Friday, August 30, 2013

iPhone 5S: Weibo Thinks There Is A Fourth Charcoal Color

Given the sickly candy colors that are making rounds for the less expensive iPhone that is likely going too go on sale next month, it is good to know that Apple is giving the top line iPhone 5S (or iPhone 6) extra care when it comes to new colors.

While I am ready to accept that gold will be an addition ad a color, looks like Weibo, China's Twitter/Facebook, could well have uncovered a fourth color.

How's a gray or metallic shade for you?

Why Can Apple's new iPhone With Colors Look Like This? Look, Apple!

Source:  Appleinsider, Cult of Mac.

Mophie, a top Apple iOS accessory maker, is known for its battery case.  I'm sure they do great business because, let's face it, we all can use more power regardless of how long the iPhone 5 or the iPhone 6 battery life are going to be.

However, they also know their colors as is evident from these new Mophie battery cases for the iPhone 5. Meet these colorful Mophie Juice Pack Helium.

Screen Shot 2013-08-30 at 8.30.06 AM

These are awesomely deep rich colors - unlike the sickly yellow, green, or pink ones that we are seeing from various overseas websites.  Frankly, I think (hope) those colors aren't real (On Apple).

When CNet asked whether users what they want most from Apple for the next iPhone, 60% wanted longer battery life.  So, I reckon Mophie will sell tons of these good looking battery cases.  If Steve Jobs was around, he might even say they're so pretty you wanna lick them.

They retail for $80 - it's a good investment that will make your mobile experience longer and better.  It's got a 1500mAh battery that provides up to 80% of additional battery life.  Well worth it.  There may be cheaper options like external batteries but they don't provide the convenience or look this Helium case does.

May Not Be The Best Deal But Apple Provides Convenience of iPhone Trade-In

Source:  Appleinsider.

Today, Apple started a long-rumored iPhone trade-in program that allows the customer to use the credit towards another iPhone purchase.  I'm gamed.  I've got an iPhone 4 that I love for them to take off my hand.  It's a Verizon one so I reckon there is limited use for anyone of my family members (and plus, they don't deserve it).

Here's the thing, customers can get up to $280 for the trade-in. So you know that you're not going to be getting the best deal in town.  For that, I would still look else where.  However, the convenience of this is just too much to pass up for me.

And there's one further restriction.  You can only use your particular trade-in gift card to buy the iPhone of your choice for the same carrier.  A big "doh" if you ask me.  It totally makes no sense to me.  I have since begun migrating away from Verizon towards T-Mobile and I want an unlocked version.

However, for most users, this probably isn't an issue.

Recommendation?  Shopping around if you know your way around trade-in programs.  For convenience, it doesn't get any better than this.

For Apple, this offers a very valuable customer experience.  It allows the customer seamless exchange of iPhone.  At the same time, it allows Apple to control and monitor the flow of iPhones.  It's likely Apple will reintroduce these devices in emerging markets where it has almost to negligible exposure that will do nothing to hurt its high-end iPhone sales.

For users, you get convenience and for Apple, they sell two iPhones - the one to you and the one you sold back to Apple that they then sell to someone who buys it and doesn't buy an Android phone.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Apple TV And iTunes Glitch - Ordinarily A Bad Thing But I Can't Help But Speculate About New TV services

I wasn't at home when Apple's TV shows disappeared for many users on Apple TV and iTunes.  That's a bad thing.  No doubt about it.  It's probably a pre-iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks, next version of OS for the Macs, thing - beta and someone did something, caused folks inconvenience, and now it's back up and fixed.

However, like Mac Daily News, I wonder...

Well, the thing is that recently, the Apple TV gain a few apps - Disney, ESPN, Weather Channel, etc.  It's all great.  However, you do need a participating cable or SATTV services for those apps to be of any use.  But it has lead many of us to speculate that Apple is steadily gaining some ground in trying to get studios and content owners to loosen up a bit.  It's an uphill battle but Apple could be near the apex where it's about to reach a deal with cable or content providers.

From there now, it's all downhill.

And could this glitch be a part of any of this?  Some kind of a content announcement that should see the light of day, probably not on September 10th when Apple unveils the next iPhone but later in October when Apple is expected to announce new iPads and iPods?

October would make more sense.

I'll be honest with you.  We are in the last week of August and, after that, an excruciating long 10 days until Apple executives unveil their latest and greatest iPhones.  So, if this Apple TV glitch had happened at any other time during the year, I would not be indulging this at all.

It's hot, we're bored, and we're eagerly waiting for Apple's onslaught of products.  This includes not only the iOS devices but also the Mac Pro and Haswell based Macbook Pro.

However, in October, and some kind of new content service does get announced by Apple (I'm not saying we could see a new Apple TV or even the unicorn Apple HD panel), I like for us to look back on this post and just smile.

iPHone 5S or iPhone 6: Readers On CNET Overwhelmingly Ask For Better Battery Life On Next iPhone

Here's the link to the CNET page that showed results from readers about what they want to see on the iPhone and what features they like best so far as we know and you can read it and think it over yourself or come back and I'll give you my two-cent.  But take a look at the new features pie chart and look at what CNET readers are asking for from Apple on the next iPhone 5S or iPhone 6:

BETTER BATTERY LIFE!!!  60% Of the readers want Apple to figure out a way to give the next iPhone longer battery life.  Seriously, for me, that's the biggest issue.  And if you're a mobile warrior reading this post and other ones on this blog, battery life is a recurring theme here.

Yes, Apple.  We want longer battery life for our next iPhones.

Samsung's Galaxy Watch or Apple's Non-Existent iWatch: Think Past Dick Tracey's Watch and Maybe More of Star Trek NTG's Comm Badge

Consider this.  A watch that doesn't immediately tell you the time but if you ask it or install an app on it, it'll tell you.  That may well be what Apple, Google, Samsung, or any of the consumer tech giants are working towards.  A watch that isn't a watch.  That may be key to the wearable device buzz going on right now - convince consumers and a new generation of mobile warriors who don't wear watches to wear a device on their wrist or body that has other helpful benefits other than telling time or getting notifications from their smartphones which is likely on their persons anyway in their pockets or bags.

A watch that is not a watch.  In fact, any thinking of a wearable computer has to be very much removed from the idea of a watch.  Consider what Dick Tracy has to do to access his watch.  Or remember Michael Knight in Knight Rider?

Our heroes always have to move their watches close to their mouth to do anything.  I think that's so dorky.

Rather, any wearable devices that is going to change or augment how we work or play will need to work more like the comm badges in Star Trek The Next Generation.  They wore the badges on their chests and tap it when they need to access the computer or speak with another crew member.

In fact, such a wearable device, say from Google, may have an always-on feature where the device's microphone is ready to pick up a command.  (Privacy issues aside of course.)  Thereby, bypassing the need for the user to activate or tap the device to access it.

And there are two main factors that is going to be very important if they want people to wear these in one fashion or another.

The first one is battery life.  No need to go into this too much because the reasons why such a device to sip power is obvious. It needs to have an insanely long battery life.

The other is weight.  I use a Jawbone Up.  I also use a Nike Fuelband which is bulkier and heavier than the Up band. I don't use both simultaneously if you're wondering about that. Both are sufficiently light enough that I I don't mind wearing them on my wrist or clipping them to my belt all day.

It wasn't like that with a phone.  Since I started carrying around a phone, a flip phone all the way to the smartphones today, I don't like that I have to carry one because they're still kinda heavy.  They've gotten lighter and lighter but you can still feel it.  And at times, I felt compelled to take it out and leave it at home, in a bag, or just not on me.

A wearable device cannot be so heavy that weight is a consideration or bother.  As light as the iPod nano is, I still consider it to be too thick, bulky, and heavy.

So, a small, thin, and light Star Trek comm badge-like wearable device would be ideal.  And one last thing, it needs to be operable with just one hand.  But you're probably asking one very important question.

