Jan
10

Feedback’s Greatest Hits 2013 Vol 1

by Feedback

Welcome to our regular compilation of notable news and trends – complete with our commentary and analysis. This week, we’ve seen particularly outlandish presentations at CES, milestones aplenty and a pivotal acquisition by Pinterest—proof that the new year is starting off strong.

Qualcomm produces over-the-top CES keynote that communicates nothing

CES is intended to be a wonderful week where companies take over the Las Vegas convention circuit to showcase their cutting edge and upcoming products. It’s keynote had been the stage for Microsoft to wow its audience with the genius products in years past, but this year, Qualcomm won the bid to speak on the loudest stage of the conference. The Verge has a great collage of photos and tweets as well as a super cut of the best moments of what they called ‘madness’ from the keynote. Probably the best/worst thing we’ve seen all year (um… no far). And no, we’re never calling anyone, “Generation M” – ever.

Pinterest acquires Punchfork

This is Pinterest’s first acquisition and we’re waiting to see how they incorporate the one-man operation behind Punchfork, a recipe-sharing network and API service , into their engineering team to help take Pinterest to the next level. The API service powers other services including Evernote’s food app.

TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden looks into Tumblr’s future

Tumblr had 18 billion page views in December, easily placing it within the top 50 most active websites in the world. In this piece, Lunden explains how Tumblr’s 2012 went and points out what the service is focusing on for the upcoming year.

LinkedIn hits 200 million users

LinkedIn’s explosion of members is undeniable – HOW it’s being used is very different than other social networks and it’s important to consider the careful, different role. 200 million is not a particularly magic number, but it’s still an important milestone for the network of résumés. With two new users signing up every second, LinkedIn is growing at a steady pace—even internationally. The next top market beside the 74 million US users? India at 18 million users.

Facebook Launches Flexible Sentences For Open Graph So Apps Can Share More Descriptive Feed Stories

This might sound kind of boring, but it’s actually pretty fantastic news and could make for some creative uses of Facebook’s Open Graph.

Can A Social Graph Last More Than 10 Years?

A question worthy of some pondering. And we would add that the consideration isn’t just about a single channel, but whether our own activities and participation in a social graph bears the scrutiny or weight of 10 years. Will 10 years of Tweets make any sense at all? When Facebook unleashed Timeline it gave us the opportunity to turn the prism of our Facebook participation and look at our activity as a historical record. Extrapolating that out ten years, what does 10 years of curated activity look like? A library? A cacophony? A life?

 

Remember you can see stories like these and more, as they happen, when you read our regular posts on Facebook and Twitter!

Jan
10

ReminCESing

by Feedback

The annual rite of, well, the year, began today: the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, featuring the gadgets you’ll see – and many you won’t – in 2012. Reporters typically measure the show’s size in football fields, and in this case, it’s 35 of them. That is very, very large.

I went to my first of two CES’s six years ago as a reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, covering the half dozen or so companies and handful of sales reps from Virginia that were attending. I’d spot the sales guys by scouring nametags as they’d pass by.

“Hey, you from Richmond?” I’d ask.

“Yeah.”

“Quote for the paper?”

“What the —- are you doing here?”

Your first CES is difficult to enjoy because it’s so overwhelming. Multiple halls, each the size of a standard city’s entire convention center, house thousands of exhibitors and play host to tens of thousands of industry people. Lots of the booths give out branded mini-moisturizers, tissues and lip balm to help combat the dry air. Single “booths” are the size of McMansions and filled with gadgets – some conceptual, others that will go on sale and be outdated in six months. I recall being told by a reporter who’d been before to plan ahead. Get booth numbers, map out a schedule, drink lots of water. I chose instead to wing it, and found myself doubling-back throughout the week and destroying the soles on a well-made pair of shoes. That first year I remember delaying booking a hotel room and had to stay at a Howard Johnson’s outside of the main Strip area. I imagined horrible, horrible things had happened at that room before my arrival. I recall being close to tears at one point attempting to submit my stories by the deadline, which, thanks to time zones, was three hours ahead in Richmond.

I did  a little better the second year – including booking a sweet room – but still not great.

 

As technology changes every few months, so too does how the show is covered in the media. While blogs were of course popular in 2006 and 2007, when I was there, the updates coming out of CES weren’t as constant (annoying?) as they are today thanks to the prevalence of social media. Print deadlines are less important because you’re writing for the web. The deadline is unending.

In my mind, though, almost more than anything, CES stands today as a time to remind people that Apple is not the only company in the world that makes gadgets, nor is it the only company in the world that makes good gadgets.* Apple doesn’t attend CES.

I recall being in the press room at CES in January 2007 when Apple announced the first iPhone. Slick timing on the company’s part: distract the industry. We were all huddled in that press room reading about the iPhone on blogs and watching news reports on TV as a world of ridiculous technology sat outside our door, waiting to be touched and looked at and reported upon. Yet the announcement instantly killed the vibe of CES and overshadowed everything for the remainder of the trade show. Reporters in the press room called their editors to determine how to handle CES coverage with the iPhone news. Which story led? The answer, that day, was iPhone. Hundred-inch televisions, the newest gaming consoles, the hottest stereo systems and the bikini-clad women showing them off were no match for a tiny three-in-one touchscreen device that would go on to disrupt entire industries.

But Apple doesn’t make TVs (yet), and not everyone uses Macs. People still pick up game controllers, and enjoy flip-style phones, and buy technology products from many other reputable and innovative brands. And all of it is on display at CES. Here are a few trends and products to that I’ve been watching come out of this year’s convention:

Ultrabooks. Super thin, fast, and not a lot of bells and whistles.

