When HP sent me a Touchpad in July, I dove into the tablet market for the first time. The Touchpad didn't make it, but it got me wondering if there's a viable iPad alternative out there. No doubt Apple's iPad is a dominating #1, but what's #2?
In my quest to experience more than the iPad and Touchpad, I decided I'd like to spend some time with RIM's Playbook, Motorola's Xoom, Samsung's Galaxy and Asus's Transformer.
RIM's Playbook arrived earlier today and I'm right now installing Blackberry Bridge to connect it to my Blackberry.
Motorola is installing the Android 3.1 update and then shipping me a Xoom. I'm hoping to have that by the end of the week. I still need a connection at Samsung and Asus, so if anyone can help with that, I'd appreciate it.
This tablet talent show should be fun. I'll rank 'em all and list the pros and cons here.
Just a few weeks ago, HP gave me a TouchPad. Alas, I was unable to save the tablet. Earlier today, less than two months after it was launched, HP announced that it is discontinuing the TouchPad.
It's a fun product, and I enjoy using it, despite the lack of apps, but being a fun product in this space isn't nearly enough. It has to give consumers a reason to choose it over the iPad. When I was given my TouchPad, it was $549 at Costco. Why spend $549 for a TouchPad when you can spend that money and get an iPad 2?
Since the prices were similar, the TouchPad had to be revolutionary. Instead, it was just an iPad wannabe. Expensive iPad wannabes are going to be in tough against... well... against the iPad.
I'm sorry I couldn't save the HP TouchPad. If Motorola is reading this, I'm quite interested in trying your Xoom. I promise to do better this time.
A regular commenter on this blog happens to work at RIM, so I asked him to jot down some thoughts about today's news that RIM would be laying off 2000 employees.
These words belong to Blackberry Ryan:
It was a bit of a somber day around Waterloo. We got an email in the morning explaining that the layoffs would be done by this week, which was good because the cloud of gloom and doom would be gone, but meant I may not have a job by the end of the week, and perhaps that day.
Most of the people that I saw get let go were dead wood: people who have been there forever and simply are in their job because they have been there forever. While my heart goes out to all the people who got laid off, it seems as though the cuts that were made were fair and needed. I have seen much of the organization and there are many people like this. There were some poor cuts, which I believe are strategic, but this is a normal thing in the tech world. RIM has no turn-over and that can be a bad thing. When you have turn-over, you are able to bring on new talent and fresh ideas...I think after this is done, you'll see some awesome ideas coming out of Waterloo that will truly revolutionize the way you work.
After this week, I'll be happy to get back into the old RIM spirit. I can't wait to launch the new products, they are truly great and move us up with the arms race we have been seeing in North America. Contrary to the media portrayal of RIM and our leaders, I believe in the company and I see great things happening. I believe that the senior leadership knows what is going on and has made some great changes to help us become more competitive in North America.
I always hear in the news that we are losing market share. Well, this may be true in North America, but worldwide (you know, the other 95% of the world), we are growing like crazy! We announced that we added 1 Million subscribers in 3 weeks in Europe, Middle East and Africa. How does a company that is "losing" add that many subscribers in 3 weeks?
I'm gonna leave this like this. My apologies if you owned stock when it fell, but right now would be a great time to buy some RIM stock.
Blackberry Ryan is clearly unfazed by the RIM cuts this week. But is he worried that Toronto Mike is currently testdriving an HP TouchPad?
The last time I dove into a new Google universe, it was Google Wave, and I was left bewildered and certain it would fail. I've been playing in the Google+ sandbox for a week now, so it's time to share my thoughts.
The Interface is Awesome
That was my initial thought... this thing is fun to use. Updates are instant, it's damn easy to put people in circles or share with certain circles. It's clean, pretty, in fact, and you can quote me on this, Google+ is to Facebook what Facebook was to MySpace.
