Weekend news round-up: Scoble loves Google Glass, Apple plans Tech Talks

29 Apr 2013

The pic that launched a thousand memes: blogger Robert Scoble loves Google Glass so much he even wears them in the shower

In our round-up of some of the most interesting tech stories of the weekend, tech blogger Robert Scoble’s review of Google Glass after two weeks is eye-opening; questions arise over the future of the Wintel alliance between Intel and Microsoft; Apple is going to hit the road with a series of Tech Talks; and consumer demand for older iPhone models has Wall Street on edge.

Scoble’s take on Google Glass

“I will never live a day of my life from now on without it,” was tech blogger Robert Scoble’s judgment of Google Glass, the forthcoming eyewear from the internet giant that has the potential to shape the future of computing and mobility as we know it.

As well as predicting that a price point of around US$200 could be possible in a year or two, Scoble said that after two weeks of wearing the glasses, an e-commerce revenue model potentially worth billions of dollars could be in the making.

In a breathlessly passionate review, Scoble surmised: “This is the most interesting new product since the iPhone and I don’t say that lightly.

“Yeah, we could say the camera isn’t good in low light. We could say it doesn’t have enough utility. It looks dorky. It freaks some people out (it’s new, that will go away once they are in the market). 

“But I don’t care. This has changed my life. I will never live a day without it on.”

Wintel wanes as chip giant Intel favours Google

CNET reported that the once-indestructible Wintel alliance between Intel and Microsoft is floundering as the chip giant sees more opportunities emerging in the shape of Google-powered laptops, tablets and smartphones.

“Today, Intel needs to be the engine powering the non-Windows world. That’s where the explosive growth is,” wrote CNET’s Brooke Crothers.

“Expect to see Intel-based Android laptops and hybrids priced between, let’s say, $200 to $500 in the coming months.”

Don’t worry about WWDC, Apple to focus on separate Tech Talks

Flummoxed that tickets for the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference sold out in two minutes last week? Not to worry, the tech giant is going to hit the road with a range of Tech Talks that could help to illuminate its future road map for concerned developers.

The Next Web reported that Apple will be holding Tech Talks in the fall in various cities ‘near you’.

“Presumably, those talks would be held in various cities. For reference, Apple held Tech Talks surrounding the release of iOS 5 and those were held in Berlin, London, Rome, Beijing, Seoul, São Paolo, NYC, Seattle and Austin, Texas. Those talks centred around presentations of new technologies in iOS, as well as time to speak to Apple engineers in lab sessions to solve tricky problems.”

Consumer demand for older iPhones has Wall Street worried

However, while everyone is looking for the new stuff to emerge from Apple, a rising trend that has Wall Street on edge is consumer penchant for older iPhone devices.

The Los Angeles Times reported: “In recent months, such an unusually large proportion of consumers are opting to buy older iPhone models that some analysts have begun to wonder whether Apple has lost its ability to create new versions that have enough dazzle to justify their high prices.

“Not only has the shift toward cheaper phones nibbled away at Apple’s profit margins, it’s been dramatic enough for some analysts to view the iPhone 5 as a disappointment.”

The next Xbox will rethink content and sharing

Microsoft’s unveiling of the next-generation Xbox on 21 May has captured the tech industry’s imagination and the impact the world’s most popular games console could have on an increasingly connected world is promoting the most debate.

Polygon reported that the new Xbox is likely to reshape digital rights management (DRM) and see an increase in video sharing.

“Sources tell Polygon that the next Xbox will indeed have some form of an always-on requirement. That will be both to support the suite of non-gaming entertainment applications that will be launched alongside the console, like streaming video services, but also as a possible anti-piracy tool. Currently, the console will support digital rights management and anti-piracy checks using an internet connection. Under Microsoft’s current guidelines, which may still be changed, the decision of whether a game will require an internet connection to work and if that is a one-time authentication or a constant connection, will be left up to individual publishers.”

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John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years