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Claire Spencer
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Work in progress - "Army Men" - What does it mean to come home after war? Can we ask our veterans to rewire themselves? Can we be upset if, after such intense experiences, they still feel like a soldier in civilian clothing? I have incomplete thoughts about this incomplete project, I only know for sure that I have no idea what it is like to live in fear and boredom and death only to return to a life that must seem unfamiliar. I am grateful for those who serve, and I hope they find us welcoming and respectful. #veteransday   #armymen  
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Army Men
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Playlist of songs to get that other song out of your head.
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What is the balance between open innovation and closed systems that allow for quality control?

In your place of work, how. Are decisions made? Is the one grand-genious-poobah who directs it all? Or does the best idea win? What are terms of the associated success?
The Age of Context claims its first victim: Scott Forstall (more trouble ahead for Apple)

This morning Google Now got a new version. The Verge properly gives it its due: http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/29/3569684/google-now-android-4-2-knowledge-graph-neural-networks This one feature is more innovative than anything Apple has done this year. 

This is Scott Forstall's problem and, today, it cost him his job: http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/29/3573226/scott-forstall-leaving-apple

See, if you get on top of the mountain you better not celebrate too long. You need to compete with yourself, otherwise someone else will.

Glad to see that Tim Cook recognizes he has a real problem. What is the problem?  

Google is way ahead in the world of context.

I'm now seeing apps, like Maluuba (listen to their team talk to me at TechCrunch Disrupt: https://soundcloud.com/scobleizer/cool-context-app-i-found-at ), that are way better on Android. Why? Because Android is more open. Open systems are going to beat closed ones in the future. Forstall should have seen that and opened up iOS more.

Developers tell me over and over that Apple is holding back real "Age of Context" innovation. How so?

1. Developers can't have access to the dialer. That means you can't study who people call, or build new kinds of phone experiences. On Android they can.

2. Developers don't have real access to the radios. That means that developers can't build systems like Tawkon can: that see radiation or energy levels used by the device, but it also doesn't let developers build real indoor navigation apps. You do realize that if you had access to the radios you could tell exactly where in a room you were standing, right? (Wifi is like light, it sprays across a room, and if you can triangulate its strength you'll know where in your house you are standing).

There's more, too. Android is quickly being switched to as the default platform. Glympse' CEO told me he builds on Android first, because he can iterate faster. Then he moves to other platforms. This is horrid for Apple because, really, if Apple loses its lead in apps, what does it have? A thinner phone? That won't sell. Especially as Microsoft is powering into the market.

So, what does Apple need to do?

1. Get on board on context. And fast. Open up its maps. Make those completely open source. Make +Waze seem closed. Let us add things to maps and help Apple build a better map than Google. (Apple's customers are more likely to help than Android users, but the window on that is closing fast since early adopters are switching to Android in droves).

2. Get on board on context. Open up the dialer. 

3. Get on board on context. Open up the radios.

4. Get on board on context. Open up the data silos that each of its 600,000 apps represent. Get those apps to share data with each other and with the base OS.

5. Get on board on context. Build systems that go deep into your email and calendars to figure out extra stuff that could be shared with developers. This will happen (already I've seen one such app coming from SRI, the lab that invented Siri). If you let those things come out on Android first you are dead when the +Project Glass gets here.

6. Get on board on context. Instead of copying Google or Microsoft), think about how people will work in the future. Build more stuff like +MindMeld, the hot app from Techcrunch Disrupt (it listens to meetings on your iPad and shows you interesting stuff.

7. Get on board on context. Buy Nest, the thermostat folks. Don't miss what's going on there. Tony Fadell (he worked at Apple on the iPod) is building sensors for your home that will augment your life. There are others, too. Get on board as the most sensor-friendly platform.

8. Get on board on context. Start spending your money on context. Build an "Age of Context" startup incubator.

9. Get on board on context. Businesses are already asking for "contextual intelligence" that goes way beyond what Salesforce and Microsoft are offering. Yet you have nothing to offer businesses that want to know more about why customers are buying or what they might buy next. I visited Aspen/Snowmass and they want to know more about their visitors so they can offer new kinds of customer service. So go buy companies and serve these new business needs.

