It’s that time of year again. If you are at all interested in the trends of technology in the next year, January is the time to learn what is coming up. And not at the CES mind you – these years, the future shows up at MacWorld. Last year it was the iPhone, which managed to shake an industry that had never faced Apple before and start a major shift in the way cell phone development is done. What will this year bring? Tim puts his money on more devices coming out of the Apple-AT&T partnership, for one thing.
Few would deny that Apple's ill-fated Newton PDA was ahead of its time. While it would take a few more years and a few smart decisions by the company then known as Palm Computing to make a PDA that worked really well (the first Pilot), Apple was clearly on to something. Though Steve Jobs assassinated the device nearly a decade ago, it seems perhaps he has — in not so many words — started to bring it back to life.
Dear Steve, so you've reached the big one million mark. There were a lot of doubters, but I knew you could do it all along. The iPhone exemplifies Apple's “think different” attitude, and that has helped it to fill a need that was really being ignored. This is Apple's chance to introduce many people to its philosophy of creativity and ease-of-use. But that leads us to an obvious question: why on earth are you making it so hard to do something as typical (and potentially creative) as creating custom ring tones — not to even mention adding applications?
I have in my possession one of the most coveted items of the year, and certainly the most talked about of this day. Yes, that would be an iPhone. In Apple’s usual style of quiet elegance, the box sits there revealing little (as if there was much that has not already been revealed through months of slow leaks of rumors). It is nearly begging me to open it, much like its call beckoned me into the AT&T Mobility store earlier this evening despite my better judgment. I have it, but do I open it?
By now, most people have heard about XM and Sirius's so-called “merger of equals” that would, if successful, eliminate competition in the satellite radio industry. Although satellite radio remains enough of a non-essential item that the post-merger company will still have to “compete” for subscribers, it is hard to imagine that this will be good for consumers. Even a cursory analysis of the good and bad will show that it is in the consumer’s interest for the FCC to stick to its guns and prohibit the merger.
Steve Jobs is known for being able to pull a rabbit out of his hat fairly regularly – far more regularly, anyway, than almost any other CEO. Like most Mac users, I find myself anxiously awaiting the likely announcement of the Apple phone tomorrow. Given the hype though, I wonder if Apple can actually win with this upcoming keynote.
So, I have been cleaning my hard drive – a little spring-cleaning one might say. Admittedly, it is a bit early to say spring cleaning, but what else can I say? I could say that I am trying to get a good start to a New Year’s resolution, but that would mean I had actually resolved to clean my hard disk. Ok, so I will just admit it: the drive was growing full and I decided to clean it before the computer simply refused to do anything more. Two hundred and fifty gigabytes goes quickly these days.
The mad rush to shop for last minute gifts that your recipient will actually enjoy need not be a desperate mad rush, at least. I picked out five of my favorite highly giftable items – all one hundred dollars or less, in descending price order, no less – perhaps one just right for your soon to be happy giftee. So, if you need to spend a little time playing a ripe jolly old elf, read on and see what I have in my sack.
Last Spring, those in my home state of Missouri were immersed in advertisements promoting the need for “choice” in premium television services. Those ads presented a bill for state-wide franchising of pay TV as just short of a logical continuation of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” – who isn’t for more choice? The push to overturn the local franchising system that has regulated cable for the last several decades has spread across the country, but contrary to what its proponents assert, the choice promoted introduces a skewed system that could actually reduce choice in time.
Is Novell's deal with Microsoft ultimately something that boils down to a corporate agreement to restrict the free flow of information and understanding about Linux? Or, perhaps, could it be that this agreement will actually serve the purpose of getting Linux out to more users? Those are the questions Josiah Ritchie seeks to consider and come up with answers to.
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