In the recent meetings with media companies, the Apple executives, including Senior Vice President Eddy Cue, have outlined new ways Apple’s technology could recognize users across phones, tablets and TVs, people familiar with the talks said.
In at least one meeting, Apple described future television technology that would respond to users’ voices and movements, one of the people said. Such technology, which Apple indicated may take longer than some of its other ideas, might allow users to use their voices to search for a show or change channels.. . . .Apple has worked on technologies for integrating DVR storage and iCloud, its online syncing and storage service, into the device, according to a person briefed on the matter. Such technologies could allow users to watch shows they have saved or purchased on two different devices, like a TV and a computer, without having to buy or record the shows twice.
Archives for 2011
Best Mac Apps of 2011
Here. (Note: Opens in Apple’s App Store for the Mac.)
Notables include: iA Writer, 1Password (a must have), Day One, Fantastical, and Evernote.
And, here’s Macworld’s app Hall of Fame.
The Best Mission Statement for a Christian Organization Is Two Words:
If you want to know how to live as a Christian, what to believe, what to do, what kind of attitude to have, what God is like, or anything else about ultimate things, all you have to do is look at Jesus. He is the foundation, goal, sum, essence, and everything of life and any organization that calls itself Christian.
I know we need to be more specific in our mission statements about what our specific goal is, within this framework.
But my point is that every Christian organization is imitating Jesus in some specific way, seeking to act in his power, and proclaiming his message. So Jesus does sum up what any Christian organization is seeking to do. Anybody should be able to look at what your organization does, then look at the portrait of Jesus in the gospels and epistles, and say “yes, that follows.”
And thus, if you are going to make a mistake in your mission, it’s better to make the mistake of being too broad and high-level, but getting the core (Jesus) right, than being highly specific but leaving the core implicit or assumed.
This is for Christian organizations. Secular organizations, or even businesses run by Christians, do not need to have Jesus in their mission statements explicitly. The “main actor” can be off stage at times, without undermining the fact that everything is about him.
I’m talking specifically about Christian ministries and churches — organizations that exist specifically to proclaim Jesus and make him known. For Christian organizations, Jesus Christ is the sum and substance of the entire mission, and it is right and wise to make that explicit.
Space: The Next Business Frontier
A good article in the Wall Street Journal on what’s ahead for Virgin Galactic:
By next Christmas the airline mogul could be ferrying paying customers outside the atmosphere — and, later, to the bottom of the ocean.
Where to Sell Your iPhone 4
If you upgraded to the iPhone 4S, Gizmodo has some good suggestions on places you can easily sell your (now) old iPhone 4.
Help 500 Children in the Developing World for $25
I saw this on Food for the Hungry’s Twitter feed the other day. What a great opportunity: For $25, you can provide medication and everything else necessary to deworm 500 children who have been infected with parasites due to poor sanitation.
Here’s the description on their site:
In the areas we go, dirty water, lack of sanitation and poor hygiene result in almost every child being infected with parasites. Malnutrition and even death can result. The good news is — on average, it costs about a nickel to deworm 1 child. Treatment keeps a child healthy for 6 months or until clean water and sanitation become available.
There is no reason not to do this. For a very small gift, you are able to make a very large impact in the lives of a large number of people. If you can, up your donation to 100 and help 2,000 people.
When to Fire a Customer
Godin gets this right:
There are a few reasons to tolerate the customer who makes unreasonable demands:
- You promised you would
- She helps you raise your game
- Her word of mouth is very powerful
- The cost of frequently figuring out which customers to fire is too high compared to the cost of putting up with everyone
It’s probably worth firing a customer if:
- He willfully corrupts your systems at a cost to other customers
- Your employees are prevented from doing their best work in the long run
- His word of mouth can’t be changed or doesn’t matter
- He distracts you from delighting customers that are reasonable
In general, organizations are afraid to fire customers, no matter how unreasonable. This is a mistake. It’s good for you.
Tweaking the Idea of "Minimal Viable Product"
A good point from Godin the other day:
One of my favorite ideas in the new wave of programming is the notion of minimal viable product. The thought is that you should spec and build the smallest kernel of your core idea, put it in the world and see how people react to it, then improve from there.
For drill bits and other tools, this makes perfect sense. Put it out there, get it used, improve it. The definition of “minimal” is obvious.
Often, for software we use in public, this definition leads to failure. Why? Two reasons:
1. Marketing plays by different rules than engineering. Many products depend on community, on adoption within a tribe, on buzz–these products aren’t viable when they first launch, precisely because they haven’t been adopted. “Being used by my peers,” is a key element of what makes something like a fax machine a viable product, and of course, your new tool isn’t.
What is an Entrepreneur?
I love this quote from Godin:
An entrepreneur is an artist of sorts, throwing herself into impossible situations and seeking out problems that require heart and guts to solve.
What Fathers Should Teach Their Sons
This is a very helpful, short, significant e-book by Glenn Brooke on what fathers should teach their sons. Glenn is an elder at the church my family attended when we lived in the Des Moines, IA area and is an excellent teacher of the Bible.
As a father, I feel the lack of good instruction on parenting that exists right now (with some notable exceptions) — and the difficulty in making time to read the books that are helpful. Glenn’s book helps address both of those issues because it is both short and significant. I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity to read Glenn’s book while my kids are still young!