All Posts by Bill Wolfe

Lady GaGa Blasts NME for Hypocrisy

NME.com caught the attention of pop star Lady GaGa today, after NME blogger Priya Elan rated Lady GaGa’s ‘Born This Way’ album as number one on the list of the “most pretentious albums ever.” The article says that the key features of a highly pretentious album are:

1. “A Groan-inducing concept”
2. “Lots of highfalutin waffle”
3. “a ridiculous cover”

NME says that Lady GaGa’s ‘Born This Way’ hit all of the offensive traits, even stating that the “fun had left the building” for Lady GaGa’s music.

Lady GaGa responded to NME.com today via twitter, stating:

“Oh the irony of winning ‘Most Pretentious Album Ever’ from none other than NME. *eyeroll* I might laugh forever + then return to narcissism”

@Ladygaga

What Lady GaGa is referring to as “ironic” is the fact that NME.com gave the same album an 8/10 rating in an album review on their site. The review, posted on May 17th of last year, says that “Gaga doesn’t know when to hold back – and it’s a damn good thing.”

GaGa fans who were outraged by the claim that ‘Born This Way’ is the number one most pretentious album ever were quick to pick up on the apparent hypocrisy. NME Magazine has not yet responded to GaGa from their twitter account (@NMEmagazine).

Tablet and E-Book Ownership Doubled

In a recent survey that was conducted, users of tablet and e-book users have been noted to have
doubled since the holidays. Being popular gifts at the time, sales skyrocketed as the year end season
rolled by and even now, they’re still selling like hotcakes.

Due to their overwhelming popularity, Pew Internet and American Life Project have reported that over
29% of Americans owned at least one tablet or e-reader as of the beginning of the month of January
2012, which is a plus from the 18% found during December last year.

Apple owns most of the market share with their line of iPads, with Amazon coming in second with their
affordable Kindle tablets, with the last being Barnes and Noble with its Nook. These top three (and a
few others) are dominating the top tech spots, with their sales being on a constant flux, it is hard to
determine who is ranking as the highest; but the general assumption would be Apple.

The rate of ownership of these tablets was able to rise between mid-December and early January from
10% to 19%. With the E-Book following suit by 19% from 10% as well. It is not hard to imagine for this to
happen, but to be on an almost simultaneous level; it’s daunting.

The likelihood of ownership was attributed to several factors; the most obvious being a household with
a higher income. Those in higher levels of education were also very likely to own E-Books and Tablets
due to the growing demand for academic applications. Both men and women were on equal ground
when it came to the owning of a tablet, although E-Books made a far greater impression with women.

The figures are from ongoing surveys being conducted by Pew regarding tablet and e-reader
ownerships, which began in November 2011 all the way up to this month of January 2012. The first
was done on 2,986 Americans with ages ranging from 16 and older. Two post-holiday surveys were
conducted on 2,000 adults in January.

TouchFire blazes iPad

Since its inception, the iPad has garnered an impressive following upon its initial release on April 3, 2010 in the United States. Today, many people are utilizing it in various applications below and beyond its intended usage. It is even looked upon as an equivalent to a laptop just as much as it is a touchpad, but due to its rather questionable keypad function many tend to overlook it in favor of the more practical laptop.

This is what inspired Steve Isaacs; a Seattle-based software designer who has worked with tablets before at Go Corporation, to create a new way on how to maximize the usability of the iPad‘s keypad function without suffering from flaws like unresponsive keys and discomfort. Now, you may deem the application of a silicone keypad as a rather redundant addition to an already remarkable device because of there being similar products already being sold at the market, but Isaacs specifically designed his to be able to bypass almost all of the aforementioned drawbacks by functioning as a regular keyboard and not just a plain simulation.

Isaacs and his partner Brad Melmon first proposed the project to Kickstarter; an online threshold pledge system that funds various creative projects and although it was rejected at first, a video demonstration was able to gain acceptance and thus enabling both men to raise the funds necessary to fully realize the prototype. They started off with an initial line of products for the backers which raised a total estimate of $201,400 by a week’s end, which was 10 times more than the intended goal of $10,000.

Isaac recently promoted his product further at The Associated Press’ San Francisco office at which he further explained its characteristics; the bumps on the underside of the keys which provide adequate resistance for the pressure applied by the fingers and the avoidance of unnecessary text which happens when applying even a little stress to the touchpad keys on the bare screen which sometimes occurs.

It has attained favor from various iPad users and other Kickstarter clients like Marci Liroff who is a Los Angeles based acting director that has vouched for its usability and convenience. In addition, it has garnered additional support from the media; describing the experience comparable to that of using an actual physical keyboard.

Some people however, are not all that convinced; specifically Ken Dulaney of Gartner Research, who has expressed skepticism over the TouchFire by citing its redundancy over the myriad of other keyboard variants for the iPad already available in the market.

