Tag Archives: tablet

Techno zombies beware! You will be assimilated!

Walking down the street.

Waiting for the train.

Standing in line at Starbucks (or Dumb Starbucks).

You’ll see them.

Disembodied.

Half-human.

Staring bleakly.

Wide-eyed.

Faces illuminated.

Tapping furiously.

Oblivious to the world around them.

You know what I’m talking about. Don’t you?

You’re probably not even aware that you may one of them.

Zombies.

Techno-zombies to be exact.

What’s a techno zombie?

I thought I made it up, but the Urban Dictionary describes them as follows:

A person or persons who walk through public areas (shopping malls, sidewalks, etc) text messaging on their cellphones, not paying attention to their surroundings.

My definition is a little more expansive.

In my universe, a techno zombie is anyone whose life revolves around their device. Their every waking hour is devoted to an absolute (or near absolute) obsession with their device.

How do you know whether you’re a techno zombie or not?

Simple: answer the following questions.

When you get up in the morning, do you automatically check your phone or tablet?

When you head out the door, do you reflexively check your phone?

When you’re walking to the train or subway, do you frequently check your phone?

When you’re riding the train or  subway, are you checking your phone?

When you’re sitting in a meeting or on a conference call at your job, do you find yourself checking your phone?

At various points throughout the day, do you find yourself checking your phone?

Do you find yourself checking your phone even when you haven’t received an alert, buzz or notification prompt?

Have you ever experienced the ‘phantom vibration’?

If you answered “yes” to four or more of the questions above, you’re a techno zombie.

And I don’t want to hear that you’re always checking for missed calls.

You’re not that important and who actually calls anyone anymore?

You’re checking for a response to that last text message.

Or the latest Facebook post in your feed.

Maybe you just got an alert from the NY Times.

Or someone invited you to play Words with Friends.

Perhaps it was a notification that someone started following you on Twitter.

Whatever the reason, we have become a people inextricably tied to our devices.

Somehow, insidiously, we have slid from a people who thrive on physical interaction to ones who subsist virtually.

We have become the Borg.

Borg 1

Oh, I’m exaggerating, am I?

Check it.

The next time you leave your office, count the number of people walking down the block with their faces buried in their phones.

Walking and texting is so commonplace that one can navigate an entire city block without ever looking up.

Instead of bumping, pinball like, off other people, eliciting “Hey! Watch where you’re going!s” in your wake, people part like the Red Sea, allowing you to pass unaccosted.

Because no one wants to disturb you mid-text.

The next time you’re on the train, observe how many people whip out their devices and remain glued to them the entire ride.

Gone is the polite banter among riders, replaced by mutes, immersed in tiny screens.

The walking dead.

walking dead

Zombie-like we wander, shunning human interaction for virtual pleasure.

Seeking validation in likes, retweets and shares, instead of in the company of other people.

We have lost our individuality.

Subsisting instead, as part of a large undifferentiated mass of eyeballs, to be sold to the highest bidder.

And what is this collective to which we belong?

Who profits from our lack of individuality?

Facebook? The Government? Microsoft? Google? Apple?

Who knows?

We certainly don’t. Nor do we care.

Today, February 11th, is a rally to protest data collection by the NSA.

How many of us will be there?

How many of us are even aware of the data collection practices of the numerous carriers, apps, websites, and online service we happily sign up for?

Which of us actually takes the time to read the Terms and Conditions associated with using Gmail, or Facebook, or Instagram?

When was the last time you opted out of a request by a third-party app to “post on your behalf” when “signing up using Facebook?”

When was the last time you actually turned your phone off or (even more daring) left your phone at home? On purpose?

With all the data collection being done, hackers lurking around every public wi-fi spot, and swiss cheese privacy policies making your every keystroke fodder for marketers, I’m surprised that more of us are not alarmed at our steady decline into digital complacency.

Rather than fighting to ensure that we safeguard ourselves against the insipid practices of Big Brother, we’re checkboxing our way to our own demise.

