Apple Maps • iPhone 5 • Best Smartphone Camera • Motives for Creating Startups • Google Sea View • and more…


Apple Maps • iPhone 5 • Best Smartphone Camera • New Nooks • Autonomous Cars • SHA-3 • Motives for Creating Startups • Startup Squatter • Tech Briefs • Google Sea View

A Worm in the Apple

The iPhone 5’s new operating system, iOS 6, which is also available for owners of older iPhones and iPads, has achieved the dubious distinction of disappointing and even angering large numbers of rabidly pro-Apple users. The problem lies with the flawed replacement of Google maps with Apple’s own buggy maps. The reviews are scathing:

Mashable: “How bad could it be?…The answer, I’m sad to say as an Apple fan, is very bad indeed. Almost unusably bad. Maps takes all the trust Apple has built up among its users over the years — trust that its products just work — and squanders nearly all of it in one go.”


New York Times: “In short, Maps is an appalling first release. It may be the most embarrassing, least usable piece of software Apple has ever unleashed.”

New York Times

Also: Apple recruiters pursuing engineers with Google maps experience.


For an often humorous take on Apple map issues, check out this site.

The Amazing iOS 6 Maps

At Least the Hardware is Great

Apple iOS 6 maps may be subpar, but iPhone 5 hardware has gotten high praise. CNET says it’s the iPhone we’ve always wanted.


PC Magazine finds it to be the fastest smartphone in the land.

PC Magazine

If SmartPhone Camera Quality is Important to You, Wait a Couple Months

Engadget just tested low light and video camera stabilization quality on four of the newest SmartPhones, the iPhone 5, Galaxy S III and HTC One X and the Nokia Lumia 920, which will be released in November. The results are clear: the Lumia beat the other competitors hands-down.

Low-light shootout:


Video stabilization shootout:


Barnes & Noble Announces New Nook Tablets and Video Service

Barnes & Noble announced new 7 and 9 inch tablets and a new video service. The 7 incher features the highest resolution of any device in its class: 1440 x 900 pixels. The 9 inch model comes in at 1920 x 1280. Following tradition, the devices have no cameras but both feature microSD slots. Unlike any of their competitors, the devices support multiple user profiles and family-friendly software that parents can use to set desired permissions for kid’s profiles.

Overview of the 7 inch tablet


The 9 inch tablet


Comparison charts of the new Nooks against other popular tablets:


And the video service

The Washington Post

Autonomous Cars now Legal in California

California has formally legalized autonomous cars, as long as a human is present to take over in an emergency. Two points:

  1. It occurs to me that the law has it backwards: humans should be allowed to drive cars as long as an autonomous system is on board to take over in case of human failure.
  2. Sales are going to be lackluster until they install it in something more exciting than a Prius.


SHA-3 Crypto: Improvement over SHA-2 not Enough to Justify Adoption

Granted that this is esoterica, but it’s fundamental to computing. The NIST will soon announce the winner of a competition for the next standard cryptographic hash algorithm, which will be designated SHA-3. Computer Security expert Bruce Schneier, who happens to be a co-creator of one of the five finalist algorithms, says that the improvements over SHA-2 aren’t significant enough to merit adoption

Schneier on Security

Motives for Creating Startups

Mike Greenfield’s Numerate Choir is one of my favorite blogs. His recent post on entrepreneurs’ motives for creating startups is a great read.

Numerate Choir

Startup Squatter

A young entrepreneur lived as a squatter in AOL’s Palo Alto headquarters for two months while he worked on his startup. He ended up attracting seed money and has now launched a K-12 educational website. AOL’s response after the rogue coder was caught was classy; they declined to call police and a spokesman said: “It was always our intention to facilitate entrepreneurialism in the Palo Alto office — we just didn’t expect it to work so well.”

CNET has the squatting story.

Technapex has details of the newly launched startup site.

Tech Briefs: Additional Recent News Items of Significance

  1. Your privacy: Facebook has joined with Datalogix, a company that gathers data from retail loyalty cards, to track the combined online and offline details of consumers. Electronic Frontier Foundation
  2. The world’s largest professional organization for computer engineers, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), should know better. The IEEE exposed almost 100,000 member passwords in publically readable server log files. Ars Technica
  3. Ubiquitous smartphones mean that we’re never without something to occupy our attention, but the end of boredom might be bad. Researchers fear that without downtime, we’re losing time for pondering and creativity. CNN
  4. Myspace redesign looks good. The Verge
  5. Samsung asks for new trial vs. Apple, alleges juror misconduct. CNET
  6. Tesla cars to get first over-the-air automotive software patch. Wired
  7. As some youth-driven Silicon Valley startups have floundered, new tech firms run by older hoodie-less entrepreneurs are getting more attention. Wall Street Journal
  8. Revenge of the Pigs: Rovio’s new Angry Birds sequel , Bad Piggies, is hot. TechCrunch
  9. Firms working on software and chips to enable speech recognition even while phones are asleep. “Siri, wake up!” Technology Review
  10. The Queen of the Internet: venture capitalist Mary Meeker’s annual state of the internet report has become a tech industry event in its own right. Wired
  11. Tech is surging in Latin America: AllThingsD
  12. Newspaper advertising revenues have dropped below their 1950s levels.  Business Insider

Just One More: Sea View

Google Maps Street View goes underwater and returns with spectacular coral reef images. The camera-scooters used to capture the magnificent views will gladden any photo-geek’s heart.

Boing Boing

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