During the Pussy Riot trial, the band’s English name was translated in various ways, from ‘rebellious pussy cats’ to ‘enraged cunts’. ‘Could you translate the name into Russian?’ Putin asked in an interview with Russia Today in September 2012, ‘or are you embarrassed for ethical reasons?’
Ah, Russia. Land of contradictions.
Tim Stevens writing for Engadget. Almost as devastating as his reference to the “(non-Gorilla) glass” display.
That major entertainment apps like Netflix, Hulu, Pandora and Spotify will be missing at launch is disappointing.
This is a business device, after all, right?
David Bowie’s son to direct a movie based on World of Warcraft. His hope is to achieve enough success that people stop referring to him as David Bowie’s son? And instead, the guy who directed a movie based on World of Warcraft? I need to put Ziggy Stardust back into my rotation.
“Owing to the fact that the ‘Wii U’ hardware sales have a negative impact on Nintendo’s profits, the operating loss was 5.8 billion yen. As a result of exchange gains totaling 22.2 billion yen due to the depreciation of the yen at the end of calendar year 2012, however, ordinary income was 22.7 billion yen and net income was 14.5 billion yen.”
So, on the one hand while Nintendo’s figures and statements indicate a return to profit based on the notoriously flaky basis of foreign currency. On the other hand, the sales trend, while still downward, is significantly less steep in decline than previous periods.
There are rumors that Apple is going to make a move into console gaming this year. Why bother? Nintendo, the most profitable video game company, only makes money when the value of the yen works in their favor. Apple, on the other hand, earned $2.1 billion last quarter through the iTunes store alone. I don’t know how much of that can be attributed to games, but even 10% is competitive with Nintendo. I question whether this is even an interesting market for Apple, which is so much grotesquely larger and wealthier than when it deigned to enter the music business just over ten years ago. I doubt even they are capable of squeezing much more revenue out of a sector they are arguably already a leader in. Whatever might be coming, I doubt it’s going to be a set-top box with a controller. Apple has much more to gain by facilitating content delivery than by producing new hardware based on old models. Perhaps Nintendo’s best move is actually to license its content to Apple. The Wii had a good run and is surely still good for a few useful APIs and possibly some accessories. But I suspect that the days of proprietary hardware, and the concomitant tradeoffs it requires of consumers, being the deciding factor in gaming are shortly to pass.
Creepy. I wonder, though: does the life of Steve Jobs really conform to the typical Hollywood story arc? He, as much as the rest of us, were deprived of Act III.
I have a prediction. No one is ever going to make a film about the life of Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, Jeff Bezos, Larry Ellison, Gordon Moore, Paul Otellini, or any other first generation Silicon Valley tycoon, Pirates of Silicon Valley notwithstanding. Perhaps The Social Network proves that, for the current crop of tech entrepreneurs, if they don’t make a movie about you while you’re still in your 20s, they’re never going to. Did it also prove that once the movie is made, your creative life—that which is of most interest to the storytelling sorts—has taken its swan song?
Pretty damning review of the new Blackberry phone on Wirecutter. Actually, it’s not even a review, because Brian Lam finds the device beneath contempt:
I don’t mean to be dismissive of Blackberry’s efforts as a company but I know where my loyalties are, and it’s not with android or apple or any company. It boils down to this–I would never ever tell anyone I care about to consider these phones. So, that’s what I think about Blackberry’s new stuff.
Does this mean Blackberry is already too far behind the curve to recover as a manufacturer of mobile devices? Or has the curve gotten so steep that merely imitating existing hardware and slapping on a once popular logo does not guarantee even token market share? Given the stakes involved, the quondam Research in Motion needed to do better than copy the competition. Given the enormous cultural and financial clout of its competitors, however, doing so might have been impossible. There may yet be space for disruption in the smart phone sector, but that space is rapidly being sutured up by Apple and Samsung. Blackberry has a strong brand and a loyal following but not among the majority of consumers today. They’re an old company now with a stale reputation, and it’s likely their ship has sailed as far as disruption goes.
Maybe if they ditch their staid designs and corporate aesthetic and be the first smart phone maker to liven up their products with flashy colors, anthropomorphic mascots, and a granular degree of customizability, they could wedge their way in there. That’s, at least, what I reckon would be popular among Japanese teenagers and their rabidly imitative worldwide following of affluent adolescents. But that advice may only be worth what it cost to read it.
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