We had a death in our family over the weekend.
Some of us are grieving better than others. My wife and daughter are unfazed and have moved on. I was the one who had to be the bearer of the bad news. After a few minutes, I made my peace and was all right.
My son, I worry about him. Over the weekend, he accidentally dropped the old Dell laptop that I brought back to life for him. This time Dad wasn't able to get the old PC to fire back up again. The monitor had taken it's final drop. When I tried to boot up the machine, everything came alive except the glow of the screen. I turned to my son to share the news that his beloved "'puter" was about to join the recycle bin which caused him to run upstairs and throw himself on his bed.
After a few minutes of heavy grieving he came downstairs and asked me if he could get an iPad now.
No one moves on faster than a six-year-old.
We all can related to this. We all at some point have had a strong attachment to a piece of technology that when it failed, that moment tore apart our hear. For me it was when my iPhone 4 mysteriously decided to self-destruct and over charge the tiny wire that connected my back screen to the motherboard inside the phone. According to the Genius who diagnosed my phone, it was a freak malfunction that was not my fault - no amount of tender care could have prevented this internal error. Yet, it still out of warranty with a repair bill that cost more than what the phone was worth.
I too wanted to run upstairs and throw myself on my bed to shed tears. Instead, I made the long walk to the AT&T store at Crossgates to see what my "replacement" options were. Every time I see my outdated BlackBerry Curve that will have to serve me for another two years when my upgrade is ready, I share that same sadness my little guy has when he has to wait until Christmas to see if Santa will bring a replacement computer.
Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images
I claimed my seat in the packed theater on Sunday afternoon in Clifton Park to see the new Superman "Man of Steel" movie. And while I found the cast and their performances to be excellent, the re-boot of the Superman storyline left me cold. Sorry. I felt the same way about the recent Spiderman "do-over."
The one question I walked out of the theater with was, "will their be a Justice League movie?" Marvel comics used their "Iron Man" movies to slowly rollout "The Avengers" (The Hulk, Captain America, and Thor), which was last summer's BIG comic blockbuster.
The Justice League would be an easier sell with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Green Lanter (really the only character that needed their own movie, remember Ryan Reynolds in the green costume?), and Aquaman as main characters with several other lesser known (comic-book fan) favorites.
Warner Bros. spent an estimated $225 million making "Man of Steel," taking in an estimated opening weekend haul of about $357 million. Since the movie studio has finished it's Harry Potter franchise and seems to be putting it's focus back on super hero movies - all we can do is cross our fingers that the rumors of a "Justice League" film really do develop.
For those who trust their phones for turn-by-turn directions, imagine how distracting it would be trying to navigate downtown Troy, full of one-way streets in rush hour traffic, when an ad pops up on your phone as pass a nearby store.
That's what is coming…
Google paid $1.3 billion for the social driving app Waze - yes, over a BILLION dollars for an app that helps users get from here to there. Nothing fancy. No "social networking." No "in app game purchases." Just a driving app.
There are a couple key things that made Waze so attractive for Google.
Waze users can report traffic conditions, like an accident or a cop sitting in a U-turn area on the Northway - with these alerts popping up in real time on the map. Pretty useful.
Yes, ads that pop up when you pass by a store or business, like Best Buy or Whole Foods who have bought promotions in the app, with special offers or coupons.
And this is the BIG number for Google - after Apple destroyed their maps app, Waze saw a jump of 100,000 new users a day before Google debuted the iPhone version of Google Maps in December.
Mapping technology today is not about where you are or where you are going, but what you can encounter on your destination - whether you want to or not.