Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
For the tens of American families who are struggle even in this improving (but very slow pace) economic recovery, as well as millions of children living below the poverty line, food inflation just isn't something that is going to help at all despite the US having the biggest economy in the world. No, given the level of debt, both public and private, we are one of the poorest. Still, Can there be some benefit that might come from this for the general public?
Wasting food in the West is a big issue even as starvation and suffering persists elsewhere. Perhaps The smaller portions will yield some benefits and change our behaviors, particularly in the United States for the good.
We might actually end up being leaner. Better health as a result and less strain on the medical system.
And if smaller packaging is being used, it may also mean less resources committed to food distribution.
I reckon it'll be possible that a public media campaign might be created to convince us of the benefits despite it being more about the bottom-line. At some point, downsizing food portions will yield diminished returns and benefits.
More at MSNBC.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch
Sunday, March 27, 2011
While tech giants work out how they want to incorporate near field communication capability to allow mobile devices ranging from regular cell phones to high-end devices like iPhones and who has the final control over data, some folks just are not going to wait around until that day comes.
The Girl Scouts in Ohio are now accepting credit card payments via GoPayment from Intuit, the folks who brought us Quicken And TurboTax, a dongle that can be attached to the the iPhone.￼
This is just the beginning. I wonder what'll happen once more devices like the iPhones become NFC-capable?
Personally, I am still waiting for my 7" iPad that digitimes said was coming even after Steve Jobs dismissed such a possibility.
More often that not, I get the feeling that DigiTimes just goes around and time certain posts to generate traffic on Apple. Perhaps they have quotas they are supposed to meet for their advertisers.
The amazing thing is that some posts that link to DigiTimes also make a disclaimer that DigiTimes does not have a good track record regarding Apple products and plans.
And more than that, some of the things that DigiTimes come up with are so out there that not even Wall Street analysts dare put those things down on paper.
In the latest report, they claim that Apple is seeking to secure screens out of Taiwan due to the northeastern Japan earthquake even if it means a price nike.. Makes sense right? Sure until you read the little post that offered no sources whatsoever. It's always according to "this or that". Nothing to explain the nature of such a deal. Thing is, folks, that Apple has been sourcing from the Taiwanese for years. There really nothing new here. The rumor made it sound like this was the first time Apple is dealing with the tech folks there.
Now, don't get me wrong, I like Apple rumors. The best rumor so far this year is the one that we might get a 5" iPod touch. And it came from blogs that claim to have their own sources that they've used in the past. And that this will be a part of a greater fall surprise that Apple is planning. This latter part is also a rumor but detailed enough to be credible.
And how is this different from what Digitimes posts? Rumors from these blogs have a chance of actually being true whereas Digitimes offers nothing to suggest anything other than that Apple posts will generate links and traffic. Digitimes information never turns out to be true.
Knowing this fact as most bloggers do, that virtually everything DigiTimes reports are wrong, why share it with your readers?
Hit your regular sources for the juicy stuff. Because these days, I don't even bother reading your rumor posts if the source is DigiTimes.
Note: If you want to know more about the Digitimes post I referenced to above, you're welcome to Google it. I'm just not going to link to it.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch
Nevertheless, I still have ambitions of coming up with a coffee shop of sort for mobile warriors to be able to "jack" in whenever they like and work on their homework, the next Google, or just want relax and leisurely enjoy their ebooks.
More at Greenjava.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Buttons – I love them. At least when I was a kid, I love buttons. See, I grew up watching anime, the kind with spaceships, giant robots, and futuristic command centers. And they have tons of button and flashing lights.
When it comes down to it, it reallly depends on what you do with your mobile device. I can write just as long a letter on the iPhone as I can on my G1. The only difference for me is that I spent years playing the piano and I like to keep what's left of the life of the joints On my fingers for the piano, not the smartphones.
So I definitely like the touch-type on a glass surface than buttons. No need to push down on a button. No need to exert pressure with the thumbs.
And you're constantly using your thumbs, there is no escaping that on a mobile device. On a phsyical keyboard for a smartphone, it can't be good in the long run if you have to produce dozens of emails or text a day.
Still, a part of me does like the idea of having physical buttons to work with, which for me, provides a sense of accomplishment. And honestly, until the iPhone came along and showed the world that you can create content on glass just as easily as a stylus or physical keyboard.
Right now, I am writing on the iPod touch. I am typing in portrait mode. And I can easily switch over to landscape.
