Friday Grab Bag: Intel Launches Major Ultrabook Campaign

Intel is launching its biggest marketing campaign in over a decade with what it calls a multi-faceted global push for the “New Era of Computing”. The company will be on the television, in the print media and using a variety of social media driven efforts to get and hopefully hold consumer and corporate attention to these ultra-slim notebooks.

This is not surprising first after CEO Paul Otellini’s keynote at CES earlier this year had so much emphasis on the notebooks. Second, and this is something that seems to have to some degree gotten by (at least me) under the radar. There are already 26 models available for purchase worldwide including offerings from Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba and Dell with additional 10 models from Acer, Fujitsu, Gigabyte and Lenovo having been announced.

Next week is the start of corporate earning reports and I will be very interested to hear what Intel executives say about the sales of notebook computers as well as how its effort to establish itself in the tablet space are going.

Recently Apple talked about the death of the PC but really what are you going to use to write the apps for the iPhones and iPads? I kid, I think that the desktop PC may become a dinosaur but notebooks will have a strong demand from a large segment of the corporate and consumer market.

Is Tiger Woods the true #1?

Or at least so says Rory McIlroy, currently the #2 ranked golfer in the rankings. He said that if Woods is on his game he is the best golfer in the world, adding that you cannot judge a player on how they have performed in the last few weeks. If we go by that it really does not look too good for Tiger, but then this is a nice change from the usual trash talk that happens in sports. This weekend could also change his opinion.

iPhone to reach regional carriers later this month?

Apple Insider is reporting that five regional U.S. carriers are going to announce that they will begin selling Apple’s popular iPhone on April 20. The carriers are Alaskan Communications, Appalachian Wireless, GCI, Cellcom and nTelos.

The report also states that the carriers will for $50 less than the so-far subsidized price at other carriers, with phones starting at $150 for the 16GB model, $250 for 32GB, and $350 for 64GB. The older iPhone 4 will be available in an 8GB version for $50.

Samsung and Apple hurting HTC sales?
Smartphone developer HTC has reported a 70% drop in profits while revenue dropped 35% from the same quarter in the previous year. The company has recently expanded its offerings with four additional smartphones, all running the Android operating system.

At the same time Samsung has reported record quarterly profits of $5.15 billion, with very strong results pulled in by both its smartphone business and its Galaxy Note hybrid tablet/smartphone products.

Is Google really losing billions on Android?
A piece at argues that the company is and that it is because of a number of reasons, however I found it rather unconvincing. With 300 million Android phones out on the market and 15 million tablets the company has a huge installed base and seems poised for huge additional growth.

NBA to sell ads on jerseys?
Over at HoopsHype the bet is that the NBA will very soon have ads on players game jerseys. It makes a persuasive argument about how, among otrher things. MLB is a business and it just does not make sense to leave money on the table.

Baseball has twice, to my knowledge, played a series with ads on its uniforms. Both were in Japan and so not seen by most American fans. It seems inevitable that ads do come to that space and as the article points out, the Dallas Mavericks came out with ads on their uniforms in 2009.

I think it will be interesting to see what types of rules the league, and others when they follow, will set for who is acceptable and who is not. Can Hooters advertise? Alcohol? I am pretty sure tobacco companies need not apply.

Joe Posnanski departs SI
While a bit late on this but for fans of Joe Posnanski, his work at this weekend’s Masters Tournament will be his last for Sports Illustrated as he is leaving to join the growing USA Today/MLB Advanced Media joint venture.

If you are not familiar with him, you should give him a try. I feel that he is one of the best sports writers around, offering solid information backed by facts, all with a good dash of humor. He was at SI for roughly three years and he will be hard to replace.

How Should Sports Sites Make Money? A Great Post and a Great Line

Since Mobile Sports Report ran a story and picture of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition this week (after all, it is a big story that the issue is available online), the whole discussion about how to drive traffic to sports sites and how online news sites make money off advertising got moved to a new level with this post from Outkick the Coverage. Read it if you are in the sports marketing biz. I think the ideas contained are radical, but deserve consideration.

I was pointed toward the article from another post over at The Big Lead that was talking about how the Boston Courant makes money because it doesn’t have a website. FYI, a guy named Dave Price, who I don’t know personally but went to school at Colorado the same time I did, does the same thing at a local daily near here in Palo Alto — no online stories to protect print ads.

