The Future of Tech, News and making sense of it all!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

4 Million in 3 Days

  It helps that Microsoft is selling the upgrade for $39!

4 Million in 3 Days

Published on Daring Fireball | shared via feedly mobile

MG Siegler on Windows 8's weekend numbers:

That's 4 million in 3 days. Solid, right? Sure. Though it has to be noted that Apple sold 3 million copies of OS X Mountain Lion in 4 days. Microsoft likes to poke fun at the small OS X install base, and now it works both ways. Apple got nearly as many people to buy the update for OS X in the same amount of time despite a sliver of the overall footprint.

Jim Dalrymple has similar thoughts:

Microsoft's has an installed base of 1.25 billion users. According to Ballmer's own numbers, 4 million upgraded to Windows 8 in the first four days. That means that one-third of one percent of Microsoft's user base upgraded.

Now let's take a look at Apple. In its first four days on sale, Mountain Lion sold 3 million copies. Apple has an installed base of 66 million, meaning that 5 percent of Apple's user base updated in four days.

This is a really hard comparison to make, though. It speaks to the differences in Apple's and Microsoft's customers more than it does the differences between Windows 8 and Mac OS X.


feedly. feed your mind.

★ The iPad Mini

I have a feeling this will be many people's reactions!

★ The iPad Mini

Published on Daring Fireball | shared via feedly mobile

"Wow, it feels like a Kindle."

"Ew, the screen is terrible."

That was my wife's initial reaction when I handed her the iPad Mini to see what she, an avid daily user of an iPad 3, thought. Her initial reaction matched mine exactly, and perfectly encapsulates the experience. The iPad Mini is not a device you need to spend a lot of time with to understand. My snap reaction from a week ago remains unchanged after a week of daily use.

It's really light and easy to hold one-handed. The hardware design — chamfered edges, less tapered back, metal rather than plastic buttons — strikes me as better, more elegant, than that of the full-size iPad 3/4. But it's disappointing to go non-retina after using the retina iPad for the last seven months. All of the accolades and advantages of retina displays work in reverse. I adore the size and form factor of the iPad Mini, but I also adore the retina display on my full-size iPad. My ideal iPad would be a Mini with a retina display.

The actual iPad Mini display is not terrible. It's exactly what you think: it feels like an iPhone 3GS display cut to iPad size, including the fact that the pixels seem deeper from the surface of the glass. (It does seem brighter and more vibrant than a 3GS display, perhaps because it uses an IPS panel.) And after a week of using it as my main iPad, the individually discernible pixels are no longer jarring to my eyes. The non-retina resolution is the one and only significant complaint I have with the iPad Mini, and it's an issue that is only apparent to those of us who already own a nearly-new iPad.

For anyone else — those who own an older iPad 1 or 2, and those who have yet to buy their first iPad — the iPad Mini's display will garner no complaints. I prefer the Mini over the full-size iPad in every single regard other than display resolution, and though I (and many of you) obsess over display resolution, it's not an issue in the mass market.

The biggest surprise at last week's event was the iPad 4. It wasn't just the introduction of the Mini, but that the entire iPad lineup was refreshed. With one glaring exception: the $399 iPad 2 remains. It used to be at the bottom of the lineup, and now it's smack dab in the middle.

I was confused by this at first. Why keep the iPad 2 around? Then the answer hit me: the iPad 2 must have continued to sell well over the last seven months. There can be no other explanation. If it weren't selling well, Apple would have dropped it from the lineup. But because it is selling well, they're keeping it in the lineup, because they don't know why it's selling well. If it's only because of the lower price, the iPad Mini might obviate it. But perhaps it's not that people want the least expensive iPad, but instead that they want the least expensive full-size iPad.

But the key is that the iPad 2's non-retina display has not kept it from selling well alongside the retina iPad 3. For many people, retina resolution is nice-to-have, not must-have.

