Friday, October 12, 2012

Just What is the iPad Mini, and is it Real? Could it be the Apple TV?

At this point in time, the ether is abuzz with rumors of the imminent iPad Mini launch. Of course, we should all recognize that the collective track record for Apple prognostications stinks. Apple rumors come and go and never resemble the real world. However, this latest rumor feels like something is missing. If there is an iPad mini will it just be a small screen iPad, or will it be something more?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

EU to Probe Microsoft, Google -- Will They Eventually Turn to Apple?

The European Union is reported ( to be investigating potential fines against Microsoft and Google. Microsoft is being investigated over the use of Internet Explorer as a default browser for Windows. Microsoft had previously agreed to offer users a choice of browsers when they installed Windows, but had reported that a 'technical glitch' resulted in distribution of copies of Windows that did not offer users a choice. Google is under investigation over allegations that search results on Google favor Google products in the results delivered.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I don't think Microsoft expects to sell many Surfaces ...

My next computer may be a Microsoft Surface-class device. But it may not be from Microsoft.

I would like to have one computer that is both easily portable and that has all of the power I need to get things done. Unfortunately, these two goals conflict with one another. A truly portable computer must make tradeoffs that I would rather not have when I sit down in my office.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Death of Traditional Advertising

In the United States, traditional advertising is under assault. What will this mean for the rest of our society? Many of the things we enjoy for free are funded by advertising dollars. As the flow of advertising dollars is redirected, how will related markets be impacted. In this article we consider the ways that traditional advertising is disappearing. In later articles we will look at adaptations that are occurring, or that may occur in advertising spending.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Best Buy: On the Right Track?

Recently, Best Buy announced a new strategy. They plan to shutter 50 stores and migrate towards smaller stores focused on mobile and tablet sales and service.

As I noted in an earlier post on showrooming, the traditional retail model is under attack by the internet and new approaches will need to emerge for brick and mortar operations. Local companies need to figure out the unique advantages that they derive from a local presence, and to build their operations around those advantages. In the showrooming article, I mention one approach that could be used by Target (and Best Buy), but it's certainly not the only approach.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Why Population Change May Mean More Robots in Your Future

Everyone 'knows' that the world's population is constantly increasing. Indeed, the U.S. census bureau projects that the world population will grow by 34% from 2012 to 2050. However, the story changes if we dig down to the country level. Consider the forecasts for the following countries

Friday, March 9, 2012

Is The Retina Display on the New iPad compatible with 4G LTE?

If you buy a new iPad with a retina display, you will download 1080P movies over wi-fi, not LTE. The problem is the price plans that are available from AT&T and Verizon.

Netflix estimates that an HD movie will take 'up to' 2.3 GB per hour. This means that one hour at 1080p can use up your entire 2GB to 3GB of data that you get on the carriers $30 plan. The solution to this is to download your movies over wi-fi before you hit the road. On the road, you will just do basic web browsing and email so you don't eat into your cap.

So, the question is ... why do you need LTE if you can only use it use for 3g-speed data downloads? Or, why do you need the retina display over LTE if your browsing caps limit the quality of the content you can see?

Companies Know No One Reads those Legal Agreements. So What?

In the legal world, how can one party agree to something if they literally can't read the agreement? Terms and Conditions imposed by consumer-facing organizations have been controversial for some time, at least in the eyes of some consumer advocates. However, in the light of a recent article on web site privacy policies, can these really be called "agreements"? How can one party agree to something if they literally can't read it?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Kodak's Mistake Wasn't What You Think

Much has been written about Kodak's recent bankruptcy filing, and the consensus seems to be that Kodak missed the shift into digital cameras. However, I don't agree.

The problem is that even a successful digital camera business couldn't carry the cost structure of a Kodak. At its heyday, the company owned virtually all of the high margin film and paper business. It is hard to conceive of a digital camera strategy that could generate similar incomes.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Rethinking The Fiction Publishing Business

jmtimages on Flickr via JISC cc Licensed
Recently, I discussed a few of the issues facing fiction book publishers. My prediction is that their biggest competition will come from authors who bypass publishers and distribute through electronic channels (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and even their personal web sites). Where does this leave the publisher in a post-printing world?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Dilemna for Publishers of Fiction

Photo Credit: George Eastman House via Flicker

The traditional market for publishing fiction is under assault. The first salvo came with the introduction of print-on-demand. However, it appears the real threat is from the electronic book movement. One of the most significant trends from these initiatives is the emergence of competition from self-published  new comers, or even established pro's that are taking their books directly to consumers. How should a publisher react in this environment?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Rethinking Retail: Transforming Bricks and Mortar

Photo by Waldec

The news has had articles about retailers struggling with the concept of “Showrooming”. This occurs when shoppers come to a bricks and mortar store to touch and feel products, and then go to the internet to buy them. Most recently Target has been highlighted for sending a letter to its vendors asking them for help with the issue, but is likely a problem for other retailers with physical locations, such as Best Buy, or even WalMart.

It appears that Target is taking defensive action to protect its turf, but would it be possible to embrace the trend and take advantage of Target’s physical presence? What if Target, literally turned itself into a showroom? Consider how this would work.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Why Apple's Patent Lawsuits Will Fail

Photo by Brett Jordan via Flicker
In the long run, Apple's strategy to sue their IOS competitors may be doomed.

Many (most?) technology patents describe individual features of an entire system, or ecology of innovation. For example, consider a patent to recognize phone numbers in emails and to launch a dialer when the number is selected. This patent by itself is not that interesting. It is only when the invention is embedded in a smartphone or other system that includes email and telephone calling that there is utility to this patent. In contrast, consider a patent for a novel drug. This patent covers the drug in its entirety and no other inventions are required to produce the drug.