theSync LIVE!: The e-Commerce Show!

In case you missed it.  Herlen, The Rod, and I were in the studio leading in the season 4 premier of Game of Thrones. We had Modev’s Pete Erickson on the phone sharing details how Apple proved all of the naysayers wrong by selling out of Apple Watch pre-order inventory.

During the second half of the show, we talked about a recent Baltimore Sun article that highlighted many of our city’s small business owners concern over Amazon Prime Now being activated.  Prime subscribers can now get Tide with Bleach, diapers, and even fresh groceries within the hour thanks to Amazon building a new warehouse in town.  Arun Saraswat joined us and shared how this could actually be an opportunity for Baltimore’s business owners thrive and used Amazon to better reach the customers.  And finally, we closed out the show with Brian Williams from purchaseblack.com who shared how small business owners can target black consumers through the web.

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BizTechInsider: Small Business Security, the Mobile Summer, and Fun

Hello Syncophiles,

I sincerely apologize for getting this week’s episode up late.

As many of you know, I am a contributor to Omar Muhammad’s broadcast workshop, Briefcase Radio, every other month. I host a technology segment for small business owners called BizTechInsider. We provide all sorts of insight, best practices, gadgets, and information to help small business owners utilize technology in their businesses the most effective way.

This month I had one of my long time software testers, Herlen Bess on, as well as the publisher for Webster Style Magazine, Elden Hawkes. We talked about small business security, the hot competition in the smartphone market, and shared ways small business owners can avoid debacles similar to Target’s Christmas Massacre.

Please share any tips and techniques you use to secure yourself and protect your digital assets with us in the comments. Also, please share theSync with your friends.

Thanks for reading, and listening.

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BizTechInsider: Cloud Computing Technologies and theSync

Last night we talked about Cloud Computing technologies on the radio show. In case you missed it last night, here’s the recap in brief.

Cloud Computing has taken on many meanings, but for most, it’s understood to be utility computing. Meaning that you pay only for the storage, bandwidth, or computing time your applications need. Cloud computing has also taken on software as a service and platform as a service offerings in which you pay for web applications or operating environments on a subscription basis. For your business, there are applications that help you store your data and backup files in the cloud such as Carbonite, Mozy, and DropBox. These services give you access to your files anywhere you have an internet connection.

So how do these services work.

awsProviders like Amazon with their Amazon Web Services products or Microsoft with it’s Azure product provide online storage and virtual servers that host running applications.

azureServices such as Instagram use these services to store your photos and host their applications lowering their costs and making the system seamless to the user. If you’re considering building your own applications, check out Azure or Amazon Web Services and compare the costs and capabilities of the providers. Storage is usually billed at cents on the gigabyte and are an affordable way to build your next great social media or technology idea.

I’m William Mapp, thanks for listening, and reading. You’ve been synced.

theSync: My Wishlist for the New GS4

Sammy is releasing a new smartphone this Thursday and it’s the most excited I’ve ever been for an Android device announcement. We’re getting a Samsung device for our Snapperific for Android development and I’m waiting with bated breath to see what Samsung is releasing this March 14th.

The Galaxy SIII is already a good device and I’m sure the S4 is going to be an Android device I’ll want to buy.

1. Performance

The S3 already has a quad core, 1.4 gHz processor. I’d like to see a quad-core, 2.4+ gHz processor and more than 4 GB of RAM. exynos_5This would put the phone in computing territory. You could find computers and laptops that had similar capabilities. You could run some of the Census Bureau’s data processing applications on the device. That sweet 8-core processor Samsung unveiled at CES would be really nice, but I don’t think we’ll see this in Thursday’s device.

2. Screen

flexiblescreenSamsung’s Super AMOLED HD screen is already beautiful. I’d be satisfied with any improvement in the screen’s resolution and brightness.  A flexible screen with a flexible phone would be awesome, but I doubt we’ll see that.

 

 

 

3. Shooter

I’ve been waiting for a smartphone that gives me a 12 MP camera, but I’m not holding out for Samsung to deliver it Thursday. What I would like are cleaner 12-bit CCDs on these devices. Smartphones are getting really close to the awesome factor when it comes to their cameras, an Oscar winning movie was partially filmed on an iPhone. Currently, I think the iPhone5, S3, and Nokia N9 have the best cameras and I’d like to see S4 give the others solid competition.

4. Size

Samsung-Galaxy-S431The pictures I’ve seen show a Samsung phone that was impossibly thin. I hope this comes to pass. I’d like to see the device in a smaller form factor and not some mini- edition. I think the screen is a little big for a daily phone in which the killer app is talking. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Apple has the phone proportions right on this one.

 

5. Sound

I’m picky about sound, I consider myself a novice audiphile. I don’t think any of the smartphones on the market have sophisticated sound processing. For any music play on my iPhone, I use my own custom written app, AME, to listen to music. I’ve listened with my Beats Studio headphones on other devices and I find them lacking. Other phones out there have been marketing a ‘Beats Audio’ driver on their devices and I’d like to see a true hardware driven sound processor on these devices, and for Samsung to deliver it. Something from Yamaha with 600+ drum kits, a thousand instruments, and 50 voices. That would be nice.

Let me know what you’d like Samsung to release this Thursday in the comments.

Thanks for listening and reading.

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theSync: Happy Anniversary

It is Episode 52 which means that we’ve been producing theSync for a year. First, I want to thank each and everyone of you that have subscribed to our RSS feed, and have subscribed to theSync in iTunes. Throughout the year, you guys have made us a Top 500 in Business podcast on podomatic. I didn’t think I’d be in the Top 1 Million!

Thank you!

Here are some big events that have happened in the past year, just off the top of my head.

