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Ink’s New Mobile Framework Lets iOS Apps Talk To Each Other, Share Data (You Know, Like On Android) | TechCrunch


This is one of Android’s best advantages, and it works really well on my Nexus 7. Apple, please stop ignoring this serious deficit of usefulness in iOS. Please.

A company raised $1.7 million to do Apple’s job. Seriously, guys, applications need to be able to interact with each other. Either you’re gonna do it correctly or someone else is going to do … something.


Fusion Drives for Windows?

Recently, I found out it’s relatively easy to turn a platter drive and an SSD into a Fusion Drive on any Mac, which was convenient as I had torn out the optical drive in favor of a 128GB Samsung 830 SSD for my MacBookPro8,1 some time ago. A quick Time Machine backup and a few console commands later and I was off to the races with what I called my Fauxion Drive.

The results were astounding. The system never hesitates to perform any action, but I also no longer have to deal with manually managing where files and applications live, which earlier was accomplished with a number of symlinks to spaces on my platter drive. I speculate this has also led to better battery life, as individual, oft-accessed files that would have lived on the “data” drive have been implicitly cached to the SSD, allowing the HDD to spin down. Also writes are all implicitly cached in a 4GB tier on the SSD, meaning the HDD is conservatively touched for all writes. In short: this is the system I’ve always wanted, here, today.

It’s now time for me to change my Windows PC into a Steam Box: an appliance-like installation of Windows 8 meant for using Steam in Big Picture Mode. I have no intention of manually managing storage between HDD and SSD ever again. So I’m on the hunt for solutions on the Windows/PC side.

During the announcement of Apple’s Fusion Drive, I heard a number of PC enthusiasts/observers indicate that this kind of technology has been around for a while, and the Fusion Drive is nothing new or astounding. As the owner of a Seagate Momentus XT1, I knew that certainly wasn’t what I was looking for, but was curious about the other offerings.

On the radar immediately is Intel’s SRT, or Smart Response Technology, which comes with some notable restrictions, most damningly it will require me to purchase a new motherboard, as it is limited to very new Ivy Bridge chipsets2. With Haswell peeking its head around the corner, I’m loathed to upgrade a component that will be obsolete within the coming months3, meaning I suppose I’m on the hunt for a software solution.

On the software side, I can find reference to Windows ReadyDrive, which was apparently built into Windows Vista, though I can find little information about actually using it. Worse yet, that appears to be my only option; there do not appear to be software-level solutions for creating a Fusion Drive-esque construct in Windows.

So here’s my plea, tumblr: if Fusion Drive is really just repackaged old tech, how do I get my heads on some of this sweet old tech for a retrofit Steam Box?

  1. In fact, it’s currently paired with the 830. Writes are not cached, and the SSD tier is limited to 4-8GB, which is a fraction of the OS itself. 

  2. And the Z68 Sandy Bridge chipset. 

  3. Haswell brings with it a compatibility-breaking socket change, the LGA 1150, opposed to the presently-used LGA 1155


iPhone's Retention Rate is 89%


A whopping 89% of iPhone owners plan to stay loyal to Apple with their next smartphone purchase … Apple’s next closest competitor was HTC, but only 39% of HTC smartphone owners said they intended to purchase another phone from the Taiwan-based vendor.

This is what I mean when I say that Android isn’t a “sticky” operating system. Near as I can tell, people don’t invest in it by-and-large, failing to buy apps or otherwise “own” the ecosystem. I’ve long worried about the long term impact of this, and with these kinds of numbers I suddenly have new-found hope for WinPhone7 (especially with the Mango refresh just on the horizon)


Adobe Drops First-Party AIR Client for Linux

This isn’t super surprising; I’m honestly impressed they managed to keep a client alive in the Linux ecosystem for as long as they did. That said, found something in the comments from Flex developer Matthew Fabb regarding the 64-bit Flash debacle:

Adobe has committed to getting a 64-bit version of Flash out with Flash Player 11. My understanding is that it is a technical issue, as Flash uses licensed code and codex that have not been available in 64-bit.

I’m interested in this for one reason: from Steve Jobs’ Thoughts on Flash:

We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform. If developers grow dependent on third party development libraries and tools, they can only take advantage of platform enhancements if and when the third party chooses to adopt the new features. 

Sounds like Adobe could stand to take a page out of Apple’s book.



3G iPod Touch is Prepaid iPhone 5?

It could basically be the 3G iPod, with the added benefit of you being able to make it a full fledged iPhone if you desire.

I’d been wondering where this mysterious prepaid, teardrop-shaped iPhone was going to come from, and now I think I have my answer: it’s not the next iPhone, it’s the next iPod, and it just happens to have a SIM card.



    Apple’s vision for the future of computing versus Microsoft’s vision for the future of computing.

    Any questions?

    Acer Posts First Quarterly Loss


    So let me get this straight: the number one PC maker in the world is bowing out of that race amid declining sales.

    The number two PC maker in the world just posted a net loss in the quarter — which, by the way, is their first loss ever.

    But the PC business is totally peachy keen, right, Microsoft?

    Holy hell, I had no idea things were this grim on the PC side. Meanwhile, in another part of town


    Time for Apple to Shut Safari Down?

    Where do I even begin with this article?

    Well, to start: Safari carried Apple into new realms of portable browsing. We can almost entirely attribute the modern day concept of the smart phone web browser to Apple, and Safari was the boat that it sailed in on. To abandon it would be a strategy disaster for their mobile platforms, plain and simple.

