Friday, April 30, 2010

Google Has Created Web Elements

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Evening with Friends 4-27-2010

On tonight's show, I flounder around at the beginning trying to log into the website to pull up the switchboard. Jumping from the recent Arizona legislation to the economy.

Then Luis Sandoval, Jr of Tech in Twenty called in to talk about helping out some folks who lost everything after a tornado with social media. Then we turned our sights on the raid of a Gizmodo editor's home. Lots of fun.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

The iPad Vs. Tablets and Other Similar Appliances

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase
Today, in the Twitter stream, I saw mentions that Google will have a rival to the iPad in the form of an Android tablet, soon. Some of the comparisons are similar to previous comparisons that the Android phone was going to be the iPhone killer. Of course, history tells us that the iPhone is still around and flourishing; but so is Android. So what can we expect from an Android, Windows, or other form of tablet against the iPad?

Well, as experience tells us, every iPhone killer that came down the pipeline, Android, Palm Pre, and whatever else they throw at us, has failed to deliver the death of the iPhone. I can explain why this is. The iPhone is awesome. I own an Android phone; but I will admit that the iPhone is spongeworthy. So, the death of the iPhone never came about because for many of us, Android/Palm Pre/Whatever is "good enough".

A while back I was bullshitting with a friend; we came to discussing that these days we are mainly a society of "good enough". I can identify with this mentality; having a blogging and podcasting background, we often focus on putting out the content rather than trying to achieve perfection. It just has to be good enough. Otherwise, you spend a great deal more time on producing and don't achieve much higher returns.

Apple is different in that they bust their butts creating and manufacturing truly breathtaking products. They shock and awe the market with every product launch, lately. But, that is their market. Going back to the days when Apple only made computers, you would have a Mac if you were some fancypants graphic designer or were rolling in dough. If you wanted performance, you got a Mac. The rest of us bought PCs, which were good enough. Corporations and governments invested in PC networks because they are good enough. Apple is still around. They market to those who want "the best".

So, I laugh at all the predictions that Google is going to come up with the iPad killer. That's not Google's game. Just like Microsoft won market share with an OS that was good enough, Google has put out free products that are good enough. Android will eventually have a larger market share than the iPhone. The Android tablet may eventually also overtake the iPad. But, neither the iPhone nor the iPad will die; the target markets are completely different.

Also, keep this in mind; every Android phone out there means another "locked in" Google user. It's damned handy to have your contacts, calendar, and emails automatically synced to the web. The main problem with Android has been a series of unimpressive hardware platforms. Apple went for sexy; and they nailed it. Google is going for mass adoption; and they are getting it.

Where Android phone manufacturers can go wrong is by making their handsets cost as much as the iPhone. If the price is the same, you might was well go with the iPhone. Seriously, there are more iPhone accessories; because it's roughly the same product with every iteration. Each Android or other OS has different designs for each handset, making it less appealing for companies to make accessories. In addition, you know that iPhone users have more money and are willing to spend it.

If you are considering the Amazon Kindle or Barnes and Noble Nook for reading books, how does that compare against a $500 iPad? Both those products are half the price of an iPad. In addition, they do not carry any monthly fees for Internet. If you are mindful of your spending, wouldn't those two products be good enough when compared against the iPad? After all, your phone and computer already bring you Internet. And you also have a DVD or Blueray player in the living room. Those are good enough, right?

So, the Android tablet will absolutely not kill the iPad. Different market. Different objective. Apple wants the few, the proud. Android wants the huddled masses.

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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Hi. This is Shaine....

Hi. This is Shaine. I'm just checking out dial2do. This blogger service to see how well it works for automated blog post.
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Sunday, April 04, 2010

What do you do for a fever?

I'm asking what you do as a parent when one of your children has a fever. I think for the most part, we do some of the same things. For example, you give your little one some Tylenol or Motrin to help control their fever. You probably also bathe them frequently to help bring down their temperature.

