Apple’s HomePod Video Ad is in a Creative Rut

| Particle Debris

Page 2 – News Debris For The Week of March 5th
Google’s Education and Enterprise Efforts Paying Off


A $200 Chromebook with G-Suite is something to be reckoned with.

• Google is being very smart about the introduction of its Chromebooks and the office suite, called G-Suite, into education. Apple isn’t the only company suffering a competitive headache from this Google initiative. Tim Bajarin at Tech.pinions thinks Microsoft is also vulnerable. Here’s the analysis. “Why Microsoft Should Fear Google’s Push Into the Enterprise.

This was the first time I got a chance to hear and talk to the team behind G-Suite and saw how well this product was designed and how much Google pays close attention to their customer’s interests and demands when it comes to adding new features and functions….

I had a conversation with a high ranking exec recently whose daughter also uses a Chromebook in her school, and he pointed out that his daughter recently asked him to look at a doc she was working on and needed his input. He mostly uses Microsoft Office in his work and expected her to show him a Word document. But she pulled up Google’s G-Suite and showed him the doc in this application and a light went off in his head.

There’s much more good stuff in this insightful article.

More Debris

• According to CNBC, the U.S. Government is advising against purchasing this new smartphone from Huawei. “A $229 smartphone just launched, and the US government doesn’t think you should buy it.”  Enough said.

• As we know, Target continues to struggle in its battle with Amazon.

The chain … said Tuesday that it attracted more customers over the holidays by revamping some of its stores, upping its online delivery service and offering exclusive brands and collections.

A Yes/No battle is raging amongst the analysts as to whether Amazon will just go ahead and acquire Target for its very visible and local brick & mortar face to customers. It’s similar to Amazon’s thinking about real bookstores that it has opened as well as Whole Foods. Here’s one argument in favor. And here’s one against. Apple can be thankful that it doesn’t compete on a grand scale against Amazon.

• This recent breakthrough could have major repercussions in the design of smartphones and consumer electronics in general. “Surprise Graphene Discovery Could Unlock Secrets of Superconductivity.” I’m going to do some more research on just what the implications and timeline might be.

HomePod on a shelf too close to the wall

A less expensive HomePod could be a hit.

• Would a less expensive HomePod dramatically improve sales? Apple may be thinking just that. Tom’s Guide reports: “Apple Working on Cheaper HomePod.” This is standard technique in the auto industry. First establish a brand synonymous with quality, then leverage that with a lower cost sibling. The owner gets to bask in the brand name but also save some money while rationalizing that the lower cost product is almost as good. It works, so that’s why I think Apple will do it.

• Admittedly, this company has a product to push, but a recent blog entry has a really well written article on “The state of Mac malware.” It’s well worth reading.

• Apple’s Swift programming language usage has now equalled Objective-C, according to informal data from GitHub and Stack Overflow. In fact, it’s broken into the top 10 in those communities. Here are the details. “Apple’s Swift rises into top 10 programming languages, swapping places with Objective-C.

• Finally, with all the discussion about smart speakers and voice assistants lately, it’s interesting to hear the thoughts of one of the Siri creators, Norman Winarsky. “A Siri creator is surprised by how much Siri still can’t do.

I want to point out a quote.

Winarsky acknowledges that some of this disappointment stems from the sheer difficulty of predicting the pace of major technological advancement, which Bill Gates once summed up as the human tendency to ‘overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next 10.’

As I recall, it was Arthur C. Clarke who first made that observation, albeit on a grander time scale. Nevertheless, as we all do, if Bill Gates absorbed the thought and reiterated it, good for him. It remins a truism.

In any case, this article isn’t an indictment of Apple’s handling of Siri. Rather, it’s more of a perspective on how much we expect, the pace of technology, and how hard this problem is.

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 holiday weeks.

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The objective of this advertisement is to demonstrate that the use case for HomePod in a fun, whimsical way. I believe that it succeeds brilliantly. It’s a cross between the older shape iPod ads and also the latest Apple Christmas advertisements. Indeed, the use case for your HomePod is just like a 21st-century version of the house stereo for music fans. Anybody who likes to sit in a darkened area and immerse themselves in their favourite music may easily relate to the advertisement for an auto clicker mac . I regularly Spike Jones’ job and FKA Twigs is a great… Read more »


John: Some very interesting reads. Just a few quick thoughts. Since you asked, I understand Segall’s point about Apple playing it safe, while the corporate culture is one of risk taking. He has a point, although I’m not certain that it is well-aimed. Companies and corporations worldwide are frequently counselled by agencies to emphasise ‘branding’, which goes beyond protecting the brand to reiterating themes that conjure that brand and become an immediate association, particularly for busy people on the go who might not be able to watch an entire advert, but get a glimpse and then think of that company.… Read more »


The purpose of this ad is to demonstrate the use case for HomePod in a fun, whimsical way. I think it succeeds brilliantly. It is a cross between the old silhouette iPod ads and the more recent Apple Christmas ads. Clearly, the use case for the HomePod is as a 21st century version of the home stereo for music lovers. Anyone who loves to sit in a darkened room and immerse themselves in their favorite music can easily relate to this ad. I always Spike Jones’ work and FKA Twigs is a terrific dancer. The ad reminded me of Spike… Read more »


If Google wants any chance of dethroning or at the very least be on a level-playing with Microsoft, it needs to dethrone Office / Office 365. That’s a huge uphill battle.


From the post about the US warning about the new smartphone from Huawei: “We’re deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks,” FBI Director Chris Wray testified during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in mid-February. Wray also said that the devices give Chinese smartphone makers access or even “control” over the U.S. telecommunications system and “provides the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information” and “conduct undetected espionage.” Two points: 1. Poll after poll shows the party… Read more »