Sunday, February 27, 2011

Who else is looking at their mobile options? Are your policies / practices updated? It's all about the DATA silly.

The past few weeks I have had a rash of inquires as to the use of the iPhones now that Verizon has finally stepped up, I'm betting I'm not alone. The information shared by and a recent article I read in Time shares some much needed light when making your mobile policy tweaks.

The changes in the industry have once again had us revisiting our mobile policies but there are other factors besides carriers to factor in and it comes down to something as simple as "use" and money and the soon to be changing tax implications. Just what are we using these devices for?

In the Feb 28 issue of Time Bill Saporito wrote a piece called "Leaving Cell Hell" and I hate to tell Bill but at times I feel like I will never leave Hell. Much of what I hear is how "cool" the iPhones are and all the cool apps - doesn't sound like Hell at all and for the most part they are right, much of what these devices do is cool. For many of our staff who focus on "social networking" they won't have any problems in using these "cool" tools as the menu and moving around the device OS will be simple and fun. But . . . . that's not the norm for many of of the folks in our organizations. Many of us still have folks who's VCR clocks are blinking 12:00 - you know what I mean . . . but the real issue besides actually having a cell connection that works ( BTW - Verizon won that contest hands down ) . . . the issue is DATA, what about the data use? Does everybody need access to so much of the data that is out there?

We know that more and more the "voice" features of these devices is diminishing and instead the streaming of data and lots of it is where the mobile device has gone - is going. eMail is just a small piece of that data. Cisco is predicting that data traffic driven by VIDEO over mobile will become the leader of the data drain - further hogging an already crowded wireless network.

Many of these tools work fine over WiFi but not all the devices have WiFi which makes getting outside the building a whole new game. Did I mention tethering? Talk about a major lifesaver, to easily link your laptop or iPad or Notebook to your data plan of the iPhone or Droid is pure heaven.

Syracuse.Com puts the "DATA" into a very easy to understand perspective:

"If you do check the Internet and update your Facebook status often, Verizon's unlimited plan is enticing - but AT&T's $25 data plan gets you 2 GB per month and that's a hard amount to hit unless you watch videos or stream music constantly. You can listen to an hour of music every day, look at 20 sites daily, use 30 apps a week, and send 3000 emails a month and still wouldn't even hit 1.5 GB of data. Plus, any data used while connected to Wi-Fi doesn't count against a data plan - if you have Wi-Fi in your house or at work, it'd be near impossible to use even 500 MB. But still, that unlimited data plan is enticing."

This is why the carriers are looking to profit as the needs of the many expect to do more with the data these devices have access to. This is what's driving 4G networks, speed of that data. Although on a side note, it would be good to get the 3G network functional to the point it actually works - don't get me started on that. Make no mistake, Verizon has a data model in place that will make them a ton of money with the iPhone. I think we sometimes forget these guys aren't a public service group, they are trying to make $$$. This makes the all included plans attractive but unless you are a data hog and I mean a real data hog it won't be worth the costs.

I'm not sure where I'm leaning, I understand and appreciate the Blackberry model yet I simple love my Droid, I'm hesitant of hype and marketing - I always ask my team to find out exactly what the need is when getting a request and look closely at the costs.

It has to be more then "cool" - it has to be effective and you better know how to navigate the OS . . . and if you don't know what OS is you're getting a flip phone and you'll like it!

Michael Sola heads up the IT program at NWF. he's a blogger, invited presenter and speaker - he also rarely has to show ID to walk into a pub. Follow him at : his views and comments are his own

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Greenzo - IT Power Needs You

I have some friends in Greenpeace, and no I don't think they've been in boats chasing whaling ships, but they are passionate and extremely dedicated, you have to be if your desire is to change the world.  So when I saw their campaign to get Facebook to change how they power their data centers, a big old light bulb went off.  How much electricity are our data centers drawing? will we need to increase the demand and more importantly WHERE will that power source come from?

The need to move from coal sources to smart power choices like wind as MD is attempting to do makes more sense then ever before.  And the quicker the better.

Earth Day as you know is rapidly approaching, lot's of organizations are gearing up to join in the conversation that Greenpeace is advocating for Facebook and that's how Green is IT?  I was recently approached by my good friend Beverly Magda, an Associate Dean at Georgetown, who is bringing folks together in an attempt to make a dent in the Greening of IT.  The summit is April 20 - 21 in Tysons Corner VA and I'm ready to lend a voice and help where I can, hope you can too.

Below are some facts shared by the Greenpeace campaign, the consumption of powering the Internet is stagering!  We need our green superhero Greenzo promoter of environmental consciousness (and G.E. products) - but for real, besides I like the green cape.

Michael Sola heads up the IT program at NWF. he's a blogger, invited presenter and speaker - he also rarely has to show ID to walk into a pub. Follow him at : his views and comments are his own

Did you know?

