Be Proactive, Not Just Reactive!

We often tend to be reactive rather than proactive when dealing with problems and situations. While it’s impossible and highly impracticable to anticipate every potential situation or scenario that can arise or plan for every contingency (and even with the best laid plans, there’s always an Achilles’ heel), we can and should certainly work towards being more proactive (whenever possible) when dealing with problems and situations. Quite often, we can nip that problem or situation in the bud before it happens and/or take proactive steps to mitigate the impact of a problem or situation and prevent it from escalating and getting out of hand.

When we are reactive to a problem or situation, we tend to “shoot from the hip”. We try to combat the problem or situation head on without the proper information, knowledge and understanding of the scope and depth of the situation. We may speak and act without thinking. We don’t take the time to analyze the situation in a calm and rational manner to determine the proper course of action, impacts and alternatives. We also tend to become defensive and aggressive in our handling of the problem or situation. Our demeanor and attitude change. We can become easily frustrated and annoyed. We react and overreact which brings additional negative elements into the situation (pouring fuel on the fire). In addition, those around us can be negatively impacted by our behavior.

In contrast, when we are proactive, we don’t simply react to a problem or situation . . . we plan for it. We take the time to analyze the possible scenarios, potential solutions, options and alternatives. Being proactive, we work on our schedule and our terms. We have better control over the situation and can plan in an orderly, controlled fashion and environment. We don’t need to be aggressive and defensive. Since we are able to deal with situations in a more orderly fashion, we minimize our stress levels and frustration and foster a more cooperative and collaborative environment when working with others to develop a plan and strategy for dealing with problems and situations. Those around us will be more willing to help us rather than fear and want nothing to do with us.

So the bottom line is be proactive whenever you can. Plan ahead and try to anticipate situations. However, keep in mind that there will be times where you will need to react and be reactive. There’s always going to be some situation which you don’t have control over or that you just don’t know about (one of life’s surprises) and in those cases, you won’t be able to be proactive but the key is to stay calm, be patient, keep a clear head and focus on the situation at hand. It is also important that you don’t simply react and be reactive to the situation, but rather respond to the situation. Work cooperatively and collaboratively with those around you. While you will have to be quick and think on your feet, do so in a responsible, collected manner. Place the focus on quality and results rather than simply expediency. Don’t just jump in head first. Think before you do! Reacting to a problem or situation should not add fuel to the fire but should aim to put out that fire and prevent it from spreading.

Apple’s Sept 7th Event Recap – Part II

Photo Credit/Source: Apple Website

As Apple September events are typically reserved for iPhones, it goes without saying that Tim Cook and the team at Apple planned to announce new phones . . . and they did not disappoint.

Phil Schiller was invited onto the stage to talk about iPhones, specifically, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Schiller touched on ten key points related to the next generation of iPhones.

Design

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, while resembling the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will come in a new glossy Jet Black finish and Black Matte finish. It will also come in Gold, Silver and Rose Gold. The integrated antennas have been redesigned on the new iPhones.

Home Button

The home button on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus has been redesigned and is now force sensitive, utilizes the taptic engine and is customizable.

Enclosure

The enclosure for the new iPhone 7 series is both water and dust resistant.

Camera

The iPhone 7 series include a brand new 12MP camera, optical image stabilization, large f/1.8 aperture, six-element lens, high-speed sensor which is 60% faster and 30% more energy efficient, Quad-LED True Tone Flash, Apple designed image signal processor, Live Photos stabilization and editing and a 7MP FaceTime HD camera.

The iPhone 7 supports up to 5x digital zoom. The iPhone 7 Plus has two 12MP cameras: one wide-angle and one telephoto lens and supports up to 2x optical zoom and up to 10x digital zoom.

Retina HD Display

The iPhone 7 series includes a Retina HD display which is 25% brighter, has a wide color gamut, cinema standard and 3D Touch.

Speakers

The iPhone 7 series include stereo speakers (one on top and one on the bottom) which are 2x louder than the iPhone 6s series.

EarPods

As rumored, Apple has eliminated the 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of connections over the lightning jack. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will include EarPods with lightning connector (Apple retail cost: $29) as well as a lightning to 3.5mm adapter (Apple retail cost: $9) in the box.

