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Nobody else in the history of business has achieved what Steve Jobs has achieved as a CEO. He has taken Apple from its death bed (in 1997 it was dying) and made it the most valuable company on earth. Interesting story: What Happened After Apple Fired Steve Jobs and How we were able to turn it around Robert X. Cringely says “Lots of CEOs make products. Many make millions. Very few make history.” So, does that make him the greatest CEO? Maybe … maybe not – but will posterity remember him as a CEO? Nobody else in history could launch a product the way Steve Jobs could do. Each of his product launches has become folklore. Remember when he pulled out the MacBook Air from an envelope? There is no doubt that he has redefined innovation. Nobody else in the history has designed five groundbreaking products. Good summary of what he has achieved: Master Inventor, Master Marke... (more)

My Thoughts on the Apple iPad

iPhone Apps on Ulitzer iPhone Apps on Ulitzer - The Apple iTablet or iSlate is due to be shown off to the world January 27th, and unleashed on us sometime in March. The blogosphere has been buzzing about the topic. Joe Wilcox of BetaNews.com said “The world doesn’t need an Apple Tablet, or any other” (full post here). MG of TechCrunch followed up with “The World Doesn’t Need Someone Telling Us What We Don’t Need In Tech” (full post here).  I think both writers make some good points, but I wanted to give my thoughts, and ask the readers of CTOvision theirs. The Apple Tablet is rumored to cost $1000. So the first word that comes to my mind is “overpriced.”  When you can purchase a decent netbook for under $300, a solid ultra-portable 12-14″ (laptop) for $500, and a good business laptop for under $700…why would you ever pay $1000 for a simple tablet?  Quite frankly, I... (more)

An iPad Hack That Saves $39

I got it yesterday at 5PM. The Apple store at the nearby mall was crowded, but at the end of day there were more people in blue shorts (I was told that there were a 100 of them) than customers. The salesman immediately showed me a shelf with nice looking iPad jackets-turn-into-ipad-stand for only $39. Needless to say that many people left broke after shelling out five or six hundred bucks for something they unconditionally loved for a least two months without knowing what for. I didn't buy that $39-thingy. My son David immediately found a decent replacement for it. If you're broke but have 2 min to watch (if you don't have money, you'd better have some time), here's a short instructional video. ... (more)

Foursquare “Lifts” Mobile Advertising Legitimacy

The Mobile Proof Presence (MPOP) checkin game is white-hot and set to explode. In a relatively short amount of time, most people (with an iPhone, at least)  know what a “checkin” is and the most popular checkin platform (Foursquare) is adding 15,000 people per day! Foursquare is chasing 2 Million users, each opting-in to broadcast the details of their location-based interactions with real businesses in the context of their larger trusted social networks. This is no longer a fad. This is real and could finally be the legitimizing “lift” mobile advertising has long been looking for. Thanks to checkins, realtime social network updates are no longer just static, general “What you are doing?” posts. They now convey “What are you doing, where are you, and who are you there with.” While this has certainly been a fast-moving location-based social media phenomenon, the real... (more)

Apple Spends Only 1/7 on R&D Compared to Google, Microsoft

  [Update September, 2012 - R&D spend data from Dan Lyons's post (figures are R&D spend as a % of revenue Google - 14%, Microsoft - 14%, Samsung - 6%, Apple - 2%]   This is true not only in absolute dollar term but also true as a percentage of revenue. In fact, Microsoft spends more on R&D among all the IT and software companies – in both absolute dollar terms as well as percentage of revenue. Have a look at the data below. I have picked it up from a post in Infoworld by Ted Samson. Revenue in billion US$ R&D Budget in billion US$ R&D Budget  as % of Revenue Microsoft 62.5 8.7 13.92% Oracle 35.6 4.5 12.64% Google 29.3 3.7 12.63% IBM 99.9 6.0 6.01% Apple 65.2 1.8 2.76% HP 126.0 3.0 2.38% It was a surprise to see Oracle so high up in the list but I guess it may be a legacy from Sun. However, what is more surprising is to see Apple and HP spending so... (more)

