Posts tagged General
Nintendo Switch UI, iPhone Turns Ten and More

One: Thoughts on the Nintendo Switch User Interface

"I’ve been using the Switch for a few months and I can’t stop thinking about its user interface. Nintendo’s newest console is in the golden era of its UI. The base features you would expect out of a game system are covered, but cruft has not yet been added to the experience. I’ve heard a lot of people say they long for more from the Switch’s UI, but I love the bare bones simplicity."

Charlie Deets, freeCodeCamp

 

Two: Living With the Original iPhone... in 2017

Joanna Stern, The Wall Street Journal

 

Three: Blockchain—The New Technology of Trust

This interactive site does a good job explaining blockchain.

"A new technology is redefining the way we transact. If that sounds incredibly far-reaching, that's because it is.

"Blockchain has the potential to change the way we buy and sell, interact with government and verify the authenticity of everything from property titles to organic vegetables.

"It combines the openness of the internet with the security of cryptography to give everyone a faster, safer way to verify key information and establish trust."

Goldman Sachs

 

Four: Ends, Means, and Antitrust

"The European Commission levied a record €2.42 billion ($2.73 billion) fine on Google yesterday for having “abused its market dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to another Google product, its comparison shopping service.”

Ben goes on to discuss the positives and negatives of this EU decision.

Ben Thompson, Stratechery

 

Five: Perfect Ten

Gruber writes nostalgically about the original iPhone keynote and the effect the iPhone has had on the world.

"In January 2007, 26 minutes into his Macworld Expo keynote address, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone with his justly-famous “three revolutionary products” framing..."

John Gruber, Daring Fireball

 

Bonus: Doggo!

 

I want to make #FiveForFriday better every week. If you have any suggested links, think of a better way to present them or want to chat about a topic, reach out to me on Twitter—@TimothyBuckSF. I'd love to hear from you.

Header image from freeCodeCamp.

Amazon's New Customer, Smart Speakers and More

One: No one is building the smart speaker we actually want

"The perfect smart speaker for the home is easy to describe, and completely elusive. Ask Verge readers what they wanted in an Echo or HomePod, and the majority would likely land on more or less the same features. And after they finished describing it, and went out to buy it, they would learn that it doesn't exist. Can someone build us the speaker of our dreams already?"

Casey Newton, The Verge

 

Two: Amazon's New Customer

This was such a great piece that I included the entire introduction below, but definitely read the whole thing.

"Back in 2006, when the iPhone was a mere rumor, Palm CEO Ed Colligan was asked if he was worried:

“We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone,” he said. “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.” What if Steve Jobs’ company did bring an iPod phone to market? Well, it would probably use WiFi technology and could be distributed through the Apple stores and not the carriers like Verizon or Cingular, Colligan theorized.

"I was reminded of this quote after Amazon announced an agreement to buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion; after all, it was only two years ago that Whole Foods founder and CEO John Mackey predicted that groceries would be Amazon’s Waterloo. And while Colligan’s prediction was far worse — Apple simply left Palm in the dust, unable to compete — it is Mackey who has to call Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, the Napoleon of this little morality play, boss.

"The similarities go deeper, though: both Colligan and Mackey made the same analytical mistakes: they mis-understood their opponents goals, strategies, and tactics. This is particularly easy to grok in the case of Colligan and the iPhone: Apple’s goal was not to build a phone but to build an even more personal computer; their strategy was not to add on functionality to a phone but to reduce the phone to an app; and their tactics were not to duplicate the carriers but to leverage their connection with customers to gain concessions from them.

"Mackey’s misunderstanding was more subtle, and more profound: while the iPhone may be the most successful product of all time, Amazon and Jeff Bezos have their sights on being the most dominant company of all time. Start there, and this purchase makes all kinds of sense."

