What really scares Apple’s Competitors

I was recently talking with some of Apple’s competitors and they gave me some interesting feedback on how they feel about Apple. When I asked them what they actually fear about Apple, their answer was interesting. I had expected them to say things like Apple has great industrial design. Or their $117 billion cash position gives them a huge advantage over all competitors. Or even that since Apple owns their hardware, software and services, they can make them work together seamlessly, which also gives them a huge advantage over competitors.

But the consensus from those I talked to about what really scares them about Apple is the fact that Apple sees the future and then creates products that people want even if people do not know they want them.

The 'sealed-box' Mac: Cutting-edge design or planned obsolescence?

Apple unveiled the new top-of-the-line 15-in. MacBook Pro, with its ground-breaking Retina display, a truly drool-worthy laptop if ever there was one. It's fast, powerful and stylish, setting the standard for what a full-featured yet highly portable laptop can be. But that gorgeous package comes with a cost.

iFixit, in its teardown analysis, gave the Retina MacBook Pro the lowest possible score, 1 out of 10, for its almost complete lack of upgradeability. There are no user-replaceable parts whatsoever, including the battery or even RAM, which, in a trend begun with the MacBook Air in 2008, is directly soldered to the logic board.

What's wrong with this picture?

Deprecating @BenjaminBrooks

Twitter has lost its way.

I outlined most all of what I mean in this post on Twitter’s API changes, but to summarize: Twitter has turned it’s back on the very users that not only made the service popular, but that came up with the very features that Twitter is now using to try and profit from. And that bugs me.

In my mind Twitter took the easy way out: venture capital and eventually paying that money back by slapping ads everywhere.

Twitter hands down New, Strict Rules for Third Party Developers

Twitter late Thursday handed down some strict new requirements for developers who leverage the microblogging service’s API. (An API is a tool programmers use to access functionality or data from someone else. Developers use Twitter’s API to get tweets, allow you to post tweets, and so on.)

The new rules Twitter developers must adhere to touch on three specific areas: every API call must authenticate itself; certain API calls will be more limited, while others will now be accessible more frequently; and—most significantly—third-party Twitter apps will be subject to significantly more stringent limits on what they can do and how they can grow.

Twitter’s move to clamp down on how third-party developers can use its APIs is nothing new; there’s plenty of precedent. But just because the changes aren’t surprising doesn’t necessarily mean that users shouldn’t be at all concerned.

Sly's Website of the Week - August 15th, 2012

Canadian singer, and former Canadian Idol contestant, Carly Rae Jepsen seems to be the "pop sensation du jour" of late and her single (dare I say hit) Call Me Maybe has been played to death and even performed/parodied to death by US Olympians and even Jimmy Fallon.

Well another parody of it making the rounds, has a bit of a different spin...kinda funny in that icky, creepy sorta way, and as such, destined to be chosen as Website of the Week.

Call Me Maybe (Chatroulette Version)

Archives for August 15th, 2012

This week's show "The Tech of the Olympics and App of the Week"

The Tech of the Olympics and App of the Week

This week on Your Mac Life: "The Tech of the Olympics and App of the Week"

Live Video is on Your Mac Life thanks to MacOSG.com and available on your desktop, iPhone and iPad! You can watch the show live from anywhere at this URL:
http://yml.macosg.com

Or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/yml-audio-only

You can also join the Chat Room that runs during the live show - on the Live Video Feed itself or on the dedicated IRC Server at irc.chat-solutions.org in the #yourmaclife Channel.

Make sure you listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 8pm PT or from 8:30pm to 11pm ET, for the most fun you'll have listening to your Mac.

Backup!

It’s unfortunate that many people don’t think about backing up their data until it’s too late. I can’t imagine how devastating it would be to lose weeks, months, or years worth of family photos, important documents, project folders, and more.

With very little effort and cost you can set up an automated and trustworthy backup system. I can only assume most people don’t back up their data because they are either lazy, unsure where to start, don’t see a need, or all of the above.

Assuming Mat Honan’s horror story gives you the motivation for backing up, here are some tips on how to set up a rock-solid backup system.

