- About unwillingness to think
- WWDC 2020
- The largest game studio in the world
- Instead of a conclusion about renaming
About unwillingness to think
Every time you buy tickets on the Russian Railways website, you want to squeal hysterically at what is happening there. There used to be an old site, now it has been updated, but it doesn’t get any easier. There are many complaints. It seems that when creating the site, they did it according to the principle “they wanted the best, but it turned out, as always.” Lack of thought is striking in everything. Starting from the fact that the “Russian Railways Bonus” bonus program is located on a separate site, not related to where you buy a ticket, and requiring separate registration, and ending with the purchase of a ticket.
And, it seems, it seems that I have already got used to it, but no. Constantly surprise. It took a trip to Petersburg and back. During the issuance of the first ticket, a round-trip option was offered, promising a discount. I chose the option, I chose the second ticket.
It turned out that some conditions of the option were not met, which was indicated by a notification from below. It happens. But what should not be so is that I could not change the tariff to the usual one. There was only one option: to reissue all tickets. This time, at the time of buying the first ticket, I decided to clarify how the option works. Fortunately, there is a link to get acquainted with the tariffs. You click the link, a new window opens, offering to click on another link, then a multi-page document will be loaded, from which nothing is clear. Such is the multi-stage scheme.
In this case, there is a transition from the new to the old version of the site. Is there the information you need on the new version? If you search manually, you can find it, and even in a more readable form. And if in the description “round trip” is called a tariff, then we can assume that the description is on the “Promotions and Tariffs” tab. Not. It is located in the section “Rules for buying tickets” under the item “Offer”.
This can only happen for one reason. No one is interested in what happens to a person who visits the Russian Railways website. Some did it kind of beautifully, others looked that kind of beautiful and, it seems, works. And everyone was happy with each other. But there was no desire to think. Why, if in 2019 and 2020 they will still provide subsidies from the state for 22.5 billion? And there are no other railway carriers.
Tactics and strategy
WWDC 2020 has become perhaps the most interesting in the last 4 years. At the same time, if we evaluate from a formal point of view, then Apple has not shown anything new: borrowed functions from Android, a “washstand” in a watch, a mythical transition to ARM, which will happen unclear when.
However, Apple’s presentation was able to address 3 current goals:
- the company has reassured investors, and the stock continues to fly;
- the company encouraged ordinary users by showing new functions in the operating system;
- inspired geeks who now have the opportunity to dig into the first ARM Mac in the form of a Mac Mini for developers.
However, it is important to understand that Apple is currently on the most difficult part of the road. Each company has its own life cycle. And the development of a long-term, sustainable business follows a very simple logic. You need to do something unique or better than others. And you also need to meet the requirements of the time. For example, Kodak could make the best and most innovative photographic film in the world. Only who needs photographic film in 2020 (let’s just, please, without boring, that film is needed for this and that), when all the photos are on Instagram? The bottom line is that the film’s life cycle has passed. Kodak has changed its business and is now in professional printing, but lives on the brink of bankruptcy.
Chart of the evolution of the company’s life cycle according to I. Adizes (link)
The life cycle of the iPhone has already crossed the equator. Apple understands this, so it is engaged in services, launches streaming platforms, transfers macOS to ARM. With the exception of ARM technology, which may open up new horizons in the future, everything else – iPhone chips, pumping up the ecosystem with functions and services in an attempt to tie up users even more – are tactical steps that do not solve the global strategic problem: how to survive. Apple needs the same solution that Microsoft invented when it moved from Office and Windows to the cloud and Azure. Thus, Microsoft is once again in a growth phase and gained the right to live.
Thoughts on WWDC
I want to share a number of thoughts. Let’s start with the new iOS features. They copy Android in one way or another. I know it, you know it. Nobody else knows this. I’m not kidding. For example, I have a certain circle of friends and girlfriends. These are young people under 35 years old from Moscow and St. Petersburg. Let the average income be 150 thousand. Fields of activity: economics, finance, marketing. All have flagships from Samsung and Apple. There was a OnePlus fan, but he also switched to Samsung six months ago. They all have one thing in common. They don’t know their phones well, using the default features they find. They rarely update applications, and even less often download something new. I don’t educate them, because for me they have become a kind of window into the world of ordinary users, for whom a smartphone is not wow-wow-what’s-new, but just a device, perhaps a little sign that you are in a clip (it will stand out if at the meeting everyone is with new iPhones, and you got such an old Xiaomi, no one will say anything, but they will look with curiosity, such a sad world).
