Looks like the iPhone has finally been unlocked - and from the way the story looks, Apple was kind of ready for this to happen. The only surprise? That it took so long.
I'm not at all sure that I buy Jonathan Schwartz' reasoning on their stock ticker change - instead of SUNW, they are now JAVA. Hmm.
The question is, why? Sure, Java is well known, but in name terms, SUNW is a well known brand. Java is also pushed by other companies (IBM), so I'd make the case that doing this actually dilutes Sun's brand more than anything else. Then there's the monetary cost - re-branding exercises are not cheap. I was along for the PPS to PPD to OBJS ride, and we spent a lot of time telling people things like "Remember PPD? That's really us".
Here's his explanation:
So what's that awareness worth? Ask the question a different way - if we wanted to buy that exposure, to touch tens if not hundreds of millions of consumers every single day of the year, across nearly every continent, industry, geography and demographic - what would it cost us? (If you're in the industry, just do the CPM calculus - the Java launch experience is one of the most pervasively viewed exposures on earth.)
Here's the thing though - I'm sure my phone uses Java. Does it advertise that fact? Of course not - Verizon doesn't care whether they use Java or Fortran, and the only brand they want in front of me is theirs. When I launch the phone browser I see no Java "launch awareness" - what I see is Verizon. The same thing goes for every other Java app I run across, because I rarely see anything telling me that it's Java. Back in the late 90's - yeah, apps announced that fact. Now? Not so much.
I think Schwartz and his merry band of marketers need to get out more.
I probably won't get one done tomorrow, either - I have a family issue to deal with. Its possible I might have time at a hotel later tonight, but don't count on it
Update: Ok, I did get them done for Thursday and Friday after all :)
The quality referred to here is the audio quality, not my taste in music. From the IEEE:
The loudness war, what many audiophiles refer to as an assault on music (and ears), has been an open secret of the recording industry for nearly the past two decades and has garnered more attention in recent years as CDs have pushed the limits of loudness thanks to advances in digital technology. The 'war' refers to the competition among record companies to make louder and louder albums by compressing the dynamic range. But the loudness war could be doing more than simply pumping up the volume and angering aficionados -- it could be responsible for halting technological advances in sound quality for years to come... From the mid 1980s to now, the average loudness of CDs increased by a factor of 10, and the peaks of songs are now one-tenth of what they used to be.
Even non-audiophiles like me notice. Grab an older CD from the early 80's - ironically, the audio on that probably has more dynamic range than any pop music CD (or mp3 download) you grab today.
Technorati Tags: audio
I'm not sure what Nick Carr expects Google to say about their new YouTube ads:
Now, obviously, it's always been inevitable that YouTube would incorporate advertising into the videos it plays - whether or not Google acquired it. YouTube is not a public service; it's a business. What gets me, though, is not just the patronizing spin that Google is putting on the news - "as always," its announcement concludes, "we're looking to improve the experience with you in mind"
Would he be happy if the execs donned hair shirts before they spoke about this?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Smalltalk Industry Council Announces Smalltalk Solutions 2008
Save the Date and Plan to Attend
Cincinnati, OH - The Smalltalk Industry Council (STIC) is pleased to announce the dates and location for Smalltalk Solutions 2008. The conference will be held June 18-21, 2008 in Reno, Nevada. Smalltalk Solutions is the premier forum for bringing together Smalltalk users, developers, and enthusiasts as well as everybody interested and curious in the wonderful Smalltalk technology.
The conference will again include:
Coding Contest - 4th Annual
We expect to have another packed conference agenda with representatives from the STIC Board and members from the Seaside, Ruby and other Dynamic Languages presenting the latest topics of interested for the Development Community.
We'll have more information regarding call for papers, coding contest registration, sponsorship opportunities and early bird registration in the coming weeks.
