Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Tech files

In this semi-regular feature we explore some of the future products on the horizon and how they might change the consumer landscape.

======== GDrive ========

Rumors have been circulating for a while about a potential Google product called “GDrive”. This would be a web service from Google that acts like a disk drive you can access anywhere.

Now it is beginning to look like once you set it up the GDrive would appear to be simply another drive letter (C:, D:, E:, etc). Among other things this means you could couple it with various other functions. Imagine pointing your Backup program or Apple Time Machine at a drive letter that is your GDrive. Bang! You have a full system backup that doesn’t require buying another drive and is safe even if your house burns down or someone steals your computer equipment.

And how will Google make money off this? Some people theorize that they might offer a DVD with your information burned on it at regular intervals for a fee. I would certainly pay $20 per year to have a stack of monthly backup records. Perhaps more ominously Google could offer you things through Gmail based on the contents of your GDrive…

===== Sony Mylo ====

At first I thought this was an old news item that I hadn’t deleted from my files. You see, Sony launched a wireless service in 2001 called Mylo that failed miserably. Apparently they just really like the name (Mylo = My life online) because they’re launching a new product with the same name.

The new Mylo is a handheld device with 1GB of memory (plus expansion slot), Wi-Fi, keyboard, and more. In principal you can use it to talk to people with Skype or Googletalk, you can browse the web, you can watch movies and listen to music too. It hits stores this month priced at $350.

This and the Nokia 770 seem to be part of a new generation of devices designed to take advantage of services like Googletalk to replace the cell phone with an integrated media player / internet device. I don’t know that this will happen soon but at some time the technologies will change over and anyone who is not in the game (hello Motorola) will be left behind.

The Sony Mylo device (promotional photo).

====== Circuit City pulls a Napster ====

Anybody else remember the copyright violating Napster and the way it was sued into the ground (only to be reborn as it’s current self)?

Amazingly, circuit city now offers a service breaking the encryption on DVDs to make iPod usable movies off of whatever DVD you bring in. I’m sure Apple will be quite happy to help the studios crack down on Circuit City, but I’m amazed that they would even try this. (More info link).
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