Okay, there's an interesting pair of stories out there that to me indicate we're in a lot of trouble.
1. Microsoft has big plans for Sync.
2. Vista sucks.
In the first story, it seems that Microsoft wants to track your movements so they can sell ads for you to see and hear in your car. They're convinced that you won't mind having advertisements jammed up your ass while you're driving. They want to track what you like, where you like to eat, what you like to do, so wherever you are they can advertise the nearest one and tell you how to get there.
In the second story, top Microsoft executives have, poetically, gotten a lousy user experience from Vista.
So here's Microsoft. They took six years to build the laughing stock of operating systems. An operating system so bad they can't even get it working right for the top brass. This selfsame company wants to distract people moving two tons of metal, glass, luggage, groceries, and passengers at freeway speeds. They want to sell advertising, with a popup on the dashboard.
If people wanted to listen to ads, there wouldn't be iPods. Okay? Advertising isn't going to get me to the best seafood restaurant in the area. It's going to get me to the greasy fish and chips joint that bought an ad.
Worse than that, Sync is going to track where you are, what you like to do, where you're most likely going, and probably get it wrong. I mean, let's face it. We're talking about the same company that makes Access. It will probably cooperate with local law enforcement and keep them abreast of your speed and whereabouts. Hell, it might print out a speeding ticket via bluetooth on your home printer. Not only will you have to pay the ticket, but you'll have to buy more ink, too.
The only upside to all this is that it probably won't work at all. But if it's anything like Vista, it will crash your car and lose your groceries and your Aunt Sally. Then you'll have to call tech support. When you restart, Aunt Sally will be there twice. Naked. And she'll insist that you call her Ingrid.
Me? I'm getting a Chevy. An OLD Chevy.
I read somewhere that if you use Safari you shouldn't use PayPal or something like that. Security.
Dell missed analysts predictions. Analysts predicted that Michael Dell would meet people who shared many of his interests and that he should devote more time to his artistic endeavors. Also, today is a seven. Oh, no. Wait. That was astrologists, not analysts. Anyway, apparently the broader market is discovering that when measured against the standard, "computers that don't suck beagle weenies," Dell doesn't rank very highly.
Oh, I guess I forgot to mention this: Microsoft is lowering the price of Vista. It won't be long before they're giving it away free as a promo with car washes and carpet shampoos.
About this time next year, Microsoft will be negotiating for all those CD burners AOL isn't using anymore. Vista discs will start showing up in boxes of Special K and folded into the Sunday newspaper circulars. Pleasepleasepleaseplease use our new OS.
Note: Leopard still rocks.
Note II: Seriously rocks.
I may or may not make any entries this weekend. I'll be spending the weekend with my daughter. The one with the 3.85 GPA in her Junior year at college. Oh, yeah. This could involve shopping. Wish me luck. I hope I don't end up with very many pairs of shoes.
Friday, February 29, 2008
Okay, there's an interesting pair of stories out there that to me indicate we're in a lot of trouble.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 8:06 PM
Thursday, February 28, 2008
That other fellow that writes for BusinessWeak didn't give me anything to work with last night. Thank the maker, Arik was on the job today. I'm serious, boys and girls. Mr. Hesseldahl gave us a great big old, Microsoft-sponsored rant on why Master Jobst Fimil should take the company on the wild goose chase of a stock buy-back.
That's the problem with giving these guys bylines. They think that because their names appear below a recognized registered trademark, they must know something. Not true.
Arik, The Master has at his disposal (the last time the numbers were officially updated):
Do you have 1.84 E10 USD?
Let me guess: No. Am I right?
See, the way this works is if you're really smart about money you have a lot of it. If you're not, you don't. His Steveness has a lot of money. You don't. Therefore, he is really smart about money. You are not. If anyone needs to see that equation again, I'll be here for a while after class.
You may need financial advice from The Master.
The Master does not need financial advice from you.
Apple's stock went up a few bucks today. Tim COOk announced that Apple is going to sell 10 million iPhones before the end of 2008. No. Wait. I thought Steve Jobs said that before the first one was sold. Apple has never said anything different than that. Tim COOk didn't say much that was new, just, "Remember what we said last year? Yeah. Just cut and paste," and the stock is up to the tune of $6.xx.
Remember what I said about the Stock Market being stupid? It's also insecure and has a short attention span. Kinda like a teenager, except with zero stuff to do after school. Sometimes the market just needs a hug.
Over at Forbes, the magazine that still owes me a jug of hooch and a stogie, there's a whole page devoted to Apple being late delivering an SDK for the iPhone. Brian Caulfield, the author, compares the one week delay of the SDK to the delay of Vista. He likens a one-week delay in a Software Developer Kit to a years long wait for arguably the most rat-infested operating system in history.
The iPhone SDK is important, but as yet, it won't affect 90-something percent of the personal computer market. Nor will it crash or fail to run on a substantial number of "iPhone SDK" enable devices.
Every time somebody compares Apple to Microsoft it blows me away.
Over on Slashdot, there's a piece about how OS X secretly cripples non-Apple applications. Some undocumented API apparently slows down Firefox and other browsers. If Firefox is crippled, I haven't noticed. It's the browser I use, and that is probably more crippling than anything Apple might do. Anyway, Slashdot compares Apple to Microsoft by saying that the undocumented API is like something Microsoft always gets in trouble for.
No. It isn't. Microsoft doesn't "cripple software with undocumented APIs." Things don't run slower when the borg want them excluded. Microsoft breaks shit. When Microsoft breaks it, it doesn't frigging work.
Apple speeds up it's own stuff without telling everyone how they did it. Firefox works fine.
Microsoft breaks other people's stuff so it won't even fecking work, and then refuses to tell anyone how to fix it. Later, they offer a lame-ass insincere apology and say maybe someday they'll get around to fixing it.
Apple misses by a few days and delivers a quality product.
Microsoft misses by a few years and delivers Vista.
Wow. I need some dark chocolate. Right. Now.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 8:44 PM
I didn't post about William F. Buckley Jr last night. I really couldn't figure out what to write. Still can't.
When I was a kid my favorite thing to do on rainy days was to sit and read the dictionary. Really. I still get a kick out of learning new words and their meanings. I don't read dictionaries for fun anymore, because the plot is thin. It's the same reason I don't read novels much.
I love to read William F. Buckley with a glass of good scotch and a dictionary. I didn't always agree with what he said, but I always found that he made me think. Sometimes he even convinced me to change my mind about things, if only incrementally. He also made me look up words and learn their meanings. The only other pundit who accomplishes the latter is George F. Will, but he rarely achieves the former.
My political beliefs didn't originate from reading William F. Buckley Jr. My understanding of politics and conservatism is better because William F. Buckley Jr. made me look up definitions. I'll miss knowing he's around.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 8:25 PM
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Which of the following is Apple accused of using in violation of a patent?
a. Silica-based translucent viewing hardware.On my honor, one of them has reportedly been filed.
b. Perforated enclosure grill for internal air-flow component cooling.
c. Software that let's a cell phone match an incoming number to a name.
d. Multi-colored spinning disk for indicating processor activity.
Answer at the bottom of the post.
Master Jobst Fimil travels in that private plane the company bought for him. Apparently, that's expensive. Duh. Depending on where you read, that's either a really good sign or scary. I don't get it. I mean, I'm all like, dude, the company bought that for him to be able to, like, travel. You know? Like, on business? If he wasn't using it, they'd sell the flipping thing. If he uses it, it's gonna cost money. Dude. I never talk like that really, but I always wanted to try it. It even sounds more ignorant when it's written.
Kind of like a story about something as meaningless as how many frequent flyer miles His Steveness has accumulated in the company car. Talk about your journalistic packing peanuts. That has deadline written all over it.
Maybe the iPhone SDK will be out next week. Something about the Enterprise, too. I skipped through the article and just read the important parts. Anyhow, I think at least Kirk and Spock are getting iPhones. After they get the kinks worked out of the push email, the rest of the crew will get them. Also, something about blackberries for dessert or maybe for lunch. Like I said, I just skimmed it.
Over on BusinessWeak, who I've been rather snotty about lately, is a well reasoned post by Peter Burrows. I read it in the sincere hope that I'd be able to make fun of it. Basically he says if you're a day trader, Apple is not your friend at the moment. If you're a long-term, buy-and-hold investor, Apple is a fine stock to own. I'm the latter. So I agree with his basic tenets, if not all of his reasoning.
The stock market is stupid. Stock prices have no real basis in reality. If you go in with that understanding, realize that you can lose your ass, and be careful to buy good companies, the stock market can be a lot of fun and you can make some money. I've done alright.
Anyhow, the article is a fair read. I don't agree with all of it, but it's not stupid, either. I don't know who the hell he thinks he is. Now I have to go looking for something new to ridicule.
I'll bet you two pairs of used Reeboks the guy who filed the complaint is trying to decide between Hillary Clinton and Ralph Nader for president. He's almost certainly less intelligent than an equivalent quantity of camembert cheese.
a. glass; the other two were gimmes.
Waitress, can I have a doggy bag for this?