Smalltalk Solutions will be held at the Grand Sierra Resort. A bold new blend of the epic outdoor adventure in Reno and a luxury hotel, Grand Sierra Resort promises to be one of the nation's most imaginitive and spectacular resorts. Over 10 restaurants on site, shopping mall, health club and spa, free airport shuttle, car rental on property, fun quest family fun center, 50 lane bowling alley, go carts and miniature golf, spectacular productions and headliner entertainment, a movie theatre and so much more on site.
Smalltalk Industry Council - STIC
2001 Sheppard Ave, Suite 509
Toronto, ON, M2J 4Z8
The Smalltalk Industry Council is a cohesive Smalltalk community where information, technical issues, new ideas and concerns are openly discussed to benefit the industry. STIC members are users and vendors of Smalltalk tools, components, databases and services.Â The Smalltalk Industry Council has been reorganized and reformed with the core board members from Cincom, Instantiations, GemStone and Georg Heeg as Executive Director.
STIC - Smalltalk Industry Council
On today's Smalltalk Daily, we take another look at class promise - but at the kind of usage that would be more common. Say you had a set of tasks (like, say, a bunch of HTTP downloads) that had to hapen before the next action could take place. Well, that's what class Promise is for. Here's the example code from today's Screencast:
"collection of urls" urls := #('http://www.yahoo.com' 'http://www.cincomsmalltalk.com' 'http://www.cincomsmalltalk.com/blog/blogView' 'http://www.podcastalley.com' 'http://www.cincom.com' 'http://www.smalltalkindustrycouncil.org' 'http://www.stic.st' 'http://www.cincomsmalltalk.com/CincomSmalltalkWiki'). "block to download each one" downloadBlock := [:url | | client response | client := HttpClient new. response := client get: url. Transcript show: 'Downloaded: ', url; cr]. "with Promise" downloads := urls collect: [:each | [downloadBlock value: each] promise]. downloads do: [:each | each value]. "without Promise" downloads := urls collect: [:each | | sem | sem := Semaphore new. [downloadBlock value: each. sem signal] fork. sem]. downloads do: [:each | each wait].
Technorati Tags: smalltalk
Engadget reports that the 800 pound gorilla of retail has gotten into the DRM-free game:
The DRM dominos continue to fall with Wal-mart joining the DRM-free for all. Their new MP3 catalog (no AAC limitations here, folks) includes "thousands of albums and songs" from both EMI and Universal Music Group (presumably, as a trial) at $0.94 per track or $9.22 per album. So what's the matter Sony BMG and Warner Music, don't you like parties?
Things are starting to look good on this front - now if the RIAA can get positively smacked over their obnoxious lawsuit tactics...
ArcterJournal notes that the wonderful world of "get your free gift here" spam has hit Facebook. I got tired of Twitter after the umpteenth "friend" request from pr0n (etc) bots; now it looks like Facebook is allowing the same kind of crap. The cycle from utility to world O' crap is getting shorter all the time...
Scoble compares PodTech to kyte.tv, and ends up explaining why PodTech is better:
PodTech is, by far. Why? Because Rocky (my editor) brings my video into Final Cut Pro in near HD quality levels, edits it there, and then exports it to MPG4. This process takes a LOT longer than Kyte, but results in MUCH higher quality that you can see if you watch both videos. Oh, if you want to watch my ScobleShow videos in the best quality possible, you’ll want to download them. Look for the little “Download this” video. The “Video” file (here’s the one for Elliot Soloway’s interview) is much better quality than the one that plays in the player that’s embedded
That explanation sounds an awful lot like a newspaper guy explaining why his pages are better than the product of bloggers - the "layers of editors" argument (which I showed so much respect for yesterday). The funny thing is that "new media" distribution is getting disintermediated this fast - PodTech is still in the early funding phase of its life, and the people there are already having to deal with the problem.
