“I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.
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“I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.
Phillip K. Dick, Tom Cruise and Sly Stallone would be proud that the premises of Minority report and Demolition Man are closer to true.
The New York Times reports that California Police are experimenting With a Computer Program That Predicts Crime. Some see this as profiling on steroids, others are not adverse to technology helping to reduce or eliminate crime, whatever it takes. In this case, what is predicted is the likeliness of crime in a specific area. The police department field testing the program are from Santa Cruz. The exact name of the software the program runs is unknown, but what it does is compute and predicts crime by analyzing past trends from a sizable database of police records.
While it is a far step from the scenario spelled out in the movie Minority Report, it does signal an innovation in traditional policing with a technological twist. Since the program, whatever it is called, went live in Santa Cruz, the reception from the law enforcement community seems to be positive.
The people ironing out the kinks and have developed the rather secret program are a multi-disciplinary team involving mathematicians, anthropologists, and a criminologist. The numbers guys are George Bohler and Martin Short (no relation to the comedian), with input from anthropologist Jeff Bratingham and criminologist George Tita.
To date, only Santa Cruz PD operates the program. The implications, are broad and scary. Imagine if a country employs this on a large scale. Not only will police detection be total, but the security blanket over civic life is ever-present and ever-knowing. Why does this sound dystopian?
If aspects of everyday life become subject to predictive software, then we’re in for a very scary cultural, social and constitutional future.
Why does this time in technology feel like another implosion? With HP stepping down and pronouncements of the death of the PC what are we, the average computer user to think? What can we have faith in and believe will be around in the months to come in 2011? Pundits have declared the death of Social Media, search, software and applications, retail stores, and the end of the planet Earth in December 2012.
Mighty Microsoft is busy trying to swoop up HP’s recently orphaned WebOS developers with lavish pledges and offers of Free Phones and more to any who switch over to the Windows Phone smartphone/tablet platform.
Microsoft’s evangelist Brandon Watson and the Windows Phone team’s offer goes out to those writing code for HP’s webOS and their message is clear, “Develop for us instead, we pledge all manner of support to programmers who make the switch. We’ll give you what you need to be successful on Windows Phone, including free phones, developer tools, and training, etc.,”
TCF spoke with a friend and long-time Palm WebOS developer who said he is still somewhat numb and in shock.
He is wary that by signing on with another also-ran instead of Apple, the market leader, he could be risking the future of his company. After similar handoffs, first from US Robotics, to 3Com , to Palm and eventually to HP he fears and dreads a similar fate somewhere down the line if the Windows Phone can’t quickly get market traction and make a successful splash onto the market
In the worst case scenario, it could result in valuable wasted time and effort, money and finances, and in the end unrecoverable lost opportunities.
Where did HP fail with WebOS?
I would suggest that they chiefly failed to develop all essential aspects of a smartphone ecosystem.
So, It is not so much the iPhone or iPad devices that Android, RIM and others are actually competing against.
In what must surely serve as a cautionary tale for early adopters of technology such as has just happened to WebOS smartphone and tablet owners who must consider what they should do now that the rug has been pulled out from under them.
We will soon look back to a time when consumers were often willing to take more of a chance purchasing and using alternative less popular devices.
In that time they will simply make the safe choice of the leading device because it will have a greater probability of success and longevity.
When they are asked to invest hundreds of hard-earned dollars at a time of tight personal budgets and a massive national economic downturn also-ran products will have to do more, be better, or be more affordable than the market dominant product.
For the much later fire-sale adopter there may be great bargains to be found if they are willing to risk investing in products with an unsure future. Now that the shoe has fallen and HP has announced the looming end for webOS hardware HP is selling it for $600 making it one of the less expensive tablets at that capacity. (Apple’s iPad 2 is $699 at the same capacity)
According to sources at The Next Web HP’S WebOS Ran Twice as Fast on an iPad, so It wasn’t poor performance of the software that killed the TouchPad. HP’s webOS team hacked an iPad 2 to run the software — and it ended up. Even before the TouchPad tablet or Pre smartphone were officially released, the webOS developer team was so fed up with HP’s lackluster hardware that they “wanted them gone.”
HP rocked the tech world yesterday when it announced the company would no longer be producing webOS hardware, including the TouchPad tablet and Pre smartphones, after acquiring Palm last year for $1.2 billion.
The webOS software could still be licensed to third-party manufacturers. HP CEO Leo Apotheker cited lack of traction in the marketplace as a major reason for abandoning the mobile operation. The team of developers also deployed webOS within the iPad’s Mobile Safari browser and got similarly speedy results.
The TouchPad features a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with A8 architecture, while the iPad 2 houses a dual-core A5 chip based on the faster Cortex-A9 architecture.
According to The Next Web it was the hardware that reportedly stopped the team from innovating beyond certain points because it was slow and imposed constraints, which was highlighted when webOS was loaded on to Apple’s iPad device and found to run the platform significantly faster than the device for which it was originally developed.
