Thursday, June 28, 2012

Blackberry OS 10 Delayed Again - Middle of 2013

This is a very bad day for RIM workers.  First, there was the 5K job cuts that's coming.  Then, there's also the more than half a billion dollar loss by the company during the last fiscal quarter.  Well, expect more pain, guys.

Blackberry fans who wanted the same OS that runs on the Playbook to run on their Blackberry superphones will have to wait until the second quarter of 2013.  You've got another 9 to 12 months of waiting to do.  At the current page of mobile innovation and competition, that's a life-time.

RIM will be going up against the iPhone 5 and maybe even the Galaxy S IV.  On top of that, Windows 8 phones could prove more popular than Windows Phone 7.5 devices now.

I don't want to say that we should close the book on the iconic messaging device company but certainly, I hope someone scoops them up.  Some with deep pockets who can make it work.

Who will benefit the most now that RIM's missteps has begun to put the company's livelihood in danger?  Apple will be Apple as Google's hardware plans like the Nexus 7 and Motorola become more clear.  However, it could be Microsoft's Surface tablet that benefit the most.

Microsoft with its strong corporate reputation could try to position Windows 8 devices as a strong Blackberry alternative.  Traditionally, Microsoft has been more willing to acquiesce to individual government and corporate needs where as Apple is well, Apple.  And should Windows 8 phones gain traction, that halo effect could bring in Surface tablet sales.

We'll know in time how well Apple and Google will be doing with their iOS 6 and Jelly Bean devices.  No matter now you look at it, at this point, RIM's portfolio of mobile and messaging patents are more valuable than its hardware and service businesses.

Quiting Facebook? Hard But Doable

I’m thinking of setting a website for folks who wanna quit social media like Facebook, for whatever reasons that are yours, and this way, we can kinda support each other through the process.  Then I thought “why, that would be like a social thing occurring online which in and of itself is a media”.

So, no.  Instead, I’m gonna go through it myself and share whatever anxiety that I may feel during the whole process.  I’ve quit Facebook two other times and its for the same reason as this third time:  Facebook is just fraking with the users.

In the latest episode, they purposefully changed your e-mail without tell us.  Why, Zuckerberg?

Then there’s the Facebook-sanctioned stalking app.  I’m sure if it is used in the right way, it can be fun and engaging.  However, as with any tool, it can be used in dark ways.  Now, when Google unveiled it’s Buzz and Wave products that allow tracking and opened up many privacy issues, there was a huge media storm.  So, Facebook should have known better than to try this in such a way.  What Google did was stupid and what Facebook more stupid is that it thinks it can get away with the same exact play.

Quitting something like Facebook isn’t easy.  For even moderate users, there is an emotional attachment to it.  I know folks who don’t necessarily post but they do check on it daily.  It’s become a norm.  I do check just about every day and post about every other day and half of the time, I’ve got something unkind to relay about Facebook and reasons why my friends should switch over to Google+.

And with my decision to quit yet again, I felt a slightly elevated level of anxiety.  Okay, I lied – quite a bit more because I’ve met new friends on Facebook recently.  So, I went for a run and that helped.  And I’m gonna go through with it.

First thing I did was to change the password in such a way that made it very difficult to remember.  Then I logged out of all the apps so I would not have access on my phone or tablet.  And in leaving the password at home, I can’t log in.

How am I feeling now?  The 5-4 SCOTUS on the President’s healthcare law has kept me pretty amped up so far and deciding if I should get the Nexus 7 has been weighing on my mind so I’ve been pretty occupied.

I’ll document how I feel over the next few days.  My deadline to officially quit Facebook starts midnight on Monday, just after the weekend.  That’ll give me time to prep emotionally and move onto other things.  Maybe after that, I’ll have more time to trash Facebook.

I am a very sociable creature that craves interaction with others – be it in person or online.  It’ll be hard (especially since I met a cute model/fashion designer on FB – though we’re not close enough for exchange of real personal info), but it’s doable.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mobile Gaming: Infinity Blade Makes More Money Than Superhit Gears of War

Source:  Pocket Gamer.

Frak!  Seriously.  Infinity Blade, a mobile game that was born on the iPhone, from Epic Games is the most profitable game it has released.  Yes, more than mega-hit Gears of War on the Xbox.  There is a but (I think).

Given the investments versus returns, IB does provide Epic a better return than GoW.  However, I reckon GoW, given its volume, likely generated more profit.

Having said that, Apple's iPhone and iPad has done a number on the sweet racket that Nintendo and Sony has had with portable gaming, it's interesting to hear that it is also beginning to affect how a powerhouse developer like Epic sees mobile gaming.

And with all the rumors swirling around about Apple's HDTV plans (or not) and possibly of bringing iOS gaming to the Apple TV, I'm sure Epic, EA, and others eagerly look to bring more of their game craft to the home via mobile devices.

The question that mobile gamers would like to know is that with increasingly sophistication in game play and graphics, will be be paying more?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Artist Creates 3D Illusions On 2D And Videos

Source:  Visual News.

You have to check out these pics and then the Youtube video below.  I had thought about keeping it until Friday movie clips but just can't wait to share it so here it is.  Using a couple of drawing pads, an artist by the name of Nagai Hideyuki created the following 3D looking artwork.

All of this is drawn by hand.  But I wonder if it's possible for some enterprising mobile developers to come up with an app that automate the process.  Sure, you'll still have to be creative with the art but for those of us who are depth impaired, maybe it'll help, yeah?

Just utterly incredible.  And here are just a few examples and more over at Visual New.

Here is Mr. Hideyuki's personal website if you wanna check out more of his crafts.  Highly recommended.

Now, here's a cute little video of a little creature that fell from its mother's nest and with the help of the artist, tries to get back home.

Mobile Intellgent Assistants Should Have Emergency Protocols

Siri is raw and in beta.  Could be in perpetual beta because it’ll be constantly learning new things.  Google’ rumored Siri-killer will likewise be in the same state of learning new tricks.  But there is one thing that I like any voice-enabled service like Siri to be able to do right away – contact emergency services and it should so easy that a toddler can do it.

I know that many toddlers know how to make calls these days.  It’s amazing how brilliant some children are.  But an one-click emergency service that even a three-year old can activate would be pretty useful.  In the example above, a fictional three-year old saves his mother.  It could be a grandparent, another relative, or a sibling who needs emergency medical services.

