We've heard that the recession is waning. But our gut tells us something different. Today we examine gadgets that appeal to our recession-warped minds.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 157 SanDisk on Sansa: Value is our top priority Gilt on the Go iPhone app… Read more
Nobody's surprised: Internet-advertising revenues fell slightly in the first half of 2009, according to numbers released Monday by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The trade group found that online-ad revenues dropped 5.3 percent to $10.9 billion year over year, representing a total loss of $610 million. That's an understandable loss, given how much the media business has had the wind knocked out of it, thanks to the recession. But the slide in digital advertising isn't nearly as dire, when compared to the overall ad industry, which fell 15.4 percent.
The IAB also brought … Read more
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer sent on Monday one of his periodic public e-mails, outlining the business realities of what he called "the new normal."
His e-mail comes just ahead of an event in San Francisco where he will talk about the lineup of products Microsoft is launching, namely Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Exchange Server 2010. I'll be covering that event live later Tuesday.
"Today, people borrow less, save more, and spend with much greater caution," Ballmer wrote in the e-mail, which is sent to anyone who subscribes to the notes. "This … Read more
Marketing and PR folks take note. In one of the more brilliant publicity stunts in recent memory, iPhone accessory maker Case-mate is going downscale. Really downscale. And green, too.
It's created a 99-cent cardboard "recession" case along with free "Sharpie Script" personalization (yes, some dude or dudette will inscribe your case by hand). And these babies can be bought in bulk: Case-mate is offering 10 for $7.99.
In a move sure to resonate with recession-minded gamers, Activision's just-released Guitar Hero 5 game includes an offer to get the highly anticipated Van Halen version of the music game franchise for free.
As a value-based pushback against the Beatles: Rock Band juggernaut, it's an excellent idea. Guitar Hero 5 includes 85 tracks (versus just 45 in the Beatles game), plus 44 more in the Van Halen spin-off.
Guitar Hero 5 includes acts from Johnny Cash to Stevie Wonder to Tom Petty, while Guitar Hero: Van Halen has 25 classic VH songs, plus 19 more from "guest … Read more
Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that some New York coffee shops were pulling the plug on customers that park themselves at tables, open their laptops, and hang out for hours, buying perhaps only a single latte as their cafe rental fee.
While independent coffee shops that are struggling to make ends meet may see the need to flush out the low-revenue laptop users, the major chains are not so strapped. Starbucks founder Howard Schultz, in fact, was a big proponent of building a comfortable third place for people to work and socialize. (The first two places being home … Read more
If you find yourself in front of your computer screen looking to understand the recession and find ways to deal with it, you're not alone.
According to a report released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center, some 69 percent of American adults, or 88 percent of U.S. Internet users, have gone online in the past year for reasons related to the recession. The study says they either are trying to get help with personal economic issues or gather information about the origins of national economic problems and solutions to those difficulties.
The Apple iPhone and other smartphones hitting the market are cool, but if you don't have a spare $200 in your wallet, and you can't afford the hefty monthly service fees, there are less expensive options that still offer some of the wireless Web at a much more affordable price tag.
These alternative phones may not be as sexy as the iPhone or the new Palm Pre. And the Internet service and applications will not be as slick as what you'll find on a full-fledged smartphone. But for many wireless subscribers, less expensive feature-phones and cheaper data … Read more
The market is clearly racing toward a bottom when we start looking to Monty Python for business advice and the most lucid (if profane) analysis of Google's announced open-source operating system, Chrome OS, comes from Fake Steve Jobs.However fast we may be "racing," however, we're not there yet.
At least, not according to a survey of 200 IT executives by Computer Economics, which finds:About 49 percent of the IT executives surveyed plan to make further budget cuts in 2009. Almost 50 percent will spend less than what is allocated in their IT operational budget. … Read more
In May, I reported on the rising fortunes of Funambol, Mozilla, and other open-source companies. Signs of "green shoots" notwithstanding, the economy doesn't seem to be getting any better, but open-source companies continue to log impressive growth as open source pervades the enterprise, as Forrester analyst Jeffrey Hammond (@jhammond) recently noted.
Importantly, according to Hammond, while open source starts as a cost-saving exercise, it often morphs into something far more strategic:
[O]rganizations tend to start [with the goal of saving money with open source]. And then what tends to happen is the more that they become … Read more