Now that Steve Jobs has stepped down as CEO of Apple, I’m starting to realize that one of the things I might miss most are the posts he would do on Apple’s site from time to time. You know, like the dismantling of Flash.
Unlike most corporate-speak which consists of bland nonsense glazed with PR buzzwords — which is always a complete and utter waste of time to read, Jobs’ post were written like a human being who doesn’t give a shit what anyone else thinks. Whether you agreed or disagreed with what he was actually saying, you had to respect the voice he was using.
Fake Steve Jobs: Funny. Real Dan Lyons: Sloppy, Lazy, Too Old For This Shit.
Like everyone else, I used to be a big fan of Fake Steve Jobs. Then he was revealed to be Dan Lyons. The magic was over. The 15 minutes was over. He had to go back to doing his actual job — though not before he got a book out of it. But it can be hard to go back.
Today, Lyons writes a post disguised as a takedown of my Kindle tablet scoop from a few weeks back. But if you go one layer deeper, it’s clear what he’s actually writing about. In the words of Roger Murtaugh, “I’m getting too old for this shit.”
Looks like I nailed most things about the Kindle Fire, including the name, ship date, and details. I was a little off on the price though. At first, I heard $249 — then I said it was in flux a few days ago. $199 is very impressive and even more aggressive.
Put simply: this is going to be the Android tablet that people buy. But most people will have no idea that it’s an Android tablet.
The Nook Color is compelling as well, but it lacks two very key things: Amazon content and Amazon.com. Expect to hear more from Barnes & Noble any day now.
Say what you will about their recent maneuvers, but it’s pretty clear that Page is trying his damnedest to make sure Google doesn’t atrophy like Microsoft did.
Claire Cain Miller reporting:
“There are basically no companies that have good slow decisions,” Mr. Page said in a rare public appearance at Google’s Zeitgeist conference in Paradise Valley, Ariz. “There are only companies that have good fast decisions. As companies get bigger, they slow down decision making, and that’s a big problem.”
That’s a great point — but there’s key flipside here that Page leaves out: companies that make bad fast decisions.
Motorola was a fast decision. Time will determine if it was a good one or a bad one.
Have you ever used Facebook exclusively for people you have met and want to keep track of?
Yes. In fact, that’s exactly how I used Facebook before the subscription feature launched. When I first signed up for Facebook in 2005, I accepted everyone as friends. But over time I realized this was untenable and made Facebook fairly useless. Plus there was the 5,000 friend limit. So I unfriended a ton of people (over 1,500, if I recall) and started only accepting friend requests from people I had actually met in real life.
In 2004, due to typhoons, the Shinkansen total annual delays were 42 seconds. It was a disgrace to Japan. (source)
If a train were to be late for 5 minutes, everyone receives a free journey and an apology from the conductor. If a train is delayed 10 minutes, it would be in the newspaper.
So to say train delays are serious business would be an understatement. And last week, knowing what I knew about trains and average delays, I began snapping the following photos, unfolding in time, to mark the first major delay of a Japanese Shinkansen in 2011.
This was one of my favorite things about Japan. Everything was exactly on time. Always.
I also love that there are no tips. You pay exactly what is on the menu.
While the cable companies may not be directly involved here, they should be really worried about deals like this. These types of deals will keep coming, and over time, the value of cable television service will continue to fall.
I just wonder how long it will be until HBO goes direct? That is, how long until you can buy it for a monthly fee without needing cable service at all? Because I’ll sign up in a second when that happens. And I bet it will happen soon.
Yep. BUT the original plan was indeed to release the “Retina” iPad this fall. It was simply delayed until early next year due to component shortages and a manufacturing hiccup, I hear.
As John Gruber notes, Apple releases things when they’re ready to go, not around some arbitrary timetable. The Retina iPad was originally going to be ready to go this fall. Now it’s not. So they’ll release it when it is.
