Tag Archives: Technology

With BB10 until the End

blackberry-passport-vs-keyboards

More often than not when I am in a social setting and I pull out my lovely BlackBerry Classic Smartphone I get similar comments:

- “Oh, you still have a BlackBerry?” (shocked or frowning face)

– “It’s been a looong time since I have used one of these”

– “Why do you still have a BlackBerry?  I thought they stopped making them”

The last comment can be blamed on BlackBerry’s lack of marketing for BlackBerry 10 and the Priv.  But as for the comment “Oh, you still have a BlackBerry?”, the answer is quite simple: It gets the job I need it for done faster and efficiently – and I don’t play games or care for timesink apps

Now, don’t get me wrong; timesink apps have their place and are very important to a vast majority of users – as is evident with the abundance of apps in the ecosystems of Android and iOS.  And when I say ‘Timesink’ apps I am referring to games (a la Candy Crush, etc.) and social media apps (Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, etc.).   The primary function of a phone; or at least 80+% of what a phone is used for is communications – that relates to phone calls, e-mail, sms.  Throw in another 10-15% for organization such as apps for calendars, GTD’s, and contacts.  Every other app is virtually a timesink (and yes, there can be positive timesink apps that allow you to learn).  And on BlackBerry 10, and on my BlackBerry Classic, nothing beats the communications experience.  As for the ‘app gap’ situation, doesn’t bother me as much as I don’t have that much down time to download the latest doo-hicky app – and the Android runtime on BB10, though limited, serves up for the few Android apps that I do use.

With the current state of BlackBerry always in flux, and the state of the BlackBerry 10 OS in a greater state of flux, I still stand behind the device and platform because it is truly a great innovative fast and fluid OS that has an only hindrance of not being able to cater to the ‘lore’ of timesink apps that exist on iOS and Android.

.:: LiBM ::.

Smartphone Unawareness

smartphone-wars

Not Realizing that your smartphone is a P.I.M. on drugs

I come across many iOS, Android, BlackBerry users that love and champion their device as if they own stock in the company (and they don’t). They claim they are #Team(Insert mobile OS platform), and are very passionate; which one has to find very perplexing – because besides mobile phones, I don’t think there are any other electronic devices where the consumers develop a ‘cult-like’ persona. I’ve never heard any debates on social media about #TeamSharp TV’s vs #TeamRCA, but I guess we have to think Apple for entering the mobile OS arena back in 2007 and bringing their cult persona to the mobile game. Regardless of what ‘team’ you may claim, all smartphones share universal principles of P.I.M. (Personal Information Management); which was a cornerstone of the classic Palm Handheld era back in the late 90’s to mid 2000s. P.I.M. Doesn’t get much mention, albeit because it is not ‘flashy’ or ‘sexy’, but it is an integral component of using your mobile device to keep organized & to strive for greater efficiency.

What is shocking to me though, is that most smartphone users are not aware of P.I.M. functions and are often amazed when I show them some simple (to me) features. So I thought I would share them:

Calendar
– Appointment Invites
– Google sync

Contacts
– Google sync

Hidden Files
– For those on the creep, hide certain pictures from your partner (Android & BB)

USB Storage Mode
– Turning your phone into a Portable Hard Drive

 

.:: LiBM ::.

Tech Stumbles

woman_iphone

Tech Refinements

Features that your favorite device should have had for awhile now

I thought of some handy technology advancements in our everyday devices that would help us be more efficient – and that is what we should all strive to be — more efficient, every day.

Volume Keys as Multi-function

On the iPhone, the volume control keys should also be used to skip songs by ‘long holding’ it.  Other platforms such as the new BlackBerry 10 OS and the Samsung Galaxy S 4 has this basic feature, but the popular iPhone doesn’t.

apps1

Browser is the App

The Browser should be the app; we all notice how on our PC’s there is no FaceBook app or an app for your favorite news or TV channel – the Browser is the app. Mobile devices are entering to an enhanced sophisticated era where there computing power is very strong and almost on par with desktop computers – and with the power of HTML5, there is no longer a viable reason to make an app for web content that can’t be displayed properly in an HTML5 web browser.

Back Panel Touch Sensors

Touch sensors on the back of devices; hear me out, for things flipping a page, skipping a song, or scrolling, the back of devices could be put to use to control some basic limited features of your phone

Placement of Punctuation Symbols on Touchscreens

I realized where all this poor grammar in communications is coming from; its 1 part of ‘being dumb’, and 1 part trying to be ‘cool’, and like 1.5 parts of ‘being lazy’ – in part because the punctuation keys are not a natural flow of the typing communication experience. Meaning that on the touchscreen keyboard that pops up, it is 1 or 2 extra keys that have to be pressed in order for one to insert a question mark. That is why we end up with words that look like statements, but are actually a question.

I’m sure there are more examples of tech refinements out there, but I can’t think of anymore at the moment, but if you have some, feel free to share your own.

.::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 ::.

Opportunity Cost & Tech Analyst/Blog Buffonery

Image Source: zzoux on Flickr

Opportunity Everything

Why companies do what they do in releasing products, and why Tech Analysts are ridiculous

According to Wikipedia, ‘Opportunity Cost’ is defined as “the cost of any activity measured in terms of the value of the best alternative that is not chosen (that is foregone). It is the sacrifice related to the second best choice available to someone, or group, who has picked among several mutually exclusive choices”.

In the technology sector, Opportunity Cost is an economic term that explains how companies develop and release products into the marketplace. So this explains why there is some disparity between the expectations of the tech analysts and the needs of the average consumers.

