Avoid Android 4.4.4 KitKat Update – seriously buggy

After the 4.4.4 update, battery life on my Nexus 5 is so bad that I’ve started considering switching to iPhone and saying goodbye to Google:

Among the new problems which erupted with the Android 4.4.4 KitKat update includes bad battery life and keyboard lag in Nexus 5, Wi-Fi issues and random reboots in Nexus 7 , Dialer issues in Nexus 4, etc. These issues were present in the Android 4.4.3 KitKat also. The issues is [are?] not being faced by Nexus users only and users of other devices which run on the Android 4.4.4 KitKat are also facing issues.

The Android 4.4.4 KitKat issues have still not been resolved and Google Product Forums are overflowing with complaints from irate users who are facing problems after Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates. The latest problems include Wi-Fi issues, GPS problems, random freezing and lock ups, problems with email sync, and more.

via Android 4.4.4 KitKat Update Problems for Google Nexus 5, Nexus 4, 7 users.

I have deleted apps, turned off Auto sync and disable mobile data and WiFi when not using data services (which is almost all day). Yet in 5-6 hours, the battery is half full.

Android 4.2 was the last good release of Android. After that, its like installing Windows Vista over and over again.

Update: Here is something that may help improve the battery.

Go to Settings | Storage | Cached data and press Cached data, and then Ok to clear all cached data. I had also gone through the Settings | Apps list and cleared out the cache of each individual app but the master clear cached data should take care of it in one operation.

Go to Settings | Wi-Fi | select the 3 dot menu at lower right and then choose Advanced. On the dialog box there is an item “Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep”. Set this to either Only when plugged in or Never.

Re-boot the phone. The first time I rebooted, battery life was better but not back to where it had been. The second time, battery life is doing much better. Time will tell if this fixes the battery life problem introduced in Kit Kat. If this is the problem, it seems like an easy fix – the 4.4.4 release should just clear out the storage cache as part of the update and make sure the WiFi options are set appropriately.

Hopefully this resolves the problem. The battery life had become so poor after the 4.4.4 update that I charged up my old Windows 7.x phone and was planning to move my SIM card to that phone as a backup.

Posted in Smart Phones, Software, Software Quality | Leave a comment

Microsoft Layoffs Impact Thousands Of Contract Workers

In 2009, the Seattle Times reported that Microsoft’s external staff numbered about 80,000. When these numbers are considered – and each of these contractors are forced to take their six month hiatus – Microsoft’s layoffs are much, much more sweeping than just the 18,000 employees initially reported.

via Microsoft Layoffs Also Impact Thousands Of Contract Workers.

The new rule says that a- and v- contract workers are restricted to 18 months of on site work, and after that, must leave for 6 months.  6 months out of 24 months is the same as an across the board 25% cut, or the potential impact of laying off 20,000 of the 80,000 contract workers. But that is not going to be an accurate number since many of the contract workers were already restricted in some ways.

The actual figures are going to be more complex than this. For one, Microsoft is probably laying off some contract workers in this big layoff round. Second, some contractors can continue doing work for Microsoft but not at Microsoft. This could encourage Microsoft projects, though, to outsource – and offshore – more work away from Puget Sound.


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Federal government stores all of your detailed air travel records

The US government stores all of your international travel records, including your credit card numbers, expiration date, call center notes about conversations you had with airline staff, email address, phone number used, special food requests, special accommodations, your seat number, the language you spoke to staff, the IP address used to access online reservation systems and more. And basically stores it forever.

Your credit card number and expiration date are stored and transmitted unencrypted in violation of Federal regulations.

Ars editor learns feds have his old IP addresses, full credit card numbers | Ars Technica.

The author notes the government can use your seat number to determine who sat next to you. And if that person was considered suspicious, then you are now a suspect – and a social network analysis might be done to examine records of your family and friends.

We today know that the NSA collects all of our credit card transaction records just by buying them from companies like Axciom.

While the government collects and retains detailed information about all of us, the same government was unable to stop the Tsarnaev brothers even after the Russian government notified US government agencies, repeatedly, about the Tsarnaev brothers’ activities, numerous times.

The Obama regime has some explaining to do.

Posted in Cloud, Corruption, Spying | Leave a comment

Spotting Trends and Opportunities using Google Trends

Use Google Trends, enter search terms and I think you will figure it out.

