Saturday, April 30, 2011

Snowplow Parents

I've got a few snowplow parents

‘Snowplow parents’ bully schools:

“Helicopter parents” hovered. “Snowplow parents” knock  “all potential obstacles out of their children’s paths to pack their young résumés with successes,” Jorgenson writes. And that may mean bulldozing the teacher or the principal.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Android and Data Privacy

Skyhook chief: Android data privacy much worse than iOS:
Skyhook chief Ted Morgan in a discussion Wednesday accused Google of having much worse privacy in Android than Apple does in iOS. He argued that Android was quietly collecting data much more frequently, "1,000 times a day," and was sending background pings to Google on its own instead of just explicit location requests. Google's claims that location tracking was strictly opt-in and anonymized didn't hold up, Morgan explained to SAI, since it was not only a much more complete and traceable record than what an iPhone obtained but was being passed on to Google's servers

A New Breed of Digital Books

In early March, I posted Push Pop Press - The Next Chapter in Digital Books, which promised
Books that let you explore photos, videos, music, maps, and interactive graphics, all through a new physics-based multi-touch user interface.
At the time, I wrote:
Not much of a teaser, but I'm intrigued. I wish we had a different word than book. "Book" brings with it a number of expectations that e-books don't satisfy. Additionally, when someone thinks of a "book," their thinking is constrained – they don't open themselves up to the potential of what can be done on a digital device with digital content.
Push Pop has finally launched their first "book" - Al Gore's Our Choice (available in the app store for $4.99). Here's an explanation of the interface/navigation, followed by a preview of the book. To date, this and David Eagleman's Why The Net Matters are the only examples that truly re-think what a "book" can be.

Al Gore's Our Choice Guided Tour from Push Pop Press on Vimeo.

Al Gore's Our Choice from Push Pop Press on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

An Android Fanboy’s Take on the iPad 2

Worth reading the whole post - an objective look at the iPad 2 versus an Android honeycomb tablet.
Uncut Android-An Android Fanboy’s Review of the Ipad 2 » Uncut Android:
They say there is a tablet war going on right now. I feel like it’s less of a war and more of a masacare… and not the kind where you like who the winner is.

I’m a rabid android fanboy. I love the os, the community, the roms, the developers, the apps , and even the kangers. The the level of choice and functionality that the little green robot brings to the table is incredible and it is hands down the greatest smartphone os in the universe.

I say all that even as I’m writing this article on an Ipad 2. Notice I said smartphone os…not tablet os. Believe me, I tried to like honeycomb… I really really wanted to, but after 30min of trying the buggy, unresponsive, and unrefined tablet os that Google pulled out of the oven far too soon, I decided to try out the “darkside” of tablet computing.

So after about 20 min or so of putting the Ipad2 through its paces I made a decision. I was going to buy the ipad.

So here I sit… listening to pandora, chatting with friends, responding to tweets, and writing this article with ease. It’s done what no other mobile device has, it’s replaced my desktop for general browsing and my tv for media viewing. The lack of flash may be a deal breaker for some of us, however, the addition of netflix more than makes up for it. I’ve gotten to cuddle up in bed with my wife for the last 3 nights and enjoy a movie or tv show. I’ve edited movies in 720p with my fingertips and shared fun educational experiences with my 3 year old son. Not once (aside from having to use itunes) have I regretted my purchase.

In closing, THIS is what a tablet should be and Apple has set the bar so high it’s almost laughable at the attempts to reach it.
via @counternotions

Walt Mossberg on the Android Honeycomb Tablet

Still some catching up to do ...
Honeycomb Tablet Has 4G and 3-D But Is No iPad:
The G-Slate uses Google’s standard Honeycomb software—the version of Android especially created for tablets—and is the first Honeycomb tablet in the U.S. to offer 4G cellular data speeds and 3-D video creation and viewing. It sports a screen size—8.9 inches—that falls between the 10-inch dimension of the iPad and the Motorola Xoom, and the 7-inch dimension used by the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Research in Motion PlayBook.

I’ve been testing the G-Slate, and in my view, it performs pretty well overall—about as well as the first Honeycomb tablet, the Xoom. But it isn’t nearly as good a choice as the iPad 2.

Of its three big differentiators, the only clear winner is the 4G cellular capability, which is much speedier than cellular data on the iPad, or on any other Honeycomb tablet I know of. The 3-D feature, which requires the use of 1950s-style colored glasses, seems like a parlor trick to me. And the in-between size, while potentially attractive for one-handed use, is undercut by the fact that, somehow, despite being smaller, the G-Slate is actually a bit heavier than the iPad 2, and a third thicker.

Then there is the price.

Businessweek Magazine

Great post on the new Businessweek iPad app, followed by a time-lapse video showing the making of the magazine.

What I Read (And How I Like to Read It):

Just last week Bloomberg launched a very nice iPad app called Bloomberg Businessweek+. Since I subscribe to the print version of the magazine, I get app version issues for free. Non-subscribers pay $2.99 a month - not bad since the print version is $4.99 on the newsstands. New editions come out on Thursday evenings at 10 PM and are approximately 30 megabytes each (relatively small for fast download). The app itself is the best "magazine" app I've seen so far - you can search for content across issues, clip articles and post to Twitter and Facebook. Even the "media-rich" ads are interesting to take a look at.

BUSINESSWEEK: THE MOVIE SORT OF from bizweekgraphics on Vimeo.

video via courosa

3D Projection Mapping

This is just one of 10 videos demonstrating this technology. Click the link to view the rest. Imagine the amazing applications of this technology in education!
3D Projection Mapping: 10 Jaw-Dropping Examples:
Generating extra buzz around marketing campaigns worldwide is 3D projection mapping, a relatively new technology that animates stationary objects with 3D video. With added sound effects and music, the result is a remarkable and immersive experience.

“Projection mapping can provide a great double whammy if used right, because you get a great live event, followed by a compelling video and PR opportunities. But, if that’s the aim it’s important to think about the film when planning the projection — the sense of scale you get live won’t be replicated on YouTube,” cautions Matt Smith, director of strategy for The Viral Factory.

“Good camera work, slick editing, and a rocking soundtrack will all help drive the film, but if the projection is too detailed it will still get lost.”

So, while we wait to see if this a temporary craze or soon to become standard in the marketeer’s toolbox, take a look through our gallery of great examples of such projections on buildings.

Time to Go to Bed?

