My daily readings 01/30/2010

  • tags: ipad

    • Just a few key video streaming apps might push some potential buyers over the edge: Hulu, Netflix, Comcast’s Xfinity. Combine those with the 3G connection, and the iPad finally has a good reason to exist. Then there is the education angle with Wikipedia (it’d make a nice app), classroom screen sharing, and e-textbooks among other things.
  • tags: kindle

    • Beyond being vague about how many “millions” of people own a Kindle (is it two million or 20 million?), Amazon also mentions that there are now 410,000 books available on the Kindle. The depth and breadth of that catalog is the Kindle’s greatest strength. Amazon also emphasized that its digital books can by synched between its own family of Kindles as well as PCs, “iPhone, iPod touch and soon, Blackberry, Mac and iPad.”
    • I don’t even have a Kindle but have been buying Kindle books because of the awesome app for iPhone. Jeff Bezos is money
    • Apple has one market right for reading books: those customers who buy 1-3 books a year (folks who buy the latest Dan Brown or JK Rowling). People who read a lot will probably be disappointed in the initial (at least) selection available in iBooks (according to reports, of course…no one outside Apple knows what it will be like when iPad actually ships).

      Like all unabashed Apple fanboys, I will have an iPad as soon as it’s available, and I hope Amazon ships the Kindle for iPad App simultaneously. I love the Amazon.com shopping experience, I love reading, I love WhisperSync, and I love reading in bed with my Kindle 2, reading casually on subways, in bars, and while waiting on line in random places with the Kindle for iPhone App. I’m sure I’m going to love reading in the same manner on my iPad. With WhisperSync, it doesn’t matter which device I’m using at any given moment…I always pick up where I left off on whichever device I last used.

      It’s the Kindle service that’s the magic here, not the device (which, admittedly, looks like it was designed by a blind COBOL programmer).

  • tags: kindle

    • We’ve checked with our sources, who have been amazingly accurate on the number of Kindle’s sold over the last couple of years. The total number of all types of Kindles out there in users hands hit 3 million sometime in December, says a source close to Amazon. And that was before the new model with worldwide data hit. And before Amazon started offering free Kindles to select long-time customers.
  • tags: motivation, psychology, management

  • tags: ipad, Chrome

    • Now, it remains to be seen if people who buy an iPad will do so instead of buying a netbook. At first, I’m not so sure that will be the case. But it stands to reason that eventually, this will happen. And as Jobs’ comments on stage on Wednesday made abundantly clear, that’s Apple’s idea too. In their eyes, you shouldn’t buy a cheap, underpowered PC, you should buy an iPad, their anti-netbook.
    • And what’s interesting is that for either of the two to be massive hits, they both will need consumers to continue to feel comfortable moving away from traditional software applications such as Microsoft Office. But their plans to get consumers to do that are very different. Google wants everyone to move towards doing everything on their apps in the cloud. Apple, as they made clear with their overly-long iWork for iPad demo on Wednesday, wants everyone to move towards using iPhone OS-based apps.
    • If this market between laptops and smartphones proves big enough, perhaps the two frenemies can once again find a common ground and band together to defeat their common enemy: Microsoft. But the obvious strategy for this used to be that Google would attack Microsoft from the bottom with its Chrome OS netbooks, while Apple attacked from the top with their premium computers, leaving Microsoft squeezed in the middle. With the iPad now clearly aimed at netbooks thanks to its pricing and Apple’s positioning, everything is different.
    • Really, Mr. MG? You think iPhone OS based iWork apps beat Google’s cloud based competition? May be for minority, or for people who needs to maintain grocery lists. But not for majority of people.
      I didn’t even open iWork apps since I installed Snow Leopard few months ago. I either used (Open)Office suit of apps where serious work is needed, or used Google apps where cloud based access is needed. Simply iWork is either not powerful enough for serious work, or not economical enough for cloud based access.
      I might still buy an iPad, but not for the reasons you mentioned here.
    • Think about it from a developer’s standpoint. With Apple, you could develop something on the iPhone or iPad first, and then tweak it a little bit to work on the other device. You only have to think about a max of two platforms, both with a huge base of users who have demonstrated that they are will to pay good money for quality apps.

      Then look at Google. You could develop something for Android, and there’s no guarantee that it will even work on all android phones. Plus, they have not done a good job training their users to pay for apps, so you’ll hardly make any money even if it’s one of the best apps on the platform. And then you can’t leverage any of your android hard work on Chrome OS because the two have even less in common.

