Tag: Industry changes

What is this private cloud functionality being touted with NAS devices?

Netgear ReadyNAS - the heart of the personal cloud

The NAS as the heart of the personal cloud

I am seeing increasing reference to the “cloud” concept in marketing literature for consumer and small-business network-attached storage devices by their vendors. It is typically talked of in the concept of a “personal cloud” surrounding the NAS device and is used across the product range.

Examples of this include Western Digital’s My Book Live NAS, PogoPlug USB file servers and Iomega’s “Cloud Edition” NAS range.

What it is about

This feature is primarily about an easy-to-establish remote-access system for the NAS device so you can gain access to the files on this device from the Internet. The manufacturers tout this as an alternative to storing data on public-cloud file-storage services like Dropbox, iCloud, Windows SkyDrive or setting up private FTP or HTTP access to the data-storage facility your ISP or Web host may provide.

It is based on the NAS having vendor-supplied software to link with a cloud-based service that makes it easy to locate on the Internet even if you use a regular dynamic-IP Internet service. The vendor may supply desktop and mobile software to facilitate this discovery and / or establish a user-subdomain or directory name that is part of their “remote-access” service domain.

Of course, your data still resides on the NAS with the vendor’s service cloud being the Internet-side discovery link for the device. As well, all of these personal clouds use encryption of a similar standard to what is used to secure your Internet-banking session.

This idea has been existing for over the last few years with vendors providing their simplified remote-access solutions for their NAS products but they are using the current emphasis on cloud-computing technology as a marketing tool for this functionality. This is in a similar vein to how online services have been marketed using the cloud term even though they use this concept.

How can it be taken further

Currently this cloud concept is being exploited further with smartphones and tablets by the NAS vendors providing free data-access apps on their platforms’ app stores. Here the apps allow the users to use the mobile device’s user interface to transfer the desired data between the NAS and the device’s local storage. Some of us would see it as a way to offload picture data from the smartphone to the DLNA-enabled NAS or pull down important data to the smartphone or tablet.

Netgear is even working with Skifta to provide remote access to media content on its ReadyNAS units and allow a PC or Android phone to share the content from the remote ReadyMAS device with DLNA-compliant AV equipment.

The Iomega solution is implementing the Personal Cloud concept as a backup and peer-to-peer replication setup; as well as a remote-access method. But as more manufacturers get on the bandwagon, there may be the issue of providing a vendor-independent “personal cloud” in order to encourage competition and innovation.

What should my network have

The network has to have a router that is set up for UPnP IGD functionality at its network-Internet “edge” for the cloud-based remote access to run properly. This will apply to most retail and ISP-supplied routers, but you may have to make sure this function is properly enabled.

You don’t need to have a fixed IP address or a “DynDNS” program running on your equipment to have this personal cloud operate because the vendor-supplied software on the NAS takes care of the location and access function. But it should have a reliable Internet connection and you may want to put the NAS and network-Internet “edge” equipment on a uninterruptable power supply to assure high availability even with rough power supply conditions. It may be worth reading this article that I wrote about keeping “sanity” on your home network during periods of power unreliability if you want to keep that personal cloud alive.

But avoid the temptation to use a Wi-Fi wireless connection to connect a NAS to your router, even if the NAS does have Wi-Fi connectivity. Instead, connect it to your router with an Ethernet cable, so you have reliable operation.


In the context of the consumer or small-business network-attached storage system, the “cloud” feature is simply being used as a way to describe a simplified remote-access environment for these devices.

IPTV now being featured on mainstream TV media


Smart TVs (A Current Affair article) – NineMSN VIDEO

My Comments

From the recent “A Current Affair” broadcast on the Nine Network, it seems to me that the “Smart TV” or “Internet TV” concept is now ready for prime time.

What is this trend all about?

