Air Over Oxygen

My flight back from Chicago was delayed this past Thursday because “the plane was too hot.” It was 100 degrees in Chicago and one of the cooling units in the plane broke and cabin was too hot to board.
Over an hour past the original boarding time we finally got to our seats, and not only was the plane still hot, but there were no little air nozzles above the seats. Upon realizing we had emergency oxygen units but no air vents, the guy next to me confessed, “I’ll take air over oxygen any day.”

Less Patents?

Electronista: Apple drops iOS interface patent to speed Samsung trial

There are some new developments in the Apple versus Samsung “data tapping” patent battle. In a surprise move, Northern District of California Federal Appeals Court Judge Lucy Koh granted a preliminary sales injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet late today. Additionally, Apple has dropped an iPhone user interface design patent claim to help expedite the patent trial, which is scheduled for July 30.


Apple has also filed paperwork dismissing a claim concerning elements of the iPhone GUI. The filing is without prejudice, so Apple can continue to press the claim in the future in a different suit. Judge Koh has applied limits on the trial in regards to arguments and pieces of evidence, so this winnowing focuses the trial on fewer intellectual property rights.

When I read this article last week I was a little optimistic. Have we hit a tipping point with patents? Are we going to see more companies opting to drop patents in order to pursue the enforcement of others?
I can dream, can’t I?

A Curse

I could quote Michael Lopp’s whole post, go and read the whole thing at his site:

If your goal is this solo win, if you have achieved everything that you want to achieve with this hit, here’s to you – the first round is on me. If you goal is growth, if you want to turn this win into more success, taking the time to catch your breath is the wrong strategy. Like, really wrong.

Your success is a battle plan for your competition. Your success is a public acknowledgement of a strategy that works, and while I appreciate that you and your team are tired, I’m going to be a buzz kill. Your success is your worst enemy. Your success, while hard earned, is a curse.

Reminds me of how some people say, “Man, if I accomplished [fill in accomplishment], I’d retire and relax.” What people who say that don’t understand is many (most?) of the successful people in the world continue to work long after they’ve ‘made it’. Larry Ellison, Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson – all these cats could have retired years ago and ‘coasted’, but the kind of mind that builds an empire doesn’t understand the word ‘coast’.


Louis C.K. taking the power back by selling tickets for his new tour on his website:

All tickets will be $45, with C.K. reserving the right to cancel a ticket in exchange for a refund if the ticketholder attempts to sell the ticket for “anything above the original price.”

“Making my shows affordable has always been my goal but two things have always worked against that. High ticket charges and ticket re-sellers marking up the prices,” explained C.K. in the email. “Some ticketing services charge more than 40% over the ticket price and, ironically, the lower I’ve made my ticket prices, the more scalpers have bought them up, so the more fans have paid for a lot of my tickets.

As if there weren’t enough reasons to like this guy. Well done.


A conversation I was envisioning at Microsoft:
Bill: “Guysguysguys! I have an idea. You know how Apple is having all this success with their iPad?”
Bob: “Yeah?”
Bill: “Well. I was thinking. The iPad is great and all, but it’s missing something.”
Bob: “Missing something?
Bill: “Yeah, I mean the multitouch display is great and super responsive and all, but like, what if I want another way to type up a message? Or enter text into search box?”
Bob: “Ok…?”
Bill: “Well, that’s when it hit me, what the tablet needs is a keyboard. I real, physical keyboard. No one has ever done that before. We’d be the first!”
Bob: “A screen attached to a physical keyboard. Wow! How the hell did you come up with that?!”
Bill: “I don’t know dude, it just popped in there. You like it? You think it’s a good idea?
Bob: “Do I like it? Bill, you’re a genius. let’s go tell Ballmer, he’ll friggin’ love it! Apple’s going to be dead in the water!”


The ever-insightful Horace Dediu on Apple’s retail stores:

Which brings up an obvious question: Why did Apple triple employment at each store? One could answer that many of the newer stores are bigger, so-called flagship stores. But the vast majority of stores are in mall locations which are of limited size. Flagship stores alone cannot account for the increase. One could also suggest that perhaps the stores are open longer and there is a need for more shifts. Again, the vast majority of stores are constrained by the opening hours of malls which, as far as I know, have been steady. Anecdotally, it’s also evident that there are more employees in a store at a given time. There are many more of those colored T-shirts at first glance.

One hint is in the design changes in the stores. Apple has removed shelving, registers and almost all non-Apple merchandise. It has replaced the visible stock with tables on which rest products that can be used. If there weren’t any people in the store, the store would look almost completely empty, just an open space.

But that’s the whole point. The stores are designed to be filled with people. The stores have an open layout because it allows more people to be inside the store at the same time. And the more people the more employees.

Missing the Point

Guy English on the when and why of Microsoft’s Surface announcement:

There’s many pieces arguing that Microsoft hurt themselves by not specifying things like screen size (in pixels and DPI), battery life, and price point.

They’re all missing the point of the announcement.

Microsoft introduced the Surface this week, hastily, in order to dodge anything Apple may have announced and to frame the discussion of whatever Google is going to announce at I/O next week.

Google is expected to announce a tablet next week at Google I/O. In the mainstream press whatever they announce is now going to be mentioned along side the Microsoft Surface.

That Microsoft didn’t release specifics about battery life, screen size or price point insn’t a mistake — it’s the entire point.

Since Microsoft doesn’t currently have a tablet on the market, they’re also able to avoid The Osborne Effect—sure, they’re preannouncing a new product, but at least it’s not affecting sales of any current products.