News & Commentary
Content tagged with PC & Servers posted in August 2007
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Is Yahoo Working On A Cell Phone?
Commentary  |  8/31/2007  | 
Earlier this week Michael Arrington at TechCrunch dropped a bombshell that has yet to be explained: Yahoo is supposedly working on a cell phone.
Six Questions About The Google Phone
Commentary  |  8/31/2007  | 
We're all waiting for the big news next week: Will Google finally announce the Google Phone? Well, I am ready for the Google Phone. In fact, I know exactly what I want to do with it when I first get my hands on one, assuming there actually will be a Google Phone. Here is my list of questions.
When Will Anyone Actually Watch Mobile TV?
Commentary  |  8/31/2007  | 
With his post today, my colleague Eric Zeman raised a great question: Is anyone actually watching mobile TV? If by that he meant people watching video on their iPods, yes, I see many iPod users watching video. If, however, he meant people watching V CAST and other mobile TV services that stream over cellular networks...
Popover Hate
Commentary  |  8/31/2007  | 
Engadget managing editor Ryan Block struck a nerve yesterday when he posted a scathing attack on keyword popovers, such as those supplied by "IntelliTXT / Vibrant Media and like ad services whose entire business depends on polluting your content, confusing your audience, and tricking them into clicking on ads that just won't go away."
Letting Crazy People Set Intellectual-Property Policy
Commentary  |  8/31/2007  | 
Three stories in the news this week demonstrate that intellectual-property policy is set by crazy people. NBC is threatening to dump iTunes unless Apple violates the laws of nature. An organization of science fiction writers is sending willy-nilly takedown notices for property it doesn't control. And Viacom pirated a YouTube video, and then sent down a takedown notice against the video's real author.

Jaxtr's New Twist on VoIP
Commentary  |  8/30/2007  | 
Given the recent failure of SunRocket, and Vonage's lack of profits and patent problems, you might find it odd to see VCs pouring money into yet another VoIP company.
Why An OS X-Based iPod Matters
Commentary  |  8/30/2007  | 
Last week, we wrote about reports that the upcoming new line of iPods would be based on OS X. Even as I wrote that, I was thinking, "So what? Why should the average iPod user care?" My colleague Antone Gonsalves provides the answer.

Are You Linked In Or Facing The Book?
Commentary  |  8/30/2007  | 
Lately, I've been getting two similar appeals in my business e-mail: from LinkedIn members wanting to add me as a connection, and from Facebook members adding me as a friend. So now I'm wondering: Which network should I actually take the time to cultivate?
Will Google Announce A Linux-Powered Mobile Phone OS Next Week?
Commentary  |  8/29/2007  | 
The Google Phone rumors are now in overdrive. Last week I blogged that Google could be preparing to launch the Google Phone in India. Since then more clues have floated to the surface.
Angry Blogger Sends A Love Letter To Sprint
Commentary  |  8/29/2007  | 
Michael Arrington at TechCrunch has written what has to be one of the most scathing blog posts of 2007. The target of his ire: Everyone's favorite wireless carrier, Sprint.
Blocking The Ad Blockers: Formula For Success?
Commentary  |  8/28/2007  | 
A Web site owner is protesting a Firefox plug-in, Adblock Plus, that blocks advertisements. He's doing it by blocking all Firefox users from his site, whether they're running Firefox or not. It's a gutsy move. As Microsoft with its Windows Genuine Advantage screw-up this weekend reminds us, nothing builds relationships with your customers quite like giving the impression you're calling them al
5 Keys To Social Networking Success
Commentary  |  8/28/2007  | 
Investors are flocking to fund social networking startups. How can you identify a good investment? Here are five key characteristics, backed up with real-world examples.
A Clean New Internet?
Commentary  |  8/28/2007  | 
Sometimes, when things aren't going your way, the best way to handle things is to simply walk away. At least, that's the philosophy being followed by the Japanese communications ministry, which apparently intends to build a new Internet.
Microsoft Endorses A Fix For Something It Insists Isn't A Problem
Commentary  |  8/25/2007  | 
Vista's User Account Controls prompts are something almost everybody loves to hate. Microsoft has steadfastly maintained that they're a feature that improves the product. But this week, "Microsoft has taken the very unusual step of endorsing another company's product that fixes a problem in its own operating system." The "Through the Looking Glass" saga of Vista continues.
IBM Employees Might Strike...In Second Life
Commentary  |  8/24/2007  | 
IBM, like other businesses, plunged into Second Life partly in search of a new profit stream. I bet it never considered employees would use Second Life to strike the company.
The iPhone Has Been Unlocked: Apple, AT&T, Deal With It
Commentary  |  8/24/2007  | 
A few weeks ago I asked if it was possible to unlock an iPhone. According to the guys at Engadget, the iPhone has been successfully unlocked. The jig is up.
Apple, The BlackBerry, And Vendors' Obligations To Serve The Enterprise
Commentary  |  8/24/2007  | 
Blogger Anil Dash picks up the discussion about why enterprise applications are a chore to use, and what Apple can and should do about it. He says Apple doesn't have a moral obligation to the enterprise, but rather a social obligation.

