The T-List: (BlackBerry) Storm Rising

By  |  Saturday, October 11, 2008 at 6:38 pm

The T-Mobile G1, the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, and now the BlackBerry Storm. The iPhone-like touchscreen phones are coming at us fast and furious. And while the Storm doesn’t look to be the mythical “iPhone killer” that folks like to talk about, it’s the most interesting iPhone rival from a hardware standpoint.

A BlackBerry Without Keys
Confession time: When I first heard about the possibility of a touchscreen BlackBerry, I was super-skeptical. It sounded like an iPhone wannabee–and what’s a BlackBerry without tiny plastic keys? But the BlackBerry Storm, which will be available on Verizon “soon,” is clearly more than a boring iPhone clone, and it doesn’t represent an abandonment of the things that make a BlackBerry a BlackBerry. When you use the on-scren keyboard, the screen depresses slightly and provides haptic feedback to simulate real keypresses; the phone works on Verizon’s excellent network in the U.S. and does GSM almost everywhere else; it includes Documents to Go’s full suite of Office-compatible editing tools rather than plain document viewers. I still haven’t laid hands on a Storm, but I’m looking forward to doing so–even though I’m afraid it’ll beat the long-overdue BlackBerry Bold, which I’m even more excited about, to market.
Read more at: Network World

Apple Notebooks: Rumor This Week, Reality Next Week
On the Apple front, the week began with a rumor about a rumor: that the supposed Apple project codenamed “Brick” was not a product, but an amazing new manufacturing process for carving notebook cases out of solid blocks of aluminum. Next came fuzzy spy photos of what were said to be new MacBook cases. Then bloggers began to question whether the much buzzed about Apple portable event on October 14th would be a go. And then Apple invited press and analysts to…a portable event on October 14th. Possibly featuring an $800 MacBook. Whew! Technologizer will cover the Apple event live from Cupertino. but it can’t possibly keep us busier than this week’s scuttlebutt did. And hey, it’ll all be true, for sure.
Read more at: Cult of Mac

Are Two AMDs Better Than One?
Anyone who loves underdogs has gotta have a soft spot for AMD: Through decades of ups and downs, the scrappy CPU company has been the only true competitor to the far larger Intel. It’s also been one of the few chip companies that both designs and manufactures its processors. But AMD made a long-standing rumor official this week: With the help of investments from Abu Dhabi, it will split into a chip-design company and a chip manufacturer. The move will mark the end of the longest rivalry in CPUs–well, not the end, really, but the start of a new chapter. Should consumers care? Yup–they should hope that the two new companies partner to make next-generation chips in a nimble, cost-efficient fashion that not only keeps the race with Intel alive but quickens it.
Read more at: Ars Technica

YouTube is Looking More Like the Boob Tube
There was a time when some pundits declared that short-form user-generated content of the sort that YouTube made famous would render the longer, profesional programming on the big TV networks and cable channels irrelevant. Maybe someday, but YouTube has struck a deal with CBS to put old fashioned TV on YouTube, including Star Trek, Beverly Hills 90210, Californication, and other shows. They’re the longest items ever on YouTube, and possibly the most nakedly commercial efforts ever associated with YouTube parent company Google, at least in terms of presentation–there will be ads before, during, and after the shows. And it all sets YouTube up for more direct competition with Hulu, the all-professional video hub that’s a joint venture between NBC and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
Read more at: NewTeeVee

Yet Another New
The most famous change ever made was when it dumped its butler mascot and the name Ask Jeeves. But the smallest of the big search engines does more major makeovers more often than its larger rivals, and it’s rolled out yet another one. The new dumps much of what made last year’s upgrade distinctive in favor a look and feel that’s certainly functional, but less strikingly different than that of Google.
Read more at: New York Times

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