Apple Gets It

March 30, 2008

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Johnathan Zdziarski, blogger and author of iPhone Open Application Development (to be released book on how to hack your iPhone) was invited by Apple to speak at a conference held in a Cambridge Apple store, to talk about the history of hacking the iPhone and his thoughts on the device. Zdziarski was one of the first software engineers to hack the iPhone. Now, does this sound odd? One person wrote, “So for Apple to give Zdziarski the podium at an Apple retail location is a little like Steve Ballmer inviting Linus Torvalds to speak at a Windows product launch.”

So what does this got to do with Apple Getting It? Well, just the gesture of inviting Zdziarski to speak at the Software Development Kit (SDK) conference says a lot. Apple is finally not rebelling against change anymore, but beginning to embrace it. When the iPhone first came out, online open-source communities were trading hacks through third-party installer applications. Finally, a year later Apple understood the opportunity which could arise from creating it’s own SDK. By inviting Zdziarski and releasing it’s own SDK for iPhones, Apple is setting an example for other companies in the industry. It’s a lot easier to work with your customers to help them get what they want by giving them the tools to create their own customized product, then fight with them and give them the same old product. This just creates a hassle for both parties; the customer isn’t happy and the business isn’t profiting. It also gives a company’s development team a break, and creates many more product ideas and innovations that may never have been created without the help of SDK platforms.

Still iPhone’s SDK has its problems. It still doesn’t allow users to access low-level functions, like operate applications in the background and build certain types of objects, even though Apple insists it offers the same tools its programmers use to develop its software. But I’m sure hackers will come up with a way to fix that soon enough. Apple has however released a second version of their SDK, the Interface Builder, which is a visual editor that users can drag and drop items to create the user interface of their applications. Apparently this makes application creation a lot easier.

Oh and just a side note, remember how I wrote that post about the hacking contest for laptops (sure you do!) well it turns out the Macbook Air was the first one to be hacked.

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Gmail Paper

So it’s getting close to that time of the year again, April Fools’. Who knows what Google and Facebook will come up with this year, here’s some early bird stuff to keep everyone entertained.

I sure wish that Google Writer was legit, it would make this course a lot easier.

pacman google 

There has been a lot of coverage regarding successful companies like Google and Apple who have climbed the ladder of success using business models contrary to the traditionally proven models. Now that these companies are becoming more successful, other companies are beginning to emulate them, or are in the process of investigating how to become like them. A main component of this recent recognition stage is the documentation of these companies. Wired published an article on how Apple made it’s way to the top by breaking every rule. Siva Vaidhyanathan , media scholar at the Univeristy of Virginia, is in the process of writing a book called The Googlization of Everything. Also, Jeff Jarvis has recently been contracted to write a book about Google’s business strategy relating it to other businesses and industries, aptly named: WWGD – What Would Google Do? It is expected to be published next spring.

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how to wiki

While searching the Wired site for the article we were assigned last week, I came across apart of the site set up in a wiki format called “Wiki How-to Wiki”. It offers techie how-to’s on all kinds of topics. Here’s a couple:

Save YouTube Videos on Your Hard Drive

Watch YouTube on Your iPod

Watch Higher Quality YouTube Videos

Find Lost Web Pages

Make a Local Backup of Your Hotmail Account

Create Your Own Font

 Make Your Blog Popular

I just thought this site was really interesting to scroll through. If it continues to grow I imagine every hack available will be archived here. Enjoy!

The Freaky Land of Free

March 17, 2008

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   Chris Anderson’s popular Wired article, Free! Why $0.00 is the Future of Business, covered the various characteristics of free in relation to our ever-growing technology savvy society. One of the areas discussed stated that the question surrounding infinite storage was not if it would happen but when it would happen. And the answer is that it is already here, it’s just not all online services choose to embrace it. However the ones which have choose to embrace infinite storage, like Yahoo, are profiting from cooperation and collaboration with what their consumers want and will find a way to get. Other increasingly prevalent obstacles to the digital environment today, like free music, bandwidth, and processing power, are being considered by dominant firms like Google and in-turn are profiting the most from the predicament. It may appear to be free to the user, but someone else is picking up the tab; whether it is the company offering the “free” product, or the rule of 1% which claims that 1% of users support the remaining 99% through advertisements. Companies are no longer specializing in selling products, but selling advertisements or cheaper products which entice the consumer to purchase something else located in their store.

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Bitstrips

March 16, 2008

bitstrip

Bitstrips is a “create your own comic strips online” site, that does just that. I found it on Jeff Jarvis’ blog about the Zuckerberg/Lacy episode that rocked SXSW. Here’s the bitstrip which basically sums up the fiasco. I was going to make my own bitstrip, but it may would have turned out as dreadful as my infamous Daft Hands impression.

ideagora

The whole topic of a marketplace filled with ideas was derived from chapter four of our Wikinomics text, but unfortunately the main examples the text listed were regarding scientists and businesses looking for innovative answers to their unsolved problems. The real question is, what can a marketplace of ideas do for the average person? The answer is: everything ! Read the rest of this entry »