Friday, August 31, 2007

Rumors and Fact

Over on the Nexus, I've accurately reported that Apple will soon offer music from "The Beatles" on its somewhat popular iTunes Music Store in the near future. The tagline for their upcoming special event, "The Beat Goes On", is a clear reference to the "Fab Four":


But now, there's some hand-wringing going on at Mac fanboi sites like this one, and this one, and this one, who claim that there may not be a Beatles-related introduction at Apple's upcoming "special event".

How many times to I have to say this? You can't trust Mac rumor sites, sorry. But you can trust the author of the most popular Windows website in the discovered universe (namely me). The Beatles are coming to iTunes. Obviously.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Ripoff

Over on the Nexus, I wrote about the ridiculous (and obvious) ripoff of the calculator interface for the overpriced Apple iPhone. I mean, come on:


But it's not the first time.

Remember the "revolutionary" Bondi Blue iMac? A clear ripoff of a classic game:



And the most egregious example--Apple's ripoff of 3M's "Post-it" notes with their lame "stickies" (thanks to John Gruber for pointing this one out):




It's this one, though, that really makes you go wonder what they're drinking in the Cupertino water. Look at Apple's obvious use of Braun-inspired holes:


Folks, this is is pathetic. I mean, come on...if you don't see it, you're just not trying. Obviously.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Funnyman

Longtime reader "anonymous" (is that greek for "Jackass"?) writes that I'm just mean, not funny.

So just for "anonymous", here's something funny.

Happy now?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Hubris

I'm often perceived as a Microsoft toadie or zealot. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The fact is, I like and use Apple products. I've written positive things about the iPod, and the Windows Supersite (the most popular Windows site of its kind in the known universe) is full of great reviews of great Apple products.

It's Steve Jobs I can't stand.

Jobs is the walking embodiment of everything that is both right and wrong with Apple. I'll give him credit where credit's due: He's a great showman, and even something of a visionary, although that vision usually involves taking other people's ideas and making them better.

What gets me about Jobs is that he's a jerk. Stories about Jobs are legendary. From parking in handicapped spots to firing people randomly in elevators, the guy just comes across like a know-it-all prick, sorry.

If you need proof of the hubris of this guy, just take a look at how he pissed people off during the last round of new product introductions. Jobs took the stage to introduce a new iMac and an update to the company's previously excellent iLife software.

Jobs spoke in grand terms about the company's redesign of the iMac, as if it was anything more than a minor update. Never mind that the new glossy screen is a complete disaster for anyone working in a brightly-lit corporate environment. The company doesn't offer you an alternative. Steve knows best.

Then, he demonstrated the new re-write of the company's venerable "iMovie" program, which has raised the ire of Mac fans worldwide by basically eliminating all the advanced functions that were previously available. Even ├╝ber-zealots like David Pogue are complaining. Loudly.

Next, Jobs fussed that "some people still like to make DVDs". Yes, you heard it right. Steve Jobs thinks DVDs are a dying technology. News flash, Steve: Wal*Mart sells more DVDs in a single day than the sales figures for AppleTV all year. Jobs is so convinced that DVDs are dead that he had his engineers remove the ability to insert chapter stops in iMovie.

Then, he introduced a crappy paper-thin wireless keyboard that eliminates basics like the numeric keypad. What is it with Jobs' obsession with being thin? Will somebody please give this guy a hamburger?

Apple apologists are legion, but luckily, many of the Apple fanatics are starting to see Jobs for what he really is, finally. The fact is, Apple does make some fantastic software and hardware. But everything is subject to the whim of Steve Jobs, so when Apple decides to drop features that people really like (such as matte screens on iMacs, or advanced features in iMovie), there aren't any developers or hardware manufacturers that can help fill that niche. The "Apple Faithful" are basically told, "you'll eat every bean and pea on your plate*. And you'll like it."

That's why the Microsoft ecosystem is just better. Obviously.



