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?

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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 -

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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. 

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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:

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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:

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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. 
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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.