Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Good Post On Why DOJ's Suit Against AT&T And T-Mobile Merger Is A Good Call

I'm pro-biz.  Rather I'm pro-competition.  Merger are good if they create value for the market, meaning us the consumer.  However, AT&T and T-Mobile merger never made sense for me from the start.  It's why I support DOJ's lawsuit against the merger.  And This Mercury News article is one of the better articles on this matter.

Bottom line:  

  • Eliminate choices.
  • Proposed economic benefits is uncertainty. Using jobs as reason for merger but vague on how much it'll lay off due to duplications.
  • T-Mobile prides itself on offering value.  Without a competitior with 33-million users, AT&T and others have no reason to compete on value.
  • There are cheaper ways for AT&T to build out its network without buying T-Mobile. AT&T has already said it'll spend less than $4 billion to expand coverage from 80% to 97% of US population, much less than the $39 billion cost of the merger.
Take all that together, you come to one conclusion:  the merger is about killing competition and imposing more crummy customer service and shady billing practices.  Plain and simple.  

Honestly, we've all seen AT&T's practices over the year.  And suddenly, it wants to convince the American public that it's got our best interests at heart. Whatev...

Source: Mercury News.

Social: Facebook's Music Service Coming

Facebook will be launching a music service this September.  There isn't a lot of information about just what the offering will be or how it'll work and who will have access to the music.  Suffice to say, with over 700 million users, it's not likely all of them will be able to sign up for it.

And while I have been very down on Facebook because of its disregard for user privacy and basically pimping them out to the highest bidder, moves like this is good for the average consumer.  It provides a competition to the likes of iTunes, Spotify, and other music services.

Imagine if Facebook enables this through all those millions of users who installed a Facebook app on the iPhones, Android devices, and others?

And granted that Facebook is pretty innovative, I like to see something beyond just a straight up subscription model.  Again, the launch is in September so we ought to hear something soon.  If it's like other services, it'll be a slow rollout.

Source: CNBC.


Mobile Apple Will Be Able to Fix iOS Devices Remote Via iTunes or the Web


Apple is no doubt an innovator.  And this next example shows just how far ahead it is thinking about the whole mobile system beyond what its competitors are doing.

Just after a patent application by Apple was published last week regarding diagnostic tools that could remotely fix a device, we’ve read today that such tools already exist and is probably in use in limited capacity if not wide-spread.

More at On Apple.

Mobile: Apple Lost Another iPhone Prototype - Two Years In A Row

No.  Your eyes have no deceived you.  Apple has indeed lost another iPhone, an unreleased prototype. And what makes this that much more bizarre is that it also happened in a bar.

I've gotta say.  I don't know why people need to drink to unwind or have fun but I get whoever lost it probably was drunk and I hope he or she loses the job over this.  

According to CNet, this happened in late July in SF.  It doesn't sound like Apple has recovered the device.  More to the story if you click over...

Sigh...

Apple Inadvertently Confirmed New iPhone 5 Design


Via Cult of Mac, they pointed out that Apple might have a new iPhone 5 design for us.

Through the upcoming Photostream app, an icon showed an iPhone with a bigger screen and a home button with a different shape.


Okay, I'm pretty excited by this...

$700 LTE Tablet

You ready for AT&T's LTE 10' tablet with better than the run-of-the-mill Tegra 2 chips running at 1.5 Ghz?  Well, then get ready to pay for it at $700.

Daily Wireless reports it will go on sale 9/4.  The problem with this picture is that AT&T has no LTE network to speak off.  I'm glad that it'll come LTE-ready, not like Xoom, which Motorola promised to have LTE but we're still waiting on that. 

Right now, I'm not sure what the draw will be.  The data plans are the same as the current 3G (sorry, I mean 4G) data plans so that's a good thing.  I was sure AT&T would try to charge more for it.  

And at $700, which is a $200 to $300 premium over other 3G tablets, it's not likely AT&T will sell many of these.  I know that this is just a media stunt more than anything else.  After all, expensive tablet and no LTE but in one city, what else could it be?

Still, it isn't good news but certainly not bad news.  AT&T can use less bad news given that the DOJ is going to block, I hope, successfully Ma Bell's attempt to eliminate competition in the marketplace by eating up T-Mobile.


Green: Energy and GE To Collaborate on 10 to 15 MW Turbine

Loving this story much.

In conjunction with the Oakridge Lab, General Electric will work with the Department of Energy to develop and commercialize 10-15 MW wind turbine.

According to Renewable Energy World, GE will apply "architecture and cryogenic cooling technology along with MRI magnetic technology that could have more economy of scale and reduce the cost of energy produced by the turbines".  

Basically, GE and the DOE are looking to make the production of wind power cheaper.  It'll happen in two phases.  Development and then commercialization.  

Will we see more of this?  Difficult to say one way or another.  It depends on the political climate in Washington.  Maybe a state like California or Texas can do their own R&D in clean tech like this.  The point is that this kind of government help is good for the whole nation.  

Consider all those neat weapons that keeps us safe - they don't happen without government help or need.  


Sprint Increases Early Termination Fee to $350 from $200; iPhone and Galaxy S II To Blame

According to Cult of Mac, Sprint is increasing the early termination fee to $350, in line with its competitiors AT&T and Verizon Wireless.  

I figure this was coming with the next iPhone and the Galaxy S II due to hit within weeks of each other.  Android dominates Sprint's landscape so it'll be hard to figure if Sprint is doing this because of Apple or Samsung's device.  

Bottom line is that it sucks but that's how we roll here in in the US.

Teachers Retire Enmass: Not Sure How To Feel About This

Wisconsin teachers retired en mass after losing benefits and collective bargaining rights.  

I don't know whether to feel elated, sad, or indifferent to this situation.  However, as far as the political situation goes, I am pretty despaired.  

Tens of thousands of Wisconsin students will be robbed of hundreds of years of teaching experience and valuable education because our leaders would rather play politics.

Yeah, I blame all sides.

Source:  Huffington Post.

Tablet: Sony Pricing Itself Out of Content?

Sony's tablets will cost about the same as the iPod 2 and in some cases, more expensive than rival Android tablets.  I have seen what they look like.  I like to reserve full judgment on them until I get to play with one and actually put on through its paces.

However, at the prices Sony is asking for, I wonder if the average recession-job-worrying mobile warriors will even give it a chance.

The Tablet S, which looks like a regular tablet with a fold on one end will cost the same as the iPad 2 - $500 for the 16 GB and $600 for the 32 GB.  It does come with expansion card which has it going for it if you're into it.  But it's nothing we haven't seen other some other Android tablets.

The Tablet P, which is the dual screen device, did not get a pricing for the US market but I imagine it cannot cost much more if at all.

Between the two, I'm more excited about the Tablet P.  I'm interested in knowing just how the UI flows and whether the battery life will hold.

Chances are that if you're reading this, you're interested in mobile tech and you probably will give the Sony tablets a look over.  But I'm worried about the prices that will generally turn folks off.  

Next Mobile Revolution: Making Tech and Gadgets Without Hurting the Environment

The next mobile evolution is not going to be coming out as a new gadget.  It should be about green components.  Like chips, CPU, and screens.

Today, a bunch of Chinese environmental groups unfairly accused Apple of poisoning China.  Ah, guys...look to Beijing.  The Chinese government is okay with it.  I don't agree with them but that's how their government guys do business there.  However, I am glad they brought up the issue.  It's how it was brought it up that I have an issue with.

This has been an on-going issue since the industrial revolution.  And now, I think tech giants, car companies, and others should invest their billions in trying to develop green manufacturing process and green components that do no harm its customers or the environment.  

And I know with certainty that it can be done.  It'll take money, research, and the will to make it happen.

In science, nothing is impossible.  Coming from someone who has a science background, take my word for it.  this isn't some blind faith.  I should say that "almost" nothing is impossible.  Any scientist on TV who gets interviewed about a certain theory or study and arrogantly dispute it is doing one of two things.  Forcing the issue to meet the highest standard of the scientific community or a buffoon riding on his past success and PhD.  

Trust me, I've dealt with them in the past.  Many of them I like too.

Back to green components and gadgets.  It's doable.  I'm sure we'll get there but someone like Apple, Sony, or Intel will have to take the lead on this.






Rejoice! DOJ Says "Nu-uh" To AT&T and T-Mobile Merger!!!

Just in a bit ago.  On Anti-competitive grounds, the US Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to stop the merger between AT&T and T-Mobile.  

Whether AT&T saw this coming or not is something we will know in the coming hours.  Probably days.  Folks will be coming out to talk about this.  You know, people with "special knowledge" of AT&T's thinking.  

This is probably going to make AT&T give up a lot of stuff.  But I hope the US gov is serious about this.  AT&T has not provided sufficient reasons why it needs T-Mobile.  In fact, a leak memo showed that it needs far less spectrum and resources to build out this LTE network.  

This is a great way to start off the morning.

Source:  CNBC.  

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Do-No Evil Side of Google Offers Troops Free Call Home

Google is offering service men and women free calls home when they use the calling function in Gmail.

You have to provide your military e-mail address to your Google account.  Install the plug-in and you're done.  Call home any time.  For free.

I think this is a great service that Google is offer.  Provide it does something extra more special for the troops.  Don't sell their info to the highest bidder.  Seriously, you gotta protect their privacy.  By linking their military e-mail to their gmail account, Google basically know who has served the country.

And should their accounts be hacked ,well, you have to protect them.  I know Google is doing a great service to the country by providing this free calling.  I want to believe this is the good, do-no-evil side of Google.  But sometimes, the "anything goes, no privacy, get a second-identity" Google will pop up and mess things up.

Source:  Google.

Note:  A close family member was a part of the military and was deployed overseas for war.  We used Skype then.  it was sketchy but it was nice that they had this.  He and his friends would love what Google is doing now.  However, I would worry about the privacy part.  Still, I'm glad it's Google offering this and not Facebook.

Let's Start Over: iTunes Match Does Stream Music

Alright, let's start this all over again.  

iTunes Match does streaming your music library to your iOS device.  Earlier posts of mine suggested otherwise.  A good samaritan on Twitter pointed me to this MacTrast link.  I'm gonna make you go over and check it out.  They've got a youtube video showing it working.

This information is also confirmed on Macrumors.  

It all comes down to semantics I guess as far as how Apple wants to definite "streaming".  It's like wireless carrier's definition of "unlimited" or Google's definition of "open"

iTunes Match Lets Users Download the Music Locally, No Streaming, But We Already Knew That

Suddenly, there are a lot of posts about iTunes Match.  It's Apple's service that matches the music you have on your local drive and provides you with those from its own library.  And the music that Apple doesn't have, well, it'll up load them so you can download them to your other devices when you want.

However, iTunes Match doesn't provide streaming.  However, we already knew that.  So I don't get why suddenly, people became confused all of a sudden.  I know, I know...it's how folks try to generate traffic for blogs.  I've been guilty of this. I admit but not with stuff we already know.

So, let me clear things up once and for all:  Apple doesn't do streaming.  Period.  

Someday?  Maybe.  Maybe video too.  Someday.  But not today.

Green: Export of US Solar Goods Up 100%

First, I'm pretty conservative when it comes to fiscal matters.  And I know the reality of politics should mean you have to compromise and try to get what you can.  That was before the extremists on both ends of the political spectrum took over in Washington.  No, I'm not just taking a shot at politicians.  

I want to say that with sensible policies, like these grants from the federal government, we can help an industry grow without having a whole lot of oversight and other government involvement.  100% Increase in solar export.  Try to find another industry here in the US that can make such a claim

While the source articles feign surprise, no one should be.  Whether you like the President's politics or not, he's right about this.  Green tech revolution is what this country's economy should be based on.  

Basically, in the US imported $3.75 billion in solar goods and equipment while exported $5.63 billion.  And if this and other green friendly policies are allowed to flourish, we should expect a sudden boom in green jobs.  Keep in mind that as we upgrade our energy infrastructure, these are jobs that cannot be outsourced.  

Yes, it'll take some government help in terms of loans and grants but that's nothing politicians should want to oppose.  And it's good for national security.

Source:  Inhabitat, GRIST.

Nook Shows Mid-Range Tablets Can Survive iPad; Barnes And Noble Brand Is A Plus In Fight Against Kindle

Barnes and Noble is probably going to pretty well for itself in the new publishing and digital age.  Why?  Despite its bookstores losing sale faster than Nook and its ebooks sales are growing, they are growing pretty fast.  

In fact, ebooks sales grew 4X.  Personally, that's a great jump in growth.  The only thing BN has to do is hang in there and show a clear strategy.  

Obviously, I think BN still has a lot of work cut out.  It's going up against ebook sellers that has some pretty deep pockets and clear mobile and digital strategies.  

What's next for BN?  It clearly has more work to do.  I like that Nook Color is doing well and it shows that mid-range tablets have a market  And BN has name recognition that is pretty close to the level of the Kindle.

iPad Sales Gain More Because Competitors Fail To Show

If you want an iPad, get them when they're in stock.  Apple still run out of certain models from time to time.  The demand has just been crazy.  

And now, it looks like iPad sales will accelerate simply because there isn't no alternative at the moment with the strength of the hardware, software, and the whole ecosystem.  

Honeycomb tablets like Samsung's Tab is very good but it lacks the backing and mind share of the average consumer.  HP's Touchpad is selling out because of a $400 price drop down to $99.  

A lot is counting on Amazon to stop Apple or at least slow down the iPad.  

The bottom line is this:  the iPad works.  It simply does.  And its has a lot of apps to go along with it.  And unless someone can some around and provide the same experience, Apple's iPad will continue to flourish, whether there is competition or not.

Furthermore, don't hold your breath for an iPad.  I've said this before.  Apple is just keeping up with demand now.  There is no need to push out iPad 3.  They'll likely save all that excitement for 2012 when Apple's competitors renew their assault on the tablet market.  Joining Android will be Windows 8 tablets.

However, I still am holding out hope that we'll see a 5-7" iPod touch.  

Source:  AllThingsD.  

HP Rethink Plan To Kill Off Web OS And Tablet

Okay, something isn't quite right at HP.  In spinning off the PC division 12 to 18 months from now, they now believe Web OS will also be a part of those plans, which includes Web OS hardware like the Touchpads.  However, I get the feeling they're not talking about the same Touchpads we are.

See, the Touchpad went on sale about two months ago and performed poorly.  So bad in fact, that HP lowered the price for the 16 GB model from $500 to $400 and eventually gave up and started a fire sale at $100. And at $100, even I wanted one.

But I get the feeling the delusional HP guys are thinking "wow, they're popular all of a sudden".  Ah, guys.  they're popular because they are at $99.  Granted, they're also good first tablets.  But raise the price back up to $500 and you'll see interests in them go away.

I want Web OS to be a viable mobile platform.  But in HP's inept hands, it'll never have a chance.  And given their plans not to sell off Web OS separately but fold it into the PC part of a sell-off or spin-off, it'll never have a chance.


Source:  Cult of Mac.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mobile Weekend


I spent the weekend basically out of the house because of the heat in Los Angeles.  I know it’s nothing like what my mobile warrior readers on the east coast went through with Irene.  I’m glad it’s mostly over but you guys still need to be careful about the flooding.

Anyway, I left earning morning on Saturday because I had an appt with City of Hope so they can milk my platelets.  I took my iPad.  It was the beginning of my mobile weekend.

How did the devices hold up?

Taiwanese Animates VP Cheney's Memior

Yup, nothing is sacred of off-limits to the Taiwanese animators who have, from time to time, offered us their version of top social news.

So, here is the animated version of Vice-President Dick Cheney's new book, In My Time.



Source:  Media Bistro.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

White iPod Touch But May Not Sport Newer Specs

I've said in the past that I don't like rumors but my own speculations seem to conform with the latest chatters on the Internet.  And I've concluded it's safe to say that certain Apple products are on the way.  It is a matter of when, not if.

First, there are now while iPod touch parts in circulation.  And it seem like the new iPod touch, will sport pretty much the same design.  However, there is one difference.  We could see white iPod touch this time around.

I recently cracked the screen on my iPod touch so I reckon I'm in the market for a new one.  However, I have to wonder what the specs will be.  I'm looking for better battery life above all else.  Consider just how think the touches are.  Oh, Apple, if you make one as think as the iPhone but add all the extra space with battery...I know that's wishful think.

