Subtle changes make sense, but what’s with the return of fixed scroll bars? I loved the removal of them (they would appear only when scrolling to give a sense of place — like in iOS). Strip away the chrome and just leave the content.
Update: Reading the MacRumors comments, it looks like it still may be a user-defined option. (And MacRumors deleted that section of the post without saying anything.) Phew! Cooler is that it’s now set depending on the input device you’re using!
As a big fan of Bill Simmons, I’m excited for his new site (in association with ESPN): Grantland.
With Simmons as editor-in-chief, Grantland.com is scheduled to launch in June with a mix of original columns, long-form features, blog posts, and podcasts. The name of the site honors the legacy of Grantland Rice, the legendary sportswriter who helped elevate sports into American culture during the early 20th Century.
Chuck Klosterman, Malcolm Gladwell, Dave Eggers and many others are on board. Awesome.
Buried in this take on Allen’s book by a former Microsoft co-worker, Mike Koss, is the key revelation: Paul Allen may have been an “idea man”, but Microsoft didn’t really have any original ideas. They simply extended upon existing ones.
Further, he suggests that while Allen may have been thinking about the “big ideas”, that was generally worthless next to execution. And that was all Bill Gates.
And these aren’t your standard Netflix/Amazon/iTunes type movie deals, either, we’ve heard. Spotify is aiming to offer users much earlier access to movies. Similar to the release dates that hotel’s get for premium in-room movies. They’re expensive, but users can often see them just a couple of weeks after they’ve been in theaters.
“Competitors should take a page from Apple’s playbook here and be open about stuff that will give you a competitive advantage and shut the hell up about everything else. Open is not always better.”—Jason Kottke on how to beat Apple
Someone should figure out how to leverage Facebook’s social graph to make the phone/app/gaming/music/video experience significantly better than on the iPhone/iPad and then partner exclusively with Facebook to make it happen.
That someone will be Facebook themselves.
He also notes:
the Apple products & services that Apple does well are the ones that Steve Jobs uses (or cares about) and the ones he doesn’t use/care about are less good (or just plain bad).
That generally does seem to be the case. And it comes across in unveilings too.
Though I assume it’s only for films that have been released to buy or rent at that point, and not films still in theaters (which studios will send to Academy voters on DVD by mail). So it’s essentially just a free coupon code.
Still find it a bit odd that Amazon does not release their actual Kindle unit sale numbers. The product is clearly a huge hit — what are they worried about?
Are they concerned people will figure out what poor margins they make on each device sold? Or that they’ll be overwhelmed by tablet sales numbers soon — or already?
This Businessweek story from December cites people “aware” of the sales numbers saying that 8 million Kindles were sold in 2010 (up from 2.4 million in 2009). Apple sold just shy of 15 million iPads in 2010. Some are projecting them to sell 40 million this year.
Obviously, you could make the argument that two aren’t directly comparable. But maybe Amazon knows that the press would definitely rush to compare the sales numbers between the two. And the Kindle would look weak in comparison…
Both look nice. The S1’s teardrop side/back design is a bit odd — they tout an “off-center of gravity”?
The S2 seems more interesting as a concept to me thanks to the dual-screens. But won’t it require some sort of customized version of Android (Honeycomb) to fully work as shown? And using the two screens for one piece of content will probably suck.
Of course, all of this hinges on Honeycomb being a lot less buggy. But it does have until the fall, when these are set to launch.
How long until we see a Sony app store too? At the very least, clearly they’ll want all their media on this device through their ridiculously named Qriocity thing and via PlayStation (assuming their network ever comes back online). Where does that leave Google in the mix?
“The Ohio State fan base blindly is supporting Ohio State and Jim Tressel. It’s almost gotten to the point that he beats Michigan, he wins 10 games, he goes to BCS bowl games, they’ll support him no matter what he does as far as the fan base. If this would have happened to John Cooper, not only would they have fired him, they would have actually lined it up and had a firing squad and fired him.”—Former Buckeyes QB Kirk Herbstreit on Ohio State coach Jim Tressel
All of the reasons Marco Arment lists as to why Apple won’t build an actual television are good ones. But they’re also all good reasons why the market badly needs to be disrupted — and is ripe for it.
The argument that televisions are “an extremely competitive, commoditized market with very slim margins and most purchasing decisions going to whoever has the most features” sounds exactly like the PC market 15 years ago.
Remember, Apple was going to fail at computers because price is all that matters. A decade later, Apple was going to fail at phones because price is all that matters.
DVDs are still a $12 or $14 billion business. What people from the tech world often do is confuse themselves with the entire marketplace.
No, what people from the “tech world” do is give insight based on earlier adoption of new technology and forecast how things are going to play out.
I’ve noted in all my posts that this greedy “30 day window” ploy was likely to cause a temporary bump in DVD sales. But the keyword is “temporary”. Just watch. They will start falling again. And sooner than Hastings would like.
Creating demand based on false scarcity is not a sustainable business model.
And the real key here is that disruption is going to keep coming. At first it was Netflix’s mail model. Then it was Redbox $0.99 model. Then it was Netflix’s streaming model. And Apple, Amazon, etc, doing rentals over the web. There will be more of this in the years to come, not less.
And the fundamental point is that most movies simply are not worth owning. Preventing people from renting them will eventually either lead to more piracy or to them simply not watching the content and looking elsewhere for other content (like the web).
The studios and retail chains do not understand this. They really seem to think they can keep counting on their cash cow DVD sales indefinitely. It’s laughable.
Every technology is replaced by a new one. The problem they have is that the one replacing DVD isn’t as profitable for them because it leads to a different type of consumption. Or rather, it makes possible a different type of consumption that should have always been in play in the first place.
The DVD is dead, they just don’t realize it yet. In five years, they will look like what cassette tapes look like today when you walk into a store and see them.
Greedy ploys are nothing but a temporary stopgap. And the fact that the studios and retail giants don’t seem to understand that means they’re going to be burned very badly.