Cable TV – That’s so 20th Century

Cutting the cord - Economist
Cutting the cord – Economist

I am a cord-cutter having permanently severed the cord to cable TV. Oh sure, I tried Internet Protocol television (IPTV) though a local provider called VMedia, but that didn’t work out so well. And I actually went back to cable after my not-so-good experience with VMedia. But now a month into cord-cutting I couldn’t be happier with my choice.

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Neptune Duo – Communication for the 21st Century – The Internet of Things

Siman Tian and his small five person Neptune team in Montreal think that their latest product, the Neptune Duo, not only out-innovates the competition, but will disrupt a market that’s just in its infancy.

That’s a bold assumption.
In the Globe and Mail article Tian says “If you look at wearables, it’s mostly these dummy smartwatches. You’ve gotta have your phone for that smartwatch to work… and everything it does, the smartphone does already, so consumers don’t see any added benefit.”

The Neptune Duo has a Hub, the smartwatch, and a Pocket screen, a small tablet if you will. Both run on Android, meaning you’ll have access to many of your favourite apps.
What sets the Neptune Duo apart from the competition is the functionality of the Neptune Duo. The Pocket is dependent on the Hub, not the other way around, like the upcoming Apple Watch
The Apple Watch is dependent on your iPhone. For the Neptune Duo, the SIM card is in the Hub, not the Pocket. 
So if you leave the Pocket at home or the office, you still get access to messages, data etc. on your Hub. And according to Neptune, if you lose your Pocket your data is secure as it needs the Hub to access your data. In fact, is you don’t have your Pocket handy, but someone else does, you can use theirs as if it was yours.

You can pay a $199 reservation fee now and at shipping time you’ll only pay an additional $399. According to Neptune that’s a savings of $200 which suggest the full price for the Neptune Duo is $798. The Neptune Duo is expected to start shipping by the end of the year.

The company has a slick website and marketing video, but seeing the device in action, especially taking phone calls, is still needed to rate the product. From the app and data perspective, the smartwatch is appealing. This is a company worth watching.

Hill Times Aerospace Policy Briefing Includes My Thoughts

I was contacted by the Hill Times for their annual Aerospace Policy Briefing and queried for my thoughts on Canada’s space program, specifically on the governments investment and space policy.

My thoughts were included in two articles; Liberals look to be a renewed voice of space sector amid cutbacks and Canadian Space Agency study to make economic argument for space investment.

You can download a free copy of the briefing from the Hill Times website.

My Aviation Week Commentary in the September 29, 2014 Issue

I provided Aviation Week an article for the September 29, 2014 issue which was released on the first day of the International Astronautical Congress in Toronto. In the commentary I discussed some the ramifications of the Canadian federal election next year. Here’s an excerpt. You can read the full commentary on the Aviation Week website (paywall).

Canada’s Next Election Could Help Boost the Space Program

“Canada’s next federal election isn’t until October 19, 2015, but the unofficial campaign is already underway as parliamentarians returned to Ottawa this month for the start of the fall session. The Conservative Party currently holds a majority in Parliament and has seen the number of its seats increase in the past three elections. The party will have been in power for nine consecutive years, its longest uninterrupted period since the late 19th century.”

“The Conservatives, during their tenure, have kept a tight rein on finances in an effort to keep the Canadian economy moving forward during difficult years and to balance the books, eliminate the deficit and have a surplus heading into next year’s election. You might think that would be cause enough to get reelected, think again.”