long way round

Archive for January 2010

Thoughts On The iPad

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The iPad is finally here. I was waiting with a lot of skepticism, but now that it's released, I'm actually kind of a fan. Actually, I'm a big fan. Here's why.

The iPad is not the end game. Capacitive touch computing is. The world of computing is entering a new era where the way we interact with computers will primarily be through touch. During the nascent stages of Windows, Bill Gates boldly proclaimed that one day using pc computers will be as natural and easy as using the telephone. The only reason why I know this is because my mother would quote this all the time growing up when I was doing BASIC programming and switching floppy drives every so often to play games. That "one day" has just come a little bit closer. 

Sure, the only people that will feel using the iPad is easy and natural are iPhone and iPod Touch users, but that population will grow. Children under the age of 2 already know what it means to flip through pages on the iPhone. It's only a matter of time when people will expect for all their computing devices to respond to touch. 

The other reason why I'm a big fan is because Apple and the iPad, as Nicholas Carr points out, is bringing in a new era of computing in which "media and software have merged in the cloud." We will no longer need our data, be it music, video, photos or documents, to be stored locally on our devices. Everything will be on the cloud, if it's not already. My music lives in Lala, my mail is GMail, my photos reside in Flickr, and my files are in Dropbox. If I have a device that allows me to access these things, in essence, I won't need a traditional PC any more. 

Now there are some downsides to the iPad. Peter Kirn points out that the iPad, like other Apple devices, is built on a closed platform. It has proprietary ports, has a closed ecosystem in the form of iTunes and the App Store, and Apple controls both the hardware, software, and distribution channel. 

And what about the AT&T data plan? $14.99 a month for up to 250MB. $29.99 for unlimited data. I already pay exorbitant amounts for my iPhone plan, and for my DSL connection at home. To add another data plan for another device would mean I'm potentially paying up to 3 times the amount just to access a Youtube video, or to read the New York Times online. The internet is really not free.

I would love to see someone revolutionize the way we pay for information on the internet. If it were up to me, I'd like to pay one low price to get internet access on all my devices and locations. In fact, I'd like a tiered plan. If I want to only consume 500MB a month, then why can't I choose to consume that 500MB on any device that I own? Now that, will be the new era of computing.

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Written by shindz

January 29, 2010 at 7:37 am

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Remembering Where I Came From

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Over the weekend, we moved to Mountain View, a quaint little apartment, in the heart of the Silicon Valley. While packing all of our things for the move, I came across some of the "thank you" cards I received from my departure from Michigan. Many of them had very sincere and touching notes. Most of them were from leaders that I oversaw, and others were former high school students. It brought a flood of memories, all of them good, about the work I have done while there. It's hardly a secret that I left under very tumultuous circumstances. But I've made my peace and I've even managed to visit Ann Arbor back in May of last year. But I've struggled for a very long time, trying to make sense of my journey up to that point. 

Sometimes I still wonder why I went through what I did, and seeing how I am no longer in ministry, what the purpose of all those years were. By reading those cards, and all the things that people mentioned, I realize why. Just simply to be there among the people, at that very time, and to do what I was supposed to do… minister.

Since leaving, I've alienated some people, intentionally and unintentionally. I've de-friended a few people on Facebook (mostly because I found the too-frequent updates quite annoying), stopped emailing people, and made google chat conversations more infrequent. Perhaps some people felt offended and others hurt that I didin't value their friendship. 

And I apologize for that.

I'm no longer frequently on Facebook, for reasons that are better articulated here (hat tip to Steph for the find). You can find me on this blog, or via email, david*at*iamdz.com. I'd much rather talk through email or by phone, so please feel free to reach me and I'd love to re-connect.

 

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Written by shindz

January 15, 2010 at 8:56 am

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Google’s Advantage

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By now everyone knows that Google jumped into the mobile phone market. It started with the very underwhelming and yawn inducing G1 and a plethora of Android based phones. But now, Google has its own phone, the Nexus One, and is selling it on its own website. I've read a few articles pointing out Google's marketing strategy with the Nexus One. Being the new kid on the block in the mobile phone industry, you would think that Google would inundate the TV airwaves with hip, cool commercials. But, they say Google is focusing primarily on the web for its marketing blitz, and after seeing the Google homepage, it makes sense. 

Google is selling the phone on the web, which means its target audience is already web-savvy. They're not looking for the soccer mom or the grandma who stumbles upon a Verizon or AT&T kiosk at the mall. They're looking for someone who wants something more out of their phone. And not only that, they have the advantage of posting a link, a very prominent one at that, on their main homepage. That's millions and millions of eyeballs. Bigger than Superbowl ads. Bigger than Time Square billboards. 

Google has built the cache of users in a short span of 10 plus years (how long did it take NBC to build an audience?). Now, whatever Google wants to do, it can do it because people will be watching, whether they like it or not. There's no shortage of an audience. The only thing is, can Google deliver with its products and customer service? Time will tell. 

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Written by shindz

January 6, 2010 at 11:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized