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Trump Brings Mayhem to San Diego

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Sand Diego Police Trump Rally

The #DumpTrump crowd clashed with the candidate’s supporters here in San Diego this afternoon. Ha! I didn’t know he had come to speak‚ÄĒat the convention center. Trouble started around 4 p.m. local time, following his speech.

I’m more taken back by the police presence than what actually happened. As I write, about two-and-a-half hours later, there are 500 cops in full riot gear and bulletproof vests outside San Diego Convention Center. The area is closed, with an order making it illegal for anyone to remain in the area. Hey, is Trump still around? Run before you get arrested, Donald. ūüėȬ† Read More

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Be Careful What You Wish For, Mr. Thiel

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Python Sebae Snake

A report available today from Pew Research Center finds that 62 percent of American adults “get news on social media, and 18 percent do so often”. Those statistics should frighten new and old media, but more so critics like¬†billionaire Peter Thiel, who bankrolled wrestler Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker; the blog and news site lost. Depending on the outcome of a court hearing, Gawker could be shuttered or sold, if forced to put $50 million in escrow during the appeals process. The amount exceeds yearly advertising revenues.

Thiel admittedly put up about $10 million, if not more, to support Hogan’s lawsuit and unnamed others. Destroying Gawker might seem like an enviable outcome for one of Silicon Valley’s tech elite‚ÄĒhe is a PayPal cofounder and early Facebook investor‚ÄĒbut, as they say, nature abhors a vacuum, which replacement isn’t waiting around. Social media increasingly fills the niche that Gawker vacates.¬† Read More

Apple Digital Lifestyle Gear Mobility Nokia

Tim Cook’s Last Stand

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iPhone 5c Apple Logo

Washington Post reporter Hayley Tsukayama asks, following up on a commentary¬†by software developer Marco Arment: “Is Apple really at the risk of becoming BlackBerry?“. The answer is absolutely “No”. But the concept is right. The fruit-logo company’s dire straight is much more profoundly catastrophic. The risk is becoming Nokia, and the path to that destination is already well-trodden.

Marco¬†calls BlackBerry “king of smartphones”, referring to its market position before Apple released iPhone nine years ago in June. The description is apt enough. “BlackBerry‚Äôs success came to an end not because RIM started releasing worse smartphones, but because the new job of the smartphone shifted almost entirely outside of their capabilities, and it was too late to catch up”, he asserts. But smartphones were a niche category in 2007, so insignificant¬†that analyst firms lumped the devices together with PDAs. iPhone’s disruption was far, far greater‚ÄĒNokia lost its perennial global handset lead; for many of the reasons Marco¬†identifies. Nokia, and not BlackBerry, is the metaphor, and it is frighteningly foreshadowing.¬† Read More

Critters Photo

Cat Cuddles

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Cuddle Cats

Rarely do Cali and Neko sleep together like this, but the Tortoiseshell is having an off 7 days or so. She seems unsettled. Yesterday, the petite feline watched the Apple TV Aerial screensaver for the longest time. I do mean attentively watched.

Perhaps she longs for the outdoors, which was a major part of her habitat before joining our household in October 2014.¬†On June 5 of the same year, Cali adopted our daughter. I met Molly’s new companion the previous evening on the street.¬† Read More

The Arts

The Student

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Annie Wilcox 17 NY Art Gallery

My wife’s birthday 2016 marks the 40th year since her high school graduation. The pic is from her yearbook. Photographer is unknown‚ÄĒby Anne or me, I love the composition, which is appropriately arty.

Anne, age 17, stands in the New York Art Gallery appreciating a sculpture by Charles Ginnever. I am unable to identify the work. Can you?

Education Gear Google Mobility

Psst — Here’s What Google Wants from Android Apps on Chromebook

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Toshiba Chromebook 2

Your kids. Chromebook leads laptop and desktop sales through U.S. commercial channels to schools, according to NPD. Education is overwhelmingly the primary market for the computers. The institutions can’t buy enough of the thangs, for their utility and low-cost compared to notebooks running either OS X or Windows. That cost is as much about extended webapps and services from Google (or its developer partners), available for free or comparatively next-to-nothing, set against software for the other platforms.