So, this may not necessarily be the demise of WebOS, or the last word. It will take a real sharp innovative mind to figure out how to make it happen. But WebOS is a great starting point to build on.
Every spy, sports enthusiast and horse race fan, girl watcher or bird watcher will definitely want a pair of Sony’s new DEV-3 and DEV-5 digital binoculars with the features of a camcorder with a variety of digital add-ons.
The one company that should stand to benefit most from the industries quantum move to doing everything in the cloud is Oracle. Their massive database assets and overall expertise including partnerships such as with Salesforce.com should come in handy as the new emerging infrastructure and ecosystem comes closer to being realized.
IBM should also be a player in the mix and HP is about to join the fray and is busy staking out their territory. We are seeing traditional hardware companies competely jettison their business models for the new frontier of cloud computing.
The next few weeks and months leading up to CES and the new year will be revealing and should point us closer towards an emerging technology future that probably won’t be anything like we thought it would be just months ago.
I am setting up my desk for coverage of Hewlett-Packard’s report at some point today on quarterly earnings and revenue outlook. Normally because I don’t own stock in these companies I am not interested but because HP is the largest manufacturer of P.C.s I see this as a crucial report revelant to the whole industry of which I am a part. An industry that has encountered vast and sweeping changes in the past year with much more to come.
This report comes on the heels of Dell’s recent disappointing revenue outlook report and subsequent market fluctuations. It comes at a particularly bad time for HP after Best Buy just loudly panned their TouchPad citing dismal sales and lack of demand.
HP’s new CEO, Leo Apotheker will valiantly attempt to spin any and every bit of positive news that might lend hope and optimism to the cause, but to be sure, the pressure is on! Observers see HP’s greatest prospects in enterprise hardware sales which could be stronger than consumer PC and device sales. That might lend a note of confidence.
HP’s recent strategy seen as visionary by some has been to continue to transform itself into a big noise in IT services and potential pending strategic investments could accelerate and validate projections and efforts.
I have long been a fan and supporter of HP and wish them the best of success. They are a national asset and presence in an industry that is essential to many communities and workers.
This is not actually happening, but after I read a recent article about Google’s Cupertino Envy I was lead to wonder exactly what would happen if these two superpowers merged? That might have been possible years ago, but time changes things.
Well, to start, such a move would certainly be blocked by the FTC and cause loud screaming and intense hand wringing all the way around the planet. Folks at mighty Microsoft would have massive hemorrhagic strokes and Android device makers would go into cardiac arrest.
Technology Pundits would wrestle and castrate each other trying to predict just how fast the sky would fall and when massive earthquakes would trigger volcano eruptions and devastating tsunamis causing the Earth’s core to melt leaving the planet to wobble and spin off it’s axis.
But stranger things have happened and If years from now this were to actually happen please call my doctor, break out the defibrillator, and look in my pocket for my Nitro pills.
In what can be nothing but a tremendous bad sign for HP, Computer Retailer Best Buy has said that they want to Return HP TouchPads supposedly due to poor demand.
It is probably an understatement, but the HP TouchPad tablet doesn’t seem to be doing so well on the market. It shocks no one but Apple’s iPad 2 and various Android devices such as Samsung’s Galaxy Tab dominate the tablet market so completely that even many Android tablets are not selling particularly well either.
HP believes it still has a chance with its WebOS tablets but consumers site that the premium prices of TouchPads has dampened their enthusiasm.
This latest declaration by Best Buy could have a serious ripple effect that might cascade down through the whole tablet marketplace and in effect stifle HP’s high hopes.
After I hastily, and it seems now unwisely, installed Lion on the very first day of availability I have had over 35 separate system freezes and crashes that have profoundly interrupted my productivity and caused me to rant and rave, and cuss and fuss at Apple (the company I have been rather fond of). 35 hard restarts later, I am concerned that recent success and focus may have changed Apple. Now with the first official upgrade to OS X 10.7.1 hope it will fully will restore my faith and productivity.
Before I pass judgement on the changes I will temporarily conclude this post and go do some research by spending some time figuring out what has changed and if my problem remains.
After three weeks of frustrations and over 35 crashes I am a little more hopeful in the fture of Apple’s Lion after the first upgrade.
I have been able to get a few posts done without annoying unexplainable crashes putting a halt to my work.
I am really not absolutely certain whether the problems myself and others experienced are completely fixed but so far (fingers crossed) something is obviously working better. I only wish that whatever it was that went bad had been caught prior to the release. Maybe this means that the public needs to be more of an integral part of the Beta product testing cycle prior to any major release.
It also undoubtably means that as serious professional users we should consider hesitating and thinking before mindlessly committing our mission critical work to the possible vulnerability of new unproven releases.
If you are in the web creation business it might benefit you to know that Adobe has released the public beta of its new website creation software, code-named Muse, on Monday. This is not Adobe first foray into the market. They are the power behind Dreamweaver, Image Ready and a whole roster of development tools however Muse is for graphic designers who want to create elegant websites without having to code.
