I linked to this the other day, but what the hell, I’m linking again. David Carr:
For the last six months, my magazines, once a beloved and essential part of my media diet, have been piling up, patiently waiting for some mindshare, only to be replaced by yet another pile that will go unread. I used to think that people who could not keep up with The New Yorker were shallow individuals with suspect priorities. Now I think of them as just another desperate fellow traveler, bobbing in a sea of information none of us will see to the bottom of. We remain adrift.
I’m someone who used to rush home from school on days that I new the newest copy of a magazine I subscribed to was due to arrive at my home. I still subscribed to many of those magazines, on my iPad, and I basically never open them.
I really can’t remember the last time I read one. Maybe 18 months ago?
“Time and time again, however, the Fire Phone has reminded me that there’s a difference between good ideas about phones and good phones. A big difference.”—David Pierce, talking about Amazon’s Fire Phone, which The Verge, like basically everyone else, panned.
Ira Boudway on Steve Ballmer’s attempt to by the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion:
Ballmer, as the numbers show, is offering more than any previous NBA buyer—and more than any buyer would pay for an asset with this caliber of financial performance. Over the last five years, according to Bank of America, NBA teams have sold for an average of 3.4 times their annual revenue. Ballmer’s bid comes in at 12.1 times an estimated annual revenue of $164.9 million for the year ended in June. In other words: Donald Sterling’s hypothetical $5 billion buyer doesn’t exist, and there’s probably nobody other than Ballmer willing to go as high as $2 billion.
Poor Steve Ballmer. Not literally, of course. But he just can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to his pursuit of an NBA team.
I just hope Amazon isn’t surprised. Because if they are, they would seem to have a fairly large problem on their hands. That is, they’re completely out of touch with reality — or more importantly, with their customers. No one wants to have to tilt a phone to use it. It’s a gimmick gone rogue.
The question you have to ask is: at the end of the day, does such a feature make for a truly better user experience? Or is it just a novelty trying to mask itself as a differentiating feature? Or worse, does it actually make the device harder to use?
Mark Gurman, reporting that OS X Yosemite will likely be coming at the end of October, alongside:
Also in the cards for the Mac side, sources say, are at least a couple of next-generation Mac lines. Sources say that Apple is finishing up work on both a smaller MacBook with a high-resolution display and a new desktop computer, either an iMac or a standalone monitor, with a 4K resolution screen.
The new MacBook will include a Retina Display that is approximately 12-inches diagonally and it will include a much thinner and slightly lighter aluminum body, the sources said. Apple believes that this new Retina MacBook will be a significant step forward in the laptop industry, and it is currently unclear if Apple will label this machine as a smaller MacBook Pro, a new MacBook Air, or as an entirely new line.
Why does this $13 wearable look and sound better than 99% of the other wearables — each of which cost hundreds of dollars — currently on the market? I have no clue, but this just increases my Xiaomi bullishness.
Regarding the R+L=J Theory: George RR Martin is known to hate predictability, especially when it applies to his own work. This theory has been around awhile, and frankly I was hoping it wouldn't reach the masses. Now that nearly every book reader and likely a huge portion of the show’s viewers know about this “in retrospect so obvious” revelation, what are the odds Martin changes the story now that one of, if not the, greatest plot twists/surprises is out in the wild.
Probably pretty decent, I imagine. Maybe with a flashback to the “Red Bedding” to reveal what really happened?
“It struck me that part of the reason we always stay jacked in is that we want everyone — at the other end of the phone, on Facebook and Twitter, on the web, on email — to know that we are part of the now. If we look away, we worry we will disappear.”—David Carr, writing eloquently as usual about the death of print.
You've pondered what HBO is going to do when the TV series catch with the books. Here's a crazy idea. What about a prequel to Game of thrones. Could be: 1. Robert's rebellion 2. Aegon and his sister's rise to power
As national euphoria gripped Germany on Tuesday with the arrival of its world champion soccer team, an apparent crime in the Rhineland served as a reminder that all was not well. Unidentified thieves, the police said, had spent the weekend stealing 10 truckloads of beer.
