Apple, E-Commerce
UserpicNewspaper Publishers Warn Apple Over iTunes Store
Posted by Sasha

Apple is being warned against trying to squeeze cash out of the newspaper industry by controlling subscriptions for iPads and iPhones.

The European Newspaper Publishers' Association (ENPA) says it is concerned by the company's plans to direct online sales through iTunes.

If that happens, the ENPA warns, a large cut of their profits would go to Apple.

However, the technology giant insists it wants to give customers choice.

Read more

Business, E-Commerce, Internet, Social Web
UserpicHow Wikileaks Matter
Posted by Sasha

Finally, very interesting analsys of Wikileaks fallout and what it means in regards of how corporations deal with the information:

Consider just how moribund yesterday's institutions are when it comes to information collecting and sharing. Take transparency in corporations. It's built on a set of institutions crafted in and for the industrial age — like annual and quarterly reports. Four times a year, boardrooms publish updates to their accounts, and once a year, a hefty report explaining and discussing them.

Now ask yourself: does that make even a tiny sliver of sense in a world where I can trade equities from nearly any beach in the world, hundreds of times a minute, using my iPhone? It's an obsolete institution, where my demand for information — to analyze, synthesize, and integrate — has vastly outstripped the capacity to supply it. Hence, stocks froth up and down before and after earnings report releases. When I can't get new information from the horse's mouth, I rely on your opinion, the latest rumor, or what talking heads are paid to say. Result: boom, crash, rinse, repeat. But the real question is one of institutional obsolescence. Why, for example, can't we have continuously updated earnings releases — that let us see what companies are earning in real-time — for a continuously connected world?

Read more at Harvard Business Review

The latest announcement that blockade of Flash on iPad, iPod and iPhone is almost over fails to distinguish between Flash used in graphics on the site and Flash used in DRM protected streams. It doesn't apply to the later, hence is of no remedy to Hulu viewers, for example.

SAN FRANCISCO (Dow Jones)--Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) App Store now includes a program that can play video made for Adobe Systems Inc.'s (ADBE) Flash technology, a development that may help owners of Apple's mobile products work around a bitter Silicon Valley feud.

Skyfire Labs Inc.'s namesake program, which can be downloaded for $2.99, is an Internet browser that can play specialized Flash video from many popular websites. The browser runs on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Read more

Social Web
UserpicWhy Web 2.0 Companies Decline
Posted by Moxietype

Business Week in the recent article put it dead on calling Web 2.0 companies as a season TV show:

Digg’s collapse has become a cautionary tale for so-called Web 2.0 companies in Silicon Valley, even the current crop of superstars, like Facebook and Twitter. The basic problem is that these new-media companies don’t really have customers; they have audiences. Starting a company like Digg is less like building a traditional tech company (think Apple or HP) and more like launching a TV show. And perhaps, like TV shows, these companies are ephemeral in nature. People flock in for a while, then get bored and move on.

UserpicWhy Facebook Places is a bad idea
Posted by Sasha

MSNBS posted a good article on the very serious privacy violations introduced by the latest Facebook feature called "Places" which is enabled by defalult:

“Facebook has provided an official and automated means of sharing someone’s location, where users can now be systematically linked to a specific set of coordinates. These new check-ins could be potentially logged into a database, archived, mined... This is a significant change from just mentioning someone. The concern here is that locational data needs to be treated differently than just an average status update. This is why Facebook has tried to design the system so that, in their terms, no one can be checked in to a location ‘without their explicit permission’. Unfortunately, they fell short.”

Why would Facebook stubbornly keep this spooky feature in its new tool, and enable it by default, over the wide-eyed objections of privacy advocates?

There are two ways to create a fast-growing new business:

1. Create a new product that's so useful, millions of people rush to use it.

2. Have an existing business that millions of people use, and force them to use your new product.

Here, Facebook has picked technique No. 2.


This value (default 1440 seconds) defines how long an unused PHP session will be kept alive. For example: A user logs in, browses through your application or web site, for hours, for days. No problem. As long as the time between his clicks never exceed 1440 seconds. It's a timeout value.

PHP's session garbage collector runs with a probability defined by session.gc_probability divided by session.gc_divisor. By default this is 1/100, which means that above timeout value is checked with a probability of 1 in 100.


