March 18, 2017

» Soylent Ad: Pizza Helper

Originally didn’t get the Trish AI spokesperson concept, but as a Soylent user, this ad represents how I think about the product.

March 15, 2017

» Siempo — The Phone for Humans

We felt overwhelmed by our phones so we built a better one. Smart technology re-imagined for a less distracted life.

Lots interesting ideas. Seems like these should be features and not an Android fork, but will be happy if it finds a niche.

March 15, 2017

Advice from my physics professor: make a detailed plan and then discard the plan and do what you feel.
This doesn’t mean the plan was unnecessary…rather the plan carves out the neural pathways in your mind

Have been coming back to this a lot this week. Link

March 9, 2017

A Bot’s Bot

I still don’t use bots, but they continue to be released — with some interesting integrations.

What I’m hoping for is a smart(ish) bot valet. A meta bot which connects to other bots based on what I’m asking. Basically the lovechild of Siri and IFTTT, without all the configuration, and can read and write.

Curious why IFTTT is not in the bot game already? Seems a natural evolution.

March 3, 2017

» Apple’s Devices Lose Luster in American Classrooms

The shift toward Google-powered devices is hurting Apple’s revenue. Of the $7.35 billion that schools, colleges and universities spent on mobile and desktop computers in 2016, sales of Apple devices fell to $2.8 billion in 2016, from about $3.2 billion in 2015, according to IDC, a market research firm.

This is not like the smartphone marketshare debate, where the iPhone is loosing” — yet has by far the biggest revenue share. On schools they are loosing in both areas.

Then there is the keyboard issue. While school administrators generally like the iPad’s touch screens for younger elementary school students, some said older students often needed laptops with built-in physical keyboards for writing and taking state assessment tests.

Either physical or touchscreen, the iPad needs more space for the keyboard if you’re doing common work. I know that for emails, messages and browsing the on-screen keyboard is fine. But to do a paper or report you can’t have the keyboard obscuring half of an already crowed space.

February 14, 2017

» How Sonos will take on Alexa and Google: by integrating them

Sonos CEO Patrick Spence:

Certainly I’m sure there are people that have purchased a Google Home or an Echo instead of a Play:1, but I don’t look at that [and think] they’re dead to Sonos. There’s an opportunity to get into their living room and get into other rooms in their home with some of the interoperability work we’re doing.

Sonos devices sound quality continues to be significantly better than Echo’s and Google Home. Starting your smart home devices with a AI hub that has a good-enough speaker, and then adding compatible speakers with much better sounds, seems like a solid plan.

February 14, 2017

The Pixar of TV Shows

I know Steve Jobs nostalgia has very little to do with a succesful strategy. But pretty sure that if Steve were alive™, Planet of the Apps wouldn’t be one of Apple’s first series:

Carpool Kareoke on the other hand, looks exactly like something he’d share on a WWDC:

TV Apple
February 11, 2017

The Expanse: Season 2

I didn’t kill him because he was crazy; I killed him because he was making sense.

Although I read the books and liked season one, it wasn’t my favorite show. But three episodes into season two, I can’t wait for the next one. The characters and environments took shape, and now it’s pure story.

Snippet TV review
February 7, 2017

» Apple used to care about iBooks

Daniel Steinberg:

I’ve joked that if Eddie Cue loved reading the way he clearly loves music, then iBooks, the iBookstore, and iBooks Author would be amazing. Not only aren’t they amazing, they aren’t even good.

In 2013 I helped out creating ebooks for a family friends. I first did the Kindle’s version, and it was a painful experience — similar to making a website in the early days. I left the iBook for last, looking forward to the experience. A few days letter, I was back using the epub generator and converting it to the Apple format.

Sad to hear not much has changed.

February 5, 2017

An adorable little chaos inside your home

My safety razor, brush and shaving soap always go together underneath the sink… or at least they did until my 14 month old son started opening every drawer and cabinet in the house.

So I moved the razed to a top drawer. To say that my organizational OCD had an issue with this is an insight of how much time I waste in every one of my workflows. But the raw fear of our small tornado finding my Merkur razor fought fire with fire in my mind.

A week later, I’m actually enjoying the new setup. The razor, the blades and the altoids’ container for used blades now sit together on the drawer.

Parenting keeps generating outcomes likes this. I don’t know if it’s Stockholm syndrome, or sanity complacency. But the end of your personal efficiency brings some fun practical shortcuts through the valley of chaos.

Snippet parenting
January 15, 2017

Deplete Inventories

One of my new year’s resolution is to be frugal. Which as a high level virtue sounds great, but can be difficult to practice everyday. The best trick I’ve found is to not purchase anything if I have some of it left at home.

For most stuff, this means running out of my preferred brand, and dusting off whatever was replaced by it. Shaving creams, aftershave, meat spices and even ebooks.

Curious how long can I last, but I do like that it feels like a rule that nudges me in the right direction.

Lifehack Finance
January 11, 2017

The challenge of accepting the challenge

Sometimes you work with people that challenge you, other times, not so much. In most cases it has nothing to do with smarts, just the way a company’s processes work.

On occasion, you start to get challenged because you’re being left behind. You’re set in your ways, and don’t notice the changing landscape, attitudes and objectives.

Embrace the challenge. It’s not personal, it’s business. You’re getting a chance. Enjoy the gut feeling prism that has given you a new perspective.

Once you notice the challenge, take some time to figure out were the organization is going rather than running behind it. It’ll save you time later, and you might end up getting ahead in the process.

Snippet productivity
January 9, 2017

» Atlassian acquires Trello for $425M

It’s a great exit for Trello. Would have preferred that it was Github the acquirer, but it makes perfect sense for Atlassian.

It’s no surprise then, that the company’s press release specifically cites Trello’s popularity with business teams in finance, HR, legal, marketing and sales and notes that 50 percent of Trello users work in non-technical functions.

Trello is not efficient, it’s flexible. It doesn’t impose order like Jira, and if you use incorrectly it can be chaotic. But for many type of users, it’s the modern shared spreadsheet perfect for collaboration.

January 8, 2017

Make it easy to succeed

Are rules supposed to persuade or dissuade you from something? Take the following question:

Did you write today?

I ask and track this question in multiple ways. Its objective is to encourage me to write. But it’s really a reminder type of question. The problem is that I don’t forget to write each day, I struggle with writing.

A question that’s supposed to help me write should make a habit out of writing. It should be easier to successfully answer it than not. It should pull me towards the goal.

In which case a better question is:

Did you write 1 sentence today?

Success is learning the lesson, not passing the test. Even when I’m my own teacher, I forget this.

Personal Writing
January 5, 2017

Restrictions as minimalism

Back when I still had a Canon DSLR, my main lens was a nifty fifty. I love the concept of accepting its set of restrictions, and getting in return consistent beautiful pictures.

At the same time, knowing that it was probably the best bang for the buck, made me feel like a hip minimalist.

I need to apply this to other aspects of my digital life. My work MacBook Pro has many, too many, utilities and apps that replicate features the macOS already provides.

As I try to reduce friction in my workflows, I don’t necessary end up with increase productivity. I get endorphins from being smart about the workflow, which could come from the final work result instead.

I see a clean install in my future.