Monday, February 14, 2011

Microsoft targets the cloud --now they want your phone too!

This just in from CNN (CNN) – “Nokia, the world's largest-volume cell phone maker, and software giant Microsoft are joining forces”.

The Symbian OS from Nokia has shown versatility, but it hasn't aged well. The system is criticized for being clunky and especially awkward in an increasingly touchscreen-focused environment. As part of a new agreement, Nokia will adopt the Windows Phone OS as its choice smartphone platform, and Bing will become the default search engine on all of Nokia's phones.

Nokia will provide services such as mapping programs and other software to help flesh out Microsoft's offerings, as well as leverage the handset giant's relationships with cellular carriers. Looks like Microsoft has given up on taking on Google Search on the desktop and moving after Mobile search. I think moble computing is going to heat up over the next few years --not like its hot enough!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Been a While

Hello All,

Been a while since I posted --I am still alive. Soon MobyApp.Mobi will have a very important announcement.

Jerry

Monday, September 13, 2010

DROIDS!!! The Best Android Smartphones

The Google-developed Android mobile operating system is an alternative to the Apple iPhone, Blackberry and Palm. Even though the Android operating system is relatively new to the market, the popularity of Android phones such as the Evo 4G, Droid Incredible and Motorola Droid suggests that these multitasking feature-rich smartphones are coming in line with what we want our mobile devices to be. Here's a roundup of some of the best Android smartphones on the market today.

Motorola Droid

For those who must have a physical keyboard, the Motorola Droid is definitely a phone to consider. Despite the fact that the phone has a slide out keyboard, the phone is still relatively thin; actually it is only marginally thicker than the iPhone 3G. The 5 megapixel camera and dual LED flash also allow the phone to take surprisingly good photos – considering that this is actually a phone.

While you have to save apps to the phone's internal memory (512MB ROM and 256MB RAM), a memory card will store up to a maximum of 32GB of photos, music, and other content.

Other Features: 5MP camera, LED flash, GPS, 3.5mm headphone jack
Dimensions: 4.56” x 2.36” x 0.54”
Weight: 5.96 ounces
Display: 3.7”
Starting Price: $149 with a 2 year contract from Verizon

HTC Evo 4G

Sprint has the distinction of bringing the first 4G smart phone to the US in the form of the Evo 4G. The most noticeable feature of the Evo 4G is its generous 4.3-inch display. While the extra wide screen makes it a joy to watch videos on, it does tend to make the phone uncomfortable to grasp and use for all but those with large hands. The phone also takes a battery life penalty for having such a large and vibrant display.Regardless, the phone is one of the most feature-rich smartphone devices on the market with performance to back it up, thanks to the 1Ghz Snapdragon processor that makes the user experience quite snappy. One of the biggest selling points of this phone is the 4G service that it supports. You won’t be able to get the service in every area at this time, but if you do, you'll get speeds that are on average 10x faster than current 3G speeds.

Other Features: HDMI ports, 3.5mm head jack port, Wi-Fi
Dimensions: 4.8” x 2.6” x 0.5”
Weight: 6 ounces
Display: 4.3”
Starting Price: $199 with a contract from Sprint

HTC Droid Incredible

Like the Evo 4G, the Droid Incredible has a 1Ghz processor. While the Incredible has a smaller touch screen, measuring 3.7-inches, it does afford a better battery life than the Evo 4G. The phone’s user experience is enhanced by the HTC Sense interface that runs on Android 2.1.The Droid Incredible is a feature-rich phone that also supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and runs on Verizon’s fast 3G network. Like many of the top of the line Android phones we highlight here, the Droid Incredible has fabulous multimedia and multi-tasking capabilities that are sure to please technophiles. One standout feature of this phone is its contoured back plate, which you either love or hate.

Other Features: 8MP camera, 8GB internal memory, 3.5mm headphone jack
Dimensions: 4.63” x 2.3” x 0.47”
Weight: 4.59 ounces.
Display: 3.7”
Starting Price: $199 with a contract from Verizon

Nexus One (discontinued)

This Google Android phone has a fast processor, vibrant display and a dual microphone to improve the audio quality on calls. One of the nice features of the Nexus One is its second microphone that monitors background noise, makes adjustments to speaker volume, and works some other magic to improve the audio quality even when you are operating the phone in a noisy room. The phone has a gorgeous 3.7-inch AMOLED display that handles 16.7 million colors at an 800 x 480-pixel resolution.

Currently, the phone is sold exclusive by Google, who offers the device for either $179 with a two-year T-mobile contract or $529 without a contract. What is remarkable is that both versions come unlocked, so it will work on the GSM carrier of your choice.

Other Features: 5MP camera, 3.5mm headphone jack, trackball
Dimensions: 4.56” x 2.36” x 0.47”
Weight: 4.58 ounces
Display: 3.7" AMOLED
Starting Price: $179 with a contract from T-Mobile

Motorola Cliq

Like the Motorola Droid, the Cliq includes a physical keyboard, but this keyboard is much better. The keys on the keyboard make it possible to dial and text by touch. The Cliq also uses Motorola Blur, which allows you to access all contacts, email accounts and social media accounts in one place as well as customize the five home screens using widgets.

