Lizard Eating Cats In Florida

The only problem I have with this is geography. It’s unlikely that Florida’s lizard problem will make it all the way to my neighborhood in Brooklyn. There are plenty of cats to munch on up here. Guneet Bhatia on the Nile monitor lizard that loves cats.

The cat-eating species of monitor lizard, originally from Africa, is creating a havoc in Florida. The state wildlife officials are taking steps to locate and completely eliminate the Nile monitor from the state — particularly along the canals in North Miami — since the creature is posing a danger to the state wildlife.

According to the biologists, the Nile monitor eats up cats and other organisms, including fishes, owls and frogs.

This thing is up to five feet long. You’d think cats would be smart enough to get out of their way. But cats have an attitude of indifference and that makes it easy for them to become snacks. Fine with me.

The Two Sides Of Apple Watch: The Convenient Bauble, The Necessary Luxury

Apple Watch is out (almost) and the professional reviews are rolling in, mostly positive to gushing. Why? Just as Apple’s iPad hit the sweet spot between iPhone and Mac, Watch has a specific target in mind; those of us who can afford convenient baubles, or necessary luxuries.

Wait a minute. Isn’t that kind of the same thing? Yes. And no.

First, think about how Apple approaches a product. The company does not appear to think much about sales as much as the user experience; which results in growing sales, of course. But the focus of each product is how is it used, and how can it be made better.

Watch is no different.

Second, just as the iPhone has become a necessary luxury (most of us need a cellphone more than we need a watch), Watch can be described as luxurious bauble and convenient necessity. Like the iPhone, Watch is affordable, but borders on the premium side of the product segment. Like the iPhone, Watch is convenient– it takes some iPhone functions and makes them more usable, less obtrusive, easier to manage. That’s not at all unlike a TV remote control, or the steering wheel controls that used to be on a car’s dashboard.

Watch is priced, to start, at that sweet spot the begins the high end of the watch industry; around $400. Yes, there are a gazillion watches that are priced far less, and do far less, therefore are worth far less (yet, they still tell time). But the watches that make money for their manufacturers start at around $400. Those same watches cost more, but usually last longer, and the more money you spend on each one, the longer those watches are expected to stay in fashion and perform.

Therein lies the only issue about Apple Watch that I haven’t wrapped my head around. How long will Watch remain useful? For $400 one could expect to get a very good watch that would last easily 10 to 30 years. I have a beautiful bracelet watch that cost a mere $69 20 years ago. It still works, still keeps time, still is a fashion statement (needs a battery every year; a cleaning every five years).

Most modern technology items are not expected to last 20 years. I can keep a Mac notebook five years before handing it off. Most iPhone users upgrade their phones every two to three years, depending on carrier contract. iPad sales have softened the past year, mostly because the device is well made, still gets used, and because Apple hasn’t countered with a must-have reason for many users to upgrade.

What of Watch?

Will the average Watch user upgrade every couple of years? Or, will Watch perform well five years down the road?

For now, the answers to those questions are unknown, and time has a way of answering such considerations. For now, Watch will be a hit. A big hit. Not a hit in the sense of iPad or iPhone, but I predict more sales– far more sales– than Macs each quarter. The early reviews will be positive to gushing, and a growing number of Apple’s loyal customers will make appointments, try on a Watch, check out what it does when paired with their iPhones, and walk away about $400 to $1,000 poorer.

First Apple Watch Unboxing

That didn’t take long. Roger Fingas (with a video):

The first video debuted earlier today from Hong Kong’s Gadget Guy, showing a rounded rectangular box nestled inside a square outer one. The rounded box contains the Watch held on its side, with a buyer’s chosen band type already attached.

The outer box contains the inductive charger, a wall adapter, a polishing cloth, and an instruction guide. The guide is relatively brief, only going over the most essential functions such as button layout and included apps.

Extra Sport bands are packaged in a slim cardboard tube, which is not unlike an elongated version of the boxes Apple uses for its Thunderbolt adapters. The bands are clipped to a white insert, which also contains instructions showing users how to change the band.

Typical Apple product packaging. But no waiting in line anymore. Right. Uh huh.

Did NBC’s Brian Williams ‘Lie?’

More on the sad saga of one man’s memory from Pamela Engel:

Earlier this year, Williams said during an NBC broadcast that a helicopter he was flying in “was forced down after being hit by an RPG” in Iraq. Crew members who were on the helicopter that was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade that day came forward to say Williams had been on another helicopter that arrived at the site later.

