Daniel Eran Dilger
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Macworld 09 Infamy Awards

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Daniel Eran Dilger

It might be too late to inaugurate a new series of awards for Macworld Expo, given that the show is on its last legs, but I have some pics that needed to get published, so here it is anyway.
.Fresh Fruit Payola

Fuze sponsored a tasty breakfast in the press room to attract media attention for its iPhone online meeting app. Among the media outlets that interviewed the company were two teenager dudes. Yeah nice Hurley t-shirt. Get a haircut and wear a tie, slackers! They were just there for the pineapple.

Outside of the sponsored catering events (Filemaker sprang for lunch at one point) Macworld Expo didn’t even provide coffee or sodas in the press room. However, this time they did provide enough electricity, which was nice.

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Totally Faked Demo

This guy is hawking his astronomy software, but the demo is obviously faked. There are no holes in the roof of Moscone Center for his telescope.

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Most Ad-raped DeLorean

This replica of the DMC time machine no doubt exists to flack products at trade shows, but it probably hasn’t ever been so shamelessly plastered with ads. How about some subtlety folks?

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Emptiest Booth

San Francisco’s Academy of Art University had a huge booth at Macworld that hosted fewer visits than even Stuffit Deluxe. That’s also a fitting symbol of one’s job prospects after paying for an overpriced AAU education. Crickets.

Who Was the Biggest Loser at Macworld?

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Most Unfortunately Named Product

This one’s a tie between Marware, which suggests damage even when used correctly (among their offerings are software and case protectors)…

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… and accessory maker ifrogz & EarPollution. What’s next, MouthTurds? Will there be ten plagues all together?

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Largest Logistical Error

Macworld spelled itself backwards on the huge signage in the South Hall. At least it didn’t use the sensible inter-case of MacWorld, as that would have brought contemptuous complaints from the spelling nerd police.

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Coolest Gadget You Can’t Yet Buy

Extremely impressed with Microvision’s tiny new video projector, but it’s not yet available. The company is going to sell lots of these, but it really hopes to pack the technology into a cell phone. I think it’s probably too cutting edge for Apple to pack into the mainstream iPhone within the next year, but isn’t it about time for a iPhone God Edition, which costs $700 and does crazy stuff that sets you apart as a full ring above other mere mortals? Behold, my streaming movie, projected upon the wall. Bring me popcorn sacrifices and watch it with me.

Microvision’s tiny video projector wows Macworld attendees

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Weakest Invitation

Who writes Microsoft’s marketing lines? See where it takes you? Wow. How about: enslaved to banality and $500 poorer.

Road to Mac Office 2008: an introduction

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Most Brutal Snubbing by Steve Jobs

Well, not counting Macworld itself, it would have to be iDVD, which not only got fully ignored in the keynote but didn’t even make it on the Life banners this year. Ouch!

Why Did Apple Bail On Macworld Expo?

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Most Nonchalant Presentation of A Cultural Phenomenon

Apple enters the smartphone market, gets ridiculed for the iPhone ‘not really being a smartphone,’ then blows down the doors of mobile software with secure digital downloads store that creates the first significant, viable market for mobile software. Macworld gets… a banner (albeit two sided) and a table of a dozen iPhones. I’ve seen more extravagant presentation for a lemonade stand.

Some pundits had in mind that Macworld would become a show about iPhone software, but who travels to show off $5 software titles that can be fully summarized within a single page in iTunes? Does one really need to attend a convention in order to make a purchasing decision for software sold at disposable prices?

Macworld 09: Apple blows expectations

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Most Ineffectual Attempt to Trump Macworld at CES.

The Palm Pre, apparently short for premature ejaculation. Microsoft didn’t even try this year. Hey Ballmer, how’s that Surface selling? And Windows Home Server, and Zune, and so on. Is Vista really going to dazzle once you scrape off the more atrocious bits and call it Windows 7, FOUR YEARS LATER?

I’ll leave it at that folks.

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Palm Pre: The Emperor’s New Phone
Innovation: Apple at Macworld vs Microsoft at CES
CES: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

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  • Brau

    Absolutely the best Macworld review I’ve read to date. I loved the snarky comments and smiled all the way through. And thanks for pointing out EarPollution; I actually might try out a set of those iFrogz ear buds. At $20 they seem worth a try.

  • http://www.systematicabstraction.com/ KA

    I didn’t think “See where is takes you” was such a bad line, but that astronomy guy had me laughing for quite a long time.

  • Mirage

    Ha ha ha. Your writing made my day: “Isn’t it about time for an iPhone God Edition? Behold, my streaming movie, projected upon the wall. Bring me popcorn sacrifices and watch it with me.” But anyway, are you really serious about this request of an all-powerful iPhone? What else do you feel that Apple might actually be able to stick in such a version? What’s really possible? Isn’t the iPhone as good as it can be right now? In hindsight, doesn’t Apple usually have good reasons for not including desired or popular features before they feel that the technology is ready?

