Harry van Bommel #SP inerview met Rob Zwetsloot #Hoeksteen LIve! #NL #Verkiezingen september 12 2012 via Salto Televisie Amsterdam LiveStream & Qik 25 juli 2012 1/4
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(CNN) — Una semana después de que la noticia sobre la ineficaz Oferta Pública Inicial (OPI) de Facebook exasperara, o atormentara a los inversionistas de la empresa, el gigante de las redes sociales podría estar creando un teléfono inteligente.
Facebook espera lanzar su propio smartphone el próximo año, de acuerdo con un informe de The New York Times que cita fuentes anónimas en la empresa y a otros que han sido alertados sobre los planes de Facebook. La red social contrató a más de una docena de exingenieros de Apple, quienes trabajaron en el iPhone, según el informe.
Hemos escuchado esto antes. En el 2010, TechCrunch informó que Facebook estaba desarrollando software para un teléfono y aliándose con un tercero para crear el hardware. Citando sus propias fuentes, el blog de tecnología AllThingsD informó en el 2011 que el teléfono, tenía el nombre código de Buffy y correría en una versión de Android modificada para integrar los servicios de Facebook.
Pero el informe de The New York Times de este domingo añadió nuevos detalles específicos como una entrevista con un exingeniero del iPhone, quien dijo que recientemente se había reunido con el CEO de Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, quien “lo llenó de preguntas sobre el trabajo interno de los smartphones”, incluyendo el tipo de chips utilizados. “No sonaba como curiosidad intelectual en vano”, dijo el ingeniero.
Un vocero de Facebook se negó a comentar sobre el informe el lunes. La empresa se había dirigido con anterioridad a The New York Times en un comunicado, que en parte decía, “estamos trabajando en toda la industria móvil; con operadores, fabricantes de hardware, proveedores OS y desarrolladores de aplicaciones”.
Un teléfono inteligente creado por Facebook permitiría a los usuarios mandar mensajes sin problemas, publicar actualizaciones y compartir fotografías o ligas de artículos.
Aunque Facebook elabora aplicaciones para iPhone y iPad, aún no está integrado al sistema operativo móvil de Apple, por ejemplo.
Las noticias surgen entre la especulación de que Facebook, enfrentando nuevas presiones como una empresa pública, necesitará desarrollar fuentes frescas de ingresos móviles y ejercer un mayor control sobre sus productos móviles a medida que los usuarios pasan más tiempo conectándose en teléfonos o tabletas en lugar de computadoras portátiles o computadoras de escritorio.
“Mark (Zuckerberg) está preocupado de que si no crea un teléfono móvil en un futuro cercano, Facebook se convertirá simplemente en una aplicación en otras plataformas móviles”, reveló un empleado de Facebook a The New York Times.
Esto también surge días después de que su rival Google, completara su adquisición de 12,900 millones de dólares de Motorola Mobility, un acuerdo que permitiría a Google crear su propio smartphone.
Muchos blogueros de tecnología creen que este movimiento podría ser una mala idea para Facebook, en parte porque no hay una necesidad clara de los consumidores para tener un teléfono de Facebook.
Henry Blodget de Business Insider escribió que Facebook enfrentaría una dura competencia en el negocio del hardware, un área donde no tiene experiencia y donde los márgenes de ganancias son históricamente bajos.
“Así que en lugar de construir un teléfono, que parece un movimiento desesperado, Facebook debería aliarse con cada sistema operativo, portador y fabricante de hardware para tratar de integrar esta plataforma social con cada plataforma móvil”, dijo Blodget. “Y debe construir grandes aplicaciones para flotar en la parte superior de estos sistemas”.
En una publicación titulada “Sería un milagro si el teléfono de Facebook no se hunde”, Alexia Tsotsis de TechCrunch es más franca.
“Hacer hardware para teléfonos es un trabajo duro, mucho más duro que cualquier cosa que Facebook haya intentado en el pasado”, escribió.
