And Then It Was Gone


Disappointing to see that the Microsoft Band was discontinued today. It was always on my list of wearables I would look at if I was ever to buy a wearable.


To Father a Monster

But according to Colbert, “sustainability concerns have probably had a dampening effect on growth” in the coffee capsule sector. Even John Sylvan, the inventor of the K-cup single-serving coffee pod, America’s biggest selling capsule, last year foreswore his invention. “I feel bad sometimes that I ever did it,” he told one journalist.

I Can’t Help Myself

black_strap_0I can’t help myself, I like the Samsung Gear S. I know the common wisdom says that no one wants a phone on their wrist. But… well… I do. Or at least, I like the idea of it.

A smartwatch that needs to connect to the phone in my pocket has little interest for me. I don’t get why it’s a thing. They do so little. Maybe it’s because I still have a “small” iPhone 4 (3.5″ screen) that makes me think this way. Pulling a “small” phone like that out of my pocket is really pretty easy. And you know what? Once I have it out, I can use it one handed. Can’t do that with a smartwatch. Sound stupid? It’s not. Think about it. When you get a notification on you watch, you pull that arm up to look at the watch. If you want to do anything with that notification, you have to use your other hand to tap or swipe or whatever. Try to walk a dog, or hold a beverage, or carry a bag when doing that and let me know how it goes.

If I’m going to wear something on my wrist, it better do something useful and not get in my way. Like replace my phone, or at least give me the option to leave the phone behind once in a while. Try that with your Moto 360 or Apple Watch and see how far it gets you.

When I go hiking or running, I don’t need my phone, but I would still like to have GPS and have some level of communication.



From Head to Toe

The new Moto Hint (from Motorola) is a smart bluetooth headset that is smarter than it looks because it hints (sorry) at a real future of connected technologies worn on the body.

This will make me sound old, but here goes: Image you have a big smartphone in your pocket, a smartwatch on your wrist, and a smart bluetooth headset in your ear. Now imagine your phone rings (this is the part where I sound old – people using their phones to talk). You glance at your watch to see who is calling, you tap to accept the call, and you just start talking (into your headset). OK, so maybe you are young and you get a text on your watch and just want to send a quick voice message back. Rather than looking a little silly by talking into your watch, you can just use your headset to record the message. Granted, it might seem a little weird to people around you that you randomly say something like, “Pizza at 6 sounds great, see you then”, but nothing is perfect.

The Case

Honestly, then case looks a little goofy, but it makes a lot of sense, because:

  • It charges the headset to keep you going all day
  • It makes it big enough so you won’t loose it

The Wood

MOTO-HINT-walnut-540w37iwbteNo. If you think hardwood dashboards look good, you are wrong. And stupid. They don’t. They look silly (at least in modern cars). Having LEDs and electronic buttons and knobs sticking out of a really over lacquered piece of wood in your car does not add luxury, it just looks dumb. One of the joys of buying a cheap Toyota is that I don’t have to have that shit in my car. Modern cars should be made with modern materials and not try and pretend like they are horseless carriages.

Oh yeah, so my point here is that the little wood panel on the Hint is embarrassing. The new Motorola has been doing a really fine job with design, but apparently, they still need someone on their team that can veto demonstrably silly ideas.

Square Peg in Round Hole

That’s because what LG actually did last night was verify that round displays on smartwatches are real. They’re “a thing.” The Moto 360 isn’t a one-trick pony, a one-off; the industry has officially figured out how to deliver round wearables, and it’s going to do so on a measurable scale.
-The Verge

I grit my teeth every time I hear something like this, that smartwatches need to be round because watches are round. It doesn’t make any sense what so ever. Do people drag their cars around with horses because horses are the way transportation devices have always been dragged around?

The very term “smartwatch” is just as dumb and “horseless carriage”.

What digital information or interface is made better by being round?

It’s real simple: if the market isn’t ready for computers with rectilinear displays worn on the wrist, then the market isn’t ready for smartwatches.

No Words

I have no words for how appalling The Verge’s Back to School 2013: The Verge buying guide is. If this isn’t paid product placement… I have no other explanation.

This article is total flim-flam which is not only a disservice to their readers, but so base that it’s offensive. All gloss, no content. This embodies all that The Verge isn’t.

Dear Verge,

If you value your readers or your own dignity, next time you want to highlight three types of students and profile what technologies they are using, please use actual students with real budgets and needs. Preferably third and fourth year students who have lived through school and have experience.

Thoughtful Thinking

Damn it, this is so simple is makes me feel profoundly dumb:

“The military looked at the bombers that had returned from enemy territory. They recorded where those planes had taken the most damage. Over and over again, they saw the bullet holes tended to accumulate along the wings, around the tail gunner, and down the center of the body. Wings. Body. Tail gunner. Considering this information, where would you put the extra armor? Naturally, the commanders wanted to put the thicker protection where they could clearly see the most damage, where the holes clustered. But Wald said no, that would be precisely the wrong decision. Putting the armor there wouldn’t improve their chances at all.”

Survivorship Bias
– David McRaney