Archive for the 'Technology' Category

Microsoft Sustainability: Productivity, future vision

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Last night I attended the 2011 Chicago BDPA Education Banquet. I had the opportunity to meet Cameron Evans, Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft Education who was the keynote speaker for the night. He had several profound things to say on the state of education in this country. I was blown away on the ideas he expressed and the realistic perspective he took on how this country can improve. Check out this video from Microsoft on where technology is going.

Toddler Dominates Blackberry Playbook

Monday, May 16th, 2011

This 2 1/2 year old girl is shown dominating the Playbook. It is amazing how she has adapted to the hand gestures need to navigate the device. She not only knows how to operate it, but she is able to recognize anything requested and can use each app. It proves how intuitive this device is. Check this out.

North Carolina School Transitions to All-Digital Learning Tools

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

I caught this segment on PBS about a school that is transitioning from textbooks and other printed materials to all-digital learning tools. I stumbled upon the piece unintentionally but was quickly drawn in by the new concepts that are being proposed in schools today. When I was in elementary school we had almost no digital contact. Now there are schools that don’t want textbooks. I have mixed feelings on this. I don’t doubt that there is an advantage to this style, but I have to wonder if there isn’t too much tech exposure here. It seems like a mix between old and new practices would be better warranted than a pure digital medium. That is just my view from afar. Check out this video to decide for yourself.

The Possibilities of Technology & Education

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

My professor showed this video in our Business Intelligence class. It shows Salman Khan of the Khan Academy at TED 2011.Khan quit his job at a hedge fund to start the organization. Since then it has received funding from Google, and includes Bill Gates among its list of endorsers. Khan is changing the way students learn; first through his Youtube videos, and now with valuable data that allows the progress of students to be observed and analyzed. Khan’s new work is an example of what the use of technology can bring to today’s education. Check this out.

BlackBerry Playbook Demo Live at AdobeMAX

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Initially I saw myself getting an iPad2 when it came out in 2011. Then Research In Motion tablet rumors started bubbling. Soon enough the BlackBerry Playbook was announced to considerable hype and good feedback. However, one of the main concerns was how does the device actually worked, aside from the computer simulated preview trailer everybody was shown. RIM’s Co-CEO, Mike Lazaridis answered some of those questions at the AdobeMax Event when he showed off the PlayBook on stage. I must say, I’m impressed with what I have seen so far. After seeing the demonstration I am presently leaning towards the PlayBook over the iPad2. Check out the video.

Dear BlackBerry, Use More Celebrities!

Friday, August 27th, 2010

The above video was taken at the BlackBerry Red Carpet Event for the Launch of the BlackBerry Torch 9800(which I will be getting in less than 10 days!). The star power on the red carpet was strong and for BlackBerry users, just the tip of the iceberg. Celebrity displays like this have me scratching my head as to why Research in Motion(NASDAQ: RIMM) can’t parlay the status of their customers into a good marketing campaign. The most powerful, influential, and trendy people in the world swear by their BlackBerry and the only way anybody knows it is to go onto a blog dedicated to the device, far out of the way of mainstream consumers. Why?

How hard is it to get Drizzy Drake, the hottest young artist in hip-hop to shoot a commercial?  How about LeBron James, the most famous basketball player in the world? Drake has already done commercials for Sprite, Lebron for State Farm, among others. What about Kim Kardashian? Paris Hilton? President Barack Obama?! I could keep going. The point is these are people who have massive audiences, influence, and are some of the biggest trend setters in the world. When they pick up or endorse a product, it makes waves.  And somehow RIM has no idea what to do with that opportunity.

Apple is the company of cool. Steve Jobs is ultra-cool with that black turtleneck and his followers eat up every word he says. Jobs successfully turned Apple into a company that can cost more than all of its competitors and still attract a heavy customer base. Because Apple has the cool, sleek products. Many people, dedicated Apple users included, don’t know what the iPad is for, but that doesn’t matter. Apple made it. That means we buy it. Google is a marketing company above everything else. They became who they are by building an advertising empire and so it is no surprise that they have flooded the market with devices running their Android OS.

RIM does not have an innovation problem. They are not an old company set in their ways. They just have no idea how to sell a product. For years nearly all of their business was conducted without so much as one television commercial for the general public to view. Then one day they woke up and realized that the consumer market was ripe for the picking. The only problem was that companies like Apple and Google made the same observation and the consumer market is their bread and butter.

RIM has to adapt, quickly. Hire a firm that can breath some life into their campaigns. Anything to connect the dots. I’m not saying their phones couldn’t upgrade a feature or two to make them more attractive. But across the board every phone has glaring deficiencies. This is a battle of tactics. Who can reach the masses with the most attractive sales pitch. What device offers the widest appeal. The world’s most influential say the answer is BlackBerry. How does RIM tell the world the answer is BlackBerry? I hope they figure out the answer.

BlackBerry OS 6 Promo Video!

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Inside IDEO the Innovative Design Firm

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Last week in my Organizational Behavior class we watched a video about IDEO. It is a design and consultancy firm that innovates for the biggest companies in the world. I had never heard of them until now and didn’t realize such companies existed. I thought the video was super cool and fascinating. The whole idea of what they do is intriguing to me. I believe that it is not only beneficial for existing companies but the process in general is great for anybody who wants to improve or create something and then turn it into a business. One of the infamous legends of Google is their white board where they just spin off idea after idea to prompt new products and services. These types of activities are powerful and effective and if adapted to each company or team’s needs I believe would be advantageous. All three parts of the ABC Nightline feature after the jump.

