The Smartphone Wars: AT&T CEO reveals all

Well, well, well. A hot-off-the-press AP article, “AT&T CEO: We’ll push Android phones”, finally sheds light on the vexing question of why AT&T let Apple out of its exclusive a year early. It’s just stuffed full of revelations, but the implication the reporter fails to draw is bigger than any of the fascinating facts on… Continue reading The Smartphone Wars: AT&T CEO reveals all

The smartphone wars: Samsung folds under pressure

Some months ago I wrote (in Flattening the Smartphone Market) about the real significance of the Android 2.2 announcement. That was the moment that Google made clear that it intended to take control of the smartphone feature list from the cell carriers. Subsequently, carrier-loaded crapware and suppression of features like hotspot and tethering have been… Continue reading The smartphone wars: Samsung folds under pressure

Embracing the suck

This is a followup to The Rollover of Doom: a Trap for Good Programmers. That post ended “This problem is a Chinese finger-trap for careful and conscientious programmers. The better you are, the worse this problem is likely to hurt your brain. Embrace the suck.” That last phrase is a take on a military objurgation… Continue reading Embracing the suck

True Grit times two

I just got back from seeing the Coen brothers’ remake of True Grit starring Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon. I had prepared by watching the classic 1969 John Wayne film. The similarities and contrasts have some interesting messages about how audience tastes and filmmaking styles have changed in the last 40 years.

Categorized as General

The Rollover of Doom: a Trap for Good Programmers

GPS, the Global positioning System, was designed in the 1970s under hardware-cost constraints that would seem ridiculous today. This makes interpreting the data it sends into a black art, and produces some really painful edge cases. There’s one edge case in particular that I’ve come to think of as the Rollover of Doom. This morning… Continue reading The Rollover of Doom: a Trap for Good Programmers

The smartphone wars: Verizon gets iPhone

Finally, after 18 months of busted rumors and false starts, Verizon got the iPhone today. Apple fanboys, still stinging from comShare’s November report that Android had passed the iPhone in U.S. market share, are delirious with joy. People who actually get paid to think about smartphone market trends are less sanguine.

Geeks, hackers, nerds, and crackers: on language boundaries

Geeks, hackers, nerds, and crackers. It’s an interesting indication of how popular culture has evolved in the last quarter-century that the scope and boundaries of these terms are now of increasing interest to people who don’t think they belong in any of those categories — from language columnists for major newspapers to ordinary folks who… Continue reading Geeks, hackers, nerds, and crackers: on language boundaries

Plug and Pray in GPS-land

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to another darkly humorous tale of the seamy side of GPS interfacing. GPSD working with USB GPS mice has, when properly installed, lovely plug-and-play self-configuring behavior. That is, you plug a USB GPS into a USB port, the hotplug system notifies the gpsd daemon that the GPS is available, the daemon… Continue reading Plug and Pray in GPS-land

Cultural literacy for hackers

I’ve written before on the hacker culture as a invisible college defined partly by a network of trust, gatekeepers, and certification authorities. Jay Maynard ask the next question: What are the non-technical things every hacker should know?