"The first Hewlett-Packard tablet with Windows 8 will focus on the business market, Somsak said.Hewlett-Packard to Shun ARM at Debut of Microsoft Windows 8 - Bloomberg
Hewlett-Packard’s decision to avoid ARM initially was made before Microsoft announced its plan to sell its own tablets in competition with Hewlett-Packard, Somsak said.
The computer maker had considered making an ARM tablet using chips from Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) and was one of a small number of computer makers chosen to get early access to the Windows RT code, people with knowledge of the matter said. It opted to focus elsewhere first, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations were private."
Saturday, June 30, 2012
"Social media addicts may be dismayed to learn today that Twitter updates will no longer automatically sync with LinkedIn accounts. In a blog post earlier today, Ryan Roslansky, Head of Content Products at LinkedIn, noted that as part of Twitter’s “evolving platform efforts,” tweets will no longer be displayed on LinkedIn. The change ends a two-and-a-half-year partnership between the two companies and marks a larger shift by Twitter away from third party applications. Previously, users could opt to have all tweets, or just those tagged with the hashtag #in or #li, flow directly onto their LinkedIn profile pages."Twitter Unlinks From LinkedIn - Forbes
"U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh ruled that Apple is likely to be able to prove at trial that the Galaxy Nexus infringes on four Apple patents, though the injunction is based specifically on one particular patent, the so-called ’604 patent, which covers core voice and search functionality.Apple Wins Order Barring Sales of Samsung Galaxy Nexus Phone - Ina Fried - Mobile - AllThingsD
The ruling was issued minutes ago by Koh in San Jose. The injunction becomes effective as soon as Apple posts a $95.6 million bond securing against the damages Samsung would incur if the injunction were found to have been wrongfully issued."
Friday, June 29, 2012
"The on-stage demo of Google Glass was unusually detailed. It appears to be a self-contained device (no external wires and batteries). It’s lighter than many pairs of sunglasses (we hopefully assume that we’re talking about Ray-Bans, not the solid gold frames favored by Kanye West). It can be intimately connected to Google+ for live posting. Yes, you can wear them over your prescription glasses.Google demonstrates augmented reality of Glass - Chicago Sun-Times
And as the skydiving demo demonstrated . . . the damned things actually work. CEO Sergey Brin apologized that many of Glass’ features are hard to demonstrate in front of a crowd (“You’d need to wear a pair in front of a pair”), so Google didn’t show off things like street directions and text messages."
"This is the first time we've opened the app—but it sure doesn't feel that way.Chrome For iPhone and iPad Has Finally Arrived - Business Insider
That's because after we signed in with our Google account info, all of our tabs were just there—Web pages we opened on our desktop, our iPhone, our iPad, and our Galaxy S III."
"Amazon is working on not one, but two new Kindle Fire tablets that will launch in the coming months. Earlier reports suggested that Amazon will announce a new addition to its Kindle Fire lineup late next month and while we cannot speak to the timing of Amazon’s upcoming announcements, BGR has confirmed that Amazon is indeed finally readying the launch of its 10-inch tablet."Kindle Fire 2 Specs, Details: 10-inch, 7-inch Amazon tablets coming
Official Google Enterprise Blog: Get things done anytime, anywhere: Announcing offline document editing and Google Drive for iOS
“Offline document editingOfficial Google Enterprise Blog: Get things done anytime, anywhere: Announcing offline document editing and Google Drive for iOS
No internet connection? No big deal. With offline editing, you can create and edit Google documents and leave comments. Any changes you make will be automatically synced when you get back online.
You can enable offline editing from the gear icon in Google Drive and find more detailed instructions for getting set up in the Help Center. Note that you’ll need the latest versions of Chrome or ChromeOS to edit offline. We’re also working hard to make offline editing for spreadsheets and presentations available in the future.”
"The good: The Nexus 7's quad-core Tegra 3 processor delivers fast performance and a beautiful and responsive screen. Also, it's comfortable to hold and Android 4.1 brings a surplus of welcome additions. At only $200, the Nexus 7 is a steal.Google Nexus 7 Review - Watch CNET's Video Review
The bad: The lack of built-in expandable storage and and omission of HDMI are disappointing and the design follows the plain, black tablet mold, with uselessly thick top and bottom bezels.
The bottom line: With a beautiful screen, fast performance, a comfortable design, and overall great media options, the Nexus 7 is easily the best 7-inch tablet available and one of the top tablets on the market."
"Meanwhile, the shift to digital books has fueled an arms race among digital start-ups seeking to cash in on the massive pool of data collected by e-reading devices and reading apps. New e-reading services, which allow readers to purchase and store books in a digital library and read them on different devices, have some of the most sophisticated reader tracking software. The digital reading platform Copia, which has 50,000 subscribers, collects detailed demographic and reading data—including the age, gender and school affiliation of people who bought particular titles, as well as how many times the books were downloaded, opened and read—and shares its findings with publishers. Copia aggregates the data, so that individual users aren't identifiable, and shares that information with publishers that request it."Your E-Book Is Reading You - WSJ.com
"That’s a lot of jargon, but it boils down to this: Chrome for iOS will be slow — significantly slower at many tasks than Apple’s built-in browser.Google's Chrome for iOS Uses Apple's Engine - Ina Fried - Mobile - AllThingsD
This isn’t unique to Chrome. All browsers are required to use Apple’s browser engine, whether it is Dolphin or Yahoo Axis or any number of other third-party browsers."
"Google gave a glimpse of that future on Wednesday at its developer conference in a feature called Google Now, which will act as a kind of automated personal assistant on Android smartphones. The service, which will roll out as part of the next update to Google’s mobile operating system, will do things like remind an Android owner of a lunch date — but also who it is with, how to get there and when to leave, based on current traffic congestion. And based on your past Google searches, it will keep you up to date on flight information and sports scores.Will Google's Personal Assistant Be Creepy or Cool? - NYTimes.com
It’s easy to see how this kind of service could be helpful. It’s also really easy to see how it could be creepy. What’s harder, however, is to see the line between the two, and to know where (and when) Google might cross it."
Thursday, June 28, 2012
"The most important feature, given the current tablet market: it’s just $199. You can preorder it today from play.google.com and it’ll ship in mid-July. It certainly alters the center of gravity. That’s the same price as the Fire. Kindle owns the mind space for e-books, but the device is regarded more as a color e-reader than a full-featured tablet. Do consumers want a cheap tablet, or an expensive reader?Google unveils 7-inch tablet, Nexus Seven - Chicago Sun-Times
And how will Apple respond? The Nexus Seven looks like a damned nice little piece of kit. This ought to fan the rumors, at least, of the 7-inch iPad that might arrive this fall. If the Nexus sells well, such a device is inevitable."