Archives for August 8th, 2012

This week's show "Security vs Convenience"

Security vs Convenience

This week on Your Mac Life: "Security vs Convenience"

Live Video is on Your Mac Life thanks to MacOSG.com and available on your desktop, iPhone and iPad! You can watch the show live from anywhere at this URL:
http://yml.macosg.com

Or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/yml-audio-only

You can also join the Chat Room that runs during the live show - on the Live Video Feed itself or on the dedicated IRC Server at irc.chat-solutions.org in the #yourmaclife Channel.

Make sure you listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 8pm PT or from 8:30pm to 11pm ET, for the most fun you'll have listening to your Mac.

How to configure Google's two-step authentication

First, let’s clarify what two-step authentication actually means. In Google’s case, it works this way: If you enable two-factor authentication, when you next log in to your Gmail account, you’ll first proceed as you always do—by providing your username and password. But before you get to your inbox, Google will next demand a separate code.

Of course, you won’t know what the code is offhand. Thus, for the second factor of authenticating that you really are who you’re claiming to be, Google will send a text message to your phone containing the six-digit code to use.

Archives for August 1st, 2012

This week's show "Mountain Lion, Olympics and Mac Genius Ads"

Mountain Lion, Olympics and Mac Genius Ads

This week on Your Mac Life: "Mountain Lion, Olympics and Mac Genius Ads"

Live Video is on Your Mac Life thanks to MacOSG.com and available on your desktop, iPhone and iPad! You can watch the show live from anywhere at this URL:
http://yml.macosg.com

Or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/yml-audio-only

You can also join the Chat Room that runs during the live show - on the Live Video Feed itself or on the dedicated IRC Server at irc.chat-solutions.org in the #yourmaclife Channel.

Make sure you listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 8pm PT or from 8:30pm to 11pm ET, for the most fun you'll have listening to your Mac.

New Mac ads: landing with a serious thud

Repeat after me: “The sky is not falling. The sky is not falling.”

I know it’s hard to say after viewing the new batch of Mac ads that debuted on the Olympics. I’m still in a bit of shock myself.

Sure, Apple has had a low point or two in its advertising past — but its low points are usually higher than most advertisers’ high points.

This is different. These ads are causing a widespread gagging response, and deservedly so. I honestly can’t remember a single Apple campaign that’s been received so poorly.

Sly's Website of the Week - July 25th, 2012

Yes I know most people think that unboxing photos/videos of Mac products is lame enough, but…well, this is just sad.

Unboxing the Nexus 7 is Fun!

;-)

Archives for July 25th, 2012

This week's show "Mountain Lion and Apple Earnings"

Mountain Lion and Apple Earnings

This week on Your Mac Life: "Mountain Lion and Apple Earnings"

Live Video is on Your Mac Life thanks to MacOSG.com and available on your desktop, iPhone and iPad! You can watch the show live from anywhere at this URL:
http://yml.macosg.com

Or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/yml-audio-only

You can also join the Chat Room that runs during the live show - on the Live Video Feed itself or on the dedicated IRC Server at irc.chat-solutions.org in the #yourmaclife Channel.

Make sure you listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 8pm PT or from 8:30pm to 11pm ET, for the most fun you'll have listening to your Mac.

Archives for July 18th, 2012

This week's show "The Olympics and is Software too Cheap?"

The Olympics and is Software too Cheap?

This week on Your Mac Life: "The Olympics and is Software too Cheap?"

Live Video is on Your Mac Life thanks to MacOSG.com and available on your desktop, iPhone and iPad! You can watch the show live from anywhere at this URL:
http://yml.macosg.com

Or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/yml-audio-only

You can also join the Chat Room that runs during the live show - on the Live Video Feed itself or on the dedicated IRC Server at irc.chat-solutions.org in the #yourmaclife Channel.

Make sure you listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 8pm PT or from 8:30pm to 11pm ET, for the most fun you'll have listening to your Mac.

How Low Mac Software Prices Harm Users and Developers

Some time ago – never mind how long precisely – most indie or shareware Mac applications cost at least $20 or $30. It wasn’t uncommon to pay, say, $50 for a useful utility, or $100 or more for a word processor or text editor. Now, browsing the Mac App Store, you can see that most apps sell for $10 or less, and those that cost more are the exception.

