Saturday, December 18, 2010

Week in review: Best Buy takes a tumble

The following is a roundup of my recent stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Apps for Google’s Android mobile operating system are tricky to count. Estimates range from 100,000 to 200,000. Half get fewer than 50 downloads. (Dec. 16, 2010)

Best Buy shares are pounded after the company badly misses Q3 targets and lowers guidance for Q4.
Wall Street has a “management credibility issue” with Best Buy, one analyst says. (Dec. 14, 2010)

Dell hopes to do with Compellent Technologies what it did with EqualLogic.
The acquisition is Dell’s second big data-storage deal in two years. (Dec. 13, 2010)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Week in review: Video game sales rebound with Activision’s ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops’

Strong sales of Activision Blizzard’s “Call of Duty: Black Ops” and Microsoft’s Kinect motion-controlled gaming system for the Xbox 360 helped the video game industry return to growth last month.
U.S. video game sales at retail rose 8% from a year ago to $2.99 billion in November. That ended seven straight months of year-over-year declines in traditional video game sales.
The following is a roundup of my recent stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Activision’s “Call of Duty: Black Ops” and Microsoft’s Kinect led the video game industry back to growth in November. (Dec. 9, 2010)

Left at the altar by 3Par, Dell is courting another storage company to acquire in Compellent Technologies. (Dec. 9, 2010)

Monotype Imaging makes acquisition to boost its presence in smart phones. The font firm’s stock is on a roll. (Dec. 8, 2010)

Adobe Systems is out with Acrobat X, but the electronic document software is playing a smaller role for the firm overall these days. (Dec. 3, 2010)

Panasonic filmed this year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 3-D, but the public won’t see it. (Nov. 29, 2010)

Investors are adopting Apple’s iPad for doing research and making trades. (Nov. 27, 2010)

Black Friday madness. Would you wait 18 hours in the cold and rain to save $300 off a Toshiba laptop costing $650?
Notebook PCs were the hot item at the Best Buy store in Norwalk, Conn., today. Practical electronics are in this Christmas. (Nov. 26, 2010)

Investors cheer as Netflix adds U.S. streaming-only option and raises DVD-by-mail prices. Redbox could benefit though. (Nov. 23, 2010)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Week in review: Victoria’s Secret models discuss their favorite smart phones

The following is a roundup of my recent stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

How Victoria’s Secret uses its holiday fashion show to build brand awareness for the Christmas shopping season. (Nov. 20, 2010)

Dell shares jump as investors react to the PC maker’s improved profit margin and strong enterprise sales. (Nov. 19, 2010)

Funding woes short-circuit the Robot Hall of Fame.
DaVinci Medical Robot, iRobot’s Roomba and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator among robots in Hall of Fame limbo. (Nov. 18, 2010)

U.S. cable TV operators lost 741,000 basic video customers in the third quarter. Economy and over-the-top TV blamed. (Nov. 17, 2010)

Apple’s deal to sell Beatles music means journalists can finally use all the song puns they’ve been saving up.
Beatles joining iTunes was inevitable. Only a matter of time for the rest of the big holdouts. (Nov. 16, 2010)

Michael Jordan tops in basketball and, now, video games.
Take-Two Interactive Software’s “NBA 2K11,” in which Jordan is featured, was the top-selling game in October. (Nov. 16, 2010)

IBD survey: Apple’s iPad a hot tool for investors. (Nov. 12, 2010)

Victoria’s Secret lingerie models torn: iPhone or BlackBerry. (Nov. 11, 2010)

U.S. Supreme Court noobs will pwn either the video game industry or parents groups after hearing violent games case on Nov. 2. (Nov. 1, 2010)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Week in review: Microsoft Kinect hits stores

Microsoft has been getting some good news lately. First, it posted great results for its fiscal first quarter. Then it launched its much-anticipated Kinect motion-controlled video game system for its Xbox 360 console.
The following is a roundup of my recent stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

More smart phones using OLED displays means a revenue boost for Universal Display Corp. UDC expects video on smart phones to drive OLED adoption. (Nov. 4, 2010)

Profile of the Connecticut men who created the Sunfish sailboat. (Nov. 4, 2010)

Universal Electronics stock way up after its purchase of a Chinese remote-control company. (Nov. 4, 2010)

Microsoft needs Kinect to be a big success and spur sales of Xbox 360s and video game software. “Dance Central” from Viacom’s Harmonix unit expected to be killer game title. (Nov. 3, 2010)

Microsoft posts stellar results thanks to Windows and Office. Stock up over 2% today. (Oct. 29, 2010)

Coinstar’s Redbox is taking a cautious approach to streaming video. It’s talking with partners to launch in 2011. (Oct. 29, 2010)

Microsoft can’t seem to get investors interested in its stock no matter what it does. (Oct. 27, 2010)

Sony is moving a lot of PlayStation Move. (Oct. 21, 2010)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Week in review: Netflix kicks butt; Apple debuts new MacBook Air, other products

The following is a roundup of my recent stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Most Americans still watch most TV shows the old-fashioned way – in real time on their TVs. (Oct. 21, 2010)

Apple debuts instant-on MacBook Air notebook computer, new iLife software and Mac App Store, also previews Mac OS X Lion operating system. (Oct. 20, 2010)

Netflix posts strong third-quarter subscriber growth and retention; investors pleased. (Oct. 20, 2010)

Apple’s iPad and iPhone making strides attracting corporate customers. (Oct. 19, 2010)

Apple CEO Steve Jobs schools his rivals during a surprise appearance on the company’s Q4 earnings call. He rags on Research in Motion and Google the most. (Oct. 18, 2010)

