Category Archives: Technology

Console War

Microsoft Xbox 360 has been out for the past year and has a several million + unit sales lead amongst its peers Nintendo Wii and Sony Playstation 3. To most folks outside of the game industry, a console is a console. However, each of these consoles are so drastically different from each other, it’s rather hard to compare them together.

To begin, the Xbox 360 and Sony PS3 are the two consoles that compete head to head. The reason for this competition is that they have extremely powerful processing power and are built for the medium to hardcore gaming audience. Both of these consoles contain some sort of Internet enablement and allow players to compete against each other in all areas of the world.

The Nintendo Wii is a bit different. This machine is certainly a console but I’d argue that it’s going after a totally different audience than the it’s buddies (360 & PS3). Nintendo is smart – they realize that both Microsoft and Sony are going to spend several hundreds of millions each on advertising their respective console to win the “console war.” Nintendo doesn’t really want to participate in that… rather, they’d like to market to all of the folks who want a console, but aren’t a heavy gamer. Their controller is based around a motion sensor… is this brand new? No. This has been tried in the past but never succeeded, but for some reason, Nintendo thinks they can do this and be successful around it.

Game publishers and developers are going to be releasing games that go across all consoles, but the majority of casual games and lighter-weight console games will be on the Nintendo Wii. Xbox Live Arcade certainly has casual games but why drive a Bugatti when you can only go 45 mph?

PointCast & Widgets

Remember PointCast? The PointCast Network used push technology to send information to a users computer and received enormous press coverage in the mid 90s. However, it’s making a resurgence, though not as “PointCast.”

The Apple OS X Dashboard widgets remind me of PointCast. There are significant differences between widgets and PointCast, but the underlying meaning is the same… separate applications that push data to the end user after the initial request.

Are we going to see a resurgence of the PointCast Network?

MacroMyopia

I was listening to Mitch Kapor’s keynote address at the 2nd Annual Second Life Community Convention in San Francisco today and he brought up the term, macromyopia.  I had never heard the term before, but as an entrepreneur, it resonates with me very well.

"Macromyopia is society’s tendency to overestimate the short term results of a technology and to underestimate its long term results, because it takes a certain length of time (long enough for a sufficient number of people to die, actually) before a completely new technological paradigm can be assimilated." — John Barlow, Author and Songwriter

At the Second Life convention, I am sitting around an extremely macromyopic room.  Everyone in the room is so entrenched on what we’re building and contributing to within Second Life to fully understand the ramifications on what it will have on society and the virtual world in the long term.

The Power of Virtual Worlds

I’m a huge proponent of virtual worlds and all of the different opportunities that lie within each world.  From BusinessWeek to Advertising Age and every magazine/newspaper in between, we’re seeing some great integrations into the virtual world such as the BBC and MLB.  However, many people are not aware of the intricacies of planning an event or understanding how the "grid" system works within a virtual world, namely Linden Labs’ Second Life.

The grid is the platform that Second Life runs on.  It’s a combination of computing power, storage and software that allows Second Life to run and be usable by the hundreds of thousands of inhabitants.  Currently, there Second Life uses nearly 1,000 dual processor/dual- core systems and is growing at about 7% per month in terms of computing power.

In an article by Tom Gibbs, he explains the grid system in a bit more depth and how it relates to virtual worlds.  This is essential to understand if you want to learn how these worlds grow and what holds them back.

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Google Checkout

Google Checkout is finally here. We’ve been hearing about Gbuy/Gpay across the entire blogosphere for the past 3 months with all sorts of forecasts and assumptions as to what it actually was going to be.

It’s essentially an Internet Wallet that we’ve all seen back in 2001. Google Checkout is that you can buy from stores with a single Google login – no more entering the same info each time you buy, and no more having to remember different usernames and passwords for each store.

Current partners in the program include: Jockey, Starbucks Store, Levi’s, Dockers, Buy.com, Timberland, and Zales (amongst others)

Check out the Official Google blog for more information…

Google's Data Center Project

Something that’s been hinted at in the press has finally surfaced in the NY Times today.  Google’s top secret data center project has come into full view – however, anyone that knows anything about the project has been sworn to secrecy under strict NDAs (I don’t blame them).  We know that Microsoft and Yahoo! have their own independent projects going on in the Pacific Northwest as well…

The article is located here.

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Google and the PC

Google and Dell have agreed to preinstall Web and desktop search software on the PC maker’s computers announced Eric Schmidt (CEO) yesterday at the Goldman Sachs conference in Las Vegas.

I’ve been hearing about this deal for quite some time and it’s finally out in the open.  Google is the number 1 search engine and is teaming up with the number 1 PC maker which gives each other a significant stronghold amongst competition.

Millions of Dell PCs will be pre-loaded with the Google toolbar for Web and PC search alogn with a co-branded home page before they are shipped to consumers.

Thoughts?

AOL Gets Aggressive

I was contacted today by a representative of AOL as they are releasing AIM Triton 1.5 Preview Edition today.  It is available for free download on AIM.com.

I generally get turned off when companies contact me to promote their product, but I am actually intrigued by the features available including but not limited to:

  • AIM Phoneline & Phoneline Unlimited
  • AOL Video Module
  • AIM Pages
  • AIM Location

I am extremely intrigued by AIM Location as it will allow users of AIM Triton 1.5 to find each other on a Mapquest Map.  I’d like to geographically see where my buddies are… nice use of a "mashup."

I use Trillian on my work computer as it allows me to log into multiple providers’ accounts but will probably check out this new release from AOL shortly.  Will let you know how it is.