Several tech-minded journalists were invited this week to take Boeing’s new broadband service for an test flight. The on board service, dubbed Connexion, would service the plane with 20Mbps of bandwidth. Taking advantage of the connection would cost anywhere between $10 and $30, depending on the type and length of the flight. While this all may sound wonderful, especially for those living the traveler’s high-tech lifestyle, the down side is that none of the major airlines have shown any official interest in purchasing the service. In the era of budget and service cuts in the airline industry, it may be a while until we can join the mile-high web surfing club.
Read More | PC World
According to research conducted by Nielsen Netratings, Google is still king of the mountain in internet searches, but it appears AOL and Ask Jeeves are gaining ground. Google still has a comfortable lead over its competitors with a 47% market share, followed by Yahoo(22%), MSN (12%), AOL(5%) and Ask Jeeves (2%). AOL and Ask Jeeves have a long way to go before posing a threat to Google, but they are gaining steadily. During the second quarter of 2005, searches performed on AOL rose 15% and those performed on Ask Jeeves rose 16% while those on Google only rose 6%.
“Google’s performance has remained consistent, so it appears AOL and Ask Jeeves are gaining at the expense of those below them,” said Nielsen analyst Ken Cassar, noting that because of Google’s massive user base, it is harder for the company to gain share than it is for the competition. “It’s far too early to say that Google needs to watch its back, but a resurgent AOL makes the game a lot more interesting,” he said. The survey results indicate that AOL might be on the right path as it moves toward providing more free content on the Web, said Cassar.
Read More | Top Tech News
The powers that be at Microsoft have decided on an official name for their long-overdue follow-up to Windows XP: “Windows Vista.”
Microsoft employees and lay-people like myself alike stood back stunned for a moment at the sheer… monumental… absurdity of the name. As if “Longhorn” wasn’t easy enough to snicker about, “Vista” is such a “fluffy” sounding name that it’s hard to believe that they are serious. It’s hard to say without sounding like you have a serious lisp, implies a frothy nothingness, and conjures mental images of vast, empty space stretching for miles. Granted, I’m not the biggest fan of the Windows OS, but seriously. “Vista?!” Watch the announcement here.
Straight from the horse’s mouth — I can’t make stuff like this up.
Read More | Windows Vista
While every visitor to the Apple homepage will be greeted today by a huge banner proclaiming the company’s monumental sales achievement, only one will be receiving the huge iPod-based prize package for downloading the 500 millionth song from iTunes. Amy Greer of Lafayette, Indiana pushed Apple over the mark with “Mississippi Girl” by Faith Hill and will be rewarded with 10 iPods, 10000 free songs, and a trip for four to see a Coldplay concert. While this is an amazing milestone for legal digital music downloads, it’s even more amazing to think that iTunes has sold an average of almost 7 songs to every single living person in the 19 countries it services (feel free to check my math).
Read More | iTunes 500 Million
SanDisk today announced their support of Transflash - although in a somewhat backwards way. They have announced a new product offering called MicroSD - which happens to be identical to and “backwards compatible” with Transflash. The big news here is that they have doubled the size of the thumbnail sized memory cards. A 512 MB card is expected to retail for less the $70 and be available next month. Perfect timing for the supposed iTunes phone from Apple and Motorola. A 1GB and 2GB version are both in the works and should be available in the next year.
Read More | Sandisk MicroSD Press Release
Good news for those of us who are serviced by Comcast for cable and high speed Internet. Beginning in July, Comcast will be upgrading subscribers speeds by a whole 2.0 Mbps at no cost. If you currently subscribe to at least Comcast Expanded Basic Cable TV service or above, the following HSI options are available to you:
6.0/384 - $42.95 - Up from 4.0/384
8.0/768 - $52.95 - Up from 6.0/768
As Comcast just recently upgraded their network just a few months ago, a second speed increase leads me to believe that they are feeling the heat from services like Verizon FIOS.
Read More | Venturus
We have written about the Internet Archive recently and are surprised to see that they are being sued - for providing the archive itself! A Philadelphia law firm was defending a health care company being sued in a trademark violation. The firm used the way-back machine to show the courts old web-pages dating back to 1999 to prove their use of the trademark. Now the plaintiff is filing suit against the Internet Archive for violations of two federal laws: the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Now I am not a lawyer, but I don’t see how they broke copyright by archiving a copy of a public website, and making it available for the Internet in general.
Read More | NYTimes - Reg Required
In quite possibly the strangest corporate cross-promotion ever Papa John’s is now offering a free (after rebate) Blackberry 7100g phone to customers who place an online order for Pizza, drinks, and a side. A two-year service agreement is required so it sounds like a fairly standard cellular deal to me. What I don’t get is what the link between hot, fresh, cheesy pizza, and cutting edge wireless devices.
Read More | Wireless IQ
Have you ever tried to access a website from your mobile phone only to find that the site wasn’t phone friendly? That problem will soon become a thing of the past, as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has approved the suffix .mobi to be used for mobile phone friendly websites. Many powerful mobile phone makers and operators lobbied for the suffix, in hope that it will encourage websites to create mobile phone sites and in turn cause consumers to upgrade their phones to those with Internet access. You can look for the new .mobi websites to be out next year, featuring limited memory and bandwidth fit for a small screen.
Read More | PC Magazine
Many are still baffled as to why Apple switched from IBM’s PowerPC chip to Intel’s X86 chips – especially after Steve Jobs criticized the X86 so much. Jon Stokes from ArsTechnica writes some pretty interesting information regarding this switch, claiming this information has been confirmed by several sources in the know. It boils down to large volume discounts and an MVP like catering to their needs. Most interesting to note is the high possibility of seeing a video iPod very soon due to Intel’s XScale chip that currently powers some color PDAs. This could prove to be a very interesting road we travel in – Apple hand in hand with Intel.
Read More | ArsTechnica
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