Imagine the following scenario:

Toddler finds a parent or grandparent unconscious.  He/she shook the adult but got no response.  So the toddler goes to the smartphone and presses the home button.
Intel Assistant: How can I help you?Toddler:  My daddy won’t wake up.  IA: Okay, do you want me to call for help?T: Yes, he’s sick or something.IA: I’ll connect you to emergency services.  (at this point, the IA tries to establish a connection to the 911 services).911:  Hello, who am I speaking with?T (gives 911 his/her name):  My daddy won’t wake up.  He’s on the floor.911:  Okay, I know where you are, an ambulance and an engine is being sent to your location.  Is this your home? (The smartphone has already transmitted the GPS location to 911.  T: Yes.  911: You’re doing great.  We’ll have someone there shortly.  I’ll stay on the line with you. How old are you?T: Three (or “I don’t know”.)911:  Can you hold the phone up.  Good. (Images are transmitted to 911 and first responders so they have a better handle of the situation before they arrive – if possible, the 911 operator can establish a two-way video chat with the toddler.)
Through the whole episode, the IA, whether it’s Siri or something that Google comes up with, is listening.  Upon knowing that the user of the emergency protocol is a minor and not the owner of the smartphone, a text is immediately sent to other family members on the contact list that the owner of the smartphone.

I’m sure other protocols could be written in for the IA to follow as well.

I hope the purveyors of mobile platforms will build something into this that will make it easy to contact and enable 911 services to quickly respond – a few seconds or minutes could make the diff between life and death.

And this doesn’t have to take years of development for this to work.  I think this can be done relatively quickly if all the innovators put their heads together with authorities to make this happen.  So yeah, the technology is within our grasp.  All it does is to take the might and political will to make this happen.  It’ll take the involvements of the FCC, emergency responders, device makers like Apple and Google, and the carriers.

The government already has an emergency alert system in place.  I reckon it would take another upgrade to the system and to 911 to make this work.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Friday Movies: Political Ads From Game of Thrones

Tis the Season  Political ads to be exact.  And it's not late night that is drawing inspiration from real ads but TV shows that are getting into it.  Rather it's fans that are getting into it.

The following are three humorous ads based on the popular HBO show Game of Thrones.  And yeah, they're very well done, especially the first one about who the real king is and if he's even fit to be king, a play on the birthers.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Source:  Blastr.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mobile War Far, Far From Over

While it’s half time now in America, according to Mr. Clint Eastwood, we’re probably in the middle of the second quarter in the mobile war.  For a while, folks, tech pundits, bloggers, and analysts, have kinda given Android a 50+% share of the market with the iPhone somewhere around 25-30% and the rest to be split up between RIM, Windows Phone, and others.

Well, I’m gonna tell you that is very premature.  The dynamics of the mobile market, both smartphones and tablets, are is great flux.  No need to recap what’s been going on.  Just know that the latest development in mobile is Microsoft’s entry into the hardware business.

And Microsoft is a company that has a reputation for not necessarily getting it right the first time around but doing whatever it takes to get it right.  Patience and persistence.  Microsoft doesn’t really have a choice.  This is not a market that it can afford to lose out.

So, we just learn that Amazon is furthering its reach with the Kindle Fire by offering its app store in Europe.  This ought to be very interesting given that updated Kindle tablets should be ready for the upcoming Christmas shopping season.  So, Amazon’s mobile plans are definitely in its infancy despite dominating the ereader market.

Then there’s also Apple that just launched its App Store in 32 other countries or territories.  You would think by now, Apple has already circled the glove within its iOS ecosystem.  And there are definitely more carriers and countries where iPhone and iPad penetration has not started.  And given Apple’s focus on the Greater China market, Apple has a lot more innovating and growth to go through.

Obviously, there’s Google.  Android is the most popular smartphone platform in the world but, somehow, I doubt Google is happy with the way things are going.  Lawsuits galore but it is also the feeling that things are slipping away from Google with respect to control of Android.  The core Android OS has been forked for various use that not only do not have necessarily any benefit to Google’s mobile plans or bottom line but are increasingly becoming competitors.

What Google has in store for Motorola.  It’s a card that has been held closely to its vest but we should know in short order.  As a mobile fan, I can’t say that I am happy with the deployment by hardware makers and carriers of Ice Cream Sandwich.  It’s just horrendous.  Maybe Google’s Motorola devices will get timely Android updates the way the Nexus devices have been.  And this ought to light a fire under its quasi-partners to step it up.

Lastly, Microsoft.  I know, there’s also RIM.  Blackberry 10 is a story for 2013 rather than 2012.  And that is assuming RIM is still around in 2013 as it is now.  More and more, RIM’s technologies (patents) and the Blackberry brand is more valuable in pieces to be sold off rather than trying to recapture its glory days.  And its corporate stronghold is slowly being eroded by the iPhone and will soon have to contend with Windows 8 smartphones as well.

So, that brings us back to Microsoft.  This week’s Windows 8 developments certainly has the desired effect – if raising eyebrows is what Steve Balmer intended.  Microsoft’s only major point at Monday’s LA special event where they unveiled its Surface tablet is this:  we’re doing hardware.  Many questions were left unanswered and the biggest one is will Surface be more of a Nexus or serve to further growth Microsoft’s revenue and profit like the iPhone/iPad has been doing for Apple.

And remember:  Microsoft can be persistence.  Stubborn, in fact.  And Surface will not be its first try into the mobile market.  We’ve seen it with Windows Phone 7 which has kind of served as a reset, new era for Microsoft in mobile.  We’re currently at Windows Phone 7.5 so Windows 8 should be Microsoft’s third try at mobile.

With Surface tablets, it shows that Microsoft has learned something valuable in the last couple of years.  Once Microsoft’s tablets go on sale, maybe we can finally call that the start of the third quarter in the mobile war.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Concept iPhone With Translucent Back - Well, You'll See

Source:  Forbes.

Forbes thinks this is stupid but they want it. I think it's brilliant and I want it.  It's a concept iPhone with a clear black that when you look at the iPhone, you can see clear through whatever is on the other side.

Again, I want it!  I think this is possible (eventually) and it could really make even today's thinnest smartphone look obese thickness-wise.

Obviously, there are gonna be issues like making the circuits, memory chips, CPU, and a bunch of other stuff really, really small.  I reckon it'll  have to be like 10 to 20x smaller than what we have today and up to 50x more power efficient.  If you look at this thing from the side, there really is no place for you to put a battery.

Having said that, I've always believed that we can reach this level of tech sooner rather than later.  Look at how calculators have shrunk over the years.  Look the collection of calculators from laurentian.