Ben Thompson, Stratechery

 

Three: In the AI Age, "Being Smart" Will Mean Something Completely Different

"Andrew Ng has likened artificial intelligence (AI) to electricity in that it will be as transformative for us as electricity was for our ancestors. I can only guess that electricity was mystifying, scary, and even shocking to them — just as AI will be to many of us. Credible scientists and research firms have predicted that the likely automation of service sectors and professional jobs in the United States will be more than 10 times as large as the number of manufacturing jobs automated to date. That possibility is mind-boggling."

Ed Hess, Harvard Business Review

 

Four: Tough impressions of the Amazon Echo from regular people

"I really like my Amazon Echo, and I think that voice assistants are a big part of the next wave of computing, but that does not seem to be as universal a feeling as one might gather just by reading tech blogs. I like my Echo because it can answer some simple questions and give me some basic information whenever I want it. As the Echo (and Google Home like it) is still pretty new, niche tech at the moment, I’m always interested to hear what non tech-nerds think about this."

Matt Birchler, Birchtree

 

Five: Uber Founder Travis Kalanick Resigns as C.E.O.

"Travis Kalanick stepped down Tuesday as chief executive of Uber, the ride-hailing service that he helped found in 2009 and built into a transportation colossus, after a shareholder revolt made it untenable for him to stay on at the company.

"Mr. Kalanick’s exit came under pressure after hours of drama involving Uber’s investors, according to two people with knowledge of the situation, who asked to remain anonymous because the details were confidential."

Mike Isaac, The New York Times

 

Bonus: Twitter's UI Update haha

 

I want to make #FiveForFriday better every week. If you have any suggested links, think of a better way to present them or want to chat about a topic, reach out to me on Twitter—@TimothyBuckSF. I'd love to hear from you.

Header image from The Verge.

Designing Facebook Spaces, HomePod and More

One: Designing Facebook Spaces

Four-part series written by a Facebook designer about the design of Facebook Spaces.

Christophe Tauziet, Medium

 

Two: The Secret Origin Story of the iPhone

"This month marks 10 years since Apple launched the first iPhone, a device that would fundamentally transform how we interact with technology, culture, and each other. Ahead of that anniversary, Motherboard editor Brian Merchant embarked on an investigation to uncover the iPhone’s untold origin. The One Device: The secret history of the iPhone, out on June 20th, traces that journey from Kenyan mines to Chinese factories all the way to One Infinite Loop. The following excerpt has been lightly condensed and edited."

Brian Merchant, The Verge

 

Three: HomePod

"Apple unveiled a brand new product category last week at WWDC: HomePod. On the surface, HomePod seems like an unusual product for Apple. The company's most recent new products (Apple Watch and AirPods) form the foundation of an expanding wearables strategy. How does a stationary smart speaker fit into such a product strategy? Meanwhile, Amazon Echo and Google Home have led many to assume HomePod is merely Apple's me-to response to speakers piping voice assistants throughout the home. This isn't correct. HomePod isn't actually about Siri. Instead, HomePod will serve as the foundation for augmented hearing in the home."

Neil Cybart, Above Avalon

 

Four: Podcasts, Analytics, and Centralization

"Tucked into the last day of WWDC was a session on podcasting, and it contained some big news for the burgeoning industry. Before getting into the specific announcements, though, the session itself is worth a bit of analysis, particularly the opening from Apple Podcasts Business Manager James Boggs:

"First we want to talk for a moment about how we think about modern podcasts. Long-form and audio. We get excited about episodic content that entertains, informs, and inspires. We get excited and many of our users have gotten excited too."

"I went on to transcribe the next 500 or so words of Boggs’s presentation, which included various statistics on downloads, catalog size, and reach; a listing of Apple 'partners' organized by media and broadcast organizations, public media, and independents; and even started in on Boggs’s review/promotion of individual podcasts like “Up and Vanished” and 'Masters of Scale' before I realized Boggs was never going to actually say 'how [Apple] think[s] about modern podcasts.' I won’t make you read the transcript — take my word when I say that there was nothing there.'"

