davidr

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  1. Podcast: Exponent 007 - “Growing Up” v “Hungry and Foolish” | stratechery by Ben Thompson

    On the newest episode of Exponent, the podcast I co-host with James Allworth:

    There’s a bit of a consensus building post WWDC: Apple has grown up, and it’s great. Consider the conclusion from John Gruber’s excellent piece Only Apple:

    New Apple didn’t need a reset. New Apple needed to grow up. To stop behaving like an insular underdog on the margins and start acting like the industry leader and cultural force it so clearly has become.

    Apple has never been more successful, powerful, and influential than it is today. They’ve thus never been in a better position to succumb to their worst instincts and act imperiously and capriciously.

    Instead, they’ve begun to act more magnanimously.

    In my own reflection on WWDC – What Steve Jobs Wouldn’t Have Done – I noted that Apple was moving from a place of fear to one of confidence:

    By “moving-on” I don’t mean moving-on from Jobs’ death, but rather moving-on from the darkest parts of Apple’s past. Apple is not about to go bankrupt, they hold the power in every partnership they enter, developers around the world desperately want to work with them. It is not 1997, and to make decisions with a 1997 mindset simply doesn’t make sense.

    In short, perhaps my fears for Apple’s future were precisely backwards: Apple didn’t need to always remember 1997; in fact, they needed to forget. And so they have.

    There is something deeply satisfying about this type of analysis. The idea of the brilliant but wayward adolescent, finally pulling together her immense talents, and truly reaching her potential. It’s something to which we can all relate, and, surprisingly, it’s something to which other companies can relate as well. From the New York Times in 2002:

    Yet only after fighting the biggest antitrust case in a century has it begun to sink in with Ballmer that in most ways he has already won, and that with victory he might be expected to behave less like a petulant adolescent and more like a statesman, comfortable in his power. Recently, in the span of one week, Microsoft first received the news that a federal judge approved the company’s settlement with the Justice Department and rejected the remaining suits by individual states, then came out with a powerful new-product launch, its much hyped Tablet computers. Both of these developments indicate that the company is exiting the fog, legal and otherwise, of the last few years and is entering a period that will largely be shaped by Ballmer. With his schedule rigorously organized, his managerial duties more defined than ever and his personality in a state of self-imposed overhaul, he aims to prove that he can be a different person and that the Microsoft Bill Gates has essentially handed over to him can be a different company.

    To be clear, Apple is not Microsoft. But why? And is it possible that something essential has been lost?

    In this episode we examine what it is that makes Apple unique, and why things might turn out different this time – and why they might not.

    (In addition, we discuss the end of privacy and what might be done about it.)

    Links

    John Gruber: Only Apple – Daring Fireball

    Ben Thompson: Tim Cook is a Great CEO – Stratechery

    Ben Thompson: What Steve Jobs Wouldn’t Have Done – Stratechery

    James Allworth: The Real Threat that Samsung Poses to Apple – Asymco

    John Gruber: The New Apple Advantage – Daring Fireball

    Ben Thompson: If Steve Ballmer Ran Apple – Stratechery

    Microsofter – New York Times

    Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Speech – Stanford News

    Ben Thompson: Privacy is Dead – Stratechery

    Actual Facebook Graph Searches – Tumblr

    Show Link

    Feed | iTunes | Twitter | Feedback

    http://stratechery.com/2014/podcast-exponent-007-growing-v-hungry-foolish/

    —Huffduffed by davidr

  2. Vector 44: The legacy of webOS | iMore

    Vector is a news and analysis show focusing on the biggest stories, hottest trends, and most important issues in technology, past, present, and future. On this week’s show, five years after the launch of the original Palm Pre, Derek Kessler of Mobile Nations talks to Rene about webOS, its rise, its fall, and how its interface and feature set still influence everything from Android to BlackBerry to iOS.

    Support Vector:

    Remove spam from your life for good — go to mailroute.net/vector for a free trial and 10% off. And visit igloosoftware.com/vector to learn about the Intranet you’ll actually love to use!

    Subscribe in iTunes

    Subscribe in RSS

    Download directly

    Follow on Twitter

    http://www.imore.com/vector-44-legacy-webos

    —Huffduffed by davidr

  3. Vector 44: The legacy of webOS | iMore

    Vector is a news and analysis show focusing on the biggest stories, hottest trends, and most important issues in technology, past, present, and future. On this week’s show, five years after the launch of the original Palm Pre, Derek Kessler of Mobile Nations talks to Rene about webOS, its rise, its fall, and how its interface and feature set still influence everything from Android to BlackBerry to iOS.

