The Cord Cutting Fantasy Isn’t Delivered With Just an Apple TV

Curd Cutting

Page 2 – The Tech News Debris for the Week of July 11th
iPhone Stress Relief

Despite the evolution of the iPhone, with its ever increasing sophistication, the replacement rate by customers is systematically stretching out. This chart from Citi analysts shows the trend. (Note however that everything beyond June, 2016 is a projection.) Why this is happening is likely based more on economics, technical maturity and stress analysis than a waning appetite for technology.

iPhone in crystal ball
We’re always dreaming (and fretting) about the next iPhone

That is, when the carriers stopped rolling most of the the cost of a new iPhone into monthly plans, customers became more acutely aware of the actual hardware cost, even if on the basis of a low cost loan. Upshot: Freedom from subsidies also means freedom to cut costs. That’s done by stretching out the upgrade cycle. TANSTAFL.

I am reminded of one of Murphy’s laws. Under the most strictly held conditions of temperature, pressure and humidity, the organism will do as it darn well pleases.

In Apple’s case, an unintended consequence of market saturation is the fiscal psychology of the less affluent segment of the market, combined with a sense of being overwhelmed.

While on that subject… Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed these days by technology change? Here’s a neat article from the CEDIA blog. (That’s the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association.) The explanation for these predictions is good, “The Law of Accelerating Returns,” if it makes you feel any better.

That premise, famously posited by Google Futurist Ray Kurzweil, states that information technology is growing—and learning—exponentially. Humans don’t operate that way—we are, by our nature, linear—but the machines we’ve created have the ability to double their “thinking” power at a startling rate. Exponentially, in fact.

As people, we plod along. We proceed in simple steps, one after another.

I don’t think most people really hate change. They just hate the stressful rate of change. To keep up, a lot has to be left behind. Reminds me of Apple.

Along those lines, here’s a companion article. “Science catching up with science-fiction.” IoT is notable in that regard, as is the miraculous iPhone.

Speaking of iPhones, check out: “iPhone 7 and Apple’s next Retina Display frontier: Wide Color.” Do you see the logo on the orange square?

Moving on….

We know the black hats spend their whole lives trying to hack into computer systems for profit. Wouldn’t it be cool if a team of stellar ex- MI5, MI6, GCHQ, CIA, and FBI people got together to form an organization to fight the black hats? That’s exactly what Darktrace is doing. Well funded, they are now helping to protect over 1,000 businesses. Very cool stuff.

If you’ve been wondering about PC sales over the last few years, here’s a bar chart that sums up Global PC shipments, by quarter, since 2008. “5 Years Past ‘Peak PC’.” It’s fascinating because if you had looked at this entire chart, via a time machine, back in 2010, you might have concluded that (joy!) the iPad would be the cause of the decline. Oops.

What happens if you give people a cell phone in their Apple Watch? They’d talk and talk, right? Then complain about the short battery life. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes ponders: “Why cellular on the Apple Watch 2 will be a feature you’ll hate.”

Finally, for some comic relief on a hot July Friday, I present: “2 California men fall off edge of ocean bluff while playing ‘Pokemon Go’.” (They are okay, thank goodness.)

More delicious than ice cream, I’d say.


Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article of the week (preamble on page one) followed on page two by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holidays.

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W. Abdullah Brooks, MD

John: I just back and re-read my post and found a typographical error that renders the first sentence in paragraph 6 uninterpretable. It reads (change italicised), “An important observation that often goes unremarked, and when remarked, whose implication to device creation and adoption is seldom applied to which technologies should be pursued and are ‘smart’ in the sense that they are timely, appropriate and necessary. ” It should read, “An important observation that often goes unremarked, and when remarked, whose implication to device creation and adoption is seldom applied, is which technologies should be pursued and are ‘smart’ in the… Read more »

W. Abdullah Brooks, MD

John: Greetings as I pen this post from my mother’s basement. Literally. You’ve provided much food for thought in this week’s PD, however, I’ll confine myself to but one. There is a unifying theme between Ed Wenck’s article about the future, in which he cites Ray Kurzweil that humans are ‘by our nature, linear’ with respect to our growth and adaptation, and Taha Khalifa’s piece on science catching up with science fiction, in which he poses a valid question; ‘At IFA 2015, one of the world’s leading trade shows for consumer electronics and technology applications, technology was brought to life,… Read more »


There Are a few I nteresting side effects of “cord cutting” that seem to be overlooked often. Right now, it looks good because there is a lot of content that makes it from broadcast and cable TV to “cordless” services, so the idea seems very inticing. But who do you think is paying for that content? Right now it’s cable and satellite systems. But as subscribers go away and revenu drops, so does the vast array of programming. (The same argument can be made for a la carte services. ). As much of the new programming disappears, what will be… Read more »


I cut my cable a year and a half ago when I realized that what I was watching most of the time, MSNBC and Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, were both available online. I quickly added a 3rd generation Apple TV with a Hulu subscription and haven’t looked back. I tried HBO Now a couple of times, but I find I really don’t watch it enough to justify the expense.
I’m completely uninterested in sports, so that helps. I’m finding most of my supplemental viewing content comes from YouTube.


We just switched from DirecTV to a small local cable provider that resells a hand full of satellite channels along with local stations. Our monthly bill dropped $38. We also switched from Brighthouse internet service to DSL saving another $15 per month. We use Netflix but are growing frustrated with the growing trend pulling series or seasons from availability. This has happened in the middle of watching the seasons of some series. More and more we are simply buying a couple of season passes in iTunes a month of what we want to watch. It costs less than the various… Read more »


Oh and one more thing. We keep looking at AppleTV and other such boxes and it seems that whatever we want to watch has to be on our cable subscription to show up. Well in that case why bother with the box?


We’ve been exploring cord cutting and, well, it’s not been going well. Netflix Canada has much less than advertised for the US version. I find I use daily-motion more than anything else. Then this is the summer. My wife can use MLB.COM for her baseball fix. But come fall she’ll want to see the Vikings, and Gopher sports, which we can’t seem to find online anywhere. Also as we didn’t completely cut the cord, we just cut back to a bare minimal package, we’re finding that we’re drifting back to turning on cable. It’s just there, easy, simple, a no… Read more »