Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Out with the OLD and in with the NEW - works for technology too!

In the last few months I have not been of a good, positive, excited, entuastic, driven, mind-set to write a great deal. I have found my thoughts to be of a very negative , down, disgusted, disturbed, bent and that is not the way I like to be. I am a positive person (or like to think I am) of the ages.

Too many tech jounalists spend to much time trying to find what's wrong rather than looking for what's right. I am a fan of Guy Fieri and "Dinners, Drive-Ins and Dives" He doesn't review, for public presentation, the bad places, only the good ones. He has to go to the bad ones however his time is spent reporting on what works rather than what does not work.  He brings to the front good food and good people, and that's what it is all about.

I have read and believe in Norman Vincent Peale, Earl Nightengale, Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Bryan Tracy, and my one big counselor and mentor; Tony Robbins. This year was not my best for living up to their standards. I am a Believer and and a Learner and this was a year of learning. I have to admit that my Faith is still strong however some of my other beliefs have had a change.  

I am looking forward to what Apple, Google, and  Microsoft, have in store in the New Year.  

One thing I expect to see clearly in 2015 is it will be the year the consumer takes control, both personally as well as in the Enterprise. "Power to the People!" We will buy what makes our life more productive and happier. 

If there is a resolution for me to make; I will practice the words of Roger Whittaker in A New World In The Morning
"Now I myself don't talk about a New World in the morning, New World in the morning that's today." ----- and everyday!
Happy New Year and may all your technology be good "stuff".  

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Apple Innovates and Designs - What a Show!

WOW! Just got though watching the Live presentation by Tim Cook and supporting cast. I can sum it up in one word; IMPRESSIVE! Maybe I should say that four times.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were only the beginning. I was much impressed with size and weight as well as memory - 128 GB - I could put my music on my phone. Sleek looking, would look nice in my hand. I am still attached to my Samsung Galaxy S3 however come November, when the contract is up, I will have to look a the iPhone 6 Plus vs. the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

As for Apple Pay; it will give sleepless nights to Square, Pay Pal, and others. I suspect that Visa, MasterCard, Amex, won't mind. Of all the solutions for paying with your phone, this appears to be way ahead of anyone else. I did like Eddie Cue's explanation of the security and that is both important and would appear to be handled. I think that as soon as Apple Pay is lose on the public there will be 29,900 people trying to hack the security of which 29,000 will belong to Microsoft and/or Google. :)

I cannot wait for iOS 8. I do have an iPad 3rd Gen and iOS 8 is compatible with it. I know I won't have the latest chip but I get the upgrade for free and that is a good thing.

Now the Apple Watch - WOW! The design just put the others in the also ran class. What a product and the added features (as well as updates coming) make this an incredible buy. Johnnie Ive is a goldmine. I think if it were ready for Christmas they would have 1) sold out, and 2) cleaned up. Maybe that is why we have to wait until 2015 to get one. Meeting demand this late in the season could have been bad.

The final with U2 and the FREE album was a great closer. Before they were through I was trying to download. I did get an "Unavailable in the United States at this time" message however on the second click here it comes. I now have the 12 songs and happy.

I have to admit the presentation was fun even if their iTV delivery messed up at the beginning. Even if it took over 30 minutes to get it right it finally came though and was fun to watch. If there is one thing about an Apple event it is that the audience is with Tim Cook and anyone else who presents. I really enjoy the excitement that is created and it is aimed at the people.

Thanks Apple, Tim Cook, and all the people at Apple for some great devices and great competition.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Government, Broadband Providers, and Double Talk

In yesterday’s Computerworld the following article: FCC told to leave state laws against municipal broadband intact.

All I want to do is provide one quote and a comment. The quote:

The FCC, considering whether to preempt laws in 20 states that restrict municipal broadband projects, should instead give private broadband providers incentives to better service communities, several representatives of broadband providers wrote in comments to the agency.

The comment:

The essence of competition is to work to be the best. Private broadband providers want incentives to provide better service, what better incentive than competition? Unfortunately the private broadband providers are; 1) not smart enough to figure out how to be better, 2) their interest does not lie with the customer and providing better service.

I wonder what the incentives are that they want? Keep out competition? The system work needs competition. That’s the American way, or at least it was. Why would anyone give incentives to organizations with the lowest approval ratings?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Does Microsoft really have a Chromebook killer?

From ZD Net, Here come Microsoft's Chromebook killers | ZDNet:.

First my take is that Microsoft needs to be ahead of the game and not playing catch-up as it has in the phone and tablet business. Can Microsoft produce a Chromebook killer? I really doubt it. That market will soon be declining or closed to new entries.

Microsoft is innovating in an old market. What worked in the 80's and 90's and into the 21st Century is OLD now. Microsoft is still thinking innovation they way they did and the world has caught up and passed them.

Microsoft's thinking is tooooo much Enterprise. Who is buying Chromebooks? Not Enterprise. Who is buying Android devices (phones, tablets) or who is buying iPhones, iPads? It's not generally the Enterprise (although it has in some cases). The BIG buyer of all these other devices, Android or Apple, have been USER'S, the people in the street (or on the street), the individual consumer.

Microsoft needs to separate Enterprise from User and KNOW the difference.

'via Blog this'

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Future of Jobs and the Robotic, or AI Influence

Recently Pew Reseach Center released a report regarding "AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs". It is a good read however I am not sure that it's impact is reaching the right people.

Yes the tech world understands. We have been there and listened to Ray Kurzweil sending the signals for quite sometime. There have been detractors to Ray Kurzweil's "Singularity" however every day there is more and more evidence of the eventuality, or potential, of Singularity in the future everyday. The question is not when will Singularity occur (Ray says by 2045) but how long until we begin to see the light of the oncoming train?