Apple released 3 iPads in the same year, the iPad3, iPad3-enhanced, and the iPad Mini. I bought my iPad3 in the Spring thinking all I had to do was keep it scratch and ding free until next year when Apple releases another iPad3 with an upgraded processor. It wasn’t enough for me to pull the trigger, but I did get the misses a brand spanking new iPad Mini for Christmas. I have to admit, the device just feels right in your hand. I like the form factor more than the Nexus 7 and it feels better.

Android finally surpasses Apple in smartphone market share. Android cracks the 39.7% barrier becoming the leading smartphone platform in the world. For me, this came as no surprise. Everyone and their grandmother has produced an Android smartphone. I’d wager Apple may have slapped their own UI on top of Android in the confines of Cupertino. We are now revisiting the Mac vs. PC war with an Android vs. PC war.

Courts finally resolve Samsung and Apple’s legal battle resulting in a 400 million dollar settlement. Yeah, I’m not too keen on Apple suing everyone in an IP fight. If they are suing to block other people’s ideas, then they aren’t creating their own.

The coolest thing out of CES was Audi’s autodriving car. This car will get you there, drop you off, and pick your ass up. Why do I think Audi’s car is so cool? Because they stuffed all of the tech in a real car. Not a buggy, or some shell, or a tricked out BMW that’s programmed to run the Top Gear track. A real Audi A7. I can’t have flying cars, but we’re a hair step closer to iRobot.

widgets3D printing gets closer to the mainstream with 500 dollar printers. You may not think so, but I honestly believe 3D printing is a game changer. Whoever rules tech and manufacturing will own the 21st century, and being able to make quick widgets with 3D printers is the next step for building custom products, new tooling, and the final frontier. Years ago, no one imagined high resolution printers at home, or being able to have your own printer in your cube. In all things tech, the components and materials will drop down to near nothing and you too will be printing the parts in your next home improvement project.

The App Store passes 40 billion downloads. Nothing special here either, but it is notable. There is a different culture between Android and iOS users and although there are more devices it’s no surprise that there are more iOS downloads.

The best Free Photo and Video app, Snapperific, was released last June. We hit the top 1000 a couple of times. Easily send great looking pictures to anyone in the world. Check it out.

Samsung releases the Galaxy S3 which is by far the best Android phone on the market. The GS3, is the best Android smart phone on the market no doubt. It has a beautiful screen and solid build quality. It’s been known to make an Apple prospect turn away.  The GS3 is so awesome, I’m geeked to see what Samsung does with the GS4, and I haven’t felt this way about an Android device since the EVO4G.

PCs continue their downward slide continuing the post PC era. We’re definitely in a post-PC era. iDevices out sell Apple’s PCs, and dirt cheap Android tablets make sense for those wanting to get their first computing devices. For many, the killer app is the web browser; and the horsepower, screen sizes, and complexity of PCs are a bit much.

Corning debuts Willow Glass at CES making us all long for our Tony Stark bedrooms. Willow GLass kicks ass. It really does. You hear me complain about glossy buttons and fake surfaces, and thanks to Metro UI and Willow Glass we could finally get to the point in time where we have truly modern interfaces.

The Olympics goes high tech with a super sensitive track and picosecond timers. I’m an Olympics nuts. And last year’s Olympics had a super fast track and new starting blocks accurate to the picosecond.

pebblewatchThis year, Pebble finally releases their Dick Tracy watch. The Pebble, can interface with your smartphone and control the mp3 player controls. You can also treat it as a speaker phone. With an e-ink display, the Pebble is simply awesome.

 

 

 

Microsoft releases Surface with fanfare without the sales. I was really looking forward to Surface. I like Windows 8 and I think Metro is awesome. The devices are well built and should be a great fit for the enterprise crowd with Office and other Windowsey aspects. Long term, I think Surface can outsell Android, especially if the price is right, but at $499, it’s going to be a tough sell.

The Nexus 10 was released with a retina display shattering screen. At 2560×1600 it has more pixels than any other tablet on the market. People will argue about pixel pitch and spacing, but the major numbers are the major numbers.

NASA releases some seriously awesome images from Voyager making me question current day digicam tech. If you aren’t blown away by the digital images thumb200x150_jupiter3transmitted from Voyager, something’s really wrong with you. Yeah the images are scrubbed by NASA super computers, but let’s not forget that this is 1970’s tech. My smartphone camera should be way better in my opinion.

2004_usgov_secgradesThe US still receives a D grade on their IT security report card. Either as misdirection (the likely story) or fact, our government’s IT security posture still sucks. When I’m driving out of town on Rt. 50, the Washington TImes sign will show that some Chinese hacker broke in somewhere or that a DoD server was exploited. Sheesh!

Lastly, my friend and collaborator Mike Foster passed away last year, months after encouraging me to start this journey. Mike listened to my radio show and served as my editor for everything from proposals to editorials. He believed I could make something out of this and so far he’s been right.

Today’s podcast and blog post is dedicated to you my friend.

Tech news happens everyday, let me know what events I’ve missed. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for listening and reading, and you’ve been synced.

theSync: 5 Reasons Not to Buy an iPad Mini for Your Small Business

The iPad Mini is out and many of my entrepreneur colleagues and friends have asked if they should get an iPad Mini to take along with them in the field.


Short answer.

No.

Long answer, listen to this week’s sync.

Thanks for reading and listening.

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theSync: 5 Apps for Your Election 2012 Viewing Party

I’m back from Vegas, and as soon as I got back the first ad I saw was some crap about jobs and Romney-Obama something. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for this thing to be over. Today, I’m presenting theSync’s Presidential Election Campaign 2012 App Extravaganza. In this podcast, I share with you 5 apps you can use to track polls, news, and ultimately returns during Super Tuesday.


Regardless of the political stripes you subscribe to, get out an vote and become part of the process.

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