Tech Blog

This is the week that was

by Retired Blogger on ‎11-21-2010 09:51 PM

coldnight.jpg

Well the mercury has fallen and we're now spending more time indoors -- which makes some of this week's top stories make much more sense. Except for maybe the Facebook story, and maybe the iNewspaper story. Those are just out there...


Apple

The Beatles Now on iTunes
Apple Corps, EMI and Apple® today announced that the Beatles, the most influential and beloved rock band in music history, are now available for the first time on the iTunes Store® (www.itunes.com). Starting today, the group’s 13 legendary remastered studio albums with iTunes LPs, the two-volume “Past Masters” compilation and the classic “Red” and “Blue” collections are available for purchase and download on iTunes® worldwide as either albums or individual songs. Fans can also get a special digital “Beatles Box Set” featuring the “Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964” concert film, a worldwide iTunes exclusive which captures the Beatles’ very first US concert.

How big is iOS as a gaming platform? I wondered to myself on an idle rainy afternoon. After all, we hear a lot about how the App Store has passed eleventy gajillion downloads, or how it makes people richer than astronauts, but I wanted some context around these numbers -- something to make the abstract mean something. I chose a subject close to my heart: games. And then I compiled the data that lead to the graph you see above.

iOS has nearly three times more games than the previous twenty-five years of gaming combined.


Woz misquoted! 'Almost every app that I have is better on the iPhone'
Some comments attributed to Steve Wozniak caused quite a kerfuffle this morning -- according to Dutch paper De Telegraaf, Woz said that "Android phones have more features," which would help Google's OS become the dominant smartphone platform. Obviously, a statement like that from Apple's co-founder rocketed around the web, and it's set off yet another round of furious Android-vs-iOS debate.

Apple to Offer Free MobileMe Service to Some iOS Users?
New evidence uncovered in recent iOS 4.2 builds and the iOS 4.2.1 golden master seed is suggesting, however, that Apple will be offering a free MobileMe tier to users. The evidence comes in the form of a new private framework known as AppleAccounts.framework that includes a series of device-specific error messages referring to free MobileMe accounts. In particular, the error messages include alerts regarding having reached "the maximum number of free accounts" for a given device and certain devices not being "qualified for free MobileMe service".

Microsoft

Kinect for Xbox 360 Hits Million Mark in Just 10 Days
Microsoft Corp. today announced it has sold 1 million Kinect for Xbox 360 units worldwide in 10 days and is on pace to hit 5 million by the end of the year. The announcement comes a week before the biggest selling day of the year, Black Friday, and in the wake of increasing momentum for Xbox 360, which led U.S. video game console sales for the past four months.1

“We are appreciative of the response we have seen from consumers that has culminated in sales of more than 1 million units in the first 10 days on the market for Kinect for Xbox 360,” said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “This is a great start to the holiday season, and we will continue to work with our retailer partners to keep pace with high demand and deliver against our plan to sell more than 5 million Kinect sensors worldwide by the end of this year.”



Office + Facebook = Easily share your ideas and documents with friends
Facebook's new messaging platform integrates the Office Web Apps to enable Facebook users to view Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents with just one click. As you know, Office helps you create stunning documents that bring your ideas to life. Now you can easily share those ideas with your friends and family on Facebook.  I'm really excited about being able to make it even easier for people to use Office to access and share information across different devices, networks and platforms. With the Office Web Apps on Facebook, you have even more ways to express yourself with Office and easily share your thoughts with people that are important to you.

Windows @ 25

Today marks the 25th anniversary of Microsoft Windows, since the first version of the product was launched on this day in 1985. (To put this in perspective, I graduated from high school in 1985.) Like most people, I never used Windows 1.0, which was by all accounts nothing more than a slightly graphical shell that sat on top of MS-DOS. In fact, the original code-name for Windows--Interface Manager--says everything you need to know about Microsoft's early intentions for the product.

The original Windows was nothing more than an attempt to capitalize on the then-nascent move away from command line interfaces towards graphical user interfaces (GUIs), as popularized by Apple's Mac. In fact, it originally competed not with the Mac, per se, but with DOS shells we've all forgotten, like TopView and GEM.


