Comparative Review of Instacast HD and Downcast

When I installed iOS 5 on my iPad, I was shocked to see that the iPod app was missing! Ugh! When I finally understood what they did, my first reaction was that Apple is now pimping their music store for iPod/iPhone/iPad and their video store for Apple TV. In the process, they chose to throw the podcast world under the bus. It’s their right but, since my preferences are quite different, I knew that I needed to enter the 3rd party podcast player market right away.

I looked at the market and chose Downcast, which remains my pick. Downcast is great but not perfect. On my original iPad, its slow to update and switch to the selected podcast. Also, if you request the chapter markers (e.g., MacCast), it displays them in a pop-up window, but it is sent to the back if you touch a control or anything in the main UI. And it displays the cumulative times of the start of each segment rather than their lengths. So, there is a bit of room for improvement. That’s where I’m coming from.

Windows 8: The Schizophrenic OS from Microsoft

Windows 8 is external evidence of deep internal conflict within a company. One part of Microsoft wants to get into the tablet market in the worst way, but another part of the company needs to hold onto Windows. This conflict is played out in the design decisions in Windows 8. It is a tablet OS for those who do not want a post-PC device: It is for building a Windows PC in a tablet form factor. Who wants that?? Anybody???

Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson

Yes, the bio was a disapointment but I don’t think it’s the end of the world. The best critique I’ve seen was by John Siracusa, on the Hypercritical podcast (episodes 42 and 43.) There was none of this “bending over backwards” in order to meet conventional expectations.

Yes, Isaacson blew it. Steve was a rare idividual who merits a true “definitive” biography. He was unique but this wasn’t it. Here’s one reason why.



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