The World as Seen from Multiple Screens

Have you ever sat down and thought about how evolution speeds up as time goes by? Think about it, the dark ages lasted for centuries, then each era seemed to be shorter. In the last hundred years we’ve had more progress than anything before that. It was only fifty years ago that there was a big cube in the living room, broadcasting the same content to millions of families at a time, without people having any control over what they watched. Even marketing seemed pragmatic and programmatic. Just watch Mad Men on HBO… how marketing has changed since the 60’s.

Now look at us. TVs are no longer giant, heavy cubes; they’re flat panels hanging from stylish walls most likely to be hooked to different devices or smaller screens. Plug in a digital camera, a PC, a smartphone and now even a tablet. And even when all of the above can be taken everywhere with you, the interesting part is not only being connected 100% of the time, but rather that you have customized content no matter if you are out for a jog, at the office, at your leisure or plain out bored.

Personally, as time passes by, I find myself to be surrounded by more and more gadgets. In my “engadgeted” world I can practically do anything with a decent Internet signal. What’s more, each little piece of machinery offers a different experience that cannot be equaled by any other.

This said, what would happen if all of a sudden all of our gadgets were taken away from us? History tells us that we’re perfectly capable of surviving such “catastrophe”, but how would we cope with hole left in us all? Would panic surround us? Would we remember quickly enough how to do things analogically? I recall this video  not long ago in which several old gadgets were shown to seven-year-olds just to see if they recognized them or at least knew what they were for. The items included a walkman, a vinyl record player, a tape recorder and an old computer. Not a single participant knew what they were for.

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Let’s just hope progress keeps constant and we enjoy our present and our future. In any case, just remember how to read a book in regular pages, how to write by hand and how to walk to the nearest pizza place and get it back home. Can’t harm us, right?

Flash, iOS 5.0.1 and other Demons

It was a week full of technological developments and some managed to alter the caffeine levels in people’s blood streams. Between Adobe’s killing-flash announcement and Apple’s new iOS release, things are a bit sketchy for the mobile world.

First things first. Adobe has been the sole benefactor of Flash development since the mid 90’s, yes, that is before the Internet bubble. You could say it has built an empire and monopoly around the technology. But truth be told, innovation is not only about coming up with new versions of the old stuff. Innovation, after all, is about breaking paradigms. Flash was invented and developed to portray and develop animations and video content within the PC world. What came to be the mobile phone development wasn’t quite well calculated by Adobe.

Nevertheless, Flash continued to build its empire in non-PC devices without really taking into account one very important factor: mobile = small. Indeed, mobile translates to small everything: smaller screen, smaller processor and smaller capacity. A certain someone saw this window of opportunity and along came HTML5. Although young in nature, this new technology has managed to shake Adobe to its core, so much so that the company has pulled Flash from mobile and smart TVs just to pursue the big H.

How does this affect the mobile world? Well, if you turn on your Android tablet, don’t panic, you’ll still be able to watch videos supported by this platform. But eventually it will become a dead technology. No development = eventual death.

Ironically enough, it wasn’t that long after Adobe and Apple had announced their kissing and make up. Was this a dirty play on Adobe’s part? Unlikely. As mentioned earlier, Adobe is dropping the technology just to pursue HTML5, which was the only technology supported by Apple itself.

Apple has enough on its hands at the moment as it is. After the big 4S + Siri launch, all of us with the cute new gadget had come to terms with the very fragile battery life it has. If you’re lucky, you’ll cell phone will last 10 hours with a full battery. Reason? Bugs in the new iOS system. Solution? iOS 5.0.1 just to cure the little insect. Outcome? Well… it doesn’t look any better so far. My battery still runs out at the same rate it did before the upgrade, so what did you really do Apple?

After my rather strong argument against Blackberry and then switching to iPhone, I can’t really complain. Low battery or not, it is technology at its purest and most advanced meaning. So, cheers for all things mobile!

Siri at Last

Yes. I kept my promise: the new iPhone 4s is in my hands now. After The Blackberry meltdown I wrote a pretty heavy note on Mr. Lazaridis poor execution and a “too little too late” apologetic video, I could only be logical and purchase what indeed is innovation by definition.
This post is being written from the WordPress app on my phone, I can even make Siri type for me.
Do note however that even with state of the art advantages, I wouldn’t have switched to Apple if only customers came first with Blackberry.
But now let the apps begin! I’m sure more than one of my readers will be happy to iMessage me 🙂

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The Perks of a Tech Start Up

Every industry has a particular characteristic, one that predefines what your lifestyle will be like; Wall Street has coronaries, Hollywood has endless parties and Silicon Valley has its ping pong tables. How did I know which one to pick? As much as I’ve become a ping pong lover, it wasn’t the blue table that got me hooked.

