Archive for June, 2011


Recently eWeek.com wrote about the quantum leaps in computing power and how it has affected the movie industry.  Although DreamWorks is an extreme example of IT ROI, the lessons learned can be applied to every industry.

During the last decade or so, major improvements have been made in RAM storage and hard drive storage.  From 512 MB being a standard amount of RAM, even low level laptops are sold with 2GB of RAM.

The driving force both in business and home computing is graphics.  Graphics and animations have become the dominate force in entertainment and marketing.  From Twitter and Facebook to the Green Lantern and Kung Fu Panda2, intense and rich graphics make computing a more user friendly and engaging experience.

All these graphics and animation require storage, RAM and bandwith.  Providers from computer manufacturers to cell phone providers have stepped up to meet demand and customers are paying.

I look forward to Exabytes becoming the new norm.  Whoo Hoo.

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Well, it had to happen, Sprint is in negotiations to add the Apple iPhone to their line up of products. With the end of AT&Ts lock down of the iPhone, this was a foregone conclusion.  Sprint must keep up with the competition or die as a company.

This will be a boon to those Sprint customers who like Apple products but I don’t see it raising Sprint’s market share by much unless the following issues are addressed.

1. Sprint’s customer service must step up.  Poor support is not what Apple customers are used to or will tolerate.

2. Connection issues.  Verizon has done a better job of making the iPhone perform as a phone than AT&T did, but there are still some fixes needed.  Personally, I would never purchase a phone that did not perform the primary function at peak efficiency.

3. Product overload.  Sprint has a huge portfolio of smartphones now and should begin weeding out some of the lower end models.  Skip the mid range and concentrate on offering basic phones and high end models.  Use sales metrics and customer surveys to see which features are most wanted by Sprint customers.  You have a customer base, utilize it.

 

E-Books are wonderful.  I make this statement as someone who loves books.  I love collecting them, holding them, reading them, displaying them.  Books, books, books, I have loved them my entire life.  They are my first choice for entertainment and relaxation.

When e-books first entered the scene, they were cumbersome to access and read due to the limited format (using a computer and Adobe or other reader).  Even on a laptop, kicking back in bed to read a book was kind of a drag.  I experimented with a few but went back to print.

Then came the e-readers.  Slim, light and portable, they seemed the answer to the e-book issue.  But, at $100 or more for a single function gadget, impractical.  Finally, with the addition of apps for the smartphone and tablets, I have jumped fully on board the e-book revolution.  With reservations.

Wired makes a compelling statement regarding the flaws of e-books.  There must be a way to view all e-book titles in one spot instead of opening 3 or more applications.  Also, there should be a rental option for books one does not intend to keep (like DVDs and on-line movie rentals).  And of course, there is the huge issue of pricing.  No one wants to spend $15 to $30 on an e-book unless it is a highly needed technical manual.

With the use of coupons, it is often cheaper to buy the print version of books.  It does not seem justified to charge $16 for a print book and the same amount for a book that is downloaded with none of the additional costs of the print issue.  Some type of discount must be negotiated between publishers and sellers.

If e-books become more user friendly, with the addressing of these issues, I think they will create a surge in popularity not just of e-books, but reading in general.

As posted here previously, I love my HTC EVO.  This is arguably one of the 5 best phones ever released.  However, I am quite exhausted with the sporadic service from Sprint.

For the past two months or so, many services I use have had a high “fail out” rate. Sometimes they work fine, sometimes they work poorly, and sometimes they didn’t work at all.

I at first thought my phone might be having problems.  But after talking to some other Sprint users, I found there was a high incidence of issues from call dropping to non-working features.  So, I contacted Sprint customer service to see what could be done.  The rep was very nice and had me run some firmware updates on my phone.  She then began to explain that some of the services I was trying to use were only available for 4G.  I then told her I had been using these services on 3G just fine until recently.  She was unable to explain this and referred me to go into a repair center.

Prior to going to the repair center, I did some digging around and found out that Sprint is currently converting some cell towers in the area from 3G to 4G.  The work is causing some connectivity issues and bandwith narrowing.  It should be resolved within the month.

Now, I’m all for updating equipment, especially since it will provide me with a feature I have been paying for nearly a year without having the actual feature.  However, why couldn’t Sprint simply announced the coming changes and apologized in advance for any inconveniences?  A little upfront transparency can go a long way in customer satisfaction.

Instead, like so many companies, Sprint choose the ostrich method.  Stick your head in the sand and hope most people won’t notice the issues.

Come on, Sprint, don’t go back to your previous last place in customer satisfaction.  Your customer policies are what put you behind your competition. After all, your phones and packages are very highly rated.  Make the 4G leap of customer care and put yourself ahead of the pack.

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