Apple beats Wall Street’s forecast for Q4 earnings and sales, but disappoints on iPad sales and gross margin. (Oct. 18, 2010)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Week in review: Microsoft’s ‘Halo: Reach,’ Xbox 360 dominate September video game sales

Microsoft, Apple, PC shipments and video game sales were all in the news this week.
The following is a roundup of my recent stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Used video games, rentals, digital downloads, social networking and mobile games generated $2.75 billion in the first half of 2010. (Oct. 15, 2010)

Microsoft is the big winner in September video game sales with “Halo: Reach” and Xbox 360. (Oct. 14, 2010)

Apple stock hits $300. Some think it’s still attractively priced due to growth opportunities from the iPhone and iPad. (Oct. 13, 2010)

PC shipments up soundly in Q3, but way below expectations, Gartner and IDC say. HP underperforms. Apple now No. 3 in U.S. (Oct. 13, 2010)

Apple’s $99 Apple TV set-top box is a hit and quickly moving past the company’s “hobby” status. (Oct. 11, 2010)

Are homepages still relevant today? Yahoo and AOL think so. But the importance of homepages has faded against search, social networking and mobile apps. (Oct. 7, 2010)

Will Microsoft and Adobe merge to form Microbe? Adobe stock was up sharply on a buyout rumor. (Oct. 7, 2010)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Week in review: Facebook movie opens

The Facebook docudrama “The Social Network” opened Friday to rave reviews.
Movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes says 97% of critics gave it a positive review. Rival review aggregator Metacritic also gives it a 97 out of 100.
The following is a roundup of my recent stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

After “The Social Network,” Hollywood should consider telling other tech industry stories. (Oct. 1, 2010)

Apple’s iPad is showing up in more and more giveaway promotions as companies try to incent customers to buy products or use their services. (Oct. 1, 2010)

Hollywood’s negative portrayal of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is part of a trend. With “Wall Street 2” and “The Social Network,” Tinsel Town again paints business leaders as evil. (Sept. 30, 2010)

Hewlett-Packard’s new CEO may pursue the acquisition of SAP. (Sept. 30, 2010)

Lots of tablets coming to take on the iPad; some geared to consumers, some to business users. (Sept. 29, 2010)

Photo: Parody magazine cover featuring Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg by the Onion.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Week in review: All about Netflix

Netflix launched its first international service on Wednesday (Sept. 22), offering streaming-only video subscriptions in Canada.
The company’s stock hit a new high on Friday, a day after rival Blockbuster announced it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The following is a roundup of my recent stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Netflix faces challenges in expanding beyond the U.S. Its launch in Canada will test streaming-only service. (Sept. 24, 2010)

Cisco Systems accessorizes its Flip Video camcorder line. (Sept. 24, 2010)

Blockbuster files for bankruptcy protection and consumers say good riddance. (Sept. 23, 2010)

Adobe crumbles on weak Q4 guidance. Stock down 16% afterhours. (Sept. 21, 2010)

Netflix reigns supreme on the IBD 100 list of top-performing companies this week. (Sept. 20, 2010)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Week in review: ‘Halo’ prequel blasts off

Microsoft’s science-fiction video game franchise “Halo” continues to generate big bucks for the company.
The latest game title, “Halo: Reach,” generated $200 million in sales in its first day of release on Sept. 14. It’s an exclusive title for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 game console.
The following is a roundup of my recent stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Video game companies hope to get sales moving again by getting players moving their bodies. Sony’s PlayStation Move and Microsoft’s Kinect aim to outdo Nintendo’s Wii. (Sept. 17, 2010)

Best Buy rings up big Q2 profit boost thanks to smart phone sales. (Sept. 14, 2010)

Best Buy slashing retail space for CDs and DVDs to get more room to show off new video game systems. (Sept. 14, 2010)

13% in U.S. expect to dump their pay TV within a year. (Sept. 13, 2010)

How is Microsoft’s “Halo: Reach” video game like “Star Wars: Episode 1”? (Sept. 13, 2010)

E-reader price war, led by Amazon’s Kindle, is already seen thinning the herd in the fast-emerging category. (Sept. 13, 2010)

Photo: Screenshot from "Halo: Reach" 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Week in review: National 3D Demo Days

This weekend, electronics retailers across the country sponsored National 3D Demo Days to demonstrate the benefits of 3-D television in the home.
Sports programming in 3-D this weekend included college football and US Open tennis. Sadly, favorite Caroline Wozniacki (pictured) of Denmark lost her match on Friday on the first day of National 3D Demo Days.
The following is a roundup of my recent stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Apple to iPhone 4 buyers: No more free bumpers. (Sept. 10, 2010)

Adobe Systems is an early winner in Apple’s decision to relax iOS app development restrictions in response to Android competition and federal antitrust concerns. (Sept. 10, 2010)

Retailers demo 3-D TV this weekend with sports programming, including college football and US Open tennis. (Sept. 10, 2010)

EA scores with “Madden NFL 11,” but overall new video game sales down for fifth straight month year over year. (Sept. 9, 2010)

Profile of Ralph Baer, the father of home video games. (Sept. 7, 2010)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Week in review: Over-the-top TV in the news with Apple TV, Netflix streaming

Over-the-top TV made headlines recently when subscribers to pay TV services fell for the first time ever.
Some blamed the economy, while others blamed over-the-top TV services. OTT TV is video programming delivered over broadband Internet connections and bypassing traditional pay TV services. Over-the-top TV services include Netflix streaming video and Apple TV.
The following is a roundup of my recent stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Netflix quietly ends its social-networking initiative. The failure of Netflix Community puts a cloud on Apple’s Ping. (Sept. 3, 2010)

