The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

Meg Whitman just strapped on an Android

June4

Let’s take a run down memory lane with the making of history as our baring point to understand how history could repeat itself in a very meaningful way…

Brian Patrick CorkPoor “Sal” (the writer of the article below).

he’ll never make for a relevant connector of important dots.

while he makes a good point that HP is probably making a smart move aligning itself with the Android Operating system for its tablets, he forgot that HP could build great Chromebooks.

but, beyond that HP, has a history of picking great partners to boost itself in flagging markets. for example, back in the tail-end of the 1980′s they made a great run next to Apple after convincing Apple to turn-over all printer manufacturing. HP wrote all the great drivers and it was common to buy an Apple computer and an HP together. it was a match made in heaven for people that wanted quality products that worked great together.

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), Google Inc (GOOG), Hewlett-Packard… – insidermonkey.com

“Traders short shares of Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) were crushed Thursday following the company’s earnings report. Some investors, like famed…”

just like legendary sports teams and athletes great companies find resourceful ways to win. don’t EVER count Apple (did you even notice the current rally?) and HP out. and, ironically, you can win with both by hedging your best with Google.

next week look for my continued thoughts on Meg Whitman, the CEO at HP.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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Google says Apple Fanboys are right

April28

I threw out this question on Forbes about twenty minutes ago, and then decided to see if I could get anyone to bite on a Sunday night.

I’m not bored. however, I am very sore from moving boxes all day (we just moved again).

“people who like Apple products are often referred to in a dismissive way as “fan boys”. I might prefer “discerning”. but, I won’t take any of it personally. I just like well made products with style.

all that said, what do people who call Apple evangelists “fanboys” call people who are followers of Google, Ubuntu, or Windows? or, Samsung, for that matter?”

A few years back Nicholas Johnson called me an Apple fanboy. that was the first time I had ever heard the term. if memory serves, he was taken aback a bit that I seemed unaware of the term and its meaning. he said that while standing in my doorway trying to convince me how awesome Google was in every conceivable way. this was after I gave him a Windows laptop and challenged him to figure out a way to put Apple’s iOS on it. he did, and was seemingly very proud of the effort. I still don’t know if that was done through a simple download or really tweaking drivers. so, I bought him one of the original Google Nexus One phones. he was very proud of it and liked to show me magic tricks it could do. today, I am using a Nexus 4, and I really like it. possibly better that my iPhone 5.8. mind you… it’s great because it’s very “Apple-like” because it’s stripped of all the subsidized bull-shit manufacturers like Samsung slap onto (overlay) their Android devices. …and, I’m telling you this on my Macbook Pro 13″ with retina display because blogging on my Nexus 7 or iPad is still uncomfortable.

the Urban Dictionary says this:

Apple Fanboy

1. A person who believes in almost anything that apple says and gives into it’s marketing strategy. 2. A prime target for apple marketers to impose their superfluously costing products to. 3. A person who honestly believes that Windows XP or Vista is Archaic, Inferior, Does Not Work, or just plain ripped off ideas from the Mac OS. 4. One who waits in line for days in some instances, for Apple keynote speeches. 5. One who believes adding an “i” prefix to anything is automatically superior to anything that does not have an “i” in front of it.

Most apple fanboys will possess three or more of the following:

iPod, iPhone, Macbook, iMac, Mac Pro, 3 or more Apple Connector Cables, A membership at Macheist.com.

they forgot the Apple iTV. I have two of those as well, and subscribe to Mac Addict and MacLife

and, this:

A single-layered thinking drone originally thought to exist in only small numbers. To help them assimilate into the real world, a computer with only simple functions so that the drones don’t get confused was created. Eventually, more products were produced after it was discovered that the number or drones are in the millions. While scientists have been unable to find ways to increase brain performance in this species, a corporation named “Apple” has had financial success in at least convincing that the drone specimen is vastly superior to that of everything else.

