New beginning for Dell

Dell is embarking on a new beginning, as Michael Dell was finally able to take the company private after a difficult fight with Carl Icahn. You can read about this process and Dell’s plans for the future in this article from Fortune.

With the commercial above, the newly private company is off to a good start, at least from a marketing point of view. It’s nostalgic but it also celebrates entrepreneurship, and it’s a fitting message for this company that was founded by Michael Dell in his dorm room.

Proliferation of daily fantasy sports games

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Did you capitalize on Brian Hoyer starting for the Cleveland Browns once Brandon Weeden got hurt? Or have you been riding Peyton Manning’s incredible performances so far this season. You might think I’m referring to typical conversations for fantasy football, but with the explosion of daily fantasy sports games, millions of dollars are legally changing hands as websites and now even apps try to capitalize on these games of skill. This has completely changed the landscape of sports betting as players now have the option of risking cash on daily fantasy games as opposed to the traditional method of picking games against the spread. Now with SideDraft being added to the Apple app store we might see the games become even more popular.

The key revolves around the notion that picking lineups in a fantasy game makes these games “skill” games that are not prohibited by various state and federal laws. With the popularity of fantasy football and other sports, these new sites just add the cash element and suddenly we have a new niche exploding around the web. The key difference from a game point of view is that you pick different players each week, so you’re not stuck with a crappy like regular fantasy football if you have a bad draft or have key injuries on your roster.

Most of these games have salary cap of course, so you’ll pay a price for using Manning or someone like Adrian Peterson. The key is finding cheap bargains who can have big games, like Hoyer of course. Even veterans like Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers can help you win, as he’s having a huge year but wasn’t in great demand in typical fantasy leagues.

These games can be just as addicting as regular gambling or regular fantasy football, so the popularity isn’t surprising. I am surprised however that some lawmakers have tried to stop everyone from having so much fun.

Death of 3D TV

Is anyone really surprised by this? 3D television was always overhyped, and now we’re seeing companies like ESPN officially giving up on this failed experiment.

Nails are being banged into the coffin for 3D television. On Wednesday, Disney (DIS) said it would discontinue its 3D channel by the end of this year. Television manufacturers always saw sports programming as the way to persuade people about 3D, just as adoption of HDTV was driven largely by NFL fans. The fans weren’t persuaded. Three years into ESPN’s 3D push, the company said the whole thing wasn’t worth the effort.

3D has always been a technology that television manufacturers wanted to sell a lot more than anyone wanted to buy. For the last several years, 3D televisions have been trumpeted as the future at such events as the Consumer Electronics Show. But even with all the energy the industry could muster, only 20 percent of LCD televisions sold had 3D capability. Even this is probably an overstatement of how much interest there is in the technology, because it sure looks like a lot of people who buy those televisions never put on those glasses.

The quality of TVs these days is amazing. But, they have also become commodities. That doesn’t mean we won’t see innovation in the future, but at this time manufacturers have to realize that their hopes for a new replacement cycle fueled by 3D televisions wil not materialize.

Gaming on the iPad

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One popular use of computers by computer owners has always been Online casinos. However through advancements in technology it is now easier than ever for users to obtain an internet signal on other smaller devices, as a result the manner in which people game has changed. Out of these smaller devices the most popular for gaming is the tablet. Of all the tablets on the market today, the most popular is of course the iPad.

The iPad is run with an operating system just like a personal computer. In this case, it is the iOS designed by Apple. Apple has made some changes in recent years making their operating system incompatible with some browser plug-ins that have been necessary for gaming. One of these is Adobe Flash. Therefore online casino firms have had to create casino games that are compatible with the iOS. HTML5 was what developers came up with that made it easier for the iPad to access casino games in lieu of a special app. This makes it must faster to start playing. As a result, today’s online casino gamers on the iPad have an optimal gaming experience that is quite realistic.

Certain casino games such as those offered by online casino australia can now be enjoyed on the iPad. For instance games such as roulette, poker, blackjack and slots are now just a click away. These games really show off the great features of the iPad including its speed, graphic display and audio technology. The large screen really helps with the graphic display. The iPad version of roulette is particularly popular due to the touch screen playing.

