- Oh man! >. Potential Trade Partners for Russell Westbrook @billsimmons @celtics #celtics https://t.co/wxepLFYw7T 2016-10-18
- RT @ThomboyD: There's a 4am tweetstorm in Sniffles' future. I can see the clouds forming. #debatenight 2016-10-19
- RT @BillSimmons: Still trying to figure out why the Red Sox didn't pay Jon Lester. 2016-10-21
- RT @BillSimmons: There's still gonna be one sphincter tightening moment. In 04 G7 NY it was Tito bringing in Pedro to Who's Your Daddy chan… 2016-10-22
- Last time the @Cubs were in the World Series, the Allies liberated Europe (May ’45) & Japan surrendered (Sept ’45) to end WWII #worldseries 2016-10-23
I was on the NYC Subway last night heading home from work (Downtown E Train) and was listening to a tech oriented podcast that was discussing the recent decision by Apple to remove the headphone jack from the iPhone 7. The discussion made me think about what sort of impact Apple’s decision may have on customer behavior relative to their headphones, and what headphones people use. How many people really go out and purchase different headphones? How many people say ‘screw it’ and just use the free ‘in the box’ Apple earbuds?
So I started to look around at the folks in the train car – a pretty solidly random collection of people. I’m going to say there were somewhere around 150 people in the car and of that total, maybe 30-40 people were wearing headphones (roughly 20%). And of those 30-40 people, at least 15 (~10% of the total and ~50% of the people wearing headphones) were rocking out using the white Apple issued headphones.
So this says to me that in this random sample of people, a solid 50% of people using headphones in this train car were not picky enough with the quality of the audio produced by their headphones to go with anything other than the less-than-elete free, hard plastic, non-maliable, non-noise reducing/cancelling Apple EarBuds that come with every iPhone.
And when you then extend that out to the new iPhone 7, you could make a stretch assumption that in a similarly random sample of people, probably more people would use the free Apple EarPods with the Lightning connector because they came in the iPhone box and they are locked into using the Lighting headphones due to the iPhone 7’s lack of a headphone jack. These people would not be that up in arms about the lack of a headphone jack because of similar behavior when there WAS a traditional headphone jack. A good chunk of them would simply say “Fuck it, why bother with better quality audio and great noise cancelling technology from someone like Bose when I can listen to the rumbling of a NYC subway and the noise of the guy chomping on a burrito, drone out the sound of ‘Arcade Fire’.” Let’s just use these Apple issued Lightning EarPods (that are basically the old, free headphones with a Lightning connector) that sound like tin cans in your ear.
An observation. Hardly scientific, but an observation none the less.
Scientific researchers have discovered a new planet that is orbiting a star – called Proxima Centauri – which are both very close to “our” Sun (in relative astrology measurements). Proxima Centauri is a star that coexists with another star located in the heavily studied Alpha Centauri star system. And this new planet – Proxima b – is orbiting Proxima Centauri.
What makes the discovery so cool is it appears that Proxima b has the type of climate that could support life. It has a climate that is extremely similar to the climate here on Earth, mainly because Proxima b is located within the ‘habitable zone’ that surrounds it’s star (Proxima Centauri). This is very similar to how Earth is in the ‘habitable zone’ that surrounds our star – the Sun.
Given the fact that Proxima b is within the habitable zone of its star, meaning liquid water could exist on the surface, it may also be the closest possible home for life outside of our solar system, the researchers said. Because of its location, the researchers hope that it provides an opportunity to “attempt further characterization via ongoing searches by direct imaging and high-resolution spectroscopy in the next decades, and possibly robotic exploration in the coming centuries.”
This next paragraph reads like something out of the movie “Real Genius“, where it’s minimizing in an uber-scientific way the “short” distance between Earth and Proxima b
Proxima b is a mere 4.2 light-years away from our solar system, or 266,000 times the distance between the Earth and the sun, which are 92.96 million miles apart. Previous rocky exoplanet discoveries, like those orbiting ultracool red dwarf star TRAPPIST-1, were described as close at 40 light-years away.
Being that it is only a mere 4.2 light years away, it’s only fitting that Elon Musk get moving on a Space X roadtrip to this planet.
I happened upon an article on The Verge recently that spoke to the
broken process hassle of adding a ringtone to the iPhone and how in 2016, experiences like this make the iPhone feel like it’s stuck in 2008.
I am going to document the process that, in 2016, I went through to get my preferred ringtone on an iPhone. It is a story of complaints and gripes, yes, but it is also a story about why Apple’s philosophy about how it thinks the “future of computing” should work keeps making the mistakes of the past. It’s not just process, it’s layers and layers of politics.
