Shake Things Up; No More Email

There is a shift coming. People are using their desktops and laptops less and less.

Most people can do everything they need to from their phones and tablets. (Namely, email and web browsing.)

This article misleadingly discusses a company that banned email – specifically, internal email.

But email will soon be merged with texting and instant messaging. It may or may not look like the email and messaging we use today, but things are changing. If nothing else, you can easily block those who send you messages you don’t want.

New and Old Year’s Predictions

Ever wonder how profitable Google is? There aren’t figures out for 2011 yet, but here is some infotainment from 2010, with some predictions for 2011 that we can check on when the number become available.

Here are 12 more predictions for this year. Will they turn out right?

Don’t be mistaken. The point is not really whether or not they will turn out right. What’s important is to be aware of your options and make the best use of them for you and your business.

Don’t Get Left Behind

You may recall a time when Ma Bell was the only game in town. Alternately, you might remember when KMart was bigger than WalMart. And even now, Sears is closing stores and the USPS is closing Post Offices.

But you may be shocked to learn that Microsoft isn’t as healthy as it could be. It could also crumble. And not just for purely business reasons.

Now is a good time to think about having some backup plans for any necessary computer systems you have. You don’t have to switch just yet – just be aware of what some of your options are.

There are free word processors and spreadsheet programs that can replace Microsoft Office.

If you are adventurous, you’ll research Linux and find out that there are free and robust operating systems available. Or maybe you’ll see how Google plans to replace your computer with a stick.

At least go into the Apple store and tinker with the computers there – you’ll see they aren’t so different from Windows computers.

Even if Microsoft doesn’t collapse, at the very least, you will know you have other options besides paying $150 for the next Windows upgrade or the $499 Office Professional.

Info Tracking

Customer ServiceSocial media like Facebook is ever trying to be a bigger part of your online life.

For some time, Facebook has offered a commenting system which integrates directly into your Facebook page. But they have bigger plans – including automatic sharing of websites you visit and using your face in ads.

Google + also is looking to offer a comment system.

Why are they doing this The more they can get you to use their services, the more data they collect. Information is valuable.

Assorted Tech News October 2011

Little Gent Tech NewsAdobe updated Flash, and you probably saw the update notices sometime in the last few weeks. Adobe also decided not to support mobile devices, so your new phone won’t show flash videos anymore.

iTunes has a new version out, so expect to see the update notification on that, too. Almost right away there was a security update for it for Windows computers. Try to stay up to date – it may save you a lot of computer problems.

Microsoft tried to cut the competiton accidentally took an optional browser out of Windows. They also have been working on improving mobile search bought Skype. You’d think they would buy Hulu if only for the short term gains.

The owners of WordPress have purchased a company which produces online directories for local newspapers. Meanwhile, a Digg founder is creating a review site for products, services and businesses called Oink.

You probably heard that Netflix changed its mind about splitting its DVD and streaming video service. Lots of customers complained and canceled accounts, which made Netflix rethink its decision.

Something else to be aware of are the actions of governments and businesses regarding the internet. You may find this article interesting; maybe your website is currently violating the law (even if it’s just unintentional.)

The United States military considers cyberspace to be a valid venue of war. We’re not advocating any government or business to be in the right or wrong, but we should all know who is controlling facets of the internet, understand why and know what they are doing.

A specific example that may cost you more money down the road is whether or not a downloaded song counts as public performance. If it does, then you owe more money for every song. So far, the Supreme Court has refused to rule so it’s still an open question.