Exit the King of Blogs? March Madness gone Mobile and what of Blackberry?
--Jennifer Turchi and Jim Witte
Tech Delta for 3-16-06
In the 1990’s, Dave Winer became a revolutionary in the Internet world. After dabbling in software, he became very interested in what was happening online. He soon created Weblogs.com, a company that provided a “free ping-server” to host free blog sites (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Winer). Last October, Winer sold his company. Just Monday, he announced that he would no longer be participating in the blogging world. This announcement was met with a myriad of reactions. Many were hurt to the point of even feeling betrayed. Some met his announcement with skepticism. They believe his exit from the blogosphere is a pathetic attempt (at best) to salvage what popularity his site still had, now falling quickly in the rankings to new, young, more hip bloggers. Most couldn’t understand why the man who had promoted blogging for so long, said “I've done it all, I invented everything of value, my work here is done. And now I want to go home and get a life”. Well, ladies and gents it appears that “the king of blogging has left the building”.
So RIM and NTP made me eat my words from the last installment. This week the two corporations decided to settle. Not much fun for RIM since they were on the paying out end, having to fork up $612.5 million dollars. This doesn’t mean, however, that the issues with the USPTO have disappeared; NTP could still have their patents revoked. This just means (in the eyes of RIM’s corporate leaders) that any uncertainty in the eyes of Blackberry users has been removed. Technology gurus have a different opinion. They don’t see the problems with BlackBerry disappearing. Instead, they believe there are more to come. According to Ian Austen of the New York Times, BlackBerry is just beginning to see its share of tribulations. He feels there is a strong call for more “PC-like applications” on wireless gadgets, which at this time BlackBerry does not provide. Austen says, “Customers are anxious to get beyond e-mail” and “if all you want to do is run e-mail on your appliance, then BlackBerry is your choice”. For right now though, BlackBerry numbers have begun to climb again. How long will this last you might ask? Now, it’s anybody’s guess (http://www.nytimes.com/cnet/CNET_2100-1047_3-6049699.html, New York Times page C1 and C2).
March Madness really has gone mad! Can’t live without the last minute upsets or the horrible calls (always in favor of Duke I might add!--though your second author is a sad Tar Heel fan) made by the refs? Well, now thanks to iTunes, for $1.99 each you can catch all of the action the day after the game originally is played. Or, for $19.99 you can purchase a “season pass” and receive all 67 games. Is this simply about the love of the game? Sounds more like the latest in continuing efforts, by companies like Apple, to promote downloading of TV shows, movies and other programs onto personal wireless devices (a business that has become extremely popular in recent months) (http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/technology/tech-media-hoops.html).
Something we haven’t been following very closely is the Google vs. Bush Administration case. A judge this week has hinted at the fact that he may require Google to give up some of their search records. The Bush Administration says it is pushing for this information in order to target and strengthen legislation aimed at protecting children from child pornography. Google, however, has their customer privacy more in mind. Google attorney, Albert Gidari, made it well known to Judge Ware that all of the information the government wants can be obtained through sites such as Amazon.com Inc.'s Alexa.com and InfoSpace Inc.'s Dogpile.com (http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/technology/AP-Google-DOJ.html). The Bush administration has been pushing the envelope with “American privacy” ever since the Patriot Act was expanded to give the government the right to place wiretaps without a warrant. Is the administration heading to a “Big Brother” type philosophy? Some might say yes. Others may say it's already there. If it doesn’t stop here, where will it stop?