"Asked about why Google has multiple different services for video chat and messaging, including Google Talk, Google+ Messenger and Google+ Hangouts, Google Product Manager Nikhyl Singhal admitted: “We have done an incredibly poor job servicing our users here.” Singhal said that Google doesn’t have anything to announce at this point, but that the company is definitely working on unifying all of these experiences."Google to merge Hangouts, Talk & Messenger — Tech News and Analysis
"Now Google wants to update this conversation-based music discovery system for the digital age. At its I/O keynote Wednesday, the company unveiled Nexus Q, a sleek streaming-media sphere that’s 4.6 inches in diameter and looks like pop art. Nearly devoid of outward-facing controls, Nexus Q is a puzzle — a satin-coated curio that begs to be touched and examined. But when you gaze into this mysterious black ball that crackles with light, you don’t see the future but rather blasts from the past: a return to speaker-driven audio, along with all the real-time social sharing that vinyl once inspired."It's a Sphere! The Inside Story of Nexus Q, Google's Music Hardware Gamble | Gadget Lab | Wired.com
With Sights Dead Set on the Living Room, Google Debuts A Streaming Media Device - Mike Isaac - Media - AllThingsD
"The secret sauce here, however, is Android. If Google can leverage Android’s significant lead in mobile market share and convince users to migrate their music to Google’s cloud service, perhaps consumers will see the utility in switching over to a Google-centric universe, one rooted in hardware, software, and Google-distributed content.With Sights Dead Set on the Living Room, Google Debuts A Streaming Media Device - Mike Isaac - Media - AllThingsD
So Q as well as Google Play are big bets for Google, a company whose ambitions now lie far beyond that of organizing the world’s information. When the device actually launches, we’ll see if customers are eager to line — or queue — up."
Exclusive: Google's Rubin and Asus's Shih on Cooking Up the Nexus 7 - Ina Fried - Mobile - AllThingsD
"One way the companies managed that is through razor-thin margins. Google is selling the device through its Google Play store, essentially at cost, and also absorbing the marketing costs associated with the device.Exclusive: Google's Rubin and Asus's Shih on Cooking Up the Nexus 7 - Ina Fried - Mobile - AllThingsD
“When it gets sold through the Play store, there’s no margin,” Rubin said. “It just basically gets (sold) through.”"
"If Glass software fails, “it’s much more intrusive,” Brin said. “But in the past month as we’ve refined it, we don’t have that issue.”Google Glass Trying Not to Be a Distraction to Wearer - Liz Gannes - News - AllThingsD
It has also been helpful to be more selective about triggering notifications. For instance, Brin now only gets notified about email messages in his Gmail Priority Inbox. “It tends to show me only when opportune,” Brin said. “I hear a ding, then look up and see it.”"
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
"Some might wonder why Google’s tablet is not made by Motorola Mobility. The search company has told investors that it does not plan to deeply integrate Motorola into Android. Google’s plans for Motorola remain unclear."Google Reveals Nexus Tablet, a Kindle Fire Competitor - NYTimes.com
"Back in the days of the Cold War, defense analysts would carefully scrutinize the reviewing stand during May Day festivities. The theory was that the Kremlin gave out clues as to which senior officials and which government and military departments had fallen in and out of favor by how closely they stood to the General Secretary of the Party.What to look for from Google IO confab - Chicago Sun-Times
If Google IO were a May Day reviewing stand, a 7” tablet would be waving at the tanks and missile launchers and standing right next to Brezhnev. The Chrome browser would be a few more bodies away, but still in every frame of the TV coverage. Chrome OS would be at the gates of the building, angrily waving an invitation at an impassive guard and shrieking that he is, too supposed to be up there."
"Apple has won its greatest victory yet in its sprawling intellectual property battle with Samsung: An injunction against U.S. sales of what was until recently the Korean company’s marquee Android tablet.Apple Wins Injunction Against Samsung Galaxy Tab - John Paczkowski - News - AllThingsD
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh late Tuesday issued a ruling granting Apple’s request for a preliminary injunction banning sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the United States, pending further review. The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, which Samsung uncrated last month, is not affected."
Apple Wins Patents for Inductive Charging & iOS Scrolling, Rotating & Resizing on Displays - Patently Apple
"The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 27 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our first patent report of the day we cover a pair of Apple patents that could be fuel for future litigation regarding iOS functionality relating to scrolling lists, rotating and resizing content on multi-touch displays. Another patent win covers an iOS docking station based on inductive charging that has yet to surface. Perhaps this granted patent opens the door for its release in the not-too-distant future. To wrap up our report, we list eight other patents in our final wrap up section that covers such things as an uninterrupted virtual private network (VPN) connection service and a light sensitive display."Apple Wins Patents for Inductive Charging & iOS Scrolling, Rotating & Resizing on Displays - Patently Apple
"On Wednesday, Electronic Arts will demonstrate a sophisticated multiplayer video game, complete with three-dimensional graphics and rich illustration, written in an Internet standard called HTML5 that enables the game to be played entirely through a Web browser. That means people can play it on smartphones, tablets, personal computers without a dedicated gaming device, or they could play it on gaming machines.E.A. and Google Got Game - NYTimes.com
The game, called “Strike Force,” has development costs substantially less than a game for a console system of similar quality, said Richard Hilleman, chief creative director at E.A. “We’ve learned how to exploit parts of HTML5 that nobody foresaw.”"
A free, six-part, self-paced Google course, available in July; see the link below for more details
“Today, we’ve opened registration for Power Searching with Google, a free, online, community-based course showcasing these techniques and how you can use them to solve everyday problems. Our course is aimed at empowering you to find what you need faster, no matter how you currently use search. For example, did you know that you can search for and read pages written in languages you’ve never even studied? Identify the location of a picture your friend took during his vacation a few months ago? How about finally identifying that green-covered book about gardening that you’ve been trying to track down for years? You can learn all this and more over six 50-minute classes.”
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
"Whether you’ve noticed or not, you have a new primary email address listed as your Facebook contact and most likely, it’s an address you’ve never used.Facebook Switched Your Email to One You've Probably Never Used
The social-networking site has quietly replaced your default email addresses such as Gmail and Yahoo! with your @Facebook.com address, an email service option the company launched a few years ago and synced with Timeline in April."
"Orbitz Worldwide Inc. has found that people who use Apple Inc.'s Mac computers spend as much as 30% more a night on hotels, so the online travel agency is starting to show them different, and sometimes costlier, travel options than Windows visitors see."On Orbitz, Mac Users Steered to Pricier Hotels - WSJ.com
"If, a few years ago, the emphasis was on blocking children from going to inappropriate sites on the family computer, today’s technologies promise to embed Mom and Dad — and occasionally Grandma — inside every device that children are using, and gather intelligence on them wherever they go.Software Helps Parents Monitor Their Children Online - NYTimes.com
A smartphone application alerts Dad if his son is texting while driving. An online service helps parents keep tabs on every chat, post and photo that floats across their children’s Facebook pages. And another scans the Web in case a child decides to try a new social network that the grown-ups have not even heard of yet."
Microsoft Confirms Worst Kept Secret Ever, Buys Yammer $1.2 Billion - Arik Hesseldahl - News - AllThingsD
"Yammer can’t have ended up in better hands: A cash-rich owner with time on its hands. For all its vaunted popularity among large companies — you can’t have a conversation about it without running into its well-worn stat that it has five million users at 85 percent of the Fortune 500 — Yammer has a famously difficult time converting its free users to paid users. More often than not, a handful of employees will adopt it, with varying levels of success in integrating it into their workflow. Many just experiment with it and then never take to it.Microsoft Confirms Worst Kept Secret Ever, Buys Yammer $1.2 Billion - Arik Hesseldahl - News - AllThingsD
Those who do like it usually find that the free version is sufficient. By Yammer’s own admission, its conversion rate is about 20 percent. That means that, of those five million users, a mere one million are paid users."
