Sometimes an earthquake is all a company needs

It's not often that I get to lord my Blackberry over other people, so I will do it every single chance I get.

At times I feel like a heretic living in the middle of the Bible Belt: iPhone users are not content to love their iPhone in private. They are not content to relish their newfound position of hip, hop happeningness. They are only content if they can convert the unwashed heathen. That's me. That's especially me.

I could have escaped their condescension and patronization if I used Android. But no, I have a Blackberry, and I have not yet heard the end of it.

I shouldn't be surprised that my high tech geek friends have such an irrational hate on for RIM. For the longest time, the Crackberry was the holy grail, but it was mostly the business type, the commerce students, and the middle management yuppies that had them. For the longest time, the tech geek was on the outside looking in. 

All that changed when the iPhone burst on the scene, and the developer community embraced it like it was covered in cocaine.

And those of us who had Blackberries soldiered on or, even worse, took a small chance on a company that had brought such innovation in the past. In the end, the Blackberry is not as good as the iPhone. But it's not a bad phone, and it certainly doesn't deserve the dragging through the mud it gets.

 So when I hear something good about RIM, please allow me to be smug for a bit.

The 5.9 magnitude earthquake that shook the East Coast Tuesday exposed a major strength or RIM. After the quake, the giant spike in call volume meant massive service interruptions for users of AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. But not so for Blackberry users. BlackBerry Messenger service can run on both a phone’s data connection or local Wi-Fi; once more, RIM showed why it has gained a reputation for reliability and security.

 The same effect was found in the Chilean earthquake of 2010; immediately after of 9/11 in New York: BBM was the only service left standing; and in London, BBM was unfortunately too reliable and secure. Rioters used it as the main vector to communicate.

Likely this will only slow the Apple and Android juggernauts. But there is a chance that RIM's reputation will be remembered. There is just a small chance that RIM's fortunes might start to turn around, on the backs of its rock solid security. And if it does, maybe my RIM stocks will start to be worth something again ...

Steve, oh Steve, we hardly knew ye

The news that Steve Jobs is resigning as Apple CEO is not surprising, but still a little shocking. Given the state of his health in the past, we suspected that this day would come. It makes it no less bitter.

As a developer, I have strong opinions about Apple and their Lockdown approach to managing apps. For years, we lauded Apple and excoriated Microsoft as the grand Satan. Now that Bill Gates has retired and his company has been reduced to the next IBM,. the red horns and pitchfork are being passed off to the next great evil empire, Apple.
Single handedly, Steve Jobs defined how the second
decade of the 21st century will be shaped
But, despite this resentment of Apple procedures and controls, I couldn't help but hold a great admiration for Steve Jobs. No one in the past 20 years has so affected the world. No one has so changed the course of popular culture, technology, and the path our future is now wandering.

It was only a little more than a decade that Apple was the footnote of high tech history, with no seeming ability to move beyond being a niche product for designers and geeks.

Then came the iPod. Then came the iTunes. Then came the iPhone. Then came the iPad. Every single on a game-changer. Every single one so immensely successful that they changed the paradigms to suit themselves. Single handedly, Steve Jobs defined how the second decade of the 21st century will be shaped. There are few corners of our lives now untouched by Apple.

I am sad to see him step down; just when you thought you understood how society was unfolding, he introduced a new product that changed it all before your eyes. I guess it will be nice to see the world get back on an even keel for a while.

Google Man Is Coming For Your Mail

I confess I am a hardcore GMail junkie, but Microsoft has his one out of the park with this spoof ad:

Try and Google 'irony'

In case you missed the techno-thingies on top of the car, that's a Google driverless car prototype, in a rear end collision with a drivered car. Hah hah hah, go the techno luddites. Google was a little too self-satisfied over their whiz bang technology. Maybe they will cop a mea culpa and go back to relying a little more on the ability of mankind. Ooops, not so fast. As it turns out, the car was being piloted by a human at the time of the collision. Have another irony supplement, shut up and drink your coffee ...