Month: December 2005

Hot rival may be just what Microsoft needs

Hot rival may be just what Microsoft needs

The competetion that Google is offering up to Microsoft will be the best thing that has ever happened to it. That is, of course, assuming that the Giant of Redmond will be able to rise to the challenge.

AOL’s choice to snub MS and go with Google should sting nastily. And, I imagine, that it will create quite a burn at the campus. Stings like this tend to motivate Gates and Co, so the next few months should be interesting. I wonder if this could build some passion into Vista?


One thing I would love to see: an Apple tablet PC. Apple’s interface is so much nicer, the device more stable, and Apple has some great handwriting recognition software in the form of the old Newton OS. They would make a more elegant machine. One that used bluetooth to connect a keyboard to the device, as opposed to some bizarre contorting screen/keyboard.

I also think that a device that blended a pda with this would be cool. The true converged device, which allows for separation. I would like this set up to have a Treo that integrated nicely (again, bluetooth) for modem access. It would have an Airport card for Wi-Fi access.

So, that’s my dream for the great Santa of Cupertino.

Wireless, Palms & PDAs –

Wireless, Palms & PDAs –

More on the Blackberry plight. I’m pretty convinced that there won’t be a service shut-down. NTP has a lot to gain by letting RIM keep selling, and RIM has the world to lose if they screw up again with this. Besides whatever losses they would incur with the NTP payout, they would certainly be looking at a class-action suite as well as shareholder lawsuits. I can’t imagine that even RIM would be that dumb.

Software Notebook: Hotmail successor in works

Software Notebook: Hotmail successor in works

The next wave in the web-based email wars. Both Yahoo and MSN have some interesting ideas, and are solidly positioning themselves to hold their leads against gmail. The most interesting idea presented was the use of RSS feeds within the new email programs. Sounds somewhat like good ol’ Usenet. We’ll see, I guess.

Now, how will this make it’s money? That, I doubt, will be terribly revolutionary. I’m sure it’ll be via ads and subscriptions. However, I am pretty excited by these developments. Good directions, and it looks like MS will be using this to springboard it’s web-based applications (which I think is an incredibly clever move).

Is the Web Killing the Newspaper Industry

Is the Web Killing the Newspaper Industry? – WXP News

Deb Shinder, editor of WinXPNews (if you use Windows XP, you should subscribe), is right one with her article. The web is often blamed for the slow demise of newspapers. However, the current level of subsciber decreases tracks with a 20 year trend. The real culprits are #1: 24 hour cable news and, #2: restrictions on telemarketing. Anyway, this is only one part of this. Read on!


Reading a bit about some ideas futurists have, I’m struck by the way they see the world. They only see the potential. Looking out at all the possibilities, they only consider what could be useful. Rarely, if ever, do they look at the problems; either with their ideas, or what problems the technology in question is supposed to solve. It’s not often that our society changes to perform something somewhat more effectively. There either needs to be a dramatic change, or some significant need filled, before behaviors are modified. We’re always overcoming a fear of the unknown, a mighty fear it is, too.

What’s Holding Back the Digital Living Room?

What’s Holding Back the Digital Living Room? – New York Times

I’m a fan of David Pogue of the New York Times and Missing Manual fame. There are some interesting points he brings up here. However, the main reason I think that the digital living room hasn’t taken off has been bandwidth. Steve Jobs believed that it was the fact that people didn’t want to interact with their tv. Internet television isn’t, necessarily, about interaction. Nor is that the main value. The greatest promise with iTV has to do with freedom from the program guide. Even with cable, we were stuck with watching something only in a particular timeslot. Unless you were free at that moment, or had mastered your vcr (and avoided any quirky problems), you were hosed. Now, we are seeing “On Demand.” I can watch what I want, when I want. That is where the demand is.

With all due respect to the Great Oz of Cupertino, people do want some degree of interactivity with the tele’s. Look at the success of shows like “American Idol,” which brought in people in droves, spending 10 cents a shot to vote. Made money for the network, for the advertisers, and for the cellular carriers. And folks were entertained. I guess that’s the ultimate win-win.