Monday, June 25, 2012
"The news is important for Flipboard, because it marks the first time the startup has convinced a big publisher to give it full access to its “premium” content. Previously it has let users sample bits of stuff from magazines, newspapers, and the like.Flipboard Adds Complete New York Times Edition For Subscribers - Peter Kafka - Media - AllThingsD
And it’s important for the Times, because it’s the first time it’s given anyone else full access to its stuff."
"By the end of my meeting with Starner, I decided that if Google manages to pull off anything like the machine he uses, wearable computers seem certain to conquer the world. It simply will be better to have a machine that's hooked onto your body than one that responds to it relatively slowly and clumsily."You Will Want Google Goggles - Technology Review
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Excerpt from an extensive Jean-Louis Gassée Surface snapshot
“For decades, software generated much higher margins than hardware. Microsoft was admired for its extremely high margins, while Apple was criticized for stubbornly sticking to hardware and its lower profitability — to say nothing of lower volumes as a marginal PC player. But now, as Dediu points out, Apple is the company with both the higher revenue and operating margin [emphasis mine]:
‘If we simply divide revenues by PCs sold we get about $55 Windows revenues per PC and $68 of Office revenues per PC sold . The total income for Microsoft per PC sold is therefore about $123. If we divide operating income by PCs as well we get $35 per Windows license and $43 per Office license. That’s a total of $78 of operating profit per PC.
Now let’s think about a post-PC future exemplified by the iPad. Apple sells the iPad with a nearly 33% margin but at a higher average price than Microsoft’s software bundle. Apple gives away the software (and apps are very cheap) but it still gains $195 in operating profit per iPad sold.
Fine, you say, but Microsoft make up for it in volume. Well, that’s a problem. The tablet volumes are expanding very quickly and are on track to overtake traditional PCs while traditional PCs are likely to be disrupted and decline.
So Microsoft faces a dilemma. Their business model of expensive software on cheap hardware is not sustainable. The future is nearly free software integrated into moderately priced hardware.’”
"“You’ve got this sclerotic partnership structure where the partners don’t have any oxygen to be innovative,” said Lou Mazzucchelli, an entrepreneur in residence for a venture capital fund backed by the state of Rhode Island and former technology analyst. “I believe Microsoft was painted into a corner. If they’ve didn’t move soon, Apple would have so much of a lead, it would be almost impossible to catch them.”"With Tablet, Microsoft Takes Aim at Hardware Missteps - NYTimes.com
"But exergames turn out to be much digital ado about nothing, at least as far as measurable health benefits for children. “Active” video games distributed to homes with children do not produce the increase in physical activity that naïve parents (like me) expected. That’s according to a study undertaken by the Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and published early this year in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics."‘Active’ Video Games Don’t Make Youths More Active - NYTimes.com
"By the standards of retailing, Apple offers above average pay — well above the minimum wage of $7.25 and better than the Gap, though slightly less than Lululemon, the yoga and athletic apparel chain, where sales staff earn about $12 an hour. The company also offers very good benefits for a retailer, including health care, 401(k) contributions and the chance to buy company stock, as well as Apple products, at a discount."Apple Stores’ Army, Long on Loyalty but Short on Pay - NYTimes.com
"The idea is to further educate users about the way they can apply Evernote in their real lives. And it helps expand Evernote’s audience to more mainstream users, who now have more tools to use to organize their lives. Evernote in December released mobile apps Evernote Hello and Evernote Food to help people remember contacts and past meals respectively. Evernote also bought services like image-sharing app Skitch last August and handwriting iPad app Penultimate last month. Here’s what CEO and founder Phil Libin had to say:Evernote targets user education at its annual conference — Tech News and Analysis
'People feel they’re not using Evernote to its full potential. There is an appetite for people who want to get the most out of it. And there’s definitely more opportunity because Evernote is much bigger now. The goal has always been to make you smarter and more productive but the ways to do that has definitely increased. We want people to learn all the ways you can use Evernote.'"
From an Economist social business market snapshot
“Rumours of a bid by Microsoft for a social network highlight its clients’ growing appetite for setting up their own “
Friday, June 22, 2012
"At least one market research firm isn’t concerned with the hubbub. Nomura Equities Research initiated coverage of Facebook with a buy rating on Thursday, setting a target price of $40.Haters Gonna Hate, But Facebook Is Still a Buy, Analyst Says - Mike Isaac - Social - AllThingsD
Why the optimism? Well, despite Facebook’s ongoing struggles with proving itself a viable long-term business, Nomura analyst Brian Nowak makes one very salient point: Facebook’s reach extends to more than half of the online world. To boot, Facebook display ads make up about 8 percent of the global advertising market, up from 2.5 percent three years previous."
"Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund told investors this morning that he has learned that Pegatron is also working on a handset for Microsoft. The project isn’t likely to be completed until 2013, he says, but it could result in a new twist in the battle for control of the mobile phone market.Microsoft: First Branded Tablets; Next, Their Own Smartphone? - Forbes
In an interview with Forbes this afternoon, Sherlund says the project could be a reference design for other handset makers – or it could be something they intend to take to the market: a Microsoft-branded smartphone."
“It's time for another rumor about Apple's long-buzzed-about flat-screen television – and here comes one, right on schedule: it'll ship in time for 2012's holiday shopping season.
"A holiday launch would make for a very merry holiday season for Apple and consumers," wrote Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White in an investment-research note, as reported by Forbes.”
Flipboard Officially Launches On Android, Adds Google+, YouTube And More Localized Versions | TechCrunch
"It’s been a big week for Flipboard’s Google-related announcements. On Tuesday, the company revealed Google+ integration was coming to its social magazine, and today, the app is officially launching on all Android devices, including the Kindle Fire and the Nook. The Google+ integration, as well as newly added YouTube integration, is arriving today as well.Flipboard Officially Launches On Android, Adds Google+, YouTube And More Localized Versions | TechCrunch
The app will be available in Google Play, the Amazon Appstore for Android, the Nook Store, and in Samsung Apps."
Evgeny Morozov on Kindle diplomacy
“Well, the dissidents can start celebrating: Three years on, the U.S. State Department has finally announced an ambitious partnership with Amazon. (Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos and Hillary Clinton were supposed to appear at a joint press-conference Wednesday, but it has been postponed because of Clinton's schedule.) The program—which is slated to run over the next five years—would see the State Department spend up to $16.5 million to purchase a maximum of 35,000 Kindles as well as to pay for content (i.e., books) and delivery costs. A fully equipped Kindle costs about $200, so this leaves almost $10 million that can be spent on books—which, given Amazon's low prices, might easily mean 1 million units. Where would these Kindles go? The idea is to ship them to more than 800 designated libraries, public reading rooms, and cultural centers—frequented by more than 6 million young people per year—that the U.S. State Department supports around the globe.”