Ben Thompson, Stratechery

 

Five: A Demo is not a Product

"Many of us immersed in the world of consumer tech become quite excited when we see something new for the first time. Our imagination immediately races ahead to try to understand how we’ll use it and what products we’ll buy.

"But our imagination rarely is tempered by the actual time it can take to turn a new technology into a product. We get ahead of ourselves with predictions about the impact that the technology will have and how it will change our lives. But from all my experience, it always takes much longer than expected."

Phil Baker, Tech.pinions

 

Bonus: Twitter Jokes 😄

I want to make #FiveForFriday better every week. If you have any suggested links, think of a better way to present them or want to chat about a topic, reach out to me on Twitter—@TimothyBuckSF. I'd love to hear from you.

Header image from Apple.com.

Apple's Strengths and Weaknesses, Ways to Dismiss Technology and More

One: Apple's Strengths and Weaknesses

"The idea of Apple existing at the intersection of technology and liberal arts was central to the late Steve Jobs’ conception of Apple and, without question, a critical factor when it came to Apple’s success: at a time when technology was becoming accessible to consumers and their daily lives Apple created products — one product, really, the iPhone — that appealed to consumers not only because of what it did but how it did it.

"That said, it was telling that this artwork and the sentiment it signified was not referenced in the keynote itself; after a humorous skit about a world without apps, Tim Cook delivered platitudes about how Apple and its developers were on a “collective mission to change the world”, and immediately launched into what he said were six important announcements. It was not dissimilar to Sundar Pichai’s opening at Google I/O: when the announcements that matter are grounded on the realities of a company’s core competencies and position in the market, vision can feel extraneous."

Ben Thompson, Stratechery

 

Two: Not Even Wrong - Ways to Dismiss Technology

"There’s a story told of the theoretical physicist Wolfgang Pauli that a friend showed him the paper of a young physicist that he suspected was not very good but on which he wanted Pauli's views. Pauli remarked sadly "It is not even wrong”. For a theory even to be wrong, it must be predictive and testable and falsifiable. If it cannot be falsified - if it does not make some prediction that could in theory be tested and proven false - then it does not count as science. 

"I've always liked this quote in its own right, but it's also very relevant to talking about new technology and the way that people tend to dismiss and defend it. For as long as people have been creating technology, people have been saying it'll never amount to anything. As we create more and more - as 'software eats the world', the urge to dismiss seems only to get stronger, and so does the urge to defend. However, these conversations tend to follow a fairly predictable sequence, and quickly become unhelpful:

  1. That’s just a toy
  2. Successful things often started out looking like toys
  3. That’s just survivor bias - this one really is a toy
  4. You can't know that
  5. So tech is just a lottery?

"The problem with both of these lines of argument is that they have no predictive value. It is unquestionably true that many of the most important technology advances looked like toys at first - the web, mobile phones, PCs, aircraft, cars and even hot and cold running water at one stage looked like faddish toys for the rich or the young. Even video games, which literally are toys, are also largely responsible for the GPUs that now power the take-off of machine learning. But it's also unquestionably true that there were always lots of things that looked like toys and never did become anything more. So how do we tell? Is it that 'toys' occasionally turn into something else through some unpredictable chance? Do we throw up our hands and shrug? William Goldman famously said of Hollywood “Nobody knows anything”, but that feels like an abdication of reason and judgement. We should try to do better."

Benedict Evans, ben-evens.com

 

Three: Apple HomePod: A Speaker with the Bonus of Siri

"On Monday, the most awaited and rumored device of Apple’s developer conference was finally announced as the last one thing of an over two-hour long keynote: HomePod.

