Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
A while back in a post about the iPod Touch and the iPhone, I assumed that the innards of all the units were identical, sans some input controls, speakers and radio/bluetooth. Today I learned that the newest iPod Touch actually has the fastest CPU of all of its siblings, including the latest iPhone 3G. The second gen iPod Touch touts a 532 MHz CPU versus the 412 MHz CPU's installed in the other units.
While I'm kinda bummed that my 3G iPhone doesn't have the faster CPU - I'd bet that battery power was an issue, so I'm (kinda) cool with that.
What's more interesting is that as a gaming platform, the faster Touch can render roughly DOUBLE the number of polygons than the slower CPU powered devices.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I've been clear on how I'm so underwhelmed by the 3G performance on my 3G iPhone. Not only with speeds, but its terrible impact on battery performance. Mr EVDO Treo had excellent battery life, and while the thinness of the iPhone is nice, if it was a little fatter but had decent battery life, I'd be cool with that.
But back to speed...
I was always thrilled with my Sprint EVDO card which would routinely deliver 1.5m/sec. Earlier this fall I observed that I was getting around 2.4m/sec in Los Angeles and today I am amazed to report the speeds shown in the graphic above in little ol' Green Bay!
Imagine that - excellent speeds with not only good battery performance but awesome signal strength even when inside a building.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
On my flight from DTW to London's Heathrow airport, the guy way across the center aisle had a Kindle. Actually seeing one in the wild was kinda like seeing Bigfoot, or (gasp) seeing a Zune! (actually, he kinda looks like a Zune kind of guy, eh?
Ok, and even though I've seen this before, it still makes me smile. They rebooted the in-flight video system and we're all treated to a Linux boot sequence. The little boy just ahead of me proclaims, "Hey mommy, its a penguin!". Cute!
Friday, November 14, 2008
Ok, while its not quite as cool as an airborne laser that is used to pop popcorn , this new battlefield laser system from Northrop Grumman is a close second. Each package is a 15kW instant on, sustainable fire laser system that can be used in group configurations with up to eight packages to deliver some real destructive power downrange. Not bad for something thats about the size of a medium suitcase, granted it has a bit of an appetite for power.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I know, I know, the whole "lipstick on a pig" thing was abused during the election, but looking at this Dell laptop its the first thing that came to mind.
So, today's word is that Dell is betting that a little custom paint will make their laptops sell better.
I highly doubt it.
If you want to make your product sell better Michael, I suggest you do something to be remarkable. As Seth would say, you need to be a purple cow. Being that Dell is in the middle of the commoditized PC market, aside from some freaky hardware config, there's not much they can do. After all, regardless of what it looks like, its still a windows machine.
Dude! You're still getting a pig!
If consumers are buying your competitor's products over yours to the point that your business is in financial trouble (in this case, the US automakers), what should you do? Lobby for billions in bailout? Er, no. After all, a bailout only delays the inevitable. Should government force you to make eco-friendly cars? No!
You need to make products that consumers WANT to buy! I don't see what all the fuss is about.
Take a look at the top selling cars in January of 2008.
1. Toyota Camry: 31,601
2. Honda Accord: 23,957
3. Nissan Altima: 21,635
4. Honda Civic: 20,993
5. Toyota Corolla: 20,736
6. Chevrolet Impala: 17,544
7. Chevrolet Cobalt: 17,310
8. Chevrolet Malibu: 14,105
9. Pontiac G6: 13,942
10. Ford Focus: 11,600
Ok, first thing. The top 5 are foreign car makers. If you look at the costs to build those cars, the US automakers have roughly 2 to 3x the labor costs of the other guys. And no, its not because they are paying slave labor pay rates, its because they're not beholden to the UAW in terms of pay, benefits, and the ultimate of all sins, paying people NOT to work. Insane. Truly insane.
