Apple’s Latest Ideas

AP: New notebooks, more megahertz, delayed OS. Jobs unveiled a new software program called iDVD that will allow users to make their own DVD movies. Another new program called iTunes will let users burn MP3-format songs onto CDs in a simple and user-friendly interface.

Not much huge news at Steve Jobs’ Macworld Expo keynote, it turns out. An interesting new DVD-creation app. Faster desktop models. New notebooks. Another delay in Mac OS X.

You know what? It’s still enough to energize the Macolytes.

The latest PowerBook models are the most interesting announcement. Apple *still* refuses to put out a true sub-notebook on the order of IBM’s X series Thinkpads or the Sony SuperSlim Vaio models — the kind you can actually use with reasonable comfort when you’re flying in coach. Still, the new Apple notebooks are a step in the right direction.

Delaying the release of OS X is actually a smart move. After waiting this long, Apple might as well wait a little longer and try to get it right.

I expect to buy one more Mac, for my music. After that, I’m doubting whether it’ll be worth staying on the platform. Hope I’m wrong.

AOL’s Instant Messaging Deception

Washington Post: Pop-up Profit for AOL. In recent months, AOL has transformed the product that first caught on with teenagers as a way to trade quick messages into a money-making enterprise — raising new questions about whether AOL has a financial incentive to use its current dominant position in instant messaging to unfairly thwart competitors.


Raising questions? There’s never been even a slight doubt that AOL intended to make money on messaging. The advertising potential alone was blatantly obvious.

So was the potential for owning the world’s greatest directory of computer users — the IM equivalent of a phone book. Freeze out the competition, as AOL has been doing, and you have essentially unlimited potential to make a business.

Smart people run AOL. They completely understand what they have in their dominance of instant messaging. Too bad the government regulators, charged with protecting competition, do not.

California Power Woes

  • Mercury News: Davis: Deregulation a “colossal failure”. He pledged to spend $1 billion on a public power initiative and conservation drive. He vowed to seize privately owned power plants if necessary to prevent blackouts. And he called on Californians to curtail their energy use by 7 percent in an effort to drive down prices
  • San Francisco Chronicle: Power Prices Set in Secret. Although the sellers deny any wrongdoing, critics argue that the power generators can manipulate the system — without full public scrutiny — to get the highest prices.

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