Start up: Ive v the SEC, Android M and the batteries, adblock apocalypse, and more

Imagine acting with this in front of you. Now read the first link.

A selection of 7 links for you. Use them wisely. I’m charlesarthur on Twitter. Observations and links welcome.

Behind the scenes: Car Share, BBC1 » Broadcast

George Bevir:

The premise of BBC comedy series Car Share is simple enough: two colleagues (played by Peter Kay and Sian Foulkes) are forced to travel to work together as a result of a company car share scheme.

But with the action taking place inside a rather compact Fiat 500, the technical setup required to film the Goodnight Vienna production was anything but straightforward.

Kay and Foulkes made it look like two people in a car; seen from their view, you see how difficult it would really be to “act natural”. And what a hell of a rig. (Link via Dave Lee.)

Jony Ive’s “promotion” by Apple is driven by money and fear of SEC disclosure » Forbes

Eric Jackson makes a good case that Ive’s promotion to a non-managing role means that he won’t count as an “executive officer” and so his pay won’t have to appear on SEC filings (which Jackson thinks it should have for the past two years). A lawyer emails him:

Part of a company’s competitive advantage is having an employee that everyone else would salivate over having and not having to give your competitors the data points for exactly what it would take to lure that person over, assuming money would be a big factor for that person’s decision to move (which you point out it almost always is). As we’ve seen, more disclosure of exec comp has had a major correlation to the exponential increases in exec comp over the past 20-25 years. If I ran Apple and had a Jony Ive on my team, I’d put his comp in the same vault as the concept design for the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch 2. It would be treated as a trade secret.

[Rumor] Google taking renewed focus on battery and RAM in Android M, Dev preview expected again this year » Android Police

Liam Spradlin:

According to our information, battery is set to be a big focus in Macadamia Nut Cookie, with Google emphasizing performance and smarter use of features that might drain your battery.

Google is apparently urging its own teams to focus on battery performance by cutting location checkins when possible, trimming down RAM usage, and reducing activity off-charger and when the device’s screen is off. Presumably this renewed focus on performance will extend to Google’s own Play Services package, which frequently manages to wiggle its way to the top of battery usage stats.

According to our info, Google will discuss these changes at I/O.

It’s hard to say how these efforts will materialize in Android M. Google, with additions to L like JobScheduler and Project Volta, has already taken aim at improving battery and performance on Android, but familiar battery life complaints still linger on for many users, even on the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, Google’s flagship Lollipop devices.

Commenters unimpressed: “every year they say this”.

When Stephen Fry met Jony Ive: the self-confessed fanboi meets Apple’s newly promoted chief design officer » Telegraph

Stephen Fry:

ID [industrial design] is about the physical devices themselves while HI [human interface] is about the images, interactions, sounds, flow and feel of the software that we interact with as we use them.

With control over both, Ive has been able to migrate the mobile and desktop operating systems from their old-fashioned skeuomorphic rendering of app icons as real world representations (ring binders and even torn page effects on the contacts and calendars apps, for instance) into a brighter, clearer set of exquisitely designed images that speak for themselves. Ive’s inventiveness can perhaps most starkly be expressed by revealing that he has nearly 5,000 patents to his name. To give you some point of comparison, Edison was granted 2,332.

If nothing else Ive has done Britain a huge favour. Apple has recently developed a standard British power plug whose prongs fold elegantly back flush into their body. Easily stowed, no agony if accidentally trod on. A separate and wholly different solution to that offered by the Mu Plug which solves the problem in another way.

“It took ages to solve,” Ive says wistfully.

Of note: this piece is in the UK’s Telegraph, which seems to have the scoop (except it’s not written by a journalist); photos are taken by Gabriela Hasbun, a freelance photographer in San Francisco. Notable how the Telegraph is being chosen in the UK for Apple’s announcements.

Adblocks’ doomsday scenarios » Monday Note

Frederic Filloux:

In coming weeks, a large analytic firm will release disturbing figures on the state of the ad blocking scene. According to someone who has advanced knowledge of the data, on desktop computers and on critical segments of the digital audience, the use of ad blocking keeps rising exponentially.

Along with The Netherlands, the German market is by far the most affected one by the ad blocking phenomenon. There, ad block use approaches 40% of the internet population. The reasons for the epidemic are unclear…

…but if you read the comments, people will give you their views. A common refrain is that ads are often used to plant malware – a charge that publishers can’t deny, but which equally isn’t their fault. It never used to be a problem (per se) in print days.

The mystery of the power bank phone taking over Ghana » Quartz

Emmanuel Quartey noticed a bulky phone his friends were using:

I fired up Gmail and clicked the first email in my inbox — a promotional message by e-commerce startup, Jumia where it was the featured deal.
Since then, this phone keeps popping up everywhere I go. It’s obviously very popular, and it’s clearly taking off. But why?
Why’re some of my most stylish, most tech-savvy friends — all of whom already own smartphones — suddenly lugging this thing around?
This is what I’ve found.

Here’re some basic details about the phone:
Costs between 100 and 150 Ghana Cedis (about 25 to 38 USD)
Can hold up to 3 SIM Cards
Has built-in FM radio
Comes with Facebook and WhatsApp pre-installed
Doubles as a power bank to charge small electronics
LED flashlight

10,000 mAh battery = super long life. But then again, why not just have rechargeable battery packs? Answer: because these featurephones don’t have standard connectors.

Global smartphone growth expected to slow to 11.3% in 2015 as market penetration increases in top markets » IDC

The research company says:

smartphone shipments are expected to grow 11.3% in 2015, which is down from 27.6% in 2014. This is on par with IDC’s previous smartphone forecast of 11.8% growth in 2015. While overall smartphone growth will continue to slow, many markets will experience robust growth in 2015 and beyond, and worldwide shipment volumes are forecast to reach 1.9bn units annually by 2019.

IDC expects 2015 to bring two notable milestones. First, IDC projects this to be the first year in which China’s smartphone growth, forecast to be 2.5% in 2015, will be slower than the worldwide market. Second, and somewhat related to the China forecast, Android smartphone growth is also expected to be slower than the worldwide market at 8.5% in 2015. IDC believes both trends will persist throughout the forecast period, which now goes to 2019.

China smartphone shipments shrank year-on-year in the first quarter of 2015, IDC says, claiming saturation. This doesn’t quite make sense though. There are hundreds of millions of people in China, and elsewhere, without a smartphone. The block on growth is down to price, and perceived need: if you can’t get data, what’s the use?

2 thoughts on “Start up: Ive v the SEC, Android M and the batteries, adblock apocalypse, and more

  1. Interesting that the Guardian seems to have fallen out of favour since it stopped being so sycophantic. I wonder what their offence was to cause their fall from grace or perhaps the Telegraph has just learnt to play the game better ie you can never be too obsequious if you want to be in Apple’s good books.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.