Climate: Living In A Heat Index of 165 And Yes, I hate Summers

Source:  Washington Post.

It's been an uncomfortable week here in LA.  It's 90 with a 34% humidity.  Not as bad as yesterday but for someone who feels uncomfortable with any temperature above 68 F, it's bad.  I supposed I should be greatful I don't live Iran where the temperature is 115 F and a dew point of 90 (ours is 58) which create an off the scale heat index of 165.  Ours at the time of this writing is 98 F (36.7 C).

So, how bad it is to fee like that?  The heat index measure how our bodies fare under the temperature and humidity.  There is a Heat Index table that goes up to 137 F.  So, to get to 165, it has to be a combination of extraordinary conditions of heat and humidity.  See, on a hot dry day, your body can perspire to cool off.  On hot humid days, you cannot cool your body as effectively.  And the heat index is a measure of how your body would feel.


From NOAA.


So, for the 165 F in Iran, we're talking about a temperature of 115 F and humidity of 90.  A bad combination that would fry anyone if you're not careful.  In fact, NOAA indicated on its website that any area without a number is just a bad, bad environment to be in.  So, asn you can imagine, air conditioners are a must in the Middle East. 

This is mostly a mobile blog and you'll notice that I regularly complain about battery life, how Apple should stop making the iPhone thinner and just stick in a bigger battery, and related power issues.  Well, heat is a close second.  Yeah, at the risk of making a lot of readers upset, well, I hate summers.  There, I said it.

Social: Humanity Has A Long Way To Go - Human Sacrifice

Here is just another reminder that we have a long way to go.  A Nepalese man sacrificed a boy to save his own ailing son.  By sacrificing a boy that the man and his relatives brutally murdered, the act would heal his own.  Or so the local priest told him.

Here we are, folks.  Twenty-first century.  We have conflicts and other problems around the world that remind us that we have a long way to go to becoming...what?  Civilized?

So, let me pose this question.  Are we really civilized? 

Source:  CNN.

Apple Car May Take On Nexus-Style Design by Working with BMW's i3 as Its First iCar

Here is a rumor that I find interesting enough that to speculate on what Apple's auto plans may be.  Supposed Apple isn't quite ready to build a car on its own or not in the time frame that it wants to push out an Apple car.  It would have to find a partner.  In this rumor (9to5Mac), Apple may be in talks with BMW (or had discussions) to use the i3 (wiki) as the basis for its own car. 

It's anyone's guess why Apple is talking to BMW and only a tell-all-book about Tim Cook, Jony Ives, or just the iCar in 2020 will answer that question and it may not even be definitive, suppose Apple is not build its car right away.  Supposed it only wants to showcase its own designs and technology in an existing car like the i3 for the world to see - this is an Apple designed car. 

And it is willing to work with different brands, perhaps Mercedes, Audi, Porsche, or any other luxury brand cars to co-develop showcase electric vehicles not unlike how Google is using the Nexus devices to showcase its Android OS.  And perhaps, years later, Apple may eventually unveil a car wholly designed by its team without outside help.

Now, it would not be like the Motorola ROKR, the first "i" phone that had a flaw iPod support thich later gave way to the iPhone.  While Steve Jobs hated that monstrocity, Apple will put it 110% of its effort into cars it works on with other brands and they'll love them as much as if they had developed them themselves.  It will give Apple the ability to dip their toes into the auto industry without a full plunge, learn from the mistakes and then develop the iCar much later.  Of course, such partnerships with car companies will still exist even if Apple does end up selling its own car because Apple is not going to be able to release line after line of cars immediately.  It would take years if not decades.  Look at how long Telsa has expanded to a second model, the Model X, after the Model S.  The Model X is still no on the road.

Why would an auto company be interested in working with Apple?  Well, it is Apple after all.  That is a good enough reason.  Some companies will not want to work with Apple for obvious reasons.  They are doing well on their own and may not be keen on giving up control to some aspects of the design to another company even if it is Apple.  And Apple will likely have draconian terms that they'll want auto partners to adhere too.  It's like that it will be a bit flexible in trying to get BMW onboard but that is about it.  Apple will likely be willing to share some information with auto companies. For instance, like battery technology. 

In the long term, even if Apple end up parting ways with auto companies and end up going at it alone, it is better for them to have had the experience of working with Apple than not.  This is one instance where if an auto executive said "the phone or PC guys are not just gonna waltz in here and make a car that people will want to buy", most including Apple friendly media and blogs will likely agree. 

Apple does have a long roadmap for its involvement in the auto industry.  There are some ideal routes that it wants to follow but there are also twists and turns that are drawn out depending on market and economic conditions.  This includes a turn that takes into the account of Apple even not getting into this market at all if it cannot build a car that is better than what is already out on the road or it is unable to make money on it. 

But a Nexus model for Apple's cars in the first few years is not a bad plan at all.  The auto industry is a competitive market but it is also one where many companies also cooperate with one another to source parts or partner in other ways.  So, if this rumor is true, we may be looking at an Apple-BMW electric car on the road sooner than expected.

Mobile: Apple Watch Owns 75% of Smart Watch Market Means Not Many Android Users Use Wearbles

There is a report out today suggesting the Apple Watch commands 75% of the market.  And without Apple provide real sales numbers, no one knows for sure what its share of the market is.  However, even if Apple Watch share isn't really 75%, maybe say 60%, it does mean that a larger percentage of iPhone users are getting into the mobile wearable experience than Android users are.

