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WCW III: World Chip War III


After something of a long hiatus, we have an emerging epic World Chip War Three, which is being fought over “CODECS,” and related chips which power our smartphones. Not that the semiconductor industry hasn’t been innovating and evolving, but this is something much bigger. Today’s news about Broadcom’s bid for Qualcomm omits the other crucial player in this new War of Titans, Intel, which has risen from earlier ignominious failures to become the third player in WCW III.

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Rogers Ranks Lowest In Canada Wireless Customer Care


Many observers and former employees say it is run like an offshore sweatshop, complete with stressful bullying No quality customer service can come from such a dysfunctional work environment. The gig economy philosophy is apparent with employee’s reduced to total submission to draconian work rules, total surveillance of all voice and written communication, and apparent high turnover. Burnout is common. Three years ago, there was something of a Sykes employee revolt, when a number of supervisory employees were fired, and an anonymous broadcast email was posted describing the poor management practices. Outsourcing like this has been a common means to cut costs in the wireless industry.

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Partnerships, Collaboration and Co-opetition: More Important Than Ever


In the simplest terms, the concept here is how a company can potentially increase both revenue and market share by executing a strategy to work with direct or indirect competitor(s) to the benefit of both, a win-win. The old Arab saying, “My enemy’s enemy is my friend” also applies. It can also be as simple as joining an ad hoc collaboration among a group of companies or a standards group to create market order and simplicity from an overcrowded and confused market. Customers invariably respond to products that provide the greatest value and paths to long-term increased value and cost reduction. Collaboration or “Co-opetition” is one of the most effective means to achieve that goal, particularly in an economic environment where “flat is the new up.”

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Everything You Need to Know About Google’s Fi Wireless Service


As some may already know, Google is launching its Fi mobile phone service in the United States, and with aggressive expansion plans, hopefully, into Canada and Europe. Google has partnered with Sprint and T-Mobile in the United States. But the intriguing aspect of this new business is Google’s intent to offload phone service to WiFi wherever possible. This prospect has been looming in the wings for awhile, with the talk of true Metro-scale WiFi using VHF white space, and Google’s innovative experiments with “Loon Balloon,” (see my earlier post), and with low orbiting satellite WiFi coverage. Whether these risky and expensive experiments will materialize is another question. However, the prospect of wider area, stronger signal metro WiFi continues to move forward. Google’s hybrid approach using both mobile service frequencies and WiFi to provide full mobile voice and data service is beginning to sound very interesting.

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Too Many Apps. Too Little Money


Hopefully this comes as no surprise to many, but for some, alas, I am afraid they have yet to get the email. It’s yet another case of the 1% versus the 99%. Only one percent of Web app developers have made any real money, the other ninety-nine percent are SOL. Forty-seven percent of those, make absolutely no money or less than $100 on their app. Not surprisingly there are now over a million apps on the Apple store, and when you add all of the other sources for apps, you can see that the problem is coming to a head. I saw this coming over two years ago and wrote about the problem on this blog, citing a New York Times story published about that time, describing the dark underbelly of the Web app development culture. In a satire of the problem, last year The Onion published a gag story about a new app called “Squander” that enabled users to “geolocate others nearby who had also wasted $2 on the same app.”

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The internet of everything–annihilating time and space


Originally posted on Gigaom:
Which modern technology “enables us to send communications…with the quickness of thought, and to annihilate time as well as space”? If you answered “the internet,” you’re right. If you answered “the telephone,” “the television” or any other speed-of-light telecommunication technology, you’re also right. That quote is from an 1860 book by…

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Much Better Battery Technology As A Big Idea


Recently there have been a number of reports that Apple’s release of its new operating system, iO7, had caused unexpected problems for battery life in most older iPhones. Another way of saying this, is what a mobile phone salesman at The Waterfront, in downtown Vancouver said to me, “Everybody wants there phones to do too much stuff!” His comment came after I had bought one of the new external batter boosters for my smartphone. An entirely new accessory market has opened up, selling extended battery life for you phone, when you are not able to use your charger. This is not a real or long term solution. As many of my students know, battery life and heat dissipation on the microchips are among the most important areas of technology research today. It is also worth noting that this problem has also led to advances in the Universal Serial Bus (USB) architecture which are also likely to help address the problem of power and energy efficiency technology devices..

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Wireless networks aren’t ready for the smartphone revolution


Uh oh! Expect to see the cost of wireless data skyrocket In addition to Ericsson’s forecast of inadequate capacity, the base cost of data backhaul from cellular is astronomical. A fix is needed or we will all be paying through the nose. Ericsson: Wireless networks aren’t ready for the smartphone revolution BY NATHANIEL MOTT ON NOVEMBER […]

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The Incredible CardMunch for Android Mystery: Market Stolen by CamCard


Over a year ago now someone on the UBC campus, who was thinking of developing an app, told me about this cool application for capturing cards into your contacts by photographing them on your smart phone. It was Cardmunch. It turned out that the application was only available on the iPhone at that time, but as luck would have it, the company had just been acquired by LinkedIn. Voila! It would obviously only be a few months at most before I could obtain it for my Samsung Android smart phone, right? Wrong. That was over a year ago.

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The creators of the Candy Crush Saga just filed for a secret IPO thought to be valued at more than $5 billion


It appears the creators of Candy Crush Saga are ready to cash in on the success of the simple three-of-a-kind matching game.

King, the British company behind the Candy Crush Saga as well as a slew of other social games, has submitted paperwork for an initial public offering to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to the Telegraph. The UK-based technology company is expected to trade on the US’s Nasdaq exchange, and garner a value of more than $5 billion.

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