Monday, April 28, 2008

What laptop does Steve Ballmer use for his presentations?

Does Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, uses this laptop for his presentations? You Judge

read more | digg story

The iPhone Effect

Why other cell phone venders don't really understand why the iPhone is taking people by storm....

Many thought marketing on mobile phones would be more robust by now. However, the lack of a mass market user-friendly phone like the iPhone was just one of many hurdles.

While Apple-inspired cell phones from LG, Samsung and others mimic iPhone attributes like the touch screen and user interaction, they are missing the point, said Iain Gillott, president of iGR, a mobile communication consultant in Austin, Texas. "The value of the iPhone to me is that I get software updates from Apple," "You just plug it in and it works, and that is what everyone is missing."

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Photoshop Disasters Blog

Photoshop Disasters. Whats wrong with that image? Hummm.... This blog points out those images put together by advertisers who didn't think, before they clicked.

10 Features Apple & the iPhone 3.0 Need

Not to add to the list of lists, but below are 10 items Apple needs to incorporate into its iPhone plan. We shall see come June if any of these items makes the cut.

10. Voice Dialing
A feature even the cheapest phones come with. Why the iPhone does not have this basic feature is beyond me. In my life I use this all the time for placing calls while driving. It keeps my eyes and focus on the road.

9. Voice Capture (or voice notes)
When ideas come, sometimes its best to speak the mad rambling into a recorder. This again, is a wonderful thing while driving. Thoughts can be stored when pen and paper are not ideal. I’ve used this feature several years back when struck while driving on the LA highways. Quickly I grabbed my PalmPilot and spoke the license plate number, a description of the truck, and the location of the colision.

8. Video Capture.
Why is this not on the iPhone? Every phone with a camera can handle video. Was Steve Jobs concerned about low quality, slower frame rates, or just the possibility of filling up the phone with lots of video. I’m not sure why it was left out, but video is a part of everyones lives. From birthday parties to car crashes, video can be worked into our daily lives.

7. Headphone replacement
Come on Steve. Inventing a new type of port for plugging in headphones is just plane LAME. I understand that the ‘new’ iPhone headphones can have audio input. Fine, but forcing everyone to invent and purchase a new headphone is a slap in a customer’s face. This is not a feature. It is a blatant design glitch.

6. Removable Battery.
My current LG clam phone has a removable battery. Unfortunately, the pins that connect to the battery have weakened over time and when I hold the phone just so, it looses the connection with the battery. I not only loose the call, but have to turn the phone back on.
Maybe sealing in the battery is a smart thing, however, I think the real reason for having permanent batteries, is plane old corporate greed. Yep, if I have to go back to Apple (and only Apple) to have the battery replaced, then Apple controls the supply of batteries, controls the price, and controls the profit. Nifty if you think of it as a capitalist, but down right smug if you’re the end user.

5. Cell Carrier other than AT&T
Well, many people have their opinions. I myself feel that AT&T lacks good customer service. Enough said.

4. GPS The rumors say that the next phone might have GPS. Again, this seems to be offered in most other phones, and seriously, the 911 service uses GPS & cell towers to locate an emergency number. I really want someone to find me in an emergency.

3. Accidental Care Insurance
A good warranty to cover accidental damage, or problems would be a nice extra service. Granted it would cost more than Apple Care, but insurance would help many of us sleep well at night. For example, I paid for Dell’s accidental care insurance for my laptop. I’ve had it for 18 months I've not needed to use the insurance. Yet if I do accidentally drop it and it stops working, Dell will help out. Very comforting.

2. Upgrade path. I’ve always thought Apple should make it easier for people to upgrade to the latest technology. A trade in offer for older iPhones / iPods when purchasing the new device would 1) smooth out the financial decision to upgrade, 2) insure your customers stay with the brand, and 3) allow for refurbishment & resell of the older tech, thus insuring more proliferation of Apple’s brand.

1. Contract Termination Reimbursement
Apple knows there are many people who can not consider their phone until a contract is complete. More people would switch over to AT&T if termination fees were paid by AT&T. For example, breaking with Verizon costs $175. If that is reimbursed over the full two year contract, a credit of $7.30 would be applied to every bill. In essence, I would get the money back, and AT&T would have a customer sooner than latter. Why would they do this? Simple, because customers go over their monthly plan, use additional services not covered under their plan, or buy a bigger plan than they need. Again, AT&T makes money sooner rather than later.

