Daily Marauder

TECHNOLOGY by Marauder
October 21, 2009, 11:17 AM
Filed under: TECHNOLOGY | Tags: , , , , , ,


As Mashable reported earlier yesterday, Apple’s online store went down for updates earlier today, amidst rumors of new products and product updates. Now that the store is back online, the new products up up for display.So what’s new? Well, as usual, intricate accuracy of the rumors proved to be true: new iMacs with slight redesigns and brighter, larger displays, updated Mac minis (including a Mac OS X server option), a newly designed MacBook and a new multi-touch mouse (which was rumored early in the month) that will finally free Mac users from the Mighty Mouse’s impossible-to-keep-clean clutches. (Mashable 10/21)

New imac

The Nook, Barnes & Noble’s new ereader, has upped the ante. With a small, 3.5-inch LCD screen in the lower quadrant, the Nook adds touch capabilities that the Kindle definitely does not have. (Techcrunch10/20)

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TECHNOLOGY by Marauder


With its HP netbook going on sale Sunday, Verizon Wireless has increased the monthly download limit from 50 megabytes to 250 MB and reduced overcharges from 25 cents to 10 cents per MB for the same $40 a month it now charges, the carrier said today in outlining changes to its data plans. The 2.4-pound netbook will run on Windows XP Home and cost $200 with a rebate plus two-year mobile-broadband contract. Reuters (5/14) , CNET (5/13)


At Intel’s annual investor meeting this week, company CEO Paul Otellini said he expects PC sales growth patterns to return to normal later this year following a better-than-expected second quarter. The statement runs counter to the Gartner prediction that computer sales will dip about 10% in 2009. “I’m getting increasingly comfortable that the dip here is not as aggressive as they are showing,” Otellini said. ClipSyndicate/Bloomberg (5/13) , The Wall Street Journal (5/13) , InformationWeek (5/12) , CIO.com/IDG News Service (5/12)

VTech’s new IS9181 Wi-Fi Internet Radio, with its two 3-watt speakers and 10-watt subwoofer, gives audiophiles access to 11,000 Web-based radio stations from around the world. The device, which retails for just under $200, is compatible with Windows XP and Vista, or Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5, and it can play back files from a number of platforms. ElectronicHouse.com (5/13)

Executives at beleaguered consumer-electronics giant Sony Corp. forecast a second consecutive annual operating loss, this time for the period ending March 2010. If that comes to pass, it will be the first time Sony has reported back-to-back yearly losses since 1958. Reuters (5/14) , The Wall Street Journal (5/14)

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TECHNOLOGY by Marauder
February 4, 2009, 12:11 AM
Filed under: TECHNOLOGY | Tags: , , , , , , ,


NASA, Google, and some of the foremost authorities in science and technology have teamed up to create a new school, dubbed Singularity University, that is looking to solve “humanity’s grand challenges”. The university is named after the idea of the singularity – an extremely rapid period of technological progress. And damn if it doesn’t sound like the coolest school ever. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/02/02/world-renowned-scientists-team-with-google-and-nasa-to-launch-singularity-university 2/2)


Microsoft Windows, which is used by 88.26% of computers accessing the Internet, saw its share of the operating system market fall more than four-tenths of a percentage point in January compared with the previous month, according to Web tracking firm Net Applications. On the plus side, Apple’s Mac OS X, which has 9.93% of the market, was up three-tenths of a percentage point. InformationWeek (2/3)

Panasonic in April will debut a pair of plasma TVs that are thinner and consume far less electricity than its current offerings. The 50-inch version will be about an inch deep, use an estimated 260 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year and, along with a 54-inch model, initially be available in Japan before migrating to North American markets this summer. Reuters (2/3)

For all those oldies-but-goodies trapped on audio cassettes, Alesis has come out with a system to transfer recordings from the bygone platform to today’s digital devices, such as CDs, iPods and flash memory drives. The new TapeLink USB is a dual-cassette gadget that connects to a computer via USB port and can collect audio from either metal or CrO2 tapes. Electronista (2/2)

Verizon has introduced its $200 “Hub” VoIP phone, which works over any broadband connection, calling it the first custom-made device that integrates with such Verizon Wireless services as text messaging, navigation and Chaperone. The telecom disclosed several partners for the touch-screen Hub: OpenPeak, Fandango, Navteq and Time. Wireless Week (2/2) , TVWeek.com (2/2)

