Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Techboard's Big Prediction - iPhone Nano

Techboard's big prediction for 2009 is that Apple will debut the iPhone Nano (by the summer).

That's it! Have some cool holidays.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

b-Uncut Does Web 2.0 Art

b-Uncut is a new kind of Web 2.0 social network. It kicked off in 2008 with a handful of artists and a big idea - to build the worlds coolest and most dynamic (virtual) art commune.

Today they boast 185 great artists from all over the world, adding at least one new artist a day. They have over 1,500 artworks loaded and showing online to the world at large. Over 2,000 art lovers visit b-Uncut.com every month and growing.

b-Uncut seem to have one of the more dynamic, lively, talented and inclusive communities around. And the industry is starting to take note. They feature both recognized and emerging artists.

And apparently they have recently been approached to increase the profile of relevant b-Uncut artists by featuring them at art fairs and gallery shows. They even have art critics researching artworks at b-Uncut for future projects and concepts.

If that's not enough b-Uncut plan to launch a publishing label - just for b-Uncut artists. Check them out - go to b-Uncut.com.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Linkedin Reshuffle

Linkedin's a changing. The CEO's out, a new President's in and the founders back. Linkedin have spouted the usual mumbo jumbo about their ousted CEO having achieved everything he needed to achieve blah, blah so he can now stuff off into semi-retirement - right.

So what's really up at the pros networking site? Well, not enough. Linkedin is a great idea that's made little real progress in the last few years. Dare I say it - Linkedin's become a bit boring. Ya know - corporate boring. They are about as design-driven as IBM is and even Facebook are eating some of their lunch.

As a Linkedin user I find them still little more than a dynamic roledex site. And I want more. I want to be able to communicate with my contacts in more dynamic and diverse ways than sending them an email or telling them what I'm up to. And why should Linkedin not help me meet new interesting folk as well as connect with those I already know. Oh and how about the mobile world dudes? Kick it up a gear guys or others will.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

iPhones hit Wal-Mart

Apple's iPhone is about to start selling in Wal-Mart stores at a discounted price. (Good 'ol Sam). They should hit the stores just in advance of holiday sales. This will give the iPhone even broader distribution and mass market appeal. 

And Apple are gonna need it since iMac sales are slipping. Finally their premium pricing versus cheapo Dell and HP laptops is starting to bite. Proving that they should have introduced more aggressive pricing with the new range of laptops and desktops that came out this fall.

Talking of mass market iPhone sales surely 2009 will be the year Apple launch a cheaper, slimmer even-more-mass-market iPhone Nano. Come on Steve!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Microsoft Back iPhone

Microsoft just launched their first iPhone app - even before it was launched on Windows Mobile. Yaagh... Live Labs dished up Seadragon Mobile a free image-browsing app that allows users to 'deep zoom' images while online. Nice.

Seadragon is a slick backbone for Microsoft's Photosynth - allowing users to take a grouping of photos and stitch them together into a 3D environment and it has a steal on Photoshop in photo-meshing for dynamic flow.

Now apparently Microsoft have so caught the iPhone bug that they're planning a bunch more including voice-activated search from Tell-Me. Jobs must be smiling.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Google Chrome Leaves da House

Google's Chrome left da beta house yesterday, which for a Google product is a record dash coming only 100 days after launch. Why so rapido? They say its because they had so many internal users smash around at it before launch that they could accelerate the process. Yeah, right.

I mean Picasa and Gmail took years to get out of beta and in Gmail's case with tens of millions of users its still idling in official pre-release. So what's the vig.

Chrome is probably the single most important product launch Google have made since search. Chrome should hook hundreds of millions of PC users, another few hundred million with wireless devices and finally entice corporate folk. Chrome's their single most leveraged path, with Google Apps running across, to attempt to chip away at the heart of Microsoft's dominance and aggression. Google know its a matter of little time before Microsoft (perhaps with Yahoo search in arm) chip away at their search advertising lead and there are God knows how many start-up's trying to re-invent search tech. Yaah.

