Monthly Archives: March 2011

Brief Internet Outage

There’s no such thing as a brief internet outage! What did people do with their time 20 years ago?

Ours lasted from sometime last night until late this evening, and it was caused by the stupid way our ISP does tech support. They aren’t bad, they just won’t be reasonable, unless you know the secret word. Which I do–it’s “shibboleet“–but I wasn’t home all day.

Anyway, it turns out the problem was that the “modem” reset itself to factory defaults and quit working, because the factory defaults are incompatible with the network. Very clever of the ISP to design their firmware that way, don’t you think?

Resistance is Futile (iPad 2 edition)

This is pretty much how I feel, too, especially the final thought:

Motorola and Samsung…they’re both large companies with a lot of buying power and strong brand recognition. The problem is, they don’t understand the game that Apple’s playing in the mobile space, so they’re playing it wrong. They’re so caught up in catching up that they’re not even trying to innovate in this space. Maybe HP or Rim will figure it out, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

Which is unfortunate. If Apple’s doing this kind of amazing stuff without any viable competition, can you imagine what they’d be doing with strong, viable competitors nipping at their heels?

I’ve been struck by how much better Apple products are than their competitors. Who, honestly, would pick a Dell or an HP laptop over a MacBook? And that’s the space where Apple is least advantaged and has a clear premium price.

In other markets (music players and phones) the Apple “premium” is much less clear. For tablets, it’s negative: the superior product is actually less expensive.

Why is this so hard? Surely there are smart, design-oriented marketing people out there who don’t work at Apple. Why don’t some of these hapless technology companies turn them loose. I’ve worked at some of those companies, and, sure, the engineers need firm direction to produce something that doesn’t stink. But why can’t people look at Apple and say, “Let’s try it that way for a change, instead of continuing to flounder like we’ve always done?”