"A little later in the day, in a room that is probably as large as my family room at home, I had the opportunity to listen to HomePod and compare its performance to an Amazon Echo and a Sonos Play 3. I listened to five songs across the three devices: Sia’s “The Greatest,” “Sunrise” by Norah Jones, “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder, “DNA” by Kendrick Lamar and a live performance of The Eagles’ “Hotel California.” The sound coming from HomePod was crisper and the vocals clearer than the Sonos. The comparison with Echo was the harsher of the two. No matter where I stood in the room, the music sounded great. What I did not get to do was talk to Siri! Even the demo was run from an iPad which would imply there is Bluetooth support with HomePod."

Carolina Milanesi, Tech.pinions

 

Four: What Really Happened with Vista

"I generally have posted about things that I have been directly involved with — either code I wrote or projects I managed. In this post I am taking a different tack to write about my perspective on the underlying causes of the Windows Vista (codename Longhorn) debacle. While this happened over a decade ago, this was a crucial period in the shift to mobile and had long-running consequences internally to Microsoft. I have found many of the descriptions of Microsoft’s problems, especially around the shift to mobile, to be unconvincing and not to mesh with my understanding or experience of what went wrong. Vanity Fair’s article Microsoft’s Lost Decade, ascribed it to bureaucratic rot and infighting (“life … had become staid and brutish”) or culture rot due to the negative effects of a competitive stack ranking evaluation system. A more recent article in The Atlantic describes it as a classic “Innovator’s Dilemma” story."

Terry Crowley, Hackernoon

 

Five: The Overlooked Surprises of Apple’s WWDC Keynote

"For some, Apple’s WWDC keynote event went liked they hoped, with the company introducing some exciting new products or technologies that hit all the sweet spots in today’s dramatically reshaped tech environment. Augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence, smart speakers, digital assistants, convolutional neural networks, machine learning and computer vision were all mentioned in some way, shape or form during the address.

"For others, the event went like they expected, with Apple delivering on virtually all the big rumors they were “supposed” to meet: updated Macs and iPads, a platform for building AR apps on iOS devices, and a Siri-driven smart speaker."

Bob O'Donnell, Tech.pinions

 

Bonus: Fluffy Floor Shark

 

 

I want to make #FiveForFriday better every week. If you have any suggested links, think of a better way to present them or want to chat about a topic, reach out to me on Twitter—@TimothyBuckSF. I'd love to hear from you.

Header image from Unsplash.

Four Things I Expect from WWDC 2017

Monday, June 5, has two-fold significance to me. It is both my birthday and the start of Apple's World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC). Luckily, my benefits package at work includes my birthday as good-ole paid time off, so I'll be watching the keynote live and tweeting my reactions.

I always have high expectations for WWDC, and this year is no different. There are four main things I expect to see from Monday's keynote.

1. More Hardware than Usual

Apple tends to focus on software updates at WWDC. This trend is understandable since "Developers Conference" is in the name of the event. But this year, I think we'll see a lot more hardware than usual.

We could see spec-bump updates to the MacBook and MacBook Pro, new form factors for the iPad Pros and even an all new device category—Siri Speakers. 

2. iOS Design Refresh

It's been four years since Apple killed skeuomorphism with their controversial iOS 7 update. I doubt this year's design refresh will be so drastic, but I expect more of a change than in past years. There will be some new design concepts across the OS to accommodate the rise of larger phones.

3. Better iPad Productivity

Oh, I really hope this is big part of the announcement! If the iPad is going to rebound from its multi-year sales declines, it will need some serious software love from Apple. I'm sure they know this, and that's why I believe they've built new productivity functionality for the iPad. 

4. Focus on Siri and other Services

Whether the highly anticipated Siri Speaker is announced or not, I think Apple will spend a lot of time pitching their vision for the future of Siri and their other services. The services business is the fastest growing part of Apple, and they've spent a lot of time discussing it in recent earning calls. I think that focus will translate directly into stage time at WWDC.

Apple Music, iCloud Drive, the App Store will all get nice updates, and Siri will be significantly revamped, because it needs to be way better. The Siri API will probably be opened up to far more types of interaction with third-party apps, and the Siri brand will continue to be applied to interactions other than voice. I expect to be able to type to Siri this year.

