Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘iPad

Day One At The Masters

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Today’s the best day of the year!  Happy Master’s, everybody!

The Master's leaderboard on the Masters.com Website during this morning's opening round in Augusta.

I’ve had the TV blasting from the moment I woke up this morning, and I’ve minimized my conference call schedule to make sure I can pay appropriate attention to day one of the 2012 Masters’ tournament from Augusta, Georgia.

As of this writing, Martin Kaymer has jumped out to −2 after 9, while Henrik Stenson is −2 but through 3.   The course seems to be playing difficult so far, with very few red numbers thus far.

Tiger Woods just played #1 and is at even par.

The big question overnight was whether Augusta would allow for lift, clean and place (where the golfer can pick up their ball and clean off any mud, grass, etc.), but apparently it wasn’t necessary, despite the 14 inches of rain the course saw overnight on Tuesday.

Now, to your viewing options: This year, I’m keeping tuned into the Masters iPad application that IBM helped build for the tournament.  It includes a nice top-shelf interface that includes a leaderboard, livestreaming video from both featured groups and Amen Corner, and a news stream that keeps you in touch with the latest from the round.  It’s a VERY nice one stop Master’s shop.

I’m also tuning into the Golf Channel for ongoing commentary for highlights, and soon, I’ll be tuning into the AT&T U-Verse Master’s coverage, which will allow me to custom follow one of two featured groups, Amen Corner, and/or 15/16.  Nice job, AT&T!  You should promote that more!

And of course, on Masters.com, you can find everything you need to know about the tournament, including all the pairings, results, and live video coverage of Amen Corner, 15/16, and of course, pictures from today’s round.

You can also follow the hashtag #masters on Twitter, but be forewarned — it’s trending like #egypt during the Arab spring, and this is only day one!

Written by turbotodd

April 5, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Don’t Do Windows…Yet

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More Christmas analytics tidings to share.

Apps metrics provider Localytics shared a lengthy blog post earlier which suggested that plenty of good boys and girls around the globe got Apple iOS and Android devices in their stockings.

Their first hint? The number of new devices that appeared on Localytics dashboard was 12 times higher than previous weekends.

They also reported that there was some interesting geographical diversity, although the two platforms were mostly tied.

Apple took the top growth spurt for the U.S., Germany and the UK, while the ‘Droid grew the most in South Korea, Sweden, and Spain.

Source: Localytics. Among the top 20 countries for mobile devices, Localytics saw a huge increase in both Apple iOS and Android devices over the December 23 – 26 weekend compared to previous weekends since November 25. The US and Germany registered the highest growth rates for iOS, while South Korea and Sweden had the highest growth rates for Android.

I’ve believed (and even expressed) for some time this will be a largely two-horse horse race, and that Android will inevitably take victory.

But, the i-Juggernaut lingers on, both with the iPad and iPhone, and Google’s victory may not be as inevitable as it once seemed.

Of course, these are still early days, and if you’re looking for a deeper analysis of the mobile market, and also wondering why Windows Phone 7 isn’t one of those lead horses, check out Charlie Kindel’s analysis.

Having been at the scene of the Windows and OS/2 operating systems war crime, I would suggest you ought never rule Redmond out of the equation.  All About Windows Phone just posted that the new Windows Phone Marketplace has now passed the 50,000 app mark, and is generating some 256 items per day.

That means the Windows Phone App pace has picked up some serious steam in recent weeks, and I suspect many of those Windows Phone Apps could fit elegantly into the Windows Azure and overall Microsoft cloud/desktop landscape, particularly with respect to a lot of business applications.

So, the net of it all is, the iPlatform enjoys continued momentum with some nice Christmas pick-up, but Android enjoys a device diversity that should keep it gaining mobile share for some time to come.

And Windows?  Well, a lot of folks don’t do them yet on mobile devices…the key word being “yet.”

Vacation Over, Or Getting Over Vacation

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Well, I’m back from vacation, and (mostly) no worse for the wear.  Ironic though it may be, I went from being somewhat Internet challenged to extremely Internet challenged when I returned home to Austin last evening.

I’ve been using AT&T U-Verse for the better part of this year for my Internet, phone, and digital cable access, and have had little-to-no issues (as opposed to frequent outages Time Warner Internet, my prior provider)…that is, until arriving home, when I discovered I’d been completely cut off from the world.  This, just as I was trying to get back into the saddle and catch up on the voluminous emails that had streamed into my in-box the past week.

