Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Samsung Galaxy first look

Ever wonder how the new Samsung Galaxy Tablet looks like?

Youku.com has posted a spy video of the supposedly Samsung galaxy. The official release fro this Android 2.2 tablet with 7inch screen will be on September 2nd in Berlin, Germany.


Google makes gmail smarter

Don't we all hate our mailbox. Tons of emails in spam and almost as much in inbox which are not marked as spam. Hard to know which ones we should read first. Hardly to tell which is important or which one is not so much interesting.

NY times is reporting that Google has a solution for this. Google has a lot experience in writing algorithm for spam filters and optimized their code and to overcome email overload in the last 10 years. Google is applying same algorithm base for their new inbox function.

Google is trying to come to the rescue with a new Gmail feature announced Tuesday called Priority Inbox, which monitors your messages and tries to organize your inbox based on a number of criteria, like how often you correspond with a particular sender.

Google explains that the first thing Priority Inbox does is split your inbox into three sections: “important and unread,” “starred” and “everything else.”

“Important” messages are judged to be the most significant, and sit at the top of your Gmail window. Next is the “starred” area, the messages you say are important. Finally, “everything else” includes those messages that can probably be dealt with later, or completely ignored — the ones that aren’t quite spam, but don’t need to clutter up your screen or your brain right now.

A spokesman from Google said Gmail looks for terms and people that you categorize as important, or not, and decides whether those messages make it into your priority inbox accordingly.

The system also looks for the people you interact with on a daily basis, pushing their messages higher up the ladder. Finally the new inbox looks to see if a new e-mail was sent “directly to you, or if it is sent to other people too.”

A mobile version of the new function is not yet available but if it works well it will come soon.

The new feature will begin appearing in beta mode on Tuesday and will be available as an option for Gmail users as it rolls out across the service. Users will begin seeing an alert allowing them to switch to Priority Inbox.

There are other services with similar approaches to the inbox problem, including Sanebox, which prioritizes Gmail’s inbox with new folders, and Xobni, which works with Microsoft’s Outlook software.

This tool could be very helpful. I spend more time on moving my emails around and deleting them than actually reading them. And many times I forgot to go to a cool party because I missed to read the invitation. Of course this model works only well when it can learn from the user. You still have to make (at least at the beginning) the decision which mail is important and which not to help the system to learn.

- Posted using My iPad

Location:W Laurel St,Tampa,United States

Google beat

As mentioned in an earlier post, I believe the internet will go more and more away from text to more video driven content. The technology is ready and the speed is there too.
Google is starting to jump on this even if it is just a small step.
Google is offering now google beat which is a weekly video presented by Anne Espiritu. The video tells the user the top three searches over a week. Of course not searches which are rated as pornography.
Gabriel Stricker is saying "the point of these videos is to answer the question of what people are searching for."
The video is produced at google and will have production time.
However with the emerging ability to produce realistic computer animated graphics I can see in the future search results or these kind of videos produced on the flow.

Below is the first google beat video and more to come.

- Posted using My iPad

Monday, August 30, 2010

New Kindle versus iPad

Finally I got my Kindle (the new one) for $189. It is pretty light, much much lighter than the iPad and the setup was easy for wifi. 3G is free and working from the beginning. Because I bought the kindle from Amazon it was configured with my Amazon account. The kindle offers over 600,000 books, 137 newspapers world wide (even the Frankfurter Allgemeine from Germany), 71 magazines and over 10,000 blogs.

I actually did first not know if on the kindle was a sticker or if the screen on. The text on it just looks like a piece of paper (silver paper). I tried to touch the screen till I remembered that it is no touchscreen.
The Kindle has as well a browser, a music player and text to speech under experimental topic.
The Browser is pretty useles, anything which moves on the screen is not readable and the mouse jumps to navigation points by hitting the arrow keys, but not in any useful way. The text to speech is metallic and does not work with foreign text.
No wonder these parts are experimental. At the end the kindle is an ebook and not a computer.

Reading books with the kindle is interesting, the text is so clear and easy to read, however the load of a new page is annoying, the refresh is like making the whole page black and switches. This takes almost a second.
The screen is 7 inch which is only 3 inch less than the iPad but seems so much less. For me it is too small to read books. I never liked neither small paper books.
Reading outside in the sun at the beach is great, it does not matter how bright the sun is.
But reading in the bed is only possible if you have a nightlight or if you buy one of the expensive covers with built-in light.
Magazines are no fun to read, neither newspapers. They are basically build like a book. You have to go through the index page to see what articles are in the magazine, when you buy a subscription it loads always the first article instead of showing the index/content page.
Pictures are rare and pretty bad quality.
The wifi and 3G is so much slower than with the iPad.

If I would not have had my iPad since 4 months and I would only know such devices as book readers, i would love the kindle. But since I saw what else a device with 10 inch screen and much lighter as a notebook can do, I am not impressed. I use my iPad to read magazines which look much more like real magazines with full color images and videos.
But as well I read books with it, yes hard in the sun to use but at least I don't need a light when reading a book in the bed. But the best part is that i switch many times between books and internet. Whenever i find something in the book I want to research, I can do it easy with iPad.
And then all other things I can do, like watching movies, playing games or downloading over 250,000 applications.

The iPad costs at least 2.5 more than the kindle. But has for me a minimum of 10 times more useful functions. The iPad needs to be charged 10 times more often than the kindle, but even using the iPad daily I seldom need to charge it every day.

I am a power user, therefore or gave the kindle to my mother in law, she loves books. She said the kindle is ok, but she is missing email, toddler games and web surfing. She went with the iPad. She is 69 years young.
My son (as i wrote in an earlier blog) is an iPad master, playing his learning games. He does not show any interests in the kindle and does not know how the kindle works. He's 30 months old.

A device which can entertain all generation in a house is at the end much more cheaper than having a netbook, a leap frog and a kindle at the same time to serve everybody's need and still not looking cool.
The really funny part is, that the kindle app on the iPad looks better than the kindle because images are in such good color quality.

It took my 30 minutes to connect my kindle to twitter and facebook. You can do this only over the kindle browser and it is horrible, i even don't know how was able to do it at the end.

- Posted using My iPad

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Does our patent system need an overhaul?

In 500 BC, in the Greek city of Sybaris (located in what is now southern Italy), "encouragement was held out to all who should discover any new refinement in luxury, the profits arising from which were secured to the inventor by patent for the space of a year."
In the USA, a patent is a set of exclusionary rights granted by a state to a patent holder for a limited period of time, usually 20 years. These rights are granted to patent applicants in exchange for their disclosure of the inventions. Once a patent is granted in a given country, no person may make, use, sell or import/export the claimed invention in that country without the permission of the patent holder. Permission, where granted, is typically in the form of a license which conditions are set by the patent owner: it may be gratis or in return for a royalty payment or lump sum fee.

In the modern world the patent system was established to ensure companies or people can earn their money back they did spend to invent their product before other companies will be able to copy these products without spending money for research.
But today many companies are patenting all kind of ideas without even to build a product. They take the patent and put in the drawer till they can sue somebody.
Reading the news we see many lawsuits between Apple, Google, HTC, Microsoft and so one based on patent violation.
As an example, Apple holds over 2000 patents and most of them are even not used in their products.
It seems that it is almost too easy to get patents as long their is enough cash.
As a result small companies can't either afford to patent their invention or if they try it might be already patented by IBM, Apple or Microsoft.
How our system works does not support the original thought to protect. It serves only for companies or people to make money by claiming a patent violation.
We need to rethink how the patent system works to ensure it allows companies to proceed with their products without the fear of copycats.
I believe a patent should not given if this patent is not going to be used in a product.
If you look at a list of most patents you will find people like Thomas Edison (one of the biggest inventors in the US) and Tesla which both together had over 2000 patents. Only a low percentage of these patents are used in their products.

