Tag Archives: iphone

selfie.smartphone

Planning to buy your child a SmartPhone for holidays?

TeenSafe, maker of the leading iPhone, iPad and Android monitoring software for parents, is reminding moms and dads planning on buying their teen a smartphone this holiday season to be prepared and empowered with the proper tools to help them keep a watchful eye on their child in this technologically advanced world.

“Whether it’s your child’s first smartphone or you are upgrading your child’s phone this holiday season, consider giving them the most valuable gift of all, your protection. With 21st Century technology at your child’s fingertips, the world and all the information it has is available to our children,” said Ameeta Jain, TeenSafe co-founder. “We as parents try to do everything within our power to protect our children from the day they are born. Give them a smartphone with a monitoring system in place and start protecting your children in the digital world so you as the parent set the tone before giving your child their first phone.”

TeenSafe gives parents the ability to see their kids’ incoming, outgoing and deleted text messages, web browsing history, contacts, call logs, location and Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Kik activity through a secure, online account. The technology is the only monitoring solution that works without having to jailbreak your child’s phone and is becoming known for truly helping parents become aware of what their kids are doing that they may not be talking about at home. Parents can take responsible action often before issues become crises.

iphone

iPhone glass manufacturer wants to close Mesa plant

A manufacturer of sapphire glass that Apple Inc. uses in iPhones told a bankruptcy court Friday that it wants to shut down a Mesa factory that was once touted as a big job creator for Arizona.

GT Advanced Technologies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week. In a bankruptcy court filing Friday, the company outlined its plans to wind down operations at the Mesa factory by the end of the year along with a second facility in Salem, Massachusetts — a move that would leave hundreds of people out of work.

“This drastic step is necessitated by GTAT’s liquidity crisis and the ongoing cash burn from its operations at these locations,” the company said in a court filing.

The request to wind down operations at the locations is contingent on the court’s approval. GT Advanced Technologies’ stock was down about 35 percent Friday, trading at 84 cents. The stock’s 52-week high is $20.54.

The bankruptcy and ensuing effort to shut down the factory mark surprising turn after state, local and business leaders previously bragged that the plant would be a major boost to the Arizona economy.

Gov. Jan Brewer had hailed Apple’s decision to open the plant in Mesa, calling it a sign that the Arizona’s efforts to provide a pro-business climate were paying off. The state has cut business taxes and created several incentives designed to lure new manufacturing businesses in the past several years.

At full production the companies expected 700 workers to run the plant.

Now, GT wants to begin winding down operations. In a statement, GT said it realizes the difficulties caused by a plant closing but needs to make the right financial decisions following the bankruptcy action.

“While we continue to explore all options with regards to our Mesa and Salem facilities, we recognize and regret the impact that the actions outlined in our bankruptcy court filings of this morning may have on valued GT employees,” the company said.

manufacturing sector expanded

Brewer OKs tax cut law for manufacturers

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday signed into law a bill that eliminates sales taxes on electricity and natural gas purchased by manufacturers and mining smelters, a move she said was needed to make the state more attractive to large businesses.

Brewer signed Senate Bill 1413 at a Capitol ceremony attended by a couple of dozen business leaders, calling it “another smart tax reform that will bolster job creation in Arizona and our competitive edge.”

The tax cut is expected to cost the state general fund at least $17 million a year. Brewer also vetoed money in the state budget designed to help counties make up for the losses, saying their loss was small and would set a bad precedent.

“Since becoming governor, my cornerstone priority has been to make Arizona as attractive as possible for new and expanding businesses, particularly for our manufacturing industry, which generates quality jobs and high-wage salaries,” Brewer said. “I want Arizona to be No. 1 and be the pro-business state in the nation and we have worked relentlessly to accomplish that.”

Later in the day, Brewer also signed a law providing a $5 million tax credit many say is aimed directly at Apple Inc. Senate Bill 1484 grants the tax credit to a company that installs at least $300 million in renewable power capacity to supply its own plant.

The governor touted other tax cuts, regulatory reform and business-friendly policies that she has championed since she took office in 2009. Those tax cuts have affected the state’s revenue, but she said they are important to growing the economy.

“When we bring in these new businesses it drives our economy, they bring in construction jobs, they bring in employees, they bring in money into the state,” she said. “So in the end, everybody’s ship rises.”

Brewer called for the elimination of the tax in her State of the State address in January, saying it was needed to make Arizona more competitive and draw new manufacturing to the state.

The bill received bipartisan support in both legislative chambers, although one conservative Republican in the House of Representatives dissented when it came up for a vote earlier this week.

Rep. Brenda Barton, R-Payson, says the bill places a burden on rural counties that rely on that tax base. She and other rural lawmakers managed to get $1.3 million in the budget to make up for the cuts, but Brewer vetoed that money Friday afternoon.

“I am getting to the point that a lot of these special legislation bills that we are promoting are harming the state of Arizona, and they are harming our rural counties and our rural cities, and I don’t believe we are doing a very good job of doing what’s right for the right reasons,” Barton said during debate earlier in the week. She didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment.

Others defended the bill.

“I think anytime we can support small businesses and reduce their taxes and large businesses and reduce their taxes, and allow them to reinvest in their business and reinvest in the communities and reinvest in their employees, I think we need to be looking for opportunities to do this,” Rep. David Livingston, R-Peoria, said.

Steve Macias, chairman of the Arizona Manufacturer’s Council and the operator of a machine shop that will get a small direct benefit from the tax cut, said it could bring in more manufacturing.

“Seventy percent, 80 percent of the business we do is right here in Arizona,” Macias said of his operation. “And almost all of that is to larger manufacturers, the General Dynamics of the world, the guys who make equipment for the solar industry. So when they attract those guys, I get excited because to me those are all potential customers.”

Glenn Hamer, president of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, said 38 other states do not tax electricity use by manufacturers and cutting the tax will help the state.

“These are jobs that pay more than the median wage. They’re jobs that every other state competes for, and we’ve done something significant to make Arizona more competitive today,” Hamer said.

The tax credit bill drew the ire of conservative House Republicans, who said say the bill is unfairly tailored to benefit Apple’s planned Mesa sapphire glass manufacturing plant and picked winners and losers among the state’s industries.

Apple said in November it will open the plant and eventually employ 700 workers to provide material for its iPhone 5 cameras and fingerprint reading sensors.

The tax credit could also be claimed by other companies that build similar facilities. Tesla Motors Inc. is currently looking for a battery plant site and often mentioned as a possible candidate.

“We as conservatives have got to step away from this crony capitalist style of development,” Rep. Adam Kwasman, R-Oro Valley, said during debate on the bill Tuesday. “We cannot afford to pick winners and losers in industry. We believe in low taxes for everybody. We believe in simple rules for everybody.”

But the bill sponsor defended it, saying it was a small amount of money to help establish a large manufacturing operation. The Arizona Commerce Authority helped seal the deal with other incentives.

