Post I.T. - Washington Post Technology Blog Frank Ahrens Sara Goo Sam Diaz Mike Musgrove Alan Sipress Yuki Noguchi Post I.T.
Tech Podcast
The Bloggers
Subscribe to this Blog

Archive: January 2007

Bad Times At the New York Times

This morning, the New York Times Co. announced its fourth-quarter and total 2006 financial results. They aren't pretty. And they cap a year of downer financial news from the parent company of the Gray Lady. The big headline out of today's news is a $648 million loss in the fourth...

By Frank Ahrens | January 31, 2007; 3:12 PM ET | Comments (0)

Mobilizing Google Calendar

A while back, I jumped into the Google Calendar world - and brought a handful of people with me. Of course, I have my own calendar, where I note various meetings, lunch dates and birthdays. My wife and I share a separate calendar where we mostly note activties for the...

By Sam Diaz | January 31, 2007; 12:15 PM ET | Comments (0)

Vista Launches Today

Microsoft Inc. rolls out its much-anticipated, frequently delayed Vista operating system today. The global hype is impressive, writes my colleague Alan Sipress. There's a laser display along the waterfront in Shanghai and a huge interactive laptop in Germany. It's a big push for Microsoft, because desktop operating systems, like Vista,...

By Frank Ahrens | January 30, 2007; 11:13 AM ET | Comments (0)

War games at Walter Reed

Locally-based soldier's aid organization Cause (stands for Comfort for America's Uniformed Services), kicked off the first of what it hopes will be a regular, monthly video-game tournament at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center last night. Cause plans to hold the event on the last Sunday of every month. Prizes...

By Mike Musgrove | January 29, 2007; 2:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

L.A. Times Tries To Get Webby

Last week, the Los Angeles Times skewered its own Web site in a major new plan to make itself more relevent to 21st-century news readers. You can read a story about the details here, including some shocking facts, such as: The L.A Times, which is the nation's fourth-largest newspaper by...

By Frank Ahrens | January 29, 2007; 12:07 PM ET | Comments (4)

Yes, even your teen can become a millionaire

We were a little floored to get the news yesterday afternoon that a 17-year-old high school student from New Jersey received $4.1 million in venture funding for the Web site she co-founded, myYearbook.com. The site lets teens create their own digital yearbook, post pictures and connect with each other. There...

By Sara Goo | January 26, 2007; 5:00 AM ET | Comments (3)

Guitar Hero 2, part two: The bootleg

I'm suffering from a rawk hangover today. While Frank was doing his text-message frenzy thing last night, I was at home fake-jamming 'til the wee hours on "Stairway to Heaven" and Metallica's "Master of Puppets" on a hacked version of Guitar Hero 2. The next version of the hit title...

By Mike Musgrove | January 25, 2007; 12:16 PM ET | Comments (12)

The Joy of Text

Last night, my beloved West Virginia University Mountaineers men's basketball team played hated in-state rival, Marshall University, in my hometown of Charleston, W.Va. They had beaten us---inexplicably, I might add---the past couple of years, so we fans were jonesing for some payback. Unfortunately, the game was not on TV here...

By Frank Ahrens | January 25, 2007; 10:51 AM ET | Comments (3)

MySpace's State of the $*%@#! Union

MySpace, the world's most popular social-network site that boasts 100 million profiles and that is owned by Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp Inc., had a nifty idea for last night's State of the Union address. Why not let MySpace users post their own State of the Union address? In fact, why not...

By Frank Ahrens | January 23, 2007; 11:12 PM ET | Comments (5)

The YouTube Election

By now, you've probably watched Sen. Hillary Clinton's (D-N.Y.) "I'm in" presidential campaign announcement video. It's a conversation-starter for a number of reasons. First, based on its setting and what she says, Clinton sounds less like she's running for president and more like she's auditioning for a host spot on...

By Frank Ahrens | January 23, 2007; 2:07 PM ET | Comments (11)

Just Browsing, Thanks

Okay, prepare to go full-metal geek: We're going to talk about Internet browsers. Amsterdam's OneStat.com, a research firm that tracks Web use, has tossed out a study on Internet browser usage around the world, ranking them by popularity in some individual nations. Most people, I bet, don't even think about...