The New YouTube Ads: Is Regular TV Next?
Commentary  |  8/24/2007  | 
Google began showing "advertising overlays" on YouTube videos this week. I bet it won't be long before we see something similar on regular television.
Palm, It's About The Experience And Your Experience Is Out Of Date
Commentary  |  8/24/2007  | 
The mobile blogosphere has been abuzz this week with the now notorious open letter from Engadget to Palm. Like my fellow blogger, Eric Zeman, I agreed with a lot of what the letter had to say. But I also think that the letter didn't focus enough on the one key ingredient missing from Palm's mobile strategy: A great u
New App Lets You Navigate The iPhone With Voice
Commentary  |  8/23/2007  | 
VoiceSignal has a new application that lets users navigate through their iPhone's menus with voice commands. Does it really work?
When Online Becomes Offline
Commentary  |  8/23/2007  | 
It wasn't all that long ago that I was still declaring that online applications could never replace hard disk-based software. Just wouldn't happen. Yeah -- I was totally wrong.
Microsoft Has Itself To Blame For MTV's 'Urge' Dump
Commentary  |  8/22/2007  | 
It's hardly surprising that MTV has dumped its 'Urge' music partnership with Microsoft and hooked up with RealNetworks and Verizon. What would you do if you got stabbed in the back?
Quick Take: New Headset Targets Notebook-Toting Web Workers
Commentary  |  8/22/2007  | 
With VoIP becoming more popular (despite occasional blackouts from Skype), there is more of a demand for wearable and efficient headsets. Logitech's Premium Notebook Headset is an efficient and, for the most part, comfortable choice, especially for those constantly on the go and on the phone.
Are You Ready To Text Message For A Pizza?
Commentary  |  8/22/2007  | 
Domino's Pizza has launched a new program in the U.K. called Pizza by TXT. All users have to do is register on their Website, and then they can order a pizza with a simple text message.
Google Still Likely To Bid On Spectrum
Commentary  |  8/22/2007  | 
Google CEO Eric Schmidt yesterday said his company is still likely to bid in the upcoming 700 MHz spectrum auction. OK, why does Google want to buy spectrum?
Got Bacn? More E-mail Buzzwords We'd Like To See
Commentary  |  8/22/2007  | 
"Bacn" is a new buzzword for e-mail you want, but don't want to see right away. Examples: newsletters, Google Alerts, and notifications from social networking services. Bacn is a great buzzword, but it's only the beginning. We applied our sophisticated analytical tools and came up with additional needed jargon:

VoiceCon: Make Your RFP Future Proof
Commentary  |  8/21/2007  | 
The world of VoIP, video, and instant messaging is traveling at such a speed that your request to evaluate competing products may be obsolete by the time you finish reading this sentence.
Readers Respond: What Does Your E-Mail Signature Say About You?
Commentary  |  8/21/2007  | 
Who would have thought signing e-mail was such an interesting subject? We heard from quite a few people with their own observations, following our recent blog about what people's e-mail signatures say about them.

Blogging Convention Open Only To Traditional Press
Commentary  |  8/20/2007  | 
Chalk this one up to the great moments in unintentional irony department. I just received an invitation to "the industry's first BlogWorld and New Media Expo." What's interesting is that the only people who can get in with a media pass are traditional press. Just what kind of blog and new media show is this?
Netflix Tries To Revive Customer Service
Commentary  |  8/20/2007  | 
My mother likes to chat with customer service reps over the phone -- that is, when she can actually work her way past the menus to a sentient human being. I'm now thinking of giving her a Netflix subscription for her next birthday -- because Netflix has apparently decided that offering real customer service is a viable business option.
Upcoming Second Life Discussions: Doing Business And Using Voice
Commentary  |  8/20/2007  | 
Don't miss our upcoming discussions in Second Life, where you can learn about the best ways to do business in the virtual world, and about using the new voice feature.

Facebook Could Challenge Google And Become The Remote Control For The Web
Commentary  |  8/17/2007  | 
Yesterday the blog Facebook Insider reported that TripAdvisor acquired Where I've Been, the top travel-related application on Facebook. While TripAdvisor later denied the rumor, the ensuing story exposed something: The exploding number of applications on Facebook. Thanks to its Facebook API program, Facebook is fast becoming the front page for mu
The 300-Page Massive iPhone Bill
Commentary  |  8/17/2007  | 
If you haven't already seen it, check out this video of the massive, 300-page iPhone bill. Pittsburgh-area blogger Justine Ezarik received her first iPhone bill in a box. It seems AT&T listed all the items called "Data Transfer" individually on the bill. Even though most of these items weren't charged, it added up to a whopper of a bill delivered in a box. That's customer service. Ezarik isn't the only person to report issues with her iPho
Want The Dirt On Somebody? Two Sites Will Help.
Commentary  |  8/17/2007  | 
There are a number of new sites popping up that focus on aggregating Web information about people. Want to find out what an old friend is doing these days? Curious about what's being said about you? Two services, Spock and pipl, are now making that easier. However, they approach the process very differently.
Video: Steve Jobs Demoes The Macintosh In 1984
Commentary  |  8/17/2007  | 
This clunky-looking little Macintosh is a recognizable ancestor to the more sophisticated machines today. It's simple, versatile, and playful. I'm impressed by how Apple's central philosophy hasn't changed in 23 years. They build machines that work, and are fun to use.

