• The Ways Of the Robot
    am just about ready to toss the damn plastic guitar and the bloody "Rock Band" game it came with through the frickin' 60-inch Sony HD display that is taunting me with my failure. Until I realize, this is a 60-inch Sony HD display. What am I, crazy? Just frustrated and... wait for it... humiliated by a 16-year-old. "You're not that bad, Dad, really. Come on, maybe they have something from Fleetwood Mac you can play." So, believing stupidly that the cell phone variant would be more satisfying, I gave the new Android App Store a whirl by buying its $9.99 …
  • Android Gets A Buy Button
    ABI has an interesting research note out this week on the popularity of paid apps. Its survey of an admittedly small sample (235 smartphone users in the U.S.) found that a surprising 16.5% of them had spent between $100 and $499 on mobile apps in 2008. That is a lot of app buying, even at the higher price points business users might pay for productivity applications on non-iPhone smartphones. But if ABI's stats are in the ballpark, the mixed model of free and paid in the app stores seems to be raising all boats.
  • The Wisdom Of (My) Crowd
    After a year of using Facebook - and, more recently, Twitter -- my respect for social networking as a real productivity tool has increased immeasurably. I admit to being a laggard on "social," if only because I am one of those stereotypical shut-in scribes. The value of a virtual network of all the friends I didn't have eluded me. Of course, as veterans of those platforms knew long before I figured it out, the network of professionals you do assemble around you on these services become invaluable sources of ideas, contacts and information.
  • To App Or Not To App
    I have no idea whether the March release of the "Watchmen" film will live up to its considerable build-up, but this is one of those rare times when I find myself rooting for the hype. If the final product reflects the polish and drama promised in the marketing, I have already warned my daughter I will be dragging her to see this one a few times.
  • Love -- And Cheating -- Are In the Air
    "What are we doing this weekend, Hunnneee?" I don't know who the hell is responsible for letting Valentine's Day fall on a Saturday this year. Whoever you are, there are a few million of us guys ready to meet you in a dark alley, you dumbass. Dinner and chocolates just got upgraded to an entire day of romantic expectations. Way to raise the bar! I try to deflect attention from my romantic ineptitude by carting out a survey the mobile social network MocoSpace just sent me. "Do you really want to go out on a date?" I ask. "Did you …
  • A Clickable World Revisited
    You never know with kids. At a local university last week I was doing my "gadget guy" routine for a class of Comp Sci 101 students. This is a little dog and pony show I perform each term that walks students through the editorial side of the tech and digital media industries. It also gives me the opportunity to cart out the latest toys manufacturers send me for review. Amidst all the wizardry -- the Kindle, the palm-sized HD camcorder, the laptop HDTV, etc. -- one bit of coolness got a satisfying "ooh." They really perked up when I whipped …
  • Turkeys, Turkeys Everywhere
    Graying digerati like me will recall a program that NYTimes.com tried years ago, called "surround session" advertising. In this model, a single sponsor would follow the user wherever she roamed at the site with the brand message. By targeting users, not just pages and context, the Times was creating the feel of a fully sponsored experience that had a lot of possibilities.
  • Blown Bowl
    Apparently I am not alone in my disappointment over mobile marketing's showing in Sunday's Super Bowl. I would like to get more of your reactions to this year's tepid, predictable effort (not that I am leading the tone of the discussions, mind you) below and perhaps explore what the next steps should be for mobile-leveraging the big event. I have my own thoughts, as you will see.
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