The clock is ticking toward a three-day weekend. A few more hours and most of the telecom and IT industries will take a well-deserved break. Before that happens, let’s look at the important news and worthwhile commentary of the past week.
Jolla’s Jolla is Almost Here
Looking at the scant number of mobile devices that aren’t powered by Android or iOS would give a reasonable person pause before introducing still another operating system into the mix. There are, apparently, quite a few people who are unreasonable. Either than, or the assumption that a market doesn’t exist beyond the big two and the existing third options is faulty. In any event, one of the small wannabes, Jolla, this week announced its first eponymously named phone.
Jolla is comprised of ex-Nokia employees who, according to InformationWeek, were unhappy that the company abandoned the Meego OS in favor of Windows Phone. The story capsulizes what happened in the interim: The highlight is that Meego was improved and renamed Sailfish. The Jolla phone announced this week, behind schedule, is expected to be in phones, at least in Europe, by year’s end.
BYOSNACP (Bring Your Own Social Networking and Collaboration Platform)
Vendors have created elaborate unified communications and social collaboration platforms. Indeed, making it easier for people to communicate within organizations, across corporate boundaries and with current and potential customers is seen as an art and a science – and vital.
Folks who have spent years working through the labyrinth of UC and enterprise collaboration development probably are amused and distressed by a finding by the consulting firm Avanade. The firm, according to Datamation, found that they should have saved themselves the trouble, at least according to users:
Most of those surveyed said they used enterprise social collaboration software at work, but when asked which platforms they use, most cited Facebook and Twitter rather than software platforms designed for enterprise users.
The Datamation piece offers reaction from four sources. ZDNet’s Toby Wolpe points out that Avanade is co-owned by Microsoft and Accenture. Nancy Gohring from CITEWorld thought it was important that the highest rated enterprise-specific finisher in the survey is Microsoft’s SharePoint, which is used by 39 percent of social networking users. Four out of 10 users isn’t a bad number in isolation. However, it fades a bit when compared to the 74 percent who use Facebook, 51 percent who Tweet, and 45 percent who are LinkedIn.
It’s a Broadband Life
These two stories are not directly linked, but they are of a piece, as they say. AT&T, according to PCMag, is extending its Digital Life home automation service to seven cities – Baltimore, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Sacramento and Washington, D.C. – beginning today. The service is conceptually simple: The Internet, mobile and stationary versions, is used wherever possible to monitor security and otherwise support what is done in the home.
The other piece is GigaOm’s coverage of the latest broadband penetration report from Leichtman Research Group. The leading broadband providers – apparently the firm doesn’t delve into the lower tiers of operators – added 1.1 million connections during the first quarter of 2013. The total now is 82.4 million people.
The broad connection is that an increasing number of people are using broadband and more of that utilization is beyond entertainment. In other words, the core idea of broadband penetration is subtly changing from something that is used for videos, study and vocational purposes to something that is deeply engrained in the mundane mechanics of everyday life.
Eating on Mars
One thing that everybody should understand at this point is that what seems like science fiction today becomes the norm tomorrow. The news of printing things such as gun parts still is a bit surprising, but no longer shocking. What, then, may come next that really is exciting? The answer: Pizza and burgers.
Quartz reports that NASA has invested $125,000 in 3D food printing. The irony is that the idea is not far-fetched when explained: Three-dimensional signals are sent from point A to point B indicating what should exist at every cross slice of the object. The device on the receiving end draws on a supply of materials – anchovies and pepperoni instead of blue and black ink – to build the object. The story explains why the research could have huge positive ramifications in fighting world hunger.
Creative Use of Study Hall
And, finally, a story that may make the older folks try to remember whether they did much of anything productive during their high school years. Huffington Post and other sites report that Eesha Khare, an 18-year-old student in California, has won the 2013 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix. She beat more than 1,600 finalists with an invention that could revolutionize how we use cell phones.
The device is called a supercapacitor and can charge a phone in 20 to 30 seconds. The supercapacitor holds a great amount of energy in a small place, which is why it can charge the devices so quickly. It is also portable. Khare pocketed $50,000 for her triumph. She attends Lynbrook High School in San Jose and will continue her education at Harvard next year.