Category Archives: Minimalism

Strange New Bible Translation

The Chronicle Project claims it has discovered a structure in the Old Testament that uses a scheme called Self-Defining Hebrew.

The hebrew language, was originally believed to have been a combination of other older languages, which evolved into the hebrew dialect.

The breakthrough in our understanding began with the concept that rather than an evolved language, it might be exactly as it described itself, the language of God.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

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Filed under Books: General, Minimalism, Reference

How Amazon Could Switch Over ePub Book Buyers

Amazon is very, very good with their strategy and tactics.

This week they announced eBooks are outselling print books.

But why did they announce that this week?

Next week is BookExpo America. The news released then would have made a huge splash, been a seismic shock.

This makes me think that Amazon has an even bigger announcement for next week, to stab the heart of BEA and cause weeping and gnashing of teeth.

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Filed under Amazon Kindle, Digital Overthrow, eBooks: General, Friction, Marketing, Minimalism

Two Ways To Turn On A Light

The Techie Way: “Let’s start with the theory of the electron …”

The Apple Way: “Push this switch up.”

And if you think I’m being inflammatory, I want all of you to consider the following.

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Filed under Digital Overthrow, Friction, Minimalism

Some Days I Really Wonder

This is the New York Times article headline: Consumers Hold On to Products Longer

But it’s prefaced in the browser title bar with “Use It Up, Wear It Out.”

Do you know where that’s from?

I bet not.

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Filed under Minimalism

Standards Don’t Just Happen

There are days when I want to bring everyone in tech into one big room and knock all their skulls together until they wake the hell up.

It’s clear that tech is overwhelmingly ruled by children who have no sense of history and no sense of duty to anyone’s welfare other than their own. (See Exhibit A for this week: Apple.)

Really, how many damn web browsers are there in the world? And yet website developers have to go through all sorts of contortions to deliver what should be a simple experience that’s identical for everyone.

Tech children out there will say this is the “market” at work. Having never had an education in economics, free enterprise, ethics, and political economy outside of a sociopathic Ayn Rand novel, they think the chaos and frustration they inflict on the general population is the way things should be.

Here is a bit of a history lesson to start all of you off and to begin your sorting out:

[President Herbert] Hoover had also created a Division of Simplified Practices, whose job it was to standardize and harmonize the distressingly fractious and unresponsive manufacturing and construction sectors. In those days roads were often still paved in brick, and brick was a typical example: sixty-six different sizes were being produced by manufacturers when Hoover ordered research on the topic. This was sheer waste, as far as the utilitarian Hoover was concerned. He therefore pulled the nation’s paving-brick firms into a room and settled the matter; the range of sizes dropped from sixty-six to eleven. Emboldened, Hoover also looked into brick for homes; here he claimed victory outright, for the number of sizes went “from forty-four to one,” the praiseful Irvin reported. Then there were beds. Seventy-four different sizes were available; as a result of encouragement from Hoover, the figure went down to four.

The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression by Amity Shlaes

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Put down your damned book about HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, Objective-C and the rest.

Pick up a history book instead.

Get some damned education into your head and start working for the good of the general population instead of only your own.


Filed under Digital Overthrow, Friction, Minimalism, Reference

Users Aren’t Stupid. You’re Being Smug.

Rising to the Occasion With a Bakery Chain

Q. What’s your best tip for other entrepreneurs?

A. It’s not about starting a business. It’s about solving problems. That’s what being an entrepreneur is. Find a problem that there’s a better way to solve. Get a vision of how it could work better, and stick with it.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Bob Lefsetz tweeted what I boldfaced yesterday as well as the article link.

That was the second time in one day I encountered the “Solve a problem” exhortation. The first might have been in one of several Paul Graham essays I was browsing through on my LifeDrive.

Ignoring that exhortation is why some people will always lose.

Ignoring that exhortation also leads to some of the absolutely staggeringly-clueless Comments my prior post has gotten about a recent encounter I had with Windows 7 and contrasting it to an iPad.

I recounted the problems I had. Commenters swept them aside. They don’t see that Windows 7 is a problem that the iPad solves.

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Filed under Friction, Marketing, Minimalism

Windows 7: The Best iPad Seller!

So today I had to help someone set up some things on a new Windows 7 notebook.

This is a notebook mainly used for casual offline game-playing.

Until today.

When it had to get on the Internet.

And really, the Internet tasks it will do are ordinary things: email and some online game-playing.

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Filed under Friction, iOS, Minimalism, Other Hardware, Stupid

What’s Left Of Sony And How Simplicity Wins

How Steve Jobs ‘out-Japanned’ Japan

Sony Then:

By way of example, Deutschman tells the story of how Sony entered the color TV marketplace, noting that in the Sixties, when color TV was going from 3% to 25% of the market, Sony was one of the few electronics companies that didn’t sell a color model. “People were telling Ibuka, ‘You have to come in to this market, everyone will take your market share,'” says Deutschman. “And Ibuka refused, saying, ‘No, we will only do great products. We will only do high quality goods. We will only do breakthrough technology.'”

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Filed under Apple: The Company, Minimalism, Reference

Yet Another eBook Convert

Nicole L.V. Mullis: The Book Junkie’s iPod

This was a screen? It looked like black ink on parchment.

Not sure how to start, I downloaded one of my favorite books. It took ten seconds. I started reading and I haven’t stopped.

This thing is the book junkie’s iPod.

Unlike most digital doo-hickeys, this device has only one purpose — reading. No phone, no camera function, no apps, no touch screen for my bumble thumbs to fumble. Long, simple buttons line the sides so I can turn the page with either hand. The keyboard is subtle, only there to look up words or make notes.

It connects to the Internet, but for the sole intention of receiving books. No Google, no e-mail, no social networking, just books. This has taken my book addiction to a whole new instant-gratification level. There is no shipping. I see, I click, I receive.

Documents the buyer reaction that has led to Kindle triumphing over all others.

When will Sony ever learn?

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Filed under Amazon Kindle, Digital Overthrow, Minimalism