After a While, It Actually Makes Sense
At first, I found Google+ a little confusing. It seemed to be missing some standard Facebook-esque qualities. For example, I didn't know how to share something with just one person without creating a circle just for that one person. That was dumb, but thankfully, I was wrong. It's easy to share with one person by simply starting with @Person's Name.
The whole circle concept is genius. It's Facebook without all the privacy and security issues. You could have one circle called "best buds", another called "family", another called "colleagues". I actually have one called "blog readers" for all the folks I've shared invitations with via this blog.
Google+ makes sense as a way to share anything with everyone, or slo-pitch line-ups with your ball team. And reading your stream will make a great deal more sense once you can exclude certain circles. Like I said, the entire circle concept is gold.
Google+ Is Only Missing One Thing
This is the big one we've been waiting for. It's Facebook meets Twitter and it's fun to use, but it's missing something. It's missing you.
So please, give it a shot. Do it for yourself, for social networking, for me.
By the way, I have plenty of invites if you'd like to get in there and play around. Simply leave a comment on this entry and I'll set you up asap.
Google's track record with me was stellar until Google Wave. That one was crushed by its complexity. I'd play in the Wave sandbox for hours and leave it more confused than when I got there.
Google+ is Google's social-networking response to Facebook and Twitter. The interface is pretty awesome, and the promise is... well... it's promising. With Google+ invites flying around cyberspace at warp speed, I suspect my circles will be busting by this time next week.
That's the thing about new social network sites... they don't fly until the masses adopt. It's the proverbial tree falling in a forest. It's a lame party until your buddies show up.
In an attempt to populate the Google+ universe by my lonesome, I've got invites to give away. Who wants one? Just leave a comment asking for an invite and I'll send one your way.
I've finished Super Mario Bros. many, many times, but I always tried to score as many points as possible.
I was doing it wrong. This guy managed to finish Super Mario Bros. with only 600 points, and no deaths.
Now that's impressive.
According to Alexa, here are the 20 most visited websites in Canada. Beside the site, I'll tell you whether I visit regularly, occasionally, rarely or never.
- Google.ca - Visit Regularly
- Facebook - Visit Regularly
- Google.com - Visit Regularly
- YouTube - Visit Regularly
- Yahoo! - Visit Regularly
- Windows Live - Never Visit
- Wikipedia - Visit Regularly
- Blogger.com - Visit Rarely
- Twitter - Visit Regularly
- MSN - Never Visit
- Kijiji - Visit Rarely
- LinkedIn - Visit Regularly
- MSN Canada - Never Visit
- Government of Canada - Visit Occasionally
- Amazon.com - Visit Rarely
- WordPress.com - Visit Rarely
- Craigslist.ca - Visit Rarely
- PayPal - Visit Occasionally
- Bing - Never Visit
- The Weather Network - Visit Occasionally
If you're keeping score at home, that's 9 that I visit regularly. How about you?
I'm not a big Facebook user. As I write this, I have 47 friends on Facebook. I'm willing to bet you have at least three times as many.
Although I don't update my Facebook status or post pictures there, I do pop in once a day to view my news feed. Every single time I visit, the news feed is sorted by "Top News". Every single time I visit, I change this to "Most Recent".
C'mon Facebook, remember our preferences!
I swear by Gmail, using it for both work and play as the heartbeat of my digital life, but every once in a while it does something that doesn't make sense.
For example, today I needed to create a filter that would auto-forward certain messages to another email address. To do this, Google needs to send a verification email to that address, as a spam-prevention procedure.
Here's that forwarding confirmation from the Gmail Team, sitting in my Gmail spam folder.
You'd think they'd whitelist email from themselves over at Google.
When it comes to television, what's the most sensible option in Toronto?
Bell and Rogers seem to offer an assortment of digital TV programming packages, with or without a PVR. But it can start to cost you an arm and a leg. I have a very important question for you smart people...
What's the best television programming option in Toronto? What do you tv viewers have and how much do you pay?
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