Commercial Identity, part 2

7 September, 2007 at 2:13 am (dear diary)

So I’ve paid a considerable amount of attention to Apple’s most recent slate of announcements about their iPod and iPhone upgrades. I do want an iPhone, but I have never been a first-adopter and I want to watch a few more kinks shake down from the highest branches before I make the plunge (just to mix my metaphors). However, the announcement about the effective “limited edition” 4GB iPhone — because it’s being discontinued and therefore being sold at a considerable discount — has made me want to dash into the fray, only to emerge with the most recent piece of mechanical obsolescence. Knowing something is just off the boil, probably won’t be supported past the next upgrade, etc., always makes an object’s faults and inconveniences that much more psychologically comforting.

Orange iPod ShuffleI was more amused by the changes in the lineups of available iPod Nanos and Shuffles. I love my Shuffle. I like the size and the shape and the belt-clip and the fact that unlike my original 512MB plastic model, the aluminum casing might make it a little more resistant to being shut repeatedly in the car door (although the clip is more helpful in preventing it from slipping there in the first place). And while it is a little annoying to add new music to the library and then not be able to refer to just who is that strange new group anyway, I’m glad to trade a display for the extra miniaturization. But while Apple used to make color choices easy — everything was gloss white, and one had to pay an extra hundred dollars to get a given product in sleek black — the second-gen Nanos and Shuffles came in a small but potent array of varying hues. I dallied with the grey, as I didn’t want my personal music player to be ostentatious, but went with orange because I frequently use orange in my decorating and design and identify with the color somewhat.

But it was also of some small import that nothing else Apple offered came in that color. The Nano had no parallel in its various offerings, and it made the orange Shuffle that much more appealing. It was part of the line, but not part of the overall scheme. So it pleases me unduly that the most recent announcement informs us that the orange Shuffle is no more, replaced with a soft violet. Now I really want my outdated iPhone to go with my other outdated Apple accoutrements.

In other technology upgrade news, one can now search one’s Google Reader feed archives. Thank goodness! This upgrade makes the fact that my preferred Stylish reader scripts are currently incompatible with the various updates. EDIT: Wow, that sentence really doesn’t make sense, does it? Ahem! This upgrade almost makes up for the fact that certain Google Reader mods no longer actually work, due to essential alterations in their code.

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2 Comments

  1. Chris McLaren said,

    Try as I might, I can not parse that last sentence.

  2. Benjamin Russell said,

    It might be too contextual. Or it might be that I composed it after 9:30 in the evening, which — I find — is the time of night when my ability to maintain lucidity dribbles out from my ears.Here’s the thing: Google Reader is the best RSS reader I’ve encountered yet, having dabbled with three or four programs. Plus the fact that its web-based is really useful. I greatly enjoy Google Reader.That said, it has its flaws, primarily with the way it breaks up the space and organizes some of its content and layout.Enter Stylish, a Firefox module that allows one to add Java-based code to a website to reformat it to one’s specifications. A couple people had written Stylish scripts that made Google Reader a more pleasurable reading and browsing experience. But due to Google’s newest revamp of their code, these styles no longer work, as the scaffolding they were revising is now all different.It is interesting to me that Google has incorporated some of the features of some of the more popular scripts — the ability to hide the left-hand window, for example. Hopefully the coders of the scripts they didn’t incorporate will revise their offerings to match the new update.

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