      If developers are the difference between success and failure (as a different TC post has said today) then Apple has already won. It’s the ecosystem.

    • …I’m not so sure about that (the money side of things). Watch this video from Dan Pink: http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation.html and you’ll see money is not a great motivator for creative work.

      Sure, plenty of people will continue to develop for the iPhone & iPad to support themselves, but you only have to look as far as Firefox or WordPress to see that tens of thousands of developers will gladly work for free.

  • tags: ipad, education

      • Tablets will change education this year and in the future because they align neatly with the goals and purposes of education in a digital age. Specifically, these devices will succeed because:

        • They are about productivity — Learning is about doing and, increasingly, about doing both in and out of the traditional classroom. In the 21st century, learning is contextual and promotes engaging students in real-life applications. This means learning on-the-go but with all of the necessary materials and digital tools necessary for their tasks. A phone isn’t quite up to the task and a laptop isn’t exactly mobile. A tablet is the perfect device.
        • They are about convergence — E-readers will not take hold in education because tablets will negate their usefulness and appeal. An e-reader is a single-use machine and a fairly limited one at that. The tablet, on the other hand, will support e-textbooks — Web-based and offline — color, Web productivity, and a whole host of other media, content creation, and communication options. The tablet can serve many functions and the e-reader only one. We want convergence when it makes sense and the convergence offered by tablet devices will appeal to educational users.
        • They are about mobility — Make no mistake about it — tablets are mobile devices. They will run mobile apps, have mobile contracts in some cases, and be designed for productivity on-the-move. They are perfect for augmented reality applications, distributed learning, and student success tools.
        • They are about price and availability — Tablets will allow users to have the functionality they want at a price they can afford. More importantly, they will usher in a new era of learning material distribution and subscription models for textbooks. The net result will be lower education costs across the board.
        • They are about community — Tablets are mobile devices that connect users to one another. Learning, particularly in the 21st century, is a community-based activity. Enough said.”

        This is a very exciting time for the world of educational technology.

  • tags: ipad, education

    • What does that mean for textbooks? Plenty, some observers say, but no one knows when. CourseSmart, a publisher of more than 8,800 e-textbooks, already makes an application for the
      iPhone and iPod Touch and is reportedly working on software for the iPad. And one option that is already available is iBooks, an application from
      Apple that allows users to download e-books straight to their device.
      HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, both publishers of trade books,
      are already signed on. Some technology Web sites have reported that a
      partnership with textbook publisher McGraw-Hill was supposed to
      have been included in the presentation, but Apple’s Steve Jobs banned any mention of them after
      a McGraw-Hill executive leaked word of the deal on Tuesday
      night. Jobs, for his part, mentioned that his company was “very excited” about textbooks, then moved on.
    • Samantha Dubois (COM’12) agrees. “I guess if I already owned it I would maybe use it for textbooks, but it doesn’t seem to do much that my laptop doesn’t already do,” she says. “I’d rather have the physical book in front of me, because it would be easier to annotate and highlight.”
  • tags: proxy

  • tags: research, mac, papers, pdf, science

  • tags: iPad, Games

    • “The games you can play on these devices are unlike any other, because of the
      accelerometer and the touch-screen display,” says Greg Joswiak, a senior
      executive at Apple.

      “It goes way beyond what you can do on a device like [the Nintendo DS], which
      is old-school gaming. Devices like the iPod touch are redefining the future
      of gaming. We have more games than the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP combined,
      and then some.”

      The price of the games is also key: the low cost of digital delivery and
      comparitively low development costs meant dozens of top notch games from the
      likes of Electronic Arts could be downloaded from the App Store for less
      than a fiver — a revelation for gamers used to spending £40 on a video game
      in the shops.

      “That changes the economics, it changes the entire business,” says Joswiak.
      “The prices of our games are so much lower [than Nintendo or Sony]. When
      you’re getting games for just a few pounds, people tend to experiment more,
      because it’s not such a major investment.”

  • tags: iPad

    • I think Apple getting into the ebook business is hugely disruptive, but I will address that in another column. Instead, I would say that the iPad is going to be used as a flexible, interactive window on our digital lives. In case you don’t know, your “digital life” includes what you read, what you watch, what you write, what you share, who you know, where you have been, and where you are going. Remember, everything that runs on the iPhone will run on the iPad. That means every recipe finder, work-out tracker, social media updater, language translator, photo viewer, guitar-chord tuner, and finger painting app available in the App Store will work on the iPad.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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