By Frank Ahrens | January 23, 2007; 11:52 AM ET | Comments (25)

HDTVs and the Super Bowl

This is what you get for playing a game of chicken with that HDTV you've been eyeing: You lose. An analyst report says that if you were banking on big pre-Super Bowl sales on HDTVs at big-box retailers such as Best Buy and Circuit City -- like they've had in...

By Frank Ahrens | January 22, 2007; 12:38 PM ET | Comments (9)

"Newsweekly:" Contradictory Term?

Today's news is about the massive layoffs at Time Inc.'s big magazines, Time, People, Sports Illustrated and other marquee nameplates. "The layoffs are about the restructuring of our editorial staffs as we move quickly into a future of flexible, multiplatform content creation," John Huey, Time Inc.'s editor in chief, e-mailed...

By Frank Ahrens | January 19, 2007; 11:56 AM ET | Comments (9)

Bloggin', Bloggin', Bloggin, Keep Those Papers Bloggin'

Here's some rare good news for the newspaper industry: People are reading newspaper blogs. A report out today from Nielsen/NetRatings, which monitors online use, shows that traffic to blogs at the 10 busiest online papers more than tripled in December 2006 compared to December 2005, from 1.2 million unique users...

By Frank Ahrens | January 17, 2007; 12:04 PM ET | Comments (0)

It's Tech Tuesday In The Post

A plethora of tech stories for you to read in Today's Business section: * Check out Ellen Nakashima's Day In Our Digital Lives story and multimedia package, which tracks the life of one Kitty Bernard and the digital eyes that track her through her day. Also, Ellen has a discussion...

By Frank Ahrens | January 16, 2007; 12:19 PM ET | Comments (0)

Fox Responds To Broadcast of Profanity

Today I got an e-mail from Fox spokesman Lou D'Ermilio said that the network did broadcast the "f-word" profanity printed on the t-shirt of a fan during Saturday's NFC playoff game between the Philadelpia Eagles and New Orleans Saints. D'Ermilio also said the scene was not live -- it was...

By Frank Ahrens | January 14, 2007; 3:28 PM ET | Comments (36)

Fox Airs Profanity During Eagles-Saints Game

It's Saturday night and I'm watching the NFC playoff game between the New Orleans Saints and the Philadelphia Eagles. At the 8:37 mark in the first quarter, New Orleans defenders broke up a pass intended for a Philly wide receiver. After the replay, the Fox cameras cut to the stands,...

By Frank Ahrens | January 13, 2007; 8:36 PM ET | Comments (0)

Star Trek XI: The Search for Box Office

So, William Shatner confirmed the rumors swirling around the next "Star Trek" movie, to be directed by "Lost" creator J.J. Abrams and due out next year: The next film installment of the venerated franchise will focus on the early years of Capt. James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock, set before...

By Frank Ahrens | January 12, 2007; 3:41 PM ET | Comments (0)

Blogging Around The District

You may have heard about a new Web site that launched earlier this week, called placeblogger.com. The whole idea is to organize blogs by location of the bloggers. Another site, called Outside In, is trying to do something similar. So I went to placeblogger and went to see how many...

By Sara Goo | January 12, 2007; 1:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Found in DC: More CES Video

Don't you love the pleasant surprise when you come home from a long trip, upload your digital photos to your computer and realize there's some pretty good shots there. Well, we found some pretty good video on the CES camcorder - and while the show has already made its way...

By Rob Pegoraro | January 12, 2007; 11:19 AM ET | Comments (0)

Your Very Own CES Podcast

A compilation of sounds, interviews and audio reports by Rob Pegoraro and Yuki Noguchi is the featured "From the Pages of The Washington Post" daily podcast for Friday, Jan. 12. You can download the podcast through iTunes or by visiting www.washingtonpost.com/podcast. Or take a listen by clicking here....

