Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fear And the Mobile Market – Fear Is Driving Innovation and Deals and Shaping History

Greed may be a good thing (thought I disagree), so is fear.

It’s a very well-known fact that Apple wants to sell us hardware at a profit margin that its shareholders can respect.  It’s also a very well-known fact that Apple doesn’t want to do anything like owning contents or creating apps when it doesn’t have to – it lets others do the work for it.  However, there is one exception:  when Apple feels threatened.

It’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that Apple will be replacing Google Maps on iOS with its own mapping implementation.  Apple has already bought two companies that we know of and I won’t bore you with what they do and how they’ll fit into Apple’s iOS and OS X ecosystems because no one knows for sure yet.

And with this new mapping app, Apple will displace Google on hundreds of millions of devices.  It’s perhaps the fear, which has now been realized, that Google went out and bought Android.  In the early days, the fear of being shut out likely came out of Microsoft’s past misbehaviors.  Pre-2007, which was before the iPhone and G1, it was just Windows period.

There really was no mobile market to speak of but primordial soup that spawned today’s mobile devices and ecosystems was bubbling hot.  And everyone knew riches could be made in the hundreds of billions.

And at that time, Apple and Google were best buddies because they were on the verge of shutting out Microsoft in the mobile market.  As history until now would tell us, nothing on the market could match Android and iOS.  Symbian did nothing for Nokia while Palm gave it its best with a crack team of former Apple developers and engineers.  Microsoft has begun to show life with Windows Phone and promises to shake things up in the mobile market with Windows 8.  As for RIM, well, it may not see 2013, at least, not in the same form as it exists today.

And all this could have started because of Google’s realization that while it provided a great search engine and many useful webapps, it was in danger of being made irrelevant if Microsoft won’t the mobile war or if Steve Jobs turned on Google – both scenarios were likely in 2007.

Imagine if Google decided against developing Android and decided to trust in Apple.  Siri is on the verge of changing search and Maps is on the way out.  If you thought Facebook’s stock price tanking is bad, imagine Google’s own valuation with Android.

And this is perhaps why Facebook is in such a bad shape now.  The $1 billion Instagram buyout was a move made out of panic and fear.  Not only does it fear of being shut out of mobile platforms, it also fear that inability to capitalize on mobile will be supplemented by other social apps.  Now, there is chatter that Facebook could be working on its own mobile devices.  I’ve even read some weird ones like Facebook buying RIM.

As mobile fans, we are better for the competition that Apple, Google, Microsoft, RIM, Samsung, and others are providing in the mobile market from devices to OS to apps.  I can’t say that it’s all because of fear.  However, the fear of being shut out or seeing history repeated has been a large driver here.

At D10, Tim Cook Offered A Few Clues About Apple's Direction and Zero on Products

The headlines today are buzzing with what Tim Cook said about Apple’s TV plans, Siri, and Facebook.  Which is to say that what he said is kinda what Steve Jobs would have said which is to say that Tim Cook said nothing new.

There, I’ve said it.

On television, Apple is said to be very interested.  Who in consumer tech today isn’t?  Apple TV or Apple HDTV. Or would it be an Apple cinema screen that is 40+ inches and up with Airplay support?

On Siri, more to come.  Obviously.  It’s in beta now and we can expect more.  And we want more.  So, this was expected.  It isn’t as if Tim Cook was going to say “nah, we’re done…we’ll have Siri speak Mandarin and then we’re finished.”

On Facebook, this is where it’s more interesting.  Facebook wants Apple’s customer data and Apple isn’t keen on providing that.  The issue is who will blink first or some sort of compromise will be struck.  Zuckerberg has shown to be his own man after not being able to strike a deal with Steve Jobs.  And while Tim Cook is much more low-key, don’t be fooled.  Cook did not become the CEO of the richest and biggest company in the world simply by giving the key to the walled garden away.

iOS will tell us more about what Apple has planned for Siri and how Facebook could figure in all this.  As for Apple’s TV plans, we only know that the 2012 Apple TV is selling better than the previous 720p version and may double sales this year.

As for Apple’s HDTV or display panel, my speculations are gold, which is to say, it’s as right and as wrong as anyone else’s.

Tim Cook’s first D10 chat with Walt Mossberg unveiled what direction he wants to steer Apple and nothing about products.  As far as innovation and consumer tech vision, it’s likely to be aligned with that of Steve Jobs.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Movie Clip Feature The Time Lord

Source:  Blastr.

Sometimes finding the right Friday movie to post is a bit daunting because there is so much to pick from.  So many great shows and movies out there.  Not this week.  This is the first clip I'm posting that is from across the Pond.

Doctor Who.  This is a 3-min video called "Good as Gold".  I suppose it's like a webisode of sort.  I like to see more of this from shows and movies.  I like to see a lot more of it.

Apparently, the script for "Good As Gold" came from a school contest.  Go figure.

Hope you enjoy this.  I did.

Short Review Of the Galaxy S III - I Mean It's Very Brief

Came across the first review I've seen of Samsung's Galaxy S III from the Droid Guy.  So, this is very brief.  Great battery life.  In fact, it'll last a day on heavy use.  This is the first Android device I've heard of described that way.

I'm very interested in the camera quality but this "review" offered nothing that tells me just how great the S3 is.  It mentioned the ability to take 6 pics per sec but we don't know just how good it'll look.

I reckon we'll see reviews with greater details start to trickle out in the coming week or two.

What features would you be most interested in hearing about?  Me?  Battery life and camera quality.  I was a bit disappointed that we did not see a 10- or 12MP upgrade.

Personally, I thought the S3 was a bit bland as far as form factor goes but other than that, everything else seems right up there, nothing that wowed me.  I had also suggested that could have given HTC an opening to get back into the Android game with greater numbers in sales.  We'll see how this pans out over time.

Mobile: Google+ Could Get Features That Mobile Warriors Will Find Useful (Maybe Save Money Too?)

Source:  The Verge.

Looks like Google is slowly but surely putting more effort into making mobile Google+ apps with more features that are, well, more mobile. Makes sense since Facebook has shown that it simply cannot make money as users stop using desktop versions and, instead, spend more time on mobile.


According to The Verge, there are strings in the codes that references "events" and "local".  Both are welcoming news as far as we're concerned.  I reckon this could be the events feature that Google has featured about in a separate app and local like means check-ins and probably deals.

We won't know for sure but I think Google realizes that it'll be just as hard for it to make money off ads on its mobile apps as it has been for Facebook.  And going local with local commerce where Google can get a bit of each transaction may well be how it can monetize Google+ and other location-based features.

Let's hope we see this sooner rather than later.  I am a sporadic use of Foursquare - only the lack of local savings has kept me from exploring it more.  Maybe Google has found a way for iPhone and Android users to save money and Google has found a way to take advantage of that.

Army Couple Surprised Their Children For Two Week Visit From Afghanistan

Source:  HP.

This isn't this Friday's movie clip but this is just as awesome if not more so.  No, let me take this back.  This is way more awesome.