After an hour of troubleshooting, I finally found a support number to call, and helpful though the AT&T support rep was on the other end of the line (my iPhone line, that is…remembering my landline no longer worked!), she couldn’t get me up and running.

Fortunately, they were able to get an AT&T truck roll to my house this morning, and I was back up and running in no time.

Thanks a million, AT&T.  I know people like to give you a hard time, but you moved as quickly as could reasonably be expected, and I very much appreciated the quick response, considering that otherwise I was going to be dead in the water my first day back in the home office.

Lots happened in the past few days on the IBM front, so I’ll be playing some blogging catchup.  But I did want to highlight one piece of news that came through during my absence: On Wednesday, IBM unveiled seven new social networking and collaboration mobile apps designed to address enterprise-class requirements.

The new software is available for download from the most popular app stores, and takes IBM social networking, real-time collaboration, and online meeting capabilities from behind the company firewall and into the hands of tablet users.

The new offerings span the widest range of tablets, including the iPad, and allow employees to more effectively collaborate and share data, images, and conduct meetings more securely as part of their everyday work experience.

The business card feature allows an IBM Sametime user to launch an announcement or chat to an individual or group using an iPad.

Here’s the rundown:

  • Social networking for iPad: Available from the Apple app store at no charge for existing IBM Connections users, the new app includes a new interface ideal for tablet devices allowing for unique document editing capabilities.
  • Attend Online Meetings: Employees can attend on-line meetings from their tablets anytime, anyplace. Available on Android, BlackBerry, iPad, and iPhone devices, LotusLive Meeting users can view shared presentations, chat with meeting participants, and virtually raise and lower hands from tablets and other mobile devices. IBM Sametime software users can also lead, participate in and manage browser-based meetings from their iPad or Android tablets.
  • Instant messaging: New mobile apps for iPad and Android enable IBM Sametime users to use tablets to take immediate action on urgent business tasks by providing one-on-one or group instant messaging, background notifications, and the ability to send photos through the chat window.
  • Access business documents: Available now in the Android Marketplace, IBM Lotus Symphony Viewers allow users to view any ODF-based document, spreadsheet and presentation on their Android devices. The viewers will be available for other devices soon.
  • Reduce calling costs: IBM Sametime Unified Telephony on tablets allows a user to initiate calls to whatever phone happens to be nearby by controlling call routing preferences and device selection as well as have his one unified number appear in caller ID.
  • Easier access to mail and calendar: IBM Lotus Notes Traveler now allows IBM mail users to easily add widgets to their Android home screens for quick, convenient access to mail and calendar, and allows users to call people listed in their calendar views with just one click.

According to IDC France, the tablet market is forecast to reach over 4.1 million in 2012, representing a 48% growth compared to 2011. A recent IBM study revealed that 73 percent of business leaders surveyed currently allow mobile devices or tablets to connect to their corporate networks.

IBM is also advancing the use of business analytics by delivering expanded native mobile device support with IBM Cognos Mobile on the iPad. Available to try out in Apple’s iTunes store, the software enables mobile workers to take their business analytics on the road whether offline or online, allowing for uninterrupted productivity.

Speaking of productivity, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to trimming down my burgeoning post-vacation in-box!

Information On Demand 2011 Breaking News: IBM Accelerates Big Data Analytics

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Today, here at Information On Demand 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada, IBM unveiled new software that brings the power of managing and analyzing big data to the workplace.

Whether in the office or on the road, employees can now gain actionable insight anytime, anywhere from the broadest range of data and put it to work in real-time.

IBM Senior VP Steve Mills explains the "why" of business analytics at today's press conference here at Information On Demand 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The new offerings span a wide variety of big data and business analytics technologies across multiple platforms from mobile devices to the data center to IBM’s SmartCloud.

Now employees from any department inside an organization can explore unstructured data such as Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, weather data, log files, genomic data and video, and make sense of it on the fly as part of their everyday work experience.

With today’s news, IBM is placing the power of mobile analytics into the hands of iPad users with a free software download at Apple’s iTunes Store. The new software is designed to help employees in key industries such as financial services, healthcare, government, communications, retail, and travel and transportation use and benefit from business analytics on the go.

Organizations of all sizes are struggling to keep up with the rate and pace of big data and use it in a meaningful way to improve products, services, or the customer experience. 

