The Road to VoIP: PhoneWars

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Date: Wednesday, July 5th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Opinion

Voice over IP is a technology designed to move communications from the existing, old phone system to the Internet. This series of articles looks the benefits and risks of VoIP and how the technology is developing. This first article considers the reasons for, and challenges behind, replacing the existing old phone empire with a new system.

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Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RoughlyDrafted

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BSD & GPL: Different Sources for Different Horses

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Date: Wednesday, July 5th, 2006, 07:00
Category: Opinion

How far can Apple go with open source? Many argue that Apple should decisively push into expanding their open source efforts, but how? There isn’t just one way to embrace open source as a strategy.
This article compares the benefits and the motivations behind two very different styles of open source development: the BSD style license, pioneered by UC Berkeley and MIT; and the GPL invented by Richard Stallman, the founder of the free software movement.
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Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RoughlyDrafted

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Stevenson Fails ‘Report Card’ on Mac Ads

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Date: Tuesday, June 27th, 2006, 09:00
Category: Opinion

apple-getamac-ad.jpgSeth Stevenson writes a column for Slate called the “Ad Report Card,” where he rates the effectiveness of advertising based on his own extemporaneous criteria. Sometimes it’s the concept , sometimes execution, and sometimes he just likes ads because they are entertaining. After watching Apple’s new Get a Mac ads, however, he complained:
“They are conceptually brilliant, beautifully executed, and highly entertaining. But they don’t make me want to buy a Mac.”
Advertising isn’t supposed to make you think you want to buy the product; it is designed to create awareness and results. That subtle difference is something an ad critic should understand, so Stevenson fails the grade.
Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RoughlyDrafted

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Apple & Open Source… Strange Buffaloes?

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Date: Thursday, June 22nd, 2006, 07:00
Category: Opinion

There are far more interesting topics on the intersection between open source and commercial development than the binary-only kernel for Intel non-story. Tim Bray�s Time to Switch? and John Gruber’s Why Apple Won�t Open Source Its Apps both discuss the potential risks and benefits Apple would face in open sourcing their consumer applications, such as the Finder, Mail, iChat and their iLife apps, to worldwide perusal.
Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RoughlyDrafted

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.Macster!

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Date: Wednesday, June 21st, 2006, 09:00
Category: Opinion

Imagine adding Digg and Wikipedia to MySpace, except instead of flashing inverse text on top a stretched out photo of Britney Spears, with some awful pop diva tune set to autoplay, you’d have sharp looking profiles based on classy iWeb templates.
Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RoughlyDrafted

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A Reputation System for .Mac

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Date: Wednesday, June 21st, 2006, 09:00
Category: Opinion

Reputation becomes a richer basis for trust in an otherwise anonymous community. This principle is so useful in rating the value of an individual’s contributions, that it’s commonly found in commerce sites like Amazon or eBay, and in many tech advice discussion forums, including Apple’s support forum.
Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RoughlyDrafted

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The ‘Mac OS X Closed by Pirates’ Myth

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Date: Tuesday, June 20th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Opinion

There are two elements to this myth. The first is that Apple has actually closed open source development for its kernel, or plans to do so; the second suggests that the reason for this has something to do with Mac OS X being used by pirates on generic PC hardware.
Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RoughlyDrafted

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10 Reasons Why Apple Can Kick Start Web 2.0

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Date: Monday, June 19th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Opinion

The problem with all these sites is that to use any of them, you need to log in and create a unique profile. As you navigate the various social networks, discussion forms, and sharing systems, it becomes frustrating that you can’t take your reputation from one place to another, that you can’t update all those profiles centrally, and that you can’t really prove you are SuperDan2006xyz across the various Internet properties, nor can you take much of what you create to use offline. Boo.
Apple, like no other company on Earth, has a solution to those problems because of their unique positioning in a number of areas. Here’s part one of why.
Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RoughlyDrafted

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Unraveling The PowerPC Obsolescence Myth

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Date: Monday, June 12th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Opinion

This myth is so fantastically absurd that it has to involve Mark Stephens, writing under the name Robert X Cringely. Remember, Cringely was also involved with spreading the Red Box Myth, the Mac OS X Microkernel Myth, and the Mac OS X Needs a Linux Kernel Myth.
His recent speculation that Leopard would not work on PowerPC Macs managed to imply some sort of Osborne Effect for Intel Macs that could only be managed by Apple actively obsolescing all PowerPC Macs this year:
“Speeding-up performance is great, but normally a system vendor won’t want to do that for older hardware, which might encourage some users to keep their old box and just add a new OS. [...] For this reason alone, I’m guessing that the new OS X Kernel won’t be backward compatible to PowerMacs. But this is just a guess.”
Read more in “Unraveling The PowerPC Obsolescence Myth
Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RoughlyDrafted

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Ask the PowerPage: PC or Mac Notebook?

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Date: Tuesday, May 30th, 2006, 09:00
Category: Opinion

Dear PowerPage:
I remember the first time I bought my first laptop, a Sony Vaio laptop with Intel Centrino technology. The first time I opened the box to my laptop I was really excited to use my Sony Vaio because it was a Sony Vaio. After two years of using the Vaio I have realized the benefit of the MacBook’s longer battery life and am now deciding to switch.
I often ask myself, should I really do this? Switching would mean changing operating systems from Windows to Mac. Should this be of concern?
A bigger concern for me is battery life. I normally use my notebook for long periods of time and it only runs for two hours on a charge. If I am sitting in the library and I need to use it for a long period of time, the PC is no good. From everything that I’ve heard this is where the Mac shines.
Apple’s notebook comparison chart states that the battery life of the MacBook is “up to 6 hours” and that the MacBook Pro is between 4.5 and 5.5 hours, but recently I went to a local store and the member of staff told that it only is really more like two hours. Is this true?
Thank you for any help with this important decision!
- Confused

Dear Confused:
The first thing to note is that if you buy a Mac you’re not only limited to using Macintosh software, you can still run Windows and Windows software by installing Apple’s free Boot Camp software, or by installing Parallels Desktop (US$49) – just remember to keep your WinXP CD.
On the issue of battery life, manufacturers always inflate their battery life estimates on notebook computers to the point of it being almost fraudulent. Their battery estimates are usually based on a “perfect world” environment: brand new cells, monitor dimmed and little or no disk or CPU access. This is not reality. I usually take Apple’s battery life estimates and half them for something closer to reality. For example: Apple claims that my MacBook Pro should run for “up to 4.5 hours” but about two hours and 15 minutes is more like it.
That said, jump right in and grab a MacBook or a MacBook Pro and you’ll never look back.
Readers: What are your thoughts on this buyer’s quandary? Should he go with the Mac or stick with a PC notebook?

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