Dell could end up a winner after losing 3Par bidding war with HP. (Sept. 2, 2010)

Apple seeks its first Apple TV success with new $99 device, 99-cent video rentals. Apple also adds Netflix streaming. (Sept. 1, 2010)

Winners and losers from Apple’s TV and iPod announcements. (Sept. 1, 2010)

Chris Evert concentrated on hitting tennis’ top. (Aug. 30, 2010)

People seek entertainment in tough times, which helps explain why Netflix, Discovery, others doing well. (Aug. 27, 2010)

Apple poised to announce new iPod Touch and iPod Nano media players at fall event. Revamped Apple TV device also is a possibility. (Aug. 24, 2010)

The number of subscribers to cable, satellite and telco TV services in the U.S. fell for the first time ever in Q2. See chart above.(Aug. 23, 2010)

How Steve Jobs and Apple fumbled the PR on iPhone 4’s antenna glitch. (Aug. 22, 2010)

Lots of challenges ahead for Dell, so very solid Q2 results are very little comfort for investors. (Aug. 20, 2010)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Week in review: Netflix on fire, Blockbuster on the ropes

It’s a tale of two video rental firms.
Netflix has taken a leading role in the industry, while one-time king Blockbuster is fading fast.
The following is a roundup of my recent stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Netflix stock hits new high; rival Blockbuster on the ropes. (Aug. 13, 2010)

U.S. video game sales fall for fourth straight month. PC game sales hopping with Activision’s hit “StarCraft II.” (Aug. 12, 2010)

Coinstar invests in mobile phone recycling kiosks. (Aug. 11, 2010)

Netflix shares approaching record high on streaming video deal with Epix. (Aug. 10, 2010)

Netflix says its streaming service is a plus for premium cable channels (Aug. 10, 2010)

Disney, Google among big players lining up to play the social-networking games game (Aug. 9, 2010)

Coinstar’s Redbox expanding to CVS stores. Deal will add 7,000 DVD rental kiosks to Redbox’s current 23,000. (Aug. 5, 2010)

More than a third of iPhone 4 owners say they’ve had a problem with reception. And 7% call it a “very big problem.” (Aug. 4, 2010)

Netflix is leading a revolution in television called “over-the-top TV,” which could upend the pay TV business. (Aug. 4, 2010)

Sonic Solutions, maker of DVD burning software, is in no rush to offer DVD ripping app, despite copyright rules change. (Aug. 4, 2010)

Apple iPhone 4 users very satisfied, despite antenna issue. (Aug. 4, 2010)

Nuance Communications pitches dictation software as back-to-school item. (Aug. 3, 2010)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Week in review: Premature death notice for 3D movies; Just wait until 'Tron Legacy'

News reports recently have pointed to signs that interest in 3-D movies is waning.
But their interpretation of box-office figures is somewhat flawed. Also, the stories fail to take into account event movies like Disney’s upcoming “Tron Legacy,” set for release in December.
The following is a roundup of my stories last week from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Money grows on’s family trees. (July 30, 2010)

iRobot terminates Wall Street’s estimates with better-than-expected Q2 results. (July 29, 2010)

Microsoft pledges “all in” commitment to cloud computing. Says it’s taking business from IBM, Google and Novell. (July 29, 2010)

Four-week delay for renting new-release movies from Fox and Universal hurts Redbox’s Q2 sales. (July 29, 2010)

LogMeIn logs better-than-expected Q2 results, but loses Intel partnership. (July 29, 2010)

Reports of the death of 3-D movies are premature. Wait until Disney’s “Tron Legacy” comes out this December. (July 28, 2010)

Prevalence of iPhone jail-breaking likely overstated. (July 27, 2010)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Week in review: Netflix, Microsoft post solid earnings, but investors unimpressed

Investors are a hard bunch to please these days.
Netflix and Microsoft both posted largely stellar quarterly earnings results this week. But investors found things to nitpick about and sold off shares in the companies.
The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Microsoft is arming itself for battle in the mobile device space against Apple and Google through a licensing deal with ARM Holdings. (July 23, 2010)

Microsoft posts strong Q4 results. Investors unimpressed. Steve Ballmer must be pulling out what’s left of his hair. (July 22, 2010)

Netflix shares dive as some investors re-evaluate the company’s prospects. (July 22, 2010)

More Netflix subscribers are choosing the movie service’s cheaper plans, which helps profits, but hurts sales. (July 22, 2010)

Consumer Electronics Association ups its 2010 U.S. sales forecast to 3% growth, thanks to hot items like tablet computers and 3-D TVs. (July 22, 2010)

Video game players now can be like Mike. Gamers can relive basketball legend Michael Jordan’s greatest moments in “NBA 2K11” from Take-Two Interactive Software. (July 22, 2010)

Apple customers choosing higher-end iPads. (July 21, 2010)

Apple posts blow-out Q3, guides analysts higher on Q4 revenue. (July 20, 2010)

Netflix announces plan to offer streaming movies in Canada this fall. Details sketchy. (July 19, 2010)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Week in review: Apple’s Antennagate

Concerns about a faulty antenna design in Apple’s iPhone 4 dominated the tech headlines this week.
First, Consumer Reports on Monday (July 12) validated complaints that the iPhone 4 loses signal strength or drops calls if users touch a certain part of the exposed antenna.
Then, Apple held a hastily scheduled press conference on Friday (July 16) where it said all smart phones have similar antenna problems and that media reports about issues with the iPhone 4 were blown way out of proportion. Still, Apple offered a free insulating bumper to all iPhone 4 users.
The question facing Apple now is whether that’s enough to allay customer complaints and put the company’s so-called “antennagate” to rest.
The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs calls iPhone 4 antenna issue overblown, but offers free bumpers to buyers anyway. (July 16, 2010)