As for other specs, Appleinsider has pointed out something important.  Supplies of iOS devices are still in great demand and we are probably looking at iPhone 5 constraints with such a late release (and being so close to Christmas).  Key supplies could be used for the iPhone and iPad instead of the lower margin iPod touch.

But  a new end white iPod touch would be very enticing to a whole lot of folks.

Source:  Appleinsider.


Mobile To Take on Cable

Is there really a need for cable or satellite TV any longer? No. And old TV is preventing users from embracing the future as it is meant to be.

Right now, TV and studio producers and execs are very afraid of the future. Mobile, particular iPhones, iPads, and the half a million Android daily activations are putting their old business model into disarray. They're holding onto to it with their dear life but they should.

In fact, they should embrace the new mobile reality and slowly get themselves ready go move away from the old ways.

There really is no need to be afraid of Apple or Google at all. Already, some cable companies realize this and have apps that allow current cable subscribers to view certain channels on their mobile devices.

CNN is allowing cable users to watch live broadcast on their tablets.

In 2012, we'll see more of these kinds of moves go embrace mobile. More and more of these artificial barriers to watching live broadcast on mobile fall away.

Furthermore, new tech will hasten the process. Netflix and the new owners will broaden their reach and expand their libraries. This may include original contents. Apple's Airplay has already extended iTunes' video lead in 2011. And Google TV will soon have apps that could also mean new video ways to watch TV.

The traditional ways of watching TV is slowing being pecked to death. And so is the current paid TV model. If you don't believe this, ask yourself this.

Why aren't any of the tech giants buying the vulnerable cable or satellite companies?


- Posted using Mobile

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sony's Clamshell Can't Be Called A Tablet But Offers Mobile Excitement And Possibilities

Of the two upcoming Sony devices, I am most excited about the dual 5.5 in screen clamshell device. Before we go on, let's not call this a tablet. Honestly, I don't know that to call it.

Courtesy of Engadget, we know the official name is now Sony Tablet P. It'll sport a Tegra 2 chip, 4 GB with a 2 GB memory card, and weigh in at 190 grams versus the iPad 2 at 601 grams, the Sony Tablet S at 600 grams, and the Xoom at 730 grams.




A couple of things about this.

Phishing Scam Targets Eager MobileMe Users Who Want iCloud

Okay, folks. Mac users may not have viruses to worry about much but they have to content with phishing scams. There is one going around that is telling MobileMe users that they can upgrade to iCloud.

It looks legit but it ain't from Apple. After clicking through the link in the email, it takes you to a site that looks like Apple's own.

Mobile: The iPad's Superior Battery Life Makes A Writer's Weekend Productive, Fun, And Wooy Free About Power Use

I have the iPad 2 doing the computing duties for the day. The MacBook Air is at home charging and being backed up via Time Machine. However, this isn't the first time where my iPad has taken the place of my laptop. As you might recall, I spent a lot of time with the iPad on the move with the late-2007 unibody MacBook at home.

The reason is simple.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Mobile: Is Touchpad Or Last Gen Tech Good Enough? Let's Start With the Battery Life


I love the Triumph but I returned it for personal reasons.  I've got got my other mobile devices running at top efficiency.  My Android stuff, iOS stuff, and my laptops.  So I need to upgrade to anything at all for another year?

That was what I proposed in my theoretical post a couple of days ago.  And in a series, I'm gonna get more specific about apps, form factors, and, my favorite subject, battery life.

Let's start this post off with battery life.

Running Update On Irene And Impact

I'm gonna be keeping a running blog post on Irene and what's going on in the East Coast.

You'll want to bookmark this specific post that I'll use to provide updates from the major news sources and then I'll have another set up at Greenjava that has other posts and resources. I set one up for the major north Japanese earthquake back in March.

I've learned from that so I hope to do better this time around.

UPDATES:

Green: New Bacteria Turns Cellulose Into Butanol


A new bacteria, TU-103, has been found by Tulane University that can turn cellulose, like paper, into fuel.

Specifically, butanol.  What is butanol?  It’s an alcohol with four carbons and –OH, that makes it an alcohol but not the type you drink, obviously.  It’s a source of fuel.  Compared to ethanol, it has more energy.

According to Discovery, butanol can be used as an ethanol substitute which means they can go into our cars without having to change our engines.  It’s also ness corrosive.

Another advantage butanol has over ethanol from corn is that the plants that produce the needed cellulose can be grown in places where corn cannot.

Back to TU-103.  It’s discovery is very important from the standpoint that it is a natural occurring bacteria without the need for genetic modification.  And it can process cellulose in the presence of oxygen, which makes the use of TU-103 to make butanol cheaper than other forms of bacteria that requires specialized air-tight chambers.

Google Should Buy Content Studios

Okay, now that Google has Motorola, Android is set.  Now what?

Films and videos.  That's what Google should go after next.  With tens of billions, that's exactly what Google should do.  

It needs to go to film festivals and buy movies and provide support for indie projects.  They're generally cheap and you can find a hit or two every single year.  It'll help build a library and Google can make it exclusive to its Android ecosystem.

What do you think?

Mobile: Which Company Should Apple Buy?

For some reason, people are speculating that without Steve Jobs at the helm, Apple will suddenly start making deals and spending its cash.  Wait, what?

Now, I am about big deals as much as the next guy, whether it makes sense or not just because it gives us something to yap about.  Google buying Motorola Mobility or something like that.  :But ultimately, we want that deal to make sense.  So, it's not going to happen just because Tim Cook is there in the CEO's office.  

It isn't as if Tim Cook was just brought on board like yesterday.  He was there for years with Apple and his loyalty to it and the vision that he helped created with Steve Jobs isn't just going to get thrown out the windows in weeks or months.  

But if Apple wanted to deal, who do you think they should go after?  What kind of tech do they need?  How would it help with their whole mobile vision?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Gaming: This is What The Future of Gaming Console Looks Like


I don't know if there is much more for me to say other than to watch this video.  It's Airplay mirroring in the forth coming iOS 5.

What you'll see is whatever shows up on the iPad is displayed on the TV via the Apple TV module.

Whatever you want to do with it, it works.  Presentation?  Sure.  Watching videos?  Definitely.  Gaming? Of course.

This folks, is the future of the gaming console and set-top box all in one.


I can't wait until I get my ones on it.

Tablet: Microsoft Has a 4-Core Windows Tablet?! Who Is More Threatened By It: Apple or Google?

According to Electronista, Microsoft has something really sweet here.  It's a four-core tablet running Windows 8.  I suppose it makes sense to try to leap ahead or at least keep up with the next generation Android tablet.  and iPad next year.

It's likely using Tegra 3 from Nvidia that is slated for release later this year.  And with Windows 8 tablets going to be big at CES in January of 2012, Redmond might as well use the latest and greatest.  But actual release is not going to happen until spring of 2012.

This gives Android and the iPad a lot of time to further entrench the tablet market.

Mobile: Voice could Be the Next Killer App

Voice is about to be the next killer app. And I know Android users have had better voice command features than on another mobile platforms. While they're nice to have, they're not nothing like the computer on "Star Trek".

But that could be about to change.  According to Minyaville, search shows that voice on Google's Android has yielded some promising new features in the future. Meanwhile, Apple bought Siri last year, an intelligent app that allows users to speak into the app to get results back.

Here is a infographics from Medical Transcription that shows us just how all this will happen.

Mobile: Will Not See iPhone 5 Fight Galaxy S II Fairly This Fall Because VZW Will Not Carry the Galaxy

According to the Silcon Alley Insider (via WSJ), Verizon is not going to carry the Galaxy S II?  WTF, right?  However, Samsung's best selling Android flagship phone will appear on the other three major US networks this fall.

The reason?  It's hard to say.  I'm guess the two companies could not come to some sort of financial terms.  And with the iPhone 5 launch coming around the same time, Verizon probably used it as leverage which Samsung did not take too kindly too.  

It's going to be awesome seeing the iPhone 5 go head-to-head with Android's premiere device.  Samsung has already sold millions of these in Asia and Europe and it'll find a huge market here as well.

It's too bad.  it would be nice to see the two giants fight it out of all four networks at the same time.  However, while it's been confirmed that the iPhone will start available to Sprint's customers this October, the rumors about T-Mobile also getting the iPhone are still just that, rumors.

