Posts filed under “Film”

Touchscreen iPod

Rumors of a new touchscreen Apple iPod have been around for years: The big issue as to the viability of this as a real product were fingerprints smearing the touchscreen. As hrmpf.com noted:

Apple has previous described new iPod designs (in patent applications) which
incorporate a touch sensitive surface into the display. There seems a scepticism
on the web about designs becoming reality due to the problems of screen smudging
and scratching.

The_new_ipod

Via GMSV, we see new patent app by Apple approaches the issue somewhat differently: Apple may "abandon the iconic wheel that has become virtually synonymous with its popular iPod music players."

Mercury News writes that the company had "previously explored replacing the click wheel with a virtual one as part of a touch-sensitive display. But now Apple appears to be looking at a third option: a touch-sensitive frame surrounding the display. Rather than click a physical button or press a virtual one on the screen, users would touch an area on the frame to operate their iPod."

Here are the details:

"This application has designs for a new iPod/Tablet/Phone (or dare I say it,
Newton-like device) which put the touch sensitive areas into the bezel
surrounding the iPod’s screen (as well as on the screen and sides of the device). The user interface seems particularly
well conceived and relies on on-screen indicators of the control surface’s
function. In addition to buttons the surfaces can act as scroll surfaces. The
interface works by the user selecting a control to change (in the picture below-
position in the song, volume, balance) and then, using the bottom surface to
scroll, adjusting the element in real time (Fig. 19).

And the various patent drawing are below:

 

Ipod_demo

>

Cody Willard directs us to this Apple Insider piece giving much more fdetails on the Patent App . .  .

>

Sources:
Apple describes new interface for iPod
hrmpf on October 26th, 2006
http://hrmpf.com/wordpress/90/apple-describes-new-interface-for-ipod

iPod’s click wheel: Has it been framed?
PATENT FILING SHOWS NEW NAVIGATION METHOD
Troy Wolverton
Mercury News
http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/15885367.htm

Apple’s touch-sensitive iPod ambitions disclosed in filing
AppleInsider, Thursday, October 26, 2006 10:00 AM EST
http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=2177

Category: Film, Music, Web/Tech

Zune, Microsoft and Corporate Culture

What do you think of the new Zune?

That question led to fascinating discussion about Microsoft on Thursday. What they do, how they work, brainstorm, etc. It also covered how Microsoft develops new products (notice I didn’t say innovate).

Zuneofficial_1
A few quick thoughts on the Zune: The coolest thing is its owners ability to zap songs back and forth via a Wi-Fi
connection — but those songs expire after "three plays or three days, whichever
comes first," which is kinda poor. The 3 inch screen versus the 2.5 inch on the iPod also looks pretty nice. Other than that, its not a particularly compelling piece of hardware.

Brown? How long til that gets cancelled? 

We don’t know the price yet, but I expect it to be in the $249 – 349 range, and a function of how much MSFT is willing to lose/subsidize each unit.

What I found most fascinating about "This Week in Microsoft" were the 3 separate products that leaked out over the past few days:

• The Zune iPod challenger (in classic "steal the other guys thunder" following Apple’s event)

Soapbox: The Microsoft YouTube Clone;

Live: The Microsoft Google challenger;

Let’s get a few things straight about Mister Softee. First, forget all the chatter coming from Redmond about innovation. They are now and have always been uttery shameless copycats. They do not innovate; They do not create cool products; They are boring code writing cubicle dwelling drones — and that’s what they should be.

The second thing you need to know about Microsoft: They print money like they were a branch of the U.S. Treasury Department.

That is the bottom line for investors, and the cash ain’t coming from all these other products attempting to recapture lighting in a bottle. Its Windows 1st, Office 2nd, and then a big 4 way tie for SQL, Hardware (mouses etc.) Server SW, and then everything else. All these other products — including Xbox, hotmail, MSN, etc. — are what happens when you have more money than God and still want to be one of the cool kids.

And, they’d probably get just as much criticism if they didn’t make all these attempts at imitating other successful innovators. Otherwise, they would just be a mature company milking their monopoly products until the next paradigm shift came along.

Understand my complaint about Redmond: I don’t begudge them these many attempts to stay relevant and hip, to keep pressing buttons until they find the next thing that works. Hey, after you become one of the most successful firms in the history of Capitalism, it becomes hard to repeat that performance every quarter.

I’m just tired of the bullshit about all their terrific innovations (Spare me the techno-babble about multithreading processors or dynamic ram usage).

To understand how Microsoft got to be the "innovator" it is today, you need to have some background into the psychology of its leadership. My favorite example comes via Robert Cringely

If there is a reason, it has to come from the competitive nature of Bill
Gates as Microsoft’s spiritual and ethical leader. Everything is a competition
to Bill, and every competition has a winner and a loser. Microsoft people have
always been encouraged to see the game, not the consequences, and to win the
game even if winning this way makes no sense.

Let me give an example of this behavior. In the early days of Microsoft, one
of the popular games was to see how late the boys could leave work for the
airport and still make their flights. These weren’t people who were habitually
late, they were playing a game. The eventual winner was Bill Gates, of course,
but to win he had to abandon his car [a new Porsche 911] at the departures curb.

Tht pretty much says it all. They are competitive to a fault — its in their DNA. Its also why they have been such a vast money machine. But please: Spare us the sanctimonious garbage about Microsoft the innovator, and keep the focus on Microsoft the moneymaker.

Here’s some more recent ideas out of the innovation factory:

Soapbox: The next YouTube?
Msnsoapboxshot

 

MSN Live: Where ever did they get the idea for that interface?
Live

Read More

Category: Corporate Management, Film, Music, Technology

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