Is (Amazon) Prime Day losing its premium?


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


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Despite the hype and extended time, however, social data indicates that consumers — at least those who use Facebook  — are steadily losing interest in Prime Day. Compared year over year, this could be a sign that consumers are growing tired of the promotions, the advertising, and the hype. Their attention is also likely thinned out. What was once a 24-hour flash sale is becoming a multi-day affair of marketing and promotion.

My social feeds, my RSS reader, Apple News and pretty much all my information resources are full of mentions of Amazon Prime Day stories and lists of items available from Amazon. I am not in the market for anything, so I am happily ignoring the hype.

R.I.P., MacBook


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


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Eleven years after Steve Jobs introduced it to the world, the original 12-inch MacBook is done and dusted, designated to the scrap heap of laptop designs. The news made me very sad. I have appreciated the design and aesthetics of this machine, and to me, it will always represent the Apple design team’s willingness to dare. Of course, we are living with a whole new Apple these days.

The word is that, with folks buying the new MacBook Air (which boasts Retina screens and powerful machines) and eschewing the MacBook, it makes sense that Apple would cut the old model from its product line-up. But the new Air isn’t for me. (Granted, I am also the guy who will never buy Allbirds or own a Prius.) I will always remain a fan of the MacBook.

As someone with minimalist tendencies, it is not a surprise that I fell in love with the idea of a super-skinny and minimal laptop that could slide into a manila envelope. I was on a hospital bed when Apple introduced the clearly underpowered and feature-challenged notebook in 2008. It was called MacBook Air then, though eventually, it became just a MacBook. The initial response to the laptop was harsh – I mean, everyone hated it. Continue reading “R.I.P., MacBook”

A Libra Primer: Facebook’s new national currency


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


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“You can do whatever the heck you want to do—so why are you letting other people control you?” -from Astrology.com’s Libra Horoscope for June 23, 2019

As far back as a decade ago, when it was growing at a head-snapping pace but was yet to conquer the world, Facebook had already begun to make the idea of borders as we know them less relevant. A few years later, it became clear to me that Facebook was going to replace the twentieth-century notion of a nation-state, and thus, it would eventually bring itself in conflict with existing nations and legislative bodies. Continue reading “A Libra Primer: Facebook’s new national currency”

Adrian Villa


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


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A few days back, I had a chance to grab coffee with one of my favorite photographers, Adrian Villa. He is a software developer, who got tired of sitting behind the screen and keyboard and sought the freedom that comes from being in the open and making beautiful landscapes. Our coffee conversation was about the choices we make, not in the gear we use, but we choose to capture and how we decide to share it with others. We talked extensively about constraints in equipment and choices, and how they help improve our creativity.

As an artist, he has eschewed the latest and greatest cameras and instead has focused on creating stark, minimal, and hauntingly beautiful monochromatic images. He uses a generation old APS-C camera, in addition to lugging around his Bronica medium format camera.

In a few years, Adrian has found his voice by being incredibly obsessive about his Continue reading “Adrian Villa”

How & why to buy computers properly


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


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in many places, computers are treated as capital equipment with a fairly long lifespan, and as devices that need operation but not maintenance. These attitudes may date back to the 1950s, when the first was fairly true and the cost of maintenance was hidden in the operational cost. Neither is true today. Computers are consumables that require regular, skilled care. Skipping this care is like not changing the oil in your car: you can get away with it for a little while, but at some point you’re in trouble. In fact, and as I explain below, it’s worse than dirty engine oil: not only are you at risk for a security incident, you end up in a maintenance trap.

Steven Bellovin, Professor of computer science at Columbia University and a security expert, believes that security of computers and computing infrastructure is hampered by the 1950s thinking. Patching, upgrading, and maintaining security Continue reading “How & why to buy computers properly”

I am soooo excited about iPadOS


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


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iPad Pro has been my primary work computer for over two years. Despite its shortcomings, I have managed to turn into a productivity machine, but the gulf between the iPad and the Apple Macs is still quite vast. However, that is all set to change with the new iPadOS, a version of iOS dedicated to the iPad. It has many improvements that make it easy to banish the laptop to the drawer of forgotten devices. Hopefully, this will bring an end to a debate that has flared up in the Apple enthusiast community again and again. Continue reading “I am soooo excited about iPadOS”

Are you a Sharent?