And remember those HP scientific calculators?  Yup, and now, we have calculators that run on the smallest most inefficient solar cells like the ones you can get for a few bucks at Office Depot.  We even have calculators on watches!

So, the question of whether we'll see this the-through concept iPhone or any other device isn't if it'll happen, rather, when it'll happen.  One think I believe whatever make such a device should do is allow the option to opaque the background so it can be less distracting when the user wants it.

So, iPhone 10 or 15, anyone?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Microsoft Tablet: Surface Demo Froze, Too Early To Call It "Fail"

I'm still waiting for more details to come out before chatting up (or down) Microsoft's Surface which I think has a lot of potential - so much so that I think Apple/RIM/Google fans could be in for a rude (maybe wonderful) surprise.

Meanwhile, these videos are circulating the Web - a Surface tablet that froze during Monday's demo in Los Angeles.  It's quite interesting to watch because the poor MS exec had to cover for the Surface freezing on him during one of the most critical demos in Microsoft's history.

While Youtube videos are calling this a fail, which it kinda is, mere points to the attention that Surface is generating.  I can totally see my next tablet being a Windows 8 device but there are a lot of issues that Microsoft has to work out and provide much more details about what the Surface tablet is really capable of.

Obviously, you can go with a safe choice in the iPad.  And Android fans can go with the Samsung Tab 10.1, the only Android tablet worth our hard-earned wages.  However, Windows 8 promises to provide something that neither the tablet market has seen.

Obviously, the details from Microsoft could ruin all that - like battery life, crashiness, costs, etc.  Until then, anti-Microsoft camps can enjoy this "epic fail".  I think it's all in good humor and we'll have to see if Redmond can really deliver.

This Surface freeze isn't an epic fail.  An epic fail would be Microsoft's tablet efforts in the 2000s.  This time around, hmmm, we'll just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Apple & Facebook - Privacy Protection Or Open Floodgate?

I like that Twitter was integrated into iOS 5 and I use it quite a bit.  With iOS 6, I’m not as crazy as with Facebook integration largely because the lack of safeguards by Facebook to protect its users.  And now, they’re looking into lowering the age bracket that can join the social site, I’m afraid things could will be much worse since Facebook isn’t interested in protecting the children from predators and the bad elements of social media.

So, it falls to Apple and what it is doing to safe guard iOS and Mac users, many upon many are children.

So, Apple, I ask you this:  what is Apple doing to safeguard the privacy of its loyal users?  Is Facebook free to figuratively walk through Apple’s data centers and literally sift through the millions upon millions of bits of information about us?

I understand that if I share something via iOS 6 through Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg would have access to that information.  Well, what if I don’t want to share my location or contact list?  Right now, I am who I am with my Facebook account but I do everything I possibly can to avoid giving up any detail about me that I don’t think Facebook has the right to know.  I fear that by integrating Facebook in iOS 6, Apple will force those who wants easier Facebook access to give Facebook more information.

I suppose I always have the choice of not using Facebook via iOS 6.  But if using Facebook on my iPhone or iPad means that I have to give up contact info like I am forced to do on Android, then Apple’s Facebook integration is no better than what Google has.

I’m hoping that Apple is aware of this and will give us more options to use Facebook or  others without giving social media access to everything.  I like Twitter on iOS 6 because it don’t have access to everything.

Supposedly, iOS 6 would give the user more privacy control.  I think that’s a great thing, something I like to see Google and Microsoft provide for its users.  If implemented correctly, users would be able to dictate which apps can have access to contact lists and, hopefully, other information like locations (App on iOS now asks for permission to locate users but I like there to be a more case-by-case option).

I hope this privacy control also works against Facebook's prying eyes as well.

One more thing.  While I was completing this post, I came across this Patently Apple post.  Apparently, Apple had been working on a new way to counter websites that try to connect user data.  PA dubbed it the Anti-Brig Brother surveillance patent.  I’ve read through the long-ish and detailed post a couple of times.  I had to because it was pretty interesting and you get the sense that Apple is trying to go that extra mile to protect (maybe hoard for itself) iOS and Mac user data.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Apple Standalone Podcast App Could Be Disruptive For Content Producers Especially Studios

I don’t want to get into rumors but I would like to speculate on this one:  Apple may be giving podcast producers and listeners their own app.

And if this is true, wow, this could be a huge deal depending on how far Apple wants to take this.  I think it’s quite possible that this could be a part of what Steve Jobs said to his biographer when he said he cracked television.  If I’m right, Apple could be cracking more than just television but video and audio broadcasts as we know it.  And broadcasts would no longer be known as “broadcasts” but as podcasts as well.

When I learned about this standalone podcast app, I started digging through Internet tubes to find out as much as I can about it.  They all kind of reported the same rumored details.  So, it left me to wonder and do what I love to do: speculate wildly.  Here goes.

Apple could go further by giving the app the ability to subscribe to podcasts, whether in video or audio, and allow producers to charge for them.

Yup.  This is the key to it all.  Imagine a podcast app that allows the producers/authors to charge for their podcasts.

First, let’s step back a bit.  If you think podcasts now, you think the hundreds if not tens of thousands of audio as well as video podcasts that people can download via iTunes or any other podcast capture app.  Some of these podcasts range from mere just ramblings to professional grade productions.  Some, again, are just ramblings (like this blog you're reading) that has found an audience to music selections to even dramatic or book readings.  And as far as the subject matter, well, there is virtually no limit.

Giving podcasts their own app could be a great benefit for podcast discovery.  Maybe on the most basic level, this is what Apple hope to achieve.  It's just like the apps getting their own app store or ebooks with the iBooks app.  Or, Apple is up to something even bigger.

If given a subscription function that allows payments, audiobooks could be podcasts and give authors the ability to charge users directly for access instead of going through, Amazon, or even Apple’s iTunes. It also works for any other podcasts as well.

Sure, Apple is likely going to be collect their standard 30% fee.  Before you start thinking about how greed Apple is, consider this.  Right now, podcasts are generally free or rely on the goodness of the hearts of its listeners to donate funds.  So, podcasters were not making much money if at all.  Also, consider authors who likely got very little proceeds from audio versions of their books.

There is a podcast called Mysterious Universe that I listen to on occasion during my jogs.  It has free podcasts but also has more content available exclusively to paying listeners.  More recently, Your Mac Life also switched over to a subscriber model to help foot the fill for the podcast. I can't tell if subscribers also get additional content or not. Even if not, appreciative listeners who want to help sponsor podcasts would be able to do so.  All this is done through Paypal or a third party (or themselves).