It’s not just that Microsoft is losing money online, it’s that they’re bleeding it. And it’s getting worse, not better. The company has lost $9 billion online since they started breaking out the numbers in 2007 — $2.5 billion of that was in the past year.
And Bing has accounted for $5.5 billion of the total losses.
And what is Microsoft spending all that money on? Stealing market share from Yahoo, not Google. Yahoo is their search partner. Google is their enemy.
So what is Microsoft’s plan to make money on Bing? Essentially: get more people to use it.
Why didn’t anyone else think of that?
Microsoft’s real problem here is that in order to beat Google in search, they can’t just be better — they have to be exponentially better to get people to switch. And I’m just not sure that’s possible.
Microsoft is fighting a battle they’ve already lost simply by not taking it seriously earlier.
Billions in loses later, Microsoft may be starting to understand this. They have to compete with Google by not competing with them. They have to do something totally different and something Google can’t possibly copy.
Only one possibility comes to mind: Facebook.
They’ve been doing stuff with Facebook already thanks to their small investment in the social network. But they need to completely blow it out. Facebook search sucks. But it won’t suck forever. Eventually, they’ll do it themselves. And they’ll do it in a way that will compete with Google by being completely different. It will not be Bing.
While it seems a bit odd, I like this concept. Taking your best longer-form content, adding polish to it, and distributing it on its own via a tablet (meaning, of course, the iPad). It turns a fast blog into a more leisurely magazine.
One thing I’ve never liked about content on the web is that 99% of it looks like absolute shit. There’s plenty of good content (including pictures), but it’s often wrapped in an ad-heavy shit sandwich — TechCrunch included.
I would love to see my best content wrapped in an elegant package, like a beautiful magazine.
The more I spend time on tumblr and pay attention to my own interactions, the more they are in sync with the data & metrics we see in the boardroom and on quantcast.
The vast majority of interaction and engagement happens in the Tumblr feed which is called the Tumblr Dashboard. This behavior…
I love all of what Bijan Sabet is saying here about Tumblr. It’s a powerful combination of a standardized stream and personalized stream that I haven’t seen any other network match. But, as a content producer, I do wish there was a better way to gauge who is reading what content from the Tumblr Dashboard.
On my domain, I can see everything via Chartbeat and Google Analytics. On Tumblr Dashboard, it’s a black hole to me. It’s there, but I can’t see it. I just know that I have 25,000 Tumblr followers, so a good percentage of those are reading what I post (hopefully), but it’s impossible for me to know more.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings first apologizes for a lack of communication, and then gives his thoughts about the recent price changes and separation of DVDs and streaming (which is still the right move, as Hastings reiterates).
The wording is good. Amazingly, it doesn’t sound like the total bullshit you usually read in such posts. But here’s my favorite part:
For the past five years, my greatest fear at Netflix has been that we wouldn’t make the leap from success in DVDs to success in streaming. Most companies that are great at something – like AOL dialup or Borders bookstores – do not become great at new things people want (streaming for us) because they are afraid to hurt their initial business.
When I read this, I have one larger thought than Hastings: Microsoft.
Why is legacy Windows and all its baggage a part of Windows 8? Because of Hastings’ last sentence above.
Eventually these companies realize their error of not focusing enough on the new thing, and then the company fights desperately and hopelessly to recover. Companies rarely die from moving too fast, and they frequently die from moving too slowly.
We see this time and time again. Complacency. These thoughts are nothing new. But what’s great is Netflix’s gumption to execute — stupid name or not.
Also great: Hastings is on Microsoft’s board. There is still hope.
All day, I kept telling myself I shouldn’t say anything. Then I realized: what the fuck? Be honest.
I found Paul’s post tactless. And I found Erick’s response inappropriate. Perhaps both are fitting given the entire clusterfuck that is this situation. But both are also quite sad.
Many of you are watching TechCrunch unravel before your very eyes. That sucks. It sucks for me too. But TechCrunch is also too big to fail. One way or another, it will live on. Try as hard as AOL might, they can’t totally fuck it up. That’s just the truth.
