Category Archives: Hardware & Gadgets

Skilled Executives Steer Game Companies to Success

Even during hard economic times, people are often willing to spend money on entertainment. Entertainment can provide a much needed distraction from everyday struggles. In the past, people turned to movie theaters to distract them from their troubles. Now, while fewer people may be spending money on theater tickets, many are still investing in consoles and video games. Yet, gamers who are struggling financially may be selective when it comes to choosing games. Competition among video game companies is somewhat fierce. Driving this competition are some of the gaming industry’s most prominent executives. Each one has employed a different strategy when it comes to attracting players. Continue reading

Types of Popular Internetworking Technologies

Internet technology comes in many forms, such as the connection and communication options. The use of the Internet requires a desktop computer, laptop computer, a web enabled device, or a smartphone or other wireless device. Today, it is almost a basic need for every individual to use internet technology, to perform his daily activities. In this article, we list some of the basic internet technologies which have grown popular in emerging economies.

DSL

One type of Internet connection that is common for many households is DSL. DSL is provided by your phone company and uses the existing phone line to your home. Speeds are offered at different prices to meet any type of need. A special modem is needed to connect your computer to the Internet. A wireless connection can be created in your home by adding a wireless router to the modem.

Cable

A second type of Internet connection for households in large cities is cable Broadband. This connection uses a cable connection to your home for the Internet. Cable connections are shared by other connected to the same cable line. This means that speeds will vary depending on the time of day. A special modem is also required to connect your computer to the Internet.

Satellite

A third type of connection for homes in rural areas is satellite. A dish needs to be installed on your roof to receive a signal for an Internet connection. The speed is similar to A DSL connection and will be the best option if no other connection options are available.

WiFi

This is a type of wireless connection that is available at many locations, such as restaurants. The use of a WiFi connection requires a laptop computer or web-enabled wireless device. WiFi is a free option for anyone to use to connect to the Internet. Users without an Internet connection at their home should find a local WiFi hotspot.

Dial-Up

Homes that only have a standard phone line may still use a dial-up connection. This connection needs a modem that is installed in a desktop or laptop computer. A dial-up connection uses the phone line and is the slowest type of Internet connection for a home. One downside is the inability to make a call when a connection is made to the Internet.

Communication Options

Many types of communications options are available for high speed Internet connections. The use of an Internet connection that is high-speed is required for most communication options. Communication can be done via voice and even video over the Internet. Some of the popular communication options are as follows:
VOIP

One communication option that is used on the Internet is VOIP. This is the Internet technology used by many companies offering phone service over the Internet. You can use VOIP at your home if there is a high-speed connection available. The use of VOIP allows you to cancel your land line service and only use Internet technology to make voice calls.

Skype

Skype is a computer application that uses the Internet to make calls. You can make a voice call or make call with video using a web camera. This software needs to be installed on your computer to make calls to other Skype users for free. Calls can also be made to land line numbers at a price that is peanuts when compared to ISD calling rates.

Author’s Bio:

Want to know more on the local internet providers? Go through more of Jason King’s articles which are rich in internet provider related information. He works for Internetbyzipcode.com.

Windows 7 – The Mango Phone

Microsoft has finally launched the next generation operating system for the smartphones.

Once the leader in the Smartphone operating system developers, Microsoft has currently a penetration lower than 5% in the smartphone market towards the end of 2011, currently ruled by Android. Android now has a third of the global market share  (33%). RIM’s share has plummeted to 29%. Apple is barely holding at 25% and Palm, which is barely worth mentioning anymore, fell another point to 2.8%.

Microsoft is targeting to gain considerable market-share upto 10% for the time being and slowly regain its otherwise lost competitive advantage. By collaborating with HTC (Radar), Samsung and Nokia, Microsoft is targeting a mass market where it can reach out to its potential customers.

A question that may worry many technocrat is that with all the added GUI that microsoft has pumped into the Mango phones (Windows 7 and Windows 7.5), how will the added power consumption be handled by the high end processors added to these really smart phones (1 GHz processors are the norm now). Smartphone users are often plagued by the battery support that forces them to recharge their phones every alternate day or even everyday, if one talks for 4-5 hours. While, due to this very specific need, smartphones from Blackberry (RIM) and Nokia Symbian Smartphones are still in the market, its time to realize that business users of smartphone often value these hard performance factors over GUI improvements.

Another major area of focus is connectivity, especially over web. Most of these smartphone sucker out while being connected over 3G. If you are online, in most phones, if not all, you are likely to need to recharge your phone everyday, and effectively after a year, your battery starts showing signs of stress. I personally sometimes miss those days when I could charge my mobile once a week and that would satisfy all the phone-calls I needed to make. While I thrive on the web, it has its costs too.

With other features in the mobile market going for a rat race (like cameras, internal memory, etc), a major decision point in the purchasing behavior may be these factors. Also another decision factor may be the accessibility to services and distribution channels, something which Microsoft is targeting in a very focused manner by collaborating with Nokia, which has one of the most extensive servicing and distribution channels.

While in the days of cloud computing, what everyone else is using is also adding drastically to the experience of using a smartphone, it is necessary to understand that jumping into the smartphone bandwagon should be a decision taken more judiciously for every user, based on a smart analysis of one’s actual needs.

