The Future of Twitter [Spotted]

Posted: November 2nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Discovered | Tags: , | No Comments »

Mashable had this story about the future of Twitter.

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Cell Phones Use WiFi to Make Calls

Posted: October 25th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Foreshadowing | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Enough with the Apple rumors. Here we will take a look at the future of cell phones and Wi-Fi.

We have seen this with Skype. And T-Mobile’s Hotspot at Home. And we have also seen the amazing strength of many phones located in one place (they take down carriers). We have also seen how people obsessively stop in coffee shops to check their email.

The future is this:

All cellphones will have Wi-Fi built in. If you go to a coffee shop with Wi-Fi, you can call anyone, anywhere for free (services like Skype and Google Voice will help). Cell phone companies will encourage this because it will reduce the strain on their networks. And with the growing use of cell phones, we will need it. But what about tethering? You can see that this will become popular from a mile away. So can AT&T, which is why they decided not to support it immediately.  Tethering is good for consumers, but bad for networks.

And in terms of landlines, the future has already caught up, bring us a gadget called Ooma. Ooma is a phone that you purchase for a large sum, and never pay a subscription fee for life. The gadget works simply. You buy the phone, hook it up to your internet connection, and have free phone calls for the rest of your life.

Tethering will be one of the reasons that phone companies will do Wi-Fi cell phones. Now, what about the quality. Some say that the quality is worse on Wi-Fi calls and sounds like you are in a tin can. Well, isn’t that already the case with cell phones on networks? My hunch is that the quality will stay the same if not increase.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

Photo: JonJon2k8

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The Mighty Mouse and Other Mice [The Rumor Roundup]

Posted: October 17th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: The Rumor Roundup | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Apple, Apple. How you have dominated the news. Fine. Have it your way.

The blogs are talking about the Mighty Mouse.

MacRumors wrote this:

Engadget reports that Apple has filed testing information with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission for approval of a new Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. The filings briefly included basic drawings of the forthcoming devices, although they were quickly removed.A new Apple Bluetooth keyboard and mouse have arrived at the FCC, and they’ve got new model numbers of A1314 and A1296 — the current wireless keyboard is A1255 and the Mighty Mouse is A1197. That’s pretty much all we know for now, but these keyboard dimensions are also smaller than the current model, which rules out a return of the numeric keypad — sorry to dash your hopes, Excel jockeys.

Several reports in recent days have suggested that a redesigned Apple mouse has been under development and may be released alongside new iMacs in the very near future.

What about the rumors of a multi-touch mouse? Mashable had that rumor:

According to a new report from AppleInsider though, Apple’s looking to deal with this problem by completely redesigning the mighty mouse. Among the rumored changes: doing away with the track ball, utilizing touch-sensitive technology, and adding multipoint touch detection technology. Oh, and you might see this new Mighty Mouse before the end of this year.

AppleInsider is short on specific details, but refers to recent apple patents that refer to a mouse that translates how you touch and and how you move your hand into movement on the screen. It would also translate into clicks, thus eliminating the need for most buttons or even a track ball. Apple has favored touch interfaces in the last few years, most notably with the iPhone (iPhone), so this is not a huge surprise.

And the future of mice in general. Gizmodo got that story.

What do you think of all of the mice rumors? Let us know in the comments!

Photo: squealingrat

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What the Heck? Apple Acquires Maps Company

Posted: October 7th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Discovered, Guesswork | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Apple acquires maps company. Shocking news indeed. I know I am late to the actual news, but the idea of Apple owning a maps company is a rather intriguing idea. One that deserves attention, exploration and a little imagination…

First off, the facts. From Gizmodo:

The Apple/Google divorce continues to come into focus: Apple quietly bought Placebase, a mapping service company, back in July. Apple doesn’t buy companies it’s not going to use. Meaning, Apple’s getting into making their own maps. Peace out, Google.

According to Gizmodo, the main reason for the purchase was the fact that the application had a very good API with great customization abilities.

Many astute commenters in the Gizmodo article point out that if Apple takes Google Maps off of the iPhone, they will encounter many issues, including not having many key Google Map features (streetview, traffic).

My guess is that Apple will use this aquisition for several purposes.

