#tech

Anonymous asked:

I'd never want to buy a $10k watch at an Apple Store. How could Apple change the stores so that I would?

It’s a good question — one I’ve been thinking about as well recently (hat tip to Megan for first bringing it up). While I do believe they will sell the Apple Watch in Apple Stores, it does seem like it may make sense to open some smaller, Apple Watch-specific stores in certain markets. Ideally, these would be situated in the high-end shopping areas where high-end watch stores currently reside. Stay tuned for more thoughts on this.

Rob Brunner:

Another way Bourdain stays engaged is by constantly experimenting with technology. As equipment has improved over the years, the show has become more visually accomplished. In addition to high-end cameras like $16,000 Sony F3s with cinema-quality lenses and more modest equipment such as Canon 7Ds, the team now regularly uses GoPros, often in unexpected ways. In the Shanghai episode, they rigged up what they refer to as “shot cam,” a GoPro attached to a shot glass that captures, to dizzying effect, the liquor’s-eye view during a night of revelry. They have used bags of risotto for makeshift tracking shots (“risotto cam”) and turned a Hot Wheels track into a camera dolly. Bourdain is especially excited about the possibility of shooting an upcoming show entirely on iPhones.

The “shot cam” is genius. The iPhone thing should be very much possible with the iPhone 6/6+.

Also love this:

Bourdain now has a term for such corporate meddling: being asked to “eat a shit sandwich.” It’s one of the few meals he flat-out refuses to consume. “Given a choice between eating the sandwich and not having a television career, I would happily not have a television career,” he says. “Most people eat the sandwich.” He quit, taking the show to Travel Channel.

Most people definitely eat the sandwich.

Cecilia Kang:

Podcasters also like the personal connection they have with fans who listen through ear buds or headphones, which can make shows feel more intimate than other forms of media.

Mars said he keeps that in mind and mikes himself more closely than he used to. This allows him to use a quieter voice, which he calls a “head voice,” in the hopes of more closely connecting with listeners.

I like that concept.

Certainly doesn’t sound like the absolute worst device is the world, but certainly nothing that will save BlackBerry. A solid C-/D+. 

I’m perplexed by the design choice here. Yes, it’s the shape of a passport, but why is that a good thing? No one types on their passport. No one reads things on their passport. It looks as if BlackBerry made it different simply for the sake of being different.

Yes, it sounds like the large, square screen makes it mildly easier to read email and documents. But the shape also makes it harder to type, negating any positives of the screen. And it’s arguably net negative given BlackBerry users love of their keyboards. 

I would have gone the other way — either way. I would have either made a device that’s the ultimate one-handed use machine (especially since Apple is going in the other direction with the iPhone 6/6 Plus). Or made the thing bigger, with the best physical “thumb” keyboard on a phone ever.

Tweets In The Time Of Travel

Fine, Hunter, here you go:

Yes, I find myself tweeting less now that I’m living abroad. My assumption is that it’s mainly related to the time difference (8 hours). My tweeting cadence has basically been destroyed.

Granted, I have always been sort of a “lumpy” tweeter. That is, I tend to tweet a lot in relatively short bursts of time. (1/ Though not 2/in Tweetstorm™ 3/ format.) In fact, I did tonight about “iOS 8.0.1-gate”.

But now the stuff that tends to pique my tweeting interest usually happens at odd times of the day for me here. Either I’m asleep or in the middle of something else. 

Maybe I’ll find a new rhythm or other things to care about (the other football). Or maybe I’ll just mainly lurk. Or maybe I’ll just tweet more pictures of flowers and British thingsThe fact remains that a lot of what I tweet about (breaking tech news, live sports, etc) tends to happen on American hours. So I either come late to the game, or more likely, not at all. 

And I think I’m okay with that. At first, it was a little weird. But it’s also kind of nice having one less thing to be constantly checking and thinking about. 

Meg James:

HBO has long been part of the glue that holds the TV channel bundles together. Distributors want HBO and Cinemax to remain exclusive to their premium packages — rather than being sold as a stand-alone product.