What it comes down to is personal preference. Blackberry users swear by the physical keyboard while some prefer the slide-out keyboard. Android users have the best selection of devices with different keyboard layouts. So, you really have to pick your device when it comes to buttons.
With buttons, you've got the Blackberry variety which works well for a lot of folks. And honestly, it's very good. Then you've got the Pre version which can be frustrating after a while. You really don't want to be writing an essay on it. Then you've got the ones that slide-out like T-Mobile's G1 and G2, and both keyboards work well. Droid keyboards are too stuff for me to imagine writing anything other than text messages or tweets.
And for iPhoners, let's be honest. Apple is driving the trend with the chiplet keys on the desktop and laptop markets. Works well. Even the keyboard before that. But if you go back even further, Apple is really kind of hit-and-miss with them. I've experienced the sticky type on the Powerbook 500. Then I've gotten a few years in with the Powerbook 1400cs. They were a nice change but Powerbook was a Powerbook and it was running Mac OS. And not everyone liked those keyboards.
So there really is no way of knowing what kind if keyboard Apple will come up with should there ever be an iPhone with a physical keyboard. And there definitely is no way for us to be sure that we're even going to like it.
But give us mobile warriors a device with a top notch OS with a great keyboard, I promise it will do well.
Note: For the record, I no longer dig flashing lights.
Another note: RIM sued Handspring back in 2002. And in turn, it has also been sued in the past. Maybe Apple or anyone else might just as well avoid the headaches by avoiding making a device that looks similar to the Blackberries. Nokia and Samsung does have similar layouts but not being a tech/patent attorney, I think I'll leave the issue open and at that.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
But if one was to pay for both Hulu Plus and Netflix streaming, the cost would come out to about $16 a month. This beats most cable packages that I've been advertised to in the last year.
For a fraction of the price, I get most of the shows I want to watch. SyFy shows, a few Primetime shows like Castle and Fringe. Oh, and dynamic duo of Stewart and Colbert are back (yeah, yeah, I know I can watch them on Comedy Central's website - but this is about convenience).
And I'm winning to bet that Amazon might get in on the act.
So who needs cable and satellite TV anymore? No wonder they're scared. No wonder the studios are having to figure out what they need to do about new media.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Regulators will have to look at this very carefully. Competitors will make demands. Politicians will chime in with their usual buffoon-ish manners. Consumer advocates will have their day that is like going to be ignored.
Right now, the meat is fresh and bloody and everyone will wait a piece of this in the morning. Dozens of blog posts and online newspaper articles have already been written about this.
And Sprint had already had its say. But let me offer this opinion about the deal with respect to Sprint.
Earlier, as I sat thinking about this, I said to myself that if ATT takes away from me the better deals and options that T-Mobile now has, regardless of whether I am taking advantage of it or not, I'll head on over to Sprint.
So there. If ATT does bungle this deal by alienating current T-Mobile customers like myself who have been happy with things the way they are, we will head on over to the no. 3 mobile provider who offers WiMax and competitive plans/options.
In the end, Sprint may benefit to some extent. Sprint has to continue to be aggressive and now may be a great time for it to launch an offensive campaign for the hearts and minds of confused (betrayed) T-Mobile subscribers.
However, keep in mind that no one knows just how this deal, when and not if it will go through, is going to look like when it is finally wrapped up. Though I am not hopeful, one such as myself hopes that T-Mobile will have a better influence on ATT and not all the bad things and worst case scenarios will come to pass.
More important than regulators, it will be the bloggers with legions of readers who can shape how this deal takes place. And we will work hard to make sure that if politicians allow themselves to be bought and a bigger badder ATT is looking out to screw more users, we will point to other options as best as we can.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Governments feared them. Ask Tehran during the Green revolution when the conservatives stole the election from the voters. And then in Egypt just mere weeks ago when the government of more then decades were toppled by protests passed through the Internet, and specifically, Twitter and Facebook.
And since the 9.0 earthquake that struck Japan, ravaged the eastern coast of northern Japan with a powerful tsunami, and created a nuclear disaster that has already achieved the level of the Three-Mile Island incident in the US.
How did Twitter and Facebook changed things in the aftermath of the earthquake in Japan this week? And which Twitter accounts to follow to get the best information on the latest nuclear and humanitarian news from Japan?
More at Greenjava
Through the whole ordeal faced by the Japanese people (earthquake, tsunami, nuclear meltdowns, cold weather, and hunger), I wonder how the children are. Add to that, the scary nuclear situation that even adults have a problem understanding at times (just look at the reporting by seasoned reporters).
