Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Finally the rest of the world figures out what Pharma already knew...

Last week's WSJ article Proctor and Gamble Clears Plan for Mobile Coupons is great news for consumers.  Continuing a trend started with retailer programs like that of Starbucks and BestBuy, the mobile coupon programs have huge upside potential for both consumers and the manufacturers issuing them.  If they implement this correctly, while the consumer saves, the manufacturers get information about those taking advantage of the coupons (with opt-in, ie: permission) as well as what message(s) drove uptake, where and when.  Even without opt-in, de-identified information provides a trove of information compared to that of the the aggregated redemption model used with paper.  This is a message that Pharmaceutical companies learned years ago.  Adjudicated (electronically processed) vouchers provided actionable insights into sampling of their products not available to them with the same level of clarity even with all the paper involved in the process.
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Monday, April 4, 2011

First Impressions - Verizon’s first 4G LTE Mobile hotspot now available

I personally had been waiting so patiently for a new 4g Hotspot.  My Verizon contract on the 2200 has been up for a while, but I didn't see any need for a change without a big performance gain; aka 4g.  The Samsung 4G LTE SCH-LC11 released on March 31st,

no fanfare, no lines on the first morning of availability, hmm, actually kind of boring non event.  It’s initial release was only through a Verizon store, I would have liked to pick it up at Best Buy to get the points...  The Verizon store reps while nice and charming enough, knew nothing about the device.  I asked questions as they setup the new device to replace my existing 3G model;

1)   Does it need to be fully charged before first use?
2)   Is it configured the via a cable like my 2200 was?
3)   How is the battery life

all answered incorrectly by multiple people including their SME on wireless modems.  After a few hours on the charger, my first use lasted about two hours and then it died.  A bit disappointing since they were promising 230 minutes.  Also, his was with 3g since I don't live in an area that has 4g yet.  After a recharge, I was ready to go again and see what this puppy could deliver.  So today, I am up in Boston and  after an initial problem where the WiFi radio didn't come up, I powered down and powered back up and wow!  It is fast.  I don't typically play video over my modem, but I had to see how fast it was.  Let's put it this way, no buffering issues, in fact if you are watching something you are not sure you want to watch, you may as well watch the whole thing, becuase it will be downloaded before you can decide if it was worth it (ie YouTube clips, not necessarily a full length movie).  I stand impressed.  I am not sure however I like the way you configure the modem or it's choice of a default ip subnet.  These choices, it seems to me, are ripe for conflict.  In fact, that was my initial concern when I couldn't connect to it in the hotel.   Also, the online manual is horrible.  You can not be sure what some of the settings represent as well as whether a change you make will disconnect you from the modem until a hard reset.  Samsung and/or Verizon needs to address this.  Regarding the battery life, i figure a couple of charge cycles are necessary before knowing what the battery will deliver, but it is replaceable so I can always carry a spare for those expected heavy load days.  Oh, and if you're wondering why I wanted 4g if it wasn't available yet where I live; I don't need it for where I live, I need it for where I travel :-)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Firefox 4 Launched for Android

I have been using this new version (4) of Firefox for a little over a week on both my pc and mac.  I love the streamlined interface w less space lost (aka more efficient use of) above your actual browsing space.  On the computer(s) side, I love the integrations with yoono, evernote, readit, stumbled upon, etc. all with the fact that I can have them match on both platforms.  I am looking forward to installing and trying out on my Incredible to see how well this all flows.

Regardless, both ie and safari have been relegated to the background for browsing unless an installed app triggers them.  Firefox and Chrome (or more importantly Flock's version of Chrome) are far superior browsing platform choices and I think that is the key, they are platform choices.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Sharp Announces 5.5 and 10.8" Android e-reader Tablets to launch their new E-Bookstore

It is good to see that the tablet world is getting more crowded, the side effects of which are that end users are going to be the beneficiaries of more choice. Sharp has announced a few new e-reader "media" tablets based on the Android O/S.

Some features touted in their press release:

1. “Automatic Scheduled Delivery Service” for periodical publications, including newspapers and magazines. Content from the most recent editions can be delivered and read whenever desired.

2. Rich graphic capabilities and an easy-to-use interface that give full consideration to the book culture of Japan.

3. “Evolution” of the terminal devices with periodic software updates.

They are backing this up with their own cloud based E-Bookstore. Their official promo video is here. While this is in Japanese (English starts around 6 minutes in), you get the idea.

The devices will have WiFi and users will be able to surf the web, view documents, play games, and communicate with others via a “social app”. Other then that, they don't go into much detail about use as a multifunctional Android device but I would expect e-reader is not the end game for this tablets.

With more and more tablet devices coming out over the next few months all based on the Android O/S, you have to wonder if we are seeing history repeat itself; the Apple / PC thing all over again.  Apple out first, yet proprietary and over controlling / over protective of the hardware and software with the iPhone / iPad.  Although this time instead of Microsoft (so far), it's Google with Android, open platform and letting each manufacturer innovate in their own way.

While some might suggest Apple is protecting their users with the controlled environment of the app store and others might say that the Android Market is Open, yet the wild wild west; there is a place for both.  Apple has taken the world to a place we had previously struggled to reach in mobile computing.  In fact, one might say they have opened Pandora's box for how these devices will grow through apps and widgets as they evolve.  As we have seen in the short time since Android has been available, the manufacturers and software developers have ideas for where these devices can go next and I for one want to see that innovation available for users to choose their own path for their own devices.  I believe this will result in for the best possible fit to their way of working, playing, reading, listening, etc.  I guess we will see what the market thinks soon enough.

Related (if not opposing thoughts relative to the App Store vs the Market)

Why Apple's "walled garden" is a good idea

Will Android's openness mean we need Antivirus for these devices?