Thursday, December 30, 2004

Maybe we'll have better luck in this poll

Engadget (voted best Tech blog in the 2004 Weblog Awards) has a poll to decide the winners of the 2004 Engadget Awards! Apparently, the nominees were chosen through a combination of reader input and maybe too healthy a dose of editorial preference. I agree with my brother when he says that the Sony Network Walkman won too many of the negative nominations and none of the positive ones, it's still fun to participate in.

On a side note, where's the instant run-off voting? We talk about election spoilers and seeing the big picture, but until we adopt instant run-off voting pervasively, there's a slim chance we'll use it when it matters most. I could boycott the vote, but I'm voting anyway. I hope this isn't an instance of, "Do it if it feels good."

I was suprised to not see the iPod mini nominated for anything, despite it's popularity. This one I attribute to the readership. Anyway, below are my choices. (NOTE: I did think of how I could get cool Google Ads from this post, but only after I thought about how cool it'd be to have some of my choices win and have this post to prove it)

Go cast your votes!

Click here to show/hide my choices. It took me a VERY long time to get this to work in IE so if there are still any of you out there... it was all for you. Also, let me know if you voted differently.

Gadget of the Year:  Apple iPod (4G)
Disappointment of the Year:  palmOne Tungsten T5
Merger of the Year:  Cingular/AT&T
Worst Gadget of the Year: OQO model 01
Comeback of the Year:  Netscape (as Mozilla)
Most Anticipated Gadget of 2005:Apple iPod flash
Cellphone of the Year:  Motorola RAZR V3
Desktop of the Year:  Apple iMac G5
Ditigal Camera of the Year: No choice
Display of the Year:  Apple Cinema Display
Game Console of the Year: Sony Playstation Portable
GPS Device or Application OTY: No choice
Handheld of the Year:  Sharp Zaurus SL-C3000
Home Electronics Device OTY: No choice
Laptop of the Year:  No choice
Media PC of the Year:  No choice
Peripheral Device of the Year: No choice
Portable Audio Player OTY: Apple iPod (4G)
Portable Video Player OTY: I forget
Robot of the Year:  Roomba Discovery
Tablet PC of the Year:  No choice
Wireless Technology OTY: Apple AirPort Express
Wearable of the Year:  Jabra BT800 (I think)

SOURCE: Engadget

UDPATE 10:08 PM EST 12/30/04: Sorry to disappoint everyone (especially myself), but there may be no relevant google ads for this post as the choices are hidden by default, and with them, the Google ad-fodder.

Can't pass up iMac rumors

Anyone reading this may already know about rumors of the budget X-Serve-like iMac, but I just wanted to record something before it happened. First, ThinkSecret breaks the news that a sub-$500 iMac would be released. Then AppleInsider covers the same story but says the price is sub-$600. Then TUAW (The Unofficial Apple Weblog)'s Barb Dybwab says she paid $499 for an iPod last year. I can't help but wonder whether I'd buy a Mac that's that cheap, but the answer's probably no.

I have a feeling that people who buy the oh so good looking new iMac (at least from the descriptions of a super thin form-factor) will find that they'll have been better served just forgetting the iPod in the first place and buying a cheap 12" iBook (899.88 after rebate) and hooking a monitor to it. I just agree with Barb because people will wonder how they just spend 300-600 dollars on an iPod and then spend $500-$600 on a Mac. Of course, they could also think, 'WOW! The price on this iMac is insane!' seeing as they'd rationalize buying the iPod in the first place.

In some ways, it just doesn't make sense from the "but the monitor is ugly" point of view, as this iMac wouldn't have a monitor. But then again, my monitor doesn't match with my case. It shouldn't be a media center device. Anyway,

Um... nevertheless, I'll be really excited about Apple's 2005 offerings: the 5 gig iPod mini, the iTunes Apple mobile phone, OS X Tiger, the budget iMac, the flash iPod(?), and of course the Garage Band hardware component.

SOURCE: MacRumors via TUAW

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Pizza and backups

I'm quite often inspired to post about what's going on in my life. Now seems to be a good time. To be honest, I feel bad posting because it feels like I'm procrastinating from continuing my adventures in JavaScript. But, hey, when else am I ever going to post if not procrastinating?