Two kids were surprised by the sudden appearance of their warrior parents at the airport.  It doesn't get any better than this.  

To Travis and Isela, welcome back and stay safe.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Forrester Agrees With Me: Apple HDTV Is More Like a Giant Airplay-Ready Display

Source:  On AppleMacObserver.

In our previous post, we suggested that Apple's HDTV won't be a TV at all.  If anything, it will only be an Airplay-ready display.  Oh, it'll be HD but it'll likely lack even a TV tuner.  For that, you'll have to pay extra for an accessory, likely, from a third party.

Apparently, others agree.  I'm glad that Forrester is turning to the corner to this idea.  And more and more, I think this is also what Steve Jobs said when he told his biographer that he cracked the TV conundrum.  Don't make a TV.  It's that simple.

This is also supported by folks who have "seen" the Apple display as a giant Thunderbolt display. This Apple HD Display will serve as the center of all living activities while Apple's iOS devices serve as conduits through which content flows.

And if you want extras like paid TV subscription like cable, Netflix, or iTunes content, you just have to pay extra for this.  All apps can be mirrored onto the screen.  Perhaps this is why we may never see an app store for the Apple TV.

Forrester, I like the way you think.  However, I disagree with you that the display will have touch sensitive.  It makes no sense.  Other than that, I think you're right on the money.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

New York Times Sold Its Soul To Get Eduardo Saverin Interview

It's official.  NYT has sold its soul and, now, it articles are mostly based on biased pieces that hit individuals or companies based on access or not.  And in Eduardo Saverin's case, ES granted NYT an exclusive interview without any sort of in-depth analysis whatsoever.

I read the whole piece thinking I would find some hard hitting questions about Saverin's betrayal of the country that gave him and his family sanctuary.  He claimed his giving up his US citizenship was for other reasons other than avoiding paying taxes.  NYT mentioned a thing or two about the estate taxes but never drilled him further.

Folks, use Google+, use Path, use anything but Facebook.  The dude is a jerk and NYT bought the act.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Of All The Metrics, Facebook Has Already Failed the "Trust" Meter

Source:  Forbes.

Here is a very good article from Forbes about Facebook’s IPO and valuation.  The scary thing is that Facebook is behind in most metric where it counts.  And it can’t count on its four hundred million active users to click on the ads displayed.

Have you ever clicked on them?  I know I haven’t.  You don’t know if the ads are trying to siphon off our personal info or just trying to sell us stuff.  You don’t know if the ads are even legit because they could be phishing for passwords and other data.

Facebook’s money making metrics doesn’t matter if the user can’t trust them.  And because of that, Facebook has already failed.  I might play a couple of games on there like Words with Friends.  However, I'll never give them my bank account, buying anything through Facebook where I have to give them my credit card info, or subscribe to any mobile payment in the future.

And just a word about Facebook's IPO on Friday, I would never touch this stock.  I have Apple, Google, and Microsoft stocks, just a few.  And I own them because I do buy their phones, use the apps, and use the services.  I also have a few Starbucks shares too because I like the company and frequent my local Starbucks stores a lot.

But since I'm not willing to use Facebook's services all that much and if you're an user who is wary of its privacy policies, why own the stock.  Why own the stock of a company if people are afraid of it?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Apple's Unicorn 7" iPad Has To Last (In Terms of Battery Life)

Today, Apple-centric sites are quoting a Wall Street analyst in saying that a sub-9.7” iPad will do well in school and be quite popular with gamers.  To that, I say, “no #$%, Sherlock!”  I think many bloggers are getting lazy.  The thing that would be more fun than talking about this is speculating how a 7, 7.85, or 8 inch iPad would impact not only the market but also change how tablets are used.

Let’s do that here.  First, battery life.  I think I can say for everyone who has own an iPad, tablet, or laptop is that battery life is very important to just about every mobile warrior.  That’s like the first amendment of any mobile warrior’s bill of rights.  What’s the point of not having long-ish battery life on any mobile device.

If the 7” iPad can keep up with the iPad in terms of battery life, look out.  You’ll be seeing a lot more of these devices on the go.  Be it for students, gamers, or business uses like delivery drivers or a mobile sales force, such a lighter and smaller device would be ubiquitous.  It’s going to be everywhere.

What if the 7” iPad has say 7-8 hours of use?  I can see a lot of use come out of this still.  However, anything less than 7 hours, you can pretty much forget about it.  A regular workday can last from 8 to 10 hours.  Quite possibly even more.  For a student, the hours are 6 to 7 hours a day, longer if the student go to a study group or the library that could well add another 4 to 5 hours.

Now, even at 10 hours for the current iPad, it’s unlikely the user is going to be using it through the whole 10 hours straight.  It’s likely an iPad can take an user through a whole day.  That’s why I suggested a seven hour battery life for the 7” iPad might be feasible but that is really pushing it.  Anything less than that, you run the risk of having a tablet run out of power half way through the day.

Ideally, you like Apple to maintain the 7” battery life to match that of the 9.7” iPad.  It’s possible.  The 7” iPad wouldn’t need to power a 9.7” Retina Display with its 2048x1536 and keep it at 10x24x768 like the iPad 2.  The smaller screen with the smaller dots could still give users a nice flaw display.  Certainly, it’ll be better than the iPad 2 display.  And with new tech, a 7” iPad could work with a thinner and more efficient display.

And Apple could afford to give the 7” iPad a battery that is big enough to power it for 8-10 hours.  But will Apple do that?

My speculation is that a 7” iPad with 8 hours of battery life is very likely.  I would love to have 10+ hours but I doubt that will happen.  There is precedent for this.  Consider the Macbook Air.  The 11” MBA gives the user 5+ hours while the 13” MBA offers 7+ hours.  From the 11” to the 13”, the battery life difference is around 30%.  If you translate that to the iPad, the drop in battery life from the iPad to the 7” iPad is from 10 hours down to 7”.

However, Apple could potentially squeeze another hour or so by reducing the speed of the CPU and using smaller and more power efficient components.  The current crop of new iPad 2 uses a newer 32nm version versus the 45nm chips in last year’s iPad 2 and this year’s new iPad.  According to Anantech, the newer iPad 2 offers a longer battery over last year’s and this year’s iPads.

In fact, we might be able to go as far as to suggest that a 7” iPad with 8 hours is very much in the books.  Provided that there is a 7”, 7.85” or 8” iPad at all.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

If Apple's HDTV Isn't Spectacular, It Will Be Zuned; Also Why Google TV Isn't Thriving

This is short.  Google TV is pretty good but it isn't spectacular because there are other platforms out there that does much of what Google TV offers.  And if Apple's supposed HDTV isn't awesome, it will fail.  In essence, Google TV has been Zuned and Apple's TV will be zuned if it is merely a "me, too" HDTV.

It was foreseen with Microsoft's failed Zune experiment.  And this was as much as admitted by the man Microsoft tasked to make Zune go after the iPod.  Robbie Bach essentially said it was chasing the iPod with a product that wasn't offering anything new in ways that could get people to abandon Apple's music player.

