Thinking Differently

I’m Abhimat and this is my personal log.


The Great Smartphone War: Apple vs. Samsung »

I didn’t think it was possible for me to lose any more respect for Samsung.

One day in March 2011, cars carrying investigators from Korea’s anti-trust regulator pulled up outside a Samsung facility in Suwon, about 25 miles south of Seoul. They were there ready to raid the building, looking for evidence of possible collusion between the company and wireless operators to fix the prices of mobile phones.

Before the investigators could get inside, security guards approached and refused to let them through the door. A standoff ensued, and the investigators called the police, who finally got them inside after a 30-minute delay. Curious about what had been happening in the plant as they cooled their heels outside, the officials seized video from internal security cameras. What they saw was almost beyond belief.

Upon getting word that investigators were outside, employees at the plant began destroying documents and switching computers, replacing the ones that were being used—and might have damaging material on them—with others.

Memories of Steve »

Don Melton’s personal memories of working with Steve Jobs.

And then clicked to reveal his special slide — poster art I’m sure everyone has seen before — a 1940’s-style rendering of a grinning man holding a big mug of coffee next to his face with this text alongside like a world balloon:

“How about a nice cup of shut the fuck up.”

And then the best part — the part we didn’t know was coming — Steve paused, turned to his V.P. of Marketing and deadpanned, “What do you think, Phil? Too much?”

“This is Steve Jobs. You think I’m an arrogant [expletive] who thinks he’s above the law, and I think you’re a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong.”

Steve Jobs (Man, I really miss Steve…)

The Ecosystem Chess Game »

Apple offers a more appealing hardware platform (far fewer devices, all of them with high end performance); a richer, deeper software platform; and a more engaged, higher-spending customer base. It’s all of these factors in conjunction that make iOS the mobile platform with the strongest developer support.

The Mac Pro Review (Late 2013) »

AnandTech has a great review covering the design and performance of the new Mac Pro. GPU computing is the future of professional computing and it is especially interesting to see how Apple embraces it in the new Mac Pro.

The Mac Pro’s thermal core makes a lot of sense from an area efficiency standpoint as the chances that you have all three processors in the system (Xeon CPU + dual AMD FirePro GPUs) running at max speed at the same time is highly unlikely. By having all three players share one large heatsink Apple can optimize for the most likely usage scenarios where at most one processor is running at close to max TDP.

Apple iPad mini with Retina Display: Reviewed »

If you’re wondering why Apple has been so focused on building its own SoCs and CPU architectures, this is the reason why. There’s a fixed amount of power you can dissipate in the form of heat in these mobile devices while still maintaining a good user experience. Performance per watt is the gating metric for success in mobile, and shipping high IPC/low frequency dual-core SoCs at 32/28nm is the best optimization available to a company like Apple today.

Exploring the details of the A7 shows just how powerful it is, and reveals some of the clever tradeoffs made in order to achieve that power.

A Technological Optimist, but Just »

Apple, unlike Google, or Facebook, or even Microsoft, is not a services company (as long-suffering iCloud/MobileMe/.Mac/iTools customs can attest), and so, to prescribe any sort of goodness to their decision to not retain user data is much less useful than an examination of what actually matters to their bottom line. And, as a hardware company, that means the supply chain. And that means people like Bibek Dhong.

Ben Thompson makes a very good point that it is not enough to judge the morality of a company like Apple just based on its privacy practice, which is primarily a byproduct of its business model and not a moral choice. It is much more appropriate to use metrics that are instead a reflection of its actual business, such as evaluating the supply chain.