AMITIAE - Friday 8 June 2012
Cassandra: Friday Review - The Weekend Arrives
By Graham K. Rogers
Opening Gambit:Apple rumours: new MacBook Pro and others. Coincidental 4G test at Moscone center this week. New model part numbers sighted. App updates. Problems at Foxconn: 1,000 riot (no Apple content). Patent comments. Apple friendly changes at Samsung. Facebook will disappear. Facebook app store announced. Ray Bradbury dies. Change top iPV6: nothing happened. Email at local university: nothing happening. Local news: venture capital from SingTel; Internet censorship in Thailand; and a Thai insurance company buys 300 iPads.
Apple StuffAmong the rumours surrounding Monday's WWDC there has been the probable update to Macs. We expect the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air ranges to be part of the new look (if that is what it is), although some changes may be more modest. There are three other models that come into consideration: the MacPro, the iMac and the Mac mini.
There has been a petition of sorts running on Facebook for a few weeks that has been sending a message to Apple (the posters claim) that the MacPro is overdue an update and lots of users want to see this. Now we read on AppleBitch that this is one of the computers in line for a Monday announcement, although quite what we may get is unclear. The article cites three new model numbers as support. My own guess is that if there is a redesign, then this will have a smaller form factor than the current, hefty computers.
One thing, however, is that -- if the MacPro is updated at WWDC -- that will not be because of an online forum. The time it takes to decide, design (or redesign) and test would mean this has been in the pipeline for months.
It is not just new numbers for the MacPro apparently. Electronista reports that "an expanded list of part numbers" would appear to support rumours we wrote about earlier in the week that lots of new Macs could be on the way. There are 14 revised numbers, while Apple lists 20 models. Do the maths, eh?
And there is also a posting about the long-rumoured 7" iPad including a video of that we see on a blog called Zoogue which calls it the iPad nano. Like the rumoured iPhone (above) this has the new dock connector. What we appear to have here is a device that could be for Apple, with the 3G antenna cover missing, but it is clearly marked "iPad." Dunno. . . . We will find out Monday. My source for this was MacDaily News.
I just don't understand one of the quotes in the article. Kremer says, "If you are giving a presentation and something fails on the software side it might take four days to get it up and running again." Having given a presentation on Thursday using the iPad and running the Remote app from the iPhone I don't actually think failure is in the equation. As well as editing overnight from a number of sources, I discussed one slide with a colleague who directed me to his Facebook page for a better photograph of the equipment. I saved that and incorporated it into the slide in about 4 seconds, not 4 days. These sound like the comments of someone who has never used an iPad. My original source was MacDaily News.
The Register did have a follow up on this and if they cannot make anything against Apple out of it, there is nothing to be had. Three main points emerge from the item by Anna Leach: the workers were in dispute with a restaurant owner; the particular dormitories were 3rd party owned and not run by Foxconn; and the security guards were not Foxconn's either. Move along please, nothing to see here.
I also saw that with the latest update to the LinkedIn app (5.0.3), there were reported to be "improvements in calendar". There had been some criticism that the app accessed and sent some data from the calendar on the iOS devices in a way that might have been in contravention of Apple's rules. Apart from a mention in Jeff Carlson's article, the calendar problems with LinkedIn were also featured in an item by Josh Ong on AppleInsider.
Half and HalfWith the way patent law and decisions are going, it is going to happen sooner or later that some important US product is banned in the US. With a case concerning Google patents that might apply to products from Apple and Microsoft, the possibility that this could happen reared its head last week. The Federal Trade Commission has gone to bat however and has expressed its concerns about the ITC decision concerning Motorola/Google patents and the effects this might have we are told by Foss Patents who includes the 5-page letter and an explanation of what it all means.
As part of the commentary, Florian Mueller points out that buying Motorola has inserted Google into several patent disputes, but not all are being decided in Motorola's favour and it is viewed by some that Google is playing with fire, particularly with regard to import bans. Instead of a way to control the market, or to get back at other corporations (especially Apple and Microsoft) Google may have opened Pandora's box.
Other MattersRob Enderle? Yes, I caught a scare-style article by him this week on Forbes of all places about Facebook (again) bringing in Oracle and in the end saying nothing we have not already seen 100 times already. Forbes, for heaven's sake.
But none of that really matters according to a report covered by Lance Whitney as Facebook will disappear in a few years anyway, claims Ironfire Capital founder Eric Jackson. 5 - 8 years he says, like Yahoo and MySpace. Whitney is not wholly convinced and points out that is is fashionable to point the fickle finger of fate at Facebook. Wait and see, he suggests.
Some of the old ones had been used for many years and are known by people worldwide with whom they communicate; but there you go, a sysadmin makes a god-like decision and everyone bows down. The only problem is that neither the new accounts, nor the old ones worked and there is no communication, although some have resorted to Facebook.
Local ItemsWe were pointed towards an interesting article by Jermyn Brooks on Wall Street Journal on how Thailand stifles the internet. It starts by outlining that awful one tablet per child program and wondering just what content the children will be able to see and goes on to examine certain laws that are highly criticised with the way they may be abused. Some of the main body of the article does look at the dire nature of the internet in general here which may be less a victim of censorship as muddled control and inept systems administrators as the carriers try to milk the users for as much as they can. Sure there is censorship in there, but anyone who has been here a while is able to sidestep any controls as I have done in this paragraph.
I also no longer have online comments. This site does not have the software to support these, but when I used AMITIAE the problem was less one of entering content that might be deemed against any laws, as spam, advertising and the occasional bit of rudeness. Constructive criticism was mainly absent. The main problem with the internet here as far as business and investment is concerned is not so much that freedom of expression causes problems but the unreliability and slow speeds.
Mind you, this is also a country which has a Ministry of Culture that commands TV stations not to use straight people to play gays. I can think of several excellent Hollywood movies that might never have been made if that idiotic rule had been applied there. We could start with The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar as well as Total Eclipse, and Ed Wood. There must be thousands of movies, and we might also add in the English tradition of pantomime where the leading man is a girl and the leading man's mother is always played by a stout guy. It is acting dears, acting.
Late NewsFacebook has a new App Center we are told by Eric Eldon at Tech Crunch.
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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