Steve Jobs’ WTF moment at Apple iPhone 4 press conference. (July 16, 2010)

Take-Two’s “Red Dead Redemption” is the top-selling video game of the year so far. EA’s new “Tiger Woods” game flops. (July 16, 2010)

Apple seeks to do damage control at press conference about iPhone 4 problems. (July 15, 2010)

Luxury eyewear and sunglasses maker Marchon aims to make stylish 3-D movie glasses for consumers. (July 13, 2010)

DreamWorks Animation executive is bullish on 3-D TV. (July 13, 2010)

Profile of retailer Charles Tandy, the spark behind RadioShack. (July 13, 2010)

Apple shares dip on iPhone 4 antenna worries. (July 13, 2010)

Is Apple lying about iPhone 4 antenna problem? Consumer Reports questions Apple’s explanation of the issue. (July 12, 2010)

Someone thinks Microsoft is still relevant in consumer tech. Consumer Electronics Show organizers pick Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to be opening keynote speaker for 2011 show. (July 8, 2010)

Apple’s iPad no longer seen as just a fun consumer device. It’s a business tool, MicroStrategy shows. (July 6, 2010)

Photo: Hilarious mockup of iPhone 5 by Peter Morgan posted on Flickr. 

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Week in review: Apple as advertising firm

Apple kicked off a new era in advertising July 1 when it began delivering interactive ads to its mobile devices, led by its iPhone smart phones.
Companies debuting ads on Apple’s iAd platform included Unilever and Nissan. Unilever’s iAd campaign for its Dove Men + Care products featured videos and interactive applications with baseball stars, including Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals and Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees. (See screenshot above.)
The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

U.S. video game sales down despite big hit in Take-Two Interactive Software’s “Red Dead Redemption.” (July 2, 2010)

DirecTV joins the 3-D TV party with three new channels. Panasonic is the exclusive sponsor. (July 1, 2010)

Add “advertising company” to the list of descriptors for Apple (June 30, 2010)

Apple shares up on news the company sold 1.7 million iPhone 4s in three days. Buyers shrug off reception concerns. (June 28, 2010)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Week in review: Apple controls the news

Apple has hypnotized the media into giving it millions of dollars in free advertising for its products.
Untold numbers of journalists spent last Thursday (June 24) covering the debut of Apple’s iPhone 4, its fourth-generation smart phone. Research In Motion, Nokia, Motorola and other smart phone makers can only dream about the blanket print, web and TV coverage Apple gets.
Fourteen reporters contributed to one story on the iPhone 4 by the Associated Press. Another 14 reporters helped write a story on it for Reuters.
Steve Jobs thanks you.
The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Institutions are dumping Apple shares. Is it profit-taking or a sign the stock has topped? (June 25, 2010)

Apple soon is expected to be cranking out way more iPhone 4s, which is another big hit for a hot company. (June 25, 2010)

Consumer electronics sales are off to a slow start in 2010, but motion-controlled video games, media tablets and 3-D TVs are all poised for strong growth. (June 23, 2010)

Monster Cable solves a big problem for 3-D TV adoption by developing universal active-shutter glasses. (June 22, 2010)

Photo: Apple CEO Steve Jobs speaks at the company’s 2010 Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on June 7.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Week in review: E3 brings controller-free games

The annual E3 video game conference in Los Angeles this week generated a lot of interesting product news.
The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Internet-connected Blu-ray Disc players threaten pay TV business. (June 18, 2010)

“Dance Central” from Viacom’s Harmonix looks like the killer app for Microsoft’s Kinect video game system for the Xbox 360. It also could spark a wave of dance video games. (June 18, 2010)

Sony and Nintendo hope to rejuvenate their video game businesses with new hardware. (June 16, 2010)

Potential for Microsoft’s game player-tracking controller called “astounding” by one analyst. (June 15, 2010)

"Dance Central" game demonstrated at Microsoft's E3 press event.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Week in review: Apple iPhone 4, ESPN 3D

Apple’s unveiling of its fourth generation iPhone and ESPN’s launch of the first 3-D TV channel were notable personal tech events this week.
The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

ESPN “throwing spaghetti on wall” with 3-D TV channel, which launched today with World Cup coverage. (June 11, 2010)

ESPN launches first-ever 3-D TV channel with start of World Cup. Milestone is a boon for 3-D TV makers and retailers. (June 11, 2010)

Look out, cheating spouses and workers playing hooky – Apple’s iPhone 4 soon might have your number. (June 8, 2010)

Apple distributes $1 billion in iPhone app revenue to developers in less than two years. (June 8, 2010)

Apple, with latest iPhone, hopes video calling is next killer app. (June 7, 2010)

Photo: ESPN camera crew shoots USC at Ohio State college football for 3-D telecast on Sept. 12, 2009.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Week in review: Microsoft, Apple and booth babes are in the news

Actually two weeks in review, so I’m playing catch-up.
The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Can the iPad and online subscriptions save newspapers? (June 4, 2010)

Converting customers from free to fee. Best practices of Netflix, and LogMeIn. (June 4, 2010)

Booth babes! Tech expos continue to use sexy ladies to attract visitors in the male-dominated industry. (June 4, 2010)

Most iPhone users won't pay more with the new AT&T data plans. (June 3, 2010)

Microsoft doesn’t see Google as a serious threat to its Office productivity suite. Microsoft has high hopes for Office 2010. (June 2, 2010)

Sonic Solutions places a big bet on online video with its purchase of DivX. (June 2, 2010)