Second thing : see any hybrids in there? Nope. So, if the demand was there, the sales numbers would be there. So why force the manufacturers to make cars that aren't in demand - which is what the liberals in congress want. Agenda based policy is doomed to fail. (Need me to cite examples? No, I didn't think so.)
When you look at all vehicle sales for Q1 2008, the top selling vehicles are :
1. Ford F-150 : 94,551
2. Chevy Silverado 1500 : 90,903
Yup, the two top spots go to TRUCKS! The Prius comes in at #13 with 42,907 units sold.
Economic forces apparently aren't enough to force the automakers to do what's needed in terms of breaking the union contracts and becoming smaller, faster and more market focussed.
Bankruptcy is exactly what's needed. I'm sure they'll survive, but until they change their business they'll keep needing money which none of us can afford to give them. How can we bailout companies that refuse to be competitive??
Simplify, cut costs, focus and dominate.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
So, the iPhone is arguably one of the most capable handheld devices on the market today. Yet there's one thing that the iPhone, thanks to AT&T, does no better than a $9 flip phone.
If you SMS me a picture, I get a silly SMS message that proclaims that you've sent me a picture and in order for me to retrieve said picture, I have to visit some lame URL, type in a username and password which are unique every time (and impossible to remember) and then I get to view a scaled down version of whatever you sent me.
Ok, aside from the obvious fact that the phone doesn't just receive the image, why can't AT&T send me some sort of tinyURL type link which is unique to me to get these messages??
I mean, its so 1999 its boggles the mind that Steve Jobs and company would even tolerate such insane abuse of technology on an Apple product like this.
Is this a sign of what life is like when you sell your soul to the devil??
In terms of energy issues (notice, I'm not gonna call it a energy CRISIS), this is something that I can get behind 100%. Our electrical grid needs to get away from carbon based powerplants. Period. Wind and solar are nice local solutions for additional power, but they are not reliable in terms of being able to produce on demand and usually plans for these involve some sort of electrical storage system, and those are terrible for the environment.
Aside from the energy source switch from carbon to nuclear, the other issues are around electrical loss from transmission lines. But if you took these types of small power plants, you could decentralize our grid and keep power local and be able to ratchet up as needed and also be able to have local solar/wind farms that would have their greatest impact locally.
Are there issues? Sure, but its the best thing out there that will actually solve energy needs while reducing our needs for carbon based energy production facilities. (we have two massive dirty coal plants here that I'd love to see shut down and replaced by nukes)
Monday, November 10, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Does this image offend you?
Actually, I don't care if it does or doesn't. If an image use facilitates me telling a story or illustrating a point, then I'm gonna use it. Especially if it is relevant to the details of the story - regardless of what someone or a group of someone(s) might think.
In a preso by a really smart guy from IBM, he put up an image of packaged meat as an illustration of how IBM is working with the grocery industry to track meat from each end of its supply life cycle with RFID chips to combat issues around mad cow, etc.
However, when the slide came up, he apologized to vegetarians for the image. And yes, it was a serious apology.
I've always hated "PC" (and I'm not talking Microsoft) and I'm wondering as to when it will all end and how far is too far.
I think its gone far enough.
As the Summit heads towards its close this afternoon with Al Gore, here are some of my takeaway thoughts.
1. Its been well run. Hats off to the organizers.
2. The WIFI actually works. Many conferences fall on their face with this, but the WIFI has been more than solid.
3. Thanks to AT&T putting a temporary mobile site here at the Palace Hotel. This gave all the iPhone users full bars on both Edge and 3G. I'm sure this was appreciated all around.
4. Speaking of iPhones - my first impression was that more than half of the attendees had them. But during the AT&T CEO's talk, John asked for a show of hands, and I'd say that it was WELL over 50% of the attendees, perhaps 70%.
5. Lots of Macs. Yeah, its a bad sample group, but its safe to say that 80%+ of the attendees had an Apple laptop.
6. Networking value. I met a lot of great people. My only regret is not being able to meet more. I only scratched the surface considering the attendee list that we were all given.
