Is Microsoft Ceding the Tablet Market to Apple?

Someone should let Microsoft know that waiting to join the multitouch tablet game, a year and a half after Apple revolutionized it, just isn’t going to work this time.

This news isn’t coming from Microsoft itself, so a healthy dose of salt should be applied. The source is Jeffries analyst Katherine Egbert. She has been speaking to Microsoft’s General Manager of Investor Relations, so the estimate is pretty close to the horse’s mouth (and may, if anything, be a little optimistic).

The problem is Windows 7, which is absolutely not optimized for a tablet’s touchscreen interface–particularly in a world of multitouch gestural interfaces. To see proof of this, look no further than Steve Ballmer’s fumbling demonstration of HP’s slate PC prototype from January of 2010. Ballmer’s fingers repeatedly skitter past the tiny finger-unfriendly icons on windows.


BY Kit Eaton
http://www.fastcompany.com/1692351/microsoft-surrendering-the-tablet-pc-race-to-apple-no-windows-tablets-til-mid-2011

Microsoft tablet

Someone should let Microsoft know that waiting to join the multitouch tablet game, a year and a half after Apple revolutionized it, just isn’t going to work this time.

This news isn’t coming from Microsoft itself, so a healthy dose of salt should be applied. The source is Jeffries analyst Katherine Egbert. She has been speaking to Microsoft’s General Manager of Investor Relations, so the estimate is pretty close to the horse’s mouth (and may, if anything, be a little optimistic).

The problem is Windows 7, which is absolutely not optimized for a tablet’s touchscreen interface–particularly in a world of multitouch gestural interfaces. To see proof of this, look no further than Steve Ballmer‘s fumbling demonstration of HP‘s slate PC prototype from January of 2010. Ballmer’s fingers repeatedly skitter past the tiny finger-unfriendly icons on windows. Leer más “Is Microsoft Ceding the Tablet Market to Apple?”

How Terrafugia Designed Its Flying Car

How do you design a street-legal, FAA-approved flying car that has a chance at commercial success? Samuel Schweighart, the co-founder and VP of engineering at Terrafugia, has a pretty good idea. Schweighart is one of the brains behind the Transition, a $250,000 flying car set to be released in late 2011.

The bulk of the Transition’s engineering work was performed in SolidWorks, a 3-D CAD design program. Schweighart used the software to make components fit correctly in the vehicle, to ensure enough room for range clearances, and analyze metal parts for strength. “Essentially we built the plane in SolidWorks before building it in real life,” Schweighart says.


BY Ariel Schwartzhttp://www.fastcompany.com/1692134/how-terrafugia-designed-its-flying-car

How do you design a street-legal, FAA-approved flying car that has a chance at commercial success? Samuel Schweighart, the co-founder and VP of engineering at Terrafugia, has a pretty good idea. Schweighart is one of the brains behind the Transition, a $250,000 flying car set to be released in late 2011.

The bulk of the Transition’s engineering work was performed in SolidWorks, a 3-D CAD design program. Schweighart used the software to make components fit correctly in the vehicle, to ensure enough room for range clearances, and analyze metal parts for strength. “Essentially we built the plane in SolidWorks before building it in real life,” Schweighart says. Leer más “How Terrafugia Designed Its Flying Car”

USC Brings Together Filmmakers, Engineers, Doctors for Its New Body Computing Center

The implications for this unique collaboration are truly endless, Dr. Leslie Saxon, executive director of the Center for Body Computing, tells Fast Company, ranging from creating realistic virtual reality environments to help treat post-traumatic stress, to creating minuscule implanted devices which can be placed in the body to provide ongoing, accurate health data for patients and their providers. Thanks to the filmmaking aspect, patients will be able to understand this information through data visualization, motion graphics and a dedication to storytelling that helps them engage emotionally with their own wellness — in an experience that’s not unlike going to see a sci-fi film, says Saxon.

“People think about their own health as an ongoing narrative,” says Saxon. “As they interact with increasingly sophisticated devices for medical information they will best understand that information if it’s delivered via engaging visual storytelling.”


BY Alissa Walker | http://www.fastcompany.com

How can the goofy computer-generated gait of Jar Jar Binks and a smartphone that measures air pollution help the future of health care? The three concepts are more closely related than you think. So close, in fact, that a new cross-disciplinary school established at the University of Southern California hopes to combine technological wizardry of filmmaking with the product-design capabilities of an engineering school to help patients and physicians better understand health and wellness.

