Friday, November 14, 2003

When media idiots attack...

Go have a look at this Marketwatch article. It includes an interview with Alan McGlade, CEO of MusicNet, who claims that Apple's control of the legal music download market will be unseated soon. He actually suggests that AOL, who has an announced plan to work with Apple and iTunes, is one of the contenders against iTunes (of course, he doesn't mention the part about Apple's deal with AOL, almost as if he doesn't know about it...).

I'll have more on this later. And yes, they did spell iTunes I-Tunes (media idiots, indeed).

UPDATE: And as it turns out, MusicNet is actually an iTMS competitor! What makes them think they're going to do any better than Apple?!

One count of reckless endangerment

According to this ZDNet UK article, Microsoft's (yes, that Microsoft) Chief Technology Officer, David Vaskevitch, said at a conference of IT directors and developers that he loves his Blackberry and his iPod. And, as if that's not already hilarious enough, he didn't even mention whether or not he bothers using a PocketPC, which can get email and play multimedia.

In a related story, David Vaskevitch has gone missing. Police have no leads.

Okay, so that related story is completely made up, but don't you think it's just a little dangerous to tell a whole bunch of important IT people that you'd rather use products made by companies that aren't Microsoft? Apparently Vaskevitch doesn't have to worry about Microsoft heavy-weight (and I do mean that literally) Steve Ballmer. As the CTO, he reports straight to Billy Gates.

Vaskevitch's main point was that people often want one device to do one thing (that's insane!). The Blackberry gets his email, the iPod plays his music, and he also mentioned carrying a digital camera for pictures. A PocketPC can do all of these things, but it doesn't do a single one of them well (of course, he didn't say that, but it's true). Vaskevitch went on to prove his point with a slightly strange car vs. airplane analogy. You want the car to go to work, but the plane to go to London (well yeah, but that doesn't really relate to a Blackberry... unless Microsoft is working on some kind of car-plane idea...).

The article actually ends by mentioning that many of the employees at Microsoft's HQ don't use PocketPCs, either. And yet Dell wants me to buy an Axiom just because the docking cradle lights up when I put the Axiom in it (for shame)...

By the way, let's hope Microsoft isn't developing anything that's large and moves at high speeds, let alone anything that flies. We don't need some virus sending all of our Dell Inflyacars into tailspins.

Well, the iPod does rock...

Apple's launched a new website. Its name: I'm not kidding (in fact, I'm a few hours behind in only mentioning this now).

In all defense of the name, the new site is actually aimed at teens. Most notable is the section about convincing your parents to buy you an iPod (hey, I did that when a 5 GB iPod was $400 and only held a charge for a few hours for no apparent reason). (And it didn't come with a carrying case!).

Anyway, if you've got a bit of time to kill, why not head over? There's some funny stuff in the "Convince your Parents" section (including iCards and two screensavers). Just don't tell me I didn't warn you that the site plays music when you arrive (because look, I warned you).

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

An evening link...

Well, I tried to find some fascinating insight in today's rumors, but I didn't. Instead, I found this desktop. It's themed after the iTMS pic TIME put together for their "coolest invention of the year" thing.


It's all about the G5

From Powermacs, to Xserves, to iMacs and Cubes, all the way to IBM's Blade Servers. Today's news is all about the one thing they've all got in common: the G5.

I'll go more in-depth later tonight, but here are the basic rumors.
1. First, AppleInsider is reporting that Apple and IBM are preparing to churn out new Powermac G5s in January. A 2 GHz processor may only be seen in the base model (and it'll be a single proc machine, at that), while the top end Dual Processor machine sports a pair of 2.5 GHz G5s. This would follow Apple's publicly announced plans to be at 3 GHz sometime next year.

2. The next rumor also comes from AppleInsider (from the same report, too). It seems Apple and IBM are also prepping G5s for new iMacs. The same new iMacs rumored to be announced in January and rumored to somehow be Cubes. Actually, this supports the iMac Cube theory, suggesting that Apple plans to turn the iMac slightly more prosumer, while leaving the eMac in the bottom-level consumer slot.

3. Third, Mac Rumors has posted a new Page 2 rumor claiming that Apple is planning a Music Event at Apple Stores after Thanksgiving. While this report isn't particularly reliable, Apple did have an in-store even the day after Thanksgiving last year (though it wasn't music related).

4. Lastly, Think Secret and Mac Rumors are reporting that IBM has released details on their latest Blade Linux servers. Of interest is the fact that these new machines will be equipped with PowerPC 970 processors (the "G5"). The 970s in the new servers run at 1.6 GHz (but they cram 28 of them into a 7U server space).

Like I said, it's all about the G5 today (well, except that Apple Store thing, but I wasn't really counting that anyway).

An iMac Cube

Mac Rumors has posted the translation of a Kodawarisan report on a redesigned iMac. The new look: a cube.

While Kodawarisan's accuracy is so-so, there have been plenty of reports lately suggesting an iMac redesign. But will it really be a new cube? This possibility is an interesting one. Would it be a cube with an attached screen, or would Apple end the age of the all-in-one iMac and let the eMac fill that spot in the Mac line-up?

While this is definitely an interesting rumor, without details we can only speculate from it. I expect more information will come forward in the next month or so, though. According to multiple reports, Apple is planning to announce the new iMacs at MacWorld in January.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Happy Veteran's Day.
Regular posts return tomorrow.

Monday, November 10, 2003

A new Newton?

While there's all sorts of stuff (including the iTunes Music Store being named "Invention of the Year" by Time) going on today, I've decided to focus on John Dvorak's latest Apple ramblings. He's predicting a Newton II, and he might be on to something...

In this new column, Dvorak claims that Apple's overdue for a handheld device, and that one could be on the way in January. But could this really happen? Maybe...

When Steve Jobs axed the Newton after his return, the not-so-little device was just starting to catch on. Since then Palm and PocketPCs have become the major players in a shrinking and evolving market. Now there's new room innovation from Apple. The Newton II could be a mini-tablet or a larger, more powerful PDA.

But why not just stick with Palm? First, Palm got severely battered by PocketPCs in the past year and are only just starting to catch up again. On top of that, the latest, most powerful Palms use Intel processors (not to mention iSync's so-so syncing ability with the devices).

So could the Newton come back? The answer is yes, but not the way we remember it. That said, if you've never used a Newton, you don't know what you're missing out on. The later models had good handwriting recognition and an extremely simple-but-powerful OS.

What a day!

There's all sorts of crazy stuff going on throughout Appleland today, from Time naming the iTMS "Invention of the Year", to the UK banning the Powermac G5 ad, to a (I kid you not) Newton II rumor.

I'll catch up on all of it later tonight.