This is where functionality like access to IPTV channels, “catch-up” TV and video-on-demand is now being integrated in to most of the big-name TV sets that are to be sold at the likes of Harvey Norman. It will also include an “app-store” interface so that users can add functions to these sets in a similar way to how they add functions to a smartphone or tablet computer.

Some of the sets will come with an integrated hard disk which will provide PVR functionality. But what wasn’t mentioned was that most of the sets from the big brands, especially LG, Samsung and Sony, will support integration with the DLNA Home Media Network. This means that these sets could play content held on a computer or network-attached storage device that uses this standards-based technology.

Typically, these functions will be pitched at TVs targeted for the main viewing area i.e. the main lounge room or family room. But this kind of function may be added to existing sets through the use of some of the current-issue Blu-Ray players and network-media adaptors like the Sony SN-M1000P network media adaptor.

A few key questions that I have

“TV plus Apps” or IPTV and interactive-TV content?

There could be a fear that this could turn out as “TV plus apps” with the same old TV content plus some apps such as clients for the popular social networks, photo-sharing sites and YouTube-type sites thrown in.

But some providers are making ties with the various manufacturers to set up free and pay-TV front-ends through the IPTVs. Examples of this include Samsung establishing a tie with BigPond TV to provide direct access to that content or most of the manufacturers running ABC iView through their TV sets. It may also open up opportunities like video-on-demand or boutique content services. As well, once there is a level playing field for adding TV services, this could lead to the addition of extra TV content.

If there is a desire to provide new live or on-demand IPTV services, there needs to be support for adding the newer services to existing IPTV equipment. This could be achieved through an always-live app store on these sets. Similarly, existing broadcast content, both editorial and advertising, must be able to support links to apps and interactive front-ends that are accessible to the average viewer with one click of a particular button through the use of interactive-TV content-delivery standards.

This can include applications ranging from interactive games and competitions that are part of children’s TV through “play-along” quiz shows to polls run in conjunction with current-affairs shows which have the option for you to view “extended-version” interviews.

Equipment Useability

A key issue that I have raised in this site was the useability of services like the Social Web on this class of equipment. Typically, the “smart TV” concept prides itself on connection with social-network services like Twitter and Facebook; but there will be the desire to gain access to photo-sharing sites like Flickr and Picasa or gain full benefit from sites like YouTube. These can make use of “smart-TV” services more daunting for someone who doesn’t find themselves competent or isn’t experienced with technology.

An example of this was when I mentioned to a friend of mine about the Pixel Eyes app on the TiVo platform where they could view their Picasa albums through the lounge-room TV connected to the TiVo PVR. I mentioned that they would have to log in to their Google account using the “pick-pick” method of entering their credentials in order to view their pictures on this service and this idea frightened them off it.

The main problems is that different users will want to log in to this common terminal or, in the case of the Social Web, leave comments in relation to what they are viewing. Typically, this will require a fair bit of text entry and most remote controls won’t be fully engineered to cater to this requirement. The user will typically have to work a D-pad or wave a Wii-style “magic remote” around to pick letters from an onscreen keyboard and may have to switch between logical keyboards to use different character sets like numbers, different-case characters or punctuation. Try entering in a Facebook / Twitter / Google username and password that way or “knocking out” a Tweet that way.  As well, I have raised in that same article methods in which logging in to these services from devices like TVs and set-top boxes can be simplified and referenced how Facebook achieved a login experience suitable for these devices with their HP ePrint app. This includes being able to change the active user associated with a TV or set-top box to another user.

Similarly, I would look at issues like keyboard support for IPTVs. This is whether a TV comes with a QWERTY-enabled remote or not. The best method for add-on keyboard support would be to use Bluetooth HID connectivity so that a Bluetooth-based wireless keyboard can be used as a text-entry tool. Similarly, the ability for one to plug a standard USB computer keyboard in to the USB port usually reserved for USB memory keys and use this for text entry may make things easier. This would work well with those wireless-keyboard sets that plug in to the computer’s USB port.