The new Center for Body Computing will reside in the school’s Keck School of Medicine and collaborate extensively with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts (which just got fancy new digs thanks to alumnus George Lucas) and the Viterbi School of Engineering. The filmmaking and engineering schools already work closely together on projects for the Institute of Creative Technologies, which is best known for developing products to help train or treat soldiers exposed to extreme situations in combat. We wrote about one of their collaborations, the IED Battle Drill, where theme park engineers and Hollywood producers created a simulated experience of a roadside bomb attack. Leer más “USC Brings Together Filmmakers, Engineers, Doctors for Its New Body Computing Center”

Google New Tells You What’s New…At Google Itself

Google has long needed a central repository of updates, and Google New will fill that niche. Google New, which went live two days ago, is basically a grid of all of Google’s new updates, spanning products like Maps, Search, Android, Gmail, AdSense, Blogger, YouTube, and Chrome, among so very many others. There’s a nice easy way to filter the updates either by specific product or by a general area of interest, so you can check out either all the recent Google Docs updates or everything related to business.

This also gives Google a rare opportunity to advertise itself, outside of the standard Google blogs. Right now, for instance, Google has put Instant, its new search function, up front and center.


BY Dan Nosowitz | http://www.fastcompany.com

Google New

Though Google is at heart (provided the “heart” of a company is its wallet) an advertising company, Google sometimes has a hard time advertising its new products. That’s partly due to the pace of releases and the massive scope of all of Google’s projects–just following, say, Android requires near-constant monitoring. Factor in dozens of different projects, all releasing new features and updates, plus the stream of new announcements, and it can get pretty hairy.

That can be a problem both for Google and for its users. If you’re not checking the tech blogs every five minutes, you could very easily miss a great new product or feature. Hell, even tech writers like myself, who really are checking the tech blogs every five minutes, can miss some of that stuff. Leer más “Google New Tells You What’s New…At Google Itself”

Ad Giant Thinks You’ll Pay for Media Again With the Content Project

TCP was created as a joint venture between two WPP subsidiaries: 24/7 RealMedia, a digital marketing and analytics company, and design firm Schematic. Restrepo says WPP’s technology, user-experience expertise, and “right relationships” will help TCP succeed.

So what exactly are these “right relationships?” Restrepo could only say that there would be a number of “major initial charter members” that would help introduce TCP when the service launches in early 2011.

With any paywall scheme, there are a number of important questions. How much access will users have to these sites? Which sites are involved in TCP’s network? Will consumers have to pay for sites even if they are not interested in subscribing to them? How will these network partners agree to share revenue? Is shared revenue a sustainable model?

Restrepo admits that “our solution isn’t going to be right for everyone.” As he puts it, TCP needs to “experiment before it can draw any hard conclusions.”


Fast Company Logo

BY Austin Carr

The Content Project

How much content are you willing to pay for online? That’s what providers from publishers to media outlets want to know as they gear up to launch subscription services. Hulu and the New York Times are just two of the many experimenting with paywalls. But the idea has yet to become viable among consumers who are used to free, ad-supported content. Leer más “Ad Giant Thinks You’ll Pay for Media Again With the Content Project”

2010’s Most Imitated Web Businesses


By: Tina Dupuy

The Net is rife with the sincerest form of flattery. Facebook for movie fans? (Really?) Here are 2010’s most-imitated Web businesses. Which copycats look like winners?… Leer más “2010’s Most Imitated Web Businesses”

Nike+ GPS App for iPhone Challenges All Fitness App Rivals

Nike+ also offers voice feedback, letting you know how your run is going, and syncs with Nike’s 3-million-strong NikePlus.com community, Twitter, and Facebook. All of that is also offered by Runkeeper, but Nike+ has in-run motivational messages from trainers and celebrities! So how is Runkeeper feeling about Nike’s newest encroachment on their turf?

Confident, it seems. In a blog post, Runkeeper played up the company’s scrappy quickness and ability to react, claiming its willingness to work with every shoe manufacturer and every aspect of the fitness world is an advantage.

And in the end, our input-agnostic approach, our headstart, our ability to move quickly, and our ability to push the envelope in areas that would make big companies uncomfortable, will prevail. And while it is scary to have these big, well-resourced competitors jumping in, we believe strongly that our approach is the right one, and that the independent system will win in the end.