This is the same thing that is happening to Google TV.  I don't have to buy a $300 Logitech device when a $50 Roku will do.  Nor will "Google TV" HDTV, with a premium in the hundreds, entice me to buy it when, again, a $50 Roku will do.

That said, I am still not sure that Apple's rumored HDTV will be just another TV.  Because Bach, after the Zune failure, now realized there is no point in making and releasing a new product that isn't better than what's on the market.  (This is why Apple is unlikely to release an HDTV even if it's iOS-powered).

For Google, it's time they stop the nonsense with anything other than Android.  That is where their future is going to be and Google has to go after the television with its core services that are popular and easy to use.  For instance, Google+ has a future role that is vastly different from what other competing services offer.  A more social entertainment service with pics and videos, both instantly available from users, amateurs, and professionals.  Would it be interesting to be able to participate in Hangouts on your TV?

So, if Apple releases just an HDTV with a built in Apple TV and Google  sticks with what it has, both products will be zuned in no time.

Tablets As Camcorders Could Increase

Is the tablet going to be the new camcorder, for older folks?  I was at my hospital yesterday where I go to donate blood and platelets.  Speaking with one of the nurses, she told me how she felt relaxed after her vacation to Hawaii and that she'd bring pics to show us.

When I asked her what camera she used, they said, "I used the iPad, you silly..."

Wow, I was thinking to myself.  But you know what?  I can see this pick up over time.  In fact, we haven't seen more of this because I think the iPad 2 camera just was not quite there.  And Android devices didn't really have any good camera and video apps.

I think we'll see more tablet users, especially ones more portable, take them on vacations and use them as their digital camcorders and cameras.

My nurse has an iPad 2 so I don't think the pics will turn out great.  Even she said something about that.  But she did say the videos came out awesome.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Movie: This is Why Our 16th President Is The Most Badass POTUS

Some say that President George Washington is the best POTUS we ever had.  Probably.  But others say that it's our sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln.  Let's just say that it's a tie.  How about that?

However, as far as I know (according to Hollywood), President Lincoln is the only vampire hunter that ever sat in the White House.  And in this day, that makes him the awesomest, most badass POTUS.

I'll be honest.  When I first heard about this movie, I thought it was the dumbest idea ever.  It's like "Hollywood, you've ran out of sequels and remakes to do already?!"  But after watch the trailers, I was like "wow, this works."

Here's this Friday's movie clip, a trailer for Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter!!!

Have a great weekend!

Awesomeness: Disabled Kid Walks To Meet Marine Dad

Source:  Welcome Home Blog (CNN)

A boy, who was told he'd never walk did just that to greet his Marine dad.

How awesome is that?  They didn't post the boy's name but regardless, I'm very happy for him and his family. And very proud of him and his dad.

Won't Vote For A Bully To Be President

At this time, I am unlikely to vote for President Obama in 2012 (you’ll have to guess who I voted for in 2008) but I have decided with certainty that I will not vote for Mitt Romney.  He doesn’t give me the warm fuzzy feeling that McCain gave me back in 2000 and definitely not the excitement that candidate Obama generated in 2008.  But Romney does stand as a contrast to the President.

For Romney, I reckon most who will vote for him in November not so much as they are excited to vote for him but as a protest vote against the President and his agendas.  Well, I think that’s kinda a lame way to go about it but it’s a free country.

However, I can tell you that I will definitely not be voting for Romney.  I’ve been iffy about him from the start but the latest news about his bullying in high school was the last straw.  I detest and denounce the use of the word “prank” by the media to describe how he led a mob of his friends to cut the hair off another boy just because Romney didn’t like how he wore it.  And that boy’s name is John Lauber.

It was bully straight and straight.  No other words to describe one.  As described, the Lauber incident cannot be called a prank.  It’s nothing short of bullying.  One of Romney’s old chums even described the bullying incident as an “assault”.

I think that’s what it is.  If that had happen in today’s environment, Romney would have been charged and expelled from school.

But okay, attitude towards bullying like that in the mid-60s is very different from what it is today.  You have to take that into account.  Fine.  And as some Romney defenders have said, it was in high school.  Man has changed since that time.

Okay, I’ll buy that.  I can buy that as most Americans.  We are a forgiving lot if remorse is shown and genuine attempts have been made to rectify the wrong.  People made mistakes like that all the time but they are able to redeem themselves later in life. Kids you know?  Many of our presidents have done things in their lives they regret but have became great men.  I think Romney deserves the same consideration.

However, Mitt Romney’s response to this? Fraking lame to say the least.  He doesn’t remember that ever happening or other pranks.  Sorry, dude, if you can’t remember that kind of incident, you are not qualified to be the President of the United States.  Moreover, if you can’t remember this particular bullying incident, you must have done some other crazier and crappier bullying if this ranks so far at the bottom it’s not worth you remember about it.

Here’s why.  One, your memory sucks if you can’t remember, dude.  And if your memory is that bad, you can’t possibly serve as POTUS and you definitely could not have become of the the richest men in America.

Second, you’re lying.  You cannot possibly not remember tackling someone and cutting off their hair.  And if it’s true that you don’t remember this bullying, I hate to think that there are worse bullying you’ve done are worth you remember about.

Third, Romney apologized for these “pranks”.  Well, if pranks are pranks, then there really isn’t anything to apologize for.  This ain’t no prank.  Again, it’s bullying.

The main issue is that Romney won’t own up to this..  He’s so boxed himself in now that he is incapable of accepting responsibility for anything, good or bad.

As someone who is right of center who wants to see a smaller efficient government that will take our deficits seriously, I can’t bring myself to vote for someone who claims to want the same things but either has bad memories or is outright lying about his bullying of John Lauber.

Own up, man.  That’s what we expect in our presidents.

Note:  I'm hoping we'll have a strong third party candidate from Americans Elect.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Can This Crazy Idea To Lower Mortgage Payments Work?

I have this crazy idea and I’m definitely no financial whiz or economist.  It is possible for the government to come in and buy up a bunch of mortgages from the banks and refinance everyone’s mortgage at market rate while financing this with low interest Treasury bonds sold to the Chinese?  At the same time, this would free up a bunch of cash for the banks to lend.

This way, the federal government can stimulate the economy because the banks would have more cash while homeowners would have more cash because of lower interest payments while the government  can make a few hundred billions on the side, say, maybe to cut federal deficit deficit?

I’m bringing this up because not a lot of homeowners can get the really low interest rates anyway.

Don’t know if this is plausible or not.  Would anyone out there shed some light on this?  Or maybe Beijing should lend money directly to the American consumers instead of the federal government - they'll probably get better interest rates than what they're getting from the Treasury bonds.

Chances are, any money freed from lower mortgage rates will end up buying Chinese goods anyway.

An Impossible Cheap 7" iPad For $200 in October: Nah

Source:  iMore.

