"There's no tablet in this size range that's as beautifully constructed, works as flawlessly, or has such an incredible software selection. Would I prefer a higher-res display? Certainly. Would I trade it for the app selection or hardware design? For the consistency and smoothness of its software, or reliability of its battery? Absolutely not. And as someone who's been living with (and loving) Google's Nexus 7 tablet for a few months, I don't say that lightly.iPad mini review | The Verge
The iPad mini hasn't wrapped up the "cheapest tablet" market by any stretch of the imagination. But the "best small tablet" market? Consider it captured."
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
iPad mini review | The Verge
Google Introduces New Emergency Resources in Response to Sandy - NYTimes.com
"On Monday night, the company introduced the new service, public alerts, to show warnings about natural disasters and emergencies based on information from government agencies like Ready.gov and the National Weather Service. Google said it had planned to introduce the service later, but sped up the process in response to Sandy. In the future, it will add alerts from other services, like Nixle, which publishes messages from the local police.Google Introduces New Emergency Resources in Response to Sandy - NYTimes.com
The alerts show up in response to searches on Google.com and Google Maps, and appear unprompted on the cellphones of people with the latest version of Android, through Google Now."
Apple iPad Mini Review - Walt Mossberg - Personal Technology - AllThingsD
"I’ve been testing the iPad mini for several days and found it does exactly what it promises: It brings the iPad experience to a smaller device. Every app that ran on my larger iPad ran perfectly on the mini. I was able to use it one-handed and hold it for long periods of time without tiring. My only complaints were that it’s a tad too wide to fit in most of my pockets, and the screen resolution is a big step backwards from the Retina display on the current large iPad."Apple iPad Mini Review - Walt Mossberg - Personal Technology - AllThingsD
Asustek: Nexus 7 Sales Approaching 1 million a Month - Digits - WSJ
"Sales of Google Inc.’s Nexus 7, made by Taiwan’s Asustek Computer Inc., are closing in on 1 million units a month, the Taiwanese maker revealed.Asustek: Nexus 7 Sales Approaching 1 million a Month - Digits - WSJ
The 7-inch tablet has created a big buzz this year with its low starting price of US$199, but both Google and Asustek have been cagey about revealing actual sales figures."
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Google's Siri Rival Now Available for iOS - John Paczkowski - Mobile - AllThingsD
tbd if you can get the new Google app and Siri into a discussion…
“A rival to Apple’s own Siri intelligent agent, Google’s app provides contextual answers to voice queries, along with pertinent Web search results. Those answers aren’t manually curated; they’re simply the Internet’s best guess. But thanks to Google’s Knowledge Graph — a sort of storehouse of semantic-search information — they seem to be generally pretty accurate.”
Google's Siri Rival Now Available for iOS - John Paczkowski - Mobile - AllThingsD
Dear Samsung Galaxy Note II, It's Not You, It's Me - Lauren Goode - Product Reviews - AllThingsD
"With the Note, Samsung has been trying to offer a hybrid device, a “phablet” if you will, that lets you carry just one gadget instead of a phone and a tablet. But for me it just didn’t split the difference well.Dear Samsung Galaxy Note II, It's Not You, It's Me - Lauren Goode - Product Reviews - AllThingsD
When I was heading out for a night and slipping it into my jacket pocket or purse I wished it was smaller. When I was sitting in bed watching videos on it, I wanted a tablet or laptop after awhile.
When I listened to music on it at the gym — something I do regularly with my iPhone — the Note II started to feel like a responsibility instead of a running accessory."
Welcome to the Jony Ive Era at Apple - John Paczkowski - News - AllThingsD
"One area he clashed with Forstall on, in fact, was in this arena. Forstall, for example, favored skeuomorphic design — adding real-to-life elements in software — while Ive reportedly deplored it (as did many).Welcome to the Jony Ive Era at Apple - John Paczkowski - News - AllThingsD
Now, Ive will be free to rid Apple software of it and, really, do anything he likes."
Microsoft Renews Relevance With Machine Learning Technology - NYTimes.com
"“Azure is a real threat to Amazon Web Services, Google and other cloud companies because of its installed base,” said Anthony Goldbloom, the founder of Kaggle, a predictive analytics company. “They have data from places like Bing and Xbox, and in Excel they have the world’s most widely used analysis software.”Microsoft Renews Relevance With Machine Learning Technology - NYTimes.com
Like other giants, Microsoft also has something that start-ups like Kaggle do not: immense amounts of money — $67 billion in cash and short-term investments at the end of the last quarter — and the ability to work for 10 years, or even 20, on a big project."
Monday, October 29, 2012
In Shake-Up, Apple's Mobile Software and Retail Chiefs to Depart - NYTimes.com
"The biggest of the changes involved the departure of Scott Forstall, an Apple veteran who for several years ran software development for Apple’s iPad and iPhone products. Mr. Forstall was an important executive at the company and the one who, in many respects, seemed to most closely embody the technology vision of Steven P. Jobs, the former chief executive of Apple who died a year ago.In Shake-Up, Apple's Mobile Software and Retail Chiefs to Depart - NYTimes.com
But Mr. Forstall was also known as ambitious and divisive, qualities that generated more friction within Apple after the death of Mr. Jobs, who had kept the dueling egos of his senior executives largely in check. Mr. Forstall’s responsibilities will be divided among a few other Apple executives."
Nexus: The best of Google, now in three sizes | Official Google Blog
"Today, we’re excited to announce three great new Nexus devices … in small, medium and large. And they all run Android 4.2, a new flavor of Jelly Bean—which includes the latest version of Google Now and other great new features."Nexus: The best of Google, now in three sizes | Official Google Blog
Pentagon plans to buy iPhones, Androids in threat to BlackBerry’s market share - The Washington Post
"The plan opens the door for the military to provide alternatives to BlackBerrys, which already are used on the Pentagon’s network. RIM has clung to government business as an area of strength as consumers and some businesses switch to rival devices with bigger touch screens and faster browsers.Pentagon plans to buy iPhones, Androids in threat to BlackBerry’s market share - The Washington Post
For the year ended March 3, RIM’s sales in the United States, its biggest market fell 47 percent compared with the previous year."
Microsoft bets on Windows Phone 8 to regain foothold in smartphone market | Business & Technology | The Seattle Times
"On Monday in San Francisco, Microsoft has the launch event for Windows Phone 8, the latest version of the company's 2-year-old smartphone platform.Microsoft bets on Windows Phone 8 to regain foothold in smartphone market | Business & Technology | The Seattle Times
It's Microsoft's newest attempt to regain a foothold in the smartphone market — something it's struggled mightily to do, with a worldwide market share that falls below 4 percent.
It's also another big step in Microsoft's creation of an entire devices-and-services ecosystem."
Prisoners of Cable - Derek Thompson - The Atlantic
"A full-blown iTV would complete a hat trick of screen domination for Apple—phone, computer/tablet, and TV—and the ability to move video between devices might create a kind of “halo effect” that would make each product more alluring. But Apple is primarily a hardware company, and its profits lie primarily in selling you devices. To change the economics of television programming, Apple would need to take on the cable providers by striking deals with media companies, starting with the Big Seven. That’s just not happening. Instead, as The Wall Street Journal reported in August, Apple is working with cable providers to bring content to Apple TV and its potential successors, having long ago ditched the idea that it wanted to be in the business of haggling with Viacom over the right cost of the giant media company’s channels. Apple has realized that it doesn’t have to beat Comcast and Verizon to own your living room. It only has to join them."Prisoners of Cable - Derek Thompson - The Atlantic
Analysis: E-readers grapple with a future on the shelf | Reuters
"E-readers initially benefited from their reflective displays, which can be read in sunlight and require very little power. But the success of Apple Inc's iPad, improved backlit displays, power-saving technologies and new smaller tablets all point to one thing: the e-reader has become a transitional technology.Analysis: E-readers grapple with a future on the shelf | Reuters
Think the harpsichord, replaced by the piano. Or Apple's iPod music player, which helped popularize the MP3 player until the arrival of the iPhone, which could play music but also do a lot of other things."
