Monthly Archives: June 2008

Richard Waters

neil-young-at-suns-javaone.jpgWhen I met legendary rocker Neil Young recently, he was pretty disparaging about iTunes. It’s like all new digital media technologies, he said: great for convenience, but the sound quality sucks (since I have a tin ear when it comes to music, I’ll leave others to judge the validity of that comment. But Peter Gabriel, another musician who’s been working on new ideas for distributing digital music, certainly agrees.)

Young let slip that he is now talking to record companies about licensing an alternative digital platform that he has been working on – something , he claimed, of far higher quality that could provide an alternative to the privacy-prone download world, and perhaps even a new business model for music. Read more

Chris Nuttall

M. Librero/R. Coburn, NAS DivisionI like the extra desktop space of having two monitors on my desk, but I am suffering screen-envy at what Nasa scientists can now feast their eyes on at Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley.

The 128-screen hyperwall-2, unveiled on Wednesday, is capable of rendering 250m-pixel graphics and is “the world’s highest resolution scientific visualisation and data exploration environment.” Read more

Chris Nuttall

HabboThe most financially successful virtual worlds are not 3D and sophisticated, but flat and appealing to younger audiences.

Think Neopets, Webkinz, Club Penguin and Runescape, not Second Life. Read more

It’s going to be a couple more weeks before the 3G iPhone makes its way to the shelves of Apple stores, but thanks to analysts at iSuppli, we now have a decent idea of how much it costs Apple to make each new handset.

ISuppli’s “virtual teardown”* of the latest iPhone, which landed in my inbox today, puts the cost of an assembled 3G iPhone at $173. That’s 23 per cent lower than the best estimate of what it costs to make the existing 8GB iPhone. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Moo business cardsMoo, the maker of cool calling-cards for the Web 2.0 generation, has had to turn a little square for its move into the business market.

Its new business cards, announced today, are more conventionally sized than the MiniCards it pioneered with up to 100 different photos on the reverse, selected by users from online photo galleries such as Flickr. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Tweety PieTwitter, the service that wisely restricts blog posts to 140 characters or less, has completed its much-anticipated third-round VC funding.

That’s 139 characters, so I should stop right there. Except to tell you that Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder, is now an investor, as is Spark Capital, the Boston VC firm, whose Bijan Sabet will take a perch on Twitter’s board. Read more

Richard Waters

It looks as though Google is about to hand more ammunition to the critics who claim that it is fast gaining excessive power in the digital advertising industry.

A spokesperson for the company says that on Tuesday it will announce a new Web measurement tool to give advertisers a better idea of the true size of online audiences. This sort of information is badly needed – as we reported before, there are big disagreements over the way companies like comScore and Nielsen assess the size of a particular Website’s audience, and the row that has been raging over this issue has damaged what little credibility they had left. Read more

Richard Waters

windows-xp.jpgWindows XP is not dead yet. With a week to go, the vibes are getting stronger that the unpopularity of Vista (deserved or not) will force Microsoft to back off from its plan to kill XP entirely.

There was a notable pause a few days ago when I asked Kevin Johnson, who runs the Windows division, whether XP would get a stay of execution (as anyone who knows the self-assured Johnson will attest, this in itself is out of character.) This is what he finally had to say, after careful consideration: Read more

Chris Nuttall

Omidyar videoIt’s almost too Web 2.0 to be true.

Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay, has invested in the video comment service Seesmic, announcing the news in what else but a video comment on Seesmic. Read more

The exodus of early Facebook executives continues. Six weeks after Facebook announced the departure of co-founder and technology guru Adam D’Angelo, the social network said on Thursday that Matt Cohler, one of Mark Zuckerberg’s first hires, is on his way out.

Well, not exactly. Cohler is leaving his position as VP of product development to become a general partner at Benchmark Capital, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. But he will stay on at Facebook in an “advisory” capacity, whatever that means.  Read more