Top 10 blunders when developing and managing mobile apps…from a puppy

Appscend,Mobile apps, developers, startups,nibletz, guest post“As long as the world is turning and spinning, we’re gonna be dizzy and we’re gonna make mistakes.” – Mel
Brooks

This is Devie. Besides being the avatar of cuteness he’s an eccentric mobile app developer. Devie is quite
skilled when it comes to the mobile landscape in general and as such it would be wise to pay attention to
what he says.

The mobile app world has passed its infant phase but it hasn’t quite reached full maturity yet and many
developers and companies still make mistakes when it comes to putting out apps on the market.

To this end, Devie has helped us in making a list of the top 10 overlooked mistakes when developing and
managing apps. Heed his words carefully, otherwise, you will make the same face when disappointing your
clients and users, the same face Devie makes when he tips over the coffee cup (which happens roughly twice
a day).

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top 10 mistakes:

# 1 Forgetting that you’re developing for real people

Apps are built for real people and not ,,the idea of people”. In other words UX or user experience. User
experience doesn’t mean just the interface. The UI is just a part of it. UX is everything from the moment
when the user finds out about the app, reads the description, installs it, sees how it works, when he needs
it, if he smiles, if he frowns in confusion, etc. When designing an app, think about how your regular user will
react to it.

Your app should have a precise functionality in mind, a natural flow like opening a book and an intuitive
design. A user shouldn’t be forced to study an app manual to use a mobile application. Especially if he pays
for it. Always remember : the end user experience is your primary goal.

# 2 Your mobile app looks like a quantum mechanics diagram

In other words, complexity doesn’t necessarily imply cool design no more than simplicity means the absence
of it.

In the case of smartphones, think about the iPhone for example. Do you really want to put 20 buttons and
features on a small screen? Just because you can code your app to do anything you’d like, doesn’t mean
you should. Unless you need an app with a lot of details (such as a media and entertainment app), your
app will take time away from a user instead saving time. Often times, simplicity wins 9/10 over complexity.
App functionality and design shouldn’t be drowned in useless buttons, unnecessary scrolling and being so
complicated that it makes you forget how you got to a certain section within the app.

# 3 Don’t make people squint, the screens are small

So you have a brilliant idea about creating an app. You’re going to corner the market. People will praise you
and cheer you on the streets. You’re the new Michelangelo. You might have created the new Sistine Chapel,
but unless you find a way to put it on a 3,5 inch screen you’re just going to let all that work go to waste.
Instead of trying to paint as many details into your app as possible, let them appear one at a time so your
users aren’t faced with a maze of buttons and too much detail. Let them savor the experience.

# 4 No app scalability

There are a lot of apps out there that have the potential of growing but they were built with only a few users
in mind. Unless you’re intentionally putting out one time apps, you should take into consideration that one
of the reasons you are developing mobile apps, is because you want to reach as many people as possible.

Think about this one. What would have happened if the moment when Angry Birds really got popular,
the app was only designed with limited playability and only for a few thousand users? it would have
become ,,One of those games I played for a couple of days and that’s all“. ,,That’s all” isn’t the phrase you
want to hear when your app is reviewed.

# 5 The app itself isn’t your main source of revenue

The main source of profits isn’t the mobile app. In-app purchases and in-app advertising are. In 2012, more
than 3/4 of the global app revenues came out of in-app purchases. Don’t forget the interactive feature of in-
app currency, for example customer points when shopping. Most apps are sold for 99 cents or $3. You might
reach 2000 users, but your only going to make $2000-$6000.

Developers aren’t different from rockstars. No, developers, you’re not the next Jimi Hendrix…yet. We’re
talking about the fact that most money rockstars make isn’t from cd’s and songs (especially with torrents
nowadays) but from concerts. They make their daily bread from offering interactivity and memorable
experiences.

