Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mobile Means Be Careful What Video You Watch In Public

I like scary movies. And today, I got quite a treat as I ventured out of the house to do some chores on a cloudy day in LA. Cloudy cold day that was perfect for a hot coffee with a pastry and a scary movie on Netlfix. I don't like watching them alone at home.

Which leads me to this post. Be careful what you watch in public.




As you can see, nice day, right?

Well, with mobile now, we can take our whole lives with us. Work and entertainment. So I finished watching Quarantine from a couple of weeks ago and started on Quarantine 2, zombie movies where the characters in the plots were, you guessed it, quarantined. In the first movie, a news team followed a fire engine into an apartment in LA and ended up trapped inside by a military force tasked to keep a weaponized rabies that turned the infected into the walking dead. In the second part, it's folks on an airplane and airport terminal.



Don't knock it until you try it. Both are good movies that even friends who typically aren't into zombie stuff liked it.

The thing is that there is a lot of violent scenes and folks walking by as you watch it can get them wrong impression as they glance at what you're doing on your smartphone or tablet.

Oh, and there are scenes where zombies suddenly pop out at you and you instinctively flinched back. Yeah, happen to me a few times and this old couple at an outdoor seating area kinda gave me weird looks.

I am sure there are other movies or videos that likely are not appropriate in public even if you're not really sharing them with others. It's one of those things we have to get used to with more mobile users. People at the gym might wonder why I am laughing or smiling but when they glanced at my screen, they'd realized that I am watching the Daily Show or the New Girl. But if they happened to see the scene where the survivors tried to hang and choke a zombie, they probably wouldn't understand and consider me a sicko.


- Posted using Mobile

Apple Could Move To Increase Wages And Benefits For Chinese Workers - How Will Competitors React

It's inevitable that the wages and benefits for Chinese workers will increase.  We've already seen that happening in China for years.  For reasons that are obvious, the media has decided to make Apple their whipping boy in all this.  While they have largely ignored its competitors like HP, Dell, HTC, Sony, and others in the Android and Windows market, that include PCs, tablets, televisions, and smartphones, use some of the same factories Apple does.

What will happen to the cost of their products?  Well, the answer is simple:  it'll go up.  However, the true question is how this impact this margins of some of these companies that do not necessarily have the benefits of Apple's higher margin.

For Android device makers, it helps some what in that they don't have to pay Google for the cost of licensing Android.  But facing competition on all fronts, Android device makers could be forced to cut back in features to maintain margin.  Perhaps, this has to do with the announcements earlier in the year that HTC and Samsung will release less models.  It has nothing to do with confusing consumers.  Rather, it may have more to do with trying to maintain margins and profit if they have to deal with less models.

PC makers are already having a hard time of it with thin margins.  While most are still profitable and have tried to move into other markets like mobile and services, we might see a price increase at Best Buy once the manufacturing costs take place.

The thing is that the cost of each device will not go up by much.  A few dollars.  However, when a company that sells tens of millions of device like Apple, Samsung, HP, and Dell does, that adds up quickly.  HP who can sell forty to fifty million devices a quarter, not just PCs, a $5 increase means $150 to $200 million less quarter.  For Apple, that means $300 million profit less for the last Christmas quarter.  Between the two, Apple is likely better to weather this than HP.

Perhaps, what this means is that device makers and factories will need to figure out new ways to keep cost down if they don't wish to shift the cost to us harding working consumers.  

Now, you'd think the anti-Apple camps might very happy to have Tim Cook and Apple face the brunt of fire on the Chinese labor issues in the media. That might be true in the short-term.  However, Apple gets to negotiate the terms with labor groups and Foxconn and that could end up dictating the terms to its competitors.

If anything, other tech giants should be coming forward and begin to talk about these same labor issues they're facing and how they want to address it. Otherwise, they stand to lose the moral ground forever to Apple.  And in an increasing media-savy consumer market that demands fairness, Apple could come out of this looking very rosy while burdening its competitors with higher costs.

Friday Movie Clip: Ghost Recon

I've played Ghost Recon with friends years ago.  In case you're not away of this, Tom Clancy is a novelist who write a lot of spy and war novels.  The most famous is the Jack Ryan series and he has parleyed that into a publishing and gaming empire.  

One of the best gaming series in the Rainbow Six games.  Now, Ghost Recon is back - guerrilla style.  I doubt much of the high tech equipments are that high-tech.  I think it's a future our soldiers are headed towards.  What could be even better is if you play the game without the high tech toys and see how you fare.

Obviously, you can't do that until the game is released but wow, does the video look good.

Friday, March 30, 2012


This is not this Friday’s movie clip.  But I do want to share this before I post it later on this evening.

See, I can’t stand the movie Titanic.  3D or otherwise.  And worse, the annoying theme.  Well, I’m glad I’m not alone.  I have on my side the co-star in the movie, Kate Winslet.

Kate hates the freaking song too!  So much that it makes her wanna throw up!

Here’s the clip to prove it.  Enjoy!




Note:  Celebrity crap isn’t something we get into but in this case, it’s an exception.

Another note:  I was not a Winslet fan for obvious reasons but I am now!

Couple of Benchmarks,Speeds And App Sales, That Show Where We Are With Tablets


Here a couple of interesting benchmarks that provide a partial picture of where Google’s Android And Apple’s iDevices.  Obviously, we know that Android dominates the mobile handset market, both domestically and globally.  However, Apple leads in the only category that it has ever cared about: profits.


Now, we see just how fast the chips lowering the high-end devices are.  Nvidia’s Tegra 3 is poised to play a big role in the Android market, specifically, the tablet market.  It smokes the A5X chip that drives Apple’s 2012 iPad on certain benchmarks.  So, Apple lied when it say that its chip is faster than the competition?

Well, it appears that Apple took a liberal view of things and was referring only to the graphics element of the chip which is far better than its competitors.  Apple was probably forced to include such a powerful graphics chip because of the Retina Display, which has twice the pixels on the new iPad over last year’s iPad 2, in the new iPad.

I don’t know.  Let’s call that a tie for now.  What's important is the experience. And the Retina Display is awesome.


Another benchmark is money as in the revenue generated by its respective app stores.  According to Flurry, for every buck Apple generates, Amazon generates 90 cents while Google’s own app store makes 23 cents.  Good for Apple?  Always but by my own reckoning, it’s even better for Amazon.

After all, Apple sold about fifteen million iPads while Amazon likely sold only around 5 million Kindle Fires.  So it appears that each Fire owner spends  almost three times more on apps than the average iPad owner.  That’s impressive by any measure.


I have no reason to believe that Flurry’s information is skewed in anyway.  I can definitely see a lot of disbelief in the revenue figure.  We’ll see if we hear more about it.

All in all, competition is good for us mobile warriors.

Source:  AppleinsiderFlurry9to5Mac.

Blackberry Woes A Warning To Other Players

Blackberry's maker, Research In Motion, has been having a bad time of it lately and it got worse yesterday.  I don't want to get into the gory details from yesterday's financial call.  Only some personal observations about the market and what stagnation and arrogance can do to one individual or an empire, be it corporate or a political entity.

First, there's denial.  I was going to start with arrogance but they kind of go hand-in-hand at times.  Apple went through it in the 90s.  Microsoft, Palm, and countless others went through this during the 2000s with the music players.  And then as if that isn't enough, nearly all of the major mobile device makers were arrogantly in denial about the iPhone.