This value (default 0, which means until the browser's next restart) defines how long (in seconds) a session cookie will live. Sounds similar to session.gc_maxlifetime, but it's a completely different approach. This value indirectly defines the "absolute" maximum lifetime of a session, whether the user is active or not. If this value is set to 60, every session ends after an hour.

UserpicHulu Launches Paid Service and Keeps The Ads
Posted by Sasha

Paying subscribers will get the same number of ads as users of the free website. Hulu figured out that $9.99 will not generate enough money to its media company parents.

UserpicOnline Video Trends
Posted by Sasha

Viewing of online video more than doubled during 2009: the number of videos watched rose from approximately 15 billion in january to more than 33 billion in December. The top 10 video sites accounted for more than 56 percent of online views at the beginning of 2009, but by the end of the year, they accounted for only 52 percent.

MIT Technology review, June 2010

Adobe has acknowledged a "critical" security flaw in its Reader, Acrobat and Flash Player software. Adobe says the vulnerability potentially enables hackers to take control of affected computer systems.

Read more


UserpicRolling House
Posted by Sasha

Rolling House

This cyclindrical design is a modular protype that provides flexible space within a minimum housing unit. Three different sections are dedicated to different functional needs: there's a bed and table in section, an exercise cylinder, and a kitchen with a sink. Read more



Apple, Mobile Internet, Mobile Internet
UserpicApple Patents Location Specific Content
Posted by Sasha

One of the latest Apple patents cites library-specific usage- this is regarding the iPhone, or any other mobile device they may create (third paragraph below). The specificity would imply that Apple has strong plans in that direction, and would also be reasonable as part of a counter-strategy to Google's interest and activity in library environments. It's especially interesting given the comments immediately preceding the library reference (multimedia streaming and delivery). Patent language is usually as broad as possible to cover all contingencies, while this given example is relatively focused:

The user's location could be determined by GPS, cell-tower triangulation, "dead reckoning", or simply by communicating with a local wireless access point. Content could be provided over the device's mobile telecom system, Bluetooth, local Wi-fi, or a direct-connect docking station.
That content could include "video content, picture content, audio content, multimedia content or routing content associated with a geographical area within a proximate distance to the device based on the location information."

The filing gives two examples. First, a user could walk into the public library, and a digital card catalog could be loaded onto that person's handheld. When the book-seeker leaves the library, the catalog would be removed from the device.

While that first example appears to be purely in the public-service domain, the second example moves closer to the realm of advertising. In that example, a restaurant could provide a menu app or URL to a patron, along with a second app that displays the current wait time on an icon. While the user waits, he or she could choose and order their meal from the menu app or browser page. When the user leaves the restaurant, the content disappears.

Read more

UserpicTwitter Fixed A Major Bug
Posted by Sasha

One really has to love Twitter, to put up with this latest flaw. It reminded me a last year's surprise when it appeared that Twitter used the word "password" in place of the master password to the site.

The new bug allowed many people to force celebrities, such as Lady Gaga, to follow them by simply typing "accept @ladygaga".

This would make it appear that Lady Gaga had chosen to follow them and would also inject a user's tweets into the singer's feeds.

Accessibility, Apple, E-Commerce
UserpicTop 10 Brands Fail to Work on iPad
Posted by Sasha

It appears that web designers and their clients embraced Adobe Flash, tunnel pages, and users who are more comfortable with IE6 than with iPhone. Below are a few pics of the Web Sites that are not viwable on iPad, not to mention iPod Touch and iPhone.

Cartier Site on iPad


Hennesy site on iPad


Hennesy site on iPad


Out of the top 10 luxury brands ranked by Forbes in 2009, none of their websites worked sufficiently to match their desktop user experience. Only Gucci seems to have created a site that can handle the technology requirements that Apple has placed on its mobile devices. Read more

UserpicMedia Execs Who Understand Tomorrow Is Here
Posted by Vondah Elizabeth

On the other hand, Jean-Louis Gassée (a former Apple executive) proposes a simple thought-experiment: "By the end of 2010, there will be more than 100 million iPhone OS devices (iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad). You're the webmeister at an important content site. The boss comes in and asks you why you're not supporting the iPhone OS devices. 'Our stuff is all Flash-based, chief, those guys don't run Flash'. You're about to become the ex-webmeister. The boss, a really patient sort, asks you to 'think different' about all these 'noncompliant' customers, each of whom has an iTunes account backed by a credit card, and has developed the habit (encouraged by Apple) of paying for content. So, one more time, with feeling: what's your answer?"

