Thursday, September 29, 2011

Improved coverage of Sweden

Our roaming team of iPhone-wielding data collectors drove down the west coast of Sweden over the past few days, dramatically improving our coverage of Göteborg and Helsingborg. Helsingborg in particular is important to Nelso as it's right across the water from Helsingør, Denmark and is a popular destination for users of, our most popular site.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The "Starbucks" of Norway

While translating some text from Norwegian to English, I was surprised to find the word "Starbucks" in the English translated text, because Norway doesn't have any Starbucks locations. What was triggering the Starbucks connection was a reference to the Kaffebrenneriet chain of cafes in Norway, which are ubiquitious in the Oslo metro area. However, despite the obvious similarities to the US-based Starbucks, Kaffebrenneriet is not Starbucks and it's confusing for Google to translate it as such. It would be equally confusing to translate every reference to "Milka" in a German-language text as "Hershey's" in English.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Covering a city in less than a week

Using our proprietary iPhone app to collect data, a team of four has completed data collection for the center of Oslo, Norway in less than a week. Each user added on average 250 places a day. We now have more verified listings (business data checked by our staff in the street) in Oslo than we have in Copenhagen, our current #1 market.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Is the GoogleBot finally paying attention to microformats?

While checking our ranking on various Google local sites, specifically "supermarkets in Copenhagen" ( Supermarkeder i København), we came across this page in the results (see screenshot if the page has changed since I posted this). Below the main link to the site, it says "10+ records" and then goes on to list some of the records in a way that leads me to believe that they are finally showing end users the results of parsing hCard microformats. I'm sure the GoogleBot has been collecting microformat data for a long time, but this is the first time I've ever seen our listings actually improved by the fact that we are providing this data.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Politically Correct Local Search

In the process of double checking the phone number for the Restaurant Peking, a Chinese restaurant in Prague, I got a strange search result from Google (see screenshot). Google has a listing for the restaurant, but they've renamed it the Restaurant Beijing.

What's next? A listing on Google Music for the Smashing Pumpkins' Conjoined Twins Dream?

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Our smallest city yet for serious data collection: Tábor, Czech Republic. With only 35,000 inhabitants, shouldn't take long to cover.

Cheese Bread

Brewsta of Czech Please posted photos of a new Georgian place in Prague called Chačapuri, which means "cheese bread" in English. I'd never heard of this dish, usually transliterated as Khachapuri, but it looks delicious.

Actually had to add a new category to the database to accommodate this place. We've got over 4,000 categories already, but never had a need for "Georgian Restaurant" until now.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Ústí nad Labem

We've started serious data collection in our first city of less than 100,000 inhabitants — Ústí nad Labem. In a way, this is an experiment. We expect less competition from other local search sites in a smaller city, but the value of a listing might also be smaller. In the Czech Republic specifically, there is also the possibility that lower incomes in smaller cities will affect internet use. We'll see.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

No Apple Maps in iOS 5

A few months ago, I wrote about the possibility of Apple dropping Google and building their own maps and mapping application for iOS.

According to recent reports, it appears these new maps will not be ready in time for iOS5. However, I do expect Apple to ditch Google maps at some point, possibly even in a point release of iOS5.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Los Angeles

We've started preliminary data collection in Los Angeles, California. We already rank well in languages like Czech, but it'll be a lot more work to rank in German, English, or Spanish.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Udělejte fotku se svým chytrým telefonem a my Vám pošleme 200 Kč

Nelso již disponuje nejrozsáhlejším adresářem restaurací, barů a kaváren v Praze, ale nebudeme spokojeni, dokud podniky nebudou všechny.

Za tímto účelem nabízíme odměnu 200 Kč každému, kdo nám pošle fotografii baru, restaurace nebo kavárny, která ještě není uvedená na stránkách

Ano, je to až tak snadné - jednoduše najděte místo, které neexistuje na naší stránce, pošlete nám jeho fotografii a my Vám převedeme 200 Kč přes PayPal.