Some who have been testing Muse are enjoying the tool’s functionality and featureset. What makes Muse stand out is the user interface and the design approach is similar to other Adobe Creative Suite applications, namely InDesign.
Graphic designers have spent years learning Photoshop and InDesign and work in print. It will work like this A graphic designer will create a website in Illustrator, Fireworks or Photoshop and then pass the flattened file off to web designers who will then do their best to code it. Now With Muse, Adobe hopes to eliminate that coding step for users whose sites don’t need lots of dynamic content — and who want to lay out and generate the code for their site with one tool.
The chief advantage is the small application footprint and lots of familiar features and functions.
Another great feature is that Museis an Adobe Air application, rather than a full-blown native app. Meaning it works on Mac and PC.
Muse was built to take advantage of certain HTML5 and CSS3 properties and to generate semantically-correct code.
One can add your own HTML snippets or dynamic content information to a Muse page, and the app also comes with a set of pre-defined widgets. These widgets are written in jQuery and can be modified like any other element. CSS3 transitions are also possible to create in Muse; the process is seamless.
One can also preview a page locally using the built-in WebKit browser or by opening up a file in the default app on your Mac or PC. This is great for seeing exactly how something looks in a browser before publishing.
Muse might best be used to prototype content that would then be implemented into other systems like WordPress. For instance, a page and section layout designed in Muse could become a new WordPress theme.
Pricing & Availability
Muse is available in public beta now, and Adobe has said the program will be free until its official release in early 2012.
Once Muse launches under its final name in early 2012, it will be available by subscription. This is the first Adobe product to have a subscription-only pricing scheme and it will be $15 per month with a one-year commitment or $20 per month on a month-to-month basis.
Users who want to publish their sites can choose to use Adobe Business Catalyst for their hosting needs and publish directly from Muse. If you have hosting setup elsewhere, you can export the contents of your site as HTML and upload the corresponding files, images, HTML and CSS files to your web server.
It might seem to some that instead of improving its core of existing solutions Adobe has chosen to borrow the best features from all of their mostly print centric applications and create a new reason for their loyal base of graphic users to buy into, learn and subscribe to. It might also breathe life into their recently flagging Creative Suite which has grown long in the tooth. It also works around the exodus from Flash by handily embrasing HTML5 and CSS3. Nothing wrong with that!
…So this is what has kept Adobe busy lately.
As long as Google was content and happy to stay exclusively in the software-Operating System business their many OEM partners were fat, fine and happy .
They all benefited greatly from Google’s willingness to license Android to just about anyone and everyone equally.
The recent announcement that Google is about toplunk down a huge fortune said to be as much as $12.5 Billion dollars to acquire Motorola Mobility Holdings surely makes them shiver in shear fear wondering if Google is getting ready to step up their game and play competively in the device sandbox and wind up changing the name of the game or the rules of the game.
Numerous companies, HTC included, have profited very nicely making handsets and smartphones running Google’s free Android operating system. But the shocking, devestating news that Google will soon probably be in the hardware device business in a big way is sure to cause both panic and concern among Google’s primary hardware manufacturing partners.
This all must great news to Microsoft who is hoping to attract those manufacturers and developers to the Windows phone platform, and to HP also looking to draw them to HP’s WebOS.
What seems pretty certain is that Google most likely will be going head-to-head with former partners so it will be no small task to convince them that things won’t change.”
Certainly we will closely follow this story.
The deal will first have to pass probes and regularatory scruitiny which might just take as long as a year. We should also keep an eye on how Apple responds to this new development and what effect it will have on the market dominant iPhone/iPad ecosystem.
Some believe that Google may be inheriting Motorola problems ranging from tepid device success to having lost serious market share and experiencing problems with delayed product releases.
Google on the other hand is flush with talent and might be able to right the ship.
Addendum: It turns out that mighty Microsoft was also in the running and in talks with Motorola, but as it turned out Google had bigger eyes, and a bigger appetite for Motorola and their many patents.
… Are we ready for a Google Droit?
If you are a stage performer, studio hound, or a Garage Band twiddler you want a quick way around touch screens and awkward overly complex controllers well M-Audio has answered your wish with the new Venom 12-Voice Virtual Analog Synthesizer
The M-Audio Venom 49-key synthesizer combines the character of classic analog synths with modern digital processing to deliver an aggressive, infectious new sound. Whet your appetite with the included presets, then sink your teeth into creating original sounds—from atmospheric and subtle, to angry and downright nasty.
Easily tweak parameters from the intuitive top-panel interface, or explore endless sound design and configuration possibilities with the included software editor. Perform bass lines, leads, and more with a full-size keyboard designed to satisfy serious players. You can even use Venom as an audio interface with Pro Tools* and other music software—forming a powerful production machine to take your music in dangerous new directions.