My letter to the FCC on internet neutrality

I refuse to call it “Net Neutrality”. It’s the freaking INTERNET people.

See below:
“Companies like Google and Amazon, pioneers of the internet, were able to grow because they grew up in an arena where the internet was naturally neutral. If you allow ANY sort of contingencies for any type of preferential treatment, with regards to quality of service/packet delivery, then this will utterly seal the fate of the internet, and any future startups (like mine) that are striving to become the next Google, the next Amazon. This will not be good for business, for consumers, or for anyone except the internet gateway providers.

Bill Clinton envisioned an internet that was freely available to anyone and everyone, regardless of their status in income or where they lived. He provided tens of millions of dollars to the likes of AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, among others, to make that very thing happen. As part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, these providers were supposed to have EVERY SINGLE HOME, connected with Fiber optics. This has not happened, and is nowhere NEAR happening now, and will surely NOT happen at all, if you allow provisions for paid packet priorty/quality of service.

Keep the internet free and open, not a paid highway for corporate behemoths.”

My experience with the Dell XPS 10

I recently purchased the Dell XPS 10 (Windows 8 tablet) and Keyboard dock (10/25/2013). I really enjoyed this little device, and thought it was a really nice attempt at a Windows RT tablet.

At least I felt this way until a few weeks ago. After owning the device for less than a week (and with very light usage at that), I went to undock the tablet, from the keyboard dock. Upon doing so, the dock connector on the right side, simply snapped off!

Upon further inspection, the places where the dock connects to the tablet (and holds it securely to the dock) is, apparently, made of a very flimsy plastic. This is very disheartening because with the money I paid for this tablet/keyboard dock combo, I could have bought a full fledged laptop.

Well, I didn’t despair for too long because I remembered that my device had a full year warranty! Dell Support to the rescue right? WRONG!

I have had 2 separate phone calls with Dell support, and they have all ended with them accusing me of damaging the device. Granted, I realize that Customer support issues are a black hole for companies. No money is made in these groups, only lost. I get that, however…Dell’s terrifically crappy build quality with this device, is not my fault. When you disengage the keyboard dock, and then the connector FALLS OUT, then that is a design flaw, and NOT customer induced damage.

As it currently stands, Dell is unwilling to fix the device and it looks like I will be getting back a semi-functioning tablet/keyboard dock. I’ve been a diehard Dell fan for years, and have owned many of their products, but this has opened my eyes to just how CHEAP Dell has become, and doesn’t seem to care about the build quality of their devices. My next tablet, will be the Nokia 2520, for sure. If for no other reason, because I know that Nokia actually puts care into their product design.

Windows Phone developer HACKATHON + APPortunity contest!

So on Tuesday, October 8th, 2013, I will be hosting a Windows Phone developer Hackathon at Vaco, in Brentwood, from 5:30p-8pm.

We will have free FOOD, free SWAG, and free FUN!

If you want to attend, please RSVP here:

http://www.meetup.com/NokiaDev/Murfreesboro-TN/906622/

Also, if you are Windows Phone developer, be sure to enter your apps in to the Microsoft APPortunity sweepstakes. You can win cash prizes for your apps!

Sign up for APPortunity here: http://www.mstechaffiliate.com/members/patrickhefner

Nokia – Part 2

Nokia’s stock is currently rising. thanks to the sell off the mobile devices and services division. Remember that this division was a money pit for Nokia. With this unit on the way to Microsoft, Nokia is now a healthy and profitable company. Smartest move they could’ve made. I’m glad that Nokia will be around another 150 years.

Leave NOKIA ALONE!!!

*Disclaimer* I am a Nokia stockholder, and these are my thoughts only.

I probably shouldn’t write this, but after reading the countless tear-filled tweets and “ERMAHGERD! I’M GONNA SLIT MAH WRISTS!!!!” blog posts/comments about Nokia selling it’s mobile phone division to Microsoft, I had to say something.

First of all:

If you aren’t a stock holder, you should just STHU. That’s right. Your endless whining and complaining will do nothing to change the mind of the Board of Directors at Nokia. NOTHING. “But I’ve used Nokia since blah blah blah blah!”, well good for you! You know what’s even better for you? That Nokia sold off the black hole that is the current Mobile division. This unit is simply NOT profitable, and, had they not sold out to MS, probably would have lost more cash than Nokia had to make it profitable. Be glad they sold out, because now Nokia has enough money and cash positive divisions that they can sit back, watch how mobile goes, and try again in a few years. How many mobile companies get a second chance like this? NONE.

