April 18, 2015

First matters little

Tim Cook nails it, in an interview with Fast Company:

We weren’t first on the MP3 player; we weren’t first on the tablet; we weren’t first on the smartphone. But we were arguably the first modern smartphone, and we will be the first modern smartwatch—the first one that matters.

First only matters if that’s your dominant feature.

April 14, 2015

What’s wrong with journalists

Travis Loose, writing on Medium, under the Society For Professional Journalists banner:

Citizen journalists are springing up everywhere, and in some cases they’re skewing the definition of what actually makes a journalist, which is no good for a number of obvious reasons.

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t spent the past four years of my life accruing $40,000 in student loan debt just so I could compete against some blogger with zero journalistic training who Snapchats stories and calls it photojournalism, or posts grammatically atrocious, subjective columns on Medium and calls it reporting.

Hang on now, your point is that because you spent time and money you didn’t have, you shouldn’t be competing with people who didn’t? That’s not just whiny, that’s downright stupid. There is absolutely nothing to gain by bashing citizen journalism, bloggers, or whatever you want to call people who add to the debate, the reporting, and to journalism. If you spent all that time and money wisely, you’d surely realize that you’re not only well equipped to meet reality as it is (as opposed to what you might think it should be), as well as understand that you don’t know everything.

The linked piece ends by declaring it is, in fact, what journalism is now. I’m sure you all are capable of coming up with a snarky comeback to that on your own.

April 13, 2015

Apple Watch and Macbook status report

Since so many of you are asking… I haven’t ordered an Apple Watch because it’s not out in Sweden yet, nor have I ordered the new Macbook, which officially launched on Friday last week (but never was in stock as far as I can tell). I intend to pick up both (black Sport, space gray 512 GB Macbook) when they’re available, but I’m in no real hurry. Gone are the days when new technology defines me. A lot of people would do well to dwell on that, I think.

April 12, 2015

The PC market is shrinking

The PC market, as in typical computers mostly running Windows, is shrinking, and it’s the big companies’s fault. Engadget channels IDC and Gartner:

Both Gartner and IDC estimate that the computer market shrank between 5.2 to 6.7 percent in the first quarter of 2015, in part because many companies stopped upgrading from Windows XP. Simply put, many of the businesses that wanted to modernize already have – they’re not propping up the market like they were for a good chunk of 2014.

No surprises there. Most traditional computers today are more than capable for most tasks, so why would the vast Office-running majority upgrade anyway? Add the tablets to that equation, and it’s hard to be surprised.

Fantasy is still a stigma to some

Critically acclaimed novelist Kazuo Ishiguru speaking to Wired about writing fantasy:

“People are perfectly entitled to read my book and say they don’t like it,” he says in Episode 145 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “But if they’re saying, ‘I’m not going to read your book, despite having liked your previous books, because I hear there are ogres in it,’ well, that just seems to me classic prejudice.”

My piece Fantasy Confession springs to mind.

April 4, 2015

iPad turns five

The iPad was announced five years (and a day) ago, and that obviously sparked a bunch of features. In no particular order, some stories:

I can always apologize tomorrow

The music has stopped for tonight. My wonderful P5 headphones are lying beside me, but I think the warm bed is a better choice past 1AM. It’s what I tell myself, after whisky and a relaxed evening.

I’ve spent the evening reading and contemplating, with a few short discussions on Twitter to break up the longer and heavier pieces that were sitting in my Instapaper queue. It’s a nice way to spend an evening, I enjoy it, and always wonder why I don’t do it more often. The answer to that is obvious, of course: It’s not productive.

Read more →

Monica Gallagher screws the outlines

That title might’ve come out wrong… Anyway, writers (and people who’d like to be writers) like to read (and write, it seems) about their craft. If there’s a general consensus today, it is that you have to sit down and outline, which obviously might or might not work for you. It’s not the way it is for Monica Gallagher, who writes on Chuck Wendig’s blog:

One thing I’ve always super struggled with when I’m writing is having no idea how this durn story is gonna end. I used to think writing was all about a pretty, sequential outline that your characters magically flowed through in a linear fashion, exactly how you intended them to. I’ve tried to write that way, and it’s bored the potatoes out of me and everyone within a 50 foot radius. What I do like about writing, what keeps me going, is daydreaming about characters and the scenes and interactions they get involved in. I used to think this was must be the wrong way to do it – that’s just a big ol’ mish-mash that doesn’t go anywhere. But if you trust in the scenes, and minimally nudge your characters as you listen to them, they’ll get to an end.

April 3, 2015

New Yorker profiles Ronnie O’Sullivan

I’m a poor snooker player, but a fan of the sport. It should come as no surprise that I found the New Yorker piece on snooker’s biggest star, Ronnie O’Sullivan, to be an interesting read. It’s a tale of doubt, anxiety, and the search for whatever it is that makes life worth loving. In other words, something for all of us there.

March 31, 2015

New Nintendon 3DS XL Majora's Mask limited edition
Things Enjoyed in March 2015

Let’s be honest: March wasn’t kind to me. Work’s fun and all, but it’s been a rough month nonetheless, something regular readers no doubt knew already, due to the lack of updates here. It doesn’t help that I’ve not met my own writing deadlines, that always pisses me off. I did have nice and (not so) sober 35th birthday at the end of the month, so let’s decide that that’s the turning point, alright?

And with that, the list of things actually enjoyed in March 2015:

  • Bowmore Black Rock turned out to be a pleasant single malt whisky. Not an explosion of flavors or anything, but just enough smoke to make it a good second glass. A gift from our neighbors, as thank you for watching their cats. Win-win. (I did have better whisky than that this month, but that’s for another post.)
  • The New Nintendo 3DS XL is pretty darn sweet. I picked up the Majora’s Mask one, because that’s a pretty darn sweet game.
  • I enjoyed wrapping up the first draft of a novel, but that’s about the only fiction writing I’ve gotten done. It’s been a rough month for the writer, which depresses me.
  • Dragon Age: Origins is alright. I started playing it on PS3, but that one got stolen, and now I want to give it a shot before I move on to Inquisition. Not overly impressed by Origins though, it lacks heart thus far.
  • I really like my Nike Zoom Pegasus 31 and Lunar Forever 4 (looks discontinued). Spring can’t come soon enough to Stockholm.

Previously: Things Enjoyed in February and January.