The First Great Album of 2009 is… Tonight: Franz Ferdinand

Such is life in 2009 that “new music Tuesday” no longer means a drive down to the local Tower Records but slavish reloading of the iTunes home screen around 23:45 PST on Monday. And given the iTunes economy the idea of immediately purchasing the album is a rare decision indeed even for established bands that you love (can you say “St. Anger,” Metallica?). Right now there are only couple bands where I immediately buy the album without even listening: No Doubt / Gwen Stefani, Pet Shop Boys, Madonna, U2, The Killers, and moving forward The Bravery.

And if you get a certain sense from that list you’d not be too far off. New Wave + “Neo Wave. ”  Which, I am proud to say, means that I’ve kept the promise I made in 1988 when I wrote in the Residence Halls Association yearbook profile (I was a council member) that I hoped I’d still be listening to 80’s music in twenty years. I sure do listen to that classic music, especially thanks to targeted programming on XM radio. But the fact that the groups I tend to like today sound a lot like that bands I liked yesterday is no coincidence. 

Franz Ferdinand Tonight
Tonight: Franz Ferdinand

In any case, that brings us to today’s big release from Neo Wave stallwarts Franz Ferdinand. On their past albums I basically “cherry picked” the really good songs, a common practice in the iTunes Economy. Sure… I’ll buy the whole album but that’s not the default option. 

iTunes is nice in that you can listen to 30 second samples, but artist websites often have the full tracks. Franz Ferdinand’s MySpace page has all their songs available for listening, so I took a good listen to the tracks from today’s release, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand. The idea was to listen with the idea of trying to figure out which tracks were the “good ones” to pick off on iTunes. But as I listened I kept liking more and more of the tracks. And once you get to eight or nine, you might as well spend the $9.99 for the entire album.

There are easily eight or nine killer tracks on this album. Highlights include the lead single “Ulysses” and basically the rest of “side one” (“Turn it On,” “No You Girls,” “Send Him Away,” “Twilight Omens,” “Bite Hard,” and “What She Came For.”). Great driving beats, the classic “Franz Ferdinand” stomp, increased uses of keyboards, and new-wavy choppy lyrics.  The album has a couple so-so tracks at the end but the album does end on a great note with the short version of “Lucid Dreams.”

So congrats, Franz Ferdinand, on the first great album of 2009! 

UPS Pain

A couple days ago I received a package from UPS. Well, actually I didn’t receive a package because I wasn’t home to sign for it. Unfortunately, UPS seems way less inclined to offer a pick up location the same way Federal Express does (or, “FedEx” for those of you younger folks). Whenever I get a FedEx package there’s a clear note that I can pick it up about ten minutes away in Union City, in a location right off a major thoroughfare, Alvarado Niles Road. You can pick up your packages after 6 pm, which is nice since that’s after work when, you know, you would actually be available to pick up said package.

But UPS is different. They don’t encourage pick up and don’t post the address of the pick up location. But, you can go onto the website to arrange for this, so that is what I did. Turns out the pickup location for UPS was in Sunnyvale, where I work. That turned out okay, though obviously I’d have to wait for the next day. Less helpful was that I knew the package was coming from Missouri, and was “Awards Rwsksekdis” (thanks for the awesome handwriting UPS driver). 

So, I headed off after work to find the UPS location in Sunnyvale. Now part of the problem was the lack of visibility due to the winter sunset time as well as the rain. Neither of which are UPS’ fault. Unlike FedEx, the UPS location in Sunnyvale is three turns away from a major road, Tasman. Strike one.

I had even done my homework, looking at the street view of the UPS location at “1245 Hammerwood Ave“. You can check it out yourself. Anything here look like a storefront where you can pick up a package? 1245 doesn’t even exist on the map, as it’s by the corner where the woman is standing in the street talking to someone in a car. But the pickup location is at the end of street where it looks like the UPS drivers go and the general public doesn’t.

I parked in the parking lot but was told I had to drive into the other area where all the UPS trucks were going. Of course, time was ticking because this location closes at 5:30 and it was… 5:28. I ran to my car, drove back onto the street and then was directed to where I needed to go. I ran out of my car and opened the customer service entrance right when a woman was coming out to lock the door. But I made it.

I was third in line, so I had plenty of time to wait around for my time. While doing so, I saw this display. Anything look strange here?


