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All posts tagged "apple"

Friday, February 27, 2009

Older App Reviews By Non-Owners Erased

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 11:00 AM

"When the app store launched in 2008, you could review the app even if you didn't buy it. As a result there were a lot of static reviews, both good and bad, as companies tried to push their products or topple competitors. In September, Apple announced a ban on non-customer reviews from the apps, but the old reviews were still visible."

This is a great day for developers whose apps were unfairly panned by people who had never bother trying them. The situation at the App Store was really bad. It reminded me of the situation on Amazon with Spore where people who didn't even buy the game were slamming it with negative reviews just because of the DRM and had never even played the game. It's not fair to developers, and this ought to further ingratiate Apple with a group of people they need and who, for the most part recently, haven't been too happy with them.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

If A Mac User Wrote It Episode 1

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 01:00 PM

"I was wondering how Thurrott was going to counter the incredible speed of the browser engine. Apple's own marketing aside, others have tested it and confirmed it to be the fastest web browser available. I assumed he'd blast the test methodology, or claim that IE 8 would be better (though IE 8 was in the tests), etc. But no, he took a different tack altogether. He simply acknowledged the browser engine is good, and then blasted the UI because he's apparently a manly man who doesn't need no steenking graphics."

Reading through Thurrott's hyper-screed against Safari 4 is like seeking sanity inside an insane asylum. Thurrott is one of those people who, if you read him long enough, you start to realize is one of the dumbest and most hypocritical "journalists" out there. He writes the most vicious anti-Apple garbage you'll ever find on the web and then counters it with "I don't know why the Apple people hate me so much. I have like two Macs and an iPhone!" as if that's supposed to eradicate all his shoddy journalism, logical fallacies, and overall idiocy.

Tom Reestman at The Apple Blog gives him a major butt-whipping across the universe for his rant against Safari. In fact, Reestman so embarasses Thurrott that I fully expect Thurrott to turn on the whinging switch and start crying because some Apple guy attacked him.

It's amazing what passes for journalism these days, and all I can say is I've been accused numerous times of being a "fanboy," the favorite nasty name given to Mac fans by the intellectually devoid. As far as I'm concerned, Thurrott is one hundred times worse than any of the mythical "Mac fanboys" that supposedly pounce on him for his stupidity and had any Mac writer written this load about Internet Explorer or any of the other garbage Thurrott likes so much (he also liked Windows ME at the time; no I'm not kidding) they would immediately be dismissed as fanboys. Go read the article now. It won't take you long to realize how many logical leaps he had to make to get to his conclusions.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jobs' Health Bad For Apple Regardless?

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple News" @ 01:00 PM

"Is the fascination with Steve Jobs's health morbid? As surely morbid as it is necessary. Jobs has not stepped down as Apple's CEO. After the surgery report surfaced, some blogs reported Jobs had been at Apple for meetings. Is he in? Is he out? This nonstop dance has the effect of keeping Jobs at the center of any talk of Apple even when he's ostensibly removed himself from its daily affairs. Only someone with an overweening sense of self-importance would allow this to continue. Unfortunately, that describes Jobs."

While I don't think Steve Jobs' health is anyone's business but his and his family's, I do see where Owen Thomas is coming from here. The constant drama surrounding Jobs' health (much of it media created and related) is a distraction to Apple's business and a drain on the share price as every little hangnail becomes reason to go running from Apple's stock. I'm not one to tell people what to do (except in certain un-family friendly ways) but maybe Owen Thomas is right. Maybe it's time Jobs stepped down and let the company move on without him. As much as that terrifies me and leaves me worried for the future of Apple, maybe it should happen now while he's still healthy enough to help out and steer the company as an advisor.

Of course, I'm a big huge monster Steve Jobs fan so it would really mean me locking myself in a dark room and weeping uncontrollably for weeks if such a thing were to happen, but maybe that's what's best for Apple in the long run.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

An Apple Lawsuit, This One Rather Ironic

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple iPhone & iPod Touch" @ 12:00 PM

"A company called Picsel Technologies has filed a lawsuit against Apple alleging that the iPhone and iPod touch infringe on a patent that involves the redrawing of a display to make the redrawing process seem more responsive."

