Latest read: The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires

Tim Wu’s second book The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires is wonderful examination how American information empires were established and stifled innovation at the same time. This is my second book by Wu following his brilliant Who Controls the Internet.
The Master SwitchWu identifies long business cycles surrounding the birth of information systems. While they begin open over time they were consolidated and driven by the market to become closed.

We displays how they become open again following amazing innovations force a business change in order to survive in the new marketplace.

The Master Switch opens with the birth of the Bell AT&T telephone monopoly. This is a facinating story when held against the garage startups of Apple and Google.

There is an amazing look at how countries and cultures also view information empires differently. The case for Wu is the capitalist, independent market approach to radio vs the UK’s BBC dominated by the royal family.

The Master Switch reveals how four key markets actually hold government infrastructure: telecommunications, banking, energy and transportation. These four and their capitalist owners for generations established control over any citizen’s attempt at challenging their monopolies. The lesson Wu establishes is corporate control by closed technologies. Yet one cannot help but understand they magically protected the country from the devastating affects of revolution leading up to and more importantly the horrific aftermath of World War I that forever removed Paris as the hub for film entertainment.
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Latest Read: Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution

Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution is a remarkable book about the explosive relationship between Apple and Google as smartphones and tablets came to dominate the PC marketplace. This is a historical view of the final battle of Steve Job’s life and the work by Google to win over the digital battlefield from both Apple and Microsoft.

How Apple and Google went to war and started a revolutionDogfight is a smashing success in revealing how human technology companies really are today and the enormous demands they place upon their employees. They create the tools for our digital lifestyles and the means in which it drives new business models (and society) on a global scale. Its truly magnificent.

Since Dogfight is centered around the last days of Steve Jobs many readers may be intrigued to learn how he was personally making Apple vulnerable to Google’s Android by placing so much trust in Sergey Brin, Larry Page and Schmidt. Interesting lessons for us all.

The most interesting aspect for me was understanding the complex relationship between Google and Apple when Microsoft was in charge of the PC market. Clearly Microsoft missed the smartphone and tablet market and now may be forever a forgone player in that space. Even industry leaders are acknowledging that in the mobile space there are only two OS platforms to consider: iOS and Android. Amazing how Microsoft lost its way.
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Genius Everywhere

BMW will launch a new Genius Everywhere program, an Apple-like Genius Bar in time for the launch of their i3 electric vehicle which is expected in 2014.  Clearly BMW sees Apple’s massive success in retail as a proven solution to support the launch of a new series of electric cars in North America.  BMW will also rely upon Apple mobile technologies to arm their sales staff.
BMW_i3The Genius BMW Genius Everywhere program announced in AdvertisingAge will have pre-sale employees armed with iPads helping educate potential customs about this new electric line.  The major difference as this point is Apple’s Genius Bar is for post sales while BMW will focus on education and pre sales.  This is not the first time BMW has adopted Apple products, design and user experiences.  BMW and Apple collaborated to bring iPod support to BMWs early in the car controls your digital device world and today they are also working to integrating Siri technology into more BMW models.
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Welcome to the iPad’s Digital Golden Age

Few would imagine what creative minds at Apple and Pixar would invent when the iPad was introduced.  With compelling content and affordable mobile devices my children are growing up in the Golden Age of Pixar, Apple and Disney.  The idea of playing an old school ‘board game’ pales in comparison with the iPad’s interactive, digital game and adventure opportunities.  Beyond driving around Radiator Springs, I believe a gold mine awaits with education for all ages.  But for now….off to the Apple Store to pickup a Lightning and Mater.

Dear Apple and Nikon

Nikon shipped their new body-only D7000 DSLR almost two months ago and Apple just released their updated Camera RAW profile so I could actually process the images in Aperture 3.  Guys….please talk to each other.

upgrade

Why wait?  You’ve been doing this process for years.
–Thanks for ruining my weekend.

BMW supporting Apple’s iOS4

Yesterday BMW announced it will support Apple’s iOS 4 in their BMW and Mini product lines.  By integrating iPod Out in iOS4 users of iPhones 3G/3GS/4 & iPod Touch 2nd/3rd generations to output and display Apple’s iPod interface on the vehicle’s dashboard display and controlled by the vehicle’s controls.


To no surprise BMW’s controller is called the iDrive….a perfect fit for Apple’s iProducts.  Drivers will be able to control music playback and browse playlists, podcasts, and Genius mixes.

Tags: BMW, Apple iOS4, innovation, product launch, interface, ideas, business, trends

Amazon’s Kindle capitulation ?

Want to confuse customers?  How about taking the “if ya can’t beat`em, join`em” approach….
kindle-ipad-email-banner-600K-590x._V191415697_

I wonder what Bezos thinks about when you pull this type of capitulation.  I cannot help but wonder about Amazon’s own statement: NO KINDLE REQUIRED.  If anyone sees this add and is deciding which to choose, this move by Amazon cements the iPad as the choice.

BTW: Did you catch the color image in the book?

Tags: iPad, Kindle, ebook, price war, ebook sales, reading, trends

Sports Illustrated on the iPad ?

ipadIn January Time Inc., the publisher of Sports Illustrated showed off their own tablet highlighting a future issue of SI for tablet users.  I immediately questioned their “announcement” to produce their own tablet.

Clearly the business model for ANY publisher to develop a tablet is a mistake with the marketplace is its infancy.  The internet forced computer companies to move faster in transforming their business.  Its simply smarter to drop SI into the iPad Store inside iTunes.  The RIO is much better.

And just six months later….SI has announced its coming to the iPad for the same price as the print version.  So much for their own hardware eh?

Time Inc, holds major content providers in business/finance, international, luxury/portfolio, lifestyle and style/entertainment media categories and with the initial wave of eBook publishing just beginning to hit a business sweet spot it should not be long before popular titles begin to appear alongside SI.

Tags: Sports Illustrated, Time, Inc., iPad, Tablet, design, wireless, magazine, trends

New eReader price wars

So what happens when Apple’s $500 iPad sells like mad?  Well a price war of course between the Nook and Amazon’s Kindle.

nookkindleIt appears that Apple has produced a product that consumers have been wanting and are willing to pay quite a premium.  But at the same time Apple has cut into Amazon’s ownership of eBook sales.  The problem with both of the above devices – they are not color.  Think about purchasing a dedicated eReader that cannot produce color, and is only available for, well….reading….despite Amazon’s attempts to open the Kindle platform with an API and goals of an iTunes-like store.

Amazon left their newer Kindle DX at $500.00

Tags: iPad, Kindle, Nook, price war, ebook sales, reading, trends