The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

super vision for what really matters

November11

Warning… Epic Blogpost alert, here.

If you’ve been following this Blog – and, of course, you have – you know that I’m enthralled with the idea of using Android on desktop and laptop computers. We have it working on two HP’s now. More about that to be sure. But, there is more to all of this this than most of you are aware.

The above tantalizing preamble above aside, allow me to get you moving in the right direction with this thought: If you have super powers then use them for good, says I.

And now for the really interesting part…

Google is now part of the evil empire. So, I have to evaluate whether it’s in the best interest of my own shareholders, and that of the world, at large, itself, to keep them as clients. I once had a similar dilemma with WebMD (insider information concerns, and then of course, the situation with the burning house) back around 2001, and another company I can’t name (but, in 2004 they were the largest website development company on the East Coast).

…what? Larry Page, himself, clearly dictated years ago that Google will “do no evil”.

As many faithful readers of this Blog are fully aware, and – don’t bother even trying to deny it, I had a Padawan on my hands named Nicholas Johnson who is a rabid Google and Android fan. He kept me on my toes and would go after me (and Steve Jobs) regarding all things relative to Google and the Android platform.

He did good, in that regard.

It’s certainly because of Nicholas that I now use an HTC EVO 4G cellular telephone that also happens to be an Android device (this will change, at some point. But, for the moment, I’m using it to experiment with, and learn). And, part of that entails putting Android on certain devices in a manner that could possibly unhinge Microsoft. I won’t bother pointing to a prior post about this. Just scroll down. Do it!

In any event, about six weeks ago he (Nicholas) came up with some market share numbers that had the Android platform making significant ground on Apple’s iOS. There is no doubt that one day the iPhone will likely be an also ran. And, that is fine, even by me. Apple sets the stage, if not consistently commanding it. And, they will pioneer and forge ever more promising technology advancements. And, Android will help prove Apple right. And, as a shareholder, I could never complain. And, by the way… You might be aware of the fact that Verizon just picked-up the iPad (even before the iPhone (that’s coming soon). So, that re[presents something of a paradigm (think SKYPE-ish) and how the world might lean into the Apple iOS.

As I mentioned above, I recently picked up the HTC EVO 4G handset offered through Sprint. Once again I was fed up with the awful service we have to suffer at the hands of AT&T. Mind you, I’m convinced it’s not the iPhone, as a hand-set. The AT&T infrastructure is clearly over-loaded. So,  this is really a great excuse for me to continue my open-minded quest for wicked-cool gear. Along the way, it’s no secret that I’m a big fan of HTC, itself. They make great hand-sets used by almost all of the mobile service providers (including Apple). I’m not going to offer a review of the HTC EVO 4G, here. Suffice to say that it’s working great. I got used to the Android platform while using my NexusOne (now in the able hands of my eight year old who has upgraded to an HTC HERO). NOTE: I think the HTC EVO 4G is (was?) the first to use Android 2.2. Feel free to correct that information if I happen to be mistaken (but, it’s what Sprint says on all the promotional collateral). And, I’m not dropping any calls, yet. I’m told the voice quality is much better (by my wife any way).

Just in case you want some verification that HTC is onto something, don’t worry about my opinion. Do your own research and focus on consumer reports like the following:

http://reviews.cnet.com/best-cell-phones/

http://www.phonerated.com/menu.php?topic=best+phones+by+category

However, my point might not be what you are warming up to, thus far. So, go ahead and get ready.

…here it comes.

If I am going to preach being open-minded, then I need to make that my stand as well. Always. So, this might mean being in league with Google, other than them being a client of mine.

So, we are going to clear up some information, or even misinformation…

To wit… The battle between Apple and Google in the mobile space has been heating up, to be sure. But, new market share numbers from research firm Nielsen show the race isn’t even particularly close.

According to a recent report released, that compares the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010, Apple’s iPhone OS has more than triple the market share Google’s Android operating system. Nielsen puts the iPhone OS market share at twenty-eight percent (28%), while Android’s is at nine percent (9%). The numbers also put Apple in second place behind BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIMM), which has a thirty-five percent (35%) share, and remains the leader in business utilization with a very loyal user base (but, keep watching Verizon – because their adoption of iOS gadgets is a game-changer). In third place is Microsoft Windows Mobile with nineteen percent (19%), followed by Google (not sure what this means, to be candid), Palm four percent(4%), Linux three percent (3%) [this could be interesting in terms of the actual {not Android} emerging open-source community], and Symbian two percent (2%). And, with recent Apple numbers now in-hand, we know that Apple is now selling more units than Blackberry. So, the business world is catching on… So, as to be expected, it’s going to be all about Apple and Google. That’s cool by me because I(and, those that follow me) own both stocks.

