Again, another objective post following RIM’s Q3 earning report. I think the long term success of the company will have to hinge on the Playbook. It sounds like it needs to penetrate into the enterprise tablet market as well as have its feature (esp the QNX OS) trickling down to the BlackBerry phones. 2011 is a year to watch.
“…most importantly, there is only one way to create jobs and that is through business formation and expansion and we don’t yet have enough new capital to create such growth. New capital can be created only through production and savings. And that won’t happen until the private sector has first sufficiently deleveraged (reduce debt incurred during the boom). Again, if the fix was as easy as the Fed creating more money out of thin air we wouldn’t be in a recession to begin with.”—
A thoughtful piece by Robert Stavins, Director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program.
He describes the essence in the Cancun Accord and explains why some people are touting this agreement as a success for climate progress. In addition, he explores how agreement was struck in the meeting in Cancun. A great insight into how a productive multinational summit meeting can transpire.
I follow a lot of blog around the websphere. And my choice of readers often reflect my bias regarding to a certain topic. So when it comes to technology, I get spontaneously pulled to the sites that holds a favourable view to the products I like and want to see succeed.
Me being an Apple fan. Or fan boy. I enjoy my daily read of Daring Fireball (http://daringfireball.net/), Parislemon(http://parislemon.com/), and The Brooks Review (http://brooksreview.net/). These guys love the Apple technologies because like me, they appreciates the exquisite Apple-branded quality that a few other companies can achieve and need to point out at any given opportunities how great Apple products are. And there is Asymco, a financial blogger who closely follow the mobile phone industry, but the author too holds a favorable view of Apple.
Whether Apple is awesome or not is a subject of an eternal debate. But let this be said, “if the information that immerses me is always agreeable to my opinion, then I am sure stuck in the distortion field.” So in short, I do live in the distortion field.
Truth to be sold. It’s difficult to break out of this distortion field, especially if it means something I have believed in get taken down and thrown out. Ha. I can’t believe I just admit that liking Apple is part of my belief system, but it is indeed. Everyday I find new ways to interact with my computer and everyday there is something new to discover in my Macbook Pro or iPhone.
For the above reason, I have been trying to break away from the influence of cult. I have been finding website more of a leaning away from Apple. One thing I find is that because Apple, or the idea and philosophy of this company, has such a devoted and opinionated following, it provokes an equally persistent and convicted opposition. The few websites I visit seem to build sound argument that is unfavourable to Apple’s business model/products, and I find myself naturally trying hard to provide an counter-argument in defence of Apple. lol. And when it comes down to it, there is very little room for middle ground. Either you side with us, or you are with them.
That is the challenge. When the whole world is split on whether something is white or black, it is so much easier to make a choice and move on. But something inside me stirs easily at the thought of succumbing to the dichotomy and I think there is a middle ground where I can understand the views at each extreme are motivated and through which I can examine and validate my own thoughts.
If observing the technology market for the last 2 years have taught me anything, it is that sensational death claim about a company or a product is almost always ignorant. I don’t want to make claims that would leave me feeling like an idiot a month later.
Still though, when I see Mike Lazaridis, Co-CEO of RIM, gibber an answer when asked a very straightforward question at “D Dive into Mobile” conference, a question that IMO critically concerns the viability of their existing business model, it makes me worry.
D: At the the moment, Blackberry is running on your Blackberry OS6, PlayBook is running on QNX. Is this platform going to be migrated to Blackberry?
Lazzardis: what QNX is going to embody for us is the our move into multicore platforms. This is where [RIM] sees the future [of mobile computing] going.. (then he blabbers on something that is totally unrelated to the question)
D: (cutting him off) To be blunt, there is a growing consensus out there that blackberry is looking old against other mobile platform. So when will this new QNX OS, which appears to be much richer, get into the Blackberry?
