A site made for all you radio listeners

31 07 2006

This site is so cool I needed to blog about it real quick.

http://www.yes.com

You can go to this site, and it lists every song at every minute that comes on the radio across the nation. Remember how you always think to yourself “man I was listening to this song on the radio, but I don’t know the name…” Well now you do. The interface is really nice and you can buy the song on iTunes as well.

Pretty neat…check it out.





Coming soon in technology…from the big guns

31 07 2006

I figure it’s about time to do some tech previews of the biggest and best tech companies out there. Earnings were announced and some where happy while others were very sad. This means, however, that the road ahead is extremely important. The back to school season and the holiday season are probably the two greatest times for consumer electronics and you know that after all of the competition this year, each company is going to put their best products out there. So let’s begin.

Microsoft

We all know by know that they have this product named Zune. I had blogged very early on that there were rumors that an iPod “killer” was on its way but it was simply that – a rumor. Steve Ballmer of Microsoft confirmed last week that the Microsoft product Zune is very real and is going to be a huge product in the market. A picture of this is shown below:

Here is my take on the Zune product. I think it’s going to be very difficult for Microsoft to initially gain a lot of traction in the market. I think the pricing that they set this at will really determine how many people will gain attention. Even the iPod took a long time to gain attention among the young demographic. I remember when I first got my iPod in June of 2003, I had to explain to people back then what an iPod does. Here are some other issues that the Zune player can face:

  • With so much traction in the market, Apple users are generally tentative to move not only to a different mp3 player, but also a different software. It is because of iTunes that the iPod has been so successful and transferring those songs to WMA format will be painstaking and time consuming
  • WiFi and mp3 enough of a value proposition? Without full scale wireless access, ultimately it can be a bit useless. I guarantee you that 2 iPod generations from now we will see a wifi ipod
  • There will always be competition in the marketplace – the key is how the dominant player will react. If Apple plays its cards right, we should see this just like Apple is in the PC market….ironic isnt it..

Expected Date: November 14th (according to MSFT sources)
Apple

Since we’re talking about Apple – we might as well see what’s on their roadmap. Apple usually comes out around this time (right before people begin to purchase their back to school accessories) and announces a huge new product. Last year it was the iPod Nano, two years ago it was the announcement of the click-wheel..etc…etc. So what about this year? What does Steve Jobs have up his sleeve? Well initial reports indicate that we’re going to see either one of two things. An advancement of the iPod nano (which wouldn’t be that cool), or an iPhone. The photos circulating around the internet are all fake and design oriented, but the idea is pretty close. I wonder if they are going to team up with Motorola at some point since they did with the SLVR and ROKR phones.

I doubt the iPhone will actually look like this but it seems like it would logically be a slider phone. The problem with phones, however, are that Apple right now is probably cutting some deal with a phone provider (Cingular most likely) to put it on the market. This means that you would have to purchase a phone plan in order to buy the phone which would make it difficult to sell at the Apple stores. Additionally, I must say that this will probably be a GSM phone (obv) but the slider functionality (which would make the most sense) would be interesting. Hopefully they announce it soon…

Expected date: Before School Starts (Late August – Early September)

Google

Honestly, these guys announce something new almost every week that it is really tough to figure out what they are going to do next. This summer we saw some very large products get launched and some more which are slated to be released soon. As the summer started, we saw Google Spreadsheets launch to a moderate audience (still in Beta). After that, Google Checkout launched and was coined as the “PayPal killer” which obviously didn’t happen. Just last week they launched google traffic which gives you real time updates of traffic which can be accessed through your phones as well (really cool btw – best google product I’ve seen yet). I really think that Google has become extremely dominant in one thing. Releasing a product frequently, getting relative traction in the market, and then ultimately finding it’s niche in the middle of the market. With the exception of search and arguably maps, google product have done okay. Gtalk was recently said to have 44,000 users….versus AIM which has over like 300,000.

So what’s next? Well today, they began to offer Google Writely, a word processing software which is able to be modified online and saved online. You can sign up for an account now…*I already did*

Expected Date: Google Writely in beta now…like every other one of their products..


Conclusions

There are a lot of cool products coming out and I’ll be blogging soon about some of the other companies and their roadmaps, including eBay, Yahoo and YouTube…

Just my $.02

–SD

Dell blowup count: 3 to date





Another day…another dell

28 07 2006

I had to do a quick update because of the response I got on people seeing the dell explode…

Another one..and this one shows the aftermath of it…

Scary stuff huh…

$.02

–SD





Technology – It’s not just what’s on the inside…

27 07 2006

I think in the past 3-4 years, we’ve seen a rise in technology stores in very high end shopping malls. Granted technology, and high priced technology goes hand in hand with higher income households, but it’s interesting to see how certain companies began to set the style and standard for others. Design not only played a role in the way they developed technology, but also the way they presented it to the customer. Design within the showroom was just as important as the technology itself.

