# Monday, 08 February 2010

On January 22nd 1984, during the 3rd quarter of the Super Bowl, Apple unveiled the Macintosh personal computer for the first time with a masterful TV commercial directed by Ridley Scott. I was only 12 years old at the time and I still remember it, it was that good. Almost 25 years later I studied it in business school, that is how important to Apple this ad was. The ad was a take on the George Orwell classic novel 1984 and is considered Apple’s defining moment. The ad said that Apple arrived and is now part of the game in a big way.

Since then the Super Bowl has been used to create brand awareness and many other companies have tried to put themselves on the map the way Apple did that January in 1984. A few even succeeded, Monster.com is one that comes to mind. Another, pets.com, created such brand awareness for its corporate mascot, that the mascot lived on, even though pets.com went out of business 9 months after its Super Bowl ad.

Google has never spent any money on traditional advertising. Not a single Google ad has ever appeared on TV and to my knowledge, in print media either. They grew to be a multi-billion dollar company by word of mouth. That is why this morning while watching the Super Bowl (it is morning in China) I almost fell out of my chair when the Google ad played.

The ad was perfect.  It was simple and kept your attention by telling a love story. It focused on the core business of Google: search.

While not a masterpiece like 1984, the ad did the job in a very Google way. Since Google is already “on the map” this ad was a signal to Apple (iPhone) and Microsoft (Bing): Watch out, we’re coming! The ad is a signal of the arrival of Google 2.0. The company that grew up on search that is now making phones, browsers, operating systems, and much more.

Well played Google.

 

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posted on Monday, 08 February 2010 04:27:49 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Saturday, 06 February 2010

Check out my pre-con at TechEd North America, Joel and I will be speaking on Agile. Register here. :)

PRC07 The Agile Methodology Demystified: Implementing Agile in Your Organization

Track: Development Practices

Speaker(s): Joel Semeniuk, Stephen Forte

Agile project management and development methods are being adopted at many development shops. After an introduction to the basics of Agile and Scrum, including: project planning and estimation, the Scrum Master, team, product owner and burn down, and of course the daily Scrum, certified scrum masters Stephen and Joel show many real-world applications of the methodology drawn from their own experience. Negotiating with the business, estimation, and team dynamics are all discussed as well as how to use Scrum in small organizations, large enterprise environments, and consulting environments. Next we discuss using Scrum with virtual teams and an off-shoring environment. We then take a look at some of the planning tools we will use for Agile Estimation, including planning poker, Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, and much more. We dive into some agile developer techniques such as TDD, Continuous Integration, and Dependency Injection, and round out the pre-con with a discussion on Agile developer tools and how they can help (and sometimes hinder) the development process. The speakers have a very interactive style so participation is encouraged and there will be plenty of time for Q&A. This seminar is a jump start for preparing for a scrum master certification.

 

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posted on Saturday, 06 February 2010 03:56:32 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 05 February 2010

.NET Ninja in training, Peter Bahaa, shows us how to build a WCF Endpoint using Telerik OpenAccess entities and the Data Services Wizard beta 1.

Telerik Data Services Wizard Beta1-REST Collection from Stephen Forte on Vimeo.

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posted on Friday, 05 February 2010 07:12:26 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 04 February 2010

 SQL Server Modeling (formerly "Oslo") is a new model driven development paradigm. Developers can model their applications using the new M language. M allows you to define a structure for your data as well as represent it in graph based values. Representing values in the M language is very similar to JSON, which will allow you to represent your data in name/value pairs. Here is an example of M values in action:

People
{
     { Id=>1, Name=>"Steve", Age=>36},
     { Id=>2, Name=>"Mike", Age=>29}
}

Last summer, Telerik created the industry’s only LINQ to M (Values) implementation. The Telerik LINQ to M implementation allows the developer to use pure LINQ statements with blocks of M values, pure text or the results of a transformed DSL. With the new SQL Server Modeling November CTP there are some changes to the M specification, so we have updated our core DLLs to accommodate this. Download it for free here. Shoot me any feedback you have.

image

Enjoy!

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posted on Thursday, 04 February 2010 02:50:39 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, 03 February 2010

.NET Ninja in training, Peter Bahaa, shows us how to build a WCF Endpoint using Telerik OpenAccess entities and the Data Services Wizard beta 1.

Telerik Data Services Wizard Beta1-WCF from Stephen Forte on Vimeo.

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posted on Wednesday, 03 February 2010 01:55:44 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 02 February 2010

.NET Ninja in training, Peter Bahaa, once again returns to show us how to build a WCF .NET Data Service (aka Astoria) using Telerik OpenAccess entities and the Data Services Wizard beta 1.

Telerik Data Service Wizard Beta1-Astoria from Stephen Forte on Vimeo.

 

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posted on Tuesday, 02 February 2010 01:55:39 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 01 February 2010

The content middle men (Hollywood studios, record labels, book publishers, etc) are suspicious of digital content. I predicted last month that they will fight back this year against digital distribution, most notably against Netflix and Amazon. Last month Warner Brothers held Netflix hostage and threatened to withhold its content unless Netflix held back new releases for 30 days. Netflix had no choice but to capitulate.