This little kerfuffle explains everything that's wrong with the practice of "professional" journalism. Here's Michael Skube, making a point about blogs:
Yet here are people, whole brigades of them, happy to write for free. And not just write. Many of the most active bloggers -- Andrew Sullivan, Matthew Yglesias, Joshua Micah Marshall and the contributors to the Huffington Post -- are insistent partisans in political debate. Some reject the label "journalist," associating it with what they contemptuously call MSM (mainstream media); just as many, if not more, consider themselves a new kind of "citizen journalist" dedicated to broader democratization.
So I'm reading TPM today, and I run across this:
So against my better judgment, I sent Skube an email telling him that I found it hard to believe he was very familiar with TPM if he was including us as examples in a column about the dearth of original reporting in the blogosphere.
The amazing thing is the eventual answer from Skube, after a few exchanges between the two:
Not long after I wrote I got a reply: "I didn't put your name into the piece and haven't spent any time on your site. So to that extent I'm happy to give you benefit of the doubt ..."
"I said I did not refer to you in the original. Your name was inserted late by an editor who perhaps thought I needed to cite more examples ... "
I guess that's one of those examples of "layers of editors" helping to make the reporting accurate, huh? Never mind the field: science, politics, health, whatever - this is what passes for professionalism, and it's why I don't trust most reporting. At least with bloggers, the allegiances are right there on their sleeves, where we can see them.
Technorati Tags: reporting
I'm at a cocktail party, but I've been drinking water because I'm being taped in every conversation I have. One guy is even live-broadcasting it to god knows who. I feel like a presidential candidate. What if I say something which, taken out of context, sounds like I have a belief that's politically incorrect. Think that's crazy? In 2003 if you said the war in Iraq wasn't patriotic, and that Bush wasn't a visionary, people in some contexts, people looked at you like you're strange. I don't have to imagine living in a totalitarian state, we've been there, maybe we're still there. But I really would like to be at a party with friends and have a chance to relax and enjoy myself without having to worry whether what I say there makes sense when viewed in a completely different context by people who weren't there.
Wow, so now getting funny looks for opinions is enough to proclaim a tyranny? Wow - all of us Smalltalkers have been living under a totalitarian programming regime for 20 years now - who knew? It's great that Winer was able to explain that to me - it all makes sense now.
Smalltalk Solutions 2008 has been announced by Georg Heeg, director of STIC
I am proud to announce that Smalltalk Solutions 2008 will be held from Wednesday June 18th to Saturday June 21st, 2008 in the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino, 2500 East Second Street, Reno, NV 89595. The conditions look excellent: The room rate is 79 $.
I can speak to the readiness of the website; it should be up as soon as I can FTP the bits to the new server, and the appropriate Apache redirects have been set up. Stay tuned!
Technorati Tags: smalltalk
Sometimes in an application, you have an expensive calculation to do, and you would like it to run in the background. However, it's often much nicer to just be able to write a simple method and return a value:
myExpensiveMethod | expensiveAnswer | expensiveAnswer := self doExpensiveThing here. ^expensiveAnswer.
Well, you need a background process, but then it needs to pause the one in the foreground, right? And you need to run this in the background so that it doesn't consume all available CPU (especially important in server apps). That's the topic of today's Smalltalk Daily - using class Promise.
There's an interesting PR angle to the Beauchamp/TNR thing - and no, I'm not going into the war in Iraq, or the politics surrounding it :) For those unfamiliar with the story, start with this Google search - the piece that got my attention from a PR perspective is this one, from PajamasMedia. The short summary: a story has blown up in the faces of TNR, and - at least thus far - they haven't been willing to come forward and admit to being taken. For a magazine that was taken for a ride by Stephen Glass, this is not a good thing:
Perhaps a cone of silence has descended. A longtime New Republic editor told me that she was not sure that she was allowed to discuss the Beauchamp affair, citing the magazine’s lawyers.
If the magazine had provided a full and immediate accounting of the incident, the story might look very different, full of mitigating factors and useful distinctions. It is a pity that the editors did not provide it.