Speaking about the new features shown by Apple, we can confidently say that each will find its own use. Yes, there are more features on Android, and they were the first to introduce them. But the market is at a stage when the average user is choking on the abundance of new features. He simply cannot keep all of them in his head. Apple’s marketing magic is that it gives its customers exactly what they need. This may not seem like enough to researchers or simply adventurers like me. But for the majority, more than enough. Apple does not just show something, it chews up information as much as possible, demonstrates use cases, making it so that it reaches the most sultry tankers.
One such feature is AppClips. Android web apps have been around for a long time. And they appeared on iOS back in 2018. However, AppClips offers a simple, straightforward, and most importantly useful use case. Pay for parking, place an order in a cafe. Let me give you a simple example. I recently stopped at Auchan. All cash desks are in queues. Next to the checkout stands there is an advertisement with a QR code offering to download the AUCHAN branded application, which can be used to scan products on your own, and then you can skip the line and pay immediately at the terminal. Some guy did just that, which inspired me to follow his example. And so I downloaded 20 MB of the application, opened it, and it offers to register – indicate the mail, phone number, name, surname, receive an SMS with confirmation, and then enter the card details (and do not forget that after that all the products still need to be scanned) … I uninstalled the app and just stood in line. This is the Android approach.
Now Apple’s approach. I scan the QR code, AppClips starts, then you scan the products (there is no getting away from it) and that’s it. No action is required to register and pay. These tasks are handled by Apple ID and Apple Pay. At the same time, advertising spam will not be sent to the mail.
You can tell as much as you like what you can do on Android for a long time. It is not the place that matters, but the implementation. I am glad that Android manufacturers will look to Apple and catch up.
One of the funniest features is the eco-friendly travel routes for electric cars and bicycles. Do many people need this feature? I doubt it. But the idea is that there is a certain category of people for whom concern for the environment is the realization that they are doing the right thing. Unfortunately, this is how humans work. Alcohol, cigarettes, fast food do not make a person bad, but there is an unpleasant feeling that you are going against the generally accepted morality. And now the moral is that the planet must be saved. Most of those who can afford an electric car are wealthy people. Chances are good that they will take the iPhone as a product that is on the same wavelength with them. The same function applies to the “washstand” on the clock. Little gestures like this to show that Apple cares.
For me, the most interesting moment was the presentation of macOS on ARM. We all remember how Jobs showed the first iPhone, having in stock heels of devices, launching strictly defined combinations of software on each so that the phone does not freeze.
During the presentation, we were never shown a Mac or MacBook on ARM. But they promised that this week developers will start getting Mac Mini on ARM. And learn more about performance. So far, Apple has not been able to convince. And showing that ARM is pulling the game “Shadow of the Tomb Raider”, which requires a Nvidia GTX 660 (2012) graphics card, is also a bad indicator.
To be honest, this part of the presentation upset me a little. It seemed that Apple would present a ready-made solution, and the company did not even name the approximate release dates of the models. So Apple is on par with Microsoft, which has been working with Qualcomm for a couple of years, and there is a Surface Pro X on the market that uses the SQ1 ARM chipset. And yet, let’s refrain from judgments and wait until the hardware is in the hands of the developers.
The largest game studio in the world
The announcement of the PlayStation 5 and the new Last of Us led to a conversation about game studios and game development. As it turned out, many still wear rose-colored glasses. They think that the biggest game studio is Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo, they think that Epic Games is a studio from the USA. I suppose our readers are more knowledgeable, but for those who were not interested, I want to share a secret.
Even if you do not play, then most likely you have heard about games such as Fortnite, Call of Duty, League of Legend, PUBG, World of Warcraft. All these games, and the studios that created them, have in common that the Chinese giant Tencent has a stake in them. In Riot Games and League of Legend it is 100%, in Epic Games – 40%, PUBG and Bluehole studio – about 12%.
For ordinary users, Tencent is still not the most well-known name in the industry. Those who regularly visit China know Tencent as a local internet giant, whose WeChat and QQ messengers are used by almost all Chinese. But, in fact, Tencent is much more than just instant messengers, albeit significantly overgrown with an infrastructure of payments and stores. The company seems to be doing everything it can. For example, many Hollywood films come out on Tencent’s investment. By the way, I got the impression that any picture produced with Chinese money along the way is done in such a way as to suit the tastes of the Chinese. Accordingly, the latest “Men in Black” and “Terminator” (by the way, yes, this is also Tencent), despite the stars of the first magnitude, do not cause optimism.
