This past week, one game seems to have risen and fallen faster than a bird without wings. The super-difficult Flappy Bird iOS and Android app recently made a name for itself – spreading like wildfire and then disappearing. Even more interesting was the game’s developer taking the game down for seemingly unusual reasons. Flappy Bird is gone, but for those of you that did get it, the game lives on. My own attempt at playing Flappy Bird yielded a score of 10. I wanted to take a closer look at this phenomenon to understand more.
Today, very few press outlets are reporting the story of the large Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail informing its subscribers that they would not publish a Labor Day edition. The lack of publishing is not as interesting as the big admission The Globe makes afterwards. Here is the text of the purported email:
The Globe and Mail has decided not to publish a newspaper on Labour Day, Monday, September 2, 2013, due to a lack of advertising revenue for this issue, which is needed to cover the costs of formatting, printing and delivery of the paper, and the number of vacation stops by subscribers.
It continues to explain more about The Globe’s paid online offering, but little else. No more details about this exist on The Globe’s website right now, nor at any other official sources. While reasonable to see The Globe not publish on a holiday, the stunning admission of low revenue seems like a major mistake on the part of the writer. Either that, or a plea for more online subscribers?
Recent news has the american computer magazine PCWorld ceasing its print operations and moving to digital distribution. I had to stop and let that sink in. Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a smart move for publisher IDG. In today’s publishing climate, I would expect digital magazine production to be much cheaper than print. Add the fact that the “PC” acronym is on the fast-track to a niche market and you have a sound business move. But, does this mean print magazines are dead? Not likely. Is PCWorld magazine dead? Not a chance.
This past week, Microsoft released a sweeping email and memo about its intention to “realign” to the new realities of the industry. This difficult-to-read corporate speak addresses Microsoft employees asking them to refocus efforts towards consumerization and an interesting “One Microsoft” idea. Much of it is just Microsoft patting itself on the back and a weird attempt to appear forward thinking and efficient that is anything but.
But, there were a few interesting things that piqued my interest in these messages.
In a bizarre move for any organization, let alone a “traditional” journalism outfit, the Chicago Sun Times today laid off the entirety of its 28-person photography staff. This news includes word that the Sun Times is training its reporting staff to take pictures with iPhone (or smartphone?) cameras. The newspaper’s statement reads like a confession:
The Chicago Sun-Times continues to evolve with our digitally savvy customers, and as a result, we have had to restructure the way we manage multimedia, including photography, across the network.
While this news is clearly taken as bad by anyone who rages over photographic quality (they do have a point), the business realities in news seem to be outweighing the ability for them to pay for quality. I would expect more bold moves by large newspapers in the coming months.
The year is drawing to a close and it’s a good time to reflect on the more important technology, hardware, software and news stories of 2012. It’s been something of a mixed bag, from financial news, to hardware releases, to a failing smartphone giant. We saw lots of new stuff, litigation and involvement from The Law. More than that though, one thing is sure to be quickly forgotten about 2012: The Mayans prognostication skills. Here, in no particular order, are the 1 most important technology news stories of 2012.
Widely expected to be an announcement of a new 7.85-inch iPad form factor – Apple today held an event with the tagline “We’ve got a little more to show you”. Join us here as we look at what’s new and what’s ahead for Apple’s new announcements. Starting at 1:00 PM Eastern time, the event is likely not to be live streamed. Keep it here for details for what’s announced and my thoughts on those announcements.
Sherri L. Smith, writing for Laptop Magazine created an article titled “Samsung Windows 8 PCs Will Have Start Menu After All” that has to be one of the most bizarrely misleading titles I’ve seen in a while. The article is based entirely on a piece of software by Samsung that will imitate “Windows’ familiar Start Menu” and yet the title says “Have Start Menu” not ‘Have a kind of Start Menu’ or ‘Have a mimicked Start Menu’, the title is talking about the actual Start Menu, but that’s false. There isn’t one in Windows 8.
It gets better though, Sherri goes on to relay from Zdnet that “the S Launcher wouldn’t make it into the final shipping product” and that it would be a download. So, then, now her title should be something like:
‘Windows 8 won’t have a Start Menu, but Samsung is making one that will imitate a Start Menu, but that probably only be downloadable until after you buy the computer – oh, it looks nice’
Seriously. What the hell?
“It gives them better journalism”
With that, Globe and Mail’s editor-in-chief John Stackhouse explains why adding a paywall to globeandmail.com will be better for all of us Canadians. With this move on October 22, The Globe becomes the first of Canada’s national newspapers to force a paywall on it’s readers. All indications are that few people consider this a positive move (of 99 comments on one paywall-related article, I found one positive and many deleted). A bold move?
You might have heard something about this recently. In Apple’s new iOS version 6, released in tandem with the iPhone 5, replaces the previously built-in Google mapping tool with Apple’s own tool. Many are angry with the missing details, poor mapping capabilities and, in some cases, incorrect directions.