Monday, March 14, 2011

iPad 2 launch predictably draws crowds, sellouts

The scene at the San Francisco Apple Store.
The scene yesterday evening at the downtown San Francisco Apple store.
(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

If there were any lingering doubts that Apple's iPad sequel would draw the same interest the first-generation device did, they were quashed before stores even opened their doors yesterday.
The iPad 2, a device that was unveiled just 10 days ago, launched to huge crowds and inventory that sold out quickly, both in stores and online.
Shipping times for online orders, which opened yesterday morning at 1 a.m. PT--some 16 hours before the first Apple retail stores began selling the iPad 2--were quickly pushed from days into weeks. This left the best chance for customers who wanted to pick up a device before April being to head to one of Apple's stores, or its partner retailers such as Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart, and carrier stores for Verizon and AT&T.
Analysts like Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster are already setting estimates for first day sales somewhere between 400,000 to 500,000 units, some 200,000 better than the first iPad did during the same time period in its launch. Apple is expected to unveil preliminary unit sales on Monday, as it did on the Monday following the launch of the first iPad.
Big numbers
Until those numbers come in, there are some signs this launch is off to a bigger start than that of the first-generation device. At Apple's flagship store in San Francisco for instance, which CNET was monitoring along with stores in Manhattan, the line practically ran out of room, as it wrapped almost around the city block. That store sold out of its entire stock of Wi-Fi-only units just a few hours after iPad 2 sales began, leaving evening line-waiters with only the option of buying the more expensive models with 3G service from Verizon. Worth noting is that this is the same store that had the richest supply of iPads following last year's shortages.
It was the same story on the other side of the country, with the line outside New York's Fifth Avenue store growing to an estimated 800 people, with some having begun waiting in line on Wednesday night and braving torrential downpours. For one individual, that perseverance--as well as her spot at the front of the line--netted her $900 from someone else who didn't want to queue up.

At least 200 people line up outside the Apple store on the Upper West Side of Manhattan on Friday, waiting for the iPad 2 to be released.
At least 200 people line up outside the Apple store on the Upper West Side of Manhattan yesterday, waiting for the iPad 2 to be released.
(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)
As with previous Apple launches, the art of the line wait has become a business. The first two spots at the San Francisco store went to "runners" for TaskRabbit, a service that specializes in sourcing out errands and other odd jobs to its workforce of vetted contractors. James Alimeda and Josh Elavitti were paid $60 per iPad they were waiting in line for, with each buying two. In Alimeda's case, he was already there to purchase one for himself. Those two, along with two others in line, were part of a much larger operation at various retailers to help people procure devices without putting in line time.
Behind them was a group of around 35 non-English speaking line-waiters who managed to get an Apple store employee who could speak Cantonese to act as a translator, just a half-hour before iPad 2 sales began. According to a report on Bloomberg, their aim was to buy iPad 2s, all going to one single unidentified buyer, who planned to sell them on the gray market, likely at a premium and in places where the device was not yet available.
Speaking of which, the iPad 2 goes on sale in 26 additional countries just two weeks from now, arguably giving gray market buyers from those areas less of an incentive to deal with international travel. However, given some of the initial demand from this first day, there's the possibility that Apple could once again decide to push that launch back, as it did for the first-generation device.
The device
Of course, why people were lining up in the first place is always on the minds of passers-by. One woman who walked past the line asked if there was someone famous playing a show there that evening. Others were seeing the device for the first time in an iPad 2 demo video Apple played in its retail store display.
The iPad 2, which CNET has given a four-star rating in its review, is a refinement of the the first-generation device. It's thinner, it's got a faster processor and better graphics chops, and it's the same price. It's also got new features like dual video cameras and compatibility with new accessories like a neat cover that attaches to it with magnets and an AV cable that can mirror whatever you're doing onscreen to anything with an HDMI plug.
For many buyers though, this second-generation device is something they were waiting for before pulling the trigger on the original iPad. That's what many buyers CNET talked to mentioned as being one of the big attractors. They know Apple's cyclical product release schedule by now and were counting on a refresh of a few key things, even if they didn't necessarily need them.
There are things Apple could have added, but didn't. Though with lines like this on opening day, it seems the revamp offers enough.
End of the line
As is the question every time Apple sells a product with this much fanfare, why is there this big rush to get it on opening day? And why can't Apple seem to meet demand when this happens again and again? With the first iPad, this was easier to answer. It was a new product, in what had so far been a niche category. Apple seemingly didn't anticipate the demand, and thus was forced to play catch-up as it went on to make its way to a million units sold in under a month's time.
This time around, however, Apple's got more retail stores, and a handful of retail partners on board to get what is likely to be more units out the door in a shorter amount of time. The original iPad has also proved to be an overwhelming success, with Apple selling more than 15 million of the devices.
Even so, Apple had very subtly reconfigured its launch plans with this one to encourage people to buy the device in person, doing new things like keeping online purchases from starting until the day it went on sale, while throwing in the usual mix of temptations for buyers to come to its own stores, with food and drink for the wait in line and personalized setup (the free service that has retail employees getting new iPads up and running before buyers leave the store--an important step considering the iPad, like the iPod Touch, first needs to be activated with iTunes before buyers can begin using it.
The simplest answer to the mad rush, though, continues to be Apple's terrific marketing--one of the many things that separates Apple and its products from its competitors. For many who go through the wait, it's not just about the device, it's the experience that happens before they even break out their credit card, something that's hard to put a price tag on.
READ MORE - iPad 2 launch predictably draws crowds, sellouts

