Archives for October 24th, 2012

This week's show "New iPads, iMac and MacBook Pros - Oh My!"

New iPads, iMac and MacBook Pros - Oh My!

This week on Your Mac Life: "New iPads, iMac and MacBook Pros - Oh My!"

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 October 17th, 2012

This week's show "Apple's Press Event and Viewer Mail!"

Apple's Press Event and Viewer Mail!

This week on Your Mac Life: "Apple's Press Event and Viewer Mail!"

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 Opt out of PayPal's "Agreement to Arbitrate"

Every now and then, companies send out information to their customers updating them on various aspects of things like End User Licensing Agreements and Terms of Service. Most of the time, we just glos over these dry legal documents. But PayPal sent out a notice this morning that not only had me reading it, it had the added effect of really pissing me off.

Under the title of "Notice of Policy Updates" (you may need to be logged into PayPal to access that link), PayPal list what these updates include.

What got my blood boiling was the lines, "You will, with limited exception, be required to submit claims you have against PayPal to binding and final arbitration" and "unless you opt out of the Agreement to Arbitrate you will only be permitted to pursue claims against PayPal on an individual basis, not as a plaintiff or class member in any class or representative action or proceeding..."

In other words, PayPal is trying to abrogate your rights to sue the company in a court of law.

Now, I know a lot of people really dislike PayPal and there have been plenty of horror stories about the company but I've been using them for years and have never had an issue. I don't anticipate ever having an issue. But, if I did, I would certainly want to have at my disposal every legal tool in the book to fight for my right for relief. PayPal is trying to prevent that.

And worse - they are doing it in the typical sleazy way corporations do things.

Five Reasons to (not?) join App.net Now

Jon Mitchell of ReadWriteWeb has an article called "Five Reasons To Join App.net Now". In light of our last show discussion about Twitter and App.Net, I was interested in the article. Unfortunately, he really doesn't make his case.

He starts off with, "Don’t think of App.net as a Twitter competitor."

But that's exactly what it is. It's exactly what it was set up as. Or perhaps, more accurately, a "Twitter alternative". Regardless, a competitor is exactly what it is right now.

His number one reason is, "App.net has lowered the membership price." He's right - App.Net started off at $50/year but they recently lowered the price to $36/year or $5/month. But Twitter is still free to join - so a lower price may not be muh of a draw for a lot of people.

His number two reason? "There are 20,000 people on App.net." Umm...so? That number has since risen to 25K+ users but still....so? Why is that number a reason to join App.Net?

Number three? "Great apps are coming out." OK...but great apps are already out for Twitter. "Great apps soon to come" isn't a reason to join App.Net *now*. It might be a reason in the future though.

While his number four reason may be valid - "App.net pays developers to build experiences you love" - it may not hold a lot of water for the average user. I can't see a critical mass of people joining the service because at some nebulous point in the future, you *might* have some great apps that *might* give you an "experience you love".

And finally, his number five reason, "App.net is more than a Twitter clone", not only echoes his first sentence but may not be the audience draw he seems to think it is.

Don't get me wrong - I'm intrigued by App.Net and am as active on it as I can be but the kind of "feel good" reasoning of articles like this really aren't going to convince those who are on the fence.

Archives for October 10th, 2012

This week's show "Twitter, App.Net and "secret" Apple Repairs"

Twitter, App.Net and "secret" Apple Repairs

This week on Your Mac Life: "Twitter, App.Net and "secret" Apple Repairs"

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 October 3rd, 2012

This week's show "Maps Controversy and Apps of the Month"

Maps Controversy and Apps of the Month

This week on Your Mac Life: "Maps Controversy and Apps of the Month"

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.

Personal Preference is Personal Preference

Ben Bajarin is a principal at Creative Strategies and a guy I've interviewed a couple of times. He's really smart and writes really well about this tech stuff.

His latest column, "I Chose the iPhone, You Chose an Android Phone — So What?" got me thinking about why we argue/discuss/flame over our tech du jour.

Ben says:
What really stumps me is the desire to criticize others’ choices of personal technology products. It’s as if one person choosing a different product is going to drastically alter the quality of life of another person.

Should we harshly criticize those who like different music than us? Should we criticize those who buy different car brands than us? Should we criticize those who like different foods than us?

I understand that personal technology is just that: personal. Because of that reality, there will be emotions attached to personal preferences.