Here’s an article on the value of using search trends data: Search Insights: Spotting Category Trends and Opportunities – Think with Google.

Use search trends for marketing purposes or for coming up with blog or Youtube video ideas. Timing is everything.

I bemoaned that some of my videos recently saw a sharp fall off in views. Using Google Trends, the reason became obvious.

I have a number of Civil War re-enactment videos; until last year, all my videos were posted around Memorial Day because a big Civil War historical re-enactment happened on that weekend where I used to live.

Memorial Day plus or minus is the peak period of the year for online searches related to the U.S. Civil War, according to Google Trends.

But then I moved. And where I now live, the local re-enactments occur in July. So I post my videos in July, which is the time when interest in the U.S. Civil War period is at its lowest of the entire year!

Duh! Few people are watching my new videos because no one’s looking for stuff on the Civil War in July. Plus, the videos originally recorded on Memorial Day weekend all have the “Memorial” keyword that people were searching for.

There’s another trend, though. The proportion of searches geared to Civil War topics peaked in 2005-2007 but has fallen to about 1/5th of what it had been then, in relative terms. Post recession, interest in the 19th century U.S. Civil War has collapsed.

In June I posted 25 photos on Flickr that, with my other photos, accumulated 150,000 views in the past 4 weeks – which is 5x more views than I had in total a month ago. What happened? I posted photos from Seattle’s Fremont Solstice Festival, which is quite a, ahem, interesting experience, featuring a Naked Bike Ride. I posted a few photos and a video from that and the searches went wild.

Many may have been searching for “World Naked Bike Ride”, a different and much larger event, but were happy to find my photos instead.

Marketing research for a personal hobby page of photos and videos can have dramatic impacts on viewership!

So what topics might be trending upwards now, suitable for Youtube videos? Check out “cosplay” at Google Trends.

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To get a tech executive job in Silicon Valley, attend one of these top 10 MBA schools

The Silicon Valley Business School Elite | Poets and Quants.

A study finds the bulk of Silicon Valley executive tech jobs go to graduates of just a handful of MBA programs; 8 of the 10 are the usual East coast MBA programs. Or to those who have started their own tech business.

Other studies have found that MBA’s not earned at the top two dozen or so schools earn quite a bit less than those earned at the top schools. The biggest value of the top schools is said to be providing the best professional network connections.

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“Why I quit Facebook”, by Chris Chan

Why I quit Facebook and we are sharing much more than you think | LinkedIn.

As of today, the above post has been shared over half a million times.

I am now restricting my FB logins to once or twice per week. At some point, I may delete the account too.  Chris’s reasons are relevant, but for me, the bigger issue is the non-stop sharing without thinking – literally the excessive sharing of items using obvious methods of propaganda to persuade others.

Facebook is what I call a frictionless conduit for the dissemination of propaganda through the unquestioned sharing of stories that rely on logical fallacy, appeals to emotion or factual inaccuracies and other methods of propaganda used to persuade others. Few people will challenge their friends; the result is a perfect platform for propaganda. And that means a waste of our time.
Separately, Facebook’s tracking and collection of data is far larger than most realize.

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Google street view cars sampling the air as they drive around

Suppose they can detect marijuana fumes too?

Google Street View cars outfitted with special sensors have identified hundreds of small but steady methane leaks lying beneath the streets in three US cities.

via Google’s latest project: mapping small gas leaks in US cities – CSMonitor.com.

Leaking utilities are far too common. I once lived within a water service territory that at its peak was losing 30% of its water due to leaky water mains!

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Microsoft’s Nadella focuses on customers’ needs

This sounds right:

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella emphasized his productivity, dual-user and cross-platform goals in his keynote this morning at the Worldwide Partner Conference being held in Washington, D.C.

via Nadella stresses productivity, dual-user, and cross-platform goals in WPC keynote | Microsoft Pri0 | Seattle Times.

The old Microsoft was focused on preserving Windows everywhere, even when that was not the best solution for the customer.  Nadella appears to be doing what’s right for the customer – and sometimes that means running Office on an iPad or an Android device. A focus on the customers’ needs is right on target.