“I believe that they did the right thing to bring Apple here,” Sen. Bob Worsley, R-Mesa, carried the Apple bill, saying he did it because the Arizona Commerce Authority had made a commitment to the company as part of the deal to draw them here. “And the dollars are very small in the whole scheme of things with Apple being in the Valley. They could have gone to Texas, they could have gone other places and we wanted them here. It’s a good decision.”

1394043048-leaked-t-mobile-memo-reveals-blackberry-loyalists-jumping-ship-2

T-Mobile Tries to Help BlackBerry

T-Mobile has found itself in the news quite a bit lately. Over the past several quarters, the mobile service provider has ramped up efforts to encourage customers bound to contracts with competitors (AT&T, Sprint and Verizon) to switch over to T-Mobile by promoting a no-contracts business plan — something that is assuredly shaking up the industry.

In addition to offering contract-free mobile service, what else has T-Mobile been promising? To start, T-Mobile announced the JUMP! plan late last summer, which allows customers to upgrade their cell phones (including the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy) without waiting the typical two-year gap that other service providers require. For an extra $10 per month (which includes comprehensive phone insurance), JUMP! customers can trade in their phone for the newer iteration every six months. Without something like the JUMP! plan, it’s not unusual for a cell phone customer to skip a generation of their cell phone while waiting to become eligible for an upgrade.

In early 2014, T-Mobile announced that they promise to pay off new customers’ early termination fees charged by rivals AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. T-Mobile CEO John Legere called these early termination fees (ETFs) part of a “scam” and denounced the lack of transparency demonstrated by other cell phone service companies. Though T-Mobile’s promise could cost as much as $650 per line, the cell phone service provider has promised to eat the costs levied by their competitors.

Another enticing feature of T-Mobile is the massive rollout of its LTE network. Legere believes T-Mobile to be the fastest nationwide LTE network with faster average download speeds than Verizon, AT&T and Sprint networks.

These offers clearly worked: T-Mobile saw a boost in new cell phone service subscribers in late 2013/early 2014. They also earned high customer satisfaction marks in a J.D. Power survey, taking third place among the big carriers and being named the most improved.

Last month, while reports circulated that T-Mobile had yanked BlackBerry devices off of their store shelves, the company sent their current BlackBerry users an email blast containing a great offer. T-Mobile asked BlackBerry customers to upgrade not to BlackBerry handsets, but to the iPhone 5S for no money down.

In response to T-Mobile’s brazen move, BlackBerry customers contacted T-Mobile directly to express their disappointment, even Tweeting at T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen crafted a blog post thanking BlackBerry customers who defended the phone maker and praising their loyalty. He also expressed confusion with “the behavior of our longtime business partner” and promised loyal customers on the T-Mobile network “an offer in the works designed especially for you.”

T-Mobile CEO John Legere acknowledged the feedback from BlackBerry fans and came back with a counter offer. He allowed BlackBerry customers to trade in old BlackBerry devices for new T-Mobile BlackBerry devices at a discounted price — or in some cases, for free.
BlackBerry users on T-Mobile who want to upgrade can receive $250 toward any BlackBerry phone, or $200 toward any other phone in T-Mobile’s stores. This was considered to be T-Mobile’s way of apologizing for the mix-up and the resulting backlash.

Even though T-Mobile tried to make it right with BlackBerry and with their customers, scores of customers decided they wanted another type of device instead of a BlackBerry. T-Mobile offers a myriad of BlackBerry devices such as the Q10, Curve and Z10, but the majority of customers opted for other devices on different platforms.

Some reports say that T-Mobile’s offer garnered 15 times the normal amount of BlackBerry trade-ins; however, 94 percent of those customers chose to upgrade to a non-BlackBerry device.

Phil Schiller

Apple brings 700 jobs to Valley manufacturing plant

Apple Inc. says it will open a manufacturing plant in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa that will eventually employ 700 workers.

“Apple’s presence in the region will be a game-changer for the Greater Phoenix area, its innovation landscape and future ability to attract other high-tech companies,” said GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome. “Between their plans to hire 700 direct employees and run completely on renewable energy, I’m convinced Apple could not have chosen a better location than Mesa and Eastmark. This deal is the result of the cooperation and support of several parties, including Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Chucri, City of Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, DMB Associates, the ACA and SRP, whose infrastructure will enable more projects to move forward in the surrounding area.”

The Cupertino, Calif., maker of the iPhone confirmed Monday that it is expanding its U.S. manufacturing operations in a former First Solar plant in Mesa. The city southeast of Phoenix already hosts a long list of high-tech manufacturing firms.

About 1,300 construction jobs will also be created as the First Solar plant designed to make thin-film solar panels is converted. The company sold the plant last month.

Apple spokeswoman Kristen Huguet says the plant will be powered with renewable energy provided by local utility Salt River Project.

Gov. Jan Brewer said Apple’s decision to come to Arizona is a sign that the state’s efforts to provide a pro-business climate are paying off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

iphone

New App for HR Professionals

Fisher & Phillips LLP announced that it has developed a Smartphone and Tablet app that allows employers to calculate certain FMLA leaves of absence. The Beta FMLA Leave Calculator app will allow human resource professionals and other managers to calculate basic leave requests and determine how much FMLA leave an employee has available. This Beta version of the iPhone and Android app was introduced during the SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition in Chicago June 16-19.

Fisher & Phillips Chairman and Managing Partner Roger Quillen said: “The FMLA is a complicated law and FMLA leave calculations can be challenging for employers. Our attorneys frequently field questions about calculating FMLA leave. This new app is a free tool we’re providing to anyone to help them with basic FMLA leave requests. The Beta version covers requests for leave for employees working a standard 40-hour work week. The next version will cover more complicated situations such as employees working reduced work weeks. We’re very excited about introducing the app for the first time to the SHRM members attending the national conference in Chicago.”

Quillen added that the firm is eager to receive feedback from the SHRM members who test the new app. The app will provide an easy way for users to call or email the firm with comments and suggestions.

How the app works

The app offers a user-friendly interface and works very simply utilizing the rolling 12-month method measured backwards from the date of any FMLA leave.

• Enter the number of FMLA leave days the employee is requesting
• Enter the number of days of FMLA leave the employee has already used
• Enter the start date of the requested leave
• Indicate the days of the week the employee works
• Click “Calculate Now!”

The app then reports:

• Number of days of FMLA leave available
• When the employee should return to work based on the new leave request
• How much leave the employee has remaining after the current leave request is completed; if leave has been exhausted at the time of this request, it will indicate such

The HR professional or other manager using the app can then email the information directly to the employee who requested the leave. Of course, further documentation to the employee should be provided as required by the FMLA.

How to get the app

The Fisher & Phillips FMLA Leave app can be downloaded at the Apple App Store or Google Play. On the Apple App Store or Google Play search for “Fisher & Phillips.” You can also visit www.laborlawyers.com/FMLALeaveApp to get the app.

