Tech News

From iPod to iPhone: Apple's rise to world domination

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So with the iPhone 5′s announcement day soon to take place on October 4th, I decided to make a little tribute to Apple’s first foray into their iPod product line. Before the iPod, it’s safe to say that Apple was mainly known to designers who fawned over mac computers. Once the iPod was launched, Apple revolutionized the music industry.  Apple’s only real competitor at the time was Microsoft’s media brand, Zune. Now I’m sure some of you went, “Oh yeah~~ Zune.” Right? And like Zune, most companies did not rise enough to compete with Apple’s iPod and  Nano.

I remember fighting so hard not to buy an iPod when everyone else was grabbing them up. They were expensive and I was pretty darn content with my Sony Walkman. I had so many CD’s and I did not want to rip them all onto my computer. So I stuck up my nose at all the iPod users thinking they were just grabbing at the latest trend. And then the dancing sillouhettes kept dancing. I started to think, “Hey! They are having so much fun. I want my hair to whip around while listening to music.” I looked down at my scratched up, heavy, AA battery guzziling walkman… and chucked it. As a struggling college student working part-time at a coffee shop, I starved myself for about a month and used the money to buy the 2005 iPod. That died on me 1 year later. It literally gave me this look on the screen:  X_X.
Anyways, there’s my little history with Apple’s iPod.

Just a disclaimer about the timieline. I did not include all the generations of the device, because some of them were “fillers” before substantial changes were made. Also I did not include nanos or shuffles, because well.. they’re nanos and shuffles.

From iPods to iPhones
It seems like the consensus is that the iPhone 5 will be slimmer and with rounded edges.
How do you feel about that?
Did you like the rounded edges of the iPhone 3GS?
Do you like the structured look of the iPhone 4

 

- Sue C.

Conan Joins the iPhone 5 Search

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conan

iPhoneAlley.com

 

WEE-OOOOH-WEE-OOOH~  *sirens ringing*
CONAN HAS JOINED THE SEARCH FOR THE MISSING iPhone 5!
WEE-OOHH-WEE-OOOH~


In August, a story broke out to the excitement of all tech geeks out there. A prototype for the iPhone 5 (disguised as an iPhone 4) went missing at a San Francisco bar. This is a rather scary repeat of last year’s iPhone 4 incident which also took place in a bar. Last year, the iPhone 4 prototype was purchased by a tech blog. Apparantly, this year’s iPhone 5 prototype was sold on Craigslist for about $200.  With the help of San Francisco Police Department, Apple was able to track the phone to a San Francisco home. The house was searched, but nothing was found. So far the search for the iPhone 5 has been unsuccessfull.

The only thing I can say about the situation is that Apple seriously needs to ban its employees from alcohol.
Stop drinking and get to work! Although my cynical side has to think that this is a sneaky marketing stunt to draw in publicity. If it is a publicity stunt, then my respect for Apple will double for their never-ending ingenious ideas. You have my apple-ause. (< Urban dictionary. Look it up)

But where is the iPhone 5? Will we ever find the missing prototype? Is it being held hostage by some cruel Apple geek?

Don’t lose fait yet. There is newfound hope to finding the missing iPhone 5.
This hope comes in the form of a man.

A beautiful man.
A man with flowing red hair.
That man is CONAN!

conan poster
collider.com

Conan O’Brien has joined the search for the missing iPhone 5. His Machiavellian approach to retrieving the device from the person who bought it on Craigslist is refreshing and will produce actual results. Anything and everything will be done!
The means justifies the end!

Take a look at his Apple ad, “Apple Wants Its Lost iPhone 5.” If you are out there with the iPhone 5, beware.
Team Coco will find you.

Obviously this is a parody. Conan does not in any way advocate genital torture. or maybe.. who knows? It’s Conan.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

As an ending note, I want to apologize to our SGP blog readers for not being able to write any entries for the past 2 weeks. There are a lot of exciting changes and events going on in SGP. SGP has been running around like coffee-injected hyper ants with all the new mobile phones being released. I’m sure I dreamed about the Droid Bionic, Epic 4G Touch, and iPhone 5 attacking me. Well, no I did not actually dream about the devices. Although this past weekend I did play around with my friend’s new Droid Bionic. The screen size is so NICE! Those who love the Motorola Droid X, X2 will love the Bionic. I feel like Droid always has the best commercials. I get really into the new Bionic commercials only to be horribly disappointed that it was a commercial for a phone and not a trailer for an upcoming movie. Am I the only one that feels that way? Probably. Anyways…

Which phone are YOU waiting for?

Personally  I am waiting for the iPhone 5 (hopefully in white).
iPhone 5 iPhone 5 iPhone 5!

The Winklevosses

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TechCrunch has just reported that Facebook has become the 3rd biggest video site in the U.S. It’s currently trailing only YouTube and Vevo (which Facebook should surpass shortly).

Whenever I read about Facebook, I frequently get reminded of The Social Network. I recently re-watched the movie, and today’s headline reminded me of Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Zuckerberg’s ascension from the dorms in Harvard to his office in Silicon Valley.

Now, pretty much all of the actual figures from that movie say that although most of the events did indeed happen, it should nonetheless be seen as a work of fiction. So I feel a little more freedom to make some judgments.

I think the director of that movie intentionally made the lines of who’s right and wrong deliberately vague. It’s for the viewers to decide. But based on the opinions I’ve heard, it seems like most people have sided with Zuckerberg and against the Winklevosses. I’m on the same side. Of course the lines are a little grey, nothing absolute. But if I could point out one conversation that captures my thoughts about the matter, it was Zuckerberg’s reply to the accusation of stealing the Winklevoss’ idea:

“What? A Match.com for Harvard students… If you were the inventors of Facebook, you’d have invented Facebook.”

Tsotsis’ Techcrunch post last month pretty much captured it all when she referenced one of my favorite bloggers, Paul Graham:

Any entrepreneur worth their ramen will tell you that ideas are a dime a dozen; “Startup ideas are not million dollar ideas,” says Y Combinator founder Paul Graham “and here’s an experiment you can try to prove it: just try to sell one.”

Tsotsis also went on to say “Welcome to Northern California, we don’t like old money and we don’t like patent trolls. “Hustle over entitlement” should be our state motto” 

“Hustle over entitlement.” These are really refreshing words amidst all the legalities about patents and such I read on a daily basis.

Of course, every situation is different, but in this case, I just want to tell the Winklevosses to move on with their lives. Maybe they should row their boats on over to China?

 

(Photo Taken From Venturebeat.com)

-Delbert K

Google, Hire Matthew Epstein!

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There’s a concept in marketing called purple cow. One of the most influential bloggers in the world, Seth Godin, wrote in his bestselling book called Purple Cow, that one day, on a drive across the country side in Europe, he happened to pass by endless fields of cows. After a brief moment, he couldn’t distinguish one cow from the next, because they all became a big blur. Being a marketing guru, he drew a parallel to all the competitors vying for the same business, yet using the same narrow-minded marketing tactics to win over prospective customers. Pretty soon, all their advertisements become a blur to the prospective customers too. Godin asks how significantly distinct it would’ve been if a purple cow had been placed amongst all the regular cows he remotely cruised on by.

Now check this guy out. Matthew Epstein wanted to work at Google so bad that he created a dedicated website just for Google where he highlighted his qualifications. He’s gunning for the product marketing manager position located in various cities across the US. He has a respectable amount of experience in the past, and you can tell by his willingness to relocate that he REALLY wants the job. But the number one personal attribute that he stresses to Google is his terrific moustache. He concludes his ‘About Me’ page with the old English Proverb “A man without a mustache is like a cup of tea without sugar.”

Matthew Epstein

The quality of the website is very clean, and identical to Google’s new black category section where normally +, Gmail, Reader, etc. would be.  Even his url, googlepleasehire.me is very clever (me standing for Matthew Epstein). He has a very entertaining video where apart from his jokes, he manages to include how he can create significant value for Google.