So, Kazuhiko Hachiya made this cartoon that does an adequate job of explain the situation to the Japan children - using poop and farts. As a matter of fact, not only it is cute and explains things well, I encourage even adults to watch it to get a better understanding of the situation at surrounding the nuclear disaster in Japan.
And don't worry, there are subtitles in English.
So meet Nuclear Boy who has a stomach problem.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
NFC capabilities will increasingly become available in not just smartphones but regular cell phones as well. This NFC is important for mobile payments. And billions in transactions will be made this way.
Gone may be the credit cards. So who will win this fight? And where does Apple's closed iOS system and Google's Android fit in all this?
More at Greejava.
As a taxpayer, I think libraries are great but I'm not sure I like companies to make money off of public institutions like this. And perhaps, HarperCollins is simply using this as a negotiation ploy or they're just afraid like every other old media about the new media future.
More at Greenjava.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
- Free calling and texting until March 31th
- 60 Minutes of calling for landline subscribers.
- Subscribers can text "redcross" to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross.
- TV Japan will be accessible for U-Verse customers through March 17th.
- Calling and texting free to most post-paid and residential customers.
- Free MM messaging and texting.
- 10 Aid groups to donate to.
- FIOS subscribers to get TV Japan for free until March 17th.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Starting in May, ATT will start capping DSL use at 150 GB. A $10 fee will be assess for an additional 50 GB.
Does this affect you and how you use the Internet?
Let me do some simple math on this. This comes to 4.93 GB a day. Frankly, I think this is so bogus.
We are increasingly relying on our Internet services for streaming media and to get pertinent information. Heck, I don't even own a TV.
This just isn't right. Unfortunately, I think ATT will get away with this given the political atmosphere in Washington and the GOP not want the FCC to do anything at all.
Make no mistake about this. This is about GREED. And this can potentially destroy the Internet and innovation.
If there was ever a time for anyone in Washington to show some backbone, coming out against this would be an easy win.
I got to thinking about what's going in Japan with the earthquake, tsunami, and problems with their nuclear facilities, I think even in LA, there is something we can do individually.
After all, Japan is a first world country and look at what's happened since the 8.9 earthquake from last Friday. Though I cannot be certain if the media reports match the facts on the ground, you'd think this earthquake has broken the back of the Japanese society and economy.
My idea is to get going on a solar leash with one of those solar companies like Solar City. I'll be doing some research on this to see if this is the right solution for me. But if it does work out, my idea is this:
I want to create or buy (hopefully affordable) backup battery or something that can sustain my household needs a few hours at a time should natural disaster hit and we end up being without power for weeks.
Any help in point me in that direction would be great.
Well, I think they should not have to worry about that. Apple isn't likely to jerk us around like that. However, I would start lining up. You guys, the lucky few who are slated for the next round of launch like Britain and Japan, will get the new iPads just like Steve jobs said but supplies will be limited.
No. Let me back that up. Supplies will be severely limited.
What prompt this is the fact that online orders from Apple is now a 3-4 weeks wait.
Just a recap for those who just want the high lights of the iPad 2 launch so far: the iPad 2 went on sale last Friday, March 11th - online at 1AM PST (4AM EST) while in-stores sales at Apple Store, Walmart, Target, and Best Buy started at 5PM local time.
The local stores, including Apple stores, quickly drew lines and were sold out quickly. I can attest to that.
I was able to place my iPad 2 orders online around 1:10AM with ease. After examining the forums and comments of various blogs, I was able to determine that for the next couple of hours, the ship time was 3-5 days with an estimated delivery date between March 18th - 25th.
The situation quickly deteriorated as people wake up and the lead time went to 1-2 weeks. Before long, the wait timebeas extended to 3-4 weeks.
As it stands now, most local places are dry. ATT locations are accepting orders with a 2-3 week wait while Verizon has a 3-4 week wait.
Sucks, I know.
-- Post From My iPad
I think for a while, there was a drop in the number of people driving while "multi-tasking" but I get the feeling things are on the rise again.
Recently, I was in the vehicle a couple of times while the drivers were yapping away. In one instance, I did say something because a police cruiser had pulled up next to us. Regardless, I should have said something right from the start. And I should have said something the other time even when there was no law enforcement presence around.
And let's face it, even with hands-free tech, it's not something a lot of people use as often as they should. It is just too much for some people to deal with. In one of the two times I mentioned above, the Bluetooth connection failed. I mean after all these years, how can BT still fail to connect. It was a link between an Android phone and a Lexus car.
