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Tuesday
Oct022018

What I Learned From Having Steve Jobs Swear At Me

My "Jobs experience":  I owned a company that designed custom quality control labels and sold many to Apple Computer up in Cupertino, CA during the 1970's to 1990's. On my visits to the manufacturing-engineering department I walked the same hallowed halls in which Steve Jobs used frequently too.

It was not uncommon at all seeing Steve walking hallways involved in spirited, lively conversations while waving his hands as he spoke. His eyes were constantly darting back and forth between individuals registering facial responses, but also taking in who else was around in the hallways knowing that he had probably seen me  before too.

One afternoon, as I had been there many times and familiar with the labyrinths of hallways, I was walking by myself and saw a large group moving towards me with a tight core of people at the center listening intently. It was Steve with another entourage of co-workers having one of infamous walking hallway meetings that he was known for doing.

As I squeezed by on the right going in the opposite direction, the entire group stopped just behind me and were standing quietly. I turned back to see Steve Jobs turned around, staring at me, head tilted in a quizical pose and in a look of, "Who is that guy?".  Then, as our eyes met directly, I smiled back and Steve paused, then he nodded as he smiled and then turned himself around to continue down the hall.  ...Steve did not swear at me! ...LOL


It turns out that criticism can be effective...                                        even when it’s not constructive—at least, at Apple!

 

ILLUSTRATION: ROBERT NEUBECKER

By Ken Kocienda 

Wall Street Journal

Sept. 27, 2018  

Imagine that your boss told you straight to your face that your project is “dog shit.” Next, imagine that this boss is Steve Jobs. That’s what happened to me when I was working as the principal engineer of iPhone software during Apple’s golden years.

What was the right way for me to react? It would have been a bad idea for me to agree with Steve, raising the question of why I would offer him inferior work. But it would have done no good to disagree either, unless I was willing to enter into an on-the-spot debate with a famously mercurial CEO—and at that moment, I wasn’t.

Thankfully, his blunt comment wasn’t the opening salvo in a long-winded tirade. It was just a single statement, so I stood and took it without comment. During my 15-plus years as a software engineer at Apple, I learned that before the demo was done, I would find out why he was displeased.

It was 2009, and we were developing software for what would become the iPhone 4. That was the model that unfortunately became known for the “Antennagate” controversy: It could experience network connectivity problems if you “held it wrong.” The executive responsible for phone hardware soon departed the company.

Steve looked at each phone screen, pulled his round-rim glasses up so they rested on his forehead, stared again closely, then put his glasses back down. 

The iPhone 4 also was the first Apple smartphone with the “Retina” display, a screen with individual pixels so small they can’t be seen with the naked eye. My job was to come up with a new font to show this new screen to best advantage. My Apple career wasn’t immediately in jeopardy, but I needed to get Steve’s approval. The pressure was on.

I prepared eight choices, many of them variations of our old font, Helvetica, with a couple of others mixed in for contrast. But every one of them had a problem: If you increased the magnification, the vertical strokes of the important capital ‘M’ (as in Mail, and Message, for instance) looked smudgy rather than sharp—no better than with the previous non-Retina display.

Steve looked at each phone screen, pulled his round-rim glasses up so they rested on his forehead, stared again closely, then put his glasses back down and returned each phone to the table in front of him. Then he expressed himself. I was left wishing I had a plastic bag in my pocket to clean up my work.

I went back to comb through fonts with colleagues, and in a couple of days, we discovered Helvetica Neue. This Neue (German for “new”) version had subtle improvements that made every letter look perfectly sharp on the new screen. Steve approved it on sight.

I took two points away from this experience: First, it's that brand-new work is frequently no good. Excellent results only come at the end of a long chain of effort. Rounds of iteration are often required to transform an idea into a finished product. And when another round is needed, it’s usually best to say so clearly, without mincing words.

Second, the point sometimes gets lost in the conventional view of Steve Jobs as a bully or a jerk: Criticism can be effective even if it’s not constructive. Steve had no problem issuing a rejection without explanation. If he didn’t like something, he just said so. His style of feedback was direct, and he was willing to say that an idea was no good even when he couldn’t explain why in terms that were clear and concise.

Steve could be unpredictable and moody, and luckily, I was never on the receiving end of one of his full-on harangues. But let’s be honest: Most of us swear. The key to making harsh words count is to have a trusting environment where everyone knows that comments are about your work and not about you.

