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Friday, September 16, 2011

I feel like a kid again :)

I haven't been this excited in quite some time.  I honestly feel like a little kid again.  This weekend has me very excited, and it has nothing to do with work for a change.
Tomorrow I am off to Gatineau Quebec to watch a live Air Show where the famous Snowbirds will be performing.  There will also be some old WWI & WWII fighter planes there.  I remember seeing a few of those at Canada's war museum on Ottawa, but I was young when I was last there.
I realize that going to the air show is far from being on the deck of a Naval aircraft carrier, but hey, its still way cool!
As if that isn't enough, tomorrow is the Mr. Olympia tournament and my friend Amit Sapir will be on stage  for the 202 division.  He can likely place top 5 which would be a HUGE accomplishment.  He places #3 at the Toronto Pro Supershow a few months back.  He is the 1st ever Israeli to qualify for the Olympia, its too bad he doesn't get more recognition in Israel.
I am unable to be at Olympia, but I am not too upset, tomorrow is every boxing fans great night.  Two of my favourite fighters, Floyd Mayweather Jr and "Vicious" Victor Ortiz are fighting.  It'll be a great fight!  I am a he fan of them both, and even tweet with Ortiz on rare occasion.  Needless to say, a few people are coming over and that fight will be enjoyed.
I hope you all have awesome weekends as well!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Back to the beginning

When I started getting involved in mobile apps and tech I wanted to create app that helped people get healthier and more fit.  I was going to create high quality health, fitness and nutrition based apps.  For the most part that is what I did.
With Ozipherus Health Technologies, my business partner and I developed HerbalPedia which wasn't a great app, nor was it as complete as I wanted it to be, but it was our 1st shot at an app.  Our game for iOS Roll-4-Play was aimed at helping couples get back into the swing of things and to keep an open and healthy sexual relationship.  That has turned out to be far more popular than HerbalPedia.
With my company, Ocean78 I created Steroid Quick Facts to let people know about the effects and potential dangers of anabolic steroids, and its been a steady seller on both BlackBerry and Android.
App #2 that Ocean78 created was Pocket Naturopath which was a huge hit.  It is basically hints at what a Naturopath would recommend to help ease common illnesses such as joint pain, high blood pressure, menstrual cramps and the list goes on and on.
I am not sure where I went off track, but since then I have developed LaserTap - a laser tag based game for both BlackBerry and their PlayBook.  It is a very fun, somewhat addictive game and it has received good response so far, but games were never on my "to do list."
I am just about finished developing my 2nd game which is a bird hunting game, which I think will be quite popular, mostly because its only $0.99.
Yesterday I started working on 2 themes.  I think they are both very cool, and 1 of them is especially original, but these have nothing to do with health, fitness and nutrition.
So, I am quickly developing the most complete vitamin, mineral, herb and supplement data base in app form.  This app will explain the uses and benefits of each item, what they should be taken with, what foods they can be found in etc...
Back to the beginning, back to helping people get healthy and fit!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

10 years comes and goes quickly

Its September 10th 2011, 10 years less 1 day since our world was forever changed!  Where were you?  I was loving life partying hard in Lake Louise Alberta.  I was in the middle of a National Park, doing a job I enjoyed with people I really got along well with.
I was working the supper shrifts at the Chateau Lake Louise Victoria dining room.  I was supposed to start at 3pm, but I woke up early that cool September 11th morning.  I turned on the TV and as usual, switched to CNN - as I watched, 1 of the trade towers was in flames and a plane flew right through the 2nd tower.
WTF was going on???
We all know what happened now, thousands of innocent people lost their lives.  Everyday people turned into HEROES that day, running into sheer doom to try and save people.  The images of firefighters and emergency workers trying to dig people from the rubble, and carrying people out of the chaos is an image we all saw.
It was that very day that I realized Superman, Batman et al weren't the heroes, firefighters, dedicated police officers, ambulance attendants and every day joes who put on the brave hat that day, those are the REAL heroes.
I am very grateful that I wasn't affected 1st hand by any loss that day.  My family from New York and New Jersey were safe.  I didn't have any friends in that area that day.  I was not affected.
That being said, as a person with family in Israel, my family has directly been affected by terrorist attacks, and terrorism is terrorism.
The other heroes that day were the passengers of flight 93!  They discovered what had happend and they did the brave thing and took down that plane to prevent greater loss.  I can only imagine what went through their heads as they realized that they had no other real option.
They discovered what had happened by using their cell phones on the plane.  I wonder how different 9/11 would have been had twitter and Facebook been used back then.  Would tweets about the 1st hijacking have gotten people out of the Trade Towers?  Would status updates on Facebook have gotten people to evacuate the 2nd building?
I love technology, no doubt about it, but I always wonder, did people use their BBM on BlackBerry to warn other people?  Did text messages save any lives?  Would twitter have made a difference?
Truth is none of that matter right now.  I pray for the families of all those that lost parents, lovers, children, siblings, cousins and friends.  May they all rest in peace!
I say thank you to the brave people who became HEROES that day, even though I was not personally affected, they showed the power of humanity that day, and I tip my hat to them.
I will never forget how brave they were.  I will always be grateful for the soldiers who are overseas.   Whether you like their "mission" or not, they are in harms way, and until all of them are home safe, pray for them and their families.  For those that lost friends and family, my sincerest condolonces.
May the next 10 years be filled with rebirth, joy, happiness and peace!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The safest way to bank on your blackberry