Facebook phone finally announced

Mark Zuckerberg has announced the new Facebook phone as you can see in the video above. The phone will be based on Android but it will be laid out differently with the home page of the phone being devoted to people rather than apps.

Let’s see if this takes off. Not everyone wants the world to see who is on their Facebook “favorites” list on their phone home page. I can see plenty of drama with girlfriends, etc.

Google Glass Revolution

I have to admit that I finally saw this promo video today, but it now appears that Google Glass will cost less than $1,500, so expect to see these things everywhere. It’s a pretty fair price for what looks like a revolutionary gadget. I think Steve Jobs would be proud, and of course pissed that Apple didn’t come up with this.

Best of the Web: App reviews

We’re taking a trip around the web to find sites with informative and entertaining app reviews. With the explosion of smartphones and social media, apps are now everywhere, and younger kids view them as ubiquitous as television. For the rest of us, it’s amazing how one app can make our life easier and completely change the way we’ve done something for years. Other are just fun as hell. We’re flooded with them however, so it’s always nice to get tips from experts around the web.

Gizmodo iPhone App of the Week
This powerhouse tech blog focuses specifically on apps for particular devices, with this one here for the iPad.

ZDNet
You’ll find an app of the week feature in the content-rich apps section of this popular tech site.

APP Chronicles
Tons of write-ups of free apps.

Bullz-Eye App of the Week
Bullz-Eye.com primarily covers men’s lifestyle topics, but this feature covers a wide variety of apps.

ABC News Technology Review
This tech section has an well-done app of the week series.

Initial reviews are good for Xbox Music

The online music world is getting a new entry soon with the launch of Xbox Music. The question is whether Microsoft will finally get things right after their doomed Zune experiment.

Still, Xbox Music is more than just about rebranding. Microsoft clearly intends it to be an all-encompassing effort. Users can download music a la carte like Apple (AAPL) iTunes, stream music a la Spotify, and listen to customized playlists in the same vein as Pandora (P). Early impressions cast the Xbox Music experience as “wonderful,” even.

The problem is that it’s only launching on Xbox and Windows * and won’t be on other platforms until next year. Still, Microsoft needed a new music service, and it looks like again they might have a good product based on copying its successful competitors.

Tablet revolution is accelerating

The switch from laptops to tablets is accelerating, and this fall we’ll see an avalanche of new products like the Surface from Microsoft.

In some ways, the death of the laptop is being exaggerated. Most people who are getting tablet computers are also buying tablets. Sure, some people will replace their laptop with a tablet, and new consumers may choose a tablet over a laptop, but laptops will still be essential for most business people and students.

Still, you have to wonder what some companies like HP are doing. They risk being left behind as Microsoft bypasses them and they don’t have their own tablet solution.

The rise of Kindle Singles

The rise of e-readers like the Kindle is having a huge impact on the publishing industry, and it’s also spawning new forms of books that can be sold.

The Kindle Single is not a promising name. It sounds like a new kind of prefabricated fire log, or a type of person you might meet on the dating service eHarmony — perhaps a lonely independent bookstore owner put out of business by Amazon.com.

Here’s what Kindle Singles actually are: probably the best reason to buy an e-reader in the first place. They’re works of long-form journalism that seek out that sweet spot between magazine articles and hardcover books. Amazon calls them “compelling ideas expressed at their natural length.” If I didn’t loathe the word “compelling,” I’d think that wasn’t a half-bad slogan.

I recently sat down and read 15 of these boutique minibooks. Most are blah; a few are so subliterate they made my temples ache. But several — like John Hooper’s reportage on the Costa Concordia disaster, Jane Hirshfield on haiku and Jonathan Mahler on Joe Paterno — are so good they awaken you to the promise of what feels almost like a new genre: long enough for genuine complexity, short enough that you don’t need journalistic starches and fillers.

Amazon hardly has a monopoly on this novella-length form. Digital publishers like Byliner and the Atavist are commissioning articles of this length that can be purchased and read on any e-reader, or on laptops or phones. But Amazon cherry-picks the best and is commissioning its own articles and essays under the editorship of the journalist David Blum.

It will be fascinating to see how this evolves, as I can see the attraction to these shorter books. This opens up even more opportunities for writers, and that’s a good thing.

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