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


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In the past few years, the term “sharenting” has gained popularity in the media press and among academics, indicating the act of parents posting pictures, videos, and stories about the offspring on social media. The expression is so widespread that has been added to dictionary. Sharenting seems to be a common trend in the global North, with 85% of mothers in the United States, Europe, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Japan reporting to have shared pictures of their children under two on social media.

I had no idea about this word — why should I? After all, I am neither a parent nor do I approve of sharing photos of kids. I sometimes have shared photos of my goddaughter and instantly regretted it, and now stopped sharing altogether.  However, sharenting is a cultural phenomenon, and there are some broader implications around children, their privacy, and the impact of Continue reading “Are you a Sharent?”

World Cup (of Cricket) 2019


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


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Photo by Patrick Hendry via Unsplash

Photo by Patrick Hendry via Unsplash

Around this time tomorrow, the World Cup of Cricket, a once in four-year extravaganza will be underway. England, the hosts, will be squaring off against South Africa. To a majority of the residents of the planet, cricket means nothing. To about a billion-and-a-half people, however, it is life and death. I grew up as one of those cricket crazy fans.

These days, I reserve my sporting enthusiasm for the vagaries of baseball, another game of bat and ball. The 162-game long season, the injuries, the disappointments, the last minute victories, the home runs, and the unlikely heroes — baseball is a sport that has nuance and drama. It also allows me to indulge my love of data and participate in fantasy baseball leagues. Continue reading “World Cup (of Cricket) 2019”

Down the memory lane


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


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148476702 52ca5604f2 oI couldn’t sleep so I started cleaning up my photo library and decided to upload some photos to my Flickr account. And while there, I ended up looking at some old photos. And I stumbled onto this one — with me, Paul Kedrosky and Matt Mullenweg. Mathew Ingram took that photo. I went to the conference hosted by Mathew in Toronto, a reporter, and I came back, an entrepreneur. I chucked away the security of a big media job and started my adventure. It all seemed so long ago! Ironically, I have not been back in Toronto since!

Don’t Worry, Blog Happy


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


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I’ve recently seen some tweets expressing the pressure some people feel — understandably — of publishing their thoughts on a blog, fearing what others might say, wondering if it’s good enough to be published on this wonderful thing called the web. I would say treat the web like that big red button of the original Flip camera. Just push it, write something and then publish it. It may not be perfect, but nothing ever is anyway. I write all sorts of crap on my blog — some of it really niche like snippets for Vim. Yet it’s out there just in case someone finds it useful at some point — not least me when I forget how I’ve done something.

When I started blogging back in 2000, I never felt the pressure of making it perfect. And then as my career evolved — from professional journalist to a blogger to Continue reading “Don’t Worry, Blog Happy”

Pointless (United)


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


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I have always felt that the whole airlines point system and loyalty system is a big giant scam. The bigger the airline, the pointless the whole scheme and its perceived benefits.

This morning, I was flying to Las Vegas, Nevada to attend ServiceNow’s developer conference and judge the startup competition. I usually get to the airport early, even though I have TSA Pre — call it a life long habit. There wasn’t much traffic at the security aisles so within a couple of minutes I was through, and found myself in the airport at 6:45 am, while my flight wasn’t going to take off till 8:30. I know, I am paranoid enough to get to airport that early!

I walked into the United Club (lounge) betting that I would get into it, after all it was a full fare business class ticket. On top, I have Star Alliance Gold and Continue reading “Pointless (United)”

Time for Self-Reflection


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


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I’ve come to realize that I can’t count on myself not to make errors when I’m sharing information on Twitter. I often feel rushed, which is less than ideal when there are so many trolls (who are apparently immune to nuance) eager to misinterpret your words and turn them against you.

Accordingly, I am looking to reduce my time on social networks like Twitter. It’s not that I don’t like Twitter. I just need to slow down my process. So, Instead of sharing stuff in bits and pieces, I am going to blog some of my favorite reads from the world of technology, innovation, and science over on my blog, Om.co. I hope you come visit often.

The Away Experience


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


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After a decade of service, it is time for my good old 29-inch Rimowa suitcase to go in for a much needed retrofit. It will be a while before it comes back from Germany, and it will also set me back a pretty penny. I don’t mind paying the price to get another decade of use out of it.

The repairs made me wonder if I should get a new large check-in suitcase, one that can carry a lot more of my cold weather gear, and other non-camera but photography peripherals. The Rimowa trunk is pretty attractive, though the price is high enough to cause a nosebleed. Ever since LVMH bought the brand, the prices have crept up, and the lifetime warranty has gone the way of the dodo. And what’s more, the suitcases sold in the US are no longer made in Germany, and instead, are made in Canada.

