19 posts • joined Monday 29th October 2007 03:28 GMT
How Now, ReplayTV?
How sad this came at least ten years too late for ReplayTV, Marc Andreessen's original big post-Netscape investment gamble. Unlike TiVo, ReplayTV went ahead like it just didn't care what the TV companies wanted... So once it added show sending via the (dodgy and slow but workable) 2000-era Internet and automatic ad-skipping, it was sued into oblivion, opening up the market in PVRs to Tivo and in mp3 players to Apple.
Not Copying If Apple Does It?
No, the principle is that Apple is claiming a design patent for a confluence of design trends that had already emerged by 2007 and were already popping up all over the place by 2006 because of then-recent advances in radio/chip fabrications, lower-powered screens and economical hardened glass assemblies.
What's Up With This Judge?
From the preliminary complete injunction based on rectangle ownership to denying Samsung the right to present to the Jury proof that the F700's iPhone-like design pre-dated the iPhone by a couple of years, it really seems like she is playing for the Peninsula home team.
You know, if any of Apple fans had real sense, they would driven 20 minutes out of SF, either south into the Peninsula or across the Bay Bridge into Oakland. They could have popped into an open-24-hours Walmart and picked up the new Ipad 3 at a minute past midnight. It takes a special kind of person to resolutely line up outside a store many hours later than it became available and then claim you had to do that to be "first" to get something.
Nook Color Good, Nook Tablet Better
I am surprised that the new Amazon Fire fails to out-do the ancient Nook Color. It's thicker and chunkier, the screen is dimmer, it lacks an expandable memory card, and the UI stinks of beta. By comparison, I can install Android 2.3.4 onto a memory card with a couple of clicks, pop it into the Nook, reboot and I have full Android (yes, with Google Apps) and no rooting required (and I can run AMazon Kindle of the Nook). Pop out the card and reboot and I can have stock Nook again. I expect even greater things from the Nook Tablet! Hoping Kindle Fire is not the Macintosh/DOS to Nook's Amiga...
Facebook's Secret to Success?
"Google and Facebook somehow managed to grow up in the crucible of Silicon Valley, without being forced to grow revenues or profits too fast."
Well, for Facebook at least, gobs and gobs of dodgy Russian investment cash from shady business interests certainly helped alleviate pressure for an early exit for investors and employees:
1980s Computer Screens Did This
Sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but there were honking great big CRT displays in the 1980s that rotated between landscape and portrait mode and adjusted aspect ratio on the fly based "on the physical orientation of the device". I had one, and used it on a Mac and on an Amiga.
Saccades vs SMooth Pursuit
Only half right. There are actually two major different brain systems that control eye movement. Saccades, as you say, are rapid jumps. But there's a whole separate system called smooth pursuit. Actually, I guess, there's also the vestibulo-ocular reflex, which is a third system. These all act independently and evolved at different times.
The Horse's Mouth
It's always amusing when people pop up echoing Mr Jobs' comments as the obvious truth. Just because he says something does not make it true, even though there are apparently many people out there ready to repeat his comments until they begin to*sound* like truth.
Before the Nano there were lots of fine flash players. Some had very small memories, and some had slots that let you plug in larger cards as tech evolved. I have a 2001-era flash player that came with a measly 128 MB on board but now does 4 GB very nicely, thanks very much, and Rockbox.
As usual though, most APple fans prefer to think that before Apple releases a product everything else out there was so crap it's not even worth bothering with.
Too Legs Good, Four Legs Better!
Jobs spent several years dissing flash memory MP3 players from the likes of iRiver because Apple did not yet have a flash player aka Nano available. According to him, disk was where it was and flash was pointless. Then suddenly one year everything changed. If others show there's $$$ to be made with 7" tablets, count on Apple getting out there to hoover up the cash.
Instant Search - 1970s Tech
Oh come on, the original EMACS had instant search results back in the 1970s. It's been a feature of document engines since the 1980s. Any patent for it is surely not valid any more.
Impressions? Yahoo really is stuck in the 1990s
"If one of our advertisers is not getting enough impressions, we turn the dial and increase their bids, to make sure we fulfill the contract"
This is the crux of the problem right here. Without measured actions, advertisers might as well be flinging poop at shadows on a wall. Yahoo is still unnaturally hot on selling *impressions*, which is a pre-web technique shoehorned into an interactive, monitored medium. Throwing all this fancy vector parameterisation maths at *impressions* really is like putting incredibly fine, detailed lipstick on a pig. Yahoo has bigger issues, such as the way every few years it manages to erase or mangle its existing user content and media so that all its "communities" are fecked (see Yahoo Groups discussion above) and leave Yahoo in despair. Yahoo is nearly 20 years old and has utterly failed to build any durable community beyond a few isolated silos such as Flickr. Instead of concentrating on maintaining and expanding its human web (with all the added value of peer-reviewed networks and content and pricy lucrative ad opportunities), it's focussed on selling *impressions*. It's the WW2 Polish Cavalry Charge of the Interwebs: magnificent, but not webby.
Yahoo - Coulda Shoulda Woulda
Over its long history Yahoo has managed to invent/buy in pretty much every great web idea before anybody else, and then managed to shut down/lose/ignore every single one of them. More than a decade ago, back in the late-1990s, it had user accounts/personas, photos, IM, email, profiles, online notebooks/storage, geocities, streaming, music, etc. It could have done Web 2.0/Facebook weborrhea half a decade before everyone else. Instead it just pissed it away through neglect and active mismanagement, deleting user profiles semi-capriciously, changing, renaming or neutering services. It's basically been crap since about Year 3 of its existence - I think its corporate DNA was fundamentally crap from the getgo. The only reason it has totered along for so long is that it happened to be in there so early, it had a huge pile of cash, and most banner ad buyers are lethargic.
In 2003 I had an informal lunchtime chat with a Googler who was heading off to Ireland along with some others on a quick tour of the country hosted by some Irish govt development people. He was curious as to why they wanted him to visit places called "Sligo" and "Galway" when he'd only ever heard of Dublin. I explained to him there was a policy of trying to sucker companies into moving out of Dublin and into the arse-end of nowhere in the name of "decentralisation". I had to use equivalencies such as "Ozarks" and "Cajuns" so he could understand what kind of deal they were trying to set up with Google. Needless to say, Dublin won out.
"At last, a Tablet PC done right" - HP Tm2
Yes, it was "done right" over six months ago when HP brought out the Tm2. Basically, all the same specs as this Acer but cheaper, plus hybrid switchable discrete/integrated gfx (ATI and Intel). It looks sexier, it's cheaper, and you can boot OSx86 on it to get the OSX experience on a tablet that does not suck.
H.254 Is Neither Free Nor Open
It's impressive how so many people seem to assume that because they can downloads lots of MKVs in H.264 format that it is "open". It is not. It is a patent-encumbered MPEG-4 codec and the vendors of products which make use of H.264/AVC are expected to pay patent licensing royalties for the patented technology. If you are in a country that is benighted enough to assert software patents, you will owe money to the ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) together with the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG).
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