Tag Archives forpatterns

AT&T: the secret meaning of 3G

(warning – this is a rant)

Once again when I thought it wasn’t possible, AT&T reached yet another nadir in its inability to provide a service to iPhone users.  Now they admit it.

Rather than blog about what laughably AT&T tries to pass as service, I’ve come up with the real secret meaning of AT&T’s 3G.

3G Stands for the 3 Ghosts:

1. the ghost of network speed (let’s just call that glacial)

2. the ghost of network reliability (actually the network reliably drops calls, has multiple dead spots, and uncanny text/voice message delays)

3. the ghost of “we care and we are doing something about it” (let’s call this one gullibility)

I’ve been an AT&T customer since 1996 but I plan to switch to Verizon once the exclusive deal with AT&T is over.

3G and the ghost of things yet to come3G and the ghost of things yet to come


Conga or break dance: will iphone loose market share to the nerd herd?

Readers of this blog can recount the pain I experience with my iphone.  Actually, not with the iphone but with AT&T’s horrible 3G service here in Denver.

Upgrading to the new 3GS was non-issue to me based upon the primary “better speed” promise.  I didn’t upgrade to the new 3GS because that’s like buying a Porsche to sit in a traffic jam.

Michael Arrington of Techcrunch is giving up his iphone as is Om Malik albeit for different reasons.  Will the nerd herd follow suite and give up theirs?

Screenshot from Techcrunch

Screenshot from Techcrunch

Data mining on the cheap

This is old skool data mining.

In the UK, the Guardian Newspaper put 700,000 documents of MPs’ expenses online for review. Rather than employing text analysis software, the Guardian is relying on humans to read, decipher, and flag suspicious spending for further review.  As of 5 am (MT) 80% of the documents were reviewed.

Screenshot from Guaridan.co.uk

Nothing like the possibility of salacious or euphemistic mis-classification of dubious expenses to fire up the inquisitive nature of the common man.

I can’t help but wonder what this type of forensic illumination this may bring to the democratic process.  How would MPs or members of Congress spend and behave if they knew the public might scrutinize line by line every reported expense?  Would there be more accountability or would this lead to more creative methods by lobbying firms to buy influence?

Perhaps both.

Twitter’s growth flatlines

Mashable is reporting the sudden flatline of Twitter’s phenomenal growth.

Image from Mashable.com

Image from Mashable.com

Even though I use Twitter, I do so reluctantly.  My life and thoughts are not, quite honestly, so exciting nor profound that I need to broadcast every action and thought to my followers.  I find Twitter beneficial for following some thought leaders or a general monitoring of the Twitter stream for information.

This Harvard study reports on what I’ve suspected yet lacked the background data: 10% of Twitter users create the vast majority of the content.  And when you look at the content created by these uber Tweeters, there is so much crap and self-aggrandizement, many followers drop off out of frustration.  In essence, Twitter has become a communication/broadcast medium for a community of followers rather than a conversational medium.

Maybe I’m being too harsh.  Part of Twitter’s huge growth may be attributed to a voyeuristic satisfaction of peering into a person’s daily activities via Tweets.  Perhaps the majority of followers have realized that in the end,  their own lives are more interesting than those they follow.

Author of Harvard Study

When it comes to the Kindle old farts rule!

For the record, I’m one of them.

The news reporting the average age of a kindle user is a bit dated at this point (ancient, 2 week old), for those that missed it, on a forum site, 70% of Kindle owners reported their age and it turns out the average age reported is 40.

Chart from Gizmodo
Chart from Gizmodo

That doesn’t surprise me.  The Kindle  is dedicated to delivering long form content like books, magazines, and newspapers.  Amazon is smart to keep the Kindle targeted and develop future features with this core application and usage in mind.

On a vaguely related note, earlier last week Steve Gilmore proclaimed RSS to be dead and hence blogs and longer form content not nearly as relevant than before (my words, not his); Twitter acting as the grim reaper that made the use, or rather the need, to use RSS, obsolete.  Hence Twitter is a better mechanism to disseminate and propagate information than RSS.

He may be right about short format information.  However, I believe Steve’s broader application to all RSS content based dissemination may miss the mark. While Twitter has proven itself as hugely valuable for updates, announcements, and offers, Twitter’s feeds an ADHD torrent of info porn.  Kindle, as a proxy for longer format content on the other hand is designed for attention centric activities like reading a book or newspaper.

Twitter = jump into the info torrent.

Kindle = jump into a single info stream.

So am I right about the content attention centricity being tightly bound to platform primary usage and demographic profiles are the trailing edge?  Let’s watch text book sales as a crossover usage to the Twitter generation.

The Incongruity of Training to Discover and the Act of Discovery(Part I)

My business contemplative life is lived about 1-2 weeks behind the actual calendar date.  Most ideas and interesting tidbits percolate in my head.  At some point, if inspiration strikes and Muse happens to be in the room, I draw interesting connections (well, they are interesting to at least me!) and that tends to take about 1-2 weeks.

So as my son was watching Tom and Jerry earlier this morning, I started to read a few emails I’ve saved for short uninterrupted moments.  And while re-reading Cosmo‘s (no, not the newstand version) article on the importance of dangerous ideas, the incongruity struck me: how often does some-one’s insight training framework actually impede the possibility of game changing discovery?

Summary of the Cosmo article if you don’t feel like reading it: Darwin set off on his voyage as a 22 year old Victorian who studied theology at Cambridge and planned to be a clergyman.  While on the voyage he the notion of Evolution struck.

“Evolution is a deceptively simple idea, not immediately obvious to the casual observer. But its effects are complex, and span millions of years. If geology can be summed up as pressure plus time, then evolution is basically genetics and environment plus time…  It was like suddenly recognizing a language you had always heard in the background but could never understand: it was the language of life itself, whispering its secrets to anyone who took the trouble to listen carefully.”

That last sentence is the one that connected the dots.

Often we are trained either formally through education, or informally through experiences, to pattern and templatize not only how we think about the world, but how to process and categorize new concepts.  It is a human intuition, one that our ancestors relied upon for survival (e.g. is that shadow lurking at the edge of the fire a hungry sabre tooth tiger or a rock?).  Need further proof?  Think about the proliferation of stereotypes as social patterns.

Thus the ability to re-pattern how we approach insight, new concepts, and ideas is critical.  The key is not to be stuck in a linear formulaic approach to problem solving, but rather use patterns of approach that help us break out of strict dogma that often guides how businesses approach new concepts, test ideas, and think about new markets.

John Kembel gave me a copy of “The Designful Company” which I plan to read this weekend.  Knowing John, the book should be rich not only in design centric thinking but also how this thinking can be widely used across multiple disciplines.

More later on The Designful Company, Darwin, and the importance of using precedence for consideration but not letting it dictate future thinking.