Daniel Eran Dilger
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RoughlyDrafted Archives: June 2006

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Daniel Eran Dilger
Index page for articles from June 2006.

June 2006 (newer articles on top):

An iPhone Worth Talking About

Apple could apply a number of the iPod’s outstanding design features in a new phone that would make a good, competitive phone, and then sell customers both a good phone, and a good music player. Some of the potential risks in trying to sell their own phone might be mitigated now that Apple has a strong retail store presence, but other challenges are still out there.

iPod, Therefore, iPhone?

Consider the features that make the iPod competitive as a music player: its simple and elegant design, compact size, light weight, high audio quality, large storage capacity, and competitive price. Now, make it a phone. An iPod with mobile phone features would require mobile and bluetooth radio circuity and dialing controls. Those additions would make the iPod phone more complex, bulkier, shorten its battery life, and make it more expensive. Such a device might be a better compromise than a phone trying to be a music player, but it would still compete poorly against standalone music players or dedicated phones.

Why Mobile Phones Make Bad iPods

The previous article, The iPod Phone Myth, took apart the idea that mobile phones, and in particular smartphones, are a threat to Apple’s iPod. Will that change in the near future? How much overlap is there between mobile phones and music players? In this article, I present why mobile phones and music players are not the obvious match many analysts are describing.

Fixing .Mac – Idea 7: Enhance & Encourage Sharing

Apple’s nebulous .Mac services were introduced in What the Heck is .Mac? In 10 Reasons Why Apple Can Kickstart Web 2.0, I presented why Apple is uniquely positioned to actually deliver .Mac services well worth the price of admission. In this series, I’ll describe features I think Apple needs to add to move .Mac from “web hosting and email plus” to a complete suite of services that are valuable, obvious, and will sell themselves to potential subscribers. Plus, I want to use them!

The iPod Phone Myth

According to proponents of this myth, Apple’s success with the iPod is about to be crushed by an onslaught of music playing cell phones, so Apple needs to desperately come up with an iPod + cell phone combination of their own to remain relevant. They’re wrong, here’s why

The Revolution Will be Open Sourced!

Over the last decade, every player in the software development industry has been dramatically affected by an open source revolution. Microsoft, once an imposing and bulletproof monopolist who led the PC industry around on a short leash, has been forced into a defensive position with its server products as Linux advances.

Fixing .Mac – Idea 6: Add Privacy Management

Apple’s nebulous .Mac services were introduced in What the Heck is .Mac? In 10 Reasons Why Apple Can Kickstart Web 2.0, I presented why Apple is uniquely positioned to actually deliver .Mac services well worth the price of admission. In this series, I’ll describe features I think Apple needs to add to move .Mac from “web hosting and email plus” to a complete suite of services that are valuable, obvious, and will sell themselves to potential subscribers. Plus, I want to use them!

Fixing .Mac – Idea 5: A .Mac Marketplace

Apple’s nebulous .Mac services were introduced in What the Heck is .Mac? In 10 Reasons Why Apple Can Kickstart Web 2.0, I presented why Apple is uniquely positioned to actually deliver .Mac services well worth the price of admission. In this series, I’ll describe features I think Apple needs to add to move .Mac from “web hosting and email plus” to a complete suite of services that are valuable, obvious, and will sell themselves to potential subscribers. Plus, I want to use them!

Stevenson Fails ‘Report Card’ on Mac Ads

Seth Stevenson writes a column for Salon called the “Ad Report Card,” where he rates the effectiveness of advertising based on his own extemporaneous criteria. Sometimes it’s the concept , sometimes execution, and sometimes he just likes ads because they are entertaining. After watching Apple’s new Get a Mac ads, however, he complained, “They are conceptually brilliant, beautifully executed, and highly entertaining. But they don’t make me want to buy a Mac.” Advertising isn’t supposed to make you think you want to buy the product; it is designed to create awareness and results. That subtle difference is something an ad critic should understand, so Stevenson fails the grade.

Fixing .Mac – Idea 4: Secure Identity Services

Apple’s nebulous .Mac services were introduced in What the Heck is .Mac? In 10 Reasons Why Apple Can Kickstart Web 2.0, I presented why Apple is uniquely positioned to actually deliver .Mac services well worth the price of admission. In this series, I’ll describe features I think Apple needs to add to move .Mac from “web hosting and email plus” to a complete suite of services that are valuable, obvious, and will sell themselves to potential subscribers. Plus, I want to use them!

Apple & Open Source… Strange Buffaloes?

In “The ‘Mac OS X Closed by Pirates’ Myth,” I took apart the idea that Apple was backpedaling on their open source efforts because of fears of piracy. The article prompted a fierce reaction from certain open source advocates, who ignored the point I was making in order to profess their devout, fundamentalist faith in the world conquering manifesto of the open source revolution. Part of that faith requires vilifying any who dare defend the release of any binary code without its accompanying source.