Monotype Imaging wants to make the Web more attractive. The company is launching a cloud-based service to deliver fonts to websites. (June 1, 2010)

Microsoft’s Bing search engine turns 1 this week. So how's it doing? (June 1, 2010)

Apple sells 2 million iPads; P.T. Barnum would be proud. (June 1, 2010)

Apple is facing antitrust scrutiny for its music and mobile apps businesses. Analysts think Apple is in the clear. (May 26, 2010)

Another executive shakeup at Microsoft. CEO Steve Ballmer is most concerned about the company’s mobile device unit. (May 25, 2010)

Notebook PC sales are on fire. Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Acer benefit. (May 25, 2010)

Photo: Booth babes at the Computex trade show in Taipei from gallery by TechwareLabs

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Week in review: Apple’s iPad remains hot

A new survey by ChangeWave Research shows that demand for Apple’s iPad remains strong and portends a big Christmas shopping season for the media tablet.
Meanwhile, Hewlett-Packard and others are planning their own tablet computers.
Apple calls the iPad a “revolutionary” and “magical” device. It can run applications for just about everything except for porn, says Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
Of course, you can still get porn through the Web on the device, so I’m not so sure what Jobs is so proud of. See above photo of Ryan Keely from Gizmodo.
The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Dell is trying hard to be seen as an enterprise IT solutions company. (May 21, 2010)

Dell finally returns to year-over-year earnings growth, but its profit margin falls short of analysts’ views. (May 20, 2010)

Demand for Apple’s iPad media tablet remains high, as does customer satisfaction. It’s looking like an iPad holiday season ahead. (May 20, 2010)

Best Buy enters crowded movie download field. Partner Sonic Solutions benefits. (May 18, 2010)

Google and HP likely will lead the pack of challengers to Apple’s iPad media tablet. (May 17, 2010)

Millennials are fast changing how media is consumed, Nielsen Co. chief says. (May 17, 2010)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Week in review: “Iron Man 2’ overkill

The makers of superhero action movie “Iron Man 2” have gone overboard with product tie-ins and marketing deals.
I had enough when I saw this Iron Man USB drive for sale.
The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

U.S. video game sales nosedived in April. Nintendo DS and portable games were especially weak. (May 14, 2010)

Microsoft is turning Outlook in Office 2010 into a “social hub” by linking to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other services. (May 13, 2010)

Sick of Iron Man yet? Studios have gone overboard with marketing and product tie-ins for “Iron Man 2.” (May 10, 2010)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Week in review: Gadgets for Mother's Day

Spring is the moms, dads and grads shopping season. Consumer electronics vendors are touting their devices as gifts for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and high school and college graduations.
First up is Mother’s Day on Sunday. Best Buy, Target and others are promoting e-book readers, Flip camcorders and digital cameras for Mom this year.
Household robot maker iRobot is advertising its Scooba floor-washing robot with the slogan “Save Mom From The Mop!” (See above photo.)
The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

In the video game biz, like the movie industry, you’re only as good as your last hit.
Activision Blizzard posted better-than-expected quarterly results on the strength of “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.” Nintendo disappointed as sales slowed for Wii consoles and aging evergreen game titles. (May 8, 2010)

“High School Science Champ Erika DeBenedictis Reaches For The Stars.” These Intel Science Talent Search kids are really bright. (May 7, 2010)

It’s moms, dads and grads season for consumer electronics vendors. Companies looking to benefit include Apple (with the iPod Touch and iPad) and Cisco (with Flip camcorders) and retailer Best Buy. (May 6, 2010)

Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system making people forget about Vista. (May 3, 2010)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Week in review: Top 10 tech rivalries today

The technology industry has seen a lot of fierce rivalries over the years and some big ones are raging right now.
Investor’s Business Daily just published its list of the top 10 tech rivalries today. At No. 1 is Apple vs. Google, followed by HP vs. Cisco and Apple vs. Adobe Systems.
The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Top 10 tech company grudge matches today: Apple vs. Google, HP vs. Cisco, etc. See who makes the list. (April 30, 2010)

Activision counters EA move by snagging “Halo” developers. (April 30, 2010)

Dolby earnings sound sweet to investors. Shares up on Q2 sales and earnings beat. (April 30, 2010), iRobot and LogMeIn jump on upbeat earnings reports. (April 29, 2010)

Apple’s iPad 3G launch is a big test for the tablet computer and its emerging usage model. Is the iPad mostly for use at home or on the go? (April 29, 2010)

Redbox takes home video market share from fading Blockbuster. (April 29, 2010)

Dolby Laboratories likes the sound of the PC sales rebound. (April 26, 2010)

Photo: Because of Apple’s rivalry with Adobe, Adobe’s Flash video and animation software is not supported on Apple’s iPhone, iPod Touch and the iPad. Web surfers on those devices see blank spaces with blue Lego bricks where Flash was supposed to be.
The website, The Blue Lego: The World Without Flash, has posted a series of images with the blue Lego superimposed to show something missing. The above photo of Apple CEO Steve Jobs with a blue Lego is a good example.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Week in review: Windows 7 boosts Microsoft

It was a busy week for tech company earnings with Microsoft, Apple and Netflix, among others posting quarterly results.
Microsoft boasted a record fiscal third quarter on Thursday, but disappointed investors were looking for more signs that businesses were buying technology again.
The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Microsoft hears one hand clapping over its Q3 earnings report. Investors sell off shares. (April 23, 2010)

Microsoft gets a lift in Q3 from Windows 7 PC sales. But investors wanted more. (April 22, 2010)

Netflix is focused on moving DVD subscribers to streaming video. (April 21, 2010)

