Category: In the Cloud


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.

Apple Knowledge Quotient: 100%

An app told me…

20120815-234506.jpg

However, that’s just the beginning for me.

Thanks to the developers of the app. I hope you’re on WordPress as well!

(Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated or making money by posting this. I let my inner child call his bragging rights!)

Apple’s Message Mapping

APPLE’S MESSAGE MAPPING

Product: MacBook Pro with Retina display

Headline: “It’s a whole new vision for the notebook.” (42 characters. Twitter-friendly.)

4 key elements in short sentences:

A. “Stunning Retina display.”

B. “All-flash architecture.”p

C. “Thin. Light. Powerful.”

D. “The rest of the MacBook Pro family is faster than ever.”

Product: iPhone 4S

Headline: “It’s the most amazing iPhone yet.” (33 characters. Twitter-friendly.)

4 Key elements in short sentences:

A. “Dual-core A5 chip.”

B. “8 MP iSight camera.”

C. “iOS5 and iCloud.”

D. “And introducing Siri.”

Product: The new iPad

Headline: “Resolutionary.” (14 characters. 1/10th of a tweet!)

4 key elements in short sentences:

A. “Breakthrough Retina display.”

B. “5MP iSight camera.”

C. “iLife and iWork for iPad.”

D. “Ultrafast 4G LTE.”

For each “key element”, there are (usually 4, sometimes more) “sub-key elements” which go into greater detail (and technical jargon, too).

Here’s for the three most recent “flagship products”, yet ALL Apple messages ( headlines or sub-headlines) are Twitter-friendly (140-character or less).

Why? Because the human brain has a very limited memory and a short attention span, so it is clever (and necessary, in Apple’s case) to cut the amount of facts to be reminded.

Here are some more Twitter-friendly headlines or sub-headlines. Let’s have a look again at the flagship products.

“The world’s highest-resolution notebook display.” (48 characters!)

“It makes quicker work of everything.” (36 characters!)

“There’s power behind every nanometer.” (37 characters!)

“The intelligent assistant that’s there to help. Just ask.” (58 characters…but a fragmented sentence, which is not a smart thing to do, as the brain loves simple, seamless things, without interruptions, even the smallest ones.)

“Even faster everything.” (23 characters! Notice the “everyday-blather” style.)

“It just might be the best camera ever on a phone.” (49 characters!)

“Years ahead and moving forward.” (31 characters!)

“Your content. On all your devices.” (34 characters…but another fragmented sentence.)

“It’s even more than meets the eye.” (34 characters!)

“Take your best shots yet.” (26 characters!)

“And 225,000 more apps from the App Store.” (43 characters. Beginning a sentence with “and” is not academic, if there’s nothing written before… Yet it may be acceptable in the circle of hipsters and hyperbole users.)

“Full speed ahead.” (17 characters!)

There are a lot more examples, but I will stop there. By now, you know what my point is.

Name the product, craft a twitter-friendly headline, highlight 4 key elements (if within your business, only as a “guidebook”, where you might consider “sub-key elements”, more technical) and voilà: here’s the message you always wanted and always needed.

Greats artists steal, so shamelessly steal Apple’s model!

For job-hunting people: consider using this model (you become the “product” in this case) and replacing your whole CV/résumé/cover letter with just one mapped message.

I won’t be held responsible if you follow this advice and don’t succeed. I will try it myself soon, and I’ll tell you in an update how it went. Yet if you are a daring soul, go ahead and tell me how it went. Your feedback is welcome.

For the last two weeks, I have tackled issues, and I’m still tackling new ones.

(Have a look at my past posts to know what I’m writing about).

Needless to say: it is exhausting.

I always find myself awake at 4:30 am, super energetic (it is usually my energy peak) , and I hate wasting energy.

So, I grab my iPad and read books nobody will. at least I think so.  Would you be interested in reading a book called “Inside Apple“? Unless your are a fanboi computer geek which is interested in HR and temperaments/personalities and their pros and cons, I bet you wouldn’t.

Not a safe bet.

