Feb 24, 2009
InfoTrendsÂ predicted inÂ its 2009 Digital Photography Road Map analysis that retailers would be hurt as the digital camera market takes a tumble. Alas, it appears that Ritz Camera will be one of the first victims in 2009.
On Monday, February 23, Ritz Camera announced that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This announcement will send ripples across the imaging industry. With almost 800 stores, Ritz Camera is the largest photo specialty retailer in the U.S. The company blames the recession and consumers’ shift to digital photography for part of its losses. Ritz is seeking court permission to obtain $85 million of financing to keep operating while it restructures, and it hopes it may eventually emerge from Chapter 11. We wish them the best of luck.
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Feb 13, 2009
In 2006, I had the pleasure of working with several InfoTrends analysts, industry vendors, and technology users on some intriguing research entitled Multi-Channel Communications: The Content Publishing Workflow Challenge. As part of that document, we put together a solid case study on the California Legislative Bureau’s investments in XML technology for drafting bills.
The drivers for the solution were compelling — the creation of state law represents one of the most component-oriented content and collaboration-centric processes I’ve examined. Hundreds of senators and representatives may be involved from remote locations; sections of text require on-going additions and refinement up to the minute the law is passed; and the final document must be secured, archived, searchable, and widely available to participants and outsiders ASAP. XML document solutions were perfect for the purpose, and I highly recommend you check out this piece.
Fast-forward to the present day and the much-awaited/maligned stimulus bill proceeding through Congress. I awoke this morning to find this stimulus bill rendition, which the NYTimes accurately describes as “filled with hand-written copy-editing marks, insertions scrawled in the margins, deletions of whole paragraphs boxed with X’s slashing through them,and a variety of curious hash marks and other annotations.” Read more »
Feb 11, 2009
A couple weeks ago, I heard of a new service that is bringing the ability to create and print photo books from Facebook. At first look, the Facebook application was not all that exciting, until you notice that HotBook (from HotPrints Ltd.)Â prints a photo book (16 pages and approximately 50 pictures) for $2.99. Before this application, there was little that could be done with Facebook images other than sharing with friends. For under $4 (including shipping), this is a nice offering for people hoping to do more with their photos on the social networking site.
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Feb 6, 2009
The following is an open letter to the industry from Charlie Corr, Chief Strategist, Mimeo.com. Charlie spent many years at InfoTrends before moving to Mimeo.com in 2007. Charlie’s message is an important one so we are posting it here in its entirety with his permission.
“Don’t Print” Isn’t “Going Green” by Charlie Corr, Mimeo.com
It is increasingly popular to bash the use of paper. The industry is an easy target as everyone uses paper and the presentation of the industry is laughable (think Dunder Mifflin on The Office).
Despite the many environmentally friendly actions taken by the paper, printing and publishing industries, little is known of these efforts due to a self-inflicted inability to publicize them. Unlike the auto or fuel industries, we don’t spend any money as an industry on effective green promotion. Read more »
Feb 5, 2009
The Wall Street Journal reported today that Kodak was planning to “seek partners to share the costs or possibly sell” the Kodak Gallery and NexPress businesses. In a conversation that I had with Kodak this morning, it became clear that the Wall Street Journal had misinterpreted Kodak’s statements and jumped to an incorrect conclusion about divestment. During the investor conference Kodak did say that it needed to transform and position its Kodak Gallery and NexPress businesses (it made the same point about image sensors and OLED businesses). Kodak, however, says that no mention was made of divestment. For NexPress, Kodak said that it intends to explore partnerships and alliances, as well as look at segmentation and licensing opportunities. Read more »
Or is it? An InfoTrends study (ODS/PWCCS clients see results here) on green printing and sustainability conducted in the second quarter of 2008 found that more than half of print service providers claim to have implemented green policies. But what does being green really mean?
Some print service providers are publishing press releases that boast their efforts to be environmentally friendly by adopting soft proofing. I suppose soft-proofing can be considered environmentally-friendly since the consumables, energy, and transportation costs associated with hard-proofs are eliminated. Digital printing can also be considered green as on-demand printing results in printing only what is necessary, thus eliminating waste. Some digital and offset print buyers are demanding more by implementing green policies by requesting sustainable harvested forest products, post-consumer waste papers, and chlorine-free bleaching products from their service providers.
Other service providers are demonstrating environmentally-friendly practices by Read more »
Feb 3, 2009
Photo taken by Alfonso @ www.faq-mac.com
Belgium is well-known all over the world for being the capital of luxury chocolate, which looks more like expensive jewelry to the disorientated tourists in the specialty shops. In the office equipment industry, however, Belgium is also known to be the country of many network document solutions providers, including I.R.I.S. SA. I.R.I.S. is located in Louvain la Neuve and is one of today’s leaders of OCR and document management solutions.
On the 2nd and 3rd of February, I.R.I.S. held its annual partners and analysts event (IRISLink 2009) at the Sheraton and SkyHall hotels, a stone’s throw away from Brussels international airport. The convention gathered over 600 participants, including I.R.I.S. key partners, resellers, clients, and industry analysts from different regions of the world, coming to hear about the company’s latest announcements on product development, technology breakthroughs, and strategic partnerships. It is no news that IRISLink has become one of the most important IT events in Benelux and Western Europe in the last few years.
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