Archive for the ‘Technology & Nerdy News’ Category

Big Google is watching you me

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Google Street View has come to Knoxville.

For instance, here’s the place I just came back from — the Knoxville Visitor
Center on Gay Street, where the WDVX Blue Plate Special takes place
every weekday:

View Larger Map

And here’s a look at the Gay Street Bridge, seen from across the river in South Knoxville, with several downtown buildings, the Sunsphere, and the Henley Street Bridge in the distance:

View Larger Map

(Hat tip: Michael Silence.) More after the jump.


Steve Jobs is a genius

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Thinking about yesterday’s debut of the 3G iPhone, it occurred to me that Steve Jobs is a freakin’ genius. Not even a year ago, Apple released the original iPhone with a price tag of $599 for the 8 GB model. Barely two months later, the price was slashed to $399. Now, Apple has unveiled a new & improved iPhone — with a price tag of $199 for the 8 GB model. That’s half the most recent price (as Apple’s ads are happily trumpeting), and one-third of the original price.

Why does that make Jobs a genius, you ask? Think about it: if the price had been $199 all along ($299 for the higher-end model), would anybody have considered that cheap? Reasonable, certainly; surprisingly low for such a cool phone, probably. But people wouldn’t have been falling all over themselves saying, "WOW! What an amazingly great price!" to anywhere near the extent they’re doing now. By jacking up the cost in the first place, Apple made its eventual price point seem incredible, rather than merely good. Heh. Steve Jobs has us eating out of his freakin’ hands.

Speaking of Steve Jobs and eating, there is rampant talk on the Internets — even unto Drudge! — about Jobs’s physical appearance at yesterday’s WWDC keynote. Some have described Jobs as looking "sickly skinny" or even "dangerously thin." As one blog notes, many concerned Apple fans are "wondering if the pancreatic cancer has come back. Steve was diagnosed back in 2003 but that info was not released to the public until 2004 when he had surgery."

As I learned yesterday when I saw Drudge’s headline and tried Googling around to figure out what he was talking about, this is not the first time a Jobs keynote has caused frenzied Internet speculation about his health. A similar phenomenon occurred in 2006, to the point where Apple had to release a statement assuring everyone that Jobs was a-okay.

Since the CEO’s health seems to be of such concern to his adoring minions, perhaps somebody could use the new iPhone Software Development Kit to create an application that monitors and broadcasts his vital signs in real time. ;)

P.S. Meanwhile, at least one blogger is wondering whether Steve Jobs is Gimli.

Apple WWDC Keynote Livestream

Monday, June 9th, 2008

For all the Mac users and now iPhone users out there, Steve Jobs’s keynote from the World Wide Developers Conference is underway.  So far, iPhone 2.0 features have been discussed, including enterprise support and the SDK.  Later today, the next version of OS X will be discussed as well.  If you are interested in reading, is liveblogging here:

UPDATE:  iPhone 3G Announced

  • 3G wireless
  • GPS
  • Improved battery life
  • thinner
  • improved audio
  • will be available in 70 countries

UPDATE BY BRENDAN: In light of a) the much faster connection speed,
b) the new lower price (just $199 for the 8GB model, literally one-third of what the first iPhones cost last June), c) the various new
cool features (particularly GPS), and d) the fact that my Sprint contract recently expired, I would like to offer the following
graphical commentary, which roughly sums up my feelings:


P.S. But, I ask again: can you use it as a modem???


Friday, June 6th, 2008

Has anyone else noticed Google’s new favicon?

(More information here and here.)

Personally, I don’t like it.

UPDATE: In other giant-Internet-company news, Amazon is down! (Hat tip: Insty.)

The 3G iPhone is (almost) here

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

The 3G iPhone will be released on June 9, according to Gizmodo. (This is, like, four-day-old news, but I just saw it on End User, via InstaPundit.)

Analysts believe it will be pretty similar to the current iPhones, with the exception of the faster speed. More dramatic changes to the phone — multiple models, multiple price points, etc. — may be coming early next year.

I’m still crossing my fingers for a phone-as-modem feature. (It’s possible to hack the current iPhones to have this feature, though of course it’s quite slow on the EDGE Network. I wonder if the new iPhones will support it natively, or if not, if the hack will still be possible.)

No way!

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

I don’t know if this is actually brand new, or if I just missed it until now, but Google Maps now has a public transit feature. SWEET!

I freaking love Google Maps.

Karl Rove: my iPhone makes me cool

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

Karl Rove on his iPhone: “I love it. My life has changed. I have a shred of coolness.”