Netflix adds record number of new subscribers in Q1, credits online streaming video service. (April 21, 2010)

Apple’s iPhone a hot product overseas, especially in China. (April 20, 2010)

Apple smashes Wall Street’s Q2 estimates on runaway iPhone and Mac sales. International sales played a big role. (April 20, 2010)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Week in review: PC sales spring back

Personal computer sales bounced back in the first quarter.
Worldwide PC shipments rose 27.4% in the first quarter to 84.3 million units, market research firm Gartner reported Wednesday. Rival research firm IDC pegged Q1 PC shipment growth at 24.2%.
Taiwan’s Acer and Asus and China’s Lenovo outperformed the overall PC market by a wide margin.
The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Sony’s PlayStation 3 video game business gets some help from the gods. (April 16, 2010)

Wildly different views on Apple’s Macintosh computer sales last quarter. (April 15, 2010)

Taiwanese and Chinese PC makers outperformed the overall PC market in Q1. HP, Dell lag. Acer, Asus, Lenovo surge. (April 14, 2010)

Apple shares hit record high on iPad shortages. (April 14, 2010)

Cisco Systems debuts high-end, touch-screen Flip camcorder. (April 13, 2010)

Adobe Systems has designs on big growth with release of Creative Suite 5. (April 13, 2010)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Week in review: Apple dominates news again

Fresh from launching its iPad tablet computer, Apple continued to dominate the news this week with the next version of its iPhone software.
Apple’s iPhone OS 4 includes enhancements such as multitasking, unified e-mail, and folders for organizing apps. But the biggest news was Apple’s entry into the mobile advertising space with its iAd platform.
The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

“Avatar” comes out on home video April 22, but Netflix won’t make it available to subscribers until May 20. The smash hit sci-fi drama will arrive 28 days late because Netflix has agreed to delay renting new films from News Corp. and two other studios.
(April 9, 2010)

Apple gets into the advertising business with latest version of iPhone software. (April 8, 2010)

Harman International hopes to get its auto infotainment systems into more midrange vehicles, not just luxury cars. (April 7, 2010)

Social games like Zynga’s FarmVille on Facebook are changing online interaction. (April 7, 2010)

Good news for NBC renews its genealogy show “Who Do You Think You Are?” (April 6, 2010)

Another Apple product launch, another Steve Jobs magazine cover. Check out the gallery of Jobs magazine covers. (April 6, 2010)

Apple declares iPad a hit, but some analysts got a little carried away with sales estimates. (April 5, 2010)

Lots of companies are riding on Apple’s iPad coattails, including Netflix, Cisco Systems, Electronic Arts, Activision, Nuance Communications, News Corp., Time Warner and Disney. (April 5, 2010)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Week in review: New gadgets from Nintendo, Cisco Systems, Apple

It was a busy week for new gadget launches.
Nintendo released a jumbo-sized handheld video game system, the Nintendo DSi XL, on Sunday March 28.
Cisco Systems debuted a new, simple-to-deploy wireless home networking system called Valet on Wednesday March 31.
And Apple launched its iPad tablet computer today.
The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Exclusive: Apple to issue paper iBags for hyperventilating fans at the iPad launch. (April 1, 2010)

Apple’s iPad a preordained hit. But it’s a third device after cell phones and PCs. So once the fanboys buy it, will it stay hot? (March 31, 2010)

Cisco Systems hopes new product does for home networking what its Flip camcorders did for home video. (March 31, 2010)

Nintendo’s new DSi XL now being sold in U.S., where one of its main rivals is Apple’s iPod Touch. (March 30, 2010)

Is Beyonce Knowles tech’s new top marketer with Nintendo and Vizio deals? (March 29, 2010)

Consumer electronics industry hoping 3-D TV and tablet computers like the iPad will spark growth. (March 29, 2010)

CEO of casual game king PopCap, maker of “Bejeweled,” now thinks IPO quite possible, he says in IBD Q&A. (March 29, 2010)

EA, Activision face challenge in trends toward social, casual games. (March 29, 2010)

Apple’s iPhone is a portable gaming powerhouse. (March 23, 2010)

Adobe Systems’ Q1 results beat expectations; New Creative Suite boosts its Q2 outlook. (March 23, 2010)

Photo: Beyonce Knowles films a commercial for Nintendo’s DS handheld video game player.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Week in review: 3-D TVs, PCs and ATMs

Last weekend’s East Coast windstorm interrupted my plans to post a week-in-review piece, so this column includes two weeks of articles.
Panasonic started selling the first high-definition 3-D-ready televisions last week. They’re 3-D “ready” because there is no 3-D content yet to watch on the sets.
Video game companies GameStop and KongZhong and PC seller Systemax reported quarterly earnings.
I also had the opportunity to chat with Donald Wetzel of Dallas – the inventor of the automated teller machine.
The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

National Day of Unplugging? No way after power outages from “Treemageddon” windstorm in N.Y., N.J. and Conn. last weekend. (March 19, 2010)

Video game retailer GameStop gaining market share as industry sales decline. (March 18, 2010)

KongZhong CEO says Kong is “well positioned” to be one of the leading Chinese video game companies. Chinese wireless entertainment firm up 23% Wednesday on strong earnings and guidance. (March 17, 2010)

U.S. retail video game sales down 15% in February. Microsoft and Take-Two are standouts in lackluster month. (March 11, 2010)

Once a top PC brand, Compaq now a rounding error in consumer preference survey. (March 10, 2010)

Meet the inventor of the automated teller machine: Donald Wetzel (March 9, 2010)

PC seller Systemax beats views, gets an assist from resurrected brands CompUSA, Circuit City. (March 8, 2010)

Just a year ago, OLED TVs were the hot thing. Now, it’s 3-D TVs. (March 8, 2010)

500 channels and nothing on in 3-D. Panasonic and Best Buy team to offer 3-D TV to consumers starting Wed. March 10. Panasonic 3-D TVs must be “future proof” because there’s no 3-D content available yet. (March 8, 2010)

Photo: Art from KongZhong’s massively multiplayer online role-playing game “Loong.”