Every day, people create the equivalent of 2.5 quintillion bytes of data from sensors, mobile devices, online transactions, and social networks; so much that 90 percent of the world’s data has been generated in the past two years.

Every month people send one billion Tweets and post 30 billion messages on Facebook. Meanwhile, more than 1 trillion mobile devices are in use today and mobile commerce is expected to reach $31 billion by 2016.

A 2010 IBM/MIT Sloan Management Review survey of 3,000 executives across 30 industries from 100 countries reveals that 60 percent of respondents said they have more data than they can effectively use.

A new IBM study of 1,700 chief marketing officers from 19 industries and 64 countries further exposes this issue with 71 percent saying their organizations are unprepared to handle the explosion of big data. 

To address these challenges, IBM is delivering new analytics and information management offerings, and skills resources to make it easier to explore and capitalize on big data:

  •  New Hadoop-based analytics software on the cloud that can be up and running in less than 30 minutes.  The new software helps employees tap into massive amounts of unstructured data from a variety of sources including social networks, mobile devices and sensors.
  • New mobile analytics software for iPad users that makes it easy to explore any type of data on the go with location-aware analytics. Clients can download the free app here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ibm-cognos-mobile/id455326089?mt=8
  • New predictive analytics software with a mapping feature that can be used across industries for marketing campaigns, retail store allocation, crime prevention, and academic assessment.
  • New software that sifts through all types of data behind the scenes and ranks its quality, makes it secure, and ensures business decisions are based on trusted data.

Big Data Analytics On The Cloud

IBM InfoSphere BigInsights on the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise makes big data analytics accessible for any user inside an organization.

Like the on-premise version, BigInsights on the cloud analyzes traditional structured data found in databases along with unstructured data — such as text, video, audio, images, social media, click streams, log files, weather data — allowing decision makers to act on it quickly. Bringing big data analytics to the cloud means clients can capture and analyze any data without the need for Hadoop skills, or having to install, run, or maintain hardware and software.

BigInsights on the cloud is available in both basic and enterprise editions with the options of public, private and hybrid cloud deployments. The basic edition is an entry-level offering available at no-charge that helps organizations learn how to do big data analytics including “what-if” scenarios with its BigSheets component.

Clients can seamlessly move to the enterprise edition when ready and set up Hadoop clusters in under 30 minutes to start analyzing data with low usage rates starting at $0.60 (US) per cluster, per hour. Both versions include a developer sandbox where clients can develop a new generation of business analytics applications complete with tools and a test and development environment.

Today, market leaders in banking, insurance, retail, communications and digital entertainment are using BigInsights on the cloud to analyze massive amounts of unstructured data.

These clients are analyzing data flowing from social networks, sensors, mobile devices, log files, and voice and video systems to understand consumer sentiment, make computing networks and smart grids more secure, and create new customer experience programs.

IT professionals and students looking to build Hadoop skills can take advantage of IBM’s BigDataUniversity.com, a new web site where users can learn the basics of Hadoop, stream computing, open source software development, and database management techniques to prepare for careers as Data Scientists.

The site includes hundreds of easy-to-use tutorials, videos, and coding exercises geared to build Hadoop, BigInsights, DB2 and WebSphere skills, and many courses are free. More than 8,000  students worldwide have already registered from countries such as Brazil, Russia, China, India, Korea, and South Africa and the US.

Analytics In The Office And On The Road

IBM continues to advance business analytics for the 21st century workforce by delivering expanded mobile device support with IBM Cognos Mobile software for the iPad.

The software enables mobile workers to take their business analytics on the road whether offline or online, allowing for uninterrupted productivity. iPad users can enjoy a rich, visual business intelligence experience to analyze any data about their business including sales, customer, and financial data with reporting, dashboard and scorecards.

Cognos on iPad is designed to help employees in key industries such as financial services, healthcare, government, communications, retail, and travel and transportation use and benefit from analytics on the go.

For example, doctors and dentists can use it to analyze electronic medical records and show patients customized treatment plans and explain procedures based on that analysis; social workers can check the health and well being of children in foster homes throughout a city and update supervisors, police and courts on their status in real-time; and bankers and insurance agents can use it to analyze loan or policy data to create individual products or services for clients.

Cincinnati Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in the United States with more than 1.2 million visitors annually, uses Cognos on iPad to give management instant access, and a single view of visitor and business information to drive new revenue and improve member visits.

