Holy Barracuda Batman!


Apple’s 2011 Q4 results. Guess there was no problem relating to the Thailand floods

It’s also interesting to note that the iPad is already a bigger business in revenues than the Mac, a “premium” computer line. Not sure if i actually like that (( in the sense that will probably lead to a prioritization of efforts by Apple on iOS and iPad related software and even less attention on the Mac OS X side of things. )) but it is undisputedly a sign of the times. (( There’s a couple more “holys” by Robin here))

Short-term double standards

“This is another case of people acting surprised and/or disappointed that Apple, a for-profit company, is acting like a for-profit company.”

Daring Fireball

This is plain rubbish. There is, or there ought to be, a limit to what companies should do to generate profits. If not for the sheer ethics of it, then for the simple point that a company that does not consider the long-term interest of their customers in their decision-making process, usually won’t have a bright long-term future too.

I can see 2 examples of this. First the is the simple reaction of Gruber, my self and many others to Google’s hypocritical “don’t be evil” motto, at the same time that they stampede over our privacy, use us as products and just push their monopoly around. Gruber has been a very vocal critic of this several times in the past. Now why not of Apple when they do a similar thing? And here i’m mostly referring to the non-standard output of ibooks author, not the whole EULA debacle that it’s still a mess in progress. Standard output and interoperable data files is something that i have very strong feelings about and i think that is something highly critical for the customer on the long run. Even if on the short run it goes unnoticed.

Second, is the long standing drop in reputation with the consumer and a general “discomfort” that flows around the “masses” regarding this type of situations. It is such a strong force (( although unrecognized and unappreciated by most by its discrete nature)) that some companies struggle with it for years. Someone recently wrote (( can’t remember who. )) that Google was the new Microsoft, it was impossible to go a day without using their products but it never felt good or comfortable doing so. And the result of this feeling, in Microsoft case, is that 90% or so ((completely made up statistic of what i see around me. )) of the consumers have no loyalty or “fondness” for Microsoft at all. And no sign of potential increase in the future. Most people will jump ships as soon as possible, as they have been doing in the last years. And the same feeling is starting to spread with Google and with Facebook. This tarnished image doesn’t easily disappear from the collective mind, no matter what the “renewed company” does.

Apple managed to survive their long past winter by having a small base of fiercely loyal customers. How many of these customers would remain loyal and faithful to Apple in a new winter if Apple gets the habits of pushing them around when they can? People don’t like being pushed around. And they remember it. For a long, long time…

Slightly edited at 17:00 GMT, 24/01/2012

Music for my ears

Meanwhile on the Net, people strongly discuss the behaviour of the iPhone mute switch. Because apparently there can be only one option in a 600€ phone. Pressing for a default or holding the switch for a second and then selecting a profile from a selection or customizing your own seems to be too cumbersome.


Perspectives and leadership

“At present, Microsoft has 14 retail stores and plans to open up to 75 more over the next three years, usually placing them as close as possible to Apple outlets. “Well, the traffic is going to be there, and we’ve got to beat them anyway,” Ballmer says with a shrug. “

Steve Ballmer Reboots – BusinessWeek

The Dark side.

“If we want to move forward and see Apple healthy and prospering again, we have to let go of a few things here. We have to let go of this notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose. We have to embrace a notion that for Apple to win, Apple has to do a really good job. And if others are going to help us that’s great, because we need all the help we can get, and if we screw up and we don’t do a good job, it’s not somebody else’s fault, it’s our fault. So I think that is a very important perspective. If we want Microsoft Office on the Mac, we better treat the company that puts it out with a little bit of gratitude; we like their software. So, the era of setting this up as a competition between Apple and Microsoft is over as far as I’m concerned. This is about getting Apple healthy, this is about Apple being able to make incredibly great contributions to the industry and to get healthy and prosper again.”

Steve Jobs

The wise side.

Apple’s Three Laws of Developers

  1. A developer may not injure Apple or, through inaction, allow Apple to come to harm.
  2. A developer must obey any orders given to it by Apple, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A developer must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

via Coding Horror

Sustainable Softworks Blog

“The combination of application sandboxing and entitlements could provide a more elegant solution if it is applied carefully. Apple doesn’t need to solve the entire problem all at once, but it does need to recognize there are important applications beyond self contained productivity or entertainment, and begin thinking about how to include some of them in the Mac App Store.

