Battery battery battery

The Nexus 5 has the best Android experience but I ended up buying the LG G2 which is the sibling of and the inspiration for the Nexus 5. I have been using the phone for a week and it works very well even without being on the latest OS (KitKat). The best feature of the G2? Battery life. The phone has a 3000 mah battery as compared to the 2300 mah that Google compromised for the Nexus 5. Doesn’t sound like a huge difference on paper, but in real life usage while most people are getting 12-14 hours of regular usage on their Nexus’, I get close to 30 hours on my phone. YMMV based on how you use the phone, but my usage is constant – phone calls/messaging/emails/downloading apps.

It’s nice to live without battery anxiety. It’s a matter of 12-18 months before other phone manufacturers start bumping up battery specs to the G2. Good job LG on making a great phone.

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Commencement speeches

You really do find some of the most profound things being said in commencement speeches. Here are some of my favorite lines from what I recently read.

Michael Lewis’ speech at Princeton (http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S33/87/54K53/index.xml)

His quote while talking about his research on Moneyball – “And you have to ask: if a professional athlete paid millions of dollars can be misvalued who can’t be? If the supposedly pure meritocracy of professional sports can’t distinguish between lucky and good, who can?”

 

Salman Khan (founder of the the Khan Academy) – (http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/commencement-khan-address-0608.html)

Lots of gems in here, but some of my favorites – “Start every morning with a smile — even a forced one — it will make you happier. Replace the words “I have to” with “I get to” in your vocabulary. Smile with your mouth, your eyes, your ears, your face, your body at every living thing you see. Be a source of energy and optimism. Surround yourself with people that make you better. Realize or even rationalize that the grass is truly greener on your side of the fence. Just the belief that it is becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.” and “Don’t waste inspiration”

 

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The fourth estate

The 90’s were remembered for the battle between the Mac and the PC.

The last four years have seen the battle of the mobile, with some clear front runners – iOS and Android, and the rest – Windows phone, Blackberry and the recently deceased WebOS.

Last year, Apple answered the question whether there was place between a mobile and the laptop/desktop with the introduction of the now wildly popular iPad.

We now have three “smart” screens (mobile, tablet and PC) that demand our attention and which require content to be readily available and viewable at all times.

The fourth screen that has our attention at the moment but is not really “smart” is the TV. It’s only a matter of time that TV manufacturers (or Apple) will start making internet capable/aware television screens. The market already demands it – look at the sales of Roku, Boxee and other media streaming devices.

Two things to note here:

- WHEN the fourth screen is introduced, what new market opportunities will it create? Demand for very high speed broadband? HD quality streaming movie sites? Services for media bookmarking and syncing across screens? Will there be a new race for a TV OS? There certainly will be demands for TV apps.

- Once your TV is connected to the internet, how will the role of your cable company change? If you can watch the latest shows on Hulu, do you need to pay a monthly fee to your cable company? Will TV channels start selling apps to smart TVs?

Exciting times.

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Offline media

Everyone agrees that the world will be connected online 24/7 one day. Anyone who has spent a day in an emerging market will also agree that the day of 24/7 connectivity is still far away. 

Even as connectivity is slowly being built out, our bandwidth demand continues to grow and outstrip bandwidth supply. New York City can’t provide reliable fast broadband to its startups

In addition to the lack of always on internet connections, we are also living in the world of multiple screens – the phone, laptop, tablet and the TV, and our media consumption shifts from device to device over the course of our day. 

As someone who spends at least six hours a week on a flight, I have been actively looking at offline media consumption applications and have loved the following so far:

Read it Later – http://readitlaterlist.com/. Multi-device and it just works. 

Spool – https://getspool.com/home/. While Read it Later solves the problem of storing and reading long articles offline, I tried many services that would let me store videos offline for viewing. The guys at Spool have nailed it in terms of an easy to use service that does everything that I wanted from a “View it later” kind of service. Service is still in beta, but I have been testing it out and it works beautifully. Only issue with the Spool app on the iPad is that it doesn’t auto download content for you in the background (which is an Apple enforced constraint, not a fault of Spool’s).

Denso – http://getdenso.com/. Similar to Spool and the next best alternative for offline video watching. Every video you tag on Denso gets added and downloaded as a podcast on iTunes that you can then sync to your iPad or iPhone. This two step process to getting videos on to your iDevice is what made me switch to Spool.

Note that Spool also does offline caching of audio as well, and in fact can provide offline entire web pages similar to Read it Later. While Spool is being ambitious by trying to be the offline consumption application for all kinds of media – video, audio and text, as a user I find the readability features of Read it Later much better and feel that users will eventually pick one application for each multimedia type need. 

The next two years will see the emergence of more offline and syncing services (I haven’t touched upon syncing services such as Sugarsync and Dropbox in this post – more on those later) as consumption moves away from the PC and TV to our phones and tablets. The question is – after audio, text and video, what else will consumers want to sync offline?

 

 

 

 

 

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Firefox’s killer feature

I moved over to the Mozilla world quite a while ago, but am still forced to use IE now and then when some sites do not support Firefox (are they being lazy or just in cahoots with MSFT?).

In addition to the speed and better usability of Firefox, I think the one feature that always makes me click Firefox and not IE (not that I have thought about moving over to IE too many times) when I am using the internet is the comfort in knowing that even if I have to kill Firefox or if it unexpectedly shuts down, it always saves my session, and all my windows can be reloaded. This is a crucial feature for someone with ADD (like me) who has at least 15 windows/tabs open at any given time in the day.

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Speaking of Fileshare.com …….

I had recommended Fileshare.com (who then changed their name to Foldershare.com) in 2005 .. since then Foldershare got acquired by Microsoft (MSFT) .. I wish I had gotten in on that investment.

I haven’t been able to figure out how MSFT plans to roll out Foldershare. Early reports were that it would be part of Vista – something that did not happen. Vista uses Groove for Foldershare-like functionality, and I must say that it is nowhere close to the original. The only plus of MSFT acquiring Foldershare is that they removed all restrictions on usage (such as synchronizing only x number of folders/files across computers). I use Foldershare till date for all my file sync/access across computers and it is awesome. It can be downloaded from Foldershare.com

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New career, new blog

I forgot about my old posts till I remembered a post about Fileshare that I had posted back in 2005. I am very impressed with Blogger functionality – I logged in, took ownership of the old blog, changed the title, increased the security level to reduce spam, and I am back in business.

I am keeping the old posts just to remind me of some of the thoughts I had before business school. Looking back at what I posted about my pre-school career views, I am surprised at how some things have changed, and how some things haven’t.

While I have always loved technology, over the last few years, I have been introduced to and fallen for the world of finance, macroeconomics and investing. This has made some of the options I was considering before school a no-go, and therefore required a change to the name of this blog.

So expect more posts about investing, macro opinions (not mine – am not smart enough to write sensibly about such things) and of course, new technology.

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