And I'm sure that while Apple has done quite well with the iPhone and other iOS devices, Steve Jobs likely was pretty arrogant when he thought Apple was years and years ahead of the competition.  I'm sure the folks at Cupertino were shocked when Google's Android so quickly overwhelmed the iPhone in the marketplace.  By some measure, Apple is still doing well where it counts:  it owns about 70% of the mobile profit.  

The worst is RIM.  It's palace enclosed CEOs simply didn't think competition could ever touch them based on the strength of the Blackberry brand.  They also believed their expertise in security for corporate emails and messaging would allow them to weather the tides of innovation happening just beyond their reach.

Hence, the only thing that I came away from the RIM earning call yesterday was that the company was open to being sold off.  Nothing else mattered.  The next Blackberry OS reminds of Web OS in a way.  It's fantastic for some and does some things differently from its competitions but it really offers nothing revolutionary in terms of experience.  And oh, no apps.  

Of course, this is a warning to the incumbent leaders in the wireless market.  Apple and Google.  However, they have an advantage the fallen have not.  They've seen what could happen if they sit on their asses and try to milk existing market for all its worth.  Someone will come along and knock them down.

Now, the question is can RIM make a comeback.  I've said above that RIM is open to offers of a takeover but let's supposed they want to try one more time to recapture its glory days.  Can it happen?  Apple did it, why not RIM?

I think it's possible.  Difficult but it can happen if innovative juice is still flowing there.  I don't know if it is.  Like a wounded beast, it'll have no choice to but strike out.  And because RIM could be desperate to try anything, that thing brought upon by primal desire to survive could be just what will end up disrupting the market.

So, everyone best stay on their toes.  Competition is alive and well in the mobile market regardless of the state RIM, Nokia, or HP is in.  And for us mobile warriors, competition is awesome!

Credit Cards Exposed; Millions of Numbers Taken By Hackers

Okay, this isn't about wireless, politics, or green tech.  Just a life post but a very important one.

A payment processor called Global Payments has detected a security breach in which 50K credit/debit card numbers were taken (CNET). Both MasterCard and Visa have warned potential customers.  While a serious situation, CNBC and MSNBC seems to think this is more serious than the fifty thousand credit card information taken since they used the word "millions".  

Not sure if it's millions of credit card numbers or millions in value. It's likely these two networks believe the situation to be bigger than what's being reported.  

Isn't it always like that?  Anyway, check your bank and credit card information just in case?  I've had it happen to me before so I'll be calling my credit card and banks after work today.  

Now, if I win the $600+ million in MegaMillion lottery today, I'd be a lot less worried about this breach.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Those Turned Away By Microsoft's Windows Phone Scam Should Be Considered Winners


Microsoft turned way more than a few potential Windows Phone users when they limit the number of people who wanted to participate in the Windows Phone challenge.  Essentially, Microsoft forfeited.  It's unfortunate that there are no records of how many.

I was one of them.  I called up the Century City store in California to participate in the challenge.  I asked how long the line would be but they said the line was about a twenty minutes.  Great, I said, I will be there between  6:30 and 7 PM. However, the store employee said that they're cut off time is 5:45pm.

Given the LA traffic and my obligations at work, there was no way I would have made it there in time.  However, the rules said that the challenge is available during store hours.

WTF, right?  I was so excited about getting my hands on a Lumia 710.  I was sure that I would eventually get Lumia 900  and Windows 8 a tablet later this year.

Redmond can forget about that.  And now the national media is wondering about the challenge with Forbes call it a scam.

Sorry, I thought I could be open about this but we'll be making Microsoft our bitch in all this - now and forever.  They care nothing about the customers as far as I'm concerned.  I truly thought given the drumming they've received in the mobile market by the likes of Google that they would have changed.

The publicity that they thought they are getting is slowly and surly turning into a nightmare.  We'll provide examples of how they've rigged to so that they can't lose but still manage to do so anyway.

Honestly, I thought Microsoft could provide viable competition to Android and the iPhone.  I'm beginning to think I'm wrong about this.  Outside of Nokia's Lumia, which is just a draw for aging Symbian users, it doesn't appear anyone is interested.

As far as I'm concerned, those of us denied the challenge won because Microsoft forfeited.  People have been right about picking Androids and iPhones.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tapose: This Is The Kinds Of Innovation The iPad Has Spawned

This is the kind of innovation that the iPad has spawned...you'll be hearing a lot about this app by tomorrow.



What's interesting is who helped fund this app.  Oh, the irony...

Source: Tapose, a lot more at 9to5Mac.

Harry Potter Books: Will Tim Cook Or J.R. Rowling Blink First?


As you know by now, Harry Potter books are now available via Pottermore and they can be purchased on an assortment of ebook stores except for the iBookstore.  The going guess is that Apple wants 30% of the cut but Hogwarts Publishing is saying no to Apple.

The question I have on this is who will cave first?  Or not at all?


Is it important that you get Harry Potter books in your iBooks app or are you going to be happy with reading them through Kindle or the Nook app?

Well, there is a way to get these books on your iPad or iPhone.  These books are in unprotected ePub format so you can still get them via other platforms and then upload them directly to iBooks.  Most folks are suggesting that you do it through iTunes but I wonder if you can do it simply by emailing them to yourself.

My guess is that a deal will be struck eventually.  I'm sure the folks working for Pottermore are just as much fans of Apple as Apple fans are of Harry Potter.  What I'm hoping is that once a deal is struck, the iOS books will be created with a richer format unlike the textbooks that Apple is pushing.

Imagine these books created with iBooks Author - special edition books that has rich media of video, music, and games that also offer much social media elements  Words and images would come alive right before your eyes.

You know, just like them books at Hogwarts.

Individual Mandate Requiring Everyone American To Buy Health Insurance Appears To Be In Trouble But Fight To Move To The States If Struck Down


The individual mandate in the healthcare reform act, supported by President Obama and the more liberal wing of the American political spectrum could be in trouble that could have a sweeping influence on the Presidential election in November.  By June, to those on the left and right, one of you will be a loser in this. However, it will merely be a black eye and the issue of universal healthcare won’t be going away.

Google's Nexus Tablet Should Go After The iPad, Not Just The Kindle


The iPad has tons of apps.  You know it, I know it, other folks know it, Google knows it, and Apple keeps reminding us about it.  Said and done.  But it's a condition that Google can change for Android tablet.  And I'm hoping when Google finally releases its Nexus tablets, not only will there be a 7" version but one close to the 10" version of the iPad.

The reason is simple.  It'll look like Google is shying away from fight Apple directly because has admitted defeat.  After all, the new tablet will be going up against the iPad 2 at $399 and the new iPad with the Retina Display at $499.  I'm guess Google will try to price everything at $399 if Google does come out with a 10" tablet.

There is more Google has to do.  More at On Google.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Google's Footprint In China Is Still Pretty Big, A More Open China Could Be Key To Its Future


Google had a spat with China by ending self-censorship that resulted in Google pulling out of China and returning in a sort of a roundabout manner.  Nevertheless, Google's footprint in China is still pretty big.  However, being a corporation  with a sole purpose of generating profit and returning value to its shareholder, Google is in a difficult position as far as search and information sharing goes.

