Sunday, May 24, 2015

Microsoft eBook Must Read for Business and IT

unpluggedThis little eBook, UNPLUGGED: How mobility changes the way we work, should actually be read by everyone. It’s focus on now and the future brings a light to the change in thinking at Microsoft. The ad lead in; Mobile strategies built with low-cost devices from $99, just might give you an idea.

I got into the story from the leading quotation by Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft; “Our industry does not respect tradition-it only respects innovation.” And in the first paragraph it mentions the iPad and Galaxy tablets as part of that innovation.

I know that when someone else supports a claim that I have been making for years I get all heady. In the beginning of this book there is a paragraph that has become a mantra for me:

“The shift of power is moving from the employer to the consumer. Before smartphones, computing devices were created for the workplace, which gave business, government, and enterprise workers access to the latest technology first. But with smartphones and tablets, the consumer comes first, prompting a faster evolution of devices and leaving employers chronically behind.”

I also add that the consumer is also and employee, and neglecting the ability of the consumer/employee to know and want these devices is a grave mistake. When the consumer/employee has better devices than the corporation a very big disconnect comes into play.

There is more to the story but that was enough to entice me to write.

Get the book – it’s FREE! Yes it just might be an ad for Microsoft however in between the lines you just might learn something from the ad. Reading is good.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Microsoft Word 2016 Blog Template

Yesterday I posted one of my longest pieces at Blogger and I used the a blog template in MS Word 2016. For years some of us have tried to use the Word template however when it came time to post it just would not connect with Blogger. Eventually we would cut and paste into a Blogger template and post.
Yesterday it worked. I was amazed until I reviewed the post and then it became apparent that the Word template formatting was not quite right, at least for Blogger and for me.
In addition to all the things I posted yesterday with regard to my use of the phone this blog post is being written on my phone.
I brag a great deal about using the Swype keyboard however I am using the Google keyboard on this phone with the same characteristics but the added emoji. 👍
Interestingly I can add links as I have done above, and I have text features like Bold and Italic, however to add a picture I most likely would save this as a draft, go to Blogger, and add the picture there.
Time to post and see the results.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

My Cell Phone Use Today - May 2015

My phone has become an instrumental part of my person. It's not been embedded under my skin, it does not replace my need to be around people, however if I do not have it with me that gets under my skin. So how does my phone work for me during the day? I put together a list of things that occur off and on during a normal day. I do not use all these apps every day however some are used a great deal of the time. I have to admit that even I was a bit surprised at the list and the number of things that I can do. I have used cell phones since the early 90's (that's the 1990's J ) and I have had a smartphone since the debut of the first Motorola Droid in November of 2009. My current phone is a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 running Android version 5.0.1 (Lollipop)
  • First it's a phone so therefore it makes and receives phone calls.
  • Next up I check and send email from various accounts (there are 4 on my phone one of which is Yahoo).
  • I will use the Google calendar for scheduling meetings and appointments as well as events.
    • My phone notifies me of appointments and time to leave for them via Google Now.
    • Google Now actually alerts me of travel times when necessary.
  • I send and receives text messages.
  • I set timers, which when I am doing the laundry, is important.
    • Can't miss the Perma-Press cycle
    • I also use the timers to remind me to do something throughout the day – take medication for one.
  • I read news from at least 5 different resources – Circa, SmartNews, HuffPost, Guardian, CNN, BuzzFeed, TODAY for Android.
    • I also get alerts to breaking news from a number of these.
      • Actually the value of the 10:00 PM news is fast becoming history.
  • I read books via the Kindle app. I do this in the doctor's office or anywhere else I am with extra time and can't leave. Rather than just sit there watching TV I have something that I can do.
  • I can read/scan PDF's when needed.
    • The phone is also a great hand scanner which I have used on many occasions to scan receipts and other documents.
      • They scan into PDF's and I can then email them directly from the phone.
    • Not to mention the bar code reader that has helped me find other pricing.
  • I make notes - this is a most important aspect for me..
    • There are two great note taking apps and each with a different purpose – Evernote and Google Keep.
  • I use Microsoft Word, Excel on my phone – mostly to look at documents and mostly Excel.
    • I keep a medication list in Excel with refill dates.
  • I play my music anywhere via Bluetooth, currently do that while I write the blog post.
  • I schedule recordings on my DVR for television via 4G or WiFi when out of the house.
    • We were going to be late for the last Idol show of the season and could not miss that.
  • From time to time I watch LIVE TV (ESPN or NFL Mobile). 
  • My phone can act as a Remote for the TV and my Nikon Cameras and other devices.
  • My phone is my most frequent connection to Facebook and I send a number of pictures to Facebook from the phone.
  • My phone is a quick camera for both still and video when I need them while shopping, or at the house.
  • GPS connection for Mapping and other location information.
    • Keeps me from getting lost or finds where I am when I am lost.
    • Finding gas stations, restaurant's, coffee shops, and other places of interest. 
  • I have remote computer connection to login to other systems from my phone.
    • Such as work to check schedule or sign in went going to an onsite to work
  • Now let's see, what else.
    • I have purchased from Amazon on the phone
    • I have health information and apps on the phone
    • I can track recipes and shopping lists (shopping lists from Amazon's Echo go into the app on my phone as well as my wife's)
    • I have watched YouTube video's although I do not make that a habit
    • I listen to Podcast's
    • I have the Audible app for listening to books
    • I also have a few radio apps of which iHeart Radio is most likely the best for me
    • I mentioned Facebook and Google+
    • I have used the phone for Twitter
    • I also get the weather a number of different ways – depends on my mood
    • I have a clock app that I use for alarms and could use for a night alarm
    • I have art and sketching apps
    • I have photo editing apps which I use from time to time
    • I have a Translate app when needed that works very well
    • Utility app's like Privacy Flashlight, LastPass, Mobil Hotspot, Magnifier, Android Wear that connects to my Samsung Gear Watch, I have an app to turn or off the security system, and one to start the car when needed (cold weather beauty). There are security app's, calculator, Unit Converter, a Compass
    • I have the Starbucks app as well as Google Wallet, Cash, and can use PayPal
    • Don't forget Spider for those times you just want to forget what's going and kill a little time
    • I might mention that there are a number of great scanners for documents, business cards, as well as barcodes and QR codes
    • Not to mention all the pictures of family and friends and places that are on my phone when I want to view them
  • I also have used Google Cardboard lens for VR viewing/playing – gotta have fun with the phone.
Any app I have mentioned above is available at the Google Play Store -

