Tag Archives: apple

Here’s to the Nerds

Dear Steve,

Thank you for leading the revolution that brought us into this golden digital age.

Thank you for creating products that have made my world smaller and more accessible.

Thank you for showing me that it’s not the level of education you achieve, it’s how you use it that matters.

Thank you for creating devices that have enabled me to maintain friendships and relationships around the world without concern for distance or cost or time.

Thank you for giving me new technology that has amazed me and inspired me and allowed me to be creative in new and innovative ways.

Thank you for empowering me with your awe-inspiring devices. They have allowed me to progress farther in my career that I ever could have thought possible.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to play The Oregon Trail on an Apple IIE. And my mother sends her thanks for all of the Printshop cards she received, mostly on Tuesdays, because that’s when computer class was scheduled.

Thank you for being a genius, and a smart ass, and a rebel and for obsessing over the details that would shape the world as we see it. For having never met you, I am profoundly sad at your loss.

Here’s to the Crazy Ones

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” – Steve Jobs

With deep gratitude,

Amanda Smyth Connor

The Tablet Wars Begin


Wired reports an interesting development for the Amazon Kindle. Amazon has opened Kindle to third-party software developers to allow them to create apps for Kindle the way people create apps for the iPhone.

Did you know there’s a Kindle app for the iPhone? Wired speculates that Apple and Amazon are simpatico on this, giving one another a mutual benefit in the name of making sales. In Apple’s case, a Kindle app encourages more sales for the iPhone, in Amazon’s case it’s to sell more Kindle publications.

All this could mean very interesting things for the right freelancers. When Kindle apps that deliver web content start surfacing, does that web content come with a fee? Is the dawn of widespread fee-based content delivery via mobile the wave of the future for freelancing? Let’s put on our prognosticator’s hats for a moment and speculate: Continue reading The Tablet Wars Begin

Blogging: Apple Just Changed the Game

apple changes blog publishing foreverby Joe Wallace

Apple just changed the blog game forever. Mark my words, this is the future of publishing, blogging, you name it.

It’s not the ENTIRE future, but rest assured, we are staring at a whole new playing field here, and it’s a game-changer. How much money do you have to spend on developing an iPhone app?

Wired reports a subtle, but important shift in Apple Store policy. Now, free apps can contain for-sale content. This means in-app commerce, it means a shift in the way published material is delivered, and most importantly, it has the potential to render blogs like this one almost obsolete unless we mutate to keep up.

From the Wired article:

“Previously, in-app commerce was a feature exclusive to paid apps; free apps were not permitted to sell content.” Innocuous enough, you say. But read on, freelancer. It gets exciting AND daunting. I myself am pondering the net effects of this and how to best get on top of it before the stampede.

And there WILL be a stampede once the implications are clearly understood.

See, publications like CNN sell an app for a couple of bucks, but most now give theirs away for free. The idea behind an iPhone app is that you can get content from your favorite source delivered to the phone–but NOW you can get a combination of free AND premium content. The new rules allow this, where as before only for-pay apps could offer for-pay content.

Read the Wired article and you’ll begin to understand why this is such an exciting, scary, groundbreaking development for blogs, online publishing and the industry in general.

Welcome to publishing, 3.0.

Incase Power Slider for iPhone 3G

incase power slider iphone 3Gby Joe Wallace

We haven’t test-driven the Incase Power Slider yet, but the potential for this third-party phone case/battery pack is just what the doctor ordered for iPhone addicts at Freelance-Zone.  The Incase Power Slider is two things in one–a protective case for the iPhone 3G, plus a battery pack which the marketing hype claims will “more than double” the life of your iPhone battery.

I won’t go so far as to say that all good freelancers should be using the iPhone, since there are Sprint products which rival the iPhone 3G’s ability to stay connected, respond to editors, and keep you in the game no matter where you go. But some of us are Mac addicts, plain and simple. The Incase Power Slider does add a bit of bulk to the phone (based on customer reviews I’ve been poring over) but no more than you might expect from any other third-party addon for the iPhone. One customer review warns of increased heat from the unit when charging, so it seems best to babysit the Incase for the first couple of charges until you know what to expect.

The idea that I can get double the amount of surf and talk time out of my iPhone 3g is pretty tempting. The Incase Power Slider sells for about $80, a worthy investment if the reviews are to be believed. I’m getting one…look for a review in this space soon.

Five New Year’s Resolutions

Sure, it’s a few weeks early to be obsessing over New Year’s resolutions, but here are my current five favorites for 2009:

5. Pay attention to my back.  2008 has been full of bad ergonomics, couch-slouching with the laptop and overall crappy posture. If I want to be writing comfortably at my desk for any length of time, I’m going to have to pay more attention to good ergonomics. Otherwise, I’ll wind up looking with a nickname like “Jerry the Pretzel Boy”.

4. Stop working around the clock. Another bad habit I fell into late this year. Writers go freelance presumably so they can have a life. Where’s mine? Oh, there it is, buried under those deadlines over there. Smell the roses, you.

3. Exercise more. This one ties directly into #5. The mind-body connection cannot be ignored when it comes to cranking out good, dependable material…unless you are Hunter S. Thompson…and he’s dead now. So what’s MY excuse?

2. Buy a damn filing cabinet. All of 2008’s receipts are currently overflowing out of TWO boxes, and it’s a shameful state of affairs. Organization is the key to good record keeping.

1. Buy an iPhone. Yes, I plan on becoming ONE of THEM. Tully beat me to it on this one, usually I’m more geeked out than that. This year they caught me napping.

I currently plan on keeping ALL these resolutions…but especially #1. If I do nothing else next year, the iPhone is on the list. THEN I’ll climb Kilamanjaro, cure an infectious disease and spread world peace.

TheStreet.com Speculates: Another iPhone Price Cut


If you’re like us, it’s killing you that you don’t have an iPhone yet. That said, some of us Freelance-Zoners aren’t early adopters of ANYTHING, and until iPhone functionality improves more than a few of us will be waiting for another iteration of this wonderful gizmo before we invest any freelance dollars.

If you are an early adopter but haven’t picked one up yet, there’s an interesting report from TheStreet.com, where reporter Priya Ganapati speculates another fifty dollar price cut could be coming. According to Ganapati, Apple needs to boost demand for the iPhone, and could go as low as $299 if it really wanted to–but it doesn’t need to boost demand quite that much, so the higher price point is still in your future.

TheStreet.com video is interesting from a writing perspective because it indulges in one of my personal pet peeves–a news outlet interviewing one of its own reporters as a subject matter expert. I’ll give props to TheStreet for not dressing up this clip as anything more than pure speculation, which I can’t say of some of the major networks out there. Attention writers; if you want to speculate go ahead and do it. But do NOT follow the very bad examples of network news types who interview their own paid staffers and present them in ways that don’t tell the whole truth.

Pay attention the next time you see a reporter interviewed by one of their fellow reporters. You’ll notice that no special claims are made to insider knowledge, but by the same token the networks deliberately fail to point out what’s obvious to any professional in the industry–there’s no news happening here, this is reporter speculation only, not even so much as an anonymous tipster source to lend weight to the discussion. These interviews by omission have the potential to be quite misleading.

Getting back to Apple for a moment, I find it telling that they keep chopping away at the price of the iPhone. If that doesn’t send a clear message NOT to be an early adopter unless you have scads of cash floating around, I don’t know what does.