Saturday, April 30, 2011

New iMac eventually on sale May 3rd. What is different?

AppleInsider is reporting that Apple will release new iMac models next Tuesday, May 3. Citing "people familiar with the matter" who have "continually provided accurate information," AppleInsider states that the next iMacs will sport second-generation Intel Core i5/i7 chips and a Thunderbolt port. It could not be confirmed at this time if the new iMacs will feature changes to the display sizes.

However Apple filed a while ago a patent for a touch screen display.

The New York Times did report in August 2010 about a blog from Patently Apple.

A European patent uncovered by the blog Patently Apple indicates that Apple could bring multitouch to the desktop, giving computer users the ability to touch the screen of the display in addition to the computer’s keyboard.

The patent shows a series of sensors that could be added to a standard iMac, including an accelerometer to detect the angle of the screen and in turn change the display’s resolution or orientation.

As the illustrations and accompanying descriptions indicate, swiveling the screen down to a touch-screen experience could also disable the keyboard and mouse and show a different style of operating system designed for touch.

In the touch-screen mode the patent also shows a new type of interface that looks very similar to iOS, the operating system used on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

This patent is already 3 years old but could be used with new iMacs (Transitioning Between Modes of Input, WIPO WO/2010/006210, July 2009). Apple has thousands of patents which never made to market, but this one could fit well into the new Apple line.

The only thing which does not seem right, is that Steve Jobs said that computers which touchscreen don't make sense, that it is not a natural gesture for the hands to touch a computer screen. On the other hand the patent shows that the screen can be moved horizontal for easier touch.

Normally Apple does not just release a product without a big introduction.

The source also said the early morning hours of May 3 at Apple Retail stores will be a "visual night" which means that the new iMacs should be on sale the day they are announced. "Visual night" is the term when Apple retail employees stay through the night and change merchandising and display planograms in the store in order to prepare a new product for sale. In this case, the older iMacs will be removed and replaced by the newly announced models.

AppleInsider's sources seem to agree with earlier reports from Cnet that new iMacs will ship in April or May. The iMac line was last updated on July 27, 2010.

- Posted using BlogPress, please follow me on twitter @schlotz69

Location:E Sheridan Rd,Salt Lake City,United States

Monday, April 25, 2011

Is the Apple TV dead?

Apple announced last week their impressive quarter sales, but no word about the Apple TV 2. October last year the second generation of the Apple TV went on Sale. Three weeks later we heard that the Apple sold 250,000 units. In December 2010 we got the last time a number of 1M.
We are now 4 months later and no words. If Apple did sell 2 million so far then the revenue would have been $200M. Which is not a significant number but significant enough to be on their 10-Q form. However the Apple TV is only named twice in the document but the iPad 37 times, iPhone 42 times, iPod 28 times.
This is a big difference.

After all, the Apple TV is a great idea and very cheap, only $99. The Google TV is at least $299.
But there is another problem. More TVs are coming out with games, apps like pandora and Netflix.

If Apple is smart (which they are), then they could do something they usually don't do. They could make deals with Sony, Samsung, LG etc to build the Apple TV into their TVs.

We all know that Apple wants to have control over hardware and OS, this is what Apple made strong to ensure best user experience. With all other devices it is to understand they can't just give other companies their OS to use for their hardware. First of all because Apple would not have influence in hardware design and could lose the beauty of the devices, second of all it is harder to develop an OS which needs to function with any combination of memory, CPU, screen size etc.
Google and Microsoft learned it the hard way.

But the Apple TV is different. It is a very small device which could be easily build into any flatscreen TV. If you take the Apple TV out of the case than it is less than an inch thick.

Apple would still control the hardware of the Apple TV and the OS. They could even send their remote with the TV to ensure that beauty of the remote remains. Even today we need two remotes (I use my iPhone for Apple TV and my universal remote for all other devices).

I think this is the most likely way Apple can get their both feet into living- and bedroom.

Another possibility is that Apple starts to advertise how easy it is to stream videos, photos and music to a TV when an Apple TV is connected to the TV.

But this would only get iPad owners to buy Apple TVs. I think it would be smarter to go the route with the TV with build in Apple TV. Samsung etc will then automatically promote Apple TV and best Buy and Walmart could sell 54inch TV with iPad in bundle.

A lot of people are speculating that Apple will bring their own flatscreen to market. Which is possible especially that I did not see any TV as good in image quality as the 27inch Apple monitor. And all of the TV manufactures have an deficit in building a good GUI and remote. Apple knows a lot about GUIs and simple remotes. This would be a good fit.

However there are many screen sizes with TVs and Apple usually only develops one or two the most 3 different screen sizes per device. On the other hand there are right now almost only 16:9 TVs on the market. Therefore Apple would only need to have one UI for multiple screens. One is sure, if Apple builds a TV then the image quality will be better than ever with a great UI.

With all speculations, I believe the Apple TV 2 is in a few months dead as the Apple TV 1 is today.

But at the same time I believe that Apple will play am important role in TV. Apple has iTunes and Apple has iPhone and iPads. We all know that mobile is important but we can't live without big screens. Apple has all necessary services and if the Apple TV does not get integrated into standard TV or if Apple does not build their own TV then they will build a projector which can project an image in TV quality on any wall.

I can't imagine their will be a future without Apple and TV.

- Posted using BlogPress, please follow me on twitter @schlotz69

Location:Spinning Wheel Ln,Brooksville,United States

Sunday, April 24, 2011

iPad with external USB drive - it works

Apple does not support USB drives attached the iPad, however if you want to jailbreak your iPad, then you can download with cydia the file app and you are ready to attach external USB drives. You can even move videos and photos on your iPad, however your iTunes on the iPad will not be able to play the music.

DetroitBORG made it happen.

This is what you need to do: 1. A jailbroken iPad
2. The iFile app from cydia
3. Apple's CCK
4. A USB flash drive
5. The iFile app is just like finder on a mac... it allows you to view, edit, and save files to the filesystem under root (admin for all you wintards) Hook up your drive to the CCK and it will automount itself. You can then transfer and view files on your flash drive.

DetroidBORG has one of the best video blogs around iPad and you should not miss his vblog.

- Posted using BlogPress, please follow me on twitter @schlotz69

Location:Spinning Wheel Ln,Brooksville,United States

Time to complain about iWork Numbers on the iPad.

It is clear that the iPad was one of the most wonderful invention in last year. A notebook so light that it makes fun to hold in your hand. A colorful ebook reader, a TV for bedtime and a great game console.

But there are a few things which are not yet good enough, especially when it comes to business.

I needed to build bar diagrams, when I started yesterday a blog about lobbying. I downloaded from a DB data as txt and opened it in Excel on my Mac. Saved the data sheet as Excel and put it on dropbox. Then I made a really bad decision. I thought I am going to use Numbers on my iPad to import the data and to create the diagrams.
First I had the issue that I was not able to create a Pivot in Numbers like i usually do in Excel when I have multiple line items and want to sum them up by a certain column. I tried to find a function like this, but was not able. It took almost an hour and countless internet searches till I found out that i need to create a table with categories.
Next issue was, that I did want to copy one field entry in 20 cells. In Excel you can just drag the cell down to give all of the selected cells same value. With Numbers I had to select the cells and then paste the value in.
I have to admit that I seldom use Numbers and therefore I am not really firm with it functions. But regardless of missing knowledge, Numbers is horrible to use with a touch screen. It took me literally 2 hours which I could have done in Excel in 5 minutes.
I think I never saw such an awful usability for a professional software.
Another frustrating part was the diagrams. I thought this should be easy. I made one table with two columns and 5 rows. The first row had the column names "Company" and "Q1 Amount"

I chose the first graph and dropped it on the screen. Then I selected the table I want to use. This took already a while to figure out because in Excel it is the other way around.
Anyway the result I got was horrible.