And while they currently don’t have to share their revenues with Apple, by allowing subscribers to directly purchase the paid subs will likely increase the size of the paid audience than they currently have via iTunes.  The ease to purchase subscriptions using this podcast app instead of making users go directly to the website could be worth giving some money to Apple.

Now, let’s look at what independent studios can do if they want to produce higher qualities of podcasts.  They could produce shows like those old-time radios or even videos.  The podcast app would allow the studios to be paid.  And they would instantly know the size of their audience and the popularity of their shows.

Should this take off, this would instantly send chills to the various studios, broadcast channels, and cable/sat TV companies.  The shockwaves will instantly upend the ancient distribution models.  Howard Stern would not need Sirius but can communicate directly with his audience when they pay him directly.  Imagine other celebrities producing podcasts that their fans are willing to pay for.

Public radio and television shows can be supported directly by fans if they chose.  Suppose This American Life continues to offer its podcasts for free as they do now through the app. Now, they can offer paying subscribers if they want additional audio or even video for the show.

And right now, the timing for podcasts to expand could not have been better as throngs of users cut the cable.

I’m gonna take this speculation even further.  I’m sure you’ve been frustrated by ABC, NBC, Fox, or another channel that puts a show on broadcast but cancels it midseason or kills it before there is a satisfactory conclusion to the show?

One show that quickly comes to mind is Firefly (wiki). The podcasting app could have give Josh Whedon the opportunity to release the shows in podcast format and let the fans pay for the show.  A meddlesome studio exec would not have been able to interfere with the show.

And a show’s continuation and popularity would be directly tied to the number of paying audience for the show.

And with podcasts, the broadcast rights would not be limited to American audience but expanded worldwide so that insane contractual agreements would not be able to hinder audience in one country or region from enjoying the show.

The question is how likely is this to happen?  I think the chance of Apple offering a standalone podcast app is 100%.  As to whether Apple will provide the app subscribe and pay for podcasts, I think that’s got a less than 50-50 chance of this happening.  Apple might threaten to do this to get terms it wants from studios.

And the other issue cost but I don’t see that as an issue.  Small producers or studios can get financing from other studios or banks.  Even from Kickstarter as well.  A video show like those we can on TV can cost tens of millions to produce.  Let’s suppose a show costs $50 to $100 million to produce twenty videos.  Compensated for Apple’s cut, they could jump to $70 to $140M.

Now, suppose each show has an average of 5 million subscribers.   It would cost about $15 a season for the $70M show or $30 a season for the 140M show.  Not entirely unreasonable.  The cost could actually be much lower because the audience could be much bigger.  And it’ll be even more profitable if these shows prove to popular and get picked up for broadcast or syndication.

Again, this is just speculation on my part and Apple’s new podcast app being used in this manner is highly improbable.  Again, if Apple does go this route, it will have a global impact on producing audio/video shows.  It could also do something for producers that Google’s Youtube won’t be able to – make money.

And if my speculation is even remotely close to what Apple has happened for this podcasting app, it may not be called “podcast” and could be a killer app for its iDisplay, some call it Apple’s HDTV, plans.  Maybe the podcast app would have a "screencast" component as well.

Possible Nexus 7 Details Emerge

Source:  GottaBeMobile  via The Verge.  

 Okay, so there’s the iPad and an assortment of Android tablets today.  Oh, and let’s not forget the Kindle Fire.  That’ll be joined by some new Windows 8 tablet soon which will be announced today by Microsoft at 3:30PM PST.  Now, these are likely spy-pics of Google’s Nexus tablet.  Looks like a 7” variant (I say variant because I’m sure we’ll see other Nexus tablets in various sizes). 

From the pic, it looks like it’s called Nexus 7.  From the imagine, we can gleam that the resolution is quite possibly 1280 x 960, which is at a much higher resolution than its likely closest competitors with the Kindle Fire’s and Samsung Tab Plus 7’s anemic 1024 x 600.  If I may go a step further into the rumor world, Apple’s unicorn iPad coming in between 7-8” is suppose to have only 1024 x 768. 

Is this pic for real?  I hope so.  And there’s chatter that Google could price this to compete with the Fire at $150.  With the specs I’m hearing and at this price, it could be going after not only Amazon but Apple and Microsoft as well.  Personally, I don’t see an iPad or Windows 8 tablet priced at $150, much less $200.

Below is a video showing us what we can expect from Nexus 7.  The experience is likely to be similar.  I cannot way to see this tablet and how others from Apple to Microsoft to Samsung to Amazn/BN responds.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

iOS 6: New Maps Is Nice But Bunch of New Small Improvements Key

Apple announced a bunch of new features like Maps and Facebook integration.  They got all the attention. Oh, Passbook is nice and it's not getting much love from blogs.  Nor are a bunch of small unhighlighted improvements that taken together shows how Apple's attention to details make iOS and the iPhone and iPad so popular among mobile warriors.

Here are a couple that I like:
  • Geofencing for Find My Friends and Reminders.  Seriously, how awesome is this?!
  • Better privacy features - this will give the user more control than Google or Facebook will ever give its users.
  • Store improvements - as good as the App Store is now, Apple will continues to try to make it even better for app discovery.  The same goes for iTunes.  In fact, Apple is moving the podcasts over to a standalone app.  And when you download/update an app, iOS doesn't take you away from the store.  It has been an annoying "feature" we've had to put up with for years.
  • Different mail signatures - not a big deal for me but it's nice to have if I never need it.
  • When a call comes in, the ability to dismiss the call with a reminder or text is pretty awesome.  
  • Government/Emergency Alerts
  • Better notification controls.  You can control what notifications come in first for e-mails.
Lastly, I have to mention Passbook again.  And I warn you.  I'm gonna want talk about this quite a lot because more than television, it'll be Passbook that could be one of the legacies of Apple like Siri has the potential of becoming.  Passbook is Apple dipping its foot into the mobile payment arena.  With or without NFC capability, Passbook could revolutionize retail and how we pay for goods and services.

Oh, and there's something about emoji improvements that I'm not particularly interested.  But it's here if that's your kind of thing.  

So, there you go.  Worthy iOS 6 improvements that in their own rights could have been mentioned at the WWDC keynote last Monday.  Among those I mentioned above, geofencing and privacy control are my favs.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Can Apple Be Stopped? Who Will Win With Microsoft Bring Windows 8 to the War? Can Google’s Android Brush Off Redmond?

The day Steve Jobs returned to Apple, no one then could have thought that Apple would still be around today let alone remain one of the most valued companies in the world.  And through it all, Apple has resurrected its Mac computers, disrupted markets, created new devices, and continue to innovate to this day.  Easy, right?  Definitely not.

Sure, Steve Jobs, now Tim Cook, and the rest of Apple made it seem easy but I’m sure it’s the challenges of creating the perfect Macbook or crafting a device that they themselves would want to use and the continual assaults on its position is what is driving them forward.

Today, Macs are selling at a healthy clip but its still computers installed with Windows that dominate the market.  Apple just refreshed its Macbook lines from the Macbook Pro with the new Retina Display to the Macbook Air, it’ll look like the back-to-school season is going to be a blow-out one for Apple.  Still, the PC market will be dominated by Windows-based PCs.

The story is more rosy for Apple’s mobile devices. Fom the iPod to the iPhone to the iPad, Apple has withstood challenges after challenges to its dominate position.  The iPod remains the top selling MP3 player with over 70% of the market.  What of the iPad?  It has continued to retain 60 to 70% of the market as challengers from the Xoom to the Galaxy Tab to the Kindle Fire tried to unseat it.  Oh, and let’s not forget HP’s Touchpad or RIM’s Playbook.

And while Apple’s iPhone doesn’t have the market-share the iPod or the iPad currently enjoy, Apple did manage to become smartphone seller in the Holidays quarter of 2011. Today, it has about 70% of the mobile profit.  Depending on who you talk to, the iPhone has taken back share from Android when it started selling on Sprint and Verizon or, at the very least, stunted Android’s growth.  And the game between the iPhone and Android is not over yet.  Apple is expected to release a redesigned iPhone with a new body, bigger screen, and with LTE support this fall.  Samsung’s just released Galaxy S III may have the whole summer to itself, down the home strech to Christmas of 2012, it’s likely going to be all Apple’s.

Don’t think it’s all smooth sailing for the Cupertino-based company from here on.  Like video games where levels get progressively harder and harder, nothing Apple has seen since the Android onslaught will be more determined to knock Apple out of the game.  And that is?  You guessed it.  Microsoft.  For Apple and  Microsoft, the coming  battle between these two old foes will be every bit as epic as the personal computer war waged in the 80s and 90s which Microsoft has taken the crown.

Apple thinks its ready for this and, while there is no signs of , Tim Cook and company are confident with this final match.  It has the feel of the last battle between two bosses like in the video games.  And it is a final match for either Apple or Microsoft.  The winner will most likely be king of the hill for a long while.  This war will be waged on more fronts than that fought between Apple and Google.  It’ll be fought in the social media market, PC market, mobile market, and even the auto industry will feel its effects.  It could redefine content distribution and home entertainment.

And the brutality of the Apple-Microsoft match is going to be for our benefit.  It’s about an all out competition to convince us they have the best products and services.  Blog surrogates will

Should Apple stumble, it will prove that Microsoft’s residence, as it has shown time and time again, has paid off.  Redmond’s patience helped it win the PC war.  And when it was under assault by AOL, Netscape, and Sun, with the help of some illegal monopolistic moves, Microsoft won the browser war and rendered all those companies inert.

Want more proof that Microsoft is patient and resilient?   How about the search market?  Sure, Google has the lion’s share of the search market and while Yahoo and Altavista, to name two are no longer threats to Google, Microsoft has launched volleys after volleys at Google with MSN,, and, now, Bing.

Apple’s war with Microsoft will commence in a couple of months when both iOS 6 and Windows 8 are released and products based on them flood the market.  Even if Apple does win 2012 or even 2013, it can expect Microsoft to try and try again to beat Apple’s products.  Tens of billions of dollars will be wage this war on both sides.

It’ll be a tug of war the likes we have never seen before in tech history.  The reason is simple.  Neither can Apple, Microsoft, or, for that matter, Google afford to lose.

Certainly, Google’s Android is not suddenly going to go away.  In fact, Apple and Microsoft will continue have to deal with Google, RIM, or anyone else.  It will certainly be dangerous for either them or anyone else to discount a comeback by any company.  We’ll certainly hear a lot from Google this fall with its next version of Android that will pit itself against iOS 6 and Windows 8.

Apple will come at its competitors hard with new innovative products year after year.  Microsoft knows it has to be patient and work deals.  And it has billions in the bank to drag this out.  The same goes for Google.

However, of the three, only Microsoft has the most to lose.  The momentum is in Apple and Google’s favors.  Let’s face it.  The PC market is growing but slowly and has at times shrunk due to global economic conditions.  Apple has the tablet market all it itself and there is proof that its cannibalizing laptop sales.  And what is one of Microsoft’s biggest money making?  Windows.


As for Windows Phone, Microsoft’s proxy, Nokia, has done well with the Lumia phones but, so far, they have not stopped the iPhone or Android.  At best, Windows Phone devices from Nokia has only managed to replaced Symbian sales.  Android devices has over 50% of the market with Apple trailing at around 30%.  Windows Phone devices are still truggle to get to 2%.

This is why the launch of Windows 8 is so critical for Microsoft.  We’ll know this late fall and winter if Windows 8 has the makings of a Vista or Windows 7.  If it’s another Vista debacle, Microsoft risks being made even more obsolete and may even give consumers more reason to look at the Macs as their next PC purchase.  However, if Windows 8 with its new Metro UI is a hit, Microsoft could hit two birds with one stone.  Windows 8  could gain traction in the tablet market, something that Android has failed to do.  And it could give consumers reasons to give Windows 8 phones a along hard look over the iPhone or Android devices.

Perhaps with Windows 8, Microsoft only has to show that it is willing to stay in the game and fight. Any traction, no matter how little in the tablet and smartphone market could be all the difference.  It would harkens back to the original release of the Xbox in 2001.  Against the Playstation and N64, it didn’t do much but slowly, it showed the market that Microsoft was offering something different.  A choice that was not previously available.  Today, the Xbox 360, released on 2005 is the best selling console.

While Microsoft has proven it is capable of developing decade long strategy to win a market, the Xbox is different from Windows.  It is Windows where it derives its profit and it’s the platform where other software like Office runs on.  So this is why Windows 8 cannot only do well in the shrinking PC market, it has to show that it can compete against the iPad in the tablet market and become a viable competitor to the iPhone, Androids, and Blackberries.

