GNC-2012-04-13 #757 Are you an Enabler?

I have a couple of fantastic stories to tell you tonight, but you have to listen all the way through to get the impact. I leave for Vegas and NAB tonight. I would expect the Monday show to be a complication of content from the first day at NAB. Next weeks Thursday show may be a challenge as I get back into Honolulu very late.

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Sococo Virtual Office Space

Sococo LogoSococo is a virtual office space for distributed teams, teleworkers and road-warriors that uses real-world metaphors to make them feel like they’re in the office. Andy gets face-to-face with CEO Chris Wheeler at CES 2012 Showstoppers.

Sococo Screenshot

As you can see from the screenshot above, Sococo creates a virtual world that is analogous to a workplace, with conference rooms, team rooms, personal offices, cubicles – I imagine there’s even a water cooler. Small avatars then represent colleagues and their activities, so if some of them are having an (online) meeting, they’ll be located in a conference room. If someone doesn’t want to be disturbed, they can close their office door, complete with sound effect!

Sococo has other collaboration tools, such as screen sharing, but even the simple office space representation makes people feel much more included and part of a team.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News and RV News Net.

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GNC-2012-01-30 #738 The Voice

End of the month show, big Thank You to our sponsors and Thank You for supporting them. Starting to implement some hardware upgrades here in the studio we will see how they work out. If you have not checked it out yet be sure to listen to our live audio stream available 24/7 see sidebar links here on the website.

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GNC-2012-01-19 #735 Back in the Saddle

Finally back in the saddle, after getting back from Vegas I got violently ill and was down for the count on Monday. Glad to be back and still on the mend. The studio is in a state of shambles as the gear has been arriving over the past couple of days. I have a great deal to catch up with you all. One thing make sure you are subscribed to the Special Media Feed we are going to be pushing a boatload of content at you and we do not want you to miss a single interview from CES. Lots of gold in those interviews.

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Tablets that Failed in 2011 (But Could Come Back in 2012)

Every year, we get new hype of electronics that are suppose to rock their niche. This year, we saw tablets galore. At CES 2011, I personally saw around 8 tablets that disappeared quicker than a fake Apple store in China.

But those tablets that stayed to try and take the market had to deal with the 500 lb gorilla in iPad2. Some did ok, while others failed miserably. That is what were going to look at today.

Cisco Cius

Cisco Cius

Cisco Cius

Knowing that Cisco didn’t want to deal with the consumer market, they decided to go for the business professional. Why not? It worked for Blackberry all these years. Only problem, it still couldn’t cut it.

Cisco Cius is an Android-based tablet that ran 720p, with Wifi, 4G and Bluetooth. It contains Cisco AppHQ, which is Cisco’s business app store. The seven-inch screen had an optional HD media station that could connect USB peripherals, Ethernet access and a handset, turning the Cius into a landline phone.

There is still hope for the Cius, especially in the office that wants to buy $1000 phones. Maybe in 2-3 years, this device will become more utilized.

 

HP TouchPad

HP TouchPad

HP TouchPad

There is no way to sugar coat this, so I am going to say it. HP shot themselves in the collective foot. The HP TouchPad started out just fine. Using HP’s acquired Palm software, the WebOS system had a companion phone in the Pre3. The big feature was the ability to transfer items from the Pre3 to the TouchPad by setting the phone on the tablet.

This tablet was prematurely killed when CEO Leo Apotheker stopped production of WebOS devices in October. It also brought us the first viable $99 tablet, as stores were liquidating.

WebOS has been since deemed Open Source. Maybe the TouchPad will make a resurgence as a collectors item. ITM – HP will most likely come out with a Windows 7 tablet in the future.

 

RIM BlackBerry Playbook

Blackberry Playbook

Blackberry Playbook

RIM has been hurting as of late. Once a staple in business, they seemed to lose a lot of momentum to Apple lately. To really get into the tablet market, they decided to put out the PlayBook, which in all reality, was a pretty impressive tablet.

1 GB of RAM, dual-core 1 GHz processor, Dual HD cameras, and it also worked well with a Blackberry smartphone. The tablet does have a lot of strengths, but the market did not bode well. If it can stand the water, the Playbook might emerge in a year and really show

 

Motorola Xoom

Motorola XOOM

Motorola XOOM

The Xoomtablet was hit hard on specs vs. iPad2. The Xoom’s 10.1 inch display was deemed “Low end”. Resolution is not the only thing about a display. color depth, brightness and contrast are also big factors.

Still, this tablet, which now can be upgraded to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) could make a comeback with Xoom2 and a better display. It also has Bluetooth, micro USB and GPS.

Overall, all four of these tablets are still in production. They have some great features and – if a little work goes into them – they could shake up the tablet market in 2012. HP TouchPad would be the only exception.

With the Kindle Fire and Color Nook out in the tablet market, as well as some low-cost tablets ( like the  $99 MIPS Novo7 tablet that came out), 2012 might have some viable alternatives in the tablet market.

GNC-2011-11-10 #720 No Aliens?

