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Gadget

Destress and Boost Productivity With Less Notifications

March 11, 2011

If you are a knowledge worker, there is no doubt getting frequent notifications is a mixed blessing as you make sure you are on top of everything without having to search for what's new. My friend in Sardinia, Luca Filigheddu explains how much stress you can relieve by turning off all the notifications and in general I agree.

I get an email every few moments it seems so I do not use email alerts but I do have alerts for some Twitter and Facebook functions as well as news alerts for a number of news apps on my devices. Perhaps I should turn them off - as they do get annoying and they show up on all my mobile devices.

The one certainty is as we keep installing more apps - the opportunity for us to turn on notifications increases and if we aren't careful, we slowly decrease our productivity as interuptions are the enemy of concentration.

Avaya's Phil Edholm told me years back that your brain can adjust to multitasking and excel at becoming interrupt-driven. In other words, ADHD can be induced.





Massive Lines for iPad 2

March 11, 2011



Larry on my IT team was nice enough to scout around Norwalk, CT looking for an iPad 2 for me and this is the photo he sent back from Best Buy. Larry says at least 60-80 people were in it. The going rate to cut the line is $500 BTW. The AT&T store across the street from TMC HQ had four units and they sold out quickly. And forget about getting many retailers carrying iPads to even think about answering phones today.

It is obvious that Apple has built tremendous consumer trust and if a tablet manufacturer even dreams of penetrating Apple's massive market share they need to way over deliver.



iPad 2 Demand Could Be Much Greater Than Expected

March 11, 2011

The iPad 2 has only been on sale for a few hours online and already shipping estimates have gone from 3-5 days to 2-3 weeks. Perhaps this isn't too surprising as analysts believe 15-20% of users of the original iPad will upgrade. This includes me by the way.

Some are calling for 600,000 iPad 2 devices to be sold this weekend in over 10,000 stores from AT&T, Verizon, Wal-Mart and many others.

Perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised as we know the price of trade-ins on original iPads has been dropping since the announcement of the new device. Mashable has more on whether you should order online or in a store.

My take is if you can't wait, order one online and stand in line this weekend if you find a store with one in stock.

Update 3/14/11: The delay is now 3-4 weeks according to Apple's site.







Cisco Lowers Umi Price as Margins Become a Bigger Concern

March 10, 2011

Analysis of Cisco's strategy from consumer to enterprise, servers and switches

Its pretty simple really, if you are getting something which is pretty good and its free, you aren't likely to pay a lot for something better. I pointed out as much when I wrote about the 10 reasons why Cisco Umi telepresence would fail. This is why the number one reason on my list was Skype... Spending $599 for Umi equipment and then $24.99 per month makes great sense if Skype wasn't free or better yet didn't exist.

This is why when TMCnet reported that Cisco has slashed the price on this solution, it could only be seen as good news and a validation of what I considered to be an obvious marketing and pricing challenge.



Mickey Mouse Robot Scares Adults

March 10, 2011

Does Sprint Merging with T-Mobile Make Sense?

March 10, 2011



As Tammy Wolf reports in the TMC Newsroom, Sprint and T-Mobile may merge, allowing the weakest national wireless carriers to merge resources and become more credible against the threat from AT&T and Verizon. If there is one thing the wireless industry has learned these past years is network quality is the largest differentiator from a marketing perspective and as these wireless companies all will support LTE and most likely many of the same devices, carrier's likely can't count on an exclusive killer device as much as they did in the past.

In other words, if Verizon and AT&T had both used the exact same network technology, we may have seen Apple support both networks earlier on. Moreover, if there is a merger, all three providers will likely be about the same size in terms of customers meaning better negotiating power with device manufacturers - not to mention equipment providers.

Carl Ford, co-founder of the 4GWE conference thinks the fact that there are relatively new CEOs at Sprint, T-Mobile and Clearwire bodes well for a deal which is currently at the rumor stage. I tend to agree.

It seems to me that the need for these companies to get together is predicated on the fact that there is a perception issue in the US that Verizon has the best network and the others just aren't as good.







Smartwatch as Information Hub

March 8, 2011

I am a huge watch freak - meaning I love all sorts of them from the most stylish to the most nerdy. The last watch I truly loved was the Tissot High-T which was amazing because it used the Microsoft Spot network to sync all of my calendar reminders and best of all it vibrated - allowing me to get inconspicuous alerts regarding all of my meetings before they took place. Unfortunately the watch stopped working and when I sent it to Tissot for repairs they never sent it back saying it was discontinued. Instead I received a credit.

As great as it is to use a smartphone or tablet, there are times in meetings where looking at your watch is even more socially acceptable than looking at a gadget.

The Other Side of the iPad 2 Hype

March 3, 2011

While virtually every article you read about the iPad 2 release is positive and I expect it to be a hit - I already instructed my team to get one for me, there are two sides to every coin. For example, Seth Weintraub has a great piece on CNN/Money - Fortune the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field where he discusses how information is being presented in a potentially misleading manner.

Perhaps the item which is most shocking is claiming the iPad 2 is the first tablet to ship in volume with a dual-core processor. The Dell Streak 7, Motorola Xoom for example both are shipping and have dual core processors. Moreover the Atrix is a dual-core phone which is shipping in volume.

The question of course is what does "in volume" mean?



iPad 2, What You Need to Know

March 2, 2011

Apple has done it again with the iPad 2 - it has a dual-core A5 chip which is up to nine-times faster as well as two cameras for FaceTime communications and a self-cleaning cover which comes in a plethora of colors and magnetically attaches to the device which still boasts  battery life of 10 hours. As usual with Apple, they think things through far better than other companies and their new cover also folds in a number of ways allowing it to double as a stand in both landscape and portrait modes.

The screen improves as well with LED-backlighting which is common on higher-end televisions. There is also a three-axis gyroscope which works in conjunction with the accelerometer and compass to give the software infinite information about what is happening with the device. Expect iPad gaming to get even better.

There is also video mirroring allowing you to easily connect your iPad to a TV - even if you don't have an Apple TV - you just plug in a digital AV connector sold separately and you are good to go.

Moreover there is new movie editing and music software which makes it that much difficult for other tablet makers using Android to catch up with Apple's decade-long multimedia advantage.

The iPad 2 is available on March 11 and starts at $499 - existing models will drop in price by $100 for now.

Carrie Schmelkin has more on this thinner, lighter iPad on TMCnet.









Yes, Most Tablets Will Still Fail

March 1, 2011

Two years ago I warned readers that most tablets will fail and since that time we have been waiting for all the tablets to come out so we can determine who the winners and losers will be. Obviously Apple and Android-based devices look safest at this point but likewise we can feel fairly confident in products from RIM based on the company's history.

I just came across an article on TMC's InfoTech Spotlight site where Doug Mohney explains fairly convincingly why this is the case and moreover how the idea of an $800 tablet selling in massive quantities is unlikely based on simple supply and demand analysis coupled with the simple fact that people who wanted a tablet already went out and purchased an iPad.

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