And there's the problem - "citing the magazine's lawyers". This is standard PR failure #1 in the new world of media. When you have sharks circling you, the worst thing you can do is clam up and cite "lawyers" as a reason to stay silent. Lawyers make for lousy PR; the public doesn't trust the legal profession much, and doing this just makes things worse - a lot worse.
In this kind of case, it's best to be completely open about what your position is, early and often. More transparency is the only thing that can save your bacon when a media/blog buzz-storm blows your way. Sadly for TNR, they chose the old "batten down the hatches; it will blow over" approach. I don't think it's working out for them, and I suspect that both Glenn Reynolds and David Meerman Scott could have explained why it isn't working, if TNR's editors had read either of their recent books.
Well, there was a daily "Pep Rally" at Disney Hollywood Studios, and my daughter and her friends are positively obsessed. Here's a NY Times story that shows that it could be the biggest basic cable event ever.
Dvorak makes a lot of sense in this post about "old" media: they aren't doing what they need to do given the onslaught from the web. Just as movie theaters have been going with bigger screens and better sound systems (and now, more IMAX) in order to pull us from the home theater, print needs to offer something that the web can't, or can't as well. Here's how, according to Dvorak:
People in the variously attacked media must understand why their medium is special. Then they have to optimize for that specialness. For example, newspapers allow people to scan vast amounts of information quickly and efficiently. No online mechanism can do this, but newspapers often choose to simplify content delivery, copying the way other mechanisms work. Thus, newspapers are trying to be more Internet-like. Have you ever seen newspapers from the 1950s? They were packed with stories and not filled with features and fluff. Newspapers were practically all news items that readers could scan visually.
That's part of it, but the type of content matters, too. print simply can't do breaking news anymore, and they need to internalize that message. What they can do is get more analytical, and offer longer pieces. I'm far more willing to read a long piece in print than I am to read the same thing online - I'm not even sure why that is, but once a web piece reaches a certain size, I either skip it or print it.
Print needs to adapt to this changing reality, and pronto. A lot of print outlets are probably going to sink as they refuse to deal with it.
|I wouldn't call it light summer reading, but I read a great book while I was away: "The First Total War", by David A. Bell. It's a survey of the intellectual changes in perception wrought by the French Revolution - in particular, the changes in view it brought to thinking about war.|
Bell's premise is that Europeans (and the book is limited to that region) had been moving away from total war after the wars of religion. While warfare was nearly constant throughout the 18th century, it tended to be limited in both size and scope. The French Revolution changed that - it brought back the "all against all" sort of war that had been fought earlier, but with larger armies and more modern weapons.
Additionally, Bell posits that the eliminationist rhetoric used by the revolution (and eventually by its enemies) has passed down through time (obviously during the 20th century wars, and through to today). It's a thought provoking read, and while I have a few nits with some of his conclusions, I can highly recommend the book. If you want a better view of where modern thinking on war originated, you can't go wrong with this book.
Technorati Tags: history
I had a very relaxing time while I was in Florida - played a few rounds of golf over the last few days, and managed to figure out my long game - I was driving the ball 260 yards off the tee on many holes, which is a real achievement for my game. I'm back home now, but I have two photos my daughter took with my phone after our last game - these are of the sunset, over the club house:
She's really a much better photographer than I am :)
This is just weird. I brought my iPod on vacation with me, and I used it while jogging in Orlando. We went from there to my parent's house in Melbourne Beach, which is right on the Atlantic coast. The iPod crashed after a couple of minutes outside. It worked fine in the house, worked fine in the car - but would not stay on outside. While I was down there, I was wondering if it was the humidity, but heck - it was humid in Orlando, too.
Salt ar, maybe? That makes no sense to me, but I'm no mechanical whiz either. If it works fine here at home (likely test: tomorrow, as it's raining today), then I'll have to chalk it up to high humidity and salty air. Very weird. It's an older iPod mini (i.e., with a hard drive) if that rings any bells.