The Age of Context will bring human service to a next level. Highly personalized. Very aware. Probably displayed through wearable computing (you did notice that the Pebble Watch raised a lot of money on Kickstarter, right? Why hasn't Apple done a wearable computer? Google sold one +Project Glass to every two attendees at Google IO, and they are charging $1,500 to those people (I bought one, because the future is in context).

If you don't know what the Age of Context is, listen to the CEO of Alohar. https://plus.google.com/+Scobleizer/posts/3iqjCACkBuz Why hasn't Apple bought this company yet? 

I think Forstall got shown the door because he didn't have a good answer to that question. 

Google is positioned to really rip Apple wide open. Tim Cook better solve that problem and solve it fast.
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Some days I really need this kid!
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Army Men
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Army Men
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I recently have posted that filing is a waste of time, and now, thanks to bitcasa, we may not have to throw anything away. Here's a great post on how to deal with the changing nature of information storage and access, and most of all, how to LEVERAGE. Neat stuff. Can't wait to see the next post.
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Christmas? Hanukah? Kwanzaa? Graduation? Birthday? Birth?

It's hard to know what to buy. THIS is a GREAT solution!


AKA: BEST PRESENT EVER

Yep, I'm shouting! My brilliant friend Brian-Logan Reid (at HubSpot) just bought my domain for me, and pointed out that it's basically the best present EVER.

It's a gift that is non-denominational, lasts forever, is inexpensive, custom for everyone, and infinitely practical. Buy it for your techie friends. Buy it for your techie friends' kids. Buy it for anyone who writes or blogs. Heck, anyone who MIGHT write or blog or do ANYTHING on the internet.

For $12-$20/year, you are giving them ownership, control, protection and a personal brand (if they ever need it.)
Beat that, Santa Claus!
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Why don't you wankers read a book?

Last night I was showing off Google+ and other social networks to an audience at a small event +Rackspace Hosting put together. At the end of the speech I opened it up for discussions and one guy said something like "I just don't get social media, you all should read a book instead of wasting your time bloviating."

I don't know, I've hung out with great authors, like +Bruce Sterling, seen below on a tour of CERN or +paolo coelho. I read both of their books after meeting them. And on my Kindle app on my iPad I always have a few books kicking around.

Yet I generally get more out of watching TED videos, or hanging out here for a couple hours a day. Heck, would I learn more math from a math book, or from watching this TED video with +salman khan? http://www.khanacademy.org/video/salman-khan-talk-at-ted-2011--from-ted-com?playlist=Khan+Academy-Related+Talks+and+Interviews along with a few of his videos from http:///www.khanacademy.org ?

It's interesting how some people still are resisting the new world. Even when it's starting them in the face.

I used to argue with people like that, thinking I could convince them. My ex-father-in-law was one. He told me he would never use a computer. He was right. He died without ever putting his hands on a computer and even hated using a credit card to pay for gas at the gas station. He taught me an important lesson: that people stuck in the past aren't worth arguing with and the future is coming whether or not they try to hold it back.

But, maybe I'll take his advice when I fly back on Friday and I'll read a book. Or maybe I'll just be rebellious and play Angry Birds. Why? Cause I'm a wanker and I wouldn't have it any other way. :-)

Of course, after the event, several other attendees came up to me and said "that guy sure is a wanker, isn't he?" Including one guy who built a payments system that drives billions of economic activity in places like Kenya (M-Pesa). Now that guy isn't a wanker and I didn't need to read a book to understand how important that is to human beings. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-Pesa has more on that.

But what do I know? I'm just a wanker. Send me more goofy animated gifs please! :-)
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Can you help this family stay together? Elias has leukemia and needs treatment in Boston. If you have any leads on a clean place with laundry for $4500 or less, please contact me. Hope your holidays are wonderful, and let's all be thankful we have friends to help us when we need them!
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