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LanceList - Issue #71

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Surface Go Results; HomePod's Slow Sales; Social Media Malaise; Musk Apologizes
 

LanceList

August 3 · Issue #71 · View online
Tech stories that matter, Gadget Quests, nerd pursuits, and other things you ought to know.

Surface Go Results; HomePod’s Slow Sales; Social Media Malaise; Musk Apologizes

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Go go. Microsoft’s tiny tablet/PC combo, the Surface Go is finally here and I’ve spent the morning reading reviews and hands on that mostly confirm my original perception of the Surface Pro’s little bother. It’s not a great performer, but at a base price of $399, you shouldn’t expect one (most tested a higher-end, more expensive model). I actually saw one in person a few days ago. As I suspected, it reminds me of the first Surface RT. Anecdotally, the performance was OK, the keyboard and track pad felt good and it felt super portable. I was struck, like most reviewers, by the huge screen bezels. No screen that small should be surrounded by so much black (one reviewer, though, claimed it helped stop him from accidentally touching the screen). Virtually every reviewer disabled the student-friendly Windows S mode (which, among other things, forces you to use only Windows Store-sourced apps). All-in-all, though, people are impressed, which means this is probably the system to watch this back-to-school buying season.
Microsoft Surface Go Review: A Nearly Perfect Budget PC Microsoft Surface Go Review: A Nearly Perfect Budget PC
Apple gets a slice. Apple’s HomePod is an excellent speaker, strong partner for Siri and Apple Music and, with the latest iOS update, probably about to get even more powerful. But it’s still, at $349, super expensive compared to, say. the Echo or even a Sonos One. Perhaps that’s why, six months into its market availability, the HomePod has carved out just 6% of the smart speaker market share. That might not sound too bad, until you look at Amazon’s commanding 70%. I wonder if Apple will finally release an affordable HomePod Mini this fall. Some success at the low end could help build business for the more expensive speaker.
Research report claims that Apple’s HomePod now has a 6% share of the smart speaker market – BGR Research report claims that Apple’s HomePod now has a 6% share of the smart speaker market – BGR
Frankenstein’s monster. I spend a lot of time on social media, but am acutely aware that, even as we’re all consumed by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, we’ve entered a downswing in utility and sentiment. I think Recode Kara Swisher’s New York Times column on Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook and how Silicon Alley has lost control of its own creations (and struggles to regain control because they still don’t get it) is pretty much right on the money. No matter how you feel about Facebook, it’s worth a read.
Opinion | The Expensive Education of Mark Zuckerberg and Silicon Valley - The New York Times Opinion | The Expensive Education of Mark Zuckerberg and Silicon Valley - The New York Times
Sorry. I heard, with my own ears, Tesla CEO Elon Musk offer an earnest apology to investors and analysts for his behavior on the last earnings call. For Musk, it was a big moment. I covered this and more in my latest 33 Million Miles to Mars podcast, but do wonder if this is beginning of a new, more humble Elon Musk. I’m sure his handlers would love it.
Elon Musk makes the ‘most valuable apology of all time’ on Tesla's earnings call Elon Musk makes the ‘most valuable apology of all time’ on Tesla's earnings call
P.S. And the leaks keep coming.
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