This New OLED Display Blows the Retina Away

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Looks like the Dick Tracy wristwatch is ALMOST here… Combine this with Wi-Fi chipset technology form Eye-Fi (I met their VP of Product Marketing this weekend – very cool stuff) and you’re pretty close!

Turns out Eye-Fi (you know, the SD cards with Wi-Fi in them) actually achieve an effective transfer rate of 15Mbps over Wi-Fi from that tiny card – amazing. I don’t know what the power draw is but this plus that really isn’t from from a Dick Tracy watch!

This OLED sports “the world’s highest pixel density, stuffing an incredible 5.4 million gapless pixels into a 0.61-inch display.

For comparison, at 326 pixels per inch (ppi), the iPhone 4′s Retina display sports 614,400 pixels.

The manufacturer also claims the new display has a low power usage (0.2W), a maximum 100,000:1 contrast and a 96% uniformity, all of which make it ideal for defense, medical and professional camera applications.”

Sweet!

New Whiz Bang Social Media Sites…same old SPAM!!!

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Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Its been a year now since I started the OpenWine Consortium and during that time I’ve spent many many hours thinking about social media, whats good, whats bad, and how can OWC be great. I’ve learned more then I ever imagined and OWC has grown to 3000 people making all sorts of connections, business transactions, business expansion, and even helped to launch a fledgling magazine.

Among the many lessons I’ve learned though, one thing is making me focus OWC and make it even better – SPAM. As a part of trying to make OWC better, I study other sites and social media to understand what makes them particularly effective communications tools. One thing keeps coming back over and over again – MOST of these sites really are driven to create revenue for the owner and almost every one without exception sees the only path to revenue as advertising.

I am the member of dozens of these sites and almost without exception new social media sites are being used as a place to capture your email and send you advertisements.

I started OWC with the mission of creating value for the wine industry by opening new avenues of business and networking using these new tools. I created an “ideas marketplace” where smart people in the wine industry can connect and create new things (profitable or otherwise) or make their existing things better. I plan on forging partnerships that continue to add and deliver more value and push the envelope for the community.

The interesting thing with focusing the site (granted, OWC is more of a virtual trade association than a business and I don’t rely on it for my livelihood so that makes a difference) is that by understanding that a social/business networking site creates value without creating huge “hits” or “uniques” is what seems to make OWC special. I’ve talked to owners of other big sites – social and business – and what I get back more often then not are a series of “hits” and “uniques” and “members at all costs” talks.

It seems to me that people are creating social networks not to further benefit a business or community, but all to often targeting a community that may be inclined to connected in order to drive “hits” and “uniques”. The inevitable byproduct of which are traffic generating techniques, which to the untrained ear sounds cool but to the uncreative site owner it turns a potentially interesting community into a fancy mailing list that gets persistent SPAM.

I guess I’m just a little sick of sites that say “its really good to connect here because of XYZ” when in reality they want your “hits” and will use tactics that border on incessant spamming to get them.

Put up a site with a purpose that creates value for the community and you’ll make your money one way or the other. There are no short cuts in life, and that includes in social media.

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Repetitive iteration is killing to Innovation

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Image via Wikipedia

I have two real passions that I’ve spent the last few years trying to combine – technology and wine.  This post is about technology.  My technology passion goes back a long long way (in my life) to Commodore Vic20 to working in a computer software store all through High School to going to MIT for an Electrical Engineering degree.  I just love to learn about it and having grown into my skin as somewhat of a geek I feel fine diving in and ripping things apart just to figure out how it works at its most basic level.

Anyway, one thing I’ve seen, particularly in the latest “craze” of social media, is the utter lack on innovation.  There is a repetitive iteration (yes, that was on purpose) to sites and technology I see coming out all over tech but particularly in social media websites.  People, particularly in wine, are confused as to which site to use, why?  Because that are pretty much the same thing.  Slight variations, but for the most part the same.

