Unwrapp: Help for the Web App-addicted

unwrapplogoIf you read this blog, and if you work primarily online, then chances are you’ve used your fair share of web applications. My own legion of web apps cycle in and out of active use depending on my mood, what type of project I’m working on, and which new apps have just been released. All in all, managing and keeping track of all the apps I use requires a web app of its own, and that’s just what Unwrapp does.
Unwrapp is currently in beta, but you can sign up easily from their homepage, and hope for an invite code to follow. It took quite a while to receive mine, but the developers are hoping to release a version for wide public use soon. It can’t come soon enough for me, since I can’t even remember the names of all the web apps I was using last month, let alone be expected to check back and see if they’ve received any significant updates.
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TAB Welcomes: Matthew Bookspan

Hello everyone! I am one of the new writers here at The Apple Blog. The team here is great and they have been very welcoming. Most of my history with Apple dates back to the late 80’s when I purchased my first Mac — an SE with 1MB of RAM and a 20MB hard disk — it was quite a machine for the time. I have had many Macs since then, including a IIci, one of the first PowerPCs — a PowerMac 6160av and a MacBook Core Duo (recently sold).
Currently, the Bookspan household runs on many Apple products including a Penryn iMac 24″ 3.06Ghz (mine), an original MacBook Core Duo (wife’s) an AppleTV (shared) and two iPhones — original (wife’s) and 3G (mine). We also have a Time Capsule for WiFi and Time Machine backups.
I have been writing on and off for a few years and enjoy authoring commentaries or reviews. I look forward to a fun engagement here on The Apple Blog. Please don’t hesitate to write comments and/or send feedback my way!

Vestas, Facing Component Snafus, Thrives Anyway

It’s just a matter of time now before someone writes another one of those “wind in its sales” headlines, this time about Vestas Wind Systems. It is just the kind of bottom-branch fruit that looks appetizing to an editor starved for inspiration.

Here’s why: Vestas, the Danish wind-turbine maker, had a great financial report for the June quarter — the rare kind where a company misses analysts’ estimates for its net profit but looks so strong according to many other metrics that investors forgive it anyway.

According to the International Herald Tribune, Vestas shares rose 6 percent on Friday (following a 5 percent rally a day earlier amid hope for strong numbers) in Copenhagen because of revenue that grew (despite a shortage of some key components) and an impressive order book — 67 percent larger than it was a year earlier — that suggests more revenue is coming. As Sydbank analyst, Jacob Pedersen put it:

“I think there are some very strong growth signals in these results, stronger than I can ever remember seeing in Vestas… In particular I want to highlight the order book of €7.2 billion ($10.6 billion), I might have bid €5.5 billion ($8.1 billion) if I had been optimistic.”

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P2P VoIP just got more attractive: FCC taxing VoIP over public networks

Voip_tax I know that "free" means something can’t get cheaper, but Skype, Gizmo Project and other P2P VoIP services just got relatively less expensive. The FCC voted unanimously to tax VoIP services that use public telephone networks for their traffic. If you’re a customer of Vonage, CallVantage, BroadVoice, Packet8 or any of the other VoIP providers using public networks, you can expect a small monthly charge on your bill coming soon. All "donations" go to the Universal Service Fund to help subsidize rural and low-income are phone services.

If P2P VoIP is so much cheaper and more efficient than public network VoIP, whaddya say we subsidize and get some of those Linksys, Netgear and D-Link VoIP phones to those rural areas? Granted, they need hotspots or other Internet access, but aren’t we supposed to be crossing the Digital Divide? See…it pays to be mobile…. 😉


Xero, Still A Zero

Xero Mobile, a MVNO with roots going back to the infamous Gizmondo device company has now gone public by executing a reverse merger with a shell company. This is the kind of move which waves all sorts of red flags. Never mind it doesn’t have a product or a service as yet. And won’t have any up until fall 2006.
From their press release they are going after the same market demographic as the more well funded plays – Amp’D and Helio. The Xero twist: near free service supported by ads. Oh well… do I have to say it again that this MVNO thing is going to end badly.