The reason is that you can't just paste a table in Numbers. You have first to create a table and then paste the values in. It is almost like building a database table.
After you created the correct table then the graphs look good.

Double click on each cell allows the user to input values.

The user can input numbers, times, text or formulas. Each of them have sub categories like rating, $ or % etc.

A nice function in Numbers is forms. An user can decide to create a form based on a created table. The form can the be used to capture new data for the before crested table.

But many things in Numbers are not intuitive. It took a while to figure out to delete a row or a column or to paste a value in multiple cells instead of moving the cells.
If you open an Excel Sheet in numbers then you should magnify it otherwise it is almost not possible to select a row using your fingers.

Moving a row up or down is pretty stressful and it needs some tries. You need to select the row and the far left of the grid and then move your finger up or down. It looks like cutting the part out.

Numbers allows you to load even images into your file which can be helpful if you want to create your own graph and compare it with another graph saved as image.
Or you can overlay any kind of shapes and text on your numbers sheet. The idea is great to use numbers if you want to create a financial document, but awful to use.

The help for Numbers is very minimal, it is the best to go to YouTube and watch some helpful videos. Just search for Numbers tutorial. The best one I found was this:

There is another video from Apple which let look Numbers easy to use.

- Posted using BlogPress, please follow me on twitter @schlotz69

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft - they are all lobbying, is it good or bad?

I read in a recent article that Google and Facebook increased their lobbying. I never really took attention to lobbying, mainly because I was not sure what exactly it is and why it is or is not important, good or bad.
My first choice was to ask Wikipedia:
What is lobbying?
Lobbying (also Lobby) is the intention of influencing decisions made by legislators and officials in the government by individuals, other legislators, constituents, or advocacy groups. A lobbyist is a person who tries to influence legislation on behalf of a special interest or a member of a lobby. Also, governments often define and regulate organized group lobbying that has become influential.

Lobbying in the US:
The ability of individuals, groups, and corporations to lobby the government is protected by the right to petition in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Lobbyists use time spent with legislators to explain the goals of the organizations they represent and the obstacles elected officials face when dealing with issues, to clients.
Lobbying activities are also performed at the state level, and lobbyists try to influence legislation in the state legislatures in each of the 50 states. At the local municipal level, some lobbying activities occur with city council members and county commissioners, especially in the larger cities and more populous counties.

I love that religions, organizations and other groups have a way to get heard by the government and to make the government aware of certain situations in the country and to help the government to make a decision.

The basis of the idea is great. As we know politicians can't know everything and need to get consultation from experts.

However these experts are mostly lobbyist representing a large company and consult the congressman for their own interests.

This is mostly done in combination with donation or money for the campaigns.
But what happens is a lot more complex than money-buys-votes.
Consider a congressman from a district whose major employer is a large paper mill. The congressman gets donations from the paper industry, and from people who work in the paper industry. The congressman votes in ways that help the paper industry. Now, is the congressman voting that way because his vote is bought, or because he's voting the parochial interests of his district?
The congressman would most likely not vote against the lobbyist representing company.
Now in theory there is no need to donate money or to support financial a campaign, because everybody could get face time with congressmen but with who would you spend a 2 hours dinner. The person who just walks in and eventual wants that you pay, or somebody who gives you money to dine with you?

Lobbying is extremely money based and this let me believe that the system is just not right. I am not a politician, but if somebody would give me $2000 to dine with him, I am pretty sure I would not tell anybody negative about this person in the hope he is paying again $2000 for a dinner. My father always said "Money Talks" and he was damn right.

Tons of companies are specialist in lobbying to represent companies like Google, Microsoft, Exxon etc. Most of them are located in Washington.

Eric Schmidt gave his CEO position back to Larry Page to concentrate on lobbying.

Facebook recently snagged GOP lobbyist Cathie Martin, a former top-level adviser in President George W. Bush's administration. The company also signed up its first outside lobbying firms, picking up Democratic and GOP help through Elmendorf Ryan and Fierce, Isakowitz and Blalock.

I got very retested in lobbying and decided to go to the government lobbying database to get an idea how much some of the leading internet and mobile companies are spending for lobbying.
Lobbying DB

I searched for Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft to see how much they official spend to get their interests in front of the government.

The numbers are only Q1. Below is an estimated for the whole year 2011.

The four companies will together spend more than $22m this year and we can even expect much more in consideration that next year are the elections.

I am not an expert at all means in terms of lobbying, but I feel this is not right.
Let us take Apple as an example. They have right now like Google some privacy issue with their consumers going on, if Apple donate enough, they might not get trouble?
Or Google might have a big interest that an user can't easy opt out for targeted advertisement. Is this the reason that the congress could not yet make a consumer friendly decision. Or Microsoft, the government just recently signed a deal with Microsoft and cloud based office, maybe their money did help after all.

I can't really decide if it is bad what these companies doing or if the congressman is the problem but taking the money and eventual decide in the favor of the donation.

I am all for helping government to get a detailed picture from experts but the money part of this should not happen, it does just not taste right.

Please let me know if I have a wrong picture. I am not born in America and might not understand the system enough.

But one thing I admire here in the US, at least we keep it open and everybody can know how much companies are spending on lobbying. I like this more than saying there is no lobbying going on and secretly donating money.

- Posted using BlogPress, please follow me on twitter @schlotz69

Location:Spinning Wheel Ln,Brooksville,United States

Friday, April 22, 2011

What makes Apple so successful?

The Apple stock constantly grew since July 2008.

Why is July 2008 such an important month? Apple released on July 11th their iPhone app store. Before, consumers were only able to put short cuts of web pages on their phone but no 3rd party apps. All this changed on the 11th.

I did blog a while ago that I used to be an Atari user in the 80es but switched to Windows, when I went to university. One of the biggest reason that I chose Windows instead of Apple, was the ability to access software.

In the early 90es and even till now, there was much more software available for Windows than for Apple PCs. And everybody I knew at the university had used programs like Word for DOS which was not available for Apple.

Apple had the better interface but if you are not a designer or in desktop publishing then there was no reason to spend more money on something which was not compatible with other systems.

However I was amazed when I came 1990 to the US and saw many schools using Apple. I guess Apple missed to take advantage out of this.

Point is, that not always matters how good a device looks or how perfect the quality is. It matters who has the best Eco System. It was Microsoft in the 80es till end of 2009 and in PCs it is still Microsoft.

Apple's first big hit on the market was the iPod. The iPod is a digital music player but Apple was not the first company to sell a digital music player. In 1998, Compaq introduced the first hard drive-based digital audio player. The player had an initial capacity of 4.8 GB, with an advertised capacity of 1,200 songs. Two years later, the upgraded 6 GB NOMAD Jukebox became available.

The iPod was released in 2001 but did not have significant market share till Apple released the iTunes Store (introduced 29 April 2003) an online media store run by Apple and accessed through iTunes. Till then there were 100 of different music players but nobody did offer a software to store and to buy music for their music players.

Apple got only so successful with the iPod, because of the iTunes Store. There were other nicer players on the market, but they could not access iTunes store.

Apple did a great job to build relationships and contract with music industry when everybody was using Napster instead of buying music. Apple could offer songs for $0.99 which nobody was able to. At a time where a music CD was between $9 and $20.
Consumers could suddenly buy single songs instead of a CD with 15 songs.
Windows tried later on to compete by introducing Zune but had not such good deals with the music Industry. And if you don't offer enough music to buy, then you you are out of luck.

The iPad got introduced in April 2010 when everybody said there is no market for a super sized iPhone. But the analytics were wrong, the market was there and Apple sold within weeks millions of iPads. The most successful factor for the iPad was the App Store.