This article could not be more accurate, however I don’t think it goes far enough. Just as big an issue as what Dieter Bohn outlines on The Verge is how other UX elements like customizing ‘audio alerts’ for iOS Apps and Notifications is just as broken.
Let’s look at the Alert experience for communication apps – E-mail, Messaging, Notifications and Alerts, etc. Depending on the app, the experience falls into one of two experiences: You are beholden to what the app has chosen as it’s default Alert sound (with rarely any option to change it) or, iOS ‘assigns’ the “Text Tone” alert to all similar communications apps by default. So if you have different communications apps such as two email apps (Gmail and Apple Mail for example), or several chat apps (What’s App, Google Hangouts, Telegram, iMessage, etc.), things become problematic pretty quickly, as you are not able to audibly discern which type of message you are receiving when you phone is in your pocket, bag or wherever.
Yes, you can choose which alert sound you want to assign to email (or text alerts) in iOS’s ‘Sound Settings’, but it is a global setting. And you can assign I prefer to use the Gmail and the Google Inbox apps for my email and have buried Apple Mail in the proverbial “Other” iOS folder on my phone (that’s a whole other issue but thankfully Apple is addressing that). Unfortunately, in this very common scenario, you are not able to customize the Alert sounds assigned to each of these apps. I have to live with whatever the app publisher has defined.
This becomes an issue because I’m not able to audibly differentiate between a Notification from someone I follow on Twitter vs an Email via the Gmail app. Within the Twitter app, you have the ability to receive alerts when certain people/handles you follow send out a Tweet. Since this is set up as an ‘Alert’ in iOS’s Sound settings, whenever I receive one of these ‘Tweet alerts’, it too has the same audible Alert tone as Text messages or many other ‘Alerts’ from other apps, so there is no way to know from the sound which alert just came through. You have to look at the phone to see if the alert is from Twitter, IFTTT, or whatever service you use. Thankfully, Google Inbox has updated their alert sound to a very nice but subtle tone so I am able to use that to know that an email has arrived (In turn, I shut down the Gmail app’s alerts all together).
In many ways, the ‘Alert’ experience and the ringtone experience documented in The Verge are metaphors for Apple’s legacy of controlling the full end-to-end experience. This approach has obviously proven successful for them but at the same time, they need to really think through where they can strike a balance in their approach. Android goes to the complete other extreme, where you can customize too much of it’s experience, and I think that becomes too overwhelming to even the most advanced users. That also brings in too many opportunities for errors and big issues and from that perspective, Apple’s hard line controls are a huge benefit to them and the customer.
Apple has an interesting opportunity to relax subtle but important elements of iOS, and re-work some of their legacy User Interaction experiences to give it’s users/customers enough control to customize the phone to their lifestyle while still providing the controls needed to ensure the essence of the iOS experience is not compromised.
Live Long and Prosper 🖖
Free pin at #imax showing of #startrekbeyond
- Taco Bell giving away free Doritos Locos Tacos today from 2-6PM. https://t.co/cj1I4A5MvY 2016-06-21
- Please @celtics do not do this. You can do better. >> 76ers actively shopping Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel, others https://t.co/KUI2J0bwAN 2016-06-22
- This Icelandic Soccer Announcer https://t.co/0xAuiLERer 2016-06-22
- Solid debut for #AnyGivenWednesday but @BillSimmons, your nose was stuck up so high you would drown in a rainstorm. 2016-06-22
- These are hilarious and spot on. >> People Are Dragging Donald Trump After His Brexit Tweet About Scotland https://t.co/RIrYo0EXk0 2016-06-24
- Yes. Take issue with #5. Tetlea British Blend is solid. 23 Things Everyone Obsessed With Tea Understands https://t.co/LRLSOnwmmi 2016-06-27
Over the past 20-25 years, cities around the world have been under assault from the “Starbucks Effect”. You know what that is…when you are in a city on the other side of the country or the world, and all you see are generic Starbucks Coffee shops on every corner. It makes you wonder why you even took the trip? The serendipity of discovery in a new city has yielded to the presence of the multi-national franchised brand. Years ago, going to a different city (here in the States or Internationally) enabled you to truly soak in the unique flavor and atmosphere of that region. Without a doubt, that experience is still present around the world, yet it is discernibly muted when there is a Starbucks on “every” corner, and popular brands everywhere else.
Media outlets like the NY Times have written about how a pillar of British culture, the local pub, is being impacted and becoming (gasp) an endangered species (be sure to read the reader comments). I’m heading to London later in the year, for the first time in more than 15 years, and I’m worried about what I’m going to find there. When the NY Times is writing about it, you know it’s a thing, while frequent visitors to worldwide cities know that this is just a piece of a much bigger transformation.
