Category Archives: Views and Reviews

Getting Down at AppUp Elements 2011

In June of this year I was pleasantly surprised when Intel’s Dawn Foster asked me to join a community panel for AppUp Elements 2011. I’ve been admittedly making only rare appearances in the AppUp community so far but the focus here was on Intel-sponsored communities in general, so if nothing else my MeeGo journey was relevant.

Closer to the event itself, Kira Boyko let me know that a separate talk I had proposed was accepted. More on that… later.  Continue reading

Maemo, MeeGo, Mango and Me

Ever since the February 11 2011 Nokia event cheekily tagged as #NoWin and known colloquially as The Elopocalypse, I’ve struggled to cover Nokia’s present and abandoned strategies here with equal care.  Don’t be misled by my attempts of objectivity over Linux and Microsoft activities, though– it hasn’t been easy.  I’ve been moderating an internal conflict between a growing invasion of open source love versus a legacy of Microsoft development experience combined with strong curiosity.  Neither side has a clear advantage over the other for me and therein lies a conundrum.

I could have very easily avoided the whole controversy at the start.  When I assumed responsibility for Maemo internet tablet quality in the North American market, I could have taken the easy route and stuck to the basics.  That meant developing test plans, training auditors and inspectors, hosting Finnish and Mexican product teams, and making sure CES 2007 was supplied on time with 200 pristine N800s.  Nothing more.

But no.  I’m a device nut.  An admitted hardware geek.  As I’ve shared many times, laying eyes on the Nokia 770 tablet changed everything for me.  It put what I saw then as the future in my hands, literally and figuratively.  I could not just treat this product line as I did the various and sundry cell phones I also touched.  I took tablets personallyContinue reading

Nokia’s Design for the Future: Focus on What Works

There’s been a crazy fog of speculation surrounding my previous employer for the past few years, and I’ll admit I’m guilty of contributing.  Many of Nokia’s moves during that time have been unusual, counterproductive and even downright bewildering… so it’s hard to blame anyone for wondering what the heck platform-torching CEO Stephen Elop has really got in mind.

Nokia has always been a leader in hardware.  That’s not even open to debate.  Their serious failures have been, increasingly of late, in softer areas.  Operating systems.   User experience.  Marketing.  In no time Nokia’s failure to execute on iPhone-driven paradigms caused it to fall from leader to follower to company-with-a-questionable-future.

No need to rehash any more history, though, right?  Let’s talk about the company’s future… and why my pessimism started to evaporate tonight.  Continue reading

The Cells of Smart Power

When I last wrote about “smart power”, I was taking US business and especially political leaders to task for failing to craft comprehensive, forward-looking energy policy.  They seem to be more concerned with drilling for today’s dwindling oil than planning for tomorrow’s growing needs.  Meanwhile, citizens feel powerless to do much about it.

Part of the problem is one of scale.  Our energy dilemma is big and not easily solved.  There’s a great deal of economic inertia keeping us stuck in hydrocarbons.  As I said before, I believe it’s largely the role of government to help “unstick” us– to provide incentives, tax or whatever, in facilitating a transition from a polluting power paradigm to one more responsible and sustainable.

But that doesn’t mean the citizenry should sit back and wait for their tax dollars to be put to proper use.  There are moves we can make at local levels to get change underway… and set the stage for more expansive solutions.  Continue reading

Smart Grids and Stupid Policies

Rolling power blackouts, a common resort in northeastern US states when extreme weather takes hold, are now steamrolling into an overheated Texas (although not yet as widespread as initially feared).  Unfortunately, the outages are largely indiscriminate thanks to an outdated, dumb electrical grid.  This puts people and produce at risk.

Tonight we lost power for a few hours and felt the impact immediately.  Our 30-year-old air conditioner was already struggling to overcome 111 degree Fahrenheit heat– without it or fans going, our little house quickly turned into a big oven.  As I walked around in the dark lighting candles and contemplating my car’s lovely air cooling ability, my mind went back in time…  Continue reading

Achievement Badges: Not Just for Gamers

A friend of mine in the MeeGo community brought my attention to an interesting concept he calls MeeGoVerse, which translates common gaming elements to real-life work as a sort of “massive multiplayer” endeavor.  One important aspect is the use of achievements to reward people for attacking necessary community evils, like bug reporting.  I can envision Meegon badges for each achievement.  People love to contribute, and especially be recognized for it.

Badges can be found in unusual places and contexts.  While updating my LinkedIn profile recently I took stock of a couple of icons I had not really thought much about before.

Right there beside the YOU indicator you’ll note an in and, next to it, a circular array graphic.  The first indicates  a Premium account, meaning for one that you get to harass potential connections with InMails.  Very valuable when I was searching for a new job two years ago.  The circle of circles shows profile viewers that I’m a member of an OpenLink network and thus open to said harassment.  Fair, after all, is fair.   Continue reading

An N8 Charm

Anyone ever watch the 1990 movie Crazy People?  An advertisement executive (played with nutty magnificence by the late great Dudley Moore) cracks up under the stress of lying to people for a living and ends up in a mental institution.  At some point he enlists the aid of residents to help him create marketing campaigns after the bluntly-honest-but-hilarious ads that landed him there become popular.  You can read the wiki article to get an idea of the results, but watch the movie if you can to get the full effect.  Other than some bad acting by Darryl Hannah, it’s cute.

Why am I recommending films to you?

original source: nokia.comBecause when I think of Nokia’s flagship N8 smartphone, I think of how well it would fit into one of these crazy campaigns.  I can picture a sharp photo of this beautiful handset on a blank background, accompanied by pithy captions like “The Nokia N8: Quirky But Cool” or “Cover the Logo and Everyone Will Love It”.   Continue reading