Over two years, the app store for the iPhone grew to over 250.000 applications. This was the perfect time to introduce the iPad. Starting with a phone is much easier, because we all had already cell phones and most of us did not like the UI. Apple just needed to make it better and was the first who allowed to have web pages short cuts on the phone, this was new. Other phones offers already a lot of apps to download but they were not easy to find or in a centralized system. Apple had no apps but short cut of web pages were at this time almost better, especially the iPhone had a full web browser not just a mobile limited version.
If Apple had first introduced the iPad, it would have failed because of missing apps for the iPad. Steve Jobs said once he had first the idea for the iPad, but he was smart enough to wait.

The iPad had from the beginning 250k apps (not native ipad apps). They did run in iPhone mode but consumer is able to double the size with one click. In my opinion, this was the reason why iPad has the same screen ratio like the iPhone and not wide screen. Today are over 40.000 native iPad apps in the app store and 100.000 apps which can run on iPad and iPhone in full screen size.

Google is a smart company and understood fast that Apple has something going. Google came out with Android, their version of Apple iOS. Google Android phones have, after less than 2 years, the highest market share on smartphones and over 100k applications.
But Google made an important mistake. They offer their Android as free open source which results in many different Android versions and many different devices.

Apple was again smarter, by having only a few devices with a few different hard ware and only two screen sizes. There are basically only the iPod touch, the iPhone and the iPad. A heaven for developers. It is much easier or develop for one type of device than for 100 different devices. As a result apps for Apple are usually better looking and higher in quality with less crashes. Google is like Microsoft for mobile. The second mistake google did was to have an app store with no control. It is sad but true an android user does need already and anti virus software.

Google tried to fix their OS concept with the tablet market by being more tied. But the hardware companies are still not yet taking any bigger share on the market from Apple. And the reason is so simple. There are only a few apps for Android tablets. Developers are not yet jumping on Android tablet development. They are frustrated and busy with Android phones.
Google would have more developers if they would not have copied the idea from Apple to run apps in full screen modus only. I believe if an app would run like apps on PC in windows instead in full screen it would be easier for the developer. They could develop for one size if it fit or not. And give the user the ability to resize if they want.
Of course another hurdle is to develop against many different hardware. It will take at least another 6 months till we see thousands of Android software for tablets and then Google has a big chance again. But till then Apple might have opened another market which we did not know exist.

Apple did again a smart move. They bought almost the whole market on touch screens and memory. The high volume allows Apple to sell the iPads to a descent price, which so far the big competition can't really undercut.

Next infrastructure step will be cloud. Apple will build an easy to use cloud Eco system which will drive more users to Apple.

I see only one company, right now, which could get close to Apple. And this company is Amazon. Amazon has a good infrastructure and Eco system as well, but the hardware is missing. Amazon has the kindle, a great ebook reader and maybe is even the market leader in ebooks, but Apple proofed with the iPad, that people don't like dedicated devices. A device should do multiple things not just be an ebook reader. Amazon must (if they want to compete with Apple) come with their own mobile device. The Beauty is that it can even be running on Android. If Amazon is able to convince developers to build software for Amazon devices then the cards will be different.

But till then, Apple will keep going up.

- Posted using BlogPress, please follow me on twitter @schlotz69

Cloud not perfect yet - Amazon's cloud world stopped for hours

Thursday night I switched my Apple TV on to watch Monk through Netflix. But instead of watching Monk I got a message that Netflix is not available at the moment. The reason for this was that the Amazon could was down.
Therefore my world broke down.

The problems, which began early Thursday morning and had not been completely repaired by the end of the day, affected sites including,, and and which all posted messages to their visitors about the issue. Most of the sites were inaccessible for hours, and others were only partly operational.

The Web companies use Amazon’s cloud-based service to serve their Web sites, applications and files. Amazon’s customers include start-ups like the social networking site Foursquare but also big companies like Pfizer and Nasdaq.

Amazon, which is a leader in this business, lets these companies rent space on its servers and take advantage of its big data centers and computing power. But that gives the companies little control if the servers fail.

Everybody is talking to go into the cloud, but the Amazon failure is a clear example that cloud is not ready yet. In understand that many companies are in one time down, but the difference with cloud is, that if the cloud is down then hundreds of companies are down. Do we want to trust our business to be in the cloud? Imagine you use a CRM and your server our network goes down. Your team will try everything to get it running again. If your CRM is in the cloud and the cloud goes down, then you have to rely on the cloud owner to get it back running. You can imagine if your own system is down many employees would call the IT department to complain, which does slow the process down just because of the mental stress.
Imagine something like Amazon goes down, how many people will call and put stress on amazon? The engineers will feel it and make it harder for them to get it running. Granted they have more engineers working on such issue than your company might have, but they report to Amazon and not you.

I am friend of the cloud but when we go in the cloud, we should always think twice how critical a meltdown would be for company. And for really important applications we should have a distributed cloud cluster. Using Amazon and Microsoft Azure as an example as a fallback. When one is down the other can take over. It is a little more complex to set up and think through the architecture but helps to stay online.

Unfortunately this makes the cloud more expensive which is already not cheap.

- Posted using BlogPress, please follow me on twitter @schlotz69

Location:Spinning Wheel Ln,Brooksville,United States

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Where is Apple going?

Shares in iPad maker up more than 3% in after-hours trading after the a financial report from Apple.

Surging demand for iPhones and Macintosh computers sparked a 94.8% jump in earnings for the quarter ending in March, Apple reported Wednesday. The news sent Apple shares up more than 3% in after-hours trading.

The Cupertino, California-based reported net income of $6.0 billion, or $6.40 per share, on $24.7 billion in sales compared to net income of $3.3 billion or $3.33 per share, on $13.5 billion in sales during the year-ago period.

Apple reported gross margins for its fiscal second quarter of 41.4%, compared to the 39% analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had been expecting.

Those results easily surpassed of expectations of the consensus earnings per share estimate of $5.35 per share on $23.4 billion in sales compiled by Thomson Reuters.

While iPhone and Macintosh sales were strong, sales of iPods and iPads fell short of some analyst’s expectations (see “March Quarter iPhone Sales Up 113% Year-Over-Year; iPod Sales Fall 17%; 4.69 Million iPads Sold” for more detail). In the quarter, the company sold 18.7 million iPhones, 4.7 million iPads, 3.8 million Macs and 9.0 iPods.

“With quarterly revenue growth of 83 percent and profit growth of 95 percent, we’re firing on all cylinders,” Apple Chief Steve Jobs said in a statement. “We will continue to innovate throughout the remainder of the year.”

A company which was almost bankrupt in 1998 when Steve Jobs returned to Apple. Today Apple is one of the biggest companies In revenue and is number 1 company as phone manufacture in revenue (Nokia is number 2).

Stock did in 15 year 80 fold. Every quarter Apple is growing more than predicted and stronger than any competition. Microsoft seems now to be a small company in comparison to Apple.

Apple is on steroids since the iPhone and 50% of the revenue comes from the iPhone.
Will Apple ever stop, or just going on like this for the next 10 years. It gets scary. In 2015 will be more mobile devices on the market than PCs. And if Apple keeps going then there might be not much choices other than Apple.

But if a Compnay gets a certain size it might get like an elephant. New innovation will take longer, the quality of the products will go down by releasing too fast new products. The prices will go up when a company has a monopole. The consumer will eventually get frustrated and the company will break down.

Right now is no real competition for Apple on the mobile market. Google has only an OS and the smart phone OS strategy seems not to pay out. Too many versions of Androids are on the market and too many different types of smart phones are using Android. As a result, developers have a hard time to produce qualitative good software. It might run on one device perfect but sucks on the other. The consumer gets which each phone a slightly different OS.