How well can your comm badge idea instead of a watch work?  Well, three 24th Century-based Star Trek series, seven years each,  and 524 episodes later, the comm badge was just as important in each story plot as the warp drive, probably more so.

And it worked flawlessly.

Samung Tab 3 Kids, with 7" Display and Yesterday's Tech, To Compete with iPad in Education

Source:  Clouding Around.

Samsung released a very colorful Galaxy Tab tablet for children.  And it may well also aim this tablet squarely at Apple in the education market.  Question is does Apple have anything to worry about?

samsung galaxy tab 3 kids

No.  Not with this version but Samsung has a Microsoft-like characteristic that some people admire and others don't.  They'll keep coming back  and trying year after year, screen size after screen size, until they find a fit they can live with.

Right now, from what looks of things, it's very much for toddlers and pre-K mobile warriors.  And I can tell you that if you give this to my 3-year old nephew and an iPad (he has his own 3rd iPad with Retina Display), he'll opt for the iPad because this Samsung Tab looks like a toy while the iPad doesn't and he assumes it can do more for him.

And he may well be right as this 7" Samsung Tab 3 Kids will give parents/teachers greater control over what apps their child will have access to.

For now, Apple's safe.  The iPad mini is the best sub-10" tablet on the market despite not having a Retina Display.

However, I would like to see Apple improve on its user-experience and allow for greater parental or education control than what is currently being offered.  For now, I don't see anything in iOS 6 or 7 that does that.

Privacy Violation: Facebook, By Court Order, Told To Clarify How It Sells Its Product, You the Users, to Advertisers

Source:  CNET.

Folks, nothing is free.  All those services we use online that we're not paying for, even some that we do pay for, are free because we the users are the products.   The information that we provide to Facebook, Twitter, and Google are all collected, analyzed, and sold to advertisers.

So, in this case, Facebook was used because users were fed up with sponsored stories that appear using information that users were not aware of.  Frankly, as abhorrent as Facebook practices are, folks, they provide a free service that hundreds of millions of users use.  Someone has to pay for the electricity. 

As it turns out, it's the advertisers.  And they need information you provide Facebook to better target you with ads that are relevant to you.

In this latest spat, Facebook only added language that specifically says that as long as you're using its services, for free, they have toe rights to use you and sell you to advertisers without compensation to you.  And if you happen to be younger than 18 years old and continue to use Facebook, it meant that a parent or guardian has approved of your actions.  

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bloomberg Report That Will Unveil iPhone Along With iPad At the Same Time Is Wrong Unless...

Bloomberg reported today that Apple will introduce the iPhone and iPad simultaneously at the same September 10th event that has been widely acknowledge by true Apple bloggers and insiders.  However, while the September 10th event is not in doubt, personally, I think the Bloomberg claim is.

This why I'm not linking to the false information.  However, just for fun, let's speculate a bit, small bit, about this.  Suppose if Bloomberg happens to be right, again money is that they're not, then we are looking at a likelihood that Apple has a window of opportunity in October to introduce a new product.

If so, many Wall Street analysts will speculate it to be the iWatch or, iWear, a device that is long rumored to be the product that Apple may introduce to replace the iPod or even compliment the iPhone through Bluetooth.

Then there's the famed Gene Munster, of Piper Jaffray, who not only believes in the unicorn, tooth fairy and that Apple will introduce an HDTV each year for the last, what, five years.

Those are the only two products that I can think of that Apple could be working on that might fit in the October slot to begin selling for the Holidays.

However, Bloomberg is wrong.  Apple isn't about to let two of its most recent and iconic devices share the same limelight.  On top of that, there doesn't appear to be a strong content deal for an Apple TV or HDTV announcement nor is Apple ready with the iWear or iWatch.

Still, like Gene Munster, I can dream.

Mobile Gaming: How Desperate Is Nintendo To Compete Against Android, iPhone, iPod Touch, And the iPad? 2DSesperate!

Source:  Game Squad.

I ask again how desperate Nintendo is right now to find an answer against the onslaught of Android and Apple's iOS devices, iPhone, iPod touch, and the iPad, against the traditional mobile gaming market?

This desperate.

I'm not kidding.  I wish I was.  Meet the Nintendo 2DS.  It's a 3DS without the 3D and without the hinge to fold it. The good thing is that this is only $130.  The bad thing is that it's a $130 mobile gaming device from Nintendo that no one will buy.

Comments from Nintendo-centric sites seem generally supportive - finding the positive.  But then again, we're generally a family-friendly bunch.

In other news, Nintendo also dropped $50 off the Wii U.

My Nephews Are Gonna Go Nuts: Angry Birds Go Kart

Source:  Droid-Life.

Should have known this was coming.  I'm excited to see Rovio's take on this with the birds and piggies.  
Yeah, my nephews will go nuts when they find out.  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Chinese Baby Monitors, More Than Forty Thousand Of Them, Vulnerable to Hacking

Source: Forbes.

Parents' worst night - a predator near their child.  In their room.  Not physically but this particular violation could be just as bad.  Through security opening in a Foscam baby monitor, complete with video and sound, a creep called a baby all sort of names.

Foscam FI8910W (White) Wireless B/G/N IP Camera

And the flaw was only covered up after media reports and even then, through an Internet scan, most owners of these Foscam monitors are still vulnerable to hacks - more than 40,000 of them.

I've heard good things about Foscam from friends but I don't think we were expecting this kind of security hole.

Honestly, I think these devices are going to be a part of future homes - the smart homes that I think will be one of the next battle ground between tech rivals like Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung.

So, if you own one of Foscam's devices, best to go their website and look for a patch.

Recently bought cam for a friend.  Gotta warn them tonight!

Government Issues Virus/Malware Warning About Android - Apple Should Take Advantage

The US government has released a report on the dangers that Android poses to users - viruses, malware, and other exploits.

Perhaps, Apple should consolidate its hold on corporate and government users by highlighting better security and additional features more publicly.

Source:  Clouding Around.

Monday, August 26, 2013

iPhone 5S (iPhone 6): Rumors, Move Aside - What About the Battery Life?

I love the rumors (except ones about the colors) about the next iPhone, whether Apple calls it iPhone 5S or iPhone 6, just as much as the next guy.  But fingerprint scanners and colors aside, I want to know one thing that should matter to every mobile warrior:  what's the battery life going to be like for the 2013 iPhone?

And the only number I care about is the hours of standard use.  I don't care at all about standby time.  I charge, on average, my iPhone 5 every 30-36 hours.  Not bad.  Under heavy use, I can get through the battery in about 12-15 hours.  Again, not bad but I also would not mind a longer battery as an insurance against unforeseen heavy uses.

I'm sure battery life is a very important factor for Apple when it comes to iPhone, iPad, and, yes, Macbooks.  Just recently, Apple updated the 2013 Macbook Airs and gave them between nine to twelve hours of use.

I argued that Apple not only has upped the ante for its competitors but also other Apple products as well - expected updates this fall are Macbook Pro and iPads.  And I argued they also need to see significant battery life improvements.

Hence, it stands to reason that we should expect the same of the 2013 iPhone as well.  After all, copying or not by its competitors, Apple should try to distance itself from its competitors with better iPhone battery life because, unlike Samsung, Nokia, or HTC, Apple owns its hardware and software development that could drive speed and efficiency further than anyone else without making compromises.  And should Apple find a way to make the iPhone last longer than anyone else, significantly longer, it will not be a feature that can be copied.

This is why I have high hopes that Apple will give the iPhone 5S (or iPhone 6) a major battery improvement.  Also, consider that Motorola, owned by Google, just released its Moto X with a reported 24-hour battery life.

Now, I know that no two manufacturers conduct and report their battery uses the same.  I also know that Google fudges its numbers quite a bit as well.  So, whether Moto X really can last a full 24-hour of real work use or not, it does have repercussions.  Motorola/Google was willing to make compromises to Moto X that Apple is not willing, like using dated (two-year old) mobile tech.  Clearly, anyone who is mobile savvy will know this fact.  However, not all tech journalists and tech bloggers are industrious enough do a bit of research and realize that.