 

Header image from Unsplash.

Online Privacy, the Future of Urban Commuting and More

One: Don’t Expose Yourself: A Guide to Online Privacy

"You wouldn’t walk naked through Times Square. Stop being naked online.

"Your laptop and that smartphone grafted to your hand are double agents. What you look at, where you go and even what you say can be used to paint a portrait of you leaving you as exposed as the day you were born. Much of Silicon Valley wants you to think the price of using..."

Written by Geoffrey A. Fowler, WSJ

 

Two: Are We Wrong about the Future of Urban Commuting?

"Over the past few months, there has been a lot of talk about the future of transportation; from the car as a service to self-driving cars. We seem to be expecting many changes that will redefine how we get from point A to point B.

"Ride-share companies Uber and Lyft have grown in popularity capturing consumer dollars and press attention, although not always for the right reasons. If making a brand a verb is a measure of success and awareness, then Uber made it as “Uber it” seats quite happily with 'Google it'."

Written by Carolina Milanesi, Techpinions

 

Three: Interview: Dick Costolo talks to Walt Mossberg about Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Taco Bell | Code 2017

 

Four: Faceless Publishers

"When I first worked for a (student) newspaper, the job of a publisher seemed odd to me; as far as I and my editorial colleagues were concerned, the publisher was the person the editor-in-chief, who we viewed as the boss, occasionally griped about after a few too many drinks, usually with the assertion that he (in that case) was a bit of a nuisance."

 

Five: Judging Apple's WWDC 2016 announcements one year later

"The Verge conveniently made this nice article that listed the 13 biggest announcements from last year’s WWDC and I thought it would be fun to look at what we thought was a big deal last year and see if they hold up today."

Written by Matt Birchler, Birchtree

 

Bonus: Click Power

Click Power

Thanks to Ethan for sharing this with me.

 

I want to make #FiveForFriday better every week. If you have any suggested links, think of a better way to present them or want to chat about a topic, reach out to me on Twitter—@TimothyBuckSF. I'd love to hear from you.

Header image from Unsplash.

Switching from Omnifocus to Things 3

Cultured Code has done it again. They've created a modern, powerful and beautiful tool for personal organization.

Things 3 launched a few weeks ago, and it's impressive to say the least. As soon as I saw the improvements they'd made to Things, I started thinking about switching from Omnifocus, and after some serious deliberation, I took the plunge.


 

Why Switch from Omnifocus to Things 3

As I wrote in "How I Keep Track of My Life" (one of my most-read pieces), I follow the Getting Things Done methodology for staying organized and thoughtfully prioritizing. I've been using Omnifocus 2 for this purpose since it was released in 2014.

Deciding to move my life to another app was a big decision for me. So why did I make the switch? 

  1. Things 3 has a simpler, more sophisticated design. Things 3 in my opinion does a better job of quickly displaying the information I want to see and reduces the number of taps/clicks to complete a task. For an app I use every day, this is important. Also the animations are lovely.

  2. Omnifocus feels like too robust of a tool for my needs. Omnifocus Pro is still the most powerful personal organization tool out there, but possibly because of that additional power, it's more difficult to learn and use. (As an example of its power, you can automate tons of stuff with their URL Scheme support; but in my many years using Omnifocus, I've never taken advantage of that functionality.)

  3. Things 3 has multiselect on iOS, and Omnifocus does not.* This has been one of the most frustrating parts of Omnifocus for iOS. To make the same change to ten items is a huge, repetitive annoyance.

  4. I am quick to support people who create high-quality apps.

  5. I love trying out new productivity tools.

    *Note: Ken from Omnifocus told me multiselect will be coming to Omnifocus for iOS later in 2017.


How I Use Things 3 for iPhone, iPad, Mac and Watch

Things 3 is sold as three separate apps—iPhone, Mac and iPad. The iPhone app comes with Things 3 for Apple Watch at no extra cost.

