After two days with the new Apple Watch digital device, I’m still frustrated.


I confess I’m somewhat surprised by this USA Today review of Apple Watch.

It’s not so good.

I mean, didn’t he get the message?

One of the things I admire so much about Apple is the way they market YOU ARE SPECIAL.

Apple is special. You buy Apple. Therefore…


Look at me! Look at my Apple Watch! I am special!


In style.

You geeks just don’t get it!

The wonderful thing about how Apple markets its products this way isn’t just that it allows them to sell their devices at very high margins. It’s that it simultaneously kills any reasoned criticism. Because if you point out how a particular Apple device is, well, not so good, way overpriced, lagging the competition…


It’s fucking brilliant. Serious. Absolutely fucking brilliant. The very ones who use Apple products don’t dare say anything truly negative about Apple because that would mean they are diminishing the specialness of Apple which would mean they are diminishing the specialness of themselves. Nobody wants that.

Which makes me think this USA Today writer, who dares criticize his shiny new Apple Watch, must be using a loaner. No way he bought this for himself.

On my first day, I complained about endless passcode nags, a screen that was dark way too often and poor battery life.

Battery life on my first day with the watch was seven hours, not the 18 hours Apple promises, although to be fair, it’s a review watch that Apple says wasn’t fully charged. On Day Two, I was 100% charged at 9 a.m. and at 38% by 1 p.m.

But the main issue for me continues to be usability.

How do you navigate this thing? It’s just not as simple as the home screen and swipe controls of an iPhone and iPad.

So much so that I couldn’t help but notice how Apple posted 11 videos on its website Friday showing consumers how to work with the Watch, everything from receiving and sending text messages to changing the clock face and monitoring your activity.

It gets worse.

Ah, well. Haters gonna hate.



If you watch Apple’s own videos, you realize that the tiny watch screen, all those teeny app icons, the incessant notifications, the set-up and changes requiring the iPhone, that scrolling little digital crown that you already know people are scrolling way past what they mean to, and the taps and swipes on that small screen and Siri not working again and again, oh, and you need to double click, just exactly so, and, breathe Brian, breathe, it’s so damn funny that Apple uses the watch industry term “complications” to describe the efforts to add function to the watch itself.


Motherfucking lol


Sometimes, I’m convinced Apple trolls its own fanboys.

So How Do We Kill This?


How do we kill this? How do we kill the Apple Echo Chamber?

Because we must.

We must have the truth of the world’s largest business. We must have the truth of the products and functions and value of the world’s largest business.

Right now, we do not.

The best streaming TV box is by Roku, not Apple TV.

Apple has no equivalent to Surface.

The best value in tablets are by Android. Worse, the best tablet may be a Dell, not an iPad.

Over and over again, the reviews say that the Samsung Galaxy S6 is probably better than the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. At the very least, it’s equivalent. Certainly, the various Lumia phones and other Android devices available for under $300 are a clearly, verifiably superior value than iPhone.

Laptops? I think Apple’s MacBook Pros are the best. That said, it’s easy, terribly easy, to offer up *numerous* laptops that are superior to MacBook Pro in value.


Probably, Apple’s Apple Watch is the best. And yet, it does so little. You know this. I know this. It requires a newer iPhone to work at all, and the very features that Apple promotes are already handled *better* by the iPhone.

But we don’t get this truth. Instead, we are overwhelmed with “journalists” who take to Twitter to *cheerlead* for various Apple products. We have tech news site *editors* who parrot Apple PR, regularly. This is far more harmful than the many, many, many Apple cheerleader blogs, who owe their *entire livelihood* to *not* giving you the full truth of Apple and the many competitive products out there.

You are being lied to.

You are being deceived.


Because Apple pays.

These cheerleaders and editors and journalists know this. They know the number of pageviews, the pennies earned from all the ad clicks, and the big dollars that flow in from sponsors.

They are *rewarded* for not giving you the full truth.

To kill the echo chamber, to stop being lied to, we must stop the money behind it. Do not buy the “sponsored by” products. Never ever click on an ad in a cheerleader site. Stop reading all the works of the “journalists” and editors who you know rush to social media to serve as cheerleaders for the newest Apple products.

That’s the only way.