Right now, the iPhone 5 has a talk time of 8 hours, 8 hours of Web use on LTE and 10 hours on Wi-Fi, and 10 hours of video play back.  (Apple)

The talk time is well short of competitors but who truly talks that much anyway?  So, to mobile users these days, video and use hours are more important.  As far as web browsing is concerned, it's about a draw.  The iPhone 5 might have most beaten except for Sony's Xperia ZR (GSM Arena). Most other flagship devices lasted around 8 hours.  I said "might" because we don't know how GSM Arena conducted their tests - using only the cell antenna or Wi-Fi. (GSM Arena)

However, it came to video play back, the iPhone 5 is near the middle of the pack with the newer flagship devices lasting about an hour more.

So, as you can see, you can get the 24-hour claim from the iPhone 5 as well but those kinds of battery claims are just people playing games and it's not what Apple is about.  As an iPhone user, I'm used to getting Apple's more real world hours of usage.

Personally, I don't care to watch 10 hours of video straight.  However, with a combination of GPS use during runs four to five times a day for an hour, maybe one or two mapping use with GPS for a 30-minute trip a week, an average of 20-30 pictures and 5-10 minutes of video capture during events or get-togethers, 10 messages an hour and checking e-mail every 30 minutes, catching up on news and sports, and maybe a bit of blogging or Evernote uses or tweeting, and about an hour of gameplay or video, I like to see Apple improve the next iPhone battery life for my kind of mobile use by about 50%.

Maybe I'm an optimist but I think we're gonna get that this year.

iPad mini: Who's Idea Was It? Steve Jobs or Tim Cook?

The iPad mini will be a year old soon and be replaced with an upgrade by Apple this fall.  What I want to explore here is whether the decision to rlease mini, obviously having been in the works of years even when Steve Jobs was alive and at Apple, planned all along or Tim Cook's after he become CEO.

I've got a 2013 Nexus 7 that has fit nicely into my daily workflow.  The battery is subpar given what Google advertised but it's still good enough where I can get through the day safely without running out of juice.

Having said that, the Nexus 7 is a pleasant surprise.  I can live on the Nexus, if I had not been exposed to the iPad.

That is not to say that I won't be getting a new iPad this fall.  The reason is because as good as the Nexus is, the Android tablet experience leaves one with much to desire because of the lack of a true tablet experience I'm used to with the iPad.

Still, that's not the issue here.  The issue is the iPad mini.  Steve Jobs had blasted 7" tablets as too small to use and the media bought his argument for the most part.  But the consumers did.  And 7" tablets, much cheaper than the iPad, became an issue for Apple.

So, let me throw this out there.  When Apple released the iPad mini last year, was it planned all along with Steve Jobs' blessing?  Or was it Tim Cook's own after he saw where the market was headed in terms of screen sizes and prices and decided to rush it out?

My theory?  The 7.85" iPad mini was in the works for years along with a host of other screen sizes.  But priority was given to the iPad since it was the flagship device and growing at a fast click while cannibalizing PC sales.

But with the rise of 7" Android tablets price in the $200s, Apple was compelled to respond.  First with the $399 iPad 2 to buy time until it could release the mini last year.

And to some, the iPad mini was full of compromises which leads me to conclude that the iPad mini is Tim's product, not Steve's.  First, no Retina Display.  Second, it was using an older iPad 2 system.  And lastly, the battery life was not up to the usual iPad standard.  All that together, the 2012 iPad mini felt compromised.

That isn't to say that its a bad product.  It just isn't the iPad mini with Retina Display and 10+ hours of battery life that we were expecting.  But it did its job.  It opened up the tablet market to more Apple tablets and to a wider range of consumers.

Saving Microsoft: Adopting An Apple-Google Hybrid Strategy

No one is in position to save Microsoft.  Me, you, or even the guy or gal they select eventually to be the next CEO of Microsoft.  Needless to say, that ain't gonna stop anyone from offering suggestions to the next CEO or Microsoft on how to go forward and if he or she doesn't follow those suggestions, suggest things at Microsoft will only become worse.

That's the state of where things are.  Still, there are obvious moves that Microsoft should make. For instance, find out who the folks are that have been playing politics and prevent the really smart folks from shining and get rid of them.

Also, get rid of the protectionist attitudes there.  Get rid of those who thought new Microsoft products would cannibalize existing ones like Windows or Office.  Courier could have been Microsoft's answer to the iPad but it was killed off as many suspected for the likelihood of getting people off the PC.  This includes webapps and services that could have rivaled Google.  Instead, we got Bing (which isn't bad but doesn't do anything better than Google search).

Look at what's happened.  It's an iPad world in the beginning and with an increase shipment of Android tablets, both Apple and Google's tablets have cannibalized PC sales.  Apple was right about iPad cannibalization of Mac sale.  It's better to have one company's own product cannibalize another of its own product than to get a competitor do that.

Also, bring back the innovative and entrepreneurial energy of yesteryear.  And I mean really unleash it.  I like Microsoft to do a 20% thing like Google did for its employees.  Microsoft has just as deep a bench as anyone else when it comes to talented scientists and engineers.  Let them go nuts.

Simply put, don't fear your own creations and innovations as Microsoft been doing.

Monday Is Dump On Steve Balmer Day

Okay, as you know by now (or you should if you're a mobile warrior and junky) is that Steve Balmer, the second CEO in Microsoft's history, will be stepping down as soon as they find a CEO to replace him and try to put Microsoft on the right mobile path and establish a clear viable strategy for the future.

Right now, Microsoft is treading water.  Has been for tenure of Steve Balmer's reign.

Having said that, I'm still waiting to hear more about his "resignation" which I had suspected wasn't because of the way things have been going at Microsoft in the last few years, the reception of its products to compete with Apple's iPhone and iPad and Google's Android and search.

Meanwhile, I'll doing a running update on today and maybe this week's headlines on Microsoft's future, Steve Balmer's resignation, and anything else that might be interesting.

First, headlines dumping on Balmer:
Those above are the nice ones.  You don't even wanna hear what the Android and Apple bloggers are saying.  Not surprisingly, most are pulling for a resurgence of Microsoft.  Why?  Because competition is good for us regular mobile warriors.  

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Local Businesses Need Mobile Gateway and Passbook/Wallet

If I own a business, and it would not matter any kind, that caters to services or interaction with customers on a daily basis, I would make it my mission to see to it that I cater the mobile warriors. It'll serve to make my life (and employees's lives), customers'' lives, and the services better over all.

I started thinking about this as I sat here at a local car wash. Free WiFi is great. However, I think they can take the next step and over other mobile incentives.

  • Being able to use Google Wallet would go a long way to help mobile payments and cut down on the need for a full service cashier. Use a service like Square also makes sense.
  • Cut down on paperwork and offer receipts to be emailed or sent to a dedicated app for the business.
  • Offer added services or incentives through something like iPhone's Passbook.

All of these mobile options, and there are plenty over ways to use mobile to expand a business and outreach, could be a good differentiator in the current economic environment we are in. It does matter if you're a national chain, a mom-and-pop cafe, or a stand at a local shopping center, offering a mobile abilities to conduct services and transactions mean that the business is offered a place on mobile users' smartphones.


On top of that, a a business owner, I want more of my costumers who are savvy with the fast changing and trending mobile market. It means they're young, smart and educated, and have more money to spend.



Friday, August 23, 2013

I'll Say It Because Others Are Too Afraid: Them iPhone Colors Are Ugly

Those sickly colors of the iPhone 5C or whatever Apple's gonna call them are just downright ugly.  And this post stem from an online discussion with a friends in Asia.  And I think we need to have this discussion on a wider scale.

Here and now.  The white is okay.  But the red, green, and blue (I've seen a  yellow one) just are doing it for me. They just make me wanna puke.

And seriously, they are just not the colors that we are accustomed to seeing from Apple.  And if they are indeed the colors Apple has picked for the 5C, boy, Apple missed Steve Jobs more than I expected.

