Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Still Remember These Tech Items?

Things come and go; the new replaces the old. This trend is so prevalent, and it’s just but normal. There will come a time when something else will turn another outdated. Simply, it’s how things are supposed to be. Especially now in the digital age, technology revamps itself in just a blink of an eye. Take the iPhone 5 for example; it just seems like some time when it was released, but now, it was already discontinued and replaced by its successors, the 5S and the 5C. If you are to take a look back, you’ll realize that this wasn’t the case in the past. Back then, things seem to last for quite a long time, and these are just some of the old-school technologies that became a mainstay in our lives.


A typewriter is once an author’s best friend. The mere simplicity of the contraption makes it seem like an empty vessel for ideas and inspiration to come around. However, ever since computers came into the picture with their keyboards, the limelight was stolen from the renowned typewriters. But they are still quite fun to collect though.

Floppy Disks.

Now, there’s cloud, but before that, there were external hard drives, SD cards, CDs, and not to mention, floppy disks. Back in the days, I remember that we were required to secure our own floppy disk drive to save our works on computer class. Just place the sticker to the label, write your name on it, and you’re done. Whatever you’re working on will be stored in that thin plastic material. But as it turns out, people yearned for something smaller that can contain more data, and so the floppy disk slowly lost its luster.

Polaroid Camera.

I still recall that I always wanted to have a Polaroid camera, but it never have come true. I always wanted to have a device that can do everything from the actual snapping of the photo, developing, and ultimately, to the printing of an instant picture in just a matter of seconds. Although it had reigned as a mainstay gadget for almost 50 years, I never had a chance to get one of those.

Cassette players and tapes.

Before CDs encroached the music industry, cassette tapes were the preferred medium to store music. The quality of music then was good enough; you get to hear everything unadulterated. But now, it’s all about the digital enhancements and whatnot. Ah, it’s nice to recall the good times.


With the ubiquitous smartphones being the essential devices of the century, it’s such a wonder why other people still hang on to beepers. Before, pagers are thought to be seen as a status symbol. If you have one, you’re probably a super important person like surgeon or a CEO. As of now, there are still a number of people who carry a beeper with them to stay connected to the world wherever they are.

Technology is really something, eh? Now, what’s in your hands may be the best in the world, and tomorrow, it will just be an old, useless piece of plastic and metal. Well, we have to face it; life and all that has to do with it is already fast-paced. Though sometimes, it’s fun to look back and be reminded of the technologies that we all loved for old times’ sake.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Lesson Worth Pondering from the Downfall of Nokia

It’s so unfortunate that the children that we will soon have will never get a chance to know about the largest mobile phone company that dominated the world in the beginning of the 21st century. Today, Nokia is nothing more than a name hoping to redeem itself in a completely different niche. It will no longer be a gold standard in the industry where it found its greatest success and repute. In a nutshell, it’s back to square one for Nokia.

Given the tremendous extent of failure suffered by Nokia, most of us find it worth the time and effort to belabor ourselves in finding out what went wrong with the once mighty tech giant. How did it end up on the bottom of its known forte? Let’s take a step back and take a look at the details.

 Back in 2007, Nokia’s share in the smartphone market comprised of more than 50% in the worldwide figures, but just a few weeks in the past, it had sold its mobile phone division to Microsoft to prevent further losses. As it turns out, Nokia had emerged the winner from the sale. It gained the much needed resources in starting anew, said one credit rating agency. With the money it has made, it can use it as a starting capital to start making radical choices in refocusing its business.

Petri Rouvinen, a researcher at the economic think tank ETLA, said, “They had become arrogant at Nokia, and as a result, they were too slow to react to changes in the world and around them”. Nokia had grown to being a global leader in the mobile phone innovation too swiftly that the people running the company became too complacent with the success they achieved; as a result, they weren’t able to maintain nor improve the company’s laudable triumph. As they say, “Easy come, easy go.” To be conscientious with success and everything about it, one must suffer back-breaking exertions just to see that it’s not easy to reach the top; hence, he will come up with more careful business decisions.

The brains behind Nokia were so much aware that the company peaked earlier than expected. It invested heavily in the smartphone technology even before wireless carriers had the capability in offering the services featured in their handheld devices. Consequently, the efforts of the company turned out frail. It was not able to sustain its much needed appeal to the general public. Mobile consumers grew tired of its devices just because it wasn’t able to match innovation with demand.

