Tag Archives: america

Platform Specific Businesses

smartphone-wars

There are many tech start-ups that aim to solve a problem by utilizing technology. Most of these start-ups emerge from ‘The Valley’ out in California where Venture Capitalists and wealthy folk throw money hoping to have the next FaceBook or Twitter on their hands – businesses with no real solid business model that makes no money outside of advertising (but I will save that rant for another post). A lot of the start-ups are uber niche – niche is a good thing as a small company does not have the resources to take on a big sector of an industry or market. But I always often wonder the logic that some start-ups take when they support their Web app native app from one platform over the other – especially when the barrier for entry is very low – very low. (Instagram and Vine are examples of apps that were iOS first before Android)

I’m not necessarily talking about the 1-3 start-ups that are working on their apps out of a Coffee house or Momma’s business, but I’m referring to the start-ups that have some funding such as Airbnb, Instagram, Uber, etc.. The dominant mobile platforms are Android and iOS, and many start-ups will usually embrace iOS before they go to Android (though that is slowly changing). But let’s look at how much it costs to publish an app in iOS App Store and Google Play:

  • Google Play – $25/year to publish app
  • Apple App Store – $99/year + SDK/NDK fees ($250)

It is actually cheaper to publish an app on Android than on Apple – now, there isn’t much of a difference there in my opinion, and I would postulate that most sane people would say the same. So the other important factor is programming – and let’s be honest there are many tools that devs can use to port their code OR they can code in HTML5 and JS and use many wrappers. Or if you really want to go native, then there is not a big hurdle in finding native developers, and to be honest most start-ups should have at least 2 devs that can cross-program iOS and Android.

So then if that isn’t the answer, we have to look at the psychology of targeting specific platforms (or at least I choose to ‘take it there’).  To be blunt, there is a perception that iOS is perceived as ‘high class’ in part due to its pricing from Apple. For this article’s sake, let’s just say a snobbery attitude exists hat has been cultivated quite cleverly by Apple that posits something to the effect of “Apple products are for those that prefer the finer things in life with”. From a marketing perspective that is not necessarily that bad because as humans, well in Western society especially, we have a desire to attain opulence and the finer things in life – from as a child with our fascination with Barbie’s and Hot Rods to our adult wishes of BMW’s, designer clothing, big houses, we have been receptors of marketing messages that promote this message. Some of us will spend our money, even when we don’t even have it, to go line-up at the Apple Store at the launch of a new iPhone or iPad. Developers tap into this murky technological psychology of brand perception and exacerbate this phenomenon – as technically, there is nothing that separates what an iOS vs an Android app can perform (the arguments even suggest that you can do more with an Android app). So the issue boils down to something that may seem confusing to someone that is rooted by economics of scale – though there are technically more Android devices out there, let’s produce an app for the platform that ‘appears better’, because we look down on the other platform.

Snobbery exists everywhere – even with something as simple as an ‘app’ – there are social complexities that exist.

.::LiBM::.

You’re a Feature, not a Product

myapps1

Not a Business, but a Feature

Sideshow Apps for Mobile

One of the biggest growing segments of the tech sector is Mobile & Web App Development. Ever since FaceBook became the behemoth that it is today, thousands of entrepreneurs have begun coding & developing the next multi-million or billion dollar app. I read popular tech blogs such as TechCrunch, PandoDaily, Mashable, and so on, and everyday you can see a report on which new app developer got some seed funding or investments, or you’d see which analyst placed a valuation on a app, and so on. And for awhile, I would say that the funding was for legitimate businesses: e-commerce apps like Gilt.com, FourSquare, Evernote, and the like. It made sense to me because these apps have that thing called a ‘Business Model’.

Enter Snapchat & Poke.

I read on a tech blog article that SnapChat is valued at about $50 Million dollars. Pause. Think about that for a second. A messaging app that self destructs messages after a few seconds of viewing is worth millions of dollars – and this is a ‘business’. Welcome to the wide world of ‘features’ being ‘businesses’.

FaceBook initially wanted to buy SnapChat, but reports indicate that they wanted to hold out for a higher buyout, in which FaceBook said ‘F— That; we can clone you and make you a feature app in our OS called FaceBook!’. And that is how FaceBook’s ‘Poke’ was born – in a matter of few days. FaceBook is essentially a communication experience, and in some regards a sophisticated web OS (not to be confused with webOS), and they realized that apps such as SnapChat, Instagram, to name a few, are features that can be integrated into a larger system. The late great Steve Jobs said it best when he had plans to acquire DropBox for its cloud solution for Mac OS/iOS, and DropBox played ‘hard to get’. At the time Steve Jobs said DropBox was a ‘Feature’ not a ‘Product’. And many of these app developers with their nonsense apps I hope realize that they don’t really have a product, but are working hard to sell/integrate their feature app into a larger system.

