I’m not complaining or anything, but has anyone noticed how tabloidy the CNN.com front page has gotten lately? The subject matter is more topsy-turvy than ever and the headline writing seems deliberately offbeat.
“Libby’s Defense Tackles Bush’s Former Spokesman” (TACKLES?!?)
“Dead Soldier To Father Kid With Woman He Never Met”
“Idiot Window Washer Hangs By Toes 6 Floors Up”
A screenshot of the front page as of one minute ago is below:
Just to repeat, I’m not complaining, but I’ve definitely noticed a gradual change from CNN’s matter-of-fact hard news approach to a more entertainment-based approach over the last year. For better or for worse, I think most news outlets will move in the same direction if they aren’t already.
I’ve been beta testing it for several months now. It’s good. You should get it.
(Shaun also launched a new version of Shauninman.com because the paint was starting to dry on the “old” one, but we’ll ignore that for now.)
The Wolf has also figured out something Alan Greenspan never could: how to buck inflation. The price of Mint is still $30 and existing users can upgrade for a mere Jackson.
Anyway, that’s it. It’s a nice upgrade. My only beef is that the interface is de-Mint-ified a bit by default, but by throwing this hack at the end of your
/mint/app/styles/vanilla_mint/style.css file, you can get green again:
/* BEGIN RETURN TO MINTYNESS */
.display table.striped tr.alt td,
.display table.visits table.striped tr.alt td
border-top: 1px solid #E7F0D0;
border-bottom: 1px solid #E7F0D0;
.display table tr:hover td,
.display table.visits td tr:hover td
.display table.striped tr:hover td,
.display table.visits table.striped tr:hover td,
.display table.striped tr.alt:hover td,
.display table.visits table.striped tr.alt:hover td
/* END RETURN TO MINTYNESS */
At the request of Chris, here is a sample of what the mod looks like:
One question per day. 150 words or less per answer. One answer per person.
Those are the only rules for the freshly announced Newsvine Question of the Day competition, and thanks to the nice people at Nike, each winner this week will receive an iPod Nano and Nike + iPod Sport Kit as a victory keepsake. Did you know Nike means victory in Greek?
We’re very excited about the launch of the Newsvine QOTD because it’s the first in a series of “lighter” activities we’re prepping for debut on the ‘Vine. Sometimes you’re just not in the mood to read and debate articles and essays and would rather spend a minute or two here and there doing less time-intensive things. The QOTD is designed to be read quickly and answered quickly. We’ll see how it evolves.
So head on over to the QOTD landing page (http://questions.newsvine.com) and answer the first question. It’s about the public figure below:
So the best show on TV — 24 — is back for a sixth season. If you missed last night’s two hour premiere, try and download it somewhere and then tune in tonight for hours three and four. This season, like all others before it, starts out with the sort of high drama that draws you in almost from the opening minute. I won’t give anything away for those who may have missed it, but I do have some concerns about season six so far:
Between the start of 24 and the restarting of the third season of Lost in a few weeks, 2007’s TV season is off to a great start.
Back in the mid ’80s, when Apple was getting ready to introduce the first Macintosh, the company gave advance peeks of the new machine and operating system to a few key software developers, one of them being Bill Gates. Gates and his pal Charles Simonyi weren’t told the name of the machine for security reasons so they nicknamed it S.A.N.D., or “Steve’s Amazing New Device”.
It’s interesting to think of that acronym today in light of the day’s announcements because in 2007 terms, a computer is not generally referred to as a “device”. A phone, however, is the epitome of a device… and that’s exactly what we got today: Steve’s Amazing New Device 2007.
In my mind, the iPhone is the second most exciting technology product announcement of my lifetime, after the original Mac in 1984. It is to phones what the Mac was to computers. Jobs mentioned the iPod as the second “revolution” between the Mac and the iPhone but I think both the Mac and the iPhone are much more significant. Music is great and all but the relative importance of the sorts of things you do on a computer and on a phone (now) are several orders of magnitude higher.