So, its time to beat Microsoft back at their own game and Chrome with Google Apps is the pack. So look to see tons more action in the Chrome camp through 2009 - beyond just funky bookmark app improvements.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Who's Gonna Run Yahoo!

Headhunter Heidricks is on the run trying to find Yahoo's next CEO. But which industry stones should they roll over? Last time Yahoo tapped big media. Now it could be mobile telecoms, Social media, software or beyond.

Crystal ball gazing is a dud bust - but given Yahoo's search sprint v Google is pretty much over there are probably just a few ways they can go to differentiate tomorrow. Portal media one stop shop, getting increasingly personal, social solutions or mobile Internet leader.

Should they der think out of the box they might even merge with a nex gen social network (how about Ning?) - surprise the market and add juice to an otherwise languid search (pun intended). If not they're gonna end up with another dud media dude or worse Arun Sarin, who did not a lot for Vodafone and clearly doesn't get the mobile Internet - just check Vodafone Live!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Speedbreak.com does Speed - Break - Date

For any of you who can't wait any longer to get the friggin' depression/recession/any-references-whatsoever-to-1930's out of your heads  - then here's one for you. Speedbreak.com. And it does exactly what it says on the tin. Speed - break - date....

Yep, its for singlers with a need for speed - both gettin' out of the country fast and doing 'fast' holidays - i.e. on skiis, snowboards, jetski's, bungee (hey, if its cool for Beck's it's cool for you too). Anyway - you get it.

So, need a break - check em out!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Blogging Platforms go Social

Blogger's launched Friend Connect - Wordpress has partnered with KickApps and Typepad has just launched Typepad Connect. Each initiative a clear pointer to the fact that mainstream blogging platforms are finally going social. 

And this is just the first step to converting 1st generation static content blog sites with a little comment interactivity action into fully blown, multi-media, social Web platforms that will one day even include Wiki style features turning every blog into a community of interest and its own niche, multimedia Which guide.

Then Blog 2.0 can develop and blogging platforms will become fully blown, all singing all dancing, media publishing platforms. Nex gen media ventures will start-up from kitchen tables and be powered by Blogger or Wordpress. Broadband, software platforms, laptops, digi cameras, camcorders and smartphones as granted - all costing but a few hundred dollars. New, new media founders imaginations the only limit. Welcome to the new dawn.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Web 2.0 Social Start-up for Entrepreneurs

Letts' hot new London based incubator, blur Group, has just launched a Web 2.0 start-up venture, called i-Revolution, aimed at tech innovators and entrepreneurs. It's in closed beta, but looks interesting. Already a bunch of pretty cool entrepreneurs and even investors have signed up and started using the tips, tricks, content and network to help them develop and hone their ventures.

Social sites have a useful role to play for entrepreneurs and innovators in helping them develop and brainstorm ideas, enhance their network of potential partners and peers as well as gain greater profile as a network to prospective investors, corporate bus dev guys and even standards bodies. Makes sense. The key for sites such as i-Revolution will be the quality and filtering of their members. So, tech entrepreneurs, check out i-Revolution.org.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Ultraknowledge Another Google?

UK based start-up Ultraknowledge - (are they?) have come up with some powerful search technology which could enable media companies to monetize a greater portion of their content. Apparently they can tag and search deeper down into the bowels of your current and archived content to enable more relevant search and deeper monetization of your digital assets.

And if you think that sounds too jargony for you - just wait... Ultraknowledge use a content indexing and data storage engine that retrieves relevant content by comparing so called 'Concept Signatures' that are created for each indexed article. These signatures can be thought of as 'Digital DNA' (apparently) with each article creating its own unique set of patterns which allows for the analysis and comparison of content at multiple levels. I.e. they search deeper into your content layers. Watch out Google? Not quite yet.

But if you're still reading - good on you. Either way, we think they're worth a look in 'cos big UK media is starting to buy into them and we like the approach. We'll keep a watching brief.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Power A Dashboard to your Social Life

As Internet users gather increasing volumes of applications, services and media to their data cluttered lives there is, apparently, a growing need for order. Orwellian order it seems to free us from our Internet jumble. And the oddly named Power.com (no, not some new Greentech venture) wants to chip in and de-clutter our prolific social networking lives.