Hmmm ... that's why I can't get anything done.
Small areas of the brain go to sleep when we're up too late:
Sleep deprivation is one of the most common forms of mental impairment, as it reduces performance in a variety of cognitive and motor tasks. A new paper has identified what might be the cause of this poor performance: small parts of a mammal's brain appear to go into a sleep-like state while they're otherwise apparently awake. And, in rats, the degree to which the brain is experiencing these tiny episodes of sleep correlates with their decline in performance on a simple task.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Verizon's LTE Hiccups

Digital Life - Verizon's LTE Crashes Amid Expansion and New Phones:
Days after expanding its 4G Long Term Evolution network to six new markets, and a day before launching its second LTE-capable smartphone , Verizon Wireless said Wednesday that customers were experiencing an outage.

"My thunderbolt has only been doing 1x since last night, no 3G or 4G," tweeted one Verizon customer in response to Verizon's update, while another said "please hurry up and fix thunderbolt service issues." A third response said, "I personally appreciate the acknowledgment you are giving. Thanks for the scoop and working on the problem."

Gadgets Made Obsolete by Smartphones

Great list from Larry Magid. I would add calculators, remotes, alarm clocks, wireless weather stations, datebooks(not technically a gadget), and TVs to the list.

Larry Magid: Flip May Be First of Many Gadgets to Be Killed by Smartphones:
Just about all of today's smartphones, digital cameras - and now even tablets and the new iPod touch -- have video cameras, and some of them are quite good. And with smartphone cameras, you're able to upload or email those videos and still pictures without having to connect to a PC. The iPhone 4, for example, has an excellent video camera that makes it very easy to share your masterpiece on YouTube with a single tap to the screen.

As I contemplated the passing of the Flip, I realized that pocket camcorders are not the only product category that's at risk because of smartphones. Though small digital cameras aren't yet on the endangered species list, it's only a matter of time before cellphone cameras are just as good for the types of photos people typically take with pocket cameras. Already, I see many people using their iPhones and Androids instead of stand-alone cameras to snap pictures of their friends.

One reason, of course, is that you always have your phone with you while most people only think to take their camera along for special occasions. But it's also very cool to be able to take a picture and immediately post it on Facebook or email it to friends.

The portable GPS is also in danger. I have a little Magellan navigation unit in my car that I used to also carry with me on trips to use in rental cars. But I never use it anymore because Google (GOOG) Maps -- which is built into my Android phone -- is actually better and always with me. Not only has Google done an excellent job with its navigation software but, because it's connected to the Internet via the cellular system, it always has up-to-date maps, points of interest and traffic information. I recently used it to locate a restaurant that had only been in business a few weeks.


The smartphone is even threatening built-in car audio and navigation systems. I recently put a navigation and entertainment system in my car, but to be honest, most of what it does can be done with a smartphone. The ergonomics of smartphones aren't yet quite right for cars, but the features are all there. You can use most to listen to MP3s and Internet radio and as a navigation system. And the ability to play Internet radio is a big threat to XM/Sirius satellite radio and even AM and FM now that you can listen to thousands of audio sources -- including live news radio -- directly from a smartphone using applications like Pandora,, Aha, AOL radio and apps from media companies.

And it's not just listening to radio. It's creating it too. I know a reporter from a Washington, D.C., station who records and edits all of his remote reports via his iPhone. He no longer carries around an audio recorder or a laptop to edit his reports.

Smartphones and tablets are putting pressure on the e-reader market, which may be one of the reasons that Amazon just announced a cheaper ($114) version of the Kindle subsidized by advertising that appears when you're not reading books. Portable DVD players are also going away thanks mostly to tablets, which are great for watching video.

The list of upsets goes on. There was a time when just about everyone wore a wristwatch, but now people are using their phones to tell the time. And, although you need accessories to make it work, smartphones can also be used as blood pressure monitors or to keep track of blood glucose.

There is even a smartphone electrocardiogram that fits into a protective case, making this important diagnostic tool available as an inexpensive option for global use. But, while smartphones can be used to diagnose heart problems, I haven't yet come across an app for performing open heart surgery. For that we might have to wait for the iPhone 6.

A Museum for Math Appreciation

Great idea!
MoMath Museum Aims To Add To Math Appreciation:
Mathematics. It's a subject that can elicit groans and exclamations of "boring." But Glen Whitney, a former hedge-fund quantitative analyst, is betting he can change that with a formula that looks like this: math (equals) discovery (equals) beauty (equals) fun.

Whitney is planning to open the only museum in the United States dedicated to mathematics. MoMath, which will center on the wonders of mathematics and its connections with art, science and finance, is scheduled to open in New York City sometime in 2012, with the help of a $2 million grant from Google.

New Form of Rubber Repaired with Light

Nature09963 f1 2New form of rubber can be repaired with light:
Scientists have discovered a new polymer that could be repaired with nothing more than UV light. The material is a metallosupramolecular polymer, a rubbery substance with bits of metal throughout. It's made of molecular chains which naturally latch together to form bigger ones, in a stable lattice. When damaged, this matrix of chains is disturbed — and that's when the cunning part comes in. The material can absorb UV light, and turn it into heat, which allows the chains to disassemble, flow around the damage, and when the light is turned off, the chains re-assemble.

There are existing self-healing polymers, but they require direct heating to repair damage. The advantage to this new material is that the UV light can be beamed at an extremely localized area, and even repair it while it's bearing a load.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Making Books - The Old Way

No self-publishing here:

The State of Mobile App World

Great infographic on mobile apps. Two interesting points:
  • 21 billion apps will be downloaded by 2013, and
  • average smartphone users spends over 11 hours a month using apps
Consider bullet number 2 - what if we focused on building educational apps and some of the 11 hours a month were spent using mobile apps for education? Also consider that education is not in the "Top 10 Mobile App Categories for 2012" - great opportunity! Infographic – The State of Mobile App World:
It seems that these days everyone wants to build their own mobile app and publish it in some of the most popular app stores. That is no surprise if we take into account that 5 billion apps were downloaded in 2010. There are some serious predictions that 21 billion apps will be downloaded by 2013. What are the other numbers behind the present and the future of the Mobile App World? Find out in our latest infographic!
mobile app world Brought to you by ShoutEm – Mobile App Builder

Augmented Reality and Librarians

Very cool idea. Doesn't seem ready for prime time, but you can definitely see the potential. This app would be great for classroom and laboratory inventory.
Augmented reality app for librarians instantly shows which books are misfiled:
E-books, iPads and Kindles may be the way of the future, but most of the world's knowledge is still stored in millions of good old paper books on library shelves.

So researchers at Miami University have created an augmented reality app that makes all those books easier to organize. ShelvAR instantly analyzes an entire shelf, spots any misplaced books, and shows librarians the quickest way to put the books back in order.