  1. Hledáme pouze místa, která nejsou v našem adresáři. Pro jistotu zkotrolujte, zda podnik v databázi ještě není na
  2. Své fotky pošlete na
  3. Před odesláním doplňte do předmětu emailu jméno podniku. Do těla zprávy zapište adresu a orientační číslo, pokud je k dispozici, a informaci o druhu podniku, např. řecká, kotejl bar, atd.
  4. Všechny fotky musí obsahovat souřadnice GPS jako meta data. Ujistěte se, že jste umožnili geotagy fotografií ve vašem mobilním telefonu.
  5. Pošlete co nejvyšší možné rozlišení, neposílejte zmenšené obrázky.
  6. Musí se jednat o fotografii baru, restaurace nebo kavárny, takže McDonald’s je OK ale supermarket Billa ne.
  7. V této fázi chceme pouze fotky míst v Praze. Soutěž pro uživatele z jiných měst otevřeme později. “Praha” je definována na této mapě.

    View Nelso Fotky - Praha in a larger map

  8. Fotografie musí být zaostřená a jméno podniku musí být viditelné. Můžete poslat několik obrázků stejného místa, pokud to bude potřeba.
  9. Obrázky posílejte z emailu, který je spojen s Vaším PayPal účtem.
  10. Pokud Vaše fotografie a email budou splňovat výše uvedené požadavky, pošleme Vám 200 Kč za každou fotku poslanou na
  11. Není stanoven limit na počet fotek od jednotlivých uživatelů, ale tato promo akce je omezená celkovým rozpočtem 250 000 Kč. Aktuálně vyplacenou sumu budeme průběžně publikovat na Facebooku.
  12. Vyhrazujeme si právo odmítnout fotografie bez uvedení důvodu. Odmítnuté fotky se NEOBJEVÍ na stránkách

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

When I hear "Paris", I think of France, not Texas

While looking through the Google Analytics for, I was pleased to find that we rank very well for the search term "Museer i Paris, Frankrig" ("Museums in Paris, France" in Danish). Despite ranking well for that term, we aren't getting a lot of traffic for Paris museum searches, which I found odd. I would've thought that this would be a common search for tourists visiting the City of Light.

The solution to the problem is that doesn't rank nearly as well for the search "Museer i Paris" ("Museums in Paris"). Situations like this show the weakness of search engines like Google when searching for a topic or concept rather than specific words.

Imagine a library where one client asks for some books about "museums in Paris, France" and gets a different set of recommendations from a client coming to the info desk minutes later asking for "museums in Paris". A human librarian would view these queries as equivalent and wouldn't be fooled by the slightly different wording. I mean, if you really wanted books on Paris, Texas you'd say so.

But for Google, "Paris" and "Paris, France" are different queries producing different results. Even in a field as mature as full-text search, there's a lot of work to be done.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Demand Media traffic down 40 precent

According to an article at, traffic to the Demand Media sites is down 40% since the Google "Panda" update aimed at reducing the prominence of content farms in search results.

This just further confirms my belief that the way Nelso collects business data, by actually going out into the street to verify every listing, will pay off in the long run.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Why didn't Volvo want Android users?

The baseball season has started, and tempted by an offer of free access to live games for the month of April, I downloaded the At Bat app for the iPad.

The free live baseball broadcasts are sponsored by Volvo. However, the promotion is only available to iOS users, even though the MLB At Bat app is available for Android. Curious.

One can assume that this promotion was quite expensive (a one month subscription to costs $19.99), and as such Volvo had to choose its demographic target carefully.

But why not Android users? People who buy smartphones are, in theory, ideal candidates for car advertising. According to an April 2011 report from Greystripe on the car buying habits of smartphone users:
The auto industry is also using touch smartphones and tablets as a medium to reach new potential customers, given the attractiveness of the user base. Specifically, U.S. iPhone and Android users are three times more likely to buy a new car than the U.S. adult population.
But it's really no surprise that Volvo wouldn't want to advertise to Android users. The Android demographic probably isn't a good fit for a Scandinavian luxury car maker. Most of the criticisms of iOS and Apple could also be applied to Volvo: the product is too expensive compared to other products with similar capabilities, the marketing stresses hard-to-define qualities like "design", "safety", and "user experience", and "I don't see myself as one of those people" (the bourgeoisie).

So who should Major League Baseball get to sponsor the Android version of the app? I can think of a few possibilities.

Hyundai: The most common complaint about Apple products is that they are expensive. The Hyundai Accent is the cheapest car sold in the US, and so is immune to such charges.

Chevrolet: Even if one does want to spend a lot on a computer, many wouldn't buy Apple because they can get the same processing power for less. The Chevy Camaro, producing 312 HP in its base configuration and costing only $22,680, has more power per dollar than any other car.

