Archive | Connected devices

What Is a Portable Computer?

In recent dueling ads about their tablet/laptop hybrids, both Apple and Microsoft ask the rhetorical question: What is a computer? Well, we kinda know that, don’t we? The real question is, what is a “portable computer?” A long time ago, in a marketplace far, far away, when you talked about a “portable computer,” you meant […]

Why Aren’t There 21st Century Flip Phones?

Apparently by the 23d century, we’ll have returned to flipping flip phones. We know this because in the current blockbuster Star Trek Beyond, the intrepid crew of the USS Enterprise employs communicators with lids that have to be flipped up to operate—subspace radio gear still must be pretty bulky in 2260. A couple of years […]

Why Smart TVs Are Like a 10-Year-Old

Today’s smart TVs are smart the way a precocious 10-year-old is smart – smart, comparatively speaking, but not exactly Alexander Hamilton, Warren Buffett or Albert Einstein. Young prodigies can reel off the names of the presidents backwards, Pi out to 314 digits or the “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by heart. But finding insight from […]

The Dumb Pipe Era Advances

Cable and telecommunications multi-system operators (MSOs) have had one overriding objective since the dawn of the digital era: to avoid becoming a “dumb pipe” — i.e. infrastructure, a mere purveyor of another’s bits. Today, that fate appears increasingly inevitable, with a twist. MSOs have fought the dumbing down of their networks largely through the promise […]

Let the Apple Watch Naysaying Begin

Three times since the turn of the millennium, Apple has unveiled a disruptive product – the iPod in 2001, the iPhone in 2007 and the iPad in 2010. In the weeks before the official unveiling of each, and sometimes in the immediate aftermath, the tech and popular press were filled with doom and gloom predictions […]

Apple Mystery: Why a Smart Watch But No TV?

Earlier this month, Apple launched its first new product in four years. And it wasn’t a TV. Instead, Apple chose to bring its mighty marketing muscle to bear on a much smaller, far less expensive item: a smart watch, dubbed simply as Watch. In fact, amidst all the usual hoopla surrounding the “Watch” and new […]

Where is the Bottom for the DSC Free Fall?

Digital still camera makers are literally trying anything/everything to staunch the flesh-eating virus that is the smartphone. So DSC makers are trying to make their cameras more like smartphones. Many have added Wi-Fi, some have mounted either front mirrors or 18-degree flip around display screens to snap smartphone-like selfies, and a few have added the […]

Smart TV and Media Players Have a Hamburger Problem

Earlier this month, Stewart Wolpin argued that smartphone hardware may have just about hit the ceiling — or at least, entered a period of less innovation and more iteration. I think a similar argument can be made about Smart TVs and media players. There has been no shortage of activity in the Smart TV/media player category. CES was […]

Last Act of Desperate Camera Makers?

During each recent digital camera event at- and post-CES, the scene of the townspeople fleeing the fictional town of Rock Ridge in Blazing Saddles blazes through my consciousness. You know, the one where Sheriff Bart argues that Hedley Lamarr’s actions are the “last act of a desperate man” – and Howard Johnson (John Hillerman) exclaims […]