32GB Nexus 7 Goes on Display at Office Depot for $249, 16GB Drops to $199 – Droid Life
"We are starting to wonder how long it’ll be before Google updates the Play store to reflect this change. With tomorrow’s Android event cancelled, they won’t have the chance to talk about its availability any time soon. With distribution expected to hit major retailers in the coming days, it would be wise of them to announce the tablet and update the Play store."32GB Nexus 7 Goes on Display at Office Depot for $249, 16GB Drops to $199 – Droid Life
Amazon Uses Apple to Diss iPad Mini in Escalating Tiny Tablet Tiff - Kara Swisher - Mobile - AllThingsD
"Amazon’s front page — one of the best marketing venues on the Web — is using the Apple brand name to tout how its own competing Kindle Fire HD is better than the new iPad Mini."Amazon Uses Apple to Diss iPad Mini in Escalating Tiny Tablet Tiff - Kara Swisher - Mobile - AllThingsD
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Netflix stock rises on Microsoft acquisition rumor | Internet & Media - CNET News
"Anyone looking earlier for news to explain what might be driving the spike would have been disappointed. But Forbes is now reporting that an unconfirmed rumor was behind the run. According to the magazine, word spread on Wall Street that Microsoft was trying to acquire Netflix. CNET also heard these rumors and saw an e-mail from a Wall Street banking firm that showed one rumor circulating indicated Microsoft was offering $90 per share for Netflix.Netflix stock rises on Microsoft acquisition rumor | Internet & Media - CNET News
A Microsoft spokesman declined to comment on rumor and speculation."
Google Nexus 10 leaks: Android 4.2, Exynos 5250 (1.7GHz), 2,560 x 1,600 resolution -- Engadget
"Internally, there's (reportedly) a dual-core, Cortex-A15-based 1.7GHz Samsung Exynos 5250, a Mali-T604 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage (though no microSD expansion slot), a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, NFC / WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and a Super AMOLED panel with a drool-worthy 2,560 x 1,600 screen resolution -- yeah, that's well into "Retina" territory at 298.9 pixels per inch. You may recognize that Exynos 5250 from Google's recently released $249 Chromebook, but here, it's being used to push Android 4.2. Those hungry for more can visit the source link, but don't go in hoping to extract an asking price."Google Nexus 10 leaks: Android 4.2, Exynos 5250 (1.7GHz), 2,560 x 1,600 resolution -- Engadget
An alternate universe – Marco.org
"Like the Zune, the Surface might always be competing with the previous-generation iPad. Microsoft has approximately matched the weight of the already-too-heavy iPad 3 right as Apple is releasing the far lighter iPad Mini. (And Microsoft just launched this tablet at $500 as everyone else is moving to much lower pricing.)
The Surface is partially for Microsoft’s world of denial: the world in which this store contains no elephants and Microsoft invented the silver store with the glass front and the glowing logo and blue shirts and white lanyards and these table layouts and the modern tablet and its magnetic power cable. In that world, this is a groundbreaking new tablet that you can finally use at work and leave your big creaky plastic Dell laptop behind when you go to the conference room to have a conference call on the starfish phone with all of the wires and dysfunctional communication."An alternate universe – Marco.org
Amazon Says Kindle Withstood iPad Mini Assault - Tricia Duryee - Commerce - AllThingsD
"In response to a question about how Kindle sales were faring following Apple’s iPad mini announcement on Tuesday, Amazon spokesperson Drew Herdener reported they were selling better than usual. “Wednesday was the $199 Kindle Fire HD’s biggest day of sales since launch and up 3x week over week,” according to a statement emailed to AllThingsD."Amazon Says Kindle Withstood iPad Mini Assault - Tricia Duryee - Commerce - AllThingsD
Google Is Testing Same-Day Delivery for Shoppers - NYTimes.com
"Google is just one company tackling same-day delivery. So are Wal-Mart Stores, Amazon.com, eBay and the United States Postal Service.Google Is Testing Same-Day Delivery for Shoppers - NYTimes.com
Though the service propels Google into commerce, the company does not intend to operate warehouses or a shipping service but to team up with retailers and delivery companies. Several San Francisco retailers, including national chains, are participating in the program already.
For shoppers, the service means they can avoid the trouble of driving to the store and some of the wait for items ordered online."
Friday, October 26, 2012
Evernote for Windows 8 Is Here | Evernote Blogcast
"Here at Evernote, we’ve been big supporters of the evolution of the Windows platform in recent years. Their innovative interface direction for Windows Phone inspired us to completely rethink the Evernote experience. Now, we’re excited to announce the availability of Evernote for Windows 8, our beautiful, simplified new application that’s focused on providing a great touch and reading experience for Windows 8 devices. It’s the perfect companion to the robust functionality of Evernote for Windows Desktop. Let’s take a look."Evernote for Windows 8 Is Here | Evernote Blogcast
Apple Now Has $121.3 Billion In Cash: More Than Amazon’s Market Cap Or A Space Station | TechCrunch
"It’s easy to forget the big picture when you report on a quarterly earnings. Apple has seen a tremendous year. With $156 billion in revenue representing 45 percent growth compared to 2011, and an incredible 61 percent increase of net income compared to 2011. But even more impressive, Apple now has $121.3 billion in cash, enough to buy Amazon or a space station, and still having some left."Apple Now Has $121.3 Billion In Cash: More Than Amazon’s Market Cap Or A Space Station | TechCrunch
Apple Talks Lower Margins Now, Ginormous Sales Later - Arik Hesseldahl - News - AllThingsD
"Cook: The comment that I think you’re referencing are comments that Steve Jobs had made about 7-inch tablets. We would not make a 7-inch tablet. We don’t think they’re good products. We would never make one. One of the reasons is size. Not sure if you saw our keynote, but the difference in just the real estate size in 7.9 vs. 7 is 35 percent, and when you look at usable area is much great than that, more like 57 percent. IPad mini has the same number of pixels as the iPad 2 does. You have all 275,000 apps that are iPad ready. IPad mini is a fantastic product, it is not a compromised product. It’s in a whole different league."Apple Talks Lower Margins Now, Ginormous Sales Later - Arik Hesseldahl - News - AllThingsD
Apple Profit Rises 24% on iPhone 5 Sales - NYTimes.com
"Underscoring how drastically Apple’s business has been transformed by mobile products, revenue from the iPhone rose 56 percent to $17.13 billion, making up 48 percent of the company’s total revenue. It sold 26.9 million iPhones, 58 percent more than a year earlier.Apple Profit Rises 24% on iPhone 5 Sales - NYTimes.com
Apple said its net income was $8.22 billion, or $8.67 a share, compared with $6.62 billion, or $7.05 a share, a year ago. Revenue for the period rose 27 percent to $35.97 billion, and revenue for the full fiscal year was $156.5 billion. To put that in perspective, Apple’s revenue for the year exceeded that of Microsoft, Google and Facebook combined."
Microsoft offers $100 giveaway to line up for Surface | Brier Dudley's Blog | The Seattle Times
"The company is offering a $100 credit toward a full year of Xbox Music Pass to the first 100 people lined up at Microsoft stores when they open Friday morning. To receive the gift they also have to make a purchase.Microsoft offers $100 giveaway to line up for Surface | Brier Dudley's Blog | The Seattle Times
Launch-day lines that turn initial sales into marketing events have become a phenomenon with big consumer brands ranging from Krispy Kreme stores to Apple devices. Some guy in New York is already lined up for Nintendo's Wii U, which goes on sale Nov. 18."
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Apple CEO Tim Cook compares Microsoft Surface to a 'car that flies and floats' but doesn't do either well - The Next Web
"In the earnings call today, Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked about the Microsoft Surface tablet. This is what he had to say:Apple CEO Tim Cook compares Microsoft Surface to a 'car that flies and floats' but doesn't do either well - The Next Web
“I haven’t had a chance to try a Surface, but from what we’re reading, it’s a fairly compromised and confusing product. [...] One of the toughest things you do when you make a product is to make hard tradeoffs. To decide what a product should be. I suppose you could design a car that flies and floats, but I don’t think it would do all of those things very well.
I think that when people look at the iPad vs. competitive offerings, they really want an iPad and will continue to do that.”"
Windows, Revamped and Split in 2 - NYTimes.com
"You know what would have been perfect? Keeping the two operating systems separate. Put TileWorld and its universe of new touch screen apps on tablets. Put Windows 8 on mouse-and-keyboard PCs.Windows, Revamped and Split in 2 - NYTimes.com
Presto: all the confusion would evaporate. And the good work Microsoft did on both of these individual operating systems would shine."
Microsoft Simplifies Big Data for the Enterprise [Microsoft News Center]
"“Big data should provide answers for business, not complexity for IT,” said David Campbell, technical fellow, Microsoft. “Providing Hadoop compatibility on Windows Server and Azure dramatically lowers the barriers to setup and deployment and enables customers to pull insights from any data, any size, on-premises or in the cloud.”Microsoft Simplifies Big Data for the Enterprise
The company also announced today an expanded partnership with Hortonworks, a commercial vendor of Hadoop, to give customers access to an enterprise-ready distribution of Hadoop with the newly released solutions."
HP prices Envy x2, its alternative to Microsoft Surface, iPad | Microsoft - CNET News
"Hewlett-Packard has priced its Envy x2 laptop-tablet hybrid at $849.99 -- a small tablet-laptop hybrid that runs the full version of Windows 8.HP prices Envy x2, its alternative to Microsoft Surface, iPad | Microsoft - CNET News
That price may be high for consumers, but HP is pushing it as a high-quality, high-end "hybrid PC" that effectively straddles both the laptop and tablet paradigms.
It comes with many of the ports found on a PC -- USB, HDMI, SD card slot -- a top-notch IPS display, a full-size keyboard with a large trackpad (what HP calls an Imagepad) for Windows 8 gestures, and a touch display that detaches to become a standalone 11.6-inch Windows 8 tablet."
Google Shifts Pitch for Its New Chromebooks - NYTimes.com
"To start people off, Google is offering new Chromebook owners 100 gigabytes of free file storage on Google Drive for two years. That amount of space typically costs $5 a month. (So the $250 Chromebook feels like it is really only $130.) Google also links a user’s activity on a Chromebook with the same person’s Android phone, for instance, so if you search for a pizza place on the laptop Google will automatically show you directions on your phone.Google Shifts Pitch for Its New Chromebooks - NYTimes.com
“Above all, it brings all of Google services, built straight into the device,” Mr. Pichai said."
Microsoft Surface Critics: Come for Hardware, Tolerate Software - Businessweek [GigaOM]
"Microsoft gets a lot of good marks for its hardware, which includes a keyboard cover and kickstand, though many question the usability of Surface when placed on a lap. The bigger questions revolve around the Windows RT software, which is buggy and limited and isn’t able to run old, legacy Microsoft applications the way Windows 8 devices can. Surface Pro, which will run Windows 8, will make its debut in a few months and may get a better reception."(Check the article link for some Surface review highlights.)
Microsoft Surface Critics: Come for Hardware, Tolerate Software - Businessweek
Apple's Schiller defends iPad mini's price tag | Reuters
""The iPad is far and away the most successful product in its category. The most affordable product we've made so far was $399 and people were choosing that over those devices," Schiller said.Apple's Schiller defends iPad mini's price tag | Reuters
"And now you can get a device that's even more affordable at $329 in this great new form, and I think a lot of customers are going to be very excited about that," Schiller said."
Nintendo Slashes Profit Outlook - WSJ.com
"Nintendo Co. slashed its fiscal-year profit outlook by 70% just weeks before launching the company's first new home console in six years, underscoring how badly it needs the coming Wii U to succeed and revive its fortunes.Nintendo Slashes Profit Outlook - WSJ.com
The Wii U, an overhaul of Nintendo's popular but aging Wii game machine, will test whether traditional videogame consoles can still prosper amid a technological shift that is providing consumers with vast options for games ranging from online personal-computer titles to free-to-play social games on smartphones."
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
iPad mini: Why Tim Cook’s Apple is a better company than the one Steve Jobs left behind. - Slate Magazine
"The machines Apple unveiled today only bolster this record. After the event, I spent a few minutes using the iPad mini, the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the new iMac—not enough time to gather enough fodder for a full review of these devices, but enough to be impressed, especially by the two new Macs. The iMac, in particular, shows off Apple’s design prowess. Its front edge is just 5 millimeters thin, which is thinner than many laptops. It’s so thin that when you gaze at it from the front and even from some angles on the side, it looks like a cardboard cutout of a computer, not a working machine. (If you examine the iMac’s back, you do see a bulge in the center that presumably houses the machine’s guts.) Apple says it needed advanced manufacturing techniques to build a machine so thin—among them something called friction-stir welding and a method to “laminate” the display that eliminates a gap between the LCD and its cover glass (something it does on the iPhone, too)."iPad mini: Why Tim Cook’s Apple is a better company than the one Steve Jobs left behind. - Slate Magazine
Microsoft Surface RT Review - Watch CNET's Video Review
"The good: Microsoft Surface's Metro interface is innovative, elegant, powerful, and versatile. The tablet feels strong and well-built, includes Office 2013, and rich video and music services. Its keyboard cover accessories are the best ways to type on a tablet, period.Microsoft Surface RT Review - Watch CNET's Video Review
The bad: The tablet has sluggish performance, its Windows Store is a ghost town, Metro has a steep learning curve, and the Desktop interface feels clunky and useless.
The bottom line: If you're an early adopter willing to forget everything you know about navigating a computer, the Surface tablet could replace your laptop. Everyone else: wait for more apps."
Microsoft Surface Tablet Review - Walt Mossberg - Personal Technology - AllThingsD
"Microsoft’s Surface is a tablet with some pluses: The major Office apps and nice optional keyboards. If you can live with its tiny number of third-party apps and somewhat disappointing battery life, it may give you the productivity some miss in other tablets."Microsoft Surface Tablet Review - Walt Mossberg - Personal Technology - AllThingsD
Microsoft Unveils the Surface, Its First Tablet - Review - NYTimes.com
"Look, here’s the thing. You’d have to be fairly coldblooded to keep your pulse down the first time you see the Surface: its beauty, its potential, its instant transformation from tablet to PC. How incredible that this bold, envelope-pushing design came from Microsoft, a company that for years produced only feeble imitations of other companies’ fresh ideas.Microsoft Unveils the Surface, Its First Tablet - Review - NYTimes.com
And how ironic that what lets the Surface down is supposedly Microsoft’s specialty: software."
Hands on with the Microsoft Surface [The Next Web]
"Despite our above notes on certain deficiencies, I am confident in saying that Microsoft has built the best Windows tablet the world has seen. For fans of Windows, and especially Windows 8, the Surface is a high quality, well-engineered device that well delivers the Windows experience to a mobile environment. That’s the first time that has ever happened, for context.Hands on with the Microsoft Surface
Will the Surface outsell the newly refreshed iPad, the iPad Mini, or the basement-priced Nexus 7? I wouldn’t think so, but it will certainly give Microsoft tablet market share, boost the use of the new Windows Store, and drive adoption of Windows 8. Not bad for its first try."
Microsoft Surface with Windows RT review -- Engadget
"It's in the other half of the equation, that of the content consumption and entertainment, where the Surface is currently lacking. It needs a bigger pile of apps and games to make up for that and, while we're sure they're coming, we don't know when. If those apps arrive soon, then early adopters will feel vindicated. If, however, the Windows RT market is slow to mature, not truly getting hot for another six months or so, holding off will prove to have been the smarter option.Microsoft Surface with Windows RT review -- Engadget
So, if gaming and music and movies and reading are what you're looking to enjoy, then we might advise sitting this one out for a few months just to make sure that all your bases will indeed be covered. If, however, you're looking for an impeccably engineered tablet upon which you can do some serious work, a device that doesn't look, feel or act like a toy, then you should get yourself a Surface with Windows RT."
Microsoft Surface RT Review: This Is Technological Heartbreak [Gizmodo]
"Surface was the single biggest genuine tech surprise of the year so far. Microsoft tantalized us with a tablet that made the iPad look stale. Its snap-on keyboard made all laptops look immediately old fashioned. And it promised The Future of Computers.Microsoft Surface RT Review: This Is Technological Heartbreak
We hadn't looked forward to something this much in a long, long time. Now it's here. And it's been just as long a time since a gadget has been so disappointing. Surface is good, but Surface RT sure isn't the future. Not yet."
Review: Microsoft Surface Tablet [Wired]
"This is a great device. It is a new thing, in a new space, and likely to confuse many of Microsoft’s longtime customers. People will have problems with applications — especially when they encounter them online and are given an option by Internet Explorer to run them, only to discover this won’t work. But overall it’s quite good; certainly better than any full-size Android tablet on the market. And once the application ecosystem fleshes out, it’s a viable alternative to the iPad as well."Review: Microsoft Surface Tablet
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Reading More but Learning Less? - Room for Debate - NYTimes.com
"When one of the “big two” newsweeklies is going out of print, it’s clear that Americans are not consuming news the way they used to. Maybe that’s a good thing, if the technology revolution has made it easier to get more of the kind of information and analysis that readers once sought from Newsweek. But if Americans are finding a more polarized reality online, they may have just grown more partisan with less knowledge, making it more important for forums like presidential debates to deal with the details of policy.Reading More but Learning Less? - Room for Debate - NYTimes.com
In the Web 2.0 age, when many Americans see hundreds of articles every day, are we more informed than previous generations were?"
Apple Wins New iPhone 3D Modeling App, Apple TV, iChat, iPhone 5 LTE Patents & Much More - Patently Apple
"The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published an incredible series of 34 granted patents for Apple Inc. today. Today's report mainly focuses on three Apple patents. The first one relates to Apple TV which lists Steve Jobs as one of the inventors; the second one relates to an all-new iPhone 3D modeling application that has yet to surface; and the third relates to Apple's eighth patent win for iChat videoconferencing. But as you could imagine, within Apple's 34 granted patents were a few other little gems, and we cover five of them which touch on such matters as LTE, voice commands and Cover Flow. We finalize our report by covering Apple's three industrial design wins and provide you with links to a whopping 24 other patents that you'll be able to explore at will."Apple Wins New iPhone 3D Modeling App, Apple TV, iChat, iPhone 5 LTE Patents & Much More - Patently Apple
USPTO invalidates Apple's "rubber-banding" patent asserted against Samsung [Apple Insider]
"It was discovered in a Monday court filing from Samsung that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office tentatively invalidated Apple's bounce scroll, or "rubber-banding," patent, possibly putting the Apple v. Samsung jury's decision regarding the property at risk."USPTO invalidates Apple's "rubber-banding" patent asserted against Samsung
Microsoft tries to play leapfrog with Windows 8 | Microsoft - CNET News
A stark Forrester forecast for Microsoft
“Forrester's forecast points to some good momentum for Microsoft over the next few years in its quest to address the lack of a mobile Windows platform. But Ballmer won't be satisfied being No. 2 or 3 in the critical tablet and smartphone categories, and needs the developer community to build apps that will ultimately make Windows 8 a more successful platform.”
Microsoft tries to play leapfrog with Windows 8 | Microsoft - CNET News
Introducing the New Entertainment Experience from Xbox - The Official Microsoft Blog - Site Home - TechNet Blogs
Aiming high with Xbox – check the full post for details
“At that moment, we will rapidly accelerate the reach of Xbox entertainment from more than 67 million consoles to literally hundreds of millions of devices worldwide. Also this week, we will take our biggest step ever to increase our global reach, extending Xbox entertainment experiences to 222 countries from 35.”
Introducing the New Entertainment Experience from Xbox - The Official Microsoft Blog - Site Home - TechNet Blogs
Young People Frequent Libraries, Pew Study Finds - NYTimes.com
"In a digital world where many younger readers feel increasingly comfortable downloading novels and textbooks onto their computers or e-readers, a majority of Americans from the ages of 16 through 29 still frequent libraries.Young People Frequent Libraries, Pew Study Finds - NYTimes.com
According to a study released Monday by the Pew Research Center, 60 percent of Americans surveyed in this age group said they still visited the library. They use libraries to conduct research, borrow print, audio and electronic books and, in some cases, read magazines and newspapers."
Skype - The Big Blog - Welcome Skype for Windows 8: It's Fast, Easy and Beautiful
"Skype for Windows 8 is almost here and we are incredibly excited by this important new version of Skype. This is our big step forward together with Microsoft to introduce a completely new Skype experience, which is designed to be always on, immersive, effortless and fun to use.Skype - The Big Blog - Welcome Skype for Windows 8: It's Fast, Easy and Beautiful
The team at Skype has been building on the Windows platform since the first release of Skype. With Skype for Windows 8 we've focused on how people are using Skype today, and re-imagined Skype for everyday communications across our global community."
New, Smaller iPad a Test for Apple - WSJ.com
"Apple investors will be watching closely for the potential of a new device to goose sales. But they will also be dissecting what it shows about how the company is innovating. Reviewers and consumers have praised the iPhone 5 for its performance and its sleeker shape. But some reviewers, consumers and investors say that there is little overwhelmingly different about the device. Apple has said the device, which went on sale in September, saw record initial sales.New, Smaller iPad a Test for Apple - WSJ.com
The fact that consumers held out for the new iPhone 5 led to a rare earnings miss last quarter. Apple will issue results for the period ended in September on Thursday. The quarter is expected to include about a week of iPhone 5 sales."
Monday, October 22, 2012
Office 2013 Web Apps final version now live on SkyDrive | Microsoft - CNET News
"Microsoft's Office 2013 Web Apps suite is now a final and official part of SkyDrive.Office 2013 Web Apps final version now live on SkyDrive | Microsoft - CNET News
The online Office suite has been available for SkyDrive users since July. But it's been in a customer preview mode still being tweaked by Microsoft. A tweet yesterday from Omar Shahine, a SkyDrive group product manager, confirmed that the final edition is now live."
Google to unveil Android 4.2, Nexus 4 phone, Nexus 10 tablet | Mobile - CNET News
"The search giant is set to debut the latest version of its Android operating system, known as Android 4.2, at an event scheduled for October 29 in New York. Rather than the rumored Key Lime Pie, it will be known as Android 4.2+, or an updated version of Jelly Bean, according to a person familiar with the announcement.Google to unveil Android 4.2, Nexus 4 phone, Nexus 10 tablet | Mobile - CNET News
Google will also be showing off the first devices to run on Android 4.2, including a high-end tablet, the Nexus 10, from Samsung Electronics, and LG Electronics's first Nexus phone, the Nexus 4, CNET has confirmed. Also shown off will be an updated version of the Nexus 7 tablet which debuted in July."
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Windows, Staple of Most PCs, Gets a Major Makeover - NYTimes.com
"Mr. Nielsen said that Windows 8 was more suitable for tablet computers with their smaller touch-sensing displays, but that it was not helpful for workers who need to have lots of applications visible at once, sometimes on multiple screens.Windows, Staple of Most PCs, Gets a Major Makeover - NYTimes.com
“I just think when it comes to the traditional customer base, the office computer user, they’re essentially being thrown under the bus,” Mr. Nielsen said. “It’s not very suitable for any situation where you have to manage complex data.”
Microsoft disputes this idea. Mr. Harris said most test users did not have trouble juggling the two modes — and regardless, workers were more likely to operate in desktop mode if they wanted to see many applications simultaneously. He said that even people who did not use the software’s new interface much would enjoy the way it sped up their computers."
Microsoft Has A Problem With The Public's Expectation Of The Surface - Forbes
"That looks set to catch many people out… while Office is bundled with the first Surface tablets, there is no Microsoft Outlook. Looking to put Firefox or Chrome on the hardware as an alternative web browser? You can’t.Microsoft Has A Problem With The Public's Expectation Of The Surface - Forbes
How many people who have already bought a Surface with Windows RT are aware of this issue? Even assuming that the majority of people are switched on and understand what they are buying into (and that they are going to be happy with their purchase), that leaves a lot of people who are picking up the Surface RT tablet the day after Windows 8 is launched, in the face of a huge yet generic marketing campaign around ‘Windows’. Will they understand that the Surface RT is a limited version of Windows 8?"
Zuckerberg admits: If I wasn’t the CEO of Facebook, I’d be at Microsoft | VentureBeat
"It was a shock to hear that if Facebook hadn’t worked out, Zuckerberg would have joined a tech giant, rather than a startup. “I probably would have taken an engineering job…[and] always had a lot of respect for Microsoft,” he said. “A lot of people from Harvard went to work there.”"Zuckerberg admits: If I wasn’t the CEO of Facebook, I’d be at Microsoft | VentureBeat
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Microsoft Reports Dip in Quarterly Profits and Revenues [Windows IT Pro]
"The most interesting trend, however, is the widening gap between Office, which is actually Microsoft’s biggest business, and Windows, which most view as the soul of the company. But Windows isn’t even number two anymore: The Business division that sells Office contributed $5.5 billion in revenues to the quarter, far above the Windows figure. And even Server & Tools outperformed Windows, raking in $4.5 billion in revenues.Microsoft Reports Dip in Quarterly Profits and Revenues
These figures make one wonder why the Windows division is given such control within the company. After all, both Server and Office were prepping major updates in the previous quarter, too. But both of those businesses continued to perform strongly."