ShelvAR consists of an Android app and a set of coded tags, representing call numbers, that are placed on books' spines. When a librarian holds a smartphone or tablet camera up to a shelf, the app reads all the tags at once, thanks to a new algorithm that can decipher multiple patterns even though they're small when viewed at a distance. Then the app uses a simple sorting method-at least for computers, which aren't fazed by complex letter-digit combos like Q164 .G72 2009—to figure out the correct order and the shortest number of moves needed to achieve it. The phone's screen displays red X's over any misfiled books, along with arrows that show where they really belong.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Xbox Kinect Your Next TV Remote?

Possibly, but I think the smartphone as remote is more likely. In fact, it's already here:
Fios remote
Why Xbox Kinect could be -- but won't be -- the future of TV - CNN:
While the picture quality on your TV has evolved over the years, the way you interact with your TV is still stuck in the Stone Age. That is, the remote control and channel guide still need some serious innovation.

That's why we're so impressed with the growing selection of online video that's available on Microsoft's Xbox 360 and its motion-sensing Kinect interface.

Kinect could very well represent the future of how people watch TV: Zipping from channel to channel (or from app to app) without a remote control, using their hands and voice to control the experience.

College Admissions - Social Media Profiles Hurt 38 Percent of Applicants

Admissions staff check Facebook profiles:
In the college application, you’re a teen-age saint who tutors the underprivileged and picks up trash in the park. Online, you’re a party guy or gal flashing gang signs and strewing beer cans.

College admissions officers are looking at applicants’ Facebook profiles, according to Kaplan’s 2010 College Admissions Survey. (Here’s an infographic.) They also check Twitter and YouTube. Sixty-two percent said social-media profiles usually help applicants get accepted; 38 percent said  online profiles hurt students’ chances.

Reading students like an open facebook, or how social media is reshaping college admissions
Courtesy of:

Are You a Mac or a PC?

Great infographic (click the link to view). Beware the comments and the inevitable Mac versus PC flame wars.
Mac vs. PC: A Hunch Rematch:
Mac vs. PC: A Hunch Rematch Our latest data project was to analyze how self-described Mac and PC people are different. The infographic below, designed by the talented folks at Column Five Media, breaks it down. Keep reading after the Infographic for more background and analysis, including some comparisons to findings from 18 months ago when we first looked at this issue.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Merlin Mann on Creative Productivity

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Houston Grandma Gets "Super Wi-Fi"

My mom is going to be so upset that she was't first.
Houston Grandma Is Nation's First "Super Wi-Fi" Adopter:
A Houston grandma, Leticia Aguirre, is believed to be the first residential user of so-called "Super Wi-Fi." That's according to Rice University, which had a hand in all this (and knows a good headline when it sees one).
TFA[Houston nonprofit Technology for All] and Rice wanted to know if Aguirre would like to try out a new kind of Wi-Fi, so-called "Super Wi-Fi."

What exactly is Super Wi-Fi? ... Fundamentally, it's just like normal Wi-Fi--you log on to the network in just the same way from any device. It's on a new spectrum, though; the FCC has just opened up a new stretch of spectrum, from 50 MHz to 700 MHz. With TV now digital, there are white spaces of spectrum that are now unused. What makes the Wi-Fi "super" is that, since it's at a lower frequency, it can travel for miles instead of feet, and pass through brick walls. Google has been interested in Super Wi-Fi for a while, and has a hospital in Ohio it's been running a trial on.
They installed the new Super Wi-Fi antenna about two weeks ago, and Rice and TFA gave her an iPad 2 (not 3G-enabled) to start testing it out.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Building a Better E-book

Great post from David Gilbert. Gilbert is exactly right! Publishers have done little to take full advantage of the abilities of current e-readers. I personally think we need to stop calling these E-Books because that narrows our view of what's possible. What do we call them? I'm not sure, but consider David Eagleman's iPad app Why The Net Matters: How the Internet Will Save Civilization.

Notice how this digital book/app differs from what we think of as a book. Among the elements that make this unique are (1) nonlinearity, (2) embedded links, and (3) interactive elements.

Building a Better eBook For The Future - 8 Features I Want To See:
I’ve noticed an interesting trend in recent years; when old media (tv, publishers) try to translate their wares into new media formats (smartphones, tablets) they often fail miserably because they translate the formats too literally. That is they try to make a digital newspaper look and behave like a paper newspaper, and so on, without considering the fundamental differences between the way you interact with both mediums.

what I’d like to see in future eBook readers:
  1. Better layout and typography
  2. Unlimited lending
  3. Collaborative reading
  4. Copying & sharing
  5. Interlinked information
  6. Portability
  7. Automatic revisions
  8. Fair pricing
  9. Paper trade-in

Challenge Versus Skill

Challenge vs skill
From Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi'sFlow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

According to theory:
people are most happy when they are in a state of flow— a state of concentration or complete absorption with the activity at hand and the situation. The idea of flow is identical to the feeling of being in the zone or in the groove.
Consider this figure in the context of your job. If your job is challenging and you are highly skilled at it, you are in the state of flow and you are working optimally. If instead, you suffer a job that doesn't challenge you and/or your skill level is low, you must endure an emotional/mental state ranging from Anxiety and Worry to Apathy and Boredom.

If you're not where you want to be, maybe it's time for a change.

via Back to Work #12: Chewie's Medal is Not Canonical - 5by5

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Blogs, Self-publishing and E-books

Great idea for a first try at an e-book.


So this weekend I thought I’d try an experiment. I took about 100 of my blog posts (the ones that I thought were most “evergreen”), bundled them as a PDF and submitted them to the Kindle Store. The Kindle submission process was surprisingly easy. You give your book a name and upload the PDF and then choose pricing. They force you to charge a minimum of $0.99. Also, strangely, if you charge less than $2.99, Amazon takes 70% of the revenue, but if you charge between $2.99-$10 they only keep 30%.

I decided to price my book at $2.99 and donate all of the proceeds (~$2 book) to HackNY, a non-profit that “keeps the kids off the Street” (encourages college students to join/start tech startups instead of working on Wall Street). All of the content in the book is available for free on The only reason to buy the book is to get this blog in a different format and to support a good charity. It is available in the Kindle Store here

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

A College Degree in Four Years

But is it still a Bachelor's degree? Interesting idea, but how many students could actually do this? Another concern I have is jobs - what do we gain by rushing kids through college if there are now jobs?

Ohio Universities Told To Develop 3-Year Degrees:

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has ordered state universities to investigate ways for students to get a bachelor's degree in three years. The hope is that three-year degrees will help save students money and get them into the job market more quickly.

Kasich's proposal is one of a number of measures he is pushing to cut the cost of higher education, including a limit on tuition increases. The Republican governor also says faculty members should spend more of their time teaching. Matt Mayer of the Buckeye Institute, a free-market think tank, says a three-year degree would help make higher education more efficient.

