thanks to justin; got my iphone this morning. seems cool; screen looks great. activation not so much. i’m pretty sure that to keep the iTunes activation UI really simple (which is was), they didn’t deal with a lot of edge cases. we’ve got a family plan, plus i’ve got a blackberry-oriented plan — i think that at&t’s simple system couldn’t figure it out, so it got booted into a human queue, no doubt off-shored somewhere. been a couple of hours now — we’ll see how long the wait goes.
“EDGE Network Speed” is a bit of an oxymoron, but this morning, in advance of the iPhone launch, the speed I’m seeing on my Blackberry is decidedly not-as-crappy as before. Much lower latency checking my mail; quicker page loads in the browser. Feels like maybe 3x – could be more, could be less. Hard to say.
the iPhone hype is starting to get to me. i had pretty much decided i’d get one, but likely not until the Autumn, once they’ve had a chance to work out some of the inevitable kinks. but these reviews from mossberg & levy et al are soooooo happy shiny, that it’s breaking down my resolve.
but i’m pretty sure i’ll still wait, and here’s why: the 2 year contract. as the world is now, the folks who are in line now to buy a contract-subsidized $499/$599 phone will have contracts that won’t expire until June 2009. which makes them early adopters now, but not so much for next generation. maybe that’s okay — maybe this tech will be so incredible it’ll last. and, probably, a year from now they’ll be able to sign up for another 2 year contract to get a new subsidy for v2 or v3.
it just seems like there’s so much in flux, so much that we’re all learning about what mobile hardware & software can do, that there’s going to be a bunch of advances quickly. just take the physical layout, for example: i suspect that practical day-to-day use of the iPhone is going to drive putting 1 or 2 indicator LEDs on the hardware to indicate new e-mail or phone messages. maybe a physical button to get to a commonly used function quickly (here’s one: the phone!). the software/OS bits seem much easier to me, but i suspect there will be some things there that will need new revs.
so it feels like what can/should happen is a secondary market for iPhones — that is, when v1.1 or v2 or v3 comes out, there should be a way that you can transfer your phone & contract to someone else and get the new shiny. without SIM cards (that are accessible, anyway), this is a lot harder to do than it would be otherwise (and that would be a nice hardware modification for future versions, too!).
anyway, like everything else with the iPhone, who knows. it’s a great step, obviously, and is going to be really attractive to me every time i walk by the increasingly ubiquitous Apple stores. but hopefully i’ll be able to wait a bit and see how things play out.
Scathing editorial in the New York Times this morning. Everyone should read it. Here’s how it starts:
“President Bush has turned the executive branch into a two-way mirror. They get to see everything Americans do: our telephone calls, e-mail, and all manner of personal information. And we get to see nothing about what they do.”
and the big finish:
“Governments have to keep secrets. But this administration has grossly abused that trust, routinely using claims of national security to hide policies that are immoral and almost certainly illegal, to avoid embarrassment, and to pursue Mr. Bush’s dreams of an imperial presidency.”
It makes me so incredibly angry to be treated this way by our own government. And yet I feel that we’re about to head into the 2008 election and make it just about petty politics again, instead of about fundamental directions of our government, and fundamental ways of operating that are being obliterated.
Glubble’s the brainchild of Ian Hayward, a longtime friend of Mozilla, who contributed his own time & his company’s time over the past several years to help us build SpreadFirefox, the Joga extension, and others. He’s obviously an important community member, and a devoted dad to his children — and that intersection is where Glubble comes in.
They’ve built a pretty major extension for Firefox that enables kid-browsing. At the basic level, they’ve built a UI on top of Firefox that simplifies the user interface for kids. You can recognize the basic elements of Firefox, with the back & forward arrows, the URL bar and the search field, but it’s of course simplified for smaller kids to use, with cool visual thumbnails at the top for quick navigation.
In addition to the UI reworking, they’ve implemented some whitelists & search filtering, so you can make sure your kids are surfing stuff that’s appropriate. But they’ve also built in a communications mechanism — so that as your kids (inevitably) click on links that are outside their Glubble-world, you as a parent will get a message in your browser — at home, work — wherever you are — and it’ll let you grant or deny access to what they’re trying to look at (and clicks beyond if you want).
I think there are 2 particularly neat things about what they’ve done here. The first is that Glubble isn’t trying to dumb down the Web — they recognize that the whole Web is important — that the whole Web has legitimate and useful content on it, depending on context more than any particular key word. The second is that this is a whitelist combined with active parenting approach — which means that the parent should get more involved as the child surfs.
This won’t be for everyone — our best guess is that at present, most of our users may not have kids — but I think it’s a tremendously good addition for families. My wife & I are thinking about this more and more for ourselves — we’ve got a 2 year old at home, and he’s been fascinated with pictures from Wikipedia (Emu) and videos from YouTube (mostly Moose & Garbage Trucks) since he was maybe 9 months old. He’s got his own (not-connected-to-anything) keyboard that he types e-mails to grandparents on, too. Wanting control on the Web can’t be too far away, so I’m glad that Glubble is thinking about it & innovating in such great ways.