Regardless, Steve Isaac remains firm and undeterred over the potential of his creation, seeing it as a revolutionary innovation that will improve the iPad in a way that would make even Steve Jobs himself proud.

iPad Rumor Wars

The rumors surrounding the iPad 3 have certainly taken the tech community by storm as of recent and will probably continue by the rest of next year; unless Apple indeed releases such a device, let’s not also forget about the one concerning the 7-inch iPad tablet with will presumably be launched within the same time frame (depending on the rumor). There are even many skeptics denouncing these rumors, and analysts who either accept it or just kick it along the curb along with all the other tech frauds.

Still, the possibility of devices even existing or; more precisely yet to exist, is stimulating enough for people to spread the word around. Regardless if it is fact, fiction or an over exaggeration that has gone awry, there is no telling what exactly will transpire within the confines of Apple as there are various leaks and sources that have given rise to the probability that it will come to light.

The future of Apple is ambiguous at best, especially after the untimely passing of their esteemed CEO Steve Jobs, yet they continue to thrive and in this rather chaotic economy. This is made even more challenging with various big names taking up the tablet industry with their own unique design and gimmicks.

However, the main thing to understand that nothing is quite sure yet, as everything will expected to be enlightened during 2012. Many manufacturers are already undergoing production, with the work load having risen in response to the demand as well as the rumors; but most of this is just leaked information to various news sites and blogs.

Numerous sites and blogs are already getting in on the act, with each having their own variation of the rumors and their own revisions, while some are denouncing, while others are not; it’s getting completely nutty!

Still, let us not solely depend on rumors because there is still the possibility of Apple further elevating their products to even greater heights than ever before; the key to that is patience.

iPad mini: Fact or Fiction

With the persistent escalation of the iPad 3 rumors comes another creative caricature in the form of the iPad mini, which was popularized by the Kindle Fire tablet which is only 7.85 inches compared to the regular sized iPad.

After this, the web has been swarmed with entries, articles, and even photos pertaining to this rumor which has attracted quite a following. Still, like any rumor there is bound to be something to debunk it; like the various statistical facts surrounding the iPad.

Let’s look at the most obvious; the screen size, which has been confirmed by Apple to be at a standard of at least 10 inches. This is also because of the device’s interior and various features, which would be excluded if the size was ever diminished.

It is also quite redundant, as the company has also compared similarities with it in their line of iPhones if they ever proceeded with such an alteration. The late CEO Steve Jobs has also expressed distaste over the design by referring to 7-inch tablets as “tweeners”; too small to be tablets and too big to be Smartphones. According to Amazon, Kindle tablets sales skyrocketed in the subsequent weeks since its release to about 1 million at $199.00, which is far less than the retail price of the Apple iPad and iPad 2 altogether.

The iPad mini is supposedly set to be released somewhere around late 2012 with production beginning at the end of following year’s next quarter, as stated by DigiTimes (yes, DigiTimes). It is apparently a response to the ever growing competition with other software companies, particularly the aforementioned Kindle tablet, making this claim feasible at best.

However, several tech experts and analysts have expressed their skepticism over such a device even reaching the shelves of Apple stores, but with the company under new management and the demand of it continuously rising, the concept is not that farfetched; with prices speculated to reach $200 to $300 at least.

iPhone 5, iPad 3 Will Come with 4G LTE

Many Apple fans were disappointed when the iPhone 4S came out and lacked 4G internet, but Apple reportedly plans on introducing that technology in their iPad 3 and iPhone 5 devices that are due to come out next summer and fall respectively. The iPhone 4S is flying off store shelves faster than any of the previous iPhone generations and the iPad 2 continues its domination of the tablet PC marketplace. When Apple introduces 4G LTE internet to these devices in the next generation, competitors will have to match that advancement in order to have a chance at prying a reasonable piece of the market away from the Cupertino, California tech company.

Apple’s strategic plan to implement 4G into their next generation of iPads and iPhones coincides with the development of new technologies that will keep the 4G capabilities from wearing down batteries, a major concern for hardware developers; further, Verizon and AT&T will expand their LTE networks next year, providing more coverage to Apple users with 4G enabled phones.

Apple competitors Samsung and HTC already have 4G enabled phones, so Apple risks falling behind the technology curve if they don’t introduce it into their next line of devices, and soon.

Early adopters of the LTE 4G technology have had problems with low battery life and have found that the technology requires a copious amount of space, making for a very bulky, heavy phone. Apple probably opted to exclude LTE 4G for these reasons in order to make the iPhone 4S small, sleek and more effective. Apple products are known for being sleek, thin and light-weight, so it is likely that they are working on a solution those problems that the LTE 4G technology presents.