Lazzardis: The QNX OS is what we are targeting in the multi-core systems. We are looking at a lot of multi-core product, including smartphones. (Paraphrase - Blackberry is selling well globally where the systems are still predominantly 2G and 2.5G)
Wow. It is really awkward to watch him dodge such a simple question. And why is he going back to multi-core system/platform. It’s almost like he forgot what RIM really tells. And it’s alarming to hear that what he is essentially telling us is that “we think we will stop innovating on our current blackberry platform for a little while because it sells like hotcakes (globally) anyway, and let’s switch over to the development of this multicore mobile platform that will make everything wonderful, except we have not released a single product with this yet”.
It sounds like a risky strategy, much like what my old company Nortel was trying to achieve - the let’s merrily build an awesome platform so that we can yank the hearts out of all our existing products and replace it with this awesome platform. And because we are so good at integrating our products to this new platform. All our customer will jump back onboard. YES, it’s a valid thinking; in fact, it’s the engineers’ way to build everything.
There is one problem though in this context: while you turn you eyes away from the competition and spend time building this huge engine to fuel your future tablets and smartphone, your competitors are releasing phones (a product, not just a platform) that deliver the same user experience, and guess what is going to happen. They are going to pry users out of your cold hands.
Just a final note: As much as RIM hates to admit, it is a company who is in the business of selling phones. So if the company stops innovating to compete against your rivals (even for a little while), it’s going to hurt, ALOT!
How do I love thee? I love thee with serotonin produced by my raphe Nuclei. I love thee with testosterone receptors deep in my hypothalamus. I love thee with dopamine that floods my primitive lizard brain. Actually, I hope I love my wife with all my major brain parts — but who knows? The truth is, I don’t know how I love her. That’s the whole point of today’s experiment. We’ll see.
In a photo shoot I did for my friend the other day, we have to work with some pretty crappy weather condition. The mid december rain was pouring down and the sky is dark, and yet that did not deter us to take the photo shoot outside.
What he was looking for is an action shot in the outdoor. He would run across the frame from left to right, and in the middle of the photo is where I will capture him in motion.
So from the first shot, it becomes immediately obvious that the sky is terribly dark. There is not enough light to freeze him in motion. And in addition, light is really flat and fails to separate him from background. Not everything is bad about this photo though - the background displays great contrast and depth thanks to the well-lit stadium that is behind the glass. Also the window pane provides a structure to the photo.
Still, there is the challenge in bringing out the runner to the foreground. I decided to take a crack using an external flash.
Ouch! As always, the flash seems to do way too much. First of all, the huge reflection of my flash was a total distraction and has effectively ruined the photo. The flash also brought out the plants into the foreground by boosting the green; also not a desirable result. And overall, there is this very uneven lighting in which the light intensity in the middle is way too high and the light falls off way too fast toward the edge away from the center. Well, all is not lost in this photo. Let’s see in this photo.
The subject is pretty solidly captured. I shot this photo with flash fired with TTL-on and with the setting 1/50s @ f/3.5. At this shutter speed, the flash was able to freeze him at beginning 1/200s of the shutter time and and the camera records the motion blur for remainder of the exposure.
At the post-processing stage, having recognized that the the desirable foreground and the background can be achieved in separate photos, it is natural to composite the two photos together.
So in Photoshop I throw the second photo with flash on on top of another photo that is very similar to the first, but without the runner. I align the two layers and mask out everything but the runner and his reflection from the second photo. And do a little tone matching, i.e. adjust brightness, between the background and the runner.
There has been a lot of unfavourable speculation on the future healthy of RIM’s business. Most of these speculation are based on shallow and superficial understanding of the fast changing technology markets. The author, a former executive in the top firm, applies a different approach where he examines the trends behind the financial number and proposes his own hypothesis on how RIM is doing. A great read.
It surprises me that in the midst of media hoopla about the wikileak website, the media decides to focus more on where the website is hosted instead of the motivation behind Wikileak’s controversial dump.
This article acts as a window into the mind of its founder, Julian Assange, and attempts to explains the reason behind his recent leaks. An excellent read.