The technology behind the iPhone/iPod Touch is still fairly new, comprised of many different technologies. So I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Apple is being sued by a company with claims to one of those pieces. Picsel claims that the rendering process used in the muti-touch display is violating their patent, specifically number 7,009,626. Ironic though, in light of the recent patent Apple was awarded for it's mutli-touch technology. Wasn't this aspect of it covered? I guess not, or rather, I guess we will see!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Security Update 2009-001

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 06:00 AM

"Apple on Thursday released the first security update of 2009, the aptly named Security Update 2009-001. The update, which is available in versions for Leopard, Leopard Server, Tiger for Intel Macs, Tiger for PowerPC-based Macs, Tiger Server for PowerPC-based Macs, and Server Universal addresses a number of flaws in OS X. Security Update 2009-001 is recommended for all users and is available via Apple's site or Software Update."

This update, the first one of 2009, addresses among other things the Safari RSS vulnerability reported by Brian Mastenbrook in January of this year. There is a detailed list available at the Apple site.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

RUMOR: Apple May Offer Streaming in iTunes

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Talk" @ 01:00 PM

"Apple is believed to be wrapping up a new feature in iTunes 8 that will allow users to stream their iTunes video purchases directly from the company's servers for playback anywhere, anytime without eating up local storage. Dubbed iTunes Replay, the service would allow iTunes shoppers to build out their digital video collection without worrying about the space needed to store the often hefty media files. It's unclear whether Apple plans to charge for the service, which is said to support both iTunes Movie and TV show purchases."

If this is true, it would be pretty darned cool. I want to own my music, but for the most part, I don't keep movie downloads after I watch them. That's why I love Netflix's Watch Instantly on my XBox 360 so much; no commitment to keeping movie files. Apple could easily pull this one off, but I imagine the big stumbling block will be getting the studios to cooperate. Isn't that always the way it is?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Today's Chuckle: iCar

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Other Apple Hardware" @ 01:00 PM

Tags: hardware, apple, icar

Apple Asked Google to Not Do Multitouch? Doubt It

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Talk" @ 09:00 AM

"One of the bigger complaints about T-Mobile’s G1, the first phone based on Google’s Android platform, is that its touch screen doesn’t use multi-touch, the technology which allows for a screen to accept multiple points of contact as simultaneous input. Now we may know why. Apple, which of course makes the signature multi-touch mobile device, the iPhone, apparently asked Google not to implement it, and Google agreed, an Android team member tells us."

Sorry. Not buying it. I'm not buying that Apple asked, and I'm not buying even more that Google agreed. The only source is an "Android Team Member," and the post that's been shot around the world and requoted (linked above) doesn't really have any firm proof; just conjecture and circumstantial evidence.

Sorry. Not buying it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Psystar Wins a Battle, But Not the War

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple News" @ 10:00 AM

"A federal judge last week ruled that Psystar Corp. can continue its countersuit against Apple Inc., giving the Mac clone maker a rare win in its seven-month-old battle with Apple."

Just one battle in this drawn out war that started when Psystar started selling their computers with OS X pre-installed, and Apple filed a lawsuit to stop them in July of 2008. Psystar then countersued, stating that Apple was breaking anti-trust laws by trying to block users and others from installing Mac OS X on non-Apple computers. And now, in this ruling, the judge is allowing Psystar to amend their countersuit, and switch it from "breaking" anti-trust laws to just "bending" them. So in all it's glory the lawsuit continues, stay tuned for the next chapter in this long and drawn out saga. I'm sure there is much more to come because I don't think that Psystar wants to settle, especially now that they have a win under their belt.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Not Such a Bad Economy for Apple

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple News" @ 02:00 PM*blog*&par=RSS

On Wednesday, January 14, the day Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced he would be taking a 6-month medical leave of absence, Apple shares closed at $85.33. From the moment that news hit the tape, shares began to slide, and by January 20, Apple had dipped to $78.20, with investors starting to worry that a kind of China Syndrome was happening to the company.A complete meltdown, and no recovery. But something bordering on miraculous has occurred since then: a rally, and a big one, in Apple shares. And it was ignited by the most unlikely of sources: financial fundamentals.

This is a good example of how the unknown is sometimes too much for investors to take, and how quickly they can react negatively to bad news prior to getting the facts. Once the reports were in on the financial stability of the company, the stock price jumped above $100 US for the first time this year. As of closing of the markets on Friday the stock had settled at $99.72 US rewarding the strong sales numbers Apple posted. It sure doesn't hurt having $28 billion US in the bank either!

Facebook Banned at Apple Stores! (or maybe not)

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple News" @ 12:00 PM

"Despite reports that the Internet-enabled Macs at Apple's retail stores aren't allowing customers to log on to Facebook, Apple says it doesn't limit access to the popular social-networking site."

