Particle Debris (wk. ending 9/17) Would You Believe…

Just for a second, look past the author of this piece. John Dvorak has done good work and some bad work, and he’s not well liked in some circles. Forget all that and just read his article at MarketWatch this week. Anyone who’s a professional in the business or technical workplace will recognize some of these traits in their senior management. It’s worth your time to read “H-P and the elite boss.” What’s cool about Apple, from my experience, is that Steve Jobs doesn’t allow those types at his company. At least more than employee 00001.

It’s no secret that I am a student of HDTV and TV/Entertainment technologies, products, and politics. One thing that continues to amuse me is the heartburn people have about the old and new Apple TV only supporting 720p output. I’ve seen various explanations, but none of them get to the technical point — which I’ll explain next week. In the meantime, except for the 720p fuzzy thinking, check this out: “Dismissing the Apple TV Objections” by Chris Seibold.

What would you do with a gigabit per second Internet service (1 Gbps) into your home? How would it be priced? In Chattanooga, TN, the city owned utility, EPB is planning to provide that to businesses — and residences that can afford the US$350/month. I used to live in Knoxville, TN when I worked at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and I know that there’s some very high tech thinking going on in that neighborhood.

Last week, I reviewed iAnnotate, a PDF markup program for the iPad. After I wrote the review, I found this article at the Stanford School of Medicine about how the iPad is transforming their medical school. (iAnnotate plays a role.) What the competitors to the iPad often forget is whether their own product, despite its features and price, can capture people’s imagination and lead to new learning and behavior. If a product can’t do that, it can’t compete these days.

Speaking of college, how is Apple doing selling computers to college students? This chart from SAI shows that Apple is right up there in market share with Dell when it comes to college students, each with 38 percent market share. That’s impressive.

Back in 1995, author and astronomer Clifford Stoll predicted in a Newsweek article that the Internet would fail. Miserably. Here’s the story and follow-up regrets from the author himself. It’s sobering reading for all of us who make technical predictions. Sheesh. An astronomer shoulda known better. I guess he didn’t read enough of Arthur C. Clarke.

Is the iPod nano just a little too precious? Steve Smith works a review from a unique perspective, as he always does, about the size, value, and ergonomics of the new iPod nano. And you knew his wife would be involved. It’s a good read.

I’m sure you’ve seen this by now. If not, here’s a convenient link to a cute YouTube video of (animated) Steve Jobs at an airport in Japan as his throwing stars get confiscated.

Jonathan Carson, a Nielsen exec, told mobile app developers this week: “a majority of smartphone owners [are] willing to pay for apps and content. This represents a fundamental shift from PC Internet behavior where people assume content is supposed to be free.” That was at the AppNation conference in San Francisco. The article at Macworld UK has the details about how the advent of the iPhone has changed people’s attitudes. So far, simple enough. But then the next question is, given that business opportunity, what’s the future of the conventional PC? (or Mac?) Will this be the unforeseen effect that eventually kills the PC?

We’ve seen data that suggests the Android OS will overtake iOS in market share. (Or already has.) But not so fast. Sometimes the numbers are self-serving. Philip Elmer-DeWitt noticed something interesting about a couple of sensational articles: they overlooked the Gizmodo effect for the three month period ending in July. Here’s his astute observation, and it’ll teach us all to keep a keener eye on those stats so loosely thrown around by those who don’t pay attention: “Android vs. iPhone: Wait just a minute!

Did you know that Scott Adams, author of the Dilbert cartoon series, writes a blog? In the September 15 edition, titled “Future Searching,” Mr. Adams points out how there are still serious holes in what Internet searches can do for us. Of course, right now, it’s the human mind that has to fill in the blanks he talks about. What will happen to us when the computer fills in those blanks — and we believe the computer?

Now that’s scary.