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Gadgets

Macbook Crashes, Kernel Panics and coping with an Apple “Genius”

Posted in Analysis, Apple, Gadgets, Geek, Hacks, Hardware on May 14th, 2011 by leodirac – 8 Comments

So your Mac is crashing a lot, and after a trip to the “Genius Bar”, you’re starting to think maybe that “genius” you talked to is anything but.  Is this where you are?  If so, join the club, because that’s exactly what I’ve been going through recently.  My MacBook Pro would regularly go black without […]

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Apple and Wal-Mart: Bargaining on your behalf for lower prices

Posted in Analysis, Apple, Business, Economics, Gadgets, Geek on April 20th, 2010 by leodirac – 1 Comment

Even though Apple products are expensive, there’s a surprising similarity between Apple and Wal-Mart: both companies push hard on other parts of the value chain to deliver lower prices for consumers. In Walmart’s case, it’s generally suppliers who get squeezed.  Walmart demands that manufacturers of goods produce them at the lowest possible price so that Walmart can […]

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How Apple Segments the Market

Posted in Analysis, Apple, Business, Gadgets, Geek, Marketing on April 19th, 2010 by leodirac – 2 Comments

Apple has done a fabulous job in recent years of asserting itself as a major player in the computer industry.  One of their tools for accomplishing this has been a fanatical commitment to high-quality products.  They strive to make every product they offer to be the best in its class, and they’ve largely succeeded at […]

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iPad pre-launch security

Posted in Apple, Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, Geek, Humor on April 3rd, 2010 by leodirac – Comments Off on iPad pre-launch security

Arrington managed to get his hands on an iPad for a test drive before launch day, presumably from a company that had been given one to build apps for it. His description of the security under which these devices were loaned out is so funny I just have to share it with y’all… Scores of […]

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Apple’s subscription music service (part 2)

Posted in Analysis, Apple, Gadgets, Music on January 18th, 2010 by leodirac – Comments Off on Apple’s subscription music service (part 2)

Back in 2007, I predicted that Apple would launch a subscription music service probably around 2010. My logic was based on how long it would take to get enough connected iPods into the world. Having spent a bunch of time with an unconnected mp3 player with a subscription music service I knew this was necessary. […]

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iSlate’s amazing tactile feedback keyboard

Posted in Analysis, Apple, Gadgets, User Experience on January 15th, 2010 by leodirac – 1 Comment

There’s lots of hubbub about Apple’s upcoming tablet device, but the stuff people are talking about I’m not actually all that excited about.  A giant iPhone?  Sure, that’ll be nice.  A color e-reader that can run apps.  Okay, I guess that’s better than kindle.  A super-thin netbook without a real keyboard.  Meh.  Actually, I don’t […]

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Dinocams – The legacy of SLR cameras in the 21st century

Posted in Analysis, Gadgets, Geek, Travel on March 1st, 2009 by leodirac – 6 Comments

DSLR cameras make very little sense today. Modern imaging technology is rapidly turning them into dinosaurs. The forces keeping them alive are a combination of a physical legacy in hunks of glass, and aspirational marketing. I’ll explain, but first, what’s a DSLR and why don’t they make sense? Background on SLRs and DSLRs (If you what “f-stop” means, feel free to skip ahead to the next section.) SLR stands for Single Lens Reflex. Practically speaking it refers to a camera where you can change the lens. You look through the same lens that actually takes the picture, letting you put…

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Covers for Kindles

Posted in Amazon, Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, Marketing, Social Computing, User Experience on August 26th, 2008 by leodirac – 2 Comments

My girlfriend has a kindle that she very much enjoys. One of the biggest benefits from it she gets is having a large amount of content in a very small device. She is a scientist who is very much an information worker. Having access to a great many research papers in searchable form is very useful for her. (If only the PDF import worked on multi-column papers!) She also tends to live out of a backpack, so being able to have several interesting things to read at any give time is very appealing. So she’s often reading her kindle on…

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Is Apple using scarcity to hide iPhone quality problems?

Posted in Analysis, Apple, Business, Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, Hardware, Marketing, Psychology on July 28th, 2008 by leodirac – 9 Comments

Here I propose an alternative explanation for iPhone scarcity: the difficulty in obtaining a new iPhone keeps people from complaining about problems with it. I will explore this sophisticated marketing technique that Apple may or may not be employing to cover up quality problems with the new iPhone 3G. Even if Apple is not doing this deliberately, I assert that it is a valid and potentially very useful technique if your product is lucky enough to have the prerequisites. New iPhones are hard to get The blogosphere is full of speculation about whether or not Apple deliberately made the iPhone…

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Heavy laptops: there’s no excuse

Posted in Gadgets, Geek, Hardware on October 30th, 2007 by leodirac – 1 Comment

The way I see it, there’s no compelling reason to buy a heavy laptop. Light laptops are great because they’re portable. Their processors might be a little slower, but local processing power rarely limits what you can do with a computer these days. And unless you get a really tiny laptop they’re hardly slower. If you do get a tiny one then you’re trading reduced HCI-bandwidth for increased access to that bandwidth, which is often worthwhile. Today I’d probably argue that iPhone or iPod Touch is a pareto-optimal choice (sweet-spot) in this trade-off, beating out things like OQO and FlipStart….

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