April 14, 2017

Link: Nintendo is Stupid ☍

Jose Otero for IGN:

A Nintendo representative provided the following statement to IGN:

“Throughout April, NOA territories will receive the last shipments of Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition systems for this year. We encourage anyone interested in obtaining this system to check with retail outlets regarding availability. We understand that it has been difficult for many consumers to find a system, and for that we apologize. We have paid close attention to consumer feedback, and we greatly appreciate the incredible level of consumer interest and support for this product.”

Additionally, a representative told IGN, “NES Classic Edition wasn’t intended to be an ongoing, long-term product. However, due to high demand, we did add extra shipments to our original plans.” The company has no plans to produce more NES Classic systems for North America. This announcement includes the discontinuation of the NES Classic Controller. As for third party accessories, Nintendo said the decision whether or not to continue production of accessories will be up to each individual manufacturer.

The crux of this story is that the wildly-popular and impossible-to-find NES Classic that went on sale last year has been discontinued. Rather than use it as a way to make a few extra bucks, even though the margins and ongoing purchases are much less than the Switch, it kept Nintendo in the minds of people during the gap of the Wii U and the Switch. To be honest, I have yet to see one in the flesh and numerous regular visits to GameStop and Toys R Us stores near me and even then, it had been weeks or months since they’ve gotten them in.

The thing is, I have no desire to buy a Switch, so if this was some sort of tactic, it’s flawed. Trying to think of an analogy, it would be if I was an Android user and the only Apple product I’d buy was the iPod shuffle. I’m sure Apple would love if I were to buy their headlining product (the iPhone in this case), but I also think they’d be glad that I’m at least giving them some money and keeping a product in my life.

Instead, Nintendo basically couldn’t keep up with demand for a product that was an impulse buy and decided to discontinue it before the market even got somewhat saturated. They basically could’ve printed their own money, but instead, the only people that are profiting are those re-selling these on eBay. Dumb.

April 11, 2017

Link: Game Changed? ☍

Yours truly, seven years ago:

Where the iPad shines is that it is the appliance computer idea that the Mac was supposed to be all those years ago. You buy one, you start using it, and there’s little maintenance. I have a TiVo and just about anyone who comes and visits can use it without any explanation. Computers aren’t like that—if you’re familiar with Windows, Mac OS X may take a bit of getting used to. The iPhone OS doesn’t need that adjustment step. You pick what you want to do and you go about your business. For those who aren’t familiar or comfortable with computers, there isn’t the confusion of when to click, double-click, or right-click. There isn’t much to really worry about as far as where things are stored or keeping track of your file system. The iPad is the computer that gets out of your way.

While iOS has gotten more complex and one iPad model and size became multiple, this philosophy continues. While it hasn’t been able to replace traditional desktop computers for everyone, some of my earliest concerns were fixed by iOS 5:

Unfortunately, there is one fatal flaw with the iPad—it’s still dependent on another computer. For many, an iPad would be able to replace a computer for everyday tasks, but you still need a computer to set it up, load music on it (apart from iTunes purchases), and update the operating system. The iPad (at least right now) cannot print directly from every application either. These two things will make it dependent on a computer (for the time being)…

Finally, I think the phrase at this time should have been used as a qualifier:

I could never go iPad-only, as I need specialized software such as an FTP client, HTML editor, video editor, and more, but for the majority of the population who just need basics, the iPad could really give traditional computers a run for their money.

Going back through my old posts regarding the iPad, I’ve gained a better appreciation of how much things have changed and improved, despite the constant reports of doom and gloom. Places where the iPad has really demonstrated its strengths include content consumption, education, ultra-portable applications, kiosks, and other places where traditional computers were either too large, too complex, or required too much maintenance and support. Only now are we fully starting to see iPads becoming primary computers outside of those with very intentional workflows and I find that amazing.

April 7, 2017

Link: Contact Less ☍

Horace Dediu:

When applying this dichotomy to competition, we need to be careful about who we define as competitors. Note that I said that Apple Pay is in a fight with non-consumption. It’s tempting to say Apple Pay competes with some other payment system like Samsung Pay or Google Pay. But none of these alternatives are as powerful as the existing mix of contact payment systems: cash, credit card magnetic swiping and some other hybrid of codes and user experiences (especially online.)

I’ve had a few friends joke about how many ____ Pay services are out there now. While it may be a bit silly that Apple, Google, and then many Android phone manufacturers are introducing their own payment systems, all have one thing in common—NFC. If one works, generally, they all work. Because of this, it’s more about getting a merchant to accept any of these than for Apple to win and Google to lose.

Apple Pay also has the web/in-app component, which is in the works for Android Pay, but I’ve enjoyed this more in that I’m not entering my details multiple times (shipping & billing) or storing my actual card data with a particular merchant or service. That may be the big win for Apple Pay in the long run.

Link: Why I Stopped Using Multiple Monitors ☍

Cory House:

Despite the fact that multiple monitors make you look like a serious computing badass, I sold my multiple monitor set up a couple years ago and switched to a single monitor. And I’m not alone.

I started having this feeling awhile back—I found myself using only the external monitor with my work MacBook Air and a single monitor with my home Mac mini—when it was used at all. Now, as most of my work is done on an iPad, at most I can split my display among two apps with a third playing video in the corner. I do have a Chromebit with display at my disposal, but even then it’s a single display, encouraging one to focus on the task at hand.

April 4, 2017

“Changing the foundation under a building inhabited by hundreds of millions of people isn’t a small undertaking, and Apple pulled it off without incident. iPhone and iPad users didn’t lose their data; instead, they got a file system that improves storage management, encryption, reliability, and performance.”