We don’t know who will be left standing at the end of the day.  It could be another decade before we can crown a winner.  Maybe there won’t be just one winner but two.  Or Apple, Google, and Microsoft could be locked in a stalemate with equal shares of the market and profit.  However, I know one this for sure:  we mobile warriors will greatly benefit from the innovation and rapid speed of hardware and software releases.  The market needs competition.  The more the better.

There is so much war to talk about.  Xbox, Playstation 3, Wii, and whatever follows will have to contend with Apple TV and Google TV.  Apple is looking to move Siri into your car while Microsoft is already there. And don't forget Google's self-driving car either.

Friday Movie Clip: The Expendables…Two!

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve put up any awesome Friday movie clips and while I’ve got a few more zombie-themed ones, I think I’ll go in a different direction.  No Pixar stuff this week either.  It’s from a movie that I didn’t think much of but, more and more, I think when I first saw it, I did it know.  Yup, that’s right.  I watched the move wrong.

The Expendables 2 Poster

I wanted great acting, smooth dialogue, and a Oscar caliber story.  But with a bunch of anging former action stars, all you’re gonna get are loud over the top explosions with our heroes winning seemingly impossible battles and bad guys who cannot hit anything at all with their guns.

That was The Expendables.  And now, I can’t wait for The Expendables 2 to come out.  This time around, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger will be joining the fight.  I saw the commercial for it during either the Stanley Cup Finals (which the LA Kings won its first ever championship despite East Coast bias of the crappy NBC Sports announcers) or during one of those NBA playoff games.

Now, now The Expendables 2 coming to a theater near you on August 17th.  I can’t wait!  And this time, I’m gonna watch it the right way.  My mind and any sense of realism checked at the door.

Enjoy and have a great weekend.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Impression of the Macbook Pro With Retina Display

My iPhone 4 died yesterday so I went to the Apple store hoping that they would replace it with an iPhone 4S as I’ve heard from various online reports.  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.  There was some kind of part that the Apple genius replaced quickly within a couple of minutes and I was sent on my way.  However, I did not leave without getting a good look at the new Retina Display Macbook Pro.

Wow, oh, wow, oh, wow…

On so many levels, the RDMBP is the perfect laptop for a majority of the mobile market.  From a design perspectively, Apple said this was the best Macbook they’ve designed.  I think they did a great job with the Macbook Air, particularly, my 11” Air so it was kind of hard to top but I think many fans will at the very least agree it’s on par with anything Apple has come out with.  The thinness of the RDMBP was apparent sitting next to a regular Macbook Pro.  And the lid with the screen was sickly thin (but in a good way).

I lifted the RBMBP a bit to gauge how hefty it felt.  It was sturdy to say the last at 4.6 lbs.  Definitely not a backbreaker and lighter than the older design MBP.  Because it look and feel bigger due to the 15” screen, my mind quickly played a trick on me into thinking it was heavier than the 13” MBP.  However, the 13” MBP weighs in at 4.5 lbs but the RDMBP weighs in a 4.46 lbs.

As for performance, there was a giant Scot who was looking at the RDMBP with me.  I bet he played rugby.  Anyway, apparently, he was a developer looking to upgrade from the same model 11” Air.  (To him, he thought it felt heavy.  But we quickly reminded ourselves that we were coming from the perspective of a 11” laptop.).  He found the performance to be satisfactory while the SSD was not as quickly as he said Apple promised.  Still, it was faster than the SSD in the Air.

Then he went into the preference and started playing with Apple’s display settings.  We went from the optimal Retina Display option to one that gave us more desktop real estate.  We used Adobe’s apps, Word and Excel, and Safari.  Bascially, we were looking for apps that were not yet optimized for the Retina Display.  Maybe we weren’t too discerning but the text and everything was absolutely gorgeous.

As zoomed in and out of websites and adjusted the resolutions and you got rendering quality as far as text goes that you’ll see on your iPhone 4 and 4S or the new iPad.

At the end of the day, I concluded the 11” Air that I have could sill carry me through another year.  And maybe in that time, Apple will update the Airs with their own Retina Display.  The giant Scot developer agreed but he was also interested in seeing what speed improvement Apple made to the newer Airs.  I had to go so I didn’t get to know what he found out.

The RDMBP does carry a small premium but it is well worth it.  The Macbook Pro with Retina Display is statement to the rest of the PC market, try to follow us and copy this if you dare.  Apple found a way to make it lighter and incorporate new hardware features without compromising performance.

Anyone looking for a Macbook Pro should definitely get the RDMBP.  If you don’t, you’ll be kicking yourself later on.  As for current Air folks, we can only hope that Apple will bring Retina Display in a year or so.

Make no mistake.  Even as Apple tries to move the consumer market towards the post-PC era dominated by its iPad, it has not neglected the “trucks”.  If anything, the new Macbook Pro with Retina Display serves as a model for where Apple wants trucks to go and is daring everyone else to follow.

Anandtech has done a great review/analysis of the Retina Display.  I recommend a read.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Where is Google’s Siri Response?

Competition is good for consumers in general.  And specific to the mobile market, the continuous battle between the various tech giants has been great for us mobile fans.  And with Apple’s Siri, it was an answer to Google’ voice commands.  And Siri, with its beta problems, is clearly setting the mark to hit.  So, I wonder where is Google’s , or Microsoft’s, response to Siri?

Yesterday, Apple unveiled iOS 6 with a marginally improved Siri.  I reckon it’ll still be a beta feature through the life of iOS 6 because I think there is just too many basic functions, that while works, require more improvements.  And this has offered Google an opportunity to upstage Apple, RIM, or Microsoft.

Perhaps, we’ll see Google’s Siri killer baked into Android 5 when Google releases it later this year.  Or it could operate as a standalone app being made available on competing mobile platforms.  Right now, we just don’t know yet.  In the past, there were rumblings of an app or project called Majel, named after Gene Roddenberry’s wife who was the voice of the starship USS Enterprise’s computer.

I think given the hyper-competitive atmosphere, Majel should prove to be ever bit as robust as Siri and likely offer a few tricks that Siri won’t be able to do as we know it now.

Personally, I like to see how Google’s take on a mobile assistant will differ from Siri.  On top of that, what kind of personality will it have.  Because, if you don’t already know, Siri definitely has a personality.  However, that is just one aspect.  There are plenty that Google can make Majel stand out from Siri.