The Mini weighs less than half a full-size iPad 3 or 4, and the difference that makes is tremendous. The Mini with the Smart Cover1 on is almost exactly as thick (or as thin, if you prefer) as an iPad 3 or 4 without a cover. Combine that with the weight and it's just plain fun to hold. The reduced bezel width along the sides poses no problem; the device is light enough that you don't need a place to rest your thumb on the surface.

Typing is interesting. In portrait, I actually find it easier to type on the Mini than a full-size iPad. All thumbs, with less distance to travel between keys, it feels more like typing on an iPhone. In landscape, though, typing is decidedly worse. The keyboard in landscape is only a tad wider than a full-size iPad keyboard in portrait. That's too small to use all eight of my fingers, so I wind up using a four-finger hunt-and-peck style with my index and middle fingers.

Other than typing in landscape, though, the usability of iPad apps on the smaller screen is a non-issue. The UI target-sizing math we worked through this summer holds up.

I use my iPad primarily for reading. The six apps in my iPad dock: Tweetbot, Safari, Mail, Instapaper, Kindle, and iBooks.2 Even with Mail, on the iPad I read more than I write; I usually save email writing for when I'm at a Mac. For reading, all of these apps work great on the iPad Mini. Font sizes on some websites can be a little small (tiny type that is legible on retina displays is just smudgy on non-retina ones), but most sites look just fine. The Mini feels optimized for reading.

It also seems optimized for kids. My almost-nine-year-old son loves the size and weight of the Mini. Reading apps may not be computationally taxing, but games are, and there is no compromise in the iPad Mini's performance. In both the Geekbench and SunSpider benchmarks, the Mini performs identically to the iPad 3 — about 750 in Geekbench (where bigger means faster) and 1,450ms in SunSpider (where lower times are faster).3 The new iPad 4 blows those numbers away (1,750 Geekbench, 850ms SunSpider), but I'd say iPad 3-caliber performance in a $329 radically smaller device is pretty good. I was not expecting iPad 3 performance in the Mini. But it's there, and that makes the iPad Mini great for games. I think there are going to be a staggering number of iPad Minis in Santa's sack this year.

My travel kit for the last few years has consisted of both an 11-inch MacBook Air and an iPad. It always feels a bit silly to carry two computers so similar in size and weight, but I want my Air for work and I want the iPad for reading. The combined weight of an 11-inch Air and a full-size iPad 3/4 is about 3.8 pounds. The combined weight of the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with retina display and an iPad Mini is about 4.2 pounds. That seems like a better kit for my needs: a far more powerful Mac for work, and a far more comfortable iPad for reading, at less than half a pound of additional weight to carry around.

Both the 11-inch Air and full-size iPad 3/4 make more sense to me as devices for people who only want to carry one portable computer. But if I'm going to carry both, I think it makes more sense to get a bigger MacBook and the smaller iPad Mini.

If the Mini had a retina display, I'd switch from the iPad 3 in a heartbeat. As it stands, I'm going to switch anyway. Going non-retina is a particularly bitter pill for me, but I like the iPad Mini's size and weight so much that I'm going to swallow it.

My guess is that this is going to play out much like the iPod and iPod Mini back in 2004: the full-size model will continue to sell strongly, but the Mini is going to become the bestselling model.

The new "soft" magnetic latch on the Mini's Smart Cover seems like a win. It's more comfortable to the touch than the full-size iPad Smart Cover's metallic latch. Plus, over time, the full-size Smart Cover leaves scuff marks on the side of the iPad; that shouldn't happen with the Mini Smart Cover. 

MLB At Bat gets the Kindle app's spot during baseball season, of course. 

My review unit iPad Mini is a Wi-Fi-only model with 64 GB of storage. With the iPad 2 and 3, Apple provided me with cellular models. Given that the ship date for the cellular iPad Minis remains at the vague "Mid November", I wonder if they simply weren't ready last week. 

feedly. feed your mind.

