Saturday, May 27, 2017

Will Branson Investing in Square Take it to the Top?

Virgin Atlantic founder Richard Branson has dialed up his investment in the mobile payment system Square


Consumer Reports recommends Android over iPhone again

Consumer Reports recommends the iPhone 4S and says it fixed the 4’s antenna problems. Still, the group says Android devices are better.


Hard drive production woes get worse

There are now reports that both Western Digital and Samsung have told their Taiwanese distributors that they will not be able to supply hard disk drives this month.

And last night Seagate, in a filing with the SEC, said it expects that total industry HDD shipments this quarter will be limited to 110 to 120 million units, far less than the 180 million units forecasted before the flood. That’s even worse than the predictions I heard earlier this week.

Again, many of the hard drives for PCs destined to be sold this quarter have already been manufactured. Still, the flooding will certainly reduce the number of PCs available significantly, both this quarter and into the next….more on Forward Thinking


HP to keep PC Business

Hewlett-Packard isn’t going out of the PC business after all. Today, CEO Meg Whitman announced the company would continue to make and sell PCs, reversing a decision made by her predecessor Léo Apotheker in August — a decision that riled investors and employees and led to his ouster in late September. Since the August announcement, HP’s future has been repeatedly questioned, as has the competence of its senior management. The appointment of board member Whitman as CEO added to the criticisms.

After assuming the CEO role, Whitman promised to assess the PC business’s future quickly, to try to end the hand-wringing by employees, shareholders, and the press. A month later, she delivered on that promise.


Steve Jobs basically committed suicide

Look, we loved Steve Jobs, but this is why the old Apple magic sometimes can be a problem.  If a doctor tells you something is wrong with you, do not try to treat it with freaking tea leaves and spirits. We go to court to take kids from parents who try that crap on them for a reason.  Medicine works, tea leaves, not so much.


Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 56 earlier this month. In this video, Walter Isaacson, author of the upcoming official Steve Jobs biography, talks about why Jobs refused life-saving surgery. Catch the entire interview with Walter Isaacson Sunday on 60 Minutes.


Freeware Pick: Fresh UI


Fresh UI is a new solution for configuring and optimizing Windows. Loaded with hundreds of useful hidden settings in Windows XP/NT/2000/9x/Me, this software covers customizing and optimizing techniques such as

Customizing Windows User Interface (UI)
Optimizing system settings
Hardware settings
Customizing Windows application settings
Control user environment with policies.

Fresh UI is organized by section for easy navigation and complete with detailed descriptions for easy reference

Supported Operating System:
Windows 95, Windows 95 OSR2, Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, Windows Me, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, windows Vista, Windows 7


The award for best Steven Jobs Obituary goes to The Onion

The  Onion had a great short article memorializing Steve Jobs today and it says it all while still being funny as hell. Epic win.



Apple Chairman Steve Jobs dies at 56 years of age


Our earlier post today about the death of Apple came prior to the sad news that Steve Jobs passed away today. Had we known this was coming we may have titled our post differently. Condolences to Steve and his family.

Via Apple’s we site:

“Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.”


Is this the beginning of the end of Apple?

Following yesterdays disappointing iPhone 4s announcement, it got us to thinking about Apple and it’s long term prospects without Steve Jobs. With a boring keynote and a 4s product announcement that has been met with a nearly universal reaction of “that’s all” basically Apple has become the follower in the phone market with Android leading the way, the 4S is basically just a catch-up to what is already out there in the Android and unbelievably Windows phone market.

So the company we have always thought of as the leader in the market is now playing catch up, imagine in another year how far behind Android the iPhone is going to be and it starts to look worse.

The conventional wisdom is that the applications will be what keeps the iPhone ahead, along with the iPad the ecosystem can’t currently be beat. That is changing as well though as the Android developers are going to be going crazy soon with the release of the Kindle Fire which contrary to popular belief is not that much of a fork of Android and is running Android 2.3 which will allow developers to write one program for the Android phones as well as the Fire. Priced at $199.00 and with Amazon behind it the Fire is going to be a serious competitor to the iPad, and if you are used to all these Android apps, you are going to look to an Android phone as well especially if the features are better than an iPhone. 

The sales numbers were leaked today and the Fire presales are higher than iPads. The Fire has over 250,000 presales already and is increasing at a rate of roughly 50,000 a day. That has to scare the heck out of Apple this years killer Christmas gift is not going to come from Apple, but from Amazon.

So today we have the market split between the Fire on the bottom and the iPad on top, that’s where Apple has always done best, and if that were the only competitor Apple would probably come out just fine, but there is something else coming along that will put Apple in a bad spot.

That is the forthcoming Windows 8 and the day when you can have a complete operating system on your tablet. This is going to split the market three ways with the top end suddenly becoming Microsoft with a complete tablet computer at the top, iPad in the middle, and the Fire at the bottom. History tells us that in a three way market, the middle is in trouble and the iPad is going to fall squarely in the middle next year with very little other than screen size to differentiate it from the Fire and not enough power to compete with Windows 8.

That’s when the iPad becomes just another shiny gadget that Apple fanbois will keep buying, but who else will?

That leaves just the computer line and Apple’s current strategy seems to be to move more towards an iOS feel with the desktop, everyone keeps talking about a post pc world, but what we see coming is a pc+ world where your devices work together and Apple is way behind there. Having had our hands on the Windows 8 system and the way it will work between a desktop and a tablet is an amazing step forward and more in line with the way most people work.

So in the phone market we have Android ahead of Apple and Windows Mango behind, in tablets we will have Windows 8 ahead of Apple and the Kindle Fire behind and in the desktop we have Windows on top, Apple second and Linux behind. Leaving Apple in the middle in every market it competes in. You can say they are leaders in the music player market, but that is a dying market as phones are supplanting mp3 players at a rapid pace.

The middle is not where anyone wants to be. Apple was the cult of Steve. They were always one step ahead as Jobs had a knack for keeping Apple ahead of the pack, without Steve they are falling quickly behind already and in 2 more years they will become once again what they were before, an expensive alternative that delivers less than the competition. How long it will take for consumers to recognize this is the question no one can answer, but in the end, the consumer always gets it right.

It was a nice ride while it lasted Apple.


Kindle Fire leads Amazon e-reader onslaught

Amazon announces three new e-readers and its first ever tablet at a New York event today. They’re all priced below $200 and take direct aim at competitors like Barnes & Noble and Apple…More

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