Friday Grab Bag: 3D tablet, Dodgers ruled social media in 2013

It just would not feel like a week has gone by unless there was another iPhone or iPad rumor, and it looks like we will meet that goal once again. While we have already mentioned the possibility of a hybrid iPad this week now comes the possibility of a iPhone phablet.

According to Yahoo there may be one as soon as May, in a line that will be differentiated from the iPhone family. That family should get its next member, now called the iPhone 6, sometime later in the year, it reported.

Google Glass rival coming into focus
Once Google made huge headlines with its Google Glass concept rivals have been shooting at the company touting alternative offerings, and among that pack has been Taiwanese manufacturer ChipSiP that this week showed a prototype effort called Smart Glass.

The Smart Glass looks much like Google Glass, runs a full Android 4.2 operating system and features a 1.2Ghz dual core processor with 1GB of RAM as well as 4GB of storage. ChipSiP, which is an original device manufacture (ODM), expects one or more of its partners to start shipping glasses this year priced in the sub $1,000 range.

Hampoo tp deliver 3D tablet
The latest version a glasses-free 3D tablet has been shown this week by developer Hampoo that said it will release the unmanned tablet later this month to an as yet unnamed price. The display has a 1920 x 1200 resolution and a built-in software conversion engine can render 2D into 3D images without glasses.

Other features include the Android 4.0 operating system, a 1.5GHz TI OMAP4470 dual core processor with 1GB RAM, 16GB storage that can be doubled via an optional MicroSD card and the ability to run 1080p HD movies.

MLB a money making machine
Have you ever wondered how baseball always manages to give players multimillion dollar contracts that are guaranteed while the NFL, always seeming crying poor, usually only guarantees the first year or so?

Well Forbes does a real nice job breaking down how much money baseball actually rakes in, and how it spreads a good deal of it around so that while it is not an entirely level playing field, it is as close as it will likely ever come.

Dodgers ruled sports social media
While the Los Angeles Dodgers may have failed to reach the World Series last year with the team’s $200 million payroll it did reach several other milestones including having the team’s home park, Chavez Ravine, as the most “checked-in” sports venue.

In led the league in 2013 in growth on Tumblr, Facebook and Instagram, according to MLB, and was the fourth most checked-in site overall in the world. And as a minor thing it lead MLB in attendance with 3,743,527 fans.

An interesting year in review of ESPN
Ever wonder why some stories that seem relatively inane or trivial gain so much momentum on ESPN? Or wonder what is actually going on at the World Wide Sports Leader? Well Deadspin has put together a pretty interesting year in review for the network.

One of the more interesting pieces is how by having all of its different talking heads repeat something on all of its different channels it can blow something way out of proportion, and the example of that was its big Colin Kaepernick story.

Mobile Sports Report TechWatch: Are Your Apps Tracking You?

In a move that is very likely to lead to even more patent conflict Apple has patented a mobile scroll bar, a patent that appears to cover portable devices with touchscreen displays and have a disappearing vertical scroll bar.

If that sounds familiar it is because it, or something very much like it, is widely used in the Android market. According to the Verge, Android has been using features such as this since version 2.1, so prepare for the worst.

Texting passes calling in popularity in UK

Text messaging has surpassed phone calls as the most popular method of communications in the United Kingdom, according to a report from Ofcom, an independent regulator of UK communications industries, which said that it found that 2/5 of all adults in the UK had a smartphone.

The trend is driven by younger users with 96% of people aged 16-24 using text messaging daily and only 67% in that age group using a phone for calling someone. Overall the use of phones for calls fell 1% from the previous year.

Nokia’s smartphone sales slump
Nokia reported another poor quarter as it smartphones continued to lose ground to rivals such as Samsung and Apple. The company reported that its net loss nearly quadrupled in the second quarter reached $1.72 billion compared to $450 million in the same period last year. However there were some bring points, its low end phone sales were strong and its Windows phone, the Lumia series, did not perform as poorly as had been anticipated.

Study finds 98% of Americans distrust Internet

A survey conducted by Harris Interactive found that an amazing 98% of Americans distrust the Internet and almost that many believe that bad things can happen if you act on information found there. Top reasons included outdated information and self promotional information. The real question is why is it so low?

Microsoft provides ship date for Windows 8
Microsoft has said that its next generation operating system, Windows 8, will ship on Oct. 26, 2012. So gentlemen start your engines since I expect a huge number of tablets using the OS to be announced on the same stage as the OS as a number of OEMs fight to be the next hot holiday property.

Windows phone slowly gaining ground
A recent report from market research firm Strategic Analytics, as reported in Cnet, shows that Windows phones moved from 3% of the U.S. smartphone market in 2011 to 4% in 2012. The report estimates that unit sales grew from 3.5 million to 5 million over that time period.

HTC countersues Apple
HTC has gone on the offensive against Apple by suing claiming that Apple infringes on two of its patents. The patents in question were purchased from Hewlett-Packard. Apple is suing HTC for patent issues as well.

Study finds Olympics helping electronic sales

A survey by found that 16% of consumers plan on buying consumer electronics devices to watch the Summer Olympics, an increase from the 13% it found with a similar survey four years ago prior to the Beijing Olympics.

19% of iPhone apps access Address Book
A study by security firm Bitdefender has found that 19% of iOS apps that it studied accessed a user’s address book, sometimes with permission and sometimes without permission, according to a piece in Forbes.

The study looked at 65,000 apps and found that not only did they look at the information but also uploaded it. A whopping 41% used the location based services features to track the users position, also without the users consent in most cases.

Microsoft posts first loss
After an enviable 26 year run as a profitable company Microsoft has posted its first loss in its most recently completed quarter. While the company reported that its revenue increased 4% year to year, reaching $18.06 billion it reported a loss for the quarter of $492 million compared to $5.9 billion for the same period a year ago.

