DECS writes: Palm Pre users have been hit by a new cloud sync failure resulting in lost contacts, calendar items, notes and tasks, which now means that virtually every major smartphone vendor has suffered significant cloud problems: Apple's MobileMe last year, Nokia's Ovi and Microsoft's Danger/Sidekick this year, and additional rolling outages suffered by BlackBerry and Google users. Will vendors dial back cloud-only sync, or at least begin providing more robust local sync and restore features along the lines of the iPhone's iTunes sync? Windows Mobile and Android are still pursuing designs that, like the Pre, expected users to fully rely on central cloud servers rather than defaulting to a local backup option.
DECS writes: According to a report in AppleInsider, Snow Leopard Server will drop support for WebObjects. The article presents an interesting overview of the history of NeXT's WebObjects, with comments from Steve Jobs on the future of the Web back in 1996 before Apple acquired his company. It also traces the blockbuster history of WebObjects within Apple (it's used in the company's online store, iTunes, Dot Mac, and the App Store) despite Apple's own inability to market the software to anyone else. Apple dropping WebObjects in Snow Leopard Server
DECS writes: The iGames Summit, held today in San Francisco, gathered small and larger games developer together with venture capitalists and in-game advertising companies to discuss the state of gaming on Apple's mobile platform. The conference opened with a panel discussion looking at what's different about the iPhone gaming platform, and closed with a look at what developers can expect for the future. One developer also demonstrated the use of the iPhone or iPod touch as a Wiimote.
DECS writes: A presidential debate on technology policy organized by Wired magazine the New American Foundation turned into a simple interview after John McCain's chief economic policy adviser (the man who called McCain the inventor of the BlackBerry), Douglas Holtz-Eakin, failed to show. Barack Obama's representative, former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt, did attend and offered some perspective of what technology issues the next president will face related to universal broadband, information privacy, open government, net neutrality, the use of white space, and other topics. Former FCC Chair Reed Hundt: Issues the next president faces in technology
DECS writes: "AppleInsider published a detailed historical overview of the progress toward 64-bit systems in Road to Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard: 64-Bits, explaining how the 32-bit Mac OS X kernel can access 8GB of RAM in the PowerMac G5 and 32GB of RAM in the modern Xeon Mac Pro (it uses the same technology as Microsoft's Datacenter and Enterprise versions of Windows). Also looks at the problems facing platforms migrating to 64-bits, and how Apple has incrementally built out support for 64-bit hardware and 64-bit software compatible with 64-bit Linux in Tiger and Leopard, and what's on the horizon for next year's Snow Leopard."
inCider writes: "AppleInsider is running a series examining the internals of Apple's MobileMe, which just replaced.Mac in a clumsy rollout that left many users inconvenienced and irritated. The first segment, Secrets of the Cloud looked at the hardware and software Apple uses to run the service, which the company keeps a huge secret. The second installment talks about how Apple uses Wide-Area Bonjour and ad hoc IPSec connections, the same technologies behind Mac OS X Leopard's "Back to My Mac" remote file and VNC screen sharing, to deliver push calendar and contact updates from the cloud to desktop Mac clients (Windows clients only sync data from the cloud at regular intervals). This seems to be a novel approach to doing push messaging. A followup article promises that compares MobileMe's price and features to hosted Exchange Server accounts, RIM's Blackberry Enterprise Server, and more consumer-oriented web services offerings from Google."
Legalizeit writes: Microsoft's thorn-in-the-side Daniel Eran Dilger of RoughlyDrafted says Zune Sales Still In the Toilet after unearthing secret sales figures for the Zune from a Microsoft spokesperson: just over 2 million since its launch in Oct 2006. In comparison, "Apple has sold roughly 76 million iPods during that same period, more than doubling the installed base of iPods since the Zune's debut." Microsoft didn't make a dent in the iPod empire, and now it's twice as far behind as when it got started.
DECS writes: IBM's Research Information Services has launched an internal pilot program to study the possibility of moving significant numbers of employees to the Mac platform. The study has already found an enthusiastic response from participants and is helping to drive Mac support for IBM's business applications. An internal IBM document obtained by RDM revealed participants feedback, including the comments "It has been easier learning the Mac than learning Vista," "This can free us from the Windows stranglehold," and "I think that Mac users can be productive in IBM. However, if I had to recommend a non-Windows setup, I would recommend Linux on a ThinkPad." IBM Launches Pilot Program for Migrating to Macs
DECS writes: The iPhone shortage in Apple's retail stores isn't a sign of the 3G model coming early. Grey market demand in emerging markets is fouling up Apple's ability to manage retail inventory in its stores. Analysts in a New York Times story were shown up by an anonymous source arguing that the massive iPhone transactions performed in the US by organized rings for resale in emerging markets are the real reason Apple's US stores are running out of iPhones. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal profiles Thai markets selling iPhones hand over fist for nearly $800. Does the iPhone Shortage Herald an Impending 3G Release? Probably Not.
DECS writes: When the iPhone was unveiled a year ago, it was obvious that it would outclass the status quo in mobile phones, particularly in the US where mobile operators have been holding back innovation. Far less obvious was the potential for the new phone to rival dedicated handheld gaming consoles. Here's how well the iPhone stacks up against the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP in both hardware and as a business model: iPhone 2.0 SDK: Video Games to Rival Nintendo DS
iphoner writes: "Criticism of Apple's iPhone SDK has involved its 30% cut of retail sales, its $99 certificates, and its mandatory code signing, but as the article iPhone 2.0 SDK: How Signing Certificates Work points out, Apple's terms compare very favorably with video game console SDKs and other mobile development platforms, from RIM's BlackBerry to Palm to Windows Mobile and Nokia's Symbian. Other sites charge developers 50% or more, do little to promote their software, and charge higher fees for signing certificates. But what does the push toward certificate signing actually do for users and developers? In addition to erecting a new barrier to malware and privacy attacks, Apple's iTunes promises to create a real market for mobile developers in the same way Apple turned around the music industry. Will Apple's plans solve the problems plaguing the desktop, or stifle creative mobile development?"
OMG writes: Throughout 2007, the media consistently reported leading sales of Microsoft's Xbox 360, dismal figures for Sony's struggling PlayStation 3, and celebrated the long shot Nintendo Wii as a possible contender in game consoles. This portrayal of the video game market in 2007 was grossly misleading, and NPD has the figures to demonstrate why. Microsoft's efforts to stuff the channel and strip the Xbox 360 of features to hit low price targets worked in the short term, but have since backfired, killing its HD-DVD format, leaving Xbox Live downloads an unattractive niche service with insignificant market share, preventing the Xbox from exercising any leverage to push the Zune, and allowing Microsoft's new console sales to plummet by over 33% year over year in 2007. On top of that, 7.7 million units — more than a year's supply — have gone unaccounted for, either put out of commission in as warranty lemons or sitting in warehouses. Despite all this, hardly anyone is saying a word about it, except for: Video Game Consoles 2007: Wii, PS3 and the Death of Microsoft's Xbox 360
DECS writes: RDM shakes down the results to determine Who Was the Biggest Loser at Macworld?, taking a look at Apple's attempt to do to the ultralight laptop industry what it did last year to smartphones; Apple TV's threat to Vudu, NetFlix, Blockbuster, and Microsoft's fledgling Xbox Live video on demand service; Time Capsule's preemptive strike at Windows Home Server; the dustup between Violet Blue and Steve Jobs; and the lonely guy still selling Stuffit.