Is it just me, or is it an amazing coincidence that as soon as real celebrities appear on Twitter and comfortably eclipse the “A list bloggers” for follower numbers, those self-same “A-listers” decide that Twitter is over and talk about moving on to the next big thing?
Did someone just have their ego take a battering? Does someone like to be big fish – even if it means being in a small pond?
The reason for the attention is probably because there’s a grain of truth in what Microsoft is saying. The argument is pretty simple: the limited range of Mac models means that you can end up paying way over your budget to get a single feature. If you want a 17in machine and don’t want to pay an eye-watering £1,949, you’re out of luck. Yes, you get a lot of machine for that £1,949 – but some people just don’t require all the features that you get with a Mac.
“It’s never been clear to me why reports like this are reported as fact. NPD doesn’t have some sort of magic access to Apple’s sales numbers, and Apple does not release monthly sales data.”
Which is interesting, given this report that John ran last May:
“The idea that Apple now sells two-thirds of retail computers costing $1000 or more is simply stunning… I strongly suspect that if NPD’s numbers were more granular, Apple’s share would be even more dramatic at higher price ranges: $1500+, $2000+, etc.”
In fact, a Google search shows the number of references to NPD on DF – mostly, approving of the positive figures about Apple market share they’ve consistently produced over the past few years – now goes on to two pages.
Of course, picking out old posts where people got it wrong is easy (there’s plenty of them here, if you care to look). And everyone has the right to change their mind. John would probably argue that he’s caveated most (but not all) of his posts about NPD numbers with “NPD is reporting that…”
But this doesn’t change the fact that John has been happy to lean on NPD numbers and talk about them as if they were fact for a while.
It looks pretty odd start to question the veracity of a research company you’ve been happy to report on before at just the same moment their numbers change direction. That’s doubly true when those numbers challenge the hopes and desires of a big chunk of your readership.
“Miller also told reporters that he targeted Safari on Mac OS X because he believes that it is the easiest to exploit. Windows, on the other hand, he claims is tougher because of its address randomization feature and other security measures. As for Chrome, he says that he has identified a security bug in Google’s browser but has been unable to exploit it because the browser’s sandboxing feature and the operating system’s security measures together pose a formidable challenge.”
The government claims that Section 76 of the Counter Terrorism Act won’t be used to stifle legitimate criticism of the police. However, in every case that the government has been granted wide-ranging powers that “won’t be used to stifle” something, they’ve gone ahead and down exactly that – see, for example, the use of ASBOs as a convenient way of effectively punishing people for behaviour, without the expense of a trial.
When even the chairman of a taxi company is questioning the government’s steady erostion of civil liberties in favour of a surveillance state where only the citizen is watched, you know that something is in the air. The government needs to remember the fundamental principle of British policing: We are policed by our consent.
You know what I’d love the BBC to do? More than anything else in the world?
Turn off comments on all the BBC blogs. And, by way of explanation, post this:
“Dear former commenters. We have decided to save the many millions of pounds per year it costs license fee payers to allow you to post your borderline racist, idiotic and vituperative comments on every single thing we write. Frankly, you are a bunch of cunts. Get your own blogs. Love, Auntie.”
I really don’t see why one single penny of my license fee should go towards allowing every little middle-Englander cretin and every woo-woo crystal-worshipping “concerned parent” to gain the tiny little bit of attention they get from their comments. If they want their voices to be heard, they should start their own blogs. As well as learning to write without using all caps, multiple exclamation marks, or the phrase “Nu Liebour”.
“Apple’s got a 1,000 new APIs for developers to build on, they showed a few today in demo applications. What’s interesting is that most of those applications shown would be virtually impossible for developers to create on other platforms.”
(My emphasis added)
It used to be a truism that it took Microsoft three bites at the cherry to create a truly good operating system. Version 1.0 was crap, version 2.0 was usable, but version 3.0 was the one you really wanted. With the iPhone, Apple followed the same pattern – while managing to produce good, but flawed, products for versions 1 and 2.
A thousand new APIs for developers means a massive jump in power in terms of application development. I’m still not sold on the lack of background processing – and I think the “80% reduction in battery life versus 23% reduction for push notification” is a canard – but it will allow developers to do maybe 70% of what you’d want background processing for. And there’s so much more in this update that’s cool for developers that more than makes up for it.
(UPDATE: I hear from someone familiar with the technology my description of the 80% reduction in battery life as “a canard” may be a bit harsh. In a worst-case scenario – which involves IM, of course – the iPhone might well experience that kind of drain. But the point remains that other OS’s, including S60 and Android, run background IM without getting battery life measured in a handful of hours, which is what an 80% reduction would imply on the iPhone. My guess – and it really is a guess – is that those phones simply feature bigger batteries and less power-hungry hardware. So background processing can be done without reducing battery life to nothing – but not, at present, on the iPhone’s hardware.)
What Apple has now created is a mobile applications environment that’s second to none, and that’s going to win them an awful lot of market share. It won’t get them to number one – there’s far too many roadblocks in the way – but it will get them a big share of a huge market.
And finally: MMS. Thank god Apple has come to its senses over a feature that should have been in since the first 3G phone. It’s not a feature that I’d use, but it’s been a deal-breaker for many, many people I know.
I’ve been conducting an experiment running Windows 7 as my main operating system for a couple of weeks, and so far the experience has largely been positive. There’s been only one problem: OpenOffice failed to install.
When installing, the installer would get to the very end and fail with this error: “ Error 1303. The installer has insufficient privileges to access this directory: C:\Windows\winsxs\Policies. The installation cannot continue. Log on as an administrator or contact your system administrator.” I’m not the only person with this problem – but it seems to be pretty rare as mentions of it on the web are few and far between.
The first thing I tried was running the installer with Admin privs, and under Windows XP emulation mode (all done via the Properties of the file). No difference. Changing the owner of the winsxs folder didn’t change anything. In fact, nothing did.
However, following a suggestion by @manxstef on Twitter, I tried installing go-oo.org instead – and lo and behold it worked first time. So if you’re having the same problem, try go-oo – it might just fix the trick for you too.
Incidentally, if you want to find out more about OpenOffice and what it can do for you, I recommend the following books:
Regarding the new API from The Guardian (which looks rather neat), one of my friends Twittered this:
“Twitter fastest with the news, even in their building. Reading about the product online before they’ve announced it in the room!”
At which point, to my shame, I lost my Twitter-temper:
“Oh yawn. Can we not just get over the “fastest with the news” thing? Who gives a shit?”
Now in fact, my friend was joking – but I didn’t get the joke, mainly because I’m a humourless git I’ve heard the same thing said completely seriously far too often. Every news event, no matter how serious or trivial, seems to get as many Twitter posts saying “Wow, Twitters way ahead of mainstream media again!” as you get proper information.
Seriously, people need to get over themselves. It matters not one jot whether I hear about some new toy five minutes before people not on Twitter. In fact, for 99.9% of world events – even the huge, serious ones – it makes absolutely zero difference to me if I find out about it the day after. And, unless you’re actually a news journalist who makes a living from “the now”, it almost certainly matters not one jot too.
Of course, if I read about it the day after, I’m likely to get some actual real information (rather than “breaking news” retweets) and some critical and interesting perspective. That is far more valuable to me than instant “news” in less than 140 characters.
And, if you came to this post from the link I’ve posted to Twitter – haven’t you got anything more important to do with your life right this minute? Did you really need to read this right now?