And we know this because in terms of units sold, Android still dominate the market - between 75% to 80%.  You'd think if same percentage of Android users buy a compatible Android Wear device, they it would be Android Wear commanding 75% of the market instead of the Apple Watch.

There could be a couple of reasons why that is the case.  Early Android watch experiences were too raw and ahead of the time - most were not sanctioned by Google if anyone. Folks lik Samsung really jumped the gun thinking that be going to the market before its competitors, it could claim not only to be the first among its competitors including Apple and Motorola but ahead start on a large scape adoption.  That the early Galaxy watches were bulky and not as stylish as the ones on the market did not help.  Also, the features and UI appeared inelegant.  Essentially, Samsung ported the interface from the phone into a smaller screen.  In its defense, that was a natural thing to do.  As we know, Apple went with a different direction with their watch UI.

One other reason that affects Android wearable sales as well as Apple Watch is that missing killer apps or features that seem to be missing.  Notifications via watches regardless of any platform is nice but not a necessity.  This goes for Pebbles as well.  Again, the same can be said of being able to answer calls or returning messages.  Nice but not a dealbreaker.  So what are the must-have features?  That is perhaps what the market is largely waiting for.  It may be the case that as new features are added over the years, it will reach a point when having a weable device becomes indispensible. 

For instance, perhaps the wearabe devices in five years' time may provide us with more pertinent data about the user's surroundings and him- or herself help him or her make better decisions about routes, what to wear, and health-related informations.

Whatever the reasons are that users have yet to buy into wearables, deveopers and hardware designers have their work cut out for them.  As far as mobile is concerned, there is much more innovation in the phone market.  It's likely that even as the wearable market is trying to find its footing, its growth will depend on the phones are they paired with as well. 


Trump Is Doing Well Because He's A Reaity TV Candidate And He'll Go All The Way To November No Matter What

Donald Trump is doing well and it remains to be seen just how far he'll go.  Most do not think the Republicans are insane enough to let him go far enough to win the GOP nomination or even come close to doing it.  However, he seems to be doing quite well despite saying and doing things that would have knock other politicians out of the race by now.  Can you imagine Bush or Walker saying what Trump has been saying and somehow win their party's nomination.  It works for Trump because he's the type of candidate that a TV writer might come up with.  And Trump appears to be following that script or something like it and it is working so far.

Many of us want a POTUS like Jeb Bartlett from The West Wing.  Or a kickass one that Harrison Ford played on Air Force One or even Jack Ryan from The Tom Clancy books.  Each of us has an ideal president who lives in our minds or on the screens.  It's why the real ones that we send to the White House continue to disappoint us term after term to some degree or another.  

Trump might be some people's ideal candidate and president but for most of us, not so much.  However, with today's media as it is and his experience as a reality TV billionaire who may or may not be work as much as he like us to believe, he knows exactly how to play the media by saying and doing things that such up all the oxygen in the room, leaving the rest of the field the only option available to them to get any kind of attention:  that is by attaching themselves to Trump and that is usually picking a Twitter fight with him.  

The current political and media atmosphere is ideal for Trump.  Bashing illegal immigration is red meat for those on the right and a no-brainer subject for him to use to launch his campaign. And having establishment GOP like former GOP nominee John McCain coming at him helped him out as the guy who is not in bed with the national Republican agenda – though he did cross the line criticizing McCain's time as a POW.  

Dignified candidates like Jeb Bush tries to stay above all that but depending on how well Trump's campaign can convert the media attention into votes, he may have to act should Trump find himself at the very top or winning in the early primaries.

At this point, we'll have to see how he does in the first GOP debate on Fox News in less than three weeks.  If he holds his own, look out.  His poll numbers could come back up to pre-McCain bashing levels.  Not even a Youtube video of him stealing candy from a baby is going to derail him.

For the Republicans, they're wondering how far Donald Trump will take this. Even if his campaign loses some momentum for one reason or another (probably going to be a mistake of his own making), he may go the distance and quite possibly as a third party candidate.  He has nothing to lose at this point.  He's lost Mexico.  He lost NBC, Macy's, and more companies are considering breaking off relations with him and his businesses, he might just continue through 2016 just out of spite.

As a reality TV candidate, his fans and curious watchers demand no less.

Green: Sagging Hybrid Sales Could Mean The Market Is Ready For the Next Jump

Source: Los Angeles Times.

Sales of hybrids including Toyota's best-selling Prius has fell about 15%. However, it is not as if the hybrid market and the whole greener car revolution is dead. In fact, the sentiment among consumers appears to be that they waiting for the next jump in hybrid and alternative technology and are ready to jump on once they're on the market.

Take Toyota's hydrogen car, Mirai, which will go on sale later this year. However, the problem is it may not be enough feeling stations for the vehicle. That alone can stand sales of alternative fuel vehicles.

Furthermore, Tesla is not done the Model T and the Model X. The Model 3 will debut in 2016. Starting price is $35,000.

These are just a couple of models and quick samples oh what hybrids and electric vehicles are coming to the market. Once more of these vehicles hit the market, sales will once again be on he uptrend.

The next generation Prius, fourth generation, will sport a new look, better fuel-efficiency of up to 55 miles per gallon, and better handling. Put all that together, it is no wonder really consumers are holding back.


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