Fisher & Phillips attorneys and marketing professionals worked with developers at Saturno Design to create the new app.

iphone

BBVA Compass unveils bilingual iPhone app

BBVA Compass further expanded the reach of its mobile banking apps with the introduction of its bilingual iPhone app.

“This is part of our ongoing commitment to continually improve our mobile banking solutions, adding features and services to better serve our customers’ needs,” said Alex Carriles, executive vice president and director of Mobile Strategy and Retail Innovation at BBVA Compass. “We currently serve a number of markets with a growing Spanish-speaking population, so we wanted to give those customers access in the language that is most comfortable to them.”

The bank remains committed to providing native applications for the most popular mobile platforms, allowing users to enjoy a mobile banking experience that is consistent with their chosen devices. In addition to the iPhone, BBVA Compass provides mobile banking apps for iPhone and iPad mobile digital devices, BlackBerry devices and the Android mobile digital platform, and soon will be updating those to add bilingual capabilities.

“We already operate as a fully bilingual bank in the U.S., and these additions will support that commitment,” Carriles said.

The latest iPhone app offers access to such mobile banking features as bill pay, account transfers, balance review, an enhanced branch locator and improved views of paid checks with zoom capabilities. This new version also introduces a full feature Bill Pay service by allowing customers not only to issue payments, but also to add payees, manage payment source accounts, display past payments, and display or cancel pending payments.

To download the free BBVA Compass app, visit the iPhone app store and search for BBVA Compass.

For more information on additional BBVA Compass mobile banking applications, visit www.bbvacompass.com/go/mobile.

kindle

How to Use Kindle to Generate Free Business Leads

Imagine Amazon sending you business leads regularly and even paying you to do so. Why would they do it?

“Amazon is desperate for reading material and you can publish your content for free as Kindle books,” says V. Michael Santoro, a managing partner with John S. Rizzo of Globe On-Demand, an internet technology company. The two are also the co-authors of, “Niche Dominance: Creating Order out of your Digital Marketing Chaos,” (www.NicheDominance.com).

“The twist is to use them as a generation system for sales leads.”

The audience is huge – Kindle is no longer just for people who purchase Kindle tablets. Amazon has also written Kindle Reader applications for every major smartphone, tablet, and computer including the Android phone or tablet, iPad, iPhone, Mac, Windows 8 PC or tablet, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone 7, Santoro says.

“Most businesses hesitate to use Kindle to generate sales leads because they think they need to write an actual book,” says Rizzo, “But that’s not true. You can write and publish short reports — as long as the content is original, of high quality and does not violate its Terms of Service (TOS), Amazon will publish your material.”

The key is to include a compelling free offer with a strong call to action and a link to a lead capture page – the page on your website where people can sign up for more information, special offers, your newsletter, etc.

And Amazon will even help market your book – for free!

When a new Kindle book is approved and published, Amazon will:

• Feature it in their new releases section.

• Email their customer base announcing it to those who have previously purchased a Kindle book in that genre.

• Offer the Kindle KDP Select Program for ongoing free promotion.

• Allow customers to highlight, make notes, and share your book’s content via Twitter and other social networks.

“By enrolling in the free Kindle KDP Select Program, you give Amazon exclusivity on a renewable 90-day basis,” Santoro says. “This program allows their readers to borrow your book from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, and when they do, Amazon pays you a royalty, as well as for book sales. However, the real benefit is that Amazon provides five days per quarter to give your book away for free.”

Why give your Kindle book away for free?

“Because, as a lead generation system, you want as many individuals as possible to download your Kindle book and visit your lead capture page, Santoro explains. Additionally, Amazon views each book download as a vote and rewards your book with higher page ranking. The more downloads, the better the chance of an Amazon Page 1 placement.

To create your Kindle report:

• Use Amazon to determine what current Kindle books or paperbacks are published about your topic.

• Decide what information will be helpful to your potential customers. Make sure it is original and offers value. Avoid information that is easily found on the Internet.

• Create your report in Microsoft Word and include images if appropriate.

• Include your call to action – a message that prompts readers to visit your website — and link to your website’s lead capture page.

• Create a cover graphic.

Publishing on Kindle is fairly simple:

• Go to http://kdp.amazon.com and sign up for a free Kindle account.

• Watch the “How To” Kindle publishing video.

• Fill out the Amazon Author Page to track your statistics.

• Reference the book on your website and link to your Amazon book page.

• Announce it on your Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter accounts.

“The goal is not to sell books, but rather to generate leads from Amazon’s huge customer base,” Rizzo says. An additional benefit is that you will differentiate yourself from the competition by being a published author. If your content is excellent and helpful, you will also build trust which will help to increase sales from these new leads.

87735339

Could Apple’s $1B patent verdict help it corner market?

It was the $1 billion question Saturday: What does Apple Inc.’s victory in an epic patent dispute over its fiercest rival mean for the U.S. smartphone industry?

Analysts from Wall Street to Hong Kong debated whether a jury’s decision that Samsung Electronics Co. ripped off Apple technology would help Apple corner the U.S. smartphone market over Android rivals, or amount to one more step in a protracted legal battle over smartphone technology.

Many analysts said the decision could spell danger for competitors who, like Samsung, use Google Inc.’s Android operating system to power their cellphones.

“I am sure this is going to put a damper on Android’s growth,” New York-based Isi Group analyst Brian Marshall said, “It hurts the franchise.”

The Silicon Valley jury found that some of Samsung’s products illegally copied features and designs exclusive to Apple’s iPhone and iPad. The verdict was narrowly tailored to only Samsung, which sold more than 22 million smartphones and tablets that Apple claimed used its technology, including the “bounce-back” feature when a user scrolls to an end image, and the ability to zoom text with a tap of a finger.

But most other Apple competitors have used the Android system to produce similar technology, which could limit the features offered on all non-Apple phones, analysts said.

“The other makers are now scrambling” to find alternatives, said Rob Enderle, a leading technology analyst based in San Jose.

Seo Won-seok, a Seoul-based analyst at Korea Investment said that the popular zooming and bounce-back functions the jury said Samsung stole from Apple will be hard to replicate.

The companies could opt to pay Apple licensing fees for access to the technology or develop smarter technology to create similar features that don’t violate the patent — at a cost likely to be passed onto consumers.

Apple lawyers are planning to ask that the two dozen Samsung devices found to have infringed its patents be barred from the U.S. market. Most of those devices are “legacy” products with almost nonexistent new sales in the United States. Apple lawyers will also ask that the judge triple the damage award to $3 billion since the jury found Samsung “willfully” copied Apple’s patents.

A loss to the Android-based market would represent a big hit for Google as well. Google relies on Android devices to drive mobile traffic to its search engine, which in turn generates increased advertising revenue. Android is becoming increasingly more important to Google’s bottom line because Apple is phasing out reliance on Google services such as YouTube and mapping as built-in features on the iPhone and iPad.

