Linkages

Booting Up: The Chickens Come Home to Roost for Apple Maps Manager

Whoops. (Photo: The Amazing iOS 6 Maps)

Word on the street says Apple has fired the manager who oversaw the development of its ill-fated Maps app. [Bloomberg]

This anthropologist completely submerged herself in the culture she was studying for three years … meaning she moved to the Bay Area and started chatting up hackers. [Wired]

Google has released an icy slew of Street View updates, including photos of Svalbard, Norway–which is about 400 miles north of continental Europe. [TNW]

The most commonly asked politics question on Ask.com in 2012: “Who will win the Presidential race?” Guys, it’s a search engine, not a crystal ball. For fortune-telling, you need Nate Silver. [VentureBeat]

Nokia is suing to block the sale of many RIM products until they can straighten out royalties, not that it’ll save either company from the scrapheap of corporate history. [ComputerWorld]

Dumb Smartphones

Blackberries Now So Embarrassing People are Hiding Them Under iPads

(Photo: AFR)

If you’re not Beyonce and you’re still carrying around a Blackberry, chances are you are over 55, wear a three piece suit to work or–like a family itself–you are desperately beholden to a family plan from which there is no escape.

Where once we touted Blackberry Curves like prized possessions, obsessively BBMing friends and humblebragging about the jitters induced by that phantom blinking red light, we now cluck our tongues in derision at the behind-the-times fogies who dare to wield a device that isn’t an iPhone or Android. Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: No HBO on Hulu for You and Other Letdowns Edition

Akihabara seemed relevant. (Photo: flickr.com/jkabahit

Good news! HBO is now on Hulu. Bad news: It’s only in Japan. [GigaOm]

While everyone was distracted by the health care ruling, the Supreme Court decided not to rule on another case, concerning whether you can sue a company for breaking a federal law, even if you can’t prove damages. Forbes explains why that doesn’t make Facebook, LinkedIn, Zynga, and Yahoo too happy. [Forbes]

Look, RIM has options, okay? (They’re just not great options.) [Reuters]

Amazon is making it easier for developers to create games on the Kindle Fire. Good, because the current selection is zzzz. [Bloomberg]

Yet another I/O roll-out: Google Compute Engine, the company’s very own infrastructure-as-a-service product to compete with Amazon Web Services. What, no skydiving to announce it? [Google Blog]

Speaking of the GOOG, they’d like everyone to know Gmail now has 425 million users which, by our calculations, means they’ve dethroned Hotmail. [TechCrunch]

Shake-Ups

Nice RIMs! BlackBerry Maker’s Two CEOs Are Out

thorsten_heins

From the department of The iPhone Killed Everything: As pundits have been prognosticating, RIM’s two co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis have stepped down after 20 years. The pair will have seats on the board but will be replaced by the German-accented COO Thorsten Heins, who has been in upper management at RIM for the last four years. “This is so fantastic and phenomenal to become the CEO,” he says in a video unearthed by Business Insider. “Being trusted by Jim, Mike and the board to follow Mike and Jim’s big footsteps.” Read More

Get Smart(Phones)

Android and iOS Extend Their Lead on RIM and Windows

The big green monster is growing

Google’s surprise purchase of Motorola led a lot of pundits to declare that the window was now open for Microsoft and RIM. They could forge partnerships with some of the manufacturers and carriers who would be wary of allying with a Google that was planning to build its own phone. But the raw data paints a grim picture for the also-rans in the smartphone world.

John Paczkowski at All Things D posted this chart from NPD showing the change in market share when it comes to the smartphones consumers are buying. Android has solidified a massive lead with 52 percent of the market, up from 33 percent this time last year. Apple is the clear second place with 29 percent, up from 22 percent in 2010. Blackberry saw its share dip from 28 percent to just 11 percent. And poor Microsoft saw its last place gap widen, as it fell from 0 percent to just four percent. Read More

Patently Insane

$4.5 Billion Purchase of Nortel Patents is a Potent Reminder How Broken the System has Become

patent troll

A heated bidding war taking place at the World Trade Center has finally wrapped up. At stake was the largest collection of technology patents ever assembled into a single sale portfolio, the treasure trove of the now bankrupt Nortel.

Google emerged as the early front runner with a $900 million bid and was expected to compete with Apple over a price that could reach as high as $1.5 billion. In the end a coalition of Microsoft, Apple, RIM, and Sony beat out Google with a massive $4.5 billion bid.

The sad reality of the situation is that the massive interest in the patents is not about innovation. When Google filed its stalking horse bid back in April, Google’s general counsel, Kent Walker, said the search giants interest was primarily defensive, “to create a disincentive for others to sue Google. The tech world has recently seen an explosion in patent litigation, often involving low quality software patents.”  Read More