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So, here we are, the newest iPhone is out, after so much noise that my head will still ache for a few days, and that I will laugh like a madman from time to time thinking about the die-hards who waited in tents in front of Apple Stores for days just to be the first to get the gizmo.

I’m sure that you’ll agree: nothing in the world is more important than being the first, worldwide, to have the latest iPhone.

Sarcasm aside, there is much more than the iPhone 5 to the latest Apple event at Yerba Buena.

Apple has released iOS 6. So far, so good. Everything is perfectible, and I’m not an expert (because experts don’t exist. Unless you are someone who knows everything and thus has nothing more to learn) so I won’t review it.

What was striking was not Cook’s cockiness. We are now used to it.

No, no, no. The most striking and frankly irritating point was… hardware updates.

Let me clarify:

Apple’s focus on form factors was great as far as the new iPhone is concerned, but it killed one product: the iPod Nano.

The new factor is detrimental to the Nano. The square form factor was absolutely perfect (only considering that hardware can be something near to any kind of eye-pleasing and usability perfection).

There was a potential outlet for wrist-held devices. They didn’t see it, or didn’t deem it worth any effort in this direction. This is playing safe, or being lazy.

The previous iteration proposed many different clock styles as backgrounds, while still being a touch-screen iPod (the wheel is getting old) with all the coolness Apple products may have, and although it could appear more like fun or childish than anything else, it was a step in a direction worth being explored.

Now we see ads for a “square form factor” product in an ubiquitous way. Ever seen this gadget called “i’m Watch”? Google it.

Back to the previous Nano, the gym rats’ best friend.

Let’s put ourselves in Apple’s hardware design teams’ shoes:

What is (was) the Nano?
Is it a gap-filler?
Is it an experiment?
Who’s the target customer, both for function and budget?
Is the Nano another also-ran?

Don’t you think all those questions could have been real questions? I think they could.

Now, if a product has only a short-term appeal potential and oversized ROI, is it worth it? Apparently, it was.

Today, it’s a bit of a messed-up product. Who is really, strongly believing that a 2″ screen and round icons will cut the mustard? Any cheapo spin-off could look and feel like the latest Nano.

Apple never did so bad. Granted, the Newton wasn’t a success, but the OS and programming language used for it proved useful in then future Apple products… Like the first iPhone, like iTunes, too.

Hardware and software are tightly integrated and always were for each Apple product. It seems like the new Nano is an exception to the tradition.

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t stick to the past like if my life depended on it. I simply cannot understand the hardware modifications brought to the Nano.

Let’s examine the other risks ahead.

The iPhone’s form factor has reached a limit. Yes, it can still be held with only one hand while having a bigger screen, yet there is no more room for improvement. It will likely be a rectangle-shaped device with round corners for the rest of its life and iterations… The only thing constantly changing is its thickness and weight.

Will Apple make an iPhone as thin as a sheet of paper and as light as air? Is it desirable?

Hardware modifications are not limited to the screen. Apple once again ignores everything and goes its own way.

The new “lightning” plug (a word play with “thunderbolt?) is obviously the one thing irritating returning Apple customers.

While I applaud the reversible capability of the plug, I loathe Apple for making it harder than it ever was to get and stay up-to-date (think MagSafe 2).

I can’t help but thinking that “lightning” is the most shameless way to force customers with older products to buy adaptors, new docks and other accessories. Of course, the new iPhone’s performances couldn’t be what they are if the room needed for the plug wasn’t significantly reduced, I know that.

To me, this smells greed. How many iPhone users have upgraded to the 5? Enough to sell a ton of adaptors and make even more profit.

It is not a secret: Cook and Browett (retail SVP) are bean-counters. If they can maximize profit, they do.

While the whole IT world is working hard to agree on a standard plug size (an issue since times immemorial), Apple brings again its “think different” mindset.

This is stupidly “short-termist”. We’ll see if it is a really bad move. All I can tell is that the Apple communities and forums’ members are already complaining about the issues I brought in this post.

To Apple, I would like to say: “forget this think different slogan and think twice instead!

PS: I am not using form factor and hardware in a mindless way. One determines each other. To me, form factor and hardware are very tightly linked.

Alexander Bengtsson:

How are you going to manage uploads from iMovie for iOS, Apple? By removing the YouTube API? Drivel. Utter nonsense. Another bad, bad move. Like bringing Browett as head of retail (along with another headcase I better forget the name of).. Hey, I work for Apple, and I’m fed up with smackdowns from the big cats… Sheesh.

Originally posted on 9to5Mac:

On Aug. 6, Beta 4 of iOS 6 came out with one huge gaping hole: Apple’s YouTube app. There was speculation on both sides of the fence that Apple might have pulled it because of the ongoing war with Android or perhaps Google pulled it because it wanted more control of the app and/or it wanted to show more ads. In reality, it was probably a little of both.

Whatever the case, just a month after being pulled and just a day ahead of Apple’s iOS 6/iPhone 5 event, Google has released its own homegrown YouTube app into the App Store. It is formatted for the iPhone only (an iPad version is in the works), but it already has many features that its Apple-built counterpart lacked.

Description

Watch the world’s videos and keep up with your favorite YouTube channels with the official YouTube app for iOS. Sign…

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Originally posted on 9to5Mac:

Gizmodo got its hands on Apple’s secretive Genius training manual and just posted an extensive breakdown of what goes on behind the retail scenes.

According to Gizmodo

It’s a penetrating look inside Apple: psychological mastery, banned words, roleplaying—you’ve never seen anything like it.

The Genius Training Student Workbook we received is the company’s most up to date, we’re told, and runs a bizarre gamut of Apple Dos and Don’ts, down to specific words you’re not allowed to use, and lessons on how to identify and capitalize on human emotions. The manual could easily serve as the Humanity 101 textbook for a robot university, but at Apple, it’s an exhaustive manual to understanding customers and making them happy. Sales, it turns out, take a backseat to good vibes—almost the entire volume is dedicated to empathizing, consoling, cheering up, and correcting various Genius Bar confrontations. The assumption, it’d seem, is that…

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I’m not sure that you noticed it, but this blog has a new name which fits best its content, and some tweaks were also made for you to navigate easily in a “target-reader free” blog.

Plus (and minus) human

Modded Bass Overdrive

If it can be called a superpower…

Well, I can recover from anything (including a week in a coma) in no time, or at most 24 hours. This doesn't mean full recovery though (body and mind are not separated: that's my viewpoint), as I am quite often stuck in a rut or bored and need to change something after being hit.

Actualy, if too many days in a row are counterproductive and exhausting, I can fix it quickly (by changing a habit, or starting something new and giving up on the old stuff) and without loads of sleep. sometimes ca. 3 hours are enough to run another 24 to 36 hours.

My superpower? I am not bounded by time or energy!

My "underpower" is that I can be the laziest of men, and I absolutely hate it.

So, why don't I do something to feel better? Because I'm lazy!

My conception of lazy is perhaps different than yours. Many people think I'm an overachiever, and I tend to be one because they think so (even though I'm not alive to cater to anyone). Yet, in the first place, those people weren't there and my behaviour was not different.

To me, "being lazy" is not passive, but active, and it means "feeling emotionally empty and needing to refill the tank".

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Reykjavik

Without any doubt, the tiny and friendly Reykjavik (Iceland's capital). It is so close to nature… and nature is wild there. This is part of why I love Iceland. It is like a world just born. Another interesting point of Iceland is that you truly can't get anything done if you bury yourself in your basement. Communication is key and benefits everyone. Bjór, someone?

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Holiday break!

I will be away from today, Sunday, until september 25th, yet I’ll post from Plinky though.

(Feel free to browse through the old entries, and let me know what you would like to read about).

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FYI: this is my hand on the lowest (6th and 7th) strings of a solid-body viol (or viola da gamba)!

Alexander Bengtsson:

Very useful, especially for non-native English writers!

Originally posted on The Daily Post:

About a year ago, I wrote a piece about the distinction between the active and the passive voice, but going on the assumption that I’ve had a lot of reader turnover over a year’s time, I thought a refresher might be useful.

When writing in the active voice, the subject of the sentence is clearly the one doing the verb. In the passive voice, the subject of the sentence is sort of buried. So:

View original 529 more words

Apple’s shaking the Earth.

Behemoths are bulky and annoying. I don’t blame them. Humans are not much better.

So, what’s happening exactly? Maybe Tim Cook’s Burrito wasn’t spicy enough?
Do you think he was so upset that he trampled the floor, hence the Earth-shaking?

Sorry, Tim, I shouldn’t tease you. Burritos are overpriced, and you’re having serious financial issues.

Over with humor. My inner child is punishing me for having not let him speak for years. He’s now unplugging my self-censoring devices. I should have listened to him. We adults forget play. We’re so busy working, or thinking about working…

Things are getting really gruesome at Apple. I don’t talk about Foxconn. There is really no play and goofing around there!

Like if it was not enough to make sure supply chain workers are underpaid and overworked, now it’s time to have some egregious behaviour with Apple Store employees!

How do we do that? Easy. Train them for a month and pink-slip them. Be sure to give them a welcome letter before! I’m serious, look:

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Having been laid off before even being employed (true story, details available upon request, free to share), I feel their pain.

A few ago, a new SVP of retail was hired. He is “fixing” Ron Johnson’s dying marketing model.
Nothing lasts 11 years in retail. Time for an overhaul! Whoo!

Enter John Browett, a man I never heard of before.

Hell is here: more layoffs, hiring freezes, more reduced hours, promoting following by demoting, more profit-generating tricks.
I’m thinking of the brand new “self checkout”. Anything on a shelf that you can bring home today?
Just scan the product, enter your Apple ID and the product is yours.

That means that anyone can walk away with iPods, iPhones, iPads, without any human interaction. Only laptops and desktops will be considered and human interaction maintained.

No more human interaction = the best reason ever to lay off!

Up for a little Q&A?

Q: Are you telling me that Apple is laying off employees just before a major product release (the new iPhone and iOS 6)?

A: Yes.

Q: Are they crazy?

A: Yes.

There’s much more to the story than what I just wrote. I receive daily Google Alerts about Apple… It seems that they have opened too much stores (so, too much employees to pay) to keep up profit. Above a certain number, growth ceases. It even has the opposite effect! Adios sustainability!

Here are some links to blogs and articles about this issue:

TheNextWeb

TechnoBuffalo

Benzinga

iDownloadBlog

Please let me know your thoughts. There are articles about Apple’s layoffs and new retail strategy everywhere, but I get the best of it.

This is why I’m introducing Pathways, just to add up to controversy.

I’m perplexed, puzzled, baffled.

[Edit (August 16, 2012): Apple has issued a public apology about this. They say "we messed up". I am sure that the guys who lost their jobs after just one month are really happy to know that.]

 

 

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