"If we really kind of strip down higher ed and the four-year degree down to a really rigorous three-year process, for many kids that would be a great road to get their skills, get their knowledge base, graduate and then become productive members of society," Mayer says.

The idea is that students spend less time paying tuition and more time working. The challenge is doing that without watering down the degree. Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., has had a "Degree in 3" program since 2005. University Vice President Tom Taylor says the program appeals to highly motivated students who are willing to go to school year-round.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Gorilla Glass

Gorilla glass
In response to A Future of Glass, reader Peggie writes:
Yes, Mike, Gorilla Glass is HOT here in the valley! Very neat technology - a revisitation and increased sophistication of a relatively old technology - ion exchange, chemical strengthening of glass :)

I don't think the valley Peggie is referring to Silicon Valley. I'm guessing she's instead writing about Chemung Valley NY - home to Corning. Here's more on Gorilla glass:
Visually stunning, lightweight, and highly damage-resistant, Corning® Gorilla® Glass is changing the way the world thinks about glass. It helps protect the world’s coolest smartphones, tablets, PCs, and TVs from everyday wear and tear.

And a couple more of the very clever videos:

The iPad as an IT Suporrt Tool

Although I'm not sure why, IT departments have historically shunned Apple products in the enterprise. That seems to be changing, as employees "demand" access to iPads, iPhones, and Android phones and tablets. Even IT support staff are getting into the act - using iPads to provide remote support.

Another interesting outcome of this shift is that the IT support/helpdesk job is becoming increasingly more challenging, as staff must support a much more heterogenous environment (desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones - each with a variety of operating systems).

There will be great opportunities for students who can quickly master a variety of mobile device form factors and OSs.

The Mobile IT Super Hero is Here and She is Carrying an iPad:
we're in the age of a new IT worker who in most cases has to be knowledgeable about smartphones and tablets that people are bringing into work. It was hard enough to maintain a desktop PC environment, now the modern IT worker is expected to be an expert in every new platform that comes along.

Mobile is the future and the iPad is the symbol of that transformation. In the olden days, the IT worker controlled the environment. Today, the IT worker must adapt to a consumer driven world.

But the iPad is also serving as a vehicle for the IT worker to conduct what they do in a modern manner that keeps pace with any other iPad user. Apps are starting to emerge for IT. Today, VMware introduced a new iPad app, its second to launch this month.

VSphere Client for iPad is available for immediate download from the Apple App Store. It is a companion interface to the vSphere client. It is used to monitor and manage the performance of vSphere hosts and virtual machines. You can also start, stop and suspend virtual machines, reboot them or put them into maintenance mode.
This is full-immersion into the iPad experience for the IT worker. It means a woman can work at home. A Dad can work at home and manage the virtual network.

This is a good thing.

And it appears that IT is getting the message. Executives are demanding iPads. And it is not going to stop any time soon.

Awful E-mail Disclaimers?

Apparently, there's no legal basis for them, so is it time to get rid of them? I say yes, the sooner, the better!

Legal disclaimers: Spare us the e-mail yada-yada:
E-mail disclaimers are one of the minor nuisances of modern office life, along with fire drills, annual appraisals and colleagues who keep sneezing loudly. Just think of all the extra waste paper generated when messages containing such waffle are printed. They are assumed to be a wise precaution. But they are mostly, legally speaking, pointless. Lawyers and experts on internet policy say no court case has ever turned on the presence or absence of such an automatic e-mail footer in America, the most litigious of rich countries.

Many disclaimers are, in effect, seeking to impose a contractual obligation unilaterally, and thus are probably unenforceable. This is clear in Europe, where a directive from the European Commission tells the courts to strike out any unreasonable contractual obligation on a consumer if he has not freely negotiated it. And a footer stating that nothing in the e-mail should be used to break the law would be of no protection to a lawyer or financial adviser sending a message that did suggest something illegal. Related topics Los Angeles United States

So why are the disclaimers there? Company lawyers often insist on them because they see others using them.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Future of Glass

Very cool vision of the future - interesting that it's from Corning. I was tempted to call the post "Not your father's Corning" but figured kids don't even know Corning and Corningware.

The thin mobile device (think phone) looks a lot what you'd expect in a few more iterations from the iPhone - thinner, all glass, all screen.

via vanderwal's miscellaneous stuff

BlackBerry PlayBook Browser - "about as stable as your bipoloar uncle"

From Wired's PlayBook review:
BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet Lacks All the Right Moves:
RIM’s WebKit-based browser is about as stable as your bipolar uncle. No native e-mail, calendar or contacts apps. App ecosystem is lacking. You’ll need to install a driver before you can connect it to your PC or Mac. Runs Flash, sorta

via Daring Fireball

Comcast Rolls 105 Mbps Xfinity - Worries Over Cap Overblown

Great news from Comcast. Too bad it's asymmetric service - only 10 Mbps up. Also lot's of discussion regarding Comcast's data caps. Unfortunately, bad news about caps - from The Consumerist
Comcast caps
How does the 250 GB translate? Downloading HD movies, you could consume that 250 Gig in just over 5 hours. Of course that's over 60 HD movies - I don't think my students download 2 movies a day. It seems the worries over the cap are - at least for now - overblown.

Comcast Offers the Fastest Residential Internet Service to the Most Homes in the U.S.:
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), one of the nation’s leading providers of entertainment, information and communication products and services, announced today that its newest ultra-fast Xfinity Internet speed tier, Extreme 105, is now available to more than 40 million homes in major markets across the nation including San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Chicago, Miami, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and the majority of Boston, among others.
The Extreme 105 Mbps service, which also offers up to 10 Mbps upload speeds, is available for new or existing customers at an introductory rate of $105 per month
Extreme 105 is made possible through the use of DOCSIS 3.0 technology. At a connection speed of up to 105 Mbps, Comcast customers can not only download and watch a hi-def movie in about 5 minutes, but also play online interactive games, send and receive email attachments, shop, and update social networking Web pages faster than ever before. Here are some examples that compare different online customer experiences of a 105 Mbps connection to a 6 Mbps service:
Comcast 105

Saturday, April 16, 2011

iPhone as a Point of Sale Device

I've been urging colleges to adopt a mobile payment system similar to Apple stores. With a few iPod Touches and a couple of these Square Credit Card Readers (only $10 each!) it's time for a mobile payment pilot!
Square’s Disruptive Payment Service About To Get A Huge Retail Boost From Apple:
Mobile payments company Square has landed a big coup—sales placement on Apple’s online store. And we’ve just confirmed with Square that the startup has a deal for in-store sales as well. Apple will start selling Square devices in all of its U.S. retail stores starting this week.