China censors just about everything.  And while many have had issues with that, they've kept quiet about it out of fear of angering Beijing.  Others like Yahoo's Jerry Yang become collaborators.  Now, we got word that Apple maybe replace Google's search on iOS in favor of a native search solution, Baidu.

Where does this leave Google's future in China?


Currently, Google's Web presence in China allows for Gmail access with little else.  I've had friends in China asking me to stop sending them Youtube links because they simply cannot access them.  The home page in China is uninspiring, a very 1984-eqsue page that has a link to its Hong Kong search engine which is not censored.

Google has maintained a page here that gives users information about what services are accessible in which country including China. So far, the page shows only Youtube access has been blocked.  Meanwhile, it's likely search results are censored which is why Google directs users to the HK search portal with a link.

What makes this all the more interesting is the popularity of Baidu, which is heavily censored and the reason for Apple working with it.

Meanwhile Android's future is very secured in China.  It offers a cheaper alternative to Apple's iOS.  Only recently is Microsoft trying to break back into the mobile market.  However, because just about anyone can do what they want with Android, it's not likely Google will benefit even if Android eventually does take a lion-share of the handset market.

What could save Google's future is a power struggle happening now in Beijing as power change hand.  Recently, Bo Xilai, princeling with ties to the more dogmatic past was deposed as reformers trying to gain an upper hand.  These reformers are trying to move China towards a more open and democratic society.

For now, Google continues to chip away.

Apple's Tim Cook In China: Expect More Of These Visits By Execs

Tim Cook was spotted in China via a Weibo account (TechNode via Appleinsider).  Weibo is China's version of Twitter.  As I said before, China's growing mobile use will have influence on mobile development and directions app developers take in the future.  And the influence won't just be isolated to Apple.  Others like Google and Microsoft will be impacted as well.


While the linked posts focused on the iPhone, you have to know that there is more to it than that.  Apple recently added to its Mac OS a few social and video sharing features native to China, like Weibo



In the past, there were talks that a major hangup between Apple and China Mobile was largely due to CM's request to add apps and revenue sharing for apps which Steve Jobs has explicitly ruled out.  So, the direction of iOS development could be influenced further as Apple has staked its future in the Middle Kingdom.


How about other mobile players like Google and Microsoft.  Microsoft realized its large following could be key to getting back into the mobile game while forked versions of Android are pretty popular right now.  Google and Beijing has had a chilly relationship but Google has maintained a sizable research and development outpost in China.


For Apple, it finds its iOS following somewhat behind.  With the potential addition of China Mobile as a carrier in a year or so from now, Tim Cook and his team could be in a for a real challenge trying to meet demand with the next iPhone.



Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Movie: Walking Dead Game Trailer And Game Play


Walking Dead is one of the best drama on television right now.  Yes, yes.  Despite it's subject matter, it's a drama just like The X-Files was too even though it touched on the paranormal and extraterrestrial conspiracies.

And I'm very excited by the prospect of living in this world where I'm trying to not only stay alive but to also make sense of a zombie apocalypse.

And so, this is this Friday's movie clips.

The Trailer


The Game Play


More on the games at  NG4Toucharcade.

What Does The Deposed Dictators From The Arab Spring Have In Common With Some Businesses?

A little interesting thought I like to briefly share on the branding forum I attended on Wednesday night.  And the question asked was what Mubarak and Gadaffi both have in common with some businesses today?

Well, both have failed to recognize the power of social media or are failing to recognize its potentials.


First, social media use in the US and other parts of the free world is vastly different from those say in the Arab Spring countries. Today, almost everyone's on Twitter or Facebook - individuals, countries, and businesses. Initially, we all use Facebook and Twitter to stay connected and to stay on top of things.  Here, Europe, Asia or the Middle East.

But while our use of social media is evolving albeit slower now, the users in Egpyt and other countries began to recognize that social platforms are not merely to stay in touch with relatives overseas but also to find like minded people within their own countries.  Hence, when one individual tweets he hate his ruler, suddenly, others begin to say the same thing and, suddenly, everyone no longer think that their political opinions are unique and they are no longer alone.

Again, this is a short thought.  This goes for individuals like celebrities or businesses.  If you're not in Twitterverse or connecting with fans or customers on Google+, you're losing an opportunity to make an intimate connection that is value for your popularity, goods or services and may eventually mean how success one becomes.

That's for businesses.  For dictators, well, I'm sure Syria's Assad or any other despots will find out the hard way.  And turning off the Internet or erecting a great firewall ain't gonna work.

The Next Industry Apple Should Disrupt Is the Auto Market


I know that the buzz around the Internet is Apple’s own HDTV set.  Honestly, this has been around the corner for a couple of years now, it’s getting old.  The Apple-branded TV isn’t even out and I’m ready to move to what should come next from Cupertino.  And it should be auto industry.

As in iOS-powered vehicles.  I’m not particularly big on the iCar.  Not now.  But someday.  For now, I just like to see what Apple can do with iOS embedded in the dashboards.
Mercedes-benz
And in the past, I’ve already said that Siri is a platform, an artificial intelligence with voice input/output, that can catapult Apple into the next realm of mobile computing.

Can it happen?  Sure.  The real question is when?  More at On Apple.

Nokia N9 And ICS? Yup, Video Proves It's Running Android

The N-series, the N9 is the inspiration for Nokia's Windows Phone devices like the Lumia 800 and 900 series.  Well, for those folks who want to see Android running on Nokia hardware, there's hope.  The older N9 is showing in this video running ICS, the latest and greatest Android.

Included are also specs for the N9 and comparable Lumia 900.  I'm hoping for a dual-boot someday.

More at On Google.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Power of Brand Promise In Today’s Mobile and Social Centric Market


I was at a branding forum last night.  Just branding in general.  The talk was hosted by a branding expert, Sasha Strauss of Innovation Protocol, in Pasadena, California.  It was a very informative night and what I took away from it was what he said at the very beginning.  He mentioned “brand promise”.  And because in an era where mobile tech dominates the consumer market, Apple and Google were top mentions as we as social media forums like Facebook and Twitter.

Brand.  Mobile. Social.

It’s about access, connection, and instant gratification.  I’ll have more to say about this because I think we’re living a revolution that spans a whole generation.  If there is a podcast of the event, I’ll provide a link.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Apple Has To Improve FaceTime And More Its Communication Features More Social


FaceTime use in my family has been limited.  Clearly, Skype has won this battle.  However, the video chat or conferencing war will continue to go on.  With the 2012 iPad introduced and went on sale just this past weekend, Apple could have made FaceTime a more central element of mobile communication.  While that clearly did not happen, Apple can still move forward on this.

Here’s why I think that’ll happen.  Apple first introduced iChat on OS X years ago and while over time, it gained video chatting, it languished as Skype and others take over in terms of features and popularity.  And with all things Apple, apps can sit in developmental limbo as far as users are concerned.  Apple will give no clue if something is being worked on or allowed a slow painful death.

We finally got FaceTime on the iPad and iPhone last year and the Mac got it with Lion.  As a user, you can’t help but feel the app is a bit spartan and Apple is trying to figure out where to go from there.

Then this year, we got Messages with iOS 5 and Apple killed off iChat on the Mac in favor of OS X’s own Message app.

But as a user, you have to ask why Apple has two separate apps for communicate, by one text and another by video, when it clearly makes sense that Apple should have kept iChat and merge FaceTime and Message into it.  After all, Message still retains IM capability.

