Category Archives: Apple

Apple and Greenpeace butt heads again

In this article on Appleinsider, Apple calls into question Greenpeace’s analysis of their new data centers.

In the forum there’s a hilarious comment that I wanted to share, hill60 says,

I got the inside scoop from Mike Daisey, Apple built a secret tunnel from the Foxconn factories of China to North Carolina, they use the twelve year old workers they are hiding from labour inspectors to mine coal and use it in their secret underground power plant, the children are fed on whale meat by products from Apple’s whaling fleet, the whale oil is used to lubricate MacBook keyboards, not only that the rare Brazilian rainforest trees being cut down for Foxconns plants in Brazil are being used as props in the mineshafts where the twelve year olds work 27 hours a day, 9 days a week.

Opera Mini for iPhone

I’m typing this from the new Opera Mini browser for the iPhone that was just released today. It definitely is fast. It gets that speed by doing the rendering on a outside server and then sending a compressed picture with an image map of some sort to allow you to still click on things. For simply viewing the news, it works great. I also really like the tab implementation. But, it will not come close to replacing Safari quite yet for a few reasons. For starters, the autocorrect for textboxes like this is not working. It also defaults to the mobile versions of some webpages, and I can’t figure out how to stop that. For websites that do load the full version, Opera Mini displays a scaled back version that allows you to see in general what the site’s layout is but is too blurry or zoomed out to actually read any of the text in that mode. The  pinch-to-zoom feature is also broken. There is no granulation in the zoom. Also, the formatting for some sites is broken.

However, this is the very first version and some of these complaints can be fixed. It would be great if you were stuck with EDGE, but it just isn’t astheticallly pleasing enough to replace Safari.

Update: The above post was typed in Opera Mini but then it got deleted when I clicked the “Save Draft” button. Fortunately, I had saved it to clipboard. So, there are still a lot of bugs. Moral of the story is to make sure to save whatever long post or comment you type in case it gets lost. 

Running with route mapping for iPhone

So I haven’t been updating this blog much, but I’ll begin again soon once I’m less busy. My update for today is that I’ve begun carrying my iPhone with me during runs. Not to listen to music, but for mapping my routes using the builtin GPS. I’ve tried iMapMyRun and RunKeeper so far. Both have free and paid versions for the iPhone. (I’m carrying the iPhone in my hand, which isn’t exactly the greatest solution compared to having it attached to my arm). I had used mapmyride (same company and website) before to look for bike rides in the area. It used to be really nice for biking because you could look for routes or create your own and then print out the maps with turn cue sheets. It worked great. However, it has now gotten quite commercial and lost a lot of the initial ease of use and charm that the original site had. It has, though, grown into a much larger fitness community. Many of the good features now are only available with a monthly subscription. And the free version includes a ton of advertising. RunKeeper looks much simplier, but is just as powerful. It doesn’t yet have cue sheets (most likely because it started off just for running). On the activities page you get a google maps view of the route; below that you get a graph showing a overlay of how speed varied with elevation over the course of the route. And below that there is a section for notes and mileage splits with elevation gained or lost. Both apps allow “live” tweets during the run, however only imapmyrun allows you to customize these tweets from within the app. RunKeeper will tweet automatically for you but you cannot yet add your own comments or include the pace. It does, though, provide a shortened URL link to your RunKeeper public profile (see below), which displays the route and other info that you choose to make public.

Link to MapMyRun route.

Link to RunKeeper route.

I think I’m going to stay with RunKeeper because of how well the app works and because of the simplicity of the website.

The iPhone Revolution

The smartphone industry as a whole has a lot to thank for Apple. Without the innovative iPhone, smartphones would still be years behind where they are now. In the next few months, smartphones are finally being released that are comparable to the user interface on original and 3g iPhone. What’s amazing is that these phones are being compared to a UI and hardware that is largely unchanged for almost two years. Despite this, the iPhone, as it is now, still compares very well to this new breed of inspired smartphones. But, competition is a great thing and just as these phones come out, Apple will be releasing its next generation iPhone, resetting the bar higher for smartphones another two years down the line. My two-year contract expires this September and by that time (hopefully in June), the next gen iPhone will be released. I can’t wait!

More: Copying the iPhone is no way to beat it

The Untold iPhone Story

It was a late morning in the fall of 2006. Almost a year earlier, Steve Jobs had tasked about 200 of Apple’s top engineers with creating the iPhone. Yet here, in Apple’s boardroom, it was clear that the prototype was still a disaster. It wasn’t just buggy, it flat-out didn’t work. The phone dropped calls constantly, the battery stopped charging before it was full, data and applications routinely became corrupted and unusable. The list of problems seemed endless. At the end of the demo, Jobs fixed the dozen or so people in the room with a level stare and said, “We don’t have a product yet.”

The effect was even more terrifying than one of Jobs’ trademark tantrums. When the Apple chief screamed at his staff, it was scary but familiar. This time, his relative calm was unnerving. “It was one of the few times at Apple when I got a chill,” says someone who was in the meeting.

Continue reading on Wired: The Untold Story: How the iPhone Blew Up the Wireless Industry

This article is very detailed and is a great read. I just wish I could afford one. Oh well, the iPhone will just be that much better when I get out of school and start making some money.

I have Leopard!