Williams blamed his mistake on “the fog of memory over 12 years.” He wrote in his apology on Facebook: “I spent much of the weekend thinking I’d gone crazy. I feel terrible about making this mistake, especially since I found my OWN WRITING about the incident from back in ’08, and I was indeed on the Chinook behind the bird that took the RPG in the tail housing just above the ramp.”

This is an interesting story because all of us remember the same events a bit differently; almost immediately after the event, and much more so over time.

Suicide Over A Buffet

If AT∓T doesn’t understand the meaning of ‘unlimited,’ how would a Las Vegas casino understand ‘lifetime free buffet pass?‘ Daily Caller:

John Noble, 53, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He purposefully chose the M Resort in Henderson, Nev., about 15 minutes from the famed Las Vegas Strip, as the scene of his death… Noble blamed his then-impending death on depression. He suffered from depression, he said, because employees at the M Resort had granted him a lifetime pass to free food at the buffet in September 2010 but later took the perk away — and, in fact, banned him from the resort completely.

Female employees at the M Resort thought Noble had been harassing them with attention and gifts, so the ban was instituted.

12 Insane Airports

From Answers (I wonder what the question was):

  • Congonhas Airport – Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Gibraltar International Airport – Gibraltar
  • Courchevel Altiport – Courchevel, France
  • Chubu Centrair International Airport – Tokoname, Japan
  • Kansai International Airport – Osaka, Japan
  • Madeira Airport – Funchal, Portugal
  • Princess Juliana International Airport – Simpson Bay, St. Maarten
  • Svalbard Airport – Longyearbyen, Norway
  • Ibrahim Nasir International Airport – Hulhule, Maldives
  • Jauncho E. Yrausquin Airport – Saba, Netherlands Antilles
  • Toncontin International Airport – Tegucigalpa, Honduras
  • Tenzing-Hillary Airport – Lukla, Nepal

I’ve been to four of the twelve and they were all scary.

Apple Watch Is Not A Simple Device

There should be little doubt that Apple will sell many tens of millions of the Watch. The company has half a billion iPhone customers, and a Watch is a convenient, useful, and fashionable extension of the iPhone. Unlike the original iPhone, though, Apple Watch is not a simple device. That explains the great pains Apple is going through to teach customers what the Watch can do.

Pains?

Last night I saw three 60-second Apple Watch TV commercials. The day before I viewed a number of Watch videos online. Whereas the iPhone and iPad were almost self explanatory devices, Apple Watch is not, and requires educating the masses of iPhone customers.

When was the last time you saw Apple devote 60-seconds to a TV commercial? What Apple product has benefited from so many different online videos which explain the product’s details (with more to come), and how to use the new controls?

Apple Watch might be a hard sell, somewhat akin to the controls which grace the steering wheel in your car. Are not many of those controls also on the dashboard control panels? Yes. But the steering wheel makes them convenient to use without removing your hands from the steering wheel, and without taking your eyes off the road. Apple Watch works much the same way. Alerts, alarms, notifications, communications, and other useful information– now the domain of our iPhones– will be more convenient to use on Watch. Once we learn how, and that will require a new user education process.

Apple already provides product handholding for newcomers to the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, so the company is perfectly equipped with retail stores and associates to provide the proper training to Watch customers. They’ll need it. Controls are different than Apple’s flagship products. Functions are different, too, and will require many users to elevate their learning game, and require Apple to elevate how a product is sold.

Will a customer receive the same sort of handholding for a Samsung Gear or Pebble or whatever wearable device hits the shelves at Best Buy?

I can predict with comfort that early adopters will love what Apple Watch does today, but what it will do next year and the year after is obvious, too– follow the migration path of improvements made to iPhone and iPad since their product launches years ago. I can predict with comfort that Watch will not sell as well as an iPhone. It cannot. iPhone has more apps with more capability and that is not likely to change ever. Screen real estate is important. But so is convenience and unobtrusive communication. Watch does what iPhone cannot. Be visually fashionable yet mostly unobtrusive while delivering a level of convenience that iPhone cannot.

Just remember that Watch is not a simple device and the interface and capabilities require plenty of education and handholding for the great unwashed masses of iPhone humanity.

Has Cable TV Peaked?

The answer, according to analyst Horace Dediu, is, well, yes, or, so it seems. There’s a comparison to another industry we’re familiar with, and what happened to the major players and what we could expect from the cable TV industry.