Other possibilities would be kit cars (for those who build their own computers) or the Jeep Wrangler (lots of customization possibilites).

In my case, the promotion worked well. I have two small children, and after watching hundreds of Volvo ads in the MLB At Bat app, I'm seriously considering a Volvo for my next car purchase.

What to call this? A "decagooglewhack"?

A Googlewhack is a search term that returns only a single result, which is unusual because the size of the web makes it unlikely that a phrase has only been used once on the billions of web pages in existence.

A friend of Nelso recently directed me to another Google anomaly. In this case, it's not that a search term returns only one result, but that he found a search term - "mujsalekkavy" - that returns Nelso sites for all ten results on the first page (see screenshot).

The business in question, Můjšálekkávy, has a Flash site, which makes this a lot easier to pull off, because Flash sites tend to index poorly.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Microsoft launches "Bing Places"

Well, it's not called "Bing Places" (that's a Google term), it's called "Bing Business Portal". But the idea is exactly the same - this is Bing/Microsoft's response to Google Places.

The only surprise in this announcement is that it took Bing/Microsoft this long to launch a proper competitor to Google's local search product.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Factory Outlets in Italy

We've had a quite a bit of success with our listings for factory outlets, and today we covered another big outlet complex in northern Italy. Click through to check out the listings for factory outlets in Barberino di Mugello, Italia.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

No more Google Street View in Germany

A number of news sites are reporting today that Google will not be continuing Street View photography in Germany. While the 20 cities already covered will remain on-line, there will be no new cities covered, and the existing cities won't be getting any updates.

Google had attempted to address the privacy concerns of Germans by allowing homes and businesses to opt out of Street View, but in the end it seems they decided it just wasn't worth the trouble.

It's unclear the impact this will have on Nelso's data collection efforts in Germany. We'll certainly have to be quite careful not to reveal license plate numbers and faces in the photos we take of businesses. We'll also need to allow businesses to opt out of having their photos displayed on the Nelso sites.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

iOS at Sea

On March 29, 2011, CIO Australia published an interview with Andy Lark, Dell's global head of marketing for large enterprises. In the interview, Lark made a lot of "quotable" statements, among them:
“An iPad with a keyboard, a mouse and a case [means] you’ll be at $1500 or $1600; that’s double of what you’re paying," he claimed. "That’s not feasible.”
Let's forget for a moment that $1500 seems a little high, even for a tricked-out iPad. The fact is that even $1500 is definitely not too much for enterprises to pay for tablet computers.

What's ironic is that Mr. Lark's statement had already been refuted by an article in the same magazine (CIO) published just days before.

In an article titled "Three Ways Royal Caribbean Has Embraced Mobile, Made Customers Happy", CIO magazine detailed Royal Caribbean's use of iPhones, iPads, and tablet computers to help people on board their cruise ships. I know about iPhones and iPads, but I wondered about the XRiver tablets mentioned in the article.

A quick search on XRiver's site shows that while they do have a stripped-down model for $1500 (8.4" display, 256MB RAM, 64MB flash memory. Yes, 64MB flash memory), a decently-spec'd XRiver tablet will run about $2500.

No wonder Royal Caribbean is looking to further integrate iOS into their mobile strategy. There's no 3G coverage on a ship, and they are currently using devices with almost no flash memory, so they can get by fine with the 16GB WiFi iPad. Compared to what they pay now, that's "five for the price of one". Maybe Dell's marketing head meant to say that the iPad is too cheap to sell to enterprise customers?

Skiing and Snowboarding in Spain

A friend of Nelso recently went on a snowboarding vacation in the mountains of southern Spain. He was nice enough to bring along his iPhone and collect data in Sierra Nevada, a small village in the area. The data is of course also available in Spanish.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Anarchy in the U.K.

Well, not anarchy exactly, more of a small hiccup (but then "Small Hiccup in the U.K." wouldn't have made a very good post title).

Earlier today, we started our first real efforts at collecting data for Nelso in the UK, starting with Cambridge, England. Using the Nelso iPhone data collection app, the operator in Cambridge noticed right away the incomplete addresses being returned by the Google Maps geocoder. Specifically postcodes, which were being returned in the strange format "CB4 1" instead of the expected six alphanumerics of a full UK postcode1 (e.g. "CB4 1AJ").

