My take on the Apple Watch

A friend forwarded me this NY Times article about the mechanical watch makers responding to the Apple Watch. It prompted me to write a long email response which I thought would make a good blog post. So here goes.

After wearing the Apple Watch Sport for more than a month now I can tell you it’s going to stay on my wrist. It is not a reduction of the phone but rather an extension of it. A very useful one. I’ve purchased two additional color bands that I switch depending on what I’m wearing. I plan on purchasing additional straps/bands as interesting designers start creating them for Apple Watch.

I use Apple Watch for telling the time, fitness tracking, managing my appointments, and for checking messages/notifications. I’ve filtered down notifications so that only the most important make it to the Apple Watch. When I get a gentle tap on the wrist I simply glance at my watch to see the notification. If it’s a message that I can use a canned response for then I just reply right from the watch. I don’t take my phone out of my pocket if I get a notification on the phone. As a result, I use the phone a little less.

I purchased the Apple Watch Sport because it is inevitable that subsequent versions of the watch will improve. I will purchase a more expensive stainless steel model when it includes GPS and better water resistance. I’d like to keep it on when I’m swimming or kayaking. (I know a touch screen that works submerged is a tall order.) I’d also like to see them make the watch bigger. The current 42mm looks fine on my wrist but I wouldn’t mind a larger face. I’ve worn Suunto watches in the past and I’d love to see Apple make a watch with that form factor. I will probably never consider buying the gold watch.
I’ve always worn watches mostly inexpensive Swatch watches (I am a child of the 80s) but much as I drool over mechanical watches, I can’t justify the cost. They are beautiful objects and I especially marvel at the models with multiple interesting complications. They are truly wonderful. Even with Apple entering the fray, I don’t think expensive mechanical watches are going anywhere. There will always be a market for them. All these hybrid watches these guys are trying to create to compete are a mistake. I mean, smart straps? It’s like building a hybrid Lamborghini. Yes, there is an overlap between people who want expensive mechanical watches and smart watch functionality. I think that market is smaller than the overall mechanical watch market and way smaller than the market for smart watches.
Apple is going to take a great chunk of the smart watch market by making very compelling products. Like phones they aren’t going to dominate market share but they will take most of the profits because of their complete mastery of logistics and manufacturing. They will likely compete with mechanical watch makers at the periphery, maybe for the sub-thousand dollar segment. They will continue to improve not only the function but the materials that make up the watch as well. I doubt they are going to really threaten high-end mechanical watch makers. As long as there are people with money and expensive tastes, mechanical watchmakers will fine. It’s everyone else that’s in trouble.
My take on the Apple Watch

All programming teams are constructed by and of crazy people

Probably one of the funniest articles I’ve read on programming all year.

Every friend I have with a job that involves picking up something heavier than a laptop more than twice a week eventually finds a way to slip something like this into conversation: “Bro, you don’t work hard. I just worked a 4700-hour week digging a tunnel under Mordor with a screwdriver.”

They have a point. Mordor sucks, and it’s certainly more physically taxing to dig a tunnel than poke at a keyboard unless you’re an ant. But, for the sake of the argument, can we agree that stress and insanity are bad things? Awesome. Welcome to programming.

from Programming Sucks

(via Khürt, Thanks, man!)

Update: whoops forgot the dang link!

All programming teams are constructed by and of crazy people

The Internet is a freedom machine. Make it work for everyone.

The other day I listened to “Wishful Thinking” the latest “dislike club” episode of Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything podcast. This series of episodes focuses on the current, sad, state of the Internet. How it’s turned from an amazing place where ideas, thoughts, and emotions are freely exchanged into a virtual gulag. A place where we slave away trading our personal information, endlessly liking things, to generate profits for big companies.

This last episode focuses on online harassment and it’s quite powerful. The Internet is probably one of the last places you can make someone’s life absolutely miserable and suffer zero consequences. Not surprisingly most of the victims here are women and it can get so bad that they must leave the Internet, dis-engage from public life, because of it. If the behavior most women face online happened in the workplace people lose their jobs and get prosecuted. When it happens online, nothing happens to the individual or group responsible. This kind of behavior has to stop.

Coincidentally, this week the people over at the Tor Project posted  Solidarity Against Online Harassment. Read it. Sign your name, but more importantly, act. Fight this crap everyday. Defend those being harassed, condemn this behavior, and cast a critical eye at your own behavior.

The Internet is probably the greatest freedom machine ever built. My freedom has to stop where it might infringe on your freedom and your ability to express your ideas.

The Internet is a freedom machine. Make it work for everyone.

Above Avalon a valuable signal for Apple watchers

I do a lot of apple watching and over time I’ve whittled down the number of places I go for such information. Recently Neil Cybart (a former stock analyst) launched Above Avalon a throwback email newsletter that covers Apple from a finance angle. I normally would have unsubscribed by now, who needs more email, but Cybart has me hooked. Just today he introduced me to a few new companies with apps in a growing space aimed at the financial consumers: Robinhood, Affirm, and Oscar. (Robinhood sounds particularly interesting to me.) Short and to the point, I look forward to reading Above Avalon every weekday. I recommend it to anyone interested in news related to Apple as a business.

Above Avalon a valuable signal for Apple watchers

Goat – Hide from the Sun and Tribal Seeds – Dawn of Time

Dropping two tracks that had been on heavy rotation at the beach house this year. The first is a jam by the Swedish band Goat titled “Hide from the Sun”. I love the heavily fuzzed out guitar line about 2/3 in to this one. The second is “Dawn of Time” by the San Diego reggae band Tribal Seeds. I know San Diego isn’t normally the place I would go to seek out this kind of music but this track goes great with sand, surf, and sunshine.

 

Goat – Hide from the Sun and Tribal Seeds – Dawn of Time

Bastille – Laura Palmer

I’ve been out at Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference all week in San Francisco drinking from the fire hose of new information related to all the goodness they released on Monday. Music always plays a big part at almost every Apple event from the music they play between sessions to the guest band that plays the wrap up “bash” at the end of the week. This year Bastille played a set.  They weren’t bad. Not a band I would seek out but they have some quirks that intrigue me. The band is obsessed with the TV show Twin Peaks and are fond of doing covers. Last night they played TLC’s “No Scrubs” and just for fun they mash that up with the guitar riff and a verse or two from The XX’s “Angels”. Anyhoo, I couldn’t find that track on Spotify so I’m throwing in “Laura Palmer”. Not my typical pick but what the hell it’s catchy and it was fun to pogo too at the show.

Bastille – Laura Palmer