“Básicamente, hay un millón de formas en que este proyecto fallará, y solo una manera en que funcione: Facebook aparentemente podría triunfar recurriendo a la apertura en el mercado móvil donde las personas quieren una alternativa a los teléfonos mal diseñados de Android; dirigiéndose a las personas que comprarían algo diferente a un iPhone si el precio de partida es de 150 dólares o menos y el diseño fuera un poco más ambicioso que lo que actualmente está disponible en Android”.
Last week I was looking at a pile of smartphones I’d recently been given to review. The devices were virtually indistinguishable from one another.
Slab after slab, no keyboards, no color. Just black blocks with shiny touch screens, maybe a few buttons dotted along the side. Some had fake metal rings that wrapped around the body of the phone, a kind of mimic of the iPhone’s metal antenna. Some went for a matte finish instead of high gloss. All were familiar, and all were uninspired.
Turning them over was no better. Some brandished HTC logos, some Motorola, some Samsung, some LG. The list is long, but my attention span with these lookalikes is becoming shorter by the minute.
Looking at the latest crop of laptops (in particular, models based on Intel’s “Ultrabook” chipset), the trend is the same. One machine after another trying to ape theMacBook Pro or MacBook Air. Aluminum casing? Check. Tapered edge? Check. Black, “chicklet” keyboard? Check. So little to differentiate the systems beyond specs and the odd placement of a USB port or trackpad.
HP released a laptop called the Envy, which was nearly a shot-for-shot remake of the MacBook Pro. Envious? Yes, that was obvious.
It’s as if design innovation has all but stopped in the world of technology. It’s so rare to see something truly original that when an odd looking device does pop up, people in the industry almost bristle. As if sameness were a desirable quality. As if looking like the rest of the bunch gave you some advantage, some “in.”
There are a few rays of light in the technology landscape, however. Despite the fact that Windows Phone has yet to really take off, Nokia made big design strides with the introduction of the Lumia 900 — using a solid, molded polycarbonate shell instead of the metal or plastic you see on most devices, and giving users color options like a striking cyan.
Nikon also seems to be at least trying with products like its J1 camera. While the device itself is not a particularly good shooter, the design seems to be reaching for something more than the status quo. The sleek, clean, interchangeable-lens camera looks like something from the future — something from our dreams of what technology would look like in the 2000s.
Elsewhere, companies such as Jawbone have seemed to pay particular attention to the physical presence of their devices. The company had designer Yves Behar (one of the few notable names in the technology design space) create its iconic Bluetooth speaker, the Jambox, as well as the flawed-but-beautiful fitness bracelet, the UP.
On a smaller scale, pioneers like the Swedish instrument-maker Teenage Engineering have painstakingly merged technology and art into a single device, a standalone synthesizer called the OP-1, which is as gorgeous to look at as it is fun to play with.
But on the larger scale — in the larger world — our electronics makers seem to have given up when it comes to innovative design. Yes, Apple and Jony Ive are still cranking out some of the most beautiful technology ever produced, but even Apple looks a little familiar these days. And where is the competition? Where is the company that will go toe-to-toe with the best in the business . . . and beat them?
Sadly, that competition is in short supply these days, and I think it’s a problem for our industry. Frankly, it’s a problem for our world.
You may not put stock in physical design — in beauty — but a care for the way these products are designed and built has repercussions beyond just the look and feel of a device. Apple has had to rework and rethink the guts of its products to match ambitious designs, driving down part sizes, creating new manufacturing methods and dreaming up all kinds of new ways to do old things.
That’s innovation, in both design and technology — and it’s important to moving the industry forward.
The truth is, good design costs money, and taking risks is, well . . . risky. Most of the infrastructure that’s been built around technology manufacturing is concerned with one thing alone: keeping the bottom line as low as possible. That might get you good margins, but it won’t often get you good design.