A remote that doesn’t have a QWERTY keyboard but uses a numeric keypad for direct-channel-selection or parental-code-entry could use this keypad as an “SMS-style” text-entry interface, something which many nimble-fingered teenagers are used to. This would work better if it used the character-set-selection practices used on popular mobile phones.

Other methods that can be looked at include the use of smartphone apps as virtual remote controls like what Samsung has done for their Android smartphones. Here, a user could download an app to their Galaxy S phone and have this become the TV remote control. This could be extended to ideas like multi-control for interactive applications such as “own-account” operation for Social Web and similar applications with the TV screen becoming a “common monitor”.

What to consider when choosing or using your network-enabled TV

DLNA functionality

The TVs or set-top devices should support DLNA Media Player functionality at least, with preferable support for DLNA 1.5 Media Renderer functionality. Initially this would give you access to content held on your computer’s or network-attached-storage device’s hard disk.

The Media Renderer functionality can allow the TV to be controlled by a UPnP AV / DLNA control point such as TwonkyMobile, PlugPlayer or Andromote on your smartphone or tablet computer, or TwonkyManager on your netbook.  In the case of Blu-Ray players and set-top devices, you may even be able to play music from your network storage through your favourite stereo without the need to have the TV on to select the music

If the TV or set-top box offers integrated PVR functionality, look for DLNA Media Server compatibility because this may allow you to play recorded TV shows on other TVs in the house without them needing to be of the same brand.

It is also worth noting that some DLNA functions like DLNA server or Media Renderer may not be enabled by default even though the set has these functions. Here, you may have to go to the setup menus and look for “DLNA control”, “Media Server” or similar options and enable them to benefit fully from these functions.

For further information, it is also worth reading the DLNA Networked Media articles that I have written on this site.

Connecting the set to your home network

When you connect one of these TVs to your home network, I would suggest that you avoid using Wi-Fi wireless connectivity, especially if the TV or set-top box uses a dongle for this connectivity rather than integrated Wi-Fi connectivity. This is because of the fact the Wi-Fi network is radio-based and if anything is shifted slightly between the Wi-Fi router and the TV, you may have service-reliability issues.

Instead, I would recommend that you use a wired method such as Ethernet cable or a HomePlug AV powerline-network setup. The Ethernet-cable solution would work well if the router and TV are in the same room; you have wired your home for Ethernet or you can get away with snaking Ethernet wiring through windows. On the other hand, the HomePlug solution would work well for most users who don’t want to or can’t lay new wiring through their homes because this uses the house’s existing AC wiring.

In fact, if you are renovating or rewiring your home, it may be worth considering wiring the house for Ethernet and making sure you have an Ethernet connection in the main TV-viewing areas of the house. This may be achievable if you have an electrician who is competent or knows one who is competent with communications or data work doing the job.


This site will have regular coverage of home media network issues that will become of importance as we head down the the path towards online home entertainment.

The Ruslan Kogan vs Gerry Harvey debacle – how I see it

I have reviewed and currently own a Kogan Internet radio and also know of someone else who owns the same radio and a picture frame under this same label. As well, I have known Kogan as being a name associated with cost-effective LCD TVs sold directly through the Internet.

Kogan Internet table radio

Kogan Internet table radio

Compare this with Harvey Norman, those big “category-killer” furniture / domestic-appliance / consumer-electronics superstores appearing in nearly every Australian city and you watching those TV ads where you hear someone shouting like a race-caller about the way you can buy new furniture, appliances or consumer electronics on varying “no-deposit no-interest” credit packages.

Here I have observed the debate put forward by Ruslan Kogan who founded and owns Kogan with Gerry Harvey who founded Harvey Norman and Ruslan had put up the issue of his low-cost direct-market operation while Gerry had put forward the idea of people being more comfortable with buying the “big-brand” equipment off the retail floor at a chain store.

