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Technology

Siminoff's POP Station Charger a Winner

August 27, 2012

Tech rock star Jamie Siminoff is at it again. The inventor of Simulscribe/Phonetag transcription service has a new design lab to create unique products and services called Edison Junior. The company’s first product is called POP – the company bills it as the intersection of charging and design.

It is an absolutely great device in that it helps solve a problem many families and workers have – how to keep all their devices charged all the time.

 

Thanks to All the Press and Analysts Coming to ITEXPO in Austin

August 23, 2012

I wanted to thank all the press, analysts and bloggers coming to ITEXPO Oct 2-5, 2012 in Austin, Texas. We really appreciate the time you take from you busy schedules to spend with us at the show.

The event is 39 days away and already we are seeing the list build momentum. Some of the companies I’d like to thank are IMS Research, Forrester Research, Intellicom Analytics, GigaOM, Slashdot/Geeknet, Ovum, El Mundo Newspaper, Compass Intelligence, Penton, Network Products Guide, Light Reading and Penton Media.

VCs disrupted by Angels thanks to Cloud, Apple, Google and Facebook

August 23, 2012

How too many investors can lead us to irrational exuberance 2.0

Fred Wilson, managing partner at Union Square Ventures is one of the most well-respected VCs around and does an amazing job with his AVC blog – it is in many ways a blueprint to starting a company. He has had so many good posts over the years it is tough to count.

In a recent interview with Technology Review he made some alarming comments which you should be aware of.

Mosquito Magnet One Solution to West Nile Outbreak

August 22, 2012

US West Nile cases have just surpassed 1,100, the highest number in a year since 1999 when the disease was first detected. According to reports, the disease is way under-reported and up to 94,000 people in the US could be infected with the disease.

I've been using Mosquito Magnet traps since 2005 - and these traps kill many of these biting insects - not just mosquitoes.

The trap works by emulating the breath of a cow which attracts biting insects which are subsequently sucked into a net and die from dehydration. A quite pleasurable experience is to watch them accumulate in your trap over time. Every one in there is one less which could bite and potentially kill you.

The downside is this particular trap works with propane which means you need to fill the tank every 21 days or so.





Pensions May Break Companies like They are Breaking Cities

August 21, 2012

We know that bloated and unsustainable pensions have already helped bankrupt industries like airlines and more recently cities in California. But just wait… Our low interest environment is making it difficult if not impossible for pension funds at many public companies to make the returns they need to fund themselves. To resolve the problem, Congress has changed the way pension obligations are calculated and as a result, they can use a 25-year average instead of today’s rates.

CenturyLink recently reported it is able to save a billion dollars due to this federal legislation.

Protecode: Eliminating the Pitfalls of Software Development

August 20, 2012

Software development productivity has evolved tremendously over the decades as the cost of computing has plummeted rapidly while the cost of human capital has accelerated. Of course there are some anomalies in the “human capital” part of the curve as development can now take place in countries like India where wages are lower than say Silicon Valley. Still, when plotted against a dollar per unit of computing power curve which is exponentially decreasing, it continues to be much more expensive to hire programmers than to add processor cores or to increase clock speed.

Case in point, a few decades back when programming an IBM mainframe, it didn’t matter that programmers had to batch their programs using punch cards and wait for the computer’s results because you weren’t going to add more mainframe processing power unless you won corporate Lotto.

Not So Fast - Yes We Should Protect Innovation

August 20, 2012


The tech news of the day includes Google using its Motorola Mobility patents to sue Apple. Patent suits aren’t new but we are getting to a point where the news flow relating to patent litigation seems to be overshadowing the news relating to new products. The cost of these suits isn’t trivial and there is risk of significant distraction for all the companies involved. It seems like the industry would benefit from a tech patent truce.

Facebook's Plummeting Share Price to Hurt Tech Market?

August 17, 2012

Recently, on a trip to Silicon Valley to meet with execs and newsmakers I got a good sense of what tech business leaders were thinking. As you could expect “cautiously optimistic” was the tone but I sensed more optimism this year over last. It certainly wasn’t euphoria and a few people even said they were glad Facebook had a crappy IPO.

But I wonder if they expected the “crappy” IPO to have tuned into a stock which is setting new lows regularly.

 

Smartphone Margin Decreases versus Beats by Dr. Dre

August 16, 2012

Recently I touched upon some of the differences between the automobile and tech spaces and in the past I have mentioned how Apple’s ability to price its products without discounting implies a stronger brand and moreover helps it sell in its retail stores which offer the same prices as online.

This doesn’t mean that Apple can sit still because we can expect an almost infinite supply of focused competitors.

Sure, many of them like RIM and Nokia are in decline and are retooling their product lines almost perpetually to become competitive. But beyond these examples we also have a slew of Japanese consumer electronics companies who have seen the golden age of TV come and go… Now they are focusing on exporting mobile devices to make a living.

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