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

Is there cross-platform play in slither....
So you've sunken plenty of hours into crawling around in slither.io on your iPhone or iPad. You've got your stories of tragedy and triumph, the times you coiled four snakes at one time balanced out by the others when you had a length of more than... | Read more »
Rodeo Stampede guide to running a better...
In Rodeo Stampede, honing your skills so you can jump from animal to animal and outrun the herd as long as possible is only half the fun. Once you've tamed a few animals, you can bring them home with you. [Read more] | Read more »
VoxSyn (Music)
VoxSyn 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: VoxSyn turns your voice into the most flexible vocal sound generator ever. Instantly following even subtle modulations of pitch and... | Read more »
Catch Battleplans on Google Play from Ju...
Real-time strategy title Battleplans is due for release on Google Play on June 30th, following its release for iOS systems last month. With its simple interface and pretty graphics, the crowd-pleaser brings a formerly overlooked genre out for the... | Read more »
iDoyle: The interactive Adventures of Sh...
iDoyle: The interactive Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - A Scandal in Bohemia 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Books Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Special Release Price $1.99 (Normally $3.99) | Read more »
Five popular free apps to help you slim...
Thanks to retail and advertising, we're used to thinking one season ahead. Here we are just a week into the summer and we're conditioned to start thinking about the fall. [Read more] | Read more »
How to ride longer and tame more animals...
It's hard to accurately describe Rodeo Stampede to people who haven't seen it yet. It's like if someone took Crossy Roadand Disco Zoo and put them in a blender, yet with a unique game mechanic that's still simple and fun for anyone. [Read more] | Read more »
Teeny Titans - A Teen Titans Go! Figure...
Teeny Titans - A Teen Titans Go! Figure Battling Game 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Teeny Titans, GO! Join Robin for a figure battling RPG of epic proportions! TEENY... | Read more »
NinjAwesome: Tips and tricks to be a mor...
Sorry about that headline, but I'm going to go ahead and assume that GameResort would not have named its game NinjAwesome without expecting some of that. It is, in fact, pretty awesome the way it combines an endless runner and old school arcade... | Read more »
Into Mirror (Games)
Into Mirror 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: "Is all that we see or seem, but a dream within a dream?"- Edgar Allan Poe New game by Lemon Jam Studio, the team behind Pursuit... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

15-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $200-...
B&H Photo has 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799.99 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz... Read more
Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $449 $50 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac mini: $649 $50 off MSRP - 2.8GHz Mac mini... Read more
Clearance 2015 13-inch MacBook Airs available...
B&H Photo has clearance 2015 13″ MacBook Airs available for $300 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB MacBook Air (MJVE2LL/A): $799.... Read more
Apple refurbished Mac minis available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac minis available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
ABBYY TextGrabber: 1,000,000 Installs in 5 Da...
ABBYY, an international OCR technologies provider, has announced that their image-to-text application TextGrabber, got installed 1,000,000 times in just five days while being featured by the App... Read more
New SkinIt Waterproof Case For iPhone 6
With its impact and waterproof design, the Skinit Waterproof case provides security and protection to guarantee your phone will get you through even the most demanding outdoor conditions. The impact-... Read more
iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2181.11 $118 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $1949... Read more
12-inch 1.1GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for $5...
B&H Photo has 2016 12″ 1.1GHz/256GB Retina MacBooks on sale for up to $50 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook: $1249 $50 off MSRP... Read more
WWDC Announcements Revisited Still Underwhelm...
I was disappointed that no new MacBook hardware was announced at this year’s all-software World Wide Developer’s Conference. Not even a hint about what’s in the development pipeline. Of course, we... Read more
Twelve South Compass 2 iPad Stand Now Availab...
Twelve South has updated its most popular iPad stand, Compass 2, with the introduction of two new colors — Gold and Rose Gold. These new color options n perfectly complement the new Rose Gold iPad... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* iPhone 6s and New Products Tester Ne...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
Music Marketing Lead, iTunes & *Apple*...
…Music Marketing Lead is responsible for developing robust marketing campaigns and programs for Apple Music and iTunes across the whole of Apple ecosystem. This Read more
*Apple* Valley Medical Clinic is Hiring - AP...
Apple Valley Medical Clinic is Hiring! Apple Valley Medical Clinic is an independently owned practice operating a Family Medicine Clinic, a 24/7 Urgent Care, Read more
*Apple* New Products Testers Needed - Apple...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - APPLE (United...
Job Summary As an Apple Solutions Consultant, you'll be the link between our future customers and our products. You'll showcase your entrepreneurial spirit as you Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.