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CES 2005: Form, Function and Stylin'

Anyway, the big draw will be a host of products designed to integrate the iPod even more into daily life than it already is, a move that almost seems to out-Microsoft Microsoft. Here's more from the L.A. Times: "Want to teach an iPod new tricks? Consider Nyko Technologies Inc.'s MoviePlayer, which allows iPods to play video. Or Griffin Technology Inc.'s $19.99 iBeam, which turns the iPod into a flashlight or a laser pointer. Or Belkin Corp.'s $29.99 microphone, which permits voice recording."

Reuters gave a sense of the money at stake in catering to iPod fans: "Industry experts claim that the typical user spends about 20 percent on top of the price of the iPod to dress it up in an attractive case or make it more versatile by attaching speakers or docking it to an automobile stereo system. With iPods selling for anywhere from $250 to $600, depending on the model, that translates into a hot business opportunity for many manufacturers looking to tap into the enthusiasm of the iPod user market." The news service offered some of its own accessory examples: "Many users, unsatisfied with the quality of the signature white earphones that come with the iPod, usually opt to upgrade to higher-quality buds that can range in price from $40 to over $300. Another issue for some mobile users is the iPod's battery life. Various battery-backup options range from $20 to about $150."

_____2005 CES_____
Washington Post reporter Yuki Noguchi attended the 2005 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. She filed regular postings from the show and answered reader queries on the feedback page.


_____About Filter_____
Filter looks at the day's top technology news through snapshots and analysis of what the world's media outlets are covering. Washingtonpost.com's new Mon.-Fri. feature is penned by technology reporter Cynthia L. Webb. If a technology story breaks, a company falters or triumphs, or there's a new trend in technology, Filter wants you to know about it.

_____Filter Archive_____
Vonage Phones in Hot WiFi Plans (washingtonpost.com, Jan 5, 2005)
Tsunami Prompts Online Outpouring (washingtonpost.com, Jan 3, 2005)
The Year in Technology (washingtonpost.com, Dec 22, 2004)
Shooting for Video Game Success (washingtonpost.com, Dec 21, 2004)
The Incredible Edible iPod (washingtonpost.com, Dec 20, 2004)
More Past Issues
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But wait, it gets better. "An iPod goody can cost more than the iPod itself," the L.A. Times reported. "Bose Corp. sells its SoundDock speaker, which integrates an iPod into a home stereo, for $299, about $50 more than the cheapest iPod. Clarion Co.'s in-dash, touch screen car entertainment system runs $1,599. 'Some people would say that the BMW is the ultimate iPod accessory,' said Forrester Research analyst Josh Bernoff, referring to a $149 adapter that lets BMW owners plug an iPod into the stereo system via a cable in the glove compartment."
Los Angeles Times: For iPod, the Gear Helps the Gadget Turn Heads (Registration required)
Reuters: PluggedIn -- Beyond the iPod, Accessories Are Hot Items

USA Today reported on other iPod car conveniences including Pioneer Electronics, which "plans to introduce a $140 adapter in March that will be compatible with 3 million of its newer and older car stereo units." Alpine, the paper said, "announced in September that it had developed a $100 adapter that keeps the iPod out of sight with a plug in the glove box, behind a seat or under a dashboard. Other high-end stereo makers such as Blaupunkt say their units are usually equipped with a plug-in that can accommodate an iPod, although the iPod can't be controlled from the stereo." USA Today also reported that DaimlerChrysler manufactured a limited edition of its Smart two-seater with a built-in iPod cradle, and that Subaru is watching the trend closely.
USA Today: Apple's iPod rocks car-stereo makers

Blog Me in St. Louis

Blog readership is in the millions throughout the United States, according to a new study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. "The survey ... showed that blog readership has shot up by 58% in the last year," the BBC reported. "Some of this growth is attributable to political blogs written and read during the US presidential campaign."
BBC News: Blog reading explodes in America

Everything tends to get a little more popular with a dollop of controversy. For example, the "washingtonienne" blog about the true erotic adventures of Capitol Hill staffer Jessica Cutler got her: a) fired, b) a book deal and c) a potential Playboy photo shoot. On a less raunchy level, a whining/moaning/complaining blog by St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Daniel P. Finney led to his resignation.

"Finney's hard drive was seized on December 16, and he was suspended around the same time. Apparently, the St. Louis Newspaper Guild then entered into discussion with Post brass about Finney's fate. A week later, he resigned. Neither the Post nor Finney would discuss the details of the resignation, but Finney says that the paper did not pressure him," reported the Riverfront Times, an alternative weekly paper in St. Louis. "Finney's blog, entitled 'Rage, Anguish and Other Bad Craziness in St. Louis' and written under the pseudonym Roland H. Thompson, often included the topics of his articles before they appeared in the paper."
Riverfront Times: Daniel P. Finney's blog sealed his fate with the Post-Dispatch. What now?

Quick excerpt, courtesy of a Dec. 23 article in Editor and Publisher: "In another entry he poked fun at the subjects of the Post's annual '100 Neediest Cases' feature: 'The bottom line is that there are a lot of poor people who need stuff. It is a worthy cause. And, at some level, I feel sorry for these people. But at another level, one in which your friend Crazy Roland is much more in touch with, I must admit I feel as if a good number of these needy cases could be avoided by a well-placed prophylactic.' Six days later, a '100 Neediest Cases' installment carried Finney's byline."
Editor and Publisher: 'St. Louis Post-Dispatch' Blogger Outed, Suspended

Maybe the Post-Dispatch brass's anger was misplaced. In an article that ran on the paper's own Web site, the Associated Press reported that "Despite the attention to blogging, a large number of Americans remain clueless -- only 38 percent of Internet users know what a blog is: online agglomerations of ideas, information and links, usually presented with the most recent postings on top, and often offering a mechanism for visitors to post comments."
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Blog creation, readership rise in 2004

Wave Rat: the Sequel

Twenty-year-old Canadian college student Josh Kaplan swears he wasn't trying to cash in on the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster by selling the domain name "tsunamirelief.com" in an eBay auction with a starting price of $50,000.


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