Back in Action

Sorry dear readers for the unplanned absence. Needless to say some things supercede blogging. In my case I took a hard fall and wound up fracturing some vital stuff, so, after a down month in a noisy hospital and rehab post surgery I have returned, with a hitch in my Gittyup but on my feet thank God.

So what’s been happening? I missed a couple of key conferences but I sure others have done their work so I’ll review their posts and take notes.
Offhand, I see that Samsung has finally emerged to become a major unstoppable force in mobile computing and incidentally launched a bevy of products worth a look.
A few of my favorite apps have upgraded and fixed some of the issues that plagued me. THANK YOU!
On the downside I see that some big player retail stores like Best Buy and Radio Shack have stumbled into tough times.

Best Buy, Buying the farm?

With stocks falling and brick and mortar retailing on shaky footing analysts are predicting the absolute worst for retailer Best Buy.

If true, consumers nationwide will be SOL and will have to go online to buy their gadgets and gear.

Years ago, few saw this coming when we had our choice of Circuit City, CompUSA and Egghead competing aggressively for dominance in a market that is now fading fast into obsolescence.

In my region (Northern Calif.) Fry’s may turn out to be the sole survivor other than those Apple Stores.

I hope I am wrong and wish that Best Buys survives and thrives and over the holidays put money on this hope.

Nonresponsive

This frustrating condition is getting to be constant with apps and OS’s. It is as if things are breaking down and degenerating. The problem here is that the developers and manufacturers are saying nothing nor are they publicly fixing a damn thing for fear of affecting sales.

There is even a more insidious occurrence when in the middle of your work your system freezes and then quits and resets/reboots. That used to happen once a week now it happens several times a day and sometimes once an hour. Now this IS a problem.

Smartphones are really “Controllers”

Now you can really have your world in the palm of your hands and that is no longer just a fanciful cliche.

I have long held the view that we need a device that integrates and controls the various devices, apps and digital elements of our lives and work.

This seems to have become the end game goal of both Android and Apple iOS

Now will come the flow of forms and functions that utilize those platforms to deliver products and services we can’t live without.
I for one am very excited to see what’s next now that I have my best smartphone/tablet (Samsung Galaxy Note 3). Let the controller ecosystem begin.

I had no sooner posted the above article when a story came out of CES that “Smartphones can carol everything. I would suspect the author bit me. Except that I have put forward this argument for 5 full years after supporting “embedded computing” for well over a decade.

So the concept is not a new idea but one who’s time and capability has come now that all elements and factors have aligned including consumer interest and demand.

I applaud any additional industry support in ultimately realizing this approaching vision, however disruptive.

CIS 2014

It is a new year and time for new things courtesy of the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Sin City Las Vegas.
Among the myriads of product displays and isles of innovation there are a few that may shape the lives and businesses into the next decade.

The problem is sorting out the prospects from the suspects.

Among the many misses are a few hits. In the next few weeks I will hunt them down and point you at them.

I am most anxious expecting to monitor new products in wearable computing now that Smart Watches are gaining traction and long-rumored Google Glass finally creeping onto the market.

There was actually too much activity in the category of Fitness wristbands. I sense in response to Obama care.

Your Mobile Self

The Mobile You has become just as real as your physical self for some even more so. Philip K. Dick would have easily understood this alternate world. In fact he predicted it and feared the ominous implications of our digital world And masterfully wrote about it.

One set of nnovation Factors  that drives our move to digital personification is the prevalence of Social Media.

If we can only get our Digital selves to pay the bills, show up for work and take out the trash.

State of the Web 2013

2013 proved to be a challenging year for things online. The big story is the massive invasion of personal privacy by everyone and his brother. Companies we thought we could trust sold our data and information to info brokers and that have had tragic implications and impact. Even our own government engaged in this nefarious activity.

It seems that every piece of data we so natively entered in response to every offer has been analyzed and collated to create behavioral profiles that have led to an ultimate form of discrimination when we provide our location data we open up the doors to potential abuse.

We have not considered how this info and data is being used and by whom. For many of us it is too late to put the horses back in the stable. There is years of personal data lingering out there for anyone to use for any purpose.

 

Book Review: The Vigilant Fundraiser

Do you desire fundraising success?

If you run or volunteer for a community organization the start of a new year is vital to your sustainability. This is the time when donation commitments are made and tax deductions are planned wth April 15th just around the corner.

I located a book that could help organizations map out their fundraising efforts in 12 steps. The book is The Vigilant Fundraiser by George Stanois and published by Civil Sector Press. ISBN 978-927375-12-9 (paperback)

There are tons of such helpful books and resources available but many confound and complicate what could and should be a simple process of mapping out your approach. Using 12 concise steps is an effective method.