And we’re taking our kids down with us too.

We happily hand our children Nintendo DSIs, Kindle Fires, PlayStations and Xboxes and wonder why they’re fat, lazy, with ADHD, short attention spans and don’t know how to socialize with their peers.

While my rant today may seem random, it was inspired by my own personal descent into digital oblivion.

The other day, I found myself staring downward, at my iPhone, as I made my way towards the train.

I had become that which I abhorred!

How often had I cursed the wayward walker ahead of me, bobbing and weaving, oblivious to all else but their precious device?

Imagine my shock to find myself the wayward walker.

When I got home, I took and hid all the kids’ electronic devices in the house, and none too soon.

I realized that my children were being assimilated and I was contributing to the their social demise.

Who knew how much longer I had before I was LOLing with my kids via text and ‘liking’ on Facebook instead of hugging and playing with them in real life?

Take this as a cautionary tale, my friends, before you too end up assimilated…

…or crumpled under the bumper of a car.

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Filed under advocacy, mobile

The iPad 2. My “new” favorite device.

Stephen and iPad sitting in a tree, w-o-r-k-i-n-g.

Stephen and iPad sitting in a tree, w-o-r-k-i-n-g.

Have you heard?

I’m in love!

No. Not with my wife.

I mean, I’m in love with my wife.

Don’t get me wrong.

She’s a sweet chick that doesn’t get on my nerves too much.

Just kiddin honey. You don’t get on my nerves at all.

The point is, I’m in love but its not the wife.

No. Not the kids.

Love the kids (by default, not design).

But I’m not talking offspring here.

My job? Gimme a break!

Check in with me when I’m clocking seven figures.

For now, negatory.

Alright, last guess.

Wrong!

I do love sex.

But it’s an act, not a thing.

You suck at this.

Remind me never to pick you as a game show partner.

It’s my iPad 2!

I am head over heels in love with it.

I recently got it from wifey for my birthday.

I was, in a word, verklempt.

Why all the emotion?

After all, this is my second iPad.

I had the original for three years.

Mind you, I was pissed when Apple dropped the 2 within months of my copping the 1.

But I wasn’t going for the okey-doke and buying into Apple’s manipulative bait-and-switch (and rape your pockets).

So for three years, I made do with my camera-less, FaceTime deficient, slower iPad.

Don’t get me wrong, we had our run.

But when the 4 was released, followed by the Mini, and talks began about a 5 and a retina display Mini, I realized enough was enough.

I had to step up my game.

Then came the dilemma.

Do I cop the 2, 3, 4 or Mini?

The Mini was out of the question.

I tooled around with it in the office, and it was so not a tablet.

I mean it is a tablet, but its not a tablet.

Knowhatimean?

You’re daft.

Try to keep up with me, please?

Anywho, the debate really centered around the 2, 3 and 4.

Do I just go for it and drop coin for the latest and greatest, the 4 with its retina display, 4G LTE and all the bells and whistles?

Or do I settle for something less bells and whistley from an earlier generation?

The decision was easy.

The 2.

Same (general) features and functionality of the (now defunct) 3 (and 4), less price.

Sure it’s maxed out at 16GB.

And there’s no Siri.

Lower resolution photos and video recording.

But for all intents and purposes, its the same thing.

Truth be told, my love affair with the 2 started the day I beheld it in the wild for the first time.

My man’s girl had one in Miami, during Art Basel.

And before I knew what was happening, I was one of those dorks shooting video with a big ole tablet in my outstretched arms – Frankenstein’s monster-like.

Get it right. Frankenstein was the man, not the monster.

The foolishness of my appearance did little to dampen the unbridled affection I felt – and presently feel – for it.

Even today, well after the novelty has worn off, as I cradle my very own 2 lovingly in my mitts, affection wells in my chest.

Why the love affair, you ask?

Well, nothing in my arsenal impacts my day-to-day productivity more than the iPad.

My iPad helps me get shit done.

Shout out to Moses.