I believe Godin would consider Epstein’s job hunting tactic a purple cow. There’s no need for every application or resume to look exactly the same. Especially if you’re going for a marketing position.

This is one of the most creative job hunting tactic I’ve seen. The last creative tactic I saw was when a guy was aiming to work at one of the top four marketing firms. The guy, anticipating the four directors’ vanity, created a Google Ad to appear at the top each time a director googled his or her own name (I’ve googled my  name a few times in my life too :)). The Ad said something like “John Smith (fictional), It’s fun googling your own name” and on the bottom said “Hiring me is fun too.” When John Smith clicked on the ad, he was taken to a website very similar to the one Epstein created.

How far are you willing to go for the job of your dreams?? Even though it may seem like a long shot, how awesome would it be to create a strategy, execute it, and be where you want to be?

I’m going to bet that both Epstein and his noteworthy mustache will soon be on a flight to Google’s offices in Silicon Valley. It’s been said that every mustache has its own story. May Epstein’s mustache mark a symbol of the success of the purple cow mind-set.

-Delbert K.

Epstein Google

 

 

 

The Birth of Promoted Tweets

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Have you ever wondered how Twitter makes money?

Although millions have been put into keeping this company running, to my knowledge, they didn’t have a significant source of revenue. Most people have guessed their revenue stream would be avertisements. Just like Google, Facebook, and every other social media, it was only logical that Twitter would follow suit and place small advertisements around their website. I thought it was just a matter of time.

But it looks like advertisements will have to wait a little while long because Twitter has just confirmed another source for revenue: Promoted Tweets. According to their blog, starting today, Twitter will start placing promoted tweets on top of the user’s timeline. But users don’t have to worry about unwanted tweets crowding their timeline. Twitter will only place promoted tweets for groups/people who users already follow. Users will have the option to close the promoted tweets, or as others tweet away, the promoted tweets will go down the steam just like every other tweet.

It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out. If the promoted tweets don’t clutter up the timeline, I can’t see how this will be a problem. Especially if tweeters who pay for the promoted tweets tweet tweets ( 0_0) that present real value to their followers.

It’s really curious why Twitter hasn’t already placed advertisements around their site. There could be tons of valid reasons for it. But I’m guessing they’ll do so soon. Perhaps they’re just chasing one rabbit at a time.

 

Twitter Promoted Tweets Rabbit

Comic Book E-Readers?

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When I get hooked on something the obsessive nature in me starts to take control. Whether it’s an artist, musician, TV show, movie, or book, I’ll be its number one fan.

I’m that person who waits in line three hours for the Harry Potter movie in a complete Hogwarts school uniform. And let me tell you, that is not an easy thing to do in middle of a hot California summer. But to me, it’s worth it to show my love for the franchise.

One of my recent obsessions is the TV show, Big Bang Theory. Fans of the show are devoted to the characters. You fall in love with Sheldon’s Narcissism, Raj’s Mutism, Howard’s Street Cred, and Leonard’s Penny Love. These Cal-Tech guys just ooze with lovable geekiness.

Big Bang Theory Renaissance
comicworthreading.com

So why am I talking about Big Bang Theory? Well, I was reading an article from Wired Magazine titled, “The iPad Could Revolutionize the Comic Book Biz—or Destroy It” and my thoughts immediately went to the Big Bang guys. They LOVE comic books. They dedicate every Wednesday of each week as Comic Book Wednesday. They dedicate Thursday as Anything Goes Thursday, and guess what they do? They go to the comic book store.
Comic book stores are not just a place where comic books are sold; it’s a community of fans. They purchase the latest comics which the stores put on their “pull lists” Wired talks about how the “pull list” is a tradition in which comic fans reserve the lastest issue of their favoirte comic books. They know they can go straight to their pull list and enjoy their comic books.

While there are those obsessed (ahem) fans that will buy a certain issue with the sole purpose of storing it for saftey and protection, these fans fall under a small margin. In our technological age, comic book fans are also becoming more tech-savvy. They love their gadgets andthe comic book store experience.