The TSA Magic Number to Get Through Security Faster

All it takes is your pocketbook full of money!
Shared via feedly // published on Forbes - Tech // visit site
The TSA Magic Number to Get Through Security Faster
I had previously written about the TSA Pre Check program for expediting access through security checkpoints at airports around the country. TSA has now joined up with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to make the program more accessible to a greater number of eligible travelers. This will make it even easier for frequent fliers to reduce delays at major airports, as shown in this map.

Homeland Security chief: Banks 'under attack' by hackers

Sweet Justice? Maybe!
Shared via feedly // published on CNET News // visit site
Homeland Security chief: Banks 'under attack' by hackers
At a Washington, D.C., event today, Janet Napolitano warned that several major American financial institutions are being actively attacked by cyberhackers. But she offered no details. [Read more]

Apple's iPad Mini: Is It Too Good?

It seems to me this review is a little too Pro-Apple, especially since it has yet to hit the market. Being over-priced compared to the Nexus 7 (which will soon have 32GB and 3G for the same price as the ipad Mini 16GB wifi or very close to it)!
Shared via feedly // published on Business Insider // visit site
Apple's iPad Mini: Is It Too Good?

ipad mini

I've had a bit of time to play with the new iPad mini, and my goal isn't to give you a comprehensive review — there are plenty of gadget sites for that. My goal is to look at this from an investor's perspective.

My main questions going in: Is it any good? How does it stack up versus the competition? And what might this mean for Apple's [AAPL 599.18    -4.82  (-0.8%)   ] growth prospects?

In short, it's an excellent tablet, though the screen isn't the best. I think it will beat lower-priced rivals because of where Apple chose to put its money. And while this is potentially great for Apple's growth, I see the possibility of the big C looming: Cannibalization.

First, the basics. Last week Apple took the wraps off the worst-kept secret in tech, the iPad mini. It's got a 7.9-inch display that's noticeably bigger than the 7-inch tablets in its class, including the Kindle Fire HD, the Google [GOOG 679.32    4.17  (+0.62%)   ] Nexus 7 and the Barnes & Noble [BKS  16.56    1.71 (+11.52%)   ] Nook HD. People with medium-to-big hands will be able to comfortably grip it one-handed. The display itself has 1024x768 resolution, or 163 pixels per inch.

The mini feels nothing like a full-size iPad, which has advantages and disadvantages.

The main disadvantage: the keyboard in portrait mode. The keys are barely big enough to hit. I'm a fan of touchscreen keyboards, and even I found myself approaching it with trepidation in the portrait orientation. Size-wise, it's too big to fit into almost any pocket.

The advantages, though, are many. The mini is shockingly light and thin — but it's substantial enough that it feels valuable and sturdy. In fact, in my opinion the iPad mini has the best overall physical presence of any product in Apple's lineup, Mac or mobile — it just feels that good in your hands.

The aluminum back is reminiscent of the iPhone 5, and its lack of heft makes it endearing in a way that's hard to quantify. You just want to take it with you on that quick trip to grab a cup of coffee, the same way it's become second nature to slip your phone into your pocket whenever you stand up from your desk. It's the sort of X-factor that the iPod had early on.

I find two main arguments against the iPad mini versus its competitors: the price is higher and the display resolution is lower.

Price-wise, the difference seems significant: it's more than 50 percent more expensive. Screen-wise, too, the difference is noticeable. It's hard to spot the pixels on Amazon's [AMZN  232.28    -5.96  (-2.5%)   ] Kindle Fire HD and other 7-inch tablets in its class. On the iPad mini, the pixels are pretty obvious.

After spending some time with the mini though, I think it overcomes both issues. Here's why: Price differences matter less when we're comparing products in the $300 range and below. (Remember when competitors tried to undercut the iPod?) On screen resolution, it's a tradeoff between sharpness and size. And in the mini's case, the added size makes it significantly better than a 7-inch tablet for navigating the web, though text in particular doesn't look as good.

Some people will choose the Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HD over the iPad mini for this reason. But the thinness and lightness of the mini have created, I think, a far more important issue: A lot of people will choose the mini over the full-size iPad. Because it just feels better.