The flexibility of mobile business analytics allows managers to bring together sales and attendance data on their iPads from wherever they are inside the park to track purchase patterns and adjust marketing spend based on that information. Using Cognos software, the Zoo has increased in-park spending by 25 percent this year.

IBM Puts Predictive Analytics On The Map 

With today’s news, IBM is delivering new software that allows organizations to gain predictive intelligence on geographic data. Organizations can use the software to understand data, analyze trends, forecast, plan and validate assumptions to drive accurate conclusions.

SPSS Statistics 20.0 software includes a new mapping feature that gives users the ability to add a geographic dimension to analysis and reporting, and allows users to target, forecast, and plan by geographical areas.

This mapping feature can be used across industries to analyze data and create statistics for marketing campaign effectiveness, store allocation decisions in retail, to detect crime hot spots, and for student test score assessments. The software comes with views of the United States, countries, continents, and prebuilt map templates where users can quickly populate them with data including geospatial information from ESRI files.

Healthcare organizations can use the new software to visually pinpoint areas of high accident or illness rates, or identify differences in care across different regions of a state or country.

Government employees can analyze past and present census data by city block or in dense county populations, and identify high crime areas to allocate more law enforcement, or update tax and zoning changes. Direct marketers can locate their most profitable customer base and store locations to allocate advertising resources, and academia can use it to concentrate recruiting and alumni efforts geographically.

The scene from this morning's press conference at IBM Information On Demand 2011 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada.

New Software Speeds Governance of Big Data

Big data analytics can be a competitive advantage, however, the quality of the analysis is only as good as the data it’s fed, and the data itself has to be available to those who can use it.

IBM is the only vendor with a market-leading information integration and governance platform for big data that ensures only trusted information is delivered to business users and applications across the enterprise.

New IBM InfoSphere Information Server 8.7 software enables integration with Big Data as both a source and a target for information integration. The proven performance and parallel engine of Information Server provides the massive scalability required for big data. Also new in this release is a next generation connector to Netezza, built for balanced optimization and high performance, and packaged specifically for Netezza implementations, and an operations console to view system usage across all integration jobs, to improve productivity of integration projects.

New IBM InfoSphere Master Data Management 10 software unifies IBM’s market leading MDM capabilities into a single product that handles any MDM requirement. New features include integration with Business Process Management software for MDM-centric business processes, greater connectivity to consuming applications via adaptable service interfaces, and a shared matching engine that maintains the single version of the truth. MDM technology improves the outcome of Big Data analytics by providing a better understanding of customers, products, suppliers, employees and accounts for further analysis.

Clients Turn To IBM To Analyze Big Data 

With today news, IBM also announced that hundreds of new clients are turning to IBM to gain actionable insight on the broadest range of big data.

Whether it’s collecting data to manage the placement of windfarms, gauge customer sentiment on social media sites, or predict potentially fatal infections in hospitals, IBM is helping clients across every industry to put their data to work.

Clients such as Hertz, Beacon Institute, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Marine Institute Ireland, Technovated, [x+1], TerraEchos, University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Uppsala University are using IBM analytics technologies to address the growing volume, velocity and variety of big data, and use it to make decisions that are transforming their industries.

Additional examples include:

  • Danish energy company Vestas Wind Systems is using IBM’s big data software to analyze petabytes of weather data to improve wind turbine placement for optimal energy output. Analysis that used to take weeks can now be done in under one hour.
  • XO Communications has reduced its customer churn rates by nearly 50 percent using IBM SPSS predictive analytics software. The company can predict customer behaviors, spot trends, and identify those likely to switch to another carrier, allowing them to take steps to keep their most valuable customers.
  • [x+1], an end-to-end digital marketing platform provider, is helping their clients realize a 20 percent growth in digital sales by analyzing massive volumes of advertising data in real-time using IBM Netezza technology.
  • Worldwide advertising agency Ogilvy is using IBM’s analytics software for the iPad to help employees assign resources, track utilization rates, and identify new revenue opportunities on the fly.

To read about more clients that are tackling big data challenges with IBM analytics technologies, download the new IBM Big Data Book at http://www.ibm.com/bigdata.

Follow breaking news from Information On Demand 2011 on Twitter at #iod11.

Old New Toys

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I’ve been following this whole HP TouchPad fire sale with much amusement.