By washingtonpost.com Editors | January 11, 2007; 10:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

A Final Thought From McCarran International Airport

LAS VEGAS - One promising HDTV technology on display at last year's CES has vanished from sight this year. Neither Canon nor Toshiba were showing off any of the screens based on SED (surface-conduction electron-emitter display) technology that they had displayed last year. A January ago, this system had been...

By Rob Pegoraro | January 11, 2007; 5:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

A WTWP Recap of Tech Week

I spoke with Washington Post Radio this morning to talk about some of the hottest topics to come out of Tech Week, including the short-lived honeymoon of the new iPhone announced by Apple this week. Listen to the clip by clicking here....

By Sam Diaz | January 11, 2007; 4:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Another Segment from WTWP

Washington Post Radio talks to me and the Consumer Electronics Association's Jason Oxman about the experience of the Consumer Electronics Show. It's a lot of work to navigate the show - but if you love gadgets and electronics, this type of work is the most fun. Click here to listen...

By Yuki Noguchi | January 11, 2007; 3:34 PM ET | Comments (0)

Making Your Own HD Video

LAS VEGAS - Tired of waiting for high-definition content on your TV? Maybe you should make your own. Panasonic shows off its High-Definition camcorder at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Check out the video clip here...

By Rob Pegoraro | January 11, 2007; 3:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Can't Keep A Steady Hand?

LAS VEGAS - The folks at Panasonic have put a spinning wheel on the floor in front of their booth to demonstrate the image stabilization feature on their digital cameras. Stand on the wheel with a camera and take a picture of the mock beach scene in the booth. Check...

By Rob Pegoraro | January 11, 2007; 2:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Hottest Item at CES?

LAS VEGAS - There's been a steady flow of traffic around one particular product - the Sharp 108-inch TV. So far, the company has only produced four of them - and they were all at CES. The company says they will become available in 2007 and it anticipates that there...

By Rob Pegoraro | January 11, 2007; 1:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

CES Show Floor or Mid-Town Manhattan?

LAS VEGAS - Navigating the show floor of the Consumer Electronics Show isn't easy. The aisles are crowded with people who are gawking and staring at the coolest new products, ducking into corners to take a cell phone call or hammer out an email on a Blackberry. Here's a sneak...

By Rob Pegoraro | January 11, 2007; 12:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Putting Tech to the Test

LAS VEGAS - Those of you who have followed this blog for the week may have noticed that there really weren't many images the first day or so. There's a reason for that - and a few people to thank for making sure that my digital photos were transmitted from...

By Yuki Noguchi | January 10, 2007; 4:00 PM ET | Comments (1)

A Walking AMD Ad

LAS VEGAS - AMD has hired people to walk around the entrance to the Las Vegas Convention Center with these monitors strapped to their backs. This guy told me that the whole setup weighs 35 lbs. It can't be an easy job, especially when competing for attention with the guitarist...

By Rob Pegoraro | January 10, 2007; 3:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Static and Electronics Don't Mix

LAS VEGAS - You can learn the strangest things around the show floor. While checking out some LCDs at the Westinghouse Digital booth, I picked up a shock by touching a shelf. I told the rep that I was surprised this hadn't happened more often, and she said that people...

By Rob Pegoraro | January 10, 2007; 2:50 PM ET | Comments (0)

Help With Digital TV Recording

LAS VEGAS - Do you want to be able to record digital-TV broadcasts off the air and take your recordings with you? Help is on the way. Companies are finally showing off DVD recorders that include the ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee) tuner needed to receive a digital signal. For...

By Rob Pegoraro | January 10, 2007; 12:15 PM ET | Comments (1)

Furry Friends For Phones

LAS VEGAS - Amid all the hot tech booths, one of the most popular turns out to be non-tech. FunFriends.com, which has retail deals with Verizon Wireless and Claire's accessory stores, makes stuffed-animal cell phone covers that work on just about any flip phone. Pink monkeys, cute cats, bovines...

