After killing the TouchPad a near-record 45 days after launch, then discounting it in a clearance sale at as low as $99, HP opted to fire up its production line to make and ship more. A baffling decision, right? The rumor is that a backlog of parts inventory and unhappy suppliers—not informed of the cancellation until the rest of the world knew—make it smarter for HP to assemble more and sell them at a loss.
I tweeted at the time that this was the only case I could recall that a cancelled product by a major electronics manufacturer was taken back on the assembly line for another run. Sure, older models superseded by newer ones have sometimes been brought back into production for short or long periods. But an item that's singing with the choir invisible? A colleague in Australia, Tim McGuire, has a long memory, and a shelf full of back issues of NeXTWorld magazine. He sent me a clip and his permission to share it.
In mid-1993, a few months after CEO Steve Jobs had shuttered the NeXT factory, and was in the process of switching to an all-software company—a path that led to its later acquisition by Apple—the lights were turned back on in its Fremont, Calif., factory. NeXTWorld's rumor columnist, Lt. Sullivan, reported that the U.S. military and another undisclosed customer wanted more machines, and so NeXT was to fire up and spit 1,200 more devices out. (Dear readers, please explain the Lt. Sullivan reference?)
The TouchPad and webOS are unlikely to have the same sort of long-lasting legacy as NeXT. The NeXTSTEP operating system and its use of the Mach microkernel architecture led to a number of decisions that produced Mac OS X, which runs both Macs and iOS devices like the iPhone.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]
The Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch is a simpler take on an active wearable that raised over $2m dollars on Kickstarter and is currently offered in the Boing Boing Store.Somewhere in between the single-day battery life and platform-specificity of the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, there exists the Ticwatch. Instead of trying to shoehorn another […]
Loot Crate is a subscription service that delivers a box of curated pop culture goods to your doorstep. To sample their geeky wares, you can order a single mystery box exclusively from the Boing Boing Store.Each month Loot Crate sends you 6-7 unique items and apparel, including collectibles, books, and t-shirts. Pulling inspiration from all […]