As far as tech outages go, the recent Playstation Network downtime is a real doozy. The company has been working hard to recover from the security breach, but that involves a move to a new server bank, software upgrades, testing, and on and on. But just how bad is it?
That graph from The Technologizer should tell you. You’ll probably remember a few of those dates from the wild amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth that accompanied those outages. And that graph says nothing of the amount of personal data that was pilfered from Sony servers, which led to the outage in the first place.
How does an online service recover from massive data theft and 3+ weeks of downtime. In all honesty, it might not. We’ll have to see how Sony plays its cards for the remainder of the year.
The Apple iPad may already come pre-loaded with a pretty handy, no-frills weather app, but for those that want their weather forecasts delivered with a bit of style, Tiny Mammal’s Weather Doodle is just the app for you. Although it’s been available for the iPhone since late 2010, the app has finally made its way onto the iPad, and it’s currently on sale for only $0.99 (normally $1.99) through May 23rd.
Weather enthusiasts won’t find too much to get excited about — using individual weather stations within cities across the world, you can access basic info like current conditions, the 5-day forecast, and wind speeds and humidity — but it’s in the presentation where the app really shines. Instead of just seeing a static image of the weather conditions, Weather Doodle depicts it using animated art, whether it’s the moon glowing, snow falling, or lightning striking from storm clouds. There are three different art themes to choose from (with more on the way), but only one of them comes installed with the app. The other two can be purchased for an additional $0.99 each, which is perhaps its biggest shortcoming. Fortunately, the one theme that is included (titled Paperscape, which looks like a grade-school art project using construction paper) is undoubtedly the best of the bunch.
Still, for as appealing as the simple yet beautiful presentation may be (it certainly makes checking the weather more interesting than usual), the lack of any really cool features prevents Weather Doodle from being a must-have app. It’s a great deal at its current sale price, but at its usual $1.99 price point, there’s just not enough there to make it worthwhile.
If you’re a baseball junkie, this app will blow your mind. Bill James is the king of baseball stats, and now you can get an app for your iPad or iPhone called Baseball IQ that gives you an unbelievable about of information. Check out the video above and you’ll get a feel for all the possibilities with this app, but it just scratches the surface.
One of the best uses will be for fantasy baseball. Right now, you have access to tons of stats if you play fantasy baseball, so it’s hard to gain a real advantage over the other teams. But with this baseball app from Bill James, you get a level of information on stuff like match-ups that goes way beyond what you can find on the web.
All you mobile nerds are getting excited about that new Sidekick, right? Yeah, right. I’m actually shocked that T-Mobile even has plans to make a Sidekick 3 now that smartphones have become the wave of the future. If I can get an Android handset or an iPhone for the same price (or cheaper), why bother with an expensive data plan for what is essentially a hardware gimmick at this point?
It seems 471,000 consumers agree with me. That’s the number of subscribers T-Mobile has lost in the first quarter of 2011. That’s not the full story – the company did sign 372,000 to new contracts, but that’s still some 99,000 short of growth. In any case, it’s not good news. Maybe AT&T is right about the buyout. Does T-Mobile need Big Blue to keep itself afloat?
The technology has made life so much easier that we forget how it used to be. A child of the new millennium has no idea how to work a rotary-dial phone, and the thought of not having a cell phone can feel like the ultimate peer pressure overload to a teenager. So as a trip down memory lane, here are six formerly paper items that have been turned digital.
Remember photographs that were printed with a special dark room process on photographic paper? They gave us something to remember things, people and events by and they were kept in photo albums that had to be stored somewhere. If a person collected a lot of pictures, they would have uncivilized amounts of photographs taking up room in boxes or big, bulky albums that gathered dust. Thousands of photos can be stored on something smaller than a stick of chewing gum, now; it‘s amazing.
Every company who’s anybody has contracts to deal with. The contracts are between the company and it’s clients, or the company and it’s creditors, or even between the building owner and the company who rents the place. There are as many kinds of contracts as there are businesses, and firms like Echosign are providing electronic signatures to verify that everything is legal and recorded.
3. TV Guide
Many still use the paper hard copy of TV schedules, but more and more of the big TV-makers are programming the sets to display the schedule to be seen on-screen. No need for the paper version.
4. Books and Magazines
Books and magazines now come on electronic devices that can hold hundreds or thousands of books. The Nook, Kindle and iPad are taking the reading world by storm–iPads are being used in schools now–leaving storage and durability problems in the past. Buying e-books take place in a digital market instead of requiring a trip to the bookstore, and the book downloads onto the device, ready to read. They’re paid for with online transactions involving plastic cards or digital signatures, and not cash.
5. Statements and Bills
Bank statements and cell phone bills can be accessed online; in fact, some companies give discounts to paperless customers.
6. Employment Applications
Job hunting is now a paperless application done by computer, requiring emailing a digital resume–saving time, money and trees. For a potential employer, the online application has given large chunks of time back, being able to weed out definite no-hires without having to interview them all to find out they’re definite no-hires. Potential employees can send out many applications a day online, rather than have to pound the pavement going to one place at a time. It’s a known fact that more people find jobs at home in their pajamas these days.
It’s a growing list of things that are turning digital, and it grows exponentially by the day. Do you have any to add?