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Comment How does Apple use rumors? (Score 4, Insightful) 195

How much do we know about the ways in which Apple uses rumors to gin up interest in new products?

It seems likely to me that they leak stuff to keep us all talking, but I don't have any proof of that. It also seems likely to me that if they're going to be leaking stuff, they might not always leak accurate information.

There was a story awhile back that quoted Yoko Ono as saying that the Beatles were coming to iTunes. Does anyone ever bother to dig into those stories to see what happened? Did Yoko actually say that? Was there a deal that fell apart? Did the reporter just make it up? If so, why? Was Apple trying to get us talking?

Despite all of my suspicions about leaks and promotion, I'm really excited about the tablet. It will be really interesting to see what they do with the interface.

Comment Re:Don't bash AT&T (Score 4, Insightful) 420

The phone is surprisingly popular, and no one has a crystal ball.

For most products, there's some sort of limit on how much you can sell, that's connected to how many of them you make.

Southwest can only fly so many people to a certain destination, a bakery can only sell so many cupcakes, a barber can only take so many appointments, a restaurant only has so many tables, etc.

Sometimes popular products and services sell out -- it's a very common situation in business.

There is a limit on the number of iPhones the AT&T network can support. The exact number is fuzzy, but there's no doubt that they've gone beyond it here in NYC. They should just say that they're sold out until they grow the network.

Again, it's not any different than a restaurant declining to take a reservation because they're full. Respectable businesses do this all the time. It's perfectly reasonable.

Comment Don't bash AT&T (Score 4, Insightful) 420

This is responsible -- they don't have enough towers, and they shouldn't be selling any more phones until they build more capacity.

It's not any different than not selling additional seats on an airplane that's already full. No one would blame an airline for not overbooking. I don't think we should blame AT&T for doing the right thing.

As a New Yorker with an iPhone, I hope Apple follows suit and stops selling iPhones to New Yorkers until the network is robust enough to provide decent service.

Failing that, I think they should waive early termination fees for NYC users.

Comment they need to get the books (Score 1) 260

I don't have a Kindle, but I use the iPhone app, and it's pretty great. Carrying books in your pocket is very convenient, and I like the reading experience the Kindle app provides. I put it in landscape mode, crank up the typeface size a bit, and it's really wonderful. Ideal for reading on the subway.

The ironic thing is that the iPhone app made me less likely to buy a physical reader -- when I first got the app, I really wanted to run out and buy one. But most of the books I want to read aren't available, so two or three months after starting with the app, the experience of searching for book after book that isn't available has soured me on the product. No matter how convenient the device is, and no matter how nice the reading experience is, it's not a great solution for me.

I don't understand how publishers can live with a single company like Amazon controlling electronic distribution. And I don't understand how customers would be able to live with a balkanized world of competing readers that all carry different sets of books, due to different deals with publishing houses. And finally, I don't understand how a truly open format can come into being without creating substantial piracy problems.

Real books do have some upsides.

Comment This is fantastic (Score 1) 257

I use NX all the time -- I'm using it now. My main desktop is on a VPS account, that I hit from both work and home.

The criticisms of the NX server are right on the money. It's pretty rough. Problems don't get fixed, and it doesn't move forward.

I doubt this is what Google is thinking, but it seems to me that NX represents an alternative way to do the cloud. I have everything in the cloud -- a full suite of desktop apps -- because I use my VPS and NX. It all just works. And it's all under my control. There aren't any privacy issues.

So I'm really pleased by this development.

Thanks to the folks at Google for this project.

Comment Really great news (Score 2, Interesting) 80

This will give the Merb people a lot more momentum, and their project will have a really big community, a thriving job market, and lots of books written about it.

And it will give Rails the value of all of the good stuff that Merb brings to the table -- Rails will be more modular and less monolithic, easier to learn, and easier to move forward because people will be able to split off smaller pieces and improve them.

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There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom. -- Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923