Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’

Steve Jobs- My Reaction To Walter Isaacson’s Bio

I realize that Steve Jobs is revered by his disciples but he must have been a horrible boss.

I know that, despite how he treated them, most of his former employees say positive things about Steve. But that reminds me of a guy I once worked with who embraced a Marine bootcamp approach when training new employees. He first took every opportunity to publicly humiliate them. Then, once their self-esteem was at or below ground level, he would feed them the occasional compliments so that they came to rely on him for their sense of self worth. I’m not accusing Jobs of being that consciously manipulative but the results of his behavior seem similar.

Giving Steve is due, the guy was an astute visionary and an amazing salesman. He understood how to be a messiah to his geek constituency and he did set the bar high for the rest of us.

All of that said, I don’t want to give the impression that I have a negative attitude about the guy. As his wife observed, he was a flawed and complicated man; at times cruel and hard-hearted, at times teary and vulnerable.

Some of the quotes and insights which I jotted down while listening to the audiobook:

*Stand at the intersection of humanities and science.
*The various religions are different doors to the same house.
*Form follows emotion
*The journey is the reward.
*Today isn’t liberal vs. conservative. It’s constructive vs. destructive
*One way to remember who you are is to remember who your heroes are.
*Prune to keep the tree strong.
*If you’re not busy being born, you’re busy dying. (Bob Dylan)

Full disclosure: I’m a PC, not an Apple (Although, I do now use an iPhone). So, I until I read this book, I didn’t know much about Steve Jobs except for his legend. Like most, I was saddened when he died and I got emotional when I watched the YouTube clip of his 2005 Stanford commencement address.

But this was not a warm & fuzzy guy.

Steve Jobs was a guy who behaved like he believed he was a chosen one. And, because he had a genius for design, an ability to intimidate (he used that intense stare you see on the book cover to great effect), and a gift to persuade, we enabled him.

That’s a cause for mixed emotions about the man but Steve Jobs’ positive impact on society is undeniable.

3G or 4G? That Is The Question

OK, I admit it. I’m living in prehistoric times with my old Blackberry Curve.

But my wife bought me an Apple Store gift card for my birthday and she’s been bugging me to get an iPhone. It’s obvious that technology is changing rapidly. Both our daughters have iPhones. But I’ve got a couple of dilemmas.

First, our AT&T contract. Now, of course, all the Apple people sneer at AT&T and we don’t get good reception at our home because we live near an airport where new construction for cell towers is prohibited.
But Verizon doesn’t work very well at our house either.

Our oldest daughter switched back to AT&T from Verizon because she wasn’t happy with the Verizon’s coverage. So, that complicates matters. Which carrier to choose?

Then, there’s the matter of which iPhone. The 5G is coming out in August but I’ll leave that one to the early adopters. The real question for me is whether to go for the 4G or the 3G.

In Shelly Palmer’s review of 3G vs. 4G devices, he points out that AT&T 4G is only available at full speed in Northern CA, Greater LA, Greater Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Charlotte, Baltimore, Buffalo, Boston, Providence & Puerto Rico. Meanwhile, Verizon’s 4G is only available to 1/3rd of the US right now and won’t cover most of the country for almost 3 years!

Plus, if you own a 4G phone but a 4G network isn’t available, your phone is actually running at 3G anyway. But, if you don’t turn off the 4G radio, the phone keeps searching for a network and eats up your battery.

You can read Shelly’s complete review here:

So, it sounds like I’ll be going with an iPhone 3G. But which carrier:
Verizon or AT&T?

This is too much work for a phone!

Smartphone Decisions

Eighteen months ago, I inherited my wife’s old BlackBerry and started using it when I was at a convention. Previously, I’d been using an old Nokia as a cellphone just to check messages and to make or receive an occasional call. I didn’t want the outside world to be able to access me during every moment of every day. However, it dawned on me that it would be much easier checking and sending emails from the Blackberry while at the convention rather than lugging around my laptop and searching for WiFi hotspots.

