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Flash on My iPad and iPhone? Don’t Mind if I Do!

September 17th, 2011
Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

I’m a firm believer that Apple is winning the 21st century’s smart phone wars. There’s no question that the iPad is dominating the tablet market by what is actually a completely embarrassing margin.

I’ve owned recent Blackberry, Android and iPhone models, and can honestly say that iOS is best operating system out there. Android sells more phones; car dealers sell more Hondas than Porsches, but which would you rather have? The single biggest complaint about iOS has always been that the browser doesn’t support Flash. I have good news: now it does. I have bad news: now it does.

There are several reasons Apple didn’t want to support Flash on iOS devices. They could have. Steve Jobs could have flipped the switch whenever he wanted. Truthfully he never anticipated the competition would offer it that quickly, or that they would even want to. The truth is, Flash sucks. It’s full of security holes, massively unreliable and a resource hog. It’s a lightweight video player that Adobe shoved down programmers throats. Apple made its choice for the right reasons (Steve’s reasons here), but that didn’t stop Google from pretending it had a competitive advantage by supporting it (it doesn’t, Flash still sucks).

Apple’s share of the smart phone and app marketplace was too much for Adobe to miss out on, though, so last week they announced their Flash Media Server 4.5. The good news is you’ll finally have flash on your iPhone without wasting your resources. Flash built into your iPad or iPhone wastes battery and memory. It’s generally a miserable experience on Android devices. What Adobe has done is basically converted the Flash before sending it your device, thus both saving your device and giving you what you need.

The bad news is (did you forget there was bad news?): each website is going to have to update to version 4.5 before it works. So, nothing yet. Also it only supports Flash video, so you won’t see any Flash apps coming through Safari. You can get all the apps you need through the App Store; as you may or may not know, there’s usually an app for that.

To be honest, though, all my favorite sites have already converted and are offering all their video in an iOS compatible format. Frankly if your blog, site, video, or online project isn’t iOS compatible, I don’t care about it, because I don’t believe you do.

The iPhone 5 will be out next month, which is all I really care about right now. No, I’m not eligible for an upgrade. Yes, I’m going to upgrade.

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Borzou Azabdaftari

Borzou is managing partner of Falcon Printing & Copying, a full-service printing and graphic design company in Tysons Corner, VA. His company focuses on building relationships and delivering the highest quality print materials, from poster to invitations to business stationery, to their clients. Passionate about printing to a fault, Borzou eats, breathes, and sleeps paper and ink, and his rare combination of intellectual curiosity, technical savvy, creativity, and interpersonal skills have transformed him from a print service provider only into a branding consultant as well.

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Social Media Vending Machine

May 31st, 2011

A few months ago, my three year old cousin was over, and he was dissatisfied that I was watching the news on TV. He walked up to my 50″ plasma and started swiping his hand against the screen to change the channel something else. When nothing happened, he looked back at me, shrugged his shoulders, and says, “It’s broken.”  I informed him that it was supposed to be that way and explained that the TV wasn’t an iPad. He shook his head and walked away. The TV was the problem, not him.

This moment made me really happy. I’m a huge fan of technology. I love progress. Innovation. Things getting better. The next generation is already tired of something I thought was amazing just a few short years ago. I’m looking forward to gesture-controlled TVs and other devices. My grandfather can navigate an iPad as easily as my cousin, and that tells me everything I need to know about where technology is going. Apple hit the nail on the head. Pepsi is trying to take it a step further.

This is Pepsi’s new social media vending machine. The huge touch screen on the front of the vending machine allows you to buy drinks for friends, or use their “Random Acts of Refreshment” feature to buy a drink for a total stranger. You can even send a video message right form the vending machine.

Not sold yet? There are important benefits for the owners of the machines too. They can monitor inventory levels and schedule deliveries remotely. That means no more unnecessary trip to the machine if it hasn’t sold enough drinks, and knowing it needs to replenshed right away when it does. More efficiency, more revenue, less work.

From the press release:

“Our vision is to use innovative technology to empower consumers and create new ways for them to engage with our brands, their social networks and each other at the point of purchase,” said Mikel Durham, Chief Innovation Officer at PepsiCo Foodservice. “Social Vending extends our consumers’ social networks beyond the confines of their own devices and transforms a static, transaction-oriented experience into something fun and exciting they’ll want to return to, again and again.”

Social Vending also enables “Random Acts of Refreshment” – the ability to buy a drink for a complete stranger through any other Social Vending system. For example, a consumer could send a symbol of encouragement someone in a city that has experienced challenging weather, or a congratulatory beverage to a student at a university that just won a championship. The platform holds potential to extend PepsiCo’s digital and social programs for its food and beverage brands.

Am I going to use this the second I see one? Absolutely. If this is a success, expect to buy everything this way really soon. I suspect Coke will be announcing their machine in 10…9…8…7….

Error: Unable to create directory /var/www/web20blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/04. Is its parent directory writable by the server?

Borzou Azabdaftari

Borzou is managing partner of Falcon Printing & Copying, a full-service printing and graphic design company in Tysons Corner, VA. His company focuses on building relationships and delivering the highest quality print materials, from poster to invitations to business stationery, to their clients. Passionate about printing to a fault, Borzou eats, breathes, and sleeps paper and ink, and his rare combination of intellectual curiosity, technical savvy, creativity, and interpersonal skills have transformed him from a print service provider only into a branding consultant as well.

