Particle Debris (wk. ending 6/10) Change Artistry

| Particle Debris

Apple uses the precious time it has during the keynote to focus on dramatic change. But with all that drama, we shouldn’t draw the conclusion that some fundamentals of our computing life will be irrevocably altered or eliminated. So after the keynote dust settles, we try to make sens of it all, and here’s one of those articles by Ryan Faas: “Apple’s iCloud and iOS 5: New challenges for the enterprise.

Here’s a punchy essay that summarizes the Apple cloud strategy and why Monday wasn’t a great day for Amazon, Google and the recording industry.

Do you have an iPhone 3GS? Are you worried about whether it’ll run iOS 5 acceptably fast? Here are some notes from 9to5Mac that will put your mind at ease. “iOS 5 on iPhone 3GS: What’s missing?

The iCloud is Apple’s fourth go around in the sky. First was iTools. Then .Mac. Then MobileMe. (We won’t count eWorld.) And it looks like the MobileMe team was blown up by Mr. Jobs. Here’s a summary of the evolution and the challenges Apple faces in the cloud. “Fourth time’s a charm? Why Apple has trouble with cloud computing.

Mobius Cloud

Along that line, here’s an article that explains the philosophical diferences between the Apple and Google clouds - by Jason Hiner.

Apple has done something very cool with iMessage. We don’t know all the politics yet, but for now, “Apple Has Finally Stuck A Dagger Into SMS. I Love It.” by MG Siegler is a fascinating exploration of this new iOS 5 only service.

It looks like AT&T has been over charging its customers for the data service by adding taxes that shouldn’t have been charged. Now AT&T has to figure out how to get back nearly a billion dollars from state and federal government. “AT&T has to track down $1 billion in data tax case.” I wonder how that will work out? Don’t look for any refunds Real Soon Now.

This week, I deleted Adobe’s Flash from two of my Macs, including this iMac that I do my TMO work on. I just got tired of all the scary security updates from Adobe. Here’s a cool plugin that Jeff Gamet introduced me to. As I understand it, if a YouTube video is available in HTML5, this plugin will request it in place of the Flash video.

Without Flash, I can’t listen to Richard Dreyfuss do a dramatic reading of the iTunes EULA. I suspect it’s quirky, geek fun, knowing what a great voice Mr. Dreyfuss has. I’ll point you to it anyway and try to get time to listen on my MacBook Pro.

Is the new Apple mothership HQ design derived from the UK’s version of our NSA? They look eerily alike. But it’s not surprising, after all. Both are high security establishments. Here’s the story: “Did a British Spy Agency Building Inspire Apple’s New Headquarters?

Once upon a time, maybe ten years ago, I wrote an article about the four computer languages every serious programmer must know. I believe they were: Perl, Java, C and C++. Today, I’d have to alter that list, maybe, but even so, even recently, Javascript would not have been high on the list of serious, must-know, professional languages. That appears to have changed while no one was looking: “JavaScript spread to the edges and became permanent in the process.

Finally, while we’ve covered it here at TMO, I ran across another nice article that summarizes how Apple’s new in-app subscription rules will affect publishers. So, if you’re not up to speed, here’s a good recap. “What Apple’s latest rules change means for Kindle, Nook, and Kobo e-reader apps.

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Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

This week, I deleted Adobe?s Flash from two of my Macs, including this iMac that I do my TMO work on. I just got tired of all the scary security updates from Adobe.

If you find yourself needing Flash or curious about what you’re missing on the web, keep Chrome around. Flash is baked in, sandboxed, and always up to date.

Lee Dronick

“Is the new Apple mothership HQ design derived from the UK?s version of our NSA? They look eerily alike. But it?s not surprising, after all. Both are high security establishments. Here?s the story: ?Did a British Spy Agency Building Inspire Apple?s New Headquarters??

I don’t know if was a factor in the design of these buildings or not, but a spy can aim a microwave beam at a window and use the reflected beam to pick up conversations on the other side of the window. What i am thinking is that for a narrow “window” the curved glass would deflect the microwave beam. Jokes about the security of Windows aside, it was at least at one time a real threat and a concern when I was on Admiral Kihune’s staff. Maybe the reflected microwave technique don’t work on modern insulated windows, I don’t know as I have been out of the security loop for 20 years.

Now there is another possibility. The curved glass that would deflect microwaves would also deflect sunlight, this would save on A/C costs. Don’t forget that Al Gore is still on Apple’s Board of Directors; politics aside he seems to know from energy conservation and other green subjects. To that end see this article on a green circular building



Having now read Andrew Gold and Jason Hiner’s pieces, and many of the posts, including yours, on TMO following the Apple keynote, and now having watched the keynote, I am left with a sense of bemusement and wonder. The wonder has to do with what Apple unveiled regarding OS X, iOS 5 and the iCloud; the bemusement has to do with the those who argue that there is not much new here. I commented on Ted’s post-keynote piece that BBC World Service ran coverage on the keynote that basically dismissed the iCloud as me-too catch up to Amazon and Google. Clearly, their tech staff haven’t been paying attention to each company’s offered services.

In unarmed fighting, a rapid succession of kicks and punches may look like just that, a series of random blows. To the trained eye, there is structure, strategy and masterful skill - indeed the ‘artistry’ in the martial art. Apple’s keynote landed, in my view, a masterful combination that may have ended this round, if not the fight, for digital management.

I saw three moves in Apple’s keynote that made a formidable combination: integration, harmonisation and cost containment; and all of it around the core service of data management.

Integration: Apple, at least in principle, plan to integrate all your data across all of its devices. The user need not worry about syncing; this will be done by the cloud. This is a fundamentally different objective from that of any other cloud-based service on offer. The impact of this on personal organisation and productivity will be huge.

Harmonisation: Apple will harmonise how we interface with the hardware across devices and applications, aiming for greater consistency in user experience across both the Mac and iOS platforms. Given that the majority of Apple clients are iOS users, porting many of the hand gestures to the Mac OS is strategically sound, and will facilitate migration from other OS platforms.  This is more than aesthetics; it is augmented productivity and an invitation to switch platforms. (I just dealt professionally with this this past weekend, where someone whom I had encouraged to get an iPad now wants me to take him to look at Macs - he’s ditching the Dell).

Cost: Apple are aggressively pricing these features and services in the thin air where few, if any, of its competitors can follow. Offering OSX as an upgrade at $29.99 with carryover to your registered Macs; nine (9) free iCloud packages, and modestly priced music services in a league of its own.

Going back to the martial arts analogy, these three moves are a devastating combination. The integration and harmonisation combo are like blows to the solar plexus and neck, compromising ventilation (breathing) and circulation (specifically to the brain); the move on cost is a serious head shot, intended to shut down the central nervous system and send the competition to the floor.

Google can only hope that Timothy Lee is correct; that Apple are poor at cloud computing, and that this is a core institutional deficit likely to endure. If so, Google may be able to regroup and come back at Apple with something lethal in their own arsenal. If not, and if Apple have it right, then the competition may wake up to find that they’ve been taken out of the game - at least this one.

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