Apple’s products are not as simple as you think

You click and the app you want launches.

You swipe and get groceries.

You press and take a selfie.

You don’t even need to be of age do to all of this.

Ah, the beauty of Apple products.  They are so undeniably user-friendly.

But are they really as simple as everyone thinks?

In 1976, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak created the first Apple Computer.  The computer was part of a counterculture, per Wikipedia, and was used to produce print-outs, letter labels and databases.  The original Apple 1 was actually a computer kit where buyers had to assemble everything on their own.

Somewhere along the way, this grassroots feeling was mowed down.  These home-brewed computers became factory prefabs.  In the transition from garages to manufacturing plants, along with other things, complexity was introduced to the equation.  Today, we aren’t brewing anything ourselves and have lost control of the thought to be simple devices.

It asks if we want to update.  We blindly click “Yes.” But what exactly is it doing in the background?  Do you have any idea?  Me neither.

On iTunes, we purchase something that we think is ours until we decide to switch to an Android and then – poof – it’s gone.  While this works for some people who want to buy all their products from one company, it doesn’t leave us any room to choose.  We are locked into Apple’s eco-system.

Sure the interface is super easy to use.  And Apple products always seem to work.  I’m actually writing this article on my MacBook (and I’m absolutely in love with my new iPhone).  But neither empower me as a user.  I don’t have control over my operating system nor my software nor my music or apps.

The fact is we as Apple users are in a closed system and have restricted use of our technology.  This keeps us dependent like a breastfeeding child.  What we believe to be our experience of technology isn’t really ours.  Everything is dictated by the mothership and we can not easily move to another mother.

From this standpoint, Apple and its products are not simple.

For a product to truly be simple, it must empower users.  In the case of technology, a simple product must allow us access to the source code so we can use and modify it for any purpose.  It must permit us to convert files to other formats so we don’t get locked into proprietary software.  Also, it must not have so many patents that others can’t develop something more innovative.  And so on.  You get the idea.

Sure, these suggestions are not as financially appetizing, especially for a company generating billions of dollars in revenue.  But from a standpoint of technology and human consciousness, empowering users can lead us to simplicity and possibly to an Age of Enlightenment.

Building Evaluations: Ovarian cancer (case study)

My business partner and I evaluated a home of a couple who lives in Silicon Valley.  The woman was going in for surgery because she was suffering from ovarian cancer.  The discovery of our home survey was striking.  She was sleeping on two types of earth line crossings, both at the area of her ovaries.  (See drawing below.)

In addition, there was an electronic mess behind her bed.  The readings of electromagnetic fields on the upper part of the bed (near the head and upper body) were high. Influence factors include the cord clock radio, cordless phone charger with 110V/12V transformers and the unshielded wiring of the electric installation.

The electromagnetic fields were reinforced by the metal bed and the coil-spring mattress. The headboard measured values beyond the international recommended threshold of 2 milliGauss.  In addition, on the left side of the bed, the readings in the head area are over 20 V/m.

We recommend her to:

  1. Replace the 110V clock radio with a battery driven alternative.
  2. Move the cordless phone at least 4 feet from the body at night. Regarding the exposure to high frequencies from the phone at night, it would be advisable to ban it from the bedroom altogether.
  3. The wiring of the electric installation appears to be unshielded, which means it does not have an earthed metal coating. Ideally there would be an integration of a demand switch which shuts down all electricity at night.
  4. Replace the metal bed frame and the spring mattress with non-metal alternatives. The metal bed holds and reinforces the EMF from installations. As long as the demand switch is not in place and the electric cables are not properly shielded, the radiation effects are strong.
  5. Consider relocating the bed to the opposite side of the room as indicated in the drawing.  If she didn’t want to do that we suggested moving it 2 feet to the right so as to avoid the crossings.

 

 

Make it ug-ly!

Twice today I was told “Make it Ugly!”

First by Andrew Warner.  Then by programmer at a Girls Who Code meetup.

Two different people.  Two different projects.

And “What?!” was my reaction both times.

Then came a sigh of relief.

You mean, I don’t have to be perfect?!

If you weren’t embarrassed by the first version, you launched too late. — Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn Founder

Whew!

Those heavy clouds hovering above parted.

I don’t have to do it “right.”

Who defines “right” anyway?

In making it ugly I can do it:

1) my way

2) fast

3) simple

4) not perfect

My realizations:

1) My way or the highway.

2) It is a waste to spend too much time implementing something that may or may not work.

3) Complexity has the propensity to take over when too much thought is put into something.

4) Perfection can lead to mass complication and turn into a complete mess.  Yes, just the thing perfectionists try to avoid.

The take-away:

Get whatever you are working on out there, even if it’s ug-ly!

Killing complexity

A result of starting this blog or pure coincidence, I’m not sure.

What I do know is that recently I’ve been focused on reducing distractions that don’t produce results.

Even simple things like…

  • multiple online identities
  • unused domain names
  • mind-numbing apps
  • unproductive projects
  • unhealthy habits

I’m not going to kid myself.

Becoming even more of a minimalist than I already am is not going to move me towards simplicity.

However, it is one step closer to killing complexity.

Building Evaluations: Numb feet (case study)

A couple in Huntington Beach, California, was talking to my business partner and I about the husband’s numb feet.  When we evaluated their bedroom we found an earth line crossing on the side of the bed where the husband sleeps and it was at his feet.

We suggested that they move their bed over a couple inches to the left so the crossing wouldn’t be near the husband’s feet.