Tag Archives: apple

Trendpedia launches Blog Search

TrendPedia Blog Search

Simon from Attentio pinged me yesterday to let me know about their latest offering, Trendpedia. In Simon’s own words Trendpedia:

is in essence a European Blog search with a lovely trend function.

We have some more cool stuff to come, will keep you in the loop.

In the example above I looked for mentions of my name along with the terms Apple, Microsoft and Energy. I was surprised by the high showing of Microsoft vs. Apple and interested to note the upward trend of the term Energy since I started my LowerFootprint.com blog.

I can see lots of ways this can be improved (can anyone say widget?) but for a simple first off offering, I like what it does. Well done guys.

Get off your high horse Ed!

There was a big bruhaha on the intertubes over the weekend when Apple ran its software update on Windows and offered the Safari 3.1 browser download as the default selected option.

Now I am not for a second condoning this kind of behaviour. I believe opt-in is the only way to do optional updates, especially when you are adding applications to a users machine.

However, I had to laugh when I saw Ed Bott get all up on his high horse about this. Ed is a Microsoft guy so it was all the more hilarious that he try to grab the moral highground here. In his post he said:

I think Apple is dead wrong in the way it’s gone about using its iPod monopoly to expand its share in another market. Ironically, an excellent model for how this update program should work already exists. It’s called Windows Update, and it embodies all the principles that Apple should follow… The right way to do it involves these four principles

* Opt-in is the only way. The update process should be completely opt-in. The option to deliver software should never be preselected for the user.
* Offer full disclosure. The software company has a responsibility to fully disclose what its software does, and the customer should make the opt-in decision only after being given complete details about how the update process works.
* Offer updates only. Updates should be just that. They should apply only to software that the customer has already chosen to install.
* Don’t mix updates. Updates that are not critical should be delivered through a separate mechanism.

They are good principles, I have no argument with them however Ed offers these principles up as if Microsoft lived by them! Ed, you are dreaming. Microsoft are just as guilty of breaching these principles as Apple. I don’t use Microsoft software much but the last time I tried to update Windows Live Writer my default search engine was changed to Live Search, and I had to opt out or I would have had Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Photo Gallery and Windows Live OneCare installed on my laptop.

Pot kettle black Ed.

Microsoft Wireless Laser Keyboard 6000 not very wireless!

I bought a Microsoft Wireless Laser Keyboard 6000 V2.0 a few weeks back because I needed an ergonomic keyboard (was suffering from an RSI) and went wireless to avoid cable clutter.

However, I have had lots of issues with the reception on the wireless devices. They report poor signal quality when 2-3 centimeters apart!

Low signal quality?

How hard can it be to get a keyboard and mouse working wirelessly? Apple have been doing this properly for ages. Of course Apple use Bluetooth instead of some bloody proprietary wired dongle which doesn’t work, takes up a USB port and adds a large cable to your desktop!

If only Apple did an ergonomic keyboard…

I was bemused then to note today that Microsoft are bringing out the Wireless Laser Keyboard 7000. It has a glass border around the keyboard to maintain the Vista Aero branding.

I only hope they remember to get the wireless part functioning this time!

OS X Leopard hacked to run on PCs

With Apple’s move to Intel chips for its Macs, the last significant difference in the hardware architecture between Macs and PCs disappeared. This meant that Apple’s much vaunted OS X operating system is designed to work on PC hardware.

Leopard, Apple’s latest version of OS X was released on Friday 26th last and in just over 24 hours, a hack to allow Leopard to be installed on PCs has been published.

The installation is not trivial but the instructions are very easy to follow and it certainly looks do-able.

No doubt Apple will quickly release an update (10.5.1) which will address this but in the meantime, all you non-Mac users, enjoy a secure, reliable, easy to use OS on your choice of Intel-based hardware.

Microsoft needs a new strategy for its Windows platform

I have Vista installed on this laptop. I haven’t booted up Vista in weeks. Why? Because I installed Ubuntu on another partition and it is so much faster, and more secure (since Microsoft instructed me to remove Norton and then failed to get OneCare to work on this laptop).

Many others are eschewing Vista, not just because of the speed and stability issues it has but also because of the steep learning curve on moving from XP to Vista.

On the other hand Apple’s star seems to be in the ascendancy. In their financial statement released yesterday, for the quarter ended September 29th, they report:

Apple shipped 2,164,000 Macintosh® computers, representing 34 percent growth over the year-ago quarter and exceeding the previous quarterly record for Mac® shipments by 400,000. The Company sold 10,200,000 iPods during the quarter, representing 17 percent growth over the year-ago quarter. Quarterly iPhone™ sales were 1,119,000, bringing cumulative fiscal 2007 sales to 1,389,000.

