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I'm building SelfieIM. I curate Food & History.
I live in San Francisco, where the land ends.

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apple

$AAPL reactions

Seems like most tech guys crying foul at the market response to Apple’s announcement either don’t get or willfully ignore basic finance: the price of Apple’s shares this morning has already priced in the historical and *expected* earnings from the company, based on past guidance and etc. The drop in price is a result of Apple not meeting expectations and the worries about the company’s future growth. The hand wringing and exclamations of Apple’s current profits have little to do with the share price, which already should have factored in historical AND expected performance.

And really, a bit of me is crying inside at my positions, too.

In late November, Nguyen was seated at the dinner table in Steve Job’s home on Waverly St in Palo Alto. Also present were Eddy Cue and Tim Cook and other Apple executives. Steve led the conversation while eating a beet salad: “I’m going to give you a number, Bill, and if you like it, let’s do it and just be done with this whole thing. Okay?” Bill agreed.

Twice. | Aubrey Johnson

Amazing read. As someone who is (optimistically) trying to put a product into the world, this makes my head hurt.

I’m really curious to understand how Mirrorgram can be featured in the App Store ahead of stalwarts like Camera+. Just looking at the app - it’s a pretty silly photo manipulation gimmick, but hey, there’s a reason to why Apple showcases some of these apps?

Tagged: #tech #apple #apps

Jokru: joshuanguyen - A conversation about maps (sort of)

jokru:

joshuanguyen:

“If Apple can take this sort-of-passable Maps app and make it into a really great one, with functional transit directions, better map tiles, and all that, it can do anything. If it can’t, for whatever reason, that’s something to legitimately worry about.”

— iOS Maps, Now Apple’s Most Exciting Story - SplatF

Paging map nerds - how hard of a road is this for Apple to get a respectable maps experience for its users?

Since Tumblr’s reply box seems to have a character limit, I’ll put my attempt to answer that here:

Looking at reviews and sites like http://theamazingios6maps.tumblr.com/ there seem to be multiple issues with Apple’s maps, among them:

  • The data quality of the actual maps, sometimes data is entirely missing and sometimes it’s wrong and/or old.
  • Search and geocoding, problems here can be results of both bad and incomplete map data as well as weak algorithms.
  • Satellite/aerial imagery, they simply don’t seem to have enough up-to-date images at high resolutions.

Now how could you tackle those issues:

Let’s start with the imagery, I’m not as familiar with those as with map data, but from what I know you can get pretty far by simply spending lots of money to buy those images from imagery providers around the world. So you basically need money (not an issue for Apple) and people being able to make those deals (might be an issue for Apple right now). Plus making all those deals and stitching the images together takes time.

To get to Google Maps like quality however I think you would need go beyond that and make exclusive deals and maybe even have some planes fly around for you (see for example what MS/Bing has been doing). That takes more expertise and a lot of time.

Now for the map data, what Apple seems to be doing so far is buy data from different data vendors around the world and combine it to a worldwide map.

To improve here they would need to go out and license more data, which costs money (not an issue) and again you need time and people being able to make those deals. There is simply not a single data provider that has good or even great data for the whole world. For the western world TomTom (previously TeleAtlas) is probably fine, but is basically the only data provider since the other big one, Navteq, is now part of Nokia (that also provides Amazon’s maps now). For POIs and search Apple seems to already license data from additional sources like Yelp, they could also do more deals there (Foursquare comes to mind).

For the rest of the world you can talk to local data providers, obviously there are lots of them around the world with varying degrees of data quality plus you need them to agree to a license which allows you to later mash the data together… And in some third-world countries there are simply no official maps you can buy or license, that’s why Google started their MapMaker program and OpenStreetMap often provides the best maps you can find in those places.

After you’ve licensed all that data you need smart engineers that can combine those data sets in a way that only the best data is used for a given place, which doesn’t seem to be the case with the current edition of Apple’s maps (see also). Again you need expertise and time to do that.

If you want to get to Google like quality, well basically read what Google is doing in the recent Atlantic article.

A few years ago Google moved from licensing data to buying data plus using public datasets to create their own dataset in a lot of countries and then improve it constantly with their own data streams (Street View, location data from Android devices, bug reports from people, crawling the web for POI information and getting people to work for free for Google through MapMaker). This again takes time and you need lots of people who do the manual work of making maps out of those “raw” data sources (Google apparently outsourced most of that to India). Apple doesn’t have access to Street View like imagery and their maps team doesn’t seem to be nearly as big and powerful as Google’s yet.

The only other way to get access to a dataset that is as detailed and as up-to-date is to use OpenStreetMap, which is crowd-sourced by people around the world (including volunteers that actually walk around with a GPS device, but also government agencies, non-profit organizations and even some companies contributing data).

