Category: Geekery

Bright shiny new toys that click and whir excite us, so do rumors and possibilities.

Marketing Of Cell Phones

I’m becoming obsessed with how smart phones are being marketed and advertised.  I want to take a minute to compare the Apple and Android campaigns.

Apple

Apple is marketed as friendly, fun, & easy to use.  They even have a white phone so you can be all bright and cheery.  (YAY)  The new Apple operating system even has a uber polite assistant named Siri.  If you ask Siri who the hell he thinks he is, he replies with, “I’m a humble personal assistant”.  HOW FUN IS THAT!

 

Android

The Android phones are marketed as the most powerful phones on earth.  I think they are going after the super hero villain demographic, bent on world domination.  Droids are going to turn on us like the Terminator.  It even has a glowing red eye!  These hellish devices are becoming “self aware” and will soon come after us.  You can’t convince me otherwise.

The only thing about the Droid phones I don’t like from a marketing perspective is that there’s no hierarchy for what phone is newer or better than the last.  You have to put your “nerd hat” on to figure out why one is $500 cheaper than the next.  And don’t trust the kid at the store.

Fantasy Football Is The Devil

Above is a picture of our fantasy football draft board from September.  You may have read that my team fell apart worse than the “Dream Team” Eagles.  It took Al Davis to DIE before my team got the first win.  “Zombie Al Davis” has changed names to “R.I.P. Al Davis” and promptly won.

In case you were curious… The team who drafted Matt Ryan 5th OVERALL is undefeated and in first place.  Go figure…

Thank you, Steve Jobs

I picked up my iPhone and opened Twitter to condense all of that into 140 characters. And then I saw. It’s one of those things that’s literally unbelievable until you have no absolutely choice but to realize the truth.
Matt Buchanan, Gizmodo

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I wasn’t sitting in an Apple store, I was at my desk, reading twitter on my iPad when I found out that Steve Jobs had passed away. It was as if I had been punched. A man I did not know had died, but somehow i felt it in a way I cannot explain. It felt like e future had been stole.

I honestly cannot put into words why, but his passing has really made me realize something. Steve Jobs was a hero to me.

Te first computer my family owned was a Mac. It sat in the basement for my parents to keep the family business ticking. We had a color printer that went with it, the kind that printed on long connected sheets and made a zzzzzzzzeeeet zzzzzzzzeeeet zzzzzzzzeeeet sound when it printed. I got to use very rudimentary software to make cards with it. I know now how lucky we were to have that computer. I also know that that Mac for ever changed my life.

When I got to school and got to go to the computer lab, it was a Mac I used to play Oregon Trail. And Carmen San Diego. Life further changed by a Mac.

A few years later we got a new computer – an iMac (the blue one). It had a modem and I was introduced to the Internet. It had QuickTime, and I saw my first video on the computer (Buddy Holly by Weezer). I played my first serious video game on that computer – a Star Wars flight simulator.

I remember wanting an iPod more than anything. I had a 200+ CD collection when it came out and all I wanted was all that music in my pocket. I got the 2nd gen version, with the glowing red buttons.

I watched as many “Steve-notes” as I care to remember, hanging on every word the bloggers typed, hoping for one more thing. I have sat in darkened movie theaters and marveled at the graphics of a movie, while I wiped tears from my eyes. I can’t wait to show my kids Wall-e and Toy Story 3 (so they learn to share their toys). Steve made those movies happen through Pixar.

I’ve had Macs, iPods, iPhones and now an iPad but the most important thing I got from Apple, and from Steve Jobs, was inspiration.

I work in technology, and care about technology, because of the Macs I Jed over the years, and the iPods, etc. I am where I am because of Steve Jobs (and others).

Others have great things to say about Steve Jobs, just search around and you’ll find great stories. Wired has a good roundup of eulogies, so does FastCompany. People more eloquent than I.

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All I have to say is this:
Thank you Steve. For the products. For the dedication. For the hard work. For never accepting less than perfect. For the inspiration. And for being my hero.

You will be missed.

