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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Dr Martin Cooper - Inventor of the Cellphone

Dr Martin Cooper, a former general manager for the systems division at Motorola, is considered the inventor of the first portable handset and the first person to make a call on a portable cell phone in April 1973. The first call he made was to his rival, Joel Engel, Bell Labs head of research.
AT&T's research arm, Bell Laboratories, introduced the idea of cellular communications in 1947. But Motorola and Bell Labs in the sixties and early seventies were in a race to incorporate the technology into portable devices.
Cooper, now 70, wanted people to be able to carry their phones with them anywhere.
While he was a project manager at Motorola in 1973, Cooper set up a base station in New York with the first working prototype of a cellular telephone, the Motorola Dyna-Tac. After some initial testing in Washington for the F.C.C., Mr. Cooper and Motorola took the phone technology to New York to show the public.

The First Cellphone (1973)

Name: Motorola Dyna-Tac
Size: 9 x 5 x 1.75 inches
Weight: 2.5 pounds
Display: None
Number of Circuit Boards: 30
Talk time: 35 minutes
Recharge Time: 10 hours
Features: Talk, listen, dial

In 1973, when the company installed the base station to handle the first public demonstration of a phone call over the cellular network, Motorola was trying to persuade the Federal Communications Commission to allocate frequency space to private companies for use in the emerging technology of cellular communications. After some initial testing in Washington for the F.C.C., Mr. Cooper and Motorola took the phone technology to New York to show the public.
On April 3, 1973, standing on a street near the Manhattan Hilton, Mr. Cooper decided to attempt a private call before going to a press conference upstairs in the hotel. He picked up the 2-pound Motorola handset called the Dyna-Tac and pushed the "off hook" button.
The phone came alive, connecting Mr. Cooper with the base station on the roof of the Burlington Consolidated Tower (now the Alliance Capital Building) and into the land-line system. To the bewilderment of some passers-by, he dialed the number and held the phone to his ear.

Who is he?
Cooper grew up in Chicago and earned a degree in electrical engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology. After four years in the navy serving on destroyers and a submarine, he worked for a year at a telecommunications company.
Hired by Motorola in 1954, Mr. Cooper worked on developing portable products, including the first portable handheld police radios, made for the Chicago police department in 1967. He then led Motorola's cellular research.

Mobile Technology 1G to 5G

Mobile Technology 1G to 5G

1G - First Generation
Analog mobile communication networks deployed in the late 1980s, based on closed circuit connections between two voice callers. AMPS was one technology. Remember the Radio Shack killer telephone?

2G – Second Generation
Allowed multiple parties to use the same frequency at once. The popular standards deployed in the 1990s was GSM and CDMA. This was the start of mobile data transmission. Rember the Motorola Bag Phone? I still have mine

3G – Third Generation
Increased speed and capacity of networks made data transmissions easier and smartphone use more common. CDMA and GSM added new variants to the technology but it also was the start of EDGe and HSPA. I guess Jobs created the WOW! unboxing moment with this one

4G- Fourth Generation
Much greater speeds and increased data throughputs. WiMax and LTE technologies being the popular standards. Samsung steals the show and Motorola becomes Google.

5G – Fifth Generation
It looks like it is shaping to be a hybrid of technologies and support for any device, anywhere and any protocol. By the time it becomes installed the world of the tablet, wristwatch and smartphone device could be very different. Google has a head start!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hotel Perk Tricks – Save Money

Hotel Perk Tricks – Save Money

Hotels vary their rates based on supply and demand and that is just basic economics. Just try to get a room in Montreal during the Formula 1 weekend and you will know what I mean. Hotels also try to make money charging high prices for basics like water, internet and parking. If you crave the convenience of these services then the costs are justified but if you are a family travelling on a budget then trying to save wherever you can is important.

But there are ways of saving your hard earned cash or taking advantage of perks while travelling. Here is 11 ideas:

1    1.      You can sometimes get a free upgrade if you mention that it’s an anniversary or a very special milestone. This works best if your wife or girlfriend gushes away while checking in or making a reservation. This got me a wonderful penthouse suite in Coeur D’Alene.

2.       Parking. Hotels seem to get away with charging for parking these days. The biggest ouch is the Valet parking. Just ask where the parking lot is and park there without the added mark up. One hotel charges $30 to valet park and the public garage is right next door. The cost is $12 so the hotel pockets $18 bucks a night and you still need to tip and wait 20 minutes for your car to show up. If you are a high roller then this isn’t important to you.

3.       Room Service is another way hotels like to make extra money for the convenience of your meal arriving on a trolley. $30 for a hamburger and fries is a bit much. Many local restaurants offer delivery service right to your hotel room for a lot less money. Better yet, stretch those legs and take the family down the street for a pizza in a sit down restaurant and leave the hotel room for sleeping. The maids will be super happy to not have to deal with the empty pizza boxes as well.  Try staying at Hotels that offer complimentary breakfast buffet unless you think $22 per person is reasonable.

4.       Travel Rewards Programs. Join them use them and subscribe to their emails for deals. Starwood offers a stay 4 nights get one night free program for rewards members. That can save you an easy $200 while collecting points for a free stay.

