If Thesis 2.0 has got you scratching your head on where to start and how to proceed with developing your own Thesis-driven site and making full-use of all the new features, you could do worse than reading Matthew Horne’s excellent, easy-to-understand, step-by-step tutorials.
I’m going through each article on that site as I write this, and using the knowledge gained to build up Trading & Investing Notes.
We were driving past the Adelaide Botanic Gardens on a perfect afternoon so decided to pop in and shoot a test on the iPhone 5.
Blown away by the results I took it into final cut did a quick chop and 20 minute color grade. This is what excites me about the future of video cameras. A minor amount of stabilization was added to the opening shot but the original footage looks very similar.
I think the movie clip was really well-made. Editing was done in Final Cut Pro.
The era in which people specify “shot on iPhone” is coming to end. It doesn’t matter any more… you can no longer say “look what I did with this crippled device!”… because, well, it’s no longer crippled. In fact, it does things your big fancy SLR can’t. Apple hasn’t let us down with the capabilities of the 5 and I can’t wait to see the images you all create on this thing this next year.
It builds your panorama image (resolution of up to 28 megapixels in size) in real time as you’re panning the scene, unlike other smartphones where the lengthy stitching process is performed only after you’ve completed taking the photo.
This is why trade dress battles are so important to Apple. Try introducing a soda in a container that’s easily mistaken for a Coke bottle and see how far “har har har, you can’t patent curved glass!” gets you as a defense. If somebody makes a product that can be easily mistaken for an Apple device, then Apple is going to do whatever they can to get that product either off the market or changed.
Rather than trying to take on Apple, Android makers will take aim at competing with Samsung, the new lower hanging fruit. Google has already attempted to push its “pure Android” Nexus products (some made by Samsung) as better alternatives to “Android+” devices like Samsung’s own TouchWiz layer (which tries to look more like iOS).
Google hasn’t been tremendously successful with Nexus, but it has up until now been forced to compete against both Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s counterfeit iPhone. Google and its licensees, along with RIM and Microsoft/Nokia, now only have one iPhone to compete against, making their jobs all that much easier.
Lim Cheng Soon, on reducing his time spent online:
It felt incredible. My focus and productivity improved. I enjoyed my work more. I slept better. More importantly, I enjoyed every single one of those activities way more than the internet.
Now, whenever I feel bored (which rarely happens), the first thing I do is to close the lid of my laptop and get out. Even when I wasn’t doing anything, I was content with just a cup of tea, sitting and looking at the sea, and not wondering about what’s on the Hacker News front page.
Constantly surfing the internet and staying connected online via the computer or a mobile device is going down my priority list too.
Re-connecting with the physical world, whether it’s having long walks or performing bodyweight exercises in the park, visiting a brick-and-mortar bookstore or reading a good book that I can actually hold in my hands, having extended conversations with friends or enjoying more outings with the family, has never felt more fulfilling.
People like to throw around figures about Android’s handset penetration. Yes, Android is on a lot of devices. That’s lovely. But the real question is: as a developer, can you make money from it?
If you’re not in the mobile apps business to make money, then great – congratulations. This is your bus stop. Off you go. Have a nice life. I, however, am in business to make money. I write code because I like doing that, but the business part is about making money. Otherwise I’d be a hobbyist, and I’d be doing something else during the day. I’m thrilled to be able to do something I enjoy as a business, and I’m doubly thrilled to do it from the comfort of my own home.
Android is designed to be difficult to make money from, and the core issue is that it’s open – with the corrosive mentality that surrounds such openness.
So many great points in this article on why “[o]pen is broken as a money-making platform model, unless you’re making the OS or the handsets.”
No, shut up. Most of the world doesn’t sit in front of their browser all day. If they do, it is Internet Explorer 6 at work that they are not allowed to upgrade. Browsers suck for these kinds of things. Their stuff is already in folders. They just want a folder. That syncs.
The thing is, Microsoft has never been a consumer-focused company to begin with. Windows was designed for businesses, not people. Microsoft got in good early in the enterprise market in the 80′s and 90′s and that trickled down to peoples’ home computers. “I have Windows at the office, I might as well get it for home.” That left Apple out in the cold until Steve Jobs came back in 1998.
Computer component miniaturization made huge strides since the first Macintosh went on the market in 1984. So while the first iMac was a smash hit when it debuted, portable computing was Apple’s Trojan horse to reclaim dominance. First the iPod. Then the iPhone. Then the iPad. Windows PC spread from the office to the home. In the past 10 years we’ve seen the opposite: Apple products are going from the home to the office.
I think what we’re seeing in Microsoft’s numbers right now is the full-on shift of the company towards enterprise. To be clear, I think the company will remain alive and probably even thrive in that regard for a long time. I just think the time of their consumer dominance is already over. And within the next decade, it will be completely over.
I think at that point, Microsoft will be an enterprise software and services company with a strange, but successful gaming sub-division that will probably be spun off by then.
More than seven years before Apple Inc. rolled out the iPhone, the Nokia team showed a phone with a color touch screen set above a single button. The device was shown locating a restaurant, playing a racing game and ordering lipstick. In the late 1990s, Nokia secretly developed another alluring product: a tablet computer with a wireless connection and touch screen—all features today of the hot-selling Apple iPad.
“Oh my God,” Mr. Nuovo says as he clicks through his old slides. “We had it completely nailed.”
Consumers never saw either device. The gadgets were casualties of a corporate culture that lavished funds on research but squandered opportunities to bring the innovations it produced to market.
Whereas RIM lacked the right product, Nokia actually developed the sorts of devices that consumers are gobbling up today. It just didn’t bring them to market. In a strategic blunder, it shifted its focus from smartphones back to basic phones right as the iPhone upended the market.
“I was heartbroken when Apple got the jump on this concept,” says Mr. Nuovo, Nokia’s former chief designer. “When people say the iPhone as a concept, a piece of hardware, is unique, that upsets me.”
You know, one of the things that really hurt Apple was after I left John Sculley got a very serious disease. It’s the disease of thinking that a really great idea is 90% of the work. And if you just tell all these other people “here’s this great idea,” then of course they can go off and make it happen.
And the problem with that is that there’s just a tremendous amount of craftsmanship in between a great idea and a great product. And as you evolve that great idea, it changes and grows. It never comes out like it starts because you learn a lot more as you get into the subtleties of it. And you also find there are tremendous tradeoffs that you have to make. There are just certain things you can’t make electrons do. There are certain things you can’t make plastic do. Or glass do. Or factories do. Or robots do.
Designing a product is keeping five thousand things in your brain and fitting them all together in new and different ways to get what you want. And every day you discover something new that is a new problem or a new opportunity to fit these things together a little differently.
And it’s that process that is the magic.
And so we had a lot of great ideas when we started [the Mac]. But what I’ve always felt that a team of people doing something they really believe in is like is like when I was a young kid there was a widowed man that lived up the street. He was in his eighties. He was a little scary looking. And I got to know him a little bit. I think he may have paid me to mow his lawn or something.
And one day he said to me, “come on into my garage I want to show you something.” And he pulled out this dusty old rock tumbler. It was a motor and a coffee can and a little band between them. And he said, “come on with me.” We went out into the back and we got just some rocks. Some regular old ugly rocks. And we put them in the can with a little bit of liquid and little bit of grit powder, and we closed the can up and he turned this motor on and he said, “come back tomorrow.”
And this can was making a racket as the stones went around.
And I came back the next day, and we opened the can. And we took out these amazingly beautiful polished rocks. The same common stones that had gone in, through rubbing against each other like this (clapping his hands), creating a little bit of friction, creating a little bit of noise, had come out these beautiful polished rocks.
That’s always been in my mind my metaphor for a team working really hard on something they’re passionate about. It’s that through the team, through that group of incredibly talented people bumping up against each other, having arguments, having fights sometimes, making some noise, and working together they polish each other and they polish the ideas, and what comes out are these really beautiful stones.
I’m willing to bet some lunch money that Jony Ive would not have been able to see so many of his creations come to fruition had it not been for Steve Jobs’ unrelenting focus on having a proper idea-to-product-to-market plan in place within Apple, and getting the right set of people to execute and continuously improve on that plan. An extract from Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs:
Isaacson recounts that he got the chance to interview Ive in his bunker at Apple’s HQ where the Brit would cast molds for the next-generation of Apple products, listening to techno music along with his team of trusted assistants.
During one of their discussions, Ive remarked that, “In so many other companies, ideas and great design get lost in the process. The ideas that come from me and my team would have been completely irrelevant, nowhere, if Steve hadn’t been here to push us, work with us, and drive us through all the resistance to turn our ideas into products.”
Ive also touched on the topic of packaging design, which is almost as important as the design of the product itself his vision.
Ive explained to Isaacson: “Steve and I spend a lot of time on the packaging. I love the process of unpacking something. You design a ritual of unpacking to make the product feel special. Packaging can be theater, it can create a story.”
A writer’s reputation can’t be easily jettisoned and started fresh. Writing is extremely important to me, and I never want to compromise it. Any given sponsor is temporary, but credibility is for life.
Yoni Heisler on the earliest known photos (in black-and-white) of an Apple iPad prototype:
Well before the iPhone, and going back all the way to the early 2000s, Apple had been working on tablet prototypes that would eventually form the groundwork for the original iPad.
This supports what Steve Jobs said to Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at the 2010 All Things D conference, paraphrased below:
I’ll tell you a secret. It began with the tablet. I had this idea about having a glass display, a multitouch display you could type on with your fingers. I asked our people about it. And six months later, they came back with this amazing display. And I gave it to one of our really brilliant UI folks. A few weeks later, he called me back and had the rubber band inertial scrolling working and some other things, and I thought, ‘my God, we can build a phone out of this.’ So we put the tablet on the shelf, and we went to work on the iPhone.
QuickCursor is an app that lives on your Mac’s menu bar and lets you edit text in any app with your favorite text editor.
Say you’re editing some content in a WordPress post or in Justnotes and would rather finish that task in TextMate instead, just hit control+command+e, and the content that you’re currently working on is copied to TextMate where you can continue with your edits.
When you’re done, close the TextMate window, hit return when prompted to save, and you’ll be taken right back to the original app with the updated content in place.
By default, Sublime Text 2 isn’t included in QuickCursor’s list of recognized text editors, but you can manually add it in Preferences by inserting com.sublimetext.2 as a Custom Bundle ID and assigning a key combination shortcut. If the same shortcut is assigned to some other text editor, be sure to remove that particular assignment. Quit and restart QuickCursor for the changes to take effect.
Now in the past, I was able edit any text handed over to Sublime Text 2 by QuickCursor, no problem. However, hitting save or closing the window and saving didn’t copy the updated content back to the original app.
I’m not sure exactly when this was rectified, but with one of the recent updates to Sublime Text 2, the content is now properly copied back to the calling app.
With this change, I’ve gone ahead and fully adopted Sublime Text 2 as my text editor of choice, and have stopped actively using TextMate.
Friday, Jul 20, 2012 update: Sublime Text 2 needs to be open before you send text to it via QuickCursor. If you don’t do this, any updates you make in ST2 won’t get sent back to the calling app. So, it still doesn’t work as nicely as I would have I would have liked.
You should encrypt your backups, if not for security reasons, for a big convenience gain: encrypted backups will include your email and Mobile Me passwords so you never need to re-enter them after a restore.
I’ve now turned on encryption for all my iOS backups.
TheMacAdvocate on a Samsung ad showing the Galaxy S III streaming content to a HDTV:
All that’s required is WiFi? Actually, no. You also need to have a Smart TV – like say one of the ones Samsung sells. Curiously, I don’t see that mentioned in the disclaimer. Might be kind of important for people whose companies haven’t bought a Samsung TV in the last 2 years — which is to say 99% of all companies. People who actually want the features of Samsung’s “AllAirPlay” now can plunk down $99 for an AppleTV and use the iOS devices they already own. But don’t let a minor detail like “having to purchase a new $1,500 TV” bog down your clever ads, Sammy. Everyone already knows that truth-telling isn’t in your DNA.
Apple’s AirPlay works with any TV that can be connected to an Apple TV.
Julie Uhrman isn’t asking the world for a million bucks. No, she’s asking for just under it to produce a new $99 Android-based video game console called Ouya (“ooh-yuh”) that will challenge the way Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have been bringing games to you on your television for years.
“We don’t think the console-makers are dead,” Uhrman said in an interview with Kotaku. “We just think it’s time to rethink how they do their business. We don’t like it when people pay $60 for a game and feel cheated. We don’t like it when developers can’t work on a platform because it’s too expensive.”
For a complete review with a ton of screenshots, visit MacStories.
I already prefer this version over the official Mac Twitter client. For one, Tweetbot allows links to be sent to Instapaper — all that’s required is to enter your login credentials in Preferences > Account > Read Later.
I don’t believe that every person in this world is destined for satisfaction in their profession. That’s fine, I think. I’ll never begrudge anybody the sacrifice of personal satisfaction in the name of providing for the ones they love.
I do believe that those of us who have the opportunity—the luxury, even—to pursue what is true and beautiful and profitable both for us and the world around us have a duty to do it.
I’ve had great “professional satisfaction” ever since I quit my job at Oracle Malaysia in 2005 and started doing my online thing.
Although it remains a constant challenge to earn enough for my family’s needs, I continue to push ahead with various projects and try not to dwell too much on past hiccups.
With my wonderful wife’s support, and not forgetting to keep an eye on what’s important in life, the future ahead does indeed look bright.
I would like to avoid making these mistakes. But how do you avoid mistakes you make by default? Ideally you transform your life so it has other defaults. But it may not be possible to do that completely. As long as these mistakes happen by default, you probably have to be reminded not to make them. So I inverted the 5 regrets, yielding a list of 5 commands
Don’t ignore your dreams; don’t work too much; say what you think; cultivate friendships; be happy.
which I then put at the top of the file I use as a todo list.
Recently, American Family Insurance conducted a survey to determine if the American Dream is still alive. They discovered that 90% of Americans still believe in the American Dream, but only 14% feel like they’re living it. It’s no surprise. The most common dreams chosen by respondents were having money and owning a nice car. And the icon used for “living the dream” was a man laying in hammock in between two palm trees, sipping a cocktail. If money, nice cars, and leisure time in tropical destinations define the American Dream, it’s true that few are living it.