Category Archives: Science & Technology

Apple the World’s Most Valuable Brand

According to Interbrand Apple is the top dog brand for it’s innovation.  Makes sense to me since innovation at Apple is decidedly within its core of design leadership.

Apple Inc.’s brand value jumped 28 percent to $98.3 billion and Google Inc. GOOG’s rose in second place at $93.3 billion. The Coca-Cola Co. name slipped from the top spot after 13 years to third place at $79.2 billion.

via Apple Overtakes Coca-Cola as World’s Most Valuable Brand – Bloomberg.

I’ve had the opportunity to get inside knowledge of big brand companies such as AmEx. To say brand drives conservative marketing strategy more than any other factor is an understatement. Brands are costly to build and can lose value overnight. This will breed conservatism in management. Consider Apple whose brand is worth almost $100B. That’s a lot of clams to jeopardize. To expect wild experimentation, which is how the tech-blogosphere seems to define innovation as of late, is delusional. Risk-taking by real live managers is going to be centered around how a company sees itself. For example, AmEx’s Bluebird prepaid debit card is a risk to the company’s luxury image but it is clearly aligned with at least some of the core elements of the brand: safety, security, customer service.

Apple is a design shop. I look at the new Mac Pro and that beastie screams design: Apple’s knitting. All of the innovation is centered on cutting edge technology inside a beautifully designed package where form fits function.  And that’s real and actual innovation, despite tedious claims that Apple can no longer innovate because it hasn’t created a phone that reads your mind or cooks your breakfast.

Google Watches (and Sells) the Watchers

So now Google is looking to sell other people’s real-world ad spend they paid to grab your attention.  You gotta love the chutzpah.  Privacy will be a thing of the past in the not too distant future.

Pay per gaze advertising need not be limited to on-line advertisements, but rather can be extended to conventional advertisement media including billboards, magazines, newspapers, and other forms of conventional print media. Thus, the gaze tracking system described herein offers a mechanism to track and bill offline advertisements in the manner similar to popular online advertisement schemes.

via Google patents ‘pay-per-gaze’ eye-tracking that could measure emotional response to real-world ads | The Verge.

Dirty Money

David Coldewey writes in his article Dirty Money:

Well, not all the cards. As I wrote once, the reason Apple does the things it does is to please us, the consumers. We demand a new iPhone every year that must be better and cheaper. We insist that a thousand dollars is too much for a state of the art computer. We want bigger TVs and external hard drives and slim cameras. And we, almost without exception, fail to care when our demand for more iPads drives Apple to double its orders, driving Foxconn to push more overtime, driving poorly-maintained ventilation systems to their maximum, driving a spark to ignite an aluminum-dust explosion. It’s not our problem, it’s Apple’s or it’s Foxconn’s or it’s China’s. Very reassuring. Continue reading

Beleagured Doesn’t Begin to Describe It

Circling the Toilet:

 

Ian Austen, reporting for the NYT:

Research in Motion said on Thursday that a new line of BlackBerry smartphones that it hoped would turn around its flagging fortunes will not come to market until late next year.

It was the latest, and perhaps most significant, setback in a string of product delays and missteps from the company.

In the meantime, profits are down 70 percent. I love to say “I told you so”, so: I told you so.

 

(Via Daring Fireball)

In Ways that Seem Inconsistent

Apple may be using patent troll to do its legal dirty work:

It’s not clear just how complicit Apple is in Digitude’s business, but EFF staff attorney Julie Samuels told TechCrunch that if Apple was deliberately aiding Digitude’s patent trolling, “it would be horrifying.” And even if Apple were somehow coerced into settling with Digitude, Samuels doubts that “Apple didn’t have any other options.”

As we noted recently, Apple has a tendency to use its intellectual property in ways that seem inconsistent. For instance, an Opera developer claims that Apple has a pattern of using patents to slow down the W3C’s open standards process, while promoting open standards when it gives Apple leverage against its competitors. This situation with Digitude seems similar; Apple opposes the tactics of patent trolls when they come after iOS developers, but seems to support them if it aids its ongoing legal battle for dominance of the smartphone market.

(Via arstechnica.com)

Disturbing to say the least!

Carriers with Low IQ’s

Sen. Franken petitions AT&T, HTC, others for Carrier IQ info:

Minnesota Senator Al Franken has sent letters to several more companies involved in the Carrier IQ scandal, reports say. Franken is in charge of a Senate privacy panel, and has issued new requests to AT&T, HTC, Samsung, and Sprint, in addition to one sent earlier to Carrier IQ itself. The new parties are being asked to explain how they’re using the Carrier IQ technology, and what data they’re gathering through it.

(Via MacNN | The Macintosh News Network)

Sen. Franken is not the guy you want asking hard questions.  It’s going to be a circus of scandal, finger pointing, the works.

Dell drops Streak 7, backs out of Android tablets in US

Dell drops Streak 7, backs out of Android tablets in US:

Like HP, Dell is believed to be putting most of its faith in Windows 8 tablets for the US market. It won’t have this option until mid-to-late 2012, however, and will essentially concede its share of mobile tablets for a year.

(Via MacNN | The Macintosh News Network)

Why can’t PC manufacturers release a credible iPad competitor?  Execution of course has been lacking by announcing tablets so early the market had moved on to more advanced tablets, but that begs a serious question: Why is Dell behind?

Facebook and Privacy

Facebook and Privacy:

 

Farhad Manjoo, writing for Slate:

The only sure way to keep something private on Facebook is not to post it to Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg would never acknowledge this, but I think it will ultimately benefit both his site and its users if we adjusted our expectations about “privacy” there. You should approach Facebook as cautiously as you would approach your open bedroom window. However restrictive your privacy controls, you should imagine that everything that you post on Facebook will be available for public consumption forever. If you follow this simple rule, you’ll never be blindsided.

The article’s sub-head is a bit unfair, though:

You’re as much to blame for the site’s privacy woes as Mark Zuckerberg.

People are confused about Facebook privacy settings because Facebook wants them to be confused. It’s deliberate. That’s all on Facebook.

 

(Via Daring Fireball)

I’ve long suspected this.  By making security a moving target, Facebook has made your potential control over privacy is ever improved but vastly outstrips your actual ability to implement that control.  The sagest advice is thus: “You should approach Facebook as cautiously as you would approach your open bedroom window.”  It’s all public folks.