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Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

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

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abroad iPhone

September15

It will happen eventually – the iPhone will become available to Verizon, and other North American carriers.

That is hardly an issue, unless you are part of the AT&T organization, I suppose. And, the iPhone won’t likely find shelf-space at Sprint because of the on-going iPhone vs. Palm Pre smack-down (read: candid colored Apple). And, as readers of the Blog know full well, I am of the considered opinion that the Pre is by no means an iPhone killer – or, really even much in the way of competition. On the other hand, and it’s challenging for me, as an Apple evangelist, to admit that a Blackberry product (read: The Macberry) is proving more helpful in my quest for world domination than the iPhone.

However, grudgingly returning to my point, a better question than whether the iPhone should move to Verizon is whether the iPhone should move to the consumer.

When might the hapless denizens of our United States wake up? In the rest of the world (well… perhaps outside of Sub-Sahara Africa, and that’s called the “dark continent” for more reasons than even I can go on about) I can easily buy any mobile phone (except the iPhone), then buy a SIM card from any carrier in that country, and shove it (gently) into the phone, and be in business, as it were. If I don’t like the service or coverage, I place my vote and dollars into motion and buy another SIM card from a different carrier that works best for me.

I am hardly qualified as a product specialist; I am a Subject Matter Expert (SME) on consuming, however. I am also a significant controller of Apple stock. And, I do have some influence in-and-amongst those halls, and with a few analysts (who read this Blog, for example).

Apple could likely sell far more iPhones this way – and, the (other) consumers would finally have some real choice: Buy the phone you want; get the service you desire; and, change, either or both, as you see fit.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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Wireless Carrier Solution?

December28

The Problem…

Wireless carriers in the United States work with major cellular manufacturers to exclude or disable certain functions on phones sold in North America.

The carriers thwart functions such as personal ring tones, photo sharing and Wi-Fi capability to push customers to the carrier’s fee-based services. They, in essence, hold you and your cell phone hostage while generating an enormous margin of profit via early termination fees.

As a result, U.S. consumers can do less with their cell phones than people in most other countries – and, we often pay more for similar services.

A Solution…

U.S. wireless carriers are unlikely to drop their lucrative strategies without a fight. So, it’s up to legislators and regulators to encourage a truly competitive cell phone market. One way they can do that is by enacting the wireless equivalent of the rules that have governed land-line phones since the 1960’s. These rules give consumers the right to attach any device they wish to their telephone network as long as it does no harm (maybe this is where Google got it’s “Do No Evil” and open-architecture philosophies from). This clearly led to innovations such as the facsimile (fax) machine and computer modems (which in facilitated the exponential growth of the internet).

Phone locking, long-term contracts with stiff early-termination fees, and hobbled handsets stymie competition and consumer choice. Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, thinks that U.S. cell phone users deserve the same advantages as consumers around the world.

Some good news…

AT&T announced last month that they will open their platform to any wireless device from any manufacturer and not require a contract (in some cases). It looks like Verizon is preparing to follow suit.

For more information, you can visit a watchdog group called Hear Us Now at their website at the following coordinates… www.hearusnow.org.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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"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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