Read more here.

UserpicRapid Growth of VIdeo Content on Mobile Devices
Posted by Vondah Elizabeth

Every day on New Jersey Transit I see more people watching tv and films on small screens.

And as of yesterday, Apple sold one million i Pads.

NEW YORK ( -- Despite rising cable and satellite TV prices and easy access to streaming TV and movies on the Internet, few consumers have cut the cord. But that looks like it's about to change.

One in eight consumers will eliminate or scale back their cable, satellite or other pay-TV service this year, according to a new study released this week by Yankee Group.

Read more

UserpicDivorce Italian Style
Posted by Moxietype

Steve Jobs posted on Apple corporate site his thoughts about flash. The last reason is the most important. The rest of reasons are technical nuisances. Flash is like Trabant (old East German car). It runs but you spend a lot of time under the hood.

We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform. If developers grow dependent on third party development libraries and tools, they can only take advantage of platform enhancements if and when the third party chooses to adopt the new features. We cannot be at the mercy of a third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available to our developers.

This becomes even worse if the third party is supplying a cross platform development tool. The third party may not adopt enhancements from one platform unless they are available on all of their supported platforms. Hence developers only have access to the lowest common denominator set of features. Again, we cannot accept an outcome where developers are blocked from using our innovations and enhancements because they are not available on our competitor’s platforms.

Flash is a cross platform development tool. It is not Adobe’s goal to help developers write the best iPhone, iPod and iPad apps. It is their goal to help developers write cross platform apps. And Adobe has been painfully slow to adopt enhancements to Apple’s platforms. For example, although Mac OS X has been shipping for almost 10 years now, Adobe just adopted it fully (Cocoa) two weeks ago when they shipped CS5. Adobe was the last major third party developer to fully adopt Mac OS X.

Business, E-Commerce
UserpicBootstrap Operation as The Business Model
Posted by Sasha

NYT printed an article today on the Lean Start-Up business model. In fact, that business model was followed by many Internet companies for some time. It allows companies to test the market quickly, find out what works and what doesn't, and build the service or technology that the customer actually wants, while eleminating any cost or investment that doesn't produce the value for their customers.

So the lean playbook advises quick development of a “minimum viable product,” designed with the smallest set of features that will please some group of customers. Then, the start-up should continually experiment by tweaking its offering, seeing how the market responds and changing the product accordingly. Facebook, the giant social network, grew that way, starting with simple messaging services and then adding other features.

I personally diagree that the term "lean start-up" is a novel term for the business model. It is a business model that doesn't require venture capital and allows companies to build with a focus on the consumer and their needs, versus building the technology that nobody wants.

So the lean playbook advises quick development of a “minimum viable product,” designed with the smallest set of features that will please some group of customers.

I prefer the term "bootstrap operation". It might take time to get the boots or straps, but the lack of overhead makes the operation agile and capable of rapid change based on marketplace feedback.


Accessibility, Apple, Mobile Internet
UserpicAdobe Flash Is Officially Dead On Apple Mobile Gadgets
Posted by Sasha

Adobe is to stop making software tools that allow Apple's iPhone and iPad to use its popular Flash technology.

The decision by Adobe reverses an earlier pledge in which it said it would help get Flash working on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. In mid-April, Adobe released software called Creative Suite 5 that contained translation tools that automatically turn Flash code into programs that run on the iPhone. Apple updated the terms and conditions of the license software developers must sign to create iPhone and iPad applications which in effect placed strict restrictions on what developers can use to create these applications and effectively banned them from using code translators such as Creative Suite 5.

Apple, Mobile Internet, Mobile Internet
UserpicApple Will Reject Apps Created With Adobe Suite
Posted by Sasha

Apple announced imminent changes to the way software development kit is used and will reject any application that didn't use the mandated tools.

Industry experts said the restrictions might be intended to stop developers re-using applications written with Adobe's Flash. Neither the iPhone nor iPad can run Flash applications.

Adobe released a software package, Creative Suite 5, on 12 April which can turn Flash code into iPhone code.

Flash programs are very widely used on the web and many games and videos are created using the software. However, under the new terms and conditions using Creative Suite 5 would lead to an application being rejected.