Friday, January 29, 2010


A small thought on the iPad.  I actually think this makes sense as the machine you use while watching TV on the couch.  I currently use my iPhone this way and would appreciate a better/larger screen and faster response.  Of course, it seems entirely frivolous to buy something to use as a distraction while watching TV.  And yet, it actually would be useful and used often.  So, I think Apple will need to concoct a reasonable fig leaf rationale for purchasing this, even if the true reason is because we are now so easily bored that we need multiple screens on the couch.

I would note also that this means that cellular is really not important for those who would use the device this way.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I thought I had noted this before but don't see it in the archives.  The iPhone's popularity is funny because I think people are simply rediscovering the magic of a general purpose computer again.  And buying software for those computers.  I can't recall the last time I bought software other than Office, TurboTax and maybe Photoshop Elements for my PC or Mac.  It's like 1980 again.  By describing the iPhone as a phone and not a computer, consumers' expectations were reset and Apple escaped the paradigm of (expensive) boxed software.

With the iTunes system, three important benefits became available: limited piracy, immediacy and low cost (a function of limited piracy, in part).

In brief, the iPhone reintroduced general purpose computers and the world of purchased third-party software to the public after a long absence.  Now, the question will be whether the iPhone follows the path of the Apple II or is something new altogether.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

24: day 8

I had the following questions about the first four hours of season 8 of 24:
1. why not just take a taxi to the handoff rather than make an injured man walk 5 blocks?
2. how did the Russian hitman join the NYPD in the space of a few months (or perhaps weeks)?
3. why did the evil brother believe the evil weapons dealer when he said his son had radiation poisoning?
4. why is evidence of radiation poisoning a solution to the problem of: "money or goods first?"?
5. exactly how does someone create a false identity good enough to join CTU?
6. why are personal phones permitted throughout CTU?
7. how do personal phones even work in CTU?
8. how is Jack supposed to go undercover when he was in nationally televised congressional hearings?
9. why exactly would you go to the trouble of bringing nuclear materials into the US only to export them again (of course, hard to have a threat against the US if you don't bring them in, so this is excusable)?

So far, the basic plot and premise are pretty fun and compelling: good Iranian stand-in, credible bomb threat to take targets out of secure locations, believable internecine conflict (who more likely to take over than the brother after a tragic death?), customary 24 expansion of crisis by adding in nuclear weapons dealing on US soil...

Friday, January 8, 2010

future TVs

This Panasonic TV is an okay idea but misses something more useful - TV manufacturers should work to embed the camera in the middle of the screen to permit "eye contact" in video-conferencing.  This would permit true differentiation from add-on cameras beyond simple aesthetics and leverage a capability unavailable to add-on providers (and thus permit better margins).