Archive for November, 2011|Monthly archive page

Mullai Periyar Dam Problem

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Where should you post your status?

Where to post

You gotta offer her a job

You gotta offer her a job

How To Use Chopsticks

How To Use Chopsticks

Bill and Steve – Inteview in 2007

 

Fate of Sid

Fate of Sid

Samsung’s Anti-iPhone Ad Is a Fanboy Nuke

Samsung wants you to buy its Galaxy S II instead of an iPhone 4S, duh. So how are they going to do it? How about mocking the extreme popularity of the latter, a device they help build? Worth a shot!

The ad, entitled “Next Big Thing”—an obvious Apple dig—paints those waiting in line for hours with the hope of buying an iPhone as brainwashed consumer drones. Which, maybe, yeah, some of them are. But it mostly comes across as more smug than the ostensible Smug Apple Asshole trope they’re playing off of. I don’t care if I wasn’t asked to prom, it’s for losers anyway, Samsung smirks. In reality, Samsung would be thrilled to have people regularly lining up to buy its phones.

But the underdog tactic could work! I mean, a lot of these eager Apple buyers did spend hours and hours struggling to buy a phone that simply wasn’t that much different from what came before it. And there’s plenty to skewer there. But does it really make sense for Sammy to mock the iPhone’s hardware itself? Hardware that’s chock full of Samsung parts?

The Game of Phones: How 5 Top Tech Companies Plan to Win

by Dan Rowinski 

There is an epic battle taking place before our eyes, in our pockets and in our wallets. Smarthones have come to dominate consumer behavior and the headlines of media. What is the newest development with the iPhone? What are the newest and hottest Android devices this week? Can Microsoft make a dent in the mobile market? What kind of tricks does Amazon have up its sleeves? Does Facebook have a plan to tap into consumers’ wallets through mobile devices?

Make no mistake, the pipeline between users’ bank accounts through smart devices is what each one of these companies is looking to tap. Each one of these five major American technology companies is taking a different route to this one goal. Yet, each one of these companies is taking a different route to the same goal. Let’s break down the roads that each one of these companies is taking in the quest to win the Mobile Platform Game of Thrones.

westeros.jpg

The Game Of Thrones

 

To borrow from George R.R. Martin’s epic “A Song of Fire And Ice,” the “Game of Thrones” is set around the war for Westeros, a continent in a fictional land laden with political intrigue, war, magic and strange and exciting characters. There are a plethora of correlations we can make between the major OS providers, OEMS and major third parties in the mobile space.

For instance, Apple has a dominant position in the mobile OS space and a pile of money to push around the rest of the ecosystem. In Westeros, Apple would be the Lannisters of Casterly Rock. With Android Google has a vast but unaffiliated empire. To a certain extent, we can call Android the Free Cities across the narrow see from Westeros – rich and powerful but with no centralized power player outside of the fact that Google is the gatekeeper. Google itself could correlate to the Stormlands controlled by House Baratheon. Microsoft also has a lot of money but a struggling platform with Windows Phone. It is not unlike the Kingdom of the North, centered around Winterfell and House Stark. Facebook does not have a mobile OS to its name but make no mistake, influences much of what happens in the mobile OS wars, much like House Tyrell of The Reach. Amazon is large and dangerous and nobody quite knows exactly what kinds of things it may be doing in the background. Sounds a lot like the Martell’s of south Westeros in a place called Dorne.

There are other players outside of the five major kingdoms. BlackBerry has seen some troubles, much like the Riverlands of House Tully. Nokia has aligned with Microsoft, much the way that the Iron Islands have been ruled by the Starks. Samsung wields influence across the ecosystem, like the slave cities to the east of Free Cities (in no way am I actually saying that Samsung has anything to do with slavers, it is a metaphor).

Just as each of these kingdoms have different strengths, the goal for each is simple: to gain the throne and rule dominant over the rest. We see this play out on a weekly basis among the OS makers.

Apple

Strengths: Hardware, application ecosystem, closed system, money, developer ecosystem, popularity.

Weakness: Closed-system, ubiquity, incremental innovation.

Apple is a funnel that channels money. This is done fundamentally though hardware tied to iOS that has captured the imagination of consumers since 2007. As a singular player, Apple is the most dominant entity in mobile computing. It lures consumers in with slick hardware that is the primary mode of revenue for the company. As we have seen though, it is not just hardware that sells devices. Apple is a conduit for software through the App Store and iTunes. The idea is to be able to store that content locally on the device. That is why Apple sells its iDevice line in growing increments of storage. Even iTunes Match and iCloud are designed towards this content funnel towards local storage. Essentially, you can have more content than you can reasonably keep on your iDevice and store it in Apple’s cloud for you to peruse and download back to the device when you want something new.

Roadmap: Software and content creates incentive to buy hardware which is where Apple makes it true money.

Google

Strengths: Search, advertising, native applications ecosystem, open-system, ubiquity, volume.

Weakness: Open system, fragmentation, application revenue (problem for developers).