,,Fact : Apps don’t make a lot of money. The content they deliver does.” – Devie

Such as it is, most apps are free anyway and all apps should be free. Why? Because psychologically speaking,
why would someone buy a product they haven’t even tested based on a 3 line description of how awesome
it is. If it isn’t free, then a free trial should be implemented so customers can know what to expect.
Monetizing mobile apps isn’t about selling the app. The app is a medium for revenue and not the end goal.

# 6 Ads can make or break an app

Not all mobile apps are madefor mobile ads. First of all, the smartphone or tablet is not a desktop pc. When
building an app, say for a restaurant chain, an ad that offers coupons or discounts might work. But right now,
banners and spray and pray ads are most likely to backfire on your user experience.

Another thing you should never do is integrate ads that have buttons looking like a natural extension of
the app. Spammy and intrusive ads that gobble up the screen when the user is in mid-use of the app often
begets negative reviews and complaints. Mobile ads are a tricky business. The question you should ask
yourself is :,,Will the ads cut into the user experience and make monetization impossible or not?”

Mobile app success stems in the first place from the user reaction and not just from the fact that your app
was downloaded – Devie

# 7 No points of contact, no user feedback, no improvements = no cookies for developers and companies

There are a lot of apps out there that stand only to gain from updates and improvements that never seem to
arrive. Not all apps have to implement points of contact for developers /companies (such as a mail address
or forum), but it doesn’t hurt when you want to ,,actually!” see how your app is perceived and how it can
be improved from the users themselves. No points of contact sometimes means that you’re telling the
users ,,That’s all we offer and nothing more, so don’t bother us”.

# 8 Poor push notifications pushes users away

Or even the very lack of push notifications for that matter. Apps such as news apps stand only to benefit
from the smart integration of PN’s and they keep users retention at good levels. However, poor PN planning
can ruin your app. PN’s should be relaxed like when a friend calls you and tells you about a good movie that
just came out. But if he’d call you every 5 seconds to tell you about every TV channel, you’d think about
choosing your friends more wisely wouldn’t you?

There are apps for example, that help you find coffee shops on the map. A badly planned PN would be when
every 2 minutes when a user walks an extra 600 ft, an annoying update about a coffee shop a few streets
away suddenly breaks his train of thought. Or if even disturbing users while sleeping is a guaranteed way

to screw up your app. For more details on what you should and shouldn’t do with push notifications, check
out Push notifications, the do’s and don’ts.

# 9 No analytics and no idea what your app is doing on a saturday night at 3:00 a.m.

Analytics or another way of saying app behaviour and user behaviour is a must when you want to understand
what’s happening when your app is ready to grow u p and see the world. The ability to monitor and study
app usage, users characteristics, how long do they use the app, how many times and so on is vital.

Without analytics an app faces fully fledged uncertainty on the part of developers. Not knowing whether
your app really becomes popular or it has been slowly dying leaves you with a blindspot that’s going to affect
investment and results.

# 10 Targeting too many platforms or too few

Apps are fickle children and sometimes they want all flavors of the ice cream or other times just one.
Consider the value proposition of your mobile app. If you’re going for native on multiple platforms, then
really really take a few steps back and consider if it’s worth it. A lot of business /enterprise apps are
preferred to be on tablets due to the wide screen that allows presentations, pitches, reports and getting
quick news from business blogs and magazines.

Rather than developing for 3-4 mobile platforms, such as iPhone, Android, Windows Phone or Blackerry,
make careful considerations about this next question : Can I waste valuable resources such as time and
money developing for multiple platforms while my competition puts out an app before me?

Going for a one size fits all is good in a lot of businesses but the technology for doing this in mobile apps isn’t
here yet. Rather than targeting a lot of platforms, develop an good and polished app for one or two main
platforms such as iOS and Android.

Conclusions : These are just a part of the big questions and mistakes you can make when developing and
managing mobile apps. Other things we could highlight would be : little or no integration with the device’s
native features, apps that are developed requiring user immobility which is the exact opposite of ,,being
mobile”, lack of social network implementations and so on.