If I'm right about this, there will be some cannibalization as the iPad mini moves forward to become the most popular iPad model. But a couple other things will happen, too. The current model of iPad mini will probably outsell its competitors by a significant margin. And if that happens, and Apple truly wants to capitalize on the mini's popularity, they'll introduce a Retina version of the mini next spring, probably starting at $399 or $429.

If Apple finds that education customers love the mini as much as the iPad 2, they might even let the Retina mini replace that model altogether.

If that happens, suddenly the margin issue doesn't look so intractable. Apple will get benefits from economies of scale, and margins will rise — and with a Retina mini, average selling prices will rise, too.

From where I sit, it's now up to Apple to execute on the supply side this holiday season. If consumers agree with the reviewers on this one, that will be no easy task.

Please follow SAI on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

Japan tsunami money 'misspent'

No different then Haiti from the looks of things..
Shared via feedly // published on BBC News - Home // visit site
Japan tsunami money 'misspent'
Japan has spent funds intended for reconstruction after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami on unrelated projects, a government audit finds.

No Agenda-Flood Edition

No Agenda NewsLetter
Shared via feedly // published on TPS Consulting // visit site
No Agenda-Flood Edition
A short newsletter highlighting some recent discoveries and initiatives of the No Agenda Show. Listen live every Thursday and Sunday at 9:00 AM PST. Always available for download at http;// .
Email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.
 No Agenda
Flood Edition
New Jersey Report (from news sources)
 ...As authorities rushed to clear loose electrical wires from the paths of emergency vehicles, one public worker cut his leg with a chainsaw as he extricated a tree from the tangled lines. He returned to work after getting stitches. The city also added 20 extra police officers, deploying 14 to direct traffic on chaotic streets, and several drove around pitch-black neighborhoods with their lights on to deter criminals.

"No power means no alarms and no streetlights," Cattano said.

In Manville, which was devastated by Hurricane Floyd in 1999, Main Street was under water and police requested people to stay out of town. Stores were closed around the state and in Denville, where much of the downtown area was darkened, the Rockaway River was just inches from inundating the Diamond Road Bridge, rebuilt in 2000. Close to 120,000 PSE&G customers in northern and central New Jersey were still without electricity today, including some 80,000 in Bergen County. Atlantic Electric reported 1,972 outages in its area of South Jersey and JCP&L listed 35,000 outages across its area. Power to most of its customers will not be restored until Wednesday.

The Middlesex Water Co. issued a 48-hour boil water notice, and United Water New Jersey also asked its Teaneck customers to boil water after the Haworth Water Treatment Plant suffered power outages. Along most of the Shore, flood warnings stayed in effect today as the boundary between water and land began to blur in coastal communities.

This was reported in The NJ Star-Ledger on March 14, 2010. You can go back and back. It's always the same. Does anyone in New Jersey understand the meaning of "flood plain?"

In August of 2011, just last year, there was flooding. Below is a picture that ran on Sept. 7, 2008 when Hanna flooded Jersey. Before that a big flood occurred in 2006 and on and on. None of this history is even discussed on CNN.

There is a new twist to these floods of 2012 – the election. The Red Cross and Obama are condemning Romney for collecting food when everyone should just be sending money again. But the big twist will be a call for improvements in the power grid as if it had anything to do with it..

On the Thursday show, we discuss this and more as we come off of our 5 year celebration and ask that you help us continue our analysis with a generous contribution to the show on the donation page by clicking here.

John C. Dvorak & Adam Curry

PS Remember as we begin our fifth year of producing the No Agenda Show we will need your help more than ever. We'd like all listeners to maintain a $12.12 a month subscription by clicking here.

PPS Two months left on the Knight rings. Why don't you become a special 12-12-12 Knight today by clicking here! Everyone wants to be a No Agenda Knight. Now is the time!
Copyright © 2012 No Agenda Show, All rights reserved.
Thanks for being part of the No Agenda family!
Our mailing address is:
No Agenda Show
box 339
El Cerrito, CA 94530

Add us to your address book