Microsoft buys CNN’s Magic Wall maker — from by Erin Kim


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Microsoft is adding a magic touch. Microsoft said Monday that it has agreed to buy Perceptive Pixel Inc., which makes large, multi-touch displays, including CNN’s “Magic Wall.”

CNN's John King used the Magic Wall for his coverage of the Michigan and Arizona primaries this year.

CNN’s John King used the Magic Wall for his coverage of the Michigan and Arizona primaries this year.


Why Did Microsoft Buy Giant-Touchscreen-Maker Perceptive Pixel?— from by Brian Proffitt


From DSC:
I could easily see a “video wall” in the Smart Classrooms of the near future, integrating this technology and more. Intel’s incorporated/captured such a vision as well in this piece here.

I would like to see such a mechanism be able to obtain files from students, check them for any viruses/malware, and then distribute the files to other students (if they choose to receive the files).




[Report] Developer Economics 2012 – The new app economy – from


Here’s just a sample of the key insights and graphs from the report – download the full report for more!

The new pyramid of handset maker competition.
In the new pyramid of handset maker competition, Apple leads innovators, Samsung leads fast-followers, ZTE leads assemblers and Nokia leads the feature phone market. Apple has seized almost three quarters of industry profits by delivering unique product experiences and tightly integrating hardware, software, services and design. Samsung ranks second to Apple in total industry profits. As a fast follower, its recipe for success is to reach market first with each new Android release. It produces its own chipsets and screens – the two most expensive components in the hardware stack – ensuring both profits and first-to-market component availability.

Tablets are now a mainstream screen for developers.
Developers are rapidly responding to the rising popularity of tablets: our Developer Economics 2012 survey found that, irrespective of platform, more than 50% of developers are now targeting tablets, with iOS developers most likely (74%) to do so. This is a massive increase over last year, when just a third of developers (34.5%) reported targeting tablets. On the other end of the spectrum are TVs and game consoles, with fewer than 10% of developers targeting those screens.

Survival of the fittest has played out within 12 months.
Whereas 2011 was the era of developer experimentation, 2012 is shaping up as the era of ecosystem consolidation around iOS and Android. Developer Mindshare is at an all-time-high 76% for Android and 66% for iOS. Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” model explains how BlackBerry, BREW, and Bada (Samsung) have lost Mindshare by failing to compete in terms of user reach, which is by far and consistently the top platform selection criterion for developers. In 2012, developers used on average 2.7 platforms in parallel, vs 3.2 in 2011, a clear sign of consolidation. The trend is further evidenced by declining IntentShare scores for most platforms – apart from mobile web and Windows Phone.

Some items re: Microsoft’s 6/18/12 announcement concerning Microsoft Surface:


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YouTube Video of  Marc Whitten, VP Xbox LIVE


SmartGlass -- from Microsoft -- June 4, 2012


Microsoft Unveils ‘SmartGlass’ to Connect Xbox and Windows — from the Wall Street Journal


Xbox Marc Whitten, corporate vice president of Xbox LIVE, announces
Xbox SmartGlass onstage at the Xbox 360 E3 media briefing Monday.


Also see:

Addendum 6/6/12:

Two browser-related items

Google Chrome overtakes Internet Explorer as the Web’s most used browser — from by Jon Russell


Google Chrome has been long expected to leapfrog Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) to take its position as the Web’s most used browser and, according to data from Statcounter, the momentous change of leadership happened last week. The firm’s latest figures — spotted by Global Nerdy blogger Joey deVilla – show that Chrome’s line of usage creeped to overtake IE’s for the first week ever, with Firefox, Safari and Opera completing the top five respectively.

Browser choice: A thing of the past? — from by Stephen Shankland
Devices using iOS and the future Windows RT hobble third-party browsers. Despite some good reasons for doing so, the change could undermine browser competition.

Five browser logos
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Screen resolution & browser trends [infographic] — from by Oliur Rahman


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The Google Drive review you’ve been waiting for — from by Jon Mitchell


Google Drive, the long-awaited file storage and syncing service, launch[ed yesterday]. If you follow tech news closely, you’ve seen bits and pieces of the news leaking out over the past two weeks. We’ve tested it and we’ve talked to the team leaders. Forget all the speculation. Here’s what Google Drive actually is.

Full-sized screenshots of the Google Drive iPad app — from by Jon Mitchell


Google Drive launched [yesterday], but the iOS version of the app was unexpectedly not ready. Google says it’s almost there, but it won’t launch for “a few weeks.” But Google provided ReadWriteWeb with a bunch of full-size screenshots of the app, so we could know what to expect.

Google’s Drive adds to a complicated cloud — from by Tom Simonite


A new cloud-storage service from the search giant steps on the toes of startups like Dropbox and opens a new front against Apple and Microsoft.

Addendum on 4/26:

  • Is Google’s onerous TOS designed to steal your stuff?– from by John C. Dvorak
    People are far too concerned about Google’s potential for abuse. (From DSC: I disagree; there is room for concern when you hold that much power/data in your hands. Think of political campaigns as but one example. What if someone — or some government or some terrorist organization or drug cartel — pays off some Google employee to nab Person ABC’s mailbox, documents, data? Call me skeptical…but I think anything’s possible these days given the moral fabric of our world.)
  • Google Drive terms of service: ‘A toxic brew’ — from by Rafe Needleman
    Google isn’t about to make your private files public, but that doesn’t excuse its sloppy terms of service. Google has inadvertently stoked privacy concerns about files uploaded to its newly released Google Drive by issuing poorly written rules that are more apt to confuse than to clarify.
  • Hands on with Google Drive — from by Mark Hachman
    While Google has positioned its new Google Drive cloud-storage service as one that straddles the consumer and business space, those using it for collaboration will probably get the most out of it.