NOTE: Apple and Google both moved up by two percent (2%) in the first quarter of 2010. In the same period, RIM and Microsoft both lost two percent (2%) market share. And, this probably reflects the iPad that is changing everything. And, counts as mobile, certainly. I feel compelled to point-out that the iPad numbers failed to meet expectations this quarter. But, this is, ironically, Apple eating itself. What I mean by this is the iPad has everyone thinking twice about what type of mobile computer to purchase. Laptop sales are off as people consider buying an iPad instead – or, possibly the Android-powered tablet. But, the screen size will end up being an issue. And, again, Verizon will facilitate smart business people like John Adamski leveraging that platform to build platforms that also change the world. HINT: A company to watch is: eSenseRetail Corporation.

It should be also noted that when it comes to the mobility wars, Apple’s iPhone (jailbroken units aside) is only sold through exclusive service providers in key markets, whereas Android handsets are sold prolifically by almost all the service providers. To keep things in perspective, it takes multiple service providers and handset configurations combined to compete with Apple that might be setting the standard.

Might?

Pause for a moment and consider this as an abstract perception… Apple’s are not for everyone. But, Android devices are for everyone else. As long as Apple keeps it’s valuation, what else really matters?

Well… My point is that HTC can also set a quality standard. The Android OS is still unrefined. However, the quality of the hardware is outstanding. And, yes, as I’ve mentioned, HTC has it’s hand in building the iPhone. Hardware plus software plays are part of the formula for making money – both commercially and in stock ownership.

By the way… Just to further demonstrate that I’m not biased, my personal opinion is that Blackberry’s (I used the 8900 for awhile) might have the best voice quality. But, that simply won’t matter, soon enough.

Also… Chinese mobile phones are also in demand because they can be had cheap (it’s all relative, eh) and are often better knock-off’s (not only are three cups of tea important in China, but they have three separate levels of manufacturing quality – and, that is crucial in terms of understanding how to do business in-and-around China) than the original manufacturer. For example, six months ago, no one had heard of of G five mobile which was only founded in 2003, and they are now number ten in the world with a focus on China and India.

Swinging this bloated post around…

And, the epic nature of this post will broaden with the harsh reality that Google Inc.’s methods for recommending websites are being reviewed by Texas’ attorney general in an investigation spurred by complaints that the company has abused its power as the Internet’s dominant search engine.

So, get your collective heads around the emerging reality that, despite Serg’s and Larry’s best intentions (and, I know they were sincere because I saw their eyes twelve years ago), Google has grown up, and must needs act like a company corporation more concerned for the best interests of shareholders (profits) than altruistic interests.

Thusly, this will herald a strong likelihood that Google has joined the ranks of Microsoft as evil empire, despite it’s aforementioned credo of “do no evil”.

There is more (so much more) you didn’t know…

It’s not commonly understood that Google does not actually make anything. They buy almost everything. Back in July 2005, when Google seemed to have so much money it didn’t know what to do with, it quietly went about buying up a load of start-up companies. Some of these never really saw the light of day: for instance, Dodgeball, a service that allowed you to text a group of friends in a similar way to Twitter, has never really appeared anywhere in Google’s stable. Don’t just take my word for it. Read more, here (do it!): http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/a-complete-history-of-android-470327#ixzz14tk1w6bM.

This includes the Android Operating system. This makes for a vital difference between them, and companies that are true innovators, like Apple. It actually makes Google more like Microsoft, doesn’t it?

The antitrust inquiry carefully disclosed by Google about a month ago (you probably did not read the fine print of their 10-Q, and the media made little too-doo over it)  is just the latest sign of the intensifying scrutiny facing the company as it enters its adolescence.

Since its inception in a Silicon Valley garage twelve years ago, Google has gone from a quirky startup to one of the world’s most influential businesses with annual revenue approaching thirty billion ($30 lots of 0’s).

The review appears to be focused on whether Google is manipulating its search results to (gasp) stifle competition.

FACT: The pecking order of those results can make or break websites because Google’s search engine processes about two-thirds of the search requests in the United States, and handles even more volume in other parts of the world.

