Month: February 2011

Japan Airlines CEO cuts own pay and perks

Now, if American CEOs did this, members of Congress did this, President Obama did this, we might be able to stomach asking working people for so many concessions to make things right.

The least American CEOs could do is what Steve Jobs at Apple does: take $1 in salary and get the rest in stock options, the worth of which are determined by how well the company does.

It infuriates me that members of Congress have excellent health care and pensions and are legislating that everyone else needs to belt tighten. Put them all on commission and force them to buy health insurance like the rest of us.

[via Boing Boing]

How OS X Lion Leads to the Next Computing Revolution

How OS X Lion Leads to the Next Computing Revolution

This is an excellent overview of how the next Mac OS X update, OS 10.7 “Lion” is moving Mac OS a bit closer to some of what users enjoy about the iOS (iPad and iPhone) experience.

This evolution in operating system hasn’t really affected Apple’s computer hardware yet and the new MacBook Pros Apple released yesterday are examples of that but the MacBook Air with its smaller solid state storage and less emphasis on raw processor horsepower is an example of it. Many (me included) were hoping for a bit more MacBook Air influence on the new MacBook Pros but no doubt that will come a bit later after Mac OS 10.7 is out for a while.

[via Steve Splonskowski]

Yahoo, flickr, the future…

What happens after Yahoo acquires you

But in 2008, co-founders Caterina Fake and Stewart Butterfield both left the company. In 2009, many engineers from the service were laid off or left on their own.

Meanwhile, Facebook kept taking a growing share of photo traffic. Yahoo’s top executives barely mentioned Flickr publicly (and few of them actually have a public Flickr account). Decision-making at Flickr slowed because of bureaucracy.

Fascinating article and comment thread. I highly recommend reading it, whether or not you’re involved with flickr.

I can think of at least twenty of my contacts on flickr who are high end photographers who have left flickr for Facebook. I wouldn’t go that way if I left flickr but the fact that they did is meaningful.

Amazon launches Prime instant videos

Amazon launches Prime instant videos, unlimited streaming for Prime subscribers

Wow, we have Amazon Prime*, have to look into this.

*Pay a yearly fee (about $80) and have free two day shipping on many products, no matter what their size or weight. If you use Amazon a lot Prime is more than worth having and this video deal may make it even sweeter.

Here’s the page on Amazon that describes this: Amazon Instant Video.

Apple products and price sensitivity

Prepaid Touch Panels Could Be the Secret to iPad’s Success in 2011

I disagree with the premise even though its a fact that Apple prepaid for a huge amount of flash memory and now touch screens. The premise here is that people are choosing the iPad because of price and that competitors who didn’t pre-pay for components will have to use more expensive components and so, will be charging higher prices. This is true, the competition may cost more because Apple has bought components up front in bulk but also because Apple is manufacturing on a larger scale (they sell more units).

However, as we know with other devices Apple makes, when people want that particular device or want an Apple product because its compatible with their other Apple products price is not at the top of their list.

Example: rumor has it that Apple will be announcing a new line of MacBook Pros this coming week and I’ll be in the market for one. I’m not going to consider a Sony or Dell no matter how much they cost (the rumor is that they’ll be lower cost than current models but that’s not going to sway me). I’ve made a commitment to Mac OS since 1984 and that’s where I am.

The other piece of this is that I already have an iPhone and an iPad and have made an investment in iOS and collecting iOS apps for iPhone and current iPad. People like me would not jump to Android if Apple raised the price of the next iPad slightly. They probably won’t but the point is price sensitivity isn’t something I’m thinking about.

As in the computer world of old, price is meaningful for new users who haven’t made a commitment to an OS, to users who are considering moving from Windows/Android to an Apple device, or in the world outside of Apple where Windows or Android will run on a variety of devices one can choose from. But, once you’re hooked into the Apple world (for any number of reasons) there you are.

Is Mobile Affecting When We Read?

Is Mobile Affecting When We Read?

Fascinating piece with graphs on the reading habits of people who are consuming at least some of their reading material on computers and hand-held devices and using services like Instapaper and Read it Later to time-shift when they read things they find. The study is from Read it Later.

