TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Swaine Manor: Of Bling, and Bing, and Ning

Volume Number: 26
Issue Number: 01
Column Tag: Editorial

Swaine Manor: Of Bling, and Bing, and Ning

A riff on Macworld, Roman Numerals, and Chinese Theaters

by Michael Swaine

I've attended a lot of Macworld shows over the years and, like Macheads everywhere, I used to look forward eagerly to the Steve Jobs keynote that always kicked off the event. This year it falls to John Gruber to explain to us how blown away we are at the awesomeness of it all and (dare I hope?) to tell us about that "one more thing."

Well, maybe not that "one more thing," since Steve may have kinda usurped that.

One Man's Bling

But you know what? It's all right. It really is. I'm finally getting used to Macworld without Steve Jobs, and I can get used to Macworld without Apple. Or Adobe. Or Quark. Or Epson. Or XtremeMac. It's better this way. It makes it easier to focus on what really matters.

Bling!

I want my techie bling. I want an egg timer shaped like an Apple with a bite out of it, but nobody seems to want to jump into this inviting market niche. I want toys and gadgets too nerdy for The Sharper Image. I want stupid app tricks. I want bags with corporate logos for carrying my swag.

I want those UltimateEars earbuds that cost more than my computer and, the company says, will require an ear impression from my audiologist. I didn't even know I had an audiologist. They must be good!

I want iSaidWhat?, an iPhone app designed to embarrass my friends. I secretly record them, mix their words up, and post the result on Facebook or Twitter. What could be greater than that? I'm guessing this is an app that comes with a strong legal disclaimer.

I want font bling. I admit it, I'm a font geek. Priori Acute is a font inspired by M. C. Escher drawings. Serifs twist into nonexistent dimensions and dazzle the eye. I want that. I want to blog in it. I want font influence, like Al Gore, who recently got Typotheque to change the numeral 1 in their Brioni font. Now that's bold. I want the SarcMark: that sarcastic character created by a company of the same name, but I don't want it enough to pay for it, especially since the backward-facing question mark is already broadly understood to indicate sarcasm and doesn't cost two bucks. SarcMark is a dot in a spiral and is intended to represent sarcasm. I'm sure its brilliant inventors will be very successful.

OK, my bling may not be your bling.

Ning People

And my Ning may not be your thing. Are you a Ning person? IDG set up a Ning social networking site (http://macworldexpo.ning.com) for Macworld a year or two ago, and I get the impression that it's running on autopilot, fueled by socnet energy. IDG may not even remember that they have the site. You should check it out before they find out and shut it down, especially the video of the little girl painting with ice cream and the dog licking up the painting. It's a comment on the ephemerality of art, I imagine. The site is also very pretty. Which makes me even surer that IDG isn't managing it.

Not to change the subject or anything, but do you realize that this year we Macheads celebrate the start of Year XI of OS X. Woo-hoo, right? And you thought Microsoft went a long time between releases. But I'm sure that Apple just wants to do it right. They won't go to eleven until they can put on the kind of release extravaganza that a full Roman numeral version update deserves, with geeks in togas and giant pillars on stage, and that won't happen until Nigel Tufnel can free up some time in his schedule.

Google and Bing

We'll wait just a minute while the younger Macheads in the group Google "Nigel Tufnel." Ah, back already? So you got the eleven reference, then? And the giant pillars? OK, moving along—which is exactly what Apple could be about to do with respect to Google.

There was a time when the default browser on Macs was from Microsoft. Could it be that soon the default search engine on Macs and iPhones will be from Microsoft?

Google has kicked China to the curb, and there could be some interesting consequences. I mean beyond China's refusal to show Avatar in its sixty zillion theaters. Now I have to confess, that blindsided me. How punishing Jim Cameron hurts Google is a lesson in corporate influence that I do not choose to sign up for. Especially since Chinese theaters are still showing the 3-D version.

But here's an easier question: If Google's decision to stop censoring search results in China leads to China kicking Google off all Chinese computers, who would benefit? I'm willing to do that math: Microsoft would pick up the search action and associated ad business with its Bing search engine.

So I'm not surprised to hear that Apple is being very Bing-friendly these days. Bing could be the new gateway to China.

You heard it speculated here first.

