The more time you spend around people in the tech industry, the more you realize just how important some of them think they are. When one is from outside the milieu, this can sometimes seem a little strange.
Now evidence has emerged that might give some in the tech industry pause for reflection. And I don't mean staring at their own gorgeous reflection in the mirror.
A survey performed by the Lewis PR company, brought to my joyously watering eyes by TheNextWeb, revealed that 20 percent of Brits questioned thought Steve Jobs was what they call a footballer and what Americans sweetly describe as a soccer player.
Though many of you will toss your mice up in horror at the mere concept, I must admit I am not in the least bit surprised. It's not that Brits are uneducated or unaware. They are really quite bright, in a bookish sort of way. Moreover, if you watch the footage of the survey interviews I have embedded here, the surveyors questioned American and French people who happened to be in the U.K. too.
No, this result is unsurprising because "Steve Jobs" really does sound like a soccer player. His is the name of a dour, destructive lower-league midfielder who repeatedly gets yellow cards for late, over-the-top tackles that result in severe injuries to opponents. The name conjures up a man who spits a lot, pulls his opponents by the tiny hairs on their lower back, and stares menacingly at referees and handsome males in bars.
For those who have no interest at all in the personalities (such as they are) of the business world--never mind the narrow personalities of the tech world--Steve Jobs might as well be a soccer player. Or, as the 10 percent of the 1,000 respondents thought, a trade union leader.… Read more
I am sure there are many of you who inhale marijuana for purely medicinal purposes. Your pains might be physical. They might be psychological. But you feel as though your world is going to pot, so you turn to pot.
Now, an enterprising man called John Lee has decided to bring a little online rigor to your smoking vigor.
That would be Amazon.com, rather than the never-ending river.
A visit to the … Read more
Intel's prototype design for interactive, holographic digital signage continues to make the rounds.
After debuting last week at the CES 2010 show during the keynote address by Intel CEO Paul Otellini, the 7.5-foot-tall multitouch, multiuser Intelligent Digital Signage Concept this week is being demonstrated at the National Retail Federation Convention in New York. In addition, Intel on Tuesday announced that it is working with Microsoft to develop an open-standards platform for digital signage applications.
On-location digital signs based on the technology could change the way consumers find and interact with information at stores, banks, and hotels, Intel said.
In effect, such signs would bring something of an online experience to the brick-and-mortar world. The Intel prototype is designed to let retail customers touch its holographic screen to virtually tour a store, shop for products, learn about sales, read customer reviews, submit their own reviews, and share feedback with family and friends through integration with social networks and cell phones.
Retail outlets could use the digital sign to show realistic maps of each aisle of the store, and then display coupons or sales promotions next to images of different products.
But the sign offers more than just one-way communications. Using built-in cameras and image analysis, the display could determine a consumer's gender, approximate age, the clothes he or she is wearing, the time of day, and other factors to tailor ads and other content specifically to that consumer. By figuring out a person's size, it could show ads only for clothes that would fit.
Of course, advertisers could also use the digital signage to get immediate feedback on how consumers respond to their ads. … Read more
As we all try to settle on our own definition of the word "enough," the enterprising work harder to stretch our definition.
Over the last days and weeks, I have been swamped with readers, friends, and some very strange people indeed sending me details of the latest attempts to make money out of Tiger Woods' fall from his graceful perch atop society.
So, in order to assist you with your final gift selections for the holiday season, I have created this post as a catalog of society's ingenuity.
In pride of place--or, as some might think, in … Read more
This year's online holiday-shopping season has topped $19.9 billion so far--a 3 percent jump over the same period in 2008, according to ComScore.
Online sales were bolstered last week when consumers spent more than $800 million on two separate days, ComScore said. On Thursday, for example, consumers coughed up $852 million.
Monday has the potential to produce the best day of this year's holiday-shopping season, which started November 1 in ComScore's stats.
ComScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni said that Monday "represents our best opportunity to finally surpass that elusive $900 million spending threshold. The early part … Read more
Nokia, the world's largest maker of mobile handsets, said Thursday that it plans to close two flagship stores in the U.S. as it refines its sales strategy and struggles to get a bigger foothold in the North American market.
Nokia also said it plans to close one of two stores in London. And it will look for a new location for its Sao Paolo store.
The U.S. Nokia stores that will be closed are in New York and Chicago. Nokia has 12 stores worldwide. It opened the first store in Moscow in 2005. Nokia said closing the … Read more
Shoppers were out in force during the week of Black Friday, but price cuts brought in less revenue than last year's recession-mired sales, according to a new report.
Retail analyst firm the NPD Group on Wednesday released its yearly accounting of technology sales during the week of Black Friday. More than $2.7 billion was spent on TVs, PCs, video game consoles, cameras, and more in the first burst of holiday shopping, but it represented a 1.2 percent decline compared to the same period a year ago. Still, it's better than the previous year's 3.4 … Read more
In our current roundup of retail-specific laptops, we've divided our 25-plus systems into four price categories, from sub-$700 budget models to high-end ones that cost more than $1,000.
In the "high-end" category, we looked at four off-the-shelf models that all retail for $999 and above. While there's certainly a lot to like about the $2,000 HP Envy 15 (it sported the highest screen resolution and a new Core i7 processor), we thought the best bang for your buck was to be found in the Sony Vaio FW560, which has a big 500GB hard drive and Blu-ray, all for $999.
Note: For a roundup of retail laptops in all price ranges, check here.
Check out details of each system below:… Read more
Sometimes, readers write to me. Sometimes, a couple of their words begin with an "f" or a "b." However, on Friday it was just "b"s. "Best Buy," "Best Buy," they said, along with one or two other words beginning with "b."
The customers' simmering frustration seemed to be directed at a Black Friday offer of a spectacular deal on an HP Pavilion P6214y package. I am sure this was a very fine offer. Unfortunately, Best Buy kept taking orders for it after it didn't have any … Read more