Who’s on Crack in Tech: 3.5.10

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Welcome to another week gone that you are not getting back. No matter how much we loathe the week, it’s in the books and no amount of illegal narcotics is going to change that fact. For these nominees, who I suspect are on crack, this week hasn’t been kind. Let’s get to it:

Microsoft loses the keys; the F1 key
Sony Walkman Phone imminent
BlackBerry mixing up a new batch of phones?
Google v. Apple; what this is really about.

“Where did I put my damn keys?” Microsoft

It’s a common phrase in my house. I can’t ever find the keys to my car and the fact that my keys are now keyless only seems to exacerbate the issue as I don’t have to know where they are on me, just if they are near me. Thanks Toyota.

Microsoft seems to have lost the F1 key. See it on your keyboard? It sits there all smug, feeling good about being named numero uno. Oh God, don’t touch it! No seriously, don’t touch it. Our Sue Walsh reports, “Microsoft is warning XP users not to press the F1 key if a website prompts them to. The company urges them to ignore the warning saying it could be an exploit using a newly discovered vulnerability in VBScript.”

Fantastic. We are trained to download junk when prompted, to hit “OK” 8 million times to set up our Outlook server and now we can’t hit F1. What is next, F2? They wouldn’t dare.

Sony can’t resist Walkman phone

I’ve been poking fun at Sony’s antiquated Walkman brand ever since I lifted a pen here at Gadgetell. The seeming idiocy of continuing to use a brand that died with portable CD players made me think less of Sony. Now it seems they’ve figured this out (or have just been punking Ericsson all these years) and according to rumors, will announce a Playstation Phone or a PSPhone. (pronounced Pee-sphone).

From our hot little sister site who wears her skirts too short: Gamertell, “The Wall Street Journal reports that Sony will release a new smartphone in 2010 that will rival the iPhone. The phone is said to be made by Sony Ericsson. It will be capable of downloading and playing PlayStation games.”

More and more we hear how 9/10 apps on iPhones are games. Is a game-centered phone so out of focus for Sony? It looks like a real possibility as it looks to fight back advances made by Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch (the funnest iPod ever according to their marketing).

Could a PSPhone find a home in more than gamers hands? Could casual gamers pick this up with the stigma of being a gamer (if such a things exists, easy Gamertell)? Could Sony really hold itself back from slapping the Walkman brand on it somewhere?


BlackBerry hits the playground, heads for the slide(r).

Oh boy. Blackberry has made it’s fortunes as a great email device. When candy bar QWERTY phones ruled the landscape, BlackBerry had a monopoly. With the iPhone, Palm Pre, Droid, Nexus One all vying for our attention, BlackBerry looks like the freak in the back dressed as Barney the Dinosaur.

The solution: whip up some hip devices the kids out there will love. Only their next purported version, the Slider, looks like it won’t get any dances at the Middle School Spring Dance. Oddly shaped, chunky, possibly a hair lip, BlackBerry appears to have been listening a bit too much to Mom, “it doesn’t matter what you look like, it’s whats inside that counts.” Sure Mom. And girls make fun of me cause they are in love with me, right? Look how that worked out.

How about a new form factor: the pirate eye-patch phone. The Aye-Phone?

Google v. Apple; what it is all about

I normally don’t review stories I’ve written about, but this one is big. This one could change the mobile landscape. I’ll let me from a couple of days ago tell the story: “Yesterday, the world was abuzz with Apple’s lawsuit targeting 20 alleged patent violations by HTC. Many of these devices named in the suit run Google’s Android operating system. Google preemptively sent a statement regarding the issue, refusing to sit idly by while HTC took the punches.”

Let’s put this into perspective. You and I make stuff and we’re good friends. I am on your board of directors, you grab some of my cool map stuff for your little thing and we get along. Then, I decide my side gig is going to be a conflict of interest, so we build a fence – I can’t see you, you can’t see me. I resign from your board. Then you buy a map company and it kinda bums me out, you liked my map stuff yesterday. I build a phone store and only sell my phone. You have built lots of stores, so I figure, “what do you care?”

But you do care. I’ve been hanging out with Heather Trixie Cunningham (HTC for short) quite a little bit. I saw you spying on us a the movies, perv. And so, in a jealous rage, you lawyer up and sue Heather (aka HTC). She’s my girl, so I’ve got to say something like, “I am totally with this chick.”

So where does that leave us? We’re not going to work this out. Lawyers are going to run the show, getting rich off both of us and someone is going to have to change some code. There will be late nights for programmers. There will be no, “if the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit” fun phrases to come out of this.

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