journal: mac

WWDC 2008

Absolutely absurd WWDC predictions

All right, my predictions won’t be that absurd; I think I’ve filled my quota for absurdity for a while, thank you very much. But in the spirit of unending Apple speculation, and to kick off our WWDC coverage, here is yet another WWDC 08 predictions article. The likelihood of each rumor coming to fruition is measured in meatballs (in keeping with fixation on food1); the fewer the meatballs, the less likely it is that Lord Steve, Controller of Apple, Our Destinies, and Lesser Kingdoms will unveil it.

And now it’s time for my most favorite disclaimer: the contents of this post are a figment of my own imagination. I have no insider sources, so these predictions, like Miss Cleo, are for entertainment purposes only.2

OS X for Windows boxes

As fun as it was for me to speculate, I don’t see this actually happening, and I never did for that matter. And I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised that some people took what I said (read the article) as anything more than “cloning probably won’t happen, but if it did, this is how it could work.” At any rate, while the dropping of the word “Mac” from Mac OS X is interesting, and we can never entirely rule things out with Jobs, I don’t see a clone revival happening. I give this one half a meatball (out of five).

.mac rebranded to MobileMe/

The MobileMe name came up in rumors once before. Since a good portion of .mac features revolve…

Fun with semantics: speculation versus rumors

I have a couple of questions: When does speculation become a rumor? When is a rumor really speculation?

Here’s why I ask: yesterday afternoon I wrote up a piece for The Apple Blog regarding the photos of the banners hung in Moscone Center for next week’s WWDC. I noted John Gruber’s belief that dropping the “Mac” from Mac OS X is an attempt to unify the OS X brand (OS X iPhone and OS X Leopard), and I noted that “this is probably the simplest and most logical explanation.”

And then I jumped into speculative fun times: is Apple planning to license the Mac OS again? Considering the fact that rumors are pointing toward Apple turning .mac into something more platform-agnostic, and the fact that Apple has yet to do anything publicly in regards to Psystar, maker of the “Open Computer” Mac clone, as well as some other conjecture, I put this all together and raised some questions. Do I really think we’ll really see Apple jump into cloning again? I don’t think so. But you can never count anything out when it comes to Steve Jobs (see also: Apple switching to Intel—who saw that one coming?). So I offered my admittedly absurd speculation (said so in the article), and it somehow ended up on MacRumors.

Yes, that’s right. My article. On MacRumors, one of the biggest Mac sites out there. Excuse me while I pass out.

That’s the backstory. So I’ll ask again, when does speculation become rumor, and when…

This is why Macs aren’t right for business? You gotta be kidding me.

One thing I hate is when people criticize for criticism’s sake. OK, we all do it—I do it from time to time—I won’t deny that. But if you need to do it, at least make it look like you tried to come up with some meaningful criticism. A couple days ago, Fortune Small Business posted an article entitled Why Macs still aren’t right for most businesses (via Gruber). Some of the points raised are perfectly valid, like some incompatibilities with VPN clients, but many are, well, downright absurd. Let’s dive in.

The article starts off well enough. Author Jonathan Blum discusses a small business that successfully switched to Macs, then states the following:

“My verdict? Though Apple computers can produce excellent results for small business, expect issues: Macs remain a niche product. Your transition from Windows will not be without bumps.”

OK, so far it’s not too far off point. Macs are a niche product in terms of their small overall share and the fact that Apple basically focuses on three markets: home, creative, and education--though that doesn’t make them unsuitable for business. And with any transition, there are going to be bums bumps1 in the road.

But then the wheels fall off:

“No matter what you do with a Mac, you have to face Apple’s peculiar vision of all things computerish. First off, the packaging is seriously overdone: The slogan “Designed by Apple in California” posivitively shouts at you from the box. Like I care.”

Seriously? You’re criticizing this? Somehow…

Teens banned from Apple Store after jailbreaking iPhone

Four Palo Alto, California teens claim they were banned from the Apple Store after jailbreaking an iPhone on display, according to an article in the Palo Alto Daily News. Here’s the gist of how it went down: Three friends were waiting for a fourth friend, so they decided to wait at the Apple Store on University Ave. in Palo Alto. while there, they jailbroke a display iPhone, downloaded a game, and started playing it. The fourth friend shows up, and after a few minutes, the four of them leave the store. While walking away from the store, the manager and a security guard called them back in and held them for two and a half hours. The manager purportedly took their photographs to send to other Apple Stores — think of “Wanted” posters — and told them they would be banned from the Apple Store.

OK, I know what you’re thinking; is this for real? After all, Apple denied banning the four. My gut feeling is yes, or at the very least, it was the product of a gross misunderstanding. One of the four is Eric Vicenti, a former writer with us here at Deep Thought. While Eric wasn’t with us for much more than a few months, he always came across as very honest. And I think the manager overreacted. Jailbreaking an iPhone at the Apple Store? Probably not a great idea. But anything more than a warning to me seems like overkill. Anyway, that’s my take on it. What…

A quick look at Times 1.0

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If there’s one product category where there is no shortage of options for Mac users, it’s newsreaders. NetNewsWire, NewsFire, NewsLife, and company are being joined by Times, a newsreader that takes a different approach.

Many of the existing newsreaders approach news feeds like an email client handles emails: you have a list of headlines and you click on each headline to read on. For the most part, these newsreaders do what they do well.

Times approaches feeds differently. Times looks and feels less like a desktop app, and more like a physical newspaper. The result is a newsreader that, like a newspaper, allows you to quickly glance over the headlines and article blurbs all at once. So how well does it work? Let’s find out.

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The main Times window. The page headers in blue indicate new
unread articles. Click thumb for full-size image.

Times’ user interface isn’t exactly standard, but it isn’t overdone either. The visual effects are subtle natural extensions of the user interface. And the non-standard interface reinforces the newspaper metaphor that Times uses, which works well for more visual people.

By default, Times breaks down articles into five “pages” — World, Technology, Science, Entertainment, and Sports. You can add pages, delete them, and rename them as you please. Adding feeds to each page is as simple as dragging and dropping a feed to a page. Feeds are displayed in a Dashboard-like collapsable panel:

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Looks kinda familiar, eh?

Each page has three sections for feeds; two sections display “featured”…

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