    Support Vector:

    Remove spam from your life for good — go to mailroute.net/vector for a free trial and 10% off. And visit igloosoftware.com/vector to learn about the Intranet you’ll actually love to use!

    Subscribe in iTunes

    Subscribe in RSS

    Download directly

    Follow on Twitter

    http://www.imore.com/vector-44-legacy-webos

    —Huffduffed by davidr

  4. 5by5 | The Prompt #52: Koala Consortium

    This week Stephen leaves Federico and Myke to celebrate The Prompt’s first anniversary on their own. However, they have the help of David Smith to discuss the App Store after WWDC—as well as a whole host of follow-up and fun.

    http://5by5.tv/prompt/52

    —Huffduffed by davidr

  5. 5by5 | Systematic #100: Episode 100 with Merlin Mann

    Merlin Mann on Apple, WWDC, sleep habits and home entertainment.

    http://5by5.tv/systematic/100

    —Huffduffed by davidr

  6. Debug 38: WWDC 2014 developer roundtable | iMore

    Debug is a casual, conversational interview show featuring the best developers in the business about the amazing apps they make and why and how they make them. On this episode Matt Drance of Bookhouse Software, Ryan Nielsen of Tumult, Daniel Jalkut of Red Sweater, and Jason Snell of Macworld join Guy and Rene to talk about Apple’s WWDC 2014 keynote — the Swift programming language, Extensibility, Cloud Kit, Metal, and more.

    http://m.imore.com/debug-38-wwdc-2014-developer-roundtable

    —Huffduffed by davidr

  7. 5by5 | The Prompt #51: Developer Christmas

    Mostly live from San Francisco, Myke, Federico and Stephen discuss the events of the WWDC 2014 keynote.

    http://5by5.tv/prompt/51

    —Huffduffed by davidr

  8. Mac Roundtable Podcast » Mac Roundtable 2014-06-01 Episode #224 WWDC

    The panel for this edition includes:

    Allison Sheridan – NosillaCast Mac Podcast (http://podfeet.com) @podfeet

    Katie Floyd – Mac Power Users Podcast (http://macpowerusers.com) @katiefloyd

    John F. Braun – Mac Geek Gab Podcast (http://macgeekgab.com) @johnfbraun

    Bart Busschots – Let’s Talk Apple (http://lets-talk.ie) @bbusschots

    In this episode we talk about all of the amazing announcements out of WWDC. It was hard to narrow it down because there was so much to talk about but we covered both OSX Yosemite enhancements and iOS 8 improvements, and even made time to talk about changes to the developer’s SDK and the new programming language Swift.

    Podcast: Play in new window

    | Download

    http://www.macroundtable.com/?p=837

    —Huffduffed by davidr

  9. Cool Tools Show 001

    In this inaugural episode of The Cool Tools show, we pick the brain of guest David Pogue, founder of Yahoo Tech, for some lesser-known tips, tools, and life hacks. We move from discussing productivity apps, to office products, to kitchen appliances.

    FD96CC42-829E-4E2C-AB52-F155215AA0C0

    —Huffduffed by davidr

  10. Young Ruin

    When it was built in 1977, Citicorp Center  (later renamed Citigroup Center, now called 601 Lexington) was, at 59 stories, the seventh-tallest building in the world. You can pick it out of the New York City skyline  by its 45-degree angled top.

    (Credit: Wally Gobitz)

    But it’s the base of the building that really makes the tower so unique. The bottom nine of its 59 stories are stilts.

    (Credit: Joel Werner)

    This thing does not look sturdy. But it has to be sturdy. Otherwise they wouldn’t have built it this way.

    Right?

    (William J. LeMessurier. Courtesy of Bill Thoen.)

    The architect of Citicorp Center was Hugh Stubbins, but most of the credit for this building is given to its chief structural engineer, William LeMessurier.

    The design originated with the need to accommodate St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, which occupied one corner of the building site at 53rd Street and Lexington Avenue in mid-town Manhattan. (LeMessurier called the a church “a crummy old building…the lowest point in Victorian architecture.” You can be the judge.)

    The condition that St. Peter’s gave to Citicorp was that they build the church a new building in the same location. Provided that corner of the lot not be touched, he company was free to build their skyscraper around the church and in the airspace above it.