“We are very pleased to have generated over $24 billion in revenue and $3.5 billion in net income in fiscal 2007,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We’re looking forward to a strong December quarter as we enter the holiday season with Apple’s best products ever.”

“Apple ended the fiscal year with $15.4 billion in cash and no debt,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO.

Why are Apple’s Mac sales doing so well and Vista so poorly?

At least part of the answer has to be in Apple’s strategy of releasing new versions every 12-18 months. Steve Jobs referred to this strategy in a piece in the New York Times yesterday when he said:

“I’m quite pleased with the pace of new operating systems every 12 to 18 months for the foreseeable future,” he said. “We’ve put out major releases on the average of one a year, and it’s given us the ability to polish and polish and improve and improve.”

Apple introduced OS X in 2001 and since then has brought out four newer versions (Puma, Jaguar, Panther, and Tiger) with a fifth version (Leopard – OS X 10.5) due to ship this coming Friday.

Ubuntu releases new versions on a pre-defined six monthly schedule.

Xp was also released in 2001 but the next version of Windows, Vista, didn’t ship until January 2007.

The gently, gently upgrade strategy appears to be working for Apple and Ubuntu as their uptake soars.

Microsoft needs a new strategy for its Windows platform. Its current strategy certainly isn’t working.

Is Mac OS X Leopard's Mail App Junk?

Om Malik is taking a poll on his site today about the new features in OS X Leopard. He is asking readers to say which of the new features will compel them to move to Leopard.

Om’s own choice is Apple’s Mail app.

Personally I used Mail for years and loved it but I had to drop it eventually in favor of Thunderbird because its junk mail filters are useless. I kept clicking on the Junk button to try to train it to learn what was junk from what wasn’t but Thunderbird was orders of magnitude better at stopping spam so I had to move away from it.

Reading that there is a new version of Mail in Leopard I quickly checked out its new features but I was disappointed to see no mention of improved junk mail filtering.

I don’t see any compelling reason for me to upgrade then :-(

Do you?

iPhone EU launch limited to 3 countries

I spotted an article in the Financial Times last night which said Apple has succeeded in persuading 3 mobile operators to sell the iPhone in Europe using the same revenue share as AT&T in the US.

The three mobile operators mentioned are T-Mobile of Germany, Orange of France and O2 in the UK. According to the article:

The operators are set officially to announce the partnerships at the IFA trade fair in Berlin at the end of August

The article goes on to say that

[Apple] will continue the roll-out elsewhere in Europe next year, when it will also launch in Asia

Damn! I realise it is unlikely but is there any chance the UK O2 launch will include Ireland?

You wait for ages then along come three!

iPhone

I have read a lot about how great the iPhone is but I hadn’t seen any until last Friday; and then I saw three!

I was at a lunch in Cork with Britt Blaser and Sean O’Mahoney (amongst others). Both had iPhones.

I had a chance to try the phone out for myself and see just why people rave about it. It is spectacular.

Later that day I met Patrick Collison. Patrick also had an iPhone.

He was meeting Damien and myself. During the meeting he had to leave us briefly to collect someone. He left his iPhone for us to play with. It really is an incredible phone (although Patrick, after about 25 minutes the sound deteriorates on calls to the speaking clock in Hong Kong ;-) ).

There is no question but that Apple have re-defined the mobile phone.

More rumours of O2 iPhone deal

Forbes Madrid are reporting this morning that O2′s parent company, Telefonica have signed an exclusive deal with Apple for iPhone distribution rights in the UK.

This is the second time this rumour has emerged in the last two weeks. Both times from very credible sources.

It makes sense. Vodafone don’t need Apple (and the sales boost iPhone exclusivity would give them) as much as O2 does. This deal obviously doesn’t stop Apple signing deals with Vodafone in other European countries.

I’ll be interested to see who gets distributorship in Ireland!

O2 to sell the iPhone?

Several credible sources are today reporting that O2 have signed a contract with Apple to distribute the iPhone in Europe. I hope that includes O2 Ireland too!

Vodafone would have seemed a more likely distributor seeing as they have a network in more European countries than O2. O2 must have made it far more attractive for Apple to say that they were chosen over Vodafone. It will be interesting now to watch who Apple partners with in the countries where O2 have no presence.

The iPhone debuted in the US last week and in its first three days is reputed to have sold over 1m units – a runaway success by any measure!

This incredible success is a measure of Apple’s successful marketing machine, but it is also indicative of pent-up dissatisfaction with the current array of phones on offer. The iPhone’s user experience is so much better than anything else currently on the market, that the Symbian group and Microsoft will really have to get the thumb out to come up with a competitive offering.

I just hope that when it comes to Europe it will have 3G (the US model doesn’t have 3G, relying instead on EDGE and wifi) and a better camera.