Without Much Native App Support, Playbook And Touchpad Users May Be Accidental Webapp Pioneers


For those of you with Playbooks and Touchpads that do no have a whole lot of native app support, you could be accidental pioneers of a new kind of mobile experience.  Web only.  That is you get all of your experience through the browser.

Well, you typify what the future could be headed.

World's Largest Off Shore Wind Farm

I am jealous. Immensely so. This is the world's largest off-shore wind farm in the UK.




It's called the Ormonde Offshore Wind Farm and has 30 5 MW giant turbines that will go online in a month or so.

This is an effort to help the UK meet its goal of getting 15% of power usage by 2015.

Awesome!

Source: Earth Techling.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

If There Are No New Hardware Tomorrow, Will You Be Fine With Your Mobile Gears?


I love mobile tech but I’m also suffering a bit of mobile fatigue.  Technology is moving pretty fast and, as a mobile warrior, I am loving it.  As a human being, I can use a break.  Appreciate what I've got.  Here’s how the rest of this post goes.

I’m writing a book.  Well, an online novel really.  It’s for children.  And I was thinking of a scenario and one thing led to another while I was watching 28 Days Later, and then it hit me.

What if for some reason, all the ships and the planes in the world had to stop and there are no new gears being shipped?  Maybe it’s a zombie infestation that resulted in a continent sized quarantine, a primate revolution that resulted in the apes taking all the new iPhones for themselves, or alien invasion that destroyed all the new hardware because they're afraid we'll upload a virus onto their mother ships and crash them simultaneously.

Or maybe one day, we ran of out those rare earth elements that are so critical to our technology today.  China cannot longer supply us with our mobile gears – phones, laptops, Android devices, Blackberries, or iPhones and iPods.  You’re stuck with the iPad you now have.  There will be no iPad 3 or Xoom 2.

What you got in your pocket, backpack, or home, that’s it.  Are you going to be satisfied with that?

Gaming: sonic CD Coming To Mobile! Sega, You Rock!

Sonic CD is coming to iOS, Android, and WP7.  What more is there to say?

I think we'll see more of these older video game properties make their way onto today's mobile platforms.  And these mobile phones are tomorrow's console.  Makes sense for studios to leverage all those games.

Lots of money in it.  Lots of great memories too.



Source:  Pocketgamer.

Mobile: Samsung Not Interested in HP's PC Biz; What about Web OS

Samsung has publicly declared itself out of the running for HP's business. And it's a very smart move.  It also puts an exclamation point on the state of the PC market.  What that statement is, that's for you to decide.

Samsung has found great success in the Android realm with the popular Galaxy S.  However, just today, a Dutch court ruled Samsung violated some Apple patents and will result in the banning of Galaxy phones in Europe.  Ban or otherwise, the handset business is obviously more profitable and has a higher margin than the PC business for the giant Korean tech company.

However, I'm Sammie made an inquiry or two regarding the future of Web OS.  Samsung has shown interest in licensing Web OS.  Perhaps, it might be interested in buying it from HP.  

Of course, this time around, if Web OS and the rest of Palm's patents go on the auctioning block, Apple may well join in the bidding.  

But forget about the patents for a moment.  Let's talk about Web OS.  It's a wonderful HTML-based UI that runs on top of a Linux Kernel.  Did I get that right?  

I really would love to see that as a new mobile skin or on top of iOS.  I'll expand more on this later.  Let me just say, for now, that Web OS has a lot to offer.  

And if the demand created by the $100 fire sale for a dead device is any indication, there are a lot of fans out there who wants to see Web OS influence in the mobile market.

Source: BGR.

Note:  If you click through to Samsung's page through BGR's ate, you'll note that first user comment is about Web OS.

Capital's Mobile Networks Failed During 5.8 Magnitude Earthquake

During Tuesday's 5.8-magnititude earthquake, the wireless networks failed our nation's capital at a time when they were most needed to be working.  DC citizens were unable to reach 911.  Worry though, no?  We are more than ten years from September 11th and technology has improved dramatically in those years.

What is going on?

In a bigger national emergency, well, this could get really ugly fast.

More at Greenjava.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Steve Jobs' Retirement Doesn't Mean the End of iOS Devices Or Macs - Apple Had Succession Plan As Well As Plan To For World of Hurt For Its Competitors

For those of us who have watched Steve Jobs year after year, keynote after keynote, this is going to be such a weird feeling if we don't see him make at least a cameo on stage of whenever Apple's next event is going to be.  Presumably, that will be the unveiling of the next iPhone.

On top of that, there is a feeling of sadness.  The child in me worries about the future, Steve's health, etc.  But the adult in me knows that Apple has the whole mobile market licked.  It's got products in the works years out.  Tim Cook has been running Apple since Steve Jobs went on his second medical leave.

So, here's the bottom line.  Apple had a succession plan for the CEO.  It also means that Apple has a long-term plan for the mobile market as envisioned by Steve Jobs which will dish out a world of hurt for its competitors for many, many years.

  • Patent wars will continue.  Apple wants its patents unique to its products and services.
  • iPhone 5 will be out in a matter of weeks.  iPhone 6 presumably in 2012 though there probably isn't a need since the iPhone 5 will take the market by storm.
  • iPad 3, a nonexistent product, will launch in 2012.
  • iPods will get refreshed.
  • Macbook Airs will be restocked at 3rd party resellers as soon as Tim Cook can get Foxconn to make enough of them to satisfy demand.  And Apple's own stories has enough of them.
  • iPad 2 is the tablet market in 2011 and iPad 3 will be the tablet market in 2012.  
  • Mac sales will continue to outpace PC sales.  Acer lost $7 billion because if its bad bets on netbooks and unwillingness to innovate.  While Acer thinks the iPad effect will go away, they should check in with HP - the tablet effect is real and it's called the "iPad".  
As for keynotes in the future, here's how it'lll go assuming Steve Jobs doesn't anchor it at all.

  • Tim Cook will do the intro and let folks know how Apple products are kick the collective behinds of its competitors.
  • Then he'll bring on Phil Schiller to be the MC.
  • Then Phil will bring up whoever is needed to talk about the products and the right third parties to do the demo.
I'm only concern is on a personal level.  Steve's health, not Apple's.  I wish Steve and his family the best and continued guidance in all things Apple for years to come as Apple's chairman.  

Apple's Press Release: Tim Cook Made CEO And Steve Jobs Elected Chairman of Apple

Apple's Board of Directors today announced that Steve Jobs has resigned as Chief Executive Officer, and the Board has named Tim Cook, previously Apple's Chief Operating Officer, as the company's new CEO. Jobs has been elected Chairman of the Board and Cook will join the Board, effective immediately.

"Steve has made countless contributions to Apple's success, and he has attracted and inspired Apple's immensely creative employees and world class executive team. In his new role as Chairman of the Board, Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration."

"Steve's extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world's most innovative and valuable technology company," said Art Levinson, Chairman of Genentech, on behalf of Apple's Board. "Steve has made countless contributions to Apple's success, and he has attracted and inspired Apple's immensely creative employees and world class executive team. In his new role as Chairman of the Board, Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration."

"The Board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO," added Levinson. "Tim's 13 years of service to Apple have been marked by outstanding performance, and he has demonstrated remarkable talent and sound judgment in everything he does."

Jobs submitted his resignation to the Board today and strongly recommended that the Board implement its succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO.

As COO, Cook was previously responsible for all of the company's worldwide sales and operations, including end-to-end management of Apple's supply chain, sales activities, and service and support in all markets and countries. He also headed Apple's Macintosh division and played a key role in the continued development of strategic reseller and supplier relationships, ensuring flexibility in response to an increasingly demanding marketplace.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

Steve Jobs' Resignation Letter To Apple

To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first to let you know.

Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

I believe Apple's brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.

Steve

Source:  WSJ.

#apple STEVE JOBS JUST RESIGNED AS CEO OF APPE....CNBC

This just came to me via CNBC....

Green: Toyota Camary Here To Disrupt Hybrid Market

I'll make this short. Toyota's new Camary will cost less than the 2011 model and less than competition.