.:: LiBM ::.

The Wire Quotes

Snoop, Marlo, Avon Quotes

I don’t know what is the exact term for these types of pictures/quotes; you’ve seen them before – always talking about inspiration, or making a popular culture reference joke.  Anyhow, the great pseudo docu drama TV series ‘The Wire’ (2002-2008) on HBO is known as a critically acclaimed series that never really got is props for telling a real story about the socio-economics and ganglife of inner-city Baltimore.

Came across some classic Wire quotes from classic characters such as Marlo, Snoop, McNulty, and Avon Barksdale.


(click on link to enlarge)

.:: LiBM ::.

King Corn

 

King Corn
Corn and America’s Obsession

KING CORN tells the story of two friends, one acre of corn, and the subsidized crop that drives our fast-food nation. As the film unfolds, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, best friends from college on the east coast, moveto the heartland to learn where their food comes from. With the help offriendly neighbors, genetically modified seeds, and powerful herbicides, they plant and grow a bumper crop of America’s most-productive, most-ubiquitous grain on one acre of Iowa soil. But when they try to followtheir pile of corn into the food system, what they questions about how we eat—and how we farm. 

Here is an excerpt of the producers of King Corn on CNN:
Popular foods and non-foods that contain corn:
Foods Containing Corn
Alcohol
Ale/Beer
Bacon
Baking Mixes
Baking Powders
Batters for frying
Beverages (sweetened)
Bleached White Flour
Breads & Pastries
Cakes
Catsup
Cookies
Corn Flakes
Cream Pies
Fritos
Frostings
Fruit (canned)
Fruit Drinks
Gelatin Desserts
Graham Crackers
Gravies
Grits
Gum
Hominy Grits
Ice Cream
Jams
Jellies
Infant Formula
Margarine
Meats (bologna, sausage)
Oleo
Peanut Butter
Popcorn
Powdered Sugar
Preserves
Puddings
Salas Dressings
Soups Soybean Milks
Syrups
Tortillas
Vinegar, Distilled
Wine
Ingredients that may indicate presence of corn:
Dextrose
Hydrolyzed Protein
Maltose
Maltodextrin
Modified Food Starch
Non Food Products Containing Corn:
Aspirin
Cough Syrups
Envelopes
Gelatin Capsules
Powders
Stamps
Starched Clothing
Talcums
Toothpaste
Vitamins

Knowledge is power people – recognize what foods you are eating and what is in it.  
Check out more about King Corn at: http://www.kingcorn.net
.:: d.b::.

I Don’t Know her anymore … (that’s a good thing)

I Don’t Know Her Anymore … (That’s a good thing)
Discourse: change, history, adaptation Type: poetic style  

I was told all about her;
Her nasty past – filled with chains, whips, confinement, guns;

She was troubled;
Filled with hate and fear for others, she built her self-esteem at the expense of others;
Breaking spirits, hopes, and dreams was synonymous with her name – as she rose to great powers;

Everyone wanted to have a piece of her though, a piece of her ‘dream’ – as her dream promised personal fulfillment for others whom worked hard and were dedicated;
For a long time, many were scared of her sight, her glare, her voice, her disdain for others;
She even separated herself from others – only to associate with those that resembled her;
And for those that were separated from her, were meant to feel below feces;
She enacted rules to sustain her behavior, guns to enforce her behavior, and persuasion & repetition to germinate her behavior;
However, the ‘goodness’ in man eventually led to a subside of her behavior;
And even thought her rules were gone, she had left a mark – a putrid stain that will never be forgotten;

Now, I don’t get her, she seems so different;
Giving hopes and dreams to those she views different, but the difference I can’t measure – don’t even no where to start;
As it appears she is allowing a pigment change over her deep-entrenched red heart;
Maybe she has changed for the good – a complete 180 of what she was before;
Or perhaps it’s a change that will only be understood with time – as no amount of money could provide solace to all she hurt;
But her change may be retribution enough to those that had lost all hope with her;
One man is testing how much she has changed or is changing;

She was lost, and maybe, just maybe she has been ‘found’ or is in the process ‘finding’ … only time will tell

.:: d.b ::.

Super D’s & Bill Clinton

Super Delegates & Bill Clinton
The Power, and the Questions the Super D’s must ask

This Democratic race between Senator Barack Obama and Senator Hilary Clinton is a nasty contest; as both candidates are fighting to secure the democratic nomination. In an election year, where the general public wanted to see a change from the Bush regime, that is to say to avoid another 4 years of Bush style politics in a John McCain, the Democratic party is so divided that they may have hurt their chances to win the general election. At the beginning of 2008, heck even 2007, the democratic party expected to win the ’08 election because of the many ills the current administration has administered on the American people and the world.

