Category Archives: Opinion

“Courage”, Innovation, and Headphone Jacks

 

screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-4-22-08-pmA word about “Courage”:
Phil. Seriously? At this particular date, with all of its significance, the word “courage” applied to the way people use their $600 telephone is a mind-jarring mis-use of English. Is this just another case of pandering to the drama of Ellipticals? They can deal with it. It’s just a freakin’ jack!!

The crazed, emotional rants in advance of the official product announcements were generally from people complaining that they don’t want to give up their wired headphones. You don’t have to give up your headphones. You lose the jack.

Read the details people.

  • The iPhone 7 comes with Apple lightning connector “Earpods”—you connect them to your phone with a “lightning” connector. (The same connector used for your power adapter.)
  • Apple also includes a little “dongle” to connect your current headphones using the Lightning port.
  • This only applies to iPhone 7 and newer Apple devices going forward.
  • For now, you can’t charge your phone and listen at the same time. Wow. Big inconvenience.

iMac 1998—What’s a Big Inconvenience?? The first friggin’ iMac was a Big Inconvenience!
The first iMac was the first Macintosh with USB connectors. Printers? Scanners? Modems? Hey, none of the old stuff worked!! You had to buy all kinds of new cables, adapters, and peripherals. USB was brand new. And mice? Thank you, Jonny Ive, who designed this crazy ROUND mouse (which became known as “the Hockey Puck“) that spawned a whole industry of replacements and add-ons because it was so useless. AND there was no floppy drive to install all the new drivers!! Gone! All those boxes and stacks of 3.5” floppies were now about as useful as…well, nothing. We didn’t call that “courage”, we called that “Steve Jobs fixing Apple”.


screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-4-22-51-pmAirPods?
As for the new wireless earbuds, airbuds, EarPods, AirPods, whatever…those beautifully designed Dyson-style, GI-Joe sized, mini-hairdryers will only work for people who can put them, and keep them in their ears. I can’t. Love the technology. Hate the shape.

Here I am giving away another brilliant idea again: “Pod Shapers”, a special adapter for the AirPod to hold it on your head because it won’t stay in your ear. Especially for the Boomer market, available in a range of fluorescent colors to make them little buggers easier to find!

To The Whiners—If you really hate Apple roping you into its eco-system and “forcing” you to go wireless and buy airbuds, EarPods…whatever, then go on, buy a Samsung. Just, make sure you also buy a fire extinguisher. 😎

—TechWite

 

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Want a Private Facebook? Try #Slack

NYTimes: A Charming Alternative Universe of You, Your Friends and No News

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/18/technology/a-charming-alternative-universe-of-you-your-friends-and-no-news.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share

imageThe Times article (above) tempts with the idea of an alternative to the competitive, super-public, extrovert dominated world of fake friends and insincere “likes”. But, the NYT never seems to escape from that social norm, suggesting instead the candy sweet illusion of Instagram “Stories”.

Really?

TechWite says: Try Slack
Do you want a place online where you can share photos, web links, movies, and all that other stuff but not have it smeared with ads, streams of articles and media curated by robots, comments from people you don’t know, don’t remember, or want to forget? Do you want an app where you can have a private conversation (the “DM”—Direct Message—in Twitter becomes a “Private Channel” in Slack) with someone you already know, who is already participating in this place, and where you don’t have to use email to do it? And your team only has members that you want in it. Period.

Not “The Next Big Thing”—Better!
Yea, yea, yea, everyone tells you to use Slack for business, for software development projects, to integrate your two diverse companies that now have to merge their email systems and don’t have a common platform to work on, blah, blah. Blech!! I’m suggesting you, and a small group of real friends who want to plan your next bike trip, group vacation, backpacking adventure, etc. etc., create a Slack Team. Spend a little time and effort figuring out how Slack works. Yes, there are apps for iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and POWB (plain old web browsers). And sure, there are tons of plug-ins and commercial upgrades and corporate tie-ins, but only if you want them. This is not “The Next Big Thing”—this is the thing you want to use to communicate and stay in touch with your REAL Friends and Family. The basic version is free.