If Apple has created a funnel, Google has created a net. That net is what got the company to this point in the first place. Google’s stance has always been: the more people on the Internet, the better we will do. It is the same approach with mobile. The Android Market and content ecosystem is designed to get people to buy Android devices and the OEM partners that use Android create a landscape that dominates by its variety of devices at different price points across mobile carriers worldwide.

The idea is to get as many people using the platform as possible and get them to use search, which it can sell ads against and to download apps where it can place ads with AdMob and AdSense. Unlike Apple, the application ecosystem is not a source of revenue but Google has advantages with its cloud approach and native apps like Gmail, Talk, Voice and Calendar.

Roadmap: Smother them with numbers and cast the net to get users to use search and apps that ads can be sold against. There may be a difference in this approach eventually if the Motorola acquisition goes through and Google decides it needs to start making money off hardware.

Microsoft

Strengths: Patents, differentiated OS, developer ecosystem, partners.

Weakness: Application ecosystem, consumer mind share, differentiated OS.

Unlike Google and Apple, Microsoft makes money through Windows Phone by selling licenses. This is the same thing it has been doing with Windows for years. One of the reasons that Windows Phone has not taken off quite yet is because it has not matched the ubiquity of Android across carriers with different devices nor the software to device conduit that Apple has created. Apple makes money from hardware, something that Microsoft has almost never done outside of the Xbox. Microsoft also has not been able to make the same dent in search and advertising that is the core of Google’s strengths. When it comes to the important aspects of creating value in mobile, Microsoft is at best second or third tier in each category. Hence, it sues the pants off of Android OEMs to create value out of the ecosystem that was otherwise not available to Microsoft. The company has made more money at this point from the royalties it is paid from OEMs making Android than it has from Windows Phone.

Roadmap: Microsoft’s main problem is that the popular channels for creating money out of mobile are not its strengths. It is not dominant in search, ads, content or apps. It is fairly good at licensing its OS and has a stout legal arm. For Microsoft to take off with Windows Phone, it is going to need its loyal developer ecosystem help the mobile platform transcend Apple and Android and make money on the margins through its app ecosystem and licensing.

Amazon

Strengths: Cloud services, content services, e-commerce services.

Weakness: Does not create its own OS, does not have an advertising strategy, patents, developer ecosystem, fundamentally third-party.

When it comes to mobile, Amazon is diametrically opposed to Apple. iOS wants users to download content, Amazon wants people to use its services and consume its content. There are no bells and whistles with the Kindle Fire’s specs, it does not have what you would expect a lot of mobile devices to do, like have a camera, GPS or a microphone. The Fire (and to a lesser extent the other Kindles) is a store in your hands. Apple stresses that iOS can help you “do” things while Amazon wants you to “consume things.” Just look at the issue of local storage. Amazon does not have any. Everything goes to the cloud, even the browser.

This approach will not work with an Amazon phone. Phones by nature are functional devices. If Amazon is going to create value with phones it will need to build its own flavor of Android into a completely different OS than what is on the Fire because services only go so far on a smartphone without applications that have device access to fundamental characters such as a contacts list, accelerometer, GPS, camera and microphone.

Roadmap: Sell hardware for cheap and sell services and content.

Facebook

Strengths: Social graph, HTML5 development, Web-based, ubiquity.

Weakness: No OS, no robust payments system, no hardware.

Of the major tech companies, Facebook’s mobile approach is much different from the rest of the others. It has no operating system, does not plan on having an operating system and everything is based on the Web. Even its native apps are based on the Web and wrapped for whatever platform is being used, a la the PhoneGap approach. Facebook’s mobile approach is the same as its Web approach: get people on the platform and start having them share their lives. Take that data and monetize it.

Facebook is in a unique position to disrupt all of the above through its approach to Web apps. Though it does not have an application repository at this time, there is nothing stopping Facebook from creating an HTML5-based app store that it pushes on the masses through its native apps. The idea right now is that apps will be spread through the social graph and that will be a better approach to app discoverability than searching and actual app store.

Roadmap: Set itself up to disrupt with HTML5 and Web apps while focusing on Web innovation and the social graph.

Five Companies, Five Approaches

What is the common theme for these five companies? It is the fact that each one comes at the same issue from a intensely unique set of strengths with is clearly seen in how it approaches the mobile space. Apple: hardware through software. Google: ads through search. Microsoft: licenses through software. Amazon: cheap hardware buoyed by content and services. Facebook: social graph through mobile apps and sharing.

The lines blur often between the companies. Facebook is on every platform. Two of the best iOS applications are the Google and Bing dedicated search apps. The Kindle Reader app is everywhere and so is the Amazon store. These companies are competing against each other but they are also built on top of each other.

Where do your align your allegiances?

10 Insanely Awesome Inspirational Manifestos

by Mike Vardy
 
There are certain messages that serve to get you “back to one” when you find you’re going off course. Whether you use tools such as a manifesto, a personal mission statement, a vision board or a list similar to Benjamin Franklin’s “13 Virtues”, taking the time to identify with one and then keeping it handy is worthwhile – and perhaps even imperative.

