Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pick Out Your Cloud ...

Lion's and Clouds, and no new iPhone, OH MY!

So Apple laid out a clear computing strategy on Monday at its annual World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC).  What does all this mean for the average user in what's being called a "Post PC era"?

A long time ago, in a living room far far away, people kept their music and movies and box sets of TV shows on entertainment center shelves.  You want to listen to that favorite song of yours?  You popped your cassette or CD into the player and rock out.

A not so long time ago, in a living room just a few days ago, people kept their music, movies, and tv shows on their computers.  You want to listen to your favorite song, watch your favorite movie or TV show?  You fire up your computer and push the content to one of the other devices sitting around the house or hook the computer directly to the TV itself.

Fast forward to this "fall" we will be "PP" post-pc.  In your living room are no CDs, no DVDs, maybe not even a computer.  This fall the only thing in your living room may be an iPad or an iPhone or an iPod Touch or an Apple TV and maybe a laptop.  iCloud will effectively become that large entertainment center shelf or that clunky tower desktop or even that beautiful new laptop you bought.  It's your personal virtual shelf for your media.  It also becomes a virtual laptop as well.  What the H* does that mean?

Laptop's are used to store documents, photos, and back up of your iOS devices.  iCloud now becomes the place where you can store documents, photos, and back up your iOS devices.  What does that mean for your laptop?  It means you don't need one anymore.

So iCloud is a virtual shelf for music, movies, tv shows and it's a virtual laptop/desktop and stores your documents, photos, and backs up your iOS devices.  You    suddenly only have to plug in to power the device.  Your iOS device can be your only connection to the internet.  For some, that's all they need.  In some developing countries, that's the extent of their financial capacity.

Some may see iCloud as just another way to lock in apple customers, but Apple has just freed the most innovative set of devices to be their own animals and still keep your entire life in tow.  If Apple can truly overcome their MobileMe fiasco, they have just pulled off a major computing coup.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Technology ... a change is going to come

Roger McNamee did an interview with CNBC last week regarding the changes in technology.  There are several comments made by McNamee that I found interesting.  For full disclosure, I do work for General Electric (not in IT), which is now a minority owner of NBC (parent company of CNBC).  

"Apple is killing the web".  Sound familiar?  "Video killed the radio star...". In the end apps and websites will co-exist.  As each is developed for different user experiences.  Businesses will need to figure out their overall "user interaction model" across the different technologies and determine how best to leverage each.  If there is focus on one or the other without a good strategy or reason why, businesses will lose.

"Google as the leader of the HTML camp".  Google is the leader of the search camp, but it was Apple who pushed for innovation in HTML5 because the web was being split into the Flash and the "Flash-not" camps of website development.  Google has developed several web-based applications to drive usage of a "cloud" based user experience, but little innovation has come out of Google in regards to HTML5.  Google has made it's contribution to HTML5 with the introduction of the video format (webm) to compete against h.264.  However, that was after Apple began the push to HTML5.

Index Search and "signal to noise ratio" ... This would be the true culprit of killing the web.  The Bing commercials probably have the most accurate depiction of the randomness that you get when searching for something.  With Wikipedia I get a "curated" set of information.  With apps, the user get specific categories then applications that are more directed.  Google, Bing, and Yahoo is great for "blind or obscure" searches.  With the risk of clicking and dragging and having my bank account drained by some 10 year old in Jersey I prefer to steer clear of "big search" for the most part.

"They are about to upgrade the infrastructure on the world wide web".  IF you've been asleep for the past 4 years then yes, the web is going to be upgraded, but ever since Apple pointed it's reality distortion field at Adobe Flash (when the first iphone was released and then the ipad), that upgrade has been taking place.  Most major websites have a HTML5 version, most browsers now support HTML5.  The piece that is missing to make the major leap forward are good HTML5 content development tools for the individual up through the mid-sized company so authoring websites can be just as easy as it was with Flash.

The discussion ended of course with questions about going long or shorting certain stocks.  There's no intent of that with this diatribe.  The point here is that technology boils down to (1) user experience and (2) ubiquity and (3) relevance.  When a technology is hard to use, difficult to get to, or there is a substitute / can be skipped all together, it fails and people move on.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tablets killed the television stars.

So CNN released an article on January 14th about how tablets (specifically iPads) are starting to eat into prime time television for reading.

The article proposes that the times normally used for paper reading or TV is being usurped by tablets because folks are reading more.  Are folks really reading more?  Has the electronic book really replaced the remote control and folks no longer watching TV?


With TV now being "when" and "where" you want it, you can now make more trade-offs on your time.  If you want to catch-up on all your shows every Saturday or Sunday and focus on finishing up that last book in the Twilight series, you can now do that.  

Without doing any math, I would propose that TV and reading has increased in tandem over the last couple of years.  Now that I can 'carry' multiple books and multiple movies / TV shows with me when I go somewhere, the idea of "Prime-time" is almost a thing of the past.  Sure I have to remove myself from Facebook as all my friends 'blog' about a show as it happens, but I have to squeeze in my time with Gregory Maguire and Anne Rice too!

So are you reading more and watching less TV?