Posted by Rip Ragged at 6:28 PM
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Apple released iPhone 1.1.4. I, of course, downloaded it within moments after arriving at the house and I'm pissed.
Now my iPhone doesn't operate the garage door or my radio controlled Sopwith Camel. It doesn't get channel 13, and I was counting on watching the PBS pledge drive on it. The police scanner function? Dead. There wasn't a single new nude picture of Elle McPherson in the update. Not one. I turned it on and my black light posters didn't light up. Man. I'm just upset. And where's the icon for the SDK?
Is it just me or did the whole Microsoft-Yahoo! thing just sort of evaporate? Last week it was against the rules to write on the internet unless you included the words Yahoo and Microsoft somewhere in the text. This week, nothing.
Microsoft has kinda gotten used to getting whatever it wants over the last few years. Looks from here like a few people are summoning up the cojones to tell Ballmer and the team to pack sand.
More nothing. Nobody has even speculated about MacBook Air Jordan sales. Remember early somebody reported Apple was building 400,000 of those bad boys. Entry level price, without the optional anti-lock brakes and off-road towing package, is like $2,000. If they sell off the first batch, let's see that's two times four, with eight zeroes? According to my precise calculations, that's a pretty good chunk of change. No telling how long it will take.
Here's another phenomenon I'm noticing about the blogoverse that's a little disconcerting. It's like a house of mirrors. You can read the exact same story, slightly paraphrased, over and over and over and over. One guy wearing the tattered remnant of something resembling credibility reports something without a source or facts, and it gets repeated all over the whole dogdamn innertube.
Arik Hesseldahl, whose credentials are clearly established by the fact that he has a byline with Businessweak reported, based on nothing you can verify, that the iPhone SDK might maybe be delayed. All over the web, in places you hope to find good information, they're reporting the delay as a fact. Several porn sites, my bookie, realviagraforfree.com, Jokeroo, and other equally reputable places are reporting a one to three week delay as though it came down from the mountain on stone yellow legal tablets. The original source? A.H.
I'm hearing from my sources that Arik Hesseldahl is full of shit. I'm not hearing anything like a reason to doubt it.
Apple introduced a faster MB and MBP today. It's Tuesday. That's what they do.
Other news from Apple:
There's a blue Honda Civic in the parking lot with its lights on.
The Wellness Support Group has moved their regular meeting to Thursdays to accomodate requests based on training schedules.
The Friday special in the cafeteria will be fish and chips until further notice.
Mark Knopfler and Chet Atkins, Neck and Neck. Awesome album. Yeh. It's on iTunes.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to find my teddy bear and wash up.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 7:44 PM
Monday, February 25, 2008
First, important business, then onto my opinionated rant.
For the winner of last night's contest. I have to select zacksback's: Reruns of The View.
Frankly, just thinking about The View makes me want to run down stairs and make sure the TV is off. I have never even seen a snippet of that show. Not even by accident, which puts it further down my "to watch" list than Katie Couric and Survivor.
Baxtrice came in a close second with: Paris Hilton's acting career. That would have won, except I heard PH had one film that was interesting, although I never got to actually see it – it DID garner some interest.
So, I've decided to award the grand prize to both. Print this post and take it, along with a valid credit card with plenty of headroom on it, and book a flight to anywhere you can afford lodging.
Let's have a nice round of apple sauce for our winners.
For all our other contestants we have a copy of the home game. Also, a printout of this post and a five dollar bill will get you a Venté Cafe Americano and some shiny religious tokens at the Starbucks you just walked past.
My copy of BusinessWeak arrived in the mail today. Yup. I'm a subscriber. Anyway, Stephen Wildstrom spends several pages and much verbiage explaining how Microsoft should improve Windows in the next version.
One feature at a time, Mr. Wildstrom explains that OS X does something that he sure wishes Windows would do. Then at the end he says he's willing to wait for Windows to become OS X. I hope Microsoft was listening, because I don't own any Microsoft stock.
OS X is just about 10 years old. His Steveness brought the foundation for it with him from NeXT. We're not using a brandy-spanking new idea over here on our Macs, Stephen. We're using Unix with probably the most well-matured OS and UI in the history of personal computers.
If Microsoft ditches the underpinnings of Windows, ditches support for twenty-five years of legacy DOS programs, starts from scratch – they'll lose the only selling point they still have: backward software compatibility. All that freaking software won't run anymore. And if they're going to reinvent the OS from scratch, they don't have any choice but to faze all that crap out.
In ten years or so – the time it will take for Windows OS X clone to become a mature system – Windows will be as well remembered as CP/M.
On the other hand, if Microsoft DOESN'T reinvent Windows from scratch, it will become less and less relevant because Apple is still making improvements in OS X. Windows XP is still the operating system of choice. Vista, by all accounts, blows. The first service pack, designed to make it blow less, blows up applications. The most popular operating system on the planet is OLD. OS X is NEW. So, if Microsoft doesn't do something NEW pretty soon, their OS market will vanish entirely and quickly.
What really worried me was the statement at the end of Mr. Wildstrom's article that says he's willing to wait a few years for Microsoft to release an operating system that doesn't suck. Why? OS X is available right now. It does everything he said he wants Windows to do. In fact, every feature he asked for in Windows was compared against an already functional feature in Leopard.
Stephen Wildstrom wants Windows to be OS X. He's willing to wait beyond 2010 for that.
Picture this scene:
Waiter: What can I get you sir.
SW: I'd like a cheeseburger, fries, and a beer, but I'd like it to taste like a reuben, potato salad and a glass of merlot.
Waiter: I can get you a reuben, potato salad and a glass of merlot. Same price.
SW: Nope. I'm willing to wait, years if necessary, until the cheeseburger, fries, and beer taste like a reuben, potato salad, and merlot.
Waiter: You're a technology pundit, aren't you. *SECURITY!*
Reader Paul gives us the following link with an update on the Zune.
Rats. I'm out of coffee.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 6:05 PM
Sunday, February 24, 2008
The annual Hollywood Festival of Smug is tonight.
Yup. The Oscars.
I'm not going to watch a single second of the pomp, the pageantry, the perversion, and the poltroonish political posturing. That isn't to say that there is no chance of seeing something worthwhile at the Oscars, just that sitting through the whole show on the off chance something will interest me, doesn't interest me.
You guys go ahead.
Here's the contest: Name one thing that is less interesting or useful than the Academy Awards.
Entries will be judged based on whimsy, caprice, and arbitrary opinions. There are no objective criteria. The winning entry will be in tomorrow night's first post, with full credit to the author. The winner will also receive a voucher that will, with your valid credit card, permit you to buy plane tickets and a hotel room anywhere in the world, assuming you've paid your card down enough since Christmas.
I'm also kind of interested to see if anything really unusual happens. You know, like a movie with actual merit getting an award for something other than a fifth tier category (Best Use of Papîer Maché and Rubber Bands in an Animated Short Documentary).
Note: Who or what wins various awards only matters if it's Eddie Murphy (or anything to do with Norbit), or Lindsay Lohan (likewise, anything to do with I Know Who Killed Me). That would be weird enough to take note of. It would also indicate that the Academy is still, even after Brokeback Mountain, trying to plumb the depths for absolute rock bottom.
Is there still such a thing as a Zune? I haven't heard much about them lately.
Vista appears to continue to suck.
My sources tell me Apple is going to announce something on Tuesday. I can't confirm or deny anything, but I think it will have something to do with digital something-or-other. Don't quote me. Remember what happened to Think Secret. Holy crap. Black Helicopters?
Posted by Rip Ragged at 6:35 PM
Arik Hesseldahl and The Unnamed Sources, touring their Greatest Hit Pieces album. I considered linking the whole story. I didn't. Not worth the extra work.
Without naming names of people who have said anything unofficial, Arik says that since nobody has said anything official, the iPhone SDK has slipped. He cites not one single fact to support this claim unless you count "I'm hearing from one source," and, "I'm not yet hearing..." as facts.
Let me reiterate. He has no facts. He named no source. He gave absolutely nothing to back up a single word of his statements, and when you read the whole piece it says "maybe." What in the name of Eniac was the point of that post? It sure as hell isn't news. Pure, unadulterated, unsupported, unverifiable speculation with a negative spin looks like FUD for FUD's sake from this angle.
This is why Rip Ragged makes no claims of journalistic integrity. People who claim "journalistic integrity" make me itch. Bob forbid I should ever be categorized with them.
It's bad enough when a source asks to remain anonymous. Unnamed sources where there is at least the promise that a real person is attached to the chimera, still taints the value of the information. When that promise isn't even there, and the reporting is supposed to be taken seriously, well, it just makes me feel like taking a shower after I read it.
I may be an opinionated, self-important, jackass fanboy, but at least I'm honest about it.
Arik. Please. If you have nothing to say, adjust your word count to mathematically reflect that quantity.
I wonder what this button do[=-089]]ia
Posted by Rip Ragged at 12:26 PM
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Psst. Did all the dumbasses leave? Good. I figured that last post would scare off the weenies.
