6MS Eye Piece 18th October 2011 Are you ready to take this Sirious?

Is Siri as good as it seems?

I have been trying to make up my mind whether to consider an upgrade to an iPhone 4S.  A conversation with a technologist friend today has convinced me its is worth a closer look.

The camera, speed of iOS5 (which I have now on my 3GS) and the screen upgrade are taken as given.  The application which is really grabbing my attention is Siri.  Techcrunch have published an excellent article weighing up Siri as an application and comparing it to Android, which you can read here.  The great thing is that Siri is an application for humans where as the Android application is more suitable for Robots – and as Techcrunch point out – there are not too many of them buying phones!

You can find a great article from Search Engine Land here which compares Siri and Android side by side.  This is a good summary and learning piece for understanding Siri’s capabilities.

My final piece regarding Siri is a little learning tip, kindly provided by Mashable, How to Teach Siri To Tweet!  This is a simple step-by-step guide to setting up your iPhone 4S to enable Siri to send Tweets to Twitter on your behalf.  Looks dead easy and a lot of fun!

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6MS Eye Piece 17 October 2011 – Have you got a NutKase?

When I was up in London last week, my friend Tom Bate was kind enough to give me a new case for my iPad2 made by a small company in Italy, called NutKase

The NutKase Executive case has all the benefits at the front of the “Apple” cover – it folds and it puts the iPad to sleep when you close it.

It addresses however the glaring short coming of the Apple iPad cover – it also protects the back of the iPad.  It is made of leather and is really well finished.  To cap it, there is an X shaped handle at the back which makes it easy to hold one handed.

I like it a great deal.  You can find out more about the products by visiting NutKase’s Facebook page here and you can follow them on Twitter at  http://twitter.com/#!/NutkaseforiPad.   If you are interested to order a case you can email the company at  nutkaseproducts@gmail.com.

Full Disclosure – I have no relationship with the company of any kind – I just really like the case and want to promote a small, young company.  Go and check them out!!!

Thanks to Tom for the gift and also for introducing me to a great startup company which I will watch with interest!

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6MS Eye Piece 14 Oct 2011 IP Wars? Its Patently Obvious!

 

I was approached yesterday to take part in a live TV programme to comment on the IP Wars current raging between Apple, Google and  Microsoft in the smart phone and tablet computing market.

This was stimulated by Apple’s latest success in blocking the sale of the Samsung Glaxay Tab 10.1 in Australia.

Unfortunately I was at a client’s national one day conference and was unable to participate in the programme.  I thought I would use today’s Eye Piece to comment.

The recent acquisition of Motorola Mobility by Google for $12.5m was largely driven by the opportunity to acquire an extensive patent set.  At the moment there is a global turf war over mobile and tablet computing being waged between Apple, Google (Android) and Microsoft.  The stakes are high.  Microsoft’s early dominance of the desktop gave it a largely unrivalled position in the technology space for nearly two decades and made Bill Gates the richest man in the world.

As the technology for smart phones and tablets rapidly evolves, the company that can dominate this space stands to make similar financial gains.  Apple was an early leader with the iPhone and iPad.  Google’s response was to launch the open source operating system Android which is aimed (like iOS5 from Apple) at both the smart phone and tablet computing market and which has been widely adopted by a wide range of hardware manufacturers including Samsung.

For Google, wide acceptance of Android offers the opportunity to extend their domination of search onto these platforms.  Microsoft is still playing catch up in the mobile and tablet markets but has been quietly producing some enterprise solutions which are melding the IT and Communications space, the latest incarnation of which is Lync.  Windows 8 due out next year is expected to bring the desktop and tablet computing experience much closer together.  You can learn more about Windows 8 here.

Behind these behemoths, hardware manufacturers are choosing their platforms and producing their own take on the smart phone and tablets.  At one level this is a global battle for a whole series of national markets.  The evidence suggests that once a market leader is established, it is very hard for the number two or three in that market to claw back the lost market share.

In such circumstances, the role of patents and the protection of intellectual property is a powerful (and valuable) weapon in the armoury.  There are literally thousands of patents, the smart phones and tablets are extremely complex devices and the interpretation of patent law varies widely across the world.  The consequence is that considerable efforts are being made by all the market participants to gain advantage where they can by claiming breaches of their intellectual property against other parties, while receiving counter claims for other patent breaches from those parties.