For example, the tech community hated on the iPhone4s for not being that much different from the iPhone4, but yet, sells 1 million phones in 24 hours. One can argue the tech upgrades are not a leap over the competition, but as we all know, the most/highest specs are not always important.

Similarly, the Amazon Kindle Fire a.k.a. BlackBerry PlayBook ‘light’ without a microphone, camera, bluetooth, sold a ridiculous amount of units – even though technically it is a double-A minor league team to the Major leagues of the iPad and Android tablets. But what the ridiculous tech analysts don’t understand, is that these products don’t have to be the best, just moderately good. And this being Amazon’s first product with limited features, they can always sell a second iteration of the Kindle Fire with all of the features that most tablets have, and it will still sell.

I always tell people the following, for example, Apple could of put a 5 megapixel camera in the first iPhone, but then they would of missed the opportunity of selling a phone with 2 MP, 3MP, 5MP, then to the iPhone4s at 8MP – heck with Apple’s R&D they could of sold the initial iPhone with an 8MP camera, but they would of lost potential revenue on many smaller increments.

And I haven’t even gone into regional Opportunity Costs – like how Asia’s technology trickles down to the America’s years after it reaches market saturation in Asia.

But I may touch on that for another day

Developing Developer’s Immunity

Overcoming Web Dev Insecurity

Deprogramming Insecurity

This one is for all my Developer’s out there, I’m sure you’ll relate. Its that feeling you have that is a mixed feeling of both being scared and optimistic about that web development project you got on your mind. Part optimism because you feel that you have a solid idea, but part scared because past negative experiences of scrolling lines and lines of code has caused you anxiety and heartache. You then say, “let me just jack a script”, and all the scripts you jack are good in some sense, but eventually you find out that it doesn’t meet your needs, so then you spend copious amounts of time trying to learn the script, testing, debugging, eventually leading to further frustrations.

I’ve been all through the whole development process of trying to take the shortcut, modifying existing scripts, and so on. And it has taught me that you really need to develop patience and a sense of immunity to tolerate your own insecurities and reluctance to a project. I don’t claim to have really figured it out, my immunity is definitely not the most resilient, but at least being self-aware about is the first step I guess. And the only way to overcome your fears and insecurities is to accept that you have them, and try to work towards a ‘better you’. A ‘better you’ that truly believes the adage that anything can be done with a little bit of hard work & perseverance.

P.S. This may sound like an inspirational piece for you, but is moreso for me, but if you’re inspired, hey, more power to you.

Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ambienteye/2340600079/

The Israeli Snakebot

New Age Battlefield Techniques

The Israeli Defense Forces are seriously working on a robotic snake for tactical usage. The snake would be camouflaged to appear like a real snake and has the ability to deliver bombs, reconnaissance, and if the snake is destroyed, it has the ability to spawn into smaller snakes – which can then operate independently on its own. In the current stage, the snake is slow in movement, but within time, it will replicate the behavior of a real snake. I guess this is the future of battlefield tactics. I wonder what is next, a robotic bird? Oh, I think they already have that, maybe a field rat or something. SMH.

BlackBerry OS 6 for Q3 2010

BlackBerry 6 OS

Something for the BlackBerry phreaks to get hype about it; it does look like they have taken some cues from the iPhone OS and Android OS to make things more intuitive – has a much cleaner interface. This new OS should still appeal to BlackBerry’s base, and may appeal to those that want an iPhone-like experience – without the dismal AT&T service.  Only flaw with the ad is the bizarre dancing by the headless people – gets kinda weird after awhile.  One of the biggest features for the OS 6 is the much anticipated native browser – it is actually a real browser now, and has the ability to have multiple tabs(pages) open simultaneously.  A little late in the game, but hey, at least they are participating.

Here are some recent Smartphone market share statistis from comScore.com

Top Smartphone Platforms
3 Month Avg. Ending Jan. 2010 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Oct. 2009
Total U.S. Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
Share (%) of Smartphone Subscribers
Oct-09 Jan-10 Point Change
Total Smartphone Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
RIM 41.3% 43.0% 1.7
Apple 24.8% 25.1% 0.3
Microsoft 19.7% 15.7% -4.0
Google 2.8% 7.1% 4.3
Palm 7.8% 5.7% -2.1

Source: comScore

The week in Tech April 2/2010

Week in Tech April 2, 2010

Great Technology stories from around the world from cosmic rays causing Toyota’s problems to NASA learning from the average Joe.

NASA looks into Cosmic Rays as a source for Toyota’s Problems
http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-20001410-48.html
– sounds ‘out there’ but there is some merit to the argument

ESPN 3D TV
http://news.cnet.com/8301-31021_3-20001383-260.html
– For the early adopters, 3D TV will be something of importance – I am still with the CRT’s

Underwear that Texts when its Wet
http://news.cnet.com/8301-27083_3-10471041-247.html
– that is not a typo

Cheaper than NASA
http://www.torontosun.com/news/world/2010/03/26/13367181.html
– how NASA can learn from a regular guy about space costs

Still clicking SPAM
http://it.slashdot.org/story/10/03/25/1243241/Millions-Continue-To-Click-On-Spam
– still increasing

Augmented Reality from GM

Augment the Reality for your Windshield

GM seems to be gaining back market share from Toyota and their constant bad press about their runaway vehicles, as GM is testing augmented reality in windshields; essentially GM has teamed up with Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Southern California to test out this new design.  Peep the video below, something for the Nerbans.