Now, there's a part of me that hopes those colors are just fake leaks from pranksters looking for attention or even Apple themselves trying to show off its competitors and the media.  Imagine Tim Cook and company trying to get Samsung to follow them.

And we have seem some of these colors from Nokia and I can tell you after seeing those in person, they are just not doing it for the consumers.

So, I wonder why would Apple pick colors that felt like the iPhone 5C are encased on cheap Taiwanese cases that you can find for like a couple of bucks at the famed night markets.

Why wouldn't Apple stick with colors we see on the iPod touch or the iPod nano from before.  Or even better, the older iMac colors.

There is something I like to offer, not as evidence, but rather a slim hope that all these iPhone 5C cases we're seeing are mere fake colors. We have yet to see what one of these unicorn iPhone 5C look like fully assembled and what the front would look like.  So maybe those shots we're seeing all over the Web truly are fake or mocked up.  Or also, that they were early colors used in the development of the iPhone 5C and nothing more came of them because Apple went with better colors.

Furthermore, consider iOS 6 change to iOS 7 in terms of designs.  We saw a lot of changes but the colors in iOS 7 are still every bit as enticing and eye-catching as anything Apple has come out with.

My guess is that they'll look like the iPod touch.  Which is fine.  And hopefully, Apple will use colors for the iPhone 5C that are more vibrant and brighter and delicious that you'll want to lick them.  Failing that, would you want Apple to just go with the iMac colors?

Otherwise, the colors I'm seeing on the Web for the iPhone 5C just makes the devices look cheap.

More Thoughts On Steve Balmer Leaving Microsoft

This is only a preliminary thought on the news that Steve Balmer will be stepping down as CEO of Microsoft.

  • He screwed up Surface bad and the board wants him gone.  He had number opportunities to compete against the iPhone and Android and he failed to deliver.  With Windows and the PC market in a critical condition and at an inflection point, Windows 8 was worse than Vista ever was.  And Windows Phone is gaining shares but only because Nokia is selling devices at a loss or break-even.
  • I'm excited that Microsoft might bring in someone who will rejuvenate the company and put Apple and Google on notice.  A product guy who gets it.  Not another sales guy like Balmer.  
However, I also wonder if it's too late for Microsoft.  Think Palm.  Dell.  HP.  And now more recently, think Blackberry.  Turning a company around isn't easy.  Having said that, Steve Jobs did.  When he took over at Apple, it was weeks from going bankrupt.  

Microsoft is in an infinitely better shape with billions in the bank and continues to make more money than most governments and companies.  But the new CEO has to play offense, get rid of death weight, and, more importantly, care less about making friends or Wall Street happy and willing to piss people off.

Microsoft And Batman: Every Had A Morning When You're Not Sure If You're Gonna Have A Good Day or Not

Have you had a game where you woke up in the morning, and you're not sure if it's going to be a good day or not? I have one of those mornings today. I woke up at 5 AM. As my custom, I reach for my Nexus, and I opened up my RSS feed reader.

It's a Friday. Nothing happens on Friday. Are so I thought. Still only 5 AM.

I was greeted with two headlines that I thought was a joke.

The first one was that Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, will be resigning within 12 months. I mumbled to myself, "Nah, this is wrong. He's never going to go. Microsoft is life".

However, it's got to be true. That's because I checked another source. Like Steve Ballmer or not, him leaving Microsoft is a good thing for us mobile warriors.

The second headline, that's the one that had me thinking my Friday might be not a good one.

The next Batman is none other than the man who ruined Daredevil and Tom Clancy's iconic American spymaster, Jack Ryan. Jack Ryan, who was played masterfully by Harrison Ford, will never rise again.

To all my favorite characters, one by one man, and now he's going to ruin the third. And Batman is my favorite of all of them.

This man is none other than Ben Affleck.

So you can see, it's a good Friday because Steve Ballmer is leaving and Microsoft if only be rid of someone who has been choking it to death. This is good for mobile warriors because whoever Microsoft brings as the next CEO has the opportunity to provide an iconic American company and rejuvenate consumer and business technology.

Again, it's a good Friday. I think. Again, it depends on who is the next CEO of Microsoft.

Again, it's a bad Friday. I'm sure. Because Batman is about to be ruined.

- Posted using Mobile

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Champagne (Gold) Color iPhone 5S or 6 - Could Apple Charge More for It?

I wonder if Apple could get away with charging more for the new gold hue, champagne, that will be joining the white and black for the new iPhone, iPhone 5S or 6 depending on who you talk to.
I'm guess specs and storage for specs and storage, Apple probably would get chastised for trying to cater and gouge users just because it can by pricing the gold iPhone higher.
However, there is one way Apple can avoid charging more for the gold version.  What it can do is offer the gold version at 32 and 64 GB - forcing the affluent or those who might want to appear rich to pay $100 or $200 more.  They would still get something out of it - bigger storage whether they need it or not.
And here's the thing, an extra 16 GB isn't going to cost Apple much and most of the $100 extra are just pure profit anyway.  
And trust me, the rich will have no problem paying for it.  My guess is that most of them already shell out for the 32GB or more already anyway.  
So, Apple might only offer the new color for the 64 GB iPhone version. 

Chinese Are Rich - Will To Shell Out Nearly $500 For Next iPhone

Source: Business Insider Via Dave the Mobile Sage.

I'll be honest with you.  I'll willing to shell out the full retail price for an iPhone only because I refuse to give carriers the satisfaction of overcharging me and then I take the phone and use the cheapest plan I can find.  And luckily, I save all year or two for one.

Now, living in Southern California, I see a lot of rich folks.  But the new Chinese immigrants are especially affluent.  So, when I read how they're willing to shell out nearly $500 for a new iPhone Color, I was not at all surprised.

In fact, there are many who speculated that a new color, champagne, for the iPhone 5S or iPhone 5 could be aimed squarely at the rich in Shanghai and other major cities that affluent lives.

While the new iPhone Color could be a boom for Apple, I still don't think it'll be enough to allow Apple to gain significant sales there only because the gap between those who can afford to pay $500 for a phone is so wide and much of China are still poor.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

iPhone Color, While Important to Apple, Is Only One Part of Apple's Greater Mobile Strategy and Ecosystem

ZDNet has hits and misses with their posts, particularly about Apple.  In this post, I generally consider it a good post because, while I don't agree with most of it, it's a good analysis of why Apple would release a high end iPhone as well as a mid-range one with different colors.

It's worth a read to get at what Apple is planning.

For the most part, Apple doesn't play defense.  It play offense whether it releases a new revolutionary product and moves into a new market, improves on existing ones, or when it allow one of its products to cannibalize another as the iPad is doing to Macs - just as long as it is taking up PC share as well.

Even with the iTunes ecosystem, Apple continues to add new contents while it works on improving its hobby, the Apple TV.

The thing is you cannot take each product unto itself and focus on it.  You have to sit back and see the various pieces within Apple's mobile strategy and how to work to expand Apple's size of the market.

There is one segment in the post regarding dumb phones and how Apple will try to capture that big part of the cell phone market with the iPhone Colors.  I just want to expand on that a bit.  Apple is not just after anyone else who have not bought a smartphone just yet.  In fact, I wager that while Apple would like anyone who has never own a modern mobile device like the iPhone or an Android device, Apple's color iPhones are also meant to be an assault on the rest of the smartphone market as well - those who bought into the cheaper lower spec Android or Windows Phone segments of the market, those who are looking to the iPhone.

As far as momentum of the iPhone, I'm not worried about that at all.  Apple continues to expand iPhone sales and chip away at the rest of the mobile market a few percentage at a time.  The color iPhones will only serve to hasten Apple's expanding market share.

Then again, it's not so much that that market share is important to Apple as it gains the right customer base who can appreciate its ecosystem and capture as much of the mobile profits as it can.  So, while iPhone Color will be the newest Apple mobile device, it will still be only one of the many moving parts of Apple's mobile philosophy.

