Tag Archives: business

Lenovo Intros Thinkpad X1 YOGA with OLED Screen

Lenovo has been a longtime champion of multi-mode computing for Windows portables, and their Yoga line is their most visible product demonstrating a mix of laptop and tablet features.

Unveiling a new Thinkpad at CES, the X1 Yoga builds on their history of ultra-thin laptops, while adding their signature 360 degree screen hinge, and featuring the first OLED display in a convertible computer. I’ve been a long time fan of OLED displays on phones, as you get intense contrast, inky blacks, and vibrant colors. Happily at this 13″ screen size, the X1 Yoga will be arriving with a Quad HD screen, a resolution of 2560 x 1440.

Expect business grade build quality, powered by an Intel Core (up to i7 vPro) with options for up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage when it’s released later this year.

Apple Responds to Taylor Swift, Will Pay Artists During Free Music Streaming Promotion

taylor swiftIn a Tumblr post over the weekend, Taylor Swift voiced her disapproval of Apple’s streaming music promotion. It’s a great deal for consumers, as they will receive three free months of Apple Music, Cupertino’s competitor to services like Google Play All Access and Spotify. However, the tech giant initially refused to pay out royalties to artists on the streams played during that free promo.

Apple wanted to make their new service popular on the backs of musicians, with a service which will likely cut into album sales, and for the privilege of “Apple Music Exposure” and lower album sales, they weren’t going to pay musicians a dime.

In response to this policy Swift wrote:

This is not about me. Thankfully I am on my fifth album and can support myself, my band, crew, and entire management team by playing live shows. This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success. This is about the young songwriter who just got his or her first cut and thought that the royalties from that would get them out of debt. This is about the producer who works tirelessly to innovate and create, just like the innovators and creators at Apple are pioneering in their field…but will not get paid for a quarter of a year’s worth of plays on his or her songs.

Thankfully she’s high enough profile, that this blog post made a lot of noise. This morning Apple Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddie Cue posted this on Twitter:

It was the right play on Apple’s part as they’re way late to the streaming music game, and we’ve seen how other newcomers like Tidal have fared when hit with bad press. As they’re currently sitting on a war chest of over a hundred billion dollars, there never should have been any debate as to whether they would pay artists the pittance they receive for streams. Happily they’re on the correct track now.

I can honestly say I never thought I would ever side with Taylor Swift on a technology debate, but I’m sure many artists today are happy for her involvement.

Microsoft FINALLY brings Tablet Optimized Office Apps to Android!

After we saw a demo of an iPad running Office apps, Android fans wondered, rather vocally, when we would also get to take part in the business grade festivities.

Oh sure we had an Office Phone app for basic viewing, editing, and formatting, but it lacked proper tablet support.

Microsoft office word document for android tablet app somegadgetguyAll that changed yesterday when Microsoft’s Word, Excel, and Powerpoint tablet apps were finally approved on Google Play. Each service is an individual app, and downloading the apps is totally free. When not linked with an Office 365 subscription, the apps function as viewers, and wont allow you to edit docs or spreadsheet. Though with unlimited cloud storage coming to OneDrive with an Office 365 subscription, it’s not a bad value when compared to other cloud storage solution.

Linking to Office 365 opens up a full world of document and presentation creation and editing, very similar to what we saw on the iPad version. The full toolsets of Office are included, with advanced formating and formula support, and are well optimized for touch screen use. Tied directly into Office Online, OneDrive, and can be linked to DropBox, it’s a fairly robust ecosystem for sharing and collaborating.

Microsoft office excel for android tablet app somegadgetguy

As they’re beefy services, the download sizes are pretty large. Expect all three apps together to clock in at around 370MB. There’s also an issue with compatibility. Most of the tablets I ave lying around are not yet approved to install the apps. No Asus Transformer, no NVIDIA Shield, even the newer Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 was a no go, so my first impressions were performed on a Nexus 7.

Still it’s a great collection for Android, and now Windows Tablet and Phone fans can start the waiting game as we should see touch optimized Office apps arrive with Windows 10.