Coming at 43 mpg, the 2012 hybrid version of the iconic sedan will cost $26,660 -making it more than $1,100 less than the 2011 model. A similar hybrid Fusion will cost $2700 more.

According to Car and Driver, this is a vast improvement over the 31/35 mpg you get with last year's model.

The Focus Hybrid has a 41/36 mpg estimate.






- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Health: One in Ten Biz Is Considering Ending Health Coverage - I'm Not Sure This Is All That Bad...Yet

According to a survey conducted by Tower Watson, a healthcare consultant firm, one in ten mid-sized or big businesses is thinking of getting rid of health coverage for their employees once health care exchanges mandated by the Obama healthcare plan goes into effect in 2014.

First, let's not be alarmists yet.  This is scary.  Definitely but I'm not sure if this is like a bad thing at all.  Not for everyone.  

The businesses did the math and figure its probably cheaper for them to pay fines and let their employees find insurance plans on the exchanges.  Some of these plans will be subsidized by the government for those low-wage earners.

On top of that, firms are still weighing their options but it should give us an indication of where health care is headed.  Furthermore, the healthcare plan is currently going to the SCOTUS to be decided of the individual mandate is constitutional or not.

Clearly, this is something those of us on Main Street will want to keep an eye on.

Source:  Yahoo.

RIM Taking Our Android Apps And Making Them Their Own For Future Blackberries

First, RIM promises future Blackberries will run Android apps.  They'll appear in 2012.  Second, these future Blackberries will run the same OS that is currently powering the Playbook, QNX.  So, legacy OS users will be left out.  You gotta do what you gotta do.

As an Android user, I don't know how I fee about that.  I'm very territorial.  There's a two-year old in me that doesn't like sharing.  As an Android fan, I'm not happy about it.  But as a mobile warrior, I know this could be ncessarily to keep RIM chugging long and provide competition to Apple, Google, and Microsoft.

At the end of the day, I don't think this is a good thing for RIM's future to do this.  Then again, it may not have a choice.  I reckon this is just to hold the interests of users over until they can find a buyer.  Developers cannot be too thrilled or interested in develop for Blackberries in the future.

Source:  Ubergizmo.



Privacy: Beleaguered Facebook Scraps Places

Facebook, the biggest violator of privacy, has decided to scrap Places.  

It's obvious that users don't care for their friends to know where they go.  Facebook is a place that people thought they could go to stay in touch with people.  

If they want to check-in, obviously, there's Foursquare and Loopt for that.

Facebook is now facing a lot of regulatory scrutiny as well as competitive pressure from Google+.  Furthermore, it could be launch its IPO early next year.  I'm sure news of Places failure isn't a good thing for investor confidence.

Android, Via Samsung Galaxy Phones, Banned In Europe - Yes, That's What Apple's Going For

Apple got Samsung's Galaxy S II banned in Europe.  A Dutch court ruled Samsung violated three of Apple's patents.  It will go into effect in the middle of October.  We should see what this means for the mobile landscape in the coming weeks.  

According to Apple's attorneys in the past, they have tried to talk to Samsung about this but were rebuffed.  However you have to really understand that Apple isn't suing Android makers for royalty payments.  It's suing them because it wants unique mobile experience exclusive only to its iPhone and iPad.

I'm sure this isn't over.  

The current ban is actually Europe wide but there are legal rooms for Samsung to maneuver.  The issue, however, goes beyond Samsung and strikes at Android itself.  This gives Apple a very big club to go after other Android device makers selling in Europe.  All the other blogs seem narrowly focused on the Galaxy devices.  They're wrong.

It'll be interesting to see just how this might impact us here in the US if at all.

So, if you're in the market to get an Android phone, now's the time to do it.  

If you want the gory details, please visit FOSS Patents.  Florian Mueller, the author, explains in ways that even a dodo like me can understand.

What Are Your Reasons For Getting a Macbook

You've got a Macbook?  Maybe you do but you like to upgrade?  Or trying to convert someone over to the Apple's side of mobile computing?  Or trying to get one for work?

eWeek, via MacDailyNews, has some compelling reasons why people should be buying Macbooks.

I couldn't put it better myself.  I'll let you chick through to read it but personally, I like the security, the heart and soul Apple poured into making my Macbook Air, long battery life, and the elegance of the OS X.

On top of that and it's not just me but others as well, many feel they're more creative and productive when they're using their Macs.  I certainly don't feel that way with my Dell.  Forget about Steve Jobs' reality distortion field.  Apple products just seem project their own creativity field for the users.

What's your excuse for wanting or getting a Macbook?

Source:  Macdailynews, eWeek.

Maybe UCLA Can Find Gaddafi (They Found Bin Laden A Year Before The CIA Did)

Embattled dictator Moammar Gaddafi wasn't doing with his ship.  I mean with his compound.  So, where could he be?  Obviously, he is still in Libya.  And right now, the hunt is on for him.

I'm sure the rebels are doing what they can to find him while still trying to secure Tripoli.  And I'm sure NATO is dedicating much resources to that end.  

Perhaps, the allies should look to a UCLA geography project that found Osama Bin Laden back in 2009.  Then, using a math model the geography researchers at UCLA created to track animal distribution, they used this same model to see if they can find Bin Laden.

They predicted where he could possibly be, living in a big city (just a few hundred meters from Pakistan's own West Point), and the conditions he lived in (high walls, security, type of housing).  And sure enough, the Navy SEALs found him to be in a similar living situation and not in some cave as many in the media had us believing.

Obviously, the CIA continues to be dismissive about the project.  But maybe the Libyan rebels and NATO should give Westwood a ring.


Source:  CNN.


Delay On Hulu Availability More Than Doubles Piracy Of Fox Shows

Well, well...so, by making it harder for us, the users to watch TV shows online, the studios hope that we'll watch TV when they want us to?

Well, after years of time shifting and then Hulu or buying shows on iTunes when we are ready to watch the shows, Fox decides that it might be wise for them to force us to delay watching the shows by 8 days on Hulu.

Well, it turns out that many users have found another way around it.  We started pirating their shows.  Sharing them, making sure that Fox doesn't get the ad revenues that it rightfully deserves.  Hey, some folks who buy shows might think, "I guess Fox is making okay for me to pirate shows now?"

Source: Techcrunch.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tablet: Lenovo's $499 Tablet, Did Not Learn HP's Touchpad Lesson

Lenovo's $499 tablet, based on Android, is going on sale.  What are its chances compared to HP's Touchpad?

I like to say that it's better because of the overwhelming number of Android users out there.  But at $499, that's where it'll go right up against the iPad 2.  And Lenovo isn't doing itself any favor by doing this.  Consumers will be asking why would they pick this over the iPad?  This is the same issue other tablet makers have had to deal with.  Ask HP and RIM.

I reckon we'll see a price drop by Black Friday, definitely not to the level of $99 like the Touchpad.  $350 to $380 could convince consumers to give it a second look. The problem for this Lenovo tablet, isn't that is is competing with the iPad but it's also competing with similarly spec'd tablets that also run Android and in some instances, also cheaper by $100.

What this Lenovo tablet has going for it is its unique look that is definitely Thinkpad-esque.  Would that be enough to entice you to buy this over a Tab, Transformer, or a Xoom?  Oh, this tablet also takes pen inputs but that'll cost extra.

Perhaps, the Thinkpad look will convince enterprise users give it a chance.

Source:  Sci-Tech Today.

iPhone Coming To Sprint!

According to WSJ, the iPhone will be coming to Sprint this fall, the third major US wireless network to join AT&T and Verizon.

For years, AT&T was the exclusive iPhone carrier until Verizon Wireless offered the CDMA version of the iPhone 4 this Feburary. 

Sprint will begin to offer the iPhone 5 in mid-October.  The article also suggests that the iPhone will not be offered at the same time as AT&T and Verizon.  Weird, no?

Also, it said that Sprint should get the iPhone 4 along with the next iPhone, presumably the iPhone 5.  No word on T-Mobile's chances.  

Source:  Macrumors via WSJ.

Recession: Yield Curve (Explained) Shows Potential Rough Times Ahead In The Economy

I want to repeat this again:  while Wall Street seemed to have recovered since 2008, those of us on Main Street, USA is still in a recession.  So, recession is in or out, over with or coming again is all relative.  Having said that, the yield curve, an indicator used by traders and economists, seems to suggest that rougher waters ahead for our economy.