So if you're active on multiple social networks Power could help you multi-task your Facebook, MySpace or Orkut existence and friend wagging. 'Cos they provide a universal dashboard to these services and others so helping you sign in once and access them all in a single neat dashboard. Bingo, you can then communicate in parallel rather than Website sequence. Potentially neat. The bad news is Power only tidies your Web life if you are a Latin American or US user.

Squace are trying to do something similar as a universal interface to the mobile Internet utilizing their neat square and grid system. It all reminds me of the corporate portal days - anyone remember Plumtree? God, what happened to them...

Google Friend Connect Live at Techboard

Google Friend Connect is now live here at Techboard. Implementing it was slick and simple - be careful to size the application right for your column - 'cos it seems tricky to resize.

This is a small leap for Google into the social networking space. It'll be interesting to see how Friend Connect will evolve. Perhaps looking more like KickApps. Either way, Friend Connect in its first version is a neat little cross platform app to drive relationships within your site or blog - but little more.

It'll need to get deeper to make a real impact on the likes of Facebook or MySpace going forwards. Let's see...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Xing Go for Growth

Xing are changing their management team for growth - starting with a new CEO.

It looks like Xing are gunning to catch up with Linkedin. They have 6 Million members versus Linkedin's more than 30 Million. Proving that Web 2.0 style online networking is still hotter than ever. Particularly for professionals.

Mind you both need to add services and value fast - 'cos Facebook is after their patch.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Huffington Post Closes $25 Million Round

The Huffington Post, the worlds No1 blog site, has just closed a $25 Million Series C round of financing which apparently values the worlds leading blog site at around $100 Million. They want to use the cash to expand beyond politics, including sports and a new world page. Der, covering world news.

Top blogs are hot. TechCrunch now has more then 1 million techo's reading it every day. So get scribbling - maybe your blog could be worth a buck or two when the worlds stopped feeling all depressed with itself. Burn that midnight oil.

Feels to me like leading blogs could go the way of CNET - maybe even getting snapped up by the likes of NBC for a couple of billion in another 5 years. I mean traditional media juggernauts have done dumber things. Right?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Techboard's No 1 Black Friday Gadget

As black friday kicks the holiday splurge (not) off today we thought we'd challenge ourselves to come up with the Techboard Numero Uno Christmas gadget. Assuming you can afford it.

Ta ta......

It's Apple's Macbook Air that takes the podium. It's thin, slim, light, packs a real punch (thanks to the latest release) and is truly design-driven. It even makes your iPhone look clunky. And, it points the way to the next generation of computing - 'not about the storage'. It's the cloud.

And Happy Thanksgiving. We thank all our readers wherever you are.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Umee Rocks .tv

We've stumbled across another neat UK tech company whimsically name umee - yep, you and me. Because their software helps you and me share rich media at social networking sites.

That means they trot along with their box of tricks to big media companies (I think mainly newspapers for now) and help them post and share their content to social networks so when we see something (media) we like we can share it with our mates.

umee then take a slice of the ad revenues. OK. So they could help shift more content around social networks, potentially increasing stickiness while enabling old media to get in on the social networking act that they royally missed or stuffed up by buying Friends Reunited.

Sounds reasonably cool. I have but one issue - the content better be hot or I'll be damned clogging share cred with my busy, media savvy mates. But maybe that's just me.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

KickApps Kicks Ass

KickApps has just raised $14 m which in these markets means they kick ass! And they probably do. They hit Ning head on with a more open and customizable/modular platform which can socialize your site with community, video, photo-sharing and blogging for mainstream media companies as well as one man shows.

A combination worth looking at is Wordpress with KickApps. And bingo a blogging/content platform with social networking and media apps on steroids. One for would-be digital media entrepreneurs.

Those seeking a total community networking platform out of the box, drag and drop, with no programming skills - stick with Ning.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What Does Linkedin Search Point To?

Linkedin have been busy the last month - with a new app store and an advanced search service tweaked to help (nearly 33 million of you) network. Network? Apparently so.

