Category Archives: eBooks

The Big Four Tech War

As the Holidays near and the four powerhouses of tech, Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon are fighting for position in the tech wars and holiday season sales.  This is a tech war like none other.

“It’s the biggest, most intense battle in tech history,” said Ted Morgan, chief executive of Skyhook Wireless, a firm that provides location-based technology for mobile devices. “It’s so much bigger than even the Microsoft, Apple, IBM battles of the 1990s.”

Here’s how the four shake out:

Google

  • Makes money selling ads that appear alongside its search results.
  • Developed the Android software to run on phones built by others, including Motorola, Samsung and HTC.
  • Looking to acquire cell phone-maker Motorola Mobility Holdings.
  • Recently released Google Music

Apple

• Built success by selling computers, phones and tablets that work seamlessly with the company’s software programs.

• Announced that more than 25 million people have downloaded iOS 5.

• Recently shared iCloud, a brand-new service that lets you store your emails, music files, videos, and more on an Apple-controlled remote server, and access the data from any other device with iCloud support.

As a side note, the passing of Apple’s former CEO Steve Jobs has the entire tech community wondering how his absence will impact the company he co-founded.

“Since Jobs passed on the baton to Tim Cook in late August this year there has been concern among market watchers that an Apple without Steve Jobs at the helm will not be the same. However, some believe the skeptics might be underestimating Apple’s bench strength. “This is something they’ve been planning for and thinking about for a long time,” David Riedel, President and Founder of Riedel Research Group, said.  “One of the qualities of a good CEO is that he can pick the right people, and Jobs was such CEO, Jeff Ebersits, CIO at Shareholder Value Management.” Source

Facebook

• The baby of the bunch, Facebook is the world’s most popular social network. But founder Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitions are grander – and they run directly into those of the three other Titans.

• Facebook hopes to be an alternative way to organize the Web, a platform for consumers to spend their time online. Instead of using Google’s algorithm to search for news and information, Zuckerberg envisions a future in which people consult their network of friends.

• Most critically, content on Facebook is out of the reach of Google’s search engine. And the more time people spend on Facebook, the less time they are looking at ads on Google, which recently launched Google+ as a rival social network.

• Facebook is beginning to bump into Apple’s business of selling apps on its devices. Zuckerberg’s company has quickly become a powerful player in the booming market for social games, such as the popular FarmVille.

Amazon

• The world’s biggest online retailer.

• Benefiting from growing sales of its Kindle e-book reader and digital media, including books, movies and music, putting it in competition with Apple’s iTunes.

• Like Google – is shifting toward Apple’s territory of making devices. Not only does Amazon have the Kindle, but they recently released the Kindle Fire to rival the iPad.


Social Media And Gadget Trends

Google may be all about world domination but Facebook is running an impressive second.  According to Compete.com, Facbook passed Yahoo making the social networking site the number two most trafficked site after… wait for it… Google.  Facebook drew nearly 135 unique visitors in the January of 2010 and time spent on Facebook was twice that of time spent on Yahoo and Google.  I know I did my part to help them hit the number two spot!

Yahoo for years was the world’s most popular website — its ubiquitous portal has dominated the web since the 90s. Two years ago however, GoogleGoogleGoogle vaulted past Yahoo and became the Internet’s most popular destination. Last month, it became Facebook’sFacebookFacebook turn to knock Yahoo down another peg. via Mashable

In gadget news, BlackBerry is getting a cool new app.  Amazon has released a free Kindle application for BlackBerry smart phones and is planning to launch apps for Macs and the anticipated Apple iPad.  In other BlackBerry news, RIM developers have finally realized the worth of developing a Twitter app which falls under the “Duh” and “It’s About Time” heading.  I guess you could say better late than never but BB users have already taken sides on our favorite third-party Twitter BB apps and RIM is going to have a long way to go to get us to switch to an official BlackBerry app.

Finally, more computer makers are giving the tablet business a second look as we await the release of Apple’s iPad.  According to WSJ.com, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard Co. have announce their devices and H-P is even looking to under cut the iPad price and release date.

H-P has discussed selling a version of the Slate—similar to the iPad in size and features, and including a cellular connection—for a price below the $629 Apple charges for an equivalent iPad, one of these people said.

Executives at Dell Inc., Acer Inc. and Sony Corp. say they are all watching Apple as they refine their own products. And Microsoft Corp. has a secretive team working on a two-screen tablet device, according to people familiar with the matter.There’s still plenty of skepticism about whether PC companies have the right products to compete against the iPad.  Many of the products risk being seen as “computers without keyboards,” in part because many of them run an operating system, Microsoft’s Windows 7, which is primarily aimed at traditional PC functions, said Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey. In contrast, the iPad’s software, which borrows heavily from the iPhone, is more tailored for consuming media on the go, he said.