The premise:

And so over a period of about 40 years, watching TV went from free to quite expensive. More expensive even than a family’s communications costs (i.e. telephone service.) That’s quite an achievement at a time when technology diffusions caused huge price reductions in other goods and services. Consider that the TV set used to watch the programming improved dramatically while decreasing in price over the same period.

Meanwhile, some of the benefits began to be less relevant. Commercials are more abundant than ever. Ad buyers spend about $60/month per household to deliver ads[3] The quality of the TV picture is actually worse due to compression than one might get with over-the-air digital broadcast. Finally, the abundance of channels is beyond anyone’s absorption rate. Those channels which used to be “pure” became polluted and undifferentiated as each tried to be the other.

The result of market saturation and inevitable decline:

Users are cutting cords, the “uncabled” or “never-cabled” are a significant portion of the population. 13.5% of broadband households with an adult under 35 have no pay-TV subscriptions. 8.6 million US households have broadband Internet but no pay-TV subscription. That’s 7.3% of households, up from 4.2% in 2010. Another 5.6 million households “are prime to be among the next wave of cord-cutters,” according to Experian.

The same phenomenon occurred with mobile vs. fixed telephony. For several years it seemed that mobile was sustaining to fixed or that fixed was immune due to lock-ins. The fixed telephone incumbents insisted that the data was inconclusive. Then the trickle of abandonment turned into a deluge. The quality of service for mobile kept increasing and, with data, it became clear that the mobile devices could unleash unfathomable functionality and value.

But Does It Bend?

Samsung, the smartphone maker known for copying Apple’s designs, made the latest Galaxy S model bend just like an iPhone. Chris Welch with details and a video of the Galaxy S6 Edge going through a Bandbox machine torture test.

Likely owing to its unique curved screen, the S6 Edge’s cover glass quickly cracked under that pressure, and the phone came undone completely beneath 149 pounds. The “catastrophic failure” point for iPhone 6 Plus was found to be a bit higher at 179 pounds. So yes, yet again we’ve learned that metal will bend under some significant weight. At the S6’s unveiling, Samsung executives joked that the phone wouldn’t suffer from the same build “weaknesses” as Apple’s phablet, and here we are.

Samsung, always copying Apple, always a year late. Bending is so 2014.

3D Tattoos

Through the years I’ve thought about getting a tattoo. Nicole Piering collected photos of more than a dozen 3D tattoos, more novelty than timeless, though.

When you think of tattoos, you probably immediately think of the typical choices: a cross, a Chinese symbol or a heart with a name on it. Maybe you’re a little more creative and think of a familiar quote, a cartoon character or someone’s portrait… tattoos can get even crazier and extend from two dimensions into three with some creativity, artistry and unexpected uses of shading. In fact, these 3D tattoos look so downright realistic that they’ll absolutely blow your mind.

My favorite:

3D Tattoo

Apple v. Samsung: What Do You Buy? A List Of Features? Or, The User Experience?

Apple’s iPhone 6 is six months old. Samsung has already announced their latest copycat design, the Galaxy S6 line, which borrows more from the iPhone’s design than ever. Look around the next few weeks and you’ll see review after review that pits Samsung’s latest ‘iPhone killer’ against Apple’s new flagship model.

On paper, the Galaxy S6 is an awesome device which appears much like an Android version of Apple’s iPhone 6 line. Samsung has pile on the feature bullet points. Nearly triple the RAM of an iPhone. Far more pixel density in the screen than an iPhone 6 Plus. And a homegrown eight core Exynos CPU which should demolish the iPhone 6 which limps along on two cores.

Samsung works much like every smartphone and tablet maker by banking on a typical blend of marketing bullet points features with a lower price to compete with Apple.

It’s almost as if they’re saying, “Hey, look at us. We’re cheaper.” Or, “Here are 19 reasons to buy our smartphone over an iPhone.”

Anyone who’s used Apple’s products or followed Apple through the years knows one things. The company isn’t much into touting specification bullet points. The details are there if you want them, but that’s not the focus of the product’s presentation.

Why not? Everyone else does exactly that.

Amazingly, Apple is about Think Different™ and cares more about the overall user experience than most other makers. That’s why you won’t find a removable battery in iPhones or iPads. Most users don’t care, but a swappable battery makes for a thicker, heavier device.

