I Was Saying “Boo, Urns!”

Touch... my wallet.
I don’t know if you were paying attention to technology news today, but Apple held a little keynote address at their yearly Macworld Expo at which Steve Jobs announced the MacBook Air, a pretty freakin’ cool piece of ultra-lightweight mobile computing technology. He also announced a free firmware update for the iPhone which adds triangulation capabilities, new “web clips”, the ability to rearrange your home screen and a bunch of other stuff. And he announced revision 2 of the Apple TV with a whole raftload of new features, plus free software updates for existing Apple TV owners that bring them on par with the rev. 2 models.
Then he announced that iPod Touch owners, such as myself, would have to pay $20 for the pleasure of using applications the iPhone has had from the very beginning. Anyone else notice a disconnect? The two devices run the same binaries — there’s no reason that the Touch needed to be crippled (yes, I said crippled!) from the very beginning, except for Apple’s unwillingness to potentially bogart iPhone sales.
Oh, and people who buy Touches starting now get the update for free.
This just continues the recent Apple trend towards hosing early adopters. Pfeh!, says I.
</grumble grumble>

This Town Needs An Enema

This town…Those that know me best know that I am no fan of Philadelphia Mayor John Street’s persona, politics or ethics, but I must object to the current “mini-scandal”
brewing as just plain stupid.
Here’s the situation:
John Street (D, Philadelphia) is a bit of a gadget hound. He wanted an iPhone and so decided to wait outside of an AT&T store, starting at 3 am Friday morning. When people started arriving later in the day, they noticed Street and began heckling him, claiming he should be off conducting the business of the city, etc., to which Street responded by raising his Blackberry and noting that he had handled tens of emails and phone calls flawlessly from the line. Other meetings and the heckling eventually forced Street to abandon his place in line and have a subordinate continue waiting for the iPhone. Street eventually got his iPhone, thanks to the diligence of his aide.
The local media and blogs are in a tizzy, claiming the city is in a “crisis” and that Street exhibited near malfeasance by waiting in line for a few hours. This is balderdash. John Street does not roam the streets of Philadelphia single-handedly wrestling gun criminals to the pavement, busting up drug cartels and handing out parking tickets. He’s the mayor, and, as such, he delegates the day-to-day affairs to others more capable (well, in theory, that is) and thus makes command decisions when necessary.
To fault the man for a few hours in line is simply scandal-mongering and is truly unfair. How else was Street to get ahold of the device? If he had forced an aide to wait from the beginning, his critics would accuse him of misusing city staff for his own personal ends. If he had called the AT&T store and asked for an iPhone to be set aside, he would have been accused of strong-arming a retailer and seeking special privileges. Instead, he sought to personally acquire the device.
His critics should be ashamed of themselves. Give the guy a break and let him enjoy a few moments of peace and leisure — Heaven knows those are in short supply in the Philly city government.

I Wish I Had $600 “Revolutionary” Dollars To Spend On The “Revolutionary” iPhone

I know that Apple always does things a bit differently than their competitors, but the 20 minute iPhone tour they posted today should simultaneously put every single other cell phone company 1) on notice and 2) to shame.
Can you imagine how different people’s experiences with Treos, Qs and Pearls would be if Palm, Motorola and RIM took the time to produce such simple-yet-effective rundowns of their respective devices’ ins and outs? What if the big M actually had a website showing me how to turn off my Q’s radio so that I could play solitaire at 30,000 feet and thus reduce the chances of fouling my transport’s comm systems?
$600 is an awful lot of money, but everything in that video makes me want an iPhone all the more. It looks as though they have addressed nearly every single long-standing nit and annoyance that anyone that has had the misfortunepleasure of dealing with cell phones in the past. It will certainly be interesting to see how Motorola, Nokia, et. al. respond in the months to come.
This thing is going to be big.

iPhooooooooooooooonnne!

I officially retract my previous iPhone fanboi status, as Apple officially announced today that their next-generation Macintosh operating system Leopard will be delayed until October and the iPhone is solely to blame. Apparently, Apple’s best and brightest engineers had to be shifted to the iPhone division in order to ensure that the $600/unit iPhone ships in time for the Apple WWDC in June. I can see the economic logic in this decision, but it means that I’ll need to wait an additional 4 whole months to get my grubby mitts on Leopard.
I know it’s geeky and it’s selfish, but I was looking forward to droppinghaving work drop $129 in order for me to upgrade my MBP and another $129 for my Mac Pro. I was also really looking forward to upgrading our Xserves to Leopard Server, what with it’s cool wiki, collaboration and calendaring servers. Would’ve made my job a heckuva lot easier in the very near term. Alas.
The Unofficial Apple Weblog has further thoughts on the implications of the delay.

Apple Stole My Thunder, Gol-Durnit!

I had a nice post all ready to go this morning in which I lambasted cell phone makers for their current lineup, ready to compare the offerings to those in the sports shoes market: flashy, ugly and without enough compelling features to cause me to overlook said flugliness. Then, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone live at Mac World San Francisco. Oy.
Watch the interface videos of it functioning as a widescreen iPod, a hand-held internet device, and the slickest phone you’ve ever laid eyes on.
Great, now everything stinks by comparison. Q? Crap. Blackjack? Practically Stone Age. Treo? Puhlease.
Now hand me that cup o’ Kool Aid. It’s not going to drink itself, you know.