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Some thoughts on Apple’s WWDC 2016 keynote

  1. I like the focus of watchOS 3. It’s a relief they’ve realized that the worst thing about Apple Watch is the ludicrous load times for apps and waiting for info to display or update; I find it surprisingly torturous even for a v1 product, and if it had been up to me I wouldn’t have launched with that experience. Now whether v1 watch hardware can really be as fast as the demo promises is another question, but at least they’re trying to do something to improve this for current watch owners. This is the first developer preview I’m going to install immediately.
  2. Siri on OS X (now rebranded to macOS) was a no-brainer, I really expected it to happen much earlier. It’ll be fascinating to see whether Amazon can maintain its lead with Alexa/Echo as everyone else tries to build out their own voice platforms.
  3. Continuity across devices continues to take small steps forward, now with things like Universal Clipboard and even the ApplePay on web integration. We’re slowly, slowly making it towards the killer app of flinging your display windows across devices like Tony Stark does in Iron Man 2.
  4. I’m more than a little horrified at how much of iOS 10’s demo time was devoted to emoji and other iMessage bubble features. Sigh. On one hand I admire Apple for being hip to where today’s hotness is. On the other I wish we as a society were focused on more substantial things. We wanted flying cars…

2015 in Review

My favorite product I bought last year was a dustbuster. No joke. And in a way, wasn’t the majority of 2015 about busting the dust of life? I wrote the most words, wrote the most code, took the most flights, took the most vacation and spent the most time in my hometown of my adult life. I went to Disneyland for the first time in two decades. I went to a feminist science fiction convention. I went to PAX in Seattle. I became an HBO subscriber. I went house-hunting in San Diego. I built a new computer in real life, and time machines in my writing life.

Still, time moves on. I’ve only managed to post a Best Of list two out of the past four years so let’s not get too precious about it. Here are some of my favorite things I remember from the year that was 2015:

Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road, the soundtrack of It Follows, Bill Hader and LeBron James in Trainwreck, anything and everything Amy Schumer,

2015 in Movies: some data

Last year I saw a total of 82 movies that I can remember, a fact which I consider both impressive and unimpressive; impressive because it’s more than I would have guessed, unimpressive because I have friends like Sara who have been known to see on the order of 400 movies any given calendar year.

My three favorite movies I saw in theatrical release in 2015 were:

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road
  2. Mad Max: Fury Road 3D
  3. It Follows

Yeah, I’m putting Mad Max on there twice. It was that good. This completely unbiased piece pretty much sums up how I feel about it.

Still, the neurotic in me thought it would be a good idea to compile some other stats I was curious about. First, I wanted to know the breakdown of movies seen in a theater vs. other formats:

Maybe TV isn't a legit category anymore

I want to say there were probably a few more movies I saw on a plane – 2015 was a record year for travel in the continental states – but I just can’t remember. Shoulda kept better records.

Books I read in 2015: some data

Not counting the reams of comics I was consuming for the first half of the year I read a total of 24 books in 2015. Data for prior years is incomplete but I would guess this approaches a personal record; it’s a decent benchmark but I think I can do better.

Still, I thought it would be interesting to crunch the numbers from a few different perspectives. Firstly I feel like I’ve been reading more books than ever electronically, so I was curious about the ratio of different format types in which I read these books. Here’s how it broke out:

2015 book formats
Actually pretty balanced between paper and eBook; I read more physical books than I remembered. Also my lifelong inability to make it through entire audio books continues.

Next, I was sure I read more fiction than nonfiction but I was curious in what percentages. I thought it’d be appropriate to distinguish novels from short story collections as well.
2015 book types

Turns out I was again surprisingly balanced.

Lastly I started noticing that most of my favorite short story writers are female, so I thought I’d just check what percentage of books I read were written by women versus men.
2015 all authors

Not quite as high as I’d thought, though limiting the set to just fiction authors brings us closer to 50%.
2015 fiction authors

Hello I’m here

It’s been nearly a year since I discovered the Forty Days of Dating project and I’m embarrassed to say I’ve still only read up to Day 21. In my defense I kinda don’t want to get to the end too soon; it’s a fascinating experiment made even more beautiful by the presentation, and a good reminder that Life needs to be not only a series of Emersonian experiments but a series of finished projects as well.