Thursday, June 21, 2012
"While Microsoft is clearly targeting Google and Apple as its primary competitors with the Windows 8 phone features announced today, the company that has the most to lose with Microsoft’s full entrance into the enterprise mobile business is Research in Motion. Now in fourth place behind Android, iOS, and Symbian in market share, and with Microsoft starting to catch up, RIM was laying off thousands of employees just as Microsoft announced the enterprise-readiness of its next phone OS. And regardless of how rapidly enterprises embrace Windows Phone 8, Microsoft’s other mobile moves could deliver a knockout blow to RIM’s dominance of the enterprise."Why Windows Phone 8 means the BlackBerry is doomed | Ars Technica
"Apple's patent is about saving your online identity from what they describe as the "Little Brothers Dataveillance." It's about a method of assisting users to keep their personal information hidden in a Cyberworld that is constantly building a profile on them. It appears that Apple will be able to "save us" from these Little Brothers in the future and it looks as though they're going to execute this via your iCloud ID. Today's report is deliberately lengthy so that you don't miss a detail of Apple's very important anti-big brother surveillance patent. This is really wild stuff."Apple Wins Surprising Anti-Big Brother Surveillance Patent - Patently Apple
"According to DigiTimes, Pegatron will be building both the Intel and ARM versions of the fondleslab, with the Ivy Bridge-powered slab going for around $799 (Intel's guide price for Ultrabooks) with a $599 alternative for the Tegra 3 system.Pegatron named as Microsoft Surface fondleslab foundry • The Register
Microsoft didn’t give pricing details at its launch on Monday, but indicated the Ultrabook as a guide price, and sources said Microsoft isn't planning on making a massive margin on the tablets."
"Such a magical game changer didn’t come today, and probably doesn’t exist. All Microsoft can do is continue to improve the platform, encourage leading publishers to bring popular apps to it and try to make it possible for developers to write programs that are not only as good as ones on iOS and Android, but better. It’s doing all that.Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 Event: A Partial Monty | Techland | TIME.com
The company also needs to be patient, and it needs to cross its fingers. My guess is that if Windows Phone ever breaks through, it’ll be due to Google fumbling Android as much as Microsoft getting things right."
Sign of the times
“The billionaire boss of technology giant Oracle is to buy 98% of the Hawaiian island of Lanai, Hawaii's governor says.
Larry Ellison's successful bid is unknown, but the asking price was said to be between $500m (£318m) and $600m.”
"Motorola, which was recently acquired by Mountain View, Calif., Internet search giant Google, has been waging legal battles with Apple and Microsoft over Motorola's so-called standards-essential patents, which are important for the broader wireless industry and are generally offered by Motorola at a 2.25% royalty rate.Google's Motorola Seeks New Legal Maneuver With Microsoft - WSJ.com
Mr. Dailey said Motorola has sought to tailor a more palatable royalty rate for Microsoft, by offering the software giant a rate of 50 cents per product built on Microsoft's Windows operating system software, and 33 cents per smartphone using Microsoft's ActiveSync technology.
But Microsoft deputy general counsel for intellectual property Horacio Gutierrez said in a statement that the new proposed licensing rates are still exorbitant."
Will Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 Move Hurt Nokia's Current Business? - Ina Fried - Mobile - AllThingsD
"Microsoft is promising a more modest update for current phones — Windows Phone 7.8 — that will at least allow existing customers to get Windows Phone 8’s more customizable start screen.Will Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 Move Hurt Nokia's Current Business? - Ina Fried - Mobile - AllThingsD
But it remains to be seen how the announcement of Windows Phone 8 — several months before the first devices are ready — will impact sales of the Nokia Lumia and other Microsoft-based phones."
"In all, Bing is fast and accurate, with lots of sophisticated options. If it were the first Internet search service you’d ever tried, you’d probably never quit. Unfortunately for Microsoft, Google got to us first, and after all these years it feels so much like home that most of us have no reason to leave."Google vs. Bing: Which search engine hits the spot? The Boston Globe
Some options for extending the Google Drive platform
“As it turns out, Drive is much more than just a different name for where you used to store documents and spreadsheets. For example, did you know you can fax people documents and PDFs from Drive? Well, you can, and usually for free. You can also edit images in Aviary or Pixlr, send presentations to SlideRocket, and handle Microsoft Project files with Gantter.
When you open the door to non-Google apps, Drive becomes a launchpad for a wide range of useful web tools.”
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
"The list kind of goes on and on, and the more you think you want this device, the more you realize you know almost nothing about it. And that brings me to a final couple of related thoughts: For all of its desire to be just like Apple, Microsoft is nothing like Apple. And Apple would never have introduced such a half-realized product as this. Had Apple announced the Surface, you’d know everything about it, would be able to view the full product specs on its website, would see all of the model versions and options, and so on. And you’d be able to buy it, or at least preorder it, right now.With Surface Tablet, Microsoft Takes On Apple but Mimics Google
And that’s not the only way in which Microsoft is not Apple. In its mad bid to prevent Apple from completely eroding its core market, Microsoft is curiously not using the Apple playbook at all. It’s stealing Google’s strategy of slapping its brand on another company’s product and offering it in competition with both Apple’s iPad and the numerous slates and other computing devices that will be made by its own partners. With the Surface, Microsoft has decided to compete with everyone, even its friends."
"If this thing really hits the market at the predicted price of $199 it’s going to play merry hell on everyone else. It ‘ll have better specs than anything else at that price point, so at a minimum we’re going to see price cut from just about everyone. Hell, I think even the sub-$100 budget tablets are going to feel the pinch. The Nexus 7 will likely cause a glut of returns, and when those tablets show up as refurbs the bottom of the market will drop.The Digital Reader - The Best News and Info on eReaders and Tablets
And the more focused devices like the Nook Tablet and the Kindle Fire will likely both drop below $200, just to stay competitive. And there goes B&N’s market share and what little profit margin they had left."
"The technology inside the Touch Cover (one of the methods of adding keys to the standard tablet) first showed up in the multi-touch Sidewinder x4 gaming keyboard in 2010 – and that was based on a patent Microsoft has had since 2003, waiting for the right product to put it into."What's unique about Microsoft's Surface tablet Touch Cover? | News | TechRadar
"Let’s be clear, though: Microsoft making hardware is not a natural action. It’s what the company does in times of desperation. With the release of Windows 8 looming, Microsoft was indeed desperate for a hardware company to do something to blunt Apple’s runaway tablet machine. The Surface tablet represents an indictment of the entire PC and device industry, which has stood by for a couple of years trying to mimic Apple with a parade of hapless, copycat products."Why Microsoft's Surface Tablet Shames the PC Industry - Businessweek
"Barnes & Noble said that it continued to maintain its healthy e-book market share in the U.S. of 25% to 30% during the quarter. But Nook device sales declined in the fourth quarter in part because of higher third-party retailer returns and lower average selling prices. Overall, the digital business reported a loss, before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $77 million for the quarter, widening from the loss of $47 million in the year-earlier quarter.Barnes & Noble Posts Loss; Nook Device Sales Fall - WSJ.com: "
Although Barnes & Noble earlier projected $1.5 billion in gross digital sales for the full year ended April 28, it reported only $1.3 billion—a $200 million shortfall."
'via Blog this'
"With an iPhone, you get far less control, but you get the Apple ecosystem: a smoothly integrated app/music/movie store. Universal charger connectors that show up in cars and hotel rooms worldwide. Hardware and software that were designed together, so features look and work consistently.Samsung Galaxy S III Phone Bristles With Extras — State of the Art - NYTimes.com
But in Samsung’s latest and greatest machine, you get 4G Internet speed, a huge screen and clever motion-sensing features — in a thin, stunningly sculptured slab. In the galaxy of app phones, this one is a bright, beautiful star."
