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Oct 172014
 



Your infinite fascination for all things Apple matches mine.

Alas, your time is finite.

So which Apple blog should you spend more time on for the latest news, reviews and how-tos of Macs, iPhones and iPads.

To gauge the popularity of the major Apple blogs, I took a dekko at Alexa rankings (not perfect but all we have) and then added my own observations.

BTW, did you know most tech blogs including dedicated Apple news sites get a good chunk of visitors from my two favorites – U.S. and India. This is not surprising considering Apple and most startups are based in the U.S.

When it comes to India, the huge number of visitors to tech blogs owes to the strong IT outsourcing industry and relentless breeding that has produced a litter of several hundred million restless youngsters with too much time on their hands.

Popularity of Apple News Sites

Apple Blog Winners

If you go by Alexa ranking and the voluminous number and quality of user comments on the site, Macrumors is hands down the must-visit blog for your daily Apple fix.

Macrumors has a superb comments/forum section and when they’re behind on exclusive news the site atones for it by rehashing stories from other sources.

For How-Tos, OSXDaily is the clear winner. They just can’t be beat on all kinds of how-tos for Macs as well as mobile devices like iPad tablets and iPhones.

If you’re hankering for exclusive news, 9to5Mac is the blog to bookmark and read. These guys are cited in Wall Street Journal, New York Times and other tech blogs.

But my major complaint against all Apple blogs is that coverage of Steve Jobs, Apple and its products is for the most part uncritical and bordering on hagiography.

Except for rare instances like antennagate or bendgate where every media site piles on, Apple tends to get adulatory coverage in hushed tones.

Every Apple story has the breathless air of a vaccine discovery for Ebola or AIDS being reported for the first time. :(

I refuse to believe that Apple is run by saints who do nothing wrong. The problem is that both bloggers and mainstream media reporters have failed to cultivate strong sources at Apple who are dumb enough to leak critical stories.

Now for a quick look at the pros and cons of the major Apple blogs and news sites:

Winners

Macrumors

Pros
Covers all things small & large at Apple. Includes pictures of planes leaving China with iPhones with weight of cargo. No kidding.
Excellent forum/comments covering all facets of Apple
Cons
Few exclusive stories
Generally uncritical coverage
http://www.macrumors.com

9to5Mac

Pros
Exclusive stories, breadth of coverage
Cons
Weak on forums/comments and analysis. Pitiful on how-tos Continue reading »

Oct 152014
 

Kickstarter Freezes Anonabox Privacy Router Project

Anonabox - Tor for Dummies

Anonabox has turned out to be a phenomenal success on the crowd funding site Kickstarter.

Against a target of $7,500, Anonabox’s promoters have already received commitments for $581,943 from 8,927 contributors (as of 22:06ET on October 15, 2014), just two days after the project went live on Kickstarter.

I suppose the huge response for Anonabox is a clear indication that tons of people are concerned about privacy issues.

China, India, U.S., Russia, Egypt, Bahrain….it’s hard to find a country that’s not snooping on or censoring Internet usage of average citizens these days.

So what are regular non-tech savvy biddas, bhais and thambis to do.

Enter Anonabox.

WTF is Anonabox?

Simply put, Anonabox is an device that provides anonymous Internet access and encryption to beat online snooping and censorship.

Think of it as Tor for dummies. No need to go through the hassle of downloading and installing Tor software on individual PCs if you get this device.

Yes, the device uses the Tor anonymizing software to encrypt the Internet traffic from your PC.

It works with both WiFi and Ethernet.

And when people install Anonabox between their modem and router, it’s supposed to “Torrify” the whole home network. Cool! Continue reading »

Sep 112014
 

Media Fawns Over AppleSource: Macrumors

Man Lands on Mars is a story.

But iPhone 6 Landing on US Soil….is that really worthy of media coverage, especially about a company already saturated with hype.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m no iPhone hater.

I love my iPhone as much as the next guy.

I started with the iPhone 3G in 2008, then shifted to iPhone 4 and last year jumped on the iPhone 5S.

Some minor complaints aside, I’m happy with the device.

Ha Ha Ha - iPhones Arrive in USSource – iPhone in Canada

Media Blowjob

But what I don’t get – and don’t like – is the collective blowjob the media is giving Apple.

The media’s love for Apple is not new.

It started three decades ago.

How the media love-fest over all things Apple started is lost in the mists of corporate history.

Suffice to say the love-fest over Apple not only continues among reporters but is now hugely magnified thanks to the blogosphere.

I see very little critical coverage when it comes to Apple despite its late co-founder Steve Jobs being a grade-A asshole and the company’s shabby treatment of workers at its contract facilities in China.

Don’t tell me Apple never makes a mistake or that its products never have issues. Yet only the positive aspects of Apple are highlighted while the negative stuff gets almost a free pass.