The article reported that the Apple iPad is attracting more recent fans to use the iPad as an E-reader for their comic books. Why wouldn’tthey use the iPad? Honestly, the comics on the iPad look amazing. The colors are bright, clear, and precise.

batman on ipadcomic on ipad
appletablet.net                                                    wired.com/gedgetlab

I went through the same dilemma with my love for books. I turned up my nose at those who succumbed to temptation of all the new E-readers. You don’t get to see, feel, and smell the pages of the book your reading. Where’s the sensory experience that comes with reading your favorite book?

Well I decided to get an Kindle and I loved it. I could read my favorite books when traveling and allowed me to keep my expensive book collections at home. Another plus was being able to purchase books at a fraction of the price. I knew if I really loved a certain book, I’d go buy it for my library.

So what would Sheldon Cooper think about reading his favorite Batman comic on an iPad? Would he approve because he no longer has to wear plastic gloves while he’s reading? Would he rant and rave saying, “In what world is an E-reader better than an actual comic book?!” I feel it will most likely be the latter. Comic book fandom is more than an individual with his or her favorite issue in their hand. It’s about being part of a subculture that is welcoming and embracing of all that is geeky.

What would happen to all the comic book stores out there? As of now publishers are protecting the stores by making sure the stores receive issues before a digitally copy is released. However, I wonder how long that will last?

Sadly I wonder if my favorite group of physicists will have to dedicate their Wednesdays to Stay At Home Reading on my E-Reader Comic Book night. Hmm… doesn’t sound as nice.

Stu's Comic Shop
geekeryonline.com

What do you think?
Do you read on your iPad? Do you have an E-reader? What motivated you to use one?

- Sue C.

Are You Linkedin?

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Are you Linkedin?

As you may know, Linkedin launched its IPO not too long ago, where it’s currently trading at around a hundred dollars a share (LNKD).  According to TechCrunch, LinkedIn has become the second biggest social networking site. In June, the professional networking site reached about 34 million unique visitors, surpassing both Myspace and Twitter. Facebook is still the juggernaut of the web, having hosted 161 million unique visitors in June.

I have to say that I’m a big fan of Linkedin. Linkedin draws the line between personal and professional relationships. It’s just sometimes best to have a clear divide. What I like about Linkedin is my ability to reach pretty much anybody, even though there are some tedious barriers at times. But developing a little expertise with Linkedin will help in the long run.

Say for example, you wish to find work as a strategy consultant, and you need to get in touch with somebody at one of the Big 4 or just the head of a smaller consulting firm. You can search for their name or company, and the search engine will track the person for you. On the profile, Linkedin will show you the degree of separation (think mutual friends on facebook). To reach this person, if you know somebody in common, you can get an introduction. The other option is to have a premium account and use one of your inmails, which allows you to get in touch with anybody barrier free. With the upgraded accounts, you can anywhere up to 3-25 inmails per month. Or you can choose to pay $10 per every inmail.

When you do get in touch, you can ask the person for advice, or if you can communicate the unique value you can bring to that person and her organization, you can be direct and ask if there are any openings. You’d be surprised at how many perfect strangers are willing to help, when clearly they aren’t getting equal value in return. I was moved by how many people took the time to offer their advice. Some people even offered to have coffee to brainstorm the projects I had in mind.

One piece of advice: Research that person or company extensively, so that if you hope to partner with them, you know what they need and understand the value you can present to them. In networking, it’s always best to have a “how can I create value for you” mind-set.. Or at the very least strive for a mutual benefit to the relationship.

The main function of this website is to maintain and grow your network (the goal should be to develop a qualitysustainable network).

I know it’s one more social networking site to juggle, but I highly recommend you all check it out :)

Is the iPhone 5 Coming Out This September?

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According to the Boy Genius Report, “an incredibly solid source” reported the phone Apple will launch around the end of summer might not be the iPhone 5 (is BGR a credible source??). The reasoning behind this is that the phone might not have any major design changes from the iPhone 4. Hence, whatever phone they launch this September might just be released as the iPhone 4S. Consequently, the iPhone 5 should be releasing during the summer of 2012.