Personal Technology: Samsung Galaxy S III Smartphone Review - Walt Mossberg - Personal Technology - AllThingsD
"Based on my tests, I consider the Galaxy S III a very good phone, and a strong competitor for the iPhone and for other leading Android models. In every major feature area, such as voice calling, Web browsing, and photography, it performed very well. I can recommend it to people who would like a much bigger screen than Apple offers, who prefer Android, or who are attracted by some of its secondary features, like new ways of sharing content."Personal Technology: Samsung Galaxy S III Smartphone Review - Walt Mossberg - Personal Technology - AllThingsD
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
"Wrong! Having decided to sell tablets under its own name, Microsoft went for the gusto. Its Surface tablets are nothing less than the hardware equivalent of Windows 8 itself: A radical rethinking of the PC for the post-PC era.My First 23 Questions About Microsoft’s ‘Surface’ Windows 8 Tablet | Techland | TIME.com
Microsoft isn’t going to let Windows 8 fail because the hardware it runs on isn’t ambitious enough, and it apparently doesn’t trust the major PC manufacturers to do the job. After 31 years of writing software for other companies’ computers, it’s building its own PCs, its own way. Even if Surface doesn’t work out, it’s a moment of enormous significance for the company and the industry."
"With Microsoft's unveiling of a laptop today carrying the "Surface" name, the company has bestowed a new name on the product that formerly carried the Surface moniker.Microsoft renames its old Surface computer as PixelSense | Microsoft - CNET News
The table-top, multitouch computer that Microsoft unveiled in 2007, which was largely relegated to retail outlets, hotel lobbies, and museums, has been rebranded as PixelSense."
"As it does with the Xbox, Microsoft has opted to make the Surface tablets—both hardware and software—on its own. This stands as a huge affront to Microsoft’s longtime PC partners. Making matters worse, the Surface products look far better than anything else the PC makers have shown to date on the tablet front. Even Apple (AAPL) has been put on notice, if the hoots and hollers from the event were any indication.Microsoft's Surface Tablets Raise the Bar for PC Pals - Businessweek
The keyboard/cover combo is a fantastic idea that immediately makes you question future laptop purchases. That’s yet a further blow against Microsoft’s PC buddies. When Windows 8 launches this fall, Microsoft will sell the tablets through its own online and retail stores and nowhere else. The company declined to reveal pricing details at the June 18 event."
"It was a killer debut. But keep in mind that it’s just a staged event. We’re all still waiting to hear some potentially dealbreaking details. How much will these devices cost? The RT model will be “comparable to ARM-based hardware.” $499 is a reasonable guess. The Pro model will be priced like an Ultrabook, which, yikes, puts it closer to a thousand bucks.Microsoft’s Surface tablet something to get excited about - Chicago Sun-Times
Is that a fatal blow? Not at all. Keep in mind that upper-end iPads are also priced in the Ultrabook range...and the senior Surface is being marketed as something that can be a “real” PC as well as an ereader. If Microsoft can keep that price comfortably under a grand, I don’t think this alone will be a major issue. The RT model will be out at around the same time as Windows 8 (so, sometime this fall), with the Pro to follow a few months later."
"Microsoft may have made an enterprise-grade machine to take on the iPad, but along the way it has built something with an Intel chip, a keyboard, a trackpad, touch, and a full suite of Microsoft software. That starts to look a lot like a laptop."Microsoft's Surface Pro: Sorry, H.P. - NYTimes.com
"But among the nuggets from today’s surprise earnings conference call — held three days earlier than scheduled — was news that not only is Oracle’s business officially killing it, but that Oracle is now on track to be the second-largest software-as-a-service company in the world behind Salesforce.comOracle Is a Bigger Power in the Cloud Than You Thought - Arik Hesseldahl - News - AllThingsD
How’d that happen? Acquisitions. Earlier this year, Oracle spent a combined $3.3 billion for Taleo and RightNow. The combined effect, as CEO Larry Ellison put it during his remarks on a 35-minute conference call with analysts, is that Oracle is on track to bring in $1 billion in bookings this year."
CEO Ballmer on Where Microsoft's Surface Tablet Fits in PC Ecosystem - Ina Fried - Mobile - AllThingsD
"In a brief chat after the event, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that PC makers have known for an unspecified period of time that Microsoft would be doing its own hardware.CEO Ballmer on Where Microsoft's Surface Tablet Fits in PC Ecosystem - Ina Fried - Mobile - AllThingsD
Ballmer noted that there will be a lot of PCs sold that will be made by companies other than Microsoft.
“If you look at the bulk of the 375 million machines that get sold (next year), they probably aren’t going to be Surfaces,” Ballmer said. “On the other hand, we could have a sizeable business.”"
Monday, June 18, 2012
"Microsoft’s in an unusually healthy position to win at the tablet game. First, they’ve already established an ability to understand what consumers want and expect from a non-conventional computer. Seeds from the Xbox will land in fertile soil. Secondly, they already have the Xbox as a beachhead; a consumer tablet can thrive on its own but it can also work as an intimately-connected part of the TV experience. Which adds value to a Microsoft tablet; think of a $299 price tag as a $199 ereader/game tablet plus a $99 Xbox controller that delivers enhanced gaming and TV content."Ihnatko: What to expect from Microsoft announcement - Chicago Sun-Times
"Assuming this tablet capitalizes on everything Microsoft has access to, Redmond could have a contender. Obviously, Microsoft could bring both Windows and Office to the device. But, the company also has its Xbox gaming abilities, plenty of licensing deals with Hollywood and the music labels as well as the Barnes & Noble partnership it stuck when settling a legal battle earlier this year.Why Today Is a Major Watershed in the History of Microsoft - Ina Fried - Mobile - AllThingsD
Of course, it remains to be seen just how much Microsoft has put together for this device, not to mention how much it will cost and when folks can get their hands on it."
"Kevin Kelly's book has been deconstructed into what Holliday called a "thesis." It's been divided into 7 topics, totaling less than 20,000 words - much less than the 400 pages of the original book. The app also includes multimedia, such as images and video.Reimagining Books: How Citia's iPad App Compares to a Paper Book
The HyperCard concept was used, Holliday explained, because they wanted the app to have modular content. This allows the reader to re-organize the information and consume it in a non-linear fashion. The reader can also theoretically share bits of it, via Facebook, Twitter and email. However, that part seems to be buggy, as neither Twitter nor Facebook worked for me in my tests. A really interesting concept that Citia hopes to introduce soon, when it has more books in its collection, is to show connections between ideas across books. If you have prior knowledge about a particular topic from reading another Citia book, the app will recognize that and you won't have to read about it again."
"What’s the nation most likely to ask Google to take down user content or hand over user data? The United States, and increasingly so.Google Says the U.S. Government Asks for User Data Most Often - Liz Gannes - News - AllThingsD
The U.S. government asked Google to hand over user data 6,321 times in the second half of 2011, an increase of 37 percent from the same period in 2010."
"So, what about those out there that bought into the Yammer vision, especially customers? Does Yammer become the next Groove, a bold vision of collaboration that goes to Redmond to die? Here is what Microsoft needs to do to make this work"Microsoft and Yammer Face a Sliding Doors Moment - Forbes
"Unfortunately, what we’ve seen over the past couple years has been troubling, and today is no different. When we started releasing this data in 2010, we also added annotations with some of the more interesting stories behind the numbers. We noticed that government agencies from different countries would sometimes ask us to remove political content that our users had posted on our services. We hoped this was an aberration. But now we know it’s not.More transparency into government requests | Official Google Blog
This is the fifth data set that we’ve released. And just like every other time before, we’ve been asked to take down political speech. It’s alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect—Western democracies not typically associated with censorship. "
"Now we are hearing that while the tech titan is indeed expected to unveil a tablet, the new product is being developed in conjunction with Barnes & Noble and will focus on entertainment, according to a TechCrunch report. Another source says Xbox streaming is also on tap for the tablet.Microsoft to unveil tablet with Barnes & Noble? | Microsoft - CNET News
If true, the report suggests that a new Microsoft tablet would be aimed at Amazon's Kindle Fire rather than Apple's slate."
