Category Archives: Technology

AirPods: From Mockery to Status Symbol

Elena Cresci reporting for The Guardian:

Of all the widely ridiculed tech products, Apple’s AirPods have experienced an extraordinary turnaround. Back in 2016, they were roundly mocked by the tech industry… But fast-forward to 2019 and, somehow, the £159-a-pair little pods have transformed into a bona fide status symbol.

It’s continues to amaze me that Apple products have a value proposition that is so easily misunderstood upon release. Months or sometimes years later there’s a sudden collective public understanding, even though revenues typically reveal the product as a financial success long before its recognized as a social one. The next biggest ridiculed item I can recall is the iPad when it was released in 2010. Widely written off as “just a giant iPhone”, pundits were missing the forest through the trees. What made the iPad a success was exactly that: it’s a giant iPhone. For context, Apple sold 43 million iPads last year.

U.S. DoJ Says Ruling Approving AT&T-Time Warner Merger Ignored ‘Fundamental Principles of Economics and Common Sense’

Juli Clover, reporting for Mac Rumors:

In the filing, the DoJ says the district court approved the merger after “erroneously ignoring fundamental principles of economics and common sense” and that it used a “deeply flawed assessment of the government’s evidence” to reach its decision…

The original ruling approving the merger, says the DoJ, ignored key documents from AT&T on the competitive harm of vertical mergers, limited expert economic testimony, and refused to close the courtroom to allow for testimony related to confidential business information. Further, the DoJ insists the original ruling ignored the economics of bargaining and did not consider corporate profit maximization.

Aren’t these the things you would review when looking at this merger? If they didn’t review the basic principles of economics, bargaining, or profit maximization, what on earth did they review?

Apple’s Face ID Turns Android Makers Away From Under-Screen Fingerprint Recognition

Tim Hardwick, reporting for MacRumors:

With its iPhone X debut and the introduction of Face ID, Apple has now tilted interest in the mobile industry away from under-display fingerprint recognition towards camera-based 3D sensing technologies as the ideal user authentication solution. That’s according to the latest research note from respected KGI securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. […]

According to the new note seen by MacRumors, inquiries by Android smartphone vendors into 3D-sensing technologies have at least tripled since Apple unveiled its TrueDepth camera and Face ID technology, which replaces traditional Touch ID fingerprint recognition in the iPhone X, set to launch in November. […] Kuo went on to say he believes the next two to three years will see shipments of 3D sensor-equipped Android devices to exceed those with under-display fingerprint recognition by a factor of two or three or more.

There’s no way they came up with this in the last year because under-display fingerprint recognition technology was “hard to do”. They’ve had their eye on this for a long time now.

Steve Jobs at Macworld Conference and Expo, January 2007:

There’s an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love. ‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.’ And we’ve always tried to do that at Apple. Since the very very beginning. And we always will.

Autonomous Vehicles Are Coming

Cars, trucks, busses, trains, and construction equipment. What does the future hold for these machines? Autonomous navigation and control. Most people would think this technology is far into the future, but the exciting (and perhaps daunting) prospect is that the technology is here and the advantages and disadvantages of it will be a reality sooner than you might think. Continue reading