And then the patent system is so weird that a single battery could have over 50 patents. This is too much, it should be more high level. With our existing patent system, I could create a new type of battery using same components like an existing one, change one small part on it and get a new patent. This should stop, I should not be able to get a patent if it not really something different than existing.

The US allows software patents since the 70es even if they solve business problems and not technology problems. Different in Europe, there computer-implemented inventions which only solve a business problem using a computer, rather than a technical problem, are considered unpatentable as lacking an inventive step. Nevertheless, the fact that an invention is useful in business does not mean it is not patentable if it also solves a technical problem.

The European approach helps at least that big companies do not patent something just for the sake of a patent. However smaller companies can not keep their advantage of a special algorithm because they can't patent it.
To patent software is difficult and the people who make the decision might even not know what all the code means. I think software code should not be able to patent, however it should be able to get a copyright as long the author can proof that the code is 100% written and developed by himself.
Maybe code should be handled like books copyright, but not be allowed to be patented.

- Posted using My iPad

Location:Spinning Wheel Ln,Spring Hill,United States

Friday, August 27, 2010

Google realtime search

Google is now offering realtime search as an experiment. Realtime results are coming from different social sites like Twitter, Buzz, Facebook, Friendfeed, MySpace, Jaiku and Identi.ca

The realtime search is still experimental and when your try to get there over http://www.google.com/realtime you will get a server error

You need to use http://www.google.com/realtime?esrch=RealtimeLaunch::Experiment to get to this page.
I searched for tiger woods and got some good results.
Google will in the future combine realtime and normal search but will keep realtime as well as a separate search.
If you want to know if there was just right now an earthquake you might want search only in realtime, but if you want to know how an earthquake works you would search on google standard.

Google realtime search is coming few months after www.bing.com/social got released. Microsoft and google are paying a lot of money to facebook to get their FB info.
However bing.com shows much better facebook results than google, I believe the reason is that Microsoft has some shares in FB.
Overall the Twitter search in google is better, even better than on Twitter.com but for Facebook results bing.com is the clear winner.

- Posted using My iPad

Thursday, August 26, 2010

September 1st announcement

Apple is holding on September 1st an another announcement and again the invitation does not tell anything. It is a picture of a guitar with the Apple logo not more or less.

 Everybody is speculating what Apple is releasing in this conference. It goes from an new iTV over finally having Beatles in the iTunes store over moving iTunes in the cloud that users can stream music like pandora.
However the strongest rumor is about an iPod with front facing camera to allow face time. I am wondering how Apple would handle this, because face time is right now utilizing for voice the normal phone line only video goes over wifi to ensure good sound quality and this is the reason you can call only phone numbers for face time. The iPod has no phone function. So how could I call an iPod or how could an iPod user can reach iPhone users?

If Apple will have face time on iPod then it will be different technology and this would mean face time would need to be changed on iPhone. I don't think they would offer face time where only iPod user to iPod user can make calls.

My favorite is the announcement of a new Apple TV, but many times we all have be wrong, therefore I wait and will be surprised what they present.

- Posted using My iPad

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

iPad sales not as good as expected?

Apple is usually very good in sharing sales information outside of their standard financial disclosures, when the sales are better or at least as expected.
The last time we heard an update on iPad sales was in June. Apple announced they sold 3 million iPads. Since then it was pretty calm around the iPad. And at the same time the amount of commercials for the iPad are raising.
Trying to order the iPad online will still have a 7 to 10 days delay, but many stores are carrying iPads again. Even stores like Best Buy have iPad on stock, which was not possible 2 months ago.
Maybe Apple is concentrating on new products too much or even a new iPad.
Or maybe they don't want to disclosure the number because amazon is not telling how many kindle they sold.

Bottom line is that it is a little suspicious that we don't hear new iPad numbers.

- Posted using My iPad

Location:Memorial Hwy,Tampa,United States

New Apple TV coming soon

More and more rumors are pointing to a new Apple TV sooner than I expected. In the mean time Apple is talking with TV companies to get a better deal on shows. Rather than a consumer is buying an episode for $1.99 to $2.99, Apple wants to have the price around $0.99 to rent an episode.
The new Apple TV is rumored to have iOS. Hopefully we can upgrade the older Apple TVs.
We have in our household two Apple TVs, but we seldom use them. Main reason is that we don't watch so much TV.
Another reason is the pricing model and that we have a DVR with our Dish Network. If i watch TV it is either a documentary or a serial like True Blood or Warehouse 13.
I record them with my DVR to avoid advertising. I use my Apple mostly to watch DVDs i had moved into iTunes.
Netflix is right now my favorite, i get the movie I want within 2 days and can stream some movies even instantly through my Wii.
Painful at Netflix are shows which have per DVD only 3 or 4 episodes. With my netflix account I can have only one DVD at time, it takes weeks till I have all episodes through netflix.
And i think this the reason Apple is trying to get shows cheaper into iTunes. With movies it is hard for Apple to compete with Netflix, they have much more movies available but shows might work.
Steve Jobs called once the Apple TV a hobby, and he is right, as long TV producers don't change their model, no set up box can compete with TV. I have right now 250 channels and a DVR, i can basically watch anything i want any time.
On the other hand Internet and set up boxes are putting pressure on the TV, as soon people can get almost the same amount of information and shows through set up boxes like Apple TV, then they might switch instead of paying a $100 something bill each month.
Advertising will and need to change for TV. It will be much more product placements than commercials. New technology allows to render any product via computer into movie or show.
Producers will get smarter in shooting shows to allow to change a product placement on the flow to be more time sensitive. I actually see a big market for start ups in this sector.
In a few years from now, we might not have classic commercials anymore, but commercials as a part of the show, totally integrated. When an user sees an item they like, they can click on it (with mouse or remote control). The TV goes then into split screen, the show stops and user can read more about the product or see a complete 60 second commercial with the ability to buy instantly the product. TV will not anymore just stream, the user can send information back, it gets much more interactive. Basically TV will be the internet of tomorrow. The only difference is that this Internet will be motions rather than flat text. The Internet will be a big movie. The speed will be there and the need is already here.

- Posted using My iPad

Location:George J Bean Outbnd Pkwy,Tampa,United States

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Apple files new patents

www.applelypatent.com is reporting that Apple filed around 9 new patents which include a touchscreen iMac which can switch between MacOsX and iOS depending on screen position. This means OSX and iOS will coexist in one machine, the question will be if one or the other will be replaced in the future through the other. Maybe there will be not anymore OSX or iOS will be replaced through a more stable OSX/iOS version.
There are talks that the new iMac will be on market for holidays. One manufacture claimed there is already a touch iMac in production.

When I first heard about the touch iMac I thought who needs to have a 27 inch touch screen, especially when i saw the touch Dell desktop. But now looking at their patent it makes so much sense. Flip your screen and you have a perfect input device especially if you have second screen attached. The iMac itself will be keyboard, mouse etc. Designers could much faster build PSDs etc without the need of an external pad with pen. Just use your pen to draw directly on the screen. Architects can much faster design houses and don't need anymore the special whiteboard. Tons of ideas come to my mind.

iPod and iPod touch patents
The notables within the group of 9 new patents include design wins for both the original iPod and the iPod touch along with other patents covering Apple's now defunct Shake application, the technology behind multi-conic graphic gradients and most importantly, a major touch related patent that may have played a role in Apple's latest Magic Trackpad desktop device.

Apple is for sure building something new and not just one new device or tool, otherwise Steve Jobs would have not been so confident in June when he said that new amazing things will come this year.