    LeMessurier said he got the idea for the design while sketching on a napkin at a Greek restaurant.

    (Courtesy of David Billington)

    Here’s what’s going on with this building:

    Nine-story stilts suspend the building over St. Peter’s church. But rather than putting the stilts in the corners, they had to be at the midpoint of each side to avoid the church.

    Having stilts in the middle of each side made the building less stable, so LeMessurier designed a chevron bracing structure—rows of eight-story V’s that served as the building’s skeleton.

    But the chevron bracing structure made the building exceptionally light for a skyscraper, so it would sway in the wind. LeMessurier added a tuned mass damper, a 400-ton device that keeps the building stable.

    It was an ingenious, cutting edge design. And everything seemed just fine—until, as LeMessurier tells it, he got a phone call.

     

     

    (Courtesy of Diane Hartley)

    According to LeMessurier, in 1978 he got a phone call from an undergraduate architecture student making a bold claim about LeMessurier’s building. He told LeMessurier that Citicorp Center could blow over in the wind.

    The student (who has since been lost to history) was studying Citicorp Center as part of his thesis and had found that the building was particularly vulnerable to quartering winds (winds that strike the building at its corners). Normally, buildings are strongest at their corners, and it’s the perpendicular winds (winds that strike the building at its face) that cause the greatest strain. But this was not a normal building.

    LeMessurier had accounted for the perpendicular winds, but not the quartering winds. He checked the math, and found that the student was right. He compared what velocity winds the building could withstand with weather data, and found that a storm strong enough to topple Citicorp Center hits New York City every 55 years.

    But that’s only if the tuned mass damper, which keeps the building stable, is running. LeMessurier realized that a major storm could cause a blackout and render the tuned mass damper inoperable. Without the tuned mass damper, LeMessurier calculated that a storm powerful enough to take out the building hits New York every sixteen years.

    In other words, for every year Citicorp Center was standing, there was about a 1-in-16 chance that it would collapse.

    (Credit: Timothy Vogel)

    LeMessurier and his team worked with the Citicorp higher-up to coordinate emergency repairs on the building. With the help of the NYPD, they worked out an evacuation plan spanning a 10 block radius. They had 2500 Red Cross volunteers on standby, and three different weather services employed 24/7 to keep an eye on potential windstorms. They welded throughout the night and quit at daybreak, just as the building occupants returned to work.

    But all of this happened in secret. Even as Hurricane Ella was racing up the eastern seaboard.

    (From Wikimedia Commons)

    Hurricane Ella never made landfall. And so the public—including the building’s occupants—were never notified. And it just so happened that New York City newspapers were on strike at the time.

    The story remained a secret until writer Joe Morgenstern overheard it being told at a party, and interviewed LeMessurier. Morgenstern broke the story in the New Yorker in 1995.

    And that would have been the end of the story. But then this happened:

    The BBC aired a special on the Citicorp Center crisis, and one of its viewers was Diane Hartley. It turns out that she was the student in LeMessurier’s story. She never spoke with LeMessurier; rather, she spoke with one of his junior staffers.

    (Courtesy of Diane Hartley)

    Hartley didn’t know that her inquiry about how the building deals with quartering winds lead to any action on LeMessurier’s part. It was only after seeing the documentary that she began to learn about the impact that her undergraduate thesis had on the fate of Manhattan.

    (Diane Hartley today. Courtesy of Diane Hartley)

    Reporter Joel Werner and producer Sam Greenspan spoke with Diane Hartley, and Hartley’s thesis advisor David Billington. We also spoke with Michael Vardaro, who wrote the AIA Trust’s white paper about the case, and to LeMessurier’s former staffer Joel Weinstein.

    Special thanks to Alan Bellows at Damn Interesting for suggesting this as a 99pi story, and to Simil Raghavan for helping us track down archival audio of William LeMessurier.

    Music: “Wild’n Cuz I’m Young”- Kid Cudi; “A Drifting Up”- Jon Hopkins; “Cobweb Collector”- Twink; “Aufbruch”; “Its Caption Was A Star”- The Octopus Project; “Panic Disorder”- Melodium; “Dome Nest”- OK Ikumi; “brass practice”- Lullatone; “Red Air”- OK Ikumi; “Grundlsee”; “Sunlight”- OK Ikumi; “Making Up Minds”; “Dome Nest”- OK Ikumi

    http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/structural-integrity/

    —Huffduffed by davidr

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