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from September 2010

Steve Jobs’ New House - The Real Plans

by: E. Werner Reschke | Sep 28, 2010

Yes, you've probably seen this circling around the internet: Steve Jobs’ new house plans.

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Why Adobe Flash Failed

by: E. Werner Reschke | Sep 28, 2010

As a web developer I've had a love-hate relationship with Flash — and I'm not alone. In the beginning, when Macromedia brought this technology to the fore, it was simple, basic, but cool. A lot of things you couldn't do with HTML technologies were possible (animation, better fonts, better layout, better transitions, slide shows and then video). But over time Flash has become problematic not only from a consumer standpoint (What version do I have?"  and this site doesn't work on the iOS?!?!") as well as a developer's point of view.

Three Quick Reasons Why Flash Failed

  1. Adobe didn't improve the codec. While changes have been made to the "Flash player" it is sitll riddled with bugs. Sometimes at night, I'll hear my wife's laptop's fan roaring away because she has gone to bed with a web page loaded that has some flash animation which is causing conniptions with the browser, sucking CPU cycles, causing the CPU to get hot and thus the fan to roar like a lion. Closing the page, fixes the problem... but this shouldn't be. I'm not the only one who thinks this. Reread Steve Jobs' open letter about flash if you need more details.
     
  2. Adobe went Left Brain instead of Right Brain. Adobe took Flash from Macromedia and instead of making it easier for right-brained graphic designers to use, they created a language called Action Script to take over for most of the cool functions the program now enjoys. The problem is most graphic designers don't like to program. This would be like Adobe adding some cool functionality to Photoshop CS6, but the only easy way to access those features would be through Action Script programming.

    Today it takes both a left-brained person (programmer) AND right brained-person (designer) to product a sophisticated flash piece.  If you don't think so, have your Flash artist create a button that links to a PayPAL shopping cart item, without using Action Script. Yeah. This simple little task that takes two seconds in HTML can take hours of research until someone who's done it before steps to the fore.
     
  3. Adobe didn't take the codec and embed it in hardware. For a long while Flash was a web-standard. Adobe should've used this advantage and worked with Intel and other chip makers to embed the codec in their chip designs, so the codec became far more efficient in running in hardware than as software. I'm not a chip designer so I'm sure there would've been hurdles but this would've paid off as we become more mobile device driven and therefore more battery conscious. Hardware and software Flash would be way more efficient than Software-Only Flash is today.

In summary, Adobe took a cool technology and did all of the wrong things to it. Now it's trying to make Flash a mobile development platform in a world where new mobile development platforms seem to be announced on a daily basis. Too bad.

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MacBook Out - Air In

by: Mark Reschke | Sep 27, 2010

If recent reports are to be believed, a new MacBook air from Apple is imminent. Information coming from the far east has proven to be anything but reliable, but the rumored number of screens on order is said to be up to 500,000 by year's end. If accurate, those volumes indicate Apple is looking to reposition the MacBook air within their portable lineup.

The current MacBook air's entry price point is $1,499. The air is positioned at being a fully-powered Core 2 Duo MacBook in a svelt package ideal for business salesmen on the go, photographers, and consumer enthusiasts. The air is amazingly rugged, relatively small and light, but push it beyond mundane tasks and the system comes to a crawl. Figure on going to lunch to finish rending that video, and the battery life is also lacking.

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Goodbye Blockbuster

by: Karl Johnson | Sep 23, 2010

 Looks like Blockbuster is finally going out of business as they filed for bankruptcy today. Some may be surprised that they were still in business.

Blockbuster finally gives in, files for bankruptcy

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Anything to slow iPad sales

by: Mark Reschke | Sep 22, 2010

In the vein attempt to slow iPad sales, tablet vaporware has become all the rage, and it appears Dell is back for more. Oh goodie!

According to the Wall St. Journal, a new 7" phone-thingy is coming from Michael Dell's juggernaut of a company. How much will it cost, when will it be available, what are the specs? Michael didn't didn't say, but Mr. Dell did give us two specifications: 

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Apple in four year exclusive with AT&T?

by: Mark Reschke | Sep 21, 2010

In January 2010 the air was ripe with possibilities. Conventional wisdom (translation: a slew of rumors) told us the iPhone was now free to break the shackles of AT&T and roam amongst other US carriers. Apple's three years of bondage to AT&T was over. It's now September 22, 2010... guess again.

A recent survey by ChangeWave suggests that at up to 53% of Verizon customers are somewhat, or highly likely, to acquire an iPhone if their carrier had the handset. Credit Suisse issued a report stating 23% of AT&T's iPhone users would defect to Verizon if they carried the device.

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Enter the Samsung Galaxy Tab. The Galaxy Tab is the first mainstream, production-ready iPad competitor that appears to have some Samsung marketing muscle behind it. First to launch was the Dell Streak, but with a 5" screen at $299 with a carrier contract requirement, or $550 unlocked, who's going to buy this?

Could the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which pushed out to market with great fanfare, suffer the same fate the Dell Streak is already experiencing? Absolutely.

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Apple “Shuffles” the Nano

by: Mark Reschke | Sep 20, 2010

The Mac Advocate gives us a look at where the nano and shuffle might end up. 

"In the longer term, I think Apple has created its first true “Thunderdome” scenario across it’s PMP line. 2 form factors enter, which one will leave?"

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Now that Apple's exclusive contract with AT&T is rumored to be over, many are questioning why Apple hasn't re-engaged the other big-boy on the block — Verizon?

Verizon was Apple's first choice in carriers, but apparently Verizon told Apple to pound sand (no way Verizon would subsidize Apple's phone more than their other partner's phones). History then tells us what happens when you don't play nice with Steve Jobs:  first he rubs you off his Christmas Card list and second vows to make your company a footnote for the technology history books.

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Apple’s October Surprise

by: E. Werner Reschke | Sep 16, 2010

Often we're so enamored with Apple’s cool technology that we forget that Apple, Inc. is a business. October is a very special month on the calendar for Apple, as it's the first month of their new fiscal year. This is why Apple typically releases updates to its product line in October/November — to start the year off with strong revenues. Consider...

2006-Nov. MacBook update 
2007-Nov. MacBook update 
2008-Oct. MacBook Air launch, MacBook and MacBook Pro updates
2009-Oct. Mac mini, iMac and MacBook updates

2010’s Surprise

So far this year most of the products in Apple's arsenal have already been updated. So what hasn't? We think it might be a revamped MacBook Air. The MBA has been out of the limelight with Apple's genius with the iPhone and iPad. But the MBA may still have a place in the laptop lineup that makes sense. While we don't have any "insider info" we think that Apple will once again show off its "magical" design prowess and deliver an updated MBA that makes us all drool and think, "Gee, I'd like to have one of those" even if we don't need one.

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