Monthly Archives: March 2008

Richard Waters

A week ago Adobe plunged deeper into Microsoft territory as it formally launched AIR, software which is meant to let applications run seamlessly outside the browser on both the Web and on disconnected PCs. This is a direct pitch to Microsoft’s core constituency: developers who have traditionally written for desktop machines but now want to tap into a hybrid Web/PC platform.

Here in Las Vegas today, Microsoft hit back. Its annual MIX conference has become an important venue for a group of people who have traditionally sat firmly in the Adobe camp: designers and creators of light-weight Web applications who do not fit the traditional Microsoft developer mold. Read more

sheryl sandbergMark Zuckerberg scored a coup on Tuesday by recruiting one of Google’s top stars to take the number two spot at Facebook, the fast-growing social network.

Among other things, Sheryl Sandberg’s appointment as Facebook COO will bring some adult supervision to a company that, for all the buzz and excitement,  manages every so often to remind the world that it is being run mainly by twenty-something computer geeks. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Our dog was wary of PleoThe creators of Pleo the dinosaur are declining to issue any sales data for their robot, which went on sale three months ago, but they have released its first software update today.
Ugobe has enjoyed plenty of good press and reviews for its innovative creature, including this article in today’s San Francisco Chronicle, which shows grown-ups and the elderly can be fans.
However, at $349, it is a pricey toy and my children soon got bored with it when we were loaned a review Pleo. It didn’t do enough stuff, they said.
Ugobe seems to have addressed this criticism in its update. It says Pleo can now be more animated, interactive and expressive through a wider range of responses, motions and sounds.
Pleo will explore its environment a lot more and has been retrained to see objects better and navigate around them. If you can afford two Pleos, they should now be able to sing a duet.
While Pleo represents major advances in robotics, only 8,000 people are signed up to PleoWorld, Pleo’s online community, suggesting this is only a niche product at present, unlike its mass-market forebear, the Furby.

Chris Nuttall

Mouse clicksAs we suspected, people are clicking on fewer Google ads because there are fewer of them to click on.

ComScore statistics that clicks on paid-ads fell 0.3 per cent year-on-year in the US in January caused a run on Tuesday on the internet company’s shares, which are down by almost a third this year. Read more