When I traveled to Paris and Amsterdam in 2014, what stunned me was not the prevalence of US brands in those cities (Starbucks, McDonald’s, etc) but how packed they were with French and Dutch customers! I mean, here we were in Paris, the city that practically invented the sidewalk café, and yet the franchised, vapid, American Starbucks Coffee (sacrebleu!) was packed. Parisians, who have such legendary disdain for America’s lack of culture, seem ready willing and able to fully embrace these American brands (Let’s not lose sight of that irony).
This is not even an International transformation either. Today’s NYC is a shell of it’s gritty, former self. I regularly, and ironically, refer to it as “The Mall of America” due to the prevalence of so many brands and franchises that you find in the strip mall landscape of suburban America. The truly unique elements of what made NYC so special (how many folks under 25 know how big a deal CBGB’s was?) have been rapidly eroding. At least McSorley’s is still around!
The irony of all of this is that when a country, city, town, neighborhood does want to keep hold of it’s independence, keep it’s unique cutlure intact and forge it’s own path (see: Britain, Brexit), the world freaks out because of the financialization of the Global economy. To be clear, I don’t think Britain leaving the EU is the right thing to do, but my broader point is that the desire of cities, countries, and neighborhoods to keep control of their own path is up against some monumental headwinds.
Clearly, we are living in a vast multi-national world today that is much different than it was 20, even 10 years ago, and it is one that continues to evolve rapidly – train has left the station, the toothpaste is out of the tube, so to speak. That is something we should all welcome and embrace. But with all that is changing, let’s not lose sight of those true, unique attributes of a neighborhood that make it special!
For all of Elon Musk’s ambition to re-invent the automobile through his bleeding edge electric car company Tesla, the knock has always been that the pricing for his existing models have been way too high for the average consumer – and yes, at $100K+ a pop, that is not a price tag that is going to go over well anywhere save San Francisco, NYC, LA and several international cities. That all changed today with Tesla’s launch of it’s $35K Model 3, which has generated around 200,000 orders in roughly 24 hours and has produced lines outside of Tesla stores that rival Apple launches (as Re/Code put it – h/t).
As has been well documeted, there is ample environmental change happening around us and the introduction of accessible, affordable electronic cars is a small but important step in the right direction. To be clear, it’s not the end of the ‘warming’ problems facing us (and I’m not nearly smart enough to take that on). All I’m saying is that what Tesla is doing, and how they are introducing a relatively affordable all electric vehicle, is an important milestone. Let’s hope that the principals of “Moore’s Law” applies to electric vehicles and the pricing and innovation can continue to improve and lead to longer driving times (past the ~200 mile distance capabilities of the Model 3) and lower prices all around.
- Leicester City fans causing earthquakes with celebrations, claims study The Guardian https://t.co/8HlyszniHV 2016-03-08
- Please. Something had to change. Newcastle expected to sack Steve McClaren https://t.co/WoQCAQ3Ct0 2016-03-08
- Slightly disappointed in @Netflix for not buying https://t.co/9tFEUmejcQ and putting up some sort of fake site. #HouseOfCards #FU16 2016-03-08
- RT @MikeWatersSYR: 7 games Syracuse basketball will regret if it doesn't get an NCAA Tournament bid | https://t.co/SmQqsR82CX 2016-03-11
- Hope this works! Newcastle appoint Rafa Benitez after sacking Steve McClaren https://t.co/LrnvdzDs69 #NUFC 2016-03-11
- @jlsimons ⚡️ “Is the science community turning on Neil deGrasse Tyson?” https://t.co/CuWABIiOrU 2016-03-13
- Ouch. Legit points about @cuse but glad they are in 'the Dance'. Lunardi: The selection committee got so much wrong https://t.co/504NJCbPr6 2016-03-14
- Smells Like Team Spirit – https://t.co/Y0ZTjPosAb via https://t.co/vUsSrozmjg https://t.co/DXoChYIq2Q 2016-03-14
In honor of the impending start of the annual craziness that is the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament, I rounded out my collection of computer/device wallpapers & backgrounds by adding several teams that recently qualified for this year’s Tournament.
So head on over to my NCAA Wallpapers page and download a desktop background/wallpaper to show off your team spirit on your computer, iPad, iPhone or whatever device you use.
So if you need to show off your colors in support of the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles, we have a background for you. Tennessee-Chattanooga Mocs? Yup. My collection already had many of the teams that made this year’s tournament, plus many more that did not make it to “the Dance” this year.