Microsoft has a better OS strategy but no momentum yet. RIM builds the hardware and the OS but is too much concentrated on business than consumer.

How can anybody stop Apple? Do we really want to see in office only Mac computers? Do we want to see companies like Dell, Nokia etc to file bankrupt?

I don't think so, as much as I like Apple I prefer more diversity.

I believe, Apple will stop themselves. In 2013, Apple will have so much market share in mobile, that the regulators will force Apple to split into three companies. Apple hardware, Apple OS and Apple services.

Apple would need to offer there OS for other hardware companies and Apple service must be available for anybody if they run Apple OS or not.

When if comes to this point Apple will lose a lot of market share for hardware and Apple Service will be chased by Amazon and Google.

I don't think that Apple will be in 5 years the same company we know today.

The past showed that going straight up will eventual come down, fast or slowly. This is a physical law. It is not possible only to run on zero gravity. Even in space comes the point of some gravity and if there is no fuel left, then good bye.

I admire Apple and especially Steve Jobs. He might be not the best employer but he is a genius how he made the company big. Sure thousand of people are involved, but at the end he made the right decisions.

Jack Welch once said. "it is harder to keep being Number 1 than being Number 2 and try to get to Number 1". Apple need to redefine themselves very fast to get down from the King chair if they want keep going.
Anybody who has Apple Stock or does want to buy should consider to exit at $520 (today it is $350).

- Posted using BlogPress, please follow me on twitter @schlotz69

Location:Spinning Wheel Ln,Brooksville,United States

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ever wonder what your spouse or daughter is doing? There is the iPhone for this

Somebody forwarded me an interesting URL.

Pete Warden and Alasdair Allan, a pair of security researchers, have made a discovery about Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) popular iPhone and iPad devices. According to an in depth study they performed, Apple not only tracks its iPhone and iPad users' every move, but it stores that information in a local file.

Pete Warden made his code public on his website. You can download on your Mac either the app, the source code or an HTML page to run.

Installing the app is just two clicks away. Unzip the file and run the app.
As you can see I am not a big traveller. Stored Data goes back till the first iOs 4 came out. Hitting the play button will show you your movement since then.

However some points might be off, as far as the researcher can tell, the location is determined by triangulating against the nearest cell-phone towers. This isn’t as accurate as GPS, but presumably takes less power. In some cases it can get very confused and temporarily think you’re several miles from your actual location, but these tend to be intermittent glitches.

The grey circles are showing the cell towers used to calculate your position which is in red.

As a father or husband I could control where my family has been. You can zoom to see the actual street address. If you use their open source code, you can overlay the data over google maps to get satellite images.

To be clear, the data is (so far we know) only stored on your phone and on your computer. Nobody besides the person who has the iPhone will get the data for now.

If you don't want that anybody can access your data from your computer you should set your Apple to encrypted backup.

However, according to Mr. Warden, they were not able to find a similar file on Androids, but google might transmit the data directly to their server. The same Apple might do.

There is no agreement between the user and Apple to store this data, however the user agrees on data share when installing iTunes. If you don't agree you can't install iTunes.

iTunes Terms and Conditions:
....Apple and our partners and licensees may collect, use, and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device. This location data is collected anonymously in a form that does not personally identify you and is used by Apple and our partners and licensees to provide and improve location-based products and services. For example, we may share geographic location with application providers when you opt in to their location services.

For some people this goes much too far into their privacy rights, but I doubt Apple will get trouble, hence this data is not shared with anybody.

Make sure you don't take your iPhone with you, when you rob a bank. It could get expensive if the police get access to your phone.

Maybe this file is really only defined as a black box similar to the black box in an aircraft. In case you are charged for a crime the police could proof you have been at the crime scene for given day and time.

Are there other reasons for Apple to store the information locally? Sure but it is not clear for what. If they want to store it for marketing or advertisement, why not sending this data to their database?

A law might be the answer. As far I know neither Apple or any other company is allowed to store your movements in a centralized DB with your name or device number and then to share the info for advertisement.

However, if it is saved on your device then it is within the laws. Apple could extend their iAds to be able to read out your positioning file and then serve related ads to your past movements. You might get as an user to opt out for this. I know it is a stretch.

More likely that Apple planned to have an app on your device where you can see all your movement history or to include for the next iTunes version a parental control to see what our kids are doing.

Another possibility would be that Apple target this feature for companies. More and more companies moving away from blackberry.
As a CEO I might be interested to see where my employees are on a business trip.

Maybe it was something Apple did build into the iOS when they were testing new phones to see where the best reception is. This file could be helpful for statistics.
We might hear an apology that this was an accident and the person who was in charge got fired (sounds like google and the wifi info they accidentally collected).

First I thought it is cool to see where I have been since June 2010, but then I realized that it is reality that Apple could always know where i have been.

Imagine we would start to use our phone to pay instead using our credit card?

Apple would not only know where I have been, but as well how much I spend at any location in the world.

Whenever I will win in the lottery, then I would develop an app which would encrypt all location information with only two keys. The master key for all phones and then a key only the owner of the phone knows.
The app basically would disable GPS transmit and would fool the cell towers about the location (or so). I think I could get millions of people to buy my app just because of this.

- Posted using BlogPress, please follow me on twitter @schlotz69

New iPhone iOS preview or Fake?

Last week a Vietnamese Technology blog ( posted a video of new features for the iPhone OS.

It is unclear if the new interface is an early prototype, showcasing features that will make it into the next iPhone update, or if the designs were killed by Apple during the development of the iPhone 4, which was released last year.

Either way, the video is quickly making the rounds in the tech blogosphere, where most believe it showcases an authentic Apple design. Bloggers were also excited that the demonstration takes place on the highly coveted white iPhone 4. The white iPhone has been delayed for months because of discoloration problems with the phone’s exterior.

However the most interesting part for me was that the video shows the iphone will have 64GB (1:27 sec in the video). Some iOS features shown in the video are showing nicer previews of running apps.

However if you look closer to this video the speed seems to be very slow (which is weird for a new OS or Phone) and some apps like voice memo are using different icons than currently in use. Voice memo used to be red like in the video but now the icon is blue, The calculator icon is like in OS 3.0. It is very likely that this is a rip off from China, Or Apple goes back to older icons which happended a couple of times too. There are right now in China many fake iphones with similar looking OS and preinstalled apps and therefore always a possibility that this could be fake.

Current iphone has 32GB only.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Technology is great and dangerous

In 1994 I moved to California to go to college. Just a few weeks in San Diego my girlfriend from Germany came to visit me. I decided to take her on a wonderful trip from San Diego up North to San Francisco. It was wonderful and romantic, we saw LA, Santa Barbara, Hearst Castle, Monterey Bay and many other nice places till we arrived in San Francisco.

In San Francisco we decided to go to a cabaret to enjoy a show. The show was great and we had good dinner. I gave the waiter my American Express Card. He took the card, left our table and came 10 minutes later back with my card. I signed the receipt and we went to our hotel. The next morning we needed gas and my card did not work. As I looked at the card I got suspicious and called Amex. After a short talk we figured out that the place (which was were I used the card the last time) did replace my card with a fake card. Amex did freeze my card but somebody had already bought something for over $2000. Lucky I got my money from Amex back.

12 years later, and back in the US, I forgot my card in bar, somebody must found it and charged in a time period of two weeks (till I saw the statement) 12 times different fast food chains with each bill in average $60, I even did not know somebody can spend so much on fast food. I did not know that I lost my card because i usually don't use it, and did only figure it out when I saw my statement. As well here I got my money from the credit card company back, but I had file claims, order a new card etc.

