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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University cloud computing contracts

Did you hear about the university professor signed up for a cloud service and unknowingly left his department on the hook for two years of service beyond his grant….or the university who had more than 500,000 student records (social security, addresses and grades) hacked? Cloud computing poses special demands upon Universities who can no longer employ the same procurement process used to acquire computers and software since the 1980s.

Are you aware that today many Universities (and K12 School districts) use a popular email marketing program that sells contact information of students to vertical marketing firms who in turn re-sell them to other marketing and product companies?

Today’s aggressive marketplace and the business of cloud services has radically changed the procurement process. Many of us have a fiduciary duty to protect data of our students, research and institutions.  Regardless of how students freely give away their data on Facebook, our institution will still be held responsible to  protect all of our institution’s data.

My views on the impact of Cloud Computing in Higher Education have been slowly evolving. This past May I was given an incredible opportunity to further my learning by participating in an Engineering & Technology Short Course with the UCLA Extension.
Remember those “must-take classes” in college?  UCLA’s Contracting for Cloud Computing Services is one on my list of those opportunities you cannot afford to ignore.  My advice: Find your way to UCLA.

Again, I hope this can help as many people as possible understand the lessons taught in class.  Due to the nature of the beast they are in no specific order. They are all top level concerns:

BACKGROUND
For over a generation traditional desktop PC vendors focused on features and price. Since the late 1980s schools established trust in vendor’s products to conduct business, educate students and store student data. From floppy disks to magnetic tape all data was stored locally on campus.

Today’s globalized internet marketplace is radically different when compared to the modem era of computing. The cloud computing model represents a number of fundamental shifts including Software as a Service(SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) are well established.

And although it’s a bit ahead on the radar we should not overlook the quickly emerging SuperComputer as a Service. While there is no  standard acronym, there are established vendors like SGI’s Cyclone, Amazon’s Cluster Compute, IBM’s Watson, and with forthcoming merge between PiCloud and D-Wave‘s quantum computing….more options for High Performance Computing will be available to many smaller, lean and aggressive institutions.

These new services are directly tied to the “consumerization” of technology: advanced technologies at affordable price points. As a result the new focus is around access.  The shift to mobile computing via netbooks, smartphones and tablets is well underway, yet many school’s do not have a sufficient wireless infrastructure. Students, faculty and administrators are today carrying a laptop, smartphone and probably an iPad. Schools are struggling to to handle bandwidth demands of so many devices in concentrated areas around campus, from the Student Union to the ResHalls.

IMHO the tipping point with Cloud computing and digital devices is the convenience of access. Today many diverse schools have a campus community that simply demands anytime/anywhere access to data. And it’s no longer just email and web.  Its BIG data from data base research to the delivery of HD media. For better (or for worse) society has become trained to demand mobile solutions that easily integrate into the app economy and their mobile lifestyles.
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BMW, iPad & mobile hotspots

Pleased to see BMW has launched a design solution supporting iPads. Its just not the mount (which does rotate by the way) on the back of the driver’s seat.

BMW’s mobile hotspot technology, a branded MiFi solution that allows any devices in the car to connect to the Internet on the road. And with the addition of Apple’s Siri solution being integrated onto the steering wheel …. well I’m interested to see what happens when iOS6 ships with Siri support on iPads.

Photoshop the Pentagon Papers scanned memorandums

I have been having some difficulty reading a few memorandums attached to the Pentagon Papers study in digital format.  The National Archives did an absolutely wonderful job of making the entire text of the Pentagon Papers ‘selectable’ in Adobe PDF format.

My highest compliments to an amazingly professional effort to move the Papers, printed over 40 years ago into an easily copy/paste format for educators, students and historians.

May I suggest photoshopping the faded lines of text in attached memorandums?

By simply modifying the brightness level of the image’s histogram (using the Levels tool in Photoshop) it would benefit many readers who like me, find focusing and recognizing faded text somewhat difficult to read.

The example here took less than one minute to produce a deeper, darker text that makes character recognition much easier to comprehend.

BTW: Its wonderful to color hilight sections of any volume of the study on an iPad.  And carrying around this entire 7,000+ page, 47 volume study is just remarkable.

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.