March 31, 2008

IT Hates the iPhone

When I worked at and was traveling to the home office once a month I found it amusing that I was not allowed to bring in a laptop made by Apple into the David Glass Technology Center. Seriously, the Security folks were advised to not allow them in the building. I understand that as a company gets bigger they tend to become more conservative; what annoyed me was that the argument against letting the machines in was based on “security concerns” that are baseless. At the risk of inciting a religious war (seriously, I tried using Vista this weekend...asking the customer '“are you sure?” more times does not make your OS more secure) I point you to the following Wall Street journal article from today's paper...

“[...]Indeed, the iPhone, which maker Apple Inc. says has captured 28% of the U.S. smart-phone market, seems to be loved by everyone -- everyone, that is, except those who work in corporate information-technology departments.

Designed with the consumer in mind, the iPhone is less secure than business-oriented smart phones such as those from Nokia Corp. or Research In Motion Ltd.'s BlackBerry, according to IT professionals. But that isn't stopping people from using the device for work-related tasks such as checking email, managing sales contacts and getting information about prospective clients. In fact, market researcher Nielsen Co. estimates that one-quarter of iPhone owners over the age of 18 pass their phone bills on to their employer, suggesting significant use of the device for business.

Many IT groups have banned the iPhone from their workplaces, complaining that there is no way to force employees to protect their iPhones with passwords and that they can't erase sensitive corporate data from remote locations if the device is stolen or lost. Additionally, they say the iPhone doesn't support the software many businesses use and that it only works on one cellular carrier's network.

But keeping the iPhone out of the office may be a losing battle. As a result, some technology experts say the iPhone could usher in a change in the way businesses adopt new technologies.”
“[...]Whereas software vendors and other tech suppliers traditionally pitched their products to high-ranking executives and IT managers, some are now paying closer attention to the technologies workers actually use.”

The iPhone has changed the way I work and has made me more efficient in general. I wait with eager anticipation for the software updates and the fruits of the SDK that are forthcoming. The IT organizations that figure this out will be more successful overall. Here's an investment strategy: find those companies willing to let their people have a say in what device they use and put your money with them. The company that invests in people first and customers second will win. I think.

Written while groovin' to Dusty Kid - Tsunamy

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March 30, 2008

Computer Girl

Computers aren't sposed to make fake people look so real.

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March 10, 2008

Top n Albums of 2007

I've been working on this for a couple of weeks and rather than continue bogging I thought I'd get it out there and refine/add as time goes on. Please enjoy a few of last year's favs...

“In Rainbows” (Radiohead) :: Radiohead more funky than you've ever heard them. This time with industry-shocking business model where they make everyone except the record labels happy and make themselves a boat-load of profit in the process. But don't let the distribution mechanics distract you from wrapping this album around yourself and being warmed by it. I was lucky enough to see them play many of these songs live in Berkely last year and was pleasantly surprised at how good they sound on wax (yes, I did buy the vinyl disc box's beautiful).
“Fur & Gold” (Bat for Lashes) :: When my friend KS listened to this she said it inspired her to change. Mysterious hand-claps with string-arrangements that aren't spooky for spookiness' sake. Hooky, inventive melodies give this one staying power. It was stuck in the car CD player for weeks and the kids are asking for it by name now. Kinda like Feist and Dead Can Dance's love child playing violins.
“Graduation” (Kanye West) :: As a bedroom hip-hop producer there's little Kanye touches these days that doesn't make me shake in my seat and think at the same time. “How does he do that?!” I find myself saying to myself as beats that I didn't think could get any more creative and layered tickle frequencies I didn't realize my Passat wagons stock speakers could reach. His hip-hop swagger feels contrived at times but given his talent for creating sounds that move the genre in new directions he's forgiven.
“Out There” (The Heliocentrics) :: There's is little that the Stone's Throw label puts out that I'm not digging immediately. Their commitment to real hip-hop combined with their love of the digging for vinyl to find quality almost-forgotten music make them audio philanthropists of the highest order in my book. This release by the UK-based Heliocentrics combines Hip-Hop, Funk, Jazz, Psychedelic, Electronic, Avante-Garde and Ethnic sounds on one record.
“Chromophobia” (Gui Boratto) :: A multi-colored album cover for an album called Chromophobia. This is electronica that, rather than grating, uses repetition and not-entirely-originalsounding synth pads to create an other-worldy landscape. High production values round this one out as a work favorite...the soundtrack to Silicon Valley life.

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March 03, 2008

Spike Jonze Skateboarding Video

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TED 2008

For the second year in a row I attended the TED conference though this time from a simulcast in Aspen, Colorado opened to 300 people. It was many things and you can read all about much of it elsewhere. As I sit awaiting my ride to the airport I present a few very preliminary impressions:

There really are two processes going on in the world: I witnessed a few days showing the construction going on in the world, a nice antidote to the the typical destruction I feel bombarded with most of the time.

A few links I jotted down in the course of the proceedings...

Written while groovin' to William Orbit - Atom Dream

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