The iPhone will always have new features, and as a rule, we will want more. The truth is, the phone is very good, but lacks core features that the competition already has. It seems odd that Apple, who prides itself on easy user experience, would overlook some of the obvious.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

iPhone 2.0 - Will I buy one?

About two years ago, several months before my cellphone contract was up, I picked up a magazine touting all the new cellphones. Many of the phones were cool, and offered high quality cameras, web surfing, music playback, and PDA services. I sat & salivated over what new phones I could have, but as I read more I soon realized that most of the phones were available overseas, and not in the USA. Needless to say, I was very disappointed.

Why can’t the good old US have nice phones? Why did the cell companies sell clam shells with limited capabilities? Why can’t they sell easy to use phones with an integrate PDA? Sure there were several to choose from. Palm, Windows Moble & Blackbarry were at the top, but they had their flaws. Palm & Windows hardware were rarely improved upon since their conception and neither really upgrade their OS to make life easer for the end user. Blackbarry had a nice interface, yet the price for all the additional features steared me away. Maybe if a company backed me up, but as an individual, it didn’t have as much ROI appeal.

Soon after re-upping my contract with Verizon (getting a LG phone which Verizon locked down to the nth) Apple came out with the iPhone. It was very very impressive. Large screen, decent camera (better than any cell phone I’ve owned), easy interface, really web capable, nice apps, touch screen, email compatable and a familiar music player. It was what I was looking for... and what was never delivered to Americans.

Though the iPhone is efficient & practical, I was locked into a contract, and did not want to fork over the early termination fee. So, like many, I shelved my excitement thinking I would upgrade in early 2009... That is until now.

The rumors flying about the iPhone 2.0 are appealing, however, they are just rumors. That said, We do know about the SDK, which will expand the capabilities of the phone tremendously; We do know Steve will talk again in June; We do know that store supplies are drying up; and we do know that investors are chomping down hard wanting more sales of the phone. All of these lend credence to the rumors. Better camera? More battery life? 3G and GPS? Built in butler service? Who knows…. But I do agree that a upgraded phone will be announced soon... and like a kid before Christmas, I can’t wait.

Will I buy one? We will see come June, when Steve speaks again.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Visual Search Engine Coming to iPhone in June

Evolution Robotics ViPR visual search technology is coming to the iPhone this June. ViPR allows to take a photo of any movie, CD or book, send it to a server, and automagically get an email back loaded with information and links pointing to YouTube videos or iTunes Music Store links.

read more | digg story

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Apple passes Wal-Mart, now #1 music retailer in US

Over the past few years, we have watched Apple climb the music sales chart courtesy of the iTunes. Last month we learned that Apple passed Best Buy to become the number two retailer in the the US. Now, Apple has ascended to the top of the charts, surpassing Wal-Mart for the first time ever, according to the NPD MusicWatch Survey.

read more | digg story

Historians See Bush As Worst President Ever

George W. Bush has dropped to a new low.

In the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the United States enjoyed enormous support around the world. President Bush squandered that goodwill by taking the country into an unnecessary war of choice and misleading the American people to gain support for that war. And he failed utterly to have a plan to deal with Iraq after the invasion. He further undermined the international reputation of the United States by justifying torture.

Mr. Bush inherited a sizable budget surplus and a thriving economy. By pushing through huge tax cuts for the rich while increasing federal spending at a rapid rate, Bush transformed the surplus into a massive deficit. The tax cuts and other policies accelerated the concentration of wealth and income among the very richest Americans. These policies combined with unwavering opposition to necessary government regulations have produced the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Then there is the incredible shrinking dollar, the appointment of incompetent cronies, the totally inexcusable failure to react properly to the disaster of Hurricane Katrina, the blatant disregard for the Constitution—and on and on.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Obama: I'd Hire Gore

At a town-hall meeting, Obama was asked if he would tap the former vice president for his Cabinet to handle global warming. "I would," Obama said. "Not only will I, but I will make a commitment that Al Gore will be at the table and play a central part in us figuring out how we solve this problem.

read more | digg story

Kansas Science Class