Steve, free .Mac...before it's too late

Dear Steve Jobs, Dotmacbox

The private walled garden known as .Mac is out of touch with reality. With .Mac's major features available for free from various web 2.0 companies .Mac is becoming irrelevant. iLife's many sharing features are crippled if you don't have .Mac.

If .Mac hadn't become pay only in the .bomb days, it would have grown to be the largest social network today. For example just adding a friends networking feature based on iChat buddy lists or AddressBook could make .Mac a wonderful MySpace replacement. .Mac as a social network can sell more Macs, iPods, Photo prints, music and movies. .Mac could make the life of Mac users easier and better.

To still have the .Mac tax today is just plain stupid. Why make users pay? Bandwidth costs? Nope. Apple is selling movies and TV shows for less than 10 bucks? It would take weeks for an average user to use that much bandwidth. Storage? Nah. That's too cheap to even discuss.

Someone at Apple needs to re-do those basic calculations of what the residual value of a .Mac user is to Apple.

Steve, with the iPod success heading for the plateau, you need a new killer app, .Mac can make Apple the hottest and most useful social network.  Do something before dotMac becomes deadMac. Or kill .Mac & have the dev teams work on making iLife integrate better with other successful 2.0 sites.

Frankly no one cares for .Mac anymore.


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My Dream App Finals - Making the cut

My Dream App contest reaches finals: 

I love all six applications that have made it to the finals. Reducing down to three favorites has taken over an hour of personal deliberation. I applaud the organizers and sponsors for making participation fun and beneficial.   

So how did I vote? 

What I cut:

  • #6. Whistler - Richard - Music creation has never been this easy or fun. I think this is a cool app, but since I don't have any music ski115 it would be like expose, fun to show others but rarely used by me. A search tool that let you whistle a tune to find such a song would have made it into the top 3 for me (I know that's not easy).
  • #5. Cookbook - Michael - The ultimate cookbook application. Another cool app, but I don't have the passion for cookbooks. My wife would love Cookbook but it is not for me. Besides, right now, I'm looking out for #1 (me).
  • #4. Blossom - Dan - A virtual plant that responds to productivity. So close. But I opted for Atmosphere as I have been working too hard keeping my virtual chi-pet alive. I just can't take any more virtual responsibilities. I realize this is a different app, but in the end it would be another virtual plant that would wither because of my neglect.

What I want:

  • #3. Atmosphere - Cameron - Put the weather on your desktop. I've read lots of crying about how this candidate has got over dugg. You all have been reading too many 'gaming digg' blog posts. The idea is flat out cool people, a 'live' desktop showing weather conditions is IMHO is the ultimate desktop.
  • #2. Portal - Farzad - File syncing from the future. Having .Mac like sync without .Mac is the ultimate senario for any mac owner.
  • Hijack Logo (My #1 Choice)My #1 Choice. Hijack - Kevin - Browse your favorite forums. I like where this app is headed, with microformatting and possible collaboration with BBoard developers to standardize the layouts, tracking conversations online is the future.

    I'd certainly be willing to help Hijack by especially formatting the different modes of conversation at Otavo to allow Hijack to track quests, forums and blogs effectively without having to jump through regex hell. Wonderful idea Kevin.

So go register and vote for the top 3 I like. You have until Wednesday to do so. For participating, you get PhotoPresenter 2.6, Overflow & $5 off: Insanely Great Tees

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Drinking from the potion

Potion Factory has made me smile several times this past week.

Introducing Tangerine

The first time was when they offered Voice Candy at My Dream App contest. I found Voice Candy's interface beautiful and the sound effects very realistic. I had lots of fun listening to myself talk. I think my primary use for Voice Candy will be to record my thought streams (with eyes closed, visualizing and verbally describing various ideas without having to write stuff.)

Today I learn that the have made a new app called Tangerine. It analyzes a track's beats per minute (BPM) and compiles playlists based on the setting you choose. This is the first time I've seen an app that helps organize music in this is perfect for helping create a good group of like-sounding songs for a steady workout.

Good luck guys and keep surprising us.

Disclaimer: they did offer to provide license to tangerine if you blog it. That helps motivate me to blog, but the main reason I blogged them today is because here is a company that is testing new ideas, not just in terms of apps they are creating but also the various avenues they are taking to expose themselves to the world at large.

