January 31, 2010

Apple revenue by segment

Apple to Flash: Drop Dead

January 27, 2010

Everyone is talking about the iPad. Some people love it, some people are underwhelmed. Regardless of what you think, it’s a big deal.

But here’s my side story. Apple is trying to kill Flash.

It was one thing when you were talking about the iPhone. Not having Flash support was an annoyance but not a big deal. But now you are talking about a device that Apple says is “the best way to surf the web”.

The best way to surf the web does not support Flash.

Now there are a lot of issues with Flash. Search engines generally can’t handle them well, so Flash is discouraged for many web sites. Also HTML5 may ultimately push out proprietary solutions like Flash. But in many cases it works very well.

Imagine you have a Flash heavy site. Anyone who buys an iPad can’t use it. That is likely to be a decent sized audience. What do you do?

Hearing the pre-hype for the Apple tablet, I started thinking, “hmm, our family computer is ancient. This might do the trick”. But Danielle has been sick the last few days. She goes to the computer and goes straight to Where she plays games. Flash games.

She also plays games on my wife’s iPhone, so despite losing, she would probably like the iPad. And I think that is exactly what Apple is counting on.

Bye Flash, nice knowing you…

Dolphins are smarter than most folks…

January 23, 2010

Almost funny…

January 22, 2010

…if it weren’t deadly serious. A British company came up with an amazing bomb detector. It works very mysteriously, kind of like a dowsing rod. The company makes lots of money selling it to the Iragi military, who is convinced that it works. Unfortunately it does not.

It starts to get press (not good) and ultimately gets investigated. The BBC points out that the device is worthless and the founder of the company gets arrested for fraud.

As a reminder to people who believe in this sort of foolishness. There has been a $1 million prize promised to anyone who can scientifically prove that any sort of supernatural thing (dowsers, psychics, etc.) works in a controlled environment. This challenge has been in place since 1964 (though the money started much smaller) yet no one has been able to claim the money.

Much easier to get money from suckers…

Android Growth

January 21, 2010

The chart below (from admob) shows use of mobile web sites and app from smartphones, based on ads. It’s not a pure usage stat, so take it in context. But still, that’s some serious growth by Android in 2009. And sorry RIM, but iPhone and Android add up to 81% of the total.

Second Child

January 19, 2010

Watching Victoria grow up has been fascinating on many levels, but probably the most interesting thing is how different she is from Danielle.

For the most part, Danielle and Victoria follow the classic first and second child model. As the first child, Danielle got focused attention in the early years. We were over-protective. We tried every stupid thing that claimed to help your child learn faster (remember when Baby Einstein first came out?).

As the second child, Victoria never got the same focused attention, because it wasn’t possible. We had seen the stupid things we obsessed about with Danielle and we relaxed with Victoria. But there was one area where Tori got special focus. Because she was behind developmentally when we got her, she had therapy four times a week for six months. The physical therapy was hard. At first she cried trying to do things, but by the end she would see Essy (her PT person) and come running to her. I think that made her a fighter.

And of course, there are the first seven months of Tori’s life where we have no idea how much attention she got. We suspect she spent a lot of time in the crib with the TV on, but we just don’t know.

Which brings up the other fascinating thing about watching Tori develop. With Danielle, you know the gene pool. I watch her do math problems with ease and see myself. I look at her face and see my wife. With Tori we have so little information. We know nothing about her biological father. We know that her birth mother was 5’ 0”, from Guatemala City and we’ve seen a photocopy of her identification card. That’s about it.

So I watch her develop and look for clues. Will she be smart? I think in terms of learning numbers and letters she’s a bit behind Danielle. Is that just due to our hyper focus on Danielle? Hard to say. She learned her colors very slowly (for a while we thought she might be color blind). But she figures other things out very quickly.

The personalities are classic first and second children. Danielle tends to be well behaved. We got to parent/teacher conferences and get to hear how wonderful she is in school. Which always makes us ask, “why isn’t she like that at home?”, but for the most part she is a very good girl. She is also very much daddy’s girl. She is shy and not that independent. She likes to have me around even when she doesn’t need me.

Tori is the complete opposite. She is anything but shy. She will go off with anyone. She is not a particularly well behaved girl. We have this ritual in the morning. I make her breakfast. She refuses to eat breakfast. I give her a timeout. She eats her breakfast.

Every. Single. Day.

Honestly, you’d think she would have this figured out. But I think it is just her way of trying to assert control. She is a stubborn girl. And very independent. Where Danielle likes to have me around, Tori wants to do things herself. She’ll go to the bathroom and I’ll go to help her (sometimes she needs the help) and she’ll say “papi, you get outta here”.

She can be a pain in the butt, but she also has a huge personality and a big laugh. That’s her endearing trait. She laughs so much. But man, does she get into trouble. With Danielle we mainly just threatened time outs. The threat was enough. Tori is very well acquainted with the time out chair.

And since she’s adopted, all of this is a big nature vs. nurture experiment. Is she like this because she’s the second child? Was her birth father stubborn and independent? Will she be short like her birth mother? Her mother was most likely poor so her height, or lack thereof, might be more based on nutrition than genetics. Tori has actually shot up, when we got her she was around the 10th percentile for height, now she’s exactly average.

There are a million things you wonder about. When Danielle sneezes in the spring, I’m pretty sure it’s tree allergies because I have tree allergies. We’re paying attention to her eyesight because both me and my wife had glasses (and later Lasik – best thing ever). With Tori, who knows?

One thing that is clear is that an adopted child feels just like a biological one. While there have been clear differences in how we raised Victoria, it’s because she was second. In some ways she gets more love than Danielle did, because Danielle loves her too.

The two of them are good together. Mostly. Tori copies her big sister in all ways (good and bad). I find myself pointing out to Danielle a minor bad habit and saying, “if you do it, Tori’s going to do it”. Danielle loves being the big sister and is turning into a very good one. That’s another thing that is fun to watch.

It’s a big roller coaster ride with an unknown destination. I think Victoria is going to be a lot of fun. And a lot of work…

News Flash: Customer Support is Important

January 16, 2010

Google releases a new phone. You can’t buy it in a store, only online. And support is only available from Google via email?

Was the plan to look bad on purpose?

Seriously, anyone could have seen this coming. Users are users. Even with a perfect product, users will figure out how to screw something up, and no v1 product is perfect.

So you were pretty much assured that there would be users who can’t get something working but they can’t take the phone back to the store or talk to someone on the phone.

They clearly didn’t think this one through.

We’ll see if they can work out the kinks before it’s available on Verizon. Otherwise I’m going Droid…