Jim Dalrymple on the Apple television

From TechPinions:

That’s the type of challenge Apple faces in the television market or any other market it enters. Apple will try to solve the current problems, while advancing what consumers can do. The home entertainment market needs to be shaken up and it will take a company that isn’t afraid to change the status quo to do it.

Some people think Apple will release a television with new menus or Siri integration. I don’t believe they are thinking big enough. If Apple enters that market they will disrupt it and change it forever.

Jim is absolutely right. If Apple enters the TV market, it won’t be with a fancy 1080p screen that has the Apple TV interface with Siri built in. It will change the entire market with a content distribution system unlike anything available today. Any less than that wouldn’t be worth Apple’s time.

Blogs worth paying for

I’ve always wanted to be a patron of the arts, the kind of guy where the rising painter unveils his work and says, “And all of this was made possible by the generosity of our host for the evening, MR. RUSSELL!”

Unfortunately, I am neither wealthy enough nor educated enough about art to pay for any young talent’s work. I am however, an avid reader and geek. I can tell you when a blogger is good at putting out interesting content on a regular basis and whether or not they have a style of their own or are just regurgitating press releases from Engadget/The Verge/TechCrunch/etc. 

And supporting these guys is pretty damn affordable. So if you’re like me and derive most of your enjoyment from homegrown blogs written by one or two guys, maybe you should think about sending a few bucks their way so that they don’t have to give up on this whole writing thing. Some blogs I’ve decided are worth paying for:

daringfireball.net  – While Gruber’s obviously raking in the money with his ads and RSS sponsorships, the quality of his writing and his connections at Apple make buying the t-shirts he sells every few months a no-brainer.

curiousrat.com – A less well-known blog than the others listed here, Harry Mark’s RSS feed is always full of snarky and insightful writing that pretty much skewers at least one lazy journalist per day.

512pixels.net – I love this blog because Stephen Hackett isn’t your average technology writer. He isn’t in the Bay Area and he’s actually worked on the front lines as an Apple Genius. 

loopinsight.com – A great Apple blog, but also a great source of funny/interesting videos and articles on topics ranging from music to new Heineken beer bottle designs. The free music Jim linked to from SXSW (over 7 gigs, all legal!) alone ensured my subscription for at least the next year.

My next iPhone will be prepaid and unsubsidized

As you may have heard, it’s been announced that Virgin Mobile will be offering the iPhone 4S as a prepaid phone with plans starting as low as $30 per month that include unlimited data. This is following a similar announcement several days ago that Cricket will be offering the iPhone with plans starting at $55 per month. The only downside to either of these options is that the phones are sold unsubsidized (in the case of Virgin) or only slightly subsidized (in the case of Cricket).

This means that instead of only paying $200 up front for the iPhone, you’re paying upwards of $500 for the device itself. While this might be a tough pill for some to swallow, the fact of the matter is that either of these options are steals compared to the offerings from the major carriers. To demonstrate, let me do some basic math.

On my plan at Verizon, I pay roughly $100 a month for 2 GBs of data, unlimited texting, and 450 minutes. Combined with the $200 phone itself, this results in a total cost of about $2600 for the entirerty of my 2-year contract. Compare this to a comparable plan on Virgin Mobile: $30 a month plus the $650 for phone results in a two year cost of only $1370.

That’s an insane bargain. Honestly, if Sprint starts rolling out their LTE network by the time Virgin Mobile gets the new iPhone (which I assume will be some time after the major carriers), I see no reason for me not to break my contract with Verizon to jump on the Virgin train.