Skinny TVs. Slim, more natural colors, richer blacks, thin, thin, and definitely not thick.

Kinect on Windows. “I’m thrilled to announce that Kinect is coming to Windows on February 1,” Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said.

Health and Fitness. A host of upstart companies want to serve a helping of vegetables to those consumers in the form of health-and-fitness gadgets.

Oh, and that * symbol a few paragraphs up: for every one really awesome thing at CES, there are at least two completely lame things that will never, ever be bought or used by anyone. Though I probably still thought they were cool.

-Jeff (@jephkelley)

Jan
07

Consumer Electronic Show Stand-Outs: Anna’s Social Media Picks of the Week

by Feedback

The Consumer Electronic Show, the world’s largest consumer technology trade show, is upon us. Starting Thursday and running through Sunday, technology companies from all over the world gather in Las Vegas, Nevada to show off their best and latest technology products. Feedback has been following CES since it began, and this week I’ll share the technology that caught our eye.

Tech Trends of CES

Vizio's Theater 3D Experience

Cheaper 3D

Premium 3D video cameras, TV’s, and smartphones have been introduced at CES at premium prices. Vizio and LG, on the other hand, are taking a different approach to 3D: the inexpensive approach. Both companies will be offering less expensive 3D TV’s that use “passive 3D technology,” utilizing inexpensive 3D polarized glasses akin to those used in movie theaters. Although pricing hasn’t been confirmed, a 32” Vizio 3D HDTV is expected to come in around $300.

Smarter Cars

Innovative car technology is another trend we’re seeing at CES. Ford chatted about “teen-proof” technology that will allow parents to use MyKey technology to block explicit satellite radio programming and limit driving speeds. Hyundai discussed their Blue Link assurance system, which among other things, can drastically slow down a stolen car, and Toyota touted Entune, which allows cars to access smartphone applications such as Bing, Pandora, Movietickets.com, and Open Table.


More Tablets

LePad Tablet and Hybrid

A plethora of tablets have been announced at CES, all trying to capitalize of the success of the iPad. The tablets getting the most attention include the Motorola’s XOOM tablet, which uses Google’s Android 3.0 operating system codenamed Honeycomb, can be upgraded to use Verizon’s 4G LTE network, and has a duel-core processor. Another notable tablet is the LePad Tablet and Hybrid. This Android tablet can actually secure into a keyboard base and become a notebook. These new tablets will likely hold our attention, that is, until the iPad 2 is announced.


Apple Launches Mac App Store, 1 M Apps Already Downloaded

Although not at CES, Apple is still making attention-grabbing announcements. On Thursday, Apple launched the Mac App Store, essentially the desktop version of the iTunes mobile app store. Apple already has around 1,000 apps available for your Desktop. iPhoto, Keynote, iMovie, and Garage Band are now available for individual purchase (rather than an expensive bundle), and there are tons of other useful apps you can purchase. Apple announced that over 1 Million desktop Apps were downloaded in the first 24 hours after release.


Keep Up with CES

According to Mashable, “CES is mentioned as many as 5,267 times on Twitter every hour and yesterday [Wednesday] was mentioned more than 110,000 times in tweets.” So as you can see, there is a lot of buzz around CES 2011. Here’s how you can keep up with the latest news about CES:

-Anna (@alucas9)

Jan
08

Anna’s Social Media Picks of the Week- CES Edition

by Feedback

This week has been all about the Consumer Electronic Show & since technology marries so well with social media, my Picks of the Week are going to be all about CES. Taking a look at the latest and greatest gadgets gives us an idea of where the industry is heading, and gives us many more verticals to incorporate our love of social media into.

Social Circle:

See what’s generating buzz at #CES with social circle. This cool site shows tweets, photos, articles, and more- all relating to CES. There’s a dropdown tab on the site (upper left hand side) that has 4 different categories: Outlook, People, Images, and Timeline. It’s a great way to keep track of what people are seeing & saying about the Consumer Electronic Show.

The Best of CES:

Gizmodo is continuing to update this article on “The Best of CES.” The article highlights some of the best gadgets featured at the Pre-Pre-Pre Show (Monday), Day Zero (Tuesday), Day One (Wednesday), Day Two (Thursday), Day Three (Friday), and so on. With so many gadgets at CES, it’s nice to have highlights of some of the coolest all in one place. Also check out a photo album of the 10 best gadgets chosen by CNET.

Social Media is Big at CES:

Facebook & Twitter may not have an official presence at CES, but according to CNBC, social media has a large presence on the floor at CES 2010. Many of the TV’s, game consoles, and mobile phones that are being displayed are illustrating how social media works with their devices.

Trends at CES:

The show won’t be over until Sunday, but there are already some trends emerging from CES 2010. ReadWriteWeb’s article highlights trends in three categories: Televisions, Automobiles, and Augmented Reality. DigitalTrends.com has also highlighted their Five Top Tech and Gadget Trends at CES 2010:  3D, LED & Connected Television, Tablet PCs and Netbooks, Portable Projectors, eReaders/eBook Players, and Streaming Media Extenders.

Some of my favorite Gadgets:

- Slates- I’m looking forward to these tablets, ideal for travelers, because they can be used as a reading device, computer, or T.V.

-See through Screens- Transparent screens have garnered a lot of attention at this year’s CES- with computers, phones, and media players all sporting the see through look.

-Internet In Cars- A new trend at CES is the ability to access the web from your car dashboard. “My Ford Touch” is incorporating Twitter (and internet radio) into their dashboard. You can have tweets read aloud, as well as send tweets all via voice control.

-What are your favorite CES gadgets? Leave a comment with your picks!

-Anna (@alucas9)