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WebRTC: The Phone meets the Web

October 19, 2012

We have seen the multi-billion dollar communications market get disrupted as the phone met the IP network. In the video below Phil Edholm describes how with WebRTC, the phone meets the web. As he describes, even though IP communications has been around for more than a decade, there hasn’t been a fundamental change in how we communicate. We still hang our phones off servers which allow communications to take place.

For Microsoft Surface, Is it Mission Impossible?

October 16, 2012


Microsoft, here is your mission. Take a device which has become synonymous with the term “post-PC era” and topple it. Go up against a company which is considered cool and somehow transform your image to be as cool. If you decide to accept this mission you must take your reputation for developing bloated operating systems and software and scale it all down to run in a tablet form factor where a person can use the device for an entire day without recharging.

Microsoft, SNL, Sprint and Softbank News for Monday October 15, 2012

October 15, 2012

Microsoft is jumping into the music business and this is perhaps the biggest news of the day and possibly the week. Redmond is now offering ad supported music streaming and going up against Sirius XM, Pandora and Apple’s iTunes all at once. Boasting a 30-million strong library of songs, users can listen to playlists for free or download to own music across their TV, computers and smartphones. The ad-free version is $9.99 per month and includes access to music videos as well.

 

Warren Buffet Investing in Risky Tech Without Knowing it?

October 11, 2012



As news breaks that Coca-Cola is mulling a $10 million investment in Spotify some people may think back to Warren Buffett’s comments on the tech market – saying he wouldn’t invest in it because he didn’t understand it. While some took this comment at face value, it seems the spirit of the comment was that Buffet is a value investor often holding a company’s shares for years or even more than a decade. Trying to figure out who the tech leaders will be over such a long time is very difficult if not impossible.

Interestingly, Coca-Cola is a great example of a Buffet investment – it is a leader in its space and much of its revenue is derived from Coke and its variants which just happen to be addictive due to their caffeine content.

Major Flaws in Ballmer's Apple-Fighting Strategy?

October 11, 2012


It really is shocking that Apple has pulled so far ahead of every other device maker with designs that are more art than technology focused. For those of you familiar with Bang & Olufsen products (BeoSound 8 pictured above) you know in some ways Apple’s designs are a copy of this iconic audio manufacturer meaning Apple didn’t entirely invent cool looking consumer electronics devices and others should be able to compete effectively in the space.

I am sure Microsoft agrees but as they’ve watched Apple become the cool and fast growing computer company they used to be, they determined they need to be more like Cupertino. This of course is the reason the company decided it was more important to design new hardware than keep their partners churning out directly competitive products happy.

Microsoft Hopes Free WiFi Will Persuade Developers

October 8, 2012

Google has been a steady sponsor of free WiFi in airports and subway stations for some years now but Microsoft has decided such sponsorships make sense for them as well. Specifically, the company is paying Boingo for the privilege of supplying free wireless access in parts of San Francisco and Manhattan.

The reason for the generosity has to do with Redmond celebrating Windows 8 and looking forward to introducing the new Windows Store for Windows 8 to the app builder community.

"At Microsoft, we know that amazing apps are being built in New York and San Francisco, and we want to give talented developers the chance to launch their businesses through the Windows Store," said John Richards, Senior Director at Microsoft Corp. "We hope our Boingo Wi-Fi sponsorship will introduce the Windows 8 opportunity to app builders in NYC and San Francisco, while providing folks with Wi-Fi connectivity on-the-go."

Don't Believe the Apple MapGate Hype

October 1, 2012

Apple has become so successful that journalists seem to go in for the kill if a new service doesn’t work perfectly. To some degree the company has executed so well, this is to be expected. The latest issue is the company’s decision to replace Google maps with its own maps in iOS6. Users have complained about less than perfect directions in some cases as well as some satellite images which are warped and frankly quite odd looking.

LBS Needs Trust

September 28, 2012

For over a decade the communications industry has been waxing poetic about the potential for location based services or LBS to change the world. The idea was mobile commerce would be unleashed as coupons would be flashed in front of users as they walked near a coffee shop or fast food restaurant.

That future is here to a certain degree but the one missing ingredient is trust. You see users more than likely want curated offers.

With Fabulous Gorilla Glass, Why Does Corning Stock Lose Value?

September 25, 2012

Corning is a fascinating company and recently the news about how they collaborated with Steve Jobs to build the glass for the first iPhone became public, making them that much more interesting. Believe it or not but the ancestor of the now famous Gorilla Glass in the iPhone and hundreds of other devices was invented in 1952 and by accident. The product was waiting decades looking for a market and the company started to experiment with it just before Steve Jobs came knocking.

Tom Keating alerted me to a fascinating article done by Wired which gives you all the details of how the glass is made and its evolution.



The challenge for the company seems to be getting ahead of itself. After all the famous Future Made of Glass video was made for potential investors over a year-and-a-half ago and since that time the company has seen its stock price drop by about 50%.





I am not going into the financial analysis of the company in this space but I do find it incredible that Corning can see its market capitalization decrease so greatly at a time when the world can't get enough glass covered gadgets.











iPhone 5 Screen Not Wider, Brighter Instead

September 25, 2012

I may be the most vociferous person out there saying the iPhone 5 should be wider than it is but just because Apple decided to "Think Different" it doesn't mean the screen on its new flagship phone isn't much better than its replacement.
According to Displaymate, the iPhone 5 screen is far superior to just about anything else on the market when it comes to accurately displaying colors and minimizing screen reflection. Specifically the company says:

Screen Reflectance on the iPhone 5 has decreased substantially – the iPhone 4 has 52 percent brighter reflections than the iPhone 5. This means you won’t be distracted as much by reflections that appear on the screen. The iPhone 5 has among the lowest Reflectance values we have ever measured on a Mobile device.
The iPhone 5 has the highest Contrast Rating for High Ambient Light for any Mobile device we have ever tested, and it’s 57 percent higher than the iPhone 4.



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