Just between us, you have to be something of a dipwad not to be buying AAPL right now. It'll be a bargain at $150. Don't be scared. The fundtards won't start driving the price up again until early April. Right now it's like free money. Really.
Just between us girls, the price will probably get close to $300 by Christmas.
You read it here first. Unless of course you were outside walking the dog or something. Then you probably heard it here second or maybe third.
I have to go get into my jammies and brush my teeth.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 9:55 PM
Apple has issued no new information about the iPhone SDK. With that in mind, somebody started a rumor that the SDK is delayed. Sell Apple stock. Sell it right now. Today. Get your frigging broker into his office and get the stuff gone. Don't wait. This is urgent.
Apple hasn't issued anything like a number about iPod sales. They aren't ordering as much NAND memory as they did for Christmas. Growth is slowing. Apparently "slashed orders" sells more keyword ads than "reduced orders." Anyway, sell, sell, sell. I mean now. Get rid of those nasty old shares of Apple before they infect your other stocks.
Hundreds of thousands of iPhones have been purchased and aren't being activated on iTunes. Presumably they've been smuggled to China. Nobody knows for sure, but they're gone. GONE. Apple isn't going to get their frigging residuals on them. RUN!! You aren't still sitting on shares of AAPL are you? Oh, my aching ingrown toenails! Have you NOT been paying attention? Your kids will starve. Your retirement will consist of stealing Alpo from neighborhood back porches and sleeping in an appliance carton if you don't get rid of that stock RIGHT NOW!
The MacBook Air Jordan is underpowered and doesn't have an optical drive. Sell. Bloody hell. Are you still just sitting there with that look on your face? Get busy!
Several of your neighbors are not (NOT!) planning to buy an AppleTV. Don't you get it, man? This is it. The end! The dogdamn apocalypse is upon us. Apple is doomed. DOOMED. Unload that stock before they come to repossess your house, clean out your refrigerator, and take your last clean pair of Spongebob Squarepants boxers to pay off your margin balance. Save yourselves while there's still time.
Apple dropped the price of the iPod Shuffle. That can only mean they are desperate. DESPERATE. Growth is slowing. The company is retrenching. Western civilization is on the verge of collapse. Gloom. Despair. Agony. Warm beer. Socks that don't match. Somebody ate the last of the General Tso's Chicken. And if you're the only one still holding on to a share of this utter failure, it will be your fault.
Okay. I'll buy them. Taking one for the team is what I'm all about.
Well, it's time for the first barbecue of the season.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 3:47 PM
Erica Ogg, over on C|Net opines that downloads will kill Blu-ray. Duh. No link. I'm just too lazy.
Have I not mentioned that? What the hell? It's important that Blu-ray won the format war, because it means Microsoft didn't get to advance another mess of proprietary detritus on the planet. Other than making sure the borg doesn't assimilate video, it was meaningless.
I reserve the right to have my wife change my mind, but I have no plans to buy another disc player. I'm looking for a hack that changes my MacBook HECK (Home Entertainment Center Kiosk) into an AppleTV. It shouldn't be tough; somebody is working on it, I'm sure.
In the meantime, DVD quality downloads are quite watchable. Besides, my 3 Stooges discs won't get much better with technology advances.
And speaking of flotsam and jetsam: Zune.
Please pick up your children on the way out.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 8:24 AM
Friday, February 22, 2008
Just went out and saw the local high school production of Seussical the Musical. It was awesome.
Support your local amateur theater.
Anyway, back to work. Reader Paul sent me a link this morning to a C|Net post that said SP1 might be held up because it was breaking things, causing problems, and generally behaving like a piece of crap. Well, that link now brings back a 404. Sooooooo.....
I did a little research. I hate it when I have to screw up the next month's research budget, but one does what one must. It turns out that there has been a slight improvement in the recovery plan. The service pack still breaks things, causes problems, and generally behaves like a piece of crap, but it won't be delayed. Microsoft sent out a "not comprehensive" list of applications that SP1 will break.
Interestingly, several commentards at the post are of the opinion that it's a C|Net hit piece on Vista. That's the price you pay if you want to stick your flag pole in the high ground of journalistic integrity, objectivity, and responsible reporting. This is why I carefully avoid any association with that kind of thing. Nope. Nosirree. Just irresponsibility, profanity, and half-assed opinions here. That doesn't mean my opinions are infallible, just that, well, I get to decide as long as we're in the confines of the blog.
In any case...
The next time you hear or read someone saying Apple is the new Microsoft, pee on his shoes. And his pants leg. Tell him I said it was okay. You'll still probably have to talk to a policeman, but you'll be smiling the whole time.
Time for my pills.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 10:04 PM
There are intelligent, competent, knowledgeable people on both sides of the Windows versus Macintosh debate. We should be more accepting of the views and opinions of the other side of the argument.
It isn't reasonable for us to insist that just because our computers look better, work better, and have a lower total cost of ownership than theirs, that they are somehow better. Macs aren't perfect, after all.
While it is true that there are literally thousands of pieces of self-replicating VISTA (viruses, infections, spyware, trojans, adware) for Windows, the half-dozen or so Trojan horses and phishing attacks for Mac indicate that someday we could be at an increased security risk. Given that the ratio of intelligent people to morons remains constant, as more people adopt the Mac more of them will have the mental acuity of boiled okra. It's reasonable to expect, however, that the percentage will not increase greatly because switching to the Mac automatically indicates at least a brief increase in IQ.
There are a number of features in Windows that have no Mac equivalent. You can change the Windows default hourglass cursor to a galloping horse. With Mac, you'll just have to deal with the spinning beach ball. With Windows you can watch the whole login script scroll by in a window that looks an awful lot like DOS. On a Mac, you just have to trust that stuff you don't have time to read and wouldn't understand if you did is happening. Paint. It comes included with Windows. Free. It has a spray can tool, several brushes, an eraser; you can manipulate individual pixels and save the result as a .bmp image.
You CAN NOT run Microsoft Access in OS X. You must have Windows. If you need a database manager that compares unfavorably to using microfiche and the Dewey Decimal system (and is FUGLY)– you must have Windows.
There are lots and lots and lots of niche programs for Windows. If you need a Point-of-Sale (POS) program for a 24-hour Bingo and Off-Track Betting Parlor, it's a good bet that program
is available for Windows. In fact, if you need any POS application, it's probably available for Windows. That isn't to say that there are no POS applications available for the Mac. They just aren't as prevalent.
If you're using Windows, it's a limited edition copy. There's a serial number that you have to enter. The company has a personal relationship with your computer. They're watching you. They're watching your copy of Windows. Microsoft is making sure that your copy of Windows isn't just gallivanting all over the place. Apple just sells you a copy of the operating system and then ignores it. Your copy of OS X could be anywhere. Apple doesn't give a shit. That's just sad, really.
Windows has the added security feature of asking you if you want to do what you want to do every time you want to do it. This is how Windows locks down your system. It's the same basic concept as asking passengers if they have a bomb before they get on an airplane. Everybody knows that a terrorist, when faced with a direct question, will say, "Darn. You caught me. Yeah, I have a whole pound of C4 and a handful of blasting caps wired up to a timer in my bag. Sorry."
Side note: Now that we pat down grandmothers, take our shoes off, and can't carry on a pair of mustache scissors, we've made great strides in airport security. Fortunately, airport security is careful not to racially profile middle eastern men between the ages of 17 and 40 in spite of the fact that 99% of all terrorist acts are committed by middle eastern men between the ages of 17 and 40.
It's the same thing with Windows. After you've spent several minutes running through a maze of menus like a rat looking for a piece of Pasteurized Process American Cheese-like substance, the machine asks, "Cancel or Allow?" to make sure you really want to open that document you were supposed to edit a week ago.
Be tolerant of our PC brethren. It's bad enough to suffer through using that garbage without having to be constantly reminded that all their wounds are self-inflicted.
Time to wash up.
Note: Updated at 2304 PST to remove offending apostrophe's.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 7:51 AM
Thursday, February 21, 2008
There's a new post over on Roughly Drafted. If you came here before going there, I'll understand if you want to go read Daniel first. After all, he actually has insights and information that you might find meaningful and useful. I'm just going to be irresponsible and profane.
Yeh, the evil empire is in trouble. Actually, I think they'll be okay for a few more years. Microsoft won't fade away. One day the fabric of the curtain will tear, and the dopey old fart running the controls will be exposed as a fraud. Then it will all turn to shit faster than a peanut butter and Ex-Lax sandwich.
The new Vista SP1 is going to hit the streets soon. According to a couple of sites, the new fix will detect cracked installs. It won't disable anything. It will just pop up more annoying dialogue boxes. In between "Cancel or Allow" dialogs, you'll also get messages reminding you that if you can't even afford Windows, maybe you ought to be running Ubuntu. Dumbass.
I'm just wondering: what possible motivation can there be to crack Vista? "Look. Is that cool or what? I'm running arguably the shittiest mass-market OS on the planet, and I stole it. Be in awe of me."
Also, the thing in the service pack that finds the hacker code is called a "crack sniffer." I didn't make that up. I read it on another site. Same site, in the comments, somebody says the SP is already available as a torrent with a crack for the crack sniffer. You can't make this stuff up, folks.
