The big gamble

by admin on June 19, 2010

OK, friends. Here’s the big gamble. I intend to support my family as a full-time tech writer, starting right now. Introducing 52 Tiger. Support your old buddy Dave. And from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

This site will become a hub for my work on the web, and a repository for things I want to discuss that A.) are not about Apple and B.) require more than 140 characters. For Apple-y goodness, check 52 Tiger.

Thanks.

On comments

by admin on June 17, 2010

Every so often, the discussion regarding comments on weblogs resumes. This week John Gruber got the ball rolling on Daring FireballShawn Blanc and Marco Arment responded in favor of disabling comments. I agree with all three, but my reasons are much simpler:

  • Comment management is very time consuming.
  • The vast majority of comments detract from the experience of reading a blog.

Management

If all I had to do was respond to constructive comments, I’d keep them enabled. However, when I accepted comments, I spent most of my time repelling spam, adding IPs to blacklists and hitting the delete button. By the way, that’s a war than can never be won. Therefore, it’s a waste of time. As WOPR will tell you, “The only winning move is not to play.”

Trolls

I deal with hundreds of comments per day at TUAW. Many of them are left by thoughtful readers. Many are not. While Marco contends that comments follow a many-to-one model (many commenters converse with one blog author), I say comments are many-to-many. As any database designer will tell you, that’s a no-no.

Comments quickly devolve into an off-topic discussion among the commenters, of which the original post’s author is omitted. That discussion too often mimics the vibe of a junior high school playground. No one is better for it and the blog owner is forced to either ignore it, leaving a mess on their blog, or play referee. I don’t have time for that.

If you want to respond to something I’ve written, do so via email or Twitter. Better yet, write a post on your own blog. For now, comments are closed.

What?

by admin on June 16, 2010

I’m a tech guy — a former IT Director — yet I have no idea what this dialog box means.

AT&T’s best online sales day ever

by admin on June 16, 2010

AT&T sold their entire pre-order stock of iPhone 4s yesterday, and Apple has had to push its ship date forward to July 2nd. Incredible.

My interview with Fox 35 in Orlando

by admin on June 10, 2010

The pursuit of perfection

by admin on June 9, 2010

Kyle Baxter:

“You can see the work that went into every inch of [iPhone 4], the obsession Apple has with coming as close to perfection as they can. This is what I love about them–they never settle, and never accept something as good enough. Nothing is good enough for them, and they work relentlessly in the pursuit of perfection. There is little more admirable than that.”

I’ll add to that Apple’s incredible patience. Of course their designers knew that iPhone customers have wanted, for example, a front-facing camera for years. But they held back until they identified the absolute, undeniably best way to pull it off. Even if it meant years of public moaning and complaining. They’d rather take flack than put their name on a solution that isn’t perfect. That’s what I admire. Thoughtful patience.

iPhone 4

by admin on June 7, 2010

Today’s WWDC announcements were a whirlwind for me, as I was focused on getting the facts up on TUAW as quickly as possible. Here are my initial thoughts on the iPhone 4. More thoughtful posts are forthcoming.

The body

The prototype Gizmodo had was very close to the final product. I still think the band of metal that surrounds the edges, protruding buttons and visible screws are atypical of Apple. But I’m thrilled with Apple’s decision to use glass on the back. I’ve owned two iPhones now, an original model and a 3GS. While the backs got scratched, the unprotected displays remained scratch-free and beautiful.

It’s quite thin at 0.37 inch and I’m curious to see what the flat back panel feels like. That’s the clincher, really. I’ve got to hold one.

Gyroscope

I didn’t expect this. The gyroscope and accelerometer give iPhone 4 six-axis motion sensing. Can you imagine games like Zen Bound with this? I’m eager to see what developers do with it.

Retina Display

I assumed the iPhone’s display would be improved, and boy was it ever. At 960 x 640 — 326 pixels per inch — it’s impressive to say the least. Check this out: Apple actually developed a new pixel for the iPhone 4. One so small — 78 micrometers across — that the human eye can’t distinguish between them. That means that the edges of text will have edges as clearly defined as they do in print. No more anti-aliasing. But it’s not just text; photos, webpages and videos will look just tremendous on this display.

FaceTime

This will be a tremendous hit and iPhone 4′s most talked-about feature. Of course, you need 2 iPhones to make it work. Good job, Apple.

But seriously, the obvious use case is with kids (I’m sure more time will let me come up with more). Mine will be elated to talk to me, their grandparents and their aunties with something small enough that they can carry around. The option to switch between the front and rear camera mid-call, moving from “look at me” to “look at what I’m seeing” was inspired. No one else does this, and it’s going to be absolutely huge.

The new camera

Five megapixels, an LED flash, HD video (720p) and upload-from-where-you-stand convenience make my Flip camera nervous. A real shocker was the announcement of iMovie for iPhone. I simply cannot imagine editing video on something that small, let alone with my fingers in the way, but I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve used it.

With this update, the iPhone maintains its reputation as a lust-worthy gadget. I cannot wait to get my hands on one.

Twitter really is making me dumber

by admin on June 7, 2010

Last month I described my suspicions that spending so much time online is making me dumber. This week, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco has confirmed it.

“[study subject] Mr. Campbell can be unaware of his own habits. In a two-and-a-half hour stretch one recent morning, he switched rapidly between e-mail and several other programs, according to data from RescueTime, which monitored his computer use with his permission. But when asked later what he was doing in that period, Mr. Campbell said he had been on a long Skype call, and “may have pulled up an e-mail or two.

Mr. Campbell and his colleagues, each working from a home office, are frantically trying to set up a program that will let them share images with executives at their prospective partner.

But at the moment when Mr. Campbell most needs to focus on that urgent task, something else competes for his attention: “Man Found Dead Inside His Business.”

That is the tweet that appears on the left-most of Mr. Campbell’s array of monitors, which he has expanded to three screens, at times adding a laptop and an iPad.”

Magic Trackpad

by admin on June 7, 2010

Another Apple event, another leak. This is supposedly the “Magic Trackpad,” a stand-alone input device that’s a combination between a mouse and a multi-touch trackpad. I think I get it.

Try this. Put a thin, hardcover book next to your Mac. Now, consider it a mouse replacement. Slide your finger around, tap to click, pinch and make other multi-touch gestures. We’ll see if I’m right, but I think it could replace mice in certain situations.

We’ll probably find out today.

2001: A False Flag Odyssey

by admin on June 6, 2010

Interesting interpretation of my favorite movie of all time, Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. I was ready to blow it off until I got to the author’s suggested interpretation for the nearly 3 minutes of black that begin the movie and how that segment is tied to Dave’s journey beyond the infinite.

[Via Coudal]