QUESTION: Does the Google generation want to acknowledge this? Perhaps of greater interest (to me anyway) is, do they care? And, does it matter?

…no… probably not… yes.

This fascinates me. And, this is why I get to be the “Cultural Architect”.

That aforementioned (I’ll trust your tracking with me, here) dominance, as perpetrated by Google for the benefit of people that pay them (altruism be damned, Larry), means a website ranking high on the first page of Google’s results will likely attract more traffic, and generate more revenue – either from ads or merchandise sales. That is influence. And, manipulation. So, there is Machiavelli raising his head – and, Microsoft that better be ducking theirs (keep reading).

On the flip side, being buried in the back pages of the results, or even at the bottom of the first page, can be financially devastating and, in extreme cases, has been blamed for ruining some Internet companies. That is also influence.

Influence is power. And, Machiavelli wrote the book on that subject: The Prince, in fact (see also The Art of War – and, it’s apropos).

What most of you certainly won’t know, and thank the North American media, for that, is European regulators already have been investigating complaints alleging that Google has been favoring its own services in its results instead of rival websites.

Meanwhile, let’s not forget that Google might pride itself on a pledge to maintain open architecture. But, quality will suffer for a long time. And, that is another vital difference between itself and Apple. So, there is Google being a bit more corporate, while Apple continues to lead the way both in terms of its pledge to be the best, and keep it fresh and, altruistic – while also being profitable. Genius, at naught but it’s very best.

Never mind the Adobe FLASH issue. That’s all a feint. Trust me. And, guess what? The end will justify the means, there. That makes sense if you are doing your home work, here.

There is nothing, ultimately sophomoric, about lessons learned at the feet of Machiavelli. That’s another thing Dr. Nick Pappas taught some of us at Radford University.

So… Microsoft could never match the “feel” of Apple (I’ve been using Windows 7 now for five weeks just to research this very point and to avoid any opportunity to be a hypocrite, or uninformed). Google has had it’s shot, but might be facing a big miss, here.

And… Google, not satisfied to let any and all coders into its Android app store (oh, those Babylonian whores), has invited non-coders alike to invent mobile apps of their own with a simple building-block system that, it claims, anyone can use (and, they are).

Did you know that Facebook developer Joe Hewitt isn’t buying Android creator Andy Rubin’s definition of what “open” means. I’ll not add a link to either Facbook or Mr. Hewitt. My daughter uses Facebook. And, I’m convinced it’s all a tragedy if not a plot realized by true terrorists to unhinge our community.

The promise, unrealized as yet, is to let every person who bores their friends talking about what a great idea they have for an app to build the thing and be done with it. Those that are sophomoric, and unrefined will think this is appropriate and fair. But, I’ll take them to task with an admonition that they don’t understand quality and accountability (although some Google apps are certainly great and cool and solid, to be sure).

Bear with me for a bit, this is a bit of a geek fest. You may be rolling your eyes (but if you are I bet you are also concerned about finances), but I’m having fun, with all of this.

Last month Jobs attacked Google’s Android smart phone operating system, arguing there are so many different versions of the software it’s hard to argue the software is accessible to users and developers as Apple’s iOS.

Shortly after that  Andy Rubin (the guy who actually coded Android, acquired by Google) replied, via Twitter, posting a computer command that would allow a developer to download and play with Google’s Android operating system. The message: “open’ means being able to play with the code”.

…Geek me with a spoon.

To help Mr. Hewitt’s point along, however, Android isn’t as open as, say, Linux (i.e. Ubuntu (not to be confused with the African tribal ethical philosophy) – something I use more and more (the operating system, not the philosophy [well… some times], and other open source projects, where anyone can add to the project before each official ‘release.’

Google App Inventor platform for Android demonstrates how markedly Google’s philosophy differs from Apple’s, whose app model it copied emulated to a great extent. Apple wants a velvet rope to keep sub-par developers out, but Google just sent them an engraved invitation, potentially opening the floodgates for exactly the type of deluge of unsophisticated apps that Apple seems so eager to avoid.

To wit…

“App Inventor requires no programming knowledge,” reads the Google’s description of the program, currently in a closed beta. “This is because instead of writing code, you visually design the way the app looks and use blocks to specify the app’s behavior.” That reads cool. But, the result might not be. And, I like knowing. It’s what you don’t know, understand, or can see that can and will kill you first.