"Steve Jobs" Schools - Dutch Innovation or What? Worth Keeping Close Eyes On

Apparently, Steve Jobs' attitude towards schools and the rigidity of the educational systems has not only be captured in history but now also in practice. O4NT, or Onderwijs voor een nieuwe tijd (Education for a new era), is looking to put an iPad into the hands of a young student and provide them with a virtual school that allows them the flexibility to new skills - communication, collaboration, problem solving and creativity, and, of course, school subjects as well.

This is their Website - I'll let you click through to see more of what they offer.  Recommended.

Just recently, the Los Angeles Unified School District, signed a deal, the biggest of its kind, to provide its students with iPads.  And I just hope that someone at LAUSD is watching this as well.  The concept that I love about O4NT is that with the iPad, it's possible to have school all year round as they'll likely be carried around by the students.

Even during summer months when students go off and do summery stuff, they also tend to forget things they learned the previous school months.  And the iPad offers an opportunity for the child to embrace learning that's fun and keeps them engaged.

The idea is ingenious.  It makes learning less of a chore and more like projects and that isn't teachers lecturing at the students and putting them to sleep.

This is one of those Think Different ideas that Steve Jobs and Apple has inspired that could well change the world of education as well know it.  For too long, our educational system has been a drag on the students despite the great amount of resources that have been poured into failing schools.

I look forward to see how O4NT works out and whether iPad-based learning at the LAUSD makes any difference or not.

Candy Colored iPhones To Be Apple's Mobile Drug Into Its Ecosystem - It Worked with the iMac

Steve Jobs once said that Apple made the icons in OS X look so good that you want to lick them.  He wasn't joking.  Okay, he was but you totally get what he means if you've been in Apple's sphere of influence for any number of years.  The thing is, Apple paid great amount of attention to designs of its hardware and software that is unmatched by anyone else in the industry.

I'm sure there are a few who wanted to lick their colorful iMacs and iPods.  Now, it looks like Apple wants you to lick the next iPhone as well.  There is a model that Apple will introduce on September 10th that will sport a variety of colors, maybe around five, no one know for sure how many and which colors.

The point is, these colorful iPhones will be Apple's gateway drug into its ecosystem.  That's not all.  Apple will price them low enough to entice some mid-market users but not so low that it dilutes the iPhone brand.  And that's in 2013.

In 2014, Apple will likely to continue this trend with additional color changes as it tweaks the colors by adding or getting rid of some to give what the market wants.  And furthermore, even possibility of lowering the prices as well while also adding new features held over from 2013's top of the line iPhone also to be introduced on September 10th.

Apple has always maintained that the market-share isn't what it wants to go after.  It wants to make the best damn product it can and let the market settle things.  Well, it looks like Apple does want a bigger piece of the piece.  Have a mid-range iPhone with different colors would further differentiate itself from its competitors while taking customers away and locking them within the fine walls of the app store system.

It'll be interesting to see how Apple will try to position these iPhones, market them to the users, and what type of mobile users they'll attract.

Privacy: Forget Your Password and ID. Gov-Issued ID Will Take Care of All That (Good and Maybe Bad Too)

Source:  Forbes (thanks to Dave the Mobile Sage for the Link)

Yeah, 1984, by George Orwell, is probably going to happen.  The issue is whether we remain a happy society somehow or one that falls into darkness like in the book or lives behind the Iron Curtain during the dark days of the Cold War.  Either way, we are controlled - every aspect of our lives, self-censorship, probably under constant threat to give powerful gov groups more and more power, etc.

Well, we're not quite there yet but given the lack of privacy these days because of government data collection, such as PRISM operated by the NSA, it's no surprise that the government, not the US as I'm sure other powers are moving closer towards this, is trying to make it easier to collect more information about us and maintain massive databases from which powerful computers can mine information and connections about us that we might not even know.

The United States Postal Services has a contract with a Toronto-based company, SecureKey, to provide a cloud-based authentication system for individuals to access personal information maintained by various government agencies.

Sounds good?  Sure, very convenient.  In fact, I'm for convenience.  Just like my Apple ID or Google account, they've made my life easier.  Canadians already do it.  And with National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace and Identity, Credential and Access Management, Americans like myself will soon get this convenience.

 And it's important. Right now, our social and medical benefits or information scattered across a wide range of database.  It's hard to keep track and downright confusing.  So, this could arguably help Americans get a better handle on their personal information relating to government programs.

Having said that, what if the US government eventually mandates that we tie in all our banking, online trading, and credit card accounts to it as well - all in the name of convenience.  Maybe even say that it'll help secure our borders.

Then also our e-mails and phone accounts.  One account, the one that the government issued, to rule them all.  Tie it into your Google account or whatever you use.  Convenience.  And reduce viruses, spams, malware, etc.

Our water, gas, and electric bills.  To increase conservation.  Convenience and save money.

The idea behind Securekey, who proclaims to follow federal privacy guidelines what for what's worth, allows information to be transmitted without knowing who the third-parties or their identities.  Also, when using this new ID for government services, it makes sure that one agency doesn't track what the individual is doing on another.  On one hand, that beats the purpose of convenience and relevant exchange of information but it's unlikely that at some point, these artificial walls won't be broken down later.

How does this impact us from a privacy/surveillance standpoint?  As an idea, this is good on many levels.  However, the spirit of such a program or any other government or even private ones are not always observed and respected in practice.  Furthermore, once the new ID becomes indispensable, changes to how the ID is used and what can be done with the information collected will be made.

And whatever the public outcry may be at that time, the government will back down a bit, we'll think we've won.  Then some dumbass congressman, who just had his coffers replenished by lobbyists, will try again and we'll repeat this whole dance again.

Massive government databases or ID programs are not the problem. The real problem is society and our tolerance or willingness to trade certain freedoms and privacy for security and convenience and the price we are willing to pay for it.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mobile: Some Coffee Shops No Longer Welcome Mobile Warriors

When independent coffee shops were fighting a losing battle against Starbucks and other coffee chains, they did what they could to drive in business and foot traffic.  Wi-Fi was a powerful lure - free Wi-Fi that is.  It hooked me into some coffee shops that I would otherwise not frequent too frequently.  However, some now are beginning to change their attitudes towards mobile warriors and their laptop carrying ways.

The reason is simply.  The experience that Starbucks created to get people to use their stores as a hangout place or mobile office has now permeated through society and has permanently been etched our social psyche.

As a patron, I'm a bit ticked off about this but I also understand the business aspect of this.  And this is the subject of this NBC post.  One thing mentioned in the post is the wasted space where one guy has a laptop on a small table while the other seat is open but no one will sit there because who wants to sit with a stranger?

Well, I would and I have.  I can understand if I go into a cafe with a friend and there are only a bunch of single seats left.  Perhaps, a new social norm could be created.  

If I go into a Starbucks or a coffee shop to do work and I see open tables, I should not immediately thank my lucky stars but instead go with with someone else who has a laptop occupying a table.  But the best answer is probably a time-limited access to the Wi-Fi.  Order something, it gets you an hour of use.  The post mentioned three hours but I think that might be pushing it.

Okay, maybe two hours.  Or maybe the more you spend, the more Wi-Fi time you're allotted.  

The bottom-line is let's be courteous of others and business operators, right?  

Star Trek Into Darkness Out on iTunes - Before DVD/Blu-Ray

Didn't realize this when I downloaded my copy last night but apparently, my copy of the latest Star Trek movie, Into Darkness, was released on iTunes even before it went on sales as a DVD copy. Blu-Ray even. Weeks before release on physical media.

This was both a surprise and a sign of things to come. And it makes sense the more I've had time to think about it.

Digital distribution is the future whether retailers and consumers like it or not. In fact, I have not bought any movies on DVDs for years now.

