Sunday, December 30, 2007
It speaks well to the way I approach challenges, tasks, people, agendas. This is what I expect from myself and from people around me.
Don't tell me you can't because you can. Think again. I'll use my time to figure out what would motivate you to say yes.
The downside, when I downloaded the application OTA from www.google.com/gmm, every time I'd start it, it would freeze my BB. Lots of search and disbelief lead me to delete all application data and that made everything work finally. A slight heart attack in the middle as it will reset the BB settings and you'll have to wait for the operator setup to (automatically) come down OTA and install itself.
Google Maps now works like a charm and I can't wait to test-drive it. It won't be text-to-speech navigation GPS device replacement, but maybe it's a start, and maybe Google will take a location snapshot once every so often when the application is running. that in addition to better accuracy will give it real navigation features.
Bottom line: very cool and impressive, but Google- you got to get that installation bug out of the way, you're no startup.
Next is how to sync Google Calendar with BB. Comments welcome :-)
Thursday, December 20, 2007
It's been my pleasure to be on several flights recently from Boston to London. And while on these you start thinking of how flight time/speed had advanced in the last decades, given such tremendous advances in green technologies, efficient engines, long haul flights etc. Flight speed has not been one of those advances (see here:)
"In fact, air travel is getting slower. The average speed of the most popular aircraft has fallen sharply in the three decades since Concorde was unveiled - and the world's only surviving supersonic plane is destined for the scrap heap in about 15 years, with no successor in sight. "
Flight time, delays and the involved pain already come to cynical outcomes of it: "Study: Flight delays good for romance"
Practicalities of public transportation will require that Maglev be readily available despite huge infrastructure cost to make a dent into the air travel industry. But if, just if that happened, walking into a Maglev to NY or further out would be a breeze, nothing like driving to the airport.
I was in this situation myself, and although in both situations I wasn't signed on any employment letter (that would include a non-compete), I was extremely hesitant and in fact did not pursue the ideas I had. Not to say if this was removed I surely were to follow through, but in those two situations it played a big part.
Well now Bijan of Spark capital, Scott Kirsner and others are pushing it, and I am happy to support them in this.
Check out the new Alliance for Non-Compete Page, including the letter to Governor Patrick and the response.
Everyone should join and support this.
Friday, December 14, 2007
(Stuck in LHR waiting for delayed flight home hence wasting time).
When I recently used the term in a new forum, I caused a blast of laughs. As it turns, the term had become an urban legend a collegue had strong opinions whenever the term had been used. And rightfully so, the term's origin is breakage of process or communication channels. There are unfulfilled requirements for which the priorities are misaligned. When someone senior uses the impression, it may sound ironic, cynical, or even worse: indifferent.
As frustrating as it may sound, the truth is quite opposite. "It is what it is", to me, expresses my frustration of achieving the goals I had set to myself in the time I hoped I would. But as a fresh starter, it also means that I have every intention to find the workaround, crack in the wall, back or front to reasses the issue again soon. It is not a defeat, it is regrouping. It is the low gear in optimism.
...To a dear person whose moving on. Be well my friend and best of wishes.
Friday afternoon is fun in LHR, always was. But now there's added cream on top which is having to drop your trolly as you can board with one piece only. Right, no more one piece and hand bag trick. As it is still allowed anywhere else it won't affect the suitcase business travel sales so just a nice little pain point. Funny to see the monitor saying "heathrow worlds busiest airport"...who cares?
All's good fun
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
The good laugh, BTW, comes from an old memory of me walking into an AT&T store 6 years ago (yup, they were called AT&T then) and realizing that already then they were selling Motorola unlocked handsets.
Another reason to a good smile is that, as far as my technical hat goes, no GSM operator has ever attempted to correlate users' IMSI with their sold IMEI at the (in other words, make sure the subscriber is using the handset sold to them) and it would mean more work. The blocking happens at the handset level, which means the vendor has to put it in. why would they if they can push back and sell more?. Anyway, This correlates well with:
"You can use any handset on our network you want," says Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T's wireless business. "We don't prohibit it, or even police it."
