posted in:Macs vs. PCs, |
May 22nd, 2007

Apple Investor News: Comprehensive New Site Aggregates Apple News, Google-Style

Apple Investor News - Always Updating, Intelligent News Search Now here's a really terrific new resource for Apple enthusiasts: Apple Investor News is much more than the large footprint that appears on its home page, too. Check out the two other "tabs" of news, and you'll discover that the site reels in freshly updated news in just about every category of interest to users of Apple products as well a investors in its stock. The only thing missing (for me) is an RSS feed (or feeds), but I'll be surprised if that isn't in the works.
    
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May 5th, 2007

Daring Fireball: Microsoft Still Relying on Nasty FUD Rather Than Actual Competition

Daring Fireball: The iPhone's Funny Price iPhone promo imageNow that they've lost round one in the mp3 player wars, Microsoft is using the exact same FUD strategy that failed it in fighting Apple in the upcoming "smart phone" wars. It's doing this while simultaneously continuing to fight with nothing but pure FUD in the "home theater" wars. Meanwhile, Apple has released the Apple TV unit, an actual product in the home theater wars that's providing customers with some real value over existing solutions, and the iPhone is a brand new category unlike anything else on the market. This is one thing Microsoft still doesn't understand--or wants to make sure you're confused about--the iPhone is only a phone in name. To consumers like me, who actually don't give a hoot about its telephone creds, the iPhone is first and foremost, a huge-screen iPod. Close behind, it's a wifi internet device for browsing the web, checking email, weather, etc. while traveling. And finally, it's the first step in the development of an actual new Newton, a tiny computer that will ultimately replace things like the Treo. Unlike those other smart phones, you don't even have to get phone service to use the iPhone... nor do you need to subscribe to a data service, if you already treat the web as your data source. Ballmer would like you to think it's not a competitor for the touchpad PCs they've been trying to sell, but it ultimately is. And as John Gruber points out in this recent editorial on Microsoft's latest nastiness, Microsoft itself has nowhere near the market share in the smart phone market that it does on desktops. He quotes Wikipedia's stats that measure Windows Mobile at having only a 6-percent share of the smart phone market, behind 17 percent for Linux and 72 percent for Symbian. Yet Ballmer has the necessary evil to try to say Apple would be wasting its time going after that market, because they could never get more than 2-3 percent of it. As long as Microsoft lets a guy like Ballmer speak for the company, I will continue to have absolutely nothing to do with it, and I hope others feel the same way. This is no way to conduct business in a modern, adult society. It's the playground tactic of a middle-schooler, which apparently is the state of development at which Ballmer stopped.
    
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May 5th, 2007

Mac Users Are Driving Web 2.0 Adoption

AppleInsider | Mac users' Web 2.0 affinity seen driving Apple share gains Here's a study that reinforces my intuitive sense that what we're calling Web 2.0--that evolution of web user interfaces to mimic the rich interactivity of desktop apps--is being adopted much more rapidly by Mac users than by their PC counterparts. Not only that, but it concludes that the other argument I've been making---that the user interfaces one sees in Web 2.0 applications---are derived predominantly from the Mac OS X Aqua interface, largely because there is a much higher percentage of Mac developers of such sites than Windows ones. This also reinforces a larger feeling many Mac users have that this community is more enthusiastic about computing generally and has much higher expectations for the way it works and the things you can do with it.
    
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Posted in:Ajax, Apple, Mac OS X, |
May 1st, 2007

Ars Technica Predicts Microsoft’s Silverlight Will Kill Flash


Microsoft’s Flash-killer Silverlight steals the show at MIX07

Ars Technica had better can some of these guys who have become blatant cheerleaders for Microsoft, or they’re going to start losing readers. In response to this biased piece on Microsoft’s new Silverlight technology, which is specifically designed to compete with Flex, Apollo, and Flash, I left this little message as a comment:

Regardless of how good or bad Microsoft’s version of Flash (or Ajax, or JPEG, or MPEG, or PDF, or you name it) may be, the fact is that Microsoft has a monopoly on corporate desktops, one that it won illegally by the way but has never been brought to task for. Its technologies should be avoided entirely unless you really want to see Microsoft extend them to the entire range of computing environments eventually.