Technorati Tags: iPod
This is fascinating - Walter Reed is using the Wii in physical therapy sessions with injured veterans. Unsuprisingly, the patients find the games more enjoyable than the repetitive motion exercises more commonly used:
"Wii games like tennis or boxing can help increase range of motion, and patients enjoy them much more than doing ten repetitions of an exercise," says Lieutenant Colonel Stephanie Daugherty, chief of occupational therapy at Walter Reed. "We also have an Xbox for finger range of motion, and Dance Dance Revolution, which helps with balance and sequencing."
Console games: they're not just for parties anymore.
It's posts like this one from Jim Louderback (who just stepped down as editor in chief of PC-Magazine) that explain why I use XP in Parallels rather than Vista. He goes through a litany of issues with networking and sleep/hibernation modes, and sums up thusly:
I could go on and on about the lack of drivers, the bizarre wake-up rituals, the strange and nonreproducible system quirks, and more. But I won't bore you with the details. The upshot is that even after nine months, Vista just ain't cutting it. I definitely gave Microsoft too much of a free pass on this operating system: I expected it to get the kinks worked out more quickly. Boy, was I fooled! If Microsoft can't get Vista working, I might just do the unthinkable: I might move to Linux.
To which I'd say - nah, buy a Mac, put XP under Parallels, and be happy :)
Update: Phillip Greenspun adds more Vista woes to the list.
I don't really like class actiona lawsuits, but since nothing else seems to get the attention of the RIAA, maybe this one will do some good. From the Consumerist:
Remember Tanya Anderson? After the RIAA's case against the 42 year-old single mother for downloading gangsta rap was dismissed with prejudice, Tanya turned around and sued the RIAA for fraud, racketeering, and malicious prosecution. Now, her lawyers have filed papers in federal court asking to grant her suit class action status.
What I'd like to know is, why does the RIAA think that preying on their customers is a good business practice?
I swear, do outages time themselves for when I'm out of pocket? First, there was a power outage at home that was just long enough to blow through my UPS - which stopped the DVRs from recording things while I was away. When did that happen? On my way out of town.
Next? The blog server had some kind of problem while I was in the air (on the way back home) today - it's back online now. Sigh.
Time to look at the logs again - BottomFeeder downloads went at a rate of 147/day last week. The details:
So on to the HTML page accesses:
|Tool||Percentage of Accesses|
And finally, the syndication breakdown:
|Tool||Percentage of Accesses|
|Google Feed Fetcher||5.9%|
|Net News Wire||5.5%|
Here's part three of our three part series on version control tools and Smalltalk - we wrapped up the conversation with some recommendations for future directions. This was a fun conversation - it actually all took place back on August 5th - it was just long enough that we split it out. If you haven't listened to the previous tow episodes, you can get part 1 here, and part 2 here.
As usual, if you have feedback, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org - if you have a rant about anything we've said, send it as an mp3 attachment (zipped - Cincom's mail filters may block it otherwise!) and we'll play it on the air.
David Meerman Scott has written something similar to what Doc Searls has been saying for a long time now - marketing is about personal communications, and the "mass media" model is a recent thing. What the web is doing now is returning the old style to prominence:
Instead of making everything "new," the Web has brought communications back full circle to where we were 60 years ago. On the Web you can finally communicate again in the way that people respond to. What people respond to, and the way they make purchase decisions, really hasn’t changed at all.
I wonder whether the skype team has heard of the "rollback" concept. You know - you roll out new code, it doesn't work - so you roll back to the old version? As of this morning, I'm still not connected to skype (nor are any of the people I normally talk to via skype). There's a client update available, but it doesn't help. This long an outage is a really, really bad thing for them - I'm going to have to start looking for alternatives for the podcast at this rate.
Update: Well - skype finally signed in at 9:40 AM. I only see 2 people online, and I know one of them did the update - so I presume that the client update is mandatory.
Update: Well, that was short-lived. As of 9:50 AM, it's back to "connecting". Looks like skype's troubles are far from over.