Mobile Companies That Might Last The Decade

In the mobile market, a quarter can be a life time let alone a year.  So, why am I talking about the rest of the decade?  Frankly, a quarterly misstep or two could be enough for a company to start sliding but with all the corporate cash companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft have, any decline could be stave off for years.

Sure that could also mean that companies have a better chance to survive any downturn or misstep and maybe innovate its way out of corporate death much like Apple did.  However, there are a couple of companies that I think are not going to disappear within the year but could very likely be gone by 2020.

I'm talking about Blackberry and Yahoo.  Blackberry and Yahoo has 2.68 and 2.78 billions of cash on hand.  Blackberry has been bleeding money while Yahoo has managed to eek out some profit.  However, each of these two companies have critical decisions to make.

The decisions each of their respective CEOs make will determine whether they can innovate or reinvent their ways out of the bottom of the mobile market and come up stronger and continue to stay relevant.

Blackberries are not selling well even as Blackberry 10 has garnered raved reviews.  The company has a perception issue and attempting to match the iPhone and the hundreds of Android phone models just won't cut it.  Furthermore, Blackberry lack the ecosystem that Apple has, which is the same issue that plagues Microsoft's Windows Phone devices.

So far, Blackberry CEO John Chen has failed to make the hard calls.  Chen was brought in to cut costs and slow the bleeding just enough to make Blackberry attractive enough to be a takeover target and has even failed miserably at that task.  There was a glimmer of hope that perhaps the Blackberry Messenger could be the key to the company's turn around when Facebook bought Whatsapp, a popular iOS/Android messaging app, for $19 billion.  However, any hope there quickly fizzled as more attractive alternatives to BBM were already on the market.

As for Yahoo, Marissa Mayer brought a lot of hope and optimism when she took over as CEO back in the middle 2012.  I think it's still early.  However, the changes Mayer made seemed more like patchwork than actually swing for the fences.  A series of acquisitions like Tumblr, while made for interesting talk around the blogger water cooler, still has not demonstrated that it'll be better than past Yahoo acquisitions by former CEOs like Geocities or  Yahoo! Launchcast is interesting and this could be where Yahoo can become a viable niche player in original video content.

Still, it'll just be a niche in a submarket.  Hardly anything to write home about.

So, Blackberry and Yahoo are facing a lot of head winds.  They'll both be fine over the next year or two but as their competitors continue to forth, they could both be squeeze out of existence.

Space: The Beast That Was - Potential World Killer

Source: LA Times.

Because of the size of 2014 HQ124, coming in at a possible 1,300 feet, it is a potential devastating space rock that scientists as NASA have dubbed it "the Beast". With the Beast coming in at a close 770,000 miles of the only world we humans have, there is no worry that it will hit us this time around.

Nor will it strike us when it comes around for another round in 2200. Having said that, hopefully, we would still be around and we likely have some other similar encounters 180+ years. Plus, I hope by then, we would have the technology to deflector other potential world killers.

Sure, I don't expect our petty earthly conflicts and a propensity to ignore certain danger (like global warming) that would dramatically alter our way of life but not necessarily end it, a doomsday rock probably will not be ignored.

I hope.


World Cup: Pele Concerned About Brazilian Protests During Soccer Event

Source: BBC.

Pele, soccer legend (football for you folks outside of the United States), is concerned about protests flaring up during the World Cup this summer and would disrupt matches, causing some foreigners to cancel their trips. 

The truth of the matter is that some countries just are not fit or stable enough to host major international events like the Olympics and, in this post, the World Cup.  It's unlikely that Brazil will reap the financial benefits that a major event like this ought to bring.  Even now, there is chaos with hurried attempts to put as close as a finishing touch on venues.  Pele admitted that some stadiums have yet to be completed. 

The Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia served as a great reminder why the priorities of these sports and event committees are no longer about the spirits of the games, athletes, and fans but about politics.  Russia had no rights to be hosting Winters Olympics since it really could not afford to do it.  It's unlikely Brazil does either. 

Hence, the protests over the priorities of the Brazilian governments and elites over those of the average Brazilians.

Some time on the future, perhaps when Brazil is stronger economically and socially, it would make sense for the largest country in South America to host such events, at a more appropriate time when such events can be more inclusive of its people and truly proud of what the Brazilian people has been able to accomplish. 

Honestly, Pele as an advocate to bring the Cup to Brazil has done a disservice to millions of his fans at this time.

Inflatable Bouncing House Swept Up In The Air, Injuring Two Kids

Here is an incredible story about a inflatable bouncing house that people rent for birthdays and other occasions that was swept up in a burst of wind and took off with two children inside. Both fell about 15 feet and suffered critical injuries. I've seen many of these. Been inside them. And they're heavy as heck. Still, even when properly grounded by stakes, I always knew this could happen.

And now it has. And this isn't the first time. The following CNN video showed just how powerful the elements can be with dramatic footages of other bouncing houses getting thrown up in the air.

So far, the police does not believe anyone was at fault here. It was just an unfortunate freak accident.

Source: CNN.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Must See: Family Cat Saved Boy From Stray Dog

This is a must watch: A boy minding his own business, riding his tricycle on front of his home was suddenly attacked by a stray dog.

The dog was powerful enough to drag him a few feet. Luckily, help was about a second away. Not the dad. Nor the mom.

It was the family cat. He leapt into action and went after the dog. Chasing it away until he knew the dog was no longer an immediate danger to his human friend.

Source: inquisitr.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Apple Can (Should) Surprise With iPhone Release Without iOS 8

The market, by that I mean the financial as well as mobile, is used to Cupertino release new iPhones along with a new version of iOS to go along with it.  However, I think for the sake of market disruption, I would love to see Apple release a new iPhone even without a new iOS in the fall, say, this summer.  That would really kick things up for its fans and really screw things up for its competitors. 

Has this happened before?  Sure, the iPad. 

What if there are new features that are specific to the new iPhone hardware?  Well, then Apple simply (okay, I know it's not simply but the talented hard working Apple employees sure make it appear that way) update apps and release codes for this new iPhone.

As it is now, it's the hardware that catches up to the software.  Beta versions of iOS are released in the June to coincide with Apple's World Wide Developer Conference.  Then new iPhones are released later in the fall that support new features.  Take the iPhone 5S.  When iOS 7 beta was released at the WWDC last year, there no mention of TouchID and yet when the 5S was released in October, the codes to support fingerprint magically appeared.

Not wanting to get into current rumors regarding iPhone 6 and possible (though highly improbable) release dates, Apple can move up a bigger screen iPhone 6 this summer with a special version of iOS 7 specific to it and then wait for iOS 8 to catch up to the hardware for once. 

When Apple moved from the 3.5" screen to the 4" screen, apps continued to work flawlessly as 3.5" screen apps with black bands on the sides until developers updated their apps to take advantage of the added pixels.  The same can happen with 5" or 5.5" iPhone 6 screens.

Can it happen?  Nah.  This is a "wishful thinking" post on my part.