AwayHayes 4

Continue reading “The Away Experience”

What to read this weekend


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


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Baseball season is here. March is already done and dusted. Let’s just say it is time for some serious spring cleaning. And for me, that means clearing out all those links that had piled up in my Pocket account. I have been reading more than usual for the past few weeks, mostly due to my health has slowed me down, and I was forced to take it easy and recover properly.

As an aside, with the clock turning on March, I have been in San Francisco for sixteen years at a stretch, eighteen in total, and yet I don’t feel like it is home. I have formed many great friendships. I have become part of two partnerships. I love the weather. The food scene is fantastic. The medical system in the city is the sole reason I am alive.

And yet, somehow it doesn’t feel like home. I guess when you are born somewhere, grew up elsewhere and are living in another place; you are never sure about the location of your axis, around which your life revolves. Ten years ago, I had the same feelings about San Francisco. This is what I wrote then:

Our physical interaction with a place defines how we feel about that place. New York’s streets and corners have a story attached to them, and I guess that gives a sense of belonging, and in the process act as markers on the timeline called life. I don’t feel that same way about San Francisco, even though I have lived here for ten years. I guess it will always be a place where I live, just not home.

I don’t quite know what will be my next destination. Continue reading “What to read this weekend”

Social Vacation


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


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From time to time, I try and go offline and take a break from the internet. Instead of going offline, I am going to be off social media for a few days. My Instagram usage has already dropped down drastically — one or two visits a week –but I want to go one step further and see if I can reduce this to once a month. I am also looking to reduce the time spent on Twitter as well. I plan to spend more time writing — the book is already taking time away from everything else, but I want to use the blog for frequent updates. I am focusing on improving my physical and psychological health, and social vacations are necessary to make progress.

Why a Fake Doctor’s Rise is Really a Media Fail


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


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Earlier this morning, while drinking my morning tea and sifting through my morning reads (on Feedbin, if you want to know), I came across a brilliant piece of journalism from Jennings Brown, a writer for Gizmodo. He unmasked a fabulist and fake doctor who passed himself off as a scientist and an expert psychiatrist on sexual issues. It is a smart piece of old fashioned reporting, which included double checking the claims, picking up the phone, having a conversation or four, and yes, using Google and other databases. It is what a reporter is supposed to do. Kudos to Brown and the editors at Gizmodo. Continue reading “Why a Fake Doctor’s Rise is Really a Media Fail”

Nostalgia Internet doesn’t really matter


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


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Nostalgia has come to the Internet, and it is too little, too late. Nostalgia is not what defines the future. Sub-10 year-olds won’t give a damn about the nostalgia-Internet. Unfortunately, that is why we see incumbents always miss the generational drift. Sure, I might use analog film, write with fountain pens and listen to long play records, but it doesn’t matter to the young ones in my family. They know what they are doing, even though still in early teens. And when my goddaughters grow up in a few years, they will be fully equipped to deal with information overload, influencer dichotomy and would be able to discern fake news. For them, it will be something new, something different. Just like it was for us. Another way to read this story — a certain cohort of Internet people including myself are getting old  (Photo by RawPixel via Unsplash)

[02.08.2018] The Daily Noted


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


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  • 12.09 PM: “Turning free samples into new targeted ads plays to Amazon’s strength as a trusted delivery service of everyday goods.” Axios. If you are Google, you need to be very worried. And so do you Facebook!
  • 12.05 PM: “You don’t need a label to put out a record today, and you certainly don’t need a Grammy to enhance your career.Bob Lefsetz.

The Daily Noted is a collection of my thoughts, links worth following and other ephemera that is worthy of attention. Updated frequently, daily!

Vida Libre & an amazing new Insulin pill


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


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I am one of the 29 million Americans who is afflicted Type 2 Diabetes. And like most (if not all), for past 12 years, I have been living with a constant ritual of pricking my fingers with a small needle, drawing out a drop of blood and using a strip to monitor my sugar levels. I would do it about 3-to-5 times a day, and let’s just say, it hasn’t been the most pleasant experience.

However, a week ago, I was prescribed a Freestyle Libre, and I finally got the device last evening. It is a sensor which you put on your skin – usually in the lower side of your arm — and use a monitor or an app to take readings, as often as you can, usually after eating or generally when feeling peckish. Either way, I am chuffed at the idea of this new device in my life.

Continue reading “Vida Libre & an amazing new Insulin pill”