Live in the Kwinix Podcasting Studio for the first time. Firefox logo captured by the Hubble, more ranting on the iPhone and Apple’s general threat to Microsoft’s dominance, SPB Mobile Shell and Pocket Plus, Windows is collapsing, Myka BitTorrent appliance, and more ranting about how much Microsoft is behind the curve. Plus our Items of the Week and Tips of the Week.

Listen Now:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Direct Download:

Switchcast 003: Live! [64 kbps MP3, 20.8 MB, 45:15]

Firefox logo captured by hubble telescope

One of these is a photograph taken by the Hubble space telescope on December 17, 2002, featuring the variable star V838 Monocerotis. The other is the same photograph overlaid with a familiar logo. Can you tell which is which? Below is another photo of the same star, from the Wikipedia entry on V838 Monocerotis. If the above photo has been photoshopped to look more like the Firefox logo, the editing seems minimal: it’s been rotated relative to the photo below, and some of the gas cloud may have been edited out around the “tail” of the fox. If you’ve got a link to the original Hubble photo used above, let us know in the comments so we can compare. UPDATE: An eagle-eyed commenter, Wevah, spotted the original version of the Firefox-like nova photo on Wikipedia. It looks like the only modification was to rotate the image. It must be a sign from the stars! -Tim [via Wired, see Wikipedia and Wikipedia]

Tech companies: how not to market your new iPhone killer

  1. Do not announce that your device is a ‘killer.’
    This one seems pretty obvious. You instantly draw comparisons and have essentially raised the bar – in my opinion, setting yourself up for failure.
  2. Do not announce that you have a ‘killer’ before you even have a device to show at all.
    Vaporware! Announcing things at a trade show a YEAR before it’s scheduled to be released. I dont’ have a specific example of this but it happens all the time. Sure Apple pre-announces things…for real products.
  3. Do not compete on just hardware specs alone
    Let me reiterate – the iPhone isn’t about the hardware alone. It also has to do with software…iTunes integration…the Apple platform. If you can duplicate the iPhone’s features, great. But there’s a lot more to the iPhone than just the features of the phone itself.
  4. It has to be a smaller, more svelte device
    More features do not justify more bulk. Imagine the firestorm Apple would find itself in if they release a 3g iPhone with GPS, stereo bluetooth, etc. and it was bulkier than the old model. I think we all expect it to be at least thinner – we’ll probably have to wait until WWDC to find out. -Ben [via BloggingStocks]

SPB mobile shell and pocket plus

  • traveler Spb Traveler will help you in your business trips as well as in a travel. It provides information about more than 10 000 cities world-wide. You will never get lost on this planet with services like up-to-date weather forecast and currency exchange rates and useful tools like unit converter and flight assistant.
  • insight Spb Insight is a news reading application that gives a rich offline experience along with an easy interface and full RSS/Atom support. With Spb Insight you’ll always have all the latest information, right in your pocket, with images and whole articles, yet fully optimized for small screen viewing.
  • Phone Suite Spb Phone Suite is a collection of all phone features you missed in Windows Mobile. These are features like profiles, call filtering, missed call notifications, reject and reply with SMS, etc.
  • Weather Spb Weather is the most powerful weather forecast Today plug-in. You can customize weather views, skins and even the data source and run Spb Weather as a tab in Spb Pocket Plus.
  • Diary Handy organizer on your Today screen. Tabs for Calendar, Tasks, Contacts, Notes and Messages. Clear, intuitive customizable interface. Deep integration into Pocket Outlook and its popular replacements.
  • Time Spb Time is an advanced skinnable time tool set for your Pocket PC. Analog and digital clock modes, World clock, timers and stopwatches are combined in one application.
  • Spb Imageer Spb Imageer provides photo viewing, editing, optimizing, and sharing on the go. Equipped with an incredibly rich set of features, Spb Imageer will make your work with images fast and fun.
  • Spb Finance is a financial manager that you can carry in your pocket. You don’t have to write down all your day’s expenses and transfer them to your desktop PC financial manager later. Enter your expenses into Spb Finance on the spot and forget about them, Spb Finance will remember them for you. Entering a transaction is a two-click business, since Spb Finance has a built-in autocompletion feature. -Tim

Mac OS, iPhone a “threat” to MSFT dominance

Apparently Leopard-specific features like Spaces and OS X’s ability to run Windows apps via Bootcamp, VMware Fusion, and Parallels is, according to Business Week’s Gary Morgenthaler, loosening a “20-year death grip” on Microsoft’s dominance of the PC market. Also iPhone 2.0 will further demonstrate the importance of the relationship between OS X on the desktop and OS X on the mobile device. Sure iPhones can sync with Windows but with OS X they’ll be able to do a whole lot more. There’s a clear advantage to running the same OS on all your devices. The article also mentions technical reasons why this points to an advantage of Apple over Microsoft: Vista’s kernel is 1 GB while OS X’s can be pared down to 1 megabyte. -Ben [via MacNN]

Myka bittorrent box

Apple TV take cover, the Myka Bittorrent box is comming. can download and play mpeg2, h.264, wmv, and divx media. via iso hunt for licit and illicit viewing pleasure. connects thru hdmi, s video spdif ethernet and wifi. -Tim

Gartner: Windows is collapsing

Gartner said in a presentation that “Windows as we know it must be replaced.” I couldn’t agree more. It needs to be wiped away in the same way that the underlying architecture of OS 9 was swept away in favor of a modern, stable, scalable, open-source architecture based on BSD. OS X is full UNIX compliant. Windows is fully … Windows compliant. They’re living in their own world and it’s crumbling down around them. Apple and OS X are looking foward, while Microsoft seems to be living in the past with Windows. With credible threats from OS X and other operating systems like Ubuntu Linux, now is the time for Microsoft to take one final stand. If that’s with Windows 7 or something else…it needs to happen. Soon. -Ben [via the Beyond Binary blog on News.com]

Useful Items of the Week

Tim: Compressed Air

Ben: NetNewsWire. Excellent feed reader. Free. Syncs read status between client and server. Server version available as full website and mobile version for iPhone. App supports a lot of cool things like Posting to Delicious, Posting to Blog (via Ecto), sharing, and e-mailing posts. Love it and never looked back at Google Reader.

Tips of the Week

Tim: If you find that the display on your touch screen device is slow to respond to taps or isn’t responding accurately, try realigning it. To do this, go to Start >Settings >System tab >Screen and tap on the Align Screen button. Align Screen asks you to tap on a series of five crosshair icons that appear in the center and four corners of the screen. Be sure to press down on the crosshairs as firmly and accurately as possible to ensure that your screen will be aligned correctly. If you don’t, you may have to tap on the sequence of five crosshairs a second time.

Ben: Mac users: if you are uploading to YouTube, don’t worry about having to go to that website. iMovie’s built-in upload is EXCELLENT and makes the process completely pain-free. It even gives you a link to your newly-uploaded video at completion which may or may not be available yet due to coversion times. As you know, I’m a Vimeo fan, but for speed and ease sometimes it’s quicker just to throw it up on YouTube especially if it’s not a personal home video which all go to Vimeo or Flickr (if 90 seconds or less).

Housekeeping

Don’t forget about The Switchcast on Twitter!