Everything on ‘Products’

When not telling the truth is allowed

Kingston DataTraveler G3 - Get more than you were promissed

Kingston DataTraveler G3 - Get more than you were promised

I recently bought a 32 GB USB drive. Not for small files of course (it would be a bit big for small files), but for carrying with me some large Virtual Machine images. (For an explanation on what virtual machines are, see wikipedia, but it’s not important for the story.) I did not want to spend too much money, but I did want a reasonably fast one, since I would be copying huge files (around 10 GB each) onto it. The shop had really fast ones (with speeds specified to be 20 MB/s), that were also really expensive. In the end I decided to go for the cheaper, mid range, Kingston DataTraveler G3. As you can see on the picture of the packaging, it should be able to write with 5 MB/s, and read with 10 MB/s. Not that fast, but fast enough for what I wanted to spend. I took into account that “they all lie” about this kind of specs. Those speeds are the ones you only achieve under the most optimal circumstances, etc.

I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the speeds reported by Windows when I was copying my large files » More: When not telling the truth is allowed

Why Apple is on its way to become the new Palm

The Apple does not fall far from the Palm

They are not that different

I recently read an article, which stated that RIM was becoming the new Palm. That might be a fairly good observation: RIM (the maker of BlackBerry phones) isn’t doing well at all after all. However, there are more and perhaps more likely candidates for this title.

Palm was once a high tech company with revolutionary and business changing products. It’s handheld computers, ‘palmtops’ or ‘personal assistants’ seamlessly (this is an evolving term) integrated with business tools like Outlook for email, tasks and calendar. Palm launched the first successful app shop, where you could buy thousands of apps to extend your Palm’s functionality with both productivity tools and games. Although the Palm platform was strong » More: Why Apple is on its way to become the new Palm

Evolution of mobile phones: from fridge to cutting board

I bought my first mobile quite late, at the end of the 90’s. It was a Siemens C35. It was quite popular at that time and one of the reasons was that it was small (it was also remarkably easy to use). People that bought their phones just one or two years before were now frowned upon for walking around with a so called ‘fridge‘. That’s what we called the huge phones made just a few years earlier.

In the following years phones continuously became smaller and thinner. There were exceptions » More: Evolution of mobile phones: from fridge to cutting board

Microsoft rapidly losing market share in PC market

In 2011 Microsoft will lose a significant part of it’s market share in the PC operating systems market. In a market where Microsoft is traditionally very dominant with about 90% of all devices on the Internet running Windows, it will lose about 10% market share in this year’s PC sales alone. You might think, where does this guy get this idea from? How is this possible? Well, it’s due to the definition of “PC” that Microsoft uses. In the traditional PC market, this year’s market is estimated between 361 and less than 400 million pieces. That excludes about 53 million expected tablets. » More: Microsoft rapidly losing market share in PC market

Microsoft and Mozilla moving the Web towards Apps

Apps vs Web

Apps vs Web

Previously I wrote about the battle between Apps and the Web, how the battle drove an upward spiral where both are getting better and better and how Apps and Web will inevitably grow together. Mozilla (the developer of Firefox) and Microsoft (Internet Exporer) are now both taking their own steps towards that.

Today Internet Exporer 9 has been launched. It offers lots of improvements and it would go too far to describe them all here, but one of the interesting things related to Apps and the Web is that a website now easily (virtually) becomes an App, by ‘pinning’ a website to the taskbar, like you could already make a shortcut to any other application on your Windows 7 taskbar. » More: Microsoft and Mozilla moving the Web towards Apps

A video a day – amazing online numbers for 2010

YouTube announced that in 2010 our world wide population watched a total of 700 billion YouTube videos.  That’s 700,000,000,000 views with 6,887,400,000 people (at the time of writing). Or just over 100 movies per Earth citizen. In 2010 the Internet penetration rate further grew to 28,7 % to about 1,966,514,816 people on June 30, 2010, twice as much as in 2007. That means nearly 2 billion people watched 700 billion movies, or an average of just over 354 movies a year each. Excluding countries where YouTube is forbidden (like China, 420 million Internetters) or where it is not yet available, that’s well over one video a day per Earth citizen with access to YouTube. » More: A video a day – amazing online numbers for 2010

