TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Swaine Manor: Of Bling, and Bing, and Ning

Volume Number: 26
Issue Number: 01
Column Tag: Editorial

Swaine Manor: Of Bling, and Bing, and Ning

A riff on Macworld, Roman Numerals, and Chinese Theaters

by Michael Swaine

I've attended a lot of Macworld shows over the years and, like Macheads everywhere, I used to look forward eagerly to the Steve Jobs keynote that always kicked off the event. This year it falls to John Gruber to explain to us how blown away we are at the awesomeness of it all and (dare I hope?) to tell us about that "one more thing."

Well, maybe not that "one more thing," since Steve may have kinda usurped that.

One Man's Bling

But you know what? It's all right. It really is. I'm finally getting used to Macworld without Steve Jobs, and I can get used to Macworld without Apple. Or Adobe. Or Quark. Or Epson. Or XtremeMac. It's better this way. It makes it easier to focus on what really matters.

Bling!

I want my techie bling. I want an egg timer shaped like an Apple with a bite out of it, but nobody seems to want to jump into this inviting market niche. I want toys and gadgets too nerdy for The Sharper Image. I want stupid app tricks. I want bags with corporate logos for carrying my swag.

I want those UltimateEars earbuds that cost more than my computer and, the company says, will require an ear impression from my audiologist. I didn't even know I had an audiologist. They must be good!

I want iSaidWhat?, an iPhone app designed to embarrass my friends. I secretly record them, mix their words up, and post the result on Facebook or Twitter. What could be greater than that? I'm guessing this is an app that comes with a strong legal disclaimer.

I want font bling. I admit it, I'm a font geek. Priori Acute is a font inspired by M. C. Escher drawings. Serifs twist into nonexistent dimensions and dazzle the eye. I want that. I want to blog in it. I want font influence, like Al Gore, who recently got Typotheque to change the numeral 1 in their Brioni font. Now that's bold. I want the SarcMark: that sarcastic character created by a company of the same name, but I don't want it enough to pay for it, especially since the backward-facing question mark is already broadly understood to indicate sarcasm and doesn't cost two bucks. SarcMark is a dot in a spiral and is intended to represent sarcasm. I'm sure its brilliant inventors will be very successful.

OK, my bling may not be your bling.

Ning People

And my Ning may not be your thing. Are you a Ning person? IDG set up a Ning social networking site (http://macworldexpo.ning.com) for Macworld a year or two ago, and I get the impression that it's running on autopilot, fueled by socnet energy. IDG may not even remember that they have the site. You should check it out before they find out and shut it down, especially the video of the little girl painting with ice cream and the dog licking up the painting. It's a comment on the ephemerality of art, I imagine. The site is also very pretty. Which makes me even surer that IDG isn't managing it.

Not to change the subject or anything, but do you realize that this year we Macheads celebrate the start of Year XI of OS X. Woo-hoo, right? And you thought Microsoft went a long time between releases. But I'm sure that Apple just wants to do it right. They won't go to eleven until they can put on the kind of release extravaganza that a full Roman numeral version update deserves, with geeks in togas and giant pillars on stage, and that won't happen until Nigel Tufnel can free up some time in his schedule.

Google and Bing

We'll wait just a minute while the younger Macheads in the group Google "Nigel Tufnel." Ah, back already? So you got the eleven reference, then? And the giant pillars? OK, moving along—which is exactly what Apple could be about to do with respect to Google.

There was a time when the default browser on Macs was from Microsoft. Could it be that soon the default search engine on Macs and iPhones will be from Microsoft?

Google has kicked China to the curb, and there could be some interesting consequences. I mean beyond China's refusal to show Avatar in its sixty zillion theaters. Now I have to confess, that blindsided me. How punishing Jim Cameron hurts Google is a lesson in corporate influence that I do not choose to sign up for. Especially since Chinese theaters are still showing the 3-D version.

But here's an easier question: If Google's decision to stop censoring search results in China leads to China kicking Google off all Chinese computers, who would benefit? I'm willing to do that math: Microsoft would pick up the search action and associated ad business with its Bing search engine.

So I'm not surprised to hear that Apple is being very Bing-friendly these days. Bing could be the new gateway to China.

You heard it speculated here first.

About the Title

"Swaine Manor" is a Batman reference, of course, but not to the TV Batman or to the Tim Burton Batman, but to the Frank Miller Batman. If I were permitted to choose a Frank Miller Batman, it would be the Frank Miller/Dave Mazzucchelli "Year One" Batman. "Michael Swaine" is, of course, a reference to Michael Swaim, the Cracked magazine writer who first pointed out that the term "Genius" in "Genius Bar" is sometimes applied sarcastically. Probably with a SarcMark.


