Apple Goes Back to the Future to Fight Google

| Particle Debris

Page 2 —The Tech News Debris for the Week of July 14


Apple's new programming language, Swift, has gotten a lot of attention. We naturally want to know more, and so good articles are those that give one a feel for the language without bogging us down in language details and syntax. Here is a very good one: "Why Apple’s Swift Language Will Instantly Remake Computer Programming."

Articles that interview experts often provide a lot of technical information, but creating an attractive title is always a dilemma. Good titles present a bold assertion and the reader will often want to find out the reasoning behind the assertion. In this case, the assertion is "USB SuperSpeed will relegate Thunderbolt to a niche."

Despite the bold assertion, I recommend the article because it has just so darm much information that we need about the relationship between Thunderbolt and USB 3 (and successors). For example, the article reminds us that Apple likes Thunderbolt because it carries both data and video and TB devices can be daisy chained. So then the question becomes what is Apple's long-term roadmap? That's a different question than which technology is faster or cheaper. Articles like this one help put it all in perspective.

Ted Landau is one of my favorite writers because, it seems to me, we were cloned at birth and think alike. Anyway, you should check out this great piece: "With iPhoto's demise, writing may be on the wall for iLife."

Regular readers of this column know that I have provided overview coverage of Dish Network's Hopper DVR. I cover that (and Aereo) because if Apple is ever going to change the way we watch TV, it must wade through all the legalities and precedents currently in place. In this story, "Another Court Ruling, Another Win for Hopper," the United States Cour of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has handed Dish its fifth consecutive win.

For those who are new to the dispute, the Hopper DVR has the ability to set a preference to automatically skip TV ads on recorded primetime content. An ordinary DVR requires us to manually skip over prerecorded commercials, and the DVR does it slowly enough that an ad might actually attract our attention. That's what's hoped for anyway. The Dish argument is that it's okay to let the software in the Hopper do what we would have to do manually, and the courts have agreed.

Along these lines, one of the things we know about our technology driven life is that it changes fast. However, clever people can often make headway by pretending, and even legalizing the idea, that nothing has changed.

For example, there was a time, as Ken Segall explains it (below), when people who developed ads had a code of ethics. As that has dwindled, ads have become more obnoxious, insidious and tedious. And so a modern era viewer expects to be able to use technology to fight that trend. Advertisers would rather maintain the conceit that nothing has changed for the worse. And that brings us to the insightful missive by Ken Segall. "The relentless (and annoying) pursuit of eyeballs."

After you read Mr. Segall's thoughts, you'll know why people love the Hopper.

Finally, in the preamble, I talked about Tim Cook's leadership and insights. The new arrangement with IBM reflects Mr. Cook's ability to change his thinking based on new market conditions and understand the weaknesses of his competition. I found two good articles amongst many. In the first, Jonny Evans explains: "Why enterprise IT pros should fear Apple and IBM." The second article, by Larry Dignan, explains the fix Samsung and Google are now in and how they may have to respond. "In IBM and Apple's wake, what will team Android do?"

Suddenly, Apple and IBM need each other to fight the competition, and the results will be interesting to watch.


Future & Past plus TV salesman via Shutterstock.


Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro's observations and opinions about a standout event or article of the week (preamble on page 1) followed by a discussion of articles that didn't make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holidays.



Re google waking up to GPA reality, I like the mantra of one global engineering company:

“We never hire the students with the best grades, we hire the students who make the best keg catapults, whose robot does the most damage when it runs amok, who gets banned from science fairs because their project destroyed others projects.  That’s why we succeed where others fail.”


Ted Landau on the demise of iLife.
I’m glad to see someone pointing out what I’ve found obvious ever since it was introduced: While it may be a great app, while a (vanishingly small) subgroup might use it, the vast majority of people never use it, never start it, never play with it. I have started GarageBand exactly once and after five minutes I realized that not only was I not into creating music, I actually have a negative talent for music. Anything I started editing sounded worse the longer I messed with it. I truly believe, based on a fairly large sampling of my family and friends and co workers, a number of whom are amateur and professional musicians,  that almost nobody is using GarageBand. I have no idea why Apple has continued to update it.

Annoying Ads
I find that the more annoying an ad is the less effective it is. I’m usually trying to close the pop-up window or hit the mute on a commercial that I don’t pay attention to what they are selling. Also if they get too obnoxious, like one site I used to frequent, that put three commercials in front of their videos, I leave tyne site. I just stopped looking at their videos, and eventually stopped going there at all.
In a tangential topic, has anyone seen that Cadillac(?) commercial with the dancing robots. There’s this car surrounded by two rows of four manipulator arm robots all of which are moving, twisting and turning in unison. I’m not really sure what the car is because every time it comes on I’m fascinated by the robots. I really couldn’t tell you what the car even looked like. That’s not an annoying ad, far from it, but it is very ineffectual.

Why Enterprise IT should Fear Apple/IBM
This makes a lot of sense. I’m glad I no longer work in IT. Between hosted rent-a-server companies and remote support companies and now this I’m thinking it was a good time to go into something else.

What’s Android to do
Crazy prediction time: Faced with the Apple/IBM partnership Google/Samsung will try to set up the same kind of a deal with Microsoft. Google will want to roll out a bunch of apps to support Windows Servers from Android devices. They will get rejected by Microsoft for two reasons. First Microsoft has their own (moribund) mobile platform. Secondly The new boss at Microsoft is pushing cloud services hard. They are trying to move to a world where most businesses just use Microsoft as their rent-a-server service. Office365 is just the start. They’d like to reduce or eliminate remote IT techs so they won’t see a need for Android apps to access Windows Servers.
The Apple/IBM deal will will mean one thing though. BlackBerry is toast. Apple ease of use with IBM security and inside track to the boardroom cuts the last fingernail they were hoping to hang on with. Few, even here in Canada want their phones. Their services haven’t taken off on other platforms. Now with IBM pushing the iOS solution the last of their strengths, an inside track to the boardrooms, is gone.


To me the key argument in the USB3 vs Thunderbolt discussion was in the comments, where a user advised that WiFi and wireless devices suffered around USB3. He said:

I have tried *many* USB3 hubs, and have given up. You need heavily shielded cables and boxes *everywhere.* Neither my wireless mouse nor my USB3 was reliable. Disks “fall offline” without warning. My WiFi range for iPad and iPhone in my house is 20-30% less with USB3 devices attached.

More speed is NOT good if there are adverse side effects. Especially if they are this bad.

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