By Yuki Noguchi | January 10, 2007; 11:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

The TiVo of Music

LAS VEGAS - Broadclip is a company that claims to be to audio what Tivo was for television. It allows users to scan Internet-based music sources and record them onto your iPod or another digital media player, which the company's vice president of business development Joe Monastiero says does not...

By Yuki Noguchi | January 10, 2007; 10:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

iPhone Excitement

LAS VEGAS - Apple's announcement of the magical-looking iPhone this morning is getting some attention here. As I was charging up my Treo at the Sprint store and service center located at the Sprint-sponsored monorail station outside the convention center, one of the salespeople came out from the office to...

By Rob Pegoraro | January 10, 2007; 8:30 AM ET | Comments (4)

The FCC's role at CES

LAS VEGAS - FCC chairman Kevin Martin and commissioner Deborah Tate are walking the show floor and visiting with some of the major firms here. Some just showed off their latest hardware, but others have policy goals. Hitachi and Intel separately asked for government intervention to establish an open market...

By Rob Pegoraro | January 10, 2007; 7:00 AM ET | Comments (2)

Audio Blog: U.S. Secretary of Commerce at CES

LAS VEGAS - Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez joined me for an audio blog today. Some criticize the US for falling behind on broadband deployment. In response, Gutierrez said, the number of high speed Internet users in the country is high and growing. "we are moving fast so we can...

By Yuki Noguchi | January 10, 2007; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

More from CES on WTWP

LAS VEGAS - Check out my Washington Post Radio spot by clicking here. Join me again Wednesday morning at 11:50 a.m. (that's 8:50 a.m. for those of us in Las Vegas) on WTWP - 1500 AM, 107.7 FM or streaming live on www.washingtonpostradio.com....

By Yuki Noguchi | January 9, 2007; 7:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Your Favorite Video On TV? Not Always.

Devices to put Internet content on your TV are suddenly popular at CES. And away from it: Apple's new $299 "Apple TV," announced this morning in San Francisco, should make it a lot easier to watch iTunes movie downloads on your HDTV. But will you be able to watch anything...

By Rob Pegoraro | January 9, 2007; 4:30 PM ET | Comments (1)

Apple Makes It Official

Steve Jobs made it official today, announcing the iPhone and Apple TV at the Macworld Conference and Expo in San Francisco. Oh, and no longer will the company be known as Apple Computer. From here on out, just call them Apple. Click here to read the story on washingtonpost.com....

By Mike Musgrove | January 9, 2007; 2:28 PM ET | Comments (6)

Howard $tern's Big Payday

The King of All Media can book another $83 million to his net worth. Howard Stern's employer, Sirius Satellite Radio, announced today that it has rewarded its star shock jock with 22 million shares of company stock for bringing listeners with him from FM radio when he moved to satellite...

By Frank Ahrens | January 9, 2007; 1:45 PM ET | Comments (6)

Cars That Get You

love the Toyota Prius, but it doesn't really get me. It comes with voice-recognition navigation that thinks I'm looking for a post office or a bank when I tell it to "go home." Not so with the new Microsoft Sync systems in the Lincoln Navigator I tested. The software...

By Yuki Noguchi | January 9, 2007; 1:30 PM ET | Comments (3)

From WTWP Radio

Rob Pegoraro spoke with Washington Post Radio again this morning, live from the Consumer Electronics Show. Washington Post Radio can be found on 1500 AM or 107.7 FM or live at www.washingtonpostradio.com To listen to Rob's morning radio spot, click here....

By Rob Pegoraro | January 9, 2007; 12:21 PM ET | Comments (0)

Flying Without A Plane

LAS VEGAS - The modern joystick apparently has gotten so good that there are international flight-simulation competitions won by people who can't fly an actual plane. "I'm a pilot and this is realistic," said Rob Gebauer, national sales manager for Saitek Industries, a company that makes an increasing amount of...

By Yuki Noguchi | January 9, 2007; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

Come On In

LAS VEGAS - The tents outside the convention halls, where companies like Microsoft and Yahoo have set up shop have gotten more elaborate over the years. This year, in an attempt to draw in people to their tent to check out its new mobile service, Yahoo offered free custom-made ice...

