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I haven’t got a clue (and neither has Sony)

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Sony announced yesterday that it was pulling out of the PDA marketplace by stopping making the Clie range. There has been much analysis already of this on all the usual suspect sites online.

The good news is that they are managing the process in such a way that existing customers won’t get shafted. They deserve a HUGE amount of kudos for this, I wouldn’t expect that kind of attitude from Palm, Dell or Apple.

Most of the Sony gear that I do like now like their MDR 7506 and 7509 headphones are professional gear that is hard to get hold of, I am saddened that the business isn’t everything that it could be.

Having in the past been involved with Palm and Sony as consultant and a customer I just wanted to share some observations and unanswered questions that had been brewing about their portable devices for a while:

– Why did the Clie range never support the Mac community? Their overly designed devices were ideally targeted at these non conformist computer users. Palm and Handspring supported them, whereas Sony made their product as Mac unfriendly as an iPaq

– Why has Sony bought into to PalmSource and Symbian?

– Why has it taken them so long to get their act together on iPod type devices and services when they were the first people to have a Palm PDA that could play MP3s

– Why is the new Vaio iPod wannabe so ugly and complicated looking?

– Why is there no joined up thinking going on using content to leverage platforms? Do you think that Microsoft would have sat on their hands for this long with the kind of diversity of resources that Sony Corp could knit together?

– Why did they expect people to buy a 600USD device? This is a known dead price point in tech marketing circles, almost the price of a no make laptop and well over double the price of many competitor devices

– Why were Clies so slow to adopt wireless?

– How long are they going to allow Playstation to carry the rest of the business?

– Will SonyEricsson phones benefit from the Clie product design team?

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Big Brother Live on Mobiles

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The UK version of the ‘reality’ TV show Big Brother is being streamed live on to mobile phones. The video is played using a downloadable Java application. The video is available for Symbian mobile phones with a GPRS connection. Endemol were looking to expand broadcasting OTT. It involved a massive amount of video compression too make it work.

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Blogging & Mesh

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No not some sort of record of a fetish of fishnet tights, but the two main subjects for this entry.

First off, a bit of history. The first film based on a weblog is in the pipeline. Many of you may have read in the news last year about Salam Pax, apparently someone blogging in Baghdad during the last gulf war. The blog despite doubts over its authenticity was turned into a book. Now the film rights of the book have been taken up. Coverage here from the BBC Online.

Friends and journalists who went to Network+InterOp the networking and communications show in Las Vegas have provided some mixed feedback.

– Vendors dwarved the amount of customers at the show. This is being touted as an indication that business customers are not there to buy. I am inclined to think that it is much more of a cultural shift in organisations, when your job could disappear abroad, how can you justify a week long company shopping trip in Las Vegas when you can get the information off the web or by reading journals? Shows have been more of the business culture in the US than in Europe, with the exception of a few events like drupa and CeBIT in Germany

– Lots of people where showing cool technology that will never see the light of day because computer users are in business and the home move at a slower basis than technology advances

– Mesh networks had a higher profile. Mesh is one of them buzzwords that many people have been kicking around for a good while. One way of looking at it is that it allows a number of wireless devices be they a laptop with a wireless card or an airport hub to act as one network. This would allow wireless hotspots to be grown and managed more easily in businesses or in the home. I expect more of a push around this in the next few years, though it would struggle to be used with present technology to distribute high quality video around the home.