Hey, who unplugged AT&T’s data network, what’s the impact to the iPhone?

Apple_iphone_adsFull disclosure: this is not a knock against the iPhone. Yes, it is an amazing device, so don’t roast me without reading to the end. 😉

Having said that: I was wondering how useful the iPhone is when you don’t have WiFi or EDGE and was going to write a post on it over the weekend. Sure you can view or listen to your stored media, take notes, edit contacts, etc….but since the iPhone platform is relegated to Safari-based apps for third-parties, what happens when you don’t have connectivity? I decided against writing the post because I felt that the situation of zero connectivity was very rare, say on an airplane or something. Today’s events changed my mind and cause me to ask the question again. And not just for the iPhone, I’m really talking about any Internet-based platform. In case you missed it, AT&T appears to have experienced a nationwide EDGE outage today.

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TiVo & The Pop-Up Ads, Why?

In the early days of digital video recorders when folks like Michael Lewis would write tomes in praise of TiVo and its ability to skip ads. We seem to have come a full circle – now TiVo is experimenting with pop-up advertisements. Funny – how life turns out! The way I see it, TiVo is saying, well my ads are better than network ads. Perhaps – but to me, if you are charging $12.95 a month for the TiVo service, I feel, ads are intrusion into my time and space. I did not sign-up for that, and hence don’t want it.

Musing about this, I wondered if TiVo will be able to serve ads on the Comcast network? If no, then isn’t that service a better option for consumers. No device to buy, and no ads and a price point which eventually might be lower than what TiVo charges. I had suggested a premium strategy for TiVo. That idea won’t fly. This experiment runs the risk of antagonizing the TiVoted. Engadget says, they are still testing the ads, and it will be sometime before all users experience the misery. “One slightly mitigating factor: apparently you’re allowed to banish the ad by pressing the “Clear” button on your remote,” Engadget says.

PVRBlog is none too happy either and they write, “The way the ads appear now, it almost looks like your TiVo has been hacked by an outsider. TiVo’s UI and software engineers do some beautiful work, agonizing and testing each and every option, and customers are used to the friendly, eye-catching software, but this looks like something they were forbidden from working on.” There is more fear and loathing in TiVoLand. I think this might give alternatives, particularly Microsoft Media Center to gain traction with more independent minded folks. TiVo has to make decision, and soon: it has to either be an ad-delivery mechanism, or a service that makes television’s passivity more enjoyable. It cannot do both.

Jobs is the new Frank Lloyd Wright

David Galbraith: Apple is a great vindication of ballsyness rather than MBAness. Jobs is our generation’s Frank Lloyd Wright. That Apple is doing well is also a great vindication of everyday people over faceless corporations. When companies buy laptops they buy boring thing like Dells on the assumption that they are reliable, not Apple’s which look too flashy. What Apple owners know is that their product is plain better. … The opposite of this is what is taught at business schools – i.e. to create a culture of products based upon understanding the market, rather than vision and innovation.

Well said David!