During a Layer Tennis match between Scott Thomas and Mark Weaver back in September, I, commentating on this volley, suggested that Marshall McLuhan would have enjoyed Layer Tennis.
Scott Boms was intrigued, so he asked his father-in-law, Eric McLuhan — Marshall McLuhan’s son and frequent collaborator. This made my day.?
Comprehensive overview by Peter-Paul Koch.?
Dan Frommer guesses 10 million:
How did we figure that?
AT&T activated about 14 million new iPhones over the past fourquarters on a subscriber base that’s now a little more than 90million. (Of those activations, about 10 million were by existingAT&T subscribers.)
Verizon’s subscriber base is also about 90 million, and we don’texpect iPhone adoption to be wildly different on Verizon than ithas been on AT&T. Maybe somewhat less, because Verizon folksalready have high-end Android phones, but not much less.
See, I’d say more. If AT&T can sell 14 million iPhones in four quarters (selling to a base of subscribers who’ve had the iPhone available to them since 2007) why wouldn’t Verizon (selling to a base of subscribers who’ve been starved of the iPhone) be able to sell more? I expect Verizon to sell more iPhones than AT&T does.?
When the news broke late last night that the Phillies had signed Cliff Lee, my initial reaction was disbelief, then anger. The Yankees need starting pitching (particularly left-handed), they wanted Lee, so by George they deserved to get him. But in the light of day, my considered take is that they of course deserved nothing. They got beaten by the Phillies fair and square. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro not only pulled off the biggest free agent signing of the year — he somehow did it without anyone knowing the Phillies were even interested in Lee until after they’d finished the deal.
Most MLB team owners are curiously timid. They’re content merely to own a team, and to get lucky, perhaps once a decade or so, and have a good season. They wish to succeed on the cheap, to get $200 million of success out of a $90 million lineup. The sort of men who buy fast cars but drive them slow.
I wrote about this a year ago, after the Yankees won the World Series:
Yankees fans don?t feel guilty about the Yankees payroll. It?snot like the team is run at a loss. It?s a business, and theirbusiness is winning baseball games. Winning leads to profits fromticket sales, TV, and merchandise; profits are used to signall-star-caliber talent; and the talent leads to winning.
And I quoted this from a piece by my friend and fellow Yankee fan Khoi Vinh:
It?s pretty safe to say that a good number of those who hate theYankees because of their payroll are unabashed capitalists, too;they?d be very unlikely to begrudge the fact that the highestvalued, best performing organization in any given market also ledthat market. That?s not just capitalism, it?s the waycapitalism is practiced in America.
It’s a virtuous circle, when played well: winning generates money, money pays for talent, talent leads to winning. Where Yankee fans grew spoiled is that for a long time, there were no other teams with a taste for this level of dedication to excellence. The Red Sox, perhaps. But this move, out-bidding the competition to add Cliff Lee to a pitching staff that was, already, arguably the best in baseball? It’s the sort of brash move that heretofore would have only been made by the Yankees.
There’s now a second team in baseball that doesn’t just hope to win it all, but expects to.
In a landmark decision issued today in the criminal appeal of U.S.v. Warshak, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that thegovernment must have a search warrant before it can secretly seizeand search emails stored by email service providers. Closelytracking arguments made by EFF in its amicus brief, the courtfound that email users have the same reasonable expectation ofprivacy in their stored email as they do in their phone calls andpostal mail.
Great news. I’m donating to the EFF to celebrate.?
Google engineer Amanda Camp:
We?ve added a new feature to Google Contacts that allows you torevert your contact list and undo any mistakes made up to 30 daysin the past. Let?s say you accidentally deleted a bunch ofcontacts or wiped the contact data from your Gmail account bymistake while syncing to another device. Visit Gmail?s Contactssection, select ?Restore contacts? in the ?More actions?menu, and choose the time you would like to revert to.
What a great feature — takes all the risk out of syncing. MobileMe should have something like this.?
Google kindly sent me a Nexus S, including service from T-Mobile, to use for for a few weeks for review purposes. I’ve been using it as my main phone since it arrived on Friday. I put off reading Joshua Topolsky’s review of it at Engadget until today so that I could form my own thoughts about it. I plan to write about it in detail eventually, but in short, I agree with Topolsky’s review almost completely. It’s a good device, the best Android phone I’ve seen, and a very solid year-over-year improvement over the Nexus One, both in terms of hardware and software.
But some things are maddening. Yes, Topolsky’s review is largely positive, and I’m going to pull out one tidbit here that’s negative. But it’s a perfect example of the sort of “death by a thousand paper cuts” aspect of Android’s user experience. Topolsky writes:
Well, let’s be clear — Google still has major issues with textselection and editing on Android devices. The first strikingproblem is that there is not a consistent method of selecting texton the device. None. At all. In the browser, you long press ontext to bring up your anchors, then drag and tap the center ofyour selection — boom, copied text. In text editing fields,however, in order to select a word you must long press on theword, wait for a contextual menu to pop up, and then select“select word” — a completely counterintuitive process. In themessage app you can long press to select only the entire message,and in Google Reader? You can’t select any text at all. Evenworse, Gmail has a different method for selecting text from anemail you’re reading, and it’s far more obnoxious than any of theothers. There, selecting text goes from being mildly annoying todownright silly. Want to grab some text out of an email? Here’syour process: hit the menu key, hit “more,” hit “select text,” andthen finally drag your anchors out. Funnily enough, a littlecursor appears when you start selecting — a holdover from Linux?To have this many options and discrepancies over something assimple as copy and paste should be embarrassing to Google. What itmostly is, however, is a pain to the end user.
And I think about the iPhone, which didn’t get text selection and copy-and-paste until version 3.0, two years after it debuted. It’s hard to get these things right.?
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The Good Apps Company has introduced Skill Game 1.0 for iPhone and iPad, a game that incorporates both strategy and skill. The goal of Skill Game is to connect all the numbers shown on the paper in the correct order. The order of the numbers, plus other obstacles make this a true challenge. The level of difficulty for randomly generated levels adapts automatically to the abilities of the player. A constant challenge without frustration is guaranteed.
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Best selling author, Chuck Fischer today announces Clement Clarke Moore's Twas The Night Before Christmas 1.1, his new interactive app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Brilliant hand-painted images surprise, engage, and delight with the touch of your finger. Magnificent animation and sound effects, combined with celebrity actor, Victor Garber's magnificent narration, will fill you with spirit of Christmas throughout the year.
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