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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Weekly Thoughts on Technology and a Better Life! #1

Random tidbits to ponder in making for a better life!

1. Smart Appliances

The Japanese are enjoying the benefits of smart appliances in the Internet of Everything world. A refrigerator that texts your dinner and sends you an inventory. A washing machine that is voice enabled or a wi-fi enabled rice cooker that pings you when its done. Do we need a app based toaster? yes we do

2. Mobilicity is Bankrupt

Enough already. Can the CRTC just let WIND or TELUS buy them so that they can continue with service to its customers and provide jobs. They have almost 200,000 customers and valuable spectrum so at this point in their business plan a buyout is needed. Ottawa should just let it happen.

3. 48 Hours in the Valley

Good luck to the lucky 17 of Canada's most promising startups looking to get VC funding. This just shows how pathetic the VC system is in Canada. I hope the next Canadian  FaceBook gets funding from the USA and makes another American rich. Having gone through this with a startup in 2003 looking for some VC it really speaks to how Canada sucks at being innovative and sparking new activities.

4. Google Corporate Cloud

Google Compute Engine  continues to compete against Amazon's AWS as they compete against Microsoft Azure. This whole cloud thing is getting interesting again. Stay Tuned

5. Music Motivates Shoppers

Reitman's stock is getting creamed and their Smart Set store is resorting to having music playlists create a better in store mood for shoppers to spend money. This never really hit me in the head until I was in several LOFT stores in New York. They had a really structured approach to their background music. It worked as my wife spent money. Now that they are at Yorkdale the mystery isn't that important anymore. Look at Target? who shops there?

6. BlackBerry BES is actually a Great Corporate Tool

I am not surprised that the BES 10 has gained 25% in market share for a software package that allows the corporate IT Manager to manage Blackberry, iOS and Android devices. IT needs to securely manage these smartphones and RIM has the right solution. Does this mean BB should focus on services more than devices? maybe but the BB is still the smartphone of choice in the African market so there is a market segment there worth selling into.

7. Canadian Black Friday or Cyber Monday

The dates meant nothing as there were deals before Friday and after Monday. This is just a big marketing game. I polled many of my friends and the response was the same " I have no interest in losing a finger in the riots to get a 99 cent 32GB USB stick that I really do not need" however  I will risk my life to obtain 99 cent lobster tails, 99 cent a  pound Angus steaks, 29 cents bags of milk, and a nickel for a dozen free range chicken eggs. Feeding my family has become of importance instead of fueling the electronics or disposable fashion industry. What I have noticed is a trend to purchasing local items, of high quality, with a long life cycle that are discounted but not to the 90% off level. You can get these deals on boxing day. North Face had a 70% sale and during the crazy sale week the deals were 50% for the same item. Who wins? not the consumer.

The scary thing is whatever stupid electronic gadget you buy will be discontinued soon anyways. The must have Jambox at $200 has better competition at the $29 level today so why lose a finger over a bluetooth speaker which is now a stocking stuffer and not a must have. Save gas, be green and buy your 72" LCD TV online. If you buy a Kobo remember the case costs more than the device.

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