July 6, 2010

I miss 4th of July with my family. Going to Donner Lake, swimming in the freezing cold water, bbq’ng and then watching fireworks. Those were the days. Sometimes I think growing up really sucks. Shanan looks to be on holiday. Props.

Before I get to Nokia  – a few other things…

Diaspora – I am really pulling for these guys. Not just because of FB hate but I like the model of doing product development in the open:

People have been asking us almost every day what our development schedule is, and when we plan to finish exactly, and the honest truth is we don’t have an exact day. With one week “sprints,” lots of end-to-end, user driven features are being added every day. We try and “theme” our months to be features around a given area.

Will this work ? :

In another groundbreaking move, The Guardian newspaper in Britain has launched a plugin for the popular blog-publishing tool WordPress (see disclosure below) that allows web sites to embed the full text of Guardian news stories and other content for free. The plugin comes with a catch though: Sites also have to embed the newspaper’s advertising. The new tool is part of an ambitious program of opening the paper up to the web — a move that got its start in May of this year when The Guardian launched its “open platform,” which allows developers to use the publisher’s open API to create apps and services that include the newspaper’s content.

It is interesting seeing this compared to the rising pay walls and the state of content. I am not sure it will be a slam dunk but I love where it is going. Sure – embed our content but allow us to make some money from it. Not a bad trade-off really. What would be interesting is if let’s say I drive a lot of traffic and the make some money – shouldn’t I get a cut of it?

This shit is so good:

My own Facebook birthday was a complete disaster. I’ve been logging on to the site since before they opened it up to the general public and I swear, I’m well-liked on the outside. But when my birthday arrived, there was nothing more than a couple messages from those two friends everyone has who always comment on everything anyone posts. I expected my Facebook wall to look like Vanity Fair’s Oscar Party, and instead I got a panoramic shot from the now abandoned set of Deadwood. And this rebuff came only a couple months after I had to watch my wife my scroll the length of the Torah to get through her Facebook birthday wishes.

This ain’t half bad either – is Social Networking ruining humanity?

The US is so screwed, I mean that is what it feels like:

By contrast, China’s fiscal stimulus has been more effective, partly because China is at a different stage of its development. Citizens of Beijing can now use subways to go 50 kilometres to the summer palace for almost nothing, while residents of Shanghai are making plans to walk along West Lake in Hangzhou, getting there on the new super fast train. In short, parts of China have a first world infrastructure that will help to stimulate domestic demand and more balanced regional development. Unfortunately, the US fiscal spending plan more closely resembles that of Japan than China – and is likely to have the same minimal or even counter-productive impact. Away from home, American citizens are increasingly voting with their feet. In Hong Kong, so many US passport holders fear the deluge of US taxes that will inevitably follow the spending binge that it can now apparently take as much as 11 months to secure an appointment at the US consulate to surrender US citizenship.

I am happy to be an American but I have to say I have been living overseas for 10 years now. I miss my family, some of the shopping (things are just cheaper there) and I miss big open roads to ride motorcycles on that I did not have to pay 2.5 times their value. Apart from that – I think I am better where I am. When I read stuff like this I know I am – American is in debt, not doing the right things to deal with it and the services rendered for taxes paid will only go down more. Given I don’t live there I sometimes wonder what it is I am paying for?

Nokia – I think about it all the time as it is and then my buddy Pak Budi writes this:

Let’s see how this new platform works and how the market reacts. Since I will attend the Nokia World 2010 in London, September 14-15, so hopefully I would hear Nokia’s latest strategy and could see their new MeeGo devices. Come on, Nokia. This is your (last) chance to impress the smart-phone world! At least, trying to convince me that you have better device and platform.

