Facebook’s Announcement: Big News or Much To Do About Nothing?

Facebook Today Facebook announced the new Graph Search. This is not a keyword search like Google it is more of an asked a question search. For example you might ask; “what disaster movies do my friends like”.  Facebook will then come back with an answer to that query. It will only give you information that has been shared publicly and with you by your friends. I thought it looked interesting and it had possibilities but until I actually get to try it myself I will not make a final judgment on it.

I have to say that my first thought when I was following the live blog this morning was that this was just another way to get people to stay on Facebook even more. In another word this is just another brick in the wall.  The fact that this graph search will be integrated with Bing makes this even more so. A question just occurred to me if I should share something to a friend does that information then become available to their friends in a search query. I believe it will, which is all the more reason to be careful on what you share on Facebook. I also think that people need to retrain themselves on how to do search. They are going to have to learn how to search by asking questions. Some analyst see this as a challenge to Google and Amazon

Julien Blin, an analyst covering consumer electronics and mobile broadband for Infonetics, took the argument a step further. He told CNET that Graph Search could become a major threat to Google and Amazon once it becomes available on mobile phones and incorporates the Facebook Gifts product.
“We could imagine a case where a Facebook user is searching for ‘friends who bought shoes in San Francisco.’ Then [Graph Search] would pull up a list of shoe stores with comments and reviews from friends,” he said. “The Facebook user would have the option to click on the Facebook ‘Want’ button to buy the items, or even gift the item to other users via Facebook Gifts. This type of service would compete directly with Amazon.”-Cnet.

I am skeptical, I may search Facebook for the local restaurants my friends like, but I am going to also see what the critics say about it. I love my friends but their idea of what is good and mine are definitely not the same.

There is a limited beta rolling out on January 16 a limited number of English-speaking Facebook users. It will take several months before becomes available to the general public.

Feeling Used by Apple

Yesterday at noon I had the newest iPad an hour later my iPad 3 was old and out if date. What happened in that hour is Apple announced a new iPad. Now I understand as an early adopter of Apple products that I am living on the bleeding edge and at times I will get burned. However this feels like someone handed me a wick for a candle and then lit it as I walked away. After all it hasn’t even been a year since the iPad 3 came out. The iPad is not cheap either, even the low-end one I purchased was over $500 if you include taxes and shipping. This is not a spur of the moment buy for most people.

What is the main differences between the iPad 3 and iPad 4? The iPad 3 uses a dual core A–5 processor, while the iPad 4 uses an A6x processor, which according to Apple is twice as fast. They also upgraded the front facing camera and changed the connection from the traditional 30 pin connector to the new 8 pin lightning adapter. iPad 4 with cellular capabilities comes LTE enabled while the iPad 3 does not. None of these are huge differences, certainly not something that would spur an upgrade under normal circumstances. So why did Apple make the announcement now? Initially I had two thoughts about this; the first is they are feeling the heat from Google’s Android line and the Kindle Fire, the second is they are feeling the heat from Wall Street. I quickly dismissed the first thought nothing I have read indicates that Apple is feeling pressure from either Google or Amazon when it comes to the tablet market. No, the pressure that Apple is feeling is coming from Wall Street. Wall Street is increasingly a what have you done for me lately entity, and by lately I mean since yesterday. This forces companies to do things that are against their long-term health, in order to satisfy Wall Street’s short term needs, unfortunately Apple maybe falling into this trap. I believe that a quicker upgrade cycle is bad for both the consumer and Apple in the long run. The bottom line is if you own a iPad 3 like I do, I don’t see any reason to upgrade at this time. The iPad 3 will do everything it did yesterday just fine.

Apple Announces Another Press Event for the 19Th

We hardly had time to look at the latest devices that Apple rolled out Weds. when MacWorld just Applereleased a news item that Apple has sent out private invitations to the press for another event on Oct 19th. “The latest invitation-only event will be held in New York City on October 19, 2005 on the eve of PhotoPlus Expo. Apple doesn’t say exactly what the press conference will be about, but the invitation sent to MacCentral asks to join them as “we unveil Apple’s latest pro innovations.”

Will it be new Pro applications from the Final Cut Studio? Will it be the final upgrades to the Powerbooks and PowerMacs before the Intel era arrives? Who knows, but it’s sure a lot of fun guessing and second guessing after the fact. There are so many features that are just coming to light from the products announced on Weds. One that comes to mind is in the new iPod video. It can play any mp4, .mov, or H.264 video in 320×240 format. That means you can download anything from the internet or your own movies in iMovie, or anything converted by the new Quicktime release, and place it in iTunes and move it onto your iPod for viewing. Just think of that for a moment.