The main issue with using OpenStreetMap data right now is that the quality varies around the world and different regions, simply because in some countries (e.g. Germany) a lot of people have been mapping since 2005 while that hasn’t happened in other countries for various reasons. With OpenStreetMap data you can also run into issues of data quality, that is map data might be fine for making maps to look at (like Foursquare’s maps on their website), but not good enough for turn-by-turn directions.

To sum it up, I think it will definitely take some time before Apple fixes all the issues they now have. I won’t try to predict if or when they will catch up with Google, it obviously depends on which of the outlined ways they choose to pursue and how many resources they decide to invest in it.

I hope that’s somewhat understandable and gives a good overview without going into too much detail. I’ve been contributing to OpenStreetMap since 2008, attended some geo conferences and read quite a few articles over the years, but of course I don’t know nearly as much as people who are actually working on that kind of stuff at Nokia/TomTom/Google/Apple etc. Corrections and additional thoughts welcome.

Pro tip: if you want a “conversation” to be displayed at all in a logical way, you’d best reblog the post as a text post (instead of link or quote).

So let me get this straight. The new tablet from Microsoft will have a
screen
keyboard
trackpad
[stylus]
Nice. It’s an inconvenient laptop.  I assume there’s also a cursor to go along with the trackpad?
So you can use your fingers to swipe the screen, then type away on what will be an awesome Office app, then break out the stylus and create magical annotations on your Excel worksheets. Open your laptops now and try that interaction.  Pretend that it’s a Surface (not a hard leap), and move between the screen and keyboard and trackpad.. and imagine throwing a stylus on top of that. Is that natural? Is that something you’ll find yourself doing a lot?
I’ll withhold judgment since we actually haven’t been able to play with the product yet.. but this suspiciously seems like a design by committee exercise that can only end up in a Frankenstein of a device.  But hey, maybe this is a pre-pre-precursor Microsoft’s brave new world. We ought to push into new forms instead of grafting old interactions onto new products. This feels very much like a diluted copy of a new technology (very Microsoftian).

So let me get this straight. The new tablet from Microsoft will have a

  • screen
  • keyboard
  • trackpad
  • [stylus]

Nice. It’s an inconvenient laptop.  I assume there’s also a cursor to go along with the trackpad?

So you can use your fingers to swipe the screen, then type away on what will be an awesome Office app, then break out the stylus and create magical annotations on your Excel worksheets. Open your laptops now and try that interaction.  Pretend that it’s a Surface (not a hard leap), and move between the screen and keyboard and trackpad.. and imagine throwing a stylus on top of that. Is that natural? Is that something you’ll find yourself doing a lot?

I’ll withhold judgment since we actually haven’t been able to play with the product yet.. but this suspiciously seems like a design by committee exercise that can only end up in a Frankenstein of a device.  But hey, maybe this is a pre-pre-precursor Microsoft’s brave new world. We ought to push into new forms instead of grafting old interactions onto new products. This feels very much like a diluted copy of a new technology (very Microsoftian).


Excited to play around with this.

You don’t notice this level of detail on a micro level, but you’re aware of it on a macro one. When you pick up your phone to send a tweet or check an email you’re seeing hundreds of these details a second. Those details add up to make the experience what it is. It gets me thinking about the endless hours of debate and decisions that must have occurred around a seemingly meaningless change to the weight of a stroke, or the depth of a shadow. - Geoff Teehan

Excited to play around with this.

You don’t notice this level of detail on a micro level, but you’re aware of it on a macro one. When you pick up your phone to send a tweet or check an email you’re seeing hundreds of these details a second. Those details add up to make the experience what it is. It gets me thinking about the endless hours of debate and decisions that must have occurred around a seemingly meaningless change to the weight of a stroke, or the depth of a shadow. - Geoff Teehan

Tagged: #design #apple

curiositycounts:

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify and vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as crazy, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” RIP, Steve Jobs (1955-2011). You will be missed.

Noted for posterity.

Just came home from dinner and Christen looked at her phone and said “Oh no!”. Incredibly sad. I never knew the man personally, but my condolences to the people who knew him best: his family, friends and colleagues.  His spirit lives on in all his products, and he was an inspiration to all of us who strove to create something that would leave something lasting in the world. You’ll be missed, Steve, but not forgotten.
Decades from now, people will look back and say that my generation was a part of something momentous, and Steve’s vision and abilities will be a huge part of that.

Just came home from dinner and Christen looked at her phone and said “Oh no!”. Incredibly sad. I never knew the man personally, but my condolences to the people who knew him best: his family, friends and colleagues.  His spirit lives on in all his products, and he was an inspiration to all of us who strove to create something that would leave something lasting in the world. You’ll be missed, Steve, but not forgotten.

Decades from now, people will look back and say that my generation was a part of something momentous, and Steve’s vision and abilities will be a huge part of that.

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