Monthly Archives: September 2010

RANT.

What in the name of god is wrong with commenters on the internet? I have come across the same question/problem/lack of common sense numerous times recently and MUST VENT.

THE ENTIRE CONTENT OF AN ARTICLE OR BLOG POST DOES NOT HAVE TO HAVE THE SAME TONE. SARCASM, RHETORICAL QUESTIONS, HUMOR, SATIRE, SERIOUSNESS, DRYNESS, IAMBIC PENTAMETER, et al. CAN ALL RESIDE PEACEFULLY IN COHABITATION WITH ONE ANOTHER INSIDE THE SAME PIECE OF WRITING.

For the love of god.

EXAMPLES:

Ars Technica:
PapaSnuff -

“Things will kick off with everybody’s favorite chapter in the Star Wars saga, The Phantom Menace”

I want to believe this is sarcasm, but the rest of article’s tone didn’t convince me.

This has to be sarcasm, right? RIGHT?

Also, terrible idea.

QuickJump:
TimShady87 —

That’s what I was thinking, this article is short and weird and misleading. “Surely it must be worth it” sounds like sarcasm but the rest of the article sounds sincere so maybe not. Who’s responsible for this?

CrunchGear:
Devin Coldewey –

guess my sarcasm was a little too subtle for these guys

Devin Coldewey writes for CrunchGear.

iOS is showing its age.

Forget the fact that Android is chewing away significant portion of the smartphone user mindshare. And, forget that with the backing of HP, WebOS has returned from the grave. Forget that Windows Phone 7 is poised to strike with all the weight Microsoft can muster to get back into this market. Forget also that, while seemingly delayed, MeeGo looks to be a solid contender, especially in Europe.

Forget all of that.

What I want to talk about is how badly iOS is showing its age. Compared to these newcomers, the overall design paradigm for Apple’s (now flagship) operating system seems woefully outdated. Even tacky.

“one of these things is not like the others…”

All the chrome bezels, faux 3D curves, high gloss glare and reflections from some unseen omnipresent light source are becoming visually tired, and really when it comes down to it, busy and ugly.

On the cusp of the teens of this new century Apple, the longtime herald of good design, has fallen behind. And to the likes of Microsoft and the open-source community no less! Plotted on a continuum Android would be little more than a contemporary to iOS (albeit much faster evolving) and WebOS a hybrid middle-ground; half copycat and half innovation. But, beyond that things become steadily more progressive. Enter MeeGo and Windows Phone 7.

Just look at any screenshot from WP7 or MeeGo or even the latest Ubuntu release and you will see what I mean. Websites like GDGT and others (Joystiq, Ars Technica, the new Twitter, Facebook to a degree…) have been leading the way in this shift toward usability through minimalism for a while now.

The shift from glossy photo-realistic interface is long overdue. Our movement away from hyper-realism reflects a maturation of our expectations of technology as a consumer and end user.

In decades past, as the personal computer and it’s amazing bedfellow the internet were going through their growing pains, the layers of gloss impressed us. Comments like “Look at these graphics” or “it’s so realistic” were commonplace, and rightfully so. Nothing like these achievements had ever been made.

Just like painting during the Renaissance, the ability to mimic reality was one of the measures by which we gauged progress and ability. But, once achieved, those abilities become the norm and the user/viewer looks harder at what can be done with the technology rather than what the technology can do.

This is an important shift. A shift from simple justification toward exploration, diversity and focus on functionality. Examining and questioning core principles about what technology is and what it should do for us will, hopefully, follow.

Apple’s effort to force us all to embrace design and function may have blown up in its face. While they still hold the reigns in the realm of hardware design (firmly rooted in the explorations and divergences of the past) they are losing ground in what is arguably the most important space in the age of slates and touchscreens: the interface. A generation of designers, artists and programmers grew up using Macs and now they have taken the torch. And they don’t all work at Apple. Nor do they all have Steve Jobs to contend with.

UPDATE: This line from Notion Ink’s Rohan Shravan’s blog on the UI of the Adam is quite promising:

“Icons are not glossy and web 2.0-ish as you find on all the current generation of devices;”

A compendium of bizarre investment banking terms

This is a list of very strange jargon I have come into contact with since I began working in the investment banking world. I will add more as they present themselves.

Chinese Wall: An imaginary separation placed between a brokerage firm’s investment banking business and its trading and retail business. A Chinese wall prevents investment bankers who frequently are privy to information that could substantially influence the price of a client’s securities from leaking that information to the firm’s traders and sales personnel. The exchange of such information is legally prohibited.

Haircut: (1) The difference between the prices at which a market maker can buy and sell a security. (2) The percentage by which an asset’s market value is reduced for the purpose of calculating capital requirement, margin, and collateral levels.

Blood Language: I have no idea what this means…

Baked-in: Coming soon…

Here’s a story I just wrote.

I sat playing on my phone for a very long time. I didn’t talk to that girl.

She looked pretty.

Maybe I’ll see her again. But, it doesn’t really matter because I won’t talk to her then either.

Google Scribe thinks this is what I want to say…

Each of these issues are not addressed in these studies were conducted in the presence of any of these fits are shown in Table 1 and Figure 2 shows the results of these studies have been conducted in these areas and their associated costs and benefits of these changes is the addition of these two types of information that is not appropriate for all users of the catalogue should also be noted that there is anything you would not believe how much I loved them all.

[Sentence constructed completely by hitting Tab numerous times in the text field of Google Scribe.]

The 6th gen iPod Nano needs apps


Like many of you, I was also underwhelmed by the Apple event today, but I did get excited about the possibility of the Nano…as a wrist watch.

And, if they added a developer SDK (probably very stripped down, but also probably easy to write apps) there could be loads of cool/useful/cute apps on this thing.

Here’s just a few possibilities off the top of my head that would work on the tiny screen:

Coin Toss
Stopwatch
Simon
Dice Roller
Pocket Pet
Tic Tac Toe
Flashlight
Checklist, Notes, Calendar (synced from iTunes)
Alarm
Counter
Brain Trainer…

And of course video playback (if it is capable). Let’s get it done Apple!