May 8, 2010

Each week, The WIRE tracks my contributions to other publications and Web sites.

Switched On: A new spin on external hard drives, part one, 5/6
In my weekly Switched On column, I started a discussion of Seagate’s new GoFlex line of drives, connectors, docks and enclosures, including the PogoPlug-powered GoFlex Net and the GoFlex TV that succeeds Seagate’s FreeAgent Go Theater competitor to WDTV..Seagate has essentially converted its entire consumer branded line to GoFlex, which separates the drive from the connector by way of a more durable SATA connector Next week’s column will go into more details about GoFlex usage scenarios.

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April 30, 2010

Each week, The WIRE tracks my contributions to other publications and Web sites.

image CNet
No Flash flood in iPad Avoidance, 4/28
In my Volume Up blog, I shared one of the findings from NPD’s recent iPad perceptions and attitudes study (PDF), in which the lack of Adobe Flash was not a leading inhibitor  among those who said they were not interested in the iPhone. The day after, Steve Jobs published his Thoughts on Flash essay, reinforcing the reasons why Apple’s mobile products will continue to ban both Flash and Flash cross-compilers.

Switched On: Revamps in Motion, 4/27
In my weekly Switched On column, I discussed the approach RIM is taking toward evolving the BlackBerry OS, contrasting it to the overhauls that Microsoft and Palm opted for. Given the news this week that HP will be acquiring Palm, the handset company’s gamble was not sustainable given its resources, but was a valuable asset to HP. Given RIM’s position in the marketplace, an evolutionary approach that keeps it competitive without risking much may be a winning strategy.
Gadgets and Games 4/30
I was a guest on Clayton Morris’s Gadgets and Games, where we discussed many of the big stories of the week with fellow guests Andy Ihnatko and Seth Porges. These included the war of words between Adobe and Apple, HP’s acquisition of Palm, and the release of the Sony Dash, which we had on the program.

imageNPD Group Blog
Tunnels to the Television, 4/26
My first post at the NPD Group Blog this week was a response to my colleague Paul Gagnon’s post on the DisplaySearch blog regarding the future of Hulu and the television. In the post, I discussed the increase NPD has seen in networked content devices that stream music and video around a home network and across the Internet.

E-Reader Distribution Deals Kindle Sales Beyond a Nook, 4/28
This post discussed the implications of the broadening distribution of e-readers with the Nook landing at Best Buy and the Kindle landing at Target. My colleague Steve Baker had an insightful follow-up.

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April 21, 2010

There’s another new feature being debuted at Out of the Box that’s being dubbed The WIRE (It’s an acronym, but I’ll let you guess what it stands for.)  The idea is to track other writing I’ve done around the Web. I’m getting a bit of a late start on the first one, but will shoot for same week coverage moving forward. In case you missed them, here were the two columns I wrote last week:

Engadget:: Switched On: Kin dread spirit
image Following Microsoft’s criticism of Google competing with Android handset makers with the Nexus One, this Switched On column examined Microsoft’s decision to offer its own branded handsets, the Kin One and Kin Two, and how they compete with their OEMs more directly than Google did. Portable Scanners Blaze a Paper Trail
image Surprise, in the era of multifunction printers, there’s still a market for scanners, particularly portable ones  that focus on a particular purpose. My Tech on Deck column covers scanners from The Neat Company, Plustek, and Apparent’s Doxie, which recently started shipping after being launched at Macworld Expo.

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February 6, 2009

image Since 2005, I’ve written a year-end column called The Switchies in which I’ve highlighted some of the most significant, innovative, or best products of the year. The recognition is real. However, the criteria and even categories, in which there are never other nominees but sometimes runners-up, are completely arbitrary. Call it my “best of the year” if you will.

On occasion, representatives from companies that have had products mentioned in the column have sent me a note thanking me, understanding that the column is simply a bit of a tongue-in-cheek shout-out and not a formal award. I even created a hokey contrived expansion to fit the acronym Switchie — the Saluting Wares Improving Technology’s Contribution to Humanity awards. And this time, I even joked that the awards were hastily distributed behind the Engadget trailer at CES, evoking an image of a fence operation, and that the rise in gold prices had forced a cutback in statuettes. And, of course, as it says at the end of every Switched On column, views expressed in the column are my own (and by extension not those of Engadget’s editors).

But for 2008, the Switches hit prime time for some reason. One PR representative asked me (and Engadget apparently) whether there was a logo that her client could use for winning a Switchie. I explained the deal to her. And then another company put out a press release promoting that it had won a Switchie, awarded by “the experts at” and quoting “the judges” yet making no mention of me or the Switched On column. Engadget, in fact, does have its own awards, which are Reader’s Choice awards.

I notified the company that the Switchie is not a formal award and is certainly not awarded by Engadget’s editors but is simply a reflection of my opinion. However, the press release is still out there. As far as I’m concerned, it’s fine to promote that you’ve “won” a Switchie (or just noting that you were mentioned in the column would be even better), but it’s misleading to characterize it as an Engadget award. I suppose I’ll have to take stronger measures next year to avoid any confusion.

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July 23, 2008

image Just wanted to take a moment to wish my friend Ryan Block well on his future endeavors now that he will be leaving behind. Yes, it’s well-known that Ryan really gets a lot of posts written at Engadget these days because he’s Veronica Belmont‘s boyfriend, but some of us remember him from the days before he reached such heights of Stedman-like blogebrity.

Seriously, though, whether it was in the days where Peter and Ryan were the dynamic duo that dove Engadget’s early days or during his master stewardship of the site since becoming its editor-in-chief, it has been a pleasure working with Ryan throughout Switched On‘s run. I am looking forward to continuing to work with incoming editor-in-chief Joshua Topolsky, who has written some of my favorite Engadget posts.

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