There are so many things to say about this iPhone that it’s hard to know where to start. To me, the single most impressive thing about it is that, like a lot of Apple products but specifically this one, there is no other company in the world capable of inventing it. How many times do you see a new product come out and you think “Damn, I wish I would have thought of that!”
The iPhone is no such product.
You couldn’t think of it, and even if you did, your finished product would be a godamned fingerpainting compared to this. It is so fulfilling to watch technology unfold like this, in the hands of the most indispensable and world-changing CEO of our lifetime. It makes all other work you may be doing in the technology world seem like peanuts.
When Apple says they are five years ahead of every other phone on the market with this offering, they are being conservative. If many of the 200 patent applications filed in association with this phone are accepted, there is no opportunity to copycat. If a multi-touch interface turns out to be the panacea of the mobile device input problem, then what are other handset manufacturers to do while they are prevented from implementing it on their own? I mean seriously, how would you like to work at Palm, Motorola, Samsung, or LG right now? Those guys must feel like a nuclear bomb hit them.
So I ordered a pair of highly, highly, highly regarded Etymotic ER-6i earbuds the other day and I have to say, they have about as much bass as the iPod Nano’s built in speaker. I don’t get it… all over the web, people rave about these things. iLounge, a community of smart iPod fanatics, has 17 independent reviews and almost every single one gives the Etymotics five stars.
The one thing that makes me suspicious is that many of the reviews — as well as the instruction manual — stress the importance of stuffing these things as far into your ear canals as possible. Well I’ve done that, and with all four supplied earpieces. Still nothing. Any further pushing and I’m going to puncture an eardrum.
So my question is, has anyone else had problems with the fit of high-end isolator earbuds? I’m thinking that some ears are probably just incompatible with them entirely.
“I need the simplest phone you can produce, I need it to run WebKit, and oh yeah, I’m going to need a big “Apple” button in the middle of it.”
That’s how I believe the conversation started between Steve Jobs and the president of the handset manufacturer who will be proudly appearing with Jobs on stage at next week’s MacWorld Expo.
The 2007 MacWorld Expo is the most anticipated Steve Jobs appearance in years and for good reason. I have it on good word from trusted friends close to the situation that this one is going to be special. Really, really special. So don’t gear yourself up for a letdown, because it ain’t gonna happen. You might not get all 100 of the products you’ve been speculating about, but what you *will* get will be really, really good.
The world clearly doesn’t need another post speculating what will be announced but I’m going to do one anyway. I claim no detailed inside information, no clairvoyance, and no 100% certainty. These are speculative statements, just like all MacWorld predictions.
While most people are occupied with thoughts of an Apple phone, the one thing I’m most confident about is that this year’s MacWorld will be largely dominated by the big screen. I expect a full Netflix/Blockbuster killer here and I expect at least one, but probably all of the major studios to already be on board or close to it. iTheater will likely be available as an add-on box for your current TV and also possibly integrated into an Apple-branded, Samsung (or Sony) manufactured LCD TV… probably in two sizes: 37-inch and 50-inch (or thereabouts). Most of the world’s plasmas and LCDs are already made in only a handful of factories so slapping an Apple casing and some extras on shouldn’t be overly difficult.
iTheater will be dead-simple to use, and initially it will only do two things: download movies for $5 and play them. The DRM scheme will be simple: three plays or three months… whichever comes sooner.
iTheater will eventually pull down video from all sorts of places, most notably Google Video, and by extension, YouTube… but for now, the proposition must remain simple: forget Netflix and Blockbuster… iTheater is where you should rent your movies. I also expect live and recorded concerts to be a part of this offering shortly. Remember, Steve Jobs doesn’t hate the TV as a medium… he just hates the TV ecosystem.
This is the phone we’ve all been waiting for. It may not be as mature as we’d like it to be, but it will be a fascinating start. In listening to Dan Benjamin’s podcast with John Gruber, I noticed that the majority of their skepticism around an Apple phone revolved around the problem of keeping it quiet. While Dan and John both think an Apple phone may be announced, they had a hard time believing there haven’t really been any solid leaks yet given the extraordinary amount of non-Apple people that must be involved in such a thing (e.g. your carriers, your hardware manufacturers, etc.). While I think this is a valid concern, look again at the first sentence of this blog post. If Apple were to make a phone, there is a sliding scale of how many non-Apple people they could involve.