About the Title

"Swaine Manor" is a Batman reference, of course, but not to the TV Batman or to the Tim Burton Batman, but to the Frank Miller Batman. If I were permitted to choose a Frank Miller Batman, it would be the Frank Miller/Dave Mazzucchelli "Year One" Batman. "Michael Swaine" is, of course, a reference to Michael Swaim, the Cracked magazine writer who first pointed out that the term "Genius" in "Genius Bar" is sometimes applied sarcastically. Probably with a SarcMark.


Michael Swaine is the former editor-in-chief of Dr. Dobb’s Journal (http://www.ddj.com) and current editor of PragPub (http:// www.pragprog.com/magazine), the electronic magazine for pragmatic programmers. You can reach him at mike@swaine.com.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Path Finder 7.5 - Powerful, award-winnin...
Path Finder makes you a master of file management. Take full control over your file system. Save your time: compare and synchronize folders, view hidden files, use Dual Pane and full keyboard... Read more
Merlin Project 4.2.3 - $349.00
Merlin Project is the leading professional project management software for OS X. If you plan complex projects on your Mac, you won’t get far with a simple list of tasks. Good planning raises... Read more
TextSoap 8.4 - Automate tedious text doc...
TextSoap can automatically remove unwanted characters, fix up messed up carriage returns, and do pretty much anything else that we can think of to text. Save time and effort. Be more productive. Stop... Read more
Smultron 9.4 - Easy-to-use, powerful tex...
Smultron 9 is an elegant and powerful text editor that is easy to use. Use it to create or edit any text document. Everything from a web page, a note or a script to any single piece of text or code.... Read more
QuarkXPress 13.0.0.0 - Desktop publishin...
QuarkXPress 2017 is the new version that raises the bar for design and productivity. With non-destructive graphics and image editing directly within your layout, you no longer have to choose between... Read more
Brackets 1.9.0 - Open Source Web design...
Brackets is an Open-Source editor for Web design and development built on top of Web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The project was created and is maintained by Adobe, and is... Read more
Audio Hijack 3.3.4 - Record and enhance...
Audio Hijack (was Audio Hijack Pro) drastically changes the way you use audio on your computer, giving you the freedom to listen to audio when you want and how you want. Record and enhance any audio... Read more
Tunnelblick 3.7.1a - GUI for OpenVPN.
Tunnelblick is a free, open source graphic user interface for OpenVPN on OS X. It provides easy control of OpenVPN client and/or server connections. It comes as a ready-to-use application with all... Read more
Amazon Chime 4.3.5721 - Amazon-based com...
Amazon Chime is a communications service that transforms online meetings with a secure, easy-to-use application that you can trust. Amazon Chime works seamlessly across your devices so that you can... Read more
BBEdit 11.6.6 - Powerful text and HTML e...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Magikarp Jump splashes onto Android worl...
If you're tired ofPokémon GObut still want something to satisfy your mobilePokémon fix,Magikarp Jumpmay just do the trick. It's out now on Android devices the world over. While it looks like a simple arcade jumper, there's quite a bit more to it... | Read more »
Purrfectly charming open-world RPG Cat Q...
Cat Quest, an expansive open-world RPG from former Koei-Tecmo developers, got a new gameplay trailer today. The video showcases the combat and exploration features of this feline-themed RPG. Cat puns abound as you travel across a large map in a... | Read more »
Jaipur: A Card Game of Duels (Games)
Jaipur: A Card Game of Duels 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** WARNING: iPad 2, iPad Mini 1 & iPhone 4S are NOT compatible. ** *** Special Launch Price for a limited... | Read more »
Subdivision Infinity (Games)
Subdivision Infinity 1.03 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.03 (iTunes) Description: Launch sale! 40% Off! Subdivision Infinity is an immersive and pulse pounding sci-fi 3D space shooter. https://www.... | Read more »
Clash of Clans' gets a huge new upd...
Clash of Clans just got a massive new update, and that's not hyperbole. The update easily tacks on a whole new game's worth of content to the hit base building game. In the update, that mysterious boat on the edge of the map has been repaired and... | Read more »
Thimbleweed Park officially headed to iO...
Welp, it's official. Thimbleweed Park will be getting a mobile version. After lots of wondering and speculation, the developers confirmed it today. Thimbleweed Park will be available on both iOS and Android sometime in the near future. There's no... | Read more »
Pokémon GO might be getting legendaries...
