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

RapidWeaver 6.0.8 - Create template-base...
RapidWeaver is a next-generation Web design application to help you easily create professional-looking Web sites in minutes. No knowledge of complex code is required, RapidWeaver will take care of... Read more
Artlantis Studio 5.1.2.7 - 3D rendering...
Artlantis Studio is a unique and ideal tool for performing very high resolution rendering easily and in real time. The new FastRadiosity engine now lets you compute images in radiosity-even in... Read more
MacUpdate Desktop 6.0.5 - Search and ins...
MacUpdate Desktop 6 brings seamless 1-click installs and version updates to your Mac. With a free MacUpdate account and MacUpdate Desktop 6, Mac users can now install almost any Mac app on macupdate.... Read more
BitTorrent Sync 2.0.82 - Sync files secu...
BitTorrent Sync allows you to sync unlimited files between your own devices, or share a folder with friends and family to automatically sync anything. File transfers are encrypted. Your information... Read more
Google Drive 1.20 - File backup and shar...
Google Drive is a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff. Whether you're working with a friend on a joint research project, planning a wedding with your fiancé, or... Read more
Simon 4.0.3 - Monitor changes and crashe...
Simon monitors websites and alerts you of crashes and changes. Select pages to monitor, choose your alert options, and customize your settings. Simon does the rest. Keep a watchful eye on your... Read more
Vitamin-R 2.23 - Personal productivity t...
Vitamin-R creates the optimal conditions for your brain to work at its best by structuring your work into short bursts of distraction-free, highly focused activity alternating with opportunities for... Read more
iDefrag 5.0.0 - Disk defragmentation and...
iDefrag helps defragment and optimize your disk for improved performance. Features include: Supports HFS and HFS+ (Mac OS Extended). Supports case sensitive and journaled filesystems. Supports... Read more
PCalc 4.2 - Full-featured scientific cal...
PCalc is a full-featured, scriptable scientific calculator with support for hexadecimal, octal, and binary calculations, as well as an RPN mode, programmable functions, and an extensive set of unit... Read more
FileZilla 3.10.2 - Fast and reliable FTP...
FileZilla (ported from Windows) is a fast and reliable FTP client and server with lots of useful features and an intuitive interface. Version 3.10.2: Note: Now requires a 64-bit Intel processor.... Read more

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment A...
Warner Bros. has some exciting games coming down the pipe! | Read more »
GDC 2015 – Star Trek Timelines will Prob...
GDC 2015 – Star Trek Timelines will Probably Make Your Inner Trekkie Squeal With Glee Posted by Rob Rich on March 4th, 2015 [ permalink ] Any popular fictional universe has its fair share of fan fiction – where belo | Read more »
Protect Yourself from an Onslaught of Ca...
Surprise Attack Games has announced a Cat-astrophic new physics puzzler called Fort Meow! In the game, a young girl named Nia finds her grandfather’s journal which triggers an all mighty feline attack! Why do the cats want the journal? Who knows,... | Read more »
GDC 2015 – Jelly Reef will be Game Oven’...
GDC 2015 – Jelly Reef will be Game Oven’s Last Hurrah, and it Seems like a Good Note to Go Out on Posted by Rob Rich on March 4th, 2015 [ permalink ] It’s sad knowing that Game Oven ( | Read more »
daWindci Deluxe Review
daWindci Deluxe Review By Campbell Bird on March 4th, 2015 Our Rating: :: BLUSTERY PUZZLESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad This updated puzzle game offers some creative gameplay and new mechanics, but still suffers from... | Read more »
Dungeon Hunter 5 Coming on March 12
Gameloft has excitedly announced that Dungeon Hunter 5 is on its way! Once again, you will adventure across the land of Valenthia exploring dungeons and fighting monsters. The game will have a new asynchronous multiplayer mode called Strongholds... | Read more »
GDC 2015 – The Sandbox 2 is Coming, and...
GDC 2015 – The Sandbox 2 is Coming, and Now it has Textures! | Read more »
Warner Bros. Interactive Announces Mort...
Mortal Kombat X, by Warner Bros. and NetherRealm Studios, will be a a free-to-play fighting/card-battle Mortal Kombat game. The game promises card collecting, multiplayer team combat, classic characters such as Scorpion, Sub-Zero and Raiden, and the... | Read more »
GDC 2015 – Piloteer is Whitaker Trebella...
GDC 2015 – Piloteer is Whitaker Trebella’s Latest Project, and it’s Definitely Something DIfferent Posted by Rob Rich on March 3rd, 2015 [ permalink ] You know | Read more »
PangoLand Review
PangoLand Review By Amy Solomon on March 3rd, 2015 Our Rating: :: COME VISIT PANGO AND FRIENDSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad PangoLand is an open-ended world full of familiar characters, bright colors and interactive... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

iPad: A More Positive Outlook – The ‘Book Mys...
It’s good to hear someone saying positive things about the iPad. I’ve been trying to bend my mind around how Apple’s tablet could have gone from zero to bestselling personal computing device on the... Read more
Mac Pros on sale for up to $279 off MSRP
Amazon has Mac Pros in stock and on sale for up to $279 off MSRP. Shipping is free: - 4-Core Mac Pro: $2725.87, $273 off MSRP (9%) - 6-Core Mac Pro: $3719.99, $279 off MSRP (7%) Read more
Sale! 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros for up to $...
B&H Photo has 13″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $205 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.6GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $1219.99 save $80 - 13″ 2.... Read more
Another Tranche Of IBM MobileFirst For iOS Ap...
IBM has announced the next expansion phase for  its IBM MobileFirst for iOS portfolio, with a troika of new apps to address key priorities for the Banking and Financial Services, Airline and Retail... Read more
Sale! 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros for up to $...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $250 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $... Read more
WaterField Designs Introduces the Minimalist...
With Apple Pay gaining popularity, Android Pay coming in May 2015, and loyalty cards and receipts that can be accessed from smartphones, San Francisco’s WaterField Designs observes that it may be... Read more
Sale! 15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro for $...
 Best Buy has the 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1774.99 $1799.99, or $225 off MSRP. Choose free home shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Price valid for online orders... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (refurbished) avai...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros available for $170 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.5GHz... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $100 o...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
27-inch 3.5GHz 5K iMac in stock today and on...
 B&H Photo has the 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac in stock today and on sale for $2299 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
…Summary** As a Specialist, you help create the energy and excitement around Apple products, providing the right solutions and getting products into customers' hands. You Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** The Apple Store is a retail environment like no other - uniquely focused on delivering amazing customer experiences. As an Expert, you introduce people Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
*Apple* Pay Automation Engineer - iOS System...
**Job Summary** At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring passion and dedication to your job Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.