Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New Apple products but where's the revolution?

Article first published as New Apple Products But Where's the Revolution? on Technorati.

So today the buzz in Apple land was the announcementof the new smaller IPad, the completely redesigned IMac and Retina display on a 13 inch laptop.   Oh yeah, and your "New" Ipad is now old because the 4th Generation IPAD was announced.   The 4th gen IPad boasts a more powerful A6X processor and available LTE connectivity.  Hope you got your offer from Gazelle.com locked in before today!

Tim Cook was front and center hyping all the "innovations" of his new products.  At one point even comparing the new IPAD mini to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.  Cook even went so far as to drag out the "sold more IPad's than PC's" argument  from last year which still holds as much relevance as the number of paper clips consumed by the average office.

Undoubtedly there'll be hundreds of articles about the announcement and it's not my intent to rehash that information.  I'm sure there'll be 100 blog posts in the next 24 hours to take care of that.

What was striking was how little innovation there was to be had. 
Sure, ever since the introduction of Samsung's Galaxy note last year then the Nexus this year Apple fans have been hoping for a smaller version of the IPad,

Today they got it but it's hard to understand what's so great about it.  It amounts to little more than Apple late to a market already dominated by a competitor.

The new IMac  has a thinner profile and is available with the "new" fusion drive which is little more than an SSD accelerated hard disk.   That's technology that's been available since the introduction of the Intel Z77 chipset.   Unless you view your IMac as an objet d'art instead of a computer there's nothing revolutionary about it.

In short, today's Apple announcement boiled down to a refresh of the current Ipad, a smaller Ipad with a $329 entry level price point and a prettier IMac in 21.5 and 27" screen sizes. 

Where's the real innovation? Where's the world changing product that has set the standard for consumer electronics?  Instead of changing the way we interact with technology like the first Macintosh PC or the Iphone, Apple seems content to react to market trends instead of setting them.

One thing that hasn't changed is the price point.  Apple still demands a premium price for largely garden variety hardware in an attractive shell. 


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Living in the Silicon bubble, the Sequel



I would dearly love to live in the world of tech commercials.  I'd never see a landscape that wasn't a scenic vista. Every city street would be a model of urban renewal with stylishly clad inhabitants happily dancing through the day with their Smartphones and tablets at the ready.

Business professionals would conduct high level meetings in their Speedos comfortably reclined on some sunny tropical beach.   The view only temporarily obscured by perfectly toned examples of the human form interrupting the crashing waves.

This is the world promoted by tech pundits.  Pseudo journalists who often forget that they're living the dream that few of their followers could ever enjoy.
Oh! what horror it must be to cover a Smartphone launch or have to spend a week in Vegas covering a tech toys convention.  

So when a recent Saturday night Live skit shone a light on the tech punditry by mocking their surreal point of view, the punditry could only chuckle nervously.  If you missed it the skit focused on a fictional panel discussion with three tech pundits airing grievances about the shortcoming of the Iphone 5.  Later 3 Chinese factory workers countered with sarcastic responses citing inhumane working conditions

We'll leave alone the hypocrisy of the stereotypical Uber humanitarian Iphone Devotee embracing a product whose very creation advocates abject slavery for Chinese workers on the line.    Oops,  I guess I didn't leave it alone ah well, moving on...

Response from the punditry ranged from tepid amusement to complaints that the pundits in SNL's skit looked like "they were out of the 80's" and not consistent with the "real" punditry.  Actually, the depictions were fairly accurate if you watch enough tech podcasts. 

That's the problem with living in a bubble, you start to lose touch with how the rest of the world sees you. 
Perhaps, like many others, I'm making more of the SNL skit than it deserves but I think it was a perfect depiction of the techie mindset.  Gross consumerism and perpetual upgrade cycles trump ordinary reason.  Only the device matters. The next killer app is always just around the corner promising to let you do absolutely nothing with greater speed and utility. 

Who cares if the factory that made it employed abject slavery to make it, your world view is safe right?  Worse, who cares if the mechanisms to produce the next killer device were devastating the economy of those not so blessed to be in the tech punditry.  Hey there are plenty of jobs at Starbucks and Amazon warehouses right?

I've noticed a new wave of complaints from the punditry lately.  Suddenly they feel unfairly trolled and will go so far as to call the Internet "mean".  

I'll clue you in punditry, the Internet isn't "mean" it's just worried about its next paycheck.  It's growing incredulous at your denial of reality.   Tech toys are expensive for the rest of us but you seem to be oblivious to that fact and prefer instead  to cite your distorted reality as the de facto norm.   

I thank the pundits for their input and appreciate the information.   What I don't appreciate is the assertion that their lifestyle in any way reflects that of their audience.  It doesn't.  Perhaps when you realize that you'll be able to graduate from podcasting to actual journalism.




Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Not Blogging for fun and profit


Blah, blah, blah, recruiters, blah, blah, Windows 8, blah, blah politics.  Insert a few philosophical musings and the occasional commentary on a Podcast and you have most of the content  found within the Digital Dynamic blog


I never claimed this blog was interesting and true to its credo it is a bit rambling.
Still, after doing it for over a year and resisting the urge to regurgitate a largely uninspiring life's experiences onto the page I thought I'd be doing a little better by now.
So I set out on a journey of discovery in search of SEO optimization and higher page hits.
It doesn't take long to find sage advice about successful blogging from the SEO marketing crowd. 

video


They admonish me to...