So if Apple confined 90% of their data features to a simple instance of WebKit, what sorts of things could they provide in an easily accessible way via the default start page (something like mobile.apple.com) that would come up every time you hit the Apple button? Google Maps with Live Traffic. Access to your contacts stored on .Mac. Access to your email (anyone notice the nice new web interface to .Mac mail?). Select video clips. Google searches. Wikipedia searches. What else do you really need? It’s all available in HTML these days and with a little server-side simplification, it can be made to look really pretty via Mobile WebKit.
It’s possible the integration goes deeper, but under the scenario I just described, Apple needs very little help from anyone. Just a simple handset with an Apple button that launches WebKit. This will be the Expo where WebKit goes primetime and busts out of the browser. In the phone, in the iTheater, and in whatever other devices Apple may come out with.
Expect plenty of Vista bashing here. When Leopard was first unveiled, we were told “many” of its features would be revealed at a later date, so expect a few biggies to be shown off. I’d love to see built-in virtualization, but for some reason Apple is still pushing the whole Boot Camp approach. I tend to think Boot Camp is more proof-of-concept than anything else, and virtualization is really what 95% of users will care about and use (if they must). I’d love to see some implementation of Jef Raskin’s “interfaceless interface” principles in Leopard as well. For instance, if you sit down at the computer and start typing “59 x 20”, the calculator should just automatically pop up and compute it for you. Same thing if you type something like “Dear John”; your word processor should pop up and begin a well-formed letter. Who knows what else Leopard will hold, but I expect several more showstoppers.
I think the only thing we’ll see on this front are new MacBookPros. The MacBookPros, to me, are a poor value proposition compared to MacBooks right now and that situation is bound to change soon. If not here, then a few months down the road. I expect subtly new cases and I hope a new subnotebook species.
The only new iPods I can see coming out are video iPods with a different form factor and bigger screen. I don’t know how well the current video iPods are selling, but they are the only model that I never really hear anybody talking about. Revision one seems far from perfect to me and an update here would be nice. A touch-screen could also be included on these units.
If Apple hasn’t already internally jumped off of the Blu-Ray bandwagon, they have to be thinking about it. Blu-Ray and HD-DVD are in a battle for hearts and minds right now and a lot of people I’ve talked to, including Danny over at Mavromatic, think Sony is losing the battle so far. Apple did Sony a huge favor by supporting Blu-Ray early on, but things may have shifted since then. I wonder, in fact, how the latest discussions between Steve Jobs and Sony have gone:
Sony: “Hey Steve, how’s the weather in Cupertino! We’re still on for co-branding those 50 inch Sony LCDs, right?”
Jobs: “Can you guarantee me they won’t catch fire like those laptop batteries you sold us?”
Sony: “Hee hee! Sorry about that! Yeah, these aren’t battery powered. We’re still on for Blu-Ray, right?”
Jobs: “We don’t comment on future product announcements.”
Caveat: I’m not a good person to ask about the Blu-Ray/HD-DVD debate. I think by the time it’s all decided, we’ll be doing most of our stuff over IP anyway.
I expect Apple’s increasingly cozy relationship to Google to get even cozier at this year’s Expo. Maps on the Apple phone would be one possible integration point, as well as maybe something on the video front. Vague, I know… but it’s hard for me to believe the two companies haven’t been working behind the scenes on *something* lately.
Don’t care… they are already cool enough.
Don’t care… they are already overkill for everything except video editing.
When you give detailed predictions about things, you’re bound to be wrong on at least some counts, but one thing I’m fairly sure of is that 2007 will be the year that Apple starts to shed its image as a high-end computer company. To some extent, they’ve already accomplished this with the iPod, but the next wave of product releases — encompassing things like phones, living room technology, and possibly another gadget we aren’t even expecting — will begin to move Apple out of the high-end computer zone and into the digital lifestyle zone. They’ve already mentioned this shift before, but my feeling is that next week is when it really comes together.
... or use RSS