my Sony Z3c little annoyances

I have a Sony Z3 Compact from Three UK. The phone is one of the best phones I ever had and its form factor is superb, along with a great camera, impressive hardware, speed and battery.

Now, the first annoyance I had with it was related to Sony and the months it took to go from KitKat to Lollipop. Then was that thing called small apps that clutter the app switch screen. Finally, the tethering problem (or bug) that Three UK has with their recent update, which killed all those tethering modes.

For the first the first one, we’re stuck to Sony scheduling (or we can go to the XDA forum and grab one ROM and install ourselves). As for the last two, there’s a solution:

Install ADB on your computer (if you’re using a Mac, just install a free Windows 7 on Parallels – not VirtualBox!). Install all the drivers; first in normal mode, then using developer mode on the phone.
– Enable Developer Mode, authorise the request, connect the phone – bla bla
Fix tethering

adb shell
settings put global tether_dun_required 0
exit
adb reboot

Remove Smart Apps. On Lollipop 5.0.2 its pm hide, instead of pm block

adb shell
pm hide com.sony.smallapp.launcher
pm hide com.sony.smallapp.app.widget
exit
adb reboot

… and that’s it!

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it’s the cloud economy stupid

In two recent news:

In 2009, Zynga was a marquee customer for Amazon.com ‘cloud-computing services. Two years later, it spent $100 million to build its own data centers to handle the bulk of its computing. Now Zynga’s cloud cruise has come full circle.
http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/05/08/for-zynga-a-journey-from-the-cloud-to-home-and-back-again/

King’s College London CIO Nick Leake joins other institutions to boost the nation’s research capabilities with the UK’s first collaborative data centre .
http://www.information-age.com/technology/data-centre-and-it-infrastructure/123459441/inside-uks-first-collaborative-data-centre#sthash.0EXULtjp.dpuf

OldManYellsatCloudZynga lost millions, time and 4 years of their time reinventing what Amazon Web Services does well – cloud computing. Yet, Kings College London thinks that in 2015 the best option is to have a shared datacenter. Manage physical stuff and create complex ways of billing them to other institutions. Zynga lost 4 years on this, how many years will Kings College lose ?

Either your business is creating facebook games or doing heavy research, it definitely isn’t building datacenters and managing infrastructure – shared or not -, when today there are people doing that better than you and on a large scale, efficiently and even on a massive economic market. So, if it didn’t make any sense back in 2009 when Zynga created their own datacenter, it sure doesn’t makes now with Kings College shared datacenter.

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how microsoft changed

The NY Times has a brilliant article about Microsoft which is probably the best resume for their future and current strategy. We’ve seen Microsoft acting weird under Ballmer command – too much suits, politics and bullying everyone. Those were in fact the worst times in Microsoft history and when Ballmer left, stocks gone up.

But now we can see a clear “mobile first, cloud first” strategy with Nadella. In fact I find this whole Microsoft strategy brilliant! They’ve positioned themselves again as a software company and finally embraced the “multi-platform” into their own garden. Last Windows 10 release with support for Android and iOS apps, open sourcing .NET, multi-platform Visual Studio and some recent developments for Azure, made me thing that they’re in fact the underdog here with a lot of – again – potential.

For those who follow me on Twitter, might know already that I was at Microsoft HQ recently. And what I’ve seen was a completely new Microsoft. More open, more focused and keen to work with everyone. Now, if that is going to be translated into real things is something we’re going to find out soon, but it was the first time in years that I actually liked Microsoft. And bare with me, I’m not a Microsoft fanboy. Actually the opposite! But this recent change and strategy made me thing otherwise.

In fact when you get this from an internal presentation at Microsoft, you know that 1) things are changing for better, 2) makes you believe into a new future. Thumbs up!

 

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a genuine place to work

Happy Birthday Methods Digital; is the title of James Herbert post today on Medium. James is the managing director of Methods Digital, the company that adopted me one year ago when I moved from Zurich to London. Was probably the fastest hire ever if I recall correctly, yet the one that I don’t regret at all of accepting.

It was a year of downs and ups, moving between clients and helping them regarding infrastructure, cloud platforms and security, with a bit of marketing and IT evangelism along the way. Funny enough, working with local and central government in the UK, reminds me of my time at the Portuguese Ministry of Justice, where we rocked the boat, shaping Justice IT and public projects.

If you look at it, Methods Digital is pretty much like a startup, but starting with loads of experience and a solid financial background, giving everyone peace of mind to put their creativity and knowledge into what really matters; the business and clients.

James mentioned Methods Digital team and obviously my hair (which is by now a trademark), but to be honest, this last year it got whiter, yet some say wiser. Bottom line is that, I’ve been working in technology for the past 20 years and it’s the first time I really enjoy working with my fellow management heads, with the team that I picked to lead and all colleagues that build Methods Digital everyday.

If you follow this blog regularly, you should know by now that I love Calvin and Hobbes, so the felling of working for the past year can be described as this:

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Shadow IT and CMO power

CIO.com has a quite interesting article on how the Shadow IT favours the Chief Marketing Officer and their agenda, rather than the regular IT Manager or CIO.

