It’s Going to Get Worse Before It Gets Better

NYTimes: Donald Trump’s Victory Is Met With Shock Across a Wide Political Divide:

Among the candidates for cabinet secretaries and advisers are members of Mr. Trump’s inner circle, aides said, including Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a crucial adviser on policy issues; Steven Mnuchin, a businessman who was Mr. Trump’s national finance chairman; Rudolph W. Giuliani, a former mayor of New York; Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey; and Newt Gingrich, a former speaker of the House.

Christie. Giuliani. Gingrich.

That’s one of the most sickening sentences I’ve ever read.



The High Maintenance Man-Baby with Tiny Hands

Inside Donald Trump’s Last Stand: An Anxious Nominee Seeks Assurance:

Mr. Trump’s campaign is no longer making headlines with embarrassing staff shake-ups. But that has left him with a band of squabbling and unfireable advisers, with confusing roles and an inability to sign off on basic tasks. A plan to encourage early voting in Florida went unapproved for weeks.

The result is chaotic. Advisers cut loose from the campaign months ago, like Corey Lewandowski, still talk to the candidate frequently, offering advice that sometimes clashes with that of the current leadership team. Mr. Trump, who does not use a computer, rails against the campaign’s expenditure of tens of millions on digital ads, skeptical that spots he never sees could have any effect.

Trump doesn’t use a computer and his campaign staff took control of his Twitter account. It seems like he spends half his time on Twitter. Where is he channeling all his angst?

His head might explode in the next 48 hours.



Microsoft Slack. I mean Teams.

Yesterday Microsoft launched their Slack competitor, Teams.

Then Slack responded in a full-page ad and on their site/Medium:

Dear Microsoft,

Wow. Big news! Congratulations on today’s announcements. We’re genuinely excited to have some competition.

We realized a few years ago that the value of switching to Slack was so obvious and the advantages so overwhelming that every business would be using Slack, or “something just like it,” within the decade. It’s validating to see you’ve come around to the same way of thinking. And even though — being honest here — it’s a little scary, we know it will bring a better future forward faster.

However, all this is harder than it looks. So, as you set out to build “something just like it,” we want to give you some friendly advice.

That, my friends, is what’s called passive-aggressive. It’s also douchey. This is how nerds talk shit. Soooo intimidating.

After checking out their product video, I’m quickly reminded of what I just wrote earlier today about Microsoft always being a day late and a dollar short.

I’ve been using Slack for a few years now with different companies. I think it’s solid, but I don’t think it’s as amazing as a lot of reviews make it out to be. From the two companies I’ve used it at I’ve actually found Slack to be the place where a lot of people waste time not working, posting animated GIFs and sharing stuff. I’m sure those companies were complete edge cases.

The reality is I won’t be using Microsoft Teams unless a client or the company I’m working for asks me to. It looks interesting based on the screenshots and you can clearly see where they’ve been influenced by Slack.


Product, Technology

Microsoft Surface Studio

On October 26th, Microsoft unveiled their new all-in-one, touchscreen Surface Studio.

From everything I’ve seen and read about it, it looks like an amazing integration of hardware and software. This integration used to be the sole domain of Apple, but now Microsoft and Google are coming to realize the practical and financial benefits of controlling the whole widget.

First thought: will this machine make me move to Windows? No.

Second thought: will this machine make other people move to Windows? I’m not sure.

It’s in Microsoft’s DNA to be a day late and dollar short on everything they’ve done, at least for the last decade. Windows Phone was late, their Surface tablets were late, and now an iMac competitor. I’m feeling a little déjà vu with the Surface Studio.

Microsoft is like the kid in college who needs until the summer to finish their thesis paper. Sure they might turn a great paper, but everyone else has moved on.

In case you forgot, the original Microsoft Surface was a big-ass, $10,000 table. In 2007, when the original iPhone launched and the race kicked into high gear for dominance in mobile computing, Microsoft decided to go big and impractical. Now let me be clear: the Surface Studio is way more practical than its great grandpappy was, but there still is a wiff of impracticality in it.

Microsoft is going after the high-end, creative segment of the desktop market with the Surface Studio, a segment dominated by Apple. They’re barely making a dent in the mass market with their phones, tablets, and laptops. So now they think they can eat Apple’s lunch and steal away desktop users? It’s possible, but I’m not convinced.

On the other hand, there’s been considerable backlash over the new MacBooks Apple announced, but we’re only a week out. Let’s see where we are this spring. We’ll be seeing new Mac desktops by then too.

Innovation & Safety cancels the Comma One following NHTSA letter:

Renowned iPhone hacker turned entrepreneur George Hotz (aka geohot) has cancelled his autonomous driving startup’s first official product, the Comma One aftermarket add-on that would’ve allowed certain cars to gain Autopilot-like highway driving assistance abilities.

Hotz announced the news on the official Twitter account, noting that the decision to cancel was made after he received a letter from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA letter explained that given its mandate of ensuring safety on U.S. roadways, it needed to ensure the Comma One is compliant with regulations before it can be offered for sale.

Some of these startups are fragile little snowflakes, aren’t they? One letter from the NHTSA and they’re done. Hey Hotz: this isn’t just publishing code to a fucking server, you’re putting physical vehicles onto physical roads.

I’m all for innovation, but safety is kind of important. The transition we’ve begun — from humans driving cars to cars driving themselves — is not something we can take lightly or we run the risk of killing many people.

In the longterm, after we’ve conducted thorough tests and ironed out the kinks, I’m certain autonomous vehicles will be multiple times safer than us humans driving ourselves. Robots don’t drive angry, robots don’t play Pokémon Go while driving and end up killing a young boy, and robots don’t drive drunk.