Category Archives: Uncategorized

Apple + Beats – It’s Demographics..

On the surface Apple buying Beats Audio for 3.2 billion looks insane.  In this case I think Apple is crazy like a fox.

Beats audio on the surface looks woefully overpriced.. like their products.

The overall market for Premium headphones is about $1 billion and Beats does have a large chunk of that, but consumers are fickle.  Beats also has a premium streaming app that is doing well since its January launch, but it too early to tell.

Why is Apple so interested?  Simple demographics.  Apple skews towards affluent consumers.  Apple has a great market and an aspirational one. Unfortunately it is NOT an urban brand and is now losing/lost traction with teens and young adults.

Continue reading Apple + Beats — It’s Demographics..

What we need to Unlearn…

unlearning-in-progress-sign“Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.” – Mark Twain

I was reading an article on college admissions recently that reminded me of another great quote.

“When I was a teenager I knew everything. After many years of education and life I have learned that I knew nothing.”

A good college is one that challenges your perception of the world. A place where the rug is pulled out from under you and you have to scramble to find a footing that is secure.

It is a shame that we don’t continue to have the same ideals in lower education. We have lost our understanding of what education is.

I salute those who help people to unlearn!

 

A Syrian Solution

International politics is not a game for the faint of heart. The many machinations of the pawns on the chessboard is enough to keep you up at night wondering who is really playing who.

In a way the biggest problem is that this is all being played as a zero-sum game.  If one side wins the other must be losing.  In this winner keeps all scenario each country is playing for their goals without concern for the greater good.  Any concession is an admission of defeat.

Continue reading A Syrian Solution

Ocean Cleanup Array is stupid!

Ocean-Clean-up-array

Stiv Wilson, policy director for 5Gyres,org which is dedicated to cleaning up the ocean,  recently posted an article pointing out that the proposed Ocean Cleanup Array is not only a pipe dream, but distracts the public from the real solution.

Digested version… any robot/automation we design to clean plastic out of the oceans will not only be prohibitively expensive.. it will also never work. Not only is it extremely difficult to get anything to work in the ocean (corrosion, storms, etc.) there is no way to collect the plastic without killing off most of the plankton.. on which most sea life depends.

Luckily the ocean deposits about 10 percent of the plastic on beaches each year. If we reduce the plastic waste that makes it to the ocean by 90% then in 10 years the ocean will also be 90% cleaner.

The solution is not to clean up the mess, it is to prevent it.

Read the Stiv’s article HERE.

Network Testing Toolbox

Many times  our  Q/A staff is tasked by well meaning managers with the task of testing some new website, plugin, game or other network enabled application with zero training, tools or even a basic understanding of the scope of what they need to test.

Any network enabled application can run into a number of issues that it will need to work with or fail gracefully from. Without adequate testing the company will at the least loose some of its reputation, and at most go out of business.

A short list of of common network errors include, but are not limited to:

  1. Server Failure
  2. Packet Loss
  3. Slow Connection
  4. No Connection
  5. Bad or corrupt data

To test these scenarios required dedicated hardware in the past, but today almost any PC or Mac can detect and simulate most network conditions through simple to use tools. To  get a team  started I have assembled the simple networking toolbox bellow..

Continue reading Network Testing Toolbox

Catching The Next Wave

The Wave

A while back (March 2008) I wrote an article for Game Developer Magazine on what was coming up in gaming.

Most of these predictions came true, but that is not remarkable considering that we were only looking a couple years ahead.  What I find more interesting is that things have not moved faster.  After all the vacuum isn’t going anywhere.

Catching the Next Wave.

If we take a look at the Petri-dish we call the Internet we notice something, it evolves pretty quickly.  What was the killer application last month is old news the day the next start-up launches. The companies that grow either have something intrinsically valuable, or can evolve faster than their peers. We are learning that the only true constant is ever accelerating change.

Continue reading Catching The Next Wave

And so it begins..

I have been toying with the idea of a blog for some time. Not because I think I have opinions that are that much more interesting that the next, but because I feel the need to write about them.

I have found that in my life I only grow if I challenge myself. By writing about each opinion we have we challenge those ideas and force ourselves to think a bit more critically.

-Marty