thinglets: Top Ten Unrevealed iPhone4 Features

1) More absorbent than Sham-Wow in tricky oil spill situations.

2) Able to leap off tall Chinese factories in a single bound.

3) Has the ability to motivate an entire community's police force if it goes missing.

4) Gives you a hundred more reasons to use data and be gouged by your provider.

5) Farmville gives iPhone that touch of class that only Zuckerberg understands.

6) iPhone to blind today's teens in a decade with eBook reader.

7) Google directions lawsuit pales in comparison to the 2011 class-action suit involving video chatters getting hit by runaway fruit cart.

8) Prosecuting attorney uses new iPhone gyroscope configuration to determine the amount of helicopter-like rotations the corpses made before landing on the Google Streetview van.

9) Sharp 720p video capabilities look especially sharp while enduring tailbone trauma on the shockless city bus.

10) Release date of June 24th is 130th anniversary of the first public performance of O Canada which really means nothing as no one in Canada knows when they'll get the iPhone 4 yet.

lovehate: Did Microsoft and HP just kill the iPad?

Over the past week many of the "tech" blogs have been all abuzz over the fact that Microsoft discontinued its Courier tablet device and HP discontinued its Slate tablet device. And the general idea is that, due to the iPad's unbelievable success, Microsoft and HP have decided they cannot compete.

Perhaps, however, they are sharing the most brilliant piece of anti-Apple strategy in the past decade.

The fact that both companies announced their discontinuation within a day cannot be coincidence. While both companies obviously acknowledge that Apple got their "next-gen" tablet to market first and has captured the early-adopter market share, this alone would not be a reason to withdraw.

While the basic tenet of competition breeding innovation generally holds true, what happens when there is not a glut of tablets on the market like everyone predicted at CES? If the market doesn't become about tablets filling up the aisles and virtual aisles for the rest of the year, how many people are going to feel like they're missing them? It becomes harder for Apple to market themselves as a "premium" device when they are the ONLY device.

Have Microsoft and HP effectively killed the long-term future of the iPad by not feeding into the market? The historical pre-iPad rhetoric about tablet computers was that nobody really needed one. By jumping into the fray, HP and MS would validate that not only is the format viable, but that it is necessary. When thinking back to the Lenovo hybrid laptop/tablet that looked so cool at CES, I wonder why anyone who is not an Apple devotee would choose to buy a crippled limited device when a fully-functional laptop can be had for the same price? 

Instead of tablets, don't be surprised to see lighter laptops with rotating touchscreens at a $499 price point and, guess what, there are "apps for that", including everything you currently have on your computer. And these will all be "laptops" or "hybrids", but they will avoid the tablet moniker like the plague.

The initial wave of iPad sales has run its course. iPhones continue to hold market share because the market has demanded everyone own a mobile device, and if one has to have one, why not adopt the status symbol that is the iPhone? At this point, if anyone stayed out of the cell phone market, the evolution of demand for the devices would ensure multiple manufacturers filling in the void.

The tablet market has not been proven yet, but given every big supplier throwing their hat in the ring with advertising blitzes a-plenty, a demand would start to be created by playing one against the other. While certainly not without risk, a concerted decision by Apple's competitors to leave them completely alone in the tablet market could very well be the iPad killer.

After all, how many people bought a Segway?

thinglets: An Open Letter to Steve Jobs

Dear Steve Jobs,

Why are you such a dick?

I realize your bound to make money for your shareholders and are beholden to the corporate overlords of profit and loss, but seriously dude!

You call out your bought-and-paid-for guerilla hit squad to bust into some blogger's house and ransack his stuff, all because he wrote some shit about a cell phone that doesn't even officially exist. Sure, he was involved in some shady shit to get it, but just because your acolyte got careless after a couple steins of pilsner, doesn't mean you have to go all ape-shit.

I am regular purchaser of the "i" line of phones and mp3 players, not because they're the greatest things since pita bread, but because I'm a lazy bastard who wants everything done for me and doesn't want to have to think about actually getting complete use from a mobile device.

You see, I just like shit to work. But I also like to try out new things that other owners (not USERS) but OWNERS have done with their devices. So I propose a concept for you.

If you're all hot and bothered that your Appletini-soaked employee was either negligent, drunk or just plain stupid, I can accept that.

If you want to be all pissed off that YOUR prototype had pictures leaked all over the internet for geeks everywhere to react to like a backyard fireworks show, I can accept that as well.

If you want to fire up your private militia/police force to trample on the rights on a blogger (and I won't even make the journalist argument) because someone touched your toy, I may not like it, but I can accept it.

But here's what you have to accept!

When I go out to buy your "next gen" groundbreaking device that adds a couple of features to the old device and is really like last year's Chrysler Cordoba with a new cigarette lighter, it's MINE!