"Has anyone noticed a large amount of beer?" police in the city of Krefeld said in a news release. "Can anyone provide information on a possible storage area?"
The equivalent of 140,891 six-packs. Someone had a fun night.
Metrics-obsessed reps are therefore highly motivated to get every customer to not only continue service, but keep the same number of subscriptions — phone, internet, Xfinity — or add more. Essentially, these reps are trying to reach a predetermined outcome in the call, and they’re trying to do it in under 11 minutes. Comcast has turned its customer service reps into sales reps.
"Comcast likes to pretend to be "customer first," txmadison writes. "But then they turn around and provide an entire incentive structure that is decidedly NOT customer first."
No surprise there. Not only does Comcast not find such behavior problematic, they actually very directly encourage it.
Yes, I’m linking to the Farhad Manjoo vacuum piece again. But I find it interesting:
Your phone can’t do as much as your computer, but because it’s right there in your pocket and starts up in a flash, you might spend a lot more time on it than on your PC. The DC59 offers the same wonderful trade-off — very good cleaning without the headaches of a bigger machine. It’s the iPad of vacuum cleaners.
Hence Dyson’s dilemma: To produce a cordless vacuum that could mimic an upright, engineers needed to find a motor that was both small and powerful, a motor that could suck a lot of wind without consuming a lot of power. They couldn’t find any such motor from an existing supplier; instead, Dyson took the unusual step of designing its own motor from scratch.
This makes me want to buy this thing just to show appreciation for what Dyson is doing — trying to leap forward in technology, rather than just giving us a longer power cord. And my apartment isn’t even carpeted.
And so New Yorkers with garden-variety affluence—the kind of buyers who require mortgages—are facing disheartening price wars as they compete for scarce inventory with investors who may seldom even turn on a light switch. The Census Bureau estimates that 30 percent of all apartments in the quadrant from 49th to 70th Streets between Fifth and Park are vacant at least ten months a year.
30 percent. That’s insane.
Hard to know what a good solution is. A law requiring you to be present for a certain amount of time seems too restrictive. So does one requiring you rent it out full-time. So maybe Airbnb? I’m only half kidding.
Both infuriating and in a way, hilarious. The crazy thing is that not only have many of us had equally bad (though different) experiences with Comcast, many of us with loud microphones have as well, like Ryan Block here. And yet, Comcast keeps growing and sucking up all in its path.
Comcast undoubtedly would say that’s because our incidents are isolated and people love Comcast. That, of course, is bullshit. It’s because there is little-to-no competition in the market. In many places, if you want television and/or internet, you need to sign up for Comcast. And Comcast buying Time Warner Cable is only going to make that worse.
“I know I’m supposed to cry for these people, but they had a chance to survive and in fact thrive in today’s digital book publishing world, but they haven’t. And now they are going the way of the eight-track. Bon voyage.”—Vincent Zandri, an Amazon author, on the incumbent book publishers. To be fair, this quote is a couple years old, and his view is now slightly more nuanced.
HBO is bringing three dramas to a close over the next several months: True Blood, Boardwalk Empire and The Newsroom. “We think the right thing is to end with creative integrity so that the viewer and creator feels satisfied,” said Lombardo, who admitted that HBO made “a mistake” in canceling Deadwood after three seasons, before the story’s natural end, which angered viewers.
The cancellation of Deadwood was a major (rare) mistake for HBO. Here’s hoping they still do a movie to conclude the series one day…
I remain intrigued by how they’re going to handle the Game of Thrones situation. There’s no way the books are done before the television series is. Unless they decide to take a few years off, as they do with Curb Your Enthusiasm — a very different show, obviously. Or, if they do a movie to conclude the show as well…
Several news outlets reported that Adidas, the German sportswear maker, was likely to succeed Nike. The Financial Times reported that such a deal could be worth up to £750 million over 10 years, making it one of the most lucrative equipment sponsorship deals in sports.
Crazy. Though perhaps not as crazy as the fact that American car-maker Chevrolet will be the main sponsor of the team starting this year (that deal cost $599 million over eight years).
Yes, Man U will be wearing jerseys with a giant Chevrolet logo on the front. (Nike will still be there this year since that deal ends next year.)