AMITIAE - Monday 26 March 2012
Cassandra - Monday Review - It will soon be Friday
By Graham K. Rogers
Opening Gambit:I thought it was going to be a quiet weekend, but rumours, iPad heat comments and misinformation about what Mike Margolis said on the AppleTv interface kept appearing: move along please, nothing to see here; these are not the droids you want. Retina display on the MacBook Pro; Apple Voice over iP on the iPhone. Warm iPads. iPads in education. More colours on the iPad means more power: who would have thought? . . . Haptic iPads. Galaxies on the Mac (the stars, not the Samsung stuff). Another True story: time does mean money, but only mine, not True's.
Apple StuffAfter a weekend off, we may as well start with a rumour and the Retina display is one thing that is suggested may appear on the new MacBook Pro. I sort of have my doubts, but AppleBitch tell us that code in the developer versions of OS Mountain Lion, suggest that there is a possibility.
However, you cannot keep a good iPad down, and Cody Fink on MacStories has written a comprehensive report on his iPad and he does take some time to examine the heat issue. Or non-issue. Yes, it is warm, he reports, after a lot of hard work, but that is it and writes that "headlines and statements written about the average increase in temperature are generally misleading to consumers", adding, "The statement that the new iPad gets so hot that you cannot comfortably hold it after a brief period of time is false." He has some other harsh words for the usual suspects who seem only to want to deconstruct.
Also reporting on the new iPad is Matthew Panzarino whose headline desecribes it as the "least impressive tablet ever", adding that is why it is so great. As I noticed with the first one when new users grabbed it, within seconds there was no real interference from the device: users had an instant connect. There was none of the worry of typing in commands, all that happened was that they touched, they scrolled, they slid their fingers and it all worked. Matthew's iPad is the same, but more so. And the heat? "The new iPad runs slightly warmer than the old version, but the increase in temperature is not dramatic" he writes.
One of the reasons for the warmth is because the iPad now consumes more power: more processor, more battery and more color. Mikey Campbell on AppleInsider has some more information about the Retina display which, he tells us, adds 30% to the power consumption. The magic has to come from somewhere I guess and he has a lengthy description of why this is so.
With a tongue in cheek thought about Thailand's own tablet computer program for schools, we read on Electronista about a program in Holland that is about to try an experiment in education in which the iPad (the real iPad, not a cheap, diluted, Chinese knock-off) would be the centerpiece of the program. Starting with a few schools, the introduction of the iPad to the programs would replace other materials and encourage the kids to earn 21st century skills. Clearly, they do not have 19th century politicians in the Netherlands.
Even the Register has to admit sometimes that Apple is on the right track. Salman Chaudry analyses the strategy that Apple appears to have with the new iPad and the brilliance of a cheaper iPad 2 that will probably ensure that Apple continues to own the market, especially (as he writes) most other tablets continue to disappoint.
John Martellaro also has a "report card" on Tim Cook whom some think is not going to make the grade. Anyone who has been reading Cassandra will be in no doubt where I stand on this and I have every confidence in Mr Cook. So does John Martellaro who suggests that under his stewardship Apple is "in great shape." Related to that, following a Tweet on Sunday took me to an item on Macgasm that suggests, "If it weren't for Tim Cook, the iPad would cost $5,000"
We know that Apple has been looking to set up centres in other parts of the USA, like Oklahoma and also Texas as well as N. Carolina (and of course California) and we read on iPodNN that the Austin TX council has approved an incentive package of $8.6 million for Apple "as part of a $304 million deal to expand operations in the city" and bring in 3,600 new high-quality administrative and engineering jobs.
Half and HalfI have not really had a close look at Thunderbolt technology just yet as so few devices here are capable of this, apart from some Macs and the Apple displays. Dong Ngo has a look at some of the hard disks that work with the connections and has a major criticism in that not one includes a cable: the only one available is too long in some cases and is not cheap.
It was interesting to read about the comments of the Authors' Guild President, Scott Turow commenting on the antitrust lawsuit that involves Apple and some publishers. He says, in a report by Ryan Helse on The Verge, that the real threat is Amazon. Note above, too, there is no Apple iBooks monopoly here: can't buy anything.
A True StoryHaving been persuaded by a friend who checked with TrueVisions about the connection at my new apartment, I decided to connect the service and stayed home Saturday morning to wait for the technician: the necessary funds secreted ready. 10am I was told; or from then up to noon. By 10 am I was showered and ready.
At 11 am a phone call told me the technicians would not come until 1:30 pm which put me in a real spot and I was not happy at all. I was expected to stay at the apartment to wait for a technician who was already late with no guarantee he would arrive anyway. I said that this was not acceptable, and went shopping. To add a touch of irony outside the apartment was someone from True selling True internet and TV services. At 1pm the technician phoned. Sigh.
On Sunday I was phoned at about 11am to be told the technician would arrive at 12 noon. Just after noon another phone call told me 20 minutes. 30 minutes later they arrived. It took almost an hour to download the software for the device, because they could not find my details at True, although I phoned on Friday and was given my customer number, and the technicians must have been given some information otherwise they would not have had my phone number or apartment number. Sigh.
Another example of the abysmal service from this monopoly.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.
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