I think it would cheap and sleazy of me to make additional jokes about a service pack with a crack sniffer.
The Linkin' Park thing? Just a six-song set. Maroon 5 is playing the same store on Sunday. After that maybe the Backstreet Boys, Roxette, Bananarama, The Indigo Girls, Zager and Evans, Homer and Jethro, The Ray Conniff Singers, The Lettermen, Englebert Humperdinck, Trini Lopez; you just never know. Probably not Wayne Newton. He's booked in Branson, MO for a while.
If there's going to be a big announcement associated with all this free music, it hasn't been mentioned in any serious way. So either the whole thing was fizzy-bubbles from the very outset, or it's so secret His Steveness doesn't have all the details yet.
Product Review: iTunes 7.6.1.
I downloaded it, installed it, opened it. It's playing my music library right this second. Works fine. It'll probably do all that other stuff it's supposed to do, too. I rate it a 9, Dick. The lyrics are great and it's easy to dance to.
John Gruber prefers B.O. over the "Republican." It seems B.O. has a better font than McCandidate. I momentarily thought that was a really stupid observation, but given the insignificant differences between the two flavors of big government liberalism, typeface selection is as good a criteria as any. Both candidates have nothing to say and never shut up.
It's National Engineers Week. You probably won't hear about it anywhere but here. Engineers are a fairly introverted lot as a whole. An extroverted engineer is one that stares at your shoes when he's talking.
I guess that's enough. I think I'll go yell at the neighbor kids for no reason. It keeps them off the yard.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 7:29 PM
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Whatever other things you think are important, whether it be terrorism, DRM on music files, wasted bandwidth, genocide and AIDS in Africa, Hillary and B.O., or just whether you have a clean pair of white socks – understand that world leaders have the situation well in hand.
The United Nations has announced that 2008 is the International Year of the Potato. Seriously.
What a rotten time to not have a new fifth of scotch in the house.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 9:10 PM
Flash; iPhone. Stop me if you've heard this one.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 8:08 PM
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Businessweak has a thing on Apple's supposed troubles today. Don't bother. It's a rehash.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 7:46 PM
The title of this column links to a post with the same title. Is that eponymous? I don't know. I am nodding in the general direction of MacDailyNews for this link.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 4:49 PM
Monday, February 18, 2008
The Federal legislature is investigating whether there's doping in professional sports. Also they're looking into SpyGate. Did Bill Bellichik try to gain an advantage over other teams? Next they'll be looking into allegations that there is bad language in locker rooms, monosodium glutamate in Chinese food, and salt in Campbell's soup.
Did Roger Clemens use steroids? Human Growth Hormone? Electrical tape? Quilted or plain toilet paper? Scented? Did the Patriots use film of other teams' defensive signals for game planning? Did they win the SuperBlow? No! They got their asses kicked by the New Jersey Little Brothers of Peyton Manning. So who cares?
Next year's legislative docket will explore even more pressing questions:
Is Michael Jackson a little odd?I'll cast a vote – hell, I'll campaign – for the first politician who says, "Professional sports is an absurd waste of time. Professional athletes are grossly overpaid for the nominal benefit they provide society. They're only role models if you aspire to have a ruined, useless, broken body by the age of thirty. Except golf. But golf is about as exciting as watching toenails grow. If that's how you morons want to spend your money, fine. But please, leave the federal government out of your inane squabbles. We have real stuff to do here, okay? Really. You kids go sort it out yourselves. We have work to do."
What percentage of Denny's hashbrowns are real potatoes?
In 25 words or less, describe the difference between the terms "lobbying" and "bribery."
Those new blister packs with the edges all sealed up are a pain in the ass to open. Why?
We need one more Harry Callahan movie before Clint Eastwood retires. What's up with that?
What the hell is that smell?
Given that chains are made of the same material, in roughly the same configuration, as ice skates, why do people think putting chains on their tires makes them immune to sliding?
Crunchy or creamy?
Posted by Rip Ragged at 6:34 PM
Sunday, February 17, 2008
So, which format are we not going to be buying our movies on? It matters? To whom? I can already download most of the movies I want to watch, play them through a computer onto a big screen TV in HD, and free up the Hard Disc space when I'm done.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 4:06 PM
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Today was a slow day on the innertubes. Not much at all going on.
No new reviews of the MacBook Air Jordan.
Nobody ripped Apple's stock.
Nobody mentioned the iPhone in any real context. They ignored it in Barcelona. Everybody is trying to figure out which part of the iPhone to half-ass copy.
The thing I notice is Apple isn't really trying to compete with the other handset makers. They just said, "Well it should do this and that and that." Then they made sure the dogdamn thing reliably did all the stuff it was supposed to do. And then they made sure that people with no more technical savvy than Rip Ragged could make it do all that stuff. Trust me, that's a low bar.
The next thing they did was dictate a new business model. You want to sell the baddest ass cell phone on the planet, you do it our way.
Now His Steveness is just kicking back enjoying the show. The whole rest of the world is trying to figure out Apple. How do you compete with a company like Apple? They keep changing the rules of the game and moving the field out from under you.
Oddly, people are only just now noticing that Apple is changing the rules for computers. They already changed the rules for music a few years ago. The playing field for mobile communications is Apple iPhone Arena. Now Apple is going to be noticed for changing the rules of the Personal Computer discussion. Macs work for Rip Ragged level tech bozos. Which means: The Rest of Us.
IT is the next to take, and it won't take long. Especially when the CEO is carrying all the computer he needs in a manila envelope, wondering why there's all this trouble with those clunky WinDells at work.
All the FUD around and about saying Macs are going to start being malware targets? Hogwash. Horse hocky. If Macs were going to be hacked on any large scale it would have been done by now.
Phishing? Yeah, okay. Mac users aren't immune to that. They aren't immune to the flu, flat tires, bad haircuts, runny eggs, halitosis, or rainy days either. Phishing doesn't have anything to do with your electronic computer; it's related to your ability to operate the computer God gave you. If your native machine is "Dumbass" you're susceptible to phishing scams.
Fact: OS X is safer than Windows.
I just had the entire family over to my place for supper. It's always just as nice to see everyone leave as it is to see them arrive. Bed time.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 8:10 PM
Friday, February 15, 2008
Clif Edwards, over on a businessweak blog, did a little humor piece back on Monday about the World Mobile Conference. I'm only linking it because it was so funny.
He talked about how nobody mentioned Apple, but that all these handset companies are ganging up on Apple. It seems that all the cell phone makers are introducing just scads of different phones. My count is something like twenty-two different phone models introduced.
All of these phones probably have barely functional touch screens, and of course fly-tempting, hot, steaming mounds of useless features. How many of them will have SafariMobile? Google gets fifty times as many searches from SafariMobile as any other mobile browser. Do you think one of those 22 models will have SafariMobile?
And names like crazy. Long alphanumeric strings that don't even spell dirty words. Damn those things have a lot of weird names. Nokia alone has the N95, 1112, 1600, 6101, 8800 Scirocco, N75 Camera Phone, N93, 7360, E65 Quad Band, and the N76.
Hey there, boys and girls, can you say, "brand dilution?" If you have an Apple phone, it's an iPhone. If you have another brand, you might have the Illudium Q36 Explosive Space Modulator. How many friends are going to tell you how much they love their Illudium Q36 Explosive Space Modulators? Even if it's true, it's too much work.
And that's just one brand. All the other companies are also announcing how they are "not scared" of Apple. The rest of their time is spent furiously and desperately trying to design something they can paint up like an iPhone. They're all convinced people are buying the touch screen interface – the looks. Maybe those cool icons. Wait. Maybe it's because it's black. Didn't our focus group determine that they want a full keyboard? Windows has ninety-something percent of the desktop systems, so Windows mobile must be better. Right? And 3G. All these phones are 3G.
3G must be the answer. All the analysts agree that Apple's iPhone is a piece of crap that will fail in the market because of not having 3G. 3G. 3G.
Well, reading some more stuff (Maybe some of if was research, but not much of it. Really.) some folks are saying that the whole thing may boil down to Apple vs. Nokia.
That would be kind of funny, except, well, Nokia's gonna get their ass kicked. I personally know several devoted Apple haters who are talking about getting iPhones or already have them.
At the end of the Cliff Edwards piece is the punch line. After detailing how the entire world of mobile phones is so scared of the iPhone they won't talk about it, he delivers the piece de resistance. After an exposition describing all of the cheap-ass knock offs these companies are going to try to trick people into thinking are "just like iPhones," he says, "Take that, Apple."
It's pretty funny.
Unless he was serious. Then you have to be really cruel – the kind of person who laughs at Helen Keller jokes – to laugh at him.
Three day weekend. Woohoo.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 6:17 PM
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Dear Punditbots and Tech/Financial weenies. Here is the new style sheet for discussing any and all things related to Apple.
Steve Jobs may not be mentioned without also mentioning:
Black mock turtleneck.When speaking of the iPhone, it is required that you also include reference to:
Reality distortion field.
A hillion-jillion phones haven't been activated on approved carriers.