    As for me, I just want my iPhone to someday have two specific accessories. First, a bluetooth full-color iPhone display in a pair of cool sunglasses, along with a physical slider on the side of the frames for adjusting the opacity level of each lens. Second, a bluetooth iPhone interface in a cool wristwatch, either so I could utilize the iPhone vibrate-only mode when I’m wearing loose pants in a noisy room by easily feeling the watch vibrate instead of iPhone, or so I could see a bright alert light on the watch instead of hearing a ringer or feeling a noisy vibration; that way, I don’t have to be startled by a sudden noise while writing or reading quietly.

  • http://www.roughlydrafted.com danieleran

    Maybe the iPhone God could also sport a decent camera.

  • http://planetenpaultje.nl Planeten Paultje

    The Pico Projector: Very nice kit, but rather let down by the iPhone itself because unfortunately it does not do screen mirroring. To be able to demo stuff on the screen would ad a lot of value to the combination iPhone-Pico Projector.

  • http://johnsessays.blogspot.com John Muir

    I’m not sure why Marware have the name they do (someone else registered MarsWare? Shrug.) but they have been around for donkey’s years, and gone to a lot of expos.

    My old PowerBook’s case is one of theirs. But I didn’t get it becuase of their booth at a conference I’d never heard of, half a world a way. It was just on sale at a local store and I needed a carry case for my first Mac.

    Pretty much sums up tradeshows. Wonder if Scotsys (the local store) would only have heard of them from a friend of a friend who went to expo? Doubt it.

  • gus2000

    That poor DeLorean. But Dan, did you really use the terms “ads” and “subtlety” in the same sentence? You spent too much time outside the USA.

  • http://all.net/ hylas

    Apple pulling out of Macworld, … “murdering its darlings” pops to mind.
    Skipping out before all the former Windows ware makers descend like a pack of locusts, more likely.

    This article sums up about every trade show I’ve been to, Macworld especially.

    “There are no holes in the roof of Moscone Center for his telescope.”

    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.
    (apologies to Clarke’s three laws).

    There’s nothing to lament here folks, move along please.

  • VernK

    You are slagging the “astronomy guy” on bad info, mate. The software is not showing a fake demo, the software is a planetarium program that can drive a telescope to point it at a celestial object. It does not actually hook up to a telescope for real sky viewing. Didn’t have time to stop and ask?


  • nat

    Hahahhhah, Palm Pre does have unfortunate word associations. I just thought of it as an incomplete prefix, i.e., pre what? Pre-SDK? Seems a bit late to have that prefixy name.

  • benlewis

    Hilarious! The best review of Macworld anywhere! I always thought of “See Where It Takes You” as a kind of sinister veiled threat, btw. In that context, it always made sense to me…

  • http://home.comcast.net/~daguy daGUY

    One more thing to add for iDVD – Apple’s own site simply refers to it as “iDVD” without the ’09 suffix. Maybe they’re phasing it out to replace it with iBlu-ray in iLife ’10? Haha.

  • jakeb

    I think “Pre” is supposed to stand for “Pre-iPhone”, since if it really had been I’ve no doubt it really would have sold pretty well . . . .

  • mikeg

    Excellent article as usual, Daniel. I am going to Pre`-order my iPhone God with all of the extra godstruments.

  • JohnFromVermont

    Hey Daniel – Those teenage reporters were there for more than the pineapple juice! They are from the Santa Barbara Middle School Teen Press. SBMS is a private school in California that has an amazing set of student reporters. They do a lot of research before they head out to interview people. During the election cycle, they interviewed many of the candidates and asked the hard questions that a lot of other press folks ignored.

    They did a pretty good job of covering Mac World as well, and even scored an interview with Woz.

    Check them out here:


  • OlsonBW

    I agree with JohnFromVermont. They, especially the boy on the left, did a lot better job of interviewing Woz than quite a few different interviews that I have seen with professional interviewers. Also, that’s the first interview I’ve aware of with questions about his watch.

  • http://planetenpaultje.nl Planeten Paultje

    The astronomy program is Voyager from Carina Software. A most excellent application that can indeed drive your telescope:

  • timmyd

    I was the guy giving the “obviously faked demo” of the astronomy software. While Voyager can drive a telescope to point at anything in the sky, it clearly can’t show you what’s it’s looking at if the scope is inside a covered building – and I never made any claim that it could. In fact, if you’d paid any attention at all to the demo, you would have known that the view of Saturn on the monitor was a simulated view – no telescope on Earth can show Saturn from above that planet’s north pole. You’re not doing yourself any service here by exposing your ignorance. Next time be more careful who you slag.

    [Sorry Tim, that was intended to be an obvious joke. – Dan]

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