The main key ideas you have to keep in mind is UX and targeted needs. Like Rebecca Flavin , CEO of Denver-
based Effective UI said some of the elements of UX: usable, useful and enjoyable. The three cherries of
creating an interactive and engaging user experience.

Take heed of what Devie said and as a company or developer you’ll be able to brag to your friends that you
saved thousands of dollars and created stunning apps because you listened to a puppy.

P.S. – We wanted to put the cherries on top but Devie would have ate them before we got to the end.

This is a guest post by Appscend (www.appscend.com) — the all-in-one cross-mobile performance based
application platform. Appscend offers its customers the fastest cross platform development technology
available on the market today together with a complete list of backend technologies that ensure application
& user management, a powerful push notifications platform as well as app analytics, ad-integration, in-app
purchases and over-the-air distribution services.

Whoops! Wired Reports That Jobs Responded From The iGrave

20130125-191811.jpg

At the Sundance film festival this week one of the biggest movies of the year is already jOBS. The biopic film stars startup investor and Hollywood hotshot Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs.

While the film was screened at the event the first clips were released to the Internet depicting a conversation between Apple cofounder’s Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

Gizmodo published this reaction piece from their good friend Woz.

20130125-191850.jpg
As you can tell Woz doesn’t seem to happy with the portrayal however he later says that if its fun and entertaining all is the better.

Now we realize that both the founders names were Steve however most everyone in America knows that. They also know that Jobs passed away October 5, 2011.

As most tech publications do, and we are doing right now, Wired picked up the Gizmodo piece.

In their article they attribute one of the quotes to Steve Jobs.

Typically, the author Hugh Hart is pretty good about reporting the facts and fact checking. We are talking about Steve Jobs here.

To our knowledge not even the iPhone 6 will be able to communicate posthumously.

After Battle With Depression Reddit CoFounder Aaron Swartz Commits Suicide

20130112-125404.jpg

The 26 year old founder of Reddit died yesterday in New York. Aaron Swartz was reportedly dealing with depression which was compounded by a July 2011 indictment for hacking JSTOR.

Swartz, often considered by many as an Internet pioneer, had allegedly set up a laptop in a closet at MIT with the intent to take the pay wall protected JSTOR content and distribute it for free. It’s believed that Swartz’ hack was why JSTOR moved to a more liberal freemium model.

Swartz appeared in court September 24, 2012 where he plead not guilty.

Swartz began his tech career at 14 when he co-authored the RSS 1.0 specification widely used today. He also founded Infogami which eventually merged into Reddit.

“The tragic and heartbreaking information you received is, regrettably, true,” confirmed Swartz’ attorney, Elliot R. Peters of Kecker and Van Nest, in an email to MIT’s The Tech

White House Responds To DeathStar Petition: We Don’t Support Blowing Up Planets

20130111-214949.jpg

“This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For

The Obama administration created the “We The People” petitioning platform in his first term. We The People is a petitioning platform on the official White House website.

If a petition is started on the website and it garners more than 25,000 signatures by the people within 30 days, the White House will respond to the petition.

On November 14, 2012 a petition was created to “secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016.

In accordance with the We The People program guidelines the petition garnered over 25,000 signatures. The White House dignified the petition with a well thought out response. While the response was a bit witty it also highlighted some of the advancements the U.S has made in the space program.

Paul Shawcross, Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget, began the official White House response:

The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense,” begins Shawcross, “but a Death Star isn’t on the horizon.” He cites a Lehigh University study that calculated that a Death Star would cost a deficit-exploding $852,000,000,000,000,000 (that’s $852 quadrillion), notes that ”the Administration does not support blowing up planets,” and rightly points out that it would be foolhardy to build a space station “with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship.”reported Entertainment Weekly

Petitions ranging from seceding from the union, to a petition to get Pierce Morgan deported.

Behold! Kingston Unveils The Largest USB Flash Drive Ever; The Data Traveler Hyper X Predator 3.0

Kingston, Data Traveler Hyper X Predator 3.0, CES 2013At CES 2013 Kingston, a name thats been trusted in memory for decades, unveiled their latest in the data traveler series, the largest USB flash drive ever. To go with it’s enormous size, 1TB, it also has an equally enormous name, The Data Traveler Hyper X Predator 3.0.