Sometimes, you can end up talking a bit too much about Apple and iPads or iPhones in one day.  Unfortunately, looks like we’re not done.  Oh, and other, I don’t like to write about rumors or report on them but this one is worth commenting on with just a tad of analysis.

iMore reporting Apple will release a 7” iPad this October, probably along side the new iPhones and iPods, for, get this, $200-$250.  As a mobile fan, I’m saying “BRING IT!”.  We think there is definitely a great chance that we'll see a sub-9.7" iPad in Apple's future.  Mostly, because kids have small hands, hence, tiny fingers, that can navigate smaller displays easier.

There a couple of things worth noting about the iMore report.  First, they punctuated by the source of this information has been very good.  Good but certainly not infallible.  Second, they report that the display will have the same resolution as the new iPad.

Had they ended the report without the 7” iPad having the same resolution has the 9.7” iPad, which essentially makes the 7” iPad DPI the same iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and the iPod touch, the report would be more believable.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I want this to be accurate and I want a 7” Retina Display iPad.  Still, let’s take a look at this and assume that’s right.

It means if it costs $200, it’ll be cheaper than the cheapest iPod touch.  So, I reckon the iPod touch could get a slight shave and drop below $200 and maybe come in around $150.  Makes zero sense to have a 3.5” tablet cost the same as a 7” tablet, right?

Also, I don’t have a good feeling about a Retina Display iPad costing only $200.  Apple could make the $200 model with diminutive storage (8-16GB) with a standard 1024x768 display, same as the iPad 2, and $300 model coming at $300 with Retina Display.

Anyway, we’ll see if iMore is as confident about this report as we hope they are.  Come October, me am getting a new 7” iPad.  And if they’re wrong, “iMore!!! (shaking my fists – all four of them!).

Leave The Man's Hoodie Alone!

Source:  MSNBC.

I don't care for Mark Z of Facebook.  I think Facebook's privacy policy as this.  It doesn't have one.  However, between the Zucker and Wall Street analysts, I'm gonna stand with the Hoodie Man.

So, Wall Street dudes who think him wearing a hoodie to investor meetings, you can go do you-know-what with yourselves.  He's gonna make you guys richer by virtue of violating people's privacies but he's gonna need to be himself to continue to do that.

So, if you think he's disrespecting ya'll...well, then, don't invest with him.  Oh, wait.  You can't help yourself because you're all about making money.  So, take his disrespect and shove it up where it don't shine and sit down.

On MSNBC's informal poll, 3 of 4 of us don't think he should capitulate to Wall Street attire.  Maybe it's you investors who should show respect and show up in hoodies.

BTW, Facebook ain't worth $100 billion, you Wall Street idiots.

Stop Nonsense about Apple HDTV, It's All About Retina Displays

Maybe there isn’t going to be any Apple HDTV at all.  Maybe Steve Jobs said one thing about cracking television just as Siri came out and people put two and two together and came up with crap rumors.  Maybe all along, these talk about and HDTV in Jony Ive’s labs are just Retina Displays with built in iOS functions that will be running off Macs and iOS devices.

I got thinking about this because of more and more reports about HiDPI icons hidden within OS X.  The thing about this is that my theory would go against anything that is out there about HDTV which maxes out at 1080p.  Obviously, Apple displays and even the new iPad Retina display is much much higher.

You know that and I know that but Apple probably doesn’t care.  They’re looking to the future and they’re getting working on scaling displays so that as we move beyond 1080p, Apple could well be in an excellent position to provide the displays and, yes, eventually their own TV sets to drive contents beyond 1080p at an affordable price.

Right now, I see no reason for Apple to release their own HDTV that is saturated and likely a low margin market.  But I do see a good reason to release a variety of Apple displays with different screen sizes that can drive Macs and iOS.  Apple’s displays currently max out at

The march will be to 4K displays and if Apple can start now and slowly scale and drive the market in that direction now, Apple can get there in the manner they did with the iPod, iPhone, and, now, the iPad.  The first iPod cost $500 and now, you can you one for less than half that.  And let’s look at the Macbook Air.  $1800 when it first came out but you can buy one for $1000 today.

This is going to be the same with Apple’s Retina Displays that could be headed to 4K displays.  The Apple Display with Thunderbolt now is at 2560x1440 coming in at 27”.  And this definitely is nowhere near Retina Display of the iPhone 4 or the new iPad screen.

Once Apple is able to achieve resolution parity between its future displays and Macs, iOS devices, and Apple TV can drive those, that’s when we’ll get our Apple HDTV, iTV, iPanel, or whatever you want to call it.

Monday, May 7, 2012

CNet Analysis: iPad 3 Was Plan B

Source:  CNET.

The gist of this CNET is that Apple's new iPad wasn't what they originally planned.  Let's look at the current iPad and see how it has gone contrary to what Apple has been releasing for the last decade.

First, the 2012 iPad is heavier.  Also, it's thicker.  Since the original iPod in 2001, each subsequent release has been smaller.  And at times, lighter.  We had the original iPod that was then released with the iPod mini 2004.  Smaller.  Then again, Apple "mini-mized" the mini with the iPod nano in 2004.  And now, the nano is even smaller.  And don't forget the the Shuffle which is, likely, really really small.

And the Macbooks?  We've got from backbreakers to 2 pound Macbook Airs.  And there's talk in those Internet pipes that Apple could go further and make the regular Macbook Pro lines even lighter as well.

Also, take the Apple TV.  Boy, that thing is much thinner and ligher than the original Apple TV.

So, we have a pattern of Apple making things lighter and thinner.  The new iPad definitely does not fall into this pattern.  Compared to the iPad 2, it's a tad thicker and 0.1 lb heavier.  And believe me, I can feel it.  Okay, it's probably all in my head but we know it is heavier and thicker.

Now, battery life.  You'd think Apple would be in the habit of making battery life longer or stay the same with each new hardware revision.  The new iPad isn't able to keep up with the iPad 2.  In fact, the "new" 2012 iPad 2 has a longer battery life than the 2011 iPad.  According to Anandtech, Apple started using a newer A5 chip built on a 32nm chip manufacturing process versus the older 45nm process.  However, the new A5X chip continues to be manufactured using the 45nm process.

The CNET article pressed that Apple was supposed to use newer IGZO screen from Sharp instead of Samsung's screens.  However, Sharp was unable to meet Apple's needs in time with the quantity that Apple requires.

The IGZO screen would have allowed Apple to continue to keep the new iPad as thin and light as the iPad.  Apple could have possible made the new iPad thinner and lighter.

I don't know if this is true.  What the writer failed to address is the much bigger battery in the new iPad versus the iPad 2.  That battery was needed to power the Retina Display, regardless of if the the screen is amorphous silicon screen from Samsung or the IGZO screen from Sharp.

At the end of the day, we have what we have.  The new iPad, whether was plan B or C, or even D, it's an awesome tablet.  And if the new iPad failed to live up to Apple's normal standards, it continues to put distance between itself and the rest of the tablet market.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Election Results In France and Greece Means Change For the US, President Obama’s Campaign May Need To Take Notice in November As Well

Source:  Geenjava.

When Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former chief of the International Monetary Fund, became embroiled in sexual assault charges and other kinky stuff that has since come to light (he might have been involved in a prostitution ring), it looked like current French president Nicolas Sarkozy had a pretty good chance to win reelection.
However, given the troubles at home and around the EU, and Sarkozy and German chancellor Angela Merkel's plans to stabilize EU finances, the French voters turned away from Sarkozy and elected a new president, Francois Hollande, a Socialist.  

There will be a lot of political analysts, cable pundits, bloggers who will pour over the election data trying to figure out the pulse of the French people.  In large part, the vote was on against Sarkozy personally. Furthermore, his austerity measures for France and the rest of Europe were vastly unpopular.  

But it won't be just the French or the EU that will feel the effects of this change.  November elections in the US and Wall Street should also pay attention as well.  More at Greenjava.

Stargate: Dr. Rodney Meredith McKay Rap

For Stargate fans, here is a video of Dr. Rodney Meredith McKay doing a rap.  I don't know how I could not have known about this.  I am sorely not the fanboy I thought I was.  Anyway, David Hewlett is an immensely talented actor and SGA was lucky to have him onboard.

Enjoy this video on your Sunday afternoon!


iOS 6 Suggestion: Top One Is To Offer More Widget Options

We are a little more than one month away from Apple's World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco.  We'll likely see Apple unveil it's next iOS update, iOS 6.  And there is no shortage of suggestions.  I think I'll start collecting posts that offer Apple unsolicited advices.

Here is one from TUAW.  They've got a list of fifteen and I'll point you to them for you read the full list.  On Apple sort of started on it in our post about how Apple can put some distance between itself and Samsung after its latest Galaxy S III failed to excite Android fans.  We also discussed in our previous that Apple can kill off Windows 8 by allow apps with Metro like UI to start popping up in the App Store.

Now, I would like to take one of TUAW's suggestions and discuss it some more.  The Notification Center.  They went into details about what they like to see in Siri but I also think the Nofication Center features have been grossly under emphasized.  I would like to see more "widgets" from apps that really could help users sort through them quickly.

We, mobile warriors, are obviously very busy and the quicker we can glance at our notices the quickly we can move on to something else or deal with them.  For instance, I like Twitter or Facebook integration in NC.  Say I get a direct tweet that I want to address. Right now, I would have to click on the notification, wait for the app to open, navigate through the app, and answer it.  Instead of going through all that, wouldn't it be nice if I can tap on the notification, an prompt will come up, retweet, answer, or go to app.  I can hit answer and off I go.  It can also apply to texts and emails.

An interesting integration would be to bring Siri into this.  If implemented correctly, we might be able to see Siri brought into helping us navigate notifications.  We can ask Siri for notifications, and through learning our habits, Siri knows which notifications it should give priority to.

It whole idea of notification is to allow us to quickly access information.  Whether it's something that we only want a glancing view of, like stocks, scores, or weather updates, or something we can quickly act on, like answering texts or tweets, Apple can and should make this work in the way that is uniquely Apple.

Any other suggestions?

MSNBC: Cyberattack On Pipeline In the US

Source:  MSNBC.

According to MSNBC via Christian Science Monitor (no other major online sources picked this up, BTW), there was a major cyberattack on US natural gas companies, focusing on the pipelines.  The alert was issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  What's interesting of note is that it started more than a month ago and even Canadian companies may also have been hit as well.

Suspects, anyone?  China?  If this took place before the blind Chinese activist episode, then I'm likely to rule them out as suspect number one.  Could be green dudes with big mojos to take on the US government or the gas companies.

Another suspect?  Supporters of CISP, Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, who wants the law to be signed.  Right now, it's in the hands of the Senate and the President has promised a swift veto.  However, should this be more publicized, maybe there could be enough political pressure to get this through the White House and the Democratic controlled Senate.  And it'll just be the cover the President needs for him to sign this and promise to revisit it later.  CISP has received strong industry support including Microsoft and is somewhat bipartisan.

There have been three alerts issued by Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT). And this one is pretty important. ICS-CERT is charge of safeguarding the nation's industries' control systems from attacks. What's interesting about these attacks is that they were purposefully requested by agents to allow to continue. In essence, allow the cyberspies, cspies, to continuing their work provided that no compromises take place that would endanger lives or supplies.

What happens next?  Chances are that the spies have already been alerted about their attempted infiltrations.  We don't know how far they got.  Most countries with vast sophisticated systems and companies with vast resources and technologies are under daily attacks by private hacker groups, organized crimes, and nation players, sanctioned or otherwise.

We'll need to keep an eye on this to see just how far the latest series of attack go.  At least now we know of the ICS-CERT and what it is tasked to do.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

How Apple or Google Can Kill Windows 8: Allow Metro-Like UI Apps

RIM has its own arcane UI from eons ago (well, years) and Apple has its Palm-like UI on iOS.  And Google has its desktop like UI.  Now, Microsoft has its Metro UI.  It's nice.  I've played with it and I think there is a case to be made among mobile warriors to check it out.  However, Apple and Google can kill Windows 8 in its track now by allow/encouraging development of UI that looks and works like the Metro.

Other hardware developers like HTC and Samsung have developed their own skins on top of whatever Android version they're running.  Only the iPhone doesn't allow for such a thing because, well, only Apple uses iOS.

But what if Apple and Google allows apps that have UI based on the Metro concept?  Don't say it can't happen.  First, Google allows just about anything to go into Google Play.  And more recently, Apple approved Tapose, an app, from former Courier chief before Microsoft killed it. J Allard funded Tapose and the rest is history (still ongoing as version 2 is in the works).

iPad Screenshot 5iPad Screenshot 3iPad Screenshot 4

And Tapose is almost a self-contained app with muliple mini apps within it (just don't call them widgets or else Apple will reject them).

Today, I came across this app from called Track 8 (iDowloadBlog)

It's pretty close to the Metro-UI.  Not quite but there's promise in what Microsoft did.  Now, supposed someone came up with an app that agregrates social updates from Foursquare, Google+, Tumblr, Twitter as well as e-mails and IM, you've got something sweet happening all without having to abandon the iPhone or Android.  

In fact, I'm certain we'll see more of this because Apple and Google are just not going to be able to hold down Microsoft for too long.  However, just maybe mobile apps Metro UI on rival platforms might be enough to kill it.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday Movie: Tron Uprising

What did you think of the second Tron movie?  Well, I thought the ending was lame.  I don't want there to be spoiler for folks so I'm not going to get into it.  However, I did like the new take on the grand scheme of things.  I just don't know if Tron 3, supposedly it's a done deal, will do much better.

However, I'm betting the animated series, Tron Uprising will be pretty awesome.  It'll run on the Disney XD channel starting this June.  I'm pretty excited.  I've cut the cable a long, long time ago so I'm hoping this'll show up on Hulu or something.

Meanwhile, here are the clips of it so far.  The first clip is from Comic-Con.  The second is the first trailer and the third clip is the latest trailer.

Have a fantastic weekend!!!

