Tag Archive for Technology News

Whos Winning the Social Cola Wars Its March Madness and the Battle Is On

The Cola Wars are legendary and taught as case studies in business schools all over the country. Back in the 1980s, Pepsi ran a series of advertisements where people, caught on hidden camera, in a blind taste test, chose Pepsi over rival Coca-Cola. And many will of course remember the infamous strategic retreat Coke made on July 11, 1985, by announcing its plans to bring back the original ‘Classic’ Coke after recently introducing New Coke.
Pepsi had its groove on back then and it was heady times for the beverage company Read more

Faster than FTP Aspera Moves Video Files for The New York Times and Producers Big and Small

An Emeryville California start-up has developed a way to send big video files from computers and mobile devices to a special server at speeds far in excess of FTP (file transfer protocol).
The system is being used by The New York Times to manage its video distribution from the field. We first reported last month how some Times reporters are using an Aspera app on the iPhone to upload videos to the server.
Last week, we spoke with Michelle Munson, co-founder and President of Aspera.

read full news from www.huffingtonpost.com

Fred Wilson Uri Milner Curation is VCs Big New Thing

There are some things we all agree are broken. Finding stuff on the web is broken. The volume of ‘stuff’ has rapidly exceeded the tools we’ve counted on for the past ten years or so. And, the speed of ‘stuff’ makes validating new data harder and harder Read more

Women in Tech Time to Focus on Solutions

I have written extensively on this blog and in other venues about the barriers that women in technology face: unwelcoming cultures, bias and stereotyping, work-family conflict, lack of access to influential social networks, and absence of role models, mentors, and sponsors.
The awareness of the barriers facing women in the tech industry has grown, thanks to not only to the Anita Borg Institute but also the research and outreach of partner organizations like NCWIT, Catalyst, the Clayman Institute, and Astia, and the vocal work of women’s communities like Women 2.0, She’s Geeky, and DevChix, to name a few. Some individuals with significant influence have also taken up the issue, bringing awareness to the problem (Kara Swisher’s piece on All things Digital, articles by scholar Vivek Wadwha, and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg’s TED talk come to mind, as does, ironically, Michael Arringon’s piece in TechCrunch).
Thanks to this collection of voices and hands-on work, it certainly feels like I get fewer and fewer blank stares when people at dinner parties ask me what I do for a living (“what do you mean women are underrepresented and experiencing barriers to advancement in tech? Hasn’t this issue been resolved when women got the vote?”, or: “Anita Borg, is that a reference to Star Trek?”) Read more

How ATT Figures It Will Dominate the Wireless Airwaves

It’s easy to imagine the ultimate meeting in AT&T’s corporate headquarters that finalized the decision to buy out No. 4 national wireless carrier T-Mobile. AT&T Chairman Randall Stephenson is at the head of the table. He goes around the table checking with his top executives — Wayne Watts, the general counsel; Ralph de la Vega, who heads AT&T Mobility; Rick Lindner, the chief financial officer; John Stankey, who is in charge of business solutions Read more

Reconsidering Nuclear Power Again

I have to admit that I was an anti-nuclear power activist back in the late ’70s and early ’80s. I protested in front of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant in New Hampshire, and worked for the Campaign For Safe Energy that in 1980 lobbied for anti-nuclear power resolutions in both the Republican and Democratic party platforms that year.
Protests, plus the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island and the more serious event in Chernobyl, contributed to the demise of the U.S. nuclear power program. But recently, a lot of politicians have called for us to build more nuclear plants.
But People Say It’s Now Safe
Despite my anti-nuke activist roots, I started to reconsider my feelings about nuclear power a few years ago Read more

Jimmy Wong Saves the Internet

It seems like a great time to be a bully. When I was a kid, even the most productive bullies could only manage a handful of victims at a time. What used to take a lot of effort can now be handled with a couple thumbs and some wifi. A hateful rumor can spread a lot faster on Facebook than it could on the school bathroom wall.
And while it used to require a certain set of characteristics to thrive as a bully, the internet makes it simple for almost anyone to graduate from cowering weakling to kicking virtual sand in the face of friends and strangers in no time Read more

Is the iPad 2 the End of the Tablet Line for Apple

I was talking to a tech guy this morning about my new iPad 2 and he asked the same questions everyone asks: “What d’ya think of it? What’s cool about it compared to the original iPad?” I have my stock answers, about it being slimmer, lighter and faster, the addition of the camera, but it got me thinking about something I’ve been chewing on for a while: with a device like the iPad, what’s next?
There are rumor sites that suggest that the now-mythical iPad 3 will have a faster processor, a “retina” display or other higher resolution screen and a higher resolution camera. Maybe a built-in SD Card reader or USB port. Maybe a second interface plug so that the device could be docked in landscape orientation, rather than just portrait.
Better, faster, stronger, lighter, thinner, but there are logical endpoints to these trends Read more