At the same time, Facetime is still an one-to-one enagement.  I would have liked to see it gain multi-user abilities.  For instance, I would have to be able to chat with my nephews and my mom all at the same time.  And clearly, there is a very good feature to have for enterprise.

Another feature I like FaceTime to have is maybe just the ability to chat via voice.  Call it VoiceTime.  Skype can do all three of the most common communications for mobile:  instant messages, voice, and video.

So, Apple has some work to do in this regard. FaceTime needs more features.  And Apple needs to make its communications tools more like Skype in terms of features and integration. Furthermore, Apple should make FaceTime and Message more open for social media integration.  And by social, I mean allow apps access to voice chat or messaging.

Imagine if you’re editing a doc or blowing away aliens, you can initate or answer calls or messages without having to leave whatever you’re doing.

Verizon's New Family Data Plans Set To Roll; New Take on Family Feud Coming

It looks like Phone Arena has a screen shot of Verizon's upcoming family data plan.  The pic depicts a planner so that the subscribers can decide just how much data they need.  Sorry, but I reckon this is the start of a new "family feud" once the new data plans go into effect.


Personally, I'll never be able to share.  I'm a data hog and I freely admit it.  I think it's for some families.  Definitely not mine.  Can you imagine your little ones taking all the data playing games and videos?  Yeah, not good for the pocketbook.  Maybe the grandparents won't use their data allotment.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Can Apple's Razors One Day Become Blades?

Apple has been making some curious moves in the last year and things have rapidly accelerated in the last six months. And we are getting indications that Apple's whole mobile plan as well as the complete ecosystem is only far from complete and has plenty of room to expand.

And it got me thinking that perhaps, in using the razor and blade analogy, we could one day sees Apple switch gears and sell its iOS hardwares as the razor while the whole iTunes ecosystem and whatever else market Apple expands into will become the blades, giving Apple growth that is far beyond what Wall Street expects.

Any taker on where I am going with this?


- Posted using BlogPress

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Mobile Chip Makers, You're Getting Quad-Core Competition From China


Watching out, Intel.  Samsung, better get those quad-core chips in the S III out ASAP.  Qualcomm, your quad-core chips is going to get some competition soon.

I'll admit this as much.  I don't know much about Huawei, a Chinese handset maker set to taking on the big bad boys in the mobile market.  And from the looks of things, they're going about it in a bit way and if this quad-core chip is any indication, we are looking at the incumbent handset chipmakers facing additional challenge in the market.


According this this benchmark chart, it has the mojo to compete with the top tier chips.  However, we have to take these things with a huge scoop of salt.  On top of that, many new quad-core chips from Qualcomm, Samsung, and Apple have yet to make their powers known.

Still, it doesn't matter.  This Chinese effort to get into the mobile chip business could really shake things up.  I love competition, especially in the mobile market.

A cursory look at the chart (there is another one on the original AC post), the Huawei chip should find a market in the mid-range market, possibly the high-end home-grown devices.  It blows away some of last year's devices and seems to do okay against newer but dual-core chips.  Once, newer chips from the incumbent chipmakers as well as Intel join the 4-core race as well as some fast dual-core options from Apple and Qualcomm, it'll be interesting to see if Huawei's chip has any appeal outside of its own use.

This news came out of the left field for me.  I had not expected anything this awesome to come out of China.  Still, benchmarks are one thing.  It'll be interesting to see if developers make use of its power.

And more importantly, what are its power uses?  This is a mobile chip after all.  Can it stand on its own and give mobile warriors the juice we need to stay away from the power outlets?

Source:  Android Community.

2012 iPad: Woz Waits In Line Like Everyone Else, Shares Thoughts on Apple's Future

I like that Steve Wozniak has to wait in line just like the rest of us.  I'm sure Apple can make an exception and ship Steve one every year but this is not how Woz would have preferred it.  He enjoys waiting outside with everyone else.

And I think all the lucky folks who happen to have in the same line also enjoyed his presence.




Also, head over to What's Trending for the original post for more details about Woz's thoughts on the new iPad and Apple's future.

2012 iPad: Wow, Oh, Wow...Oh, Wow...

How often do you buy a car?  Until the lease runs out for some people.  A couple of years after the loan is paid off.  Or if you're like me, 10+ years or until it starts to fall apart.  For laptops, they're closer to 3 to 4 years.  How about the iPad?

The reason I'm asking is because I think people are beginning to settle in on a biannual upgrade schedule.  Or at least, I think they ought to be because the 2012 iPad is just rocking fast, awesome, and magical.  And I wanted to say that you should not take my word for it but, in the case, you should.  In this case, I'm not exaggerating.  I don't at all just because I'm an Apple (more importantly) a mobile fan.

I've had the new iPad for 24 hours now and its use has been limited.  A majority of the time, I've spend it doing just one thing:  read.  Reading Instapaper, long posts on the Web, and iBooks and Kindle apps.  It's just that amazing.

The iPad is about the screen.  Now, don't get me wrong, it's fast.  It's got new features like dictations and a much improved rear camera compared to the iPad 2, but it's about the gorgeous screen.  I have the original iPad as well as the iPad 2 and there was hardly any major screen difference between the two.  Now, the new iPad with its Retina Display simply blows them away with its crispness.

Now, as a mobile buff, I have to admit one thing.  I love my original iPad and after some time with the new one, I'm giving it to my mom who is a great woman and I want her to have the best.  Settling back on the iPad, I'm gonna miss the screen but, in terms of productivity, I'm going to miss the new features.

I'll get more into how the new iPad fits into our workflow for 2012 and beyond.  It isn't just one feature in the new iPad that is a game changer.  Rather, it's the well-designed combination of the improvements Apple made to the new iPad that will vastly improved the user experience.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Google And Others Should Face Criminal Prosecution Hacking Safari Privacy Violations




Before I start, I am both an Apple and Google fan.  I love Apple’s seamless integration and I purposefully live within its walled garden.  At the same time, I love the everywhereness of Google’s Android OS and apps.  And I think Google has done great things to liberate information and made our lives so much better.

Now, I get to the subject matter.

Today, we learn that Google is facing additional attention from the US and EU regulatory bodies over their hacking of the Safari privacy issue.  Essentially, Google hacked into a vulnerability that Apple failed to plug.  Yes, yes, Apple screwed up and allowed this vulnerability to exist in the first place.  Shame on them.  I’ve always been annoyed with Apple’s slowness to get these things done.  However, Google did use this security hole and essentially hacked into Safari that allows them to install tracking cookies.

Now, Google isn’t the only one.  Other ad companies have been known to have done the same thing.  And that, the EU as well as the US government should bring criminal charges against them.

Consider this.  If you or I did this, we’d be in a lot of trouble and we likely would have to lawyer up by now.  Civil suits would the be least of our problems.  I can see New York’s attorney general bring the hammer down on us.  Just because it’s Google or other corporate entities, not individuals like you or me, should not mean they get treated differently under the law.  As individuals, we’d be known as hackers, and not in a glorified manner.

There are individuals that operate these companies and made the conscious decision to use a known vulnerability to hack into web browsers and violate user privacy and their wishes that they not be tracked.

Google is already facing a whole host of privacy probes.  So, I don’t get their stupidity in this instance.  And I do wish that Google and others are bought in front of a court and made to answer.

