This week’s collection of technical news debris is filled with a fake product that hoodwinked the news sites, fighting back at EULA shenanigans, a betrayal of Apple that will not go unpunished, and the awesome insecurity of those who worry that the iPad will take over the business world. And to top it all off, Twitter looks to be mightily pissing off its developers in a stroke so arrogant and bold that it could undo the company. And what one mister Dalton Caldwall is going to do about it.
Tech News Debris
The nuances of iCloud are numerous, and it’s designed to do some very specific things. So if you wander away from its limits, there will be mysteries. Chris Breen at Macworld discusses “When Documents in the Cloud aren’t.”
I am not a statistics expert, but my wife is. I learned her and my own studies, that a poll of national intent has to be truly random selection from a national population and that you need a 1,000+ sample size to get to that magical +/- 5 percent uncertainty. So when Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray polled 200 people in just one town, writers who are familiar with national TV polling blinked. “Analysts Lay Egg With Apple HDTV Poll.”
I’ve mentioned this a few times here and there, but I want to have a formal reference. And it’s the effort by Tobias Van Schneider to breathe some life into a modern email client. I’ve volunteered to beta test myself. “Stylish Mac email app .Mail begins leap from concept to reality. If you love Sparrow, check this out.”
What’s the biggest lie on the Internet? Maybe you aren’t lying, but when you click through on that EULA, you may be giving away your first born child. Long, inscrutable and legalistic EULAs have been the bane of Internet life. So why not solve the problem by having a website that inspects the EULA and gives it a rating? That’s exactly what this project, not quite ready for launch, aims to do. Read about it here: “Putting An End To The Biggest Lie On The Internet.”
The NSA has computing resources that are unimaginable, and has developed sophisticated mathematical methods. But there are levels of computing power. Local law enforcement, state law enforcement, and the FBI don’t have NSA assets, and not all of them, evidently, have the power to crack Apple’s AES 256-but encryption. It’s good for users but sometimes a pain for law enforcement. Here’s some good discussion. “ The iPhone Has Passed a Key Security Threshold.”
Have you heard the rumblings about Twitter execs wanting to squeeze out 3rd party client apps? It’s all for the money of course. As they say, all good things must come to an end. I’m hoping that the vision of Dalton Caldwell catches on. Here’s the key argument, related by Forbes. “But all of the big social companies have taken the ad-supported route. As Dalton Caldwell, the founder of a new Twitter alternative called App.net, explains in the video above, this puts them, at least economically, in the awkward position where their advertisers are their customers and their users are their “product.” This inversion is what Caldwell thinks is wrong with web 2.0 and what he would like to set right with his new venture.”
Here’s the excellent story at Forbes. “Dalton Caldwell’s App.net Meets Funding Goal To Launch Paid Twitter Alternative.” And if you missed what’s going on, here’s the TMO news on Twitter’s recent actions. “New Twitter Guidelines and APIs Squeeze Third Party Apps.”
Often the best April Fools jokes are carried out on an ordinary day in Internet life. Just to see how far it can go. And it worked just fine. “How a Bogus Apple Rumor Hoodwinked Online News Outlets.”
What do you get when you cross a Segway-like unit with an iPad? Not a joke for Double Robotics. Cool or not cool?
Tim DeBenedictis, the founder of Southern Stars and the Sky Safari app for iOS, is going to put up a satellite, SkyCube, and you’ll be able to use your iPhone with it to broadcast messages or take photos. Here’s an interview with Mr. DeBenedictis.
Image credit: Southern Stars
There’s something to be said for reading the Mac experts. They spend eight hours a day professionally studying Apple. But every once in awhile, it’s also valuable to read something from outside, just to gain a different perspective, even if it’s a bit wacky. Try this on for size. “Apple is in danger of being boring.”
Of course, you may have already read my considered response to that kind of thinking, in general. “Why We’ll All Rush to the iPhone 5, no Matter What.”
I’ve been thinking, ever since Christmas 2011, that Apple would respond to the challenge of the 7-inch tablets. But John Gruber has thought even more deeply about it, especially the layout of the screen and bezel. By limiting the side bezel dramatically, the iPad 7 can have a 4:3 aspect display, run all those 1024 x 768 apps, yet look amazingly sexier than the other 7-inch tablets. It would be a stroke of genius by Apple. But then that’s what Apple does. “Thinking This iPad Mini Thing Even Througher.”
Image Credit: 9to5Mac
I’ve never cared for Google’s Chrome browser after I discovered some hidden files that it had installed on my iMac. And I don’t mistake security for privacy as some do. Chrome is long on security and short on privacy. So I was amused when I discovered that the built-in Flash has risen up to bite Chrome. And with Safari not exactly setting the world on fire, Apple has an opening if it can only seize it. “Apple Is Missing a Huge Opportunity to Hurt Google.” As secondary reading, I found this article from last year that also weighs in on the issue. “Why Hasn’t Safari Skyrocketed Like Chrome Has?”
This is the sicko article of the week. How do you embarrass and ridicule the opposition into hiding its light? Why, throw out some pseudo-intellectual, business-arrogant crap that looks like oh-so serious advice. You’ll be amused to see how the other guys are approaching their insecurities. Prepare to ROTFL. “Why you should change the default email signature on your tablet (especially for business use).” Sorry, I couldn’t resist this one because I knew it’d bring a wry smile to your face.
Finally, in a rather long and nicely researched article, the practices of the carriers’ retail operations to undermine the iPhone are exposed. It’s all about the money. Here’s the best quote. “It’s wrong that I have to lie. But hey, it’s a paycheck.” Here’s the Cult of Mac exposé. “iPhone Discrimination: Why Reps At The Big Carriers Don’t Want To Sell You Apple’s Smartphone.”