Particle Debris and Fingernails (Week of June 23)

Whil e I typically comment on the interesting news items that didn't quite make the headlines each week, I have to start with a comment about the iPhone and women's fingernails story from Tuesday over at iPO. I asked my wife about it all and sought an analog that seems to work. Are you ready guys?

Many UNIX nut cases (said with much affection) wear pony tails. What if the iPhone in addition to (or because of) its touch sensitive keyboard were particularly sensitive to static electricity, and every time one of the pony tailed guys answered his iPhone, his hair touched the screen and dropped the call? What would be the response? "Well, cut your $#@&^%$ hair!" the women in the audience would claim. Chances are, the guys wouldn't like this and would spend countless hours (using the vi editor) lambasting Apple for a poor ergonomic design. "Cut my pony tail? Surely, you're joking!"

I say this because I had to delete a particularly sexist and inappropriate comment related to that article amidst what I thought was an onslaught of testosterone poisoned men.

Indeed, there isn't much Apple engineers can do about the electrical properties of women's fingernails, but that's a cultural norm. There are things women do to make themselves attractive. Someday Apple will figure out a solution. And someday some of the men who embarrassed themselves this week will someday have a daughter, if they're blessed, and change their iTune.

Back to our regularly scheduled broadcast.

Backing up a little to June 19, I saw an interesting article at Microsoft Watch that reminds us why Vista is such a mess and Windows 7 probably won't be much better. Under the terms Federal government's Antitrust suit from November 2001, a government Technical Committee has overseen Windows development. In addition, some of Microsoft's competitors sought and obtained an extension to the oversight, so there will be two more years of government meddling. Monopoly life is so much fun.

Need I say more about why Vista is a mess?

On Monday, there was a neat story at Gizmodo about Morotola's last ditch effort, a phone code named Alexander. In a clever play on the ROKR, RIZR, RAZR series, the headline read "Motorola's Secret Alexander Cellphone: If It Fails, Moto Is OVR." The article graphic had a Moto trademark emblem burning upon re-entry. Fun stuff. With Palm dying and Moto on the rocks, I wonder who's next.

On Tuesday, Extremtech mentiond that Office Depot has kicked off a recycling service for old and broken electronics. It's a green thing to do, especially since electronics can have heavy metals and other bad things that shouldn't be in landfills. Just make sure your spouse doesn't throw that old iPhone 2G in the box -- it's still worth big bucks.

I was going to defer the AppleScript story, then decided that this is big news after all. Apple goes through four phases with technology: 1) Push for all it's worth, 2) Probe to see if people still want it, 3) Make concessions to calm developer fears while working on the Next Big Thing, and finally, 4) Dump it unceremoniously and move on. In my opinion, AppleScript is in Phase 3. Get ready for Phase 4.

On Thursday, I ran across a hilarious article at Seeking Alpha on how Microsoft can probe Google's weaknesses and strategies they might use. It's a sensational send up on the kind of thinking Microsoft engages in, and it had me rolling on the floor laughing.

If you're in the mood for a different kind of humor, you can read up on "Steve Jobs and the Great 3G iPhone Scam." I passed on this story because everyone knows by now what they're getting into with the iPhone. AT&T wants to raise its ARPU, Average Revenue Per User. The 3G network cost a lot of money to build. Faster data means more cost. And the joys of using the iPhone come at a price: you're either in or you're out. However, the author of the article, like any author, believes in what he's writing about, and that's his privilege. I'll file it under "Inquiring Minds Want to Know." Just make sure you're in a good mood when you read it.

StrangeCharm will return on July 11th. I wish everyone a happy and safe Independence Day holiday.