BY Dan Nosowitz

Nike+ has taken awhile to move into the modern age, but it’s finally here. Nike+ started out as a fitness app for the Apple iPod line (Touch and Nano), but required separate hardware–in this case, specific Nike sneakers with an embedded chip–to actually track progress. In the meantime, competitors like Adidas MiCoach and the independent, Boston-based Runkeeper have (please pardon the pun) run with the idea (sorry!) and created fully autonomous GPS-tracking fitness apps that offer advanced features like Google Maps tracking and social networking.

So what’s a sneaker giant to do? Update the app, that’s what. This weekend, Nike updated the Nike+ app to offer new features that can actually compete with the scrappy upstarts like Runkeeper. Like its smaller competitors, the new Nike+ inserts your path into Google Maps as well as tracking the usual stats like pace, distance, and calories burned. Leer más “Nike+ GPS App for iPhone Challenges All Fitness App Rivals”

What Are BP, Apple, Amazon, and Others Spending on Google Advertising?

Much of the list, which covers the month of June 2010, will be of no surprise to anyone that uses Google Search regularly (which is pretty much everyone): AT&T spends ridiculous amounts of money, as do Apollo Group (which owns the University of Phoenix), Amazon, and Expedia. It’s worthwhile to note that some of AT&T’s $8.08 million budget was probably due to the launch of the wireless carrier’s biggest product of the year, the Apple iPhone 4.

Apple itself spent slightly less than $1 million, which puts the company in the upper echelon of Google spending but not all that close to the top. 47 companies spent over $1 million, so Apple was, at best, in the top 50. That’s indicative one of the more interesting revelations in the report: Google’s search ads revenue is the product of dozens of different advertisers, none of whom dominate. The top ten advertisers only accounted for about 5% of Google’s total revenue, and the biggest spender, AT&T, didn’t even snag 1% by itself.


BY Dan Nosowitz

Google is typically very secretive about the specifics of its search revenue. I can’t actually recall any other leak quite like this one, in which the budgets of specific companies are laid out–kudos to AdAge for snagging the internal document with such rarely seen information.

Much of the list, which covers the month of June 2010, will be of no surprise to anyone that uses Google Search regularly (which is pretty much everyone): AT&T spends ridiculous amounts of money, as do Apollo Group (which owns the University of Phoenix), Amazon, and Expedia. It’s worthwhile to note that some of AT&T’s $8.08 million budget was probably due to the launch of the wireless carrier’s biggest product of the year, the Apple iPhone 4.

Apple itself spent slightly less than $1 million, which puts the company in the upper echelon of Google spending but not all that close to the top. 47 companies spent over $1 million, so Apple was, at best, in the top 50. That’s indicative one of the more interesting revelations in the report: Google’s search ads revenue is the product of dozens of different advertisers, none of whom dominate. The top ten advertisers only accounted for about 5% of Google’s total revenue, and the biggest spender, AT&T, didn’t even snag 1% by itself. Leer más “What Are BP, Apple, Amazon, and Others Spending on Google Advertising?”

Atom.com Creates Campy Comedy Web Series

Atom stockpiles the best of its year-round slate for the fourth quarter, much like a TV network. Yet it retains a Web flavor by sharing ad revenue with its creators and partnering with them in hybrid Web-TV deals. For example, Atom is working with Waverly Films, the trio behind its former Web series Stickman Exodus (stick figures in a kid’s notebook go on a freedom quest) to create a series called The Fuzz, a cop show set in a city where humans and puppets coexist. Roesch explains, “We pooled some budget and had them do a Web series instead of going through normal TV development.” The Fuzz is expected to air on Atom later this year.


By: Vanessa Juarez

THE LEGEND OF NEIL: Atom.com‘s gaming spoof starring Tony Janning also satirizes male geeks.

atom.com, the legend of neil

Explosive late-night comedy — and a shot at TV.

Only in a Web series would inebriation and The Legend of Zelda be a match made in heaven. But ever since a gas-station attendant woke up hungover inside the classic Nintendo game nearly two years ago, The Legend of Neil has been one of Atom.com‘s most successful franchises.

The campy live-action series, now in its third and final season, highlights Atom’s evolution over the past decade from user-generated indie film shorts to professionally produced comedy series. In 2006, MTV Networks acquired Atom for $200 million, to serve in part as an idea incubator for its cable nets. Recent hit series 5-On, for example, became Comedy Central‘s Ugly Americans, and Atom has its own popular (for 2:30 a.m.) weekly showcase on the channel. “One of the things that [creators] are hoping to do is catch the networks’ eye,” says Scott Roesch, Atom’s general manager. Leer más “Atom.com Creates Campy Comedy Web Series”

Why Apple’s Ping Stumble May Help Google Music

The labels, it could be argued, have a reason to hesitate. Apple controls more than 80% of all digital music sales (thanks largely to labels’ inability to innovate), and labels would likely be reluctant to hand over any more leverage in the form of marketing via Ping. If Ping becomes even a fifth of Facebook’s size–and with 160 million users registered on iTunes, it very well could–no label could contain it.