This USB flash drive holds up to 1tb of data and has extremely fast read and write speeds. It’s a simple plug and play flash drive like any other USB flash/thumb drive that you’ve ever used, except it’s huge.

We got a chance to catch up with David from Kingston at CES 2013 who shows off The Data Traveler Hyper X Predator 3.0 and tells us how this flash drive got it’s ridiculously long name.

Here’s the video:

 

Learning from Instagram’s Faux Pas! Guest Post By Moe Glenner

Instagram,startups,startupOnce again, a technology-based company has exposed to the world their classic misunderstanding of change. In Instagram’s case, the failure was two-fold: a failure in planning and an even bigger failure to communicate. In late 2012, Instagram tried to generate revenue by sharing its users’ photos. (The new policy has since been retracted.) Unfortunately, the company’s new policy was not communicated properly and resulted in a predictable firestorm of bad publicity and the loss of a number of users. Instagram’s public change failure can provide important lessons for anyone or any organization pursuing change.

Lesson 1 – Planning for Risk can Make-or-Break the Change Initiative

While we would like to believe that Instagram planned for potential risk emanating from their new policy, it’s clear that if they did, they didn’t do it very well. Instagram’s risk planning failure is especially poignant given recent missteps by Facebook and Netflix. The media and users closely scrutinize any and all policy changes, especially those involving privacy. As users, we have become very educated and involved with changes to the technology platforms we use most. Similar to many technology applications, Instagram struggles with revenue generation. The attempted policy change was undoubtedly, an attempt to generate revenue. Somehow they didn’t plan for any backlash and their immediate retraction only served as direct proof of this lack of risk planning. All changes must plan for probable risks and have ancillary planning for other risks. Ignoring this rule, will most likely lead to change failure with its resulting costs.

For organizational changes, risk management is a serious endeavor and must be handled appropriately. While it is impossible to identify every possible risk, it is possible to identify risk categories. By this identification, response plans are put in place to immediately address a risk pending its categorization. The key to successful identification is communication.

Lesson 2 – Honest, Relevant and Timely Communication is Critical

Unfortunately for Instagram, the only communication was in full damage control mode. While appropriate, the communication was much too late to save the change and did little to mollify many users who subsequently defected. The time for communication is prior to, during and after the change has been implemented. This communication must be honest as to intentions and goals. It must be relevant to the specific change initiative being forwarded and it must be timely to the current stage of the initiative.

Communication must be honest, constant and consistent between the project sponsor, team leader, team members and those affected by the change. In the planning stage, a wide array of resources must be utilized to establish categories and then identify probable and potential risk. Honest communication allows for robust dialogue between team members and subject matter experts and the formation of a realistic risk plan. Once the change initiative is started, communication becomes especially critical. Lack of relevant and timely communication will lead to confusion, fear, resentment and even pushback to the otherwise appropriate change initiative. All of these negative results will severely and potentially fatally impact the likelihood of success. Thus, there is no such thing as over-communication but lack of communication is real and must be combated.

Above all, this is the time to be brutally honest and realistic with ourselves and our colleagues. We have a tendency to take on goals and internal change projects that are overly ambitious. Once the initiative is started and the going gets tough, we start compromising with ourselves and questioning the likelihood of success. Honest communication, internally and with our support team, allows for greater probability of realistic goal-setting and realistic achievement.

If Instagram’s goal was to generate revenue, their change initiative should have planned for a potential backlash and it should have been communicated in a manner that incorporated the risk strategy and allowed for meaningful dialogue during all stages of the change initiative. By learning from Instagram and others like it, we can effectuate successful and enduring change in the future.

Moe Glenner is the founder and president of PURELogistics, a leading consulting firm that specializes in organizational change. He earned his MBA at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification from Villanova University. Glenner’s new book, Selfish Altruism: Managing & Executing Successful Change Initiatives ($13.95 | Amazon), explores best practices in organizational change. For more information, visitwww.moeglenner.com.