Retailers Should Expand Mobile Accessories And Services To Stay In Business

With CompUSA and Circuit City gone, we should have guessed Best Buy’s better days are ahead.  Apparently, that wasn’t the case. When Best Buy reported bad earnings earlier, it was like the end of the world as far as big box electronic retailers are concerned.  In the brick-and-mortar space, who really does BB have to compete with?  Walmart?  Target?  Okay, Costco?

Then the attention quickly turned to Apple’s gears at Best Buy.  Why?  Because despite close relationships with Apple, Best Buy selling Macs and iOS devices doesn’t bring in the big bucks because of the thin margins.  So, the best that Best Buy can hope for is that Apple displays and products will bring in foot traffic.  And with Walmart and Target potentially opening up mini-Apple stores (they’re more like small areas dedicated to Apple stuff), they are looking to bring in a higher income audience.

But I think that could be the wrong way to go about it.  Rather than just push the iPods and other iOS devices, these guys should be pushing accessories which are potentially more lucrative.

I got this idea when I was at the mall last week and I saw at least four kiosks selling iPhone and iPad cases.  That’s all they sell.  And they’ve been around for like ever.  There was even a store that sold mobile cases, most of which were for the iPhone.  And I also saw a couple of places that just added the protective film on mobile devices.  And they were busy.

If I’m the CEO of Walmart or Best Buy, I think I would not only invite Apple in but next to the Apple area, set up a bigger mobile area to sell iOS accessories and services.  If those kiosks can survive the super-high mall rents, you can be sure they’re very lucrative.  And maybe, just maybe, things can turn around for the brick-and-mortars.

I think the prime candidate for my idea would also be Radio Shack.

And I don’t think it’s all that hard for Best Buy, Walmart, and others go to go China and find factories to make their own branded iOS accessories.  A case probably cost a $1 to make but you can turn it around and sell it for $30-40.

Not a bad racket.  And this is a service their online only competitors like Amazon, cannot offer.

Tablets Use In Bed Could Be A Really Bad Idea - Chipped Tooth

Source:  Cult of Mac.

Tablets are wonderful mobile computing tools.  But have you tried to use your iPad or any other tablets in bed?  How about ereaders too?  Doesn’t matter.  Great tools when you’re using them upright. Really bad idea if you’re laying in bed and holding it up.

I’ve had it slip a couple of times and really smashed my teeth in.  And guess what?  It happened to this kid in Taiwan when her iPad slipped out of her hand and chipped her front teeth.  Hope they’re baby teeth.

Video to follow.  So, parents…Tabs, regardless of screen size, iPads, Kindles – great to use when it’s not hoving over your face.  Oh, and the mom went out to buy a case of her daugther’s iPad.  I don’t think it’ll help, lady.

Samsung Faltered With Galaxy S III - Opening For Apple To Add Distance

The latest numbers showed that Apple has gained much since the iPhone went on sale over at Verizon and Sprint and it's lead over Android in the first quarter of 2012 could extend further from what I can see with its biggest competitor:  the Galaxy S III.

Pic from Android Central

So far, the response has not been overwhelming.  It's an evolutionary improvement from the II to the III and Samsung added a Siri-copycat that does do much.  It's as if Apple did not give Samsung enough to copy from with the iPhone 4S and their engineers and designers don't what else to do.

Am I asking for a 10- or 12MP camera?  No.  Bigger screen?  Would be nice but not really.  I definitely want better battery life and if Apple can be so good as to make that wish come true, I'm definitely upgrading from my iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.  That alone would do it for me.

However, I don't think that would be enough to make everyone else happy.  So, where are a few things that I think Apple can do to increase its mobile lead over competitors and get even those among us who bought the iPhone 4S because of Siri to upgrade.

Okay, the first feature I want here aren't going to get iPhone 4S users to upgrade.  What I want is Apple to finally take Siri out of beta.  Or barring that, because Siri could be in beta for years, give Siri a few more tricks.

  • launch apps
  • tweet or uprade social networks
  • API for app integration - being able to speak and get directions would be nice
  • be able to control settings
The above four features for Siri would be enough to make people want to use it even more and entice those who have kinda let Siri fall to the side to come back.

Another feature I like to see is a more social iCloud, call it "iCloud Social".  The Find Friends app is pretty neat but it's very anemic.  I have been using Placeme despite my privacy concerns and I like that it checks me in automatically into places.  By check-in, I don't mean in the way Foursquare allows users to check into Starbucks. Rather, Placeme records places I've been.  But I would like to see more integration with Foursquare or other social apps.  

I use Path and it allows me to sign into Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Foursquare.  I like Apple to make iCloud be the central hub for all my social apps.  And one of the features I like about Path I like to see in this iCloud Social is it allows me to keep some information private.  I can check-in a place without the world or just my friends knowing about it.  

Mobile payment with iTunes integration would wow people big time.  It's like Steve Jobs said, they've got hundreds of millions of credit numbers already.  Apple could make ecommerce or physical purchases much easier.  Right now, it's not at all.

For instance, I've got my Starbucks cards that I use to get rewards and drives from Starbucks.  When I need to refill my app, I have to whip out my credit card to do that.  Tedious.  But if it's integrated with my iTunes account, I can just tell it to send over $20 to my Starbucks app and off I go to caffeine dreamland.

Those are three main features I'd want right away.  I am sure you can think of a couple others.  Maybe Apple TV apps and integration with iOS devices.  What else do you think Apple can do to make life better for us iOS fans and more difficult for its competitors?

Galaxy S III: A "Phone-It-In" Performance By Samsung

So you know by now that Samsung has unveiled it's latest high-end Android device, the Galaxy S III, and will be available through the world in the general summer period.  What did you think?  Well, I can tell you that it isn't exactly being tooted as an iPhone-killer or something similarly messianic.  It's a great phone.  Just not the greatest, I guess.

My and others’ underwhelming response to the Galaxy S III unveiling does not mean that Samsung did not bring out a winner.  Rather, we could be approaching the end of huge leaps in mobile innovations for a while.

Let’s recap.  The Galaxy S III is now, or will soon be, the flagship device of the Android world.  It’ll sport a screen that is nearly 5” (what’s with the 4.8” anyway), a largish battery, quad-core, and a new voice system that is exclusive to Samsung.

HTC has already kinda done this with their new One devices.
The GS3’s anemic 8MP camera quickly comes to mind.  I’m sure it’ll take some decent shots but I kinda expected something in the neighborhood of 10-12MP.  And camera app does have a couple of nice tricks but that’s all they are.  The fact that the Galaxy Nexus only has 5MP should have given us clue that Samsung was not going to do much to up the MP.

As far as an high-end device goes, the GS3 sort of game HTC an opening to get back into markets where before it only made sense to buy an Galaxy device.  I’m sure we’ll see LG and Motorola roll out some of their own updates that could potentially give the Galaxy a run for its money.

I reckon Samsung likely believed the Galaxy brand could be strong enough to sell a few GS3.  And it will.  Many happy users of the Galaxy S will likely be upgrading to this.  I can’t believe I am saying this, but I think they need to give the HTC

Droid-Life, a very awesome Android blog I read daily, called it the “me too” device.  That’s harsher than I would go.  I do believe Samsung squandered an opportunity put some distance between itself and its competitors.  Or maybe my initially assertion is correct that we are in for a period of small evolutionary mobile improvements in our devices.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Video of Walk-Through of the Just Unveiled Galaxy S III

Here is a video from Android Central I found on Youtube of the just unveiled Samsung's new high-end device, Galaxy S III.

