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Technology Round-Up: May 25th, 2012

Posted by: Jason Tate (05/25/12)
Check the replies for a bunch of technology news from the past week. If you want even more, follow my blog or twitter account - I post tech (and/or what I find interesting) stuff pretty frequently throughout the week there.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 12 of 12.
10:32 AM on 05/25/12
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Google’s David Lawee: One-Third Of Google’s Acquisitions Are Failures (And Slide Is “Definitely” One Of Them)
Doing the math, that works out to roughly 40 deals that didn’t quite pan out the way the folks in Mountain View had hoped. Of course, some them are more pronounced than others. When asked about Slide — the social gaming company that Google picked up for a cool $228 million only to shutter their services a year later — Lawee noted that Slide was “definitely” in that bottom third.
Apple Design Chief Jonathan Ive Knighted in Buckingham Palace, Says 'Best Work' is Underway Now
“All I’ve ever wanted to do is design and make; it’s what I love doing. It’s great if you can find what you love to do. Finding it is one thing but then to be able to practise that and be preoccupied with that is another,” he says. “I’m very aware of an incredible tradition in the UK of designing and making, and so to be recognised in this way is really wonderful.”
Scientists at MIT Create Non-Stick Coating
Scientists at MIT have developed this freaky non-stick coating that keeps ketchup flowing. Amazing solution to an old problem. Also one of the weirdest videos you will see this week.
Meet Facebook’s Fall Guy
The whole Morgan Stanley mess isn’t over yet, either. There’s another very big part of the story that I’ve heard whispered at TC Disrupt that hasn’t broken yet. I may track that down tomorrow after the conference if it’s still unpublished.

I refer back to my Facebook IPO Spin article, which in hindsight looks 100% right. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Reuters reporters get subpoenaed at some point as lawmakers try to find out more about their sources.

All this aside, I still think Facebook has a certain destiny to fulfill. They completely blew their IPO from a psychology standpoint. But I like Facebook as a stock. I bought some shares on Monday below the IPO price. That’s both a disclosure and a statement of my belief that they’ll be growing significantly in the future. CrunchFund also owns some shares in Facebook from an acquisition that took place recently.
How Apple Could Play the Bigger-Display iPhone Thing at WWDC
If Apple indeed increases the size of the next iPhone’s display to 4 inches, I do not expect them to increase the physical size of the device itself. There is plenty of room on the current iPhone for the rumored 4-inch display — just shrink the non-display areas on the front face. On the iPad, the thick bezel area surrounding the display serves an essential purpose — it gives you a place to rest your thumbs while holding the device. The non-display “forehead” and “chin” on the front face of the iPhone serve no such practical purpose. All Apple needs is enough room for a home button at the bottom, and the speaker, camera, and proximity sensor at the top.
Diet Coda
Diet Coda takes everything we’ve ever learned about world-class web code editing, and wraps it up to-go. It’s packed with features, bathed in fun, ready to work.

Well, this is huge for me. Coda is what I use to do virtually all coding in -- and it's coming to the iPad. The iPad is becoming my go to machine instead of my Air these days ... it's weird, I never expected that transition to happen. - JT
Oh Yeah, Coda 2 Is Shipping Later This Week, Too

Upside Down Apple Logo
Why was upside down from the user's perspective an issue? Because the design group noticed that users constantly tried to open the laptop from the wrong end. Steve Jobs always focuses on providing the best possible user experience and believed that it was more important to satisfy the user than the onlooker.

Obviously, after a few years, Steve reversed his decision.

Opening a laptop from the wrong end is a self-correcting problem that only lasts for a few seconds. However, viewing the upside logo is a problem that lasts indefinitely.
The default state of a startup is failure
On the flip side, first-time entrepreneurs often fail to realize that when you build something new, no one will care. People won’t use your product, won’t tell people about it, and almost certainly won’t pay for it. (There are exceptions – but these are as rare as winning the lottery). This doesn’t mean you’ll fail. It means you need to be smarter and harder working, and surround yourself with extraordinary people.
Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin Shares Some Thoughts About Steve Jobs Biopic, Woz Hired As Advisor
"Drama is tension versus obstacle. Someone wants something, something is standing in their way of getting it. They want the money, they want the girl, they want to get to Philadelphia - doesn't matter ... And I need to find that event and I will. I just don't know what it is," Sorkin said.
Steve Jobs 'Worked Closely' on Design of Next-Generation iPhone with Larger Display
Apple has been working on the new device since before the current iPhone 4S model was introduced last October, said one person with knowledge of the project. Jobs, who had gone on medical leave from Apple starting last January, played a key role in developing the phone, this person said.
Facebook launched in 2004. Today, it has more users than the entire Internet had in 2004.