Where will this all end up?  I believe that once this growth stage of the market shakes itself out, there will be a gradual process of cross licensing of IP for this generation of smart phones and tablets.  At the same time the same companies will continue their investment in R&D to develop new technology which they can register ready for the next round.

Oh yes, and you can expect more deals like the Motorola tie up with Google, particularly if they come with a juicy bundle of patents.

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6MS Eye Piece 13 Oct 2011 Real Time Hangouts – a Real Plus?

 

Mashable ran an interesting piece by Mark Jeffrey, serial entrepreneur, podcaster and novellist.  Entitled The Return of Real-Time Social Environments  in which  he highlighted the recent arrival of a series of real time platforms for social interaction.

He references Shaker , an avatar based chat room, Turntable.fm and Chill.com, both of which focus on shared  media consumption, music and YouTube videos respectively.

From a business perspective, I think the most interesting development is the Google+ Hangout which now includes shared whiteboards and shared desktops.   With modern band width, this really presents a challenge to paid solutions such as GoToMeeting, and to Skype, recently acquired by Microsoft.

If you are working remotely, from home or on a business trip, a Google+ hangout is an excellent way to reach out and collaborate with up to [12] colleagues.

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6MS Eye Piece 11 Oct 2011 – Can U XeeMee?

Can U XeeMee?  I hope So!

This is a new aggregation site which I have found which I think is a great place to one-stop-shop for Social Media Connections.

The website is http://xeeme.com.

You can find my profile here.

I found it easy to set up links to my major social networks and to connect to my major sources of contacts – LinkedIn, Ecademy, Twitter and Facebook.  By aggregating the contacts by using the free Focus! Xeemee application I have been able to reach out to my network and broadcast a “This is where you can find me” message.

I think its a great site and will continue to use it (full disclosure – I do NOT have an affiliate relationship with XeeMee and although there are referee codes, they are not embedded on the links on this page.)

Give it a try and tell me what you think?

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6MS Eye Piece 10 Oct 2010 Jeffrey Bussgang’s Mastering the VC Game

I was listening to the Marketing Over Coffee podcast last week, John Wall and Christopher Penn’s excellent and occasionally irrevent insight into New Media Marketing.

In the latest episode, Activate Cheese Shield, they reference Jeffrey Bussgang’s book, Mastering the VC Game which is just out in the US in paperback.  They originally conducted an interview with Jeffrey when his book came out which is here.  I would start by listening to this interview as there are some excellent snippets of wisdom to be gleaned.

Then I suggest you go over to Jeffrey’s site, where you can find out more about the book and download the first 40 pages for free.  If you like it you can buy the book from his site.  The book is available for the Kindle – I have just bought it – despite that at the time of the original interview, it was not yet out on the Kindle.

As a footnote, Jeffrey is giving the proceeds from the book to Endeavour, a charity set up to promote global economic growth by supporting and mentoring high impact entrepreneurs.  So you can learn something while supporting this excellent cause.

If you are working with VCs or thinking about it, I am in no doubt that this is a must read.  (Non of the links on this page are my affiliate links)

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6MS Eye Piece 7 Oct 2011 iPhone 4S? Aye, Phone for Siri!

 Is the new iPhone 4S good enough to make you want to upgrade? 

I have a 3GS which will I know I can upgrade with the new iOS5 software available free on 12 October 2011.

 The first key question is when is the iPhone 5 likely to appear?

Your guess is as good as mine but I expect if the market adoption of the 4S is strong, I would estimate at least 9 to 12 months. Of course, if Android phones look like they are catching up….who knows? (-/+)

I do not want to upgrade my 3GS to a 4S to spend 24 months in a cell phone contract if the iPhone5 appears in 6 months time – its too long to live with the 4S regretting my impetuosity.

Lets try to weigh up the pros and cons (from my perspective of course).

