Apple kicked off the 2023 edition of WWDC, its developer conference, with a 2-hour long keynote that saw the company announce the next versions of its five operating systems( iOSwatchOSiPad OStvOSmacOS), three new Macs, including the highest-end Mac Pro, and most importantly, a new “mixed reality” platform, Vision, that includes a new OS and a $3499 headset, Vision Pro. 

Forget all the other announcements, the only real reason to pay full attention to Apple’s WWDC keynote was the launch of the new mixedreality platform. I have already shared some thoughts on Twitter, but I wanted to recap and distill my big takeaways from the keynote.

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The Why of Apple XR Headset

man standing on lawn tennis court
Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash

Janko Rottegers, a former colleague, writes a newsletter focused on the cord-cutting phenomenon. In the latest edition of the newsletter, Lowpass Janko argues that Apple’s new mixed reality glasses, rumored to be announced next week, will disappoint. And that’s okay because it’s “worth remembering that many of Apple’s best-selling products initially started out slow.”

I agree with his reasoning, but I go further in history. The rumored headset’s arrival is less Apple Watch or iPhone. Instead, it is more akin to the iPod. Just as iPod wasn’t the first nor the last, it arrived at the right time to jump-start the mainstreaming of the anywhere, anytime convenience of “digital music.” Apple’s headset could do the same for a different kind of digital content, as I point out in the latest issue of my twice-a-month newsletter (sign-up if you haven’t already

I explain why this device should exist and what will be its true killer app, which continues to elude other entrants in the “mixed reality” business. The article continues here.

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Ben Smith’s Traffic

If you go to and type “Traffic,” you will find three top listings. There is a book, Traffic, by Tom Vanderbilt, about how we drive the way we do. Read it. Then there is a listing for a movie starring Michael Douglas and Benicio Del Toro. If you have not watched it, then watch it. And then there is a … Continue reading Ben Smith’s Traffic

Wow, WordPress is 20

WordPress, the open-source blogging software, is twenty years old. The software’s first official release (WordPress 1.0) was made available on May 27, 2003. I had been using the software for a little longer when it was still in alpha. In 2004, I switched my old website to WordPress, becoming the first major blog to embrace … Continue reading Wow, WordPress is 20

The Number of Songs Uploaded Every Day Will Shock You

Did you know that 10.08 million new tracks were uploaded to online music streaming services in the first three months of 2023? That’s 120,000 new tracks every day, according to estimates from Nashville-based Luminate, a company that tracks music industry data. At this rate, we are looking at 43 million new tracks into the services by the end of 2023. In comparison, they saw 93,400 new tracks being uploaded daily in 2022, or roughly 34.1 million tracks. In 2021, that number stood at 30.5 million new tracks.

Songs released every day May 2023 Luminate png
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The context of time

We, humans, like to think we are important. We think we can create the planet’s future. Or that we destroy that future. We think we are rich and powerful. We think we are beautiful. And yet, we are nothing when plotted on a long arc of time. Not even a blip. We come, and we go, and we are all forgotten. Or as Seneca said, “Life, if well lived, is long enough.” 

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We live in a society where everything is tradable. There is a marketplace for everything, from sneakers to cameras, pens to watches to clothes. A house is not a home but a cashable asset to be listed on Zillow. It is no surprise why everyone focuses on resale or whatever they own. It also explains why NFTs became such a phenomenon — they were not for ownership, but the original intent was to buy and flip. Resale is just a weird word. Ben Brooks sums it up nicely

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In my latest piece in The Spectator. As a financial investment, I make a case that Twitter will be a bust. However, the power it gives Elon Musk is unprecedented.  Musk has bought the Fox News of the post-TV reality for $44 billion, a pittance considering how much power it gives him over his rivals … Continue reading The Musky Fox