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WIRELESS by Marauder


Copy and Paste has long been one of the most requested features on the iPhone, and its continued absence has been both frustrating and confusing for many. How can it be that the iPhone – running a finely tuned version of Mac OS X – is unable to perform functions that have been included in text editors since the 80’s? (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/07/28/copy-and-paste-finally-coming-to-the-iphone-sort-of 7/28)

A deep slump at its Sony Ericsson cell phone partnership played a heavy part in driving Sony’s net income down 47% as the company also sliced its full-year forecast in releasing quarterly earnings today. Earlier, the unit reported a 98% crash in pretax income as consumers have opted for less pricey models from rivals over Sony Ericsson’s high-end handsets. Bloomberg (7/29) , The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) (7/29) , Financial Times (7/29)

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WIRELESS by Marauder


The Windows version of Pwnage, the iPhone 2.0 jailbreak and unlock software for iPhone, iPhone 3G, and iPod Touch, is out now. Like the Mac OS X version, it will free all models to install non-Apple-approved applications, but it won’t unlock the iPhone 3G to liberate you from roaming charges. For unlocking you will need a special SIM card. (http://gizmodo.com/5028521/iphone-20-jailbreak-and-unlock-now-for-windows 7/24)

South Korea‘s Samsung Electronics said Friday that second-quarter net profit grew 51 percent compared with the same quarter last year led by its liquid crystal display and mobile phone businesses. (http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/business/AP-Earns-Samsung-Electronics.html?ref=technology 7/25)

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TECHNOLOGY by Marauder


Amazon.com’s Kindle e-reader device, which costs $359, is “a pleasure to read because it’s as readily portable as a newspaper,” writes Arik Hesseldahl, in a product review. However, it’s “an imperfect replacement for the daily newspaper.” Pictures “don’t register well on the screen.” (http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/jun2008/tc20080623_917645.htm 6/24)

(Below) How you know you’re new operating system is truly THAT lame. . .

Due to customer demand, Dell will sell PCs equipped with Windows XP and XP Professional a little bit longer. The company, which had said it would stop selling XP-loaded PCs on June 18, has extended the cutoff to Thursday, June 26, at 5:59 a.m. Central time. (InfoWorld/Computerworld 6/23)

Apple’s Mac OS X Snow Leopard operating system, expected to debut next year, will be faster and more stable because of less disk space tied up by key applications, according to this report. Apple reportedly is trying to whittle down the size of Snow Leopard’s Utilities Applications from 468MB to 111.6MB. (CNET 6/23)

Eton has introduced a tabletop stereo system in the U.K. that the company says captures the essence of Porsche design as well as high-end audio. Selling for about $950, the system includes three 1.5-inch full-range drivers and a 3-inch active subwoofer. (Pocket-lint.co.uk 6/23)

Mitsubishi has partnered with graphics processor Nvidia Corp. and Aspen Media Products, a maker of media servers, to produce a 3-D home-entertainment technology. The group will try to integrate Mitsubishi’s 3-D-ready Diamond TV monitors, Nvidia’s PC-gaming technology and a server that can exploit the increasing amount of 3-D content being developed. (ElectronicHouse.com 6/23)

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On Thursday, Apple released two major developments for the iPhone.  Click on any of the images below to watch the full presentation.



iPhone as Enterprise Solution


The Open SDK (Software Developer’s Kit)


I took a little time with this most recent announcement.  John Doerr from KPCB had this to say about the iPhone during the presentation, “It’s bigger than the personal computer.” I couldn’t agree more.  I think this recent development is one of the largest developments in technology in several decades.


At the beginning of the presentation, Jobs runs down the Q4 smartphone market share currently at 28% for the iPhone second only to RIM at 41%.  Here’s the real kicker though:

U.S. Mobile Browser Usage


71% of all mobile users who browse on a mobile phone use the iPhone to do it.  Holy iPhone batman!  More on these stats in a second.


The Enterprise Solution

i.e. I can ditch the BlackBerry and use the iPhone instead.  The iPhone has decided to play nice in the corporate sandbox.  As someone who lives in a multiple device world, I couldn’t be happier about this development.


Here’s what’s been keeping the iPhone from being the go-to enterprise solution:


The List of Corporate Requests to Make the iPhone an Accessible Solution


The iPhone currently can’t do any of the above.  I would add one another annoyance in using this device as my solution in the workplace.  The keyboard still gives me problems and I’ve been using mine since August.  Granted, I have the shakiest hands around and a lack of focus but the keyboard still gives me problems.  Apart from this, Apple has solved all of the above in their latest release.