So, what do we get with all of these? The answer is timing. Apple was able to observe timing as an element to success the most. According to Rouvinen, “Since 2007, it’s no longer possible to consider telecommunications, consumer electronics, and computers as separate sectors. Now, there’s just one industry, and it’s digital.” Call it coincidence or not, but it was in that exact year when Apple first debuted its very first iPhone. And from then on, it kept the pace, making sure that it always stays within the trend and finds the right “timing” in launching one innovation after another.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Is Your Selfie Worth Posting?

To start with, I know we all have our own freedom. We do most of the things with art to have its meaning. And as we all know, art doesn’t just stop there. Art is being established if we evoke questions to people who see the art. The viewers are the critics. They may find it pretty or pretty odd, but I guess the trite “Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder” should be “Beauty lies in the hand of who created it.” After all, why would you even make something that does no good at all?

And as we have freedom, we also have limitations. In this digital age, it’s no longer news for one to be inclined in social networking sites. Some even have multiple social accounts that they maintain each and every day—talk about addictiveness. To keep it alive, they post almost anything interesting that happens or could happen to them. And these are life events that could be expressed via pictures, videos, or statuses. But now, let the photos be the topic.

Most of us—if not all—are relying more on their smartphones rather than real cameras for snagging out photos since they are outright handy. Plus, a lot of people today are now carrying phones that come with a whopping number of megapixels that can be associated with apps to perfect the snapshot. Who wouldn’t use them? It’s handy and now even better. They even call their selves a “Phoneographer”, and maybe you don’t even know that you belong in that circle as well. They might not be a professional one, but with the help of the right tools, they can have one of the priceless photos that are worth keeping on a frame and the memory lane—and yes, worth posting on their social sites. But the question is: is your selfie worth posting?

Check out these few tips for great selfies:

#1: Don’t Choose a Background with a Bad Lighting

Bad Lighting
Seriously, could you even see yourself in the picture? Where is the subject, is it the dark background or… is that you in… somewhere there? We take picture so we have something to look after; not to spend time thinking of who was in the picture or is it just a silhouette of, at worse, a ghost. Remember, lighting can make or break a picture. It’s better to avoid using the LED flash of your camera phone and just use soft lighting. Or sometimes, people snag a selfie with a light source behind them. Find a better lighting if you don’t want to appear washed out by your background.

#2: Hasn’t Anyone Shot the Duckface?

Duck FaceIn blogosphere, this is one of the things netizens despise. Stop pulling out a Duckface or they’ll definitely shoot you with bashing. Haters gonna hate? Yeah, they’ll hate you forever. For some reasons, this pouty mouth craze seems to never get old. A lot of people are looking forward to its forgetfulness, though. Why not just snag a selfie with a decent smile and show your pearls to brighten up one’s day?

#3: The Bathroom-slash-Photobooth

And thank you for that non-duckface smile. We really appreciate it. Nice lighting as well, by the way. We could clearly see the one peeing behind you. Once and for all, cut out the bathroom photobooths. Don’t make the world your whole photobooth either. Not to say that you shouldn’t take a picture at all, but it definitely won’t hurt to find a nice place where you could take a shot of your selfie—before anyone shoots you. Or you could at least edit and crop the background. Just do with it what you will, provided that you have considered every detail of the background.

There exists a word photo-holic—and that I can’t deny. But before you connect your USB data cable to your phone and start uploading, check each photo first so you won’t be embarrassed in the long run. And I’m sure you can garner more likes than hates with that. Have a happy selfie!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Kit Yourself Out on a Budget with these Smartphone Apps

Have you experienced a situation where in you almost popped your eyes out because of the list of expenses blaring because of your phone bill? And I just hope you were not shaking as you pull yourself together just to have each penny paid.

But in this digital life, it is but important for one person to utilize their personal smartphones in order to accomplish day-to-day tasks. As we all know—and perhaps we all claim—smartphones have become one of our necessities. Who wouldn’t consider these nifty gadgets as needs? Talk about what they can do; they do not just serve as means of being socially connected, we can even use them to replace household items if we associate them with the right tools.

