Monthly Archives: September 2010

Apple TV Unboxing

Today, I received the brand new Apple TV.  As I previously wrote about, I think the new Apple TV will fill the gap between the computer and the TV.  You can find the full specifications and details for the Apple TV on Apple’s site.  My first impressions after unboxing the device were that it is extremely small.  Steve Jobs wasn’t kidding about that.

Some other things of note, it does not come with an HDMI cable, you need to buy one separately (if you don’t own one already).  The box includes the Apple TV, the remote (which is really sleek), the power cable, and the manual.  It has built-in WiFi (a/b/g/n) and also has an ethernet port on the back if you prefer to hardwire it.

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Does The TechCrunch Acquisition Mark The End of An Era?

Now that it’s a done deal and Aol has acquired TechCrunch (along with two other companies today), I began to wonder whether this marks the end of an era.  While I guess deep down, I knew a day like this would come – it just had to eventually, I never fully considered the implications it would have down the road for other blogs and what it means for smaller (but growing) sites such as BestTechie.

Aol’s acquisition of TechCrunch marks the end of an era.  The era of major independent blogs, news sites, etc is coming to an end.  Mainstream media and content providers will start to acquire more of these “new media” sites and what is currently new will be old, and what is old will be new.  Independent sites will have a much more difficult time competing due to lack of resources, capital, and ability to easily scale.

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Apple and Google: Stealing the Technology Spotlight

What do technology giants Google and Apple have in common? Besides staying relatively stable in a otherwise shaky economy, both companies have managed take the spotlight in the media; something that cannot be said about other technology entities such as Microsoft.

So why is it that a report today from the Pew Research Center says that 15.1% of all technology stories are about Apple, and another 11.4% about Google? Simply put, the answer is innovation. You see, in the thirteen-month reporting period (1 June 2009 – 30 June 2010), Apple and Google made several groundbreaking innovations that changed truly impacted the technology industry, and thus stole the spotlight when it came to press and media coverage.

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Why I’m Fed Up With Facebook

As a long-time Facebook user, I have become more and more frustrated and fed-up with the social networking site over the the last few weeks. This frustration is being fueled by numerous instabilities and vulnerabilities on Facebook, some of which Facebook doesn’t even appear to be addressing.

As you likely know, Facebook was the subject of great criticism on Thursday after it was down for a number of hours. While downtime is inevitable for pretty much every website, downtime of this extent – especially an unplanned and unannounced one – shows that something went wrong with Facebook’s service. This is especially apparent when you consider that Facebook had an “unrelated” downtime the day before, although it only applied to applications.

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Digg Traffic Takes A Nose Dive

It has been approximately one month since Digg released their latest redesign of Digg.com version 4 and it appears that the site is now experiencing a major decline in traffic.  At Digg’s peak, they reached over 40 million unique visitors a month.  However, the uproar and disappointment with the new design appears to have truly caused a mass exodus of users.

Over the years, Digg has made some unpopular changes which resulted in a backlash from their users, however, each time Digg has either ended up reverting the change or appeased their users in some way.  Not this time though.  While they agreed to bring back and fix a number of things with the new Digg, it doesn’t seem to have satisfied everyone.  According to Hitwise, since the end of August, traffic in the US (Digg’s primary market), has dropped by 26%.  While in the UK traffic has declined by 34%.

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Aol Plans to Succeed in 2011

The Wall Street Journal reports that Aol CEO Tim Armstrong is expecting to see Aol rebound in 2011.  “I would be disappointed if we didn’t get back to what the market was doing,” said Armstrong at an investor conference.  Aol is in the process of a massive restructuring changing their focus from being an ISP to becoming a major content provider through its various blogs and other online platforms.

While Mr. Armstrong believes that 2011 will be a much better year for Aol, it obviously remains to be seen as to whether or not he can revive the company.  The company has already cut thousands of jobs in an attempt to become a lean, mean, content producing machine.  Not too long ago, Aol launched an HTML 5 version of their mobile site as part of their strategy for content consumption on the go.  Armstrong is doing a good job at putting together all of the pieces for success and he certainly has an excellent understanding of the advertising industry.

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Google New: Learn About All New Google Products

In an attempt to help users find and use more of Google’s products and features, the search giant has launched a new website dubbed Google New.  Google New started as a 20 percent project that a few Googlers worked on to showcase Google’s products and features.

As Google states on their blog, with more than 100 blogs covering all of Google’s latest news which includes new products and features, it can be very difficult to keep up with or find the information you are looking for.  By default, Google New will show snippets from the latest blog posts in reverse chronological order, however, you can also modify the page to just show the things you are actually interested in such as AdSense, Gmail, and YouTube as well as the ability to sort by general interests including Business, Social, and Mobile.

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Google Set to Acquire A Company Every Two Weeks

Google is currently on pace to acquire a new company every two weeks in 2010.  As we wrote about back in July, Google has already spent $1.1 billion on acquisitions so far this year.  While Google CEO Eric Schmidt told analysts to expect about one acquisition per month in 2010, the Mergers & Acquisitions team at Google has been a bit more busy than that.  So far this year, Google has announced 22 acquisitions with more to come.

In the very fierce and competitive markets Google is apart of, including search, video, and mobile, these acquisitions are exactly what they need to compete.  Google’s Vice President of Corporate Development, David Lawee told Reuters that “in almost every deal that we look at, there’s always someone or one of those companies interested.”  Those companies primarily being, Cisco Systems, Amazon.com Inc, and eBay.

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The Social Network

The Social Network is hitting movie theaters on October 1st.  If you are unfamiliar with The Social Network, it’s a film inspired by the creation of Facebook.  The stars of the movie include Jesse Eisenberg who plays Zuck, Justin Timberlake who plays Sean Parker (former President of Facebook), and Andrew Garfield who plays Zuck’s best friend, Eduardo Saverin.

So far I’ve seen a lot of discussion surrounding the way the movie portrays Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook).  Supposedly (I have yet to see the movie, since it isn’t out yet), the movie portrays Zuck as pompous and arrogant.  While this may be true, may I be the first to say, who cares?  This is a major production film by Columbia Pictures.  This isn’t some indie film.  Since when has Hollywood ever portrayed anything the way it actually was (or is)?

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Ubuntu’s New Application Review Process

The idea behind software stores is by far not a new concept.  After the high level of success that was seen with the iTunes App Store and its distribution system, companies like Google opted to follow similar routes in order to distribute applications and services.  However, asides from traditional software repositories, we have yet to see this concept brought into play in the Linux scene.

This was, of course, until today when it was announced that developers would able to submit applications for review to be placed in the Ubuntu Software Center.  This process, which allows applications to be submitted in a much more efficient fashion, entitled AppReviews was blogged about today by Jono; one of the developers behind the Ubuntu Linux distribution.

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