Predictions About Apple’s WWDC Announcements are Actually Valuable


Page 2 – News Debris For The Week Of May 29th
The Death of Net Neutrality.

We are so screwed.

Net Neutrality graffiti on a brick wall
Net Neutrality, the writing’s on the wall.

Netflix has given up the good fight for net neutrality. That’s because the new leadership at the FCC isn’t going to fight for and regulate net neutrality as before, predisposed as chairman Ajit Pai is, it seems, to promote the interests of big corporations. Seeing the handwriting on the wall, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings no longer sees net neutrality as an important corporate and consumer issue. The reason is depressing. According this article at CNET, Net neutrality may have lost Netflix as an ally.,” Reed Hastings recently said:

We’re big enough to get the deals we want.

OMG.I could go on and on about this remark, but I’d fill up pages and pages. Suffice it to say that when, in my view, the government turns its back on the idea that the internet should serve everyone equally and that the government is the good steward of that service, the internet is in Big Trouble. In denial of responsible oversight and service to the nation, the FCC seems poised to promote the worst instincts of giant corporations.

Or at the very least, force Netflix into this callous, dog-eat-dog mentality. But in a rare win for consumers, this next item should bring a smile to your face.

More Debris

The tweet that alerted me to this article said, approximately: “The Supreme Court declares that if a company sells you something, you own it.” The context is whether a company can sell you toner cartridges for your printer and then dictate what you can do with it. Sidebar:

The SCOTUS ruling means companies can’t use patent law to stop you from doing what you want with the things you buy.

See: “Why The Supreme Court’s Ruling In Toner Cartridge Case Is A Win For Consumers.

It was a 7-1 decision (Judge Gorsuch did not participate). w00t!

The OneLogin breach revealed this week made me think that perhaps services like that need to be licensed, just as engineers who design buildings and bridges must be licensed. After all, it’s a public safety issue. That’s apparently what China is thinking in this article: “China’s Unprecedented Cyber Law Signals Its Intent to Protect a Precious Commodity: Data.” But that initiative also comes with a wrinkle.

Among them is a requirement that certain companies submit their products to the government for cybersecurity checks, which may even involve reviewing source code. How often it would be required, and how the government will determine which products must be reviewed is unknown. This could come into play as part of China’s broader regulatory push to expand law enforcement’s power to access data during criminal investigations.

Along those lines, perhaps there is no rigorous licensing in the U.S. because law enforcement likes the prospects for a frisky hack when there’s a criminal investigation. All in all, protecting user data for the sake of a growing economy balanced against the need for criminal investigations is something the U.S. hasn’t yet squarely grappled with. Perhaps China’s lead will set a standard, if we have a mind to follow their lead, that is.

Few of us can ever expect to be as successful as Steve Jobs. He was unique in the history of technology. But there are many other successful men and women in tech who serve as stellar examples for us. While Mr. Jobs was one-of-a-kind, the skills he mastered can be an inspiration to the rest of us in ur work. Here’s a neat article that compares Elon Musk to Steve Jobs. “The Two Counterintuitive Traits That Make Steve Jobs and Elon Musk Exceptional Leaders.

Most notable for me was the ability of these men to stick, instinctively, with a clear personal vision, and yet have the judgement, grace, and perspective to be properly corrected or adapt to a new situation when necessary. We all need to do that in our work. This article is a good read.

For those who are skeptical about Facebook, I must point to this post by John Gruber and his discussion of a Dave Winer missive about Facebook. WARNING. The language isn’t family friendly. “F**k Facebook.

Finally, ICYMI, Walt Mossberg’s last weekly column for The Verge and Recode is a great one. If you haven’t read it yet, take some time with the master. “The Disappearing Computer.” I’m going to miss Walt’s regular columns.

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 weekends.

2 thoughts on “Predictions About Apple’s WWDC Announcements are Actually Valuable

  • JM: “the ability of these men to stick, instinctively, with a clear personal vision, and yet have the judgement, grace, and perspective to be properly corrected or adapt to a new situation when necessary. We all need to do that in our work.”

    Yep, not just in work, but in many, if not all, parts of our life.

    By the way, good comments by wab95, especially the last 2 paragraphs. But it seems that 95% of those “reporting news and views” online regularly neglect to do that. They zoom past any possible conceptual flaw that may have driven larger screens and accompany bigger batteries—like fires that burn down cars, houses or divert flights.