Tandy Electronics and the Realistic brand

Another company I always have thought of in this context concerning Ruslan Kogan and Gerry Harvey was Tandy Electronics, known as Radio Shack in the USA, at its peak through the 1970s and the 1980s. Here, this company had built a strong business on selling electronics parts, computers, electronics books and similar goods made under their own labels through mail-order or any of the many company-managed stores that appeared in many US towns, Australian cities and other company-managed retail locations around the world.

One major brand that stood out in my mind so clearly was “Realistic”. This brand was known for an ever-changing line-up of cost-effective consumer electronics that did the job properly and reliably. The keynote products that I and others would have associated with this brand were the STA-series stereo hi-fi receivers. Each year, there were at least 10 different receiver models with varying power outputs and levels of functionality with even the cheapest unit offering an expected level of functionality (support for 1 record player, 1 aux input, separate loop for 1 recording device, 2 speaker pairs) even though it was positioned as an entry-level unit.

I have personally used or seen in use many of the Realistic consumer-electronics equipment and have found that it could do the job very adequately at a very reasonable price and have found it to be a brand that one is not “ashamed to use”. For example, I had seen the Realistic MPA-20 public-address amplifier in use at an “open day” which a friend was hosting at their rose farm in 1999 and this was part of a PA system that was on loan from their local Country Fire Authority.

Realistic car stereo radio-cassette (12-1892) - 1981 catalog shot - RadioShackCatalogs.com

Realistic car stereo cited in this article

Similarly, I had used two examples of this entry-level “fast-forward-eject” car radio-cassette (catalogue number 12-1892), that is illustrated here and that was put on the market in 1980. The first example that I had used in February 1981 was installed on an old friend’s car, close to that month and was good on the tape with an earlier mixtape that I had. and, through subsequent uses was good on both radio bands and with many other tapes. The other examples that was installed in a lemon of a car that another  friend was duped in to buying in 1993 by a smooth-talking mechanic. This example had  played a recently-recorded mixtape of mine very reliably without the usual problems associated with this class of cassette player. I have also used and seen in use some hi-fi systems with Realistic components and the owners weren’t ashamed of using this equipment that was under this brand.

Therefore I have held the Realistic brand that was developed by Tandy Electronics as an example of how Ruslan Kogan could develop the Kogan brand further by running a good line of consumer electronics that works properly to the letter yet each unit is at a price point that yields more “bang for the buck” and satisfies the customer’s need properly.

Attitudes to Direct-Sales / Mail-Order Purchasing and “Clean-Skin” / “White-Box” products

As well, I have heard and read a lot about purchasing of goods from sources other than “bricks-and-mortar” stores of major chains being a common and accepted practice in the USA.

This can be in the form of buying through mail-order, over the phone or (nowadays) via the Internet with reference to large paper catalogues or, for Internet-based purchasing, the vendor’s Website. The likes of Sears and Amazon have started off in that country based on this trend and some outlets like Sears, Sharper Image and Victoria’s Secret have built their name around these catalogues even though some of them operate traditional retail floor-space. But there is a different attitude shown by most Australian customers when it comes to buying goods like consumer electronics. A lot of them feel more comfortable looking at the goods in action on the retail floor rather than reading about them in a catalogue or Website.

Similarly, there is an acceptance for private labels and “clean-skin” / “white-box” products in the USA where goods or consumables made by an original or well-known manufacturer are repackaged by distributors or retailers under the distributor’s or retailer’s own label either to provide an affordable product or one that is positioned in to the shop’s market. A large number of the Australian retailers do use private labels but, save for a few exceptions in the premium-goods sector, most of these labels aren’t considered any worth and are only seen as being for cheapskates.

As well, in Australia there isn’t much encouragement for packaging “original-brand” goods  as “clean-skin” or “white-box” methods especially if the goods are sold through common retail outlets. Similarly, most people don’t think of visiting independent retailers for most of their technology purchasing needs. This has usually been brought about by the arrival of “category-killer” retail chains which rely heavily on large stores located primarily in the suburbs where land is cheap alongside highly-saturated television-advertising campaigns centred around flashy graphics and announcers that sound like race-callers at a horse race and use of catalogues full of flashy graphics shoved in letter-boxes or inserted in to tabloid newspapers.