That just blows the mind that companies still can't get that right.
Also, I see more people brazenly drive with one hand at their wheel while the other is attached to their ear. I think this has picked up pace since the new year. I even saw a lady tried to fit her Landcruiser into a tight parking spot while continuing to talk to someone on her phone.
So come on, folks. If you're one of them, you're endanger others around you.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
As a matter of fact, Skype should send Apple a Thank You gift for releasing the iPad 2 with dusk cameras.
More than just boring old video conferencing for enterprise, FaceTime an Skype will gain from the home market. Consider how easy the iPad is robust already, it's icon focused UI allows for an 1-click access to either of the two apps for the less than tech savvy people like our parents and grandparents to stay in touch with their children and grandchildren.
I predict that Skype is likely to make an announcement about a spike in new users and downloads after the iPad 2 goes on sale on March 11th.
Apple's FaceTime offers a seamless sign-in process that will be welcoming to everyone. And its video quality is second to none.
And while FaceTime might have an edge over Skype in simplicity, Skype will dominate because of the tens of millions if not hundreds of millions of users that use its services already.
Skype or FaceTime, the ideal screen size of the iPad 2 for video chat may finally usher in a big change in social interaction.
And I reckon it will be the grandparents who will lead the way.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch
Friday, March 4, 2011
But sitting here and looking around, I wondered about government services and why people like myself dread coming here. It takes time between the day you make an appointment and the actually appointment date. And getting to a DMV is just horrible. I had two cars steal my parking spaces!
And yes, I did go to the AAA to see if my business with the DMV could be taken are of there but it was simply something that was beyond their scope of services.
So I wonder, can't more apparatuses like the AAA be be empowered to take the load off the DMV. Maybe the local supermarket can get into it. Perhaps, Walmart as well.
And sure why not? Slap on a fee for this convenience. I don't have an issue with that.
I can totally see a company that can contract with the state or federal government agencies to help provide services to the citizens and still manage to make a profit.
But that is only going to alleviate some of the congestions at the local offices. To really change things, technology needs to be brought into the equation.
And not just new technology but better and efficient use of technology is the key. Since this is a mobile blog, I really like to have many services that now require local visits to offices move into the digital realm.
I look forward to the day when something that needs to get done and I am able to say "nice, there's an app for that".
Today, I was able to help my boss check into his flight with the app provided airline. I mean, just how cool is that!?
Eye exams for the DMV? Why not. Mobile devices have cameras for video conferencing. The DMV with the help of optometrists can create an app for eye exams when license renewals. Other simple issues and tasks can also be relegated to video-to-video contact than requiring drivers to march in drove into the local DMV office like we do now.
And you know, if the DMV wants to charge a bit for this convenience, I think many people will be happy to make use of this service.
And this goes beyond one segment of government services. Healthcare and Medicare, immigration, and Social Security are just a few that quickly comes to mind. I reckon the public services will embrace this eventually but it will be private sectors that will lead the way.
Right now, this is just the pipe dreams of a frustrated citizen sitting in a waiting room at the DMV
-- Post From My iPad
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Clue On Who's Getting The iPhone Next: T-Mobile Disses iPhone Carriers But Sprint Doesn't (Second Sprint Post Today)
And ironically, I am writing about what Sprint isn't doing. While T-Mobile is off dissing the networks that the iPhone runs on on TV and Web commercials, Sprint doesn't seem to say much of anything else about CDMA iPhone.
After all, Sprint's WiMax is faster than what Verizon and ATT's 3G networks. So it has just as much marketing weapon as T-Mobile.
So I wonder if this is indicative of who is getting the iPhone and who isn't? About fourteen months before Verizon go the iPhone 4, it did the same thing with some cute animations.
At this point, I am just not hopeful that my network will be getting the next iPhone. And if Sprint is supposed to get the CDMA iPhone next, it would not make sense to diss a phone that it might be getting next.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch
Heck, even Clearwire will do that as well because in the US, it just makes sense to do that.
First of all, if Sprint stays with WiMax, it will effectively be isolated, more so than T-Mobile for years to come. And though T-Mobile’s 3G network doesn’t worth with virtually anyone else’s in the US, it is still a GSM network, a vastly more popular network than CDMA and WiMax.
And from what execs at both Sprint and Clearwire has indicated in the past, transitioning from WiMax to LTE is financially feasible. As a matter of fact, Clear has “clearly” started work on that as far back as fall 2010. These things take time but I do see it happen.