As long as a single company, Apple, is willing to take risks, that single company will continue leading the way in product design. And that’s too bad, because I don’t necessarily think that Apple will always have the best idea, or the most original.
I think it’s time for this industry to wake up to design. To wake up to beauty in form and function. I think it’s time that technology companies started taking a long, hard look at what they’re putting out into the world. Hopefully, they’ll start to realize that competition takes more than “me too.”
Sometimes, it takes “me first.”
The path for Internet start-ups used to be quite clear: establish a presence on the Web first, then come up with a version of your service for mobile devices.
Now, at a time when the mobile start-up Instagram can command $1 billion in a sale to Facebook, some start-ups are asking: Who needs the Web?
Smartphones are everywhere now, allowing apps like Foursquare and Path to be self-contained social worlds, existing almost entirely on mobile devices. It is a major change from just a few years ago, underscoring how the momentum in the tech world is shifting to mobile from computers.
In that context, the Instagram deal looks like something of a turning point, as even the Web giant Facebook tries to get a better grasp on a market that requires a rethinking of old rules.
“For decades, the center of computing has been the desktop, and software was modeled after the experience of using a typewriter,” said Georg Petschnigg, a former Microsoft employee who is one of the creators of Paper, a new sketchbook app for the iPad. “But technology is now more intimate and pervasive than that. We have it with us all the time, and we have to reimagine innovative new interfaces and experiences around that.”
Venture capitalists are eager to get in on the mobile trend. According to the research firm CB Insights, mobile apps and companies attracted 10 percent of the total investment dollars from American venture capital firms in last year’s fourth quarter, and 12 percent of deals were mobile-related, up from 7 or 8 percent in previous quarters.
Ben Lerer, manager of the venture capital firm Lerer Ventures, said he preferred to back companies that were building services for mobile first and the Web second, because “businesses that are thinking that way are planning for the future.”
Mr. Lerer was one of the early investors in OMGPop, a New York company that was close to shutting down until it had an overnight hit in Draw Something, a twist on Pictionary for the iPhone. Last month, OMGPop was snapped up for $200 million by the game company Zynga, which has been trying to reduce its dependence on Facebook-based games like FarmVille.
Another hit game, Angry Birds from the Finnish company Rovio, started out on the iPhone before migrating to computers and video game consoles — an unusual trajectory in the game world.
Cellphones are also prompting a shift in how people want to share things online, creating a market for apps that make instant sharing easy, said S. Shyam Sundar, a director of the Media Effects Research Lab at Pennsylvania State University.
In other words, many people want to post a photograph of themselves right from a sun-drenched beach in Bali, rather than waiting until they are back home to upload all 50 pictures onto Facebook.
“People are living in the moment and they want to share in the moment,” Professor Sundar said. “Mobile gives you that immediacy and convenience.”
Instagram, a social network focusing on just that kind of instant photo sharing, does have a Web site — but it is essentially there just to encourage people to download the company’s apps. It is one of several social networks that have established themselves entirely on mobile. Another is Foursquare, which lets users share their location with a select few friends and has attracted nearly 15 million members.
“Mobile-first is the direction that many social networks are headed,” said Holger Luedorf, the company’s head of business development. If done right, he said, such services start to feel “baked into” the phone itself.
Dave Morin, who was at Facebook early on and left to create Path, a social network for mobile phones, said he realized that the world was headed for a mobile-centric future in 2009, when the influential analyst Mary Meeker published a report saying that more people would soon connect to the Internet on mobile devices than on personal computers.
Path does not release user numbers, but its app appears to have traction, particularly among people who have become disenchanted with Facebook. “Because you take your smartphone with you everywhere, you can quickly and easily take a photo or video, map your location or jot down a note or a thought,” Mr. Morin said.
Companies that start with a Web site then try to shrink it into an app face a tough challenge. Screen space on mobile devices is at a premium. And to avoid turning off users, designers and developers have to cut back on clutter and streamline their services, avoiding slow load times and stuttering interruptions.