Which leads us to Google. There have been bubblings of a possible iTunes rival from Mountain View (the ballyhooed “Google Music”) for some time, but according to several sources, Google’s music service may be available by Christmas–and record labels couldn’t have it soon enough.


BY Austin Carr

iTunes Ping

Click around for early opinions of Ping, Apple‘s new social network for music, and you’ll start seeing the same complaints: It’s like a crowded room with the lights out; it’s impossible to find your friends, especially without Facebook or Gmail integration; the artist community is non-existent, except for a few Apple partners promoting the service. (Why else would Ping “recommend” we all follow Lady Gaga, Yo-Yo Ma, and Rick Rubin?) Boil it all down, and the early consensus is that the oft-flawless company, with Ping, has stumbled to serve consumers, distanced itself from record labels, and even aided Google. Leer más “Why Apple’s Ping Stumble May Help Google Music”

Architects and Designers Illuminate the Future with OLEDs

OLEDs have been hailed as the Next Big Thing in lighting for years now. But beyond digital picture frames and bendy display screens that make Gumby look like a slab of concrete, we haven’t seen a whole lot from the tech that’s supposed to revolutionize the way we illuminate our world.

That’s slowly changing, and to that end, Konica Minolta has enlisted a handful of architects and designers to envision the future of OLEDs, from floating bus maps and giant public lighting “vessels” to glowstick-like jewelry that can double as safety reflectors. They’re only concepts, but they do offer a foretaste of the expanded role artificial lighting will play if and when OLEDs finally deliver on their promise.

First a primer on OLEDs: They stand for organic light-emitting diodes, and, instead of flashing light from a single-point bulb (like incandescents and even LEDs), they glow at the surface, enveloping their surroundings in a diffuse, ghostly halo. Environmentalists go gaga for them because they stay cooler than LEDs, and they’re more energy-efficient than fluorescents — plus they don’t contain mercury. And architects and designers go gaga for them because they can be bent, rolled, and otherwise manipulated into any shape imaginable.


OLEDs have been hailed as the Next Big Thing in lighting for years now. But beyond digital picture frames and bendy display screens that make Gumby look like a slab of concrete, we haven’t seen a whole lot from the tech that’s supposed to revolutionize the way we illuminate our world.

That’s slowly changing, and to that end, Konica Minolta has enlisted a handful of architects and designers to envision the future of OLEDs, from floating bus maps and giant public lighting “vessels” to glowstick-like jewelry that can double as safety reflectors. They’re only concepts, but they do offer a foretaste of the expanded role artificial lighting will play if and when OLEDs finally deliver on their promise.

First a primer on OLEDs: They stand for organic light-emitting diodes, and, instead of flashing light from a single-point bulb (like incandescents and even LEDs), they glow at the surface, enveloping their surroundings in a diffuse, ghostly halo. Environmentalists go gaga for them because they stay cooler than LEDs, and they’re more energy-efficient than fluorescents — plus they don’t contain mercury. And architects and designers go gaga for them because they can be bent, rolled, and otherwise manipulated into any shape imaginable. Leer más “Architects and Designers Illuminate the Future with OLEDs”

Wendy’s Introduces “Natural” French Fries

French fries are not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about “natural” foods. But that isn’t stopping Wendy’s from testing out its so-called Natural Fries in select markets throughout Florida, North Carolina, and Louisiana. The fries are pretty bare bones–just skin-on strips of potato slathered in oils and sea salt. Regular Wendy’s fries contain table salt, oil, and sodium acid pyrophosphate (to protect color).

So far, customer reviews have been positive. Wendy’s executives are also excited about the new fries. Food blogger Rick Allen explains:

But at least one local Wendy’s manager is thrilled with the new fries, too. Larry Romanik, who runs the Wendy’s at 3001 E. Silver Springs Blvd., says in the three weeks they’ve been available, “They’ve been getting overwhelmingly rave reviews. I think we’ve had only one negative so far.”