If you’ve every tried to work on your iPhone while out and about, or even on your laptop, you quickly realize there are – limitations.

One’s too small and cramped.

The other’s too big and bulky.

But my iPad is just right.

I power through emails.

Schedule appointments.

Knock out to-do’s.

I’m generally bout-it-bout-it.

Bout-it bout-it=handling one’s business in a professional and thorough manner.

When I’m rocking with my iPad, you might as well give me a cape and call me the Black Superman.

I gets that busy.

So if you see me out and about, fondling or kissing my iPad, and it makes you feel…uncomfortable…

Avert your eyes.

Nothing’s going to stand in the way of my love.

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Filed under digital advocacy, iPad

The iPad 4 arrives with a whimper. But it’s better than the Mini.

Sometimes Apple really perplexes me.

I’ll tell you why.

Last month, when they announced the iPhone 5, many speculated that Apple would also unveil the iPad Mini.

Others felt that Apple wouldn’t want to upstage the iPhone with the iPad mini.

Ultimately, the iPhone was announced alone.

On Wednesday, last week, however, they announced two new products, the iPad Mini AND the iPad 4.

Few, like myself, even took notice that there was another iPad release.

Hadn’t Apple withheld the release of the iPad Mini to avoid one device stealing the thunder from another?

Why, then would they announce the release the iPad 4 and the iPad Mini on the same date?

It’s not like the iPad 4 isn’t worthy of shine.

It’s got the new lightning connector.

And supposedly it’s fast a hell.

It’s got an A6X processor and doubled the speed of wifi.

There’s also a higher quality FaceTime camera, which means you can see yourself…better?

But as many analysts have noted, it’s just an iterative change.

Well we got both the iPad 4 and Mini in the office yesterday, and the Mini is nothing to write home about.

Side by side comparison. Notice anything different?

I can say this much about it – it’s smaller.

You can fit it comfortably in your hand, like the Galaxy Note.

And it’s extremely light.

Compared to the iPad 4 (which weighs a friggin’ ton) it’s light as a feather.

But that’s about where the benefits end.

The display isn’t retina, and the difference is noticeable.

And everything is smaller.

You would think that looking at websites on the Mini would be akin to viewing on a full-size iPad, but tis not the case.

It’s more like looking at a big iPhone.

The text is too small to be read easily without eye strain, and everything is just…smaller.

The iPad 4, for it’s part is really just a blown out iPad 2.

Like it’s predecessor (the iPad 3), it’s heavy as shit.

This extra weight comes not from the retina display, the new processor or additional antennae.

It’s the battery.

Want all those bells and whistles?

Then hold this fat ass battery.

As far as performance goes, they’re virtually indistinguishable.

Watching videos over wifi, they performed pretty well.

Both loaded quickly and streamed fine.

Folks filed in to take a look at the Mini, and the universal opinion was that it was ‘cute’ and little.

And that may be enough for folks to shell out $329 for the wifi only model.

And the extra weight may not bother folks who are looking to preserve their eyesight and cop the iPad 4.

To be honest, I was underwhelmed by both devices.

For what it’s worth, I’ll pick up an iPad 2 and call it a day.

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eBook reader-cum-tablet? A Kindle Fire get-over saga.

This summer, I got my son a Kindle Fire for his 9th birthday.

He had given us a short list of his birthday wishes.

Mind you, his list was fairly perfunctory.

Library card. Library card? Live a little kid!

New bike. Nah B! Your current bike is perfectly fine.

Kindle Fire. Hmm…I can do this.

I was impressed by my son’s third request.

His sister had requested (and received) an Amazon Kindle for her last birthday.

She really seemed to be into reading books, and I suppose, this inspired his own interest in the eReader.

Seeking to support my son’s intellectual pursuits, we hurriedly ordered the device and, beaming, presented it to him for his birthday.

But once it was in his grubby paws, I realized that we had been hoodwinked.

The desire to read electronic books (like his sister) was the furthest thing from his mind.

