June 2012

Why the Integrated Approach to Mobile Devices is Winning

Chris Dixon’s most recent blog post, Why the Integrated Approach to Mobile Devices is Winning, is all about the success of the approach in which the vendor makes the hardware and the software. He could’ve just as easily called it the “Apple Approach”, since they’ve been doing it that way since they first got into the desktop computer business and applied it to all the iDevices.

Microsoft has long since preferred to simply focus on software and let others build the hardware, and while it worked in the era of the desktop, it’s not working out so well for them these days. Wintel machine vendors don’t have the incentive to take the sort of design leaps and risks that Apple does, only being too happy to bump their machines’ specs slightly year after year and to increasingly take their design cues from Apple (witness the “ultrabook” trend, an admission by the industry that netbooks suck). Their recent Surface announcement is a signal that Microsoft realizes that with a disruptive technology like tablets, if you want something right, you have to do it yourself, which is the point that Dixon makes in his post.

Taming the Mobile Beast

Taming the Mobile Beast was a presentation made at O’Reilly’s Velocity 2012 conference by Google’s Patrick Meenan and Matt Welsh. on developing mobile sites. Velocity 2012′s catchphrase is “Building a faster and stronger web” and it’s a conference focused on building scalable, reliable and fast web sites. While we’ve gotten pretty good at building sites for desktop browsers, we’re still just getting started building the mobile web. Taming the Mobile Beast shows some good ideas for building mobile web sites — make sure you borrow at least a few of them!

Windows Phone 7.8′s New Start Screen

This video features Windows 7.8 — the next and final version of the Windows Phone OS that will go on current Windows Phones (only upcoming Windows Phones will be able to run Windows Phone 8) — and its new Start Screen, which lets you set the size of any tile to small, medium or large. This is one of the Windows Phone 8 features that found its way into Windows Phone 7.8.

Teehan + Lax’s Mobile UI Design PSDs

If you’re designing mobile device UIs with Photoshop, you’ll want to get your hands on these PSDs. They’re created by Toronto-based design firm Teehan + Lax, so they’re quite good.

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Long Time No See!

by Joey deVilla on June 25, 2012

A photo from the in-flight map on my flight’s entertainment system.

If you’re not a regular reader of my personal blog, The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century, you might be wondering why there haven’t been posts here on Global Nerdy as of late. The reason is simple: I’m on vacation in my home country of the Philippines, where I’ll be until July 4th. I’ve been making the occasional quickie post on Accordion Guy, but tech blog posts are a little more demanding, and I just haven’t been able to get enough time to do something proper for Global Nerdy.

I’ll be back to my regular posting schedule on Global Nerdy on Thursday, July 5th. There’s a small chance you’ll see a post of two between now and then — keep an eye on my Twitter account, @AccordionGuy, for updates!

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If Apple Made Cats

by Joey deVilla on June 12, 2012

Photo found via Paul Tichonczuk.

This article also appears in The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.

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A snapshot of Techmeme today at 2:30 p.m. EDT. Click to see the snapshot on Techmeme.

As I write this (Monday, June 11th, 2012, 2:30 p.m. EDT), the WWDC 2012 keynote’s still going and it’s eating up the first two or three screenfuls of Techmeme. Wait until the keynote’s over and the pundits have had time to digest, editorialize and post full-length review articles!

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With all the fuss about Apple’s WWDC, which starts today, and Google I/O at the end of the month, Microsoft’s big TechEd North America conference, which is aimed at both developers and sysadmin (or IT Pros, in Microsoft parlance), seems to have faded into the background. TechEd, being based in the Eastern time zone (it’s in Orlando this year), has been in full swing for a few hours already, and not a single report has found its way to Techmeme as of this writing; it’s a safe bet that this will not be the case for WWDC after it’s been in full swing for a few minutes.

People actually lining up to try the Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone.

Against the hubbub of rumoured announcements iOS 6, an Apple TV SDK, new Macs, and Apple’s answer to Google Maps, as well as rumours of a new version of Android, TechEd, with no ground-shaking announcements to make and a straight-up tutorial approach feels more like an excuse for people who work at places using Microsoft technologies to take a break from work on the company dime without sacrificing precious vacation days. That’s not to say that there aren’t people who are excited to be there or that they’re not doing useful stuff (we probably owe the fact that we can pick up detergent and TV sets at Walmart to people running and maintaining MS Tech); it’s just that from an outside perspective, they seem like Twilight fans: a force to be reckoned with, but when you look at what they’re into, you’re tempted to ask “Really? That’s what you spend all that time and effort on?”

I think the most telling thing about TechEd was a Channel 9 live broadcast I just saw, during which my friend and former co-worker Joey Snow was interviewing the guy who created PowerShell, the shell-scripting system for Windows. He talked about a guy who was considering learning Scala and wondered aloud why anyone would want to do that. He said that five years down the line, PowerShell would be the more valuable line item on your resume than something like Scala (he said that resume scanning software would put you in the delete bin). This “Not Invented Here”, short-term community-college-style, old-school FUD, resume-padding-uber-alles, death-of-intellectual-curiosity, lack-of-imagination-and-learning-different-things mode of thinking that has worked its way through many parts of The Empire like a brain cancer and is only speeding up the IBMification of Microsoft.

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What you’ll see if you visit Apple’s online store right now.

As I write this, Apple has placed the traditional “We’ll be back” message on their online store, signalling the announcement of new products at WWDC 2012. At 1 p.m. Eastern (10 a.m. Pacific), Apple CEO Tim Cook (and presumably marketing chief Phil Schiller and iOS kahuna Scott Forstall) will take the stage and deliver the WWDC keynote. You can follow all the action on the following liveblogs:

The banners seen at Moscone Center, WWDC’s venue, confirm that they’ll be announcing iOS 6. You’ve probably heard that one of the biggest changes will be Apple’s own 3D maps, which will replace Google Maps, as well as Siri being made available on more devices than just the iPhone 4S. There are also rumours that AppleTV will get an SDK, enabling iOS developers to truly take over the living room.

According to digital marketing and research firm eMarketer, there will be 53 million iPad users in the US by the end of the year. They say that by 2015 — although we should remember to be suspicious of such predictions — that there will be 91 million of them. That’s just under one in three people in the US right now or three times Canada’s current population.

On Chris Sauve’s blog pxldot, he examines the adoption rates of various versions of iOS versus Android and finds that the latest version of iOS tends to get adopted by its users way more quickly than the latest version of Android. He writes:

iOS 5 captured approximately 75% of all iOS users in the same amount of time it took Gingerbread to get 4% of all Android users. Even more astounding is that 15 weeks after launch iOS 4 was at 70% and iOS 5 was at 60% while Ice Cream Sandwich got to just 1% share at the same age.

The post may be old, but it’s making the rounds now thanks to Scoble, and it’s relevant right now.

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Just Puttin’ It Out There…

by Joey deVilla on June 9, 2012


Screen capture taken on Saturday, June 9, 2012.
Click to see my current Klout score.

…I hear that having a high Klout score is a handy thing when looking about for your next work opportunity.

(For the curious, here’s my LinkedIn profile and my resume.)

This article also appears in The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.

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