I was lucky to be able to get my hands on a Google Chromebook Pixel laptop for a couple of days. I decided to use it as my primary computer for the duration of my having it. Here is what I discovered
So I’m doing some work with the XBox kinect Sensor and just tried to install the OpenKinect library on my Mac OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2) and the latest version of XCode (Version 4.6). I followed the instructions here: http://openkinect.org/wiki/Getting_Started#OS_X
When I try to use HomeBrew to install the libfreenect library, I get the error below:
brew install libfreenect ==> Installing libfreenect dependency: libusb-freenect ==> Downloading http://git.libusb.org/?p=libusb.git;a=snapshot;h=7da756e09fd97efad2b35b5cee0e2b2550aac2cb;sf=tgz;js=1 Already downloaded: /Library/Caches/Homebrew/libusb-freenect-7da756e09fd97efad2b3.git;a=snapshot;h=7da756e09fd97efad2b35b5cee0e2b2550aac2cb;sf=tgz;js=1 Warning: Cannot verify package integrity The formula did not provide a download checksum For your reference the SHA1 is: 0fa768a60d1840997454033b64756816d44ad913 ==> Downloading patches ######################################################################## 100.0% ==> Patching patching file libusb/libusbi.h patching file libusb/os/darwin_usb.c patching file libusb/os/darwin_usb.h patch unexpectedly ends in middle of line Hunk #2 succeeded at 147 with fuzz 1. ==> ./autogen.sh You should use the 'AC_CONFIG_HEADERS' macro instead. /usr/local/Cellar/automake/1.13.1/share/aclocal-1.13/obsolete-err.m4:14: AM_CONFIG_HEADER is expanded from... configure.ac:25: the top level autom4te: /usr/bin/m4 failed with exit status: 1 aclocal: error: echo failed with exit status: 1
READ THIS: https://github.com/mxcl/homebrew/wiki/troubleshooting
Following their manual install process gives the same error. I was able to get round this by making a change in the libusb patch file.
On line 34 of configure.ac, change AM_CONFIG_HEADER to AC_CONFIG_HEADERS.
That did the trick!
Good luck with getting OpenKinect working on your Mac.
I never would have considered the possibility that a piece of software would scare me. But I have to admit that I am afraid of Magento.
I don’t want to go near it or even touch it with a barge pole! I’ve had a really torrid time upgrading and migrating a Magento instance to a new server and I am now convinced that it is NOT the solution for me.
I’m now looking for another shopping cart solution.
My colleague asked me to use the Samsung Galaxy Note as my primary phone for a couple of weeks and give him my review afterwards.
As an iPhone user (since 2007), I wondered how difficult it would be to adapt to the Android OS and, particularly, Samsung’s slant on things. I’ve got to say it has been incredibly difficult because I have to think about everything before I can interact with the device. I wouldn’t describe it as intuitive, but this might also be as a result of my having being indoctrinated into the iOS ‘way’.
In other ways, the Touch has been a delight to use. Browsing the web on a bigger screen is definitely more pleasurable. And Flipboard… it looks gorgeous on this screen! I’ve not yet installed the Kindle app but I have no doubts it will be just as great to read.
Not forgetting that this is meant to be a phone, the overriding effect the device has on me is to make me want to dig out my Jawbone 2. Otherwise it will be too embarrassing being seen yapping away on this phone. It is just too big!!
After having spent another couple of days with this phone, I am convinced that there is a problem over at Samsung. The UI is so clunky, there’s so much stuff I don’t understand going on, like my tapping on the phone app and my call log being listed alongside text messages.
My journey with Android is over for now (and possibly for a long while) and the fault probably lies more with Samsung’s UI ‘enhancements’ than with the default Android itself. Oh well. Back to iPhone.
I have now returned the phone to my colleague and I am so relieved! It’s been an even worse experience than I thought it would be and I hope this will not make it too difficult for me to pick up another Android phone in the future. Google really needs to have a word with Samsung.
If you double-tap the middle area of the Magic Mouse in a browser window, you get the same effect as double-tapping the iPhone screen when browsing – the section tapped gets magnified and centralised in the browser.