So I suspect that more than just about financial terms, Clear and Sprint might have come to an understanding that they’ll work towards LTE in the next couple of years. Also, Sprint has provided clues in recent weeks about their LTE future.
And the momentum is building in that direction.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Tablet Suggestion For Android Users: Wait For iPad 2 and G-Slate To See If They'll Drive Xoom Prices Down
I almost pulled the trigger yesterday on a Xoom. At $800, it's a lot of money but I do save and save and figure it's okay to indulge myself. I do have an iPad but I was planning on giving that to my nephew. (Point at myself: Greatest uncle in the world…)
Having said that, the reason I decide it was more prudent to wait is because Apple is going to let loose the iPad 2 (or whatever they're going to call it) tomorrow. At least that's the idea And more than that, I'm curious about their prices and how they'll try to complete with Xoom and other Android devices.
Perhaps, what big or little changes will impact the competitive field and get Motorola to drop the price on the Xoom. Just look at the Samsung Tab. That thing has been going down like a rock. I reckon if the iPad 2 does well, the same could also happen to Xoom.
Also, T-Mobile's G-Slate with its 3D capability is said to cost less than the Xoom. Well, if that is the case, I might stay with my T-Mobile services. Plus, it's got 3D.
Bottomline is this. Competition is great regardless of what the OS platform we support. Competition from iPad aside, competition among Android makers is just as potent. I totally see a $100 Xoom price drop if the G-Slate is really $100 cheaper that many rumors on the Internet suggests.
So, I'll wait a week or two and see how I can maximize purchasing power of my measly savings.
(Android) I was gonna pull the trigger on the Xoom this week but I think I can wait until Apple unveils their plans for the iPad 2 in less than two days and what T-Mobile might offer me in terms of cost and data plan for the G-Slate. I’ve got the current iPad to hold me over until then.
(Green) – New power source that allows cruise ships to plug in while at port to avoid burning fuel. Hmm…not a bad idea. Of course, I’ve always wondered what fuel is burnt to get these power. BTW, I’m still on track to look into solar panels for this year. (KPCC)
(Green) – In addition to Solar City, I’ve contacted Sungevity for a quote on my solar ambitions. I got a post card from this last week and thought I check them out. Maybe it’s a sign. (Sungevity)
(Tablet, iPad) JP of the Morgans expect tablet market to hit $35 billion in 2012. I guess this is why Apple vows to own a big chunk of that. We already know netbooks is getting their collective butts handed to them by Apple but looks like the investment bank outfit thinks notebooks are next. (Cult of Mac)
(iPhone) Looks like Apple has found a way to address the prepaid market with the iPhone. Honestly, I don’t know how their $600 iPhones are going to be able to do this. I imagine Apple mean to make money back through mobile payments, apps (hence, the 30% subscription free from publishers), and accessories. (MacNN)
(Thought on iPad) – Probably 95% wishful thinking here but I wonder how low Apple can go with the iPad pricing? A couple of things Apple can do: lower price to $400 or $450 on the original WiFi iPad and/or eliminate the 3G premium over the WiFI-only version.
(Libya) Gas was insane at the pumps this weekend. Glad I gassed up last week. Good to hear US military positioning around the North African nation. That’s right, my fellow Americans. Libya is in Africa. See here.
(Thoughts on PC Verus Tablet) It’s possible that the tablet market will become bigger than the PC market. Many have said this. Where does this leave Microsoft and Intel? Is Google going to be the biggest beneficiary or will Apple find a way to stay on top? And if people move to tablets over notebooks, will that means Apple end up with a bigger part of the shrinking PC market? Estimated tablet revenue to reach $100 billion in a few years for Apple alone.
(Green) Is distributed power going to rid us of power plants? Well, we still need them to manage things but the parallel between utilities and the newspaper industry created in this post is very interesting. (Renewable Energy)
(Mobile Tech) I just had this though when comparing the thinness (or thickness) of various mobile devices. Could future devices have their electronics embedded into the casing itself? Glass, liquid metal, carbon, to reduce weight and increase strength?
(Apps) For those of us who have yet to take advantage of the lucrative app market, NYT reports we’ll see the market explode to $38 billion in 5 years. (NYT)
(Space) Virgin Galactic to ferry scientists into space. BTW, when are the flights supposed to start?! Oh yes…2012. More than a year from now. It’ll cost about $200K per seat. Gotta get working on those apps (see one link above).
(Government, Economy, Recession) Here’s an NPR breakdown on the state fights over money, cuts, and unions. Reads almost like ESPN for politics. (NPR)