Showing posts with label Smartphone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Smartphone. Show all posts

Friday, July 03, 2015

Digitizing Money For The Poor

I have an enormous interest in finance for the people at the very bottom. I think magical advances are possible. And there is also a lot of money to be made.

Exponential Finance: Who Will Be the Instagram or Uber of Finance?
Instagram was acquired for a billion dollars the same year Kodak went bankrupt. Though Kodak invented the digital camera behind Instagram’s business model—they failed to fully embrace it and paid the price. Uber is a five-year-old transportation company worth $40 billion, and they don't own a single car or bus. ....... relatively small organizations are rapidly rising up to take on big traditional players with little more than an app on a smartphone. So, what models are leading contenders to become the Instagram or Uber of finance? ..... As smartphones become ubiquitous in the developing world, it's possible many of the world’s unbanked billions in developing countries will skip traditional finance, a little like how they leapfrogged landlines for cell phones. ....... bank-free, digital cash will be a force to be reckoned with. ........ blockchain’s potential is massive—not just for cryptocurrencies, but anything of value. The same technology that records and confirms Bitcoin transactions can, in theory, do the same thing for “a will, a deed, a title, a license, intellectual property, an invention, or any type of financial instrument.” ...... Machines doing what machines do best, and humans doing what humans do best. Better together than either one alone. ...... By more fully digitizing finance (parts of it are, of course, already digitized), we can supercharge commerce and reduce the cost of doing business. ...... Even now, the digital camera market is shrinking as point-and-shoot cameras are replaced by smartphones. ...... Reality has surpassed science fiction.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

One World

Logo of Comcast Latina: Insigne Comcast
Logo of Comcast Latina: Insigne Comcast (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bill Gates went on record a few weeks back saying, he is doing good work with his foundation, but the scales of the problems are so enormous, what you truly need is a world government. That is the only way you can tackle the biggest problems of poverty and disease. And I agree.

There is poverty, there is disease, and then there is that number one invention of the new millennium: your smartphone. Why can't you pay your monthly phone bill and have the phone work no matter where you go in the world? To most people who might be in a position to give a push to the idea of a world government, poverty and disease might be abstract concepts, but the phone is not, it is in your hand, it knows you better than your family.

Comcast has come out saying it will roll out a 2 GBPS internet service across the US. That was the kind of result Google wanted to see with its own roll out. But I think the ball moved only after Google threatened to do to TV ads what it had done to classifieds.

Google might now be taking the lead on the global phone plan. You pay one place and go anywhere.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Constantly Voting People

English: Ballot Box showing preferential voting
English: Ballot Box showing preferential voting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Recently Twitter bought a company in India whose key insight is the missed call phenomenon. I guess in India you buy a phone. And there is no monthly fee. And if you only receive phone calls, you don't owe the phone company anything. I still think the phone companies make a ton of money in the process because Indians are a talkative bunch. Indian take the whole democracy thing a little too seriously.

So this company mastered the art of customer service through missed calls. And it had an impressive exit.

This reminds me of the power of SMS. We are squarely in the era of smartphones at least in the rich countries and very fast catching up in the poor countries. But SMS is still the killer application. The most popular apps on the smartphone revolve around SMS. And I believe there is a message there.

Seeking out numerous voting opportunities for people would be an idea. Let people be constantly voting. SMS based daily voting, voting multiple times a day. On all sorts of issues.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Google's Modular Phone Challenges OnePlus One

The Nexus phone was a breath of fresh air. But I thought the OnePlus One did challenge the Nexus brand. Now I think Google's modular phone is a major challenge to the OnePlus One, and other smartphones in general. My current phone is still Nexus 4. I wish I could get a battery that lasted twice as long, and I wish I could replace my 5 MP camera with a 10 or 13 or 15 MP camera. But other than that, I am quite happy with my phone. And the modular phone is supposed to allow you just such upgrades. You don't ditch the whole phone. You just upgrade a part you want to upgrade. I like that. And I love the price point. $50. Finally a smartphone for the global masses. And, yes, I also want 64 GB. My 8 GB has felt inadequate as soon as I got my phone!

Google’s modular $50 smartphone set for January 2015 release

Thursday, October 09, 2014


Low Price, High Hopes for OnePlus Phone
I’ve been using the One for the last couple of weeks, and I’ve found it to be one of the best smartphones I’ve ever used. The One has a beautifully spare design, it’s loaded with the latest tech specs, and it runs CyanogenMod, a version of Google’s Android operating system that is far more flexible and easier to use than the cumbersome flavors of Android now stuffed into rival phones. Best of all, the One sells for $299. ...... Samsung’s profits are being battered by the intense competition from low-priced rivals. .... of OnePlus’s global staff, a third of the employees are from Asia, a third from Europe and a third from the United States. “We don’t really think of ourselves as a Chinese start-up” ..... the One is similar to Google’s Nexus 5, another high-quality, low-price phone — but over all, the One is more powerful, and far prettier, than the Nexus.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Smartphone Lenses That Move Sideways

Deutsch: Prinzip eines Zoom-Objektivs, stark v...
Deutsch: Prinzip eines Zoom-Objektivs, stark vereinfacht. Die einzelne Linse ganz links stellt das Grundobjektiv dar. Die drei weiteren Linsen bilden gemeinsam ein afokales System. Selbst erstellt mit POVRAY 3.5 unter Verwendung freier Skripte und der frei verf├╝gbaren Version von LINOS Photonics WinLens 4.3, Quellcode beim Uploader wegen eines Festplattenchrashs leider nicht mehr in einer funktionierenden Version vorhanden. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I probably use my phone as a camera more than anything else. Therefore I am all ears when something like this shows up in the news. I am not too hungry for more megapixels. But the lack of meaningful optical zoom has been a major problem from day one. It has been in the "God, give me the wisdom to accept things I can not change" category.

Lenses That Move Sideways Could Improve Smartphone Snaps
To pack a camera-quality optical zoom into a smartphone ...... For now, the DyanOptics lens prototypes can magnify objects up to three times larger than they really are. Chan says the company expects to magnify objects up to five or six times ..... Chan is already thinking beyond the smartphone. She believes the technology could find a home in the cameras strapped to drones or robots. ..... there are cameras everywhere