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Apple iPhone Developer Agreement Made Public

March 11, 2010

Dear developers, you have no power, no recourse beyond $50 and are at our complete mercy.

NASA has an iPhone app and the mere fact that this government agency chose to develop one means that the EFF was able to use the Freedom of Information Act to obtain the Apple iPhone developer agreement - the closely guarded document which gives Apple the power to pull applications at will and be the final arbiter of what apps make it into the iTunes App Store.

As pointed out by ZDnet's Jason O'Grady and the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Fred von Lohman, here are some of the important items contained in this 33 page document:

  • A ban on public statements, forbidding developers to speak about the agreement.
  • Apps made with the iPhone software development kit can only be distributed through the App Store, meaning rejected apps can't be served through the underground app store Cydia, for instance.
  • Apple indemnifies itself against developer liability surpassing $50, meaning if developers get sued, Apple will be liable for no more than $50 in damages.
  • No reverse engineering or enabling others to reverse-engineer, the iPhone SDK.
  • No messing with Apple products.

Google Apps Marketplace Brings Walled Garden to the Desktop

March 10, 2010

Years back TMC launched a magazine titled IMS which stands for IP Multimedia Subsystem - and represented an architecture model allowing carriers to open up their networks to developers who would in turn take a revenue split in exchange for allowingtheir apps to run on the carrier's network. Customers of the service provider would be provided walled garden access to services - they would be pushed to use authorized apps. Fast forward some years and now the app stores are owned by Apple, RIM, Nokia and others. The carriers were just too slow to implement their models and perhaps they were the wrong class of company to be involved in the software business.

Adobe Comes Out Swinging Against Apple

March 9, 2010

Seeing Adobe Air and Flash run on a device which is similar to the iPad makes users wonder just why Apple has chosen not to support these ubiquitous technologies

Steve Jobs is one of the most powerful people in business and especially technology. So when he comes out publicly and says Adobe's Flash technology has problems and he won't support it in his products, people take notice. In response to this threat from Apple, Adobe has gone on the offensive and most recently partnered with HP on the company's Slate tablet and more importantly have put out a video which shows how powerful Flash can be on a handheld computer.

Skooba Launches new Tech Organization Case

March 8, 2010

Updated and corrected March 11, 2010 -- Please read till end.

I feel like when I fly I have as many wires in my laptop case as the airplane has inside its hull. When you add in the memory sticks and batteries and various chargers for every device and then realize I like to have USB versions of many chargers, you can understand why my laptop case would have to pay for a second seat if it was a passenger.

Here is a nice photo provided by the company




When Skooba let me know they have a new cable organizer coming out I had to try it if for no other reason than I am the most qualified person to test one of these things out.

Israel VC Funds Down 92% from High

March 8, 2010

Some of the best technology in the world was invented in Israel. The VoIP market was launched in the country and the biblical land of milk and honey still leads the world in communications and technology. Many US-based companies do much of their R&D in Israel in fact because there is such a strong pool of talent and the Israelis seem to be very inventive.

With a strong track record and in a market where technology seems to be one of the more stable investment areas, it is a bit of a surprise to see that the amount of VC funds raised last year was less than one-tenth of the all-time high of $2.9 billion raised in 2000.

Microsoft's Huge Mobile Gamble

March 5, 2010

The mobile market has come full circle from multitasking to single-tasking

Microsoft's Windows Mobile and its predecessors distinguished themselves as an operating system which are very desktop-like when compared to devices like a Blackberry or Palm VII. At the beginning of the last decade, Palm was at the top of its game and it was soon facing a brutal battle with the iPaq from Compaq which delivered a more laptop-type experience and a bright full-color screen. And my favorite iPaq feature was multitasking which allowed me for example to download a document while emailing.

Pandora Increases Focus on Cars

March 5, 2010

One of the best places in need of Internet radio is in the car as you are not able to currently able to skip songs on regular or satellite radio. Pandora and Slacker have changed the paradigm of radio listening and I often find myself wanting to press the thumbs up or down buttons on songs I hear while driving.

The problem of course is that unless you are listening to Internet radio you can't skip a song. That is of course unless you have a smartphone with an Internet radio app which is connected to your car. Ford has strong syncing options with smartphones and BMW and others have done an OK job with cell phone interconnectivity.

A few months back, Pioneer announced a new automotive entertainment unit which integrates Pandora and costs $1,200.



Verizon Network Back, Voice not Affected

March 3, 2010

Cablevision Shows CTI stands for Computer-TV Integration

February 24, 2010

How big an industry will computer-television integration industry become and will it dwarf the multibillion dollar computer-telephony integration market which was responsive for originating the CTI acronym?



How will carriers and cable companies navigate the new world of computer-television integration and can it be profitable for them?


Video revenue which carriers and cablecos rely on will continue to decline over time and YouTube and Hulu are just a few services which are responsible for this migration from television to the computer video watching. Still, as carriers cope with this transformation, for consumers, there is still no easy way to transfer content from YouTube to that shiny new flat screen TV in the living room. There are devices like ZeeVee which connect to your computer and broadcast the output to a cable channel - accessible to all the TVs in your house but none of computer/TV integration products has become mainstream - not even Apple TV.

The ZeeVee idea has been emulated by Cablevision, the cable company serving parts of the northeast and will be turned into a service soon....


Windows Phone 7 is Really Version 3.0?

February 15, 2010

For years, Microsoft products have been known to be pretty poor until version three came around - at which point they were pretty good. Based upon the early comments about Windows Phone 7, this update seems to be the version 3.0 experience which basically means the best mobile product the software leader has developed to date.

Why?

The company has embraced the clean interface needed to compete in the mobile space without any gimmicky pseudo 3D interface tricks.

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