A) Geotagging. The iPhone is becoming one of the most popular cameras on Flickr. I bet that Apple will use this company to expand their photo geo tagging features, implanting the equivalent to an Eye-Fi into the iPhone.

B) For iPhone Apps. When Apple first released the capability to have turn-by-turn apps in the app store, the stated one key limit. You cannot use Google Maps for the apps. While this was most likely done for legal purposes and other apps have taken unique paths to fulfill turn by turn apps, a native turn by turn app would be amazing.

What do you think of the maps company acquisition? Let us know in the comments.

Photo: Chris Blakeley

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The Reason The White Plastic Macbooks Still Exist And The Rumors Behind It

Posted: October 2nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Guesswork, The Rumor Roundup | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

At the next Apple event, Steve Jobs will mount the stage. He will brandish a little black remote. One click shows a picture of the current white Macbook. Then, with a magical Keynote transition, it move to another picture, this time the new Apple netbook/tablet.

Why do this? Isn’t this really stupid? Just get rid of the white Macbooks and introduce the new Apple netbook/tablet. That is what I would have thought too. But if that was true, why has Apple left the Macbooks alive for so long? Maybe because that transition is too perfect to pass up. Maybe in order to say, “Same price, more power, sleeker machine, 3G connection, no keyboard, and touch screen.”

Alright, enough with the overactive imagination, I want some facts. Or at least rumors.

AppleInsider had an article about Macbook rumors and said this:

the 13-inch portables are presently undergoing an industrial design overhaul that will see them reemerge in the coming months with a slimmer, lighter enclosure and restructured internal architecture to boot.

Interesting. While you interpret that, put this in your pipe and smoke it: A new rumor about the new Macbook netbook/tablet  input interface has been picked up. Again, AppleInsider has the dirt:

In a new patent application revealed this week, Apple has again disclosed plans for a multi-touch surface that could accommodate two full hands and distinguish between palms and individual fingers for typing, gestures and more.

The application, filed by Morrison and Foerster LLP in Los Angeles in June 2009 on behalf of Apple, expands on information first revealed by AppleInsider in early 2008. The massive document details a hand-based system that would allow “unprecedented integration of typing, resting, pointing, scrolling, 3D manipulation, and handwriting into a versatile, ergonomic computer input device.”

Make of these rumors what you will. But there is no doubt that this new development will be over hyped. I really liked The 2.0 Life‘s summary of all the hype:

From a Gizmodo article today, about the Apple tablet, and its potential for serving the textbook world:

The logic here is that textbooks are sold new at a few hundred dollars, and resold by local stores without any kickbacks to publishers. A DRM’d one-time-use book would not only be attractive because publishers would earn more money, but electronic text books would be able to be sold for a fraction of the cost, cutting out book stores and creating a landslide marketshare shift by means of that huge price differential.That’s seriously exciting stuff, and something that could quickly make the Apple tablet a staple among college students, who are a notoriously difficult group to reach.

The tablet can succeed here, where the Kindle is failing, because the tablet will (theoretically) allow for a wide range of data input. Having a way to read, highlight, take notes, and the like in a way that’s better than the Kindle could be huge. And, even if it’s an $800 device, with cheaper textbooks that’ll pay for itself in the span of a college career.

What do you think of the Macbook tablet/netbook’s career? Let us know in the comments.

Photo: acaben

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Apple iMacs and Macbooks [The Rumor Roundup]

Posted: September 28th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: The Rumor Roundup | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Alan Jackson in concert in HoustonWith all of this talk on new iMacs and Macbooks, I thought I would do a quick round up all of the rumors. First off, here is what we are dealing with: a refresh of the iMacs and and update of the white Macbooks.

Macbook Rumors

AppleInsider had this post on the Macbooks claiming:

As is the case with the upcoming iMac makeover, little is known about the revised industrial design of the new MacBook models, other than hints towards a thinner, sleeker enclosure that will embrace Apple’s cutting-edge internal battery technology.

That said, one person familiar with pre-production units indicated to AppleInsider several weeks ago that models awaiting certification were seen in white polycarbonate shells, consistent with the sole $999 model currently available from the Cupertino-based company.

