Wires Crossed #13 – October 29

Death of A Walkman

Death of A Walkman
Couple of interesting tidbits from Sony this week. After sales in excess of 200 million units, the doyen of portable music players, the Walkman, is to be discontinued. A staple of disco skaters, joggers and fitness fanatics, the Walkman is one cultural consumer electronics  icon that certainly had a great run and brought a lot of joy to a lot of people. RIP the Walkman! Also, on our radar is a report from the UK that the PSP is the most returned gadget. To be fair, it was a survey of just over 1,800 people, but still, it’s not something you would skite about. Also in the top 10 were two other Sony products, as well as gear from Apple, Microsoft and Motorola. Most popular reason given for the return? Disappointment with the performance of the purchase.

Twitter Sells Out
American Football teams the San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots are claiming that the power of Twitter managed to avoid a local television ‘blackout’ and sold the remaining tickets to a game between the teams this past weekend. A ‘blackout’ is when the local television station cannot broadcast a game live that involves the local team if the stadium still has tickets for sale. It is to encourage fans to go to the game, and help the franchise make money. However, both clubs sent out tweets to fans to make sure the game was a sellout so San Diego fans could see the game live on the giggle box. Both teams are claiming that the tweets made all the difference.

Facebook Musings May Cause Insurance Blockout
In years to come Britons may get insurance claims rejected if it is found they were negligent with personal information that they post on social networking sites. In a survey by UK insurance company Co-Operative Insurance, it was found that up to 35 percent of people who use MySpace, Facebook etc, count down to when they are going on holiday. Some people within the insurance industry believe that it is only a matter of time before companies will refuse to pay out on a claim if they believe a person has been reckless when posting private information on their Facebook page. Are you telling us  that insurance companies are looking for yet another reason screw over policy holders and not pay out on claims? So it ain’t so!

Is Windows On its Way Out
Maybe! Former Microsoft chief software engineer Ray Ozzie thinks so, not that he has an axe to grind. Nobody is too sure why he resigned, but he is especially critical of the company’s mobile handset space. He said, amongst other things: "[Some] of our competitors' products and their rapid advancement and refinement of new usage scenarios have been quite noteworthy," he wrote. "Our early and clear vision notwithstanding, their execution has surpassed our own in mobile experiences, in seamless fusion of hardware and software and services, and in social networking and myriad new forms of Internet-centric social interaction." As mentioned in the link, Microsoft might be crossing their fingers, toes – heck everything – hoping that Windows Phone 7 is a hit. Maybe that’s why the marketing folk changed it from Windows Mobile to Windows Phone.