As I said at the top of the post, I’m both an Apple and Google fan.  As an Android user, I’ve got no issues with Google knowing what they know about me.  As an iOS user, what I don’t want to share with Google, I don’t.  And they forced open that door that I wanted closed.

So, that’s why I think Google should not eventually face civil judgments on this but criminal ones as well.  And yes, if Apple or anyone else pull this type of shenanigan, they should face the same prosecution as well.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Can a 4” or Greater Display On the iPhone With The Same Resolution Still Be Called Retina Display?


Speculation time on the next “new” iPhone (AKA iPhone 5). Can a 4” or slightly greater display on the 2012 iPhone slated for later this fall still be called a Retina Display if it has the same 960x640 resolution as that of the iPhone 4S?

Sure, but only if you hold it further away from you.  At least that is what Apple told us about the Retina display on new 2012 iPad with its 2048x1536 resolution.  See, the pixel density for the iPad 2’s 9.7” screen is only at 264ppi to the iPhone 4 and 4S’ 326ppi at 3.5”, it’s still considered a Retina Display because a typical iPad user operate the tablet at a distance further away than he or she would with an iPhone.

So, a 4” or slighter larger than 4” display for a potential new iPhone could still be called a Retina Display without increasing the resolution or maintaining the pixel density  if it’s is held sufficiently further way than users would now with the 3.5” Retina Display.  And it could happen because everything on the screen would appear larger.

Of course, I like Apple to find a way to increase the resolution or maintain the 326ppi of the current iPhone 4S display.  Trust me, it’s that good and being able to read without being distracted by pixilated text as on the displays of other mobile devices is nothing short of magical.

Apple Shareholders, One In Particular, Needs A Reality Check, Apple Needs To Be More Green Like Google


First, let me say that I am a conservative on many issues, most fiscal.  Some issues more important to me than others.  And that my conservatism doesn’t extend to trying to get others to go along with me.  I have my values, I try to live by them.  So, it befuddles me when these self-proclaimed conservatives attack others in very arrogant manners.  So yeah, I can see just how conservatives as just as arrogant as liberals.  

What got me going on this topic is this post from a likely conservative Apple shareholder pissed off about Apple’s green plans for the company and attacked the seemingly liberal policies.  Here’s the thing, the liberals in charge over at Cupertino has made Apple the most valuable company in the world.  As a conservative, you want Apple to succeed and to keep on doing what they are doing.  It’s capitalism, right?   So, when I read this article attacking the liberals over at Apple for making decisions that is good for the company, I just don’t get why.

The claim in the article that $60 million in green effort by Apple, which may be a PR effort, it does lead the way that an American company should.  Energy independence.  And if the $44 million leads to another $10 billion in sales for Apple because of the good PR, how is that bad?

And what of Google?  Google actually has a green fund that helps with green tech development.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s Google that has been leading the green corporate effort. Do you hear any of their shareholders bitching about it?

If anything, American companies needs to look at what Google is doing when it comes to green and conservation tech and follow their example.  It’s good for the country and it’s good for the companies.  If anything, I would say that Apple hasn’t done enough.

Maybe it’s not the liberals over at Apple that are arrogant but it’s a minority of Apple shareholders need to check their egos.

Source:  MacDailyNews.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Why the New iPad Has No Siri and Why Older iOS Hardware Have No Dictation

I am using DragonDictate on the iPhone right now. That new iPad, introduce on March 7, will have its own needed dictation function. There are a couple issues we want to examine. One is why does the new iPad not have Siri. The other issue is why dictation function not extended to other iPhones and iOS devices.

My iPhone is the CDMA iPhone for Verizon. Using Dragon dictate, it works perfectly well. As a matter of DragonDictate seems to work the same way Siri's dictation works by sending information to Apple's servers to process the voice information. From what I can see, both Siri dictation and Dragon Dictate work in the same manner.

Therefore I cannot understand why the new iPad does not have full Siri, and why older iOS devices like the iPhone 4 cannot have needed dictation.

One possible explanation is that Siri simply is not ready yet. Siri was a beta function when it was first introduced during the iPhone 4S event last October. The status of Siri has not changed. I am sure by now that Apple has enough information to further improve Siri without the addition of new devices like the iPad. The addition of dictation on the iPad could only further improve the functionality of voice recognition.

However, adding Siri to the new iPad at this time will not help increase Siri's intelligence. iPhone users and iPad users may use Siri in different manners. For the most part, Siri is used to request information, which many iPhone users already do. Such improvements will eventually trickle down to the iPad when Apple is ready to put Siri on other iOS devices or even the Mac.

As for why the iPhone 4, the original iPad, and the iPad 2 do not have the ability to dictate is something I do not understand. As I said, DragonDictate works fine on both iPhone 4 and the iPad. The logical side of me believes that Apple simply do not have to capacity at this time. The more cynical part of me believes that Apple simply wants to sell more hardware.

For the moment, I am going to go with the cynical side of me. Consider this. The new iPad has the Retina display, LTE, and faster chip. Got a long enough to get the current tablet buyers to buy a new iPad. And when next year's iPad comes out with Siri, it will spark another wave of upgrades and attract new buyers.

So there you have it. Those are my speculations on Siri and dictation.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, March 9, 2012

Today"s $399 iPad 2 May Be Next Year's $299 iPad 2

The iPad 2 coming in at $399 after the introduction of this year's new iPad with it's Retina Display and awesome new features came as no surprise.  At this point, the $399 iPad 2 is going to have a huge impact on the sales of tablets priced between $299 and $399.  Unless you're stuck in time, $100 isn't that big of a deal as it was even when the original iPad came out in 2010 or even ten years ago.  

Now, consider this.  Suppose Apple keeps the iPad 2 around for another year next year's 2013 iPad comes out and the current iPad goes down to the $399 price now occupy by the iPad 2.  that could mean the iPad 2 could potentially drop as to as low as $299.  

Don't think it'll happen. The iPhone 3GS has been around since 2009 and continues to be a hot seller, this is a full two years after two new iPhones has been on the market.  So, there is precedent for Apple to keep products around just to capture lost sales while still maintaining its profit margin.

The iPhone 3GS has been around since 2009, even after two iPhone update cycles.  And it remains a popular device that allowed Apple's iPhones to rout other devices on AT&T in terms of smartphone sales.  

Even compared to the 2012 iPad, the iPad 2 is no slouch.  Seriously, dominated the last Christmas quarter even with Amazon's Kindle Fire trying to put a dent in Apple's tablet dominance to no avail.  On top of that, there is evidence that the iPad 2 is routing the Fire this quarter as  companies like Texas Instruments that sell components that goes into the Fire warned on their finances.  

Another thing.  Apple may keep the iPad 2 around for just the schools and dominate education.  Wouldn't that be something.  Apple's margins for a $299 could be protected by profits from textbook and accessory sales.  

What do you think? Makes a lot of sense, me thinks.

Proof AT&T Sucks - VZW To Provide Free Wireless Tethering While Ma Bell Is Silent

This proves it. AT&T sucks big time while VZW is using this opportunity to stick it to them.



When Apple unveiled the latest iPad on Wednesday, there was a scramble for info on the LTE data plan. As things began to be sorted out, we learned that AT$T is unsure about wireless data tethering while Verizon is stepping up and offering it for free as a part of your data plan.