Exceptions to this rule that may happen include goods sold to the trade specifically for on-selling to customers as part of an installation or maintenance job, independent retailers selling “clean-skin” parts and accessories “loose” or in minimal packaging or independent computer resellers supplying “white-box” desktop computers that they build on their own premises.

Educational competence influencing purchasing practices

This rule may also be affected by the education level or technical competence of the customer where the customers who are more likely to be educated and / or technically competent are more likely to be astute when it comes to buying consumer goods. Therefore they are more likely to discriminate between the kind of goods available and show interest in and subsequently accept private labels, direct-sales / mail-order purchasing and independent retailers.

This fact is typically represented by the kinds of shops that make up shopping centres that exist in poorer neighbourhoods, where a lot of space is dedicated to larger “big-box” chain stores like Harvey-Norman and K-Mart whereas neighbourhoods that are more likely to be occupied by educated consumers are likely to have more strip shopping centres filled with independent retailers.


This debate between Ruslan Kogan and Gerry Harvey has put a lot more in to context when it comes to computer and consumer-electronics retail especially as the connected home becomes a reality and people will want to consider acquiring “connected” consumer electronics over the years.

Will more Windows-based laptops appear on the “Cool Wall”?


Windows PCs take New York | The Microsoft Blog

My comments

Last year, when Windows 7 and Apple MacOS X “Snow Leopard” came out, a lot more Windows-based laptops and “all-in-one” computers appeared that excelled on their aesthetics as well as their functionality. This has been reinforced with a few of the computers that have come my way for review on this site.

The Envy laptop (product review) has a laser-etched “filligree” pattern on the back of the computer’s lid and on the palm rest whereas the ProBook 4520s (product review) has a “brushed” florentine-bronze finish on those same places. Dell had used a “piano-black” gloss finish on the lid of two of the computers – the Studio 15 (product review) and the Inspiron 13z (product review) while their Mini 10 netbook (product review) had that “gloss-white” finish that was common with previous generations of Apple iPods and Macintosh products for the back of the computer.

If you, like me, are a regular viewer of “Top Gear” which is a very funny BBC TV car show which is pitched at the petrolheads and car enthusiasts amongst us , you may have seen the “Cool Wall” segment on this show (WikiPedia article). Here, there is a very large board that is divided up in to four segments – “Seriously Uncool”, “Uncool”, “Cool” and “Sub Zero”. Here, the Top Gear Boys (Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May) place photos of various cars on this wall according to how cool they think these cars are. Some of us may have noticed a so-called “Super-Cool Fridge” which was a box shaped like a fridge where pictures of cars deemed to be “Super-Cool” went. The Top Gear Boys tended to vary the definition of “coolness” based on the car’s powertrain, body style or other factors, even on whether certain celebrities and high-profile individuals were driving it or not.

If you thought of a “Cool Wall” existing for laptop computers, it may have looked like this with all of the recent-issue Apple MacBook laptops being considered either “Sub-Zero” or in the “Super-Cool” fridge and all of the Windows-based laptops appearing on the “Uncool” side. This is because of the grey finish with that Apple logo glowing on the back of the computer. What is now happening is that the machines from HP, Dell, Acer, ASUS and Sony are now in a position to fill in most of the “Cool Wall”.

This latest crop of laptops that have been shown in the preview show detailed in the Windows PCs take New York article is now showing that more of these manufacturers are showing up with machines that can look as good as the Apple units. Similarly, there have been people who have used Windows-7-based computers to do creative work including music production and this has led to MacOS X “Snow Leopard” and Windows 7 ending up on an even footing as far as desktop computing is concerned.