I stopped by my friendly Best Buy late last week to take a stroll and try to avoid temptation (it’s a willpower thing) to buy something, anything.

The HP TouchPads were sitting on their pedestal at the end of aisle, all lonely and glancing wantonly over the aisle at the iPad 2s, which had actual humans picking them up and playing with them.

The whole thing reminded me of “Toy Story 3,” where the old toys never get played with by the kids.  Only in this saga, the old toys were the new toys, and the new toys old, and it was the old new toys getting played with and not the new old toys!

Then, HP announces its decision that it’s going to sell of its PC unit (Wait a minute, didn’t we do that back in 2005??), and lowers the price on the HP TouchPad –- a liquidation event of the HP Way kind –- offering up 16GB TouchPads for a bargain basement $99!!

So, then the market, with complete rational unrationality, goes nutso, and the next thing you know, HP TouchPads are selling on eBay for upwards of $300!

Mon dieu, I love this industry.  And people wonder why I’ve stuck around here for 20 years?  It’s never a dull moment!

Although I have to say, I’m not completely in love with the fact that HP’s leaving the PC biz.

I bought one of their computers last year.  I’m an equal opportunity PC purchaser.  I own an Acer netbook, a MacBook and MacBook Pro, an IBM ThinkPad, the HP Pavilion, and this Dell Latitude that I’ve been using recently and am really digging.

I bought the HP ‘cause I loved the keyboard – it felt just like the MacBook keyboard, only without the MacBook price.  Hey, when you write a lot, keyboards matter.

I think I got the HP Pavilion at Office Depot for also a good price, around $550 (with rebate).  Now I’m wondering if I can put it up for sell on eBay for $1,000, see if I can’t tap into some of that HP sentimentality!

Of course, I paid some beaucoup bucks for my first gen iPad back in April of 2010.  And I didn’t even have good reason to buy the thing – I just gave in to temptation.  But after over a year’s use now, and having traveled the globe with the thing, I have to say, I’m a pretty happy iPad camper.

I’ve used it for everything from reading books and magazines and newspapers online (my primary use), to playing video games, to watching Netflix, to writing blog posts.  Tablet computing’s time has come, although if you forced me to admit it, I’d explain that I really do miss the mouse while using an iPad.

Someone still needs to build the better mouse for tablets!

In the meantime, I’m going to share soon the fruits of another new technology experience I’ve had, that of working with Nuance’s Dragon Dictation 11 software.

People have worried me for years about the day I would start talking to my computer.  I’m here to tell you, that day has come — and it’s not pretty.

The moment it starts talking back, I’ll know I’m in trouble.

Written by turbotodd

August 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm

The Mouseless, Keyboardless Tablet

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With the holiday lull rapidly approaching, it’s time to visit some of those technology issues that have either been backburnered or pushed to the side in favor of more pressing tidings.

First on the agenda is the whole tablet v. laptop debate.

My take is, the whole thing’s a non-starter.  There is no debate.

Call me old-fashioned, but I like typing on a keyboard.  The real deal, physical keyboard.

Way back, it was those old clackety-clack IBM keyboards that you could hear and feel the letters being impressed.

Before that, it was my first Compaq luggable.

And before that, it was an old-timey Remington Rand portable. On those, if you didn’t hit the key with a good, committed stroke, nothing appeared on the paper.

Paper, the young whippersnappers ask?  What’s paper?

That’s the stuff we used to write to one another on before there were iPhones.

Of course, I have an iPad.  I’m an early adopter, curmudgeon though I can be.

And you’ll have to pry my cold, dead hands away from my iPad.  I love the thing.  It’s a true Renaissance device.

I use it now for a variety of things.

I play NFL Madden 11 on it (which I bought on sale for $.99 at the Apple store the other day!).  I also play Angry Birds along with the rest of Western Civilization.)

I read and respond to emails.  I surf the Interwebs.  I chat with people.

I make Skype calls on it.  I watch Netflix.  I read The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

I check and update my calendar.  I download and read PDFs.

I even use it to blog on occasion.  But typically only when my Apple wireless keyboard is nearby.

Maybe I’m too tactile for my own good.

I’ve tried using the Apple virtual keyboard (the “software”keyboard included with the iPad).  It’s fine for a quick two-line email.

It’s useless when I’m trying to write a long blog post.  My brain can’t seem to reach through my fingers into that glass surface.  The keystrokes just can’t find their way back into the blog post.