The long-awaited legendary Pokémon may soon be coming to Pokémon GO at long last. Data miners have already discovered that the legendary birds, Articuno, Moltres, and Zapdos are already in the game, it’s just a matter of time. [Read more] | Read more »
The best deals on the App Store this wee...
If you’ve got the Monday blues we have just the thing to cheer you up. The week is shaping up to be a spectacular one for sales. We’ve got a bunch of well-loved indie games at discounted prices this week along with a few that are a little more... | Read more »
Honor 8 Pro, a great choice for gamers
Honor is making strides to bring its brand to the forefront of mobile gaming with its latest phone, the Honor 8 Pro. The Pro sets itself apart from its predecessor, the Honor 8, with a host of premium updates that boost the device’s graphical and... | Read more »
The 4 best outdoor adventure apps
Now that we're well into the pleasant, warmer months, it's time to start making the most of the great outdoors. Spring and summer are ideal times for a bit of trekking or exploration. You don't have to go it alone, though. There are plenty of... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Sale! 15-inch 2.6GHz Silver Touch Bar MacBook...
DataVision has the 15″ 2.6GHz Silver Touch Bar MacBook Pro (MLW72LL/A) on sale for $2199 including free shipping. Their price is $200 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model (... Read more
A Kaby Lake Processor Upgrade For The MacBook...
Now they tell me! Well, actually Apple hasn’t said anything official on the subject, but last week Bloomberg News’s Mark Gurman and Alex Webb cited unnamed “people familiar with the matter”... Read more
Kodak’s Camera-First Smartphone EKTRA Launche...
The Eastman Kodak Company and Bullitt Group have announced the availability of a U.S. GSM version of the KODAK EKTRA Smartphone. The U.S. launch coincides with a software update addressing requests... Read more
Apple Launches App Development Curriculum for...
Apple today launched a new app development curriculum designed for students who want to pursue careers in the fast-growing app economy. The curriculum is available as a free download today from Apple... Read more
Check Apple prices on any device with the iTr...
MacPrices is proud to offer readers a free iOS app (iPhones, iPads, & iPod touch) and Android app (Google Play and Amazon App Store) called iTracx, which allows you to glance at today’s lowest... Read more
9.7-inch 2017 iPad available for $298, save $...
Sams Club has 32GB 9.7″ Apple iPads available for $298 for Sams Club members. That’s $21 off MSRP. Order online and choose free local store pickup (if available) or free shipping. Read more
touchbyte Releases PhotoSync 3.2 for iOS With...
Hamburg, Germany based touchbyte has announced the release of PhotoSync 3.2 for iOS, a major upgrade to the versatile and powerful app to transfer, backup and share photos and videos over the air.... Read more
Emerson Adds Touchscreen Display and Apple Ho...
Emerson has announced the next evolution of its nationally recognized smart thermostat. The new Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Thermostat combines proven smarthome technology with a color touchscreen display and... Read more
SurfPro VPN for Mac Protects Data While Offer...
XwaveSoft has announced announce the release and immediate availability of SurfPro VPN 1.0, their secure VPN client for macOS. SurfPro VPN allows Mac users to protect their internet traffic from... Read more
13-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for $1...
B&H Photo has 13″ MacBook Pros in stock today for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 13″ 2.9GHz/512GB Touch Bar MacBook Pro Space Gray (... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Integration Specialist - A3 Solution...
Apple Integration Specialist Contract-To-HireWe are searching for dedicated, well-experienced and energetic individuals for an information technology corporation Read more
Sr. Software Engineer, *Apple* Online Store...
Changing the world is all in a day's work at Apple . If you love innovation, here's your chance to make a career of it. You'll work hard. But the job comes with more Read more
Senior Engineering Project Manager, *Apple*...
Changing the world is all in a day's work at Apple . If you love innovation, here's your chance to make a career of it. You'll work hard. But the job comes with more Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
**508456BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobile Master **Location Number:** 000040-Eau Claire-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Mobile Master Read more
Director *Apple* ERP Integration Lead - Ast...
…make a real difference. Come, shine with us! Astellas is announcing a Director Apple ERP Integration Lead opportunity in Northbrook, IL. Purpose & Scope: This role Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.