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What The Peep (Wireless) is Going On?

January 4, 2011

A company which claims to do the impossible. What can’t this thing do?

I love to hear aggressive new companies break onto the scene full on huge ambitions but the recent news that Peep Wireless will be able to take a smartphone or telematics-based bluetooth system and use software to recreate the PSTN has me baffled just a bit. OK, baffled a lot.

Tablet App Chasing Publishing Lemmings

December 31, 2010

If you remember a few months back I discussed how the whole idea of bailing out newspapers was terrible. I further asked where the innovation was from traditional publishers? Here is a paragraph of note (I bolded the most important text):

What I have learned as a person who has transitioned a purely print media company to an integrated media organization is that the news reporting organization of the future must embrace not just excellent editorial but it must integrate solid content with state-of-the-art SEO optimized backend content management systems.

MySpace May Layoff 550, Relies on Facebook for Traffic

December 31, 2010

Obviously most every site relies on Facebook for traffic but in the case of MySpace a whopping 18% of the traffic comes from Facebook – the top upstream site in-fact according to Alexa. The next highest referral sites are Google at 14% and Yahoo! at 5.5% making Facebook a crucial resource for MySpace in terms of traffic. What may be worse for MySpace is that once people are done visiting a MySpace page, Facebook is the #1 site they visit – 18.66% of the time in fact.

Skype Video For iPhone a 2011 Killer App

December 30, 2010

I just did a brief test of Skype video calling on the iPhone - it works on the iPad as well. TMC's Tom Keating and I tried calling over WiFi and AT&T 3G. WiFi worked amazingly well and the first 3G call I tried just hung.

My second attempt to call Tom's iPhone 3GS with my iPhone 4 went through and the quality seemed slightly worse than WiFi but still quite good. During the demo I received two non-Skype 3G calls which placed the Skype call on hold.

The Apple iOS vs. Android Fight in 2011

December 28, 2010

As TMCnet's Tom Keating mentions on his blog, there are many factors to consider in the fight for mobile supremecy between Apple, Google Android and yes, even Microsoft. Tom's point about Microsoft injecting itself into the Android relationship with carriers to become the defacto search engine has even begun to happen already.

But what caught my eye regarding the controversy is will Apple become the defacto high-end alternative that is priced out of the reach of most of the market?

The answer may lie in production numbers alone.

You see, the Apple hardware is virtually unchanged from iPod to iPhone to iPad so economies of scale work in the company's favor.

However, Android devices are gaining massive share. If these gadgets can also leverage the same hardware with other mobile operating systems then they too can take advantage of the same efficiencies. Perhaps Samsung and HTC are best positioned in this regard as an HTC device, for example, can do double-duty as an Android and Windows Phone 7.

A while back I asked Nokia execs about the disadvantage they had in supporting a plethora of form factors while Apple gets away with one and they didn't have a good answer.

But if a phone manufacturer can leverage multiple operating systems to drive scale they can then compete more effectively with Apple.











Net Neutrality: More Unintended Consequences

December 23, 2010

What if the FCC could force FedEx and UPS to charge the same rates for delivery regardless of how many days it takes to get a package delivered and/or the weight of a package?

Stairway to Trouble

A large tech company found many of its workers were using gadgets when walking up and down the stairs and as a result after numerous internal meetings they decided in order to create a better work environment they would communicate with the workforce about the perils of multitasking while walking on the stairs. As you might have guessed, the decision was made to put signs in the stairwells warning people to not multitask.

MangoSpring MangoApps For Better Corporate Collaboration

December 21, 2010

Months back you may recall I covered Cisco Quad, a corporate social networking solution for truly massive companies. While many organizations use Microsoft SharePoint as a social solution, another option is to turn to MangSpring’s MangoApps, a solution which takes the best elements of Facebook, Yammer, Quad and others and combines them into an easy-to-use app that the company proclaims is a powerful open communication and project execution solution for Fortune five-million companies.

The company, founded in 2007, has over 35 employees and I had a chance to speak with CEO and founder Anup Kerjiwal as well as Mike Jensen VP of Customer Engagements a few months back and it was like drinking from a fire hose. The company supplies a solution that answers so many corporate needs and it is priced at only $2-$7 per user per month (based on total users).

3G and 4G Group Data Plans Needed

December 20, 2010

I am beginning to change my tune on the embedded cellular radio vs. the external MiFi device debate. Does it make sense to purchase a tablet with embedded 3G or 4G or is it better to go with an external 3G/4G device which becomes a personal hotspot?

To date I have decided that my laptop should have embedded Verizon 3G via EVDO while the iPad - embedded AT&T 3G.

But if you have a family and your kids need (OK need is a strong word - desire is probably more appropriate) connectivity, should you embed their devices with 3G modems as well?

Obviously the bill can get pretty big pretty fast and if you have kids who only occasionally need wireless access when WiFi isn't available it is crazy to sign a multi-year contract for $40 or more per month. Sure you could get a cheaper plan but if you opt for an iPhone instead an iPod Touch to take advantage of a wireless carrier's larger 3G wireless footprint you have to buy a voice plan as well which starts at $39.99/month - then of course you'll want to add a text message plan, etc.

This is why I read with interest the news that Best Buy is selling a bundle of an iPad with a free MiFi with a 2-year contract.

When you amortize the use of this free device across all your family's gadgets such as the Nintendo DS, iPod Touch and future products you know you'll buy, it seems to make sense to have one.

But one wonders if carriers aren't doing themselves a long-term disservice by not coming up with some sort of group or family plan for devices.











Callvine Simplifies Mobile Conferencing

December 19, 2010

Yesterday I was at a party where one of the guests was telling me about her job managing real estate for her family. I inquired about where her office is and she held up her cell phone and said my car is my office. This conversation reminded me about a recent conversation with Callvine Founder and COO Mark Dzwonczyk who tells me his company has found the secret ingredient to take conferencing to the mobile professional. After a couple of years of work, the company has an app which I tried on an iPhone (iTunes preview) allowing you to quickly set up groups which you can use to SMS and conference.

Delicious: A Mess Yahoo Doesn't Need

December 18, 2010

While Google, Yahoo! and Twitter are looking to expand their services into every conceivable area imaginable, Yahoo is going in the other direction as rumors swirl regarding the company shutting down social sharing site Delicious. It is fascinating really and it shows how companies with positive momentum seem to be able achieve anything and those with negative momentum have an incredible battle when they compete on the Internet.

As InformationWeek recently reported, a leaked internal slide from a Yahoo presentation shows the company was targeting AltaVista, Delicious and other services for elimination. The news spread like wildfire.

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