We deserve the truth. But we must fight to get it.

These Apple Watch Ads Do Not Suck


I have complained about Apple commercials over the past several years because they suck.

Don’t tell me what the Apple Echo Chamber says. I’m right. Apple commercials suck balls. They are boring as shit, or worse, the people in them are pussies, like that punkass kid who won’t even go sledding with his cousins during Christmas break for fuck sake.

But these new Apple Watch ads are surprisingly well done.

Warning: they’re dull. I mean, fuck they’re dull. But, they do a great job of getting the con job across to you — that somehow having ANOTHER SCREEN IN YOUR LIFE will miraculously give you more time to spend in physical space with other humans.


Of course, it’s all bullshit. Complete, utter, bullshit. Most marketing is bullshit — bullshit like “freshly made.” Sure, it was made fresh at some point, just not when you ordered it. But this Apple Watch bullshit is a whole nuther level of marketing bullshit.

It’s ANOTHER SCREEN IN YOUR LIFE, another screen for you to stare at, interact with — and that is 100% how APPLE MAKES ALL ITS MONEY BY GETTING YOU TO STARE INTO THEIR SCREENS!

Except…Apple is marketing this, so damn slyly, as this amazing, magical SCREEN FROM THE FUTURE that magically gives you more time, time to sail or to lazily wake up, or just stroll with your daughter, or stay in bed hugging your beloved, or dreamily ponder the gloriousness of your glorious life while you casually get dressed.

It’s utter bullshit and fucking genius.

Notifications Are Not A Platform. Not for Apple Watch.


At Techpinions, Tim Bajarin writes:

Notifications are Becoming a Platform 

I do not agree.

I have used 12 smartwatches over the last 18 months and, in my short time with the Apple Watch, it has been clear to me the concept of notifications and glanceable data is morphing into a platform and is one where developers can apply a lot of innovation.


With the smartwatch and its tiny screen, it is almost impossible (or at the very least difficult) to try and pull information in large amounts to the device. While I can use Siri to search and pull small bits of info in real time to an Apple Watch, the more optimal way to get that data is through push in a defined app or through pre-set preferences.

I think there are two key problems with this, one Apple’s fault, one we shall blame on humanity.

Firstly, notifications are *years* away from becoming a platform. If you use iPhone and iPad and Mac, exclusively, never veering outside Apple’s walls, use iWork and Mail and Calendar, and set up notifications on all your devices, and have everything synched just perfectly, notifications across all Apple products are….

Well, the nicest thing I can possibly say is there are not so good.

Foursquare has spent a shit ton of other people’s money to crack this nut just for local bars and restaurants and has failed.

The best platform for notifications is, not surprisingly, Google. Yet, if you use a Nexus phone, Google apps, Google search, Gmail, Google calendar, Google Maps et al, and rely entirely on Google Now, which is the current state of the art for notifications and digital assistance, then you know full well that Google often fails to notify you, fails to understand you, doesn’t realize that you are headed to your girlfriend’s house and it’s her birthday and maybe you should stop and buy a dozen roses while still avoiding the traffic jam just ahead.

Notifications as a platform are years away, at the earliest. Buying an Apple Watch in 2015 will not get you to this glorious future any sooner.

That said, I do believe in the idea of notifications as a platform. This is a worthy area for developers to explore and their innovation here might, hopefully, improve all our lives. But this is more 2020 than 2015.

The second issue I take with Bajarin’s view is that he is focused on the Apple Watch. And here’s where humanity is at fault.

First, you must ignore EVERYTHING Apple executives are saying about Apple Watch. Because it’s 100% horseshit.


They badly want to sell you Apple Watch and so they tell you that Apple Watch is about some “time, saved” bullshit and “glances” and “notifications” and “keep your big iPhone in your purse.” This is all horseshit designed to sell you Apple Watch. Period. I have to believe that the smart folk at Apple know they are conning you.

I am about to clue you in:

The Apple Watch is a screen. Another screen.

Screens are our fires. We are charmed by them. We sit around them, stare into them, warm ourselves by them. Go to a nice restaurant and watch the smart people staring into a screen. Invite a few friends over for drinks, then turn on the television.


