Particle Debris (wk. ending 2/4) The Wonders of Apple

| Particle Debris

Bob Cringely, an expert on Silicon Valley personalities and politics, had some comments on Google’s Eric Schmidt losing his job, Mr. Schmidt’s history, and an analysis of Google’s failed bid for Groupon. Bob always has the details the rest of the tech columnists miss.

The insane demand for the iPhone 4 at Verizon suggests not only demand for a great product but some disaffection with AT&T. Personally, while I think there will be an initial burst of movement away from AT&T combined with Verizon customers abandoning their Android phones in favor of the iPhone, it’ll all settle out in a few months. It won’t take long for Verizon to piss off a lot of Apple-thinking people. But even a few percent reduction in AT&T customers would harm AT&T, so here’s ten smart ideas on what AT&T has to do to hold its iPhone customers by Don Reisinger.

There’s been a lot of talk about cord-cutting: canceling satellite or cable TV and using the Internet exclusively. But has anyone done a study of customer behavior? We tech geeks think we know how to handle the transition, but can ordinary families handle it? What changes in behavior or expectations come into play? Well, these guys actually went out, did the experiment, collected data, watched customers, and drew some conclusions. Here’s the story, “Experiment: One Week Without Cable,” along with a video. At last: research!

As Apple enthusiasts, we know, or think we know, a lot about Apple’s legendary “1984” Super Bowl TV commercial. But new tidbits keep cropping up, over 25 years later. Here’s some new, inside info from Steve Hayden who was involved in the making: “‘1984’: As Good as it Gets.

By now you’ve heard that the Internet has run out of IPv4 addresses. Fortunately, Comcast and others have been planning ahead and doing tests with IPv6. Did you know that your Mac OS X system has been ready for IPv6 for years? Here’s the note at Comcast about their test work with Apple equipment.

Mac OS X IPv6

We’ve covered Apple’s expected use of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology for wireless payments as well app store agreements regarding book & news publishers, but did you know Facebook is creating its own walled garden? In addition, David Sims had some observations about customer attitudes about location services in “ePayments Week: How big a bite will Apple take?” Do we know enough to care? Is that intended? Tim O’Reilly chimes in. If for no other reason, I wanted to point you to O’Reilly’s wonderful site that’s a play on Radar O’Reilly from the TV show M*A*S*H.

Related: For more on how Apple’s desire to get a piece of everyone else’s action could affect the company, see my latest Hidden Dimensions column.

Joe Wilcox did a nice job of explaining how Apple built a foundation ten years ago and how certain products couldn’t have happened with our certain precursors. We know a lot of this, but the article puts it all together in a great way. Follow his interesting logic streams: “If not iTunes and iPod, no iTunes Music Store”, “If not iPod, iTunes and Mac OS X, no iPhone.” The sequencing and logic is good reference material. “Apple’s modern success story began with four investments made 10 years ago.

You’ve heard about the demo of Google’s Android 3.0, code-named “Honeycomb.”

Now, here’s some expert analysis, from an Apple perspective, on Honeycomb from Dan Dilger. What I find interesting is that expert technical developers, annoyed with Apple’s focus on iPad simplicity have loaded up Honeycomb with all kinds of self-serving geeky complexities. Worse, they sell management on the idea that this is good. Windows went down that road and look what happened. Check out: “Android 3.0 Honeycomb more akin to Tablet PC than iPad. We gotta keep Steve Jobs around for a long time.

What do we really know about Apple’s new data center in North Carolina? Here’s an article, an FAQ of sorts, that collects everything we know about that site, including guesses about the server hardware Apple is using, especially now that the Xserve has been end-of-lifed. It hasn’t been updated since Nov, 2010, but I just found it this week, and it’s worth checking out.