Bewkes might be positioning HBO for upcoming negotiations with cable and satellite TV operators. Several key contracts come up for renewal in the next few years, and Bewkes could use the threat of offering HBO as a stand-alone offering as leverage with distributors.

This is my concern — that while it seems like everything is headed in the right direction for HBO to break away from cable and offer a stand-alone service, that threat will likely just be used as the negotiating point when HBO starts to talk with the cable providers for a new deal in the coming months.

The reality right now remains that three-fourths of HBO’s revenues come from these deals. And Time Warner knows they now have leverage to get even more. For example, this oddity:

HBO doesn’t collect revenue generated by about 10% of domestic subscribers. Formulas created years ago to provide incentives to pay-TV companies to get more customers to sign up for HBO allow the distributors to keep the subscription fee if they reach undisclosed bench marks for recruitment.

Would love to know those benchmarks. Undoubtedly these kind of incentives are what lead to situations like this.

We would like to thank all of our customers for making this our best launch ever, shattering all previous sell-through records by a large margin. While our team managed the manufacturing ramp better than ever before, we could have sold many more iPhones with greater supply and we are working hard to fill orders as quickly as possible.
Tim Cook, announcing that Apple sold over 10 million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus’ over the weekend. 

The Plan To Save RadioShack

A few days after the launch of the latest iPhone and we still have lines out the doors of Apple Stores around the world. I was in this one on Friday. It truly was insane.

This stands in stark contrast to the recent news about RadioShack. Impending bankruptcy will probably drag this out for years, but the writing on the wall seems clear: the once-dominant consumer electronics retailer is going to die.

And that’s too bad. I, like so many people of my generation, have fond memories of the chain from my youth. It was the place to go and discover that anything and everything was possible with electronics. It was, in a way, the Apple Store of its day.

Okay, that’s probably a stretch. But if consumer electronics had been as mainstream in the 1980s as they are today, there’s no reason to think RadioShack couldn’t have been the place to be for everyone, beyond just the geeks.

Instead, RadioShack morphed into what was essentially a cell phone outpost pitted against the long-term interest of the carriers. Hence, the situation they’re now in.

No one is asking, but my plan to revive RadioShack would be to harken back to the old days with a twist of the way things currently are. I’d create an “Apple Store for everything.”

Yeah, yeah with Apple now the crown jewel of retail, everyone is trying to do this. But RadioShack has two distinct advantages. 1) This love of gadgetry is in their DNA. 2) They already have the retail presence.

And actually, number 2 has been a huge point of weakness for RadioShack. They’ve tried to close a large amount of current stores, but their investors won’t let them. So it may be time to turn the perceived weakness into a strength.

Yes, Best Buy and others have been trying to do this to some extent as well. But those stores are way too cluttered and intimidating. Radio Shack stores seem to be just the right size. The key would be to curate only the best-of-the-best Android devices, Google devices, Microsoft devices, Sony devices, etc. Not everything, just the best.

Then lay those items out around the store to let people try them out and compare. And have experts around to help. Experts not paid on commission. Experts who aren’t fucking clueless (go into a RadioShack store now, most employees are clueless about current technology). Actual experts in the various gadgets and ecosystems.

Yes, Radio Shack seems to be doing some of this with their new store strategy. But I’ve seen one of those new stores – they don’t go far enough. They’re just trying to be actual Apple Stores (including the emphasis on Beats). They should be more like Bizzaro Apple Stores.

Again, don’t offer everything, just the best things. Partner with The Wirecutter or someone who excels in this type of curation. Be the place people trust to sort through the gadget clutter.

And maybe mix in some new, exciting tech. Things like Oculus, 3D printers, etc. Things that excite the public’s interest and things they want to see in person.

If you can establish yourself in this way, I think the lines out the door on launch days (of select products) may follow.

Remember, when the first Apple Stores launched, they were ridiculed as a failure waiting to happen. Apple did a lot of smart things to get to where they are now, but the focus on quality products is what ultimately made the strategy work. We may not be able to rely on other consumer electronic giants to do the same on their own, and that’s where RadioShack could step in. To curate. The Apple Store for everything else.

(Written on my iPhone)