Did smartphones & tablets kill the PC? Part I: It’s an iPad world, but not Windows 8’s

The decline of PC

Way back in the antediluvian ages of 2010, when everyone thought the “Harlem Shake” was IDC PC sales declinesomething you drink, Apple introduced the iPad.  Nobody, even Apple, really knew how the market would react.  After all people already had smartphones, laptops, netbooks, and the old standby, the desktop PC.  Did folks really want another form factor?

Turns out they did. Tablets sales took off, while PC sales stagnated.  As the above chart from International Data Corp (IDC) demonstrates, the first quarter of 2013 reported a 14% drop in PC shipments, falling below 80 million units for the first time since 2009.  This is the worst quarterly report since IDC began tracking PC shipments in 1994. Read more

How to Use Parts of a Broken Cell Phone as Survival Tools [Infographic]

Hammer smartphone

Suppose you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere with nothing, but a broken smartphone?  Don’t despair!  The good folks at ansonalex.com have info that could save your life.  Check out the infographic below:

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Defense Details Large Smartphone Buys

soldier carrying smart phoneAs noted in Wired, the Defense Department has taken a major step toward its goal of “a smartphone for every soldier.” They recently released their Commercial Mobile Device (CMD) Implementation Plan, which details dates, stages, and buys over the next several years.  The DoD may be purchasing as many as 600,000 smartphone devices. As expected, the Pentagon is deliberately being “device agnostic.”  They are looking at Apple and Google –based communication devices, and they have promised to support Blackberry smartphones as well. See below for links to the CMD Implementation plan as well as their overall strategy, which was released last June.

Exerpt from; DoD Commercial Mobile Device Implementation Plan

“As a result of a JROC Capability Gap Assessment, OSD guidance, and strong end user demand for secure classified and unclassified mobile solutions, DoD is orchestrating an effort to provide wireless network services infrastructure, approved devices, applications management, and policies to protect and secure the mobile DoD information ecosystem. The Implementation Plan updates the DoD Mobile Device Strategy, Reference (a), to establish wireless voice, video, and data capabilities in accordance with DoD Instruction 8100.04, Reference (c), by October 2013. The CMD Implementation Plan establishes the framework to equip users and managers with mobile solutions that leverage commercial off-the-shelf products, improve functionality, decrease cost, and enable increased personal productivity….”


Fully Rugged Turn-key Avionic MIL-STD-1553 Tablet

06-Avionics_DK08-4-EditedAMREL now offers a  turn-key fully rugged avionics tablet complete with an integrated MIL-STD-1553 card supplied by Data Device Corporation (DDC). DDC is the world’s leading MIL-STD-1553 hardware and software provider. DDC has supplied integration support along with their 1553 Mini-PCIe card to help design this turn-key solution. Read more

ROCKY DT6 – Rugged, Atom-powered Tablet with Keyboard

dt6_frontThe new ROCKY DT6 rugged tablet is a powerful new mobile solution, designed to match the needs of military and enterprise applications, the DT6 is:

  • Rugged – Its magnesium casing means it won’t break when you need it the most.
  • Light and portable – Perfect for field work.
  • Built for massive manual data input – The built-in keyboard lets you file reports no matter where you are.
  • Atom powered – This special processor allows you to run full Windows/Linux OS. Read more

Why NFC phone payment may not be a big deal in 2013

This is the second in a series of articles, which predict what will not happen in 2013.  One of the most touted recent trends is “contactless payment” with Near Field Communication (NFC).  Despite what some enthusiasts say, I don’t think people will be throwing away their wallets and credit cards this year for a NFC phone.

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Why cloud computing may not be big deal in 2013

cloud computing

The beginning of the New Year often marks an avalanche of stories enthusing about the “next big thing.” Usually, a glorious, completely transformed future is predicted due to the disruptive qualities of a new technology.

This article will be the first of a series in which I’ll try to let the steam out of a few commonly hyped trends.  To be clear, each of these technical innovations represents genuine change in the way we approach mobile computing.  I just think there are going to be bumps in the road.

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Human side of the network

Discussions about combat networks usually concern issues of architecture, SWaP, capabilities, interoperability, and the Agile process.  It’s easy to lose sight of impact of technological decisions on human beings.  Recently I was reminded about the real-world effects of network solutions.  The Business Insider excerpts a description from Garrett Anderson’s blog about his duties as a platoon radio operator in Fallujah. Explaining why he hates to talk on the telephone, he cites one incident:

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Interoperability: “ Bandwidth is more precious than gold and platinum”

At the recent Ground Robotics Capability Conference (GRCC), I surveyed a number of vendors about what was on their mind. I read them a list of topics that are frequently covered in OCU Pro newsletters as well as AMREL’s corporate blog.

By far, one topic elicited more interest than any other: interoperability. On one hand, I was pleased. AMREL has been a leader for developing solutions that have the ability to “… to work with or use the parts or equipment of another system” (Merriam-Webster definition). For example, our Flexpedient® Solutions enable kit building of Operator Control Units with common control capabilities.

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Defense Tech Briefs spotlights the DB6

AMREL’s handheld DB6 is on the cover of this month’s Defense Tech Briefs.  April’s issue’s featured article is “Improving Battlefield Connectivity for Dismounted Forces,” so it’s only natural that they would spotlight the smallest, rugged, handheld in the world that can run a full Windows OS.  Click here  to read about the search for the ideal front-line computing platform.