Things 3 for iPhone

Price: $9.99     View in the iOS App Store.

The iPhone app is my primary tool for keeping organized. I use it all day long to create, organize and mark complete tasks and projects. 

I really love the Today, This Evening and Upcoming views. I've also started using the Headings feature to organize projects into sections instead of creating sub-project (like I did in Omnifocus).

Things 3 for Mac

Price: $49.99     View in the Mac App Store.     Download Free Trial.

Things for Mac is open all day at work, but I use it most when I'm setting up a new big project. 

Things 3 for iPad

Price: $19.99     View in the iOS App Store.

I don't have an iPad that I use personally, so I haven't purchased the iPad app. But according to Cultured Code, it does have all the same functionality as the iPhone app simply restructured to fit the larger display.

Things 3 for Apple Watch

Price: Free with the iPhone App     View alongside the iPhone app in the iOS App Store.

The Apple Watch app allows users to add and mark tasks complete, but I primarily use it via the watch face complication. It's simply a circular graph that displays what percentage of the tasks due that day have been completed.

Things 3 Apple Watch

How to Switch from Omnifocus Pro to Things 3

First, buy Things 3. Just like with Omnifocus, I find it really helpful to have both the Mac and the iOS apps. (If you want to do step 3, you'll need the Mac app.)

Second, complete the intro projects. For iPhone, iPad and Mac, Cultured Code has included intro projects that walk you through the apps' features, help you create an account and set up sync with Things Cloud. I highly recommend that you complete each of these. They only take a few minutes, and they're super informative.

Side Note: Things Cloud is incredible. 

Third, download and run the importer.

According to CultureCode, this tool "imports projects and to-dos with due dates and notes, converts top-level folders to areas, and contexts to tags. Once downloaded, you’ll need to right-click this app to run it. Please note that only the Pro version of OmniFocus provides AppleScript support, so it will only work if you have that version installed."


Common Questions

Will you ever switch back to Omnifocus? I have no idea. Maybe. The wonderful people at the Omni Group make killer tools. I can't wait to see their next big release of Omnifocus.

Why are these apps so expensive? Good software takes a lot of talent, time and effort to create. If you want a tool you use regularly to not have ads, to have  great support, to protect your data and to be around two years from now, you should probably give the creators some money to help that happen. When a company builds a tool that I use every single day to be productive for years at a  time, I'm happy to support them with my dollars. 

Can I import my to-dos from something other than Omnifocus? Yes, you can. Cultured Code has a support page that explains how to import your todos from the following sources:

 

Header image from Unsplash. Things 3 images from Press Kit
Video from the Cultured Code website. I turned it into a gif and sped it up 2x.

Computer-Brain Interfaces, Apple's Mothership, I/O and More

One: Drones Go to Work

"Every morning at the construction site down the street from my office, the day starts with a familiar hum. It’s the sound of the regular drone scan, when a small black quadcopter flies itself over the site in perfect lines, as if on rails. The buzz overhead is now so familiar that workers no longer look up as the aircraft does its work. It’s just part of the job, as unremarkable as the crane that shares the air above the site. In the sheer normalness of this — a flying robot turned into just another piece of construction equipment — lies the real revolution."

Written by Chris Anderson, Harvard Business Review

 

Two: Neuralink and the Brain's Magical Future

"Last month, I got a phone call.

WaitButWhy

"Okay maybe that’s not exactly how it happened, and maybe those weren’t his exact words. But after learning about the new company Elon Musk was starting, I’ve come to realize that that’s exactly what he’s trying to do."

This thing is super long, but Tim keeps it entertaining along the way. If you don't have time to read the whole thing, skip to Part 3, scroll down to the header for 3B, and skim from there. 

Written and Sketched by Tim Urban, Wait But Why

 

Three: Apple's New Campus: An Exclusive Look Inside the Mothership

Steven Levy published an exclusive look at Apple's new "spaceship" campus this week. It's long, detailed and full of incredible photography from Dan Winters. 