It remains to be seen who will win this fight for market-share in the operating systems market. It indeed is getting intensely competitive. Will Microsoft be able to turn over its bad times with this Windows 7 series? Only time will say. What do you think?

Information Technology and Information Systems

People often use the terms Information Technology and Information Systems interchangeably, although both the terminologies have established identities of their own. However it is crucial for every professional and individual to understand the subtle differences that defines the individuality of these disciplines.

Information Systems (IS) is a discipline bridging the business field and the well-defined computer science field (popularly called information technology) that has been evolving since it was coined in the early 1970s.An information systems discipline therefore is supported by the theoretical foundations of management social science, information theories and information technology such that students of the discipline have unique opportunity to explore the academics of various business models as well as related algorithmic processes within a computer science discipline. Typically, information systems include people, business procedures or processes, data, software, and hardware that are used to gather and analyze digital information. Specifically Information Systems are the intersection that people and organizations use to collect, filter, process, create, & distribute data (computing) through its business processes, and implemented by its human capital.

While Information Technology (IT) typically is the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of digitized information, often represented technically as “Data” through electronics-based media built upon the disciplines of computing and telecommunications. The terminology was first coined in a 1958 by Leavitt and Whisler who defined it as “the new technology that does not yet have a single established name. We shall call it information technology.” Essentially, in its raw form, it comprises of Hardware, Software, the platforms to support both, communication networks and protocols.

It is crucial to understand that while “Information Technology” is a huge discipline with an identity of its own, it essentially is a subset of the discipline “Information Systems”, although the latter evolved much later. The discipline of Information Systems specifically studies the intersection of Business Processes (which may or may not be technology enabled), People (who will be part of the business processes and will use information technology) and Information Technology.

Hope this clarifies your thoughts. Do let me know what you think or would like to discuss further,

Why Technology Reuse fails

Today, a lot of stress is on code reuse, in the IT industry. In fact, the industry is thriving on the same. The problem is every business requirements have its very own set of specific needs which often are not met with by using standardized software packages and code modules, besides other barriers to success.  Ideally software should be designed to complement and automate business processes. But since this becomes costly, modules and packages are standardized and IT business analysts try to fit the standard things to all problem domains. The net result is mayhem and chaos.

In theory, organizations should recognize the value of systematic reuse of internal assets and reward internal reuse efforts. In practice, many factors act as barriers to success in technology reuse. Software reuse often fails for the following reasons:

  • Organizational impediments: In house developing of software systematically, to create reusable software assets requires a deep understanding of application developer needs and business requirements. As the organization size grows, coordination problems are often a major challenge.
  • Business need impediments: Similar business units within the same organization often have different needs which are not always apparent. Trying to force fit the same solution to different problems is a sure recipe for chaos.
  • Economic impediments: Supporting the development of reusable technology requires an economic investment, and often IT teams operate as cost-centers and thus their priorities are ignored.
  • Administrative impediments: It is hard to document reusable technology properly for usage across multiple business units within large organizations, although the same may be reusable in the smaller business units. Hence business units may end
  • Political impediments: The teams that develop reusable technology are often viewed with suspicion by the rest of the technology team, as they may no longer be empowered to make key architectural decisions. In group rivalry is also a major barrier to the development of reusable technology.
  • Psychological impediments: Application developers often feel “top down” reuse efforts as an indication that management lacks confidence in their technical abilities and an insult to their capabilities.

Does the HP-Palm move make sense?

HP-Palm has become the hype that the mobile computing world could have done without. Is it really worth the hype? Will this $1.2 billion deal create waves in the already competitive market?
Hewlett Packard, the world leader in laptops (in terms of sales) has its own series of PDAs, less popularly known to the common man. The I-PAQ PDAs sold by HP does not rank among the top 10 PDA brands in terms of sales. With the focus shifting towards handheld computing devices, this may have been a desperate move by HP to claim its place in the competitive industry dominated by the likes of Blackberry, Apple, HTC, Nokia and O2.
HP-PalmThis can really be an interesting analysis for strategy experts. HP, till date, was using the Windows platform in all its i-PAQ phones. Incidentally, I-Paq phones have been much criticized for not being very Windows friendly in a lot of user forums. By acquiring Palm, HP ensures it has its own operating system at last, the Palm in-house developed WebOS. WebOS has been specially designed to take are of all internet usage needs of the palm savvy netizens of the current cyber world. What remains to be seen is will the two interweave and create magic like the other smartphones? Or will it be like HTC’s earlier embrace of the Google’s platform, messy and non-productive.

HP has a very strong distribution channel globally, and this was something Palm was lacking, while it strived to compete with the movers and shakers in the industry, although it was amongst the first innovators of the PDA. While this gives the exciting opportunity to leverage Palm’s not so visible yet hgh quality phones through HP’s network, the core of HP can focus its internal R&D to what it does best, i.e. focus on the laptops, printers, scanners, work stations and servers. This again will mean an organizational restructuring may be on its way, surely for Palm, and possibly also for HP research.

So this may be a good time for the bigger players in the palmtop computing industry to do a SWOT analysis and rethink their strategy. With HP pushing Palm and given the parent company’s deep pockets (being one of the biggest technology company by far), we may be witnessing an interesting change of powerplay in this industry.

What do you think?