Google

Editing your Google Docs on the go
With Google Docs, we’re always trying to make you more productive—and part of that means making it possible for you to get things done from anywhere, at anytime. That’s why we’re excited that the new documents editor now supports editing on your mobile browser. We’re rolling this out over the next few days.

That means that...
  • You can work on that important memo...while on the bus or train to work.
  • If you’re behind on a group proposal, but really want to make it to the ball game tonight, your whole team can work on it from the bleacher seats.
  • You can take minute-by-minute notes at a concert so you’ll always remember the setlist. And your friends can jealously follow in real-time at home.
  • ...and the list goes on!

Google Sky Map- now with time travel
Have you ever wondered how the sky was back in 1900? How the sky looked when the Apollo 11 moon landing happened? Or what the sky will look like next Thursday night for your planned star-gazing trip?

Today, the new version of Google Sky Map lets you time travel to see the sky at a specific date, past or future. After smooth travel to the desired year, you can fast forward or rewind in various speeds and watch how the sky changes.



Online

Zynga: 320 Million People Have Played Our Games
On stage at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco, Zynga chief Mark Pincus said that 320 million people had played Zynga games to date. He unveiled a number of other interesting figures.

Zynga’s games see more than 3 million concurrent users during peak times in a day, and at any point in the day, four of your friends will be playing a Zynga game. The FarmVille-maker also talked about what’s to come in the future.


Facebook's über-communications platform

Facebook wants you to live, online, in Facebook.com, and it wants to be the main repository for your online identity. Its new, all-in-one messaging system will encourage more people to do just that.

Which is why, despite the overall smartness of the initative, I believe people should be wary about using the Facebook Messages platform. I don't believe Facebook should dominate people's online experiences, and the idea of the company becoming the de facto online identity holder is downright scary. Before I discuss why, let's look at what the company announced on Monday in San Francisco.


China's 18-Minute Mystery
Did China's government really divert 15% of the Internet's traffic for eighteen minutes in April, effortlessly intercepting sensitive traffic in flight, and generally creating a massively embarrassing man-in-the-middle attack on vulnerable global communications?

Well, yes and no. Mostly no.

Yes, this event really happened. No, it probably wasn't a deliberate attack, or if it was, it wasn't a very effective one, compared to what might have happened, but that's where the story tends to bog down in technical detail and lose most readers.

 

Rupert Murdoch creates 'iNewspaper' - with the help of Steve Jobs

Rupert Murdoch, head of the media giant News Corp, and Steve Jobs, the chief executive of Apple, are preparing to unveil a new digital "newspaper" called the Daily at the end of this month, according to reports in the US media.

The collaboration, which has been secretly under development in New York for several months, promises to be the world's first "newspaper" designed exclusively for new tablet-style computers such as Apple's iPad, with a launch planned for early next year.



Hardware

BlackBerry PlayBook first hands-on! (video)
RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie actually declined to show off the his company's tablet today on the Web 2.0 Summit stage, but in private he was more than kind, treating us to a nice long glimpse at the BlackBerry PlayBook in a quaint hotel hallway. We only got to heft the one-pound slate for a few seconds, but we got the basic feel of the device in the hand -- warm to the touch, solid if a little plasticky, with a responsive glass touchscreen up top and a bottom that's mildly rubberized.

Angry Birds spotlights Android fragmentation

The good news for Android is that it's flexible enough to reach many corners of the smartphone market. The bad news is that this can mean headaches for programmers--as the top-ranked game Angry Birds illustrated today.

Angry Birds developer Rovio Mobile has announced that it's going to create a second version of its flagship game for lower-end Android devices after finding "severe performance issues."





 


Your Turn
So, did I miss anything? What online story really got you going this week? Link to it in the comments!




Comments
by Exalted Expert / Community Ambassador on ‎11-22-2010 11:51 PM
by Retired Blogger on ‎11-23-2010 09:28 AM

Holograms and other output related stuff! Cool, and thanks for sharing! :smileyhappy:

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