Life is short. Create a team! Have fun!
These links open in a new window:
Create your own Slack Team:  https://slack.com
Join the public SlackBITS Team run by our friends at TidBITS: http://slackbits.herokuapp.com

Tell them TechWite sent you!

BTW: No, I have no commercial, financial, or stock interest in #Slack. But I am open to the possibility!

—Peace Out

Followers, Friends, and Likes. Oh My!! Engagement is a Social Lie.

via And Now, I Unfollow Thee – The New York Times

Take it all “with a grain of salt…”

More help for the Nverts. TechWite dashes another social myth!

The brilliant analysts of Wall Street, looking for better ways to blow more air into the bubble of Social media believe that “engagement” is everything. But what is it?


“Engagement*” – Catch word for ‘user involvement’ –  the popularity of your web site, application, social feed, page, etc. “Engagement” supersedes “eyeballs”: the number of people who looked at a page. Engagement sounds more scientific, and is therefore more useful to analysts, stock brokers, and journalists in declaring the success or failure of an online campaign, and especially in applying a monetary value and potential for advertising revenue. But unfortunately, there is no standard “measure” of engagement. Is it: How many members have signed up? “Daily Views” of a page, or video? **  How many times they ‘click’ from one page to an advertisement? How many “likes” they post for your business on Facebook? How many “friends”, how many “followers”, how many? How many? And how many of those are even real???


Wake up world. This is all vapor. Not even the kind of vapor you can inhale.

Today’s lesson is easy: Whatever anyone tells you about the popularity and massive use of a site, page, or “social network” is probably not (I’m being kind here…) exactly what is going on. Review your own experience with social. You are a VALID user. Your experience is probably not much different than anyone else’s. Think about it:

  • Facebook—In spite of the many ads you can now find all over “your” Facebook, how many times have you ever actually used one of those ads to make a purchase? Have you? Tell me!
  • YouTube, Web Pages, and elsewhere—The pop-up ad on the web page, do you want to see it? Or skip it?
  • Twitter—Poor Twitter. I like Twitter. Do you choose to read Tweets that Twitter inserts in your feed? Do you have any idea where they come from? Can you really keep up with the tweets of the 50 Twitter feeds you follow? 150? 500? Do you think those people who claim to follow over a thousand other Twitter feeds ever even LOOK at the tweets?? How do you feel about being followed by all those robots and porn sites?
  • Instagram – More robots and porn sites. More opportunities to buy followers.
  • Followers – That’s right, you want to have a popular Twitter feed or Instagram?? Buy yourself 10,000 followers. Or more. It doesn’t cost that much.*** We are really talking about a hall of mirrors here.

You can read more about it using the links below. I won’t waste more words. I want to get off my computer now because I have a real book I am reading. One made with paper. Seriously. So, because it means nothing:

  • Don’t follow me on Twitter!
  • Don’t like my Facebook page!
  • Don’t follow me on Instagram!

Peace Out,

—TW 


(Links below open in a new window.)

*Engagement (Rate)
Trackmaven – Engagement Rate is a metric that measures the level of engagement that a piece of created content is receiving from an audience. It shows how much people interact with the content. Factors that influence engagement rate include users’ comments, shares, and likes. <http://trackmaven.com/marketing-dictionary/engagement-rate/>

“4 Instagram Analytics Tools for Your Business”, HootSuite, <https://blog.hootsuite.com/instagram-analytics-tools-business/>

**Daily Views
“Snapchat Video Traffic Has Caught Up With Facebook”, Fortune <http://fortune.com/2016/03/01/snapchat-facebook-video-views-2/>

“Facebook Daily Views get New Metrics”, International Business Times <http://www.ibtimes.com/facebook-inc-fb-daily-video-views-get-new-metrics-publishers-2342825>

***Buy Followers:
“Big Business: Buying Fake Instagram Followers”, Huffington Post,<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shayla-r-price/big-business-buying-fake_b_6322362.html>

That VR is so hot right now.

VR3


VR is HOT right now. Do you know why? You probably see those goofy goggles and imagine some gamer shooting aliens. That is WAY off. The whole VR world has changed. TechWite helps you understand how.


