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Gadget

Microsoft Tablet Expensive but does Flash

January 5, 2011

Microsoft, the company which invented the tablet – Tablet PC just under a decade ago has a long way to go before they understand how to become an important player in the tablet space of today. In short order, the market has become one which is price sensitive – iPads start in fact at under $500.

Yet when Asus rolled out its tablet strategy with three Android units and one based on Windows 7, the latter device was priced at more than twice the average of the Android gadgets. So you can buy an Asus Tablet for $399 or $499 or pick up a Windows unit for $999.

CES 2011 Energy and Video News

January 5, 2011

What The Peep (Wireless) is Going On?

January 4, 2011

A company which claims to do the impossible. What can’t this thing do?

I love to hear aggressive new companies break onto the scene full on huge ambitions but the recent news that Peep Wireless will be able to take a smartphone or telematics-based bluetooth system and use software to recreate the PSTN has me baffled just a bit. OK, baffled a lot.

Sears Goes High Tech With Video Streaming

January 4, 2011

One imagines the person above represents the typical Sears customer... Will this news lure the person below?

As reported by Gary Kim on TMCnet, Sears is now launching a new streaming video service under its Alphaline brand which is expected to provide a full line of consumer electronic products.Unlike subscription based competitors you do not need any sort of long-term commitment to use the service which prices new releases frequently at $3.99 per rental while TV episodes are priced at $1.99 per rental.

Buy That iPad 2 Case Now

December 31, 2010


You know who you are... You need to be the first to have everything. You will wait in line for hours so you can have a piece of electronics your friends and relatives will drool over.

We all know the iPad 2 is coming and unless you happen to be a personal friend of Steve Jobs - and even then, you probably aren't going to get one before everyone else.

But while you wait, how about picking up a case or two or even 500 for your iPad 2.

You see Alibaba the site used to connect manufacturers in Asia with resellers and distributors worldwide has two listings for iPad 2 cases. Both have camera holes in them and frankly look just like large iPod Touch or iPhone cases.

One has a slew of colorful case choices while the other has a dark translucent cover for the next-gen Apple tablet.

As I inferred above, you more than likely have to order the cases by the hundred.










Skype Video For iPhone a 2011 Killer App

December 30, 2010

I just did a brief test of Skype video calling on the iPhone - it works on the iPad as well. TMC's Tom Keating and I tried calling over WiFi and AT&T 3G. WiFi worked amazingly well and the first 3G call I tried just hung.

My second attempt to call Tom's iPhone 3GS with my iPhone 4 went through and the quality seemed slightly worse than WiFi but still quite good. During the demo I received two non-Skype 3G calls which placed the Skype call on hold.

News to Know Before New Year's 2011

December 29, 2010

The bitter fight between Oracle and SAP over copyright infringement got more bitter with courts agreeing SAP owes Oracle $16.5M in interest on the $1.3B award Oracle received. While less than the $211.7M Oracle sought, Oracle will also get reimbursed by SAP for $120M in attorney fees.

Let’s say you got a NookColor for Christmas but your books are all on Amazon’s Kindle service… You can now read Kindle books on the Nook – but you need to put on your propeller hat first.

Most Indian telcos must roll out services on wireless spectrum they purchase from the fovernment in a year or pay fines.

The Apple iOS vs. Android Fight in 2011

December 28, 2010

As TMCnet's Tom Keating mentions on his blog, there are many factors to consider in the fight for mobile supremecy between Apple, Google Android and yes, even Microsoft. Tom's point about Microsoft injecting itself into the Android relationship with carriers to become the defacto search engine has even begun to happen already.

But what caught my eye regarding the controversy is will Apple become the defacto high-end alternative that is priced out of the reach of most of the market?

The answer may lie in production numbers alone.

You see, the Apple hardware is virtually unchanged from iPod to iPhone to iPad so economies of scale work in the company's favor.

However, Android devices are gaining massive share. If these gadgets can also leverage the same hardware with other mobile operating systems then they too can take advantage of the same efficiencies. Perhaps Samsung and HTC are best positioned in this regard as an HTC device, for example, can do double-duty as an Android and Windows Phone 7.

A while back I asked Nokia execs about the disadvantage they had in supporting a plethora of form factors while Apple gets away with one and they didn't have a good answer.

But if a phone manufacturer can leverage multiple operating systems to drive scale they can then compete more effectively with Apple.











Microsoft Kinect to Explode in 2011

December 28, 2010

Using my personal experience as a guide, I can tell you hands down that the Xbox 360 Kinect is a breakthrough in technology. Here is a little secret which I will share with you about what happened when I actually saw the device in action in New York this past August thanks to Zig Serafin, General Manager, Speech and Larry Heck, Chief Scientist, Speech at Microsoft.

Picture this – I was sitting on the edge of stage where there were a number of stairs – maybe eight or ten behind me. I had a briefing in which Zig and his team explained how the company’s speech strategy was evolving.

Appliances Should Become Easy to Use Before Smart

December 27, 2010

Devices are getting smarter - the smart home of the future will consist of gadgets which speak with one another, the electric company, the cloud and all your computers - from desktops to the ones you keep in your pocket. They will tweet, post status messages on Facebook and more than likely teach you about calculus if you sit still long enough.

The only challenge of course is devices are getting more complicated - with interfaces most likely created by the same people who designed cell phones in the pre-iPhone days.

A reminder of the situation comes courtesy of Alexia Tsotsis at TechCrunch who talks about a trip to her relatives house and how the experience left her longing for all devices to be made by Apple.

If household appliance makers haven't gotten the message about the importance of simple and easy to use GUI by now, they should get ready to watch new entrants steamroll them in the future.









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