Second:

SYMBIAN WILL NOT AND WOULD NOT HAVE SAVED NOKIA! Ever used Symbian? If you haven’t, it was a terrible OS. It had really great ideas and innovations, but it was simply a terrible mobile operating system. Meego and Maemo weren’t mature enough, and wouldn’t have been mature enough to stop the bleeding either, so just SHUT UP already. I get it, you hate that Nokia went to Windows Phone, well you know who you can blame for that? Not Stephen Elop…but EVERY ONE OF NOKIA’S EXECUTIVES THAT DIDN’T TAKE THE IPHONE SERIOUSLY. There, is that loud enough for you? Whine and complain all you want about “Windows Phone is the spawn of Satan, blah blah blah”, but the truth of the matter is that Nokia NEVER stood a chance, simply because the pre-Elop Executives didn’t take iPhone seriously. The same thing happened to Blackberry, and look where they are. Blackberry is what Nokia WOULD be right now, if it had not been for Microsoft. Running out of money, with no prospects of staying in business. Would you rather have had that? I didn’t think so, so SHUT UP. While we’re at it SHUT UP ABOUT NOKIA MOVING TO ANDROID! This would have been a terrible move too for MANY reasons, so SHUT UP ALREADY!

Third:

If you think, for just one second, that Nokia should have spent every LAST DIME trying to win Mobile, then you are a flat out imbecile that needs to take an intelligence test. What idiot Board of Directors would approve something like that? Nokia did the BEST thing for Nokia. They sold off the most unprofitable unit they had, so that its other, profitable, businesses could stay afloat. Nokia’s mobile division has continually lost money quarter after quarter for YEARS. No company can sustain multiple years of losing money like that. You should be grateful that Elop came and made the initial deal with MS, just so they could stop the bleeding.

OH NOES! WHAT DO I DO NOW?!?!?:

If you want to make a difference, then quit your complaining on Twitter and blogs, and go buy Nokia stock, and vote at the upcoming shareholders meeting. That is the ONLY way you can stop this. I am voting for it, because I want Nokia to be around for a very long time, and this is the ONLY way they can do it. Now shut up, and go put your money where you mouth is, or else take your blanket and go cry in a corner.

Held Hostage: Escaping Your Cell Phone Carrier’s Iron Grip

I wrote this article, over at EnConnected, mainly in response to all of the hullaballoo surrounding the announcement of current Windows Phone devices not being upgraded to Windows Phone 8.

Many folks were very irritated and upset by this. In some ways, I really understand. However, in my opinion, there is no one but themselves to blame for it.

Head over to EnConnected to read why.

**EDIT** By reading the text of this post, you can safely assume that this is a rather dated post from one of my other blogs, but thought I would re-share it with you here, since it is more technology focused.

Nokia Lumia Missing Features Fiasco?

So apparently folks in the Nokia forums are all tore up over “missing features” from their devices, namely the 520, 620, and 720.

http://discussions.nokia.com/t5/Nokia-Lumia/quot-Missing-quot-new-features-in-Amber/td-p/2061872

It all started when the moderator posted a guide as to what features are on which phone, and how to get them. Now for this post, I think the moderator is a little bit inaccurate because Nokia had previously confirmed many of the features that are coming to Lumia devices, with the Amber update.

One example is that he states “double tap to wake” will not be coming to the Lumia 520, which is wholly inaccurate because my Lumia 520 had them right out of the box (it had Amber pre-installed). Considering this is an AT&T branded device, I was actually sort of shocked, because AT&T is notorious for shafting it’s customers on new features for existing phones.

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So I’m not really sure what all the fuss is about because (and let’s be realistic here) the 520 and 620 are BUDGET devices, the 720…not so much.

My honest opinion, is that the Moderator was simply misinformed of the feature sets and the devices. Hopefully Nokia will clear all this up soon.

Ballmer leaving Microsoft

Wow, I expected this to eventually happen, but didn’t expect it today. MS has certainly taken an interesting turn over the last decade.

I personally have felt that Ballmer needed to exit back when they hired Ray Ozzie. MS is a tech company, and they need someone, that knows and loves tech, to lead them. Ballmer is a salesman. He can be a cheer leader for the software that they sell, but at the end of the day, that’s not what MS needs, IMO.

Despite that, Ballmer has kept MS profitable and built new products, and generated a lot of revenue. In short, he’s been a good CEO, by MBA standards.

Best wishes to you Steve :)

Google Encrypted Search?

Anyone noticed that Google has an encrypted search service? The URL is https://encrypted.google.com

Of course, let’s be realistic here. Google is an advertising company, that is good with technology. So how secure is this search, REALLY?