Even though we had admonished him to avoid ordering anything without consulting mommy or daddy first, he found a loophole – free apps.

It wasn’t really ordering if they didn’t cost anything was it?

So almost immediately, he began downloading all kinds of games, and apps and game apps.

There was nary a eBook among the email confirmations that flooded my account.

All hours of the day and night, he was either glued to the device or ordering apps like a maniac.

It was only as my son morphed into a zombie, that I first saw the Kindle Fire commercials.

As drool escaped the corners of my son’s mouth, illuminated by the glow from the device, that I realized that this little bugger had gotten completely over on us!

The signs were there, but I missed them.

I hadn’t put two and two together.

You see, he’s always asking to play Angry Birds or some other innocuous game on my iPad.

And I repeatedly say ‘no.’

His request for the Kindle Fire was an end-around to my opposition.

A thinly veiled way of getting a tablet, to play games and such, without raising any suspicion or alarm.

The Kindle was certainly NOT to read.

This experience has me re-examining this whole eBook reader phenomenon.

I used to think all eReaders were just that – readers.

First, there was the Kindle (2007).

Then the Nook (10/09).

Sony also had some skin in the game with their readers.

There were black-and-white versions, color versions, backlit versions, versions with keyboards and versions without.

And then came the iPad.

And the eReader game was forever changed.

Sure a tablet device was good for reading, but the iPad offered so much more.

Apps. The web. Light computing.

It was truly a device of the future.

Not wanting to be left out, Kindle released the Kindle Fire, with apps and internet surfing baked right in.

Of course, Barnes & Noble followed up with their Nook Tablet, which offered the same functionality.

eReaders went from simple monochrome blah to web surfing, wifi/3G connected funky, combining the connective utility of a tablet with the pure function of an eReader.

And what I initially thought was my son’s simple request to get his read on, has become a straight tablet coup!

All I know is that the lines between eReaders and tablets have been forever obscured…

And that my son is slick.

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Filed under iPad, mobile, opinion, technology

Apple 1 (billion). Samsung 0.

Samsung is cute and all, but original…not so much.

Yesterday, it was announced that the jury in the Apple patent lawsuit against Samsung had returned a verdit in Apple’s favor on virtually every count of their complaint.

The jury determined that Samsung had, in fact, ripped off Apple’s designs for the popular iPhone and iPad devices.

Despite a spirited defense, and counter complaints against Apple, alleging that Apple had infringed upon several of Samsung’s patents, the jury soundly rejected Samsung’s arguments and found in Apple’s favor.

The jury found that several of Samsung’s products illegally used Apple’s patented “bounce-back” feature when a user scrolls to an end image, and the ability to zoom text with a tap of a finger.

In so finding, they awarded Apple $1.05 billion, about $1.5 shy of what Apple was suing for, but a marked more than Samsung expected to pay.

Apple’s lawyers, seeing blood with the jury verdict, are now asking the judge to levy treble damages (triple the amount of the actual damages awarded a prevailing plaintiff, leveled to punish the losing party for willful conduct).

Of course, lawyers for Samsung immediately filed an appeal, seeking to reverse the jury verdict and challenge the damages awarded.

It’s unlikely that they’ll be successful.

But the bigger issue are the implications for the rest of the mobile phone industry.

Samsung isn’t the only mobile phone maker to use Apple’s bounce-back or zoom features.

A full range of Android devices are likely going to be in Apple’s crosshairs soon enough.

Samsung was one of the first companies to leverage Google’s Android platform on it’s devices, but it is far from the only one.

Motorola, HTC, and LG are all handset makers utilizing the Android operating system in their phones, but Samsung was by far the leader, with over 20 million Android smart phones sold since their introduction in 2010.

The real impact of this verdit will be seen in the coming months, as manufacturers determine whether sticking with Android will expose them to the type of liability Samsung has been exposed to.

If anything, this verdict re-establishes Apple claim to innovation.

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Filed under iPad, iPhone, mobile, technology

Enough with the Leaks! Drop The iPad 3 Already!

