Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
One in Three Americans Wants an iPhone
Thirty-two percent of those surveyed who do not currently own an iPhone stated that they do intend to purchase one, with 8 percent planning to purchase in the next three months and 22 percent planning to purchase "some time in the future" the researchers said.And just a reminder as to what Mr. Balmer so confidently said.
Not only did they spend $600 on a phone, but they're happy they did. USA Today wrote:
In one of the first such studies, 90% of 200 owners said they were “extremely” or “very” satisfied with their phone. […] The findings are “pretty much off the charts,” says Jason Kramer, Interpret’s chief strategy officer.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Microsoft announced their quarterly revenue of $14.4 billion and net income of $4.93 billion. That means Microsoft made $55 million a day of pure profit. The article goes on to help us understand what kind of money that is.
Do some quick math and you'll learn it takes Microsoft only about...
- four days to exceed Starbucks' quarterly net income of $205 million.
- one week to exceed Nike's quarterly net income of $350.8 million.
- two weeks to exceed McDonalds' quarterly net income of $762 million.
- two weeks to exceed Apple's quarterly net income of $770 million.
- 18 days to exceed Google's quarterly net income of $1 billion.
- 23 days to exceed Coca-Cola's quarterly net income of $1.26 billion.
- five weeks to exceed IBM's quarterly net income of $1.85 billion.
- 10 weeks to exceed Wal-Mart's quarterly net income of $3.9 billion.
Three weeks to make more money than Coka-Cola?
Thursday, May 3, 2007
This point is made loud and clear with Creative Lab's new Zen Stone.
If it’s not completely obvious, it is a weak, tardy attempt to get a piece of the micro MP3 player market that Apple is nearly alone in. Make no mistakes about it, this is an iPod Shuffle replica, it's a knockoff, a hack. They try to throw you off the trail by disguising it in a crazy new material and moving the nearly identical navigation circle to the complete opposite side of the device. In my opinion they’re not much different than cheap Korean knock off’s.
The frustrating thing is, having seven months to replicate the Shuffle, Creative Labs still hasn’t been able to improve on it. They weren’t even able to strip it of it’s “smallest MP3 player” title, and it has 2 hrs less battery life. Aesthetics are relative, but we all know it’s not as pretty. It’s better looking than the previous Shuffle, but alas it’s a year and a half late for that. Not to mention you won’t have the array of Shuffle accessories, to keep you from losing your postage stamp player.
If there where any doubts that it is a cheap copy. Creative’s site states:
Choose how you want to listen to your music! Push the dedicated random button for shuffle playback, play your music in the order you like or repeat your favorite song over and over again?You mean there is a mode that allows me to randomly SHUFFLE the songs on my micro MP3 player? Creative indeed!
Creative chairman and CEO Sim Wong Hoo says (ha-ha "Hoo says"):
The Creative ZEN Stone, at just $39.99, opens up a huge new market for MP3 players. This is an incredible price for everyone to get a superior quality MP3 player capable of holding up to 250 songs.First of all, please let me know what makes this a superior quality MP3 player. Second, I appreciate the price of MP3 players, and electronics in general dropping. They might as well movie tickets are nearly $10. However Creative hopes to move these not by offering something cooler or different, but by simply underselling the Shuffle. This doesn’t work.
I forgot to mention that Mr Hoo made this statement In January of 2005 when the Shuffle Debuted.
So I think the whole industry will just laugh at it, because the flash people – it’s worse than the cheapest Chinese player. Even the cheap, cheap Chinese brand today has display and has FM.
IPod accessories are getting ridiculous, and I'm not quite sure how most of these companies can afford to make products of which have to contend with hundreds of competitors. Oh well, have a healthy BBQ.
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
I’m no Linux cheerleader, but I’m glad to see things moving in this direction and Linux (open source alternatives in general) getting more public exposure. For most people, that is non geeks (and even often geeks), Linux is painful. Weather it be lack of software support, mainstream titles, or the 1992 style UI’s. This could help change that.
