Monday, August 29, 2011

HP Touchpad: Early Failure??

Looks like the HP touchpad, announced by the company in February and released in July has been a disappointment since it is struggling to sale in retail, even though supported by repeated price cuts. An early failure for HP?

Once the 4G touchpad has been released to the retail market, several retailers have ordered large amounts for sale. Retail chain stores such as 'Best Buy' and 'Walmart' have been involved in supplying the touchpad to the public. But looks like the results were not the ones that the shops expected. Reports show that out of the 270.000 pieces of the HP touchpad originally ordered by 'Best Buy', only 25.000 have been sold, a very frustrating outcome (even worst for HP, 'Best Buy' started discussion for taking back free of charge the rest of the order). Such dissapointing results were observed even though the company has repeatedly decreased the price of the touchpad, starting from 50 and ending up to a permanent 100 dollar decrease from the original price of 500 dollars for the 16GB version and 600 dollars for the 32 GB version.

Were does this failure for sales comes from? Opinions tend to vary..

Some people think that the price is very high for such a touchpad. The capabilities of HP's 4G platform slightly lower than iPad's performance but the price was the same. Combined with the brand equity that Apple has achieved, at this price HP had not much to expect for. It was quite obvious that customers would prefer the iPad.

Other people think that applications are the problem. Right now Apple offers about 400.000 applications and Android offers about 200.000. HP has not invested in this area, offering less than 100.000 applications, 1/4 of total Apple apps. This factor also pushes custimers to an iPad or an Android tablet, taking them away from HP's touchpad.

In general, HP touchpad does not really offer some competitive advantage over other tablets such as iPad or Xoom. Instead, it has almost the same price and its capabilities are slightly weaker. Moreover, HP has not yet earned a brand name such as Apple's in the field of tablets. All these factors have pushed down the sales of the specific tablet, offering frustrating almost two month after its release. 

One thing is for certain: HP should be investing more time, money and effort in competing the other companies in the tablet market if better results are to be achieved.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tim Cook, Apple's new CEO

Following Steve Job's quitting the position of the CEO in Apple (see here), the seat is now taken by Tim Cook.

Tim Cook taking the position of Apple's CEO is no surprise. In fact Tim Cook has been prearing for such duties from the time Steve Jobs' health problems appeared, back in 2001. Ever since, Tim Cook has been the former CEO's right hand and the man to step to his place everytime Jobs was undergoing some medical treatment.

Cook has been employed by Apple in 1998. Prior to this he was Vice president of the 'Compaq' firm, in the department of corporate materials. He has also served other companies in his career such as Inteligent electronics and IBM. He is a graduate of Auburn university in Industrial Engineering and has also earned an MBA in Duke University 5 years later. 

When he first joined Apple, he was Senior Vice President for Worldwide Operations. There he was characterised as a strictly professional leader with innovative ideas which helped trully upgrade the problematic (at that time) supply chain system that the company used. People have named him as a very dry and business minded person with great organisational skills and a high level of commitment to his job. Even Jobs himself mentioned for Cook: 'Tim has been doing this job for over two years now, and its high time we recognized with this promotion'.

From all the above we can say that the man leading Apple to the future's innovations is a person that is higly appreciated by Apple personel and is very commited to whatever he is assigned. The position of the CEO will surely be a very challenging one for him but it is certain that he is suitably qualified for the job. Afterall, Steve Jobs was his teacher..

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Steve Jobs quits from Apple due to health problems

Apple's founder and CEO Steve Jobs has announced his inability to support the position of the chief Officer and as a result quitted from the leadership of Apple.

According to Steve Jobs himself, the day has come for him to announce that he no longer is able to respond to his duties as the chairman of Apple. Jobs has suffered from liver cancer and undergone a liver transplant two years ago. Although Apple has not specified details regarding his illnes, rumor has it that his medical problems are back, becoming the main cause for him quitting his position.

The sure thing is that Apple loses its founder, its man who's ideas gave a special ID to the company and placed the corporation where it stands nowadays.

The successor in Apple's CEO position is Tim Cook, Steve Jobs' 'right hand' in the company. He is now in front of the challenge of his lifetime proving that he is capable of dealing with the issues of the corporation in order not only to retain Apple's status but even enlarge it. A matter quite difficult since Apple 's value on May reached the staggering amount of 153 billion dollars (Apple posseses the first place in company value, with Google second and valued 111 billion dollars).

End of an era for sure...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dell XT3 Tablet PC

Have you ever imagined combining the computing force of a laptop and the mobility and functionality of a tablet? Well, watch it coming alive:

Dell is introducing Latitude XT3 tablet pc. Its main idea is to fuse a laptop and a tablet. And the outcome involves a convertible laptop that turns into a tablet. XT3 posseses a 13,3'' 1366x768 -turning- touch screen which, once positioned over the laptop, it can be used as a tablet. The images of this new gadget are astonishing:

On the hardware side of the issue, (as mentioned before) XT3 posseses a 13,3'' 1366x768 screen. Its different versions are equiped with Intel core i3 2310, i5 2520 or i7 2620 next generation proccessor. The Intel HD 3000 graphics system is also installed and there are two slots for up to 8GB of DDR3 RAM.Connectivity options include 802.11 B/G/N WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet and optional Gobi 3000 Mini Card featuring HSPA-EVDO with A-GPS so you always remain connected. I/O options include 3 USB 2.0 ports, combo mic in, line out port, IEEE 1394, SDHC card reader, VGA and HDMI out ports. An HD webcam comes standard as well. The cornerstone of the tablet-pc involves a dual digitizer display allowing up to four finger multitouch as well as a digital pen for input. The operating system used in Dells new gadget is Microsoft's Windows 7.