- Posted using My iPad

Location:W Laurel St,Tampa,United States

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Facebook questions a copy of hunch.com

Since a few weeks facebook is offering questions on their website. Users can ask questions and the crowd can answer them. The idea behind is that many people will answer and the most common answer will be the correct one. Basically a crowd sourcing through 500 million people.
The idea is great, but I believe Facebook is using this new function as well for capturing more concrete information from their users. Facebook has already a better knowledge of their users than any other company. But Facebook does not know what their users are buying (which changes when more companies allow users to use their Facebook login for e-commerce and the more shops are established in Facebook like Disney and 1800-flowers.com). Another missing puzzle is to understand the user by their actions. Right now I have Lady Gaga as my favorite music, because Lady Gaga fan page ask to set this. But by no means would I buy Lady Gaga music. The same with pictures in my profile, Facebook can see that I like to travel and in which country I have been but it can't predict where I want to go next.
For this part comes the Facebook question in place, which is based on hunch.com.
Hunch.com uses an algorithm which was in the 1990 established at the MIT. The idea is, if a person A likes Slayer and Metallica, and finds person B because B likes as well Slayer and Metallica and they befriend, the it is most likely if now Person B likes Queen, person A will like Queen too.
Facebook does know a lot of you but because of all 3rd party apps, the user has more on their wall than useful to make good prediction. The predictions are important for marketing. Most likely users won't buy twice the same thing, but if marketing could know what an user would buy next, would be gold.
Hunch.com is trying to learn exactly this from their user base.
When signing up at hunch.com the user has at least to answer 12 questions and the more questions (different than at facebook, hunch.com is formulating the questions and answers) an user answers the better the prediction. Hunch.com is claiming that their recommendation is up to 85% accurate in comparison to amazon or ebay which reaches only 70%.
Hunch.com has right now 1 million users and 55 million answers. It will be interesting to follow hunch.com it could be a really good tool for marketing experts.

- Posted using My iPad

Location:Spinning Wheel Ln,Spring Hill,United States

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Flash on iPhone - sure

As we all know, Apple does not allow flash on their mobile devices. Unfortunately many websites are utilizing flash for videos, games or advertising. Flash is a good tool to build fast user interactive elements with not worrying about the browser type.
HTML5 is coming which can do many things we use flash for, but is not available for all browsers (internet explorer does not support HTML5).
Apple wants that companies are moving away from flash, which is great and hopefully comes sometimes.
I think flash is in certain ways very useful but used too much here in the USA (Europe is not so much flash heavy).
But till companies moved to the lighter and faster HTML5 we have a problem with Apple mobile devices.
The alternative is to buy an android phone with version 2.2 or download for the iPhone an app called "cloud browse".
This app does basically build a remote connection to a server which will serve the pages for the user. The webpages will be rendered on the remote computer, your iPhone is basically just a window.
You will be able to navigate and interact with flash parts, but it is slightly slower and a mouse arrow appears when you do things (which a native mobile device does not has) but who cares as long it works.
Cloud browse works pretty fast, but unfortunately only an iPhone version is available. Hopefully an iPad version is coming too. The app is free, which is great.
I tested it for a few days and it worked remarkable good, speed was faster as expected. Because you surf the Internet from a remote computer, the pages will be never shown as mobile pages, hence the remote computer is not mobile.
I am not sure how fast the surfing will be when many people are going to use this service.
I would not recommend this app as your main browser, but when you know you need to go to a website full of flash then the app is a good choice.

The screenshot below shows walmart.com surfed with cloud browse. The image with the pasta is actually flash as well the poll.

The same page accessed with the native safari browser on the iPad. As you can see poll and the pasta are missing.

- Posted using My iPad

Location:Spinning Wheel Ln,Spring Hill,United States

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ipone 3G and iOS4

In an older post, i talked about how we should not upgrade the iPhone 3G with iOS4 because the performance will be so slow that it is almost not usable anymore. Unfortunately there is not an easy way to go back, after the latest version is installed.

A friend of mine did send me this funny video which does exactly show what i was talking about. It is a parody of Apple iPhone commercial.

Android or iPhone?

You might ask what question this might be. One is a OS the other is hardware.
This is right, but the iPhone has an OS too, therefore my question should be. Android phone or iPhone?

There are now over 23 android phones and till the end of the year even 40 but only 4 different iPhones. The Evo, the Dell Streak, the Droid 2 are all pretty cool phones, partly by spec better than every iPhone version.

The decision what phone is right one is hard, but I will try to give you some ideas to help you to to make a decision.

11:30am Fedex is delivering to an office two packages, one from Apple to person A and one from HTC to person B.

Person A:
The package in open a nice new device is in front of A, the eyes are big. He is swiping his hand over screen. The iPhone has a message that it needs to be activated. The person A does connect the phone to his computer. Damn iTunes is missing, no problem download and install. iTunes asks for person name. Set. Phone is activated. Need company email on it. No problem, an IT guy is coming over set it up using build in exchange, contacts, calendar and email settings. Done.
First call is coming in. After the call person A starts the app store application, he has to make the decision to use his existing apple account or a new one. He has none, he decides to create one, and put his credit card information in. Bang 240,000 applications to choose from. He does not install any yet, he has already a native camera app to make pictures or movies, he can already make video calls and browse the internet. Ipod is preinstalled, he could already sync his music, but unfortunately itunes is still empty. He decides to call his friend, he knows this friend has as well an iphone 4. Friend is answering and they switch with one button click to video call. How cool. The manual is just 3 pages, he understands how the iPhone works without reading anything. He can't change a lot, maybe change the background image, moves the apps around or create folders.
He decides to download an ebook reader. Easy done through the app store.
Person A is done, ready to do everything, ready to download other apps. Person a goes to the break-room to get a cup of coffee. A fellow co-worker asks how he likes the iPhone. "Great, so bright screen, so clear great camera quality and so easy to use, can't wait to find cool apps". Back the office, he has a problem to understand the VPN setting. He is calling the Apple hotline, and after 5 minutes the problem is solved.

Person B:
The package is open, a nice new device is in front of B, the eyes are big. Battery is only quarter charged, but enough to start. He is asking an IT guy how to sync the phone with Exchange. Unfortunately he has to download an 3rd party app, the IT guys explains that the pre installed app does not work with the office Exchange. No problem, but before installing this app, Person B has to install the latest android OS which works on the phone and with Exchange. Great almost done with installing the battery is drained. Person B is plugging the phone into charger. User has a lot of music on his computer but uses iTunes for the music. The phone does not sync with iTunes, he has to copy the files and redo his play lists. Not a big deal, he never liked iTunes anyway.
The phone is cool, it has already facebook and Twitter included. Person B is reading the manual to find out how he can change the look and feel, he has so many options, there will be for sure something cool.

Finally person B could decide which theme and layout, he was able to arrange the screen to his desire and got Facebook showing all the time. He wants to make a video call but needs to download an app for this. Done! Good that Android has an app store with over 60,000 apps. But be does not know who to call, because he does not know who has the same video call app installed.
Person B decides to get a coffee. In the break-room, somebody asks him how he likes his Android. "The phone is awesome, but i still need to make some configurations, you can do so many things.", "which OS version do you have?" asks the fellow co-worker. "not sure, let me look. Ah it is 2.1" is the answer. The co-worker explains him that there is a 2.3 beta out which is so much cooler than 2.1. Person B goes back to his desk and installs the latest Beta, Exchange sync is broken. Damn. He searches the Internet, finds many people with same problem but no answer and HTC can't help and google gas no hotline. He decides to do a complete reinstall again.

Android is an open source OS with great features and many versions, if you are technical savvy it is great to customize. If you never had an iPod or never used iTunes, and you are not afraid to try and error, then these are great devices with more functions an iPhone can have.