  • “Old VR” – Think of Google Maps “Street View”—flat, boring…
    • 2D – although you can “move”, the images have no depth.
    • Viewed through a porthole – big screen, little screen, it’s still like a submarine.
    • Controlled manually – by a keyboard, joystick, or game controller. It kind of works, but it’s not like being there.
    • Still images create the 360 degree “dead” world
    • No interaction with anything “in” the images
  • “New VR” – Think of Star Trek TNG’s “Holodeck”—mind blowing, you are there!
    • 3D – What you see has depth, you can see “around” objects
    • It Devours your vision – that’s what those goofy headsets are for- everything you see is part of the VR world. Add stereo sound, and that’s why it’s called “immersive”. You are in it!
    • Controlled by your movement – Turn your head to the right, you see what is on your right in the VR world. Look up, look down, ditto. This alone is a bit of a shock the first time you experience it!
    • Content can be 3D 360 degree video – Want to go for a helicopter ride over Manhattan? Be sure to hold on to something before you look down!

That’s just the beginning. Size, gravity, time – they can’t stop you. Examples:

  • RTVR – Like drones? Be one. Experience flying, in Real Time Virtual Reality
  • Remember Fantastic Voyage? You are now a tiny submarine inside a living human body. Explore the arteries and veins and organs. You see this, and experience it.

There’s so much to learn about this, to think about. Fortunately, the Tech media is all over it. (Links for you, below.) Start reading about it. But no words can do this justice, you must experience it. Get some Google Goggles, get the New York Times app for your iPhone or Android, and download one of the demos. Then take some time to imagine the possibility of experiencing the impossible.

—TW

via TidBits On the iPhone, Virtual Reality Is Unofficially Real

via AirWatch Blog  5 Epic Examples of Business Using Virtual Reality

via Google Filed Patent For Injecting A Device Directly Into Your Eyeball To Improve Vision – Forbes —Yes, another suggestion that we are not that far from “The Matrix”.

via Augmented and Virtual Reality: A New Vision – Deloitte CIO – WSJ

via Virtual Reality Therapy: Treating The Global Mental Health Crisis | TechCrunch.

via Samsung Announces Gear 360, a New Virtual Reality Camera – The New York Times.

 

Just Another Facebook Thing on Instagram

via Photo Taking, Editing and Sharing | Instagram Help Center

Instagram_noDesktop

I like being able to post things quickly. I like being able to share things online. I like when different tools from different companies run on different systems from different companies and work well.


“Instagram” – A photo app for mobile devices that posts pictures on the Internet. As in “Instantly”, and from the ancient photographic device the “Kodak Instamatic Camera“, and “gram” as in the ancient electronic communication tool the “telegram”. The name suggests, “Instantly sending a photograph electronically.” Not: fiddling around, copying files, and all that…


Some things, I don’t like.

I don’t like the way Facebook controls the Instagram API, guarding it jealously, and making it hard to post Instagrams if you are not using the Instagram app. And definitely if you would like to do it from a DESKTOP computer, i.e. “dinosaur technology”, “platform of the previous Millennium”, etc.—in other words, “not a mobile advertisement device”. (This is old news if you’ve been Instagramming for awhile. I came late to Instagram mainly because I didn’t want to use it after it became part of Facebook—right as I was letting the tumbleweeds blow down the sandy main street of my Facebook page on the Internet.)

So, Okay. I’ll work around this. I’ll move files, and copy and paste, and upload, blah, blah, blah. I’ll use IFTTT. I’ll do what it takes and I’m going to send photos to my blog from Instagram. So there!

This is part of the Zberging of the Internet. It’s gonna work the way “The Mark” wants gosh darn it, or it isn’t going to work!

—TechWite

Think Twice Before Putting Your Refrigerator in the Cloud

via Connected Device Data an Enterprise Windfall – Deloitte CIO – WSJ.

imageEnterprises can save millions (billions?) by analyzing and responding appropriately to the usage data provided by connected devices—HVAC, power meters, appliances, manufacturing equipment. Yes, we are talking about “IoT”, the Internet of Things, one of the hottest topics in tech news. The savings for large businesses are already being realized.

