Posts filed under “Technology”

Coming Soon from Amazon: Unboxed Videos

Amazon_video

It looks like Amazon is becoming a video competitor to Apple’s iTunes.

Hollywood is a little leery of falling into the same situation the
music industry did — both needing Steve Jobs, but not happy with his
terms of the deal.

C/Net  writes:

"To this point, digital movies have yet to attract a large audience. It takes
hours in some cases for a film to be fully downloaded, and the quality isn’t any
better than a DVD, even though the costs are often the same.

Hollywood is eager to see how Amazon fares at selling downloadable films, an
entertainment executive said last month. Unlike the companies that have already
begun distributing digital movies, Amazon has a long track record of selling
videos online."

Here are a few screenshots, via kokogiak

Amazonscreenshot

Amazon_video_2

Amazon_video_3

More screen shots can be found at kokogiak

>

Sources:
Screenshots of new Amazon video store hit the Web
Nate Anderson
Ars Technica, 8/18/2006 10:25:40 AM
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060818-7540.html

Scoop: More Details On Amazon’s Unbox Video Service
Erick Schonfeld
The Business 2.0 Blog, Aug 19, 2006 4:37:04 PM
http://business2.blogs.com/business2blog/2006/08/scoop_more_deta.html

Is this the new Amazon video store?
Greg Sandoval
CNET News.com, August 18, 2006, 12:33 PM PT
http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9588_22-6107282.html

Category: Film, Technology, Television

Monitor Lust

Category: Technology

Follow up: Look Out Below

Category: Media, Technology, Trading

Speaking of Big Cap Tech Disasters: Dell

Category: Corporate Management, Earnings, Technology

Category: Corporate Management, Earnings, Investing, Psychology, Technology, Web/Tech

Sitegraphs: Websites as HTML graphics

How cool is this?

Websites as graphs displays your website as a graph of colored, connected dots representing the various HTML entities.

Below is a graph of the Big Picture:

Bp_as_graph


via Web log tools collection

After the jump, I grabbed a bunch of other sites for comparison purposes:

Read More

Category: Technology, Web/Tech, Weblogs

Microsoft is in crisis?

I frequently discuss Microsoft, and for many many reasons: They are a tech bellwether, a huge part of the S&P and Nasdaq 100 (and a smaller part of the Dow). They have also been a thorn in the side of new technology development and innovation, but now that so much of it has moved to the web, its gotten away from them.

This is a good thing.

One of the commenters said some time ago that I was "irrational in my hatred for Microsoft." That’s hardly the case; Microsoft has put a lot of cash in my pocket, so at worst, I should be grateful to them for the windfall.

However, I am still an objective observer, and I believe that Mister Softee is not what most investors think it is: They are hardly innovators; rather, they copy other people’s work relentlessly, until by default they own the standard. Their products are kludgy, bloated and anti-instinctive; They are hardly the elegant, easy to use software first dreampt up by science fiction writers decades ago.

From an investing standpoint, their fastest growth days are behind
them, yet they are hardly a value stock — yet. (Cody and I have disagreed about this for some time). The leaders of the last bull Market are rarely the leaders of the next. Despite this, Wall Street still loves
them, with 28 of  32 analysts rating them a "Buy" or "Strong Buy." (BRThat was 2 months ago; Its now down to 21 "Buy" or "Strong Buy," 10 "Hold," and 2 "Sell" or "Strong Sell." ) They
are widely owned by active mutual fund managers and closet Indexers.

Many people think of them as this well run money machine; In reality, they are very poorly managed by a group of techno-nerds with very little in the way of management skills. Even their vaunted money making abilities are profoundly misunderstood: Its primarily their monopolies in Operating Systems (Windows) and Productivity Software (Office) that generates the vast majority of their revenue and profits. Their Server software and SQL Database make money, but hardly the big bucks of Windows or Office. MSN is a loser, MSNBC is a dud, their Windows CE is hardly a barn burner — even X-Box has cost them billions more than it is likely to generate in profits over the next 5 years.

Lest you think its just me who thinks this way, consider no less an authority than Robert X. Cringely. He is the author of the best-selling book Accidental Empires (How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can’t Get a Date). He has starred in several PBS specials, including Triumph of the Nerds:  A history of the PC industry.

After Gates resignation, Cringely wrote this:

Pulp"Microsoft is in crisis, and crises sometimes demand bold action. The company is demoralized, and most assuredly HAS seen its best days in terms of market
dominance. In short, being Microsoft isn’t fun anymore, which probably means that being Bill Gates isn’t fun anymore, either. But that, alone, is not reason enough for Gates to leave. Whether he instigated the change or someone else did, Gates had no choice but to take this action to support the value of his own Microsoft shares.

Let me explain through an illustration. Here’s how Jeff Angus described Microsoft in an earlier age in his brilliant business book, Managing by Baseball:

"When I worked for a few years at Microsoft Corporation in the early ’80s, the company had no decision-making rules whatsoever. Almost none of its managers had management training, and few had even a shred of management aptitude. When it came to what looked like less important decisions, most just guessed. When it came to the more important ones, they typically tried to model their choices on powerful people above them in the hierarchy. Almost nothing operational was written down…The tragedy wasn’t that so many poor decisions got made — as a functional monopoly, Microsoft had the cash flow to insulate itself from the most severe consequences — but that no one cared to track and codify past failures as a way to help managers create guidelines of paths to follow and avoid."

Fine, you say, but that was Microsoft more than 20 years ago. How about today?

Nothing has changed except that the company is 10 times bigger, which means it is 10 times more screwed-up.

Read More

Category: Corporate Management, Investing, Markets, Psychology, Technology

Google vs Microsoft: Part II (NYT’s Version)

Category: Corporate Management, Investing, Technology, Web/Tech

Google vs Microsoft: Now We’re Getting Serious

Category: Investing, Technology, Web/Tech

Yahoo Video Goes Live

Category: Technology, Web/Tech, Weblogs