Future trends

Apple now bigger than Google

Apple is now worth more than Google. Last year, profits increased by 39% to almost $10 billion. That's a profit margin three times bigger than Hewlett-Packard. Over ten years, Apple profits have increased by more than 2,000%. Apple is bigger than Intel and Cisco.

Technology News:

Will the iPad save the publishing industry?

This article from Cory Doctorow is similar to a couple of other contrarian articles that have come out in the past week--they all complain about the perceived "closed" nature of the iPad and/or say that the iPad is not going to save the publishing business.

Knowledge Democracy:

Is the iPad designed for kids?

The iPad continues to generate enormous discussion on the Intertubes; while I have seen a lot of commentary about how it might be used in higher ed, I have seen very little about how it might be used by kids. The most obvious higher ed connection is as a replacement for textbooks, which are murderously expensive. A college student with an iPad can carry around an entire library of textbooks and should be able to save a lot of money at the same time.

How Apple's tablet could change things

A short, good analysis of six industries that Apple's tablet computer could change. Apple is expected to roll out the device next week.

Apple's iSlate (or iTablet) is going to transform publishing

Here is a roundup of rumors about the new Apple tablet. Apple has announced a media event late this month, but is not saying what the announcement is about. Until very recently, most pundits were guessing Apple's table computer would not be announced until June of this year, but I think the increasing interest in the Google Android phone may have caused Apple to move up their announcement to suck all the oxygen out of the room and take the media focus off Android.

Knowledge Democracy:

Blockbuster stores to close

The recently announced Blockbuster store closings will cut about 20% of the firm's stores. Blockbuster plans to replace them with kiosks and smaller stores in more densely populated urban areas. Blockbuster also has a Netflix-style subscription service, but will only one-fifth the customer base of Netflix.

Knowledge Democracy:

Did you know? Making the case for broadband

The "Did you know" video has been around for years, but I just noticed it has been updated recently. It's worth watching again, and really should be required viewing for community leaders who are skeptical that community investments in broadband are important for economic development and jobs growth.

Technology News:

Will the iPad or iTablet save newspapers and magazines?

Technology News:

Knowledge Democracy:

Barnes and Noble readies Nook book reader

Barnes and Noble is about to release an ebook reader called Nook. The bookseller and publisher wants to compete with the Amazon Kindle and the Sony Reader. It is easy to find people who say they love their Kindle, but I remain skeptical. I do think that within a few years, we will reading many more books using some kind of reader device, but I think the long-rumored Apple tablet is likely to crush these dedicated devices.

Knowledge Democracy:

Good news: Planet Nibiru is not going to destroy the earth in 2012

In case you have been worrying about Planet Nibiru swinging too close to earth and destroying the planet in 2012 (just two years away!), the good folks at NASA have a handy FAQ on the whole 2012/Nibiru/doomsday thing. In case you have been living off the grid and only just yesterday got an Internet connection, the new movie "2012" posits that the mysterious planet Nibiru makes its every 3600 year swing near earth and just about wrecks the planet.

Technology News:

Will the Internet get the flu?

We've been telling our clients for over a year that they need a plan for a pandemic in which people are told to stay away from the office and work from home. But the Internet was never designed for that--at least not the cheesy "entertainment" Internet that most of us have at home.

Technology News:

Broadband is killing TV, slowly but surely

A sure sign that interest in TV is waning is the fact that major media firms like Disney, Viacom, CBS, and Time Warner have announced a partnership with some of the biggest advertisers in the country (Proctor & Gamble, AT&T, Unilever) to create a new ratings system that will more accurately measure viewer habits. The current Nielsen system is decades old, and the complaint is that it does not accurately measure the effect that DVRs and broadband are having on viewing habits.

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Knowledge Democracy:

Beginning of the end for Twitter?

Michael Jackson's death crashed Twitter and several other online services, demonstrating the popularity of these things. But Twitter may be about to peak, as one company prepares to sell Twitter followers to advertisers.

Email--not all it's cracked up to be

There are two kinds of spam--the obnoxious stuff that is clearly junk, and then what I call "legitimate" spam, although the word "legitimate" is probably not the right word to describe it.

Every morning, I have to wade through a bunch of email from legitimate firms offering legitimate services--business seminars, webinars, conferences, deals on their products. All real stuff, but also stuff I'm rarely interested in.

Blogs predict the future of social networking

A story in the New York Times about the decline in blogging suggests the future of Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking tools. It turns out that only about 5% of all identifiable blogs have been updated in the past 120 days. Put another way, 95% of blogs have been abandoned for all intents and purposes. I have always maintained that blogging is about writing, not about publicity or fame. If you like to write, blogging is easier (though not necessarily easy).

Technology News:

Hulu Desktop is the future of "TV"

I downloaded and installed Hulu Desktop this weekend, and I have seen the future of TV. The folks that designed this paid careful attention to the user interface, and the overall look and feel of this software is terrific. It is easy to browse, and you can drill down quickly into a specific area (e.g. Movie Trailers, TV Shows). I have a feeling the designers spent a lot of time looking at the iTunes Store and Apple's Cover Flow interface, because there are not only similarities, but improvements.

Disintermediation: Who loses in the TV wars?

Hulu continues to push the envelope. The popular streaming video site has a lot of TV shows on it, and it just released a Macintosh application so that you can watch TV shows on Hulu without the bother of using a Web browser. It means a better viewing experience with higher quality.

Let the netbook wars begin

Nielsen: 2000% increase in video delivered by the Internet

A new report by Nielsen says time spent watching video online has increased in the past five years by 2,000%. And the number of people watching video online is increasing by 10% per year, meaning in about seven years, everyone will be watching video on the Internet. TV is dead, dead, dead.

The YouTube problem

A recent report says YouTube is losing more than a million dollars a day. Even for Google, that eventually adds up to a lot of money. Since Google acquired YouTube, the advertising giant has begun including advertisements on YouTube pages as well as embedding ads in some videos. But the huge cost of dishing out video to the world is still much higher than the ad revenue earned.

I think there is a longer term problem that will eventually force YouTube to change direction or even fade away: YouTube fatigue.


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