The Apple Watch Edition, an overpriced tech

Marques Brownlee uploaded a video on his YouTube channel (MKBHD) titled Top 5 Most Overpriced Tech! (Pt 2). At third spot is the Apple Watch Edition. Marques’ arguments are similar to other tech-folks — It’s just an Apple Watch with everything the other Watches have but in gold; why would you pay such a huge amount for something that is going to go obsolete next year? These are perfectly understandable standpoints when you look at it through a tech-elite’s eye. You want the best experience (in the form of hardware and software) that your money can buy. Anything beyond is pointless. But the Watch Edition isn’t for such people. It’s for the people who, still, want the best experience but said experience isn’t dependent on ‘bleeding edge hardware-software’. It’s about how the device on their wrist makes them feel. In my opinion Apple made an excellent move here, realising that the wrist is a personal space and strapping something elegant and luxurious (a gold-plated Apple Watch) makes looking at the time a luscious experience the way a luxury gold-plated iPhone never will1. Here’s another way to see it. My Timex Weekender is about $35 depending on the model you choose and it tells the time with precision up to the second. The Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon Skeleton costs above $ 4,50,000 and tells the time with precision up to the minute. Talk about less features, eh? The Apple Watch Sport is a computer strapped to your wrist. The Apple Watch Edition is a luxury item that is also a computer. 1.Not to dismiss a possibility of a gold plated iPhone ‘Edition’. It is possible, but not probable. My point was simply that luxury lets you reap far more value off a device on your wrist than a device in your pocket ↩

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Why the war on drugs is a huge failure – Kurzgesagt-In a Nutshell

The eloquent production that is Kurzgesagt-In a Nutshell, put out their latest video where they talk about how the war on drugs is a catastrophic failure and what an alternative solution might look like. It’s a classic example of a phenomenon I heard CGP Grey talk about (it’s a bit of a personal-favourite) in one of his podcasts: If your present system and practices aren’t working for you, more often than not, throwing more capital/hard-work or devoting more time to the cause is never the solution. You need to change the system in an effective way — rebuild it or alter it, to achieve your desired results. As a bonus, the video might be right up your alley if you’ve watched the Netflix original Narcos.  

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Tim Cook, in hindsight

I’ve been watching Tim Cook’s interviews with various people to get a better understanding of the man lately and, increasingly, I am reminded of the time, back in 2011, where Cook’s efficacy in being a successor to Steve Jobs was under question. Today, I read a piece by Jason Snell for Six Colors where he quotes a New York Times article as so: Although the president and Mr. Cook are not personal friends, associates say they have developed a relationship of professional admiration and mutual self-interest. At the least, the two share similar traits: discipline, a cerebral nature and impatience with office drama. Now they find themselves in roles no one ever imagined, as the central antagonists in the raging debate between personal privacy and the nation’s security. It made me want to take the time out and reflect a little at Cook’s achievements and the turn of events since. Here’s a few thoughts voiced by various sources: John Gruber, DF: Tim Cook is right, and encryption and privacy experts are all on his side[…] Real leaders have courage, and on this very essential issue — in the face of fierce political pushback from law enforcement officials — only Tim Cook is showing any. Nick Heer, PixelEnvy: Apple — and Tim Cook, specifically — is the only major tech company currently defending encryption against intrusive surveillance to this degree. Jack Dorsey (CEO, Twitter): We stand with @tim_cook and Apple (and thank him for his leadership)! Dan Moren, Macworld: The more I consider it, the more I’ve begun to think that even were Jobs still around, Cook might still be the better choice for CEO in this day and age. Can you imagine Jobs being as receptive as Cook was to calls for improved diversity at Apple? Or embracing social media? Or posing for selfies? Yeah, me neither. Shawn King, The Loop: Any discussion that Cook isn’t a good CEO in general or “good enough for Apple” is utterly ridiculous. Cook is arguably a better CEO for Apple, at least right now, than Jobs would have been. Jessica Shankleman, writing for The Guardian: Apple chief executive Tim Cook has bluntly told climate change sceptic investors to ditch their stocks if they do not support his pledge to slash greenhouse gas emissions, in the latest signal that the company will continue to invest in sustainable energy. […] “When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind, I don’t consider the bloody ROI,” Cook said, adding that the same sentiment applied to environmental and health and safety issues. Dave Mark, The Loop: Buzzfeed followed five coders, all of them girls, all of them winners of full scholarships to this past WWDC […] One of them whispers: Thanks for encouraging diversity and giving us a shot. Tim’s reply: Oh, I’m going to do it until my toes point up. Lastly, Tim Cook: Throughout my professional life, I’ve tried to maintain a basic level of privacy. I come from humble roots, and I don’t seek to draw attention to myself. […] At the same time, I believe deeply in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, who said: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ ” I often challenge myself with that question, and I’ve come to realize that my desire for personal privacy has been holding me back from doing something more important. That’s what has led me to today. […] While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me. Needless to say, no one is questioning Tim Cook’s leadership anymore. You can argue with people over their voices, their incentives, their biases all you want but you can’t argue your way through numbers. Whichever way you choose to gauge it, the numbers all point towards the fact that Apple has prospered under Tim Cook’s leadership. I’d be shocked if Apple’s ‘impending doom’ isn’t brought under question, when Tim Cook is inevitably no longer Apple’s CEO, the way it was in 2011. To conclude, and if you have a minute to spare, I suggest you go watch the iconic Think Different video, narrated by Steve Jobs. It’s only suitable.  

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The Q4 2015 smartphone scorecard

Charles Arthur wrote a well-researched article  about the state of the mobile industry and the shambles current high-end Android makers find themselves in and how Apple has managed to distinguish itself from the lot. If I had to dilute Charles’ entire economic rundown on smartphone pricing, Average Selling Prices and other niceties to pick a quotable excerpt, it’s this: “Within the price is perception.” It’s quite the observation. As Dediu also pointed out, Apple hasn’t changed the selling price of its Mac line of computers for around 20 years. For all that Apple’s prices seem out of reach, that is precisely its attraction to some people – perversely, in the view of those who see smartphones (and PCs) as utterly functional and interchangeable. To some, they really aren’t. And to continue having that perception, Apple also has to stand apart with its operating system and services. It could never license iOS; and I don’t see how it could make iMessage cross-platform without diluting its brand value. (That doesn’t mean it couldn’t grow iMessage into a messaging platform in its own right, able to do payments and so on.)   (via. John Gruber)

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