How about QuadHD displays? You know, the ones in the new Galaxy S6 that shame the quaint HD quality iPhone 6 Plus. Driving all those pixels requires plenty of battery juice. Ditto for the eight cores in the CPU. Ditto for all the extra RAM. Benchmarks show that the Galaxy S6 performs lower than an iPhone 5s.

All that translates into spotty performance of Samsung and knock-off devices vs. the iPhone 6 line, which remains the device to compare to these days. Yet, all the comparisons between devices in most of today’s digital rags describe only the hardware components and not the user experience. Apple sells good hardware that performs well, and the game is upped every year, but customers are buying into an ecosystem that works better, syncs better, backs up easier, has better service and security, and greater selection of user friendly applications.

Google touts Android-based devices as a plethora of choice, obliquely referring to Apple as a walled garden with few choices. Fair enough. But it’s exactly that variety which hamstrings Android device performance when compared to Apple’s latest and greatest. App developers are required to bounce around a dizzying array of CPUs, GPUs, and hardware configurations just to get an app that will run on the Android version of a few years ago, let alone the latest.

Price and a list of bullet points will sell products to the masses, but discriminating buyers know a true value when they see it. That explains why Apple’s approach to the customer experience is different than every other manufacturer, and why the company owns over 80-percent of the industry’s profits.

It’s all about that bass, not treble.

The Celebration Of Apple’s Old Logo

Apple CEO Tim Cook:

Apple today announced that the company will resurrect the original rainbow Apple logo ahead of Apple’s 40th anniversary of the company’s founding on April 1, 1976 and also as an affirmation that Apple, an American company, believes that America must be a land of opportunity for everyone, in a diverse rainbow of colors, including race, religion, sexual orientation, and more. Apple’s executive team and board of directors believe the company logo should reinforce that belief.

Apple’s definition of diversity goes far beyond the traditional categories of race, religion, gender, and ethnicity. It includes personal qualities that usually go unmeasured, like sexual orientation, veteran status, and disabilities. Who we are, where we come from, and what we’ve experienced influence the way we perceive issues and solve problems. Apple believes in celebrating that diversity and investing in it.

This transition will roll out over the coming year and be fully complete with the official opening of Apple Campus 2 in 2016.

Talk about responding to a trend.

Psychologists: Personality Traits Make You Fat

Link bait from Drake Baer:

Emotional eaters have a personality type.The next time you feel fat, don’t stare at your scale wondering what went wrong.

Instead, take a personality test.

Uh huh. Right. Nothing goes wrong there.

Researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology gathered self-reported personality, eating, and food choice data from over a thousand people in the German-speaking parts of Switzerland.

Author Carmen Keller:

We found that a person’s personality does, in fact, determine why he or she eats and what he or she eats

Happy people eat too much? Skinny people get depressed? The mumbo jumbo boils down to these traits:

  • Conscientiousness prevented consumption of sweet and savory foods and of sugar-sweetened soft drinks by promoting restrained eating.
  • Neurotic … individuals seem to adopt counter-regulatory emotional eating and to eat high-energy, dense sweet and savory food in particular, presumably to cope with their negative emotions.”
  • The higher sociability of extroverted people, which is basically a health beneficial psychological resource, seems to have health-averse effects.

To people always dieting or worried about their weight, my father, ever the quintessential Scotsman, says, “Don’t eat so much.”

Never Lose Another Earring

Good advice for women and men. Tess Panzer:

Invest In Locking Ear Backs – Keep your earrings on your ears with earring backs that lock into place. Generally, the backs that come with your earrings are designed to keep them in place, but do not, however, offer any real security mechanisms beyond that.

I use Chrysmela, which is more precisely engineered.

Pin Your Earrings In Place – You could, for example have a cork on your night stand and pin your pairs to it when you take them off to go to bed.

Another use for wine bottle corks.

Hook Earrings To Each Other – When you take off your earrings, attach them to each other by poking one stud through the backing of the other and securing it with the second backing. This way, your earrings will never be apart and if you lose one, you lose both. After all, what’s one without the other.

Maybe jewelry manufacturers will take a clue and sell earrings in threes rather than twos.

Apple And iPhone: A Few Words On Discounts, Lower Prices, And Trade-ins

With little fanfare Apple has just implemented a plan that is not likely to be copied by a competitor any time soon. Apple’s product migration pricing is among the best of any tech gadget company in the world. Whether it’s Mac, iPhone, or iPad, each product is spaced perfectly in the lineup; $100 more you can get more. $100 gets you even more. Regardless of what you buy from Apple you’re likely to pay a premium price compared to lesser brands.

