consumer technology

Switched On: Higher stakes, higher ground for crowdfunding, part 1

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/03/24/higher-states-higher-ground-for-crowdfunding/

Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology.

DNP Switched On Higher states, higher ground for crowdfunding, part 1

The power of crowdfunding is that, by aggregating relatively modest donations from what is often hundreds or even thousands of backers, consumers can help artists and inventors turn ideas or concepts into reality. The Pebble smartwatch that set the record for funds raised on Kickstarter was noteworthy for breaking the $10 million barrier. That money, though, came from nearly 69,000 backers.

Today, the two biggest crowdfunding destinations, Indiegogo and Kickstarter, offer different approaches to what gets presented on their sites. Indiegogo is a completely open site; there is virtually no screening of projects. Kickstarter, on the other hand, is a curated site. Projects must meet a range of criteria. As co-founder Yancey Strickler recently explained at Engadget Expand, the roots of Kickstarter were in the funding of creative and social pursuits. Kickstarter has been a haven for artists such as photographers looking to create a photo book or musicians seeking to cut a first album or create a music video.

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Monday, March 25th, 2013 news No Comments

Clash of the troubled titans

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/05/20/clash-of-the-troubled-titans/

Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology.

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Fans of the Lincoln-Kennedy coincidences can appreciate similarly contrived dynamics in comparing Nokia and RIM (neither of which, contrary to the occasionally expressed opinion, has been murdered despite “Apple and Android” consisting of three words and 15 letters). Both companies are former smartphone market share leaders — RIM in North America, Nokia globally. Both have had success in developing economies with efficient operating systems that they plan to support indefinitely. Both developed reputations for high build quality and good antenna design, and both were initially dismissive of the iPhone as they continue to see Android as the path to commoditization. And after precipitous market share declines, both hired new CEOs. Nokia, a European company, hired a CEO raised in Canada. RIM, a Canadian company, hired a CEO raised in Europe. These men now struggle with keeping their companies part of a viable alternative to the two dominant marketplace offerings.

Since embarking on their new operating system strategies, though, there have been many contrasts. While Nokia hired an outsider as a CEO, RIM hired an insider. Nokia decided to adopt a licensed OS; RIM decided to build its own (based largely on acquisitions). And now that both the 2012 Nokia World and BlackBerry World conferences have passed, there’s an opportunity to assess their comeback progress.

Continue reading Switched On: Clash of the troubled titans

Switched On: Clash of the troubled titans originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 20 May 2012 18:19:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday, May 20th, 2012 news No Comments

the whole story, regardless of where you jump in

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/30/follow-the-saga-engadget/

Over the years, stories have become more than just single bursts of information. These days, there’s as much drama in the consumer technology world as there is sports, politics or your average episode of Days of our Lives. Take SOPA, for example. We’d be remiss of our duties here if we simply reported on what it was, without ever following up on protests, delays, judgments and other vitally important developments. In fact, it’s tough to think of too many stories covered today that don’t correspond with some sort of saga — even the departure of RIM’s co-CEOs represents just a single slice of a far larger tale. For those that follow this stuff 24/7, jumping in at any point in the story is no issue; piecing together the past with the present is second nature. But if you’re actually working during the day, hopping aimlessly into an ongoing saga mid-stream can be downright disorienting. Painful, even. We’ve been working hard to come up with an unobtrusive solution, and we think we’ve found it.

We’ve actually had our Follow The Saga functionality since January of last year — we quietly debuted it with the launch of Verizon’s iPhone 4 — but today’s iteration is far more interactive. We’ve been testing these out over the past few weeks, and today we’re happy to officially introduce them. If you see the badge shown after the break in any post that pops up here at Engadget, just give it a click to be taken to the full saga, and scroll up and down to see related stories before and after the one you happen to ! be looki ng at. We’re hoping it’ll be particularly helpful to those who happen to stumble upon a saga somewhere in the middle, but want to get caught up on what happened prior and where we stand now. As with everything we do, we’ll be continually tweaking and evolving the tool in the months ahead. Enjoy!

Psst… want to see it in action? Have a look under the body of this SOPA post to see how we got to where we are today.

Continue reading Introducing ‘Follow The Saga’: the whole story, regardless of where you jump in

Introducing ‘Follow The Saga’: the whole story, regardless of where you jump in originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 30 Jan 2012 14:18:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 news No Comments

The Three Ds of CES TV

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/08/switched-on-the-three-ds-of-ces-tv/

Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology.

The walls of Las Vegas casinos — devoid of clocks and windows — form chambers in which time loses its mastery over the existence of those who dwell within them. So is it too for the products on display at CES, which run the gamut from things currently in stores to concept products that may not materialize for years, if ever.

Nonetheless, with Mobile World Congress and the CTIA Wireless show still vying for the attention of handset introductions and Apple and Microsoft relying more on their own events for major PC OS announcements, television remains a staple of the show, with nearly all major U.S. brands having a presence on the show floor or off-site. At CES 2012, one can surely still expect a lot of focus on 3D television. Increasingly, though, three other “D”s are coming to represent the direction of television.

Continue reading Switched On: The Three Ds of CES TV

Switched On: The Three Ds of CES TV originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 08 Jan 2012 09:30:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday, January 8th, 2012 news No Comments

Keeping the ‘app’ out of Apple’s TV

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/12/04/switched-on-keeping-the-app-out-of-apples-tv/

Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology.

Rumors continue to heat up that Apple will enter the television market next year, stepping up its Apple TV “hobby” into a greater revenue-generating vocation. The company would clearly like to repeat the kind of rousing success it has seen in smartphones. There, it entered a market at least as crowded and competitive as that for televisions whereas most of its Windows rivals have barely been able to eke out a few models with nominal share.

Indeed, the challenge is not as much about competition as commoditization. At first glance, this would be a curious time for Apple to enter the TV space. The HD and flat-panel transitions on which premium manufacturer brands and retailers once feasted has long passed. “Flat-panel TV” and “HDTV” are now just “TV.” And prices for smaller sets are settling into a range familiar to those who remember what they cost back in the heyday of CRTs.

What’s different, though, is that the state of the smart TV market looks strikingly like the smartphone market did before Apple’s entrance. The market essentially has “feature TVs” that present a few popular canned services (YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, etc.) and “smart TVs” that are a fractured mixture of homegrown offerings (from companies such as Panasonic, Samsung, LG and Toshiba) and an experience-challenged licensed OS (Android from Sony and Vizio).

The company has clung to the idea of TV as a passive experience.

Continue reading Switched On: Keeping the ‘app’ out of Apple’s TV

Switched On: Keeping the ‘app’ out of Apple’s TV originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 04 Dec 2011 20:24:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday, December 4th, 2011 news No Comments

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