Some experts cautioned that the decision might not be final, noting the California lawsuit is one of nine similar legal actions across the globe between the two leading smartphone makers.

Samsung has vowed to appeal the verdict all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that Apple’s patents for such “obvious” things as rounded rectangle were wrongly granted. A Sept. 20 hearing is scheduled.

The $1 billion represents about 1.5 percent of Samsung’s annual revenue. Jerome Schaufield, a technology professor at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute said the verdict wouldn’t upend a multibillion-dollar global industry.

“Samsung is powerful,” Schaufield said. “The company will regroup and go on.”

Samsung engineers have already been designing around the disputed patent since last year.

“We should never count out Samsung’s flexibility and nimbleness,” said Mark Newman, a Hong Kong-based analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein. “This is merely an embarrassment and annoyance to the company that they will have to find ways around.”

The dispute centers on Apple’s dissatisfaction with Google’s entry into the phone market when the search company released its Android operating system and announced any company could use it free of cost.

Google entered the market while its then-CEO Eric Schmidt was on Apple’s board, infuriating Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who considered Android to be a blatant rip-off of the iPhone’s innovations. Apple filed its patent infringement lawsuit in April 2011, engaging the country’s highest-paid patent lawyers to demand $2.5 billion.

The verdict didn’t faze some iPhone users, who said that they already know Apple phones are superior.

The rivals are “modeling phones based on what they see with the iPhone,” said David Green of Wareham, Mass., finishing a call on his iPhone while waiting to catch a train.

He switched to Apple from a BlackBerry about a year ago, after becoming disenchanted with the reliability and technological features of non-Apple smartphones.

“When I got the iPhone, it worked so well that I told my friends, ‘Now I have a REAL smartphone,'” Green said.

iPhone Business Apps

iPhone Business Apps: How To Work From Anywhere

iPhone Business AppsHave you ever looked at your iPhone and thought it would be great if it could help you out at work? If you have, you might like some of these iPhone business apps. There’s many more than just these five, of course, for a very wide variety of possible uses and tasks (the catchphrase “there’s an app for that” exists for a reason), but these five are some of the best.

If you’re looking for good iPhone business apps, give one of these a try:

Scanner Pro

The Scanner Pro is one of the more interesting iPhone business apps. It essentially allows your iPhone to act as a scanner. With this app, you can scan almost any document and email it to others, or upload it to your company server, or anything else you need to do with a scanned document. It also works with Dropbox and Evernote, two other apps in this same list.

Scanner Pro on iTunes

 

OmniFocus for iPhone

As the winner of the 2008 Apple Design Award for Best iPhone Productivity Application, this is one of the better iPhone business apps that you can find. It’s really simple to use, too. All you need to do is enter in the tasks you need to do, and OmniFocus allows you to arrange those tasks and organize them in whatever way you would find most productive.

OmniFocus on iTunes

 

Dropbox

Dropbox allows you to keep your files with you, no matter where you are. If you’re using Dropbox, all you need to do is save the file you want to your Dropbox, where it will proceed to appear on your computer(s), your iPhone, and anything else you can access Dropbox from. This is very useful if you don’t want to keep track of CDs, DVDs, flash drives, and the like.

Dropbox on iTunes

 

Evernote

Evernote is another of those “save whatever you want for later” iPhone business apps, like Dropbox. But unlike Dropbox, Evernote also includes several ways to retrieve things you have saved, whether it’s by keywords, tags or even text in the saved objects themselves. Also, like Dropbox, Evernote works on computers, iPhones and other gadgets all at once.

Evernote on iTunes

 

Cisco Mobile 8.1

If you ever wanted to use your iPhone as an office phone, then this is the app for you. Cisco Mobile allows you to connect your iPhone to your workplace or office’s phone infrastructure, allowing you to receive calls just as you would at work, without actually being there.

Cisco Mobile 8.1 on iTunes

 

For more iPhone business apps,
check out the “apps for business” section of Apple’s website.

 

Dodo Case

Cases That Do More Than Protect Your iPhone And iPad

Three. That’s the number of times I’ve damaged my iPhone from dropping it. Twice it suffered a shattered screen, and the last time the back cracked. Due to my apparent clumsiness you can imagine the care I use in handling my iPad. For someone like me, a sturdy case is in order. But even the coolest of cases, I’ve learned, can do little in the way of actually protecting the device inside. And they don’t add much in the way of functionality. I decided it was high time to go in search of some cases that could not only keep my devices safe from damage, but also serve a functional purpose.

For the iPhone

LifeProof recently launched an iPhone 4 case that the company says stands up to the most active user, both in the office and out. As you can see in these videos, the LifeProof is designed to stand up to just about anything, including iPhone4 with LifeProof Casea robust workout in the park, a shower, and various food items (not necessarily in that order). The thin design rivals other cases that could be categorized as “sleek” and has a thin film that covers the screen. This full enclosure renders the phone inside waterproof, shockproof, dust-proof, and goo-proof. The case still allows for full access to all of the devices’ functions, so there’s no need to remove the case to plug in. LifeProof’s developers allegedly spent more than $1 million to develop the uber-rugged case to ensure it would stand up to the worst abuse you can dish. At the moment, the company only has a case available for the iPhone 4 at $69, which is about equal to the cost to replace the screen on the device should it shatter. The company says on its website that cases for the 3G, 3GS, and iPad are coming soon.

If you prefer a flexible gel skin and would like a little extra power boost, then the Powerskin is worth checking out. This skin is durable and non-obtrusive while acting as both a protective case and a battery pack, giving your phone an additional four to Powerskineight hours (depending on usage). Even just a couple of extra hours can be a life-saver for some executives who find themselves low on juice before lunch. The Powerskin is made of lightweight, impact-resistant silicone rubber. Inside is XPAL Powered patented battery technology. And the skin is made of 100 percent recycled materials, except for the battery and internal components. All cases come standard with a micro-USB re-charge port, on/off button and LED battery status lights. Not an iPhone user? Fear not, Powerskin has cases for a bevy of other smart phones including Samsung Galaxy, Samsung Vibrant, HTC HD7, HTC Evo, and myTouch 4G. The iPhone 4 case will be available this month at Powerskin’s website for $49.99.