Basically, there will be a refresh of the Macbooks, with the same or cheaper price and a sleeker, thinner body. This is said to happen in the coming weeks.

iMac Rumors

According to several sources, along with the Macbook refresh will come a iMac refresh. This is supposed to happen at the same time as the Macbook refresh. I liked Gizmodo’s summary of the rumor:

New iMacs aren’t just coming soon, they’ve been rolling out for two weeks, according to AppleInsider. They’re thinner and look more like the LED Cinema Display, with mystery features that make them the “most versatile ever.”

One of those features might be Blu-ray (uh, finally), and another might something “related to audio.” AppleInsider says they’ll be extending the “capabilities of at least one technology introduced on the Mac platform as recently as last fall,” which to us means either an LED display, or the unibody build. (Or hey, maybe it’s a super Mini DisplayPort.)

I would agree that most of what is mentioned will happen. In a past article here, I mentioned what I thought future iMacs would contain.

Now that we have SD card slots in MacBook Pros, it won’t surprise you that I think that new announcements for refreshed Mac Pros and iMacs will include SD card slots. It’s obvious that Apple thinks that these are the future.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

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The Looming Tablets

Posted: September 27th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Discovered | Tags: , , | No Comments »

TechCrunch recently came out with this article on the future of tablets. This part is particularly interesting:

So what can we expect in the next year? Well, first we have the CrunchPad. When all the bugs are worked out, it will be an amazing device – I’ve seen it. And I’m not just saying that because I’ve been intimately involved in the design process, because I wasn’t – that gives me a bit of perspective. Expect the CrunchPad to be a excellent device for blogging – that’s what Mike made it for – and for web apps. Don’t expect much in the way of media.

Then there’s the iPad. This will eclipse the industry and for the rest of the year that’s all you’ll hear about. Trust me. Apple could require you to give this device three drops of blood every morning in order to satisfy the demonic hell-beast soul trapped inside it and we would, gladly. The release will be on par with the iPhone release and they’ll sell a million of them.

Then you have Microsoft’s Courier. It’s impressive, but it’s Microsoft; don’t expect that thing to take shape for two years and don’t expect it to take off until the second generation. Like the Zune, Microsoft will make a product but they won’t make it good until they have a little time to mull it over. I don’t think the Courier will be a player in 2010.

As for the rest of the devices, expect slow uptake by price conscious consumers and folks who don’t think it’s “cool” to own “name brand” technology and are real “hackers” (read: teenagers and European students). Archos, a9_front_11for example, is doing a lot of good work in the tablet space but they’re an also-ran. They are going the Tablet OS route, which is no good. Creative has some devices planned and it’s also clear that ChromeOS could power a nice device – provided HTC makes it.

As for connectivity most of these will have a 3G option – although I doubt the iPad will have 3G built-in. WiFi is an obvious second-best.

As for size, tablets, at least with capacitive screens, are weighed down by a huge hunk of metal that shields the electronics from the screen. This hunk of metal – and the glass – prevents us from getting a bigger iPod Touch and is what is keeping the iPad from coming out sooner. Once the world’s (i.e. China’s) scientists solve this problem we’ll get what we want. Until then it’s resistive all the way.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

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The Reason Apple Will Not Put This on The iPhone

Posted: September 26th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Impending Tech | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

A recent Gizmodo article showed a new application that would change the lock screen on the iPhone. You can take a look at the video below:

They also said:

I need SmartScreen in my iPhone, an application that allows you to place Dashboard-like widgets on the lock screen, so you can quickly access small pills of information quickly without having to get into applications. Smart, smooth, and oh-so-nice.I don’t know about you, but I wish I could have access to bits of information in my iPhone without having to access the applications themselves. Calendar, Twitter, weather, Facebook updates… widgets that will only display data and, with one click, go straight to the app itself to do an action. That will allow the iPhone to have a customized front end like the Motoblur in the new Motorola Cliq.

I don’t know about you, but I will have to disagree with this request for several reasons.

A) Information overload. Having this app would only increase the information overload on the iPhone.

B) Simplicity works. Not chaos. This application would add unwanted chaos to the clean unlock screen, taking away from the beauty.

C) Battery. The iPhone already has a short battery life. Having an application like this would decrease the already limited capacity.

D) It’s not Apple. Apple is simple, clean and easy. This would not be.