I get to crack it, hack it, smack it, break it up, bust it up, beat it up, and reconfigure it any way I like because I OWN it.

I'm not renting, leasing, or putting it on layaway. I have a receipt in hand, a VISA statement in the mail and if I lose it, it's not you that suffers, it's me. So if I own it, don't start hating when I start jailbreaking.

Because if you start telling me that when I own the next iPhone, you can force me to do anything with it, I'm getting a group of my friends together, and we're gonna imbibe in a few steins of pilsner, and we're gonna buy fake badges at the dollar store, and we're gonna inevitably make numerous bad jokes in reference to Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and we're gonna use Open Office to print up a fake search warrant, and we're gonna invade your Star Chamber in the middle of the night, and we're gonna raid your fridge, 'cause no doubt we'll be hungry.

Are you sure you want risk this eventuality? Are you sure you want to continue to be such a dick?

You're sooo lucky I'm a lazy bastard.

But I'll give someone a dollar to take my place... perhaps Gizmodo will outbid me.

thinglets: 40 Rejected Names for the iPad

  1. iThink
  2. iBlow
  3. iSuck
  4. iTabloid
  5. iReally?
  6. iCrap
  7. iMad
  8. iAvatar
  9. iSeeDeadPeople
  10. iWonder
  11. iAmIronMan2
  12. iRobot
  13. iDon'tGetIt
  14. iWon'tBuyIt, 
  15. iSpy
  16. iTouchMyself
  17. iFlat
  18. iHave$800BurningAHoleInMyPocket
  19. iThoughtItWouldBeCooler
  20. iLikeLenovoBetter
  21. iCan'tExplain
  22. iGotJobbed
  23. iWastedBandwidthWatchingThis
  24. iCan'tBelieveIt'sNotButter
  25. iCame
  26. iSaw
  27. iConquered
  28. iKnowWhatYouDidLastSummer
  29. iCameFromAChineseSuperFactory
  30. iStartedAJoke
  31. iGotYou
  32. iCan'tBelieveTheyFellForIt
  33. iHaveADream
  34. iGlass
  35. iSurf
  36. iRead
  37. iShakeMyHeadInDisbelief
  38. iMeMine
  39. iTouchMaxiPad
  40. iHaveBuyer'sRemorse

lovehate: Unboxing Day

I remember a couple of years ago when someone told me to watch an unboxing of a new product on YouTube. I can't remember what it was, but i gave this friend the benefit of the doubt and went clicking away on the link he sent me.

Wow! What a waste of time.

Not only did I not care about the item being unboxed or the person doing the unboxing, but i actually started to resent the entire process. It's almost like they were rubbing it in my face that they had something I didn't. And even though I didn't want the product they were unboxing, I started to feel envious of the joy they took out of unboxing it.

I will admit that there is a certain anticipatory feeling that accompanies opening a new product, but I can't imagine the process that takes one from frustratingly tearing shrinkwrap and mauling cardboard to actually do it in front of a video camera. Because while I was shocked that anyone would actually record themselves doing such a thing, by the sheer numbers of like videos in YouTube's "related" column, I discovered that thousands of people actually found this process exciting.

Now far be it from me to rain on people's parades. After all there are far worse things that people do to get their rocks off.

I was reminded of that day when today I "unboxed" my first iPhone. Oh sure, I've unboxed the iPod shuffle, the iPod Nano, and the iPod Touch over the past few years, but nothing sparked my synapses like opening my iPhone... which I did... at work... without fanfare, without video camera, without pacing and shaking my hands in eager anticipation. I took a letter opener, gouged the shrinkwrap, ripped the box open, flung the manuals in the trash and swapped out SIM cards without soundtrack, special effects, chromakey titles or people watching on YouTube.

Am I alone here folks? I'm a tech guy! I like gadgets and toys and regularly buy a whole crapload of electronica I don't need but still covet. Maybe I'm just jaded. Maybe I just come from a time where my favorite unboxing of the day had to do with a bowl of Count Chocula and digging out the cheap plastic toy at the bottom... aaah! those were good times.

I used to think "Unboxing" was a late-career George Foreman fight. Now I think it should have a day named after it since people love it so much. I figure here in my home and native land of Canada we have Boxing Day on December 26th, but that doesn't make sense. The day after Xmas is anything but Boxing Day anymore; it's all about the Unboxing.

I am thus declaring December 26th Unboxing Day in Canada, not because that's when we open things (which occurs the day previous) but because that's when we debox our households after the clutter of commerciality drowns us. I suppose one could call it Deboxing Day, but Debox sounds too much like a new pharma scam. 

Join with me on December 26th to celebrate Unboxing Day and liberate your house of boxes... except of course the Idiot Box, which is still a box, but how many boxes can you bask in the warm glow of on Xmas Eve?