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Showing posts from March 18, 2011

RIM calls iPhone ‘badly flawed’ ahead of launch

When Apple first launched its iPhone in 2007, the odds were against it. Pundits, bloggers and even competitors found countless faults in the iPhone’s design and in Apple’s strategy. A new report from Reuters notes that one such competitor was BlackBerry maker Research In Motion. The report quotes an anonymous RIM employee as saying RIM thought the iPhone was “so badly flawed from day one,” and “users wanted great battery life, great security, great mail handling, minimal network use, and a great keyboard experience.” As it turns out, many users appear to have had different priorities. RIM wasn’t entirely wrong, of course, and the original iPhone was lacking in several key areas. While hindsight is 20-20 and the first-generation iPhone could have been better in countless ways, it was enough to propel Apple to its current position as the leader in smartphone profit share by a staggering margin. [Via Business Insider]

The Wide World of Apps

Are apps a trend or are they here to stay? There has been plenty written and talked about regarding the so-called phenomenon of the app ecosystem. Developer conferences, trade shows, meet-ups and more have all popped up over the past few years as people have recognized the app economy and looked to capitalize on it. I believe apps are a vital part of the software ecosystem going forward, and here is why.

The Role of Software
If you look back at the history of computing all the way from the mainframe, mini, microcomputer, desktop, notebook etc it has always followed the same value chain. Hardware, software and then services. This evolution started with fragmented hardware which then became standardized. That was followed by the rise of software which was also standardized to a degree, but most importantly software was developed which took advantage of the standardized hardware. Lastly the value chain moved to services. Services were the glue that tied the s…

Samsung Prepping 8.9-Inch Tablet?

According to a Samsung "company spokesman", we can expect to see an 8.9-inch tablet sometime this year. Although no date (it's rumored for a March release, but don't hold us to that) or price, or specs for that matter were announced, we do know the screen size and that it'll run Honeycomb upon launch. Again, these specs aren't official yet, but so far it seems like Samsung is trying to compete with the LG G-Slate with this 8.9-inch Honeycomb tablet. The only big difference that we know of so far between the two is the 3D screen on the G-Slate. But maybe that's just me. Either way, it looks like Sammy is planning a tablet that will sit comfortably between the 7-inch original Galaxy Tab and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 that they announced last Monday. Anyone excited for this tablet? Anyone want to wait for some more specs before they consider buying one? Sound off in the comments below!
Source Cellular-News

Exclusive: BlackBerry Messenger will launch on Android and iOS

BGR has learned from multiple trusted sources that Research In Motion is planning to bring its beloved BlackBerry Messenger app and service to Android, and eventually to iOS as well. According to our sources, RIM has not yet finalized details surrounding timing or pricing, but we have heard that the company might make the software free to all users. We’re also told strategy is still being developed, however, and RIM may end up charging users a one-time fee or even a recurring fee for access to its BBM service on third-party platforms. It might seem a bit strange for RIM to want to bring the software that is responsible for keeping BlackBerry devices in the hands of countless potential defectors, but in the big picture, we think it could make sense. The company is getting very frustrated with applications like WhatsApp and Kik offering third-party experiences based on a concept RIM invented, and RIM apparently wants to own the space. As far as what Android and iOS users can lo…

Flash Player 10.2 for Motorola XOOM due March 18

Adobe has announced that the Flash Player 10.2 update for Android 3.0.1 Honeycomb tablets such as the Motorola XOOM will be released on March 18. Made available through the Android Market, as with the current Flash Player 10.1 release for Android smartphones, the updated version will be the production version for Android 2.2 and 2.3 devices and the beta for Honeycomb slates.


On Honeycomb, Flash Player 10.2 will support the Stage Video rendering pipeline for hardware accelerated H.264 playback, as well as deep integration with the Android browser rendering engine; that will see the Adobe software rendering HTML, images and GIF animation, among other things, which should result in smoother scrolling and better integration between HTML and Flash content. There’ll also be automatic on-screen keyboard support, so that Flash apps and content coded with desktop implementations in mind will also be usable on tablets.
An OTA update for the XOOM, Android 3.0.1, began distribution ear…

Dear Apple: You’re not “Post-PC” until you cut the cord

On Wednesday, Steve Jobs took the stage and announced what he called “Apple’s third post-PC blockbuster”, the iPad 2. Don’t get me wrong: I’m loving everything I’ve seen about the iPad 2 and I plan on grabbing one next Friday when they become available, but watching the event from Wednesday, the use of the phrase “post-PC” was just blatantly incorrect.
Why? Because of one nagging deficiency in all of Apple’s “post-PC” products: As much as they are these highly functional, magical devices that you can carry anywhere and do nearly anything with, at the end of the day, they all need to be connected to a fully functional PC. They need that wired connection for 3 things:
Activation / System Software updatesBacking Up / Recovering DataDocument transfer and syncingThat is a deficiency in Apple’s product line. It’s the main reason why when people who don’t really need a computer ask me if they should get an iPad that I say no. The way the iPad, iPhone, and iPod have all been designed,…

Google Censoring Torrent Search Suggestions: 7 Terrible Things They Don't Censor

Google’s war against torrents is being kept quiet. No announcements. No press releases. You will only find the story in blogs that are carefully watching. In essence, Google is removing keywords from their Suggest and Instant results so that they are no longer recommended when people start typing them. If you continue all the way through on a term such as “BitTorrent,” Google will offer the results. Reluctantly. They won’t help you out at all, even if you type all the way to the “n.” Try typing in “BitTorren” without the last “t” into Google. Apparently, they have no idea what you’re talking about. It’s their search and they’ve made their choice. The funny part is that something as relatively harmless as downloading torrents is considered taboo on Google, but there are plenty of other more harmful searches that Google is all too willing to recommend…

Google won't autocomplete "bittorrent" but will autocomplete "how to kidnap a child"

Google won't autocomplete searches for "bittorrent," but if you are interesting in learning how to kidnap someone, make meth, build a bomb, cheat on your taxes, or shoplift, they will happily autocomplete your search for you.

Google Tweaks Algorithm to Push Down Low-Quality Sites

Google said late Thursday that it had made a major change to its algorithm in an effort to improve the rankings of high-quality Web sites in its search results — and to reduce the visibility of low-quality sites. While the company did not say so explicitly, the change appears to be directed in part at so-called content farms like eHow and Answerbag, which generate articles based on popular search queries so they will rise to the top of the rankings and attract clicks. Google has been facing criticism from some users for allowing articles that aren’t useful to appear prominently in search results. That has now changed, according to the company. “This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites — sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other Web sites or sites that are just not very useful,” Amit Singhal, a Google fellow, and Matt Cutts, who leads Google’s spam-fighting team, wrote in a company blog post. “At the same time, it will prov…

Why We Desperately Need a New (and Better) Google

This semester, my students at the School of Information at UC-Berkeley researched the VC system from the perspective of company founders. We prepared a detailed survey; randomly selected 500 companies from a venture database; and set out to contact the founders. Thanks to Reid Hoffman, we were able to get premium access to LinkedIn—which was very helpful and provided a wealth of information.  But some of the founders didn’t have LinkedIn accounts, and others didn’t respond to our LinkedIn “inmails”. So I instructed my students to use Google searches to research each founder’s work history, by year, and to track him or her down in that way.
But it turns out that you can’t easily do such searches in Google any more. Google has become a jungle: a tropical paradise for spammers and marketers. Almost every search takes you to websites that want you to click on links that make them money, or to sponsored sites that make Google money. There’s no way to do a meaningful chronologica…