Studies show most Internet users don't maintain a blog, and even fewer keep an RSS feed. There has been plenty of buzz around blogging over the past two years but, as some observers have pointed out, blogging is just writing that's shared with others using software that makes it all very easy.. . . Full Story: "Don't Look Now, But You're A Blogger"
The other day I mentioned how Google had decided to follow all the other tech titans to grab market share in China and bowed to censorship requirements in order to do so. I found that fascinating, and there's a insightful article on Google's reasons, and the deliberations its leaders took before making the big decision.. . . Full Story: "Google Doing Just A Wee Bit Of Evil"
In a recent Newsweek technology column, the author noted that cellular operators believe they will succeed with mobile TV simply by telling users they want it. The current Mobile Pipeline Voting Booth survey indicates that you're not buying into the cellco's propaganda efforts.. . . Full Story: "Ignoring Mobile TV Propaganda"
Here's something that could only happen on the Internet -- a new talk show in development that will be unveiled later this year will be hosted by a cartoon character. A British-accented baby named "Stewie" from the Fox animated series "Family Guy" is slated to host the new, online-only show.
A company in the UK is actually now giving away cell phones aimed at children. The phones have four preset buttons and feature GPS. The company doesn't charge for the phone or the GPS tracking, but does charge a normal rate for the phone calls.. . . Full Story: "Now They're Giving Away Kid's GPS Cell Phone"
In November, we ran a poll on this site asking what kind of electronic crack you're addicted to. The results were shocking:
Video games - 9%
PC games - 14%
Online multiplayer games - 15%
Instant Messaging - 5%
Web surfing - 18%
Online pornography - 7%
E-mail - 14%
Cell phone text messaging - 3%
Mobile gaming - 2%
None -- I'm not addicted to any of the above - 13%
You'll note that somewhere between 15 and 40 percent of you are addicted to some kind of gaming, according to this poll. That's probably a little higher than the general population, but, then again, this is Personal Tech Pipeline. It's also a self-description -- we didn't list symptoms to look for.
British researchers say in a British Medical Journal report to be published tomorrow that they have found no evidence that mobile phones cause brain cancer.. . . Full Story: "No Cell Phone Cancer Risk Found -- Again"
Marketers still think they can make money by sending ads to our cell phones and they finally may have figured out how to succeed: bribery.. . . Full Story: "Turning Cell Phones Into Sell Phones"
In the dark, forbidding corners of the recent CES event in Las Vegas two weeks ago, a new, underappreciated micro-industry emerged: The desktop PC mouse that doubles as a VoIP phone. The idea is an unholy convergence between the ubiquitous mouse, and the largely non-existent PC handset for VoIP calls through Skype, Google Talk or some other service.. . . Full Story: "Three New Mice-Phones Unveiled"
It's called ad creep. As an increasing number of available spaces -- from stadiums to grocery store floors, from beach sand to people's foreheads -- become littered with advertising, marketers look hard for new places to hit you with their advertising messages. It's driving them nuts that you spend so much time looking at your cell phone, yet that phone isn't as polluted with spam as your e-mail inbox.. . . Full Story: "Advertisers Planning To Spam Your Phone With Video Ads"
Google is running today its first-ever "ad" on its home page. Some users in the United States are reporting that a pitch for CSI and NBA TV shows on Google Video is showing up at the bottom of their Google home page screens. Others don't see it at all.. . . Full Story: "Google Runs First-Ever Home Page 'Ad'"
It's this simple: If Verizon Wireless had a clue about how to sell Internet access, they wouldn't be overcharging for 3G and preventing the Windows Mobile Treo from serving as an EV-DO modem for laptops.. . . Full Story: "Verizon Gets It Wrong -- Again"
Makers of everything from jeans to underwear are jumping on the Apple iPod bandwagon, hoping to boost sales by hanging on to the coat-tails of the Apple iPod juggernaut.
In the past, iPod clothing has come from little known niche manufacturers. But today, the first major international clothing maker has jumped in front of the iPod clothing parade.
Levi's announced today that the company plans to sell denim jeans
with an iPod remote-control, iPod pocket dock, and retractable earphones integrated into the fabric. The jeans go on sale for a yet-undisclosed price in the autumn and will be sold under the RedWire DLX brand.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs and senior Apple executives tossed around some huge iPod and Apple Store numbers on stage today at MacWorld in San Francisco. Among them:
* 26 million people visited Apple stores over the holidays
* Apple stores enjoyed the group's first-ever "billion dollar quarter"
* Apple had a $5.7 billion quarter overall
* Some 26 million people visited Apple stores over the holiday season
* Apple sold 14 million iPods last quarter. . . Full Story: "Jobs Throws Around Big iPod Numbers At MacWorld"
In the past couple of decades, hundreds of new keyboards have come out -- most with alternatives to the clunky QWERTY layout. Unfortunately, for the companies that make these alternative input devices, the QWERTY train has left the station, and ain't comin' back. That's not to say users don't want keyboard innovation.. . . Full Story: "The Keyboard We Really Want"
The Consumer Electronics Show was amazing, maddening and reflective of a young industry that is probably growing too fast for its own good. Here are my personal show awards, starting with my Best Of Show award.. . . Full Story: "My CES Awards"
The signal-to-noise ratio at CES is so far out of whack -- and the chaos is so strong -- that it's impossible to discern trends. Still, some news emerged that portends big trends. One of the biggest trends is cheap smartphones.. . . Full Story: "The Biggest Little Trend"
Several laws of nature fill my mind as the Consumer Electronics Show approaches. One is: Don't fly through O'Hare in the middle of winter. Another is: Wishing doesn't make it so. I'm forced to endure the first in order to get to CES and I'll have to listen politely as vendors defy the second.. . . Full Story: "CES And The Laws Of Nature"
Samsung plans to unveil this week at CES an iPod-Nano competitor MP3 player called the YP-Z5. The gadget offers storage between 2 and 4 GB, has a 1.8-inch screen and boasts great 3D sound. It also reportedly gets about 38 hours of battery life. (The photo below is of the YP-Z5.)
Another Korean company, called Mannetel, will roll out their EXQ at CES. The EXQ is Yet Another MP3 Player, but features a useful gimmick: The headset can be left in your ears and used to take calls from your cell phone via Bluetooth.
Personally, I don't think any company has a chance in hell of unseating any of the iPod models. Apple is perfectly unstoppable for now -- especially in the wake of an unbelievably successful holiday season -- but that's not going to stop Korean and Chinese companies from unveiling a huge variety of MP3 players at CES -- with every single one of them designed to steal market share from Apple.
The Consumer Electronics Show, which starts Tuesday in Las Vegas, will probably be the most important technology tradeshow on the planet this year. Which says as much about the current sad, sorry state of corporate IT as anything else. After a decade when the innovation -- and the big bucks -- were to be found in corporate computing, the center of gravity has shifted to the consumer.
Part of the reason may well be buyer fatigue: the big companies have cut up their IT departments' credit cards. Part of it may also be technology saturation: businesses are as computerized as they want to get. They've already got a desktop PC on every desk, a laptop in every briefcase, and a BlackBerry in every pocket. Enough, already.
But a big part of it is the experience curve. The consumer market is hot because products are hitting price points consumers are willing to meet.