Earlier in the week, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen announced that a mobile implementation of the full Flash Player 10 would be making its way onto several smartphones by October. In addition to Android, other mobile operating systems, including Windows Mobile, Palm's WebOS, and Symbian have signed on. Missing from that list, to absolutely no one's surprise, is the iPhone.
This week I put some face time in with Amazon's latest print assassin, the Kindle DX. I was a big fan of the original recipe, despite what I'd call some minor design flaws. But I always felt like it was missing some important features.
Now that I've had a day or two to digest the rapidfire assault of product updates that was the Apple WWDC 2009 keynote, I must admit I'm less than thrilled with what went down. Sure, I may have drooled on my keyboard just a bit as I followed live blog coverage of the pep rally. But now that the Apple Kool-Aid has finally worn off and I've returned to my normal crotchety self, I can't help but feel disappointed--perhaps even a little incensed--by this most recent Steve-free Apple hoedown.
Heard of Bing yet? If not, you soon will. Backed by a reported $100-million-dollar promotional campaign, Bing is Microsoft's latest grasp at double digits in the war for search engine market share, of which Redmond now owns between 5 and 6 percent (according to Net Applications' Market Share report). After months of beta testing followed by a public preview, Bing officially took over this week as THE search engine powering all of MSN. So, if you use any Microsoft services with even limited frequency, you'll be getting friendly with Bing whether you know it or not, and whether you like it or not.
But Microsoft isn't going to carve out a fatter slice of market share unless it can convince a new, non-MSN audience to abandon Google and to make Bing its second brain instead. Of course, there has to be good reason to do that. Very good reason. So this week I installed the official Bing add-on to Firefox and put the new kid on the block to the test.
With the collective brainpower of Google, Wikipedia, and IMDB always just a few keystrokes away, is there really a need for another source of knowledge, factoids, and trivia on the Internet? Wolfram|Alpha sure thinks so
Wolfram|Alpha ... what a name, huh? And I mean that in the worst way possible. Dismal chances of ever entering the lexicon aside, there's a lot of excitement surrounding Wolfram|Alpha, which officially launched last week. If you're not familiar with it, Wolfram|Alpha is billed as a "computational knowledge engine" and is the brainchild of British mathematician Stephen Wolfram. Unlike Google and other search engines you've used before, Wolfram|Alpha doesn't return links to relevant Web pages.
I don't like Bluetooth earpieces, and I don't like the people who wear them. Sounds kind of like a deranged T-shirt slogan, doesn't it? There's something about the tiny little headsets that's always bothered me. A few years ago, I noticed a strange phenomenon sweeping New York City: suddenly it wasn't just the crazies who were chattering to themselves on the street anymore -- business people were doing it too! And now, with the technology far less exotic and more affordable than it used to be, it seems like almost everyone is walking around talking to the little voices inside of their heads.
Over the past week and a half or so, there hasn't been one gadget, trend, or tech company that's ticked me off enough to single out for a good flogging. There have been several! So, this week marks the kickoff of a new, semi-regular (whenever I feel like it) Grouse format that's a bit more all-inclusive than the standard fare. It takes aim at all of the wrongs that have been perpetrated against the tech-loving public in the last few days. Here we go!
With delicious rumors circulating recently about Apple goods finally coming to the Verizon faithful, I'm on the fence now more than ever about my impending iPhone purchase. You see, I must have one and it's only a matter of time before I do. My iPod Touch is fun for playing around with apps and hopping online via WiFi, but it's no Jesusphone. I've been a Verizon prisoner customer ever since getting my first cell phone back in 2000.
With environmentalism being so hip and fashionable these days -- particularly on the corporate level -- every day kind of feels like Earth Day. Every other ad I see on TV is from some polluter-cum-born-again-environmentalist company touting its commitment to our planet. Every other news story concerns a company or municipality taking new measures to reduce its impact on Ma Nature. Everywhere I turn, I'm being force-fed tips on how to "green" this and how to "green" that. The message, and more specifically the word "green" itself, have become so saturated that they're practically meaningless.
As I sit down to write this week's Grouse column, I find myself having to work through one of those rather dull and annoying headaches, which, I'm almost certain, is from repeatedly slapping myself in the forehead over the course of the last few days. It's not that I'm a masochist -- I'm just upset with myself for not being the first to think of a Netflix-style site for books and book lovers.