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Technology

Apple revoking Facebook’s certificate was a strategic err which may come back to haunt the tech industry

Let me explain why I think Apple’s decision to revoke Facebook’s developer certificate was a strategic err. Not just for Apple, but for tech in general. First the background. For an app to run on an iPhone, it has to be signed by an Apple certificate. Apple provides app developers with both an enterprise certificate, […]

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Technology

Apple’s new services strategy. Apple is commoditizing (some) of its complements: music, movies, TV.

Apple announced their music and movie services will be available on non-Apple hardware. Whoa! This is huge. Ben Thompson correctly highlighted the importance, saying this shift in strategy (link $) “is not just fascinating, it’s frankly a bit stunning.” And “I think these announcements are a much bigger deal than people realize: Apple is absolutely […]

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Technology

My Soylent review: decent with a very annoying packaging flaw. Plus disruption frameworks.

Soylent started in 2013 as a Rob Rhinehart crowdfunded experiment in food replacement. The name and food replacement angle attracted lots of enthusiasm, for example see what happened when I ate only Soylent for 30 days. Answer: farts. Evil ones. With the 2.0 version coming out in Sep 2015 as a prepackaged drink, I bought some to try it out. On […]

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Technology

Praxtime 2015 year end review. My favorites in science, tech, econ, pop culture. Grading and making predictions.

I’ve always been a fan of year-in-review lists. So here are some of my favorites from this year. Then at bottom I grade my tech predictions for 2015, and provide new ones for 2016. My most viewed blog posts this year: Understanding AI risk. How Star Trek got talking computers right in 1966, while Her got it wrong in 2013. 2015 is a transition […]

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Technology

An iPad with a keyboard is not a PC! Technology transitions and PCs in the Clipper ship era.

In September Apple announced the iPad Pro, which supports a keyboard cover and stylus. Then in October Microsoft announced their latest Surface Pro 4 and new Surface Book. Inevitably they were compared, with many claiming Apple copied Microsoft. Business Insider “Apple just admitted Microsoft is right”. And the Verge “Everyone is copying Microsoft’s Surface“. From that piece: “Apple missed […]

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Technology

Why I’m excited about the new Apple TV for gaming, movies, TV, apps, Siri

Tomorrow is September 9, Apple’s fall event where they’ll announce their new iPhones and Apple TV. The new Apple TV is expected to be a large break from earlier versions, supporting an app store and providing better gaming capability. It’s been widely anticipated for years. In fact most of my posts about Apple TV date from 2013 and 2014. So […]

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Technology

Twitter’s Temptation: The False Allure of Anonymous Users.

Like many who spend a lot of time reading on the internet, I love twitter. It’s an invaluable source of information. One especially prized by journalists and infovores. But the product has stagnated. In particular casual users have struggled with it. One billion people have tried it (!) but only about a quarter of those stayed with the product. So it […]

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Technology

Blazing a path on machine learning and privacy, Google risks becoming “Uber for lawsuits”

When taxi-like service Uber (order a car instantly from your smartphone) first became successful, it created a trend for copy cats. These companies were marketed and mocked as “Uber for X“, e.g., Uber for flowers, Uber for shopping, Uber for laundry, Uber for pizza. You get the idea. But Uber’s explosive growth had another side. The company fought tooth and […]

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Technology

2015 is a transition year to the (somewhat creepy) machine learning era. Apple, Google, privacy and ads.

With Apple’s announcements at WWDC and Google’s announcements at Google I/O, there’s a reasonable case to be made that 2015 will be looked back on as the year we transitioned from the mobile tech era into the machine learning era. To be clear, that’s a huge oversimplification. Smartphone mobile tech is still changing rapidly (watch versus phone) […]

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Technology

Talking computers pose a threat to current Apple versus Google market segmentation. Beyond Peak Google.

Ben Thompson starts off his Peak Google post saying “Despite the hype about disruption, the truth is most tech giants, particularly platform providers, are not so much displaced as they are eclipsed.” By this he means old platforms and companies don’t fail or go away. They continue to dominate their old platforms. It’s just that new […]