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The Worst Mistakes at This Year's Consumer Electronics Show
MIT TECHNOLOGY REVIEW ^ | 01-10-11 | Christopher Mims

Posted on 02/02/2011 6:36:44 AM PST by Red Badger

Five devices, services and trends unveiled at this year's CES that seem doomed from the start.

The 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas wrapped last week, and it was a doozy - unbelievably powerful new smartphones, a raft of tablets, TVs that do everything short of toweling off afterward, etc.

Inevitably, though, there were some missteps. Companies large and small are pouring millions of dollars into projects that seem in serious danger of being derailed by simple mistakes -- ones that seem obvious to everyone but the people rolling them out, apparently.

Here's a list of this year's foolhardiest efforts to turn a buck:

1. Notion Ink Adam tablet launches with a totally custom app store -- that may never be populated.

The highly anticipated Adam tablet by Notion Ink arrived at CES in all its glory -- an incredible form factor, an innovative transflective display as viewable in sunlight as in a darkened room, and a thoughtful tablet interface designed to give Apple a run for its money in terms of defining user interactions for years to come.

But the tablet also has one glaring flaw: a custom app store, called Genesis, that is incompatible with the existing Android market. This means any outside developers wanting to build for the Notion Ink have to commit to re-coding their app specifically for a tablet that has to compete against countless other Android-based devices. It's a classic chicken and egg problem: Notion Ink needs apps to make their tablet usable and popular, but without it being usable and popular, not enough people will buy it to make developing for it worthwhile.

Apple solved this problem by being first and through its long history of iOS development on the iPhone; other Android-based tablets are at least compatible with the Android market. (The Adam is too, but only to a limited extent.) Like some lone madman wandering in the desert, Notion Ink has declared that developers can either adhere to the ideological purity of their custom interface or take a hike... I wonder which one they'll do?

2. Apple thinks it can still keep secrets when launching a product produced by Chinese suppliers.

Apple used to be able to keep things under wraps -- these days, that seems more or less impossible. One very good reason is that it's using manufacturers and suppliers in China, where no one seems to be able to keep anything secret, especially not the form factor and additional cameras of the forthcoming iPad 2.

3. Making phones bigger, and bigger, and bigger, until they attain the dimensions of a cheese board and threaten to take over your pants.

Meet the new Samsung Infuse 4G. Look at the size of it. Seriously: It's as big as this guy's head. If you have small hands, you will have trouble even wrapping your fingers around it. You might need to have a tailor enlarge your pockets if you're planning on putting it somewhere other than your messenger bag.

At some point, device makers need to decide whether they're making phones or little tablets. I suppose the market will decide whether or not people want to be talking into devices the size of old-school Sony Walkmans.

4. Cisco's new smart TV play requires absolutely everyone to start building to a totally new standard.

Sure, you could stream your smart television apps and shows through something widely available, like the usual internet protocols, or you could boldly embrace the future and hop onto a totally new end to end standard promoted by Cisco. So far the only partner in this endeavor is Australian provider Telstra, so, good luck with that.

5. Microsoft is moving Windows to ARM -- where its vast ecosystem of software is non-existent.

Wintel is dead - long live Wintel! The co-founder of ARM says that Intel is about to be "obliterated" as computing moves to his competing platform. So much for the hegemony of America's greatest hardware company, but there's a second casualty in the works as Microsoft sees the writing on the wall and rolls out a version of Windows that will run on the increasingly ubiquitous ARM platform -- Windows itself.

As one commenter at Engadget put it:

Here are the top two reasons to use Windows:

1. A Windows computer is generally much cheaper than a Mac

2. There is a rich library of programs (and games!) that are only available for Windows.

Switching architectures means losing one of those two reasons. If the plan is to make something NT-based on other form factors (a tablet specific OS, or the next WinPhone), that's fine, but imagine buying an ARM Windows 7 laptop and then finding out you can't run crap unless all your favorite devs go an re-compile.

6. Bonus entry: Lazy filmmaking

Sorry, this is totally unrelated to CES, but it is an amateur mistake: filmmakers need to stop making movies from graphic novels. Yes, they're both visual media -- it's as if some nerd already storyboarded the entire film for you! -- but that's where the similarities end. Just watch this trailer for the forthcoming Priest, based on the graphic novel. Seriously guys, this has got to stop.

Video at link.....


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Technical
KEYWORDS: apple; computer; microsoft; smartphone

1 posted on 02/02/2011 6:36:48 AM PST by Red Badger
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To: ShadowAce

PING..........


2 posted on 02/02/2011 6:38:30 AM PST by Red Badger (Whenever these vermin call you an 'idiot', you can be sure that you are doing something right.)
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To: Red Badger

Can we make true internet tv a reality rather than just loading up a tv with “apps”?

If a tv can connect to the net for netflicks and certain weather apps etc, why not to Free Republic, google, etc etc?


3 posted on 02/02/2011 6:52:30 AM PST by icwhatudo ("laws requiring compulsory abortion could be sustained under the constitution"-Obama official)
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To: Red Badger
3. Making phones bigger, and bigger, and bigger, until they attain the dimensions of a cheese board and threaten to take over your pants.