The other time I almost got a Jobsian tongue lashing was when we were trying to develop a software control to lock the screen orientation on the iPad, one that would prevent the display changing from portrait to landscape as you turned the device in your hands. I proposed an on-screen button, but Steve hated it. With an elongated sneer, he said I must be “reeeeally confuuuused.” I consoled myself in the moment with the thought that he didn’t know the right solution either.

Knowing that you don’t have the right solution yet is valuable, even if you’re unclear about why. Admitting you’re at a “dog shit” phase of a project is a step toward cleaning up the mess. Improving work at a given moment is a matter of honest feedback aimed at eliminating the weak elements and building on the strong ones.

As I learned in my years at Apple, getting something right usually takes many tries, and direct (sometimes brutal) criticism can move the process along—so leave your ego at the door and keep your pooper scooper at the ready.

—Mr. Kocienda worked at Apple from 2001 to 2017. This essay is adapted from his new book, “Creative Selection: Inside Apple’s Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs,” published by St. Martin’s Press.

 

Friday
Sep282018

Dr. Blassy-Ford High School Drama

 Bombshell: Kavanaugh Accuser’s Salacious High School Yearbooks Scrubbed

Paul Joseph Watson | Infowars.com - September 20, 2018

Christine Blasey Ford’s yearbooks describe wild sex parties, blackouts, erotic male dancers

Christine Blasey Ford’s high school yearbooks, which are filled with references to drunken promiscuous parties where the attendees were not able to remember what happened, have been scrubbed from the Internet.

The Cult of the First Amendment blog was able to save copies of the yearbooks before they disappeared.

Christine Blasey Ford claims that Judge Brett Kavanaugh “physically and sexually assaulted” her during a party in the early 80’s when she was 15 and Kavanaugh was 17, although two other people Ford claims were present when the assault happened have denied that it ever happened.

Ford’s yearbooks, which cover her sophomore, junior and senior years, the exact time frame when she claims the assault happened, portray a debauched environment of constant binge drinking and partying.

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“Lastly one cannot fail to mention the climax of the junior social scene, the party,” reads one passage. “Striving to extend our educational experience beyond the confines of the classroom, we played such intellectually stimulating games as Quarters, Mexican Dice and everyone’s favorite, Pass-Out, which usually resulted from the aforementioned two.”

Another passage emphasizes how “loss of consciousness” at such parties meant that attendees only retained hazy memories of them.

“And there were always parties to celebrate any occasion,” reads one passage. “Although these parties are no doubt unforgettable, they are only a memory lapse for most, since loss of consciousness is often an integral part of the party scene.”

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The passage from Chrissy Blasey’s senior year also describes how the girls would act as sexual predators towards younger boys.

“Other seniors preferred to expand their horizons and date younger men, usually sophomores, who could bring the vitality and freshness of innocence to a relationship.”

Another passage discusses a girl named Martha repeatedly throwing parties, one of which was attended by a male erotic dancer in gold g-string.

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Several passages discuss drunken keg parties while parents were away.

“Cast parties, prom parties, post-game parties, pool parties, slumber parties, senior only parties, junior only parties – wherever you looked there were parties,” states one yearbook from 1982.

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Another entry describes the rampant promiscuity that took place during Ford’s time at Holton-Arms, including one description of how, “Ann [redacted last name] and friends picked up some men who passed out in their apartment”

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Another entry makes reference to the “boys, beer and “the ‘Zoo’ atmosphere,” while chiding faculty and parents with the line, “Come on, you’re really too young to drink.”

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Another passages emphasizes how promiscuous the girls were in their “choice of men. “No longer confining ourselves to the walls of Landon and Prep, we plunged into the waters of St. John and Gonzaga with much success.”

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Other sections describe the casual racism that went on at the parties, with one girl apparently blacking up and donning an afro wig. 

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The fact that Ford’s high school years were replete with drunken parties which attendees could barely remember is an important detail given her apparent difficulty to remember specifics about the time when Kavanaugh allegedly assaulted her.

 

Monday
Sep242018

Trump Economy Naysayers Lesson

 

Reading Instructions: 

  • Put Down the iPhones
  • Know a 10 Sec. News Sound Byte is not all the Facts
  • Read actual Historical Facts on Record
  • Learn how to discover the Real Facts for yourself 

Fully understand what President Trump is accomplishing by comparing today's real facts to historial facts from 1843 to 2018 - You be the Judge... Enjoy this article, a real US History lesson!

