Simple Products

Simplicity – In a Smartphone?

For some time now, I have been tracking Mozilla’s forthcoming smartphone, a device known as “Firefox OS.” To my surprise, the internet world has responded with unwavering criticism and confusion, pulling consumers back toward mainstream devices. “It’s already a competitive market,” they say, and “it does nothing an outdated iPhone doesn’t.” Perhaps these critics are missing the very thing Firefox OS provides – a renewed perspective.

Don't judge too quickly. This simple phone aims to leave a lasting impact. Photo courtesy of Wired.com

Don’t judge too quickly; this simple phone has unexpected plans. Photo courtesy of Wired.com

So what exactly is Firefox OS? Well, it’s actually quite straightforward – it fulfills Mozilla’s dream of “building a better internet” by “keeping the power of the Web in people’s hands.” More simply, it allows Mozilla to provide an easy-to-use phone for the “second wave” of smartphone users–those who are not currently locked into an iPhone, Android, Windows Phone or Blackberry device. Sounds like a mediocre target market, right? Not entirely. Mozilla is aiming Firefox OS at emerging markets in countries such as Brazil, Portugal and Venezuela, again hoping to put the web in the hands of all people.

Like any imminent piece of technology, however, Firefox OS offers bouts of technical details. I’ll send you over to the Mozilla Blog for those – I like to focus on simplicity here. So, what do you need to know about this device? And why is it relevant? It all returns to Mozilla’s mission. If carried out effectively, Firefox OS will reach much of the developing world, breaking into a market that other major players failed to consider. In fact, Many analysts believe the U.S. market will be one of the last to adopt the phone, a testament to the device’s commitment to building a better internet.

Confused? Uninterested? Walk away with this: Firefox OS will provide developing nations with a cost-efficient, fully capable smartphone, offering wireless internet access where it did not previously exist. The selfless plan just may catch on: the first versions of the device went on sale yesterday, selling out within the first few hours of release. Perhaps the American consumers just don’t quite get it. To solve the problem, Firefox OS provides the perfect fix – a renewed perspective.

Convinced this plan will fail? Love Mozilla for all they do? Keep the conversation going by commenting to the left.

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Recognizing the Earth

Celebrating the Earth, Everywhere

As Americans, I so often wonder how our scope impacts our view of the world. Today, I spent time researching Earth Day events in Washington D.C. and New York City, developing pride in my country for its diligence in honoring this important day. A quick trip to the Earth Day Network, however, expanded my understanding. As I uncover the enormity of this event–one that reaches 192 countries and over one million people–I recognize that Earth Day does not simply represent an American holiday. In fact, it represents the very opposite.

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The view from Volcano Pacaya, just outside of Antigua, Guatemala. Views like this one provide reason to celebrate

Today, the far reaches of this planet celebrate the earth. Why? Because the earth unites all of us; we cannot travel without experiencing its providence. Take a stroll along the Belizean coast, through the Boston Public Gardens, by a small park in Central Pennsylvania, and you serve as a witness to its uncompromising beauty.

What are you doing to honor the earth today?

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Belizean Reflections, Recognizing the Earth

Finding Simplicity in the Sky

As I traveled through Belize, experiencing the hopeful greens, bold blues and brave pinks of the Caribbean canvas, I couldn’t help but quietly observe the world around me. This painting presents something entirely new–a palette of colors that only seems fit for the imagination.

In Belize, the sky plays an integral role in country’s natural beauty. Dreary days do little to amplify the freely-growing hibiscus trees, and densely packed clouds do little to bring out the lucid blue water that covers the coast. When you do wake up to a cloudless morning, the country comes alive. The locals smile and greet you, the pace of life slows down, and the elegance of Belize can be seen in every direction.

Now settled into life in the United States, I’ve rediscovered this concept. Blue skies bring out the best in my classmates, as they roam freely across campus to soak in the refreshing color. Red barns and green grasses show brilliantly against the blue tarp that surrounds us, providing insight into how this world looked before we arrived. It’s a simple realization, though it plays a crucial role in my daily routine. The sky serves as a backbone; without its deep blue hue, the earth stands sluggishly before us.

“The sky is that beautiful old parchment in which the sun and the moon keep their diary.” (Alfred Kreymborg)

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