I am sure VZW will extend this offer to other tablet users like those with Android in the coming weeks as well.

It doesn't make my issues with the evil wireless providers any batter as far as VZW goes but it does make them less evil for now than AT$T.


- Posted using BlogPress

Zynga Adds Huge Partners For Its Gaming Platform; Google Looking To Muscle In

Zynga's social gaming platform is a very interesting take and it marks the ability for the Z to break away from its reliance on Facebook for gamers.  And while Zynga's new social gaming platform (SGP) has a good future, I wonder if it's creating more of a Hulu-like environment for gamers and developers?

It just added three new studios, Konami, being one of the biggest and baddest in the video game arena.  And likely, we'll see Z announce more partners in the future.  And I'm liking this quite a bit, much more than Hulu's ad-based and subscription business model.

As we know from mobile gaming on Apple's iPhone and iPad and Google's Android, in-app purchases has become very popular and is one of the preferred business models.  This is a recurring revenue that is just right for picking from developers.

I'm no stock guy but if I had some money that I don't need, I would consider buy Zynga stocks because of this huge potential.  And as this SGP grows, Z can leverage its power over Facebook.  

Perhaps, this is why we are beginning to hear Google talk more about their own gaming platform.  Interesting days ahead in mobile and social gaming.

Source: Pocketgamer.

eBay iPad Trade-In Offer


For those of you who are still on the first-gen iPad like I am and are looking to upgrade, a quick note here.  eBay is offer a trade-in for cash. Not a bad deal if you're looking to upgrade to the 2012 iPad.


As you can see, for my 32 GB iPad, I'm able to get $215.  Not a bad value.  Not great either.  At the end of the day, I'm still very fond of my iPad so I think I'll be keeping it.  I don't know if I'll be upgrading to the 2012 iPad yet.  I might after I've seen the awesome Retina Display and feel the speed of Apple's latest magical tablet.

But if you're up for it, eBay is willing to pay you for your older gear.

Note:  Even if I decide to get the new iPad, I'm not letting this one go.  It's like the original Mac, an antique.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Battery That Is The New iPad - Retina Display Reason For Bigger Power Draw

The 2012 iPad has 42.5-watt battery compared to the iPad 2's battery coming in at a mere 25-watt.  And yet, the new iPad manages only to meet the battery life of the iPad 2 - coming on at 10 hours of use on WiFi and the same cellular use at around 9 hours.  The main difference here is the vastly improved Retina Display on the 2012 iPad versus the iPad 2.

The question is just how much of a big deal is LTE use for the new iPad versus the 3G in the iPad 2?  With both coming in at 9-hours, you have to assume the power consumption are the same.  And the only other factor that might impact the extra power use would be the new display.

And you have to marvel at Apple's engineering for managing to fit such a bigger battery inside the 2012 iPad.  You can almost correctly say that the iPad is a battery that happens to have a dense multi-touch screen that runs iOS.

A further thought along this line is that the Retina Display is not very efficient.  We already know the LTE chip inside the iPad draws as much power as the 3G chip inside the iPad 2, hence, the display probably could use a little more work.  More likely, we'll see some kind of improvement with the 2013 iPad's display.

Once Apple's engineers manage to smooth out the power issue of the 2013 display, we should see Apple continue its march towards a thinner iPad along with improved battery life.

Apple's Own Apps Drive Competition and Raises Experience Bar

As I begin to process the iPad media event yesterday, March 7th, it is really hard to begin until we actually have the new iPad in hand and be able to truly get a feel for what the Retina Display and speed it offers.  But there are some things that we might be able to talk about with authority.  That's the iLife and iWork apps that Apple made available.  The newest one is iPhoto.

And I'm still in the process of getting to know the app better.  I like iMovie and I am sure iPhoto will not disappoint.   At the same time, I wonder why is Apple competing with other text editing, office suite, and movie/photo editor apps in the app store.  That cannot be a good thing right?

Well, it make me thing about Google with the Nexus phones and, soon, tablets.  If we take Google's words at its face value, which is harder and harder to do these days giving their privacy changes, the Nexus hardware serves as a template for how Android devices should be.  

And I reckon Apple is out to make the best iOS and Mac apps that it can in order to raise the bar for other developers.  One supporting evidence in this regard is that iPhoto is not everything Photoshop is.  It's not even everything Photoshop Elements or the newly released Photoshop Touch is.  But it offers a new UI and experience that challenges other developers to step up their game.  

The same is true of Pages and Numbers.  It's not everything Microsoft's Office is but it's easy to use and has gained a sizable market.  And whether its for the iOS or Mac, iWorks has managed to get others, possible Microsoft as well, to innovate with their apps.  

With the just released iPad, Apple not only upped the ante on the hardware but also raised the possibilities that exists from an experience standpoint for everyone, specifically the developers.  Knowing that Apple is also well represented in the app store keeps the competition well and alive.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Apple's New Catalog Section, Catalogs, IS Really An E-Commerce Push?


In a while, we’ll know what Apple will unveil.  Okay, we kinda already know.  The iPad 3.  Or the iPad HD.  Or judging by this morning’s rumors, maybe Apple might be unveiling the iPad touch.  What I want to speculate about now is the changes Apple made to the App Store before today’s unveiling.  There is a whole new catalog section called “catalogs”.  Why?  Is Apple about to get into more e-commerce?

The most logical reason is that Apple want to separate them from the other apps.  So be it.  But with Apple, it might not be so simple.  Think about it.  By offering a catalog section, it makes very sense in and of itself just to separate apps that showcase goods.  It isn’t as if they were getting in the way of app discovery so much.  

Apple has often bragged about just how many credit cards it has access to via its iTunes and iOS customers.  Apple could be unleashing its marketing prowess and offering its customers easy access to millions of products with a simple click or two.  

More than iOS devices or Macs sales and if I’m right, this is what will make Apple’s capitalization head towards $1 trillion.

And again, if I'm right, Amazon's screwed.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Future Mobile Development Likely To Have Chinese Influence

Apple recognizes the importance of the Chinese market to its mobile and computing focuses.  Mac sales are doing pretty well, growing faster than the US and Europe while mini-riots break out for iOS launches. Oh, let's not forget about the gray market for Apple goods because Chinese launches lag US and EU launches by months.

So, when Apple release the Mountain Lion beta, few were surprised that Apple integrated some popular social network and email services popular in China and most agree it makes a lot of sense for Apple to make it easier for the Chinese mobile warriors to integrate their contacts, calendars, and social needs into their iOS devices and Macs.  

As a Weibo user (because I'm trying to learn Chinese), this is perfect.  At this time, I'm unable to figure out how to access Weibo but if you're a fluent Chinese speaker and uses this Chinese version of Twitter, you'd find it very useful.  I know I would, again, if I can figure out how to access it from my US version of Mountain Lion.  


I've no doubt that iOS 6 will bring similar integration for the same Chinese social services.  

And this is likely just the beginning as Apple begins to show the fruits of its work to make its products even more appealing to the Chinese market.  And it's likely that others like Microsoft will offer Chinese specific features.  We know that Renren, a Facebook clone, will headline Windows 8. 

Essentially, we are seeing the beginning of developments for the average Chinese mobile warrior.  And going forward, not only will such developments accelerate, it's like future OS developments, specially in the mobile area, will be influenced by the Chinese market.  