 

To Every Thing There Is a Season,                                               But Your Portfolio Shouldn’t Turn                                                   

By: Jason Zweig, Wall Street Journal

Sept. 21, 2018

Every year, as the end of summer approaches, monarch butterflies head for Mexico, birds migrate south for the winter, and financial pundits predict that the stock market is about to crash.

Is the longstanding popular belief that September and October are the worst months for stocks valid?     Yes and no—mostly no.

Yes, some of the worst days in Wall Street’s history have hit during September and October - But that’s no reason to panic.

• On Sept. 24, 1869, the original Black Friday, the price of gold collapsed roughly 20% and took the stock market down with it.

• On Sept. 18, 1873, the investment bank Jay Cooke & Co. suspended payments, setting off a series of bank failures that triggered one of the worst depressions in U.S. history.

•  On Oct. 16, 1907, a busted speculation in copper led to a run on some of New York’s biggest banks, sparking a panic that ended only when J.P. Morgan personally intervened—ultimately leading to the creation of the Federal Reserve.

• On Oct. 28, 1929, “Black Monday,” the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 12.8% in the crash that set the stage for the Great Depression.

•  On Oct. 19, 1987, the Dow fell 22.6%, the worst daily loss in its history.

• On Sept. 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers failed, ushering in the darkest days of the global financial crisis.

Is this destiny, or just random variation?

According to William Schwert, a finance professor at the University of Rochester who studies the history of asset prices, September does have the lowest average return of any month. From 1834 (the earliest date for broad market data) through 2018, September is the only month whose average return is negative -- at minus 0.4%.

Why Do You Think They Call It 'Fall'? The U.S. stock market has, on average, earned its lowest monthly returns in September. That might be a predictable result of less sunlight and colder weather–or it might just be a random fluctuation. Average returns on U.S. stocks between 1946–2018 by month. Source: G. William Schwert, University of Rochester

But the differences across months have been small, so you shouldn’t read much into September’s relatively poor historical average return, cautions Prof. Schwert.

Over the long run, December has the best average monthly return, at nearly 1.4%, with January close behind at 1.2%. The variations “don’t have much economic significance,” says Prof. Schwert.

As for October, its returns are positive on average, at 0.4% since 1834. Since 2002, October is the third-best month, with an average 1.6% return -- even though the S&P 500 lost nearly a fifth of its value in October 2008.

So investors’ fear of September and October is based less on evidence and more on what psychologists call “availability”—the human tendency to judge how likely an event is by how easily we can recall vivid examples of it. The horrific losses of October 2008 are hard to forget. The milder gains of 7% in October 2015 and 11% in October 2011 are hard to remember.

Investors might be more prone to worry this time of year, though. Researchers have found in numerous independent studies that as summer fades into fall, people’s behavior does turn with the leaves. As the hours of daylight dwindle, brain chemistry can change, reshaping how much risk some people are willing to take.

In his 1903 book,The ABC of Stock Speculation,” the financial chronicler Samuel Armstrong Nelson wrote: “Speculators are not disposed to trade as freely and confidently in wet and stormy weather as they are during the dry days when the sun is shining, and mankind cheerful and optimistic.” 

Investors trading options are more likely to expect losses in fall than in spring or winter. In the U.S., Canada and Australia, mutual-fund shareholders are all net sellers in their respective fall months, even though Australia’s autumn runs from March through May and it has a different tax year. 

Average returns on U.S. Treasuries appear to be higher in fall than in spring, suggesting that investors seek safety in the darker months. Stock analysts’ earnings forecasts are less optimistic in fall and winter than in spring and summer. 

Across more than 150 years of data, bidders at fine-art auctions paid more, on average, for paintings sold on longer, sunnier days than they did on shorter, darker days. Even players in the National Football League tend to be more aggressive in games played on hot days than on cool days. 

Of course, not all investing decisions are driven by psychology. Nowadays, people might tend to sell stocks in the fall in order to fund tuition payments coming due in September or to pay off credit-card debt they racked up on summer vacations. They might invest more in the first quarter of the year after pocketing year-end bonuses and tax refunds.

Still, “if bad news comes out in the fall, many investors may react more extremely than they might a few months later or earlier, when daylight is more plentiful,” says Lisa Kramer, a finance professor at the University of Toronto who has run several studies on how seasonal mood changes may affect financial behavior.

Although the stock market doesn’t always crash in the fall, you might well be more likely this time of year to treat smaller declines as harbingers of doom. Try, instead, to remember that the darkest months of the year often have the brightest returns.

