I’m on the fence over whether or not I should tell my less-tech-following friends and family about Google Glass. As far as tech goes, it’s stamped with The Future in a way that’s only rivaled by self-driving cars and 3D printing.
But there’s also no denying that it has a solid creep factor. Not only is it just that much closer to the half-jokes about having chips implanted in our brains, but it makes taking movies and pictures of people without their knowledge much easier than it already is. Then there’s the fact that it doesn’t half-remind me of that movie Brainstorm, which left a few future-fearing scars on my 12-year-old self. These are the things that the less geeky people I know will think when they watch this video.
Still, I’m choosing to look at the optimistic side of it. We already think of our smartphones as an extension of our brains—a small device that’s filled with all of the information we could need—but what if we have all of that information with us, just above and to the right? And forget the creep factor of the videos and photos and think about what amazing shots and clips we’ll get of our family and friends. The argument against taking photos and videos of precious moments is that we spend more time worrying about capturing it and not enough time actually living it, but what if we can do both at the same time?
Idea: a site that pronounces other sources trustworthy or not
While I love living in a time when so much information is available, it’s hard to avoid the ugly fact that lies—both biased and satirical—are often (usually?) presented in exactly the same way as absolute source. We should be living in a time where facts vastly outweigh biases and lies, and yet we see that’s far from true.
So it’d be great to have a site that takes a “citation needed”-like eye to the internet and gives a reference point for which sites are worth taking as actual news and information and which aren’t. If you read some unbelievable-sounding article somewhere (like some of the Onion and Daily Currant articles that get passed around as true), you could either go to this reference site (or even have a plugin that will display whether the site is trustworthy as news), you can know whether this it’s a site you could trust.
The upside is that we move more people towards the kind of trustworthy information that we get on Wikipedia, doling out badges to those sites that prove themselves as fact-checking, reliable sources. The downside is that it would need a literal translation of what is trustworthy, and the site owners would have to be trustworthy and unbiased themselves.
And, of course, people would have to actually use it.
“Apple’s stock began to swoon in after-hours trading, and today it’s down 12 percent. Commentators are saying that Apple has “hit a wall,” that it is “slowing down,” that we are witnessing the beginning of the end of Apple’s “magic.” All of that is totally bogus.”
Apple defenders always obsess over the profits and stock prices, and while Majoo’s article here acknowledges in the very last sentence that Apple needs to do a little more than just make money to prove its post-Jobs worth, this is another lack of acknowledgement that Apple has spent the last year being wholly underwhelming:
iTunes 11 was a big misstep that fixed nothing and broke several things.
The iPad mini was one of the first times we’ve seen Apple clamoring to answer its competitors rather than the other way around.
The iPhone 5 was an even smaller step up from the 4s than the 4s was from the 4, suggesting Apple is no longer capable of delivering big when they promise big.
I’m not saying that Apple is going to go bust or anything, and they’ll still have at least several more years of sick profitability, but as many people have pointed out recently, Google is the tortoise to Apple’s hare. Their iPhone apps are better than Apple’s and the Android share is growing, and even if their two breakthrough products—Glass and self-driving cars—aren’t much more than things to keep us excited, they’re keeping us excited. Apple is not. And isn’t that more than enough for us to wonder if Apple is no longer capable of being the exciting, leading company that made so many of us pay for those “premium products”?
I love this. There’s a tendency to believe that a visual problem (or perceived problem) with a website requires a redesign to fix, and then going through a long, complicated, expensive process that usually doesn’t solve the problems. It’s like not liking the paint color on your walls so you demolish the whole house. It’s done entirely because people can’t think of anything except “Redesign!” It’s almost always a mistake.
I’ve seen a lot of rules and tips on effective meeting habits, but I think this list might be one of my favorites. A few thoughts:
Rule zero is crucial, but difficult to manage in the real world. And as much as I would love to abide by rule eight a lot more (calling people on the other rules), it’s much easier said than done to tell other people that the meetings they call aren’t worthwhile.
Rule one is wonderful, but nearly impossible to really do. People schedule meetings as a way to block off time from the other tasks that they have to do as a way to signal to others that they’re unavailable, not to mention as a way to remind them of the meeting. So having a bunch of one-minute meetings on your calendar really isn’t doable. What I’d suggest instead is that the person who calls the meeting needs to be the person who calls the meeting over, and they need to be good about keeping the meeting only as long as it needs to be.
I love number five as much as I hate those meetings that are just passing around some info. Information should be kept in centralized places where all people involved can access it, not just spouted out in (usually unnecessary) meetings where the information can be easily forgotten or later refuted.
Number seven is just as important: a meeting that doesn’t end with action items and/or next steps is a meeting that might as well have not even have happened.
One more to add: any necessary regularly-scheduled status meetings should be future tense (“I will be working on…”) instead of past (“Last week, I did…”).
There’s a lot to hate about Google Plus. Google has been ridiculously pushy about a product that offers very little that other products don’t. The design is poor—one post with a couple comments takes up the entire real estate—and the mobile app pushes an “immersive” experience, as though that’s what we really needed. Circles are high-maintenance and the wrong way to go about content management and Google is pushing us all do to more: more people in your circles, follow more people and brands, join more communities. MORE.
But there is one good thing about Google+, and that’s that it acts as the glue between all Google products, most notably your contacts, where your address book is updated with the people who are in your circles. Even if the social side of Google+ fails, that connection is still highly valuable, and it’s important that people both keep their information current and that they expose it to at least their Friends circle.
Of course, this is what a lot of the initial arguments in favor of Google+ put forward: that it’s not a social network, but a way to link everything together. That doesn’t account for why Google has been so forceful with the social aspects of Plus, though. If it’s not a social network—if it’s not a Facebook clone—then why are they launching communities, Pages, and pushing us to put more people into our circles?
Here’s to hoping that they’ll continue to make the contact aspect even more useful, even if they don’t do the same for the social parts.
The dumbest part of this article is this quote: “Less than half of visits to nytimes.com start on the homepage.” If any page of your site got slightly less than half of visits, you would consider that one of the most vital pages of your site. So if the homepage isn’t completely dominating, that means it’s “dead”? No. Obviously.
This article posits that the home page is now a “brand billboard”, which is approaching it from far too much of a marketing perspective. The home page is a starting page. This is where people who are interested in you generally go first. Yes, it’s vitally important to optimize deeper pages for those who land on it, but that’s for people looking for (or being directed to) somewhere specific. The landing page is for people who are asking you what all you have to offer. Does that really sound like something that should die off? No. It should be made as useful as possible.
Fascinating article on the change in habits (mostly US but also worldwide) of beverage consumption. In short, Americans are drinking more wine and more water (bottled, unfortunately), but there were a few things here that stuck out:
"Seventeen years ago, liquor consumption hit a 40-year low, so the industry tried something new. They advertised.”
I suppose that it shouldn’t be too surprising to see advertising in action, but…it’s still surprising. There’s a temptation, even among some marketers, to believe that people already know about the product and that something as simple as putting out ads wouldn’t make a difference. It does.
"The middle-class brands are getting crushed, and the high-end is running away with all the income."
Alcohol as an indicator of the American economy?
"Some of the same trends Americans are running away from — an unhealthy obsession with soda and cheap beer, for example — the rest of the world is running toward."
Are we really seeing trends in how countries progress through economic growth? As though these other countries are going through their teen years and America is starting to think about retirement?
“I’m not exactly a stranger to technology, but at a certain point, this stops being fun. Really what I want to do with this site is publish my writing and photography. As far as I’m concerned, the technology should stay out of the way. As much as I want to be a control freak and build my own platform to my heart’s content, I would rather write and photograph than be a system administrator.”
Great post (with some quality software recommendations) that hits the nail on the head about how I feel about tech: I’m curious about it and love exploring, but when it more maintenance than creation, it’s no longer useful to me.
“The new features are built on the belief that sharing purchases matters more than sharing mere interest in music. A purchase signals a level of interest that’s much greater than the interest that goes into a stream or a like. Anybody can listen to music these days, but not just anybody will actually part with money for it.”