Tech Week in Review 4-15-2011

Cisco Kills the Flip Camcorder

Cisco bought Pure Digital, the company behind the Flip, for $590 million two years ago. On Tuesday, Cisco announced they would be shutting down that whole division and laying off 550 people. Nobody really knows what happened, but most tech folks immediately jumped on the fact that most smartphones these days can do everything the Flip could do. David Pogue paints a different picture, though. Basically, it seems like Cisco just didn’t know what to do with Flip and decided to scrap the company and keep the technology for their video conferencing business.

Adobe Brings Photoshop to Touch Devices

Adobe is bringing the Photoshop experience to a touch screen near you. Instead of taking Photoshop as it exists now and cramming it into a mobile app, they’ve broken things up into three pieces. Photoshop Touch is actually an SDK that allows application developers to manipulate the Photoshop software from a touch-enabled device. Adobe Nav for Photoshop CS5 allows you to easily create a custom set of tools for controlling a Photoshop session. Eazel and Color Lava let you use your device like a painter’s palette, allowing you to mix colors and uses new technology to simulate paint media. There is a lot of potential here and it will be interesting to see what developers come up with.

via Gizmodo

Amazon Offers Kindle at $25 Discount, but There’s a Catch

Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, is planning to offer the Kindle at a $25 discount. The catch is that it comes with ads. That’s right. In exchange for a discount, you’ll have to view ads on your e-reader. It will be available May 3 at Best Buy and Target stores, in addition to Amazon’s site. E-book sales are exploding and the Kindle has stiff competition. While the consumer may get a small discount up front, I’m sure Amazon will more than make up for it over time through ad sales.

“This is about making sure anyone who wants a Kindle can afford one,” Jay Marine, director of Kindle products, said in an interview. “Every time we’ve been able to make Kindle more affordable, we’ve seen huge growth in demand. We expect the same to happen here.”

via Bloomberg

What the Flock?! The Social Browser Shuts Down.

Ok, so maybe it’s not that surprising. Last year, Flock seemed to be heading in a new direction. They dropped Firefox and rebuilt on top of Chrome. In January, Zynga acquired the talent behind Flock, a key distinction between actually acquiring the company and a detail that many initially got wrong. It looks like Zynga was never really interested in creating a browser-integrated gaming experience, they just wanted the smart guys behind Flock. Rockmelt provides some stiff competition in the social browser space, but I wonder if their existence made a difference in Flock’s demise.

via TechCrunch

Ubermedia to Create Twitter Competitor?

Rumor has it that the Ubermedia might use their hold on the short messaging services to start one of their own. Ubersocial accounted for about 11.5% of tweets sent on one day last month and is the 3rd most popular way to tweet. Some sources say they are also looking to acquire TweetDeck, the 4th most popular client.

UberMedia is a leading developer of apps and Web-based services that help users communicate on Twitter and other social media platforms. The Pasadena, California-based company has amassed a small empire of apps — among them UberSocial, Echofon and Twidroyd — that connect to Twitter and offer features beyond Twitter’s own software.

Trying to compete with Twitter on the same playing field is difficult and some have tried, but Ubermedia is in the unique position of already having some control over a large percentage of Twitter’s users. They could leverage their position to attract influencers from Twitter. It doesn’t help matters that Twitter is increasingly antagonizing developers, most recently telling them not to bother building more Twitter clients.

via CNN