Friday, December 4, 2009

Google Wave Features

A wave can be both a discussion and a document where people can discuss and work together using richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps. Wave builds on the concept of cloud computing.
Google wave is going to become a wave of the future. It is a next generation web-based communication and collaboration tool.
Google wave can merges service e-mail, instant messaging, wikis, and social networking together at one single platform.
Common terms which are used in Wave are Wavelet, Blip, Document, Extension, Gadgets, Robots
Key features of Wave:
• Real-Time information
• Live transmission of any type
• Used as faster conversation
• Wave is used as new way of creating dialogue among group of users
• Google Wave contains gadgets and tools
• In Google wave there are gadgets like Wikify which can brings Wikipedia to your Google Wave account.
• It include tools for checking spelling and grammar
• It has a great futures like translating between 40 different languages by using Rosy Extension.
• It has TWaves extension that allows the user to incorporate their tweet stream.
• It has drag and drop sharing of digital assets like photos, sound and video.
• Playback facility
• Open Source
• Easy embedding facility
• eBayBot - Search eBay in Google Wave
• Google Wave has a Public Timeline, like Twitter ( “with:public” )
• Webcam Video Chat and Much More on Google Wave with 6rounds
• Adding new people to the conversation easy
• Used as customer support tool for marketers
• Bloggy extension can Embeds the Wave into a blog
• Polly the Pollster : Creates any poll you can imagine
Google Wave is going to become project management tool for the future.
No doubt Google wave is going to become a future marketing tool. Marketers will have the ability to create customer support in real time.
It is also becoming developer heaven for developing gadgets and extensions and Google has announced that there will be an official Wave app store.
According to experts research Google Wave is a best to organize role playing games in the coming future.
Wave is going to become a real-time marketing strategy for the marketers.
READ MORE - Google Wave Features

Google Wave First Look

If you're not one of the 100,000 lucky users who gets an invitation to Google Wave today, don't fret. You can check out Google Wave right here.
But first, ground rules. Click on all images in this post to see them full size. Uppercase "Wave" refers to the entire Google Wave product. Lowercase "wave" refers to an individual message or document. Think of a lowercase wave like an email or a Google Doc that you're collaborating on with other people. The screenshots in this post are from the Wave developer preview, not, invites to which are going out today. We'll update this post with anything significantly new in the non-preview version when we get our grubby little paws on the proper server invitation.
Here is a simple video i took from YouTube to present Google Wave's nice features
Ready? Let's go.