Apple is losing residual income on those unlocked phones.
You must discuss Handorrhoid, and/or other vaporous iPhone killers. You may include as an iPhone killer any photoshopped flight of imagination that looks like a handheld touch screen and may possibly also resemble something that might be a phone; you may also include any proposed software or hardware that is mentioned – even in passing – by anyone who may be an employee of a company. Any company, including Hallmark, Federal Express, General Electric, Archer Daniels Midland, and Shoney's. Any of those concepts may be included as an iSomething killer in any context. It need not actually exist.
3G 3G 3G 3G 3G 3G 3G 3G 3G 3G 3G 3G 3G 3G 3G 3G 3G 3G 3G 3G 3G 3G
When discussing the MacBook Air Jordan, you must:
Mention that it cannot be as powerful as a Cray and still be that small, then...You may not mention iTunes without discussing
Discuss every feature of your dream supercomputer and note that many of them are not present on the MBAJ.
Explain that the MBAJ will probably not sell as well as less expensive, more fully featured heavy, blocky, chunky MacBooks.
Do not mention that MacBooks are selling faster than fresh cucumbers at a womens' prison.
Product lock-in with iPods. As with Handorrhoid and other iSomething killers, the fact that it does not exist is not an issue.Due to space constraints, please refrain from trying to enumerate every type of bug, virus, Trojan horse, worm, spyware, glitch, crash, kernel panic, freeze, and reboot that occurs on other operating systems. However, if a Mac crashes anywhere in the world – for any reason including fire, flood, plague, pestilence, peanut butter in the optical drive, and power outages – it is necessary to report it as a certain sign that Apple is doomed. DOOMED.
Amazon, Napster, Rhapsody, eMusic, Blockbuster, NetFlix, and DRM.
You may not mention that Apple is selling DRM'd music faster than all of those others put together are selling non-DRM'd music.
Everyone on the internet who needs to read idiotic bullshit over and over and over and over because we're too stupid to get the first thirty or forty times.
P.S. Also, please tell us again about how cool Windows Mobile 7 is going to be. We're going to print it out as soon as we get the printer driver update for Vista.
Oops. Time for my Valentines Day duties.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 8:18 PM
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Let's see. What kind of weird crap happened today?
Weirdest thing, I agreed with Maureen Dowd. That never happens. She said that voting for Hillary is not necessary to maintain feminist credentials. I sort of figured she'd just automatically support the Hill/Bill ticket. I don't get politics, but near as I can tell, B.O. is the front-runner for the Dems.
McCain thinks he's won the Republican nomination even though the votes aren't all counted.
Like I said. I don't get it.
Forbes has an analyst saying that Apple's stock price isn't going to get back to where it was. Bear market, you know. Same guy says to buy Intel and Cisco. Some other analysts are saying to go long Apple. The average among most analysts for Apple's target price is in the $200 range. Go figure. If you make sense out of it all, let me know.
Over on Tech Digest there's a guy named Gary Cutlack who says that Apple needs to stay out of the game console market. Gary Cutlack, you'll remember is the business genius who...um...let's see... Oh wait. I've never heard of him either.
Anyway, by virtue of the fact that he got a byline at a place called "Tech Digest" he has arrogated unto himself the expertise to deem gaming an unsuitable business for Apple to enter. His theory is that Apple doesn't really want to anyway. They just feel forced because of all the Eve and World of Warcraft players who dictate corporate policy in Cupertino.
"...what's left for Apple to take? Nothing. If it was to launch a standalone games machine, Apple would be flattened by the pros in a matter of months, currently fashionable brand status or not."Listen up, Steve. Gary's talking. Apple doesn't have a snowball's chance in San Diego of competing against the likes of Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft in the gaming market. Those guys are PROS. Okay? So just hang it up. This isn't just some hack in his parent's basement. This is GARY CUTLACK. His parents have a really nice basement. He probably has his own bathroom down there and everything.
Gary goes on to explain...
"A sleek Apple handheld gaming machine is a fantasy product we'd clearly all love to own and play with, but Apple isn't Nintendo. It's not even Sony. "If I might add, to further illustrate the point, Apple is also not Ford, Safeway, Jiffy Lube, Del Taco, or Exxon-Mobil. I'm sorry, Gary. Go ahead...
"It would have nothing new to offer to gamers, except the chance to shovel yet more money Apple's way via iTunes for more remakes of Sudoku and Frogger."And of course, finally, the key piece of advice...
"Save yourself the effort and a few billion dollars and stick to the MP3 players and fancy computers for the artistic types, Apple."So, there you have it. As far as I'm concerned that's the absolute last thing that needs to be said about the totally unsubstantiated rumor that Apple is entering the gaming market. Unless I decide to pick on somebody else.
Oh wait. One more thing. Gary, when you go upstairs take your dirty dishes with you. Thanks.
Three Boz Scaggs songs in a row? What kind of song shuffle is that?
Posted by Rip Ragged at 7:14 PM
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Yessirree Bob, there's a new iPhone killer. It's from Sony-Ericsson. It's called the Xperia X1. Actually, I haven't read the term "iPhone killer" yet, but it's early. The article I read calls it a "shot across Apple's bow."
It has all the defining characteristics of an iSomething killer:
- It looks just like the iPhone would look if it was poorly designed.
- It has a touch screen just like the iPhone would have if it had a really ugly touch screen.
- It runs Windows Mobile.
- It has a full keyboard, just like the iPhone would have had if Apple engineers were lazy.
- It's 3G, just like the iPhone would have been if functionality and battery life didn't matter.
- And of course, it has the single most important feature the iPhone lacks: It's imaginary. There are none. It will be shipping someday.
A very nice blog post about a visit to an Apple store has been turned into a huge commentard flame war. Just a nice guy talking about having a good experience. Well the anti-Apple crowd came out of the woodwork to call him names. One of the pro-Mac commenters in the flame war noticed that the Windows fanboys couldn't spell. It's true. Most of the anti-Mac commenters either didn't know how to compose English sentences or didn't care to bother. Their spelling was phonetic at best, and their grammar and usage was atrocious. I'm noticing that phenomenon more and more. Until now it hadn't clicked.
I read a thing over on FoxNews.com by a guy who says us Mac fans need to quit being so smug about security because phishing is platform agnostic. We should install anti-phishing software. He says Mac users are just as susceptible to phishing as Windows users are. His main argument supposes that Mac users aren't smarter than Windows users.
Well, try this. Go to a site where there is a flame war involving Apple versus Windows supporters. (The one linked above is a great example.)
You tell me who's smarter.
Who dealt this crap?
Posted by Rip Ragged at 7:32 PM
Monday, February 11, 2008
If you want to get it wrong, go over to Seeking Alpha and read a story by Daniel Agramonte saying that Apple is on an innovation treadmill. His basic premise is the same as all of them. Apple has matured. The growth is going to stop soon.
He analyzes the growth numbers for the past year, plugs them into Microsoft's business model and decides Apple can't keep doing that.
'Course, everybody has been doing that for years without learning anything from their failed predecessors. I guess it was just Daniel's turn in the barrel.
Daniel. Muh Man. Dude. Listen up. I'm an Apple fan boy not because Apple is wonderful. Apple isn't wonderful or magical or magnificent. Apple is as dysfunctional as any family can be. Okay? I'm an Apple fan boy because the rest of the tech industry completely forgot about customers. You know? Users? The people out here who actually spend the money?
Apple has decided to court my money with products I want to buy. Microsoft holds a gun to my head and forces products on me.
With Apple I'm still getting screwed, okay? But it's seduction. With Microsoft, it's rape.
Apple currrently has a snippet of the personal computer market, a smidgeon of the cellphone market, and a dab of the movie download market. Their share of the computer industry is growing. Quickly. Every quarter for the last couple of years, their sales of Macs have been larger, and by a larger percentage, than the same quarter the previous year.
When Apple owns 60-70% of the PC market in a few years – THEN you can say their growth is stunted.
At the moment Apple's rate of growth is increasing in an expanding market that already has plenty of room.
They OWN digital music.
Apple has released the only real improved operating system for non-geeks. Vista has been on the street for over a year, still sucks, and has no finite expectation of getting fixed. SP1, which should patch numerous problems, is still in Beta. Leopard, on the other hand has had two major upgrades in four months.
Apple's hardware and software look cool. Not hypey flashy ooh-look-at-me cool; sleek, minimalist, functional, solidly-built cool. It's the kind of cool that never goes out of style. Look at the products of Apple's competitors in the hardware market. They look like souvenirs from Adam West's Batmobile.
Software? Apple has no software competitors. None. At. All. Nobody builds iLife but Apple. There is no comparable suite anywhere at any price. I don't even think you can put together software that mimics the individual functionality of all the apps in iLife, much less find the interoperability. It comes bundled on a new Mac. And iWork has no equal for anything like $80.
Apple's growth hasn't even started. By the time everybody figures that out it will be waaaaay too late to do anything about it.
With all that said, I still think Apple is less than it should be. They should have ditched the Apple II in '84, or at least no later than '85. And a Unix-based operating system on Apple boxes would have killed Windows in its infancy. His Steveness knew that.
