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Archive for October 2011

During an interview with ABC news, Bill Gates responded to posthumous snipes from Steve Jobs in his recent biography.

 

Steve Jobs made quite a few pot shots at Microsoft and Bill Gates in his posthumously published biography by Walter Isaacson. And in the book, Bill Gates makes a few shots back, but we in the media are never happy without a fight. While interviewing Gates on ABC News this Sunday, Christiane Amanpour prodded him with Jobs’s criticisms. Gates responded very graciously.

Here’s the quote from Steve Jobs: 

“Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he’s more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology. He just shamelessly ripped off other people’s ideas.”

And here’s Bill’s response:

“When you think about why is the world better today, the Internet, the personal computer, the phone, the way you can deal with information is just so phenomenal…Over the course of the 30 years we worked together, he said a lot of very nice things about me and he said a lot of tough things. I mean, he faced, several times at Apple, the fact that their products were so premium priced that they literally might not stay in the marketplace. So the fact that we were succeeding with high volume products, including a range of prices, because of the way we worked with multiple companies, it’s tough. So the fact that at various times, he felt beleaguered, he felt like he was the good guy and we were the bad guys, you know, very understandable. I respect Steve. We got to work together. We spurred each other on, even as competitors. None of that bothers me at all.”

Gates handled the question with a good amount of diplomacy, which he has consistently done in recent weeks, and years. It’s difficult to say if he’s actually bothered by the snipes or not. The full interview is below. It also touches on issues like taxing the rich and providing aid to poor countries.

 

Provided by Jeffrey Van Camp

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Blackberry PlaybookResearch In Motion is now offering customers a free PlayBook – but only if they buy two of them. The offer runs until the end of this year and is aimed at businesses.

Research In Motion (RIM) is looking for more ways to shift those PlayBooks. The latest idea, announced by the Ontario-based company on Friday, is to give a free PlayBook to anyone that buys two. But the question is, who’s going to buy two? Of course, there’ll be those asking another question: Who’s even going to buy one?

According to the ad on the BlackBerry website, the offer is aimed at business users, so RIM is banking on there being bosses out there who might be moved to equip company employees with its device. To further entice potential buyers, a BlackBerry leather sleeve, charging pod and HDMI cable will be offered for free with each tablet.

The latest initiative follows several others by RIM aimed at boosting sales of its poor-selling tablet. At the end of last month, a number of retailers knocked $200 off the device, bringing the cost of the entry level 16GB PlayBook down to $299.

However, it’s once again selling for $499. Also in September, news emerged that RIM was offering the tablet to employees of Canadian cell phone carrier and long-time business partner Rogers, discounted by as much as 50 percent.

The fact is, the PlayBook is struggling in a market where Apple’s iPad continues to dominate. During its first quarter of sales, RIM shipped 500,000 PlayBooks, but for the quarter ending in September, demand had already cooled markedly, with only 200,000 being shipped. Apple, by comparison, sold just over 11 million iPads during roughly the same time period.

When the PlayBook was launched in April, it came under fire for lacking a native email client and instant messaging app, as well as having a poorly stocked app store. This week it was announced that the release of a long-awaited OS update intended to fix some of these issues has been put off until next year.

RIM’s latest offering may grab the attention of some businesses, but with so many tablets coming on the market now, including Amazon’s highly-anticipated Kindle Fire, it’s hard to imagine the PlayBook ever taking off in a big way.

RIM’s offer runs until the end of December and can be purchased from a number of authorized resellers in the US and Canada (excluding Quebec).


 

iphone-4-vs-4s

While the massive popularity of the iPhone 4S has been a great success for Apple, a growing number of iPhone 4S owners are complaining about battery life issues with the new smartphone.

 

According to a report from The Guardian, Apple engineers have started contacting vocal iPhone 4S owners that have been complaining about the rapidly draining iPhone 4S battery. During the initial iPhone 4S presentation earlier this month, Apple mentioned that standby time for the iPhone 4S battery was rated at about 200 hours or a bit over eight days. This is a large drop from the 300 hour standby time of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS, likely due to the upgrades to the internal hardware within the iPhone 4S. One iPhone 4S user reported that standby mode was eating up approximately ten percent of the battery power each hour and eventually draining the battery by the end of the workday.

iPhone-4S-battery-lifeWhile Apple engineers haven’t specifically identified the problem yet, many iPhone 4S users have collectively pointed to location services as the main culprit for the drain on the battery. Specifically, the “Setting Time Zone” function within iOS 5 that corrects the Time Zone as a user travels to different areas of the world is constantly attempting to check the current Time Zone. iPhone 4S owners whoidentified this problem see the purple, location arrow icon beside the toggle setting within the menu. This means that the Time Zone has been checked within the last 24 hours. Users that have turned off the Time Zone feature, as well as many other location functions of the phone, have reported vastly improved battery life on the iPhone 4S as well as other iPhones that have upgraded to iOS 5.

The “Setting Time Zone” function can be located within Settings, moving into “Location Services”, scrolling down to “System Services” and sliding the toggle on “Setting Time Zone”. Apple engineers will likely adjust settings within the next iOS 5 update to modify how often location-based apps are automatically updated to allow for greater battery life for all iPhone 4S users.