My health has never been great, and I don’t want it to deteriorate.

There are a few tricks that I do before giving in (and I gave in once in my life: I had a lung infection and spent a few days in the coma. OK, I digress, but bear that in mind)!

Taking a shower after having triggered my mind with an insanely intricate computer science lecture, or an inspiring TED talk, is what I usually do.

Solutions and ideas appear when you least expect them. It is common sense.

The next Joe would say the same, but I’m not the next Joe.

When you let purposely your mind wander, it will certainly bring you where it wouldn’t if you were hyper-active and focused obsessed.

My weapon of choice is a simple shower, or a bath.

I soak my hands in warm water before playing keyboards or cello. Any tension disappears, and I can warm-up, then play confidently knowing that I prepared myself.

See… This is a borrowed parallel paradigm (a term I coined a few blog posts ago and didn’t use in a blog post)!

I use a “model” totally unrelated to the task at hand to solve it. I transpose it (sorry for the musical pun).

Well, it’s time for a new TED talk and to catch up on my Stanford lectures (I have a strong disgust for the C language, and we are comparing Objective-C and ANSI C. I want to move on to the next step, yet I know that my teacher is doing what we’ll need ten lectures later).

Oh, one last thing: nothing beats a cup of Yunnan tea.

One more thing: this is the post where my 666th tag will appear. I’m an unabashed metal freak, but in no way Satanist. I just find that ending my post with something less serious could release some tension!

Which are your strategies to kick out stress and burn-outs from tearing you apart?

Do you let your mind wander to find solutions, or do you keep working until you run out of gas?

 

 

 

End of january 2012…

Thanks too an EEG on my request, I’ve just learnt that my right temporal lobe is slowed down for as much as 75% (hence my left hand being amazingly slow), whereas my whole left brain is sped up to a booming 150 percent or more (allowing me to muscle-learn a lot, and at a ultra-fast, face-melting pace).

The two lobes always function at the same time, instead of taking turns like a “normal” brain does. It’s not the common pattern with an alternating activity, in other words. It is exhausting. I last 8-10 hours a day, then fall asleep.

It also explains why I’m struggling to sync left and right. Right now, I’m really uneven in doing something as basic as a single stroke snare roll. RLRLRLRLR…fuckin’ L !
It ends up being jazzy.

I can’t fight it. I tried to, but it turned out to be a real war against myself. No negativity allowed inside. There’s enough outside (linked to inside, as we are a whole) and I’m not the only one to create it!

Yup, this is a mea culpa. I can be negative. What people don’t get is that there has to be a positivity-negativity ratio of 3-1. Google ” Barbara Fredrickson” and you will dig what I mean.

This is all due to chemical imbalance due to way too many years ( 13 ) being fed with improper medication. I’m in total disability regarding work, and I need to fix that shit for I’m running out of gas (money) and cannot refill. Thank whoever I believe in, I’m tough.

All of this happens after tons of applications for rad jobs at Apple. It kinda makes me laugh to read that Apple is an Equal Opportunity Employer. They dismiss weakened applicants! They don’t practice what they preach. They (quite) never did. They have no clue what they miss by only keeping resumes containing a bunch a buzzword bingo bullshit!

However, I’m glad the company is going well even without Steve (as I need their damn products to do what matters to me. I’m an iOS programmer, dangit). I’m somehow pissed and disappointed at how they handle “resume overload”. They should address the issue like Google did. A simple “No more resumes, please. We can’t process 20 million applications a year.” What does it cost?

Can’t Apple also just damn update their job offerings, too? 99 % of them are outdated. I hate writing what I write now, but it’s part of my life!

Here is a brief overview of Apple’s board of admins.

I’m not surprised. What kicks me in the head is how Apple morphed into what it is today. From hippie artists (musicians, painters, etc) who happened to be tech geniuses to… A corporate colossus.

I purposely skipped the quite boring and pompous list of achievements, rewards and past experience, and kept only the degrees description.

If you have equal or higher qualifications, you may interest Apple, but you need a recommendation anyway.

Afterall, A players love to work with A players, right?

