Monday, February 23, 2015


Funny how asymcar began almost two years ago, well before breaking stories about potential Apple engagement in the automotive space.  Mr. Dediu has been consistently ahead of the curve and more thoughtful than others.  This is just another example of that pattern.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Apple and detail

Just a small note on attention to detail.

Observing the unwritten rule that watch and clock hands should be placed at the "10:10" position in photographs, Apple does the same in its illustrations of the Apple Watch.

The attention to detail is that even the digital displays adhere to the 10:10 convention (as you can see, the analog time is actually 10:09:30 so the digital display is 10:09).
Given this conscious effort, I wonder why, in some cases, Apple sets the time to 10:09:00 rather than 10:09:30?  I do not think it is carelessness.

Friday, January 9, 2015

apple watch

I wonder if Apple went with the S1 SIP to permit upgrades to the Apple Watch over time?  It would go a long way to answering questions about obsolescence and longevity.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

iOS app privacy

How does a Google or Microsoft iOS app know that I have other Google or Microsoft apps installed on my iOS device?  For example, if I download and install Chrome (after having, perhaps Google Maps installed and myself logged in), I am greeted with to offer to sign in - and Chrome already knows my Google ID.  Similarly, if I download Word, log-in, and then download Excel, Excel already knows my Microsoft ID.

This is surprising as it means the apps have access to both a list of my existing apps (I think this is okay but not ideal) as well as my user ID (huh?).  Is it possible for me to write an app that can: (i) determine a user's Google ID; and (ii) ask the user to log in and thus give me credentials?  (i) alone seems bad, (ii) is very bad.

Also, noting that I do not even need to provide a password to confirm to Chrome that I am myself, is there some serious security lapse here?

All very odd

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Apple and high defensibility

There are lots of reasonable questions about iPad's growth and future.  Nevertheless, this article makes a nice argument that Apple has enough of a lead in the space and, more importantly, a sustainable advantage in processors, to continue to earn profits and improve the product without obvious near-term risks or competition in its high end space.  This is a direct result of Apple's vertical integration and, as a corollary, having a proprietary source of supply for chips.  Whether or not there is some enormous use case of the iPad is still somewhat unknown (to be clear, it is a big business even if people have difficulty articulating exactly why it is better than alternative formats), at least there is time for Apple, its customers, and its developers to figure it out.

Even more interestingly, this processor independence fits well with AppleTV and AppleWatch, was the article makes clear.

So as Apple works to bring general computing to different places, it can stake out a high and differentiated ground using hardware (processor) and software (OSX/iOS) advantages unlike anyone else.  It is not the idea of vertical integration as a defensive strategy that is interesting, it is the fact that no one else seems to be trying this (at least successfully).

Friday, October 24, 2014

Economic Growth

A reasonable NYT article on economic growth (in particular, growth in China) but relevant on a variety of fronts.

There is one aspect that sticks out.  The article (and cited sources) suggest that growth reverts to the mean and that superior growth will inevitably decline over time.  And notes that the USSR and Japan were both expected to surpass the US but never did.  This seems to gloss over the US's high growth over a long period.

My thumbnail view on growth, in particular, growth in the US:

1) huge natural endowment;
2) significant immigration and high birth rate; and
3) most importantly, strong property rights and rule of law.

#1 helped to give a head start and encourage #2 but, ultimately, it is #2 and #3 that allowed above trend growth to continue.  As a nice example, see the eventual stumbling of the USSR and Japan for #3 and #2, respectively (notwithstanding the large #1 of USSR).