Also see:

Addendum on 4/27/12:

Computers in the living room: Xbox has never been a game system — from by Tim Carmody

Also see:


TV is changing. The idea of what  “TV” is,  is changing. As technology marches onwards it will continue to change consumer behavioral patterns. It will continue to change the nature of the living room. To think otherwise is to be left behind.

Microsoft Kinect in education

“Capturing students’ interest and making concepts come alive is an educator’s greatest challenge. Engagement is the key to unlocking the magic that lies within each student. With Kinect™ for Xbox 360® from Microsoft, educators are enhancing traditional lesson plans, physical education, school communications and after-school programs with extraordinary immersive, body-moving experiences that help students get engaged and stay on task.”

Microsoft Kinect in education

See also:

2012 tech predictions: From IDG’s editors worldwide– from InfoWorld by David Bromley
Consumerization of IT is the consensus choice of the new year’s major technology force, one that will manifest itself in several forms

Several other commonly-mentioned items were:

  • Mobility
  • Patent disputes
  • Apple & Steve Jobs
  • BYOD (bring your own device to work) movement

Also see:

Sesame Street pioneers interactive TV — from


Sesame Street hit TV screens more than 40 years ago and now the children’s television program is leading the way in interactive programming. The next generation of Sesame Street watchers will be able to interact with the characters and educational games when viewed on Xbox Kinect. A whole new season of Sesame Street is being created specifically for Xbox Kinect, pioneering a new form of programming called ‘Playful Learning’.

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From DSC:
What if educationally-related apps and services were driven by such a platform as If you want to leapfrog everyone else, then explore this direction.



From DSC:
Below are some items concerning the continued convergence of the telephone, the television, and the computer — it involves the smart/connected TV as well as human-computer-interaction (HCI)-related items.  But this time, I’m focusing on a recent announcement from Microsoft. 

However, I have to disagree that, given this announcement, Microsoft will now rule the living room — or at least I surely hope not. Why do I say this? For several reasons.

1)  How long has Microsoft Office been around? Years and years, right?  If you think that Microsoft should control your living room, I ask you to show me how I can quickly and easily insert some audio-based feedback with one easy click of a record button within Microsoft Word.  Go ahead and check…such a quick and easy method is not there….still…and it’s almost 2012.  (BTW, here are some resources on this if you’re interested in seeing how this could be done, but you will quickly notice that this is not a streamlined process — and it should have been so years ago.)

2)  Performance/not doing what it’s supposed to do.  My Dell PC running Windows 7 still can’t even shut itself down half the time.  It just sits there with wheels-a-spinnin’ at some point…but not powering down.  I’m not sure why this is the case, but I never have had trouble with this simple task on my Macs.

3)  Regarding troubleshooting Microsoft’s solutions, an entire support industry has been built on supporting Microsoft’s software — go to a local bookstore and see how to get MS certified on some particular package/application/service — none of the books are thin.

4)  Security has never been Microsoft’s strong point.

Bottom line:
I think you get my point.
Microsoft has a loooooonnnnngggg way to go in my mind before I want their products and services controlling my living room.

With that said, I do congratulate Microsoft on being more innovative and forward thinking with the Xbox announcements mentioned below. I just hope that items such as usability, user experience, security, and streamlined interfaces  are high on the list of their priorities/deliverables.

I do use PCs with Windows a significant amount of the time and they do a nice job with many items.  But if I were to assign grades to Microsoft, usability, performance, and security are not items that I would give A’s to Microsoft on.


Microsoft XBox

Upgrade: The Xbox 360 Slim game console.


Skype announces Facebook-to-Facebook calling — from by Beth Carter

HTML5 program promises to be game changer — from by Diane Mermigas

Also see:

  • Elevation Partners Director and Co-Founder Roger McNamee [Video-based presentation]
    Chapters (full program: 52 min 22 sec)
    01. Introduction
    02. Demise of Microsoft means opportunity
    03. Google in a tough spot
    04. Creativity rules in HTML5
    05.  Apple domination in tablets
    06.  Access from any screen
    07.  The social wave is over
    08.  TV the last protected media
    09.  Economic context and seed investing
    10.  Why Apple supports HTML5
    11.  Privacy regulation
    12.  HTML5 implications for content protection
    13.  Investment in Forbes
    14. Ringback tones
    15. Money in the music industry
    16. Subscription television


  • #1: “Next” web architecture = Hypernet + Hyperweb
  • #2: The decline & fall of Windows unlocks revenue
  • #3: Index search is peaking
  • #4: Apple’s model threatens web
  • #5: HTML5 is game changer for publishers
    HTML5 is not just a programming language; enables new models of web experience
    – Developers will embed audio and video directly in web pages, replacing Adobe’s Flash plug-in; enables much greater differentiation in sites, advertising, etc.
    – Content publishers will redesign their sites to reduce power of Google, ad networks
    HTML5 will be disruptive in ways we cannot imagine today: pendulum swinging to favor content creators and publishers. Imagine Amazon or eBay storefront as an ad.
    – Everything can be an app . . . every piece of content . . . every tweet . . . every ad
    – Ads: create demand and fulfill it at the same time . . . without leaving publisher’s page
    – Other tech (e.g., Wordnik) enables publishers to protect and monetize text onsite and off
  • #6: Tablets are hugely disruptive
  • #7: First wave of “social web” is over
  • #8: Smartphones in US: Apple + 7 Dwarfs
  • #9: Wireless infrastructure is a competitive threat to US
  • #10: Integration of TV & Internet could be disruptive


From DSC:

  • A recommendation that caught my eye:
    Focus 100% on companies that are cloud + multiscreen; HTML 5 as proxy.


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