Given my experience with voice search, Android already does an awesome job understand its users.  I reckon Majel will be just as good if not better.  And that could be better than what we know Siri to do now.  On top of that, Google has its own voice tech that could give Majel a more natural feel.  Perhaps Siri’s robotic, albeit femine voice, is a Pixaresque quirk, who would not want a digital assistant that sounds more natural?

From the WWDC keynote, the Siri demo was neat but I get the feeling that Apple could be holding stuff back for a bigger unveiling in the fall that could be used as a wow-factor to help it sell the next iPhone.

So, which Siri at this time seems like a low hanging fruit for Google’s Majel to meet, Apple has a habit of going to where the puck is going to be, and Google better do the same with Majel as well.  Siri in the fall will not be standing in the same spot today’s Siri is currently.

Verizon Shot Self In the Foot, Likely To Kill Post-Paid Market for Many

Mark this day.  Verizon’s ridiculously expensive shared plan is going to do in the wireless providers and give more boost to the prepaid market.  Why?  The stupid $30 a pop cost for regular phones and $40 a pop for smartphones.  And considering that many industry observers believe the rest of the big four would follow suit, it looks more like this is about the carriers trying to “meterize” data.

Remember, AT&T regretted going with the unlimited data plan and I’m sure its competitors at the time were like “what are you thinking”?

So, what happens now?  As a Verizon subscriber, I find this plan to be idiotic and once my  service is up, I’m likely to shop around.  So far, my family plan only has onewo smartphone and if I were to add more and be forced to switch over to Verizon’s new plan, I will definitely be leaving.  Grandfathered unlimited data plan be damned.  Obviously, I could go the unsubsidized route and keep my current plan.  What happens depends on what I find more appealing from Verizon’s competitors.

If anything, I can see myself switch a few of our lines to more affordable $45 Straight Talk plans which also offers unlimited talk, text, and data (again, unlimited data means 2 or 3 GB of high-speed use before metering starts).

I currently pay $175 to Verizon for 1400 minutes and texting for two lines plus one unlimited data plan.  If I switch over Verizon’s new scheme, I could end up paying $220.

Not very appealing.  And judging by the chatter in forums I've visited so far, no one is jumping all over this.  It's likely Verizon has taken the first step towards killing off the post-paid market and will drive tens of millions mobile warriors into the arms of Walmart and Target for cheaper and more sane pre-paid plans.

Monday, June 11, 2012

New Macbooks: New Features Like Retina Displays More Important Or Battery Life

Considering that this is a focus on social and mobile warriors, new Macbooks coming out of Cupertino (headquarter of Apple Inc) are always welcoming news and drives traffic for Mac and mobile blogs such as this one.  As of now, we are a bit over an hour away from Tim Cook kicking off Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco.

So, let's do a bit of speculation on what new Macbooks will have and what is more important to us mobile users.  Retina Display has been much rumored/speculated about in the blog world.  Even mainstream media, which now relies on us for much of their news, are beginning to pick up on this.  So, I ask you.  Between Retina Display and battery life, which is more important to you?

As the proud owner of an 11" Macbook Air, I am quite happy with the screen quality.  I have never made the mistake of comparing it with my iPhone 4 Retina Display nor my mom's 2012 iPad with its own Retina Display.   Sure, I would be amazed if Apple added Retina Display to the Macbook line and I would be excited to upgrade in a year or so, it would not make me do it right away.

However, as someone who likes to roam around a bit, I would like to see longer battery life in the Macbooks.  Currently, the 11" Air is rated at 5 hours while the 13" has 7 hours of battery life.  I would like that see the Macbook Airs increased their battery life by a two-hour increment while the regular Macbook line go well over 10 hours.

I think if Apple wants to blunt any kind of Windows 8 and ultrabook assault that is sure to come for the second half of 2012, battery life, more than anything, could be a differentiator in the battle for the PC dollars.

Newer features like Retina Displays, Thunderbolt, and better Intel chips might help but as more of us go mobile, it's going to be the battery life that could be the deciding factor.  

Friday, June 8, 2012

iOS 6: Will Apple Replace Youtube With Vimeo? How Should Google Respond?

What Apple has planned for iOS 6 will largely be known by Monday after the keynote.  New features, new apps, and, hopefully, some surprises as well.  For instance, there is too many in the media that has reported on Apple replace Google Maps with its own implementation for that not to be true.  Furthermore, Google’s hastily put-together media even to showcase its own future mapping offerings suggested this as well.

How about other Google apps?  The other one that quickly comes to mind is Google’s Youtube app.  Will that be replaced soon enough?  After all, Apple has replaced Youtube with Vimeo on the desktop iMovie app.  They haven’t done it yet on the iOS app but you can bet that’ll happen sooner rather than later.

I reckon it’s possible that Apple could displace Youtube with Vimeo starting with iOS 6 since that’ll also happen with an iMovie update once iOS 6 is released, likely this fall.

However, Youtube remains a popular app and destination for iOS users.  So, it’s possible Youtube’s popularity could save its spot on your iPhone or iPad.  Then again, it wouldn’t be all that difficult for Google to release a Youtube in the App Store for download by users who want to use.

Should Apple kick Youtube off iOS, don’t be surprised if Google not only release a Youtube but also an iOS movie capture all that allows users to directly upload videos to Youtube.

What do you think?  Google Maps disappearing an isolating case or will Apple do a wholesale cleansing of Google apps including Youtube?

Aside from Google releasing a Youtube app, what else could Google do.  Quite a bit actually.  Not having to deal with Apple's iOS directly could actually free up Google to do more app development for the iOS in ways that a contract agreement with Apple might have prevented.

Depending on the circumstances, Apple replacing Google Maps, maybe Youtube, could be a good thing for both companies.

WWDC: Confirmed - iOS 6 To Highlight

Cnet and macstories have pics showing iOS 6 banners being put up for Monday's keynote address by Apple's execs.
What will Apple unveiling?  There's a lot of chatters/rumors/speculations as to what Apple will offer iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users.  New features like Apple's own mapping app is often speculated about as is the possibility of a link up with Facebook, finally.

A couple of things to watch out for.  How will Apple address app screen resolutions if the iPhone gets a new screen size and resolutions?  At the same time, will there be features that Apple won't talk about that it might hold off until October when the new iPhone is expected?

Also, Tim Cook offered very little on Siri other than that there is much that it can do.  When will we hear more about that?  Monday or in October?

More at macstories and cnet.

