If Only Selling High Tech Were Easy

| Particle Debris

When significant market share gains are made, it either means that the absolute numbers are low or that the increment is huge. Samsung was already doing well with its tablets, so I found it interesting to see the chunk of the market the Amazon Kindle Fire carved out during the holidays. “Amazon Lights the Android World on Fire.

Kindle Fire

And the Galaxy Tab does have some nice features that are generally overlooked. Judge for yourself.

To add more heat, there’s a rumor that Barnes & Noble is coming out with yet another new version of its Nook tablet. As I’ve said before, competitors are going to keep driving a truck through Apple’s open barn door with a plan to make money and gain a larger foothold in the tablet market. And the market analysis people love to show how these eReaders, um, tablets, are stealing market share from Apple. How long can those good times last?

If you’ve ever had to go back and do research on the Mac OS X releases, their dates, and release notes, here’s a handy page: “A useless analysis of OS X release dates.” Of course, it’s not so useless at all, especially for someone like me.

It’s no secret that I love Firefox, now at version 10. I gave up on Safari back in the summer of 2011. Have you ever wondered where Mozilla gets the money to support Firefox development? It turns out they have an agreement to make Google the default search engine. This isn’t really recent news; it’s from December 2011. But I found it interesting, given my interest in Firefox. “Mozilla and Google Sign New Agreement for Default Search in Firefox” Hey guys! I would pay good money for Firefox if it weren’t supported this way. But then, I know, everyone would just lapse into Chrome. I continue my valiant resistance to Chrome.

If you don’t like Apple’s EULA for iBooks Author, which was just revised, rest assured Apple is not the only company who’s annoying authors. “Elsevier Publishing Boycott Gathers Steam Among Academics.

R-rated Stuff follows.

Jim Dalrymple pointed me to this, and I was ROTFL. I sent a tweet to Craig Ferguson (@CraigyFerg) just in case he missed it. If anyone can do a plain English translation in the comments, I know we’d all appreciate it. “Apple Scotland - iPhone commercial for Siri

End of R-rated Stuff

For a while, it looked like Apple would have to wrestle with how it might handle 3D if the company were to release an Apple HDTV. Then, quite sensibly, the customers told the TV industry that 3D is possible opt-in feature, not the next generation of television. So then the industry switched to 4K because 3D chews up half the screen resolution. So with higher resolution, 3D looks better. And now 4K is waning because customers realize that with most TV sizes and viewing distances they can’t see the difference in 2D. So 4K is starting to lose its luster. Plus, there’s no 4K content, and while a TV standard is being worked on, 4K content is many years away. “What Happened to 4K TV?” I wonder what the industry will throw against the wall next? And, in the middle, is Apple, possibly trying to make sense of it all for its customers and buy components from certain competitors.

Many of us have wondered how Microsoft would leverage its acquisition of Skype. Here’s a story that describes the plans for Windows Phone 8. “Leak: Microsoft Planning NFC Support, Skype Integration In Windows Phone 8.” Tom Krazit asks, “It will be very interesting to see how carriers react to that feature.” Another tightrope.

Finally, there is an emerging meme, maybe not even so recent, that the business of creating value through scarcity and DRM is a discredited idea that some content holders can’t seem to leave behind. The modern approach is that if you make content incredibly easy to find and reasonably priced, people will pay rather than pirate. In fact, Steve Jobs proved that with iTunes. Along those lines, here’s additional color and background from John Biggs. “Good DRM Makes Bad Neighbors: This Is The Content Protection Tipping Point.”  If only Apple could convince its book publisher partners.


Teaser image credit: iStockphoto


Shawn King

“Jim Dalrymple pointed this…”

You might want to check your grammar *and* your attributions. smile


JM wrote: ROTFL ...Siri

Bonding with a machine can be a wee bit o’ trouble indeed.  I was also amused by this.



Just a quick thought about 4K TV. In a word, ‘inappropriate’. Whatever the relative merits, even if it has four-times the screen resolution (which it apparently does not to the naked eye), the approximately 10X increase in relative cost (depending on one’s current HDTV set) far out-strips the gain in performance. This is a poor cost/benefit ratio even if it performed as advertised.

Moreover, in the current economic climate, apart from a limited few with means, offering a $25K TV set (or anything close to that cost), is about as sensitive a business move as US banks taking US Govt bailouts and handing out bonuses as usual. It just seems woefully out of touch, and may have contributed, even more than the apparently only marginal performance gain, to the negative tech reviews.

Given that most middle income families are struggling to make ends meet, these set makers would be better off making up their R&D and production costs in volume at nominally raised prices than large margins per unit, or failing that, tabling the technology to a later date.

Regarding Elsevier, while there has been discussion on Twitter, it is not clear to me just how much support this boycott has gained in the academic community. It has yet to get much buzz at international academic conferences (at least those I’ve attended in my field), nor have I heard any comments amongst peers, unless I bring it up. I do think it raises an important point, and would like to see more genuine discussion; but the academic community is often slow to change convention, unless the evidence is both compelling and validated.


“4K TV ..... even if it has four-times the screen resolution (which it apparently does not to the naked eye) ..... “

I recently saw a 4K TV on show, but not on sale, in a local TV shop (in Japan). It does have 4x resolution, whether or not you can see it. And of course you can see it, if you stand close enough, within say 2 metres. Very impressive it was too.

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