Archive: June 5, 2005

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more apple on intel

Sunday,  06/05/05  09:27 AM

I have nothing brilliant to add to my musings yesterday about Apple on Intel.  I still feel the key reason must have something to do with binary compatibility with Windows applications.  All the other things Apple gets from this transition - efficiency, cost savings, branding - just don't see worth the trouble.  Especially in games, Apple trails Windows dramatically in the availability of software titles; this factor is holding back the Mac platform more than any other.

Some (like Jason Kottke and Doc Searles) are suggesting that perhaps Apple on Intel doesn't mean Apple on x86.  Like Intel will start making PowerPC processors.  Or that this involves a new platform for home media or something and not the mainstay Apple line.  Both of those possiblities seem remote to me.  Maybe Apple will use Intel chips for video processing, but not for the main CPU.  That could work, although it is less delicious than many other possibilities...

Check out MacRumors for a link-filled roundup of blogospheric speculation.  A most intriguing rumor was on CNet that this has something to do with their video strategy: Apple/Intel coupling could woo Hollywood.  Unfortunately "could" is pretty indefinite and there are no details to explain "how".  And then why announce at a developer conference?  Nah, that just doesn't feel right.

If you haven't already please read John Stanforth's thoughts; he argues that it should be Apple on AMD (maybe it is, maybe the rumor was distorted, but I actually don't think so; that kind of detail would have emerged), and that Apple will use Xen for Windows emulation (I don't agree; Xen requires Windows to emulate Windows, if Apple wants Windows API emulation they'd integrate Wine).  Russell Beattie thinks it will be for servers only (pretty much the opposite of what I think).  And John Gruber believes the rumors but can't explain them.  "The only way this makes any sense is that there’s something else.  Something big.  Not that CNet and the Journal have the story wrong, but that they only have part of the story - and the part they don’t have is what’s going to knock our socks off."  I love it.

Well, I guess we'll find out tomorrow :)

[ Later: Even more Apple on Intel... ]


even more Apple on Intel

Sunday,  06/05/05  10:39 PM

I know you're probably sick of the Apple on Intel speculation and you don't care anymore or maybe you never did.  Please skip the remainder of this post.  Thank you.

Meanwhile the rumors are swirling, and I blow hot and cold.  I read Cult of Mac's post in which some new technology from a company called Transitive supposedly will enable realtime emulation of PPC code on x86 processors (yeah, right) and Wired's article in which Apple is "wedding" Intel to woo Hollywood (yeah, right).  I listened to Engadget's podcast (which was accompanied by the great picture at right).   I read the NYTimes article which states definitely Apple is switching OS X to run on x86.  I read John Gruber's update which states definitely Intel will be making PPC processors.  I've exchanged about 30 emails with John Stanforth in which we have debated the nature of the infinite and reached no definite conclusion.

Here's the bottom line: I have to believe the next big play at Apple is online video.

Okay, here’s my final guess.  Apple is going to announce a home entertainment hub.  It will look somewhat like the Mac Mini.  It will be based on an Intel x86 processor.  It will not be a general purpose computer, it will be dedicated to downloading video streams from the ‘net and from other computers, and serving them to your home entertainment system.  It will have a TV-based GUI somewhat like Tivo and it will not be running OS X.  And - wait for it - it will interface with the spiffy new Apple video store.  Ta da.  Apple is going to make a toolkit available to developers to enable them to build on top of this device like a platform.

Whatever happens tomorrow it will have been a great weekend for speculation.  BTW “Marklar” is the name of a weirdplanet from a South Park episode.  Now that fits.

[ Later: wrapping up Apple on Intel... ]


Sunday,  06/05/05  10:49 PM

Okay, back to the real world.  I spent all weekend sailing, and it was wonderful!  Yeah, I'm a bit tired and a bit sore and a bit sunburnt, but man it is good to stay away from the keyboard for a while.  And Apple on Intel wasn't the only news this weekend, either...

This is like a total embarrassment - Harvard's Diversity Grovel.  "Diversity" has to be the dumbest concept in the history of concepts.  I don't mean equality - of course that is a good thing - and I don't mean lack of bias - of course that is a good thing - I mean Diversity, as in, it is somehow important and better to force differences in background and gender.  I sure hope the pendulum on this bogus concept swings back. 