* Say it out loud. It sounds funnier than it reads.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Someone Should Put Music to This

I'd edit this to music myself, but my wife didn't bring her Mac Mini to France:

Monday, August 6, 2007

Fake Steve Jobs Outed

So this is interesting, if not particularly newsworthy. At least we know RFSJ wasn't John Dvorak (Andy Ihnatko took himself out of the running a while back). For a while I suspected my good friend Rob Enderle, but then again, he's too busy supervising his massive staff at the Enderle Group to be bothered by that kind of nonsense.

For a while, I was even a suspect. But I'm too busy posting my exhausting exhaustive multi-part review of Apple's overpriced iPhone over at the Windows Supersite (the most popular Windows website on the planet!), not to mention posting brilliant analysis at Paul Thurrott's Internet Nexus and WEB EXCLUSIVES! at WinInformant. Plus, I'm in France. Compared to the wonders of Europe, the whole "fake" phenomenon is uninteresting, obviously.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Don't Make Me Squirt You With My Brown Zune

I don't know who "John Pospisil" is, but apparently he's another Paul Thurrott wannabe, in the sense that he thinks he's a real tech reporter. He's not.

In this pathetic article, Pospisil (is that his real name?) quotes the brilliant Robbie Bach from Microsoft, who speaks eloquently about the phenomenal gains the Zune is making in the MP3 player market:
"You'll also see us broaden the brand, where today I think the Zune brand is a little bit sort of in the hard-core niche music space, we want to broaden it into the broader music space, and you're going to see that happen again over time"
Robbie likes the word "broad" a lot.

But then Popsicle, or whatever his name is, puts his caustic pen to paper and writes this tripe about the Zune's market share:

"Of course what Bach failed to mention was that the hard-disk-based media players are only a small proportion of the overall media player market, with most media players using flash memory for storage rather than hard disks. This means Microsoft’s market share of the total media player market is even smaller than it might at first appear."
Whatever. This guy's got spin that'll make you dizzier than Paris Hilton riding the teacup at DisneyWorld after taking Ecstasy. I've already pointed out that the Zune is number two in Hard Drive-based sales, Number One in brown MP3 player sales, and has no competition whatsoever for its proprietary file format!

Guys like Pospisil just don't get it. Obviously.

Friday, August 3, 2007

I Love The French

Over on the Nexus website, I wrote about the long, involved and painful process of getting my overpriced Apple iPhone running in France. I love that I'll be able to write this trip off as "research" for my upcoming EXCLUSIVE review of the iPhone.

Anyway, what I didn't tell you in that article is this: the French made a few concessions and adjustments to let me use the iPhone in their country. Since I travel here so often (and they're so happy to have me) they were thrilled to do whatever needed to be done to allow me to continue my research.

I think this was worth it:


Obviously, you can't take the elevator to the top any more, but the view was unimpressive anyway.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Billions, Schmillions

Greetings from France. It's nice to be in a country that has an even lower market share for Apple products than the United States. People are just so much more enlightened here. More on this later, but first I have to get this out of the way:

So Apple claims to have sold 3 Billion songs via the iTunes Music Store. It's unclear how many of these are giveaways, and how many represent actual sales, but whatever. Those are the numbers they're pushing, so it's what we have to work with. The Mac web and their willing accomplices in the mainstream tech press are falling all over themselves to report this "achievement".

I don't see why this is a big deal. On the excellent Paul Thurrott's Internet Nexus, I've used elaborate charts like this one to show that iTunes has peaked and is clearly dying:


But some of you still don't get it. So here are the only numbers you really need to know:

Number of Zunes sold: Over 1,000,0000
Number of songs sold on the iTunes music store that will play on the Zune: ZERO
Number of songs sold on the iTunes music store that will play on any portable player other than the iPod: ZERO

Look at this chart for proof (click on the image for a larger version):


It's only a matter of time until Apple's feeble efforts in music sink the company into irrelevancy. The number speak for themselves. Obviously.