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Why Professionals Say to Avoid Nest

November 22, 2017

Nest thermostats look gorgeous but if your equipment isn't compatible, you are in for a lot of trouble setting up your thermostats. Having a 50-year-old home with AC and baseboard heat has made it difficult to get these devices to work properly.

Nest's tech support is good. We should know, we have spent hours on the phone with them to get the air conditioning working. A few months later, we learned the heat was not working properly at 3 am when we awoke to a home which was less than sixty degrees while air conditioning was being called for by the thermostat.

Thankfully, we were able to shut it down from our phone in bed.



Dongles: The iPhone Weakness Samsung Begins to Exploit

November 6, 2017

Apple used to abuse Microsoft in its Mac Versus PC ads. They hired a chubby Bill Gates looking actor John Hodgeman to represent the PC while they hired the hip, cool and young Justin Long to represent the Mac.

One of the most compelling ads focused on the lengths PC users needed to go to to connect a camera to their systems.



The ad below shows the PC having a camera literally duct taped to their head.



Frankly it was embarrassing to use a PC after seeing these ads.

Apple however has unwittingly made itself a target of the same type of attack ad.

The minimalist designs Apple releases are gorgeous but they drastically reduce functionality. The Mac laptops and iPhones have this problem - thanks to reduced ports for things like headphones.

Users need multiple adapters if they want to use a 3.5 headphone with their iOS phone.

See the screen shots and video below Samsung is using to take on Apple. If they were to take the dongle concept and really focus on it in TV ads, it could put a dent in the Apple halo.





























Galaxy S8 Outdoes iPhone X in Freeze Test

November 6, 2017

The screen test below shows what happens when you put two of the top smartphones on the market - the Samsung Galaxy S8 and iPhone X in water and then freeze them overnight.

Two frozen phones - which one will survive?





The Samsung is unscathed but the iPhone X loses its Face ID ability, its screen doesn't work properly and it seems to have lost its data.

Wait, what happened to all my data?




Even worse - the entire battery of the iPhone gets used up while the Samsung still has about 40% left.

Most likely, a gap opened up in the iPhone during its blowtorch melting causing water to get it. This in turn seems to have led to a short circuit or even more than one.

The iPhone X green screen of death - apparently competition with Microsoft BSOD is fiercer than we thought. 




Bottom line: The Samsung Galaxy S8 is an absolute champ in this test - iPhone X users should avoid leaving their phones in water in the freezer overnight.

The video below shows the freeze test comparison in full:























This iPhone X Feature Makes it Worth $1,000

November 4, 2017

You're driving in the car, come to a red light and decide to check e-mail. You double click the home button to open the mail app, delete a few emails and then look up after you hear the horn of the car behind you to see a green light. As you place the phone back in its holder, you begin to accelerate through the intersection.

Suddenly, you remember, you want to open the GPS app as you pass the intersection and proceed to the entrance ramp of the highway or freeway. You think about hard pressing the left of the screen and swiping to another app but you realize the phone holder is not so secure.

Dialpad Debuts New Gmail Add-on in G Suite Marketplace

October 24, 2017

Dialpad spun out of Google for all practical purposes and still uses the Google cloud or GCP so its a natural application to be part of the new G Suite marketplace.

What does this new partnership mean to Dialpad customers? Simple... They can now access their communications - text and voice from within their email client. Specifically, when you are emailing on an Android device or desktop browser, you will see a drawer to the right allowing calls to be placed or texting to be initiated.

Once activated, the Dialpad Add-on enables users to message, call, view history or save a new contact from within Gmail. 



AT&T Connected Health Foundry Celebrates Success

September 23, 2017

Earlier today we discussed how some years back IMS provided a platform for carriers to roll out applications. The industry discussed the concept for a number of years – magazines, associations and events sprung up to support carrier efforts but the market never happened the way anyone thought it would. This was in-part because Apple rolled out an App Store and then Google followed and developers didn’t need to work with carriers. It was much faster to integrate with the hardware in the hands of the consumer.

Why Google will Buy Bose

September 21, 2017

To compete effectively with Apple, Google needs to evolve how it does business. The most important area Google needs to worry about is the Android experience versus the one Apple provides. Apple does its very best to update the operating systems on even its most obsolete phones - ones going back years like the iPhone 5s. Android devices on the other hand seem to be designed to last a year or two - after that, depending on your phone, you're out of luck.

Basically, Apple worries about the experience, Google Android is more about a device.

Apple starts with the store and goes down to the processor level - they own it all.

Conversely, Android phones have numerous similar applications from the Android hardware maker and Google.





Roku IPO Reminds us Tech is an Oligopoly

September 3, 2017



Roku is a company that defied the odds - competing in a market with Apple, Google and Amazon and somehow persevering by making superior products in what is without a doubt a highly commoditized space. To make matters worse, Google and Amazon really don't seem to care too much about profitability - Amazon in general and Google/Alphabet for its businesses beyond search.

Still, despite the challenging competitive environment, Roku has persevered and done well.

The company's investors are about to partially cash out via an IPO and in its filing documents it tells us that two of its most popular services, YouTube and Netflix pay them virtually no money.

Tech is an oligopoly of sorts. In 2015, Om Malik wrote about the winner-take-all nature of Silicon Valley.

Here is an excerpt:

This loop of algorithms, infrastructure, and data is potent. Add what are called network effects to the mix, and you start to see virtual monopolies emerge almost overnight.











Google Could Lose it's Trademark

August 21, 2017

Is Google a generic term like KleenexDumpster and Realtor- unworthy of protection with a trademark symbol? The case is pending.

Dr. Wikipedia tells us:

A trademark is said to become genericized when it begins as a distinctive product identifier but changes in meaning to become generic. This typically happens when the products or services with which the trademark is associated have acquired substantial market dominance or mind share, such that the primary meaning of the genericized trademark becomes the product or service itself rather than an indication of source for the product or service. A trademark thus popularized has its legal protection at risk in some countries such as the United States and United Kingdom, as its intellectual property rights in the trademark may be lost and competitors enabled to use the genericized trademark to describe their similar products, unless the owner of an affected trademark works sufficiently to correct and prevent such broad use.



Maybe Net Neutrality Needs to Apply to Silicon Valley

August 21, 2017

In the debate for net neutrality, its been left versus right for about a decade. Silicon Valley, and Democrats are for net neutrality while conservatives are for free markets with minimal government regulation.

The biggest argument advocates of net neutrality use is they fear for a world where unregulated ISPs are able to throttle and block content they don't agree with or that which is competitive.

Last month, Google, Facebook and Spotify among many others worked together to participate in a June 12 Internet-Wide Day of Action in support of net neutrality.

Organized by Fight for the Futurefreepress, and Demand Progress, the event precedes a July 17 deadline for public comment on the FCC's proposed changes to net neutrality rules, originally designed to prevent huge internet service providers from creating internet 'fast lanes' that deliver content from some owners at higher speeds (and potentially higher costs) than that of others. In his new role as head of the FCC, former commissioner and Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai has quickly mobilized efforts to roll back the Obama-era protections, among other things, arguing that the regulations will inhibit investment and innovation in the field.

Interestingly net neutrality proponants are generally associated with the antifa movement - the communist group which says it represents anti-fascism.

So there we have it - the left wants net neutrality rules so the government can ensure corporations can't keep sites they don't agree with, off the internet.









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