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Year: 2007

Nonsense up with which I shall not put

I understand that some media companies feel the need to monetize their value propositions (to misquote the inestimable Merlin Mann), but isn’t this taking things a bit far?

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Yes, that’s right: after exactly one sentence of the story, a full-column ad (about three column-inches high). Not shown: the banner ad that, combined with the video box, pushes the first sentence of the story a good six inches below the top of the page (if I wasn’t using a 24-inch Cinema Display, in fact, I’d probably have to scroll down to see it); or the vertical banner add down the side of the page.

We wouldn’t put up with this in a print magazine; why should we have to do it in a web magazine?

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Thoughts on the new iPod lineup

  • Silver is the new white: With the new iPod classic coming in Black and Silver, it looks like the only remaining iconic white product in Apple’s lineup is the MacBook (unless you count accessories like the AirPort Express or Extreme).

  • Is there anything more ridiculous than the early iPhone adopters whining about how Apple is being disloyal to them with the $200 price cut? What is this, high school? Was Apple supposed to not cut their prices, to show how much they care? What do they think all this whining is going to get them, anyway?

    Oh, OK. Huh. Hey, Beelzebub, send me up another iced tea, please. (I wonder if that will work elsewhere. “Hey, Mr. Honda, I bought this Accord a couple months ago, and now you’ve knocked $5000 off the price? I want my five large back!”)

  • As a longtime Verizon Wireless customer, the iPod touch has just about exactly solved my next electronic device purchasing dilemma. Now (a) I don’t have to switch carriers, and (b) I can stop carrying a Palm PDA with me, as the iPod touch will do everything I need the Palm for, except doing crossword puzzles and letting my daughter play Bejeweled — and since the iPod touch presumably runs the same OS X that the iPhone does, those are just a matter of time. Bye, Palm; it was fun, but I’m getting off here. Have a nice journey into irrelevance.
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Rampage of Headlines Containing "iPhone" Continues Unabated

So here we have what appears at first glance to be another entry in the “put iPhone in the headline and get unwarranted attention” sweepstakes:

iPhone Users Find Texting is 2x Slower Than on QWERTY Phones

but which turns out in fact to be more like the “write an egregiously misleading headline and get attention” technique.

Clicking through to the actual release reveals that if you take some frequent text messagers accustomed to physical numeric or QWERTY keypads and have them send six — six! — text messages on the iPhone — well, gosh, it takes them twice as long to do that as on their own phones … which they’re already used to.

(Apparently rubbing the iPhone on your head doesn’t cure baldness in half an hour, either.)

To their credit, they acknowledge this issue, sort of:

We were aware that participants’ prior familiarity with their own phones meant that there would likely be a learning curve associated with text messaging on the iPhone … Although participants were given one minute to familiarize themselves with the iPhone’s touch keyboard, their texting abilities on the iPhone were still at the novice level. [Emphasis supplied.]

So, apparently, they didn’t give the users any kind of advice on how to adapt themselves to the iPhone — the sort of thing any reasonably intelligent new user might do. Such as, oh, I don’t know, watch a video showing how it works?

Nor did they do the obvious followup and see how the users did after a couple of days using the iPhone — since it’s been widely reported that performance improves once the user adapts to the iPhone’s predictive key entry. Wouldn’t a usability research firm be interested in that information as well? Or would it just be satisfied to get a quick result likely to draw attention to itself, and send out a press release?

No, it couldn’t be that. What was I thinking?

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Bandwagon and DreamHost

So now Bandwagon and DreamHost are co-operating on a promotion: DreamHost members get a year of Bandwagon, and vice versa.

Well, I haven’t had a chance to set up my Bandwagon account yet — and, as has been pointed out, it may not be an optimal solution for large iTunes collections — but I’m a DreamHost subscriber, and my renewal date is coming up in a couple of months, so here goes. Now all three of you who read my blog will have something to chew on for another five months. (Hey, I couldn’t keep up with the blog when I wasn’t working full-time — what makes you think I’ll do any better now?)


Ride the Bandwagon

Bandwagon logo

Bandwagon launches tomorrow; it purports to back up your entire iTunes library over the Internet to their servers (or alternatively to your Amazon S3 box) for a flat rate. Updates occur automatically in the background. Sounds like a good idea, if they can pull it off. (Mac only at the moment, apparently.)

Disclaimer: This post is earning me, like others, a free one-year subscription.