As a mobile fan, I am excited by the possibilities, especially if it's develop by Apple's focus on ease of use and on what "just works".  

Note:  I'm unable to find some sharing options like Weibo and Vimeo-like video sites.  I hope it's just the fact that Mountain Lion is in beta and that once the final version ships, those options will be right there along side Twitter, Vimeo, and others.  

Another Note:  It's really weird that video sharing via Youtube isn't an option while Google account integration is still there.  However, Youtube sharing via iMovie is still there.  Perhaps, by signing into a Google account, there is no need for a separate Youtube login.  Boy, this war between Apple and Google is really making OS development very interesting.

3DS Sales Show Still A Market For Dedicated Mobile Gaming Machine - But Pie Shrinking For Nintendo And Sony


News come that Nintendo managed to sell 4.5 million 3DS in the US alone.  While the global 3DS sales figure is more elusive, let’s say closer to 20 million units (I made this up – 10 million or so for Asia and another 5 million for EU and the rest of the world), it’s a viable platform.  Perhaps, we might even seen the platform go across and move closer to 75 to 100 million in five years or so.  And given the still vast size of dedicated mobile gaming from the likes of Nintendo and Sony, the question for gaming developers is where to invest your limited resources.




Obviously, the iPhone, iPad, and Android devices have wrecked havoc on the dedicated mobile gaming market and mobile gaming in general will shift towards smartphones and tablets.  In just three years, the collective gaming prowess of iOS and Android have taken over the gaming revenue and it’ll only get worse over time.  Mobile gaming is estimated to take 58% of all revenue while incumbent players like Nintendo and Sony will collectively take 42%.  It was only in 2009, the dual powerhouses had 70% of the market.  2012 Will like yield a similar trend (Phandroid).


It’s obvious that if you’re a small developer, you go which ever way the wind blows.  What if you’re a developing and publishing powerhouse?  You might want to still support the dedicated Nintendo and/or Sony mobile machines but at what point do you make Apple and Google devices a priority – giving smartphone gamers the same level of game play and depth that DS, PSP, and 3DS players are used to?

So far, Vita sales are par at best and it took a big price cut from Nintendo to get the 3DS to where it is today.  It begs the question at what point does Nintendo and Sony begin to think if their development dollars should really be spent on hardware or, perhaps, take things into a whole new direction.

For instance, Sony layered on top of Android - the result, the Xperia Play.  Sony has found some success and is likely to move forward with future plans.  Nintendo may need to consider similar moves if it wishes to remain a dominant hardware player.  Or perhaps, Nintendo may consider a move along the line of former foe, Sega, and focus exclusively on gaming development only.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Google's $200 Tablet Means It's More About Going After Kindle


There's a rumor going about that Google is partnering up with Asus to produce a $200 tablet.  Let me get to the point of such a device:  it's about Amazon's Kindle Fire, not the iPad.  For now, I consider this rumor to be delicious from a fanboy perspective but nothing more and I'll explain why that is.

If you don't already know, meet the MeMo 370T from Asus.  Let's call it the MeMo without the number suffix.  It's a 7" with 1280x800 resolution Android tablet running Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) on a Tegra 3 quad-core ship.

Concidence: The Winner of the Apple's 25 Billionth Download Is...

The winner of the 25 billionth app downloader from the App Store is Chunli Fu of China.  Rumor is that he downloaded Where's My Water?, which he didn't pay for since it was the free version.  Nevertheless, I want to congratulate the dude for it.  He deserves it.  Fu won $10,000 as well as a lot of recognition.


Now, comes the part that I wonder if this is just too much of a coincidence that with China being such an important market and opportunity, an iOS winner from China wins this prize.  I mean, seriously, you cannot ask for a better PR campaign than this.  It's likely that with all things Apple, this is getting a lot of positive press.

On top of that, there is the iPad trademark battle with Proview.  I'm not sure whether if Apple or Proview has a more positive image in China.  I read a post that many Chinese on Weibo believe Proview is attempting to extort money from a cash rich company like Apple.  So I reckon Fu as winner of the $10,000 prize is a very positive thing.  

Look, I have to point this out.  I'm not saying that Apple fixed it so that the winner will come from China.  However, Apple could not have asked for a better winner than Mr. Fu.

Source:  AFP.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Total Users Versus Active Users - Social Networks Could Be Losing Steam

We know that social networks like Facebook to Google+ to Foursquare love to boast their number of citizens (users). It sounds great and in Facebook's case, it helps to let the financial community know that they've got about 700 million users as they go IPO. There are also reports that Google+ is like a ghost town and only Googlers are the ones still using it after the initial interests from the media and the curious. Then there is location-based social networks like Foursquare. Personally, I can say that the number active users among my friends list has dropped by 2/3. So, what exactly is going on here?

And while Facebook claims to have hundreds of millions of daily users, not quite near the 700 million users that they have, many of them are what I called "lurkers". They're people who sign up for social networks or other services but rarely participate in general or as the network as it is mean to be.

After all, according to Wikipedia on lurkers, lurkers account for 90% of online groups. This data was collected in 2000. With some benefit of the doubt, maybe today's social networks have the ability to encourage more participation but it is doubtful there is more than a marginal improvement from 2000.

Now, it would appear that my numbers, say from Foursquare, is much better than the average Joe social network users. I have to come clean and note that I have an advantage over most other users. Looking through my list of friends, more than 50% of my friends on Foursquare work in the tech field - many for companies with social components like entertainment, gaming, and music or video.

For Facebook, one third of my friends on Facebook work in the tech or cloud industry and they account for a vast majority of status updates. And on Google+, I don't have an estimate but Google+ seems to be turning into Twitter without the 140 character limits. Going through the circles, the cirle with just my personal friends last updated on January 31. As for my other circles, those with reasons to share links, pics like art, or writings, they are constantly being updated. For about three weeks, I did not log into my Google+ account due to information overload. Hundreds of links streaming by, there is only so much I can absorb.

It's likely most users have similar experiences online. I do my share of updates, a lot through Twitter, but here isn't a whole lot for me to share either. I have vowed to take more pics and share them but that is as far as I am willing to go.

I am afraid that even as the momentum of social networks allow for them to increase the number of users, participation among users is likely to drop or 9 out of 10 new users will turn out to be lurkers. Maybe that might be fine for selling ads, it is doubtful that lurkers are clicking through the ads.

There is time for social networks to find a way to retain eyeballs. We are still the infancy state of social network growth but time is running out. Violating privacy is not going to help. Is through new innovative designs, features, and incentives that will keep us coming back.

I continue to use Foursquare to keep track of cool places I go and only regularly check in at Souplantations of the discounts. But as soon as I find another way to track myself without having to share it with Foursquare, I doubt I'll use it much. Personally, I am not much of a lurker.

 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Microsoft Casts Stones At Android And iPhone Without Realizing Its House Doesn't Even Have Walls

Meet Terry Myerson, head of Windows Phone at Microsoft, needs to talk less and work more on giving us clear answers about the future of WP phones, upgrades, and who can or cannot use Windows Phone 8. See, WP7 and WP8 are entirely different OSes and current WP7 phones are unlikely to ever see WP8.

At the Mobile World Congress, Mr. Myerson bashed both Apple's iPhone and Andoid for having shoddy updates. For one thing, he accused Apple of making older iPhones slower thrrough new iOS versions so users will be forced to buy new iPhones. Meanwhile, he said Android devices hardly ever get upgrades.