Friday, October 19, 2012
Official Google Enterprise Blog: The new Chromebook, for every student
"At only 2.5 pounds and 0.8 inches thick, the new Chromebook zips along, booting in under 10 seconds and playing high resolution video beautifully. It automatically receives the latest security updates from Google and doesn’t require any manual IT set-up, so additional devices won’t mean skyrocketing support costs. A recent IDC sponsored white paper showed that Chromebooks for Education require 69 percent less labor to install and 92 percent less labor to support, delivering big cost savings by reducing the need to hire additional IT staff."Official Google Enterprise Blog: The new Chromebook, for every student
New Samsung Chromebook also available with 3G for $329.99 | The Verge
"The 3G Chromebook comes with 2 years of up to 100MB of free data per month from Verizon (like previous Chromebooks) and costs $329.99 — an $80 premium over the $249.99 Wi-Fi-only model. Otherwise, all looks to be the same as the ARM-based Chrome OS laptop we saw for ourselves yesterday."New Samsung Chromebook also available with 3G for $329.99 | The Verge
iCloud: Sharing done wrong | Macworld
"Looking at iCloud in particular, it seems that Apple's approach to sharing is almost antithetical to the concept itself. The online service rigidly defines what you can share and how you can share it; its primary directive often seems to be to keep you inside Apple’s ecosystem.iCloud: Sharing done wrong | Macworld
Indeed, Apple’s idea of making all of your files accessible to you from anywhere through iCloud overlooks two specific user needs: Sometimes you want to open files in multiple programs, and sometimes more than one person needs access to a file."
Filing Reports With S.E.C. Too Soon Can be Costly - NYTimes.com
"On Thursday, Google said its filing agent, R. R. Donnelley & Sons, released its earnings several hours earlier than planned. The company’s stock dropped by nearly 10 percent, and trades were frozen for several hours.Filing Reports With S.E.C. Too Soon Can be Costly - NYTimes.com:
Donnelley responded, “We are fully engaged in an investigation to determine how this event took place and are pursuing our first obligation — which is to serve our valued customer.”"
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Google Shares Drop After Earnings Disappoint - NYTimes.com
"But the explosion of mobile users and ads has presented difficulties. Google has 55 percent market share in mobile ad revenue, and 95 percent for mobile search ads, according to eMarketer, the digital advertising research firm. Yet the ads cost less in large part because advertisers are not yet convinced that they are as effective as desktop ads.Google Shares Drop After Earnings Disappoint - NYTimes.com
People click on ads on smartphones more often than they do on desktop computers, 5.1 percent compared with 2.4 percent of the time, according to Marin Software, which makes technology for advertisers to use to buy ads on Google, Bing, Facebook and other sites.
That is because ads take up more space on cellphone screens and are more likely to answer the kinds of immediate questions asked on mobile devices, like “Where is a bar near the ballpark?” said Gagan Kanwar, director of research and partnerships at Marin."
Airtime, a Pedigreed Start-Up, Is Tested - NYTimes.com
"Bing Gordon, a board member at Airtime and a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, one of the venture capital firms that backed the company, said users tended to be fickle, impatient and difficult to dazzle.Airtime, a Pedigreed Start-Up, Is Tested - NYTimes.com
“The average life cycle of an app is way down,” Mr. Gordon said. “People are always ready to move on to the next thing.”
In the case of Airtime, Mr. Gordon said he believed two-way video would become a more important medium over time, because it conveys emotions that a text or phone call cannot capture.
He said Mr. Parker and his team would just have to keep trying until they got it right: “They are on that journey.”"
Google Introduces $249 Samsung Chromebook - Bonnie Cha - Product News - AllThingsD
"When families need an additional computer for the household, Google is hoping they will turn to its new Samsung Chromebook as the answer. How will it do that? With a really cheap price point.Google Introduces $249 Samsung Chromebook - Bonnie Cha - Product News - AllThingsD
Today, Google introduced its new Samsung Chromebook, which will cost just $249. The companies’ previous Chromebooks cost between $300 and $550."
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Microsoft Surface: RT vs. Pro, a Specifications Comparison [Supersite for Windows]
"Yesterday, I published the specifications for Microsoft’s Surface for Windows RT device. But with the specifications for the coming Windows 8 version of the device, called Surface for Windows 8 Pro, now available, it’s possible to compare the two more easily. And there are some surprising differences between the devices … not to mention some surprising omissions from both."Microsoft Surface: RT vs. Pro, a Specifications Comparison
Amazon making moves to displace iPads in schools | 9to5Mac
"We know Apple has had a lot of success pushing iPads in education, and during Apple’s Q3 conference call, CEO Tim Cook said the company would continue to be “very aggressive”. Apple’s iPad 2 sales in the K-12 market doubled y-o-y in Q3 thanks to a price drop to $399. In Q2, Apple said it sold about a million iPad units to the United States education market. With Apple’s upcoming iPad mini announcement possibly bringing an even lower price point for iPads in education, Amazon is announcing its plans today to get Kindle tablets into schools."Amazon making moves to displace iPads in schools | 9to5Mac
Inside Foxconn - James Fallows - The Atlantic
"By chance, I watched that debate a few miles from where many of those iPads, Macs, and iPhones are made in southern China. The following day -- today, Thursday, China time -- I was inside the most famous of these outsourcing centers. This is the Foxconn "campus" in the Longhua area of Shenzhen, north of Hong Kong. Some 220,000 people work there; about a quarter of them live on site; and several thousand new employees are recruited, trained, and brought onto staff each week, because turnover at Foxconn and many of these Chinese manufacturing centers is so high. Foxconn has been controversial over the years because of allegations of sweatshop operation and of militaristic surveillance and discipline, plus a wave of worker suicides in 2010. I'll have more to say on the current state of Chinese manufacturing at Foxconn and elsewhere very soon, with a now-very-much-overdue article in the magazine. "Inside Foxconn - James Fallows - The Atlantic
IE10 on Windows 7 available in November - IEBlog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
"As we approach general availability of Windows 8, we want to provide an update on IE10 for Windows 7. We will release a preview of IE10 on Windows 7 in mid-November, with final availability to follow as we collect developer and customer feedback."IE10 on Windows 7 available in November - IEBlog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
Best Buy's Homegrown Tablet - Businessweek
"My Bloomberg News colleague, Bryan Gruley, has confirmed that the electronics retailer will be selling a tablet with a 9.7-inch display running Google’s Android operating system starting Nov. 11. The tablet will run a dual-core, 1-megahertz processor and have 10 hours of battery life. Reuters has reported, and Best Buy confirms, that it will be sold as the Insignia Flex and will have a price of around $250."Best Buy's Homegrown Tablet - Businessweek
Where Google Ventures Is Searching Now - WSJ.com
"WSJ: What investment areas are you interested in right now?Where Google Ventures Is Searching Now - WSJ.com
Mr. Maris [managing partner of Google Ventures]: I'm interested in the ideas that sound a little crazy, such as radical life extension, curing cancer, being able to create a simulation of the human brain and map every neuron. Nest is a company that wanted to build a new kind of thermostat, and initially that didn't seem important to me. But then I learned…that it's not really about the thermostat. The thermostat knows when you're home and when you're not [and adjusts the temperature accordingly]. They're trying to save the world a lot of energy."
As Pay-Per-Click Ad Costs Rise, Small Businesses Search for Alternatives - NYTimes.com
"While about 96 percent of pay-per-click advertisers spend less than $10,000 a month, according to AdGooroo, a research firm that studies the pay-per-click market, big-budget advertisers spend hundreds of times more. In the first half of 2012, Amazon reportedly spent $54 million, and the University of Phoenix $37.9 million. “AdWords can bleed many a small business dry,” said Sharon Geltner, an analyst at the Small Business Development Center at Palm Beach State College in Boca Raton, Fla.As Pay-Per-Click Ad Costs Rise, Small Businesses Search for Alternatives - NYTimes.com
“The only way for smaller advertisers to get an edge is to spend a lot of time improving the quality and relevance of their ads,” said Richard Stokes, author of “Ultimate Guide to Pay-Per-Click Advertising” and the founder of AdGooroo. “The problem is that everyone else is doing that as well.”"
Apple Loses Tablet Copyright Appeal Against Samsung - NYTimes.com
"The Court of Appeal upheld its judgment that despite some similarities, Samsung did not infringe Apple's design, in part because its products were "not as cool" as the iPad.Apple Loses Tablet Copyright Appeal Against Samsung - NYTimes.com
The U.S. company was instructed to run ads saying the Korean company did not copy the iPad, both on its website and in selected newspapers."
