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Apple

MacWorld Update

January 15, 2008

Although I am not blown away by the Apple announcements out of MacWorld today the news could still be a massive financial win for the California-based company. In short, the cult of Steve Jobs announced a new thin laptop Macbook Air (shown here) and a movie rental service. Movies will cost $3.99 and 4.99 for HD.

Although it is unclear what the margins will be on these rentals, we can assume Apple will be very successful in this space and download many movie rentals. In addition the rental service will spawn ever more sales of apple devices where people will watch these movies.

A new high-def Apple TV was also launched at the Jobs Keynote.



Quantcast Update 01/08

January 15, 2008

On November 6, 2007 I had a post (see bottom of post for chart) where I showed how TMC compares with other IP Communications sites. I did this by pulling numbers from Quantcast, a web service which tracks web traffic worldwide but whose numbers quoted here equal the unique United States visitors each month.

So a Quantcast ranking of 3,000 means that you have 100 unique visitors each day per month (approximately 30 days). So 100 x 30 = 3,000. Again -- these are US numbers only.

In November of last year, TMCnet attracted just over 711,000 US unique visitors per month according to Quantcast.

Now, just two months later, our Quantcast ranking is 870,019, an increase of 159,019.





Samsung Bribery News

January 14, 2008

Samsung has its hands in just so many things and subsequently it is worth sitting back and taking notice when the company is accused of setting up a slush fund and engaging in bribery.

Samsung Group is easily South Korea’s leading conglomerate. The company has 58 subsidiaries and accounts for over 20 percent of the country’s exports. Samsung Group’s assets are valued at more than $280.8 billion and its exports were worth $66.3 billion last year.

Scandals are not considered new to such huge South Korean industrial groups as Samsung. These conglomerates have regularly been accused of wielding their economic power to influence government decisions, as well as using shading dealings between subsidiaries to help controlling families to evade taxes and transfer wealth to heirs.

Read more on TMCnet.





Fake Apple Keynote

January 14, 2008

It is amazing what a cult of personality Steve Jobs has become. It has gotten to the point where speculators not only try to figure out what Jobs will say but now they are even writing a full speech (or at least notes) in advance of Jobs presenting.

Credit Wikipedia as the location of this "fake" speech and TechCrunch for alerting me to its existence.

Here is an excerpt:

iPhone/iPod Touch SDK
- Apps and Widgets
- Using Cocoa with Objective-C
- Developers submit programs as source code, not executable
- Specify iPhone or both iPhone/Touch (certain features iPhone only)
- Set your own price: Apps $0-$6.99, Widgets $0-$2.99
- Users buy/download in iTunes Wi-Fi Store / iTunes Store (Mac/PC)
- Automatic updating wirelessly or docked






- Demonstration of exporting from XCode 3 to iTunes Store
- Submits source code to Apple for validation (make sure that people aren’t abusing the system, prevent malware and viruses)
- If using microphone or GSM, iPhone only; otherwise, available for both iPhone and iPod Touch
- Apps can be free or up to $6.99; Widgets free or up to $2.99
- Developers recieve 70% of revenue for their products
- Licensed under Apple Mobile Software License
- Can download wirelessly from iTunes Wi-Fi Store or docked to computer from iTunes Store
- Demonstration of wirelessly downloading (and running) the app submitted earlier
- Apps and widgets can be rearranged on front screen; front screen scrolls to show all apps/widgets
- Resubmit updated versions of apps; when added to store, iPhone/Touch will ask you to update it next time you use it (or next time you dock the iPhone/Touch)
- Developers can get their hands on a beta version of the SDK tomorrow on ADC and start developing; final version due early February
- iTunes 7.6 and iPhone/iPod Touch Software update 1.3 allowing for Apps mid-February










Example apps/widgets
Apps:
- iChat (coming with 1.3 update) (AIM, Jabber/Google Talk)
– Quick demonstration
- RSS Feed Reader (coming with 1.3 update) (read feeds online or off)
- One of our partners made something cool: Last.fm (scrobble tracks played on iPhone/touch wirelessly without syncing w/ computer)
Widgets:
- Dictionary (coming with 1.3 update) (quickly look up words, translate, use wikipedia)
– Quick demonstration
- Yellow/White Book (coming with 1.3 update) (search for contacts, add them to your address book directly from the app, will sync back with address book on your Mac/PC)
- Sports Ticker (coming with 1.3 update) (choose your sports and teams, get updates on their progress)
- Another partner: Twitter (update your Twitter on the fly, see your friends tweets)
- Try these out on the show floor today

















Google iPhone Upgrade

January 14, 2008

The latest news out of Google is not surprising as the company decided to choose the week of Macworld to announce that they have improved their iPhone experience. As I wrote about earlier today, iPhone search activity is much greater than the search activity of other mobile devices.