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Technology - Alexis Madrigal - Inside Google's Plan to Build a Catalog of Every Single Thing, Ever - The Atlantic
"After five long years, they had 12 million objects in the database. And they were purchased by Google. In the first year after the acquisition, they had 25 million things. What did Google bring to the acquisition, aside from money? Data, of course, of a very specific kind. Before, they were just guessing at what people might want to know (cheese, rivers, highways, etc). With Google's search data, they *know* what users are after, so they can go about finding and making that information available.Technology - Alexis Madrigal - Inside Google's Plan to Build a Catalog of Every Single Thing, Ever - The Atlantic
With Google's help, their database has grown rapidly to over 500 million items objects. That's orders of magnitude larger than previous attempts to educate artificial intelligences like the Cyc project out of the University of Texas. (Though it should be noted that Cyc has some capabilities that the Knowledge Graph does not.)"
"Nokia had $12.4 billion in cash and short-term investments as of March 31, topping its market value of $8.6 billion Thursday, the data show. After accounting for debt, Nokia’s net cash position of $5.9 billion is still the equivalent of 68 percent of its market capitalization.
“Close to half of the market cap is cash — that’s cheap no matter what’s going on,” Mahoney said. For private-equity firms, “it’s cheap enough. When you are at this type of level, you don’t even need to cut costs that much to get value out of the transaction.”"
How Nokia put itself at risk for a takeover bid - The Washington Post
"Elop, who had just come from Microsoft, must have known that choosing Windows was always going to be a gamble, even a moonshot. But in the tech business, if you’re not aiming for the moon, what’s the point?RIP, Nokia (1865 – 2014) | PandoDaily
But the moonshot missed its target. Now Nokia is crashing into the sea. The company’s line of Lumia phones—gorgeous though they are—aren’t selling. Last quarter Nokia shipped just 2 million of them. That ranks as strong for Nokia—and it’s heartening that the U.S., which has historically been a tough market for the company, was one of the better regions for Lumia—but it is nowhere near the blockbuster Nokia needed."
Saturday, June 16, 2012
In other tablet news
“Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will announce the global launch of the “Kindle Mobile Learning Initiative” on June 20 in Washington, D.C., the U.S. State Department said today.
This initiative “will create a global e-reader program that introduces aspects of U.S. society and culture directly to young people, students, and international audiences in new ways and expands English language learning opportunities worldwide,” according to the State Department.”
Not dead yet – but see the full post for some Verizon/Motorola partnership aspects
“An astonishing bit of news has come out of a recently released financial research note from William Blair. According to the sources of analyst Anil Doradla, the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx has displaced the iPhone 4S as the bestselling smartphone at Verizon Wireless, Barron’s reported. The iPhone has always been the top smartphone at every North American carrier it has landed on, so for another vendor—in particular a struggling Motorola Mobility—to displace it is quite a feat.”
"BMO isn't alone in assigning zero value to the company's core mobile phone business. Analysts at Canaccord Genuity also give no credit to the money-losing operation. Some other banks have more optimistic assessments, including Nordic bank Nordea, which values the phones business at $3.5 billion.As Nokia Teeters, What's It Worth? - WSJ.com
On Friday, Moody's Investors Service slashed Nokia's credit rating to junk, citing worries about its cash position and slow sales of new Windows-based phones. Credit rating firms Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings made similar moves in April."
"The Wall Street Journal is confirming yesterday's rumor that Microsoft will acquire enterprise microblogging service Yammer for a generous $1.2 billion.Microsoft and Yammer....Why? Why Now? < Real Story Group Blog
People are tripping over themselves to explain why this makes sense, but to me, it's a big shocker, and speaks volumes about what's happening -- or not happening -- in Redmond right now.
It's a shocker because Microsoft almost never makes acquisitions in technology segments that SharePoint nominally covers. Redmond has fiercely protected the SharePoint brand, copying innovations from smaller partners, rather than acquiring them. Microsoft has focused its SharePoint integration efforts on Office (the real cash-cow), and worked hard to keep the massive SharePoint codebase reasonably coherent. The downside to this approach is SharePoint's very sluggish, triennial update schedule.
So why did Microsoft break the mold here? Here's two plausible theories."
Excerpt from a Danny Sullivan Apple/Google co-opetition reality check
“Looking at all that, Apple might decide that it makes sense to stay with Google in various ways. After all, Google seems to be generating hundreds of millions to perhaps billions of dollars for it. Google’s almost certainly generating more revenue for Apple than any other search partner and has a proven record (that’s important; ask Yahoo how that Bing deal worked out). I wonder if Google is potentially one of Apple’s biggest revenue-generating partners period?
Maybe we’ll be able to ferret out more about that. But suffice to say, Google’s a major trading partner with Apple. You don’t go thermonuclear on a trading partner, not if they’re making you plenty of money and you can try to maintain an upper-hand in other ways.”
"No one really knows what Microsoft is going to announce Monday, at least not yet. I can tell you that reports about this being a Windows RT event are wrong, based on multiple categorical denials I’ve seen. But there are some good theories. I like the idea of a Microsoft, Xbox-branded tablet. (Which, actually, would probably be Windows RT-based.) Or a Barnes & Noble eBook reader (which, yes, would also be Windows RT based). My own guess is that this is the Xbox Video announcement, and if you tie that into rumors that Microsoft is buying the TV and movie streaming service Hulu, you can see how the software giant might be creating an “Xbox Video Pass” service to go along with Xbox Video. But these are all, literally, just guesses. We’ll need to wait for Monday to find out more."WinInfo Short Takes: June 15, 2012
"Google+ has lost the support of two high-profile casual game developers, PopCap and Wooga, with speculation that the social network has failed to penetrate the social gaming market in the manner of Facebook. Electronic Arts’ owned PopCap confirmed it would “redeploy resources” previously assigned to the Google+ version of Bejeweled, WSJ reports, while Wooga is yet to comment on its warning to gamers that it would be pulling three titles from the social site."Google+ is Game Over as Popcap and Wooga yank titles - SlashGear
Check the post link below for some reasons why it’s a smart and timely deal
They’ve got it all wrong. This is the best Silicon Valley deal we’ve seen all year. Facebook’s $1 billion purchase of Instagram makes Microsoft’s pickup of Yammer look like the Louisiana Purchase by comparison.
(Full disclosure: Sacks is an investor in my company, CapLinked. I also worked for Sacks at PayPal, and CapLinked has an existing business relationship with Microsoft.)