So what’s the big deal? Linux is already free, what is this this going to change? I’m glad you asked. First of all you can buy a new Dell without Windows which you are otherwise forced to buy with a new machine, lower price. This will give Linux more recognition, press, and interest. Most importantly, it will increase developer (software and driver) support, for an eventually more widely accepted, more usable, Linux. These two factors (depending on it’s popularity through Dell and otherwise) could force Microsoft to both acknowledge and respect the open source community and reflect this in their quality and pricing. Oh yeah, it would also be nice of Apple to release a Linux iTunes, but they don't want Linux to succeed any more than Microsoft.
A wider adoption of Linux could also forces the open standards issue a little more which is something Microsoft tends to ignore when it’s convenient or when it helps their sales model.
It’s nice to see Dell bucking Microsoft and Intel, it keeps everyone honest.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
This is surprising. By surprising I mean overwhelmingly expected.
I don't know what made them think home users would tolerate the same incompatibility and stability issues that businesses wouldn't.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
With LCD offering higher resolutions and coming up quickly to bridge the quality gap between itself and Plasma, it seems as though the tides are changing for high definition. However, there are new players emerging and they are looking very promising.
First is “Laser” TV. Yes it’s hard to say without air quotes. Novalux Inc. is one of the pioneers of this technology. They claim that laser televisions will offer many benefits over Plasma LCD and CRT televisions, including half the productions cost, double the color range, and three quarters less power consumption. WOW. Sign me up, not only does it have these benefits, but it uses a laser. Is there anything that uses a laser that’s not cool? Although they have not formally announced a product Sony said this of the product they showed at this years CES:
At CES we had a laser TV beside a plasma TV, an LCD TV and a traditional UHP lamp TV,” said Niven, speaking about Novalux’s showroom in at this year’s CES. “So that’s four TVs lined up running our own produced high definition content, and I mean, it was a no brainer. The laser TV had a way, way better picture than any of the other conventional technologies.The downside to laser technology is that it requires (for now) a deeper cabinet. Not as deep as standard rear projection televisions, it’s 8-10 inch profile is able to be hung on a wall, but not nearly as sexy as the current 3-6 inch flat panels. Which brings me to the next contender.
OLED televisions seem to be around the corner as well. The new OLED TV’s announced by Sony and Samsung are super thin. They also boast of richer colors, wider viewing angle and lower power requirements. The OLED televisions are plagued by short lifespans however. The technology has matured quite a bit since the cell phones and car audio displays of 2002, but will still undergo some growing pains to reach the home theater.
Both of these technologies are slated to be available in 2008. Visually everyone seems to agree that Laser and OLED televisions are superior to the current offerings, and Plasma and LCD have almost hit their peak of evolution. It will be interesting to see how the market is influence by these new televisions. But I’ll sit on my Plasma savings for another year.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Sony has missteped so many times in the last few years it's hard to know where to begin. Their proprietary, go through us, Sony is the hub of all electronic entertainment approach to everything has led to the rise and fall of a handful of trademarks that starts with a product that sets a thesis statement for my point…the Betamax. Since that well documented failure Sony has stubbornly used the same mentality and marketing approach, and subsequently failed with: ATRAC, the MiniDisk, UMD and the currently failing PSP, the Connect Digital Music project, the SACD format which died along side it's rival DVD Audio and the Sony Network Walkman, which when finally introduced didn’t even support MP3 files. These failures are complimented by further stupidity such as their stubbornness to even enter the digital audio market (which Stringer mentions in a more flattering way), shipping a rootkit on one of their audio CD’s and recently, exploding batteries.
The Sony Corp. CEO revealed that a lot of the negativity surrounding both recent challenges for the company is the result of internal strife in the company and a cultural disconnect between Sony CEO Howard Stringer and his Japanese executive team.Sony is just one big dysfunctional foreign exchange family right now, they need some counseling quick. The Nintendo Wii is saturating entry level gaming devices. The Xbox is stronger than ever and was in the marketplace sooner, once again due to a Sony debacle. One they may never be able to recover from. The HD disk wars are far from over. Stringer seems to be overly optimistic about Blu-Ray, but I’m not, even though they have gained some ground lately and technically offer a superior product (like Betamax). Not to mention the success or failure of one of these two products could, and probably will impact that of the other. The PS3 uses Blu-Ray disks and if the PS3 where booming, that many more people would automatically be Blu-Ray movie users.