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Living with Otavo

Otavo has been a joy to use and develop.

Everyday I am surprised by how others use Otavo and what they are looking for. I join the quests that 'move' me and chip in whenever I come across a relevant link.

But, from all the quests running I have truly loved this one I am embedding on this post. It is a collection of things that may you say "this is genius"

There are a few others such as help with inspiration but when I see an update notice for these two quests in my email and rss reader it truly makes my day.

BTW: Yes I developed Otavo, but these quests have truly made the journey worth it, thank you all who have started and contributed to the quests.


I want the new chi pet 1.1!!!

Novis Design the daddy/alpha/omega of the chi pets, a while ago posted this:

The New Pet In Town - Upcoming Chi Pet Features
The Chi Pet has been one of the most popular widgets out there to date. And we think it could be much better. New features in an upcoming release are going to include a haircut named 'Barber Shop', a sleep called 'Hibernation', and a huge innovation that will let you talk to your Chi. These features and more will be in the upcoming version 1.1.

I have a fully grown chi pet that needs to learn to take naps and get trimmed.

Please hurry with chi pet 1.1. two additional pets have died on me so far, and I am not sure how many more deaths I can take.

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Apple's Mighty Mouse Nipple/Scrollball can't be cleaned.

TUAW - Why Apple's Mighty Mouse is like the Apple III:

Well Apple's done it again with the so-called "Mighty" mouse. Their 3 or 4-button wonder is great, as long as you don't get hooked on using the little scrollball. Never mind the fact that you can't move in X and Y directions at the same time (as you can using 2-finger trackpad scrolling)-- the trackball is a piece of junk. I mean, the build quality is nice (just like those Apple III's had heavy-duty aluminum chassis), but after about a month of frequent use, the thing gets jammed with gunk, making it largely unusable. And yes, I wash my hands regularly...

I have found the little nipple/scrollball on the mighty mouse too-wiggly for my taste. I guess with my next iMac (24'' baby!) I'll have to get another Logitech to replace the Mighty mouse it will come with.

Currently I'm in love with the features of Logitech MX Revolution Cordless Laser Mouse

I'm hoping that a wired version of the MX Revolution will be available soon.

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Movie Downloads NOT worth buying

Movie Downloads: iTunes v. The Rest:

For now, I think I’ll continue using DVDs to archive my favorite movies, but rent digital versions of the ones I just want to see once. What I’d really like to see in this category is a digital Netflix service that automatically rents, downloads, and deletes movies from my computer for a flat monthly fee.

The dvd clearance bins at Walmart and smaller local stores have great prices on movies. Blockbuster is just down the street. So what will movie downloads do for me? Precious little. From what I have read, I see two key problems with all the offerings:

  1. DRM: DRM can't work for me, it never will. If I pay for it, it is mine to do as I please. I as an informed consumer don't want it.
  2. Price & Convenience: If I have to spend time downloading to acquire the product, then it takes up valuable space on my drive, I better save alot of money! I'd say $1.99/movie max. Since most movies in the clearance bins are around 5-10 bucks, I do not see how mastering, boxing and shipping a product can cost as much as a download. Why I should pay so much when they are really are so inconvenient to own?

I'll stick to the DVDs for now. Best bang and flexibility for my buck. Movie downloads offer me nothing.
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Email dies of heart failure...too much spam

Email has been a reliable form of communication for many years but, in the last 10 years, thanks spam and phishing email is dying.

Email worked because it was a quick and sure way to communicate with individuals over the net. Spam and phishing concerns attack the two key things in any communication medium:

  1. Know who you are talking to. Thanks to spam, you can't tell if the email you receive is from a real human that knows you or has real reasons to contact you.

    With phishing you have emails that look genuine to trick you into performing some act.

  2. Know that you are being heard/read. If you send out an email, there is no longer any real guarantees that the recipient has received it.

If you can't receive real genuine emails, can't be certain if the recipient will get your message, and are afraid to share your email address with others, why bother with email at all?

This rant was caused by years of watching the email platform crumble and this article at Techdirt -
When You Can't Tell The Phishing Emails From The Legit Ones, Just Ignore Them All

I think it is time to look for new options...any ideas?


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