Google Reader Fallout Hits Keep

People won’t shut up about Google’s termination of its essential Reader service. Ed Bott’s Embrace, extend, extinguish documents Google’s successful promotion of Reader as a universal RSS back-end, eventually forcing BlogLines to shut down and NewsGator to abandon its consumer business. The promotion continued until those two significant competitors were defeated, in September 2010. Just … Continue reading “Google Reader Fallout Hits Keep”

Google Reader Shuts Down

First, let’s look at the bright side. Google’s widely covered announcement to shut down Google Reader by the end of June will raise awareness of two important facts that the Internet-using public has been happy to ignore. The first is that “free” is a bad business model, as noted for example in David Crotty’s Perils … Continue reading “Google Reader Shuts Down”

At the Gates & Kickstarter Observations

The second Kickstarter project I helped funding has just reached its goal – several times over, in fact. Congratulations to Jon Shafer whose At the Gates made over $100,000 compared to an original goal of $40,000! Last October, Obsidian’s Project Eternity had asked for $1.1 million and got nearly $4 million. Overall, Kickstarter has had … Continue reading “At the Gates & Kickstarter Observations”

Microsoft Office as a Service

While Windows 8 and Surface were holding everyone’s attention, Microsoft began radically changing its Office business model. Office 2013 retail editions no longer ship with physical media and are permanently locked to the first computer they are activated on, just like OEM editions. (edit: Transfer rights were grudgingly restored after user protests.) There are no … Continue reading “Microsoft Office as a Service” Stagnates

Hopeful Twitter competitor attracted a lot of attention last summer, as its initial growth spurt coincided with Twitter’s increasing hostility towards third parties. Could the service grow into a viable alternative to the big advertising-driven networks? I compiled a few snapshots of approximate user counts in two-month intervals. Month Users Growth Source 08/2012 7,600 … Continue reading “ Stagnates”

Happy Union of Print and E-book

Last December, The Scholarly Kitchen’s Joseph Esposito and O’Reilly Media’s Joe Wikert conducted a survey about people’s reading habits. This was an online survey, announced on the websites of Scholarly Kitchen, O’Reilly, and Forbes. So while the total number of around 500 respondents is rather small, we can reasonably assume it’s not biased towards technophobic … Continue reading “Happy Union of Print and E-book”

Surface Pro Approaches

Microsoft’s Surface Pro is expected by the end of January, and Mary Branscombe has just posted her first impressions from CES 2013. This is not a full review and Branscombe is a noted Microsoft fangirl, so unsurprisingly she loves every single thing about the device. Still, there’s some interesting tidbits to chew on until we … Continue reading “Surface Pro Approaches”

Hollywood and Tolkien

Robert X. Cringely has just finished his mini-series Silicon Valley conquers Hollywood 2013 (Setting the scene, There’s no business like show business, Think small, not big) with some great anecdotes on the highly irregular way Hollywood does business. A friend of mine who is a securities lawyer in New York worked on the 1985 sale … Continue reading “Hollywood and Tolkien”

Print Books Alive & Well

Nicholas Carr’s Will Gutenberg laugh last? notes that (a) the growth in e-book sales has slowed substantially and (b) print sales are holding up pretty well. The Association of American Publishers recently reported that annual growth in adult e-book sales dropped to 34 percent during the first half of 2012, a sharp falloff from the … Continue reading “Print Books Alive & Well”

“Blue” iOSsifies Windows

Back in August, Mary Jo Foley had reported on Windows “Blue”, a code name that was assumed to stand for an interim update to Windows 8. No other details were known, so I thought “Blue” would be some kind of service pack and forgot about the news. Now Tom Warren claims that unnamed sources have … Continue reading ““Blue” iOSsifies Windows”