Archive for September, 2008

Survey: companies should give a Tweet, join social web

Americans not only expect companies to have a presence on various social media sites, according to a new report by Cone, they also expect those companies to interact with customers, help troubleshoot problems, and even solicit feedback on products and services.

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Analyst: Google Maps Reigns Supreme

Google Maps

Cowen & Co., an industry analyst firm that specializes in covering Web services, released a statement today discussing its findings on the success of online mapping solutions.

To no one’s surprise, the analyst found that Google Maps is the de facto leader in the space, while its rivals, Yahoo Maps, MapQuest, and Live Search Maps have slipped well behind Google. According to the analyst, much of Google’s success is due to the fact that its competitors simply don’t have what it takes to keep pace.

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GNU Founder Richard Stallman: Cloud Computing “Worse Than Stupidity”

The backlash to the cloud computing hype is snowballing. Now it’s GNU founder/copyleftist Richard Stallman trashing the concept. Stallman to The Guardian:

“It’s stupidity. It’s worse than stupidity: it’s a marketing hype campaign,”

“Somebody is saying this is inevitable - and whenever you hear somebody saying that, it’s very likely to be a set of businesses campaigning to make it true.”

Stallman’s comments follow those of Oracle (ORCL) CEO Larry Ellison a few days ago, who called cloud computing hype “complete gibberish” and “insane.”

The back-to-back criticisms of cloud computing both target the hype, but the two figures have very different visions of the future. Oracle’s Ellison is selling cloud computing products and poking fun at his own marketing. Stallman is opposed to the cloud because he thinks it locks users into a proprietary, non-open source software. Guess which one is a billionaire?

See also:
Larry Ellison: Someone Explain To Me This “Cloud Computing” Thing My Company Is Committing To

The Entire D6 Interview With Dell Computer’s Michael Dell (1 of 3)

We’re posting all the interviews from the sixth D: All Things Digital conference that took place in late May.

Here’s an interview that Walt Mossberg did with Michael Dell, the founder of the once-high-flying computer company who has returned as its CEO. Dell was forced to resume the role in 2007, after changing market conditions caused the company to falter and competition from Apple, Hewlett-Packard and Sony increased.

This is part one of three parts.

In this first part, Dell talks about how Dell stumbled and how it is trying to right itself.

Apple tumbles on consumer spending concerns (Reuters)

A customer leaves an Apple Store with his new iPhone 3G in New York July 11, 2008. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)Reuters - Apple Inc shares tumbled 16 percent on Monday, their biggest drop in seven years, amid concerns the maker of Mac computers and other consumer electronics will suffer as the economy slows.

NASA may delay repair mission to Hubble telescope (AP)

The Hubble Space Telescope in a file image. (NASA/Handout/Reuters)AP - The Hubble Space Telescope has stopped sending science data, forcing NASA to regroup and possibly delay the space shuttle mission planned in just two weeks to upgrade the telescope.

Dell’s ink-free Zink PZ310 WASABI printer splashes down in FCC

Filed under: Peripherals

Up until now, the words “Zink” and “Polaroid” were all but married together, but a breakup fit for The Hills is about to go down courtesy of the all-too-promiscuous Dell. Over in the deep waters of the FCC, we’re seeing a new Dell printer that utilizes the ink-free Zink technology. The PZ310 WASABI is yet another handheld printer that comes bundled with a single stack of printing paper, Bluetooth technology for printing from your mobile / BT-enabled PC, a USB port for traditionalists and a Reprint button for obvious reasons. As with everything in the FCC, the agency is never kind enough to hand over any preliminary pricing / release information, but it ought not be long now before Dell starts shipping these things without even telling anyone.

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Sprint Redefines Mobile with 4G Launch in Baltimore (NewsFactor)

NewsFactor - Sprint on Monday launched its next-generation 4G wireless network in Baltimore. The network, which runs on WiMAX technology, could start a new era in mobile broadband.

Circuit City Continues Death Spiral, Really Wants You to Stop Calling It “Circuit Shitty” [Circuit City]

Spurred by its latest quarter of dismal failure—a net loss of $239.2 million—Circuit City has instigated a “comprehensive analysis of its business,” which will “start with improving the customer experience in our stores,” says new mayor James Marcum. (For comparison, a hard hit for Best Buy this quarter was a $202 million profit.)

So, while they’re actively shopping for buyers of the beleaguered company since the Blockbuster deal fell through, you can probably expect more of its new Best Buy-like “The City” stores. I still trip balls every time I see the one smack next to Best Buy in midtown Manhattan. It’s gotta be the most painful block in the city.

That said, the customer service in most Circuit City stores does seem to outpace Best Buy’s in crappiness, which is largely because they don’t pay starting employees as much as they used to, a few employees have told me. I still go there occasionally because they undercut Best Buy’s prices with some frequency, but sometimes I wonder if I wouldn’t mind paying a buck or two more for slightly less aggravation, at least until the cheapskate kicks in. [WSJ, Image via qnr]