Lucas says “Supersize me!”

Borrowing a friend’s iPad at lunch. I’m worried that his iPod Touch will never be good enough after this.


What year is it again?

Always a good time for hyperbole.

The computer received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that was made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it, moreover, so long as one remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, Google plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live–did live, from habit that became instinct–in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.

| Posted in Home Tech | 1 Comment »

Warrior Spot

Warrior Spot, originally uploaded by jakerome.

Just like old times. Picked up Derrick at the airport, and were planning to head to Jerry’s to enjoy some mac & cheese. Instead, I remembered that Encounter was open so we made it a shorter trip. Nice views of the airfield, psychedelic music in the elevator & food that would be a value at half its price. Good times.


Is The Web Dead?

I’ve had several conversations over the past couple of years with you guys that usually start with discussions of the iPhone versus other platforms (as most conversations between us do), and eventually move into whether the web as we know it is succumbing to the world of apps — which in some cases, are nothing more than site-specific microbrowsers. And then somehow we always get into the webOS/Android/iPhone discussion.

In Wired this month, Chris Anderson’s article “The Web Is Dead, Long Live the Internet” makes the case that, yes, apps are killing the open web. Most of what we do, particularly on mobile devices, is via (non-browser) apps. “For the sake of the optimized experience on mobile devices, users forgo the general-purpose browser. They use the Net, but not the Web. Fast beats flexible.” I agree. But I don’t think this is just the case for mobile apps — it’s at least as big a deal on desktop/laptop operating systems.

It’s clear to me that “apps” (both desktop/laptop OS and mobile) are replacing the browser more and more. Apps offer specialized capabilities that the Swiss army knife browser simply doesn’t, from a usage point of view. For example, I’m typing this post in a desktop blogging application (MarsEdit), when I could use the WordPress site on the Pyslent server. I even paid for the privilege of this Mac application. Among other things, what I got was integration with my desktop OS and file system, a much more flexible editing environment, and the ability to save files locally. So yes, I could have done this in a browser, but my user experience with an app is much better.

I also use applications (on my laptop) to integrate with Google Calendar (iCal and BusySync), SimpleNote (Notational Velocity), GMail (Mailplane), Google Reader (NetNewsWire), last.fm (iScrobbler) and Twitter (Tweetie), among many others. For that matter, I use Entourage for my work email, when Outlook Web Access would function perfectly well. In all these cases, I could use my browser, but I prefer features and/or the UI of the application to the web version. In fact, in each of the above cases, as far as I’m concerned, the web service is simply a cloud-based storage area that I access exclusively with apps, whether by phone or mobile device. The browser is what I use for Google searches — most of my web reading is actually done via RSS using dedicated RSS readers.

This makes me wonder how the Google’s Chrome OS is going to fare, where basically the browser is the OS. Seems like they’re zigging when the rest of the world is zagging.

What do you guys think? We’ll never get rid of a general-purpose browser, but do you think it’s less important now than it was?

| Posted in Web Sites | 7 Comments »

Do you know Uncle Jake?

Lucas was drawing on the driveway with chalk his evening when a solicitor came up to try to sell Serena some magazines. Lucas kept interrupting his sales pitch with questions. Turns out the guy was living out of a hotel while trying to save up to go to Los Angeles. Lucas replied: “Uncle Jake lives in Los Angeles. Do you know Uncle Jake?”

| Posted in Mobile Posts | 1 Comment »

New Gadgets I: TiVo Premiere

I’ve gone through a number of new gadgets lately, and I need to catch up on these reviews. I’ll start off with an easy one, the TiVo Premiere. Bottom line: it’s exceptionally adequate. Does everything it’s supposed, has a little bit of flashiness. Using TiVo sharing is fun & has come in handy. But ultimately, it seems like a modest improvement on the TiVo HD. Everything works well, internet video capabilities are improved, but they desperately need that keyboard remote to take advantage of it. Tough to get excited about, but other than some lagginess, no real complaints.

| Posted in Home Tech | 2 Comments »

The Great Mobile OS Smackdown

Because sometimes, 140 characters just isn’t enough. Chime in on the 3 modern smart phone operating systems on the market. What works well, what works poorly, how far has each advanced in the past 2 years. Are iPhone apps better because the platform is more popular, or because the platform is more powerful? As I was about to tweet to Kelvin, “@sbono13 Exactly. Doesn’t relate to iOS improvement, but to popularity. Like saying Windows was better than OS X b/c it had more apps.” If there were a total clean slate, which OS would you choose to build upon?