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All posts for the month September, 2012

App.net might look like just another social service to some. And, in fact, it currently looks very much like Twitter was when it started: It is just a lot of tech-savvy people talking freely and enthusiastically about app.net and whatever strikes their fancy: No celebrities promoting themselves, no ad-spam, no fake users, no incredibly stupid posts—although there are some stupid posts, there’s no one stupid enough to post public calls to kill government officials as one woman who has disappeared did. App.net is just a lot of signal with very low noise.

I get at least a few invites each month to join a new SoNet. The invites usually get a tossed into the trash almost immediately. Few get me to look at the site. But that’s usually it. Even if I do sign up the to site, I often let it languish and simply forget about it until they start spamming me to use their site, “log in with…” or want me to link my other SoNets to it.

Paying not to Share but Selectively Share

App.net is 180° away from ll of these sites though, because their interests align with my interests:

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So, I read earlier between juggling stuff that Dice Holdings, the company that has been nice enough to give me a soapbox, bought Slashdot and other sites that I have perused, lurked and even participated in from time to time for over a decade. I figure they did it for my upcoming birthday, cause I always wanted a few nifty sites with millions of readers. Considering my birthday isn’t for an undisclosed time coming up, I assume they wanted sufficient time to find an appropriate gift box with 802.11ad connected gigabow antenna so my sites will be blowing smoke!

Sadly, many in the tech community in these places are used to this sort of thing, and distrust any acquisitions thanks to the horrible track record many companies have in turning acquired properties into hollow shells of their former self. I myself, have been treated pretty well, and I think they are getting used to my tongue-in-cheek posts chock full of nook and crannies of both observation and LULZ. Then again, I too am getting used to fitting in their preferred format. Although my experience certainly cannot be a good gauge of what will happen, I hope the former Geeknet sites (ThinkGeek being the only marketing email I actually look forward to getting) also have a net positive experience out of this.

I know the editorial staff has their hearts in the right place, so I am guessing the executive staff does as well. (Please execu-guys&gals, do not make me eat my words…) Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go look for an appropriate thank you card…

Bluetooth’s Strangled Promise

When Bluetooth was first introduced, it promised a world of wireless freedom. We, the computing public, were told  that Bluetooth would be in everything and replace USB and other connections for low-speed data transfers and other light bandwidth demands. RS 232 connections would fade—replaced by fast, flexible BT connections. Home users would benefit from wireless printing, fast connections and more freedom.

But the computing and  mobile phone public has been slow to adopt the technology thanks to the high prices compared to wired equivalents and the added complexity of pairing and connecting devices. Many people have mobile phones but only a small fraction is technically competent enough to pair and use bluetooth. Thus, high prices are as much a reflection of the niche demand as they are device manufacturers pricing devices based on perceived value of the technology. The devices themselves cost little to manufacture, but a lot to develop the software and hardware. This price premium for an “unproven killer technology” has resulted in strangling adoption rates. Who wants to pay $200 for a stereo headset or $99 for a mono-earpiece that delivers unknown benefits when a wired headsets costs only $20? Luckily, the standard has marched on to version 4.0, which offers higher throughput and lower power consumption. Finally, Bluetooth 2.0 A2DP & HFP device prices are coming down to a level that is more in line with the basic functionality of what they do.

Pairing has also been made simpler, in hopes that people will actually use that little “B” instead of bluetooth circuits — which are usually on by default — eating up battery life, and exposing a person to snooping and bluejacking.

I myself, knew the benefits or going wireless decades ago when I got an Amateur Radio License, long before mobile phones went digital. I was just waiting for the prices to come down to a point where I could justify ridding myself of wires. That point finally arrived about 2 years ago, when I found a bluetooth earpiece for less than $70.

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