This is Mark's new Thursday Question meme. Last week's I answered on his site, but I thought I'd answer it here this week.
1. What is your favorite site to visit? (portals, blogline type readers, etc don't count)
It depends what I'm in the mood for. News.com is probably my most regular non-portalish read, along with various blogs. My regular routine is News.com, then OSNews, then MacNewsBytes, then Drudge, then my asisaid Recent Comments page, then using my blogroll to visit other blogs. If time permits, I might go to CNN after that.
2. What site is known to be popular but you just don't get it?
I'm having a hard time digging Digg. It just doesn't do anything for me.
3. What is your biggest pet peeve regarding web site design and ease of use?
4. What speed do you surf the internets [sic] at? Reality vs ISP promise.
I surf at a promised speed of 3 mbps thanks to Charter High-Speed Internet. In reality, I get somewhere between 2.5-2.8, according to Broadband Reports.
5. What web site, which is no longer with us, will you forever miss?
I'm not really sure. Just for old time's sake, I'd go back a bit farther and say I miss the odd charm of Prodigy Interactive Services.
6. What gem of site have you just found?
SAtechBlog is run not only by a guy that loves the Mac, but more importantly, is obsessed by AT&T's U-Verse (Project Lightspeed). Suddenly, I can go to just one place and keep up-to-date on this fascinating technology.
Apple's decision to keep the 3GS available is huge. Previously, Apple has only kept two generations of iPhones on the market at any given time. But, keeping the 3GS out there shows that the company wants to compete at every level of the smartphone market, not just the high end. With the iPhone now on three out of four US carriers and available in low-end, middle and high-end configurations, Apple has “finally” declared all out war on Android.
Time will tell a lot: much of Android's growth has been due to its multi-carrier availability and wide range of pricing. Now what will be its shtick?
Anyone who has read or seen Waiting for Godot will appreciate this.
If you have a Mac, and you're looking for a way to make your system seem a little more festive for Independence Day, checkout Virtual FireworX, which I just reviewed in my gadget column at OfB. It is really impressive, and a basic version of it is even free.
I reviewed the Mi-Fi using Verizon's 3G network earlier in the week. If you've been considering this nifty little device, take a look — I even look at how the device interacts with the iPhone. You won't want to miss it!
I was more than a bit surprised when I saw commentators start noting ways Apple's presentations were becoming less well organized post-Jobs. In particular, various folks mentioned the ambiguous “new iPad” name, the play on words used to launch the product and the colorful Apple logo at the end. Matt Thomas deals with these points very succinctly.
Incidentally, am I the only one to note that the lack of a numerical qualifier after the name iPad simply puts the iPad within the naming conventions always applied to the iPod family?
Canonical premiered Ubuntu TV at the CES. It appears to be a very delightful interface for managing various traditional and Internet-based television services. Nevertheless, the big problem that has faced companies like TiVo has not been creating a great interface, but getting pay TV services to integrate with a given interface. How will Canonical avoid the exact same problem?
Andrew Robinson on the “plus sides” of AT&T U-verse:
On the plus side, I watch a lot less TV, spend less time on the phone and am forced to take breaks from my various online duties from time to time, so it's not all bad I suppose. Maybe I'm looking at this the wrong way, maybe it's not that AT&T U-verse is the entertainment equivalent of swine flu; maybe it's that AT&T wants to make sure its customers have time for their other hobbies like reading or enjoying a real sunset instead of watching one on Sunrise Earth on Discovery HD.
I missed this review when it was published last year and it has a few technical errors in it, but it gets to my long time thesis: cable is not worse than the alternatives. Cable just has worse PR.
I still think that the Apple TV as it has now been unveiled is a trojan horse for the company (not of the malicious software kind, however). If this thing sells enough units — and at the new price and design, it very well could sell that mystical figure known as “enough” — one can easily see people begging for a SDK to develop apps (especially “casual” games) for it.
And, like the original iPhone, Apple can act like its arms are being twisted and then “relent” by doing what it intended to do all along. Right now, launching with an app store might be embarrassing. The current Apple TV hasn't been that successful (by Apple's own admission) and so interest could be tepid. Just look at how hard of time Apple had getting the major networks to support its new TV rental scheme (just two did). Unlike its other devices, people aren't begging to be involved on the Apple TV. Yet.
But, this device, with its Netflix streaming support and iTunes compatibility, could easily sell well. And then, in Steve Job's lingo, “boom.”