Archive for the ‘bit’ tag
I need to lighten things up a bit with all this Oracle brouhaha.
Oracle acquired Xsigo recently. I wrote about the acquisition and how Oracle will lose as IT gets virtualized. Oracle’s Bob Evans came back with his own special brand of attack. Yesterday I responded with my post: Open? Yeah, Sure. Sorry Oracle, You’re Still Full Of It.
Last night, Michael Krigsman said in the comments to my post something I take to heart. Here’s what he said:
These kind of backs and forths are a bit silly, but of course there are multiple perspectives here. Still, I like the human drama because that’s what makes enterprise software interesting and accessible to a broader audience. For many people, this stuff is highly arcane, so the human dimension is beneficial even if the substance is a bit… well, like catcalling.
Despite the differences in position, I urge the parties to remain friendly and not resort to personal attacks and innuendo of any kind.
Right on, Mike!
But oh my word, we need some more of this excitement in the enterprise world. And so for that, I thank Bob for busting things out a bit. He said I made baseless claims about the Oracle cloud. I called him the king’s blogger. But Oracle is not the only one doing things that I question. Yes, they’re the worst of the crowd but not the only ones who do things that have me thinking WTF?
The big enterprise guys need more accountability. It is my job to call things out. So, with that in mind, here we go – The Friday WTF Awards:
- SAP – can you please make HANA something the makers of the world can use? You’re a contender to be one of the enterprise giants that leap frogs over the rest. Let’s see some something beautiful that any maker can create with all that data.
- OpenStack — let’s be real. You’re an industry coalition. You have lots of developers and they make lots of contributions. They need a bigger voice. Transparency is an issue. We need more light into the workings of the organization.
- Stop the madness, IBM. Your PureSystems technology is not a platform as a service. Focus on the real issues your tech solves. Cloudwashing doesn’t look good.
- Citrix — where is Cloudstack? Hello? Anyone home?
- Amazon Web Services — when will you start talking with the community about your APIs? You could release them under Creative Commons. That would allow for standardization. You blessed Eucalyptus because it is only enterprise focussed but not CloudStack. How come? Is it because they also support service providers who could be AWS competitors?
- VMware — lots of rhetoric about the Amazon cloud. No more FUD, please.
- EMC — building out a data center with your big storage machines is not cloud. Call it hybrid, label it private – all that is fine. But in the end — you’re selling your customers new storage systems. They’re not elastic. They’re not multi-tenant. It’s just shiny new hardware for the data center.
- Microsoft and the curious case of Office 365. Why not open more APIs?
- CA — their FUD about the cloud is deafening.
- Infosys – Charges of visa abuse? What’s up with that?
- In the spirit of Spinal Tap, this list goes to 11. Cloud Analysts: we need more analysis, not marketing. Let’s see it.
Have a good weekend, folks.
(Image courtesy of WTF with Marc Maron)
There are tablets, and then there’s a gaming tablet. The Wikipad, an Android handheld that promised to be the first mobile device with a gamepad built specifically for the device, is set to launch later this year. Venturebeat recently sat down to talk with CEO James Bower and President of Sales Fraser Townley in a local design office in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Here’s an edited version of our interview. For details on the Wikipad’s specifications, see our report from late last month.
Venturebeat: What is Wikipad, and what is the history of the company?
James Bower: Last year we (Bower, Matt Joynes, and one more founder) started thinking about what type of consumer device could make a difference. What’s something that we could do that would really get good market acceptance as well as being a game changer?
We all started getting smartphones and tablets and we’re playing games and whatnot, and it just doesn’t quite have that experience as when you’re playing with a controller. The touch experience is okay, but it doesn’t quite get you there. So we thought what can we do to take the concepts of tablets and create a much better gaming experience.
VB: When did the company get started?
JB: We officially formed the company in September. But as a team, we’ve been thinking through concepts, I would say, since back in the spring of 2011.
VB: What was the team doing back then if it wasn’t a company?
JB: Matt [Joynes], who is the chairman of the company, previously bought and sold companies. He and I partnered up on this, and he was twiddling with some of the business planning of creating a consumer device. I was involved with the restructuring of a company called Master Image, which was acquired and restructured and moved to California. That company created stereoscopic 3D for cinema and screens for tablets and smartphones.
The market dabbled in [3D in mobile devices] for a little bit. We saw LG come out with its 3D version (the LG Optimus 3D) of a phone, and the Nintendo 3DS, but there hasn’t been a tremendous market push to adopt this from a tablet and smartphone perspective. In some cases, from my standpoint frustratingly so, anyone who loves stereo sees this as a huge potential market that hasn’t really been opened yet. We see this in the television market; most TVs support stereoscopic in some form, and we see a lot of the market shifting to that.
The fact is, there’s a lot of 3D content that is still coming out. What’s different when it comes to a personal device, when you don’t have the challenges of putting glasses on that becomes a socially inhibiting event — you know, you’re not going to sit with friends and put glasses on in your house. It’s a little bit awkward. When you remove that barrier and enable stereoscopic 3D, it starts to change.