Posted in Business, Management, Marketing | Leave a comment

Who watches Youtube? How to gain more Youtube viewers

I have been looking into demographics of various social media and decided to post my notes online for anyone else interested in this topic. This first post looks at Youtube viewers – it is a bit lengthy, but summarizes a lot of information that may be helpful.

Youtube Viewing Demographic By Age

Youtube primary viewing demographic is males age 18 to 34 and especially age 18-24, and females age 25-49 and especially age 25-34 as adopters of “Generation V” (V=virtual – this generation is also known as Gen Next, Gen Y and “Millennials”) interests and behaviors.  It was suggested to me by someone else that the female age range extends older perhaps of perceived pressures to stay “younger”.  A future post may go into some habits of Gen Y.

Those below age 18 are not included in the viewer counts yet much of the most successful content is geared towards a very young demographic including: “Teen pop stars, video game walkthroughs, makeup tutorials, and tweenage comedy

(Age is only one metric – how many minutes are watched by each demographic is important. For example, if half of all viewers are over age 35, that does not necessarily mean that half of all minutes are watched by those over 35 and half by those under 35. I could not find an age distribution based that is weighted by viewing minutes.)

Teen pop stars, video game walkthroughsmakeup tutorials, and tweenage comedy – See more at: http://www.tubefilter.com/2013/04/02/youtube-age-in-place-audience-demographics/#sthash.fToZWFbc.dpuf

The data comes from surveys conducted in 2011, with additional in person visits in 2012. However, in a fast changing environment, this information may be somewhat out of date.

Among males age 18-34, 77% have cable or satellite TV and 80% of females age 24-49 have cable or satellite TV.

But both groups are making significant use of streaming video content, and use Youtube for its diverse content offerings.

Both groups share a lot of videos on other social media, such as Facebook.

40% of the male group and 30% of the female group actively seek videos related to their hobbies “or passion”.

There are one billion unique visitors to Youtube every month.

The Importance of Mobile Viewing

40% of Youtube watching time is on mobile devices and 80% of all watching is done outside the U.S. (no surprise as most of the world lives outside the U.S.).

Youtube Search and Recommendations

Youtube search organizes search results and recommendations based on video “watching time” rather than “view count”. This means that the ideal video is content that people want to fully watch versus “click and watch the first minutes”. Oddly, whereas short videos were the key to clicks, under the new scheme, longer videos that are actually watched will rise higher in the recommendations.

Unfortunately, some research has found that viewers drop off rapidly on Youtube with half the viewers disappearing after 30 seconds. Others find that typical online video is watched for an average of 1-2 minutes before the viewer goes elsewhere. For this reason, it has been common for Youtube videos to be under 3 minutes.

The use of viewing minutes means that 3rd party “click” inflators (for a fee they generate fake views of your videos) may be less effective at positioning videos in search results.

HD and 4K Video

Is it necessary to upload 4K video content? 4K is the next in “Ultra high definition” TV, with 4 times the resolution of HD video. But  with 40% of viewers on mobile devices, even 720p may be over kill. The main advantage to uploading 1080p or 4K is for “future proofing” the content when use of 1080p and 4K is perhaps more common in the future.

How many Youtube viewers watch HD videos? How many watch in 720p? How many in 1080p? How many in 1440 or 2160p? I have not been able to find data on these metrics.

Titles and Descriptions

Accurate titles are important to search results and should be less than perhaps 10-15 words maximum – think about what shows up in the title field – only one short line, typically, and even less if viewed on other Youtube viewing apps (like on TVs).

Accurate and lengthy descriptions are fine, but the first couple of lines need to cover the gist of the description as that is all that may be viewable in a search result.

The description should include links to other social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Keep in mind that each of these has its own demographics too – for example, Pinterest is said to about 90% female. Facebook is losing younger users, while Instagram is heavily used by the younger demographic.

Thumbnail Image

Youtube says thumbnails with people’s faces work best for attracting viewers.

Youtube’s Business Model

The business model is to sell advertising and perhaps marketing data to marketeers. Youtube depends on user generated content (most of it created for free, at no cost to Youtube) to attract an audience that can be sold to advertisers.

Youtube, unlike some other social media sites, enables content creators to share in the ad revenue.

From above, we can see that their predominant viewer groups are young males and young but slightly older female viewers. For content to successfully attract viewers and advertisers, it will probably wish to target these younger age segments.

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