Facebook Partnership With Microsoft & Nokia – If It Doesn’t Work

Source:  Wall Street Cheat

Ask Google how things are with Apple?  Well, the relationship between Apple and Google is like the US and USSR at the height of the Cold War at best.  Not long ago, the two were allies in a war against Microsoft.  Then mobile war with  iOS and Android trying to get ahead ruined everything.  Now, proxy wars are being waged and there are blogs that are dedicated to tracking them.

But this is about Facebook, the current reigning social media king.

You’d think that Google and Facebook’s competition would mean that Facebook and Apple could hook up.  That has not been the case.  In fact, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg likely fought over how they could work together and nothing came of it.

However, last week, there is signs of that but Facebook’s main patron has always been Microsoft.  Tim Cook complimented Facebook and asked for patience on what Apple and Facebook could be working on.  

And now, this post is suggesting a potential alliance between Microsoft and Nokia be added with one more:  Facebook.

It’s a dangerous spot for Facebook to say the least if it wants to work with Nokia and push Microsoft's Windows Phone and Windows 8 over those operated by its current mobile patrons.  There are a few reasons why Facebook and Nokia could be natural partners but there is only one reason why Facebook should not go for it:  Android and iOS with its 80-90% of the mobile market.

If both Apple and Google see Facebook as a threat (and they already probably do), you can bet that Cuperino and Mountain View would make it their mission to undercut anything Facebook wants to do on their mobile platforms.  Google will obviously continue to push Google+ and its apps while Apple could promote its relations with others like Twitter and even push ahead with other app alliances.  Both Apple and Google, while battling each other, would each wage their own individual wars against Facebook, Nokia, and Microsoft.

So, that’s what it is.  Facebook risks alienating what little foothold it’s got in mobile in exchange for Windows Phone with even less market-share and an uncertain future.

Monday, June 4, 2012

How the Console Market Can be Saved

Here’s a crazy idea that I got from reading this Toucharcade post that said Microsoft might release an app that will allow the Xbox to stream content to phones and tablets.  While that’s interesting and all, I think it is a small step towards what Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony should be doing with their console ecosystem and the first one to implement what I’m about to suggest could have something that will not only save their gaming business but possible dominate it.

The TA post suggests that Microsoft’s Xbox app could augment the game playing experience.  The example provided is one where playing Halo could allow content to be streamed to a tablet and display maps or other information pertinent to the game play.

However, with us all being on the go these days, even for some hard-core gamers, I think it would make sense to give users more content away from the living or bedroom.  This is why I suggest that if one of the big three console makers could allow users to play games on their tablets or smartphones, it would be a boom to their business.

And obviously, in order to enjoy this experience, the user would have to own a console to begin with.  It’s sort of like LiveOn but from within your living room.  Believe me when I tell you that Apple could well begin their gaming assault on the living with this kind of game play.

One of the features many mobile gamers want these days is the ability to pick up games playing from one device to another without having to start the game all over again when you move, say, from the smartphone to the tablet.

For Microsoft, Nintendo, or Sony, it would naturally make sense for them to extend console entertainment from the living room to mobile just as Apple and Google are converging on the living room from mobile.

Obviously, this is not going to be easy.  It'll take a lot of brave and forward thinking execs who are willing to risk job and reputation at Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony.  It will require someone who is willing throw away decades of conventional thinking and embrace such a radical change in how the console business operates and realign thousands of developers towards this new console enterprise.

I'll be honest.  I don't see Nintendo this doing.  Sony has shown some willingness with the Android device, Xperia Play.  After all, it isn't a traditional gaming device Sony puts out.  Of the three, I think I would put my money on Microsoft making this difficult but ultimately innovative choice.  I find that Microsoft does its best work when pushed up against the wall.  And mobile now has the Xbox maker painted into a corner.

Friday, June 1, 2012

It's Official (Almost): iOS To Have Facebook Integration

Source:  Techcrunch.

It's official.  Given what TC is saying and what Tim Cook said earlier this week at the D10 about Facebook.  Essentially, Tim had some kind words for Facebook and asked the audience, those present during his live interview and those of us watching from the Web, to "stay tuned" about collaboration between Apple and Facebook.

iPhone Screenshot 1

When Apple graced us with Twitter integration in iOS 5, it was not surprising that Facebook or Google+ were part of it.  After all, there was some falling out between Apple and Facebook, mostly between Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckie (boy billionaire who lost 40% or so if his net worth since Facebook's IPO), over Ping that left Ping pretty much dead from day one and Facebook looking very much weakened without any mobile strategy to speak of.  

As for Google+, well, just one word:  Android.  No way Google+ will find its way into iOS outside of official apps.  No way Google+ will be integrated into iOS or OS X the way Twitter, Facebook, RenRen, Weibo, and an assortment of other foreign social networks have been.  

As a mobile fan, I think Apple should integrate Google+ just like it has with Twitter.  Apple should want to level the playing field and perhaps even play one social network or microblogging apparatus against one another.  

Personally, I'm not thrilled about Facebook's integration.  I'm just not nuts about giving Zucker, has zucked over users on so many over privacy and his partners over financial dealings, stuff that I don't mind sharing with Twitter or on Path.  Needless to say, there could be a couple of hundred million iOS users from iPhones to iPads to iPod touches that don't mind having the walls of privacy tear down around them.  If so, good for them.

The question I have now is just how Apple intents to protect information shared by users with Facebook.  Apple has an unique opportunity here to provide iOS and OS X users a social platform that has much more privacy protections than the non-existent ones that Facebook gives its users.  In fact, your run of the mill Facebook users are pretty much naked as far as others being able to see their profile and personal information.  

Perhaps, the best way is for Apple to create a new social app that integrates Ping, Twitter, Facebook, Game Center, Messages and allow the users to choose how they can share and who they want to share with on a case-by-case basis.

For instance, I don't mind letting Facebook, Twitter, and other iOS users know that Facebook is overvalued by $30 billion but I don't want anyone but trusted contacts know that I'll be celebrating with other LA Kings fans, hopefully next week, when the Kings win the Stanley Cup.  

Apple will hold its keynote at the Worldwide Developer Conference on June 11th, Monday, that should shed some light over just how Facebook will be integrated and what social push Apple has planned, if anyone.

Note:  Regardless if whether Apple and Google are fight over Android and patents, Google+ is an entirely different deal that I hope Apple will seriously consider integration into iOS and OS X in the future.  Plenty of iPhone users embrace Google+ over Facebook, like myself.

Using Generative AI Has Given Me A New Appreciation For Siri and Excited For The Future of Apple Intelligence

I used generative AI this week to find the dimensions of a refrigerator based on the model number. I googled first because of muscle memory ...