Category Archives: Technology
If you have not heard by now, then you live on Mars, most likely in a cave, probably with headphones on. Apple unveiled the iPad today. It is basically a huge iPod Touch with internet service for 30 bucks a month. The device is lacking a ton of features, like multitasking and SMS messaging. The price starts at around 550 for the non-3G internet version, and 650 for the 3G version (both 16gb). If you want to go bigger, you get to pay up to 1000. This device is classic apple, sleek, sexy, refined, and more of an accessory than a device we wanted. Let’s see if the Apple cult followers will be enough to keep this one afloat. The public, it seems, was not thrilled with the device, as Apple’s stock took a dip after it was announced.
Facebook has been trumpeting the fact that Farmville, the most popular game on its site, has more users than Twitter, with 69 million playing over a month and 26 million playing each day. Combined with Facebook’s announcement that they have hit 350 million users, that means one out of every five people on Facebook is playing Farmville. Gamasutra has a post taking a critical analysis of Farmville, its deceptively slow level grind, how a number of gameplay features end up as simply decorative since they aren’t balanced with the benefits of raising crops, and discussing why Farmville succeeds so well in virally spreading itself and addicting people.
If Microsoft wants to be like Apple, so be it. The company should design, build and sell consumer PCs directly to customers. As Steve Jobs says, "good artists copy, great artists steal." Microsoft needs to steal Apple’s whole approach to marketing its products and managing its brand, not just copy its retail store ideas.
The days of building your precious DVD collection may be coming to an end sooner than you think. If Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ comments are any guide, the DVD era may be set to come to a rather abrupt halt.
Specifically, Hastings said in an interview with The Motley Fool website (digested here) that DVD will only be the "primary delivery format" at the company for the next two years, though he did add that it would stick around in some fashion for the next decade or two. That’s a huge pull back from Hastings’ previous prognostication; the Netflix boss had formerly predicted DVD would remain the company’s primary format until as late as 2018.
Strangely, Hastings didn’t note what would supplant DVD as the company’s major movie format, but considering that Blu-ray remains a niche product, with 10 percent penetration or lower among most consumers, he’s probably talking about streaming.
Netflix has embraced video streaming in a major way in recent years, and its $99 set-top box remains the method I use to watch more streaming content than any other, outside of the occasional YouTube clip, anyway. (And yes, I know the Xbox-Netflix combo is undoubtedly popular with a huge number of people, too, at least those who don’t futilely shun and fear video game consoles.)
Netflix continues to expand its streaming options — about 20 percent of my queue is now available for streaming, up from roughly 8 percent a year ago — but Hollywood keeps resisting, much as Big Media did in the early days of digital music downloads. Is Netflix hinting that more studios are climbing aboard the digital bandwagon? And at what point does streaming hit enough of a critical mass to become the dominant movie delivery method? 50 percent of titles available to stream? 80 percent? It’s hard to see those kinds of numbers panning out in a mere two years… but maybe Hastings has tricks up his sleeve that we’re only just now starting to hear about.
Google Claims That Apple Did Reject Google Voice iPhone Application [Updated] — Google today announced today that it has released an unredacted copy (PDF) of its response to an investigation by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission into Apple’s apparent rejection of the company’s Google Voice iPhone application.