One way Apple plans to avoid lowering prices or having sale prices or discounts is with the newly instituted trade-in program. A select line of Android, Windows Phone, and even BlackBerry models can be traded in to help purchase a new iPhone (iPhone 5c, iPhone 6, or iPhone 6 Plus).

This trade-in program is different than Apple’s iPhone Reuse and Recycle trade-in program from a couple of years ago. The new trade-in program is available so far in the U.S. UK, Germany, France, Canada, and Italy.

Why a trade-in program?

Much of retail sales is about perceived value. As a premium brand, Apple’s products carry a special value. That’s why Apple products are seldom discounted and seldom go on sale (I cannot remember anything ‘sale’ related other than refurbished products).

In most cases, owners of competitive smartphone brands paid far less for their devices, even with a contract tied to a cell phone carrier, than an iPhone. Almost any amount that Apple can offer as a trade-in makes it easy for those smartphone owners to switch to an iPhone, and take their first step into the Apple ecosystem.

Think about the process for a moment.

Let’s say a Samsung Galaxy S4 owner decided to check out the Apple trade-in program. He or she likely bought the phone with a contract tied to a carrier (probably expired or expiring soon), so the in-store retail experience was nominal if not downright negative. The Apple Store experience is quite different. Bring in the old phone, get a price valuation on the spot, use that amount to buy an iPhone, then receive Apple’s famous service and setup, and out the door; a happy new Apple customer.

Who else among Apple’s many mobile device competitors can implement such a program?

All of them; certainly most of the major device makers. Used iPhones command far higher prices than used Samsung, Motorola, HTC, Lenovo, or other brands, so taking an iPhone in on trade is doable, but not simple. The problem? Only Apple has hundreds of retail stores which can gently ease a customer into the ecosystem; show off the value of an iPhone, discuss the various models, get an appraisal on a competing model, use the trade-in to purchase a new iPhone.

Can a customer with a non-iPhone get more money selling to Gazelle or eBay? Probably. But there’s a hassle involved and Apple just removed that little barrier. What we don’t know and won’t know for awhile is how much Apple gives for a trade-in; say, a Samsung Galaxy S4 or S5.

Regardless, Apple just made it easier for owners of competing smartphones to switch.

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs. iPhone 6: ‘Ultimate’ Speed Test

This is laughable. Zach Epstein conducts a speed test, refers to it as the ultimate speed test, however, it’s anything but.

Samsung’s brand new flagship smartphones for the first half of 2015 are just weeks away from launching, and Android fans are clearly excited. They have great cause for excitement, of course, since the new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge represent a complete departure for Samsung, which designed its new flagship phones from the ground up.

Uh huh. Designed from the ground up… to look exactly like an iPhone 6. What about the test?

YouTube user AndroidGameE created a speed test that involves opening the same series of apps on both the Galaxy S6 — the edge model, in this case — and the iPhone 6. Both devices are running a timer in the background, and the tests end when the timer is reopened and stopped.

Results of opening apps were virtually identical. So much for an ultimate speed test. Epstein wrote about another test a few weeks ago which pitted the iPhone 6 against a Samsung Galaxy S6 against an iPhone 6, HTC One and Nexus. Samsung won. The test. A multi-core CPU test. Samsung’s latest has more cores to test.

How about a little BGR insight on why customers fled Samsung in 2014 and why iPhone’s sales have skyrocketed? It must be clever marketing.

Apple’s New Plan

Instead of lowering prices or discounting prices Apple has a plan to eliminate competitors one customer at a time and move them into the company’s vaunted ecosystem. Lisa Eadicicco:

For the first time, Apple is letting you trade in your old Android, BlackBerry or Windows Phone for a new iPhone… The new trade-in program is said to start Monday, but it only applies to certain phone models. According to Apple’s new Reuse and Recycling Program, you’ll be able to access the new trade-in program online and in-store, and supported smartphones include “certain Samsung, HTC, LG, Nokia, Sony and BlackBerry models, for credit in the form of an Apple Store gift card or bank transfer.”

No lowered prices, no sale prices, no discounts. Trade-ins.