It was a slow process to be honest. I’ve always had a way to understand technology, mostly because my generation was the first one to grow up surrounded by computers. Remember the dial up connection? It meant a portal to my nickelodeon.com once upon a time. But then I was just a regular kid surfing the net for her favorite cartoons. What was the extra umph?

It wasn’t really after my year abroad that I became geek-e-fied. I started downloading apps instead of programs, more tech savvy, more industry savvy, my blog became a priority and an amateur criticism of the industry. I got fans and people debating on my ideas, I became a technorati writer and behold! The ultimate happening: Silicon Valley.

But most of all, what it was really taught me more than just fiber optics and web strategy, it has been analytical skills. How the market moves, how to judge new products and make out a respectable forecast of what will happen. It’s my career.

Once submerged in the intangibles, you look around and find that this is indeed a profitable scene; one that allows for delights to have room in your life. Truth be told? A recommended lifestyle.

RIM: The Sum of All Fears

This week was known as the week in which Blackberry Smartphones were everything but smart. Not a single BB phone around the world was working properly; it didn’t matter if you were in France, the US or Brazil, heck it didn’t even matter what carrier you had. Plain and simple, Blackberry owners were just carrying a brick around.

Some people couldn’t even make a phone call; alerts weren’t coming through and BBM services were down. Was the late Mr. Jobs sending a message from the underworld? “Blackberry Owners Unite! Switch over to the slick iPhone where your wishes are Siri’s command!” you could almost hear him say. Creepy or not, as a very sorry Blackberry owner, as soon as my services were back up again, I called my carrier and pre-ordered an iPhone 4S.

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I’m sorry Blackberry, for as much as I’d like to be a loyal customer, you didn’t make it even slightly easy on me. For all the times I’ve had to reset that brick, wait for the little black square to think through any process I commanded, I can now almost hear my personal assistant’s voice: Siri.

In a very “too little too late” attempt, Mr. Lazaris – founder and Co-CEO of RIM- sent out an apology to all BlackBerry owners. In the video (you can watch in this post), you can see him reading the teleprompter. Unlike other presenters, like the much mentioned retired soul, didn’t have to use that to know and present their product. It’s not just about the product, it’s about putting your back into it. Forgive Mr. Lazaris, but I just didn’t feel the apology. After so much trouble RIM has been through, this will only make matters worse, but will they pick up after themselves and carry on? There’s only one way to find out.

Steve Jobs: A Toast for Immortality

It was 740pm Central Standard Time. I was driving in my car after a long day at work on October 5th, 2011. I tuned in my favorite radio station and there it was, out of the blue: “Today will be the day in which the world will remember the passing of Steve Jobs.” Thank the universe the road was empty; I hit on the breaks so hard, I thought I would burn off my tires.

The first word to come out of my mouth in an estranged tone, “WHAT?!” All day long I had sat down in front of my Mac at work, concentrating deeply in my thoughts, in my every day tasks, enjoying every bit of it (seriously); not once did I glimpse over to learn about it through my Mac. No, I had to hear it from a radio talk show from somewhere far away.

It’s then when I turned to my phone and checked the Twitter feed. Indeed there it was on #TT, RIP Steve Jobs. Finally after a while I could open my Mac again. I found my way through the usual suspects: Twitter, Tech Crunch, Facebook, Google +. All of my friends, followers and people I follow back…. like if a chilly snowfall had stricken all of us by surprise. Then I found the saddest homepage in the Industry, and yet the PNG file is named T_Hero…

All I could come up with from the most honest part in my heart was the following Tweet: “behind every iphone, every mac, every ipad there’s a little piece of you… you’ll still change our lives every day, THAT’s immortality”. it got retweeted, it got reposted, and you know what? It is possibly one of the most accurate phrases I’ve ever said. RIP Steve Jobs; thanks for all the Magic.

Team Work: On and Off Site

Henry Ford’s individualist and task based model has been long left in the past. Today, team work is the way the modern business world goes round. Countless books have been written about working styles and interaction within a professional team in the workspace. But leaving text aside, how do you know when a team really works as such?

Many would answer by saying that if results are met, then absolutely, the team is functional. Others would prefer the good relationships coexisting within a group. Now, if both can be met, then jackpot! You’ve got a Golden Team.

But how do you personally know when your team is working? Well here go my two cents: I feel at my best when not only is my team working out nicely in the workspace, but off site as well.

That is why recreational activities outside the office, involving team members, are so important. If you can have a few laughs, share stories and generally be easy going as human beings first, then you can work much easier on site.

So far, so good. So yes, even though this may feel like a sequel to the previous article in this blog “A Working Culture Apart“, it was still important enough for me to mention. Wouldn’t you perform better knowing that on the other side of that computer or the person next to you is just as human as you are?