Is Twitter In Decline?

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

I was on Scott Bishop’s website just now and I came across his recent Twitter post. I found it to be an interesting read and clicked over to RJMetrics to get a further feel for the statistics that Scott laid out and discussed. The gist of these posts was to analyze recent data released on Twitter usage and what it may mean for the future of the online social network. Here are the pertanent results from RJM:

  • Twitter ended 2009 with just over 75 million user accounts.
  • The monthly rate of new user accounts peaked in July 2009 and is currently around 6.2 million new accounts per month (or 2-3 per second). This is about 20% below July’s peak rate.
  • A large percentage of Twitter accounts are inactive, with about 25% of accounts having no followers and about 40% of accounts having never sent a single Tweet.
  • About 80% of all Twitter users have tweeted fewer than ten times.
  • Only about 17% of registered Twitter accounts sent a Tweet in December 2009, an all-time-low.
  • Despite these facts, Twitter users are becoming more engaged over time when we control for sample age.
  • And their conclusions of this data

  • When you look at new account registrations, no one can deny that Twitter is still growing like a rocketship (that’s good).
  • However, upon closer inspection, the rate of new user signups has dropped meaningfully from its peak and many new users never do anything with their accounts (that’s bad).
  • Furthermore, the percentage of accounts sending out tweets has steadily declined over the past six months (that’s worse).
  • However, our cohort analysis reveals tremendous loyalty and engagement from those Twitter users who stay on the system after their first week as members (that’s good).
  • In fact, those users who stay become more active over time, so much so that they make up for the missing activity from those users who leave (that’s incredibly good).
  • I would say that these results are a mixed bag of sorts. Twitter is obviously still growing but the regressive rates cited are concerning.

    When Twitter began to catch on about a year ago I checked it out and couldn’t see the point. As a regular person it looked like a site dedicated to Facebook status updates. I refrained from getting an account but my partner set up one for our clothing company. I began to think that the only real advantage of Twitter was for brands. It allowed them to connect with users. That seemed to make enough sense.

    But it left a bigger problem. Why does an average person care to use Twitter? Who wants to follow the average person? It isn’t like Facebook where you can stalk everybody you know’s life. On Twitter you kind of have to hope your important enough for somebody to want to stalk you. Sounds difficult. Whereas on Facebook all 500 of your friends are accessible to see everything about you, on Twitter maybe 25 of your friends can figure out what you’re eating, which they can also figure out from your Facebook. This was my thinking a year ago as I continued to keep a close eye on the new startup.

    It is for this reason that about 6 months ago I said that Twitter would be rendered irrelevant within 2 years. Not completely irrelevant, just Myspace irrelevant. Myspace is still a big deal, you just have to be looking for something specific to get the most out of it. Otherwise you won’t like it because it has become cluttered with so much waste. The days of it being the communication hub died when Facebook stepped on it and it failed to respond.

    The bottom line is Twitter has a problem. It is a great networking tool. But most people don’t want to network. They just want to communicate with people they are already friends with. Twitter does not provide that community atmosphere that attracts, and addicts the masses. It fills a niche for connecting people who don’t know each other through things they both want to know about.

    About a month ago I finally figured out that Twitter may help me out and I signed up. I still think it will be reduced to Myspace status in 2 years, but I still use Myspace for my brands. Twitter will continue to have a use. But soon the general public will cease signing up for it in droves because most people who sign up sign up because they think its trendy. Shortly thereafter they conclude they can’t use it and they abandon their accounts. What will Twitter do when it isn’t trendy anymore?

    Based on the recent progression of social networks, Myspace>Facebook >Twitter(I realize there were sites before Myspace, but I’m only 21), it is safe to conclude the next big social network is right around the corner at which point the only thing holding Twitter or any of the other big 3 up will be its core competencies. Facebook remained steady through Twitter which was predictable. But how will Twitter look after the next wave?

    Things can always change. Twitter could reconstruct and evolve as other sites emerge, which Myspace never managed to do. But I predict it will be reduced to a similar state.

    BlackBerry Curve Still Top Selling Smartphone in North America in Q4

    Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

    The BlackBerry Curve has been the top selling smartphone in North America for a very long time now. Quarter 4 kept the trend going according to IDC Mobile Devices and Technology Trends. I’m not impressed though. Its great they are selling so many devices but the 83xx, which is where I would guess the bulk of these sales came from is about 4 years old and the 85xx should have  never been made IMO. Check out the full list after the jump.

    1. RIM – BlackBerry Curve
    2. Apple – iPhone 3G S
    3. Motorola – DROID
    4. Apple – iPhone 3G
    5. RIM – BlackBerry Pearl
    6. RIM – BlackBerry Bold
    7. RIM – BlackBerry Storm
    8. Palm – Pre
    9. RIM – BlackBerry Tour
    10. T-Mobile – myTouch 3G

    RIM has been holding down 40-50% of this list for almost two years now and in that time they’re stock price has taken a dive into the dumpster. What people really want to see is some creativity out of them. Hopefully they have something new and exciting coming in 2010.

    I am somewhat surprised the DROID is third on this list. But at the same time it does make a fair amount of sense. After the iPhone and Curve things tend to be wide open. Phones like the Palm Pre, which I would buy over the DROID in a heartbeat are relegated to terrible carriers like Sprint that stunt their sales and phones like my beloved BOLD are more viewed as business devices and do not sell as well in the consumer market. I look for the Pre and Pixi to both make a move in Q1 now that they are on multiple carriers.