The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

being part of the solution evolution revolution

October13

I’m keenly aware of the fact that many of you are never certain what you’re going to get when you access my blog. You’re numbers continue to grow, so I am reasonably certain you should be rewarded with some insider-like information that will help you make all manner of informed decisions, today to be sure.

As a preamble I’ll begin with:

The word is already spreading… Altough I remain a hearty and ferocious Apple evangelist, I recently picked-up an HP all-in-one touchscreen PC. Although I’m freely going to admit that Windows 7 is more “mac-like” than ever; but, still sucks in comparison, I’ll be running LINUX on it (Ubuntu, to be precise).  But, a key element, to all of this, is that Google’s unique Operating System, Android, is a very lean LINUX (UNIX actually), open-source architecture. Ironically, that finds it following Apple, again – but also explains, in part, the early and productive alliance between Apple (whom leads the way) and Google that acquires the way. Just to be clear, the Apple OS, found on all their hardware, is UNIX-based. So, something big is on the horizon. I’m aware of it. And, I’m going to be ready.

Meanwhile…

He never quite grasped my intentions, but when I bought Nicholas Johnson a NexusOne (aptly named “the Google Phone”) during his short stint with us it was because we, my own collective “we”, had determined that Google was going after Microsoft. Although I have direct access to decision-makers there, discretion is called for, and, I needed to learn about, and observe, all things Google from an outsiders perspective.

I was looking for less passion and more insightful research from Nicholas. In fact, I recently emailed him the following: “Don’t rush in. Wait to champion something until you have more facts than passion. If I’ve tried to teach you anything, that would be it’s foundation.”

Mind you, I have a lot of high expectations for Nicholas, and remain quite hopeful. He is earnest and deserving of a break. I had a few of my own at the hands of better men than myself, to be sure.

Then, as we warm to our primary topic, I’ll offer a quick side note; and, this based upon additional generational perspective:

Google likely seems a, if not, the, company to bet on. But, likely, more so for reasons unfathomable by most people. I’ll point out that many people under forty have a skewed view of Google. They think Google represents “money”, “affluence”, “promise”, “power through influence”, and “innovation” – all a chest thumping demonstration of youth and promise. But, although working at Google is generally believed to be cool, most people that show up there do so at far below tech-industry wage. And, the stock will create little wealth now for employees. So…why slavery is cool I can’t comprehend myself. But, I bought stock Google early. So, they all “work” for me and my own “devices”, anyway. And, that is less so a side note, and an important point, I’ll make as we proceed.

In any event, here comes the good stuff (I’ll suggest you use a highlighter):

Oddly, people aren’t talking enough about the quiet-yet-epic battle being waged between Google and Microsoft. You should know that I believe Apple is creating “white noise” to distract everyone with its unimportant riff with Adobe to discreetly help Google. Consider this… Stop and think about Microsoft’s recent discussions around the acquisition of Adobe as the pieces come together for you, here.

You should expect that the insidious “they” are monitoring this escalating activity because it portends both the downfall of Microsoft, and a terrific short (stock) opportunity for the bold and fearless. As Monday ebbed, shares of Microsoft gained 3 cents to $24.60 on the clearly unspectacular news that it’s Windows 7 Operating System was launching with a series of handsets through AT&T. This is just a reminder that I’ve recently dumped my iPhone because AT&T’s infrastructure is so over loaded that services has become horrific. I’m now thoroughly enjoying my HTC EVO 4G phone through Sprint, thank you. And, the Microsoft handsets look like the Zune for crying-out-loud. So, this piece of news is oh so apropos to this post.

For Microsoft, the new devices represent one step in an uphill struggle. In the most recent quarter, the company’s existing cell phone software accounted for just five percent (5%) of the worldwide (for all you Androids chest-thumping over North American exposure) smart phone market. That compares with forty one percent (41%) for Nokia’s Symbian system, eighteen percent (18%) for Research in Motion’s BlackBerry phones, seventeen percent (17%) for Android, and 14 fourteen percent (14%) for the iPhone.

