Opinion

Anthony De Rosa

Apple’s event causes mass disruption

Anthony De Rosa
Jun 6, 2011 20:29 UTC

The biggest takeaway from today’s Apple announcements at their annual worldwide developers conference was how many companies they’ve just disrupted.

Hey Blackberry, you know that your BBM that many find to be the sole reason they stick by your side instead of bolting for a shiny new iPhone. Say hello to iMessage. Start a conversation on your iPhone and continue it on your iPad. If you still want to talk to your friends tied to their Blackberries, there’s always What’s App.

So Dropbox, you’ve been one of the most useful apps I’ve come across in quite some time. My files auto-synced in the cloud, I barely have to think about it. I move effortlessly from one machine to another and my stuff is right there, a click away. Welp, I’ve got some bad news for you. iCloud. 5 gigs of storage and get this, it’s free. Well, unless you’ve got some non-iTunes music you wanna sync. That’s gonna set you back $25 a year. Cmon, that’s a fraction of the money you’ve stolen from artists and those poor multi-millionaire music executives (if any of them still exist anymore.)

What else? Instapaper, a brilliant app by former lead developer for Tumblr, Marco Arment was just replaced by a feature in Apple’s Safari browser, called “Reading List” which stores what you’re browsing for offline reading later, and syncs it across both your iOS devices and your Mac. Poor guy. His reaction on Twitter was priceless.

If Larry David is a social assassin, what does this make Steve Jobs?

Some companies were disrupted in a positive way. Today was Twitter’s lucky day. Apple just built in Twitter integration at the base level of iOS5. Enter your Twitter credentials in your iOS device settings and you’re set. No need to log into Twitter again for most of the apps you regularly use.  Shoot something with your iPhone or iPad camera? Bam, send it to Twitter. Tired of having to keep logging into Twitter on  Safari? No longer. Same goes for YouTube,  Maps, and your contacts.

Is this the end of Skype as we knew it?

Anthony De Rosa
May 10, 2011 17:03 UTC

The first time I used Skype I was in awe. The video quality, the effortlessness it allowed me to see and hear my family far away over my laptop computer screen was magic. It was even more magical when I tried it on my iPhone — a Dick Tracy moment. And it was more impressive than FaceTime because it allowed me to talk to anyone with Skype, not just with those who had an iPhone.

Today, Skype will likely begin to be lost in the maw that is Microsoft. Sure, Microsoft still remains one of the most valuable companies this country has ever produced but aside from the XBox, it hasn’t been on the leading edge of innovation in many years. Apple, Google and companies like Facebook and Twitter are seen at the forefront of the digital age. Microsoft, in comparison, seems like the once great star athlete, a Michael Jordan attempting to regain some glory by playing minor league baseball.

The best case scenario here is that Microsoft rolls Skype into a product like Kinect, which hasn’t quite taken the world by storm, and becomes a simple, easy to use videoconferencing device for the living room, that takes us beyond just hunching over our computers to interact with our friends who are far away.

Fear, loathing and apathy about digital security

Anthony De Rosa
Apr 27, 2011 17:19 UTC

Is Facebook just an elaborate direct marketer’s masterwork? Should I think twice before using my existing Twitter account to log into various services all around the web? Should I be worried about handing my credit card over to Sony? These and other perfectly valid and  simultaneously conspiracy theoretical ideas tend to float in and around my head from time to time. The big scare du-jour, is if Apple’s iPhone and Google’s mobile OS, Android, are tracking and archiving our every movement.

A journalistic tennis match on this topic took place over the course of the last few days. First, this is old news. Apple responded to congress regarding this almost a year ago. Digital forensics specialists have known you could track locations on iOS devices for some time, and have used the data to assist law enforcement. Alex Levinson, an RIT student, even published a research paper and subsequent book last December detailing data acquisition techniques for iOS products, like the iPhone and iPad. He says that Apple is not collecting the data.

The Wall Street Journal added Google to the mix, citing that Apple is not alone in the practice of collecting user information. Julia Angwin at the Journal claims that not only are Apple and Google collecting the data and storing it locally on the phone, but they actually regularly transmit their locations back to Apple and Google. The endgame? Angwin believes they’re racing to build a massive database of location information in order to tap the $2.9 billion market for location-based services. Today, Apple seemed to indicate that was part of their plan, as they revealed they’re building a crowd-sourced traffic service.

Our transforming news habits

Anthony De Rosa
Mar 18, 2011 16:47 UTC

Newsrooms are transforming to a great degree because the way we consume and create news is changing. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is check my Twitter. I know I can rely on my Twitter Lists, which I’ve carefully curated to be finely focused by reliable sources, both traditional and non-traditional, from the ground and from newsrooms.

In a highly un-scientific poll, with answers coming from Twitter, which again will skew the answers biased toward the medium of Twitter, I asked folks where they go first thing in the morning to check what happened overnight:

[<a href="http://storify.com/antderosa/morning-news" mce_href="http://storify.com/antderosa/morning-news" target="blank">View the story "Morning News" on Storify]</a>

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