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Week in review: Apple iPad launch date set

The media hype surrounding Apple’s iPad tablet computer is growing again now that the company has set April 3 as the U.S. launch date for the product.
I contributed to the hype with stories and blog posts this week. Sorry.
The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Apple stock hits new high on iPad launch date news. (March 5, 2010) looks to benefit from link to NBC genealogy show “Who Do You Think You Are?” (March 4, 2010)

Apple's iPad poised to dominate the e-book reader market and topple’s Kindle, according to survey by ChangeWave Research. (March 4, 2010)

Consumers don’t care what tech pundits think; They still want to buy Apple's iPad. (March 4, 2010)

How is Apple’s iPad like a platypus? Great quote from analyst. (March 4, 2010)

PC sales outlook improving. Mobile PCs could account for 70% of sales in 2012, up from 55% in 2009. (March 4, 2010)

Survey: Initial demand for Apple's iPad outpacing that of the iPhone before its launch three years ago. (March 4, 2010)

Apple takes legal aim at HTC, with Google in the crosshairs. (March 3, 2010)

Video game design schools flourishing thanks to rise of independent developers. Microsoft is nurturing independent developers for Xbox Live. (March 2, 2010)

Electronic Arts’ marketing for “Dante’s Inferno” video game covers all nine circles of hell. EA could use a hit. (March 1, 2010)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Week in review: Rosetta Stone’s earnings; Microsoft sparks EU antitrust probe of Google

As quarterly earnings season winds down, Rosetta Stone, maker of language-learning software, provided a nice surprise for investors.
The Arlington, Va.-based company posted fourth quarter results that easily beat Wall Street’s estimates. The stock rose 27% on Friday to close at 22.
Another big story this week was the European Union opening a preliminary antitrust investigation into Internet search giant Google’s business practices. Microsoft played a significant role in prodding the EU to act.
The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Rosetta Stone, maker of language-learning software, trounces Wall Street estimates. Unveils new products. (Feb. 25, 2010)

Blockbuster has one advantage over Netflix and Redbox. (Feb. 25, 2010)

Microsoft plays big role in EU's antitrust investigation of Google. Turnabout is fair play. (Feb. 24, 2010)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Week in review: iRobot ramps up military robot production; Tech firms seek Olympic gold

Athletes are pursuing gold medals at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver this month and sponsors are hoping to boost their brands by affiliation with the games.
Acer, Atos Origin, Panasonic and Samsung are worldwide Olympic sponsors. The four companies are in British Columbia to entertain potential clients and showcase their technology products.
Also this week, iRobot, the company best known for its Roomba vacuum-cleaner robot, outlined its plans to increase production of robots for the U.S. military. It already has delivered 3,000 such robots for use in reconnaissance and bomb detection and disposal missions.
The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Samsung, Panasonic, Acer and Atos Origin seek Olympic branding gold in Vancouver. (Feb. 19, 2010)

Dell defends its consumer PC business performance. (Feb. 19, 2010)

Logitech, Panasonic, Best Buy and others see big opportunities in the home video surveillance gear market. Best Buy is test marketing home video security gear in its stores. (Feb. 18, 2010)

Dell still unable to resume profit growth. But sales in Q4 rose for the first time in six quarters. (Feb. 18, 2010)

iRobot is ramping up its military robot production. (Feb. 18, 2010)

LogMeIn predicts boost from Apple’s iPad. (Feb. 18, 2010)

Redbox blindsides customers planning to rent “The Blind Side.” (Feb. 17, 2010)

From spy gear for kids to dog collars that post pet activity on Twitter, toy makers are using more tech. (Feb. 16, 2010)

Coinstar's Redbox caves to Warner Bros., agrees to delay DVD rentals. (Feb. 16, 2010)

Mattel’s latest toy discriminates against cats. The fur will fly when cat lovers find out. (Feb. 16, 2010)

Photo: iRobot’s SUGV 320 robot climbing stairs

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Week in review: Tech nerd Barbie; earnings reports from Activision, EA, Coinstar

The corporate earnings season is in full swing.
Investors this week cheered quarterly reports from Activision Blizzard and Harman International, but booed results from Coinstar, Electronic Arts and Nuance Communications.
On a lighter note, Mattel announced that online voters had chosen a new career for its Barbie doll. Computer engineer Barbie will debut this fall.
The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily at and Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Nintendo’s sales show the power of evergreen video games. (Feb. 12, 2010)

Redbox struggles with movie studio restrictions. (Feb. 12, 2010)

Sign of the times: Barbie is a tech geek. Mattel introduces Computer Engineer Barbie. (Feb. 12, 2010)

Coinstar raising fees for its coin-counting machines. (Feb. 11, 2010)

Activision beats forecasts, starts paying dividend. (Feb. 10, 2010)

GameFly files for IPO. GameFly is the Netflix of video games. (Feb. 10, 2010)

Apple, other Silicon Valley tech firms looking to hire. (Feb. 9, 2010)

Electronic Arts takes a beating on diminished outlook (Feb. 9, 2010)

Audio electronics firm Harman tunes operations, boosts profits. (Feb. 8, 2010)

