Mike Becky

Tag Archive for ‘CNET’

Marissa Mayer Unveils Make-Or-Break Plan for Yahoo ➝

Richard Nieva, writing for CNET:

Marissa Mayer is cleaning house. The question is whether the makeover is to keep Yahoo going for the long term or to sweep out the clutter and attract potential buyers.

To turn Yahoo around, the CEO said Tuesday that she’s cutting about 1,700 jobs, shutting down services like Games, and selling off patents and real estate in the hopes of adding $1 billion to $3 billion to the company’s coffers this year. She’s also put out a call to would-be buyers, saying she and Yahoo’s board are ready to “engage on qualified strategic proposals.”

I’m afraid Yahoo is too far gone at this point. Think about it, when was the last time you relied on a Yahoo owned-service? For me, it was Flickr about five years ago.

GE Moves on from Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs ➝

Ry Crist, writing for CNET:

By the end of the year, GE will cease production and sales of compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), the manufacturer announced this morning. Moving forward, the company’s focus will fall entirely on halogen incandescents and on high-efficiency LEDs.

Despite the superior energy efficiency of CFLs, I’ve continued to use standard incandescent light bulbs while they’re still available. I was never able to find a good CFL that offered comparable light quality to regular-old incandescents alongside inexpensive per-bulb pricing with zero warm up time. I tried bulbs from a wide range of manufacturers, but nothing stood up to the 75W Philips Natural Light bulbs I purchased from my local Wegmans.

I had previously stated away from LED bulbs because they’re much more expensive then CFLs and especially incandescents. But with new regulations limiting their sale, standard incandescent bulbs with decent light output are almost impossible to find. I think it’s finally time for me to start looking more seriously at LEDs.

Apple Wins Dismissal of Employee Bag-Check Lawsuit ➝

Steven Musil, writing for CNET:

The decision filed Saturday by US District Court Judge William Alsup in San Francisco frees Apple from having to compensate more than 12,000 current and former employees at 52 stores throughout California for time spent waiting to have their bags searched when they went on breaks and at the end of their shifts over a six-year period.

In his ruling, Alsup said employees were free not to bring a bag to work, thus avoiding the search process.

Marshall Announces a Smartphone ➝

Lynn La, writing for CNET:

If you’re an audiophile, the news of Marshall’s debut smartphone may be music to your ears. The audio and sound company, which specializes in making amplifiers, speakers and headphones launched a smartphone today called the London.

As Marshall’s first smartphone, the device emphasizes high-quality sound and sports a number of features that promise to boost a user’s listening experience.

The device doesn’t look completely ridiculous, especially compared to other Android devices on the market. But, I don’t understand who would actually buy this thing. I’d guess that most users who care about audio quality and love music are far more likely to just buy an iPhone than even consider the London.

Amazon Applies Machine Learning to Product Reviews ➝

Ben Fox Rubin, writing for CNET:

Amazon is rolling out a big change to its customer reviews system in the US, introducing a new machine-learning platform it developed in-house to surface newer and more helpful reviews.

I absolutely love buying products from Amazon, but the reviews on the site are a bit of a mixed bag. That’s why I usually search the web for reviews by reputable sources before making a purchase. But if this new system manages to surface the more helpful ones, I’ll certainly start paying more attention to them.

Flickr Misfires with Automated Photo Tags ➝

What a botch.

Automatic, the Smart Driving Monitor, Launches App Gallery ➝

Antuan Goodwin, reporting for CNET:

Two years ago, the Automatic smart driving monitor launched as a sort of “fitbit for cars,” connecting on-board diagnostic (OBD) technology to the Web to present driving data in a way that almost anyone can understand. Today, Automatic launches its Automatic App Gallery, a sort of app store for cars with over 20 apps that work with Automatic’s hardware, alongside a new developer platform and second-generation hardware.

There’s trip mileage apps designed to integrate with expense tracking software, an app that can help split the cost of carpooling, and many more available at launch.

I thought about buying an Automatic a few months back when I found out how much most mechanics charge to read data from the OBD port. But with the release of second-generation hardware, I’m happy I hadn’t pulled the trigger yet. This latest dongle supports the company’s new streaming SDK which is able to send raw, realtime performance data to select third-party apps.

I’m excited to see what developers are able to come up with on this platform. I think most drivers could benefit from having more information about their automobile’s performance and better explanations when something goes wrong — the “check engine” light isn’t very descriptive.

The second-generation Automatic Car Adapter is available from Amazon for $99.95.

CNET Launching Print Magazine ➝

Who’s actually going to buy this? Readers who are interested in technology are also least likely to be interested in print magazines. I wouldn’t even give it two years, if not for the deep pockets of CBS Interactive behind the new publication.