Windows 8 Might Help Microsoft Dominates Smartphone Market For Good!

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Microsoft is bold and subtle at the same time.  Many people might not realize that they would unintentionally switch to Windows Phone eventually, because when they use Windows 8 on PC more and more, the benefits of having Windows Phone are tremendous.  Of course, nobody knows the future, and that is only a guess of mine.  Nonetheless, to be bold and somewhat careless I say that Microsoft’s Windows Phone might eventually win the smartphone war if there is actually a smartphone war.  How?  Only Microsoft can convince people to stick with PC longer, and we don’t even have to wait for the arrival of Windows 8 to prove it since Windows 7 is doing a good job of staying relevant.

Business sector is so important to the economy, and the economy is so important to business sector; business sector and the economy are very important to Windows Phone and Windows Phone might too be very important for so and so.  Especially, the economy has been hopping on one leg, I don’t see how the business sector would want to buy each employee a Mac unless Apple makes the Mac a lot cheaper or makes a special case for business sector. This is why I think when Windows 8 comes out, the business sector will go on trying to upgrade their affordable PCs and laptops to Windows 7.  While at it, they will ponder on upgrading to Windows 8, too.  Windows 8 is the key to why I think Microsoft will win the smartphone war if there is truly a smartphone war.

Windows 8 is designed to shine on as many components there are within Microsoft ecosystem.  It’s all about the coherence of an ever tighter software and hardware intertwining ecosystem; connecting people tightly together through technology so data can be facilitated as if hardware and software boundary don’t matter in a technology ecosystem.  Well, that’s how I see Windows 8 would do for Microsoft ecosystem.  So, in the very very near future, you and I pick up a tablet or a smartphone, it might not be too hard for us to see that PC isn’t going anywhere as Windows 8 would remind us of PC even though we might be holding a smartphone or a tablet.  Think about it, business folks don’t do serious typing and calculation and planning and designing on smartphones and tablets, because it’s just simply a fool’s errand to do such things on those half-serious devices.  Just take a look at real estate of a screen of one of those on-the-go (i.e., mobile) devices and it would be crystal clear to see why it’s not possible to do serious works.

I think PC will stay around much much longer than we could ever imagine.  Its form might change but its purpose has to be making serious works seem easy.  So, as long PC stays around for foreseeable future, who says Microsoft doesn’t have a chance to convert most people over to Windows Phone?  It is just making sense that Windows Phone and Windows 8 would fit nicely alongside each other.  It is just making sense that people might want to fully invest in Microsoft ecosystem for Windows 8 is the key to encourage them to do so.  From PC to smartphone, and even gaming console such as Xbox 360, all could be somewhat coherent as Metro style would be the dominant design/theme to tie most components within Microsoft ecosystem together.  I think, a coherent ecosystem is the main key for Microsoft future success in regarding to a bid to win more customers over unless Metro style fails to charm the mass.  While at it Microsoft, why don’t you throw in your own version of Siri?


It’s Iffy For Moving iTunes’ Rental Movies To Another Computer Or Device; Don’t Expect A Solution!

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It’s iffy that Apple makes it near impossible for iTunes users to move rental movies from one computer or device to another in most cases.  Notice how I said near impossible and most cases, because some people suggest that you can actually move iTunes’ rental movies from Mac to iPad, but not vice versa; others people suggest other things; I know for sure you can’t move iTunes’ rental movies from one computer to another computer directly.  I surmise Apple has this limitation in place to prevent iTunes users from rendering the rental expiration time frame useless.

Is it weird that you can move iTunes’ rental movies from Mac to iPad but not vice versa?  Once you move the iTunes’ rental movies, they’re gone from the original computer or device (i.e., original destination or the container of contents).  I think Apple should try harder by allowing iTunes users to have the ability to move rental movies from one computer or device to another; of course, doing it in such a way that the whole process can still work out as intended such as not allowing users to render the rental expiration time frame useless.

In my case, I was using iTunes on a Macbook Pro and rented couple HD movies, but I wanted to move the rental movies to the iTunes on Windows 7 computer so I could watch the HD movies on a bigger monitor.  Apple is making it impossible for me to do such a thing, and so I was disappointed.  Sure, I could have planned the rentals out better such as I should have rented movies within the iTunes that resided on Windows 7 computer, but it was easy for me to blame Apple for not making things easier for me.