I don’t know how to explain it.  It’s a tactile thing.

I’ve also found the iPad useless for doing some of my basic everyday work, like building presentations and updating documents.

It’s not that the iPad couldn’t do it.  But when I try, I miss my mouse too much.

I find myself reaching for a mouse that’s not there, to do something on my iPad that I can’t do.

And why shouldn’t it be that way? I’ve been using a mouse for 20-something years!  It’s like an extension of my person.

And then suddenly, you want me to do real, productive work without a real keyboard and a mouse?

You might as well tell me to try and hit a 325-yard drive with my Odyssey putter!

I will say this: I recently discovered a phenomenal and simple word processing application for the iPad.

It’s called, simply, “Writer.”

It cost me $5 on the iApp store in iTunes.

In Writer, you can’t change the fonts.  You can’t do any bold or italicizing.  There are no windows or drop down menus.

You can work in one document at a time, and then save your work up into the Google Docs cloud. And it works beautifully with the Apple wireless keyboard.

It’s kind of like working back in Wordperfect 5.1 for DOS (which you’ll remember from a previous post, was my favorite software application of all time).

Because ultimately, the “Writer” application lets you focus on the one thing you need it most to do: To write.

Imagine that, a software application that lets you focus on the thing it was originally written for.

Now, if I can just keep from switching back and forth between it and Angry Birds I might actually get some real work done.

Blogger’s Note: Turbo’s taking some time off through early January to visit with friends and family, and to generally catch his breath.  He reserves the right in his holiday solace to blog as frequently or as little as his boredom and inspiration demands.

Written by turbotodd

December 22, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Flying Pigs, Hotel Room Tigers, And IOD 2010 Useful Resources

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I was joking this morning that there are little flying pigs flying across the Austin skyline this morning.

Cute little flying ballerina pigs, with tu-tu’s and all, flying right in front of the Austin downtown skyline.

I say that because of the situation in the American league of Major League Baseball: It’s mid-October, and the Texas Rangers, who have never made it past a division series, much less showed up at a league championship series, are 3-1 against the New York Yankees, the best baseball team that money can buy (you heard me), two of the last three games of which were won in the Bronx.

Mind you, any other time I’d be rooting for the Yankees.  But not this year.  Not when the Texas Rangers actually got their act together and took it on the road.

Game 5 is today, in the Bronx, and it’s the Yankees last chance.  I wish them well.

I also wish I had my act together for the Information on Demand event starting this Sunday in Vegas.

I’ve been studying up, reading through the conference materials and briefing books, as I have the bandwidth. But quite frankly, it’s a whole bunch of stuff to get one’s head around, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

So, I share your pain, but help is on its way.  In this blog post, I’m going to attempt to point you to a few tidbits I’ve found very helpful thus far, and expect to prove helpful on the ground in Vegas.

  1. The IBM Information on Demand 2010 Conference Website — All roads lead back to this Rome.  Or all roads leave Vegas and go to Rome.  Or something like that.  Anyway, start here, especially if you’re lost.
  2. The IBM Information on Demand 2010 Smart Site — This is the Website where you keep your schedule, and, hopefully, your sanity.  For registered attendees only. (Mobile version here).
  3. The IBM Information on Demand 2010 Conference Guide — Look, even Columbus had a map.  Well, for at least some of the way.  If you’re a man like me, this guide will take you are.   Not as far as Columbus, but at least through most of the Mandalay Bay.
  4. The IBM Information on Demand 2010 Agenda — Everybody needs an executive summary.  Life’s too short.  In fact, what are you doing reading this blog post, anyways? Okay, if you must. This is a top line “Agenda at a Glance.”  Be brief.
  5. The IBM Information on Demand Social Media Aggregator — This is a shameless plug to make sure you’re monitoring the firehose of information I’ll be contributing to the event. Me and a few thousand of my closest friends and colleagues. Consider this to be the downright virtual soul of IOD 2010.  You can’t be there in person?  Be there in spirit!  It’s all about your information management, soul, baby!  It’s Vegas. Get in the groove!…Okay, wait a minute, now, who took my velvet Elvis painting?!?
  6. IBM Information on Demand 2010 Pre-Conference Classes — My momma always told me, education is the one thing that nobody can ever take away from you.  Of course, that didn’t stop a bunch of punks from stealing my Ho-Ho’s on the playground during recess, but I digress.  These Sunday classes are intended to help you get your IOD experience off to a vigorous start and to keep you out of the casinos. Well, not completely out, because you have to sleep somewhere.  But…oh, go on, just get to class before I take your lunch money.
  7. IBM Information on Demand 2010 NetworkingIt’s okay, you don’t have to make any excuses.  We know this is really why you take a week off work, fly a couple thousand miles, and stay locked inside the Mandalay Bay biosphere day and night: To hang out and meet info management professionals from around the globe and to talk ACID (the DBMS rules, not the stuff from “Fear and Loathing”). For the Cognos-scenti, you have your own slate of networking, but be sure to mix it up with everybody — that’s why we invited you!