Dell Latitude is available to preorder in the price of 1789 US Dollars (It gets even higher by adding stuff like the backlit keyboard or the outdoor viewing display)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Motorola - Google deal: Facts and Truth

Google and smartphone vendor Motorola Mobility have entered an agreement where the search giant will acquire the mobile maker for $12.5 billion, formally announcing the beginning of Google’s official entry into the smartphone market as a vendor.

After the undoubted success of Android operating system, Larry Page, CEO of Google has announced that Google insists on updating the specific software and enter more dynamicly in the area of smartphones. For this reason they have deceded to reach an agreement with Motorola Mobility. Motorola has 80 years of innovation in communications, introducing the world’s first portable mobile phone over 30 years ago. The company was one of the founding members of the Open Handset Alliance, and was one of the first smartphone vendors to associate a definitive brand with the Android ecosystem via its Droid smartphones.

Page's exact words on Google blog are the following: 

This acquisition will not change our commitment to run Android as an open platform. Motorola will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. We will run Motorola as a separate business. Many hardware partners have contributed to Android’s success and we look forward to continuing to work with all of them to deliver outstanding user experiences.
The combination of Google and Motorola will not only supercharge Android, but will also enhance competition and offer consumers accelerating innovation, greater choice, and wonderful user experiences. I am confident that these great experiences will create huge value for shareholders. 

Undoubtedly, Google has made a surprise attacking move in the field of competition. But what is the key factor that moved Google in deciding to taking over Motorola Mobility? A single word is enough: 'Patents'
Motorola Mobility possesses a great deal of patents in its portfolio. Such patents will provide support to Google regarding the further development of Android.

According to analyst Mayuresh Masurekar: We believe the key benefit of this acquisition to Google is Motorola Mobility’s large patent portfolio, with 17,000 patents and 7,500 more applications in progress. This portfolio should strengthen Google’s position in any lawsuits related to Android (such as the Oracle lawsuit), and protect the fast growing Android ecosystem. Nortel Network’s portfolio of 6,000 patents was recently sold to a consortium of companies for $4.5B. Assuming no significant difference in the quality/ effectiveness of patents, Motorola Mobility’s patent portfolio (3x bigger than Nortel) would have been worth 3x the $4.5B Nortel deal, implying Google paid the market rate for patents and obtained the manufacturing business for next to nothing. (source:

Google now posseses 19.000 more personel and will have to calculate an extra 157 million dollar income projected for 2011 and originating from Motorola. This move will surely trigger a 'war-like' response sequence for other companies. Do not be surprised if other companies (Microsoft-HTC for example) proceed to such moves as well. The sure thing is that the near future holds a lot of surprises for us.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Goggle Chrome: the fastest web browser

Compuware has just released data regarding measurementsof browsing speed. The data were collected in experiementation with common websites on a broadband Internet connection and involved all the common browsers that exist. In the end of the survey, the results were counted up to 1.86 Billion measurements on more than 200 websites.

The winner of this contest was -well, you guessed correctly- Google Chrome.

Here are the results of this experiement:

The Blue bar indicates the loading time of the page and the green bar shows the perceived render time, meaning basically how much time it took for each browser to load all graphic visible content to appear on the browser. As we can see, Google Chrome 12 comes first in the page load race and second in perceived render time, just after Mozilla Firefox 5. 

As a Google Chrome user myself, I have to say that I am not surprised by this result since in my opinion Google Chrome is the fastest, easiest to use, most user friendly browser than all the other 4. Although Firefox surely comes close to Chrome (half a seconf for load time is not a great deal for a common Internet user), personally prefer and stay with Google's browser.

On the high end, the slowest browser according to this survey is Apple's Safari 5 (not the current version) and Internet Explorer 9 (not the current version as well). According to Compuware, more data from such surveys will be revealed in the future.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

HiLO tablet: A tablet with the keyboard on its case

A unique tablet has been designed by Roni Margolin. Check it out:

It's name is HiLO and it is not an ordinary tablet. Why? It's protective case is designed also as a keyboard for the tablet, connecting to it via Bluetooth. The tablet screen is an OLED 10'' and the case of the tablet contains micro-wiring creating a keyboard. The tablet is also equiped with a standing-part so as to be placed vertically when the keyboard is connected, approaching the idea of a laptop.

A very interesting designing aspect. Surely looking forward to seeing the idea coming true.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Anonymous vs. Facebook

'Anonymous', the famous hacker team that has infiltrated networks such us govermnet and police systems, have made an announcement that is discussed worldwide: An attack on Facebook.