Twitter Is Tracking You on the Web
It is transparently watching your movements and storing them somewhere for later use. Right now, that data will make better suggestions for accounts you might want to follow. But what other things can it be used for? The privacy implications of such behavior by a company so large are sweeping and absolute.
Apple Board Member Mickey Drexler on Steve Jobs' iCar Dreams, Apple's Living Room Push
Drexler also mentioned in passing that Apple will be making a push into the living room "in the near future", fueling further interest in and speculation on an Apple television set and perhaps ultimately content deals that could remake how television content is consumed.
Everyone’s Convinced That MBAs Are Useless, So Now Might Be a Good Time to Hire Them
Aaron Patzer, founder of Mint, expressed the sentiment well when he said, “When valuing a startup, add $500k for every engineer, and subtract $250k for every MBA.” My friend Peter Thiel once warned a young entrepreneur: “Never ever hire an MBA; they will ruin your company.”
Cause and effect
Again, the point goes beyond the details of any particular laptop, because Intel only came up with the idea for Ultrabooks after Apple was so successful with the Air. Of course there were slim laptops before the Air, but then PC OEMs decided to burn their houses down by making netbooks. Apple showed them a better way, and here we are.
Walt Mossberg on Microsoft’s ‘Signature’ PCs
Microsoft also offers a program that, for $99, will turn users’ Windows 7 PCs into Signature versions, if the owner brings the computer into one of its 16 stores, due to grow to 21 outlets in coming months.

So, basically, you're paying $100 to get all the shit removed from your new computer? Buy a Mac. - JT

The OS X Naming Problem
(Via)

XKCD ... on point. - JT
Samsung Loses $10 Billion in Market Value After DigiTimes Reports Apple Is Ordering DRAM From a Competitor
This highlights the bizarre relationship between Apple and Samsung, where in the consumer space they’re direct competitors (arguably even arch rivals — they’re the only two companies turning a significant profit in the handset industry), but behind the scenes in Samsung’s component supplier business, Apple is their most important customer. I suspect this is what investors are reacting to. It’s not about one order of DRAM; it’s about concern that Samsung is going to lose Apple as a component customer across the board.
Bullish Cross Initiates Rare Buy Rating on Apple
This is only the fifth time Zaky has issued a buy on Apple. He’s four-for-four.
We’re back on the Mac! Sparrow for Mac 1.6 comes with one...
Nice update to my email client of choice, Sparrow. The empty spam button (also on their great iOS app) is a very welcome addition. - JT
Responsive Images and Web Standards at the Turning
I like the proposed <picture> markup except for the tag name. “Picture” is much more specific than “image”, and I bet a very large portion of images used on the web are not pictures. “Photo” would be worse, but “picture” still implies a complete photo, illustration, or diagram, whereas “image” encompasses those plus patterns, textures, gradients, and every other use of image data in use on the web today.
Apple's Data Centers to Be Powered by 100% Renewable Energy
Apple's efforts in renewable energy will also extend to its other data center facilities, as the company previously disclosed that its upcoming Prineville, Oregon data center will be powered by 100% renewable energy. And the new page posted today reveals that the company's original, smaller data center in Newark, California will soon be powered by renewable energy as Apple works to locate and purchase clean energy for the facility, with the capacity scheduled to be in place by February 2013.
How Yahoo killed Flickr: they didn’t understand why people use it
It is a case study of what can go wrong when a nimble, innovative startup gets gobbled up by a behemoth that doesn't share its values. What happened to Flickr? The same thing that happened to so many other nimble, innovative startups who sold out for dollars and bandwidth: Yahoo.

This article is a must read IMO -- absolutely spot on analysis. - JT
Aaron Sorkin Will Adapt Walter Isaacson Steve Jobs Bio For Film
Insanely great news — but expectations will be through the roof post-The Social Network.
Facebook’s business model
The key question when trying to value Facebook’s stock is: can they find another business model that generates significantly more revenue per user without hurting the user experience? (And can they do that in an increasingly mobile world where display ads have been even less effective.) Perhaps that business model is sponsored feed entries, as Facebook seems to be hoping (along with Twitter and perhaps Tumblr). The jury is still out on that model.
Here’s What Could Kill Facebook
The thread that runs between all these pitfalls is their potential to make Facebook irrelevant. If you can’t access it, its overrun by ads, there’s something better, or it’s simply uncool, Facebook could fade away.
More Google+ In Gmail: Improved Circle Integration, Circle Search and Quick Access To Contact Details
Get out of my gmail, Google+. Get OUT! - JT
Google Just Got A Whole Lot Smarter, Launches Its Knowledge Graph
As Google Fellow Ben Gomes told me yesterday, the company really wants to move beyond just understanding the characters you are typing into its search engine to getting a better understanding of what it is you are really looking for (“strings to thing” is what Gomes likes to call it). To do this, Google is using both its own and other freely available sources like Wikipedia, the World CIA Factbook, its own Freebase product, Google Books, online event listings and other data it crawls, but it is also using some commercial datasets (though Google wouldn’t reveal which companies specifically it is working with here).
Schumer And Casey’s Ex-PATRIOT Act: Details Of How They Plan To Get Saverin’s $67M And More
It’s pretty big: any ex-pat with either a net worth of over $2 million, or an average income tax liability of at least $148,000 over the last five years, “will be presumed to have renounced their citizenship for tax avoidance purposes.” The ex-pat will have to demonstrate to the IRS that this is not the case if it is not. If there is a “legitimate reason” for that person living outside the U.S. no penalties will apply. But if the IRS finds that someone gave up their passport for tax purposes, they will impose a tax on that individual’s investment gains “no matter where he or she resides.”