Fixing .Mac – Idea 3: .Macster!

Apple’s nebulous .Mac services were introduced in What the Heck is .Mac? In 10 Reasons Why Apple Can Kickstart Web 2.0, I presented why Apple is uniquely positioned to actually deliver .Mac services well worth the price of admission. In this series, I’ll describe features I think Apple needs to add to move .Mac from “web hosting and email plus” to a complete suite of services that are valuable, obvious, and will sell themselves to potential subscribers. Plus, I want to use them!

Fixing .Mac – Idea 2: A Reputation System

Apple’s nebulous .Mac services were introduced in What the Heck is .Mac? In 10 Reasons Why Apple Can Kickstart Web 2.0, I presented why Apple is uniquely positioned to actually deliver .Mac services well worth the price of admission. In this series, I’ll describe features I think Apple needs to add to move .Mac from “web hosting and email plus” to a complete suite of services that are valuable, obvious, and will sell themselves to potential subscribers. Plus, I want to use them!

Fixing .Mac – Idea 1: Hyperblog the Web

Apple’s nebulous .Mac services were introduced in What the Heck is .Mac? In 10 Reasons Why Apple Can Kickstart Web 2.0, I presented why Apple is uniquely positioned to actually deliver .Mac services well worth the price of admission. In this series, I’ll describe features I think Apple needs to add to move .Mac from “web hosting and email plus” to a complete suite of services that are valuable, obvious, and will sell themselves to potential subscribers. Plus, I want to use them!

The Apple Video Game Development Myth

According to proponents of this myth, Apple’s recent recruiting for video game developers means that the company is planning a big new push into video games for the Mac, the iPod, and possibly a brand new gaming console from Apple. They’re wrong, here’s why.

5 More Reasons Apple Can Kickstart Web 2.0

In 10 Reasons Why Apple Can Kickstart Web 2.0, I Introduced the first five reasons why Apple is a force to be reckoned with on the new web, and how this will enable them to do things other industry players can’t. Here’s five more reasons:

The ‘Mac OS X Closed by Pirates’ Myth

According to the proponents of this myth, Apple has abandoned their open source initiatives as they move to Intel, because they are afraid that, armed with the Darwin source code, pirate 3lit3 haxx0rs will p0wn them and have Mac OS X running on generic PCs. They’re wrong, here’s why.

10 Reasons Why Apple Can Kickstart Web 2.0

Apple’s nebulous .Mac services were introduced in What the Heck is .Mac? Here, I’ll present why Apple is uniquely poised to jump into the Web 2.0 brouhaha and deliver services worth the price of admission.

What the Heck is .Mac?

Nearly four years after its initial release, it’s still hard to succinctly describe exactly what .Mac offers. Apple describes the service on their software page as a way to publish content, backup files and sync data. Interestingly, .Mac’s most obvious component, email, is listed as a minor aside halfway down on .Mac features page. Clearly, Apple sees .Mac as something more than just an glorified email account.

What’s Broken in iWeb: A Wishlist

When Apple announced iWeb, I was seriously impressed. Rather than being a utilitarian HTML editor, they delivered a website tool that simply did seemingly everything, and a few more things, too. It was more than I was expecting. Sometimes, after getting exactly what you want, you realize you really want something different. The good news is that iWeb 1.0 is a great start, and its problems should be easy for Apple to address.


Introducing iWeb

In Dr. Strangeweb, I presented why the web is fundamentally challenging to use as a medium for rich presentation. This is particularly the case for people who want to publish information without becoming experts in the web’s underlying technologies. How does iWeb compare with existing ways to manage a website?

Dr. Strangeweb: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Blog

Back before Tim Berners-Lee developed the origins of the World Wide Web, Internet pioneers used ftp to get documents, Archie look up the various ftp servers, Gopher to browse for documents on remote servers in a folder like hierarchy, and Veronica and Jughead to index Gopher servers.

Universal Applications: How the transition to Intel is very different than the move to PowerPC

As noted in Why Apple Hasn’t used Intel Processors Before, the Classic Mac OS was closely tied to the Motorola 68k processor. In the mid 90s, Apple’s move to PowerPC hinged on the ability of PowerPC chips to emulate 68k code. That emulation burden was a necessary evil because so much Mac software, including Apple’s own, was tied to a processor-dependent foundation.

Unraveling The PowerPC Obsolescence Myth

According to proponents of this myth, Apple and third party developers will soon stop making software that runs on PowerPC Macs; even Leopard, the next release of Mac OS X, will be Intel only! They’re wrong, here’s why.