Pride Gulp

Swallowed my pride and bought an Air. It was cheaper than the other options and people I respect are happy with theirs. And it’s nice. But the OS is as quirky as any Windows machine. EG: no apparent way to turn off system-wide spellchecking without some system-level hack.  in Pages, wherever you open a document, …

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Still Sneaky After All These Years

I still retain the capacity to get bummed out by the intrusiveness of software from companies you’d think would be trying to make us happy these days, not make us madder. My friend Scotty, the Winpatrol watchdog, has been doing a great job of keeping an eye on these things. The culprits either try to …

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The Leopard’s Spot (On)

Just gotten back from a demo of the new version of Mac’s operating system, Mac OS X Leopard (must confess I don’t like the names. It’s slightly better than Vista, but still a bit lame in my view.) But that’s not the point. I arrived halfway through the demo and so missed a lot of …

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The Death of Writing

James Fallows points out that not everybody back in 1980 believed the computer would replace the typewriter as a writing implement, and that his prediction that the device would be useful incurred the wrath of, among others, the late David Halberstam. James offered to write some articles on a computer, some on a typewriter, and …

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Foiling EMI

Further to my rant yesterday about digital rights management, my friend Mark tells me that getting around the Coldplay X&Y copy protection is easy — just rip it on a Mac. He’s right, at least for me: Works like a dream, after no joy at all on two ThinkPads. This may not be true with …

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Directory of RSI Software

This is the first in a number of posts about RSI, or Repetitive Strain Injury, the subject of this week’s column, out tomorrow. Here is a collection of software designed to ease RSI. RSI software tries to help in a number of ways: working out how long you’ve been at the keyboard and reminds you …

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Podcasting Is Big, Led By Mac Lovers

Podcasting is big. Well, not as big as paying bills online, but almost as big as blogs. According to Nielsen//NetRatings (PDF file), 6.6 percent of the U.S. adult online population are downloading audio podcasts. That’s more than 9 million people. But in case you get all excited about that, compare it with viewing and paying bills …

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Apple and Google AdWords

Further to my piece about Apple going after web sites using “iPod” somewhere in their name, is the company Apple going after third party developers using Google AdWords? A piece in TidBITS (“Apple Cracks Down on Google AdWords”) paints a worrying picture of trademark protection gone mad: some recent unsettling events indicate that Apple may …

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Apple, Nano, and the Cost of Silence

It’s been nearly a week since the first stories about problems with the Apple iPod Nano screen started to surface, and, according to The Register, they’re spreading: More importantly, the post on Apple’s discussion boards discussing the issue has grown from 188 posts to 583 (at last count), and now includes people who have cancelled …

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Another Kind of Portable Device: The SoulPad

ZDNet reports on an interesting tool being developed by IBM — the SoulPad: The SoulPad could let users carry their computer’s data, applications and personal settings on their mobile phone or digital music player Researchers at IBM are testing software that would let you tote your home or office desktop around on an iPod or …

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