Speech recognition tech company Nuance Communications beats earnings views, but sales lag. (Feb. 8, 2010)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Week in review: Dolby, Panasonic, Sony earnings; Super Bowl on radar

We’re in the thick of quarterly earnings reports from public companies now. Dolby Laboratories, Panasonic, Sony and Sonic Solutions were among the firms reporting financial results this week.
Meanwhile, TV vendors and video game publisher Electronic Arts were focused on Sunday’s Super Bowl, but for different reasons.
The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily on and from Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Microsoft expands Bing search engine reach through deals, such as new Facebook pact. (Feb. 5, 2010)

What do Apple CEO Steve Jobs and President Barack Obama have in common? (Feb. 5, 2010)

Panasonic swings to profit, raises guidance. (Feb. 5, 2010)

Nuance Communications is benefitting from the growth of health care tech spending. (Feb. 4, 2010)

Sonic Solutions narrows third quarter loss. (Feb. 4, 2010)

Sony returns to profitability and sales growth. (Feb. 4, 2010)

Dolby Laboratories sounds off on upbeat first quarter. (Feb. 3, 2010)

Movie Gallery store closings a boon for Netflix and Redbox. (Feb. 3, 2010)

EA sees perfect combo in football fans and violent video games. Dante's Inferno ad to run during Super Bowl. (Feb. 2, 2010)

TV makers, retailers hope for Super Bowl win. Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Sears promoting deals on big screen HDTVs. (Feb. 1, 2010)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Week in review: Apple iPad debuts

Apple’s new tablet computer – the iPad – dominated tech news this week.
First, there was the buildup to the event on Wednesday. News organizations, analysts and bloggers ran circles around each other with rumors and speculation.
Then came giddy coverage of the Jan. 27 rollout of the iPad, with pronouncements that it would create a new category of portable devices and rescue the print media industry.
Finally, in our build-them-up, tear-them-down media culture there was the inevitable backlash. (The name sounds like a feminine hygiene product! The product is a disappointment because it doesn’t have X, Y or Z!)
In addition to the iPad announcement, there also were earnings reports from Apple, Netflix, Microsoft and others.

The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily on and from Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Twitter, Other Social Media Spur New Ways Of Managing Customer Relations. (Jan. 29, 2010)

Public Writes Ending To Romantic Rosetta Stone Ad. (Jan. 29, 2010)

Analyst Fuels Rumors Of Amazon Acquisition Of Netflix. (Jan. 29, 2010)

Microsoft Awaits Corporate PC Refresh Cycle. (Jan. 29, 2010)

Record Computer Operating System Sales Power Microsoft’s Q2 Results. (Jan. 28, 2010)

Apple’s iPad No Easy Sell, Analysts Say. (Jan. 28, 2010)

Netflix Shares Soar On Positive Earnings News. (Jan. 28, 2010)

Apple Stock Dips As iPad Challenges Sink In. (Jan. 28, 2010)

Netflix Believes Subscribers Won’t Mind New Release Delays. (Jan. 27, 2010)

The Name Game Is Over: Apple Chooses iPad. (Jan. 27, 2010)

Netflix Snares Record Number Of New Subscribers. (Jan. 27, 2010)

Apple Unveils iPad, A Big-Screen Tablet For As Low As $499. (Jan. 27, 2010)

Headset Maker Plantronics Beats Wall Street Views. (Jan. 26, 2010)

Apple Making Huge Strides Overseas. (Jan. 26, 2010)

Apple Executives Remain Tight-Lipped On New Product. (Jan. 25, 2010)

Apple’s Q1 Surges, But iPhone Misses Analysts’ Estimates. (Jan. 25, 2010)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Week in review: Apple tablet buzz intensifies; Blockbuster disappoints again

Apple dominated tech business headlines this week with invitations to its Jan. 27 press event, where it’s expected to unveil a tablet computer. Apple also made headlines for its negotiations with Microsoft to make the software giant’s Bing search engine the default on Apple iPhones and Macintosh computers.
The loser of the week was Blockbuster. It warned investors about disappointing fourth quarter sales and earnings.

The following is a roundup of my stories from Investor’s Business Daily on and from Click, IBD’s Tech Blog.

Logitech Has High Hopes For LifeSize Acquisition. (Jan. 22, 2010)

Blockbuster Starring In Its Own Disaster Movie. (Jan. 21, 2010)

Peripherals Maker Logitech Beats Views In “Turning Point” Quarter. (Jan. 20, 2010)

Soap Opera All-Star Cast: Apple, Google, Microsoft. (Jan. 20, 2010)

Open Source, VMware Seen As Big Cloud Computing Winners. (Jan. 20, 2010)

Apple News Junkies Try To Decode Latest Event Invite. (Jan. 19, 2010)

Video Game Console Makers Put Their Spin On Sales Stats. (Jan. 15, 2010)

Nintendo, Activision Dominate December Video Game Sales. (Jan. 14, 2010)

Blockbuster Rises; Are People Renting Movies From Stores Again? (No.) (Jan. 14, 2010)

Global PC Market Roars Back In Q4. (Jan. 13, 2010)

Best Buddies HP And Microsoft Team Up On Cloud Computing. (Jan. 13, 2010)

Weeeee! Netflix To Stream Movies On Nintendo’s Wii. (Jan. 13, 2010)

Another Day, Another Video Game Firm Lowers Guidance. (Jan. 13, 2010)

Beleaguered EA Stuck In The Rough. (Jan. 12, 2010)

Will Plethora Of E-Reader Choices Help The Kindle? (Jan. 11, 2010)

Techies Go Gaga Over CES. (Jan. 11, 2010)

Art: Apple’s invitation to its Jan. 27 press event in San Francisco.