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  • The real reason that the iPhone does not have 3rd-party applications…

    Posted on June 21st, 2007 ben 2 comments

    Apple’s explanation for the absence of an iPhone SDK seems unsatisfying to me. Here’s Steve Jobs in Newsweek:

    “You don’t want your phone to be an open platform. You need it to work when you need it to work. Cingular doesn’t want to see their West Coast network go down because some application messed up.” (link)

    Nobody really believes that a malfunctioning app on a phone can bust a network, do they?

    I think that what worries Apple and AT&T most is the possibility of 3rd-party apps working too well! The iPhone will not allow 3rd-party applications to be installed upon it because those 3rd-party applications would inevitably include peer-to-peer file sharing clients using usenet, bittorrent, and gnutella networks, and apps for streaming or retrieving media from home computers. This would mean a tremendous increase in the amount of data being sucked through that EDGE network. Can AT&T deliver that kind of throughput for all of the new users they expect? I welcome comment on this from knowledgeable people, but my guess is NO FREAKING WAY. (Note well, also, that iPhone users cannot “squirt” content to each other using bluetooth or wifi, even though that would be simple to implement in software.)

    Since all content is “side-loaded” at the dock and not downloaded, and much of the remaining internet use will avoid AT&T’s EDGE network by using wifi, AT&T’s network won’t crack under the strain of an immediate influx of millions of new users “chugging” data. Instead, we will all “sip” on a few internet pages and e-mail and nicely-optimized YouTube videos, and only on rare occasions will AT&T be bothered to send us that data. (Because iPhone uses wifi preferentially, I predict the data plan offered with the iPhone will be slightly cheaper than a comparable plan for a comparable device; they expect that you won’t be using it very much. At least until two paragraphs from now…)

    Some clever coder will no doubt figure out a way to “Web 2.0” your home media into the onboard Safari, (UPDATE: fully baked by Telekinesis) but without access to the iPhone’s file structure it won’t feel right. You will not be able to retrieve an album from your home computer to your iPhone from the airport lobby (or wherever), which by the way would be an AMAZING increase in the value of the device

    But the iPhone will be cracked, and soon. A cracked iPhone will run P2P software, will “squirt”, will run Front Row and show me all my home computer’s media even when I am on the other side of the country. Pretty soon it won’t matter to me whether I have a 30GB iPod or an 80GB iPod, because my fat stash of music and movies will be a part of the cloud, your stash will be part of the cloud, the people in close proximity to me will be part of the cloud, and I will have instant access to it all.

    Further “unwarranted speculation” opportunities: Will Apple open up the iPhone when the networks become robust enough to handle all the data? Will any carrier offer an all-you-can-eat data plan after these bandwidth-hogging apps become widespread? Which function will be added to the cracked iPhone first: squirting, P2P, or remote access to home library? (UPDATE: remote access to home library is the correct answer.)

  • A stick and the mirror

    Posted on June 2nd, 2007 ben No comments

    Here are a couple of recent videos of Elliot and Cheryl, stuck together.

    Elliot has taken to the “Bumbo”, a form-fitted seat thing which allows him to sit up and look around. He was a little unhappy with it at first, but now he’ll hang out for an hour in it without complaint. The first part of the video is Elliot in the Bumbo in the back yard. Dad though it would be nice to offer him a stick to investigate, and he grabbed it and stuck it in his mouth with some care and chewed on it for a while.

    The second part of the video shows Elliot in his strange, talkative noisemaking mood. Here he is looking at himself and Cheryl in the mirror, and groaning… err… humming… or maybe yodeling.

    Click on the picture to play the video
    Quicktime 7 Required 5.4MB 01’42”