‘There’s Something Very Dangerous Happening’

ABC quotes Apple CEO Tim Cook:

America’s business community recognized a long time ago that discrimination, in all its forms, is bad for business. At Apple, we are in business to empower and enrich our customers’ lives. We strive to do business in a way that is just and fair. That’s why, on behalf of Apple, I’m standing up to oppose this new wave of legislation — wherever it emerges. I’m writing in the hopes that many more will join this movement. From North Carolina to Nevada, these bills under consideration truly will hurt jobs, growth and the economic vibrancy of parts of the country where a 21st-century economy was once welcomed with open arms.

The days of segregation and discrimination marked by “Whites Only” signs on shop doors, water fountains, and restrooms must remain deep in our past… “We must never return to any semblance of that time. America must be a land of opportunity for everyone… This isn’t a political issue. It isn’t a religious issue. This is about how we treat each other as human beings.

Such laws and hatred for mankind come from those who claim to be Christian but act in an abhorrent way themselves.

The Almost Perfectly Priced Writers Tool For Mac

There must be a reason the Mac App Store and iTunes App Store for iPhone and iPad have so many different writing and notes tools available. People love to write (or, maybe they hate it, but have to write anyway). At the high end is Microsoft Word which comes with nearly every feature imaginable. At the low end is OS X’s built-in TextEdit app which you might dismiss as being somewhat minimalist in nature, thin on features, but priced right.

If you’re a writer who prefers minimalist then TextEdit truly is anything but. Compared to Zen, TextEdit takes a full semester of instructions to master. Zen may be the easiest writing tool you’ve ever used. Ever. The real question is, “Should I use Zen to write anything?” Fortunately, there isn’t much to learn, so there’s less to forget when you stop using Zen, and I predict you will. From the app’s developer:

Zen Screenshot

Zen is a minimalist writer’s tool. I hesitate to call it a word processor, because it’s not really processing anything. There’s no toolbar, no way to format anything except fonts. Size. Color. Background. That’s it.

Zen is so bare, so spartan, so less than whatever is lesser than less, that it’s surprising it even has a Preferences setting, and all that does is let you change the font size and color, change the screen background, and use a simple slider bar to adjust visibility.

Wait. Zen comes with Fullscreen mode, right? That’s all the rage these days. Actually, Fullscreen mode is built-in to OS X. Just click the green button in the top of each app screen (most apps can go full screen these days).

One must assume that the zen in Zen is for simplicity, elegance, and an absence of distractions, though you’re likely to be somewhat distracted by trying to find and use additional features that most writers expect. Don’t bother. Zen adheres to the less is more, small is beautiful mantra, especially where minimalist is a euphemism for no features. Alright, if TextEdit is just too complicated for you, and you find the toolbar and options to be an over the top distraction, Zen might be just what you need and you’ll be willing to part with 99-cents (a better price tag would be free, or maybe a $5 contribution from developer to user).

If you truly need a spartan writing utility but with truly useful features that don’t distract, may I suggest you take a look at my friend Barbara Marie Brannan’s review of Simplenote. It’s free, much simpler than TextEdit, there’s a version for iPhone and iPad, and it syncs notes and writing projects between devices.

Did I mention it’s free?

Google’s Political Pandering

Yes, the Obama Administration is the most transparent White House in years. Uh huh. Sure. They even disclose who visits and how often, but not why. Brody Mullins includes Google on the list.

Since Mr. Obama took office, employees of the Mountain View, Calif., company have visited the White House for meetings with senior officials about 230 times, or an average of roughly once a week, according to the visitor logs reviewed.

How many times have Apple’s executives visited the White House to gain favor?

The Unfriendliest City In The World

Everyone has a list of the good and the bad. 2,005 people survey in the US came to the conclusion that the Golden Rule is absent in at least one American city. Brittany Jones Cooper on which cities topped the list:

New York City has long had a reputation for being a rude place, with overzealous fans (Go Yankees!) and annoyed locals darting in and out of crowds of tourists. But it’s not just the East Coast getting a bad rap: 15 percent of respondents pointed to Los Angeles as the second-unfriendliest city in the world.

Of course, the assumption is that those who participated in the survey had traveled to many other countries to make an objective decision. That might explain why Paris, France came in third on the list.

9 Jobs Where Women Out-earn Men

So much for equal pay for equal work. The US Census Bureau has a list of the pay gap between genders; specifically where women out-earn men.