Is it real? Will the world have the iPad 3 soon?

A little over a year ago, I got my first iPad.

Less than 35 days after I did, Apple released the iPad 2.

Needless to say, my acquisition fell outside of the 30 day window in which Apple permitted iPad owners to exchange their iPad and upgrade to the iPad 2.

I wasn’t about to shell out any money for what I thought (at the time) were minor upgrades.

I had fallen for Apple’s chicanery in the past, and I wasn’t about to be parted with my money for a few bells and whistles.

Sure, there’s a better display, and two cameras, and a faster processor, but what does that really mean?

It wasn’t until a few months ago, that I actually used an iPad 2 for the first time.

Now I look upon my iPad with utter disgust.

How could I have been living like such a…savage…for so long?

So, it is with much anticipation that await the release the iPad 3.

And each new leak only increases that anticipation.

What leaks?

Where have you been?

For months, there has been unbridled speculation about what new features the iPad 3 would possess.

And recently, there have been credible ‘leaks’ of some of the component parts of the upcoming Apple tablet.

Here’s a short summary for you cave dwellers.

The Case

Last week, Mashable released photos of what purports to be the outer casing for the iPad 3. The images, which came from a Chinese blog, Apple Daily, are contained in a gallery which show the inside and outside of the casing. In addition, Apple Daily included a comparison of the three iPads, showing the similarities and differences of one section of the iPad. The case is rumored to be slightly larger than the iPad 2, to accommodate a larger battery, to support a more powerful processor and the LTE 4G radio.

iPad 3, I must have thee!

The Retina Display

The iPad 3 is rumored to have a 2048×1536 retina display. This rumor was apparently confirmed by MacRumors (how appropriate) last week, when they posted (what appears to be) photographs of the new ultra-high resolution retina display, which they claim to have examined under a microscope.

What does a display with twice the pixels of the current iPad mean to regular folks? Think HD on your iPad. Images will be incredible sharp and you’ll see details that you weren’t even aware were there on regular displays.

MacRumors side-by-side microscopic comparisons of the iPad displays.

The Camera

The size and configuration of the back casing also appears to fuel speculation that there will be an 8 megapixel camera (the same camera on the iPhone 4S) on the new iPad. An 8 megapixel camera on the iPad 3 will mean higher quality photographs, rivaling that of professional cameras. (Not really – but I wanted to sound dramatic).

All I can say, is that the speculation is killing me!

What I didn’t tell you about my experience with the iPad 2, was that I was seriously contemplating robbing the friend who let me rock it.

As I walked around Miami, recording video and talking with various admirers inquiring as to what I was doing (walking around holding a tablet in front of me), I thought about the various stories I could come up with as to why I was returning without the device.

But, I suspect, if I had made off with the iPad 2, the iPad 3 would drop immediately thereafter, and I’d be stymied, once again, in my efforts to possess the latest and greatest Apple device.

So, I wait, until March 7th, when Apple will allegedly announce when the iPad 3 will be available for sale.

And I will wait (not in some line outside the Apple store like some teenage concert-goer) until I can cop one for me-self.

Shoot, it’s about to be my 42nd birthday in two months.

Perhaps I can convince my network to help me raise the money to buy one, as they famously did on my 40th (love you guys!!)

But really, enough with the leaks. Drop the iPad 3 already!!

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Filed under branding, digital advocacy, iPad, rant, technology

The Samsung Galaxy Note LTE a “Game-Changer”? NOT!!!

Is this really a game-changer? Really?

Yesterday, I had a conversation with Daron Jenkins, a fellow technologist, and one of the founders of SCENEPR, an agency devoted to helping other agencies understand and leverage new media and technology.

Daron and I were talking about their upcoming SoLoMo starters+start ups event, and as we talked about the various potential topics for future sessions, somehow our discussion turned to the soon-to-be-released Samsung Galaxy Note LTE phone, which Daron described as a potential “game-changer.”

