AMITIAE - Friday 15 February 2013
Cassandra - Friday Review: The Weekend Arrives [Updated - correction]
By Graham K. Rogers
Opening Gambit:Dying Apple has 83% of web traffic in the US using iOS 6, and the top selling phone in Japan. Rubbish and possibilities on wearable devices from Apple. Analysts called out for so many wrong predictions. Tim Cook at Goldman Sachs conference and the fallout. MacBook Pro updates: large discounts in Thailand. Eindhorn's litigation a silly sideshow: Apple fires back. LinkedIn Boss buys 3,500 iPads for the staff. New Zealand Police to buy 10,000 iOS devices. Nokai to leave Samsung for the same reasons as Apple: not to be trusted. Cameras in mobile devices: a useful analysis. Stalking and cyberstalking: a sobering tale.
Apple Stuff[Corrected] That dying Apple we keep hearing about, now has iOS 6 being used by about 83% of web traffic from devices using iOS. Mikey Campbell reports on AppleInsider that figures from Chitika Insights, show that web impressions from devices running iOS 6 reached 83.1 percent of all iPhones, iPads and iPod touches in North America. And as most companies, like Microsoft and Google are well aware, this is where a lot of the money is. [Update: Apple and Samsung share about half each.]
Not only in the US. We are told by Mikey Campbell that the iPhone which no one in Asia likes at all (if you believe some sources) has hit the top spot in Japan and in 2012 sold more handsets in Japan than any other manufacturer. That was all handsets, not just smartphones. The reports adds that Apple sold "some 47.8 million iPhones worldwide during the three months ending in December, a 29 percent increase from the same period in 2011." Doomed. Doomed.
Still, speculation continues and Mikey Cambell reports on rumours from Bloomberg that suggest there is a 100-person team working on this mysterious device. Bearing in mind some of the unreliable reporting about Apple that we have seen from Bloomberg - particularly the comments we carried in Wednesday's Cassandra - I have serious doubts still, even though Bloomberg names two of the team members. This report also refers back to earlier mentions of Bruce Tognazzini. We are going round and round in circles. AppleBitch also reports on this and mentions the same sources but adds nothing new.
A little more considered, and mirroring the ideas of Dave Caolo, were comments in an AppleInsider article that examines the idea that this is not just a watch but an entire platform for wearable, attachable computing. The report reexamines an old patent filing that may give us some clues to this concept and links to that. There may be some specific areas - medical, sports - that could use such technology, but the idea of monitoring normal people as they go about day to day tasks, is rather advanced. And a bit creepy. Katie Marsal also on AppleInsider makes the point that such wearable devices as well as the Apple TV could generate another $80 billion of revenue yearly. If they exist, that is.
With all the speculation, maybe this should be named the iWish.
Also as part of the delivery at the conference was an examination of Apple's retail arm, which was one of those "Apple is doomed" predictions when the company opened its first store. Matt Tinsley on TUAW has some figures and a useful chart that puts Apple retail into perspective, especially the way some of the income is compared: for example, Apple's 120 million store visitors equates to 1.69 percent of the world population.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display now starts at $1,499 for 128GB of flash, and $1,699 for a new 2.6 GHz processor and 256GB of flash. The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display now features a faster 2.4 GHz quad-core processor, and the top-of-the-line 15-inch notebook comes with a new 2.7 GHz quad-core processor and 16GB of memory. Apple today also announced that the 13-inch MacBook Air with 256GB of flash has a new lower price of $1,399.
The Apple Store for Thailand has not yet been updated with the new models, but the older ones are shown on the iStudio Facebook pages as having massive discounts, like 16,000 baht off a 13" 2.5 GHz MacBook Pro with Retina display.
One of the many reports on these updates came from Federico Viticci on MacStories.
We were told late Thursday in an item on MacNN that Apple has filed its response to the Greenlight litigation and "blasted the complaint as being without merit and nothing less than an attempt to hold shareholders "hostage" by forcing Apple to acquiesce to a specific plan for the issuing of preferred shares that would primarily benefit Greenlight Capital."
No one really knows which product it will be but some are betting on the Mac Pro, while others think a new iMac might be the target.
We also read on AppleInsider in an item by Mikey Campbell that the police in New Zealand are to buy some 10,000 iPhones and iPads, choosing iOS over Android for some reason: "the decision to go with iOS instead of Google's Android or BlackBerry was the result of an 11-month trial period involving 100 officers."
Half and HalfI have mentioned the love-hate-hate relationship that Apple and Samsung have, hoping that Apple will finally break the ties and move on to more reliable sources for components. Nokia too seems to be having some problems with its Samsung relationship, and Daniel Eran Dilger on AppleInsider suggests that as well as Nokia other companies are also beginning to look elsewhere.
As may have happened with Apple designs, Nokia worries that Samsung's "record of getting orders for next-gen components, then canceling the orders. And then they show up in a Samsung phone. When you see a Samsung 'bendy' OLED phone as you surely will, you are looking at something that was stolen from Nokia."
Other MattersMy day job as a teacher means that, if I want to be effective in the classroom, I need to do my homework. In the course I teach on Ethics and Morals for computer engineers, I have been reading licensing agreements as some of my students think it is OK to share commercial software. Apart from the legal points here, it is unethical but there may be a moral grey area with the prices some companies charge. Adobe for example dropped its Australian prices almost the instant the authorities there began to question why these were so high.
I have also been looking at the question of human behaviour online as regards stalking: interfering with others by bombarding them with messages, and in some cases physically interacting as well as altering online information about them. Some countries better serve their populations than others. Cyberstalking is a nuisance, but can develop into the physical and that can spell danger.
As a policeman in the 1970s, I was aware of a woman who was in danger from a former boyfriend. Her house was alarmed and there was no doubt that if he got in, he would kill her. They believe rejection is a form of invitation. These people are as dangerous as they are stupid and cannot take No for an answer, but instead wish to control: inventing scenarios by the day.
In Thailand, there is almost nothing on the books for cyberstalking (real stalking is most different), while in parts of Australia, there are some good cyberstalking laws: one even applies to those outside the country stalking Australians; and to Australians stalking users outside Australia. In America the way laws are applied often depends on individual states in the absence of federal laws, although in most countries, the most effective method is to sue the instigator for libel.
As I was going through the sources, I found an interesting, but chilling story written by a victim of stalking (real and cyber), named Carla Franklin. The report was put together by Abigail Pesta on The Daily Beast a few months ago, but that does not make it any less relevant to today. The comments on the page are just as revealing: a number of those writing have also been victims.
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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