Swiss Watch Makers Won’t Be Worried Until They’re Worried

Apple Watch Sales Estimated at 5.1 Million in Holiday Quarter, Swiss Watch Sales in Trouble:

The latest data from Strategy Analytics reveals that the Apple Watch remained the most popular smartwatch through the fourth quarter of 2015, capturing 63 percent global market share based on an estimated 5.1 million sales in the three-month period.

Samsung trailed in second place with 16 percent market share and an estimated 1.3 million sales. Apple and Samsung together accounted for 8 in 10 of all smartwatches shipped worldwide during last year’s holiday shopping season, based on the data.

Hey Swiss watch maker guys, keep not being worried about the Apple Watch.

Maybe just cover your eyes and plug your ears. Pretend it’s all a bad dream.

Kanye

Kanye West’s ‘Life of Pablo’ already pirated 500,000 times:

Kanye West’s new album ‘The Life of Pablo’ may have been released as exclusive to Jay-Z’s streaming music service Tidal, but it didn’t stay that way for long.

The BBC reports today that West’s new album has over 500,000 pirated copies in circulation and is at the top of the download charts on The Pirate Bay.

Ooh, that stings.

I don’t subscribe to Tidal, and I probably never will, but somehow a copy of The Life of Pablo magically appeared on my computer so I’ve been listening to it and it’s solid.

It sure would be helpful if his album was on iTunes or Amazon so I could pay for it.

200 Miles

Incredible desktop experience on 200miles.com for The Revenant.

It reminds me of the golden age of Flash websites from 10 years ago. Truly immersive experiences that pushed the boundaries of ‘what is a website?’.

We’re finally at the point where we no longer need ‘plug-in’ technologies (i.e., Flash) to fill the holes in HTML, JavaScript, and CSS.

Update: I just viewed it on my iPhone 6 Plus and they’ve adjusted the experience to work on mobile. Incredible.

Superman the Journalist

Interesting perspective on Superman by Khoi Vinh:

For Superman, particularly, I often wonder why the franchise’s many different regimes of comic book writers and film producers have continually overlooked what to me seems like an obvious opportunity for interesting stories: the idea that, of all the professions he could have chosen, Clark Kent decided to become a journalist. To me, the tension between the journalistic credo to solely observe and report, and having the god-like power to literally change the course of what gets reported is a fascinating one that has never been really explored. Superman hides in plain sight as a reporter clearly because he does not want to change the course of human history (beyond what’s possible for a human being working for a news organization is capable of); and yet his very existence theoretically alters mankind’s course forever. There’s a fantastic Superman movie to be filmed with Clark Kent’s life as a journalist at its center, one that could be serious and thoughtful but also one that could be genuinely fun and uplifting. Too bad nobody put me in charge of a Hollywood studio.

There’s no doubt Hollywood has become lazy as shit in the last decade with the amount of remakes they’ve made.

Adroid or iOS, You Pick

The decline and fall of Windows Phone is more tragic, because for several years the OS was making headway. It had an app problem, sure, but Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 brought the OS itself up to the level of iOS and Android, and the low-end Lumias provided an excellent value for the money. But soon after buying the Lumia division from Nokia, Microsoft seemed to stop pushing. Windows Phone 8.1 has been left to rot while Microsoft takes its sweet time finishing a continually delayed Windows 10 update. To be an existing Windows Phone 8.1 user is to sit by and watch while Microsoft ports every selling point of Windows Phone as a platform to iOS and Android. Embracing iOS and Android unquestionably gives Microsoft’s apps and services a wider audience, but there’s no reason why it had to be done at the expense of the company’s existing user base.

The remains of these platforms aren’t really viable as general-purpose smartphone ecosystems. Diehards can (and will) disagree, and Microsoft at least has given Windows Phone acolytes a gift in the form of the Lumia 950 and 950XL. But if you’re recommending a smartphone to someone in 2016, Android and iOS can do pretty much anything that anyone needs to be able to do. Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10 cannot, and they’re best left to people who care more about brand loyalty than functionality.

The fight for a third-best smartphone OS has been lost. By everyone.

RIP Macromedia Flash, Hello Adobe Animate CC

Techcrunch: Adobe Launches Animate CC, Previously Known As Flash Professional:

Adobe tells me that about a third of the content product in Flash Professional was actually HTML5 content — so the old name really didn’t make sense anymore. “HTML5 has become the standard and this reflects the tool’s role,” Adobe evangelist Paul Trani told me. “We don’t care what you want to do. Want to do Flash? Fantastic.”

Trani noted that, with some very minor exceptions, HTML5 can now replace Flash for almost all standard use cases that Animate CC’s users were looking for.

I used Macromedia Adobe Flash for many years to make immersive, interactive experiences long before it was even close to possible to do it with HTML and JavaScript.

It’s great to see Adobe get with the times and adjust course with it’s products. I haven’t used Animate CC yet, but I’m hoping it’s good. The need to create interactive experiences and animations is more important than ever in today’s websites and mobile applications.

