Category Archives: Technology

Your social network now becomes the “Universal Network”…


univeral network

If you look at how many people are on the various social networking sites, the total would be well over 1.5 billion, with 900,000 million users on Facebook and Twitter alone.  Imagine how many people that is and the impact on our lives….Sharing photos, news, connecting to family and friends, promoting events, ideas, growing businesses, etc.  Now what if I told you all those uses of Social Networking pales in comparison to what is coming?  Imagine your network expanding 10-fold, 20-fold? Imagine being connected to more than humans, Imagine being connected to almost everything you own, everything you use, all the time, anywhere?

So now your saying, Richard; I don’t want any more connections, any more things to look at on my wall.  I was drinking from the firehose before, and now your going to double it???? no thanks…….well, your Universe could get a whole lot larger….

Toyota announced it was setting up a social network between cars and their owners using SalesForce.com’s Chatter and Microsoft.  The impact of this is huge, but not from the sole standpoint of your vehicle tweeting you or FaceBooking-ing you when it has something to share.  No the real impact of this is NOT from only the consumer side, but more importantly from the Industrial and Manufactoring  sectors involved with Building Management, Remote Monitoring, and assorted other Industrial uses like Energy Management Systems.  The events with Toyota will no doubt help fuel the race for consumer productsd being able to share with their owners various status updates and other engagements, pinning on the heels of the SmartGrid and SmartMeters ability to inform you thru your Social Network and Mobile Devices of occurring changes to their status and your environment.

The floodgates could begin to open up on this with the success of the Toyota Social Experiment, and we will surely see copycats in the consumer space, beginning with autos, expanding to appliances, potentially expanding to all types of objects.  With so many additional devices connected to the internet, the potential for abuse is clearly increased exponentially.  I also wonder should this new paradigm unfold as expected, would it signal a dramatic change in Social Network adoption?

I guess our Social Network is about to get just a little bit larger…

 

June 9th update: Enterasys rolls out software-allows netwrk admins 2 access mgmt system viaTwitter, Facebook, LinkedIn & SFDC’s Chatter. http://tinyurl.com/3mva28z

So here is another example of what I was saying….Now all types of devices will take part on the social wave, expanding your network…

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What does the LinkedIn IPO mean for this Social Business Phenomenon?


Today, a big buzz around the social business circles is the news that LinkedIn may decide to do its IPO in 2011.  LinkedIn is the premier social networking service connecting professionals and workers from many industries, companies,  and markets.  In the news today, January 6, 2011, Reuters, quoting unidentified sources, reports that LinkedIn has hired Morgan Stanley (MS), Bank of America (BAC), and JPMorgan (JPM) to handle the underwriting duties for an IPO.   News Services report than LinkedIn has a market capitalization of around $2.2 Billion dollars. 

The evolution of the Internet Company Landscape…

I see this as a important barometer for financial acceptance of  Social Businesses or Internet\Web 3.0 businesses, similar to how Google’s IPO helped propel exciting new Internet Technologies such as the Cloud Computing models, Search, and search-based Ad revenue into mainstream business models, and translate these activities into huge top-line revenues and strong per share pricing.  Originally priced at $85 each almost 8 years ago, Google’s shares soared past $600, closing at $609.50 on January 5th, 2011.  Google’s market capitalization today stands at $194.77 Billion.  Google is the king of the “new” Internet 2.0 companies, displacing old timers, Internet 1.0 stalwarts like Microsoft, Cisco, Yahoo, and Oracle.  With a successful IPO of LinkedIn, I see the potential for a  new paradigm emerging of the Internet\Web 3.0 companies.  Linking Social Capabilities with applications for both mobile devices and traditional PCs.  Facebook raised $500 million through deals with investor Goldman Sachs and Digital Sky Technologies, a Russian investment firm that has already invested about $500 million in Facebook, according to a New York Times report. The report notes the investments give Facebook a greater value than Web pioneers Yahoo and eBay.  Facebook has by many accounts over 600 million users, which puts it in a very powerful position to provide more than just pictures, videos, and status updates for those millions of users.  Facebook could wield huge influence over how people experience the Social Web, and direct billions if not trillions of dollars to retailers and assorted companies.

Three years ago, LinkedIn partnered with Huddle to broaden its platform’s functionality to include social networking, , enhanced profiles, and a recommendation engine, while positioning itself to dominate the future employment market.  I see LinkedIn partnering with one of the employment sites, like Monster or CareerBuilder to take the employment search experience to a new level.  As for the social platform at LinkedIn, I am not sure if LinkedIn still uses Huddle as its Social platform core, but clearly the move has paid off for LinkedIn, as it now is much more relevant for professionals, and has permeated the workplace in many companies.  Clearly, Social has now become the new bubble in the investment community, with companies lining up with various Venture Capitalist firms to finance their expansion and gobbling up smaller key players to shore-up their business offerings.