But the height of the media obsession with Apple are reports in Macrumors and elsewhere today that planes carrying a cargo of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have landed on US soil.

Allied forces landing on Normandy during World War II, I can understand the excitement. After all, the landing determined the fate of civilization.

But we’re talking just upgrades of iPhones here. Most certainly not an epochal event.

By the way, the precious iPhone cargo arrived on U.S. soil via China Southern Airlines, not on an American airline.

The Macrumors story then goes on to blah blah blah about tons, shipping manifests, device weight, iPhone 6 units and more blah blah blah.

To be fair, Macrumors is not the only media site that carried reports on iPhones landing on U.S. soil. BGR, iPhone in Canada and God knows who else had similar stories today about iPhones landing on US soil.

When it comes to Apple, the media is hopelessly lazy or mindlessly gets carried away by the fancy shows the company puts up twice or thrice a year (stuff like product/upgrade launches and the developers’ conference).

Rival companies like Google, Samsung or Microsoft don’t get the same level of obsessive media coverage as Apple and are at a massive disadvantage.

The relentless, nonsensical frenzy of media coverage of All Things Apple means the hugely profitable company saves hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising costs every year.

Aug 282014
 

Maybe Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is not so dumb after all.

The Telugu bidda knows in his heart that Indians are a value conscious bunch who will not squander $1,500-$2,500 on buying a piece of tablet junk like Surface Pro 3 that pretends to be a laptop.

So Nadella did the right thing – Ignored the Indian market.

Surface Pro 3 Tablets - Buggy, PriceySurface Pro 3 – Buggy, Pricey

India Missing

Microsoft expanded availability of Surface Pro 3 to 25 new countries (from the existing U.S., Canada and Japan) Wednesday.

But India is missing from the list of the new markets. Continue reading »

Aug 242014
 

What if Hollywood hottie Chloë Grace Moretz or Bollywood hearthrob Ranbir Kapoor were to vanish today.

Would the sun still dare to raise its head above the eastern horizon tomorrow?

Would the Chutiya boys and girls stop moving their hands furtively beneath the sheets?

Hard as the ordeal will prove to be for some, the world will easily survive the absence of Ranbir and Chloe.

Not a calamitous loss at all, if you ask me.

There’s always a sexier White babe and a more handsome Kapoor boy lurking behind the Hollywood and Bollywood curtains respectively.

Linux – Another Ball Game

What about the open source operating system Linux?

If Linux had never been developed or were it to disappear off the face of the earth in the AM tomorrow, would the world still look the same?

Mon dieu, the horror of the blasphemous thought.

What’s wrong with you?

Believe me, the absence of Linux would be felt far and wide.

It’d be a calamitous loss for humanity.

A World Without Linux?

So what would Planet Earth look like without Linux? Continue reading »

Jul 172014
 

Telugu Bidda Satya Nadella Axes 18,000 JobsIndians in the U.S. are in the news for all the wrong reasons.

If desis are not groping their fellow airline passengers, butchering family members, kidnapping babies, killing grandmas, masturbating on planes, committing medicare fraud or engaging in financial chicanery, then they’re destroying the livelihoods of thousands of workers.

Today’s desi newsmaker in America is Satya Nadella, CEO of tech giant Microsoft.

Satya Nadella graduated summa cum laude from the Clueless Business School whose claim to fame is the mantraIf you don’t know what the heck to do, then fire a whole bunch of employees. That will show Wall St and analysts you are a decisive leader!

And in line with that hallowed business philosophy, Nadella fired 18,000 employees today in what is the single largest firing in Microsoft’s 39-year history.

I cannot recollect a single Indian tech leader who has fired 18,000 employees in one go (Vikram Pandit fired more but he was in the banking sector).

Does 18,000 scalps make Satya Nadella the greatest Indian tech pioneer? ;)

Firings Simplify?

Microsoft described the firings as a “a restructuring plan to simplify its operations.”

Nonsense!

As if firing 18,000 employees can simplify operations and restore a company to glory. The garbage that big corporations spout never ceases to surprise me!

Nadella promised his 18,000 victims that he’d fire them “in the most thoughtful and transparent way possible.”

I fell off the chair in a laughing fit, I swear. ;)

Now what in the hell is a ‘thoughtful’ firing?

Most of the fired employees are in the phone production business Microsoft got from its recent acquisition of Nokia’s device and services group.

Microsoft says going forward it’ll make the bulk of its phones in Hanoi, with smaller production units in Beijing and Dongguan contributing some output.

The Komaron (Hungary) unit will close.

The bulk of the 18,000 unfortunate employees will be thrown under the bus by the end of this year and the rest by June 30, 2015.

Continue reading »