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Gadget

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.

Meetings, Earnings Calls and E-Mail

February 23, 2011

Its been perhaps one of my most productive days - I eliminated 1,500 emails - about 800 of which were in the "important - save for later" bucket meaning they either got zapped or required some action. Generally the latter. I also had a chance to have a zillion meetings and listen to part of a media company conference call - I won't say which one but to me the amount of information a public company shares has always been fascinating from a competitive intelligence perspective.

One thing I found interesting on one of the recent calls I've sat on is how a media company touts an increase in social media sharing as if it is unique to them and isn't taking place across the web.

For the latest news check out the video below from Tammy Wolf in the TMC Newsroom which discusses the new BMW i series of products and Chinese social media company IPO Renren.com.







Apple Subscription Controversy & WeatherBug for Android Honeycomb

February 22, 2011

Now the US Has a Robotic Hummingbird

February 19, 2011

TMCnet's Chris DiMarco reports that DARPA funded a robotic spy nano-hummingbird weighing 19 grams or 0.67 ounces. With a wing span of 5.6 inches the "bird" which has an integrated CMOS video camera and transmitter has recently increased its flying range to five-eleven minutes. This is tremendous progress as it flew only 20 seconds two years ago. It has been in development for five years in-total.

I can't help thinking this device is part of a military future with Terminator-like flying-objects but unless the range can get better and you can stick something that explodes on it - perhaps its destined - for the moment, to end up next to the RC helicopter in the toy chest of your kid's room.

This video explains how this technology could find its way into larger UAVs in the future.



Lady GaGa's Born This Way Breaks iTunes Record

February 18, 2011

Not only did the queen of tweets, Lady Gaga break the record for most Twitter followers, she has now broken the record for fastest-selling single ever on the Apple iTunes Store with her new song Born This Way.

Recently on Sirius/XM radio she said if there was a movie about her life she would want to be played by Marisa Tomei as when she gets upset her friends tell her that her "New York" accent comes out.

What is perhaps most amazing about Lady Gaga is that many call her the new Madonna - some say it in a derogatory fashion, personally I think she has mimicked the performer and one-upped her nicely. And when Madonna began to rise in popularity it was MTV which helped her take her outrageous outfits to the masses quickly through interviews and 24x7 videos. BTW - for all the youts reading this, there was a time when MTV played just music and you didn't even associate the word Guido with the station.

But Lady GaGa has skipped past MTV, and uses YouTube where she has had over a billion views, Twitter where she has 8.2M+ followers and iTunes to reach the masses. Not that MTV has lost its importance - its just the new wave of social and tech mediums are being used to propel this artist's career even faster than Madonna's.

YouTube, social and iTunes haven't killed the video star but they certainly seem to have more reach and importance.







Electronic Warfare is the Future. Are You Ready?

February 14, 2011

Stuxnet is Victory at Entebbe 2.0

The Stuxnet worm alleged to be the work of Israel and the US was designed to target and disable Iranian centrifuges by increasing their speeds to dangerous levels while reporting to operators that all was well. The latest report from the New York Times shows this worm has also hit five industrial sites in the land of Ahmadinejad.

It’s no secret most of the world does not want Iran to get nuclear weapons and the best weapon being used to deter the country’s nuclear program was sanctions and if they are working it would be tough to know it as the country are prospering greatly as the price of oil is much higher than what Iran has budgeted.

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