Analyzing the App Store Playground

Make room for another player on the application-store bandwagon. Verizon this week said it is building a storefront for its Hub, a device designed to serve as an Internet-enabled wireless device for the kitchen counter. The carrier joins countless others who offer — or plan to offer — app stores, and plenty more are on the way. Apple, whose App Store is nearing the 1 billion-download mark, has dramatically proven the need for a new distribution model for mobile content. But as carriers, OEMS and a host of others join the craze, the big question is, who can catch Steve Jobs?

The Debate Over Definitions Rages On

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, the debate over the definition of cloud computing has reared its ugly head again. From panelists at the recent VoiceCon event to GigaOM guest contributor (and AT&T VP) Joe Weinman, everyone’s trying to define the cloud to meet their purposes. The venture capital community has jumped into the fray as well, and a new report from McKinsey added fuel the fire. Derrick Harris rounds up the various definitions at play this week, and points to some of the problems they present.

Incumbents vs. Innovation: The Online Video Battle

Much in the way we saw (and continue to see) the big players in music struggle to stay ahead of technology innovators, incumbents in video entertainment are having a difficult time staying ahead of pesky upstarts like Boxee. This week, the freeware media center startup has found yet another way to sidestep maneuvers by Hulu to block its software from getting feeds of the NBC/News Corp. joint venture’s highly desirable premium content. This shows a couple things: first, the continued ability to show Hulu and other premium content is really one of the core appeals of Boxee. Secondly, Boxee may be proving itself, even as it shows its resourcefulness as a company, to be too much of a tinkerer’s solution for those of us who simply like to watch TV without much effort.

Will Consumers Win With The Smart Grid?

There’s been an awful lot of hubbub about the smart grid lately. The stimulus bill may have allocated $4.5 billion to a dramatic expansion of the modernized, IT-enabled power grid, but it’s already keeping more than a handful of journalists and PR folks employed. One angle that seems to be getting a lot of play is the impact that smart grid technologies will have out at the ‘edge’ of the network — that is, in consumers’ homes. But how significant is that impact, really?