Tag: commentary


Death to Autoplay

Nick Heer at Pixel Envy is annoyed by Netflix autoplay previews

But there’s nothing we can do about it because I guess whatever metrics they use to measure engagement or whatever are overriding common sense and basic decency. Short of unsubscribing, it seems we’re stuck with this because Netflix simply won’t listen to the complaints of their users.

The silent majority shouldn't be held hostage to the vocal minority. The twitter search he links to is 25 tweets from Netflix. Twenty Five.

In fact, I watched one of the auto play previews last night and will watch a show only because it auto played a video preview and I didn't have to try to figure out if it looked interesting from a short, vague description.

Don't get me started on Auto Tune though. That is something that needs to go away.

How digital media killed itself

Om Malik on publishers

And it is not just digital publishers. Even traditional media outlets are so, for the lack of a better word,

basic

.

When your money comes from advertising you have to reach as many eyeballs as possible to claim a larger impact on the ads you show. That means that you have to water down your coverage and focus on the most broadly appealing stories. And not do the hard work of journalism; asking if this story is actually news.

A list of Maybes

Erin Boyle at Reading My Tea Leaves has a nice post about the beginning of the new year. It's a type of New Year's Resolutions post without the list. Just a couple of sentences about what she wants to do.

I’ll write a list of books I want to read. Maybe I’ll think some more about a book I’d like to write. I’ll pledge to visit a museum exhibit a month, no less. I’ll swear by color and sunshine and Vitamin D and promise to get myself through another winter without too much suffering. I’ll remember the spring bulbs I planted with Faye. I’ll water my new fern every morning. I’ll be better at saving pennies for taxes. (I’ll try to save some other pennies for travel.)

I like this view of Resolutions. Instead of Goals that need to be tracked and monitored and achieved it is a list of Wants that can be developed over the coming year. A list of Maybes instead of a list of Must Do's

Motivation

Seth Godin gives me something to ponder today:

Sooner or later, all motivation is self motivation. And the challenge and opportunity is in finding the external forces that will soon become internal ones.

I struggle with motivation. A lot.

I call it procrastination. In reality it is a lack of motivation. Goals that I want to work on go unnoticed. Tasks I want to complete keep getting pushed back. It is not procrastination if it is a daily habit. It is a lack of motivation.

If all motivation is self motivation then how do I find my self motivation?

News: An Idea

I've been thinking today about News and how people can call it biased. Here are some quick thoughts.

News itself is not biased. An Event either happened or not.

Commentary on the News is biased. A person's thoughts, beliefs, ideology or opinions will definitely put bias on how they cover the News.

An example from the past week.

This is news:

George H.W. Bush passed away.

This is commentary:

George H.W. Bush has a legacy that will be shown in history as one of the best of American presidents

You can not argue that George H.W. Bush passed away.

You can argue what his legacy will be.

This post News that we still call News is not really News.

It is Commentary and while part of the News Cycle is not News.

Work/Life Balance

Ben Brooks has a reply to a specific passage from a post at Working Mother about Jeff Bezos thoughts on work/life balance

Life shouldn’t be hard, as a "boss" I always felt it was asinine to make life harder by making someone be chained to set hours when they "have" to work.

This is a great attitude to have as a boss when your work is not time dependent.

What is time dependent? Any hourly employee who has a scheduled shift that starts at a specific time and ends at another specific time is time dependent. I can't allow my employees an hour off during their 8 hour warehouse shift to go grocery shopping; I would lose my job. If I was managing an office where the deadlines were not in the next 2-5 hours, then I would absolutely be able to give an employee an hour off to go shopping.

Work/Life balance is preached from on high by those people who have the time of work that allows them to have Work/Life balance.

The best part of the Working Mother post is the last sentence:

The key to it all, as Bezos' advice then therefore suggests, is finding that cyclic harmony.

Over complicate a sentence much?

Technology Should Just Work

Apple had a marketing campaign called "It just works".

I believe every single company making consumer technology devices should live by that slogan.

Most technology reviews focus on specs and resolutions and benchmarks. That's the easy part of a review. That's just numbers on a page. the more important part of a review is how the product *actually* works. Is the device able to do what I expect it to do? Will it get bogged down if I use it for a specific task?

The problem I have with technology is that many companies don't seem to care about the *use* of the device. They seem to take the technical specs as the defining qualities of the device and release it into the world to underwhelm everyone.

Three White Men Lead Apple Team

Apple hired John Giannandrea to lead their Machine Learning team. Since his profile was updated on Apple's website yesterday, the regular technology news websites are writing stories about how the teams will work because ... there was a change on the website we must create content for. As usual, John Gruber chimed in with his thoughts on the "news" of the organization

This exactly what I expected after they announced the hiring of Giannandrea. It takes Siri and ML off Craig Federighi’s plate, and allows Giannandrea to report directly to Tim Cook.

Of course, this lists the three white men who lead Apple's team but, has no mention of how many people are included in the team or how this compares to the size of Amazon's or Google's teams. I'm more interested to learn if Apple is indeed taking Siri seriously by putting more brains into the project to try to make Siri better or if they are just hoping that one smart white man will be able to deligate work to the same size of team that has allowed Siri to languish as the last place voice assisstant.

Social Democrat

From Kevin Drum's Mother Jones article We Are All Socialist Democrats Now

American liberalism is simply moving once again in the direction of Europe .This is something that conservatives have been accusing us of for decades, mostly because it’s true.

I love that the entirety of conservativism thinks that the way Europe does things is so horrible we should never emulate them even though the countires with the highest living standards are located there.

The idea that healthcare, an education, and housing are basic human rights and should be available to every person isn't a radical idea. I'm sorry but, it's not. I have a hard time understanding the arguements against these things.

+"If you can't afford a doctor then you should die."
*This s not an arguement that I am willing to consed is a valid arguement about the cost of healthcare in the United States.

+"If you can't afford $100,000 education then you shouldn't be able to learn skills that will increase your hiring potential."
*This is also an arguement I have a hard time understanding. Especially in a Free Market enviroment where an education will increase a person's value to a company.

+"You are too poor to have a dwelling."
*This is just plain stupid. Security is one of the most basic things people need and a dwelling is part of that security. The idea that if you can't afford it you should not be able to have it is violence.

I am not sure about homelessness but, I am pretty sure that most European countries have universal healthcare and access to higher education for their citizens. The fact that we are fighting about these things in America shows that the divide between people in this country is a large space to bridge. How do you try to tell someone that money shouldn't be the thing life is valued on when money is the thing they use to value their lives?

Fear the Quiet

James Shelley shared an idea about silence yesterday

We are so enculturated to fear the quiet that we call it ‘dead air,’ ‘awkward silence.’ We viscerally react to the absence of noise and happily fill the void with another commercial.

I'd like to add to this a bit.

I believe the fear of quiet goes back to when people lived in the wild without shelter and is a strong defense mechanism. The wild is hardly quiet. Animals always make noise except for when a pretador is prowling and the prey doesn't want to be hunted; then the noise stops. Quiet in the wild is the trigger that something is happening and it most likely isn't good.

Now, I may be mistaken and sharing something that is factually incorrect. I hope not because I quite like the idea that absolute quiet is a trigger to our lizard brains that something is wrong and we need to be more aware of danger. Of course, this is the exact opposite of how many of us live today. We want it to be absolutely quiet when we are laying down to sleep, when we are our most vulnrerable. This change in behavior is fascinating. The idea that shelter and our modern societies are so at odds with our animal instinct is intriguing.