Monday, November 29, 2010

Morning Brief: WikiLeaks and the media; some iPad owners complain about Wi-Fi reception since upgrade

Good morning. TNM is back from the Thanksgiving holiday break. Thank you for the notes sent over the weekend, I appreciate the feedback.

Another major WikiLeaks document dump occurred yesterday. It would be easy, at least in the U.S., to have not heard about it as the cable news networks chose, by and large, to ignore the event. CNN chose to concentrate on covering holiday travel traffic instead, dutifully reporting that there was no news to report on the subject. Amazing.

The latest WikiLeaks release involved 251,287 cables sent from 250 U.S. embassies. Once again The Guardian, the New York Times and Der Speigel received the major leak, along with Le Monde and El PaĆ­s. The question on my mind is will the NYT again immediately follow-up its initial stories with another hit piece -- the last one penned by John Burns. So far nothing, but the day is young.

Update: Apparently the Times got the leaked diplomatic cables care of The Guardian, not directly through WikiLeaks. Well, serves 'em right, I guess.

Tim Moore contacted me yesterday evening to let me know that his second edition of his indy iPad magazine Letter to Jane.

Moore, then 25 and a photographer from Portland, released his iPad app and I featured it as one of the first (if not the first) example of citizen publishing I expected to see in the future.

"It is currently compatible only with iOS 4.2 but an update has been submitted that extends compatibility with 3.2 as well," Moore wrote last night. "Also issue 01 is now free and there is an update with a slight redesign already submitted, as well."

I will talk more about the app this afternoon. But in the mean time it is interesting that Moore is finding that there are some capability issues with designing for the new iOS, several other apps have also warned users of backward capability issues.

Further, a huge thread has been started on the Apple website discussing issues with Wi-Fi many owners are experiencing since the OS upgrade. I haven't personally experienced problems, and this doesn't seem to be much of an issue with readers on the Mac forums so it is hard to judge how wide spread the issues really are.

TechCrunch is reporting that Sony is already offering a 25 percent discount off its Blu-ray Google TV units. Now just about everything is being discounted this holiday season, a sign retailers and manufacturers know they will have to work hard for sales in this economy, but a discount off a new product is somewhat rare, and not at all a good sign.

Google TV has had some bad press as broadcasters haven't exactly been enthusiastic about the new device. Further, the system seems to be suffering through some UI issues. David Pogue, the New York Times tech writer, penned a pretty scathing review saying that "(O)n the great timeline of television history, Google TV takes an enormous step in the wrong direction: toward complexity."

In the meantime, Apple's latest, and more modest attempt at tackling the living room television has met with more success, mostly due to its very low price: $99.