links for 2010-05-01

  • On a recent morning, a half-dozen young software engineers hunched over laptops at The Cup, a café on bustling Pearl Street in downtown Boulder. They were holding an informal meeting about a social networking app they’re developing and seemed to be on a first-name basis with the parade of techies walking through the door.
  • Blackberry maker Research in Motion broke into the top five cellphone makers in January-March for the first time, helped by 50 percent growth in the global smartphone market. The global handset market has been dominated by five major players — Nokia, Samsung, LG Electronics, Motorola and Sony Ericsson — for the last five years.
    (tags: mobile)

  • Nokia Chief Executive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo will next week face shareholders who are frustrated more than ever before.
    The share price of the world’s largest cellphone maker has missed the market recovery. The firm will be one of the few to miss profit growth in 2010, the year of economic recovery, and software problems continue to haunt its smartphone lineup.
    It means Kallasvuo, who has spent more than half of his life at the company, could give his last speech to shareholders if Nokia cannot roll out a serious challenger to Apple’s iPhone for the key holiday-sales season at end of the year.
    (tags: nokia mobile)
  • In the last month I have become even more convinced that the splinternet is real. This is not just one of the most important trends to hit the web in the last five years, it’s a war. Facebook and Apple want to own as much of your internet experience as possible.
    I’ve used the term “splinternet” to refer to a web in which content on devices other than PCs, or hidden behind passwords, makes it harder for site developers and marketers to create a unified experience. Here’s what’s happened since we first started talking about it three months ago.
    It got picked up in articles all across the web. I heard from two more reporters today. This is an idea that has captured people’s imaginations.
  • Sometimes I really feel sorry for brands that make our weekly Top 10 Most Tweeted Brands chart, a collaboration between Advertising Age and What the Trend. Like Adobe, the software giant behind Flash, the multimedia platform widely used for serving web video that Apple has refused to let onto its iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Though Adobe and Flash have been topics of conversation for months — ever since it became clear in January, when the iPad was announced, that Apple wasn’t going to be budging on its Flash ban — this week Apple CEO Steve Jobs finally issued a detailed explanation. In a scathing open letter posted yesterday on Apple’s website, “Thoughts on Flash,” Jobs calmly drove nails into Flash’s coffin, slamming what he called outdated, inefficient, battery-draining, insecure, unstable technology.
  • April 15, 20XX, Washington, D.C.
    Ladies and Gentlemen, every year on this date, the patriotic citizens of these United States proudly step up to share their good fortune with their friends and neighbors. It is due to these generous contributions that we have a space program, a Marine Corps and cash to pay the interest on all that money we borrowed from the Chinese.
    I especially want to recognize and call to your attention the magnanimous contributions of the rich. Although we may ridicule and malign them 364 days of the year, this day, April 15, truly belongs to them. Few realize that a mere 10 percent among us pay 73 percent of all individual income taxes nationwide. That is 73 percent of the individual income tax money for the national parks, 73 percent for the interstate highway system and 73 percent for your grandma’s hip replacement.
  • RIM has announced a substantial upgrade to the operating system powering BlackBerry devices. BlackBerry OS 6.0 is intended to bolster BlackBerry’s appeal to consumers, with web browsing in particular a focus. The new OS will be released in the third quarter of this year.
    Consumers now make up a large proportion of RIM’s sales. Though the BlackBerry platform offers a very strong e-mail experience, the web browsing experience?so important in the consumer market?is much weaker. In February, the company announced that its next web browser would use WebKit, the same browser engine as is found on both Android handsets and Apple’s iPhone.
    The new browser includes support for tabs, new-look favorites, and pinch-to-zoom. Indeed, multitouch support will be available through out the OS on suitable hardware.
  • BlackBerry users often complain that their devices need a faster browser and better touchscreen technology. That’s what they are going to get in the third quarter when Research In Motion plans to launch its new 6.0 operating system, according to the company.
    RIM, whose low-key public relations style is the polar opposite of Apple’s iPhone hype, still hasn’t made a formal announcement about the new OS, but RIM co-chief executive Mike Lazaridis showed a brief video about it at the company’s annual Wireless Enterprise Symposium in Florida. Lazaridis said the new OS represents one of RIM’s biggest upgrades in years.

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