A simple market-based solution to Apple Maps vs. Google Maps

A simple market-based solution to Apple Maps vs. Google Maps:

Why would Google be so blasé? One big reason is that Apple’s users pay nothing for the app. And, because users pay nothing, Google can ignore those users’ suffering while relishing the sight of Apple embarrassing itself.

To fully understand what’s going on here, it is essentiall to understand the difference between customers and users (aka consumers). Customers pay. By not paying, and functioning only as a user, you have little if any economic leverage. Worse, you’re the product being sold to the actual customers, which are advertisers.

This Google vs. Apple thing reminds me of my days in commercial broadcasting. There too consumers and customers were different populations. Consumers were listeners and viewers whose ears and eyeballs were sold to advertisers, who were the real customers. Listeners and viewers had no leverage when a station or a network got in the mood to kill a format, or a show. We’re in the same spot here, at least in respect to Google.

[Doc… dead on as usual. “Data wants to be free, but value wants to be paid for. Let us pay. We’re the damed market. Let us help you work out the kinks in your products. Develop real relationships with us, and provide real customer support that’s worth what we pay for it.” Google has shown zero interest in this to date. And has had the worst customer experience from that perspective of almost any company.]

Source: Doc Searls Weblog

Video of That 2007 ‘Intel Inside’ Sticker Question

Video of That 2007 ‘Intel Inside’ Sticker Question:

Steve Jobs at his extemporaneous best. Dumb question but such a great answer. (Phil Schiller got a good jab in too.)

Update: Changed the link from an audio recording to this YouTube clip.

[Here’s the thing, I deal with this all the time. Well, not the Intel sticker, but stores that put sticky price tags (which are now usually barcodes that tell me nothing). I don’t want to spend time peeling stickers off of the new items I purchased, and I certainly don’t want to risk harming the item by having to use either chemicals or a razor blade to remove the price tag and residual glue. I’m not alone here either, I’ve often heard from my wife “don’t order from there, I hate the stickers they use…”]

Source: Daring Fireball

“iCloud Backup”

“iCloud Backup”:

It wouldn’t be the first time a technology expert lacked empathy for a customer, or made bad assumptions about what would be fast and easy for the customer to do on his own — especially when deciding to perform an easy, predictable, cure-all “restore”.2

And the iPad wasn’t the first personal computer, nor will it be the last, that we all proclaimed to be finally easy enough for everyone to use. Sure, it’s easy to use when everything’s working and time stands still, but that’s about as useful as when a developer says, “It worked on my machine.”

We, all of us in technology, can do better than this. And we have a long way to go.

[Yeah. lots of truth here, and not just for grandparents. Context is king, and most people have none.]

Source: Marco.org

Whose Estimates?

Whose Estimates?:

The question we all want answered is how strong demand is for the iPhone 5. We don’t know that yet. All we know so far is that Apple produced 5 million of them in time for delivery last Friday and they sold all of them. There might be millions of additional pending pre-orders. (Including mine.)

[The news game continues to be a self referential pile of suck.]

Source: Daring Fireball

To Map Or Not To Map

To Map Or Not To Map:

However, for Google that makes all its money from advertising, being able to harvest spatiotemporal user data to triangulate purchasing intent must be priceless.

Every time an iOS user interacts with Google Maps, directly or through other apps that use its API, Google gets extremely useful data that soothe its search and advertising pangs, tens of millions of times a day around the globe. For Google (and now Apple) maps are an input modality to discover user intent, perhaps only rivaled by command line search and social network affinity graphs.

But direct financial contribution is not the most important rationale for Google Maps on iOS. One of the key reasons why Google has better data than Apple is the fact that for many years users of Google Maps have been sending corrections to Google, which has improved its accuracy significantly. So by not submitting Google Maps to the App Store, Google would not only give up a very significant portion of its mobile revenue, but more importantly, it would self-induce a debilitating data-blindness on the world’s most lucrative mobile ecosystem.

[And has been asked many times, why is this data not open? Why can’t we all share this to our collective good?]

Source: counternotions

News doesn’t get better than this…

Two quick notes that two different friends had great news recently. First a friend posted “BENIGN” to her latest torturous round of “Is it cancer?”. Yes! And then I read this:

It’s Official: I’m Cured!:

I am so very grateful to all the love and support over the years! I am so happy to report that it has been more than 3 years since I was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma and my scans are all clear and so, I am cured!

[She’s an amazing woman, and I’m so thrilled to see them both smiling, and happy, and getting on with everything. Strength is forever.]

Browsers should have been cars. Instead they’re shopping carts.

Browsers should have been cars. Instead they’re shopping carts.:

Google once aspired to give us access to “all the world’s information”, which suggests a library. But the library-building job is now up to Archive.org. Instead, Google now personalizes the living shit out of its search results. One reason, of course, is to give us better search results. But the other is to maximize the likelihood that we’ll click on an ad. But neither is served well by whatever it is that Google thinks it knows about us. Nor will it ever be, so long as we are driven, rather than driving.