Other Features: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 5MP camera, GPS, Micro USB, geo-tagging
Dimensions: 2.3” x 0.6” x 4.5”
Weight: 5.7 ounces
Display: 3.1”
Starting Price: $149 with a contract from T-Mobile

Feels like the 1990's when PC's took off. Right now Droid is like Win 3.1, lots of software coming out, but the Mac is still so pretty. That is going to change. Don't get me wrong,I love my iPhone,
-- however the Droids are the future. Gartner predicts they will take over the mobile computing market in 2014!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What Happened to Customer Service?

What happened to customer service, more importantly good customer service? This morning on the way into work I had a conversation about Verizon’s customer service. My friend was very upset with how they have been handling her over the years. She was a loyal Blackberry user and she really used the heck out of those BBs. The problem was that batteries didn’t hold a charge. Very odd for a BB –I wish my iPhone held a charge like a BB.

So my friend called Verizon to replace the phone and they gave her the run around. She asks for a manager and is told by the customer service representative that a manager will call her back. The manager never does. My friend calls back and the vicious circle was afoot. Wow!

Once upon a time, I worked for United Airlines and my job was working in huge call center. Whenever we had customers ask for a manager, we had someone to hand them off to. They were known a TSRs or technical service reps –they made a $1 more an hour! Hence you never speak to a real manager!

Now companies make it impossible to reach a live human being. [And] When you do, you may be sorry you did. It seems no one cares, my friend had bouts with Verizon and I had similar experiences with Sprint. I am no longer with Sprint and my friend almost left Verizon –if not for the Droid X. Many of these calls centers are being shut down and moved overseas. Actually all these companies are doing are moving the problem(s).

The problem(s) besides the low pay and irate customers is the management --or lack there of. If the real managers were taking the calls, they would realize the problem. The problem is a lack of motivation, a lack of training, a lack of happiness, the need for empowerment and the list goes on.

Let’s focus on empowerment. Companies want total control of their customers and their employees. Companies need to allow the customer to direct the service (within reason) and empower the employee to serve. We did this at United in the early ‘90s and they were profitable. After a leadership change, all empowerment activities were suspended –now United is hurting. Other factors are contributing to the hurt, however during an economic downturn –every dollar counts.

Customer service is the voice of the company, it is the eyes and ears. Management needs to empower it and to listen to it. If it is outsourced, controlled, or unhelpful –people will go elsewhere.

For a great customer service experience, go to Zappos.com and ask for the best Pizza place near you or anything --they will google it for ya! Also I recommend reading "Delivering Happiness, A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose" it is the Zappos.com story

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hey Mister, the smart phones are coming!

Here is a great analysis by Google employee Tim Bray on the the scope of the Smartphone Game (via Daring Fireball).

"The Numbers Are Really Big. Insane, I mean. The billion-plus phones sold per year. The number of active subscriptions, which is greater than half of the human population. The number of new Android devices that check in with Google every day. The line-ups outside Apple stores for every new iOS device. The hundreds of thousands of apps. The ridiculous number of new ones that flow into Android Market every day. Everywhere I look, I see something astounding.
This is the big league; bigger today than the computer industry ever was, and growing fast. This is as fierce a concentration of R&D heat and manufacturing virtuosity and distribution wizardry and marketing mojo as humanity has ever seen."

Friday, July 30, 2010

Tribal Leadership

I have been reading Tribal Leadership on the iPad, and it is an awesome book. It describes so many things I have seen in my 18 year career.

You do not need to be fired to have experienced the blog post below. It is a good read because so many companies treat their employees badly. I recommend checking out this book at the Tribal Leadership website.

Reposted from http://www.triballeadership.net/blog

Worst Five Ways to Fire Someone

If you have never been fired, then you either work at a Stage Two company where under-achieving is rewarded, or you’ve chosen not to be completely honest when your boss says, “Do you have any feedback for me?” Odds are that at some point you:

• “Did not see eye-to-eye with management.”
• “Chose to go freelance”
• “Wanted to spend more time with family”
• “Were unware the sexual harassment laws had changed.”

But if you’re lucky, you’re the person on the other end of this conversation. And for you, we would like to offer the top five worst ways to let people go, generously sponsored by the Stage Three Boss Association and the Scranton Ohio Rotary Club.

#5 “Disappear them.”A person in our Tribal Leadership study told us that he arranged lunch with a co-worker in the morning, and when the time came he went to her cubicle to find no trace of her existence. When he asked what happened to her, the answer from a colleague was “she’s been disappeared.” It’s as though we’re back in Pharaoh’s Day, and her name had been scrubbed from every monument…well, memo and e-mail address book…in the land.

Quick and efficient? Yes. But how does this contrast with that consultant-crafted mission statement that HR used in the overpriced plaque on the wall? “Our workplace is innovative, collaborative, enthusiastic, with a sense of mission, filled with workers who would do anything for each other.” They forgot to add… “in which any member can fired for any reason with the others not missing a beat.”

