Archive for June, 2007

iPhone: Let the Review Flood Begin

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

The iPhone launch is just days away and the review embargo has been lifted.

New York Time (David Pogue).

In other words, maybe all the iPhone hype isn’t hype at all. As the ball player Dizzy Dean once said, “It ain’t bragging if you done it.”

USA Today (Edward C. Baig)

My wish list aside, iPhone’s splash of a debut is worthy of the attention it is receiving.

Wall Street Journal (Walt Mossberg & Katherine Boehret)

But, despite its network limitations, the iPhone is a whole new experience and a pleasure to use.

NewsWeek / MSNBC (Steven Levy)

(Has a funny picture of someone taking a photo of the giant iPhone with some crappy cell phone.)

… the phone that finally fulfills the promise of people-friendly palm-top communication and computing.

Overwhelmingly positive, while noting some flaws. Can’t wait to chuck my current stupid cell phone.

Dark Side of the Moon: The Porn of Audio Media

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

In the video world, the running joke is that whatever media format Porn adopts will win any given format war. VHS, DVDs, Intertubes — all became multi-billion dollar tools of distribution in the massive economy that is “adult entertainment”.

EMI has announced that their DRM-less music sales via iTunes are through the roof.

Back when CDs were launched in the early ’80s, Dark Side of the Moon dominated the CD sales charts for years and years. Similarly, it had been one of the hottest selling LPs back in the days when vinyl was king. As of today (6/07), the album has been in the top 100 — typically in the top 5 — for 1,558 weeks. Almost 30 years!!

So, I watched with quite a bit of amusement to see Dark Side of the Moon quickly take and hold the #1 (now #2) position in iTunes Plus. A 350% increase in sales was reached in the week after the launch of iTunes Plus. Thus, iTunes is following the same pattern as other audio oriented media; DSotM dominates sales as soon as a high quality recording is available in that format.

If porn embraces a video format, it’ll be a success. Likewise, if DSotM dominates your audio media sales, definite success indicator…

Update: Of course, by now, DSotM has fallen considerably in the sales ranks, but Wish You Were Here and The Wall are at #19 and #20 as I write this. Maybe people are mixing it up a bit. Dark Side of the Moon is still $8, which could quite likely have driven sales.

Of course, with any album that has been so popular for so long, there are bound to be derivative and related works.

Like Reggae? How about Dub Side of the Moon!

Or an all vocals, no instruments, version?

There are the inevitable tribute albums. This one has some truly phenomanol musicians.

Finally, the ubiquitous string quartet re-interpretation makes an appearance, too.

YouTube on Apple TV

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

Apple TV 1.1 is out and I, of course, immediately installed it. The top level menu is now slightly longer and there is a huge YouTUBE logo in the icon set.

Gotta watch some videos. First one? Some weird-ass space alien stop motion thing with scritchy electronica as the sound track.

Audio and video quality are pretty good. Though playback has paused twice while waiting for more packets to flow. Not so with the classic Tony & Paul (at least not for the first 3:56).

Certainly more entertaining than browsing the garbage beaming in via satellite at any random moment. Big TV ought to be scared, mostly because letting user’s vote on user produced content produces higher quality entertainment than the average TV studio.

Of course, I had a look for naughty stuff. To.. you know… see where the filter line is drawn. Yeah, that’s it…

Very funny — most of it is either rants about how God will Save You from the Naughty Bits that will Destroy Your Soul or teaser videos that break to My Little Pony as punishment for trying to find naughty stuff. I’m not kidding. You know you are going to look now.

Ran across an Andy Dick piece that is both funny and completely juvenile and tasteless. And some Borat…

Oh, wait. Crap. This is pretty entertaining in a completely stupid way.

WWDC ’07 is in the can!

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007
Gerbera Daisy

WWDC ’07 is now behind us. A huge thank you to everyone who took a moment to give kudos and criticisms of all the work that we have done in the last year. It was overwhelmingly positive and very much appreciated — a confirmation that we are on the right track.

The Tommy’s runs were an awesome success. Wednesday had two graduations and tons of folks showed up!

I spent the weekend unwinding with a bit of development work on Dave Dribin’s MAME OS X client. Was quite relaxing to work with production tools in a production environment without any deadlines. I ended up adding persistence of audit data across app invocations. If I get a chance, I have some ideas to further improve the app.

Random Notes from WWDC

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

Just some random notes…

I’m staying at the Hotel Adante. Good bandwidth and a nice walk to Moscone. Bandwidth is not via wireless, though, as each room has an ethernet port and they have free ethernet cables at the front desk. Airport Express is quite useful for sharing that connection..This is actually the second time I stayed here for WWDC, the first being my first year as an Apple employee in 2003.

Interesting neighborhood. Once block in the wrong direction and it can be a bit dodgy. One block the other way and it is incredibly pricy. Some amazing food in the area, though.

Speaking of, I ate dinner at Bordobudur this evening. Excellent fresh authentic indonesian cuisine for a very reasonable price. Had delicious grilled salmon with bean sprouts. Highly reccomend the place.

Had a fairly amusing encounter on the way to Moscone this morning. Ran into a dude begging for money near the conference center:

beggar dude: Spare some change?

Me: Don’t have any.

bd: Would your answer change if I asked you in Objective-C?

Me: If I had change, it would…

That had my laughing out loud, but for reasons beyond the obvious contextual humor. Shortly after WWDC last year, I took on the role of engineering manager of the Objective-C team (which explains the relative quiet around these parts over the last 10 months or so).

So, yeah, that was pretty damned funny. If I see the dude again, I’ll definitely give him some change.

I did find him again. Gave him a buck and had a pretty funny conversation about the whole thing.

Useful Advice for Presenters at WWDC

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

So — been a bit quiet around here. Not terribly surprising. At Apple, we are all a bit busy prepping for a little event happening next week.

Anyway. Someone sent around this video. Very funny and very true. Does make me ask: where was this comedian performing such that the audience was effectively rolling on the floor laughing at such jokes?

For those wondering; Tommy’s on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday nights, this year.

Now back to slides…