Only 720,000 Android Wear Devices Shipped In 2014

Canalys:

Over 720,000 Android Wear devices shipped in 2014 out of a total of 4.6 million smart wearable bands. Though the Moto 360 remained supply constrained through Q4, Motorola was the clear leader among Android Wear vendors. LG’s round G Watch R performed significantly better than its original G Watch, while Asus and Sony entered the market with their own Android Wear devices. Pebble meanwhile shipped a total of 1 million units from its 2013 launch through to the end of 2014.

Oh dear. Important to note, that is shipped units, not necessarily sold. Will be interesting to see how Apple Watch compares.


Addiction And The Importance Of Human Connection

Johann Hari for The Huffington Post:

This gives us an insight that goes much deeper than the need to understand addicts. Professor Peter Cohen argues that human beings have a deep need to bond and form connections. It's how we get our satisfaction. If we can't connect with each other, we will connect with anything we can find -- the whirr of a roulette wheel or the prick of a syringe. He says we should stop talking about 'addiction' altogether, and instead call it 'bonding.' A heroin addict has bonded with heroin because she couldn't bond as fully with anything else.

So the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection.

Fascinating article and a book I will most definitely read soon.


iOS 9 To Focus On Stability And Optimization

Mark Gurman for 9 to 5 Mac:

For 2015, iOS 9, which is codenamed Monarch, is going to include a collection of under-the-hood improvements. Sources tell us that iOS 9 engineers are putting a “huge” focus on fixing bugs, maintaining stability, and boosting performance for the new operating system, rather than solely focusing on delivering major new feature additions. Apple will also continue to make efforts to keep the size of the OS and updates manageable, especially for the many millions of iOS device owners with 16GB devices.

Good news if true. iOS has become increasingly buggy in recent years and much has been written about it lately. Although I don't find performance to be too big of a problem (even on my old 3rd generation iPad), a speed incease is always appreciated by users.


Twitter - The Money Making Machine

Steven Levy for Backchannel:

Twitter now is a public company with a headcount of 3600 and a valuation of over $23 billion. But it has not come close to a billion users (not even 300 million). The shortfall has unleashed a torrent of criticism, and even intimations that an executive putsch will be required to address endemic product woes.

On the other hand, in 2014 Twitter did generate that billion dollars in revenue. (The final number will come in when the company reports earnings later this week, but its earlier estimate was $1.375 billion.) And the stash has been rising at an annual rate of over 100 percent. Twitter’s bottom line is not in the black, but blame that on continuing expenses in growing its business and (mainly) paying out huge amounts of “stock-based compensation” to employees. That’s not uncommon in the Internet world: more notable is that Twitter has cracked the code to making money on the net.

Twitter's problem is that most people just don't know how to get the maximum value from it. Speaking personally, Twitter is by far the social network I use the most and one I'd miss the most. I'm not really sure how Twitter can get past this problem - it's inherently a difficult social network to explain to the average user.


On The Failure Of Google Glass

Great Nick Bilton article on Why Google Glass Broke:

At the time, unknown to anyone outside X, an impassioned split was forming between X engineers about the most basic functions of Google Glass. One faction argued that it should be worn all day, like a “fashionable device,” while others thought it should be worn only for specific utilitarian functions. Still, nearly everyone at X was in agreement that the current prototype was just that: a prototype, with major kinks to be worked out.

There was one notable dissenter. Mr. Brin knew Google Glass wasn’t a finished product and that it needed work, but he wanted that to take place in public, not in a top-secret lab. Mr. Brin argued that X should release Glass to consumers and use their feedback to iterate and improve the design.

To reinforce that Glass was a work in progress, Google decided not to sell the first version in retail stores, but instead limit it to Glass Explorers, a select group of geeks and journalists who paid $1,500 for the privilege of being an early adopter.

The strategy backfired. The exclusivity added to the intense interest, with media outlets clamoring for their own piece of the story. As public excitement detonated, Google not only fanned the flames, but doused them with jet fuel.

Quite an eyeopener of a story. Glass was always quite an interesting idea but clearly not ready in the form they released. As with all these VR/AR devices, the technology and hardware is clearly in the way and proves the greatest barrier to entry. You just look too weird wearing them (or you just look like a Glasshole.

It will be interesting to see if Google Glass ever makes a comeback, and in what form, but I hope Google takes lessons from how they went about the whole Glass episode.


One Man's War On One Grammatical Mistake

Backchannel:

Giraffedata—a 51-year-old software engineer named Bryan Henderson—is among the most prolific contributors, ranking in the top 1,000 most active editors. While some Wikipedia editors focus on adding content or vetting its accuracy, and others work to streamline the site’s grammar and style, generally few, if any, adopt Giraffedata’s approach to editing: an unrelenting, multi-year project to fix exactly one grammatical error.

Love this. Geeky. Linguistic. Technological. I adore how some people can be so passionate about one thing.

(Check out his essay on the mistake he corrects.)


Google vs Uber?

Bloomberg Business:

Google is preparing to offer its own ride-hailing service, most likely in conjunction with its long-in-development driverless car project. Drummond has informed Uber's board of this possibility, according to a person close to the Uber board, and Uber executives have seen screenshots of what appears to be a Google ride-sharing app that is currently being used by Google employees.

So Google is developing an Uber-like service that's going to launch alongside its self-driving cars? Makes sense, I guess - seems like the perfect service if it ever comes to fruition. But then when will this likely ever happen? 5 years? Ten years?

Don't really see how Uber should be concerned unless Google is going to start competing in the human driven taxi space. As mentioned, Google is already heavily invested in Uber, and Uber seem to be killing it in this lucrative space. Unsurprisingly, Uber appear to be developing their own self-driving car project, but I would imagine if anyone is going to successfully develop a self-driving car, it would be Google.


Sundance Film Shot Entirely On An iPhone 5S

Casey Newton for The Verge:

But the story behind the camera is as surprising as what’s in front of it. Particularly because the camera used to shoot Tangerine was the iPhone 5S.

Great story, but not too surprised. The camera has been one of the strongest weapons in the iPhone's arsenal for some time, and this just goes to prove it.


Inside a DSLR At 10,000 Frames Per Second

Inside a DSLR camera at 10,000 frames per second:

the Slow Mo Guys have painstakingly chronicled what's happening with the mechanical shutter of a Canon 7D using a very fast (and expensive) Phantom Flex camera, recording various shutter speeds at a mind-boggling 10,000 frames per second.

Great look at some amazing engineering, especially when you consider some cameras shoot at over 10 frames per second.


Game Of Thrones Season 5 Trailer

Colour me excited.