Samsung Tablets are Stopped on the Eve of Australian Release

Article first published as Samsung Tablets are Stopped on the Eve of Australian Release on Technorati.

Apple has been protecting its name and patents in several cases now. From the confrontation with Amazon about the use of the phrase “App Store” to now stopping Samsung from distributing its Galaxy Tablet in Australia.

When comparing both tablets, they look dangerously alike. However, Samsung defends its position in the US by saying that the device has been selling normally without infringing any patent agreements. Nevertheless, as mentioned on Ausdroid why isn’t Samsung defending the Galaxy Tab in Australia as it is back in the United States if it’s the same device?

Out of the top ten tablets sold in the international market, the top two are Apple’s and Samsung’s which don’t seem to have any commonalities with the other eight in the list. Perhaps it was just too tempting to copy the number 1 tablet, or did they copy at all?

In the verge of this situation turning into a “he said, the he said” ordeal, it makes us wonder why Samsung backed off so quickly without a fight. Perhaps to avoid a pricy fight, or perhaps because indeed they are copying too many elements.

But what about those other eight tablets that were mentioned previously? Motorola Xoom is also an Android carrier but doesn’t have these hardware copy issues. Anyway, it looks like it’s “back to the drawing board” for Samsung if they want to enter the Australian market with the Galaxy Tab. In the meantime, Apple can breathe a little easier.

 

Read more: http://technorati.com/technology/article/samsung-tablets-are-stopped-on-the/#ixzz1TtMcMdwx

Windows 7 Not An All Star Player

Article first published as Windows Phone 7 Not an All Star Player on Technorati.

There are four definite Smartphone names in the industry that will not let anyone else in. It’s even getting smaller; OVI platform was once a contender, but now it is a thing of the past.

Although Nokia abandoned OVI after it had failed to represent any kind of threat to the big names, it adopted Windows 7 for Smartphones. It seems that perhaps Nokia is regretting that deal today. Why would they rethink their choice (although it seems a little late in the game to do so)? According to PR Newswire, PriceGrabber conducted a survey in which 48% of participants chose iPhone’s iOS platform as their preferred choice and Android coming in as the second favorite with 19%. Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 had only a 7% of the pie.

Just to think that Nokia chose Microsoft’s platform over Google’s earlier this year as published on SmartSoft makes us wonder if perhaps they have an Ace under their sleeve to improve these numbers.

The definite champion to this day is Apple’s iPhone. Nevertheless Android is getting a larger presence as time goes by. At one point the fight was between RIM’s Blackberry and the iPhone as denoted in their viral video campaigns back in the day. Blackberry’s version was that of an apple being destroyed by a blackberry shot at it as a bullet. Apple countered with the same scene in which the blackberry gets destroyed as soon as it touches the fruit. Today Blackberry even falls back to the last spot in that same survey with only 6% of preference.

Will Windows 7 for smartphones bring its A-game to improve its market presence? The iPhone 5 is getting ready to be launched and already people are excited about it. Microsoft should come up with something to get consumers just as thrilled.

Read more: http://technorati.com/technology/gadgets/article/windows-phone-7-not-an-all/#ixzz1TVICSoip

iPad just Graduated as a Therapist

The parody song “There’s an App for that” featured on Sesame Street at the end of last year doesn’t quite describe the full extent of all the possible uses we can get out of technology. Just recently scientists at the University of Iowa found a therapeutic use to tablets.

Although the song has been subject to several conversations, and even used in the benefit of discrediting technology at large, there are more benefits than we could possibly imagine. According to the University professors, they have been using the tablets as a communication device with children having interaction problems. On the article, there’s an example about a boy who barely speaks to his own family for an unknown reason. However, they use the tablet as a means for the child to express himself through a drawing app.

It’s not bizarre to find these miraculous “cures” thanks to technology, even if it seems outrageous for certain individuals. It’s important to keep in mind that they are used as important tools to deliver results. However, just because I describe this article as “iPad just Graduated as a Therapist” doesn’t mean that the iPad or any other technological for that matter can replace the understanding and analyzing skills of a human being. After all, it is the University’s professors in this case who are conducting the boy’s therapeutic treatment.

The same thing happens with Robotic Surgery. Yes people, in this day and age robots are used to operate on patients. Don’t be frightened though, the robot doesn’t do everything on its own, it doesn’t even “think” on its own. It is only a medium for surgeons to have more accurate movements at the operating table, but the robot is guided 100% by the human surgeon himself.

Although some may think we are bound to be the product of an Isaac Asimov novel, technology has been the sole tool for so much progress not only in health but in so many other aspects; even ideological advancements and evolution have been possible because technology. How many more things will we be able to do in the near/far future?