Now we write the year 2011 and it gets even easier for stealing card information and to charge your card.
Somebody does only need to invest $9.95, needs an iPhone developer kit and some little coding know how.

Apple is now offering through a 3rd party Square Credit Card Reader. This reader connects to the iPhone and can read any credit card by swiping through. The idea is that everybody can download the free app and use the reader to charge credit cards without monthly fees or contracts. Every transaction will charge 2.75% extra for using the service. All NY hotdog stands can now easily accept credit cards, hurray I don't need cash anymore.

However a smart developer with criminal ideas could use the reader and write his own software to read credit cards and to make transactions.

Imagine in a few days or weeks you are walking through NY City, somebody bumps you, steels your credit card, put it through the reader on the iPhone and gives you the credit back, that you never know the card was missing. A few minutes and miles later this person is going to charge your credit card and you don't know it till you see your statement.

But there are other criminal opportunities. Kids and dealers can now sell drugs at schools and easily accept credit cards instead of cash only. Of course the person would be stupid if somebody finds out because the transactions could be easily traced.

Or imagine how many payments will be done on the street at hod dog stands or at Canal Street, maybe just $5 a transaction. How easy it will be by accident to sign $50 transaction instead of $5.

The idea of the reader is great but making credit card payments mainstream will produce more crime and problems than good things.

And I am even not sure if you are allowed to accept credit card payments without having a registered business.

I ordered the square reader and let you know how easy mistakes could happen as soon I tested it.

- Posted using BlogPress, please follow me on twitter @schlotz69

Not all accessories for your iPad or iPhone is great

I am getting more and more frustrated. There are tons of accessories for the iPad or iPhone but some are only great if you don't buy a new device or if you don't have a case around your device.

Sure for the iPad we could use the smart cover but then only the screen is protected and nothing else. Otherwise if we buy a case for the iPad then we can't use half of the accessories. Accessories including some Apple is offering like the keyboard with docking station, or just the docking station.

Why is nobody taking in account that an iPad might be thicker with a cover? Or that the connector is further away when the iPad is in a case?

Talking with everybody I know who have iPads, are in the need to have a stand, regardless how smart the smart cover is. All want to have extra speakers and a charging device at the same time.

For speakers we could get a Sonos system which does work wireless over AirPlay, but the iPad is the still not in a stand or get charged.

We don't use all the time the iPad to play games or surf the Internet but when we don't use it for this we might want to listen to music and have the iPad not just laying on the table. We want to have the iPad presented to show to everybody. We might want to run the slideshow that nobody can miss it.

But here comes the reality. If we use the smart cover we need to take it off to be able to get the iPad in any holding devices. And it gets more stressful if our iPad is in a case.

And then comes the best part. As soon Apple comes out with a new iPad the dimensions will change and we can buy again a new dock, a new loudspeaker with iPad stand and a new keyboard stand. And of course a new case for the iPad. The latter we might not be able to avoid, but the rest?

Wy is nobody, neither Apple taking in consideration that we want to protect out iPad / iPhone and that we don't want to take the protection off from the device just to be able to use certain accessories.

Why can nobody build an iPad stand with speakers which has movable parts. Where we can easily change the holders for different thickness. And why is nobody making the connector a little extendable. Just the possibility to move it 4 or 5 mm out in case that the iPad has a case?

Now we can get a stand where we can lay the iPad against, we can use a normal charging cable and the Sonos sound system, but then it looks not so good and costs as much as a new iPad.

If you still don't know what i am talking about, then look at the pictures below of accessories which are great as long you don't use a case.

Non of the above stands are working with a iPad wrapped in a case.

I have the stand as shown below, which was great for iPad 1 besides I had to take the iPad out of the original iPad case. But now with the new iPad it does not work with or without case. This accessory got useless after just a few months.

If we want throw $300 regular away, then we should buy every year a new iPhone or iPad and get the fun to buy new accessories.

- Posted using BlogPress, please follow me on twitter @schlotz69

Location:Spinning Wheel Ln,Brooksville,United States

Monday, April 18, 2011

What is the right social network?

Today is all about being in social networks. There are many social networks from Facebook, twitter, foursquare to linkedin, living social, Groupon and myspace.

Trying to keep up with all of them is almost not possible. At the end we need to make decision which one serve us the best. But which one is the best for us?

Let us first look to what kind group we belong to. I believe we can reduce it to three main groups:
Consumer, celebrities and brands. All three groups have many sub groups but I try to keep it simple with these main groups.
All 3 types have two ways to be social. Either reading information and make certain decisions based on collected information or to post information to influence others to make their decision.

As a consumer we gather information to make buying decisions or to express ourself to let others know what we are doing and what we like.

One of the most prominent platform for social media marketing is FaceBook. FaceBook was born in Harvard dorm room under the aegis of Mark Zukerberg and co- founders Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, Eduardo Saverin in February 2004.

50% of active users log on to the site in any given day
People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on FaceBook
More than 35 million users update their position apiece day
More than 60 million position updates posted apiece day
More than 3 billion pictures uploaded on the site apiece month
There are over 900 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups, events and community pages)
More than 30 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, pic albums, etc.) shared apiece month
More than 3 million active pages
More than 1.5 million local businesses have active pages
More than 20 million people become fans of pages apiece day
More than 5.3 billion fans are created by Pages
Average individual has 130 friends
Average individual sends 8 friend requests per month
Average individual spends 55 minutes on FaceBook
Average individual clicks the Like button on 9 pieces of content apiece month
Average individual writes 25 comments on FaceBook content apiece month
Average individual becomes a fan of 4 pages apiece month
Average individual is invited to 3 events per month
Average individual is a member of 13 groups
More than 70 translations acquirable on the site
Top countries using FaceBook are US, UK, Indonesia, Turkey, France, Italy, Canada, Philippines and Mexico
More than 200 million active users currently access FaceBook through their mobile phones

Facebook has over 850 Million accounts and over 500 million active user. In average each user has 130 friends with 70% Facebook users outside of the US.
Facebook is the right place for keeping in touch with friends far away or to find old friends. The chances are really good to find somebody you did not hear from over 20 years. Many people are posting every day images or small status updates. But the most rime user are spending in playing games.
Facebook is a great tool for brands to engage their consumers and to learn about the consumers needs, likes and dislikes. Facebook is a great place for brands to test products before they are even on the market. Important for brands is a fan base. There are multiple ways to gain more fans. The most successful way today is to post everywhere (on website, packages and ads) the Facebook page URL with special deals which the user can only unlock if they "like" the fan page.
Brands need to post daily news on their wall and need to be proactive in communicating with the consumer on Facebook. A brand can learn a lot from their consumers but need to be aware that there will be a lot of negative comments and maybe an anti brand fan page. Negative comments and anti fan pages are good. No comments and no fans are bad. It is important to react correct to negative comments. The more brands engage the consumer to tell them their true feeling the more the fan page will regulate itself as a positive page, as long the brand answers these negative vibes in a positive way. If consumers are complaining about bad customer service then listen and change the quality of customer service. Let the fans know you changed the customer service and let them vote again how the service is now. The results sill be better than any other PR action.
Facebook is as well a good place for celebrities but as well a dangerous place to be. Many celebrities are engaging marketing firms to handle their Facebook page. The fans will find out when the voice is different than in public. A good example for a great page is lady gaga. The Facebook page sounds authentic, you feel like reading her real diary. As a result she has over 32 million fans.

Facebook is for brands a great advertising platform. No other platform can offer such targeted advertisement to such a big user base. However Facebook ads are not very speaking to the users and have a very low click rate. More users are moving to to mobile Facebook which has no ads at all.

