Thoughts on the Original Apple TV

Tue 28 September 2010 by Kevin van Haaren

I've got an original Apple TV, the one that shipped with a hard drive and component TV outputs. I'll be getting the new Apple TV, supposedly on Thursday, that only streams media — from your own computer or from the internet. I wanted to document my complaints about the existing Apple TV so I can do a comparison of the two systems.

My current Apple TV connects to a 32" HDTV (720p) via HDMI. Sound is via the digital optical cable to my receiver. It's connected to the home network via wire, however my computer is downstairs, and ...

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The New AppleTV and Ping

Thu 02 September 2010 by Kevin van Haaren

Apple's iPod event was yesterday. As usual rumors abounded before hand, and failed to come through. The funniest was Apple didn't rename Apple TV to iTV as every-freaking person in the world predicted. Apple TV also didn't become a touch driven interface (touch provided via the Magic Trackpad Apple introduced). This is a good thing, mostly. I don't recall hearing too much that Apple might roll-out a social networking deal (Ping), so I guess most people missed that too.

I'm going to confine my comments to just 2 things: Apple TV and Ping. Most of ...

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Hiroshima & Nagasaki - A biased opinion

Fri 06 August 2010 by Kevin van Haaren

Today is August 6th, 2010. The 65th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. In 3 days it will be the 65th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki. Many claim these bombings should not have taken place, or been done in different locations, specifically that a demonstration on an empty island should have been done first. I disagree, I think that these bombings were necessary both to end the at-the-time current conflict, and to provide a warning to future generations exactly what it was we had developed.

I'm not unbiased in my opinion. My father and his family were held ...

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We haven't learned

Mon 19 July 2010 by Kevin van Haaren

Argh. I wrote this back in 2006: More Analysis Not More Data

Information gathering is certainly needed, but that isn’t what we’ve been lacking. We’ve been lacking good analysis of the information we do have. Why the administration insists it needs the ability to spy on anyone/anywhere without warrants when they can’t even analyze the current information they have is beyond me.

Now the Washington Post has an in-depth look at this building and building and building of intelligence agencies to suck in more data but not actually analyze it. Complete waste of time that ...

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Plantronics 975 bluetooth headset

Sat 20 February 2010 by Kevin van Haaren

I'm on my 5th bluetooth headset. Two Motorola something or others, an Etymotic etyBLU which I lost, a Jawbone 2, and now a Plantronics 975.

The Motorola headsets were cheap and adequate. Not spectacular looking and the audio wasn't great. I upgraded to the EtyBLU based on reviews that it was supposed to be the best. It's an in the ear canal model. It also has a removable boom mic combined with its noise supression makes it work really well in noisy conditions. The problem I had with it was its bluetooth connection to my Blackberry was ...

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Tinkerers are smarter than you

Sun 31 January 2010 by Kevin van Haaren

Lots of words going around about how the iPad is the beginning of the "tinkerers sunset." In other words the apparent locked down nature of the device is going to bring an end to the tinkering people do with thing like their computer.

I call bollox. When I was a kid I began tinkering on one of the most open systems around, the Apple ][+ at high school, then the Apple //e at home. Those systems cost $2000+ dollars. My high school, a private catholic school, had around 7 Apple's, a handful of PET computers, and some weird mainframe in ...

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The iPad

Thu 28 January 2010 by Kevin van Haaren

I do like the iPad. I think its a new category of device. Fat iPod is a visual description but I think it does the device a disservice. I can't count the number of times I've talked to people that have gone to a dual monitor on their computer. It changes their workflow, they feel more productive, etc.... Technically that's just a fatter computer but it's made them use it in a different way.

I have the same feeling about the iPad. It's a dual screen iPhone and it's going to trigger different uses ...

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Global Warming — asking the wrong questions

Tue 15 December 2009 by Kevin van Haaren

NPR ran a story on the Copenhagen meeting on climate change this morning and talked to Bjørn Lomborg. Lomborg is not a climate denier (those that refuse to believe that adding CO2 to the atmosphere causes warming and that if it does the human contribution doesn't matter.)

Lomborg's stance is that climate change is a minor issue compared to disease and poverty in the world, and that money spent on trying to curb CO2 emissions is better spent on disease and poverty. I don't agree with this, but do agree that this should be looked at -- risk ...

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