But Tencent’s approach to games and movies is the same. In general, it reflects the style of Chinese companies. Most of the current major brands have taken years to create either gaming series, phones, or other technology and establish themselves in the minds of buyers as quality guarantors. China does not have such skills. They are trying, but, unfortunately, so far successful scenarios can be counted on one hand.
However, Tencent is much more delicate. Instead of buying entirely and establishing its own rules, the company buys out shares wherever it can reach, achieving maximum diversification. This perfectly illustrates that Tencent is involved in the development of both PUBG and Fortnite. There is a similar approach here taken by Huawei and Xiaomi. Companies create a variety of machines to fill the shelves, guided by the logic that something will shoot. Tencent does the same. The company buys or places orders for several similar games (we are talking about PC, what about mobile games).
For example, let’s take smartphones. There is a Clash of Clans game. This is the most popular game of the “build a kingdom, defend it from others” genre. If you open the rating of games of this type from the gameloop site, then Boom Beach will be in second place, and Castle Clash is also on the list. These games, like the site itself, are also owned by Tencent.
Why are game, film and music studios partnering with Tencent? First, it’s money. Second, Tencent is the easiest way to get its products to the Chinese market, which is the largest after the United States.
Instead of a conclusion about renaming
Over the past couple of weeks, in the wake of political correctness, there has been a series of renaming. Large corporations began to realize that although social networks look like chaos machines, lightning strikes from them in a strictly defined direction. Accordingly, instead of waiting for the discharge, it is better to cut the spire. So you can also win a couple of points for your image. First, PepsiCo and Mars decided to revamp their long-standing brands Aunt Jemima (a line of baked goods and breakfast items) and Uncle Ben’s (lunch dishes and dressings).
The fact is that both there and there are depicted dark-skinned people, whose clothes are clearly associated with the appearance of the servants of ancient times. In fact, this is indeed a very stereotyped image that can cause unpleasant associations. Why were they not paid attention to before? It seems to me that everyone is so used to them that attention just blurred. For example, the “Aunt Jemima” line was created over 130 years ago.
So far, we are talking about logos, but most likely they will carefully change the names as well. Uncle and Aunt are also stereotypical addresses. I think they will leave the names, but the words “uncle”, “aunt” will be written in less and less fonts until they are completely forgotten. By the way, a relative of the woman whose image was used for the Aunt Jemima logo asked not to change anything. Since this is a matter of family pride.
The name “Eskimo Pie” went under the knife, because the Eskimos themselves call themselves “Inuit”, and “Eskimo” is literally “one who eats raw fish”, and this is how the Inuit called groups of tribes living in the neighborhood. And to the Inuit themselves, this word seems offensive, therefore, for example, in Canada it is not used.
But I decided to touch on this topic, since last week there was a Cisco Live event, which also discussed terminology. Somehow it so happened that there is a “master” / “slave” concept, that is, one device is the main one, gives commands. This is the master. The second device obeys. This is a slave. Also in question were the words Blacklist and Whitelist, that is, the white list (who is allowed), and the black list (who is not allowed).
Why did it happen? I saw one of the explanations that if you use metaphors in technique, then they should be as straightforward as possible so that no one has any misunderstandings. And these terms, according to research, really go back to the era when the white color of the skin served as a pass to certain places.
We have no such historical associations. We can change the maximum slang “dad-mom” regarding the connectors. For it used to be the only way to fit, but now both PP, and MM, and various combinations can be.
Companies are slowly changing vocabulary. Someone draws attention to this, and, for example, the Python developers quietly removed master / slave from the documents a couple of years ago.
On the one hand, it seems that this whole politically correct agenda and change of names for chickens is a laughing matter. But on the other hand, this is exactly what should be done. It seems that we are now living in a very advanced society. But even 80 years ago Jews were burned and shot, 50 years ago there was such nonsense as segregation, when the color of your skin determined your place. In Russia, criminal punishment for homosexuality was abolished only in 1993. And even at the beginning of the 5s, you could snatch off for not being dressed like that. By the way, I somehow used this right when, returning from school, I went the wrong route, and the width of my simple black jeans to a group of local courtyard fashion experts seemed a little wider than the established ordinary. The essence is the same everywhere: intolerance. Unfortunately, for the most part humanity is amorphous and any changes, based on historical memory, perceives as a threat to life, therefore everything familiar is “ours”, and everything new is “alien”, that is, you either need to make your own, or destroy. And in order to overcome this, you have to act in such ridiculous ways, which, if you think about it, are no more stupid than beat up a person for their clothes, orientation or race, or burn down a XNUMXG tower and accuse Bill Gates of chipping people.
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