Google Schedules October 29 Android Event in New York - Ina Fried - Mobile - AllThingsD
"The company has been reportedly prepping a number of Nexus devices, including tablets and phones from various Android device makers such as Sony, Samsung and LG."Google Schedules October 29 Android Event in New York - Ina Fried - Mobile - AllThingsD
Google Throws Open Doors to Its Top-Secret Data Center | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com
"This is what makes Google Google: its physical network, its thousands of fiber miles, and those many thousands of servers that, in aggregate, add up to the mother of all clouds. This multibillion-dollar infrastructure allows the company to index 20 billion web pages a day. To handle more than 3 billion daily search queries. To conduct millions of ad auctions in real time. To offer free email storage to 425 million Gmail users. To zip millions of YouTube videos to users every day. To deliver search results before the user has finished typing the query. In the near future, when Google releases the wearable computing platform called Glass, this infrastructure will power its visual search results."Google Throws Open Doors to Its Top-Secret Data Center | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Can Microsoft's $499 Surface tablet lure you away from iPad? | Business & Technology | The Seattle Times
"Though the Surface aims to be a different tool — more productivity-oriented — than the smaller and less expensive 7-inch tablets such as Kindle Fire and the expected iPad Mini, it still will compete with the companies that produce them.Can Microsoft's $499 Surface tablet lure you away from iPad? | Business & Technology | The Seattle Times
That's because the larger battle now is not merely between devices. Those devices are simply ways for consumers to access the large array of services the companies provide and a way for those companies to keep selling services to customers.
"It's not iPad vs. Surface vs. Nexus," Gartenberg said. "It's the Microsoft ecosystem vs. the Google ecosystem vs. the Apple ecosystem.""
Amazon's Next Big Business Is Selling You | Wired Business | Wired.com
"Facebook knows who your friends are. Google knows what you’re interested in finding on the internet. Amazon knows what you’ve bought, and has a pretty good idea of what you might want to buy next.Amazon's Next Big Business Is Selling You | Wired Business | Wired.com
If you were an advertiser, which company’s data sounds most valuable to you? If you had a product you wanted to sell, which of those things would you most want to know?"
Steven Sinofsky Turn Surface Tablet Into a Skateboard - Ina Fried - Mobile - AllThingsD
"Steven Sinofsky is apparently not only unsure whether to classify Surface as laptop or tablet. He also fancies it a skateboard.Steven Sinofsky Turn Surface Tablet Into a Skateboard - Ina Fried - Mobile - AllThingsD
The Windows unit president was spotted Tuesday riding on one of the slates (mounted on skateboard wheels) through the lobby of Studio B, the home of Surface on Microsoft’s campus."
Windows 8 Review - Walt Mossberg - Personal Technology - AllThingsD
"Microsoft deserves credit for giving Windows a new, modern face. And the company will surely please existing users by maintaining the old one and the ability to run older apps. But the combination will requiring re-learning the most familiar computing system on the planet."Windows 8 Review - Walt Mossberg - Personal Technology - AllThingsD
Is the Surface Tablet Too Pricey? - Technology Review
"In truth, though, the Surface pricing is pretty reasonable, for what you’re getting. There seems to have been an unreasonable expectation set by the launch of the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet that any newcomer to the tablet market should be priced under $200. (Indeed, there was some--far-fetched--speculation that maybe Microsoft would price the Surface that low.) As Time’s Harry McCracken puts it smartly, “Good products rarely die purely because they’re too pricey; bad ones don’t become landmarks simply because they’re affordable.”"Is the Surface Tablet Too Pricey? - Technology Review
Online Advertising Poised to Finally Surpass Print - Technology Review
"It looks like this is the year that Internet advertising revenue finally surpasses ad revenue in print media.Online Advertising Poised to Finally Surpass Print - Technology Review
In the first half of the year, U.S. Internet sites collected $17 billion in ad revenue, a 14 percent increase over the same period of 2011, according to a new report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau. In the second half of last year, websites had $16.8 billion in ad revenue. So even if growth were to slow in the second half, digital media this year could exceed the $35.8 billion that U.S. print magazines and newspapers garnered in ad revenue in 2011."
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Advertising Microsoft Surface [Supersite for Windows]
"On the eve of the pricing and availability announcement for its Surface, Microsoft launches the first ads for the tablet devices. As I exclusively revealed earlier in the day on Twitter, these ads debuted Monday night on national TV.Advertising Microsoft Surface
But you don’t need to watch Monday Night Football or Dancing with the Stars to see the new ad. It’s available now on YouTube."
Salesforce Hires to Go Open Source - NYTimes.com
"On Friday, Salesforce started looking for engineers skilled in an open source database called PostgreSQL. In a job posting, Salesforce says it needs five engineers now, and 40 to 50 more people next year, for “a huge PostgreSQL project” that would involve “implementing core technology that runs Salesforce.com.”"Salesforce Hires to Go Open Source - NYTimes.com
Seeking a Magic Tool for Personal Productivity - NYTimes.com
"The partnership, said Mr. Anderson, will design software that sits on top of a person’s digital calendar and communications including e-mail, text messages, Facebook and Twitter feeds. Then, the software will automatically apply the G.T.D. principles of capturing, clarifying, organizing, reviewing and prioritizing the various channels of information in a person’s life.Seeking a Magic Tool for Personal Productivity - NYTimes.com
“This could be as transformative to the way people work as Microsoft Office has been,” Mr. Anderson."
Quick, Hide the BlackBerry, It’s Too Uncool - NYTimes.com
"The BlackBerry was once proudly carried by the high-powered and the elite, but those who still hold one today say the device has become a magnet for mockery and derision from those with iPhones and the latest Android phones. Research in Motion may still be successful selling BlackBerrys in countries like India and Indonesia, but in the United States the company is clinging to less than 5 percent of the smartphone market — down from a dominating 50 percent just three years ago. "Quick, Hide the BlackBerry, It’s Too Uncool - NYTimes.com
Can Xbox Music Outdo Spotify? - Technology Review
"I understand that the Xbox is only one element of Xbox Music, but it’s the device on which the service first goes live, and it’s the device that has leant its name to the service. Microsoft has a hard sell, from my perspective, on why the living room, the Xbox, and the television should be cornerstones of your music experience.Can Xbox Music Outdo Spotify? - Technology Review
Microsoft is offering a compelling package--free streaming with advertisements, or a $10-a-month option that lets you take music to the cloud and enjoy without ads. But I frankly don’t see how this adds a significant amount of value over what Spotify is offering."
Find your stuff faster in Gmail and Search | Official Gmail Blog
"So starting today, you can sign up for a new and expanded field trial that makes it easier to find your stuff across Google, whether you’re searching on Google.com or searching in Gmail.Find your stuff faster in Gmail and Search | Official Gmail Blog
Similarly, when you search on Google.com, your results will include relevant information and messages from Gmail (something familiar to those who joined the original field trial) and now -- new in this field trial -- also files, documents, spreadsheets and more from Google Drive"
Apple Hires Amazon A9 Exec Stasior to Run Siri - Kara Swisher - Mobile - AllThingsD
"Apple has hired major Amazon exec and prominent search technologist William Stasior to run its Siri unit, according to sources.Apple Hires Amazon A9 Exec Stasior to Run Siri - Kara Swisher - Mobile - AllThingsD
At the online retail giant, Stasior has been in charge of A9, Amazon’s search and search advertising unit. The former AltaVista exec co-founded the independent company and has run it since Udi Manber left for Google."
Monday, October 15, 2012
Surprise! There May Be a Business in Google Apps - Businessweek [Gizmodo]
"There’s a lack of objective numbers on sales of Google Apps and rival Microsoft Office 365, but one thing is clear: Companies don’t want to pay a ton for productivity applications—a market dominated by Microsoft Office for years before coming under attack from less expensive (and less feature-rich) software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings like Google Apps."Surprise! There May Be a Business in Google Apps - Businessweek
13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display confirmed for Apple event | 9to5Mac
"Alongside the smaller iPad, Apple will debut a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display, according to a consistently reliable source at a high-profile U.S. retailer.13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display confirmed for Apple event | 9to5Mac
This new 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina Display is said to pick up the thinner and lighter enclosure of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display that was released in June."
Radio Is Alive, Clear Channel's Bob Pittman Says - WSJ.com
"After almost a decade of self-imposed corporate exile, Mr. Pittman is back in the corporate saddle and on a mission. In his new role heading Clear Channel, the MTV founder and high-profile AOL alum has a grandiose goal: to reinvent radio, a business many have left for dead."Radio Is Alive, Clear Channel's Bob Pittman Says - WSJ.com
Xbox Music Leads Microsoft’s New Push to Challenge iTunes - NYTimes.com
"Analysts say the success of Xbox Music will depend on far more than whether the service itself is any good, since the strategy is to have it enhance the appeal of Microsoft-powered gadgets that have much broader functions. “This is not going to matter if no one wants the devices,” said Richard Greenfield, an analyst at BTIG Research. “You need to have a killer device.”Xbox Music Leads Microsoft’s New Push to Challenge iTunes - NYTimes.com
That will be tricky on phones. The first smartphones on which the service will be available are those running a new version of Microsoft’s mobile operating system, Windows Phone, which has struggled to gain traction."