The nibletz.com team is at CES 2013 Check out all the startup stories out of the International CES

iPhone 6 Rumors Already?

Apple’s product cycles are getting shorter and shorter. This may prove worrisome for investors who, despite Apple stock still being on top, have seen a rollercoaster ride this past year.

When Steve Jobs was alive and well and running Apple, it seemed that their products got updated on an annual basis. We would have an annual press event and launch for iMacs and Macbooks and another event later in the year for mobile products. That all seemed to change after Jobs passed away and next in line Tim Cook took over.

After AT&T’s exclusive deal with Apple ran out and Sprint and Verizon joined the ranks of wireless carriers selling the iPhone, Apple sped up the cycle, but not just on the iPhone, but on the iPad as well.

Last year, around this time, rumors of the iPad 3 started to bubble. At a press event in California Tim Cook unveiled the iPad 3, or what it was officially called “The New iPad” right before SXSW, consequently a year, almost to the day, after the release of the iPad 2.

So in the fall of 2012 when reporters were once again summoned to Silicon Valley, they left scratching their heads when Apple announced not only the iPad mini but the iPad 4th generation as well. The new generation of Apple’s 10″ flagship tablet immediately made “The New iPad”  (not even the iPad 2), obsolete. It was “The New iPad” that halted production and purged from retail locations.

This left not only journalists scratching their heads but Apple fans as well. Loyal Apple fans and users were used to re-upping their mobile products on a somewhat annual basis and their computers either annually or every other year depending on the feature sets.

While Apple rumors are bubbling every day, it’s disturbing to some that not barely three months after the September 21st 2012 release of the iPhone 5, rumors of the iPhone 6 are hitting the net.

Now usually the earliest of Apple rumors originate from some no name blog site that’s getting a few hundred hits a week, however trusted startup and technology site The Next Web (TNW) has reported that “Developers Begin Seeing New Apple iPhone Hardware and iOS 7 in Usage Logs”.

While this is no indication that the iPhone 6 is just around the corner, the TNW article and this article at Business Insider suggest a mid year release date for the iPhone 6 refresh. That could put the release anywhere between May and August of 2013. August of course could line up perfectly with an annual release, and May would still seem a bit early.

The iPhone 5 was one of the most significant upgrades which was why the newest version got a number change, unlike the 4 to the 4s. The iPhone 5 increased the speed, added 4G LTE, a new (miserable) maps product and changed the connection port from 30 pin to their proprietary “lightning” port.

Many are hoping that the next iPhone will be even thinner and also incorporate new technologies like NFC.

We’ll have to wait and see for now.

 

Facebook Passwords Protected In California And Illinois

Facebook, Privacy, Password Protection, ACLULast March one of the hottest issues involving privacy and security online was in regard to employers. One of the biggest stories was about a correctional officer in Maryland named Robert Collins who had been laid off from his job in 2010. Unlike many lay-offs Collins was actually asked to come back into work, however before he could do that there was one stipulation. Collins needed to give up, not just his Facebook user id, but his password as well.

Collins had been out of work for a while and needed the money so he had no choice but to give up his Facebook login credentials.He said that the employer wanted to make sure he wasn’t into any “gang activity” (because gangs are planning their activities on Facebook and all).

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) quickly got involved in Collins case and many others that were popping up across the country. Some employers were making Facebook and other social media credentials a stipulation of employment and others were making it a stipulation of continued employment.

Maryland lawmakers quickly rushed a piece of legislation that outlaws employers from seeking employee or prospective employee’s login credentials for any personal service.

Now California and Illinois have both jumped on the login protection bandwagon, and rightfully so. New laws in both states, that went into effect January 1st 2013, makes it illegal for employers to demand access to their workers protected Facebook accounts.  The laws passed in both states protect employees privacy and passwords for many different social networks and not just Facebook.

What on earth is everywhereelse.co?