Here’s why Yammer will be a great fit for Microsoft and why Yammer’s stakeholders are well served by joining the Microsoft universe:”
Friday, June 15, 2012
"Yammer might have seen offers from a number of other companies in recent years, as other enterprise players were rolling up competitors, like the SalesForce buy of Socialcast, and the recent Citrix acquisition of Podio. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out that Oracle is on the hunt, and SAP has made a dramatic splash in this market in the past few months, albeit without making an acquisition, yet. Yammer might have looked at the rapid consolidation in the market by multibillion-sized competitors and deemed acquisition by Microsoft as one of the least-risky paths to potential market dominance. A Yammer/Sharepoint integration is a potential killer app for the market today, with hundreds of millions of seats to be sold."Stowe Boyd
"We need the simulator for at least two reasons. In Europe alone, brain diseases affect 180 million people, or roughly one in three—a number that is set to grow as the population ages. At the same time, pharmaceutical companies are not investing in new treatments for the ailing nervous system. A holistic view of the brain would enable us to reclassify such diseases in biological terms rather than looking at them simply as sets of symptoms. The breadth of this perspective would allow us to move forward to develop a generation of treatments that selectively target the underlying abnormalities.A Countdown to a Digital Simulation of Every Last Neuron in the Human Brain: Scientific American
The second reason is that computing is fast approaching barriers to further development. Computers cannot do many tasks that animal brains do effortlessly, despite the inexorable increase in processing power. For instance, although computer scientists have made huge progress in visual recognition, the machines still struggle to make use of context in a scene or to use arbitrary scraps of information to predict future events in the way the brain can."
"If such a “reader” were more akin to the Kindle Fire than to an iPad, a Los Angeles launch might make sense. Think this through. A Kindle Fire is an entertainment/consumption device. It is great for movie watching and music listening (hello, LA!) It also lets you read books (hello, Barnes & Noble). And remember: The settlement/contract between B&N and Microsoft mentioned Windows Phone. A lot. (In between all the redactions in that document.)"What if the rumored 'Microsoft tablet' isn't a Windows tablet? | ZDNet
"A Microsoft tablet has the potential to rankle Windows device makers, too. Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba, Nokia and a long list of other PC makers are working on scores of Window 8 and Windows RT tablets and hybrids. Many are likely to debut when Microsoft release Windows 8 later this year."Microsoft to take on Apple with own Windows 8 tablet? | Business Tech - CNET News
"The companies bound themselves together last year in a last-ditch effort to compete in a smartphone market dominated by Apple Inc. and Google Inc. Now, Microsoft faces the possibility that the company responsible for two-thirds of its mobile software shipments may not be strong enough to give it influence in mobile computing."Nokia's Problems Haunt Microsoft - WSJ.com
"The company isn’t talking about its effort, but Microsoft has scheduled an event Monday in Los Angeles, where it has promised a “major” announcement. AllThingsD reported earlier on Thursday that the event would center around Microsoft’s tablet strategy.Microsoft Is Doing Its Own Tablet. How Do You Like Them Apples? - Ina Fried - Mobile - AllThingsD
Sources say that Microsoft concluded that it needs its own tablet, with the company designing both the hardware and software in an effort to better compete against Apple’s strengths. Microsoft’s tablets may include machines running ARM-based processors as well as models running on traditional PC processors, sources said."
"That such a facelift of Gmail feels necessary is an indication of just how much things have changed since Google launched the service in 2004. Gmail instantly outmoded all other Web-based e-mail, and arguably still leads in terms of features and user experience. But the way we use the Web to communicate has changed significantly since 2004. Fluent and Zeromail are nice attempts to bring e-mail in line with that, but ultimately the thought behind Google Wave may still be right: e-mail is an anachronism."Google Wave's Inventors Give Gmail a Facelift - Technology Review:
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Evernote for Windows: Know What’s Happening In Shared Notebooks With Activity Stream | Evernote Blogcast
A very powerful new activity tracking feature for Evernote (initially for Evernote for Windows) – and very timely as well, since there has been some speculation this week about Apple obviating Evernote for note-taking, on iOS 6 and Mac OS X Mountain Lion. Also see this post for some compelling and contextual capabilities in the latest Evernote Web clipper for Chrome.
“The Activity Stream, available by clicking the new satellite dish button, allows you to see what’s happening in all of your Shared Notebooks, as well as those that others have shared with you. Whenever something changes, a badge appears on the icon.
Each item in the stream includes an icon that illustrates the event, text describing what has occurred with a link to notebook, and the time that Evernote checked for updates.”
"The Australian online retailer Kogan.com has introduced the world's first "tax" on Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) browser.BBC News - World's first 'tax' on Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7
Customers who use IE7 will have to pay an extra surcharge on online purchases made through the firm's site.
Chief executive Ruslan Kogan told the BBC he wanted to recoup the time and costs involved in "rendering the website into a antique browser".
The charge is set to 6.8% - 0.1% for every month since the IE7 launch."
'"Google's new approach, made possible through the Knowledge Graph, is to try to interpret what a person is asking about in a much more sophisticated way and directly retrieve relevant information.Google's New Brain Could Have a Big Impact - Technology Review
However, data from past searches is still used to determine what information is most relevant. For example, people often add the word "cast" when searching for TV shows, so the actors in a series are usually listed when it surfaces from the Knowledge Graph. "It's a learning process," says Thakur. "The queries that people are doing tell us what people are interested in." This also helps Google figure out new links between concepts in the Knowledge Graph. Both the number of entries and links between them are growing fast, says Thakur, although he declined to say just how rapidly."
"Remember Google TV? You know, Google's weird, cumbersome foray into the world of set top boxes? When it was released it seemed like a convoluted mess, but it's actually evolved into a pretty awesome platform. Here's why you should care and how you can get the most out of it."Google TV: It's Actually Awesome, and Here's How to Get the Most Out Of It
Under the Hood: Hadoop Distributed Filesystem reliability with Namenode and Avatarnode (Facebook Engineering)
"The Hadoop Distributed Filesystem (HDFS) forms the basis of many large-scale storage systems at Facebook and throughout the world. Our Hadoop clusters include the largest single HDFS cluster that we know of, with more than 100 PB physical disk space in a single HDFS filesystem. Optimizing HDFS is crucial to ensuring that our systems stay efficient and reliable for users and applications on Facebook."Under the Hood: Hadoop Distributed Filesystem reliability with Namenode and Avatarnode
"Recent data and comments suggest the phone performed well, but not great. After a strong start, sales petered. While AT&T was initially enthusiastic about the Lumia 900, it isn't saying much about the phone now.Just how well did Nokia's Lumia 900 do? | Mobile - CNET News
More importantly, the Lumia 900 failed to break into the minds of consumers and establish Windows Phone as a heavyweight in the smartphone industry, behind only Apple's iOS and Google's Android. Still, the phone did well enough to keep Nokia in the game, even if it remains a lesser known player. Less clear is whether it will get another shot as a headliner at a U.S. carrier now that it has lost its flagship slot at AT&T."
"How does the new laptop fare on the Ultimate Laptop Wish List? Extremely well. It tops the charts on screen, keyboard, sound, start-up time, looks, battery life and fast/thin/light. It can have copious memory (up to 16 gigabytes) and storage, for a handsome fee.Apple’s MacBook Pro Is Just One Point Short of Perfection - State of the Art - NYTimes.com
Inexpensive? Not even close. But as with cars, homes and partners, you can’t have everything. Professionals, commence your scrounging."
"Google proved to be one of the more ambitious applicants. It spent almost $18.7 million applying for more than 100 top-level domains, some expected, some not. Not surprisingly, the search giant wants .google, .youtube, .goog and .plus. It was the only applicant vying for .fly, .new and .eat. But it is going to have to fight Johnson & Johnson for .baby, Microsoft for .docs and .live, and Amazon for 17 top-level domains: .wow, .search, .shop, .drive, .free, .game, .mail, .map, .movie, .music, .play, .shop, .show, .spot, .store, .talk and .you.Google Wants Love and 100 Other Things - NYTimes.com
Amazon also went after .tunes, .got, .author, .smile, .song, .joy, .bot, .like and .call. It does not appear that Facebook applied for any domain. Apple applied for .apple."