Felix Baumgartner Space Parachute Jump Shatters Live Web Video Record - Peter Kafka - Media - AllThingsD
"Meantime, I believe that Baumgartner, his sponsor Red Bull and YouTube have already set a record: By YouTube’s count, there are more than two million livestreams of the event going out around the world. (Update: The audience for this one kept climbing as Baumgartner did. Latest total: 8 million) The previous record for a single Web video service: Around 500,000 concurrent streams, which Google served up during the Olympics this summer."Felix Baumgartner Space Parachute Jump Shatters Live Web Video Record - Peter Kafka - Media - AllThingsD
Microsoft Hits the Restart Button With Xbox Music - Tricia Duryee - Commerce - AllThingsD
"Xbox Music will be familiar to consumers who use other streaming music services, like Spoitfy and rdio. From the start, it will have access to more than 30 million songs globally and 18 million in the U.S. It’s launching in 15 countries.Microsoft Hits the Restart Button With Xbox Music - Tricia Duryee - Commerce - AllThingsD
A free ad-supported version will allow users to manage their entire music catalog from their PC and supplement it with an online catalog that is streamed over the Internet. Users will be able to skip from track to track, create playlists or listen to an album without restrictions (at least for the first six months). A premium version will cost $10 a month and will work across PCs, the game console and Windows 8 phones."
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Iran’s Hand Is Suspected in Computer Attacks - NYTimes.com
"One senior intelligence official described a debate inside the Obama administration over the pros and cons of openly admitting that the United States has deployed a new cyber weapon, and could use it in response to an attack, or pre-emptively.Iran’s Hand Is Suspected in Computer Attacks - NYTimes.com
For now, officials have decided to hold back. “The countries who need to know we have it already know,” the senior intelligence official said."
Do-Not-Track Movement Is Drawing Advertisers’ Fire - NYTimes.com
"But what is really at stake here is the future of the surveillance economy.Do-Not-Track Movement Is Drawing Advertisers’ Fire - NYTimes.com
The advent of Do Not Track threatens the barter system wherein consumers allow sites and third-party ad networks to collect information about their online activities in exchange for open access to maps, e-mail, games, music, social networks and whatnot. Marketers have been fighting to preserve this arrangement, saying that collecting consumer data powers effective advertising tailored to a user’s tastes. In turn, according to this argument, those tailored ads enable smaller sites to thrive and provide rich content."
Two-Step Verification Is Inconvenient, but More Secure - NYTimes.com
"Users of Gmail and other Google services, for example, can elect to have a two-step verification system to protect their accounts. When the system is activated, the user fills in the boxes for user name and password, as usual, but then is sent to another page where a verification code must be typed in. Users may choose to have this arrive as a text message, or they can obtain it by using an app on their smartphone. There’s a backup method, too, in case their smartphone is lost or stolen.Two-Step Verification Is Inconvenient, but More Secure - NYTimes.com
PayPal and Dropbox also offer their users the option of requiring two-step verification for added peace of mind. Many corporate networks have long used this security model, too."
Kindle Users Get Refunds And Lower Prices on E-Books After Settlement - Arik Hesseldahl - News - AllThingsD
"Collectively the three publishers agreed to pay $69 million to settle charges that they were fixing prices on electronic books. The settlement must still be approved by the court, and a final hearing is scheduled for February of next year.Kindle Users Get Refunds And Lower Prices on E-Books After Settlement - Arik Hesseldahl - News - AllThingsD
This all came about when the US Department of Justice decided to sue Apple and several publishers in a federal court in New York alleging that they colluded to inflate prices on electronic books as part of a plan to fight back against Amazon’s dominance of the e-book business. There’s a lot of detail in the original complaint via The Wall Street Journal here, and it’s worth reading The Journal’s story covering the initial filing of the suit from April."
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Workday Shares Rise 75 Percent in IPO Debut - Arik Hesseldahl - News - AllThingsD
"Appetite was strong for shares of Workday, the cloud-based human capital management software company, as it debuted for trading on the New York Stock Exchange today.Workday Shares Rise 75 Percent in IPO Debut - Arik Hesseldahl - News - AllThingsD
The stock priced yesterday at $28 a share, valuing the company at north of $5 billion, and shares opened at $47.05. In late trading, they were around $49, a 75 percent increase."
‘This Machine Kills Secrets,’ by Andy Greenberg - NYTimes.com
"Greenberg, a writer for Forbes, has produced an exhaustive prequel to the never-ending WikiLeaks saga. Unlike some recent books on the subject, this one adopts a decidedly historical perspective and situates the ideas behind WikiLeaks in the heady debates about computing, privacy and civil liberties that have dominated many an online conversation in the last three decades. And, as if this challenge were not grand enough, Greenberg also tries to explain the highly complex technologies that have made a project like WikiLeaks possible, introducing such hidden gems of geek cuisine as “salt hashing” and “onion routing.” By and large, he succeeds, and the resulting dish is delicious and not at all too technical."‘This Machine Kills Secrets,’ by Andy Greenberg - NYTimes.com
iPhone 5 Buyers Don't Care About Maps Fiasco - John Paczkowski - Mobile - AllThingsD
"More importantly, survey respondents with devices running iOS 6 say that, for the most part, Maps hasn’t been a major issue for them. Among those polled, just 3 percent said iOS 6 Maps are a “very big problem”; 6 percent said the issue is “somewhat of a problem”; and 90 percent reported “no problem at all.”iPhone 5 Buyers Don't Care About Maps Fiasco - John Paczkowski - Mobile - AllThingsD
Which is not to say that Apple’s new Maps app wasn’t an embarrassing misstep for the company — clearly, it was. It’s just that it doesn’t seem to matter much to consumers."
Friday, October 12, 2012
Futurist Ray Kurzweil Wants to Move Your Brain Into the Cloud [PC Magazine]
"In the long run, he doesn't think we'll have hardware implants in our brains, but rather biological devices that live in our bloodstream and will give us more capabilities. These will eventually be able to functionally recreate the pattern recognition ability of the brain. This, he believes, will lead to a qualitative leap in understanding, similar to the jump between apes and humans with the expansion of the neocortex.Futurist Ray Kurzweil Wants to Move Your Brain Into the Cloud
This might be 25 years off, he said, but already there are a number of medical devices that can be put into the blood. In the meantime, we'll all have more intelligence from our devices, even if they are not physically inside our bodies."
RockMelt Thinks You're Ready for a Modern Mobile Browser | Wired Business | Wired.com
"Now, he says, the web is mobile. It’s “about images, social and streams.” And so, says the original browser boy, it’s time for a new take. Thus, Andreessen is a major funder — and cheerleader — of RockMelt, a company releasing an eponymous app today that it calls the first true mobile browser.RockMelt Thinks You're Ready for a Modern Mobile Browser | Wired Business | Wired.com:
Still, whether it’s with RockMelt or an eventual rethinking of Explorer, Chrome, Safari and the rest, this much is clear: We’re going to get browsers that reflect the way we use tablets and phones.
As Andreessen says, “Computing is going to vanish into panes of glass. In the future you’re going to just assume that every pane of glass is a touch computer and it’s connected to broadband. If it’s not active, you’ll assume it’s broken.” And he’s betting that when we reach this world of panes, we’ll be accessing the web via RockMelt."
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Office News - Office Reaches RTM!
"This is the most ambitious release of Office we've ever done. It spans the full family of Office applications, servers and cloud services. The new Office has a fresh, touch friendly design that works beautifully on Windows 8 and unlocks modern scenarios in social, reading, note-taking, meetings and communications. We are proud to achieve this milestone and are eager to deliver this exciting release to our customers.Office News - Office Reaches RTM!
General availability is planned for the first quarter of 2013. Starting October 19, customers purchasing Office 2010 from local retailers or resellers will receive the new Office for free upon availability. Customers will also see a preview version of the new Office on Windows RT devices, beginning with the Windows 8 launch on October 26. "
Panetta Warns of Dire Threat of Cyberattack on U.S. - NYTimes.com
"In August, a cybersecurity bill that had been one of the administration’s national security priorities was blocked by a group of Republicans, led by Senator John McCain of Arizona, who took the side of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and said it would be too burdensome for corporations.Panetta Warns of Dire Threat of Cyberattack on U.S. - NYTimes.com
The most destructive possibilities, Mr. Panetta said, involve “cyber-actors launching several attacks on our critical infrastructure at one time, in combination with a physical attack.” He described the collective result as a “cyber-Pearl Harbor that would cause physical destruction and the loss of life, an attack that would paralyze and shock the nation and create a profound new sense of vulnerability.”"