Some Apple pundits may think that Apple moving away from the Motorola PowerPC processor platform to the Intel processor platform as well as integration of Microsoft technologies into MacOS X may have denied the Apple Macintosh platform its perceived  exclusivity and superiority over other platforms. This is even though Apple had licensed intellectual property from Microsoft ever since they used the Microsoft BASIC code for the Applesoft BASIC interpreter in the Apple II lineup of computers.

At least there is more activity underway with yielding a functionally and aesthetically level desktop-computing field between the two main players.

Regular free-to-air TV in the Internet age

There have been many people who have said that regular free-to-air TV, like regular local radio or newspapers would lose out in the Internet age. But it has been able to survive the Internet challenge. This has been achieved through the technology being able to work as an adjunct to the classic media.

The Web page

One way of surviving the Internet challenge is for stations to augment their video content with a Website. This is usually achieved by the station creating a “master” Website with separate links to Websites about the various programmes on offer.

Extension to the news service

The most common beneficiary is the station’s news service where an up-to-date “electronic newspaper” is provided for all of the news that the station reports on. Typically this has been extended with key stories getting the “interactive treatment” such as data mash-ups or interactive diagrams. In most cases, a key story would have its own Web page with all articles, audio, video and interactive content that is relevant to the key story.

Another common practice is to have news stories clustered in to geographic areas local to the station’s operating territory with the user being able to “swing” between the areas. This can allow users to see more than the evening news service.

Some stations provide a moderated comment option on the stories so that they offer citizens the opportunity to speak up about the issues at hand. They also may offer the opportunity for the public to pass on news tips or still/video images for inclusion in the stories being broadcast. This allows for the broadcasters to make the audience relevant to the news broadcast.

Secondary scoreboards / leaderboards

Another common application is to turn a Web page in to a secondary scoreboard or leaderboard for a sportscast, reality TV show or similar show. This usually allows for the broadcaster to provide extra detail on the event. It is typically in the form of users gaining an always-live always-updated leaderboard independent of when the tally is shown on the TV screen, as well as user-selectable detail sheets for the contestants.

Fan sites for TV shows

The other common application is to provide a “fan site” for TV shows that are being produced by the station. This is a way of gaining extra value out of the TV shows through the provision of extra information and collateral about the show or having a sounding board for the show’s fans.

Sometimes the message boards that are part of these Websites may yield information about fan-created Websites for the shows or key personnel in the shows.

Video-on-demand / Catch-up TV


MasterChef cooks up online storm | Australian IT

Recently, most TV Websites have hosted video-on-demand material such as clips or interviews from the whole show. These may range from extended-version interviews for public-affairs shows to whole episodes of a TV serial. The last application is typically described as “catch-up” TV because of the way that users can view the prior episodes in order to catch up with the current episode.This application has come to the fore in Australia when Channel 10 screened the MasterChef cooking contest series over the last two months.

At the moment the video-on-demand service is primarily provisioned through a Web application hosted by the TV broadcaster or the TV show’s production company; or simply as files or vision that is part of the TV show’s Web page. This typically requires one to view the video material at their home computer, which will typically have a small screen, rather than on their television’s large screen.

There are plans to provide this kind of interactive online TV service in the form of a set-top box, typically as port of an established “personal TV service” platform like Tivo. Such platforms will use the broadcast reception abilities in the “personal TV service” devices to obtain the regular broadcast video that is part of the service and download the extra video to the device’s local hard disk. This service, which may be known as “over-the-top” video, will be an attempt by the TV establishment to bring the video content to the big screen in the living room.

Live IPTV broadcasts

This application is simply like Internet radio in which a live TV broadcast is streamed via the Internet’s infrastructure. It is considered a thorn in the side for the TV establishment because it allows anyone with the necessary computer hardware and software and the necessary Internet connection to broadcast to the Internet. Due to the reduced cost of this hardware, software and connection, it may allow anyone to broadcast a TV service that can be complimentary to the existing broadcasters’ offerings or totally work against the grain that the existing broadcasters have laid out.