I don’t hate Sony. Everyone (over the age of 20) has fond memories of their Walkman. Sony's Trinitron technology is legendary. Up until recently they have had the best gaming console bar none. They make great digital cameras (despite the proprietary Memory Sticks) and video cameras. Strangely enough their VAIO computers, although overpriced, are great as well as stylish and finally their line of Bravia XBR LCD televisions are arguably the best on the market. However something needs to change at a very high level for Sony to get back on track, recover from their recent blunders and regain the love of this geek and I’m sure many others.
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
I sure hope Mr. Jonathan del Strother was well compensated by Apple for his Cover Flow application, they can't seem to use it enough, and rightfully so.
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Both of these applications will retail for $300 (Lightroom is $200 until the end of April). If that's a bit rich for your blood, there are other photo management and editing programs for the casual shutterbug. Adobe Photoshop Elements for Windows and Mac, ACDSee Pro and the free Picasa from Google (which is good and couldn't be cheaper) just to name a few. Speaking of free it's getting more and more difficult for these companies to make worthwhile commercial products that can compete with the built in tools like Windows Photo Gallery and iPhoto.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Monday, February 12, 2007
This is an impressive new video of him giving a demo of some new interfaces.
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
- Myth #1: You'll have to buy a new, high-end PC to run Vista
- Myth #2: Vista will solve all your security problems
- Myth #3: Vista is no more secure than XP SP2
- Myth #4: The only thing new about Vista is the eye candy
- Myth #5: You can't dual boot Vista with another operating system
- Myth #6: Vista requires (or includes) Office 2007
- Myth #7: Most old applications and peripherals won't work with Vista
- Myth #8: You have to buy a Premium version of Vista if you have a dual core machine
- Myth #9: You won't be able to play ripped music in Vista
- Myth #10: Vista costs a lot more than XP
My additional points:
#1 - No you don't, but you should.
#7 - Not most, but many common titles have issues, such as: Adobe Creative Suite, iTunes, File Maker Pro, MS Money, Visual Studio, Real VNC, Thunderbird and many more. Although much of the compatibility of these products depends on the Third Parties themselves the simple fact is they have problems. And who's to blame for the Microsoft titles? If your printer doesn't work, get a new one, they're $80.
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
On CNN, O'Brien threw Bill Gates a curveball (That should have been expected and therefore not a curveball) when interviewing him about the debut of Windows Vista.
No, no, no. Actually, uh, the, we're ahead [slight pause] on a lot, uh, there's whole areas where we've innovated like Media Center and tablet, uh, that, uh, no one else is doing
Verrrry innovative, watching movies and listening to music on a computer. So if the computer is plugged into a television it's innovative? I like Media Center and it is without a doubt more advanced than Front Row (mainly because it has a DVR) and it was first. However if there where a reason "no one else is doing", "innovations" like Media Center and Tablet PC it may be because of their lack of revenue and popularity. But this was a valid response, he should have stopped there.
and the parental control, that's the first time that's been done.
I don't know what their growing up in Redmond, but Parental Controls debuted in Mac OS X Tiger in 2005. Lies.
Even in this photo area, you know, we'd love to have you compare how we've done, make it easy to make a DVD, edit high definition movies.
iPhoto, 2002. iDVD 2001, iMovie 1999 with HD editing added at the beginning of 2005.
You finally release something similar 2-5 years later and not only call it an innovation, but use it as a defense (read: admission of guilt) that you are mimicking your nemesis. You might as well have thrown the Zune in there, that's innovative right, something that no one else is doing. Bill your a smart dude, maybe you should prepare yourself for just such a question, which is more than valid by the way. Get your head out of your butt, and figure out what's going on.
I'm as tired of the whole Windows copies Mac thing as anyone, but you are the former CEO of a the biggest software manufacturer in the world, in a public forum. Have a good answer prepared for a common and reasonable alegation of the product your promoting. Here's an idea. Hire a guy (if you have enough money) who's sole job is to watch apple and tell you what their doing, just so you know. Just like the entire teams you have working on your software now, except instead of tying to emulate it he will tell you about it, because your obviously out of the loop. This may save you from any awkward situations in the future.
In his interview with Bill Gates in Newsweek, Steven Levy pointed out that many of the new features in Windows Vista are similar to features already in Mac OS X.