- This is why I love the Internet. An archive of every show from MTVs 120 Minutes Via https://t.co/c211hf5q0L https://t.co/dje2iLWSwt 2016-02-04
- @StephenAtHome I hope you are going to get the real Ceasar Flickerman on the show for election night 2016. 2016-02-05
- Apple’s apps need work https://t.co/oaWYy9AA39 via @instapaper 2016-02-07
- RT @AndyWEEI: So basically Broncos fans in attendance are a bunch of petulant bitches. 2016-02-07
- RT @AttyTMD: Was that the first "Jim we talked about it before the game?" 2016-02-07
- Manning conspiracy in full effect. Cotchery caught that ball. Then Stewart hurts knee and Denver D scores.#SB50 2016-02-07
- @44TheLegend Stepping up in Flint https://t.co/4V1MIaqwI7 2016-02-07
- If not for the bad Cotchery non catch call, this would be a 9-7 game going into 4th Q. #SB50 2016-02-07
- RT @NunesMagician: How far along in Fallout 4 do you think Jim Boeheim is? 2016-01-05
- Kodak throws it back to the '60s with revival of Super 8 film camera https://t.co/wkljGmltDh via @mashable 2016-01-06
- @MoonTechGear Hi Brad just read your article https://t.co/9WGEzDM2Nh on @forbes re replacing MB Air batteries. Where do I buy new batteries? 2016-01-07
- @moontechgear @forbes Great! I’ll check out OWC. Does it matter what brand of battery? Any battery brand I should look for? thx! in reply to MoonTechGear 2016-01-07
- @moontechgear @forbes Great! Thanks for your help!! in reply to MoonTechGear 2016-01-07
- RT @ChrisChaseFTW: "Well that kind of brings up what I want to talk about when you talk about what they're trying to accomplish tonight." -… 2016-01-09
- RT @jstrocel: I'm playing the Phil Simms "you talk about" drinking game. I'm already hammered. #CINvsPIT 2016-01-09
- Stay classy, Cincinnati #CINvsPIT 2016-01-09
- Spicoli finds a new supplier.
- Bummer. RIP David Bowie, Pop Star Who Transcended Music, Art and Fashion, Dies at 69, via @nytimes https://t.co/qds4SWfBJJ 2016-01-11
- RT @ahess247: David Bowie, the legendary, influential musical superstar, dies at 69
https://t.co/BPe94hL9re https://t.co/CXiHhm2jqr 2016-01-11
- What the hell is Bitcoin? This is one of the most concise explanations I've read. https://t.co/15NZrIx330 via @kottke 2015-12-15
- HelloFax. It's the easiest way to sign and send documents online – https://t.co/FpxINzM46O 2015-12-15
- Join me on HelloFax. It's the easiest way to sign and send documents online – https://t.co/FpxINA3EYm 2015-12-15
- Twitter Tuesday – The Week's Tweets – https://t.co/LF4IwEgViU %tags% via https://t.co/vUsSrohLrI 2015-12-15
- Twitter Tuesday – The Week's Tweets – https://t.co/LF4IwEgViU %tags% via https://t.co/vUsSrohLrI 2015-12-16
- Darth Vader Yule Log – https://t.co/fgF3hwExPp %tags% via https://t.co/vUsSrohLrI https://t.co/kp8N4gmXK7 2015-12-16
- @starwars the force awakens. Epic. J.J.Abrams hit a grand slam. #ForceAwakens 2015-12-17
- With all respect to the Steve Miller Band, it's a crime they're in R&R Hall of Fame & @neworder and The Smiths are not 2015-12-21
- @44TheLegend era Nets hat @Chris_Kucharski https://t.co/4cNdE3OI9l 2015-12-21
- Twitter Tuesday – The Week's Tweets – https://t.co/TZVsTZ2tiZ %tags% via https://t.co/vUsSrozmjg 2015-12-08
- @refindcom Delicious is near and dear to my <3 but nice work here. One item – please give an option to open links in new browser tabs. 2015-12-09
- @StephenAtHome When you ask your guests to stick around before the break, what will you do if they say no? 2015-12-09
- Happy Day!! @serial season 2 is out! #mailkimp #serial 2015-12-10
- RT @_Prickett_: Phil Simms drinking game:
Take a shot every time he says "talked about." You'll be drunk by the end of the first quarter. 2015-12-10
- Star Wars: The Force Accounted a detailed accounting of all the details from the first 6 episodes. https://t.co/gNN450Ezbv 2015-12-11
- Watch the best news bloopers of 2015! / Boing Boing via NextDraft https://t.co/zjZaF3qZ3V 2015-12-11
- What happened to Apple design? https://t.co/2xqGyxZ4gJ 2015-12-12
- RT @BillSimmons: Colts give up 51, Ravens eliminated. RT @AdamSchefter: Before they even kick off tonight, Pats are big winners. Broncos lo… 2015-12-13
- Gostkowski is a machine. #patriots 2015-12-13