Back to the Future

BTTHEfuturecell phone slideBack in 1998 I worked at Duracell on rechargeables. I was what they called an HPC – High Powered Chick. I allowed them to call me a chick only then. The rechargeables I worked on were cell phone batteries. Didn’t know they made them? Yes I know, and part of the reason that division closed later in 1998. Duracell was trying to be the Number 3 company for replacement batteries. They were thinking ahead to a time when cell phones, or, your mobile (oh – how many meetings were there to determine cell or mobile??) phone was going to be an everyday part of most peoples lives.  The same way that replacement alkaline batteries are for our electronic devices.  Cell phones could cost upwards of $700 then, not a small investment.  Most people didn’t have one in 1998. Motorola and Qualcomm were the leaders in the U.S. with their StarTac and Faser phone a la Star Trek – the thinnest flip phone to use CDMA their digital frequency we take for granted today. Sprint was the leading telecom to utilize the digital frequency and the two companies made great partners and a great product. You couldn’t upgrade to get a new free phone for a two year contract then.

Hmm? Forward to 2015.
Guess what, after years of upgrading to a new phone for free or very little in investment, usually under $100 depending on the phone you choose, we have to buy them! If not buy them then lease them for a year or two. Lease? What?
iPhone or Samsung, or Sharp (Yes, Sharp), LG or T-Mobile to AT&T to Sprint. Get the time machine I want to go back!

I want to go back to five years ago and see what made the mobile phone industry rewind to another time.  Yes, you can still get a phone that will text too for under $40 to buy and a similarly low monthly fee. But, if you want a SmartPhone, basically a hand held computer in another form, then you must pay upwards of $200 for the phone and a high monthly price.

And, all those games, promotions we see now, Europe and Asia had those gimmicks back in the late 90’s. Their landlines are not as good as ours, so citizens embraced mobile over there, long before we had the notion.  I used to have to examine all the offerings and relate it to how American’s would be interested and write analysis of it and present ideas at meetings.  At the time, I thought, only teenagers are going to be interested in games and other promotions. What adult is going to spend their day on gaming on a mobile phone? Oh, how we have changed as a nation because of our little hand held devices.  Be kind, rewind.


Back To School

It’s September and all thoughts move to going back to school.  Even though you may not have kids in school, or college, the change of weather and advertising bring your mind to this time of change.  Going back to school for some may mean picking up some new courses or taking a class on something that you’ve wanted to learn for a while.  For others it may mean new job opportunities, such as substitute teaching.  I’ve already been called a couple of times for this – teachers get sick too.

It could also be signing up and, or finishing, that extension course, or new Webinar you’ve heard about and hadn’t had time to do over the summer with all the beach going, riding bikes, kayaking, ho-hum.  I’m back on the saddle for another social communications conference this week focusing on the mobile front.  Having a new Android phone makes the idea of mobile social communications all the more interesting. Of course you’ve got the mobile Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and apps du jour!  So many apps, you need an app to tell you what apps you should have.  Everything from music and games, to encyclopedias, organic gardening, GREEN galore,  distress alerts, various messaging options, and those incoming advertisers!  One thing I didn’t think of having to deal with on the new phone!  So, surely I will update all on the conference in a few days.  Maybe they can even help me use my new phone better!  You are never too old to learn something new.

Lions, And Tigers, And Malware Oh My!

Homage to The Wizard of Oz led me to the title of this blog.  Of course in the movie it’s Dorothy and the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow who are walking down the Yellow Brick Road repeating “Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!” It’s a scary place that yellow brick road which they are on to see the wizard. Their purpose outweighs their fears in the end.  And that’s all any of us can ever hope for.   It’s a scary place  these days on ones computer without virus protection, spy-ware, and now of course, malware.  Malicious programs must be stopped!  Why do they exist in the first place?  Nerd men, mostly, who have nothing better to do than create nonsense and chaos so that they can feel big, fulfilled and mostly, important.  The mess it has caused innocent computer users around the globe is exponential.  The cost to computer users around the globe is tremendous with all the scanning programs we must buy to protect our electronic friends.  I wonder if the creators of all this protection ware ever thought of creating some havoc, chaos themselves in order to sell more protective services?  Hmm?

Shakedown on the PC front.  A PC mafia if you will.  Clever really very clever.  Of course something like that would never REALLY happen now would it? Hmm?  Go now, fear not, and continue to practice safe computing.   Children used to fear the bogeyman, now they fear non-biological viruses that kill their favorite video games.  Creepy isn’t it?