Written by Steven Levy, Photographs by Dan Winters, Wired Magazine

 

Four: WannaCry about Business Models

An in-depth look at WannaCry Ransomware, why it happened and how a shift in prevailing business models may hamper these types of attacks moving forward. I linked to this piece earlier in the week as part of Daily Considerations.

Ben Thompson, Stratechery

 

Five: What You Should Care About From Google's I/O Conference

"During a two hour keynote presentation at its I/O developer conference, Alphabet Inc.'s Google showed off its prowess in the technology world's hottest field: artificial intelligence. From its voice-based digital Assistant to photo sharing and automatic image recognition, AI is everywhere it can possibly be in Google's product portfolio. Here's what you should care about from the event's main stage on day one."

Written by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg Technology

 

Bonus: Another Nerdy Tweet 😄

 

I want to make #FiveForFriday better every week. If you have any suggested links, think of a better way to present them or want to chat about a topic, reach out to me on Twitter—@TimothyBuckSF. I'd love to hear from you.

Header image from Dan Winters, Wired.com.

A Rare Interview with the Founder of WhatsApp and More

One: A Rare Interview with the Founder of WhatsApp

"WhatsApp co-founder Jam Koum invited a Russian journalist to his office for the first time. He explained how WhatsApp changed after merging with Facebook, why he dislikes being a manager and how he imagines the future of WhatsApp."

by Darya Luganskaya, Medium

 

Two: Snapchat Doesn't Know What It Wants to Be Yet

"Snapchat executives had a coherent message when they pitched the company's initial public offering: It will never be for everyone in the world. It didn't have and didn't want the global masses of Facebook with its nearly 1.3 billion daily users in every corner of the world...

"...Less than three months after the IPO, Snapchat's mission statement is far less coherent. "We believe that Snapchat is for everyone," CEO Evan Spiegel said on an earnings conference call on Wednesday."

by Shira Ovide, Boomberg

 

Three: Predictably Profitable, Unpredictably Valuable

"Predicting Apple’s yearly revenues has been fairly easy. The following graph shows the relationship between budgeted spending on Machinery, Equipment, Internal-use software, Land & Buildings and the shipment of iOS device revenues.

Apple's Forecast vs Actual

"The company conveniently publishes a full-year forecast of these expenditures every fiscal year so by October we know roughly how sales will be during the following year. This pattern has held for 10 years so there is little uncertainty about the 11th year of iOS devices."

by Horace Dediu, Asymco

 

Four: Amazon not Standing Still in Pursuit of Voice-First Homes

"On Tuesday, Amazon launched Echo Show. After weeks of speculation, and a few leaked pictures, we finally have it: Alexa has a screen. You can now see music lyrics with Amazon Music, video clips, cameras, live video calls, Prime photos, recipes from YouTube, and more. You can still navigate all of that with your voice despite the 7″ screen being touch-enabled. Priced at $229.99, Echo Show is available for preorders now and ships on June 28th. I had the opportunity to sit through an extensive demo of the device and was surprised at how much I liked the screen."

by Carolina Milanesi, Techpinions

 

Five: The Local News Business Model

"It’s hardly controversial to note that the traditional business model for most publishers, particularly newspapers, is obsolete. Absent the geographic monopolies formerly imposed by owning distribution, newspapers have nothing to offer advertisers: the sort of advertising that was formerly done in newspapers, both classified and display, is better done online. And, contra this rather fanciful suggestion by New York Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg that advertisers prop up newspapers for the good of democracy, nothing is going to change that..."

by Ben Thompson, Stratechery

 

(Bonus) The King of Jenga!

 


I want to make #FiveForFriday better every week. If you have any suggested links, think of a better way to present them or want to chat about a topic, reach out to me on Twitter—@TimothyBuckSF. I'd love to hear from you.

Header image from Business Insider.