Microsoft and Its Allies Prepare Windows 8 Marketing Blitz - WSJ.com
"According to people briefed on the marketing efforts, Microsoft's ads beginning this weekend will coincide with pre-orders of some computers and tablet devices powered by Windows 8. Those devices are slated to go on sale widely on Oct. 26.Microsoft and Its Allies Prepare Windows 8 Marketing Blitz - WSJ.com
It's no small push. People with knowledge of the marketing efforts said Microsoft and its hardware allies will have blankets of ads with a cumulative price tag of hundreds of millions of dollars."
Sony Unveils Vaio Tap 20, Duo 11 Windows 8 PCs - Bonnie Cha - Product News - AllThingsD
"The Sony Vaio Tap 20 is probably one of the most exciting Windows 8 products I’ve seen yet, and to be amped up over an all-in-one PC is saying something.Sony Unveils Vaio Tap 20, Duo 11 Windows 8 PCs - Bonnie Cha - Product News - AllThingsD
The Vaio Tap 20 features a tilting 20-inch, 1,600 by 900-pixel IPS touchscreen than can be laid flat on a table, and isn’t bound by wires since it has a built-in battery. It reminded me of a mini Microsoft Surface (not this Surface, but that Surface) — one that doesn’t cost a fortune (prices start at $880) and actually has practical use in the home."
Thursday, October 11, 2012
PC Sales Go Into a Tailspin - WSJ.com
"Researchers IDC and Gartner Inc. IT said PC shipments in the third quarter fell more than 8% from a year earlier, the steepest drop since at least 2001. A third report, from IHS iSuppli, projected PC shipments for the full year would decline for the first time in 11 years.PC Sales Go Into a Tailspin - WSJ.com
"This is definitively a crossroads" for the computer industry, said David Daoud, an analyst at IDC. "It could be a make or break moment.""
RockMelt Dives Into Mobile Browsing -- iPad First - Mike Isaac - Social - AllThingsD
"It’s nothing like your grandpa’s Safari. RockMelt for iPad caters to the shifting attitudes we have in the way we experience content on tablets. The result is an attractive mish-mash of an interface design that borrows heavily from Facebook’s Timeline, Pinterest’s tiles and Twitter’s ever-flowing stream."RockMelt Dives Into Mobile Browsing -- iPad First - Mike Isaac - Social - AllThingsD
Eric Schmidt Says Android-Apple Is the Defining Fight in the Industry - Liz Gannes - Mobile - AllThingsD
"Schmidt said he still believes there to be a “Gang of Four” technology platform leaders — Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook — as he first proposed in an interview with Walt and Kara a couple years ago.Eric Schmidt Says Android-Apple Is the Defining Fight in the Industry - Liz Gannes - Mobile - AllThingsD
Besides Apple and Google, he said, “Facebook is attempting to become the world’s communications hub, and Amazon is attempting to become the world’s largest store.”
Shouldn’t Microsoft be included in there, Mossberg asked? No, Schmidt said. “It’s a well-run company,” he said, “but they don’t make state-of-the-art products.”"
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Steve Ballmer asks customers, partners and shareholders to believe in Microsoft [BetaNews]
"I can't emphasize enough what the next product release cycle means to Microsoft, and that includes Office System 2013 software coming next year. The Redmond, Wash.-based company is attempting to preserve and recover computing relevance during a massive move to anytime, anywhere, on-anything computing that threatens the longevity of the Office-Windows-Windows Server applications stack. That understanding is important context for reading Ballmer's letter. He's not just blowing marketing smoke -- kissing up to the parties he writes to. He means every word."Steve Ballmer asks customers, partners and shareholders to believe in Microsoft
Exclusive: Assets of Palo Alto gaming company OnLive were sold off for just $4.8 million - San Jose Mercury News
"OnLive, which had previously raised more than $40 million from AT&T, HTC and other major investors, had been exploring a sale or another investment for a "substantial period of time," noted Joel Weinberg, the CEO of Insolvency Services Group, which is handing OnLive's bankruptcy-like process, in the letter. Running out of cash, the company decided to liquidate its assets through an assignment for the benefit of creditors, a bankruptcy alternative that operates under state law."Exclusive: Assets of Palo Alto gaming company OnLive were sold off for just $4.8 million - San Jose Mercury News
iPhone Usage Among U.S. Teens Hits 40% as iPad Continues to Gain Traction - Mac Rumors
"Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster today released a report outlining the results of his semi-annual survey of U.S. teenagers, revealing that iPhone and iPad usage continues to surge among the demographic. The survey of over 7,700 teenagers shows that 40% of respondents currently use an iPhone, up from 34% in the last survey conducted just six months ago.iPhone Usage Among U.S. Teens Hits 40% as iPad Continues to Gain Traction - Mac Rumors
'We believe it is a positive sign for the power of the iPhone among younger users that Apple was able to expand its market share with teens despite no new product launches between our Spring and Fall 2012 surveys.'
Apple also appears well-positioned with teenagers going forward, with 62% of survey respondents stating that they plan to obtain an iPhone as their next phone. "
iPod Touch: Hands-on with the almost-iPhone - MP3 players - CNET Reviews
"The iPod Touch is incredibly thin, very light, extremely pocketable, and highly versatile. It’s a near-5 in terms of function, the fastest Touch that’s ever been made, and the first Touch you’d seriously use as a camera. It’s a multiuse device, and it could even be your phone of sorts for FaceTime calls and Skype. At $299 without a contract, it’s a very attractive deal, but it's also an expensive device that starts with 32GB of storage (a 64GB version costs $399). You could also choose to buy the fourth-gen iPod Touch. For many people, that might make more sense as a basic, more affordable option, although that Touch is two years old."iPod Touch: Hands-on with the almost-iPhone - MP3 players - CNET Reviews
Open vs. Closed: The Cloud Wars - NYTimes.com
"On the other side, the cloud storage company Box announced Tuesday a service that enables customers of several specialized cloud software companies to share their data broadly among these companies. The idea is that customers of SugarCRM, a maker of sales management software, could collaborate internally and externally (with permissions and controls) by sharing select data onto the software of Jive Software, which is used in corporate communications. Others in the partnership include Concur, Cornerstone OnDemand, DocuSign, Eloqua, FuzeBox, NetSuite, Zendesk – and Oracle, but probably just for its databases, which are used widely in the cloud."Open vs. Closed: The Cloud Wars - NYTimes.com
IPhone 5 Shortage Spooks Apple Investors - NYTimes.com
"The scarcity of iPhone 5s is the main reason Apple’s shares, after bursting through the $700 mark in late September, have tumbled nearly 10 percent over the last several weeks, analysts say. On Tuesday, Apple’s stock closed at $635.85.IPhone 5 Shortage Spooks Apple Investors - NYTimes.com
Although it’s better for Apple that it appears to be suffering problems of supply rather than demand, both situations result in lost or delayed sales. Analysts who have poked around in Apple’s supply chain believe that the holdup could be the result of a shortage of the new displays that Apple is using in the iPhone 5."
Widening Scrutiny of Google’s Smartphone Patents - NYTimes.com
"Google owns patents covering communications and data-handling technologies that are crucial for the basic operation of smartphones and tablets — what are known as standard-essential patents. The investigators are scrutinizing the company’s policies for licensing these patents and suing other companies that it claims are infringing on them, said these people, who spoke on the condition that they not be identified.Widening Scrutiny of Google’s Smartphone Patents - NYTimes.com
Google’s Motorola unit pledged to technology standards organizations that it would license the patents to others on “fair and reasonable” terms to stimulate the growth of the industry, benefiting all companies."
Lenovo Unveils IdeaPad Yoga 11, IdeaTab Lynx, ThinkPad Twist - Bonnie Cha - Product News - AllThingsD
"Twist, bend, flip, turn. No, these aren’t the moves to the latest dance craze. They’re just some of the latest tricks offered by Lenovo’s upcoming Windows 8 devices.Lenovo Unveils IdeaPad Yoga 11, IdeaTab Lynx, ThinkPad Twist - Bonnie Cha - Product News - AllThingsD
Today, the company unveiled four new convertibles running Microsoft’s latest operating system, aimed at both consumers and business users: The IdeaPad Yoga 13, IdeaPad Yoga 11, IdeaTab Lynx and ThinkPad Twist."