Dell pulls its Jersey Shore sponsorship

Jersey Shore cast.Now that several episodes of MTV’s reality series Jersey Shore have run, advertisers are running scared. Dell is the latest in a group of sponsors who have decided to pull support from the show, citing the stereotypes around which the entire show is based.

Really, Dell, what did you expect? The show is called Jersey Shore. Just look at that cast. Just look at those people. And yes, I mean those people, as in a group of individuals who are so thick-skulled that they’ve created and perpetuated a culture around a totally ridiculous lifestyle. There’s a guy who has named his abs (and seemingly everything else in sight) “the situation.” This is prime TV fodder, especially for MTV’s demographic.

The official word from Dell is that the company does not, “condone or support ethnic bashing in any form.” Way to take the high ground, guys. I’m sure it would have been impossible to predict the content of that show.

Source: TMZ

iPhone tops the 10 most popular phones in the US

iPhone beats out everybody else.The Nielsen Company has released the top performers in the tech sector for 2009. Among the company’s lists is the cell phone chart, at the top of which sits the iPhone.

I know. I was shocked, too. Below that it’s the Blackberry 8300 series. Again, a pretty big surprise. The two most popular phones in the states this year are actual smartphones. Perhaps most surprising of all was the number three spot: the Motorola RAZR. I don’t know if people just aren’t resubbing, so they don’t replace their out-of-date phones, or if there just weren’t enough smartphone options on Verizon, the nation’s network of choice.

Whatever the case, the RAZR is still hanging around in big numbers, but it’s getting beat out by the smartphone explosion. Manufacturers take note: people want mobile web access, so much so that the smartphone sector is finally beating the pants off feature phones.


Etsy founder Rob Kalin resumes control

Etsy founder Rob Kalin.Etsy founder Rob Kalin wrote in a blog post today that he will resume his position as CEO of the handmade site as the company has started to turn a profit. Etsy’s current CEO, Maria Thomas, who came to the site from NPR to help it make some money, will be headed for greener pastures.

Etsy’s not just turning a profit now, it’s blowing up. The site has grown from more than $100 million in sales in 2008 and 1.7 million unique US visitors to nearly $200 million in sales and 3.4 million unique US visitors. Worldwide the site gets some 11 million unique visitors per month.

As young as Kalin is, a lot of people wondered if he would be looking for another CEO. He responded to TechCrunch saying, “I’ll be CEO as long as it’s good for Etsy.” Now that the site is making some money, and has some potential for ad revenue, I’d say Kalin should be fine.

Has Apple already scheduled WWDC 2010?

Moscone Center in San Francisco.AppleInsider is reporting that Apple may have already locked in dates for WWDC 2010. A calendar listing at the Moscone Center in San Francisco shows a “Corporate Event” from June 28th to July 2nd, a name that has designated Apple events in the past.

The date also coincides with the launch of the original iPhone. Since that launch, Apple has made major iPhone announcements at each consecutive WWDC. The rumor this year is that we’ll finally see the phone make the jump to multiple carriers in the US, though it’s not clear who that could be. Most people think Verizon, but the CDMA standard is not exactly iPhone friendly. T-Mobile would be a much easier choice, but it’s also much smaller.

You can’t make mention of WWDC without bringing up the iPhone SDK conference that happens some time in March. Think we’ll see OS 4.0?

Reading Material: Will mobile web kill off the App Store

Cute little Fennec.There’s an interesting article up on Wired this weekend that’s worth a look if you have the time. The focus of the story is Fennec, Mozilla’s new mobile browser. It’s meant to be the closest thing to a desktop browser you can get for a mobile device, replete with features that have to date required native apps to work. Features like full Java and HTML5 support.

That kind of flexibility is great for developers and users, but it’s a promise we’ve seen before. Remember that Java pitch from so long ago? Java was supposed to be the great equalizer, allowing one string of code regardless of machine. Different hardware capability and Java versions meant that never happened, and ambitious developers spent more time debugging than adding new features.

It’s hard to say whether things could be different this time around. It could be fantastic for consumers, leaving us to make the choice between PC and Mac, PS3 and Xbox 360, Android or the iPhone based on more than just native Facebook support, or whatever else becomes the flavor of the month.

Check out the full article on Wired.

Nook owners will be happy with the “holiday certificate”

Barnes and Noble nook.In a post regarding Nook delays yesterday I mentioned the Barnes & Noble holiday certificate, a gift card that would be sent to Nook pre-orderers who wouldn’t receive the device by Christmas. There was also some talk of a $10 gift card. Believe me, you want the holiday certificate.

