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The Happiest Hour

Back from travel and finally getting over the timely (as it surfaced en route home from vacation, not
First Draught
The Happiest Hour
By M.G. Siegler • Issue #95 • View online
Back from travel and finally getting over the timely (as it surfaced en route home from vacation, not during) head cold. Brain still a bit foggy, so bear with me. But I think I finally know what I want to do with this newsletter.
So here’s the deal. The plan, right now, at least in my head, is to do this bi-weekly. I’m still not sure that it shouldn’t be weekly, but I’m also not sure it shouldn’t be daily (during the weekdays, at least). So I’m going with bi-weekly, to start. I think those days will be Monday and Thursday. But the timing and regularity are still up for some experimentation.
One thing not up for experimentation is the time I will send this: around now. The early evening (depending on your location, of course). Or, if you happen to be on the West Coast, happy hour. 
Hence, the name: The Happy Hour.
Nearly every newsletter I read is sent in the morning. I’m not entirely clear why other than I suppose most people read email in the morning. I tend to do email at night. Around happy hour. (Not a coincidence.) So I’m going with this time.
As you can see below, I’ve decided to incorporate different ideas from different variations of this newsletter into the sections below: Cold Takes, 5ish Links, and a few other odds and ends (also still a work in progress).
Consider this a soft launch. Drinking: a Kona Brewing Castaway IPA. 🍻
Aside: despite my title above, this has been a rough week. A few of you sent notes about Hurricane Harvey in Texas last week. And now we have Hurricane Irma this week. If anyone reading this is in that path, stay safe. On a more personal note, many folks I know lost a friend this past week in Ted Rheingold. As did I. He really was a great and remarkable human being, I feel lucky to have known him, even in a small way. Gone far, far, far too soon. Jonathan Strauss, Om Malik, and Ted’s own final, perfect, brilliant post to help others. Per his wife, Molly, please consider a donation in the name of Ted.

Apple's Car
Like seemingly everyone in tech these days, Apple has been working on a car. Some new details from Daisuke Wakabayashi for NYT:
From the beginning, the employees dedicated to Project Titan looked at a wide range of details. That included motorized doors that opened and closed silently. They also studied ways to redesign a car interior without a steering wheel or gas pedals, and they worked on adding virtual or augmented reality into interior displays.
The team also worked on a new light and ranging detection sensor, also known as lidar. Lidar sensors normally protrude from the top of a car like a spinning cone and are essential in driverless cars. Apple, as always focused on clean designs, wanted to do away with the awkward cone.
Literally reinventing the wheel. And focusing on design, of course. Which, we can make fun of, but look: a lot of these initial self-driving cars are ridiculous looking. 
That might not matter if we don’t own them, but if we do…
Also, could Apple really do this as a software-only layer? I’m skeptical. More likely seems that they’ll test things out with a partner. Remember the Rokr? Remember Motorola? Yeah, like that…
6-Second Ads
Football is back – college last week, professional this week (watching Patriots v. Chiefs as I type this). And that can only mean one thing: advertising is back. Sort of. Sapna Maheshwari for NYT:
N.F.L. fans will first see the ads on Fox on Sept. 10 just before kickoff in the network’s games on the regular season’s opening weekend, and Mr. Shanks said they were also being offered for the World Series and other “marquee events.” The network is working to integrate them sparingly into some in-game breaks with 15- and 30-second spots; it may also place them through new formats, like in a box adjacent to players on a field during pauses. The hope is that they will eventually help reduce the overall commercial time that people sit through.
“So, for example, if a pitching coach comes to the mound just to have a conversation and you know that conversation is going to last 30 seconds, is a six-second unit in there going to add to the experience and then be able to decrease the amount of ad inventory somewhere else?” Mr. Shanks said.
This makes a lot of sense to me. I hate – hate – television commercials. They’ve been more or less unwatchable to me ever since I got my first TiVo well over a decade ago. And they’ve seemingly gotten worse since. Which I only know when I watch sports, because that’s the only time I still watch television live (even with Game of Thrones!). 
Everything else is changing in media, yet television ads have remained the same: 30-second or 60-second spots. I welcome the move to 6-seconds. But it also makes me miss Vine.
Cheers. 🍻
Cheers. 🍻
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M.G. Siegler

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