And these technical developments also reveal where Linkedin is heading. Now that they have network mass - the next phase for the professionals networking site will be services. Services which help professionals find each other more effectively, discover partners more easily and scout for talent. Sorry Recruitment folk.

In the end though Linkedin is all about extending members existing network. For new relationships and partnerships other Web 2.0 sites should perform better. For jobs see jobopz.com. For creatives b-uncut. For innovators i-Revolution. You get the picture.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Windows Live Search Moving to Kumo.com

Windows Live Search looks set to be rebranded Kumo @ Kumo.com. Apparently its Japanese for cloud or spider - struggling to get that connection (but thanks CNET). Either way any branding that isn't Windows Live Search should help - that and the new dude they hired from Yahoo to run their search division.

Mind you given the hash Yahoo have made of it I'm not sure he'd be top of my list - unless of course task numero uno is integrating Yahoo search post an acquisition. Now we're talking...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Perperitus Pioneers with Performance Management Software

UK based Perperitus is a pioneer in the emerging performance management software space. They have a nifty online service with a subscription model that delivers best practice performance dashboards across desktops and throughout the organization.

Their approach looks quite revolutionary and we like the way they model top performers in your company and then build knowledge based systems and process templates around a nifty Web 2.0 dashboard to improve the performance of other employees. They started with a sales dashboard (mashing top sales performer approaches with sales methodologies, info and tools) and now have performance management solutions in place for many other functions too.

And it looks like later next year they'll be offering a full DIY platform over the Web for any organization large or very small to build and tailor their own solution in matters of hours. Performance management and employee productivity should be hot in this down and out downturn!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Blackberry Storm Misses

The first Blackberry Storm revues are in (see CNET) and it seems like it's, well, a bit clunky. Clunky? Well, at least, squidgy. And the keyboards too small. Other than that its great - right. I guess I'll stick with my Blackberry Bold for now. No great storm here.

And iPhone challenger? Not. Vodafone/Verizon miss again...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bebo Founders Focus on BirthdayAlarm.com

I met with one of the Bebo founders yesterday and chatted about a few things. It seems that life post the deal with AOL has the Birch brothers a little more relaxed. Not.

And their attention is swinging to BirthdayAlarm.com. Which is a simple way for people to remember birthdays. Need that. In addition to birthday reminders, absent minded users can set holiday and anniversary reminders (people need reminding about holidays??), send animated eCards and invitations, play games, send flowers and vote for the next US President (joke).

Apparently BirthdayAlarm's technology was the foundation for Bebo - and BirthdayAlarm at its height had over 100 million users and revenues in the handful of $ millions. BirthdayAlarm was a semi-abandoned venture baby when Bebo took off but now has Birch magic finger attention again.

Let's see...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Yahoo's Yang Dumped

Yahoo's Jerry Yang has chucked the towl in and resigned/er, been dumped as CEO of his cheer-leading, tree-hugging portal on steroids (once) - proving that even celeb founders can get promoted beyond their jock straps. He's handed the search for a new CEO to jobopz, I mean, Heidricks and is off on an ice skating trip. Nice if you can.

Eric Schmidt apologized profusely and simultaneously sniggered, while the Valley is hot with rumors over who will be the next poor dumb-founded Yahoo chief jock. Palin? The bankers desperately seeking an Xmas bonus are circling with a Facebook mandate in hand. After all the Facebook team fresh from trying to raise money in Dubai have just figured that a reverse into the Yahoo public not-quite shell may be less depressing.

What's the Future of Blogging?

Blogging's come a long way thanks to enthusiastic and dangerously prolific amateurs and citizen net-head junkie journalists. But what's the future of the worlds top 500 blogsites? Here goes:
- They'll become increasingly professional, staffed by journalists fallen out of shrinking traditional media outfits.
- Blogging platforms such as Typepad and Blogger will become ever more powerful replicating all but the best online news and media platforms - and,
- Voice blogs will grow as companies like Textic voice enable an increasing number of blogsites.