In today's world we keep on keeping on what we thought yesterday. We see the change as 'out there' and, in my mind, do not grasp the speed at which things are really changing. The rate of acceptance of technology today is, in my mind, incredible. Could most live without a smartphone today?

What will someone today graduating from high school today, in our current conditions, be doing in 10 years?

The realization that most of these graduates are using a phone as their prime computer added to the anticipation the smartphone will be going away for other devices in incredible to us. I am 75 and the smartphone is not a gadget anymore it is a practical, and needed, piece of technology today. I search for answers to questions that in the past would have been left unanswered. We can get opinions, advice, and knowledge instantly - well as long as the Internet is up and working.

The following article today at Gigaom takes another look. Check it out.
Pew releases AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs — Gigaom Research:

'via Blog this'

On Big Data Collection and Analysis

This morning in the NY Times is an article titled  "What Cars Did For Today's World, Data May Do For Tomorrow's". It is the kind of writing I find intriguing as it brings to front an interest in the data we are collecting. This interest being our ability to collect and then analyze that data for a benefit/purpose. I believe that in today's world this is an important quest and something we need to be aware of - VERY aware of.

I think we all know (or should know) that everything we do is being recorded in someway. If you are using an old alarm clock to wake then the time you get up is still private however if you are using a more recent technically significant device then there is the possibility that your alarm is being recorded. My example is the smartphone. What you do with that smartphone could be recorded and then captured. 

How does Google Now know that when I check in that it can tell me; 1) how far I am from home, 2) how far I am from Starbucks, 3) how far I am from work, and on Saturday 4) how far I am from my RV in the woods. I not only get the weather at home, on Saturday Google Now tells me the weather where the RV is. Google Now knows that I have an RV and knows where it is. Google Now knows all my appointments and with who, knows my interests (as in searches), and it can sense when I am driving or walking. 

Look at all the apps that we use and what they know. Is this being compiled someplace? Just read "Age of Context: Sensor's, Data, and the Future of Privacy" by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel. I can believe that everything is being recorded. 

On another side this has great potential. In the article I mentioned at the top this data collection can really be a benefit for companies like GE, the Airlines industries, automobile industries. and so many more. 

Think about what you do, the company you work for, and think about the data that is being collected and how it can be used to benefit your life, your families life,  your community, your social network, and very importantly the product or service you are building? Collection of data can push you to build or do better. 

You should keep in mind there could be a negative side to this data collection. Who is watching the collectors? And I am not just talking about our Government.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

U.S. Tech Corporations Limited to doing Business Only in U.S.!

One perspective of the courts ruling is that foreign governments will suggest to businesses within their borders that they only use communications services within their own countries. I am sure the governments of foreign countries will find services within it's own boarders to do business with. On the other hand; foreign governments might prefer the NSA to have their information than some secret service in their own country. Hmmm....double edged sword. 

Not sure we shouldn't consider using outside services for our own communications - just to be more difficult.

On the other hand the court also said (indirectily?) that if anyone in a foreign country uses a U.S. corporation for communications the U.S. will be watching (and listening, and reading) those communications. I suspect the NSA should be happy with this. The world now knows the reach of the NSA and "No One" is beyond the worlds "Big Brother". 

What's next? Newspeak? 
Alas, it's all for the "Greater Good".

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Can Google steal Microsoft's future?

I am a 'small' voice in the wind. After reading GigaOm Research article: Google is planning to steal Microsoft’s future", I still contend Microsoft does not have the right mental approach to stay ahead. As long as Microsoft continues to 'think' Enterprise they will eventually lose the individual's choices for productivity and email is one of those choices.

Enterprise and Individual productivity are two different things and Microsoft does not seem to get that.

In my opinion (and it is not My Humble Opinion)

'via Blog this'

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Linksys could be hiring Comcast Customer Service people

Why does Customer Service have to start sucking everywhere? I  have enough issues with those you cannot connect but when you are paying for support it damn well ought to be the best.

From the title this is obviously linked to Linksys. I have been Linksys router user for years, I have owned a number of routers and  have always been pleased with their router’s and their life span. Today my love affair with Linksys has gone away.

A little history: In September of 2013 I purchased a Linksys EA2700 WiFi Wireless N600 router. It fit my needs and yet may have been a little overkill for practical purposes. In April of this year (2014), while having some issues with the router I called Linksys Support. I purchased a phone support package for 6 months @ $39.99. I did not think that was too bad. .I had some issues in June of 2014 and I called and got great service and actually learned some things to keep from calling again. That was until July.

Now the issue: Out great cable company, TWC, went down for about 2 days (may have been longer, we were out of town). When the system came back up I could not get the router to see the modem. I spent some time rebooting modems and routers. I could access the router via a web browser however just could not get it to connect to (or talk to) the cable modem. So I called Linksys.

A nice gentleman connected with me and although the connection wasn’t the best (sounded like a radio phone of days gone by) we were able to communicate and he verified who I was and then started into a spiel about since I was having so much trouble with this router they would be inclined to give me a $15 rebate on my contract toward the purchase of a new router. I said I did not want to purchase a new router however he persisted. Finally he gets to a  point of saying he would be glad to suggest a better router for me and again they would provide a $15 rebate. He inferred that I had an old router – hmm – by about 10 months.

I said something to the effect that I will be looking at new routers however Linksys may not be on the list and at that point I thanked him and hung up. I didn’t wait, I had reached my limit. What a waste of time.

The take away from this was that Linksys router’s may only be good for 6 to 10 months – even if you purchase the service contract. I would hope that is not true however it’s the best I know.

