AMITIAE - Monday 5 March 2012

Cassandra - Monday Review - It Will Soon be Friday

apple and chopsticks


By Graham K. Rogers


Opening Gambit:

Stories surrounding the expected release announcement of the iPad 3 later this week. Dust thrown in the air by Microsoft (you would think they might learn). Other realistic rumours. 25 billion apps: some of the top downloads. App reviews and app problems. Syncing the Mac and the iOS devices: fine in the office; still not working at home. USAF will order 18,000 iPads (with a $40 discount for each). Apple's job creations: not enough transparency for some with a rant on word use from Myslewski. Blackberry success. Ivy Bridge coming sooner than was stated; and so might iOS 6.

eXtensions Delays

I woke early Monday morning to find no email from my usual accounts and thought that Apple's Mail was having a bad start to the day. After a couple of attempts, I tried to access the eXtensions site itself. That was offline. Definitely not a good start to the week. When I found that the hosting service was also offline, I knew there was a problem. If you are reading this, the problem has been solved. . . .

Apple Stuff

With the iPad 3 about to be announced, the rumour mill is at work. I wrote something myself at the weekend keeping as close as possible to facts rather than speculating wildly. Of course we will not know until Tim or Phil or Scott (or all three) step on the stage of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and show us the slides.

The site was getting ready at the weekend and some online sources had pics of the graphics put up at the Center. Rene Ritchie had a comment that had a picture of the placing of some of the graphics. More images are shown on an Electronista page. I also found some images in an item by Josh Lowensohn.

One of the things about Apple releases is the amount of dust that gets thrown in the air, but before and after the announcement: take for example Ballmer's infamous and over-hasty comment on the iPhone back in 2007 that he has never managed to live down, although he has tried to water it down on a number of occasions. Redmond are at it again with the iPhone and MacDaily News isn't having any of it, calling Terry Myerson (MS Mobile head), "a liar and/or an ignoramus" on a couple of occasions while rebutting the ideas he put forward on the iPhone:

I think Apple -- you're right, you can download iOS 5 for iPhone 3G, and it won't be usable, but it's possible to install. . . . It's a great hardware sales tool as far as I can tell. Install this OS which makes your hardware unusably slow, so then you feel compelled to go back to the store and buy a new piece of hardware. . . .

That iteration of iOS was specifically not for the iPhone 3, although did run on the iPhone 3GS and not too badly. MDN's final paragraph is one of their gems: "What we have here is yet a another newly-minted Microsoft dumbass with his foot wedged firmly in his mouth; a standard Microsoft corporate yoga position perfected by their leader, Ballmer T. Clown" Which is where I came in.

On the other hand, Microsoft is not that brilliant. I know we express that in a number of ways on this site, but Andrew Orlowski on The Register in an extensive and lengthy article that is worth taking time over, has a strong article on what may be going on within Microsoft with Metro -- the phone version of Windows 8. It is not just the OS for the phones, but the politics within that are interesting here and may be causing a lot more burnout than is imagined as the Metro team are considered Untouchables. This was a criticism about Scott Forestall and his iOS team within Apple when some of the best OS X talent was redirected to the efforts being made for iPhone and iPad software. Do get on to page 2 of Orlowski's article as it gets rather funny, in a mouth-gaping way. People are expected to pay for being treated like this? Over here, over here: iPhones in this aisle. Sanity an option over here.

Another rumour that refuses to die is that of the 7" iPad and this week, we are told by Josh Ong on AppleInsider that Samsung Securities -- should we really trust this source? -- claim that the device is "definitely" coming later in the year. Another part of the rumour suggests flexible AMOLED screens: active-matrix organic light-emitting diode. It seems that if the iPad 3 is moving to the Gorilla Glass and a Retina Display, that could be a step backwards in terms of quality.

At the weekend someone downloaded app number 25 billion and -- whoever it is -- they have a nice present coming to them from Apple. It was not me and of course I am jealous: I would love a $10,000 spending spree in an Apple Store. As part of the jubilee, Apple released a list of the top apps of all time: Paid, Free, iPhone and iPad. When I looked at the list which was in an item by Federico Viticci on Mac Stories, I had number 10 in the list of paid iPhone apps, a couple in the Top 10 free iPhone apps. I did a little better in the iPad lists.

25 billion

I had a look at a Russian mapping app on Friday. It covers only Russia, in Russian, so has a limited use here. On Saturday morning, I saw that in New & Noteworthy in the iTunes app store was a BBC app for the Russian service: again all in Russian. While there are a few people who will be able to access the full range of services here, there is a limit to its value in this part of the world. Far more useful would be some of the other BBC apps that work in English, but we are (as Alan Dawson used to write in Post Database) much too foreign for that.

