Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Is There Going To Be a Tablet for Every OS?

The iPad, of course, uses Apple's operating system.  Windows, Linux and Android tablets are all announced for late year introductions.  And now we have HP planning to introduce a Palm tablet computer.

I guess HP had to do something with their Palm acquisition...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Six New Economic "Normals"

Fortune has a list of what they consider the five new "Economic Normals":
1.Long-term unemployment
2.Renting over owning
3.Saving over spending
4.Staycations over vacations
5.Higher taxes for 'the rich'
 
And I will add my own:
6. "Flat" is the new "Up"

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sorta Interesting: Face Movies from Google

Instead of the usual transition from one photo to the next, the images align themselves to the face in the photo. This creates an extremely smooth viewing experience which allows the person in the photos to remain the focus rather than the transition effects themselves.

Demo here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Kickbacks at Apple?

I am a little astounded, and as someone who sells technology appalled: Apple manager indicted on kickback charges:

(Apple Manager) Devine, 37, is accused of accepting more than $1 million in exchange for providing confidential information to Apple suppliers in Asia. The suppliers allegedly used the information to negotiate favorable contracts with Apple, which is based in Cupertino.
Right now the companies involved are saying that they did not know this guy worked at Apple and were buying "consulting services". That just happen to help them win contracts at Apple.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Trip Aboard the California Surfliner

I have traveled on trains in literally dozens of countries.  It is the main mode of transportation for getting around Japan, and I use it whenever possible when country-hopping around Europe.  The funny thing is I rarely use trains in the U.S.  I have been on a few into NYC, and have been on the subway or train systems in Boston, Chicago, DC, etc., but it is a rare event.

So when a buddy suggested we hop the train from Orange Country, CA to Del Mar for a day at the track I thought both the ride and the races would prove a nice little adventure.  The "California Surfliner" heads up and down the Southern California coast and for car trips of less than an our there actually isn't much of a time savings in taking the train, BUT there were three other great benefits: a great view, not having to worry about traffic, AND we could sit in the bar-car and drink at our leisure.

Compared to other countries the train stations in SoCal are low-key and low-volume.  The majority of the people on the train - and all of them in the bar car - were heading to the track.  The evening trains do have more commuters who live/work in different locations up and down the coast.  Unlike Japan, there is no seat-side service for refreshments and everyone has to make their way down to the second car bar area if they want anything from a beer to a water.  There are a few seats in the bar car, but you have to get them early and hold them down.

The main selling point of the Surfliner is the view, which is entirely coastal once the train hits San Juan Capistrano.  At some points you feel you are on the beach with all the vacationers.




The beach goers are good natured, giving the train a wave, with a few moons here and there.   Not all of the scenery is beachy, ranging from a nuclear power plants to camper areas.  Eventually you make it down to the track, which requires a little free bus-hopper from Solana Beach train station.  It's a nice track.



And then you can watch the fillies....


Saturday, August 07, 2010

HP's Hurd - My Theory

HP's Mark Hurd Resigns After Sexual-Harassment Probe
Hewlett-Packard Co.’s Mark Hurd resigned as chief executive officer after an investigation found he had a personal relationship with a contractor who received numerous inappropriate payments from the company.
...
Hurd submitted receipts for expenses ranging from $1,000 to $20,000 over two years, including meals and travel, that should have been labeled as personal and not related to business, said a person familiar with the situation.

The expenses were incurred at HP-hosted “CEO forums,” mostly in North America, in which Hurd participated, this person said. The woman worked as a contractor hosting the events

Then

HP Contractor Didn't Have Sex or Affair With CEO Hurd, Lawyer Allred Says

So the CEO lays out thousands of dollars in business expenses to go around the country with this woman for...not having sex or an affair?  Riiiiggght.

Actually there could be one plausible explanation that fits these facts: There was a mentor-mentee, father-daughter thing going on where Hurd was trying to shepherd the girl and they became emotionally intimate.  If she then approached him for a sexual relationship and he turned her down, her anger would drive her to try to destroy him by going to a lawyer, despite the fact there was never any sex.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Microsoft: Tablets are Job One

I'm on the fence about an iPad.  The amount I browse the internet makes one fairly practical for me, and I would use it to replace my Kindle, which I liked, but I got tired of the monochrome "e-paper" screen and like the idea of a multitasking device.  However, there are several things keeping me from buying an iPad and waiting for the Windows versions:
  • My Home Network - My home network has Windows systems.  While the iPad could sit on my network comfortably, I want the devices on the network to communicate with each other (including the printer), which brings me to my next item.
  • Streaming to my Xbox - I want my tablet to store and play videos and music, and I also want it to stream that content to my Xbox, which acts as the gateway (and household node) for my big screen TV.  I currently send iTunes music over to it regularly from my PC, and want to do that with a tablet. So far, I have not found an ap that will stream from the an iPad to the Xbox
  • Windows 7 for Mobile will have an ap that allows your cellphone to control and communicate with your Xbox.  I assume that this will be in there from the start for a Windows Tablet.
  • Samsung is furiously working on a Windows "Galaxy" tablet (as well as a Android one).  If there is one thing about Samsung, is they make good, reliable products, and will drive the price down like no one's business (I know, I am on the receiving in as one of their suppliers).
  • Microsoft is pushing it.  As usual they are late to the party (web browsing, PDAs, etc.) but once they come around they use their giant cash hoard to make something happen, so Windows tablets will become a reality very soon.
So my master plan is to wait until late this year when the Windows tablets make their debut and then make a decision on whether to go with that or break down and go iPad.  So six more months....