Possibly a recession.

First, what is an yield curve (Wiki)?

HP's Touchpad Fire Sale Provides Two Key Lessons


Did you manage to buy a Touchpad for $99?  If you did, I truly envy you.  I really do.  It says quite a bit about you.  Okay, you're smart.  Brilliant, really.

I'm sure the mobile device makers already know that.  Some bloggers do too but most generally assume that you aren't too savy when it comes to tech.

And the fire sale of the Touchpad provided two very valuable lessons for those who would try to convince to buy their tablet.  For some like RIM and Motorola, it could already be too late with their current offerings.  They'll make another effort.  But for some just getting ready, like Amazon, learn from this.

Mobile: Radio Shack Puts Sept 1st For Google Wallet


According to Engadget, Radio Shack is prepping for NFC payments via Google Wallet on September 1st.

Near Field Communication, that's what NFC stands for, is a protocol that can be used for contactless mobile payment.  What we in the mobile crazed world want is to be able to use our phones to buy things.  And Google Wallet is one of a dozen or so mobile payment systems out there that will soon be competing for our money.

However, mobile payment isn't about to become ubiquitous overnight.  This will take a long long time for the ramp up to take place.  Most devices on the market do no support NFC and payments such as the ones I use via Starbucks, requires no NFC but you just need to let a special scanner take a peak at your screen.

Regardless, it's great to see Google leading this effort.  Google, as well as others, knows that this is a huge market.  Most major credit card companies, VISA, Mastercard, Discover, all have their own payment plans.

And here in the US, we are definitely behind the times in the industry.  The Japanese have been able to use their phones to make payments (like train fares) for years.

Source: Engadget (through Phandroid)

Reuters: Apple to Release Two iPhones At End Of Sept


Apple will release two models of iPhones.  Reuters along with other news organizations have been getting into the Apple product speculation game, WSJ, Fox, Associated Press, and it looks like they just might have something more meaty than we can expect from a news organization.

Obviously, we need to take them with a grain of salt until Apple does what it does and we find out if Reuters is correct.

The gist is that Apple will release two models of iPhones.

Monday, August 22, 2011

iPhone With Dual CDMA And GSM Modes Detected


According to MacNN, an iPhone with both CDMA and GSM modes have been detected.  According the original link, Techcrunch, an iPhone was detected using both AT&T and Verizon networks.  However, this isn't surprising given the rumors for months that the next iPhone will be able to work on both more networks using one iPhone model - both GSM and CDMA.

Although that was expected, it seems a bit late in the cycle for just such an iPhone to appear.  Considering, this should be have seen a while back.

However, such an iPhone does mean that it will most certainly not support LTE.  You can't have it both way, apparently.

Source:  Techcrunch via MacNN.

Mobile: HP Claims Web OS Still Coming to Devices And PC - Looks Like They've Settled On A Sale Strategy

According to PreCentral, HP's Web OS global chief has confirmed today that Web OS isn't dead.  Just the hardware part and that it'll still be coming to the likes of printers and PCs.

And while he admitted that HP has not decided where to go with it, in my mind, it's settled.  If Web OS is going to PCs and HP is looking at getting rid of the PC business, they'll be bundling Web OS along with the spin-off, make someone else pay for the $1.2 billion that it cost them to buy Palm, and let the new buyer worry about Web OS at that point.

Anything else would not make sense.  Why would you buy from HP a business involves Web OS working on the PCs but you're supposed to license it from them. that smacks of when eBay bought Skype but did not buy the underlying technology that made Skype work.

So, there you have it.  Things can still change.  HP has asked for 12-18 months to work this out.  But I think they're settled ridding themselves of Web OS plus PC business.  Maybe even printers as well.

Source:  PreCentral.

Mars May Be Teeming With Life

Okay, the post from Space.com doesn't say what I'm saying in the title but I'm just gonna try ahead of what I think we should be expecting from the government soon.  First a step back.

A new NASA study from the Mars Phoenix Lander suggests that the Martian soil isn't full of oxiders that would have made it near impossible today for life to be exists - specially organic compounds.  In fact, the soil is benign.  

The study is to help determine whether life could have existed on Mars.  

Here's where my suppositions come in.  Mars' ecosystem may not be as vibrant as ours or that its atmosphere as violent as those on some moons in our solar system.  But there is so little that we actually know about Mars and so much more of it to be explored that we cannot rule anything out.

Furthermore, more and more of what we are learning points to possibility of not only life is its ancient past but as recent as today.  We've found ice, and possible water.  We know that the microbes can flourish on the most extreme conditions on Earth.  Such discoveries with certain consistent conditions on Mars should give us allowance that life does indeed exist on Mars.

Now, I'm not talking about walking and thinking Martian folks but bacteria or something like that.

The research found the soil on Mars with just as much reactivity as those on Earth.  

This report and others that come before it is a good indication that science is moving us closer to thinking along the line that life may be more persistent and prevalent than we give it credit for.  May be the government will come out and acknowledge something a few conspiracy theorists already know.

Source:  Space.

Tablet: Is the $499 the New $999?

Apple has no Mac for sale below the $999 price.  Previously, it was the white polycarbonate Macbook and now it's the 11.6" Macbook Air.  And during the short lived era of the netbooks, analysts and a few a pundits argued that Apple has to sell some netbook like device below the $999 price.  Apple responded that they could not make a $500 laptop that was no a piece of junk. That was a couple of years ago.

Fast forward to today.  the iPad and other Android tablets like the Xoom and Galaxy Tab start around $500 when they went on sale.  However, as Apple went from the iPad to iPad 2, some tablets have begun to be priced lower.  Let's forget about the Touchpad.  Xoom (currently $489 at Buy.com) is sometimes be yours for $400.  The Asus Transformer is consistently at $386 at Buy.com and had gone down to around $350 at times.

I also figure that by Black Friday, many tablets could drop as low as $300 on a consistent basis - especially as competition among Android tablets heat up.  Furthermore, the 10" versions will also feel pricing pressure from their 7" brethren starting out around $300 from Chinese makers.

With Apple probably holding the iPad starting at $500, I wonder if $300 to $350 for tablets will be the equivalent of $500 is for PC laptops.


Social: Facebook Has Reached Height, Possible Worse Things To Come

According to Mashable, Facebook's reach may have plateaued and and some possible signs that an ugly decline is about to happen.  I guess people are moving on to other things.  And its reckless plays with user privacy does not help either.

And recently, we reported that Facebook had lost millions of users in North America.  To be fair, it more than made up for it internationally.

However, it's the slowdown in activities on Facebook that is a major issue for one of the biggest violators of privacy on the Internet.  First of all, poking friends is no longer popular anymore. And instead of updating or chatting, folks have opted to use other messaging services.  Perhaps this explains why Skype bought GroupMe.

The study quoted by Mashable indicated pretty much everything dropped across the board except for video uploads.  More worrisome is the number of those under 30s that uses Facebook has dropped faster than any other demographics.

Obviously, Facebook denies this.  What with its IPO just months away, it cannot allow such reporting to derail it.

Source:  Mashable.

Green House Gas Emmission, Carbon Dioxide, Rose 4% in 2010


Due to economic recovery, coal use helped CO2 emission to jump 4%.

While that was largely unavoidable, it does demonstrate just how much we still rely on dirty energy and shows that we need to double-down on green tech and renewable power sources.

Look, China subsidizes its green industry like solar manufacturers.  That’s one of of doing it.  The federal government should offer incentives to use green power.  This is doubly needed for our manufacturing base.  Hire in the US and tie that into green efforts.

I know most political leaders on the right won’t admit it but green tech and job growth now go hand-in-hand.  It’s a vicious cycle but in a good way.  More unlimited renewable power means we’ll see cheaper energy from dirty power, that’ll drive employment for the green industry, which will make goods cheaper to provide because of cheaper energy.

More people working means bigger market for these goods.  And cleaner air if that matters to anyone.

Source:  Inhabitat.

Tablet: Amazon Should Learn From HP About Web OS Failure and Pricing

Amazon can learn something very valuable from HP’s Web OS debacle. More importantly, it can pick up a couple of things from the frenzy created by the firesale of the Touchpads in the US, UK, and Canada.


