Kindle v. iPad for ereader? Kindle, apparently.

Being an Apple fan I have to admit I’ve always scoffed at the Kindle; why would anyone pay a couple hundred dollars for this thing when they could buy an iPod Touch for the same price or an iPad for a bit more and get so much more functionality in the bargain. Now, after seeing a comparison of the Kindle and iPad displays under a microscope, as well as both compared to printed text under magnification, I understand — the text on the Kindle is much, much more like printed text.

Oh, and just in case you’re thinking that the iPhone 4 makes these comparisons moot b/c of its famed “retina display,” think again. It’s far better than its predecessors, but still all pixellated compared to the Kindle.

(Original link via Daring Fireball.)

iPhoneless , but…

It’s going on two months since I gave my iPhone a coffee and cream bath. I put it in rice for a few days and it seemed to work fine for a day, then… Gone. When it will turn on, it reboots itself randomly. When it’s not rebooting itself, app store apps don’t launch. The phone won’t ring and if I make a call the phone freezes when I hang up. Grrr.

I thought maybe if I took it apart I could see where the coffee was and try to clean it out. I bought an iPhone battery and repair kit with screwdriver and suction cup and “spudgers” and got to work. Using these helpful directions from iFixit, and these, I pulled everything apart and replaced the battery. While inside, I looked for evidence of coffee or cream residue but saw nothing obvious. I hoped maybe just the new battery would do the trick, but, well, no. It seems to reboot less, and it holds a charge better, and the battery monitor displays correctly when it’s charging or not (which wasn’t true before), but it still doesn’t work.

As a final effort, I tried a restore to factory settings and that wouldn’t work. First I got error 1603, then error 1013. The latter apparently indicates “a hardware issue with your device.” You think? Yeah, thanks.

So now the thing is truly a brick. The operating system got wiped and it won’t restore. At this point it doesn’t seem to even turn on anymore. *sigh*

Good thing my very own iPhone 4 just arrived in Chicago this morning, huh?

iPhone comming

Should You Upgrade your Old iPhone or iPod Touch to iOS4?

Apparently not. Some people are having problems upgrading. To me, the bigger reason to stay with iOS 3 is the reports that iOS 4 will make an iPhone 3G even slower than it already is. And for what? Folders? No thanks. I already have digital zoom with the Camera Plus app (not to mention video). I’m sure iOS 4 is great — if you have the hardware it was designed for. I don’t and since my only real complaint about the iPhone 3G is that it’s so damned slow, the last thing I want to do is slow it down even more.

Welcome to the corpocracy

Why Does Everything Suck (WDES) asks an excellent question:

Why is it so easy for these huge private companies to get law enforcement to do their bidding?

WDES is referring specifically to Apple, Inc., and AT&T, suggesting that they have somehow managed to get the local police force in Cupertino, CA, and the federal officials of the FBI, respectively, to do their bidding.

First, Apple had its fourth generation iPhone prototype stolen and an editor of the website that purchased the stolen phone has been investigated by local law enforcement. No charges have been filed, but there appear to be grounds for charges related to purchase and/or possession of stolen property. WDES is wrong that “what law enforcement is really doing here is creating a punishment for having exposed Apple’s secret.” It seems very likely that the police had probable cause to believe that a crime had been committed and the cops have duly investigated. As Jason Calcanis put it:

If you offer to pay someone for stolen goods you are, well, a criminal (or, if you prefer, a fence, as Loren Feldman pointed out in his excellent video on the subject (http://bit.ly/aouSzB). A fence is someone who buys stolen goods for resale later. In this case the later resale is page views and more importantly inbound links, which considering the SEO value makes the $5,000 at a heck of a bargin. Gizmodo and Gawker have made $10M worth of media on this–literally. If you even could buy the air time on TV, radio and the print space they’ve gotten it would cost tens of millions of dollars. Nick Denton is a genius who knows this–and that is why he did this.

That said, WDES is probably right that if this was just another case of a stolen cell phone, the cops wouldn’t be lifting a finger here.

As far as the AT&T matter goes, I’m less well informed so I can’t comment about it. Whatever is going on with that case, the fact remains that huge, private corporations can get both law enforcement and governments to do their bidding because law enforcement agencies and governments have been captured by, and now exist almost entirely for, the benefit of corporations.

Welcome to the corpocracy, our current society, “where the interests of large corporations control economic and political decisions.” If you doubt this is where you live, look no further than the huge bank bailouts of 2008, the auto industry bailouts of 2008, and, most recently, the BP slush fund of 2010. Look to Republican Representative (TX) Joe Barton apologizing to BP for the government’s efforts to make that corporation pay for its crimes. The list goes on and on.

So in answer to WDES’s question: We are all slaves to “the economy” and “the market.” If something is good for private corporations, it’s good for you. If it’s bad for corporations, it’s bad for you, too! Got it? Good.

iPhone law

Browsing around the iPhone app store I noticed one of the “hot” apps is BarMax MPRE, a free MPRE prep course for your iphone. With lectures, flashcards, and multiple choice questions, it claims “you get everything you need to pass the MPRE for free. No strings attached.” According to the reviews in the app store, that’s true — at least for some people. Of course, it’s also a good advertisement for the BarMax California bar prep course for iPhone, which costs a cool $999.00. Wow. Eleven people have given that app 5 stars and one said he/she passed the bar exam using the program. Really?

You might be reluctant to trust your preparation for the bar exam to an iPhone app, but there are many other great apps out there for law school and lawyers. iPhoneJ.D. has reviewed many of them; in fact, it appears Jeff has reviewed 163 apps and counting. Some of the best I’ve found are Fastcase and Lawstack, two legal research apps, and the FRE on your phone. Recently I also found Illinois Statutes, which is exactly what it suggests — IL law in your pocket. It’s awesome to have the whole code at your fingertips, except, well, judges and bailiffs often don’t like it when you’re playing with your phone in court. Also, my phone is just too slow for “quick” searches. It’s great to have it there if you get in a pinch, but its actual utility value is kind of low.

What we all need is fast access to legal databases in the courtroom. Will it ever happen?