Well no video tonight, I failed to hit record :( Enjoy the Audio :) Lots of great tech content, I am wrapping up a great week here in the Nations Capitol. Headed back to Honolulu which is hosting APEC so that should be fun.. Thanks for listening.

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GNC-2011-10-20 #715 Seven Year Anniversary!

This show is pretty close to the seven year anniversary of the show. It has been a great run, and I want to thank all of you for being loyal fans.. You will get a chuckle at the beginning of the show as I for some reason have no idea what day it is.. Lot’s of tech and thanks for all of the emailed comments.

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Dear Yahoo!: Just Sell it Already.

Yahoo!

Yahoo!

Dear Yahoo!:

It’s time. Time to make a decision. Time to stop holding onto the past. Time to realize you were on the top of game in 2000, but now it’s 2011. Time to see that Yahoo! is Yahover.

Can you turn the company around as Jerry Yang talked about during AsiaD in Hong Kong? Anything can happen. But you are not willing to put the money in to do that. Investors are weary and you have no leadership.

If I was your business analyst (and that isn’t even my profession), I would tell you what I tell other companies that choose not to sell:

  1. Change your name
  2. Set a new 2-year business plan
  3. Get a CEO that knows Social Media
  4. Re-build your look and feel
  5. Re-build your clientele

Did I just say “Change your name?” YES! When I hear Yahoo! I think of a company that was on top of their game back in 2000. Eleven years later and I don’t associate Yahoo! with today. I associate Google, Microsoft or Facebook. I even have a better chance of associating AOL  with 2011 over Yahoo!

Even the best business person will buy land just for the land. They’ll strike down the building and create a new epicenter. If the roof leaks and the foundation is shaky; if the building takes more energy to keep going, then rebuilding might take less money than repairing.

I wouldn’t fret, though. You really helped shape the Internet. You should be proud of that. Now it’s time to save what’s left of the company and maybe put together a new venture. I hear Microsoft is putting together a bid, among others. It’s not going to be $31 a share as in 2008, but I would guess it will be comparable.

If you are going to keep it, then find someone that can turn this company around. Get a CEO that knows what’s going on in the new media space. Someone that is active in Social Media. Someone that will bring new blood into the company.

Sincerly:
Someone that doesn’t want to hear about this anymore.

Arrington Officialy Fired – AOL Leaders are Idiots!

I used to get a lot of pleasure in bashing AOL when they would send me literally thousands of CD’s that all ended up in the land-fill. I even told my buddies who had stock in AOL, that they better unload it while the getting was good. Every last one of them wishes today that they had taken my advice as they lost 100’s of thousands of dollars on the stock when the AOL stock collapsed.

So the whole debacle about Mike Arrington, the CrunchFund, Arianna Huffington then Mike’s final ultimatum left AOL with a decision to make. This evening the folks at Fortune say Mike is officially out. You can see the vultures circling from a variety of second rate start-up sites, because these sites have been getting their butts kicked for so long by Mike’s crew, they now see blood in the street and are gonna try and swoop in for the kill.

The next question is how many of the excellent writers at TechCrunch are now gonna bail? We will see how many of them pick a paycheck over loyalty to Mike. My bet is we “will not” see a mass exodus from TechCrunch, but what we will see is that website turn into another piece of crap site that AOL now has editorial controls. Mark my words this decision by AOL is gonna end up being the beginning of the end of AOL as people know it today.

Ohh an lets not forget, that their is the TechCrunch Disrupt event next week, and if Mike is missing from that event, it will likely be it’s last. I am sure the TechCrunch crew are just gonna love working for Arianna Huffington when she peers down at them with her beady eyes and says obey slaves.

The Loss of Tech Know-How

What do compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), LCD screens, rechargeable batteries, solar cells and integrated circuit packaging all have in common? They’re all technologies that the USA can no longer produce within the country itself and must rely on companies in Asia, such as Taiwan and China to manufacturer. The technology has effectively been lost to the US, having migrated from West to East as part of major purchasing deals.

These deals might be considered as best business practice too. The way it often works is that a US-based company develops a technology and a product, but a small part is subcontracted out to foreign 3rd party. Say a little daughter board. Time passes and the 3rd party comes back to the US company and offers to build not only the daughter board, but also the motherboard, and more cheaply too. The deal happens, it’s a success and profits are up all round. Time passes and the 3rd party comes back and offers to build not only the motherboard but the whole product and more cheaply too. The deal happens, it’s a success and profits are up all round. It’s all good.

What happens next? The once 3rd party contractor goes to a US-based major distributor or retail chain and offers to make them an own-brand version of the product more cheaply than the market leader, now having access to all the technology required to make the product without any assistance. Surprised? Don’t be; this is what happened between Dell and ASUSTeK but it’s a pattern that has been repeated in many industries and continues to be repeated.

If you want to know more, Forbes are running a series of articles by Steve Denning, starting with Why Amazon Can’t Make a Kindle in the USA, on the loss of technological expertise from the USA. I think they’re an excellent read that explains much of the world today, even if you don’t necessarily see the loss of know-how from the US as a bad thing. It’s also worth browsing some of the comments to see other people’s thoughts on the articles, especially those from other countries.