Why It's Wrong To Predict Failure For The Video IPod
In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Why It's Wrong To Predict Failure For The Video IPod
2. Today's Top Story
- Microsoft Wins Tentative Ruling Against Google And Kai-Fu Lee
- User Newsgroups Report Problems With IE Patch
- Gates Completes College Tour
- Microsoft Updates Media Center PC 2005
3. Breaking News
- Google Snaps Up Gaim Programmer
- Negative News Search Seeks Shady Connections
- Web Mail Becoming The 'New Phone Number'
- Wal-Mart RFID Trial Shows 16% Reduction In Product Stock-Outs
- U.S. Adults Want Doctors To Adopt New Technologies
- Get Ready For The Ride: Wireless Technologies To Advance Quickly
- IBM Pitches Its Custom R&D Unit
- New BlackBerry Offers Real-Time GPS
- Intel Enters Billion-Transistor Processor Era
- Sabre Lands Low-Fare Carrier's Airfares
- Wikipedia Meets Google Maps In Web Site
- Flash Memory-Based Music Players Shipping In Larger Numbers
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6. White Papers: Security
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"Don't you wish there were a knob on the TV to turn up the
intelligence? There's one marked 'brightness,' but it doesn't
work." -- Gallagher
1. Editor's Note: Why It's Wrong To Predict Failure For The Video IPod
A Web site called TVPredictions.com looks into its crystal ball
and concludes that the video iPod
will be a failure. Philip Swann, president of TVPredictions,
really hates the idea. In what appears to be a press release,
TVPredictions writes: "'The video iPod will be Steve Jobs'
folly,' Swann said. 'Americans will not watch full-length
videos--or perhaps even short music videos--on 2.5-inch screens
on portable devices. It makes no sense.'"
Swann adds: "The video iPod was born from arrogance. Apple has
been so successful with the audio iPod that it thinks it can't go
wrong. But it will this time. This is an example of a technology
that is being launched only because it can be, not because
anybody wants it."
That's a risk that any vendor faces when it innovates. Sometimes,
the innovation is crazy. But sometimes, the inventor has come out
with something for which there's a lot of pent-up demand that's
invisible to everybody but the inventor. It's those latter
cases on which mighty business empires are built. I mean, who the
heck needs an oven that can cook food in minutes with radiation?
A box that displays moving pictures? A cheap computer that sits
on your desk? Nobody needed those things--until they came out,
when it turned out everyone needed them.
None of Swann's objections to the iPod stands up to scrutiny. He
says that people don't have time to watch videos on their iPods,
we're too busy for that. In fact, much of our busy-ness involves
waiting: at the grocery store, at Starbucks, at the lunch
counter, at the doctor's office, commuting to work on mass
transit, traveling by train. That time can be filled by watching
He says watching video on an iPod will be an uncomfortable
experience. That's true for existing movies and TV, but there's a
new generation of video emerging that's created especially for
In other content on InformationWeek today: My colleague
Eric Chabrow has a the first of a five-part audio interview with
Ray Kurzweil, author of The Singularity Is Near: When Humans
Transcend Biology. Kurzweil describes how advances in areas
such as IT, biology, and nanotechnology will fundamentally change
human nature in coming decades. Download the file here (4 minutes, 37 seconds, 2.2 MB), and look for updates
throughout the week.
Web Mail Becoming The 'New Phone Number'
Yahoo tops the list of major Web-mail providers in customer
satisfaction, according to a new survey, as E-mail for online
consumers become as important as a phone number for communications.
IBM Pitches Its Custom R&D Unit
Big Blue is hoping to continue the unit's growth, expecting about
$1 billion in services contracts in 2005, but lower-cost
outsourcers are hoping to lure their share of the business, too.
Wikipedia Meets Google Maps In Web Site
A British nonprofit has built an application written in
location on Google Maps and Google Earth.
Listen to InformationWeek's five-part interview this week
with entrepreneur and visionary Ray Kurzweil, by editor-at-large
Eric Chabrow. Today, in part one, Kurzweil explains the meaning
of his new book, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans
Transcend Biology. Download it here (4 minutes, 37 seconds, 2.2 MB), and look for updates throughout the week.
Tuesday: Thinking machines with emotions could be developed as
early as 2030.
Wednesday: Technology advances provide society with creative
solutions and potentially destructive consequences.
Thursday: IT executives face new challenges in managing
technology of the future.
Friday: With technology so pervasive in the future, protecting
individual privacy will be a challenge.
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InformationWeek editor-in-chief Stephanie Stahl writes: So
what happens when an analyst whom you've trusted with
confidential information about your company and your customers
takes a job with one of your competitors? Howard Dresner, one of
the most well-known and influential analysts in the
business-intelligence space, left Gartner to take a job at BI
vendor Hyperion a couple of weeks ago. That's a move that has at
least one CEO of a major BI company, who asked to remain
anonymous, crying foul. "He knows confidential information about
my company," he said. "That could hurt me."
Securing networks and their PC endpoints has grown increasingly
challenging. The answer to these problems is Total Access
Protection, Check Point's strategy for defending enterprise
networks by ensuring that every PC is secure before it connects
to the network.
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