And there's the rub - emotion. Ben (and most of us) would like people to make rational, logical choices and decisions based on facts and evidence. But as human beings, we see so many things through an emotional prism. We criticize others over their different choices - whether it be the car they drive, the soda they like or the phone they use - because of our need to have our emotions affirmed.

We think, "If I bought this thing and you didn't, then (because I can't be wrong) you are wrong and must be told so." It's even worse when it comes to things we develop an emotional attachment to. We need our emotions and feelings validated and to be "told" we did the right thing.

Apple Maps: adventures in crisis management

Many have reacted positively to Tim Cook’s letter, finding it refreshingly honest.

Personally, it made me squirm a bit. Not because I prefer Apple to be untruthful, but because I want it to be even more truthful.

Counter-Perspective

My good friend John Moltz (actually, I don't even like the guy but his wife is great and his kid is cute) on his "Very Nice Web Site" (it's pretty boring) has an opinion called "Perspective". He quotes all his usual buddies (name dropping sycophant that he is) but it's the last line that got my attention:

So many of these Apple critics, however, are just reveling in the mistake.

For those of you old enough to remember when Apple was (rightfully) always described as "beleaguered", you'll also remember how we Mac users revelled in every single misstep of "The Dark Side". How many of you remember Bill Gates demoing a USB scanner (back in the day when USB was just getting off the ground) during a demo at Comdex for Windows 98 and getting the Blue Screen of Death? Oh, how we Mac users laughed and mocked and derided everything PC based.

And that wasn't the only example of the incredible Schadenfreude of Mac users.

So when the shoe gets put on the other foot and the chickens come home to roost, suck it up and take it. We Mac users dished it out for long enough. We can eat a little crow every now and then.

(could I have jammed any more cliches into that above paragraph?)

(PS: All those mean things I said about Moltz in the lead paragraph? I was just kidding. Moltz is one of the nicest guys on the web - but he does have freaky bug eyes....)

Archives for September 26th, 2012

This week's show "iPhone 5 Hands On Reviews!"

iPhone 5 Hands On Reviews!

This week on Your Mac Life: "iPhone 5 Hands On Reviews!"

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 Corning Created the Ultrathin, Ultrastrong Material of the Future

The office of Wendell Weeks, Corning’s CEO, is on the second floor, looking out onto the Chemung River. It was here that Steve Jobs gave the 53-year-old Weeks a seemingly impossible task: Make millions of square feet of ultrathin, ultrastrong glass that didn’t yet exist. Oh, and do it in six months.

The story of their collaboration—including Jobs’ attempt to lecture Weeks on the principles of glass and his insistence that such a feat could be accomplished—is well known. How Corning actually pulled it off is not.

Apple Maps: Damned If You Do, Googled If You Don’t

Pointing out the limitations of your product is a sign of strength, not weakness.

I can’t fathom why Apple execs keep ignoring this simple prescription for a healthy relationship with their customers. Instead, we get tiresome boasting: …Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world…we [make] the best products on earth. This self-promotion violates another rule: Don’t go around telling everyone how good you are in the, uhm…kitchen; let those who have experienced your cookmanship do the bragging for you.

The ridicule that Apple has suffered following the introduction of the Maps application in iOS 6 is largely self-inflicted.

Archives for September 19th, 2012

This week's show "iPhone 5 Reviews and iOS 6 Release!"

Who Benefits from iOS 6's Crappy Maps?

The classic criticism that thoughtless Apple haters use against the company is that it makes products that are pretty but dumb. Usually those criticisms are by people who don't understand the value of a comprehensible user experience, frustrated by the reality that many people will eagerly trade the open-ended technologies of competitors for the simple and satisfying experience that Apple provides.

But this time, they're right: Apple's made a new product that actually is pretty but dumb. Worse, they've used their platform dominance to privilege their own app over a competitor's offering, even though it's a worse experience for users. This is the new Maps in iOS 6.

iPhone 5 Reviews and iOS 6 Release!

This week on Your Mac Life: "iPhone 5 Reviews and iOS 6 Release!"

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.

Lightning: the iPhone's new connector

The iPhone 5 offers many improvements over its predecessor, including a larger screen, better performance, LTE, and an improved camera. But for those upgrading from an older iPhone, there’s another change that might prove to be more significant, at least when it comes to compatibility: a new dock connector.