We'd never had this problem in other countries, and for a few minutes I was stumped. However, a quick look through the Google documentation for the geocoder reveals that in the UK (and similarly in Japan and China) the postcode database is copyrighted by the Royal Mail2, and one needs a license to do postcode lookups based on latitude/longitude.

Seems we'll have to pay for a license at some point (although not right away - who sends letters anymore?).

1 Although the only "real" address with three letters at the beginning (rather than 2 letters and a number) is Girobank's "GIR 0AA", Santa Claus does have the UK postcode "SAN TA1", which starts with three letters.
2 Why does the Royal Mail use rather than

Monday, March 28, 2011

Apple building a new mapping application?

Many sites are writing today about a new job posting on

From Apple's site:
The Maps team is looking for an exceptional developer to join us in our mission to radically improve how people interact with maps and location-based services.
This is obviously interesting news for a local search site that also produces iOS apps. That said, I have no idea what this means. Apple bought a company called Placebase in 2009, and at the time many expected that Apple would use their technology to replace or supplement Google Maps in iOS. That hasn't happened, but it might just be that Apple needs time to integrate Placebase's technology.

Placebase does have an API called Pushpin that would allow for much more sophisticated manipulation of geospatial data in iOS.

My biggest feature request would be an easy way to use offline maps both in the Maps app and in iOS apps produced by Nelso. Although there are apps in the App Store that support offline maps, it'd be a boon for travelers to have this built right into the OS. The requirement that a user has an internet connection makes Google Maps almost worthless for travelers in Europe, as the cost of data roaming is too high to justify using maps on an iPhone or iPad outside one's home country.

Here's hoping they say something at WWDC this year.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The iPad 2 camera is practically worthless

Once I got my hands on an iPad 2 (the white 64GB 3G model, to be exact) the first thing I did was to take a few photos with the rear ("HD") camera.

I've written a lot about the iPad 2 camera in the last few weeks, and although I feared the worst, I still held out hope that the camera would at least be serviceable. But after playing around a bit with the iPad 2 camera, all I can say is this: Apple did the absolute minimum they could and still claim the iPad 2 has an "HD" camera.

Below are two shots, taken in the same place (approximately), one with the iPad 2 and one with the iPhone 4. You get exactly one guess as to which one is the iPhone 4.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Why don't the Nelso sites appear in the Blekko index?

Techmeme linked to an article about upstart search engine Blekko today, which prompted me to take another look at the site.

Like any good entrepreneur, I immediately did a vanity search to see how the Nelso sites ranked for common search terms like "Prague bars" or "Copenhagen hotels". I didn't expect to see at the top of the first page, but I was surprised to find that Blekko doesn't index any content from any of the Nelso sites.

From the article linked above:
We have a full Web crawl. Come to Blekko, type /date and you can see the sites going in in real time. Our whole crawl is about 3 billion pages. It's not as big as Google or Bing's index, but we biased it to what we think are the best pages.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Although we've had the Norwegian translation ready for over a year, it's taken us at least that long to acquire the domain name.

Now that we've launched in Norway, we just need a site for Iceland and, depending on how you define Scandinavia, Finland to complete our coverage of the region.

According to Wikipedia:
When a speaker wants to explicitly include Finland alongside Scandinavia-proper, the geographic terms Fenno-Scandinavia or Fennoscandia are sometimes used in English.
I admit to never having heard those terms before.

Early stats for the site show most of the traffic so far is to the Denmark and Czech Republic listings.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

iPad 2 camera tests

CNET has posted a gallery of photos taken with the iPad 2 rear-facing camera in downtown San Francisco. Not very impressive, but I was surprised that the image sensor was fast enough to get this shot of a skateboarder in mid-air.

PCWorld ran more comprehensive tests, and also tested the iPad 2 alongside the Motorola XOOM and the Samsung Galaxy Tab. You don't need a trained eye to tell that these two Android tablets beat the pants off the 0.7 megapixel rear camera in the iPad 2.

There's no getting around the fact the the back camera in the iPad 2 is sub-standard for 2011. Even the mediocre 2 megapixel shooter from the original iPhone, which is now four years old, would have been better than what Apple put in the iPad 2.

What I haven't seen yet, and what is more important for Nelso's data collection efforts, is a shot taken with the back camera outside in bright sunlight. I'll test that as soon as I get my hands on an iPad 2 later this month.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Data collection starts in Rome

We've got two people at the moment collecting data for Nelso in Rome, Italy. You can follow their progress by checking the home page for Rome on

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Well, at least one company is excited about the new iPad cameras

TechCrunch writes today that DailyBooth raised additional financing, and that they are "excited" about the front-facing camera in the iPad 2.