If you want to have a phone which is perfectly integrated in your existing iTunes and you used before and iPod, and you don't care if you can change the theme (for people who don't jailbreak the iPhone) then you are better with the iPhone.
It is just ready to use, easy to sync with your existing iTunes environment and extreme stable. It does not let you choose which is the best OS version, it has always the latest and if not, the upgrade is easy to install and seldom that an app will not work anymore after upgrade, as long the upgrade is a minor upgrade within same release like 4.0 to 4.1 etc.

If you want to use a phone as a business phone but you don't want a Blackberry, than the iPhone is the next best choice if you don't want to spend hours in trouble shooting and need a hotline to help.

- Posted using My iPad

Location:W Laurel St,Tampa,United States

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Are browsers dying?

I don't think so, but we can see a landscape changing since the mobile market is growing so fast.
Already today users with smart mobile devices are spending 79 minutes in average online with their device (source admob). Internet usage overall (on PC) in the US is 13 hours a week (source cnet). Mobile usage is doubled in the last 12 months but internet usage went slightly down.
80% of mobile online usage is generated through applications and not internet browsers.
All this could indicate that in the near future most of the people will access the web through applications instead through websites.
But think it is just temporally. Mobile devices are new and all of them have different resolutions and functions. It is like when the internet started and it was hard to make nice websites for all computers because of different browsers, graphic cards and resolutions. But this changed pretty fast as the tools got better and we did rethink from print to new display method . I remember at the beginning of my career, nobody did want to build browser based applications for this and some other reasons. Today, almost every enterprise application is browser based.
But why are there over 300,000 mobile apps? And what is different to a Internet page?
The difference is not big actually, most of the apps are depending on Internet connection and are just websites optimized for the mobile device. All of these apps could be web pages and most will be in the future. I believe in 12-18 months we will see a trend of disappearing apps and moved the content back into browsers. Browser will have offline cache and the user won't need to have Internet access all the time.
Right now the app hype is high because it is easier to build custom optimized applications than trying to do it through browsers and the companies can charge a lot for apps (The first webpage I did build in 1994, I charged 10k, today I would not get more than $300 for the same simple page).
But to be realistic, most of the apps are nothing than short cuts for Internet pages which displays the content in a different way.
We can already put a short cut of a web page on the iPhone desktop and looks like an app. Click on the icon will open the website. It is just a matter of time till agencies will figure out to build cool "apps" within browser page.
And in a few years there will be no question anymore if user has Internet access or not. We are just connected, as we just make phone calls when we want.
Till then we will see a higher growth in mobile internet usage through applications and a decline of internet usage through browser and PC.

- Posted using My iPad

Location:W Laurel St,Tampa,United States

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Next generation books

This year is the year of ebooks. Amazon is already selling more ebooks than hard cover books. And soon more than paper backs. Apple is big in the market as well Barnes & Noble and Sony.
Apple dis start last months to offer books which have even videos included in addition to text.
Pretty sure we will have soon the ability to rent books from Apple similar like the netflix model. Depending what an user is willing to pay as a monthly fee, the user can have on their e-reader 1 to 6 books at the same time rented (which i would prefer instead of buying, I seldom read a book twice).
But I think, the next big step is to have dynamic books. How often do we read books where the named numbers in the book are outdated or read a criminal story which plays in the present and the name of the president of the United States is wrong. With paper books we look inside the cover if the book is the latest edition. In the future when we buy an electronic book the application will ask if we want the updated version or an older edition.
Or we will read a book about facebook history and see literally the numbers going up when the author is talking how many users facebook has.
The authors will need to rethink how they write books, because nothing is set in stone anymore. Suddenly the author can interact with the user to get more hype. Maybe the user can decide in which country or city the book takes place and then the content changes the description of the city depending if the user chose Miami or New York.
I know, it would be so much harder to write books but so much more fun to read.
Or the author can ask the users to translate the book into another language. A smart DB and software will collect the data and compare hundreds of German translations for Romeo and Juliet and after 4 weeks an official German version of the book would be available. Imagine how much money a publishing house would save and pretty sure the crowd would do a better job than a translation service ever could do.

- Posted using My iPad

Location:Spinning Wheel Ln,Spring Hill,United States

Apple is hiring RFID experts, wonder why.

Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags did start their life for tracking cattle, soon it went into sports for tracking marathon runners time.
Since a few years RFID is used in grocery stores and department stores and attached to products.
RFID is the electronic version of the printed bar codes which have the UPC (unique product code) encoded.
Imagine your iPhone would have a RFID reader embedded. Apple could either use it to collect users buying habit to develop perfect targeted marketing for their ad system. Apple could send a a banner message to the user when the user is looking at a certain product (assuming the product has a RFID tag) with a coupon attached to the banner with discount for the product the user is looking at (in proximity to RFID reader) or offer alternative products similar type.
Or Apple could open the RFID reader to 3rd party developers that they can build RFID applications (example app: user is holding the iPhone into the fridge and gets a list of items which are in the fridge), the sky would be the limit. Or Apple would collect the data secretly and the user would wonder why all ads are catered to users buying behavior. Maybe Apple wants to allow grocery payment with phone in store using RFID.
Or Apple is simply building a new device for brick and mortar stores to count their inventory.
I hope it is the latter two, because all other methods would be difficult from an ethical point of view. How far are we allowed to go to collect user data?
Our life is changing and we move more and more to a digital life. Which is great, but the risk is that a single person can't control anymore how much will be stored and how much can be used to influence user or to distribute through the world.
Before digital cameras and internet, a good night in the bar might be seen by 4 friends and 50 random people, and the only evidence of the good night are spoken words and printed pictures in someones photo album, which got eventual forgotten. Today even the boss will see it, potential 500 million other people, but the worst part it will be forever available, the Internet does not forget.
As marketer I love the possibility to learn more about user behavior and targeted marketing, but as a consumer I might be worry.
Apple is good for surprises (and now that Apple found a leak, the surprises will be surprises again). I will sit back, watch TV on my iPad and wait for the next announcement.

- Posted using My iPad

Location:Spinning Wheel Ln,Spring Hill,United States

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

iPad Stands

An iPad is expensive enough, why should we spend a lot of money for its stand.
Here are some ideas.
A friend of mine did send me a link to the 30 second iPad stand, and i did once rebuild the pencil iPhone stand. I thought it would be good to share these and other hand made stands.

30 Second iPad Stand

The $4 Stand

iPad fabric:

Wood Version:

iPhone stand but works with bigger pencils as well for iPad:

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Perfect life for a geek

Before the iPad came out there were many speculations what the new Apple device will be. I did speculate too and said it will be a thin touch pad (slate) where you can slide your iPhone in to use. I thought this would be perfect. I have been wrong the iPad is better.
However an Israeli startup has made a modular mobile phone that can work on its own or slip into other electronic devices. But do we need it?

Instead of the need to slide a device into another device, every device should have Internet connection without paying extra fees.

Here is my dream as a geek (I don't see me as a geek, but my friends).
Any camera, notebook, phone, touch pad etc has a build in 3G card or Wimax. Carriers like ATT and Verizon will have a new model. They will not charge multiple data plans. Just a one time fee for each device to set it up with your main account. It does not matter how many devices you have, you have one contract and one phone number.

