Happy New Year!!!

I hope everyone has been enjoying the year 2013 thus far. We have survived a fiscal cliff, some teams won some playoff games…mine did not. But you didn’t come here to read about my sport’s team, you came here to read about some tech. So I like to make technology predictions every year. Some years I do better than others. Let’s take a look at my 2012 predictions.

  • T-Mobile FINALLY get the iPhone
  • Well T-mobile and Apple did come to an agreement to sell Apple products. Although the devices won’t be sold until 2013, the deal was signed in 2012…

  • Netflix goes under
  • Yeah…I was WAY off on this one.

  • Android market share begins to decline
  • This also did not happen.

  • Google & Motorola develop Nexus series of devices to put vanilla versions on phones
  • The rumors of Google and Motorola building an X Phone, unfortunatley it’s just a rumor as of right now. But I’m hoping that this becomes true this year.

  • Nintendo begins bringing titles to iOS
  • I don’t know why this isn’t happening. Read my blog, Nintendo!!!

So those were my technology predictions for the year 2012. Here are some of my predictions for 2013:

  • There will be a shakeup in the way that people watch TV, leading to more people cutting cable
  • We will hear something big from a company that we don’t know about yet
  • Microsoft will make a bigger push in the living room
  • Wearable technology will be even a bigger product category, Nike will make a bigger push for this
  • RIM will make its return with BlackBerry 10 (Q1) and be mildly successful in Q3
  • MySpace will make somewhat of a comeback as an alternative to Facebook
  • Google will do something exciting with Google TV and Google Fiber and their hardware arm, Motorola
  • The next iPhone will have NFC, which will cause a huge increase in the amount of NFC enabled tags and NFC payment systems

In the upcoming weeks I will go deeper into my tech predictions. But until then, I am finalizing my #12in12, reading CES news, and getting ready for a trip to California for a wedding and a small vacation. So until time: mahalla.

We made it. The World didn’t end.

The Mayans Calendar ended this week, which lead people to believe the World was going to end. The only thing it lead people to do was pack into calendar stores yesterday because their Mayan calendar had ended.

I can’t believe that Christmas is in 3 days. It really came up quickly. On Black Friday, I thought that Christmas was so far away…well I guess the old saying is true, “time flies when you work in a mall during the holiday season and have extended hours.”

I will be taking a holiday break from blogging. Probably just posting once or twice a week until after Christmas. This is typically a slow tech news time, at least until CES occurs. Of course I’ll be working on my new 12in12 list. I really enjoy writing and working on those. Not just setting goals, but actually making a plan to accomplish them. But I’ll talk more about my new 12in12 next week, and maybe even some tech predictions for 2013.

What have I been up to this past week? Well my wife, a few friends, and I traveled up to the Big Apple. I had never been to New York for Christmas time. New York is amazing city that I wish I got to see more of, but you can only do so much on a day trip. I got to go into a store in the Plaza full of things that, in this point of my life, I cannot afford. However at the same time, why would I ever wanted to spend $10,000 on a coat?!? My father-in-law lent me his DSLR to take some pics, but I always feel so nervous taking bigger cameras out. Maybe New York isn’t as gritty as 90’s tv shows would have you believe, but it’s the holiday season and I didn’t want to take any chances. Now don’t get me wrong, I did take the camera and I did get some amazing shots. But my camera phones also captured some memories at time where I didn’t feel like pulling the bigger camera out. I can see why the Micro Four Thrids cameras are gaining in popularity. A camera the size of a point and shot but gaining the photography power of a DSLR. Why wouldn’t a novice photographer (and I use that term very loosely) want one?

wife-in-nyc

Click on the picture to see some more pictures of our trip to New York

Speaking of wanting things, I truly dislike Christmas wish lists. I always feel bad trying to write one. Its not that I don’t know what I want. I know exactly what I want. But I feel greedy, when wanting one. I am a nerd and a gadget geek. So the things that I would put on my Christmas list are more money than I would want anyone to spend on me. This isn’t a #HumbleBrag or a Good Guy Greg moment. Its true. I don’t want to have a Micro 4/3rds, an iPad Mini, an Samsung Series 9, and Xbox with Kinect on a Christmas list. People would look at me like I’m crazy and end up getting me some socks. Socks that I would actually enjoy, because you realize that you are getting older when you actually enjoy getting things like socks and wallets for Christmas.

It was a good week. The world didn’t end. I got to go to New York City and then watch Home Alone 2 and point to all the places that I went. My wife watched “It’s A Wonderful Life” for the first time (she didn’t care much for it). My brother celebrated the 13th Anniversary of his 21st birthday. I was going to end with a cool closing line, but I haven’t thought of one yet, so, until next time remember: slow down and enjoy the life that you have.

Merry Christmas!!!

Do you taking pictures? Do you like to make those pictures special by applying filters to them. Do you enjoy advertisers to skim your data and pictures and push ads to you? If you answered “yes” to the first 2 questions then you probably use Instagram. If you didn’t understand the last question then you may not have heard the big fuss about Instagram changing their privacy policy.

To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.