It starts with Step 1: : Case for Support written by Victoria White.

You narrow your fundraising documents down to a well-crafted description of what your organization does, what your stakeholders and community needs, the impact you are having and making, your key core priorities,how you plan to use provided funds, how the funding will benefit those you serve.

The other steps written by subject matter experts are intended to help you develop a tight strategic funding plan. Much of what you develop will be useful content for responding to RFP’s on and offline.

Because I am a strong proponent of effective processes and this book fits right in my wheelhouse. To date I have read over 50 books on the subject of fundraising and attended hundreds of seminar hours and online webinars.

All I really initially needed was to read a book like this. Too bad for me it came to me after 15 tough years of fundraising struggles trying to figure it all out. Good for you that you can get this important book now and jump right in.

Platforms

We quietly moved beyond simple OS’s and wound up firmly in the realm of platforms. IOS and ANDROID are more than operating systems. They are ecosystems which is another term for platforms.

So what then are platforms?
According to Wikipedia:
A computing platform includes a hardware architecture and a software framework (including application frameworks), where the combination allows software to run. Typical platforms include a computer architecture, operating system and Runtime libraries.[1]

A platform is a crucial element in software development. A platform might be simply defined as a place to launch software. The platform provider offers the software developer an undertaking that logic code (a general term for bytecode, source code and machine code) will run consistently as long as the platform is in place.

So, What Now?:

– CMS solutions are also platforms mainly intended for content development via templates.

– iOS and Android are platforms for devices and developers

This movement towards platforms is exactly the twist that Microsoft missed because they were thoroughly invested in and the proponent of operating systems because that was were they lived and what they controlled.

Now that times and trends have changed Microsoft is having very difficult time redefining themselves and dialing down and scaling back their OS philosophy to become just a platform. Microsoft is still attempting to hold up the banner for Windows/OS.

Users after years of Windows horror stories and overcharging don’t seem to be buying it and aren’t willing to step back into the muddled OS past.

The age of The Platform has arrived!

Unnecessary Daily Updates

I am beginning to wonder about the reason for, and an becoming ever more suspicious of apps that demand daily updates seemingly for no good reason. Are programmers that busy or is something else really the reason?

One issue I have is that those updates cripple my tablet just at the moments I need it most.,    really seldom see much improvement in the performance or presentation of those updated app’s. I couldn’t even edit this post having to wait for some update or the other to complete its mission. This is a problem that will compound itself the more apps you have loaded.
Now I see that an update has disabled my CMS solution so now my work is impacted. FTS.

 

Exploiters Pimping Social Media

Vampires look for inexhaustible sources of blood, criminals go after the money. Scammers look for the deepest source of suckers. At this time Social Media serves these up on a platter. Hackers exploit the holes and openings that weak programming and loose policies present.
The combination of unscrupulous marketers and scammers has created a minefield that is better carefully navigated by the newbie and unsuspecting.

The upshot will undoubtibly be the impending demise of social media and eventually the absolute wariness and distrust by users and consumers.

There will be additional impacts that will dig deep into many of the currently thriving industries and market segments.j

Initial reactions to this post come from folk with vested interests in the robustness of Social Media. Please understand that I am not trying to bring down their altar nor grind axes. I am simply working to see that we improve it to Jake it live up to its potential and promise. This can only be done if we weed out those that would run it into the ground for profit and pleasure.

Does Social Media Matter?

Social media in just a few years has completely changed the way we do just about everything from the way we communicate, shop to how we manage our careers.

Social Media is a powerful tool still maturing and expanding into new areas of our lives with potential for greater relevance that is high as are the countless drawbacks that are beginning arise that are frequently driving new users away.

BENEFITS:
* Drives trends
* Provides new means of communication
* Social media has the power to support wide and diverse needs.
* Social media allow individuala a voice in all thins
* Provides marketing opportunities
* Influences Events

DRAWBACKS:
* Lack of privacy and security
* Abundance of scams, malware and hacking
* Constant change for the worst
* Lack of trust
* Poor programming and development
* High costs of Bandwidth and access
* Duplication of services
* Oversatuation of Useless Information and Clutter

CONCLUSION:
Does Social Media really matter? The answer to that differs for each user. Some can plumb the depths and come up with ways to draw revenue and uncover opportunities while it is a time drain for many others hoping to strike it rich.
Social Media matters as much as the watch you wear. It is a tool for some and more like a magic lamp for others.

Half-assed Apps

What I have noticed is that this whole mobility ecosystem is plagued through and through with a multitude of half-assed incomplete and often non functional apps that in no way deliver on their promise nor accomplish what they claim to do. We waste countless hours trying to reign them in and make them do what we need.
Try as we might they do not nor cannot satisfy our ever increasing need for robust apps that actually work.
Even the simplest apps are insufficient to do even the most mundane of functions. I am almost tempted to declare that quality programming is a lost art.

