5 Ways to Save Blackberry

blackberry q10

Now that Blackberry is sort of back in the game with two smart-phones that can keep up with the rest of the market (the touch-only Z10 and the QUERTY-equipped Q10, both with BBOS 10), the question for the company is how to use t his momentum and save the company from oblivion, with market shares so low most people don’t seriously consider Blackberry any sort of option anymore (try it, talk to your friends). It doesn’t help that Blackberry’s leadership gives off questionable comments, but maybe someone hits him over the head to get him back to his senses. Who is he to predict the future of mobile? He should be happy to still have a job at this company.

I think there are five things he can do now to save Blackberry

1. Stick to two models

Apple basically has one phone, and they’re doing great. I think Blackberry should keep having only two types of phones: those with and those without physical keyboards. There could always be some other type of product (like a tablet) but in terms of phones, they should keep it simple. One reason Nokia blew up is because at the end, nobody on earth knew what the hell the company stands for, with a constant of 1000000 models on the market at the same time. Focusing on fewer models will concentrate resources and help sharpen the company’s profile. It will also help customer choice to clearly associate Blackberry with just a certain type of product, i.e. a business phone, period. I think a low budget BB is a horrible idea.

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30. Mai 2013 von Sebastian
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TV Shows on the hot seat

Magic-City-by-Greg-Williams-015-588x392

One strategy to blog more is to write more often, but less. So I said to myself one sentence per show, and it got even better. Here are some shows I am watching or have watched recently, with some very short thumbs up and downs:

Game of Thrones. Season one was a blast, it pushed the envelope of HBO storytelling, and blends a fantasy world with political elements, a war story and soft porn elements. The show just grows in epicness, too bad Season two fell a bit flat, but I am excited for the third one to start today.

House of Lies. It started off as a satire on corporate consulting culture, and then veered off sort of into a sit com. I still love it for the characters, but it was definitely fresher in the beginning.

HOUSE OF LIES

Justified. Raylan Givens is one of the coolest characters on television, and even though this is another show that was just so much more interesting in the beginning, I can’t turn this one off.

Community. I stopped watching this some time ago. It was such a nerdy and funny show with so much pop cultural references it was a joy to watch. At some point it just got weird and boring, I think that was a few seasons ago.

Californication. Oh Hank, you constant fuck-up. This show has its ups and downs, the second season was never reached again, but it’s still interesting and entertaining and there are constantly new characters that keep this interesting.

Vegas. I started watching a few episodes, and I liked it. Sort of like a prequel to Casino. I haven’t had the time to continue watching however.

House of Cards. An excellent show produced by Netflix. It’s like The West Wing for realists. It’s cynical and evil and hellishly entertaining.

Boardwalk Empire. This is a very epic series in the vein of Gangs of New York or The Untouchables. It had its downs and a few likeable characters got killed off, but now it’s getting really interesting again, can’t wait for a new season to start. Another high quality HBO show.

The Walking Dead. A zombie show make by Frank Darabont. Repeat that. The first season was a breath of fresh air and it made instant cult classic, it has since fallen off and turned into a character drama, but it does have its interesting moments, and there’s always hope that it will pick up again.

2 Broke Girls. It took me no more than half an episode to love this. It’s a classic sit com, but the characters are great, the lines are amazing and the episodes short bites that are easy to consume each week. No show has more running gags than this one.

Two and a Half Men. Charlie Sheen played himself, and now Ashton Kutcher is playing himself. I really can’t think of a reason why it’s so much different other than a different character being in the lead. It’s still very funny, it’s just different. I wish they’d  send off Alan at some point, he’s so annoying.

The Americans. The teasers where highly interesting, and the first few episodes show that this is a sophisticated show with lots of intriguing plot twists. A few episodes into the first season it becomes clear that this one isn’t a crowd pleaser, it’s a niche product. If you like spy stuff, watch this.

How I met your mother. A show that should have stopped a many many seasons ago. But damnit, I want to know who their mother is!

Magic-City-by-Greg-Williams

Magic City. A surprise hit, I loved this show, the characters, the atmosphere, the music, the girls. If you like gangster movies and the charisma of that era, watch it!

The Wire. I watched this one years after it went famous, but I caught up quickly, and soaked it up in a few weeks. It takes some time to get into, but then it turns out to be the best thing ever made for television, period.