I can't say that Android devices hardly get upgrades. They're slow in coming and only one or too units that I can think of, the original Samsung Galaxy S, isn't slated for Android 4, Ice Cream Sandwich, but that matter still has not been quite settled yet.

As for Apple purposefully making older iPhones slower through updates, I've often often about that. As a matter of fact, I think all software companies do that. The biggest culprit is Microsoft itself. In fact, as a Windows user for since Windows 3, I can attest to the fact that it became an tradition to wonder if new versions, including updates, makes systems slower on purpose

And I am not just talking about going form Windows 98 to Windows XP. I am referring to even simple updates. I am also referring debacles like Vista. If anything, Vista was about getting users to upgrade. Buying new PCs is means also new Windows sales.

At least, iPhones are upgradeable for at least three years after their initial purchase. And with Android devices, there is always the option of the Android community pulling together to get new versions into the hands of users.

Now, let's talk about Windows Phone a bit. WP7 is vastly different from Windows Phone 8, which is based on Windows 8 itself. And WP7 is based on the older Windows CE kernel. It'll take a lot of work for Microsoft to get WP8 to work on older hardware, some of which as less than a year old.

So, I ask you. Who is forcing users to upgrade their phones on purpose here! In less than a year, no less?

More at Neowin.

 

 

Apple IIc With New Lease On Life As A G4 Running OS X

We have an old Apple IIc in the garage. Last I checked, it still booted up. Also, last I checked, it was still running BASIC. And yet, someone found a way to get OS X to run on it. HOW?!

There is a G4 Mac Mini in there. Not sure why they didn't fit the newer and slimmer Mac mini in there if they're going to go through all this trouble. Anyway, this has me thinking about dusting off the old IIc and fire it up and relive my childhood.

More at Mental Hygiene.

 

Brazilian Manufactured iPhones Now On The Market - How Did that Happen?

News now that iPhones made in Brazil are on the market. With the statements made that jobs like manufacturing consumer electronics not coming back to the US, specifically attributed Steve Jobs to President Obama, we have to wonder how is Brazil about to get Apple and Foxconn to invest in a local manufacturing plant?

Now, let me put this out: can Apple do something like this in Mexico? Or maybe the US? We can forget about blue states like California but how about red states like Texas?

Foxconn likely received a large incentive from the national and local government to do this. At the same time, we have to wonder just how they can achieve the infrastructure to do this.

Labor issues aside, I like to see government officials look into seeing how this was achieved and how feasible is this go duplicated in the US.

My guess is that even with the technology and logistics solved, special interests like labor is going to make things very difficult to convince Apple or others to invest in an infrastructure to build iOS devices here.




- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday Movie: Avengers!!!

It's been a while sense we added a Friday movie.  This week, it's none other than the Avengers, 2nd Trailer!

If you've not seen the first one, go duckduckgo it your self.  Okay.  I'll post it for ya.  This is the first must see 3D movie, since, well, Avatar really.  One that I will eagerly pay whatever the amount they'll be charge us this summer.

Enjoy!



Here's the first trailer!



 Have a great weekend!!!

Note:  sorry about the ads at the beginning of the video. I think it's kinda dumb...what can you do?

Throttling Might Not Be Bad If It's 3G Speed


Let me be very clear.  Unlimited in my world, presumably yours as well, means just that:  unlimited.  However, in the wireless industry, especially for our esteemed GSM carriers, AT&T and T-Mobile (they deserve each other by the way - not in a merger but when you wish them ill) has a very different definition of unlimited.  However, if users are throttled from 4G down to 3G, will you be pissed?

I read this GiGaom post on the possibility that AT&T might sunset EDGE.  So, if that happens, does it mean that users who get the nasty text from AT&T are forced to go at a slower 3G speed when EDGE goes away?

T-Mobile is doing something similar as it attempts to move from its current 3G (not buying the 4G nonsense) to LTE by 2014 - there were reports in late 2011 that some users were getting 3G speed on the T-Mobile network when they ought to be getting EDGE only.

Time will tell just how this plays out.  I'm more interested in how the unlimited data plan users will be impacted by this.

Google's Nexus Tablet To Be Called "Play"?



Is this Google's Nexus tablet?  Probably not but we all know it's coming.  There are rumors abound.  I reckon it's something that we will be paying a lot of attention to.  So far, Android tablets have had their collective butts handed to them by Apple's iPad.

It was only Amazon's Kindle Fire that has found some success in blunting Apple's dominance in the tablet market by finding a sweet spot, $200 to be exactly, that many consumers found palpable.  There is talk that Google is looking to enter that portion of the market with its own 7" Nexus tablet rather than go head-on with Apple's 10" iPad.

Android Community is asserting that Google could possibly call the tablet "Nexus Play".  I wonder how RIM will feel about that. I look for Play to come out by summer to fall.  However, keep in mind that many other tablet players, including Android competitors to the Play will likely be unveiling their own 7-8" tablets around that time.

To complicate things in a great manner, Windows 8 tablets should be out around fall.  Even better, I predict that Apple will also be joying the sub-10" tablet market with an 8-9" screen.  The iPad 3 will be out in a week or two and it will certainly be interesting how Google's competitors (including other Android participants) respond to the Play.

Start saving up, folks!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Can Apple Pre-Announce iTV To Hurt Competitors' HDTV Biz While Increase iOS Sales At the Same Time?



It’s hard not to get into the he said/she said battle going on between Apple and its competitors in the smartphone and tablet market.  Above all, I’m a mobile tech fan.  I’m not an Apple or a Google can do no wrong kind of fan.  They can and they do all the time and I try to point it out when possible.  Still, you have to be skewed to not think Apple’s iPhone and iPad has not given birth to some copycat devices.  As for the copying part, I'm with Apple on this one.

Yeah, Samsung quickly comes to mind.  In fact, I have to say that Microsoft’s Windows Phone and upcoming Windows 8 is as different from the iPhone, iPad, and iOS as they come.  So, I’ve got a plan that could really put a hurt on Apple’s copycat competitors.

On March 7th when Apple unveils the next iPad, there is a chance that Apple will unveil the next upgrade to its Steve Jobs’ hobby, Apple TV.  Go one step further.  Announce it’s forth coming iTV, Apple own HDTV, if all the rumors about it is true.



More at On Apple.

Apple's Cash: No Dividends, No Stock Buybacks, Or Acquisitions Just Because Apple Can


“There will be a special guest…” is the only thing that is mentioned on the invitation for Apple’s 2025 special event.  And on the day of the keynote, Tim Cook goes on stage and tells everyone just how Apple just added another $30 billion in cash just in the last quarter.  He makes a joke about how a Starbucks grande latte now costs $15 and money ain’t what it used to be and receive a chuckle from the audience.

Then he said that Apple has been working on something really special and it would change just about every industry and market in the world – military, labor, and even education.  Audience is quiet, on the edge of their seat, all waiting in anticipation.  They expect Tim Cook to bring on Phil Schiller to unveil this next Apple product.  But he doesn’t. Tim goes on to talk about the industrial revolution and the automobile and then it’s about the telephone and personal computer.  He spoke fondly about the old iOS devices – iPhones and iPads.  And he finally touched on the revolution that wearable gadgets that Apple ushered in and bring new meaning to the “roaring 20s”.