So for those out of work hacks - get blogging. Or check out new age job sites such as jobopz. I know what I'd do.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Spotify Challenges iTunes

The Swedes are at it again. This time they're taking on iTunes with a free, ad based streaming music service called Spotify that also has a premium, a la Real Networks, subscription service. It looks a bit like iTunes - with Web 2.0 bells on. 

Spotify have raised a bunch of money (which is no mean feat in this market), bought a ton of music rights and gone live in closed beta (i.e. give 'em your email address and they'll get back to you one day with a free login/code... Zzzzz...).

Their premium service looks a bit pricey, they need to let us know how big their archive is and they need to get beyond closed beta. Other than that it looks cool - check it out!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Jobs Go Social at jobopz.com

According to a brand new jobs site - jobopz.com - traditional job seeking sites are too static and controlling. Monster and Hotjobs have basically taken the agency model and applied it online. Time for something different.

So jobopz, a Web 2.0 startup, has decided that jobs should go 'social'. i.e. we should democratize the process by which we find jobs, employers, agencies etc. And communities should be built around careers, cool employers and even cool employees. Each helping the other in the age old cause of finding employ.

jobopz.com is in beta and has decided to treat careers as a cause we can get behind together and help each other develop whether we are actively or passively seeking. Looks timely - check it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

iPhone No1 Selling US Handset

The iPhone has just defied gravity - again. In October the iPhone overtook the Razr as the US' No1 selling mobile handset. And in one fell swoop the smartphone has stormed the fashion device. Proving that form and function is the new cellphone reality.

Does this mean that the smartphone category could grow to become half the size of the cellphone market in the Western world? Yep, could be. That rising tide will benefit Apple, Blackberry and Microsoft. And Google's hot on their heels. Nokia could prove a loser.

Apple, yet again, have demonstrated a canny knack for catalyzing consumer tech sectors. Time to hit the TV guys. Oh, and GM could do with just a little help. The iCar?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Travel Writers Launch Wandermelon

A group of four travel writers (some also photographers and film dudes) have just launched a brand new travel site called Wandermelon. Why not? It's a mouth watering trip down Internet lane allowing those of us too depressed about the world's collapse to join them (virtually) in ranches, canyons, beaches or any other planetary hideout. Ya.

The site looks like Tyepad on steroids (?) and could perhaps do with some more content and more visual entertainment and interactivity. But one definitely worth watching even if just to make us all realize that we're in the wrong job. We'll keep you posted on this one - site visit? Please.

Monday, November 10, 2008

How Obama should use Social Technology as President

Arianna Huffington at the Web 2.0 Summit talked about how effective Obama was in using social media and social networking (aka Web 2.0) to win the Presidential race.

But how should he use the Internet and social tools once in office? His approach should add to the press conference - which is fine for formal, state of the nation announcements and foreign dignitary visits (Zzzz...) - but for a more personal, regular dialogue they should use the Internet. 'On dude.

Twitter and Facebook for weekly updates on government achievements. The Web in general to garner and shape the nations input and feedback on specific policies. And the new tech tzar, kong duder should not only ensure that the US continues its technology leadership position worldwide, but that the administration uses the latest tools and technologies to dramatically alter and improve the way in which the President and his cabinet/teams dialogue and interact with their people.

Shove that in your pipe and smoke it Arianna.

Friday, November 07, 2008

b-uncut.com - Social Networking for Artists

b-uncut.com launched last year with the improbable dream of becoming the social network and Web platform for artists around the world. A Facebook for creatives.

Well, it seems to be working. They're growing at a pace - collecting a handful of new artists every day. And some of them are good! Founded by artists, b-uncut allows their members to load artworks, rate each other through a simple yet nifty peer review system, build personal home pages, promote their upcoming shows, video's, playlists and more.

The coolest artists even get featured.

This is one to watch. So for you closet artists - sign on and get creative.

Will Facebook Connect Connect

Facebook are about to launch Facebook Connect. This is the beginning of their hub and spoke strategy so that Facebook users can connect their Facebook pages and content/apps to other sites. This is a smack in the chops to Google's approach but one that Facebook feels powerful enough to pull off.