Now, of course, I’m constantly checking email for business and texting with my family. My Blackberry isn’t particularly adept at connecting me with websites and I don’t have the ability to access apps. It seems like it’s time for me to graduate to a more advanced phone.

Many of my friends seem very happy with their Droid smartphones and it does seem like the Droid is replacing the BlackBerry as the phone most favored by traditional business people. The iPhone is favored by creative types and, let’s face it, Apple has been brilliant at positioning the iPhone as the standard by which all other smartphones are judge and at generating all the industry buzz.

But I don’t like to be cavalier when making these kinds of decisions. We became AT&T wireless customers years ago due to an arrangement made by a former employer. Although we live near an airport and the cellphone service near our house is terrible, we haven’t had many problems with AT&T. I’m not sure that switching to Verizon would make much sense or that Verizon’s much vaunted superior service will continue when all those AT&T customers transfer over and clog up the Verizon network.

It seems like there’s a lot to consider and that’s why I found this recent article by Shelly Palmer useful.”>

2011 Web Threat Predictions

If you use a smartphone and especially if you’re an iPhone, iPad or Mac user, pay attention. I know, the folks at The Apple Store told you that you really don’t need anti-virus protection because Apple products are virus-proof. But that could soon change. Like squirrels trying to access the food in your bird feeder, hackers are apparently obsessed with cracking the Apple codes.

PC Magazine reports:

McAfee on Tuesday (12/28/10) released its list of threat predictions for 2011 and it highlighted things like URL shorteners, location-based services, Apple products, and Internet TV. McAfee on Tuesday released its list of threat predictions for 2011 and it highlighted things like URL shorteners, location-based services, Apple products, and Internet TV.
What else made McAfee’s threat list?

• Hacktivism: McAfee predicted a rise in the number of politically motivated cyber attacks. “More groups will repeat the WikiLeaks example,” McAfee said, though strategy will become more sophisticated and leverage social networks.

• Friendly Fire: McAfee predicted a rise in the use of malicious content disguised as e-mail from sources you know. “Signed” malware that imitates legitimate files will become more prevalent, and “friendly fire,” in which threats appear to come from your friends but in fact are viruses such as Koobface or VBMania, will continue to grow as an attack of choice by cybercriminals, McAfee said. This could go hand-in-hand with social network attacks, which could eventually overtake e-mail attacks.

• Botnets: McAfee Labs predicts that the recent merger of Zeus with SpyEye will produce more sophisticated bots due to improvements in bypassing security mechanisms and law enforcement monitoring. Additionally, McAfee Labs expects to see a significant botnet activity in the adoption of data-gathering and data-removal functionality, rather than the common use of sending spam.

You can read the entire PC Magazine article here:,2817,2374784,00.asp

Augmented Reality Apps

Augmented reality is the overlaying of digital data on the real world. In a world where pretty soon that mobile device most of us use to make phone calls will also replace your laptop, your GPS, your radio and who-knows-what-else the concept of augmented reality is not as outlandish as it initially seems.

In a recent article, Mashable listed what the editors deemed “10 Amazing Augmented Reality iPhone Apps”. These were the ones that seemed the most practical for Baby Boomers like me:


This app identifies Wi-Fi hotspots and potential workplaces like coffee shops, bookstores, libraries,etc. and provides user reviews. Right now, it’s only available in London but versions for Manhattan, San Francisco, Berlin and Madrid are due to be released soon.


With this app, you can use your iPhone to gauge short distances up to a foot (30 centimeters) and, using the built-in camera, shows an overlay onto the live image on your phone’s screen which changes as you move the phone.

    Car Finder

And when was the last time you forgot where you parked? Once your car’s location is set, Car Finder creates a visible marker that shows the car, how far away from it you are and tells you in what direction to head.

Do you think you’d use these apps? What apps would you like to see developed which aren’t yet available?

You can check out the other apps that Mashable recommends at