On another side note… My investors made a fortune buying and owning Microsoft stock through the 90’s. That’s a whole ‘nother story. And, it’s a good one. But, for the purpose of this blog post, suffice it to say, that I hated (I understand that is strong language – especially from an earthly father that teaches his own children to hate nothing) Microsoft for Gates’ stealing Jobs’ (Apple) operating system for Windows. But, I also understood that I could use that effort for my own agenda. So, I did. And, with grim satisfaction because Microsoft is evil. Possibly as evil as Obama. But, that later, and in other posts.

You probably aren’t aware of it but Google has been slowly, but surely, displacing Microsoft as the number PC technology company (Apple, if you care about innovation and shareholder value – and, as an Apple shareholder, I do, is the number one overall technology company). They’ve  done it by clever misdirection. I’ll submit that Google is very similar to Microsoft in that it actually develops very little from scratch. So, “innovation” is not a word I’ll assign to Google. They acquire great technology in the form of applications and tools and then arguably make them better and give them life (Google more so than Microsoft ever did). That is how Microsoft (and numerous HUGE companies that reward shareholders) grew. In fact, that’s exactly what Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, did when he spotted and then acquired what is now the foundation of the Android Operating System back in 2005 (very few of you actually knew that). Larry is president of products at Google and is very good at spotting and acquiring great little companies (his co-founder Sergey Brin is the real technology guy, and something of a magician when it comes to inspiring others around him to integrate, well, a lot of things). Thusly, Andy Rubin, the uber-geek that actually invented Android now works for Google as the head of that project. So… Instead of taking Microsoft head-on in desktops, Google first consolidated their hold on Web search, and only then started moving into Web-based desktop applications (i.e. Google Docs, etc). Then, in 2008, they made their first direct strike at the desktop with the release of their own Web browser: Google Chrome. Along the way they actually emulated Apple and discouraged the Android development community from straying from the Mobile Internet Devices (MID) platform. I’ll pause here and point out that MID is Intel’s name for for mobile devices – that include the Asus netbook. It took some digging. But, we’ve sorted out that Android has two product policies in its code (again, rather Apple-like, eh). Product policies are operating system directions aimed at specific uses. The two policies are for phones and MID’s. The same, but different.

But, now, that’s changing – and, fast. In fact, Android is already a desktop operating system.

Android is, after all, a Linux operating system and it’s always been easy to move Linux from one platform to another.

In other words, Google, not just some technically adept users, is likely thinking about using Android as a desktop operating system. And, this could very well unhinge Microsoft. I don’t see Google making its desktop move very quickly though. Although thanks to Android’s already existing hardware partners in the Open Handset Alliance, Android-powered netbooks could arrive as early as spring this year. But, people might prefer a tablet, similar to the iPad. That strikes me as a more likely future. Apple continues to lead the way. And, thusly, Google will continue to prove them right. But, there are always people like me that want a huge screen in their office. So, an Android desktop is a certainty – if only because I want one.

And… It’s sitting in my office now.

There will be challenges, and as you know, I’m a pioneer for those.

Now, here is some boring information for you to ponder as we come to my ultimate point for all of this:

The primary complication (and, part of my keen interest as an investor) is the ecosystem. One important part of the ecosystem would be to have a set of well-functioning applications (an office productivity suite, for example). Google is mostly leaving applications development for Android to third parties (applications which run in the browser like Google Docs being the notable exception). Open Office is something to ponder, now. Oddly, we don’t see enough of these third parties developing applications for Android netbooks in the next twelve months. But, therein lies just one of the opportunities.

From a decided authority:

“While it is true that Android’s applications are written in the JVM (Java Virtual Machine, Dalvik, instead of Linux developers’ eternal favorites, Gnu C or C++, Android already includes a set of C/C++ libraries. So, porting GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) shouldn’t be that difficult. After that’s done, bringing over OpenOffice 3.0 or the like would be trivial.

But, why bother? Google already has a host of Web-based applications that run great on Chrome.

“Compilation” is a process which needed for a machine such as a PC to be able to use an operating system and understand code. G2 developers (out of the United Kingdom) compiled Android for a regular Intel CPU (which is what the Asus netbook runs on). The G1 phone, the first commercial mobile phone that Android ran on, however used a different processor – the ARM CPU.

Taking that work as credible, I’m going to assume that compilation wouldn’t take that much time.

I envisioned Nicholas up to his elbows in this.

