Essential Phone Looks Great. Will it Sell?

Looks like a great phone. I wonder who the target audience is tho. After watching Andy Rubin interview at the Code Conference, it is clear the story of Andy Rubin as the inventor of Android is key to the marketing of the Essential Phone.  But beyond the hardcore Android fan, Andy Rubin is an unknown; and one would be hard-pressed to pry a Pixel from the hands of the Android enthusiast.

Source: Is Andy Rubin’s Essential Phone Really That Essential? | Androidheadlines.com

Experience Google Tango at the Detroit Institute of Arts

Google announced today a partnership with the Detroit Institute of Arts to showcase it’s Project Tango augmented reality technology. Visitors to the DIA will be able to use a Lenovo Phab 2 Pro phone to experience enhanced installations throughout the museum.

Great move by Google. This provides a unique and valuable introduction to augmented reality and Tango.

Source: Explore museums in a new way with Tango

Dave Pell on the Lack of a New Macbook Air

Dave Pell really wants a new Macbook Air from Apple:

I know. The phones, the pads, the watches, those ear things I misplaced. You’ve been busy. There are even new MacBook Pros. I’m sure the kids love the clicky keyboard and that Touchbar thingy. But I’m a grown-ass man. I’m not some punk you can distract by making me ponder which version of black I want on my next iPhone. I want the same keyboard I’ve been getting the hang of for the last decade. I want the same form-factor. I want what’s coming to me. I want the best consumer computing device ever put on a store’s shelf.

I get it. As Apple began to rise in sales and stature, they were praised for innovating instead of giving the customers what they think they wanted. They have lost that clout to an extent. They have a lot more customers now than they did a decade ago, and those customers expect new versions of the products they like in a timely manner. Apple doesn’t operate that way.

Source: Open Letter To Apple – Medium

10 Year Anniversary of the iPhone

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the release of the iPhone, and expect this story to get a ton of play leading up to the release of the iPhone 8. CNET starts it off with a great article about how the iPhone changed everything.

I still remember the feeling of awe from using the iPhone 3G. The user interface was truly magical and the dawn of apps on the touchscreen was exciting. It was a game changer and it was obvious, even then, the world was in for a major shift.

Expect a lot of articles making fun of those who dismissed the iPhone too.  While the ridicule is well-placed, the original price of the iPhone was ludicrous, it only had 2G speeds, and no app store. It was the 3G model that signaled the real future of smartphones.

Primetime: Samsung Singlehandedly Set The Stage For Pixel | Androidheadlines.com

Primetime: Samsung Singlehandedly Set The Stage For Pixel | Androidheadlines.com

The Pixels are not without their flaws; they aren’t waterproof, they’re going to be a headache and a half for root lovers, their prices are very high, and their initial availability is limited; in the US, for example, you’ll only be able to get one from Verizon for now when it comes to carriers, although you can buy them unlocked through the Google Store. Still, they do a lot of things right, and could easily attract jilted Samsung fans looking for something that’s like their beloved Galaxy, but without the boom. Enter the Pixels. Premium build? Check. Lots of power? Check. Exclusive features? Check. Tightly integrated hardware and software for a cohesive experience? Check. Stellar hardware miscellany like excellent cameras and good battery life? Check. Exclusive and premium VR ecosystem? Check. Gorgeous screen? Check

 

Hangouts isn’t going anywhere, will shift focus to enterprise following Allo and Duo releases | 9to5Google

Because Hangouts is built on a Google account, because it’s deeply integrated with Google apps, the Apps suite [things like Drive, Docs, etc.], Gmail, Calendar and so on, it’s seen much more success in the enterprise. It will increasingly focus on that kind of group collaboration enterprise productivity space.

Hangouts isn’t going anywhere, will shift focus to enterprise following Allo and Duo releases | 9to5Google

Univision is buying Gawker Media for $135 million – Recode

Thought Ziff Davis would be a better fit.

Univision has won the auction for Gawker Media. The TV network and digital publisher has agreed to pay $135 million for the bankrupt blog network, according to a person familiar with the deal. Univision’s offer will encompass all seven of Gawker Media’s sites, including Gawker.com

Univision is buying Gawker Media for $135 million – Recode

Data Breach At Oracle’s MICROS Point-of-Sale Division — Krebs on Security

Data Breach At Oracle’s MICROS Point-of-Sale Division — Krebs on Security

A Russian organized cybercrime group known for hacking into banks and retailers appears to have breached hundreds of computer systems at software giant Oracle Corp., KrebsOnSecurity has learned. More alarmingly, the attackers have compromised a customer support portal for companies using Oracle’s MICROS point-of-sale credit card payment systems.

