During the interview with Walt Mossberg at D5, Steve Jobs apparently let slip (according to the transcript from Gizmodo and Engadget), that even though the Apple iPhone won't start out of the gate with support for third-party applications, Apple is open to it and is working on making that possible later this year. Both transcripts imply that Jobs was concerned about security issues, which is what presumably was holding up the process. The lack of third-party support was one of the biggest complaints about the iPhone when it was first announced earlier this year, so if Apple actually makes … Read more
I owe an apology to my lunch companions at D5. When conversation turned to the Palm Foleo, I said it was a terrible idea. Overpriced, underfeatured, and too close to the well-established laptop market.
That was before I got my hands on one. It took me only a few minutes to develop a desire to get one of these for myself. This is partly because I tried the product while my back was straining from the messenger bag carrying my Thinkpad. The Foleo is tiny and light, yet big enough to hold a full keyboard and a nice screen.
It … Read more
In a world filled with Google alternatives, this search tool is different even from them: it's powered by humans. Instead of a server farm that crawls through the entire known Web so it can automatically match Web pages to the queries you type, Mahalo's search results are created by humans, in anticipation of the queries its users will type in.
How can this possibly work? Because, Calacanis says, the top 10,000 search terms account for 24 percent of all searches. If you can create great results for the top results, users will learn to appreciate the difference between machine search results--which are often thrown off by spam and poor-quality links--and human-powered search pages, lovingly created by caring search editors. For the obscure "long tail" queries that make up the 76 percent of search terms, Mahalo will serve up Google results.
In the demo I got last night, in advance of Calacanis hitting the D5 stage today, he showed me a few results that were demonstrably better than what Google would return, both in content and presentation. Searching for "Paris Hotel," for example, gave a list of great links, clearly chosen by someone who knows the difference between a link farm and a real travel site. Also, the links are categorized in the way a human would set them up: by general price category. A search on "Corvette," had similarly good links, as well as RSS feeds from appropriate car fan blogs, a stats box showing information about the current Corvette model year, a list of links to cars that Corvette buyers might also be looking at, and other sections of relevant links and info.
So after all the months of teasing, Palm cofounder Jeff Hawkins finally unveiled the company's new mobile device at the D5 conference today: the Palm Foleo. A companion product for smart phones, the Linux-based Foleo looks like an ultraportable laptop and is designed to let you more easily view and edit e-mail and office documents, among other things. It synchronizes to your device via Bluetooth and features a 10-inch screen, full-size keyboard, and integrated Wi-Fi for those times when you need to see everything in full glory.
Hey, I can certainly understand the concept and thought behind the whole … Read more
At D5, Walt Mossberg interviewed Steve Jobs. A lot of interesting talk about the business, but at the end, Jobs dropped some real news on us:
"Wouldn't it be great if you could see YouTube in your living room?" he asked. In mid-June, Apple TV will get a new menu item: YouTube.
Interactivity (search, in particular), uses a TiVo-like letter grid, which is slower than a real keyboard (hey, maybe you'll be able to use your iPhone as a remote?), but when you need to locate the latest robot dances, it does the job.
Other video … Read more
Palm started to tease people last night with a cryptic press announcement saying that Palm founder Jeff Hawkins would be introducing a "new category of mobile device" at the D5 conference, to be followed by a live videocast.
I'm at the conference, watching Hawkins on stage. The new product is "Foleo," an Internet interface appliance. It's got a full-size keyboard, and a nice screen. It's for accessing e-mail and the Web, and it's slim, light, and very nice-looking. But it's missing something critical: network access. That's right, it's not … Read more
Steve Ballmer is being interviewed by Walt Mossberg on stage at D5. Dan Farber is blogging the talk over at ZDNet. Here are the Web 2.0 takeaways:
Ballmer is pushing the inter-relatedness of software and Web services. "We staked our ground... on that value proposition." Mossberg is asking Ballmer about Silverlight running on Linux and the Mac, given that theory. Ballmer says, "Some things will run better on Windows. People ought to be able to exploit the local richness if they want to."
Can you sell physical tokens to access Web sites? At the D5 conference, Qigo is launching its "keys" for Internet content. Qigo keys are nothing more than USB sticks with small executables that fire up Web content, and there's a unique identifier in each. So when you put a Qigo key in your PC or Mac, it launches a Web site, perhaps with exclusive or personalized content. When you remove the key, the site closes.
It's a marketing ploy, and it has some potential. Qigo keys can be made into collectible items, thanks to the addition … Read more
I'm at the D5 conference, the one put on by the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. It's a high-end schmoozefest, and like many executive conferences of its type, all attendees are presented with "goodie bags" filled with conference sponsors' promotional items when they check in.
I've seen overflowing goodie bags before, but nothing like this. In fact, the D5 bag is actually two bags, one of which is a very nice Timbuktu backpack. For my report, see the video.
I'll be reporting on the happenings here from the conference ballroom … Read more