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Consumer Electronics

Sonos Adds iOS iTunes Playback

December 5, 2012

If you have a Sonos streaming stereo system and you download your music to a PC in your home then it is fairly simple to get access to all your stored music throughout your home. If however you download music to a PC which isn’t connected to your home network or directly to an iOS device you weren’t able to stream this music through your Sonos components without a wireless dock designed for an iPod or iPhone to plug into.

Sonos has just updated its software allowing your iOS devices to stream their music to your Sonos components over WiFi. Wireless iTunes Playback is compatible with the iPhone (3GS or later), iPod touch (4th generation or later), or iPad (2nd generation or later) running iOS 6 or higher and works with DRM-free music in MP3 or AAC format.

While this all sounds great in-theory, after updating all Sonos components throughout my home and updating the Sonos App on a 4th gen iPad and iPhone 5, get an error trying to stream music from either device.

11 Reasonably-Priced Tech Stocking Stuffers & Hanukah Gifts

December 3, 2012

If you’re looking for some reasonably priced stocking stuffers and Hanukah gifts for the kids or adults who have never grown up, you might want to consider some of the following. I just bought at least one of each.

Boogie Board $34

This is a reasonably priced gift for an electronic whiteboard which doesn’t need batteries.

WebRTC Conference & Expo Kicks Off

November 28, 2012

I am at the WebRTC Conference & Expo here at the South San Francisco Conference Center and the mood at the show is positive. What I have heard over and over from telecom equipment vendors, call center vendors and software vendors is that WebRTC is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in the telecom space.

At a cocktail party sponsored by Google and Plantronics many people told me that the handset players are in trouble while the headset vendors have a great opportunity. This of course explains why Plantronics has taken such an active role at this conference and in this space.

I will update you with more as the event progresses - here are some photos of the show for your viewing pleasure - The person at the podium is Phil Edholm who has partnered with TMC and Crossfire Media to host this conference.


 






Mobile Profits are Skyrocketing as 67,000 Are Laid Off

November 15, 2012

Mobile is not your father’s tech space.

 

Over the past two years, profits from the top eight mobile vendors has risen from $5.3 billion to $14.4 billion for a whopping increase of $9.1 billion and all this while over 67,000 people have been laid off in the technology. How is this possible you ask? I posited a similar query two months ago regarding Corning’s shares losing value – even while they supply Gorilla Glass to much of the booming mobile market.

Why Apple Needs an iLane Bryant Phone

November 7, 2012

It may seem obvious that Apple needed to offer a smaller iPad now but when I suggested the idea in November of 2011 I received criticism from many who thought Apple didn’t need to “dilute” its product assortment of iPods and large iPads. Steve Jobs also disagreed with me but as Henry Blodget points out, Steve was wrong.

And this was a rare misstep for Jobs who showed a God-given ability to know what consumers want across various industries -before even they did.

The challenge however for Apple remains the same as the one I pointed out when I first tested the Motorola Droid X.

The reason Apple lost the PC war had to do with the open nature of the PC market – where competition led to a huge price/performance advantage for computers based on the Microsoft operating system.

A Little Heavy Chrome

November 1, 2012

Google has a new heavy metal-based TV commercial which has a Halloween undercurrent. The ad touts the $249 Samsung-made Chromebook as being smaller, better on batteries and good for “scaring off viruses.” It goes on to discuss its lack of phantom files and crashes. Although the video has had under 100,000 views I can see it going viral and perhaps adding a zero to that number.

What is unclear is how much demand there will be for a cloud-based laptop which seems to ape the look of an Apple computer at a fraction of the price.

WebRTC: The Phone meets the Web

October 19, 2012

We have seen the multi-billion dollar communications market get disrupted as the phone met the IP network. In the video below Phil Edholm describes how with WebRTC, the phone meets the web. As he describes, even though IP communications has been around for more than a decade, there hasn’t been a fundamental change in how we communicate. We still hang our phones off servers which allow communications to take place.

Amazon's Evolving Views on Patents

October 18, 2012

In the 1990 patent suits in tech were quite infrequent but today, there is more news on international patents than just about any other tech news category. That’s why I thought this research note from the Yankee Group was worth sharing. Bezos is certainly not the only person to have a concern about a behavior he once espoused but he certainly benefited from such behavior in a spectacular way.

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, isn’t keeping it a secret that he isn’t a fan of the seemingly constant patent lawsuits happening today.

Best Buy Tablet Doomed?

October 17, 2012


The common sense analysis of Best Buy’s new Android-based tablet is it is doomed because if only Amazon is able to pull a tablet off by breaking even or even potentially losing money and even Samsung isn’t making a dent in the market, how can Best Buy do any better? The reality is the success of this strategy is a long shot but by the same token you can think of this tablet as a generic product or store brand.

In other words when you go to Costco and buy a Kirkland product you are essentially buying a “store brand” not necessarily manufactured by the retailer, just resold. So Best Buy’s Insignia Flex tablet expected to sell between $239 and $259 can simply be considered a new product in the house-brand category.

For Microsoft Surface, Is it Mission Impossible?

October 16, 2012


Microsoft, here is your mission. Take a device which has become synonymous with the term “post-PC era” and topple it. Go up against a company which is considered cool and somehow transform your image to be as cool. If you decide to accept this mission you must take your reputation for developing bloated operating systems and software and scale it all down to run in a tablet form factor where a person can use the device for an entire day without recharging.

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