Starbucks Free WiFi (Finally) Just as Broadband Demand Slows

Starbucks is not just offering its customers free wi-fi on the hazy notion that if they spend more time surfing the Web they will drink more coffee. No, the ubiquitous coffee shop retailer has plans to debut the second piece to its digital strategy this fall, which offers a more clear monetization path for it and its partners. Called the Digital Network, Starbucks intends to offer exclusive and premium content from such providers as Apple, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and health publisher Rodale.

Broadband Adoption Generally Slows
After several consecutive years of modest but consistent growth, broadband adoption slowed dramatically in 2010, according to [pdf] the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Two-thirds of American adults (66%) currently use a high-speed internet connection at home, a figure that is not statistically different from what the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found at a similar point in 2009, when 63% of Americans were broadband adopters.

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Techno Deathmatch: iTablet vKindle, Pixi v iPhone

The hype around the iTablet is reaching a fever pitch with the Kindle increasingly looking like yet another example of Apple roadkill. If Apple can consume 32% of the profits in the mobile phone biz in less than three years, it should be no problem to swallow the nascent e-reader business in one quick bite. No sooner had Jeff Bezos graced the cover of Fast Company than the Kindle was pronounced dead by the digiterati (actually, it was “Kindle in Danger of Becoming E-books’ Betamax,” according to Brett Arends in the Wall Street Journal). With competition for e-readers heating up, will Jeff be able to defend his walled garden from rivals inside and outside the category that he built?
itablet

Palm Pixi v iPhone
Palm‘s Pre was heralded as a potential iPhone-killer well ahead of its launch, but in the end it didn’t quite deliver. Its performance was slightly ahead of the iPhone 3G, but lagged behind Apple’s revamped iPhone 3GS (aided in part by Apple’s enhanced iPhone firmware which works on all its smartphones). Then we heard rumors that Palm was working on another webOS phone, but it had possibly been delayed due to poor Pre sales. That phone was codenamed Eos and Pixie, and it’s turned out to be the new Palm Pixi–a candybar phone with much simpler design than the Pre. So much simpler, in fact, that it’s probably fairer to compare the Pixi’s performance to the older iPhone 3G–which is still on sale, and is Pixi’s closest competitor. Pixi’s less capable than the Pre, and priced more cheaply, and it makes even more sense.

Report: Steve Jobs concentrating on tablet (news.cnet.com)

Steve Jobs is Hard at Work on Apple Tablet (shoppingblog.com)

Analyst: iPhone secure against competitors, AT&T not so much (venturebeat.com)

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Newspapers: John Rogers Says Future Not So Bleak, Chris Anderson Doesn’t Care. Meantime WSJ Is Cooking Up A LinkedIn Killer

Investor says future not so bleak for newspapers

A prominent US newspaper investor, and the largest investor in USA Today publisher Gannett, has said that the future for newspapers is brighter than many have predicted and that advertisers will return to print. John Rogers, CEO of Ariel Investments in Chicago made his comments to Bloomberg after Miami Herald publisher McClatchy and Gannett recently posted better than expected results.
Kertesz.Newspapers
Chris Anderson, the Wired editor-in-chief and author of ‘Free’, has had it with newspapers. No seriously, he’s through. He doesn’t care. And journalism? And Media? Kids those words are so passe. Anderson, who struck it big with his book ‘The Long Tail‘ and wants everything to be ‘Free’, has given a long interview to the German weekly Spiegel where he makes a string of provocative statements as he talks about the internet’s challenge to the traditional press.
The Wall Street Journal is to launch its own social network called WSJ Connect to rival the professionals’ community LinkedIn, according to reports. News Corporation‘s flagship title is looking to snap up some of LinkedIn’s 15m or so monthly visitors – recruiting Slingshot Labs to develop a website where professionals can create business contacts, search for jobs or find potential clients.
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Procter & Google

Interesting piece in the WSJ about P&G and Google swapping staff:

A New Odd Couple: Google, P&G Swap Workers to Spur Innovation
At Procter & Gamble Co., the corporate culture is so rigid, employees jokingly call themselves “Proctoids.” In contrast, Google Inc. staffers are urged to wander the halls on company-provided scooters and brainstorm on public whiteboards.

Now, this odd couple thinks they have something to gain from one another — so they’ve started swapping employees. So far, about two-dozen staffers from the two companies have spent weeks dipping into each other’s staff training programs and sitting in on meetings where business plans get hammered out. The initiative has drawn little notice.

p&g

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