Thursday, November 29, 2007

Mossberg on Kindle: stick to your knitting

"Amazon has nailed the electronic-book shopping experience. But it has a lot to learn about designing electronic devices." LINK

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Slight quieting on the Western Front

“There is a sense of quiet on the streets that we have not seen for a long time in Baghdad,” he told me, “but there is also a big question mark in the shadows of every alley. We don’t know what is lurking back there, but we suspect, and evidence suggests, that it is the same set of problems that were always there.” James Glanz, The Times’s Baghdad bureau chief, in opinion by Thomas Friedman: LINK

Utterly brilliant banner ad

Clever mac banner ad from Amit Gupta on Vimeo.

Monday, November 19, 2007

First Drive of a Hydrogen Car that feels production ready

Honda Clarity. Worth reading even if you could care less about cars. LINK to Jalopnik.

Aptera: another thing I want

I think we're only at the beginning of radically new, beautiful and functional forms of transportation. High energy costs are going to force tremendous creativity. LINK to Jalopnik

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Blackberry personal server

I'll be posting a review of a book on Blackberry enterprise server soon. But in the meantime, here's interesting news from Blackberry Cool: LINK. The "personal Blackberry server" called Blackberry Unite! is rumored to be coming to the United States. It launched in a test market, Spain, a month or two back (though how much beyond press release that launch actually is remains in question, at least to us in the US). But what I'm waiting for is full wireless sync that will automatically suck your calendar from your laptop or from your calendar in the cloud and send it wirelessly to your Blackberry, no server or software installation required at all. That would be the sort of Android ap that has every right to claim part of the $10 million Google pot-of-gold announced the other day and of which RIM had better be a bit watchful.

Commentary on how "open" Google really is

Some excellent commentary from Wired about the meaning of Google's recent "open source" efforts: LINK.

Android Dreams

Here's the video posted up by Google about the new Android SDK. What on earth does that mean (if you're not from the world of 2muchtech)? Android is the new open source mobile phone platform from Google and the SDK is the Software Developer's Kit. There is of course no Gphone per se, but there will be amazing new phone applications developed over time for a rapidly proliferating base of hardware. It will be fascinating to see whether Android will produce a similar situation relative to the iPhone as Windows relative to Macintosh: while Windows was never open source, its ubiquity across multiple hardware platforms allowed it to multiply compared to Macintosh by a factor of 20x. Will Android make the iPhone merely the inspiration for a 20x proliferation of Android-based phones in innumerable shapes and sizes, with the sort of overwhelming variety of software that Windows still enjoys?

But what I don't understand is why, with all their billions, they have to make such an important video seem like a cheap infomercial? Do they somehow think it will be more authentic if they use distracting backgrounds from the bowels of Google's offices? And does Sergey Brin have to wear a grey t-shirt that looks like it was just pulled out of the dirty clothes hamper and seems like he's been chewing it around the area of the neck? I hope that Android applications don't come with the same aesthetic. Just because Apple polishes everything they do to the finest point of perfection, you don't have to foreswear taking a shower in order to stand in contrast to them!

More: best bluetooth earpiece

A nice cutaway and video of the best bluetooth earpiece: LINK from Metacool. And my links to the Jawbone here: LINKS.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Women discriminate based on race; men don't. (?!?)

"Another clear gender divide, this one less expected, emerged in our findings on racial preferences, reported in a forthcoming article in the Review of Economic Studies. Women of all the races we studied revealed a strong preference for men of their own race: White women were more likely to choose white men; black women preferred black men; East Asian women preferred East Asian men; Hispanic women preferred Hispanic men. But men don't seem to discriminate based on race when it comes to dating. A woman's race had no effect on the men's choices." LINK on Slate

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Why we risk falling behind . . .

Besides the fact that the Canadian dollar hit $1.08 against the greenback, here's another reason to be concerned: software is moving to Canada because it can't import foreign workers into the United States as easily.
If you want to understand why Microsoft is about to open a 700-employee software development centre in Richmond, British Columbia . . . (more at: LINK)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Willfullness and design

Here's a good little comment about the importance of "willfullness" as a necessary part of the design of good products: LINK from, an Apple weblog.

It refers to a feature in the new Apple Leopard operating system that seems to be universally disliked by users. What interests me is the acceptance of what appears to be a design flaw because it represents an element of the passion for good design that is evident throughout the Apple operating system. The reviewer's final comment: "If you want an OS with more innovation and cohesion than Vista then you need to learn to live with a bit of willfulness."