Another app I downloaded that linked a voice recording facility on the iPhone directly to the Mac, failed to work. When I investigated, the server software needed for the app was already installed, but the problem was the same that has kept the iPhone and iPad from syncing over wifi since I have been at this condo. When I looked further, a number of other apps that sync data between computer and iOS devices were also affected. It works at the office, but not at home. I phoned True on Sunday and got through quite quickly. Initially, the problem was a little complex for the technical person I spoked to. I made a second run with a slightly different explanation and more information: the penny dropped. However, the operator was not able to answer. He took some details and told me he was passing it up to the technical department. I hope they do not call when I am at work because that will be a waste of time.

There was a nice story this week covered by Steven Sande on TUAW concerning a guy with a heart condition who started going into a heart blockage condition at a gym. He made it to the changing room where he found a doctor with an iPad: an amazing piece of luck in itself on both counts. The doctor was from the nearby Mayo Clinic and he called a couple of other docs (who were exercising) to help. With the iPad he pulled up the guy's medical history which allowed him to make a fairly accurate diagnosis saving much time. They also used the iPad EKG record alongside one that was printed in the ambulance as confirmation, saving up to 3 hours that would have been taken for tests. Within 4 days the patient was back in the exercise room. But just look at the advances in technology there that are now available to assist doctors (and patients of course).

We are expecting an iOS update this week to version 5.1 which may have some hidden gems for the iPad 3 inbuilt, but there are other presents coming from Apple. That should be Friday we are told. However, iOS 6 (six) is on the way and OS X Daily tells us we can be fairly sure about this because of online logging. You think you are hidden online: they can even tell the version of the OS you run so those naughty downloads may also be discoverable. Hidden in some logs, there are lines of code that indicate a new operating system. They have been tracked to the Cupertino area: what a surprise. Is iOS 5.1 really going to be iOS 6 instead?

Related to the logging is an appearance of references to iPads with High-resolution displays we are told by iPodNN, who also mention the iOS 6 logs.

A month or so ago we reported on the US Air Force interest in up to 18,000 iPads and then the deal was suddenly off. Or at least on the back burner. Some speculated this was because of some Russian software that was used, showing how the Cold War mentality still exists and that mutual distrust is alive and well. Now however we read on Bloomberg in an item by Brendan McGarry that the deal is alive, well and done: $9.36 million and that is with the discount the USAF gets.

Donald Trump's stinging (and hypocritical) comment about moving Apple manufacturing back to the US has seen a few comments concerning the number of jobs that were created in the developer industry. There was more this week from Apple with a page on its site concerning the creation of 514,00 jobs which is smart publicity. My link for that page was MacDaily News who have done a good job in analysing and commenting on the figures. But there is more, and Electronista report on the posting by Apple of 15 new job positions directly related to iCloud: an unusually large number.

Rik Myslwewski on the Register is having none of this and implies that perhaps Apple commissioned the research (no one is saying) and writes that "Such job-creation statistics are diaphonous at best." Diaphonous is not your usual everyday type of word that most people would grasp immediately. It was not in the dictionaries that come installed with the Mac, but online sources tell me that it means "such fineness of texture as to permit seeing through" or "delicately hazy". It seems Myslewski in his continuing campaigns against anything that Apple reports that may have a hint of goodness to it, is trying to use the word to imply a lack of clarity and deliberately obfuscating (see, we can all play the game) with such a word choice.

He was obviously having a bad dictionary day as he went off then about Apple using the word "innovation" which may be used a lot, but still carries a clear meaning. This may be why he then drags other companies into his rant -- IBM, HP Labs, Intel and the Consumer Electronics Association. Not done there he goes for Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum as well as a couple of other users. It was hard to remember at the end what he had been writing about. We suggest laying off late night snacks of blue cheese and red wine.

Half and Half

Apple had another success in the apparently never ending patent sage with Samsung, we read on Foss Patents ,when the court in Mannheim threw out another Samsung lawsuit abut 3G and two of the slide-to-unlock cases.

This is the second time I have reported on this statistical freak that Electronista put in front of me concerning sales of the BlackBerry PlayBook which is outselling the iPad. In Canada. And it may not be just down to nationalistic loyalty. Part may be because of the software update so that at last it can do email without needing a BlackBerry phone as well -- preposterous as that was. Also there was a price cut -- discount they call it.

Intel were reported as suggesting their new Ivy Bridge processors were to be delayed until later in the year, which could affect Apple products if Cupertino was hoping to use these in forthcoming computers. However a report on Electronista walks this back a bit with Intel suggesting that was all a bit conservative. It may be April that these begin to appear.

There was a report this week on Digital Times by Molly McHugh that Foursquare is dumping Google Maps and moving to OpenStreet Maps. An example is at the top of the article, but when I checked on my iPhone there was the familiar googlish interface. Maybe not here; maybe later?

I tried to send an email to a radio station in the US this weekend, using the web-based contact system they provided. I used my email address for contact details and was later sent a terse message from Google telling me that does not (which is the radio station) as a permitted sender. That Google gets in everywhere and mucks things up these days. Time for a change. Time for several.

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.



Made on Mac

For further information, e-mail to

information Tag information Tag

Back to eXtensions
Back to Home Page