By Yuki Noguchi | January 9, 2007; 8:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

Lost In Vegas

The best booth layouts ("booth" being a grotesque understatement of their size) have a lot in common with casino layouts. Both send you around corners and in circles, disorienting you until you're surrounded only by the flashiest, loudest stuff - exhibits or games. Either way, this can be a good...

By Rob Pegoraro | January 9, 2007; 7:15 AM ET | Comments (1)

No News But An Impressive Demo

Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger's keynote yesterday was a little short on news - alright, it was almost devoid of any, such as details about the success of Disney's movie downloads at Apple's iTunes Store. (Something tells me those numbers will come out tomorrow at Steve Jobs' opening keynote...

By Rob Pegoraro | January 9, 2007; 6:00 AM ET | Comments (1)

Leaving CES is Never Easy

The scene outside the main entrance of the Las Vegas Convention Center is always a bit hectic as the Consumer Electronics Show comes to an end for the day. The cab lines are notoriously long. The Las Vegas monorail looks a lot like Washington's Metro Center station at 5 p.m....

By Rob Pegoraro | January 8, 2007; 9:02 PM ET | Comments (1)

HDTV News for 2007: Lower Prices

LAS VEGAS - How much cheaper can HDTVs get? Not everybody wants to throw out predictions -- after all, no one wants to risk sending a signal to consumers that they should put away their credit cards until fall? But a couple of executives ventured some numbers. Panasonic's Masaru Kono,...

By Rob Pegoraro | January 8, 2007; 6:45 PM ET | Comments (0)

Mobile Search, Non-Google Style

LAS VEGAS - At 26, Zaw Thet looks more like a tanned California surfer than the 26-year-old CEO of 4Info.net, a two and a half year old mobile search company. 4Info, based out of Palo Alto, Calif., so far has only focused mostly on text search --- a service also...

By Yuki Noguchi | January 8, 2007; 4:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Tadpole For The IPod

Does your iPod say "girl power"? Or perhaps it's more "Skullz"? Or maybe it has more of the "Urban2" vibe? One company, iFrogz, launched in March of last year selling rubber outfits for iPods with these sorts of names. The product is a silicone skins in 38 colors, accompanied by...

By Yuki Noguchi | January 8, 2007; 3:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Digital Experience Highlights

LAS VEGAS - Random highlights from the Digital Experience show, which on Sunday night filled a hall at Caesar's Palace with dozens of exhibits from various tech companies: * A thick Bluetooth watch from Sony Ericsson that alerts you of new calls and text messages. Yeah, kind of ridiculous --...

By Rob Pegoraro | January 8, 2007; 2:10 PM ET | Comments (0)

From WTWP Radio

Rob Pegoraro spoke with Washington Post Radio this morning, live from the Consumer Electronics Show. Yuki Noguchi is scheduled to hit the airwaves for another broadcast from CES today at 4:52 p.m. Tune into Washington Post Radio on 1500 AM or 107.7 FM. Or Listen Live at www.washingtonpostradio.com To listen...

By Rob Pegoraro | January 8, 2007; 1:07 PM ET | Comments (0)

Tech Toys For The Tots

LAS VEGAS - The line between what passes for a toy and what is strictly speaking electronic gadgetry is clearly blurring. Thus, those in the toy industry now talk about their own category -- youth electronics -- which is the fastest growing sector among toys, according to Reyne Rice, a...

By Yuki Noguchi | January 8, 2007; 12:00 PM ET | Comments (1)

It's Tech Week, Not Fashion Week

Bill Gates' keynote was free of crashes, stalls, hangs and the other usual consequences of showing off software that isn't finished yet. But in another aspect, the keynote was vintage Gates: He still won't waste time on prettying himself up for an occasion. Once again, his hair was in its...

By Rob Pegoraro | January 8, 2007; 10:20 AM ET | Comments (0)

A New TiVo for Comcast Customers?

LAS VEGAS - TiVo is showing off the Comcast version of its digital video recorder, with the same look, sound and feel of existing TiVo devices. Even Comcast's program guide and on-demand interface have redone appropriately (i.e., no ads in the guide). But Comcast users will have to wait a...

By Rob Pegoraro | January 8, 2007; 9:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

One For The Luddites

LAS VEGAS - There are 65 million Americans who neither have nor want a computer, Mike Migliore, director of software engineering for a private California company tells me. Therein lies an ironic, yet intersting niche for a company here at a huge show featuring all manner of high tech geekery:...

By Yuki Noguchi | January 8, 2007; 8:58 AM ET | Comments (2)

Bill Gates Delivers 11th CES Keynote Speech

LAS VEGAS -- Microsoft's big push for consumers this year is the "connected experience" and the company sent its chairman and Chief Software Architect, Bill Gates, to Las Vegas to highlight it at the 40th International Consumer Electronics Show. Gates took to the stage at the Venetian Hotel and Casino...

By Rob Pegoraro | January 8, 2007; 2:39 AM ET | Comments (1)

What About The Competition?

LAS VEGAS - When you back one technology and not a competing alternative, do you actually want to advertise that alternative's existence? Maybe not, to judge from Sony and Panasonic's press conferences. Both managed to tout their Blu-Ray high-definition video-disc players without once mentioning the rival, incompatible HD DVD format....

By Rob Pegoraro | January 7, 2007; 9:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

Where Was This During My College Years?

LAS VEGAS - Every now and again, I find new technologies that would have saved me an awful lot of time or pain if they'd existed when I was a kid. Google's controversial book search product, for example, would have come in mighty handy when I was researching my college...

By Yuki Noguchi | January 7, 2007; 7:35 PM ET | Comments (1)

Cabs That Look Like Metro Trains

LAS VEGAS - Here in Las Vegas during the Consumer Electronics Show, no advertising opportunity is wasted. Taxicabs at the airport come entirely wrapped in corporate insignias for things like Microsoft's new Windows Vista. The effect is much like Washington's Metro cars that are covered in ads to be seen...

By Yuki Noguchi | January 7, 2007; 6:58 PM ET | Comments (0)

Blogging From the Runway

LAS VEGAS - Sent from the runway at McCarren International Airport. As we taxi into our gate, here are some fun facts about CES, just to keep its size in perspective. The estimated attendance of CES is expected to be 140,000, more than enough to clog I-66 at rush hour...

By Rob Pegoraro | January 7, 2007; 3:45 PM ET | Comments (1)

Welcome to Tech Week

This week, the Post I.T. blog becomes home to continuous news updates from Las Vegas, where the International Consumer Electronics Show is getting ready to open. Along the way, we'll be keeping you posted on announcements out of Macworld in San Francisco, as well. The Post's Yuki Noguchi and Rob...

By Sam Diaz | January 7, 2007; 3:00 PM ET | Comments (0)

Why Can't I...? (Episode No. 317)

UPDATED: See below. Last year, my beloved West Virginia University Mountaineers shocked the college football world with a Sugar Bowl victory over the University of Georgia. Of course, I TiVo'd the game. The game was broadcast on Disney's ABC and, shortly after its conclusion, a 15-minute version of the game...

By Frank Ahrens | January 4, 2007; 6:20 PM ET | Comments (1)

New Year, new calendar debate

Every year, during the first week of January, I walk down to my nearest Borders and buy a new day planner for the new year. I know, this is terribly non-techie of me. But it started years ago when I got one of those Palm devices for Christmas. Shortly after,...

By Sara Goo | January 4, 2007; 12:10 PM ET | Comments (2)

Does Your Presidental Candidate Have a Vlog?

Will video blogs become the next big tech breakthrough to help voters connect with their candidates for the '08 Presidential campaign? Some politicians hope so. Last month, while we were all preparing for our long string of holiday parties and trips to visit families, Democratic candidate Tom Vilsack quietly launched...

By Sara Goo | January 3, 2007; 1:41 PM ET | Comments (4)

 

© 2010 The Washington Post Company