There are a lot of rumours about the Apple September 9th event and a possible Apple iWatch launch. I believe most Smart watches today are largely useless. I was surprised at how quickly people abandoned their Pebble, we’re never far from our phones and continuous connection drains your phone quickly. Even the relatively small battery drain was much of negative relative the minimal value offered by notifications on my wrist. I haven’t seen anything more functional from any of the other Smart watches…
I wanted to formally share some exciting news from my professional life. Effective yesterday, Ascentum Inc has been acquired and will be joining the Hill+Knowlton Strategies family. I’ve been with Ascentum for 3 years and as you probably know Ascentum specializes in helping businesses, government and not-for-profit organizations facilitate and create dialogue with stakeholders via online, in-person and social media-based strategies and tools.
Rogers Wireless has a launched a new “Super 6G Plan” that is sort of based on the now in-famous 6GB plan that was available when the iPhone launched. The plan lists the following benefits:
Over the past few weeks I’ve been working on my first mobile project in a while. I use an iPhone regularly and have access to an older Android device. I haven’t used a BlackBerry device in close to 3 years. In fact, to get one we asked the last person in our office that got an iPhone to dig up his old BlackBerry from his parents house. The sad part is that the devices really haven’t changed much in the last 3 years… The track ball is replaced by the touch pad but the operating system is very close to same. The last device I used was a BlackBerry Curve ( model unknown ) with OS 5.0 beta in 2009, which was only a small improvement over BB OS 4.5. Virgin Mobile and several other wireless carriers still sell a BlackBerry 5.0 device today.
BlackBerry devices, and specifically their browser experience have become horribly out of date
There’s been a lot of discussion around Draw Something and Zynga’s purchase of the game. Forbes recently reported that the game saw a 5M drop in Daily Active Users. This is a problem but Forbes seem to focus mainly on the belief that users are tired of the game. Gigaom has a more complete review with the acknowledgement that there are some technical issues with the game and the transition to the Zynga hosting. I think the article down plays the issue and I think the following need to be addressed:
- Stability. I know several people with the game that are completely unable to play or load it. The game just crashes and they can’t play at all. They don’t receive notifications and the game is unusable. A quick search on Twitter shows several people suffering from this problem and it seems to effect the free version more than the paid version.
I travel to the US 2-3 times a year and I want to use my iPhone while traveling. The first task is to understand is your usage. My typical usage is:
- Voice Calls – I receive 2-3 calls daily with a total daily talk time of 20 mins, generally I know 2 of the 3 calls I get daily
- Text Messages – I receive about 10 a day, and send 5
- Data Usage – I use about 50 MB a day, more if I’m tethered
Since setting up and regretting Rogers One a few months ago my Roger’s value plan has been steadily shrinking. My original Smartphone Value plan in December 2011 was:
- Call Display with Name Display
- Enhanced Voicemail
- Voicemail to Text
- Unlimited Sent Text, Picture & Video Msgs
- Unlimited Rcvd Text Msgs – Unlimited Sent & Received US/International Text Msgs
- Mobile Backup
In Canada we’ve been experiencing a fairly large scandal involving Robocalls to Canadians surrounding the 2011 election. I’ve been frustrated with Robocalls for several years and the lack of regulation by the CRTC. A few years ago I kept getting Robocalls from a collection agency ( trying to reach someone named Brandi ) and recently I have been getting a barrage of calls from the NDP leadership campaign. I think Robocall regulations should include:
Over the past couple of months I’ve been using the Roger’s One Number service. I was excited because this seemed to be a lot like the Google Voice service but for Canada. The service lets you register your Roger’s wireless number and receive communications on your computer. I’ve only used Roger’s One on my Mac Book Pro and it installs a small applet that launches a Roger’s One icon in your task bar. This lets you know that the service is running and provides an interface to launch different web based locations to receive calls or text messages. Roger’s One can also read your email and provide notifications, but I already have this via Gmail/Chrome so I disabled this functionality.
I was recently in Florida for a Vacation and purchased an Amazon Fire device. The device is very similar to the Barnes and Noble Nook I purchased last year but I thought the Amazon content and store would provide a better experience. The first thing I did was sign up for Amazon Prime Trial, with no problems. I purchased some music, no problems and much better prices than iTunes. I also purchased a magazine subscription to 2600, no problems again.
Over the past few weeks I’ve ordered a number of things online and received shipments for all major shipping companies. My building has conceige that can sign for all packages that don’t require a payment for duty or COD. Its very interesting to see the process each company uses handle deliveries and collect the duty/COD charges:
I’ve been a long time user of Dropbox and have had the 100GB personal account for several years now. I’ve been very happy with the way the system works and I’ve setup it up on all my computing devices. My wife now shares the account and we use it to save files we want backed up or accessible across multiple devices.
When Ascentum, my employer decide to use Dropbox too initially it was all good and we just shared files between users. Eventually we started running out of space with different users who only had the free account or small paid accounts. I also noticed that my work files were taking up space in my 100GB personal account quota. So we decide to subscribe to Dropbox Teams, which gives us more storage across all users. The system is priced at $750/year for the first 5 users and $125/year for each user after that and includes 1000GB and 200GB per additional user.
After a long delay I’ve finally updated my blog and website. In the process I’ve also moved to ColinSmillie.com to ensure I have greater reach outside of Canada. The design is based on a WP Timeline theme, which I’ve modified to move away a little from the Facebook Timeline which it copied. Let me know what you think and if it you notice any issues with the new site.
Last night was Democamp 28 at Ryerson University. It was my first time attending a Democamp there and the venue was a theater format with the crowd very separate from the presenter. This is great for viewing the presentation but it made for a less interactive Democamp. As a result there was very little heckling or crowd interaction…
The evening opened with a presentation by Mark Ruddock, which seemed to be a bit of a rehash of his StartupWeekend presentation last year. You can get the idea here if you do a search/replace of “VC” with “Startup” from his presentation here. The most insightful content was during the QA afterward, that’s really where you got the impression that Mark has a lot of experience developing startups. I particularly liked hearing how he grew Viigo using co-branded partnerships.