7. Content value. Very high. Great speakers. 'nuf said.
8. Overflow. Hmmm, if you spend bucks on coming here, you'd think they'd have enough seats in the ballroom. If I ended up in overflow I'd bust ass for a refund or discount on next year.
All in all, great conference. I'll be here next year.
I can't help but compare and contrast two people at the Web 2.0 Summit. Namely Yahoo's Jerry Yang and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg.
Jerry's had a bad year - make no bones about it. And after seeing him firsthand, I don't think its going to get any better. Listening to Jerry talk about Yahoo! as a business strikes a deep chord back to the mid to late 90's when Yahoo! was the rage for online communities.
But we're in 2008 and online communities aren't anything like what they were 10 years ago, but not in Jerry's mind. The order of magnitude on how he doesn't "get it" is startling when you think about the size of an organization that be presides over and the dollars involved.
Now take a look at Zuckerberg. He knows his users. He accurately observes what's going on online and understands at a fundamental level where they are, and more importantly, where Facebook (and the rest of the online world) is headed.
I also can't help but draw parallels between Yahoo! and Sun Microsystems. Both have an identity problem and both have leadership that needs to step aside and let a capable experienced leader step in and do triage to try to save the patient.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I had the opportunity tonight to sit and listen to a great conversation with Lance Armstrong at the Web 2.0 Summit. Lance was inspirational, thought provoking, funny and somber over the 45 minute conversation.
My take home quote from Lance was in answer to the question, "What motivates you?". His reply?
"I am motivated by the fear of losing"
Yup. I can relate to that.
(sorry for the shot of the screen in the room - the lighting was crap and my iPhone didn't get any decent shots of him on stage in front of me.)
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
With the election hours old, Russia makes a bold move which while might be surprising to some, wasn't to me. Russia has been out there, building like a supercell in June in Tornado Alley and now they're letting us and the world know that they're about to move into a new Cold War with the United States and NATO.
In addition to the international threat, the Russian President (which we all know is just a puppet for Putin) also made some rather remarkable changes to the Russian Constitution. Namely extending the presidential term - how nice of him.
Put into perspective how Russia is cozy with countries such as Iran (who is also rattling the sabre), Venezuela and how they "nationalized" several industries (oil) and their recent issue with Georgia where they effectively tested the waters on militaristic expansion.
If you are primarily worried about what's happening IN our country, then you are blind to the real game going on OUTSIDE of our borders.
The vote yesterday is going to bring change all right. Change in ways that Obama's supporters could never fathom.
Its interesting to note that the Russian (or near Russian) folks here at the Web 2.0 Summit are VERY worried about this recent development and several that I've spoken with were pro Obama and now aren't so sure. While they think Obama will be a good "talker" (their word, not mine) they don't think he'll command any respect in strength positioning and his words about cutting not only military spending, but R&D money on new weapons is seen as a sign of great weakness internationally. (see video)
FYI - this is the LAST political post on this blog - I'm going to bring back the original blog that in some respects was the FIRST blog before there were blogs back in 1999. Go here for my politically minded thoughts.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Try something for me....
If you have a Northwest Airlines WorldPerks account on NWA.com, login and take a a look at your miles balance, perhaps check your upcoming flights and then do something important.
Go book a flight.
Notice anything? Yup - you've been logged out and need to log back in to book your flight.
WTF? You were just logged in, all verified and ready to book a ticket somewhere cool and exciting, but NOOOOOOO. The web geniuses at NWA make you log back in again to book said flight.
The best part - you can click on worldperks while getting a flight booked even as a guest, and guess what? The Worldperks part of the website checks the cookie and knows who you are. Seems that the guys in the booking part of NWA aren't quite as savvy as the rest of the crew.
Sorry, this is just silly and downright idiotic in today's world. Totally.