The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'speculation'
As Apple announce that MacOS 10.5 ("Leopard") is going to be delayed until late in the year, ostensibly due to developers having been redirected to work on the iPhone, there is speculation that part of the delay is due to "top secret features" intended for Leopard, in addition to the features currently known.
What are these secret features? Well, there aren't any strong rumours. Though I did once read some speculation that Apple are working on a Windows API layer, perhaps similar to WINE on Linux, which would allow OSX to run Windows applications natively (albeit, presumably, in some kind of secure sandbox). Then again, an argument against this theory is that, were Apple to do this, it could encourage developers to dump OSX versions of software, and the Windows API becoming the standard on OSX.
The Scottish parliamentary election is due in just over a month, and the Scottish Nationalist Party looks set to take the lead, with Labour being decimated:
Opinion polls show the SNP could take up to 51 of the 129 places in the devolved parliament, up from 25 seats at present, leaving Labour trailing with as few as 40 seats, losing 20% of its strength at Holyrood. That result would put the nationalists in a dominant position and the most likely party to form a ruling coalition with the Liberal Democrats, just before Gordon Brown, a Scottish MP, is expected to become prime minister in London.A SNP-led government would make things interesting, as one of their policies is to hold a referendum on ending Scotland's union with England, a union which began 300 years ago. Could we see Scotland joining the EU as a separate nation, with a similar status to Ireland (outside of the Schengen treaty, but with no border controls with England)? If so, would an independent Scotland be likely to dump the pound for the euro?
As the 300th anniversary of the Act of Union, that forged the state of Great Britain out of Englandandwales and Scotland, approaches, a narrow majority of Scots support Scotland gaining independence from the UK, for the first time after devolution.
The survey for The Scotsman newspaper, six months before Scottish Parliament elections, will make Scottish Labour nervous, especially since it confirms recent polls showing the Scottish Nationalists making gains from Labour. If the Nationalists win power, they say that they will hold a referendum on independence within four years.Whether or not independence will happen is another matter; the fact that Scotland's oil/gas reserves are in decline means that Scottish independence would not be as severe an economic blow to the UK as it would have been a decade ago.
The question arises of what would happen were Scotland to vote for, and gain, its independence. Would England, Wales and Northern Ireland call themselves "the UK" (much in the way that Serbia and Montenegro called themselves "Yugoslavia")? What if Northern Ireland went its own way (breaking the union after which the UK was named)? I suppose Englandandwales could be referred to as "Great Britain" (the name of the island it's on), much in the way that the United States is known as "America", though as an official name it sounds unwieldy.
Of course, it's quite likely that Scottish independence may not happen and that it may be an ambit claim. Perhaps the separatists could be bought off by replacing the asymmetric, London-centric UK with a German/Australian-style federal system, in which England, Wales and Scotland are member states. The question is: where would the new British Parliament be sited?
In the latest round of the what-will-Apple-do-next? game, there is some speculation that Apple may team up with (or buy) RIM, the inventors of the BlackBerry wireless email appliance. The logic, apparently, is obvious:
Such a deal would have huge merit because each company lacks what the other provides. RIM wants a firm foothold in the consumer market and Apple doesn't have a presence in the booming wireless data sector, he said.
The two might jointly develop a new device: Apple could create a cellphone combining its iPod music device with RIM's wireless technology, or RIM might embed Apple's iTunes music into a future BlackBerry, he speculated.Of course, one could apply this argument to virtually anything. Let's see: I predict that Apple may buy BMW. Why? It's simple; the two companies complement each other. Apple lacks a firm foothold in the automotive market, and BMW doesn't have a presence in the digital technology sector. The two might jointly develop in-car entertainment and navigation based on Apple's massively successful iPod standard and/or MacOS X. And then there are the opportunities for aligning the Mac Mini and Cooper Mini brands.
And so on. Replace BMW with another company name, especially one selling desirable lifestyle/consumer goods or services, and the rest of the copy writes itself. And if you suspend disbelief for long enough (easy enough to do whilst salivating over the prospect of shiny new Apple-branded versions of your favourite non-Apple products), it makes enough sense.
Of course, this wouldn't be the first time that Apple inked a deal with another brand. There was the Motorola ROKR, vaunted as an "iPod Phone", but being merely a generic Motorola phone which could connect to iTunes, and on top of that being artificially restricted to 100 songs, as Apple didn't want it cannibalising their iPod market. Needless to say, it got all the success it deserved and died quietly.