Posts: 22

Logitech reinvents the Sony Jog Dial™

I can't help but giggle whenever a company is lauded for reinventing the wheel in IT. Today's example:

Logitech just announced a new keyboard with a dial, customizable through their software. It looks nice and solid—as Logitech hardware usually does—and it works on macOS and Windows.

I read the article on The Verge and watched the video. All I could think of was how much this reminded me of the Sony Jog Dial™ built into my first own laptop, a 14" Sony Vaio back in 2001.

Sony Jog Dial on a Vaio laptop. Image credit: ITCua

It, too, was backed by drivers and a customization app. I loved this thing to death, having used it for everything from navigating the Start Menu, to controlling Winamp, to running system macros that took care of actions requiring a lot of tedious clicking.

So yes, if the software is sufficiently easy to use and flexible and if the integrations with third party apps work well, this new Logitech keyboard will undoubtedly be a good tool. But it's really nothing new.

Pilotless planes and the myth of passing on savings to consumers

The Verge has a short article up on pilotless planes, a study about consumer acceptance of pilotless planes, and the economic effects: Pilotless planes could save airlines billions, but passengers don’t want to fly in them yet

I thought about this a bit and I realised that I'd actually be willing and curious to be a passenger on a pilotless plane.

This passage, though:

UBS believes passengers could then see these savings passed down to them in the form of reduced fares, assuming there is no additional cost for flying pilotless and airlines don’t retain the benefits.

Really? Passing on savings to consumers. Really?

Let's ignore the development costs for this type of change that need to be recuperated; when was the last time you've seen publicly traded companies pass down savings to consumers?

There's nothing wrong with making a profit and once this technology is mature enough to confidently and securely transport people, by all means, make a profit. I just think that we all shouldn't lie to ourselves and think that there will be a financial benefit for anyone but these companies.

Which, ultimately, shows us that the core message of this article can be found in the first part of the title:
"Pilotless planes could save airlines billions"

Profile of accessory maker Anker on The Verge

The Verge published a profile of accessory maker Anker yesterday, written by Nick Statt.

I've been using their accessories—battery packs, Lightning cables, chargers—for a few years now and from the beginning I was very impressed by the quality Anker is able to deliver at less than half the price of Apple and established accessory manufacturers.

This article is a really interesting read about the origins and philosophy of the company.

How Anker is beating Apple and Samsung at their own game — The Verge