The flood of content disrupts us all day as if we have an maniacal paperboy throwing new editions on our doorstep every 15 seconds.

Yep, that’s about it.

I’ve been using Instapaper for a while now to save things I want to read later after the paperboy settles down or I get tired of picking up new papers, many times on my iPad.

When a reader is given a choice about how to consume their content, a major shift in behavior occurs. They no longer consume the majority of their content during the day, on their computer. Instead they shift that content to prime time and onto a device better suited for consumption.

Initially, it appears that the devices users prefer for reading are mobile devices, most notably the iPad. It’s the iPad leading the jailbreak from consuming content in our desk chairs.

And this is one of the important reasons I do not want to get another desktop computer: I don’t want the “best” computer in the house to be a magnet holding me in my office chair. I know this is a fallacy because I can collect things to read all day on the iMac and read it later on the iPad in a comfortable chair, but somehow I’m worried that won’t happen with me. Odd worry but there it is.

[via minimalmac]

Aerial tree minimalism

On the Grid

Dutch photographer Gerco de Ruijter recently got in touch with an extraordinary series of aerial photographs called Baumschule—some of which, he explains, were taken using a camera mounted on a fishing rod.

The series features “32 photographs of tree nurseries and grid forests in the Netherlands.”

Fantastic stuff. Would be fun to make mosaics out of these.


Support Grows for Tiered Risk System at Airports

Support Grows for Tiered Risk System at Airports

As a frequent traveler I support this but oh boy, I can see the problems with it already.

1. Profiling will no doubt get a few people into the risky pool who shouldn’t be there. Getting “promoted” out of that pool will be a tough fight.

2. This is akin to having a national ID card and I thought, if memory serves, that there is resistance to this from various groups.

3. Having to pay for the screening seems like a bad idea and will lead to a class system: those who can afford to pay will have it easier. It seems to me that the TSA should pay us for our time in getting screened to make their jobs easier.

United Airlines has my travel history and they know a lot about me. Why can’t I simply okay them sharing some of that information with the TSA so that they know more about me? Then it’s just a matter of making sure I’m me and that I have the “regular” bags I usually bring through checkpoints. I’ve thought this for years, long before 9/11. Without getting into profiling or paying for screening, it would seem to me that more use could be made of our travel histories, much like stamps on a passport.

Where are the open minded systems analysts when we need them?

AT&T 3G MicroCell

I read on MacRumors that AT&T was giving out free 3G MicroCell base stations to customers who threatened to switch to Verizon: Verizon iPhone Ad Targets AT&T Reception, AT&T Giving Out Free Microcells to Some Customers.

I’m not sure a Verizon iPhone would get any better reception at our house, we live in a hilly area with very few cell towers anywhere near us. And, I very much like AT&T’s voice/data multitasking: I can use my phone to do other things while talking on its speakerphone.

AT&T is attempting to put another tower up in our area (because Verizon won’t let them share an existing tower) but there’s quite a bit of push back on it as it’s near a school and no one wants to see the thing. Totally understandable.

Anne and I were driving back from a shopping trip and on a whim I stopped in at our local AT&T store. I politely told the salesperson that I get one to two bars of reception in my house and I’d like to use my iPhone more at home but can’t. He asked me if I’d received an email from AT&T with a coupon for a free 3G MicroCell. I told him I hadn’t but my poor reception and the fact that we have two phones surely should qualify me for a free device.

He walked in the back, talked with the manager and appeared with a new AT&T 3G MicroCell in its box. He took down my phone number and the serial number of the device and I was on my way. From in the door to out the door with the device was under ten minutes, five of which was waiting for him to finish with a customer.

I just hooked the MicroCell up on our network and I have 5 bars on my iPhone anywhere in the house. No doubt I’ll be able to get good reception outside too but there’s so much snow on the ground I can’t really get anywhere without snowshoes at the moment.

So, I highly recommend simply asking AT&T for one of these things. No need to threaten to switch to Verizon, just tell them you want improved reception at home. Simple. Honest. Of course, if you want to switch to Verizon that’s fine too but if you live in a place like Warren, Connecticut you may not get better reception at home with Verizon. Best to check that out first.