You can debate if that is a realistic long-term strategy, but — I loved the line at the end of the Big Lead post by Ty Duffy, so I’ll quote it below:

This story highlights a basic fact: no one has figured out how to monetize the Internet effectively. For typed words to stand alone, media must cross two fundamental barriers. First, we need a better metric to sell to advertisers than straight pageviews, before we all burn out and/or introduce Softcore Saturdays. Second, traditional media must find some way to make a non-invasive paid subscription model work.

“Softcore Saturdays,” I love it. Of course I should also mention that on the same page as Duffy’s post there is a link to the poll. So maybe softcore Saturday is already almost here.

Friday Grab Bag: Digitized Swimsuit Issue-Where do I sign up?

Ford to show at Mobile World Congress

At the Mobile World Congress there will no doubt be an array of interesting products and technologies introduced, and there will be at list one show first- Ford plans to launch a car at the show. The B-MAX to be exact.

Ford has one of the keynote speeches at the show and it has been revealed that it will take the wraps off of the car that has what it calls Easy Access Door System, but it claims that as yet unrevealed technology in the car is what it will be touting at the show.

ESPN to increase soccer coverage?
After ESPN lost in its bid to broadcast the upcoming 2018 and 2022 World Cups it seemed that all of the progress the network had made in its coverage of soccer would all go down the drain. However the Big Lead reports that in an interview with the World Wide Leader major changes are in the works to improve its coverage.

It reported that after this summer’s European Championships there will be a major effort to massively overhaul ESPN’s presence online. It currently has two separate sites that cover the sport so simply consolidating them would be a positive step forwards.

BlackBerry takes a hit as Government agency moves to rivals
Research in Motion, reeling from a bad year just got more unpleasant news as the U.S. Government’s General Service Administration, its primary procurement agency, has started issuing smartphones that run both the Android and Apple iOS operating systems.

Until recently RIM’s BlackBerry had been the only option available from the GSA. However it is not all dire news as the BlackBerry is still the most widely used device among the RSA’s 17,000 employees and currently the rivals’ only account for approximately 5% in a trial program that is just now starting. However once the camel’s nose is in the tent watch out for the rest of the beast.

Apple seeking blood from a stone?
Apple has asked a bankruptcy court for permission to sue Kodak for infringement. That is just the tip of the iceberg according to Cnet, which reports that Apple is also seeking to file a patent infringement claim with the International Trade Commission and plans to file a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Manhattan.

Apple is already a two time loser in regards to taking Kodak in front of the ITC, which has ruled that Kodak did not infringe on Apple’s patents. Kodak has returned fire and last month filed a suit against Apple saying it violated some of Kodak’s patents.

Apple wins round in Germany vs Motorola
Apple has won a major round in its ongoing patent disputes with Motorola Mobility when the Munich I Regional Court ruled in favor in regards to patent # EP1964022. Not familiar with that one, are you? Well it has to do with unlocking a device using a gesture on an unlock image.

Apple will now have the opportunity to defend the side and lock patent as Motorola has already appealed the decision. The court looked at three different implementations of the technology and Apple won on two, losing on the third, which is used by Xoom tablets.

Apple is also asserting the same patent against Samsung sop expect to hear more about this issue going forward.

Looking for a more digital Sports Illustrated? It is here.
One of the coming of age items for high school students was squirreling away the annual Sports Illustrated Swim Suit issue before the parental units could confiscate it. Well now you can view it, and all of the magazines content, in a growing array of digital formats.

The latest is available for iPads, with horizontal and vertical views available as well as for the iPhone for the Apple fans and then it’s also available for Android smartphone and tablet users. All for the low, low price of $6.99.

However there is also a range of video options as well including much that is exclusive to the tablet market. Then a user could simply also head over to for additional video, as well as YouTube and Facebook.

Google fixes Wallet Security Hole
Your digital pocket can no longer be picked, according to Google, which has issued a fix for the security flaw that was reported in its Google Wallet. While there are still threats to the security, the simply method that required almost no hacking skill has been resolved.

Along with putting in a fix for the security gap Google has made some additional enhancements to the Wallet, head over to Pocketnow for a run down.

Camping stove boils water and charges smartphones
Looking forward to the backpacking season but worried that your smartphone’s battery will not handle three days in the great outdoors? Well BioLite has just the tool for you, a stove that burns wood for cooking and can also generate electricity.

The CampStove does both by using the thermal energy created when a fire is kindled in it to run a thermoelectric module that is built into the side of the stove. The module runs a fan that blows air onto the fire to improve combustion but also has excess energy available.

That energy can be used to charge small electronics devices such as a mobile phone, a GPS or lights. Of course if you backpack with back to nature types the stove might not help you stave off attack from your friends for using your phone.