Being your own best competitor or how I learned to love the Samsung.

I wouldn’t go so far as to call me an Apple fanboy. But to a degree it’s true. If I were to tell you my daily online activities are all via iPad, iPhone or MacBook, I’d not be telling a mistruth.

I don’t own a single Android device (short of a really really shitty android phone two years ago while spending nearly a month in London). But since then nothing.

Now most Apple fanboys are arrogant about it. Elitist. Lord knows I was when it wasn’t the norm to have Mac. Back when every windows asshole have the generic response “oh, they [macs] are good for graphics but that’s about it.” -spoken like a true ignorant asshole.

But today you’d think Blackhat was an Apple press release at the Moscone Center. Apple has become the norm. What was once conforming to non-conformity has become conformity. What was the underdog is now the supreme overlord. Apple runs shit.

But let’s be honest. Did anyone think the last few years of apple devices were on the side of underwhelming?

iPad and iPhone changed shape. Wow.
Faster CPU. Great.
Thinner by millimeters and lighter by smidgens of a smudge. Fantastic.

Apple was once known for pushing the envelope constantly. Apple announcements meant new awesomeness every time. Now we just get different shaped iPhones, iPods and iPads. Remember the first MacBook Air? The first Iphone? The reaction? It was massive! Now? Womp womp.

Steve Jobs was once quoted as saying “you have to be your own biggest competitor”. How right he was.

Apple has lost it’s edge. It’s short on competition. It’s dragging ass.

So I’m excited about about Samsung. I’m excited about Googles Android platform. I’m excited about all the other vendors pushing technology forward and hopefully putting pressure on Apple to once again step it up.

I don’t want to own an Android phone. I don’t want to run Windows. I don’t want anything Samsung in my ecosystem. But capitalism loves competition. And hopefully Apple will step it up.

What was the last Apple product that blew your mind?


AppleTV, you underwhelm me

Everyone who knows me knows I’m an Apple Whore. I have just about one of everything they’ve made in the last 10 years (minus that stupid boom box and the apple battery charger).

I had the old AppleTV. Which, to me, was a step forward. A movement in the right direction. A glimpse of what was to become. And that was because I had a full understanding of the iPhone. Of the potential for applications being written around the AppleTV. About how this could be a game changer.

But thus far, I’m underwhelmed.

I have two of the Circa 2010 (or was it 2009) AppleTVs. One for each TV. I use them for perusing content that’s stored out on my NAS, using the radio functionality and Netflix. Great. For $99 bucks, I’m not going to lose a kidney.
But after this weeks “update” I sit here thinking “Um. What the fuck.” Underwhelmed is an understatement. So much so I don’t actually know what word to use. What’s worse than underwhelmed.

Help me, Apple, understand WHY we are where we are with this thing.
And here’s a list of my current frustrations.

1. Why do I STILL not have a keyboard to use with this effin’ thing. Bluetooth? Wireless Keyboard? This isn’t rocket science. It will save me the aggravation of having to input my user/pass with that idiotic iddy-biddy remote each time it “forgets” it.
I use alpha/numeric/special char passwords that are no less than 14 chars long. It’s a 20 minute process to input all that crap. wtf. For fuck’s sake, at least give me T9!

2. Since we’re on the topic of a human interface device, WHY can’t I just use the keyboard on my iPad/iPhone to input data into the AppleTV? That doesn’t make sense? We can push content to it, but we can’t use it to enter data easier? Do you think I like searching for movies, etc using a single button remote circa 1998? This is idiotic. Sure, the iPhone Remote app gives me some of that, but fuck me, it leaves a LOT to be desired!

3. Since we’re on the topic of inputting information INTO this thing, help me understand WHY I can’t search my content. I have nearly a thousand movies. And on this interface I can’t just input a couple letters? Instead it’s scroll scroll scroll scroll…

4. The update gave us a new GUI. But what’s the benefit. How is this the killer app if I can’t add any apps? Apple, you tards, you own the fucking ecosystem. Help me understand why I can’t put apps on my AppleTV! I mean, wtf, even my Samsung TV has apps! It might be the worst user interface on earth but they at least have apps! Help me help myself!

Apple, I’m really hoping you are going somewhere with this. Thus far, I’m completely underwhelmed.

Bose Quietcomfort 15 headphones: Noise canceling like wow.

If I were to sit down and go through some boxes to figure out how many pairs of headphones I have in the house, I’d probably come up with five or ten pair. Maybe closer to 15. I don’t know. I just know that I’ve tried everything from Sony to Shure to Apple to Bang & Olufsen. But as of this moment, I’ve found the holy grail of headphones.
The Bose Quietcomfort 15.

Oh. my. god. There’s no way on earth to make the entire earth disappear in one flip of a switch. HVAC? Gone. Road noise? Gone. Dryer? Gone. Dishwasher? Gone. Annoying neighbor talking to you? Well, they’re not gone, but at least you hear them less.

If I were to recommend a pair of headphones… THESE would be the ones.
I have a pair of Sony noise canceling? Bose shit on these headphones.
I have a pair of Bang & Olufsen headphones? They are fancy, but sound like crap.
I even have a pair of Bose “passive noise canceling” headphones. What a joke. It just cups your ear.

These Bose headphones are so serious that when you flip the switch it feels like someone has dunked you into a deprivation chamber. Your ears feel pressure. Your mind thinks you’re at high altitude. But you’re not. You’re in your own world, free to enjoy your time in isolation enjoying music, a good book and/or a life without the neighbor. at least a little bit.

The new iPod Nano: Oh, you sexy little beast.

The hot shit from the year 2000 - 32 megs. bam!My first MP3 player, back in 2000, was a Casio G-shock. It was ahead of it’s time. 32 megs. It was slick. Almost held an entire cd on it. Back then people said “WTF is an MP3?”. It came in the form factor of a watch. It sat giant on my wrist, the headphone cord running up my shirt to my ears.

Fast forward 7 years.

Commuting from San Francisco to San Jose on my motorcycle, I had a faithful little nugget called the iPod Nano. It clipped to my belt, and gave me 1gb of music all the way to work. Fantastic battery life. Just set the playlist and off I went.

Fast forward to now. The new iPod Nano. Color screen. Radio. Pedometer. And 16 gigs of music. What a wicked little machine.

Though it’s impossible to change music wearing motorcycle gloves on the actual device. Perhaps with the headphones with the button I can. But blasting down the highway may prove to be a challenge. It’s loud if you want it to be but it’s clear. Crisp highs. Solid lows. It’s amazing audio in a very very small form factor.

In the 6th generation of the iPod nano, apple has really put something together that is fantastic.

There are a ton of accessories available for the nano including something that hits close to home. A bit of nostalgia. It’s a watch band that will make the nano into a watch… Much like that first mp3 player I had. The gshock, but better.

In 11 years we’ve gone from 32 megabytes of music in a watch to 16,384 megabytes.

Where will we go next?