To help get the conversation started, I’d like to suggest a rating system similar to the already familiar film-rating system:

  • “G” for General use or everyone

  • “PG” for Parental Guidance suggested (security implications should be noted, such as anything that installs a plugin)

  • “R” for Restricted (requires more extensive system access such as a backup or disk utility)

The point here is that Apple could offer a better user experience by allowing a broader range of integrated solutions to be offered in the Mac App Store.”*

Sustainable Softworks Blog

Yes. The one approach fits all is in itself a security risk as more and more users and apps opt-out of the Mac App Store (MAS) entirely or circumvent its restrictions. Add to this the updated delay for security bugs most apps have – comparing with the non-app versions – this might blow up in Apple’s face. But read the full post at the source to get a better view of what’s being criticized

I usually just try to use the non-MAS versions for these reasons as well. And i find the all “download dmg file -> open it -> drag the app to where you want it” not that cumbersome, but then again, i’m not the usual Mac user so my view is skewed.

But Apple needs to seriously consider the criticism being stated all around the developer’s internet. Switching Preference Panes for a Menu Bar icon is, on the long run, a dumb idea. What happens when people have more than 10 apps that require this “hack”? Stop buying apps at the MAS entirely?

Taking Away The Magic

“And Apple took away that magic, bestowing it solely to iPad 2 owners and leaving my hindbrain and fingers pointlessly swiping every now and then (even as I typed this and tried to switch to Twitter momentarily to gripe about my usual morning headache).

But maybe I’m not getting the full point across here, so I’ll try again: I became so used to switching between apps without using the home button that the iPad is now the most frustrating device I own.”

Rui Carmo

I guess today is rant at Apple day. Nothing they don’t try real hard to to deserve sometimes.


So let me get this straight. In order to try iCloud i must have Lion OR, in alternative, Windows Vista or 7?! What about Snow Leopard and Leopard? And i won’t even go to the other previous cats… You know, the other OSes that Apple produces!!

And no, currently i don’t have any iOS device. I wanted to try multiple macs sync. But apparently Apple values your use of Windows more than Mac OS X.

And as a cherry on top, because my Apple ID is a MobileMe address, from when i subscribed to Apple’s overpriced service, and because that account is long expired but Apple still recognizes it as a attached to a MobileMe account, i hit a wall of: “please go MobileMe site to upgrade this account” -> “this account is expired and can’t be renewed”.

At least 18 months of planning and testing and this is what you came up with? Jeez… That’s just dumb and disrespectful.

specs vs experience

“But it goes deeper than this. Many reviewers don’t even realize what the product is. They still believe the iPhone or iPad is mostly a hardware product defined by its specifications. Apple has invested 10 times more R&D resources to create the iOS software and supporting eco system than its hardware. Apple didn’t design the hardware to match some feature checklist, they designed it to make their software amaze and delight customers, to create an emotional connection that effects peoples lives. To compare the iPhone or iPad to other products primarily on their hardware specifications is not representative of the quality of experience users are likely to have with the product.

What happens if you lose your phone or tablet or wish to upgrade to a newer model? Will all your applications and data move seamlessly? What if you want to share data with others or between your tablet and phone? Can your tablet be upgraded to the latest OS? Will the software you want be available and work smoothly on your new tablet? What about malware? What if something goes wrong? Is there a store where you can take your tablet to get help? These are important considerations consumers see clearly, but the tech press largely ignores.”

Sustainable Softworks Blog


A rant about fins. And humps.

“When the iPhone 3GS debuted in 2009, critics were similarly unimpressed. Maybe that has something to do with the name. Many people expected Apple to announce a completely redesigned iPhone 5. iPhone 4S sounds much more like a facelift of a current product — which is fair because that’s what it is.”

Five reasons people are calling the iPhone 4S a dud – CNN.com


Let’s start this rant by reflecting a bit about the nice folks who use words as their tool of trade and yet manage to use them the most incorrect way possible.