Square offers both an iPhone/iPod Touch and an iPad app which allows merchants to process and manage credit card transactions with a handy little credit card swiping device that plugs into the headset/microphone jack.

E-Books at a Tipping Point?

I think so!

eBooks Are Now Overtaking All Other Formats:
The Association of American Publishers is reporting that ebooks outsold their print counterparts in February, with sales coming out to more than $90 million.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Are Femtocells a Part of Your Disaster Recovery Plan?

Assuming you have a disaster recovery plan.

Femtocells restore mobile service after natural disasters:
The earthquake that hit New Zealand in February caused immense damage. More than 180 lives were lost and an estimated $12 Billion will be claimed from insurers. The response seems to have been well organized and highly effective. Local businesses and residents pulled together in that time of crisis in a real community effort.
Vodafone New Zealand described how they dealt with the crisis, adapting and improvising as necessary.

The traditional approach takes longer

With cellsites destroyed and out of action, the challenge of restoring service can be difficult. Even where new cellsite equipment is available, it is large and bulky. With mains power services also cut off, the typical power consumption of a standard outdoor site would require onsite diesel generators.

Lightweight and portable enables rapid installation

The small and lightweight form factor of today's femtocells means they can be easily and quickly deployed. A simple pole with antenna can be erected to increase range. Power can be supplied through solar panels, with a battery charging through the day and maintaining service overnight.

In some cases, Vodafone had to adapt femtocells in stock that were intended for business use for outdoor sites. This was possible because the internal femtocell hardware is much the same. Alternatively, the growing range of femtocells designed specifically for use outdoors, either in rural or metro-femto applications would be ideal for this purpose.

Factors that allowed rapid response

Existing femtocell network operators have the advantage that they already have in place the core components of a femtocell system – the femtocell gateway and central management system are both live on their network. Processes for provisioning and enabling new femtocells are already in place. No new core network equipment or processes are required to enable service – femtocells can simply be turned on.

Since the same femtocell gateway can be used to support all types and sizes of femtocells, whether residential, enterprise or outdoor, no significant changes or new equipment needs to be installed.

Additional femtocell units could be connected through any available internet connection and self-configured.

I expect some further manual configuration or optimization might have been done, for example to improve handover between cells. But just providing basic telecommunications service again would be a major bonus for all involved.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

VMware Launches Open-Source Cloud

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)!
VMware Launches Open-Source Cloud: Cloud Computing News:
VMware has entered the cloud game by offering an open-source package called Cloud Foundry, a Platform-as-a-Service that should strike fear in the hearts of its competitors, especially the likes of, Microsoft and Rackspace. The platform will offer developers the tools to build out applications on public clouds, private clouds and anyplace else, whether the underlying server runs VMware or not.


So What Exactly Is Cloud Foundry?

The goal of Cloud Foundry is to hide complexity from developers and make it easy to deploy and run applications anywhere. This is the same marketing speak that folks toting the cloud have pitched for years, but VMware wants to make it even more simple. Instead of worrying about instances or how to support a database, you just write a few lines of code, and Cloud Foundry makes it all happen for you. From day one, the platform will support Java  thanks to VMware’s SpringSource buy back in 2009, Sinatra, Rails and node.js. However those wanting more frameworks and languages can build them, since the product is open-source.

15 Top Paying IT Certifications

@sambowne teaches #4 CISSP and #14 CEH - nice combination! 15 Top Paying IT Certifications:

  1. CCDP: Cisco Certified Design Professional ($107,878)
  2. ITIL Expert Certification ($107,092)
  3. PMP: Project Management Professional ($103,570)
  4. CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional ($100,735)
  5. CCDA: Cisco Certified Design Associate ($97,995)
  6. CCNP: Cisco Certified Network Professional ($97,296)
  7. lITIL v2 Foundation & ITIL v3 Foundation ($96,128 & $93,250)
  8. CCNA: Voice ($92,837)
  9. AIS: HP Storage Works ($91,158)
  10. AIS: HP ProLiant ML/DL/SL Servers ($87,332)
  11. VCP: VMware Certified Professional ($87,151)
  12. CompTIA Project+ ($87,057)
  13. APS: HP Blade System Solutions ($86,554)
  14. CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker ($86,053)
  15. MCDBA: Microsoft Certified Database Administrator ($84,683)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

For Profs, YouTube Tops Twitter and Facebook

From a Babson study collecting responses from 1,920 faculty at various types of institutions.
News: To Profs, YouTube Tops Twitter:
Probing the uses of nine different types of social media among professors, the study found that professors consider YouTube the most useful tool by far -- for both teaching and non-classroom professional use. Nearly a third of respondents said they instructed students to watch online videos as homework, and about 73 percent said they thought YouTube videos were either somewhat or very valuable for classroom use, regardless of whether they use them currently.

Other Web 2.0 tools fared less well among the professors -- particularly the tools with the most currency in broader culture. Only 2 percent of the professors said they used Twitter in class, and another 2 percent said they used it for professional purposes outside the classroom. Slightly more said they could see at least some value in the microblogging site, but those long-sellers still amounted to less than a tenth of all respondents.

Facebook, too, is tapped in class or for homework assignments only rarely, even if many professors use the site for personal or professional networking. Faculty rate the site's long-term prospects in the classroom only slightly above Twitter's, with 15 percent submitting that it is at least somewhat valuable.

Many professors -- 53 percent and 46 percent, respectively -- think that Twitter and Facebook not only lack pedagogical value but in fact harm classroom learning. (They did not say why.)

Surprising iPad Use?

Not really! The iPad is the new:
  • book
  • radio
  • TV
iPad eating up use of PC, TV, radio, book reading:
The impact of Apple's iPad is already being seen in the slowing PC consumer market, but a new survey by Google's AdMob indicates iPad use is taking the place of a wide variety of other activities.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

MS Office Looking More and More Irrelevant?

Google Docs Adds Pagination and Native Printing:
After two months of testing, Google Docs added a very useful feature: pagination. Google Docs adds 'visual page breaks while you're editing your documents, so now you can see how many pages of that report you've actually finished. Headers now show up at the top of each page instead of just at the top of your doc, manual page breaks actually move text onto a new page and footnotes appear at the bottom of the pages themselves.'

Cellular Capacity, Data Caps and the Future

Great story from Monica Paolini. Where will an increase in cellular capacity come from? I've been troubled recently by the growing trend for mobile network operators to forgo unlimited data plans in favor of monthly data caps - usually 3-5 Gigabits per month. It's clear that these caps are intended to manage the increasing traffic on their networks and reduce congestion. Interestingly, she concludes that data caps have done little to address the demand for bandwidth, particularly during peak usage hours.