Several sites wrote about the supposed storewide ban on Facebook , but apparently it isn't an official company policy. According to an Apple spokesman, they use Facebook as part of their demo for iLife '09, so why would they ban it? But there are reports of various stores not allowing it, which I personally don't see as a problem. If you are going to buy something and want to test it out, by all means use it and see how it performs. Don't expect to hang out there for hours like you are in some Internet cafe. If you want to browse the Internet and don't have a computer, go to the library.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Dell Shares Can't Reach Bottom Fast Enough

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Talk" @ 01:00 PM

"Shares of computer maker Dell Inc. retreated Thursday after a JPMorgan analyst downgraded the stock, citing the company's high exposure to a withering PC market. Unlike rivals Apple Inc. with smart phones, and Hewlett-Packard Co. with printers, Round Rock, Texas-based Dell hasn't significantly diversified into other markets. That is likely to "make for a bumpy ride given our view on PCs," JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz told investors in a note, downgrading Dell to "Underweight" from "Neutral.""

Remember when Michael Dell said the quote I pasted over Steve Jobs' head? I sure do. It was in 1997, and was during one of the darkest phases of Apple's history. The company was floundering after utterly incompetent leadership left the company in shambles, and Apple had just bought out a small hardware company with some innovative ideas called NeXT. That company was headed by none other than Steve Jobs, who returned to Apple's top seat and turned the company from an also-ran joke into a compulsive innovator.

Today, no one is talking about Apple selling the company and returning money to shareholders in Cupertino. In Round Rock, however, I bet they're wondering if Michael Dell will put some of that bravado into the pockets of his shareholders.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Don't Hold Your Breath for That 17-inch Macbook Pro!

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Laptops" @ 10:00 AM;title

"Apple is going to need a little more time to get its new 17-inch MacBook Pro out the door."

Last week it was a lead time of 7 to 10 days, now comes word that it is "taking longer than expected" to fulfill the orders so don't expect any packages until at least February 19th. Apparently it is due to the delay of one of the components from the manufacturer, unknown which one however. The expected shipping date when they were originally announced was by the end of January 2009.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Mac Switcher Bundle Sale Extended

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 12:00 PM

"SmileOnMyMac, Agile Web Solutions, ManyTricks and ScreenCastsOnline have extended their Mac Switcher Bundle offer to March 31st. The Bundle packages three apps aimed at those Switching from Windows to the Mac, along with ten video tutorials for setting up and using your Mac, all for US $49.95."

It looks like a pretty good bundle. I have used 1Password for a long time, and have found it worth every penny of the $39.95 USD that it cost me. I have also heard good things about TextExpander, so if you don't have any of these it might be worth checking out.

NVidia Update Yanked, No Explanation Given

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Laptops" @ 11:00 AM

"Apple has yanked a software update that was intended to fix graphics-related issues with its latest notebooks just two days after pushing the patch to users via its Software Update mechanism. It's unclear what prompted the removal of the patch, released Monday as NVIDIA Graphics Update 2009 and pulled from the company's website and automatic software update system on Wednesday."

I have to say that despite the complaints mentioned in the article and in the Apple Forums, I have had no such issues since upgrading. In fact, as I mentioned on the day the release of the update was posted, it actually fixed my only issue with my MacBook Pro's display and that was it not waking up when my Dell monitor was connected. I'm glad I grabbed it before they yanked it because it has made my life a whole lot easier!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy 25th Birthday Mac!

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple News" @ 08:00 AM

"Demo of the first Apple Macintosh by Steve Jobs, January 1984, in front of 3000 people. Andy Hertzfeld captured the moment quite well in his retelling: "Pandemonium reigns as the demo completes. Steve has the biggest smile I've ever seen on his face, obviously holding back tears as he is overwhelmed by the moment. The ovation continues for at least five minutes before he quiets the crowd down.""

Steve Jobs unveils the original Macintosh, January 1984. Most of you have probably seen this, but it's still worth watching again or for the first time if you haven't. Of course that original Mac was well out of the price range of most people, but then again, so were most computers at the time. In honor of the Mac's birthday, let's do something completely hacky: what was your first Mac, when did you get it, etc.?

My first Mac was the 800 Mhz iBook, and I bought it in April of 2004. It was the first time I had ever owned an Apple computer and it was one of the best computers I've ever owned in my life. I later sold it because my company is a heavy Microsoft company and from the moment I sent it to the guy I sold it to, I regretted doing it. I didn't get another Mac until the Intel MacBook came out, and I splurged for the black model, extra RAM, and tons of accessories. I even bought my wife one for Christmas a year later. In the intervening time, I bought a 17" iMac 1.83 Core Duo, and then recently got rid of both my BlackBook and my iMac and replaced it with the new 15" MacBook Pro.