Okay.  Well, that’s about as comprehensive a list as I can find for now.  For “Lost and Found,” you’re entirely on your own.

I will say that this year, I, personally, plan on taking all those PDF files (the conference guide, the Expo guide, etc.), dropping them into Dropbox, and having them as resources available via the GoodReader app on my iPad.

So long as my iPad battery stays alive, I’ll never get lost at the Mandalay Bay again!

Finally…and I really don’t want to have to say this one twice…it is NOT NOT NOT appropriate to drug the tiger with “roofies” should you find said tiger in your bathroom after a long night of information management professional networking.

I know it’s tempting, but tigers get hangovers, too, and Mike Tyson ought not be anywhere near the scene, in any case.

Instead, shut the bathroom door, call security, and wait for the animal management professionals to arrive.

You’re an information management professional.  They do tigers, you do databases.

(If you have NO clue whatsoever to what that list bit was in reference to, you need to stop going to conferences (well, all but the IBM ones) and start having more cultural experiences, starting with the movies.

Four days and counting…

Written by turbotodd

October 20, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Why I’m Digging My iPad

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Steve Jobs will be keynoting the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco later this morning.

So I figured it would be a good time to finally write that post about why exactly I’m digging my iPad, which I totally had NO need for and bought in an utter moment of weakness.

You can now listen to THAT particular explanation in a TurboTech podcast I recently recorded (MP3, 3:32) with my developerWorks amigo Scott Laningham.

And now on to the iPad.

As I mentioned in the original post “I Have A Technology Problem,” I had no real need for an iPad.  For the record, I own three Mac computers (one iMac, a MacBook, and a MacBook Pro), a Dell Latitude, an Acer netbook, and I’m sure something in there somewhere I’m forgetting.

So, the last thing I needed was another computing device.

But what I’m finding to be pleasantly surprising about the iPad (and I’m sure I’m not the first to write about this) is that it’s a different kind of technology experience.

Not unlike the feeling when I got my first Palm Pilot in 1996, the different experience is hard to explain. It certainly has something to do with how one interacts with the device — not using a physical keyboard, but instead the tablet orientation with a virtual keyboard.

The form factor itself drives a different use of the device than a laptop.  You can easily sit on the couch, kick back, and read on the device without feeling compelled to lean into the keyboard. 

And, of course, it’s very easy to pick up and carry from room to room (or to your local coffee shop, which I did over the weekend).

But it’s the various and sundry use cases I’ve found that make the use of the iPad so unique.

One of my favorite apps is The Wall Street Journal.  It’s what I always envisioned for an online newspaper experience.  On the iPad, Dow Jones has been able to combine the best of the large interface of a broadsheet newspaper (layout, headlines, pictures, etc.) with the interactive capabilities of an online experience (including easy-to-consume video).

Using the online WSJ app is extremely intuitive.  You simply tap a story on A1 if you want to move on to the full story, and once the full article appears, you simply swipe the page to move on to the next. 

If you want to go back to the main page, you swipe your thumb and forefinger towards one another, and voila, you’re back to the main page.

I’ve also found the video experience to be superb.  I recently got hooked on Showtime’s Elizabethan drama “The Tudors” via Netflix.  I watched the first season via DVD, but then realized much of the show was streamable, so I plopped into the couch recently to watch King Henry VIII’s shenanigans with Anne Boleyn et al. 

The video picture was picture perfect, and despite using headphones (I’ve found the iPad external speaker to be marginally adequate, but the volume not nearly loud enough), it was like having a mini big screen TV in my lap.