Speaking of windows (not Windows), I hope Apple ditches this antiquated cluttered mess of an interface before somebody else does. For crying out loud, this is almost a quarter of a century of looking at big white rectangles and little pictures. It's boring.
So, Daniel Agramonte, your analysis is almost completely hosed. Your grammar and spelling seemed okay, but other than that, well...
How the hell can we be out of cashews?
Posted by Rip Ragged at 7:38 PM
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Yahoo is going to reject Microsoft's offer. There is hope for humanity. Well, okay, it isn't that dramatic. No matter what you think of Yahoo, you have to be glad it isn't getting assimilated by the borg. Yet.
Consider the whole internet reduced to a war between Microsoft and Google. Oh wait. That's about what it is now.
In other news...
There is speculation that Apple may introduce a 3G phone. Breathless speculation mind you. People (tech bloggers) have sat up for endless nights pondering the question, "What haven't I written about for a few days?" Oh yeah. 3G iPhone.
Somebody will predict the 3G iPhone in near proximity to its release. Just like someone will win the PowerBall jackpot eventually. It's all about timing. Skill and knowledge are rudimentary. For PowerBall it's about knowing where to buy a ticket and being able to accurately transact $1. For the iPhone prediction it's all about repeating yourself over and over until you hit it.
The blogospheroid who hits the iPhone prediction will become a self-proclaimed expert. Winning the lottery actually pays money.
Microsoft has introduced new cordless mice. Yeh. That's something they're actually good at. Keyboards and mice. I wonder if the Vista drivers work with the new hardware.
More interesting stuff ...
I read in the newspaper today that Cher is going to be headlining in Las Vegas with Bette Midler and Elton John. No mention of Barry Manilow or Barbra Streisand anywhere. Weird.
The music biz...
The four major music companies have tried to unite to create their own online music service to compete with Apple's iTunes. The DOJ is investigating them for anti-trust violations. This is said to be a help to Apple.
My guess is, Apple couldn't care less. If they all get together in an orgy of stupid to fight Apple, Apple wins. Why? Because Apple is following all the rules of fair play. Nobody is forced to sell anything on iTunes, or buy anything. It just happens to be the best place for both.
Has anyone heard how well Amazon's music download thingy-jobby is working out? How's Napster doing these days? How many subscription services are making inroads against iTMS? None? Why do you suppose that is?
Oh yeah, because that isn't what those of us who buy music want. We want to OWN our tracks. And we want it to be a pleasant experience when we BUY our tracks. The reason that the music companies want to end that is that they want to charge us EVERY TIME WE PLAY our tracks.
If the RIAA had their way, you'd send them a bright shiny quarter every time you hum a song – you copyright-infringing musician hater you.
Too bad for them that iTunes came along.
If the RIAA spends a bunch of money designing yet another attempt to undermine iTMS, their stock will go down even further. They'll lose even more money. And then when their "Pay More For Less" service fails to attract anyone, they'll have even less chance of fighting Apple.
Now they have their lawyers getting dry-humped by the DOJ for even trying.
All that, stuffed salmon filets and steamed asparagus for dinner, too. It's a good day.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 5:26 PM
Friday, February 08, 2008
Businessweak has an open letter to Steve Ballmer telling him that it is a really dumb idea to buy Yahoo. It's a pretty good article, particularly if you like to watch Steve Ballmer get reamed in the public square.
In the article, Arik Hesseldahl says that Microsoft should ditch the Zune, the XBox, search engines, and everything except software. Yep. Especially Flight Simulator for Mac. And please bring back Word 5.
I disagree with one point in the article. Arik says that Microsoft is "awfully good" at desktop software. They aren't. They suck at software. Okay? They suck. Suck. Their programs are a self-perpetuating industry standard for the moment. It can't last. The stuff isn't good.
Enough of that...
Apple security has started to get more attention among blogospheroids again. There is a lot of attention being paid to "switchers" who may be adopting that smug, "I have a Mac so I don't have to worry about malware" attitude that pisses Windows security nerds off so much. You know why? Because they do. They get as smug as Ichiro heading for third on a full count against a fat lefty.
Dear Windows Apologist/Security Analyst -Okay. Tomorrow I'm definitely going to put on clean socks.
Windows security blows. Mac security rocks. Mac users are smug about not having malware problems because guess what - we don't have malware problems. And we don't have an annoying little dialog box popping up in our faces constantly asking permission for every piddling operation we might ask the computer to do. We get a good operating system with few headaches. What's the tradeoff?
There isn't one. None. We don't have any additional annoyance to suffer for our security. Smug? You bet your ASCII we're smug. If you buy a Mac, you can be smug, too.
It's a fact. Macs don't have the security problems that Windows machines have.
It isn't because there are fewer Macs. It's because writing malware for Macs is difficult and labor intensive. You have to be willing to spend a lot of time and effort to get a success. Then, as soon as an exploit is discovered, Apple patches it. So the hacktards have to start all over. That's a lot of hard work. People who write malware are criminals. Criminals are lazy. People who are smart and willing to work hard don't become criminals.
Microsoft builds spyware right into their OS and applications. They want to keep tabs on the customer. If you, lazy hacker, want to know how to write spyware for MS apps, well, MS includes the templates in every package.
Do you know why Macintosh is going to stay safer than Windows? Because criminals are going to STAY lazy and stupid for as long as they stay criminals. And guess what else. The market for Windows is going to increasingly favor the low end. Smart people with money are gravitating to Macs in larger numbers every day. People who don't have the money to buy Macs will have Windows. Criminals do their best business in the lower end of the education and income spectrum. Social engineering is particularly effective in the lower end of education. People with less money are not necessarily easier prey, but the odds are better.
So whatever you're telling people about "security through obscurity" is pure hogwash.
One blogger wishes you'd just honestly admit that there's never going to be a need for a Universal virus app, and move on.
P.S. There's always the "honest work" angle. Give that a shot.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 6:01 PM
A couple of things.
One: What's a good, cheap, easy-for-a-non-geek program for building a nice design for the new place? I've looked at SandVox. I haven't downloaded it yet. I'm utterly unskilled at all but the most rudimentary HTML, so I need something that caters to "stupid," while still providing the ability to make something useable, pretty, and easy to navigate.
A week or so ago, my daughter bought a new iMac from CompUSA, the moribund computer store running a clearance on everything. The monitor has a dead pixel, smack in the middle of the screen. CompUSA in Spokane, Washington has flat refused to replace the machine. She even has a case number from Apple, so I'm pretty sure Apple would honor the exchange. Apple support told her to take the computer to an Apple Store for a replacement. No can do. The nearest Apple Store is almost 300 miles away. Seattle or Portland. She's trying Best Buy.
There's a reason CompUSA is going out of business.
Stay tuned here or at the new digs for a glowing review of Best Buy/Apple's customer service on case number:
Or possibly a screeching tirade from a really pissed off fanboy/stockholder/21-year loyal customer. This may surprise you, but I'm capable of that.
I love cats. I just don't think I can eat a whole one by myself.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 10:19 AM
The new URL will be posted as soon as we get some of the office furniture and the trapeze relocated to the new digs. The new place has much nicer tunnels.
If anybody has a pickup truck and/or a free weekend, drop on by. I especially need help moving the cord wood.
Hey! That's an antique lipstick case. Be gentle.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 6:03 AM
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Over at MacDailyNews today I started following links around the innernut. I ended up at some financial/tech/stock-investor site/blog/page. I wasn't doing research. Honest. My class finished up early. It's the last day of the work week, and I somehow managed to get through all the material 2 hours early. So I thought, gosh, I could just go home early.
Then I got back to my office to find a meeting going on in the conference room down the hall. All the other instructors and my boss were in the room. There is nothing more frightening than to be the one who misses the meeting. I mean, if somebody is going to volunteer and be voted unanimously to lick the pubes off the urinals, it'll be the guy who wasn't there. As luck would have it I got there just in time. By just in time, I mean too late to vote myself out of any shitty jobs but with plenty of time for abuse from my peers. So the day was a complete success.
So, with the prospect of going home early dashed on the jagged rocks below, I went web surfing. I could have actually done some of the shitty jobs, but at 3:00 on the last day of the work week the only thing you actually "do" in the office is spring the practical jokes you've been setting up all week.
To make a long story a bit longer, this finance blog reports that Apple is manufacturing about 400,000 MBAJs. Unless His Steveness is planning to eat them with French onion dip, that's pretty good news. The same site said that Apple is building more Macs, and that they expect, based on those numbers, Apple will sell more Macs. Thank the maker there are wise analysts who can take simple numbers and provide us with blatantly obvious conclusions.
Someplace else in my surfing....
Some phone company CEO in either Norway or Sheboygan or Milwaukee or one of those other Arctic European countries said that the iPhone is "pretty useless." I think his name was Ima Dümâs, or something like that. Same guy has said before that he'd like to sell iPhones. Then he demonstrated his ability to maintain a single streamer of drool all the way to the floor and was led out by his handlers.
