CES, Mac Expo and NAMM. A tech and gear geek’s favorite month of the year!
Guess what? I’m not going to any of them (got some big deadlines coming up), but I am following all the action, ya know, remotely.
So here’s what I’ve found so far:
MacWorld: The expectations game – MacWorld talks about how the expectations for Steve Jobs’ keynote have gotten so high that they is no way it won’t be a major disappointment. Which is possibly a problem for Apple stockholders.
Belkin introduces and iPod based recording studio – Well, the iPod is a hard drive, so why not build a 4-track mixer with hard disk recorder around it. Kind of unnecesary, but cool. They don’t say if it is battery powered, in fact they only mention USB power (which is REALLY unnecesary).
David Sobotta writes a blog that is about as close to mini-MSFT for apple that I’ve seen. He doesn’t dish the dirt the way that Mini does, but he does shed light into the murky corridors of power on the infinite loop. Of course, I know from my Apple buddies that it is crazier there than you could possibly know, especially around secrecy. I think that secrecy is probably the reason why we don’t see a mini-APPL. No one who works there has any idea about what is going on…
interesting article on companies adopting Google apps for their needs. One quote did stand out however: “I have a staff of about 30 people dedicated to security,” says Mr Sannier. “Google has an army; all of their business fails if they are unable to preserve security and privacy.” Google’s Mr Girouard says a similar evolution in trust occurred when people reluctantly accepted that their money was safer in a bank than under a mattress.
There is a fundamental thing wrong with this argument. As Google aggregates more and more user data, it become more of a target for hackers. And as we’ve already seen, Google may have an army, but they aren’t perfect.
Part of the reason that people started to trust banks was that the FDIC insured their accounts. If your bank was robbed or it went under, you’d still have your money. If someone steals your identity (or any digital part thereof), Google can’t (and won’t) help you.
Hey remember in the early days of the internet when people figured out that Netscape and IE would let you play a background MIDI or audio file? Remember clicking on a link to open a page and then getting up to get a cup of coffee (’cause we were all on 28.8k modems back then) only to have to sprint back to your computer and turn off the speakers so that you didn’t have Ode To Joy or something like that blasting out, waking your family? Well, it pissed so many people off that eventually everyone stopped doing it and then the tags got lost to history (except on Ebay, where it still pops up sometimes).
Welcome to the aughts, where we all browse with 20 tabs open all the time. And then one of those tabs has some shitty Microsoft video ad or something and all of the sudden we’re back to the old days, trying to figure out which fucking window is blowing out our speakers and ruining our day.
I don’t doubt Mr. Gutmann’s scholarship, nor his motives. The scenario he paints seems extreme. Extremely stupid. Now, I worked on Windows Media many years ago, and I can totally see a document like this coming out of that group. There were many good and smart people on that team, but they didn’t always have the best interests of the users at heart. Not on purpose, of course. They just didn’t understand users; at all.
Anyway, I decided to find Microsoft’s take on this message, and I was blown away by the fact that there wasn’t any. none. I mean, something like this surfaces and a week goes by with no response from Microsoft at all? I mean, a PM should be running around with his hair on fire, giving up his New Year’s Eve, putting together a coherent response for a press release or at least a blog post. The silence is as damning as the original article in my mind.
Channeling online video: an article about a travel site that uses short videos of locations to help get people interested
Mass made to order, here: a company that uses 3D CAD software and a computer controller cutting machine to create furniture on demand. If I could supply the file to them, I’d design all my own furniture…
The beauty of Google is that they never release anything. Almost all their software is in beta, which absolves them of almost all sins: if the software doesn’t work or if they want to come out with new features every day or if they want to yank it entirely, they can. It was never released! You are using it at your own risk! The problem is that when they unveiled a web-based e-mail product, they changed the the equation a bit. They want you to store everything. They give you the space to do it, they even let you download it if you want, and now you can import mail from other services too!
This is great and would be awesome if it were bulletproof, but unfortunately, someone exploited a bug in firefox (don’t even get me started on the open-source version of this discussion), that deleted people’s mail. This would be bad with any mail system, except all fee-based systems (released systems) include backups for just this occurrence. Google doesn’t, but then again, they don’t have to, they are BETA! Mail is just a platform to deliver ads to you, they can’t make money on it as a pay service, so there is no incentive for them to ever release it.
What amazes me is how many people not only use GMail as their primary (if not only) mail service, but actually use it for their business mail as well. That is crazy-insane, especially in light of the privacy issues as well (a beta service would guarantee no damages to you if someone breaks into your mail or if Google decides to peruse it themselves).