Does anyone make a small flip-phone anymore? I don't want to surf the web, I don't want to take pictures or videos, and I don't care about texting on a full-size keyboard. I just want to talk on the phone. The new phones are so big that they don't fit in my pocket.

4 posted on 02/02/2011 6:53:28 AM PST by thesharkboy (<-- looking for the silver lining)
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To: icwhatudo

There must be a App for that..............


5 posted on 02/02/2011 6:57:51 AM PST by Red Badger (Whenever these vermin call you an 'idiot', you can be sure that you are doing something right.)
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To: thesharkboy

Yes, they do, but the clerks in the stores push the big $$ phones. You have to ask..............


6 posted on 02/02/2011 6:58:58 AM PST by Red Badger (Whenever these vermin call you an 'idiot', you can be sure that you are doing something right.)
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To: icwhatudo
If a tv can connect to the net for netflicks and certain weather apps etc, why not to Free Republic,

I can get FR through my PS3.

7 posted on 02/02/2011 7:00:16 AM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: icwhatudo

That’s been happening since WebTV [aka MSNTV2] popped up in the 90s.

I just run an HDMI cable from one of my PCs and voila, “internet TV”.

The Samsung internet TV I bought a couple months ago does all the movie stuff plus YouTube.

A Seagate HomeTheater+ plays movies off a hard drive and also YouTube and some other stuff.

An ethernet cable goes in the Samsung so maybe they’ll add the feature later.

I’m not really worried about it, though.


8 posted on 02/02/2011 7:05:28 AM PST by Salamander (I can't sleep...the clowns will eat me.)
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To: thesharkboy

I have an LG Tracfone that does all I want it to do.


9 posted on 02/02/2011 7:06:19 AM PST by Past Your Eyes (I'd get it myself but I don't have any thumbs.)
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To: thesharkboy
If you are to incompetent to find a flip phone how did you ever log on here, did mommy do it for you?????/LOL, you ask for it..
10 posted on 02/02/2011 7:10:49 AM PST by org.whodat
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To: thesharkboy

Yes


11 posted on 02/02/2011 7:12:49 AM PST by svcw (God doesn't show up in our time, but He shows up on time)
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To: thesharkboy

I have a Samsung flip phone that I LOVE. It’s a dual hinge so I can flip it for talking or open it a different way with a QWERTY keyboard. I’m due for an upgrade but I don’t want to switch, I like this one that much!


12 posted on 02/02/2011 7:13:35 AM PST by SoftballMominVA
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To: thesharkboy

Sorry forgot the ink. :)
http://www.snapfon.com/?gclid=CLbCsInh6aYCFQxl7AodNSOK2Q


13 posted on 02/02/2011 7:15:26 AM PST by svcw (God doesn't show up in our time, but He shows up on time)
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To: thesharkboy
Does anyone make a small flip-phone anymore?

But when they do they cram features, so I can easily turn on the camera and launch an unwanted app.

I'm old school phone. Dial-talk-answer and get voice mail is all I need. Why text when talking is quicker.

14 posted on 02/02/2011 7:20:53 AM PST by AU72
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To: Red Badger

Actually, the worst consumer electronics that I can think of are the solar-powered flashlight and the DVD rewinder.


15 posted on 02/02/2011 7:28:30 AM PST by fruser1
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To: icwhatudo

Can I ask for help?

I want to watch Netflix on my large TV. I have a Mac Ibook, WiFi through an Airport from DSL.

What else do I need or how do I hook it up?

Thanks!


16 posted on 02/02/2011 7:33:04 AM PST by rickyc
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To: icwhatudo

Can I ask for help?

I want to watch Netflix on my large TV. I have a Mac Ibook, WiFi through an Airport from DSL.

What else do I need or how do I hook it up?

Thanks!


17 posted on 02/02/2011 7:35:23 AM PST by rickyc
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To: org.whodat
If you are to incompetent to find a flip phone how did you ever log on here, did mommy do it for you?????/LOL, you ask for it..

Am I logged in?

Finding a flip phone is not the problem. Finding an inexpensive, small, flip phone is difficult, and I was hoping that someone would have a suggestion.

18 posted on 02/02/2011 7:46:32 AM PST by thesharkboy (<-- looking for the silver lining)
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To: rickyc
I want to watch Netflix on my large TV. I have a Mac Ibook, WiFi through an Airport from DSL.

This might help:

EyeTV

19 posted on 02/02/2011 7:50:30 AM PST by doc11355
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To: rickyc

Buy a WII


20 posted on 02/02/2011 7:59:02 AM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. N.C. D.E. +12 .....( History is a process, not an event ))
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To: rickyc

Look to see what kind of auxullary inputs your TV has and then go to a Radio Shack and ask for help.


21 posted on 02/02/2011 8:08:40 AM PST by Dust in the Wind (U S Troops Rock)
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To: thesharkboy

Mine isn’t that small, but its covered in hard rubber, is waterproof (or resistant, anyway) and you can drive a truck over it without hurting it.

On the other hand, the gizmos I carry have overflowed by pockets and required me to get a messenger bag.

At least my pistol fits, too.