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Social Media Revolution: What Have You Done For Me Lately?

March 23rd, 2011

People seem so determined to quantify the effects of social media.  What is it doing?  What difference is it making?  Who’s benefiting?  How can it help ME?

Malcolm Gladwell published a piece in the New Yorker asking if Egypt needed Twitter to overthrow Mubarack.  He claims Twitter didn’t cause the revolution in Egypt, but that it was merely a tool.  We didn’t innovate the revolution.  The underlying causes weren’t limited to technology, and the people didn’t rise against tyranny so they could try and get to 10,000 followers.   Gladwell goes out of his way to humanize us, and take the credit away from Twitter and Facebook.

The punishment from the blogosphere was swift and merciless.  Brian Solis actually titled his response “Malcolm Gladwell, Your Slip is Showing.”  You couldn’t open a social media blog without finding a post bashing Gladwell.  Everyone claimed Egypt needed Twitter.  That revolutionaries wouldn’t have been able to unite without Facebook.  That Gladwell had lost it.  Very cute graphs and charts showing how many tweets were made and profiles updated were pushing the raw, unbridled power of social media.

The uprising in Tunisia was spawned by a street vendor who burned himself alive to protest the way authorities were treating him.  That is the power of the individual.  That is not technology.  Protestors took to the streets and were violently beaten.  As an Iranian-American I can tell you these are not uncommon events in the Middle East.  As few as five years ago, this could have been the end of this story.  Now, these incidents are recorded.  Video of the protests hit Twitter and within days a small protest in one town became a national cause.  TV stations were broadcasting the videos they pulled off social media.  There are no more veils of secrecy.  The world sees everything.  With all its benefits, social media also creates a much higher level of danger for the protestors.  If they had not been victorious, the government would know exactly who they were.  They would have paid with their lives.

Even in the recent tragedy in Japan, I’ve found many articles about how social media affected the response and news dissemination as I have about what actually happened there.  But I haven’t seen much about how social media is helping to reconnect victims, and groups are only starting to use social media for Japanese emergency relief donations.

Which brings me back to my original point.  Everyone is trying to jump on the social media bandwagon.  Everyone wants a piece of the action.  Everyone seems to have an agenda.  Everyone wants to give it credit for everything…or to diminish it.  The truth, as always, lies somewhere in the middle.  Did Egypt need Twitter?  Need is a funny word.  They didn’t NEED twitter.  Would Mubarak have resigned without the power of social media?  Today?  Probably not.  Would he have been forced out eventually?  Maybe.

The power of social media lies with us though.  It makes all our thoughts, information, and events in our lives immediately accessible to everyone.  Like any form of power, it can be abused and used to our detriment.  If you’re new to social media, or just looking to get more out of it, here are some tips.

  • Be yourself – People often say you can be whoever you want on the internet.  If the person you decide to be isn’t you, you’re not helping anyone.  Winston Churchill used to say a lie got half way around the world before the truth put its pants on.  That is no longer the case.  The truth is right behind you, and it will catch up.
  • Be open – Not just with yourself, but to the ideas of others.  There’s plenty of room for debate, but just as social media strives for the truth, it doesn’t respond well to those it things are hiding it.  People will disagree with you.  Embrace them.  Teach them.  You’ll get your message across by appealing to the highest common denominator.  Try to quiet someone’s dissenting opinion, and you will be punished for it.
  • Be careful – The internet is forever.  Think about what you say.  You can’t take it back.
  • Be consistent – Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you won’t impact anyone in social media in that amount of time.  Keep plugging away.  People will pay attention if you have a good message.  They will care.  Probably not right away.

Could you imagine if the real world were like that?  With today’s instant video-capture,  global feedback, and the fact that social media gives EVERYONE a voice, that day could be coming.

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Borzou Azabdaftari

Borzou is managing partner of Falcon Printing & Copying, a full-service printing and graphic design company in Tysons Corner, VA. His company focuses on building relationships and delivering the highest quality print materials, from poster to invitations to business stationery, to their clients. Passionate about printing to a fault, Borzou eats, breathes, and sleeps paper and ink, and his rare combination of intellectual curiosity, technical savvy, creativity, and interpersonal skills have transformed him from a print service provider only into a branding consultant as well.

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An Ounce of Image is Worth a Pound of Performance

January 26th, 2011

Everyone likes nice things.  All things being equal, most would prefer a Ferrari to a Yugo.  Most would prefer a Rolex to a Timex.  Most would rather safari in the Serengeti than visit the local zoo.

All things aren’t equal though.  There are budgets to be considered.  Values to be determined.   Resources and time to be allocated.  Many small- to medium-sized businesses see the money larger companies put into marketing and promotional materials and think “One day, when I have that kind of money, I’ll have items like that too.”

The truth is » Read more: An Ounce of Image is Worth a Pound of Performance

Error: Unable to create directory /var/www/web20blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/04. Is its parent directory writable by the server?

Borzou Azabdaftari

Borzou is managing partner of Falcon Printing & Copying, a full-service printing and graphic design company in Tysons Corner, VA. His company focuses on building relationships and delivering the highest quality print materials, from poster to invitations to business stationery, to their clients. Passionate about printing to a fault, Borzou eats, breathes, and sleeps paper and ink, and his rare combination of intellectual curiosity, technical savvy, creativity, and interpersonal skills have transformed him from a print service provider only into a branding consultant as well.

Website - Facebook - More Posts