The solution instead seems to be multifaceted, including more spectrally efficient technologies, such as LTE and WiMax, as well as the introduction of additional pico- and femtocell base stations. These emerging approaches will be combined with existing techniques including network optimization, wifi offload, and the addition of more spectrum and more cell towers.
Traffic loads on cellular networks are growing at a faster pace than technology can accommodate. The latest Cisco Visual Networking Index estimates that mobile data traffic grew by a factor of 2.6 during 2010, and the index forecasts a 26-fold increase over the next five years (Figure 1), most of it driven by video and other real-time traffic. While LTE, WiMAX, and HSPA+ are more spectrally efficient than 3G technologies, the performance gains are not even close to meet the expected data traffic demand over the next few years.

To date, mobile operators have tried to contain the problem of congestion mostly with Wi-Fi off-load to relieve high stress points in their network and with the introduction of traffic caps that limit traffic from the heaviest users. Wi-Fi off-load has worked well for many operators, but Wi-Fi spectrum is limited and Wi-Fi is heavily used for other applications as well. As a result, its role in addressing the capacity crunch in the long term is necessarily restricted, especially since it uses license-exempt spectrum that everybody is entitled to use.

So far there is little evidence that traffic caps have reduced the impact of network congestion, or, for that matter, of traffic levels. In a recent report available here, I argue that traffic caps fail to specifically target traffic levels at peak hours (and, in fact, may encourage more usage at peak hours, with subscribers trying to save bandwidth on activities at off-peak hours, which are often considered less urgent or valuable). This is a real limitation in the efficacy of traffic caps because traffic during off-peak hours is essentially free to operators. It is only peak hour traffic that really matters-and that is responsible for congestion.Network capacity The results (Figure 4) indicate the need for mobile operators to adopt a multi-pronged strategy that includes the adoption of different solutions to address specific traffic growth drivers. Perhaps even more importantly is the need to integrate those tools across their networks-and across their internal teams that are accustomed to work largely independent from each other.

Social Media for Education

Social Media for Education
View more presentations from Paul Di Gangi

No More Flip?

This was a killer business - I guess the proliferation of smartphones that could film video made them obsolete. What a shame.

Cisco To Shut Down Flip Video Camera Business; Will Give Pink Slips To 550 Employees:

Wow. Cisco has just issued a release stating that in a strategic plan to “align its operations,” the company will exit parts of its consumer businesses and realign the remaining consumer business to support four of its five key company priorities: core routing, switching and services; collaboration; architectures; and video. One of the casualties of this realignment: Cisco’s video camera Flip business, which was part of its $590 million acquisition of Pure Digital.

Radiation Dosage Chart

Great visualization from David McCandless at Click the link below to see the full image and even better, purchase a hi-res version with the proceeds going to support Japan Crisis Relief.
Radiation doasge
Radiation Dosage Chart:
Purchase a hi-res, instantly downloadable PDF of this chart for $2.50 / £1.50 / €1.70 – All money goes to the Japan Crisis Relief Buy in our Download Store or use this direct PayPal purchase link: Thank you!

Monday, April 11, 2011

An Ad-Supported $114 Kindle

Why would anyone buy this, when for $25 more you can get a Kindle without ads?

Amazon announces ad-supported $114 Kindle in latest bid to combat Apple's iPad:

As consumers increasingly turn to the iPad for reading, Amazon has bottomed out on price in order to compete, announcing a cheaper ad-supported version of its Kindle e-reader.

Amazon announced on Monday the new 'Kindle with Special Offers,' which will go on sale starting May 3 for $25 less than the standard $139 Kindle. The device identical to the third-generation Kindle and is currently available for pre-order.

The new device will display ads and special offers on the screensaver and on the bottom of the home screen, but not during reading. The ad-supported Kindle, which is Wi-Fi only, will include offers such as a $20 Amazon Gift Card for $10, 6 Audible Books for $6, and an album from the Amazon MP3 Store for $1.

Launch sponsors of the device will include Buick, Chase, Olay and Visa.

iPad2 as Digital Whiteboard

For educators, one of the compelling reasons to get an iPad2 - even if you already have a first generation iPad - is the display mirroring functionality. With an iPad2, a sketching app (Penultimate, TakeNotes, Whiteboard HD, etc), a VGA adapter, maybe a stylus, and a classroom with an LCD projector, you've got yourself a little portable whiteboard. iPad as Digital Whiteboard:

the whiteboards in my classroom are worn out. They're impossible to wipe without spraying enough whiteboard cleaner to get an elephant high. Not a good situation.
With my new AV system in hand and an iPad 2, I figured out that I could probably put something together that looks like a digital whiteboard.
So I hooked up the iPad, fired up an app that I've owned since forever but never knew what to do with called Penultimate. Penultimate is, simply, an app that lets you draw with your finger. It provides multiple pages, three pen thicknesses and six colours. That's really it.

Cxjlrp Zfmebop -Translation: "Famous Ciphers"

This story on unsolved ciphers reminds me how much I love the science of ciphers and cryptography. A great book on codes and ciphers is Simon Singh's The Code Book.

View the slideshow of unsolved ciphers.

Unsolved codes and ciphers from across the ages. - By Elizabeth Weingarten - Slate Magazine:
When Ricky McCormick's body was discovered in a Missouri cornfield in 1999, police officers discovered something unusual in his pockets: Two curious notes that appeared to be written in code. If McCormick had been murdered, as investigators suspected, they figured these cryptic clues might lead them to the culprit. Soon the FBI was involved.
Twelve years later, the FBI is still so confounded by the codes that they've posted them online with the hope that someone out there can make sense of them.
It may seem strange that McCormick, a high-school dropout who spent most of his time on the street, could baffle the FBI's top cryptologists. But according to Jonathan Katz, an associate computer-science professor at the University of Maryland who teaches cryptography, amateur ciphers can be the most difficult to unlock.
When experts attempt to break a wartime code, they know the general context of the message. They know who's communicating with whom and what they're communicating about. But when it comes to rogue codes, cryptologists don't even know what language the cipher was written in.
Editor's note: The headline on this article, "Cxjlrp Zfmebop," is a simple Caesar cipher in which every letter of the original headline is shifted three letters back in the alphabet. To decode it, you just go in reverse: C+3 is F, X+3 is A, and so forth.

Tech Ed 'Must Haves' by 2014

Reading the most recent Horizon Report got Joshua Kim thinking about what educational technologies are must haves for 2014. Kim picked 2014 assuming that it takes about 3 years - 2011 to 2014 - to get a new technology fully integrated in the campus.

