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Tech Talk

By Brian | July 16, 2009 | Share on Facebook

A few interesting stories today from the world of technology…

1) Apple Blocks Palm Pre’s iTunes Compatibility

One of the features the Palm Pre boasted upon launch was the ability to synch with Apple’s popular iTunes software, so that songs purchased at iTunes would appear and play automatically on the Pre. Yesterday, Apple release iTunes, version 8.2.1 which addressed “an issue with verification of Apple devices.” In other words, they modified their software to prevent it from synching with the Palm Pre.

This is both disheartening and ineffective. Disheartening because Apple has long been after firms like Microsoft to publish open, standards-based specs in order to allow all software, devices, etc. to make use of all technology infrastructure. Seems we don’t “think different” so much when the monopoly shoe is on the other foot, huh? Furthermore, it’s ineffective because Palm Pre users can simply choose not to upgrade iTunes, and continue to enjoy automatic music synching. That is, until Apple adds a feature to iTunes that they really want. Oh, and by the way – according to the above-linked article, Palm sold about 55,000 Pre’s during it’s launch weekend, compared with Apple’s one million units sold when the iPhone 3GS debuted.

2) Twitter’s Google apps Hacked

It seems someone correctly guessed the answer to a Twitter employee’s password security question, then changed the employee’s password, then logged into his/her account, giving the hacker access to the entire suite of Google apps – documents, spreadsheets, calendar entries, e-mail, etc.. Twitter’s co-founder and creative director, Biz Stone, was quick to point out that this was not a security flaw in Google’s applications, but a broader issue of security for the cloud computing model. In response, thousands of Google app users around the world said, “what’s the difference, exactly?” At least the incident led to a priceless quote like this one: “Just putting a pet’s name on a Facebook page could allow hackers to obtain your password.”

3) Michael Jackson Music is #1 for Third Straight Week

While it’s interesting in itself that Michael Jackson’s music is topping the charts now that he’s dead (I thought that only worked for painters?), the fascinating technical angle here is the sales channel choice. It seems that in the hours after his death, online sales of his music spiked dramatically. Now, three weeks later, online sales have stabilized, and fans are rushing to music stores to buy CD’s. I have two theories here: first, that online sales are more immediate, so the group of people that wanted his music immediately upon his death grabbed it online, and the people who weren’t in as much of a rush waited until they were in stores. Second, the physical CD probably contains pictures, liner notes, etc. related to Jackson, and the fans saw these as more valuable now that he’s gone. In any case, I’m sure music retailers everywhere are learning from this interesting trend.

Topics: Tech Talk | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Tech Talk”

  1. jason says at July 18th, 2009 at 2:16 pm :
    While it’s interesting in itself that Michael Jackson’s music is topping the charts now that he’s dead (I thought that only worked for painters?)

    The same thing happened when Elvis died. My mother bought a whole slew of records (actual vinyl LPs) in the year or so after his demise.

    I actually see a lot of interesting parallels between Michael and Elvis. If I ever get around to blogging about MJ’s death, that’s a point I intend to bring up.

  2. Brian says at July 19th, 2009 at 11:19 pm :
    I agree, Jason – there are lots of similarities. It’s only a matter of time before people start claiming that they spotted Michael Jackson at a Burger King in their hometown…

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