There are some things that we don't think about that other parents go through when you have a sick child. We don't typically talk about waking up a few times at night to check up on the sick child. We don't talk about the heartache that results from purposely putting a child in water that feels cold to him or her; then, you watch them tremble, wanting a blanket or something to cover up. There is a lot we don't share as parents.

Although fevers are commonplace, I think we all have somewhere in the backs of our minds that a while back, children died of such things less than 100 years ago. I don't mean to frighten you; but, a fever could easily get out of control and lead to seizures, if you aren't mindful. Or, a fever could be caused by meningitis or some other scary affliction. The point is, you never know.

Even with all the advances in medicine, there really isn't much you can do that we don't already do. We give a medicine to keep the fever down; we bathe them in tepid water if they get too hot. We wait. For something like a fever, you don't generally start running cat scans and growing cultures. Fevers typically come and go on their own, mysteriously. Even if we knew exactly what was causing the fever, the remedy is the same; you wait.

I think that's the toughest thing, waiting. Although you know that the fever will likely go away as easily as it came, you're always watching for signs that it might be something worse. That's the silent fear that we parents face, that we will be caught off-guard if we don't keep checking. We want to be doing something more; but there isn't more to do than we already do.

Dose. Bathe. Wait. Is this your experience too?

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Domino's Pizza Gets My Vote

I have not ordered Domino's Pizza in some time; I am surprised by their new quality and easy ordering. In the past, their value proposition was that they would get you a hot pizza in 30 minutes or less. There was no claim on how good it would taste. So, if you wanted good pizza, you'd order Pizza Hut, even if it took a little longer. Of course, Papa John's is pretty good too. But, now that Domino's has changed how they make pizza and added an online ordering system, I am a fan again.

I got an opportunity to taste the new Domino's earlier in March. That is how I learned about the ability to order online. I probably knew this somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, if I were interested in ordering Domino's. The convenience of ordering online was not sufficient for me to get past my desire for decent pizza. So, when I actually tasted the new product, I was impressed.

I typically leave pizza bones behind; some of you call them crusts. With the new Domino's, I don't leave any bones. They have made the crust as appealing as the pizza itself.

The overall combination of convenient online ordering and tracking with improved recipe makes the new Domino's Pizza something I would willingly recommend to others. Even better, I would recommend it for the pizza rather than the speed of delivery.

Way to go, Domino's!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

It all started with one trip to Austin

It all started with one trip to Austin and San Antonio. There were a couple of events in which my friend Jennifer Navarrete got me speaking gigs. I'm never one to say, "no, I don't have anything to say". On second thought, I do say that; but, in this case, it was on topics that I like. So, that took me away from home for a few days. I spent the weekend in San Antonio and even got to visit my brother.

The next trip to Austin was for South by Southwest Interactive, aka SxSWi. This is always a great deal of fun to attend. I don't get to go every year; making it especially attractive. As per tradition, I did not attend any of the sessions. There were plenty of events happening afterwards to keep me busy.

My third trip to Austin was for work. Our office attended a redistricting conference organized by the National Conference of State Legislators. It was an intense few days about all the little details involved in drawing districts for elected officials. That was followed by a hearing for the House Select Committee on Emergency Preparedness, which I helped organize.

That's three trips to Austin/San Antonio in one month. At this point I am fried and backed up on all kinds of work. BUT, I did learn some things.

  • A smart phone is great for keeping in touch with your people. You can call, text, email, MMS, tweet, etc...

  • A smart phone bites for doing any web work. You won't be doing any serious blog tweaking or writing.

  • You need to keep up with the stream of what is going on if you want to have a good time.

  • Don't keep up with the Joneses. If you have work to do, you should call it a night and hit the hotel.

  • Transportation makes the difference between a good time and an OK time. You need your own wheels.

  • Even if you plan to work every day of your trip, don't just pack your fancy pants. You need grunge to relax.

  • Talk to the bartender.

  • Take advantage of the hotel exercise equipment.

  • Don't eat the entire restaurant portion; you'll put on weight.

  • There is plenty more I learned. More posts to come.

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