Wednesday, October 30, 2013
MEDSEEK Acquires SymphonyCare to Expand Presence In Emerging Population Health and Care Management Market
Monday, March 4, 2013
So, keep in mind that a manager, after looking at the facts, may decide that creativity and collaboration reach their height when teams are physically present in the same office. Or perhaps a CEO may look at VPN data and infer that remote employees are slacking off, which apparently was the case with Yahoo.
Generally speaking, I see both advantages and disadvantages of working remotely. I work remotely myself, and I enjoy the flexibility that it provides, but I'd be lying if I said that I collaborate with my team just as well through conferencing, email, and IM. It really depends on the company, the project, and the people involved. So I withhold judgement when it comes to Yahoo and Marissa Mayer until someone can make a case that this is the wrong move for the company, or at least a stronger case than ones I've seen to date.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Aaron Rodgers had the best single-season passer rating last year, and has a career passer rating eight points higher than anyone in the history of the NFL, yet few people aside from the most die-hard Packer fans are ready to call him the best QB ever, at least not yet. Last year most of the talk surrounding Rodgers was rightly about the possible 16-0 season and him nearing the 50-touchdown mark. Nobody cared when he recorded a 122.5 passer rating. I haven't heard anyone cite that stat to make the case that Rodgers had the best season ever for a quarterback.
And perhaps they shouldn't, but neither should anyone pay much attention to QBR. ESPN is polishing its own pewter over QBR this season, using it to make the case that Andrew Luck is the best rookie QB, rather than RG3, whom I would consider the obvious choice. In an article on ESPN.com today, Rick Reilly tried to make the case that Andrew Luck has been the better QB because he has a higher QBR, whilst taking us through all of the asinine metrics that lead to this silly conclusion.
Here is a sampling of the oddly selective rundown of the stats:
"Luck runs more successfully than Griffin. He's had 10 scrambles for first downs. Griffin has had nine."
"Luck is more valuable to his team than Griffin. Sixty-nine percent of the Colts' passing yards are gained while the ball is in the air, the rest after the catch. Only 49 percent of the Skins' passing yards come through the air. In other words, Griffin still has his training wheels on. Luck has his license."You might say that I'm being selective by taking these quotations out of context. I did take them out of context, because I didn't care to recite the entire article, but I think these were his most salient points. OK, the first one, about him running for one more first down, was just silly, but the second one is definitely worth a second look.
Then again, should we discount RG3 because of the routes that his WRs run? If it's so easy to strap on the training wheels and get RG3's 8.47 yards per attempt, why doesn't everyone run these routes that get so many yards after the catch? Could it be that RG3 is an accurate passer who puts his teammates in position to break big plays?
And herein lies irony of the QBR and its evangelists: it's supposed to be all about what the player does for the team, but something like yards after the catch, something that can have a lot to do with a QB's performance, is discounted.
I can show several other examples of how overthinking has lead to a ridiculous QBR formula. What starts off as a noble concept, like giving credit for clutch performance, ends up indirectly helping out a QB who's miserable in the first three quarters, or hurting someone who gets his team ahead early.
Now, let's get down to reality:
- The Redskins have scored the fourth most points this season; the Colts have scored the sixth fewest.
- RG3 has the third-best passer rating, buttressed by 8.47 yards per attempt, 7tds and only three interceptions; Andrew Luck has the third-worst passer rating, as a result of his 6.7 yards per attempt and seven interceptions.
ESPN's attempts to twist this reality, which only pick at the different systems that each QB is working under, only make my point even more that QBR, through its unnecessary complexity, discriminates against offensive systems and individual styles of play more than the traditional passer rating ever had.
Unfortunately, ESPN has outsmarted itself, and has perhaps outsmarted a decent chunk of the public who has bought into this new metric that is so convoluted that it borders on arbitrary. This recent article is nothing more than a shameless ploy to gain QBR acceptance, and is perhaps proven even more successful by my bleating protests. o_0
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
|Courtesy of 9to5Mac|
iPhone 4S: Limping toward the finish line
Like most people, I was skeptical of the iPhone 4S when released with the same form factor as the previous model. Many people were expecting a larger-scale upgrade and an iPhone 5 distinction, and it wasn't mere wish-thinking; Apple broke from its 12-month product cycle, and consumers had good reason to believe that this extra three months would make way for a more dramatic phone upgrade. Instead, we got what looked like an iPhone 4 with a faster phone with a better camera and a native personal assistant app that was at least somewhat useful to most people in its debut version. This was disappointing for many people who expected something more exciting. But when the dust settled from the initial announcement, many consumers (including yours truly) decided that a faster phone with an amazing camera and a personal assistant for what was already a great phone is still better than other phones out there. Apple sold 37 million phones in the 4S's first fiscal quarter, which shattered all phone sales records and analyst estimates.
Subsequent quarters tell a different story, one that demonstrates that Apple may no longer be immune to typical product cycles (not to mention business cycles and overall weakness in the world economy). Sure, 33 million phones sold in the first three months of 2012 was better than most analysts expected, but the June quarter sales came in at just 26 million. This is alarming for two main reasons: 1) that makes two straight sequential drops in iPhone sales, and 2) this last sequential drop--much larger than the first--comes two quarters full quarters before the next phone upgrade. The Chinese economy, which helped buoy Apple sales in previous quarters, now adds to Apple weakness in the lead-up to the next iPhone. Chinese growth has slowed and so has Apple's growth in the Chinese market. Will things turn around in the fall if the iPhone 5 launches with China Mobile? Perhaps, but Apple should be worried about their market share losses to Android and the influx of high-quality, low-cost substitutes for the iPhone from the likes of Samsung, Huawei, HTC, et al.
