Month: April 2016

The Watch, the MacBook and More

It’s been trendy recently for some to rather loudly proclaim the Apple Watch a failure, or how they stopped using and sold theirs, which implies that the product is bad. I’m always curious about these kind of declarations, because honestly, what product (beyond, say, oxygen or water or food) have 100% usage and success rates? And yet because someone decides something isn’t for them, what the rest of the user population thinks doesn’t matter. If you look beyond that to the numbers, the watch seems to be doing okay for itself. 9 to 5 Mac did a poll in December where 70% of the respondents said they were wearing it daily and only 16% said they’d stopped using it completely. Apple Watch is outselling Rolex and has taken a significant chunk of the market share for smart watch and wearables. The Apple Watch is very much a first generation product. There are things it does well — I wear mine every day and use it primarily for the gentle reminders of the activity monitor and as a way to get notifications in a very low friction and non-thought-train-derailing way. Many of the complaints seem to be from people unwilling to consider that Apple might ship a 1.0 product, forgetting that all of Apple’s products tend to go through this ship and integrate cycle. In the case of the Apple...

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NHL Playoff Predictions, 2016 2nd round

The first round of the NHL playoffs are done for 2016, and overall I did pretty well in predictions, going 5-3. My misses were picking the Rangers (who looked lost), the Ducks (who looked really good until game 7, opened flat and never quite recovered) and Chicago, who could well have won but didn’t. Over the last 20 years or so my picking has gone about 60%, better than chance but not so good to make me cocky, which is fine. So here’s my second round picks… First, in the east: Tampa/New York Islanders: with one game already played because of the compressed schedule, and the Islanders basically schooling Tampa, I really think this is a tossup. I expect Tampa to be a lot better in game 2 and the series can go either way, but I really like the determination and poise I’m seeing with that Islanders team. I’ll take New York in 6. Capitals/Penguins: Since I picked Washington to make it to the Cup final, I don’t see any reason not to continue picking them to win. The Penguins are playing better than I thought they would (obviously, since the Rangers are golfing) but I don’t think they’ll get through. Washington in 5. This will likely be a physical and bruising series that’s fun to watch. Dallas/St. Louis: I picked Dallas, and and the Blues were a...

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Apple’s numbers disappoint Wall Street. Could this be a good thing?

Apple announced quarterly earnings, and as expected they disappointed Wall Street (Jason Snell has one of the best looks at the results at Six Colors), and as I write this, Apple’s stock is down about 8%, or about $40Billion in market cap. Which as Gil Amelio once told Apple employees, was a lot of zeros (note 1). But to put that in perspective, Apple’s profit in this bad quarter is larger than Apple’s revenues were for the entire year in the Amelio era. So Wall Street continues to punish Apple because the company’s numbers don’t have the hyperbolic growth that the iPhone had and because it’s new product launches aren’t as insanely successful as the iPhone’s was — even though the iPhone itself didn’t track the curve Wall Street wants for the first couple of years. And in return, Apple’s continuing to operate the business the way it wants and isn’t making strategic changes to make Wall Street happy. Which is in part why Wall Street is happy to punish Apple’s stock. But what if Apple sees this as a good thing? Apple has all this money! It should buy… Apple has about $200Billion in cash on hand. Every so often the financial types or the geeks decide that Apple Needs To Do Something With That Money — although in reality, it is, including adding a dividend to shareholders...

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I hate Spiders

I got bit by a spider when I went out to do some test shooting with the new Fuji 100-400; of course, I didn’t know it until later when the finger started swelling. Fortunately, it wasn’t one of the nasty spiders, merely a grumpy annoying one, and after some discussions with the advice nurse I got to monitor things and not head into the emergency room in a total panic. So we can look at last week in terms of “well, it could have been a lot worse”, but, well, yeah. I guess. But in reality, much of last week I spent sitting, feeling a bit grumpy and feeling sort of like I’m thinking of catching the flu, but not really sick with the flu, and feeling sort of like I triggered a food allergy, except not really. And there was some swelling and plenty of use of the ice bags and lots of itching, and not sleeping well, and… And so productivity last week sucked, and this morning my watch bitched at me for my exercise numbers, and in general I mostly ended up at the computer or in the chair grumpily surfing around for interesting stuff. And found some, which may surface here later. I did get some useful stuff done — I wrapped up the work on the blog update, getting some back end work finished...

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That thing I said I wasn’t going to buy? I kinda bought it.

So… Remember back when I said I wasn’t going to buy an iPad Pro? Remember back in December where after taking a long look at what to get I opted to buy an iPad mini? Well….. Say hello to my new friend. Yes, I’m now a multi-iPad owner, having picked up a “baby pro” 9.7″ iPad Pro (and, of course, a pencil). Why I did this I was never tempted by the larger iPad Pro, the size was a full stop for me. I primarily use my iPad for content consumption (and casual games), and despite many attempts and...

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