Robot Tuxedo

Cultured Automaton

Page 5

Google Doesn’t Just Want Patents, it Wants to Control its Mobile Destiny

In an article today at Business Insider, Nicholas Carlson says that Google wants to ‘attack the iPhone’ with Motorola.

Was this ever really in doubt? It seemed completely obvious back in September that Google wanted more from Motorola than a few iffy patents.

The long and short of it is that Apple’s way was right. Google knows it, and now it has to piss off a bunch of people by going back on its word to make it happen.

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Why it Doesn’t Matter if iCloud is Better

Federico Viticci posts up a nice roundup of developer complaints about iCloud and John Gruber of Daring Fireball says it’s not as good as Dropbox for developers or users yet.

None of this matters because of this one fact: almost 70% of the 350M+ users of iDevices have access to iCloud, with some 100M+ using it already. Those are numbers Dropbox just can’t match. iCloud may not be better for all use cases, but it does fill a very large need for simple sync.

Dropbox currently has some 50M users, nowhere near all of them on iOS.

iOS 5 Adoption

Paul Haddad of Tapbots adds some very good points, namely that there is no need for another account or a third-party API and iCloud works in the background unhampered by Apple’s restrictions.

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The Myth of the Security-Smug Mac User

Rich Mogull on the pervasive idea that Mac users at large are cavalier and dismissive about security problems. He hits the nail on the head with this one.

I also detest the claims that Apple isn’t serious about security when the enormous amount work it has done over the last couple of years with Sandboxing, as many issues as it has raised with independent developers, has been done almost entirely in the interests of making OS X as secure as iOS.

That being said, Apple has a bit of a mess on its hands with these Flashback variants, and it needs to revise its attitude towards incremental patching of security holes. Two months is too long for a Java flaw to be able to compromise existing systems, regardless of whether new machines ship with it installed or not.

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When It Comes to 7.85″ iPad, The Question Is “Why”

The above is a nice piece by Federico Viticci of Macstories takes you through some of the physical and philosophical issues surrounding Apple releasing a smaller iPad.

But as far as I’m concerned, the question is actually very simple. Will it sell more iPads?.

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Don’t Jump Johnny

Google posted a concept video today showing off its Google Glass project.

Basically a set of glasses that project a heads-up display into your eye holes, the whole thing is very…Google. The video is cleanly shot and edited and on-message and what nerd hasn’t dreamed of having access to a HUD overlaying the world with information.

But there are two main issues that I see with Glass. First, it’s yet another concept from Google that seems to exist purely for PR purposes, perhaps to distract you from the fact that it was paid for with text ads for Cialis. Real artists ship, concept artists, apparently, work for Google.

The second is the fact that it’s solving the wrong problem. Helping human beings access information based on location and context is admirable. But shoving that information to the forefront of a person’s consciousness is probably not the bet...

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Nokia Lumia 900

I got a chance to handle the Nokia Lumia 900 at CES and I was impressed. If you’d like to know what my review of it would look like, just check out my writeup of the Lumia 800, my feelings about it are identical.

Basically, I think it’s good enough to make me switch from the iPhone, but only if it gets developer support. This passage sums it up:

I would love to see the philosophy and artistry at evidence in the Lumia 800 continue to guide Nokia’s partnership with Microsoft. Hopefully long enough to see a surge in developer support of Windows Phone 7, which is really the best OS alternative to iOS at the moment.

If, and it’s a very big if, the Marketplace begins to come alive with the same sense of joy and kind of innovation that iOS users are used to seeing, I could easily see my “would” become a “will”.

For another great perspective, check out TNW Microsoft editor Alex...

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Well played, @mdaisey

Today I wrote a post because it had appeared that Mike Daisey — the monologuist most famous for his show The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs — had removed his personal blog and Twitter account. It turned out to have been a momentary glitch, and both remain up here and here.

Well, it turns out that Daisey had seen my post, and my hurried update when his sites came back up. He found it amusing and posted an image of the post’s re-jiggered title. I had a good laugh about that, and shared it on Twitter. I joked that I was closing my windows, just in case he was watching me.

My friend Steve Streza then chimed in, posting a Tweet that poked fun at Daisey being less than accurate about exactly what he saw in China.

“I saw malnourished cats inside Panzarino’s house. I SAW them.”, Mike Daisey said, reporting from the street outside the house.“

That would...

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Reginald Braithwaite on Employer Access to Facebook

Reginald Braithwaite files a faux resignation letter due to new policies that force him to ask potential hires for access to their Facebook profiles.

I have been interviewing senior hires for the crucial tech lead position on the Fizz Buzz team, and while several walked out in a huff when I asked them to let me look at their Facebook, one young lady smiled and said I could help myself. She logged into her Facebook as I requested, and as I followed the COO’s instructions to scan her timeline and friends list looking for evidence of moral turpitude, I became aware she was writing something on her iPad.

“Taking notes?” I asked politely.

“No,” she smiled, “Emailing a human rights lawyer I know.” To say that the tension in the room could be cut with a knife would be understatement of the highest order. “Oh?” I asked. I waited, and as I am an expert in out-waiting people, she eventually...

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Does the iPad Have One Button Too Many?


Update: I elaborate here.

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“It’s Readability’s money”

Mike Davidson, whose recently acquired company Newsvine also has a mechanic for paying money to publishers, weighs in on this Readability discussion.

The anger about the financial side of Readability seems to come from the opinion that the company is “keeping publishers’ money” unless they sign up, but I guess I look at it differently: I don’t think it is the publishers’ money. I think it is Readability’s money. Readability invests the time and resources into developing their service and they are the ones who physically get users to pay a subscription fee.

Perhaps I’m reading the situation incorrectly, but I don’t think the fact that Readability was keeping money that was ‘owed’ was an issue for most publishers. I think it’s that it is the fact that they were using that fact as leverage to justify donations in a publisher’s name without prior...

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