Apple Watch is a screen and therefore we *want* to stare into it. The very idea of “glances” and bursty notifications that magically allow us to then do all these wonderful non-screen activities is a profound misunderstanding of humanity.

We want to stare into our screens. Everybody knows this! The Apple cheerleader blogs have used the amount of time we stare into Apple screens as *proof* Apple is better!

With the possible exception of Disney, no one has done more than Apple to get us to spend all our waking hours staring into screens. You really think they now want us to stop?


And this is the great dichotomy. What the Apple Watch is optimized for is the *opposite* of what Apple does so well: have us spend our waking life staring into one of their screens.

This is a slow motion train wreck, my friends. Grab your popcorn.


burn your dead cover only

Yay me! Finished my short story, Burn Your Dead.

24,000 words.

What’s it about? WHAT’S IT NOT ABOUT!

Okay. It’s about waking up in a bleak future, filled with drones, screens, shaming and death. Also, love. Also, delicious food that’s bad for you.

I will get feedback then publish it on Kindle soon.

Apple Watch. It just works.


The thing that shocks me most about Apple Watch is how utterly limited it is in function. Yes, I know. Future versions of Apple Watch will be the future!

Wake me up when we’re there.

But, the second most shocking aspect of Apple Watch has been seeing just how amazingly non-intuitive it is to operate. I mean, it’s not like watches haven’t been around forever. And Apple has sold hundreds of millions of iPhones.

Yet, Apple Watch is the UX from hell.

Don’t believe me? Fine. Just honestly assess the UX by watching Apple’s very own specially made, perfectly crafted, finely edited videos.

Right here: Go.

It’s comical! Forget if you can that you must do damn near all the set-up via your iPhone, which must be close at hand at all times if you want the true Apple Watch “experience.” Even once you’ve done all the hours of configuration, now what? It’s so damn complex.

I’m still convinced Apple is using at least 2 people to operate the watch in these videos. You hold your arm out, you twist your wrist, you flick on that small small screen, you need two hands to click, you scroll with that digital crown — and hope you get it on exactly the right spot.

The fuck?

When did Apple abandon “it just works”?

Oh, and before you hurl the Apple Hater Apple Troll nonsense, here’s a few posts regarding the USER GUIDE that Apple had to make for Apple Watch.

Daring Fireball:

“Boy, I really could have used this a month ago.”


“This guide should be just what you need to get ready.”

Six Colors:

“Spend every last second poring over the user manual.”

That was from the cheerleader blogs!

Don’t ever talk to me about “it just works” ever again.

Soylent Green is People! But Are Screens? Is the world already spending most of its waking hours staring at screens?


You probably already spend most of your waking hours staring into screens. Television. Laptop. Smartphone. Smartwatch.

When does this become true for all of the world?

And what then?

After all, it’s not like anyone is staring back.

We are looking into a screen, or soon will be, for the majority of our waking life. Does this matter? It seems like it should matter.

That’s the subject of this week’s 140tech — and, no, I have no answers.

Check out how much harder and more uncomfortable it is to use Apple Pay on your Apple Watch instead of iPhone.


Why would Apple do this?

Are profits from the faithful now the only driving force, rather than simply the primary driving force?

Check out Apple’s own video. To use Apple Pay on Apple Watch you first have to do all the set-up on your iPhone. Surprise! That expensive new computer you bought is, well, shit.

Okay, so now you’ve set up Apple Pay on your Apple Watch. Now you’re in THE FUTURE! So you just breeze right past the checkout, your money automatically deducted as you rush to your next VERY IMPORTANT PERSON thing.


You hold out your arm at an uncomfortable angle. You firmly press two buttons on the tiny Apple Watch face. You firmly double click one tiny button on the tiny Apple Watch face using two fingers.

You then TWIST YOUR ARM so that now the Apple Watch face is directly lined up with the credit card reader.

Hold it, there!

Hold it…

Hold it…


How the fuck can Apple say Apple Watch is “going to make payments even easier”? How can they say this and expect anyone to believe anything else they say? Again, this is Apple’s own video!

Don’t believe I’m 100% correct? Go watch it.

Go. Right now. Here’s the link again:


It used to be the haters thought of the Apple faithful as sheep. It’s much worse now. Now it seems clear that’s how Apple thinks of you, too.