Update: it’s a Safari-only feature. But it’s still neat!
The news is out. Apple is abandoning Google’s maps back-end and instead using its own mapping technology, thanks to strategic acquisitions made over the past couple of years.
I’m not quite sure how to take this news. Google Maps works just fine for me and I’m curious to see what the Apple Maps will give in addition to what I already have with this, and also if Apple will let Google continue to provide their Maps as a download in the App store.
One of the features I use the most on my iPhone is the Google Maps traffic mode (see screenshot)
as driving in London can be such a hassle. I find that I am able to plan my route better when I am able to check the traffic ahead of my getting to the usual bad spots on my way in to London.
I will be very cross if the (rumoured) iOS 6 Maps does not give this feature, or if they only give the feature for the American market – similar to how Siri has been seriously hobbled in the UK.
I will be speaking about Search Based Applications and Enterprise Search at Sky.
I’ll update the blog after the speaking event.
This is for those friends of mine who believe that Apple (and by extension Steve Jobs) does not innovate.
I won’t waste another breath arguing that point with anyone. And that is a promise that I am making to myself. I will, instead, let all these people speak of what great things Mr Jobs has achieved in such a short period of time.
“The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.”
“I am very, very sad to hear the news about Steve. He was a great man with incredible achievements and amazing brilliance. He always seemed to be able to say in very few words what you actually should have been thinking before you thought it. His focus on the user experience above all else has always been an inspiration to me. He was very kind to reach out to me as I became CEO of Google and spend time offering his advice and knowledge even though he was not at all well. My thoughts are with his family and the whole Apple family.”
Roger Ebert, Pulitzer-prize winning film critic
“I got one of the first Macs, and my relationship with computers fundamentally changed. In both of his incarnations at Apple, he was a visionary. He provided tools. His victories were based on imagination and courage.”
“Steve Jobs has played a huge part in shaping the person I am today. Ever since I enjoyed the privilege of owning my first Mac back in 1993, I have developed an emotional connection to its creator. Now, Steve, hurry along… your journey continues. You have left behind a legacy that will live on with mankind. Thank you for everything.”
John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer, and Ed Catmull, President, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios
“Steve Jobs was an extraordinary visionary, our very dear friend and the guiding light of the Pixar family. He saw the potential of what Pixar could be before the rest of us, and beyond what anyone ever imagined. Steve took a chance on us and believed in our crazy dream of making computer animated films; the one thing he always said was to simply ‘make it great.’ He is why Pixar turned out the way we did and his strength, integrity and love of life has made us all better people. He will forever be a part of Pixar’s DNA. Our hearts go out to his wife Laurene and their children during this incredibly difficult time.”
“Steve was my hero growing up. He not only gave me a lot of personal advice and encouragement, he showed all of us how innovation can change lives.I will miss him dearly, as will the world.”
“Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you.”
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple
“No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.”
President Barack Obama
“The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Steve’s wife Laurene, his family, and all those who loved him.”
Bob Iger, CEO of Disney
“Steve was such an ‘original,’ with a thoroughly creative, imaginative mind that defined an era. Despite all he accomplished, it feels like he was just getting started. With his passing the world has lost a rare original, Disney has lost a member of our family, and I have lost a great friend.”
“I want to express my deepest condolences at the passing of Steve Jobs, one of the founders of our industry and a true visionary. My heart goes out to his family, everyone at Apple and everyone who has been touched by his work.”
Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP
“Steve Jobs was an iconic entrepreneur and businessman whose impact on technology was felt beyond Silicon Valley. He will be remembered for the innovation he brought to market and the inspiration he brought to the world.”
Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City
“Tonight our City — a city that has always had such respect and admiration for creative genius — joins with people around the planet in remembering a great man and keeping Laurene and the rest of the Jobs family in our thoughts and prayers.”
Sir James Dyson, innovator and entrepreneur
“He was dubbed a megalomaniac, but Steve Jobs often gambled on young, largely inexperienced talent to take Apple forward; Jony Ive and his team prove that such faith was spot on.”