More than that, we may also see a realignment of the whole movie making and viewing experience as companies, especially Apple, continue to push the bounds of the whole viewing experience.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

(My Idea For A Star Trek TV Show) What Mobile, And Worf Have In Common With Outer Limits

Here's a good post regarding Star Trek and what the likelihood of Star Trek returning to the small screen is (what post about Star Trek isn't good?). Via Huffington Post and Blastr, Michael Dorn, aka Worf, talked about his Captain Worf idea and how it'll fit into the Star Trek reboot from J.J. Abrams.

Dorn had been working and pitching his Star Trek idea to anyone who will listen. And apparently, because of the star power of Abrams, folks are afraid any Trek show could step on his toes.  Now with the second movie out of the way, perhaps, there is an opening for Dorn.

However, as interesting as a series about Worf captaining a Bird of Prey or Starfleet vessel, I don't know how much Klingon honor and traditions viewers are willing to take.  Throughout Worf's development on The Next Generation and DS-9, I have seen him grow as an individual who walked a delicate line between the blood lust of his people, trying to stay true to honor, and uphold Federation ideals.  At times, they come into conflict.  I would think Captain Worf would have conquered that but I don't know which direction Dorn would take it.

My thinking is that instead of just one particular series, do an Outer Limits series where each week would have different stories or arcs.  Not focusing on a set of characters but revolving number of actors examining the various aspects of the Trek world and issues of our day.  And if there are characters viewers like, bring them back for an arc.

And what would this have anything to do with mobile? Duh.  Tricorders, badges, and PADDs.  More importantly, an Outer Limits-like series would be able to allow writers to focus on a wider range of scientific fields.  All this will benefit tech and inspire more folks into science.

More than that, such a Trek series can also explore other eras of the Federation as well as other alien races as well.  I would love to see the development of the Klingon empire or how the Romulans play their galactic chess game against the Federation.  Or even how the Borg came to be.

The possibilities are endless.

Only two days about, I discussed how Star Trek works better on TV to explore the world Gene Roddenberry created.  And a series and movies can co-exist.  Let the movies focus on the big explosions and big-budget effects.  And even Captain Kirk agrees.  Trek needs to be on TV.

Note:  One thing about developing series these days is the cost.  With technologies what they are today and computer animations, I think it's very possible for a science fiction show to be created without huge stages like they were in the old days.

Jawbone Up Getting Endorsement From Assad's Wife (Syrian Strongman)

Source:  Huffington Post.

My first wrist pedometer/calories counter/sleep band was the Jawbone Up. The first generation one and it gave folks trouble.  Which is why I switched to the Nike Fuelband as a backup. But even the Fuelband (already with one exchange) is dying (battery).  So I'll soon be in the market for something new.

So, as I was googling and checking out the Fitbit, I came across this.  Apparently, Bashar Assad's wife uses Up.  So, I don't know what Jawbone thinks about this or if they even know.

The thing is, whatever reason the wife of a despot who brutalizes, murders, and rapes his own people and armed terrorists would choose Up, the thing is it is a very good device now that the kinks from the first generation has been worked out.

I'm looking hard a the Fitbit because it means stairs but I also like the ruggedness of the Fuelband.  And unlike the Fitbit, I won't lose the Fuelband or Up because they're constantly on my wrist.  Plus, the Jawbone Up has awesome battery life.

My main issues with Up are two.  One is the cap that I constantly loses and the other is that there is no display to show progress.  I would constantly have to sync it with my iPhone.

Until my Fuelband is completely dead, I'm hoping we'll see updates from these companies in time for Christmas.  And maybe with better features and longer battery life.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Researches Slipped Malware Into App Store, Good To See Apple Bruised A Bit

I generally only install apps from big developers or ones that have a level of trust within the community of mobile warriors regardless of whether they're on iOS or Android.  However, I do have to admit that I'm more adventurous on my iPad and iPad than on my Android devices like my Nexus 7.  

In general, all those stories of Android's malwares, security holes that Google isn't willing to plug or won't get to, and apps that just wanna steal my contact lists has me a bit wary.  Very wary in fact.

However, this story about how researchers at Georgia Tech found a way to sneak in malware into Apple's walled garden was delicious and eye-opening.  However, it was not totally unexpected because anyone can climb over a wall.  It's just whether you've got a tall enough ladder or the right tools to dig underneath it.

And it's good to see Apple bruised a bit on this.  Because of the walled-garden mentality, good or bad or open or close, it can give users such as myself a false sense of security.  I'm sure this will zero long-term (or even a short-term) effect on Apple's reputation as far as security goes, it goes to show that mobile platforms have to continue to keep an eye out for this kind of things.

The post is a very important read because of how the researchers managed to get their codes past Apple's app store guardians.  And this is one that I've thought of that is possible.  Codes that are not strung together during the review process but could be reacted and put together later.

And as mobile devices get more complicated, smarter forms of attacks, whether it's against Apple, Google, or anyone else, will surface.  

Security Or Convenience: Saving Docs To Your Mac Instead Of The Cloud

I'm not entirely 100% up and up on how I feel about saving my data in the cloud with Apple, Google, or anyone else.  Least of all Google since we all know they look through them, not for any real malicious reasons, to sell ads to us.

But the main reason is that we know they're sharing our data with the US government and, probably, others as well.  And you can forget about Facebook.  They're probably the worst in my opinion.

Which is why I think there is room for the need to save data to the Mac and on the Mac, which is better for some who are more concerned with privacy than convenience.

Macworld here has a tip on just how to do that.  However, it's not something that we are used to with Windows or the older OS X system which allows us greater choices and freedom.  For the average Mac warrior, Apple's emphasis on iCloud isn't going to be an issue.

As time rolls on, iCloud will only get more robust and features, both good things.  For those of us older folks who are used to saving them where we like, less so with each update.  Again, not a bad thing.

It's all about convenience and, for some, privacy.  I think in general it's alright to save to the cloud.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Financial Times Post On Blackberry's Fall

Here is a very good FT post on Blackberry and how/why the once mobile king who owned the mobile market fell from grace to a deathly 3% of the market (or less by come accounts).

The reason I recommend it as a must read is because of all the various signs that were missed by Blackberry executives over the years on the threat of the iPhone back in 2007 and the emergence of Android.

Along the way, the post also brought in bits about the reign mobile device makers, Apple and Samsung while it named the other players that at one time or another also controlled their own destiny.  Nokia, Motorola, and, of course, Microsoft who recently took a charge of nearly one billion dollars to clear away its unwanted Surface tablets.

What's interesting is that the post mentioned Google twice, it is important to point that it was only mentioned as the owner of Android and Motorola.  Like Samsung's last keynote on the Galaxy S 4 which hardly mentioned Google and nothing about Android, the post seems to suggest that Samsung is synonymous with the Android market.

Also, the post tried to tell us what options are left for the iconic Canadian company, it left me without a doubt that the future is bleak and that, in fact, Blackberry, without buyers and bandoned by loyalists, really will only be remembered in the history books.

It's also fitting that the post finished with the question "Remember the Palm Pilot?"

Note:  You'll need to register for a free account in order to read it but it's worth the effort.

Mobile Gaming: Notifications Are A Part Of The Experience

Interesting post here from Touch Arcade about gaming notifications.  In general, the average mobile warrior doesn't play enough games to warrant any kind of annoyance due to the gaming constantly asking you to play or update or help banish a group of bandits or whatever.

In iOS, I do get game challenges from users which is as annoying as I find it and I don't find it all that annoying at all.  In fact, I like that the mobile gaming experience is engaging.  Mobile gaming provides a new dimension to the experience that did not exist on the console or handhelds like the Gamboys or even today's systems.

I play lots of chess and other turn-based games with friends and even strangers.  Chess with Friends?  You  know that game.  And if you don't, you absolutely know Words with Friends.  And before that, Draw Something was very popular until it quickly fizzled out.

All these games brought an online and social experience that was not really there before.  And that experience comes with the system telling you when it's your turn.  And you make your move whenever you want and wherever you want.  I've played online games in the past and it forces you to just sit there.  Not so today.