However, I can’t help but think that all this open competition will no doubt give those of us who have been holding off on purchasing a tablet or eReader many more choices and choices are always a good thing.


Magazines Go Digitial

I ran across the article below in The New York Time.  It describes how magazines will finally join us in the digital space. I have to say that it’s about time!  My Saturday afternoons use to be filled with me on the sofa and a pile of InStyle, Time, Essence, and at least two other fashion magazines, two industry publications and three home decorating magazines covering the living room floor. I’d spend the day flipping through my favorite magazines and the next few days trying to figure out A) what to do with all those pages I cut out but never again will look at and B) how I was going to get rid of these darn magazines.  Now, problem solved… they are going digital!

The failing publishing industry has forced magazines to reinvent themselves… as so many of us have already done. Enter the age of the electronic magazine. It had to be done because magazine ads are going down the drain… along  with their readership.  I can’t even tell you the last time I bought a magazine… or a book… or a newspaper or even a CD.  If I can’t download it, I don’t want it.  It seems I’m not alone.

Yet, some people are complaining about the new advancement and are asking, “do I really did yet one more gadget to carry around”?  Well, never fear, because with the Apple’s Tablet, slated to ship in March, you will be able to combine your viewing and listening pleasure in one gadget.  In the meantime here’s an excerpt from the New York Times (which I got off line, of course) and two YouTube videos on the hottest new electronic magazine trends.

New York Time – Magazines Get Ready for Tablets By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD

After letting the Internet slip away from them and watching electronic readers like the Kindle from Amazon develop without their input, publishers are trying again with Apple iPhones and, especially, tablet computers.

Although publishers have not exactly been on the cutting edge of technology, two magazines — Esquire and GQ — have developed iPhone versions, while Wired and Sports Illustrated have made mockups of tablet versions of their print editions, months before any such tablets come to market. Publishers are using the opportunity to fix their business model, too.

Read full story

New Technology for a New Year

The Consumer Electronics Association has named its 2010 Best of Innovations award winners.  Check out the CES 2010 blog for a list of all the cool new toys you’ll want in our tool box as move through the digital space and your Social Media needs grow.

I’m most interested in seeing…

Camera-ready? VPhone delivers two-way video calling

CES Preview: Cameras and camcorders

Also hot on the list of things I’m keeping my eye on…

Entourage Systems, Inc. – the first-time CES exhibitor readying its release of the Entourage Edge, a hybrid gadget combining two trending technologies: e-readers and Netbooks.

And via the CES 2010 blog…

Though Amazon and Barnes and Noble are grabbing headlines with e-readers aimed at consumers, Ditto Book–a CES 2010 exhibitor–is marketing its device for niche markets.   Its focus is on customization; companies interested in ordering the e-reader in bulk can add a logo, brand name, color, and welcome screen. A unique option is to load the e-readers with bundled content.

The International CES 2010, is the world’s largest consumer technology trade show and takes place January 7-10 in Las Vegas but this time what happens in Vegas will not stay in Vegas!

YouTube, Hulu & eBooks… it’s the digital age baby!

The digital race is on and consumers are benefiting big time! YouTube is about to offer the ability to watch 1080p HD videos in full resolution. In addition, the video channel has recently rolled out YouTube Direct, a new tool that allows media organizations to request, review and rebroadcast YouTube clips directly from YouTube. Meanwhile, Hulu just announced a major partnership with EMI to showcase music video and concert footage.  According to Cynopsis Digital, one of my favorite places to go for… well… all things digital… as an example of what to expect from the Hulu/EMI merger,” a mini-site devoted to Norah Jones has been created, featuring video clips and excerpts from live performances. Hulu will also utilize such music pages to drive viewers to music-themed TV episodes and movies, such as this documentary on the Flaming Lips. Meanwhile the highly anticipated Vevo music video site, a joint venture between Sony, Universal and YouTube, has set a launch date of Dec. 8″.

Meanwhile, e-Publishing is taking off as well.  Not to be outdone by Amazon and their new Kindle 3G wireless reading devise, Barnes & Noble has gotten into the eBook game.  Dubbing it as “The World’s Most Advanced eBook Reader”, the nook” promises over one million bestsellers along with your favorite eNewspapers and eMagazines all delivered fast and free via 3G wireless or Wi-Fi. Browse the vast Barnes & Noble eBookstore.

The digital age… you gotta love it!  See you on line!