Will a change in leadership at Research In Motion help change the prospects of this floundering company? The prospects do not appear good. Here’s my video report on location from Davos, Switzerland.
The very platform this post is appearing on is undergoing a bit of a revolution. The rise of blogs over the past decade has begun to give way to microblogging platforms, such as Twitter and Tumblr. The difference between the two is that microblogs tend to rely heavily on short bursts of information: links, photos, videos and brief messages. Blogger fatigue gave way to sharing smaller, less labor intensive bits of content.
The short timely updates have not gone unnoticed. Twitter has become something of a wire that provides up to the second reports about breaking news from around the world, used by both large traditional news outlets and freelance reporters. Tumblr is used by ABC journalist Matthew Keys for, among other topics, coverage of the Japan earthquake, which was recognized with a nomination by the Online News Association for the best breaking news by a small site. Until recently, Keys was a freelancer, but his online reporting on microblogging platforms drew attention and led to his recent hire by ABC.
While Twitter’s membership rate grew 26% over the past year, according to Search Engine Journal, Tumblr’s rate has been equally, if not more impressive. According to ComScore, Tumblr attracted 13.4 million visitors in July 2011, up 218% from a year ago (4.2 million in July 2010) along with a staggering 2.5 billion page views per month. 12.5 billion page views per month (according to Quantcast) With tremendous growth comes growing pains, as Twitter once experienced with their own pre-2008 downtime issues.
I spoke with John Abell, New York Bureau Chief for Wired Magazine, about how Apple might turn out over the next few years without Steve Jobs at the helm. John tells us what we might expect and how Apple is a much different company than the one Jobs returned to after his brief exile.
The biggest takeaway from today’s Apple announcements at their annual worldwide developers conference was how many companies they’ve just disrupted.
Hey Blackberry, you know that your BBM that many find to be the sole reason they stick by your side instead of bolting for a shiny new iPhone. Say hello to iMessage. Start a conversation on your iPhone and continue it on your iPad. If you still want to talk to your friends tied to their Blackberries, there’s always What’s App.
So Dropbox, you’ve been one of the most useful apps I’ve come across in quite some time. My files auto-synced in the cloud, I barely have to think about it. I move effortlessly from one machine to another and my stuff is right there, a click away. Welp, I’ve got some bad news for you. iCloud. 5 gigs of storage and get this, it’s free. Well, unless you’ve got some non-iTunes music you wanna sync. That’s gonna set you back $25 a year. Cmon, that’s a fraction of the money you’ve stolen from artists and those poor multi-millionaire music executives (if any of them still exist anymore.)
A decade ago, we wondered what happened to the product that Google just announced. The Chromebook, Google’s version of a netbook, finally has the ecosystem and infrastructure to support it. Many have declared the PC age on its deathbed, with mobile on the verge of overtaking its marketshare. Google simply believes the PC will evolve, into the cloud and beyond local based storage.
Google will make their notebooks, running entirely on their Chrome OS, available in June, partnering with Acer and Samsung for the hardware and Verizon for connectivity. Samsung will charge $425 for a Wifi only version and $499 for one that includes 100MB data service. Acer’s version will cost “$349 and up.”
The notebook has virtually zero boot time — hit power and you’re on. The battery is said to last an entire day. Your files, entirely in the cloud and accessible anywhere, have built-in security. Updates to software, purchased in the Chrome App Store, will be automatic.
The first time I used Skype I was in awe. The video quality, the effortlessness it allowed me to see and hear my family far away over my laptop computer screen was magic. It was even more magical when I tried it on my iPhone — a Dick Tracy moment. And it was more impressive than FaceTime because it allowed me to talk to anyone with Skype, not just with those who had an iPhone.
Today, Skype will likely begin to be lost in the maw that is Microsoft. Sure, Microsoft still remains one of the most valuable companies this country has ever produced but aside from the XBox, it hasn’t been on the leading edge of innovation in many years. Apple, Google and companies like Facebook and Twitter are seen at the forefront of the digital age. Microsoft, in comparison, seems like the once great star athlete, a Michael Jordan attempting to regain some glory by playing minor league baseball.
The best case scenario here is that Microsoft rolls Skype into a product like Kinect, which hasn’t quite taken the world by storm, and becomes a simple, easy to use videoconferencing device for the living room, that takes us beyond just hunching over our computers to interact with our friends who are far away.
The biggest surprise at today’s Apple iPad 2 event was the fact that Steve Jobs was there to present it. Jobs walked out to a thunderous standing ovation and stated, “We’ve been working on this product for awhile, and I didn’t want to miss it.”
The iPad 2 is very much a video device. The resolution is the same, the price is the same and the battery life is the same. The new feature is a front and back facing camera which was not available on the original iPad.
The new device can also wirelessly stream video from any app to an Apple TV device (and vice versa), which makes the iPad an even more powerful convergence device than Apple TV.