The post from TA honed in specifically on unwanted types of alerts.  There are those on iOS games and I haven't played enough Android games to experience that.  Developers should be keen on the types of notifications that will help players stay engaged but not to the point that it leaves them when a bad taste and ruin the experience.

Even then, that's also a fine line to that as well.  I think we should let the market decide.   If anything, I like more social engagements than less if it makes games more enjoyable.  And I'm not talking about simple alerts or connecting merely through social networks.

iPhone 5S/6 with Gold Color and 128 GB Option? Makes More Sense Separately

Source:  Macrumors.

There is chatter that there could be a gold color option in addition to the white and back already on the market for the next iPhone (I'm still out on whether to call it the iPhone 5S or 6).  My reaction?

Meh. Not all that excited about it.

However, the 128 GB option would make sense and be inline with what we believe to the natural progression of the storage upgrade from Apple for the iconic mobile device.  There is already a 128 GB iPad option (that'll be my next iPad storage size when the new one is released this fall).

What I'm worried about is whether Apple will only make it available to the gold option.  There is sketchy details about that.  Frankly, I'm not sure the gold part is even true.  Talk about catering to the one-percenters, you know?

But a 128 GB white iPhone.  Where do I sign?!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Small Crack: ESPN3 Available For Free Streaming Via College/Military WiFi On the iPad Only

Source:  GIGAOM.

Ever watch ESPN3?  You should as I do.  Sport, baby!  Lots and lots of it.  And it's not even better if you happen to be a student, in the military, or happen to be on a college or military base because Disney has made available free streaming of ESPN3 to students and the military.

iPad Screenshot 1

What's significant about this is ESPN is a very hot property for Disney and ABC.  For them to open up access in this manner shows the growing confidence the studio/network has in the future of live video streaming beyond just the television in your living room or bars.

Here is the caveat.  You need to have an iPad.  I know.  No Touchpad, obviously.  Surface? Forget about it.  But more importantly, troops and students armed with Android tablets are also a no go.

It is a point worth mentioning because the growing number of Android tablet users.  Perhaps, the closer relationship between Apple and Disney a la Steve Jobs' legacy has something to do with this being iPad only.

Still, in the grand scheme of things, this is big.  You see apps on tablets already and even on set-top boxes and consoles like the Apple TV and Xbox. And I see ESPN3's liberation, however small a step, from any kind of bundling is a big step on the march towards wrestling the control of the archaic cable/SATTV system that exists now.

Also, you might point out that this is ESPN3, not THE ESPN channel itself.  But it's still ESPN, folks.

I wager we'll see even more changes in the content and media market on the months to come.  Currently, Apple is trying to gain a foothold in the living room with its "hobby" the Apple TV and Google just released the Chromecast.  Efforts by these giants will continue to weaken the hold that cable companies have and give it back into the hands of the viewers and mobile warriors.

iPhone 6 (or 5S): If It Does Have a Finger Print Scanner, It Could Give Apple Greater In-Road Into Enterprises

The gadget market can be divided up into certain segments - consumer, education, and enterprise.  And while a fingerprint sensor in the next iPhone could help usher in some sort of mobile payment scheme from Apple, I believe it is Enterprise who will benefit the most from this and solidify Apple's place in businesses the way not seen since Blackberry's Messenger did.

Here's the thing, typing in a pass code is easy.  Setting one up on the iPhone is also easy but the problem is it requires that the user use a number they can remember.  Someone's birthday, probably theirs or members of their immediate family.  Pin numbers.  You get it. You know what I'm talking about even if you don't subscribe to such practice.  Chances are, you know someone who does.

I can tell you know, I don't.  I've got an incredible memory for things like this.  I can look at a few sets of numbers for a few seconds and remember them all.  But if someone knocks me over the head and I suffer amnesia, all bets are off.  

But with fingerprint authentication, this is very different.  Now, I don't know just what Apple has planned for this or what API access they'll give companies and developers but I have to figure that Apple has thought of as much contingencies as they can at this point for fingerprint use.  

Assuming all that, protecting company documents and secrets become more natural and fluid.  And if the user only has to place a finger print on the scanner to gain access, it becomes easier than typing in a code (maybe it requires both depending on the app or how the company set things up).

The only thing is that I hate to see people lose their fingers to thieves who wanted access to the user's iPhone.  However, that may or may not be a major issue.  Supposed someone were to steal a corporate iPhone.  The might somehow gleamed the pass code but without the finger print, they still will not have access to the data. 

And added layer of security and easy one at that to implement in using the iPhone 5S or iPhone 6 is going to go a long way in making corporate security breath a bit easier.  And even for individuals, this is going to help make sure that thieves understand they cannot make off with a stolen iPhone and immediately gain access or use of it without the right finger prints. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Next iPhone 5/6: Do Yourself A Favorite And Go 32 GB - 64 GB Would Be Better (128 GB Would Be The Best)

iPhone 5S or iPhone 6.  No matter what Apple is going to call it, do yourself a favor, pay that extra $100 for the 32 GB version or $200 more for the 64 GB version.  And in the longer term, you'll be glad for it.  There are a few reasons why.

  • iOS is getting bigger and need more space.
  • Apps are more sophisticated and better.  That also means taking up more storage.
  • With the original iPhone, it came on two versions: 4 GB and 8 GB.  Most people opted for the 8 GB version and the next iPhone with 16 GB will fee like the 2007 4 GB iPhone.
  • Camera and video quality are getting better.  More pixels also means bigger picture sizes.  Same goes for videos too.
  • The iPhone ain't a toy no more.  It's a part of us.  Evolution but not in the biological sense.  You'll put more apps, including games, to augment and make your life better and more connected.
  • We watch more videos and consume more information.  Books and magazines. All that takes space.  More than ever before.  A lot of Apple mobile warriors are using their iPhones and iPads to serve as their entertainment center.  And it's not only in the living room.
  • Music - Ain't gonna be an iPhone today without the iPod.  Seven out of ten of us sported one.  Apple had always controlled 70% of the MP3 player.  Music on the go will always be with us and will become more so.  Again, the iPhone is the next step in evolution in some ways.
  • This is the biggest reason why you should go with a 32 GB iPhone 5S or iPhone 6 but I'm gonna make you scroll all the way down to find out.
iOS 7

iOS 7 is a big jump from iOS 6.  No iPhone OS has had such an impact how much the mobile market since iOS gained an app store.  Before that, there was no need for too much storage because people couldn't store apps.  More than that, iOS 7 is packed with a beautiful redesign and tons of new features.  There could be a couple of more features we're not aware of yet.  Better OS probably means bigger OS too.


iOS users love their apps. I know I love mine.  I've got hundreds.  But forget the ones that I don't use and forget that I'm a packrat for apps, the ones that I will use are getting better and better.  Like the argument above about iOS 7 being better but that it probably also means it'll take a larger footprint on your iPhone's storage, iOS 7 apps will probably do the same as well.  And who knows what other innovative features developers have access to or will create themselves.  It's always after to have more room than not.

Camera, Pictures, Videos

Each successive generation of iPhones will have better and better cameras.  Cameras that can take picture with more pixels.  We may one day be able to shoot 4K videos as well.  That means pictures and videos will get bigger because of more megapixels.  You'll need more room than ever to store all that (until you can offload them when you get home or back to the office).  

iPhone with 16 GB Is like 2007 iPhone with 4GB

Most of you probably are new to the iPhone scene only in the last few years and maybe not be aware of the fact that Apple released a 4 GB version of the original iPhone.  Well, folks, today's 16 GB iPhone or the ones that Apple will introduce on September 10th, is like that.  Low end in terms of storage which means you cannot hold as much data.  Forge that low-end version.  A few gig of apps, pics, and videos, an your system will warn you soon enough that you don't have anymore space.

More video, books, music etc.

iTunes is a big seller for Apple.  More and more, Apple is saying how iTunes is a big part of Apple's mobile and iOS ecosystem because of how much growth and money it's bringing in. We're buy more videos, books, and music.  