It should work and make Facebook an increasingly important part of our lives. Just - how in dosh name do they plan to make money out of it? No answers form Facebook. Little surprise there - but apparently all's OK 'cos the Facebook CFO is off raising cash in Dubai - or is it Bahrain? Then they can finally kill all the rumors and buy Twitter who by the way have figured out how to make money - corporate twitters. 'Pub time'.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Yahoo Get Dumped Again!

The same geniuses @ Yahoo that jilted Microsoft a few sweet (not) months ago have just been dumped by Google. Der frigtards springs to mind. Microsoft they lost over price - $33 a share - which proved to poor for Yang and his mob. Given the markets today that now looks like a, duh, wild deal thrown away.

And now Google have been buzzed by the anti-trust cops which leaves Yahoo with a few less flattering options:
a. tail-between-leggit back to Microsoft,
b. merge with AOL (Aaah!),
c. frig an all share deal with Facebook - yeah right.

So I guess our money's on plan d - new management! Dudes.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Linkedin App Store Scores

The Linkedin app store is live n' kickin. It actually works quite well - even though I'm not sure they've thought hard enough about the design and usability of our page once we've loaded an app. Some of them can be annoyingly intrusive.

Features apps include Amamzon's Reading List, Huddle Workspaces, Slideshare, Blog Link and Company Buzz. Most work well and should do the job for the typical profile of a Linkedin user (Zzzzzz....). I can see the myriad of consultants on the site with a desire to soup up their Linkedin pages getting into this - but not busy execs.

Venture guys with time to sit on their hands (given the market) and fear of getting caught on the golf course might as well app doodle - at least it'll look like their working.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Textic Talks

We recently came across an innovative software company called Textic based out of little 'ol London - well, actually, Maidenhead.... which for our readers around the world is just left of Heathrow. Anyway, Textic do 'text-to-speech' (yep, talking Websites) in a catchy software-as-a-service wrapper squirted onto a Web server which instantly speech enables any Website - i.e. it yaps its content to you in real time!

They claim that 20% of the population have some kind of problem reading text on computer screens - whether it be sight issues, dyslexia or more and by Textic enabling your site you can support them. Quite a responsible statement. Could it be the Web's equivalent of wheelchair ramps?

Either way Textic are apparently running at a clip, looking at the US and thinking of going mobile. Now that's the future. We'll keep you posted.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Why is Motorola so Stuffed?

Motorola announced frighteningly bad results yesterday. Market share, revenues and earnings each caved in. Once the leader of the mobile handset space, they now struggle in 4th place on an anaemic 8% world share.

What went so wrong? Design darling - design. Not since the Razr, launched earlier this century, have they managed to produce any kind of a handset hit. Fashion and design are the key components to the consumer electronics space and Motorola failed on both counts. Frightening. The rest is history. 

Their new CEO, recently drafted from Qualcomm (who are not exactly known for their consumer design skills), announced that their future will rest on 3 operating systems - one of which is not surprisingly Google's Android, the latest mobile O/S pin-up.

O/S's are important but design is more important and until Motorola gets back the flair for edgy, sleek, bold, black or silver, ice cool handsets they will keep sinking. Shame - they should have been the Apple of the cellphone space. Too late for that - iPhone.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Asus and Intel Jump on Crowdsourcing Bandwagon

Asus (don't even think it) have decided to jump on the crowdsourcing bandwagon by allowing consumers and designers to help them design their next generation of PC's. Crowdsourcing is the latest cool thing on the Internet, whereby a site gathers a network of volunteer designers to help them design their future products - groovey.

Threadless do it for t-shirts, letting a crowd of graphic design design their t-shits online which they then manufacture and sell on - yep, online. Smart cookies. Sites have popped up using crowdsourcing to design car stickers, clothes and more. Asus' attempt, in partnership with Intel, is the latest spin and if you wanna have a go at designing their next PC go to wepc.com. I'm tempted to say these jocks could do with the help. Apple - not!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Motorola Bets On Google's Android

Motorola have decided that their survival strategy will hinge upon Google's Android. Nice one for Google - race on for Motorola. Given T-Mobile's decision to move early with HTC's version of the Android - excitingly named G1, they will have to get their's out fast and differentiate hard.