There are many reasons why I find this interesting. One is Budi is going to London and I am not. I may have to change that. The other thing is Nokia regularly points to Indonesia as a position of strength. This was the land of the Communicator and now the country moving the most C3s but Budi is the canary in the coal mine. Blogger, media pundit, geek and gadget freak as well as pure Indonesian – he is all but giving up on Nokia. This is trouble. I played with the N8 this past weekend and was impressed but would I use it over an iPhone or an Android device? Not sure yet but it was slick. Point is – if Budi is saying this – Nokia has a problem.

But it gets worse:

I can’t continue to support a manufacturer who puts out such craptastic ‘flagships’ as the N97, and who expects me to use services that even most of Nokia’s own employees don’t use. I also can’t continue to support a mobile operating system platform that continually buries itself into oblivion by focusing on ‘openness’ while keeping a blind eye towards the obvious improvements that other open platforms have had for several iterations.

This is the problem with big companies like Nokia. They can’t focus. Too many OSs, too many crappy machines and a reputation that some folks won’t carry a decent Nokia cause they know someone is running around with a crappy Nokia. That is why people buy brand names – they want non-tainted affiliations.

This part is so spot on:

To Nokia, you guys are losing. Hard. Wake the hell up. Doing the same thing repeatedly while expecting different results is the definition of insanity.  I’ve been a huge Nokia fan since my 2nd cellphone, and I just can’t do it any longer. You guys aren’t competing like you once were, and everyone but you seems to see that. You used to build the world’s best smartphones, the world’s best cameras, the world’s best GPS units – you’ve lost pretty much all of that, and with nothing to show for it. You unveiled your Ovi vision over 2 years ago – I was there. Today, it’s still a complete mess. I have to log in every single time I visit the site – regardless of how many times I check the ‘remember me’ box. I spent 6 months (and about 3 hours at Nokia World 2009) trying to find someone to help me with Ovi Contacts on the web – no one knew who to point me to. You spent millions of dollars purchasing your Ovi pieces – Ovi Files, Ovi Share, and a host of other little companies – are you proud of what you ‘built’ with them? Most of your own employees (that I’ve talked to) don’t even use them, so why should I?

I have talked to many a Nokia employee who can’t even get Ovi to work most of the time. Nuts. So if this dude, a Symbian fanboy, is giving up then what will happen next? Worse is that most people will tell you that Symbian development is harder than J2ME, iPhone and Android so if Nokia can’t make it easier for developers then what can they offer?

If Nokia thinks a blog post like this is going to help – think again:

Symbian and MeeGo are the best software for our smartest devices. As such, we have no plans to use any other software. Despite rumors to the contrary, there are no plans to introduce an Android device from Nokia. There has also been some confusion about Symbian and Nseries. The Nokia N8 will be our only Nseries device on Symbian^3. Of course, we ‘never comment on future products’, but a Symbian^4 Nseries device is a strong possibility. A very strong possibility ;-)

All this did was add to my confusion and the smiley face almost makes me want to cry. This guy just said yes we have 2 OSes and we might keep having 2 and then again maybe one. We are not sure yet – Nokia if you are not sure then who is?
For me, my first hand-phone, was a Nokia. I still buy them from time to time when I need a cheap phone that I know works but a smart phone – I would not touch most of the Nokia smart phones since most of them are overprices bricks. I played with the N8 and have hope but I think Nokia needs to get hip fast or they are in trouble. This means Apple and Android take over and RIM holds on to the keyboard freaks. This is not a good thing.

4 thoughts on “July 6, 2010

  1. I think you need to segregate these into an “American Report card” and “Nokia Report Card” posts :-)

    But, happy fourth to you, sir.

  2. so right – needed the USA rant and then the Nokia rant

    got carried away cause of Budi!

    how were the fireworks?

    :)

  3. Don't you hit up the Foreign Earned Income Exemption? We write off all income up to $80k when we spend more than 330 days out of the country in a given year. I don't know whether Obama is going to close that down; if so, I might end up in one of those embassy lines myself.

  4. Not a matter of whether I do or not – I still end up paying taxes and I find the whole system wacked. We are just noticing how they are clamping down overseas to make up for not having enough money back home.

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