In Memoriam| April 26, 2022
The moment of truth is here for all those hiding behind the smokescreen of practicality
The creator of the PC (personal computer for those of you have no idea what it stands for, you just know there are PCs and Apples) passed away in Fort Worth, Texas, at 83. The first PC, named TRS-80, sold in 1977 for $599, which sounds cheap but is about $2,700 in today’s market.
Wilhite, creator of the graphic interface format, GIF as you know it, passed away at age 74. While there’s been an ongoing argument over whether GIF is pronounced with a hard G or soft G, Stephen himself declared it to be soft. The argument itself is such chutzpah, really. Hopefully the hard G people will show some respect for those who’ve passed and change their hard ways.
The Little Guy
Partially due to the fight put up by Czech Republic search engine Seznam, the EU is getting ready to enact legislation requiring big tech firms (think Google and Apple) to make their tech interoperable (able to work in other devices and environments) and to unbundle services that encourage monopoly status in the first place — like Chrome being the default browser on Android devices, among other things.
Additionally, app developers may soon take home more of their hard-earned money. Google generally takes a 30% commission on all app purchases (in app as well). This makes any popular app a passive income cash cow for Google.
However, after much protest, Google is voluntarily starting a pilot program with Spotify (not sure they really qualify as little, but relative to Google, I’ll allow it) which will give users the option to pay in other ways, bypassing Google’s app payment.
Google looks like it’s ceding ground, but don’t kid yourself. They’re still making more than everyone else combined. In the Spotify deal cited above, Google will still receive a commission, though it’s not clear yet how much it will be. And while legislators may be giving a closer look at Google’s competition practices, don’t be surprised if the tech super power is ten steps ahead, playing everyone like a fiddle while they look on in faux benevolence.
You Don’t Always Get What You Pay For
We know you’re way too pragmatic to invest in a more expensive phone as a status symbol. It’s just that you want the features, and if the most expensive one has the best features, so be it.
Well, the moment of truth is here for all those hiding behind the smokescreen of practicality. There are two mid-range phones out there that can compete with the big boys. If you’re looking for a great phone for yourself and your employees and don’t really care about the latest, consider looking at the Google Pixel 5A ($450) and Apple’s SE 2022 ($429).
The Pixel has a large OLED screen, a dual lens camera, great battery life, and a sleek modern feel.
The iPhone SE has the same performance as the new iPhone 13 but only has a single lens camera, iPhone 8 body (4.7 inch screen), and a shorter battery life.
When pondering the question of “How good does my camera need to be?” the simple answer is, unless you’re a photographer, you likely won’t really notice. But if you insist on the latest iPhone or Galaxy, we’ll know why you really got it.
Remember LimeWire? The peer-to-peer site where you got your favorite music and your computer got the newest virus? Yes, that LimeWire. The site is relaunching as an NFT marketplace. I’m not sure which iteration is sketchier. Marketing and NFT creator and investor guru Gary Vaynerchuk himself said that 98% of NFT will lose all value. At least when you downloaded a song, you had something nice to listen to. Bored Apes are not that interesting.
Last time we met I mentioned that Etsy was raising its seller fees by 30%. Surprisingly, Etsy sellers didn’t love the idea. In response to the price hike set to be enacted in April, Esty sellers and customers plan to boycott the platform in protest. It brings to mind the 1902 Kosher Meat Boycott when the Lower East Side Jewish housewives refused to buy meat until butchers brought prices down. We’ll have to wait and see how effective this boycott is. If you have an artsy orientation or entrepreneurial spirit, I suggest you participate.
Rumor Has It
The latest and the greatest: Unverified but reported in two reputable outlets (as a rumor), Apple may be turning the iPhone into a hardware subscription service. Which basically means you’re renting it forever, you never get to keep it. There’s no escrow, down payment, or mortgage, just interminable fees. Don’t know about you, but if this happens, I’m out.
On a Silver Platter
You know you should keep up on industry reading, but really, who has time these days, especially now that everyone and their executive assistant have a newsletter?
Summari is a SAAS company that allows you to have your cake and eat it too.
Input any link and their AI will analyze it, summarize it, and offer it back to you in bullet points. I tried it for a blog post I wrote, and it did a great job. Then I tried it for an opinion piece from the New York Times. It definitely summarized it, and the English teacher in me was satisfied with its succinctness. But if anyone was quizzing you on details and literary appreciation of the original piece, there was none. Just the facts, ma’am.
You can summarize five items a week for free, or pay $6 monthly for individuals or $8 per person a month for businesses. Businesses also get summaries in Slack. The product is currently in Beta, so everything is free for the time being. It’s a great time to check it out.
(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 908)
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