I am so grateful that I felt compelled to pen this email to the reporters at FiveThirtyEight.com, praising them for their work on the Live Blog that has been my mainstay these past few days. I thought they deserved public recognition (such as it is on this badly-neglected site), so I’m reprinting it here.[Read more…] about An Open Letter to FiveThirtyEight.com
Since we added the Amazon Echo to the household last year, it’s been fascinating to see how my children (now 7 and 10) have adapted to “her” presence. The youngest delighted in asking Alexa to tell him corny jokes and, more practically, used the device to time himself when doing his homework. The oldest learned quickly how one needed to ask her questions to yield useful answers. Digital natives, to be sure.
Since then, Alexa has become an integral part of our lives. I use her to entertain me and answer questions while my hands are occupied with cooking or washing dishes. She’s set to remind us of when we should be headed out the door every school day, and we’ve set up a Friday playlist on Spotify — which, of course, include two versions of Rebecca Black’s classic — to cheer us and get us moving on the last day of the work/school-week. I even replaced my bedside alarm clock with a Dot.
So when I started to investigate the idea of Alexa Skills, it was natural that I involved my kids — well, one kid in particular who happens to love trains.
The Apple phone unlocking issue hit the Republican debate last night, with candidate Marco Rubio accusing the technology company of putting branding before patriotism.
“They think it hurts their brand,” Rubio said. “Well, let me tell you, their brand is not superior to the United States of America.”
It seems the presidential candidates have a mistaken idea of what a brand really is. Branding isn’t just marketing — advertising, email marketing, etc. Branding is about everything that your company and product are about.
You express your brand through all of your formal communications, yes. But the design of your store, the demeanor of the person at the call center, the expertise of the kid behind the counter — not to mention what your top executives say in unguarded moments — all combine to make up your brand. If there is dissonance between elements, people notice, and it affects your business.
So Apple standing up to the U.S. government isn’t about a trifling attempt to protect its “image.” It’s really about Apple doing what it, as a company, believes to be the right thing. The right thing for its business, yes. But also the right thing for the country and its people.
Others may disagree, but I hate the idea of people diminishing the importance of Apple’s stance by dismissing it as mere branding. If you want to put it in those terms, one might say that the U.S. is hurting its own brand by chipping away at the personal freedoms that it purports to be protecting.
— Twitter (@twitter) November 3, 2015
Since the announcement yesterday, there’s been a lot of discussion about Twitter’s decision to change its “favorite” icon from a star to a heart. So, I thought I’d join the fray with a brief commentary.
I’ve been on Twitter a long time, but I wasn’t one of those who participated in crafting the way the service was used.
WFH. Enjoying a sunny day at the homestead.
— Pamela Parker (@pamelaparker) March 28, 2007
This morning, I caught up on the news by reading about the recent terrible accident in Glasgow that took six lives. Most headlines I saw referred to it as the “Glasgow Bin Lorry Crash.” Here, we’d call it the “Garbage Truck Crash.” Sad as the incident was, It got me thinking about a less-tragic cultural phenomenon that I’ve been observing for some time.
When I was a kid, I wouldn’t have had any idea what a “Bin Lorry” was. I remember having to look up words like “treacle” after I’d come across them in books. And books were nearly the only places I ran across such words. I met an exchange student from Australia in high school and was fascinated by slang he taught me like saying “no worries” rather than “you’re welcome” or “not a problem.”
I also remember being confused about the term “mince” or “mince meat” — I thought I’d figured out that “mince” was what we termed “hamburger meat” or “ground beef,” but then I heard about a “mince pie” or a “mincemeat pie,” which sounded like dessert to me. And speaking of dessert, that Pink Floyd song that asked “how can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat!” mystified me a bit, too. I thought I knew what pudding was, but this seemed an odd usage of it. [Read more…] about Not Just Gingers And One-Offs: The Enrichening Of English Around The Globe
I found this super useful if also very complicated.