The future, in the past.
Today Engadget celebrates the 10th anniversary of iTunes with a touching look back at Steve-O’s initial front in the digital music revolution. Look out for cutting edge buzzwords like “MP3,” “rip” and “playlist.” This “playlist” thing Jobs describes as a way to rise up against the record companies who want you to submit to their fascist decrees on track order. Forget the long-honored tradition of the mixtape, the queuing functionality of Winamp (which iTunes has yet to beat, in my opinion) and the hindsight we now have of this pretend sans-culotte cum digital despot now ruling ironfistedly the virtual airwaves. (Apologies to the historically-minded readers who just cringed at my willy-nilly employment of revolutionary terminology.)
And in harmonious timing with the big birthday, tomorrow’s likely announcement sealing the long awaited arrival of the iPhone to Verizon. I’m inclined agree with Engadget’s prediction that the iPhone will not immediately run on Verizon’s new LTE 4G network and that if you “rush to buy a Verizon iPhone, you might be locking yourself into a contract you’ll be dying to break when the iPhone 5 launches in the summer.” Units ought to start shipping next month. I’ll be curious to see how this affects Android’s recent market share gains, especially given improvements to the hardware and app offerings in the interim. I mean, um, I would be, if I were a huge dork.
Headlines like this one on News.com.au make me wonder if web editors are too pressed for time to see the big picture, or if web writers are quiet geniuses exploiting the 24-hour news cycle to publish subversively hilarious copy:
Possibly related posts:
RIM’s Balsillie Tears Jobs a New One; Unimpressed, Jobs Turns Other Cheek
RIM Market Share Comes up on Apple from Behind
BlackBerry Claims It’s Not the Size of the Chip, but the Research in the Motion
BlackBerry Makes Reach for Jobs’ 10-Incher, Apple Could Take a Licking in the End
A new free iPhone app called Facts on the Ground allows users to track the construction of Israeli settlements in contested territories. As the app’s makers, Americans for Peace Now explain:
You can use this map to explore the data we have collected about settlement activity in the West Bank. The map is organized in several layers that show different kinds of data.
“Settlement” is the term used to denote Israeli civilian communities built in territory conquered by Israel in the Six Day War (June 1967). This territory is comprised of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula. These neighborhoods have been a major issue in the peace process since 1967 and remain highly controversial.
It’s probably Apple’s most politically-charged app, and looking at comments and reviews on the iPhone download page or web posts about the product make one thing pretty clear: Jews love settlements and iPhones. Maybe Muslims are Android-users.
I’d like to suggest a similar app for Jews interested in settling. The iSettled app would track new marriages all over the Upper West Side. Layers would show number of kids, tax bracket and number of blocks to the nearest synagogue. Links directly to your J-Date account!
[Thanks to Michelle for the link. Check out her awesome Sukkot Sizzle party at the Delancey tomorrow night. Will be a good time for sure. And if you show up at work too hung over to function on Wednesday you can cite religious observance and nap at your desk. Booya. (Jew-ya.)]
Am I tempted to take this set of results as an opportunity to soliloquize smugly on the fallibility of Apple? To point out the difference between omnipresence and omnipotence? You bet I am. But I won’t. Much.
Considering that people are apparently inclined to turn to Google while sitting in a car that won’t turn over (presumably on their iPhones — and indeed I did watch my traveling companion a couple weeks ago google “why won’t my Ford van start”; it did not return what we soon figured out was the answer: hold the shifter a half-inch above “P” with your left hand while turning the key with the right), it seems fair to conclude that the search engine fields myriad queries about glitches in our most prized and important machines.
And so isn’t it curious that just one of the top ten Google searches aimed to elucidate the causes of malfunctioning electronics regards anything other than an iPod, iPhone or iTunes? I wonder.
The technopundits spent months (years) hot under the collar waiting for the dawn of the iPad. And now that it’s here it’s caused a dizzying deluge of excitement commingled with bewildered disappointment and acrid bemusement. I’m gonna go ahead and jump on that last one. Never been a big Kool Aid drinker.
So, here’s a phrase I never thought I’d say: Hitler was on the money. Behold.
Adolf makes a great point I forgot to bring up in my earlier post: No Flash support. No Flash support?! How’s ol’ Jobsie going to make an essentially dedicated web-surfing device that doesn’t support Flash? It’s baffling.
And on a related note, a pretty nice little graphic of Apple product evolution: (source unknown)
Don’t you love the way SJ’s peeking out from behind his soon-to-be-released iSorry?
[Thanks, Dror & Jeff]
OK, OK. I cave. I have to talk about the iPad. I get it. On my failure to address last week’s most impactful appearance of an important public figure, I’ve not much to say. iPad? My bad. And I reckon this will make me a heretic among my tech brethren (a heretech?), but I pretty much don’t give a hoot. In a word: yawn.
It’ll be interesting to see how the technology is adopted and its release marks a crucial starting point for a new wave of netbook-obliterating, better-than-e-reader devices, but I don’t see an iPhone-esque groundswell/sea change (choose your geometaphor) happening just yet. It’s way better for reading than a Kindle, they say (I haven’t had a hands on), but it’s not like we’re all toting those puppies around. Otherwise, it seems like an oversized iPhone. An oversized iPhone that doesn’t take pictures. Or, you know, make calls. Yet still has a pricey 3G plan with famously spotty service to go along with it.
And as for other sad similarities, how the hell did they let this thing out of the box without multitasking functionality? You know how you can’t play music with the Pandora app on your iPhone while look something up on Google? You won’t be able to do that on the iPad either. Truly idiotic. Hey, check out this cool little ‘puter — it does one thing at a time!
Surely we’ll be revisiting the long-heralded tablet, and in the meantime I’d be remiss if I didn’t jump on the wagon and bring you MadTV’s prescient iPod/iPad spoof circa 2006: