Archive for the 'Technology' Category

Andoid v. iOS Activations/Day

January 25, 2012

Yesterday, Daring Fireball Shared a link to a Matt Richman post which used some calculation to assert that iOS daily activations are outpacing Android daily activations. Based on my numbers, It’s close, but I don’t think that this is the case.

Yesterday, Apple announced that they sold 37,040,000 iPhones and 15,430,000 iPads during Q1 2012. This quarter spans 98 days (14 weeks, Sept. 25 – Dec. 31) rather than the standard 13 week, 91 day Quarter. That’s 52,770,000 iOS devices sold/activated over a 98 day period. There are two obstacles to comparing iOS to Android activations/day:

  • 1) iPod touches sold
  • 2) Lack of concrete Android data.
  • iPod Touches sold

    To determine the number of iPod Touches sold, I was conservative: Apple said over 50% of all iPods sold were iPod Touches, so I calculated it at exactly 50%. 15,400,000 iPods were sold. I assumed that 7,700,000 of them were iPod Touches. Using this calculation, Apple sold 60,170,000 iOS devices over 98 days, coming out to 613,979.6 devices/day. (if you assume iPod Touches were 60% of iPods, the number comes out to 629,693.9 activations/day, 75% would be 652,755.1/day. If 100% of iPods sold were iPod Touches – and we know they aren’t – the number would be 692,551 iOS devices sold per day).

    Android Data

    To determine Android Devices sold/day, I used even less scientific measures: Andy Rubin’s Tweets. He pegged activations/day at 700,000 on Dec. 20 (pretty near the end of Apple’s quarter):


    Based on these stats, last quarter Apple activated between 613,979 to 692,551 iOS devices per day and Android activated 700,000/day.

    This is a pretty big gap, but I made this chart to put things into perspective:

    Android v. iOS Activations/day

    Click for full-size

    *methodology: iPhone and iPad numbers provided in Apple quarterly reports. iPod numbers: 50% of total iPods sold from January 2010 – January 2012, Prior to that, the number of iPod Touches assumes that the iPod has 40% of the iOS market share via this GigaOm analysis. All Android numbers are based on Andy Rubin’s tweets.

    Oh, and if you add up all iOS devices sold to date using the numbers, it comes out to 314,115,666. That’s a very large number.


    PIPA/SOPA: This thing is messed up.

    January 18, 2012

    This isn’t a political blog, and I don’t intend for it to become one. That said, I will post about this issue whenever I see fit.

    So, Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, the internet collective are all in an uproar today about how the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate will endanger the free flow of information online and allow for sites being blocked without due process. I don’t want to go into the whole thing because it’s been said better elsewhere.

    Anyway, a couple weeks ago, I sent a letter to Claire McCaskill my favorite Missouri Senator voicing my concerns about this legislation (unfortunately, I didn’t save what I sent). I was unsure and was having trouble finding information about where McCaskill stood on the issue, and I received this response from McCaskill / her office last night. I thought I’d share it as a resource for others who may be curious about the same thing.

    If you are looking for the short version, it sounds to me like she is leaning toward supporting it but could be on the fence. So… contact her!

    For everyone else, here’s the entirety of the email I received:

    January 17, 2012

    Dear Mr. Becker,

    Thank you for contacting me regarding online piracy. I appreciate hearing from you, and I welcome the opportunity to respond.

    American companies rely on strong intellectual property (IP) protections and enforcement so that they can benefit from the inventions and products they create. The work of American companies and inventors, however, is often threatened by online piracy. An increasingly large number of both U.S. and foreign-based websites provide access to unauthorized downloads or sale of copyrighted content such as new movies, music releases, computer applications, and pharmaceutical drugs. There is a clear need to better protect the IP rights of American businesses and innovators, although it is critically important that any effort to do so be balanced and appropriate.

    To address online infringement by foreign-based websites, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont has introduced the Protect IP Act, S. 968. If enacted, this legislation would, among other things, allow the U.S. Department of Justice to require search engines, advertising networks, and Internet service providers to reduce access to foreign websites that are illegally providing or selling copyrighted content. The legislation would also create protections for websites and other online companies that voluntarily reduce their engagement with websites participating in online infringement.

    I understand that important concerns have been raised regarding efforts, like those embodied in the Protect IP Act, to combat online piracy and infringement. Some are concerned that website operators who operate in good faith and proactively process copyright infringement notices will be shut down. Others are concerned that the Protect IP Act would allow private parties to initiate enforcement actions against competitors without proper oversight, infringe on free speech rights, or alter the way domain names are queried.

    As a strong advocate for civil liberties and the free flow of information, I take these concerns seriously. IP laws must strike the right balance to effectively combat online piracy while protecting free speech rights and the work of honest innovators. Moreover, any legislation that is considered must not restrict access to information that is currently lawfully available on the Internet. Please know, I will keep your views in mind as the Protect IP Act receives further consideration in the Senate.

    Again, thank you for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance to you on this or any other issue.


    Claire McCaskill
    United States Senator

    P.S. If you would like more information about resources that can help Missourians, or what I am doing in the Senate on your behalf, please sign up for my email newsletter at

    Update, 2:26pm Central Standard Time, Jan. 19, via Twitter

    For now, iPhone 4s is better than the iPhone 5 you wanted.

    October 5, 2011

    Note: so my previous headline was written before some tragic news broke. Rest in peace Steve Jobs. The world won’t be the same without you.

    When people said they wanted an iPhone 5 yesterday, as far as I can tell, there are 5 things that they think it should have included that would differentiate it from the iPhone 4s that was introduced. I’d like to evaluate all of them.

    Different Shape

    The iPhone 4 and now iPhone 4s are 9.3mm thick. According to the UK Advertising Standards Authority that makes it the thinnest smartphones in the world.

    People wanted a new design in their iPhone 5, and since Apple design is a one-way street by “new” they meant “thinner.” The most popular of these thinner mockups included a tapered design like the bottom of these two 9to5 mac images.

    So this shape is different, but it better than what we have now? John Gruber made the point before the iPhone 4s event that a tapered iPhone would make the phone awkward and unbalanced to hold in landscape orientation. I’d suspect that for this reason, when the iPhone 5 does come out, it won’t be tapered. It will probably look like a thinner iPhone 4(s).

    All of this ignores the fact that a thinner phone means less room for a battery. I don’t believe Apple is willing to sacrifice on battery life in order to make the world’s thinnest phone thinner. The iPhone will get thinner when a thinner battery can provide the same battery life to an even faster processor.

    Larger Screen

    People wanted two things from their screen: A screen that takes up a larger percentage of the face of the phone and a screen that is 4”+. The first one of these will probably happen eventually (next model?). The second one will probably not happen any time soon (I’m thinking years).

    The iPhone, iPhone 3g, iPhone 3gs, and iPhone 4 had 3.5” screens. Do you this trend is because Apple is incapable of making larger screens? No. It’s because Apple thinks 3.5” is the right size for a phone. It’s the same reason that Apple only makes 10” iPads.

    From a developer’s point of view (I am not a developer, this is just what I understand) the less resolutions that one has to deal with, the better. The iPhone 4 had 4x (2x height and 2x width) the pixels of the iPhones before it.

    To me it seems obvious that all iPhone will have their current resolution 960×640 resolution. A 4” screen would have that same resolution, but it wouldn’t look as good. Not going to happen. Maybe when there exists a 1,920 x 1280 4.5” screen, Apple will make their screen bigger. Until then, if you want a bigger screen, buy something else.

    I see the iPhone getting smaller around a 3.5” screen before I see it getting a bigger screen.


    If you thought Apple would include 4G, you aren’t paying attention. Apple won’t sacrifice on battery life (and probably form factor) for a feature that only a small percentage of their buyers would be able to take advantage of. As it is, networks don’t maximize potential 3G speeds and Apple raised the bar there for the 4s.


    See above. Form factory and battery life for something that people don’t use. Apple pioneers technologies that it can control. If NFC catches on in a big way, maybe they’ll put it in their next phone. But maybe not even then. Blu-ray, anyone?

    Larger home button that allows for swipe gestures

    Well shoot, I actually like this idea. See the 9to5mac article again for what I’m talking about.


    If the iPhone 5 included everything these people asked for, it would be worse and it would make the iOS ecosystem worse. I would be more likely to buy the iPhone 4s.