But is IoT really a big benefit for Jake and LaTeisha Consumer? So far folks, the evidence says otherwise. IoT as a matter of convenience for the consumer—when it runs out, order your detergent immediately from Amazon by pushing a button on your washer; change your thermostat, turn off your lights, shut your drapes from an app or web browser because you are going to be away—yes. Practical and convenient applications of the technology to the life of the consumer sells to the consumer, but analysis of the data? Who is really going to do that? Who benefits?

Once again, the more you give away your privacy, the more you push your life into the cloud, the more the marketing mavens can target sales to you. To your house. To your car. To your power meter. To your refrigerator. Just think, you run out of olives and Samsung sends you a private tweet when you drive by the supermarket. Your refrigerator and auto manufacturer, supermarket, Twitter, and who-knows-who-else get to “help” you.  The technology is here NOW to do that. It’s just a matter of time.

Think twice before putting your Refrigerator in the Cloud.

TW

A Plague of “C” – Colbert, Comcast, Commercials, and Cord Cutting

Can counting Colbert commercials create cord cutters? In my case it could .

Colbert is not the “Report” any more, but he is still Stephen! I couldn’t catch the live broadcast of his first “The Late Show”—so I caught it on Comcast’s convenient “On Demand”. BUT I didn’t discern that Comcast’s On Demand arrangement with CBS is that you get THE WHOLE SHOW—including all the original commercial content. Whether you want it or not.

I’m saying, THERE IS NO FAST FORWARD OPTION.

Which might be okay if it were just Colbert’s funny product placement commercials. But no, nation, there are many, many more advertisements than that.

In fact, the show starts with just a few ads during “breaks”, and then piles them on without mercy later, as you anticipate the main event (this show featured an appearance by Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush).

Remember, FAST FORWARD IS DISABLED.

“On Demand” in this case gives you “Time Shifting”, but you still have to figure out how to deal with all those time-wasting, loud, obnoxious, and sometimes very strange commercials.

Those Commercials: CBS thinks Colbert has a big following of “Snake People” (the generation formerly known as “Millennials”). I guess. Because there are ads for Xbox games, and ads featuring YouTube celebrities, and references that only a YouTube celebrity or YouTube celebrity fan would understand. I don’t know, is that even what they were? Maybe I got it all wrong. But that’s the point. What is the ad selling? I don’t know. Who’s on first? YaHoo. No, YouTube. I don’t so much care if they’re short, or weird, or appeal to millennials, but nineteen-in-a-row? In the pre-Bush break, I counted nineteen different ads in a row—before I crawled out of the room on my hands and knees to get away. Nineteen!! It’s the death of a thousand cuts, or nineteen, and it is torture!.

Cord Cutting “Colbert” – No, Comcast. No, CBS, being forced to watch all the commercials at a later date, is not this customer’s idea of “time shifting”. I demand “On Demand” with Fast Forward. Please. I want my commercial free TV. Or I will seriously time shift myself to some alternative. And thank you for the INTERNET, Al Gore, because I still have some choices. I can watch it on iTunes, right? Hm no. HULU? Well no. NetFlix…not there. Okay, heck!  How about on the CBS.com web site? Sort of. Five Free Episodes! With commercials. And whoops, click on the ad and you end up on the SPONSOR’S web page. That may be innovation, but I don’t call it an improvement. HELP! Thanks Al Gore, that was NOT what I wanted from the Internet.

Cord Cutting “Mr. Robot” – how it should work. The strange, dark, and somewhat popular show, “Mr. Robot” from USA Network is also available on Comcast “On Demand”, also with restrictions on the show. Just like those with CBS. You get The WHOLE SHOW, and all the commercials, and there is NO FAST FORWARD, and the longer you watch the show, the longer and more full of ads are the commercial breaks. Again we say, “Comcast, I demand ‘On Demand’ with Fast Forward!” Again I go to iTunes. And there is “Mr. Robot”! HOORAY. I will now PAY to see “Mr. Robot” when I want, on the device I want, in HD (if I want), with NO COMMERCIALS, and I can even Fast Forward. Thank you Al Gore; thank you Apple.

Oh please @StephenAtHome can I have The Late Show this way? Without the ads?? I’ll pay, I’ll PAY!!

PS: Mr. Robot is on Amazon too.