Heh. He goes on. (“I mean it is just shocking how much better, how much more productive I am.”) He also sings the praises of his aforeblogged MacBook Air.

The big question is, which effect is more pronounced: hip Mac products making Karl Rove cool, or evil Karl Rove making hip Mac products less cool? :)

USB voltage woes

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

Can any of my techie readers suggest a bus-powered USB 2.0 external hard drive that will actually work with my PowerBook and its 500 mA bus?

(Yes, I realize I could get a special cord that would allow me to plug a drive that isn’t getting enough power into both USB ports simultaneously. But that’s not a good option, because my computer only has two USB ports, so such a setup would make it impossible for me to, say, transfer files between a bus-powered drive and a second external USB drive.)

Alternatively, are there any bus-powered FireWire hard drives out there that aren’t obscenely expensive? (To give you an idea of my price and gigabyte range, I bought the Western Digital 250GB Passport for $139.99 at Best Buy tonight, only to discover that it doesn’t get enough power from my computer’s USB bus.)

Leopard 10.5.2 coming out today?

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

On the phone with Apple Care, and got a message that said that an update to Leopard is out, but it’s not showing up with Software Update.

Here’s a link, though 10.5.2 imminent?

If this works, I also recorded about a minute of the automated call with AppleCare, which seems to confirm the availability of the update:

Download apple_care_leopard_update_call.m4a

This made me giggle

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008


MacHEADS: The Movie

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Trailer for an upcoming film about the Mac community. Looks like fun.

Macheads – the movie (trailer)
Uploaded by brunogarattoni

Steve Jobs keynote underway

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

Not sure why Brendan didn’t mention it, but Macworld Expo 2008 has kicked off with Steve Jobs annual keynote address about 45 minutes ago.  The event is not being streamed live but a number of sites including Macworld, Engadget, Gizmodo and MacRumorsLive are live blogging the event.

So far Steve has introduced software upgrades for the iPhone/iPod Touch and an Airport base station that includes a harddrive for wireless use with Leopards Time Machine backup feature.

Now up?  The anticipated iTunes movie rentals and an update to the iTV that allows you to purchase songs and movies directly.  More to come later, check out the links above for live coverage.

UPDATE: The rumors were true, Apple is releasing a sub-notebook, the 13.3" MacBook Air and DANG that thing is thin.  To give you an idea, it easily fits in manila buisness envelope (the type you might use for interoffice mail).  At its thickest its .74".

UPDATE 2:  How thin is it?  See for yourself!  Apple has updated their site with the new info from today’s keynote.

MacBook Air

iPhone = iPorn

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

But of course. (Hat tip: Insty.)

The iPhone’s untold story

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

Wired has a lengthy, fascinating article about the "untold story" of how the iPhone came to be, and how it has already changed the wireless industry. Well worth a read. Excerpt:

For those working on the iPhone, the next three months would be the
most stressful of their careers. Screaming matches broke out routinely
in the hallways. Engineers, frazzled from all-night coding sessions,
quit, only to rejoin days later after catching up on their sleep. A
product manager slammed the door to her office so hard that the handle
bent and locked her in; it took colleagues more than an hour and some
well-placed whacks with an aluminum bat to free her.

But by the end of the push, just weeks before Macworld, Jobs had a
prototype to show to the suits at AT&T. In mid-December 2006, he
met wireless boss Stan Sigman at a suite in the Four Seasons hotel in
Las Vegas. He showed off the iPhone’s brilliant screen, its powerful
Web browser, its engaging user interface. Sigman, a taciturn Texan
steeped in the conservative engineering traditions that permeate
America’s big phone companies, was uncharacteristically effusive,
calling the iPhone "the best device I have ever seen."

But the money quote is the final paragraph:

It may appear that the carriers’ nightmares have been realized, that
the iPhone has given all the power to consumers, developers, and
manufacturers, while turning wireless networks into dumb pipes. But by
fostering more innovation, carriers’ networks could get more
valuable, not less. Consumers will spend more time on devices, and thus
on networks, racking up bigger bills and generating more revenue for
everyone. According to Paul Roth, AT&T’s president of marketing,
the carrier is exploring new products and services — like mobile
banking — that take advantage of the iPhone’s capabilities. "We’re
thinking about the market differently," Roth says. In other words, the
very development that wireless carriers feared for so long may prove to
be exactly what they need. It took Steve Jobs to show them that.

Read the whole thing. (Hat tip: David K.)

iMac style dock for the MacBook?

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

Dude, seriously. This would be uber-suhweet.

Here’s the sketchy drawings. Don’t know if it’s remotely real, but if it is, it’d be really cool.


The MacBook/iMac docking station?