64-bit iOS7 and ARMv8: What Does It Mean?

Daniel Eran Dilger provides an inside look into the 64-bit iOS 7 and ARMv8, and compares a possible 64-bit Android environment.

In short, the benefits of moving iOS apps to 64-bit include the
hardware advantages of the A7’s 64-bit cores (including more
registers, and likely more cache), the improvements and optimizations
inherent in the new 64-bit ARMv8 instruction set, and the requisite
API enhancements that come along with iOS 7.

The primary downside to the transition is additional system memory
consumption in cases where iPhone 5s users can’t transition all their
apps to 64-bit. This makes moving Apps Store titles to 64-bit a big
priority for Apple and, subsequently, a something it will push its
third party developers to support.

Ballmer’s Retirement

In the past 15 years, Microsoft grew from an operating system and office software company, to an enterprise software company (Windows Server systems, Dynamics, Sharepoint), a consumer electronic company (Xbox), an online service company (Bing), and more recently, a cloud computing company (Azure). Microsoft did what most companies do when they grow – diversifying their businesses and entering a great variety of markets in order to cultivate their revenue.

No company is like Apple – a more focused, dedicated, and passionate functional organization that produces only a dozen of consumer electronic devices and creates an entire industry of its own. Ballmer did a great job within his own limits. Yet Ballmer was not capable of capturing the trends that Apple created on its own. He did not see Blackberry’s coming in the enterprise market. Neither did he embraced Apple’s consumer device approach to computing. Ballmer was an old overconfident salesman folk that could not realize the future.

Microsoft chose the worst timing to force Ballmer’s retirement. As Ballmer said,

“There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is
the right time,” Ballmer said. “We have embarked on a new strategy
with a new organization and we have an amazing Senior Leadership Team.
My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in
the middle of our company’s transformation to a devices and services
company. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new

If Ballmer’s words were not doctored, and Ballmer’s retirement was his own plan during the Microsoft reorganization, his intention could be detrimental. On the other hand, if Ballmer’s words were indeed doctored in the press release, and he “would have not had my retirement happen”, Microsoft’s board made the worst decision in the worst timing. The odds are not in Microsoft’s favour.

In Microsoft searching for the new CEO, Peter Bright of Ars Technica contends that,

A better route might be to look for another Steve Ballmer, but without
that salesman’s overconfidence. This CEO would be someone willing to
appoint and listen to a consumer-oriented, product-focused visionary
who could be empowered to guide the company’s consumer-facing
products. This could be every bit as effective as a “classic”
visionary CEO in the Bill Gates or Steve Jobs mold, while being
somewhat easier to find.

The last CEO we heard capable of listening to a visionary is Tim Cook. And unfortunately, he is with Apple.

Developer ID Program Launched

Apple Insider:

In an email sent out on Monday, Apple invited developers to prepare
their software for OS X Mountain Lion by joining the Developer ID
program, which will allow for apps to run on a Mac or iOS device that
is protected by the upcoming Gatekeeper anti-malware system.

Moving Forward with CSS3

This issue of A List Apart includes two articles about CSS3 vendor prefixes. I certainly don’t want -webkit- to become the new IE6. It is however difficult to move forward with the clumsy standard process.

@ppk definitely made a point here: use -alpha- and -beta- prefixes for standard, though I would insist that vendor prefixes should be left in the browser not only for compatibility, but also for innovation until these innovations can be moved into the standard process.

DSL Rocks

Fountain is a simple markup syntax for writing, editing and sharing
screenplays in plain, human-readable text. Fountain allows you to work
on your screenplay anywhere, on any computer or tablet, using any
software that edits text files.

Markdown works for the web. Fountain works for screenplays.

Domain specific languages do rock.