A reader over at The Consumerist emailed in the image he received from Barnes & Noble this week. It included the following information:

If for whatever reason we are not able to ship your Nook in time for arrival by December 24th, with our sincerest apologies, we will send you an email notification on December 23rd with a $100 Barnes& Online Gift Certificate to use as you wish at, including for eBooks that can be enjoyed immediately on your devices enabled with free Barnes & Noble eReader software, and soon, your Nook.

Yup. A hundred big ones for your patience. All you people bitching about canceling your pre-order should shut up and enjoy at least ten free books. For me, this would completely make up for any kind of “lost time” associated with the delay.

Source: The Consumerist

More Nook shipments pushed back

Nook won't be home for Christmas.There seems to be a never ending string of delays associated with Nook shipments. Barnes and Noble’s Mary Ellen Keating, the senior VP of corporate communications and public affairs, has confirmed to TechCrunch that more shipments have indeed been delayed. It seems the company will be offering a holiday gift cretificate and a $10 gift card (maybe not both to every customer) to assuage the anger of affected customers.

I’m amazed B&N couldn’t see this coming. The company made a huge deal about the announcement and for good reason. The device is cool, much better than a Kindle, and it previewed some features that Amazon later copied for Kindle users. So why so many problems? A commenter over at TechCrunch ordered his device on November 12th. That’s a two-month delay without much notice.

The worst part of the story is that B&N had to know this was coming, but it chose to delay giving customers information until a week before Christmas in some cases. That’s pretty terrible PR, regardless of how good the device turns out to be.

Verizon offers a band-aid for the Droid’s booboo

Verizon band-aid on the droid.So you just dropped two-hundred bucks on your new Droid, not to mention the two-year contract you just signed, and things are mostly great. Sure, the keyboard leaves a little bit to be desired, but you just keep the thing closed on use the totally competent touchscreen keypad for all your input. The phone feels solid when you drop it into your pocket. On pulling it out, though, the battery cover pops off the phone and just doesn’t want to go back on.

And this happens time and time again. So you take the phone to your local Verizon store. At first, they offer you some scotch tape. After all, they didn’t make the phone. They’re just selling the thing. But scotch tape isn’t good enough for you, the tech savvy consumer. You want something more. A permanent fix. Something that won’t peel off. Your Verizon rep heads into the back of the store and returns with, low and behold, a Verizon band-aid.

Yes, this is really what Verizon is doing for you, Droid customers. Happy?

Source: Android Central

Psystar’s fat lady has sung

Psystar box.Psystar is officially shutting down. The company attorney, whose name is Eugene Action by the way, told news sources that the company would be firing all eight of its employees, putting an end to all manner of copyright infringement.

Action said the company is still planning to appeal a federal judge’s recent ruling on the matter, which encouraged Psystar to shut down as soon as possible. It’s been a year and a half, and I’m not totally clear where all of Psystar’s money is coming from. There is no way in hell they’re going to win this appeal, a sentiment I’ve shared with you before, so I’m going to leave this news as it stands today.

Psystar’s done. Apple wins. The end.

Source: Nasdaq

Palm’s still bleeding money at alarming rates

Palm lineup.I’ll start of on a positive note. This is no $500 million dollar hematoma, the likes of which we saw from Palm last year. That’s as good as it gets, though. When you look at the raw numbers, the situation is bad.

For Q2 of fiscal 2010 for Palm, the company sold just 783,000 smartphones, a decrease of 5% from last quarter. Just so you get that, leading up to the holidays and on the heels of the Pixi release, Palm sold fewer smartphones than it did last quarter.

Here’s CEO Jon Rubenstein:

We are continuing to execute strongly against our long-term strategy with the delivery of Palm Pixi, the new carrier launches completed this quarter, and the upcoming opening of Palm’s full developer program. We’re still in the early stages of a long race, and we’re energized by the opportunity to compete in this exciting market.

I hate to be the one to tell you, Jon, but this won’t be a long race at all if you keep losing money and market share. There is no long-term plan. You need to get app development going in a big way. You need to get your devices into the hands of three times as many consumers and hope that half of them like what you sell. You need to have thought of this a year ago, long before the Pre launch.

Unless, of course, your long-term strat is to get bought. That I can actually see happening.

Source: AllThingsD