Friday, March 15, 2013
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Samsung Galaxy S4 will inevitably dominate the smartphone market
-- Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
-- 5 inch screen
-- eight-core processor (translation: super fast)
-- Improve battery life
-- 13 Megapixel rear camera
-- 64 GB of internal memory and support for 64 GB more via SD card
-- Cool new features like eye scroll and floating hand scroll
-- Dual screen view
And a lot more
Samsung is innovating at a level no other phone maker is right now, and that is why they will soon find that the GS4 is the dominant phone in the overall market. There are those who remain loyal to Apple or other brands, but Samsung has done well in part because of its immense marketing budget, which makes it hard to not hear about their new products. Nobody, not even Apple, is as ubiquitous as they are in the world of advertising.
I fully recognize that Samsung's competitors will step up their games on new releases later this year. They have to in order to compete with this type of rock star phone.
But Samsung has a head start, and the team with the head start usually wins.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Blackberry Z10 available for pre-ordering March 14 on Verizon Wireless
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet debuts March 7 on Verizon Wireless; features S Pen, 4G LTE
Following a trend started with the Galaxy Note II, the Galaxy Note 10.1 features the advanced S Pen stylus. Business professionals can take notes during meetings with handwriting-to-text capabilities, and drawing tools to jot down plans. Notes can be saved and shared over 4G LTE with coworkers and clients.
What makes this tablet different are a couple of features. The first advantage is that it is on the Verizon 4G LTE network. Other features include those found on the Galaxy Note II smartphone. It has a split screen feature that lets you have two apps open at once on the screen. So for example, you can have the browser open with an article you’re reading and your email app to compose or read emails.
For photo editing, the Galaxy Note 10.1 runs Adobe Photoshop Touch. Combined with the S Pen™, building visual effects, such as layering, blending and filters, can be used by designers to show drafts or mock-ups to potential clients. Users can combine and manipulate images creatively with the S Pen, then upload work to the cloud using 4G LTE to access their portfolio just about anywhere.
Watching television with a second screen has become second nature for many. For TV fans, the Galaxy Note 10.1 features the Smart Remote, powered by Peel, to turn the tablet into a universal remote control. The tablet can control an entire home entertainment system and even recommend programs.
Friday, March 1, 2013
Pandora Radio's decision to limit free streaming to 40 hours per month will backfire, help their competitors
|LIsten to a lot of Pandora Radio? You might be listening a little less, after the company has decided to limit the amount of streaming that people who don't pay a monthly fee will be able to hear. The limit will be 40 hours (and yes, I'm presuming that includes the ads they run quite often during the free streaming).
I have to say that this doesn't seem like a wise move to me. I listen to Pandora a lot, and I am willing to put up with the ads, which I see as an alternative to paying the monthly fee and avoiding ads. In a way, I am paying, because the ad money is going to Pandora instead of my monthly fee.
But apparently that's not enough for the company. In a way it's not a big deal. If I get to 40 hours and can't listen anymore that month, no big deal. I'll live. There are plenty of other music sources I can use to get my enjoyment. Pandora say that you can pay 99 cents and continue to listen unlimited (with ads) for the remainder of the month once you get to the 40 hour limit, but I would have no desire to do so, just on principle (it's not about the money with a number that low; it's just silly that they're even asking for it).
See, that's where Pandora has screwed up. See, they must also realize that if people start to get annoyed with this kind of forced subscription for avid listeners, they will go to other music sources like Slacker Radio, Spotify, etc. And if all of those services follow this business model, I'm sure another company will crop up that does offer free unlimited streaming that is subsidized by ads and not the pockets of listeners.
Maybe I'm wrong, but from my vantage point, this won't end well for Pandora, who will lose a lot of listeners and hurt their overall popularity -- while boosting the popularity of their streaming competitors.
Below is the letter I was emailed by Pandora (which, apparently, wants me to call their founder by his first name ... I didn't know we were buddies)
Hi, it's Tim –
|I hope this email finds you enjoying a favorite Pandora station.|
|I'm writing to give you an important heads up. In an effort to balance the reality of increasing royalty costs with our desire to maximize access to free listening on Pandora, we are implementing a 40-hour per month limit on free mobile listening.|
|Pandora's per-track royalty rates have increased more than 25% over the last three years, including 9% in 2013 alone and are scheduled to increase an additional 16% over the next two years. After a close look at our overall listening, a 40-hour per month mobile listening limit allows us to manage our costs with minimal listener disruption.|
|Less than 4% of listeners will ever hit this limit, but based on your listening it seems that you might. To keep the music you love flowing we have a variety of easy options for you to consider if you reach the 40-hour limit: listen for free as much as you'd like on desktop and laptop computers; pay $0.99 for unlimited, ad-supported listening for the remainder of that month; or become a Pandora One subscriber to get unlimited listening with no advertising.|
|We'll be implementing this change starting in March and will be sure to let you know if you're approaching the limit. As always, your feedback and suggestions are welcome, so don't hesitate to shoot us an email.|
Thanks for listening,