 

Provided by Mike Flacy

bill gates

All you aspiring 1-percenters, take heed: Bill Gates says that, after you become a millionaire, it doesn’t really make much of a difference how much more money you make.

 

It’s one thing to be told that money isn’t everything by someone who has never had any. It’s quite another when the person giving the advice is the wealthiest man in the world.

This lesson was recently learned by a lucky group of computer science and engineering students at the University of Washington, who had the opportunity to listen of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, a native of UW’s hometown of Seattle, give his two cents about life, technology and getting rich.

“I didn’t start out with the dream of being super-rich,” said Gates. “And even after we started Microsoft, and the guys who ran Intel—Gordon Moore and those guys—were billionaires, I was like, ‘Wow, that must be strange.’ And so—it is, it’s quite strange.”

He added: “But wealth above a certain level, really, it’s a responsibility that then you’re going have to either, a.) leave it to your children, which may or may not be good for them, or b.) try to be smart about giving it away.

“So I can understand wanting to have millions of dollars, because there’s meaningful freedom that comes with that. But once you get much beyond that—you know, I have to tell you, it’s the same hamburgerDick’s [a local fast food chain] has not raised their prices enough. But, you know, being ambitious is good. You just have to pick what you enjoy doing.”[Emphasis ours]

Gates also said that he believes ” that the rich should be taxed a lot more,” but that the best thing America can do for those with thinner wallets is to provide a quality education that can “give them an opportunity to move up into the top few percent.”

Read a full report about Gates’ talk here.

 

Provided by Andrew Couts

satellite-shutterstock

An upcoming congressional committee report suggests the Chinese government many have played a role in the hacking of two US satellites in 2007 and 2008.

 

In 2007 and 2008, hackers waged an attack on two US government satellites, according to a report from a congressional committee that’s due to be released next month. Bloomberg Businessweekreports that the perpetrators of the attack may have ties to the Chinese military.

The two satellites, named Landsat-7 and Terra AM-1, are reportedly used for climate and terrain monitoring, and are managed by NASA.

In both October 2007 and July 2008, the Landsat-7 satellite experienced 12 minutes of interference. The Terra AM-1 experienced two minutes of interference in July 2008, and nine minutes in October 2008, according to the report.

“Such interference poses numerous potential threats, particularly if achieved against satellites with more sensitive functions,” says a draft of the report obtained by Bloomberg Businessweek. “Access to a satellite‘s controls could allow an attacker to damage or destroy the satellite. An attacker could also deny or degrade as well as forge or otherwise manipulate the satellite’s transmission.”

While the report does not explicitly implicate the Chinese government in the attacks on the satellites, it does say that the attacks are in line with Chinese government writings that support military action against enemy space systems, including “ground-based infrastructure, such as satellite control facilities.”

The report also says that the Chinese “conducted and supported a range of malicious cyber activities.”

Wang Baodong, a spokesman at the Chinese Embassy in Washington D.C., says the commission has been spreading “unproved stories to serve its purpose of vilifying China’s international image over the years. He added that China “never does anything that endangers other countries’ security interests.”

The report goes on to say that, in the event of a military conflict between the US and China, the Chinese would attempt to “compromise, disrupt, deny, degrade, deceive or destroy” US computer systems, including satellite systems.

This is, of course, far from the first time the Chinese government has been accused of hacking. Last March, for example, Google accused the Chinese government of hacking its Gmail service in an attempt to suppress anti-government activists in that country.

 

Provided by Andrew Couts

microsoft-office-future-video

Microsoft has released a concept video showing its vision of the future. Spoiler alert: cell phones are going to get thinner.

 

Want to watch another concept video of what the future might be like? You’ve come to the right place. Two days ago, Microsoft’s Office YouTube channel released a video showing what productivity might be like in the future. Oddly, there aren’t many Office or Microsoft logos around and the interfaces of most devices don’t really look like Windows, though they all seem to use the Windows Phone fonts and simplistic style.

In Microsoft’s vision, all screens are as thin as a sheet of paper, cell phones are just a slice of glass, everything has holographic displays, you can flick documents from one object to another, and even desks and car windows have built in screens. The question is, do we want to live in a world like this? It seems a bit sterile.

Provided by Jeffrey Van Camp

If you’re buying a car, do you check Facebook? Or do you read up on Kelley Blue Book values and scour the company website for every spec, from horsepower to miles per gallon? What about music — do you check Top 40 radio charts or scope out what your Facebook friends are actually listening to on Spotify?

Social media has infiltrated the purchasing funnel, helping consumers make informed decisions, from what to have for lunch to where to go on vacation. Depending on the decision, sometimes you turn to your social graph, and sometimes you turn to Google. So, as a brand marketer, you want to know what online channels you should be targeting in order to reach the perfect audience for your product.

But regardless of what kind of consumer you’re trying to reach or what you’re selling, your SEO better be top notch — search is the most important influence on the web.

The infographic below, featuring data from M Booth and Beyond, analyzes the differences between high and low sharers and various purchasing decisions, helping brands to understand how should be targeting consumers.

What kind of consumer are you? Let us know in the comments below.

 

 

Provided by Lauren Drell