Apparently the Motorola Android will have a similar look and feel to the G1 (yawn) but with a social network spin. i.e. they'll hook directly into Facebook and MySpace. Big surprise.

Motorola's gonna have to be a boatload more design-driven with their Android phone to reverse their fortunes. Think iPhone sex appeal, not G1 functionality. Form over function dudes - not the other way round.

Linkedin Launches App Store

Linkedin has gone live with the Web's latest app store! Developer platforms and app stores are the latest Web 2.0 rage across both the fixed and mobile Internet. And Linkedin wants in.

Being the buttoned down, older man of Web 2.0 Linkedin has decided to go with a closed developer platform a la iPhone. Which means those of you wanting to develop the first nude-office-party-photo-competition-app might struggle to get in. Shame.

In the mean time serious app developers should get going and you may even be able to charge for more serious/profound/branded apps. Ooh - money. Mind you Linkedin users will only be allowed to download a total of 15 apps on their page. App gridlock? Na, Linkedin platform constraints.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Windows Azure - 'I'm not a PC'

Now that Microsoft have officially announced the launch of Windows 7 and come to the executive decision that 'I'm a PC' - proving why Stevie gets the big bucks - it's back to business and up for something completely different. Windows Azure.

The new operating system and app development environment that screams 'Who Needs a PC?', because, isn't it all just up in the air? Well, sort of. Actually it's stuffed into Microsoft computers in innocuous data centers scattered across Kansas or Missouri or wherever. Meaning Azure may just work better than your PC alone. Do theirs run Vista?

At the least this all proves that Microsoft are as confused and confusing as ever when it comes to explaining new technologies. 'I'm a Mac!'

I'm a PC - Promise!

Microsoft have today announced the launch of Windows 7 - the next version of the troubled operating system aptly named given the number of years taken to get from the last version of Windows that actually worked to this release.

They also plan to spend 7 squared million on advertising it and promising that 'I'm a PC'. Yep, we buy that one. I don't think anyone's gonna confuse you with a Mac. But no confusion about who's the new leader of the desktop/laptop pin-up stakes. And it's not Microsoft.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Digital Big Bang Shockwaves behind Meltdown?

The Digital Big Bang is on us. Between 2010 and 2012 we will all feel profound reverberations from the network ripple effect stemming from unfettered, ubiquitous broadband connecting PC's, TV's and cellphones.

But are early digital big bang rumblings already evident? After all, the recent and unprecedented global bank collapses could not have occurred without digital communications and exchanges to market the hi-tech instruments so rapidly and pervasively throughout the world's financial system.

Now the global, instantly available digital media universe, that surrounds and pervades our every moment, has the entire planet simultaneously frozen to their morose stories of global depression. Surely leading us into a broader recession than previously possible.

And, perhaps most dramatically of all, a young, inexperienced, black candidate from Chicago is about to become the next US President. Made possible mainly thanks to his awesome Internet fund raising and support gathering machine.

And who said the Digital Big Bang is not already upon us. Web 2.0 is just the tip of the iceberg.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Typepad's 5 - And?

Typepad is 5 years old! And it should act as a reminder for how far the now mainstream media blogging model has come in such nano-time. Because if you look at the world's top 10 most visited blogsites, not only do they possess reach that travels further than most national newspapers, but they are all less than 5 years old.

Typepad and Google's Blogger are the carriers, birthplace and initial platform of choice for nearly every leading blog. And the worlds largest, such as the Huffington Post and TechCrunch are probably worth $100 million plus to some media conglomerate that needs digital sprucing - after all look how CNET duped er sold to NBC.

So thx Typepad, rock on SixApart and good luck to the next generation of bloggers. Consider yourselves forever fortunate you weren't blogging on Typepad or Blogger Version 1 - those were the days. Not.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Android's G1 Hits the Street

Yesterday Google's first Android phone went on sale at T-Mobile stores in the US moving Google gracefully onto the mobile chess board. The early reviews are good and if you are one of the tens of millions of Gmail/Googe Apps/Google Search users this one could be for you.

