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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Google's Schmidt Reacts To iPad

Silicon Alley Insider's Nicholas Carlson has a few words from Eric Schmidt on the release of the iPad, very few words but the reaction is interesting... is Schmidt taking a Steve Jobs approach to new product discussion?

Quote: Today, a reporter asked Eric what he thinks of Apple's (AAPL) new iPad. His answer: "You might want to tell me the difference between a large phone and a tablet."
Source: Business Insider

Friday, January 29, 2010

Geeks Underwhelmed By iPad, But Is It Intended For The Hardcore Techie?

I had a lunchroom conversation yesterday with a couple of my coworkers, who are admittedly hardcore techies. Their argument was that the iPad was just a stretched out iPhone or iPod touch which offered nothing new and in fact took away a few popular features such as GPS and a camera. My stance was that indeed it is a larger format device with many of the same features of it's little brothers but that it's meant to go head to head with the netbook and in that arena the touch interface will be a winner. To emphasize my point I explained that my 75 year old father recently asked advice on the purchase of a new PC. He and I sat down and listed the things that he used his current PC for:

Surfing the web;
Checking gmail account;
Keeping up on the stock market; and
Viewing pictures of the grandchildren, generally e-mailed to him;

The decision was easy... a netbook! The biggest concern we had was the screen resolution and his 75 year old eyes, but after looking at a few we came to the conclusion he'd be alright. 

This is the market that Steve Jobs is targeting! No, not the elderly but people with similar requirements! Not the coders and hackers, not the spreadsheet masters. The average user with a facebook addiction and the desire to read a little, thumb through old photographs, and keep up on the news. Not to mention a great big geeks who would rather pick this little beauty up and tote it around than stay glued to his office chair when the desire to surf hits him.

That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. Thanks for the banter guys, but it's time to think outside of the server rack :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Apple Announces iPad, Much To Nobody's Surprise. But It Looks Like A Winner.

Well, if you can believe it Apple has introduced a larger touch device being dubbed the iPad! Okay, so nobody is falling out of their seats with that announcement but the device appears to be another Apple thing of beauty with a sleek design and beautiful LCD display. Of course I've not had my hands on one and I'm judging this simply by the materials provided by the Apple propaganda machine, but if the device lives up to the video they'll have hit another home run.

A Wi-Fi version is promising to ship in the US by late March while the 3G version ships in April. The big surprise is the pricing which seems like a bargain:

               16GB 32GB 64GB
Wi-Fi        $499 $599 $699
Wi-Fi + 3G $629 $729 $829

This says it all...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mars Rover Likely Stuck For Good NASA Concedes

"[Spirit's] driving days are likely over," according to Doug McCuistion, NASA's director of the Mars exploration program, but "science will continue." Spirit has been stuck in loose sand since April of '09 and despite all attempts the space agency has been unable to free it. Efforts will now focus on trying "to jostle the rover in place and angle its solar panels to increase its chance of surviving the Martian winter." according to this CBC News story

Spirit and it's sister rover Opportunity landed 21 days apart in January of 2004 on missions with expected lives of 90 days. Spirit, the first to land on January 4, 2004, has encountered some mechanical difficulties limiting it's movement but Opportunity soldiers on continuing to explore the surface of the planet with over 19 total kilometers on the odometer.

"Spirit is not dead," said McCuistion "It has just entered another phase of its long life."

Long live Spirit!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Just How Fast Is Social Media?

In the immediate minutes and hours following the devastating earth quake in Haiti, long before the reporters and the relief efforts got underway, the social networks were abuzz with tidbits of information streaming in from on people the ground. "heavy earth quake right now!" "I see at a distance clouds of dust." "Hundreds of dead body in the collapse of Hotel Montana." "parts of the Palace have collapsed." "Phones seem to be out. . . . Communication is at a standstill."

This is a similar trend that has been witnessed during a recent quake near Eureka California earlier this month, the miracle landing on the Hudson river, and the wild fires that ravaged Los Angeles in '09. The trend is being dubbed "self-reporting" and for many, including myself, has been the first alert to breaking news around the globe. More than just a social network, sites like Twitter are becoming our Bat Signal, informing us that something worth taking note of is happening, and perhaps in many cases is a true perspective on situations from those going through them first hand rather than those concerned with ratings and appeasing advertisers.