Just a note: I downloaded and re-installed the software (using the Linksys site) and the router is working fine. Something my friend at Linksys could have fixed much faster if he wasn’t hell-bent on scoring a new router sale. Hmm…..I wonder if sales is not in charge of Customer Support? I think that is what happened someplace else.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

My Office 365 Home and Office Just Got 1 TB Of Online Space

In Computerworld last night I read the linked below and went to check and sure enough I have 1 TB of Online Storage space now,. The blog post pretty well spells out who gets it. The interesting thing I found is that the 7 GB of storage for non-subscribers (or those with an Outlook email address) is going to 15 GB. In all reality that may be as much as anyone individual needs.

I have a couple of issues. The first being I have had a number of corrupted files over the months that I have had a subscription to Office 365. The second one is the upload time also appears to be slow. I measure that by uploading to Dropbox or Google Drive - which both appear to be faster.

If I could ask for anything at any of the currently 3 big online storage providers that would be an ability to Share with TOTAL control over my whole online storage account. My wife and I share everything and if I needed to hide something I could use a different service. I would like her to sign in with her account and yet I could give her complete access to all I have stored and not folder by folder. I really believe that if this is going to be for Home and Office that needs to be.

Right now we share Google Calendar and it is as if we are both using the same calendar. We both enter items and we both can edit each others items. It's like having one calendar for both. I know many others that do this.

One of the reasons I am considering going with Dropbox is that I can give her my access and she can get into anything that is there. We could use it to backup files for both of us. I cannot do that on OneDrive or easily on Google Drive. I can share specific folders however that is not what I want to do.

We all have different needs and I am sure that I am not the only one with this issue.

OK here is the link to the article for the details on the 1TB drive update.

Microsoft boosts OneDrive storage to free terabyte - Computerworld:


'via Blog this'

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Instead of Fighting Chromebooks Microsoft Want To Use Them

In today's TechRepublic there was an article: Microsoft ready to go head-to-head with Chromebooks and Android tablets - TechRepublic: and after reading about IBM getting caught up with Apple it was my thought that Microsoft might want to get better acquainted with the Chromebook.

Compared to the Chromebook most of Microsoft's (and partner's) hardware is bloated, heavy, and out-of-touch (not to mention out of date). Just sayin'.....

Microsoft in the last months released Word and Excel to the iPad and it is time they released it to Android.

I think one thing that is being overlooked here is Google is trying to connect the world to data and they are also working with IBM. They got into the hardware business because everything else was bloated and not necessary. Hardware today is a commodity and we need that which we can use easily, everywhere, and is exciting. That is E3 or better said E to the Third Power - it's Everywhere, it's Easy, and it's Exciting.

Once again I have to say it is time Microsoft started to think about separating Windows and Office. In today's world tying your software to the Operating System is hindering the software sales. Some of the best app's are across all OS's. Something like Evernote which has hurt OneNote in the last few years. There are others.

Recently I had a CPA I know come up to me and tell me all about his new purchase of a Samsung Galaxy S tablet.  This is the same CPA that not too long ago stated his big concern was Excel and Word and had therefore put off anything until Microsoft did something he thought would work. Well change of plans. He is now using Samsung and has found an app that will allow him to open and work with his Excel files. He is so delighted that he does not have to carry around his laptop wherever he goes. He does a lot of reading and the Kindle App is also very good. He was so excited.

Maybe it's time for Microsoft to re-think the re-think - or did they already do that? Hmm......

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Apple forge enterprise app pact - Oh Baby, What's Next?

Very interesting read. Although they do knock Android at the end and give Microsoft some chance.

There are two articles you should read.
It is my belief that in the next few years the Windows platform will lose ground to the mobile devices which are supporting 'other' operating systems.  I also believe that Microsoft is going to have to separate Windows and Office. The control of Windows Operating System is losing and Office, to succeed, needs to be on all devices beyond Windows devices - and quickly. 

The second article above is a bit more general and I believe that Android is making inroads to the Enterprise through the Consumer and that is the important part. The "USER" is the most important asset of any Enterprise and they, the "USER", are getting smarter and smarter, quicker and quicker, better and better, at every turn in this world of technology. 

I am impressed with how many people I talk to, not in the tech world, that have Samsung TV's and are transmitting things from their phone, as well as laptop or tablet, to their TV. People who 3 years ago would have laughed at you. 3 years ago.

This is a different world than it was in 2010 and it will be greatly different by the end of 2015. If you are not thinking away from your past methods you could be left behind. 

Or, better put, If you continue to think along the path that it took you to get where you are you will never get ahead. Times change, you must be ahead of the change. Get excited about the future not fearful.

'via Blog this'

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Technology, The Cloud, Are We There Yet?

In what I consider to be a fast moving tech world it is still interesting to find those in their early 40’s through mid 50”s that are still not liking the changes. With everything we read we begin to believe the that rate of acceptance of the new technologies is increasing at a high rate of speed. And yet corporate America may not be as advanced as the rest of the world.

ipadI was involved in some iPad training this past week and much to my surprise I found push back.

Now I am a Windows user and history tells you that I purchased that first IBM PC in 1981, became a Windows user with version 3 and since that time I have also become an adamant Microsoft Office user – it doesn’t get any better than the power of Microsoft Word or Excel.

In the past few (3?) years I have discovered that one device does not do it all. I have found that there are other devices that have a place in our wonderful world of technology, the iPad being one of them.
I am also a big fan of Android. Just added the latest Microsoft Outlook app on my Samsung Galaxy S3 phone from the Google Play Store.

Microsoft recently made the Mobile Office app for iPad available and I instantly went for it. The Mobile Office app that includes Word, Excel, and OneNote is the best app I have used on any device – Windows tablets included. I want access to these tools on any device however I don’t need the full power until I get back into the office but while on the road they are GREAT!