PC Magazine reports are similar, where they also add that the smaller iPhone will release not this year, but sometime next year as well.CNET reports the “Baby” or “Nano” iPhone is to be “significantly lighter than the iPhone 4 and ha[s] an edge-to-edge screen that could be manipulated by touch, as well as a virtual keyboard and voice-based navigation.” The smaller iPhone will be half the size of the current iPhones. What’s better news is that an unlocked version of the phone should be about $200, which would be more than half the cost as well.

For those who don’t want to be bogged down by these ridiculous phone contracts, rumors of the iPhone 3GS being released for around $350-$400 has been circulating with a little more credible steam.  It’s to my understanding that the iPhone 3GS without a contract is currently selling for around $450, whereas the iPhone 4G is selling for around $650. The iPhone 3GS with a contract will be included without cost under a contract, where the iPhone 4 will be $100 and the iPhone 5 between $300-$400. This is pretty good news, and it’s about time too. As far as these types of deals go, Android’s been leading by a mile.

Perhaps Apple just needs to release their device already so I don’t have to feed into all this hype :)

Record Custom Greetings on Voicemail!

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One thing I hate about voicemails is that it’s too impersonal. For my voicemail, as I was brainstorming what message I should record, I realized I had to meet somewhere in the middle. Not too casual, just in case it was a business call. But since the majority of call I receive are personal, I didn’t want the recording to be too formal either.

But to my surprise, as I was carousing the blogosphere, I came across this post from TechCrunch: On Voicefeed iOS App Lets You Customize Voicemail Greetings Based On Who’s Calling.

You can get some of the finer details on that link above. But here are the basic premises: You categorize people in your contacts into different groups. One group can consist of your close friends, the second group your coworkers, and the third your Jedi Club. You can tailor a custom message for each group through your own voice, or you can even write it in text and a computer voice will do it for you (8 different voices).

I know one of the things I’m going to do is pull out some of the accents I’ve been working on (they’re good no matter what anybody else thinks -_-).

Make your friends laugh, confuse them, or get them to roll their eyes. Record something nice for your mother on Mother’s Day. Whatever you do, use your creativity and have fun with it :)

Google's Mind-Set: Go Big or Go Home

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But Larry and Sergey are always focused on doing big things. Their rationale: if you work on a really hard problem, it’s much easier to attract really great people. And if you’re working on a hard problem with really great people, then it’s much easier to attract money. If you’re not thinking big, you’re going to end up working on some small thing that won’t get you the resources you want. You need to be thinking on the scale of: How can I impact one billion people with this product?

-Anthony Tjan

Just yesterday, it was officially announced that Google partnered with iriver to makes waves in the e-reader device industry. But their next move is where things should get real interesting.

Google has been working on a social networking project that threaten formidable companies, notably Facebook. Google has already attempted to take on Facebook a couple times, but couldn’t get the job done. However, according to quite a few experts, it finally seems they got it right this time. “I was already struggling to stay active on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Google Buzz, Google Reader and several other social sites… When Google+ came along, I had the same initial reaction as you probably did: ‘What, another one?’ Then it hit me: Google+ isn’t adding to the problem. Google+ can be the solution to social networking fatigue”-writes Mike Elgan, Computerworld.

What I like about this project is that Google is attempting to create an all-in-one site for everything users need to communicate. For example, the Google+ home page will have the Blogger platform, where users can create legitimate blog posts. This would be light years better than Facebook notes. And because many folks already use Gmail for e-mail, they won’t have to open another tab to get their e-mails read or sent. I already use Google Voice to make free phone calls, but Google will also make available something called Google+ Hangouts, where a large number of users can just hang out through video conferencing. And from the looks of it, Google+ “Circles” should make it much simpler to categorize user contacts (click here to get an idea of how it’ll look).

The project looks terrific, and it’s with this constant trial-and-error process which has allowed Google+ to get to where they are right now. The grand scope of the project is both exciting and inspiring.

Go big or go home!