Here is the list. Enjoy!

Tim Cook is the CEO of Apple and serves on its Board of Directors.

Tim earned an M.B.A. from Duke University, where he was a Fuqua Scholar, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Auburn University.

Eddy Cue is Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, reporting to CEO Tim Cook.

Eddy earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Economics from Duke University.

Scott Forstall is senior vice president of iPhone Software at Apple.

Forstall received both a Bachelor of Science in Symbolic Systems and a Master of Science in Computer Science from Stanford University.

Jonathan Ive is the senior vice president of Industrial Design at Apple, reporting directly to the CEO.

Ive holds a Bachelor of Arts and an honorary doctorate from Newcastle Polytechnic.

Bob Mansfield is senior vice president of Hardware Engineering, reporting to the CEO.

Mansfield earned a BSEE degree from The University of Texas at Austin in 1982.

Peter Oppenheimer is Apple’s senior vice president and Chief Financial Officer.

Oppenheimer received a bachelors degree from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo and an M.B.A. from the University of Santa Clara, both with honors.

Philip Schiller is Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing and reports to Apple’s CEO.

Schiller graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Boston College.

Bruce Sewell is Apple’s general counsel and senior vice president of Legal and Government Affairs, reporting to Apple’s CEO.

Sewell received his J.D. from George Washington University in 1986, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Lancaster, in the United Kingdom, in 1979.

Jeff Williams is Apple’s senior vice president of Operations, reporting to the CEO.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University and an MBA from Duke University.

Apple’s smart move

With their “12 Days” app, obtained via a newsletter (you are free not to download the app, or download it and use it as you please), Apple is making free many apps, videos, books, and more (with somehow disputable taste), each day from december 26th to january 6th, pushing them to your iDevices.

Of course, with the Genius feature in iTunes, it is blatant that this is not a philantropic endeavour… With iTunes Match, it exerts even more control on the customer experience.

Tunes, albums, books and apps will be suggested, and if interesting to the customer, (even if not, most of the time) be bought, increasing Apple’s revenue (capital being 374,9B as I write, with a stock share worth 403,33$).

This is a special platform strategy: give incentives (sow) and enjoy the benefits (reap). It is what I call “sow-and-reap marketing”©.

Others call it permission marketing, yet in this case, it starts with a gift on your digital hub. Slight difference, yet smart move.

Another example of a successful platform strategy.

(perhaps not as fun and as successful as Google putting the pin in random locations when you searched for “Santa” on Xmas in google maps, or their freezing and snowing animation starting if you type “let it snow” in their search engine.)

Intuition and iOS: the next step

It comes to me as no surprise to have my mail to Scott Forstall (Senior VP of iOS dev) bouncing back to me yesterday.

Apple made it very clear that they’re not accepting any enhancement request.

Well, to the point:

We’re going towards a Web 3.0 and no matter if we’re individuals or businesses, we have to be prepared for it.

Nobody can tell exactly what it will be like, but one can always guess. There are hints from everywhere.

Wanna read what I wrote to Scott? I bet you wanted it.

Here:

Hi Scott,

While reading Steve’s biography, I had a vision. I want to share it with you and Apple.

I understood that the only complex thing in informatics is the programming language. The rest is deceptively simple.

Actually, I always thought so.

To me, it’s time to get rid of compromises like the Babel of programming languages available today. I know it sounds like a Zen Buddhist master’s words.

I am Buddhist.

Same results can be obtained by following one’s intuition or/and by sinking into mind-dulling, awful algebra.

I’m not into mind-dulling.

IT and computers have to become fully intuitive. The iPad, iOS5, iCloud and the cute Siri are showing the way, but there is still code, programming. I call those two “barbwire”.

The human being and the machine should be able to communicate without any interpreting. They should be as intuitive as the behaviour of the baby calf, which is able to walk few minutes after its birth.

I don’t believe that this is utopia. If one company can make such a revolution, it must be Apple.

Please let me know which your thoughts are regarding this topic.

Thanks for reading this mail. I hope to read your words soon.