The best addition for companies and brands at Facebook is places. We all love to check-in into restaurants and concerts etc. Brands can offer specials right when the consumer is already outside of their home and ready to spend money.


LinkedIn was founded in 2003. The site launched on May 5th (affectionately referred to by employees as "Cinco de LinkedIn") when the five founders invited about 350 of their most important contacts to join. At the end of the first month in operation, LinkedIn had a total of 4,500 members in the network. LinkedIn's first "real" office was on Shoreline Road in Mountain View.

LinkedIn adds a new member every second and just hit 100 million users.
52% are outside the US.
44 million users are in the US
India has 9 million and UK has 6 million users.
The avearge age of global users is 25-45 and it’s almost 60% males on there globally (compare this to Twitter which has more females). The US has the most females with 45% and the Middle East the least with 33%.
Most users are working for companies with over 1,000 employees, this is especially true in Asia. The biggest proportion of companies are active in High-Tech (16%), Finance (13%) and Manufacturing.
12% of all users say they are in a sales function. 10% are either in academia, administration or operations.
Engineering is the profession of 9% and 8% are in information technology.

Linkedin is the number one social network for professionals. It is a great place to build your network around your profession, If you are looking for a new job or for an investor. But be careful with linkedin. Most employer will look up your profile and compare it against your resume. Brands can utilize linkedin to find new talents for their company. Linkedin has over 100 million users and is a better job market than monster (in my opinion). Linkedin helps to build networks within the network. People might not use linkedin as frequent as Facebook but every entry is more powerful in good as in bad. Companies can easily build a personalty profile on linkedin entries. Connections to a certain group of people or a list of profile updates and reading list can tell stories. Your employer might get suspicious when you you suddenly get a lot of recommendations or if you connect with multiple recruiters. All these updates are showing in your status list. People tend to connect with coworkers really fast and then a job search is no secret anymore.
At the other hand linkedin can be very powerful when your are in sales and need a contact to a company. Many times we are only 2 connections away to the company. Getting introduced is pretty easy.
Linkedin helps to gather information about companies which we might not find easily through google or company websites.

Initially, code titled Twttr, inspired by Flickr, Twitter privately appeared in March 2006. Later, in June 2006, it was launched for public with the study and rebranded to later in October the same year. Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting. It is an online application that is part blog, part social networking site, part cell phone/IM tool, designed to let users answer the question “What are you doing?”. Users have 140 characters for apiece posting (or “tweet”) to state whatever they care to say. In terms of online traffic density and visit frequency, Twitter leads the breed of social media sites.

Important Statistics about Twitter

More than 175 million accounts
Number of Twitter users increases at 300,000 everyday
3 Billion requests apiece day generated by 180 million one-of-a-kind visitors
95 million tweets per day, that gives circa 640 tweets per second
Twitter’s search engine gets 600 million queries each day
Thursday and Friday are the most active days on Twitter
32% of accounts are active users
10-11pm is the most active hour on twitter
Top languages used are english, portugese, japanese and spanish
Top countries using twitter are US, India, Japan, Germany, UK, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, Australia and Spain
More than 70,000 applications have been created using Twitter API
More than 67% of Twitter messages are in the form of user’s current status, private conversation and links to news and blog articles
The majority of twitter users are female.

Twitter is for most users about consuming. Twitter is right now mostly used by celebrities to post their updates. Only 24% of twitter posts are directly done through twitter website or twitter app. Most posts are generated as a side effect on webpages and blogs.
Many brands don't know yet to utilize twitter other than having a tweet button on their website. The risk with twitter is the 140 characters length of posts. There are risks to send the wrong message which can be dangerous for companies.
But twitter can be a great consumer building tool when using twitter as a real group building social platform. This can be as simple as posting a job opening and to engage the applicants to use twitter to apply or as complex as taking all new twitter posts to a topic to generate the longest song lyric in history.
Twitter is for consumer mostly to consume and not to be active. For celebrities it is the perfect tool to bind their fans. Posts are easy and fast and cam be done everywhere the cell phone works.
The top 5 twitter accounts are celebrities.

But twitter is as well a perfect tool to see trends and to learn about people. Usually people, especially business people, do only post on twitter when they do care about things, either positive or negative. Sales managers can use twitter to find out what their potential buyer like (who is he following) and what does the potential buyer think (postings by the buyer).
Companies doe good to hire data mining experts to scan and analyze twitter posts. Big international events have been faster on twitter than in the news. Facebook and twitter even helped to start revolutions like the latest in Egypt.

There are many other social networks, which can be considered and I could write a whole book, but I guess nobody would want to read hundreds of pages about social networks therefore I decided to stay with the top 3 for this post.

Coming back to the original question, which social network is the right one?
It depends on the goal, and I hope my little comparison could help to make a decision. At the end there is only one big mistake we can do and not to use any of these networks or platforms regularly.

Remember before Internet, we could have a flyer or catalog for over years with same content and nobody did care. With the Internet we learned that we had to change info weekly that our readers or consumers don't lose interest.
The social networks are forcing us to do multiple times a day updates otherwise we lose our readers/friends/followers.

- Posted using BlogPress, please follow me on twitter @schlotz69

Location:Spinning Wheel Ln,Brooksville,United States

Friday, April 15, 2011

What is going on with Facebook?

Facebook is the world biggest social network with over 800 million users (550 million active). And of course I have a Facebook account as well.

Mostly I am posting into my wall using either the Facebook iPhone app or other 3rd party apps. I seldom use the Facebook website.
This morning I went into facebook through Safari after weeks not using the internet browser. Because a friend of mine did send a message.
When I clicked on messages link I got a popup about new features in Facebook I had only two choices "next" and "skip". The only way to get the modal window away is to choose one of these. With skip all was fine till I tried to go to messages again, the modal window came again. When clicking on next another popup opened talking about the person Facebook email I had choice to skip or to create this email address. Skip started the process from the beginning again with first modal window.
The only way to get these alert boxes away was to accept the Facebook email address.
I did not want to have a Facebook email, now I have one and I will see how much spam I will get. It is now easy for spammers. The email addresses are your Very easy to send spam to millions of people. Facebook was the last place were I did not get spam. This might be soon over.

Maybe it was a Safari issue or poor executing the information windows. Or it was under purpose from Facebook. I don't know. And unfortunately I forgot to make a screenshot till it was too late.

I was really upset that the only option I had was to create a Facebook email address. Where is my choice?

I can understand that facebook would like that everybody has a Facebook email address and that people are starting to use it. It could eventually kill gmail, if FB starts to build their email function out and make it more compelling.

Please let me know if you had a similar experience and maybe some screenshots.

- Posted using BlogPress, please follow me on twitter @schlotz69

Location:Spinning Wheel Ln,Brooksville,United States

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Why the iPad is not yet a laptop replacement

We have in our house two iPads and the last few days I tried to use one of them as a notebook replacement.
As we know you can get over 60,000 applications for the iPad. But I did limit myself to only the most important application to fulfill my task. I tried to imagine how it is to have only an iPad and no other device. Which I did a similar attempt last year, but back in time the iPad was not so good and less apps available. I decided to try it again.

Therefore I reseted my mother in law iPad, to start from stretch.

The first step failed, I had to connect the iPad to a computer with iTunes to activate. To pretend having no computer, I went to the Apple store. These guys were really nice. They offered me (free) to activate my iPad, however I had to have am appointment with the genius bar. I scheduled the appointment directly at the store using one of their computers. 2 hours later I had my appointment. They activated the iPad and gave me some important tips how to use the iPad and even did set up my exchange to use my office email and calendar.
Next step, I went back to the office and tried to install software I thought I might need.
Pages, Numbers, keynote, photoshop express and dropbox. Less than $20 in total. Good price to have a complete office version on the ipad (contacts, calendar and email come free with ipad). Unfortunately I was not able to install any of the production apps. They are all between 51 and 69MB. Our company wifi is not open, so I could only use 3G but over 3G you can't install apps over 10MB, at least with ATT.
I had to go to the nearby Starbucks to use their Wifi. Was not to bad, at least I got a good non fat latte.
All apps installed easy and I was ready to use my iPad for work. Back at work I got an email with a link to a document in our intranet which is SharePoint 2010 based.