When we think back to the way we used to purchase technology, we would sometimes go to a place like “tech superstores” where you would have rows and rows of computers and electronics right next to the papers and pens. It was never cool back then to really buy into technology, never quite hip to get the latest PDA at the time. Perceptively, you were still a nerd for liking technological instruments and stores like Comp-USA or Office Depot did nothing to change that perception.

Then came along the company from Cupertino California named after a fruit that realized – hey we may not have perceptively the best working computer but we can at least make it look cool. They designed the Imac with different colors and people, including yours truly, thought who would actually buy a computer based on what it looks like on the outside…

Well it was that line of thinking that brought Apple back out of its slump in the late 90’s. As the computer industry was booming, Apple was pretty much doing the exact opposite…and when the bubble burst, Apple had an almost “Eureka” moment to bring them back to the top. But what sustained their growth was not just the fact that they made cool looking computers….but rather the fact that they presented in really cool looking stores. Behold the Apple store in NYC,NY – becoming almost a landmark for all tourists…

We’ve come a very long way since the days that computers were meant exclusively for geeks. We live in a world today where it’s actually cool to have the latest technology and it’s almost necessary to sell your product in a showroom in order to get traction in the market. Many companies have taken Apple’s approach (some even before Apple) to focus more on the design of their showrooms than necessarily the product itself.

Nintendo is a great example of this….their new store “Nintendo World” is a cross between M.I.B. style chairs and plasma screens making kids go crazy.

Samsung – in an effort to promote their UMPC has also openned a new showroom in the Time Warner building which looks more like a jewerly store than really a technology store…

And when you reach Apple’s status of having Mac stores become ubiquitous around the country, you can do cool things like put grass on the top of your stores in the middle of Michigan Avenue in Chicago…

Things to do before senior year ends: Play soccer up there….

Just my $.02

–SD





1000 hits!

26 07 2006

Hey guys,

Wanted to say thank you to everyone who has been reading the blog for the first 2 weeks.  We hit 1000 hits today total and have been averaging around 110 hits a day which is awesome.  I’ll keep bloggin if you keep reading…that’s the deal..

–SD





The Wireless Revolution – Part 2…

25 07 2006

I’m not sure if many of you remember when Intel first came out with their wireless centrino marketing tactic but they essentially prepared the world for the WiFi revolution. This was the point when centrino just came out and people began to realize that they didn’t need to be at their workstation to browse the Internet. Well, since those days of seeing the clever person with a laptop in the middle of a football field connected to the Internet, the wireless revolution has come a long way. We started out with all of them operating on the same bandwidth at 802 but soon were getting faster and faster speeds. For instance – we began with 802.11b routers which could cover your home and partially your neighbors signals. Then we got 802.11g routers which would cover the same distances but at higher speeds. Now we’ve come to the n router revolution….

So now we have to ask ourselves, how much further can we go until we hit the max. Well, that is the eternal question that everyone asks themselves. With new bandwidths coming out (802.11 versus 802.16), in a year, what can we do with “wifi on steroids.” We find ourselves in a very similar situation that we were in when the wireless revolution began and that means one thing – intel wants to promote the hell out of it. Wifi on steroids as they coin it, can do significantly more than your current wireless technologies on your computer.

Intel announced today the Rosedale II which will be available to pick up wiMax signals. Ultimately, they will be able to set up access points around cities, eliminating the need for home routers and networking. A couple of problems with this are that too many users can definitely slow the connection down, and the fact that there is no right answer to pricing. We’ve always had to pay for the Internet – but not that companies like Google are throwing it out for free, other companies like SBC and such are scratching their heads. Google has already set out access points around Mountain View and if you know the SSID, you can use it for free…if you live around there – check out their map of access points:

http://wifi.google.com/city/mv/apmap.html

In any case – now the question is who gets the Internet – and do some people get better speeds than others since they are more local? Well it’s a great thing we have people in congress to determine this testy issue known as Net Neutrality. I’m not sure if many of you have seen this clip of John Stewart explaining it, but it is truly hilarious:

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In any case – I think we can all realize that the Internet is the finest example of a level playing field. There is no one on the Internet who is better than others (though many like to think so) which makes the access to this service so difficult. Ultimately – if there is free Internet around the city – then it should be available to everyone….at the same cost and speed…

So if you’re looking for a computer to buy before college…make sure to get Intel’s Rosedale II chip – give about 2 months and you’ll start to see ad’s around the country promoting it…

Just my $.02

–SD





Own a Dell? Be careful…

20 07 2006

Many of you may have seen this story already but I had to speak about it after today’s news.  About 2-3 weeks ago a report came in from Osaka Japan from a conference that a dell computer, sitting all by itself just suddenly exploded!  Don’t believe me?  Check out this photo of it….

Umm yeah…that’s not like something that just caught on fire…that’s an explosion.  Here is the news that came out today which really was the kicker.  Apparently, Dell knew about this 2 years ago and failed to actually do a recall on the matter even though they had photos and videos of overheating laptops.  This information was given from a former employee so people aren’t really sure whether this is true or not.

Nonetheless….I write this blog on a dell but I have gloves on and have a fire extinguisher close by….I miss my thinkpad..

$.02

–SD