A specimen of “Apple fanboy” of this species will act partially retarded.

and, also this:

A person who fits at least one of the following: 1. only knows how to use a Mac and cannot handle a PC, gets very frustrated using one. 2. thinks that Macs’ hardware are much better (although statistically their failure rates are not that different from other laptops). 3. over exaggerate his/her passion for Mac products. e.g. I *need* an iPad to read my newspaper and magazines. 4. uses Apple as a status symbol. 5. buys a new Mac product without knowing the prominent features. e.g. GPS and FaceTime in iPhone 4. 6. thinks he/she is technologically savvy but actually knows very little about technology e.g. does not know the difference between 3G and EDGE, 3G versus Wi-fi. 7. Owns many Mac products and is very proud of it. 8. Feels entitled to get a new Mac product on launch day and get unreasonably angry when failing to do so. 9. Has absolutely no idea what open source is. 10. Thinks that the new features that Apple introduces are ground-breaking even though they had been available for years. e.g. 3G, multitasking. 11. When their Apple products fail instead of admitting that Macs can fail sometimes just like PCs, focus on how amazing the experience of getting it replaced at the Genius Bar. 12. Although Macs are better than a PC in some areas (and vice versa), does not know any of the evidences; just *think* that Macs are better. 13. Feels special and cool to own a Mac product although it is no longer a cult to own a Mac product, unlike 10 years ago.

but, don’t forget this:

Someone who bows before an apple shrine 2 times a day (sunrise and sunset). Usually ignorant and having a go at Microsoft and Google nerds.

my goodness… people who evidently think very highly of other company’s products certainly take a dim view of people who like Apple products. I need to come up with a word that rhymes with hypocrisy and blog about it.

I’ve been an Apple evangelist since 1985. today, I like any company that pushes others to innovate to our collective benefit.

by the way… this is funny (at least mildly entertaining)… I Googled, “what is an Apple Fan Boy”. I got some interesting bits-and pieces, including the following Youtube video. but, what actually funny is the advertisement that precedes the video is for a Google Nexus 7 – which I have and love, as everyone that reads this blog is fully aware.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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Nexus 4, AT&T, and youmail.com

April24

Point of reference: LG Nexus 4, AndroidYoumail, and AT&T, and Google (sort of).

I’m trying something a bit different and unusual for myself, today.

…actually I do unusual things almost daily. however, in this case I am absolutely focused on a vital mission. perhaps the unusual part is the effort means helping Android, kind of.

did you even know there is an “Android” website that is separate from Google?

in any event, as most of you know I am an tried-and-true Apple evangelist, but also diligent about keeping an open-mind and heart around technology. this includes mobile devices, and technology in general.

google nexus 4my current efforts entail the setting aside of my trusted and always reliable iPhone 5.8 and making a go of the Nexus 4.

of course, I was amongst the first to try the Nexus One. It was interesting, but too much work to maintain my standards around efficiency.

Since then I’ve experimented with several other Android device’s to include the Samsung Note and recently the Samsung Galaxy S4. The GS4 just pissed me off because it remains complicated. email is a chore for Gods’ sake. I’ve seen Android phones get better and more powerful over the years, as Google and phone manufacturers pack devices with more and more features.

because Google lets device makers customize Android to suit their needs, Samsung, LG, and others have been adding their own distinguishing features. however, there comes a time when less is more. I’m convinced we’ve reached that time. so, the differentiator comes down to utilization, functionality, simplicity, and possibly elegance.

as much as Apple can be criticized for exerting control over what goes on its iPhones, it wins on simplicity. there are no competing agendas — just Apple’s.

however, I maintained my commitment to being open-minded and got my hands on the Nexus 4. I love it. as least as much as any reasonable human bean can genuinely love a soulless piece of equipment. but, this mobile device is inspired. while this blog post is not meant to be a review – that is forthcoming – the stage was set for my on-going investigation around utilization that has generated adventures, if not hijinks. the Android operating system the Nexus 4 runs is excellent. in recent years the Google-made system has become a healthy competitor to Apple’s iOS system for iPhones.

and, that’s the source and thusly, the standard set-forth of the problem. most Android devices are over-packed with bags of tricks. phones, in general, have become way too complicated for many people to use. in some cases it’s because these custom features work only some of the time. in other cases, you’re confronted with too many ways to do similar things. or, quality control is not a priority, and they don’t play nice with the outside at all.

all of this brings me to my point.