Yes I have the Microsoft Office 365 Subscription as I believe it is also the best way to have all the tools. For the price it cannot be beat in today’s market.

The frustration is coming when the highly skilled, white collar (update auto correct) employee, cannot have access to the best of the best app on any device. The frustration will focus on; 1) the app producer (as in “why can’t I get this on my Android tablet?”), or 2) the employer that won’t allow it (“it will be a cold day in h___ before you bring that into this office!”)

I hear it now in coffee shop conversations; “Yea, we can’t do that in our slow moving company.” “The company is so far behind the times.”: :Maybe it’s time to go with someone who is moving ahead in this world.” The best one; “Are you kidding? In our company? That’s a joke. We will never see it.”

It’s not easy keeping up with the changes internally and I agree with that. The big question is; who is holding you back? The what that is being used as the roadblock can be worked out with a positive, forward thinking, attitude. Yes it will take some learning – Life is a Learning Experience.

If the organization is a forward thinking entity then it too can follow some of the greatest advice directed at individuals.
If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
An attitude where people and their work comes ahead of ego’s, arrogance, and fear. Then perhaps the organization will become the best at what they do and those internally will grow as well as the company.
OK soapbox over. Check out a good read in the NY Times Bits Blog this morning, The Era of Cloud Computing. Not sure I agree with everything however each of us has to make the choices. I know there could be a pay wall – another sign of the times. (pun?)

Monday, June 2, 2014

I’m not happy with OneDrive–are YOU!!

I have heard that I am not the only one unhappy with OneDrive and this morning I got a little more frustrated (and I do not believe in getting frustrated). I am not your upper corporate account nor am I a worldly recognized consultant, I AM A USER! The most important user in my world. I am not happy with OneDrive and will talk about it.

An issue that I have mentioned before begins with a file that did not transfer to OneDrive correctly or is corrupt. If you use OneDrive I suggest you save a copy to your computer hard drive first and then save it to OneDrive. I have lost files. I have not had this issue with Dropbox or Google Drive.

This morning I tried to download an important file for me to do some work (for which I only have one easily accessible copy). Here is the message I received.

Issue with OneDrive

When I clicked on “View sync problems” I received another screen that said:

All actions are complete
Your files are up to date – last updated 24 minutes ago.

Just like everything was fine. Then I received a subsequent message that stated the “remote procedure had failed.”. ??????

I am still getting this same message only now it says “one hour ago”.

Upon getting this message I immediately went to Dropbox and opened a file without issue. The same goes for a file that was in Google Drive. My connection to the Internet is right-on, no issues here with access and yet I cannot have a file that I need. OneDrive is supposed to work for ME! If it doesn’t work for ME how do I get enthusiastic about someone else using it?

This is one of the two reasons I will not use OneNote anymore – and I used to be an evangelist for OneNote. I had sync issues with the ‘older’ OneDrive named Mesh. Sync would not work all the time and I could wind up with two notebooks and then I had to figure out which was the right one. I did not have that issue with Evernote. I have recently considered using OneNote as there are features that I like however I will have to use it on my Desktop, my laptop, my Android phone, and my iPad, not to mention my HP Windows tablet. One sync issue and it’s all over and therefore I won’t try. I don’t have time to test, test, test.

This issue this morning, with the only copy of the file, is one reason I am not convinced that OneDrive is the way to go. Yes I can get another copy however that is going to be time consuming,

On the other hand perhaps Microsoft, in it’s infinite wisdom, has decided they only need to worry about the Enterprise and their OneDrive for Business is good the rest of us can just drop off the end of the earth. Well guess what? I am a user and I do talk to people in the Enterprise and I do suggest “Be very careful of OneDrive”.

I keep my car up-to-date with maintanance and I expect it to start every time I get into it, If it doesn’t I call the dealer. When OneDrive doesn’t work who do I call? I think it is time to upgrade my Dropbox account.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Tablet, tablet, on the wall–who is the fairest of all?

OK so that doesn’t work. The tablet you ask always has the right answer – really?

HP Microsoft Work Station at MacDonald's 01122014Last night I attended an organizational board meeting to present an idea for a website that I had designed. I brought along my once favorite tablet, the HP Omni 10, to show the website off.

I already had the website live and therefore just needed a browser to show the idea to the board members and let them weigh in on what they thought was needed. The tablet could be passed around and then I could take notes.

I had take some pictures of property that would be (ultimately) involved in the web production and wanted to show them off. These were incidental to the immediate web page showing however during the discussion afterward they would have played an important part.

To my dismay I could not get access immediately to the pictures. In the process I discovered, much to my discomfort, that the main storage memory was down to 1.8 GB. What?

After the presentation, while waiting for the meeting to end, I did a little digging into my tablet and discovered that, yes, my storage had just about closed out. In fact the diagram that shows for the C:\ drive, when you go to File Explorer, was highlighted in a very RED line.

I had previously moved any extraneous software, file storage, to the additional 64 GB SD card that I had installed. This was also somewhat amazing in that the 64 GB card (of which 58+ was available to use) card showed 54+ available. 

To help this situation I ran Disk Cleanup and not much changed. I did a search and discovered that it does not automatically clear out the temp files in a “hidden folder” that appears under Users > User Name > App Data > Local > Temp. In my case this temp folder held over 6 GB of data. I found the folder and then searched the Internet for explanation and found it at a Microsoft Community page. Obviously I cleaned out this folder and now have over 7 GB of free space.

One would think that on a tablet this should have been recognized as a potential issue. I know that most who buy these things may not be as driven as I am to solve this issue and would have given up. “You see these tablets will never work.”