Michael Swaine is the former editor-in-chief of Dr. Dobb’s Journal (http://www.ddj.com) and current editor of PragPub (http:// www.pragprog.com/magazine), the electronic magazine for pragmatic programmers. You can reach him at mike@swaine.com.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Dropbox 193.4.5594 - Cloud backup and sy...
Dropbox is a file hosting service that provides cloud storage, file synchronization, personal cloud, and client software. It is a modern workspace that allows you to get to all of your files, manage... Read more
Google Chrome 122.0.6261.57 - Modern and...
Google Chrome is a Web browser by Google, created to be a modern platform for Web pages and applications. It utilizes very fast loading of Web pages and has a V8 engine, which is a custom built... Read more
Skype 8.113.0.210 - Voice-over-internet...
Skype is a telecommunications app that provides HD video calls, instant messaging, calling to any phone number or landline, and Skype for Business for productive cooperation on the projects. This... Read more
Tor Browser 13.0.10 - Anonymize Web brow...
Using Tor Browser you can protect yourself against tracking, surveillance, and censorship. Tor was originally designed, implemented, and deployed as a third-generation onion-routing project of the U.... Read more
Deeper 3.0.4 - Enable hidden features in...
Deeper is a personalization utility for macOS which allows you to enable and disable the hidden functions of the Finder, Dock, QuickTime, Safari, iTunes, login window, Spotlight, and many of Apple's... Read more
OnyX 4.5.5 - Maintenance and optimizatio...
OnyX is a multifunction utility that you can use to verify the startup disk and the structure of its system files, to run miscellaneous maintenance and cleaning tasks, to configure parameters in the... Read more
Hopper Disassembler 5.14.1 - Binary disa...
Hopper Disassembler is a binary disassembler, decompiler, and debugger for 32- and 64-bit executables. It will let you disassemble any binary you want, and provide you all the information about its... Read more
WhatsApp 24.3.78 - Desktop client for Wh...
WhatsApp is the desktop client for WhatsApp Messenger, a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for... Read more
War Thunder 2.33.0.135 - Multiplayer war...
In War Thunder, aircraft, attack helicopters, ground forces and naval ships collaborate in realistic competitive battles. You can choose from over 1,500 vehicles and an extensive variety of combat... Read more
Iridient Developer 4.2 - Powerful image-...
Iridient Developer (was RAW Developer) is a powerful image-conversion application designed specifically for OS X. Iridient Developer gives advanced photographers total control over every aspect of... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Gorgeous Tactical Puzzle Game ‘Howl’ is...
Following its release on PC and Nintendo Switch this past November, and it’s arrival on Xbox and PlayStation back in January, publisher Astragon Entertainment and developer Mi’pu’mi Games are now bringing their super stylish tactical puzzler Howl to... | Read more »
Best iPhone Game Updates: ‘Shoot the Moo...
Hello everyone, and welcome to the week! It’s time once again for our look back at the noteworthy updates of the last seven days. It feels like a bit of a dry spell this week, at least in terms of really interesting updates. I mean, I found some... | Read more »
Celebrate Phobies spooky second annivers...
Get ready to have that classic song stuck in your head, as Phobies celebrates its second anniversary with the release of its latest update; Birthday Bash, Monster Mash. Starting March 5th and lasting for four weeks, it will be a month of... | Read more »
‘Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia’ Sto...
Square Enix finally shut down Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia (Free) on iOS and Android last week following the end of service announcement back in November last year. Following the game shutting down, Square Enix | Read more »
‘Monster Hunter Now’ Is Celebrating the...
Niantic and Capcom have begun celebrating the 20th anniversary of Capcom’s best franchise from today inside Monster Hunter Now (Free) on iOS and Android for a limited time. | Read more »
New ‘Warframe Mobile’ Update Adds 60fps...
Warframe Mobile (Free) launched worldwide on iOS just under two weeks ago. I’ve been playing it for review across multiple iOS devices, but have also been picking it up on Steam Deck and Switch to compare. Right from launch, I was impressed with... | Read more »
Passionate About Fidget Toys – The Touch...
In this week’s episode of The TouchArcade Show we kick things off with some passionate discussion about… fidget toys? For some reason? We quickly change gears to talk about the card-based rogulike Balatro, which we’ve both been playing and enjoying... | Read more »
TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘Flying Ta...
For me Hexage is one of those developers that harkens back to the early days of the App Store and really the beginnings of iPhone gaming. I have spent many collective hours playing the likes of Totemo, Radiant, Radiant Defense, EVAC, Reaper… the... | Read more »
SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Ufouria 2: The S...
Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for March 1st, 2024. In today’s article, we’re looking at the remaining releases of the week. There are a few really good ones today, but the bin bunch certainly isn’t going home hungry... | Read more »
Steam Deck Weekly: Reviews of PowerWash...
Welcome to the first Steam Deck Weekly of March and this week’s edition is bigger than usual. I was a bit unwell last week and had to push some reviews to this week. Alongside that, there have been many notable announcements, releases, and new Steam... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Deal Alert! B&H is now selling 13-inch M2...
B&H Photo has 13″ MacBook Airs with M2 CPUs and 256GB of storage in stock and on sale for $100 off Apple’s new MSRP, now only $899. Free 1-2 day delivery is available to most US addresses. Their... Read more
At $999, Apple’s 13-inch M2 MacBook Air is th...
With today’s introduction of the new 13-inch M3 MacBook Air for $1099, Apple dropped prices on the previous-generation 13-inch M2 MacBook Air to $999. At the same time, Apple discontinued the 13-inch... Read more
Apple discontinues 15-inch M2 MacBook Airs, d...
With today’s introduction of new M3-powered 15″ MacBook Airs, Apple has dropped prices on clearance, Certified Refurbished, 15″ M2 MacBook Airs to a new low of $1019. These are the cheapest 15″... Read more
Price Drop! 13-inch M2 MacBook Airs at Apple...
Apple has dropped prices on Certified Refurbished 13″ M2 MacBook Airs to a new low of $849. These are the cheapest M2-powered MacBooks for sale at Apple. Apple’s one-year warranty is included,... Read more
Apple finally discontinues the 13-inch M1 Mac...
With the introduction of M3-powered 13″ MacBook Airs today, Apple has dropped prices on clearance 13″ M1 MacBook Airs, Certified Refurbished, to $759 for 8-Core CPU/7-Core GPU/256GB models and $929... Read more
Updated Apple iPad Price Trackers
Our Apple award-winning iPad Price Trackers are the best place to find the latest information on iPad sales and deals. We track prices from 20+ Apple retailers, including Apple, Amazon, Best Buy,... Read more
Updated Apple MacBook Price Trackers
Our Apple award-winning MacBook Price Trackers are continually updated with the latest information on prices, bundles, and availability for 16″, 14″, and (recently-discontinued) 13″ MacBook Pros... Read more
Mac Studios with Apple M2 Max and M2 Ultra CP...
B&H Photo has the standard-configuration Mac Studio model with Apple’s M2 Ultra CPU in stock today and on sale for $300 off MSRP, now $3699 (24-Core CPU and 64GB RAM/1TB SSD). B&H Photo has... Read more
Extended: Switch to Verizon and get the Apple...
Verizon has the iPhone 15 on sale for $0 per month when you add a new line if service. Discount is applied to your account monthly over a 36 month term and is valid for the 128GB model. For the first... Read more
Select 16-inch M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pros...
B&H Photo has select 16-inch M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pros on sale for $250 off MSRP. Their prices are the lowest currently available for these configurations. Free 1-2 day shipping is available... Read more

Jobs Board

Teller Part Time *Apple* Valley MN *Apple*...
…is not eligible for Visa sponsorship **Posting Location:** + 15574 Pilot Knod Road Apple Valley, MN 55124 @RWF22 **Posting End Date:** Job posting may come down Read more
*Apple* End User Support Specialist - North...
…that they are performed. + Responsible for support of all College owned Apple computers, mobile ios devices, and peripherals, and for diagnosing and resolving Read more
Omnichannel Associate - *Apple* Blossom Mal...
Omnichannel Associate - Apple Blossom Mall Location:Winchester, VA, United States (https://jobs.jcp.com/jobs/location/191170/winchester-va-united-states) - Apple Read more
Teller Part Time *Apple* Valley MN *Apple*...
…is not eligible for Visa sponsorship **Posting Location:** + 15574 Pilot Knod Road Apple Valley, MN 55124 @RWF22 **Posting End Date:** Job posting may come down Read more
Nurse Anesthetist - *Apple* Hill Surgery Ce...
Nurse Anesthetist - Apple Hill Surgery Center WellSpan Medical Group, York, PA | Advanced Practice Providers | Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists | FTE: 1 | Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.