I had early, optimistic thoughts about Rupert Murdoch’s The Daily. I still intend to check it out, but I’m in no hurry. This is one of those things, like Scotch, that will have to age a little before we fully appreciate the product. Early indications are, however, that the app 1) doesn’t use the best of Internet technologies, 2) isn’t ground breaking in the quality or depth of the news, and 3) doesn’t take into account the fact that modern netizens get their news from lots of sources, and the horse is out of the barn in that regard. Anyway, here’s the best review of The Daily I’ve seen so far from the esteemed Adam Engst, someone I hold in high regard: “Why The Daily Is So Yesterday.

The Daily

What’s wrong with the TV industry? Who better than to lay it all out, chapter and verse, than Jason Kilar, the CEO of Hulu? It’s Jason’s “Jerry Maguire” moment, according to Peter Kafka at All Things Digital. This is a juicy one: “Is Jason Kilar Trying to Get Fired?

This next item is well off the beaten track, but it’s great. A laid-off architect, Angie Davis, and her husband were financially desperate. She sat down, figured out what to do next, and started making premium iPad cases with her sewing machine. This story will warm your heart, and heaven knows, in this winter storm, we need it. “Laid-off architect builds success one iPad at a time.

The verdict is starting to come in on Apple’s iAds. This one is by Campbell’s soup who says that iAds are twice as effective as TV. Here’s the story in Advertising Age. Hmmm. Maybe Jason Kilar’s critics should take a look at this. The world’s changing fast fellas.

Finally, if you’re thinking about switching to a Mac — or already have — a company called ItsAboutTimeProducts has produced a video app called “Learn the Switch to Mac” that helps you transition from Windows to Mac OS X. It’s a stand alone product, available in the Mac App Store, and the company is in a special promotion right now: it’s just US$0.99, regularly $24.95. It’s also a great way to learn how to use the Mac App Store for not much money. Here’s a video demo of the video-oriented app at Vimeo. I hope to publish a short review next week. Meanwhile, here’s the MAS link.

Switch to Mac

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Technical Word of the Week (TWoW)

I suppose one could say that these are technical words in the sense that they often come up in technical conversation. Gulp…

1. Pervy (adj.) The quality of being perverted. Usage: “That’s a fairly pervy fellow.” — Source: Craig Ferguson, CBS, The Late, Late Show.

2. Sleazery (n.) The result of something sleazy. Usage: “That ad was the ultimate in sleazery.” — Source: Chris Breen, Macworld

Comments

Spootypuff

“Google?s Eric Schmidt loosing his job”

He should really tighten that up.

iJack

Um, “Pervy” has been around since the Sixties, with the same meaning.  I guess I assumed that these TWoWs were meant to be (reasonably) freshly minted.

Sally

Has anyone ever tried buying anything off http://grouponbot.com ? Does it work even if your not in the same city?

wab95

Those AT&T customers may not be jumping ship for Verizon in substantial numbers, based on initial reviews. As an AT&T customer in the US, I would need compelling incentive to break my contract, which I am not seeing yet. Then again, I have never shared the almost visceral anti-AT&T feeling aired by some. My overall experience has been positive, if non-stellar.

The research on cutting the cable is a good start, however the methodology raises the spectre of altering normal behaviour simply by having people film and comment on what they are doing, itself abnormal and likely to result in non-representative behaviour. A better design might have included a control group and compared families with and without cable, likely longer than a week - say a month - followed by exit interviews to get their input on the experience. Even if they retained the self-recording component, the longer time period allows for aclimatisation, and would be the same for the intervention and control groups. Systematic comparisons are always helpful. The results of the Hill Holliday study leave me with a number of questions. Hopefully others will follow. 

Joe Wilcox’s piece is a great read, concise assessment. Love the ‘gang of four’ moniker.

aardman

As usual Mr. M. excellent articles that you recommended to your readers.  Except I can’t believe you recommended Mr. Reisinger’s top 10 list.  They are consistently uninsightful or painfully obvious.  Highlights (lowlights?) on this list are “capitalize on Verizon’s inevitable mistakes” and “go after profits”.  Really now.  The rest, are only marginally more illuminating.

Don Reisinger’s surefire formula for financial success:  Find a profit-making opportunity then take advantage of it.

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