Provide value! (subjective term)
Focus your content!  (oops..)
Don't be boring! (VERY Subjective term)
Too much text is bad! (People like pictures)
Be consistent!  (That I can do...)
Don't be wishy-washy...
but don't offend anyone either.  (Like that's possible)

After sifting through hundreds of "How-to" articles and videos  I come to the same conclusion I had when I started my little trip through self-help a la' Google.

It's all crap...

I feel simultaneously enlightened and hollow at the same time.  The presentation, always dazzling yet the value debatable.  Strange, since that breaks the guru's first rule of not having crap content.  Worse it's all the same information which breaks another rule of successful blogging.  That is, don't do what's already been done.
Read down the page and you're sure to find glowing accolades in the comments from dozens who've seemingly experienced an epiphany in 250 words.

Of course it's all very generic which makes me wonder if there's some bulk commentary wholesaler out there where you can buy warm fuzzies by the score.  I swear I've seen the same comments spread across dozens of blogs.  Are people really that unimaginative?  Explains why their blogs aren't doing so well I suppose...
 Just like those late night infomercials with B-list celebrities hawking the promise of easy millions from becoming a slumlord, I'm convinced the only people enjoying success are the guru's themselves.   
Technically they're not lying, they got me to look at their stuff but just because I watch a commercial doesn't mean I'm buying the product.

In this day of website paywalls  standing between you and the last sentence of a newspaper article it seems information, useful or not, is another commodity to be traded. 

I'd like to think that I provided content people were interested in but my numbers say otherwise.  How could I possibly compete with paid reviews of the latest gizmo or celebrity gossip. 

I may be boring but at least I try to be honest with the handful of readers who frequent my work.
Maybe someday if the masses tire of the deluge diatribe they'll go looking for something different.  I just hope I have the right SEO in place when it happens!



Monday, October 1, 2012

Messages to a resume stacker


I get a lot of email messages.

Since I'm in the job market I get most of them from recruiters.
In this economy you'd think that was a good thing but it isn't always.

I work with a few decent recruiters who know better than to waste my time but it seems they are in the minority.  What I get most of the time is fly by night operators usually a day late and a dollar short making empty promises.

These are the "Resume Stackers"  or recuriters that collect a large quantity of resumes to try to fool a potential employer into thinking they're offering something they don't really have.  Most just scan monster.com job listings for promising openings and dig up the phone number to HR.

The first tip-off to a "stacker" is jobs that don't match your background and that nobody in their right mind would even consider you for.  They usually have a tag line at the end that says something like:

"If you or someone you know would be a good fit please send us your information"

That means they didn't pay the recuriter fee to be able to access candiate information for DICE, Monster or Careerbuilder, They have no idea who you are as they can only see publicly accessible information likely provided to them in the same manner as those services that provide sales leads for specific zip codes.

I suppose it could be fun to be submitted for a CEO's job if you were a landscaper but not likely to be productive.  That and your chances would be better by just sending your resume on your own.

It's the reason why you see so many job listings that say "No agency referrals"  That means they've been buried by the "Stackers" and got sick of it.

I've taken to doing more than just adding them to my junk email filter.  I encourage them to seek alternate career paths.  Here's a recent email response to a job I had absolutely no qualification for...

Feel free to use my response at the end as a form email response, just replace Resume Stacker with the stacker's name. It's constructed as a form email for both candidate and employer use.

Excerpt of Email I received:
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Hi,

My name is "Resume Stacker" and I'm a Staffing Specialist at Resume Stacker Intl., a Global IT Services & Staffing Company. We are constantly on the lookout for professionals to fulfil the staffing needs of our clients, and we currently have an Opportunity that I thought may interest you. Enclosed below are the details:
Client: We really don't care inc.
Job Title: MS Infrastructure Manager
Location: Somewhere at least 1000 miles from where we are.
Type: Direct Placement

Job Description
SUMMARY STATEMENT:

As a member of the Enterprise Infrastructure leadership team, the Manager, Windows Administration/Engineering plays an important role in helping to define the direction for the team and enabling the technology demands of the business. Drives and manages platform and/or service lifecycles in alignment with 
We really don't care inc. vision and strategy with a service-oriented, solutions-focused, and progressive approach. Manages the development, deployment and management of enterprise-level Windows operating systems.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My Response:
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Resume Stacker, you sir/madam are what we in the consulting business call a resume stacker. What that means is that you collect dozens of resumes after getting wind of a possible opening somewhere then shotgun them at the HR department of your target company. The most contact you have with the client is an email and you could give a damn less about the people you submit.

I can prove that from this very email. You've simply scraped my resume/job listing off Monster.com looking for keywords without even reviewing my qualifications/reruirements. In short, you're not qualified to represent me or anyone else to this company/candidate. By the way, this very job was posted a month ago, I watch job listings too. It’s old information and I really don't appreciate being lied to. Yes Resume Stacker, even a half truth makes one a liar.

In fact, Resume Stacker,  I get so many email messages like yours every week seeking to waste my time that I think I should go into the recruiting business myself. It’s apparent that there are far too many unqualified individuals like yourself out there further complicating an already complicated process.

Now I'm going to add you to my junk email filter confident that the only thing I'm missing out on by ignoring any further communication from you is disappointment and rage focused in your general direction.
Try to have a good day, Resume Stacker and please consider another career, you're not helping anyone in this one.