In summary, when all things relevant to mobility, handsets, platforms, and service are said and done, I only really care about best-of-class and quality. So, right now HTC appears to make the best quality handsets, and Sprint might be the best cellular service provider, and Apple might be the standard for excellence that drives all of them mad with the passion to innovate, compete and improve.

And, as I’ve mentioned in a prior post, I love it, because the death-knell for Microsoft is booming. Apple is leading Google right down Microsoft’s throat, and they are going to choke on all of it.

Apple will come and go. Perhaps like the old Bell Labs. Google has seen it’s day. Few people will be millionaires now because of it’s stock. And, that reality has also changed it’s culture – just like what happened at Microsoft. Interestingly, employees can still build wealth by owning shares of Apple.

All of that is a good thing. Because we all win. Especially if you understand: The Way Things Work.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

communication, alignment and accountability

June1

I’m getting unusual traction and response, and thusly, influence, in both my corporate and community circles through a simple message:

You can eliminate the cost of chaos through communication, alignment and accountability.

Brian Patrick Cork

posted under Business | No Comments »

my daughters name is not Charity

January19

…it is, in fact, Emma Jo.

And readers of this Blog know it.

And, what a terrific kid she is.

She’s proved it, in spades again, today.

But, allow me to digress with some background information…

Haiti was recently hit with the biggest earthquake in that part of the world over the last 300 years. Big. Seismic scale of 7.1 is the order-of-magnitude it’s been assigned. As of the drafting of this post the death toll is anticipated to reach the tens of thousands.

I’ll be asking questions around Haiti representing a comparative Babylon, perhaps, in another post, some day. There may be some rvelance to the Book of Daniel, in there. Possibly Isaiah. Because there is a vision involved. That’s unsettling. Maybe it doesn’t need to be. After all, we’ll know one way or another, possibly not – and, then it won’t matter.

As esoteric as that thinking might be, later, Haiti is in our faces, now.

Haiti is something of an enigma. Apparently the country’s leading religions are Catholicism (not Christianity) and Voo Doo. And, depending on whom you ask, it’s uncertain which of those two views prevail. In fact, if you are interested enough, google: “voo doo” (but try Vodou as well), and the majority of first page hits (other than Wikipedia) relate directly to Haiti – oh, and Louisiana – and, that means New Orleans (where as it turns out, many Haitian slaves found themselves around, well, 300 years ago). Along the way, and if you care to investigate – and, I have – because, well, that’s what I do, you’ll find, maybe discover, that many Haitians are finding creative ways to combine Catholicism with voodou – and, they would call that Christianity.

Pastor Pat Robertson (who might be looney (“while teaching karate, avoid inhaling demon spirits”), and he might be right) thinks the people of Haiti cut a deal with Satan to rid themselves of the French in the 1800’s. You can learn a bit more about that, here (listen to Kristy moan when Robertson makes a point. Have you noticed Christians do things like that during forms of sermons?).

dude… This is fun for me.

In any event, Emma Jo and friends like Claire (whom you’ve also followed on this Blog from time-to-time) don’t know much about voo doo – or Catholicism, for that matter. Although Claire’s family are full-on Christians.

But, over the last few days they’ve heard a lot about Haiti.

I have many opinions around Haiti. And, it’s “pirate government”. I won’t, even though keenly tempted, go into much detail around that, because I want the focus to be on what I’ve observed in my daughter that has softened my heart… Even for Haiti.

Here we go. Hang on.

We have many strong British influences in our household. So, we get television and related feeds from Europe. This means, amongst other questionable benefits, the information is censored in ways that are different than you might be, otherwise, accustomed to seeing here in the United States. Think in terms of graphic. Once you’ve accomplished that, all manner of awareness creeps into your thinking.

I’ll step back into some background, just once more (you’ll not be fooled by that, certainly not), to inform you that Emma Jo has been saving her money to buy, yet another, American Girl Doll (she already has fifteen – and, that adds an ironic twist to this story, I feel). It’s Lanie she wants now. This is no mean feat for a seven year old. American Girl Dolls cost more than $100.00. And, it takes a lot of effort and concentration for a seven year old to be that “good”, and to accomplish that many chores.

NOTE: Just in case you are reading this and, possibly, breaking out with a cold sweat with the prospect, I am not going to level you with some argument that American Girl Dolls are voo doo dolls. But, as I tap these words into this post, the hair on the back of my next is rising, and I sense some form of inspiration tickling the back of my head. Book mark this post, but only if you dare.