Now, going back to cell phone bills, if you are finding ways to cut down your smartphone expenses, then you came to the right place. Here are some messaging apps that could help you kit yourself out on a budget to prevent the eye-widening, heart-shattering cell phone bills:

#1: Google Hangouts

If you think that Google Hangouts would only be available to Android phones, then think again. Google Hangouts is also available to that of iOS devices, too. If you have your Gmail account already with you, then you can now “abuse” all the features it offers such as chatting, audio and video calling at no cost at all with its application, Google Hangouts. If you don’t have one yet; make one. Here in this app, you can have a one-on-one chat or have a group chat with your close circle with a maximum of ten people at a time.

#2: WhatsApp


If you are somewhat a person who has a FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), and are always itching to know what’s up with your friends, then you can get in touch with them by asking “what’s up?” with the use of WhatsApp! Unlike Twitter, you don’t have to mention your friend just to initiate a conversation. Just kick off a chat with them directly through the app and get those fingers busy. You can even use it as your default text messaging app in case you are miffed with the idea of switching from a messaging app to another.

#3: Skype

Who else haven’t heard of Skype? It has been crazed about since it first rolled in the online world. Webcam application for video chatting was well used that time. That’s why people couldn’t get enough of it now that it already rolls as a mobile app to their handheld devices. As what a Skype can do on desktops, it allows us to chat, make an audio and video call, and send files all for free so long as we are connected to Wi-Fi.

#4: Hike

Another app that could slash your phone costs is Hike. Don’t worry; I assure you that there won’t be a price hike. Hah! Now, like what the previous apps offer, you can chat and call your circle of friends with this neat app all for free. And if your friend couldn’t connect to the internet or is offline, you can message your friend as a free SMS so they could still get in touched with you.

Well, I guess you won’t need much your iPhone wallet or any phone wallet with these apps after all. Hah! Now, you could just chat with all your heart’s content without having mini-heart attacks with your bills. Happy chatting!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Phonebloks’s Dave Hakkens Becomes a Team Player for Motorola’s Project Ara

Innovation is the thing that stirs up the smartphone market. It keeps consumers interested about the product, which keeps the market alive. And because innovation is key, each smartphone manufacturer tries to integrate their products with feature after feature that has a wow factor for the people to look forward to.

Through the years, a smartphone war has been going on, determining which company can outsell the other. With exceptional creativity and vigorous effort, Apple and Samsung have emerged the greatest in their chosen niche. They make sure that they never stop developing their products in order to carry on with the tradition of releasing an innovative item AT LEAST once a year. Due to this trend, people have prostrated themselves to annual upgrades and mindless spending that ultimately lead to wasteful consumption.

Just a month ago, a concept was initiated by Dave Hakkens in the name of Phonebloks. Its vision is all about having a phone worth keeping. It already has garnered over a million views after being uploaded for after the first 24 hours. It just proves that people have seen the potential of his concept and are completely backing up its developments. In fact, the goal of Hakkens is to create a voice that explicitly shows interest to the concept by spreading the word and getting an X number of supporters, which it had exceedingly accomplished. That is simply the idea. Thereafter, it’s up to the companies to collaborate with the project.

As said, the target was met, but what’s next? Notwithstanding the myriad of people who support the concept, if no one will work on it for it to materialize, nothing is going to happen. As it turns out, Google’s Motorola has already been working on this unorthodox modular-concept phone powered by various replaceable parts. However, the company lacked the audacity to publicize its initiative not until the Phonebloks concept has gone viral. Motorola had its inhibitions about the to-be demand of this product to mobile consumers, its outward appearance once it’s put altogether, and not to mention the cost of having to customize one’s own device.

But due to the recent happenings, wherein millions have expressed their positive sentiments about the concept, Motorola got its vote of confidence to take its latest project, which is called Project Ara, to the next level. So, what the company did was to ask the assistance of Hakkens for the modular phone to come into fruition. Hakkens gladly collaborated. Coincidentally, Motorola and Hakkens have the same vision: to create a phone that is modular, open-sourced, designed to last, and made for the entire world.

However, Hakkens want to break the tradition of companies coming up with a product behind closed doors; then, just showing it to the world only once it’s already done. Hakkens wants the community to have a say on how the device is going to be. And fortunately, Motorola has committed to keep its development in the open, visible to the scrupulous eyes of everyone. This is what Hakkens visualized: to have a partnership and an open communication between the manufacturer and its consumers—where everyone has a voice. Now, this is absolutely a positive progress for the call of the people to have a “phone worth keeping.”