Checking Web sites by typing in the URL feels like firing up a rickety 56k baud modem and logging on to CompuServe. It gets the job done, but really should only be used under extreme duress or nostalgia. Syndicated feeds bring the Web site to you, and when NewsGator made all its RSS clients free on Wednesday, they suddenly made a top-notch suite with tools for Windows, Mac, mobile, the Web, a podcast manager, and a Microsoft Outlook extension incredibly appealing. And by appealing, I mean you might not be able to imagine feeds the same way afterwards. It's that good.
The open assault on cables and wires was on particular display at CES. Apparently, wires clutter your life and cause you misery, or some vendors would have you think. Whether it's faster and faster Wi-Fi from Intel, streaming video from Slingbox, in-home HD distribution, Bluetooth home theater audio from Samsung at different parts of the radio spectrum, the trend is moving away from physical media and physical connections.That said, I wondered how a leading wire cable company, Monster, would make themselves relevant in this anticable movement. Apart from having a sold-out Mary J. Blige concert, Monster has made … Read more
Recently I was fortunate to interview Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired and the keynote speaker for the Open Source Think Tank, coming up February 7-9 in Napa Valley, Calif. Given Chris' views, I think he's an ideal person to headline an event whose theme is "The Future of Commercial Open Source." (While attendance is by invitation only, you can still apply for admittance.)
Everyone has heard about Chris Anderson's article, book, and blog, The Long Tail. If you haven't, you don't live on this planet (not that there's anything wrong with that). Anderson's theory--that there is big opportunity in lots of little markets--resonates in a world whose technology increasingly permits, encourages, and even requires that we move beyond mass market product development to cater to individual tastes.
As Chris put it in his original Wired article:For too long we've been suffering the tyranny of lowest-common-denominator fare, subjected to brain-dead summer blockbusters and manufactured pop. Why? Economics. Many of our assumptions about popular taste are actually artifacts of poor supply-and-demand matching--a market response to inefficient distribution.
Free products (or, at least, their discovery) from the physical world, however, and the economics of consumption change. Dramatically.
I spent some time talking with Chris to see how his theory applies to open source. His ideas pushed me to re-examine my own, as my thoughts on how the Long Tail would apply to open source turned out to be a bit naive...… Read more
It's a common dilemma: you have the flat-screen TV perfectly placed in the living room or home theater, but the rest of your gear is located halfway across the room. You can snake a long HDMI cable around the perimeter--or you can consider something like the Belkin FlyWire. The transmitter/receiver combo lets you toggle as many as six AV sources and wirelessly transmit the audio and video--up to full 1080p--from one side of the room (your equipment rack) to the other (your big-screen TV or projector). The version Belkin was demoing at its booth had two HDMI inputs, two component inputs, a composite/S-Video AV set, and a SCART input--but the company hinted that that the North American version may drop the SCART jack (useless outside Europe) in favor of a third HDMI input. The generous connectivity means even the biggest home-theater geek will have the capacity for all of his gear--say, a PS3, an HD DVR, an Xbox 360, a DVD recorder, a Nintendo Wii, and a sixth device. Setup is said to be plug and play (the transmitter pairs with the receiver at the touch of a button), and because it's a closed system, it should be universally compatible with any standard video source and an HDMI TV.
The New Year's resolution might be way up there on the great list of journalism clichés, but that's no reason not to go back to the well and see what our pals in the tech industry are pledging to do in 2008, at least as far as their gear and gadgets are concerned.
"Make spam a priority, and eliminate clutter." --Don Sears, eWeek.com
"Hack and/or overclock what I have more, so that I don't have to always race out to get the latest and greatest. And buy an iPhone if … Read more
So, you were one of the lucky people to receive a shiny new Mac for the holidays. We're all jealous! But if you're reading this, you've probably already spent some time getting set up and checking out all the cool features and programs that come with your Mac--and now you want more! Out of the box, your Mac is loaded with cool apps to get you started on stuff like uploading and organizing your digital images, creating a music library, making your own movies, and surfing the Web. (You're here, so it must have worked!)
While … Read more
The year 2007 might be one of the biggest years for Apple in recent memory. Certainly a lot of great products have been released over the years, but none had the anticipation or the media fervor as did the iPhone. The new iPod Touch, the release of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, and the funny Mac vs. PC ads we're seeing these days only added to the hype with more people starting to "Think different" than ever before. With Macworld just around the corner and promises of new Mac hardware on the horizon, the future of … Read more
FrostWire hopes to breathe some new life into the much-maligned P2P file-sharing client LimeWire.
LimeWire has become the Web 2.0 equivalent of Kazaa and the late 1990s Napster. What you think is last night's episode of Heroes turns out to be a villainous chunk of malware, and litigation issues have forced its programmers to include a license filter, warning you if you're about to grab something without proper copyright information attached. Plus, the interface is ugly.
On Thursday night, a slew of well-dressed publishing types flooded into a cavernous space in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood for the opening celebration of 2007's Wired Store. For the past few years, the tech-focused magazine has created a "pop-up store" to feature the gadgets that it wants to highlight this holiday season.
And like any party, there was an open bar. Last year's Wired Store party had featured booze from Budweiser and Yellow Tail. This year, Wired parent company Conde Nast had stepped it up a notch with drink selections courtesy of Patron tequila--including a mojito … Read more