Vista still sucks. Vista SP1 will be released in an unannounced unpopulated area of North Dakota. It will be a small private ceremony; only family and friends will be invited. If you live in North Dakota, downwind of the release, you'll know immediately. Trust me.
Other Vista news....
Several metropolitan law enforcement agencies have expressed an interest in using Vista for certain inmates and suspects in capital crimes. Used as a suppository, Vista should eliminate the risk of flight among the target individuals. After all, once Vista is installed, nothing runs very well.
There's a rumor that Apple is going to have an event the last week of February. My sources report that there are actually several events at Apple in the last week of the month.
- Aimee in accounting is getting married. There will be a cake and soft drinks in the cafeteria at lunch on Monday.
- The taco-feed potluck to celebrate 1,000,000 hours without a lost workday injury will be in the second floor lunchroom on Wednesday. Even though it's a taco feed, Linda will probably bring her lasagna again. It's the only thing she can cook that's edible, and Mike from software design loves it. He's married, but she's been hot for him for three years. He doesn't have a clue.
- Apple, inc., is changing its name to "The Magnificent Cosmo and his Dancing Vermicelli."
- Apple will acquire a controlling interest in the Mitchell Brother's O'Farrell Theater and convert it to a Sushi Bar and souvenir shop (after a thorough cleaning).
- Steve Jobs will henceforward be referred to as, "Master Jobst Fimil."
- The name "iBook" will be attached to something that does not look like a toilet seat from a 70's Barbie dollhouse.
I haven't actually looked, but I'm pretty sure the Zune still sucks.
I'll check on that tomorrow. No wait, I'll be busy with web stuff. Maybe Saturday.
Okay, I'm done. Deal.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 7:27 PM
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
One last point to make tonight then I really have to go to bed because I'm teaching all day tomorrow and I need my beauty rest.
Thank you to all the CARS gang for showing up and breaking in the comments pages.
I'll miss Moltzy's Rumors, and I'd hate to see the chemistry of that comments section destroyed. That reminded me of the early days of CompuServe and GEnie when you could actually get a largish gather of intelligent people online and actually have fun.
I would have missed that if it ended again.
Oops. Time for my medicine.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 9:01 PM
Dear Macintosh Noobs,
First of all, SteveJack at MacDailyNews said it succinctly, "Quit whining."
If I may, and trust me, this is my blog so I may, let me expand on that for a moment.
If you're a recent convert to the wonderful world of Apple, welcome. Now, please quit with the dogdamn sniveling. Here are a few things to expect:
The shiny new Apple toy you just bought will be "cutting edge" for a few minutes after you open the box. If you bought the absolute top of the line best product Apple is shipping – say, an eight-core MacPro with 3 TB of HD, 32 GB of RAM, and a 30 inch Cinema Display – it may be cutting edge for several weeks. I wouldn't bet on it, but you have a ghost of a chance.I have a 4Gig iPhone. It was discontinued within moments after I bought it. And the price went down by $200. I was lucky and got the whole refund because Apple has a fourteen-day price protection policy. Here's the thing, though. I knew the risk when I bought it. I thought it was cool enough to pay the extra $200 for it or I wouldn't have bought it. Yeh. I could afford it. If you can't afford to be an Apple user, well... sucks to be you.
In a few days or weeks, Apple will introduce something better and drop the price on what you just bought. Probably by a couple hundred bucks. I have used Apple hardware for twenty-one years. I have never bought an Apple computer that was still the latest and greatest when the garbage man took away the shrinkwrap.
It doesn't matter if it's an iPhone, an iPod, or a computer. The day you unbox it, it's usually second tier.
If you think that's a rip-off, please explain why in the comments in twenty-five words or less. Points will be taken off for misspelling, incorrect grammar, obscenities, name-calling, using the Lord's name in vain, weird little chatroom acronyms like OMG and ROFLMFAO, leet-speak, emoticons, dangling participles, split infinitives, references to Linux, odd syntax, comparisons to XP, and run-on sentences.
Apple continually improves its stuff. When it has something better it sells something better. The price of the latest Mac hasn't changed drastically in 24 years. The price of the old stuff goes down accordingly.
A five-year old Mac will fetch a pretty decent price on Ebay. Yes, somebody will buy it. You have to get special permission from the city to throw away a five-year old Acer.
Here are some things not to expect:
Six different versions of system software. Apple only has one version of each version.And of course one more thing you cannot expect from the Macintosh experience: Sympathy from non-Noobs.
35 pieces of crippled crapware that force you to look at them in order to use your computer for the first time.
That ugly little blue "e" logo that hasn't changed in 8 years. You can't even get a recent version of Internet Explorer on your Mac. There isn't one.
A 35-character registration code that you have to enter in order to even use the computer.
The blue screen of death.
Pressing the START button to turn the computer off.
The entire system crashing.
If you own a new Apple product, it will be serviceable for about five years. I'm talking about running the most current version of the system and recent software releases. That kind of serviceable. Yeah, toward the end of life it will get a little slow. I just checked under my eyes. No moisture.
Try to install Vista on a five-year old stock Dell. I mean just try to install it and run it. Then use it to do something, like typing your name in a text editor. Really. Tell me how that goes. I'll wait right here.
Feel free to seek help with any problems you actually encounter, but please keep your complaints to the purely technical if you must snivel. We're happy to help you improve your Macintosh experience.
Finally, if you're really, really, really unhappy with the things Apple does or doesn't do, go back to a generic compu-box running a turn-of-the-century OS (or not quite running a newer OS). We'll miss you. Honest. But we'll somehow soldier through.
Or you can just shut the hell up entirely. That will be okay, too.
Some troublesome grumpy old jackass. (I have a soapbox and I'm not afraid to use it.)
Hey! All elephants have to stay in the coat check room.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 7:39 PM
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
I'm supposed to be studying for a test. It's always more fun to screw around when you're supposed to be doing something else.
I'd like to talk about doughnuts. I love doughnuts. We have a place in town called "Spudnuts." They use potato flour to make their confections. There are no other doughnut shops in town. Spudnuts has the local monopoly. If you show up at work around here with some other brand of doughnuts, you are marked as a loser. My neighborhood grocery store makes and sells doughnuts. When the night crew wants breakfast, they go buy Spudnuts even though there are fresh doughnuts made on the premises.
We don't have Dunkin's or Krispy Kremes. We have Spudnuts.
Spudnuts hasn't done anything evil to maintain their monopoly. They just make the best doughnuts. Even though there are other doughnuts made in the neighborhood – at grocery stores and such – Spudnuts thrives. They don't do anything extra at all. They just make great stuff.
Spudnuts has more competition than Apple does because other companies actually make doughnuts.
Nobody else sells what Apple sells. Nobody.
Dell, Sony, Acer, Gateway, HP et al, make boxes. Microsoft and the vast unorganized herd of Linux cats write OSes and some other software. Other companies chip in bits and pieces of software and hardware. Nokia and RIM and Motorola make phones. SanDisk and others make mp3 players. If any one of those companies decides to redesign anything, they depend on all the others to match with their own compatible redesigns. If any company is slow getting the changes out of committee, the whole frigging ecosystem goes down the toilet.
Think Vista and drivers.
Apple builds a software/hardware universe into which every thing they build fits. They also build it all to work with open standards. Their competition is a disjointed ecosystem with a morass of proprietary standards that all have to be met by the disparate companies in order for anything to work.
To continue with the Spudnuts analogy: Apple makes doughnuts. Apple controls every ingredient in every doughnut it sells. Each company in the competing ecosystem only provides an ingredient for doughnuts. No single company has ultimate control of the final product.
I think it was H.G. Rickover (Father of the Nuclear Navy) who once observed that if you can't put your hand on the shoulder of the man who's responsible, nobody is responsible. So, who will be responsible when Apple retakes the moribund computer industry in a few years?
Probably Steve Jobs. Elsewhere there will be finger pointing and chest thumping.
I'll accept my share of credit, of course. Just bring a dozen Spudnuts. I'll make coffee.
Anybody for a deviled egg?
Posted by Rip Ragged at 6:43 PM
Apple has introduced new stuff. Whooda ever thunk it. 16 Gig iPhone, 32 Gig iPod Touch. Are you about done jumping around and screaming now? Me too. That's tiring.
So last week at work I finished all the stuff I had to have done by the end of next week. That leaves me with a whole bunch of time for reading the innertubes. It wasn't really research, unless you count abject boredom as research.
Anyway, I read a couple of analysts that said unbelievably dumb things. No. Really. One guy was talking about the upcoming MS-Yahoo merger. He said that somehow that would be bad for Apple. I read the whole story and the logic was so convoluted and twisted it took two chocolate-covered chocolate cake doughnuts to get through it.
Another, more mainstream, article claimed that Apple can't afford the exclusive carrier arrangement with AT&T. I'm no expert, but it seems to be working okay so far. Apple is the third largest smartphone maker now, behind Nokia and RIM. Apple's been in the business for eight months as opposed to several years. If Apple's in trouble it doesn't look terribly painful for them.