You must know that Daron and I are both Apple disciples.

So, needless to say, I was immediately incredulous upon hearing Daron’s statement.

A game-changer, to me, is something that makes all other competitors cringe with fear.

It’s something so totally left-of-center, that most are taken unaware, and left speechless.

A game-changer makes others in the space think, “why didn’t we think of that?”

It leaves them at a loss precisely because it creates or carves out a space for that new product, service, application, or what-have-you, that everyone/thing else seems obsolete in comparison.

Now, if you’re like me, the term “game-changer” evokes thoughts of the killer devices that permanently changed the landscape of the spaces they occupied.

In my humble opinion, there have been a few undeniable game-changers in the mobile space.

The first was the Palm Treo.

The first game-changer. The Palm Treo 270.

It was the first phone that effectively combined a phone with a PDA, offering the ability to make phone calls and keep your calendar, contacts and notes organized in one handy, handheld device.

The iPhone was the next.

The iPhone broke the mold and it's forever been broken.

Although other handset manufacturers offered their own version of the smartphone, Apple created a device that was simultaneously powerful, functional and elegant.

The last was the iPad.

IMO, the iPad ushered the end of all tablet competitors.

Again, while there are other tablets in the market, none have achieved the recognition or stature of Apple’s offering.

Which brings me back to Daron’s statement.

It was with much consternation that I even continued the conversation, in light of what I felt was an obvious flaw in his statement.

We all know that NOTHING competes with Apple.

Sure, Apple’s mobile devices don’t support Flash natively.

And marketers have responded by advising clients that sites be built without Flash.

Sure, Apple releases a new product every other day.

And people routinely line up outside of Apple stores days in advance of every new product release.

Sure, Apple’s products are tres cher.

And people regularly shell out the king’s ransom required to own it’s devices.

So whatever Samsung is coming with, has to be so spectacular, so innovative, so feature rich, so ‘that ish’, that one’s initial visceral response is “I must have it!”

To their credit, their latest commercial, poking fun a Apple-ophiles, does point out Apple’s many shortcomings.

But that doesn’t necessarily equate to changing the game.

At the end of our call, we agreed that deploying the Galaxy Note LTE with AT&T was a major faux pas, with AT&T’s spotty service and network bandwidth.

We also agreed that “game-changer” was an extremely generous characterization for Samsung’s latest entry into the mobile/tablet space.

But we’ll just have to wait and see.

I, for one, am not holding my breath.

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What’s Playing? Get the !mpulse!

One of the main projects I’ve been working on, is a technology initiative called !mpulse.

“What’s !mpulse?” you ask.

!mpulse is an interactive platform that let’s you experience a venue’s music library directly from your internet/wi-fi enabled mobile or tablet device.

!mpulse enables people to discover and get music wherever they hear it.

!mpulse displays the currently playing, and the previous nine (9) songs played at an !mpulse-enabled venue.

Wi-Fi capable mobile devices, like the iPhone, iPod Touch, Blackberry and Android devices, can immediately display the song that is currently playing, comment on, share via Facebook or Twitter, or even play the song right from their device.

By bridging the gap between desire and action, !mpulse also allows users to explore a venue, its music library, or the particular artist which inspired them in the first place.

We’ve rolled at !mpulse (Beta) at a few select destinations, including Red Rooster Harlem, Tillman’s NYC and we’re rolling out Townhouse Hotel in Miami, 1300 Fillmore in San Francisco and more locations to be announced shortly.

Here are a few screen shots of !mpulse.

A screenshot of Townhouse Hotel's !mpulse page.

Select a song from the playlist and you'll get this page.

If you’re ever in New York, Harlem, Miami or San Francisco, please stop into one of these establishments and take !mpulse for a spin.

If you aren’t planning on being in any of these destinations, I’ve got a treat for you…snap either of the QR codes in this post, and you’ll be able to enjoy !mpulse on your own.

If you want to listen to a song, simply click on the album art to start playback.

Please send me your comments and let me know what you think!

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