Ho Ho No: NORAD Turns To Bing This Year To Track Santa

Norad, Norad Tracks Santa, Google, MicrosoftOne of the joys of having a five year old daughter is all of the things we can do together to promote the idea of Santa Claus. For the past few years, one of those things is sitting on daddy’s lap on Christmas eve and tracking Santa Claus as he makes his way around the world on Google Earth and Google Maps.  Just last year my daughter started developing an interest in geography which makes the experience a lot more fun and educational.

Two Christmases ago Google also began a service utilizing their Google Voice product that allowed users to set up a call for the child or children in their life to receive an actual phone call/voice mail message from Santa Claus.

Well we learned Wednesday by way of searchengineland.com that Norad has decided to switch their mapping and tracking partner from Google to Microsoft and Bing. Apparently Old Saint Nick took the Bing challenge and Bing won.

NORAD is switching to Bing Maps for their 2D tracking. They are also taking on a new partner in a company called Celsium, that will provide 3D tracking, the way that Google Earth did.

Norad is providing official Santa tracking apps for Windows Phone, Windows 8, Android and iOS.

Of course this is a huge win for Microsoft having a customer like Norad to do such an important task.  Google wasn’t entirely left out though as Norad will still use YouTube.  Facebook and Twitter are also still in the mix.

Microsoft released this brief statement on Tuesday:

This year Microsoft is partnering with NORAD to make following the big red sleigh easier than ever. The Santa Tracker tool is built on the Microsoft Windows Azure cloud computing platform and Bing Maps, and anxious kids can even track Kris Kringle on Windows Phone and Windows 8 apps.

Norad provided the following statement to Search Engine Land:

Google supported NTS [NORAD Tracks Santa] from 2007-2011 and helped increase NTS program awareness across the globe; NORAD is grateful for the partnership and the resulting success.  This year, NTS and Google mutually agreed to go in new directions, and we are excited to welcome a number of new contributors, to include Microsoft, Windows Azure, Bing, and iLink-systems, among others, to help us in our mission of tracking Santa.  The ability to work with a diverse team of contributors is fundamental to the NTS mission, and we appreciate all of the continued support of all contributors.

At this point in time we’re just happy NORAD didn’t decide to go with Apple Maps, afterall the presents need to get to their children’s houses.

Linkage

Norad’s page is here

Are you headed to everywhereelse.co the largest startup conference in the U.S.?

 

Scratch That Surface Off Your Christmas List, Microsoft Hasn’t Learned Squat About Marketing

Microsoft Surface, Microsoft, RIM, Tablet salesOne would think with the incredible loss that Research In Motion (RIM) has experienced over the last three years the other tech giants would take notice. Although Microsoft was the creme de la creme for decades, they’re losing traction faster than you can say the word Blackberry.

Then, last year, there was a glimmer of hope. After a string of failed product launches, less and less people turning to the latest version of Microsoft’s desktop operating system and a failed attempt at breathing life back into Windows CE, Microsoft had something that looked innovative.

The Microsoft Surface tablet, when launched at a press event, that felt reminiscent of numerous events hosted by Steve Jobs for Apple launches, they unveiled the Microsoft Surface tablets. These new tablets were going to signify the convergence between desktop and mobile in an operating system that is supposed to work effortlessly on both traditional computers and mobile.

The problem is, to get that effect people need to actually buy them.

For years on the mobile beat we saw RIM and Microsoft losing market share. To RIM’s benefit though, they stopped producing new smartphones in an effort to funnel all of their strategy on the upcoming Blackberry 10 release and hopefully winning back hardcore, security conscious enterprise and government accounts with highly needed features and sex appeal.

Microsoft on the other hand released a new phone operating system Windows Phone 7 and OEM’s like Samsung, HTC and Nokia, eagerly added Windows Phone’s to their portfolio to take some of the dependence off Android (except for Nokia who have never produced an Android device).

Well advertising firm Chitika has told the tale that confirms what Steve Ballmer has been fearing since the release of the Surface tablet.

Nobody is using them.