Do The Movies Ever Get It Right?
Commentary  |  8/16/2007  | 
In a recent article, two professors from the University of Central Florida complained that movies tend to mislead audiences about how physics really works. They think they have it bad? They should try looking at how movies have portrayed computers.
What Does Your E-Mail Signature Say About You?
Commentary  |  8/16/2007  | 
Do you ever really look at people's e-mail signatures? I don't usually, but I was looking for contact information for a colleague recently, which led me to scrutinize her sig. It was a museum of 20th century communications: The street-mail address and fax number was in there, but no instant-message ID or Skype account.

Facebook Joins The iPhone Crowd
Commentary  |  8/15/2007  | 
Facebook released a version of its site for the iPhone today, attempting (like so many others) to capitalize on the success of Apple's sleek new mobile device.
Was Journalist A Jerk For Asking Apple About 'Intel Inside'?
Commentary  |  8/15/2007  | 
You can tell it's August because people are finding the weirdest issues to get worked up about. For example, Apple fans are getting their knickers in a twist about whether a journalist was out of line in asking Steve Jobs about why Apple didn't participate in the "Intel Inside" marketing campaign.

The Line Between Laptops And PDAs Gets Fuzzier
Commentary  |  8/14/2007  | 
Fujitsu is announcing two new devices today -- an ultramobile PC with a 5.6-inch display, and an ultralight tablet/laptop PC with a 12.1-inch WXGA screen. They are nifty devices that underscore the movement in not just one market, but two, because they come just days after IDC reported that the PDA market has dropped 42% since last year.
Get Skype On Your iPhone
Commentary  |  8/14/2007  | 
Do you want Skype on your iPhone? Well, you're in luck. Shape Services has launched a version of Skype for the iPhone, no hacking required.
Is Google Really More Than Just A Search Engine?
Commentary  |  8/13/2007  | 
I want to thank Zack Miller for responding to my blog post from last Friday. Miller's big beef with my post was that I argued that Google is really just a search engine -- and one that could be defeated by smaller startups and vertical players. Miller, on the other hand, contends that Google is no longer just a search engine. But is Google rea
Why No 'Intel Inside' Stickers On Macs?
Commentary  |  8/13/2007  | 
It seemed like a stupid question -- one which deservedly got a heaping helping of ridicule from Mac bloggers: Why doesn't Apple participate in the "Intel Inside" marketing program, earning the company big wads of cash just for putting a tiny little sticker on Macs?

Will Google Be Destroyed By Open Source Search Engines?
Commentary  |  8/10/2007  | 
Could open source kill the golden egg that laid Google? If Wikia has its way, it just might.
News Flash: Kids Lie To Their Parents
Commentary  |  8/10/2007  | 
First, I will admit that I don't have kids myself. But I have friends with kids and kids as friends. And I remember what it was like to be a teenager myself. So my first reaction when I read the article Cyber Divide Widens: Kids Outsmarting Their Parents was: So what else is new?
How The Record Companies Committed Suicide, And Hollywood Is Jumping Off The Same Cliff
Commentary  |  8/10/2007  | 
Everybody knows Napster was a disaster for the music industry. But Cory Doctorow demonstrates that what everyone knows is false. In fact, Cory argues, Napster could have been wonderful for the music industry, and shutting Napster down was a blunder which will prove fatal. What's worse, Hollywood will likely repeat history with YouTube.

A Nagging Problem Gets a Nagging Solution
Commentary  |  8/10/2007  | 
A couple of months ago I asked a question in this blog about a problem I was having with file transfers to Vista - it was giving me an error message that said only, "You must have permission to perform this action." Nobody came up with the answer. Maybe nobody is having the same problem? I hope not, because it turned out to be pilot error. Dummy me. Here's what was happening.
Apple Kicks Microsoft Where It Hurts
Commentary  |  8/9/2007  | 
Apple's announcement this week of new iMacs, software, and services strikes at the Windows platform's core strengths. The new generation of iMacs, priced starting at $1,199, compete on price/performance with midrange PCs. And Apple rounded out its iWork suite with the Numbers spreadsheet software and other capabilities, making it a head-to-head competitor with Microsoft Office.

Meat Space Still Matters In A Web 2.0 World
Commentary  |  8/8/2007  | 
Web-based communication and collaboration tools are supposed to make physical proximity irrelevant by letting employees work together regardless of where they happen to be. But when it comes to building -- and investing in -- those tools, it turns out proximity is relevant as ever.
Palm's Foleo: The Closer It Gets, the Better It Looks?
Commentary  |  8/8/2007  | 
Palm's announcement of the Foleo at the end of May quickly became a ridicule-fest. The name was an acronym for "Fat Obsolete Lacking Expensive Ordinary" according to one Engadget commenter. But Palm is showing it off this week at LinuxWorld in San Francisco, and the better you understand it, the harder it is to make fun of it.
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