Does that mean that Instagram is going to sell my likeness and photos? Here’s how the CEO of Instagram responds to that statement:

To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear.
– Kevin Systrom, Instagram CEO & Co-Founder

Be aware that these “free services” need to make money some way. If they are not going to charge you, then they are going to sell something to someone. The cheapest and easiest thing to sell is the data that the user is giving them. In this case it would be your likeness, pictures, meta details, etc. You may ask yourself, “But I thought the CEO stated he wouldn’t sell our pictures”. True he’s not going to sell your picture in the classic sense of the term “sell”. But Instagram is going to sell access to that information, so ads can be marketed to you. Advertisers and Brands will be able to have promoted pictures appear in your timeline, like how Twitter has promoted Tweets and Tumblr has promoted posts. How will Instagram use your data with this brands? Look no further than Instagram’s parent company, Facebook. If you like a company or are fans of company on Facebook, then you likeness and photos (profile pic) is used to show to your friends that, ‘Person A likes this, and they are your friend so you should too.’ Instagram is looking to do the same thing. For more information about how brands can use your Instagram pictures, check out a write up by Nilay Patel at The Verge.

TL;DR
Is Instagram bad for you? About as “bad” as any other company that you share information with. If you are fine sharing information, like pictures, with Facebook, then you’ll be fine sharing pictures with Instagram. They are the same company at the end of the day.

– Post Scripts & End Notes –
+ Instagram, Privacy Policy
+ Steve Kovach, Business Insider, Instagram Responds: ‘It Is Not Our Intention To Sell Your Photos’
+ Nilay Patel, The Verge, No, Instagram can’t sell your photos: what the new terms of service really mean

I questioned Twitter’s decision to block services that allowed users, like myself to create a archive of my tweets. Why would I even want that? I like having the access to the things that I put online. Creating my own archive gives me a sense of control, and having the ability to reference a tweet from months back was kind of nice. However weeks back Twitter became more harsh on developers using their APIs, which saw a lot of twitter services and apps shutting down. The one that affected me was the shutting down of Twitter services for IFTTT. IFTTT is a service that allows you to create rules, so if this happens then thiswill occur. I used it to backup all of my tweets in a Spreadsheet. A quick and painless archive of my random Twitter musings. But once Twitter shut down their APIs, my Twitter history was incomplete. However, for now, a small number of users are able to download their complete Twitter history.


I like the idea of being able to download a history of my tweets. But in my opinion the people who are going to be interested in this functionality of having a Twitter history are going to be power users. Power users who want an active history of their tweets. Not just a downloadable sheet or form, but a document that consistantly stays updated. Its a good start, Twitter, but what’s the next step in Twitter evolution?






[] Martin Bryant, The Next Web, Twitter has started rolling out the option to download all your tweets
[] Aaron Souppouris, The Verge, ‘Your Twitter Archive’ lets you download every tweet you’ve ever written, currently in small-scale testing (update)

So let me get this straight, Young Sohn a high level exec for Samsung, gets paid to work for one company but uses that money to buy products from its rival company. If I worked for Samsung, I’d be highly irradiated. What this is telling consumers is that our products aren’t even good enough for our own employees to use. This is not the message that Samsung, or any company wants to send.

“At work I’m using Samsung devices; Apple at home, mainly because all of my systems and files are done that way. That’s sticky, you know?” -Young Sohn

Sohn’s job is focused on innovation, but I don’t see how innovation is going to occur when you’re stuck in a competitor’s ecosystem.

[] Jordan Crook, Tech Crunch :: Samsung Exec Calls iDevice Ecosystem “sticky”

How embrassing is this for Apple that people would rather go out and download a competitor’s mapping application rather than the default Maps app that comes preinstalled? Google doesn’t just hold the top spot on Apple’s Top Free Apps board, but it also holds the #4 spot with its YouTube app.

Google has released a native maps app for the iPhone and it’s fast, full-featured, and quite frankly the best-looking mobile maps experience on the market today. After months of problems and a formal apology in the wake of Apple’s own Maps app on iOS 6, many have been waiting for Google to offer a solution that could serve as a viable replacement. If the brief demo we saw earlier this week is any indication, Google has delivered.


-Dieter Bohn, The Verge

Google is developing its own ecosystem that lives within iOS. It is amazing to slowly see this happen. Chrome, Gmail, YouTube, Google Search all work with and within each other making it seamless to jump from app to app with touching the iOS homescreen or going to a default Apple app, and I’m sure that Google Maps will be in the same vein. #Bravo




• Phil Nickinson, Android Central, Google Has Top Free iOS App
• Dieter Bohn, The Verge, Google Maps for iPhone is here: how data and design beat Apple

When I heard about the new blogging platform, Medium, I was pretty excited. When I heard it was from the co-founders of Twitter, I signed up immediately. I love to write and I love the idea of writing. The idea of writing? Yes. Medium is more than just another Blogger, Tumblr, or WordPress clone. In Silicon Valley talk its like Pinterest for writing. Not only do people write about particular topics but they are good at their craft so the posts are a joy to read. What appeals to me is that people are there for the writing, unlike a site like Tumblr or Pinterest or Instagram where you just want to see pretty things. Is something like Medium going to sway me away from having a personal blog? No. I believe there is still a space in the market and in people’s news feeds for personal blogs. Manufactured sites like where people plug their information into are nice, and work well for a lot of people. But there will always be the explorers and entrepreneurs who want their own space on the web, where they control what’s on the masthead. > Adrianne Jeffries, The Verge :: Blogging with Medium, The odd new product from Twitters founders