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Month: January 2014

1/28/14

1/28/14

Good morning, All,

We used to have a poster called C-A-T. It went something like this: “At about 20,000 words, journalist, writers, doctors, lawyers and are credited with having the largest vocabularies. Next come white collar workers and other professionals at about 16,000, then blue collar workers at about 12,000. Laborers have about 6,000 words at their disposal. The jury is still out on art directors.” And anyone who has worked closely or for any amount of time with an art director knows that the truth is, they just can’t spell. SpellCheck helps, but we still do not live in a perfect world.

Tech has a different issue, and it has to do with the terms we use. And overuse. Not only do we love our terms, but we cling to them and repeat them ad nauseam. We deep dive. We drill down. We move things to the front burner. We move things to the back burner. We move a lot of things into the cloud. Read More...

1/21/14

1/21/14

Good morning, All,

This is the year of the Internet of Things, and there are a few things we can do without. If you don’t want Google Nest-ing in your Connected Home, this is how to build your own Google-free Nest thermostat. But we digress. Specifically, we’re talking about the jerks in the industry. There is a preponderance of them, and they suddenly seem to be in the spotlight. Not in a good way this time and they’re no doubt being addressed, at long last, thanks in no small part to Uber and the unbridled ubris of founder Travis Kalanick and his policies, including surge (read: gouge) pricing, and not properly vetting their drivers, despite their claims to the contrary. Of course, SnapChat founder Evan Spiegel is right up there, refusing to apologize and instead, blaming everyone else for the hack that exposed the names and phone numbers of some 4.6 million snapchatters. Would you trust your, er, compromising selfies to this guy?

We have our own theory about these guys and why they’re such jerks: they steal from people, in one way or another, and so they can trust no one. Seriously – same goes for lying. The problem with lying is that if you are a liar and know that you can’t be trusted, you assume that the same goes for everyone else, so you trust no one. Steve Jobs stole from Xerox Parc – as did Bill Gates, just for the record. There’s Zuckerberg and his parting of the ways with Eduardo Saverin, not to mention the lawsuit with the Winklevoss twins. Evan Spiegel is in a lawsuit with his (ousted) co-founder, as we speak. Read More...

1/14/14

1/14/14

Good morning, All,

CES was last week, once again, we did not attend. Shelly Palmer broke it down, hall by hall, if you’re interested. Or, if you’re up for a little more fun, What weird tech trends from CES 2014 mean to the average person, aka, CES seen through the eyes of the twitterverse. CES is always full of the newest/coolest things we’ll all see in the stores soon enough. It’s loud. It’s noisy. It’s packed. It’s exhausting. If you’re exhibiting, it’s expensive. It’s not where you’re always likely to find the Next Big Thing.

TechCrunch did a piece on how MakerBot Is Changing The World and we agree. Although, we knew that when we first saw Bre Pettis with one of his early MakerBots at the Sheraton in NYC in 2009 – when he was lost in a sea of small exhibitors, and no one paid any attention to him. At all. But then, he was a big, gawky, former school teacher – that doesn’t necessarily make for good press and he everything you’d expect a nerd to look like, before Silicon Valley went chic and video killed the radio star: we want our young world-changers in their 20s and mediagenic. We saw the future in the little plastic figures Pettis was creating in his MakerBot – although we saw the possibility for replacement parts for all those parts manufacturers put in that they know will break and charge you a fortune to replace, despite the fact that it costs them pennies. Read More...

1/7/14

1/7/14

Good morning, All,

It’s been an interesting millennium so far. A bit dark and seemingly getting darker. Then we came across this piece (What If the 21st Century Begins in 2014? ) and while we don’t agree with all of the points the author makes, it is true that no real millennial shift begins at the zero hour. Literally.

Not to start off the year as the voice of doom and gloom, but let’s take stock of the 21st Century, to date: our privacy is gone. There isn’t a way that we can’t be tracked – by our own government, no less, the very people whose salaries we pay, lest we forget. Read More...

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