fighting the lack of good ideas

sometimes i’m off

It took Apple 5.5 (or 6, if you count last week as really hitting it) years to introduce what I called the MacBook Flex back in 2015.

With the 13″ MacBook Pro available in an M1-powered edition (which is so much better than the top-end MBP from 2019…it’s not even funny), and now a 5G-enabled iPad Pro running on the M1 … it’s here.

a couple months late – but my prediction was pretty close

Tesla’s Model 3 is debuting at $35,000.

That is distinctly in the range of most “normal” people to obtain.

It should be shipping sometime in 2017. I’d buy one.

prediction look back

Time to look back at last year’s tech predictions. I did this at the half-way point, so let’s see what has changed since then.

  • AIX is still kickin’
  • HPUX hasn’t died yet 🙁
  • Solaris is still being clung-to by Oracle
  • HP split in half – count this a win
  • IBM has dropped from 162 to 138 per share – count this a win
  • IBM still doesn’t realize POWER is having death-throes, but it’s also not dead yet … so this was wrong
  • Z/OS has continued, though not growing as much as I hoped
  • cloud is less of a “thing” and more of a “thing” at the same time … this is a wash
  • cloud hosting providers are competing more on price .. but not as much as I’d expected
  • more “new” (ie less than 15 years old) tech and tools are making their ways into stodgy businesses and government agencies, but it’s painfully slow to watch
  • everyone is trying to be buzzword-compliant – this is a definite win
  • “real” 3D hasn’t arrived on cell phones (though the extra touch sensitivity of the new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus is cool
  • still counting the iPad Pro as a correct on my “MacBook Flex” prediction
  • no fat binary option with the latest OS X to support iOS and x86 hardware
  • no non-x86 Macs .. but the iPad Pro is close
  • Apple may or may not be working on developing a car … this is not true yet, but I think it will be “soon”
  • Tesla has added models, but nothing in the “everyday” category yet
  • SpaceX hasn’t sent anything to Venus or Mars, but they’ve done a bunch of other cool stuff
  • Square doesn’t have a bank option
  • no local competition against Uber and Lyft .. but they’re growing like crazy
  • more cities and regions are fast moving towards being “gigacities” .. not as many as I’d hoped, but it’s happening

In a week or two I’ll put out my predictions for 2016. But first, what are yours?

half year update: how are my predictions so far?

Back in Feb, I published a list of tech-related predictions for 2015.

How’m I doing?

Let’s see ones that have happened (or are very close to have happened):

  • Itanium OEL’d
  • HP spinning-off business units – sorta, they’re splitting in half
  • IBM is losing value … but not as much as I predicted (yet)
  • cloud is still “a thing” – but it’s gradually becoming less of “a thing”
  • cloud hosting providers are in a price war – so I’ll count this as “kinda”
  • iPad 5 – it’s the iPad Pro, but has the expected resolution (5.6 megapixels)
  • I’m counting the iPad Pro, in conjunction with the keyboard accessory, the MacBook Flex – it’s not x86 (ARM A9X) .. but still iOS, not OS X – so I’m half right
  • Tesla has the Model S in a non-millionaire price point ($57k at the bottom end) .. but it’s not down to the Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf yet :: then again, the Tesla gets substantially further on its charge than does the Volt or Leaf
  • more cities are entering the “gigacity” club – Salisbury NC just opened the 10-gigabit club

seems i’m not the only one who thinks apple could make cars

Dallas News ran a story recently on Apple being positioned to be a car maker.

Their reasoning:

  1. Cash (~$180B)
  2. It’s “ultimately” mobile
  3. They have “car guys” already
  4. Strong retail network
  5. They’re already global

I think it more likely they’d buy an existing manufacturer, and then Apple-ify them – but the arguments are strong that an Apple Car will be here sooner rather than later.

my tech predictions for 2015

I put these up as a comment on – but they deserve sharing here, too.

In no particular order:
– AIX EoL’d
– HP-UX retired
– Itanium EoL’d (perhaps on an accelerated schedule)
– Solaris truly open-sourced / abandoned by Oracle in favor of OEL
– HP spins-off more business units
– IBM loses 25-35% of its value – and spins-off / sells more business units to make Wall Street happy
– POWER continues to slow; IBM doesn’t understand it needs to stop putting so much money into it until all the engineers have been fired
– Z/OS systems grow dramatically – the only place IBM makes *more* money
– people finally realize “cloud” isn’t a “thing” – it’s just renting crap when you need it (perhaps from yourself (private cloud)) and giving it back when you don’t
– cloud hosting providers cut prices so things like AWS instances are no longer more expensive than dedicated hardware (see eg
– enough of the Old Guard hits retirement age that New School tech can finally make big inroads into stodgy businesses and government (automation, cloud, *aaS, etc)
– buzzword-compliance becomes necessary even for mom-and-pop shops who don’t have computers
– Android 6 brings native, “real” 3D to cell phones
– … and iOS 9 makes it look “good”
– there’s a new MacBook Flex that offers touchscreen, a fold-flat-reverse form factor, and 12 hours of battery life; the iPad 5 is the first 5K resolution tablet, with a full day of battery life
– Max OS 10.11, aka Denali, allows users to run iOS apps via a “fat binary” model (harking back to the shift to PowerPC from 68k and then again x86 from PowerPC)
– Apple announces the first non-x86 Macs (starting with the Flex)
– Apple buys a car company in cash – Porsche or Hyundai (Hyundai would be the smart move – get more electronics manufacturing capability in-house; spin-off heavy industry wing)
– Tesla introduces a model that non-millionaires can afford – bringing snazzy competition to the Volt price point
– SpaceX sends a mission to Venus, and another to Mars
– Square opens an online bank
– Uber and Lyft grow, win cases against taxi companies – and local competition pops-up all over the country
– several major metro areas across the US all enter the “gigacity” club
– … but it’s led with smaller metro areas (like Chattanooga has already done)

bursts by albert-lászló barabási

Albert-László Barabási’s book “Bursts: The Hidden Patterns Behind Everything We Do, from Your E-mail to Bloody Crusades” is fascinating. In the same overall genre as Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers (review) – pop psychology and pop science – Bursts is a great read: bringing highly technical and dense topics to the masses in a manner that [apparently] doesn’t dumb it down, and never condescends to the reader.

The author is a professional researcher with deep experience in the fields he writes about – a huge plus. If you can wade through all the Hungarian names in a couple of the stories (it’s not that hard), you’ll find this a fantastic, enlightening read.

Reading this makes me want to go buy his other book, Linked.