Chris J Powell

WebApp Wednesday – Markdown

During my evaluation of Content Management Solutions for the relaunch of this site I looked at a lot of Flat File CMS’s that not only supported the Markdown Language but were built directly around it.  Despite returning to the site’s roots as a WordPress based website, I fell in love with the idea of being able to not only write the posts and pages in a language that was easy to understand where the code was coming from, but would also enable me to port the information over to PDF in real time without loosing any formatting or needing to rebuild things with the wonderful world of Copy & Paste. I live and breath with the Chrome Browser and as nice as it is to be able to leverage a native application, I found myself needing the option to be able to move from my Desktop, to my Chromebook to my Tablet and to my phone with a single application that I could save my .md files directly to my Google Drive that is enabled across all of the devices…and … Read more

New Hardware in the Mobile Space

Love them or Hate them…Amazon is breaking into new ground as a company with their new Fire Phone and from the looks of things…it is pretty interesting.  The real question is just how much impact can the world’s largest online retailer have with breaking into this incredibly crowded space to really compete against the iPhone, the Samsung Juggernaut and the plethora of other handset manufacturers? Compared to the other flag ship phones on the market…it stacks up pretty well but will it prove as popular as the Kindle Fire or will it whither on the vine like so many handsets before it? The fact that the purchase includes one year of Prime Membership is a bonus (which is normally $99 per year) it will prove an interesting twist for those super fans of the Shopping experience. The phone itself is on pre-order right now with the release slated for July 25, 2014 and only time will tell if it will be a success or a flop. Amazon Fire Phone Samsung S5 Apple iPhone Dimensions 139.2 x 66.5 x 8.9 … Read more

Memory Lane – My First Cell Phone

I have been carrying a Cell Phone on a daily basis since the fall of 1995. I remember the day that I got my phone quite well as I went to the International Plowing Match with my Father (an annual event for us growing up) when it was first in Roseville, ON. It was my Graduation Present from my dad at a time when I really needed personal communications as I was working as a Security Guard in Toronto and more than once had run into situations that a Cell Phone was a matter of life and death. At the time, there was no Smart Phones and the selection was not only limited…it was still fairly rare to see a phone that was not tethered to a vehicle. The Nokia 636 was and is a solid phone. It did not need a Sim Card as it was on the pre-PCS network provided by Bell Mobility. I went looking through the web for specs and well to compare this venerable phone to what is available today is just not possible as … Read more

Free App Friday – The DVR for your Meetings

As a Sales Professional I am faced with meetings and the need at times very long drives so when I was listening to the All About Android podcast on TWiT last night I was intrigued by one of their suggestions from the AAA Arena.  So what is this Cogi they spoke of? It is a Pure Productivity App that could mean the difference between success and failure.  Capturing the “moments” that are most important and functional could mean the difference between “inference” and “understanding”.  Right now it is available for Android but an iOS version is said to be coming soon so check back if you are unfortunate enough to use an iPhone. From their site, there is a tag line that I think really leverages the core concept of what they hope to achieve with this app: Writing or typing takes your attention away from what’s going on around you. Cogi lets you take down what was just said with a single finger tap, so your attention can stay with the room. The act of taking down notes … Read more

What Are You Using That “Device” For?

There is a growing trend that we all need gadgets and devices to be able to do the things that we do. I myself have 3 Tablets, a Smart Phone, a Laptop and 2 Desktop PCs but what am I using all that Computing Power for? he reality of Consumerization is that the devices we have, serve different purposes and many times it may look like certain companies are running away with all the glory (take the iPad line with a 40% market share in total devices but account for over 80% of the Tablet internet traffic). I was looking through an article by Gale Gruman titled “When a smartphone is not a smartphone and a tablet is not a tablet” and it struck me that the devices that I use to surf the web, do research, build spread sheets and play games are all different but all the same in many ways but at the same time…VERY, VERY different. So I took a step back and looked at what I do on each of the devices that are uniquely connected … Read more

Facebook Phone! Why?