The problem with apps

So I wrote that last post, extolling the virtues of tablets, all the while frustrated by the app I was using for not having rich text editing. As soon as I hit publish I switched over to the app store to look for something, and BAM! there was an update available.

I wish that when you opened an app it would tell you there was an update available, especially one that is connected to the Internet anyway.

Just know that next time that will be a real bulleted list.

Why you need a tablet

As a nerd, certified and a licensed, I have wanted a tablet since, well… I guess the first time I saw characters on Star Trek with them. I wanted all the world’s information at my finger tips, control of my surroundings and more. But it wasn’t just Star Trek, it’s every sci-fi show and movie. The future, it would seem, is rife with flat, handheld computers.

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When the iPad was first announced I realized that that childhood dream was coming to fruition. I could have that magical gadget from sci-fi. But I waited. No one buys version one, or should at least. So when the iPad 2 came out I thought some more. And waited a little longer. I wanted to see what the other computer makers had to offer.

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Then I bought an iPad 2. Sure, there’s are other options, but the iPad 2 seems to be the best for now. Maybe not forever, but for now.

Since I got it I have read more, communicated more and discovered a new love of casual games.

You need a tablet for 7 reasons:
1. Content consumption: tablets are the future of magazines and newspapers. In fact, tablet might be the only way they survive. Then theres the Internet. Sure, it’s great on a phone, better on the computer, but for casual surfing, the tablet is the way to go.
2. Entertainment: despite Netflix totally hosing everyone, it’s pretty great to watch tv or movies on a tablet. As more content comes available it will be even better
3. Reading: Kindle and the like on iPad or android tablets is amazing. Almost better than a real book in so many ways. The biggest being weight.
4. Games: I am not a huge gamer, but casual, simple games are great on a tablet.
5. Staying in touch: email, Facebook and all the myriad social networks are great from the couch during that Gorky show the misses is making you watch.
6. Control: I can control the TiVo, the lights and even log on to my computer with one device.
7. To fulfill a life long dream of being onfive…. “five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

The 7 Best Apps

Voted on by me… because I wrote it and have nobody to talk to…  I’m not a big app guy and I don’t have many because my phone is the spawn of Satan. (60 more days…)  These are the apps worth my time.

1)       Facebook For Android. It’s faster than using the mobile site.

2)      Twitter For Android. Yes, I tweet.  Deal with it.

3)      WordPress.  I can quickly bitch about my phone without booting up my computer! What a world we live in!

4)      ESPN ScoreCenter.  I’m assuming it runs faster on better phones.  This app keeps my sanity while shopping with the misses.

5)      Shazam.  The reason smart phones were invented.  I’d list Pandora here, but my phone can’t handle it.  It’s on the iPad for sure.

6)      Yelp.  Helps when you’re out of town and want to check out a new restaurant before you walk in the door.

7)      IMDB.  I always argue about what actor was in what movie.  “You know, the guy from My Cousin Vinny!” This app settles most bets before they escalate into brawls.

What apps am I missing out on?

Let’s Talk About Branding

Netflix caved in and apologized for their arrogance in a lengthy email.  It was too little-too late and shows the dysfunction that the company is going through.  This was an attempt to explain their side disguised as an apology.

The purpose was mostly to explain how they are splitting the DVD by mail service from the instant streaming service.  This, in my semi educated opinion is a horrible idea.  Companies spend billions of dollars on their name recognition.  Most companies want all of their products to be under one highly recognizable brand name.  Hell, even athletes and celebrities market themselves as a “brand”.

Remember Napster? Friendster?  Now we will have… Quickster?  A crappy name for a crappy decision.

Everyone agrees that the way we get our home entertainment is evolving dramatically.  Streaming content directly into homes is the future.  However, if you live in a rural area without a decent internet connection, you will still have the DVD option available.  Both business models can grow if managed properly.  Making two companies or worse, spending money on promoting two brands is a mistake. 

People weren’t pissed that the service was split into two separate payment plans; they were pissed because prices were raised for the second time in 6 months without adding value.