Campus Ed Tech 'Must Haves' by 2014 - Technology and Learning:

His 'must have' list:
  1. Lecture Capture in Every Medium to Large Lecture Classroom
  2. All Curriculum Available On Mobile Devices
  3. A Campus "YouTube" Media Management System
    By 2014, students and instructors will be able to upload, discover, permission, tag, view, share and mashup campus produced media as easily as can be done via consumer systems today. Video will finally move out of the LMS and the library reserve systems, two platforms never designed for video, and on to media management platforms specifically designed to handle online video. Increasingly, these media management platforms will encompass both browser and mobile device based applications, facilitating the creation, editing, publishing, discovery and presentation of campus media on a range of mobile devices.
  4. Rapid E-Learning Authoring Tools and Publishing Platforms Standard for All Students
    It used to be that most of the PowerPoints created on campus were done by faculty, not students. No longer. In the same way, we will move towards students creating, publishing, and sharing the vast majority of the rich media that circulates on campus. I'm thinking mostly of light weight mashup, editing, and voice-over presentation tools. Just as students today are expected to have productivity software (word processing, presentation creation, spreadsheets etc.), with this software often supplied by campus wide agreements - by 2014 every student will be expected to own and be facile with rapid rich media authoring tools. These rich media authoring tools work best when standardized, when everyone has the same baseline of tools, a fact that will encourage campus licensing for student use.
#1 - I'm not sold on lecture capture. While I think it's important and valuable to capture portions of lectures or key points from lectures, I question the value of capturing an entire lectures. Most community colleges don't have the staffing to chop these lectures up or create smaller learning objects from these lectures.

#2 - I'm all in!

#3 - The idea of video moving out of the LMS and the library is a great idea and can probably be accomplished by 2014. However a campus-wide system for "creation, editing, publishing, discovery and presentation" is probably a reach. Although the pieces may exist as part of separate applications, I don't think the system Kim is describing exists - even as a commercial entity. The idea sounds like a closed, campus only version of YouTube, but even YouTube doesn't do everything Kim is describing. Maybe a system that does a portion - publishing, discovery, and presentation?

#4 - Very intriguing! Empower the students to do the content creation - particularly rich, multimedia with which are students are increasingly adept. Again, I think this is not doable in a three year timeframe, but is nonetheless an idea well worth pursuing. This could be combined with #1 - Lecture capture, enabling the students to create mashups of lectures and build learning objects themselves. The closed-circuit YouTube idea - #3 - could become the platform for content creation and sharing.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A New Linux Distribution - The Canterbury Project

The Canterbury Project:
We are pleased to announce the birth of the Canterbury distribution. Canterbury is a merge of the efforts of the community distributions formerly known as Arch Linux, Debian, Gentoo, Grml and openSUSE to produce a really unified effort and be able to stand up in a combined effort against proprietary operating systems, to show off that the Free Software community is actually able to work together for a common goal instead of creating more diversity.

Canterbury will be as technologically simple as Arch, as stable as Debian, malleable as Gentoo, have a solid Live framework as Grml, and be as open minded as openSUSE.

Friday, April 08, 2011

The Masters on the iPad

Pretty cool!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Kno, Kno, Kno, and Kno

The woman in the picture is using a Kno. The CEO of Kno claims this design is based on what students want. So it has to look like a book? Looks silly to me.

Kno Tablet for Students

photo via kno tablet - Architecture Design, Home Design, Interior Design, Decorating Ideas

No to the Kno - No Really

In an earlier post - No to the Know - I embedded a video about the Kno tablet titled "Changing Education Forever." I also linked to a story at with the audacious title The Future of the Tablet, and It Isn’t the iPad 2. Both the video and the article rave about the potential of the Kno:
a tiny start-up company has built a tablet explicitly designed for students that just might give us a glimpse of the future. The tablet is called the Kno and it has all of the standard functionality of the iPad, such as a touch screen with the ability to rotate on demand, but it really emphasizes the ability to take notes and seamlessly integrate your own thought with the information that you are reading.
My thoughts at the time:
Is it just me, or is this guy crazy? The Kno promo video looks interesting, but where are they? I haven't seen any - anywhere.
Now yesterday this news: Failed Tablet Startup Kno Is Getting $30 Million In Fresh Cash To Build Software For iPad And Android:
Intel capital is leading a $30 million investment in Kno, a startup that was originally planning on building massive tablets for the college market, All Things D reports.
Kno has abandoned its hardware plans and will focus on making iPad and Android software for college students.
Hmm ... I guess the iPad 2 is ok for education - as long as it's running the Kno software;)

Transform Your Marketing

Marketing agencies and professionals are leading the way in the adoption and use of social media. Here a great presentation from Slideshare are marketing, social media, and the Internet. Whatever business you're in - education, government, non-profit, sales, retail, etc - there's a lot to learn about marketing and social media.

Textbooks are Too Expensive ...

... even for schools. In North Carolina, school districts forced to choose between two budget priorities - teachers jobs and textbooks - are choosing jobs. This story really highlights the need for some alternatives, including inexpensive e-books, wiki-books, open courseware, and open books.
Textbooks are barely hanging on as cuts loom:
Michele Powell considers her students' environmental science textbooks a critical instructional resource, but the books' condition leaves much to be desired.
Some are being held together by tape while others are missing pages. One student had to pair up with a classmate last week because his book didn't have the pages being covered in Powell's lesson.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

More on Femtocells

This is an old story (mid 2007), but gives a nice overview of femtocells.Femtocell Trial:

Remember earlier femtocell discussions? We’re talking about the technology that amplifies cell phone signals, particularly within consumer homes.


The idea behind femtocells for consumers is that they provide better in-home coverage along with one contact list and one phone bill. Presumably if the voice quality is good enough, wireless carriers believe they can get some consumers to leave their landlines behind and go entirely mobile. That doesn’t seem like an unreasonable assumption, particularly when I think about all the people I know in New York who haven’t had a landline for years.

A couple of analyst stats:

  • According to ABI Research, there will be 150 million femtocell users by 2012
  • According to Ovum, 30 to 40 percent of cell phone traffic originates in the home, making a compelling reason for wireless carriers to invest in femtocell technology.

Femtocells haven't taken off yet, but carriers (AT & T, Sprint, and Verizon) have been selling them to supplement poor 3G coverage. What's the cost? Verizon's Network Extender is $250 with no monthly fees. Here's some more recent data:

Sprint: We've got 250,000 femtocells on our network:

Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) currently counts around 250,000 femtocells on its network and expects that number to increase to around 1 million during the course of the next few years.


The figure indicates Sprint accounts for a good portion of the femtocells in the United States. According to the Femto Forum, there were 350,000 femtocells nationwide at the end of 2010. AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) also sell femtocells.