Saverin looks like such a fucking douche for this move. This time the US lawyer'd up. - JT
Social Media Gurus Push Conversations Over Kudos, And Fail
Success – and a more powerful Social brand – comes via an understanding of how, why and where a brand can generate personal kudos in amongst the flux of daily life and leveraging the best technology available to make it easy and support the cause.
Want To Reach Light TV Viewers? Put Ads On YouTube, Says YouTube
YouTube’s goal was to help advertisers better understand and target messages to this strange beast. The cross-media study with Nielsen looked at how effective ads were across TV, YouTube, and the Google Display Network. (GDN) And not surprisingly, the study found that advertisers can better reach kids who don’t really watch TV by also putting their ads on YouTube and GDN.
The Worst Phones You Can Buy

Rene Ritchie on the Ramifications of a 4-Inch iPhone Display
Lastly, the above is only my conjecture if Apple were to switch to a larger iPhone display. If Apple changes the iPhone display size, this is how I think they’ll do it. I still think that’s a big if, though, and wouldn’t be surprised in the least if this year’s iPhone ships with a good old-fashioned 3.5-inch 960 × 640 display.
11:29 AM on 05/25/12
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Just wanted to say thanks for posting these (as long as other news). I don't post very often, but I've been coming to this website for years. I obviously got pulled here by the music news, but I love the technology & entertainment round ups as well and they are one of the reasons why ap.net is a daily visited site for me. I realize they probably take a lot more time and effort than is obvious but thanks for doing it. The community appreciates it!
11:58 AM on 05/25/12
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The google plus update is awesome, great layout and smooth interface...to bad only a handful of my friends are on it...Thanks for the Round-up Mr. Tate.
01:44 PM on 05/25/12
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Biggest piece of tech news for me this week was the unveiling of Leap Motion. Crossing my fingers that we don't learn down the road that it was all a fraud.

Edit: guess it's for real, Engadget posted a hands-on today.

I know lots of people aren't into current 3-D tech but I can't be the only one salivating at the thought of pairing a 3-D computer setup with Leap Motion.
03:10 PM on 05/25/12
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youenvydoug
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I will not be purchasing the next iPhone if there's a 4 inch screen.

If I wanted to keep my HTC EVO, I would have.
03:17 PM on 05/25/12
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"Pantech Jest is free, but it's also a Pantech Jest."

god damn, did that make me laugh so hard.
03:47 PM on 05/25/12
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Jason Tate
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I will not be purchasing the next iPhone if there's a 4 inch screen.

If I wanted to keep my HTC EVO, I would have.
My understanding is that the device size won't change though. Just a bigger screen.
03:49 PM on 05/25/12
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My understanding is that the device size won't change though. Just a bigger screen.
I have no doubt they can make it work without changing the size much.

I don't know, I just think the current iPhone screen is the perfect screen size that a cellular phone should be.

I'll probably cave anyways and buy the new one when it's out haha
03:53 PM on 05/25/12
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I have no doubt they can make it work without changing the size much.

I don't know, I just think the current iPhone screen is the perfect screen size that a cellular phone should be.

I'll probably cave anyways and buy the new one when it's out haha
Hah, I'll be curious to see what transpires.
03:54 PM on 05/25/12
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Schumer And Casey’s Ex-PATRIOT Act: Details Of How They Plan To Get Saverin’s $67M And More

It’s pretty big: any ex-pat with either a net worth of over $2 million, or an average income tax liability of at least $148,000 over the last five years, “will be presumed to have renounced their citizenship for tax avoidance purposes.” The ex-pat will have to demonstrate to the IRS that this is not the case if it is not. If there is a “legitimate reason” for that person living outside the U.S. no penalties will apply. But if the IRS finds that someone gave up their passport for tax purposes, they will impose a tax on that individual’s investment gains “no matter where he or she resides.”

Saverin looks like such a fucking douche for this move. This time the US lawyer'd up. - JT

I would argue that the U.S. looks looks more douchey than Saverin. He says he wants to live abroad, let him live abroad. If the U.S. is so worried about tax evasion from people leaving the country, maybe they should make it make more sense to live in the country, not just elect to tax you regardless of where you live based on their presumptions.
04:01 PM on 05/25/12
Jason Tate
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I would argue that the U.S. looks looks more douchey than Saverin. He says he wants to live abroad, let him live abroad. If the U.S. is so worried about tax evasion from people leaving the country, maybe they should make it make more sense to live in the country, not just elect to tax you regardless of where you live based on their presumptions.
He can live abroad. After he pays the taxes he owes the US for making him rich.
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