The driving force behind the loss was a massive $6.19 billion write-down on its 2007 purchase of aQuantive. The company appears optimistic about its outlook for the rest of the year which will see at least two major launches, Windows 8 and Office 15.

Samsung Galaxy S3 sales soar
Samsung’s latest smartphone, the Galaxy S3 has already hit 10 million in unit sales, and accomplished the feat in under two months, company executives said. As reported in Yonhap News, the company is selling 190,000 phones every day. The S3’s predecessor the S2 took five months to reach that sales figure.

Monday’s Tech Tidbits — My Battery is Dead Issue

Ubuntu seeks to storm into Tablet, Smartphone and TV market
Ubuntu Linux is the latest operating system that seeks to establish itself in the growing mobile and smart video market spaces. ZDNet is reporting that the Canonical, the parent company behind the Linux development will announce the move at its Ubuntu Developer Summit in Orlando. First the company plans to bring out a stable version of its Ubuntu 12.04 distribution and then focus on the new segments. However do not hold your breath as it is not expected for at least 3 years.

Forbes publishes a Top 10 list for Tablets-sort of
Forbes has published a Top 10 list for Tablets, combining 7-inch, 9-inch and 10-inch models. Without any commentary as to why the products made the list, any pros and cons or additional points the list is only really helpful if you want the bare bones information on each model.

Have that drained feeling? iPhone 4S users feel your pain
The iPhone 4S seems to have a battery issue that is causing users fits as it starts draining rapidly even when idle. PC World has a list of suggestions to help you make it through the day on a single charge, for your phone that is. Some sites are claiming that the phone just checks the time too much — what it never heard of Popcorn?

Apple buys another mapping firm

According to 9to5Mac Apple has acquired C3 Technologies, a 3D mapping application developer. According to the site this is the third map developer Apple has added to its portfolio since 2008, the other two being Placebase and Poly9, also a 3D mapping company Apparently Apple purchased C3 several months ago and the deal is now coming to light and it is reported that most of the development team and management is intact and still working as a team in Sweden.

Microsoft provides a patent lawsuit primer
I sue you, you sue him he sues me. That seems to be the standard business operation threes days but Microsoft says so what? One of the company’s attorneys’ said that lawsuits for disruptive technology are a time honored tradition and that it intends to enforce its position. An interesting Q&A on the issue in the San Francisco Chronicle.

eWeek embraces digital-what took it so long?
eWeek, and sister publications Baseline and CIO Insight will no longer have print versions starting January 2012. Instead they will be available for Windows Phone 7, Android and iOS phones and tablets. The company said that it will offer the publications in “full suite of optimized suites and native apps.”

Why Do Some People Still Question Twitter?

I still encounter people that say that Twitter is a fad, and will soon pass. I imagine that some day it will be relegated to the technology trash bin as so many technologies have, but I doubt that is in its near future.

Last Saturday while watching a football game at the local pub the person next to me proclaimed that only narcissist movie stars and athletes used it. Aside from being amazed that he knew what narcissist meant, I was a bit surprised since it has become so prevalent. But his opinion is one that I still hear, although less and less, but even MIT linguist Noam Chomsky recently blasted social media as “superficial, shallow evanescent”

This doubting just goes in the face of the rising tide that is Twitter. Just this week the New York Times ran a piece on how the Republican Party has embraced Twitter as a tool for the next presidential election after dismissing it as unimportant in 2008 at a time when the Democrats had adopted the technology.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said a week ago that it is now seeing 250 million tweets a day, up from 100 million at the start of the year. During an interview at Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco he also said that the company now has 100 million users, with half logging in every day.

CNBC has a brief article, or rather a dreaded slide show, called the world’s 10 most tweeted moments. The article does not state where the info comes from or why it said that when the news of Steve Jobs death broke it averaged 6,000 tweets a second but that did not make the top ten, and then goes and lists others with less tweets per second in the top 10 list.

Still the list provides a good look at what people find the most interesting/important news and events to tweet, with natural disasters and sports being the clear cut leaders. While an outsider might think that most tweeting is done by athletes, politicians and movie stars the huge numbers that are generated, and their global aspect, show how ubiquitous this technology is becoming, and according to the article there are roughly 5 billion tweets a month already.

The list starts with Osama Bin Laden’s death at #10 with 5,106 tweets per second and then in descending order includes the East Coast Earthquake, last game of the 2011 NBA finals, Japanese earthquake and tsunami, Champion League Final between Barcelona and Manchester United, 2011 BET Awards, New Years Day in Japan 2011, Brazil eliminated from Copa America, and the FIFA Women’s Cup.

The top tweeting event, I have to admit, caught me by surprise. It was Beyonce revealing her baby bump at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards on August 28, 2011, with 8,868 tweets per second. Of course considering that she has roughly 2 million followers on Twitter that should probably be no surprise.

Still sports is hugely represented, and Twitter clearly understands its importance to sports and vice versus. It has published a guide on how to use the technology and pointed out best practices from teams that have already embraced the technology. A look at what the company can be read in a nice piece written in MSR by John Evan Frook.

When you look at the numbers from the CNBC piece the first few are fairly close and then it starts to spike upward, with the numbers growing at a fairly rapid pace. The growth has no real time line as some of the higher tweeting events are early in the year

I think that it is a fairly safe prediction that within a year, most if not all of these numbers will be crushed by newer events such as the Superbowl, the BCS Championship game, election news and the natural disaster of the day. The list shows that the technology has a broad, deep and growing appeal with strong hooks in both world events and sports, both local and world. Anybody or organization ignoring this risks marginalizing themselves to important segments of the public.