Critical Section

Archive: February 6, 2014

<<< February 5, 2014


February 7, 2014 >>>

3D-printed moment of glory

Thursday,  02/06/14  11:19 PM

Tesla Model S center consoleSo what do you do with your MakerBot 3D-printer? 

You design a center console for a Tesla Model S of course!  (Using the awesome Tinkercad :)  And then you print it, and take a picture of it, and post the design to the cool Thingiverse website.  And a few people like it, and a few people print it, and then ... nothing.

Until one day, TechCrunch finds it, and writes an article about it (!) and poof! you're on the cover of TechCrunch, your 15 minutes of fame.  The geek equivalent of the cover of the Rolling Stone.





Thursday,  02/06/14  11:29 PM

New Microsoft CEO Satya NadellaUnless you've been hiding in the arctic circle for the last six months (easy to do), you know Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer has retired, and the company was searching for a replacement.  And unless you've been frozen for the last six hours, you know they have chosen insider Satya Nadella for the job.  Everyone seems quite sure he's the right guy for the job, despite the fact that it took six months for the Microsoft board to pick him.  Like everyone I wish him luck.

Because he's going to need it.

Microsoft is a huge successful company which has thousands of successful products found on nearly every desktop in the world, and in nearly every datacenter.  They generate craploads of cash, and have a huge staff of bright motivated people.  So what's the problem?

Desktops and servers are no longer where it's at.  Mobile is the future.  And Microsoft is *not* found on nearly every mobile device in the world.  Not even.

Nearly everyone sees this and nearly everyone has advice for Microsoft and Mr. Nadella.  Here's mine.

  1. mobile MicrosoftRecognize that mobile is the future.  Microsoft must become a player in mobile.
  2. Do not think that Nokia can compete for phone hardware market share.  Just don't.  Apple and Samsung have already won.
  3. Do not think that Windows can compete for operating system market share.  Just don't.  Apple's IOS and Google's Android have already won.
  4. Good news!  The two dominant hardware platforms run the two dominant software operating systems, and they are both open!  Thousands of companies are making millions of apps for these environments.  That creates an opportunity.
  5. Microsoft should become a major player in app development
  6. First, they should make their own apps which are seriously awesome, in the space they know best: Office.  Microsoft Office Apps should rule.  Right now there is a greenfield here with a lot of contenders but no clear victors.  Microsoft already understands this market, they could be great at this.
  7. Second, they should provide services for everyone's apps which are seriously awesome.  Virtually all Apps for both IOS and Android make extensive use of web-based services, for all kinds of things.  Become the leader in providing these services.  Right now there is a greenfield here with a lot of contenders but no clear victors.  And there are lots of new categories.  Search (Bing!).  Mapping.  Translation.  Database access.  Payments.  Analytics.  Image analysis.  And of course, Visual Search :)  Microsoft already has a lot of these capabilities, they are well positioned to be great at this.
  8. Third, they should provide infrastructure for the services used by everyone's apps which are seriously awesome.  Virtually all back-end services are hosted.  Amazon is the leader, with Rackspace and others definitely in the mix, but Microsoft's own Azure is already a player, and they are beautifully positioned to be great at this.
  9. [optional] Change your name to Mobilesoft.  And mean it.

That's it, free advice which is worth more than you paid for it.  Good luck Mr. Nadella, and good luck Microsoft Mobilesoft.



Thursday,  02/06/14  11:48 PM

Sochi: Slopestyle!Cranking up the old Ole filter, making a pass...

How cool are the Winter Olympics?  Watched Slopestyle (?) and figure skating tonight.  Great athletes doing great things.  My Tivo is warmed up and ready!

Here's a really great chart showing the schedule and results for all the Winter Olympic events.  The Sochi website is excellent.

Sochi: Dutch team bikesThere has been a ton of bad press about Sochi - a metric ton - but here's some pleasant news: pictures from the Olympic village.  Note the Dutch team's fleet of orange bikes!

Google's Olympic doodleGoogle's Olympic doodle, featuring a select quote from the Olympic Charter.

Cross-posted from eyesFindings: Awareness.

trans-Neptune objects (don't call them planets!)Yay: Pluto wins.  "The beloved not-quite-planet is about to become the star of our solar system. I'll go out on a limb and predict that in July 2015, the up-close photos of Pluto we'll get from a NASA spacecraft will be the most popular astronomical images of a generation."

Scott "Dilbert" Adams wonders: Are you real or software?  (How would you know?)  An interesting twist on the famous Turing test: can you pass the test yourself...

the Lego movie!Rotten 99%! - the Lego movie.  Against all odds: "Boasting beautiful animation, a charming voice cast, laugh-a-minute gags, and a surprisingly thoughtful story, The Lego Movie is colorful fun for all ages."

Interesting: Apple pulls Bitcoin wallet Blockchain from Apple store.  There is now no Bitcoin wallet available for IOS.  I suspect the Internet will route around the damage ... stay tuned.

I'll leave you with a panoramic view of Sochi.  In case you're wondering, it's in the Southwest part of Russia, on the Black Sea (I checked).  Should be excellent, can't wait...




Return to the archive.

this date in:
About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
The Nest
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird
electoral fail
progress ratches
2020 explained