New app, Colors, raises eyebrows & $41 Million Dollars

Have you heard of Color? Me neither before a couple of days ago. I think what’s got people’s keyboards clicking around the blogosphere and thumbs taping about the twitterverse is the fact that they raise $41,000,000. It is an incredibly simple idea. It’s a mobile photo app that lets you share those pictures with people in proximity to you. I think whats really interesting is that it does this without GPS. It reads all kinds of other data from the phone and sends that data to the cloud where it determines that this group of people be at the same place. If you ask me THAT’S what’s worth 41 mil. Not the app it self. But the tech that makes it possible.

Mike Melenson at ReadWriteWeb agrees with me:

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say “no.” Color may have offered a terrible first impression for folks out in the boonies with nobody nearby, but it says it’s fixing that. It may have shot itself in the foot in terms of rising to the top of the App Store and raking in the new users. It may have even confused and annoyed the early adopter set with its puzzle-esque and sometimes serpentine design, but if it can really do what it proposes – change the way our social graph works by way of accurate location and proximity data – then none of that may matter

Color Demo from Color Labs, Inc. on Vimeo.

Great interview of Entrepreneur Curtis Pope, CEO of AisleFinder.com

Black Web 2.0 posts a Robert Scoble interview of Curtis Pope, a young entrepreneur who founded AisleFinder.com, an online shopping site that helps you find items in the grocery store. This is really a great idea. Every time I go shopping, invariably two things happen:

  1. I grumble about how my wife can’t group things together on the grocery list that would be near each other in the store so I wouldn’t have to do a “full table scan” every time enter a new isle to see if there is something in this isle I need.
  2. I have to make a second pass through the store picking up the things that where in isle 3 but at the bottom of the list.

 

I have thought about about this problem several time but concluded that collecting the data would be too labor intensive, to make it worth while. I’m glad somebody else has tacked the problem and I wish you guys had data on the store that I use.

Dap:Black Web 2.0

I’m going to miss T-Mobile when it’s gone

AT&T has begun cracking down on those subscribers who are tethering their laptops or other Wi-Fi enabled devices to their smart phones for Internet access. The company began sending texts and e-mails to those it suspects are doing so without subscribing to the carrier’s $45 per month DataPro plan.

via Unauthorized tetherers on AT&T being told to pay up | Wireless News – Betanews.

Let’s get this straight. I have a data plan that I pay for. It is not an unlimited data plan in the truest sense of the word. There is a limit to how much data I can consume in a given month. If i exceed that limit I must pay a overage charges. I have agreed to this. We are in business. Why would AT&T, or anyone for that matter, care if I share that bandwidth my laptop or my four friend’s laptops? I think I have decided that I will NOT be with AT&T after the merger.

T-Mobile 3G days are numbered

The big story in mobile today is about the AT&T T-Mobile merger. One thing this means for T-Mobile 3G customers is the loss of there 3G service. After the merger At&T plans to repurpose all of T-Mobile 3G spectrum for LTE 4G. At the very least T-Mobile 3G users will be stuck with 2G speed, if any access to data at all. I believe that is the case with the Nexus One, the phone that I have. Those of us who already have 3G phones, I think we have time to get decent use out of them before having to switch. It will take at least a year for the merger to be complete and the 3G to 4G conversion will take several years after that. So I wouldn’t panic. The merger in and of Itself is not a reason at this point to upgrade phone you phone or switch carriers. I don’t think I would at this point buy a NEW 3G phone from T-Mobile.

Dap: Everything Android

RIM and Mobile Carriers fight to hold our leashes

Near Field communication will soon come to mobile phones later this year. This technology can be used to enslave us. How this tech is implemented will decide who our master will be.

Enslave is a strong word. But let me tell you what I mean. The next big thing you will be able to do with your phone is pay for stuff. You wave your phone over a little pad and TADOW, you just paid for stuff. The argument is over where the credentials will be stored. Here is and article from WSJ that explains:

The carriers say they want to encrypt and store the credentials in the phones SIM card, the small chips placed in the back of phones to activate access to mobile networks. SIM cards can be easily swapped from phone to phone. Such a system provides a single payment hub that doesnt depend on what kind of phone you have, the carriers argue.RIM wants the credentials built into a secure area of the BlackBerry itself, which would bind users to its devices and potentially cut carriers out of the loop, according to officials representing some of the carriers. RIM is already reaching out to banks on its own, these people say.

via RIM, Carriers Fight Over Digital Wallet – WSJ.com.

RIM, who makes the highly successful, but quickly becoming irrelevant, Blackberry wants it stored on the phone. Why? Because if your payment credentials are on your phone, you are less likely to get another phone. <sarcasm> And I’m sure RIM will make is SUPER EASY to transfer those credentials to your Nexus S.</sarcasm> And Blackberries stay relevant for another 18 months. The mobile Carriers, on the other hand, want it stored on the your SIM. So when you upgrade your phone it is as easy as swapping SIM. Still making it hard to switch carriers because phone companies will have the same attitude about transferring credentials as RIM probably will.

I say (and I’m sure people will listen to me) neither. Put it on the flash memory.  RIM if you want to stay relevant than do relevant things. You are still the man in the enterprise market but total slept on the consumer market. Until it was too late and Apple came and took the hole thing.

What can I say about mobile companies, I hate you all. Your business model is not one of providing the BEST service, and BEST experience for customers.  You use phones as a the bait for your trap which are the contracts we must agree to in order for afford the handsets. I for one don’t want another way for a company to trap me.

So, I want control of the credentials myself. I want to be able to see the file, copy it, back it up, and move it to any device I want. And when my phone has lost its luster, and they all do, and my carrier disappoints, and they all do, I can take that data and move where I wish. Freedom at it’s most basic level is the ability to leave. The way the mobile industry is structected right now there is no freddom for the consumer. Maybe I was wrong earlier. Maybe ‘enslave’ isn’t too strong of a word.