PCM009 PC Mike Podcast: Forget Wall St., What Apple’s Success Means to YOU!

Ever since becoming the company to make the most money ever during a three-month period, everyone’s been talking Apple.

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But here’s the thing: A lot of the discussion has been centered on Wall Street as opposed to the view from Main Street – what Apple’s success as a business means to the consumers who actually buy Apple products and services.

That’s exactly what we talk about during this episode of the PC Mike Techcast with our special guest, Paul Sweeting, lead analyst at Gigaom Research and founder of Concurrent Media Strategies, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting and editorial services firm specializing in digital media technology and policy issues.

“Apple needs to make big, category-defining, or at least redefining moves to get a meaningful return, rather than competing incrementally for market share the way ‘normal’ companies do,” Sweeting tells us. “Thus, you get moves like the Apple Watch, or the $3 billion acquisition of Beats, both of which are pretty big rolls of the dice.”

In this all-Apple interview, we address:

– With all that money, Apple is going to have to have something huge to move that profit margin again

– If Apple has hit the “next big thing” ceiling

– Skepticism of the success of the coming Apple Watch

– Predictions on what Apple TV will be like

– Big-box retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, and Target are pushing back on the Apple Pay mobile payment platform

– Apple Pay is perhaps the most secure way to make purchases with a credit card, a huge advantage because of the growing hacking problems

– Is there anything Apple couldn’t buy?

Listen to the Episode Below (00:54:49)

Tech News and Trends: Net Neutrality and the Anthem Hack

I kick off the show this week by talking about net neutrality. In non-geek-speak, it means we all get the same speed and the same access to the Internet and you do not you get some of your media faster because one big company paid another big company for “special” access. I provide some background so you know more about the term “net neutrality,” and how it could affect you. (Read more)

Another big tech story this week was the HUGE data breach of Anthem Health Services (one of the largest health care providers in the U.S.), potentially exposing unencrypted health records and information about as many as 80 million people. I talk about what happened and, more importantly, why YOU need to know what’s going on. (Read more) And please, do yourself a favor and listen to episode six of the PC Mike Techcast, where we talked to one of the nation’s top cybersecurity experts who put it best: “Hacking isn’t as bad as you think…it’s worse.” (Listen to episode six here)

Free Audiobook

We have news on how you can get a FREE audiobook download and 30-day free trial by going to http://audibletrial.com/pcmike. Audible offers over 150,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player. For listeners of the PC Mike podcast, Audible is offering a free audiobook download with a free 30-day trial to give you the opportunity to check out their service. To download your free audiobook today, go here.

PC Mike Techcast listeners may enjoy “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson. Based on more than 40 interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than 100 family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing. Regular price is $34.99, but it’s free if you sign-up for a trial with Audible at http://audibletrial.com/pcmike.

Interview: Paul Sweeting, Lead Analyst, Gigaom Research and Founder, Concurrent Media Strategies

Ever since becoming the company to make the most money ever during a three-month period, everyone’s been talking Apple. However, much of the talk has been from an investor’s angle, and about the value of the company. Sweeting joins us to shed light on what it might actually mean to those buying the company’s products.

App Talk: Dine Stress-Free Using These Apps to Help Split the Bill

Dining out with friends and family can be great – until the bill comes. Then….things can get a little weird.

But forget about that with these awkward-diffusing/bill-splitting apps I talk about in the blog post here.

The Tip N Split app for Apple perfectly describes what it does. It adds in the tip automatically and then divides it up between those at the table. It splits the tip uniformly, equally among everyone. The Lite version is free. There’s also a similar Tip N Split Caculator for Android on the Google Play store.

But if some ordered more expensive stuff, you may want to instead use the Billr app for the iPhone. It splits the bill unevenly, for up to 16 people. It adds the tip, takes into account the cost of each item ordered, assigns them to a person and then gives each person their fair share amount.

The ultimate bill splitter though is called Divvy. It makes sure everyone pays their fair share like the other apps but it does so by having you snap a photo of the bill and the people at your table. It reads each item and then you just drag each item to the photo of the person who ordered it. It only works with the iPhone

We Need Your Help!

As we begin a new podcast like this, it’s very important to get a bunch of reviews to be able to show well in the iTunes listings. So if you can, I’d sure appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave me your rating and review.

Here’s how:

First, open up the iTunes app on your computer or mobile device. Click on Podcasts on top
> From the iTunes Podcasts page, use the “Search Store” field up at the top right corner of the page. Type in PC Mike Techcast under the Podcasts category.
> Click on the logo image of the PC Mike Techcast on the search return page
> From there, you can:

1) Subscribe

2) Choose and Click on a star (1-5) that reflects your rating. Five stars means you really like it, one star not so much.

3) Leave a written review.

Thanks to all for the kind reviews we’ve received so far. I read and appreciate every review! If you haven’t left a review please do so. I will be so grateful!

And remember, you can appear in future episodes. Ask a question or voice your comments by clicking the Leave Voicemail tab on the right side of this page here at pcmike.com. You can then use the microphone on your computer to record your question.

Thank you!

 

007PCM How Streaming Media Will Change Your World

Streaming media delivers a lot more choice and flexibility when it comes to consuming content, but it’s also creating a ton of media hype and confusion.

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So says Dan Rayburn, executive vice president of StreamingMedia.com and principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan, on this week’s PC Mike Podcast.

“The thing we’re seeing in the market is that consumers have more choice and more flexibility with how they want to watch their content,” Rayburn says. “That being said, it’s still a very fragmented market.”

Rayburn says the availability of so many devices (Google Chromecast vs. Roku, for example), each seemingly delivering different kinds of content and services like Netflix – not to mention varying levels of quality – can leave consumers’ heads spinning, and often not getting what they want.

Add in other factors, such as media hype over the notion that traditional cable service is going to soon disappear, and things aren’t any easier to figure out.

On this episode of the PC Mike podcast, however, Rayburn helps put things in perspective for the burgeoning streaming media industry, providing great insider insight from the business side of things and how consumers could be affected as well as guidance on what questions you should ask yourself when it comes to your own content needs. Specifically, Rayburn addresses:

  • What’s so great – and not-so-great – about the evolution of streaming media?
  • The difference between devices like Roku and services such as Hulu.
  • Can services like Netflix continue to deliver quality content people want – and not break its own bank?
  • How much bandwidth do you really need?
  • What actually might be slowing down your network?
  • What questions you should be asking yourself when considering “cutting the cord” to cable?
  • Why you should not buy 4K TV before 2016 or, maybe, even 2017
Listen to the Episode Below (00:43:25)

PCM004 Podcast: Why Apple Watch Will Flop and Other Tech Predictions for 2015

It’s a new year and in this New Year Episode of the PC Mike podcast, I preview the tech trends that will be shaping 2015, from Apple Watch to the apps that can help us keep our new year resolutions when it comes to losing weight and getting in shape. Plus, I have a really nifty dashboard camera you may want to install in your vehicle to document your drives.

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Listen to the Episode Below (00:45:23)

PCM003 Podcast: A Look at 2014 Tech – From Best to Google Glass

In this episode of the PC Mike Podcast, I reveal my choice of the worst tech gadget of 2014 – Google Glass.

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Google Glass sucks. There’s just no way to make this turkey look good.

It’s the worst tech gadget I’ve used used this year, shelling out $1,500 for it just 11 months ago. It has a dismally short battery life, very few useful apps, is difficult to sync with smartphones and the public thinks those who wear Google Glass to be “Glassholes.”

Listen to the Episode Below (00:38:20)

Apps for kids

If you’re a parent and have a smartphone or tablet, your kids probably know how to use it better than you do. I have some suggestions that will help you spend quality time with your kids and turn any night into family night by finding the best apps for young people.

kidapps

kidappsApps for kids are one of the most popular categories available for smartphones and there are games and educational choices available in great quantity and quality. So for starters, check out the recommendations of the Best Apps for Kids website. They review and sort kid apps by age group and can quickly help you find the best app or eBook for whatever category you’re searching.

I like the apps from Duck Duck Moose, especially their free ChatterPix kids iPhone app that lets children take a picture with the smartphone and then turn their photo into a puppet that talks with your child’s voice.

If your kid likes science, try the Ansel and Clair: Little Green Island app. It puts your kids in charge of an island and they solve various environmental issues, from cleaning up an oil spill to planting trees. $1.99 for Apple and Android devices.

For educational and fun apps, check out SmartApps4Kids. Their various math apps are great to help young kids with their counting skills and even learn a little about money and finance. 99cents for Apple devices

Best Bicycling Apps

Summer is get outside an play time and as warm weather finally sweeps across the country, lots of folks are taking to two wheeled transportation and the sport and pastime of cycling. I have some special apps can help help you get even more from bicycling..

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Whether for recreation or transportation – earlier this month the nation celebrated bike to work week – cycling has become one of the nation’s most popular passtimes .

bikeapsAnd with everyone having a smartphone, there are some great biking apps.

Start with the app called Runtastic. They have apps for runners and cyclists as well as optional gear that reads out your heart rate and cadence. The $4.99 Runtastic apps measure speed and distance as well as tracking and mapping your route. You can share status and reports via social media. It works on all major mobile phone platforms and there are specialized apps aimed at road cyclists or mountain bikers.

The Map My Ride app has been around for several years but really has a strong following of more than 20 million cyclists. It is updated regularly and lets you find specific routes and trails to bike wherever you are, oretty much anywhere in the world. You can get maps of routes to ride, or create your own route. And the app, of course, tracks your speed and distance. The app works on all platforms and is free.

One more: Wahoo Fitness. A lot of hard core cyclists love this app. It tracks al the standard things but works with Bluetooth for heart rate monitors and other add-ons. The app works on the iPhone and Android phones and is free.