A geek's day in 2013
During breakfast we tape a video of our son with our camera and send with the camera the video to Facebook.
When we arrive in the office, we put our smartphone into the docking station which is connected to two 21inch screens, mouse and keyboard. All apps are in the cloud and the smart phone serves as browser and file storage if necessary.
When we go to a meeting we take our iPad to take notes which are synced with the cloud. When we are back at the desk all things we did capture on the iPad are already on the phone.
On the way home we take the train and write our blog on the iPad.
The devices will be smart, that whenever 3G is weak it will switch to wifi, if both is not available all devices in proximity will build a private network, till one devices is found with enough Internet connection. Being not connected is almost not possible.
And nobody can hack into your devices because any transaction of a data package is encrypted with a code assigned to main account number. The only way to hack the data transfer would be direct on the account level which is guarded by the best security experts in the world.
When leaving the train, we take our car for the last mile home. As soon we start our car, the build in phone gets activated and all calls get routed to there.
We switched our GPS on which is projected to the windshield as annotated reality. We see the real street through the window with an overlay of information. An arrow in the middle of the screen as sign we have to go straight. With points of interests showing where we could have dinner.
Twitter and FB messages are running as audio through the Bose speaker system. We tweet a friend back by saying "tweet @Hans, the new car is awesome. I am here. Car position". The car computer translates "car position" into a link to google maps with a dot of my car position.
Finally at home, we have dinner and decided to go out for a beer. The only thing we take with us is our smart phone. House keys? No. The locks are connected to our phone with a security key. Wallet? No. The bar accepts phone payments. ID? No. The phone is your ID.
Having too much drinks, we decided to take the taxi. Arriving at home we type the tip amount onto our phone and shake it. The taxi is paid and a green light goes on at the driver seat as a sign that the payment worked.
At home we switch our lights on and off with our smart phone, the smart phone is the only remote for TV, radio, lights etc.
Browsing through channels we decided to watch a recorded movie which we did record remotely when we have been in the bar.
A few minutes in the movie we get a Facebook entry that there is a new cool device (shown on TV screen, with messages showing what our friends are watching).
We open on the TV the website of this cool device. It sounds promising, it is extremely social, can handle emotions and has better communication accessories than anything else. The storage memory seems to be almost endless. And everybody wants to have it. But the demand is so high that there is a big waiting list.
We believe this must be a hoax. They call it girl friend. They say it costs nothing but the invest of social interaction in a real life.

all devices And functions I talked in this blog are already more or less developed. Sone are still in testing some are on the market. It is just a matter to put them together.

Dish network has an iPhone app which allows you to program your TVR
Verizon Fios shows tweeter and Facebook on your TV screen.
Annotated browser can be found on android and iPhone as download.
The US air force is using projected screens in their jet fighters
Schlage link logs can be monitored over the Internet.
Some European countries are allowing grocery shoppers to pay with their phone.

- Posted using My iPad

Location:Spinning Wheel Ln,Spring Hill,United States

Facebook the future or is it George Orwell 1984?

With over 500 Million users, Facebook is basically one of the biggest countries in the world, even if it is only a virtual world. However facebook does know more about their citizen than any other country. This is almost scary, George Orwell's 1984 happens right here in facebook and nobody seems to worry.
I went to an after hour party, somebody made a picture of me and 10 minutes later it was on facebook with my name tag and location, thanks to GPS phones and face recognition.
Once I drove home from work in my Miata. The girls in a car left to me thought it is funny that I wear a hat, bang shortly after a picture of me was in facebook.
I am a very inactive Facebook user but my life is growing in facebook. People tag me in pictures or writing on my wall. A friend of mine got fired, because some of her old friends posted on her wall if she did already find a new job. She was even not looking for a job, but her boss did read this and told her to leave that she can find a better job.
There are privacy settings in FB, but the are complicated and don't prevent things like this easily. Even if I decline to be tagged in a picture, it is too late the post is out in the new country called facebook and everybody knows about. You can delete entries in your wall, but they only get flagged. Facebook does not delete anything.
Many new startups are jumping on the Facebook train and are helping Facebook to collect more data. Facebook is going to know more about people than the CIA, KGB and FBI together. There is no need to hire hundreds of investigators, the crowd of 500 million people do it for them.
I could delete my Facebook account, but then I can't see anymore what is going on with my information in the Facebook land.
But now the next level is starting, FB knows your social behavior but has not a real understanding about your buying habit. This is changing with FB connect. More and more companies are allowing users to use their FB account to place orders, to make the life for the consumer easier. Who does not want a single sign on. But the danger is that FB is now collecting much more data from people outside the FB country.
Like I would travel to Europe and any purchase or action I do, would be transmitted to the American government.
I see a big change in our privacy thinking and life, i am pretty sure it does not take long till the court is accepting FB as a tool to identify criminals like a finger print.
I love FB, I love to be connected with my friends from all over the world. I love to hear the stories about sisters did find each other after 30 years through FB.
But we need to define better privacy laws, any human should have the right to define what the public or government is allowed to know outside of name, social security etc.
FB is big but has only really 14% very active users (and 20% of the users are responsible for 80% traffic). However it is getting more and more information from inactive users through other companies, which are using facebook connect or FB login.
Right now there is no threat, because we think we don't have to hide anything and nobody is using the data collected against us besides for marketing.
But the threat is coming when FB is changing our live outside the virtual world. It happens and it happens more and more.
People will get fired because of virtual rumors and stories, marriages are getting divorced because of information the spouse found on FB. People get robbed because FB helped the robber to know when the house is empty.
Maybe I am just too negative, but in this case I don't believe in self regulation in a space where everything is stored digital and controlled by an institution.
Zuckerberg did something genius and dangerous.
FB never forgets, as the Internet never does, we need to have something in place which will delete data older than 3 years but how? The Internet is now so big with billions of pages and servers impossible to control. A digital fingerprint is harder to delete than cutting a finger off.
We all should be aware that internet and FB changed our life. We can't control and we can't escape, but at least we can fight that certain information in internet or FB can not be taken against us.

- Posted using My iPad

Location:Spinning Wheel Ln,Spring Hill,United States

No wonder there were so many Apple leaks in the last 12 months

Fortune is reporting that an Apple manager got arrested.

A mid-level Apple (AAPL) manager was arrested Friday and charged in federal court with selling company secrets to more than half a dozen Asian suppliers, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Paul Shin Devine, 37, of Sunnyvale, Calif., a global supply manager for Apple, and Andrew Ang, of Singapore, were named in a 23-count federal grand jury indictment for wire fraud, money laundering and kickbacks, according to the Mercury News. In a separate civil suit, Apple claimed Devine accepted more than $1 million in "payments, kickbacks and bribes" over several years.

"Apple is committed to the highest ethical standards in the way we do business," Apple spokesman Steve Dowling told the Mercury News. "We have zero tolerance for dishonest behavior inside or outside the company."

According to the Mercury News report, the indictment describes a scheme in which Devine, who was privvy to confidential information about future products through his position at Apple, transmitted that information to Asian suppliers and manufacturers, including Ang, enabling them to negotiate favorable contracts. In return, the companies paid Devine kickbacks, which he shared with Ang.

The Asian suppliers were not named, but according to the indictment they included companies in China, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore that supplied materials designed for iPhones and iPods.

Devine is being held by the U.S. Marshals Service and was not available for comment. He is scheduled to appear Monday at 1:30 p.m. PST in U.S. Northern District Court in San Jose.

- Posted using My iPad

Location:Spinning Wheel Ln,Spring Hill,United States

Friday, August 13, 2010

iPad so easy a 2 year old can use

We bought the iPad 4 month ago. Actually it came during my sons birthday party.

Usually we play a lot with wood toys or read hard cover books, but at a certain time we were thinking to get him either a Vtech or leapfrog learning computer for toddlers. I went to Target and looked at sane of these electronic learning toys, but none of them really excited me. And there are expensive. Around $100 for a console, case and charging station. And then each game is another $25.

With 10 games we are easy at $350. Plus the leapfrog console does not grow with your child. I gave up and decided not to buy such electronic game.
My wife started last month to download for the iPad toddler learning games. They are either free or less than $4. Most of them have multiple languages and even German. Unfortunately Apple does not offer enough German games anymore since they have the localization. I don't know if it is bug or under purpose. Sometimes I find German toddler games but the download does not work, pretty weird.
Otherwise the iPad might be expensive but if I use the iPad only as a learning computer, then it is paid off after less than 20 games.