Mathematically, Obama has the nomination locked – but not all math is equal; meaning all values are not treated the same. We all have been introduced to the term ‘Super Delegates’, and it is the super delegates that ultimately have the power to decide and can override what the delegates decide. And it appears that Clinton will have more Super Delegates than Obama.

Thus, the Super Delegates have some tough questions to ask of themselves:
1. What will be the social cost of selecting Clinton over Obama, even though Obama had more votes than Clinton.
Answer: This will send a message (direct/indirect) that even if a Black Man can win, ultimately he will lose. Furthermore, this can cause social upheaval as the cost of this decision is not just Obama vs. Clinton, but will also regress the progress that black people have accomplished.

2. How much loyalty do I have to Bill?
Answer: To the Democrats, Bill Clinton is the best thing since slice bread – on a whole, the Clinton presidency was one of the best eras in U.S. history in terms of economic and social progress; the economy was soaring, jobs were booming, and the healthcare industry was improving. Thus, a lot of the Super Delegates owe their status to Bill Clinton – meaning that Bill still has a lot of pull within the upper echelons of the Democratic Party, and if it comes to the Democratic nomination being decided by a bunch of Super D’s in a back room, then Bill Clinton will be a power to be acknowledged.

In all, whoever the democratic nominee will be, they will have the daunting challenge to reunite a dilapidated party that is divided by gender, racial, and ideological differences, and will have to mount a tight campaign in a short period of time.

…… Looks like the Bush Regime will die another day, McCain can’t be any worse, right?

.:: d.b

Black Like Me

Black Like Me
Virtues: race, distinction, etiology

Black like me, like who? Whether your background is Caribbean, American, or African, if you are black you share traits – people look at you with common expectations. However, amongst black people, we like to distinguish ourselves from each other, even though we essentially come from the same place – Africa. My background is Caribbean, but now I reside in North America (Toronto to be specific), and I once talked to this African woman; I thought that it would be just as usual if I was talking to a Jamaican or Trini, but I soon realized that I felt that our cultures were so different; I almost thought that I was dating a white girl. I was learning about different foods, traditions, heritage, attitudes that I thought that I should know (because we share the same race), but I was grossly mistaken.

Historical Sense
In North America, you generally have two classes of black people: domesticated/westernized blacks & Africans. The former group comes from a diverse background; they have either migrated from the Caribbean islands and/or are the offspring of slavery. From the shores of Halifax Nova Scotia which was Canada’s first black population settlement, to the deep south of Mississippi, there is similarity of a shared struggle throughout history that exists even to this day; their heritage only spans from somewhere in the 1800’s – anytime before that, and the details of their heritage gets sketchy, fuzzy, like channel ‘01’. Similarly, the Caribbean people that have migrated to Canada & the U.S. for better prosperity share a similar heritage-like progression as they too have lost details about their history from around the 1800’s and even early 1900’s. This is significant to the domesticated/westernized blacks because they have a loss of culture; a loss of roots.

I know the enlightened person is like, ‘you shouldn’t group Caribbean’s with domesticated westernized blacks because their culture is different’, such a person would be right; but they share the same etiology – the etiology they share is different from African blacks.

Noticeable Differences
It is the etiology that essentially creates the distinction and divide that exists amongst blacks – so much so that both groups are prejudice to each other. And with all types of prejudice behavior – it is a result of a lack of knowledge and respect for others. Meaning, that the Westernized blacks may know about the history of Africa (i.e. slavery), but currently, the Westernized blacks do not know much about the current state of their brethren across the Atlantic. According to the media, Africa is still full of savages, AIDS, poverty, and tribes.

In my experiences, both groups have an inherent bias towards themselves. The domesticated/westernized blacks believe that they are better than the Africans because they have been in the West longer, understand the western culture & ideals better, and have better language skills. Whereas, the Africans believe that they are better than the domesticated/westernized blacks because they believe that they have more heritage, know their roots, and are more ‘black’ (pure) than their brethren. So basically, this correlates into a subdued (or at times overt) attitude that people develop of ‘frowning’ and/or ‘looking down’ on others. Which really shouldn’t be the case, because in the end, while we battle ‘looking down’ at each other, the ‘man’ is looking down at us – laughing, exploiting as usual.

Think about that!

.:: d.b

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Life in B Major

Tip What, Pt 2

Table of contents for Tip What?