“From the earliest days of Google, whenever Larry and I sought inspiration for vision and leadership, we needed to look no farther than Cupertino. Steve, your passion for excellence is felt by anyone who has ever touched an Apple product (including the macbook I am writing this on right now). And I have witnessed it in person the few times we have met. On behalf of all of us at Google and more broadly in technology, you will be missed very much. My condolences to family, friends, and colleagues at Apple.”
Culled from Wired Magazine online.
I have asked myself many times over why there is such a dislike (hatred might be a bit too strong for this) for products made by Apple. They are typically labelled as hugely overpriced, feature light, underpowered and so on.
Admittedly, it is a small percentage – albeit very vocal – of people who hold these views and the majority of the population covet Apple products. I have no empirical data to support my latter claim but I dare say I was spot on.
These people go even further and openly deride people who buy and love Apple products as being stupid slaves of technology trendiness.
Why do these people dislike Apple products so much, and why do they pour so much derision (and sometimes even vitriol) on those people who do? It is almost rabid. I remember very clearly having a heated conversation 2 years ago with an acquaintance who claimed Windows phone 6.5 was better BY FAR than the iPhone. Where do you start the discussion with people like that? Very intelligent and highly educated people to boot. I almost feel as though we have all been hoodwinked by the success of Microsoft from years ago into believing that vertically integrated markets were doomed to failure, and that ‘leveraging’ was the only way to succeed in the technology world.
I blame the business schools for this as well. Educational programs that depend on case studies for teaching MBA students give very little room for creativity and ‘thinking outside the box’.
The huge success that is Apple today has befuddled analysts the world over. They do not understand why the company has been so successful nor do they understand why people love their products so much. This confusion extends to most technology pundits as well as their very intelligent audience. And yet, for those people who have followed Apple very closely for decades, it is not so much of a surprise. I, for one, am not surprised.
There is only so far ‘features’ can take you, only so much more memory and CPU that you can throw at your hardware… Many years ago, I used to help University lecturers buy their computers. I still remember very clearly how frustrated they got by not being able to understand the difference between Intel and AMD or between Centrino and Celerons, between Pentium III and Pentium IV, nor why they needed to know these things. An yet we techie people got it and were exasperated that we couldn’t get others to understand. We concluded that these people were just ‘thick’ and we treated them accordingly.
But Apple got these people the way the rest of the technology world didn’t. That is all they needed to do. That is the major difference between Apple and Microsoft or between Apple and HP, Dell (put any other commodity hardware supplier here). Apple believes more in the ‘experience’ of using technology and this shows in the ease of use they are constantly being applauded for. They will not shy from removing features or components that they believe are not integral to the functionality and experience they wish to provide their users. They will also remove components that are not absolutely required in order to save on manufacturing costs and therefore the final price of their products. This is another gripe of the Apple naysayers.
With this realisation, going back to the question of why there is so much derision towards Apple products makes me realise that there is another question to be asked: “what is the demographic of these people who hate Apple products so much?” apart from those who were told in their Churches that Steve Jobs was a bad man whom I am not even going to talk about here, most of the naysayers are techie people.
I think it is safe to say that there might be resentment towards Apple’s ‘dumbification’ of technology. And that might be at the root of the problem here. Apple gets those people who we concluded (and labelled) as thick and is able to communicate with them in a language they understand. Therefore effectively sidelining us.
That must really hurt.
But what if these people are right. What if Apple’s products were really a swindle? What if these people – like in the story of the Emperor’s new clothes – are the ones who truly get that Apple is fooling us all into buying their products? A compelling proposition, admittedly but contestable by a billboard I used to see of the French biro maker Bic when I was much younger :
“17 million customers cannot be wrong…”
There are a LOT of customers that claim Apple products are great to use. Apple consistently comes out on top in customer satisfaction surveys year after year, winning product design awards in the process. Surely this cannot be a case of mass hypnotism… Surely. Or is it?
Apple is now flirting with the position of being the most capitalised company in the world. And that is a scary prospect considering their iPad has not even really caught on yet. The post-PC world is just dawning and HP and IBM have bailed out. Microsoft is still in denial about what this portends and the other commodity hardware suppliers (OEM manufacturers) are quavering in their boots at the lack of direction from Redmond.
