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Who’s on Crack in tech: 7.1.11

Sections: Columns, Communications, Computers, Features, Gadgets / Other, Originals, Who's On Crack

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Welcome to the 7/11 edition of Who’s on Crack in tech. Today, we’ll look back at the, shall we say interesting, week in the tech world and perhaps dig just a little deep to see which companies are off their meds or perhaps are on something a bit stronger. Let’s get to the accused:

RIM’s got mail!
TouchPad: can you touch this?
Skype for Android finally?
webOS to Samsung and I grow gills in the water

RIM’s got mail!

This week, RIM’s mailbox must have been bursting. After a rough go with the PlayBook, some notes on a shrinking Waterloo and continued downward trend in the US marketing, fan mail or hate mail (depending on your point of view) started piling in.

“While I hide it at work, my passion has been sapped. I know I am not alone — the sentiment is widespread and it includes people within your own teams.” -anonymous open letter from RIM employee

The response from RIM, “the senior management team at RIM is nonetheless fully aware of and aggressively addressing both the company’s challenges and its opportunities.”

Is this anymore than a he said/she said? What company doesn’t have employees that think the bosses are jerks? Or that they know whats best for the company? Heck, here at Gadgetell, I can tell you we all think our Editor, Robert is a jerk and that we’d do so many things different if only I had the editors reigns.

But then, we don’t have to wear Robert shoes. We don’t have to stress over readership numbers or pleasing big brother. So what we call being a jerk, to Robert, it might be shielding us from the crow he has to eat. [Sidenote, Robert is actually one of the coolest people I have the pleasure of working with. Mellow to the core].

So is the letter to RIM right on or just pesky whining? Despite RIMs faults, they are kicking so butt overseas in developing countries. And where is Apple running? China. Asia. Developing countries.

Maybe RIM’s troubles are a hiccup as they wait for the developing countries boom. Or maybe they’ve built their walls to high and have missed the market. I believe that’s the case here in the US but heck, who didn’t miss that? Palm sure didn’t. Microsoft didn’t. It’s time to re-invent RIM and often that starts at the top.

Truth be told, my favorite part of the letter is this: “No Accountability – Canadians are too nice.” Fantastic stuff.

What’s your take? Is RIM in need of a shake up or do they just need some breathing room to adjust to the developing world? Right on or whine much? Let us know in the comments.

TouchPad for light days?

Launching today is HP’s webOS TouchPad. And what is the hub bub all about? Bugs.

“Bugs in the software were reported in most reviews and point to ominous signs. Can a buggy product have any chance of success?”

Forget anything else you want to know about feature spec, forget the app count, forget the smartphone integration trick. Bugs. Use this and feel the software letting you down.

Why would you buy it? You really, really like HP? Or Palm? Or just want to be a beta tester?

Droid doesn’t do Skype, but 4 out of the Android Army can!

To me, Skype is video conferencing. If you’re an Android user though, Skype has to mean something else or you just don’t video conference on your phone. But there may be good news on the horizon:

“Today, Skype announced that certain Android users will be able to enjoy video chatting through Skype with their friends and family. If you own an Android smartphone running Android 2.3 and it features a front facing camera, you’ll be able to take advantage of the newly redesigned Skype for Android app. The very select list includes the HTC Desire S, Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo, Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro, and the Google Nexus S.”

Really? Android is a few years in and we’ve got just 4 phones running 2.3 that can use Skype for video? Is QIK that good? Are Droid’ers just not Skypers?

I don’t get it. Come on Skype!

HP to license webOS to Samsung and I invented the rotary engine

Can we just cut the bull now? This looks to me to be nothing more than HP trying to put out some misinformation about how popular their webOS will be to pad the sales of the TouchPad. Straight up BS. At least, that’s my take.

“…according to HP CEO Leo Apotheker, they are already in talks with interested companies who want to license webOS. Although Mr. Apotheker declined to give specific time-frame as to when this will happen, some people with knowledge of the discussions confirmed that HP and Samsung are already in talks for this possibility.” -Arnold Zafra, gadgetell.com

People with knowledge can only mean HP. Samsung has nothing to gain by spilling the beans other than potentially hurting a relationship with Google whom they rely on for the OS for its Galaxy phones. So, I am going with HP on this one.

Let’s examine why Samsung might license webOS despite having huge success globally with their Galaxy line of phones. Could they really be worried that Google will shut down Samsung opportunities by constricting what the maker can and can’t do on the device? Do they want to have a sandbox with a decent OS as a back up?

Do they see something in webOS? Maybe. But to think other makers are looking for an OS controlled by HP, a competitor seems a bit silly. HP could do the very same things.

As far as I can see, there’s no play here. Android’s relatively open, cheap (free if you don’t want the Google experience), and has a loyal app building community and more adding everyday as the OS grows (or at least maintains it high smartphone saturation). Why do anything else?

Disagree? Let us know in the comments.

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