  1. Tip What?
  2. Tip What, Pt 2
  3. Tip What? pt.4: When to tip

Tip What, Pt 2
(view Part 1)
Virtues: Social Customs, service, ethics

As the Christmas holiday season approaches I’m hearing a lot of talk on tipping. For instance, people give tips to their mailman or mechanic – which I find interesting. I mean, I would love to work in a service industry where I am tipped just for performing my job duties, shit, maybe being a waiter is my calling as I purposely hang around your table after the bill has been served to ensure that I receive my tip. Or better yet, I should work in a hotel as a bellhop and conduct the same behavior. It would be sweet – I mean, I would get a regular salary (not much), but then I would base my service to customers on how well they have tipped me. Its interesting that this social customary called ‘tipping’ is almost mandatory in the service industry, however essentially it is almost a bribe – I mean, if one were to give a service contract or even a government employee a ‘lil extra’, society as a whole and I’m sure most courts of laws would consider that bribery. You know, ‘Scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ type of logic.

I may sound a bit, ah, um … real, but we have reached a pivotal time in our society where we want to be rewarded more for simply doing our jobs. I don’t know what generation this has spawned out of, but this creates a climate where we don’t necessarily tip for ‘exceptional service’, but we tip to ensure service. Meaning, you are not going to tip your mechanic because he does such great work, but more or less, you’re tipping him for the hope he doesn’t screw you over in the coming year. Same with the mailman, I don’t know exactly how the mailman can provide ‘exceptional’ mail service (please share if you do), but if you tip him, you are doing so with the intentions that he performs his job by giving you regular mail service.

Now, maybe – correction, I know that people do actually tip these people during these seasons just based out of the goodness from their heart, and that is truly a beautiful thing. BUT, if you are planning on tipping just to procure services or to pretty much BRIBE, then you your f*cked.

Happy Holidays

(P.S. I rarely tip, only for exceptional above & beyond service. I don’t do any percentage calculations of the bill, I dont give a ______ < insert word here)

Created Nostalgia


Image source: tru-thoughts

Created Nostalgia
Virtues: homesick, condition, feelings

Nostalgia is defined as the state of being homesick; a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or or irrecoverable condition. Well, that is what is defined in the Webster dictionary, and we all have feelings of nostalgia when we hear a certain song, watch a movie, or read a certain magazine or article. I was talking recently with an older lady at my workplace in her 50’s/60’s about seafood or something; something dealing about cooking (don’t ask why we were talking about that) and that conversation triggered nostalgia for her and took her back to a time of racial/social injustice in 1960/1970’s U.S.A. (don’t be shocked), specifically to the coastline towns of Massachusets. I won’t get into the socio-racism part, because it is nothing new, but what triggered the memory for her was a diner in this coastal town that served up all kinds of seafood and delicacies – which actually was a positive memory for her as she recalled her friends and all of the good times she had there, but it seemed that she was looking at the ‘optimistic side’ of her memory as she didn’t get into it deeply, but she recalled the overt and non-overt racism that was still fresh in the air. Looking at her face, she was deeply affected by this instance of nostalgia as she was a little emotional and overwhelmed – but she was trying to focus on the ‘good’, even though the ‘bad’ was much more emotionally moving.

After this event, I asked myself if it is possible that people try to create their own nostalgia – especially from negative and tormenting experiences. I imagine that they’re a whole generation of peoples that have created their own nostalgia that focuses on the positivity – that is wrapped in a cocoon of hate, discrimination, and prejudice. I guess this is a coping mechanism for us to deal with the deep pain, hurt and suffering that some have experienced during this thing called life – I can’t recall that I have done such thing, consciously speaking, but maybe I will know when I hear that classic song or read a certain book. I want to see if I will create my nostalgia; or if I will allow my nostalgia to embody its true form.

Enter cliche; I guess time will tell.

Peace.

The Gay Bomb

Gay Ish Bomb

“A Berkeley watchdog organization that tracks military spending said it uncovered a strange U.S. military proposal to create a hormone bomb that could purportedly turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals and make them more interested in sex than fighting. Pentagon officials on Friday confirmed to CBS 5 that military leaders had considered, and then subsequently rejected, building the so-called “Gay Bomb.” The documents show the Air Force lab asked for $7.5 million to develop such a chemical weapon. “The Ohio Air Force lab proposed that a bomb be developed that contained a chemical that would cause enemy soldiers to become gay, and to have their units break down because all their soldiers became irresistibly attractive to one another,” Hammond said after reviewing the documents.
source: cbsnews.com

Commentary:
If they could seriously consider developing a gay bomb, and this was in the 90’s, then what type of ideas are they developing now in 2007?? It would be very interesting though to see if that a gay bomb was actually made and dropped on enemies, would the enemy suddenly have a high rate of STD’s and AIDS? What would be even more funnier is if the enemy actually beat the Americans … which would mean that America’s ‘glorious’ military is no match for a bunch of gay dudes.

That U.S. government, all you Americans, your taxpayer dollars are hard at work (no pun intended).

Peace.


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