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Consumer Electronics

The Bittersweet Pandora HTML5 Update

September 21, 2011

Bittersweet only if you use Apple iOS devices.

As a huge fan of HTML5 and someone who is even involved in putting on  DevCon5 conferences covering the space I was thrilled to see the new Pandora HTML5 interface. Likewise I was disappointing to see I couldn't run the Pandora HTML5 environment on an iPhone browser natively and thus sidestepping the Apple iTunes App Store.

The look of the new Pandora based on HTML5


I have a request out to the company to see if there is an Apple limitation at work here or whether the company has intentionally hampered the app on iOS. As most of us know, playing media on the iPhone requires using their embedded player so my educated guess is there is an Apple issue here.

And before I posted I walked down the hall and tested the new HTML5 site on Erik Linask's Android-based smartphone and guess what. It worked flawlessly.








Twitter Tightens SMS Ties with Photos

September 21, 2011

Twitter's 140 character limit was actually a limit of SMS messages applied to the world's most successful microblogging service but in the last few years, Twitter use has migrated to apps on smartphones and web browsers. Today the company sent a reminder to the world that yes, you can tweet via SMS as well. In fact you can now include photos in an SMS message and have it update your account.

At the moment this functionality is limited to AT&T, Verizon and Cellular South in the US as well as Orange in the UK, Vodafone Italy, Rogers Communications in Canada, VIVA Bahrain and TIM Brazil.

Here is more information from Twitter and a list of short and long codes used to address your SMS messages.

Hat tip Phone Scoop.





AT&T Responds to DOJ - What They Missed

September 9, 2011

AT&T responded to the DOJ regarding the blocked T-Mobile USA acquisition saying that the proposed merger would be good for consumers as it would allow AT&T to gain access to T-Mobile spectrum allowing their call quality to improve and the number of dropped calls to be reduced. This in turn they argue would lead to lower prices. Ma Bell 2.0 continued to explain that the wireless business is fiercely competitive which has resulted in lower prices over time.

The interesting takeaway here is that there is nothing new being argued.

Windows 8 Targets Boot Time in War With Apple

September 9, 2011

Here is a typical scenario many of us deal with... While waiting for our laptop or PC to boot, we take out our smartphones or tablets to check email and work until the Windows-based machine ends it's leisurely boot process. Often we have a few choice words for our Windows machine as we realize the lunacy of having to deal with such a slow start-up process.

Even more ironic is the fact that an iPad 2 not only boots lightening-fast, it has a full day of battery built-in meaning you don't need to worry about shutting the system down that often.

About ten years ago I recall Microsoft working on an instant-boot technology but obviously this never made it into production and boot times continue to be a major Achilles heel of Redmond's OS.

So the news that Windows 8 will boot 30-70% faster than Windows 7 is music to the ears of people who are sick of having to use a spare device while the other boots.

This is how it works... The system processes or kernel hibernates when you shut down.







Even Apple Wouldn't Hire Steve Jobs Today

September 1, 2011

While we lament the fact that Steve Jobs is gone as CEO of Apple and hope he stays as healthy as possible, it is worth pointing out something which is true but underreported and amazingly shocking. You see, I recently posted my six observations on why Steve Jobs was successful and suggestions on how others could emulate him and as an extension, Apple. But after reading an article on TMCnet’s sister site, TechZone360 from Rob Enderle , President and Principal Analyst, Enderle Group, I realize that we have a major problem as a tech industry because as Rob points out, nobody would hire Steve Jobs.

His personality quirks and lack of education wouldn’t even give him access to an interview at most tech companies that would really need someone like him.

Streaming Radio? There's An App For EACH Station

August 31, 2011

I love all kinds of music and unless I am in the mood for something slow, I find the faster the beat the better. So I have been on a quest for the best workout music and I’ve had good success but I am wondering, how many more apps can I take?

Everyone probably started their journey with Pandora as I did. I love how customizable Pandora is – allowing me to skip tracks I don’t like and build perfectly customizable radio stations.

Why Blocked AT&T, T-Mobile USA Deal is Good for Growth

August 31, 2011

Critics might say, in the history of M&A, it is difficult to recall one instance where more jobs were created as a result of two companies coming together. Yet this is the argument AT&T has been making for just less than three months after the merger announcement with AT&T and T-Mobile USA was announced. In part the argument was reinforced by the company's commitment to bring remote call center jobs back to the states.

Moreover, AT&T’s claim that this merger would be good for consumers is an interesting one as critics might say it is fairly easy to argue either side.

6 New Rules in a Post-Jobs World

August 29, 2011

Let’s face it, any company trying to compete with Apple in its core markets has been beheaded and frankly in the case of HP, embarrassed. For so many years, there were two ways of doing things – the established way like Microsoft did and the different way that Apple did things. It turns out in market after market, the established way was wrong. Here are some of the observations I have made as to why Apple has been such a phenomenal success and thoughts on how your company can be the next Apple and you can be the next Steve Jobs.

1) Does your hardware say wow?

Suggestion: Apple's First Move Without Steve Jobs

August 25, 2011

Apple went from computer innovator to little more than a joke. Then Steve Jobs returned and since then, the company has become the absolute leader in tech, consumer electronics, wireless, tablets, music, entertainment, app stores, retail, industrial design and those are just off the top of my head. Jobs also turned Pixar into a multibillion dollar company and created movies destined to become classics.

Jobs did more than create new products and industries, he was savvy enough to lock up supply chains for hard disks, displays and other products keeping the competition scrambling to not only copy the company but to produce products in quantity.

The momentum the company has is incredible and in the tablet and music player market, the company is virtually untouched. Moreover, I fully expect an Apple TV (a real television I mean) in the future with even better integration with online video options.



ITEXPO West 2011 Austin Highlights

August 23, 2011

Before all ITEXPO events I do a final proofread of the show directory and this one may be the biggest ever at 132 pages with tabs (just doing our part to support the economy). We will post a PDF version soon so you can see what’s in it but until then, here are some highlights that caught my eye:

Keynotes & Exhibits Tuesday, September 13th at 9:15 AM we have Ian Pennell from Cisco and at 4:30 PM-5:30 PM we have keynotes from Siemens and IBM followed by a Grand Opening Networking Reception sponsored by Interact from 5:30-7:30.

Wednesday, September 14th at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM we have keynotes from Polycom and DHL followed by exhibits from 11:00 AM- 4:00 PM. Then at 4:00 PM there is a Cocktail reception sponsored by Rackspace Hosting and at 4:45 you could win a pair of mountain bikes from Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop - an Austin Institution ( I am told).

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