Tag Archives: technology

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The $999 monitor stand, or how Apple takes its eye off the ball sometimes

Reading this piece about how  a $999 monitor stand is everything wrong with Apple today, and while my judgement isn’t that harsh, I agree that Apple has missed a step with such a stand. There is a premium that Apple can and does command for its products, but when they are so far outside the range of the market, they start looking ridiculous.

Is this iMac great? No doubt. Is the stand price ridiculous? Also no doubt. Do better, Apple.

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Why Play a Music CD? Lots of reasons….


I really liked a recent article about Ben Sisario, the New York Times reporter who covers the music industry. He is talking about what he uses to listen to music, and this quote jumped out at me, especially the part I put in bold.

(I) try to keep an eye on all the major platforms out there, which means regularly poking around on about a dozen apps. My go-to sources are Spotify, SoundCloud, Bandcamp and Mixcloud, which has excellent D.J.-style mixes and to me feels more human than most.

At home I have a Sonos Play:5 speaker, which plays streaming music and podcasts, and is a piece of cake to use. I also have Google Chromecast Audio, a little plug-in device (now discontinued) that allows me to send high-fidelity streams to my stereo. It sounds better that way, but it’s not nearly as easy to use as the Sonos.

To be honest, my preferred way to listen to music is on CD, as unfashionable as that might be. You push a button, the music plays, and then it’s over — no ads, no privacy terrors, no algorithms!

Like Ben, I started to listen to music on CDs again too. For a number of reasons:

    1. I have some great old CDs from labels like Deutsche Grammphon that I am never going to download again and which I don’t even want to listen to on Spotify.
    2. I find it satisfying to put on a CD, listen to it, and then it be over. I don’t want to listen to an infinite playlist all the time.
    3. I always worry that some day services like Spotify will simply trim their catalog and I will never be able to listen to that music easily again. For music I love, I want to own it outright.
    4. I worry about how what I listen to on Spotify is constantly fed into their analytic software – what people like to call their algorithm – to determine what I want to listen to. Some times I just want to listen to music in a different direction. I don’t want Spotify to start suggesting new music based on a whim.
    5. I don’t want Spotify or others to know everything about my listening choices. I think we all need a stealth mode for any services we use online.

I still love Spotify, but I don’t want to depend on Spotify to enjoy music.

That’s my two cents. For more on Ben, see: Why Play a Music CD? ‘No Ads, No Privacy Terrors, No Algorithms’ – The New York Times

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A smart poster that knows the weather (and a great alternative display)

Is this:

It uses smart ink, so it’s low power. But it changes throughout the day, based on the information it gets from the Internet. It looks great, and it’s around $134, which is not bad.

I’d like to see more tech do this. A fine marriage of high tech and aesthetics.

For more information, see A smart poster that knows the weather | Yanko Design

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Stratechery: a great site you should read

First off, what is it? It’s this, via the About section of the site:

Stratechery provides analysis of the strategy and business side of technology and media, and the impact of technology on society. Weekly Articles are free, while three Daily Updates a week are for subscribers only.

Recommended by The New York Times as “one of the most interesting sources of analysis on any subject”, Stratechery has subscribers from over 85 different countries, including executives in both technology and industries impacted by technology, venture capitalists and investors, and thousands of other people interested in understanding how and why the Internet is changing everything.

Everything I’ve read on it has been insightful and in depth, including this piece on IBM and the acquisition of Red Hat.

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OpenShift vs OpenStack: what’s the difference?

From OpenShift Origin vs OpenStack – Red Hat OpenShift Blog:

OpenStack provides “Infrastructure-as-a-Service”, or “IaaS”….

The OpenShift hosted service provides “Platform-as-a-Service” or “PaaS”. It provides the necessary parts to quickly deploy and run a LAMP application:

Concisely:

  • OpenStack = IaaS
  • OpenShift = PaaS
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North, or advances in smart glasses since Google Glass.

Companies keep trying to make smart eyewear happen. First Google. Then Snapchat. Now there’s another company making a go at it. IT Business magazine has details on North, the company trying to make it happen here.

I think these are a big improvement on Google Glass. Is it enough? I don’t believe so. I think greater miniaturization needs to occur, such that there is very little difference between the shape of “dumb” eyewear and the shape of “smart” eyewear.

Meanwhile, we are getting closer to that time when there is very little difference. Stay tuned.

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What the Internet is (and what it is not)

This is what the Internet is:

The internet is the wider network that allows computer networks around the world run by companies, governments, universities and other organisations to talk to one another. The result is a mass of cables, computers, data centres, routers, servers, repeaters, satellites and wifi towers that allows digital information to travel around the world.

The Internet is a network of networks. Much of what people believe the Internet is actually runs on top of it: the Web, social media, email, gopher, what have you.People often say “I liked the Internet when..”. They are talking about the platforms they use on the Internet. Things popular on the Internet now — hello Facebook! — will be a relic in the future.  Technologies running on the Internet come and often go,  but the Internet itself is relatively constant and changes slowly.

The quote highlighted above is from this article: What is the internet? 13 key questions answered | Technology | The Guardian. It’s a good introduction to the Internet at a basic level.