Interestingly, Simon Saunders, chairman of the Femto Forum, said the number of femtocells in the United States is now greater than the number of cell towers. He said there were around 256,000 cell towers in the United States at the end of last year. Globally, he said there were 1.7 million femtocells deployed at the end of 2010.

How to Make a Living Blogging

Amazing! Gruber's secret? Great content, simple design, and great writing.

REVEALED: Daring Fireball's Impressive Traffic Stats:

A year and a half ago, we profiled John Gruber, whose Daring Fireball blog had become the "homepage for Mac nerds."

Back then, the site was attracting about 2 million monthly pageviews on about 250,000 monthly unique visitors.

Since then, the site's traffic has more than doubled.

According to traffic stats that Gruber just tweeted, Daring Fireball just had its first 4 million pageview month, reaching 700,000 unique visitors.

Where to Deploy Metro Femtocells

Where to deploy metro femtocells:

The business case for using metro femtocells to support or infill the mobile network is well proven. But how do you know where you should deploy metro femtos?

Firstly, look at your customer complaints. This will give you an idea of where the coverage problems are and at what times of day. For instance, are the worst problems along commuting routes (bus stops, train stations at 8am or 6pm). Second, in urban areas where customer density is the problem, look at how many failed calls there are. You can identify which cells are at capacity and at what times. When you know which macrocells are struggling you need to find out where in the macrocell that calls are being dropped or where devices are sapping most of the available power: for this you will need to drive test.  And pay attention to indoor usage. Around 80% of mobile activity is indoors (including offices, shops, colleges, venues) so consider targeting these areas with indoor femtocells.

Looking to the future

The small cell architecture will be a fundamental part of LTE, so should operators wait for LTE femtocells? The problem with this is that operators are struggling with data growth now, not sometime in the future and so need immediate solutions.  Operators need to tackle problems wherever they are, and with whatever tools at their disposal – metro femtocells, enterprise femtocells, home femtocells,  macro cells and so on.

While many operators are investigating metro femtocells, the approach differs. Some are interested in indoors, some outdoors, some rural, some urban. We are only just at the beginning of what could be a complete change in the way the mobile network is constructed.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Nicholas Carr on the Cognitive Effects of Video Games

Grand Theft Attention: video games and the brain:

What the evidence does show is that while videogaming might make you a little better at certain jobs that demand visual acuity under stress, like piloting a jet fighter or being a surgeon, it's not going to make you generally smarter. And if you do a whole lot of it, it may well make you more distracted and less able to sustain your attention on a single task, particularly a difficult one. More broadly, we should be highly skeptical of anyone who draws on video game studies to argue that spending a lot time in front of a computer screen strengthens our attentiveness or our memory or even our ability to multitask. Taken as a whole, the evidence, including the videogaming evidence, suggests it has the opposite effect.

Wozniak: Tablet Are What Steve Jobs Wanted From the Beginning

Wozniak: Tablet Is the PC for 'normal People':
Tablets are the culmination of what Steve Jobs wanted to create at Apple from the beginning, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said Monday.
During a keynote session at Storage Networking World in Santa Clara, California, Wozniak was asked how tablets would change the computer industry. He compared them to TVs.
"The tablet is not necessarily for the people in this room," Wozniak told the audience of enterprise storage engineers. "It's for the normal people in the world," Wozniak said.
"I think Steve Jobs had that intention from the day we started Apple, but it was just hard to get there, because we had to go through a lot of steps where you connected to things, and (eventually) computers grew up to where they could do ... normal consumer appliance things," Wozniak said.

Google Versus the Carriers?

Apple has been able to control the iOS platform, pushing out updates on their own schedule and keeping specialized carrier apps (often called crapware) off the iPhone and iPad. Google has not had similar success - with carriers delaying OS updates, or vendors/carriers forcing skins and apps on android devices. How bad has this been for Google? They've allowed Verizon to keep Bing as the default search engine on Verizon branded android phones.

It looks like Google is beginning to push back against the carriers. Don't push too hard - Microsoft is waiting with open arms.

Google Finally Fights Back Against Android Fragmentation
According to Bloomberg, Google has spent the last several months tightening the reigns on its Android partners. They're having licensees sign "non-fragmentation clauses" that give Mountain View final say over the platform tweaks that can cripple a perfectly good phone. The OEMs are up in arms, obviously, but they shouldn't be. Because what Google's doing is making sure consumers know exactly what they're getting. They're making "Android" mean something again.

The biggest problem often isn't the skins themselves. Many people find HTC Sense to be a welcome improvement over stock Android, while others—someone out there, I'm sure—may dig Motorola's social-savvy Motoblur. But the more aggressively companies manipulate Android, the longer their customers have to wait for firmware updates that bring crucial services. Some handsets end up never being updated at all. No, really... it's bad out there.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Social Media Versus Old Media

Great slideshare presentation from John Willshire. He really does a great job of frame the difference between old media and new or social media and describing media as the connective tissue that binds us all together.

MacBook Air Beginning of a New Trend?

I think so! MBA is a great device. Everyone who uses it wants one.

Analyst Sees MacBook Air as a $2.2 Billion-a-Year "Quasi-Tablet"
With all the chatter over the iPad 2, the iPhone 4 and its successor, it’s easy to forget that Apple has another ultra-portable device that’s doing quite well at market: the MacBook Air.

Nearly six months after it launched, the device continues to be a strong seller that is quickly evolving into a meaningful growth driver for the company’s Mac business.

Apple shipped some 420,000 Airs in the fourth quarter of calendar 2010, 326.8 percent more than it did in the preceding quarter and 333 percent more than it did in the quarter a year ago. And, according to J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz, that growth was not an anomaly, but the beginning of a trend.

With it’s instant-on capability and diminutive size, the Air has evolved into “a quasi-tablet” device for the productivity user, potentially defining a new category, says Moskowitz. And in the process it’s helping to cement Apple’s leadership in ultra-portable devices.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Shutting A Student's Laptop in Class = Assult?

There gotta be more to this story ... Professor Arrested for Shutting Student's Laptop in Class:
Frank Rybicki is an assistant professor in the Mass Media department at Valdosta State University. Last week, he was arrested for his behavior in class. For assault. What heinous crime led to his jailing?
The altercation occurred when Dr. Rybicki allegedly closed a laptop computer on the hands of a student...

Dr. Rybicki closed the laptop because he thought the student was on non-class related websites. The student began to argue with Dr. Rybicki about closing the laptop and about the websites she visited while in class.
Yes, he closed the laptop of a student who was slacking off in class, and that student pressed assault charges against him, and he was literally arrested, and now he's suspended, and the police have ordered students in the class "not to talk to anybody about the incident," and the university is taking it all very seriously. Meanwhile all of the student feedback on the school paper's website is in support of the teacher.


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