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by Jehuda Saar
Saturday
Feb132010

B.A.P.

I realise I have been quite absent from this site lately. The main reason was work on a video I hope to be able to post here soon. But in the meantime I ran into this little picture that I thought was pretty funny so I figured I'll post it here....and yes, sorry, once again it's about the iPad.

 

Thursday
Feb042010

Broken Windows

Reading a piece on the Op-Ed page of today's New York Times I suddenly realised to what dramatic extent the world of technology has changed over the past few years. I am talking here specifically about tech companies. Back in 1987 I bought my first Mac. I remember getting looks from "serious" PC users at the time. "Nice toy" they were thinking. Over the years I stuck to the Mac, upgrading hardware every few years and enjoying all the innovation that came with my choice. What a "regular" PC could never do for me and the Mac kept giving me in abundance was a sense of empowerment. It was both funny and frustrating to see PC users discover "windows" or attach mice and sound-boards to their PCs some 10 years after the Mac had come out with all of those things built in. When I told people that MS Excel had been a Mac product since 1985, way before it showed up on PCs, or that AOL had actually been an Apple only product in the 80's, they often looked at me like I was insane. 

 

But I always knew that, at the end of the day, persistent innovation would be recognized. That constantly copying and repackaging other people's ideas does not a long term strategy make. Nobody ever accused the masses of having vision and so Microsoft thrived despite their lack of originality. And today's Op-Ed piece by Dick Brass called "Microsoft's Creative Destruction" gives us an inside look at the beginning of the end. It is written by someone who lived through this story from the inside, so I can't say I agree with everything he says, but what counts is the gist of the message. Microsoft still makes money and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. But how many tech students today dream of working for MS when they graduate ? As Mr Brass says in the piece: the company's profits are generated almost entirely from products developed decades ago. How long can you milk THAT cow ?

And so I am no longer part of the "underdog" Mac community. Actually  as a younger generation comes of age and becomes computer savvy, how many of them even know that things were once different ? Still, when all is said and done, it's not really important who was right or what was better. In the final analysis it's us, the users, who are best served by this innovation. All we can do is marvel at what's coming and enjoy the ride. The journey IS the reward!

Wednesday
Feb032010

Open Door Policy

A little event this morning reminded me of one of the most important principles in this country. Very often you might get to a door, you know you are supposed to be on the other side, but the gatekeeper will tell you you can't get in, you don't have the right paperwork, you don't have an appointment...whatever. You know he is wrong, but he is adamant you won't get in. Anywhere else in the world you would just turn around and walk away. But in this country one has to understand a simple rule: that closed door is actually not closed, it is wide open. It just doesn't know yet that it is wide open. It's up to you to go back there and turn NO into YES, turn black into white.

 

This sort of thing applies to pretty much everything here. The negative connotations are that rules are meant to be broken, that contracts are not really meant to be honoured, that a deal is not a deal etc. Where does it all come from? How come this is the thinking process around here ?

There are a great number of reasons, and to some extent a vast number of prejudices against Jews have resulted from such behavioural patterns. But actually a basis for such thinking can be found in our ancient tradition as well. Our sages tell us that Evil is actually Good that hasn't matured yet. And when you apply that thought process to other things and everything in life kind of contains its opposite within, you realise that with such thinking ingrained in us for generations, it is no wonder that I describe a closed door as one that doesn't know yet it is open and hence it is your right, no, your obligation (in these parts at least), to argue your way in. Lesson learned.

Monday
Feb012010

René Magritte - La Trahison Des Images

I thought this was pretty cute. An adaptation of a famous Magritte painting applied to the iPad. As to what it means, to each his own. This illustration works both for the people who say the iPad is just a big iPhone/iPod touch or for those who say the iPad heralds the beginning of a whole new era in mobile computing.

 

Monday
Feb012010

PhilacteWHAT ?

Late last week I had occasion to debate with some people the now infamous story of the US Airways flight from New York to Kentucky that made an emergency landing in Philadelphia because a crew member saw a boy putting on his tefilin and mistook it for a bomb (sounds like "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat"). My personal view was that the crew of an American airline company should be aware of tefilin and what they are. Some disagreed with me.

I find the below fake ad to be very appropriate considering the circumstances.

 

Monday
Feb012010

iPad...again

OK, so I promise not to make this site too iPad-centric. It just so happens that so much is being written, discussed, debated about it, it is almost inevitable that I should feel like disseminating some of it. Last night Stephen Colbert even used an iPad while presenting the Grammys. But I read a little piece in the New York Times the other day and David Pogue had this to say:

"Like the iPhone, the iPad is really a vessel, a tool, a 1.5-pound sack of potential. It may become many things. It may change an industry or two, or it may not. It may introduce a new category — something between phone and laptop — or it may not. And anyone who claims to know what will happen will wind up looking like a fool."

Other than that Michael Gartenberg, who always has interesting insights on these sort of things, had the following piece up on engadget.com:

Entelligence: Lessons from the iPad launch - Engadget

 

 

 

 

Monday
Feb012010

Day 1 on my new site

Following the recent introduction of the iPad, there have been a lot of opinions expressed in the press, online and all around me. Knowing that I am somewhat of an Apple-fanatic, I have been asked for my opinion by a number of friends and acquaintances. Usually these comments were accompanied by various criticisms people have picked up in the press. More often than not these comments and criticisms were expressed by journalists who didn't really understand much about the iPad and the potential impact it could have on the way we work and interact with computers. 

To say that the iPad is going to change things is an understatement. I will include two links to articles that I believe express beautifully some of the things we are going to experience. The main gist of it all is that the iPad introduces a concept that should have been part of what using computers was always meant to be: helping us do what we want to achieve. Rather than having to learn new skills, read through mounds of documentation and spend hours in frustration trying to figure out how to get computers to do the simplest things, the iPad is a step in a new direction. One in which we will simply "get the job done". These two gentlemen, however, express it way better than I will ever be able to. Enjoy.

http://www.macworld.com/article/146038/2010/01/ipad_future_shock.html?lsrc=twt_macworld

http://stevenf.tumblr.com/post/359224392/i-need-to-talk-to-you-about-computers-ive-been

 

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