Write to Jason Zweig at intelligentinvestor@wsj.com 

Monday
Sep102018

President Trump did What?

Since Barack Obama recently decided to take credit for all of the Trump Agenda that created in the growing economy, how about all Obama past achievements?  Please match these actual accounts which were reported along with Obama or Hillary's ones too - No FAKE News allowed! 

 

'Trump Does The Unthinkable'

by Liz Crokin, entertainment journalist - Chicago Tribune, In Touch Weekly, USA Weekly, Star.

I've had the opportunity to cover Trump for over a decade, and in all my years covering him I've never heard anything negative about the man until he announced he was running for president. Keep in mind, I got paid a lot of money to dig up dirt on celebrities like Trump for a living so a scandalous story on the famous billionaire could've potentially sold a lot of magazines and would've been a Huge feather in my cap.  

Instead, I found that Mr. Trump doesn't drink alcohol or do drugs, he's a hardworking businessman. (Obama and Bill Clinton both smoked dope and drank booze) On top of  that, he's one of the most generous celebrities in the world with a heart filled with more gold than his $100 million New York penthouse. 

Since the media has failed so miserably at reporting the truth about Trump, I decided to put together some of the acts of kindness he's committed over three decades which has gone virtually unnoticed or fallen on deaf ears. 

• In 1986, Trump prevented the foreclosure of Annabell Hill's family farm after her husband committed suicide. Trump personally phoned down to the auction to stop the sale of her home and offered the widow money. Trump decided to take action after he saw Hill's pleas for help in news reports

 • In 1988, a  commercial airline refused to fly Andrew Ten, a sick Orthodox Jewish child with a rare illness, across the country to get medical care because he had to travel with an elaborate life-support system.  His grief stricken parents contacted Trump for help and he didn't hesitate to send his own plane to take the child from Los Angeles to New York so he could get his treatment.

 • In 1991,  200 Marines who served in Operation Desert Storm spent time at Camp Lejune in North Carolina before they were scheduled to return home to their families. However, the Marines were told that a mistake had been made and the aircraft would not be able to take them home on their scheduled departure date. When Trump got wind of this,  he sent his plane to make two trips from North Carolina to Miami to safely return the Gulf War Marines to their loved ones. 

• In 1995, a  motorist stopped to help Trump after the limo he was traveling in got a flat tire. Trump asked the Good Samaritan how he could repay him for his help. All the man asked for was a bouquet of flowers for his wife. A few weeks later Trump sent the flowers with a note that read: We've paid off your mortgage. 

• In 1996,  Trump filed a lawsuit against the city of Palm Beach, Florida, occusing the town of discriminating against his Mar-a-Lago resort club because it allowed Jews and blacks. Abraham Foxman, who was the Anti-Defamation League Director at the time, said Trump put the light on Palm Beach, not on the beauty and the glitter, but on its seamier side of discrimination. Foxman also noted that Trump's charge had a trickle-down effect because other clubs followed his lead and began admitting Jews and blacks. 

• In 2000,  Maury Povich featured a little girl named Megan who struggled with Brittle Bone Disease on his show and Trump happened to be watching. Trump said the little girl's story and positive attitude touched his heart. So he contacted Maury and gifted the little girl and her family with a very generous check. 

• In 2008,  after Jennifer Hudson's family members were tragically murdered in Chicago, Trump put the Oscar-winning actress and her family up at his Windy City hotel for free. In addition to that, Trump's security took extra measures to ensure Hudson and her family members were safe during such a difficult time.  

• In 2013,  New York bus driver Darnell Barton spotted a woman close to the edge of a bridge staring at traffic below as he drove by. He stopped the bus, got out and put his arm around the woman and saved her life by convincing her to not jump. When Trump heard about this story, he sent the hero bus driver a check simply because he believed his good deed deserved to be rewarded 

• In 2014, Trump gave $25,000 to Sgt. Andrew Tamoressi after he spent seven months in a Mexican jail for accidentally crossing the US-Mexico border. President Barack Obama couldn't even be bothered to make one phone call to assist with the United States Marine's release; however, Trump opened his pocketbook to help this serviceman get back on his feet. 


• In 2016, Melissa Consin Young attended a Trump rally and tearfully thanked Trump for changing her life. She said she proudly stood on stage with Trump as Miss Wisconsin USA in 2005. However, years later  she found herself struggling with an incurable illness and during her darkest days she explained that she received a handwritten letter from Trump telling her she's the bravest woman, I know. She said the opportunities that she got from Trump and his organizations ultimately provided her Mexican-American son with a full-ride to college 

• Lynne Patton, a black female executive for the Trump Organization, released a statement in 2016 defending her boss against accusations that he's a racist and a bigot. She tearfully revealed how she's struggled with substance abuse and addiction for years. Instead of kicking her to the curb, she said the Trump Organization and his entire family loyally stood by her through immensely difficult times.  