But in a lot of cases you don’t have to “reinvent the wheel”; there are some awesome inspirational manifestos that have already put out there for you to look at and use as a means to set you back on course. Some come in the form of an image, some as a video, and some as nothing more than a blog post. One of those styles of presentation may resonate with you more than others, and yet you may want to have a selection to look at for the times where you need more than just a quick jolt of inspiration. In fact, some of these may be in the form of “pseudo-manifestos” in that they have only some elements of a manifesto that they focus on, but are powerfully delivered nonetheless.

If you’re looking for inspiration, look no further. I’ve assembled 10 awesome inspirational manifestos right here for you to see.

1. The Holstee Manifesto

This is one of the best known ones on the web. It is a complete manifesto, not centering on one aspect in particular. The Holstee Manifesto seems to have pioneered what could be termed as an “onslaught” of typography manifestos (and pseudo-manifestos), some of which are on this list and many of which are not. Yet there’s nothing quite like the original, is there?

2. Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

Baz Luhrman, best known as the director of films like “Strictly Ballroom” and “Moulin Rouge!”, released this song back in 1999. The lyrics are straight from an essay by Mary Schmich from 1997 called “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young” and the song climbed music charts across the globe. Some wise words set to a catchy tune.

Popout

3. the lululemon manifesto

The corporate manifesto for thsi athletic wear company may very well be a bellwether for a shift in the culture of the new enterprising set. While the lululemon manifesto does tie in what their employees should to do in order to be able balance both work and life (which are for many, essentially one in the same), it is worth aspiring to for those who don’t work for the company as well.

4. Women in Business Manifesto

While this one may be directed at women in business, it certainly can apply to a much larger demographic. The message conveyed by the Women in Business Manifesto is another example of typography imagery done well.

5. Frank Lloyd Wright’s 10-Point Manifesto for His Apprentices

This one also is directed at a certain group – and a very niche on at that. But again, Wright’s manifesto has much to offer anyone if they look beyond the group for which it was originally intended. There are some great attributes to strive for in there.

6. Incomplete Manifesto for Growth

Straight from the manifesto’s creator, Bruce Mau:

“This design manifesto was first written by Bruce Mau in 1998, articulating his beliefs, strategies, and motivations.”

Apply this manifesto where you see fit, because it does fit in places suited for you.

7. 279 Days to Overnight Success

Chris Guillebeau’s “The Art of Non-Conformity” website is full of inspiration, and this downloadable PDF is no exception. If you’re a writer looking to take the steps to making it your full time vocation, this manifesto is worth the free download. If you’re not a writer, it’s worth it all the same.

8. The Expert Enough Manifesto

This manifesto comes straight from the blog founded by Corbet Barr. The Expert Enough Manifesto illustrates what the site “is all about” — and it may hold things inside that you find that you’re all about as well.

9. focus

Leo Babauta, former Stepcase Lifehack contributor and creator of “Zen Habits”, has put together a simple and effective manifesto with the downloadable PDF known plainly as “focus”. Just make sure you don’t start reading it until you’re done with this list. After all, the theme of the manifesto is…focus.

10. The Passive Aggressive Manifesto

A response to the slew of typography-based manifestos on the web. Michael Schechter, one of Stepcase Lifehack’s newest contributors, created The Passive Aggressive  Manifesto with this in mind:

“Let’s face it… words, no matter how pretty and sweet they might be, don’t really mean all that much if they don’t make you do anything.”

(Is it ironic that perhaps those manifestos which he spoofed prompted him to create this manifesto? Hmmm…)

A fun and insightful read no matter how its creation was prompted.

BONUS: 6 More Insanely Awesome Inspirational Manifestos

These manifestos are also amazing; give them a look to see if you can glean anything from them to inspire you to action.

 

What manifestos do you find inspiration in and use to help you move forward? I’d be interested to hear your suggestions in the comments.


Mike Vardy is an independent writer, speaker, podcaster and “productivity pundit” who also dishes the goods at Vardy.me. You can follow him daily on Twitter, listen to him weekly on ProductiVardy, and read more from him eventually at Eventualism.

Pick A Number From 1 To 9

from Laugh IT Out by Prabhleen

Try this and you will be amazed! Don’t look ahead! Just do it step by step SLOWLY.
DO NOT SKIP AHEAD. Read this message ONE LINE AT A TIME and just do what it says. You will be glad you did. If not, you’ll feel like an idiot and wish you had listened.

  1. pick a number from 1-9
  2. subtract 5
  3. multiply by 3
  4. square the number (multiply by the same number — not square root)
  5. add the digits until you get only one digit (i.e. 64=6+4= 10= > 1+0=1)
  6. if the number is less than 5, add five. Otherwise subtract 4.
  7. multiply by 2
  8. subtract 6
  9. map the digit to a letter in the alphabet 1=A, 2=B, 3=C, etc…
  10. pick a name of a country that begins with that letter
  11. take the second letter in the country name and think of a mammal that begins with that letter.
  12. think of the color of that mammal

(keep scrolling)

********************************************************************
DO NOT SCROLL DOWN UNTIL YOU HAVE DONE ALL OF THE ABOVE!!!!!
********************************************************************
Here it comes, NO CHEATING or you’ll be sorry!

 

 

 

 

 

 

You have a grey elephant from Denmark.

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