Apple innovated visual voicemail. other companies perfected it. but, Apple remains the standard for simplicity and elegance. however, I wanted a bit more customization, so I researched and went with youmail. it was easy to set-up on an iPhone. I don’t know about phones in general, but, the hearty list of manufacturers (i.e. Apple, Samsung), Operating System (iOS and Android), and service provider (AT&T, Sprint, etc) are comprehensive. in any event, it just works great and I have been content with all of it for roughly four years now.

however, after firing-up my Nexus 4 on AT&T (that was simple and accomplished at the local AT&T Store), I downloaded the youmail App from Google’s ever-more-robust Play Store and tried to set that up. typically this means accessing the phone interface, entering a simple code, *004*3478966996#, and you are good to go. voice messages are routed from AT&T (in my case) to youmail. it has some cool custom features that serve well both personally and professionally that include emails sent to me that allow me to listen to my voice messages in almost any manner that I see fit.

however, all of this failed me with the Nexus 4 in-hand. After repeated attempts I was left with a discouraging error code that haplessly read, “call forwarding connection problem or invalid MMI code”.

believe it or not there is almost nothing about this dilemma recorded by Nexus 4 or youmail users once “googled”, “binged”, or “yahood”. so, I accessed the youmail trouble forum. but, still found nothing. I was, however, encouraged to upgrade my service to a more premium plan. I was skeptical about that, and began to match it with some growing frustration. I initiated a trouble-ticket and “Irish”, a youmail customer service engineer began a ponderous and pointless exchange with me that included instructing AT&T to manually change some settings under call forwarding. NOTE: as it turns out “Irish” can be found on several forums dismissing issues relative to youmail complaints. so, my contact with AT&T and my experiential journey involved two ominous terms – “conditional” and “unconditional” call forwarding. evidently, carrier voice mail is forwarded to youmail through the “conditional” protocol. so, while working with no less than three AT&T customer service representative, and also four technical support people, that was ultimately escalated to a tier-two representative (whom was ironically the least helpful and knowledgable, for that matter), it became clear that no one knew how to solve the problem.

have you ever had the feeling you were the first and only person to have a technical issue when you sought help from customer and/ or technical support?

for the record, I also called LG’s customer service. they manufacture the Nexus 4. a decidedly desultory fellow with a Mexican accent (that was a first for me) came on the line and fumbled around a bit (he could not understand ME). he tried to ask a few questions but lost interest (I kept hearing, “we don’t need no stinking customer services for you, here” in my head) and ended the call with LG taking the position of, “does not support third-party Apps”.

in our socially networked world, should not everyone actually try to work with third-party apps and operating systems? I am now going to try and pull together some engineers that can create a ubiquitous platform. just watch me.

so… at the moment I don’t know if youmail is a problem specifically for or related to Android devices, LG devices, AT&T as a carrier, or just the Nexus 4. I don’t know if the Nexus 4 being unlocked, unbranded, and unsubsidized by a carrier are issues, either. but, all of that might be relevant.

however, I now have the work-around answer for the Nexus 4, AT&T and youmail. I came across an exchange between yet another foreign dude (his avatar picture made him appear like a technical rep with ear phones, and all), that I decided was some foreign exchange student and “Irish”. he had apparently upgraded from an 8gb Nexus 4 to an 16 gb Nexus 4 and youmail was giving him fits (I’m going to speculate, here, that some software changes between the LG manufactured models were the most likely culprit). now… for me that just clouds the issue. however, the not-so-easy solution was evidently to simply access the Nexus 4 settings interface and update call forwarding manually with part of the aforementioned code. how Irish managed to be forgetful of all this during our own exchanges just blows me away. but, the simple fact that even AT&T reps don’t have access to historical and relevant trouble-shotting history, also astounds me. all they will say is, “the Nexus 4 is not supported by AT&T”.

in this case, we have an example of how Chuck Carey’s Collaborate would be VERY useful.

so, I suspect that answers the subsidization issue question.

as I finally wrap all of this up, I sent “Irish” an email attached to my growing trouble ticket with its ever-more cold solution and response trail with the following information:

“You might want to update your forums and FAQs.

I called AT&T again and had them manually update my call forwarding, “busy”, “uninsured”, and “unavailable” with the +13478966996 number.

youmail now appears to work. at least for the moment.

The mystery remains why this is not accomplished by the usual and simpler method of entering *004*3478966996# into your phone and simply hitting “call”. in any event, is this related to Android, LG, and/ or unlocked phones? are you even going to respond to me? or, do I need to upgrade to a premium service just to confirm what I did on my own?

