Archive by Author | ricksternl

The upcoming TV war

A lot has been written about the Apple TV, and many had expected it already. Now there are many other forms of set-up boxes that you can use to stream media onto your TV. I have build a FreeNAS server very easily from which I can stream media content across my house. You can stream it through your television, if it has that functionality (check this BIM post), through your Blu-ray/DVD player (again if…), or through set-up boxes like the Xtreamer, or from Eminent for example. Google also has launched their Google TV. (See post by jordydebruijn) Now Apple has their Apple TV already for quite some while, and they state it is more of a hobby project than serious business, but is it? Everyone who can still remember the VCR players that were a pain the bottom to set-up might know the feeling that the current solutions are just not it. Steve Jobs has said in his biography that he cracked the code, meaning he found the next best thing for television.

But there is more in your home entertainment system besides your TV and Media-player. You might have an Playstation 3 or Xbox360. The latter has come up with Xbox SmartGlass, your interactive remote control: (source with video!: Gizmodo)
Another video:


Microsoft goes hardware

Although Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, does not see Microsoft as one of the Big Five of most influential technology companies in the industry (AllThingsD), I personally see Microsoft being the underdog. Windows Phone 7 and 8 are completely different in terms of user interface. Anyone who has played witch such a phone knows it works well, intuitively and looks great. I know in our class at least one of us has one. Also the new desktop OS Windows 8 is different, and looks great. It combines tablet, phone and desktop in the experience. Microsoft also recently announced Surface, with which they combine software and hardware again, just like they did with the Xbox. The also added a keyboard into the “Smart cover” of the tablet! Microsoft is combining the strategy which brought them so far, licensing, with the tight integration of software and hardware.

As Steve Balmer wrote in the annual shareholder letter: “There will be times when we build specific devices for specific purposes, as we have chosen to do with Xbox and the recently announced Microsoft Surface,

David Zax, journalist for the MIT Technology Review, is pointing out that Microsoft is going Apple. We are also seeing that Google is going Apple, although still licensing other manufacturers to build the Nexus 7 tablet. Is the way Apple is doing it the right way? Does the customer benefit from a closed ecosystem? The user experience might be better, but the user is “locked-in” by the manufacturer.

What are your opinions on this move in the industry?

How Coolblue is able to deliver the same day, and what about no electricity?

I would like to draw your attention to the following article of Wired. I came across this article just a few days after I read that Coolbue would offer same day delivery, if ordered before 15.00h. This news post is in Dutch, apologies for that, but Google Translate will do the trick for you. Will the human factor be completely robotised in the future? Or will we still be needed to do the most difficult tasks?

Imagine what would happen if all the electricity will be gone, that’d be something right? (yes I know, energy cannot disappear, but work with me here) This brand-new TV show is just about that:

To start off this blog I would like to draw your attention to the back-end of this blog, WordPress is developed by Matt Mullenweg, while he was seeking a more rich environment for his blogs. As we discussed the “free” model in class, I found the next upcoming article very interesting. The Forbes article talks about the origin of WordPress and how it struggles to make money while being the industry leader. The book mentioned in class, Free by Chris Anderson, talks about the ‘freemium’ model, where free content is supported by advertisements or users that pay for specific features.

Chris Anderson states that “every industry that becomes digital eventually becomes free”. As Editor-in-Chief of Wired, he created this extensive article of his opinion, please watch the short video.

My question to you: Do you think “freemium” is a sustainable business model for the next 5-10 years?