5.       Travel Credit cards. Here is where you can double up on points. You get rewards points with your Starwood card and you collect points for paying with your Starwood Visa card. You get a free stay a lot quicker.

6.       Wi-Fi Charges. Beware that many hotels still think they can get away with a $15 a day charge and some charge per device. It’s ridiculous to check your hotel bill and find a $75 fee for 5 devices in the family per night. Thankfully, it was waived down to $15 but next time you may not be so lucky. Get a D-Link Travel router and share the one IP address with multiple devices. Offer the password to your neighbours as well for more savings on their bill.

7.       Bribes. I don’t do this but I know of a friend who does and for $20 at times can work for him. Make sure the Front Desk staff looks like they will take the bribe. Most female staff will not take the bribe suggesting that bribery is gender specific. Probably the way to go in Las Vegas but maybe a $50 works better

8.       Call the hotel directly for better hotel rates and a chance to negotiate directly. Some hotels will beat the competitors pricing by 10-25%. Also, if the hotel is sold out on-line and you are a rewards member you can sometimes get access to the hidden rooms that are saved for last minute travellers.

9.       Sports Weekends are the times to avoid any hotel. My friends just came back from Rochester, NY where their hotel was jammed to the gills with soccer, lacrosse and swim teams. Always ask the Front Desk to find out what is going on. If you are staying at the Westin in Blue Mountain during the Elvis Festival may mean many look alikes at the breakfast buffet.

10.  Water can be a ridiculous $4 a bottle for something that costs 10 cents in bulk or 50 cents at the local grocery store. Bring your own and save enough money for a nice dinner.

11.   Laundry. Use the in-house washing machines or the dry cleaner down the street.

      Remember that the maids are the lowest paid and have the worst job. Tip a few bucks every day for your stay and be happy knowing many single moms willl appreciate it while emptying your room of pizza boxes, garbage, empty shopping bags, shoe boxes and Subway wrappers.

Palm Pre stole the 2009 CES Show

At the 2009 CES show, Palm introduced the Pre mobile phone. It was very slick and offered the touch screen technology and a built in keyboard.

You could swipe and drag your fingers across the screen and pop apps open and ran on the clever webOS software platform.

Apple was scared and quickly got legal involved as it seemed to be a iPhone copy. RIM wasn't too worried as they had a lot of market share.

palm as a  company screws up the marketing and sales of the device and struggles.

In the fall of 2009 , Motorola released the Droid and Palm had the wind sucked right out of its sails.

HP buys Palm in Spring 2010 and the product languishes as they try to figure out what do with it before deciding it was a mistake and writes off the acquisition at a loss.

Too bad, everyone had a Palm Pilot in the good old days and the progression to Treo then to Pre is interesting.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Intelligent Leaders: Nine Personality Traits

Intelligent Leaders: Nine Personality Traits

John Mattone wrote an interesting book called Intelligent Leadership: What You Need to Know to Unlock Your Full Potential

John’s research is based on an enneagram that was developed back to 2500 BC in Babylon. This nine pointed diagram is centered on a circle that is divided into three groups. The leadership groups are heart leaders, head leaders and gut leaders. What makes this relevant is that we all make decisions based on those three groups in different quantities. Usually one group is dominant. It tends to be the elements of how we think, feel or behave in the workplace or in our personal life.

Each leadership group is then broken down into three additional groups:

Heart leaders are helpers, entertainers or artists

Head leaders are activists, disciples or thinkers.

Gut leaders are drivers, arbitrators or perfectionists.

One of the nine sub-groups is your dominant leadership with a foundation from the other eight. The nine traits can evolve over time as we become more knowledgeable, wiser and experienced in our everyday life.

Let’s take a look at what these nine traits look like:

  1. Helpers understand people, are empathetic, positive, great listeners and enjoy close relationships. They can also be selfish and manipulative.
  2. Entertainers are admired and respected if they deliver results and that is their primary focus. If you challenge their success they will become jealous and hostile.
  3. Artists are the creative and innovative leaders. They are in touch with their personal feelings and help others do the same. These leaders can be so self-consumed that they lose touch with the needs of others and can be unreasonable in their demands.
  4. Thinkers love to analyze the world around them and take those thoughts to action. These problem solvers can also lose touch with others while consumed within their own thoughts.
  5. Disciples are the loyal, committed followers able to help others get things done but are dependent on authority as they cannot act on their own.
  6. Activists are the sensation seekers that are very busy in their surroundings but these happy and cheerful leaders can hide a ton of pain inside themselves.
  7. Drivers are the confidant leaders with a take charge and aggressive attitude that helps them accomplish their goals. They love attention but can be overly fixated to getting to the top by exploiting others.
  8. Arbitrators are those that sympathize and empathize with others and bring people together while avoiding conflict. They can start to idealize their coworkers and become distant from reality.
  9. Perfectionists are those leaders that really need everything to be perfect for themselves and others. They can be highly critical of themselves and others which can turn to anger and rage due to the amount of imperfections.

Do you recognize yourself in any of these traits?

Do you recognize any of your coworkers who are dominant in a certain trait?

Which areas can you improve upon that can make you a better leader? 

check out the wiki link for more interesting information