United Apple-Google Front Stymies Kodak Patent Sale

In an unusual rapprochement, bitter rivals Apple and the Android mob including Google, Samsung, HTC and LG have teamed up to buy the Kodak patents on the cheap, according to the Wall Street Journal, a stratagem that had Kodak threatening to pull the sale only Kodak is boxed in. It needs the money to repay creditors like its $950 million loan from Citigroup and get out of bankruptcy jail. It initially had visions of collecting better than a couple of billion dollars for the IP, but the only folks interested aren't willing to pay anywhere near that amount. The Journal says the companies would be prevented from using the patents to sue one another (a good thing) but could attract the antitrust regulators (a bad thing). When last heard from - considering there's a gag on Kodak - the 1,100 patent might fetch $500 million. ... (more)

Book Review: OS X Mountain Lion: The Missing Manual

I purchased the OS X Lion: The Missing Manual to help me ramp up for my new MacBook Pro. Although I had been a Mac user in the past, it was in the distant past. It did a great job answering all the questions I had as I familiarized myself with the Mac operating system. The author does a great job of explaining things and he covers a ton of information. As soon as the OS X Mountain Lion: The Missing Manual version was available I wanted it. It is by far the best resource available for getting answers quickly to any questions I have about the new OS X Mountain Lion operating system. The book is divided into six parts. I have listed each part below and the chapters included in each one. One. The OS X Desktop 0. The Mountain Lion Landscape 1. Folders & Windows 2. Organizing Your Stuff 3. Spotlight 4. Dock, Desktop & Toolbars Two. Programs in OS X 5. Documents, Programs & Spac... (more)

Apple Ordered to Pay VirnetX $333K a Day

A Texas district court Wednesday upheld a jury verdict arrived at in November awarding Internet security firm VirnetX more than $368.2 million after it found Apple and its FaceTime video chat service infringed four virtual private networking patents designed to establish a secure connection between two devices. The court denied Apple's motion to lower the damages. Apple has to pay VirnetX more than $333,500 a day until the case is settled, a situation supposed to force the companies to come to an agreement on future royalties. Failure to reach an agreement could mean more damages. The iPhone 5, iPad mini, iPod touch and recent Mac computer are all implicated. ... (more)

Apple iPad Reminds Us How Brands Succeed by Transforming Experiences

iPad on Ulitzer To borrow a line from Scrooge, "I'm as giddy as a drunken man." With today's Apple iPad intro, it feels like Christmas. I was glued to Engadget's live blogfeed of the announcement. Apple is leveraging its iPhone technology in a new tablet format, adding bells and whistles like unlocked, no contract, and cheap 3G data plans, a keyboard dock and the iBookstore. But once again, as we've seen in the past with Apple, the whole is larger than the sum of the parts. In the tech industry we pay homage to "innovation" as the ultimate springboard for leadership positioning and killer differentiation. Who does it better than Apple? Lots of companies make products, but only a few reinvent how we learn, communicate and experience. Remember trying to use a pre-iPod Mp3 player? Mine was a Diamond Rio; frustrated and ticked off are two reactions that come to mind. ... (more)

The iPad Is the Ultimate Thin Client

In my earlier post, when I railed against the iPad, it was mostly personal disappointment and letdown.  I was disappointed by the technical specs, most notably the aspect ratio, and the exclusion of USB, HDMI, and webcams.  Those items can all be added on in later iterations (which I firmly believe they will – perhaps the iPad HD?).  And when they are released, people (Nerds/Geeks – maybe even I) will pay the upcharge for them.  A lot of blogs have been posted that talk about the iPad as the optimal stepping stone (gateway?) for the technologically challenged.  They are right (but might not know why). When Matt (commenter MGD) posted that if he were to buy a computing device for his 9-year old daughter, it’d be an iPad, it got me thinking.  It would be hard to pick a better device for kids.  Parental Controls are becoming a very key discriminator for operating syst... (more)

Apple's iPad & Business Will Make a Knock-out Combination

iPad on Ulitzer On Monday I wrote an article that put my initial thoughts and findings together on the newly announced iPad's. It included my belief that the current mass of iPhone Developers are excited & poised to adopt iPad, not only with their current applications on the App Store, but creating new applications to take advantage of the iPad... A New app 'gold rush' gathering momentum! Today I have just read a great article from Jason Schwarz on Seeking Alpha, which continues my thread and suggests that currently the iPad is being underestimated for business. To quote Jason... "Anyone who previously relied on a notepad or clipboard will adopt the iPad. Doctors will use the iPad as they move from room to room and interact with patients, teachers will use the iPad as they lecture, coaches will use it as an in game video/scouting tool...think of all the real estat... (more)