And yet, many of these sites call their releases “innovation”.  Blech!  Come on.  Innovation is disruptive to the status quo.  In my mind, disruptive makes things interesting.  I’ve gotten involved in a few projects that I found interesting (i.e. I thought could be disruptive) and have tried to counsel these companies on how to highlight their innovations.  I’m not going to blather on about them in this post, this is more of a post to highlight what is and isn’t innovation which is pretty simple – if you’ve created something with some defensible intellectual property then you’ve likely got an innovation.  That means a NEW WAY of doing things.  Not a re-swizzle of old technology.

Unfortunately, far too often folks in Marketing (I guess my current field, technically) walk around touting innovation and what this does is create a high noise floor for real innovation.  One very innovative company that I worked with, Cruvee, went through some intensive messaging sessions with me and are going through some re-designs to reinforce that messaging.  But why did they have to do that and why did they have to call me and ask for my help?  Because the sheer number of “social media” sites that lack innovation in the tiny tiny area of “Wine” made it actually challenging to highlight what they do differently, and believe me, they are taking a very different approach and actually introducing some new concepts.  But that seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

I think this is in part due to a diluted engineering discipline called “agile development“, which I’ve written about before.  I say “diluted” because the interpretation of the interpretation of the interpretation of the original discipline has made people think that pumping out any old crap and then adding features will eventually allow you to hit the one thing that people need (or somehow early adopters will just start using it for what they need).  That is a horrible assumption.  That is called “luck” and its no replacement for hard, smart, innovative work.  If you know the story of YouTube you might disagree with me.  If so, then “good luck”, you’re gonna need it.

If you agree with me then what’s the cure?  Easy, proper Product Management – think about what you’re doing, the audience you’re attracting, what their actual problem is, and have a directed effort.  What a Product Management discpline is all about is INCREASING YOUR CHANCES OF SUCCESS.  You can count on luck, or you can do the work.  I guess it depends on how much time you have and how long you can go without a salary.

On the plus side, investors that I know just ask me “who’s got something innovative?” or “what do you think of this company?” and I can keep being employed to separate the wheat from the chaff.

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Is it me or is this guy a TOTAL douche bag?

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Image by Getty Images via Daylife

OK, so I’m trying to insure that the Wine Bloggers’ Conference in Sonoma has good, solid Wi-Fi access.  I’ve spent a decade and a half in the networking industry and the last 8 years designing wireless products so when I setup a conference for 160+ BLOGGERS, i.e. many many laptops in the same room, I have my concerns because of the physical limitations of Wi-Fi.

So the hotel hooks me up with the contact information for their service provider (the Wi-Fi is outsourced which is typical for a hotel).  I send him a message stating exactly my concerns and pointing out that I’ve setup many tradeshow demos as well as conference networks that got hammered by a techie conference.  Here is the email that he sends back to me (understand, I am the hotel’s customer and I am selling out their hotel for this weekend and giving them untold exposure through media the whole weekend).  Is it me or is this dude kinda of a douche?

Dear Sirs-

There are a total of 19 APs interspersed throughout the hotel, not including extra devices occasionally set up by catering.  Depending on the unit, they’ll support from 12-36 users on the wireless (multiple internals).  This has been the design at the Flamingo since its initial design and installation, almost as if we knew what we were doing…

Please inform the users that the codes will be bound to the MAC address of the NIC they use at the time of connection and entry of the code.  They cannot switch computers and use the same code.  The time in contiguous and not broken up to when they are using the connection, ie: 3 hrs ≠ 9 hrs of 15 minute usage periods.

Also, be aware that the total bandwidth for the Hotel Guests use is 6mb/3mb.  Therefore, this should not be a time for these “HEAVY internet users” to download all the Richard Simmons or Jane Fonda videos as this type of abuse will naturally hinder the enjoyable experience that such a convention should foster, human dialogue and contact.

I hope that you enjoy your stay at the Flamingo and that all elements of your convention are a total success.

JJ

Maybe its me, I don’t know…

Updated: The hotel worked on the service provider to create a parallel network in the main conference area that will be supported by additional APs on non-adjacent channels and they committed to having staff on hand throughout the entire conference should this network shit the bed.  I feel better about the chances of success.

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