Category Archives: Reference

A Critique Of Apple Design

How Apple Is Giving Design A Bad Name

Gone are the fundamental principles of good design: discoverability, feedback, recovery, and so on. Instead, Apple has, in striving for beauty, created fonts that are so small or thin, coupled with low contrast, that they are difficult or impossible for many people with normal vision to read. We have obscure gestures that are beyond even the developer’s ability to remember. We have great features that most people don’t realize exist.


Filed under Apple: The Company, iOS, Quoted, Reference

China Insider: PCs Are Dying, No Smartwatch Market, The Cloud Is The Future

iPad Pro review: Apple’s laptop killer? [Warning: Stupid autoplay video!]

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Filed under Quoted, Reference

USB-C Cautions

Not all USB Type C cables are equal: A Googler tells you which to avoid

But USB Type-C is still a new technology… and while you can find plenty of cables and adapters available for purchase, it turns out not all of them work the the way you’d expect. Not sure which one to buy? A Google employee is here to help.

I took my first trip to Micro Center in Brooklyn yesterday. I marveled at a brand-name USB-C to USB cable adapter that was going for US$22.95! My god!

(I went there to buy a US$9.99 card r/w for the CLIE’s Memory Stick. Wound up buying one that was priced at US$14.99, on sale for US$5.99. And it also had 3 USB ports! Seeing all the choices not available at Best Buy was a bit of a shock!)

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Filed under Other Hardware, Reference

Apple Sony Versus Sony Sony

A loose end I’ve been meaning to tie up one day. Today is that day.



Haggling Over ‘Sony Phone’ Precedes Jury Selection for Apple v. Samsung
Sony Xperia C4 site

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Dame Stephanie Shirley


Dame Stephanie Shirley: Why do ambitious women have flat heads?

Dame Stephanie Shirley is the most successful tech entrepreneur you never heard of. In the 1960s, she founded a pioneering all-woman software company in the UK, which was ultimately valued at $3 billion, making millionaires of 70 of her team members. In this frank and often hilarious talk, she explains why she went by “Steve,” how she upended the expectations of the time, and shares some sure-fire ways to identify ambitious women …

Oh my god.

What an extraordinary woman!

If you need a dose of inspiration, watch the video at the link. Watch it even if you’re highly motivated!

Two things:

1) Why the hell didn’t I hear about her before today?

2) Why the hell isn’t the BBC doing a mini-series dramatizing her life? Or at least a multi-part documentary?! What a story!


Dame Stephanie Shirley website
Wikipedia: Steve Shirley
UK Independent: Dame Stephanie Shirley: ‘Success has a cost. Women today are so naïve’
Amazon: Let IT Go – The Memoirs of Dame Stephanie Shirley

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Today’s Must-Read Explains Steve Jobs

Narcos Lessons

I couldn’t help thinking about Steve Jobs while reading that. And the next two quotes from it.


If you don’t have the chutzpah to ask for the unthinkable, you’re not dreaming big enough.

Here is the young Steve Jobs, possibly just thirteen, a member of the HP Explorers Club, from Walter Isaacson’s biography:

The kids in the Explorers Club were encouraged to do projects, and Jobs decided to build a frequency counter, which measures the number of pulses per second in an electronic signal. He needed some parts that HP made, so he picked up the phone and called the CEO. “Back then, people didn’t have unlisted numbers. So I looked up Bill Hewlett in Palo Alto and called him at home. And he answered and chatted With me for twenty minutes. He got me the parts, but he also got me a job in the plant where they made frequency counters.”

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

And wait. There’s more:

His work mainly consisted of “just putting nuts and bolts on things” on an assembly line. There was some resentment among his fellow line workers toward the pushy kid who had talked his way in by calling the CEO. “I remember telling one of the supervisors, ‘I love this stuff, I love this stuff,” and then asked him What he liked to do best. And he said, ‘To fuck, to fuck.” Jobs had an easier time ingratiating himself with the engineers who worked one floor above. “They served doughnuts and coffee every morning at ten. So I’d go upstairs and hang out with them.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

And people think the primary lesson Steve Jobs learned from his father was doing quality work.

Oh hell no.

I found the one sentence that explains Jobs.

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Snapdragon 615 Hatred

IFA 2015: Lenovo PHAB Plus might be huge but it fits me like a glove

In the post:

Another concern I have is the Snapdragon 615 chipset, I hate this processor with a passion. It is the single reason why I don’t use the Xiamoi Mi4i and part of the reason my Vivo X5 Pro is sitting at the bottom of a draw (or lake, I don’t remember which).

And then in the Comments:

The processor is bad in the phones I have. I have the Xiaomi Mi4i and the Vivo X5Pro and they both use the 615 and it is junk. The LeTV Le 1 with Mediatek is better, in fact any MT6752 phone is better than a SD615.

This is the first I’ve read of the 615 being, um, sub-optimal.

Here’s a list of phones that use the 615. Among them is the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3, which hasn’t gotten terrible reviews. But then there’s the Samsung Galaxy A8, which has.

Perhaps this is why Sony and others have gone with MediaTek chips?


Filed under Android, Reference

TV: Kung Fu, The Lessons, Two


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Filed under Reference, TV

Instant Millionaires: Joseph E. Hrudka


I re-read that this week.

I was interested to follow-up on Joseph E. Hrudka. He became rich just about by accident and founded a company called Mr. Gasket. He was an example of someone who succeeded despite the common wisdom of the people surrounding him. School bored him, cars excited him. No one thought he’d ever amount to anything. Yet he showed them all.

Anyway, the follow-up was not a pretty picture. No Wikipedia entry, which is odd.

And this:

New Times: Gasket Case — a divorce from Hell
Biography — so brief
Mr. Gasket Inc. History — on a spammy site with a link sure to die
MR. GASKET – The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

And yes, I recommend this book — and others by Max Gunther — very highly.

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Back To School

Presumption of stupitidy

Where companies do things that diverge from what seems smart from the outside, it’s a much better idea to ask why those companies are doing things from the presumption of intelligence and logic rather than the presumption of stupidity. If you don’t ask these questions, you might find yourself making the same decisions, or ending up in the same place with your own set of rationalizations. I see this all the time.

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Filed under Quoted, Reference, Video