    Now, onto the desktop: I can’t begin to understand why the author is so hellbent on equating Internet Explorer to Safari. The pace at which IE evolved in the late 90’s and 00’s was absolutely glacial and inconsistent. I was a web developer during the IE6-7 transition, and I can assure you that it only took me a few early morning calls from Bangalore, India to make me realize that it was a complete disaster. Safari, meanwhile, has always been W3C standards compliant, while at the same time consistently seting the bar for HTML5 compatibility and feature set. (Remember when the Canvas tag was just a glimmer in everyone’s eye? Guess what: Apple invented that, and Safari was the harbinger.) 

    Myopic views of Apple’s strategy are part of the reason why almost every single analyst gets it wrong. It’s never just one thing. Apple’s strategy is almost always multi-faceted and interconnected, and to ignore that fact is to ignore the foundation of the company itself.



    Apple Drops Samba, Replaces with First Party Tool

    The spit take I did when I read this will never be properly reproduced. I’ve been using Samba for upwards of twelve years now (!!), and in that time I’ve watched it grow from a terrible, rickety boat into a full-featured active directory client. To think that Apple just one day decided that the GPLv3 was too restrictive for them and reimplemented Samba blows my mind. Simply incredible.

    Losing NT Domain Controller support may come as a blow to larger businesses, but I imagine that those businesses have a migration path to Active Directory laid out already. We’ll see exactly what that loss translates to in the coming weeks, I suppose.


    Coyote Tracks: Charlie Brooker forces me to defend iTunes

    Watts Martin knocks the shit out of the park on the topic of iTunes Sync:

    Sure, iTunes won’t do everything everyone wants. A big complaint is that you can only sync an iThing against one library at a time. True. But if I’ve synced against Computer A, with a set of syncing rules in place that give me the subset of songs that I want from it, what does it mean to also sync against Computer B if it has a different library of songs? This is not a trivial problem. Do you set up new rules on B and merge the combined libraries on the device?

    Fucking exactly. The next question is, of course: “why would I ever want to sync in the first place?” Once again, Watts drops some truth bombs on our heads:

    With iTunes, you [control large media libraries] by telling it a few rules. “Hey, iTunes, I would like to have every song or album I’ve rated three stars or higher, every song I added to the library in the last month regardless of rating, and also a selection of 40 random songs I haven’t rated yet so I can add stars to them when I get around to it. Also, hmm, the three most recent unplayed episodes from every podcast that I subscribe to. And make a general listening playlist that has 100 random songs rated two stars or higher, none of which I’ve played in the last month or skipped over in the last two weeks. And copy these three manually-made playlists that I like to always have with me. Just do this all automatically whenever I plug in my iThing.”

    People who rail against media management either have small, poorly organized media libraries or very, very large portable devices. Both groups do not require the niceties of having your desktop resume a podcast where your portable device left off.

    (Source: chipotle)


    Xoom to Ship Sans Flash

    Apple’s infamous Thoughts on Flash:

    Adobe publicly said that Flash would ship on a smartphone in early 2009, then the second half of 2009, then the first half of 2010, and now they say the second half of 2010. We think it will eventually ship, but we’re glad we didn’t hold our breath.

    Bet Moto/VZW wish they hadn’t either.

    (Source: Engadget)

    Why New MacBook Airs Ship with Core 2 Duo

    I’d been wondering why a ULV i3 wasn’t used in the new hardware, but now I’ve got my answer:

    The multicore GPU integrated into the NVIDIA 320M handily spanks the (admittedly improved) Intel integrated graphics glued onto the Core i-series processors

    So basically, Intel is so hellbent on shipping their awful integrated graphics solutions that you can’t get a ULV proc without them. Add on the fact that the IGP in the i3’s don’t support OpenCL and well, you can see why we are where we are.

    I had also wondered what the TDP was, so in case anyone out there is as nerdy as me (the number quoted here is for the 11” model):

    The slower processors clock in at just 10W TDP (7W less than those used in the 13” models)

    On Support

    In America, the length of contract we have come to accept is two years. If you want a phone, you get on a two-year plan. In fact, the only carrier that makes not doing this worthwhile is T-Mobile with its “Even More Plus” plan, which gives you a discount on unsubsidized phones. All other carriers offer the same prices on their plans if your phone is subsidized or not.

    With that as a backdrop you can see why I’d be concerned about the length of time companies feel it is acceptable to support the hardware that they release.

    The Droid Eris launched on Verison’s network on November 6, 2009. The final update for the phone was pushed in mid-July. That means my phone went out of support a mere nine months after release. HTC has anti-committed to our hardware, capping us forever at Android 2.1.

    Compare that to Apple: the first iPhone was released on June 29, 2007. The last upgrade it was eligible for was 3.1.3, released on February 2, 2010, meaning Apple supported the device for almost two and a half years, definitely outside the range of a subsidized contract.

    Again, I don’t doubt that most of my problems with Android stem from the fact that this phone was some sort of weird Hero carry-over that HTC was done with before I bought it. That said, I doubt I’m the only person feeling a little burned by HTC’s lack of commitment to its hardware and furthermore its customers. This may not be my last Android device, but it is without a doubt going to be my last HTC device.

    Apple "Special Event" on September 1st

    If my iPad doesn’t get iOS4 on this day I may very well cry.

    That’s probably not true, but I will at least put in a pre-order on a Galaxy Tab.

    71% of Android Owners Would Consider Another Android Device

    When surveying current Android device owners, Nielson found that 71 percent would buy an Android phone again.

    Glad we’re getting some solid numbers in light of the Yankee group finding satisfaction rates of around 20%. The article points out, though, that of the Android owners polled a solid 21% are considering an iPhone for their next purchase, as opposed to 6% of iPhone users considering an Android device.

    Over half of Blackberry owners are considering competing devices.