GOP: Cult of crazies

The Trump debacles and other miss steps are pointing out the profile of the modern GOP.

Politics are more about what you hate than what you sypport. We have known this for a long time but it has seldom come into such sharp relief.

With Pres. Obama moving on the nuts are coming out believing that if a black man (Obsma) could do it anyone can.

 

The Era of Corny

With all these new 50’s Era TV shows being rebroadcasted on Binge and other flash back networks I now know how television declined so far so fast and has never regained it’s footing.
Most of these shows sold be buried and forgotten. I stead they are being lauded as a great stage in entertainment.
I have to say that 50’s women were special. All the rest is forgettable.
There are a few exceptions but most of it is pure junk and bunk. Now it is given new life but is due to die and be buried as we thought was.

Visit: thecoolnessfactor.com for more!

Microsoft hype: Hard and Heavy

Analysts are falling over themselves to crow up the glory of Windows 10

Many of these are the same carnys and shills that pumped up Windows 8 until the truth got told.

Let’s give Windows 10 a chance to be tested and used before we revisit what may be another flop
After all desktops are out and Windows phones only reptesemt a small fraction of the marketplace.
Microsoft can pull a rabbit out of the hat but that is a tall order.

Time will tell.

Visit: thecoolnessfactor.com for more!

Your Sweet Spot

Have you ever taken time to list the very things that hit your bullseye?

Without analysing why just what it is that moves you.

I did this with the movies I like and discovered zip like weird and bizarre offbeat movies.

knowing this has help me choose which ones I want to go out and see or pick up on DVD.

I also found that those choices spilled over into my choices of mudic, books and television shows.

Visit: thecoolnessfactor.com for more!

The Worst Idea in the World!

Talk about using the force. Researchers from Nankai University in China are busy talking up a mind-controlled car.
First we let cars park themselves. Next we make them self-driving and now crazy folk can use their minds to drive.

Are we to forget how to our arms and legs?

This unnecessary bold step surely takes convenience way too far and points out today’s obsession innovating run away technology.

Visit: thecoolnessfactor.com for more!

#Coolness is an #ethos

Means doing the things that truly need doing in the best possible way using the most appropriate means available.

Coolness is a lot more than just a process it is an maintaining an ethos of relaxed casual competence that signals absolute expertise.

Visit: thecoolnessfactor.com for more!

Big money ruined sports

I wish for a return to the days when we watched and played sports because they were mostly about good clean fun and all classes of people. Now on all levels it’s really just all about the dollars.

We must now pay thousands to get a seat at games or are forced to pay heavy fees to see a broadcast.

I say something has gone extremely wrong and think it may not be able to be fixed.

Now with the blatant example of FIFA’s troubles we see just how far up the ugly taint on sports has stained things.

Visit: thecoolnessfactor.com for more!

Metric Manipulation

Is starting to be so obvious we will soon ignore and disbelieve any numbers we hear.

The latest example was the number of Apple watches sold. Microsoft is pushing up the number of Nokia phones sold. Social media mainstays pump up the number users and visitors.

One day I read articles about the Apple Watch as a failure. Two days latter come multiple posts touting it as a success. The creative use of numbers stands as the proof.
None of them are proveable. The percentages and sizes of the market. The total number of sales.

None of them!

This reminds me of the days of ratings for radio and TV. Payola is equivalent to the money they pay to the marketing entities that release those flawed statistics. It is the same as gaming the marketplace. When we are concerned with being cool and fitting in these numbers may determine what we buy and use.

They know this and are willing to forego truth for sales and market position.

Visit: thecoolnessfactor.com for more!

Use what you pay for

Do you really use the apps that debit payments from your account?
You probably don’t even know which you have.

The cheap cost and plentiful proliferation of types has swallowed you up in a glut that ofttimes overwhelms or discourages you from even utilizing them.

As time goes by you continue to acquire even more and then there you are buried in an avalanche of apps that drain your account.

At present any solution is just manual old school note taking.

Don’t let this adverse condition go on too long or you may unfortunately look back months later and see hundreds if not thousands of hard-earned passively wasted.

Visit: thecoolnessfactor.com for more!

Things go wrong

I have noticed that the frequency of errors and problems online have increased.

This is probably due to most developers and programmers refuse to spend their time fixing and perfecting thier stuff than trying to come up with new stuff. The result is that we are buried in the clutter of marginally functional solutions. Our work is caught up in this conundrum and we are left to go fish.

Their are no gatekeepers halting the introduction of barely functioning apps. there is no enforcement forcing them to fix anything.

Mid-year Update

This is a good time to gauze back at innovations introduced in early 2015.

