Say It Loud: I’m a PC and I’m Proud

By  |  Saturday, September 20, 2008 at 7:47 pm

The T-List is changing a bit: From now on, it’ll be a weekend roundup of the week’s biggest stories. And the past seven days sure provided more than their share of fodder, some of it downright bizarre.

New Microsoft Mantra: PCs Not as Lousy as Apple Says
First Microsoft announces it’s using Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld in new Windows ads. Then it does. Then it either cancels them or moves on as planned all along. Then it launches ads that explicitly refer to Apple’s “Get a Mac” campaign, with a Microsoft employee who looks like John Hodgman and an array of folks proudly declaring “I’m a PC.” Whew! I can’t believe it intends to blow through the rest of its $300 million refuting Apple ads. I’m guessing we’ll TV ads which, like the first new Windows print ads, segue into a more straightforward pitch for Windows in all its forms. And I’m still waiting for any of the ads to boldly use that dread word: “Vista.”

Mailin’ Like Palin
Hackers broke into GOP Veep nominee Sarah Palin’s Yahoo Mail this week, and the most important takeaway was not anything they uncovered, but the fact that their ridculously simple hacking technique–they figured out her “secret questions”–could be used against anybody on an array of sites. Isn’t it time that sites acknowledged that facts like user’s mother’s maiden names, the names of their favorite pets, and the like, are often far too easy to figure out to be used to protect…well, anything? If we see an end to this form of “security” based on L’Affair Palin, I’ll cheerfully give her some of the credit. Even if all she did was have a birth date, Zip Code, and circumstances of meeting her husband that were a cakewalk to find.
Read more at: VentureBeat, Computerworld

Apple continues to move in mysterious ways when it comes to the iPhone App Store. This week it emerged that it had turned down an app called Podcaster on the grounds that it duplicates functionality in iTunes. Actually it improves on iTunes by letting you download podcasts directly to the phone–and it does so pretty nicely. Podcaster’s developer managed to sneak his program out using Apple’s “ad-hoc” distribution, but the bigger question is this: Is Apple really saying that it’s grounds for nixing an app when it’s sort of similar to part of an Apple program? If all Macintosh software had been routed through a Mac App Store and that philosophy had been applied, it’s hard to believe the Mac platform would have survived.

The G-Phone Cometh
The second most-anticipated cell phone of 2008 still isn’t an official reality, but it’ll apparently become one any moment now. HTC’s Dream, based on Google’s Android operating system and offered through T-Mobile, is rumored to get an official announcement net week and to be available soon thereafter. Current scuttlebutt says that the Dream’s wow factor won’t compete with that of the iPhone 3G, but it’ll be nice to have the chance to judge for ourselves. And Android’s obssessively open philosophy will provide an interesting contrast with the walled garden that iPhone owners must live inside, willingly or unwillingly.
Read more at: Engadget Mobile

John McCain’s Been Berry, Berry Good to Us
You gotta hope that Al Gore got a chuckle out this week’s mini-tempest over a McCain adviser’s claim that the Republican nominee for the presidency deserves some of the credit for the BlackBerry. Can we all just agree that the “Al Gore claimed he invented the Internet” meme and the “John McCain claimed he invented the BlackBerry” one cancel each other out? And why is it that all stories involving politicians and technology are so flippin’ goofy?
Read more at: Gizmodo

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  1. Jake Says:

    > I can’t believe it intends to blow through the rest of its $300 million
    > refuting Apple ads.

    I expect the “Think the same” series will turn out to be a bad idea.