Every few years, some new technology or application comes along that everyone's sure will miraculously conquer every obstacle in its path and, in some ludicrously short time period, make existing technology obsolete. And then, long after all the media hype fades away and investors' checkbooks disappear, well, nothing happens.
So what? Who cares? Why bother talking about our industry's bombs, the next big things that weren't? Well, for one thing, it's interesting to note how hungry we all are for news about new technology. It gets us excited. We complain about media hype, but love the hype.
It's also fascinating how existing technology has this way of hanging on by its fingernails way past the point of its predicted obsolescence. More importantly, we learn more from mistakes than we do from successes. That's part of the scientific method: hypothesis, test, learn, repeat until you get it right.
Lastly, those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Those are all good enough reasons for me. So here are my top 10 technology flops. But first, some ground rules. I stuck to the last 50 years or so. And I avoided specific company products. We've heard enough about the IBM PCjr, Apple Newton, Microsoft Bob, and OS2 to last 10 lifetimes.… Read more
We hope the specs listed for this uber-media player didn't get lost in the translation from its Chinese manufacturer's site but, if that turns out to be the case, it wouldn't be surprising. According to PMP Today, the L1200 made by Newman-Hyun has a built-in 12-megapixel camera that can rotate up to 180 degrees, along with its 3-inch QVGA screen, SD card slot, and MP3 and video playback features. As of all that weren't enough, it's supposedly selling for only 999 yuan, or about $132. They had us at the 12 megapixels.
It's the law of entropy: as your digital music collection increases, you're bound to run into mislabeled songs, duplicate tracks in multiple file formats, and other problems. Apple's iTunes does a fine job of displaying song data and letting you edit it--as long as the song's in a format that iTunes supports (if you try to import a WMA file, for instance, iTunes will ask if you want to convert it first). Microsoft's Windows Media Player has an advanced tag editor, but it's buried a few menu options down, and it only lists songs … Read more
If you haven't heard of Zingspot.com yet, you soon might.
Zingspot is likely related to Zing Systems, a company that Dell acquired in August. Zingspot.com is described in the document filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as "an online consumer portal for digital entertainment content acquisition and distribution." Being a hardware maker, it would make more sense to expect Dell to make a device rather … Read more
Reuters reported on Monday afternoon that social-networking site MySpace.com plans to launch a "news feed" feature in the near future.
The statement was made by Peter Levinsohn, president of MySpace parent company (and News Corp. division) Fox Interactive Media, at the Reuters Media Summit on Monday. "The concept of a news feed is something we are very focused on, and we'll be well down the path in the next 30 to 45 days," Levinsohn said at the summit.
The news feed, which provides a user with updates from the people on his or her … Read more
Hey, Facebook users: Put down those virtual hamburgers. It's time to talk politics.
The New York Times reported Monday that Facebook and ABC News are close to announcing an agreement to collaborate on political coverage. The two will co-sponsor debates for both parties in New Hampshire shortly before the presidential primaries, and Facebook members will be able to "follow" ABC reporters and interact with news content in a special "U.S. Politics" category.
Here's a link to a presentation I gave last week. Forgive me for the "conversation 2.0" moniker but it's a catchy way to pinpoint what's happening right now in the world of marketing. Marketers and brands have always had conversations, but at a much slower pace and mediated by professional parties. That's no longer the case. Conversation 2.0, that is, the Web 2.0-enabled conversation, shifts places and times; it is ubiquitous and doesn't pause--it is, in all senses of the meaning, a "never ending conversation."
Thus, "social … Read more
Writing up a list of items for which I'm thankful is such a cliche at this time of year...that I can't pass up the opportunity to add my own contribution to the Thanksgiving fray. I have very little need for 3D turkey screensavers, but luckily, there are a few more valuable applications listed on CNET Download.com upon which I can bestow appropriate tribute.
In honor of Thanksgiving week, I've decided to serve up a heaping helpful of my nine "most useful" Windows utilities on the Download.com site. Now, notice that I didn'… Read more