Uber’s New Identity

Eli Schiff on Uber’s new identiy:

The iconic U icon is not something trivial to be discarded on a whim. When used as a sticker on the outside of an Uber vehicle, it needs to be totally visible in all lighting conditions. Unlike a marked taxi cab where there is a sense of safety, getting into a stranger’s car requires users to have some sort of overtly legible marking that indicates security. This oversight is a massive failure that affects Uber’s customers. But it also affects the drivers. If a passenger cannot find the car, that is lost gas, money and time for the driver.

For Amin, none of this mattered. When asked why the Uber U on the icon was abstracted, he made the following argument:

This should be a wake up call to all international companies: ignore that English is the lingua franca of the world. Accordingly, banish all references to the Roman alphabet in your branding.

The problems with the logo for The Metropolitan Museum of Art pale in comparison to the problems with Uber’s logo.

I love how Uber CEO Travis Kalanick got involved. This reminds me of when Marisa Mayer helped fuck up Yahoo’s iconic logo.

Sigh

“There’s just so much THE.”

Over at Brand New, Mark Kingsley reviews the new identity for The Metropolitan Museum of Art (aka The Met):

This seems strange. I call it The Met. My friends call it The Met. But this is most likely specific to residents of New York City. As Parisians call it “le Beaubourg” while the rest of the world says “Centre Georges Pompidou,” I suspect most of the world knows it as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This was generally confirmed over the weekend as I polled friends and students with international backgrounds.

Basically, an odd, if not solipsistic, naming choice for such an international destination.

And Armin Vit in the comments:

The new logo… Yeah, it’s very VERY weird. The first time I saw it, my gut reaction was to smash the banana I was eating into my eyes and then put my face in front of a hungry monkey. Over the past days, as criticism has mounted and I was waiting for either Wolff Olins or The Met to release something better than a blurry photo of the logo, I came to not hate the logo. I don’t love it by any stretch of the imagination and I don’t think it’s traditionally good in any way, but in its uniqueness it really is just a matter of time before it becomes familiar and normal. Still, it’s a weird logo, and it still makes me cringe because those letters were not meant to be in a ligature, much less a double-decker of a triple-ligature. The “T”s in particular, with the half serifs on the bottom are unacceptable and the “E” with its tilted middle serif would have looked great on another wordmark but here it creates a striking imbalance.

I agree with Darrin Crescenzi in the comments. There’s a lot of THE going on in that logo.

Hierarchy anyone?

Trump on 9/11

In fact, Trump has not claimed that Bush had specific knowledge of the 9/11 attacks. He said, “George Bush had the chance, also, and he didn’t listen to the advice of his CIA.” That is correct. Bush was given numerous, detailed warnings that Al Qaeda planned an attack. But the Bush administration had, from the beginning, dismissed fears about terrorism as a Clinton preoccupation. Its neoconservative ideology drove the administration to fixate on state-supported dangers — which is why it turned its attention so quickly to Iraq. The Bush administration ignored pleas by the outgoing Clinton administration to focus on Al Qaeda in 2000, and ignored warnings by the CIA to prepare for an upcoming domestic attack. The Bush administration did not want the 9/11 attacks to occur; it was simply too ideological and incompetent to take responsible steps to prevent them.

New York Magazine: Crazy Nut Donald Trump Thinks George W. Bush Was President on 9/11

It is possible for someone you despise to say something you agree with.

Apple Responds to the FBI

The FBI is asking for Apple’s help unlocking the iPhone 5C of San Bernardino terrorism suspect Syed Rizwan Farook.

Tim Cook responded:

The government would have us remove security features and add new capabilities to the operating system, allowing a passcode to be input electronically. This would make it easier to unlock an iPhone by “brute force,” trying thousands or millions of combinations with the speed of a modern computer.

The implications of the government’s demands are chilling. If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone’s device to capture their data. The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge.

Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government.

No way, Jose. This would set a horrible legal precedent.

I’m happy to see Apple standing up for the privacy of their customers.

McGregor Inside Your Head

Over at The 42, Paul Dollery on Conor McGregor’s 2012 fight with Dave Hill:

Since his subsequent rise to the top in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, much has been made of Conor McGregor’s apparent ability to break his opponents mentally before the fight has even begun. Not only is he an immensely talented fighter, but he’s an expert at mind games too.

One wonders how psychological warfare can become such a key component of a contest between two professional fighters. Regardless of whether mind games have been involved, the story always culminates with the athletes settling their differences by locking themselves in a cage and trading blows.

How do words and actions beforehand manage to make that a more intimidating prospect? Hill mentions that he felt “overwhelmed” by McGregor, both at the weigh-ins and during the fight, but how has McGregor managed to master that?

“I think it’s his inner confidence. He’s obviously such a confident bloke. I cleared my head after the weigh-ins but then during the fight he started talking again. He was saying: ‘I’ll go all day with you, you look soft, I’ll go five rounds if you need to.’ Then I started wondering if I should say something back, because I’d never been in that position before.

“So you start thinking of how you’re supposed to react and that kind of messes with your head as well. It’s definitely his confidence and that shows in the way he fights. He’s constantly moving forward, pushing you back and inflicting his game on you, so you don’t get a chance to inflict your game on him.”

Talk all you want about how much you may hate McGregor’s cockiness but he’s the champ and for good reason.

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006