For the iPad

One of the greatest benefits of the iPad is that users love it for work and for fun. Between presentations, email, reading and playing games, you may find yourself holding your iPad up a lot of the day. This can cause aching in the wrists and hands after extended use. The HandStand aims to alleviate that pain, and totally free up your navigation hand with an ergonomic design. The case has a handle HandStandon the back and a comfortable shape that naturally contours, enabling the user to essentially cradle the iPad with one hand. The company that developed the HandStand, Hub International, claims that this platform positions the device as an extension of the user’s hand, reducing fatigue and totally freeing up the navigation hand. The handle also sits in a rotating platform that lets you maneuver the iPad 360 degrees, allowing the iPad to move around and adjust as you do. If you’re looking for a more executive-looking leather case, you’ll be disappointed. The HandStand is made of silicone and comes in just three colors — pink, white and black. While it doesn’t quite measure up on the pretty scale, it does provide a level of durability that many would find comforting. Plus, it would likely be difficult to embed the 360-revolving disk on the back of a leather or soft-material case. On the plus side, this case is made from recycled materials. The HandStand is available at the company’s website for $49.95

Looking for something a little more elegant? Even custom? Try the DodoCase, a throwback to the elegance of classic book-binding. Function and style come together really nicely (and at a fair price) with this case. On the outside, it’s made of leather and latches like an Old World notebook with a black strap. On the inside, the iPad is protected by durable, hand-crafted Dodo casebook binding casing that’s made of eco-friendly bamboo. The DodoCase is made to order, and the company appears to put great care into every case it creates at its headquarters in San Francisco. You’ll wait up to six weeks for this $59 case, but chances are you’ll not only love it, you’ll use it as long as you use your iPad.

Photo: Flickr, norwhicnuts

New Forms Of Communication Causing Generation Gap

Social Media Gap

New forms of communication are causing a generation gap in the workplace — but who’s really at a disadvantage?

Look around your workplace. Chances are you’re seeing younger and more employees on Facebook, Twitter, iPhone and Android apps, and hundreds of other social media applications and platforms. The prolific little snippets of social interaction have spread like wildfire.

To the younger generation, they blur the line between personal interaction and a professional business tool. The Old Guard still often sees them as noise compared to established traditional channels of business communications. Both generations often wonder how the other gets anything done.

The work force 10 years ago was dominated by personal relationships, marketing savvy and big personalities. The phone, e-mail, cocktails and personal meetings dominated the corporate environment. The traditional work force relied heavily on building long-lasting relationships. It was not uncommon for deals to be forged over golf games and wine tastings. Access to key players was controlled by “gate keepers” who kept people’s time at a premium. Employees worked harder on fewer relationships with higher returns. Patience was a virtue and personal networks were closely guarded. This made the world harder to operate in, but also kept the noise down.

From the perspective of the social media savvy work force, tools such as Twitter and Facebook allow them to reach people more quickly and on a broader scale. As both producers and consumers of small bite-sized pieces of information, the younger generation views it as a time saver all around. They say, “Twitter is great. I can get hundreds of followers and talk to them all at once.”

If only a few of them engage it’s a win because so little time went into the relationship. For the more advanced social media users, the medium can be used to boil down complex human interaction into simple metrics. Suddenly, interacting with 500 people on Facebook becomes a game of which word in a sentence sells more product. This drive toward obtaining results immediately fits perfectly with the behavior of social media, as well as the millennial generation’s mind set.

The question isn’t about how well employees will communicate with each other across the gap, but rather, how they will communicate with customers. Companies looking to bring in social media talent must first learn if the consumer they are serving is ready for that type of engagement. A traditional work force will have a difficult time communicating with social media consumers. The solution here is simple: Hire a younger, more Twitter and Facebook happy employee. The Old Guard then assumes a more managerial role. Minor training will be required to bridge the intra-office political gap, but at least the consumer is being served.

If the company is serving a traditional consumer through a younger work force heavily engaged in social media, there may be a significant impact to the bottom line. It’s usually impossible to retrain consumers, and very hard to undo the customer interaction expectations social media has set for many younger employees. Given characteristics of the millennial generation, training social media employees to use traditional means may also be next to impossible. With a significant supply of traditional employees still on the market, companies will probably end up matching their employee base to their consumer base through hiring practices.

Employees have the option to transition from traditional to social media communicators. Traditional employees have the advantage of growing up in a world that did not know social media; that world will never completely go away. Social media can be learned at a fundamental level fairly easily. However, younger employees have grown up with social media. They’ve learned to use it in many creative ways and can ride the wave of social innovation with little effort. The new generation will, however, have to rely on the Old Guard to pass down hard lessons learned in the traditional space.

So what does social media mean for employees in the future? Based on trends, it will probably be a requirement soon. The world is embracing social media, and the medium is just in its infancy. As new tools to manage and control social media emerge, it will become more complex and essential to both office politics and customer interaction.

Everyone graduating today is steeped in social media and only a few years away from key workplace positions. The Old Guard will transition to areas requiring less and less social media and then fade from the workplace, leaving behind only a handful of the most effective old school communications techniques. By then, it may not matter; social interaction is evolving so quickly the social media we know today will be old school in the very near future.

Paul Kenjora is founder and CTO of Arkayne Inc. Arkayne helps marketers improve online sales conversion. Kenjora can be reached at pkenjora@arkayne.com.


Arizona Business Magazine Mar/Apr 2011

Provided By Flickr

Five Monopolies, Methods of Communication Losing Their Hold

1.

Landlines

According to CITA, an International Wireless nonprofit organization, 91% of Americans carry a cell phone as of 2009, and those numbers have continued to expand.  Now more than ever, with the growing popularity of the iPhone and Droid, cell phones have become both a necessity and an addiction.

In past decades, landlines were an essential part of the home, but with cell phone giants like Apple, wireless communication is quickly eliminating the need for both a home phone and cell.  Now, phones do much more than dial, and let’s be honest — landlines don’t have Angry Birds or Restaurant Finder Apps.

Landline Phones No More

2.

“Snail” Mail vs. Email

Once a monopoly on long-distance communication, mailing letters to friends or loved ones has been virtually phased out of everyday conversation and proven to be the least efficient means of interaction.  What was once a necessity for love notes, bank statements, and college acceptance letters, “snail” mail is quickly becoming replaced with the popularity of social media platforms and widespread use of email.

Since cell phone’s and the internet explosion in the early 1990’s, this generation’s lack of composition skills have been harshly scrutinized.  In 2009, The United States Postal Service stated that 177 billion pieces of mail were delivered in the US, compared to 14.4 trillion by email.  Now, young people rely heavily on a keyboard, 140 characters and auto-correct spelling.

"Snail" Mail Replaced by Email

3.

Newspapers

Electronic tablets, such as Apple’s iPad, Samsung’s Galaxy Pad, Amazon’s Kindle or the BlackBerry Playbook, have been 2010’s newest toy.  According to the Washington Post, “average daily circulation of all U.S. newspapers has been in decline since 1987″ and “has hit its lowest level in seven decades.”

Newspapers have been undoubtedly hit hard — as major stations are reporting record losses, cuts and even closures across the country.  Despite the change in the medium which news is delivered, there will always be a desire and need for the public to be informed and educated on current events.  It’s just that now news is viewed on a 9 x 5 LED screen — not paper.

Physical Newspapers Moving Online

4.

