So I just loaded the new iOS app Showyou on my iPad. It’s basically Flipboard for video, in that it combs your facebook and twitter feeds for video links, then shows them to you in a single spot.
Anyway, Showyou. It’s nice enough, and it does what it says it does. It’s got two viewing modes: a grid-view, and a list view that for some reason only showed me two videos that Liz Gannes shared somewhere. I’m honestly not making either of those things up.
While the grid, with its differently-sized screenshots of the video, looks nice enough, it scrolls both vertically AND horizontally, such that you kind of just slide around aimlessly looking at videos. And when you scroll, it takes a second to update, and you get the checkerboard. Now, I may be an old man who’s currently drunk — that’s more than a little likely — but this is confusing. Scrolling around I have no idea if I’ve seen all there is to offer. Where the crap am I in this goddamn grid? I have no idea. Constraining the scrolling to a single axis would make it pretty and stop it from being confusing.
Regarding the list view, I’m assuming that’s supposed to be the less-fun-but-more-usable viewing mode, but honestly, it showed me links to two videos shared by Liz Gannes, and while I tried to scroll past, it wouldn’t show me anything more.
TechCrunch wrote about Showyou, and Scoble made the first comment, chastising Aaarrrrrington et al for not giving it more ink, or recognizing it’s “one of the most important new iPad apps.” Really, Scoble? One of the most important apps? Because it lets you look at links people are already sharing with you? What makes this important? Ever the self-promoter, Scoble links to his own blog, so that TechCrunch readers can see the proper technique for a blowjob — if your knees aren’t bleeding, you’re doing it wrong — where he goes on and on about the importance of AirPlay. Is AirPlay a big deal? No, not yet, because you need to have an Apple TV to get the full living-room experience, and most people don’t even know the thing exists. But he personally likes it, so he thinks it’ll be a huge success. Judging by many of his past comments, he actually thinks that his liking a thing will make it a huge success.
Scoble, you arrogant twat, most people aren’t like you. They don’t have twenty-seven boxes connected to their TV. They don’t want that. They’re still trying to get used to the goddamn magical intensity of the iPad that they’ve owned for a year. And since AirPlay isn’t yet open, it’s not going anywhere. If TVs themselves supported it, sure, but that system failed when it was called DLNA, and despite your incomprehensible assertion that it failed was because the iPad didn’t exist and didn’t support it, it failed because in general, not enough things had it, so you couldn’t reliably use the fucking thing, and so no user would get into the habit of using it, if they ever had the right combination of gear to use it in the first place.
I don’t know why I’m getting upset at Scoble. It’s not like he’s even remotely credible when it comes to technology: after all, this is the guy who, in his conversation about why AirPlay is so fantastic and will totally catch on, said:
RSS was NOT open, by the way. It was largely controlled first by Netscape and later by Dave Winer. It was a standard that was made popular by Dave Winer and his company UserLand. It became a defacto standard because everyone started using it. The same way people are already starting to adopt AirPlay (thanks Rob Mitchell for the Lifehacker links that demonstrate such).
RSS is a de-facto standard that any developer can use. That doesn’t mean it’s open. Dave Winer controls it.
Of course, father of RSS Dave Winer stepped in and defended his honor, saying:
Scoble, RSS was and is completely open. Someone creates everything. Please.
Scoble did not respond to this.
Seriously, getting upset at his portrayal of technology is like criticizing the specifics of your infant child’s plans for a rocketship to Mars: Scoble thinks that a freely published spec for a text file isn’t open, and that Dave Winer is sitting in some goddamn castle somewhere, rubbing his fingers together cackling over all the control he has over it. And thinks that a proprietary piece of tech made by Apple is somehow more open an accessible than a free and clear spec for text files.
I could write down all of Scoble’s technical expertise on a single sheet of paper, then be able to use the entire paper to write something worthwhile, because it would still be blank.
You hear all over the place, when people point out that Android is outselling the iPhone, a raucous “But you’re comparing a whole range of Android phones to One. Single. iPhone!”
First of all, no they aren’t: there’s more than one model of iPhone.
That said, it sure feels like there’s only one model of iPhone. My close, personal friend Steve Jobs sells everyone the singular phone style with the singular design that he personally wants, because he likes simplicity, and as the head of the company, why wouldn’t he make what he would prefer to use? Anyway, the heart of this argument is quite simple, quite wrong, and quite American-centric. Jerks says this:
“You’re comparing the sales of a bunch of phones on multiple carriers to one phone on one carrier!”
First of all, the iPhone is available on multiple carriers in a given country all over the world, so this bullcrap about iPhone being held back globally because it’s on one carrier in the US is idiotic at best, and insulting to everyone who isn’t a goddamn American, which, spoiler alert, is most of the planet.
Second, you’re comparing one company’s offering to another company’s offering. Do people making this argument really think that if Google put out only a single phone, like Apple does, that they’d sell a small amount? Crap no, they’d sell more of that one phone because there’s only one phone to choose from! Similarly, if Steve decided to release phones in different form factors, he wouldn’t triple or quadruple sales of iPhones; he’d simply be reducing the number of sales per phone, because he’d be dividing his customer base across multiple phones, which Android is doing.
Sure, there’d be some crapping reduction if Android was only on one phone, and some increase if Apple made more than one style of iPhone, but that’d be those few who would get an iPhone because it finally has a hardware keyboard, or who wouldn’t get an Android because it doesn’t have a hardware keyboard. But the effect on sales would be minimal.
The single-product thing that Steve does makes it look like a single phone is some unstoppable juggernaut, but that’s just a matter of perception; the platform is an unstoppable juggernaut, and “journalists” who fail to make that distinctions are idiots who should shut up.
Rather than being so terribly goddamn mean to you all as to expect you to read this article by Steve Cheney about how no, seriously, you guys, the iPhone is coming to Verizon in January, I will instead summarize it for you:
No one believes the Verizon iPhone rumors anymore because they’re dumb. I’ve got a Verizon iPhone rumor, too! You should believe it because even though I state in my opening paragraph that people don’t believe the rumors any more because of how old and how consistently wrong they’ve been, this time it’s TOTALLY different, because I’m speculating! None of the other rumor-spreading people speculated before; they just made baseless guesses. They didn’t speculate like me!
In a TechCrunch post yesterday about the implications of Facebook’s new internet-wide “Like” system, MG Seigler nails it:
Facebook’s intentions very clear: they want to be the fabric of the web.
I’m about to soil my beautiful track suit (lucky for me it’s already brown!). Didn’t I say just yesterday that Zuckerberg was a menace? If I didn’t say it explicitly, let me say it now: Mark Zuckerberg is a pimply-faced menace, the little bastard.
I’m not going to take this lying down, because my close, personal friend Steve Jobs is in the process of trying to destroy the internet because it’s open, and open is bad. Closed applications on the iTunes store are good. Do you know what side of that particular fence Zuckerman is on? That’s right: he’s on the bad side, and if Steve says the net has to go down, then it has to go down, which means that Mike Zuckerman must be stopped!
There some fascinating stats coming out of Facebook’s f8 conference (techcrunch has a bunch of coverage). For example, did you know that Mark Zuckerberg’s penis is only 1″ long? And that he sleeps upside down in a jar of his own urine? And that he masturbates himself to sleep every night looking at pictures of Bill Gates? It’s possibly true!