  • John:

    You’ve very nicely articulated the spirit, rationale and expectation with which we should approach these Apple keynotes, particularly in the era of a mature and highly successful tech behemoth.

    True, pundits and fans alike, when engaged in product prediction, are having an important conversation about what they would like, and Apple no doubt scans those discussions, although what they do with them is another matter. Given the long tail of product development, I don’t see Apple adjusting their rollout based on this chatter, but rather bracing themselves for impact when they observe a profound disconnect and having internal discussions about addressing those needs in future within the scope of their development pipeline (e.g. ‘No on the netbook; but how about an iPad?’).

    Expectations will vary across the spectrum, and some simply aren’t worth a moment’s reflection by a serious company. For example, were yours truly to express his real wish for the laptop of choice…(buckle up) it would be for a quantum device, supported by a Siri or AI interface, that is truly anticipatory. I could say, ‘Okay Siri, let’s write a grant proposal’; and she would say, ‘What shall we write about today?’, to which I would respond, ‘A proposal on phase 2 of project X’. Siri would scan my database across all hardware devices and cloud storage sites, and, nanoseconds later, reply ‘Ready’. With but a few opening keystrokes or dictated words, Siri would clue into where I’m going with this, and just like word suggestion on the iPhone – but on Incredible Hulk – busting steroids, respond with whole thought streams fit into paragraphs of prose, drawing from either my actual previous writings, works or recorded thoughts, or simply my writing style. Siri would provide me with whole thought-stream options at breakpoints; ‘Shall we go with thought option A or B?’ allowing me to select the next thought sequence, and by simply following where my eye alights and my pupil dilates with acceptance, chooses that option, and again, whole paragraphs of perfect text appear. If Siri detects stress, such as elevated blood pressure or heart rate on my Apple watch, or the release of stress hormones, she could pause and query for refinement. Moving on, my and my colleagues’ CVs are updated with our latest activities and publications, and fitted into the correct format for the application. Budgets, with my mere specification of categories and costs, auto-populate with running tallies of costs and overhead. Oh my! And by the time my coffee cools or I’m ready for lunch, whichever comes first, my proposal is done, and I can be ready for the next feat to the day. That’s my machine of choice.

    Now, let me put down the peyote and the opium pipe and come back to reality and the discussion at hand.

    You’ve rightly addressed the issue of managing expectations. To this, let me add, when it comes to Apple and anticipated products and services, we should consider two things in order to manage our expectations: trends and context. What do these mean? The first, trends, suggests that we look at the trajectory, pace, features and capabilities of a given product, and adjust expectations to the next likely step in extending those capabilities, but in keeping with precedent as to both consumer need and Apple’s history with respect to adopting newer capability. Specifically, bearing in mind that Apple practically never adopt a technology that cannot provide a consistent user experience, and is secure, however attractive it might be. Another historical precedent is that Apple are not likely to adopt a technology that will dramatically lessen battery life or performance speed. And finally, that technology must meet or beat Apple’s current security standards, without compromising that of the ecosystem.

    As for platform enrichment, this is the context in which evolving or new products and services are rolled out. The Apple Watch, for example, is meant to be Apple’s most personal product. It is reasonable to expect that Apple will extend the AW’s personal monitoring capability (e.g. Personal health indicators like blood glucose, specific proteins and by-products related to acute and chronic life threatening conditions), but not reasonable to expect Apple to add a new tech feature, like video recording, which could impair battery life and increase size, simply because a competitor might do so. Another example might be an emerging or unmet consumer need; like more powerful AI capability at the point of maximum impact or usefulness. Anticipate greater Siri capability and function on devices like the AW or the iPhone – devices that the user is likely to nearly always have available, but whose power and capability can be greatly extended by a more powerful but secure AI.

    In my view, and according to my observational experience, these two qualifiers, trend and context, allow one to not simply manage expectations, but when inevitably greeted with the unexpected, provide a rational reference frame from which to assess which consumer need has been addressed, objectively weigh its value proposition, and then make an evidence-based determination as to whether that need has been satisfactorily met, even if not in the way one might have expected.

    And in the last analysis, be ready to actually see, touch and play with it before declaring it to be a failure, and a portent of Apple’s impending doom.

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