Sadly, there is not much to report. The much anticipated Apple watch stalled out of the gate and is falling on its face. Wearable technologies in general continue to appear with big hits. Tablets continue to steal markets from laptops and desktops.
Cyber cars have snuck onto the scene and have increased auto sales but that only uses innovation as enhancement or incentive.
OLD curved screens are being built into a few compelling products like a wristband smartphone that could lure me away from my Galaxy Note.

I suppose we must really sit tight and bide our time waiting until the upcoming CES in Las Vegas to see if there is anything new under the Sun. I am sure as before many companies will run out those failures of the past decade like 3rd TV.

Visit: thecoolnessfactor.com for more!

Repurposing

What used to be called copying has in the last 2 decades has been reclassified.
Taking a concept, product, or content and aiming it at a slightly different purpose has become a legitimate tactic in the modern msrketplace.

Often this is not fair to the original creator and profitable to the copier.

Sorting this out is beyond the ability of courts and juries to sort out thus derivative products too often clutter and confuse the marketplace.

The result is the slowing of innovation because folk are hesitant to introduce innovation for fear of repurposing.

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From .XX, to +, to PRO

The system of product/app upgrades has a definate pattern.

It usually starts with a basic introductory product hoping to make a big splash in the market.

Over time the product is improved and debugged and incrementally and numerically increased until it reaches critical mass. At this point it takes on major changes and is upgraded to “PRO” which is usually charged for or provided to new subscribers.
If the product or company is not sold, acquired or merged into another it may live a life attempting to rule it’s category.

At any point if plans fail to mature as desired it can or may be discontinued or shuttered and it’s assets sold.

We should be careful of the endgame motives of some of these companies. If not, the result is that we are too often stuck with apps that cease to function, capture and claim our data, and frustrate our goals and ambitions.

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You are the Tools You Use!

You are defined or confined by the tools you use.

It is worth it to do much more research and testing before you commit to a particular set of solutions and tools.

The way of doing this evalution and selection needs a tool but alas that one doesn’t exist.

So, you must explore every resource and source.  You must heed or at least read every recommendation. Lastly you must test every viable candidate that does what you need.

Starting by listing your explicite needs is actually a great starting place and way to gauge your progress and success in building your toolset.

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Smoopa Shutting

The frequency of quickly shuttered apps has increased to an alarming rate.
It is unfair to make users dependent on use only to snatch it away often with only slim or no notice.
This disturbing trend reminds me of the Internet bubble burst of 1999-2000.
A few companies along users to recover or transfer their data before closing.

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Lost Productivity

How many ideas, plans, projects, writings and apps have you lost when you changed or upgraded your phone or tablet?
I was not aware until I dug back into a tablet I used last year.
I found numerous great apps I should have been using all along.  Some had been discontinued, others had been acquired and incorporated into competitors (often inferior) products.
It was if I had lost a year of productivity.
Cloud services should help eliminate this but haven’t.
Updates should smooth transition but can’t. Companies need to know this but do’nt .

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Steve Jobs is gone. Get over it!

Steve was formidable but he had his faults and issues. In recent years he has been elevated to God-like status in books, musings and soon in movies.
Now his old bud Steve Wozniak is speaking out (through what seems more like jealousy) about his feelings. Analysts have politely taken a few long range shots and long-time Apple employees and staff have been the very last to blast.
Competitors like Bill Gates have even taken to waxing nostalgic about their once bitter foe.

We will probably never get truly close to the real story but we may soon be able to piece together our own opinions from the many bits of minutiae out here.

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Stuck on Stupid!!!

When it comes to gun control the nation is SOS. How many massacres does it take to shake us out of this apathy?
Each time we hear the same refrains.  “That doesn’t happen here, to us”. “We have a constitutional right”
Look again whether you are in a public theater or your child is at school or college there are ticking emotional time bombs set to go off.
The perpetrators will certainly plead insanity but that is just the excuse they use for the chaos they cause.
Making guns and amunition so readily available only makes it easier for maniacs to go into action and claim innocent victims.

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Internet of Things

Another cryptic techno phrase that sounds a charge towards the future is slated to take over everything within at least 10-11 years.

At this point most of us don’t even understand the concept or its potential. Broken down the IoT comes down to this: All devices, objects and systems will become web connected and designed to share information having a widespread and profound effect on the way we live our everyday and online lives by at least 2026.

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AT&T 4G LTE is no G

My phone runs slower than old dial ups used to. This forces me to consider getting an unlimited faster connection. Whatever happened to the promises of fast access 4G LTE were supposed to bring?

There is no one holding providers like AT&T to their promise, contracts or commitments. They are already being fined for billing users for unlimited access they don’t receive.

It seems things are going backwards when I sit here with access slower than 15 years ago.