Dustin Curtis on Randall Stephenson æ
If Randall Stephenson is kept up at night by iMessage, he is a very shallow thinker. Text messaging was dead the second a mobile phone connected to the internet.
And in regards to the future:
The speed and quality of wireless networks are vitally important for the development of future generations of technology. The sooner we have a company that focuses on the network, as a technology company instead of as a sales and marketing company, the faster technological innovation can take place.
Turning 60 æ
Tony Schwartz shares some of the most important lessons he learnt from the past few decades. It’s tough picking favorites, but here’s a stab:
3. Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.
AT&T Chief Regrets Offering Unlimited Data for iPhone æ
Brian X. Chen, for The New York Times:
Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s chief executive, said that he wished the company had never offered an unlimited data plan for the device and that he loses sleep over free texting services like Apple’s iMessage.
Like I said, it’s a showdown between WhatsApp and iMessage in mobile messaging. Luckily, SMS was never a major revenue stream for Hong Kong’s telecom giants, so we’re still fortunate enough to have unlimited data plans. The good news may not last though.
Wednesday, 2 May 2012
Streetless City æ
A six-point lament about the mall-ification of Hong Kong, the gradual decline of the sidewalk, and the rising dominance of franchised businesses. It’s often said that people get the government they deserve. Perhaps people also get the city they deserve.
Apple’s Tax Strategy æ
Charles DuHigg and David Kocieniewski, for the New York Times:
Apple was a pioneer of an accounting technique known as the “Double Irish With a Dutch Sandwich,” which reduces taxes by routing profits through Irish subsidiaries and the Netherlands and then to the Caribbean. Today, that tactic is used by hundreds of other corporations — some of which directly imitated Apple’s methods, say accountants at those companies.
You gotta admire how Apple leads innovation in so many areas, including tax evasion. Samsung isn’t the only one with photocopiers either.
Bing Redesign æ
Josh Constine, for TechCrunch:
This more relaxing, dare I say zen, design gives Google a more claustrophobic and exhausting feel by comparison. Microsoft seems to have realized that if it can’t match Google’s algorithmic prowess, it could win with sleek design that doesn’t bombard you with a thousand options.
It’s an important step, but is it enough to seriously challenge Google? Unlike on a PC, I don’t have to live (too long) with Google’s clutter. It’s just a stepping stone to better pastures. Another up-and-comer to watch is DuckDuckGo.
其貌不揚，勉強「變靚ｄ」，永遠不會跑羸天生麗質的。要賺錢，最重要的，其實不是供求數量，而是「Niche 」；有優勢未必好，有比較優勢（Comparative Advantage）才是成功關鍵。
Let me add: there’s a tendency in the Hong Kong “market” to assume that everyone has the same taste and look for the same qualities in a person. That strategy may work for companies who seek mass-market appeal, but for people who are ultimately looking for one regular customer, having your own niche is a often much more sensible approach.
Instead of striving to be like everyone else, try being yourself. You’ll stand out.
Thursday, 26 April 2012
Bride Wannabes æ
Reminds me of the opening lines of a famous 19th century novel:
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.
Friday, 20 April 2012
Too Little, Too Late? æ
Dina Bass, for Bloomberg BusinessWeek:
To win, or even just to survive, in what has become a consumer-driven industry, products need to be eye candy that force shoppers to take a second look.
Sounds like someone has a fundamental misunderstanding of what good design entails. But there’s still hope at Redmond:
Microsoft has roughly doubled its design ranks to 600 employees over the past five years and lured talents like Albert Shum, who developed technology-centered products at Nike (NKE) before becoming Windows Phone design chief in 2008. The company has also rethought how it builds things.
Steve Kaneko, a top Microsoft designer, says engineers and executives have ceded more authority to designers. They’re organized in small teams under the belief that democracy is the enemy of good design, and regularly switch groups to allow ideas to percolate. “It’s a huge, dramatic change compared to five years ago,” says Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst at Forrester Research (FORR). “They’re realizing design is absolutely essential to the experience.”
The verdict is still out.
Why Google+ is still not working for humans æ
A while ago, I wrote of Google Plus:
The service is officially branded Google+ but that just looks awkward.
David Vronay now explains why:
The problem is that [+1 voting] is not an emotion-free task. People click the Like or Thumbs Up button because they feel an emotion about the item. By moving this from an emotional indicator like “Like” to an unemotional one, they are diminishing this feeling. Furthermore, “+1” is a math equation, and math overall does not have a neutral emotional connotation. For most of the population, math has a negative connotation.
He makes some excellent points on Google and social networking.
The Five Stages of Knowledge æ
陶傑 explicates the five stages using novels by my favorite author:
The books get exponentially better the more times you read them.
Ten typographic mistakes everyone makes æ
Grammar nazis are so last century. Welcome, friends, to the brave new world of the typography nazi. Below are ten mistakes that everyone makes, an explanation of why each is wrong, and details on how to fix them.
An old classic I dig up every now and then as a refresher. It’s not only the world of a typography nazi, but a punctuation typography nazi. Enter at your own peril.
Can You Find Us Now? æ
WhatsApp updated its mobile apps a few weeks ago and introduced a long-awaited feature:
Now when you use “Share Location”, you can either send your Current Location right away or wait a few seconds for places near you to load and pick from.
I was always really annoyed that sometimes “Share Location” could be really off and you had no option of seeing how accurate the GPS was before sharing it. Now it’s a lot better. And like another one of my front page apps, it seems to make good use of Foursquare’s API.