I could tell you how easy my son works with the iPad, but why writing it, if I can show it.

The iPad is the perfect home computer. I use it as newspaper and to write my blog,
My wife uses it for recipes and Internet surfing and facebooking. My son is using the iPad to learn or to watch kinder videos.
My mother in law is using the iPad to read the latest books. The iPad is so much in use that we are thinking to buy another one.

- Posted using My iPad

Thursday, August 12, 2010

iPhone prototype with CDMA is almost ready

Gruber is reporting that a prototype of an CDMA iPhone is supposedly ready for January launch. Unfortunate the CDMA version will not have GSM. Consumer need to make the decision to either go with ATT to have GSM or with Sprint or Verizon to get CDMA. If you are a traveler like me, you have to stick with ATT even if you would like to switch to Verizon. Most European countries do not support CDMA

The mythical Verizon iPhone could become reality this January, as Apple is reportedly finishing the prototype for a CDMA smartphone. The news comes from Daring Fireball's ever-scoopful John Gruber, who says that N92 is the codename for an engineering verification test unit of a Verizon-bound iPhone 4.

In the wake of the recent batch of countless Verizon iPhone rumors, Gruber, usually reliable for Apple-related scoops, speculates that the Cupertino company will unveil its CDMA version of the iPhone 4 at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2011, with sales starting at the end of the month.

Sources told Gruber that the Verizon iPhone prototype is not in production yet, but it is still at engineering verification testing (EVT) stage, a step before the device verification test (DVT) status (like the lost iPhone 4 prototype) -- the stage prior to mass production of the device. Gruber says the EVT stage is "right about where you'd think it would be if it were scheduled to go on sale in January."

Yes to CDMA, But Verizon-Only? Maybe

The CDMA version of the iPhone 4 is not necessarily Verizon-bound, Gruber says. In the U.S. it could be released on Sprint as well, and it would also work with Canadian CDMA carriers.

There are more than 164 million CDMA subscribers in North America, more than 36 million in Latin America, and more than 300 million in the Asia-Pacific region, according to figures from the CDMA Development Group. Instead of targeting only the U.S. Verizon subscribers, Apple could target the huge CDMA market in Asia, whereas Latin America's CDMA subscriber figures are not negligible either.


- Posted using My iPad

Location:W Laurel St,Tampa,United States

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Windos Hotmail again hacked

I got today an email from a good friend asking me, what the f.... I am doing. He got an email I supposedly did send from my hotmail account which I never use.

The email writes:
"Hi, it's been a bit since we talked last. I have found this news article that shows how to make up to 700 a day on the internet. ANyways, I think you should read it because i'm already making money from it. Visit this right away_"

I instantly went into my hotmail account which i never use (only for my windows live) and did see thousands of not delivered emails in the last 4 days.
I closed my account, but needed to close at the same time my windows live account.
Windows hotmail forum is getting a lot entries right now with same issues reporting from other hotmail users.

The problem seems to happen because Microsoft is trying to merge hotmail with Windows Live and it opened a security hole which hackers instantly used to send spam emails.
Here a way to solve the problem if your account hacked:

Account Compromise - Unauthorized Account Access

If you believe that someone else has signed in with your Windows Live ID, you should take the following actions to secure your account:
If you still have access to your account, then you should change your password and other information right away by accessing the following links:
· Change Your Password
· Update/Change your Secret Answer
· Update/Change your alternate e-mail

If you no longer have access to your account, you may want to read the Solution named Password Reset. These will walk you through some basic password reset items that may assist you in getting access back to your account.
If this does not succeed then you can contact Live Id support through the Windows Live Validation Page. The Windows Live Validation Page was created to ask key questions about your account (only you would be able to provide to us) when you created or updated your account. Please provide as much detail as possible on every question. The more information you provide to us, the more likely it will be that our Support Agents can validate your identity.
We will not provide you any verification to what answers you have gotten correct or what answers you provided that were incorrect. This is for your security and privacy. We appreciate your understanding in this very sensitive matter. The Windows Live Validation Page can be found at:http://windowslivehelp.com/passwordreset.aspx

Here are some key items that will prevent us from assisting in resetting a password:
1. You did not provide accurate information upon creation.
2. You did not provide any information upon creation.
3. You are unable to remember any detail on your account.
4. The information on the account does not match what you have provided.
5. You did not provide enough information to validate ownership.
· Before completing the validation page, you should try to provide as much information before submitting.
· Name and email address is never enough for validation purposes.

Allow up to 24 hours for a response from our support team. We hope that this information is helpful, and please be sure to let us know of any malicious sites or links you encounter.
Finally, Many times, an account is compromised because of a malicious website that was provided in an e-mail, Instant Message, or other website that asked you to provide your username and password. If you remember the site or link where this had occurred, please let us know so that we can work to have the site removed as soon as possible.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Publix is starting to offer curbside delivery

Starting in September, Publix will offer curbside service in two test locations (Atlanta and Tampa).
Consumer can order their products online (all discounts apply) and then have a window of 30 minutes to pick up their products at Publix by driving to Publix and wait till an associate is bringing the goods out and load the car. The service will cost $7.99 plus the costs of the goods.
This another approach to get consumer to buy eatable goods over the Internet. Back in 2000 I used a service in Cologne (Germany) which delivered the food to my home, which was convenient because my apartment was on the 5th floor. I did not need to carry heavy water bottles. Then, the service was $20 and I was willing to pay. The service unfortunately died, most likely because the costs for the grocery store to deliver was too high. In 2007 is used D'Agostino in New York and I liked it. I did not mind to pay more to get my goods delivered. Unfortunately their online store did offer products which were not at the next D'Agostino to my house. Many times I got replacement products. I remember I did order a certain French Camembert and got instead a German Brie.
Especially in Germany ordering perishable goods online with home delivery makes sense. We all work during normal work hours, and in Germany are almost no stores where you can buy Sundays or during week after 8PM. It does make sense as well in cities like NY. Having a car is luxury, finding a parking spot to normal conditions is not possible. Carrying the goods through metro and through half of Manhattan is painful and more exercise than fun.

But I am not sure yet, why I need the service in cities where stores are open 7 days a week and parking is no issue. I might want to order online and pick up to avoid crowds and to find easier things I am looking for. For Publix it might be not the best idea, people who are shopping online want usually certain products, and if they are not available they want look for similar product, they go to another online store. Different in brick and mortar stores, once there, we buy different cereals if necessary to avoid to drive to another store and I think this is the biggest issue why we don't yet order every day products online. It is harder to find online the product than in stores because we don't know what we are looking for. Not always the product we want is available and then is the impulse buy. Many times we know 5 items we want to buy, but actually buy 10 items. In a brick and mortar store it is so easy. Just throw your items in the cart and be surprised about the bill at the end.
Online, we won't do so much impulse buying, first the product are not so nice displayed when browsing (there are no isle to walk buy) and second we see instantly how much we are going to spend, which reduces impulse buy.
Talking a item out of the basket when bill is too high is embarrassing, other people will see it at least the cashier. Deleting an item before checking out (online) does not hurt and nobody will see.

We will see how the curbside service from Publix will go.

- Posted using My iPad

Location:W Laurel St,Tampa,United States

Monday, August 9, 2010

IPhone with Verizon does not break ATT contract

Yesterday I wrote about the possibility for Verizon to be earlier in the game than 2012. Here is another scenario why it is plausible.

http://www.wired.com reported in May 2010:
Apple’s supposedly confidential agreement with AT&T was not a secret after all: They struck a five-year exclusivity contract to carry the iPhone in 2007, an old court document reveals. Still, the validity of the contract remains a question.