Some people suggest that it’s possible for you to move iTunes’ rental movies from a computer to iPod and then from iPod back onto a computer.  For iPad and iPhone, people suggest that you can move the iTunes’ rental movies to these devices, but not in reverse as in moving the rental movies back to a computer.  I don’t think you can move iTunes’ rental movies from a computer to another computer directly.

Would Home Sharing for iTunes allow iTunes users to move rental movies from one computer or device to another?  Don’t even try that, because I tried and it turned out to be a waste of time.  How about iPhone’s iTunes?  Well, it is kind of weird that iPhone’s iTunes allows you to check TV shows and music under Purchased, but movies aren’t made available to be viewed under Purchased.  I figure that rental movies are rental after all, and so rental movies are appropriately made unavailable under Purchased.

I guess when one wants to rent a movie from iTunes, one better makes sure that one has to be on a computer that one wants to watch the rental movie.  As iTunes can be installed on almost all computer platforms (i.e., iTunes isn’t compatible with Linux), it won’t be a problem for iTunes users to watch iTunes’ rental movies on most computers.  Doing anything different, iTunes users just beg for the inconvenience.

Business wise, this inconvenience isn’t a big deal for Apple, because Netflix and other Apple’s competitors probably are facing the same problem of making brand new movies to be available in ways that won’t make their customers feel irritating.  Of course, streaming old movies should not have such a painful DRM experience, because Netflix is superb in making the streaming of old movies to be available on most computer platforms and devices.  People should not even bother with moving any movie while using Netflix; it’s not a part of the equation; it’s all about streaming and what devices can be streamed Netflix’s movies and what not.

Renting old movies through iTunes might still prevent iTunes users from moving rental movies from one computer or device to another, because it’s all about DRM again.  Indeed, it’s clear that streaming and renting are two different beasts altogether.  In the end it’s up to which beast you like to hang out with.  For me, I guess I might hang out with both from time to time, because renting movies from iTunes does have one advantage over Netflix’s instant streaming, it’s that you can download and watch brand new movies.  Oh, don’t forget about Amazon too, because you can both rent brand new movies and streaming old movies through Amazon.  Nonetheless, I have digressed, and so let me end this long and rather moot post at this impolite juncture, OK?

Introducing Toyota Futuristic Smart Phone Car, The Fun-Vii

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According to ABCNews‘ article “Toyota Unveils Futuristic Smartphone Concept Car,” Toyota is introducing its futuristic smart phone concept car, Fun-Vii to car lovers.  Fun-Vii can recognize its owners as the owners approach the car, and then it allows the owners to use the car as if it’s a smart phone such as checking message on the body of the car.  ABCNews suggests that when inside Fun-Vii, the driver doesn’t have to lift a finger since he or she can start a conversation with it and command it to drive.  Owners of Fun-Vii rely on speech-controlled directions to command it to drive.

I don’t know about you, but I think Fun-Vii looks more like a moving electronic billboard than a giant smartphone.  Also, I do not think it’s a good idea at all for the car to display just about anything on the sides of its body, because privacy matters most!  Of course, it’s sort of a good idea in allowing the owners of Fun-Vii to make few extra bucks by displaying TV commercials and static ads on the sides of its body.

I like the idea of how one can use voice to drive the car though!  I guess Fun-Vii has one thing going for it after all.  Anyhow, check out the video right after the break which shows you Fun-Vii in action.

ABCNews suggests that Toyota won’t go ahead in making Fun-Vii concept into reality any time soon.  Nonetheless, someone out there might think of something crazier and before we know it, Fun-Vii might not be so futuristic within a few years or so, yes?  Maybe?


Save Your Money By Using Your ISP’s Security Product

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To my current knowledge, several broadband and cable companies are giving out free Internet Security software to their customers.  AT&T customers can download McAfee Internet Security for free; Comcast customers can download Norton Security Suite for free.  Other broadband and cable companies might have their own security products as well, and so nowadays I don’t think it’s necessary for users who use broadband and cable to buy their own Internet Security software.

If you aren’t sure about being able to download free security product from your Internet service provider, you can call your ISP and ask about their free security product.  Of course, you can always switch to a better ISP that provides you top of the line security product.  If you think your ISP is faster and cheaper than any other ISP and yet you can’t download a free security product, then I guess you need to buy a standalone security product from a well known security company such as Symantec and stay loyal to your ISP.

