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Posts from May 2010

Skype on 3G-Something Borrowed, Something New

Alec Saunders, Jim Courtney and many others have waxed on about the new Skype over 3G app for the iPhone. Let me tell you, it works very well on the iPad too. But there are limitations:

1) No Bluetooth audio

2) No call waiting

Those are trivial. And those will likely be fixed when OS 4.0 comes out for the iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad. My experience was nothing short of a teenager's first time. First kiss. First drink. First whatever. It was very, very different.

Here's how I see it:

1) Generic SIP Audio = AM

2) Skype over WiFi = FM

3) Skype /w Silk Codec over 3G directly, = CD quality

This tells me that Skype has more than likely been working very closely with Apple to get the audio right. No hacking around with the built in iLBC or AMR codecs. Unh-huh. Skype went right for the main vein, the soundcard and figured out how to take the audio from the 3G signal media path, right to the audio output, and vice versa. And it sounds very, very good. How good? Well put it this way..why would anyone with an iPhone want to call over old AT&T after their first Skype over 3G call. Oh, and yes, it makes Skype on Verizon sound like, well, a plain old telephone call.....Ma Bell, you're back sounding like you're old self. The way the boys in the labs have always dreamed and said you could.

Now only if I had that working with Bluetooth :-(

Yankees Ban of iPads is Not Like Banning Books

Let's face it, an iPad is no more distracting than a magazine or a book, yet, nothing in the New York Yankees or Yankee Stadium "rules" bans book or magazines.

So why are the Yankee's doing this?

Here are a few likely "reasons" they are from someone who grew up inside the sports world, from the age of 14 until I was 38, working with and for some of the most professional venue and team executives ever to be around sports and entertainment:

1. The reflection from the screen may distract one of the ballplayers--gee so could the groupie in the front row who is wearing hardly anything at all who likely will have more of the player's attention after the game.

2. If you're reading the iPad instead of watching the screens you're not seeing the ads--gee, some fans could be reading their Bible and be praying for a home run. Either way, this impacts revenue from gross impressions from ads and commercials on the replay screens, signs and scoreboards.

3. The iPad may let you make a bet in real time just like your iPhone, Android or any Smartphone. Gee-- they're not on the list of banned substances in the MLB yet.

4. You'll be subscribing and using the MLB's At Bat 2010 iPad application and know more about the game's that day, and possibly learn more than the guy sitting next to you. That's ok, they're a fan of the opposition anyway, and it may cause them to learn something new, because we all know that Yankee fans already know it all.

There are likely a ton of real reasons/excuses the Yankees could offer up, but honestly, does a laptop or iPad really interfere with the game? Does it create a risk for the venue? And most of all, is the safety of the fan really compromised? Well, I guess to be serious they do. You see, we all know about distractions at athletic events, and the iPad could easily cause more than a few distractions:

1. A foul tip could hit you in the face because you were too busy watching or reading on the iPad (but the same argument applies to Blackberries and they are not yet banned)

2. Walking into someone-we all have seen the Blackberry Helmet video (or should watch it)

3. Revenue-you're not buying the game day magazine or program book and instead are getting more current content and information from other sources that are not making money for the Yankees and MLB.

4. Theft, fights and more--Yankee Stadium isn't exactly in the most poshest of neighborhoods in the five boroughs of New York. The risk of theft or a fight over your iPad on your way in or out of the venue could cause patrons harm or lead to increased thievery.

5. Where does it get stored when you're not looking at it? Let's face it, seats at a ballpark don't exactly have baggage storage. At what point is a bag too big to fit under your seat?

I could go on and on, but the reality is, after thinking this over, the Yankees are really leaning to the side of caution. Unfortunately, they just dropped the ball in how they handled the communications to the public.

Start Yapping

It looks like PhoneTag has some competition in the voicemail to text space.

Upstart YAP has landed as a customer, giving Boston based the ability to resell a service that delivers the words of a message by email or as an SMS message.

With the deflation of SpinVox, PhoneTag pretty much had the sector to themselves, but now it looks like there is some real competition on the horizon.

Has Google Become Santa Claus?

"He knows when you're are sleeping."

"He knows when you're awake"

"He knows if you've been bad or good..."

"So be good for goodness sake..."

You know the old rhyme.....well, it could apply to Google after what I heard today from a T-Mobile rep about the updates to the Nexus One that some folks are reporting they have. It seems that "the updates were pushed out to some reporters" said the Nexus One support person who I was automatically connected to after dialing 611 on my Nexus One. The rest of us he said "have to wait until it comes out for everyone else."

The very friendly agent also said "I've been tracking this story closely because I too have a Nexus One and am looking forward to having it too."

So that begs the question...just how much of what the reporters and bloggers, not to mention the hundreds of executives who were given Nexus One's at events like TED, is now known by Google?

In light of the recent Facebook privacy flap, maybe it's time that Google provides a "DELETE ALL" my history option to Nexus One users in a simple, easy to accomplish way.