Sniff! Sniff! I smell failure. Tech failure. I smell — sniff, sniff — the picture fading at Kodak. BlackBerry fans ready to don black. Acer about to be broken. Motorola's cellphone business filled with static. Digg digging its own grave. Netflix jettisoning its DVD business from the streaming ship. While this picture is admittedly overly grim, I know a little about tech flameouts — I was part of two of them. One was as an owner/founder of E/Town, a one-time competitor with CNET, but which died from a number of ills on Valentine's Day 2001; another was as sports editor (a former life) for WOW!, Compuserve's ill-advised Prodigy-like online family service, in 1996. (More on Prodigy in a bit.) In the meantime, you could fill Arlington many times over with the number of companies that have flopped spectacularly, many way too soon. I'm not going to examine the whys, though one could easily fire off a half dozen common causes for tech company collapses: over-expansion too soon misguided "improvements" or changes founder CEOs ill-equipped to manage a large company an established company unable to adapt to new technologies or too big to compete with agile new competitors a product produced either before its time or too late the loss of a charismatic founder Here are some sad stories of a few of my own "favorite" — used bittersweet — tech flops whose demises I've covered in the past.
Facebook just unveiled the biggest change to the profile page in a long time with Timeline, a more visual setup that makes it easier to see how your life has changed over time.
Having in-flight Wi-Fi is a godsend, but it's not exactly what most would call fast. It's acceptable for light browsing, but not for streaming HD videos. Gogo says its in-flight Wi-Fi will be getting a major 4X boost in speed by early next year.
Rarely do people get jail time for posting remarks on the Internet. It's the Internet — it's only virtual, right? Not for Sean Duffy, who after "trolling" the remembrance pages of several dead teenagers has been in jail for 18 weeks and is banned from using social networks for five years.
Sorting through hundreds of "friends" on a social networking site is a pain. That's why Google+, with its Circles, has taken off so quickly. Which has left Facebook playing catch-up with its new Smart Lists.
There are so many great ideas out there, but when someone gets it right, you have to be sure to praise such efforts and hope others follow suit. This is the case with the new Cull.tv, a new form of music television that takes Web television rapidly in the right direction.
Live on the East Coast? Well, just because there's a storm a-comin', that doesn't mean you have to wait for it blindly. Here are some ways to keep tabs on Irene.
It was only a few of months ago that Facebook unveiled Places, its way of letting you check in to wherever you were, letting all of your Facebook friends know where you were hanging out. And now they're killing it off.
Are you one of those multitaskers who likes to watch TV while surfing the Internet? Well if you are, watch out, because upcoming TV sets will be checking what you're watching, and then sending you ads and targeted Internet content based on what you're watching.
On the fence about whether or not an electric car would be the right fit for you? Well, stop trying to make such a big decision with that weak, fleshy lump you've got between your ears — let today's superior technology sort it out!