So… We were watching some raw television footage from Haiti. And, to be candid, I was not prepared for the absolute devastation that has surrounded those people. The anguish is indescribable as you see entire families piled up on street corners with, essentially, little hope of burial, let alone identification, imminent.

I found myself thinking to myself: where is God in all of this? My mind did venture, briefly, to Daniel and Isaiah (my recent vision, again), and then of course, John Stein (for that to make any sense, you’ll need to revisit my recent post: there might be demons and there are ALWAYS questionsand focus your research in the comments, mind you. Warning: This effort will, decidedly, distract you from some of the uncertain merits of this current post).

Emma Jo and I had been discussing a trip to Learning Express (terrific store), and bowling (she likes to bowl). So, this was all about Daddy and Emma Jo and bonding, and love, and security, and happy things.

That’s when the horrific (I’ve cast about for a more dramatic word, but it eludes me) image of a young girl, seemingly Emma Jo’s age, draped across the body of a wood-like and dust covered figure of a man that was likely her earthly father. The child is wracked with greatly evident agony. She is wailing. And, there are no other people around her (other than a television crew, I’ll suppose). Utter, and complete desolation of spirit. Despair reigns, there.

Emma Jo has gone stiff. She’s mesmerized. Selfishly I am berating myself for allowing her to witness this horror show.

She gently leans back into me, and very quietly asks: “Daddy, can we save her?”

I’m at a loss of words. I want to think fast and come up with some analogy that might create a call-to-action that might soothe her. But, before I can draw a breath to start some ramble, she reminds me that she has money saved up for her new American Girl Doll. She’s a bit subdued, certainly. The heart-felt, and so little-girl-desire for the new doll is clearly under siege from a HUGE heart breaking with sadness for the, not quite comprehensible, agony of another child (and, a doomed one at that, I’ll wager).

“Daddy, can we send that little girl my Lanie money? Maybe she can buy a doll that will make her feel better”.

I’m reasonably certain, at least some people are going to roll their eyes over this. …how quaint, you might smirk.

But, in the eyes of this earthly father, my own princess realized another person in distress; and, her immediate reaction was to try and help – with the only resources she, not someone else, could bring to bare.

That’s it for this post.

I bring it to an abrupt end.

Emma Jo is behind me, working quietly on some project, happy and content to be around Daddy. I think she’s online navigating Club Penguin with Claire, and also, Emma E.

That little girl in Haiti has likely never heard of, let alone played, Club Penguin. And, every time I see an American Girl Doll I might think voodou. So, it’s about perspective today. Also my own heart being softened. Thanks to two children, mind you, that care little for religion. But, I have faith in my daughter.

Emma Jo’s name might not be “Charity”, however, it could be legion.

This abrupt end is also, likely, due to the simple fact this story is not yet completed. So, stay tuned. Do it!

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

being pleased or being satisfied

November9

Careful and loyal readers of this Blog know, and full well, that I coach my Haley Anne and her Shockers teammates (www.shockers.wordpress.com).

This past Wednesday night at practice, with some ill-advised shenanigans afoot, I found myself relating a story to our Shockers about “being pleased or being satisfied”.

I think most of them will remember the moment. If not the words, well, perhaps the catch in my voice – hopefully my heart, certainly.

We have a lot of soccer ahead of us this season. And, our Shockers collectively, have a lot of life to prepare for.

I’ve asked them to start asking themselves that simple extrapolitive question: “If I’m pleased, am I satisfied?”

I’ll always hope the answer is no. But, their tests, realized daily will forge that view of the world. I do hope they think of me in those moments. My Grandad called it: “remembering the face of my father”. Great story and parable for another time.

The point of this being, when they do anything, are they willing to ask the most of themselves, and those around them. My Grandad also used to say: “if you must judge a man do it by those around him”. When Shockers come to practice I want focus and best efforts. I added that winning and losing matches is important and fun. But, I care more about the look on their faces and the feelings in their hearts after the match – regardless of which way the ball bounces. If they can look one to the other, and know they did their best, truly and sincerely, their best, I will be both pleased AND satisfied with them.

By the way… I also challenged them with the question: “What is the difference between philosophy and strategy”. And, I’m quite curious over who comes back with an answer, where the information came from, and what it inspires going forward.

Brian Patrick Cork

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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