For example, the established US TV networks and cable channels may see themselves being threatened by this concept if, for example, an IPTV broadcaster sets itself up to run content services in a similar manner to Australia’s SBS. This situation may draw people who are living in the big cities or the college towns away from the kind of content typically run by these broadcasters.

This same application is also part of “single-pipe triple-play” Internet services where a multi-channel TV service is provided as part of an Internet and VoIP telephony service. These services are already common in some countries like France and are starting to come on the map in countries like the USA where fibre-optic broadband services are being deployed.

The effect and benefits

One effect of this technology I have noticed is that some normally technology-shy friends that I know are using the Internet extras to gain more value out of their favourite TV shows. This has allowed these shows to work as a bridge to them gaining more out of online technology and becoming comfortable with it.

Similarly, the Web pages have encouraged people to bring laptop computers in to the lounge area where the TV is and use these computers to log on to the Web sites associated with the TV shows they are viewing.

Current issues

Most of the online TV content is pitched for viewing on a computer rather than on a regular TV set. This is because the accepted culture is for the content to be seen only as complementary to the existing broadcaster’s offerings.

But some providers are trying to bring the broadband service to the TV through various set-top-box platforms. These platforms would be extensions of any open-standard or proprietary interactive-TV platforms that are in service or being developed like DVB-MHP or Tivo’s proprietary interactive-TV platform. Similarly, the Consumer Electronics Association, a US trade group who represent consumer-electronics manufacturers, distributors and retailers, have established a standard for bringing the Web to the TV.

Similarly, there is the issue of controlling and monetising the video content that passes across the Web. This is typically of concern when high-value content such as sports, movies or headline TV series are concerned. It has also affected the idea of establishing free-to-air or subscription IP-TV services which can complement or compete with existing TV services. It can be typically answered through the provision of software DRM systems but they have to be designed to be robust, secure and less onerous for the customer.

The other key issue is providing an IPTV viewing experience that is akin to viewing regular TV. This usually involves providing a channel list that allows for “up-down” channel-surfing, numeric “direct-entry” selection, as well as selection through a menu. It also will involve providing high quality-of-service so that the viewing experience is akin to watching regular TV where there is good reception. At the moment, this is typically provided through a closed set-top-box environment but there is activity taking place for it to work with devices like television sets and PVRs that are standards-compatible. Similarly, a lot of currently-released routers are supporting quality-of-service management in order to prioritise multimedia data transfer across the network.


At the moment, the online experience provided by most regular TV broadcasters and producers is directed towards the co
mputer screen but, if it is to challenge the status quo, it will need to appear across all of the three screens (TV, computer and mobile / PDA), especially the TV screen.

Once these current issues are overcome, then IPTV can become more prevalent either as a free-to-air or subscription medium.

Apple – the next of the big personal-computing companies to change leadership


Steve Jobs steps down, Tim Cook runnin’ the ship until June : Boy Genius Report

Apple boss Steve Jobs to take extended leave | Technology | guardian.co.uk

My Comments

Last year, Bill Gates stepped down from the chair at Microsoft because it was his time to retire. Now, this year, Steve Jobs had just stepped down from the chair at Apple due to ill health. Now that the two biggest personal-computing ships who started up in the late 70s and set the direction for ubiquitous desktop-based computing are changing leaders, what could become of the world of personal and small-business computing?

There are possibilities of newer leadership causing a change in how the companies operate as far as their product portfolio and consumer relationships go. On the other hand, the companies could just work as they have been going. They could lose their mantle in this class of computing as newer startups get themselves going and improve on the technology.

Other things to watch for is how the workforce in the companies reacts to the changes that are taking place and whether established companies in the same industry are likely to change leadership, thus causing a different wave to sweep across this class of computing.

These next few years will be very interesting to watch as far as the small-form computing scene is concerned.