What does this mean for Social in companies?

I think a successful IPO for LinkedIn has direct and indirect benefits for all things Social.  Direct benefits would be the ability for many investors of privately held Social companies to have some promise of large market capitalization feeding off the frenzy IPOs from Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  Another Direct benefit would be the enterprise Social companies to gain greater traction selling social-leaning applications, opening up additional revenue generating opportunities.  Indirect benefits to successful consumer-Social IPO revolve around Enterprise 2.0 companies like Jive Engage, Yammer, SocialText, and others to become “mainstream” in discussion of senior company leaders.  The buzz around the successful IPOs for consumer social would have an effect on bringing the “Socialization”, or Enterprise 2.0 capabilities to the forefront of company’s strategic planning.

Better to stay Private?

Harvard Business Review published an article detailing why perhaps companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter may want to stay private.  Disclosing financial information and operational procedures\processes are leading reasons not to become publically traded in todays’ over regulated world.  Falling under the scrutiny of the SEC, and having to deal with all the regulatory hurdles could stall these IPOs, but looking at the IPO of Google, who did have a hugely successful IPO, could make the choice sweeter for Socially leaning companies.

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Richard’s Review of the Blackberry Torch (9800)


So I finally got my hands on the new Blackberry Torch.  First impression of this device versus my Bold (9000) was this feels solid and the screen is very clear, and the keyboard, of which I cannot live without is a tad smaller than my Bold.  The Torch was smaller (which is good), yet the screen did look much brighter than the Bold, so I was happy.

I switched the SIM, activated the unit with our BES, and POOF, I was off playing in no time with the features and functions of this little powerhouse.

Getting Started

Ok, so lets get on with the evaluation….So I turned it on, installed my usual apps, Facebook, Ubertwitter, Gmail, Google Talk, Maps, etc.  Then I found a neat little icon called “Social Feeds”.  Much to my surprise it had provisions to aggregate Facebook, MySpace (which I dont use), Instant messaging platforms AIM, Yahoo Messinger, Google Talk.  And I thought, how cool is this!!  Once your in the “Social Feeds” section, there actually is a “Social Filter” at the top of the tab to further segment your favorite social toy.

Browser

The Browser is the next point I noticed RIM fixed.  The old BB browsers were terrible, slow, and not friendly.  The new browser in the Torch is fast, and actually functional like a desktop-browser.  I could do the iPHONE squeeze n’ Pinch to make the site larger…YES!! No more mandatory reading classes for me!!!  Biggest news for me on this one, is you can now SAVE A WEBSITE AS A SHORTCUT, and you can PUT THAT SHORTCUT LINK AN ICON ON THE DESKTOP!!  WOW, no more creating an .alx file to save on my desktop as a shortcut.  That is a great feature !!

Desktop

The Torch desktop is really 5 different desktops (All, Frequent, Downloads, Media, and Favorites)  You can assign any icon at the desktop to be a favorite, but I found this annoying as i kept seeing the same icon on multiple screens, but still had to navigate to one of the 5 desktops to get to an icon that was not tagged.

Other Stuff

The media and movie watching is still fantastic, and the screen works like an iPhone and Android between landscape and portrait.  The camera is a 5 MP unit, and you can upload directly to Facebook or MySpace with ease.  In fact all apps that ran on the older BB, run faster on the Torch.  I can actually use my Facebook app, and not wait for minutes until the stream refreshed as it did on my BB9000.

The keyboard is great as usual, and my fat fingers do not allow me to use the on-screen keyboard unless I am super careful on typing.

The options in each screen are easier to use, and the layout of the options is more intuitive than on previous models, but it does take time to get used to.

Conclusion

The Blackberry Torch is a great little device, not on par with iPHONE or Android, but for the Enterprise it rocks !!  Blackberry diehards will love this device, and will all the management features from the BES servers, it will please corporate executives, and consumers willing to step out and try a BB for the first time.   I would like to see RIM introduce the ability to link Enterprise Social Platforms into the Torch, but maybe that will come in future releases.  Google with their Android platform is making huge inroads to the Enterprise Mobility landscape, and RIM had better get moving in order to stem off the move to Google’s platform, which is happening faster than experts predict.

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What is the matter with Apple?


 In hearing Steve Jobs claim that Apple was giving away a free case to resolve the iPhone4’s antennae issues, and reading about users complaints that the iPAD has missed to be the Laptop-killer, I began to wonder what is happening with Apple? 