I know I have gone off on a conspiracy rant once before. I think I stated my belief is bad capitalism is at play. I can see where; “If we make the tablet too powerful people won’t buy these more expensive laptops”. In effect the manufacturer’s dumb down the potential of the tablet. I really do not believe that this tablet has to be limited to 32 GB of prime storage. I also don’t believe that 2 GB of RAM could be the maximum. Times are changing and some will lose. .

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Google Glass – My opinion

This morning in Computerworld there was an article; “Why I’m sending back Google Glass” and I just had to present another point of view.

20140308_161117I also sent back my Glass however only because of the guilt feeling for spending $1500 out of our household budget. Since I am only working part time and my wife is working full time, I felt maybe I should wait. She laughed because I was really down about sending them back.

As for the article I found most of the reasons mentioned here are, in my opinion, not quite right. I will take the 10 items listed and give my response. Granted there are some things one can do with Glass that I did not get into, music was one. You will see that below.

1) I had no problem with eye contact with people or anything else. If I am talking to someone I focus on that person, I don’t even have the glass turned on unless I am demonstrating. I have always been a believer in paying attention to someone that is speaking. If I find you doing something else I will stop talking – even when you might say “go ahead, I’m listening”. I expect attention and I give it. Glass will not get in the way.

2) I found glass to be very responsive to voice recognition once I learned the correct method of speaking. I found Evernote to be great taking notes using Glass. Truth is that Glass really got me into using voice more than my phone or tablet had in the past. I found it very comfortable.

3) Yes I had issues with the battery until I learned (it’s all about leaning) how to use glass and then the battery lasted most of the day. I can kill a phone battery in 3 hours with constant use. I did find the online instructions to be quite helpful however perhaps not forceful enough in some areas.

4) I did not find Glass bulky under any circumstance. Actually my laptop is quite bulky and in comparison Glass is not. Perhaps my approach to Glass was that I wanted Glass and wanted to get the most out of Glass therefore Glass was not going to be a problem.

5) Conspicuousness is more a burden of the person wearing Glass, you think of yourself as being conspicuous. I found the writing to sound like someone who was already prepared to dislike Glass and fears others wearing them. I did not have a problem with people. In most cases I found others to be inquisitive and curious. I did not wear them to show off and I did not wear them to places where “I” would not feel comfortable. I am not an in-your-face kind of person. I don’t answer my phone in many places for the same reason. I have respect for others.

1836759_10152735079142846_1372412023_o6) Tilted photos? Stand up straight – I learned to do that. This one take at a Park in West Chester, OH with Google Glass.

7) As for GPS; I only used Glass to find the location of a nearby restaurant or gas station. I have GPS in my car for long distance and that was plenty and I really would not consider using the Glass GPS while driving. I could, but no. As for Glass using your phone – it does that anyway, part of the territory. What’s your problem?

8) The earbud is a personal thing. I used it when having a phone conversation or a Hangout and found it to be quite good and fit in my ear without issue. I would not use an earbud to listen to music, in fact I don’t use earbud’s to listen to music on any device. I listen via the car system, a stereo, or a headset that covers the ears. I was quite surprised at the intensity of the bone induction sound and I even got used to that (my wife was surprised because of my weakened hearing).

9) Not sure where Explorer Envy fits in here. I found many places they were useful and I don’t ski, or jump out of airplanes (at least not yet). I do have an interesting life exploring (the Curious Voyager) and Glass fit right it.

10) I can’t respond much to the 10th point. I find there are people that20140307_180322_857 (1) cannot adjust to change easily even though they profess to be on the leading edge. I need to find things out and look positively where they fit and Glass has many areas in everyday life to be a benefit. Everything cannot be hands on, we need to take that quick picture, make that quick note, discover information when needed, and the ability to make or take a hands free call is fantastic. I added a picture of a gift basket here taken with Google Glass.

Everyone has a different view, a different opinion and this is mine. I loved Glass and will have them again when I don’t feel guilty about draining the family budget. We just had to put 3 windows in our Condo at almost twice what Glass was – not as much fun but that’s life.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Creative Commons in the news - gets new CEO

Copyright Licensing Organization Gets New Boss -

I have followed, used, and believe in , Creative Commons for a long time. I have always appreciated the work of  Lawrence Lessig, a founder of Creative Commons. You can look into CC at

'via Blog this'

Tech in the NY Times this morning: Mirror, Mirror in the App:

Mirror, Mirror in the App: What’s the Fairest Shade and Shadow of Them All? - ""

I know that some of this technology has been around for some time however now you can have it rather than going into the store and have someone else do it for you, you can do it yourself.

I have always gone a little too heavy on the blush.

'via Blog this'

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Books may be cheaper at Barnes & Noble–also online

Barnes & Nobel is just one more click and it could save you money. More on the continuing saga of Amazon and Hachette Book Group that I pointed to yesterday.

This morning the NY Times has a follow up story regarding Amazon slowing delivery of books by Hachette Book Group authors, some of which are very popular authors. The story; Writers Feel an Amazon-Hachette Spat, has more interesting points and is really worth reading. It shows what a marketplace bully has the amazonbullysmpotential to do, and it can hurt both the supplier as well as the consumer.

Amazon appears to be using market manipulation to control its suppliers and I thought that was illegal? There is also the point that Amazon is a publisher and perhaps is trying to hurt the competition via it’s own marketplace. Restraint of trade? Violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act? Is this something our delightful congress should look into?

In todays story an interesting point is that books by author Malcom Gladwell are on “2 to 3 week delay” at Amazon however they are immediately available at Barnes & Nobel, one bookstore that Amazon has not been able to close with their tactics. Hachette Group says they fulfill Amazon’s request immediately.

