FryUp: Working in the time of power cuts

Telecom's new logo (again), our fragile infrastructure and an Apple droid-out

Aiming for Victory

The Wallabies will need a hand in Tokyo against the All Blacks, and must be grateful and amazed at just how versatile Telecom's new logo is.

Working in the time of power cuts

Otahuhu is where container-laden forklifts roam free and smash into power distributors at inopportune moments. When that happens, half of Auckland and the country up north become powerless, quite literally. FryUp had a couple of laptops charged, thank goodness, so with Telecom XT and Vodafone 3G there was business continuity of sorts at that end, but the rest of the area was a mess. Everything survived the cut and surges, but new UPS batteries would be good. Unfortunately, replacement batteries cost a small fortune, almost four times as much as a bigger 12 Volt car one costs. Could the battery experts in FryUp’s readership help out with an explanation why UPS batteries are so costly? Speaking of the mains grid, it’s an area that networking and telco companies are hoping to milk for some cash soon. No longer is it enough to attempt to deliver electricity reliably, it now has to be done intelligently too. Plus, there are billions of dollars in revenue to be had in doing so. This would explain the long line of consultants jumping off the telco train to board the power infrastructure upgrade one. Monster cuts caused by forklift Smart grid should be a 'national imperative', says Cisco

Apple droid-rupted

There’s no stopping Google, it seems, once the devourer of ICT galaxies smells nourishment. The iPhone market is tasty, very tasty for Google, so it has dispatched its Android to prepare it for digestion. Guided by Google Maps Navigation, the ever-evolving Android has grown into a serious threat to Apple’s world domination. Android has even resurrected Motorola’s hand set business from the dead. And Cupertino trembles, as The iJobs is weaker than he were. Those “leave us alone” commercials do not impress. Apple’s anti-Droid commercial This is a fight that Microsoft and Steve “Em” Ballmer would like to be involved in, but how? Not with Windows Mobile 6.5 it seems, a modest upgrade to the phone OS that’s been written off by all and sundry. Nokia’s even more lost than Microsoft in this game so... what if the Android seduces former Finnish rubber boot manufacturer? The Finns are angrily denying the possibility of any such thing, but how long can they resist the advances of Android? Droid Shatters The Competitive Landscape

XKCD Bag check


Robert X Cringely iPod: The device that changed everything

Eight years ago Apple introduced its first iPod. The world has never been the same Amid all the hubbub last week surrounding Windows 7 — not to mention Burger King's 7-layer Windows Whopper — I totally missed one of the key anniversaries in tech history. As Macworld's Scott McNulty notes, the iPod quietly turned 8 last Friday. My first reaction: Only 8? Hasn't it been with us forever? But no. On October 23, 2001, Steve Jobs introduced Apple's first portable music player. It only worked with Macs. There was no online store where you could download music, so you had to rip all your songs from CDs. It was chunky, held 5GB of music, and cost US$400. Yet it was still the coolest device ever introduced up to that point — what Macworld editor Jason Snell described as "the first iconic product of the 21st century." Nothing has been the same since. Certainly not Apple. The iPod transformed Apple from the company that made computers for guys with ponytails into The Company That Knows What Consumers Want. Apple went from being the competitor Microsoft could crush if it really tried into the organisation Microsoft wishes it was. In 2001 Apple took in around US$5.4 billion, nearly all of it from sales of Macs. It posted a loss of $25 million. Last year, Apple raked in $36.5 billion (and nearly $6 billion in profits) split among iPods and iPhones, Macs, and digital content. No iPod? No iTunes, no iPhone, no App Store and — I believe — no Apple.

What would the world look like then? Imagine listening to music on your Creative Labs Windows Music Player 7.0 and paying $2.99 a download to the Sony-Warner-Universal Connect Music Store. The industry would still be talking about getting TV shows on a portable player, once they finally hammered out all the DRM and licensing issues. That smartphone in your pocket would be either a BlackBerry or — Lord help us — a WinMo phone. It would not be pretty. Ironically, the iPod as we knew it then is essentially dead. Devices that simply play music and videos are like toasters or clock radios. From here on out, the gadgets we carry will all run apps, play games, and let us surf or work from wherever we are — whether they're phones or not. You can thank Apple for that, too. Today people turn to Apple, breathlessly waiting for what's coming next. New York Times executive editor Bill Keller makes an offhand reference to an "impending Apple slate" in a speech to his staff, and that's all it takes to get the blogosphere rolling on yet another series of Apple Tablet rumours. You could argue the genesis of the Apple Mystique started with the Newton, or even the original Mac, but I'd disagree. The Newton was a beloved but deeply flawed product that failed in the marketplace. The Mac was barely clinging to the three percent of the market that wore ponytails and worked in graphic design. It was the iPod that made it all happen. Happy 8th birthday, little pod. Enjoy your cake. What would the world look like if Apple had withered and died on the vine? Post your thoughts below or e-mail me:

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