READ MORE - Google Wave First Look

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Google Wave Ready For Wider Test

Google Wave is ready for its next step: a more thorough test of its scalability and stability as more than 100,000 new users crowd onto the service.

As promised, Google plans to open Google Wave beyond an extremely limited preview on Wednesday, granting access to users who have signed up in hopes of getting a chance to try the service. Google received more than 1 million requests to participate in the preview, said Lars Rasmussen, engineering manager for Google Wave, and while it won't be able to accommodate all those requests on Wednesday it is at least ready to begin the next phase of the project.

Google Wave is an attempt to re-engineer Internet communication, blending elements of e-mail, instant messaging, social networking, and workplace collaboration software into a single Web application. It was first unveiled at Google I/O in May before Web developers who were a bit dazzled by the possible uses of the technology.

At present, however, Google Wave is one big bug bash, perhaps half a year away from launching as a stable product. Google engineers have solved many of the more persistent bugs that were hampering the product a few months ago, but there is still a long way to go and Wave should not be considered anything but a "preview," Rasmussen said. Still, that's better than "developer preview," the status previously attached to Wave that implied only hardcore techies should venture within.

In addition to the developers and waiting list, Google also plans to open Wave up to a limited number of Google Apps enterprise customers for testing, Rasmussen said. A few companies, such as SAP and, have already started playing around with the technology but Google is seeking feedback from other organizations on how Wave might work within their environment.
READ MORE - Google Wave Ready For Wider Test

Google to let publishers limit free website access

WASHINGTON (AFP) -Google, under fire from Rupert Murdoch and some other newspaper owners, said it will let publishers set a limit on the number of articles people can read for free through its search engine.

Google's announcement came as the News Corp. chairman, who has threatened to block the Internet giant from indexing his newspapers, and other US media heavyweights gathered here to discuss journalism in the Internet age.

Murdoch, speaking at the two-day meeting hosted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), said newspapers "need to do a better job of persuading consumers that high quality reliable news and information does not come free."

"Good journalism is an expensive commodity," said the 78-year-old Murdoch, who repeated his intention to begin charging readers of News Corp. newspapers on the Web.

Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, accused Murdoch and other newspaper publishers meanwhile of being in "digital denial" and said they needed to "stop whining."

Murdoch has blasted Google and other news aggregators for "stealing" stories without sharing advertising revenue and has reportedly been holding talks with Microsoft about making News Corp.'s content accessible exclusively through the software giant's new search engine, Bing.

Acknowledging that "creating high-quality content is not easy and, in many cases, expensive" Google said in a blog post it was changing its "First Click Free" program.

First Click Free directs readers from Google or Google News to a story on a newspaper's website but prevents them from having unrestricted access.

Google noted, however, that some readers were "abusing" the program by returning to Google or Google News and clicking through to other stories.

"Previously, each click from a user would be treated as free," Google senior business product manager Josh Cohen said. "Now, we've updated the program so that publishers can limit users to no more than five pages per day without registering or subscribing."

Without naming any companies, Murdoch hit out at news aggregators saying they are "feeding off the hard-earned efforts and investments of others." "To be impolite it's theft," he said.

The News Corp. chief also said "the old business model based on advertising only is dead."

"In the future, good journalism will depend on the ability of a news organization to attract readers by providing news and information they're willing to pay for," Murdoch said. "In the new business model we will be charging consumers for the news we provide on our Internet sites."

Noting that the Wall Street Journal is already charging online, he said: "We intend to expand this pay model to all our newspapers in the News Corp. stable: the Times of London, The Australian, the rest."

"Some critics say people won't pay," Murdoch said. "I believe they will."

He also warned against seeking government help for the newspaper industry, which is battling declining print advertising revenue, falling circulation and free news on the Web.

"The prospect of the US government becoming directly involved in commercial journalism ought to be chilling to anyone who cares about free speech," Murdoch said.

Huffington rejected Murdoch's criticism of news aggregators saying they actually drive traffic to newspaper websites.