So the long rumored Facebook Phone has been announced but it is not quite a full Facebook Phone… makes EVERYTHING Facebooky and that is just not cool…at least that is my opinion.  Actually in looking at some of the functions of the new Facebook Home, it might actually be useful…maybe. During the announcement yesterday, Mark Zuckerburg (CEO of Facebook) said: we’re finally going to talk about that Facebook phone. Or more accurately we’re going to talk about how you can turn your Android phone into a great social, simple device Ok…so it is not a Facebook Phone?  Now I am confused, what is this an App or a Phone?  Well it is a bit of both.  Facebook partnered with HTC to make the HTC First to be the first native Facebook Home phone…so it is a phone…without being a phone?  Now I am really confused. In looking at the drama filled heartfelt video promotion it seems to be an altruistic endeavor to connect everyone together with the pervasive existence of SmartPhones.  Ok I can get on board with that…but Facebook … Read more

Can Blackberry 10 save RIM?

I am Canadian!  Yes and while I may not be a Tim Horton’s sipping, Toque Wearing, Maple Syrup            Dealing type of Canadian…I do root for the the good things that Canada has to offer.  I support the Toronto Maple Leafs (but I am taking a year off in protest of the NHL Lockout), I think the CFL and its 3 downs and longer field make for a more exciting game than the NFL and I hope that RIM can make a comeback with their upcoming release of Blackberry 10! RIM is pulling out all the stops and having their product launch tomorrow and from looking at the specs that I pulled down from impressive does not even begin to define the flagship Blackberry Z10: Card slot microSD, up to 32 GB Internal 16 GB storage, 2 GB RAM Primary Camera 8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash Video Yes, 1080p@30fps Secondary Yes, 2 MP, 720p@30fps The reality is, RIM has a lot riding on the successful launch of the “new Blackberry” and … Read more

Manage the Device, or Manage the Apps???

The world is very quickly moving towards an ecosystem that allows us to see basically everything we want, from one device to another.  This happens all the time right now with my Chrome Browser that syncs my Bookmarks from my desktop, to my iPad to my Android Phone and then back to my three laptops (one being work supplied).  So if this concept of hardware agnostic Management is possible…what is being done to really focus on the biggest challenge of Mobile Device Management which is the “rogue apps” that users will download? The Building and maintaining of an Enterprise App Store is upon us and one vendor looks like they have licked the challenge of managing the Apps available relieving the heart palpitations that many IT Security Professions have when the question of opening the corporate network in a BYOD environment. App Central claims to be able to reign in these concerns and with so many businesses looking to jump out and enter the “Post PC” era this becomes more and more important.  There are two really interesting philosophies that … Read more

Nokia is Looking Past its Microsoft Love Fest

It would appear that the Love Fest between Nokia and Microsoft is starting to wain.  CEO Stephen Elop gave one of those non-committal messages that makes on hope that the Finnish Phone Maker finally gets its head on straight and joins the rest of the party. “In the current ecosystem wars we are using Windows Phone as our weapon.  But we are always thinking about what’s coming next, what will the role of HTML5, Android…Today we are committed and satisfied with Microsoft, but anything is possible.” Hmmm…that really makes me wonder if there really is hope for what was once the biggest cellphone manufacturer in the world to come out of the past 2 years of utter darkness and regain its former glory. What would be really awesome is to see Ubuntu on a Nokia Handset!  As much as I love all things Motorola, I do have a strong affinity to Nokia as it was the first Cell phone that I ever owned back in 1995 when I was working Security in Toronto.  This device, saved my life more than … Read more

There is a Battle Brewing…and It May Turn into an All Out WAR!

We have all seen the power plays in the Mobility Space.  Fingers being pointed from one company to another about who owns what patent and what shape a Smartphone or Tablet should be, but if you thought 2012 was a challenging year to keep up with when it comes to the fast and furious Mobile Device War…hold onto your hat…2013 is likely gonna be a whole lot more interesting! Right now there really is three phones leading the way as far as being truly cutting edge and battling for the hearts and minds of today’s mobile computing Geek.  Those three phones account for more than 55 million units sold in 2012 so what are the Big three? The iPhone 5 with its elongated screen, Apple Maps getting 1000’s of people lost and the cult of Mac drooling over what the Post-Jobs idea farm will pump out next not to mention the rendering of 1000’s of accessories obsolete! The Samsung S3 with its monster screen, slick Android Interface and sleek “this is not Apple” styling and form and function that is … Read more