As Heard on Maritime Morning Weekend Edition (March 30, 2013)

Stories from my chat with Scott Simpson on News 95.7’s Maritime Morning Weekend Edition.

BlackBerry Made a Profit

BlackBerry surprised investors by posting a profit for Q4. $98m goes back into their coffers as they look ahead to the release of the Q10 smartphone that features a full QWERTY keyboard.

That’s the silver lining. The dark cloud is that they lost three million subscribers, and $646m in the past year.

CEO Thorsten Heins made the strange decision to announce that new, cheaper Blackberry models are coming by year’s end. The Z10’s price has been cut and it’s not setting any sales records, except maybe Blackberry’s own, which doesn’t say much. The Q10 hasn’t even hit shelves yet. In my opinion, this isn’t the time to tell people what’s coming down the pipe. He should be pushing the Z10 and Q10 harder than ever at this point.

Bbry

 

Hotmail’s Move to Outlook

Hotmail has a new look. And a new web address. Microsoft took another step in standardizing its offerings by changing Hotmail’s design to fit with the Windows 7/8 aesthetic. Outlook.com is the new URL, and the design is quite crisp and clean.

As with any change (like Facebook’s many visual overhauls), there have been complaints. People love their Hotmail. Which makes sense, since it is the most popular e-mail site in the world and hasn’t really changed drastically in many years. However, I really like the fresh look. It is responsive, clean, and is in line with the visual style of Microsoft’s other projects.

My only complaint about the new look is that the links on the far right look like ads to me. I ignored them until I realized they could be useful – the first option is to check out the new calendar system. It also has links to connect your social media accounts with your Outlook account.

Another nice feature is that you can request a new @outlook.com alias if you are converting your Hotmail account to Outlook. This means all those hot_slut_69@hotmail.com and jennifer.smith.173@hotmail.com folks might have a fighting chance at getting a decent e-mail address.

HotmailOutlook

 

Google Kills Reader, Offers Product Delivery Service

So, Google is killing off Reader, its beloved rss feed aggregator, on July 1st. Google came in and dominated the rss market. Many people rely on Reader to organize all the various websites and blogs that they follow. I find it indispensable, though I will say Twitter has come close to replacing it lately.

There aren’t many alternatives out there just yet. Feedly‘s app is good, Zite and Flipboard are sort of replacements but not really, and apparently Digg is working on something. But as of right now, Reader’s demise is being met with anger and sadness by millions of loyal users.

At the same time, Google has announced its plans to offer a personal delivery service. Yes, you read that correctly. No, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke (like Google Nose). They are launching a trial in San Francisco soon. You’ll be able to order products from stores like Target, Staples, American Eagle, and Toys R Us, and have them delivered to you during a specific window of time by a Google employee in a nice shirt driving a Google van. A six-month trial will be free. There are rumours that a year’s subscription to the service would be around $69, which is cheaper than Amazon Prime, and offers a better delivery option.

Google is really branching out, and it will be interesting to see which other properties could fall victim to stretching themselves so thin.

RIP Reader. And Wave. And iGoogle. And Buzz. And Gears. And Labs. And Picnik. And Notebook. And Pack. And Health.

Good luck, Google Keep.

 

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Matt

About Matt

My name is Matt. I live in Nova Scotia, Canada. I am an educator, a photographer, and a lover of all things technology. Check out the About page for more information.

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