Also the truth: AOL has not reached out to me once in this entire situation. You’d think they might care about something like that. Evidently, they don’t. I’m not losing any sleep over it, but it’s curious.
I appreciate the outpouring of support from everyone. No matter what happens, don’t worry, I’ll be fine. I’m just sincerely worried about the state of AOL that they seem to have a total disregard for the actual situation. TechCrunch is a key property and one of the few bright spots in their portfolio. But to them, it’s apparently just numbers.
That’s a losing stance. TechCrunch may survive with that stance, but it will not thrive as it has. That’s the CNET stance. Complacency is poison.
Everyone still at TechCrunch knows this. That’s why Paul’s post is dangerous. He’s shining the spotlight on something, but he’s missing the mark. There is exactly one person to blame for all of this — and her name is not Erick.
“One of the best pieces of advice I ever got, back when I was 23 and newly out of school, is this: look around and figure out who you want to be on your team. Figure out the people around you that you want to work with for the rest of your life. Figure out the people who are smart & awesome, who share your values, who get things done — and maybe most important, who you like to be with and who you want to help win. And treat them right, always. Look for ways to help, to work together, to learn. Because in 20 years you’ll all be in amazing places doing amazing things.”—John Lilly
It’s amazing that over the past few years the discussions have evolved from whether Federer is the best ever, to whether Nadal will be the best ever, to now whether Djokovic may eventually be the best ever.
These are three of the best players ever and they’ve come back-to-back-to-back.
Direct discussions between the two companies about the future of Motorola Mobility’s patent portfolio had begun in early July following Google’s failed bid to buy Nortel Networks Corp.’s patents, according to the document.
But wait, I thought the whole Nortel thing was a ruse, a rope-a-dope. It simply could not have been the catalyst of this deal. Motorola must be lying in their regulatory filing. They were conspiring with Google for years to make Apple look foolish and spend billions on patents for no reason.
Also, the notion that Andy Rubin was brought in at the last second is bullshit. As Miller’s report suggests, he led this deal.
Somehow, in the early 1990s Apple bred a mobile technology killer robot. Cyborg.
No, wait… android. Andy Rubin.
We’re through the looking glass here, people. It was staring us right in the face the whole time. All the pieces are starting to fall into place.
OK, so Apple makes this Andyroid and, through the mismanagement endemic to the company at the time, it’s released into the wild. Years later, the Andyroid is caught by Microsoft, which reprogrammed and re-released it into the wild—but deliberately. It then gets hired by Google and acts as a Manchurian candidate within the company to funnel millions of dollars to Microsoft for doing jack squat.
Ingenious. The Macalope tips his antlers toward Redmond.
Well, OK, maybe that’s not what happened. But it pretty much worked out that way anyway.
Great insight from John Gruber. While we all can see and appreciate Apple’s design — it’s what we don’t see that actually gives them their bigger competitive advantage: manufacturing and scale.
Apple has slowly been perfecting this over time. And newly minted CEO Tim Cook has undoubtedly been the key to this. Now that Apple has grown into a massive consumer electronics company, we’re really seeing the benefits reflected in their business.
It starts with design, it ends with the actual build process. But the two are intertwined. Because of one, no one can match the other.
Update: We’re hearing from another well-regarded source that Jelly Bean is in the running for the name, but that the choice hasn’t yet been finalized by Google; for what it’s worth, the pickings are fairly slim for desserts with “J” names, so Jelly Bean seems like a solid choice.
LOL on so many counts. An “exclusive” story on the name “Jelly Bean” that needed an “update” so perhaps it’s not so “exclusive”.
Wake me up when they get to “S” in the nomenclature. My vote will be for: Shit Sandwich.
How do you carry around your MacBook Air? Any suggestions for bags, cases, etc.?
I carry around a bag from Patagonia. I bought it at an Apple Store. Pretty sure it was built for a larger MacBook Pro, but the 13-inch Air fits nicely as well and gives me a bit more room for other things.