Mountain Lions, Face books and time travel

Take 1:

Installed Mountain Lion on my iMac today. For long, my iMac had been running terribly slow, perhaps due to the lack of a proper reboot, which I carefully tend to avoid except during a software upgrade. And today finally, when it almost decided to give up on me, I finagled the courage to install a new OS.

First impression – It should be rechristened as iOS for Mac and no more as Mac OS X. The similarities are amazingly obvious.

Some of the more positive features:
The easiness of iCloud.
The launchpad search – Does that ring a bell (?)
Integration of all your Macs registered under the same username – synching up apps across multiple macs have become amazingly easy. Yet another feature borrowed from iOS.
Notification – Although I’m yet to figure out how much I would use this on a laptop or a desktop, as much as my other mobile devices.

Skeptical:
Not sure how my VMWare fusion would work. I had a trial version and I’m downloading the full version now. An upgrade to Lion actually broke it the first time.

Take 2:

Rubbing salt to Facebook misery, a start-up says 80% of Facebook ads are from bots. As the pressure to increase/report revenues seem to catch up with Facebook, the acts such as charging for clicks have reflected badly.

Take 3:

What would you change in technology, if you could go back in Time? Gizmodo had an interesting discussion that started today. Im waiting to see how far it would go. Im sure there will be a few good reads by the end of the day.

Offbeat:As manic as Mondays have always been, surprisingly the traffic turned out to be less frenzy than usual, while driving to office.

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Tablet with a “real” OS

This was a rather ancient concept – to run tablets with the same OS as a desktop or a laptop. Microsoft toyed with this idea back in 2005. , with rather limited success. And in 2007, a company called Axiotron came up with a tablet that runs on Mac OS X . But priced at around $2300, for a 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo, this did not fly well either. User community somehow could not grasp the fact that a gadget as small, was pricier than a laptop with a better processor. Times have changed since then. With tablets leading the sales over the desktops and laptops, Axiotron decided to relaunch the tablet, but this time under a different company name – Modbook Inc . The Modbook Pro as it is unsurprisingly called, the tablet looks a lot classier than its previous version. It comes in two configurations at 2.5GHz and 2.9GHz. Priced tentatively at $1100 – $1300 and capable of dual booting to Windows 7 as well, it certainly looks promising.

But as Apple moves its Mac OS X closer to iOS with every new version released and iPads along with the Android based tablets ruling the consumer market, it could take a while before we know if the product can hold on to its promise of an “ideal take-it-anywhere workstation”. The concept could possible face some road blocks in the enterprise sector as well, where virtual desktops have already made a mark in terms of mobility.

The era of digital identity

MacRumors announced yesterday that Apple won the patent for Near Field Communications based iTransport , an app that could transform the way the world identifies you! Although this was long pending, there was an air of unusual caution thrown by Apple in regards to the concept of mobile payment. So when Passbook digital wallet app was announced as part of the iOS6 last month, I bet there was a sigh of relief among the Apple fans, who were on the verge of losing hope. According to MacRumors, there was also an unexpected level of details put forth by Apply as part of the patent for an application that still remains a concept, perhaps due to the sensitivity of the materials that it may potentially contain in the future – credit cards, passport data, driver’s license, what all and what not.

The concept of digital wallet is not new. It’s potential was identified back in 2004 when Nokia, Philips and Sony established the NFC Forum . And in 2010, Google along with Samsung announced the first NFC enabled phone – a Samsung Nexus S running on Gingerbread version of Android . Near Field Communication, or NFC as it is lovingly called, is a protocol used in smartphones, or any mobile device for that matter, to establish a two-way communication between each other, when touched or brought within a close proximity. Unlike the pairing in bluetooth and the configurations in a Wifi communication, NFC’s ease to setup is perhaps its best selling point. In 2005, Mastercard started rolling out EMV (Europay Mastercard Visa) compatible wireless payment feature through its MasterCard Paypass and it spread like wildfire with banks latching on to the paypass feature on their credit cards. But it was not until 2011 when google announced its Google Wallet , that the concept of using mobile phones to make a payment “without a swipe” started to take shape.

Soon it burgeoned, through key fabs, mobile tags, and of course the smartphone apps. And with iTransport, this “magical” concept might just be elevated to whole new level, if digital documents become a reality. Now, before you go dreaming any further, there are quite a few obvious challenges, one of them and perhaps the biggest of them all being the security threats that it can impose. Being able to wirelessly transfer a passport, a driver’s license or a social security information can present a happy hunting ground for identity thieves . And that in itself can make its acceptance among common man (consumers as they call it) a herculean task. So going back to what I said earlier, Apple coming forward with a rather unusually detailed patent on its iTransport application could just be a way to build that confidence amongst the consumers. Or would it just open up a whole new can of identity theft crisis? I guess only Time can tell what is in storeā€¦