In other words, unless you really want competition and innovation in computing to grind to a halt, you should always look for alternatives to whatever Microsoft is selling. And please avoid playing Microsoft cheerleader in a serious technology journal like Ars Technica would like to be. The point is, new Microsoft standards aren’t necessary… we have plenty of good ones already. Every time Microsoft comes along with another of its proprietary versions of existing standards, it only serves to confuse the market and slow the adoption and use of web technologies. Look at what happened when they crushed Netscape in the late 1990’s… it’s taken 10 years to recover from that, so that we’re finally seeing the kinds of web interfaces I, for one, was ready to deliver in 1998.

Not only that, but each Microsoft technology takes up mindshare that squeezes out genuinely innovative ideas from much smaller, potential competitors. And small companies, as everybody who’s taken Econ 101 knows, is where innovation occurs in this economy. Every time Microsoft buys up a small company with a good idea (think: Vermeer and FrontPage), it ruins a tool that could be really useful (it didn’t take long for FrontPage to turn the web into a bunch of pages that didn’t work in non-IE browsers, or non-Windows platforms, for example, by injecting Active/X controls and proprietary IE tags into the pages it created… the same is true of every MS development tool, for that matter).

If you’re really in favor of open competition in our economy, you’d never select a Microsoft product as the basis for anything. If they didn’t already own the desktop, it would be different. Since they do, they need to be simply ignored in technologies they don’t already own. Remember, regardless of what their sometimes sympathetic spokespoeple may say, Microsoft’s entire product line is designed to extend the Windows platform as far as possible. That’s it.

I think a lot of people believe it’s extended far enough already, thanks. If you agree, just say no to Microsoft’s latest candy. That includes you, Microsoft apologists who write for Ars Technica.

    
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April 21st, 2007

Dell Customers Demand XP Over Vista

Dell responds to customer feedback by bringing back Windows XP I love that "Microsoft is shrugging off Dell's decision to expand its Windows XP options"... Sure it is! What else can it do? It already has said it won't allow XP to be installed on new PCs starting 7 1/2 months from now. What's a few months? Eventually they gotta get Vista whether they want it or not. But outside of Microsoft's spin control, you know this can't be good news for Windows boosters.
    
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April 5th, 2007

More Research Suggests Banning PowerPoint-Style Slides

Research points the finger at PowerPoint - Technology - smh.com.au It's only been---what---20 years or so since esteemed information-presentation guru Edward Tufte began his campaign to rid the world's meeting halls of PowerPoint slides. So far, besides myself, I've never encountered a soul who took that advice seriously. Blogger/scientist Les Posen has been hammering the blogosphere with the same message for awhile now (in fact, he has a post on this subject on his home page today), and I've chimed in with a few "Amens!" now and again, but nothing has changed.

Even well-meaning, intelligent colleagues of mine who have nothing but disdain for PowerPoint still dutifully prepare their bullet points in PowerPoint whenever giving a presentation. Me, my first act was to just use HTML and a web browser. This was back in the mid-1990's, and I used nothing but HTML (including dynamic HTML, Netscape-style) until Apple released Keynote a few years back. Since then, I've been using Keynote and QuickTime movies.

So it's gratifying to see yet another study pointing out that PowerPoint slides are not only a lazy way to give presentations, they're bad for your audience. Nothing could be more boring (or laughable, if you're from Mars) than watching somebody read along with the bullet points on the screen, trying to make it seem as if they aren't just reading them. Meanwhile, the audience sits with its eyes glued to their printouts, which have the exact same information in the exact same form. No wonder so many people fall asleep in meetings!

I wholeheartedly concur with author John Sweller's conclusions, and hope whoever reads this or any other missives on the subject will step back and think about doing something different next time you step up to a podium:

"The use of the PowerPoint presentation has been a disaster... It should be ditched."

Seriously, if you're a Mac user, get Keynote. It's not just hyperbole to say Keynote is everything PowerPoint should have been. Get one or two of the amazing templates that are available from Apple or third parties, and you'll rediscover the joy of making a truly great presentation slideshow again. Save the bullets for your note cards... use the presentation to show the audience something that actually illuminates what you're trying to say. If you don't believe me or Posen, get a copy of Tufte's books on the subject. Or read the new study by researchers at the University of New South Wales.