Not only is the book available at Barnes & Noble the print version is $3.00 cheaper. It is also available on the Nook for $9.99. I have the Nook app on my laptop (Windows 8.1) as well as my tablet. I have purchased magazines from Barnes & Noble (The Kindle app from Amazon won’t let you read magazines – you have to buy a Kindle). I have owned a Kindle and really would rather read on a tablet that has many other features in today’s world.

Amazon is definitely playing the bully role in this and, at least in my case, I will consider Barnes & Noble for my books and magazines in the future. This won’t be difficult – See, that was easy.

I still think Amazon’s tactics should be looked into, Amazon is also a publisher. On the other hand perhaps this is true Darwin like Capitalism.

More reading:

The Christian Science Monitor – Hachette Book Group says Amazon is deliberately delaying shipments of their titles

The Author’s Guild – Amazon v Stephen Colbert? Amazon Slow-walks Books by Gladwell, Colbert, Others in Spat with Hachette

Friday, May 9, 2014

Amazon playing games with publisher?

In the NY Times this morning there was an article about Amazon intentionally delaying delivery of books by the Hachette Book Group. The article; Hachette Says Amazon Is Delaying Delivery of Some Books, could reflect on an old cliché that Big-Is-Bad.

As much as I like Amazon I can envision this scenario playing out and having an effect on all who enter into a deal with Amazon. Amazon is the mighty muscle in the retail imagebusiness, Hachette is in the book publishing business, and each need one another – well maybe. Perhaps Amazon is trying to prove that Hachette needs Amazon more than Amazon needs Hachette and on this the public (consumer) be damned.

At one time if you sold to Sears you were controlled by Sears. They could tell you when, where, and how high to jump. Looks like this is the same when you deal with Amazon? What other choices are there for Hachette?

People could say that Amazon really doesn't care about Hachette's business and in a sense does not care about the consumer. For sure, Amazon cares about Amazon. It also could be said; the management of Amazon is more interested in their bottom line, the stock market, and it's ROI, than the consumer, the employee, or the suppler (publisher in this case). Hey this is true for many businesses. Any business who is hot after that bottom line will but the customer down the line.

Amazon does what it needs to do to keep the consumer happy however don’t mistake that for altruism in business. It takes really strong, idealistic leadership, to retain that consumer centric focus. And you better be good at it. We don’t see much of this today in many places.

I suspect today that Amazon is after stronger growth, less cost, and a better profit margin. 

Why do we buy from Amazon? Because it's better? Not likely. We buy because it's cheaper. If it wasn't cheaper we would most likely shop closer to home. Hachette doesn't have many choices for distribution with the demise of the books stores. Hmmm…..where did the books stores go? When I want better hands on servicer, or a deeper personal connection, I have to shop local. However buying a new cable for my computer does not fit into this scenario.

Should Hachette go ebook all the way? Some of the authors in the list, Seth Godin for one, are very big in the ebook world. There were book stores that would not carry, or delayed the access to, Seth Godin’s print books because of his ebook project.

The world is changing and we need to keep an eye on the gorilla in the room, in this case Amazon.

Two more links; Amazon delays Hachette book shipments as companies negotiate contract. And from CNNMoney; Hachette: Amazon delaying delivery of books.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Check out "The goal of data scientists is to put themselves out of business"

Thought you might enjoy this "The goal of data scientists is to put themselves out of business" from Guest Column:

I particularly liked: "These new tools imply a new paradigm in which no data scientist is involved, but everyone else in the company is: business execs set a vision, managers define specs for integrating predictions, software engineers work on implementation. "

Marissa promoting the use of Yahoo

When Google dropped the personal portal page I went back to Yahoo's "My Page"and it is really pretty good.  I like Google however as a login, instant headline, information page, Yahoo does it better.
I have always kept a Yahoo email address (had that before Google)and I do like Yahoo weather. 
Maybe I need to spend more time revisiting Yahoo.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Our old standby software disappearing? Patrick Gray thinks so.

And I agree with Patrick - 10 reasons why legacy apps are doomed - TechRepublic:

All of the reasons that Patrick mentions are real. Expensive, bloated, can't get to the market fast enough, on and on. The killer, in my mind, is the proprietary application. We are not a one-size-fits-all market any more.

The world is becoming to mobile and our apps need to keep up.

We are also not a single channel user anymore. We use Windows OS, Android, and iOS, on many different devices.

I know each of these great companies would like to think they have the ONLY answer however it isn't true. The market share to chase is the consumer and each of us are different. We drive different cars, live in different houses, and like different technologies.

Please us and you win.

“You can have everything in life that you want if you just give enough other people what they want.”― Zig Ziglar (goodreads quotes)
'via Blog this'

A very likely vision of the Future

A Vision of the Future From Those Likely to Invent It -

I know, it's the NY Times and you may have a problem getting to it however that also could change with the future.

This graphic is interesting as well as fun. It does make some interesting comments about what the expectations are of people whose name you should recognize providing you have followed much of clamor over recent technological changes or potential changes.

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How will - How Has The Internet of Things:Changed the Way You Shop

The Internet of Things: How It Will Change the Way You Shop » Knowledge@Wharton:

Interesting story from Knowledge@Wharton. One thing for sure is the behavior of some has already changed and the growth of the Internet of Things will be picking up the pace in the next few years.

The next few years. That is important. The time frame is closing.

The accelerating rate of acceptance of new technologies could be bringing about a consumer that was not in the market place 2 years ago.

Question: Are we/you ready for this?

'via Blog this'

Monday, April 28, 2014

Few Consumers Are Buying Premise of Mobile Wallets -

Interesting story on the lack of use by consumers of phone or tablet apps for purchasing.

I have been using my Starbucks app for a couple of years and love it. I have downloaded Square however the issue I ran into is there are not many businesses that are accepting payment using Square - and that is a big issue.