Now this user (whoever that mobile user might be) can do most of the mundane work using her/his phone or, when necessary, pull out that 10" to 12" tablet and do the bigger thing. So far the only thing I have found that hinders going over completely to the tablet is web development and that the Windows tablets are deficient in the keyboard area - being a Swype like keyboard lover (it is on the iPad and Android). 

Yes I am a notebook/laptop computer to write this. I am in a Starbucks where I used my phone to pay for the coffee and now my phone is providing me with a hotspot (I like my hotspot over Starbucks) and at the same time my phone plays music that I can listen to with my Bluetooth headset – cutting out the chatter in Starbucks.

Actually I am using the Word 2016 Blog template on Windows 10 Technical Preview to write this so that I can use this computer for many things to test it in the way that I work.

I have to admit that there is still something of security (psychologically) in holding onto a notebook/laptop computer however I will work on overcoming this. These kids will not beat me. J

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mobile Is a Magic Word? Hmmm.......

In this morning's NY Times the following: For Verizon and AOL, Mobile Is a Magic Word - worth reading on the Verizon-AOL buyout.

If there is one thing I found fascinating it is the following quote.

".....the smartphone industry is now shipping nearly three times as many devices as the personal computer industry did at its peak." - Benedict Evans, Andreessen Horowitz
And they are being put to great use everywhere.

The first Samsung Galaxy Note phone that I saw made such an impression that I could not wait to get one. I now take notes, watch video's, check Excel spreadsheets, on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Most of the time, while out and about, I am in-touch and aware of what is going on in the world with nothing but my phone.

I know what these phone must mean to people in 3rd World Countries without the notebook/laptops, desktops, and other overweight connected devices. They are aware of what is going on in the world. They are learning quicker than ever before - and they will catch up quicker.

Learning and Knowing are powerful tools and we now have, at our fingertips, more knowledge than ever before and it can be instantly accessed. Instantly! From almost anywhere!

This must be important to Verizon and to AOL. This is a WORLD business as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft know. Why not plan to be in all that potential growth area. Look out world, Verizon has another sunrise on the horizon.

Is this becoming the "Mobile" World? No, it already is! And it's only magic to those who don't understand.

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Verizon Buys AOL for $4.4 Billion–Happy for AOL

verizonI found this very interesting this morning. From CNN Money; “Verizon buys AOL for $4.4 Billion”. OK, this is food for thought. AOL

I actually found this to be of interest and believe that it is a good connection. I really do not believe that there should be a great deal of conflict. This is not the Comcast – Time Warner deal that could hammer a specific market, this is an expansion of Verizon into a whole new area – in some ways.

Generally the Technorati disliked AOL from the beginning because it allowed the average person to have access to the World Wide Web – their personal domain. Now everyone is going; “AOL is still around?” Yes and not too shabby. They own, among other things, The Huffington Post.

I think this should be viewed as Verizon branching out, or going in a different direction.

The big hoopla may come from stockholders on the Verizon side. Generally Wall St opposes change unless it instantly increases stock value by at least 12%. Someone will want Verizon to pass along the $4.4 billion to shareholders and not think about the future.