In fact, we all know that Apple’s iPad is the reigning leader in the tablet space, with Google’s Android powered Nexus tablets not even edging close. So how does it feel to have to swallow this pill, Google’s Nexus branded tablet family beats the Microsoft Surface family 91% to 13%. Yes, Nexus is kicking Microsoft’s ass.

Microsoft has already seen a drastic down turn in their application/software business. Millions have people have realized that for basic desktop business work, even free alternatives like Google Docs (Drive), are easier to use and gaining popularity. In fact we cringe here when someone sends us a word .doc attachment, how retro is that?

Microsoft continually blows it when it comes to marketing their products to the early adopters and developers that they so desperately need to rally around Windows 8. For instance they focus on marketing products like Microsoft Azure and Microsoft BizSpark, sure they are important business channels but by now the early adopters that want access to those products already have them.

There’s only two possible scenarios here. Either Microsoft is worried that developers, and early adopters will think their tablet products suck so bad that it will work in reverse and the other is of course that they’ve just become complete morons since Bill Gates has stepped down.

And have you even seen the stories about their epicly failed Twitter campaign #droidrage?

 

Linkage:

Rest assured Microsoft will not be at the largest startup conference in the country, click here

Worry Not! John McAfee Still On The Lam

John McAfee, everywhere else, tech, BelizeIf you read any tech blogs than you are most likely aware that John McAfee the multi millionaire behind the McAfee security suite is “on the lam” in Belize.  He’s wanted for questioning in the murder of his neighbor in Belize, 52 year old American businessman Gregory Faull.

The Belize government has said repeatedly that they only want to talk to McAfee.  It seems that there was a dispute between McAfee and Faull over McAgee’s dogs who ended up getting poisoned. This all happened before Faull himself was found dead.

McAfee has turned into some kind of rogue underground hero. He’s been blogging and tweeting, while trying to avoid “capture” by the Belize police. He’s told anyone who will listen that he is afraid he would be killed if he was captured by the authorities.

His mental state has been in question all the while.  In one interview, with a journalist who’s been favorable to McAfee for quite some time, McAfee played Russian roulette while the interview was being conducted. There have also been wide internet reports that McAfee enjoyed experimenting with “bath salts” for recreational use.

Since this crazy fiasco began McAfee has been keeping people up to date on Twitter and on his personal blog, whoismcafee.com. As we headed into the weekend McAfee went radio silent and his back up blogger went to work setting the plan in motion in case McAfee had been captured.

McAfee penned a blog entry a short time ago indicating that he was still in hiding with friends and he was safe but “not quite out of the woods yet”. He’s in the company of Vice Magazine.

McAfee wrote:

I apologize for the silence, and misdirection.  I am currently safe and in the company of two intrepid journalist from Vice Magazine, and, of course, Sam.  We are not in Belize, but not quite out of the woods yet.  I will do a more detailed posting later today if all goes well.  My “double”, carrying on a North Korean passport under my name, was in fact detained in Mexico for pre-planned misbehavior, but due to indifference on the part of authorities was evicted from the jail and was unable to serve his intended purpose in our exit plan.  He is now safely out of Mexico.

McAfee reports that he is getting his companion Sam safe, and after she is safe he will return to Belize because he can’t keep up this fight in “exile”.

Yes, your computers are being protected with software developed by this man.

Linkage:

McAfee’s Blog

The biggest startup conference in the U.S., click here

New Jersey Startup Vidyo Powering Video Chat On Wii U (And Google Hangouts)

Nintendo Wii U,Vidyo,video conferencing,Google+ hangouts, Google+, New Jersey startup,startup,startups,startup newsNew Jersey video conferencing startup Vidyo has probably outgrown the title “startup”. Their completely scalable video conferencing solutions can be found powering such high profile video services as Google+ Hangouts, NTT, Philips and more. Now it’s been reported that the company is powering the all new video chat feature found in the Wii U game system that debuted in stores across the country yesterday.

