Behavior, Content, Money – 3 Things you should never give away for free!!!

BCmoney MobileTV

Dusting off my 2008 cover letter to RIM on BlackBerry’s future, rejected job application

Posted by bryan on October 27, 2015 in E-Business, E-Commerce, Mobile with No Comments


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The Research in Motion headquarters, based in ...

The Research in Motion headquarters, based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While backing up some files to an external hard drive from my older one, I recently came across an old Cover Letter which had accompanied my resume in a job application I sent to Research In Motion (RIM) back in Summer of 2008.

It’s interesting to look back at, because I recall back then being very frustrated with the state of the Mobile industry in North America (particularly in Canada). These feelings were only magnified by my time spent in Japan 2006-2008, a country which at that time was a clear leader in Mobile technologies and in the global consumer electronics in general. Since then, Korea and China (two other countries I was fortunate enough to have spent some time in during my Graduate school vacations in between terms) have now caught up in terms of innovation and even surpassed Japan’s leading Mobile technology companies in sales as well.

Back then companies (again particularly China & Korea but many European firms as well) were sending some of their top experts and technologists to Japan to do market research with and/or attempt to poach talented Japanese engineers from, the likes of world leading Japanese tech companies: Sony-Ericsson, Panasonic, Sharp, Toshiba, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Fujitsu, Fuji-Xerox, Konica-Minolta, Nintendo, Softbank, NTT, KDDI, etc. The goal was of course to glean as much information and consumer insights as possible from the country which boasted the fastest home fiber internet speeds, mobile internet speeds, mobile data usage, and mobile revenue per unit (ARPU) in not just gaming which usually comes to mind when thinking of Japan, but all application sectors.

My experience in Japan indeed taught me a thing or two about “sticky” services, particularly the infamous “iMode business model” by Takeshi Natsuno of  NTT DoCoMo which succeeded by providing a cohesive ecosystem of applications and a flat-rate (about $40 USD/month) unlimited data service, which drove subscriptions through the roof. On top of this, standards and specifications which were simple to follow for developers and which reduced page-size for web content with cHTML then later WAP/WML helped grow the service’s offerings in an organic way. Only now are we starting to see the same sorts of initiatives by Google [LINK] & Apple [LINK] in North America. Over here, very little regard has been made for how to optimize mobile services for users, which is why our Mobile industry is only now catching up to and finally surpassing where Japan was 9-10 years ago. Indeed, we constantly hear reports about the growth of Online/Mobile Video (i.e. streaming ad-supported content like YouTube, Vimeo, etc), On-Demand/IPTV (i.e. rentals or purchases on iTunes, GooglePlay, etc), and OTT (i.e. subscription services like Netflix, Hulu & Amazon Prime Instant Video). However, MobileTV via OneSeg had already reached millions of users whereas SMS texting was just starting to take off in North America (in any meaningful way that resembles its adoption level today).

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The biggest Open Source Software acquisitions ever

Posted by bryan on January 26, 2014 in E-Business with 1 Comment


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Logo Open Source Initiative

Logo Open Source Initiative (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Open Source Software (and more recently, even Open Source Hardware) have become not just rising trends but the de fact standard for true technology innovation. Open Source accelarates innovation due to the way it fosters a creative, cooperative environment and is usually (especially when compared to traditional IT) much more inclusive of ideas from people of all types, genders, races, nationalities, income brackets, etc.

When it comes to Open Source, the best ideas and most efficient solutions are typically those which get adopted. Contrast this to the way things work in Enterprise where a specific managerial opinion or corporate agendas often trump efficiency or quality of solution, and you can see why Open Source can offer many benefits to developers (especially independent developers, consultants or those in Enterprise who are luck enough to have some degree of autonomy). Whereas flashiness, certifications or accreditation (i.e. “reputation” of the company/technology being proposed to work with) can be most important in Enterprise; the ease-of-use and low cost for implementation/maintenance become top priority for Open Source. In addition, every commit, push/pull or merge is scrutinized for adhering to the very principles of Open Source; more than can be said in Enterprise where Code Review process may be extremely fickle, inconsistent or non-existent.

That said, Open Source is also quickly becoming big business. Major Enterprises from Fortune500 companies all the way to Government organizations are quickly adopting, utilizing and/or acquiring open source for their own business purposes. We’ve seen a particular heat-up in flat out acquisitions of Open Source companies, which presents some key questions, such as:

  • What happens to the community built around the project, library, or tool? Shouldn’t it be protected from being absolved and having blogs, forums, FAQs, docs, code repositories, and official website URLs taken down so they can live on somehow?
  • How about the community members who’ve contributed to the technology? Don’t they deserve a cut of the sales that the parent organization previously presiding over the open source software may have enjoyed in the acquisition?
  • When do current users of the software need to be legally given notice that the software will be commercialized and what their options are for continuing to use the software? Should they be “grandfathered-in” for continued access in some cases? Why not all cases?
  • Should there not be a requirement to maintain & support the last version before acquisition in the very least?