IT companies are rapidly increasing their electricity consumption, making IT one of the largest growth sectors for electricity demand. The amount of electricity needed to power the Internet would place it 5th if ranked among countries by electricity consumption.

Facebook has a real opportunity to lead by example by extending this spirit of innovation to the environment. The company can show that businesses can flourish by being clean-energy powered.

Our IT sector climate campaign

Greenpeace has been working with the IT industry for half a decade to get companies to be greener. Facebook's coal problem is representative of the IT sector's growing demand for energy.

At current growth rates, data centers and telecommunication networks - two key components of 'the cloud' that Facebook depends on - will consume about 1,963 billion kilowatts hours of electricity in 2020. That's more than triple their current consumption and more than the current electricity consumption of France, Germany, Canada and Brazil combined.

Find out more - visit

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The FOUR uses of the iPhone Confession app - that's right FOUR not three

When I first saw this on Conan I thought he was joking but this is actually true. There IS an app for confessing your sins. Finally.

But upon reading the directions I think they left out some very important information not to mention clearly a forth part of the application they DON'T want you to know about. So here is my commentary and contribution to the actual application of the "Confession App".

The first is an examination of conscience that's designed to help Catholics prepare for confession before stepping into the confessional, "so you don't walk in and just start making up sins off the top of your head," I've done that, it's part of the catholic guilt they train us in.

The second part features step-by-step instructions for what to do inside the confessional. Typically this is the exchange of the money part. What? am I the only one who slips the Priest a fivester?

The third part is a space to record any absolution or penance from the priest. This is done directly on the iPhone by holding the phone close the padre - try not to breathe too hard as it will pick up all sounds in the booth, the Droid would NEVER support such a feature - just saying.

And the last part which was not reported in the article, is where the entire incident is digitally captured, a photo opp with you and the priest, the video provided you are on the WiFi service from with in the booth and the whole thing gets posted on Twitter and Facebook.

I lied about the last part . . . damn, I may need to confess now. Frak. Oops, is saying Frak an offense? I sometimes wonder if the App world goes too far and more importantly when is the Droid version of this coming? :-)

Michael Sola heads up the IT program at NWF. he's a blogger, invited presenter and speaker - he also rarely has to show ID to walk into a pub. Follow him at : his views and comments are his own

Saturday, February 05, 2011

To iPad or not to iPad . . .

There are so many things I already can't stand. Typing, not a fan. The device is all about flipping screens and navigation of content, I get it. But productivity and practical use like entering lots of content, I'm not sold.

Right now the App I'm in doesn't rotate. Serious? Thought that was the selling point, rotate the device so does the screen. So this means I can't use the bluetooth keyboard. Thanks, not.

Oh, the bluetooth keyboard cover helps but it's mushy and has one shift key and the enter key where the other shift should be. Did I mention when in portrait mode you can't use the dang keyboard? I also don't know how long it stays charged but not long is ny take so far.

And it weighs a ton! With the cover / bluetooth keyboard and iPad this weighs more than my HP Notebook. Which has a cleaner larger screen AND has two shift keys. Just saying.

What else do I hate? The lack of editing a word. Evidently you get to backspace a lot, it's the Apple way.

I hate using the "hate" word, I "dislike" many of the features especially the auto word fill but live for spell check which I can't seem to turn on without the auto fill - that I really hate!

I guess I should try adding some custom apps like Facebook as opposed to using the browser. I did configure the Citrix App and surprisingly it worked like a champ. Of course it worked better with the bluetooth keyboard which died in the middle of testing. Uggg

Scrolling around the net was fun, the YouTube app was cool although I noted that lots of video links in facebook just opened another FB page and not the video. Had to use the link, not very seamless.

And if I have to backspace one more time i'm gonna scream. Too late.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Why do I use Twitter? I get asked this a lot . . . and timing is perfect come #11NTC

It's not because I have a short attention span and only have time to read 140 characters ( not words - as I recently was asked at a conference ) - BUT using Twitter connects you with that random tweet which can be a gold mine.

In sharing some information with one of the folks I follow way across the country that is currently in a deep freeze I got ReTweeted and as a result of their network was picked up provided provided a very useful link on a project that I am in the midst of: VDI - Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. This retweet was from a different group caled Lakeside Software who was most likely spending time scanning and looking for key terms . . . like VDI. Still with me?

Turns out Lakeside Software has a tremendous amount of information on the topic, including short videos, links and a ton of resources I would never in a zillion years have found if these guys were not using Twitter in this fashion.

The information from their web site will be very valuable as we move forward on this project at NWF and especially as the topic of Virtualization will be front and center on the tech track at the 2011 NTC Conference in DC - it so happens I'll be a panelist on the Virtualization session. I love twitter and twitter

Michael Sola heads up the IT program at NWF. he's a blogger, invited presenter and speaker - he also rarely has to show ID to walk into a pub. Follow him at : his views and comments are his own