To be more precise, in their video they indicate that Facebook collects data from every user and sells this information to institutes like governments, policing orginizations and companies. So, in an effort to protect the world from Facebook they have declared war by launching the so called 'FacebookOp' and stated that Facebook will fall on the 5th of November 2011.

Sources report that this message might also be a scam. Others claim that it is real. Ambiguous as the message might may be, we have to wait until the November 5th to find out.

Here is the video released by Anonymous

Technology, Ecology and Fashion fusing. Any success?

The latest years there is a noticeable fusing between Technological use in ecological matters and fashion. 

There have been noticed many attemps to combine the functionality and the 'look' of clothes and the power generating ability of the solar rays. The idea of ecology in clothes is a very nice one but (as always) some people got the (very) wrog meaning of this.

Here are some examples of clothes where photovoltaic systems have been implemented:

solar powered bikini

At first a hat with the photovoltaic panels on the top. It actually produces energy to run a fan for an extra wave of air. Obviously something that you would not wear outside.. (Really, would you...?)
Also, a t-shirt equiped with panels is quite understandable. But, the swimm suit equiped with photovoltaic system is not just too much? Fine, I also get irritated when I am on the beach and I forgot to charge a gadget but still, isn't it too much? 
To end up, who would wear a a coat on a sunny day?????

Well, I agree that ecology is an essential matter nowadays. But don't you think some people overdid it?

On a more serious approach to the issue, ecological clothes are about to be implemented by many companies that produce clothes. Already, H&M trademark has created the first 'green' clothes. They do not posses some kind of photovoltaic system but they are made from ecological fabric, easily dispensible and environmental friendly.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Greatest- Worst - Most Irritating -Most Addictive Game on the Web

The title probably creates a feeling of wonder regarding the game I am refering to.

Have you ever played QWOP? No? Well, you have missed a lot of things (..but surely one of them is not your sanity..)

In QWOP all you have to do is make a runner run. Yes that is it. Sounds simple? Give it a try...

Το πιο εξοργιστικό παιχνίδι του Διαδικτύου

QWOP is one of the most difficult action games on the web, it is highly addictive and demands great concentration, coordination and patience. People mastering it have practiced for years and have earned the right to take pride in this accomplishment.

I hope I have not ruined your nervous system...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Android Smartphone vs iPhone

On a previous post Apple's superiority was poinetd out in the field of tablets against its grand opponent: Android. But what happens on the field of smartphones?

Many people would argue that iPhone is much better, more stable and trustworthy than Android. Well, there are facts that indicate that there is a sense of truth in this. But the main (public) opinion is that Android really rules the field of smartphones. The reason? Here are some of the main reasons why Android is more attractive:

User-friendly: Android phones comply with the pc user inetrace. Applications Menu can be accessed by tapping a button and it is easy for the user to know which apps are running at that moment and which are inactive. In other words, it is easier for the user to know what is going on on their phone.

iTunes: In order to update an iPhone, you are forced to do it through iTunes. On the other hand, Android can be updated either through OTA (On The Air) tool or using some third party tool with the use of a PC. In addition, in order to manage your multimedia archives, your files and everything else on your iPhone you need to be conected to iTunes, in contrast to Android which has many tools (created by many developers) in order to manage your phone.
iTunes is forced upon you by Apple and it is not a great platform to work with (actually in my opinion it is quite bad). Android allows a lot of managing programs (not just a specific one from a forced-monopoly source) something that works in favor of its appeal to the common public.

Applications: iPhones get their applications from iTunes and are designed by Apple. Android includes applications created by almost everyone that is able to create an Android source code. As a result, Android apps tend to cover more subjects, do more jobs, be more user friendly (since they are constantly improved) and in general work in a better way for the user. An other point that Apple's wish for monopoly hurts the company's image to the public.

I am sure that a lot of people will disagree but in my opinion Apple may have offered a more stable platform in iPhone but Android's rapid development surely will overtake Apple's ground and be the winner in the field of Smartphones.

Defcon Conferece- CyFi

In Las Vegas, at the moment a grat hacker convention is held. Hackers from all around the world have joined, presenting their achievements, some of them really astonishing.

One of them: a case of a 10 year old girl who has managed to find a bug in many Internet games that demand a time limit to collect digital 'seeds'. Her (nick)name is CyFi. Her discovery: advancing the clock on a tablet while conected to the Internet and under certain circumstances you can bypass the rule of the game regarding the time limit. As a result you can harvest the rewards sooner than the time limit requires. At first this might look pointless or unimportant but this is not true for two reasons: First of all, companies on the Internet make a lot of money just by 'farming' materials, digital money, crops and by collecting and selling consumables in many games. Second, the way that this bug works it may allow another hacker to implement his code on the game with fatal results.

CyFi has found out this way of harvesting crops sooner than the time limit required just out of being bored to wait for all these hours to harvest her crops (lets not forget that she still is a ten year old girl). "It was hard to make progress in the game, because it took so long for things to grow. So I thought, 'Why don't I just change the time?" (source: cnet)

Details of the bug (such as the exact circumstances needed to activate the bug) have not been revealed but the bug has been verified by testers.

Way to go CyFi...