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New MacBook Pro: A Whole Lot of Finger Dragging

New MacBook Pro: A Whole Lot of Finger Dragging

Apple just introduced a new line of MacBook Pros with more power, a Touch Bar, and some hefty prices.

I am not impressed.

I’ve never much liked the whole concept of a touch pad. I’ve always found them unintuitive and inconvenient. If I want to use my fingers on a surface, I want that surface to be the display itself. Dragging my fingers across a metal plate is not a confidence-inspiring experience. And now, dragging my fingers across a narrow bar, awkwardly placed at the top of a keyboard, is even less desirable.

Since the introduction of the Apple Watch, I began to lose confidence in Apple’s design team. The dismal sales of the Apple Watch should’ve been a clue that their design team has lost it’s way. Has Jony Ive run out of good ideas?

Unfortunately, the Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pros looks to be another gimmick, much like the Apple Watch. There is some indication that Apple may subconsciously know this since they are offering one model without the Touch Bar.

I appreciate the smaller size and more powerful architecture, but that is about all I can appreciate about this new lineup of MacBook Pros.

iPhone 7 … meh

iPhone 7 … meh

Not really much to say about the iPhone 7.

Mostly same design with some water resistance and a really annoying inconvenience with headphone jack removal. (Ive, you’re either no longer in charge of design or you’ve lost your touch.)

The camera is better and the battery life is slightly better, but I’d say skip this version unless you in line for a free upgrade.

Next…

New Host For MacSage

It’s been a rough start!

Hosts never really want to make migration to another host easy. Bluehost.com was no exception. After realizing that Bluehost had reduced performance on my website servers to the point of an average load time of 15 seconds, I just couldn’t accept it anymore. I had made repeated attempts with tech support to improve this poor performance. Each time, after denying the performance numbers over and over again, they finally conceded that their specifications allowed for a 11 second load time and that my 15 second load time was due to poor management of resources on my website.

Bluehost stated that an 11 second load time for websites on their servers is acceptable. (!)

So I’ve moved to A2hosting.

Unfortunately, my move happened to coincide with a DDos attack that was occurring on their servers. So it took me over 48 hours before I could completely migrate my website to their servers and get everything running properly. This was an extremely frustrating process. I’ve been assured by the helpful techs on A2hosting chat that I will be compensated for this downtime/outage.

I will report here on that outcome.

Bitcoin on the Rise

Bitcoin on the Rise

As I write, Bitcoin is north of $730.

I’m guessing this has something to do with the fact that Bitcoin will be halving sometime early next month. This means that Bitcoin is becoming rarer. There is also some speculation about debt in China driving their investments towards alternative options.

Buckle up! This is going to be quite a ride!

Apple is Absent from NAB 2016

Apple is Absent from NAB 2016

It appears that Apple has decided that they are so big and important that they don’t need to go to events like MacWorld and NAB. Apple was absent at the recent NAB 2016.

Presumably, the reasoning is that they can schedule and host their own events, stream them live and generate a huge online draw. This reasoning may be true for products like the iPhone or iPad, but I think it begins to fall apart when it comes to the video production space.

Final Cut Pro X is not a dominant factor in the video editing space. Most of the workshops and workflows this year were including Adobe’s Premiere and After Effects. In fact, I attended two workshops which outlined ways to export content from FCPX in order to better handle color and audio. Many of the filmmakers I talked with at NAB were using Premiere because of the easy integration with other tools like After Effects, PhotoShop and Bridge. Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve software is becoming an attractive choice for very good color correction and grading.

Final Cut Pro X was first introduced at NAB 2011. Since then, the development of this software has been lackluster. I think that Apple’s choice to not be widely present at NAB 2016 (they were there in a small suite of a nearby hotel) is a mistake. Video production is only becoming bigger and more important. One of the major themes at NAB 2016 was the small (1-3 person) video production team that has the ability to output quick, sophisticated, and effective video content.

Let’s hope Apple is paying attention.

Update: Latest AAPL numbers indicate that Apple may need to focus better on priorities!

Disruptive Tech, Bitcoin, and a New Order

BitcoinI’ve spent the holiday time off doing a deep-dive into the disruptive technology of Bitcoin and the underlying techonlogy.

From what I can see, Bitcoin is quickly becoming a profoundly disruptive technology. Actually, it’s not really specifically Bitcoin itself. Digital currencies, and even cryptocurrencies, have been around for a number of years. The real interesting technology is in the Blockchain platform that is the core of Bitcoin. A trusted, decentralized, system of checks and balances (i.e., a trusted ledger of activity) has the potential of reorganizing our social and governing structures in unprecedented ways.

The disease of traditional opaque and hierarchical structures has reached a breaking point. Too many so-called leaders are spewing tired academic papers and regurgitating old-school slogans and memes from like-minded leaders in the stagnant academy. For these withered minds, innovation is merely some new fork of an existing traditional approach. They continue to compete with each other, with false smiles, for recognition in a dying and increasingly competitive environment. They continue to attempt to micro-manage with hidden agendas, from fear and insecurity. They continue to destroy any creativity and innovation.

Nothing produces a wretched tyrant like a disconnected, insecure, and socially awkward leader.

The good news is that Bitcoin demonstrates the best of the disruptive technologies. For example, it has huge potential to become a game-changing way for 3rd world citizens to participate and benefit in a world-wide P2P banking system. It also has the potential for becoming a secured platform for voting. This has profound implications for the democratization of world systems.

This same concept has the very immediate potential to disrupt existing diseased organizations by removing ineffective leaders and giving back some power to innovative, creative teams who do the real work in agile organizations.

These are large and deeply important concepts for our world in the next few years. I urge you to look closely!