    Running OS 7 in OS X (to play Sim Tower)

    February 16, 2011

    So, I recently found a copy of Sim Tower (CD-ROM) laying around. Nostalgia jackpot. I remembered playing this game on Windows 3.1 & Windows 95 back in the day. Turns out, if you have the disk, you can get everything else for free (and legally, with the exception of 1 Apple license agreement violation, but not where you think.)

    But how to play it on my OS X machine? I found out that the Sim Tower CD ROM was made compatible for both Mac and Windows operating systems. Unfortunately, it wasn’t compatible with any of the current ones (or any of the ones that are easy to emulate on OS X). So I was stumped.

    First, I tried to use a program called Crossover which allows you to emulate some Windows games on OS X. Couldn’t get it. Then, to my salvation, I found out that it was doable to run an OS 7 emulator. The instructions that I found (the ones I could understand the best) was for a program called Basilisk II: Setting up system 7.5.3 with BasiliskII for Mac OSX

    I followed those instructions and everything worked pretty much perfectly. The only thing I did differently was double their recommended amount of RAM from 64 MB to 128 MB. Also, in “preparing your Basilisk folder” Step 4, they say to “google redundant robot sheepsaver” to find the download. I won’t link to the site or the download, as I assume there are reasons that the author of the other post did not do so, but I will verify that it is the first Google result that you want to click on, and I got the Performa ROM and it worked fine.

    The instructions are kind of technical, but very well done and pretty easy to follow. So, if you have any classic OS games (1995-1997 era) sitting around, I’d say go for it. Sim Tower is a bit choppy but very usable. I’m having fun and am going to try to find some other games around… looking around already, I just found the original Backyard Football which says it will work on this OS. This should be fun.

    Good luck. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Can’t guarantee I’ll be able to help, but we’ll see.

    My Hackintosh Build

    January 13, 2011

    So, I’m in the process of building a hackintosh (almost done, fingers crossed). I’ll be posting more about the actual building process, but for now I thought I’d share the parts I used to build it and how much they cost me.

    For reference, here are the specs for a stock 27″ iMac:

  • 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
  • 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM – 2x2GB
  • 1TB Serial ATA Drive
  • 8x double-layer SuperDrive
  • ATI Radeon HD 5750 1GB GDDR5 SDRAM
  • I wanted to match or beat that setup as cheaply as possible, so I bought the components from NewEgg over the period of less than a month, only buying things that were discounted.
    Here’s what I ended up with:
    (key: ‘+‘ indicates an improvement over the reference iMac, ‘=‘ indicates it is an equal part. ‘?‘ indicates an item for which Apple does not provide enough detail to make a comparison.)

  • 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5-760 – $179.99 (regularly $204.99)=
  • 6GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM – 3x2GB (CORSAIR XMS3) – $64.99 (regularly: $79.99)+
  • 1TB Serial ATA Drive (WD Caviar Black) – $77.99 (regularly: $87.99)=
  • Sony Optiarc Black $19.99 (regularly: $26.99) ?
  • ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB DDR5 SDRAM (HIS Juniper XT) – $99.99 (regularly $129.99) +
  • Items that Apple doesn’t list specs for, but you need for a computer:

  • GIGABYTE GA-H55-USB3 Motherboard – $99.99 (regularly $109.99)
  • Cooler Master RS750-ACAAE3-US Power Supply – $59.99 (regularly $99.99)
  • Baller unnecessary upgrade:

  • Corsair CSSD-V32GB2-BRKT $59.99 (regularly $78.99)
  • Items I already had and paid nothing for

  • Monitor
  • Mouse
  • Keyboard
  • Computer Case
  • What it cost:
    All in all, these purchases cost me $662.92. Shipping was free on all of them. If nothing was discounted, I would have spent $818.92, meaning I saved $156.00 by doing my shopping over the course of 2.5 weeks (first order was placed 12/21/2010, last order was placed 1/7/11). Compared to the cost of the iMac I was referencing, I saved $1,336.08. That is a lot of money.

    What I got that is better than an iMac is a slightly faster graphics card, 2GB more RAM (not to mention faster ram), a 32gb Solid State Drive that will allow for quicker booting and application launching, and USB 3 support.

    What I didn’t get is a 27″ monitor, a sleek enclosure, or official Apple support. To me, this tradeoff is worth $1,336.08. I could buy a decent monitor and a MacBook Air with that amount of money.

    So, how’d it all come together? I’m still working on it. More posts to come!