This Google Photos ad is all about the pain of having a 16GB iPhone – The Verge

Apple might be getting rid of the 16GB iPhone in September, but we’re not quite there yet, and in the meantime Google has created a fantastic Google Photos commercial that showcases the app’s “free up space” feature. The ad features one missed photo after another — selfies, graduations, birthdays, Bigfoot sightings, etc. — all because of a phone that has run out of storage. (And yes, this is a headache that some Android users also face.) Google wants you to know that it’s come up with a solution to this potential crisis: once they’ve been backed up to the cloud, Google Photos can erase the local copy of photos and videos captured with your smartphone.

This Google Photos ad is all about the pain of having a 16GB iPhone – The Verge

Apple Caught Off Guard by Success of iPhone SE

Jason Snell reporting for Macworld:

I suspect, though, that inside Apple there was some skepticism about the iPhone SE’s potential audience. Perhaps people at Apple got a little carried away with that same bigger-is-better philosophy and lost perspective about why people might want a low-cost, small, full-featured iPhone.
That’s just speculation. What’s fact, based on what Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Tuesday, is that Apple blew it when it came to its forecasts for how well the iPhone SE would sell. Right now, “overwhelming demand” for the the iPhone SE means that Apple can’t make them fast enough—that used to happen all the time, but it’s been a while since Apple has been behind on iPhone supply.

Silicon Valley’s Poor

Martha Mendosa on the widening gap between Silicon Valley’s haves and have-nots:

“This is the most ridiculous place ever,” said Kristina Erbenich, 38, clambering onto her bike, a heavy pack on her back. The former chef said she spent $14,000 on hotel rooms before her savings ran out. “If everyone around here is so rich, why can’t they do something to help?”

United Way Silicon Valley CEO Carole Leigh Hutton wonders the same thing.

“How is it that in an area so very rich, we have so many people so very poor? Why can’t we break that cycle? With all the brain power in the Silicon Valley, we should be able to solve these problems. But what we need is the collective will.”

Full Story

Larry Lessig on the death of Aaron Swartz

A brutal, raw, emotional post from Larry Lessig on the suicide of Aaron Swartz:

 A kid genius. A soul, a conscience, the source of a question I have asked myself a million times: What would Aaron think? That person is gone today, driven to the edge by what a decent society would only call bullying. I get wrong. But I also get proportionality. And if you don’t get both, you don’t deserve to have the power of the United States government behind you.

For remember, we live in a world where the architects of the financial crisis regularly dine at the White House — and where even those brought to “justice” never even have to admit any wrongdoing, let alone be labeled “felons.” 

In that world, the question this government needs to answer is why it was so necessary that Aaron Swartz be labeled a “felon.” For in the 18 months of negotiations, that was what he was not willing to accept, and so that was the reason he was facing a million dollar trial in April — his wealth bled dry, yet unable to appeal openly to us for the financial help he needed to fund his defense, at least without risking the ire of a district court judge.  And so as wrong and misguided and fucking sad as this is, I get how the prospect of this fight, defenseless, made it make sense to this brilliant but troubled boy to end it.

Fifty years in jail, charges our government. Somehow, we need to get beyond the “I’m right so I’m right to nuke you” ethics that dominates our time. That begins with one word: Shame.

Read the full post here.

Things of Value

 

This past weekend my family was up in northern Michigan at the family lake house, a place we have been going to for years. One of the great things about the lake house is this collection of old appliances from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s: toasters, blenders, mixers, radios and more. Inevitability when ever we are up, there is a conversation which always laments how things are not manufactured with quality anymore and everything seems so disposable.


The lake house is a five bedroom cottage owned by my wife’s grandmother. I should say ‘was owned’ as grandma past away over winter and the estate has been passed on to grandma’s five children. Part of our ‘responsibility in the process of the estate changing hands is to clean and organize the storage barn, separating thing to be donated from things that are trash.


As we started shifting through this huge pole barn of furniture, clothes, and assorted things collected over grandma’s ninety years of life, I began to realize the things she valued the most would have no worth to others: old letterhead, bridge name tags, maps of Sanibel Island; and the things that others would value–furniture, clothes, plates–in the end had no value to her.


So maybe it is ok that “we don’t make things like we used to.” Maybe the things that technology allow us to pass on…our digital memories … make up for the fact that toasters are bland and vanilla and will only last five years or so.