An ongoing class action suit filed against Apple and AT&T in 2007 alleged that the two parties held a monopoly over the iPhone by locking consumers into a contract for an indefinite amount of time. However, Engadget’s Nilay Patel discovered that Apple filed a brief in October 2008 citing a USA Today article, which says Apple and AT&T struck a five-year agreement for the iPhone in 2007.

“AT&T has exclusive U.S. distribution rights for five years — an eternity in the go-go cellphone world,” the USA Today article dated May 23, 2007 wrote. “And Apple is barred for that time from developing a version of the iPhone for CDMA wireless networks.”

That would imply AT&T will be the exclusive U.S. carrier of the iPhone until 2012, which comes at odds with persistent rumors that Apple’s contract with AT&T expires this year and that a Verizon iPhone is due this fall.

However Apple usually does not sign any contracts with the ability to back out of them or to have a plan to sell to other carriers without breaking the contract.
A friend of mine who is working at Apple (but not in the iPhone department) mentioned to me that there are rumors, that the ATT contract does only apple to specific iPhones with 2G and 3G or 4G if ATT is able to provide 4G in major cities in 2011. ATT is planing to roll out 4G in 2011 a long-term evolution version (4G LTE), which could be fairly easy deployed, hence it is on the 700MHz frequency and would not require new towers. However the ATT net is already pretty packed and network reception complains are getting higher.
ATT has surely a lot work to do to get full coverage and keep customer happy.

The contract says (rumors) that if ATT can't keep up with technology demand, that Apple is allowed to offer new iPhone technology through other providers. In other words if Apple can't sell enough phones because ATT can't keep up then Verizon has a deal if Verizon can rollout till end of the year their 4G LTE (planned to cover 100 million users in 30 major cities http://www.brighthand.com/default.asp?newsID=16738&news=Verizon+4G+LTE+Release+Date+Price).
ATT would be still sole provider for 3G iPhones but not for a 4G iPhone.
Hopefully the phone will have both CDMA and GSM for travelers like me.

The question is, do we need 4G? Sure video streaming is cool, face time is awesome, but it is very likely that no carrier will offer unlimited data, it will be tiered and expensive.
I don't care who my carrier is, as long my reception voice or data is good. I switch if i can have better service regardless if i pay more.

- Posted using My iPad

Location:Spinning Wheel Ln,Spring Hill,United States

AR.Drone coolest thing for your iPhone

CNet.com did report in January about the coolest thing at CES (http://news.cnet.com/8301-19882_3-10429248-250.html) you can get for your iPhone. It is the AR.Drone from Parrot
The drone is a pretty nice helicopter.

This is what CNET wrote back in January:
The copter itself is computer-stabilized, so controlling it is much easier than the standard $40 toy RC helicopter you may be familiar with. But it should be: it'll cost in the neighborhood of $500, when it ships this year. You'll get about 15 minutes of battery-powered fun on a one-hour charge.
You tilt your iPhone to steer the helicopter, with touch controls to adjust altitude.
The iPhone app features a virtual game mode, where the screen will show virtual enemies in front of your real 'copter, for you to strafe. Or you can just fly it around to spy on pets or neighbors. Two caveats, though: Its range is limited by Wi-Fi. If it manages to lose contact with your phone it will hover for a minute until you walk back into range (or it runs out of batteries). And it only works in still air or very light wind. If you take it out to your yard and try to fly it up over your house, you'll probably hit some currents that make it uncontrollable, I was told.
Parrot plans to open up the Wi-Fi control interface. I can't wait to see what the geeks come up with when that happens.

The good news is that the helicopter is now available for pre-order at brookstone.com for just $299. Free shipping does not apply and with tax it is around $330. Delivery will start 9/3/2010.

Of course I had to pre-order and can't wait to play with it.
Imagine to fly through the office without leaving your chair, or to play drone games with other geeks.
I have an open house plan with a 800 square feet living room, perfect for this tool.
But I will have the most fun with all the extra tools I can develop for this.

- Posted using My iPad

Location:Spinning Wheel Ln,Spring Hill,United States

Sunday, August 8, 2010

iPhone for Verizon in 2011?

Macrumors.com blog is reporting that TechCrunch weighs in today with new claims that Apple has placed a large order for Qualcomm CDMA chips to be deployed in an iPhone production run scheduled for December. The claims come from a source reportedly familiar with the supply chain logistics for the CDMA-based chips that would be required for a Verizon iPhone.
Sources with knowledge of this entire situation have assured that Apple has submitted orders for millions of units of Qualcomm CDMA chipsets for a Verizon iPhone run due in December. This production run would likely be for a January launch, and I'd bet the phone is nearly 100% consistent with the current iPhone 4 (with a fixed insulator on the antenna).
This would be a year before the contract with ATT is expiring.
It is a rumor but it would make sense, if Apple wants to get more market share. But there are other countries with CDMA networks in the world, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, El Salvador, Guatemala, Israel, South Korea, Peru, Russia, Venezuela and Zambia.
My guess is that Apple will first offer CDMA in one of these countries because there is no long-term contract with GSM providers.
Establishing CDMA iPhone in Argentina and Chile will help to bring them as grey import to the US. Which allows Apple to switch faster to Verizon in the US as planned without losing their face to ATT.

- Posted using My iPad

Location:Spinning Wheel Ln,Spring Hill,United States

Friday, August 6, 2010

iPod touch 3G 32GB with camera. Real or fake?

Somebody is claiming to have an iPod touch 3G prototype and sells it at eBay.

Because it is still online, it might be a fake, otherwise Apple would be already making sure it is taken down. Or Apple does not know about this, which I don't believe.

What wonders me is that the case looks exactly like the old iPhone I would think Apple would give the new iPod touch a new design like the new iPhone 4.
But decide yourself.

If you like it take a bit, maybe you are the winner. Right now it is pretty cheap, only $305

The item is now taken down from ebay this morning.

- Posted using My iPad

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Google: don't be evil - really?

NY times is reporting that Google and Verizon are in talks in selling Internet priorities (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/05/technology/05secret.html?_r=1).
Google's slogan "don't be Evil", is not cool anymore. Or using Steve Jobs words:
"Don't be evil" slogan Google's known for? "Bullshit"

Internet access carriers are having more and more trouble to generate more revenue. In the last 10 years the consumer costs to access the Internet has been constantly decreasing and at the same time getting faster. In 2000, I paid for an ISDN Internet connection $60 a month. Today i have a 10 Mbps connection for $29 a month, which is 20 times faster than ISDN.
Therefore they are trying to come up with new paying methods. Verizon is going to do the TV approach (like getting for a low price 20 standard channels, but the cool channels costs extra.), user pays more to get certain content faster delivered.
The beauty of the Internet has been, that it is or was at least open, anybody had the ability to get the content they want with a speed independent of content (ignoring server speeds of course). Consumer will pay more money to get faster streaming, but is this ok to pay by content type?
Google is fighting since years with China and other countries arguing that internet needs to be open and should not be censored. But now Google is talking with Verizon to pay for their YouTube service to be delivered faster which is for me kind of censoring too.
This would give Google an advantage to other video platforms which can't afford to pay premiums. Pretty sure the consumer has to pay for this too. If I want to see YouTube videos I might have to pay $$ to get them in HD? We will soon find in our mail a letter from Verizon telling us that we can pay extra for each portal we want to get the content in a faster speed.
I understand companies have sometimes to redefine their models to keep up with demand and change their billing methods to survive. But that Google is even talking with Verizon is an act evil. It is against their codex they so often use as their weapon of fights.
I am seeing Google since years going, what they call "evil". Google is buying one company after the other to either eliminate competition or to build the biggest internet empire. I never heard of an empire which is not in a way evil.
Google is not anymore an university spinoff run by young students. Google is controlling and powerful. I don't mind if Google is powerful and evil, I am maple enough to choose my search engines etc. I even admire that somebody can build multiple billion dollar company in such a short time, but I ask Google to put their slogan into the basement and hide it in a box.