In any event…

Android’s Linux core makes experimental compilations possible. For example, compilations require “drivers”. Drivers are programs which are needed to communicate an operating system like Android with various computer hardware. There are already a lot of Linux drivers, and Linux is able to run on a lot of different computer architectures. As I hinted to above, we are close to having my HP Touchscreen running Linux. Otherwise we’d have needed to build our drivers from scratch.

Based on the progress we see in the Android open source project, we believe that getting an Android desktop to market is feasible under three months. And, the manufacturer will likely be Chinese, and out of Shenzen. Of course, the timing depends as much on decisions by the partners in Google’s OHA alliance and other developers contributing to Android, as it does on Google itself. It is these partners, including device makers and carriers, who decide how and when to adopt Android for different devices and markets. But, that adoption is exploding!

Apparently, mass production of the desktop, tablet or netbook would be possible under nine months. Do it! However, as we evaluate the progress of the various OHA projects, we expect conditions for a mass-market to ripen in 2011, rather than in 2010 (especially with what’s looming on the commercial real estate horizon – more about that in two weeks). Right now a variety a of OHA members, both announced and, perhaps more importantly, unannounced (“we” sometimes refer to them affectionately as “they” of a kind), are working on “special projects” to set up a sufficient ecosystem.

If you couldn’t follow all, or enough, of this. Or, just want the life-changing elements – try and grasp this:

I’ll (and, legion will help me) make sure Apple sets the standard as a quality benchmark that Google will continue to value up. As a shareholder focused on wealth building that makes perfect sense. Then, I’ll leverage that to fund and enable my ultimate mission of vengeance against Microsoft. I own all three stocks, and using the first two to unhinge the third is going to be a nice, long, smooth and deeply gratifying process. This is, after all, an epic story based on good vs. evil (the promise being no evil shall be realized, eh). And, its been a blast to be in the midst of all of it, with the promise of so many more adventures to follow.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

The Truth: apple changes the world Before its technology is in your hands

March8

It’s all about perspective.

Business writers love hyperbole (I’m not one of those – I’m just saying…).

To wit…

…The ground will swell. The paradigm will shift.

But, what if occasionally a new tech gadget comes along that really does shake up society?

Apple’s iPad, may just be such a one-device-to-rule-them-all.

This is the vital difference between “rolling boulders up hill”, and “rolling boulders down hill”.

The timing certainly makes sense.

The iPhone is three years old, the U.S. economy is rebounding (I recognize this is a relative term), and gadget demand is pent up amongst Americans who held off on toy upgrades during the recession. By spring we’ll no doubt be past the holiday sales of the black-and-white e-readers that still look vaguely like medical prostate screening devices. I still like my Kindle (read more about that here: evil wireless empires (and their minions): a prudent and optimistic comparative Analysis), mind you, but it won’t surf the net or track my email like the iPad is designed for.

The world is recovering from its Wall Street hangover, and it’s looking for a new tech party invitation. The Apple iPad will be the guest of honor. Laura DiDio, an analyst at Information Technology Intelligence, has predicted the Apple iPad will be “the next big thing”.

I find that trite and obvious. However, it’s likely going to be true, for awhile, because we WANT it to be so. And, Americans must have progress. And, it’s gotta be big and profound. That’s our way. How we “roll”, as it were.

Other manufacturers such as Dell (DELL) and HP are preparing tablets, too, but Apple is the one to watch because Apple is best at making radical new hardware formats undeniably cool.

Yes… The “Jesus Tablet” will be available in April (there were some production delays that took it out of March). NOTE: I use “Jesus” instead of “Moses” (relative to tablets, eh) because Jesus was an actual trend setter, like Steve Jobs is, today – and, it’s all part of the setup around me trying to make a point, here.

But, there are going to be some other unexpected ripple effects as the iPad is skipped across a veritable sea of technology change in the coming year (Hey… I actually just engaged in some of that aforementioned hyperbole).