 Okay, it’s not like the $99 is something Amazon can pull off with its own Kindle tablet, possibly called the Scribe. But it does have to realize that it has to compete with the iPad on pricing. That is the only differentiator that Amazon can offer. After all, ecosystem to ecosystem, Amazon doesn’t come close.

 For the same price or even just $100 cheaper, why go with anyone else other than a proven tablet with hundreds of thousands of apps and quality that you can depend on. But at $200 cheaper price, a $300 price tag just might be enough to attract more than a few users.

Mobile: Android Users Mostly Men

Maybe it's names like Droid.  According to a survey, Android users are mostly men.  I think the reason is that Android is easier to manipulate and customize to one's preference.  

According to Electronista, 61% of users are dudes.  Surprisingly, RIM users are mostly girls.  Yeah, I'm surprised about RIM's data too

Maybe this is pertinent information to all developers and advertisers - know who your users and audience are.

There are other juicy tidbits of information you'll find interesting about iOS and Symbian.  But I'm gonna make you click through to learn more about it.

Source:  Electronista.

Tablet: Amazon's Kindle Tablet To Be Called "Kindle Scribe"?

I like it.  I like it a lot.  It looks like after Amazon registered the domain names for kindlescribe.com and Kindlesribes.com, we can expect Amazon to called its Kindle tablet "Kindle Scribe".  

I highly doubt that it could be for anything else.  Now, it is entirely possible that this could be a touch-based e-ink Kindle.  

If this is happening now, we could be weeks away from an unveiling.  Just a couple of months before the iPad was introduced, there was a couple of URLs that Apple bought (admittedly, turned out to be nothing).  

This is very exciting.  Amazon is looking to duplicate Apple's ecosystem with its own assortment of media stores.  It's got books, muisc, and video.  Now, all Amazon needs is an Android-based tablet.  The Kindle Scribe is a rather handsome and respectable name


Mobile: Apple and Starbucks Expand iTunes Song Giveaways To iBooks, Apps, and Video

First, there was the pick of the week song on iTunes that you can redeem when you visit Starbucks.  I like to think it was a success and now it looks like Apple and Starbucks are working closer together for other give-aways.

Now, we can expect iBooks, TV shows, and even iOS apps that are given away on a regular basis.

I find this kind of symbiotic relationship among vastly different companies (maybe not their philosophies) that can come together and make some magic.

But if you consider just how deeply in tuned both companies are in mobile, you cannot help but not be surprised.  Maybe Apple should so something and forge an even closer relationship with something like the iPod touch or the iPad.  Go to any Starbucks and you'll find it difficult to not see an iOS device or a Macbook at the coffee tables.  In some areas, they outnumber even PCs.

This has the feeling of something that Starbucks pursued and Apple quickly see value in this.  You want to drive traffic and free content is definitely something that will work.  These days, apps, music, and video are the bulk of media consumed on mobile devices.

On top of that, if your user can pay $4 for a drink a few times a week you want those kinds of customers come back for more.  

For Apple, this is a very important step to further step into the mobile mindset of the average user.  And this is particularly important with iBooks selections.  So far, they'll be offering excerpts from iBooks.  Maybe this is what the future bookstores are about?  Go into a coffee shop to browse books.  

Source:  Mashable.

Social: Reason For Apple Working with Twitter Instead of Facebook

Here's a must read post on why Apple added Twitter into iOS 5.  Apple really really thinks Mark Zuckerberg is a major (you fill in the blank but must be something negative).  

With the rise of Google+ and the threat it possess, I wonder if Facebook will mellow out a bit and try to try to work with other companies like Apple.  Yes, I did purposely write "try to try". 

Google will stop at nothing to come after Facebook.  And by working with another successful company with a strong mobile following like Apple, it provides an insurance policy of sort.  Facebook will stumble and fall.  At least by working with the likes of Apple, Facebook at least has some real friends.  

Or at the very least, not make an enemy of a company that has a very vindictive CEO.

The implications of the previous Apple-Facebook over iTunes user data has left Apple's Ping without a link to the outside world.  With Twitter, things will change for iOS mobile warriors.

There are also signs of thawing between the icy relationships between the two companies.  On the online Apple stores, Apple appears to be experimenting with Facebook and Twitter updates.  

Mobile And Social Media To Drive Education And Play Big Roles

Huffintgon Post has listed 7 innovations that are driving education right now in school.

I'll let you guess what they are since they're mostly what we talk about here.

Yup, mobile tech and social media.  They mentioned iPads and smartphones but they could have just as easily replace "iPad" with "tablets" to be more politically correct.

Smartphones definitely should have a place in the market as well.  Consider the Atrix from Motorola.  Instead of a backpack, students can carry their smartphones to school.  Then dock the device into a station at school and you're off learning new stuff.  Then take that smartphone home and dock it into your station at home and you're off doing your homework.

I'll let you click through to see what else they think are driving learning in schools today.  I can say I agree with one in particular.

Here is what I want now. To be able to go back to school now.  What a time it'll be to be learning with these tech and social tools.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Libyan Government Falls (Or Almost)

Two of Moammar Gaddafi's sons have been captured by the rebels who, after weeks of stalemate with the dictator's forces, advanced with surprising speed towards Tripoli and has met none of the heavy resistance expected.

Personally, I like to wait until the dude's in cuffs or they find him, dead or alive I guess.

However, no one knows just what kind of government will seize the power vacuum. President Obama will make a statement when he has more information.

I am sure our people have been on the ground trying to take a pulse of the mood of the people, the rebels, and the provisional government.

There is no guarantee that what comes next is something we in the West will like. But hey, so long as it's a government by the people, it's all we can ask for.

And so long as they're not calling "death to America" or anything like that, we wish the Libyan people all the best.

Note: With such ease, I am cautiously optimistic. I hope there won't be an Iraq like insurgency that will pop up.


- Posted using Mobile

Mobile: GroupMe Bought by Skype, Is This Another Mobile Arms Race

Is this the start of another mobile arms race? CNet reports that Skype bought mobile messaging service GroupMe for an undisclosed amount. And by default, it is Microsoft that bought GroupMe since Microsoft bought Skype earlier in the year for $8.5 billion.

Is this possible we are at the start of another arms race and this time the weapon of choice is SMS like messaging services that will eventually spell the doom of the era of mobile providers gauging its users for texting plans that require little to no bandwidth.

I have to say messaging would not be my choice of service if I want to arm my company's mobile services. Honestly, I think location-based services like check-in companies Foursquare or Gowalla offers more opportunities for commercialization than group messaging.

Facebook already made their move with Beluga. Apple already has iMessage that will be forthcoming with its next iOS update. Google has, well, a bunch of homegrown services at its disposal. Gtalk and elements of Google+ like Huddle comes to mind. So I find it difficult any of the major mobile platforms would be interested in snatching up their own messaging company.

It's possible some carriers might be interested in their own messaging services to prepare for the demise of texting.

We'll see over the next two weeks where this goes and why Skype and Microsoft wants GroupMe. Skype already has an IM feature as does Microsoft.


- Posted using Mobile

Green: Public Transportation Maps Need Better Design

First, let me say that I am not the only one. There are more than a fee now who are feeling the same thing I am now. Public transportation in the LA area needs work but the worst is its maps.

Who designed them!?

They're horrible. Unless you're a seasoned rider, you're out of your element. I am at the station waiting for my train only to find out in small print that it's not due to start running until later this fall.

I don't get why they're printing something now on a map for the current schedule but have such a small print at the bottom. Again, seasoned riders probably know to be more careful but for novice riders like me and others, we had no idea.

One guy here probably has to find another way home somehow because his line was closed.

You've got Metrolink, Amtrak, and who knows what else.

Then there are the different bus lines that crisscross the whole county. It's madness.

There are plenty of us who want to give public transportation a try to help with the green effort. The powers that be has to try to make this easier for casual riders.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Top HP Execs Were Not Told of Move To Kill Web OS Hardware; What Now For Former Palm Guys

According to All Things Digital (via Gizmodo), Todd Bradley, head of personal systems group at HP and Jon Rubinstein of Palm were not informed of HP's decision to gut Web OS until the Sunfay before HP made its announcement to that effect and looking at options to spin off the PC arm of the company, which has been seen as a drag on the company as a whole.