The Writers Workbench iPod touch Accessories

It’s no brilliant observation to note the near-dominant success of the ever-changing world of iPod players. That success has spawned perhaps an even larger industry, that of third-party accessories, an industry that has almost become self-perpetuating as it has to keep changing every time Apple puts out a new iPod model with slightly (or sometimes vastly) different specs. In fact, this month we see a perfect example of that: the research for this column started months back to look at accessories for the iPod touch, generation 3 – and Apple subsequently released generation 4.
Have no fear, because those of you still with the third generation iPod (not much more than a mere year old) will find everything here applicable to your device. But for those who’ve already upgraded – take this as a mea culpa: the cases described here will alas no longer be appropriate since the current iPod touch now includes a camera Read more

Can the iPad Be a Learning Tool for Kids With Autism

Since the iPad’s release in April of 2010, the device has found its way into both homes and classrooms. It’s amazing to see the number of educational apps available on the market. Some mix games with reading, while others focus strictly on promoting literacy. It seems that most all children love the ability to interact with mobile devices, but can these devices be a learning tool particularly well suited for kids with autism? For many apps, the answer is yes.
During Apple’s March 2 special event announcing the iPad 2, Steve Jobs introduced a video featuring a 10-year-old boy with autism, Leo, using the iPad Read more

ATT Takes America Back to the Future

AT&T’s plan to take over T-Mobile has set the stage for Washington’s high-tech policy battle of 2011.
But that’s not all that’s at stake. This proposed deal paints a dark scenario for the future of all communications — a future that looks increasingly like a bygone era of monopoly control.
If AT&T succeeds it will form a communications colossus to rival Ma Bell. Two companies, AT&T and Verizon, would control close to 80 percent of the mobile marketplace in America — a figure that could exceed 90 percent, if, as many anticipate, Verizon buys Sprint.
For the hundreds of millions of American people who rely on handheld phones and wireless Internet devices this equation spells disaster Read more

Transforming Music Through Social Design

The landscape of the music industry has changed dramatically over the last decade, but one thing has remained constant — music is better when shared with friends.
The musicians and organizations who harness this concept and take it online will be the most successful as we reach this next important inflection point for the industry. The music and technology industries need to begin to speak the same language.
Social first.
Similar to games, shopping and travel planning, music is inherently social. Every experience that happens with friends in the offline world should be facilitated online by integrating with the social graph to make it easy for people to share the experience with friends Read more

ATT Celebrates Broadband Plan by Buying Out Competition

AT&T commemorated last week’s one-year anniversary of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) National Broadband Plan in its own, unique way. Ending a week of celebrations, it bought one of the other four biggest competitors, T-Mobile, further shrinking competition in wireless broadband, further concentrating an already concentrated market. Now instead of the big four wireless companies, there are the bigger three.
The government hasn’t blocked a telecom merger yet, but this one should given these policymakers pause. And if they let it through, there should be some very strong conditions.
That $39 billion move was just the capper to the celebrations Read more

Surviving the Data Deluge a Call to Action for the 21st Century

In August of last year, a IT-centric research blog called Wikibon released a stunning infographic representing the total amount of data stored online in 2010. The astronomical figure cited — 1.2 zettabytes, or 1 billion terabytes — could have filled a stack of 16GB iPads (75 billion, to be precise) that would nearly reach the peak of Mount Everest. Other estimates have put the number of total information transacted (i.e. not necessarily stored) in recent years closer to 3 or 4 zettabytes Read more

Confessions of an APPLEaholic From Addiction to Sobriety

The day the tsunami struck Japan, Apple launched its tsunami-seller, the iPad2. My calendar for 3.11.11 — the date of the massive 9.0 earthquake — was steady:
1.Write
2.Teach
3.5 p.m.: Stand in line for iPad2
When the first iPad was unleashed, like Harry Potter’s magical wand, but for adults — I stood in line for three hours to buy the shiny portal for my parents. The hype around the iPad2 this spring is almost unbearable. And, like a true APPLEaholic, I was driven by “the hunger.” After all, it was Eve who first ate that apple promising the Tree of Knowledge.
I count myself among the disciples to Steve Job’s elegant technology, his sleek, design style born of his calligraphy training, his artistry and eloquence that make Microsoft geeks look like dunderheads — or worse, drones Read more

Changing the World Technology or Users

Sitting at my desk, listening to a stream of NPR, I consider the power of technology and how it has the ability to “share,” to give and take, and open eyes and minds, and allow the exchange of thoughts and opinions amongst millions of people. But the reality of technology and how it affects the world lies in the willingness of users to employ and leverage technology in the evolution and change of society.
Just recently, I had written about “disconnecting” from the internet. I deactivated my Facebook account, as well as my Twitter and Yelp accounts. I have even disconnected my HTC Droid smartphone, in exchange for a 15+ year old Samsung flip phone Read more