Apple has done away with its proprietary—and nine-year-old—30-pin connector in favor of a new, smaller alternative. Why did Apple make the change? And what does it mean for you—and for your existing accessories? Here’s a look at this new connector, dubbed Lightning.

Apple’s Secrets Aren’t So Secret Anymore, and That’s O.K.

The fact that yesterday’s bash wasn’t full of startling twists presumably helps explain why it prompted lots of stories declaring the event, and even the iPhone 5 itself, to be a disappointment.

Product rollouts aren’t action movies. Surprises are nice, but they aren’t the ultimate goal — at least if the idea is to sell lots and lots of gadgets and make lots and lots of money.

Surprise has no inherent relation to quality or popularity.

Apple’s Magic Is In The Turn, Not The Prestige

Apple took something ordinary, a phone, did some extraordinary things to it, and then made it re-appear in grandiose fashion. It’s a great trick. It’s so good, in fact, that I think it’s fair to call it true magic.

The problem, if you want to call it that, is that Apple has now been doing this trick since 2007. Granted, they have other solid tricks too (they are far from the one-trick pony claims that several of their competitors face). But the iPhone is the best trick in their bag. And in the last few years, some people have gotten sick of seeing it.

But it’s important to remember that just because you’ve seen a show before, it doesn’t make actually make it any less magical. It’s a perception issue.

iPhone 5: The Most Beautiful iPhone Yet… and More

As a leader in personal computing, Apple product launch events often bear the burden of too much hype. Then as they launch new products that set new sales records, customer satisfaction levels, and needed health into the consumer electronics industry, people always seem to ask “have they done enough?” My stock answer is yes, and I am sticking with it.

The headroom to grow in the smart phone market is enormous. Smart phones are maturing as a market but we are far from market saturation. The global customer base is still ripe for the picking and Apple has raised the bar when it comes to the iPhone 5.

Archives for September 12th, 2012

This week's show "Happy iPhone 5 Day!"

Happy iPhone 5 Day!

This week on Your Mac Life: "Happy iPhone 5 Day!"

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.

Sly's Website of the Week - September 12th, 2012

It's been a little while since we've posted a Website of the Week, we may just start calling it "Website of the Month" or "Website of Whenever the Heck Sly Feels Like It". ;-)

But today, we at least have a Website of the Week - "Sh!t Apple Fanatics Say" or my personal preference "Gestures!".

(Yes the title includes a bad word. Proceed at your own delicate sensibilities risk.) :-)

Interview with Orangutan Outreach's Richard Zimmerman

A New York based not-for-profit called "Orangutan Outreach" has begun a program called called "Apps for Apes" in twelve zoos across North America. They are letting the orangutans play with (but not use on their own) donated iPads.

Like other highly intelligent creatures, orangutans can get bored or depressed without mental stimulation. The iPads, or more specifically, the apps on them, help keep them entertained. Apparently, apps created for children are popular and the apes are said to be fond of nature documentaries by David Attenborough. Insert your own joke here.

I spoke to Orangutan Outreach's Executive Director, Richard Zimmerman about the program, the orangutans and how you can get involved and help these wonderful animals.

Click here for the interview with Richard Zimmerman.

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!

Amazon to Apple: the Game starts Now

The key moment in Jeff Bezos's keynote announcing Amazon's new Paperwhite Kindle and Kindle Fire models came before he introduced any of the new hardware.

"People don't want gadgets any more," Bezos declared, explaining why the Kindle Fire had succeeded where other gadgety Android tablets had failed. "They want services that improve over time. They want services that improve every day, every week, and every month." This statement of purpose signals a new phase in Amazon's evolution as a company, and its singular, emerging take on the developing consumer marketplace, and how it's positioning itself towards its broad field of competitors.

How the New Kindle Fires impact the tablet Landscape

Amazon on Thursday unveiled not one, not two, not three, but four new tablets all called the Kindle Fire.

There’s the Kindle Fire, which is a slightly upgraded version of the previous tablet also named the Kindle Fire. Then there’s the Kindle Fire HD 7”, which ups the screen resolution, improves the audio, and boosts the Wi-Fi performance; the Kindle Fire HD 8.9”, which is obviously just about two inches larger diagonally; and then the Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE Wireless, which is also 8.9 inches, but includes access to all ten bands of 4G service in the U.S. That last model requires a $50 per year data plan, which gets you 250MB per month of data and 20GB of cloud storage.

Whew. That’s a lot of Kindles.