VB: So the original idea was to have the Wikipad be a stereoscopic tablet, and as time went on the 3D got pushed out?
JB: Yes, but it’s more than that. It’s the nature of how fast we can get to market with the price points that we need to get with the market research we’ve done, you know, for the first version [of the Wikipad]. [3D] is in our DNA, if you will, and in our future plans.
VB: Why the name “Wikipad? What exactly does that mean?
JB: ‘Wiki’ actually means fast [in Hawaiian], and so we were thinking about what are we going to create here? We’re going to create a tablet that’s really fast, that’s really edgy for the gaming community, and ‘wiki’ is such a representative name of what we want to be, which is a fast pad. And it’s catchy. Sometimes there’s an educational tone associated with it, and if we come out with a tablet that people may think has educational benefits as well, we start to hit a brand that’s accepted across a lot of mediums.
VB: If I’m not mistaken, you’re currently partnered with NVIDIA, as well as Gaikai. Does that mean Sony as well now, since they purchased Gaikai?
JB: Gaikai has been a great relationship for us, but we’re under NDA with Gaikai and Sony. That’s about all I can say right now, but we know what’s going on and we’re still close to the situation, and the transaction is just in the completion stage as we speak. Stay tuned.
VB: What about Sony Mobile Certification, where Playstation titles can play on some Android devices, mostly from Sony and now some select HTC smartphones?
JB: Sorry, I can’t comment.
VB: Fair enough. So you’re working with NVIDIA as well. Why go with Tegra?
JB: For a number of reasons — a few secret ones that I can’t talk about, and a few that I can. When it comes to a brand of processor that is close to the hearts of gamers, NVIDIA has been there a long time. They have a very good, integral brand; they have a very good relationship to content, and content is key for us, as it relates to our product. So there are a lot of advantages to Tegra as it relates to gameplay. They’ve been working on a lot of things behind the scenes that they haven’t talked about regarding gameplay. They also were one of the front-runners in the development of stereoscopic 3D support, integrating their 3D vision capabilities into the Tegra processor as well. So it became much more of a turnkey easy solution for our future as we look at stereoscopic 3D.
VB: So you’ll be working with them for 3D support?
If you’re an iPhone user looking to maintain a bit of privacy from time to time, you can now turn to a new app called Burner thats lets you create temporary phone numbers that can be disposed of at will.
Google announced they’ve expanded their traffic data to over 130 smaller cities across the world.
The expansion is not just in the US, but also in places like Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama. Google also added cities in the US such as Kalamazoo (Michigan), Portland (Maine), Tuscaloosa (Alabama) .
Personally, I love Google Maps traffic and with Apple Maps replacing Google Maps in iOS 6, despite Apple Maps having real time traffic, I am a bit nervous about it’s accuracy. I love being able to see how much longer that red line in Google Maps is when sitting in bumper to bumper traffic in New York. So expanding Google Maps real time traffic to more and more cities is great!
As you know, Google Maps crowdsources most of the traffic data, so it is pretty good.
Here is a coverage map of traffic data covered by Google Maps.
What? It’s August already? That means (for better or worse) that hordes of freshly minted college students will soon be starting the next chapter of their lives and moving into dull, cramped dorm rooms in the process.
Oh, that description applies to you? Well, congratulations — you’re in for a treat!
Before you go too nuts trying to decide which of your possessions will make that trip with you though, take a gander at this short list of gadgets that should help make the time spent cooped up in your new room just a little more pleasant.
Sony MDR-NC200D Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Yeah, a fancy set of speakers will draw more “oohs” and “ahhs” than a pair of noise-cancelling headphones will, but these are arguably more useful. Those of you who end up with cool roommates may not need these as much, but let’s be honest — not everyone is going to be quite as lucky.
Thankfully, MDR-NC200D’s active noise cancelling functionality means that it’s more than capable of blocking out your roomie’s Kanye West fixation, and they sound great to boot. It’s the priciest thing on this list with a $199 MSRP, but there are some deals to be found if you’re diligent enough. Consider that online scouring a precursor to all the research you’re going to have to do when it comes time to get cracking on those term papers.
Brother HL-2270DW Laser Printer
It may seem a bit lacking compared to some of the flashier all-in-one units companies like to peddle, but here’s the kicker — you’re going to be able to use the 2770DW for quite a while before having to pick up more toner, which means no more last minute runs to the computer lab.
And it gets better. The 2270DW’s predecessor could be tricked into printing pages well after it claimed there was no toner left thanks to a strategically placed bit of tape, and the process is even easier this time — just hit the ‘go’ button seven times to override the complaint. It’s pretty quick too — up to 27 pages per minute.
Pivot Power Surge Protector
Yeah, fine, it’s not the coolest thing on the list, but it’s arguably one of the most important. You’re going to need enough power outlets to accommodate all your electronic goodies (you’re reading TechCrunch after all, so I’m sure you’ve got quite a few), but the downside is that some of those wall warts are bulky as all hell.
