The history of the smart watch, part 4 – the modern era

Finally, we’re to the modern era of smart watches – stuff that’s actually for sale today.

Most of the modern smart watches all connect to a host device via Bluetooth (with one exception), at least an Android device if not additional platforms, for notifications. Some act as dumb terminals (along the lines of the Abacus/Sony watches mentioned in the previous post), whereas some have some local processing power and even apps (some running Android). Continue reading

Mac OS is the new Apple II, iOS is the new Mac OS

This is a thought that I’ve actually had for a while now, but I thought I’d put it in a blog entry.

There’s plenty of signs, in my opinion, that within 5 years, there will be no more Mac OS, or it will be a niche OS for developers and such. Instead, iOS will be Apple’s main platform. And, Apple’s target market will embrace this change.

So, you’re asking, what evidence do I have for this happening? Read after the break, and you’ll see my evidence. Some of this is sourced from rumors, but some isn’t. It’s not in any particular order, either – just because I have it listed earlier doesn’t mean it’s more important. Continue reading

Why tablets suck, and have set us back over a century

Tablet computers are being marketed as one of the most innovative computing devices yet, but, in my opinion, there are some fatal flaws with the concept, as a mainstream computing device.

There are applications where such devices are useful, but the trend towards tablets as potentially replacing desktop and laptop personal computers, or “tabletification” of those platforms (see what’s going on with Windows 8 for an example of that) is, in my opinion, hazardous.

So, I’d like to discuss why this is such a bad idea. I won’t bring up any specific tablet OS, other than as examples to illustrate my point, however – this isn’t meant to be a slam against specific OSes, but rather against the trend of tabletification itself. Jump past the break for a breakdown of what I see wrong with the tablet concept. Continue reading

Why Apple is evil: Blocking the sale of SSD upgrades for the MacBook Air

Haven’t done one of these for a while…

So, Apple is apparently blocking the sale of a 256 GB SSD upgrade for the MacBook Air, by threatening a Mac accessory manufacturer’s license to Apple’s technologies.

This one sets a nasty precedent… apparently Apple doesn’t want people upgrading their machines? And if you don’t like 128 gigs in an 11.6″ machine, you have to go to a 13.3″ machine? I don’t like this one at all.

Source: Engadget

More fun with retrocomputing

Added some retrocomputing stuff to my “collection,” so thought I’d post about it.

We’ll start with the smallest machine and work our way up. I bought a replacement eMate 300 (mine died in a fall, and I literally cannot find where the component came off the motherboard to replace it,) but this one has the RAM/flash upgrade – faster, and has a useful amount of storage.

Next up is an upgrade to my IIGS – a ZipGSX, this one with all of the card upgrades, and running at 10 MHz with 32 kiB cache. I’ve got parts on the way to make that either 12 or 12.5 MHz and 64 kiB cache, though. Having an accelerator makes a world of difference with performance – things happen on the desktop almost instantly, GNO/ME works significantly faster, Spectrum becomes much more practical for telnet use, etc., etc., etc.

Finally, something I’ve been thinking about getting for a while, and has been in the works for a couple months… I posted a request on P370-L asking if anyone would be willing to sell a Personal/370 Adapter/A, which was IBM’s first “mainframe-on-a-card” for PCs. Pretty quickly, I got an e-mail offering a PC Server 500 System/390 8641-MYC, which runs a much more modern version of that card (compatible with ESA/390 software, whereas the Personal/370 is only compatible with 370/XA,) for cost of shipping.

It arrived yesterday, and it looks like I’ve got a project on my hands, bringing it up. Some of the MCA cards came loose in shipping, and need to be reseated. Here’s the specs on what I’ve got, though:

Pentium 90 (all PC Server 500s have this,) 32 MiB of RAM
Dual SCSI RAID controllers (each with two channels)
Dual LANStreamer (not gonna be that useful, I don’t have Token Ring)
Two ethernet cards (that will be useful)
Some XGA card, I think
System/390 processor card
96 MiB S/390 RAM card (the most for this configuration)
14 hard drives totalling 159.3 GB

Yeah, this will be a fun one to set up. I plan on running VM on it, and maybe playing with the other IBM mainframe OSes as well.

A retraction from the Why Apple is evil series – Apple not actually patenting third-party applications

So, I’ll admit that I didn’t quite read everything to do with this particular case.

Apple was not claiming the functionality of FutureTap’s application, but rather using it as an example UI.

While it’s still evil to do that much in my opinion, Apple isn’t trying to patent a third-party app.

I’m going to leave the previous post up, but with it made very clear that that post is in error.

Source: Engadget

RETRACTED: Why Apple is evil: Patenting apps from third-party developers

I’ve been saying Apple is evil for quite a while now, but this isn’t just evil. This is kicking puppies (TV Tropes warning) evil. Even if you apply Hanlon’s Razor, in my opinion, incompetence doesn’t adequately explain this, although that’s running rampant here, too.

Apple has filed a few patent applications for mobile applications as of late, and for one of those applications, application number 20100190510, Systems and Methods for Accessing Travel Services Using a Portable Electronic Device, they decided to shamelessly rip off a third party developer’s iPhone app, “Where To?” And, no, they didn’t get permission from the developers.

What the fuck, Apple?

What the fuck?

Now, let’s say that FutureTap fights this in court. Let’s say that they can even win against Apple’s legal budget. Now, their business model is based on selling iPhone apps. We already know that Apple’s app approval process is extremely arbitrary. A win against Apple likely guarantees that their apps will get permanently banned from the App Store, killing their business.

With this, Apple’s sending a very, very clear message to developers: Develop for the iPhone, and you work for us, not for yourself.

Source: GigaOm

UPDATE: I’m retracting this post, as I see that I’m in error. I’m leaving it posted, but please see this post.

Why Apple is evil: Restricting third-party chargers

This one probably isn’t news at all, but I only recently heard of it, so I’m posting it.

Apparently, Apple requires that chargers for their devices use the data lines to signal charging power, and without using those lines, you don’t charge.

Apple requires a confidentiality agreement to get the resistor values, it seems.

Or, you know, you can break the damn thing open and measure the resistors. But still, you shouldn’t have to do that. Maybe to draw over 500 mA, yes – that makes perfect sense, as it’s over USB’s maximums, but not for the standard 500 mA.

Source: Engadget

Why Apple is evil: Inconsistent banning of apps, even when competitors aren’t banned

You’ve probably heard of People of Wal-Mart, a site showcasing the, uh, dregs of society that can be found shopping at Wal-Mart. (If you haven’t, it’s quite entertaining. No, I’m not affiliated with them in any way.)

An iPhone app, Funny Shoppers, was developed for the site that allowed users to view images from the site within an app, and submit their photos from the app. However, Apple rejected the app, citing obscene content – something that they’ve used many times in the past to ban apps that they don’t like.

So, the developers, Alkali Media, decided to remove photos of any people from the app. Yep, still offensive…

Yet, Apple later approved an app, Shopper Fail, which used the same content! Apple wouldn’t comment on it, and it took a cease and desist to stop the second app from being distributed.

Apple eventually suggests that Alkali Media remove all references to Wal-Mart from the app. Alright, so they do so. Several MONTHS later, Apple approves the app.

A day later, after it becomes fairly popular? They pull the app, citing offensive content again.

What?

Apple, stop jerking developers around. Developers make your platform what it is, and if you keep jerking them around, they’ll jump ship to Android. You’re also hurting your customers by doing this – not everyone wants you to be their moral police.

Source: Gizmodo