It's got a quad-core CPU (dual-core for some markets like the US, maybe), 4.8" screen, and 720p.  It also has a 2100mAh battery and we're gonna need it to power this huge screen.  There are other bells and whistles like voice control, kinda like Siri.

From what I can tell, it's a nice improvement over the S II.  However, it only has an 8MP camera.  Kinda of a disappointment.  The feel supposedly is plasticky.  And I wonder if Samsung might just have given HTC an opening to recapture some of the market share.

Who's Making Money In The Mobile Market?

Source:  Fortune.

From this chart from  Asymco, it's very easy to see who's making the big bucks in the mobile market and how things have changed since 2007, when the iPhone was introduced.  Back then, Nokia was the king of profits.  Today, well, it's the iPhone maker, Apple.

Some hard and fast data:

  • Apple has less than 9% of the handset market but accounts for 73% of all the profit.
  • Android accounts more more than 50% of the market share but probably has the rest of the 27% profit.
  • Of the 27% profit for the Android device makers, Samsung, now the world's biggest handset shipper, has 26% of that 27%.  
  • Apple and Samsung has smothered the dollar count with 99% of the profit.
However, a second chart (which I'm gonna make you click over) shows that it isn't as if Apple or Samsung is taking money away from others.  Rather, it's that the pie has grown since 2007 but it's these two rivals that are getting the lion's share of the profit.  Well, okay, may Motorola and Nokia kinda lost out a bit.

This is only a snapshot of we see today.  Obviously, things will change.  Windows 8 is on the wing as is potentially Blackberry 10.  Maybe things'll get shake up a bit.  Not likely but could still happen.  The mobile war we're witness is still young.  I'd say about half way through the second quarter.  

Now, what I like to see is just how each ecosystem is performing against each other.

Society: We are Not Average (NPR) So You'll Want To Be A Superstar

Source:  NPR (Morning Edition)

A new research is showing that the old bell curve no longer applies.  In truth, this research says that a few individuals perform really while the rest of the herd kinda trail off.  I like to think I'm pretty smart.  In fact, I am. Very quick to pick things up and quite resourceful.  Don't worry. Chances are that if you're reading this blog, you are just like me, if not better.  Well, average, no?

In truth, we're all brilliant.  Sure there are outliers who underperform.  But with the bell curve trying to recognize only a few great performers, many of us are lumped into the big bell, literally and mentally constrained when our accomplishments and contributions are much more.  At least that's what this new research from Kelley School of Business in Indiana is saying.

I find this very interesting and in accordance to my own belief.  While I am proud of my accomplishments, I work hard at them but it isn't to say that I don't believe others are unable to do the same given the same resources and opportunities I have had in a given situation.  In fact, I marvel as those friends who easily excel where I struggle.

There is no normal distribution as far as this new research.  In a given job or task, there are these "superstars" that contribute a disproportional amount to a group's output - be it winning awards or writing papers.

What do you think?  The study is worth reading if you really have the time. Their uses of publishers and entertainers with given data is quite an eye opener.  However, there is a lot of question regarding the methodology used in this study.

From the NPR post, there are disagreements about this study.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I Want This Concept Liquidmetal iPhone 5

Source:  iDownload Blog

Gimme, gimme, gimme!!!

I want this concept iPhone 5 as envisioned by Antoine Brieux, a French designer. 

So far, the device looks quite like what I described as how Apple could give us a bigger than the current 3.5" Retina Display without doing too much to make the next iPhone's body bigger, thus, harder to use with one hand.

In may difference from what I described and this concept iPhone is the home button is gone.  The screen itself is the home button.  How that'll work UI-wise, I can't say I have a good idea for.  However, given that multi-touch gesture on the iPad that allows the user to swipe between apps and for the multi-tasking panel at the bottom, Apple can certainly go that route.

Yeah, I want this iPhone!  Recently, I told a friend of mine that she should go ahead and get the 4S because I don't think the body of the device will change too much.  Boy, if Apple does unveil the next iPhone with a form factor even remotely close to this, someone's gonna be very pissed off at me...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

RIM Delivers Blackberry 10 But Still Needs To Execute And Show What Its Mobile Vision Is

RIM showed off its newest but yet to be released Blackberry 10 OS today.  So far, all signs points to things stabilizing in the short-term for RIM if the Canadian mobile giant can deliver as promised.  However, how long before things start crashing down again?  Don’t get me wrong.  We want RIM to succeed but it’s not as simple as coming up with a mobile device that is on par with the current mobile trend-settings like Android.  Look at how long it took for the Playbook to get features like e-mail?  And even then, the Playbook has not managed to make any kind of inroad in the tablet market.

Let’s say RIM manages to deliver on what’s promised – a new Blackberry handset running the latest and greatest OS with some very impressive features, what then?  It would not only have to show that it can keep up with the big boys but RIM has to show what it has planned beyond give supporters what is beyond mobile.

For a while, RIM might be able to do at best is hold onto its corporate market a bit longer.  However, in a world where more workers are given a choice of Android devices, Blackberries, and iPhones, it goes beyond just mobile.

Apple has built an ecosystem that few can rival.  Perhaps, the closest to come to the iTunes ecosystem is Amazon with its Kindle ecosystem.  Google and Microsoft are at least trying to replicate this system for their own respective mobile and desktop operating systems.  What does RIM have beyond what was once a promising tablet and a shrinking mobile market share?

Let’s look at some of RIM’s competitors.  RIM doesn’t have the reach of the likes of even Samsung or Sony – both with media boxes and HDTV.  Even Sony has its Playstation brand and media empire.   And being able to reach into the living is a must for mobile players.

What about the big three?  Google has already advanced Android on many HDTVs.  Microsoft is banking that windows 8 as well as its loyal Xbox market will give it an advantage.  Apple’s Apple TV strategy is still a hobby and there are a lot of signs that its’ ready to let go of that label and take the whole iTunes system up to a whole new level.  And I haven’t even gotten into rumored Apple-branded HDTV yet.

And what of RIM’s cloud stategy?

Cleary, in addition to developing and releasing Blackberry 10 devices on time, RIM has to show that it can keep up with its competitors.  It has to find partners to provide media like video, music, and ebooks.  It has to find a way into the lives of its customers and make itself an indispensable part of their lives and not just provide a means for mobile communication.

The following video demo of the BB10 keyboard shows that RIM can in fact innovate.  The problem isn’t necessarily that.  It’s execution and vision.  So far, both remains lacking.

New Dark Knight Rises Trailer!

Just got this in my inbox from WB.  Said it's a new trailer for the sure super hit, The Dark Knight Rises.

Definitely the must see movie of the summer. Sorry, Avengers is awesome looking but Batman is where the story's at - pain, sweat, and, of course...Vengeance!