The hardware improvements are led by the camera, 8 mega pixels, true 1080p HD video as well as a five lens camera and clever software behind the processing, including inside the A5 chip.  I am keen on photography so thats a big plus for me. (+++)

The CDMA/GSM combination is irrelevant to me.  (-/+)

The iPhone4 means I would probably have to replace my morphy juice pack so thats an extra cost.  (—)

The faster processor may be an issue but this will depend on how well my 3GS phone handles iOS5.  Does it have the oomph to manage the enhanced operating system.  If the phone slows down to the point that it gets irritating, then I think an upgrade will become essential. (-/+)

The dual core A5 processor (which features in the iPad2) is not reason in itself to change the phone.  (-/+)

The 4S has two antennae over coming the major hardware shortfall of the iPhone 4 so that removes a barrier to change. (+)

The really interesting innovation in the phone is the assistant.  Apple are at pains to stress that this software is still in beta but the keynote demonstration looked really exciting.  While the demo would have been carefully prepared and rehearsed, the ability of contextually interpretive voice control is a real step forward and potentially quite exciting.  It will be interesting to see how the software works in real life – I am sure there will be plenty of twitter comment once the phone ships – but for the moment I am positive (+++)

So on balance….I am still on the fence.

Can my 3GS handle iOS5? If it can the key question is whether I have the patience to wait for iPhone 5.

I waited for iPad2 but this might be more difficult!  I actually think that the iOS5 upgrade is much more significant and exciting.  Maybe I will post an Eye Piece about this if you would like me to.  Let me know.

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6MS Eye Piece 6 Oct 2011 RIP Steve Jobs

 

 

 

 Pure Vision

Pure Inspiration

Pure Genius

 

 

 

6MS Eye Piece 5 Oct 2011 – iOS5 or Android?

I read today on 3G.co.uk that Android now has 48.3% of the UK market, with RIM (Blackberry) in second place with 21.2% and Apple 3rd with 20.8%.

These statistics are of course a little misleading; it would be interesting to see the market share broken out by handset manufacturer rather than operating system.  It does beg the question which is now more important, particularly as Android is an open software system and can be adapted by the OEMs.  For the latest example of this you need only look at the recently announced Kindle Fire.

I have been waiting to upgrade my 3GS to an iPhone 5 when it comes out and I am optimistic that the iOS5 which was announced on 6th June will be unveiled and available from today at Apple’s “Let’s talk iPhone” event.

While Android has certainly put the nails in the Symbian coffin, the wide range of devices on which the operating system is available is less of a threat to Apple than the rest of the market players.  70% of iPhone users upgrade to another iPhone, a statistic that I would expect to increase.

With the seamless compatibility between my MacBook Pro, my iPad2 and my iPhone, I expect that iOS5 will enhance Apple’s reputation for producing the must have consumer technology – with the others playing catch up again.  The challenge is to get up to speed with all the innovation in order to make the most of it.

Would you chose your smart phone on the basis of the Operating System or the Manufacturer?   Let me know.

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6MS Eye Piece 4 Oct 2011 In business are you Sterling Moss or Michael Schumacher?

Are you Sterling Moss or Michael Schumacher?  I am assuming you are a Champion (within your business) but the key question is one of approach

Both men are extraordinary in their field of motor racing.  Sir Sterling Moss was a master of the racing car but essentially drove intuitively.  In the 1950s he did not have access to the telemetry which is available to day.  To make his car go faster was a matter of feeling how the car performed on the track, adjusting the set up (trial and error essentially) and going out there again to see if that made the car go faster or not.

Schmacher was (and still is) the master of detail.  He studies the information generated by the car, with his team engineers and learns from the data.  His is a style based on continous learning in order to continually improve.

Much is written about the annual business cycle, budgeting, quarterly reporting, rewarding results and punishing lack of performance.  But this is not learning management.  Everyday, I believe a CEO, Entrepreneur or Manager should be striving to improve his business by learning, testing, evaluating, looking for new ways to do things – continuously.

This is especially important today where the Internet, Social Media and Technology are changing the way we do business on a daily, if not hourly business.

So I want to stand up for Learning Management and help you to continuously micro-learn (not micro-meddle) within your business to continuously strive to grow, be more profitable and more successful.  Expect me to post more about Learning Management and to find tools to help you stay ahead of your competition.

What do you think?  What is your style?

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