Mornings Don’t Make You Moral

Mornings Don’t Make You Moral→

Good news if you’re not a morning person. You still have a chance to be good.

Sah began her research by assuming that we are different people at different hours. In a series of studies, she and her colleagues Brian Gunia and Christopher Barnes examined whether time of day affected the likelihood that a person would cheat at a game. They selected their participants by chronotype, focussing on those who fell on either side of the Horne-Ostberg scale—those who preferred morning and those who preferred night. In one study, participants recorded how many number matrices they had solved correctly. In another, they noted how they had performed in a die-rolling task. In both cases, they had the opportunity to cheat—they were allowed to score themselves—and a monetary incentive to do so.

Some people did cheat less in the morning, Sah found, but only if they were early birds to begin with. The opposite was also true: night owls cheated less in the evening. Time of day had less effect on honesty, the group concluded, than did the synchronicity between person and environment. “Our results should really dissipate those stereotypes of morning people being more saintly,” Sah says. “The important thing is the match.” Early birds aren’t ethically superior. And, to the extent that other research suggests that they are, it may just be that they are luckier: modern society, for the most part, is built around their preferences. We are expected to function well early in the morning. We can’t just wake up when our bodies tell us to and work when we feel at our peak.


Apple’s Margins and Cars

Apple’s Margins and Cars→

Woukd Apple be crazy to enter the “low margin” car industry? Maybe, bit not because of margins:

“The misperception here is that Apple earns high margins because Apple operates in high margin industries. The truth is precisely the opposite. Apple earns high margins because it is efficient at manufacturing and firmly committed to a business strategy of sacrificing market share to maintain pricing power. If Apple makes a car, it will be a high margin car because Apple only makes high margin products. If it succeeds it will succeed for the same reason iPhones and iPads and Macs succeed — people like them and are willing to buy them, even though you could get similar specs for less.

Phones and PCs are low-margin businesses.

Will Apple Watch Distirt Global Gold Supplies?

Will Apple Watch Distirt Global Gold Supplies?→

TidBITS asks “How Much Gold Will the Apple Watch Edition Consume?” the shirt answer? A lot.

Part of the Apple Watch Edition’s appeal will be exclusivity. What’s the fun of wearing $10,000 on your wrist if every other schmoe with money to burn is wearing one too? It’s only fun to join an exclusive club if it remains exclusive. If anything, too much popularity may limit sales.

Even at 100,000 per month, or 1.2 million units of the Apple Watch Edition sold annually, that’s still a lot of gold — 2.4 million troy ounces or about 75 metric tons. That won’t throw such a big wrench in the global gold market, but it’s still going to have an impact.

I may still buy a gold coin or two, just in case.



It turns out that horror at the horror of a sound that is other people eating has a name: misophonia.

“There’s nothing more gruesome than hearing someone eat an apple, carrot, or sandwich featuring even a moderately crunchy filling. Ugh. The shivers are running down my spine just thinking about it.

I’m know I’m not alone. As a quick, informal survey suggested, plenty of my peers are disgusted by mastication too. But is it a genuine affliction or just general auditory distaste?

Misophonia, which means ”hatred of sound,” is rarely diagnosed. According to the Academic Medical Center (AMC) in Amsterdam, sufferers of misophonia have feelings of disgust, anger, or frustration brought on by certain sounds.”

In Mobile, Disruption Comes From Above

In Mobile, Disruption Comes From Above→

One of the most powerful theories that explains who wins and who loses in each turn of the technology industry is the theory of disruption, which observes that so many of the new technologies that triumph appear inferior to existing products when they’re introduced.

The theory of disruption is one reason Apple’s success with iPhone has been so surprising to so many commentators. Surely, those competitor phones that are inferior but cheap will one day soon undermine Apple’s obscenely profitable business. Right?

Benedict Evans isn’t so sure. His post yesterday proposes that the opposite may in fact be true:

You can see this basic story over and over again in the history of the technology industry. The future always comes looking like a toy. But right now the tech industry is being reset by the mobile, and in mobile, disruption tends to work the other way around. The new thing tends to arrive looking like an expensive luxury for rich people, doing far more than any normal person would need. But over time it gets cheaper, and the new, unnecessary characteristics turn out to be very necessary, and the the old, cheaper, less capable model gets squashed.

That is, in tech the cheap weak product generally gets better quicker than the good expensive product gets cheaper. But in mobile, the good expensive product has generally got cheaper faster than the cheap, weak product got good. Moore’s Law is operating in both cases, but the effects are different.

If you’re as fascinated by business and strategy as I am, the entire post is well worth your time.

Fish Are Not an Information Storage Device

Fish Are Not an Information Storage Device→

In an eagerly anticipated ruling taylor made for late-night talk show monologues, the august Supreme Court of the United States weighed in and decided that… fish are not an information storage device, overturning the conviction of one John Yates:

John Yates can breathe easy again. Today the US Supreme Court overturned his conviction (pdf) for destroying documents to hide evidence of a crime. The alleged crime: carrying undersized fish. The documents in question: the fish themselves.

Yates was convicted of breaking a law known (pdf) as the “Sarbanes-Oxley anti-shredding statute.” This makes it a crime to knowingly tamper with evidence that could be used in a federal investigation, and was originally meant to prevent people at companies facing potential probes from shredding documents, deleting emails, and the like. The law targets anyone who “knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object.”