I can’t believe youmail was unable to address all of this with more adeptness unless you are trying to push people to upgrade to the more expensive service. I’ll relate all of this on my blog today for the sake of posterity.”

now you all know what I know (not real… I am way ahead, and with a comfortable margin. but, at least I’m willing to share – and, possibly give you, collectively, a benefit of a doubt).

I do however, suspect that the elusive and shadowily pipe-smoking dog that probably leads the shadowy organization ultimately known as “they” are likely involved.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

 

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the Apple of my eye

April2

I’ll add some context in a few days but the “new”-ish Apple iPhone is going to surprise a few people, whether it shows its face in the next quarter, or not. well, perhaps a lot of people.

all the talk about innovation really needs to bring us to a point where we ask,”what more can you do with a hand-held device with a five inch window to the planet?”.

dig deep. think about that. do it!

the answer is what you can do with the phone based on the type of materials used to house the software. so… think voice, voice recognition, bio-morphic, and DATA.

also, remember these words… “a picture can say a thousand words”.

meanwhile… last Friday night I posted the following update on Linkedin:

Brian Patrick Cork: “Fascinating that this story appears on a day the markets are closed.”

NASDAQ: Fresh data from IDC research shows Apple (AAPL) may be succeeding far more than the stock price currently reflects. The iPhone inventor gained share on Samsung in the global market for connected devices, capturing…”

I love competition. it drives innovation. and, that is good for us all.

you are going to start to see a trend towards Samsung bashing as analysts and media pin-heads start to tout Apple at a low point and drive it towards $1000. that’s just how it works.

many analysts have flawed thinking regarding Apple with the tendency to equate users of Samsung’s devices, which utilize Google’s awkward Android platform, with users of Apple’s iPhones. once they figure out this skews both rational thinking and reliable financial modeling they will begin to turn on Samsung and Google. oddly, many of these same analysts appear to struggle with separating Google and Samsung altogether.

case-in-point

bear [sic] in mind that there are over fifteen Android-powered Samsung mobile device products across multiple market segments that compete against (for the moment) a single Apple device. yet, Apple is inexorably chipping (yes, I said that) away at Samsung. all the other manufacturers remain bit-players.

From a business standpoint, Apple’s users are far more valuable since they are willing to pay more for their phones and use them far more vigorously. the numbers are clear… iPhone users buy more apps and spend more time with them. I think this might be just one more reason why Apple is able to produce seventy percent (70%) of the profit in the mobile device market despite selling fewer devices than Samsung.

I suppose it comes down to how you define “market-share”. me? by portion of profits.

here is a tantalizing tidbit that will outrage Google-Nation and Apple-haters… while Apple’s share price was been declining, it was also becoming the most profitable company in the country. history books may lie depending on the author. however, in Q4 2012 alone Apple brought in thirteen billion dollars ($13 billion) in net income. by comparison, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), which was the fourth most profitable company last year, did not even generate half that amount.

Look Into My Eyes And See Your Future

look… literally… there is going to be an iPhone mini. there is a market for it. and, it won’t cannibalize Apple’s iPhone market. it will augment it. we saw proof of this expectation with the MacBook line, the Mac Mini, and the iPads. there is also going to be a cloudPhone. …what… (I hinted at this last month on Linkedin). that said, based on what I’m seeing, I can’t say Apple will actually produce the cloudPhone hand-set, so much as influence it. I’m thinking that might turn-out to be something of a trend. I THINK HTC will be involved.

all of this is me pulling a lot of disparate data together from far-ranging sources. that said, many of you are putting your kids through college based on my thinking around Apple.

My Android Adventure Update

meanwhile, last Friday I made good on my promise to keep being open-minded about Android. I let the Samsung representative put a Galaxy SIV in my hands. I admit I liked the feel and responsiveness. it’s “snappy” much like my NEXUS 7, which I like more than my iPad. however, it took me all of fifteen minutes to put it back in the box after trying to text with it. obviously there is more to the hand-set than texting. and Android Nation is going to be pleased with the upgrades. but, (HUGE but) that was a key reminder for me why I still prefer the iPhone.

Apple’s [now] flagship product remains in possession of the most intuitive operating system available. it was the first to change the market, and remains the front-runner to beat. you simply have to be open-minded and willing to read the numbers accurately, not in a skewed marketing fashion, as Samsung would have you do.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

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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