Particle Debris (wk. ending 10/15) Tutsi fruitsi!

It seems that hardly any new technology doesn’t include a security or privacy risk. I’d say it’s about time for a wonderful new technology that reduces our societal risk instead of increasing it. Anyway, here’s a story at the NYT on how HTML5 has the capabilities to collecting even more information about users and passing it on to advertisers.

And if that weren’t enough, a privacy expert and former FTC staffer has filed a complaint with the agency, alleging that referrer URLs are a privacy menace as well. One has to have a substantial high-tech knowledge of how one’s browser works in order to monitor all this. Is Safari our choice simply because it’s made by Apple? Do other browsers offer better protection and management of one’s history, cookies, flash cookies, auto-fill data? It’s a worthy research project.

A small screen projector for the iPhone has been demoed in crude prototype form before, but now the Cambridge England developer, Light Blue Optics, thinks they’ll be in production by 2012. What’s cool about this projector is that you can actually actually interact with the projection on, say, a table. Oh, my. Even Bowman and Poole would be amazed.

Light Touch Projector

Light Blue Optics’ Light Touch Projector

For the first time in recorded history, paid TV subscriptions fell in Q2 2010. That’s news from August, and it’s attributed to the economy. But further analysis suggests that, because it’s not realistic for many to also cut the Internet connection, and because there’s so much TV entertainment on the Internet, cable cutting is taking off - with the ever increasing cost of cable/satellite prodding it along. Even more analysis is suggesting another tipping point. People are so subsumed by their iPads, iPhones, Macs, games, social networks, Netflix, Hulu and so on that there’s just no time for traditional TV watching. Of course, the fact that DVR GUIs are so lame and the new Fall 2010 shows are a bust doesn’t help either. Apple TV, Roku, Vudu and Google TV are looking better and better.

Apple TV

Good-bye Cable?

We all know, or think we know why Blockbuster got into trouble. We keep a 30,000 ft view of it: Blockbuster executives have been doofuses. But for a really good analysis of why the company is failing, check out “The Next Level” at The New Yorker. Prediction? Netflix could be next. I love business analysis stories that get to the real reasons why technology companies fail.

We knew it was coming. Now it’s official. Sony Style stores will begin selling Sony HDTV’s with Google TV included on Saturday. The fact that the sales are restricted to Sony Style stores says something about Sony’s confidence and their intended market. Author Phillip Swann provides spot on analysis. And he doesn’t need Steve Jobs to confirm it.

What does Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer think of Windows Phone 7, PCs and tablets? If anything, the interview is training 101 for how to handle questions about your failure as an executive. Or how to say something about nothing. Instructive.

Steve Ballmer knocks on wood

One of my pet subjects is CableCARDS. These are the little high-tech cards that you insert in your TiVo or other 3rd party box that allow you to receive premium content from the Cable company — without using their set top box. All TiVo owners know all about CableCARDs. Once again, the FCC is working to make CableCARDS easier to use for consumers and set rules that keep Cable companies from locking in customers and squeezing out competing services. If you own a TiVo or are thinking about getting one, read: “FCC Votes to Change CableCARD Rules.” The Cable companies better get on board with this because they’re already on a downhill slide with Americans.

What will we see in Mac OS X 10.7, “Lion?” Here’s a fun article that explores some possibilities and rules out others. “Mac OS X 10.7: A Speculative Anatomy of the ‘Lion’.”


Apple takes a paws from iOS

One of the rules of critical thinking is that simply being a heretic doesn’t make you right. We tend to apply that thinking to a lot of journalists we don’t agree with. However, when is criticism and heresy something to be pondered when it comes from people we’re skeptical about? We know that Apple is out to make money at any cost. So I invite you, indeed challenge you, to stretch your brain, discount the author’s name, read the analysis, and see if you might think that global politics and finance might be squashing freedom of expression. Just a thought and worth pondering: “Apple’s Anti-Sexting Patent Is Misleading.”

Last week I provided my thoughts on what the next MacBook Air might be like. Today, CNET has some late breaking analysis: a new MacBook Air will be announced by Apple at its Mac OS X event on October 20. Unlike my article that was very speculative, the CNET article gets down to reality with specifics. For example, if you were hoping for an i3 processor, CNET says forget it. Here’s more from AppleInsider.