The race is on for powerful tablet CPUs. Even though all of us know that the specs of the CPU aren’t of that much interest to the tablet buyer, Apple’s tablet competitors probably feel that if they can leverage a super powerful multi-core CPU, they may be able to lure some customers away from Apple with so-called “super tablets.” Here’s a good look at what’s happening with the Tegra line: “Will Tegra 3 supertablets obsolete iPad 2′s A5 graphics?”
Part of the success of the Apple TV and TV shows is that one can opt out of commercials for a price. Even so, that leaves the problem of how the original show was financed. If advertisers flinch and the audience becomes small and eclectic (like SyFy’s “Stargate Universe”) nothing can save the show. We long for a time when we can pre-pay for a concept and finance its continued development. Meanwhile, companies like Netflix and Hulu are experimenting with independently developed shows that can earn an audience in their own space — and not depend on broadcast television — which has become lost in dancing, idols, and reality TV. Enter: Kiefer Sutherland and “The Confession” on Hulu. Read about it here: “Kiefer Sutherland Proves Online Video Can Be Profitable.” Recall, this is how Amanda Tapping’s “Sanctuary” got started.
Have you ever wondered what would happen in a household that had both an iPad and an Android tablet? With a kid? It would be a surefire acid test. Well, it’s happened, and Matt Rosoff at Business Insider tells the very interesting story about another author and his own similar experience: “Here’s What Happens In Households With Both An iPad And An Android Tablet.” Look for the part where his daughter calls the Android tablet “that iPad thing.”
We were all born knowing how to use an iPad, right? It’s so simple, and we’ve seen videos and stories about two year old kids writing symphonies on an iPad with Garage Band. Well, not quite. You know what I mean. Anyway, I was interested to see this study about how each developer does something a little different on the iPad with their app’s UI, and I can’t say I disagree. Perhaps Apple will address the issue with iOS 5. meanwhile, “People Have No Clue How To Use iPad Apps [STUDY].”
That doesn’t mean that with a little training on special apps, the iPad can’t be a powerful weapon especially in the hands of the U.S. Marines. Here’s a neat tidbit that got passed over in recent news: “iPad proving invaluable for Marine Corps aviators.”
Google’s Eric Schmidt, at this week’s AllThingsD D9 conference, declared that there is a corporate gang of four, companies that have experienced explosive growth and virtually control the tech ecosphere: Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. Moreover, some pairs of these companies are both partners and competitors. Mr. Schmidt’s question is, which will be the first of these giant companies to stumble? (If at all.) What scenario would bring failure to one of these behemoths? Here’s the short summary by Larry Dignan: “Eric Schmidt’s gang of four: Who will stumble first?”
How should a mobile payment system be rolled out? Should just one company throw something out there on a trial and error basis with our credit card number? Heaven forbid we wait for standards bodies to define a system — it would linger on for years while engineers squabble. But pushing something out naively and quickly, like Google Wallet, is routine for Google, and it could be another Google catastrophe. Here’s a considered analysis at Computerworld: “Mobile payment systems: A disaster waiting to happen.” Maybe Mr. Schmidt (see above) has the answer to his question.
Hewlett-Packard’s CEO, Leo Apotheker, is a pretty smart guy. He seems to be good for HP, and he says the right things. Like Steve Jobs, he knows how to exude that je ne sais quois tech snark that builds a really nice RDF. Even so, after I read this interview with AllThingsD’s Walt Mossberg, published by Arik Hesseldahl, I had some lingering concerns. Here’s the interview: “HP CEO Léo Apotheker Says He Won’t Ship TouchPad Till It’s Perfect.” After I thought about it for awhile, and appreciating Mr. Apotheker’s views, I wrote this quasi-rebuttal: “Apple Creates Communities Not Products.”
Along those same lines, which one reader nicely described as community congealing around attractors, is the concept of growth. For years, Apple rationalized that Macs didn’t need large market share any more than, say, BMW needed large market share. But in this age, a company’s products are either growing in sales and share or they’re declining. The growth is fueled by social acceptance and decline is society’s way of saying, “we’re moving on.” So when I saw this chart, showing he decline of Internet Explorer market share, I’m thinking only one thing — tablets. Here’s the Infoworld article: “How long until Internet Explorer falls below 50 percent?”
There’s no doubt Microsoft is in a panic, and the company’s Steven Sinofsky spent some time at AllThingsD D9 conference demoing a wacky blend of Windows Phone 7 and Windows 7 — called Windows 8. Here’s a very good synopsis of Windows 8 on a tablet. What do you think? Winner or yawner? “Windows 8: features, screenshots, and everything else you need to know.”
By all appearances, Nokia is stumbling. Once the king of the mobile phone market, Nokia seems to be making a lot of mistakes lately and losing a sense of identity and brand. It’s too bad that Nokia version 2011 didn’t listen to what the company was saying about itself a decade ago. It was pretty good advice, but it must have gotten lost, diverted into another timeline by an evil demon. “How Nokia Didn’t Listen To Itself” is sad, funny, and sobering.
Finally, while community has a lot to do with the success of projects, echo chambers can be really bad for our technical life. Chuq Von Rospach, has written a thoughtful editorial about what happens when too many tech columnists spend too much time with the wrong filters applied and lead us astray. “On filters and echo chambers.” He hit on my own favorite topic: that there would not be a massive exodus of customers from AT&T to Verizon when Apple introduced the CDMA phone. Massive numbers of defectors, tens of millions, just don’t happen — it’s statistically improbable. Even so, a lot of writers ran with crazy numbers like a 25 percent defection rate. Anyway, all you fans of Particle Debris will appreciate Mr. Von Rospach’s thoughts about the five things he’s personally doing to fix the problem. He’s a very smart guy.