Playing by Android's rules
Ever since Apple unveiled the iPhone in 2007, its iOS platform has led one of the most profound advances is computing history. Competitors like Google's Android were quick to emulate the iPhone's app ecosystem, and have struggled to keep up. Then, with the release of the iPad, Apple changed the game again and made its competitors in hardware and software follow its lead into tablet computing. The model is simple: Apple acts, others react. This model may now be in danger as Samsung is creating phones like the Galaxy S3 that many consider just as good as any iPhone, and Google's Nexus 7 tablet is providing consumers a full-featured Android tablet at $200. The prospect of Apple trying to catch up to Samsung in phones, not to mention Apple considering a smaller, lower-margin iPad, should be disconcerting for Apple fans and investors who are used to the world playing by Apple's rules.
Great new hope?
All would be forgiven if Apple dazzles with its new phone. The proposed features for the new iOS 6, like the new Apple Maps and major upgrades to Siri, have already set the stage, and there's reason to believe that pent-up demand for the iPhone 5 will dwarf that of any other phone in history. Still, be prepared for a letdown. Recent image leaks purported to show the new iPhone, hint at a phone void of any meaningful design innovation. Sure, a 19-pin dock connector sounds better than a 30-pin one, but that alone hardly meets people's expectations of a trendsetter in a fast-moving industry. As for the screen, most rumors to date hint at a four-inch screen, one that maintains the same width as the traditional 3.5-inch iPhone screen but makes it slightly--and dare I say awkwardly--taller. If the form factor goes otherwise unchanged, Apple may lose a lot of the brand equity it has built up over the past several years for being above all else an innovative design company.
Sure, chances are that Apple will sell an ungodly number of phones in the December quarter. Before even seeing the product, I wouldn't be surprised if Apple sells 45-50 million phones in the last three months of the year. Still, if the iPhone 5 fails to provide a vast improvement over the iPhone 4 and 4S models, the company may soon face even larger losses in market share between product upgrades. I think Apple's current momentum will give them solid growth for the next few years, due in large to huge market growth in smartphones, but the company will lose out on massive market opportunities if it fails to come through with a breakthrough phone this fall. This iPhone 5 better be good. I'm not so sure it will be.
Monday, January 23, 2012
Dear Internet friends,
I am hosting eight students in my classroom after school Monday through Thursday to teach them the basics of Web design. They will learn the basics of HTML and CSS to create their own Web site to post relevant information for the other students at Frazier Prep.
The students in the club, dubbed W^3, are starting by learning basic HTML tags. Today they are practicing using headings, paragraphs, and anchor tags. They'll do so first by recreating this blog post in a split-screen HTML editor/browser found at w3schools.com without peeking at the markup language that I used.I will post their work on this blog when their Web site goes live.
Monday, January 9, 2012
I'm not in the business of telling people how to honor heroes or celebrate holidays, but for what it's worth I'll let you know how I will honor Martin Luther King's legacy this Monday. I don't mean to be flippant when I say that I honor King by diverting attention to other people. Don't get me wrong--it would be hard to overrate King as an inspiring person who helped create transformational change in this country. He was the natural recipient of praise and adulation from many people in his generation, in generations that followed, and will be for many generations to come--and deservedly so. But I find it more useful to celebrate his most important ideas than to simply eulogize the man himself.
Perhaps the most salient, time-tested point King has ever made was that people should not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. (It is time-tested in that to this day we struggle to live up to this aspirational utterance.) In this spirit, we should take a look back at some of the transformational figures in King's age whose character may have been misjudged. An example that sticks out in my mind is that of Bayard Rustin, who was a driving force for the March on Washington but who took a back seat to King on the national stage. This was no mistake. Of course, someone had to be the face of the movement, and it was only natural that Rustin--instead of trying to push himself into the forefront--worked to strengthen King's position in the movement. But why did Rustin have to operate in the shadows of more prominent leaders? It didn't have to do with the color of his skin, but I assume that it had everything to do with the fact that he was gay and socialist, which were associations that in his time (and, sadly, ours too) did reflect on the content of your character. As a result, Rustin, a guru of nonviolent resistance who cut his teeth working in Ghandi's movement in India, although still prominent in his own respect, was met with suspicion from people inside and outside the movement for his sexual orientation and his rather moderate socialist views. (After all, he was openly critical of Communism and avoided the big-C label for himself.)
In short, I feel that we fail to live up to the high-minded ideas that King professed when we succumb to the same stereotypes that made certain heroes seem less consequential during the Civil Rights Movement. I submit that a Bayard Rustin was every bit as important to the movement, whether people knew it back then or not. I believe we can, without conceit or delusion, attribute King-like credit retroactively to Rustin, and perhaps others like him. I'd be willing to bet that Rustin never gets his own holiday, but I'd consider it a victory in my mind if I hear his name on Monday, whether uttered in the same breath as King's name or not.
Friday, September 30, 2011
- Do enough people want a tablet for ebooks and movies alone to supplant the iPad as the dominant player in the space? (This question rests on the fact that Amazon's Kindle Fire won't grant access to the full Android Market.)
- Do people buy the iPad for the top-notch hardware, or is it simply an acceptable medium for gaining access to good software and content?
- Is the iOS ecosystem better than the Android one? If so, how much better? If only marginally better, will Apple be able to win a battle in which prices are dropping and the Android OS is improving?
- Is the overall market for tablets and e-readers growing fast enough to accommodate multiple players in the space, and without making Apple skip a beat? (After all, moderate success is unacceptable for Apple, now the most valuable company in the world.)