Monthly Archives

July 2009

Cincinnati

Thinking about the Cincinnati Enquirer

I was reading the article Charging for Access to News Sites at DaringFireball.net and thought it applied to the Cincinnati Enquirer pretty well.

Old-school news companies aren’t like that — the editorial staff makes up only a fraction of the total head count at major newspaper and magazine companies. The question these companies should be asking is, “How do we keep reporting and publishing good content?” Instead, though, they’re asking “How do we keep making enough money to support our existing management and advertising divisions?” It’s dinosaurs and mammals.

And it’s not really surprising that they’re failing to evolve. The decision-makers — the executives sitting atop large non-editorial management bureaucracies — are exactly the people who need to go if newspapers are going to remain profitable.

Technology

NYTimes.com: Some E-Books Are More Equal Than Others

NYTimes.com: Some E-Books Are More Equal Than Others

This morning, hundreds of Amazon Kindle owners awoke to discover that books by a certain famous author had mysteriously disappeared from their e-book readers. These were books that they had bought and paid for–thought they owned.

The MobileReference edition of the novel, “Nineteen Eighty-four,” by George Orwell that was deleted from Kindle e-book readers by Amazon.com.
But no, apparently the publisher changed its mind about offering an electronic edition, and apparently Amazon, whose business lives and dies by publisher happiness, caved. It electronically deleted all books by this author from people’s Kindles and credited their accounts for the price.

This is pretty shocking.  I know Amazon refunded the money, but the fact that it removed the book from the Kindle is wrong.  Stuff disappears from iTunes all the time, but never from your iPod or iPhone after you’ve purchased it.

The funny thing is that I’ve been looking to re-read George Orwell’s 1984, especially with all the issues with privacy, control of flow of information, etc.  I guess hard copy is the way to go.

Books

Get Chris Anderson’s latest book “Free” free!

I’m not much of an ebook reader, but since Chris Anderson’s latest book “Free” is free for a limited time on Amazon for Kindle, I decided to give it a try.

I don’t have or desire to have a Kindle, but Amazon’s free Kindle for iPhone App (iTunes Direct Link)  works fine.  It’s simple, download the Kindle App, sign in with your Amazon account and then search for “Chris Anderson Free”.  Click to download and you’re all set.
Here’s what a sample page looks like on the iPhone screen.
FreeScreenshot.jpg

Uncategorized

ESPN.com: China boycotts ceremony in Taiwan

ESPN.com: China boycotts ceremony in Taiwan

The 100-strong Chinese delegation boycotted the opening ceremony of the World Games in Taiwan on Thursday, underscoring the limits of the historic breakthrough in relations between Taipei and Beijing.

“Ma has been telling Taiwanese that Beijing accepts his claim that Taiwan and China can agree to differ on whether the two sides belong to the same country, but the Chinese delegation’s no-show has contradicted that,” said Lo, who generally supports the pro-independence opposition. “This will lead people to question the legitimacy of Ma’s statements.”

But fellow political scientist George Tsai of Taipei’s Chinese Culture University — usually a supporter of the government — said that China had shown goodwill by allowing Ma to preside over the opening ceremony.

“Beijing could demand the World Games follow Olympic rules and forbid Ma to attend, but it didn’t,” Tsai said. “This shows Beijing has made concessions.”

That’s so “generous” of Beijing not to press the World Games to ban the President of Taiwan from attending when it’s being held in his own country.  It certainly calls into question President Ma’s strategy of being friends with China if China can’t even attend the opening ceremony of the World Games.

Taiwan is a de facto independent nation since World War II ended Japanese rule. 

Uncategorized

Fortune.com: New iPhone no threat to the Flip camcorder

From Fortune.com: New iPhone no threat to the Flip camcorder

The iPhone can do almost everything the Flip
can, and in some cases, even more. In spite of this, tech and camcorder industry analysts don’t believe it’s a threat. Ironically, they say that many consumers are attracted to the Flip precisely because it lacks the iPhone’s panoply of functions and add-ons.

Despite the seeming trend of convergence toward a single multipurpose device, analysts claim many consumers still prefer electronics dedicated to one task. “The notion of the hybrid cannibal device always pops up,” says Chris Chute of research firm IDC. “The consumer doesn’t say to themselves, ‘I’m going to buy one device that does everything okay.'”

The iPhone is a stealth threat to all single function devices.  You might not buy the iPhone thinking it’ll replace all these devices, but when you use it you realize that it’s good enough for all these uses and you have it with you all the time.

I have a Canon PowerShot SD780IS that I really like because of its small size, but unless it’s dark and I need a flash, I can get pictures that are pretty good with the iPhone camera.

And now that the iPhone has video and it’s already in my pocket all the time, I have no need for a Flip camcorder.  So, how is the iPhone not a threat to the Flip?

Uncategorized

MacNN.com: Microsoft retail shops to open near Apple’s

From MacNN.com: Microsoft retail shops to open near Apple’s

Microsoft’s planned retail stores will deliberately open near Apple stores, the company’s COO Kevin Turner said in a presentation today at the Windows Partner Conference. The executive was emphatic that the stores wouldn’t imitate Apple retail, at least in the long term, but that they would “innovate.” Specifics of how this would work weren’t mentioned in the session.

“Innovate” for Microsoft means do what Apple does.

The problem is the needs of Apple are different than the needs of Microsoft.  Apple needed the retail stores because of the lack of retailers carrying Apple products and the ones who did often had pretty poor displays of Apple product.

Apple started with the “store within a store” concept at the now defunct CompUSA.  When they first started, Apple actually asked for volunteers to sign up to help answer Apple related questions because the CompUSA workers were clueless about Macs.  I actually worked one Saturday and received an Apple “Think Different” polo to wear while working there.  During the day, I made quite a few sales and had to grab CompUSA employees to checkout.

What does Microsoft need the stores for?  Windows is on nearly every PC shown.  The Xbox360 is pretty popular and sold everywhere.  The Zune?  Well, it exists.

The problem for Microsoft is that they really have nothing compelling to show.  Having Windows on your PC is not a feature, it’s a necessary evil.