More crap on the political correctness front: School to pay $2 million in marshmallow choking death.  "Casey's parents had argued that Glenview School District and teacher Kevin Dorken were responsible for the girl's death because Dorken, who had been supervising the game, was out of the room while the children were stuffing marshmallows in their mouths to see who could hold the most and still say the words 'chubby bunny'."  Look, I'm not trying to trivialize this poor girl's death - at all - but in what way was the school district responsible?  "This case was never about money" said the family's attorney, Francis Patrick Murphy.  Yeah, right. 

Two great rants from Victor David Hanson: Our strange war ("Our dilemma is that we have not sought to defeat and humiliate the enemy as much as wean a people from the thrall of Islamic autocracy.") [ via LGF ] and A Dying Europe ("Millions of proud, educated Europeans are tired of being told by unelected grandees that the mess they see is abstract art.") [ via Kehaar ].  Hanson seems to whack the nail on the head every time out.  I find myself saying "yeeesss" every time. 

The other day I mentioned Etienne Chouard, a French law professor whose blog was influential during the recent referendum on the EU Constitution.  Here's a great picture of him, courtesy of the Horse's Mouth.  Looks like a painting by René Magritte! 

Powerline comments on the EU Constitution rejections: Maybe it meant something, after all.  "When American corporations have lost their way and can't figure out how to improve their market position, a common 'solution' is to merge with another similarly befuddled company.  I think a similar phenomenon has been at work in Europe, where merger via the EU has been seen as a solution to all sorts of problems that Europe's peoples and politicians lack the will to address in a more meaningful way."  Most interesting to me is the speculation that failure to ratify the EU Constitution may affect the future of the Euro. 

Randall Parker has a lot more On The Evolution Of Ashkenazi Jewish Intelligence, which I noted the other day.  The basic hypothesis is referred to as 'overclocking': "Some hobbyists turn up the clocks on their desktop PCs to them run faster than they were designed to run.  This can cause system instability and other problems.  In the case of the Ashkenazis in Europe the hypothesis proposes that selective pressures for higher Ashkenazi intelligence were so high that it caused the propagation of mutations that pushed their intelligence up so quickly (evolutonarily speaking) that the selective pressure overrode the reduction in reproductive fitness caused by the deleterious side effects on some of those who received those mutations."  I don't know whether the hypothesis is correct, but I am pleased that this type of discussion can take place in a scientific manner, without charges of racism or the blinders of political correctness. 

Ever wonder How do space pictures get so pretty?  As Slate's explainer explains, the answer is Photoshop!  (of course :) 

Do you have an old iPod, and wish you could have a new one?  (I do, and I do.)  Now Apple has a trade-in program: "Bring any used iPod, iPod mini or iPod photo to any of the more than 100 Apple Stores in the US for free environmentally friendly recycling and get a 10% discount on the purchase of a new iPod that same-day."  You have been informed. 

Hey, guess what?  AP reports Mars Rover Frees Itself From Sandy Dune.  "The Mars rover Opportunity resumed rolling freely across the Martian surface Saturday after scientists freed it from a sand dune where it had been mired for nearly five weeks, NASA officials said."  Very cool.  We're definitely in "extra time" with these little guys. 

In other Martian news, BBC reports Next US Mars lander gets go-ahead.  "The lander will touch down in Mars' northern polar region to explore its climate and geology and to look for signs of life, past or present.  Its robotic arm will dig down to the Martian ice layer and deliver samples to the lander's deck for analysis.Wired has more, too.  Excellent. 

Engadget reviews Akimbo.  "Well, basically it’s a new video-on- demand/IPTV service that lets you pick what shows you want to watch and then automatically download them over a broadband connection...  Is it worth it?  $229.99 for the box and $9.99 a month for the service isn’t completely unreasonable, but it’s hard to imagine a lot of people signing up for a service that isn’t a satisfactory replacement for the cable or satellite TV package they might already have, at least not until Akimbo has a more attractive selection of programming."  Interesting that everyone doing this seems to use a dedicated box.  And you have to wonder how this will compare to Apple's offering :)  [ via PVRBlog

The Tour of California - coming February 2006.  Awesome!  I'm guessing this will be big.  A new goal for me :) 


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