Good Design Is Efficient

Fortune shows us just how much more productive Apple is than the rest of the tech industry:

In the quarter that ended in September — not its best, mind you — the company generated sales of $28.3 billion and net income of $6.62 billion, or nearly $110,000 profit per employee.

Yes, Apple’s products are great, but that’s just part of the story. They’re also extremely efficient at how they go about creating those products.
Good design is efficient (this should really be in Dieter Rams’ Ten Principles for Good Design).

It Should Know

When I come across links I want to comment on and post to this site, sometimes I’ll email them to myself from my iPhone. It’s not the most elegant process, but it’s simple and it works.
The problem comes when I open said link on my laptop.
This is what I see.
I was listening to an episode of The Talk Show with John Gruber and Dan Benjamin earlier this year and Gruber made a great suggestion. He said in the same way a regular webpage knows to serve you the mobile-optimized version when you’re on your phone, the opposite should also be true – when you open a mobile-optimized version of a web page on your desktop computer, it should know to redirect you to the regular version.


This is why I always wait to buy my latest gadgets, even from Apple:

Today, my iPhone died after about 8 hours–not even enough to get me through a full day without recharging (and this is typical). This was not 8 hours of constant use (unless you count the constant pinging of notifications, which may be the culprit). It was 8 hours total from the time I unplugged it in the morning and took it with me until the screen went black at around 4 PM. According to the specs, the iPhone 4S is supposed to get 200 hours of standby time, 8 hours of talk time, and “up to 6 hours” of Internet use on 3g. During the day, I made half a dozen calls less than 5 minutes each, used the Internet for an hour on the train (email, Twitter, light Web browsing), and then maybe another 90 minutes throughout the day.

My rule of thumb when upgrading operating systems for my desktop Mac and my iPhone and when buying new hardware is to just wait. There’s no correct number, but most of the time this means waiting 3-6 months.
Usually in that timeframe bugs have been fixed software patches have been released.
Most of my non-techie friends automatically assume I’m first to get any new Apple product. While I’m aware of the latest developments in the tech industry on a daily basis, I wouldn’t call myself bleeding edge when it comes to purchasing gadgets.

Microsoft Has Great Vision

So Microsoft has decided to thrill us with another future vision video. They want to show us what the future is like.
I wrote about this in 2009 when they released their future vision piece for 2019. Everything I said then applies now.
This is why it’s taken so long to get their new mobile phones and tablets to the masses – they’re too busy planning our future! Cut ’em some slack!

Steve’s Plates

I always wondered how Steve Jobs remained above the law with his license plateless Mercedes.
iTWire has the story:

Steve (or someone close to him) spotted a loophole in the California vehicle laws. Anyone with a brand new car had a maximum of six months to affix the issued number plate to the vehicle.

So Jobs made an arrangement with the leasing company; he would always change cars during the sixth month of the lease, exchanging one silver Mercedes SL55 AMG for another identical one. At no time would he ever be in a car as old as six months; and thus there was no legal requirement to have the number plates fitted.

I could never do this. When I get car, I get it for the long haul. I want it to become an extension of me. But I guess if you don’t have a passion for cars, this is no big deal.
via The Loop

The Yukon In Your Brain

My brother Mark has great nuggets of culture and imagery over at his site, Twurts & Geekery.
I especially liked this quote he dug up:

I find it quite fucked up that the most outlandish thoughts can pay for your existence. The most bizarre thoughts you may have had in 1994 on an Ecstasy tab can turn into money, which turns into houses, which turns into cat food. It’s the Yukon in our brain, it’s a gold rush, it’s all sitting there, and it’s worth money.

-Grant Morrison, comic book writer