Here’s a quick summary table showing the top 20 of the biggest Open Source technology acquisitions of all-time (to date):

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A Look Behind The Curtain of Loyalty and Rewards Programs

Posted by bryan on October 6, 2013 in E-Business, E-Government with No Comments


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English: Different customer loyality cards (ai...

English: Different customer loyality cards (airlines, car rental companies, hotels etc.) Photo credit: Wikipedia

 

Loyalty Cards, Rewards Programs, Points Incentives, Bonus Offers and Repeat-purchase punch cards, oh how I despise thee. You’ve probably been there too. You drop your wallet and have to spend the next 10 minutes embarrassingly picking up all your various credit cards, debit cards, loyalty cards, etc; or, maybe you’ve been in line to pay for something and had dig through your wallet in a cold sweat (for what felt like hours to the people behind you) holding up the line, looking for that punch-card or rewards card?

 

Imagine if this was no longer a reality and we all had a single unified points system which could arbitrate the various rules, policies, conditions and points earnings/accumulation schemes of the various points systems. Also, imagine if you could actually put your “points” to work for you and actualyl get some decent rewards?

This is something we are working on here at BCmoney MobileTV for rewarding your web activity and participation in the community. It is a long-running experiment but we feel as though we’ll figure it out eventually!

In the meantime, it helps to know about how some of the current rewards systems work and just how they cheat you out of your hard-earned money, along with your personal information right down to where you live and what types of products you buy, thereby destroying any hopes at anonymity, privacy and true customer satisfaction.

 
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The News Industry’s Dirty Little Secret

Posted by bryan on September 9, 2013 in E-Business, Multimedia, Web Services with No Comments


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Luddite FUD on Drudge Report

Luddite FUD on Drudge Report (Photo credit: Todd Barnard)

Ever felt like you couldn’t quite put your finger on it, but that something seemed to be “wrong with the world” and the way things are? What if things are the way they are for a reason? What if the institutions the people have setup are no longer serving the interests of the people but instead those of their owners and a select few well-connected? The news industry has a dirty little secret. No, not the kind of raunchy Madison Avenue affair or lurid Hollywood homicide carried out secretly in the night which you may typically see portrayed in the movies or on TV; however Hollywood and Madison Avenue both, as leading beacons in the mainstream media, certainly have a hand in the secret as well.

The secret is that the mainstream media, especially the News, TV, Ad and Film industries are tightly controlled by their corporate owners in cooperation with the governments of the regions in which they broadcast their messages, to push specific political and/or financially-motivated agendas.

While to some people reading this article, there’s no surprise whatsoever in that statement and this is old news (because quite frankly it is not only old news – its also common sense), still some may be shocked or skeptical at such a statement. That is fine, and for those people, my only hope is that they can at least begin to approach the above institutions with the same sort of skepticism, even if you’re the type that inherently trusts just about everything the same mainstream media tells you.

Don’t believe me? Allow me to explain the main mechanism by which the “secret” is carried out, the News Wirefeed.

How does a News Wirefeed work?
A news wirefeed is a service provided by a large news agency that acts as a single source of news information that will be distributed out to, read by, acted on, and possibly even re-published verbatim, by other smaller news organizations and outlets. Essentially, their role can be compared to the Town Crier of days of old, in that it constantly yells out news headlines through the airwaves, just as a person used to do through the street. What the town crier said, the townspeople essentially believed (until the Town Crier was proven wrong, at which time they would send the old town crier to the gallows and get a new one). Why did most of the entire town’s people believe what the Town Crier said? Simple really, they were the only source of information, thus there was no source of truth to verify the Town Crier’s claims against. If the Town Crier said “all is good on the western front” then that must be the case; likewise if they said “the sky is falling” then it must be time to buy hard hats and hide out in your bunkers.

 

List of Wirefeed Services
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The Most Meaningful Use of EHR in Health Care

Posted by bryan on March 10, 2013 in E-Business, E-Government with 3 Comments


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EHR Adoption Framework_AD

EHR Adoption Framework (Photo credit: andyde)

I’ve been thinking a lot about ways that Health Care and the medical system in general can be improved through the use of IT. In the United States right now, we are over 1 year into the so-called “Meaningful Use” guidelines established by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009. This means that thousands of doctors, clinics, hospitals and other care facilities are getting beyond the ramping up stage into potential “Meaningful Use” territory. However, what the government considers a meaningful usage of technology may not necessarily be the silver bullet for solving an entire industry’s IT challenges.

Meaningful Use – Core Requirements

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BC$ = Behavior, Content, Money

The goal of the BC$ project is to raise awareness and make changes with respect to the three pillars of information freedom - Behavior (pursuit of interests and passions), Content (sharing/exchanging ideas in various formats), Money (fairness and accessibility) - bringing to light the fact that:

1. We regularly hand over our browser histories, search histories and daily online activities to companies that want our money, or, to benefit from our use of their services with lucrative ad deals or sales of personal information.

2. We create and/or consume interesting content on their services, but we aren't adequately rewarded for our creative efforts or loyalty.

3. We pay money to be connected online (and possibly also over mobile), yet we lose both time and money by allowing companies to market to us with unsolicited advertisements, irrelevant product offers and unfairly structured service pricing plans.

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