Somebody else said that Apple has to have more than one model of phone because historically companies with only one model don't do well. The article didn't specify which companies ever only had just one model of phone. I seem to recall that Western Electric did fine for years with just one model. No, wait. They had other models, too. They had some with extra buttons for additional lines and all that jazz.
So that means no one has ever tried having "just one model." The article also said that just adding more memory doesn't create a "new model." Anyway, this one analyst is pretty sure that Apple's business model is flawed – probably doomed. DOOMED. According to the punditbot or analyst or whatever the hell he is, Apple needs a flip phone and a slide-out full-keyboard phone, and a phone with a little plastic stylus, and a phone that doesn't do anything except dial 9-1-1, and a phone that you have to recharge with minutes by buying a card at 7-11, and a phone in the shape of a froggy that floats and squeaks when you squeeze it, and a phone that tastes like chicken.
Okay, I'm guessing on some of that.
Summary: The interwebs are alive with the sound of assclowns.
I'm in a letter writing mood lately:
Dear Dumbass Tech-Financial/Business Analyst:
It is not good for your neck and back to have your ass cheeks on your shoulders. That is an unnatural position. And since you have to pull your head out of your ass long enough to breathe occasionally, take a moment to read.
If you want to comment intelligently on Apple, start by looking at one fact. This one should be easy: The frigging company is making money hand over fist. Every quarter they make more money than the quarter before. It has been like that for eight years. Actually, it's been pretty close to that ever since Gil Amelio changed jobs. The thing you might do as a service to the business community is try to discover the causes of that.
In other words, quit making up goofy crap and pointing it out as mistakes. You start with a fictitious negative premise and then analyze the company in terms of made up bullshit instead of reality. I'm guessing that you actually believe in the validity of your fictional analysis. That scares me.
Start to look at the facts and report the reality: Whatever Apple is doing is working. If you want to do a real analysis (I know better, but I have to try), you could try to figure out WHY what Apple is doing works. Start reporting stuff that could actually help Apple's competitors by lighting the way.
Really. If you want to really hurt Apple's fortunes, the best way is to warn the others so they can arm themselves against the onslaught. Continually patting the competition's hand and saying, "It's all right. Apple's doing it wrong. They can't win," is not going to help anyone except Apple.
At the rate things are going, Apple will regain it's rightful position as the first personal computer company by about 2012. The stock will be trading at about $3000/share. You'll still be reporting how screwed up Apple is because, let's face it, you're an idiot.
Note: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. (But that's where the smart money will be.)
Note II: I have repeatedly stated that Apple has no competition, and I stand by that. I only rhetorically refer to "the competition" for the sake of tech-business/financial analyst retards who need that concept to fill their bizarre view of reality.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 4:56 PM
Monday, February 04, 2008
Welcome, TeraPost refugees. The tunnels here aren't as well developed as those at CARS, and they haven't been well explored, but feel free to snoop around. If you brought sexbots, iFlames, and iPrairiedogs, they're welcome to stay if they don't soil the hardwood floors.
On to business.
I just read a guy over on some other web site. Shaw? I think that was his name. I'm going to call it research, just on the off chance I don't do any this month. Anyway, this Russell Shaw guy wants to know why Apple doesn't introduce a $699 computer. Lots of other companies have computers at that price point. If Apple really wants to expand its market share, it needs to go after the people who can't afford Macs.
Dear Russ,In other news, clever computer scientists have determined that the MacBook Air Jordan isn't as powerful as a MacBook. Despite the fact that the MBAJ has fewer ports, a slower processor, less battery life, and no optical drive, it is less capable than a MacBook. Thank you, smart computer guys for discovering that. I could have hurt myself. Next I'd like you to see if a 1985 Yugo is as cool as a BMW. Don't just compare easily obtainable specs, and obvious conclusions. Run benchmarks.
Apple isn't going to introduce an el-cheapo computer. Apple sells Macintosh. If you want a cheap, crippled, slow, buggy, piece of crap – they are available. They ship with Windows installed. If you can't afford a Mac, don't buy one.
Your argument that economy sux (sic) is totally lame. The worst thing Apple could do in any economy is to water down their brand by selling crap. Not to mention that Apple would be the only premium company on the planet to answer a bad economy by announcing that, henceforward, they're going to sell inferior garbage.
I really like Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale. It costs between $2.50 and $3.oo for a 12 ounce bottle. I'm glad they keep the price point there. If they made it as cheap as Busch, they'd have to reduce the quality of the ingredients and hire brewers from the bottom of the tun, and then guess what? I'd have Samuel Smith's Cheap-ass Swill. No thanks. I can't afford the good stuff all the time, but I like to know the good stuff is there.
I'd really like to own a Lamborghini. I sure wish they'd introduce a $25,000 model. Wait, if they did that, it probably wouldn't matter much any more. Never mind. Might as well get a Ford Focus.
Here are a few other things that aren't going to get suddenly cheaper because the economy is bad:
Wild Coho Salmon
Henry Clay Brevas a la Conservas
Johnny Walker Blue Label
Rubber dog shit
Oh, to hell with it. Everything. All of it is not going to get cheaper because the economy sucks. The suggestion that one company, specifically in business to provide a premium product, should suddenly sell a stripped down piece of junk just for you is inane. Call Sony and ask them why they don't sell a TV for the same price as a "comparably equipped" Vizio. Call Denon and ask them why they don't sell stereo equipment for the same price as a "comparably equipped" Emerson.
While you're at it, find out why I can't buy a 1982 Chateau Lafite Rothschild for the same price as a bottle of Chianti Classico. I mean, dogdammitall, it's the same thing, right? It's just 750 milliliters of rotten grape juice.
If you want a $699 Mac, I suggest eBay. You might be able to get a clamshell iBook G3 for that price. Don't worry. It'll run Tiger.
P.S. Please notice that at no time in the above letter did I resort to cheap name-calling. I never said, "retard," "asshat," "complete idiot," or any other of dozens of pejorative terms designed to infer abject stupidity approaching the sentience of lawn statuary. Never did do it. After all, this here is a classy blog.
Oooh. I smell popcorn popping. Either that or somebody farted.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 6:55 PM
Sunday, February 03, 2008
That was unexpected. Good game. Crappy ads.
The FedEx ad with the pigeons? Inane. The cgi was for shit. Reminded me of Air Force One. The Bud Light ads even sucked. Very unusual. I'd rather drink warm cat piss than Bud Light but they usually have pretty funny ads. Not today.
There were several "high concept" ads. They were so bad I can't even remember what they were selling.
The halftime show was pretty good. Tom Petty stayed close enough to the mike that you couldn't see whether his denture adhesive was working. When the band stood shoulder to shoulder at the end of the show it looked like a line dancing class at the community center.
Thank goodness it was a great game. Right up until the end there was a chance for that other team to come back. Well, except number twelve had a lot of grass stains on his ass. It's pretty hard to lead your team to glory from the supine position. Sorry, kids. 18-1 is just really, really good. Not glorious. The '72 Dolphins are still the only ones to run the table.
Okay. The Doritos ad with the mousetrap was funny.
Can I have a slice of pie now?
Posted by Rip Ragged at 8:00 PM
Saturday, February 02, 2008
I have a MacBook that I've inherited from my daughter. She prefers an old PowerBook G4 for its size and shape. Go figure. I want to use the MacBook has my new HECK (Home Entertainment Center Kiosk).
First off, I put the iTunes music library on it. That works. Although I have to rebuild all my playlists and comments.
Now I want to hook it up for video. I went to Circuit City, Best Buy, Radio Shack, and Office Depot looking for an adapter to take it from the MacBook to the HDTV. At each store I asked for a mini-DVI to HDMI (or VGA) adapter. I learned that one qualification for working at an electronics/computer store in this century is the ability to maintain an air of superiority while under the influence of powerful sedatives. Also the applicant should lack any understanding of simple technical terms like "adapter."
If you want to meet a salesperson in one of these stores, the best bet is to stand in front of a large expensive television. If you wait for help in the "Cables and Adapters" section, your body will be found weeks later – probably by the helpful janitorial staff.
Fortunately, I have a blog. So here I am, asking you – my loyal readers – what the hell should I buy? DVI - HDMI or DVI - VGA? My TV will take either one, and has the plugs available. Which would provide the best display, the quickest response, the most compatibility with all the video software, the most job offers, the least offense to visiting space aliens deciding whether I need rectal probing? You don't want to piss them off after all.
Not much happened today in tech news. I read somewhere that Microsoft is officially acknowledging that Vista sucks. They probably didn't use that terminology precisely, but that seems to be the gist of their recent decisions re: providing XP downgrades (upgrades) for business users.
Please open an Apple Store in the Tri-Cities (that's Kennewick, Pasco, Richland) in Washington. Please. Soon. I cannot purchase anything locally. The pain is nearly unbearable. The hired hands at the local electronics stores all seem to have severe head injuries, psychomotor impairment, and troubled home lives. Nice people, but not exactly the guru on the mountaintop I'm usually looking for when it's time to tweak my computer systems, if you get my drift.
I hope wifey-poo didn't throw away the crossword I was working on.
Posted by Rip Ragged at 10:30 PM