Archive for February, 2011

The Ides of February Brings Change To Mobility Landscape

“Beware the Ides of March” was a warning of calamitous nature to Ceasar. The foreshadowing was in reference to the 15th of that month. For certain other months, such as Feb, the ‘ides’ is on the 13th. And the portent for the mobility world has likely already taken place as the “Ides of February” now approaches.

Just a little more than two weeks ago, Verizon was still in denial over the iPhone, the Galaxy Tab was the first significant competition to iPad, Android Honeycomb (particularly with Motorola Xoom) was announced with great fanfare, the rumor mill had HP unable to achieve success without dropping WebOS, and Nokia’s “Great White Hope” MeeGo (the joint embed OS venture with Intel) was pulled off the market in anticipation of golden release.

Now we are heading towards mid-Feb and…

I’ve long maintained that, although I am an iPhone/iPad fan, I am not a “fanboy” that views all others as inferior. I actually relish the diversity and watching the innovations that capitalistic competition have spurred. The “Ides of February” has brought some momentous events for mobility, and the next few months – awaiting the general availability of WebOS, Honeycomb, iPad2, and PlayBook – will be significant.

These are exciting times. A lot has happened in a relatively short span. The only thing that moves faster than “Internet time” would seem to be “mobility time”!

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Aiding And Abetting

The latest salvo in the Google vs Microsoft battle is the accusation that Bing is copying Google search results to improve their own algorithm. MS does not exactly deny the charge, but says that it is just one of many “signals” they use to improve their product.

Is what Bing did illegal? Not sure. Is “cheating” illegal or just immoral? That’s what they did – they looked over the shoulder of the smart kid in school and copied their test answers. Does anyone (other than Google, of course) care? This is mostly just something for the two companies to hash out in private. The rest of the world will scarcely notice, and I doubt the DoJ is mounting an investigation. At best, it’s probably a “mountain out of a molehill” in the SEO community.

But what irks me is that MS conscripted us into their questionable plan. They didn’t fill a room full of paid researchers to try and reverse engineer the Google algorithm. No. They took advantage of the ubiquity of Internet Explorer and used my data, your data, your neighbor’s data, to do their dirty work for them.

Whenever a piece of software asked “would you like to send us anonymous data to help us improve the product experience?”, I’d always figure “what harm could it do?”. But now, I will always say NO.


Tumblr vs Posterous vs … Deck.ly??

“Microblogging” is a way to broadcast small elements of content within a web or social media context. Supporting simple text and link sharing, status updates in Facebook and LinkedIn are at the basic end of the microblogging spectrum. Taking more of a multimedia approach, services such as Tumblr and Posterous add support for longer texts that can also include images, files, music, and video.

Twitter is pure microblogging minimalism, limiting tweets to 140 characters (based on the maximum size of an SMS message). Twitter’s strict interpretation of “micro” has spurred an entire “twitterverse”, 100MM strong. Part of the fun, or some would say challenge, is keeping updates under the limit. Have more to say? Not a problem. Simply blog it – whether through Posterous, WordPress, or any other [micro]blogging platform – and then tweet an intro with a link to the rest. A very common practice. TweetDeck – a microblogging tool that helps to consolidate Twitter, Facebook, and other social media streams – might have you think otherwise.

TweetDeck announced a new “Deck.ly” service that will support tweets longer than the normal 140 limit. Larger texts will be “blogged” on their web site and then automatically intro’d/linked in a shorter Twitter-compatible tweet. Never mind that, with the proper configuration, most current microblogging platforms already handle the auto-crossposting. Claiming credit for solving a problem that had already been solved long ago, this new service was supposedly in great demand by their application’s users.

Excusing TweetDeck for their hyperbole (and their users for their ignorance), Deck.ly does introduce a new player to the microblogosphere. They promise that this is just the start of something bigger – presumably adding multimedia support. No longer just an application, TweetDeck/Deck.ly is now a blog hosting platform. Will Deck.ly remain a closed system only for users of the paid-for apps? Time will tell. But the numerous “Posterous is better/worse than Tumblr” debates may have an additional contender, and Deck.ly will likely require a re-assessment of all the comparisons.


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