I mean, it’s fascinating, maybe we shouldn’t have showed so publicly the stuff we were doing, because we knew how long the new security base was going to take us to get done. Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine. So, yes, it took us longer, and they had what we were doing, user interface-wise.
Fascinating indeed, I don't really know where to begin, but I'll keep this short. First, I think Gates actually believes Microsoft came up with these features first, Apple copied them, and Apple got them into their final product first because Microsoft was spending so much time improving Vista’s security. This is impossible and untrue. Second "Security guys don't break the Mac every single day", (and thanks for the refferences Bill) and if they do, why don't Hackers? I'm not saying Vista isn't more secure than OS X, I'm very willing to believe this and hopeful of it. But seriously, every day, but no real world exploits? ..."Your machine can be taken over totally"?...a month to take over Vista? It just sounds like the knee-jerk rantings of a kid who was just told his dad got beaten up by a girl.
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
NES (or any other antiquated technology) fanatics are funny. Maybe it's just me, but After seeing XBox 360, PS3, or pretty much any game made in the last 5 years, NES games just seems like watching 70's special effects. It was cool at the time, It's not cool anymore. Novelty aside, I just don't understand, especially for how much money this is going to end up fetching.
Having said that, props to sonyabscott who got his hands on all of these (some of which are very hard to find) and of course for his wonderful positive eBay feedback.
He should however have a warning on his auction that those with asthma should not bid. It's going to be hard enough for someone with healthy lungs to muster up enough wind to blow out all of those cartridges.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Note: The software license for the 802.11n Enabler software allows you to install and use it on all computers under your ownership or control.
- MacBook Pro with Core 2 Duo
- MacBook with Core 2 Duo
- Mac Pro
- iMac with Core 2 Duo (not the 17-inch 1.83GHz model though)
It seems fairly obvious that Adobe feels threatened by the proliferation of Microsoft Office, the impending domination of Office 2007, and finding itself head to head with XPS, Offices native portable document format (also an open standard). At this point Microsoft is the only company that could breed a competitor to the PDF format and Adobe knows this.
XPS will share many features of PDF format. It can support editable metadata, annotations, digital signatures, hyperlinks, bookmarks, text selection, all the typical features most people will need. Microsoft or its partners will also make available free XPS viewers for Windows (duh), Macintosh, Unix, and Linux to help it get the largest grasp possible.
First, I am glad PDF will finally be an international standard. Hopefully some of the flakiness will get ironed out quicker. However I'm not happy it took them smelling a competitor on their heels to open the standard.
Second, competition is good, but not in this arena. There should be ONE standard, fonts and graphic formats are already enough of a pain. It's possible that these two formats can peacefully coexist without frustrating users, but not likely.
Third, Adobe has become complaisant and therefore the quality of their Acrobat Reader has suffered and the PDF format has not grown as quickly or elegantly as it should. This impending move should change that.
I hope XPS is around long enough to make Adobe (and others) work on making the PDF standard better, and then fall of the face of the earth. Adobe is the company that needs to be providing an open portable document format. They just need to be doing it better.
Monday, January 29, 2007
One of the top search results in Google (number 6 at the time of this writing), is “Google“. Hundreds of millions of users are trying to get to Google through Google. Does this make any sense? No. But it shows that users don’t think about Google as a specific web page, they think of it as the service, an essential part of the internet experience. They’re using this service to get to the page they want: in this case, Google.
Monday, January 22, 2007
Game over Ford and GM.
Toyota envisions that punch to be a rear-wheel-drive Hybrid Sports Concept (HSC) that develops 400 horsepower. ..."Eco and emotion in a sports car concept with a performance target of 0-60 mph in about 4 seconds and a price tag in the mid-$30,000 range."
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Monday, January 15, 2007
Ultimate iPhone FAQ List 1
Ultimate iPhone FAQ List 2
Saturday, January 13, 2007
The Apple TV is a device that allows you to stream video from your Mac or PC to your television. Brilliant! Many people are content to watch full length video on their computer, I’m not one of them. (Nothing like wrangling up the gang for an episode Lost sharing an office chair and a 19 inch monitor.) This was an obvious next step, it’s just strange that it’s taken this long. Many television and movie companies have finally put their content online, but that’s not ideally where people want to view it.