Wireless

Apple will start shipping Apple AirPods in October. The Apple AirPods are a “breakthrough in wireless design” according to Phil Schiller. The AirPods utilize the Apple W1 chip. Sensors in the AirPods will be able to detect when the AirPods are in your ears and be able to automatically start or pause playing. The AirPods also contain a beamforming microphone.

The AirPods will provide one-step setup across all your Apple devices. “No buttons, no pairing, no switching” according to Schiller. You will simply need to open the case and press connect on your device to get the AirPods to work with your Apple devices.

The AirPods will provide up to 5 hours of listening time on a single charge and charging via the AirPods case will allow for up to 24 hours of total listening time.

The AirPods will cost $159.

Apple Pay

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will bring Apple Pay to Japan starting in October.

Performance

The new iPhone 7 series will have the new A10 Fusion chip with M10 motion coprocessor. The A10 Fusion chip is the “most powerful chip in a smartphone” says Schiller with a 64-bit four core CPU. The chip contains two high-performance cores which are 40% faster than the A9 chip and two high-efficiency cores which utilize 1/5 the power of the high-performance chips. The four core CPU is 120x faster than the original iPhone. The new iPhones also have an Apple designed performance controller and a six core GPU which is 50% faster, 2/3 power of the A9 chip and 240x faster than the original iPhone.

Battery

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will have the “longest battery life ever in an iPhone” says Schiller with the iPhone 7 lasting two hours more than the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 7 Plus lasting one hour longer than the iPhone 6s Plus.

Pricing & Availability

The iPhone 7 will start at $649, come in 32GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities and be available in Black, Gold, Silver and Rose Gold. The Jet Black will come in 128GB & 256GB capacities.

The iPhone 7 Plus will start at $769, come in 32GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities, and be available in Black, Gold, Silver and Rose Gold. The Jet Black will come in 128GB & 256GB capacities.

Both will be available for pre-order on Sept. 9th and be available on Sept. 16th.

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will still be available in 32GB & 128GB capacities.

Closing The Keynote

Songwriter and music sensation Sia closed out the Apple keynote performing her new single “We Are Your Children” and her hit song “Chandelier”.

While there was no talk about macOS Sierra, the Apple website does show that it will be available on Sept. 20th. In addition, there was no mention of a new MacBook Pro so we may see another Apple event before the end of the year.

To watch the entire Apple keynote presentation, go to http://www.apple.com/apple-events/september-2016.

 

Apple’s Sept 7th Event Recap – Part I

Photo Credit/Source: Apple Website

Apple held its much anticipated September 7th special event today at the Bill Graham Auditorium in San Francisco. The event kicked off with a Carpool Karaoke segment between Tim Cook, Pharrell and The Late Late Show host James Corden.

Apple provided recaps of watchOS 3 and iOS 10, highlighting some of the new features and enhancements that will be included with both OSes. Both watchOS 3 and iOS 10 will be available as free upgrades starting Sept. 13th. Apple also announced that iWork, which includes Pages, Numbers and Keynote now supports real-time collaboration allowing users and teams to edit in real-time across the Mac, iPad, iPhone and the web.

Apple Watch

Turning to Apple Watch, we learned today that Pokemon Go, which has garnered a huge fan base, will be coming to Apple Watch before the New Year. As expected, Apple also announced the next generation of Apple Watch – Apple Watch Series 2.

Apple Watch Series 2 has been redesigned and will be “swim proof”. It is water resistant up to 50 meters. The device is completely sealed off with the exception of the speaker which requires airflow. The new design allows the speaker to expel any water that enters the speaker cavity. The Apple Watch Series 2 was designed with swimmers in mind and incorporates new tracking tools for swim workouts.

The Apple Watch Series 2 has a new 2nd-generation SiP (system in a package) which includes a dual-core processor making it 50% faster than the original Apple Watch, a GPU that is 2x faster than the original Apple Watch, a 2nd-generation display which is 2x brighter at 1,000 nits and comes with built-in GPS. The new series is available in three materials: aluminum, stainless steel and the brand new ceramic option.

Apple has also teamed with Nike to create the Apple Watch Nike+ series specifically designed for runners. It will be available in four colors.

