Over the weekend I was joined by a group of ex-pats and fellow global nomads whom pal Craig Walker of UberConference introduced me to. It started with an email, led to a Skype call, then we used email, Twitter and iMessaging to coordinate meeting up, all finalized by a web service restaurant reservation and a Google Calendar item to lock in the details. What was so interesting to see was the complete devotion to Apple and iOS by everyone, a fact that became evident when all of our phones were running low on battery power by dinner time on Saturday night.
But it was at the wine and cheese party here at my rented villa last night that clearly revealed more to me than all the research money could buy.
For starters the kids all under 12 were already iPhone and app centric. They also were after a while asking for their iPhones and iPad that were in the car. The adults, who hail from Toluca Lake just north of Los Angeles, were accutely aware of the need for unlocked phones, swapping SIM's as you cross borders and even the recent lowering of roaming rates. They are also very much web/app services centric, further giving evidence to the declining need for a laptop when on the go.
Most importantly, we are all connected now more than we were when Craig first made the introduction, and distance won't keep us from staying in touch, even after they all go back to the Med port of Puerto de Santo Maria just near the combined USA-Spain Naval facility, ROTA. Between WhatsApp, iMessage, Twitter, Facebook and Email the photos, directions and notes over the past few weeks were all simply communicated, without skipping a beat.
Oh, and for my friend who was using both a locked iPhone and a loaner Android Nexus 3 from me, we used WhatsApp and iMessage--to stay in touch and all the time, were very connected...and rarely even inside our email accounts to keep in touch.
On that subject, I've been using Mailstrom from David Troy out of Baltimore for some time, and am getting greater control of my INBOXes. The goal to always be at Inbox zero is nice and now some tips may help you get there too...after that...ON TO THE NEWS.
Before the year winds down and New Year's resolutions begin to pile up, many of us look at our email inboxes. Depending on the number of messages there, you either feel a sense of accomplishment or a deep sense of dread.
As a frequent visitor to the City of Light, Paris, I'm a regular user of both Uber and SnapCar, just like I use Hailo in London and a few other places. Well I'm not pleased by the decision to make customers of Uber and other on demand car services now have to wait 15 minutes for a pick up. Or at least I wasn't until I thought this through. In Paris if I have the restaurant or hotel call me a cab I get charged from the time the cab responds to the call--from wherever they may be...With UBER or SnapCar the patron is charged from the time they get into the limo or cab. What's more, this may finally move Uber into the scheduled ride market where you simply say "I need a cab in 15 minutes" and then they assign that to a driver. They'll also be able to plot and pair up drivers more efficiently. And that's all because they'll have the data.
At first, it was just an idea, but this bill is now very real - urban transportation services like Uber and LeCab will now have to wait 15 minutes in France before letting a customer in the car. Back in October, the French government mentioned this piece of legislation as these new services would hurt traditional cab drivers.
We see CMO, CTO, CIO now the new title will be CDO-Chief Data Officer.
The Chief Data Officer: An executive whose time has come
I often ask people whether they know what Netflix, Harrah's, Amazon and Wal-Mart have in common? The answer is pretty simple. They use data analytics to leave their competitors in the dust. Many other businesses are trying to do the same, spending millions of dollars on data software.
Differening views on Facebook came out over the weekend. One report leaked to TechCrunch shows their growth, while another shows defection by teens. Which is right? I think it doesn't matter. Facebook evolves like brands of the past. They know they don't want to be another AOL so they have to change what they deliver. As for teens finding other ways to communicate, it's the same old situation. The don't want to be driving their parents car any more than using their parents services. Watch Facebook develop a product simply better aimed at that generation and then provide them the ability to grow up.
TechCrunch has obtained never before published metrics showing Facebook's international growth. Facebook sent some partners a playfully illustrated eMagazine called The Annual, but I've acquired a copy from a source and the stats inside are serious business. The report divulges user counts for some key international markets like Germany, which now has 25 million users, and 18 million mobile users.
The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reports on the Connected Car and what Google's Android team is doing with Audi. This likely will be a hot topic at CES next week in Las Vegas....If you're going to be there let us know. Our team's SVP of Mobile and Wireless Ritch Blasi and I will be there....
Technology giants Google Inc. and Apple Inc. are about to expand their battle for digital supremacy to a new front: the automobile. Next week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Google and German auto maker Audi AG plan to announce that they are working together to develop in-car entertainment and information systems that are based on Google's Android software, people familiar with the matter said.
I've been using a Google ChromeBook back home as my "other" computer, especially when I'm living in Google Apps land or simply working without the need for Microsoft Office. For starters it lowers the total cost of ownership because for under $400 I can put someone on the team and give them a Google Apps account for $50.00 a year. Compared to a Mac and Office that's an $800 savings from the start. Well, it seems others are thinking the same way as both ComputerWorld and DaringFireball's John Grube weigh in.
Daring Fireball: Chromebook Sales vs. Web Traffic Share
Daring Fireball's stats are clearly not representative of the general public, and surely vastly under-represent Chrome OS, but for what it's worth, Google Analytics puts Chrome OS at 0.08 percent of visits in the last 30 days. Also worth noting: iOS nipped past Mac OS X for the first time that I've noticed, 41.62 to 41.10 percent.)
With the year coming to an end eyes look forward. In this case we have to look towards what may be coming from ISPs with broadband and mobile network services. LTE is changing mobile, and faster fixed mobile services will come into play. Living here the last ten days or so in Cascais my broadband is fed to the hotel/villa property via fixed wireless from TMN-Portugal Telecom's mobile arm. Previously it came from Vodafone. Same speeds and great service and only a few hops to the main backbone and across the water. Things will be changing in the USA too...take a peek.
2013, like just about every year before it, was the year nearly all of us complained about our Internet service. "It's too slow!" we said. "Too expensive!" And we were generally right, as a study by the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute found that US consumers pay more for slower service than counterparts in other countries.
What to expect from mobile networks in 2014: The 4G car, LTE Broadcast and small cells
2013 was largely a year of entrenchment in the U.S. mobile industry. Carriers expanded their 4G footprints geographically and added new capacity to meet the demands of an increasing number of LTE devices. But in 2014, we're going to see carriers get a bit more experimental with their networks and their services.
Since the recent recession, and at least partially sparked by it, I'm seeing a real resurgence of entrepreneurial spirit, and more startup activity than ever before. I believe the days of the "job work" mentality are thankfully waning, with more people looking to get satisfaction by making the world a better place, rather than just tolerating brain-numbing work to fund enjoyment elsewhere.
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