Push services including email, calendar and contacts is the coolest to a regular user like me.  I want to have access to e-mail instantly without either requesting it or waiting the time limit to receive. 


Now, remember that the smartphone market share is second only to RIM?  Well, it seems as though Apple and Microsoft are gunning for RIM in the following diagram.


RIM vs. iPhone Access to the Microsoft Exchange Server

On the top is RIM’s current process of accessing data from the Microsoft Exchange Server: complicated, unsecure, and costly.  Observe the lower graphic explaining the iPhone’s process of accessing the Microsoft Exchange server.  Hmmm. . . .seems oddly less complicated and more secure.  RIM, Apple’s got your number.


The SDK Release

This release allows developers access to the SAME API available to Apple’s internal development team.  Previous to this, developers could only develop web apps for the iPhone using Safari to access (i.e. not native to the iPhone itself).  Now while the iPhone web apps that were created were pretty hot:

Facebook Web App



Bank of America Web App



the level of creativity was limited to the restrictions of the web browser environment.  Now, Apple has solved the problem in response to a host of developers insisting as much.  


MacOS X platform


The only difference between this and the platform for development on the iPhone?  Cocoa which revolves around usage of a keyboard and mouse (obvi) has been replaced with Cocoa Touch which revolves around usage of the iPhone touch screen instead.  Cool beans.


In addition, Apple has released an Apple Simulator for a Mac laptop or desktop.  In essence, create an app and then simulate what it will look like either on the phone itself or on a computer screen.  Hot.


Here are some examples of the new apps.


Apple-Developed Application Developed in 2 Days


Looks like a guy I dated once.  Users can manipulate photos in fun ways directly on the iPhone.


Apple-Developed Application Developed in 2 Weeks


This game is called Touch Fighter.  Using the touch screen, users can tap and shoot anywhere on the screen.  Using the accelerometer, users can move the iPhone to control the direction of flight.  I can’t WAIT to check out people playing around with crazy games on the subway platform.  Talk about throwing your Wii controller through your TV screen.  What about accidentally punching someone in the face as your trying to play a game on your iPhone?!  [sigh] iPhone violence.


Apple also invited outside engineers to create some apps of their own giving them 2 weeks to develop.


Electronic Arts-Developed Application Developed in 2 Weeks


It’s Spore on the iPhone.  The green blob on the screen is your spore.  Your mission is to eat organisms smaller than you.  Move the spore by moving around the phone (utilizing the accelerometer).


AOL-Developed Application Developed in 2 Weeks


AIM on the iPhone. . .finally.


Steve Jobs comes back to the stage to chat about how the business model for app sales is gonna go.


The App Store


Here’s what the store looks like on the phone.  Very iTunes like.  Here’s the cool part.  Users can download these apps directly from the phone either via cell network or using a Wi-Fi connection.



Here’s how the store works. 


Price of App: Determined by Developer

Share of Profits: 70% to developer, 30% to Apple (like the iTunes model)



Here’s the price for developers to start developing apps for the iPhone.


Security:  Apple can say no to malicious apps.


Timeline: Late June for iPhone software upgrade.  Similar upgrade will be available for the iPod touch.  While the upgrade is free to iPhone users (Woot!), not the case for iPod Touch users.  Some nominal fee will be applied.



In partnership with KPCB, a 100 million dollar fund has been established to fund entrepreneurs interested in developing for the iPhone platform.


Marauder’s Last Word

I couldn’t be MORE EXCITED about this.  Apple responds to consumers’ wishes quickly and effectively to provide features that users want.  I can’t think of any other company able to respond this nimbly to the marketplace. 

My only question on the enterprise side: I wonder how easy it will be to keep my enterprise solution separated from my personal life solution.  I don’t know about many of you but trying to keep the work life balance is a constant process for me.  At times, I’ll turn my BlackBerry off for a weekend to quiet down the madness.  I know that the mail account on an iPhone can be shut off just as easily but I wonder how easy it will be to separate my work contacts from my personal contacts especially in cases where they overlap.  Oi! 

On the SDK side, I am excited that the release is finally here but wish we could have it a bit sooner than June (otherwise known as the 1 year anniversary of the iPhone).  What comes next?  3G fo’ sho’. . .at least that’ what I’m hoping for.

THANK YOU APPLE.  It’s exciting to see a company able to provide quality features quickly.  An inspiration to all of us.


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