From the post:
Devices like the iPhone 4, with a front facing camera, are particularly DailyBooth-friendly. The new iPad, also with a front facing camera, is just an enthralling to the company.

Gruber confirms that iPad 2 rear camera is 960x720?

John Gruber of Daring Fireball linked to a photo he took with the iPad 2 while at the event. If we take at the look at the original size of the photo he took, it's 960x720, just as one would expect. While it's possible that Gruber resized the photo before uploading it, that seems unlikely given that he had only a few minutes with the device and I can't see him wasting time with that.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

iPad 2 Camera A World's First?

Although the details of the iPad 2's rear camera are still vague, Apple might have created the first digital camera in history that has a higher-resolution LCD display than the camera's sensor!

All we know so far is this tidbit from Apple's site:
Back camera: Video recording, HD (720p) up to 30 frames per second with audio; still camera with 5x digital zoom
We can infer from this that the rear camera sensor is capable of at least 1280x720 pixel resolution. However, it's reasonable to assume that still photos will be cropped to 960x720 (like the current generation iPod Touch) to make them the ratio common for digital photos (4:3).

If that's true, then the iPad will have a higher resolution LCD display (1024x768) than the photos it takes (960x720). This is almost certainly a first. Camera sensors have always had a much higher pixel density than LCD displays. The iPhone 4's display might be impressive at more than 300 pixels per inch, but even the first consumer digital camera sensors had much higher pixel density than 300dpi.

Thus, an early DSLR like the Nikon D1 had a 2.7 megapixel (2,000×1,312) sensor but a puny 120,000 dot (400x300) rear LCD. The very first digital camera marketed to consumers in the US, the Apple QuickTake 100, didn't even have an LCD display because small LCDs at the time were prohibitively expensive.

Are the photos taken with the iPad 2 going to display with black bars at the top, bottom, and sides? Normally one needs to dramatically downscale digital photos to display them on the LCD of the device that took the photo (I can't even display full-resolution photos from my iPhone 4 using my 27" Apple Cinema Display).

Apple are certainly pioneers in digital photography, but in this case that's not a positive thing.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Update of Russian localization

We're undertaking a comprehensive review of the translations on, and adding thousands of new translations for categories that have been added recently. You can see some of the improvements by browsing our Prague listings in Russian (most of our Russian-language traffic is for Prague).

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Luxury brands and local search

Take a look at the top 15 search terms on Google sending traffic to for the month of February, 2011. Notice a pattern?
  1. louis vuitton praha
    Luxury luggage and other leather goods
  2. iworld praha
    Mac, iPhone, and iPad dealer, i.e. luxury computers
  3. burberry praha
    Luxury clothing
  4. swarovski praha
    Jewelry and crystal
  5. hlavní nádraží praha
    Prague main train station
  6. big sister
    Famous Prague brothel
  7. gucci praha
    World famous luxury brand
  8. h&m praha
  9. pekařství paul
    Luxury bakery
  10. frey wille bratislava
    Luxury watches and jewelry
  11. fendi praha
    World famous luxury brand
  12. hapu bar
    Cocktail bar
  13. prada praha
    Luxury women's clothing
  14. sushi palladium
  15. jazz praha
    I'm assuming this is a search for live jazz in Prague, rather than a search for stores selling jazz music
There are quite a number of luxury goods related searches in this list. I don't have a good explanation for this, other than the fact that many of these brands have Flash-heavy sites that probably aren't indexed well by search engines.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Demand Media (DMD) Rises 37 Percent on First Trading Day

Demand Media (DMD), famously called "The Answer Factory" in a Wired article, rose 37 percent on its first trading day, closing with a market cap of $1.87 billion. Seems investors are still not too worried that Google will classify Demand Media's content as spam and remove it from the first page of search results.

Update: Businessweek has a long piece on DMD today.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Problem of Local Search Has Been Solved

From an article on ReadWriteWeb:
Much like place databases are used by so many location-based technologies today. If you want to build an app that talks about different places around the world, you don't have to create a brand new map of places from scratch. That problem has been solved.

The Problem with a "Retina" Display on the iPad 2: Lack of Content

Update: This post was mentioned on Crunchgear and AppleInsider, and it seems many of the commenters didn't understand the point of the original post.