BY Ariel Schwartz

French fries

French fries are not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about “natural” foods. But that isn’t stopping Wendy’s from testing out its so-called Natural Fries in select markets throughout Florida, North Carolina, and Louisiana. The fries are pretty bare bones–just skin-on strips of potato slathered in oils and sea salt. Regular Wendy’s fries contain table salt, oil, and sodium acid pyrophosphate (to protect color).

So far, customer reviews have been positive. Wendy’s executives are also excited about the new fries. Food blogger Rick Allen explains:

But at least one local Wendy’s manager is thrilled with the new fries, too. Larry Romanik, who runs the Wendy’s at 3001 E. Silver Springs Blvd., says in the three weeks they’ve been available, “They’ve been getting overwhelmingly rave reviews. I think we’ve had only one negative so far.” Leer más “Wendy’s Introduces “Natural” French Fries”

Ten Things Your Employees Wish You Knew About Them

If you think it’s tough being a manager these days, try being an employee. Most are in the position of having to go with the flow because of the current economic conditions. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they do so with a smile on their face. Here are ten things your employees wish you knew about them:

1. They are happy to have a job. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they are happy in their job. Big difference. People who are happy in their jobs act a lot different than those grateful to have a job. They are highly engaged and will do whatever it takes to delight the customer. The other group simply floats along praying for the day they can tell you really what they are thinking. Most likely they will do this as they hand in their notice. That is if they even give notice.

2. You’re not the boss of me. My five year old used to say this to me all the time. That is until I corrected her by telling her that actually I was the boss of her and that what I said goes. You may be the boss, but you don’t own your people. The minute you start playing the, “Because I said so” card, you’ve lost the game.

3. Your girls don’t like being called girls. I remember how shocked I was when my first client started speaking to me about the girls in the office, as he pointed to a sea of silver haired women. That should have been a sign that the problem was right in front of me. It is disrespectful to call females over the age of 18 girls. They are women. Keep this in mind when referring to female employees or you’ll soon find yourself managing a team consisting of yourself. Then you’ll be free to reference yourself in the manner that best suits you.


BY FC Expert Blogger Roberta Matuson

(…)

If you think it’s tough being a manager these days, try being an employee. Most are in the position of having to go with the flow because of the current economic conditions. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they do so with a smile on their face. Here are ten things your employees wish you knew about them:

1. They are happy to have a job. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they are happy in their job. Big difference. People who are happy in their jobs act a lot different than those grateful to have a job. They are highly engaged and will do whatever it takes to delight the customer. The other group simply floats along praying for the day they can tell you really what they are thinking. Most likely they will do this as they hand in their notice. That is if they even give notice.

2. You’re not the boss of me. My five year old used to say this to me all the time. That is until I corrected her by telling her that actually I was the boss of her and that what I said goes. You may be the boss, but you don’t own your people. The minute you start playing the, “Because I said so” card, you’ve lost the game.

3. Your girls don’t like being called girls. I remember how shocked I was when my first client started speaking to me about the girls in the office, as he pointed to a sea of silver haired women. That should have been a sign that the problem was right in front of me. It is disrespectful to call females over the age of 18 girls. They are women. Keep this in mind when referring to female employees or you’ll soon find yourself managing a team consisting of yourself. Then you’ll be free to reference yourself in the manner that best suits you. Leer más “Ten Things Your Employees Wish You Knew About Them”

Intel, Nokia Taking Smartphones Into A Whole New Dimension: The Third

The Intel Nokia Joint Innovation Center (INJIC) officially opened its doors today. There are actually three parties involved in the new enterprise: Chip-maker Intel, cell phone master Nokia, and the University of Oulu in north-central Finland. Nokia, despite its slipping grip on the smartphone (and being completely sucker-punched by the touchscreen phone revolution) does lots of innovative research, and this new facility is destined to craft “compelling mobile user experiences that could leverage the rapidly increasing capabilities of mobile devices.” One particular target is the Intel-Nokia collaborative OS Meego, as it “provides the greatest flexibility for developing new 3-D experiences on mobile devices,” and this also explains the choice of Oulu, which has a “focus on future telecommunications solutions” and lots of “3-D interface expertise.”


BY Kit EatonToday

Nokia Intel 3-D

Smartphones have only become powerful enough to display high-quality 3-D graphics in the last couple of years. But Intel and Nokia have high hopes for the future of the technology. To this end, they’ve just opened a new research lab. It’s all about “immersive” experiences. Leer más “Intel, Nokia Taking Smartphones Into A Whole New Dimension: The Third”