Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Late afternoon briefs, snark and the rest: Barnes & Noble schedules special event, possible new NOOK?; the poor state of financial journalism; waiting on my iPhone 5

A look inside my control panel shows that Google is throwing stories back into the system, all those stories they deleted last week. What a weird way to fix things.

Since I retrieved the stories from the TNM iPhone app, I don't need these duplicates so they've been deleted.

Barnes & Noble sent out invitations for "a Special Announcement" to be made on May 24th. CrunchGear thinks it's a new Nook, and that sounds about right. But since I didn't get an invite I'll just wait like everyone else until the actual event.

I noticed, however, that B&N is creating accessories for their NOOK products – very smart, Apple makes a fortune on its own accessories. But when I start seeing lots of accessories from third party companies I know that their product has really gotten traction.

Barnes & Noble is not the only bookseller looking at launching a new tablet. Wired says Amazon may release two new tablet devices by the end of the year. Of course, everyone says they will launch a new tablet, just few actually do it, and aren't we still waiting for a decent non-iOS tablet to arrive?

I think Amazon realizes that they have the sames infrastructure that most resembles Apple's, putting them in the best position to make a success of the effort.

The problem, of course, remains Android and many flavors, none of which seem to have established the OS as a serious alternative to the iPad. I still think it will happen, but it certainly is taking longer than I anticipated.

The media developers still tell me the same thing: they develop for the iPhone and iPad first, then work on an Android phone app. Android tablets are still a lower priority – not a low priority, just a lower priority.

Financial journalism: "What’s with our elite financial journalists?' asks Ryan Chittum on CJR.org.

He is responding to this article by Roger Lowenstein on Bloomberg BusinessWeek which tries to explain why no Wall Street execs have gone to jail over the financial crisis. Needless to say Lowenstein lets the bankers off easy.

Dean Starkman, of the CJR's business section, chimes in on Twitter with "somehow the "sophisticated" argument always exonerates wall st. funny how that works."

Bruce Bochy, the skipper of the WS champ Giants has apparently forgotten how to manage. For the second day in a row he's decided to leave in his starter in order to make a loser of him.

It reminds me of the line from Ken Burns's The Civil War where Shelby Foote talks about a Confederate general ordering a hopeless charge as a way of "disciplining" his troops. Worked about as well as Bochy's moves the past two days.

Found out today that I will probably be getting an iPhone 5 when it comes out this fall. With four phones on our AT&T plan, it means that there are always one or two upgrades available. I get the new phone, the old iPhone gets passed down – it's a sweet little deal I have, don't you think?

But the thing is that I am perfectly happy with my iPhone 4. So what can I expect from the new iPhone? Probably not much, maybe a higher resolution camera, not that it needs one. Also, a new location for the flash - big deal.

Probably the biggest and most important feature upgrades have always come through the iOS updates, not necessarily the hardware: third party apps, for instance. I think this will remain the case.

The good news, my youngest, who already owns my old original iPhone and an iPhone 3Gs, will get upgraded to the iPhone 4 - meaning I'll finally have someone to video chat with. (If she refuses she's grounded.)