Monthly Archives: June 2007

Richard Waters

Suv Sun chairman Scott McNealy is fond of wearing his family’s automaking roots in Detroit as a badge of working class honour. Most technology execs, though, would rather run a mile than risk being compared to such an environmentally unfriendly industry.

Yet Silicon Valley’s image-makers face the same PR problem as Detroit’s finest when it comes to addressing the issue of global warming. The harder they work to paint themselves as environmentally aware, the more they draw attention to the rampant inefficiency of many of their existing products. The lastest case in point: today’s announcement of an initiative by Google and Intel to boost the power-conversion effectiveness of PCs and servers. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Albatross The picture may look great with high definition Blu-ray and HD-DVD players coupled with big HD screens, but where are all those extra features they promised us on the discs, enabled by the new technology?

In an extreme example, I rented Battle of the Bulge, a 1965 World War Two film out on Blu-ray, at the weekend and loved the image quality.  Read more

Chris Nuttall

Eregs_moonopoly

Trust the Web 2.0 crowd to come up with a new take on boring offline business cards. Read more

Apple_storejpg There are no signs of tents yet outside the San Francisco Apple store, but with less than a month left until the launch of the iPhone in the US,  Apple-watchers are getting excited.

Gene Munster at Piper Jaffray put out a note yesterday saying he expected Apple to ship 48m of its new-fangled mobile  handsets in 2009. That may seem like a large number, but according to Gene, it would require Apple capturing just under 8 per cent of the North American handset market and less than 3 per cent market share of the rest of the world over the next two years.

Meanwhile, Crunchgear’s "The Futurist"  says fragile screens, software bugs – and oh, that buttonless keyboard! – could all cause the handset to bomb. Michael Arrington at Tech Crunch has his doubts about that thesis, as do we: Sharp edges on the new MacBooks aside, if there’s anything Apple can be counted on to get right with the iPhone, it’s the design and user experience.

Where could things go wrong? It’s price, not design, that stands the best chance of de-railing Apple’s iPhone hopes. When Steve Jobs unveiled the basic model’s $499 pricetag in January, the gasp from the crowd was audible. With business customers unlikely to flock to the gadget until it become compatible with Outlook and other business email services, convincing millions of consumers to part with $500 for a phone could be a tall order. But it’s not out of the realm of possiblity – not by a long shot.

 Read more

Chris Nuttall

Motorazr Qualcomm’s fight with Broadcom has echoes of Research in Motion’s battle with NTP, settled in March 2006 after four years of legal action.

Rim paid $612m to end a patent infringement dispute with NTP that threatened to shut down its Blackberry service in the US. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Bono Silicon Valley is renowned for the contribution that venture capitalists make to its ecosystem, but it is the larger private equity guys that are currently taking centre stage.

Targeting mature companies rather than promising start-ups, deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars instead of seed funding are taking place. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Zecco_logo Ramping of shares on online bulletin boards and pump-and-dump scams made many investors shy away from the unsolicited financial advice available on the internet.

But Web 2.0 tools and websites are helping to restore some faith. Read more

SurveillanceProof of purchase or sinister music industry plot? That is the question being pondered tonight by customers of Apple’s iTunes music store. News that Apple has hidden personal information such as full names and emails in the tracks purchased from iTunes has created something of a stir. While it’s true that Apple didn’t make a point of telling people it was including such information in their music files, Michael Gartenberg of Jupiter research suggests that privacy concerns are overblown:

It’s a pretty common practice to identify stuff like this as proof of purchase and other stores do this as well. Apple has always embedded this information from day one and it’s very easy to see. Other vendors likewise do the same thing. The reasons are many why you might want to be able to tell which songs on a users hard drive came from your store for things like promotions and or upgrade offers. If you’re really concerned there’s plenty of ways to remove the information. Read more