The Everlasting Phelps

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

Turning Away Buckets of Money

January 30th, 2007

So I guess I was right when I described this deal:

Apple probably told them, “yeah, we will give you units that are setup to work on just your network.â€? And Cingular said, “good, and you will push out updates to fix it if someone unlocks it, right?â€? And Apple probably said, “…â€? And Cingular said, “Right?â€? And Apple said, “you know what, you don’t get it, so never mind. I’m gonna call this guy at T-Mobile…â€? and Cingular said “Wait! Wait! We’ll do whatever, just let us have this money.â€?

The difference is that it was Verizon, not Cingular, and Apple did walk away. So, for all you Verizon bigots who think that Cingular is the worst thing ever (and to clarify, I don’t think Cingular is great — I think every network sucks and whichever one happens to work in your area has little to do with anything but chance) remember that Verizon is the reason you can’t get an iPhone, not Apple.

Back in Cleveland

January 28th, 2007

So I get to Cleveland, and of course, since I travel with lots of electronics, the TSA had to rifle through my luggage.  This is always amusing to me, because the probability of someone working for the TSA fondling underwear actually being able to tell the difference between an SVGA 8×8 Matrix Switcher (benign) and a CRM-114 Plane Destroyer (destroys planes) approaches very near zero.  But they always point out when they have been fondling your underwear by putting in a little slip of paper called “Notice of Baggage Inspection” that is poorly printed in unregistered four color with the world’s lowest resolution scan of a logo on it telling you to visit thier mostly useless website (which I am sure is where they robbed the logo from.)  But the best thing is that it is printed in English and Spanish.  Wouldn’t it make more sense to print it in English and Arabic?

It is printed with a 6.1.2004 rev number on it.  Which means that they have been using this shitty, incompetently printed notice for almost two years.

Also, it is snowing here in Cleveland.  Apparently it does this pretty regularly.  Living in a place where it snows every year for days on end is socially accepted insanity.

Freedom of Speech

January 23rd, 2007

Why is this so hard to figure out? A soldier asked if a company shipped to APO (Army Post Office addresses) because he wanted to order thier products to use in Iraq, and they gave a stupid answer. This is the part that jumped out at me:

“This is a matter of free speech,” said Julie Enslow, an organizer with Peace Action Wisconsin in Milwaukee. “It is totally irresponsible for radio stations and bloggers to attack a person for his personal political views.”

Julie, Julie, Julie. If you defend the freedom of the clerk to say stupid shit, then you must defend the freedom of other people to call him a stupid shit for saying it. Freedom of speech means the freedom to say things that people don’t like. It doesn’t mean the freedom from people not liking what you have to say. If you are free to say it, they are free to tell you exactly how much they don’t like you saying it.

People on the left side of the aisle seem to have just as hard a time with this concept as people on the right side of the aisle. Righties, moonbats can say what they want. Yes, they are often wrong. Yes, what they say often hurts the war effort. But they still have the right to say it. Lefties, wingnuts often say hurtful, offensive things.  Yes, they are often wrong.  Yes, they often overreact to you Speaking Truth To Powerâ„¢. But you both have to accept that people are going to say things that piss you off, and your only civilized response can be to say things back.

And say it on your own dime.  Everyone has the freedom to set up his own blog and build his own readership.  No one has the right to spew thier opinions on someone else’s blogs and mooch thier readers.  Lots of bloggers let lots of people say things.  Some stop other people from saying certain things.  It’s thier blog.  Your recourse?  Point it out on your own blog.  Don’t have as many readers to point it out to as you like?  Tough titty.
(Via Blackfive)

Coveting the iPhone

January 10th, 2007

Yeah, I’m gonna get one. And I’m getting one despite all the haters out there. I need another iPod (I have an old 10g pre-video model). And this thing does everything my Blackberry, Cell Phone, and iPod do now. I love my iPod. The other two, I’m not so much in love with. My Blackberry is utilitarian, but it isn’t very good at what it does. The iPhone looks like a much better message and mail handler, along with a much better web browser (which is roughly half my Blackberry usage) and is such a terrible phone that I carry a Nokia along with it. That’s three things in my pocket, three things that I have to keep charged, and two of the three that I carry simply because they suck the least out of the market.

Even at that, the things that people are complaining about don’t bother me.

The price

An iPod already costs $300-500. I paid $100 for my phone, ALONG with signing up for a 2 year contract (with Cingular, luckily.) My Blackberry likely cost the company several hundred dollars. I can get an 8gig iPod and still be coming out ahead. It is not overpriced if you are actually going to use it.

Wireless Sync

No thank you, I would rather have my data on my iPhone than your data. Think about it. Syncing means being able to replace or delete or read every bit of data on the device. When you sync an iPod, you own it (as in pwn). How do you defend against this? Make users verify on the device that they want to sync? BZZZZZZZ. Yeah, I really want to get 9 million “Do you really want to sync your iPhone with ‘BIGGER PEN!S N0W!!!!!!’?” messages when I happen to wander into a hotspot (either set up by an asshole or pwned by a botnet.) No thanks.

