Particle Debris (wk. ending 10/29) Sheep on Fire

| Particle Debris

I ran across this small item at Network World. It’s an image of Steve Jobs’s business card from 1979. It looks plain enough but Yoni Heisler pulls out out some interesting details with his closer inspection. Also shown is a stainless steel business card from Steve Wozniak, circa 2006.

Steve Jobs has talked about Android fragmentation. He may have been reading this story that highlights the analysis of Tsahi Levent-Levi. There are interesting market forces in the Android ecosystem. For reference, it also includes the history of the Android releases and their code names.

LHC Collision

LHC collision small by comparison to Android frags?

I have contacted Oracle to see if they have anything public to say about Java on the Mac. I haven’t heard back, but as part of my research, I found this puff piece about “What’s Next for Java at Oracle.” It’s a month old, but it does supply somes names as possible resources to investigate more. I’ll keep you informed.

Our own Jeff Gamet at TMO did some field research (all legal) and wrote up a story about Firesheep, the Firefox plug-in that allows you to steal the identity of others on a public Wi-Fi network. But a reader pointed me to this excellent, slightly more detailed story by Dwight Silverman. Conclusion? Peter Shankman says it’s time to say good-bye to free Wi-Fi.

I suppose any news regarding the new MacBook Air can hardly be news debris. The MBA is all over the headlines. But I did want to point to this particular review of the 11-inch version because 1) It’s by Leander Kahney, 2) it’s chock full of photos, and 3) it’s the most gleeful review I’ve seen. You’ll like it.

MBA 11-inch

MBA 11-inch (Leander Kahney)

Just how big is the Internet? Bigger than you can possibly imagine, Princess Leia says. For those who can’t imagine an awful lot, here’s one way to put it into perspective. There are 5 million terabytes of data on the Internet. For all the rest of the astounding numbers, see the infographic: “The Awesome Size of the Internet.

Is Eric Schmidt getting just too creepy? One of Mr. Schmidt’s competitors, Mr. Jobs, is known to make amazing claims, but Mr. Jobs is ever the man with taste and smart marketing, even if it’s a bit of RDF. Mr. Schmidt, on the other hand, has recently made some comments that have people wondering about him. Read John Paczkowski’s article at All Things Digital: “Schmidt: Don’t Like Google Street View Photographing Your House? Then Move.” Mr. Schmidt has since recanted, and Mr. Paczkowski posted appropriate updates, but it’s not the first time Mr. Schmidt as made a suggestion like this. Previously, he suggested that if teenagers are unhappy with their questionable behavior on social networks, upon reaching adulthood they should be entitled to change their name. Creepy might be the right word after all.

Some observers aren’t very fond of Windows Phone 7, but others do like it, including Lance Ulanoff at PC Magazine. However, what just about no one likes are the new Microsoft ads. How can this company keep getting its advertising so very wrong? Mr. Ulanoff explains how these ads are sending the wrong message. Here’s a link to the YouTube video itself.

MS Win Phone 7 ad

Microsoft ad for Windows Phone 7 (YouTube)

I wanted to finish with a small note about a recent Apple purchase.  For the first time ever, I purchased an iPod that was defective.  The iPod Shuffle 4G wouldn’t announce the battery level with two quick pushes of the button. No combination of pace or pressure worked. Events kept me from returning it right away, so with a call to Apple customer service and a reinstall of the software, we determined it was, in fact, defective. I took my case number and the defective iPod back the Apple store at Park Meadows Mall near Denver and they replaced it immediately under warranty.  The exchange was quick and painless. I even got a more preferred color the second time around.

Consumer electronics have a certain out-of-the box failure rate, but my experience with iPods is that the number is very, very low.  Not only is this my first iPod that has failed out of the box, but it’s the first Apple product, ever, that hasn’t been joyfully perfect. And when it wasn’t, Apple fixed it fast.  I know that not every Apple customer has had that string of luck. I guess the stuff I buy shapes up in the box on the way home, knowing that if it’s not perfect, I’ll write it up.

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Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

The Levent-Levi might as well argue against the Anglosphere because people from England have a different accent from people in Australia and often need a translator from California.


I do agree about the WinPhone7 ads. They are dreadful.
I took a slightly different tack on it though. They show people doing stupid, annoying, and dangerous stuff with their phones and finishes with he WinPhone7 logo. I take it to mean that WinPhone7 causes that kind of behaviour.

iPhone ads on the other hand focus on fun.


With respect to the Windows 7 phone ads, why doesn’t the “Really” ad show any teenagers? I guess Microsoft doesn’t want to go after the youth market! I loved the second to last line of the Lance Ulanoff article you referenced: “That’s you Dad.”

I love their “Season of the Witch” ad. Great music and a great visual. Of course it doesn’t tell me diddly do-da about their products, but the ad is funny-cool.

I watch sports, for the sports, but also because they have the best ads.


I thought the Windows 7 phone ads were a pretty amusing (if exaggerated) look at the phone addiction that so many people seem to have. The only problem is that the natural assumption implied from the ads is that the Windows 7 phone won’t be as compelling to use as other phones on the market. Or at the very least, you won’t be using it as much.

I know that isn’t what they were going for, but that was my initial response after seeing them.


Great message on public Wi-Fi networks, and clearly an area for beefed up security and best practices.

Not sure if ‘creepy’ is the word I would choose for Schmidt, rather than ‘blinded’ by company self-interest. Being so out of tune with growing public concern cannot be good for Google in the long run.

Interesting Windows Phone 7 add. Loved the music. The filming and scenes were clever, even funny. But as is so often the case of late, there was neither plot nor discernible message.

The ad left me wondering what the they were trying to say or accomplish - a negative outcome for an advert.

My take on this was that the production team and reviewers for this were people reared on plotless blockbuster movies, big on effects and ‘moments’ but often lacking in a story, plot or even a point. This may be an emerging cultural deficit rather than a Microsoft-specific one, but I concur with Ulanoff’s point that this does not help the company.


If an ad is funny, and the viewers will remember what product it was for, that’s probably enough.

The sales pitch at the end is strained, though. It would’ve been more effective if it looked like all the phone-absorbed people were so absorbed because of a failing of their phones (e.g., it took too long to do something they had to do) rather than a failing of their personalities. But it would be hard to do that and maintain the concept of the ad, which was funny. They probably should’ve taken a different angle for their pitch.

As for Facebook, if you want to access it on open wifi without exposing yourself so much, try the HTTPS Everywhere plugin for Firefox. Facebook actually supports HTTPS (i.e., encrypted transfer) for everything except chat. Unfortunately many links on the site point you to unencrypted HTTP links, so it’s hard to take advantage of that. HTTPS Everywhere fixes that problem for Facebook, Google and a handful of other sites (yes, “everywhere” is a misnomer, as it only works with a select few sites).

Since all HTTP headers, including cookies, are encrypted with HTTPS, this should be secure even on an open network. Unless there’s a good known way to break SSL encryption, but AFAIK there isn’t.

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