The West Wing. Still one of the greatest shows ever made, stellar writing, great characters, and lots of educational content. Too bad they killed it literally for no reason at all.

Homeland. Adapted from an Israeli original, this show is gripping and controversial and intense. It got a bit ridiculous in parts and now you have the feeling they don’t quite know where to take it, but it’s still intriguing and was one of the best shows on TV the last year.

Deception. Kind of a guilty pleasure, but I find the family intrigues, the corruption and the undercover work extremely entertaining.

Band of Brothers. The mother of all mini series carried on the tradition of filmmaking introduced by Saving Private Ryan and took the viewer on an adventure through the reconquest of Europe. Excellent.

The Pacific. They tried to replicate Band of Brothers, and failed miserably. What’s left is an overstylized slaughterhouse without real characters and a lousy story.

Hell on Wheels. If you want to know how the wild west really was, watch this. Just kidding. But is a gritty and truthful story of the railroad with some great characters and atmosphere. I just hope they take it up a notch when it comes back.

The Client List. Another guilty pleasure. There’s something entertaining about the overdramatized life of suburban Texas… not really high quality

If I forgot a few, I will add them later. Feel free to comment below to let me know what your favorite shows are these days.

 

 

31. März 2013 von Sebastian
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Lenovo needs to eat its own dog food

ThinkPad-X1-Carbon-Ultrabook

This is not so much a general statement about product development practices as it is a review of Lenovo’s Thinkpad X1 Carbon. But maybe that’s just an excuse to give Lenovo some tips on how to evolve from a good computer manufacturer to a serious Apple competitor. And it is also a product review.

I started into the laptop computer world with a Thinkpad, then got another one, and after that one died again, I tried Lenovo’s budget Thinkpad Edge line. Nice idea, nice price, but it also died. All of them died mechanical deaths. Power supply, heat/vent or corrosion eventually killed them, add to that the declining performance of old-school hard-drives. I recently said goodbye to a first generation MacBook Air that was company-supplied and I had worked with for an entire year. It was relatively lightweight, decent performance and quite reliable. I am a fan of Apple as a hardware producer, but I was super-relieved the day I could finally leave the world of OS X again, the world’s most unproductive operating system right after Windows.

I ordered Lenovo’s new X1 Carbon Ultrabook for two reasons: a) I knew about Thinkpads’ good compatibility with Linux, b) it promised to be good material at minimal weight. Reviews had already pointed out some of the main weak spots, but I was willing to trade those for weight, robust quality and Linux compatibility. Let me quickly illustrate the pros and cons of this machine, and then point out what Lenovo is doing wrong – and how they can improve.

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31. Oktober 2012 von Sebastian
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How RIM could have saved Blackberry

Blackberry Bold 9780

I have been a Blackberry user ever since I turned my back on Nokia in 2008. That was my start into the smartphone world. I got a Bold 9000, then RIM’s flagship business phone, and I loved it. Messaging was a breeze, and it helped me increase my email turnaround and calendar management. The browser sucked, but let me get to that later. After that one gave up on me in 2011, I got one of the successor phones, but not the very latest Bold (which was a mistake, because it didn’t have the latest OS on it, and thus still a shitty browser – and it was just not a good device). I now own an (older) Android phone, one of the few with a QERTY keypad that are available (Motorola Pro+). I turned my back on Blackberry because the high price did not came with a good return: unusable browser, faulty apps, frequent break-ups. Instead of investing another couple of hundred euros in the very latest model – which sure wasn’t able to keep up with the latest the smartphone world had to offer, I got an older model from the competition, and while that is also a flawed phone, it can do so much more than a Blackberry. Granted, Blackberry does a lot of things a lot better but hey…

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07. Oktober 2012 von Sebastian
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New article: Brazil’s Digital Economy

After long hiatus, here is a new article I wrote, albeit on a separate website.

BRAZIL’S DIGITAL ECONOMY
In Brazil, about 35 percent of the population own an internet-capable mobile phone. Over 80 percent use the internet every day (the figure is in correlation with income), 41 percent of them shop online. In Facebook membership, Brazil ranks 2nd worldwide, it overtook Google’s Orkut earlier this year . Over 40 million Brazilians are on Twitter. But even more specifically, Brazil is by far more than a digital developing country. In 2009 Brazil had 65 million internet users (it almost doubled in four years). There are over three million registered .br domains today.
….CONTINUE READING 

05. Oktober 2012 von Sebastian
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