Of course the Apple TV has great future potential such as video on demand and possible partnerships with Google (YouTube) or Netflix (all speculation of course). Until then however it seems as though it may be a bit limited. Playing only content purchased from iTunes or stored on your hard drive in a specific format. That is why they may have a bit of competition.
Enter SlingCatcher. A couple of years ago Sling Media burst on the scene with their SlingBox, an ugly (their much more attractive now) yet wonderful device that was capable of “slinging” video from ones television to nearly any device with an internet connection. Their new, not yet released device the SlingCatcher, does the opposite. Finally, that wonderful web content brought to the biggest screen in the house comfortably in front of the couch.
The price of the SlingCatcher is more attractive at $200 vs. the Apple TV’s $300. Both will feature HDMI 1.3, and component for video and Ethernet and WiFi options for network connectivity.
The main benefit of the SlingCatcher is that is will probably be media agnostic. You can play multiple video formats on it and they will not need to be purchased “legally” from any content provider, or go though the hassel of converting them to a suitable format. Torrents anyone?
Much of the success of either of these will also depend on the interface, and we all know who has the edge on that.
This could be a HUGE venue in consumer electronics in the coming years. We’ll see how this plays out, but these will not be the only two devices in the game, I expect Linksys, Belkin, Netgear and the likes to jump in at any time. Until then, start looking for a bigger hard drive.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
It's not that Apple design is better or worse than the design of the Sony Vaio. But you feel that it's part of the DNA. They are crazy about every detail, and you feel that. Today, many more companies invest in design, but they do it because they are forced to, not because they like it, and I think you can feel that in their products.
That's what many people can't put their finger on that makes Apple so cool.
A few features.
- 160dpi screen. This is one of the features that truly sets the unit apart visually, and something that will have to be seen in person to truly appreciate.
- OSX. Finally a phone OS that is functional and thought out. This has been the achilles heel of ALL cell phones. They are not intuitive.
- Multitouch technology for even more intuitive navigation.
- Wireless communication (other than cellular network). The iPhone supports both Bluetooth 2.0 and WiFi (802.11 b/g).
- SMS, Photos, Mail, Maps, Widgets.
- Oh yeah, it’s also the most advanced Video iPod yet.
The size is amazing as well, its 4.5 x 2.4 inches which is perfect to accommodate the 3.5 inch screen, but the thing is only 11.6mm deep. That’s .01mm slimmer than a Motorola SLVR if your even interested in such a minute difference. The point – it’s very slim body for so much technology.
There are a few things however that I’m not so hyped about. The big one…2 year Cingular contract. I don’t like Cingular and I’m not alone. It makes sense on Apples part to do this. Cingular is the biggest cellular provider in the US and it puts them in a great passion to move into Europe quickly. However for me and anyone else who lives West of Texas, or anyone who has ever received an incorrect bill from them, Cingular, well, isn’t good. This map (which is more flattering than their printed version) shows the situation, and trust me it’s worse than it looks. Can someone tell me why Kansas and Iowa have better coverage than Washington and California. Also Cingular’s data network is significantly slower than the CDMA (Verizon, Sprint) counterparts. Boo.
The other issues are not as big of a deal. 2MP Camera is lackluster, but who cares, it’s a phone. The non removable battery could be terribly inconvenient. Actual life on the battery will obviously only be subject to criticism over time, however I believe it’s inevitable. Stock up on chargers so you can have one everywhere.
On a side point, It’s funny that dates of Macworld haven’t completely overlapped CES for 5 years. The year that it does Apple announces something that will almost surly eclipse anything to come out of CES which is infinitely bigger. Does anyone care how big they can make LCD’s that no one can afford anyway?
This phone is cool enough to make me seriously consider moving to Cingular. It is simply amazing, It also provides a “Mac PDA”, if I may deem it so, that seamlessly syncs and integrates with Macs (this has never been perfect) and I’m sure just as seamlessly with Windows. I also tend to believe that Apple will release a new “Video” iPod before December that will be the iPhone, sans phone. This seems like an inevitable next step, but it won’t happen soon or they would cannibalize iPhone sales. I just can’t see the current iPod (that is a year old) staying around with the only upgrade option being a phone.
Final thoughts: It’s not looking good for the Zune, but then it never was.