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Gadget

Amazon's Subsidized Tablets Borrow from Wireless Carriers

September 28, 2011

Will any margin remain in selling standalone computing hardware?

I want to bet against Amazon - not because I don't like the company - I most certainly do. But because coming out with a new line of tablets to take on Apple is not turning into a successful strategy for the rest of the tech world. Both HP and RIM are feeling pain - even though I might add the Blackberry Playbook is a very solid tablet.

When Amazon released a slew of devices today from $79-$199 I was concerned that this is yet another case of a tech company going up against Apple and getting slaughtered. It is worth pointing out however that the HP tablet didn't really start selling until the price was dropped to $99.

But back to Amazon - I didn't think the original Kindle would be very popular and I was wrong.





Slowly, New York Subways get Cell Service

September 23, 2011

GSM customers rejoice, finally you will be able to use your cellphones in the subways of New York. As someone who has gotten lost navigating my way around down there, I am grateful this day has finally come. AT&T and T-Mobile customers will be the first to enjoy this new service which will be a godsend for tourists who like me aren't that familiar with how to get around the tunnels crisscrossing the Manhattan underground.

According to the New York Times:

The pilot program will introduce cellphone reception to the C-E platforms at 23rd Street and Eighth Avenue and three other stations along West 14th Street: the A, C, E and L platforms at Eighth Avenue; the F, M and L platforms at Avenue of the Americas; and the Seventh Avenue station that serves the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 lines.

Sadly, the project was stalled due to financing issues - lets hope we see coverage throughout the entire New York subway system and soon.




The Bittersweet Pandora HTML5 Update

September 21, 2011

Bittersweet only if you use Apple iOS devices.

As a huge fan of HTML5 and someone who is even involved in putting on  DevCon5 conferences covering the space I was thrilled to see the new Pandora HTML5 interface. Likewise I was disappointing to see I couldn't run the Pandora HTML5 environment on an iPhone browser natively and thus sidestepping the Apple iTunes App Store.

The look of the new Pandora based on HTML5


I have a request out to the company to see if there is an Apple limitation at work here or whether the company has intentionally hampered the app on iOS. As most of us know, playing media on the iPhone requires using their embedded player so my educated guess is there is an Apple issue here.

And before I posted I walked down the hall and tested the new HTML5 site on Erik Linask's Android-based smartphone and guess what. It worked flawlessly.








Twitter Tightens SMS Ties with Photos

September 21, 2011

Twitter's 140 character limit was actually a limit of SMS messages applied to the world's most successful microblogging service but in the last few years, Twitter use has migrated to apps on smartphones and web browsers. Today the company sent a reminder to the world that yes, you can tweet via SMS as well. In fact you can now include photos in an SMS message and have it update your account.

At the moment this functionality is limited to AT&T, Verizon and Cellular South in the US as well as Orange in the UK, Vodafone Italy, Rogers Communications in Canada, VIVA Bahrain and TIM Brazil.

Here is more information from Twitter and a list of short and long codes used to address your SMS messages.

Hat tip Phone Scoop.





Windows 8 Targets Boot Time in War With Apple

September 9, 2011

Here is a typical scenario many of us deal with... While waiting for our laptop or PC to boot, we take out our smartphones or tablets to check email and work until the Windows-based machine ends it's leisurely boot process. Often we have a few choice words for our Windows machine as we realize the lunacy of having to deal with such a slow start-up process.

Even more ironic is the fact that an iPad 2 not only boots lightening-fast, it has a full day of battery built-in meaning you don't need to worry about shutting the system down that often.

About ten years ago I recall Microsoft working on an instant-boot technology but obviously this never made it into production and boot times continue to be a major Achilles heel of Redmond's OS.

So the news that Windows 8 will boot 30-70% faster than Windows 7 is music to the ears of people who are sick of having to use a spare device while the other boots.

This is how it works... The system processes or kernel hibernates when you shut down.







Even Apple Wouldn't Hire Steve Jobs Today

September 1, 2011

While we lament the fact that Steve Jobs is gone as CEO of Apple and hope he stays as healthy as possible, it is worth pointing out something which is true but underreported and amazingly shocking. You see, I recently posted my six observations on why Steve Jobs was successful and suggestions on how others could emulate him and as an extension, Apple. But after reading an article on TMCnet’s sister site, TechZone360 from Rob Enderle , President and Principal Analyst, Enderle Group, I realize that we have a major problem as a tech industry because as Rob points out, nobody would hire Steve Jobs.

His personality quirks and lack of education wouldn’t even give him access to an interview at most tech companies that would really need someone like him.

Streaming Radio? There's An App For EACH Station

August 31, 2011

I love all kinds of music and unless I am in the mood for something slow, I find the faster the beat the better. So I have been on a quest for the best workout music and I’ve had good success but I am wondering, how many more apps can I take?

Everyone probably started their journey with Pandora as I did. I love how customizable Pandora is – allowing me to skip tracks I don’t like and build perfectly customizable radio stations.

6 New Rules in a Post-Jobs World

August 29, 2011

Let’s face it, any company trying to compete with Apple in its core markets has been beheaded and frankly in the case of HP, embarrassed. For so many years, there were two ways of doing things – the established way like Microsoft did and the different way that Apple did things. It turns out in market after market, the established way was wrong. Here are some of the observations I have made as to why Apple has been such a phenomenal success and thoughts on how your company can be the next Apple and you can be the next Steve Jobs.

1) Does your hardware say wow?

ITEXPO West 2011 Austin Highlights

August 23, 2011

Before all ITEXPO events I do a final proofread of the show directory and this one may be the biggest ever at 132 pages with tabs (just doing our part to support the economy). We will post a PDF version soon so you can see what’s in it but until then, here are some highlights that caught my eye:

Keynotes & Exhibits Tuesday, September 13th at 9:15 AM we have Ian Pennell from Cisco and at 4:30 PM-5:30 PM we have keynotes from Siemens and IBM followed by a Grand Opening Networking Reception sponsored by Interact from 5:30-7:30.

Wednesday, September 14th at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM we have keynotes from Polycom and DHL followed by exhibits from 11:00 AM- 4:00 PM. Then at 4:00 PM there is a Cocktail reception sponsored by Rackspace Hosting and at 4:45 you could win a pair of mountain bikes from Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop - an Austin Institution ( I am told).

Google Pays Half Million Per Patent for Motorola Mobility

August 16, 2011

Google just purchased patents as part the acquisition of Motorola Mobility – 24,500 of them to be exact. At a $12.5B valuation that puts the value per patent at $510,204 apiece. But the search giant also gets 19,000 employees on top of the 29,000 it already has.

The question is does Google want these employees or to manage a business which is so different from software and advertising that it makes your head spin.

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