Put a password on it? And what? Hope that your phone (and if you are really using it, your life) can withstand a dictionary or brute force attack? Hope that there isn’t a vulnerability in the syncing protocol? Hope that it can’t be sniffed when you do it at home by the guy in the next apartment over, or the one driving by on the street? That’s a lot of hoping, buddy. I don’t think it is such a big deal to plug in a cord that you have to use to charge it anways.

No G3

Yawn. You’re going to be using it in hotspots most of the time. When (not if) this thing takes off, businesses are going to be climbing all over each other to put hotspots in so you don’t leave and go next door. Malls will start having hotspots covering the whole mall so the kids don’t all try to pack into the Starbucks. More importantly, this would be a tech support nightmare for Apple. I don’t mean that it is unreliable. I mean that people are dopey.

People get “WiFi”. They know what hotspots are. People don’t know the difference between different wireless data protocols. Apple will put G3 in when the carriers make G3 universal like Cingular has done now. Apple is not going to waste money dealing with tech support calls of “why is my iPhone super fast when I am at my friend’s house, but super slow at my Aunt’s house?” And they are going to ask, “is your aunt within the EDGE coverage area or the GPRS area?” And the caller is going to say, “WAAAA, MY iPHONES IS BROKED, FIX IT!!!”

Nah. Jobs is smarter than that.

Cingular

So a lot of people hate Cingular. First, qq more and then grow up. All networks suck. If you think yours is great, you just haven’t been on it long enough. So what do I speculate that the deal is with Cingular? I think they are riding the tiger. Jobs is in the driver’s seat. This thing is going to he huge and anyone with half a brain in the industry knows that. Apple could slap it’s logo on a turd with one of those curly pigtail antennas shoved in it and make $20 million on it. The only question is who else gets a cut of that?

First, I don’t think Apple gave them a sweetheart deal. I think that Cingular agreed to update its voicemail to match Apple’s specs, and in return, they get to sell the first 10 million units to fanboys like me, and all they get is the regular retail markup like retailers get on iPods. And if they don’t like it, they can get a ROXR shoved up thier ass sideways and Apple will back out of the deal. They aren’t even saying if they are giving a discount if subscribers take a 2 year deal. And I think that is because not only is Apple not giving them a big discount (if any) but I doubt Apple has given them any guarantees to plug up holes that people use to unlock it.

Apple probably told them, “yeah, we will give you units that are setup to work on just your network.” And Cingular said, “good, and you will push out updates to fix it if someone unlocks it, right?” And Apple probably said, “…” And Cingular said, “Right?” And Apple said, “you know what, you don’t get it, so never mind. I’m gonna call this guy at T-Mobile…” and Cingular said “Wait! Wait! We’ll do whatever, just let us have this money.”

Third Party Software

Two points on this. First, the tech support issue. This thing is going to use all the horsepower it has just doing this. I’m also betting that there is another flash chip hiding in there beyond the storage (1gig? 2 gig? 4 gig?) holding the system and apps. Apple is very controling of the Experience. Hell, that is what I am planning to buy. Apple does not want to deal with calls from people who can barely figure out how to run an iPod about why thier iPhone is running slow, or even worse, crashing. When Apple tells them, “you need to stop reinstalling Hello Kitty Island Adventure every time we have to do the factory reset and fix it”, it’s QQ time again.

It is much better to sell them apps (from the iTMS) that Apple knows work (and gets a cut of.) This is also where they can really kick Sony and Nintendo in the ding-ding, if they can get some really cool MMO games on it. Not only that, there are some killer apps that I expect to see Apple selling real soon, like iSims (my mother would never put the thing down. And Apple already sells EA games for iPods.)

How is Apple going to kill with this?

The same way they killed with the iPod. First, it is the first thing of its kind that doesn’t suck. My Blackberry can do nearly everything the iPhone is going to do, in a sucky, shitty, aggravating way. Just like MP3 players before the iPod. And what is going to, more importantly, lock people into the iphone? Accessories. The Dock Connector.

Apple already pushes audio, video and data through it. What else are we going to get? Things that the haters are bitching about. More storage. GPS. Battery power. Not only that, but Bluetooth is going to take off, too. If I had a hardware company, I would have a crash project running to make an iPhone case that has a fold out Bluetooth keyboard on it. I don’t see mice being a big deal if the screen works well (and I really doubt Apple would bother releasing it if it didn’t. We would instead see a big click wheel made out of the edge.) Bluetooth car adapters (for both the phone and the music.) Bluetooth wearable cameras. Dock connector game controllers. Dock connector VGA outputs. Dock connector HDMI outputs. An army of accessories, all either optimized and labeled for the iPhone through Bluetooth or the Dock.
Here’s my killer accessory. A dock connector that wirelessly transmits SVGA with a little dongle receiver. Match that up with a copy of Keynote on the phone. Hell, that might even put a serious dent in Powerpoint. (Although I’m sure a PPT viewer would follow quickly.)

Apple is going to start printing money come June.

The Everlasting Phelps

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.