What do you think? Would you jailbrake just for the capability? Will Apple put this on the iPhone? Let us know in the comments!

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A World of (Google) Wave

Posted: September 21st, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Foreshadowing | Tags: , , | 3 Comments »

Google Wave is coming out really, really soon. And by that I mean that Google is releasing 100,000 invites on September 30th.

Now, Google Wave is supposed to be an amazing product. In fact, the hype was so large, that companies started trying to rip it off with quick releases of a imitation. You can even take a look at some of the products, Shareflow and PyGoWave.

But enough with these petty inconveniences. Most people just want to use the real McCoy. And while only a lucky few have a developer invite, (I count myself in this tally) anyone can get an email letting them know the second Google Wave is ready by entering their email here.

Now, on to the information. What is Google Wave? Well, Google Wave is basically a mash up of Gmail, Google Docs, Google Chat and Wikipedia. Described that way, Google Wave sounds like a flop. But taking a look at it from another perspective gives the service new hopes.

Unlike communication platforms like Twitter and Gmail, Google Wave can be hosted on your own servers. That means that even if Google’s servers take a hit and go down, your communications are still up. Another great thing about Wave is its collaboration features. With Wave, you can collaborate on projects and see other’s additions almost instantly.

Another small, but wonderful feature of Wave is the spell check. Unlike regular spellcheckers, Google Wave uses the information collected by billions of Google searches to guess what words you meant to say. For example, if I wrote the sentence “Mary hat a lidle lam,” Google would correctly assume that I meant to say “Mary had a little lamb.” This seemingly insignificant feature may pave the way for better spell checkers.

Mashable put out an article a while back on how Wave will change the web. I really liked two of the subjects it brought up. The article talked about commenting and forums for websites and blogs, a topic I think will hold true when Wave comes out. The other was about customer support.

This idea actually comes from a thread in the Google Wave development preview titled “What Will You Use it For?” It’s a remarkable discussion and brainstorming session over the potential of wave. One of the most fleshed-out ideas in the thread, though, is Wave for customer support. Here are some of the bullet-points for how Wave could be used in customer support:

– Sending trouble tickets
– Incident tracking can be a wave
– Call center analytics gadget
– Distribution list gadget
– Customer meta-data gadget
– Surveys can be a wave

Real-time customer support? Yeah, someone please build that.

Google Wave. The possible future of communications. The only way that Wave will be truly successful if there is widespread adoption of the platform.

What do you think is the future of Google Wave? Let us know in the comments!

Photo: tylerdurden1

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Tomorrow's Apple Event

Posted: September 8th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Guesswork | Tags: , , | 3 Comments »

I know, I know, way too much Apple. But that’s news. OK. The rumors are in for the September 9th Apple event. I really liked VentureBeat’s run down on tomorrow’s event. They boiled it down to this:

Some sort of iTunes enhancement. Depending on what day you read MacRumors, the major music labels are either working with Apple or working against Apple on enhanced digital formats for album and single releases. The rumor mill is spewing every geeks’ dream feature list: Blu-Ray! Facebook! Twitter! An even more complicated way to poke around with apps you don’t really use! The latter is a given.- A tablet computer. The Wall Street Journal reported as fact a few weeks ago that Jobs was working hard on a touchscreen device. Would Steve Jobs tease us with a music event and then hit us over the head with a new type of Mac? Anyone who witnessed Jobs’ cruelly clever fake-out of Motorola in 2005, where he held an entire launch event for their phone before dropping the iPod Nano on us, secretly hopes he’ll do something like that tomorrow.

Apple TV update. Nah. Given the two-time failure of Apple TV to steal the world from Netflix and Comcast, I’m skeptical they’ll go against the Beatles with strike three.

OK. Here is my take. Apple announces new iPods in September. And because Apple is trying to get rid of the iPod Touches, they might be getting ready for a new, cheaper iPod Touch. The new iPod Touch will have similar pricing to the iPhone 3G, and have a camera and compass. I would also say that a refresh on the iPod Classic, Nano and Shuffle is in order. The Classic might be downgraded to a iPod with a SSD to increase the speed and prevent drive failures.

Let us know what you think the Apple event will bring in the comments!

Photo: el patojo

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