Wii U’s video platform can be found in their new improved MiiVerse service and is used with the camera built into the new Nintendo Wii U control pad.

We’re trying to bring video-conferencing to the world,” Vidyo chief executive Ofer Shapiro told Venturebeat.com’s John Koetsier. “We want to carry it to the masses.”

Vidyo isn’t necessarily taking on Skype but rather looking to put video conferencing in the living room. Having the ability for video conferencing in the living room opens up an entirely new world for content creators, both novice and professional.  Also, with systems like the Wii U you can easily have whole family video chats using the tv as the monitor, no matter what it’s size.
Google+ Hangouts are incredibly easy to set up. It’s just one click within the Google+ network. Video chatting on the Wii U is even easier than that. It doesn’t require firing up the computer and getting on Google+. Let’s face it we’re probably looking at the possibility of much bigger scale utilizing the Wii U than the Google+ platform. Several quarters ago Google stopped reporting growth numbers for Google+.
Video integration with the Wii U also cuts the barrier to some people who are more comfortable with gaming systems and stay away from the computers.
While the video quality on the Wii U console is not “professional” it’s still “excellent” for the home use according to Shapiro.
The Wii U launched yesterday morning in the United States. Nintendo packaged two different bundles, a white “basic” system with 8gb of storage and no included game and a black deluxe system with 32gb of onboard storage, packaged with Nintendo Land.
Analysts are expecting the Nintendo Wii U to be one of the most popular gifts this holiday season. Most major big box stores have depleted their stock and are unsure if they will get another shipment before Christmas and Chanukah.
Linkage:

Facebook’s Sandberg And Google’s Schmidt Being Considered For Cabinet Position?

Facebook,Google, Eric Schmidt, Sheryl Sandberg, Barack Obama, TreasuryNow that the votes have been counted and Barack Obama has been elected to a second term as President Of The United States, his administration is preparing to shuffle the cabinet around.

While many are expecting Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, to step down from her post to run for President in 2016, another post that needs to be filled immediately is Secretary of The Treasury. Politico reported on Thursday that while Obama has had a very stable cabinet in his first term, almost the entire cabinet could be replaced in this second term.

Rumors have been running rampant about Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. There’s been wide spread speculation that President Obama has been looking at Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt for the Treasury position going back to July of 2011.

While insiders feel that White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew is a shoe in for the post at Treasury, counselor to the President Pete Rouse has been vetting Fortune 500 CEO’s for the Treasury position for the past few months.

This time around, Eric Schmidt is on the short list of possibilities as is Facebook CFO Sheryl Sandberg. Sandberg once served as Treasury Chief of Staff under Larry Summers and according to Politico, “Obama clearly likes her”.

One of Mitt Romney’s strengths in the 2012 election was his experience running big business at Bain Capital. It seems that Obama may give the nod to Sandberg or Schmidt, both of whom have the experience running major Fortune 500 companies, that could be pivotal over the next 4 years in building our economy back up.

Linkage:

More tech news from nibletz.com

Will we see you “everywhere else”

Google Has Added Amber Alerts To Maps and Search

Google,Amber alert,mobile,techSomehow in the hubbub of activity surrounding Halloween and the Presidential election we missed some great news out of the GooglePlex. Google has teamed up with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Google Public Alerts Platform, to send out Amber alerts, when and where they are relevant to you.  Of course Amber alerts are the alerts used to help bring children back home safely.

Google wrote on the official Google Blog:

If you’re using Google Search or Maps on desktop and mobile you’ll see an AMBER Alert if you search for related information in a particular location where a child has recently been abducted and an alert was issued. You’ll also see an alert if you conduct a targeted search for the situation. By increasing the availability of these alerts through our services, we hope that more people will assist in the search for children featured in AMBER Alerts and that the rates of safe recovery will rise.

AMBER Alerts will provide information about the abducted child and any other details about the case as they become available. Additional details could include the make and model of the vehicle he/she was abducted in or information about the alleged abductor.

Linkage
Source: Google Blog

National Center For Missing & Exploited Children

The big everywhere else thing