Wrinkle in the Google firmament: iPhone and Chromebook are like water and dirt. The sediment settles unless shaken up. Sure youngsters can do all their Googly things‚ÄĒDocs, Gmail, Maps, Photos, YouTube, etc.‚ÄĒon iOS but the experience is smoother and more homogenous when mixed Android and Chrome OS. What the kiddies lack, and their educators, is a swath of useful apps like the Apple kids get.¬† Read More


Apple Store Then and Now

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Meet PowerBook

Fifteen years ago today, the first Apple Store opened at Tysons Corner Center in McLean, Va. I was there, covering the event for CNET News. Four days earlier, then CEO Steve Jobs briefed journalists‚ÄĒbloggers, bwahaha,¬†no‚ÄĒacross the way at upper-scale Tysons Galleria. Most of us thought his scheme was kind of nuts, as did analysts, and news stories reflected the sentiment. Recession gripped the country and rival Gateway was in process of shuttering more than 400 retail shops. Timing was madness.

But companies that take big risks during economic downturns are most likely to reap rewards later. Retail would be Apple’s third walk across the tightrope during 2001. The others: iTunes (January); OS X (March); iPod (October). I’ve said before that these four are foundation for all the company’s successes that followed, including iPhone. But 15 years ago, battling the Wintel duopoly¬†with less than 2 percent global PC market share, Jobs figuratively walked a tightrope across the Grand Canyon carrying original Macintoshes in each arm.¬† Read More

Digital Lifestyle Google Mobility

Google Gets Context, Sours Apple

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Apple vs Android

Depending on the day, Apple or Alphabet is the world’s most valuable company as measured by market cap, and both manage the two dominant computing platforms used anywhere: iOS/OS X and Android/Chrome OS, respectively. As I write, Alphabet-subsidiary Google holds its annual developer conference. Apple’s event starts June 13.

During the opening keynote, Google CEO¬†Sundar Pichai frames the conference and the company’s direction by rightly focusing on two fundamentally future-forward concepts: Voice and context. Google gets what Apple likely won’t present to its developers, and we’ll know next month. But based on product priority to date, the fruit-logo company is unlikely to match its rival’s commitment to the next user interface.¬† Read More

Aspiration Living

My New Office

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Belham Hutch

I am a big fan of change. Every so often, I swap computing platforms to shake up my old habits and make fresh¬†ones. The new year began on Google Android and Chrome OS; more recently‚ÄĒas part of an experiment with iPad Pro‚ÄĒI use Apple iOS and OS X. Change is good.

Last week another switch-up started. I have a new workspace, desk and location, which is unsettling yet liberating. Sadly, timing overlapped with the unexpected death of my sister Annette and our family leasing a new car, after an accident totaled the old one.  Read More

Culture Living Society Storytelling

My Two Losses

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2016 Honda Fit LX

This week I pick up the pieces of early May and return to business as usual‚ÄĒeh, hopefully. I’ll recount events chronologically, offering context for near absence on my personal site and complete disappearance from BetaNews, where my last story, as of writing here, was April 27, 2016.

The following day, there was an unfortunate vehicular incident, involving our six-and-a-half old Toyota Yaris, which the insurer designated¬†total loss. That wasn’t the outcome I had hoped for, despite extremely generous compensation for the car’s value. We paid for the Yaris in full and, as such, planned on running it for many more years yet.¬† Read More

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Reconsidering Facebook

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I spent little time online the past week following the unexpected passing of my sister Annette exactly seven days ago. The reaction is strange, seeing how much Facebook, texting, and other connected activities and services enriched and changed her life during the last six months or so she walked this Earth. I was clueless.

Last year, I added Annette to my cellular account; she used Nokia Lumia Icon Windows Phone to start. This opened a new world of connection to children, other relatives, and friends by¬†texting. In November, when¬†switching the family to T-Mobile from Verizon and upgrading to Nexus 6P, I sent her my Nexus 6. Soon after, her fraternal twin, Nanette, helped set up Facebook. Annette’s first post was Nov. 22, 2015‚ÄĒa family photo with our brother-in-law Michael Bellerieve, before his death from cancer. ūüôĀ¬† Read More

Culture Living People Society Storytelling

For My Sister

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Annette copy

Tonight I wanted to share something for Annette‚ÄĒeldest of my three siblings. I started to write a poem but couldn’t go beyond one stanza:

Giants walk among us, rarely do we perceive
The gifts they bear few of us receive
Gently they lift us, high enough to see
Together they take us to a better place to be

I had hoped to express my feelings this sad day, and perhaps you can catch where the sentiment would have gone. Annette was too easily taken for granted, and we all expected her to be longer among us. Rather, an atomic bomb exploded in our midsts today‚ÄĒa terrorist attack on our hearts. The shockwave spreads outward as each family member is informed, and the emotional equivalent of nuclear winter chills each heart.¬† Read More