- Posted using My iPad

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hurry, get fast 4G internet for iPad for just $29

Clear (http://www.clear.com/ ) has a WiMax network solution for the iPad which is much cheaper than the solution from sprint. For $99, iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch owners can access wireless broadband through Clear's new iSpot mobile hotspot.
And it is much cheaper a month than the solution from verizon.

As found on yahoo news:
The iSpot has a WiMax modem inside and the proper Wi-Fi equipment to permit up to eight other devices to access the Internet at 4G speeds. Clear says that typical users will see downloads between 3Mbps and 6Mbps, though bursts up to 10Mbps are possible. The service costs $25 per month for unlimited access to data, though the Clear press release says this is "an initial low monthly service offering." The company doesn't clarify if that means the price will go up in three or six months for customers.

The iSpot even pretends to be an Apple accessory, as it is colored white, as many of Apple's products are. Speaking of Apple's products, the iSpot only (only!!!) works with iOS devices. That means you can't use your laptop or other Wi-Fi devices with the iSpot. No, not even an Apple laptop. According to iSpot, the device uses MAC address filtering to make sure only iOS devices connect to it. (No word yet if MAC address spoofing will work, but it probably will.)
If that's not a significant enough limitation for you, here's another: it doesn't have a 3G modem to fall back on. Clear says that its WiMax network is in 48 markets and covers some 51 million Americans. That's still only one in every six of us, and significant portions of the country have no WiMax coverage.
If the iSpot had an EVDO 3G modem inside (as many of Sprint's WiMax modems do), it could at least fall back on Sprint's 3G network and provide Internet access that way. Alas, if there's no WiMax, the iSpot won't work.

The good news is, Clear is practically giving the iSpot away. If you order Wednesday, August 4, or Thursday, August 5, Clear will sell you the iSpot for $29 with no contract obligation. That's right, you'll own it free and clear (pun intended) for just $29. According to Clear, users can suspend service at will, and the resume it with no activation fees or penalties.

Unlimited WiMax data for $25 per month is a bargain, despite the iSpot's limitations

- Posted using My iPad

Location:W Laurel St,Tampa,United States

Vonage for Facebook on mobile device

Vonage released today an app for iPhone/iPad/ipod touch and android phones to make calls to your Facebook friends. It is a free application right now.
On one side it is cool to make calls without using your provider on the other side I am scared that I now get calls from people which are in Facebook my friends but I don't care so much about them. Facebook needs to change their settings that I can choose who of my "friends" can call me. The problem in Facebook is, that you need to be a friend to somebody to follow this person. And trust me I would like to follow people without being their friend.

I downloaded the application but had problems to get it run if i am only on 3G, I get a connection error.
When restarting the app I had to go through the whole signing up process again.

After finally getting the app running it closed my iPod music. But the good thing is that the app does not need to run to get a call, however the app seems pretty defect. A lot of time the app crashes when you try to take a call. Best results are if you switch 3G off and use wifi only.

"Essentially, we've given Facebook a voice," said Marc Lefar, the CEO of Vonage Holdings Corp., which is based in Holmdel, N.J.
The app doesn't carry any advertising. Lefar said Vonage may later charge for the ability to call landlines and send text messages. Versions for BlackBerry phones and for Windows and Mac computers are coming, he said.
There have been other applications that unite Facebook with Internet calling. For instance, another voice-over-Internet company, 8x8 Inc., provides a "call me" button that Facebook users can put on their profile page. When the button is clicked in a Web browser, calls are placed to the page's owner and the clicker. If both pick up, 8x8 connects the calls to each other.
(Source: yahoo news)

- Posted using My iPad

Location:W Laurel St,Tampa,United States

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Military goes mobile

In March tis year the military started a competition to come up with useful mobile applications for the military. Invited have been all military employees and family.
53 applications got submitted for 5 categories.
Categories have been:
Information access
Location aware
War-fighting / mission specific
MWR / other

The winners are now announced. Interesting is that out of the 15 winners 10 are android applications and have of them are mobile websites rather than native applications.
But none are presented for the iPad, which I thought could be a better device because of screen size.
It is berate to see that the military is going with new technologies.
The top five winners of the Apps for the Army (A4A) application development challenge will be recognized at the LandWarNet Conference, Thursday, August 5th in Tampa, FL.

Launched on March 1, A4A is the Army’s first internal application development challenge. In 75 days, 141 Soldiers and Army civilians registered in teams or as individuals to participate in the A4A challenge. By the May 15th deadline, 53 web and mobile applications were developed and submitted.
Fifteen winners and ten honorable mentions were selected from the 53 web and mobile applications developed and submitted by May 15. After passing a security certification, the apps were judged in five categories by a panel from across the Army. Each of the five categories has first ($3000), second ($1500) and third place ($1000) winners, and honorable mentions.
“These 25 apps represent more than two times the number of certifiable apps we were hoping for and expecting from the program,” said Lt. Gen. Jeff Sorenson, the Army Chief Information Officer/G-6. “Each application will help overcome mission-related challenges through the power of mobile and web devices.
“This pilot program is helping define the business processes needed to make it easier to develop applications and certify software for the Army enterprise,” Sorenson added.

- Posted using My iPad

Monday, August 2, 2010

Why do we compare apples with pears?

Yahoo is announcing that more Androids got sold than iPhones in the last 6 months. Android has now a market share of 24% and iPhone 23%. Biggest share has still Blackberry with 33%.

But this compare does not really work. Either we need to compare the OS and then yes android has a bigger share than RIM OS or iOs4, or we compare the phones then specific Android phones are much less sold. There is no android phone which has such a significant share than Blackberry or Iphone.

I predict, Android OS will be the number one smart phone OS, but the iPhone will be the number 1 sold smart phone followed by Blackberry.

I we even look closer the iPhone is already number one sold phone, if we separate the different Blackberries instead of throwing them into one bucket.

And i think this is Steve Jobs path, he does not care how many phones are using Android, he only cares that the iPhone is number 1sold phone. If he would want to compare Android and iOS operating systems, and still wants to be number one, than he would license his OS to other brands, but this will not happen.

Same with ebooks or touch tablets. Right now iPad is number one and will be for long, but on the OS level, there will be soon more touch tablets and ebooks reader using Android than iOS from Apple.

Again we should not compare apples with pears, it is like comparing Windows OS with apple computers. Apple OSX has only a small market share, but Apple is one of the biggest computer producers.

Apple is number 3 behind IBM and HP in terms of hardware.

3. Apple

Well known for stylish desktop and laptop systems, the company has added value with eye-catching moves into the portable music players and smartphone markets. To date, more than one billion applications have been downloaded for its iPhone and iPod Touch devices. Brand value: $13.6bn.

2. HP
From its humble printer origins, HP now has a very comprehensive product catalogue across both enterprise and consumer sectors – from desktops, laptops, and printers to high-end network switching systems. Its EDS purchase last year doubled its services business and gave it another way into the enterprise hardware business. Brand value: $23.8bn.

1. IBM
Big Blue tops the chart, although the company once synonymous with business computing has undergone a sea change in recent years. It sold its PC division, including ThinkPad laptop brand, to Chinese firm Lenovo in 2004, but still has four server brands - i, p, x, and z ranges. Continuing strong demand for its z Series mainframes has helped the company to weather the current economic storm. Brand value: $31.5bn.

- Posted using My iPad