Tuesday, June 28, 2005
I was pretty stoked to hear that Intuit provides a web-based version of their Quick Books accounting software called Quickbooks Online. However my worst fears were realized when I found out, through their web site, that it's only available for Windows/IE. Grrrrrr. I sent them some feedback to let them know there are some Mac users out there that might want to run Quickbooks this way. The responded that writing cross platform web "applications" was hard and they decided to "target the platform with 95% of the market". The email noted that auto-complete features as being one of the issues. I replied that other companies can do the very same feature (e.g. Google Mail and Suggests.) We'll see what kind of response I get. My guess it will be dead silence. If they used these new techniques they'd be able to deliver Quickbooks to an increasing number of non-IE users.
The Podcasts Are Here
I just updated iTunes from Software Update on my Mac and as the graphic in the iTunes Music Store states the "Podcasts are Here". Podcast support is indeed here. I've subscribed to all of my podcasts pretty painlessly and found a few more I know I'll enjoy (e.g. Harry Shearer's Le Show) The user experience is good. Since iTunes only downloads the latest show by default moving my subscriptions over from iPodderX didn't result in duplicate files on my iPod. I don't think there is any question that this release of iTunes is going to hinder the iPodderX team and a lot of other Mac based podcatching client projects. Hopefully it will drive up the innovation factor. I found most of my subscriptions by search. Only a few were on the podcast home page in Music Store. It doesn't appear that there is any podcast which is not available via the music store interface but my sample is pretty small. The Top 100 Podcast list on the Music Store is jumping around a bit. As a matter of fact it's not even a top 100 list at all just yet. The list only has 20 items in the list and then clicking down to the link at the bottom brings you to a page with 18 podcasts and the lists don't match. I think as people download the new iTunes and enter their subscriptions the data is changing rapidly. There is probably a lot of volatility in the rankings right now. Either the servers can't keep up or this list is batch generated. It will be interesting to compare this ranking with what Podcast Alley will have in the coming weeks.
Friday, June 10, 2005
I'm trying to I must get on the beta for feedlounge. It looks more like an application than Bloglines and supports tagging. I'm not sure app specific tagging is a great thing. What seems more useful is if applications can integrate to shared tagging systems like Technorati or del.icio.us. If I get on the beta I'll do a review.
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Apple + Intel = DRM?
There has been some speculation that Apple and Intel are getting together because Hollywood wants to ensure that the hardware DRM embedded into next generation Intel chips is available in as many systems as possible. I'm not sure I buy the conspiracy but anyway you slice this announcement there is the specter of the DRM boogey man lurking in the shadows. Being an optimist I'm guessing that Steve Jobs' explanation of the power per watt ratio being better, not to mention the poor yields on PPC, are more likely explanations as well as Apple's ability to encroach on the Windows market. Probably the most immediate impact we'll see from this announcement is higher performing Intel chips in PowerBooks. Jobs alluded to the fact that he can't deliver a G5 laptop or a 3GHz G5 desktop with IBM as the supplier. However I didn't here that Mac OS X will be able to run on any Intel system. Which would weaken my world domination by providing a OS X boot disk for generic Intel boxes argument significantly. Apple certainly has been preparing for this day in advance. Jobs' keynote confirmed that OS X has been running on Intel since it was released. I don't think anyone could have doubted it since it's based on a portable UNIX core. All in all an exciting announcement. It was almost surreal.
Monday, June 06, 2005
Apple and Intel
I think everyone is going to listen in to the big announcement. The article at news.com quotes an analyst saying that it may hurt Apple to switch architectures again but correctly counters this argument that this time is different. This switch will be under a FreeBSD based operating system. There are only a few cases where software developers are going to be affected, where their software is byte-order dependent, but most shouldn't feel a thing. This is pretty exciting. I'd love to be able to run OS X on my home Intel box or, at a very minimum, dual-boot it. Doc Searls, speculates that maybe this means Intel may be only helping Apple fix the yield problems and be in talks with IBM to fab the Power PC chip. I'm not sure I buy this one. It would take more than a "sex change" for Intel to manufacture the Power PC. This move by Apple is pretty simple. I think it's the first stage in a multi-stage plan to further gain market share against Microsoft. First lure PC users into Apple stores to buy iPods. Tempt them with all the high-design and functionality of Apple hardware. Show them Intel hardware made by Apple. Finally, if you can't sell them the hardware, send them home with CD to load up on their current Windows machine. As long as Longhorn remains in the shop Apple's got all the time in the world to execute on this strategy.