As far as Verizon goes, they will still be CDMA (alongside Sprint vs. T-Mobile and AT&T), hence iPhone (for example) will simply not work on their network, will it? in fact, only CDMA phones, traditionally manufactured to Verizon's requirements will pretty much work. Verizon is building a $20 million testing lab but has not provided details about how this process will work. Guess how the testing criteria will look like? Guess how much certification will cost and who will bear those costs?
"In the short term, it's a giant publicity stunt," says wireless analyst Bill Hughes at researcher In-Stat. I agree.
Just to make things more interesting, throw in Amazon's new Kindle device. an EV-DO device that acts like a cool reader. EV-DO means you're married to Sprint or Verizon pretty much (in this case, Sprint), you can't download more content if you're outside the US BTW. Why is Kindle relevant to this discussion? because Sprint branding is nowhere to be seen. there's no sign up and no monthly fee with Sprint. An improvement on their MVNO strategy or a shift in branding awareness?
I read Bijan's interesting post "When did we agree to being locked in?", who also commented on the AT&T announcement by saying:
"Networks need to be open.
Devices need to work everywhere.
Content needs to be distributed anywhere.
Which walled garden is coming down next?"
I agree, utopia or maybe UK reality (on that in a separate post). But that brings me to my main point here. This is all reactionary to Google's Android announcements (dare I say hype? again?). Everyone's crawling under the table in light of the announcements and not being in the "open". So the last Mobile Monday Boston, taken place during the Mobile Internet conference, featured Google's Android as they are obviously local. Here's how it went:
- Is there a GPhone? No there isn't. There is a reference platform built by HTC. Ah...
- Will there be a GPhone? "We are not building a GPhone; we are enabling 1,000 people to build a GPhone". Ah...
- What's the story then? "the open-source strategy would encourage rapid innovation and lower the bar to entry in the highly competitive handset market, where software accounts for an increasing share of the cost of making a phone."
Here's what I think Google can be a game changer at: Their success at building a phone or OS is to be seen, but what Google are great at, is impressions, CPMs, advertising, search, optimization and content. What a single Nokia flag store in NYC didn't do to the operators realization that content, mobile purchasing and advertising is the key to move forward, Google can do.
We'll see where this ball rolls next. interesting times indeed. Operators are certainly reacting, whether through real changes or PR.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Don't get me wrong, many kudos to Mark Powell and his entrepreneurs colleagues at Kineto for creating an ecosystem from scratch, correct technology and all. But in reality, there are too many moving pieces to make it, especially in NA.
No, nobody had fooled themselves that UMA creates an opportunity for operators to help themselves into the subscribers wallet while covering up for a coverage deficiency. However as a service, SIP and the services SIP will drive (Lead by integrated presence capable address book IMO), is truly the longer term vision. The sooner operators and vendors will dump the idle screen and replace it by that presence enabled Skype-like screen with calls to action and an embedded ad, the better.
And SIP is the way to do it.
"Forget silicone, big hair and cheesy smiles; the Miss Landmine Angola competition leaves behind the fakeness for a pageant aimed at finding pride and beauty despite imperfections."
So I came across this interview coverage with Mark on XConomy. The title is already inviting: "Boost Your Karma: Check Out MarksGuide".
It's a good piece on the Boston professional networking scene and how it affects startups, entrepreneurship and innovation. Any ecosystem has interesting supporting channels and MarksGuide is part of it: "Doerschlag is the man to know if you want to get the word out about a local networking event in business, technology, finance, media, or the sciences. On any given weekday, his website lists six to a dozen events of interest to Boston-area professionals."
I've already recommended MarksGuide before but let me reiterate how resourceful is MarksGuide in being aware of relevant interesting professional events in the area and if you missed one, there would likely be good coverage somewhere.
Interesting quote on Mark: "Cross Craigslist founder Craig Newmark with Web-networker-par-excellence Joi Ito, add blond hair and blue eyes, and plunk the result down in Boston—and you’d have Mark Doerschlag." Made me smile :-). Mark's a good guy and I'm glad to say a good friend too.
Check out MarksGuide, you'll be sure to bookmark it.