"In most industries, if your customers were leaving in droves, you would try to figure out what to do to get them back," she said. "Not in the media. They'd rather accuse aggregators of stealing their content.

"It's time for traditional media companies to stop whining," she said.

Also addressing the FTC event was Steven Brill, a co-founder of Journalism Online, a company which is seeking to help news organizations make money on the Web.

Brill said market research suggests that some news sites may be able to get 10 percent or more of their readers to pay online for content of "distinctive value."

READ MORE - Google to let publishers limit free website access

Used Mac Laptops - Warning Signs People Miss Very Often

Whenever someone hears about used Mac laptops, a warning sign is the last thing on their minds because it's a Mac! What can possibly go wrong with it right? If it's used or refurbished, everything and anything can go wrong very quickly. I'm going to help you with your next Mac laptop purchase so you can avoid this.

The 3 Main Warning Signs

1. A low price is fine, but an extremely inexpensive price is usually a bad buy! - if you already know the average price on most refurbished Macintosh laptops, when you find a used one that is ridiculously low, bring your eyes to the seller review page as quickly as you can to make sure the seller's reputable. You may very well be tricked into buying a MacBook without a screen or without any software, whichever is worse for you.

2. No warranty - no matter what, any purchase you make online from used Mac laptops to candy apples, make sure there's some kind of return policy or else you could be stuck with a piece of junk while the seller keeps your money and spends it on their new MacBook.

3. Less than 4 highlighted stars - stars are huge thing for me, a 3-star rating is fine but a 5-star rating is great!

How to Correctly Purchase on Amazon
Once you've found your used Mac laptop of choice, read the description and make sure there is a good warranty. Also in the description, make sure you know every piece of equipment that comes with it. Finally, go over to the seller reviews by finding the "used" and "refurbished" links located to the right of the brief description and make sure the buyer's feedback is over 90% positive.

READ MORE - Used Mac Laptops - Warning Signs People Miss Very Often

Converting Word Files to PDF - Advantages of Having PDF Files

Managing a business, practicing your profession and many other things we do in life indeed involves a lot of paperwork and files - from receipts to contracts to many other important documents. With the convenience of the internet these days, business and personal documents are also being kept as files in the hard drive and archived electronically. With this, converting word files to PDF or portable document format has become popular as well.

With the many software and applications that we have today when it come to online files, it is important as well to find a file format that makes our files easy to manage but not easy to alter. PDF files have then become a good choice for businesses and even for personal files that you want to store electronically.

To help you understand the advantages of converting word files to PDF, here are some the good points of using PDF files.

- One good thing about PDF files is that, the software that you will need to open your PDF files is free. All you have to do is download it online and you can already open and read your files without having to spend a huge sum of money.

- Files set in PDF format can be opened anywhere - from your PC, your mobile phone, or your PDA, and that makes it easy and convenient. Of course, the most obvious and main advantage of converting your files to this format is all about portability and being able to access your files anywhere is a good advantage in these times that we prefer services that are fast, convenient and easy.

- Files in portable document format are also convenient because it can be opened in many platforms like Windows, Linux and Mac, thus you don't have to worry about opening your files in different computers and wherever you want to access your files.

- Another good thing about files converted to PDF is security. Files in this format cannot be easily manipulated without leaving any electronic proof that it has been altered, thus it can indeed be useful in easy storing your personal and business documents. Documents in portable document format can also be signed digitally for authenticity, as this document format also supports good encryption. Of course, this will provide integrity to your documents as well.

- Converting word files to PDF is also a good way to make your files safe, as documents in this format have almost no chance of being infected with a virus.

- One of the conveniences of having your files in the portable document format is that, it also allows compression of your files. Especially if you have lots of graphics in your word file or your Powerpoint file, converting them to the portable document format will help you save memory on your PC and helps you upload your documents faster and easier.

Aside from all these, PDF files can also be created not only from word files but from many other sources. You can create them from scanned images or documents, you can create them from web pages as well as any electronic documents.

READ MORE - Converting Word Files to PDF - Advantages of Having PDF Files