Sunday, January 29, 2012

CBS Report on Apple's Manufacturing Partners [Updated]



Love it or hate it, no one can argue with the financial results and sales figures that Apple is cranking out quarter after quarter.  There has been a lot of focus lately on Apple and one of the companies that they use to build their "insanely great" products: Foxconn.

CBS news recently ran a story about Apple and Foxconn and about the labor that is employed to build, by hand, many of the Apple products that we have come to rely on in our daily lives.

UPDATE:

In addition to the video produced by CBS News, PaidContent.org has a good written article posted on their website about Apple and Foxconn.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Angry Birds Seasons - Year of the Dragon Arrives Jan 20

Get ready for another update to Angry Birds Seasons this weekend.  Rovio Mobile has posted the trailer for the Year of the Dragon update to Seasons.  You can check out the latest teaser trailer below.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Apple Hosting Education Media Event Thursday


Earlier this week, Apple sent out invitations to an invitation only special event relating to education from Apple in New York City, also known as "The Big Apple."

The event will be held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim museum at 10:00am.  It has been rumored that Eddy Cue, Apple Senior Vice President of Internet Software, will be involved in the event, however, there has been no confirmation from Apple on this point.  You'll recall that the iTunes Store, the App Store, the iBookstore, the iCloud and iAd services are all under Mr. Cue's supervision.

The speculation is that with an education focus, Apple is gearing up to make an announcement around electronic text books, iTunes U, and the iPad for all sorts of educational opportunities.

As a parent, and an active member in my children's school community, I personally, would love to see advancements in the area of text books and supplemental content.  Year after year, my children's backpacks are loaded up with hard and soft cover books, library books, and binders of notebooks.  Lugging all of that back and forth to school every day can't be good for their backs.  I think a little Apple ingenuity is just what the educational market needs.

[Via Barron's Tech Trader Daily...]

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mace: Why webOS Really Failed


Long time Palm veteran, and Palm/PalmSource vice president, Michael Mace has some interesting comments posted on his blog, Mobile Opportunity, about the lack luster performance of webOS.

In the article, "Why Web OS Really Failed, and What it Means for the Rest of Us," Mace makes reference to a New York Times article in which Paul Mercer, a senior director of software at Palm, was that webOS wasn't ready for "prime time."  As a Palm fanatic who waited in line for the Sprint Palm Pre, I can certainly say that webOS, while cool, did feel undercooked at times.  (I just recently switched from the Palm Pre to the Apple iPhone 4S.)

Mr. Mace, however, has his own theories as to why Palm's web-based operating system got into trouble.
"If Paul says Web OS was unready, I'm sure it was.  But respectfully, I don't think that's why Web OS failed. I think the company's business strategy was fundamentally flawed, in ways that would have almost certainly doomed Web OS no matter how it was built."
Mace, by trying to analyze what happened to webOS at Palm, and then later at HP, seeks the lessons that need to be learned by vendors trying to build, or rebuild, their faltering mobile strategies (read: Nokia and Research In Motion).

The bottom line for companies building a new mobile OS is do they have enough money to build version 2 and 3 of their OS to make things right that didn't work in version 1; and making sure that they have at one unique, "killer feature" that will draw people and developers to the platform before the bugs are all ironed out.

[Via Mobile Opportunity...]

Monday, January 2, 2012

Rumor: Apple to Hold Media Event Later This Month

Kara Swisher, of All Things D fame, is reporting that she has heard chatter than Apple has scheduled a 'media event' later this month in New York.
"[S]everal sources underscored that the event is not related to an upcoming version of the iPad 3, the next iteration of the popular tablet device that many expect to be available in 2012.  Also unlikely, the rollout of Apple’s large-scale rethinking of the interactive television initiative that it has been working on."
Eddie Cue, Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services, is also allegedly involved with this event.

[Via AllThingsD.com…]

webOS Failure Related to Poor Management?

A pair of articles (1, 2) from technology blog Electronista hints that webOS' main difficulty in getting off the ground was related to poor management and inexperienced software engineers.

According to the website rumors "suggested that Palm, and later HP, may have ultimately had hurdles at the corporate level, not just technical."  "WebOS didn't have either the needed management or engineers to bring it to completion."  "This was compounded by a rush to finish the OS in nine months, which required taking shortcuts such as skipping proper APIs (app programming interfaces) until later, hurting the ability for third-party developers to sign on."

The article goes on to show that the exit of high profile, former Palm employees, such as the highly respected Matias Duarte, now batting for the Android team, accelerated the decline of the web standards based mobile OS.

"The string of executive departures after the HP takeover are now believed to have gutted the webOS team. Matias Duarte's jump to Google saw webOS lose its defining employee, one tipster said. The replacements were described as "fourth- and fifth-stringers." Design VP Peter Skillman's exit to Nokia had its own tangible impact."

Chuq von Rospach, who recently held the role of webOS Community Manager at Palm and then HP, states:

"During my tenure at Palm/HP — just under three years — I had six direct managers, averaging about 5 months per, ranging from a first level manager to directors to a couple of VPs."  "I reported to, or up to, eight different VPs in that time. One of my direct managers (the last one) and two of those VPs are still with HP. Does that give you a sense of how well things were going in the organization? Yeah, I think it does."

Mr von Rospach goes on by saying, "Most of the damage, he said, was "self-inflicted." Palm had already been on the verge of collapse when it was bought by HP, and HP gave it the cash and logistical support it needed to survive. That it floundered a second time was the Palm team's fault."

Palm was a really create company back in the 1990's.  It's sad to have had to watch is slow slide into a footnote in the book of mobile computing history.  Palm OS, was the iOS of it's day.  Many years later, webOS was a good contender, it just wasn't good enough.

[Via Electronista.com...]