In conclusion, broadband and cable companies such as AT&T are doing a great job in protecting their customers by providing free security software.  The Internet is somewhat less hazardous to huge pools of people who can download and install free security products from their ISPs.  So, don’t you go out and waste money on a standalone security product before you ask your ISP for a similar product first, OK?  Good luck!

Can Hacking Be A Financial Instrument?

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As financial instruments that keep nations stay healthy find to be less effective, nations are facing direr prospects of having to see their economies slowly inch closer to unsustainable conditions.  Imagine China continues to see United States prints more dollars out of thin air to devalue the dollar so United States’ exports can be competitive against the rest of the world, and China will face higher import costs to produce lesser profitable export goods since Chinese yuan is pegging against dollar.  As China isn’t so willingly to revalue yuan and allowing yuan to appreciate against dollar, China forces United States to print more money than ever to devalue the dollar so United States can stay competitive in exporting its goods.  United States knowing that exporting more will create jobs at home, consequently taming the wild beasts of deflation and unemployment that will lead to a healthier economy in near term or however long the United States can print money and China won’t scream foul.

Let assume China and United States are going to be locked in a currency war for a long time to come, and the financial instruments of both sides aren’t that effective since both sides might be able to dish out comparable damages, a tic for tac kind of things.  Seeing from this perspective, one can see why United States is so concerning about cyber security.  Once the usual financial instruments aren’t that effective, an oppose entity (e.g., nation, country, faction, coalition, and so on) can try to use a stealthier and more malicious mean to gain some advantages in regarding to world trade and a nation’s financial matters, and we’re talking of hacking.  Of course, there are many other means that might be as vicious as hacking or even more vicious than hacking such as intentionally manipulating an opposing nation’s derivative market to a point that such market would crash and create havocs within a nation’s economy.  Nonetheless, hacking is probably one of the easiest maneuvers which one nation can carry out against another nation.

Hacking can be inexpensive for the hackers and yet sometimes hackers can get more than what they want.  Hackers can also stay anonymous if they’re good, therefore hacking can be stealthy if stealth is important to the hackers.  Knowing hacking can be carried out with precision and with almost no consequence at state sponsor level, I don’t see why hacking is not one of the desirable methods in acquiring financial information and gaining sensitive data to manipulate another nation’s economy.  This is why it’s not unimaginable for the United States to consider hacking as an act of war and might lead to military actions.  As more facets of an economy come online or digitize, hacking can become an evermore dangerous and powerful instrument among other financial instruments to be used by nations.  Of course, hacking isn’t always motivating by financial means, sometimes it’s more about gaining military advance weaponries.  This is why hacking can become even more important than just a covert financial instrument for any nation.

So, I guess we can expect China and United States to continue playing a game of blaming each other on how they got hacked by the opposing nation.  I suspect that the United States and China won’t go as far as declaring war on each other if indeed they find out that the opposing party is hacking them, but I can see United States and China won’t be hesitating in punishing weaker opposing enemies in all means, even things has to boil down to carrying out some military actions.  Don’t be surprised to see more headlines of how one nation is hacking another in the news, because hacking can be quite a useful financial instrument and more.  It’s that serious!

Source —  Currency Wars:  The Making of the Next Global Crisis by James Rikards (book).

With Viper SmartStart, One Can Use iPhone 4S’ Siri To Start, Stop, Unlock, Lock, Arm, And Disarm A Car

According to PCWorld‘s article “Siri Can Unlock Your Car, Can’t Drive It Just Yet,” a developer named Brandon Fiquett was able to hack iPhone 4S’ Siri so his car could be automatically started, stopped, opened trunk, locked, armed, unlocked, and disarmed.  Not all cars could use Brandon Fiquett’s Siri hack unless their cars had installed Viper SmartStart.

Viper SmartStart is not a product that could be installed easily, because you have to know your car electrical wiring pretty well.  Viper SmartStart has their own app for various smartphones, but you can’t use voice to command Viper SmartStart to command your car.  Brandon Fiquett is smart enough to let Siri takes over the function of Viper SmartStart’s app.

Check out the video right after the break to see Siri in action in regarding to how a car owner can tell Siri to tell the car to do things.