That's my Mac lineage. What's yours?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Pirated iWork '09 May Contain a Trojan Horse

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 01:00 PM

"A new Trojan Horse is currently hidden in pirated copies of Apple’s iWork ‘09 available via various BitTorrent tracker sites, according to a marketing pitch, uh, report from security software manufacturer Intego. While the pirated software is complete and functional, the installer contains a “bonus” called iWorkServices.pkg. This software is installed as a startup item where it has read-write-execute permissions for root: in other words, it has all the powers of a system administrator. This malicious software connects to a remote server over the internet, alerts its maker that it has been installed and gives this person the ability to connect to the affected Mac remotely."

Frankly, if you're pirating software, I hope your damn computer blows up on you. I have no sympathy for people who pirate stuff, and frankly pirating an entire Office Suite that goes for $79 is even more ridiculous. Maybe that'll teach the "I want everything free!" folks that not everything can be free just because you want it to be so. Hopefully none of you fall into the "if I want it, I just take it" category.

Steve Jobs' Health Disclosures Probed

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Talk" @ 12:00 PM

"The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is probing whether Apple sufficiently informed investors of CEO Steve Jobs' health status, Bloomberg reported Wednesday. An unnamed source told the news organization the review does not mean Apple committed any wrongdoing, according to the report. Last week, Apple announced Jobs was taking a six-month medical leave of absence after being informed his health troubles were "more complex" the previously announced. Prior to the announcement, Jobs had assured the Mac community an ailment that had prompted speculation was due to a "hormonal imbalance" the Apple co-founder described as "easily treatable." However, the latest pronouncement by Apple has failed to quell talk that Jobs' health problems are connected to a 2004 pancreatic cancer."

I'm a bit worried for Apple this time around. When Apple made it's "Steve is fine" proclamation a few months ago, I thought it may be a bad move because they were opening themselves up to problems if Steve ever did get really sick. While this investigation by the SEC shouldn't be taken as immediate wrongdoing, there will undoubtedly be people who use this to claim that Jobs mislead shareholders so as to not harm the price of Apple's stock. Me? I'm not sure what to think, actually.

Tags: apple, jobs, stock, sec

Monday, January 19, 2009

Old Argument Redux: Apple Should License OSX

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple Talk" @ 10:00 AM;txt

"Let's face it: Apple isn't happy that it needs to deal with Psystar. And why should it be? The company is a costly nuisance that needs to be dealt with swiftly. But if the court battle lasts too long--or worse, if Psystar finds a way to win, Apple will be forced to deal with a slew of similar Mac clones that will only make maintaining its stranglehold on Mac OS X that much harder. That's why Apple should license Mac OS X to Hewlett-Packard and Dell, the world's top PC manufacturers. By doing so, it will be able to eliminate the threat Psystar and its clones create, since no one will trust an Open Computer from a no-name compared to Dell and HP. More importantly, it will expand its presence in the PC business and finally get to a place where it can compete on the same level as Microsoft."

In the year 2009, it's a miracle to me that people are still making this ridiculous argument. Folks, here's the deal. It isn't going to happen, and the reason is very simple. Ready?

Apple is a hardware manufacturer, not a software company!

I really figured people would get over this idiotic licensing idea, but it keeps coming back again and again and again by people who are supposedly known and respected in the industry. Reisinger's argument amounts to "this is the best way to get rid of Psystar." As one commenter notes:

"Apple IS a hardware company. Microsoft is a software company. Apple only has OS X to sell their hardware, along with software like Final Cut Pro and Aperture. Please understand that it is all TO SELL THE HARDWARE. There is a reason it is a bit more expensive. Does apple sell software? Yes. Does Microsoft sell hardware? Yes (zune and xbox). Does staples sell food? Yes but it is an office supply store, not a grocery store.Apple is a hardware company."

Apparently it is obvious, at least to some people.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Jobs to Take Leave of Absence Until End of June

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Apple News" @ 02:51 PM

The Wall Street Journal reprinted this press release from Apple today:

" Team,

I am sure all of you saw my letter last week sharing something very personal with the Apple community. Unfortunately, the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone elseat Apple as well. In addition, during the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought.

In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June.

I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple's day to day operations, and I know he and the rest of the executive management team will do a great job. As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out. Our board of directors fully supports this plan.

I look forward to seeing all of you this summer.


I'm sure I speak for everyone at Apple Thoughts when I say we wish Steve the speediest and complete recovery possible.

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