Enter the Pivot Power, a power strip you can contort to squeeze in even the most obstructive power adapters (I’m looking at you, digital camera chargers). The single downside here is that you can only power six items at a time — that may be enough, but some people will probably need at least one more to cover all the bases.
Three-in-one Breakfast Station
Breakfast may or may not be the important meal of the day, but ThinkGeek’s schizophrenic breakfast gizmo makes cobbling together a morning meal relatively painless all the same. If you can’t tell from the image, that’s a tiny frying pan mounted on top of a tiny toaster, all attached to a tiny coffee machine.
What’s more, the whole thing isn’t much bigger than your average toaster, so it finding a home for it shouldn’t be too difficult. Just be careful where you stick the thing — the last thing you need is for a pile of hard-won orgo notes to fall on that tiny frying pan.
WhiteyBoard Flexible Whiteboard
This one may be stretching the definition of “gadget” a bit, but the flexible, easy-to-install WhiteyBoard is worth a nod anyway. It’s downright wonderful for brainstorming sessions and plotting the trajectory of that meandering fantasy epic you plan to inflict on everyone in your Creative Writing class.
Of course, there’s an added benefit to getting a big enough WhiteyBoard — it should make for a fun way to kill some time with friends between trips to the dining hall for chicken nuggets. And on the off chance you’re allowed to paint your dorm room, feel free to step things up some WhiteyPaint instead.
WhiteyBoard.com, prices start at $9.99
Notification Center is one of the best parts of OS X Mountain Lion, but the classic linen background is a bit bland. If you want to add your own image, Cult of Mac shows off a pretty easy way to spice up your Notification Center. More »
Social TV check-in service GetGlue is preparing to take the second screen experience to the next level with the launch of GetGlue HD—a social TV guide designed to help users find smart recommendations for shows, movies and sports. We found out a little bit about GetGlue HD from the GetGlue team. Read on to find out more and to check out a poster representation of what you can expect when the service launches later this summer.
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
Apple isn’t just declaring its independence from Google Maps with its new in-house backend for Maps in iOS 6. It has developed a superior way to deliver map data that relies on resolution independent vectors rather than Google’s multiple zoom levels of bit mapped images.
Ever had a spray bottle that you couldn’t get that last bit of juice out of? It’s annoying, and it’s a waste. Thankfully, Instructables user DIYHacksAndHowTos shows off a cheap and simple method to make a spray bottle work regardless of which position you hold it in. More »
Apple has just released its fiscal Q3 2012 earnings, and the Cupertino-based company reported revenues of $35 billion (compared to $28.6 billion in the year-ago quarter and $39.2 billion in Q2 2012) and quarterly net profit of $8.8 billion (compared to $7.3 billion in the year-ago quarter and $11.6B in Q2 2012). All that breaks down to earnings of $9.32 per diluted share.
During the days leading up to the disappointing release, analysts expected to see Apple rake in revenues of about $37.4 billion, with earnings of roughly $10.38 per share. Apple also reported gross margins of 42.8% (compared to the impressive 47.4% figure the company revealed last quarter) and noted that a full 62% of the quarter’s revenues were thanks to international sales.
Apple also announced that the company would be issuing a cash dividend of $2.65 per share of common stock.
For what it’s worth, Apple managed to blew past their own forecasted expectations ($34 billion in revenues, with earnings of at least $8.68/share). That’s not much of a surprise though, as Apple has historically tended to low-ball its quarterly performance estimates. To continue that tradition, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer offered up yet another conservative forecast at the end of the release — according to him, Apple expects Q4 revenues of about $34 billion “and diluted earnings per share of about $7.65.”
Apple’s hardware sales contributed quite a bit to its performance this quarter, though one device in particular was picking up most of the steam. As rumors of a heavily-redesigned iPhone continue to swirl and consumers settle in for the wait, analysts also predicted that the company would report lower iPhone sales figures. Again, not much of a shock since Apple’s newest iPhone has been on the market for nearly a year now, but the consensus among analysts was that Apple would sell about 29 million iPhones.
It turns out that the number was indeed down compared to Apple’s strong first and second quarters — the company only reported 26 million iPhones sold. That said, Apple managed to move plenty of iPads over the past three months thanks to the introduction of the Retina-friendly model prior to beginning of the quarter and the accompanying price drop for the iPad 2. Estimates pegged the Cupertino company as selling roughly 15.7 million iPads, but Apple reported an impressive 17 million iPads sold.
Perhaps due to some (warranted) trepidation ahead of the release, Apple’s stock closed at $600.92 today, down 0.48% from when the market opened this morning. As usual, Apple will be holding a conference call to discuss its financial performance at 2:00 p.m. PT/5:00 p.m. ET. We’ll be live blogging the whole thing, so stay tuned for more as it happens.