The G1 looks similar to Blackberry's about to launch Storm, forcing Blackberry to scramble out their app store to stay in touch with Android's - that's the real competition. The smartphone space now looks likely to be dominated by Apple, Blackberry and Google - leaving Nokia... Yep, dangling. So who's gonna buy Blackberry? (Microsoft). Mmm.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

EveryZing Launches MetaPlayer

Check out EveryZing, a media indexing company, which has just launched a media player that lets people search for spoken words within videos. Cool.

The media player is aptly, unexcitedly, called MetaPlayer and is provided to EveryZing customers alongside their other back-end tools. Stay with me. On sites that support it (first up Dallas Cowboys), folk will be able to type in a query in the video player and see where on that video (and other videos on the site), the term entered comes - they can then jump right to that spot.

Nifty, neat and a useful segue to another interesting Euro-tech company we'll be covering next week - textic. Movers in text to speech.

Squace Squeeze into Mass Market Cell Phones

Seeing as we've been focused on the mobile space the last few days, with a particular slant on the high profile Smartphones, we thought we'd mention a company that has recently bounced off our windscreen - Squace.

Expect TechBoard to unearth many more such Euro-tech jewels now that we're centered out of London. Squace is a classic new generation Swedish mobile play. Great, nifty technology gathering rapid, below-the-radar-screen traction.

So Squace appear to have squeezed the benefits of the iPhone and next generation mobile UI's into mass market, mini-screen devices. They have invented a nifty square and grid approach to mobile UI's that is catching on.

Even small screens can handle 50 plus squares, each one click away from a contact, web link or more and all just another click away to sharing any of your Squace links (squares) with whoever. If these guys can do (for mass market devices) just a fraction of what the iPhone has done for Smartphone data usage stats - they could be in for quite a ride. We'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Blackberry Storm iPhone

Ever since Apple launched the iPhone, Blackberry have been working on the Storm - appropriately named as their iPhone killer. Specs are now out - pictures available and Vodafone/Verizon lined up with Apple-like exclusive deals to take it to market. The Storm's got the iPhone bells and whistles - full touch screen, media mania, almost real Internet and app store en route.

Will it work - will they roll back the Apple wave? Probably not. But they should hold their own as Apple dig in and grow the smartphone pie for everyone by taking it to mass market, fashion conscious, middle class consumers around the planet. Whether the iPhone can nudge into the corporate (Microsoft) market remains to be seen. Blackberry should still dominate this category.

But, the iPhone continues to be the Smartphone pin-up to own and the Storm looks unlikely to shake that. And if Apple change the smartphone game again next year as they did in '07 - then Blackberry will be chasing again. With the Horn?

7 Million iPhones

Apple just announced that they sold 7 million iPhones in their latest quarter. So, in 5 short quarters Apple have gone from a complete standing start in the mobile space to a quarterly run rate approaching 25 million iPhone sales per annum.

Analysts will pour all over these numbers because they probably prove the following:
- Apple will sell over 10 million iPhones in Q4,
- Apple will sell over 50 million iPhones in 2009,
- Apple could sell 100 million iPhones in 2010,
- Apple is set to overtake Blackberry as the No1 smartphone vendor,
- speculation will now go into overcharge re an iPhone Nano and iPhone 4G(?) for 2009,
- every other mobile phone vendor and their dog will launch iPhone killers with full touch screens and the real Internet,
- Apple will be forced to change the game again next year with the iPhone 4G/Nano,
- the iPhone will drive the next wave of halo effect overcharged sales of apple laptops and computers,
- even more folk will kiss Jobs' ass.

Does the Blackberry Storm have a chance? Maybe not, yet, quite... almost.

Monday, October 20, 2008

TechBoard Connects From London

TechBoard shifts the tech and digital media scene - now centered in London, with a view on the world. We want to end 2008 examining technology and its effects going into the next decade - the 'digital big bang' era. With Convergence the overarching theme.

Convergence of everything from PC's to TV's, phones, cars, games machines and beyond. Convergence of people, culture, economy and invention. Convergence of design on everything and the tech industry as a whole finally blending with the 'creative industries'.