Dear CNN:

A facelift, as the word itself implies, is a change in the “face”, and by this we mean the outside, the appearance, the non-fundamental. It came to be known from the automotive industry where roughly at the middle of the expected lifecycle of a car you would change some minor aspects of what the customer saw. And by this we mean both the car body design – such as the headlights design, the bonnet (( hood in the american english )) or simply a pair of new fins – or the interior – the fabric pattern, some new auto-radio or just some differently positioned buttons.

The “inside” of a car, the thing that actually makes a car would remain essentially untouched. And by this we mean the engine, the chassis, the suspension, the electrical components, all of the things that are highly complex to design, test, produce and put together. You see, designing and producing a car takes some hundreds of million dollars just to get the first unit out of the factory, so you don’t want to keep doing that every two years because you would be bankrupt before your second model even got out of the paper.

On the other hand most of the consumers like shinny new things (as you apparently) so a balance must be obtained. And that balance is the “facelift”. You, the consumer, get an almost-new shinny exterior and some minor nuisances corrected; We, the car manufacturer, get to keep the parts that takes the paycheck of every idiotic CNN journalist (for life) combined to produce.

Now compare this to the “dud” iPhone 4S that you call a facelift. The appearance of the previous model? Check. The inside of the previous model? No. See any contradiction here?

It’s the same old phone!

There was some disappointment among the tech “pundit” blogosphere and news sites regarding the iPhone 4S. Apparently it’s not new enough. OK. Walk with me through the changes:

  • What the iPhone 4S has new:
    • new system-on-chip: new dual-core processor and graphics;
    • twice the RAM memory of iPhone 4;
    • new antenna design;
    • new antenna chip with dual GSM/CDMA and other communication management goodies;
    • new camera sensor, lens system and other weird optical stuff;
    • a additional module ISP in the processor for face recognition and other image processing algorithms;
    • 1080p video with image stabilization;
    • probably a new battery – the specs have changed a bit so, additionally to the new hardware and power management, a battery with some sort of modification is likely.
    • Siri – the personal assistant – which unlike iOS 5 you can’t get in any other previous iPhone.
  • What the i4S Phone shares with the previous iPhone 4:
    • The glass and screen on the front;
    • The glass on the back
    • Maybe the sound control buttons;
    • Oh! And the dock connector.

Yep. It’s just the same old iPhone. No difference whatsoever… (face-palm)

You just get 3 or 4 parts that come from the previous generation – because it lowers the cost of manufacturing it to something like a quarter of the price of a totally redesigned case not to mention the ability to produce large numbers of it in almost no-time – but yes, “it’s just the same old iPhone”, just a “minor facelift”

Don’t let that glimpse of Reality and facts get in the way of your complaints of course. How more blind and futile can you get? If it doesn’t have something shinny and new i don’t want it! Even if it is a totally new beast where it counts…

We want fins. And humps.

Most of the techno-pundits apparently want something with a bigger screen (because bigger is better!) and with the so called “teardrop design”. What’s the teardrop design you ask? Well, it’s a great innovation from the Apple rumor mill that no one actually has seen but it sports a *aircraft wing” profile, with one end thicker than the other. Which makes a “lot of sense” in a device that is supposed to be hold either in profile or portrait, and you can turn it in any direction…

You see, this will mean that: first, you will have a thicker object to hold on one hand than on the other; and second, that that thicker part can either be on your right hand or your left, depending how you turned it. Which i seriously doubt is currently on anyone’s mind when they use any iOS device. But apparently it would be a really great innovation and no new iPhone is complete without it. I guess you can easily find some Samsung Android replica phone with it in no time.

Does it make any ergonomic, economic and design sense? Absolutely none whatsoever. But do the so called “tech experts” want one and complain loudly because they weren’t given one?? Absolutely. Because we all want a hump on our iPhone. It makes all the difference. You will never know when you’ll cross the Sahara desert and it might come in handy.

You also know what “we” want in the new iPhone 5? Fins. Yeah, Fins. Because they really look cool. And we don’t really need anything remotely similar to logic and good design. And it worked so great in the past. And if doesn’t carry fins, then: I. Don’t. Want. It. Even if it is finally called the iPhone 5. Because that’s all that matter. The @€£‰‰§ number on the model name.