You’ve Got Rumours? Call me When You Have Products.

I’ve been at this geek thing for a long time now, over 20 years since I can first remember sitting down in front of a computer and hammering away at some DOS game. In that time I’ve had my share of ups and downs when it comes to tech and for the most part its always been ups. Games are always looking better, I’m rarely lost for choice when it comes to finding some form of entertainment and I have enough gadgets and gizmos to keep me entertained when even the great Internet fails me. Still for all the good that the tech industry has done for me there have still been times when I’ve cursed some of the companies who are responsible for lavishing such greatness on myself and the wider world.

Take for instance the Sony PSP. Many moons ago I remember hearing about Sony’s foray into the portable gaming market and almost launching myself through the roof with excitement. Having recently purchased a Nokia N-Gage (don’t be hatin’ my sidetalkin’ yo) the rumours that Sony would be releasing a handheld gaming device that, at the time of the announcement, could have a phone in it made me one happy geek. Sure the N-Gage wasn’t a terribly good gaming device or phone but I was sure that Sony could do a better job and waited patiently. You can then imagine my disappointment when it was finally announced that the PSP had no phone and no bluetooth which while it didn’t stop me from purchasing one did turn me towards casting a skeptical eye on tech rumours. It would seem however that getting burnt by my tech dream date wasn’t enough to stop me from getting caught up a recent whirlwind of speculation however.

I was happily suffering in silence over this matter because for the most part the only major offender of this sort of malarky was Apple. Whilst I can appreciate the astronomically successful PR campaigns they put out for every one of their products (their “leaks” are anything but that) the inevitable wave of speculation on the tiniest bit of information manages to drown out actual stories about real products. It had been tolerable for the last couple years since there wasn’t so much of a frenzy over the revised iPhones but their iPad has and continues to create enough fluff pieces to coke a giraffe several times over. I mean come on the thing has only been out for what a couple weeks and already there’s rumours of an iPad Mini set to be released at the start of next year. Frankly I’m sick of hearing about it, and the only news I want to hear from Apple on their iPad is sales numbers and how their media deals are going. That’s the only interesting apart about the device I’ve bashed into oblivion on this blog, yet I’m still flooded with Apple rumour speculation.

What sent me over the edge however was this little piece of non-news:

Confirming the rumors, and after dismissing the iPad as nothing more than a large phone, Google is getting ready its own tablet computer. At least, that was what Google CEO—and Steve Jobs’ own personal Judas—Eric Schmidt is saying.

According to the New York Times, Schmidt told friends about the new tablet at a recent party in Los Angeles. NYT’s sources point out that Google has already been talking with publishers about delivering content for the platform. Surprisingly, Schmidt said it will not run Chrome OS—as recently shown by a Chrome OS engineer—but Android, making it the true big phone Schmidt was mocking. It makes sense to build on Android, since it already has applications.

I wonder if Schmidt told Jobs about it over coffee. The War for the Future of Computing carries on.

So a Google exec told a friend at a party that they’re working on some form of product and a couple people who can’t be named confirmed it. Colour me unimpressed guys, without any real information on the product you’re basically just spreading FUD. Sure it’s quite feasible that Google is fiddling around with something and whilst they’re not as secretive as Apple they have a habit of not talking things up before their release (the first rumours of the Nexus one surfaced around December 13th last year, it was released less than 3 weeks later). So it’s plausible yes, but then again every man and his dog is talking about an iPad competitor, this isn’t news!

Bah maybe I’m just cynical because I’ve been burnt too many times in the past or maybe my new iPhone (review coming!) just serves as a constant reminder of Apple’s shenanigens. I’m sure in a few more weeks the rumours will die down and I can get my teeth into some juicy new tech instead of harping on Apple and everyone who’s trying to be/beat them.

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