I clicked on the link and the document opened in my iPad. Awesome. I even could open it in pages. I made my changes in the document and went back to our intranet. I am amazed how well SharePoint works with Safari. SP 2007 did only work with IE.
But here came the problem I could not upload my document. The choose file button was disabled.

I had to email the document to somebody in the office to do the upload for me.
Next somebody asked me to help with CRM. We use Dynamics and unfortunately it does not work with Safari and we don't have the mobile version activated. This is not really and iPad problem but a Microsoft issue. Not a big problem, I had as well at Starbucks some more apps downloaded like instant messenger, Skype and LogMeIn and blogspot.

I chose to start LogMeIn ($29.99) to connect directly to the CRM server to run the browser there to help with the user issue.

LogMeIn is expensive but powerful and necessary. There are other RDP programs and even cheaper, but we use LogMeIn in the company as our tool for user support and I knew it will work as long I am in our wifi domain or over VPN.

Reading email worked fine, but handling meetings is a pain. I could not see when I created a meeting, if the attendees are available at my proposed time or if one of our conference rooms are free.

Maybe I don't know the ipad calendar good enough. But it seems the calendar is not usable for company use. I ended up using our outlook web access for calendar and notes. I had as well to use the outlook web access to switch my out of office assistant on. It is a work around but it worked.

I had to do a presentation at my meeting and used a PowerPoint presentation I got from somebody. But before the meeting i made some changes on it. Keynote did open the presentation, but because keynote is not PowerPoint some fonts were off and missing and the transitions did not work well. I basically had to rebuild the whole presentation but I can tell, keynote results are looking so much nicer.

I have to admit, pages, numbers and keynote are very limited on the iPad it is not comparable with the full apple version. Keynote is missing as example all 3D effects.

Presenting the presentation and even switch between programs and browser worked pretty good using the video cable and adapter to our projector. The complete iPad is mirrored.

Overall using the iPad at work does seem to be possible with some hurdles. It is not possible to use the company shared drives, but I could use dropbox or mobile me to share documents with others.

I guess companies which are not so heavy on in-house systems and are using a lot of browser based apps might have it easier to integrate the iPad.

The next tasks came at home. Still pretending not to have any other computer, I started my process like every day. I ate with my family, played with my son and after he went to bed I started to write my blog. I had to do research for a blog entry. The website page, which would have the answer I was looking for,was done in flash. I was screwed. From home I am not able to use LogMeIn because the VPN does just not work. It says i am connected but our firewall at the office does think different, otherwise I could remote to one of our windows server.
However this would be anyway not good hence my research is private. I decided to buy cloud browse. Which is basically the same as RDP but only within a browser to another remote browser.

I could now see the flash page. In the meantime I opened the present my wife had for me. A new DVD, the A-Team. Awesome, but stop. How do I get it into my media library? I use of course iTunes on my iPad. But I don't see a DVD drive I can connect to my iPad to rip the DVD and to put it into my media library.

I guess, when we have iPads we don't buy DVDs anymore. Ok this is cool.I just need to rethink. I opened iTunes on the iPad and was able to rent or buy a movie.

It downloads the movie directly into your iPad.

Now my iPad is only 64GB (biggest you can get). An HD movie is around 3.5GB, in best case if only use the iPad for movies, I would get 16 movies on my iPad.

Movies to buy are between $4.99 and $19.99. The tourist was $19.99 in HD. Below are movies for $4.99

But what is when the hard drive is full? When you buy movies you don't want to delete them. Apps bought from the app store can be downloaded all the time, but the movie I downloaded, if I lose the movie, I have to buy it again. There is a flaw in the system. I can on the computer (at least) claim in iTunes I lost the movie and download again, but only once. And you need to have a computer to get the iTunes extra.

It is possible to have only the iPad and no other computer but it is no fun.
As long the iPad is so strong connected to iTunes and iTunes the only way is to get your data off the iPad to store, as long you need to have a second computer.

I could move all in the cloud, using flickr, for my photos and dropbox for my files and Netflix to stream movies. Plus a cloud backup. And this might be the future. But if you have no wifi router at home or a bad wifi connection like me than it is no fun. And it it gets expensive most of these service cost money. A 320GB hard drive cost $80. is $99 per year and backups in the cloud cost another $120 a year. I get for this two hard drives with more GB.

I think as soon iTunes goes into the cloud and the movies and backups are getting cheaper then the chance is good that the iPad could be the only computer in a household.

For work it is even a longer way to use the iPad as the only computer. It does not fit well in a Microsoft and on premise software environment. But most American companies are in this environment.
I can see the iPad in some cases as the only computer, like for airplane inspection or in hospitals, schools and kindergarten or other niche markets where standard software and document sharing might not be important.

For these cases the iPad can be a good replacement, which we already see.
NJ bought for one kindergarten for all students iPads. Mercedes Benz bought for their sales team iPads (MB built their own app for this).

But otherwise IT would need to build a whole infrastructure and software around the iPad to integrate it better into company infrastructure and this is right now almost not possible and very expensive.

I think we still need 15 months till we see the replacement seriously starting.

BTW I did not talk about printing, because I almost never print. The iPad has the print function but works only with a few printers. Non of them I or my company has.

- Posted using BlogPress, please follow me on twitter @schlotz69

Location:Spinning Wheel Ln,Brooksville,United States

Monday, April 11, 2011

Where is Windows in the mobile world?

Despite mounting competition from other operating systems (OSs), Apple's iOS will continue to own the majority of the worldwide media tablet through 2015, according to Gartner. Due to the success of Apple's iPad, iOS will account for 69 percent of media tablet OSs in 2011, and represent 47 percent of the media tablet market in 2015.
The new released numbers from Gartner are interesting in terms of Windows and RIM.

When you look at the report, then you might see that neither Microsoft nor RIM is listed. Both OS are strong in businesses. Microsoft for PCs and RIM for smart phones and email. According to other reports, more tablets will be sold than PCs in 2105 and notebooks might be totally off the radar. If Gartner is correct than more companies and consumer will use in 2015 Android or iOS.

This is hard to believe, especially that Microsoft office is still the market leader for writing, calculation, and presentation. RIM is market leader for secure mobile email and first choice in the government.

Clearly the trend is to mobile and small smart computers. Surely we will have in a few years smart phone like the Motorola Atrix which serves a phone on the road and as a computer at work.  But i cant imagine that Microsoft will not play a big role. MS will not license their office package to Apple, Google or other OS platforms. Therefore i believe the Gartner report is not accurate. It is based on OS which are now available for mobile tablets. This is surely a mistake not to consider RIM or Windows. However Gartner  has a lot of influence. And companies will make their decision on Gardner results which means it will be harder for MS and RIM to get into the mobile tablet market.

My predictions will be slightly different than from Gartner.

QNX is RIM. Please count RIM and QNX together as one OS.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Open letter to The New York Times

Dear New York Times,

I am a NYT reader since I moved to the US in 2004. My job requires that I travel a lot and always i enjoyed reading the NYT during my flight or in the hotel, which offered me always a free print version.
Sometimes i bought the NYT at the kiosk when I did not get the NYT in the hotel.
The print version was always a class by itself. Good articles and great pictures.
Last year I got excited when I found the NYT editor choice in the iPad app store. I installed the app and started to read it every morning. I did not mind that it was only a subset of the full NYT. But when I heard that the full NYT would be available for the iPad, i got even more excited.
I did read till 3.29.2011 every day the NYT. The app did regularly crash and many times I had to reinstall the app to get it running. It was no pleasure but acceptable for a free publication.

