Monday, September 15, 2014

Kids and video screens - how young is too young?

If you are a parent, or help bring up kids, then this might help you feel better about shoving an iPad in their little hands, or parking them in front of the TV.

"No matter what you do, parents always worry about being perfect, but they don't have to," Dr Bowden says. "They just have to be good enough. There will be times when it is perfectly proper to just put the kids in front of the TV and leave them there, because otherwise you will all be screaming."
Dr Michael Bowden,
Head of the Department of Psychological Medicine
Children's Hospital, Westmead, Sydney, Australia

See the full article by Paul Byrnes at

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Apple - follower or leader - lifter or leaner?

With the launch of iPhone 6 and Apple Watch, the question is whether Apple is an innovator rather than a follower - or in Joe Hockey's terms (Australia's Treasurer) a 'lifter' or a 'leaner'.

One of my friends on facebook, a former Apple fan, recently posted:
I loved how everybody pointed out yesterday that there isn't a single feature on the "new" iphone that hasn't been standard on Android since 2012.
So - I looked at some reliable tech blogs, and found out that by-and-large he was right. Is my faith, and apparent devotion (my business  and I own 7+ Apple devices, and no longer have any PC's) misplaced?

But as Charles Arthur of the Guardian points out  the leader/follower dichotomy - is far too simple an analysis as he reviews Apple's history:
The lesson is that calling Apple a “follower” overlooks what it does best, which is wrap excellent usability into top-quality design, often alongside an innovative interface and then keep iterating to produce a hugely popular product that also wrings huge amounts of money from people.
To the latter point, consumers seem satisfied with what Apple offers. Its shares of total sales in PCs and phones has ticked up steadily over the years. Its share of tablet sales is falling along with overall device sales, though that may be due to people simply not renewing them: tablets do not really wear out in the way that phones do.
For those reasons, it is dangerous to dismiss what Apple does as “following”. Its track record, combined with the products it showed during its event on Tuesday, has the potential to have enormous and long-term effects.
So maybe this Android versus iOS is another age old story. Like  Betamax v VHS its quite often not the first to market or the most technically advanced that becomes the success?

Here's the whole article. And for the basis of the GUI, mouse and how Xerox gave it away, then try this wry article in cracked