Friday, December 19, 2008

Steve Jobs didn't make the first Macworld, either

Steve Jobs didn't show up to the first Macworld Expo, which was held in San Francisco in January 1985, one year after the introduction of the Macintosh.

Good story about Jobs and his girlfriend.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Apple at Expo: What went wrong?

At the same time, Apple was toning its product-announcement muscles in other areas. The keynote address at Apple's once-sleepy developer conference suddenly became a hot ticket. And Apple began making more and more major announcements at Apple-controlled media events, not only at the Apple campus, but at Moscone West in San Francisco, at the Yerba Buena Theater in San Francisco, and even at the California Theater in San Jose.

Those events were timed by Apple, controlled by Apple, and attended only by Apple's invited guests—VIPs, members of the media, analysts, and Apple employees. The public couldn't get in, and there was no intermediary like IDG World Expo to get in the way. But I think most important was the timing—Apple could announce products when it damn well wanted to, rather than being forced to adhere to a trade-show calendar that's usually set years in advance.

There were more signs of Apple's disinterest in Macworld Expo as a showcase. For years now at Apple keynotes, in its quarterly financial calls with analysts, and even in its press material, Apple has used one event as a benchmark for the number of customers to pass through the doors of its many retail stores: Macworld Expo. (In 2005's Macworld Expo Keynote Jobs applauded the Apple retail stores for hosting "20 Macworld Expos worth of visitors" per week.) The clear signal: "When our retail stores reach so many people, what's the need for a trade show?"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Apple Announces Its Last Year at Macworld -- No Jobs Keynote

Apple® today announced that this year is the last year the company will exhibit at Macworld Expo. Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, will deliver the opening keynote for this year's Macworld Conference & Expo, and it will be Apple's last keynote at the show. The keynote address will be held at Moscone West on Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 9:00 a.m.

Phil Schiller is a clown.  Something must be seriously wrong with Jobs for him to skip the keynote.  But why let Phil do it?  Tim Cook or Jonathan Ive would have been better choices.  AAPL could lose 20 points on this news.  What a disaster!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Fast Scrolling in Tweetie with UITableView

Cutting to the chase, here's the secret: One custom view per table cell, and do your own drawing. Sounds simple? That's because it is. It's actually simpler than dealing with a ton of subviews of labels and images, and it's about a bzillion times faster (according to my informal tests).

Thursday, December 11, 2008

10 useful iPhone tips & tricks

Tapping the status bar (the bar at the top with the clock) will make scrollable content scroll to the top. It comes in handy in situations like when you've scrolled down a long web page or mail message and you quickly need to get back to the top.

Bjorn Lomborg Says Cool It!: Getting our priorities right on climate change and the world's top problems

"At the end of the day," says Lomborg, "this is about saying, Yes, global warming is real. It's often massively exaggerated, which is why we need smarter solutions.... Let's pick them smart, rather than stupidly. And also, let's remember that they are many other problems in the world that we can fix so much cheaper and do so much more good....If this is really a question about doing good in the world, then let's do real good-and not just make ourselves feel good about what we do."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Cafes » Java is Dead! Long Live Python!

Version 3.0 of Python has been released. Notably Python has again done something Java has long resisted: it has broken backwards compatibility with Python 2.x.  [...] Java by contrast, is dead. It has at least as much brain damage and misdesign as Python 2.x did, probably more; yet Sun has resisted tooth and nail all efforts to fix the known problems.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

No bailout for Automakers

This is the text of a letter to the editor of the Augusta Chronicle. They did not publish my letter.

Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to your editorial supporting a federal bailout for the "Big Three" automakers.  Your suggestion of government involvement is likely to make matters even worse.

A federal bailout will only prop up the inefficient bureaucracy of a company like General Motors.  They make uncompetitive cars with unsustainable labor agreements.  Any federal involvement is likely to preserve the current union contracts and avoid the difficult decisions necessary to produce profitable cars.

Bankruptcy is the appropriate way to handle this situation.  A bankruptcy judge has the power to void labor contracts while attempting to save the company and preserve jobs.   For every job you expect the government to somehow "save" through a bailout, you may be costing a new job that could have been created under new ownership.

Yes, there will be pain if the automakers go bankrupt.  The federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) may have to foot the bill for the pensions of retired workers if the automakers don't reorganize successfully.  Current shareholders will lose money (but they've already lost most of their investment, anyway.)  Putting the taxpayers' money at risk does not  offer the same incentive to reorganize as Chapter 11 does.  It is better to let the "creative destruction" of the market handle this crisis rather than having politicians take control of the "Big Three" automakers.

Bellarmine wins CCS

Bellarmine running back Usua Amanam stood with a championship banner draped over his shoulders and tried to separate all the touchdown runs in his head. "The 88-yard run? Which one was that?" It's not every day a running back forgets an 88-yard touchdown. Friday was that type of day for Amanam. The Stanford-bound senior ran for 263 yards on 20 carries and scored three long touchdowns in a 21-0 win over Valley Christian in the Central Coast Section Open Division title game. The game was played in front of a crowd of 8,000-plus at San Jose City College.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

IEEE Spectrum: How We Found the Missing Memristor

For nearly 150 years, the known fundamental passive circuit elements were limited to the capacitor (discovered in 1745), the resistor (1827), and the inductor (1831). Then, in a brilliant but underappreciated 1971 paper, Leon Chua, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, predicted the existence of a fourth fundamental device, which he called a memristor. He proved that memristor behavior could not be duplicated by any circuit built using only the other three elements, which is why the memristor is truly fundamental.

Memristor is a contraction of "memory resistor," because that is exactly its function: to remember its history. A memristor is a two-terminal device whose resistance depends on the magnitude and polarity of the voltage applied to it and the length of time that voltage has been applied. When you turn off the voltage, the memristor remembers its most recent resistance until the next time you turn it on, whether that happens a day later or a year later.

It turns out that the influence of memristance obeys an inverse square law: memristance is a million times as important at the nanometer scale as it is at the micrometer scale, and it's essentially unobservable at the millimeter scale and larger. As we build smaller and smaller devices, memristance is becoming more noticeable and in some cases dominant.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Clojure could be to Concurrency-Oriented Programming what Java was to OOP

Clojure is a new language and one of the things that Clojure really seems to "get right" is it's approach to concurrency. It is extremely simple to use (and understand) and (especially if you've everwritten concurrent code in Java or C++) most people will find writing concurrent Clojure programs a real pleasure!