September 2012 Archives

Delay to innovation is RIM's kryptonite

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SAN JOSE, CA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Research in Moti...

SAN JOSE, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Research in Motion (RIM) CEO Thorsten Heins speaks during the BlackBerry Jam 2012 conference at the San Jose Convention Center (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Has it really been three months since Research In Motion's last results call? It seems like only yesterday we were writing about the huge losses, massive job cuts and delays to new BlackBerry products, but today the company reminded us of its struggles and the scary figures that come with it.

Revenue had fallen 31% since last year to $2.9bn. This was a rise of 2% from the last quarter's $2.8bn total but was the second consecutive period the company recorded a net loss - something which hadn't occurred at RIM since 2009 before last quarter.

There were some smiles on Wall Street as the results weren't as bad as analysts feared, actually beating some expectations by as much as 16%, but again Thorsten Heins, president and CEO of RIM, warned the rest of the year wasn't looking any more promising.

The fact is, until RIM removes its head from its proverbial and pushes out some new products, there is nowhere for its results to go but down.

It is infuriating that the company is delaying the launch of its updated operating system - BlackBerry 10 - until next year. For all we know, it could be the greatest mobile OS alive but with Apple's iPhone 5 hitting the shelves, Android users flocking round Samsung and Microsoft pushing all its marketing guns behind Windows Phone 8, we will all have a new handset to play with before Christmas and won't be thinking of investing in a phone in the New Year.

The gun was already being held to RIM's head before the delay, now it's as if Heins has taken the Russian roulette shooter and filled all the chambers bar one, truly stacking the odds against him and his firm.

Computer Weekly should be getting a glimpse at BB10 and hopefully some new handsets in the next few weeks and as soon as we do, we will let you know if it is the superhero system to save the day for the Canadian company.

But, the longer I wait, the more I think the company is beyond saving and that stalling innovation has truly been RIM's kryptonite.

And to think, we still have at least one more results call before BB10 launches in 2013. It won't pleasant reading... 

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US makes UK look lice mice when it comes to tech ed

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WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 19:   A young fan of the...

 (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

As the results rolled in again this summer and we saw how few children were taking IT or Computer Science courses at GCSE or A Level, the debates began.

Whilst we questioned how we could best encourage children to take up these subjects, it became very clear their introduction to the topic played a massive part in turning them away.

I had a look at past GCSE papers from 2011 and was appalled at how little technology was in them. Asking how to stay safe when online shopping is a worthy thing to teach a digital nation, but it should fall into general studies not IT.

But what should be included and how should it be taught?

This week I am in Silicon Valley and, as with most things tech, they have shown us up again and given us something to learn from.

There is an organisation in the US called Mouse Squad. It started in New York but now spans the country with 350 sites, 481 teams and more than 5,200 members.

The idea behind it is to build a new generation of techies from the classroom, teaching them how to solve technical tasks and use cutting edge technology. But the real beauty is the students become the IT support for the school, choosing problems they have at the institution and creating ways to solve them through IT.

At Brocade's headquarters this week, a local Mouse Squad was able to build an Ethernet fabric in less than two minutes, putting many of us so-called technology journalists to shame.

These schemes are non-profit, receive donations from the big technology companies hoping to get their next batch of employees and go towards solving real problems in educational establishments.

I am thinking of starting a campaign to get Mouse Squad to the UK. Who is with me?

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No need to lie Nokia

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So, less than 24 hours after the launch of its new flagship handsets - the Lumia 920 and 820 - Nokia has been exposed as a faker.

The company gathered the press in New York yesterday to unveil its new devices, based on Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system, and took great joy in showing off the new features.

It is fair to say a lot of this focus fell on its PureView camera, which gets better snaps by allowing the lens to stay open for longer to capture more light and by using floating lens technology to enable smoother recording of video.

Nokia was really proud of the latter and made a video with two smiley actors riding bicycles and filming one another without a bump in the road.

However, it turns out, the video wasn't real. Yes, there were real actors holding the phone but, as a reflection in a window they cycle past proves, the actual video was produced by a van equipped with lighting and a stabilised camera.

It didn't take long for the keen eyed to spot the giveaway frame and now Nokia has had to issue a full apology on its blog for leading prospective customers astray.

"In an effort to demonstrate the benefits of optical image stabilisation... we produced a video that simulates what we will be able to deliver with OIS," read the post, entitled: "An apology is due."

"Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but we should have posted a disclaimer stating this was a representation of OIS only. This was not shot with a Lumia 920. At least, not yet. We apologise for the confusion we created."

What a shame Nokia. The thing is the camera technology included in the new Lumias is great and a video shown just at the press conference, which the company has categorically said is genuine, was good enough to prove it.

Now, by trying to make an ad as slick as some of its more marketing savvy competitors, it has just given itself a bad name and made customers doubt whether the tech is real.

Big mistake Nokia, huge.

Here is the link for the video Nokia claims is the real deal, showing its own Lumia 920 with OIS on, compared to a popular competitor without. Make up your own mind

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This page is an archive of entries from September 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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