Particle Debris (week ending 4/24) Trends, Tweets, Treks and TWoW

On Monday, I became aware of an article, thanks to Tim O'Reilly's tweet, that compares several newspaper apps on the iPhone: NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. It's interesting not only for how each paper approached the iPhone, but also the general idea, covered in more detail in another article, that the iPhone is becoming the newspaper of the 21st century. Ponder that.

One of the new "Get a Mac" ads, "Legal Copy" throws up a lot of legal text on the screen that's hard to read. Well, someone has captured it all and transcribed it. So if you want to know how all that (improvised) legal copy reads, here it is.

I ran across this tidbit midweek by Bruce Perens. It's news from earlier in April that seems to not have received a whole lot of coverage. Nor were the implications discussed much, likely because making a big deal out of would be unproductive. However, it is something to be aware of.

I found this page covering the Detroit Science Center's celebration of the history of Star Trek. There are some very good photos in the gallery. I don't know if the exhibit is still running. Anyone from Detroit?

On Thursday, Dan Frommer and Kamelia Angelova asked the question: "Why does Apple always beat expectations (in its earnings reports)?" Their answer is because Apple "sets the bar so low it could fall over it." They back that up with some interesting charts that show three year's worth of Apple guidance versus actuals. The charts suggest that Apple isn't guessing and missing; rather they have a very good feel for the next quarter and simply apply a multiplier. It's a good story.

Also, on Thursday, Jason O'Grady & David Morgenstern in their blog disclosed an AT&T internal comparison between the (Sprint) Palm Pre and Apple's iPhone. [Click on the chart to see a lager version.] The comparison wasn't very complimentary, but then that's falls into the "so what did you expect department." Still, the chart is interesting to see the slant AT&T has put on things for its sales people.

Netflix continues to soar. Some observers (perhaps analysts is too flattering) have suggested that Netflix might start to suffer due to competition from Hulu and others. Just like Apple, unless one digs into the financials and studies the competitive factors, throwing out a surmise isn't very helpful.

Netflix added almost a million subscribers, bringing its total to 10.3 million, had nearly US$400M revenue for the quarter a net income of $22M, up 67 percent from a year ago. Like Apple, Netflix is in a market that is not only recession proof, but improves in a recession as people tend to stay home to watch movies rather than go to the theater -- which can get expensive for a family.

Meanwhile, Microsoft, which is more or less the General Motors of the computer industry, reported the first ever quarterly decline in sales, year over year. Microsoft's CFO Chris Liddell (Microsoft's counterpart to Apple's Peter Oppenheimer) said that "Economic pressures are broad and deep."

Thrifty Lauren would be shocked to hear that.

This week I received an e-mail from a woman reader who is a programmer. She's looking for "any sites, forums, etc., for female Mac programmers." She hasn't found any yet. If anyone out there knows of user groups, mailing lists or Websites that cater to women programmers, let me know and I'll pass it on. Or if you want to start one....

Finally, back to Tim O'Reilly. Here's a great video that explains the utility of Twitter. Amplification, communication and tips all go towards making us more productive, especially as technical professionals. He mentioned an intriguing project called the "Twitter Book." Check it out.

The mantra of Twitter isn't really "What are you doing?" It's really more like Galen from the TV series Crusade: "Who do you serve and who do you trust?"

Technology Word of the Week (TWoW):

Snack Video (n.) A short video clip, consumed like a snack, especially by people with A.D.D.