Apple Should Dump ExGay iphone App

Exodus International, the notorious “ex-gay” organization, recently released an iPhone app that, according to its website, is “designed to be a useful resource for men, women, parents, students, and ministry leaders.” The Exodus website further boasts that its app received a 4+ rating from Apple, meaning that it contains “no objectionable content.”
No objectionable content? I beg to differ. Exodus fraudulently claims to offer “freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ” and they use a hateful and bigoted message replete with scare tactics, misinformation, stereotypes and distortions of LGBT life to recruit clients. They endorse the use of so-called “reparative therapy” to “change” the sexual orientation of their clients, despite the fact that this form of “therapy” has been rejected by every major professional medical organization including the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Counseling Association. But reparative therapy isn’t just bad medicine — it’s also very damaging to the self-esteem and mental health of its victims Read more

Lenovos ThinkPad X220 is an Excellent Lightweight Laptop

At the All Things Digital conference last June, I had a chance to question Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer about when Windows laptops would be able to compete with the iPad when it comes to battery life. He said to stay tuned. I have stayed tuned but haven’t heard much from Microsoft about battery life. However, I did just get my hands on a new Windows 7 notebook PC from Lenovo, which claims to actually outlast the iPad’s rated 10 hours of battery life.
The ThinkPad X220, which will be available in April as both a standard notebook PC and as a convertible PC/tablet, boasts an amazing 24 hours of battery life with an add-on external battery pack that attaches to the bottom of the unit Read more

An Extraordinary Machine

A nuclear power reactor is an extraordinary machine. All other machines generate heat while they are running, but stop generating heat when they are turned off. A reactor continues to generate heat, even when it is turned off. That is the root of the problem in Fukushima, Japan Read more

The Moon Is Not a Harsh Mistress

The speculation that the full moon and its gravitational effect on Earth could trigger earthquakes and other natural disasters is getting attention in some quarters. It is not surprising, given the fact that humans have been looking above rather than below our feet for answers since ancient times.
The coming March 19 is a full moon day, in fact, a special one dubbed as “supermoon. On this day, the Moon will be closer to Earth in its last 18 years — it’s full and close. It will approach the Earth at a distance of 221,567 miles — a lunar perigee.
The gravitational pull of the Moon on Earth is evident from the ocean tides Read more

Developing Your Digital Marketing Blueprint

Here are seven steps to developing a digital marketing blueprint. Many people skip the first four, but these first few steps are the crucial difference between success and failure. I have also uploaded slide presentations to help you along.
Assess Your Situation — This first step is perhaps the most important Read more

Going Amish

From the moment my flight touched down in Austin for South by Southwest last Thursday, it has been a nonstop bigger-than-ever year of brands, start-ups, celebrities, and geeks roaming the streets. The buzz is all about who is getting funding, who is the next big thing, and how the world will change because of the digital revolution we are all a part of.
But there are also discussions that aren’t being blogged and retweeted with quite the same fervor. There are quieter conversations by about the world beyond this weekend. About what any of these ideas and new t-shirt clad 20-something CEOs will actually be able to do outside nurturing biosphere of SXSW.
I was reminded of Jerry Maguire and his passionate plea to his sports agency as he struggled with his newfound aspiration to do something more meaningful Read more

Winning With RealTime Social Media Disaster Relief Hashtag Revolutions and Celebrity Twitter Rants Through the Now Lens

Within the past six weeks, major events have firmly established social media as the #Winning communication tool of our time… and naysayers need not apply. That real-time social media provides a “Now Lens” for viewing the world when and where events unfold is quickly becoming undeniable. Finally, the digital fire hose of people’s opinions, dreams, hopes and anxieties, are being unleashed and shared worldwide, anytime, anywhere Read more

SXSW Interactive Day 2 Why Well All Be Playing Games Soon

At SXSW Interactive, you’re occasionally going to run into this profile: 22-year-old CEO of company, dropped out of Princeton after a year, has given himself the title “Chief Ninja.” And, yes, those of us whose corporate backgrounds include pre-Zuckerbergian strata have to resist the urge to eyeroll when faced with such a profile.
And yet, one person with that profile — SCVNGR’s Seth Priebatsch — delivered a fascinating keynote speech on Day 2 of SXSW 2011 on Saturday afternoon. So fascinating, in fact, that the typically cynical SXSWi crowd, known to tweet that cynicism in a richly-entertaining way that pretty much necessitates using a keynote’s Twitter stream as color commentary, was downright bubbly.
While much of the commentary was focused on Priebatsch’s youthful exuberance and general marveling over his age and dropout status, the substance of his talk is really what’s worth focusing on, because it signals a trend in online engagement that could have widespread market impact Read more