Donald Trump's kindness knows no bounds and his generosity has and continues to touch the lives of people from every sex, race and religion. When Trump sees someone in need, he wants to help. Two decades ago, Oprah asked Trump in a TV interview if he'd run for president. He said: ' If it got so bad, I would never want to rule it out totally, because I really am tired of seeing what's happening with this country.  That day has come. Trump sees that America is in need and he wants to help. How unthinkable! On the other hand. have you ever seen or heard of Hillary or Obama ever doing such things with their own resources?

 

Saturday
Dec232017

The Net Neutrality Myth Finally Debunked & Rejected

The FCC’s Christmas Gift to Internet Users

The wireless future you were hoping for would not be possible under Title II regulation.

Net neutrality long ago became the expectation of broadband customers. It was an expectation that internet service providers routinely met during the two decades before the Obama rules were enacted. It’s an expectation they will continue to meet after the Obama rules have been withdrawn.

Net neutrality means unfiltered, unhindered access to what the web offers. Net neutrality is the business that broadband suppliers are in.

What is being repealed is a decision to recategorize broadband from a Title I to a Title II service under the 1934 Communications Act. This decision had little to do with net neutrality but meant that lobbyists and petitioners and courts would be able to pressure Washington steadily in the direction of regulating the internet the way it did the railroads in the early 1900s.

Title II is what many groups militating in the name of net neutrality really wanted. They conflated net neutrality with Title II regulation because they thought it politically expedient to do so.

Does this mean you should run screaming to the nearest cliff and throw yourself off because now the internet will be taken over by “fast lanes”?

I, for one, will pass. The whole idea of fast lanes reflects a faulty, obsolete metaphor for how the internet works. The internet is more like a giant computer providing a diverse array of services to a billion-plus users simultaneously.

It delivers you a webpage, me a video. In the future, it will help your driverless car navigate traffic, a doctor examine and treat an injury remotely. It will make sure your refrigerator is full of beer.

The businesses supplying each of these services care only that their own customers are happy. Their customers care only that their own service is satisfactory. They won’t care or even notice that the computer is constantly optimizing its performance so its diverse users are all kept simultaneously happy.

The whole “fast lane” nonsense is even more nonsensical when we realize how much it’s the efforts of so-called edge providers that determine service quality. If a static webpage doesn’t load as quickly as you might wish, today it’s because of slow servers among the dozens that nowadays contribute pieces of a webpage. Not to blame usually is the last-mile carrier, who’s moving these elements to you as fast as content suppliers make them available.

Or take Netflix: It spends millions to place servers containing its shows inside the systems of last-mile providers to improve delivery and reduce transport costs.

Laws against fraud and anticompetitive behavior apply to broadband suppliers as they do to other companies in the economy. If a supermarket sells you a can of dirt labeled “peas,” it would not long stay in business. But, wait, aren’t we in a uniquely bad position because so many of us have only one or two choices for broadband at home?

All businesses would like to charge an infinitely high price for infinitely chintzy service, but not even Comcast can get away with this, even when competition is inadequate, because customers have voices and politicians and regulators listen to those voices. And competition can only improve matters.

Ironically, what consistently outrages the net-neut freaks is the wireless sector, where competition is fierce, and where rivals dangle offers of uncapped streaming from certain video services, and even free Netflix or Sling TV. This offends sacred principle, never mind that it increasingly turns wireless into a plausible substitute for the local fixed-line monopolist.

Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile—all have made announcements, and put money behind them, promising that 5G wireless will render the local cable oligopoly a thing of the past. Repealing Title II not only makes such investment attractive. It will enable wireless to support a whole slew of advanced services while keeping customers maximally happy.

Disney last week announced it would spend $52.4 billion to acquire certain Fox assets to replicate Netflix’s business model. Notice that Netflix’s business model is premised entirely on the existence of ubiquitous, affordable, unhindered broadband.

Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, is the Santa, not the Grinch, of this holiday season. Repeal of Title II is what will make the future internet possible. It’s just too bad those net-neutrality obsessives piling up lifelessly at the bottom of the nearest cliff won’t be around to enjoy it.