The upwards spiral of the ongoing battle between Apps and Web

Apps and Web, the upwards spiral

Apps and Web, the upwards spiral

Everything moves in waves or big circles or spirals. Left and right wing politics, growing and shrinking economies, technological progress, relationships, you name it. And generally an upward spiral is preferred. The same applies to centralized and decentralized computing and “Web vs App”. Regarding the latter: Some say that the Web has had it’s time and the App will take over. The opposite used to be said 15 years ago.

» More: The upwards spiral of the ongoing battle between Apps and Web

To touch or not to touch the iPad?

Be careful touching the iPad

Jacob Nielsen (of Nielsen Norman Group) published research about the usability of the Apple ipad with early iPad Apps and some websites. Surprisingly it is signaled that some issues encountered with websites in the early 90’s are reoccurring now with this state of the art piece of technology.

Remarkably the touch pad functionality, which would be one of the fundamental features of the device, causes the main issues. Many of the different App user interfaces seem inconsistent, causing repeated and longer learning curves for users new to specific apps and possibly the whole device » More: To touch or not to touch the iPad?

(Micro-)blogging is here to stay?

Old and new tools to tell people what you think or feel

Technologies that will soon all be forgotten

After some deliberation on whether to start a blog or not, I finally started one (this one) a month or so ago. This week I read in the local newspaper that blogging was old fasioned (sooo 2008) and being completely replaced by micro-blogging. Fortunately I recently started to use twitter as well, so I’m not completely worried about my digital affinity. On the other hand, until now I still try to find out what’s the advantage of Twitter over MSN, ICQ (a technology from the mid 90’s) or even an ordinary IRC channel (early 90’s). To me until now it doesn’t seem more than a slow group chat. It actually looks a lot like a big newsgroup discussion (first introduced on digital bulletin boards in the 80’s).

If I am to believe the numerous articles on Twitter, “this technology is here to stay”. It’s gonna change the way we spread news, it’s gonna change the way we use the internet, it’s going to change our lives. Surprisingly, this is exactly what I read about traditional blogging a few years ago. Did it really change our world? No, not really. Not surprisingly, it’s especially the companies that have interests in these technologies that spread these words first. And they are frequently copied by the early adopters.

I have decided to stop believing this kind of statements. Nearly no new technology is here to stay. (No reason not to enjoy them of course.) There might be exceptions, like perhaps the wheel, but even there I’m not sure yet. In practice it’s naive to think that any new technology will not be succeeded and eventually replaced by a newer technology sooner or later. And newer technologies rather sooner than later. In the mean time, I’ll just keep blogging.

Does Albert Heijn promote negative thoughts?

Packaging of black berry smoothie

Packaging of Albert Heijn's black berry smoothie

The Dutch super market chain Albert Heijn actively follows the “health” trend by selling healthy snacks. I recently bought a bag of Parisian carrots and a black berry smoothie in the AH to Go at a Dutch train station. The following train ride gave me some time and opportunity to have a look at the packaging of the smoothie. Although I would expect the healthy product to radiate optimism and good feeling, I was surprised to see the image on the right.

The image shows a description of what kinds of fruit are in the smoothie and next to it some very unhappy fruits! One seems to be drowning, shouting “help!!!”. The other is coughing (“uche uche!”). Not really what I would like to accociate with the food I consume… This could be an attempt to make the packaging less boring or even funny, but I fail to see how exactly. The rest of the packaging does not communicate anything funny and is indeed boring. I would like to know the impact of these cartoons on the overall image of the product. Do people find it funny? Do they feel happy about consuming fruit that was ‘sacrificed’ for their smoothie? (Is that the reason the fruits are screaming?) Do consumers accociate the product with (un)healthiness? And more in general: is it wise to associate products with negative expressions?