Inspired by their motion picture brothers’ success with Netflix, book publisher Macmillan recently held Amazon hostage. They threatened to withhold their entire collection of books, print and digital, unless Amazon raised their prices for the Kindle. Amazon challenged, but lost and yesterday had to capitulate as well. New books from Macmillan will now cost between $12.99 and $14.99 for the kindle. (FYI, Steve Jobs of Apple said that the iPad’s pricing model will be identical to Amazon as well.) I am now embarrassed that my first book was a Macmillan imprint.

You can’t blame Netflix and Amazon, they had a gun to their head. They are pioneering a new way to legally consume digital content, so we always knew that the middle men would fight back. While the studios hold all the power today, that will not be the case tomorrow.  People who use Netflix never go back to the old model, same with the Kindle. (I say, if it is not on the Kindle, it doesn’t exist.) As Kindles, iPods, iPads, Sony eReaders, etc, all grow in numbers, the studios and publishers will no longer be in a superior position, and the market will remember the barriers they are putting up today. This day is almost here, my 68 year old uncle now streams movies with Netflix.  My parents get the Kindle. My mom has an iPod. An entire generation is now growing up with iTunes and Kindles-my 13 year old niece will not leave the house without her iPod and Kindle.

Today consumers and innovation lost a battle. But the war is far from over.

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posted on Monday, 01 February 2010 06:04:38 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, 31 January 2010

Apple and Google are the current darlings of Silicon Valley. Anything they do is golden and for the longest time they formed a tag team with Apple building great consumer electronics and Google leading in search and other search related applications like Maps and GMail. Google Search, Google Maps, and GMail power the iPhone and helped it be such the huge success it was. The sweet relationship between the two tech giants was only growing.

Now it is war.

First Google made Android. That pissed off Apple somewhat, even causing the Google CEO to quit Apple’s board. Google use to get the location data from each search on the iPhone and Apple started to withhold it last year. Apple feared that Google would use this valuable data to do market research and to build behavior metrics into the Android. If Google knew every search performed on an iPhone and the location where the user was standing when making that search, that is very valuable market research information if you are thinking of entering the mobile market.

Then last summer Google Voice was rejected by the Apple App Store. As I wrote on this blog several times about Google Voice, it is disruptive technology that AT&T is threatened by, so Apple rejected it, showing us once again that Steve Jobs controls the iPhone very tightly. While this spat was ugly, it was just a lovers quarrel. The FCC got involved and some high profile tech luminaries ditched their iPhones over this, but it was a not a declaration of war.

Then came the Nexus One. Pearl Harbor. Now Google is right on Apple’s turf. Apple decided to buy a mobile advertising company to retaliate. The war is on.

Even the iPad is a front in this war. ChromeOS started to ruffle Apple’s feathers. While ChromeOS is a threat to Microsoft in the NetBook space (but Windows 7 for Netbooks is something like $7), ChromeOS is on a collision course with the iPad. In the battle for lower end light weight web device laptop/netbook/slate market, it will be ChromeOS vs the iPad.

Steve Jobs decided to get into the rally the troops mode now that war is on. As reported by Wired, Jobs went ballistic at an Apple company town hall meeting when the topic of Google was brought up.  He claimed that Google wants to kill the iPhone, but “we won’t let them!” He said that Google’s mantra of “don’t be evil” is “bullshit.”

Wow, this venom is usually reserved for Microsoft. Speaking of which, Apple is rumored to replace Google as the default search application on the iPhone with Microsoft's Bing. Warfare makes strange allies.

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posted on Sunday, 31 January 2010 22:07:10 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Wednesday, 27 January 2010

After you read Gizmodo or Tech Crunch, read this blog next.

With more hype and fanfare than the President’s State of the Union Address, Apple launched the much anticipated iPad today. Despite the surprisingly many show stopper (for me at least) complaints like: no camera for web calls, no USB ports, no widescreen form factor, AT&T 3G, no HDMI output, and no Flash and Silverlight support, the iPad will probably sell well at first. Then sales will drop off. Even though version 2.0 will have a USB port and an HDMI output, I don’t see the iPad being a massive break out hit like the iMac, iPod, and iPhones before it.

The reason why is because we just don’t want a tablet. The industry has been trying for years. Apple tried as far back as 1983 and failed. Microsoft has been trying for almost a decade and failed (Tablet PCs are only 2% of PC sales.) If you have a smart phone and a laptop, where does the slate/tablet fit in? Apple says you will use the iPad to surf the web, however, the web will be pretty crippled without any Flash or Silverlight support. Nor can you make video Skype calls. Apple says you will read books, but the battery life and eye strain will drive the eReader crowd back to the Kindle. Apple says you will watch TV and movies, however, with a 4:3 (non widescreen) form factor and without HDMI output you will watch less and less media.

Since I am not going to ditch my smartphone and I am not going to ditch my laptop, I don’t need another device to carry around. The iPad can’t replace a laptop without multitasking. It is too big to replace my phone. Apple was figuring that maybe it would replace my Kindle, however, the Kindle’s power is that it does just one thing and one thing great: it is an awesome platform to read books without any eyestrain. Nothing else.

The iPad is not a category killer. I guess Steve Jobs is human after all.

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posted on Wednesday, 27 January 2010 23:07:43 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback