Ask for the Map

We've been writing about our frustration with finding a signal, and the even more frustrating prospect of selecting a new phone, and maybe a new carrier, only to discover - after your two week trial, that you don't have a good or consistent signal everywhere you need one. We've written about T-Mobile's online service and Cingular's limited in-store kiosks that allow you to get the carrier's opinion of the signal strength they supply at the street address level. Anecdotal evidence suggests that not everyone's exiperience aggrees with the carrier's engineering plans.

It turns out that you can see these same street-level coverage map details, hard copy usually, at any carrier's store. You'll probably have to beg, threaten or start to walk out though, before the salesperson will admit you to those inner secrets.

So, ask for the map, and discuss the sensitivity of that new phone your buying, and demand at least a two-week trial before the contract's cancellation policy kicks in.

Maybe next decade Wi-Max and VOIP will save the day - if the infrastructure can be built out less expensively and more quickly - and thus more coverage - than 3G.

No Signal

You can't live the life [TeleInterActive Lifestyle™] if you can't get a signal. Cell phone signal coverage, or WiFi coverage, we're always looking for signals to keep in touch, get data, stay connected. And all of us have trouble finding a signal, whether a WiFi hotspot or asking "can you hear me now". With cellular signals, staying connected once you get a signal is as big a problem as finding a signal in the first place. Rural areas have the spottiest coverage, but even heavily populated or trafficked areas have problems.

The Wall Street Journal provided coverage of this problem on page D1 of the 2005 May 25 issue, Why You Still Can't Hear Me Now. No carrier or service is immune, nor is any technology.

Most troubles are caused by inadequate coverage leading to dead areas, fluctuating signal strength/quality, and dropped calls. When I was involved in a severe car crash in March, there was no cell signal - on any carrier. [If you wish to read that post, please register and I'll make you a member; the post is protected until the insurance claims are setteled.] As I drive around the SF Bay Area, I often get dropped in the middle of a call, or can't get a signal one time where I have a good signal other times. When I stand still, while making a call, I can see my signal meter go from 1 bar to three, or three bars to five. My Sony Ericsson phone on Cingular {I was Mobile One, then AT&T Wireless, now Cingular all with the same number without me doing a thing] generally has 1 to 3 bars at my house, though sometimes it can't find the network at all. My partner's newer Sony Ericsson phone on Cingular never has a signal at my place. I'm afraid to get a new phone.

And the cell phone coverage maps from the carriers are generally wrong. Even the new online address-by-address map on T-Mobile isn't always accurate. [You can see some anecdotal evidence at "T-Mobile's New Consumer Aid"]. Cingular has something similar, but only available through kiosks at some stores. Right now, it's basically impossible to tell if you'll have a signal where you need it before you select a carrier and phone.

This has to change.

Bayosphere is Ramping UP

The Bayosphere is going live, as they announce in "Forums go live. Talk amongst ourselves....". They're still more than a month away from their formal launch, but they're ramping up with forums, a new central blog, and a search for some part-time "hosts".

Many things about the Bayosphere project interest me. First, is that it is a working experiment in citizen's journalism. Second, it's all about the SF Bay Area, the place with which I fell in love back in 1979 when I was out here on a business trip, and where I've lived, worked and played for over 20 years now.

The most interesting aspect to me however, is an item promised in the "Upcoming" section of the post cited above...

"Personal Workspaces for those who want to post stories, collaborate, or blog"end quotation

We're very interested here in new ways to collaborate, manage data, transform data into information, and share the results so that everything you need is immediately available where ever and whenever you need it. I've been reading Dan Gillmor for years, and I'm very interested to see what he, Michael Goff and the others at Grassroots Media have in mind for the personal workspaces.

Oracle Accounts for 80.5 Percent of New License Sales in Linux

I had assumed that with the rise of Open Source RDBMS that Open Source RDBMS had a larger share in the Linux platform. I am wrong. :oops: According to the article, IBM, Oracle Tie For No. 1 In Database Market, "Oracle accounted for 80.5 percent of new license sales on the Linux platform". Oracle has been running in Linux for years now. I used to support Oracle on Linux during my days in Oracle Support and that was in my other life. &#59;D So, it is not that surprising to me that Oracle would dominate the Linux market. I just assumed that enterprises who use Linux are more open to Open Source Software and would use Open Source RDBMS like MySQL and Postgres.

The other interesting thing I found from the article:
"RDBMS revenues on the Unix platform declined by 0.7 percent, as Linux-based RDBMS sales increased by more than 118 percent. Revenues from new licenses on the open-source operating system, however, remained relatively small at $654.8 million."
The study classified Linux separate from Unix even if Linux is a flavor of Unix.

Cellphedia

Cellphedia, according to its home page, is "the 1st Ubiquitous Social Encyclopedia". Think of it as a cross between Wikipedia and online social networks, for your cell phone. This was developed as part of founder's Limor Garcia graduate thesis at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program. Right now it seems more suited to trivia questions, but as the knowledgebase grows, I believe that the utility will grow as well. It will be interesting to see if she seeks to grow it as a business, how that business fares, and the direction the cellphedia community takes as it grows.

[Related Reading:]

Cellphedia Melds Facts with Mobile Smart Mobs

Cellphedia

Cellphedia: The mobile phone social encyclopedia

Cellphedia: mobile social knowledge

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The TeleInterActive Lifestyle is about the business processes, life choices, management challenges and technical issues facing organizations and individuals as individuals and organizations adopt the Internet of Things, Mixed Reality, wireless networks of all levels, mobile devices, long-distance collaboration, social networks, digital transformation, and adjust to growing urbanization.

Sensor Analytics Ecosystems for the Internet of Things (SAEIoT) brings value from emerging technologies through data management and analytics, advances in data science, as the IoT matures through the 5Cs: Connection, Communication, Contextualization, Collaboration and Cognition. The socialization of machines will allow for Privacy, Transparency, Security and Convenience to be flexibly provided with two-way accountability to build Trust among Humans and Machines.

AsDataArchon, we have evolved our consulting data scientist work from learning how to incorporate sensor analytics into data warehouses, business intelligence and analytics to focusing on IoT data management and forming sensor analytics ecosystems.

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Our current thinking on sensor analytics ecosystems (SAE) bringing together critical solution spaces best addressed by Internet of Things (IoT) and advances in Data Management and Analytics (DMA) is here.

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