22 posted on 02/02/2011 8:10:09 AM PST by Little Ray (The Gods of the Copybook Heading, with terror and slaughter return!)
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To: thesharkboy

Tracfone, I carry one as a spare. T Mobile also..


23 posted on 02/02/2011 8:23:05 AM PST by org.whodat
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To: thesharkboy

Yay!!! Another person on the planet who thinks a phone is a ‘phone’!


24 posted on 02/02/2011 8:45:36 AM PST by Vor Lady
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To: thesharkboy

DAMN RIGHT !

3. Making phones bigger, and bigger, and bigger, until they attain the dimensions of a cheese board and threaten to take over your pants.

ALL I WANT is a phone that dials a number. I ain`t got time to surf the web,tweet and post on Facebook!

STRIP all the ssuperfluous junk out and they could make a cell phone I NEED, so small you could drop it in your pants pocket and it would feel like 5 credit cards stacked together


25 posted on 02/02/2011 8:50:20 AM PST by Para-Ord.45
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To: Red Badger
Meet the new Samsung Infuse 4G. Look at the size of it.

Reminds me of my first portable phone, mid to late 80s I think. It looked like a regular desk phone that had to be plugged into the car's cigarette lighter to use. There was a battery pack available for it but it was bigger and far heavier than the phone.

26 posted on 02/02/2011 9:26:36 AM PST by Graybeard58 (Don't tell Obama what comes after a trillion)
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To: Red Badger

As I read this article I was reminded of the “too little, too late” Elcaset. I was a hi-fi salesman at the time and, although I thought they were cool and impressive, even I knew they were not going to catch on.

They are semi-collectors items now though. ;)


27 posted on 02/02/2011 9:33:12 AM PST by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: thesharkboy

T-mobile just pushed an updated OS to my fender Mytouch yesterday. It hosed my just-out-of-warranty phone. I was in their store yesterday and thought I might want to check out a flip phone. I had a hard time finding them.

Truth be told, though, since my phone is my GPS, my iPod, a web-browser (slow, but works), Bible, Gaming station, and a few other things that have made it too important now to switch to a flip phone.

That said, I’m sure that if I had no choice I could learn to live with a flip phone, or no phone at all for that matter.


28 posted on 02/02/2011 9:39:10 AM PST by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: RobRoy
That said, I’m sure that if I had no choice I could learn to live with a flip phone, or no phone at all for that matter.

If I had my way I'd dump the phone and computer.

29 posted on 02/02/2011 9:50:04 AM PST by zeugma (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam)
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To: zeugma

>>If I had my way I’d dump the phone and computer.<<

I spent all of Monday evening wiping malware off my computer. It was antivirus .net. Note the space at the end of “antivirus”.

The only way I could run any program (even task manager) was to rename it Iexplorer.exe. And it took a while to figure that one out. What is interesting is that all the google hits I go on it were from this year. It must be new. Maybe that is why avast didn’t catch it.

Oh, and google was a challenge too. It had been hijacked. If I typed Freerepublic it would get lots of hits that were, in fact, at freerepublic.com, but when I clicked on teh hyperlink it took me somewhere else. Usually a celebrities or other site. Part of the hijack was that it changed my Firefox settings to use a proxy, but that was only part of it.

I think we just may see a huge increase in this type of stuff in 2011.


30 posted on 02/02/2011 10:00:56 AM PST by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: AU72

Yep...remember when you could actually talk to people on phones?


31 posted on 02/02/2011 10:51:50 AM PST by gman992
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To: gman992

So, did anyone check out the adult section of the CES?


32 posted on 02/02/2011 10:52:32 AM PST by gman992
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To: thesharkboy
I have a Samsung Net 10. Cost about $60. No contract - just buy a Net 10 card. I get 300 minutes and 60 days service for $30. If you use it a lot there are better deals - i.e. 600 minutes for $45.

The phone measures 3" x 1.5 x .5".

33 posted on 02/02/2011 11:10:29 AM PST by Churchillspirit (9/11/01...NEVER FORGET.)
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To: thesharkboy
I use a Motorola W755. It can do it all, and it's a regular looking phone.


34 posted on 02/02/2011 11:14:10 AM PST by Sir Gawain
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To: RobRoy
I spent all of Monday evening wiping malware off my computer. It was antivirus .net. Note the space at the end of “antivirus”.

If I still had to deal with antivirus and other assorted malware hell, I'd probably have committed Seppuku by now. Thank God for Unix!

35 posted on 02/02/2011 11:49:49 AM PST by zeugma (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam)
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To: zeugma

If only the software I used worked with lynux...


36 posted on 02/02/2011 11:52:06 AM PST by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: zeugma

Huh? Are you saying Unix doesn’t have viruses and malware?


37 posted on 02/03/2011 9:26:00 AM PST by for-q-clinton (If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
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To: for-q-clinton

Please show me a website whereby I might just go to the site and be affected on my Linux desktop. Please. The vast majority of what passes for ‘malware’ un the Unix world these days is errily reminiscent of the Honor Virus jokes of years past.


38 posted on 02/03/2011 11:24:26 AM PST by zeugma (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam)
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