"Once Microsoft gets its hands on it, two things will be true: Yammer, which is generally seen as still being buggy and in need of a lot of smoothing out of its rougher edges, will need some serious investment. The problem is that even at a $1 billion valuation, Yammer is small enough that it will disappear inside Microsoft.Why The Rumored Microsoft Deal for Yammer Rings True - Arik Hesseldahl - News - AllThingsD
The other is that the the freemium business model will have to go away. With the possible exception of Skype, it’s just not in Microsoft’s DNA to offer an enterprise product for free and leave it to the user to upgrade to the paid version when it suits them. When the rubber meets the road, many customers may dump Yammer in favor of something else. Those that are serious and willing to pay will consider Jive which would probably capitalize on the opportunity by offering special deals to customers who switch. Those who demand free will switch to something they can still get for free."
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
A timely snapshot of Facebook’s Data Science Team; tangentially, also see Facebook says its ads do work, issues supporting report (Los Angeles Times)
“And yet, even as Facebook has embedded itself into modern life, it hasn't actually done that much with what it knows about us. Now that the company has gone public, the pressure to develop new sources of profit (see "The Facebook Fallacy") is likely to force it to do more with its hoard of information. That stash of data looms like an oversize shadow over what today is a modest online advertising business, worrying privacy-conscious Web users (see "Few Privacy Regulations Inhibit Facebook") and rivals such as Google. Everyone has a feeling that this unprecedented resource will yield something big, but nobody knows quite what.”
"Apple has finally acknowledged what the market has been telling it since it first debuted Ping, its social network for music, in September of 2010. The service is a failure.Apple Will Discontinue Ping in Next iTunes Update - John Paczkowski - Social - AllThingsD
And rather than continue to maintain Ping, the company is abandoning it and using its partnerships with Twitter and Facebook to make its various software and service offerings social in a way that consumers actually care about."
Facebook Targets 16.6% Of The Web On WordPress With New Easy-Install Social Blog Widgets | TechCrunch
"Facebook continues its march across the Internet with the release of its Like button, recommendation feed, comments box and other social plugins as WordPress.org and WordPress VIP widgets. And now with one-click, WordPress admin can set up auto-publishing of blog posts as links from Facebook Pages and author accounts, and give visitors the option to auto-share what they read and . This is big since the two companies confirmed that WordPress powers 16.6% of the web."Facebook Targets 16.6% Of The Web On WordPress With New Easy-Install Social Blog Widgets | TechCrunch
Apple Spokesperson Confirms New Mac Pro Designs Likely Coming in 2013 [Update: Not iMac] - Mac Rumors
"Soon after we posted the article, we received a report from a reader who had emailed Apple CEO Tim Cook about his disappointment in the lack of a significant Mac Pro update yesterday, with Cook responding to indicate that users can expect significant upgrades next year.Apple Spokesperson Confirms New Mac Pro Designs Likely Coming in 2013 [Update: Not iMac] - Mac Rumors
'Our pro customers are really important to us...don't worry as we're working on something really great for later next year.'"
"Thankfully, some of the big tech companies are realizing that broadcasted stupidity makes for a bad user experience. Instead they’re focusing on customized “relevance” that’s relative to who you are and who you’re connected to. If you don’t like what you see, it’s your own fault.Twitter, Facebook, and Airtime Are Waging War Against The Internet’s Stupidity | TechCrunch
Twitter’s re-written Trending Topics algorithm called Tailored Trends is especially clever because it doesn’t directly discourage stupidity, it just funnels it back to people who find dumb things entertaining."
"Customers who choose a shared data plan will pay a monthly fee for each device on their account. A smartphone would cost $40 a month, a normal cellphone $30 and a tablet $10. Then there is an additional monthly fee for the shared data pool, ranging from $50 for 1 gigabyte to $100 for 10 gigabytes. A family of three with an iPhone, a regular cellphone and an iPad that wants 10 gigabytes would pay a total of $180 a month.Verizon Unveils Wireless Plans That Cover Several Devices - NYTimes.com
When an account is close to using up its data, each device on the shared plan receives an alert asking if the customer wants to buy an extra 2 gigabytes of data for $10, Ms. Raney of Verizon said. But if they ignore this and go over the limit, they have to pay $15 for every extra gigabyte they use, she said."
Even With a Little Polish, Chrome OS Is Still a Bit Hazy - Walt Mossberg - Personal Technology - AllThingsD
"This year, Microsoft and Apple are both introducing new versions of their operating systems with important changes to their user interfaces, and with a flurry of publicity. A third major company is also overhauling its PC operating system, but you probably won’t hear much about it."Even With a Little Polish, Chrome OS Is Still a Bit Hazy - Walt Mossberg - Personal Technology - AllThingsD
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
"And at the end of the year, Microsoft will introduce Windows 8 and a new edition of Windows Phone. If they can truly pull off that kind of integration, Apple could finally have a challenger on its hands in mobile devices. Apple owns the tablet market just as overwhelmingly as Microsoft owns desktops. What happens when Microsoft tries to make a tablet that also works like a desktop?IHNATKO: Apple updates MacBooks, iPhone software, more - Chicago Sun-Times
“Game Of Thrones” ended its season last week. Fret not...we’ll see more swordplay by the end of the year, that’s for sure."
"Apple’s passionate embrace of the idea that Jobs outlined in 2009 puts it at a distinct advantage over its competition. Google is going through contortions to balance the mobile-desktop dichotomy embodied by its two operating systems, Android and Chrome. And though Microsoft now understands the vital importance of mobile, its strategy still seems tilted toward desktop primacy — accommodating the future rather than hastening it. Apple, meanwhile, has boldly declared that mobile is the mothership. And those lumbering trucks are roadkill."Twilight of the Trucks: WWDC Was All About Apple’s Big Bet on Mobile | Wired Business | Wired.com
Amazing Android acceleration
“With that announcement, it looks like Google is on track to hit 1 million daily Android activations by the end of this year, which we’ve been expecting for some time. The 900K figure falls in line with projections made by analyst Horace Dediu several months ago (see graph below), who said that Android could hit the 1 million mark by mid-August.”
"Today at the 20th annual TechEd North America conference, Microsoft Server and Tools Business President Satya Nadella welcomed a sold-out crowd of more than 10,000 to the era of the cloud operating system (OS) for infrastructure. Nadella described how the cloud OS drives both the modern datacenter and enables the development and management of modern applications, demonstrating how customers can benefit from this transformation with agility, focus and lower costs. He also announced updates to the company’s developer tools and availability of the next release of Windows Intune, the company’s cloud-based solution for PC and mobile device management and security."Microsoft Ushers in the 'Era of the Cloud OS'
"It’s always a tricky thing for developers, who seek to provide applications which add value on top of the mobile hardware and software that Apple has released. But as time goes on, more and more of the applications that developers build end up being replaced by features that Apple builds directly into its software. With the launch of iOS 6, here’s a list of apps and categories that could be affected by features Apple has added directly into the OS."Which Apps Got Screwed By iOS 6? | TechCrunch