Since two weeks the NYT is not anymore free of charge. I decided to pay for it, because I did want to keep the NYT as one of my favorite news. However the price is not only very high, much higher than other newspapers on the iPad, it is even not acceptable. Your application is still crashing and more disappointing is that many articles are just empty (see images below). Whoever is in charge with the content for this app does a really bad job. There are many articles which are talking about a video or image which is not shown in the app. I need always to send me the link to the web page to get the pleasure of mentioned video or picture.

And I am not the only one. The frustration of the quality of your app have many readers. When I look at my blog statistics then I find my blog about NYT crashes to be read 30% of all my blog entries and I have over 300 blogs. NYT is clear the most visited page on my blog.

Since two weeks I also recognized that your technology section lost in quality and updates. Unfortunately this is the section I read the most. Did you let your technology chief editor go? If so, please get him back or at least find a good replacement.

I paid a lot of money for something which is half of the time not working and more ads showing up when reading articles. Do you really expect we pay for something which gets full of ads and does not work well? Are you inclined to redeem your customers for bad service, or are we for you just an income source and you don't care what we readers think about the NYT?

Respectful, a reader who wants quality.

this letter went on 4.10.2011 to I will let everybody know what their answer was.

If you feel like me, then post this letter everywhere you can. Let everybody know. As group we can make things better.

- Posted using BlogPress, please follow me on twitter @schlotz69

Location:Spinning Wheel Ln,Brooksville,United States

Saturday, April 9, 2011

How iTunes (Apple) changed my life

The first time my life changed when I bought my Commodore 64 in 1983.

I went to our super market similar like Walmart to buy this $600 expensive computer with no hard drive or floppy disk. I went home and wrote my first program. A Zip Code translator. I could input a Zip Code and got the city back and vice versa. Of course it was only for West Germany. I wrote the program in basic and had to leave my computer on otherwise I would lose the data. Unfortunately after two weeks my mom needed to vacuum my room. She unplugged the computer and I lost everything. I had to buy me a floppy disk and an Epson FX 80 printer. I did spend all my savings for this. I think it was over $1500 for printer and floppy.

The monitor I used was my 15 inch TV.
I had fun and learned a lot in this time. From this time one I had always a computer and used it every day. From Commodore I went to Atari and from Atari to Apple. I never had a Windows computer at this time. Till I started at the university in 1990. I had to buy a PC, because the software I needed was not available for Apple in the time back, and all my student friends had PCs and word for DOS. It was the only way for me to share and exchange documents. There was no Facebook or real Internet yet.
But we used since the mid 80 our acoustic coupler to connect to other computers to download data or to chat and later in the early 90 we used AOL.

From 1990 on I started to love PCs and Windows. Windows 3.1 was awesome (I thought).
My oldest friend was still on Atari but only because Apple was so expensive otherwise he would have had Apple. Later on we both started an agency in 1994 to build websites, catalogs and print ads. We chose Atari because of Calamus a desktop publishing software. And then we went to Apple and Quark Express and photoshop. But in my heart I was still a PC fan.
I actually had till 2004 always discussion with my friend about which system is better.

In 2004 I moved to America and decided to buy an iPod. From this time on Apple changed my life. Apple did convert me with a simple product. The iPod was great but I needed iTunes and iTunes was just released for Windows and did not work well on my old computer. I needed a new one and decided to go with the iMac.
I gave the iMac a chance and it was a great. Finally an all in one computer which was good priced and pretty fast and stable.
I had this computer till January 2010 when I bought me the new iMac. During these 6 years I bought a MacBook Pro, multiple iPods, Apple TVs (first and second generation), each iPhone version and both iPads, airport extreme and time machine. My friend even skipped some iPhones and has no iPad. He, the big Apple fan, has now less Apple gadgets than me.

Everything I have in private is build around iTunes. iTunes is just a music program but the epic center of my devices.

One of the smartest moves Apple ever did. With iTunes they were able to bind their customers. Which today would make it harder for me to switch because of iTunes.

But Apple changed my life again. Just 12 months ago with the iPad. Before I believed in surfing the web to get my information. I believed everything will be based around web browsers. Like many companies I believed the future is in web application accessible through browsers.

But Apple changed it and my thinking. Today I use the web browser only for searching specific things or if there is not an app available for the iPad. Otherwise i use apps on the iPad.

Apple understood that browsers are taking a lot of usability away because what ever we want to build as web application must work on many different OS, screen size and browsers.
Therefore they came up with the app concept. Why not building apps which are optimized to screen and hardware. And have the apps simple enough to sell them mostly under $10. Today we have over 300k applications for the iPhone and over 60k for the iPad available.

I even don't like to use a browser anymore and only use Safari if I really need to, and get frustrated that the web pages are not optimized for the iPad.

I believe now, that the future is a retro of the 90es when we had a lot of enterprise applications as client server apps and not running in a web browser.

We will again have server client applications. The data might be in the cloud but users will have an app on their tablet.

Take as an example CRMs like salesforce. It is in the cloud and has a web interface. It is great for an user, you never need to care if you have the latest version. But SF has as well a mobile access and most of the sales people are on the road and not always on their notebook. Sales people are the perfect fit for tablets like iPads. They don't need a heavy powerful notebook. They mostly using email, word, PowerPoint, a little Excel and a CRM. The iPad can do all this. I can see many companies to switch to tablets for their sales people. They are lighter ad cheaper.

Right now SF has only chatter available as iPad app. But I am pretty sure there will be soon a full SF version as iPad app. You might ask, why not using the web browser? You think the screen is big enough to use a browser.
True. But apps are optimized for the device and have many times much better UI. Even chatter looks ten times better on iPad then in the web browsed.

And then we might forget why an app is so much more convenient. The app sits as icon in front of you (website short cut could too) and the app can store basic settings and information which the browser does not. It is so easier to log into an application instead into a website login. Even if you save your login in browser, depending on the firewall or your computer settings, you have still to login.

I have now so many user names and passwords that I always forget the access when I need it.

I could use 1password app, but companies are always changing their login page that 1password for log in not always work.

Yes Apple changed my life, that I almost only use Apple (I use Windows work related). And Apple changed my life that I like to have apps instead using web browsers.

Tablets are the future. It does not matter if Androids, Windows or iOS, all of them will replace notebooks. Power users will have desktops and tablets in 2015 and all others smart phones or tablets which are connected to big screens and external keyboards. There will be no CD or DVD drives anymore, because we download apps we need.
And we will use the browser only, if we there is no app for what we want to do. Browser will not die but not play such big role in 2015. Every e-commerce site will have their own app. And then there will be an app for all big e-commerce sites that we don't need to have too many apps on our device.

We are in the year of the cloud. The tablets apps will be in the future much smaller in size, because we only store minimum information on our device and the rest is in the cloud. The apps will be stupid shells with perfect UI. This will allow us to have hundreds of apps on our device.

Today I have on the iPad 92 applications. I never scroll the screen to find them. I use the search and type what I am looking for. It is so convenient that I almost forget how it used to be just 18 months ago.

Commodore is back, 28 years after I bought my first C64. The guy who bought commodore is producing the C64 again. Same look with new technology. The computer comes with Linux and a 64 emulator.

Maybe you might want to buy one.

- Posted using BlogPress, please follow me on twitter @schlotz69

Location:Spinning Wheel Ln,Brooksville,United States