At this point I wish I'd never mentioned video in the post (or had relegated it to less than a paragraph).

My point was not that you won't be able to watch DVD resolution content on some future 7,680 x 4,320 pixel HD TV (1080p x 16) - the point was that additional resolution is only worth paying for if you're going to use it (and to answer the question of many commenters - yes, I have heard of upscaling video).

Of course user interface elements and text will look amazing on the super high-res iPad 2 (or iPad 3). But almost no content (forget about video for a second) is currently created with a 3 megapixel, 260 dpi display in mind. This is especially true of most graphics and photos used on the web. So, the home page of the New York Times will have print-quality text (in Safari for iPad 2) while all the rest of the graphics will be of much lower resolution and have to be upscaled (the main home page image is only 330 pixels wide). The effect will be a bit jarring. On the current iPhone 4 I can tell at a glance that an app hasn't been updated for the new retina display - the app icon even looks out of place on the home screen surrounded by high-res icons from other apps.

And yes, yes, I know that it's possible to use the web on a 30" monitor that has a resolution greater than this hypothetical iPad 2. But this works because a 27" iMac (for example) uses the additional pixels to create a physically larger display, not to increase the pixel density. Graphics that were designed on a 20" monitor and assumed a ~ 100 dpi display look fine on a 27" monitor - they are the same physical size on screen and are not pixel-doubled.

And what about iOS apps? I write offline travel apps for the iPhone, and because they don't require an internet connection, I include all the images in the app. The next update of my Prague guide will contain more than 10,000 images (at 300x200). Can I use these in a universal app that runs on an iPad 2? Sure, but the result won't be very satisfactory - blurry, massively upscaled images on the same screen as razor-sharp text and UI elements just won't look good. I'll be forced to include much higher resolution images in the app, and that will mean leaving most of the images out of the app entirely (I can't expect users to download a 5GB travel guide).

So, again, yes - I do understand the concept of upscaling. The point wasn't that you can't use the current web or a 2011 iOS app on the 2020 gigapixel 100" wall-mounted iPad 11. The point was that users are going to expect all the elements on screen to be of the same resolution, and that means the creation of a massive amount of new content (thus the "Lack of Content" part of my post title).

And did I mention that I understand the concept of upscaling video? Because I do.

The original post:

The iPad 2 will be announced soon, and thus there are a lot of rumors floating around as to the second-generation iPad's technical specs. Some of the new features are almost inevitable (front and rear cameras, more RAM) and some are less likely (SD card slot, new processor). But the real wildcard is the iPad 2's display. Both the iPod Touch and iPhone got 960x640 "retina" (i.e. more than 300dpi) displays in their latest versions, and there is a growing consensus on gadget blogs that the iPad 2 will have a similar "ultra high-res" display. Even John Gruber of Daring Fireball isn't dismissing the possibility of a 2048x1536 display on the iPad 2. We're talking about an iPad with nearly the resolution of a 30" desktop display.

Let's assume for the sake of argument that all of the usual problems with such a display have been solved (battery life, cost, speed, etc.). Even if the iPad 2 comes out in a 16GB WiFi version for $499 with a 2048x1536 display (four times the pixels of the original iPad, which is 1024x768), where is the content going to come from?

Take a look at the graphic I created showing the relative sizes of popular video formats in relation to this theoretical iPad 2 "retina" display. Forget about DVD (Standard Definition) video, which if displayed at native resolution would be little bigger than a postage stamp on this new display. 720p HD video (the highest resolution sold on iTunes) would fill only a quarter of the screen, and 1080p video would have black bars not only along the top and bottom, but also along the sides of the screen. Of course, Apple will scale up these videos to fill the screen, but most people don't expect pixel-doubling when watching HD video.

And what about on-line photos? Are web site owners now expected to post two or three megapixel photos on their sites to support Safari on iPad? Will the Photos application for iPad import full resolution photos when syncing to your computer? How big will games be if they fully support the 3,145,728 pixels of such a display?

I'm not arguing that Apple won't include such a display on the iPad 2, but if they do, I hope there's a 128GB version so that I can load more than one movie on it at a time (assuming a few apps, some photos, some music, and 1080p video, the 16GB version would hold about one 90 minute film).

I guess my next purchase is a RED camera to shoot home videos that will support the iPad 2's display.