  • Producers and directors
  • Vehicle cleaners
  • Wholesale and retail buyers
  • Security screeners
  • Human service assistants
  • Special education teachers
  • Distribution managers
  • Dishwashers
  • Counselors

There wasn’t much difference in the annual average pay rates, though.

In the tiny fraction of jobs in which women earn more than men, it’s by a nearly inconsequential amount. But when men out-earn women, it can be by a significant amount.

The differences between what men make vs. what women make is substantial in these areas.

  • Financial industry
  • Farmers
  • Morticians

The financial industry, with few exceptions, is a man’s world.

The Mac And Apple’s Product Migration Pricing Strategy

There’s a science to selling and pricing products and few companies do it as well as Apple. Up and down the product line– from Mac to iPhone to iPad– Apple builds in a pricing strategy that gently urges customers to migrate from whatever they can afford to another model that’s priced higher.

The Mac represents a perfect example of product migration pricing.

Apple’s new MacBook starts at $1,299. ‘That’s outrageous,’ say many critics. The MacBook Air starts at $899. A MacBook Pro starts at starts at the same $1,099. How can Apple justify a $1,299 price tag when similarly powered models, the MacBook Air, are priced hundreds less, while the much more powerful Pro model is also priced less.

Product migration pricing is all about tradeoffs.

That 13-inch MacBook Pro is much heavier, doesn’t have as much RAM, far less battery life, and no Retina display. The entry-level MacBook Air is heavier, too, doesn’t have a Retina display, has half the RAM and half the SSD storage. A MacBook Air that’s comparable to the new MacBook model with Retina display is priced $100 less (and still doesn’t have a Retina display). A MacBook Pro with similar RAM, similar SSD storage, and a Retina display, starts at $1,499, $200 more than a new MacBook, but it’s much heavier.

Apple prices products to make sure that the features that are the most wanted and needed always costs $100, $200, or $300 more; seldom out of reach, but priced so that a migration from one to another is guilt free, simple to understand, and attractive.

If you want a Mac notebook with a Retina display, regardless of RAM, SSD storage, or power, the price starts at $1,299. If you want a Mac notebook with the lightest weight possible, the price starts at $1,299 (the new MacBook). If Intel Core i5 CPU power is your primary motivator, but you must have a Retina display, the 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,299.

That’s where the migration begins, but it does not take long to go from $1,299 for an entry-level MacBook Pro with Retina display to a 15-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.8Ghz quad-core Intel i7 CPU, maxed at 16GB RAM, with 1TB of SSD storage– at $3,199. That’s a far cry from $1,299 but the migration steps to get there are not easy to ignore.

What do you expect from your next MacBook Air or Pro? If you want a Retina display and long battery life, pricing starts at $1,299. If you prefer a Pro model with more CPU horsepower and a variety of legacy connectors, pricing starts at $1,299.

Bargains are available even within Apple’s product migration strategy. There’s the entry-level MacBook Air, non-Retina display, low power, long battery life, and a few ports, starting at $899. More power gets you a 13-inch MacBook Pro sans Retina display, but only 7 hours of battery life, starting at $1,099. That’s the low end of the Mac notebook product line, and a few hundred dollars more gets you the latest and greatest. And a few hundred more gets you more, but it’s always $100 to $200 more to get more.

Few companies price products as well as Apple.

14 Amazing Things Apple Watch Can Do

Amid all the noise and criticism for a use case or value proposition for Apple Watch, Lisette Mejia came up with a list.

  • Comes with different faces that you can customize by design; can also choose what information displays (like weather, calendar events, etc.)
  • Swipe up for Glances, which are summaries of the information you use most.
  • Use the Now Playing Glance to control your music right from your wrist.
  • Taptic Engine alerts you of notifications with a gentle tap.
  • See who’s calling and answer (and make calls) right from the watch using the built-in speaker and mic.
  • Use Digital Touch to send a sketch, a tap, or even your heartbeat to other people wearing Apple Watch
  • Get a snapshot of your all-day activity plus daily Move goals based on your previous week’s activity. The watch will also encourage you to sit less and move more.
  • Compatible with Apple Pay and Siri
  • Connect to social media and receive notifications; you can scroll through and like images on Instagram right from your wrist.
  • Lets you scan news headlines
  • Can request a ride on Uber with Apple Watch and get a notification when your car is arriving
  • Will pull your boarding pass from Passbook when you’re near the airport
  • The SPG app lets you check into your hotel and unlock your room
  • Has all-day battery life — up to 18 hours