Microsoft Word on Google Play
Microsoft Excel on Google Play
Microsoft Powerpoint on Google Play

IBM to Set Record for Corporate Layoffs Next Month, Over 100 Thousand

ibm logoAnd if they break that record, as they’re expected to, IBM will be taking the layoffs crown from…

IBM

In an age where companies are rushing away from the kinds of server and data solutions IBM has traditionally offered to focus on “cloud” things, International Business Machines is looking to cut a quarter of its 400,000 employee workforce. They’re scrambling to catch up with Amazon, Microsoft, and Google in a hyper competitive services market, and one has to wonder how they’ll do that paying for an incredible number of severance packages, and with customer confidence likely taking a hit.

While the company sells mainframes, something you would think would be necessary for a cloud economy, that hardware only makes up about 10% of IBM’s business. Continue reading IBM to Set Record for Corporate Layoffs Next Month, Over 100 Thousand

FCC Puts Comcast + Time Warner Merger Review on Hold

Comcast-LogoIn a public open letter to Comcast and Time Warner, the FCC announced they will be hitting pause on their 180 day review of proposed merger between the two largest cable companies in the United States.

Only 85 days into the review process, both Comcast and TWC failed to meet deadlines on information requests in September. The FCC also responds to claims that the Comcast NBC Universal merger did not affect pricing, and that there was a substantial amount of data contradicting that claim needing examination. The FCC will resume their review process October 29th, allowing more time for the public to file comments and responses to the merger.

FCCPublic reaction to the merger has largely been negative, with many fearing the affects of what one super-large cable company will do to pricing and competition for services. It’s also become a cornerstone talking point in the ongoing net neutrality debate, as companies like Netflix have been forced to engage in negotiations and paying higher data transfer fees to prevent their services being throttled. It’s also given rise to a cottage industry of people recording poor customer service experiences with Comcast, and posting those recordings online.

You can read the FCC’s public letter here: Letter to Comcast, TW, and Charter regarding stopping clock

HP to Split into Separate Business and Consumer Companies, Laying Off 55,000 Employees

HP logoIn a filing with the SEC, HP today confirmed their intentions to divide their company. They’ll retain the traditional HP name for consumer electronics like Laptops and Printers. A new organization named “Hewlett-Packard Enterprise” will retain their corporate solutions.

It would seem HP has had difficulties in selling off under-performing divisions, and now the company is revisiting the strategy laid out by Leo Apotheker back in 2011 before he was ousted as CEO.

This move also comes with the news that layoffs will increase from the expected 45,000 to 55,000 employees now expected to get cut during this transition.

Current CEO Meg Whitman will make the move to the new Hewlett-Packard  Enterprise, while EVP of Personal  Systems and Printing Dion Weisler will take over as the new head of HP.

 

UPDATED! SomeGadgetGuy’s Production Master Class for Social Media Week LA 2013

BVHHsnNCUAAcIrfIt’s a good thing I don’t  ramble or anything…

I was invited to teach a master class on media production for Social Media Week in Los Angeles. I was honored to be asked, and thankfully they had me tackling a subject I could jump into, producing higher quality materials using the tools which come standard on just about all of our various gadgets and phones and tablets.

It was a great environment, being able to let my geek flag fly, and share my experiences ABOUT sharing my experiences while discussing how to create a work flow, tackle pre-production, and take some of the stress out of the post process for photos, audio, and video.

We’re wrapping up SMW-LA tomorrow, but I’ve gotten to meet some really cool folks and sit in on some fantastic workshops. For more info on Social Media Week events around the world, check out: http://socialmediaweek.org/

***UPDATE***

My somewhat rambling master class is now on LiveStream for you all to marvel at my presenting skills!

Kodak returns to the land of the living as business imaging company

kodak logo colorWelcome back Kodak! I was worried about you. I’ll be honest, I still miss Kodachrome, but I’m glad we haven’t completely lost such an iconic company.

Kodak has completed its Chapter 11 reorganization, and is announcing its goals of moving forward as a business imaging solutions company. It’s sad to see such a prime player in photography walk away from the consumer market, but it makes sense given the visceral competition iin the smartphone market and waning consumer interest for standalone point and shoot cameras.

Kodak’s statement does not directly address what services they will be offering businesses, but they did focus on the increasing move to digital imaging not just for content creation, but for output as well. Simply put, fewer people are printing things out. Whatever strategies they employ towards profitability will have to address that market behavior.

Full Kodak PR after the jump.

Continue reading Kodak returns to the land of the living as business imaging company