- It’s not magic: How Apple achieves greatness (macworld.com)
- HP single-handedly destroys non-iPad tablet market (zdnet.com)
- HP Decides to spin off the PC Division what next for Microsoft. (techwag.com)
Over the past few months, sales numbers for Android have shown an astounding and, frankly, unprecedented – almost logarithmic – growth. I won’t bore you with the details here as you can easily Google this information or otherwise check Horace Dediu’s website, which I highly recommend by the way if you like a visual take on statistics. Instead, I want to give a thought to the conclusions of analysts and pundits on the basis of the Android projections, especially in regards to growth potential in the developing world.
The rapid growth of Android, mostly at the expense of RIM (Blackberry OS) and Nokia (Symbian), has resulted in technology pundits and analysts making predictions about the mobile market following the same pattern as the Windows PC market. Are these predictions bold or lazy?
Respected Venture Capitalist Fred Wilson even went as far as dumping Apple stock two years ago and is now actively canvassing developers to move to Android as their primary development platform. His argument is that the new frontier for growth is the developing world and Android – with its commoditized handsets – is well positioned to capture this space. Android devices are probably the cheapest for mobile device manufacturers to produce as the OS is free and all they need do is focus on streamlining manufacturing costs.
Cheap works in the developing world. Apple’s iPhone is expensive and the cost will seem prohibitive to growth in the developing world to any technology analyst looking at the hard, cold numbers. Afterall, if the poverty levels are as high as is claimed, it stands to reason that people in these countries will flock to the cheapest handsets. This is lazy thinking, though, as having grown up in Nigeria myself, I can attest to the fact that Nigerians will borrow, beg and steal (and overextend themselves financially) to buy the latest, greatest handset. The ‘posher’ a phone is, the greater appeal it holds for Nigerians. Fact. Check it up yourself if you are in doubt.
This leads to the question of why, in spite of my assertion, the iPhone adoption rate in Nigeria is so low. Instead, it’s the Blackberry that rules the roost. Loads of my friends who – while in London – used the iPhone discarded it for a Blackberry once they got back to the developing world. This intrigued me and I set about asking quite a few of them why they abandoned the iPhone for a Blackberry. Their responses were even more interesting. There were two main reasons, apparently:
1. BBM. The level of usage of the blackberry messenger service in Nigeria is unprecedented. Literally every Blackberry owner in Nigeria uses the messenger service. Very actively too and not just occasionally. A lot of communications happens via this medium and I have myself been forced into getting a Blackberry primarily so I can keep in touch with my sisters, both of whom are Blackberry owners and for whom communicating via the messenger service is cheaper and more convenient than sending text messages or calling.
2. No credible (or affordable) data plans. The iPhone is a great device for mobile communications and this is irrefutable. I would like to find out the usage stats for iPhone users of voice and SMS vs data. I’m willing to bet that the voice and SMS usage on iPhone probably accounts for an average of about an average of 5% of the total usage. The remainder 95% is dependent on 3G or WiFi data. Mobile service providers in the developing world don’t have great or affordable rates for mobile data usage and even if they do, the nature of this part of the world makes it difficult to serve pay monthly customers and PAYG for mobile data usage is ‘suicidal’ for customers as they can very quickly run out of credits due to apps updating in the background alone.
The attraction of the Blackberry service in this region is due to the fact that their customers pay a flat monthly rate for unmetered Internet connectivity which is delivered via the Blackberry infrastructure, thereby bypassing the mobile operators almost completely. At the moment, no other smartphone can compete with this. Android, iOS, WebOS, Windows Phone, etc all have the same weakness: dependency on data plans, and this is a big stumbling block for penetration of this market.
Anyone who reckons that Android penetration in the developing world is only a matter of course as a result of the affordability misses a trick or two if they don’t take the lack of data connectivity into account.
- Millennial Media Mobile Mix Report: iOS Produced 47% Of App Revenue, Android 36% (mobilemarketingwatch.com)
- InMobi: Android has surpassed iPhone OS for the first time (mobile-ent.biz)