Video Rental Stores

Some of my fondest childhood memories include “Power Rangers:  The Movie” and the newest Nintendo 64 game — both of which were rented from the local Blockbuster.  Video rental stores, like Blockbuster, have been slowly declining in business over the past 6 years as online sites such as Netflix and RedBox have stolen much of the business which these stores once had.

Having closed over 600 stores in just the past three years and reported record losses in the hundreds of millions, it’s no wonder Blockbuster is struggling to stay afloat.  According to an article by MSNBC.com, “Blockbuster Inc. may close as many as 960 stores by the end of next year,” primarily in response to appeal and ease of online streaming — in a society glued to their computer screens.

Video Rentals Like Blockbuster Replaced by Nexflix, Flickr, Scott Clark

5.

In-Person Classrooms

As a current student at ASU, I recognize that most classes still meet in a physical room with a paper syllabus and wooden desks from the Jimmy Carter administration.  However, as technology of educational tools increases, so does the medium with which it is taught.

Arizona State University offered over 700 online classes this spring, which range from Managerial Economics to History of Hip Hop.  It’s not just ASU, but virtually all major universities across the country offer online classes and degrees, and sites like Blackboard allow professors to post assignments and readings for the week online.

Classrooms Moving Online
Apple's iPhone4

Consumer Tech Products To Expect In 2011

The first week of January can only mean one thing: what’s coming out in consumer tech in the next year. Last year at the Consumer Electronics Show (the mecca for new gadgets) there seemed to be two prevailing themes: 3D TVs and smart phones. We all saw how well 3D TV went over. (Really, you didn’t want to sit in your own living room wearing uncomfortable, goofy glasses?) While we expect that smart phones will still be a major draw, my prediction is there will be a couple more prevailing technologies this year that everyone will be buzzing about: tablets and power.

I’m heading out to CES in Las Vegas this week, and plan to report back here on what I see at the show that’s cool (and what’s not). But here’s my preliminary take on what’s going to be hot in tech over the next 12 months.

Phones

Undoubtedly the most anticipated release will be the iPhone on the Verizon Wireless network. Finally, we will all be free to enjoy America’s favorite handheld device AND enjoy the luxury of not dropping every other call. The rumor on the Vegas Strip is that Verizon will make the announcement during the CEO’s keynote at the show.

While everyone is ooohing and aaahing over the marriage of iPhone and reliable 3G and 4G service, Google will be making strong headway with the Android platform, and a buffet of new Android phones will hit the market from HTC, Motorola, Samsung and other major handset developers. As a user and lover of an Android phone, I am extremely excited to see what comes on the market in this space. Right now, Sprint’s Evo is shaping up to be a hell of an iPhone competitor.

Tablets

 

While it took four iterations of the iPhone for a serious competitor to emerge in the Android corner, iPad might see some challengers from this growing platform in the next couple of months. Expect to see several tablets debut this week that will surely eat into Apple’s next iPad release (expected in March). The best thing about the emergence of the tablet wave is that consumers will now be presented with a very nice selection of sleek, affordable tablets that can be used for personal and work life. Expect Samsung, HP, and Microsoft to lead the way.

Power

This is obviously a timely topic from a commercialization standpoint, but it’s also finding its way in the CE conversation. Over the last five years, we’ve seen more and more companies crop up that address our changing needs for how we power all of our devices. From universal chargers (one power device for all of your gadgets), to wireless charging, to solar-powered chargers, to vehicles being embedded with charging technology, power has a vital place in the conversation of gadgetry. I think this year at CES we’re going to see some technology that will change the way consumers charge up. The big issue on the table? Saving energy. Expect to see Duracell, Radio Shack and even phone carriers such as T-Mobile to have cutting-edge power solutions that hit retail shelves this year. And there are plenty of smaller companies holding their own in this space too — Powermat, Call Pod, and iGo, to name a few.

We’ll see if my predictions are on target.CES is known for not only debuting big ideas in consumer tech, but also small ones that are equally cool and noteworthy. I’ll see as much as I can in three short days. Here’s keeping my fingers crossed for short cab lines. Until then, Happy New Year!

Google Cars

Google Introduces Technology That Drives Cars By Themselves

Next time you drive, you can just sit back and relax. Play with your iPhone or iPad, or use Google Apps to get some work done. Heck, your next car might BE a smart phone, but more about that in a minute.

Forget Wal-Mart, Google basically owns the world. It reinvented the search engine, pretty much owns Internet advertising, keeps bringing cool things like Google Maps and Google Earth to life, tried to break Microsoft’s desktop monopoly with Google Apps, outflanked Apple with the Android operating system for mobile devices, and even came out with their own phone. They’re all about software for the Internet and mobile devices, right?

Well, it appears that they view themselves in a much broader context. In October they announced that they have developed cars that drive themselves in traffic. I have to admit, that one came out of the blue! My first reaction was something like “What? Google? Cars? What?” My second reaction was a tinge of fear: “Is this the beginning of a play for complete world domination? They’re so big, yet so nimble! It seems they’ll stop at nothing!” But my third reaction was: “COOL!”

Now, I’m not a big science fiction buff, but, as a kid, who didn’t fall in love with the ideas of interstellar travel, “beam me up Scottie,” and flying cars? They’re all about freedom. Heck, the Jetsons had a robot maid and a microwave oven in one.

I’m still waiting for interstellar travel, Star Trek-like transporters and flying cars, and the Japanese are still working out the kinks on domestic robots. But a car that can drive itself? Now we’re getting somewhere. And I like driving.

Moreover, these things have actually been tested and really work. They’ve been driven over 140, 000 miles in California under all kinds of traffic conditions; including the severest test of driving skills known to humankind: the California freeway. Even in Santa Monica. And guess what? One accident. Human error. Caused when a test car was rear ended at a stoplight.

They say the technology is at least eight years away from market, but I’m curious to know how long it will really take to take hold, if ever. How long will it be before people will turn over their driving to a computer?

My guess? Never. Even though I’d feel a LOT safer if the rest of you were letting the computer drive for you. Me? I’m keeping my hands on the steering wheel.

Holiday gift guide

Holiday Gift Guide: Find High-Tech Stocking Stuffers That Won’t Break The Bank

The iPhone 4 or iPad (or both) might be on everyone’s Christmas list this year, but if you’re in the same boat as so many Americans, they probably aren’t in your budget. Here are some non-Apple stocking stuffers that won’t break the bank.

Flip videoFlip gets blingy

If you haven’t been to Flip Video’s website recently, you really should. You can now customize the Flip Video camera in a hundred different ways. The company offers tons of pattern and design choices, or you can upload your own image. Flip Video also has teamed up with several consumer electronic companies to offer a line of accessories that makes the Flip experience better. Accessories include a wide-angle lens, two different types of enhanced external microphones, waterproof cases, battery chargers and a pocket projector. iGo, an Arizona-based company, also is offering a battery extender that doubles the Flip Video battery life. $150 – $250, www.theflip.com.