ATD's post gave a good examination of what questions remain and what options are there foe the men who were tasked to lead the assault on the mobile market on HP's behalf.

This is important as it could determine the fate of Web OS and who will end up owning it and the patents HP now possesses through last year's $1.2 billion Palm buyout.

HP will have to determine if it'll get more out of Web OS if it leverages the OS and the mobile patents as a separate entity either through a licensing agreement or a Nortel like auction that may or may not include the talents that created them.

Or it could bundle Web OS as a part of a new company should it decide to spin off a PC company. It would certainly sweeten the pot for investors or potential buyers.

However, such a buyer would have to be someone who wants to get into both the PC market and own its OS instead of licensing one from Google or Microsoft.

What HP wants will determine what happens to Web OS and the patents and who gets it.

At this time, I am certain many companies have approached HP to get a feeler for what HP is leaning. Samsung has been a popular choice on the blogs for acquiring Web OS and the patents even though it already has its own OS, Bada.

I think Lenovo is a strong candidate. It was Lenovo that bought IBM's PC business and this think outside of the box attitude could also make them a prime candidate. Plus, if they should be interested, they may well also be interested in HP's PC business as well. There might be some huffing and puffing in Congress about a Chinese company owning suh a big PC share but I am sure Lenovo's lobbyists and attorneys will take care of that once the initial outcry dies down.

Then there is Apple. No one has said much about this but don't discount Apple as the company that might walk away with Web OS.

What no one has addressed is what'll happen to the small but dedicated legion of Web OS users. A couple of Palm friendly blogs, like parents late at night at the dinner table worrying about bills, have tried to keep up an optimistic front. But even they may go the way of the Web OS unless miraculous event happens and Web OS finds a happy home.

Mobile's Next Revolutionary Leap? Maybe Microsoft Is Right (Their Commercials At Least)

In thinking about mobile and how we are always so engaged with our phones and looking down on them instead of looking up and around our environment. So I started to wonder about this and the next mobile revolution.

Could the next leap in mobile be about taking mobile experience to the next level. Allowing us to not miss life while still being kept up to date on out social media updates, news, and other mobile computing tasks that some in our society are labeling as distractions.

This is what is going on now. You see lots of folks, especially kids, who almost text continuously a few years ago, now migrating to busily updating Their Facebook and Twitter feeds, or getting updates from friends and families.

Consider waiting in line for rides at amusement parks like Disneyland. In the past, kids and their parents has to wait patiently in line. Even among friends. They are forced to chat, take in the sights, or simply complain about the 90 min or so wait.

Today, kids are immersed in their handheld gaming systems, parents are looking at their mobile phones, friends who are literally standing inches from each other conversing on Facebook!

Perhaps Microsoft's Windows Phone commercials were right. Less is more. Less time on the mobile devices means more time for other things.

We know Microsoft did not create those commercials with what I've pointed out here in mind. But they may have just stumbled onto something.

I am not sure they would really know what I am talking about here. Maybe not Apple. Perhaps it'll be a startup that gets it and is working on solving this issue and leading us to make next mobile leap forward.

Politics: US Will Never Default, We Have More Of Our Own Debt

According to the Vice-President of the United States, Joe Biden, the US owns a greater share of own debt than anyone else in the world.

While we like to think of China as the folks financing our debts, we still own a vast major of our own financial assets at 87% and almost 70% of our government bonds.  CNN puts Chinese ownership at 8% of our treasury bonds.

So, such a default would not be in our own interest.

I don't now if you're a Tea Party guy or gal or not.  I certainly have some sympathy with their goals if not their child-like stubbornness.  However, had we not have a debt-ceiling deal, we would have defaulted on millions of Americans who rely on interest payments of the treasury bonds.

Still, we need to double down on our debt and truly work through this.  I was really disappointed in my own GOP leadership who walked away from a $4 trillion deal and ended up with only a conditional $2.5 billion cut.

Back to not default.  The US will not default.  Period.  Even if it does means we'll have to go to bed without supper.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Green: Mobile Games That Help Emphasize Green Efforts and Conservation

Do games help change our behaviors in real life? There are a lot of debates about that. They are ongoing and subjective to interpretation based on one's philosophy on the matter.

But I believe green games can help in ways children's games help teach certain learning skills.

Take for instance the games mentioned in this Sci Tech Today post. They teach about recycling, saving mythical whales, learning about a delta ecosystem, or knowing what to price to set at a yard sale based on what can be reused. Those kinds of games are valuable to teach aspects of conservation and what is involved in green living.

Fate of the World puts the player in charge of a full city dealing with 200 years of near real world scenarios of population growth, food management, and other socioeconomic issues.

Okay the last game might be a bit far fetched but nonetheless brings attention to problems we deal with outside of the confines of a virtual earth.

All of these are excellent topics for gaming developers, especially mobile ones, to consider working on.

- Posted using Mobile.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Mobile: HP Admits "iPad" Effect Is Real; Which Dell Announces Shortfall, Is the PC Market In Trouble?

According to HP, the tablet effect that Microsoft and other PC makers tried very hard to ignore is all too real. While HP doesn't specifically mention the iPad, no one thinks HP is referring to its own Touchpad, Playbook, Xoom, the Tab, or other Windows-based tablets. Obviously, with the iPad controlling a majority of the tablet market, consumers as well as some businesses are buying iPads and not buying laptops.

 Last quarter, even Apple admit that the iPad has cannabilized some Mac sales. The only thing is there is a way bigger chunk of PC market for the iPad to cannibalize. What's funny is that data companies like Gartner, which refuses to admit that the iPad is a computer but rather categorize it as a media tablet, never admit that the iPad was affecting PC sales.  Now that the world's biggest PC maker admit the "iPad" effect, I wonder what will these firms say the next time they release their PC data.

 And speak of the biggest PC maker in the world, HP may not be the biggest computer maker after all.  Apple would be the biggest computer maker in the world by volume if iPads were counted along with the Macs.  It means Apple shipped 13.6 million computers to HP's 9.7 million.  And to make matters worse, Apple has over 30% in operating margin while HP was pulling in less than 6%

So, what is going on here?  Is the PC market in trouble?  It's is difficult to say.  While Microsoft and others refuse to admit it public, they know that the iPad is killing them.  Microsoft's Windows revenue shrank last quarter just as Apple sold over 9 million iPads.

Furthermore, Dell provided a lower guidance this week when it reported its quarterly earnings but it did not mention the tablet market.  However, given today's HP news, it is not a difficult leap to believe that Dell also was affected by the iPad and anticipate rough waters ahead.

Meanwhile, in western Europe, Apple's Mac share increased to 7% from 5.6% a year ago.  And how did the other PC makers do?  On a while, the PC market shrank nearly 19%.  How much of that is because of tablets in general and the iPad specifically?

Microsoft promises Windows 8 for tablets next year.  We may see a reversal of the PC makers' fortune in 2012.  However, there is also the issue of the global economic condition.  At this time, things are not going well.

And given the economic risks and failure after failure of non-iPad tablets in 2011, Windows 8 tablet rollouts may not be as robust.  Keep in mind that Apple isn't done yet.  The iPad and Mac sales in Asia, especially Greater China, is continue to outpace the market by a wide margin.

Even with home field advantage, Apple's revenue in China is now bigger than Lenovo's own - $3.8 billion to $2.8 billion.  And that's before Apple's iPhone and iPad are being offered on other major carriers' networks.  Furthermore, Apple's retail reach is not as extensive as those as Lenovo.  Just wait until Apple opens up more stores.

It'll be interesting to revisit this issue in a quarter, in six months, and a year from now.  I wonder if we'll be able to recognize the PC market as we remember it today.


 Source: Light Reading, Appleinsider.


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Friday Movie: Ghost Recon

Today's Friday movie is the trailer for Ghost Recon.  I used to play this game with friends until, well, I got so sick, I just had to go lie down and fall asleep.

Obviously, this game is much better than the version I played with years ago but, hey, when you stink at first person shooter, you stink no matter how much better the graphics has become.

I must say, the trailer is very intense.  It could just be enough to get me to consider giving it a try...even if I do happen to get sick again.  Could be worth it.



Have a great weekend!  Come back this weekends for more updates and rants!