Though I don’t have a lot of time for games these days, I bought and downloaded a couple of them just to test them, including RealRacingHD and Pinball HD (I know, it’s sad…I’m downloading pinball games on this exciting new gaming platform, but hey, I was raised on pinball and Asteroids!).

RealRacingHD uses the iPad’s gyro function – the iPad itself becomes the steering wheel as you navigate your way around the race course.  Totally cool, and I can’t wait to see people’s reaction to me “driving” on an airplane.

I haven’t bought any iBooks yet, but I did download some free chapters of a book just to check out the reading experience.  It’s pretty much as I would have expected: Very easy to “browse” books in the virtual bookstore, and once downloaded, pretty simple to navigate (If you can turn the page on a real book, you can use this thing).

Surprisingly, I haven’t missed many of the missing elements that I would have expected to be major downsides: No USB ports, no support for Flash, no camera.  If I need to send a video email or otherwise use a Webcam, I have other devices for that. 

As for Flash, many of the Websites I’ve visited certainly have not been functional due to this lack of support.  But I’ve also discovered other sites smartly adjusting to this and using other video streaming technology (WSJ, for example).

I did buy the small docking device for the iPad, and I have used my wireless Apple keyboard just as I would with any Mac.  However, the virtual keyboard is fine for input if it’s in small doses. 

What I miss most when docked and using the physical keyboard is a mouse – I discovered with some research that the iPad is a touch-only device, meaning you cannot use a wireless mouse (even one from Apple). 

So, net net, I’m only two weeks in but totally digging the iPad and not thinking I wasted my money at all.  As much of an Amazon fan as I am, I can hardly see going and buying a reading-only device when something like the iPad is out there, UNLESS all you want to do is read.

The iPad is a versatile, fun, hyper multimedia, and for now, single-tasking device (that may change with today’s announcements at the Apple WWDC) that I’m finding all kinds of uses for. 

No buyer’s remorse here…at least, not yet.

Written by turbotodd

June 7, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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I Have A Technology Problem

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It’s true.

I have a technology problem.

In particular, a high technology problem.

I told you I would not be buying the first generation iPad. I gave you several reasons why I wouldn’t.

But late yesterday afternoon, it was like another entity took over my person, got in my car, and drove to the nearest Best Buy.

Once there, I walked directly to the Apple section of the store and started playing with an iPad.

Then, I started asking the sales guy a bunch of questions about synching it with my various Mac computers, the service plans, etc.

Before you know it, I was into a full on bender, waltzing through the iPad peripherals section as if I didn’t have a care in the world. I played with the wireless keyboard, the new iPad dock, some carrying cases.

This was gonna be bad.

Then, ready to pull out my Best Buy card, I discovered that they had no iPads in stock.

You’re kidding me, right? I’m like tech sleepwalking here. I’m like coming straight here, a man possessed, ready to buy, and you’re telling me you don’t have any iPads in stock!!??

The fourteen-year old, pimply sales dude told me to hold on, he had one more idea: He called back to the stockroom.

It was my lucky day. My technology addiction would be sated.

There was a single 64GB WiFi iPad that had been returned.

One.

As in uno.

Did I want it?

Are you kidding me? Does a thirsty man crawling through the Mojave want a bottle of cold Evian?!!

Better yet, I discovered I was going to get $50 off because somebody had returned it.

Why did they return it? I wondered to myself.

Who cares! It was the only iPad for sale for miles around, and they were over a week away from getting anymore in stock!

And I had one, in my hands!

Take that, Mac fanboys! I won!!

For good measure, I also bought a cool carrying case and the little iPad dock, paid my tab, and drove straight home.

Once back in my domicile, I turned on the iPad, glared at the gorgeous glossy iPad screen, and promptly wondered aloud to myself what the heck I was going to do with this thing.

Who cares what the heck I’m going to do with it!?

I finally have an iPad and it’s the coolest piece of technology I’ve ever bought!

Blogger’s Note: This blog post was written using my brand new iPad, so at least one utilitarian purpose has now been uncovered since it’s recent acquisition.  I will keep you posted as to other useful uses also discovered after the fact.

Written by turbotodd

May 27, 2010 at 10:03 pm

5 Minute Drill: Turbo Touches An iPad

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I spent about 10 minutes in an Apple store earlier this week checking out the new iPad, and thought I’d spend nearly five minutes telling you all about it via the video below.

Written by turbotodd

April 7, 2010 at 11:33 pm

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