It may not seem like it now, but soon there will come a day when the sun is shining, and outside activities are but a picnic basket away. When it comes to serving certain wines, temperature makes all the difference, but it can be difficult to mix a fun day spent outdoors with a perfectly chilled wine. Advanced planning is usually essential, involving the forethought to place equipment in the freezer, such as gel packs or even bulky contrivances.
A Steve Jobs keynote is technology journalism's Super Bowl equivalent. And as with the Super Bowl, they're best enjoyed in real time. Thus the healthy growth of the live-blogging platform CoverItLive, which enables journalists to file live reports that are transmitted, as they type them, to their online readers.
The company, started in 2007, has been growing well and winning the support of journalists not just in the technology realm, but in sports, politics, and other fields. It has become the largest live-blogging platform there is. The embedded CoverItLive live blog player is popping up on sites across the Web. (For a sample CoverItLive live blog, see this replay of a Google press announcement.)
But CoverItLive fell apart during the January 27 iPad announcement. Just as the event was getting started, incoming Apple fans were turned away from embedded CoverItLive live blogs on important sites like TUAW, MacWorld, and MacNN. Readers quickly abandoned many of these sites and headed to others, like Gdgt, that were using home-grown live-blogging tools. To stop readers from leaving, some sites, such TUAW, abandoned CoverItLive on the spot and began publishing frequent updates on their standard platforms. Regardless, it appeared to be a disaster for the small live-blogging company.
The Steve Jobs keynote also temporarily overwhelmed other sites, including CNET News and our sister site ZDNet (read what went wrong). CoverItLive competitors include services like Scribble Live and live video services like Qik and Justin.tv.
This was not CoverItLive's first failure during a Steve Jobs keynote. On January 15, 2008, during the MacBook Air announcement, the platform also collapsed. Since then, CoverItLive flourished nonetheless, winning over journalists in other fields, mostly in sports and politics, who started to use the product regularly. And then the tech sites started to come back.
Sites like MacNN used the service to great advantage. Publisher Monish Bhatia says that building his own live-blogging platform would have been too expensive, and that CoverItLive offered a good blend of features. MacNN used it about six times before the recent failure, he said. But, he told me, "I wish they were a paid service." He wanted a contract to fall back on with the company should anything go wrong.
Between the 2008 failure and the recent one, CoverItLive has not had a failure during a major live event. And many of these events, such as President Obama's Nobel Prize acceptance speech in December of 2009, got more live blog traffic (9 million views) than a Steve Jobs keynote had until then.
So what is it about Jobs' keynotes that is so toxic to CoverItLive? And how can the company regain the trust of tech journalists?
Though iTunes has its own basic CD label-making tool, using a program like CoverStudio 2 gives your CDs and DVDs a lot more style. The program leads you through a step-by-step process, starting with several choices for what type of label you want to make. DVD cases, DVD booklets, slim cases, jewel cases, Blu-ray cases, and labels for the actual discs are all available. Simply check the box for what you want to make and then choose how you want to format the labels for your printer. You can grab an image you already have or choose from several images … Read more
Most businesses seek competitive advantage through some kind of change. Whether they want to beat the competition to market with a new service or introduce new product categories, disruption is the norm.
The challenge in today's IT-centric world is that every one of those disruptions requires a software change, introducing the potential for downtime and lost revenue.
Change control and the associated risk mitigation is a big problem that every large organization faces. Last year, the London Stock Exchange crashed during a software change and was down for more than seven hours, costing traders millions, if not billions of … Read more
We've seen a few Kindle cases that offer built-in lights so you can read in dimly lit environments, but Case-mate's Enlighten is unusual in that it features a lighted acrylic panel that sits on top of your Kindle instead of an LED light with a flexible neck.
Due out in December, Case-mate's billing the $79.99 Enlighten as "the first case on the market equipped with a LED-powered light for nighttime reading as well as an interior side pocket for storage."
Here are its key features:Clear acrylic panel with integrated LED light with two … Read more
Star Fax Cover Sheet Creator helps you create a fax cover sheet for your business. It offers several built-in templates, and the ability to add your company's logo. Unfortunately, the e-mail feature failed to work for us.
The program's interface is fairly easy to use, though we did have to hunt for some features. We previewed the sample fax sheet that we had created and decided that we wanted to include our logo on the sheet. Figuring out how to do it required a visit to the Help file. The only file type that you can use to … Read more
Movie Label 2010 is a multifeatured database program that allows users to organize their movie collections. Although we liked the program's many options and sleek interface, it didn't always run as well as it should have.
The program's interface will look familiar to users of Office 2007 products. Everything is fairly intuitive, although given the number of features, sometimes users will have to do a bit of poking around to find what they're looking for. There are several ways for people to enter movie titles; Movie Label can search for and download information from IMDb, gather … Read more
Given the vast and growing number of open-source projects, one would assume its quality had gone down as quantity went up. In fact, the inverse is true, suggests a new report from Coverity, which spent the past three years analyzing more than 11 billion lines lines of code from 280 open-source projects. This is crucial given open source's increased importance to the software industry as a whole, and not merely self-styled "open-source companies."
The tech world is all too familiar with Twitter's "fail whale" and have become accustomed to Gmail failures (which are inevitably chronicled on Twitter.) And while sometimes it's infrastructure (such as routers and switches) rather than software that fails, it often seems as if we too readily accept that software will inevitably breakdown.
Mark Donsky, director of product management at Coverity, commented recently about a recent static analysis of open-source projects performed on the Scan site that showed a 71.9 percent correlation between the number of lines of code and number of defects found.
This is of course, not an open-source problem but a general issue that occurs as more code is integrated into products. I've been told that Windows is developed with two quality assurance people to every engineer as the product has grown over the years.
Coverity is focused on software integrity and advocates static analysis early in the development cycle. While testing of all kinds, including static analysis are obviously good ideas, the tools and methods vary dramatically by engineering organization. The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University and the Object Management Group (OMG) recently paired up to form a consortium to establish standards for software quality. … Read more
Peter Kafka at All Things Digital reported Thursday that Apple is planning to make a major announcement the week of September 7, and that was a big scoop.
But much of the substance of Apple's announcement--at least as it relates to music--is old news, according to multiple music industry sources. Last month, the Financial Times broke the story that Apple is working on the next-generation album cover, code named Cocktail.
Whatever else Apple intends to announce at the still not officially announced event, expect Cocktail to be part of it. An Apple spokesman declined to comment on Friday.
It … Read more