Archive for August, 2010

The End of Phone as Utility

There’s an app for that. And it may soon replace the idea of Baby Bells and Verizon as utility companies. If it hadn’t already via Skype, telephony is now well on its way to becoming an application rather than a network, thanks to Google “Voice Chat”.

(continue reading…)


Radio Liberty

In a MainStreet article, Seth Fiegerman suggests that Livio’s “Car Internet Radio” iPhone app is a giant-killer, primed to topple Satellite Radio. Hmmmm. Satellite Radio can be seen as valuable in two ways. For many, the programming on the “radio” is the key. The content is the lure, with premium syndication from Howard Stern, ESPN, NFL, etc that cannot be duplicated anywhere else. For these people, there really is no Satellite “killer app”. Given that a lot of this material is unavailable elsewhere, AM/FM, Internet Radio, or any other form of vanilla programming has no appeal.

The other viewpoint puts the emphasis on the “Satellite” instead – a non-location-specific transmission medium that can allow consistent access from anywhere while mobile. With this viewpoint, a cellular “Internet radio” – which uses the Internet as the distribution medium to access radio stations in the conventional sense – could indeed be a worthy competitor to Sirius/XM (provided that there was adequate data coverage in all visited areas). These “radio” stations may be streaming versions of a bonafide over-the-air (OTA) station, or an Internet agglomeration of custom programming available only as online content. (continue reading…)

Tweet Your Congressman

A brief but interesting tease on one possible future of social media in government… I can certainly appreciate the information overload that Congressional aides must be experiencing and can only imagine what restrictive “guidelines” and archaic processing systems/procedures must be in place. Something that hopefully POPVOX can overcome.

Funny, though, that John McCain has the highest “Digital IQ”. Wasn’t it The Daily Show (or Letterman) that would ridicule McCain for his old-coot grasp of new media? Newsweek acknowledges the ‘IQ’ but points out that it is quality not quantity…

The Future of 3D TV

I’m nearly ready to invest in a large flat-screen TV. 3D televisions are now almost mainstream, but they are still very pricey. Should I buy now, or wait till the technology matures? Will 3D TV really take off?

Since, traditionally, pornography drives technology [1,2], I guess I should consider 3D TV to be a non-starter until we begin seeing the porn industry embrace it. Oh, wait. They just did. Yikes, I can’t wait for “Desperately Horny Housewives”, “How I Did Your Mother”, and “The Big Bang Theory”.

The Geosocial Universe (Part II)

Last week’s launch of “Facebook Places”, the new ‘geosocial’ feature of the gargantuan social media provider, makes me wonder what will happen to all the other geo-oriented competitors. As with other great ideas and big market opportunities, when the industry lead does something, there are usually repercussions. Already Hot Potato has fallen, absorbed like Microsoft swallowed Vermeer to get FrontPage. Who else will fall?

Venture favorite FourSquare likes the position they are in, and they even supported the Places press conference (likely partnering, along with Gowalla, on the API). But while the world can live with Ford and GM stomping around, the little guys like Saturn and DeLorean are likely to get pushed off the dance floor. 500 million users will tend to do that. Fringe players like Loopt and Mobcast may be in jeopardy. And while Google falls in the “big fish” category, their Latitude product has generated as much buzz as, well, their Buzz product.

I’m betting that Facebook is sure to dominate all others. Location services will prove to be best when they are both utilitarian and popular. Most others lack the well-established user base, and those that have gained popularity are used more like games than services (Gowalla as scavenger hunt, FourSquare for collecting mayoral points). The lure of 500 million Facebook users will draw the lion’s share of retail partnerships, and that will ultimately determine the true u$efulne$$ of $uch a $ervice.

The Evolution Of Smartphones, By The Numbers [And Why Apple May Dominate The Next Round]

In 2007, Apple energized the smartphone industry with the introduction of the first-gen iPhone. Within a year, they had gone from a non-player in the cellular phone market to an innovative industry leader. Indeed, Apple’s tremendous success in the marketplace is exemplified by their capture of 48% of the Q1 2010 mobile phone revenues, despite being limited to GSM carriers and garnering only an estimated 3% of the total handset market.

If rumors of a CDMA phone in 2011 are correct, Apple is poised to once again make an historic leap, this time not for its innovative technological advances, but in terms of a significant – possibly even dominant – market share increase. In order to explain why this might be, we need to understand how smartphone adoption has evolved (very rapidly) over the past 3 years.

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The Geosocial Universe

An interesting infographic on the penetration of social media in the mobile world.

Check out what we are calling "The Geosocial Universe&qu... on Twitpic

I might quibble over the representation of Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo! Mail as individual closed systems though. Size matters relative to their marketing capabilities – think eyeballs and click-throughs – but in the social media universe I would think they are all part of a generic “email” aggregate that dwarfs all others.

Upgrading Exchange 2007 to SP2 in N+1 Easy Steps

Running an Exchange continuous-replication cluster can seem rather intimidating, but it’s really not that bad. When it comes to patches, upgrades, etc it really just boils down to working on the passive node, flipping roles, and then working on the (former) active node.

Upgrading an Exchange 2007 CCR to SP2 is no different, and is explained in great detail on this TelnetPort25 guide. It is a relatively simple process, but I guess I was groggy because I managed to skip a step and royally screw things up. My folly is documented here in case anyone else runs into a similar situation.

  1. Upgrade the passive node.
  2. Flip active/passive roles.
  3. Stop the cluster.
  4. Upgrade the virtual CMS.
  5. Upgrade the (former) active node.
  6. Start the cluster.

Step #4? Pretty darn important. But while #1 and #5 involve running SETUP.COM with a /m Mode switch, step #4 uses a special /UpgradeCMS switch.

If you overlook the subtle difference and miss that critical step, you will end up with 2 physical installations upgraded to SP2, but with the virtual node of the cluster still on the previous release. Exchange will not start because the versions are mismatched, and you cannot run the /UpgradeCMS command after the damage has been done.

At least not right away.

If you are unlucky enough to duplicate my stupidity, the fix is actually rather simple.

To fake the CMS out and allow it to be upgraded (even though both physical nodes are already up-to-date), you need to delete the registry key that marks the CMS as installed:


Once the key has been removed, the /UpgradeCMS command will be able to run as it originally should have been.

Lots of panic and self-flagellation, plus one extra step.

Mobile Optimization Gone Wrong

Are you reading this blog on a PC/Mac? If so, the following 3-page article will not seem out of the ordinary:

But if you are reading this on an iPhone, something is decidedly lacking in the InfoWorld piece. On a positive note, most of the ads & banners are gone, but that’s not what I am referring to…

(continue reading…)

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