No, this is not a type of STI. It is the name of Apple’s latest operating system, OS X Leopard (10.5). I stood in line at the Apple Store in Mayfair Mall in Milwaukee to be one of the first people to purchase it when it went on sale at 6pm on Friday, October 26th. I waited in line for a little over an hour but used most of that time to study for upcoming micro and psych exams. (Unfortunately, I’m still writing this post on Tiger because I’m forcing myself to wait until Wednesday after the exams are over to install it. I’d have trouble effectively studying if I had Leopard to play with so this is probably a good thing…) Having got my Powerbook G4 back in September ’05 (just before the switch to Intel), I did not have the chance to experience an Apple product launch. Well, I guess I could have bought an iPhone but it is/was a little too expensive for me.

The Apple Store was closed from 4-6pm in order to get it set up with all the Leopard gear. I was the 16th person in line. At about 30 minutes to 6pm I stopped studying and started talking to the interesting Mac people around me. Since I was at the beginning, the people around me were pretty hardcore “Mac heads,” as one of the guys identified himself as. I had a fun time demoing an iPhone and a iPod Touch. I had seen an iPhone before and already knew how incredible that thing was and the iPod Touch was amazing as well. It is so thin! Now if only Apple will allow 3rd party apps on the Touch as well… (It already does have Safari though.)

With about 2 minutes to go before 6pm the Apple Store employees let about the first 25 people walk up to the store and form a line. With 10 seconds to go they started the countdown and at 0 seconds the door to the store was opened and we marched in. All the employees were cheering and clapping their hands (and everyone else in the mall must have been wondering what the heck was going on). The first thing we got to do was grab a free Leopard t-shirt. Apple had provided each store with enough t-shirts for the first 500 people. I still had a bunch of studying to do so I just got in the line for buying Leopard and within minutes had bought it. It came in a cool looking case with a hologram “X” and the purple aurora in the background. On the back it says “Designed and engineered by Apple in California.” I then played around in the new iMacs for awhile. Leopard is amazing. I’m just going to love the new QuickLook feature. The cheering continued as we left. Customers got a standing applause as they left the store!

It is amazing how much loyalty Apple can command. For what other product do people wait in line to buy even though purchasing it later or online would be much quicker (and maybe cheaper)? People did camp out for the Wii and PS3 but those things were in scarce supply. For Leopard I could walk into the store tomorrow and buy it no problem. Or I could have even ordered it online and got it delivered before the 6pm release. However, I still chose to attend the release party. It is probably all due to the “experience” of being there. Part of the fun is being around people that are interested in the same things you are. The free t-shirt was nice too. You can bet that I’ll be wearing that shirt proudly at the library while studying tomorrow! 🙂

More details after I install it.

OS X Leopard: A beautiful upgrade

I was very happy to see that Apple’s latest operating system, Leopard, will be available at Apple Stores worldwide on Friday, October 26th at 6pm. (Or in 8 days, 19 hours, 57 minutes, and 20 seconds at the time of this writing…) AppleInsider has been doing incredibly detailed (full of a lot of history) write-ups looking at some the new features/apps in Leopard. RoughlyDrafted has a post with all these “Road to Mac OS X Leopard” articles.

Here is an article I found that makes me even more excited to finally get my hands on Leopard. Unfortunately for me, the release is the weekend before a microbiology exam, a psychiatry exam, and a microbiology lab exam… I’ll have to see how the studying is going to determine if I’ll install it right away or wait until the exams are done. I’m worried that my studying might suffer if I choose to install it on Friday.

Finally, a PC Unix that everyone can love. OS X Leopard is a triumph of customer-focused engineering.

Apple’s announcement of the impending delivery of OS X Leopard (release 10.5 of Mac and Xserve operating systems) marks the public debut of an engineering achievement that dwarfs iPhone, iPod, Windows, and Linux. No other PC server vendor, with the notable exception of Sun Microsystems, invests so much time and manpower in its system software.

In 10 days — 10 excruciating days — I and hundreds of Mac developers and VIP users can finally speak out about that which we have sworn to hold secret. Leopard is magnificent code architected from the user in, rather than from core technology out. …

Continue reading the article by Tom Yager

Why Microsoft must abandon Vista to save itself

While Vista was originally touted by Microsoft as the operating system savior we’ve all been waiting for, it has turned out to be one of the biggest blunders in technology. With a host of issues that are inexcusable and features that are taken from the Mac OS X and Linux playbook, Microsoft has once again lost sight of what we really want.

As we’re more than aware, Vista Ultimate comes at a premium. For an additional $160 over the Premium SKU price, Ultimate gives you a complete backup and restore option, BitLocker Drive encryption, the ever so popular Windows Fax & Scan, and the “Ultimate Extras.” But what started with a promise of “Extras” by summer, quickly turned into an apology from Microsoft and the eventual release of DreamScene and Windows Hold ‘Em (among others) today. And while each of the “Extras” runs just fine, Microsoft’s “Extras” blunder is just another reason why the company must abandon Vista before it’s too late. …

Continue reading…

A interesting take on Microsoft’s new operating system. I haven’t used Vista yet so I can’t comment too much, but what I’ve heard from classmates that got it with their new computer is that they are not too happy. For all its graphical appeal, they’ve said that much of the current software doesn’t work, has bugs, drivers are missing, complicates things rather than keeping it simple and efficient, and requires a top-of-the-line computer in order to begin to take advantage of all the “features.” These comments are coming from people that are familiar with computers and those that are novices.

All I can say is that Microsoft better watch out when Apple’s Leopard gets released in about a month. Tiger already does much of what Vista does and more and Leopard is going to be a step above Tiger.