Anyhow, today I went to work at Operations around 13:30 EST. I scheduled 13 hours worth in a single work day, which isn't really bad, because I have an hour lunch during the first 8 and the rest were 5 hours later (200-700). Since I usually work at this time, I knew that I needed to sleep in between so I would stay awake and having gotten around one and a half to two hours of sleep in between, I'm fully awake and only occasionally yawn.

Part of the reason I only used two of the possible three hours for sleep was the hunger pang and the long wait for our pizza to arrive but it was worth it. To continue on the correct line of thought, since I usually work on weekends, I don't have to help with the changing the backup tapes (each 160 gb). So, Maka, my full-time colleague walked me through the process. Basically, it involves removing the tapes and putting them back in their respective cases and then refilling the tape cartridges with the new tapes.

Now, I'm going to go back to the JavaScript. I'm kinda itchy and I hope it wasn't from the bed bugs in the sofa I slept on.


Friday, December 24, 2004

This changes everything

Pardon to the hyperbolic title, but I've recently added a google ad block under my blogroll. I feel like I should make some declarative remarks. I started out trying to explain why I added it, but to be honest, the two best reasons were that it was cool, and I can get a few dollars here and there. Even though I will be incentivized to "sex up" the blog to contain more references to specific items or ideas that people will try to buy ads for, I will try not to do so excessively (read, I will try not to do it unconsciously or abusively).

If you aren't aware of the Google Adsense program, it is really one of the best. Instead of using cookies to track you all over the web, Gmail looks at the content of a website and serves relevant ads. If there are no relevant ads, Google makes public service announcements for non-profits. [UPDATE: or has random ebay ads?!]

I've had people ask me whether I'm paid to talk to people about pocket pc's, and note that I blog too much about Apple stuff. Is my enthusiasm linked to financial gain? Whenever I do speak too excitedly about a product, I've usually made a reference or added a disclaimer stating that I have a material interest in the success of the product I'm posting about. Here are some examples: A and B. There are all kinds of implications of having a financial gain (however small) from a website, but know that I'll be thinking about all this as my blogging develops.

SOURCE: Google Ads

Friday, December 03, 2004

Hope is on the way...

So... Sony wants to join the party and challenge the iPod's dominance in the hard drive MP3 player sector? Here an indication of how Apple thrives in Sony's home market: Apple Ginza Store Opening Video.

Also, what's new here is not the player (which is slated for release in Europe) but the fact that it plays MP3s and not just Sony's proprietary file format. Don't get me wrong, I felt a sinking feeling when I first saw Sony's new Walkman, which makes Apple's iPod look too simple and toy-like. However, we're dealing with normal people.

Hope remains. If you thought the iPod was expensive (unless you go to Duke), the Network Walkman will cost nearly 200 dollars more. Granted, it's got a cool metal case that's smaller and lighter than the iPod, has significantly better battery life and presumably higher quality engineering overall, be not afraid. Ok, if you are afraid, cash out like everyone else.

But, here's the good news: the iTunes music store has yet to be rolled out in Japan and just opened in Canada. Market analysts are saying that PC users who buy iPods are more likely to buy Apple computers (the iMac G5 got rave reviews). Apple has tremendous ground to gain in the PC market, having only 4% of it. Don't forget that the XBox II is going to be using a G5 PowerPC processor. Although that doesn't mean games are going to simultaneously developed for OS X and the Xbox, but think about the possibilities! Maybe Microsoft will have the Xbox running OS X. Or, Direct X will be ported to... I don't know...

DISCLAIMER: The author is an Apple stockholder and has a vested interest in the performance of AAPL.

SOURCES: Laszlo, Mac News, Engadget, and The Unofficial Apple Weblog

UPDATE 4:41 EST 12/9/04: Just like before the iPod mini was announced, I was thinking I would probably go for a sub $100 MP3 player, just because it's the right price. Check out MacMinute for analyst predictions of this and pictures of what could potentially be the product. Some logistical info here citing sources in Asia about the announcement during Macworld. I guess it's better to let the year-round marketing do it's job for the Christmas season and then announce a new product.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Google bombing... sort of.

It's like Google bombing in that it's totally irrelevant, but without all the hard work. So I'm checking the referring links coming to my older blog (but one I still update every once in a while), and I see a Google search for... well, go here to see what I'm talking about.

SOURCE: My Xanga Sitemeter