Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2015

The beat goes on

Yesterday Apple revealed their long awaited entry into the streaming music field. They were able to do this quickly because of the acquisition of Beats last year, and the systems and intellectual property that came with that purchase. Considering that the music reveal was pretty much the only big news out of a pretty benign developer keynote, I'll take a few moments to talk about what I think about it.

Apple was perhaps the defining company in the music revolution of the past 20 years. With the introduction of the iPod that revolutionized portable music, to the creation of the iTunes store and the eventual death of DRM, Apple has been at the forefront of digital music. This leadership comes with high expectations to continue to lead, and so many people have long questioned Apple not getting into the streaming music business quicker.

For the past few years new companies have come forth to lead the change in the streaming music evolution. From Pandora and its ability to create uniqu…

The NEW Microsoft

Today Microsoft held their Build conference keynote. As with Apple and Google, developer conference keynotes have become a mainstay of announcements for the general public beyond developers. At first it seemed that Microsoft would be bucking that trend today as the first portions of their keynote were very, very developer centric.

However, a lot changed when they started talking about Windows 10. Microsoft is betting the future on building a platform that applications will build off of. Much like Apple and Google, they seem to be discovering that the real money isn't in the operating system itself, but in helping bring applications to consumers through validated app stores. In Microsoft's case it's also seeking to converge all of their platforms into a single unified platform. They once again reiterated today that Windows 10 will run on all of the devices that are out there, from phones to tablets to PC's to XBox game consoles. This means that applications can be writt…

Push it... push it real good...

The other day I got a chance to play with the new Apple force touch trackpad. This is a new design that Apple has put on their laptops for non-mechanized clicking on trackpad. When you press on the trackpad it senses the force that you're pressing with, and when you reach a certain level, you feel a 'click'. If you keep pressing, you feel a second 'click'. The unique thing is that these 'clicks' aren't physical in nature. The trackpad never moves at all, but the click that you feel is from haptic feedback. In essence, when you press with enough force, the trackpad clicks back at you. You feel the sensation of clicking, but it's simply the trackpad responding to your pressure.

I got to play with this for a while, since the Apple Store rep was talking with us about soccer, and after a short bit I was getting the hang of it. I feel that it would take quite a bit longer though to really feel comfortable with this new paradigm. I'm someone who has a …

Welcome do double digits Mr. Windows

This past week was big for Microsoft and it's future with Windows. Windows 10 was given star status at a press reveal, showing off all of the new features that will be coming in this highly anticipated update to many of our desktops. I watched the live blog of the event, and have been reading over a lot of the reviews of the new technology that Microsoft is looking to deploy.

My initial reaction is to be impressed. Much of what was wrong with Windows in the past seems to be a focal point for fixing in Windows 10. A few key things stood out to me as areas that I'm anxious to see more.

First, I have to applaud Microsoft for being willing to step back from a design decision (Metro) that didn't pan out they way that they wanted it to. They took what they learned from that experience and have incorporated it into the regular desktop experience in a way that is much more seamless and useful. In fact, Microsoft is ahead of the curve in how they are presenting a user interface exp…

The resurgence of U

For Christmas this past year, we decided to get a Wii U as our family gift. My wife and I have owned various Nintendo consoles for much of our life, and we thought that the newest entry to the franchise would be a nice fit for our family. The Wii U has been out for a while now and hasn't been the hottest selling console by a long shot, so the question could be asked, why would we buy a Wii U now? The answer is that Nintendo has really decided to focus on some amazing new games for 2014/2015 that are only available on the Wii U.

After the disappointing 2013 holiday season for Nintendo many questioned if the Wii U was a complete flop, and perhaps the final nail in the coffin of Nintendo's console life. With only a few games of much interest, there wasn't much of a reason to buy a Wii U. Then in 2014 Nintendo started to revive it's most powerful asset, its catalog of great characters and games, launching new and exciting titles that got people interested in what Nintendo …

CES 2015 quick notes

One of the fun technology events every year is the Consumer Electronic Show. I've never had the opportunity to attend this in person, but maybe now that I have family in Vegas I should try and make it out some year. CES is a huge event that highlights some of the cool and crazy stuff that all the big consumer electronics companies are working on, and attempting to bring to market. Since I've been laid up sick for the past day and a half, I've been catching up on the news feeds of all the stuff that's currently coming out.

Although CES isn't strictly laptop and computer focused, computer companies still play a major role. This year, I'm seeing a lot of emphasis on thin and light computing devices. ASUS and Lenovo have both released some exceptionally light weight laptops, and hybrid tablets, that give the MacBook Air line a run for it's money. Additionally, HP is building off the success of it's Stream line of Chromebook competitors with an HP Stream Min…