Yesterday the new Microsoft logo was introduced. I have seen a lot of mentions to thenew look. After reviewing it I only had one feeling – flat. I don’t mean 2 dimensionally flat although it is but more un-inspiring, lacking interest, more of the same.
Changing or updating your logo is not an insignicant thing. It affects the company in updating packages, websites, supporting material (business cards, letter head). More importantly it affects who your consumers see you.
Microsoft waited 25 years for this update and personally I think they failed. It lacks originality, it does not offer and unique visual queues or say anything about the company of note. I think Andrew Kim did a much better job over the course of one week
As a former long distance cyclist and lover of the sport, the news today from the United States Anti-Doping Association (USADA) has me disgusted. They are recommending to the UCI to strip Lance Armstrong of all his titles, awards and winnings. Travis Tygart, USADA’s chief executive, has been “hunting” Lance like sport animal. Lance finally has had enough.
“There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ For me, that time is now,” Armstrong said Thursday night, hours before the deadline to enter arbitration. He called the USADA investigation an “unconstitutional witch hunt.”
Apparently you can be tested hundreds of times and pass and be guilty. I imagine this is how a criminal who is truly innocent and gets the death penalty must feel. Circumstantial evidence appears to win out in some cases. Its WRONG ! Before DNA testing I bet this happened more than we would like to believe.
Lance has a truly unique life store beating cancer after the doctors gave him a 50/50 chance to then go on and win 7 Tour de France titles. A feat no one let alone an unknown American have ever done.
The UCI, the International Cycling Union, has the final say. Regardless they have several problems to address.
If Lance is stripped of his titles four of those wins would go to Jan Ulrich, an athlete thatHAS tested positive for doping and been banned for life from the sport.
the UCI has backed Armstrong and asked the USADA to explain why he should be stripped of his titles when none of the USADA’s own test have EVER come back positive. 
The sport has been tarnished more and more over the last 10 years form allegations of doping. While they want to send a message to the athletes they certainly do not want the image of the sport to decrease more by backing a sports hero.
Lance could have stopped racing sooner, taken his winnings and fame and partied like a rock start all over the world. I am sure he enjoyed himself but what he really did was start a foundation for cancer research that has raised over $500 million dollars. His family and the foundation are his priorities. Even if he wins this battle in another year there will be a new version of these allegations that he will have to deal with (come on its been 17 years and we are still talking about this).
Its a sad day for cycling. When a man so strong who has done so much good reached his limit and said enough. When you choose to continue working to help others over proving your innocence you will be branded as guilty.
Today a sports hero did not die, he became a larger one.
I love this post from Seth (like most of his). He is reminding us and giving us permission to make mistakes. I think a lot of peopl, myself included, allow themselves to be boxed in with their decisions. Find reasons to prevent changing things as opposed to trying to change things. The internet provides us the ability to be more flexible, fluid, able to react quicker then many other industries. Take advantage of it !
Don Macallister has hit an impasse with his great SCOTutor iOS apps. All the apps were approved and then later pulled form the store as being just videos. Don reworked the apps and resubmitted to show new functionality. They were rejected and so was his latest appeal.
This is a disappointment. Although iOS has a high degree of intuitiveness these apps have been where I have pointed friends and family to for additional training. I have gifted these to many. I think this is an example of where Apple got it wrong.
Graham Spencer from Macstories has a great post describing the history of services in iOS. The graphics are plain and simple. There is a clear direction in which Apple is integrating with more outside services. Google is almost out.
Most of the recent iOS discussion is how good will Apple maps be? Could Apple replace the mapping application which had become our de facto standard?
But even if there had not been bad blood with Google I wonder if this would have happened anyway. If you follow the timeline Apple really had a lot in one basket with Google.
I first learned about Robert’s use of a MacBook Air from this post. He was comparing the 11″ and 13″ Air. Picking a computer is a very personal thing and very need based. I reached out to Robert to ask him if he was still using his Air and if so how. The interview is below.
1. Who are you? What type of business are you in, what do you do?
Hi! I’m Robert Lo Bue and I run a little company called Applingua Ltd. We translate iOS and OS X apps into different languages for developers worldwide.
2. Which model MacBook Air are you using?
I’m on my third MacBook Air now! The first was way back when they first came out. I sold is a few weeks later… Then, last year, I picked up an 11″ MacBook Air to complement my iMac. This was perhaps the most special Mac I’d ever used, so light, sturdy and powerful.
A few months later I sold both the 11″ Air and iMac and went for a 13″ MacBook Air ‘Ultimate’. A mid-way point I suppose between the two. While the specs have now been superseded by the 2012 MBA, mine boasts a beefy a 1.8GHz Intel Core i7, 4GB RAM and 256GB SSD. The best money I’ve ever spent.
3. Why did you select the MacBook Air over other Mac models?
The MacBook Air is just so portable. You can walk and cycle without even noticing it’s there (sometimes I have to double check!). The 13″ has a very crisp screen too, with the same resolution as a 15″ MacBook Pro.
It runs cool, it’s silent, it’s beautiful.
4. How are you using your MacBook Air to run your business ?
My MacBook Air runs my company. Everything is processed on this machine, all backed up with Dropbox and Time Machine. The best apps are the ones that help me get through my day more easily. On the air, this includes The Hit List, LittleSnapper, BBEdit, Coda, iLocalize, Mail and Xcode. I also use a few cool web services too, such as Buffer, Trello and FreeAgent to name a few.
5. Which has been the best thing about using your air to run your business/create your product?
I’m always on the go. For the first 12 months of my business I was “Location Independent” and you’ll often find me working from Airport lounges even today. The Air is the only machine I’d want to travel with. It fits perfectly on a folding plane table and the battery is always dependable.
The weight means I don’t mind taking it out and about with me. I can be online (especially with the speedy SSD!) and working from anywhere in the world in seconds!
Last week Michael wrote a piece about new models of Nikon camera, specifically the Coolpix S800, is rumored to be running a version of Android as the camera operating system.
I have been sitting thinking about this for a while. As a long time Nikon user I am not sure how I feel about android on the camera. Not because it is Android and I am an Apple fan, more because of the fragmentation of Android in general. While writing this I am thinking about the Kindle Fire as an example. Amazon took the open Android, forked it and rewrote it to do everything they could to hide anything that looked like or functioned like Android from the regular user. But now this is a problem for them. Updating it is not easy. New functionality has to be rewritten. So in a sense with this open approach they have closed themselves off.
I have always enjoyed the Nikon camera functions – more so then Canon for example. I worry how this will affect overall functionality. Will this OS jist live on the point and shoot models or make its way up to the Pro-level cameras? I agree with Michael’s thought.
Yesterday I received an email offer to sign up from a retail outdoor store that I frequent called Eastern Mountain Sports or EMS. It was a point based reward program offering you discounts and special sales announcement. Since I go there several times a year I would figured it would be worth it to me to sign up.
I clicked on the site and started to fill out the form before I came to a screeching halt. For me there are several things form.
Eighteen fields on the form – too long
Eleven of the fields are mandatory
I am giving permission to use my email for this rewards program. Why is one of the required fields a phone number? That was a non-starter for me. The secondary phone number is a cell phone which is optional but they are asking for my carrier.
If you are going to collect all this information from me I think it is mandatory that you explain why you need it and how it will be used.
For example – “collecting your cell phone number will allow us to send you a text message about a special sale”
None of this existed.
So as a result I will not be joining the rewards program.