I think what’s happened in recent years is that users searching for stuff have been stampeded by sellers searching for users. I know Googlers will bristle at that characterization, but that’s what it appears to have become, way too much of the time.

But that’s not the main problem. The main problem is that browsers are antique vehicles.

See, we need to drive, and browsers aren’t cars. They’re shopping carts that shape-shift with every site we visit. They are optimized for being inside websites, not for driving outside them, or between them. In fact, we can hardly imagine the Net or the Web as a space that’s larger than the sites in it. But we need to do that if we’re going to start designing means of self-transport that transcend the limitations of browsing and browsers.

[Brilliantly put. As usual form Doc.]

Source: Doc Searls Weblog

Apple makes the left turn at Albuquerque

Apple makes the left turn at Albuquerque:

Yes, yes, you’re not going to stand around appreciating the finer details of the map application if the data is wrong. I get that. Pointing out that the vast majority of the data in the maps application is very clearly correct is small comfort if you need some of the data that’s wrong. But the vast majority of the data really is correct. When you’re talking about a data set the size of the entire world, then a 99.9% correctness still means hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of incorrect data points. Google Maps had very similar problems, and their most valuable resource has been users who reported them. This will probably work for Apple, too, at least if we actually report the problems rather than just creating Tumblrs mocking them.

For the record, Apple Maps knows exactly where that teriyaki place in Livermore is, and it’s the first hit on teriyaki livermore ca. Google still has no idea what the hell I’m talking about.

[Good points. More curious to see how quickly the app improves than anything else.]

Source: Coyote Tracks

Of federal taxes and such

Of federal taxes and such:

Because one spouse isn’t working, there is no child care tax credit. There could be up to $2,500 in education credits per child—but let’s say the kids are younger and go with the lower $1,000 child tax credit for both of them. So that’s a $2,000 credit. To owe taxes at this point, you’d need $19,000 in taxable income—or $45,400 in total income. This still a hair below the EIC phaseout in this case. So to hit zero exactly you would need a few more dollars to bring your annual income to $45,750.
In a given year, you have about 260 work days. Let’s say you work a full day on all of them. This means that any vacation, sick days, or holidays you want had better be paid. To make your $45,750, you need to bring in $174.62 a day. Let’s round that down to $174 to make the math work out more smoothly.
You’re earning the federal minimum wage: $7.25 an hour. To get to $174 a day, you’ll need to work for … 24 hours. Congratulations. You can sleep on the weekends. If you want to get down to an 8 hour day, you’ll need to earn at least $21.75. (You still have to work every day.) Good luck finding an early-career job that pays that well.

[Or if we maintain the current trend in government… ever finding a job. Period. But none of this is really the problem. This is just the Romney haters, hating. And sure, he gave them plenty of material to work with… But Obama’s no different. There’s no surprise that people who have little in the US sense of the word want redistribution. Surprise! Not.

Years ago there was no such thing as a telephone. If you wanted a doctor to see your ailing child, you hitched your horse to a wagon and you drove to the doctor’s house (if you were lucky). Then you woke the now annoyed doctor, and, assuming you could convince him of your need, drove him in your wagon back to your home. After he was done, and told you that your kid will be fine despite how dire things look at the moment, you got to drive him home. BTW, while you were waiting you unhitched your horse, watered the poor beast and fed him a bit and hooked everything back together for the return trip. So why do we no longer have house calls now that you can shepherd a doctor in the comfort of modern vehicle with hot and cold running air and a cushy ride instead of a way too hot, way too cold open air buckboard? Because the telephone was invented. And once you could *call* the doctor and convince him to hitch up his own horse, to his own wagon, and get his butt over to your place the house call was history. It was only a matter of time.

So stop waiting for bed time stories that some guy who we call president for a few handful of years is going to fix your life. None of them are. None of them can. I believe that none of them actually even want to. But believe me, sure as the doctor visit went away, the answer to anything you actually need lies in yourself and no place else. Allez!]

Get Up

The Selection: Get Up, by Bill Strickland:

It helped somehow, goofing around. All of us, anyone who rides, normalizes the risk of being on a bike. In a pack, there is something else on top of that, the need to find a way to acknowledge the danger without either glamorizing or dismissing it—either of which, we all know, courts its more wrathful incarnation. When the danger does arrive, I have been taught by my elders and betters and fasters, you entertain it with a kind of respectful insouciance.

[True. But danger doesn’t arrive. It’s part of the system and crashes happen. And once you climb on a bike it’s almost guaranteed. It’s not always epic. Sometimes it’s just that heartbreaking flop onto your side because you failed to clip out and then panicked. Other times… it’s the real deal. I think about this almost every time I’m going down a hill quickly. I certainly thought about it last Sunday when I was doing 37MPH and saw down the hill a little bit that the strong rains had washed a stream of gravel across the road (I had ridden up the other side of the hill). I picked a line, and let the bike float and all was well. But my first thought was “wow, this is gonna suck”. Danger’s always there—it’s built into the system.]