Official Package Delivery Company 1998 Olympic Winter Games. Really UPS? 1998 games?  I’m all for not throwing away perfectly usable envelope display holders. But com’ on! Time to move on!  What’s the value of the “tie-in” promotion if it the cross-promoted event is over ten years old?

Now remember, I walked into the office right at the dot of 5:30. So, when did I leave? 5:55.  Twenty five minutes.

Two people ahead of me to pick up packages ate up about ten minutes. When I got my turn the UPS person was friendly but had trouble locating my package. By chance he asked another UPS person about it, who notified him that the package was being held in a different location, pointing out the taped up note to this effect. I finally got my package, but still. Twenty five minutes.

By now it is a rainy Friday night at 6 pm, the height of rush hour. Which meant I didn’t get home until after 7:00!  All because UPS forces you to pick up your stuff in Sunnyvale instead of some place that is actually convenient to where you live.

And the “high value” package? It was some gift cards for a spot-award I got at work. Which is why they were “locked up” in that unusual location and why of course the driver didn’t want to leave on my doorstep. Which, overall, I guess was a good thing. But UPS could learn a thing or two from FedEx at least for this customer.

Happy Birthday Macintosh

Today is the 25th anniversary of the Macintosh. It’s hard to believe it really has been 25 years, but it really was 1984 when the Mac was introduced (you remember the 1984 Mac commercial, right?).

So, in the honor the Mac’s birthday I thought I’d run down all the Mac models I’ve owned over the years. 

Macintosh – 1985
This was my first Mac, an original Mac model that I later upgraded the RAM to 512K. I got it after high school for use when I entered UC Santa Barbara in 1985. I had previous used my Dad’s Mac and had even used a LISA a bit when one of the guys at Gunn High School’s “home computer club” had one at home.

I later turned this original Mac into a MacQuarium, using instructions I had to have sent via postal mail..


Mac LC – 1990
This was first low-end color Macs and I got one. I really liked the modular design, with the monitor separate from the “pizza box” CPU box. I loved the Apple Extended Keyboard back in the day.

Mac LCIII – 1993
Actually, this was a logic board upgrade for the LC, so it was like keeping your computer but getting a faster, more capable version of it. If I had to name a favorite on this list, the LCIII would be it. I used it the most for “home” use like games and such, and in it’s day it was quite a good computer.

PowerMac 6100 – 1996
Bought this second hand when I wanted to move to the PowerPC platform. Still kept the same monitor and keyboard. This was basically the power version of the LC, as it used the same “pizza box” style enclosure.

iMac Rev B – Lime – 1999
The Rev B was a big revision to the iMac (much more so than the forthcoming Rev C and D). This was a workhorse iMac but was soon replaced by…

iMac DV – 2000
I got this to use iMovie and actually did do some home videos this a bit back when Riley was young. The graphite color was interesting though I kind of miss the Lime model. I also used a Rev A iMac at SRI for some time, though it was not my primary work computer. Overally, I really liked the original iMac design, as it certainly was a true successor to the original all in one Mac that started it all.

iMac G4 – 2002
Picked up one of these flat-panel iMacs with the lampshade arm for the monitor. This was a big performance boost and to this day still runs a lot of software (it currently resides in Quinn’s room).

PowerBook 12″ – 2003
There are a ton of people who still think this was the best PowerBook or maybe Apple’s best notebook ever. By this time we were a multi-Mac household but two computers still wasn’t enough. I took this on some trips and even started podcasting on this using the built-in microphone.  Riley is using this as his primary computer now.

iMac (Intel Core Duo) – 2006
I jumped on the Intel bandwagon right away and this is still my primary Mac. I really like the matte display and the screen resolution is just about all I need at 1440×900.

MacBook – 2007
This is Julie’s computer, though I use it from time to time especially on trips.

MacBook Pro – 2007
I use this model at work and it’s sooooo much nicer than the ThinkPad I had before.

So, I’ve purchased ten Macs in twenty five years for home use. The last one was purchased two and a half years ago. Looks like I’m due…

The Most Important Awards of the Season

This was the first year in over a decade that I didn’t dutifully get up at six in the morning to watch the Oscar nominations live. There were a variety of factors for this. I’m working on a big project at work so I wanted to get all the sleep I could (getting up extra early kind of wrecks the day, you know?). Mostly, though, is what the experience that early really is. You watch the announcement but they only focus on the top categories. And while things like Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor are important, I often watch the music, song, and other categories. Which sounds like not a big deal. Right after the live announcement the anchors at E! have the numbers for the total number of nominations, figures that include the minor categories. You’d think that you could then go online to see the full list of nominations right away. 

You’d think. But you would be wrong.

It’s the 21st century, but up until last year at least you could not get the complete set of nominations for at least a half hour past the initial announcements. Whaaat?  So, besides hearing the Oscar experts talk about who was snubbed, what is the point of getting up early? So, this year I skipped it.

That said, I’m still really interested in the Oscars this year as in year’s past. I have an ongoing bet with my aunt Jill back in Connecticut who is also an avid Oscar-fan. Each year we try to get the most picks correct and after about eight or so years doing this I think it’s been an even split. So, it is a true accomplishment to win the yearly bet.

This year, I was naturally rooting for Tropic Thunder’s Robert Downey Jr. to get a Best Supporting Actor nomination. Because you don’t often get a chance for an Oscar nomination from a Ben Stiller film (ever since Dodgeball was “snubbed” back in 2004). So, even though RDJ was on a lot of precursor awards it was still great to see him nominated this year. Even though he’ll lose to Heath Ledger.

Other Awards

Meanwhile, it had been my dream for some time to run by own yearly awards. The Razzies are an example of a grassroots award system that sprung up and now has national prominence. I even joined the Razzie academy to vote. But a funny thing happened on the way to the ceremony. I realized the Razzies are just as “cliquish” as the Oscars. In fact, the Razzie organizers basically give you a ballot with a few choices and then ask you to nominate from that – which means that its not the vote of the Razzie voters but the editors. Bogus, totally bogus!

For the past three years, The Frat Pack Tribute has run it’s own set of awards, called the Earmuffs. If the Razzies are a “limited” view of the movie awards, the Earmuffs are a micro view. We only look at movies from the Frat Pack, Team Apatow, and their friends.  The awards are voted on by the fans – totally democratic.

This year, the nominations were collected via web survey for the first time, and our participation went up over 300%. Still not thousands but a big improvement year over year. And it was a lot of work to whittle down 26 categories to three nominees per category. So, I hope that now that we only have five in each category with just a single choice that we’ll have even more voting for the actual awards.

The Earmuffs are a fun set of awards. Serious – in that we actually do recognize filmmakers with serious categories like Best Director and Best Picture. But also not-so-serious, with categories like Best Sex Scene and an award for Dubious Achievement.

Earmuff Award Nominees

Romantic farce Forgetting Sarah Marshall led all contenders with 27 nominations for the 2008 Frat Pack Earmuff Awards. The film written and starring Jason Segel was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Sex Scene, and Best Character, amongst others.

Ben Stiller’s action-comedy Tropic Thunder received a Best Picture nomination and 21 nominations total. Stiller was nominated for Directing and Robert Downey Jr. and Jack Black received acting nods. Protests from humor-adverse advocacy groups garnered a nomination for Dubious Achievement.

Will Ferrell received a Best Actor nomination for Step Brothers, a film that received 14 total nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Catch-Phrase, and Best Sound Bite. Step Brothers‘ costar John C. Reilly received a nomination for Best Performance by a Frat Pack Friend.

Stoner comedy Pineapple Express was a summer favorite and recieved numerous nominations from the Earmuff voters. In addition to Best Picture, the film received several nominations in the category for Best Use of Drugs/Alcohol as well as for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Character.

Steve Carell received a total of four nominations, leading all individuals. In addition to a Voice-Over award for Horton Hears a Who!, Carell also received a Best Actor nod forGet Smart. The film also scored nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and 9 nominations in total.

The Earmuff Awards are voted on by Frat Pack fans worldwide. The ballot for fans to vote for the winners will be available on January 25th.

Life as an iCelebrity

A couple days ago I mentioned my encounter with Justine Ezarik at MacWorld, where she was preparing for a “workout” while I was waiting for the MacWorld Town Hall to start. After snapping a quick photo for my MacWorld Checklist I went back to the Town Hall where I fell into the “younger third” age bracket (which is sad when you’re 40).

Anyway, here’s what I missed…

So, let’s review. Instead of hanging with cool, gorgeous, and tech-savvy girls, I went over to hang out with old Mac geezers who pontificated about the “good old days” when the Mac launched in 1984 and demanded a “schwag” trading event be added at MacWorld next year so they could trade NeXT tshirts! 


