As everyone knows by now, Apple introduced three completely new iPods along with minor updates for the iPod Shuffle and iPhone:iPod pico: Earbud players sold in… Read more
A couple of people sent me links to an Associated Press story, "Texas Startup Says It Has Batteries Beat."
In the story, AP writer Grant Slater presents the claim by Austin, Texas, start-up EEStor (the company has no Web site yet) that "a motorist could plug in a car for five minutes and drive 500 miles roundtrip between Dallas and Houston without gasoline."
Now, c'mon. This is just not practical. I can say this even though I know nothing about EEStor's technology beyond news reports that it's some kind of high-density… Read more
Palm CEO Ed Colligan announced on the Palm corporate blog (here) that Palm has decided to cancel the impending release of its Foleo "mobile companion"-- a small, lightweight notebook computer running Palm's own software platform. The Foleo was expected to ship sometime soon, so development was probably almost complete.
It looks like Palm has taken down its Foleo pages-- all product pages and searches for "Foleo" on palm.com go to that blog announcement-- but there's some information on Wikipedia. There are some press releases for the Foleo on Palm's press site, including the original Foleo press release.
Perhaps the most useful page is… Read more
It's been only a week since I blogged (here) about a proposal from author Peter Wayner that Google should reward original content creators by diminishing the search ranking of unauthorized copies.
According to news reports, Google News has already gone one step further, agreeing with four wire services (The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, The Canadian Press, and The Press Association in the United Kingdom) to start hosting their stories directly on Google News-- thus diminishing a source of links to independent newspaper versions of their wire stories.
This wasn't what Wayner or I had in mind; I figured Google should just… Read more
Update, 3 September: I have learned that Jason Bentley is Director of Community Development at Scribd. The American Heritage Dictionary defines "disingenuous" as "Not straightforward or candid; insincere or calculating." I'd say that definition applies to this kind of astroturfing. So someone from Scribd is seeking to deflect attention away from the massive piracy going on at his company by throwing mud at Flickr. Interesting. But anyway, Bentley's points deserve to be addressed.
I suppose I was making a point by declining… Read more
There's a website out there that presents itself as the textual equivalent of Flickr-- that is, users can upload any kind of text document, and the site provides public access to all these documents.
But unlike Flickr, it's pretty obvious that the primary attraction of this site in practical terms is that it's full of copyrighted documents, and the operators apparently don't much care. Much of the content there isn't pirated, but it's still a pirate site as far as I'm concerned, and so… Read more
Remember how I said that Moore's Law is "the full-employment act for computer pundits"?
In the smaller niche of microprocessor journalism, there used to be another topic that was always good for a column: RISC vs. CISC.
In the early days of computing, a CPU (central processing unit) was a series of refrigerator-size cabinets in the computer room. Memory capacity was very limited. Computer scientists would analyze how programs executed on these machines and look for ways to shorten and speed up their programs by defining… Read more
After my Monday-morning blog post reporting on some preliminary battery-life testing for the XO laptop from the One Laptop Per Child project, I was contacted by Jim Gettys, vice president software for OLPC.
This early testing showed that the current Beta 4 development systems achieve only a little over 5 hours of operation from a… Read more
A friend sent me a link to the transcript of a talk that author Peter Wayner gave at Google last year.
It's basically about how Google could provide an incentive for newspapers and bloggers to do more original reporting rather than just rehashing previously published reports. (Yes, I know that's what I'm doing here-- but I've done a lot of genuine on-site reporting here lately, from Hot Chips, Zonbu headquarters, and Siggraph-- so I can see both sides of the issue.)
Wayner presents some interesting figures. He says… Read more
On Sunday night, 60 Minutes reran a segment on the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) project originally broadcast in May. I missed it the first time and never got around to watching it online (in Windows video format here, for example; there's a full transcript on olpctalks.com).
Hearing OLPC representative Walter Bender repeat the claim of "10 or 12 hours" of battery life "with heavy use" reminded me of… Read more