While these decreased prices are good for users in the short term, I think they represent a dangerous long-term trend, and that, over time, this will result in less good software available for the Mac.

Interview with Jamie Lee Curtis, Author of "Where Do Balloons Go?"

Award winning actress and New York Times best selling author Jamie Lee Curtis has turned one of her books, "Where Do Balloons Go? An Uplifting Mystery", into an iPad book, full of wonderful illustrations, clever animations and even little Easter Eggs.

I was lucky enough to spend a short time talking to Ms Curtis and I wasted far too much of it being a fan boy. But she was kind and gracious and utterly lovely. I hope you enjoy listening to the interview as much as I did doing it.

Click here for the interview with Jamie Lee Curtis.

It's also posted to the iTunes Store under the Your Mac Life Podcast section so it's probably just easier if you went ahead and subscribed to Your Mac Life on iTunes.

As always, we hope you enjoy it and let us know what you think!

Sly's Website of the Week - July 11th, 2012

Okay since my last website of the week was a little on the morbid side, what with the remote controlled taxidermy cat flying through the air, here’s something to counter it...in all its cute glory.

All together now, "awwwwwwww". ;-)

~ Sly

Get your Mac ready for Mountain Lion

The word on the street is that Apple has released to developers the golden master of Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8)—the final non-public version. And that means the official public release of Mountain Lion isn’t far off. Speculating on the specific date of release makes for interesting discussion—all Apple has said publicly is that the new version will arrive in July—but those aiming to upgrade as soon as the new OS drops have more pressing matters: Getting their Macs ready for Mountain Lion.

As with Lion (OS X 10.7) last year, Apple is advertising Mountain Lion as dead-simple to install. But as with every major upgrade to OS X, there are a few things you can do before Mountain Lion is released to ensure that your Mac is ready for the new release.

Archives for July 11th, 2012

This week's show "Digital Magazines and EPEAT Concerns"

Digital Magazines and EPEAT Concerns

This week on Your Mac Life: "Digital Magazines and EPEAT Concerns"

Live Video is on Your Mac Life thanks to MacOSG.com and available on your desktop, iPhone and iPad! You can watch the show live from anywhere at this URL:
http://yml.macosg.com

Or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/yml-audio-only

You can also join the Chat Room that runs during the live show - on the Live Video Feed itself or on the dedicated IRC Server at irc.chat-solutions.org in the #yourmaclife Channel.

Make sure you listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 8pm PT or from 8:30pm to 11pm ET, for the most fun you'll have listening to your Mac.

Interview with Next Issue Media's CTO, Keith Barraclough

Next Issue Media wants to be "the Netflix of magazines" and the have just released an iPad app that allows you access to 39 digital magazines - TIME, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Wired, Bon Appétit, Golf Digest and many more.

I spoke to NIM's CTO, Keith Barraclough about the company, their offerings and how they are doing digital differently. Click here to listen to the interview.

It's also posted to the iTunes Store under the Your Mac Life Podcast section so it's probably just easier if you went ahead and subscribed to Your Mac Life on iTunes.

As always, we hope you enjoy it and let us know what you think!

The Case for 7-inch Tablets

Last week the rumor mills and tech blogs were bustling last week about the possibility of a 7-inch iPad, potentially called the iPad Mini. Rather than focus this entire column on why it makes sense for Apple to make a smaller version of the iPad, I figured I would point out why I think there is a market for 7″ tablets and how such a product may fit in Apple’s and others portfolio.

Interview with Ron Avitzur, The Graphing Calculator Story

Ron Avitzur is a former programming contractor at Apple back in the 1990s. When his project was cancelled, he didn't take the opportunity to join a startup or travel or sit back on his laurels - he snuck back into 1 Infinite Loop to finish the job!

I spoke to Ron about what it was like to work on the ultimate "skunkworks" job at Apple and how he managed to pull it off.

Click here to listen to the interview.

It's also posted to the iTunes Store under the Your Mac Life Podcast section so it's probably just easier if you went ahead and subscribed to Your Mac Life on iTunes.

As always, we hope you enjoy it and let us know what you think!

Archives for July 5th, 2012

This week's show "7" iPad - the Only Thing to Talk about!"