From the story:
Merchants who want to accept mobile payments are unlikely to support all the possible types.
I believe that is one of the main problems. A credit card is the same from Visa, Master Card, or American Express, all the various phones are different. I use a Kroger loyalty card on my Android phone and as long as they scan the phone with a handheld scanner everything works. My CVS card works much the same way. If I attempt to use the phone when using the self-check-out at Kroger the phone will not be read. Bummer.

The article mentions Google Wallet. I have been a Google user for many years of any of their payment programs and have spent as much as $1,5900 at one time. I have had a Merchant account via Google and everything worked well. I received a Google Wallet card in the mail - I am in! I went to use it, not so good. Although my account at Google is backed up with a credit card and all previous purchases made at Google (or since) have not had a problem,; to use the Google Wallet card I had to basically pre-pay Google Wallet to use it.  I guess I missed the fine print somewhere in my excitement at receiving the card.

I have just downloaded the PayPal app for Android at Google Play - it is also available for iPhone at the App Store.

I for one would be real happy to use my phone for credit card purchases, however, as the article relates, one has to get the merchants to be involved. I do find it interesting when you go to a craft show a good number of the sellers at the show will use an app on their Android or iPhone to allow you to pay by credit card. I wonder how that will work when my credit card (or method of payment) is on my phone? NFC? Hmm....

Few Consumers Are Buying Premise of Mobile Wallets -

'via Blog this'
Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Writing in a Nonstop World -

Writing in a Nonstop World - -

I found this interesting and a short read. In my mind I began reading into this blog post a sense of connected development building on the rate of acceptance of the latest software application in this

fast learning/growing world we live in. 

We learn, we grow, we learn, we grow. As we go through this cycle our needs keep changing and the software/apps have to change with our learn/grow paradigm. We get better, we get faster, we have different needs over time.

On one hand Microsoft Word has become a bloated piece of software in today's fast paced world, whereas Excel just keeps on getting better and more powerful.

Being an Evernote user I have found over the time that the way I use Evernote changes and I need and want more. I have added Skitch for annotating pictures and sketching diagrams. Now I need a better way of organizing this array of 'notes'.

Now to check out Quip, this looks interesting. 

'via Blog this'
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pew Research Center - Future of Technology

Interesting report. I think that if this research had been started 10, 20, or 30 years ago we would see a great trend to acceptance of technology over the years. One thing of interest is the chart on "Technological change and the future". The area on household income shows that the higher household income has better view of changing technology. There are other demographics of interest. You can read the results of the report here:

Future of Technology | Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project:

'via Blog this'

From TechRepublic - GE launches 'microfactory'

Very interesting. I wonder if other industries might not take advantage of this concept? Perhaps others should invest in this, or similar projects, so that US Manufacturing stays in front in technology. Very powerful and GE should be applauded for this move.

GE launches 'microfactory' to co-create the future of manufacturing - TechRepublic:

'via Blog this'

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Reading eBook's has changed for me.

I am a reader. I love books and that is a major problem. In the last 4 years (or so) I have become an eBook fan. My first foray into eBooks was the addition of the Kindle for PC app on my laptop. Almost instantly I was sold, so I purchased a Kindle. My wife and I have now gone through 3 editions of the Kindle, the last being the Kindle Fire 10". 

With the advent of Windows 8 and the recent acquisition of tablets we are moving our reading to different devices. A couple of problems were immediately discovered.

First the Kindle app for PC will not allow you to read magazines. We needed to add the Nook app, or some other app. Windows made the Nook app available so there we go. Then Amazon saw it necessary to change the Kindle for PC app and turn it into a true Windows app – which I did not like, or use. I could not install it, or move it, on my tablet without taking up way to much space. I like to read books while not online however for the app to work right for me I had to move it to the SD card. I was highly unsuccessful doing that so I uninstalled the app. I have now reverted to using my iPad for all my reading as the Kindle app on the iPad is good and the iPad has many other features that are really nice. I can also get my magazines on the iPad via an available app. At the moment we will keep the last Kindle Fire for my wife to read books however we are thinking that through also.

As for my reading; I have the iPad (3rd version) with the Retina Display. Admittedly it is difficult in the Sunlight however everywhere else it is GREAT - I am not usually reading at the pool. One other great advantage of the iPad is in working with PDF’s. There is an app, Document s, on the iPad that allows you to annotate PDF’s better than anything else and its cost is $10. So now all my reading is being accomplished on my iPad.

As I find things on the Internet, or work on Office documents, I can save them as PDF’s to Dropbox, go to the iPad and open Documents, grab the PDF and work with it for understanding, annotate, underline, highlight, copy, very good tool. Some textbooks are now coming to me in the PDF format and I can work wonders as I learn. I can save them back to Dropbox and re-open on any other device. 
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, April 11, 2014

Will we really be able to use tablets?

If you have read previous posts here you know that I have been fascinated with my HP Omni 10 tablet, well the honeymoon is coming to a close.

Omni 10I still like the tablet however it does have one severe drawback – as do most devices like this that you really want to use. The best internal storage is 32 GB – not enough.

Problem is that I believe this restriction is the result of mandates made by others.

First you have to think what they have to lose if you really started using the tablet to be productive?. Who is they? HP, Microsoft, Intel, just to name a few. I left out the hard drive manufacturers as well as other members of the, once elite, PC Laptop/Desktop market.

I suspect it goes something like this:

  • “As long as they cannot do too much they will still need a laptop.”
  • “Be sure to focus on entertainment and get away from using the device for productivity.”
  • “We can’t have them buying a $399 device and using it as BYOD. We have to stop that.”

It’s their answer to Wall St. We are doing everything we can to keep them buying big deal laptops. For all I know the backpack people are in on this. Where are those people with conspiracy theories? This should be a hot one. John C. Dvorak are you listening? John you and Adam Curry should look into this for your No Agenda show.