Pa-pa-pa-paparazzi

We all wish we were one of those hipsters at the holiday party with the fancy camera around their necks taking impossibly beautiful shots. Sigh. For the rest of us, a really good point-and-shoot is in order. Canon PowerShotThe Canon PowerShot A495 does the trick and delivers high-quality features usually reserved for much more expensive cameras. For less than $100 it also has some creative modes that will get any photographer on your list excited. Some stores had it for as low as $89.

KindleKindle is still king

The iPad is hot, but as far as e-readers go, the Kindle is still killing the competition and the third generation of Kindle does not disappoint. If you know a bookworm, this is the gift to give this year. It now has an improved screen for higher contrast (oy my eyes), faster page turning, built-in 3G, superior battery life, and a slimmer weight and price tag. $139 at www.amazon.com.

 

Find your way and then some

Yes, there are some people who still want a stand-alone GPS unit despite just about every phone on the market now being GPS enabled. I personally didn’t understand this until I checked out the line of Garmin nuvi devices.  GarminThese little guys do so much more than map. The slick and affordable Garmin’s nuvi 295W is a nice package of best-in-class navigation, plus some fun features. I’m talking about a built-in 3 megapixel camera, WiFi that let’s you e-mail, and a super easy user interface. Even your mom could figure this one out and ENJOY using it.  Staring at $100, www.amazon.com.

Mobile Phone From iPhone to Android

Mobile Phone News From iPhone to Android

Almost every American owns and uses a mobile phone. They’ve become such an integral part of our lives that we feel naked without them. People of my generation (I’m a recent college graduate) wake up to their phone’s alarm, then they text, tweet, call, chat, e-mail, or BBM until the moment their heads hit the pillow. Then they wake up and do it all again.

Since they’re as everyday as eating and sleeping, here’s an update on what’s happening in the mobile world.

Kik It Up A Notch

The newest app to take the world by storm is Kik

Kik is a free messaging system similar to Blackberry’s Blackberry Messenger (BBM) or AOL’s Instant Messenger. Kik works across several platforms, including Blackberry, iPhone and Andriod.

Last week this app hit two million users in only three weeks.

Kik’s goal is to bring instant messaging away from the computer and onto the phone so that you’ll never leave home without it.

Information from Mashable.com’s Kik article.

Netflix Holds Out On Android

iPhone, iPads and Windows 7 have a Netflix streaming app, but Android users will have to wait a bit longer.

According to a Wired.com article, the Android platform’s security issues made Hollywood take a step back. Piracy is a major issue with the film industry and most of the Android phones didn’t meet its standards.

However, since there are several Android models, some Android users will be able to get the Netflix app starting in early 2011.

And finally the old stand by question:

Will Apple Stop Teasing Verizon Users?

According to a Wall Street Journal article, the answer is, yes.

In October. an article detailing that Apple is making an iPhone for Verizon Wireless appeared on WSJ.com, whetting the appetite of all Apple-loving, Verizon-using, smartphone junkies.

There has yet to be any final word. However, another WSJ.com article claims many Verizon users are so sure the iPhone is coming their way that they’re waiting to update their phones until the magical day Apple stops teasing them.

MailVU private video messaging

MailVU: private video messaging

Voicemail is so 2008. Today’s personal tech is all about bringing back the human element to communication. That’s why web cameras have become so popular in the last few years. While it used to be a peripheral device, and a costly one at that, nearly every computer now comes with a built-in web cam, and services like Skype and iChat have made it incredibly easy to see the person you’re calling. Now the benefits of web cam have made their way into the office with video messaging services. With these services, you can send that important message with the appropriate corresponding facial expressions and ensure that it gets to the recipient securely, without getting caught in the spam filter.

MailVU, a startup out of Charlotte, NC, promises to deliver the fastest and easiest system for sending private video messages. And our test of the app proved it is really that simple. Just go to http://mailVU.com, click in the box to record your message, hit record, and when you’re done, send it off. Video e-mails arrive right in the recipient’s e-mail inbox for instant click-to-play. MailVU works on all computers, in all browsers, and pretty much all smartphones, including iPhone, Android and Blackberry. Oh yeah, and it’s free.

MailVU works on all computers, in all browsers, and pretty much all smartphones, including iPhone, Android and BlackberryWhen I tried MailVU, my biggest concern was privacy. The last thing I wanted was for my mug to end up in the wrong hands, or rather, the wrong mailbox. MailVU promises the video e-mails are sent directly to the intended recipients, with the senders having some nice options to destroy the video at their discretion. The sender can delete or retract the video message at any point, even before the recipient has viewed it. Once the video message is viewed, the sender is notified, so they can choose to destroy it at that time, or use the self-destruct options. For instance, you can set up criteria on every message to auto-delete after a certain number of days or views. I especially had fun sending messages to friends and letting them know the message would self-destruct, a la James Bond style. To ensure privacy, the company says that all messages stay private and will not come up in Google search.

The best part, in my opinion: You don’t need to sign up for yet another account to a web app, and there is no software or widget download. For those of us looking to de-clutter our desktops and phones of an egregious number of apps and widgets, this is a beautiful thing.

There’s something really nice about sending more personalized messages to colleagues when we can’t chat live. After testing MailVU and seeing how easy it truly is, I have to say I will probably start to use it regularly. Watch out friends; you’re about to see a lot more of my smiling face in your inbox. This message will self-destruct in 10 seconds.

Executive gadgets

Cool Gadgets For The Cool Executive

 

Getting a shiny new toy for the office doesn’t always have to be justified by how much money it will save or how much more productive it will make you (unless you’ve got one of those CFOs). Sometimes you just want cool gear. Here are some fun gadgets just out that get business execs into the cool zone.

We all know a hand talker. Those ever expressive types who accentuate any conversation with their hands waving about. If you have one of these in your office, put those hands to good use with the Air Mouse Elite. Using your own natural hand movements, this uber-sensitive mouse turns into a master presentation controller. You can walk freely and flail your hands every which way while giving a killer presentation. The cursor even turns into a highlighter, laser pointer or pen. You can even gently swipe it in mid-air to activate embedded media and other special effects. It works with both PCs and Macs, retails for $79.99, and it’s carried at a slew of retailers, including Amazon.

 

Keep your laptop and hand-held devices juiced up wherever you go with this slick new universal charger from Targus. The Targus Premium Laptop Charger is smaller and lighter than other universals, and it lets you charge your notebook, plus one low-power device, at the same time.  The charger comes with nine “tips” the enable the connection between the charger and most laptop brands on the market, so you’re likely to find one that works with your laptop.  It also includes a mini-USB tip and an Apple iPod/iPhone/iTouchcharging tip. Power up in the wall or in your car with both AC and DC plugs. $149.99 at www.targus.com.