Start-ups that put their resources into mobile from the beginning can skip some of the hassles. “You’re freed from worrying about so many of the things that you have to think about when it comes to Web development,” said Oliver Cameron, one of the founders of Everyme, an app introduced Tuesday that analyzes a user’s contacts and generates miniature social networks around people it thinks belong together.
Then there is the relative ease in finding an audience. Web sites and software packages have trouble standing out in the crowd. But apps have a simple distribution mechanism in app stores, which can immediately bring an app to a customer’s attention. “In February we had close to 900,000 downloads,” said Andreas Schobel, chief executive of Catch, a start-up in San Francisco that makes a note-taking app. “How would we do that on the Web?”
Mobile apps tailored to work for specific devices like the iPhone also run faster than Web sites, Mr. Schobel noted. “When you’re on the phone you need the experience to be instantaneous,” he said. “You just can’t do that yet on the Web.”
via The New York Times
Fresh from college and graduate schools, the children of some prominent dynasties are taking a different career path, spurning their legacies in retailing, real estate and finance for a future in technology, reports Evelyn M. Rusli in Friday’s New York Times.
Justin A. Rockefeller, 32, the fourth-generation descendant of John D. Rockefeller, the oil tycoon, is a partner at the venture capital firm Richmond Global and a director of business development at Addepar, a financial software start-up. The real estate heir Joshua Kushner, 26, helped to found Vostu, a large Brazilian online game company, and recently raised $40 million for his own technology investment firm, Thrive Capital. David Tisch, the grandson of Laurence A. Tisch, who turned a small hotel into a vast conglomerate, is also a technology investor. And Harrison LeFrak, the son of the real estate billionaire Richard LeFrak, started making technology investments after the financial crisis, when many investors closed their checkbooks.
If many of these heirs to vast fortunes don’t know how to program code, they have other attributes that can help them become successful investors: wealth and well-connected families.
“They view this as the next great frontier,” David Hornik, a partner at August Capital, told The Times. “There’s not much money left to be made in timber or coal.”
Google on Wednesday unveiled Project Glass, a secret program designed to bring augmented-reality to the masses.
The team leading the initiative, including Babak Parviz, Steve Lee and Sebastian Thrun, are part of Google’s clandestine Google X labs, a branch of the company that focuses on futuristic tech and big picture concepts, such as space elevators, robots and driverless cars.
Now with the project ready for public testing, the team has begun releasing fresh information, including a new video, on their Google + page with requests for feedback.
“We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input,” the team wrote in a post. “Please follow along as we share some of our ideas and stories. We’d love to hear yours, too. What would you like to see from Project Glass?”
According to a February report from the NYTimes, Google’s new Android-powered glasses will allow you to check your email, update your Facebook, or even check-in to your favorite restaurant. The device creates a direct link to your smartphone, providing real-time information in a heads-up display (HUD).
It is the company’s first official venture into wearable computing.
With its 3G or 4G data connection, GPS, and numerous environmental sensors, the glasses could be a boon for augmented reality and wearable technology. Integration with Google services and your smartphone means walking to work may never be more productive.
One new feature is an integrated navigation system, as described by 9 to 5 Google blogger, Seth Weinthrub, who first discovered the project in December.
“The navigation system currently used is a head tilting to scroll and click,” Mr. Weintraub wrote on his blog. “We are told it is very quick to learn and once the user is adept at navigation, it becomes second nature and almost indistinguishable to outside users.”
Reports suggest the new smart goggles will feature a built-in camera, cost in the region of $250 to $600.
The new product looks to be part of a long term strategy to expand the Android platform to as many devices possible. Last year the company announced Android@Home, a push to connect “every appliance in your home.”
“As an open platform,” said Google director of product management Hugo Barra, “Android was always meant to go well beyond the mobile phone.”
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