I've already watched the trailer 3 times before I realized I haven't shared them with you yet.  I'll be watching this in 3D on IMAX.  Hopefully at an Arclight theater without kids yapping and texting (or kicking the back of my seat).

Speculation: Apple to Operate Own Wireless Service?

Source:  Boy Genius Report.

We know that Apple had contemplated creating its own wireless network through a bunch of WiFi hotspots that obviously did not happen.  Perhaps some day, we might see that happen with White Spaces.  Until then, the best opportunity for Apple to become a wireless provider is as a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO.  

Billed as an "industry expert",  Whitey Bluestein said Apple has the resource to make this happen.  However, he doesn't say how Apple will go about making this happen, if it's even on Tim Cook's plate at the moment.  He doesn't suggest that Apple will operate as a MVNO either.

As much as I like the speculation, I'm going to call this one now:  not going to happen.  If there is actually rumblings about this, it's more likely Apple-generated to get the carriers to fall back in line regarding any shift in subsidies.  And it would make sense for carriers to give into Apple's subsidy demands and kowtow to Cupertino out west than to have Apple become a potentially scary competitor overnight.

If anyone does make this happen, I would guess it's Google. Regardless of if it's Apple or Google starting their own network, it will likely start off as MVNO and gradually supplemented with White Spaces networks in densely populated cities.

Samsung: Hard Choices Ahead But Right Strategy Could Mean Mobile Supremacy

Samsung has distanced itself from Nokia to become the biggest handset seller in the world.  It has also managed to topple Apple in smartphone units shipped (there is controversy between the units shipped analysts estimate for Samsung and Apple’s reported iPhones sold).  Now that we have an new undisputed leader in mobile, what is Samsung’s next move?  Has Samsung’s dominance in the Android market meant the threat created by Google’s Motorola purchase diminished?  The threat being that Google could try to rein in control of how Android is deployed.

Galaxy S III is a few weeks out and should begin its huge roll-out towards the end of May or early June.  Obviously, one would hope that the S3 will run Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest Android version.  However, the problem is that it has taken more than six months from the release of Android 4 to the release of the hottest line of Android device.  And Android 5 should be out four months or so after the S3 unveiling.  It is difficult for users to reconcile the timing discrepancy.  Even now, many Galaxy S II owners have not seen ICS deployed yet.

Maybe this is something that Google needs to deal with – either convinces its hardware partners to coincide their releases closer to new Android updates or Google needs to move Android releases to spring when most flagship devices are released by Samsung and HTC.

Samsung has a few choices to make in this regard.  After all, being the biggest Android supporter, despite the Korean firm’s wariness of the Google-Motorola merger, should be able to exert some pressure on Google in this regard.   Samsung also happens to be Google’s partner in developing the Galaxy Nexus.  Furthermore, there is rumors that Microsoft is looking to Samsung’s S3 hardware specs to release Windows 8 on.  Furthermore, Bada OS development continues despite finding not much success outside of certain Asian markets.

For now, going with Windows 8 and continuing to work on Bada continues to be hedges against what Google may ultimately decide to do with Android.  And Google needs Samsung now more than ever.  And it’s not like Samsung can really go else where.  Windows 8 is untested and and Bada’s market share is just a tad better than Windows Phone.  If anything, a Google-Samsung merger, however problematic, would have made more sense than the $12 billion Motorola buyout.

Still, Samsung is in a death match with Apple at this time. Both Apple and Samsung have executed their mobile strategies flawlessly at this time.  However, unlike Apple who owns its iOS and iTunes ecosystem, Samsung needs to make sure Google doesn’t falter in any way with Android development and its deployment plans doesn’t undercut Samsung’s mobile expansion.  You might say that the iPhone 4 to iPhone 4S and Samsung’s Galaxy S to Galaxy S II improvements were evolutionary incremental improvements.   2012-2013 Will be the year to watch to see if Samsung could finally put some distance between itself and its competitors, regardless of who they are.

First Episode of The Walking Dead Game Is Out - Choose Your Actions Wisely

Source:  Electronista.

The Walking Dead game is out.  In the first episode, you have many decisions to make that will be critical to your survival.  You play Lee, a convict who will lead a group to safety or becoming food for the walking dead.

This is like yesteryear's Choose Your Own Adventure books except you'll being playing this on your Mac or PC.  Mobile versions like those for the iPhone and iPad will be out later this summer.  Me?  Ain't gonna wait until then.  This is what I'll be playing this Friday!

Here's a video from the developer on the game dynamics.  First, the trailer.

Episode 1 Video:

Interview with Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead

I especially like the world that is being created here.  You're not focused on the comic and television main character, rick Grimes, a sheriff deputy who was hurt in the line of duty and woke up in a world overrun by the dead.

Here's an extensive video of the actual game play.  It's like watching an actual show.

Americans Elect Group Getting More Mainstream Attention

Source:  Americans Elect, Americans Elect (wiki), The Daily Beast.

Americans Select is a group that I've talked about briefly in the past.  So far, it's social media push has not been as extensive as I like.  I simply have not seen it trending in the way crying babies have on Youtube.  However, they are getting more mainstream media attention like The Daily Beast.  A quick search also shows there is a lot of interest in it.  And why now?  Our two-party system isn't working out the way we Americans like anymore.  And this model isn't just for Americans but for any other people around the world who wants more control who they select to lead their governments.

Americans Select will hold its first Internet Primary in less than a week.  We will be able to choose who we want to run as a third party candidate, as alternatives to President Barack Obama of the Democratic Party and Governor Mitt Romney of the Republican Party.

Forget whether you think the Americans Select candidate really have a shot at winning the White House or not.  This is a huge departure from the party-centric nomination processes that has dominated by special interests that have veered more and more to the extremes.

According to Washington Post, the group is half way through the process of getting its candidates on the ballots of all 50 states.

Perhaps, I am being too optimistic but America is where the impossible happens.  And picking up an application to run of political office is one of the easiest things to do in the United States.  Okay, running to becoming the next POTUS is degrees much more difficult but Americans are frustrated.

The Daily Beast post is an interview with Peter Ackerman, founder of Americans Select.  He's tired of Washington's dysfunction and he wants someone who is going to be able to speak for the vast major of Americans who want common sense solutions to solve our nation's problems.

Ackerman called Americans Select not a party but a "second process" that gives the people more control over they want in the White House and break the anticompetitive barriers erected by the two parties over decades.  In early American politics, a strong third party candidate was a very common thing.

Of course, getting on the ballots of all 50 states is the easy part.  The biggest fear for potential candidates and supporters of Americans Select is the two-party system.  They fear the awesome power they've amassed for more than a century.

Still, the momentum is on the side of those who are tired of the grid-lock and obstructionist politics the Democrats and Republicans are practicing.

So, if Facebook and Twitter can start and finish revolutions in North Africa, there is no reason why it cannot effect true political change in the United States.

Apple Should Prepare to Leave China (There Is Still Time To Execute Such A Plan)

At first glance, you might think that the title of this article is a clickbait considering that China is the second biggest economy in the w...