As of today, RIM is being rebranded as BlackBerry. “We have reinvented the company, and we want to represent this in our brand,” Heins said.
This move is a bit confusing for a few reasons. First, it seems like a desperate grasp at using the power behind their branding to keep them afloat and well known. Second, I don't really understand why they didn't do this already. RIM was a terrible name for a company that exists in 2013, but I guess they figured that part out on their own.
Strangely enough, they decided to chose Alicia Keys as their 'creative director' on the product (a title that likely means nothing) despite the fact that she seems to love her iPhone.
So… I guess the company name is the product now. At least BlackBerry can unveil BlackBerries at their BlackBerry events from now on. Meta.
There’s a reason why coal is so popular in China and in much of the rest of the world: it’s very, very cheap. And that’s why, despite the danger coal poses to health and the environment, neither China nor many other rapidly growing developing nations are likely to turn away from it.
We may not need another Reddit clone, but we do need something that fixes the Reddit methodology. The site has become so inundated with spam and “hilarious” memes that it's hard to surface real, quality content anymore. One of the biggest problems with these sorts of sites is the question of how to surface quality content without needing to screen out all of the poor quality content.
It looks like The List, a new service may have found a way to solve that. Their methodology is very similar to Reddit, but it forces users to “pay” karma to submit content. To make a post to The List, a user pays 2% of the karma that they currently have, thus stopping them from submitting an overflow of content. This also allows users over time as they gain karma to front-page a link easier at the cost of more karma.
There's definitely an interesting model there - forcing users to put their skin on the line to post makes them think twice about what they're doing. Do they really love or think that post was useful, or is it just a link that they found briefly interesting? It may solve a few issues with these 'link sharing' sites and allow different users to surface good content on a regular basis, rather than it being a handful of the most popular users.
These nice things said, I don't know if going invite-only was a good choice for the site. Since they're getting a lot of exposure on Hacker News right now (obviously a direct competitor with a lot of traffic) they probably should be using that to their advantage. It's hard for a linking site to start out since they don't have that “critical mass” of readers or traffic that is pushing users out.
I'll be keeping an eye on this one. I particularly enjoy their guidelines:
The List is not for Social media news, Traditional news, Funny images, Angry rants, Advice animals or Linkbait
American companies are obsessed with hiring Harvard grads and Wharton MBAs. This is true of the tech industry, even extending into startups, driving entry-level top school CS bachelor’s degree grad salaries into the six figures in the Bay Area. Everyone agrees that better talent leads to better outcomes. But are the most highly academically-credentialed among us the most talented?
I've found this to be very true in my life so far - it doesn't matter where you come from, if you do a killer job, you're likely to be worth much more than someone with a college degree from the “right” place. I love this next part.
Your passion for learning and gaining more and more experience are what make you great. The nights you stayed up until 5am coding make you great. Your love of building things makes you great.
Be passionate about what you love doing. Be the best at what you're doing. Follow your passion. If you love it, that means more than some college degree or line on a piece of paper. It'll get you further in life than you could ever imagine.
A reader of my blog recently wrote to me and asked what there is to do in Wellington (the city I live in), and I had this sort of realization that people must have a hard time finding all the cool stuff that I've found in my city. So, I've decided I'll share that list I wrote with you all. Perhaps, if you Google “activities in Wellington” or “things to do in Wellington” one day, I'll be famous.
This list is my no means exhaustive, but documents some of the cool stuff I've found around here. It's a great city, but I think a lot of information about it is hard to find or doesn't surface very well online. I hope you enjoy my list!
More abandoned army bunkers and incredible views + a walk at Breaker Bay (In this streetview image, there is a pathway up the cliff behind where the bloke in orange is standing.) If you don't do any of the other things, do this one. It's worth it.
This list is by no means exhaustive, I've likely missed lots of cool stuff I know about but have forgotten today. I'll update it where I can, but if you think something's missing, get in touch. Nobody paid me to write this, I just like these things.
Microsoft says users will be able to free up additional storage space by “creating a backup bootable USB and deleting the recovery partition,” but out of the box they'll be left with as little as 36 percent of the advertized storage available.
It's unbelievable how ignorant Microsoft is being here. Consumers are going to be disappointed when they go out and buy a Surface Pro, come home, unbox it and find that it can actually only hold a measly 23GB of their stuff. And that's before Windows Updates are run.
There was an easy solution to this that's staring them in the face, and that's to include a USB recovery key in the box with the Surface Pro. It would cost them essentially nothing and would probably increase their consumers' satisfaction. Instead, they took the route of assuming everyone that uses Windows wants to mess around (and knows how to) to get it working.
Yes, Mary Jo Foley did point out that the 128GB MacBook Air does in fact have only 92GB of available space, but at least you can fit something in there. It could have been less space if Apple had also included a recovery partition, but they aren't so naive and allow users to recover over the internet.
The problem I have with this is that it is blatantly deceptive. Consumers are accustomed to tablets being marketed like the iPad, where if you buy a 64GB iPad, you actually get around that much space. This isn't like the PC market, where a machine ships with 95% usable of a 500GB drive because it's only a drop in the bucket.
By advertising a device that has “64GB of storage” but only actually has 23GB, Microsoft is not only setting themselves up to disappoint, they're actively deceiving users. 23GB is only 35% of the total usable space. It's grossly misleading, even if it is a “full PC” product, it's in a category that markets itself very differently.
I think wearable technology is a space that is going to gain a lot of momentum in the near future. Previously, wearable technology has been viewed as something nerdy, but I think with some major products such as Pebble and Google Glass emerging this year there will be movement towards the mainstream.
It just needs to integrate in our lives in a meaningful, subtle way whilst being no barrier to interaction. It seems like Pebble may have achieved that:
The Pebble stands out by not standing out — almost every other smart watch is a bulky, chunky affair, but chances are most people won’t even realize you’re wearing the Pebble until you tell them.
The Ubuntu phone is an interesting idea - many are predicting it to be dead on arrival, since Canonical is so late to the game with their mobile OS here. Whilst that may be true, and Ubuntu for Phones might not see much traction, there's a bigger story here that is more important.
The Ubuntu phone marks a significant milestone that nobody else in the mobile business has managed to nail yet. It runs the same codebase as the rest of the Ubuntu family, meaning it can be docked and used as a real computer or synchronized with a slab and turned into a tablet. Microsoft has long heralded the shared codebase of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 as one of the biggest things the company has done, but whilst they're shared, they aren't one in the same and you can't just port an application across (nor can you turn your WP8 device into a real computer).
Bringing the computer and the phone together makes for some wonderful use cases. For example, you get to work, dock your phone, start working. Suddenly, you receive a text message. It just pops up as a notification on screen and you reply and carry on. No need for pulling out another device to interact with. This could apply to phone calls and interacting with mobile applications on the desktop too.
Even if Canonical fails with Ubuntu for Phones, it's a huge leap forwards. This is the first piece in the puzzle of showing people that you only need one device to power them all. It's the first step towards using your phone as your desktop computer. Over the next year, I'd say we'll see a slew of other platforms and OEM's do something very similar to this.
This is a huge space, so make sure you watch it closely.