Not too long ago, reports that your mobile banking app may not be as secure as expected.  Many security risks were found and even Apple had a major security breach.  If there is one thing more than anything else that you do not want hacked, its your banking information.
I contacted a research firm, and they ran a few surveys for me.  Turns out that although RIMs market share is falling, they still have the majority of high end businessmen that travel, especially internationally.
Not too many cell compnaies offer reasonable data rates outside of your local zone, and that got me thinking... why not create a secure, information reduced, WiFi not necessary, no data plan required banking app?  It wasn't an easy task but I did get it accomplished.
Daily Banking Tracker is an app for those who either travel frequently or do loads of banking.  We don't require your account name or number.  We don't ask for what bank you deal with.  We don't even care what currency you use.   Simply put in your balance of the account you want to track, and then continue to make transactions, and the app will do the math for you so that you know your active balance.
When you write a cheque (yup, people still do that) it will deduct that from your account so that you know your TRUE available balance.
Since WiFi and data plans aren't required, there is no risk for any hacking, and should you lose your phone, no valuable information is in the app other than a bunch of numbers.  They wouldn't even know what bank you deal with.
For a full description of this $0.99 app you can CLICK HERE
I truly hope that this app brings peace of mind and security to those that need it.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Apple here I come

When I started Ozipherus Health Technologies with my accountant, we wanted to make a huge splash on the iPhone and iPad market.  We developed 2 apps for iOS that never ended up getting published.  Out of the 3 platforms we developed for, Apple took the most money and was the hardest to develop.
When my accountant told me to revive Ocean78 on my own and make it an app development company, I decided right then and there that I was going to stick with BlackBerry and Android.
Much to my surprise, I am selling WAY MORE on BlackBerry as opposed to Android.  I figured with the way Android is taking over the market, that Android was my key to retirement.  Now I do recognize the potential that Android brings, and all future apps will be developed for them as well, but I have decided to create 2 apps for Apple iOS.
My Steroid Quick Facts app (click here for details) will be converted to iOS an hopefully will be ready and available by mid August.  The new game I am developing will be made for iOS and the BlackBerry PlayBook, but not Android.
I hope that my new ideas can be developed for all 3 platforms and that people continue to purchase and enjoy the apps that I create.
I realize I may not be the most recognized app on iPhone, but I have no doubt that people will enjoy what I do develop for the Apple market.  I look forward to saying that I am published in the iTunes App Store.
I will keep you posted!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Is Dr. Oz the new Oprah

Just about everybody has heard of Oprah Winfrey.  She is and has been so popular that there is what is called the Oprah effect.  Books that were mentioned on her show skyrocketed to best sellers.  Diets she spoke about became THE trend.  Whatever she endorsed turned to gold.
As we all know by now, Oprah has finished her 25th season of the Oprah Winfrey show, and she is now working on her own network and letting new faces take the lead on daytime TV.  The big question lately is who will be the next Oprah.
If we look close enough, the answer has been brought to us a few years ago - BY OPRAH!!!  Ever since Dr. Oz launched his own daytime television show, people across North America, and likely other countries as well make sure to watch him and listen to some tips that he has.
Recently I was watching an episode of Dr. Oz where he reviewed his 10 most important health tips.  He had frequent watchers of his show come and help him demonstrate the health tips.  Funny thing, they all had notepads full of notes.  They write down what he says like students in a college classroom.
Being in the fitness supplement business, I see what products tend to trend.  Not too long ago, Dr. Oz had a show about what supplements to take in order to lose weight the healthy way.  Suddenly my customers were bombarded with requests, which eventually got to me  "Ozzie... do you have any raspberry keytones or oat bran fiber for sale".
Whatever is shown and discussed on the Dr.Oz show seems to trend.  He discussed the documentary "Forks over Knives" and suddenly the organic food store that I shop at was bombarded with requests for vegan organic cookbooks and recipe suggestions.
Dr. Oz has the power to attract the people, and obviously people listen to him.  Dr. Oz is the new Oprah!

What BlackBerry needs to do in the tablet market

Let's face the facts.  No matter how much I personally praise BlackBerry, and no matter how efficient their phones are, and the fact that millions of users love them, they are losing market share by the minute.  Android and Apple have taken a large part of the market, and with 2 versions of the iPad out, and newer Android operated tablets coming out daily, the tablet market is tight.
I personally have quite a few positive things to say about the PlayBook, but I also have a few negatives.  There is no such thing as the PERFECT product, but you want something that is as close to perfect for you as possible.
The PlayBook was created to compete directly with the iPad... but the BlackBerry user's market isn't the same as the iPad user.
Most people that want a secure, reliable, durable phone will choose BlackBerry.  RIM made the BlackBerry a success in the offices of lawyers, accountants and business executives.  That is where they need to still focus.  Yes, teenagers are getting BlackBerries... yes, young adults who are not yet professionals are trying BlackBerries, and they are the ones that argue that there aren't enough apps in App World.
What RIM truly needs to do is get back to basics... create a tablet that is fast, multi tasking, and light weight.  Make it very business friendly.  Create a tablet that the doctor can carry around the hospital instead of his charts... a tablet that lawyers can keep all their documents on that he can travel with.  Same as the business executive.  Yes, the iPad does all this, but the wonderful thing about the PlayBook is the "Bridge" if you are already a BlackBerry user.  RIM needs to expand on that, and then they will regain the confidence that many shareholders have lost.
RIM wasn't built on "happy fun time" cell phones.  They were built on efficiency and reliability.  Perhaps the next tablet should be the BriefBook (as in briefcase book) as oppsed to the PlayBook II.