If you’ve been reading CrackBerry enough you’ll know that we are no stranger to ShortcutMe by Fonware Ltd. The app gives you the ability to create even more shortcuts on your BlackBerry. No longer will you be limited to the number of shortcuts that RIM has built into the BlackBerry OS. The developers of ShortcutMe have just us let us know that they’ve temporarily dropped the price of ShortcutMe in celebration of it being featured on BlackBerry App World. If you’ve been feeling a little short handed (see what I did there?) and could use the ability to make your own quick keys to apps and fuctions on your BlackBerry, then I suggest you take advantage of this deal.
A brand new feature that was introduced in BlackBerry OS 7.1 is Battery Saving Mode. This simple option lets you set a battery threshold which will then automatically adjust settings to conserve battery. So instead of keeping a close eye on your device when your battery hits a low point (say 20%), with this feature enabled, the device will automatically adjust things like screen brightnes and time out in order to not waste battery power. Battery Saving Mode isn’t a miracle worker, but it will keep your BlackBerry hanging on a bit longer until you can find your way to a charger. A very cool feature that I’m sure you won’t mind having.
If you’re running OS 7.1, Battery Saving Mode should be enabled by default, but you can head to Options Device Battery Saving Mode to enable/disable this feature and change the battery level. Keep in mind this is just one way to save battery on your device. You can always manually change some settings to conserve battery power. Things like turning off Wifi and lowering screen brightness can go a long way. For more on this, check out ten tips and tricks to maximize your BlackBerry battery life. If all else fails, just carry a spare battery or charger and you’ll never have to worry about a dead device!
I’ve only been playing this game for a few hours, but already I’m totally addicted. Great Little War Game is an awesome strategy game for the BlackBerry PlayBook that I can already see will take up wayyy too much of my time. The premise of the game is simple and and it’s super easy to get the hang of it so you can jump right in.
Take command of your army and battle the foe on land, sea and air but be sure to make wise decisions as you go. You want to deploy your soldiers to take full advantage of the higher terrain, natural choke points, ambush spots and defensive walls. Get it right and the bad guys will lose to your superior strategy skills.
Great Little War Game features various modes including skirmish, multiplayer and campaign as well as various difficulty levels and much, much more. While the price tag is at the higher end for a game at $4.99, it’s well worth that and more. Check out more at the link below.
It’s hard to forget that scene in the Graduate when the young, confused Benjamin is approached by a family friend who tells him the future in two words: sentry guns. Now you, too, can enter this lucrative world with Project Sentry, an open source tracking sentry gun system that uses a webcam to scan the scene and take down your prey.
Built by Rudolph Labs, this project involves a sturdy tripod, an airsoft or paintball gun (or real gun) and a PC. The PC uses a webcam to scan the scene and reports back when there is movement. When the sensor finds a target, it can stick to it and fire at will. It can even anticipate where the target will move, ensuring a steady stream of hot lead during your autonomous sentry operations.
The parts list, without computer, is about $110 and the makers warn that the project could take a bit of time:
Remember: if you don’t do it right, it’s not worth doing at all, so make sure your first sentry gun is your best one. Show your future employers that you have the gumption, the know-how, and the sociopathic desire to anonymous gun down everything in your path with an unfeeling robot. It’s the only way to make it in the world these days.
Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/jauLoqkvU_8/
In last week’s Get Rich or Die Trying article, I mentioned that “tech is a zero-sum, winner takes all game”. A reader objected, arguing: “I think that may be an inappropriate use of the term ‘zero-sum’ – one company’s increase in profits (or revenue) does not mean a competitor must see declining profits (or revenue)”.
History suggests that Jack Welch’s philosophy that “a company should be #1 or #2 in a particular industry or else leave it completely” is even more applicable to the tech industry, where the top player can build a sustainable and ever-growing business but everyone else is practically better off getting out.
Examples of market dominance by the #1 that come to mind include:
- Google in search,
- Facebook in social networking,
- Groupon in daily deals, and
- Amazon in e-Commerce.
This doesn’t mean that the:
- #1 player isn’t susceptible to the Innovator’s Dilemma, or
- #2 competitor can’t build a massive business.
Indeed, Microsoft’s Bing or LivingSocial are meaningful #2’s in search and daily deals respectively, but clearly the network effects and economies of scale that come with market share dominance make it nearly impossible for challengers to remain relevant over-time. Monopolies are nothing new and come and go: Google is the evolution of Standard Oil, ATT and Microsoft in search, you can argue that Apple is next in line in mobile.
What is Zero-Sum Game Anyway?
First, the definition:
“In game theory and economic theory, a zero-sum game is a mathematical representation of a situation in which a participant’s gain (or loss) of utility is exactly balanced by the losses (or gains) of the utility of the other participant(s). If the total gains of the participants are added up, and the total losses are subtracted, they will sum to zero.”
Indeed, while the tech sector is huge, within each segment, you see a zero-sum game from each individual purchasing decision out. For example,
- a consumer will buy a Mac or PC; an iPhone or Android device, etc.
- a business will adopt a solution from Oracle or Siebel, for example,
But it’s rare for a consumer to buy or a company to adopt both.
If you repeat this binary-like decision process throughout the industry and economy, you get a zero-sum situation where one competitor’s gains come at the expense of others’ in the industry: Apple’s iPhone sales obviously put a dent in the Blackberry; and its iPads are evidently going to affect PC sales – no matter how much some want to deny it.
It’s Like This in Most Industries, The Only Difference Is Severity
I run an online video content company and categorize video companies into four quadrants:
- Content (creators),
- Distribution (search, distribution),
- Technology (content management systems, content delivery networks), and
- Advertising (ad networks, servers)
Clearly there’s a lot of overlap and how those four interact with one another merits an article in of itself (or hundreds). While technology (with a lower case) enables Content companies, it increasingly underpins Distribution, Technology and Advertising companies.
As such, I see this zero-sum phenomenon every day with the latter three. When TechCrunch’s parent AOL bought 5Min for example, it was a matter of time before AOL stopped licensing Brightcove’s Online Video Platform and instead use 5Min’s player. Seeing how AOL and 5Min were my distribution partners, I kept that thought to myself, but it was a matter of time. Today AOL’s main platform for video is indeed 5Min (note: I am not an AOL/5Min employee).
Content Isn’t a Zero-Sum Game: “I’m Your Pusher”
In content, it’s not really like that. ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC all have meaningful franchises. Sure, if you watch FOX on Sunday at 6pm then you may not watch ABC at that time, increasingly with cord-cutting and time shifting that isn’t the case anymore. In fact, content is so not a zero-sum game that a company like Viacom has multiple brands to address that reality.
Indeed, if you want to travel to Barcelona, you won’t watch one video or read an article, you will read/watch many and I’d argue that content consumption – like a drug – just creates more demand.
But if you want to book a ticket to Barcelona, you will either use Travelocity or Expedia, for example.
Place Your Bets
That makes content a less-risky endeavor, and, with digital media and digital distribution reducing the marginal cost of production and distribution, then content has become a better risk-adjusted bet, though arguably not as scalable and certainly not a winner-takes-all gamble.
It will take an entire generation before investors realize this; though some argue that it’s already started. According to media guru Jack Myers, “VC funds are being redirected away from tech and toward content. Technology-based venture opportunities in the media and advertising space have been largely played out. Bottom line, venture capital funds will be shifting from technology to content, context, commerce and research.”
I’m not holding my breath, even though digital content is effectively the new software.
In Tech, Competition Becomes Blurry Over Time
The same way that the Internet has changed content, it has also changed technology. For one, with consumer-focused technology companies being free, advertising-supported businesses, the prevailing asset isn’t necessarily the underlying hardware or software, but rather, the audience.
This is why tech companies are all seemingly fighting one another:
- Facebook vs Google in search and social networking,
- Google vs Apple in mobile,
- Amazon vs Apple in tablets and entertainment,
- Microsoft vs Google in search.
You get the idea: in tech, everyone morphs into everyone’s competitor… and since the main asset – the audience or consumer base – is so fleeting, tech becomes an even riskier bet.
The Four Horsemen
Whereas initially the Web pitted “content vs. tech”, as the Web matures, it becomes “tech vs. tech” with Content becoming Switzerland amongst Distribution, Technology and Advertising companies.
In the real world, there is no perfect example of a zero-sum game – granted. But whereas Jack Welch argued that a business ought to be #1 or #2 or get out, the network effects that the web has unleashed over time force technology (lower case) businesses to either be #1 or get the hell out.
Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/__K7yddKNNA/
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