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Submission + - The iPhone's Success is Causing the Watch to Fail

hype7 writes: While it's sold well, the Apple Watch has not captured the hearts and minds of folks in the same way that the iPhone has. It does too much — it's almost confused. Part of the reason? Apple's success with the iPhone. The Blessing of Failure makes the case that Apple's position right now is analogous to Microsoft's back in the late 90s, trying to make the transition to mobile. They could see the future coming — but their success in the desktop arena with Windows meant they couldn't untether themselves from the last paradigm to focus on the next one, and so they tried to ship a PC that looked like a phone. Apple now has the same problem trying to go from the mobile paradigm to the post-mobile paradigm — and it's why the Watch isn't working.

Submission + - How the Apple/FBI Fight Risks the Entire US Tech Industry (

hype7 writes: The Harvard Business Review is running an article which puts the Apple vs FBI fight in the context of a string of US Government actions — all designed to bolster national security, but all of which are having the effect of risking public trust in the US Tech Sector. From the article:

If the U.S. is serious about housing the world’s greatest technology sector — and it should be, because it’s undoubtedly the most important economic sector of the future — then it is going to need to get more serious about fostering it, and viewing it as more than just a place for whistle-stop tours for candidates to raise campaign funds.

Submission + - San Bernadino — And How the US Has Gone Mad ( 1

hype7 writes: “People got shot. So we need a backdoor into your phone” — so goes the US Government's logic in the case against Apple. A post over at Medium digs into this in depth, making a compelling case that this isn't really about keeping Americans safe — if it was, the Government could gain access to the contents of the phone right now, using zero day exploits — but rather, a fight about principles that the US Government wants others to adhere to but thinks it doesn't have to abide by.

Submission + - Is OpenAI Solving the Wrong Problem? (

hype7 writes: The Harvard Business Review is running an article looking at the recently announced OpenAI initiative, and its decision to structure the venture as a non-profit. It goes on to ask some pretty provocative questions: why are the 21st century's greatest tech luminaries opting out of the system that made them so successful in order to tackle one of humanity's thorniest problems? And, if the underlying system that we all operate in is broken, is creating a vehicle without the profit motive inside of it going to be enough?

Comment Re:Is anyone really surprised by this? (Score 1) 144

I use it more when I'm not driving.

For example replying to and sending messages while changing train, or setting reminders for things I think of while walking. I also use "hey Siri" to get the weather forecast and stuff hands free while getting ready in the morning, and for setting timers while cooking.

It's easy to see why it's not much use for a lot of people though.

Comment Re:Two questions need to be asked (Score 4, Insightful) 546

cold fjord writes:

Why is all the blame heaped on Snowden?

Because he is the one that arrogantly ignored the democratic process, stole a massive store of intelligence documents, incompetently encrypted them, and made them available for friend and foe alike, and then fled to be among Americas adversaries.

I was unaware that the activities of the NSA were carried out under the auspices of the "democratic process". We live in a representative democracy. When someone like Bruce Schneier (who has access to the Snowden documents) can meet with legislators (that is, the people who are supposed to be our representatives in this democracy) and tell them what our government is doing rather than the other way around, I think it can be argued that the activities of the NSA no longer constitute part of a democratic process but rather, an arrogant ignoring of the democratic process (as you put it).

Comment Re:Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) (Score 2) 235

Bullshit. If I have a glass half full of boiling water, and a glass half full of ice water, the two glasses have an average temperature of around 50 degrees C. If I pour one into the other, the hot water will cool, and the ice water will warm; but the average temperature is still 50 degrees.
The heat was redistributed, but the average temperature hasn't changed.

No, in your example the average temperature will drop but the total heat of the system will remain the same.

In the commonly understood meaning of ice water, you will have a mixture of ice and water. Such a mixture is understood to have a temperature of 0 degrees centigrade but additional heat needs to be lost to make the transition from liquid water at 0 degrees C to solid water at 0 degrees C (heat of fusion). The mixture of your water at the boiling point and your ice water will equilibrate at a temperature below 50 degrees C. The actual temperature will depend the percentage of water that is in the form of ice in the ice water.

So if the heat can go somewhere other than to change the temperature of water you can have changes of the mean temperature of the water.

Likewise in the rest of the comment, a global energy balance surplus need not mean a short term global surface temperature increase and an energy balance deficit need not mean a short term surface temperature decrease because the energy balance affects more than air temperatures. The oceans, in fact, act as a massive heat sink (and the data is there showing that surplus heat is going there). That is, additional heat affects more than surface air temperatures, it affects ocean temperatures. As a result, anything which affects the heat balance into this heat sink will affect air temperatures. This means that a heat surplus can be masked if additional heat gets temporarily dumped into the ocean but it also means that if the process that is dumping surplus heat into the ocean decreases you will see an atmospheric temperature rise.

Submission + - How to Hire a Great Engineering Manager (

hype7 writes: The great engineering manager — one of the hardest candidates to find. It's easier to tell the great engineers — you can just look at their code. But how do you tell if someone is as skilled in solving the softer, human problems? This post over at VentureBeat grapples with exactly this question, suggesting a very cool test to tell if someone has the chops to lead a team of engineers. The spoiler? It involves asking an engineering manager candidate to role play out a presentation of what they'd succeeded and failed at the conclusion of their first year.

Submission + - High Frequency Trading and Finance's Race to Irrelevance

hype7 writes: The Harvard Business Review is running a fascinating article on how finance is increasingly abstracting itself — and the gains it makes — away from the creation of value in the real world, and how High Frequency Trading is the most extreme version of this phenomenon yet. From the article: High frequency trading is a different phenomenon from the increasing focus on short term returns by human investors. But they’re borne from a similar mindset: one in which financial returns are the priority, independent of whether they’re associated with something innovative or useful in the real world. What Lewis’s book demonstrated to me isn’t just how “bad” HFTs are per se, but rather, what happens when finance keeps walking down the path it seems to be set on — a path that involves abstracting itself from the creation of real-world value. The final destination? It will enter a world entirely of its own — a world in which it is fighting to capture value that is completely independent of whether any is created in the first place.

Submission + - Good engineering managers aren't just hard to find — they don't exist (

hype7 writes: Here's a provocative article; the VP of engineering of a Sequoia-backed startup in Silicon Valley makes the case that good engineering managers aren't just hard to find — that they basically don't exist. The crux of his argument? The best engineers get all the benefits of being leaders, but without needing to take on the rather painful duties of management. So they choose not to move up. Compare this to the engineers who aren't as strong, and use the opportunity to move up as a way to get their voice heard.

Comment "We believed we knew better what customers needed (Score 4, Insightful) 278

"We believed we knew better what customers needed long term than they did."

Yeah, except Steve Jobs thought this too, and look where Apple is.

This piece is interesting as a historical account but, like all these journalistic articles on why something happened, it's all hindsight 20/20 bullshit. If you want to understand why you can't trust the press to really explain the cause and effect of events, I encourage you to check out this book: The Halo Effect. Tears it all apart.

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