And, as that happens, the iPad, like the Ten Commandments, and the Bible, will change the world in at least six ways (I know the Bible changed the world in more than five ways. Just work with me, here):

Off we go, then…

Magazine and Newspaper publishing will bounce back as consumers rediscover paid subscriptions. Sorry, Chris Anderson, but not everything will revert to free. It’s no mistake Time Inc.’s (TWXSports Illustrated invested in a provocative dictating controlling what, and how, you want to watch on television. Rather than being a device to watch television, the Apple iPad is more likely to be an interactive advertisement opportunity. So, watch how all of this directly impacts mobile, and mobile devise-oriented advertising creativity. Here is an example:

Nielsen noted this trend of “concurrent media usage” this spring, in a $3.5 million study that recorded what hundreds of people actually do when commercials air. apparently when television advertising spots came on, people picked up laptops, magazines, or cell phones and did something other than watch the television screen. Expect that trend to accelerate when you (and everyone else) have an Apple iPad in your lap.

Augmented-reality views of the world will increase. If you missed this trend, it’s simple: Augmented reality puts computer graphics on top of live video feeds (similar to the yellow line you see on the field in NFL games). Here is an example:

iPhone users can already download applications that overlay a video feed from their iPhone camera, providing floating arrows on the screen showing you, say, the distance to the nearest New York City subway station. With a larger screen, provided by the iPad, such video overlays on reality will become even more compelling. Expect iPhone and iPad app developers to take advantage of this new platform that will enable them to create tools that might include giving construction workers 3D instructions at job sites.

Social Networking and Social Media will reach the next plateau. Look for iPad and iPhone developers to look for ways of providing consumers with product reviews that float over items on sale at the mall – or, serving daters a visual display of the job history, FICO score, and criminal record of that cute guy or gal they meet at a bar, or Church speed-dating events (yes, they are really doing that).

Telecommuting may finally take off. If you hate your commute and care remotely about the environment, then why do you still sit in traffic for two hours each day? Because society has decreed face time is better than phone time. But when Apple tablets make portable video truly accessible, plane tickets and poor coffee in cars may become things of the past. In truth, I feel this is a weaker example. I do believe the virtual work=place is inevitable. But, that will be driven more by technologies we can’t envision, just yet (because steve Jobs has not unveiled them, yet.

Service Providers. The earlier iPads aren’t expected to have video capabilities (at least the one we tested didn’t). However, eventually, two-way video on tablets will push communication costs even lower. I suppose, technically, you can already do portable video today, if you’re willing to walk around town with a laptop flipped open near a Wi-Fi zone. But, by and large, our North American infrastructure still can’t accommodate simple two-way video on the go (Clear might be trying hard to change that, but we still aren’t, well, clear, whether Clear is a scam, or not). Add an iPad with built-in Webcam, and suddenly video calls are as easy as holding up a mirror. You better believe AT&T (T) and Verizon Wireless (VZ) are sweating about the advent of Skype video in subway trains or on Hawaiian beaches. Perhaps Apple will throw its partner AT&T a bone by holding off on iPad Webcams for a few generations. Or it will throw AT&T under the bus by cutting an iPad deal with Verizon Wireless, a scenario at least under consideration earlier this year. My guess is that Verizon comes on-line with the iPad by 2011. And, by the way, Verizon is getting very aggressive, as evidenced by their recent deal with Google and the Nexus One (we’re trying that out, ourselves, through T-Mobile and Google Voice).

That’s sort of my point here… Apple brings technology on-line that you did not know you could not live without. However, I want to make you aware of a few more possibilities before I end this post. Quit rolling your eyes. All of my readers know I’m right. So, you might as well surrender to the truth, here. Apple is deploying technology today under a master plan, and within it’s own terms, of how Steve Jobs wants you to use (his) technology and be more productive. In the end, it affects Apple’s stock. and, now you understand the ultimate brilliance of Jobs, setting the example, beginning years ago, of taking his executive pay in the form of Apple stock.

Perhaps it’s too much to hope for: a world where Apple provides low-cost, two-way video anywhere that saves print journalism while reducing phone costs, augments reality while cutting your commute – even brings humanity closer together while stopping traffic jams and pollution.

You set the example; and, you lead the way.

Just no “padding”-while-driving, please.

I wonder if pad-centic terminology will go Verb like Google has?

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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

 

Share this Blog with friends or enemies (via Twitter). Do it!:

Twitter Updates

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Archives

Email Subscription

Linkedin

View Brian Cork's profile on LinkedIn

Categories



%d bloggers like this: