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John Blossom
United Methodist Church ministries, facilitating vision & execution, with deep experience in media and technology
United Methodist Church ministries, facilitating vision & execution, with deep experience in media and technology

John's posts

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Just How Big a Hole Has Tesla Dug for Itself?

Looking at Tesla's operations with honest and sober eyes, it's hard not to see that in spite of a very loyal following of enthusiasts, their manufacturing processes have been showing teething pains all along the way. Now, they expect to push out the Model 3 without a beta phase and to jump to "release candidates" by mid-year. I am not saying that they won't pull it off, but with +General Motors' +Chevrolet Bolt EV out there in two years' development time with traditional QA processes, it makes the Model 3 a big question mark for mass-market consumers expecting a "it just works" kind of product.

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OK, gotta say it - in this particular ranking of social media Web sites, +Google+ is tied at #8 with Yelp for overall ranking and ahead of the much-vaunted Snapchat, which is trying to push itself to an IPO stock launch, in spite of near-zero growth. Rankings are as measured by Brand Keys' annual Customer Loyalty Engagement Index. IN other words, regardless of overall audience size, G+ has a large and loyal following, one that is largely overlooked by media pundits. But hey, we knew that.

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Visited my 89 year-old dad and helped him though an upgrade to Android 7.1.1 on his Nexus 5X phone on Project Fi. Took three shots to get all of the patches etc. installed, but seems OK now. My Nexus 6 seems fine on 7.0 now, though it gets a bit glitchy at times. Hopefully the promised 7.1.1 upgrade comes soon, I'd like the app shortcuts from the home screen...

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Why spend all that money on fancy holidays when there's +YouTube? Well, at least that's one way to do it. #FaithFriday #SpringBreak +Yale Divinity School

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Android 7.0 Comes to the Nexus 6

Sometimes the Motorola Nexus 6 seems like a forgotten phone, in spite of its awesome power and its support for Google's Project Fi network. Finally, after a 6.0.1 system-security upgrade last night and some apps updates immediately afterwards, this morning was the time to see the upgrade alert pop on to my phone. Showtime!

The upgrade itself was no different than any other upgrade I've had on the phone, same procedures, same sequence, just a touch longer, perhaps, but not by much. Then a reboot, and...voila, a like-new phone! I am used to earlier major releases bringing older Nexus phones to a crawl, but, true to their promise, this is the first Android upgrade where I can see a marked *improvement" in performance. Very fast and smooth, and the animations of the UI are no longer as clunky when the phone apps get heavy usage.

Loving the alers, and the split-screen feature is more useful-looking than i thought that it would me. Will be handy for keeping podcast controls accessible when looking at the news, taking notes on documents, etc. Looking forward to this!

I am liking the updated system icons, with the multi-tile paging. I was able to rearrange them a bit, so that the Chromecast icon is more accessible, since I use that often. Also nice having the flashlight icon handier in the combined alerts UI.

Alerts rock. So pretty, basically, micro-content. Well done.

Only very teeny-tiny complaint: for some reason my default saving of screenshots to Google Photos got klonged in the UI, and I had to go back to set this option. Small price to pay for a great upgrade. Pretty much set for another year, or at least until the Pixel 2 comes along, depending on what it offers. W00t!
8 Photos - View album

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When I got the Android 6.0.1 security update last night, I thought that I saw an Android 7.0 Nougat alert after the reboot, but it seemed to disappear. Now this morning, it's showtime - finally! I am glad that Project Fi waited to get the bugs ironed out before releasing. At least let's hope so...Here goes.

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GM's Sale of Opel/Vauxhall: Opening Door to Global GM Brands

There's been much analysis of the financials on GM's sale of its money-losing Opel and Vauxhall branded autos in Europe, and most of the number crunching says "Tumbs Up!" Like GM closing down U.S. badges such as Oldsmobile and Pontiac, the cost of maintaining local brands for unprofitable market segments no longer made sense.

But in the meantime, that's not to say the +General Motors is going ot abandon European markets. Rather, the sale of Opel and Vauxhall opens the door or its existing and emerging brands to take the world by storm at a larger scale than previously possible.

For example, in Europe GM has a small but well-appreciated presence with its premium autos from +Chevrolet and +Cadillac - high-performance and luxury cars that offer both performance and reverse-current panache to European buyers.

If the quality of "bowtie" and "wreath-and-crest" high-end cars continues to be accepted (and a strongly rumored mid-engine 'Vette might only add to that image with European buyers), then GM is grabbing on to a high-end strategy that it could extend downward profitably via its now-global +Buick brand, which is a big hit in China. As GM's Bolt EV platform starts to power all sorts of new vehicles, most of these high-end cars could be quite profitable and green at the same time.

And for the rest of us? Well, as the Bolt EV begins to scale to a global car, it might be an affordable global car for many people. Why spend money on badging it for different markets when so much media via the Internet is global already? But the real push for the Bolt will probably be via GM's Maven ride-sharing services, especially as autonomous vehicles hit the road.

So for Europe, what we're likely to see for GM ten years from now will be Cadillac for the elites, Chevrolet for performance-minded strivers of an iconoclastic outlook, and Buick for the we-have-arrived middle class, with a smattering of low-end EVs that scale to global markets (including the U.S.) and lots of ride-sharing service on-demand and subscription cars.

There, that's GM's strategy for the next ten years in Europe. Check back with me in a decade and let's see how this lines up with what really happened.

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This morning's high liturgy for Holy Communion in Marquand Chapel at +Yale Divinity School got me pondering the apostle Paul's views on "heart faith." How about that - my New Testament midterm put to immediate use! #FaithFriday

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Eventually Google gets around to doing things with its products that are worthwhile. Sometimes that "eventually" leaves huge doors open for competitors. The "splitting" offers an enterprise-ready version of Hangouts (Meet) that can handle up to 30 videoconning participants, and Hangouts Chat, which is more "lite" and can handle threaded conversations and bots (read: a semi-Google Wave relplacement). Makes sense, kinda-sorta, though the devil is in the details. I just hope that it doesn't muss up some of what Hangouts does already...

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It was a pleasure and a privilege to have a second Sunday leading worship for First United Methodist Church Middletown last week. My sermon reflected on how the final speech of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gives us a glimpse of where God's mountaintop moments lead us. More on #faithfriday #UMC
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