Shadow IT is heavily supported by the growing consumerization of IT,

That is in fact the main issue with Shadow IT. It’s easy, cloud based, reachable via credit card and within reasonable budget for CMO’s to buy. After a while they might become a problem for the entire organisation because they a) don’t fit the IT structure, b) don’t have a common data architecture, c) they’re not interoperable with each other, d) it’s a PITA to manage after everyone’s on board.

The CMO, on the other hand, is thinking outside the box of CRM and ERP, and is excitedly testing new tech ideas and solutions to manage marketing’s top three challenges: growing profitable revenue; connecting with customers; and tackling serious competition

technolog-marketing-main-page-bannerThis is why Shadow IT happens. Someone is accelerating the business and normal IT can’t follow, so they overrun the status quo and build themselves what they need. Regular IT is always slow, not because they can’t work faster, but because they want to follow standards, rules and procedures for everyone and not a bunch of marketoids.

CMOs emerge better equipped with knowledge and understanding of business returns.

And that’s why the CMO will win the CIO/CTO. Because they fit business into technology and they can drive products and businesses, where the other just manage legacy. This isn’t new, in fact HBR was the first to put it straight: The Rise of the Chief Marketing Technologist

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future idea; world first bitcoin (physical) bank

1) Use this as a bitcoin wallet;
2) fill a datacenter with them;
3) sell it as the world first bitcoin bank
4) profit

0b20dc5f6bcc26a92002e208a637be7a_original

It comes with built-in WiFi, Arduino-compatible and it runs full Linux. It lets you prototype hardware devices using familiar tools such as Git, pip, npm, and using high level programming languages such as Python, Javascript, PHP.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/onion/onion-omega-invention-platform-for-the-internet-of

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ARM as the new Spectrum

Back in the 80’s, we had this (actually, I had one of these made in Portugal):

Timex-Computer-2048-ManipulatedThis was a Timex 2048, which was a “clone” of ZX Spectrum. And for those who were born with the internet, the Spectrum was a 8 bit personal home computer invented by Sinclair, an UK Company. It lasted for one decade and was the joy of kids back then and the proud of the British Crown.

Fast forward three decades, we can see some similarities with ARM (which funny enough is here since 85). Ref: one, two, three, four

The only difference from the 80’s Sinclair, which fuelled an entire generation is that ARM is actually positioning themselves as the power of everything: ARM buys Dutch ‘Internet of Things’ software firm Offspark

Now, what history showed us was that Mountain View can produce even better and cheaper tech than the old UK, so maybe, ARM can be the new Sinclair but with a longer lifespan.

 

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comics is the thing that keeps you young

Just found out this new documentary about cartoons and comics, called Stripped, released this year.

As you might figure out by nowvlcsnap-2015-01-03-19h41m01s198, I’m a huge fan of comics and specially Calvin and Hobbes, which in fact were the first comics I remember reading on the newspaper.

So, you can imagine my surprise when in the middle of the documentary, this comes along:

vlcsnap-2015-01-03-19h40m05s126 vlcsnap-2015-01-03-19h40m20s51

Was really amazing to listen to Bill Watterson voice and mostly to his comments on todays comics and syndication. But that was not it, Patrick McDonnell is also featuring on it and he’s has my second ever favourite comic – Mutts.

This documentary is just gold for everyone who likes comics.

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storage over privacy

Storage was that beautiful thing that used to be just yours, to put whatever you want into it and have it for yourself. It was like a no sharing thing. But now that thing is completely commoditised and 2014 was the year when it become entirely free and unlimited – on a cloud platform obviously. The table bellow shows the price for storage along the years:

Year Cost per GB
1981 $300,000.00
1987 $50,000.00
1990 $10,000.00
1994 $10,000.00
1997 $1,000.00
2000 $10.00
2004 $1.00
2012 $0.10
2014 unlimited

On the other hand, we get these prices – or unlimited for nothing – at the real cost of losing privacy over our data – whatever it is. Tradeoffs of the modern age, I assume. Maybe in 2015 we could start thinking more about privacy-as-a-service, right after having security-as-a-service on.

FrCKi

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Cisco predicts that the cloud is going to be the future

CalvinTimeMachineOld habits die hard, they say. Network is one of them. Network in the datacenter is not actually a modern habit. It’s rather vanishing because more people are using cloud computing services to put their datacenter there. But that’s so 2010…. and we’re almost in 2015.

So, Cisco, that network giant did some research into the future of datacenters and computing services and came up with the brilliant conclusion that cloud computing is going to be the future in 2018. That’s sweet and interesting, but we’ve passed that already and I was actually expecting more insights than rather common sense. Nevertheless, the report is here: http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/global-cloud-index-gci/Cloud_Index_White_Paper.pdf

Regardless the timing for this report, I must agree that these dumb pipes will actually play a major role in the future for everyone, because we need them pretty dumb, to provide network access to our stuff out there.

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IE for all

Finally Microsoft launched an Internet Explorer for developers and designers to test their own websites. It’s free and it’s not a virtual machine but rather an Azure (free) service. It requires a Live ID and Remote IE subscription, then Remote Desktop to use it. More details here: https://remote.modern.ie/subscribe 

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 23.44.35

Hint: for those in the UK, with Remote IE on Azure you can access blocked content (like torrents).

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