As bad as the decision might seem to be on the surface, I’ve got to imagine it would have been poor form to try to join Justine and company with their workout. I mean, what good would it have done except to make a fun YouTube game: “Which one of these is not like the other.”  I mean this in the least self-loathing way possible that it was good I didn’t try to invite myself into the video and, let’s face it, ruin the aesthetic.  Still, it might have been fun to watch.

Ezarik, or “iJustine” for those in the know, is the part of the first generation to grow up with “iCelebrity” as a career path. One part blogger, one part reporter, one part model, and one part sysadmin. There’s a ton of these people and while the trend is young and female it’s not exclusively women. They’re having a lot of fun and let’s face it using their youthful energy in generally positive ways. So, you’ve got to hand it to them for working hard and making a name for themselves. In fact, there’s a host of career opportunities or at least ways to make a quick buck online if you have the right look or the kind of content that can go “viral.”  Remember “Chocolate Rain?”

I’d like to think that I played a tiny part in this burgeoning world with my exploits as Kevin C. from Lip Balm Anonymous. Jeeze, Justine might have been all of twelve years old when I appeared on The Internet Cafe way back in 1997 or on The Daily Show in ’98. Of course, Kevin C. still comes out from time to time. I appeared twice on Sirius Radio in December and my interview with The Baltimore Sun got a lot of press last fall.  

But LBA hasn’t made me any money. There are a lot of reasons, mostly due to lack of time and interest. Plus, it’s hard to run a lot of advertisements on a site that’s supposed to look like a non-profit organization.

Every year I say I’ll redo the LBA site. And this year I might actually do it. Maybe I’ll make some crazy YouTube videos talking about lip balm addiction. They’ll go viral and maybe I’ll get just as much attention as Justine does.

Okay. Maybe not…

I Scored with the MacWorld Checklist!

One of the best parts of this year’s MacWorld Expo sort of happened organically. I had seen the wonderful post on Joy of Tech with this year’s MacWorld Expo checklist, and I thought it was amusing. Then, it was blogged about on The MacCast blog and on Justine Ezarik’s blog. So, it was a little bit in my mind – but as I was attending for only one day I didn’t think I’d try to “conquer” the list.

Then a funny thing happened. I started to see the celebs. And then I started to get really obsessed with completing the task. How’d I do? Really well, as you will see.

Here’s the 2009 MacWorld Checklist from Joy of Tech.


I didn’t get photos of a couple of these. First was Merlin Mann, who I believe is the fellow in glasses in the bottom right next to Walt Mossberg. I’d met Mann a couple times and definitely saw him in passing while on the show floor.

Next, I did see Scott MucNulty when he did a presentation at the Peachpit Press booth. He wrote a book about WordPress and overall I already knew most of what he presented (which was a good thing, for me anyway). I didn’t realize McNulty was on the list or I would have taken a photo.

When I saw Andy Inhatko I did remember he was on the list. Here he is signing copies of his latest book. 


Next up is another author, David Pogue. He always draws a large crowd to the O’Reilly booth and sadly I missed his Wednesday morning keynote speech. Next year I’m doing the Conference portion of MacWorld as Pogue has already agreed to do another keynote.


The celebs started coming fast and furious after this…

Chris Breen at the MacWorld Magazine booth.


Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (in the black and white shirt, sitting on a stool).


Now I realized I could really cash in with some of these people on the checklist. So, I checked Justine’s twitter account and saw that she was literally around the corner doing a workout (no, I don’t know what that means). When I came up to her and and asked if I could take a photo for my checklist, she laughed and said sure. This is Justine Ezarik with her buddy Karen. 


Next, I headed off to the MacWorld Expo “Town Hall,” led by main man Paul Kent.  My suggestion for MacWorld 2010? Provide everyone with a Joy of Tech Mac Celebrity Checklist!


After the Town Hall I headed off to the Podcasting Birds of a Feather gathering. Along the way, I saw a couple guys from MacHeads the Movie trying to pimp their showing of the documentary film. The checklist doesn’t name names and the guys I saw were kind of anonymous. So, I’m counting this. Another checkmark for my list!


At the Podcaster gathering I ended up sitting right near a couple celebs. First is Don McAllister.


Then I saw the man with the smooth voice. That’s MacWorld’s Chuck Joiner in the lower left near the stage.


All in all, including the “non-celebs” on the list, I ended up seeing 15 out of 25 from the checklist. A pretty good job, if I do say so myself! 

MacWorld 2009 Impressions

I attended the MacWorld Conference & Expo on Wednesday. I had intended to post my comments that night but a comedy of errors caused me to miss one BART train, wait 15 minutes for another, and then end up taking the train all the way to Dublin where I had to turn around and transfer again to get back to Fremont. Took me over two hours to get home from San Francisco!

Moscone Center - Home of MacWorld 2009

MacWorld 2009 was great as always. I arrived in plenty of time for the opening of the Expo floor and met my father who was also attending that day. Here we are in the Apple booth, where a kind Apple employee took our photo. Apple had a nice display for their iLife and iWork products, and their usual stage. They also had a nice display of their recently updated MacBooks. However, the other side of their area was kind of bare, like they had intended to announce something and dropped it at the last minute (can you say “updated Mac Mini?”).  The iPods were on display and getting no foot traffic, hence the perfect location for this shot.

Frank and Kevin Crossman at MacWorld 2009

Overall, the traffic and activity seem on par with past years, though obviously next year without Apple may be another matter. Here are some of the things I saw at MacWorld.

I did like the display of iPod Touch and iPhones that Apple had on display. I got to play with some great iPhone Apps and try them out. Saved me some money on some I was considering purchasing – now I won’t. But, I did see some that looked coo.

Apple App Store

You gotta love how Apple gets the attendees to fetishize the Apple hardware. People were literally waiting in line to touch the brand-new Apple MacBook Pro 17″ notebook computer. Where was I in this photo? Yep. Standing in line.

Brand New 17" MacBook Pro Gets Plenty of Attention

I must say I liked the look of this 17″ MacBook Pro. I’m really a fan of the matte screen option, which is what I use on my MacBook Pro at work. I am not a fan of glossy screens.

Now the cool thing about trade shows like MacWorld is the thing that companies do to draw attention and get people into their booths. Beejive had their “booth babes” dress up as bees. And it was very memorable since I took this photo. I think they make some sort of instant-messaging client for the iPhone. See how that costuming has paid off in the mind of the consumer (me)?

Busy Bees at Beejive

Google took a different approach with this iPhone Charging Station. I didn’t need to use this but glad I had the option! It was funny to see people waiting to get charged up – one woman screamed at another guy that “your iPhone is finished” so she could get a turn. The guy charged up and demanded “No! See this… that means it isn’t charged yet!” Yeah! Duh!  The things people do for free electricity…   Google also had a British phone booth to use as a YouTube uploading station. I went in but couldn’t figure out how to use it, so I left.  Google would probably like me to mention their brand-new Mac version of the Picasa photo management app. But I don’t care, so I didn’t look at it.

iPhone Charging Station at Google's Booth

Here we go for the hands-down best booth at MacWorld. The Delicious Monster folks are know for their beautiful software, Delicious Library. And this year, they decorated their booth to look like the software itself. Plus, they had these girls dressed up as “Delicious Librarians” (no, I’m not kidding. They even had name badges that said Delicious Librarian). I guess there was something about this outfit that had some appeal for the MacWorld attendees.  And, giving credit where it is due, the librarians did seem to know their stuff.

Delicious Librarian

All in all, a great time at MacWorld Expo 2009!  All photos courtesy my iPhone.

MacWorld Predictions Scorecard

Well, Apple’s keynote has come and gone. How’d I do with my predictions?

Will Be Announced

  • Updated Mac Mini with lots of expansion options – nope
  • Updated iMac with faster processors (larger screens are a possibility, though I think it’s a longshot) – nope
  • Updated MacBook Pro 17″ with unibody enclosure – yep
  • iWork ‘09 with online/web/MobileMe component – yep
  • iTunes DRM free – yep
  • Hulu viewing on AppleTV – nope
  • iPhone 3G 32GB – nope
  • iPhone tethering option with AT&T (for too much money…) – nope
  • Pricing and ship date for Snow Leopard – nope
  • Lots of Christmas quarter sales numbers – Lots? No. Some numbers… Partial credit?

Won’t Be Announced – almost all yep

  • iPhone Nano (though I think a smaller form factor would be cool)
  • iPhone/iPod/Mac Tablet (though I think a larger form factor would be cool)
  • Mac Netbook
  • Touch screen iMac
  • Mac Pro update
  • Cinema Displays
  • iLife ‘09 – Oops.

Kind of a bummer I guess. A lot of folks were predicting Mac Mini and iMac updates, so I won’t feel bad about that prediction. I am kind of stoked about the iTunes thing, though. Along with getting rid of DRM, Apple also announced variable pricing on the iTunes Store (a consession to the record companies). You can also purchase iTunes music on the iPhone over 3G networks.

Now the DRM thing doesn’t really affect me since I have all Apple equipment, and thus I don’t have any compatibility issues. Still, I thought it would be interesting to see how much it would cost to convert all my previously purchased songs to the DRM-free format — for 30 cents a pop.


Look, I’m no fan of DRM. But, like I said, the DRM doesn’t really bother me. It sure doesn’t bother me 93 dollars worth!

Special offer indeed.

You can NEVER take the kid out of Disneyland

A couple days ago I wrote about Disneyland Dream, the incredible 1956 home movie of Disneyland made by Robbins Barstow. Well, the story continues.


Word of the movie has made the rounds and it turns out that I’m not the only that was impressed. In fact, according to a Hartford Courant article, Robbins was recently contacted by a former Disneyland employee who you made have heard of: Steve Martin.

“At age eleven I worked at Disneyland. I sold guidebooks at the park from 1956 to about 1958. I am as positive as one can be that I appear about 20:20 into your film, low in the frame, dressed in a top hat, vest, and striped pink shirt, moving from left to right, holding a guidebook out for sale.”

Looking at the video evidence I guess we’ll have to take Martin at his word. In fact, Martin has a longtime and regular association with the parks. He is currently seen everyday on Main Street USA just steps away from where he stood in 1956. He appears with Donald Duck in a funny and informative filmed attraction called “Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years.”

We’re going back to Disneyland in mid-February. You can bet I’ll be sure to check out Steve Martin’s old stomping grounds and laugh at his antics with the duck.

MacWorld Predictions

On Wednesday I will be making my yearly trek to sample the Kool-Aid at the MacWorld Conference and Expo. It’s always fun to see the latest Mac, iPod, and iPhone goodies and at times I’ve even run into celebrities (yes, it’s Sinbad!). Of course, with Apple announcing this is their last year at the show it is a melancholy time, doubly so with all the speculation about Steve Jobs’ health. Steve made a statement today about his health that I view as a positive indicator, though I’d take issue with those headlines that stated “See, he’s okay.” He certainly wasn’t when he dropped out of the Keynote and is far from fully recovered. But, as always, we wish Steve well.

maclogoI’m attending MacWorld on Wednesday, which is good for a couple reasons. By then I’ll have had a time to hear about some of the announcements from Apple and others, so I’ll be able to hit the ground running to check out all the things I want to see. Plus, there is a Podcaster Birds of a Feather event at 6:30 on Wednesday being organized by Adam Christianson at The MacCast that I’ll be attending. Speaking of which, you might wish to listen to the first 30 seconds of the the December 20th episode of the MacCast podcast…

I’ll also be attending the MacWorld Town Hall event at 5:00 on Wednesday, where the Expo organizers will talk about the future of the event. I hope I can come up with some constructive suggestions.

Anyway, to get myself ready for the annual Apple overindulgence, I hereby present my MacWorld 2008 Apple Keynote Predictions.

Will Be Announced

  • Updated Mac Mini with lots of expansion options
  • Updated iMac with faster processors (larger screens are a possibility, though I think it’s a longshot)
  • Updated MacBook Pro 17″ with unibody enclosure
  • iWork ’09 with online/web/MobileMe component
  • iTunes DRM free
  • Hulu viewing on AppleTV
  • iPhone 3G 32GB
  • iPhone tethering option with AT&T (for too much money…)
  • Pricing and ship date for Snow Leopard
  • Lots of Christmas quarter sales numbers

Won’t Be Announced

  • iPhone Nano (though I think a smaller form factor would be cool)
  • iPhone/iPod/Mac Tablet (though I think a larger form factor would be cool)
  • Mac Netbook
  • Touch screen iMac
  • Mac Pro update
  • Cinema Displays
  • iLife ’09

According to the MacWorld folks, AT&T has brought in extra cell towers to handle extra capacity. I know last year all phone and data reception was pretty much killed by 10:30 am until about 3:00 pm, so it would suck if that happened again.

Of course, the big news that we’ll be paying attention to at the keynote is to see if they’re doing anything with iPhone pricing, form factors, colors, etc.  That is because today is Julie’s birthday I have agreed to get her an iPhone for her birthday.

But I’m not stupid enough to buy anything from Apple the day before MacWorld… whether Steve Jobs is presenting or not.