Sure they changed the way mobile phones will forever be judged, and the iPAD will undeniably launch a new series of devices, but could there be something wrong in the foundation of how Apple designs it products and acts on feedback from customers?

In hearing the thousands of complaints from users about the call quality and reception failures, clearly there is something fundamentally wrong with Apple’s design.  There was an earlier article touting how Apple’s designers broke new ground in coming up with a beautiful design for the iPhone4, and how it was almost art-like in form.  I agree, but somewhere Apple forgot the most basic rule:  A phone is used to make Phone Calls!  What is the point of a phone that I cannot use to make a reliable call with?  Maybe the new case will help the reception issue, but from what I have seen, holding the phone the proper way is akin to applying the Mr. Spock neck nerve pinch, something I could never figure out, no matter how many times I tried it on my brother. 

The iPAD, when I first saw it blew me away.  What a cool device, showing beautiful pictures and videos, reading online books, but then something struck me as I played with it; almost every web site I go to has FLASH embedded in it, and thus the blue boxes popped up telling me FLASH would be needed to see the contents.  I think I am sold on Windows 7, so I will wait until the many promised Tablets running Windows 7 come to market.  Why did’nt Apple include a camera and USB ports with the iPAD.  The cost per item is fairly low, so there must be some strategic reason?  I think Steve Jobs is convinced that Apple’s successes have made it insulated from any negative reactions or feedback from users and analysts, so he must think since the device is first to market, Apple can design the device as they like, and users will still purchase the products.  I mean where is the common sense to say, almost everyone has documents they would like to use on the iPAD, and by forcing users to use iTUNES as the download hub, you are pushing away corporate and power users.  Maybe Apple does not care about Corporate Users?  Maybe they only want to play in the Comsumer space?  Not too sure, but then why not provide a camera in the iPAD if your focusing on the Consumer market?  So again back to my original thought, what is the matter with Apple?

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SmartFones, Laptops, Tablets……Lions, Tigers, and Bears..Oh MY


The iPhone 4 came out, everyone said ooh, and aah, here is the greatest looking phone ever !  Too bad you cannot use it to call anyone as long as you hold it in your hands.  Antennae problems I guess, or Operating system issues, depending on whom you believe.  So I guess the real use of the iPhone is to emit microwave radiation or use as a paper weight (so anti-rain-forest of me).  Before the iPhone 4 gen came out, the iPAD came out and WOW, it was a runaway success.  No more laptops, no more heavy devices to lug around.  But wait… a thought pondered in my mind; how many devices do I need to be connected?

So a typical person nowadays has a laptop, most likely running Windows Vista or 7, or maybe a MAC, and has a Smartfone, perhaps an iPhone, Blackberry, Droid, or one of the other iPhone touch screen clones.  I actually saw someone with an old fashioned flip phone, the kind with the itty-bitty screens. I smiled when I saw that, as it seemed to be years ago when those were the “norm”.  Anyway, so now you have 2 devices, but hold on!!  Now you need an iPAD, which I must say is very very cool!  I tried one a few weeks ago, thank you Jim, and it was sweet.  Of course, now the person could have 3 devices..and OMG, think of how evil that persons is, using all that energy to charge and recharge those devices? There should be an energy license to be allowed to use so many devices….evil capitalist swine !    🙂

Ok, I know I sound crazy, but really, how does one carry all those devices around, and when do you dump the Smartfone for the iPAD or other 3G/4G slate device?  Then when the Windows 7 Slate devices come out with the embedded 3G/4G chips, do I dump the Smartfones, and laptops?  I mean, most users should be confused, I would be if I was not tech savy.

So now Microsoft who along the way became a boring old-fashioned company, and somehow removed the word “INNOVATION” from almost every aspect of their day-to-day corporate lives, is now claiming to have many different types of “iPAD” clones coming out, but all running Windows 7.  I admit, I really like Windows 7, in fact it is the best desktop O/S from MS ever !  BUT and this is a big BUT, how can Microsoft “outcool” Apple? Can it be done?  I am not sure.  Steve Ballamar must run a great company, and probably does a great job in some fashion, but as for imagination, he may not be the best of the bunch.  Frankly, the lack of a Windows Mobile operating system has Microsoft practically out of the mobile phone business, and how can they catch Apple and Google starting from scratch now?

Ok, back to me original point: how many devices are we supposed to carry?  I think if I had to pick, I would pick 1 device; a Windows 7 Tablet with 3G/4G chip, so I can make phone calls and leverage the power of the Win 7 O/S.  I wonder how balanced the Win 7 slates will be so I can hold them up to my ear while calling…..oh that’s right, now I need a bluetooth headphone with a mic to talk….damn… more devices to carry, I think I need some new type of clothing with big pockets to carry all this crap.

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