iOS 4.0

Just upgraded to iOS 4.0, have to say that it looks pretty good so far. There are three great reviews to read, MacWorld’s review by Dan Moren, ArsTechnica’s review by Jacqui Cheng and Paul Thurrott’s review. The first two are good because they both provide a good overview of the new features.

I have tried the iBooks application and it is ok. It can’t open a 50MB eBook I put together, neither can Stanza, not quite sure what is going on there, looks like the developers tested these with very small books.

I also love the fact that iBooks can read PDFs. Ok that does not work so well on the iPhone but I expect it to work really well on the iPad. This capability instantly highlighted a major issue with the iBooks app which is that it can’t manage folders, so no hope of putting 500+ PDF files on there.


The Eyes Have It

I am not sure where these experts gets their eyes from (see MacWorld, Discover). I can’t distinguish individual pixels on my current iPhone 3Gs when I hold it 12 inches from my eyes, any closer it is all fuzzy, so I am sure that the new iPhone 4 will look just fine to me.

Snarfing Data

I have kept quiet about the hoopla around Google’s inhalation of user data while it was mapping WiFi access point SSIDs. But this piece in the Washington Post annoyed me a little, actually it was something a lawmaker said which annoyed me. This lawmaker was talking about calling Google in for a hearing at the same time betraying a singular lack of knowledge as to what it actually going on:

“This is deeply troubling for a company that bases its business model on gathering consumer data,” said Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), one of three legislators who questioned the company on its Street View misstep. “As we are contemplating privacy legislation in the committee, I think this matter warrants a hearing, at minimum.”

The first thing is that the data was accessible because it was in the clear, not secured, no password, no encryption, nothing. Basically someone was holding a conversation in public and someone happened to pass by and overheard what was going on. The consumer has to bear some responsibility for not securing their WiFi access point. After all they can all be secured, I have yet to see a WiFi router which does not allow the user to select some level of encryption and set a password.

The second thing is that there is little value is in this data, Google collects search logs which are far more valuable to it.

I am not sure when this thing will blow over, Google has not been exemplary here but consumers have to bear part of the responsibility.

Unorthodox Distribution

I saw the movie “Sita Sings the Blues” recently, very good movie which I strongly recommend. What was very interesting about the movie is the distribution method:

You don’t need my permission to copy, share, publish, archive, show, sell, broadcast, or remix Sita Sings the Blues. Conventional wisdom urges me to demand payment for every use of the film, but then how would people without money get to see it? How widely would the film be disseminated if it were limited by permission and fees? Control offers a false sense of security. The only real security I have is trusting you, trusting culture, and trusting freedom.


Business just Asking for Competitors

Here is a business just asking for competitors:

The legal campaign has the potential to earn real money. Copies of the settlement letters and settlement contracts seen by Ars Technica show that Dunlap, Grubb, & Weaver generally asks for $1,500 to $2,500, threatening to sue for $150,000 if no settlement payment is forthcoming. Assuming that 90 percent of the current targets settle for $1,500, this means that the lawyers, studios, and P2P detection company would split $19.7 million.

Not that I endorse this but this is serious money, I suspect that this is going to attract competitors.