 

 

Are you fairly certain you’re wasting time in meetings? Want to know exactly how much is being wasted? Not time — money. The Time Is Money (TIM) clock shows you exactly what you’re tossing in terms of cash as every minute passes on the clock. You simply enter your hourly rate, the number of people in the meeting, hit start, and as your team blah, blah, blahs you can see very clearly what it’s costing the company. Now if only they could somehow integrate this with Facebook … This little guy is $24.99 at www.bringtim.com.

 

 

If you’re one of the millions of people who use their iPad for business, then you probably enjoy carrying it around in a stylish case. Why not let your case do more than just protect the device inside? The M-Edge Method Portfolio, while pricey, is a multi-functional, modern portfolio that lets you organize and carry your business wares in the same swanky sleeve as your iPad. This portfolio is designed with a sleeve that holds the iPad in place, four credit cards slots, a clear ID window, and a business envelope/boarding pass pocket. Two leather pockets are sized to fit your smart phones (up to two). A handy zipper pocket keeps all of your other incidentals. $119.99 at www.medgestore.com.

Apple The iPad Dazzles - AZ Business Magazine Sept/Oct 2010

The iPad Dazzles, But Is It Worth $500?

It’s only been a few months since the iPad’s April debut, but Apple’s latest light-weight cordless gadget has — for most — lived up to its expectations. Sans keyboard and mouse, the iPad offers a versatile online experience through a 9.7-inch glossy touch screen. You can search the Web instantly, pull up maps that are clearer and crisper than a paper printout, listen to music, read endless amounts of books and magazines, and access many more apps with the touch of one button.

If you own an iPhone and love it, the iPad could be a new favorite, as it is much easier on the eyes and extremely simple to navigate. Even if you are not familiar with the iPhone, the iPad may have you saying “can’t leave home without it,” due to its relatively small size (weighing in at only a pound and a half), slim shape and useful applications.

And, several months later, the iPad continues surpassing demand expectations. With such a tough economy, it seems surprising that people are finding an extra $500 to splurge on a device that is not a necessity. But could it actually be the future of business communications or a corporate norm? We spoke with Pendleton C. Waugh, vice president and co-founder of Phoenix-based Smartcomm, a company dedicated to offering opportunities in the wireless industry, to find out his thoughts on this new device and the implications it has on business users.

How do you see the iPad helping with business uses?
Well, Apple sells all the applications you would normally use on a computer for work, like Word, Excel, even PowerPoint. You can just add those apps. And if you don’t like using the touch screen, you can hook an extra keyboard to your iPad and type away.

What application do you find the most helpful for work, currently?

I like the note taking application. It replaces paper. I can just type up my notes, and then e-mail them to myself or to anyone else — and there you go.

So no more paper and pens for your meetings?
No, I don’t need them. I take the iPad into all my meetings and type away. I did recently add an extended keyboard, but up to now I’ve just been using the touch screen. You just tap on the letters; it’s very easy and user friendly — much like the iPhone interface.

Do you see the iPad complementing or replacing a laptop or computer at work?
The iPad is going to be your computer at work. But it won’t replace your desktop or laptop. Your desk computer will remain at your desk while you’re in the office, but the idea of “desk jobs” is rapidly disappearing. Your iPad will be your PC, so you can work from it wherever you are, and then your desktop will be your server to access any information. We’re going wireless. According to SNL Kagan, a financial information firm that collects, standardizes and distributes corporate, financial, market and M&A data, about 80 percent of households will be wireless within 10 years. If you want to see the future of businesses and communications, walk into an Apple store. There’s the future.

What kind of industries would find the iPad useful?
The iPad provides a more effective way of storing, organizing, using and retrieving information. There are a lot of people who didn’t realize the iPad was going to be a big hit and still don’t think it is. But it is revolutionizing our communication standards, going from voice data to video. We are using smart devices that keep getting faster and more efficient, just like Gordon E. Moore (Intel co-founder) predicted in what we now know as Moore’s Law. So many capabilities of computers are linked back to this law, from processing speed, memory capacity, sensors, and even the number of pixels on a camera. The iPad can help industries communicate more efficiently.

The iPad is supposed to be great for streaming video, but video quality is low With the YouTube application.
It might have something to do with the network. For example, even though I have access to Wi-Fi, I’m using AT&T’s 3-G network. It’s possible that the network doesn’t have enough bandwidth to play the video clearly, but I’m not sure. When you use an iPad, it sucks up bandwidth like there’s no tomorrow.

What are some other observations?
The iPad has definitely been a positive experience for the principals in our company in changing how we approach work scenarios. It beats taking notes on paper or the occasional napkin, and allows the ability to instantly e-mail anything typed up on the electronic tablet. The iPad is travel-friendly and uncomplicated to use. The price is reasonable. It’s not cheap, but it won’t break the bank, and the general consensus, from other media reviews, is that it’s worth the money.

Arizona Business Magazine Sept/Oct 2010

Apple officially launched the iPhone 4 with its usual mastery

Apple’s iPhone 4 Fumbles

What a crazy summer it’s been for Apple.

On June 24, Apple officially launched the iPhone 4 with its usual mastery. In April, there had been the prototype that was “accidentally” left in a bar and ended up in the hands of Gizmodo’s editor, Jason Chen. The subsequent police raid on Chen’s home a few days later gave new life to the story just as it was beginning to fade. In May, another prototype popped up in the hands of a Vietnamese businessman. Now the renewed speculation had the added spice of mystery: How could Apple lose two prototypes so close to the anticipated June announcement? Were these accidents or a ploy?

The ensuing announcement on June 7 by Steve Jobs answered all the questions about features and everyone now knew when they’d be able to get their hands on the phone: June 24. Some began waiting in line days early, and in Manhattan a few sold their spots in line. The lines were so long, that in places it got ugly. In Los Angeles, 2,000 people were incensed that Jason Bateman was able to jump the line for his iPhone.

And then it really got interesting.

There were immediate reports of a problem: poor reception and dropped calls. At first, Apple let people blame AT&T, an easy target. Next, they said that the problem was with the software in their phone, which was over-reporting the actual signal strength. In other words, ‘”we made a mistake but the real problem is with AT&T.” As evidence mounted, Apple finally acknowledged that there was indeed a design problem: If you held the phone in your left hand to make the call you compromised the antenna. But they also had a ready answer: “Don’t hold the phone like that.”

Gee thanks.

Many Apple customers were understandably incensed. As they were with the suggested alternative: buy a case from Apple. As the anger mounted, Apple tried again. This time masterfully. With misdirection. “All smart phones suffer from this problem,” announced Apple. “It’s called the ‘death grip.’”

Apple’s partly right: the “death grip” problem is a common problem to at least some degree with most smart phones. But the misdirection is this: the original problem is completely unique to Apple. When Consumer Reports called Apple’s bluff, Apple finally relented and announced free iPhone covers that fix the real problem.

Thanks Apple. That was easy.