And yes, Apple will have iTunes Radio but if you're like me, you like to own your more favorite music, TV shows, and movies.  And if you wanna carry them around, you'll need the room for them.

Right now, I've got 6 gig of music, 3 gig of video, about a gig of pics, and, depends on the week, 3-4 gig of podcasts.  

Oh, right.  Podcasts is playing a bigger and bigger part of our media consumption.  And they're also better in terms of production and video quality.  It used to be that we only listen to podcasts.  Now, we also watch more of them.  Why?  Because they're like on demand radio and shows.  And best of all, they're still free.

Human Evolution

Huh?  You're wonder what the iPhone has to do with evolution.  Well, considering that you've got your iPhone or another smartphone with you all the time, it's like an extension of our physical selves.  If we could grown an iPhone attached to our body, given enough time (millions of years), it could happen or we'll be attaching such devices to our bodies.  

Well, carrying around our mobile devices like sort of like that.  And that's because we have become more and more reliant upon it.  Good or bad, that's true.

And since we're going to be using it to better our lives, work, and maybe even social standing, you want to maximize the mobile experience.

Storage, storage, storage.  We're blogging, updating social networks, taking pics and videos, checking in, etc.  


I'm saving my best argument for last.  When you put all what arguments I've made able on why you should avoid the 16 GB version of the iPhone 5S or 6, the best reason you should get at least a 32 GB version if not the 64 GB is because you'd be future proofing against the mobile revolution that is currently taking place.

You don't want to miss out.  

Furthermore, assuming that Apple keeps the next iPhone prices the same as it is today, because you are spending $100 or $200 more, you may also be less inclined to upgrade yearly or feel like you're being left out with each annual release.  I know I probably would especially if I'm paying $849 for the 64 GB. 

I would tend to want to make that last longer before I reach into my very shallow pocket to get one 12 months after Apple releases the 2013 iPhone.  

The psychology and math goes together.  Pay $649 for a 16 GB iPhone this year and be tempted to spend another $649 next year because of a few new features.  Or pay $849 now, and go "wow, I've already spent a lot on this iPhone.  Maybe I can wait another cycle before I upgrade it.  And plus, it has 64 GB. I think I can wait for the 2015 version".

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Google: You have No Reason To Expect No Privacy

Source:  Gizmodo.

"Expect no privacy" is what Google is telling the court and users.  This was found in a brief filed by Google attorneys trying to dismiss a class action lawsuit brought on by Gmail users.

Don't we kinda already know that?  I suppose.

But to hear Google actually say it, somehow, it's different, you know? The exact words are "Indeed, 'a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties".

Los Angeles To Possibly Consider City Wide Wireless Internet Access

I've never been in a city where there is a city-wide Internet access provided by the city so I don't know what Los Angeles has planned.  But the city council is set to take up a motion to consider setting up and providing city-wide Internet access.

Read again.  It's only to discuss a motion to start thinking about how feasible it is to set up a city-wide WiFi access.

Newly minted council member, Bob Blumenfield, head of City Council's Innovation, Technology and General Services Committee, will introduce a motion, that requires approval, to ask city employees how this could be done.

Now, this is the City of Los Angeles.  Flat, spread out, pockets of the LA city, here and there.  Not concentrated like SF or NY.  So, I reckon they're probably talking about downtown Los Angeles, north of the 10, east of the 110, southwest of the 101 and 5.

The city could probably be talking about West Los Angeles and midtown.  But south of the 10, you know, South Central and Watts area?  I certain hope the city council does include that large segment of the city because that's where we need free WiFi access to many who truly cannot afford it there.

So, you can judge by my tone of voice that I'm not all that excited.  The move is only to ask for permission to begin talking about city-wide WiFi access.  Personally, I've been waiting for years to see what White Spaces could do for a big and spread-out city like Los Angeles.  I think only a wider range system could work here.

Still, it's good to get folks thinking and maybe this will get someone to innovate and figure out something even better than what we already have.

Gene Munster, Apple Analyst: In the Business of Being Wrong and Rewarded For It

Source:  Macrumors.

Through I love reading credible rumors, I don't like to talk about them here.  However, from time to time, I make exception on rumors to make a point or look at it from a speculative point of view.  Now, I'm gonna make a point.

See, Apple analysts have been in the business of writing reports to drive up or down Apple's stock price.  And they get rewarded handsomely for it whether they're right or wrong.  See, there is one Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray who is so wrong that it's incredible that Apple blog sites even bring him up at all.  It's like he's an one-man DigiTimes.

The latest out of him is that an upcoming low-end iPhones will not support Siri.  Are you kidding me?!

The lowest of the low iOS devices, the iPod touch, has Siri and dictation support.  How can a critical device like the rumored iPhone Color, a device to propel Apple's mobile dominance onto higher level not have Siri?

Maybe Munster isn't aware of this because he's got his head stuck up the you-know-what about Apple releasing its own HDTV that he doesn't realize what a critical future Siri has in Apple's mobile and computing plans.

I love rumors and speculations but this one, like those spread by Digitimes, just are plainly not worth posting. For Digitimes, I get that its click-baits.  For analyst reports, it's about fiance.  Apple bloggers should stop posting these nonsense and stick with true juicy rumors.

NOW, why does Munster think Siri will not be in the iPhone Color?  Well, it's because it wasn't available on the iPhone 3GS and 4, two devices that were released prior to Siri and the iPhone 4S.  And because the 3GS and 4 were low-end devices, he concluded the iPhone Color, being a low-end device will not have Siri.

Seriously, do these guys not even try to think just a little?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Founder of Telsa and SpaceX Reveals HyperLoop - As Smooth As Riding Space Mountain

Source:  CNetSpaceX.

A press conference will be held soon to provide more details but we already know what Elon Musk, on his way to becoming this generation's Edison or Jobs with SpaceX and Tesla, now he wants to revolutionize long-distance travel with HyperLoop.

"It'll be a smooth as riding the Space Mountain at Disneyland" is the quote but I'm not sure it was all that smooth to begin with.  But we all get what he's trying to say.

So far, we know that it'll go up to 800 miles per hour on the ground through a series of tubes (according to one Alaskan senator, "series of tubes") and be sped up much like a railgun that we see in science fiction shows and books.

More details to follow.  I'm very excited about this.

My only problem with this, a major one, is logistics and find the space for this to be built.  Musk said the optimal range for this is between cities that are around 900 miles apart.  That's great and all except that in the US, I can see such an endeavor run into series of roadblocks - political, environmental, etc.

And yet, as Musk pointed out, there is now already an over-budget and very late high-speed train system in California, home to Musk and myself, that cannot come close to the HyperLoop. I imagine this is where he came up with the idea of promoting it.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Apple Event: "Nope", Promotion Periods, and September 10th

Source: All Things D.

Is that time of the year when we expect Apple to put on its annual media event introduce its fall lineup to get again crush the Christmas sales. So that means guess games. Rumors will fly and people will try to guess and second guess one another.

Typically, the first ones you'll hear about are going to be false. Just like this September 6th date that was immediately debunked by Jim Dalrymple of The Loop Insight, Apple fan legend (I know that's probably not the right description).

I could have "nope" that myself. Seriously, when has Apple ever launch a device on a Friday!?

Then last night, All Things D posted that the fall event should take place on September 10. So far, no one seems to be disputing that. It also falls on a Tuesday so this make sense though it's far from confirmed. Still, it does appear legitimate at this time.

However, this does not mean that Apple will beginning selling and shipping the next iphone, iPad, or whatever new product they'll be introducing right away.  For that, let's look at the promotions that Applies currently running at this time.

For the first time ever, Apple has included in its back-to-school promotion the iPhone.  Also included are the Macs and the iPads. The promotion ends on, you guessed it, September 6th, the likely source of the wrong Apple event date.

The 10th falls on the immediate Tuesday after the end of the promotion.

Given the enormous pressure Apple has been under to demonstrate that its capable of innovating without Steve Jobs, I am sure Apple is eager prove its naysayers wrong and full of crap.

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 ...