Reality says (to me) that If I can add a 64 GB SD card why can’t I have at least 64 GB of internal storage? Actually the individual at the Microsoft store stated that I could put in a 4 TB card if I wanted to pay for it. I believe he said “Windows can handle up to 4TB”. I know, engineering can’t make it work unless you buy a bigger tablet. Note: HP says the SD card storage is only good to 32 GB however the salesperson at the Microsoft store said whatever you want and I bought a 64 GB card and it is working well.

How have I adjusted you ask? It turns out you can move OneDrive to the SD card as well as limit what folders are synced for off-line use. I have also discovered you can limit what folders to sync with Dropbox – moving Dropbox to the SD card is frowned on by Dropbox (they were most helpful in getting me straight on this. Actually tech support at Dropbox was very good.). I also discovered that I can move Google Drive to the SD card and limit what sync’s. One word of caution; keep everything in folders in your online storage. The syncing will bring over the folders you designate and anything not in a folder.

I am now up to 4.5 GB free in the internal storage.

I have re-directed the camera storage however that did not work as well as the PC Setting’s wanted you to believe. I had a little more to do to make that work completely.

No problem with Windows 8.1 Update – loaded up and ran well. I suspect my biggest problem is the Office 365 subscription that I installed. I could not find a way to limit what was installed. I really did not want Access, Publisher, Outlook, OneNote. If there is a way limit the download Microsoft did not make it obvious, at least to me (the qualifier).

The Office 365 app on the iPad is really great as it is on my Android phone. I was pretty amazed at what I could do on the phone. When Microsoft brings out the Mobile Office app for one of their own I will remove the complete package from the tablet and load the app.

The last thing to consider is that you cannot search for the HP Omni 10 tablet at HP. You have go to the Internet, search for HP Omni 10 tablet and you will get a link to the tablet at .Hmm….Somehow I think I adopted an orphan.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

More on Glass Experience

I have been missing from the blog-o-sphere for a bit. I have to blame it on Google Glass. If something below is a repeat I apologize in advance.

I have enjoyed most all experience with Glass including showing others how they work. My first time out someone asked for the score of the Ohio State vs. Nebraska game so I said “OK Glass what was the score googleglass002of the Ohio State Nebraska basketball game?” I got my answer and had to hold in my excitement while she just looked totally amazed and I am acting like that was the norm. I still felt a bit of a rush. Oh yes, Ohio State won 71 to 67.

In the days after it was one piece of excitement and learning after another; picture taking, video’s, answering email, video call, wearing the battery out.I did discover over time that the battery had good life when Glass was treated as a normal device and used when needed. I also had to learn to charge Glass correctly. Often it pays to read the instructions.

As for instructions the Support web site is really great. I spent a lot of time reading and re-reading. The first time over you miss things with the rush of trying to get to the good parts so that you can show Glass off. I think, at least in my case, part of being the first one is, in the words of Richard Feynman, “The Pleasure of Finding Things Out”. Secondly comes show and tell.

Often I get more excited showing something to someone. It is true that if you really want to learn something teach someone else. Your enthusiasm generates excitement in others. I have always been excited about learning and then finding out what you can do with whatever is the next new thing. Glass was no exception. Actually more excitement here than teaching Excel.

Voice recognition with Evernote was fantastic for taking notes. I could not believe how easy that was. I am one who has never really wanted to talk to a computer and yet I had no problem making notes using Glass and Evernote as I went through my day. I had to learn to ask questions out loud. When I was a kid I got yelled at for talking to myself (“People will think your crazy”) and it still hangs on today. I could not come up with enough questions so others would ask and I would search. I also enjoyed Google Now on the Glass, weather, appointments, and local information.

I guess it took about 2 weeks to get down the tapping and sliding of my fingers on the touch pad to control the screen. At this point it was getting to be second nature. In the beginning I actually sent a picture to a friend by total accident. I also sent one to Leo Laporte however Leo does not know me so I doubt he received the picture. Leo missed a nice shot of a gift basket.

My excitement with Glass was, and is, ongoing, not the same for Word on the iPad. My excitement there was short lived.

I found many areas that Glass would could be a valuable tool. Anywhere you wanted to make hands free notes, take a picture to show something. The example could be: a part in the process of mfg., broken item, inspection of a building, I can go on and on in the number of ways I could have used something like this in my past life’s work.

What I didn’t find interesting was Facebook or CNN Headline news. I liked taking video however watching video on the screen was a bit difficult. The smallest successful device that I like to use to watch video of any kind (UK Basketball) is the Nexus 7. I can watch video on my Samsung Galaxy S3 however it is too small for gathering everything in.

I would like to find an easy way to clear history, especially in the beginning of the learning experience.

If there was something that would be very good it would be to be able to view something as in video, but not actually taking a video, and then being able to show it via Screencast (or transmit it) to someone else. The idea being that you could be taking the tour and transmitting it to someone else. I know you can do video phone calls and I have done that however I was never able to do that ala Screencast. Screen cast was one of the best ways to demo Glass. Using my phone it would amaze people – the note taking was awesome as was search.

I have talked with, and worked with, people who are involved in the area of compliance. These were developers as well as actuators. We spent time discussing and looking for more ways to utilize Glass in a days work. There are so many ways to utilize this tool.

I have not mentioned Bluetooth with my phone most likely because I felt that would be a given. It was very good and with the ear bud fantastic. If I made a mistake it was not in getting the stereo ear bud’s, then Google Play Music would have been great however I don’t play music on my phone so not sure there.

All in all it was a GREAT experience and if you have the opportunity to become a Glass Explorer go for it.