As such, Google has announced it has made its applications and interface speedier for iPhone users and while doing this they have also made the applications look slicker, easier to navigate and use via touch-screen.

You can also customize your start page at www.igoogle.com.

Because we now know just how much traffic the iPhone is sending to search engines, this news is not surprising. What we should be aware of however is the fact that it is going to be very difficult for the Google Phone/Android to be better than other phones as Google has to make its applications extremely user friendly regardless of device.

I mentioned this in a post last night in fact.

It is conceivable that the iPhone could provide a better browsing and search experience than anything Google and its partners in the OHA can come up with. And therein is the challenge for Google.

But then again, if their apps run everywhere they still win.











iPhone Google Traffic Surge

January 14, 2008

Back in the late nineties the CEO of Nokia made an interesting prediction at an industry show in his keynote address. The prognostication was that soon more people would surf the internet on their mobile devices than on PCs. Unfortunately I did a search for the exact details of this quote but came up empty. We are just going to have to use my memory as a guide for this blog post.

Partially fueled by this and other predictions, many companies focused on getting their sites to be mobile ready by embracing WAP which was the mobile web browsing standard at the time.

While WAP did allow browsing, the small screens at the time and the non-graphical websites which WAP allowed meant that mobile browsing was a huge disappointment for many.

But it may seem that the comments while not true were merely early as according to The New York Times, Google and other search engines are reporting soaring web searches from the iPhone.





Picture Frames need PHDs

January 12, 2008

After reading Tony Ryb's blog about how it shouldn't take a PHD to get a wireless photo frame working I have to share my story of the Sharper Image wireless picture frame called the MemoryFrame from DigitalSpectrum Incorporated. This device is perhaps the most complicated and worst designed product I have ever used. It is buggy and a nightmare to get a WEP key into. In order to get the key in you have to put a file containing the key on an SD card and insert it into the device.

Even after spending countless hours on getting it to work properly on a WiFi network, I was disappointed that it didn't synchronize photos from the internet the way it is supposed to.

Good Bye Jeff Raikes

January 11, 2008

Good bye Jeff Raikes.

Raikes did a great job at Microsoft and in the unified communications space he should be commended for rolling out a slew of strong products and doing a fantastic PR and marketing job promoting them. He will be retiring from Microsoft soon.

Microsoft is an interesting animal in that they are so large that sometimes I think they are too big to get things accomplished quickly but at the same time they surprised me by rolling out good products in the unified communications space in a relatively short amount of time. They also got a large group of partners to buy in and simultaneously promoted these products very well via extremely effective marketing and public relations campaigns.

Unlike many companies in the communications space who change marketing strategies virtually every quarter, Microsoft has stayed consistent with message. They really understand marketing better than the typical communications or tech company.

Stephen Elop the former COO of Juniper Networks will be replacing Raikes and there is much speculation about why Microsoft did not look internally to fill this position.







Taser meets Apple

January 7, 2008

Technology News Wrap Dec 27, 2007

December 27, 2007

It has been a slow news week as you might imagine and there have been a number of stories which have caught my eye. Stories wrapping up 2007 are rampant and one worth reading is from Mae Kowalke and is titled 2007 VoIP News Highlights from TMCnet. Within the article is a summary of news regarding Microsoft OCS, Vonage, SunRocket and more.   In other news, Sonus got nice recognition as a market leader from Infonetics in a report which states Sonus has captured 26 percent of the worldwide market, with 42% coverage in North America region representing increases over Q2 2007.   A rumor which could be a deal changer for the technology market comes from Seeking Alpha and discusses a potential new Apple device which seems like a Nokia N800 clone. I am a huge fan of the Nokia N800 as it is speedy, has wonderful resolution at 800x480 and can do so much more that a smartphone.
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