    
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April 4th, 2007

Slashdot: Microsoft Accused of Bait-and-Switch in Vista Marketing

Slashdot | Microsoft Sued Over Vista Marketing

Windows Vista EditionsI wondered if someone would get angry at Microsoft over this. I’m still waiting for the FTC to sock it to Dell some time over the same sort of issue. These guys are absolute crooks, swindling home and business buyers alike with their fraudulent sales tactics. Don’t we have laws against selling snake oil and claiming it’s medicine, or love potion? To those of us watching from Mars, it’s amazing that they get away with so much. With Windows Vista, Microsoft divided the one product line into four “editions”, not counting the “Enterprise” edition and a special “Starter” edition for third world countries. (WTF?) Each comes in a different color box (Woah!) and are named “Home Basic,” “Home Premium,” “Business,” and “Ultimate.” No word on whether “Ultimate” is for Home or Business use, and the matrix doesn’t include the Enterprise edition, so I wonder if it’s the same as “Ultimate”? Who knows? Who cares?

Well, actually, a lot of consumers care once they realize they forgot to read the Vista footnotes on that new computer they just bought. The computer says it’s “Vista Ready,” but that’s only if you think an operating system that looks and talks like Windows XP but has a Vista label is really Windows Vista. The low end of the OEM market—all those cheap computers that some tech writers claim are evidence that Windows PCs are cheaper than Macs—is dominated by machines that only run “Home Basic,” which, as the footnotes so clearly state, does not support Windows Aero and Windows Flip 3D navigation, the Mac OS X copycat eye-candy that’s one of the main distinguishing features of the product. Oh, you also don’t get the new Windows DVD Maker, HD support for Windows Movie Maker, or the cool new Windows games (Chess Titans and Mahjong Titans). But that’s not all! You also don’t get Windows Media Center software, backup and restore tools, fax and scan tools, scheduled backup, and so on.

Did I mention that all of these features are standard parts of Mac OS X in the one non-server edition of that product? And that Mac users can run Mac OS X 10.4 on the same hardware they’ve been using for years? The only thing you might absolutely have to upgrade is your video card and RAM. It’s ridiculous that Microsoft is trying to establish a new class system based on which version of Windows you can afford. Geez. When will they learn?

What is it Puck says to Oberon at the end of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream?

Lord, what fools these mortals be!

    
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March 31st, 2007

Computerworld Writer Thinks Microsoft Should Fear Apple

Why Microsoft Should Fear Apple This was an excellent story from the last week, which I can't let go by without adding to the news library here on Mars. Unlike most writeups by former Windows techies who now "get" the Mac, Scot Finnie is actually quite perceptive about what's going on in the market today. He also is in a good place to observe some important trends in the industry... among the most important is one that finds a groundswell of interest in and adoption of the Mac by IT folks in position of influence. He confirms my own anecdotal experience, which is led by my wife's company, Avaya. There, she's reported in recent months that they have a new CTO who is an Apple user himself and has been talking it up on conference calls. Avaya has another top executive from Sun Microsystems who's a big Apple/Google fan and who calls Steve Jobs his "idol." You know this has got to be affecting mindshare down the ranks. Eventually, the dolts who insist on clinging to old views and prejudices about the Mac and who see Microsoft and its product line through rose-colored--often stockholder-bought--glasses, will begin to have second thoughts about their convictions. What's happening today as well is that more and more Mac users are "coming out of the closet," so to speak. As a longtime Mac user, I can attest to the blatant prejudice and scorn heaped on anyone who makes positive remarks about the Mac in meetings or other gatherings of old-line IT staff who either lived through or led the Macintosh "cleansings" of the late 1990's. It's a relief to think that may finally be going away.
    
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March 24th, 2007

Analyst Says Apple TV Could Overtake both TiVo and Netflix

AppleInsider | Apple TV said to be worthy of overtaking both TiVo and Netflix A Wall Street analyst from ThinkEquity released an advisory last week supporting his belief that the Apple TV is significant enough to shake markets for consumer video purchases. Although it doesn't include a DVR like Tivo in its initial release, the underlying technology is there, and the analyst speculates it's only a matter of time. Interesting... it was notes like this that drove Apple's stock price up last week on the launch of its delayed Apple TV product. Frankly, I'm not that impressed with the product yet. Having owned Elgato's EyeTV and its EyeHome product, which looks very much like the AppleTV and does much the same thing, I don't yet see what the big deal is. In fact, I fear Apple could shoot itself in the foot by tying AppleTV too closely or exclusively to iTunes. People, including me, don't necessarily want to use iTunes to manage our videos... nor do we want to be restricted to just a few arbitrarily chosen video formats to stream to an Apple TV. Anyway, the jury's still out, I'd say, but I'm optimistic Apple will do the right thing once the product has actual users.
    
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Just Say No To Flash