nu's not unix


Wearable Computing

posted on Aug 6, 2014
Everyone's got their eye on the iWatch, Apple's mythical entry into the realm of wearable computing. Other companies are experimenting with watch computing, but the results so far have been kinda lame. The consensus is that Apple is either avoiding entry into this space because the technology is not yet up to the limitations of the form factor, or is about to enter the space with a product that surpasses all these limitations and blows our minds.

Here's my prediction: there is no watch, at least not yet. Apple is going to enter the wearable computing market with something much more radical, and yet much more obvious, in hindsight: clothing. The amount of computing power that could be embedded into something like a jacket is pretty substantial, compared to a watch. I'm not sure what you would do with that type of computing power or how you would interact with it (this idea is pretty half-baked, I admit), but I do know that it would be a hell of a lot more than you could do with a puny little watch.

I don't think Apple will be involved in the actual clothing design; rather they will provide a spec that clothing designers can build around. It will launch with a few high-profile labels, but others will be able to sign on as "clothing developers". Apple Stores will grow to include a full fashion boutique where you can shop for snappy wearable computing. This would explain Apple's recent acquisitions re: high-fashion retail. It is also one of the few markets that are so large that they could have a significant impact on Apple's bottom line, unlike watches and TVs, which are simply a sideshow in terms of potential business. By comparison, clothing is a huge market.

NeXT and the online revolution

posted on Oct 8, 2013

The Steve Jobs nobody knew, Rolling Stone magazine:

A year earlier, a hotshot programmer at the University of Illinois named Marc Andreessen had created the first Web browser, and the dot-com revolution was about to take off. There was a sense that something big was on the horizon – something that Jobs seemed to have no part of ... nothing he was doing at NeXT was really connected to the online revolution.

Other than the fact that the World Wide Web was invented on NeXT computers, that is. A minor detail, I guess.

What's behind Microsoft's fall from dominance?

posted on Sep 10, 2013

Barry Ritholtz seems to be one of the few tech pundits who understand how Microsoft lost its mojo:

Microsoft had its deal with the devil: Its lightning in a bottle was not some awesome technology or brilliant breakthrough – it was a clause in a contract that led to an enormously profitable monopoly...

Once the Justice Department and the European Commission found the company in violation of antitrust laws, it was forced to compete fairly. It is no coincidence that as the company lost its vice grip on the desktop, its dominance faded. Revealed as a dinosaur, it was unable to compete with the smaller, more-nimble mammals.

Nothing I haven't said before, but my opinions aren't published in the Washington Post ;-)