The Apple Watch Series 2 and Apple Watch Nike+ will start at $369 and be available for pre-order on Sept. 9th. The Apple Watch Series 2 will be available on Sept. 16th and the Apple Watch Nike+ will be available in late October.

Apple has also updated and rebranded the original Apple Watch referring to it as the Apple Watch Series 1. It will include a dual-core processor and watchOS 3.

Stay tuned for Part II of our recap of today’s Apple Special Event.

To watch the entire keynote presentation, go to http://www.apple.com/apple-events/september-2016.

 

NYC’s Windowless Skyscraper

Walking down the streets of Manhattan in New York City, you can’t help but notice all of the incredible and spectacular skyscrapers that make up the city skyline from the Empire State Building to 30 Rockefeller Plaza to One World Trade Center.

If you’ve walked around the neighborhood of Tribeca, you may have come across a very unique and interesting skyscraper . . . unique and interesting in that it has no windows.

Located at 33 Thomas Street between Thomas and Worth Streets, the windowless skyscraper is the former AT&T Long Lines building. Standing at 550 feet tall, the building which opened in 1974, was designed and built to house telephone switching equipment. The exterior façade of the building is constructed of flat concrete slabs with large protrusions located at about the midpoint and top of the building used for ventilation. The building is self-sufficient with its own gas, electric and water supply and can continue to operate for up to two weeks without public utilities. It was also designed to survive nuclear fallout for up to two weeks.

By 1999, AT&T completed the move of their operations out of 33 Thomas Street over to their current home at 32 Avenue of the Americas which is also home to commercial tenants including Verizon, T-Mobile, NYU, iHeartMedia and the iHeartRadio Theater.

Given the secure nature of the building, the former AT&T Long Lines building continued to be used for some telephone switching equipment and as space for secure datacenters. Little information is available on the current use and operations status of the former AT&T Long Lines building.

 

 

All Eyes On Apple: Sept 7th Event

Apple-Sept-7th-Event

Photo Credit/Source: Apple Website

With Apple’s now confirmed September 7th event on the calendar, all eyes await to see what Apple will announce at its eagerly awaited September event. The rumors have been building and piling on for months following Apple’s WWDC event in June.

What we can expect at this point is an announcement for a new iPhone, likely being the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Many rumors have circulated indicating the next iPhone will likely carry on a similar appearance and size to the current iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus series while receiving upgrades to the chip and potentially dropping the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack. With the iPhone’s ten year anniversary coming in 2017, speculation has it that Apple will save any major redesign & overhaul for its ten year anniversary iPhone series.

We can also expect Apple to provide more specific details as well as the potential release dates for macOS Sierra and iOS 10, both of which are currently in beta/preview release and possibly announce the release of Apple Watch 2.

There has also been much talk about Apple overhauling and refreshing the MacBook Pro line which has not undergone a major overhaul or refresh since 2012. Apple released a minor refresh to both the MacBook and MacBook Air lines earlier this year. Rumors are going around that the new MacBook Pro will be thinner and lighter, utilize Intel’s Skylake processors and have an OLED touch panel above the keyboard. With the September event typically reserved for the iPhone, macOS and iOS, there’s been speculation that Apple may hold a separate October or November event for any new MacBook Pro announcement.

While much of what we know remains in the rumor mill, the bright side is we only need to wait a few more days before Tim Cook takes the stage and puts some of these rumors to bed. Stay tuned for more following the Apple September 7th keynote!

 

GarageBand for Mac & iOS

GarageBand-768x439

GarageBand for Mac & iOS is a powerful all-in-one music creation studio. The app is included with the purchase of new Macs and iOS devices. It can also be purchased standalone through the Mac and iOS App stores.

For someone who’s not a musician or composer, GarageBand does have smart instruments and a collection of royalty-free Apple music loops that you can select, use, edit and arrange to create some really interesting and cool tracks.

With smart instruments, you can use the autoplay control knob to select a series of preset chord progressions for guitars, piano, string instruments, drums & percussions. Likewise, you can utilize GarageBand’s huge library of royalty-free Apple music loops to create really fantastic arrangements. With a little creativity, time and patience, you can put these all together to create some really great instrumental pieces.

While this won’t make you the next John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith or Murray Gold, it will spark your creativity and will certainly be a fun exercise and experience, so give it a try!