Bottom-line is you can’t have it both ways. That person you got to know—that you spent more quality time with than your family, is gone—so you’re less likely to form your friendships here. Trust is driven out of the system as fast as that employees’ pictures come off their desks.

#4 Highlight “personal reasons.” In 99% of cases, this phrase, if run through Dilbert’s decoder ring, translates to “you all know we hate him, he was fired, thank God he’s gone, …now get back to work.” People who leave companies through this method usually lost some high-profile fights, and endured weeks or months of public flogging to remove any trace of self-esteem. This method is also useful when management hired the wrong person, and “for personal reasons,” is much easier to type than, “this was our mistake, and we wish him well.”

#3 Resignation effective two weeks from today. This method is most useful when someone still has self-esteem left. Having her leave under these circumstances might send the message that seeking employment elsewhere may not be so bad. During the two weeks between announced departure and leaving the building for the last time, the lame duck goes to meetings and learns just how irrelevant she is. She has time alone to detach—one of the hallmarks of Stage Two—and so, when she leaves, she’s tired, despondent, and unprepared to seek another opportunity.

#2 The security escort out of the building. Useful when remaining employees need to be reminded that you hold all the power.

#1 The walk of the shame. The ritual of packing up photos and coffee mugs into a single box (with or without the plant on top) and walking past the survivors is a nice recollection of simpler times: like when French aristocrats walked past the people on their way to a beheading.
It’s like we’re in Hester Prin’s day, but instead of wearing an “A,” the person who leaves invisible sign says “My life sucks”—the hallmark of Stage Two—as a warning to those who remain. This can happen to you, too, so don’t get out of line.

What’s the effect of these methods of removing people from companies? The focus of attention becomes “me.” Is this going to happen to me? Am I liked, trusted, thought of as competent? Is there a move to get rid of me I don’t know about? This is where information becomes the coin of the realm, and gossip, the way to stay solvent. And all the Stage Three tools of self-promotion, time management, and subtle put-downs come in handy.

The bosses of such systems take the brunt of people’s scorn. “Does he really think we’re so stupid as not see what really happened?”, people gossip. Ask the bosses (we did), and many say, “I’d like to tell the truth, but HR and Legal say doing so would put us risk of liability.”
All of this makes the modern workplace a chaotic system of rumor, fear, self-promotion, and survival by wits and guts. Are there ways around this system? Yes, but they all start with leaders recognizing the current system is as ineffective, inhumane, incompetent, and self-contradictory. We’ll talk about those methods in a future blog.

by Dave Logan
Posted in Uncategorized Leave a comment

I experienced #3 at my last place of employment. Remember to check out the site and its blogs @ http://www.triballeadership.net/

Jerry

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Quote of the Week:

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."-- Albert Einstein

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Life in the Cloud

Today I am in the cloud. Literally, I am emailing via my jerryemis@me.com email account, rocking out to Pandora Radio, and creating a tech visio-like drawing via Gliffy.com. If my iPad did flash or Gliffy did HTML5, I wouldn't need a computer. If I was using Cisco's CIUS tablet device, based on the Android OS, I would be able to do my Gliffy drawing.

My thoughts on Mobile computing are two fold:

1. We are just beginning to realize the benefits of mobile devices (phones & tablets)
2. The cloud will be the back end to these new Mobile computing devices

I think we are where the PC (actually the Apple) was in 1983. In 1983 PC's were for games and small office use. IBM (the only big computer company) didn't see them as a threat their fleet of "Big Iron" (Mainframes and Mini-Computers). It is 2010, the PC's and their Intel Servers run the [office] world.

Click here to check out (a very young) Steve Jobs Keynote address circa 1983!

What will 2015 look like? After watching a very young Steve Jobs explain how "Big Iron" missed it with Xerography --Xerox, fumbled on Mini-Computers --DEC, lost the PC (and PC Servers) to Apple and the gang of nine (HP and Friends).

The cloud and the mobile devices are the next big thing --like the PC, they too have their naysayers.

Are you a naysayer?

Monday, June 28, 2010

The New Layout

Hey all,

Changed the title, look, and feel of our Blog. This blog started out as a project for a graduate class and has now morphed into this. Just wanted to drop a quick note as I have been out on vacation.

I've been looking at some venture capital blogs out the net. Here are two that caught my fancy:

http://voices.allthingsd.com/20100317/the-case-for-the-fat-startup/

http://www.kellblog.com/2010/04/07/the-fit-or-fat-startup/

Lean or Fat? I say we gotta eat! (read the links and you will get my last statement)

Jerry

Monday, June 14, 2010

Another Awesome Woman in Information Technology

In my reading of What Would Google Do (WWGD), Marissa Mayer VP at Google is mentioned many times over. So I did some research on Marissa. Marissa Mayer is the Vice President of Search Product and User Experience at the search engine company Google.

She rocks and here is why:

As I always mention, IT is much more than fixing computers.

Thanks Marissa for keeping IT cool!